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Overview

Central Park, as seen in real life.
Central Park, as seen in real life.

40.7833° N, 73.9667° W

Area: 843 acres (1.317 sq. miles) (3.41 km²)

Open: 365 days a year. 6:00 am - 1:00 am

Census Tract No. 143.

Central Park is the first landscaped public park in the United States. A national historic landmark with 25-40,000,000 annual visitors--it is crazy-big and filled with all kinds of neat things, such as: sixteen public restrooms, eighteen gated entrances, approximately 20,000-25,000 trees, over 9000 benches, fifty fountains, thirty-six bridges, thirty tennis courts, twenty-nine sculptures, twenty-six ball fields, twenty-one playgrounds, seven bodies of water, two ice skating rinks, and one carousel.

The park is home to hobos, tourists, bird-watchers, running, walking, crime, pumpkin waffles, a 3500-year old Egyptian obelisk, horses, horse carriages, the Creepy Bard, two world's fairs, and a castle.

It is, according to the Encyclopedia Wikipedia, "the most filmed location in the world."

Trivia

  • Dogs are not allowed in the park fountains.
  • Alcohol is not allowed in the park.
  • Smoking is not allowed in the park.
  • Fire and activities involving fire are not allowed in the park--except on Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the Fourth of July.

Credits

Frederick Law Olmsted ... Aesthetic Designer

Calvert Vaux ... Structural Designer

History in Real Life

Frederick Law Olmsted proposed the Park as "a beautiful open green space, in which quiet drives, rides, and strolls may be had."

• 1851:

A "Central Park" was proposed amongst city officials.

• 1853:

Land for the park was purchased and eminent domain exercised.

• 1856:

The existing villagers occupying park land were given final notice.

• 1857:

Remaining villagers on park land were evicted and the residential settlements razed. Construction on Central Park began.

• 1858-1860:

Central Park opened to the public.

• 1876:

Central Park officially opened.

Following completion of the park, Olmsted cautioned that he would answer "for no man's safety in it from bullies, garroters, or highway robbers after dusk." He later died.

Calvert Vaux drowned under unmysterious circumstances in Gravesend Bay.

Central Park continues to exist to this day.

History in Video Games

1960-1990

Snowy Central Park--as transformed from spring to winter by the alien bounty hunter Tora's Weather Satellite. 1990.
Snowy Central Park--as transformed from spring to winter by the alien bounty hunter Tora's Weather Satellite. 1990.

Beginning with Gottlieb's 1966 pinball table, Central Park enjoyed a largely placid video game existence for many years before taking an apocalyptic turn in 1988. Knife-throwing clowns; giant, floating eyeballs; ghosts; chasms; and Frosty the Hit-Mans inexplicably abounded. The park remained embroiled in nonsensical disarray and briefly the Noid over the next several years.

1990-2000

John McClane runs over, like, five hundred people in Die Hard Trilogy. 1996.
John McClane runs over, like, five hundred people in Die Hard Trilogy. 1996.

The 1990s saw the introduction of side-scrolling Spider-Mans to Central Park. These middling, routine appearances heralded a return to peace with the gradual transformation of 2-D New York City to a fully three-dimensional approximation. Any fleeting instances of open-world calm were still many years away, though.

Early, geometric 3-parameters models of the park began with John McClane's homicidal, bomb-defusing Die Hard With a Vengeance driving game; Pilotwings 64's "Little States Island"; and the branching abomination of 1997's Fighting Force.

2000-2010

Racing, golfing, skateboarding, and bonus levels, mostly.

The park featured prominently in the two dredged relics: Ghostbusters: The Video Game and Alone in the Dark 5: The Video Game.

2010-present

Bethesda Fountain. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. 2011.
Bethesda Fountain. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. 2011.

The area was faithfully militarized and destroyed in Crytek's CryENGINE 3 as "Central Park" and in MW3's Modern Warfare 3 as "Liberation Map" or "mp_italy."

Fun-and-games was introduced to Central Park with 2014's Disney Infinity: Marvel Whatever--The One With NYC or Something, where you were allowed to build pyramids.

Spider-Man

Though primarily set-dressing in Spider-Man games of late, Central Park was host to many historic Wall-Crawler fights throughout the years:

"The park is always a good place to start." Stage 1-1. 1993.

The Amazing Spider-Man--1990:

On his quest to save the kidnapped Mary-Jane, Spider-Man was waylaid by trees that drop exploding horse-chestnuts, attacking pigeons, Rhino's army of evil thugs, and Rhino.

The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin--1990, 1991, 1993:

Spider-Man battled the Sandman, snakes, gorillas, Venom, and "the other thugs." Though the Sandman escaped, he left behind one of the hidden keys required for deactivating the Kingpin's 24-hour ultimate bomb.

Spider-Man 3: Invasion of the Spider-Slayers--1993:

Spider-Man vs. skateboarders, falling spiders, twenty muggers, and a hopping thing that was probably supposed to be a Spider-Slayer.

Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage--1994:

Spider-Man and Venom defeated Doppleganger, Shriek, and Carnage.

The Amazing Spider-Man: Lethal Foes--1995:

Doctor Octopus built a giant, weird thing under Central Park--was thwarted. Spider-Man vs. Venom vs. Carnage and the Spider-Slayers. Twice.

Game Boy Color Central Park at night. 2001.
Game Boy Color Central Park at night. 2001.

Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six--2001:

Spider-Man vs. Kraven the Hunter.

Ultimate Spider-Man--2005:

Spider-Man vs. the Beetle.

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows--2008:

Spider-Man defeated Symbiotes, more Symbiotes, Jackal, and then kind of fought a fountain filled with a thing that was Venom with lots of heads.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2--2014:

Spider-Man vs. Kraven the Hunter.

Alone in the Dark 5

Twilight II
Twilight II

Central Park was recreated on the computer using Eden Games's in-house Twilight II engine as the primary location of Alone in the Dark 5.

It is described vaguely by North American Producer Todd Slepian as being "mapped using GPS satellite data to an accuracy within 50cm, using the same remapping system used in Test Drive Unlimited."

It is described better by Level Designer Chris Garnier:

Central Park was entirely recreated as one huge open world area. The player can go anywhere at anytime. To achieve this, we cut the park in a lot of small areas (50+) and used a distance based streaming system for the environment, as well as a volume based streaming for scripting/characters maps.

External Links

http://www.centralparknyc.org/

http://www.nycgovparks.org/rules

http://www.centralpark.com/guide/general-info/restrooms.html

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