Created By: onyx902October 1, 2013 Last Edited By: ParadisesnakeSeptember 14, 2014

Two Continent World

A world map which consists of two large continents, usually side by side.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
So, you've just got out into the world, with a brand new, shiny map to explore. But that map looks awfully familiar... That's because many games have a Two Continent World. This usually involves an eastern and western continent with a small area of ocean in between. Sometimes the eastern one is a lot like our East, but not always. Note that it doesn't have to be just two continents, just that the main layout should be as above.

Examples

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    Literature 
  • A Song Of Ice And Fire has all the action taking place on Westeros and Essos, separated by the Narrow Sea down the middle, which follow this layout perfectly.
  • The Tough Guide To Fantasyland states that the main part of the quest takes place on one continent, with a possible sidequest on the /Other Continent (which is inhabited by Other Continentalists).

    Video Games 
  • Golden Sun: The first game has you explore the continents of Angara and northern Gondowan (equivalent to Eurasia and Africa respectively). In the second, the sub-continent of Indra wedges itself between south Gondowan and Osenia (Australia), and while Angara is no longer reachable, you get to explore Hesperia and Atteka (North and South America, which were only hinted at in previous games).
  • World Of Warcraft has the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor, with Pandaria and The Maelstrom in the middle, and Northrend to the north.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Forgotten Realms AD&D setting has only two continents: the big one, that has the Realms, Kara Tur and Al Quadim in it; and the other one, that has Maztica in it.

    Real Life 
  • In the late Jurassic era, Earth consisted of a northern continent, Laurasia (formed by North America and Eurasia) and a southern continent, Gondwana (formed by South America, Africa, Australia, Antarctica and India).
  • If you look at Earth from a north polar perspective then Eurasia and North America could count as this.
Community Feedback Replies: 37
  • October 1, 2013
    Chabal2
    Warcraft has three continents though, Northrend being, well, North.

    • Golden Sun: The first game has you explore the continents of Angara and northern Gondowan (equivalent to Eurasia and Africa respectively). In the second, the sub-continent of Indra wedges itself between south Gondowan and Osenia (Australia), and while Angara is no longer reachable, you get to explore Hesperia and Atteka (North and South America, which were only hinted at in previous games).
  • October 1, 2013
    onyx902
    Damn, I forgot Northrend. Been ages since I played World Of Warcraft.
  • October 1, 2013
    Snicka
    However, Northrend was added only in Wrath of the Lich King; until then, World Of Warcraft was a straight example.

    Real Life: In the late Jurassic era, Earth consisted of a northern continent, Laurasia (formed by North America and Eurasia) and a southern continent, Gondwana (formed by South America, Africa, Australia, Antarctica and India).
  • October 2, 2013
    Chabal2
    Yes, but it was a major part of Warcraft III, which came prior.

    In a way, Real Life, if you consider Africa and Eurasia as the same continent, with the Americas to the west.
  • October 2, 2013
    robinjohnson
    ^ And if you don't count Australasia or Antarctica.
  • October 2, 2013
    CrypticMirror
    As there is no "up" in space, if you look at earth from a north polar perspective then Eurasia and North America look that way too. Come to that if you look at earth from a normal orientation the Alaska and Asia look like this too.
  • October 2, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Fixed the broken folder tags, italicized and namespaced the examples, removed a Circular Link.
  • October 2, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    warcraft has four continents. is this trope that flexible?
  • October 2, 2013
    robinjohnson
    I just noticed "It doesn't have to be just two continents."

    So this is a trope for a world with two or more continents.

    Hmmm.
  • October 2, 2013
    meerkatspy55
    Real Life had Laurasia and Gondwanaland during the Jurassic Period, so that counts.
  • October 2, 2013
    m8e
    I think the point is two main/big continents or two groups of continents separated by a sea in the middle.

    These worlds might also be shaped like their map, Flat and rectangular. If you go east from the estern continent you will hit an Invisible Wall.
  • October 2, 2013
    Snicka
    @Chaba12: Yes, Northrend played a major part in Warcraft III, that is true. However, the world accessible for the players in World Of Warcraft was a two-continent world before Wrath Of The Lich King.
  • October 2, 2013
    onyx902
    I meant that the main map layout has two large continents taking up most of the space. Any others don't affect it, as long as the two are the "main" landmasses on the map. I'll get a picture later.
  • October 2, 2013
    Snicka
    The "vanilla" World of Warcraft map might make a good picture.
  • October 2, 2013
    onyx902
    I just realised that I was thinking of Final Fantasy III instead of Final Fantasy IV, and the map is not as I remember it anyway... On another note, I like that World Of Warcraft map as an image. Anyone else got any better ideas?
  • October 2, 2013
    Karalora
    This situation is hinted at in The Tough Guide To Fantasyland, which says that the main part of the action always takes place on one continent, with perhaps a sidequest on the Other Continent (inhabited by Other Continentalists).
  • October 2, 2013
    Doc_Loki
    The Forgotten Realms AD&D setting has only two continents: the big one, that has the Realms, Kara Tur and Al Quadim in it; and the other one, that has Maztica in it.
  • October 3, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    so this is more "supercontinent pair" then?
  • October 3, 2013
    aurora369
    Technically, A Song Of Ice And Fire has more than two continents, but all the others are merely mentioned in passing as savage and unexplored lands. All action happens on Westeros and Essos, which fit this trope like a glove. (Westeros being knightly medieval Europe/Britain, Essos wild and exotic Asia/Mediaterranean). They are separated by the Narrow Sea, which is quite literally and verbatim a small area of ocean.
  • October 3, 2013
    onyx902
    ^I was thinking the same thing all day today 0_0 Since the map itself has two continents, I would count that. Also, I should probably have called this Two Continent Map...
  • October 3, 2013
    onyx902
    Added all those lovely examples; thanks for pitching in! :D
  • October 3, 2013
    Antigone3
    The Belgariad starts off with one continent and a tiny bit of a second continent's shoreline. The sequel completed the second continent.
  • October 3, 2013
    HououinKyouma
    • [Fullmetal Alchemist]: As opposed to an ocean, Xing and Amestris are sepperanted by a giant desert. While there are many "countries", they tend to share borders.
  • October 3, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Xing and Amestris are countries, not continents...
  • October 3, 2013
    onyx902
    ^Thanks for the example, I'll add it later (or someone else can, I don't mind). However, this is not The Other Wiki. Links are made using Wiki Words for most links, and double square brackets for one word links (like a Wikipedian template link).
  • October 4, 2013
    onyx902
    Bumping. Also, three days now! Time for hats perhaps?
  • October 4, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Did some formatting.
  • October 5, 2013
    JonnyB
    Warcraft started out as Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor, then added a smaller continent of Northrend to the north, and then a smaller continent of Panderia to the south. It's still two major continents on the east and the west, though.
  • October 5, 2013
    JonnyB
    In Tolkien's universe, Arda (the Earth) was originally flat, and there were two continents: Aman (The Undying Lands) to the East and Middle Earth to the West. A third, smaller continent, Numenor, was later raised between them. After the sinking of Numenor, the world was made round, Aman was taken out of the world and other continents rose in its place.
  • October 7, 2013
    onyx902
    Well, I've pretty much done all I can here. I'm putting this Up For Grabs.
  • November 1, 2013
    aurora369
    hat from me
  • November 1, 2013
    Bibliophile
    The Dragonriders Of Pern series has the unimaginatively named Northern and Southern Continents. Initially, all settlement is on the Northern continent, the expansion into the South is an ongoing subplot throughout the series. There is a third desert continent (called the Western Continent) but this is rarely mentioned and only gets plans for its first settlement at the end of The Skies of Pern, chronologically one of the last books.
  • November 1, 2013
    Generality
    • Maps in all versions of Civilization tend to be like this, depending on the exact map settings used. The consistency of the continents will vary, but almost always there will be two main groupings of landmass.
    • The Wheel Of Time is technically like this, but only a small portion of the main continent is fully explored, with its map appearing under the book cover. The majority of the continent, and the continent across the ocean, are vagaries never explored by any main character, and only mapped in the companion book. Said book also mentions a third continent to the south, but this is never mentioned in the main series. Notably, the Wheel of Time setting is explicitly the distant future (and past) of our own world, so these landmasses are our own continents, heavily warped by cataclysm.
  • November 2, 2013
    TwoGunAngel
    Sanctuary from the Diablo series. The series being what it is, only a few of the locations on the map are really explored during the series proper, with the rest of the world being fodder for character background and general lore.
  • November 2, 2013
    qazwsx
    The A Song Of Ice And Fire example.

    • Subverted later on when its revealed that there is a third continent called Sothoryos to the south of Essos and a fourth called Ulthos to the east of Sothoryos. Neither continent is well know about however.
  • September 14, 2014
    Shenwang
    As the Real Life examples show, this trope is not actually unrealistic in of itself. Where the lack of realism comes, if at all, is that these continents often seem to be the size of, say, North America and Africa, or even Europe, rather than massive supercontinents like Eurasia and the Americas (or indeed Laurasia and Gondwana). See also Sci Fi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale (which can apply to fantasy writers just as much).
  • September 14, 2014
    Generality
    Also, one of the continents is often an Expansion Pack World.

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