[[quoteright:256:[[VideoGame/ChronoTrigger http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ChronoMap_1970.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:256:[[UnitsNotToScale Despite appearances]], Crono is not the size of a house.]]
A traversable representation of a VideoGame's region at large, or [[TheOverworld 'overworld',]] slightly abstracted and depicted at a much smaller scale than the other areas of the game, so that the player can travel between distant areas faster than they could if it were all depicted "to scale". That distant town that's said to be 100 miles up yonder mountain range? You'll get there in just a few minutes of walking by map.

Largely an {{RPG}} trope, [[TropeCodifier made famous by]] Eastern-style RPG's like ''DragonQuest'' and ''FinalFantasy'' where (especially in the days of tile-and-sprite based 2D graphics) the party character(s) were always rendered the same onscreen size, regardless of the overworld map's actual scale.

Like other areas in the game, the player is free to travel pretty much anywhere on this map they have access to, with ChokepointGeography being the only (or at least primary) thing to prevent them from potential SequenceBreaking (no, you can't walk ''around'' that plot-important town to reach the mountain range behind it). Also like other areas of the game, expect to be ambushed by RandomEncounters as you travel across it. For the sake of convenience, most of these maps ultimately 'wrap around' in all four directions; that is, if you can travel indefinitely in the same direction, you'll end up looping back to where you started.

Don't expect to find many scripted events or NPC's to interact with, or places to shop (or [[TraumaInn rest and heal]]) directly on the overworld map - this world map exists for TravellingAtTheSpeedOfPlot between point A and B, nothing more. So if you know you're about to embark on a long, cross-continent trip, better stock up (and save your game) before you leave town. On the other hand, many RPG's will allow you to save your game anywhere on this map, where you'd otherwise have to find a specific SavePoint to do the job.

Note that despite its small scale, travelling between two very distant destinations can still take awhile (mostly due to aforementioned RandomEncounters) - one of the reasons you can look forward to getting your hands on a WarpWhistle or GlobalAirship.

If the game reveals that there is a second world ([[DarkWorld dark]] or [[AnotherDimension otherwise]]) or [[TimeTravel time period]] with its own map, see AlternateWorldMap.

Compare TheOverworld proper which is more detailed and closer to scale, and PointAndClickMap, which is abstracted even more, and you basically just click on the destination you wish to enter (and is a popular method in Western style RPG's), rather than being at liberty to wander around it freely. For even one more step in the abstract direction (popular with non-RPG games) to the point that the map is essentially cosmetic trimming, see RiskStyleMap.

Tangentially related to UnitsNotToScale, which is more of a StrategyGame trope than RPG. See also ThrivingGhostTown.

Not to be confused with the FantasyWorldMap often included in works of literature set in a ConstructedWorld.
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!! Examples

* ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'' was a fairly straight example, in keeping with its RPGElements: About the only purpose it served is to connect existing locations, with occasional wandering monsters to harass you.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass'' and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks'' used a hybrid approach; you can freely sail pretty much anywhere the oceanwater (or train tracks) permit you, and there are a few things to keep you occupied (like shooting rocks or monsters) in the process, but these maps exist primarily to facilitate travel, and most actual gameplay interaction was inside each given destination.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'': The ocean ''was'' depicted at the same scale as the islands occupying it, leading to long sequences of sailing across blue waves from point A to B with nothing but the occasional monster harassing you (or ocean storm) to break up the voyage with. The WiiU remake makes travel faster, though.
* ''DragonQuest'' is the TropeMaker, using some variation of it in almost every game to the series.
* Averted with ''Dragon Quest VIII'', whose world map is drawn to roughly the same scale as the areas inside it. You can still explore pretty much anything you can access on foot, and you do have a WarpWhistle (the "Zoom" spell) at your disposal from early in the game.
* The ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series has used one in most of its games, the first nine in particular. The aversions come from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' (and its sequel) which don't have one - your GlobalAirship travels by PointAndClickMap. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' don't have any either.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' is actually an extremely direct [[InvertedTrope inversion]] of the trope. The game does have distinct world map areas, almost completely bereft of friendly [=NPCs=] and littered with monsters to keep you entertained. However, these are entirely to scale. One quickly comes to appreciate the numerous fast-travel options provided when the sidequesting begins in earnest.
* Games like ''{{Breath of Fire}}'' and ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' have the world map loop at the edges, giving the impression that what you see is the ''entire world'' (and [[WorldShapes shaped like a donut]].)
* ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' is set entirely on a single archipelago, so its map is limited to the archipelago, but it is freely explorable (and with no RandomEncounters!) and there are a variety of destinations.
* ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia'' had you literally fly around the overworld in whatever airship you had at the time. It was the only time you could save freely, the world itself was scaled down to fit, and it was actually notoriously bad about the high random encounter rate, which the Gamecube port fixed a bit.
* The ''Franchise/TalesSeries'', excepting ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld'' and''VideoGame/TalesofXillia'', which use a PointAndClickMap instead.
* ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' also features it: the first game only takes place on one-and-a-half continent with no other means of transportation than your feet, but the second lets you visit the entire [[FloatingContinent flat world]] (apart from the parts available in the first): after a while, you gain a CoolBoat, then [[GlobalAirship wings to put on your boat]], then a [[TeleportationTropes Teleport Psynergy]] in the VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon.
* ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' got an overworld of this type in its second expansion ''Storm of Zehir''. Random encounters and the party were modeled very much out of scale with the map and the locations, though at the start of an encounter the action would shift to a smaller map of correct scale.
* The ''{{Lufia}}'' series uses this too.
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'' uses this, and it gets a {{homage}} in both ''VideoGame/ScottPilgrim'' and ''VideoGame/IWannaBeTheGuyGaiden''.
* Games created with ''VideoGame/UnlimitedAdventures'' can include "overland" levels, which is basically a big, static map with a white token representing the player party which can be moved around.
* ''VideoGame/{{Quest 64}}'' has what could be considered a world map, but it's built to the same scale as the rest of the game instead of being shrunken down (as in, say, ''FinalFantasyVII''). Played straight in the Game Boy port ''Quest RPG'', though.
* In adventurer mode of ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' you ''can'' walk from one town to the next by walking in fully zoomed-in mode[[note]]and if you want to cross a mountain range, you ''must'' do it this way[[/note]], and it will take the same amount of in-game time as walking across the fully zoomed-out map, so in this case it really is nothing more than a convenience for the player (not just in saving in real-world time, but also in navigating across long distances). When near or in a town/city the "overworld" map has a zoom-factor between the two extremes, letting you see the overall layout of the town and letting you quickly move down long streets (though you still have to shift down to the to-PC-scale map to do anything but move).
** Also different than normal is the fact that encounters aren't really random. The game keeps track of what populations of creatures live in what regions, and uses that information to determine what (if anything) ambushes you. And it keeps track of what you kill, so you can depopulate a local region of creatures (or even the whole world, if you put enough effort into it).
* [[ImpliedTrope Implied]] in {{Franchise/Pokemon}}, as Norman mentions that it takes him about 30 minutes to get from Petalburg to Littleroot. You can do it in a ''fraction'' of that, even if you take your time to fight some wild Pokemon along the way.
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