Cole looking at the remains of Ground Zero.

So... Here we are, back where it all started....

Ground Zero is the name given to the area where the Blast created by the Ray Sphere that devastated Empire City was activated, killing multiple people and destroying five blocks.


Cole MacGrath wakes up injured in the middle of the crater generated from the explosion and is told by the police and his best friend Zeke Dunbar, to head over to Fremont Bridge and escape into the Neon District. Utilizing his parkour skills, he weaves his way through the parking lot adjacent to Ground Zero that now lays in ruins. His newly-discovered electrical powers go haywire, resulting in him accidentally destroying the Fremont Bridge, using an uncontrolled form of Lightning Storm. He falls unconscious for four days, as outlined in the Prequel Comic. During the First Glimpse mission, The Voice of Survival broadcasts a message revealing that Cole was the one to detonate the bomb, turning the people against him.

In the climax of the game, Cole confronts Kessler in a final battle at Ground Zero in retaliation for the latter's murder of Trish Dailey. When Cole downs Kessler, he shows him one of his advanced forms of the Psychic Vision power. Kessler is revealed to be Cole himself from the distant future, when he married Trish with Zeke as his best man only to have a powerful Conduit called The Beast kill his family and devastate Earth. He used his newest power of time travel to far back in time to take take over the First Sons, engineer and create the Ray Sphere, organize The Blast to give Cole his powers and prepare him for his ultimate battle with the unstoppable Beast.

There are also numerous Blast Shards hidden in and around Ground Zero, including the immediate area like the parking lot that Cole traverses in the Introduction.

In Infamous 2, Nix leads Cole out to the swamps where Bertrand activated another Ray Sphere. Cole identifies it as "A little piece of Empire City." Ground Zero flashes on the screen for a few seconds.


  • Ground Zero (which may have been known as Cathedral Square before the blast) appears to be the only part of the city with a dead-end road. Looking at the city map in-game will show that all roads in the city, including bridges and tunnels, lead to an intersection or roundabout/traffic circle. The road within Ground Zero doesn't appear on the map but can easily be found in-game between the Staton Building and the bridge to the Neon. The raised section in the middle of the crater, where Cole wakes up, has a single yellow line that lines up with the others on the larger section of road leading to the bridge. It appears as though this road led directly from the bridge to the base of the Staton Building, but it can't be properly determined where it went from there, as there are no other road markings within the blast area. There are no other roads leading in or out of Ground Zero and the only other gap that appears wide enough for a road is next to the entrance ramp to the parking garage, but that area is fenced off.
  • One of the destroyed building looks like the real-life Chrysler Building, a prominent landmark in New York City.
  • Ground Zero is also the nickname of a real-life terrorist attack famously known as 9/11.



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