Vacation Escape

Hi guys,

I’m away this week, taking in some sun down the shore with my family, and so decided to leave you guys with a post talking about some wonderful virtual destinations I wouldn’t mind visiting in the virtual world. But then I started thinking that maybe some of these places are based on read-world locations. So I tried to find their physical-world counterparts to share with you, in case you were so inclined to voyage there. Just think of me as your friendly video game travel agent. Here we go!

Beaches and Boats

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Credit to Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag takes place in real world settings in the Caribbean, during the Golden Age of Piracy, back in the 1700s. While I suppose I could be convinced to get my swashbuckle on, mostly I’m tempted by the promise of warm water, beautiful sandy beaches, and large sailboats. Especially large sailboats.

I like big boats. I cannot lie.

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Of course, the three main cities you can visit are Havana, Cuba; Nassau, Bahamas; and Kingston, Jamaica. Nassau, pictured above, definitely seems to fit the bill, even though I notice a distinct lack of sailing vessels. But I suppose even paradise on Earth can’t always be perfect…

One With Nature

Image result for the dales dragon age

You all knew I wouldn’t be able to stay away. The Dales from Dragon Age: Inquisition are lush landscapes, peacefully welcoming all manners of wildlife into its arms. There’s something soothing about being around something that seems to feel so alive. I remember going to a park near me and finally understanding the term “silence is deafening,” because it was so quiet, the air just seemed to press in on your ears. It was an indescribable and wonderful experience.

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This is another instance of art imitating life. The Dales are a real place in Yorkshire, England. For all my readers not from across the pond, it seems like the physical-world Dales are just as lush and green – and I’d imagine just as peaceful – as the virtual ones. To my readers who are significantly closer to Yorkshire, is this true?

Feel the Heat

Image result for gta vice city venice beach

One thing I’ll say for Vice City in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is that, despite the shockingly high crime rate, it had beautiful beaches. I must have the ocean on my brain, but c’mon, how can you not want to jump in this picture and paddle around in the sun-kissed ocean?

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I lived in real-life Vice City for a few years, known in this world as Miami, Florida. Yes, the beaches really are that beautiful. Yes, it really is always summertime. Yes, the water is always warm. And yes, most of the police are just as useless as they are in-game. (That’s not fair, I’m sure most of them are fine and dandy.)

Royal Treatment

Image result for zelda's castle twilight princess

This may come as a surprise, but I actually real like Gothic and Romanesque architecture. So of course Zelda’s castle, particularly the one from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess made the list. It strikes me as probably having a lot of nooks and crannies to explore, and Zelda probably has a ton of libraries in which I could lose myself for days.

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Happily, the great architecture of Zelda’s castle isn’t fantasy. Corvin Castle (also called the Hunyadi or Hunedoara Castle) in Hunedoara, Romania, hearkens to the legendary castle, right down to the bridge leading to its door. Built in the 14th century, Corvin Castle is one of the largest castles in Europe. And, fun fact, it’s featured as the wonder of the Magyar civilization in Ages of Empire II: The Forgotten expansion pack, released in 2013 for PC.

There you have it! A few destination video games and their real-world counterparts. I hope you enjoyed the sightseeing!

Have you ever seen a video game world that unintentionally (or intentionally) mimicked a location in the physical world? What video game world would you love to vacation in? Does it have a counterpart outside of the console? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you next week!
~ Athena

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  1. I’m not far from Yorkshire (in fact I’m heading to the university there for a conference in a few weeks). There’s a LOT of greenery there outside the cities in the area. Most cities in the north east of England are quite compact with lots of natural land around it.

    In terms of real places, I live about half and hour’s walk from Sarehole Mill, which sounds fairly insignificant. But it’s the inspiration for The Shire in LOTR. In fact my morning commute passes Tolkein’s home.

    One place I want to visit is that town in Pennsylvania that Silent Hill is based on!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s really neat that you live so close to the inspiration for the Shire, and this LotR fan is very awed by your commute.

      You mean Centralia? I’ve never been there, but I’ve seen pictures and… yeah wow I can see where Silent Hill came from…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yorkshire is very peaceful. I go there almost every year with my family for a week. We’re going to the Lake District this year for a change. As I live in the north east I’m not a million miles away from either.

    Incidentally, Skyrim always reminds me of the Lake District. I’d imagine it’s a tad colder though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great! I’ll have to find these places (both in and out of game) and check them out!

      I’ve always wanted to visit Yorkshire, actually, and if it’s as peaceful as you say, that sounds absolutely lovely. How cool that you go almost every year (although I hope you like the vacation change, too 🙂 )

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The one place that instantly triggered video game memories was Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. It reminded me of sailing around from island to island in Wind Waker.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think I remember requesting that you do a full “Big Boats” parody song with a Black Flag theme… If not, please do, haha. I remember going on so many beautiful beach rampages in Vice City. It’s probably my 2nd favourite GTA game. Now I want to visit Corvin Castle (I can’t believe I missed that in AoE II)

    But yeah, loved this! You should totally consider opening a video game world travel agency. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I remember that. And I think I’ll go write one, just since you asked me again…. 🙂

      I, too, loved a good Vice City rampage (in game, not IRL), and I’d love to go castle-hopping one day. That’s a thing, right?

      Sounds good. If this blog thing doesn’t work out, that’ll be my next project! haha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yay! If castle-hopping isn’t a thing, it definitely should be.

        “Understanding games through a lens of reality” – You could most definitely tweak that awesome tagline to fit your video game world travel agency 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Funnily enough, I’m also on holiday visiting family too… the Yorkshire Dales.

    And yeah, it is pretty peaceful round here, and it’s also easy to see why Yorkshire’s Dales and Moors have inspired plenty of fictional worlds, stories and poetry.

    Even I’ve been inspired to write poems here, on occasion. I mean, they’re *all* about a man from Nantucket, but still…… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, that’s awesome! Hope you’re vacation is nice and relaxing 🙂 It seems like a beautiful place!

      Hey, there’s nothing wrong with Nantucket!
      If someone says otherwise, tell them to s-….
      …stop saying things like that.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Altissia in Final Fantasy XV is actually based off of Venice, Italy, which I’ve been to more than once! Seeing and experiencing Altissia in the game really brought me back to the dreamy and romantic canals and the wonderful gondola rides! I think the in-game version of Venice was brought up to an even grander scale than the real life one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so awesome! I haven’t played FFXV yet, but I do know that Venice is on my list of places to visit (hopefully before it sinks…). Now you’ve gotten me curious about how it’s portrayed in-game, but it sounds absolutely fantastic 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. There are plenty of gorgeous, creative places in the world. No surprise plenty of videogames can draw inspiration to create something truly significant.

    In any case, probably way late now because I’m bad at keeping up with things, but I hope you enjoy your vacation!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes! I visited places in Japan just to see the landscapes in video games (and anime). For example, I wanted to see everything in Shibuya because of The World Ends With You. It helps that Japan is a really hip, awesome place. 😉 I’d love to go to a Zelda-style castle, though. It doesn’t even have to look like Hyrule Castle. I can always pretend 😀


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