The extreme Lampshading
of the Skyscraper City
, making it even more enormous and overbuilt. A Skyscraper City is when the city seems to consist entirely of skyscrapers that rival the construction of Dubai (and then some) but the Layered Metropolis
is when the city planners went even further by adding more streets, and even buildings, very far above the city. This tends to go hand in hand with Under City
or Absurdly-Spacious Sewer
, for some reason. Probably the aesthetic.
Maybe they realized how inconvenient it might be to take an elevator down a hundred stories or so, cross the street, then go back up the other building's elevator. Or they might have been worried about wiring, plumbing, or public transportation. Exactly how people take the car to these levels or get plumbing that high up will almost never be addressed, and similar questions as those raised by the Skyscraper City
are also rarely addressed-such as the population needed, the construction methods, or how any of this is structurally sound.
Predictably, the rich will always be a majority on the top, and the lower classes will have the bottom. Which presents an intriguing dichotomy as one neighborhood becomes slowly overshadowed by another level, and thus more unfashionable. Similarly to the Skyscraper City, If the issue of population is brought up, it will usually be in a dystopian setting where overpopulation plagues the planet or at least big cities. Like Warhammer 40,000
It is also a sub-trope of Skyscraper City
, making it a sub-subtrope to Mega City
. It fits very well in Cyber Punk settings. Compare City Planet, (which lends itself more to this than the Skyscraper City
) Star Scraper and Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale.
- Sternbild City of Tiger & Bunny (which is definitely not Manhattan. At all.) is divided into 5 levels, counting the ground. It's also a decidedly non-grimdark example in that while it has several characteristics that would be required of a Cyperpunk example, such as having corrupt officials, Mega Corp. running rampant, and advanced technology, it is an idealistic show. So Sternbild's slight Bizarrchitecture is played for awesome.
- Coruscant is Up to Eleven and beyond example, which makes it Which makes it 121 or higher. No, really, it deserves that. The planet is covered in skyscrapers, which are also covered in skyscrapers, which are covered in more skyscrapers, which goes on for long enough that the skyscrapers dwarf the natural features of the planet. And some of the skyscrapers that were built on are actually construction droids for building more skyscrapers.
- The cities of the Total Recall universe follow this trope, crossing with a bit of Bizarrchitecture. Observe◊
- On Gor most major city-states are filled with towering "cylinders," with narrow unrailed bridges between them to go from cylinder to cylinder without having to descend to street level first.
- London has become this in Mortal Engines thanks to the great engineer Quirke, who transformed it into the world's first mobile city. The 7th tier houses the engine district, while St Paul's Cathedral sits on the uppermost tier.
- Trowth, from The Corsay Books,obscure enough that you probably have not read them, is an architecturally improbable example rather like a Lovecraftian Steampunk channeling-suicidal-amounts-of-Perdido Street Station version of Coruscant, spurred on by an architectural war. Yes, really, it all Makes Sense In Context. It started when one noble family built a tall, spindly tower with a view of the river, which offended another noble family who made a squat ugly tower in front of the tall spindly tower as an insult. It escalated into war, until a new front opened up when one architect built bridges over a major thoroughfare that went through his property. Soon, people started building on top of the bridges, to the point that it became a massive, towering, constantly constructed city.
- The Lord of the Rings' Minas Tirith has seven levels, with a stone promontory jutting out from the topmost to overtake the rest of the city. It was built this way to be extremely defensible, with multiple lines of defense.
- Warhammer40000's Hive Cities, which have been varyingly described as planets hollowed out to make room for entire cities, or in the case of Necromunda, overpopulated and horrifically violent kilometer-high skyscraper arcologies the size of cities.
- Bezoar City of Hard Reset is a vast, towering Cyber Punk example of this. As Yahtzee pointed out: "There's one level where you're in a subway station and a few corridors later you're on a rooftop!" They did sort of hint at it with how tall Bezoar is implied to be, at certain points the wind whistles by fast enough to suggest you are a very... appreciable distance from the ground that you most definitely can't see. Yet, when you look up? There's still a lot more city to go. Seems pretty likely that with it being that tall and this trope what it is, the designers would layer the city.
- Tokyo of Binary Domain has been made into one-if only because of global warming. It actually does address why this happened (Global Warming) and it is probably the only example with a giant sewer tower meant to help with the plumbing of the upper city.
- Hengsha of Deus Ex: Human Revolution has been described on the page for said game as "a true urban planning nightmare that would make an oil rig look like the Taj Mahal by comparison." The bottom is dark and full of squat, ugly, blockish buildings and neon that simultaneously look both planned and unplanned and there are also streets above the streets there. The Upper City bears an odd resemblance to the Aaaaaahk (the Ark) of Brink. It is the complete opposite of the Lower City, with every bit of ground not occupied by enormous skyscrapers occupied by parks.
- Xenoblade has Alcamoth and the Frontier Village. The former is an advanced muti-level city that floats above the Eryth Sea, which is located atop the Bionis' head. However, the Frontier Village is a whopping 9 level monstrosity, connected by stairs and rope bridges, that's so big that you can literally fall to your death! The same is true, if you fall from the upper ring, or either of the observation decks, of Alcamoth.
- Final Fantasy VII's Midgar. An upper plate separates the ground-level slums (numbered 0-8) from the other districts. This plate also blocks sunlight (what little there is of it) from trickling down into the slums. Agents from Shinra Inc. destroy a support structure beneath Sector 7, causing a section of the plate to come loose and crush everyone beneath. Ironically, Reeve later moves the entire population of Midgar into the slums to protect them from METEOR.
- An additional secret level, only known as Deepground, is located below both Midgar and the Slums, only accessible via the Sector 0 reactor. (Dirge of Cerberus)
- Final Fantasy XII's Rabanastre is divided into two halves following its occupation by Archadian forces. "Lowtown", as its name suggests, lies beneath the streets and is comprised of storerooms, now converted into residences.
- Academia in Final Fantasy XIII-2 has multiple levels of streets and platforms to walk on. The different levels are connected by conveyor belts. The ground is not even visible.