Cities Destroyed in Independence Day

Aliens invaded, and the world was saved by President Lone Starr, cable repairman Ian Malcolm, Cousin "drunken-pilot" Eddie, and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Force... but not before half the world died. Name the cities that were destroyed in the 3 waves of attacks, or targeted during the 4th wave.
For fun, the City Destroyer ship paths are given. I feel like I could have designed a better invasion heuristic.
Quiz by plattitude
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Last updated: March 29, 2021
First submittedMarch 24, 2021
Times taken334
Average score74.5%
Rating4.67
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Answer
Abidjan
Addis Ababa
Algiers
Amsterdam
Ankara
Antwerp
Area 51
Athens
Atlanta
Baghdad
Bangalore
Bangkok
Barcelona
Beijing
Beirut
Belfast
Belgrade
Berlin
Birmingham
Boston
Brussels
Bucharest
Budapest
Buenos Aires
Busan
Answer
Cairo
Cape Town
Caracas
Casablanca
Changchun
Chicago
Cleveland
Colombo
Colorado Springs
Dakar
Dallas
Damascus
Detroit
Dhaka
El Paso
Frankfurt
Guadalajara
Guangzhou
Hamburg
Hangzhou
Hanoi
Harbin
Havana
Helsinki
Answer
Hiroshima
Ho Chi Minh City
Hong Kong
Houston
Hyderabad
Islamabad
Istanbul
Jakarta
Jerusalem
Kabul
Karachi
Kathmandu
Kiev
Kinshasa
Kolkata
Kuala Lumpur
Kunming
Lagos
Lahore
Las Vegas
Liverpool
London
Los Angeles
Lyon
Answer
Macau
Madras
Mandalay
Manila
Marseille
Mecca
Medan
Mexico City
Miami
Milan
Mogadishu
Monaco
Monterrey
Montreal
Moscow
Mumbai
Munich
Nagoya
Nairobi
Naples
New Delhi
New York City
Ningbo
Odessa
Answer
Osaka
Paris
Perth
Petropavlovsk
Philadelphia
Phnom Penh
Phoenix
Pingxiang
Pittsburgh
Prague
Pyongyang
Qiqihar
Rio de Janeiro
Riyadh
Rome
Rotterdam
San Diego
San Francisco
Sao Paulo
Sapporo
Sarajevo
Seattle
Seoul
Shanghai
Answer
Shenyang
Singapore
St Louis
St Petersburg
Stockholm
Sydney
Taipei
Tehran
Tel Aviv
Tokyo
Toronto
Tripoli
Umbutu
Vancouver
Venice
Vienna
Vientiane
Vladivostok
Volgograd
Warsaw
Washington D.C.
Wuhan
Yangon
Yokohama
+5
Level 52
Mar 29, 2021
Whoever chose the cities needs to be called out for incompetence. They're leaving population gold mines, such as Brazil, India, or Africa, mostly untouched.
+5
Level 52
Mar 29, 2021
"Hmm...should we attack Surat, Xiamen, or...I know! Petropavlovsk!"
+1
Level 90
Mar 29, 2021
When going over the list, that one definitely surprised me the most, followed closely by the choice of Perth (over, Melbourne, Adelaide, even Canberra) and Cape Town (over Johannesburg).
+3
Level 58
Mar 29, 2021
I agree. They obviously haven't played JetPunk enough. Although I get the idea of attacking the most powerful countries first, they failed to include many in powers like France, UK, Brazil, and especially Australia.
+2
Level 90
Jul 15, 2021
You raise a very good point. JetPunk can clearly be used by enemies of earth to plan our systematic destruction. In the interests of planetary security, we probably ought to shut it down :).
+3
Level 71
Mar 29, 2021
No one said they were attacking the most densely populated areas.

“The aliens known as the Harvesters had been surveying Earth and the human race for decades, selecting the planet as a potential target seemingly as early as the 1940's; identifying their cultural hubs, military strongpoints, strengths and weaknesses and various other subjects, steadily gathering and processing this information and formulating the perfect time to strike.”

+3
Level 71
Mar 29, 2021
Also keep in mind this is from the 90s...
+1
Level 90
Mar 29, 2021
Which is the only reason they get a pass on not targeting anything on the Persian Gulf.
+1
Level 52
Mar 29, 2021
Yes, but still. By no measures is Petropavlovsk more important than Tianjin, another goldmine they left untouched.
+1
Level 90
Mar 29, 2021
Okay, so I did a little more digging into Petropavlovsk. I was hoping there was some reason to target it, like Colorado Springs/NORAD, for example. Apparently Petropavlovsk was where the Russian military intercepted and brought down that City Destroyer during the July 4th Counteroffensive. Perhaps it was on its way to... Anchorage? Fairbanks? Yellowknife? So many questions remain.
+2
Level 64
Mar 29, 2021
Perhaps it was avoiding heading south so it wouldn't bonk into the Tokyo or Seoul ships? Though it could have easily gone to Khabarovsk without crossing any paths.

The original movie suggests they were doing cities methodically. Maybe the Petropavlovsk ship was meant to sweep the entire northern Pacific coast but was taken down before it could get any further.

I am, however, attempting to justify the actions of a fictional alien species. More likely is that the filmmakers simply looked at a map of the Far East and chose whatever city they first saw.

+2
Level 76
Mar 29, 2021
Cool idea for a quiz.
+3
Level 82
Mar 29, 2021
Great idea! Instructions made me laugh too :)
+1
Level 90
Mar 29, 2021
Cheers!
+1
Level 82
Mar 29, 2021
Source?
+1
Level 90
Mar 29, 2021
The idea started with just cities mentioned or seen in the original movie. In researching/validating I had a complete list, I found this page.
+1
Level 82
Mar 29, 2021
Could not, for the life of me, figure out why Chennai wasn't working until the quiz ended and I saw Madras. Chennai should work for Madras.
+1
Level 90
Mar 29, 2021
Hmm, interesting, I thought I had tested that JetPunk's Auto-typeins accepted that. Though as the city was destroyed on July 3rd, 1996, no one would have been around to rename it Chennai two weeks later... but you're right, it should still work. Fixed.
+1
Level 47
Mar 29, 2021
I love this quiz! Although why did the aliens go for places like Colorado Springs and leave out ciites like Brasilia, Melbourne, Madrid, Denver, and more?
+2
Level 90
Mar 29, 2021
Colorado Springs was explicitly destroyed in the first movie. It is immediately adjacent to NORAD, where President Ghost Therapist sent the VP and Joint Chiefs.
+1
Level 87
Mar 28, 2022
Pfft....a simple pre-Windows 95 virus written in 10 seconds would've prevented all this.