Follow TV Tropes


First Town

Go To
Your Pokémon journey is like a blank canvas when you set off from Pallet Town.
Relatively central location for most of the start of an RPG. This can be a city or, less specifically, a small island or continent. Once the characters Get on the Boat, other areas may seem unusually less extensive regardless of their implied size, and the party may not spend as much time in any other location as the first, or talk to as many people (the sole exception being the Hub City, if there's any).

Particularly in older RPGs, the First Town is prone to being a sleepy pastoral village with cute background music and lots of trees and flowers. If the hero lives there, this town is a lot more endangered.

Often fulfills a similar role to the Hub Level in Platformers.


    open/close all folders 

  • Alundra: Inoa Village, which is also the only proper town in the game.
  • ANNO: Mutationem: Skopp City is the first major city to start in. Ann heads over to the tutorial segment to learn the mechanics before heading off to Margarita.
  • Cave Story: Mimiga village contains the Player Headquarters and has most of the important NPCs before they get kidnapped.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising: Lampshaded. The first town you visit is actually called "That First Town."
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Kokiri Forest, which is also a Hidden Elf Village, home of the Kokiri, situated deep in the forest.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: Clock Town, is the largest town in the game, and situated in the center of the world map. Also doubles as the Hub Level alongside the surrounding Termina Field.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: Outset Island is Link's hometown, and a rural island where pigs are raised. While it doesn't face a doom, it receives an unpleasant visit in the prologue by the Helmaroc King, which ends up kidnapping Link's sister.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Ordon Village is a sleepy ranch town south of the Faron province.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Skyloft, a town built upon a series of rocks floating in the sky. It also acts as a sort of Hub Level, because it is right in the center of the map and can be teleported back to any time you need.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes: Hytopia Castle Town is a settlement built around Hytopia Castle mostly consisting of shops.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Kakariko Village. While you don't start off there as with the previous examples, nor do you even have to visit it before other towns, it's still the first place you're directed to go toward after the opening Great Plateau section, and you also get more clarification there on what you need to do to defeat Calamity Ganon and restore the Sheikah Slate's functions.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: Lookout Landing. Similar to Kakariko Village in Breath of the Wild, you neither start there nor have to visit it first, but you are nudged to go there first since it's where you'll get more details about the Upheaval and the various crises effecting the other towns. Also, you have to complete a quest there to receive the Paraglider.
  • Ōkami: Kamiki Village is where Amaterasu has rested in statue form for 100 years after having defeated Orochi. So when she's brought back to life, she proceeds to enter the River of Heavens that is next to her former resting spot and afterwards restores Kamiki Village to its usual form. Upon doing so, she has to complete some more errands in order to leave the village and properly start her adventure.
  • Shantae: Scuttle Town is the same size as other towns, but during the game's opening, it's not only a hub, but a level.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • Stage 1 of Mad Stalker: Full Metal Force takes place in a city during a crisis. You can see the city folk running from the scene as you punch giant mechas in the face.

    Hack and Slash 
  • The First Town in the Diablo series, Tristram, was the only town in the original game.
    • Diablo II had a more conventional starting town in the Rogues' Encampment, with many other towns later after you Get on the Boat. In some countries, the game's acts are nicknamed "towns", literally "first town", "second town" and so on.
    • Diablo III starts you off in Tristram again (New Tristram, to be precise, though you do get to explore the old town during the early parts of the first act) before you Get on the Boat.

    Platform Game 
  • Afterimage: Resting Town is the first safe village you visit, making it the game's primary hub zone. As you meet most NPCs while exploring, they'll eventually move to this town. The adventurer Karsa (according to his thoughts recorded in Echo 5) also calls the village as a "Newbie Village".
  • Mafia Town in A Hat in Time. It's actually one of the least dangerous areas and has several places where you can test hat powers and items you acquire much later in the game as well.
  • Resolution Road in Kirby: Planet Robobot is a town area, even though it is the second area of the game.
  • Marsupilami: Hoobadventure: The first world is a town landscape that consists of a beach, a Wutai area, a few Desert Kingdom-like areas, and a few pirate ships.
  • In Sesame Street: Countdown, the first level takes place on Sesame Street.
  • Firstep Village in Something Else. Luigi will meet with friendly NPCs and mooks of the Evil Guy while he explores this level.
  • Super Mario Galaxy has the return of Toad Town (although it's not explicitly called that) as its very first area that you explore.

    RPG — Eastern 
  • Jirinaar in Albion is pretty much your starting town in Albion, if we ignore the prologue. It's also the most iconic place in the game, due to its unique architecture and friendly locals.
  • The Sphere in BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm. It’s where the story starts, and while nothing plot-related ever happens there, you’ll be visiting frequently, at least between chapters. The main accessory shop is located there, and so is the Inbox, which is where most of the game’s many sidequests are picked up.
  • Chrono Trigger averts the idyllic utopia somewhat when you find out its law enforcement is corrupt and prone to executing people without trial...though this is later revealed to be the work of a monster out for revenge against your party, and it's ultimately unclear if the kingdom was at all like this without his influence.
  • The village of Tenuto in Eternal Sonata. Talk about sleepy pastoral villages! The narrator in one of the opening cutscenes informs us that it's also called "The Village of Flowers". Although gameplay doesn't start there, it does start on the path to Tenuto. You leave it fairly early and don't return for a while, though.
  • In Faria, the player begins in Ehdo, "the biggest town in the Kingdom of Faria."
  • A staple in the Final Fantasy series:
    • Final Fantasy has Cornelia, where the Warriors of Light begin their journey.
    • Altair in Final Fantasy II serves as the headquarters of La Résistance, until La Résistance takes back Fynn. Doesn't save Altair, though.
    • Narshe in Final Fantasy VI. Its proximity to the mines and the cliff where the frozen Esper is found make it a key location throughout the game.
    • Midgar in Final Fantasy VII. Also notable for also being the largest city, in both literal and gameplay terms. The game also plays with this trope a bit with Nibelheim, which fits the classic form of the trope much better (it's the sleepy hometown of The Hero), but is only seen in flashbacks, and thus has fully lived up to its Doomed Hometown status before the start of the game. What is left of Nibelheim is inhabited by actors placed there by Shinra.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, Balamb Garden is simultaneously the first town, the Doomed Hometown, two dungeons, a sidequest initiator, and your Global Airship for the first half of the game.
    • Although Final Fantasy IX starts with the airship Prima Vista, the first town visited very soon afterwards is Alexandria. You don't get to visit it often during the first two discs, but it remains a key location throughout the game, as its princess Garnet is one of the main characters, and her evil mother Queen Brahne is one of the main villains.
    • Rabanastre in Final Fantasy XII. Not the largest town in the game (though when you get there, you only get to travel through part of the town). However, you get to know Rabanastre quite well inside and out, including the sewer system and lower-class area.
    • Luxerion in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. It's the first town (if you don't count the short prologue in Yusnaan) you visit, and the locals here are the biggest fans of your new divine boss Bhunivelze. This is the only town with trains that go to ALL THREE of the other locales (the other stations are more limited), and it's also the setting for the the events that lead up to the end.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
  • Athlum is this in The Last Remnant and it's also the base of operations as the ruler of Athlum, David is one of the main characters, as well as his four generals.
  • The Legend of Heroes - Trails:
    • Trails in the Sky: The town of Rolent is the starting point of Estelle and Joshua's adventure.
    • Trails from Zero: Lloyd arrives in Crossbell to become part of the Special Support Section.
    • Trails of Cold Steel: Rean first arrives in Trista to begins his time at Thors Academy.
  • Each game in the Lufia series has one: Alekia, Elcid, Patos, and Parcelyte.
  • Caldor Isle in Lunar: The Silver Star is the first continent, and Alex and Luna's hometown of Burg is the first town, complete with rustic charm and cute background music.
  • Star City in Monster Racers. Despite being a globetrotting adventure, this town is the one you always return to—presumably because it's the only one that deals in all the monster racing equipment you need, and also because it's where your home monster racing headquarters are.
  • Mother
    • EarthBound Beginnings: The town of Podunk. Ninten is a resident of Podunk and lives on the town's outskirts.
    • The aptly named Onett in EarthBound. The name is even lampshaded: the first four cities are called Onett, Twoson, Threed and Fourside. A sign in Twoson even says "we got that name because we weren't first".
    • Mother 3 has Tazmily, which is an interesting example as it is essentially the only town in the game, save for a location in the final chapter of the game.
  • Played with in My World, My Way. The big castle the princess lives in is actually named "First Town", but you don't get to do any sort of interaction there (other than traveling between lands and the occasional cutscene wherein the princess doesn't get her way). The actual First Town that fits the trope is called "Grass Town".
  • In OMORI, the forest playground has many of the classic attributes of a first town in an RPG, including meeting up with fellow protagonists and a bunch of friendly NPCs, despite having no physical buildings (the shop is literally a mailbox).
  • Tokione in Opoona. Although every single city in the game is gigantic, Tokione is explicitly recognized as the biggest, and you return to it several times throughout the game because of the various functions it offers. Interestingly, the second city, Lifeborn, becomes more of your "home base," though Tokione fits the other criteria better (as well as actually being first).
  • Paper Mario:
    • Toad Town in Paper Mario 64. Sure, you don't get to explore it much the first time you're there, as you automatically go right to the castle, but after you return, it's pretty much the hub to all other locations.
    • Rogueport in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door acts as the starting point for Mario's adventure after receiving Peach's letter.
    • Super Paper Mario: Flipside is where Mario arrives and learns the situation regarding Count Bleck and the dimensional void.
  • Pokémon:
  • In certain games in the SaGa series, such as Romancing SaGa and SaGa Frontier, the first town often depends on which hero or heroine you choose to play as.
  • Werites Beacon in Tales of Legendia, which in fact serves as the sole city, and most important location, on the Legacy itself. The player can return directly to Werites Beacon from nearly any point on the Legacy by using 'ducts' located throughout the island/ship.
  • In Terranigma, Crysta is the only town in the first chapter. You then get cut off from it and don't get to return there until much later, though not before encountering a Ghost Town that looks like a carbon copy of it.
  • The Untold Tales Of The Vocaloids: Iroha City is the largest human settlement in the game and the place where the Vocaloids live and start their quest. They learn about the Holy Altars at the old district and the city itself has the final altar and the portal to Hell in its cemetery.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles
    • Colony 9 in Xenoblade Chronicles 1, with a few caveats: there's overarching sidequests that will keep you coming back for half the game to turn them in, there are level 30+ monsters in the area that will effortlessly tear your rookie party a new one if you go too far off the beaten track, and despite being raided by Mechon early on, the colony only takes a beating and pulls itself together during a brief timeskip.
    • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has Argentum, a dense trade hub. The player doesn't spend very long there at once, as the area actually doesn't have an open field to explore, but for much of the game it's the most reliable way to access many different stores at once.
  • XenoGears: Fei's hometown of Lahan is where the story begins. Fei learns several information about the combat and receives useful items if he helps some of the villagers.
  • The Ys series has Minea (Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished ~ Omen), Barbado (Ys I remake), Lance Village (Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished – The Final Chapter), Redmont (Ys III/The Oath in Felghana), Promarock (both versions of Ys IV, though Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys precedes it with a sequence in Minea which is more like a glorified prologue), Xandria Port (Ys V: Lost Kefin, Kingdom of Sand), Rehdan Village (Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim), Altago City (Ys SEVEN).

    RPG — MMO 
  • Almost all Artix Entertainment MMOs have one:
  • In Granblue Fantasy, Zinkenstill and Port Breeze both fit this trope, being the areas where several of the gameplay tutorials are taught, the beginning of the conflict with Erste gets set up and several characters get introduced to the player. Both islands are full of calm and beautiful grasslands.
  • RuneScape:
    • Lumbridge originally served as this in the game, being the first location players arrived after completing the tutorial. This is still the case in Old School.
    • The 2012 "Troll Warzone" update introduced a new tutorial which took place in the heavily redesigned neighbouring villages of Burthorpe and Taverley. Subsequent versions of the tutorial no longer take place there but still function as the first place players are taken afterwards.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic splits the class-specific First Planets from the faction-specific hubs: separating Force-sensitive and Badass Normals of each faction, (Tython for the Jedi, Ord Mantell for smugglers and troopers, Korriban for the Sith, and Hutta for bounty hunters and Imperial agents), which is either a Academy for Jedi and Sith, a relatively small and low-level location on the outskirts of the on-going hostilities between the Empire and the Republic for the normals. The hubs are then the respective factions' capitals (Coruscant for the Republic, Dromund Kaas for the Empire) and fleets, although you cannot access the latter before clearing all story missions on the former.
  • In World of Warcraft, there's the First Town for each race (some quests, class trainers, an inn, etc.) and then there's the capital for each race, which is meant to be the hub.
  • In Wynncraft, Ragni is the first city that the player visits, nestled in the coastal plains of the northwest of the Wynn Province.

    RPG — Western 
  • Averted in Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura. Shrouded Hills is the first settlement you come across, but it's tiny compared to virtually every other town in the game.
  • The first Borderlands has Fyrestone, a sleepy, isolated backwater. Its population seems to consist of... Dr. Zed, Claptrap, and Marcus' voice. Still, it has a bounty board (where you acquire missions), a low-level shield/health vendor, a basic ammunition vendor, and a low-level gun vendor. While it definitely isn't much, it suffices until you find the later town of New Haven and the various bounty boards available beyond that.
  • Bug Fables: The Ant Kingdom serves as both the game's First Town and Hub Level where they receive quests for the denizens.
  • Dangan Ronpa RPG: Hope Village is where Makoto begins his quest. It has Ghibli Hills right outside of it to the north.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Lothering in Dragon Age: Origins. After the battle, it is the very first place you travel and is has a couple vendors, two companions, and a cluster of relatively simple side quests within the town. It is a useful stop but cannot be returned to as it becomes overrun with darkspawn, killing everyone left in the village and burning it to the ground. Denerim succeeds it as the hub after that.
    • Haven in Dragon Age: Inquisition is the first settlement you end up in after the intro sequence and become the title organization's first base of operations. It also becomes a Doomed Hometown at the end of Act I.
  • A staple in The Elder Scrolls series from Morrowind onward. To note:
    • Morrowind lets you get your first bearings in Seyda Neen: a small fisher village notable almost exclusively for hosting what appears to be the only Imperial customs checkpoint on the Vvardenfell island. You can pick up your Starting Equipment, get a couple of simple and easy low-level quests, and meet your first couple of exposition-providing NPCs.
    • In Oblivion, Chorrol is a slightly bigger version than usual, but it tends to become the First Town for most players, thanks to its proximity to the Weynon Priory—the first location you have to visit in the course of the main quest after escaping from the Imperial City dungeons.
    • Skyrim provides two distinct examples:
      • Riverwood fits the classic version. Its a small sleepy village with a few minor quests available and, depending on how you got there, an NPC who will hook you up with some free starting gear.
      • Whiterun is the first hold the player likely goes to, being the first place the player will become a Thane in addition to having the cheapest player home.
  • Fable has the Hero's Guild, Fable II has Bowerstone and Fable III foregoes this trope and instead chooses to have the Sanctuary serve this purpose, though it's actually meant to be the pause screen.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout had Shady Sands. It grows into the New California Republic by the second game.
    • Fallout 2 starts you off in your home village of Arroyo before getting referred to the town of Klamath.
    • Megaton in Fallout 3 - not the first settlement, but the first major one after you Get on the Boat. In a twist, you can nuke the place twenty minutes into the game, taking many major quest NPCs with it, in which case its "central hub" status is delegated to Rivet City and/or Tenpenny Tower.
    • Goodsprings in Fallout: New Vegas. The town is based off a real town with the same name.
    • Fallout 4 has Diamond City which, like Megaton, isn't where you start so much as it's the first town that the game directs you to.
  • This happens in about half the Infinity Engine games.
    • In Baldur's Gate, the town of Beregost is likely to be this, too: It has some of the best stores early on, and more quests than any other early area until you get to the titular metropolis. Alternatively, Candlekeep also qualifies.
    • In Planescape: Torment, Sigil is not just the First Town but also where you find the portal to the Very Definitely Final Dungeon, despite traipsing all over the planes since starting, and is easily the largest area in the game. More specifically, the Hive serves as the First Town in Sigil.
    • Baldur's Gate II has Athkatla, a big city that for as much as half the game will serve as your base of operations.
    • Icewind Dale II features the walled city of Targos, which you defend from an attack, and then venture from, and then return to; it makes up at least the first third of the game.
  • The planet Taris in the video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is essentially a big version of this trope.
  • The Citadel in Mass Effect is used as a First Town right after the initial mission to Eden Prime. It remains relevant throughout the story, right up to the final battle. In Mass Effect 3.
  • Harmondale in Might and Magic VII. Most of the other settlements are larger, but it does have a convenient number of amenities closely bunched together, it is the first town after 'Noob Island', it is your home base, it is most important in the first half of the game, and it is larger relative to the implied actual size than most of the other settlements.
  • TaskMaker and Tomb of the TaskMaker both have Castle Hall, which is loaded with friendly NPCs, shops for just about everything you will need on your journey, and treasures. Almost all of the monsters are hidden in catacombs that are (mostly) inaccessible until the final task.
  • Ultima IV has eight major towns, and which one of them becomes your First Town depends on your main Virtue at the start of the game (just as your class does): for instance, Bards start near Castle Britannia, while Paladins being near Trinsic.
  • The Witcher:
    • In The Witcher, the "First Town" is a village on the outskirts of the character's destination city; it's cursed, corrupt, fraught with more danger than the city, and it's left in ruins by the player character. The sleepy pastoral village comes later halfway through the game.
    • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has White Orchard, the village that the game starts off in. It's comparatively better off than the one above, but Geralt will still have a fair amount to deal with before he can leave.
  • Wizardry 7: Crusaders of the Dark Savant features several First Towns, depending on whether the player starts a new game or imports from the previous game, including Nyctalinth, Ukpyr, and Dionyceus. However, New City arguably fits this trope best, as it contains more stationary friendly NPC's than the rest of the world combined.

    Simulation Game 
  • Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon games take place almost entirely in the first town.
  • If you can count Animal Crossing, then MySims is another example. The town proper is where you start, and where you spend a lot of time, given that your workshop is there, and the only way to the other sections (the forest and the desert).