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Hailfire Peaks

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Comes in two beautiful weather options:
Too hot and too cold.

"Why is the fire castle in the forest with the ice mountain, anyway? That's just silly-bob."

An unusual way of saving time or storage space, bringing some originality into the standard Video Game Settings: Take two stock settings and combine them into one. Bonus points if the two are diametric opposites. Triple word score if the two are actually Lethal Lava Land and Slippy-Slidey Ice World; the pervasiveness of this combination probably stems from the fact that these are the two level themes that can be definitely called "opposites" and the fact that Color Contrast between the two makes the level more visually interesting. (It's also one of the few cases where such a thing is remotely plausible; see the Real Life section of the examples.)

The simplest way is to divide the area in half. Half of it is one stage, the other is the second kind. This can also be done chronologically, where the stage is the first way in the first half of the game, but gets changed in the second. A really clever designer will combine them into a coherent whole (bonus points if the combination makes sense).

In some cases, a game's entire setting may be focused on one trope, which may combine with the others by necessity.

See also Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot. See Patchwork Map for when this occurs in the overworld. If done to a whole planet, you're likely dealing with a Tidally Locked Planet.

Example Subpages:

Other Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Bofuri: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense.: The 3rd floor of the 7th event tower starts in a lava cave, and tunnels of hardened lava lead to an ice cave where a "10,000 year ice" item could drop from enemies. It can be used to freeze parts of the lava cave for a short time, while normal ice skills melt instantly. The boss is a golem that can switch itself and the arena into lava and ice forms. If you beat the boss without using the "10,000 year ice", you are granted a lava skill "Great Eruption".
  • One Piece: The first New World island the Straw Hats visit, Punk Hazard, is half-fire, half-ice. On one side, you have a sea of boiling red water, dragons, and volcanoes. On the other half, a mountain of ice and snow storms, separated from the fire half only by a large lake. This formerly normal island was redecorated when Aokiji and Akainu fought there for ten days straight two years ago. Over the course of the arc, that lake in the center became poisonous.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: On the plane of Kaldheim, the realm of Surtland is a land of freezing temperatures and volcanic activity, where geysers and volcanoes burst through glaciers and snowbanks before freezing midair and high, icy peaks rise above gorges filled with rivers of lava. The land's inhabitants are equally divided, being split between the reclusive frost giants who live alone on the high peaks and the tribes of barbaric fire giants of the fiery lowlands.

    Comic Strips 

     Fan Works 
  • Later, Traitor:
    • When Frazie is being mentored by Phoebe to learn how to use Pyrokinesis, her mind is "Phoebe's Fire Mix Tape", a cool music club in a hot volcanic area. When Frazie accidentally burns the club down, Phoebe loses her groove and becomes despondent. When Frazie goes back into Phoebe's mind to fix her mistakes, she finds the area has turned into a new mindscape called "Phoebe's Frosty Funk", a desolate arctic wasteland.
    • When Milla and Sasha offer to train Frazie in the art of Levitation and Psi-Blasting, they take her into a shared mindscape. The reason it is shared is because of their semi-permanent psychic connection. It's described in the story as a mix of Sasha and Milla's mindscapes from canon, which are both very different from each other in terms of aesthetic and structure.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Hook, the Lost Boys' home is in an enormous tree and its surroundings, which are separated into four distinct sections including all four seasons.
  • Kingsman: The Golden Circle: Poppy Land is a set of ancient ruins in Cambodia converted into a 50's-era style town and containing a couple robots.

  • The Chronicles of Amber: The Keep of the Four Worlds: lava, an ocean, mountains, and a dusty plain with never-ending tornadoes, with the castle at the place where all four intersect. (The name is literal; if you manage to head out into one of the quadrants, you'll find they're each a complete world within its own plane of Shadow and the boundaries where they meet only exist when near and heading toward the Keep.)
  • Angband, Morgoth's abode in The Silmarillion, is basically Mordor meets Grim Up North. It combines the worst of both hells. You've got arctic surroundings, barren desert plains, rivers of lava, giant slag volcanoes, vast underground dungeons, the works. Plus proximity to terrifying-sounding locations like the Grinding Ice, the Land of the Shadow of Horror, the Gasping Dust, the Hill of the Slain, the Mountains of Horror, the Forest Under Night, and the Valley of Dreadful Death, all of which are also evil or horrible places.
  • Pops up in Samuel R. Delany's Nova as a side effect of Terraforming. Frozen moons and planets can be heated to about room temperature using Illyrion, but this may produce apparently non-erupting volcanic cracks and lava rivers. Moons are heated at the core and the warmth is evenly distributed over entire surface. Planets are too large for this, and are heated only under each city. The heroes visit one such city, laying on the bank of frozen sea, with a (walled) lava river called Gold running across it.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • In the Norse Mythology creation myth, Yggdrasil (the Nine Realms that make up the universe) began as two solitary worlds: the fiery realm Muspelheim and the cold, dark world of Nifleheim. When these two realms collided, the melted ice became the primordial giant Ymir, whose body was then used to craft the other seven realms.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Changeling: The Lost: Fae Realms can follow any internal logic as long as they're accessible and survivable — anything else would just be a daydream of the Fae who created it. In a volcanic Realm, the heat is unnaturally mild, but ice and snow radiate deadly cold.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Elemental Chaos is a place where the laws of physics can be a bit screwy (you can have oceans made out of lightning), so places like those described in the trope are not unheard of. Furthermore, there are actual creatures that embody this trope, being lava-ice creatures.
    • Mungoth is the third layer of Gehenna and like the first two, it's an endless volcanic slope. Despite the geographic similarities, its volcanic activity is milder and it's colder as a result. One consequence of this is a ubiquitous caustic snowfall that accumulates in less active areas. Even away from the lava flows, the ever-present heat from the ground melts the snow to form dangerous mudslides.

    Web Animation 
  • In the Vytal tournament underway in RWBY Volume 3, the arena randomises two halves of the arena with two terrain modules, plus the unchanging neutral zone in the centre. During Team RWBY's clash with Team ABRN, the arena is the combination of Lethal Lava Land and Slippy-Slidey Ice World that is classic to this trope, but other variations have come up, such as a desert/ocean arena and a forest/plains arena.


    Web Original 
  • This Not Always Working story has the poster retaliate against a food thief stealing his ice cream by making a batch of mint ice cream. Since the thief was using the ice cream to dull the pain of a spicy meal, the mint flavour causes what is effectively this trope applied directly to the tongue.

    Web Video 
  • Critical Role: The frozen islands of Eiselcross have many lingering aftereffects from an ancient magical catastrophe, including a mile-wide lava river that bisects the island Foren, believed to be a link to the Elemental Plane of Fire. Natural snow and ice are unaffected by its heat, so it's possible to cross on foot after a heavy blizzard.
  • Stampy's Lovely World: The Big Bad's main fortress is located in a cold biome surrounded by an icy ocean. The fire part is from the lava moat surrounding the fortress. The Dragon, Veeva Dash, complains about this.
    Veeva Dash: (tweeting) The castle is boiling hot and surrounded by ice. I am either melting or freezing here! We have to move once this world is ours.

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien features a planet which is this. Due to the planet's rotation being in perfect sync with its orbit, one side always faces the sun while the other is always pointed away. The result is one side being a scorching, barren, wasteland while the other half is frozen solid. There is however a thin habitable zone within the two regions.
  • In the Total Drama Pahkitew Island episode "Scarlett Fever", due to Scarlett tampering with the artificial island's weather controls it results in one side side of the island being set on fire, while the other half is frozen over.

    Real Life 
  • Mount Erebus in Antarctica has a lava lake surrounded by snow and ice.
  • Iceland — most recently, the volcanic eruptions in Spring 2010 in a glacial area, providing some stunning pictures.
  • Yellowstone, particularly in the winter.
  • Desserts that are usually served hot (like Apple Pie or Chocolate Lava Cake) then topped with ice cream rely on this dynamic and are best eaten IMMEDIATELY to get the full effect. Fried Ice-Cream especially so. An affogato is ice cream topped with a fresh hot shot of espresso.
  • In winter, most active volcanoes whose crater is above the snowline are like this.
  • Hawaii's Big Island is home to several different environments. From a desert made of miles and miles of black rock, to mountaintops with occasional snow, to a rainforest (where Kona Coffee's coffee plantation is found), to more temperate zones, and of course an active volcano. The Big Island has been described as having every climate in the book, except for arctic tundra.
  • Jupiter's moon Io. A highly volcanic world that is located far enough from Sun for the temperatures to drop to -150°C (-238°F) when it's not erupting.
  • The "snowball Earth" period early in our planet's history is thought to have ended because of the accumulating atmospheric greenhouse gases released through volcanism.
  • The exoplanet Corot-7b is tidally locked and extremely close to its parent star. Half of the planet is a literal Lethal Lava Land at 1800°C to 2600°C (3300°F to 4700°F) at the subsolar point; the opposite side, which never sees the star, might well be two hundred degrees below freezingnote 
  • The planet Mercury is close to the sun and spins very slowly. However, its almost negligible atmosphere means that heat isn't kept in very well. In the daytime, it can get to be 427°C (800°F), but at night it can get as cold as -173°C (-280°F). Altogether, it's the planet with the widest range of temperatures in our solar system.
  • Los Angeles is mostly hot, but there's a mountain range (complete with snow) approximately 35 miles away.
  • Up in Washington, there’s the Olympic Peninsula, with its eponymous rainforest and mountain range. Smack dab in its rain shadow is Sequim (pronounced Squim), which gets sixteen inches of rain per year, rivaling Eastern Washington’s desert and scrubland. The wettest place in the contiguous United States (130.6 inches per year) is the city of Aberdeen, eighty-three miles to the southwest- in other words, about a two-or-three-hour drive. Not only that, but the wettest place in North America- Henderson Lake on Vancouver Island- gets twice as much rain as Aberdeen and fifteen times as much as Sequim, while being only 114 miles away.
  • Arizona is well known for its scorching hot desert regions, especially the Grand Canyon and the southern cities of Phoenix and Scottsdale, but the northern half of the state houses the massive Coconino National Forest, which is cool enough to generate snow and ice during the winter.
  • Glacial caverns form naturally where hot springs arise underneath glaciers, melting and sculpting the surrounding ice with their boiling water and steam. Such caverns grow and evolve much like conventional cave networks, but on a vastly accelerated time-scale: where a limestone cave system may take millions of years to be eroded into existence, a glacial cave system can arise, expand, develop spectacular ice formations, and ultimately collapse within a decade.
  • The planet Gliese 436b is a massive, Neptune-sized planet composed entirely of ice. It is also so close to its parent star that it is constantly burning, and yet it has never melted!
  • While snow is usually not something that is associated with the tropics, it does snow there when it gets high enough, which can be strange for those not accustomed to that thing. The snow line is above 4,500 m, twice that of temperate places, but there are many tropical places higher than that threshold. The Andes from South America is a particularly famous example, with hundreds of perpetually white mountain peaks lying on the tropics literally next door from the hot, sticky Amazon rainforest. In Africa, there are Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya.
  • Although it is vanishingly rare, there have been several confirmed reports of snow falling on the Sahara, the latest one occurring on 18 January 2021. This shouldn't be a surprise since the Sahara partly lies on the subtropics and was a verdant place until the Bronze Age.

Cranky Kong: Back in my day, you'd be lucky to have any discernible level theme; usually, you'd just get a completely black background with some basic tile textures for you to move around on. Now you kids are so spoiled with all these diverse themes that you've resorted to combining them in crazy ways because you're bored with the old ones!


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Composite Level


Meat Circus

As a merging of Raz and Oleander's minds, the Meat Circus is a horrifying mix of "circus" and "butcher shop".

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

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Main / HailfirePeaks

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