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Crescent Moon Island

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...Hm. Darn, there's just no way of knowing why it's named that.

Want to quickly convey to the viewer that an island—often a deserted or seemingly unimportant one—is somehow special? Give it the shape of a crescent moon.

The ocean tides are connected to the phases of the moon, so making an island moon-shaped ties in with this theme. Alternatively, it may simply be an aesthetic choice, being a form that is instantly recognizable while also being a plausible natural shape for an island. Either way, it's a sign that something about the island is special—maybe something will happen here when the moon in the sky is also in a crescent shape, or maybe some kind of secret—perhaps treasure—is to be found underwater in the spot right in the middle of the crescent moon.

Note that while this trope usually applies to islands, it can also include other crescent moon-shaped landforms such as lakes or valleys.

Sub-Trope of Object-Shaped Landmass. See also "Far Side" Island for another common island design. For landforms that resemble something more lively than the moon, see Monster-Shaped Mountain.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks: The main characters visit the Isle of Naboombu, which is inhabited by Uplifted Animals, to find the Star of Astoroth. As they approach it, it looks like a crescent, with a large lagoon; they first crash into the lagoon and encounter anthropomorphic sea life before going up to the surface.
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Holy Grail is kept in a chamber located in a crescent moon-shaped valley, which is indicated in the clue to its location in the journal.

  • BIONICLE: Voya Nui is shaped like an elongated crescent moon, and it's the location of the Mask of Life. However, the shape is meaningless In-Universe, as the planet it's on doesn't have a moon (it sort of is a moon, but not close enough to see the main planet). Mahri Nui was formerly connected to Voya Nui before sinking into the sea, giving Voya Nui its crescent shape.

    Video Games 
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 Yuri's Revenge: In one of the Soviet missions, Yuri has a submarine pen located on an uncharted crescent-shaped island in the South Pacific and it's up to the Soviet commander's task to destroy it before Yuri sends out his boomer submarine fleet to launch missiles all over the world. In the end, the Soviets won but Yuri and his forces fled to the moon.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy has the town of Crescent Lake, named for the crescent moon-shaped lake located around it. The town is where the player finds the Circle of Sages, who tell them about the legends of the Four Fiends and the Crystals. Among these sages is Lukahn, the one who made the prophecy foretelling that the Warriors of Light (the player characters) would restore balance to the world.
    • Final Fantasy V: The sea under Crescent Island is the location of the ancient ruins where the party first finds the airship. The island is also home to the Black Chocobo, a very rare Chocobo species that was thought to be extinct.
    • Final Fantasy VI: Crescent Island is the location of the village of Thamasa, the home of the only humans in the world (aside from Terra) to be born with the ability to use magic, as they are descendants of the Magi. The villagers keep their magic a secret from outsiders due to fear of persecution.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages: Moonlit Grotto, the game's third dungeon and the location of one of the Essences of Time, is on Crescent Island. The dungeon entrance is located right in the middle and is inaccessible in the past because the ocean blocks it off from the rest of the island. In the present, however, the lever of water is lower, allowing the dungeon to be reached. Much later in the game, when Link has gained the ability to swim in deep water, he can reach the entrance in the past, and it turns out to be the path leading to the game's final dungeon.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: One of the many islands in the game is shaped like a crescent moon. Although there isn't much to be found on it, its shape is a hint that it is connected to the moon somehow: it's one of the locations where the Ghost Ship may appear, which is determined by the in-game moon phases. However, the Ghost Ship appears here when the moon is full, not crescent.
  • Paper Mario: The Origami King: One of the islands in the Great Sea, aptly named Crescent Moon Island, is shaped like a crescent moon. Solving the puzzle on the island causes the missing part of the moon to rise up from the ocean floor, forming a full moon, after which the island is renamed Full Moon Island.
  • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl:
    • Despite its name, a place called "Fullmoon Island" exists, which is vaguely crescent-shaped alongside having a crescent pond in its center. Here, you find the appropriately-named Legendary Pokemon Cresselia, who roams Sinnoh upon encounter but leaves behind a special Lunar Wing to help ward off her counterpart Darkrai's nightmares. In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, she instead resides on the more obvious "Crescent Isle."
    • Newmoon Island is also a vaguely crescent-shaped and is a mirrored version of Fullmoon Island, which makes sense given Darkrai, Cresselia's counterpart, resides there.
  • Runescape has two crescent-shaped islands: Aptly names Lunar Isle, and Waterbirth Island, one depicting waning moon and the other one depicting waxing moon.
  • Sea of Thieves: There is a crescent-shaped Crescent Isle in the Shores of Plenty region.
  • Skies of Arcadia: The aptly-named "Crescent Isle" is a small, deserted landmass floating in an uncharted area of Arcadia. The protagonist, Vyse, gets shipwrecked there and separated from his party around the mid-point of the game. Later, when Vyse becomes captain of his own battleship and pirate crew, the Blue Rogues, Crescent Isle serves as the Rogues' base, with the player able to upgrade it into a functioning headquarters.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Crescent Island is a volcanic, crescent-shaped island within Fire Nation territory that houses a Fire Temple. Because it is of great significance to Aang's previous life Avatar Roku, it is here that Aang is first able to have a conversation with him.
  • Molly of Denali: In "Molly Mabray and the Mystery Stones," the petroglyphs are located on a beach called Crescent Cove, so called because it is shaped like a crescent moon, and they're only revealed at low tide.
  • The Wild Thornberrys: One episode has the Thornberrys arriving on an uncharted crescent-shaped island in the Pacific Ocean. They get stranded because Nigel accidentally switched on the comvee's security system. The family waits for rescue as they enjoy this newly-discovered tropical paradise only until they slowly begin to snap and turn on each other.

    Real Life 
  • Crescent-shaped islands commonly form from volcanic craters in real life—for example, the small island of Molokini off the coast of Maui, Hawai'i, or Santorini/Thera in the Aegean Sea.


Video Example(s):


TOK Crescent Moon Island

A literal island shaped like a crescent moon.

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Main / CrescentMoonIsland

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