The Club with No Name
As we have seen, MxO features a fine variety of bars. We all know the ones which have names- Succubus, Polyvinyl, The Jade Room, and Club Zeus, for example- and those which don’t (the ubiquitous Metro Lounge, for instance, and the deserted ones in Westview and elsewhere which lack any name whatsoever). Among all these hangouts, one stands out. Located not in the dumpy squalor of Lucero Point but in the architectural splendor of Baldwin Heights, it is hard to find and easy to miss. But there is no other club which is so tony, so well-appointed, and so chill. Yet it is hosted by no neighborhood contact or ingame character and offers no story or lore. It’s just there, for your pleasure. To enjoy its quiet charms, travel downtown, and teleport to 15 19 611 (&gotopos 15 19 611). This will take you just within the front door. No sign marks Its unlabeled entrance midway down a tight alley, so it’s very easy to miss. No wonder it is so little-discussed! In fact. I never even heard of it until ten years after the game had folded.
Inside, the foyer is clear and subdued in color, with elegant wall lights and a straight descent to the first basement floor. There’s no coat check or guns check. Unlike many a club, the carpeting and wall designs are colorful; I’d like to do this for my living room. And the wood-panel walls are thankfully devoid of tacky rock, sports, and movie posters. Like Succubus there is a curving grand staircase leading down to the bar floor. Above this there is a balcony level with a lounge for the manager to keep data up to date and keep an eye on events; a friend keeps him company. There’s some clutter on the floor, which always annoys me. The developers had obviously been spying on my children’s rooms.
The bar floor (the first basement) is spacious, with well-separated tables; clearly this place does not live by volume, and a decade ahead of its time respected social distance. There’s no music here but the center of this floor is empty, with no lights or music. There are some pool tables, and an open bar with no staff in attendance. Nice! The walls are wood panel, with green glass partitions. The feeling is easy relaxation.
Spacious and soothing and green glass partitions and pool tables…can I rent a room here?
Over in one corner, there’s a second stairway, which goes to a second basement. Before this, though we come across bathrooms. And about time! These are clean, but the stalls all lack doors, which is a non-starter. Arriving downstairs, you see another open bar, a performance stage with instruments, and wide, open areas for dancing or political chanting. The décor is consistent with the upper level: dark, subdued colors. There’s litter on the floors and tables: cold pizza, spilled card decks, and massed posters on one wall. Doesn’t anyone ever clean this place? After eleven years? A separate staircase leads to a balcony lounge with more folks than the ground floor, and more litter. Throughout, on all floors, the music is the piping drone heard throughout downtown. It’s a bar with a music stage, but there’s no Radio Free Zion playing.
I spoke too soon about the posters and the clean look of the walls…
In the sub-basement general admission pit, waiting for the show to start, eyeing the litter. How hard is it to care?
A stone’s throw away, at -12 19 681, you can find a fine example of the more common anonymous, vacant bars. The contrast is striking; poorly placed posters, beanbag chairs, anemic lighting, cheap seating, and dark colors everywhere. No wonder it’s empty!
Incredibly, I never heard about this during the game, even in beta, and only learned of it a few weeks back, late in 2020. I learned from a post by Vesuveus on Discord that this was known ingame as The Viper Room, in reference to a very exclusive club in Manhattan. Today, we would call it the French Laundry, after the extremely exclusive, expensive restaurant in California favored by the governor, state politicians, and their favorite lobbyists to whom the laws of masking do not apply, while the rest of the population was ordered to shelter in place.
The Club with No Name, labeled ingame as The Viper Room according to Vesuveus, is relaxing, well-appointed, and only needs music from your favorite playlist. It would have been the perfect venue for a neighborhood contact or a guild meeting. I had the feeling that this was an aborted effort to place some story elements or assigned missions here. Its building is a work in progress: apart from the excellent, elegant, satisfying set-up for the club, there are several ground-level doors in this building, all opening on 10’x10’ WALL rooms, with a single larger one, maybe 20’x’20’. All the signs of a great idea, partially completed, which ultimately ran out of steam. But even in its eternally half-baked state, it’s a tasty treat.