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Constructed World
"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.


Examples

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    Anime & Manga 

    Films — Animation 
  • The setting of Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise 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.

    Literature 
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth is the Trope Codifier. His own term for this type of setting was Secondary World. Hilarious in Hindsight, since Middle Earth, also known as Midgard, is, in fact, our earth - only set in the far-gone mythical past of gods and monsters - specifically 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 so far it's only been 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.
      • A point is even made that our world seems incredibly strange and exotic to the Discworlders — because the human psyche, regardless of the world of origin, finds Discworld the more sensible place. Both the human brain and Discworld's physics run on sensible narratives, after all, while our world does not.
  • 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 R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series.
  • Greg Egan's Orthogonal series (starting with The Clockwork Rocket). Not only does it have no connection to our world, it doesn't even use the same laws of physics.
  • 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.
  • A Mage's Power: Eric spends several chapter at the start learning how the world he dropped into works. Then he learns Functional Magic for his battle mage mercenary job.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Every Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting ever (except for Masque Of The Red Death, set on "Gothic Earth").
  • A lot of role-playing games. Listing them all here would break the article's back.
  • All of Magic: The Gathering's planes are original; none of them are based on Earth, and it's generally considered canon that our universe is not part of the Magic multiverse.

    Toys 
  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • 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. The games are now set 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.

    Webcomic 
  • 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.
  • Archipelago is set in a world built upon the ruins of infinitely giant ships, which crashed a long time before the story.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • 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.
  • Epileptic Trees about it being Earth After the End notwithstanding, Equestria from the My Little Pony Generation 4 universe is a world all its own and differs from our reality in several significant ways (such as the fact that all forces of nature are controlled by magic ponies).
  • 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).
  • Subverted 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 it's mass)... except that we later learn that Ooo is actually Earth 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 left. The reason the world is so different is that said apocalypse caused magic to return to Earth fundamentally changing and mutating all surviving life.

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alternative title(s): Conworld
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