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Windmill Scenery

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Windmills used as a landscape feature

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
Jubileus57 on Oct 12th 2017 at 1:27:14 PM
Last Edited By:
Jubileus57 on Oct 20th 2017 at 9:20:13 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/windmillscenery.png
Round and round they go.note 

Rural and grassy environments in fiction seem to frequently feature windmills (especially if said environments are in Dutch).

Once used to mill grain or pump water, windmills are now completely obsolete thanks to the advent of more recent technologies. They are nowadays similar to the lighthouses, serving no purpose other than being a distinctive landscape feature, often to add a rural, quaint flair, although they have occasionally been used to crank up the creepy factor.

Works taking place in ancient times still feature them doing what they were intended for in the first place: grinding grains.

They typically have 4 sails, but may have as many as 6 or as few as 3.

Sister trope to Lighthouse Point, since windmills and lighthouses are usually used in the same way. See also Land of Tulips and Windmills for the Hollywood Atlas version of Holland which make an abundant use of this trope. Unrelated to Windmill Political, No Mere Windmill and Windmill Crusader (except for the Trope Namer).


Examples

Anime and Manga

  • One Piece's Luffy is from a village named Foosha Village, which means Windmill Village and is surrounded by lush green fields which house numerous windmills.

Film Live Action

  • In Foreign Correspondant, the journalist Jones witnesses an assassination in Amsterdam, then pursues the killer into the countryside. He winds up in open plains, with dozens of windmills visible. One of these windmills is turning against the wind; Jones figures this must be a signal and goes to investigate. Sure enough, the killer's accomplices are hiding there.

Literature

  • Averted in Don Quijote, where the windmills are actually very important to understanding the main character's mindset rather than simply being background scenery.

Live-Action TV

  • The eponymous warhouse from Warehouse 13 has Don Quixote's Windmill in the background, just to add a bit of fantastical wonder.

Video Games

  • One of the landscapes the player can build after donating 1,000,000 Bells to the City Hall in Animal Crossing: City Folk is a windmill (the other is a lighthouse). Its only purpose is to increase the town's ratings. In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the windmill returns as one of the public works projects the player can decide to build.
  • In Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium, there's the Kinderdijk Stage, which is the fight in Holland in the middle of a landscape with a lot of windmills.
  • The Windmill Plains, from Diddy Kong Racing. After all, it's even in the name.
  • As one could expect after seeing the level's name, many windmills appear in the "Windmill Hills" level from Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Their rotating blades carry platforms and the Kongs have to jump from one to the other carefully as not to fall in Bottomless Pits.
  • Kirby
    • The Fantasy Meadows in Kirby Air Ride is a quaint, grassland racetrack. A windmill (to enhance the "Meadows" part) with blades made out our dragonfly wings (supposedly for the "Fantasy" part) sits in the background of the track.
    • The bucolic Cookie Country from Kirbys Return To Dreamland has gratuitous, three-sailed windmills in the background. What is unusual about them is they seem to be actual trees with three giant, rotating leaves.
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • The Kakariko village windmill in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is the town's most prominent feature. It is actually a windpump, as it is used to draw up water from the well that sits in from of it.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, two windmills appear Skyloft. The two actually are important to the plot, as rotating them toward the Light Tower activates it, which is crucial to find the Isle of Songs.
  • A decayed, ominous windmill appears in Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident near Elmore's farm. It has been altered to be the source of the island's electricity.
  • The Gale Shrine in Ōkami is actually a giant windmill. Its purpose is to protect Kusa Village from evil forces by blowing the Divine Wind. Sadly, the Yokai managed to make it stop rotating, depriving Kusa Village of its protection and causing the town to slowly become a cursed zone. Thankfully, Amaterasu manages to save the day.
  • In Pokémon X and Y, the most prominent building in Dendemille town is a big, six-bladed windmill. It isn't known to serve any purpose besides providing a windy and rural flair to the town.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • In Super Mario Sunshine, the Big Windmill in Bianco Hills is a prominent landscape feature with unknwon purposes and its empty halls are where the first fight against Petey Piranha takes place.
    • The Cloudy Court Galaxy in Super Mario Galaxy 2 features giant windmills whose sole purpose is to blow wind with their rotating sails, and the currents created can be used by Cloud Mario to move around.
    • In Paper Mario, the Windy Mill can be found at the bottom of the conveniently windy Gusty Gulch, and it looms ominously before the path to a Boo-infested village. It serves as the entrance to a Tunnel that leads to Tubba Blubba's heart.
    • In Paper Mario: Sticker Star, the windmill in Hither Thither Hill contains a pipe that leads further through the level (and nothing else), but its door is blocked by one of the sails. Mario has to use the Fan sticker to blow strong gusts of wind that make it briefly rotate and unblock the access to the door.
    • Moo Moo Meadows in Mario Kart Wii is a rural track which features a windmill as a background feature near the end of the racetrack to enhance the "farm" feeling. It returns in the Mario Kart 8 version of the course, and another windmill was added next to it.
    • Some windmills act as scenery elements in the upbeat Mario Kart 7 racecourse "Daisy Hills". One of them is in the way during the gliding section and it's rotating blades can block the racer's way.
    • Mario Party 7 has Windmillville, a cheery Holland-inspired map with windmills that you invest in to get stars.
  • The first level in Wii Play: Motion's Trigger Twist takes place in a grassland with a rustic windmill sitting in the middle of it.
  • The Yoshi's Woolly World level "Knitty-Knotty Windmill Hill" takes place in a grassland with an absurd number of windmill, some of which carry platforms on their sails so they can be used by Yoshi.

Western Animation

  • An old, long-abandoned windmill is the star of Disney's 1937 short The Old Mill. Said short shows the life of various wild animals that live in the windmill before and during a violent storm that culminate in a lightning strike hitting the old building, destroying one of its sails.

Real Life

  • Windmills are a very iconic obstacle in minigolf courses.

Feedback: 18 replies

Oct 12th 2017 at 3:52:30 PM

In Laconic: lanscape > landscape

Oct 12th 2017 at 4:31:56 PM

Edited grammar and spelling. Added an example.

Oct 13th 2017 at 1:26:18 AM

  • Examples section
    • Added a line separating the Description and Examples section.
    • Removed unnecessary Pot Holing.
    • Corrected spelling (it's -> its, from -> of).

Oct 13th 2017 at 6:16:43 AM

Do wind turbines (windmills for electricity instead of grains) count?

Oct 13th 2017 at 6:21:33 AM

A variation: The Parisian cabaret Moulin Rouge (which is French for "red windmill"), is an establisment shot for Parisian nightlife during the Belle Epoque period.

Oct 13th 2017 at 7:40:14 AM

^^ I did not envision the trope as such. Wind turbines , unlike windmills, have plenty of uses nowadays . Besides I don't think they look quite the same. Then again this is only my opinion

Oct 13th 2017 at 10:55:57 AM

  • Mario Party 7 has a map with windmills that you invest in to get stars.
  • Windmills are a very iconic obstacle in minigolf courses.
  • The Hatsunemiku song Senbonzakura has plenty of modern wind turbines in the background to the music video.

Oct 13th 2017 at 12:03:17 PM

Warehouse 13 has Don Quixote's Windmill in the background inside the Warehouse just to add a bit of fantastical wonder.

Oct 13th 2017 at 12:37:53 PM

Anime and Manga

  • One Piece's Luffy is from a village named Foosha Village, which means Windmill Village and is surrounded by lush green fields which house numerous windmills.

Oct 13th 2017 at 2:01:08 PM

Delete the first three sentences and put the remainder of the first two paragraphs under "Windmills are very often used to represent Dutch landscapes." That way, the trope is introduced, introducing the question of why it exists, and then that question will be answered.

Oct 13th 2017 at 2:16:22 PM

^Done while changing the now first sentence

Oct 15th 2017 at 2:41:27 AM

This look like Windmills Exist. Unless it's actually about gratuitous windmills in works where they have no place being in (eg. in modern settings)?

Oct 15th 2017 at 3:28:30 AM

^ I envisioned it more like gratuitous Windmills that don't have their regular purpose. Similarly to Lighthouse Point? Then again maybe I misunderstood the Lighthouse Point trope.

Oct 15th 2017 at 5:17:11 AM

Lighthouse Point appears to be about the atmosphere of the setting (haunted/creepy/isolated) that the lighthouse provides. You can improve the description and examples by adding what the windmills contribute to the setting (make them look cheery/rural/etc.). It's reflected in the description but not so much the examples, some of which are "there are windmills in this setting."

Oct 15th 2017 at 5:45:06 AM

^ I'll try to add up context to these examples then. Which ones are the biggest offenders?

Oct 16th 2017 at 3:06:54 AM

I think wind turbines, though having different purposes but have elements inspired from windmills, can also have this effect.

Oct 17th 2017 at 2:02:39 PM

Film:

  • In Foreign Correspondant, the journalist Jones witnesses an assassination in Amsterdam, then pursues the killer into the countryside. He winds up in open plains, with dozens of windmills visible. One of these windmills is turning against the wind; Jones figures this must be a signal and goes to investigate. Sure enough, the killer's accomplices are hiding there.

Oct 20th 2017 at 8:47:58 AM

Video Games:

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