While RPGs are rich with fantastical storylines and memorable characters, these elements are nothing without an interesting world in which to explore. From sprawling vistas, to cities in the sky, each new location that you visit makes the world feel more real and enchanting. These are my top 5 RPG Locations:
1. -Midgar (Final Fantasy VII)-
Definitely not the most enticing location on this list, but certainly the most memorable. The city of Midgar is divided into two layers; the floating city on top of the plate supported by pillars and the slums below. It is separated into seven sectors, but nobody remembers their names anymore. The unsettling atmosphere created a perfect backdrop to begin the events of Final Fantasy VII and for a while you never thought you would leave. It provided the Mako reactors, the eerie Train Graveyard, the slums, Aeris’ Church, the sleazy Wall Market and of course Shinra Headquarters. The city itself had enough character to support some of the most memorable events in the game and made sure it would never be forgotten.
2. -The Kingdom of Zeal (Chrono Trigger)-
Arriving in Zeal for the first time was wondrous. In the dark ages, the magical kingdom floats elegantly above the clouds, comprising of four separate islands connected through sky bridges and teleporters. The architecture of the palace was mesmerising and the music made you feel like you were visiting another world. For video games back in the Super Nintendo era, nothing was more impressive than seeing this floating city in the sky made with the combination of magic and technology.
3. -Lindblum (Final Fantasy IX)-
After narrowly escaping Alexandria by airship, you are introduced to the massive city of Lindblum. It is so big it is divided into four areas that are accessed via Air Cabs. Lindblum Grand Castle is the home of Regent Cid and has it’s own airship dock. The Theather District houses the theatre as well as the hideout of the band of thieves known as Tantalus. The Business District is the largest commercial area in the game providing shops, inns and access to the outside world and finally the Industrial District, where the engineers work and visit the famous pub. The scope of the city is huge and you can easily get lost making your way around trying to find all of its little secrets.
4. -The City of the Ancients (Final Fantasy VII) –
Final Fantasy VII had such memorable locations, that it is not a surprise to see another shown here. The Forgotten Capital is the ruined city once inhabited by the Ancients. Many of the houses above the ground are made from shell-like materials and invoke a vision of the bottom of the sea. A hidden underground section is made up of beautiful crystal castles connected to the surface with a staircase of brilliant light. With the haunting melodies playing in the background and the foreshadowing of events to come, this once glorious civilisation kept you on the edge of your seat as you discovered a place that had not been touched for centuries.
5. -Zanarkand (Final Fantasy X)-
The original Zanarkand was a utopian metropolis full of life, featuring skyscrapers, highways and a gigantic Blitzball stadium. When it lost the Machina War against Bevelle a thousand years ago the inhabitants turned it into a dream state that was ultimately destroyed by Sin. What is now left is the Zanarkand Ruins, known as a holy place and is the final destination for summoners on their Pilgrimage. Zanarkand was such a magnificent location in Final Fantasy X and combined with it’s beautiful musical theme and great importance to the overall plot it remained with the player long after they finished playing.