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[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/TheRoadToElDorado http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/eldorado_4.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:All will be revealed at a golden shrine.]]

-->-- Every blurb for ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' books

Alice wakes up one morning, only to hear screams. Rushing outside, she spots the love of her life, Bob, being stuffed into Charlie's car. Failing to catch them, Alice promptly [[LockAndLoadMontage suits and loads up]], and starts trekking. Her goal? [[DistressedDude Rescue Bob]] from the dark Castle Charlie, which is [[EiffelTowerEffect always looming eerily on the horizon...]]

While {{MacGuffin}}s tend to take the form of things or even [[LivingMacGuffin entities]], a common alternative is to use a setting or location -- where the driving force is instead a place where everyone's trying to get to (or get there first), but when reached doesn't have any significant impact on the plot.

Most commonly found in media centering around TheQuest (which, more often than not, contains another macguffin they desire. The other most common occurance is media that involves races -- it often doesn't matter whether the finish line is in UsefulNotes/{{Cairo}}, UsefulNotes/NewZealand, or [[FlyoverCountry Omaha]], just that they arrive first or on time.

Compare with GoingToSeeTheElephant.


[[folder: Anime ]]

* In addition to the location of the titular treasure, the actual island of Raftel in ''Manga/OnePiece'' is also sought after, mainly due to the Rio Poneglyphs.
* ''Manga/OutlawStar'' has people searching for the location of the fabled Galactic Leyline, presumably a giant stash of valuable minerals or other treasure. Actually, [[spoiler:it's a repository of knowledge, and after it's found ''it runs away again'' so that the chase can start all over.]]
** Technically the place seems to be a [[spoiler:LiteralGenie GeniusLoci, capable and willing to fulfill any wish that a person reaching its core chooses to make. A person wishing for knowledge will be swallowed in its datastream, however.]]
* Shinzo in, well, ''Anime/{{Shinzo}}.'' It's the last human city several centuries into the future, and ChosenOne Yakumo must reach it. In the original Japanese version it's called "Mushrambo", after the main character's [[FusionDance fusion form]].
* Paradise in ''Anime/WolfsRain''.
* The ''true'' Clair Bible in ''{{LightNovel/Slayers}} NEXT'' turns out to be this, as it was previously assumed that the bible was a book.
* The land of fairies in ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' is reputed to be the only place safe from the demonic legions that want the protagonists dead as well as the location of the only one who might be able to cure Casca of her insanity.


[[folder: Film -- Animated ]]

* El Dorado, a city supposedly made entirely of gold somewhere in South America, from films such as ''WesternAnimation/TheRoadToElDorado''.
* The titular castle in ''WesternAnimation/BarbieAndTheDiamondCastle''.


[[folder: Film -- Live-Action ]]

* ''Film/FiveWeeksInABalloon''. The heroes and a band of slavers are trying to get to a piece of territory that no nation owns in order to claim it for their respective governments.
* ''Film/TheGoldenVoyageOfSinbad''. Sinbad and Prince Koura both try to reach the Fountain of Destiny first in order to gain its rewards.
* ''Film/TheGreatRace'': the title New York to Paris race.
* ''Tarzan and the Valley of Gold''. The title valley (and the city of gold therein), which both Tarzan and the BigBad are trying to reach.
* The Big W in ''Film/ItsAMadMadMadMadWorld''. Parodied after a fashion by the Big Why (Y) in ''Series/TheNewAvengers''.
* ''Film/RatRace'': the train station in Silver City, New Mexico
* In both the ''Film/SmokeyAndTheBandit'' and ''Film/CannonballRun'', the destination of the cross country speeding isn't important other than that's where they need to be to get paid/win the race.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* Creator/JulesVerne's ''Literature/JourneyToTheCenterOfTheEarth'' and all of its adaptations.
* ''Literature/TreasureIsland'' has its titular island. So, too, does its RecycledInSpace counterpart ''Disney/TreasurePlanet''.
* ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' has...well...
** King lampshades this at the end. [[spoiler: He stops to say it should be enough to just get there, but since some of you will insist, he'll also provide the ending that actually tells what happens there... which when read makes it no less a MacGuffinLocation.]]
** The poem that inspired the series is all about the existential meaninglessness of searching for a place for so long, "Childe Roland" has pretty much forgotten why he's searching for it.
* ''Literature/TheMalloreon'', by Creator/DavidEddings, features a MineralMacGuffin (the 'Sardion', a rock) and a MacGuffinLocation, "The Place Which Is No More".
* The Spitsbergen island in the Svalbard archipelago, from ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials''.
* Tanelorn in several stories by Creator/MichaelMoorcock.
* The Chamber of Secrets in ''Literature/HarryPotter''.
* The Tomb Of Sephotic in Creator/RobertWestall's ''Literature/UrnBurial.'' Somewhere on Fiend's Fell in Cumbria, there's a hidden tomb to an alien weapons maker, that's filled with weapons he built that no one knows how to build or counter any more.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Every location on ''Series/TheAmazingRace''.
* Similarly, the finish line of nearly every ''Series/TopGear'' Car v. Something Else race challenge.
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode's eponymous ''Utopia''. [[spoiler: That turned out well, didn't it?]]
* In ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'', the Federation and the Klingon Empire are disputing the right to colonize Sherman's Planet. That's why the Enterpise receives a Priority one distress call to protect grain storage.
* California in ''Series/ZNation''.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', Shinra's main motivation is to find the 'promised land'.
* Zanarkand from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''.
* "Your Sanctuaries" in ''VideoGame/EarthBound''.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'': The titular location is said to be a source of ultimate knowledge and power, and is thus sought after by various villains who seek to rule the universe using it. Muddying the waters initially is that several villains manage to assemble smaller copies of Kingdom Hearts, usually serving as TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon. The franchise initially makes no clear distinction between the copies and the real thing, but it's eventually established that the ones the characters have visited are inferior replicas of the true location.
* The Tower in the ''VideoGame/PanzerDragoon'' Series.
* The Vault in ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}''. Somewhat unusual in that it's a string of such locations, with a different Vault being the focus of each game.
* A slightly odd example is Releeshahn in ''VideoGame/MystIIIExile''. Releeshahn is a book that is an access to a location, and you have to retrieve the book.
* The artificial island Paradise and the Cardinal Shaft in ''VideoGame/{{Hellsinker}}''.
* Ilos in ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', a planet only accessible via a lost mass relay only [[spoiler:the last Rachni Queen kept in captivity on Noveria]] knows the location of, and which [[PlayerCharacter Shepard]] and [[BigBad Saren]] are racing to get to first.
* ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' revolves entirely around the biggest landmark in Nevada, the Hoover Dam. It provides clean water and free electricity to the entire state. He who controls it controls the future of the entire Mojave desert, so it's actually a pretty damn good justification of this trope. It's not magical, it's not full of unobtanium, it just provides what you need to live.
* ''Videogame/Yakuza0'' has the Empty Lot, a small piece of land that is potentially interfering with a renovation deal backed by the Dojima clan, with the primary goal of the various factions being finding the deed to the property so they can take control of the deal.

[[folder: Web Comics ]]
* ''Webcomic/FamiliarGround'': [[http://www.familiar-ground.com/2009/03/13/short-term-memory/ The cave]]. [[spoiler:because they do not, in fact, get any answers]]
* ''Webcomic/DarkWings'' has the fabled lost city of Eryl, home of scholars/demons/angels/mages/insert-exalted-group-here, where they had everything and knew everything and yada yada yada.

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* ''WebAnimation/CharlieTheUnicorn'': "Candy Mountain, Charlie!"
* In the LetsPlay/{{Yogscast}}'s modded ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'' [[Machinima/YogscastMinecraftSeries series]] ''LetsPlay/{{MoonQuest}}'', the idea is that they start from scratch and have to collect the resources to build a facility, equipment, and a rocket ship to travel to the Moon, with a space race going on between Team J.A.F.F.A (LetsPlay/LewisBrindley, LetsPlay/SimonLane and LetsPlay/DuncanJones) and Sipsco (LetsPlay/{{Sips}} and LetsPlay/{{Sjin}}). After 45 episodes of distractions, setbacks, misadventures, and general shenanigans, Team J.A.F.F.A finally send Simon to the Moon [[spoiler:and then have to build another rocket to go there again after he crashes and is stranded there]].

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* Candied Island in ''WesternAnimation/TheMarvelousMisadventuresOfFlapjack''.
* Every single episode of ''WesternAnimation/WackyRaces'' features one of these.
* The Crystal Empire in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''. It's explicitly said to be able to invoke FisherKingdom on the rest of the world, and it also appears to be the main source of obscure magic in the series. So is it any wonder why [[SorcerousOverlord King Sombra's]] so obsessed with controlling the place in Season 3?

[[folder: Religion ]]
* Heaven for Christians.


[[folder: Truth In Television ]]

* Shangri-La, a Himalayan paradise where people live far longer than the normal human lifespan, was invented by James Hilton in his 1931 novel ''Literature/LostHorizon''. The novel and subsequent movie inspired many people to believe that Shangri-La was real; the Nazis sent an expedition to Tibet in 1938 to look for it.
* Atlantis, a powerful island nation destroyed by earthquake, was written about by Plato. Even though he [[WordOfGod starts the narration]] by pointing out that Atlantis is '''not''' a real place, but an hypothetical example of how governments ''should'' be run, to this day treasure-seekers continue to search for the location of the "real" Atlantis.
* Until the real thing was discovered near Istanbul, Turkey, many scholars thought that Troy was one of these as well. The same is true of many other locations in ancient lore (and sometimes even people).
* The races to reach the North and South Poles.
* Being the first to climb Mount Everest.