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Alternate World Map

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The tendency for modern RPGs to have more than one world map: sometimes this is a Dark World, an Fictional Earth or an Alternate Universe, but sometimes it's another planet, or a different time period, or simply an After the End scenario. A very common way to make Disc-One Final Dungeon less obvious (because you can have the entire world visited before you get to it).

Note: This isn't the case when they make minor changes to the map (like in Final Fantasy VII when Diamond Weapon scars the world map) or in cases where there isn't really a world map or the worlds are just extensions of the same multi-world map. This is for if there's a world map and then, surprise, you've got another one.

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A supertrope of Dark World. Usually a part of Dual-World Gameplay.


Examples:

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    Action-Adventure 

  • Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance has the normal castle and the same castle in an alternate dimension. You travel between them using special portals.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past has the Light World and the Dark World.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Oracle of Ages both involve traveling between two time periods; in Ocarina of Time, you travel to and from seven years in the future (with Link aging or deaging respectively), in Oracle of Ages you travel to and from several centuries in the past (with Link, obviously, not aging).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons has an underworld and an overworld, and on the overworld features are changed by the passing of the seasons (which Link can accelerate).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has the Sky and the Surface, the latter being in either the past or the present.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds has Link traveling between Hyrule and Lorule, which resembles the Dark World from A Link to the Past but crossed by a number of deep, bottomless rifts that render several sections of inaccessible from each other. This requires Link to travel back to Hyrule at several points, travel to another dimensional rift, and cross back through in order to reach his destination. One dungeon, the Desert Palace, requires Link to cross between Hyrule and Lorule four times in succession in order to reach the area the dungeon is in, reach the dungeon itself, enter it and face the boss.

    Fighting Game 

  • In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's World of Light mode, the first half of the game takes place in the titular "World of Light". After you defeat Galeem, Dharkon takes over and creates his own twisted Dark Realm. After defeating Dharkon, there is a third map where the forces of both sides battle, which you can alter by defeating minions of one side or the other. Both world maps also contain several sub-worlds that can be accessed from within the overworld, ranging from a molten fortress to a Zapfish-powered power plant to a Street Fighter II-style World Tour to Dracula's Castle.

    Platform Game 

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    Role Playing Game 
  • The 7th Saga has the player character(s) sent to the past.
  • Chrono Trigger uses time periods.
  • Dragon Quest:
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy III has the floating continent and the surface world.
    • Final Fantasy IV has the main world, the underworld, and the Moon.
    • Final Fantasy V has two planets, and a third world map when they combine.
    • Final Fantasy VI had the World Of Balance and World Of Ruin.
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2 occasionally has several maps of the same locations in the different time periods (e.g. New Bodhum and Academia). Annoyingly, you have to explore 100% of each version of every location for the Paradox Professor sidequest, leading to situations when the Quest Giver refuses to accept the seemingly complete map of the area because you still haven't visited the area's alternate version in a different time period.
  • One could make an argument for Might and Magic World of Xeen, which has two separate 'worlds' connected mainly by a few scattered portals — the reason being that World of Xeen is the combined version of IV and V, with each game covering one side of Xeen (having both games unlocks the aforementioned connections between the sides, and adds a short questline to provide the real end of the game after you've beaten the main quests of both of the component games).
  • Oracle of Tao has Earth (a second version of it), and once done exploring that, there's another world called the Void which is presumably based on the original Earth, but is barren and has some different rules, like that nothing can exist for very long outside its towns at night.
  • Every game in the classic Phantasy Star series: Phantasy Star and Phantasy Star IV both have 3 worlds, Phantasy Star II has two (one after the other, in perhaps the straightest example of this trope), and Phantasy Star III has a whopping eight worlds (if you count the underworld), though they're much smaller than the worlds of the other games.
  • Pokémon Gold and Silver, and its remakes, are the only games in the series to have two visitable regions (not counting FireRed and LeafGreen with its Sevii Islands). The only way to get between Kanto and Johto in the original games is to either use the Abra at the Indigo Plateau, use travel on the S.S. Aqua, use the Magnet Train or travel on the waters between New Bark Town and Route 28. The remakes removed the ability to travel back to Kanto via the Abra at the Indigo Plateau, but added the ability for the player to fly between any Kanto and Johto location if they happen to be on Route 26, Route 27, Route 28 or the Indigo Plateau.
  • SaGa (RPG):
    • Final Fantasy Legend has four different main worlds, several minor ones, as well as the tower which connects them all.
    • Final Fantasy Legend II has twelve different worlds all connected by a celestial-based hub.
    • Final Fantasy Legend III went a bit nuts with this concept. It has three time periods, each with an overworld and an under(water)world. It also has a floating island and a separate dimension, the latter of which had its own underworld.
  • Shin Megami Tensei uses this often:
  • The Star Ocean series: some of the games let you travel between worlds (like in Till the End of Time). The Second Story destroys the planet you're on at the end of Disc 1 during the Disc-One Final Dungeon. As a result this might actually be surprising in the PSP remake which is on one disc…
  • Sword and Fairy 7 has separate maps for Human and Demon Realms.
  • Extremely common in the Tales Series:
  • Video Game/Ultima:
    • Ultima II had 5 time periods: Pangea, B.C., A.D., Aftermath, and Legends.
    • Ultima III had an alternate world, Ambrosia, accessible via a whirlpool, which was also pretty important as it was the only place to increase character stats.
  • World of Warcraft goes hard on this after the Cataclysm expansion, with the then-new ability of the game to phase areas. Any area, depending on your progress in the zone's storyline, can be a ten thousand year old village filled with life or a burned out wreck filled with corpses. Many of the older zones have a member of the Bronze Dragonflight, holders of the Timey-Wimey Ball, who can send you to previous versions of the zone.

    Wide Open Sandbox 

  • Commonplace in the Driver series:
    • The first game took place in Miami, then San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City.
    • The second game started in Chicago, then moved to Havana, Las Vegas, and Rio de Janeiro.
    • The third game started in Miami, then moved to Nice and Istanbul.
    • The fourth game (Parallel Lines) took place in New York City of 1978, then 28 years passed and the game took place in New York of 2006.
  • Minecraft has three distinct dimensions: The Overworld, where players start; the Nether, a dangerous Lethal Lava Land; and the End, which is essentially the Very Definitely Final Dungeon writ large. Except that maps (as in, the item) don't actually work in the Nether because there's no "ground level" for them to display; the whole dimension is a giant cave system with a solid bedrock ceiling.
  • All of the Yakuza games take place in Kamurocho (Tokyo), but all of the main series games other than 1 and 4 feature at least one other city to explore. In 2 and 0 it's Sotenbori (Osaka); in 3 it's Ryukyu (Okinawa); in 5 it's Sotenbori again, along with the new cities of Nagasu (Fukuoka), Tsukimino (Sapporo) and Kineicho (Nagoya); and in 6 it's Jingaicho (Onomichi, Hiroshima). Starting with the seventh title, Kamurocho becomes the alternate world map as the game's main setting shifts to Ijincho (Yokohama).


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