"There are no children called Colin and Susan from our world who fall into it to become the main characters.
A constructed world is a completely fictional setting, rather than our world in The Future
, another planet in our galaxy, or an Alternate History
. The heroes of its stories are usually the locals, who neither have nor need a connection with our present-day Earth.
This world might be built from standard components, but there is deliberate World Building
going on. It may or may not have a Fantasy World Map
As one of the most common fantasy settings, some form of Functional Magic
is typically present, but this isn't required: constructed worlds exist that have little or no magic. Most High Fantasy
takes place in constructed worlds, as well as a great deal of Low Fantasy
and Heroic Fantasy
Compare A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away...
, which is used more in science fiction
but usually has the same effect. Contrast Magical Land
, where the focus is on visitors to the setting and Like Reality Unless Noted
. Earth All Along
is a subversion of this trope.
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Anime & Manga
- Daikurikku in Simoun. In fact, figuring out its bizarre laws (and the meaning behind pseudo-Latin terms) is among the (many) fun points of the series.
- The unnamed world of Eiichiro Oda's One Piece has very distinct geography and weather completely different from our Earth. And the Fantasy Kitchen Sink mythology and the Schizo Tech, like the telecommunication snails ...
- Similar to One Piece, Dragon Ball takes place on an Earth-like world that clearly has nothing to do with our Earth.
- The original Fullmetal Alchemist canon is this. The first anime however seems like this but is eventually revealed to be an Alternate History.
- Naruto is set in an unnamed world on an unnamed continent (or maybe subcontinent), but is clearly fictional and a lot of World Building is done early on (for instance, we learn about the politics and geography of the world hundreds of chapters before it really becomes relevant). Being a series about Ninja, it has a lot of Japanese influences.
- Windaria, at least in Streamline's English release, is completely unexplained.
- Record of Lodoss War, and its spinoff Legend of Crystania.
- Amon Saga.
- Digimon X-Evolution. This is the only version of Digimon that is all Mons and no humans enter the picture.
- The world of Hunter × Hunter mixes a fantasy setting with modern day technology, Sci-Fi elements, and a wide variety of Mix-and-Match Critters. Not to mention they write in a different language.
- The Continent in Queen's Blade and in their Alternate Universe, Queen's Blade Grimoire has Melfareland.
- The games are vague, but the Pokémon anime and Pokémon Special manga seem to be set in this.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has no resemblance to our world apart from featuring humans.
- Seikoku No Dragonar is set in a completely isolated world built on magic and dragons.
- Kemono no Souja Erin is a complete, isolated world.
- Spice and Wolf.
- Tegami Bachi is set in a completely separate world.
Films — Animation
- The setting of Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnęamise is similar to Earth during the early Space Age—but not identical. Almost everything about the world, from geography to clothing to eating utensils, is at least slightly different.
Films — Live Action
- J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, as depicted in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, is the Trope Codifier. His own term for this type of setting was Secondary World. Hilarious in Hindsight, since according to Word of God Middle Earth, also known as Midgard, is our earth — only set in the far-gone mythical past of gods and monsters, as a far, far prequel to all Anglo-Saxon myths. So, in theory, it's Earth All Along.
- The setting of The Wood Beyond the World. William Morris is usually credited as the creator of the modern "invented world" fantasy (departing from the tradition of setting fantasy stories in Arthurian Briton, fairyland or Arabian Nights-esque Arabia). Tolkien read the novel as a child, and it was a major influence on his work.
- Terry Pratchett's Discworld has no physical connection to our own. However its basic nature is based on several old theories about how our world works, such as it being flat, and being orbited by the sun, and being on the back of a giant turtle. Its cities, nations and sometimes individual people are often clear analogies to those from earth's past and present.
- In the The Science of Discworld books there is a connection between the Disc and Earth, but it's usually used for the wizards to visit our world, not for Earthers to visit theirs. Except once in the third book, and then it's by accident and they return Darwin to Roundworld ASAP. It happens again in the fourth book, rather more significantly.
- Tarra in Arcia Chronicles.
- Kertiana in Reflections of Eterna by the same author.
- Terreille (the Realm of Light), Kaeleer (the Shadow Realm), and Hell (the Dark Realm) in Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series. They seem to bear no relation to our world, and the human races may not be human as we understand it.
- In Michael Moorcock's The Elric Saga, Melniboné and the surrounding New Kingdoms. Like Middle Earth, it's supposed to be Earth's long-forgotten past, but is so different it may as well be another world.
- The continent of Westeros and the rest of the surrounding world from George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, although Fantasy Counterpart Cultures abound.
- Greg Egan's Orthogonal trilogy not only takes place in a fictional setting, it takes place in a constructed universe with unique and meticulously researched physics totally different from our own, and focuses on a race of aliens that evolved in such a universe.
- Brandon Sanderson's adult fantasy all takes place in the same verse called the The Cosmere. Word of God has officially stated that Earth does not exist in the Cosmere.
- Many novels by Nick Perumov are set in a multiverse called The Consistent. His series Chronicles of Hjorvard and Chronicles of the Rift (including the novel Diamond Sword, Wooden Sword) are set in worlds that are part of that multiverse.
- Take Back the Skies is set in the fictional world of Tellus, notable for the thick, tumultuous storms that surround its islands.
- The BIONICLE universe had no connection whatsoever to ours, despite inter-dimensional travel being possible there. Multiple alternate universes and pocket dimensions exist, but none resembling ours. The creators have avoided having live-action adaptations of the series for fear that this segregation from the real world would be compromised in order to make way for a Human-Focused Adaptation.
- The Twin Worlds of The Longest Journey are somewhat of a gray area. On one hand, its starts off as your regular run-of-the-mill Cyber Punk dystopia. On the other hand, we soon learn, that what we perceived as "Earth" is actually a world called "Stark" and it has a twin world named Arcadia that does not follow the laws of science but instead is governed by chaotic magic. What's more, these two worlds are, in fact, Earth... or, at least, they were Earth twelve thousand years ago. Therefore, there is a connection called "Balance" between them which has its own eerie rules...
- Strangereal, the original Ace Combat setting, is a completely independent world, despite being heavily based on modern-day Earth.
- The Iron Grip series has Theia, a Planetary Romance Earth analogue with wildly anachronistic Punk Punk societies and nations, an ice age climate and a Purely Aesthetic Era feel.
- The noir fantasy world of the Thief series (though it does have characters with Earth-like names, it's very clearly set in a setting completely removed from everyday reality).
- The unnamed but obviously constructed world of the Drakan series.
- Celenheim in Enclave.
- Azeroth from the Warcraft series and World of Warcraft.
- The Elder Scrolls is set in a very well-constructed world called Aurbisnote , though the games are set primarily on a single continent called Tamriel.
- Shining Force has its own fictional map.
- RuneScape is set on the Medieval European Fantasy planet of Gielinor. Although it's supposed to be a planet in our universe (most of the life on it was imported from Earth by Guthix), it might as well be a separate world.
- Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura: The eponymous Arcanum.
- Diablo: Sanctuary.
- Dragon Age series: Thedas. Incidentally, even the name of the world is constructed: it was a shortcut for "The Dragon Age setting" used by the developers until they decided to Throw It In.
- Dungeon Siege: Aranna.
- Sacred: Ancaria.
- Septerra Core: Septerra.
- Siege of Avalon: Eurale.
- The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule.
- Super Mario Bros.: The Mushroom Kingdom. Originally Mario and Luigi were supposed to have come from Brooklyn, where Donkey Kong and the other early games were set, and then they got sucked down a drain-pipe into the Mushroom Kingdom; later games, like the various "Yoshi" games involving Baby Mario, contradict this (at least for the Bros' childhoods), and the idea has basically been abandoned.
- Star Fox: The Lylat System.
- Almost all of the Final Fantasy series: Every game takes place in its own constructed world.
- The Neverhood: Constructed out of clay.
- Early western promotional materials for Sonic the Hedgehog presented the games as being set in this. Later the games established that they were indeed on Earth.
- Dark Souls: Lordran.
- Ar tonelico: Ar Ciel.
- Dishonored is set in Dunwall City, on Gristol Island, capital of the Isles Empire. Next to it there's the unexplored Pandyssian Continent. That's about all we know of the setting... apart from one passage from a book by a Mad Scientist, describing how the planet and its Sun are hurtling through a dark, howling Cosmos towards a Void that will eventually consume everything. It's that kind of setting...
- The main setting of The Night Of The Rabbit, Mousewood, is based on unpublished tales written by the game designer Matt Kempke. These stories can be unlocked during gameplay, though.
- Fire Emblem is set on the continents of Archanea, Valentia, Jugdral, Elibe, Magvel, and Tellius, with the first three sharing the same world. Ylisse and Valm, on the other hand, are simply the future versions of Archanea and Valentia, respectively.
- Gears of War: Sera.
- All of the Infocom (later Activision) Zork games. The games make satirical references to Earth culture but there's no evidence that this is Earth. Some sources suggest that Zork is the name of the planet on which these games are set.
- A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky is set on a world (the Lydian continents and the surface below) whose history, and prehistory, is fairly in-depth, including a few things that almost no one knows, and the PCs have to rediscover.
- The only evident similarity between the JASF: Jane's Advanced Strike Fighters universe and the real world is that all the planes are the same. You're flying for the Eastern Democratic Alliance (implied to be something like either United States or NATO; no real explanation is given), and the game takes place on an island divided up between two Quracs called North and South Azbaristan.
- Both of Supergiant's games, Bastion and Transistor are set in different examples of this.
- The world of Hillys in Beyond Good & Evil.
- Tower of God is set in a tower that has at least 135 floors, with each floor being several kilometres high and having a surface the size of North America. They don't breathe air but Shinsoo which gets more viscous the higher you get, which is why swords are replaced by simple rapiers called Needles. An outside world exists and people are faintly aware of it, but it's the kind of world where people build gods and children get trapped in caves for eons.
- Overside, the setting of Rice Boy, Order of Tales, and Vattu.
- Archipelago is set in a world built upon the ruins of infinitely giant ships, which crashed a long time before the story.
- Bits Fair is set in a fictional pre-industrial world that feels like a mix between Asian and European cultures, featuring a vast empire that encompasses an entire subcontinent and mindly powers.
- Unsounded is set on an entirely invented continent divided between several nations, with an enormous amount of background detail devoted to showing that this world is nothing like ours.
- The Avatar: The Last Airbender canon takes place in one. While it certainly has elements of various Asian and First Nation cultures, its certainly a very separate fantasy world. For example, almost all the animals are Mix-and-Match Critters, a significant proportion of the population is able to control one of the four elements, it has their own path of technology advancement (which includes the invention of steam-powered jet skis before the hot air balloon, for example), and is linked to a spirit world. One of the most important spirits is the Avatar, who is continually reincarnated into a human body, and is close to a god in terms of power and respect.
- Equestria from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is a world all its own and differs from our reality in several significant ways (such as all forces of nature being controlled by magic ponies), in contrast to G1 My Little Pony where humans from Earth visit Dream Valley. Things get more blurry however when considering My Little Pony Equestria Girls, where Twilight Sparkle gets zapped into a human high school; it could be Earth, but everyone has bizarre skin tones and magic is still present.
- In all versions of ThunderCats, though it has an Alien Sky and the name "Third Earth," the planet the eponymous Thundercats inhabit is a lunatic Heroic Fantasy Kitchen Sink, with Petting Zoo People, magic swords, Sorcerous Overlords, fruit made of candy and Schizo Tech. What happened to first and second Earth and if any of 'em were ours is never made clear in the original before they stopped discussing it altogether, and never comes up in any form in ThunderCats (2011).
- Zig Zagged in Adventure Time; Ooo really seems like this, having almost no connections to our world and a completely different geology (for one thing the planet is missing a chunk of its mass)... except that we later learn that Ooo is Earth All Along after a disastrous global war caused a nuclear/magical apocalypse, which more or less wiped out humanity. The main character is the only human seen because he's one of the Last of His Kind. The reason the world is so different is that said apocalypse caused magic to return to Earth fundamentally changing and mutating all surviving life. Later episodes show that some magical artifacts, such as the Ice King's crown, pre-date the apocalypse, so Ooo is more like the post-apocalypse of a world that was once very Earth-like.
- Atmos, the setting of Storm Hawks. Although there's more than a bit of evidence that Atmos is Earth After the End.