Home is people. Not a place. If you go back there after the people are gone, then all you can see is what is not there any more.
Home is where the heart is and I left my heart in these seven places. These are my favorite video game towns/cities/villages/etc. Pretty much anywhere that people congregate, except for dungeons. Because of course.
#7. Monstro Town
I love Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Square’s pre-Kingdom Hearts crossover epic, except with Nintendo instead of Disney. Who knew that putting a platforming icon in a JRPG would work so well? Monstro Town is on my list because of a single door, behind which an immense evil hid: Culex! This Final Fantasy-stylized villain was a secret boss fight complete with the boss fight music from Final Fantasy IV. It literally did not get much cooler than that.
#6. Windfall Island
With some of the catchiest music in Wind Waker, this tiny island community felt so instantly endearing and idyllic to me. It’s one of the few places in video games where I would actually love to live! Did you know I love the sea? Man, I’d eat sashimi every day if I lived there!
#5. Black Mage Village / Dark City Treno
A double feature! Final Fantasy IX made it an event every time you reached a notable town or village or city and there were so many of them. I love that moment upon first entering when the name of the locale came up on screen. Lindblum, Burmecia, Dali… so many possibilities but it came down to these two for me and I couldn’t decide which I appreciated more. Black Mage Village may just be the most sobering village I’ve ever been to in a video game… so much reflection upon mortality. Treno, on the other hand, was almost the opposite, with such a vapid underbelly at its heights and real poverty at its depths. That card game, tho.
I gained such an appreciation for breathers in video games because of Dologany, aka Dragnier, home of the last survivors of the ancient Dragon Clan. In Breath of Fire II, it was the last safe haven before reaching the bottom of the Infinity Dungeon and facing the final boss. It was the breather I needed and it came with its own unique song, a sad and mysterious melody not heard anywhere else in the game (to my knowledge).
#3. Home Arni Village
Did I mention I love the sea? I played Chrono Cross while still growing up in Hawaii and seeing an in-game village that was like the idealized version of where I lived, minus the alcoholism and drug abuse and un-affordability, was a real joy. Sure, there’s a catch to every paradise and the people in Arni were being manipulated by FATE, but c’mon, that water looked so inviting.
#2. The Gold Saucer
Is Gold Saucer really a “town”? Next question! How many things can you do at Gold Saucer? Tons! Snowboarding, arm wrestling, role-playing, having your fortune told, joining the theatre, battling in the arena, racing Chocobos, having a date with anyone in your party including the non-romantic interests, gambling, and of course running from your deranged past while being haunted by the genetic apparitions of a pretty-boy madman. Really, the range of experiences is what lands Gold Saucer so high on my list.
#1. The Kingdom of Zeal
I wasn’t prepared for Zeal the first time I saw it, stepping out of that cave into the blinding blue zenith. The floating islands, the magical civilians, the arcane architecture, the music… I remember setting the controller down and just sitting and listening to that music. It’s still one of my favorite video game songs ever and now you know that Zeal is also my favorite video game town/city/village/floating false utopia in the sky. God bless ye, Chrono Trigger.
GUESS TOMORROW’S #1
All that’s left is to prompt you to guess tomorrow’s #1 pick! Tomorrow’s Top 7 list will be… my 7 most controversial posts! Uh oh.
Let me know what you think my #1 most controversial post is in the comments below TODAY! Remember to leave your name or username so I know who you are! Link to your Twitter or blog if you want to. Follow the event on Twitter with #TWRM7top7.
I’ll reveal my Top 7 most controversial posts in a post on this site tomorrow at 8am Pacific (Monday), so come back and discover the truth! OR you can poke around and see if you can pick up any clues… or review the rules.
Good luck and happy winning!
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