Created By: Lord-Jaric on June 18, 2017 Last Edited By: WolfMattGrey on September 27, 2017
Troped

Fictional Earth

The setting is Earth but it looks different.

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trope
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/strangereal_map_small.jpg
Look, they have an Antarctica, too!

The landmasses look different. The names of the nations don't exist in the real world. It must be a fantasy world. Nope, it's Earth. Just different.

It's very much the same planet. It orbits the same star and it has the same moon. But with different landmasses and nations, the creator of the story gets to take many liberties. The use of a Fictional Earth means that past and present real world history don't have to affect the story and absolutely anything can be made up. The story's nations may have a real word counterpart. These worlds will usually have real world physics, but not always.

The planet has to be explicitely identified as Earth at some point, otherwise you're just dealing with a Constructed World that may or may not look like Earth in some aspects. Alternate History settings that are geographically different enough may overlap with this, if the country or continent boundaries changed, especially after a traumatic event.

Compare Earth All Along, where a planet seems alien at first but turns out to be a version of Earth. Contrast Earth Drift, where a setting starts as Earth but gradually becomes a fantasy world as the series goes on.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball's Earth is very different from ours. The world map shows a huge continent looking like China note  and Funny Animals live alongside humans. It is divided into 43 sectors governed by a King of the Earth. Also the Moon seems to have at least a thin atmosphere.

    Light Novels 

    Literature 
  • Downplayed in Kushiel's Legacy: there are fictional countries, but the map is almost identical to Earth's except for a few alterations thanks to more actively involved divine forces in its history. Real countries are known by different names, though. It also overlaps with Alternate History, from the fall of the Roman Empire onwards. Significantly, the equivalent of the English Channel has the islands of the Three Sisters, where the Fallen Angel Raziel is bound beneath the ocean.
  • In the world of The Rithmatist, North America consists of sixty islands instead of a continent, all of which are part of the United Isles of America. We don't hear much about the rest of the world, though the sequel will focus on Central and South America.
  • The world of The Wheel of Time is strongly implied to be a distant and different future Earth, as the setting has an Eternal Recurrence of seven Ages that fade into history and come anew. Thanks to the Breaking of the World, an ancient supernatural cataclysm that rearranged the continents, the maps look completely different; but there are quite a few references to Earth history and myth, as well as a few ancient artifacts that originate in present-day Earth.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer Fantasy: The world map is clearly based on Earth's, though it has a few extra islands and geographical features Earth does not, such as North America being either frozen tundra or burning desert, Africa being split in two by a mountain range, and Antarctica is a warm wasteland populated by beastmen. In early editions, Warhammer 40K was set in the far future of Warhammer Fantasy, now they exist in separate realities linked by the Warp, and 40K's Earth is now our far future.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Combat is a prime example of this trope. It's Earth in every possible way except for landmasses and nations. You can even tell what real world counterparts the nations are based on. It has an Antarctica no different from the real one. It even has its own Pacific and Arctic Oceans. Almost all the aircraft used in the game exist in reality.
  • Civilization always takes place on Earth and uses its cultures, and most of the games have an option to replicate a real world map, but it's also possible to use a randomly-generated map that looks nothing like the real Earth.
  • The world of Final Fantasy IV is named Earth.note  The landmasses are definitly not ours. The surface where most people live is named "Overworld" and the inside where Dwarves live is the "Underworld".
  • The world of Pokémon is an interesting case. It was identified as Earth in the first generation, mentioning real world events and locations in Pokedex entries and naming Kanto after the actual Kanto region of Japan. However it is geographically completely different and real world mentions were dropped from Generation II onwards. But pastiches of real countries still turn up every generation: Unova is inspired by the US, Kalos by France and Alola by Hawaii. The implication seems to be that the Pokemon world is a Fictional Earth that doesn't really mention the Earth part anymore.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog takes place on Earth, however the geography is completely different and countries are replaced with Fantasy Counterpart Cultures.
  • In Super Mario Odyssey, Mario travels a planet that resembles Earth, but with different landmasses and kingdoms inspired by real countries. The Mushroom Kingdom (the main setting of most Super Mario Bros. games) is found on a land mass that resembles a 1-Up Mushroom.

    Web Comics 
  • Emergency Exit's Mundane Fantastic setting is "an Earth not quite like our own" according to the narrator.
  • The world of One-Punch Man has a Pangea-sized continent shaped like the Saitama prefecture in Japan and city-states named after the alphabet.

    Western Animation 
  • Steven Universe takes place on an alternate Earth with a number of subtle differences, such as the money having diamonds on it instead of President's faces. More importantly, the map is quite different: a large chunk of Siberia is missing, part of Africa is attached to South America, and Australia is cut in half. Justified since Earth was colonized by Homeworld to produce more Gems, resulting in the aforementioned changes.
Community Feedback Replies: 37
  • June 18, 2017
    Lord-Jaric
    I would like to use an image of the Ace Combat world but I have no idea how to upload images to the serves so I can use it.
  • June 18, 2017
    NightShade96
  • June 18, 2017
    Lord-Jaric
    Thank you
  • June 18, 2017
    NightShade96
    Also, you might want to link the image to whatever work it's from.
  • June 18, 2017
    Arivne
    • Corrected spelling (Its very much -> It's, have -> take, won't effect the story -> affect, there own world's -> their, Artic -> Arctic, came -> game, Look they have an Antarctica to -> too).
    • Corrected punctuation (added commas).
    • Capitalized (earths) x3. If you're talking about the planet, it's always capitalized.
    • Deleted unnecessary "placed upon them".
  • June 18, 2017
    Arivne
    Lord-Jaric: I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but you have some problems with English. You misspelled six words, failed to capitalize three more and missed some commas. The TV Tropes moderators take proper English usage very seriously, and they will suspend you from editing if you make such mistakes while writing things here.

    The only way you can avoid this is to carefully spellcheck your work before posting it and learn which word to use in cases where a spellchecker won't help you (such as its/it's, affect/effect, there/their/they're, to/too, etc.).

    You can also drop by the Get Help With English thread and ask for your work to be proofread before you post it. An added benefit is that by reading the corrections, you will learn better English.
  • June 19, 2017
    Chabal2
    One Punch Man takes place in a Japan that appears to be the size of a continent.
  • June 19, 2017
    Koveras
    I feel that there is a trope here, but it lies on a very fine line between Constructed World and Alternate History: the setting must be different enough from Earth to make it impossible to turn out to actually be Earth All Along in a convoluted alternative timeline (the easiest way is, indeed, to rearrange the global geography), but still similar enough to be instantly recognizable as an Earth, rather than a completely separate Constructed World (e.g. Strangereal features a ton of named Real Life military hardware, and some of Earth's landmasses, too).

    I am tempted to call it "The Not-Earth" because this would emphasize the author's intention to make their setting similar to our planet, but clearly not the real thing.
  • June 19, 2017
    Getta
    So if it's not explicitly called "earth", it wouldn't count here, right?
  • June 19, 2017
    Chabal2
    Warhammer Fantasy: The world map is clearly based on Earth's, though it has a few extra islands and geographical features Earth does not, such as North America being either frozen tundra or burning desert, Africa being split in two by a mountain range, and Antarctica is a warm wasteland populated by beastmen. In early editions, Warhammer 40 K was set in the far future of Warhammer Fantasy, now they exist in separate realities linked by the Warp, while 40K's Earth is our own.
  • September 21, 2017
    WolfMattGrey
    Bumping, grabbing.

    Can't believe we didn't have this one already, but I'll work on it. I'm pretty sure there may be overlap with After The End in some works. This will take some time to work on.

    I'll add more context to the Dragon Ball example soon.

  • September 21, 2017
    PistolsAtDawn
    • Steven Universe takes place on an alternate Earth with a number of subtle differences, such as the money having diamonds on it instead of President's faces. Also the map is quite different- a large chunk of siberia is missing, and part of Africa is instead attached to South America.
    • Emergency Exit takes place on "an Earth not quite like our own" according to the narrator.
  • September 21, 2017
    NESBoy
    In Super Mario Odyssey, Mario travels a planet that resembles Earth, but with significant differences. For reference, the Mushroom Kingdom (the main setting of most Super Mario Bros games) is found on a land mass that resembles a 1-Up Mushroom. Nothing remotely similar to it exists on our Earth.
  • September 21, 2017
    Snowy66
    • Pokemon takes place on Earth, but it is geographically completely different from the real life Earth.
  • September 21, 2017
    Synchronicity
    Yeah, definite case of How Did We Miss This One. I think the fact that the planet is basically Earth has to be explicit, for it to count as this trope, otherwise it's just Fantasy World Map.

    This may also be present in Alternate History settings, where the continents may remain the same but country boundaries change.

    Compare/contrast Earth Drift, where a setting gradually becomes less similar to our version of earth as the series goes on.
  • September 21, 2017
    Chabal2
    The Long Earth: the premise is that there are an infinite number of alternate Earths, more or less identical except that ours is the only one where humanity evolved (and some appear to still be in an ice age).
  • September 21, 2017
    Kayube
    Video Game/Civilization always takes place on Earth and uses Earth cultures, and most of the games have an option to replicate a real world map, but it's also possible to use a randomly-generated map that looks nothing like the real Earth.
  • September 22, 2017
    WolfMattGrey
    Pokemon always looked more like a case of Earth Drift to me. That said, every new game keeps deriving its location from a real world counterpart, so the world map probably fits the trope. Is the planet still called Earth nowadays, even in just some passing mention?
  • September 22, 2017
    Theriocephalus
    To my knowledge, the Pokemon world has not been named Earth (or anything else, really) in quite a while. I would consider it an example of this trope that eventually stopped putting focus on this particular aspect of worldbuilding.
  • September 22, 2017
    Chabal2
    Zigzagged in Golden Sun: All the continents ) and the various cultures have real-life equivalents (the Indra subcontinent even gets rammed into another continent and creating a mountain range, while Native American, Chinese, Japanese, even Vietnamese and North African villages show up), but the biggest hint that it's not Earth is that the world is flat.
  • September 22, 2017
    WolfMattGrey
    ^^Guess I'll include it.

    ^I don't think flat world examples should count... The description says "It's very much the same planet" and puts the difference on landmasses, names and geography. Seems to me it's otherwise assumed it's still a spherical planet.
  • September 22, 2017
    Darth_Marth
    Weyard (the world in Golden Sun) is pretty clearly not Earth.
  • September 22, 2017
    intastiel
    Literature
    • The world of The Wheel Of Time is strongly implied to be a distant future Earth, as the setting has an Eternal Recurrence of seven Ages that fade into history and come anew. Thanks to the Breaking of the World, an ancient supernatural cataclysm that rearranged the continents, the maps look completely different; but there are quite a few references to Earth history and myth, as well as a few ancient artifacts that originate in present-day Earth.
    • Downplayed in Kushiels Legacy: there are Fantasy Countries, but the map is almost identical to Earth's except for a few alterations thanks to more actively involved divine forces in its history. Significantly, the equivalent of the English Channel has the islands of the Three Sisters, where the Fallen Angel Raziel is bound beneath the ocean.
  • September 22, 2017
    WhirlRX
    The Steven Universe example can be expanded on as a Justification since Earth was Colonized by Homeworld to produce more Gems.
  • September 22, 2017
    Snowy66
    • Several Final Fantasy games take place on a planet referred to as Earth, but is geographically very different.
  • September 22, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    • Sonic The Hedgehog takes place on Earth, however the geography is completely different and countries are replaced with Fantasy Counterpart Cultures.

    • According to Takeshi Shudo's novels Pocket Monsters The Animation, the Pokemon anime takes place on a futuristic Earth where Pokemon are aliens who replaced most of the wildlife. This made sense back when Kanto (which is named after Kanto, Japan) was the only known region, however it's since been deemed non-canon. Even ignoring that, their Earth seemed off. For example, Hollywood was in Kanto instead of America.
  • September 23, 2017
    WolfMattGrey
    @Snowy66: Mind to say which games exactly? Not necessarily all of them. Just need some more context otherwise that's the kind of example that'll get axed when someone else checks the launched page.

    @Pichu-kun: Why would Hollywood in Kanto be a problem? The whole point of a Fictional Earth is that the geography is all messed up.
  • September 24, 2017
    WolfMattGrey
    Quick questions for those who are more familiar with those works than me:

    1) Is the One-Punch Man world actually called Earth at some point? The wiki calls it an "unnamed world".

    2) Is the Emergency Exit Earth geographically different from ours? I just read the beginning of the comic and so far the only (but admittedly huge) difference I can see is the Mundane Fantastic setting.

  • September 24, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    ^^ It's not. I was explaining why it is this trope and not just "Earth but with Pokemon".
  • September 24, 2017
    Snowy66
    ^^^ Actually scratch what I said. Only Final Fantasy IV takes place on "Earth". Although the animes Final Fantasy Unlimited and Final Fantasy The Spirits Within also feature a version of "Earth".
  • September 24, 2017
    WolfMattGrey
    ^^Alright. I'd assume a whole continent named after Kanto might be enough for the casual reader to understand it's different, but the Hollywood thing is an interesting detail and makes it definitly clear.

    ^Oh okay. Thanks.
  • September 24, 2017
    acrobox
    Isn't this just Like Reality Unless Noted?
  • September 25, 2017
    WolfMattGrey
    In Like Reality Unless Noted, the "noted" part refers to people, creatures, aliens, masquerades and all that kind of fantastic stuff. The difference seems to be only about genre and characters. The world's geography and countries are assumed to be the same, which isn't true for a Fictional Earth.
  • September 25, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    ^^ The games have never been terribly clear if regions are countries or regions in countries.
  • September 25, 2017
    WolfMattGrey
    (Don't pay attention to this comment, I'm just keeping track of the indexes I'll have to put this trope in)

    Otherworld Tropes

    Speculative Fiction Tropes

    This Index Earth

    Video Games

  • September 25, 2017
    BioSafety
    Literature:

    • In the world of The Rithmatist, North America consists of sixty islands instead of a continent, all of which are part of the United Isles of America. We don't hear much about the rest of the world, though the sequel will focus on Central and South America.
  • September 26, 2017
    WolfMattGrey
    I'll launch this tomorrow, it seems to be able to have around 20 crosswicks which is good enough for me. I expect the finished page to possibly lose one or two examples without warning if some people who check it actually know they don't really fit here. (I'm looking at you, Emergency Exit) Not a big deal.

    If you have last minute examples or info, speak now or forever shut up. (okay, you can still contribute to the launched page...) Thanks for the help everyone.
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