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Getting Your Cape

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City of Heroes: Getting Your Cape

MMORPG.com City of Heroes Correspondent Marjorie Rhoadhouse writes this handy guide for players looking for get their capes at level 20 in NCsoft's City of Heroes.

The Facts:

Must be Level 20+ - Need Empty Mission Slot – See City Rep in City Hall Once the Talk-to’s Are Complete, Door Mission is Relatively Quick Soloing is Possible Depending on AT and Reputation (Difficulty)

Some History:

Capes were introduced in Issue 2, in September of 2004. The Cape Mission establishes in-game lore as to why heroes are barred from wearing capes until they are Level 20, and to give each a chance to prove himself worthy of wearing that most wondrous earmark of the proverbial superhero.


Nowhere in the game is the player informed of how and when to get a cape. Nor does the contact for the Cape Mission make herself available for the asking. Once a hero is Level 20, and if that hero has an empty mission slot and by chance happens to click on the City Rep, she’ll offer the mission.

A Caveat:

There is one exception to the Capes-at-Level-20 rule. Heroes of any level can sport a cape if they belong to a player who’s been in the game for at least 21 months. That cape is a Veteran Reward and graces only one shoulder of the hero. Even a Veteran Player hero must complete wait until Level 20 and complete a Cape Mission to wear a full cape.

The Confusion:

The Cape Mission and Second Costume Mission are easily confused because the two are available at the same time.

City of Heroes Screenshot

A Makeover?

Expecting to learn about the cape mission, the hero turns 20, and is told it’s time for a makeover; visit the tailor shop. Nothing is said about a cape. The question is often seen in Broadcast: “Where do I get my cape?” The simple --- and truthful --- reply: “The tailor shop.” So off goes the hero to the tailor. There, he accepts the Second Costume Mission. Upon its completion, he receives a second slot for a new costume, but no cape. Yes, the cape is retrieved at the tailor shop, but there is a mission to complete first, the contact for which is in Atlas Park, not the tailor shop.

Mission Prep:

Clear a mission slot. Depending on your approach to this mission, be it a cakewalk or an XP bonanza, you might want to visit a Hero Corps Analyst to adjust the difficulty setting. Then go to the City Rep inside City Hall, in Atlas Park. Start the round of talk-to’s, for a total of three.

Travel Tip:

If you’ve got a team and a team-mate can “Recall Friend,” send him out to Justin Greene, near the Training Enhancement Shop in the northwest corner of Independence Port. Justin is the last contact and it’s a long journey, no matter what mode of travel. By the time the other talk-to’s are done, your mate could be ready to teleport you to Justin’s side. This will prevent other team-mates from getting antsy.

Justin directs you to the memorial housing a time-capsule created by Hero1 and Omega Team. He doesn’t mention villains. But once you leave Justin, the previously empty mission slot reads, “Defeat All Villains in Memorial.”  The villains are The Lost, with plenty of mezzers. If your hero cannot protect himself from being mezzed, he should stock up on Break Frees. I also advise bringing a Bounce-Back or Restoration (the heavy-duty Awakens) because even though you may be able to run to the hospital or use your base if you get defeated, the mission may fail while you are en-route. If you can’t get them from a friend or the Inspiration Collector in your base, they can usually be found at Wentworth’s.

The Mission:

The location is usually Perez Park or Talos. Upon entering, a text window pops up, which in every other mission tells you some inane detail that’s not been added to the tileset. This time however, the text is important. It tells you that, because there are villains present, you must protect the memorial. That word, “protect” in missions past meant defeating the mobs and clicking on the blinky. In THIS mission, the mobs in a back corner on an upper floor are actually hacking and slashing away at the time-capsule while your hero is trying to fight his way to its position. If they break open the capsule, he’ll get tossed from the mission --- never to know why. The only way to repeat the mission (and most new players are not aware that it can be repeated), is to do the whole round of go-to’s all over again, starting with another visit to the City Rep.

Take your time on the first floor. The villains upstairs wont act against the time-capsule until a hero arrives on their floor and triggers aggro. If teamed, make sure no one goes scouting upstairs; else the mobs may destroy the capsule by the time the team has regrouped. “Defeat ALL,” but once upstairs, get to the time capsule first. Head straight for the back or if teamed, send someone straight back. A Controller with Invisibility and a Hold can delay those with intent to harm the capsule.

Once the mission is complete, return to the City Rep in Atlas Park. She rewards you by “unlocking” a new costume part. You will not see the cape until you buy it from a tailor at Icons.  At level 20, a cape costs 9,020 Influence, including the tailor’s fee. To save yourself a second fee, wait on the cape. Do the Costume Mission; then buy both costume and cape together.

City of Heroes Screenshot

The Second Costume:

For this your hero needs another empty mission slot --- the one vacated by the Cape Mission will do just fine. Go to the Icons (aka tailor shop) in the northwest corner of Steel Canyon. Speak to Serge. He stands at the back counter and sends your hero on a simple street hunt to defeat 30 Tsoo. He suggests the hunt takes place in Talos, as do I if you want good XP. The Tsoo hanging out in Steel Canyon also fulfill the mission. If your hero is close to leveling, a Steel Canyon hunt would be the better choice. A costume and cape are cheaper at Level 20 than at Level 21.


Be prepared. The moment your hero steps outside Icons, he will be ambushed.

Once the Second Costume Mission is complete, return to Serge and claim a second slot for the new costume. Now is the time to add that cape.

The Cape:

Capes are offered at the bottom of the costume creation screen, under the heading of Back Details (which includes Wings), and is sometimes not visible unless you scroll down through the entire costume menu. Wings and Capes cannot be worn together. Ditto for trench coats. You must choose. Also if your hero is currently wearing a trench coat, the choice of Back Details will never show itself. You must first remove it (without ever exiting the costume creation screen). Removing the trench coat will likely mess up whatever costuming is worn beneath the coat, but it’s easily reapplied. The point is, once the trench coat is gone, the option for Back Details will present itself.

One final note is that it’s a good idea to add the cape to your original costume slot, even if this means making over your original costume into the new Second Costume. If you want to keep the original, leave it in its duplicate form in the second slot. The reason? The first slot is the “parent” by which the filler-costumes in each future slot is modeled. If the first slot displays a cape, every new slot added thereafter (for a total of five) will display a cape, one you won’t have to pay for. Yes, you might change the look of the cape, which costs something --- but not as much as adding the cape itself. And if you decide not to cape the outfit in that slot, removing a cape from a costume costs nothing. At Level 50, when a change of costume can cost bizillions, this is important.

Whether a cape is practical super gear is a topic I refuse to broach. Validation by a good back-story wins over some naysayers but for those who wear them and those who admire them, the mystery and glamour of a cape need no interpretation.

City of Heroes Screenshot