"Each town used to have a name, but no one in Midgar remembers them. Instead of names, we refer to them by numbered sectors. That's the kind of place this is."
"There was a random feel to the dark, the quirkiness of chance played out in the blue neon light. So many ways to live. And to die. You could be riding in the back of a studio's black limo, or just as easily the back of The Coroner's blue van. The sound of applause was the same as the buzz of a bullet spinning past your ear in the dark. That randomness. That was L.A. There was flash fire and flash flood, earthquake, mudslide. There was the drive-by shooter and the crack-stoked burglar. The drunk driver and the always-curving road ahead. There were killer cops and cop killers. There was the husband of the woman you were sleeping with. And there was the woman. At any moment on any night there were people being raped, violated, maimed. Murdered and loved. There was always a baby at his mother's breast. And, sometimes, a baby alone in a Dumpster. Somewhere."
"Sam Hammís script for the film describes the look of Gotham as 'Hell erupted through the pavement and built a city,' a place where crime had such a stranglehold on every part of life that there werenít even rules for how buildings were supposed to work. They were crowded together, stacked on top of each other, bridges crowding over the streets and throwing everything into shadow...the buildings were sprawling in every direction, blotting out the sun. My favorite thing about the film honestly doesnít come from the actors or the story, itís that even in the fanciest buildings in Gotham City ó the art museum, City Hall ó there are exposed air ducts and fans. Everything in the city was slapped together and given a varnish of respectability, something that underscores the theme of a city that
"When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe."
"You could see it beginning in the late 1940s—New York City, for example, started to become a hostile place around then. I mean, as a kid when I would go to New York, I would think nothing of walking through Central Park alone at night, or walking along Riverside Drive by the river alone at night—the kinds of things you wouldn't do now without a platoon of Marines around you...But that all began to change after the Second World War, and it changed throughout the United States; cities just became hostile."
—Noam Chomsky, Understanding Power