Forbidden Hangout YKTTW Discussion
Forbidden Zone meets Badass Decay (was Conveniently Less Forbidden Zone)
Harry Potter: We need somewhere where we can practice spells.
Ginny Weasley: How about the Shrieking Shack?
Harry Potter: No, that's too small...The first time this place was mentioned, all the more educated secondary characters gasped. It could be an Eldritch Location, a Dark World, an Ominous Floating Castle, you name it. The important thing is that anyone who enters this place is never seen again. It is most definitely a Forbidden Zone. Until the first time our protagonist is forced to enter, that is. Not only will they survive the trip, but they may make several more throughout the series' run. This place that used to be the most terrifying spot anyone could think of is suddenly just an unusual creepy location like any other, or even a totally normal place where the characters will go for whatever reason strikes them at the moment. Note that this is in no part due to the protagonist's involvement there, the place just simply stops being a Forbidden Zone for no reason. Over time, the place will become a convenient spot to start the more "mysterious" story arcs. It's not uncommon for the "nobody ever comes out!" from earlier in the series to become "Sometimes scary people and monsters come out, but we can totally handle that." And of course, the protagonists and even minor characters are going to visit the Forbidden Hangout many, many times before the story's over, often for completely arbitrary reasons. It becomes just another place, where ordinary and not-so-ordinary things happen every day. A key aspect of this is that the Forbidden Hangout is something that has to happen for no apparent reason. The characters enter, then leave, and for no real reason the Forbidden Zone is suddenly... not so forbidden. Even though they did nothing to change it. If the place becomes less scary or dangerous due to the protagonists' actions, it's just a normal place now, and belongs in the regular Forbidden Zone page. Characters may also be introduced who live in the Conveniently Less Forbidden Zone, always after it becomes this. Also, for some reason this happens more frequently to scary forests than anywhere else.
- The Forbidden Forest in Harry Potter. At first it's "Never go there because you'll die horribly," later it's "Sure, go there, whatever, be careful though, it's kind of dangerous, I guess. Sometimes."
- Also the Shrieking Shack; once we learn it's not full of flesh-eating poltergeists or anything like that, it becomes one of the go-to locations for the protagonists whenever they need to do something in secret.
- It's only natural for this to happen in RP Gs, since areas that were difficult for the player at lower levels will typically be easy places to grind for EXP at higher levels.
- The Gaorrachia Forest in Tales of Symphonia. It's introduced by Zelos, who won't even allow the party to enter out of fear until it becomes necessary. When he does, he tells a story about how the forest was once home to serial killers, and it's even filled with zombies. Which the party fights. Of course, after leaving the forest for the first time, the party goes back into the forest several times throughout the game without so much as a word from Zelos or anyone else, and it's the only way to get to Mizuho or Ozette without flying or boating.
- Hollow Bastion from Kingdom Hearts. In the first game, it's a strange Eldritch Location full of Heartless and temporary home to Big Bads Maleficent and Ansem. By the time the second game rolls around, almost every major side character from the first game is living there peacefully as if nothing happened, and we later learn it used to be a utopia that they all lived in.
- The Everfree Forest in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. In the beginning, it's a Forbidden Zone in every respect, loaded with monsters and terrifying trees (it's a kid's show.) It remains a Forbidden Zone, and yet the Mane Six seems to return to it every few episodes. Usually it's to stop some kind of monster or solve a mystery, but sometimes it's for more pointless reasons. After Zekora is introduced, Twilight even begins going there regularly just to get her favorite tea. The characters still regard the forest as a dangerous place, but Fluttershy seems to be the only one who still gets nervous about going there.