Location: Ramos’ Gym, Coumarine City, Kalos [fictional]
Game: Pokémon X & Pokémon Y[Game Freak]
Level: Plant Badge
Ramos’ gym is a rigorous obstacle course, testing its initiates with rope climbs and swings. When a challenger reaches the gym’s summit, they face an elderly man of the military, armed with a set of gigantic shears and a fierce respect for grass-type Pokémon.
We’re told very little about any of the game’s gym leaders, but Ramos’ military bearing is characterised as much by the file folders and campaign tent-style layout of his office as his outfit. The focal point is a couple of large maps, spread out on his antique desk along with an inkwell and set of compasses.
Sadly it’s impossible to see what the map or diagram might detail, as Pokémon X & Y does not allow us to move the camera independently. I would speculate that the left-hand sheet bears an architectural drawing, while the right features a number of round shapes - possibly the layout of the gym, since it revolves around a cylindrical pillar.
Unfortunately there are challenges when trying to capture images from the 3DS, and I could only find this relatively small image to try and demonstrate the environment more clearly:
Apologies for the poor image quality; my original photo was simply taken using a digital camera, pointed at the 3DS screen. Taken when playing through the game for the first time.
The curious case of a cartography enthusiast’s map being used in a game without his express permission. Personally I’m not familiar with The Last of Us despite it being the talk of the town, but this seemed like an interesting matter worth re-blogging to you.
My Boston T map used in “The Last of Us” PS3 game without permission or payment
UPDATE, TUESDAY JUNE 25, 1:00pm: I’ve just spoken with Naughty Dog over the phone in a very constructive conversation. Can’t say more at the moment, but it seems as if matters will be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction shortly. I can say that they do acknowledge their error in using my map and were very apologetic for it. I likewise apologised for my initial vitriolic post. A lot of mutual respect for each other’s creative work.
It’s been a hell of a last couple of days: thanks for the support from many, and the interesting and varied comments from most.
Hopefully, back to regularly scheduled Transit Maps content soon!
Location: Fortress of Doors, Wonderland [fictional]
Game: American McGee’s Alice [Rogue Entertainment]
Level: Skool Daze
It is only fitting that the school which is nestled within Wonderland’s Fortress of Doors would host a few globes, but the world depicted by these is a minute and twisted one. We only see a single island, dominated by a large volcano. The globes appear all over the school of insane children, including in the 3rd-grade laboratory and the observatory, above.
At first glance, the landmass doesn’t appear to bear any resemblance to Wonderland, given that the school in particular floats through a mind-bending vortex of stacked books and clockwork, rather than on the crust of a planet. When one consults the in-game map, however, we see a more familiar shape:
Ultimately this seems to be our first instance of a map within a game world actually lending it some geographical credibility. Wonderland has clearly been encroached upon by Red Queen’s architecture in the illustration above, and there’s a suspicious lack of actual volcano, but it seems like the island has a definite form, depicted on these globes and on the game’s loading screens.
Of course, the globes also bear an uncanny resemblance to eyeballs, particularly when viewed in marble at the observatory. They could be fantastical maps drawn up simply for this purpose, but I think we’re nerdy enough to consider the alternative as more fun!
Taken using a digital camera facing a TFT monitor, playing on Xbox 360 for the first time.
Location: Jedi Temple, Tython, Tython system, Deep Core [fictional]
Game: Star Wars: The Old Republic [Bioware]
Nestled within this great temple - a replacement for its counterpart on Coruscant as the heart of the Jedi Order - is a holographic globe orbited by constellation bands. The Jedi use this room - furnished with comfortable seats - in order to reference, or simply meditate upon the surrounding volumes of space.
Its use as an in-game map is limited, but game lore suggests that the room is capable of showing many holo-projected maps; it’s just that at this point in play, my character was only able to see one.
Taken while exploring with a friend for the first time.
Location: The Vannah Hotel (fictional), Savannah, Georgia, USA
Game: Left 4 Dead 2 [Valve Corporation]
Mission: Dead Centre
Four more survivors have been stranded, here at this former CEDA evacuation base in the southern U.S. The once-lush Vannah Hotel has been set aflame, leaving Rochelle, Coach, Ellis and Nick to make their way out through media centres and blazing kitchens.
These maps are scene in the media area, which is also decorated with information boards relating to the CEDA initiative. The maps themselves demonstrate evacuation routes and centres across the south Atlantic region, elements of which could also been on a map posted in Fairfield, Pennsylvania. Just like that previous map, someone has made furious markings to show which centres have been overrun. Only a week after the events of the first Left 4 Dead, it appears that Pennsylvania and Jacksonville were truly lost.
The spread here is, I believe, one of the best yet found in a game. We see multiple versions of the same map, accompanied by printouts and the paraphernalia of a planning committee. The whiteboard map even shows a plan to evacuate to sea, while the main map is a high-resolution (and therefore legible) rendering of the United States of America. Unfortunately I did not manage to capture the other map - a city-level street map of Savannah - in great detail. A horde was triggered and blood was spilled, adding an amusing but realistic sort of setback to the survivors’ plight.
Taken while playing through with friends for the first time. A light blue targeting reticule features throughout.
You Will Serve the Horde, Or Be Crushed Beneath It
Location: Grommash Hold, Valley of Strength, Orgrimmar, Durotar, Kalimdor, Azeroth [fictional]
Game: World of Warcraft: Cataclysm [Blizzard Entertainment]
Heavily-stitched maps made from leather are something of a staple for our fearless Horde Warchief, Garrosh. Here we see the maps of Azeroth spread on the floor of his throne room in Orgrimmar, just as Northrend was spread out in Warsong Hold during the Northrend campaign.
The three Azerothian continents are depicted in surprisingly bright, and quite accurate colours, with desert regions and the tundra of Northrend depicted in different tones to the basic green. What’s not featured are the goblin islands surrounding the Maelstrom, and the Maelstrom itself - unusual for maps of the World of Warcraft.