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Hidden Elf Village

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"Wakandans used vibranium to develop technologies more advanced than any other nation. But as Wakanda thrived, the world descended further into chaos. To keep vibranium safe, the Wakandans vowed to hide in plain sight, keeping the truth of their power from the outside world."

This is a Small, Secluded World populated by a tribe or group who comes to the pragmatic decision that what goes on outside their borders no longer is or has never been their problem and choose to hole themselves up in some distant or inaccessible location because of some ancient evil or out of general disgust of others. If the villagers aren't outright xenophobic, they're only as polite as they need to be once they suggest you not stay very long. Especially isolationist villages may even consider outsiders to be "Not Of the People". Just as often, they manage to become a fantastically rich City of Gold, harmonious Ghibli Hills, or at the least a decent place to live (just mind the dark secret). On the flip side, the rest of the world will judge you by the few they encounter: those you cast out. You'll be judged by your garbage.

May be justified if the setting is Post Apocalyptic and hiding out allowed them to escape The End of the World as We Know It. In this case, expect much in the way of What If? angst and a running debate of My God, What Have I Done? vs I Did What I Had to Do. Depending on where the story is on the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism, The Protagonist may choose to Must Make Amends or shrug.

If the village is planned by the writers, there's a good chance that someone in the main cast is a member of this group (such as The Exile). There's also a chance that a reformed villain might shack up here in the epilogue, as he'd be rejected elsewhere.

Sometimes the moral is about respecting other people's opinions and pacifist approaches to violence. Other times it's An Aesop about evil happening when good men do nothing. Expect the inhabitants of the village to turn around their opinions and slowly reintegrate themselves into the surrounding culture. In video games, this usually happens just as one of the villains burns down the village after its defenses go to pot.

Not to be confused with Vanishing Village, although the inhabitants thereof usually turn their town into one if they have the phlebotinum to pull it off.

This is Older Than Radio: it was well enough known in the 18th century that both Swift and Voltaire could satirize it (the island of the Houyhnhnms in Gulliver's Travels and El Dorado in Candide, respectively).

This is also Truth in Television. Japan, for instance, was mostly cut off from the rest of the world by government policy, as were Burma, Tibet, and the whole peninsula of Korea at different times. See Neutral No Longer for when the people in this village can no longer stand by quietly.

Inhabitants are not required to be Elves, but you can expect Space Amish or Space Elves of the Proud Scholar Race sort or Perfect Pacifist People to reside here. It can be a Close-Knit Community. May contain a Superweapon Surprise.

Tree Top Town is a common subtrope. If they're highly advanced, see Advanced Ancient Acropolis. If supposedly mythical creatures live there, it's a Fantastic Nature Reserve. Compare City in a Bottle and Outcast Refuge. Contrast The Outside World.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Chapter 86 of Attack on Titan revealed that the Walls are actually the Vestigial Empire of Eldia situated on an island named Paradis, as it was the "First King's" will to completely isolate his people from the rest of the world and specially from the technologically advanced Marleyan kingdom.
  • Elysia, a village with towering trees and overflowing with mana, in Black Clover is in a Strong Magic Region in the Heart Kingdom that was established by the descendants of Licht and Tetia. After the battle against Zagred and dispelling of the Reincarnation Magic, Licht, Rhya, Fana, and Vetto chose to live there.
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Windmasters has the gang traveling to the Wind Village, a secluded world in the middle of the Mongolian plains whose era seemed to be stuck in ancient Mongol times.
  • Meteor City in Hunter × Hunter is an inversion: Its inhabitants will accept anything given to them and anyone who chooses to live there, but they will not allow any outsiders to take anything from them (though it's okay if it's voluntary and without duress). There are a lot of exceptionally strong fighters who live in Meteor City or grew up there, as well as a lot of suicide bombers, so the rest of the world's nations respect those rules.
  • In Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, the retreat of Tokugawa Japan from the rest of the world is given a different reasoning. A disease is killing off many of the men and the privy council ruling in the name of the dead shogun fears the outside world moving in for easy pickings.
  • The titular village in Pandemonium Wizard Village is populated by variants. Rumors persist that the people there have incredible magic powers, including control over Sky Golems. However, the truth is there is no magic, and they've chosen to hide themselves away due to the discrimination their kind faces.
  • Ashitaka's Emishi tribe in Princess Mononoke, though as the last surviving pocket of an ethnic group thought to have been wiped out centuries ago, their strictly-enforced isolationism isn't without reason.
  • Queen's Blade once had a literal hidden elf village in a forest. It was destroyed in Rebellion, leaving Nowa, Alleyne, and Echidna the only three elves who survived the destruction.
  • Marhawa Academy, where Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire takes place, is a school campus as large as a small town and even has its own shopping mall. It's also isolationist by nature, as it's nestled deep in the woods with communication to the outside world non-existent while within the confines of the campus, and those who are within it are largely wary of outsiders. The Big Bad of this series exploits this by dismantling all of the vehicles within the academy prior to instigating the outbreak throughout the campus, with the intention of ensuring that no one within the academy would be able to get help from the B.S.A.A. in time to halt the massacre.
  • Tenchi's hometown in Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki turns out to be this, as an enclave of a long-lived branch family of Human Aliens who happen to be part of the galaxy's royal family(which is one of the reasons nobody raises any noise despite the regularity Mihoshi crashes her ship into the lake). It's secluded on Earth due to upholding The Masquerade, but also from the galactic empire at large because due to Tenchi's Chick Magnet-ness, it also happens to be the single greatest concentration of power in the universe.


    Card Games 
  • The kithkin, a race of halflings in Magic: The Gathering's Shadowmoor setting, are paranoid and xenophobic in the extreme, holing themselves up in walled castles and brandishing Torches and Pitchforks against anyone who isn't just like them.
  • In the backstory for the Duel Terminal sets in Yu-Gi-Oh!, the Ice Barrier monsters play this role, choosing to stay back and protect said barrier rather than help fight the Worm invasion.
    • Pictured above is "Secret Village of the Spellcasters".

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix's home village could easily use their magic invincibility potion to throw the Romans out of Gaul, but seems content with using it only to keep them out of their place, or to help people who ask them directly.
  • In The DCU:
    • Themiscyra, a.k.a. Paradise Island (Hidden Amazon Village), home of Wonder Woman.
    • Gorilla City, home to a race of talking gorillas uplifted by aliens.
    • Nanda Parbat, the DCU's Shangri-La.
    • Trevor Island, a South Pacific island owned entirely by Admiral Derek Trevor, who married Joan Dale (Miss America) and adopted and raised Hippolyta "Lyta" Trevor as his daughter, appearing near the end of the first Infinity, Inc. series. This was to be the substitute for Paradise Island from the Wonder Woman franchise in regard to Lyta's upbringing.
    • Daxam, home of Valor and most often appearing in the Superman and Green Lantern comics, is a hidden elf planet. Its inhabitants are incredibly racist and xenophobic, even after their lives are saved by the Green Lantern Corps.
  • In Elfes et Nains, most of the Elven races have hidden or very hard-to-reach settlements. The Wood Elves live at the heart of the great forest of Duhann, and none has managed to reach it until the Wood Elves opened to their allies. The White Elves used to live on secret islands whose locations were only known to them. The Dark Elves all live on the fortress of Slurce, perched at the top of a mountain in the middle of a wasteland they can effortlessly watch. The only exception is the city of Elsémur, the capital of the Northen Blue Elves which is a hub of trade routes and regularly deals with neighboring kingdoms; on the other hand it is situated in the middle of the sea, and only the most powerful navies can invade it.
  • Sorrow's End in ElfQuest is an oasis in the middle of an inhospitable desert, established in an attempt to escape human persecution. The inhabitants aren't exactly hostile to outsiders, at least those of their own species, but they do end up having to defend it against hostile elves and later humans. After thousands of years the village eventually falls. Although the invaders are defeated and most of the villagers survive, it's a pyrrhic victory because the village is destroyed and the survivors have to take refuge in abandoned troll caverns beneath the desert, before eventually being found and relocated by the other elves in the flying Palace of the High Ones.
    • Blue Mountain may have been written as a darker counterpart to Sorrow's End — what if isolation goes far too far. To get it out of the way: There are exactly five known survivors. One of them, Winnowill, had been some kind of insane probably for millennia, directly caused by their isolation, since it made her healing magic superfluous and "fester". She became the Big Bad of several subseries, also creating some nasty monsters on the side. One of the other survivors, Door, was her apprentice, or driven mad by her somehow, and became a tyrannical god-king, Big Bad of Forevergreen. Then there is her son, who in all likelihood would not have been born if she'd been sane. Imagining ElfQuest without Two-Edge engineering a war to figure out who he is is left as exercise to people who know the series.
  • The Indiana Jones Dark Horse comic series Thunder in the Orient includes a stop in Chanri-Ha, an unmapped city in Tibet that the main characters assume is the real inspiration of the mythical Shangri-La. Chanri-Ha is mostly, but not entirely sealed off from foreign contact: the locals submitted in its day to Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan (though their image was twisted over time so much they were condensed into a single figure of worship, the conquering god Zan-khan), and by the end of the number they are attacked by a Chinese warlord.
  • The Marvel Universe has a bunch of these:
    • Attilan, (Hidden Inhuman Village) which had the extra fun of getting moved about to stay hidden. It began as a faux Atlantis in the Backstory which later became The Shangri-La, and then alternated between that role and being placed on the moon.
    • The actual Atlantis, and a similar city called Lemuria in the Pacific Ocean. Both were once bodies of land, but were sunk in great cataclysms and then became (Hidden Apparently Human Merfolk Villages).
    • Black Panther sometimes has Wakanda as this, keeping itself isolated from the rest of the world to protect its supply of Vibranium. Sometimes this attitude is deconstructed, such as in Infinity Wars, where in a Bad Future aliens invade Earth and enslave a lot of people, but Wakanda stays safe and isolated. Erik Killraven, one of the humans enslaved, is told by his mom about Wakanda and he grows up completely pissed at them for not doing anything, eventually deciding to travel back in time, kill Wakanda's royal family and burn the place to the ground.
    • The Fantastic Four eventually ran afoul of New Salem (Hidden Mage Species Village) in Colorado due to hiring a witch as an au pair for their son Franklin.
    • The Shogun Warriors featured the Followers of the Light and their enemies, two groups of aliens living in hidden enclaves. Both places were destroyed at the end of that series.
    • The Eternals had Olympia (Greece), Polaria (Siberia), and Oceana (the Pacific Ocean) to live majestically in (Hidden Physical God Villages) when they weren't slumming it among mortals.
    • Marvel's Beneath the Earth realm is called Subterranea. Its original inhabitants were the Eternals' enemies the Deviants (who still inhabit parts of it), but most of the place is just inhabited by the various creatures (both humanoids and giant monsters they genetically engineered over the millennia and then abandoned. The Mole Man and Tyrannus are both humans who have carved out empires down there by enslaving these creatures. Mole Man's empire's tunnels extend to a surface island called Monster Island.
    • Subverted with the Golden Age hero Rock Man. In his original stories, he was portrayed as the king of a subterranean realm who periodically came to the surface to fight evil. The much more recent miniseries The Twelve revealed that this was likely a delusion he retreated to after his hometown was destroyed by coal barons in response to his attempts to unionize. Possibly.
    • The floating island of the Bird People, home to both Golden Age hero Red Raven and the giant two-headed Hulk enemy Bi-Beast.
    • And K'un-Lun, the Marvel Universe's Shangri-La (at least, the one that's unrelated to the Inhumans). It's associated mostly with Iron Fist.
  • Albion in the pre-soft reboot Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) was a city filled with Echidnas, hidden away from the rest of the world and believed that they didn't need to help Mobius. This came back and bit them in the ass thanks to a Chaos-powered Knuckles and Dr. Finitevus.
    • Archie Sonic serves as a subversion if not a deconstruction of the Hidden Elf Village. No matter how well concealed your town/city/village is, if Sonic can easily find you, so can Robotnik/Eggman. Also it's not a good idea to put up an air of superiority. The Echidnas along with several other races learned that the hard and painful way.
  • The Smurfs! At least in the original books and the first few seasons of the TV show. In The Smurfs and the Magic Flute, the Smurf Village could be reached by humans only through a magical method called "hypnokinesis".

    Fan Works 
  • Beyond the Wall: The village where the story takes place is located in the middle of a forest (implied to be the Everfree Forest), surrounded by a giant stone wall that keeps anypony from getting in or out.
  • Code Prime: Horai Island, which the High Eunuchs don't even know exists, is fitted with a shield generator that hides it from both the naked eye and radio frequencies. With the Ark airborn again, the civilian refugees are moved there in order to keep them out of harm's way while the Autobots and Black Knights take the fight to the Decepticons.
  • The Desert Storm: The planet which Yoda's species live on is one. It's located in a hidden nebula that normally requires the Force to navigate, the people use no technology and are very isolationist, and the planet itself doesn't even have a name.
  • Dragon's Dance: The village of Ryu's Gift, which is hidden deep in the remote mountains. Their inhabitants shun most interaction with the outside world and keep secret the dragons who live among them there, out of fear of being targeted by warlords the way they were in the distant past.
  • The Elements of Friendship has the deer village of Harthind, which has kept itself isolated from the rest of the world for centuries. When the Mane Six stumble across it during their quest, the extreme circumstances are the only reason that the village elders don't forcibly turn them away as well.
  • The sentient dinosaurs in Mesozoic Effect turn Earth into one when they realize that their thousand-plus years of pacifism have left them with no hope of defeating the invading Reapers in battle. They successfully pull it off for over a hundred million years, until a damaged Reaper accidentally stumbles into them. When the cryonically frozen survivors wake up 65 million years later, they decide to take a much more aggressive approach to the problem.
  • In The Smurfette Village series, the new Smurf Village is hidden in the forests of Canada, while the Smurfette Village (up until it was destroyed) was hidden near the coasts of Ireland.
  • Equestria in The Son of the Emperor uses a magical barrier to isolate itself from the rest of the world. No one on the outside knows anything about it.
  • Tails's hometown, Shadakor, in the fanfic Tails Underground is one of these, despite having the might to challenge Robotnik's empire. Why is a mystery Sonic and his siblings try to discover when they return him there.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Secret Panda Village in Kung Fu Panda 3, justified in-universe as they had to hide to avoid extermination by a powerful noble.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Island at the Top of the World (1974): Set in 1907, it has a surviving Viking village in a remote Arctic island.
  • Last of the Dogmen: The Dog Soldiers have been living in the unexplored Montana wilderness for 128 years since they fled the Sand Creek Massacre, and have had no contact with the modern world beyond a few violent encounters with intruders.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Thor: Ragnarok: Asgard, which traditionally is the protector of all Nine Realms, has become very non-interventionistic under Loki's rule while he's pretending to be Odin. Thor notes that the other Realms have fallen into chaos due to the lack of help from Asgard while Asgard is "prospering", according to Loki.
      Loki as Odin: Well, it is best to respect our neighbors' freedom...
    • Black Panther (2018): Wakanda is an extremely technologically advanced society which hides in plain sight as a depressed third-world country. While theoretically justified, as they wanted to keep their very valuable natural resource from falling into the wrong hands, Wakanda itself is largely a deconstruction of the trope; despite said advancement, they do not share their progress with the world and don't seem to have advanced culturally for hundreds of years, still partaking in ritualistic violence to choose leaders and with no obvious participation in government by ordinary people. In the end, it's subverted as T'Challa realizes the error of their ways, thanks to the villain Killmonger, and decides to open up Wakanda to the world.
    • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has Ta Lo, an isolationist village in Another Dimension that also doubles as a Fantastic Nature Reserve for all manner of creatures from Chinese mythology. On a darker note, it's also the stopper on the Sealed Evil in a Can that the villain is being suckered into opening...
    • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: Talokan is an aquatic kingdom founded by 16th century Mayans who fled Spanish colonization and have remained hidden due to fear of the surface world. Deposits of vibranium on the ocean bed have allowed them to develop a technologically advanced society capable of rivaling Wakanda should war erupt. The creation of a vibranium detector, which could guide outsiders to their nation, convinces Talokan that they can only remain safe by wiping out the surface world. In the end, Shuri - as de facto ruler of Wakanda and the new Black Panther - makes the decision to ally with Talokan and their leader Namor in a mutual defense pact, ensuring Talokan's continued secrecy and ending the hostilities between their two nations.
  • The Santa Clause: The North Pole. Complete with a school, mayor, and factories to make the toys, obviously. Santa tries to disguise it as a Canadian manufacturing village when he brings his in-laws, who haven't been given the "Santa Secret," yet. It just had a lot of short Canadians.
  • Six Reasons Why: To the west of The Badlands lies a Utopian community that has closed its gates to what it sees as the sin and corruption of the rest of the Post Apocalyptic world. According to a pilgrim searching for it at the start of the film, there are no criminals, no whores, and no violence there.
  • Snow White & the Huntsman: Sanctuary is an enclave in the heart of the Dark Forest, untouched by the poisonous presence of Queen Ravenna.note 
  • The Phantom Menace: The Gungan city meets all the requirements easily. Hidden apart from the rest of the world (underwater), main character (Jar-Jar) comes from there, and later they return to get the Gungans to fight alongside them in the final battle.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): Themyscira, or Paradise Island (Steve can't pronounce the name), is hidden by a magical fog, somewhere in the Mediterranean. When Diana tries to leave, Hippolyta tells her that she may never come back; not in the "you will be banished from here" way, but in a "you might not find your way back" way.

  • Atlas Shrugged: Galt's Gulch. Initially, it's just a retreat from the awful proletariat, becoming this in time. (Deconstructed in BioShock.)
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The Oompa-Loompas come from Loompaland, a Death World of fearsome predators. The little people created a Tree Top Town to afford some safety, but it wasn't an ideal situation because there was virtually nothing decent for them to eat. When Willy Wonka, in need of a new workforce, discovered them and learned that more than anything else, they craved cacao beans (the basis of chocolate), he made them an offer: If they'd come and work for him, they could live in his factory — an Elaborate Underground Base — and have all the cacao beans they wanted. They jumped at the offer, and he secretly transported the entire tribe to his factory. Moving from one form of isolation to another (owing to Mr. Wonka's determination to keep spies out of the factory, the reason he sacked his original workforce), they were able to create a new system of villages and towns in the factory.
  • Creature of Havoc: Stittle Woad is a Tree Top Town that guards the secrets of elven magic, with powerful enchantments to hide it from people who intrude in the forest. Those enchantments didn't account for technological advances, though, so the Evil Sorcerer Zharradan Marr commandeers a magitek airship and hunts it down from above.
  • The Dark Tower: The Waste Lands: Eddie hopes to find this in the devastated city of Lud. Even saying, "Bring on those wise f*** in' Elves." Given that he's in a Crapsack World, this doesn't happen.
    • At the time, Eddie had just left the closest thing he was likely to find to this in the Crapsack World of the Dark Tower, a hidden village of elderly folks who are always hiding from bandits and disguise their town as abandoned ruins by, well, living in a ruined town and not going outside a lot. They don't offer much in the way of sagely advice or magical / technological help, but they do set a mean table.
  • Dinotopia: The titular island.
  • Dragon Wars Saga: The elf realms of Andur'Blough, Inninness, and Tymwyvenne are both extremely secretive and magically protected (the former by a spell that prevents explorers from finding the place without being guided there, the latter by zombies and sleep-inducing pollen).
  • Eldest: Ellesmera, the capital city of the elves.
  • Gamearth Trilogy: Has a female player sneak into the game room at night paint a Hidden Elf Village on a single tile of the hexagonal world map, then paint over it. Since the game is magic and their PCs are rapidly becoming self-aware, when the party lands on the seemingly blank space the next morning, the village is there, waiting for them.
  • Gormenghast: Might qualify, although to what extent its isolation is intentional isn't clear.
  • Hari-Lek by "Ganpat". Harry Lake and his pals find a remote valley populated by the Christianised descendants of one of Alexander the Great's legions, somewhere in Central Asia. This was set shortly after World War I and written in 1925 — probably the last time when such a thing would have been just about possible in real life.
  • Harry Potter: The Wizarding World exists as a network of magically hidden buildings, safehouses, and miniature towns squirreled away throughout the countryside and cities of the British Isles. By internationally agreed-upon law, wizards around the world live under a code of secrecy so extreme that some are completely incapable of functioning outside their little enclaves. Of course, some don't function too well even inside their own communities. Arguably a subversion of the trope; rather than being hidden away because it's so perfect, the Wizarding World has its own societal ills including crime, prejudice, and institutional corruption. If those ills were to fully spill over into the non-magical community, the results could be disastrous.
  • Heralds of Valdemar: The Hawkbrothers' Vales.
  • The Hero is Overpowered but Overly Cautious: The Dragon Village is the home of the dragonkin/dragonewts, and can only be accessed by a teleporter in the Dragons' Den due to the village being on a distant and phantasmal continent.
  • Island: Pala is a Hidden Elf Island Utopia populated by Perfect Pacifist People.
  • John Carter of Mars: Too many to count, but the ones that stand out are:
    • The White Martians, who dwell in the South Pole and are believed to have been long extinct, and used a false religion to lure other Martians into their realm to enslave and devour them. There are another two White races that dwell secretly such as the Lotharians in Torquas and the Orovar in Horz.
    • The Black Martians who live underground and also created a religion of their own to prey on the White Martians. They technically don't count, since they regularly get out to raid outsiders for food and slaves, although most common belief about the Black Martians is incorrect — outsiders think they are pirates from one of Mars' moons, instead of being one of the very first civilizations to develop on the planet.
    • The Yellow Martians live inside domed city-states in the extreme North of Mars and keep outsiders at bay using their technology to bring down any ships that venture too close, and due to the hostile conditions of the land, it's near impossible to reach these destinations on foot.
  • Journey to Chaos: The people of Dnnac Ledo have gone to great lengths to keep the location of their village a secret. 99% of them also insist that any mana mutation problem threatening "the temps" has nothing to do with them. This changes during Mana Mutation Menace. Inviting the Mana Mutation Summit delegates to reconvene there is so tempting that none of them can resist, and instead, they agree to drop whatever grievance they have to go there.
  • Land of Oz: The entire country is situated inside an impenetrable desert that kills anyone who tries to cross it.
  • Last Mage: Shambala. Abandoned by all the inhabitants save an impressive AI and a Knight Templar dormant Eldritch Abomination.
  • Lilith's Brood: There is a hidden mountain village where the citizens have become so isolated from the rest of the world that they all suffer horrible genetic diseases from inbreeding.
  • Lost Horizon: One of the most famous examples of this trope, and the one that is the codifier for The Shangri-La. The secluded lamastery and surrounding valley do not allow just anyone to enter or leave, and are detached from the outside world.
  • Loyal Enemies: Ash Grove ("ash" as in the tree) is an entire Hidden Elf City, although it's split into a dryad half and an elven half. Only the latter is hidden, and that's because the elves don't want dryads "infesting" their part of the city after some imagined spat. They've surrounded their city with illusions, making it look like there's nothing there from afar, and as the story is set in the middle of winter, the elves have also raised a magical snow wall for good measure. No dryads allowed. This falls flat, however, because they and the dryads share a spy agency, and the dryads, themselves a very isolationist bunch squirreled away in their half of Ash Grove, just collectively shrug their shoulders. Both halves of Ash Grove remain in a state of eternal summer, the dryards due to their clever landscaping and the elves thanks to their Staff of Fertility.
  • The Man Who Would be King: Kaffiristan, both the original novella and the movie adaptation. This is based on an actual region in real life (see below).
  • Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn: The Sithi city of Jao é-tinukai'i is one of these. To be fair, they had plenty of justification: they were on the losing end of a catastrophic war and had been hunted by humans for centuries thereafter. That doesn't stop their Always Chaotic Evil counterparts, the Norns, from taking advantage of their isolationism to wreak all kinds of havoc, up to and including unleashing an unstoppable undead horror on the land. Furthermore, both the Sithi and Norns are exiles from a mythical land far to the west of Osten Ard known as the Garden.
  • Michael Moorcock's: The various forms of Tanelorn, a city that exists as a sort of cosmic rest stop for the Eternal Champion, who nonetheless is always compelled to leave eventually.
  • Mockingjay: District 13 is a particularly non-whimsical example. After forming a non-aggression pact with the Capitol 75 years previously, they have remained physically and politically isolated from the rest of Panem (to the extent that the 12 other districts believe they were entirely wiped out). While this allowed them to retain their independence and arsenal of weaponry - as well as never being forced to participate in the Hunger Games - the result was an austere, militaristic lifestyle marked by immense struggles in early decades.
  • Mythago Wood: George Huxley finds one deep within the Bigger on the Inside Ryhope Wood:
    The village is the legendary palisaded village, hidden in a valley, or across a remote mountain, where the pure folk live, the old inhabitants of the land who have never been found by the conqueror. A strong and persisting myth across many centuries, and startling to me since I lived within a mythago … the village itself, and all its inhabitants are created from the racial unconsciousness. This, so far, is the most powerful myth landscape in the wood, that I have discovered.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Camp Half-Blood may count as it also possesses magic barriers aside from just hiding the demigods, but the sequel series Heroes of Olympus has Camp Jupiter and the adjoining city of New Rome.
  • Record of Lodoss War: The Forest of No Return is the home of the elves of Lodoss. To ward off any visitors, the forest changes shape and traps them inside with the intent that they die trying to escape. While most elves try to stay, several have left to see the world for themselves, namely Deedlit and Pirotess.
  • Rick Brant: The Lost City feature a valley inhabited by the descendants of Genghis Khan's subjects, who have had almost no contact with the modern world since Khan's death.
  • Rune Soldier Louie: After being captured by Louie, Celecia pretends to guide him and his friends back to her village, and walks them straight into a trap set by her people. Though she does speak on their behalf, while they're there, to prevent them from being executed for trespassing into their forest.
  • Seirei Gensouki: Spirit Chronicles: The various races of the Seirei no Tami live in a secluded forest to avoid humans. Bonus points for elves being among those races. Few humans, such as the main character Rio, are allowed to enter their civilization due to past conflicts.
  • The Shadowhunter Chronicles: Idris. It's an entire country that is hidden in the maps. It is sandwiched between France, Germany, and Switzerland, but no mundanes can enter it by simply stumbling upon it, because a magical enchantment will simply transport them to the other side, while most Shadowhunters travel to it through portals anyway. According to Shadowhunter legends, the angel Raziel designated it to be a safe place for Shadowhunters a thousand years ago and since then it has had no direct contact with the mundane world, hence why it lives in perpetual Medieval Stasis (no cars, no electricity, etc).
  • Shannara: Lampshaded, where it's pointed out in Elfstones that while the Elves and other Faerie creatures used to live by this standard, it aided in general apocalypse and thus when humanity started to rebuild, they joined the newly formed races.
    • Becomes a plot point in the later Scions of Shannara series, where due to the arrival of the Shadowen, the Elves have once again formed a Hidden Elf Village, and it's absolutely necessary to bring them back.
  • Sime Gen: The Rathorites are a secret society/hidden community who have tools that could go a long way towards fixing the problems of the world, but won't reveal them because they could be misused.
  • So I'm a Spider, So What?:
    • The elves live in a single isolated village protected by a powerful magic barrier. Entry is strictly regulated and the only ones who regularly leave are on the business of their leader, Potimas, or half-elves who are exiled at adulthood. Potimas is responsible for the world's current state and everyone who knows it wants him and the elves dead. The isolated village keeps them at bay while he continues his research into MA energy and the System.
    • The country of interstice was an isolated country blocked off from the other nations by mountain ranges controlled by dragons. Monsters were docile, life was easy, and skills were not needed. Gyurie created it as a safe haven where demons and humans tired of the Forever War could live together in peace and to protect souls on the verge of collapse. Unfortunately it was destroyed by Wrath while Gyurie was otherwise preoccupied.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Shinovar is the country variant. It's quite a large country, but it's completely isolated from the rest of the continent by mountains, with only a single small pass allowing outsiders in. The Shin greatly disapprove of outsiders, due to starkly different religions and cultures, and rarely allow them into the country. Even fewer Shin leave, since part of their religion makes it blasphemy to walk on bare stone, while the entire rest of the continent is nothing but bare stone. Speaking of which, Shinovar's ecology is completely different from the rest of the continent, looking normal to us while the rest of Roshar looks more like an underwater coral reef. Visitors find the land completely alien.
  • Talion: Revenant: A literal example. Nolan discusses the fact that the elves have a city hidden deep in the vast woods where they live, but no human has ever seen this since fierce warrior clans patrol the outskirts to insure it's kept safe and kill any intruders (except for children).
  • Temeraire: In Empire of Ivory, the Tswana is best described as a Hidden Dragon Empire... that forgoes the 'Hidden' part when they "abolish" the European slave ports.
  • Theatrica: The city of the same name transpires to be perfectly hidden from the outside world, as its people, the Theatricans, are xenophobes.
  • Time Scout: Time Terminal 86 is hidden in a warren of tunnels inside the mountains of Himalaya.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • Gondolin, Doriath and Nargothrond from The Silmarillion, and Rivendell and Lothlórien from Lord of the Rings are all examples, if this trope allows for very large populations, advanced technology, expeditionary armies, and large political ambitions. Some of them (especially Gondolin, Doriath, and Nargothrond) do have long periods of isolation, and two of them (Gondolin and Nargothrond) meet horrible ends at the hands of the Big Bad they were hiding from (in The Fall of Gondolin and The Children of Húrin, respectively). Doriath and Lothlórien are purposely hidden by magic, while Gondolin, Rivendell, and Nargothrond are simply hidden by geography.
    • The Shire is a classic Hidden Elf Village, apart from the dumpiness and furriness (and non-Elvishness) of its inhabitants (and the fact that there was no actual policy behind it — the inhabitants were just homebodies that were missed by the general collapse of civilization in the area rather than people that actually went out of their way to hide). In the latter part of its history, until the end of the Third Age, the Rangers secretly kept watch on the Shire to make sure no potential invaders found it.
    • Valinor may also count if large populations and advanced societies are allowed. Across the sea, Valinor kept itself isolated and defended from Morgoth, whose domain was in Middle-earth. After his defeat, Valinor did not fully isolate itself until the Drowning of Númenor, when the aforementioned Númenoreans launched a full-scale invasion of Valinor to conquer it. Following this, Valinor isolated its lands from the East and prevented the Men of Middle-earth from ever travelling there on their own accord again. Elves are still welcome, though.
    • The Avari Elves who resided in the far-east of Middle-earth. They refused to journey to Valinor with their kinsmen and indeed chose to remain in absolute isolation in the wilderness they inhabited. Eventually some began to wander westward and join other Elven societies, while others fragmented into small tribes. By the late Third Age, only six known reclusive Avari tribes remain, all located in wild lands east of the Misty Mountains.
  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: The Hidden Kingdom, a very beautiful, idyllic, isolated Country. Its people are Elves, Mystical Masters, or both. Tourists will be given a talk by its ruler on magic or their life goals. Food may, surprisingly, not be Stew (but invariably vegetarian). Despite it being utopian, Tourists will quickly grow bored and want to leave. Its people will be happy with that, finding them restive. They will deliver a Prophecy and then send the Tourists off with supplies.
  • The Wheel of Time: Has several, most notably the Sea Folk isle of Tremalking and its surrounding archipelago, the Aiel holds (though those are more of "we kill you (or let you die of thirst) if you set foot on our land without things to sell us and we come out and kill you if you do something really, really dumb like chopping down that wondrous tree we gave you generations ago"), and the land of Shara, an entire country that goes to insane lengths to prevent any traveler getting a good look inside its borders.
    • You could technically count the Two Rivers, too, since until the middle of the series they were so isolated they were still using thatch roof and had next to no affiliation to the country they're part of. This isn't a result of any particular effort on their part, it's just that they conveniently have very isolating geography and, since the destruction of their ancestral kingdom generations ago, are all simple farmers who haven't drawn attention to themselves.
    • And more than any of the above, the Steddings, though these are not exactly hidden: a normal person might easily ride past them, but any supernatural being will find them quite easily. However, for most of the evil forces in the series entering a Stedding is all but impossible, and their inhabitants have gotten accustomed to letting the world pass them by, secure in the near-absolute safety offered by their domains.
    • There's even a weird Evil Counterpart in the town known only as "The Town," in the valley of Thakan'dar near Shayol Ghul, whose inhabitants serve the Big Bad.
  • In World War Z at the beginning of the zombie outbreak the entire population of North Korea was forcibly evacuated underground, and nothing was ever heard from them ever again. Maybe they survived the zombie apocalypse unscathed, and continue to toil for their leaders with no knowledge of goings-on in the outside world? Maybe zombies made it into their underground bunkers and infected the entire population, and there are 23 million zombies waiting to spill out onto the surface the first time some feckless explorer opens the wrong bunker door? Nobody knows.
  • Xanth: The title kingdom was one for years, ever since King Roogna set up a magic shield that killed anything crossing between Xanth and Mundania (our world). The only people allowed through were those being exiled. This ends when "Evil Magician" Trent manages to get back in, and discovers to his horror that the centuries of isolation have led to magical inbreeding, which will in time lead to the extinction of humans in Xanth. When he takes over, he takes down the shield and encourages his own followers to marry locals to keep the gene pool clean.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Andromeda had Terazed, a planet in an out-of-the-way slipstream colonized by human and Nietzschean Commonwealth loyalists led by Dylan Hunt's former fiance. Thanks to a bit of time travel they knew that in 300 years Dylan and the Andromeda Ascendant would escape the black hole and attempt to rebuild the Commonwealth, so they prepared to reveal themselves at that time and became the restored Commonwealth's capital.
    • Also, Tarn-Vedra, the capital of the old Commonwealth, cut itself off from the slipstream through tesseract at the start of the Long Night. Eventually the Vedrans themselves evolved into seemingly omnipresent beings and the "Seefra" system accumulated refugees from all over space, the final season largely takes place there.
      • Robert Hewitt Wolfe (original, and fired, developer of the series) revealed after the show had concluded that if he had been allowed to pursue his original plan, Tarn-Vedra would have been dragged into the Magog conflict by force. He also responded to a question at the Ex Isle forums about whether the Vedrans had removed themselves from the connected universe out of selfishness or a desire to build up for the invasion with "They probably told themselves the latter while secretly knowing that it was the former," making them actually fit the trope a bit better on both ends.
  • The 1981 miniseries Goliath Awaits features a British ocean liner sunk by a U-Boat in 1938 (like the Lusitania), which was partially saved and transformed into an underwater version of this by a genius inventor/Chief Engineer played by Christopher Lee. Generations have grown up, and some people don't want to return to the outer world when a crew finds them 43 years later.
  • Jeremiah:
    • Thunder Mountain is a Cold War bunker housing the now grown-up children of the military and government officials, who spent the entire virus outbreak and subsequent chaos keeping the old world and civilization intact. After the pilot episode, they decide to secretly work to rebuild the world and cause a renaissance.
    • On the flip side, there is Valhalla Sector, which is the government and military leaders that were responsible for the virus base where they planned to restart the American government through force.
  • The Druids from Merlin have these settlements in the forests around Camelot, hiding from the laws that would have them killed for their innate magical powers.
  • The Nox, of Stargate SG-1, have turned their entire planet into one.
    • And over on Stargate Atlantis, the Asgard discovered in the Pegasus Galaxy had hidden themselves away on a toxic planet through and since the Wraith/Ancient war.
  • Wonder Woman (1975): Paradise Island is an uncharted island within the devil’s triangle. Queen Hippolyta has decided to occult Paradise Island from the world: In the pilot, she claims that no one in the last thousand years has ever found it. She also claims that any amazon who left the island may lose her immortality and become a mortal again.

  • There's one lengthy Old Master Q story, titled "The Old Village", where Master Q and friends, Big Potato and Mr. Chin, lose their jobs and starts a courier service of their own instead. Their first assignment had them travelling to the titular Old Village to deliver a cart of expensive medical supplies, only to find out the village is secluded behind mountains and seems to be stuck in the Ming Dynasty (despite the rest of the story taking place in the '70s).

    Multiple Media 
  • BIONICLE has the island of Artakha, home to a shiny, Utopian city of technological marvels where some of the Matoran Universe's most important artifacts and people were created. After the island was raided to steal the Mask of Light, Artakha himself demanded to be cut off from the rest of the world, wiped from maps and all who knew his island's location to be executed regardless if they were good or evil. After this, he and his people lived there in peace to practice Creation. Fading into legend over millennia, the place became known as the "Great Refuge" where good workers were sent as a reward. In reality, Artakha only allowed people in if it was their fate (which only happened a couple times under 100,000 years), and he teleported various important artifacts, weapons, vehicles and others to wherever they were needed in the universe.

  • Elves and -especially- dwarves in Dragonland's album Under The Grey Banner. Booklet artwork shows the former living in a city built around a massive tree and the latter, even more reclusive, in the underground.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Battletech:
    • The Taurian Concordat, which was originally founded inside a well-hidden nebula by exiles fleeing from the cutthroat politics of the Inner Sphere. Eventually, the Concordat's expansion would lead it to encounter the expanding Inner Sphere once more, and following a three-hundred-year-long occupation by the Star League, the Concordat has grown to become highly paranoid and xenophobic, jealously guarding its borders while attempting to stay out of Inner Sphere politics. This led to them supporting the Word of Blake, with destructive consequences.
    • The Warden Clans wished for the Clans to remain this, taking no part in Inner Sphere politics and instead building and maintaining their own society. They were opposed in this by the Crusader Clans, who wished to return to the Inner Sphere and conquer it. When the Crusader faction eventually won out this led to the Clan Invasion, with destructive consequences.
    • Following the Wars of Reaving and the exiling of all Clans "corrupted" by the Inner Sphere from Clan space, the surviving Home Clans double down on this. The new dominating ideology becomes that of the Bastion Clans, who intend to keep the pure ways of the Clans from being exposed to Inner Sphere corruption by refusing all contact with the Inner Sphere or anyone who's ever been there. They are opposed in this by the Aggressor Clans, who agree that the Inner Sphere is irredeemably tainted and wants to burn it to the ground.
  • Dungeons & Dragons':
    • The Eberron campaign setting takes this a step further with Aerenal, a whole Hidden Elf Continent.
    • Aerenal is small though. Argonnessen is a Hidden Dragon Continent! Although they aren't so much "hidden" as they are "we're right here, but we'll kill you if you set foot here without the correct forms, filled in in triplicate."
    • There's one featured in every other adventure for the Mystara setting, from the Lost Valley of the Hutaakans and Traldar to the network of tunnels that the Graakhalians call home. And that's not even considering the Hollow World, which was created to be a refuge for every Hidden Elf Village the Immortals thought worth protecting.
    • The world of Greyhawk has a Hidden Elf Nation in the country of Celene, which refused to help its neighbours in the wars against the evil creatures that invaded them. Naturally, this generated a lot of ill will toward Celene. The elven race as a whole, though, is more nuanced in that they don't actually have anything against most other races and will provide help to refugees seeking food and heroes seeking aid, but are simply more comfortable living in their own communities than they are living among humans or other races. Even within Celene itself, there's a sizable number of elves who disagree with their queen's decision to stay out of the surrounding conflicts and actively work to help their human and dwarven neighbours.
    • In the Forgotten Realms, there are a large number of Elf villages, ruins, large towns, forts, laboratories, and the like, too many to list here. However, they are almost all confined to the northwesternmost corner of the megacontinent Faerun (just like Middle-Earth), whereas Man is spread over the whole planet (again, just like Middle-Earth). There is even an Elf Refuge Continent (again, Middle-Earth inspired) called Evermeet, which is both hard for mortals to reach and a juicy target for jealous attackers (you may be sensing a pattern here).
    • The prestige class "Seeker of the Misty Isle" is about the idea that a legendary population of elves was lost during a war between the gods, and certain elves might make it a mission to find them. Whenever anyone finds this "Misty Isle," it would have to be something of a Hidden Elf Village.
    • Grim Hollow: The Charneualt Kingdom qualifies, despite being an elf and human (and naturally, half-elf) kingdom. The entire region is separated from the rest of Etharis by natural barriers, and entry is guarded by powerful nature spirits; getting inside requires getting past them, through an ever-shifting forest called the Grove Maze. It's also the only place in Etharis where humans and elves co-exist peacefully, whereas the rest of the continent was carved up by various human warlords, displacing or wiping out the non-human inhabitants. It was a standard Hidden Elf Kingdom, but the nature spirits actually allowed passage for the few human tribes they found worthy, and they were eventually able to forge a peaceful co-existence with the current inhabitants. Compared to the Dark Fantasy nature of the rest of the setting, it's practically a paradise and a haven for elven and half-elven refugess.
  • In Mutant: Year Zero, with the release of the third sourcebook Elysium; it was shown that the remaining descendants of Ancient Humanity on Earth resided within huge underground Enclaves all over the world. Until the Enclave wars broke out and destroyed all but one. Elysium-I harbored the most advanced technology from before and after the world ended, whilst housing and protecting the purest stock of ten-thousand humans.
  • Numenera has the Weal of Baz, a village inhabited exclusively by sapient machines. It's heavily guarded and camouflaged with hologram emitters since the humans of the Ninth World tend to think of all automatons as property.
  • The One Ring: Some elven settlements like Rivendell are inaccessible to adventurers by default. To find Rivendell, you must have either Elrond's permission to enter or a sufficiently skilled guide who knows the elves.
  • As RPG settings have grown in size and scope, so too have their Hidden Elf Villages. For example, both the Shadowrun and Iron Kingdoms campaign settings have Hidden Elf Nations: Tir Tairngire and Tir na nOg in Shadowrun, and Ios in the IK.
    • As Shadowrun is set in Earth 2050+ AD, Tir Tairngire and Tir na nOg occupy Oregon and Ireland, respectively. A lot of people are very annoyed.
  • Eldar Craftworlds and especially Exodite worlds in Warhammer 40,000.
    • Exodite worlds maybe, but Craftworlds can hardly be said to avoid getting involved in other people's affairs.
      • Even among the Craftworld Eldar, the ones from Craftworld Dorhai have this trope as their hat. Bizarrely, they believe that all Eldar not from Dorhai are "tainted", and refuse all dealings with them. The other Eldar are puzzled by this, to say the least.
    • The Dark Eldar all live in one massive city complex called Commorragh. The Dark City resides in the Webway where only the Dark Eldar can enter, not that anyone would be interested in getting in the city lest they be subjected to horrible, horrible torture.
  • Warhammer Wood Elves, of which Exodites are the futuristic expy also qualify for this trope. And being Warhammer, they are highly xenophobic and will kill you if you set foot in their forest unwelcomed. That is if the forest they live in doesn't kill you first.
    • Warhammer Fantasy's High Elves are also highly isolationist and bar non-Elves from their nation of Ulthuan (though they tolerate non-Elf visitors in the gateway city of Lothern).
    • And the Dark Elf lands are not open to visitors. At all. Any attempt to enter peacefully will probably result in slavery (well, you get in technically) or a barrage of massively poisoned crossbow quarrels.
    • The Chaos Dwarfs reside in Zharr-Naggrund a massive ziggurat city in the Mountains of Mourn. There are not many visitors there save for the Chaos warbands who trade thousands of slaves for the Chaos Dwarfs war machines.


    Video Games 
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura contains three — the city of the normal elves, the even more hidden city of the dark elves, and Tullianote , which is the most hidden.
  • BioShock features Rapture, a secret underwater city inspired by Galt's Gulch.
    • It's also a permutation of the Real Life concept of Seasteading, which is this trope mixed with City of Canals.
    • BioShock Infinite has an aversion. The flying city of Columbia was built as a demonstration of American ingenuity, so the designers wanted to show it off, and everyone knows about it. Which is then subverted in that the mysterious stranger's actions seem to imply that getting there is a pain. It makes sense, since not only does the game takes place before the proliferation of airplanes and the invention of radar, but while everyone knows that Columbia exists, no one knows where it went. It's then played straight later because nobody knows about it even in The '80s when those things are commonplace.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm has Intersite Town, a hidden village of Fourth Wall Observers that becomes available in the post-game, and doubles as a Developer's Room. Instagram also tries to become one during the main story, shutting its gates until the STORM crisis is dealt with. As one villager later points out, their precautions didn’t do them any good in the end, as they were briefly erased along with everything else.
  • The fairy village of Mag Mell in Bravely Default II. It is impossible to discuss the village without some very serious spoilers, but the fairies do not like humankind one bit, with a few exceptions (Adelle pre-departure, Edna pre-corruption), but you will need their help at some point. The village itself has a good reason to close itself off: in its depths is the Fount of Knowledge, where all the wisdom of the world is kept, and the fairies want nobody to go near it. The last person that went there became the Night's Nexus and plagued the world ever after.
  • Meusta in Capella's Promise isolate themselves from the rest of Ilnacia because they fear that if the Ilnacians get their hands on Meusta technology, they might reconstruct the Mother and destroy themselves. Unfortunately, that nearly happened when one Meustan, Meldora, unwittingly rebuilt the Mother for the king of Ilnacia, leading to the main conflict of the game.
  • Laruba Village in 65 Million BC in Chrono Trigger consists of humans that choose to hide from the Reptites rather than fight. It gets torched the second time you go to the time period.
  • In Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly, there aren't many banshees in Seattle because they hide away from the rest of the world in communes, with each member fulfilling a role to maintain them. Riona left her commune because she felt that she should reconnect with the outside world, and she learned to drive because she sees her truck as a "mobile fortress": to protect herself from danger.
  • Dark Cloud features Brownboo village where the moon people live. They're out of sight and danger which is how they prefer it.
  • Destiny 2: Lightfall introduces Neomuna, a bustling neon-lit metropolis hidden beneath the clouds of Neptune. The entire rest of the solar system is in an After the End state, but the Neomuni are not only untouched but even thriving. No special technology is involved; the secret behind their concealment is simply that nobody knew that there was a city on Neptune, and even if they did, Neptune is so large nobody would be able to find it. They're only discovered because the villains have tracked down the MacGuffin the city happens to be built on top of.
  • The Dragon Age, the Dalish tribes are nomadic and frequently move their hidden elf villages around. This is due to their mistrust of the humans who in the past destroyed two of their homelands. The Tevinters enslaved them for a thousand years and caused them to lose their immortality, while the Andrastian Chantry led a Holy War against their former allies and stripped the Canticle of Shartan, the writings and tale of the Dalish general who lead Andraste's army, completely from the Chant of Light.
    • During the First Blight, as the Darkspawn swarmed the Deep Roads that connected the Dwarven Empire, the old Thaigs and Cities fell one by one, eventually forcing the Dwarves to retreat to Orzammar and seal the gates behind them, effectively cutting themselves off to weather the storm. A thousand years later, the city of Kal-Sharok was discovered to have also miraculously survived the onslaught, but the inhabitants are said to have never forgiven Orzammar for leaving them to their fate.
    • And then Dragon Age: Inquisition features a literally hidden elf temple, guarded by ancient elves who are the last remnants of their once-great empire. These are much more xenophobic than even the Dalish, although the player can earn their trust.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest III, the elves live in a village hidden in the middle of the forest. The elven queen put a sleeping curse on a nearby town called Norvik because her daughter went on an Interspecies Romance, which was forbidden. But even after realizing that her daughter left willfully, she still doesn't like humans.
    • Dragon Quest V also has this (with a few dwarves and friendly monsters), albeit without the racism. Unlike most games, it would be extremely difficult to stumble upon the village, as it requires a special item to find and is only accessible by canoe in a remote location. Also, only children or people with Zenithian blood can see them.
    • Dragon Quest IV and Dragon Quest Monsters II each contain one of these. In the two games, the most notable feature of the elven residents is their distrust of humans.
  • EarthBound (1994) and Mother 3 each has a separate Saturn Valley, the secluded homes of the Mr. Saturns. EarthBound (1994) also has Tenda Village, hidden in the Deep Darkness, which is the home of the shy Tenda tribe.
  • The Elder Scrolls: The Bosmer (Wood Elves) are a Forest Ranger race whose homeland is Valenwood, a region almost totally composed of thick, dense forests and tall, sometimes migratory trees in which the Bosmer make their homes. As such, Bosmer villages are often connected only by narrow footpaths which make them difficult for outlanders to find.
  • Eternal Twilight has the Enclave, a safe haven for Magi to escape persecution from humans. To this end, the Magi hid the Enclave within the desert, and then further hid the city in a pocket dimension.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce: The hidden magic city of Ispares, where Blackberry originally called home. Also kept a Vanishing Village through the power of its residents, helping it stay hidden from the Dark Force search for magic for most of the game.
  • The original Vault 13 in Fallout was a clear-cut one, only getting in touch with the "savage" outside world when their own continued existence depended on it.
    • This is a running theme in Fallout 2, with Vault City, San Francisco, and the Enclave, each more secluded and hostile to outsiders than the last.
      • By the time of the game Vault 13 has become a home for friendly, intelligent deathclaws, and a few humans who have settled in with them.
      • This is a running theme in the Fallout series generally, since Vault 101 in Fallout 3 also avoids any contact at all with the outside.
      • Which becomes quite a problem about halfway through the game.
    • Most of the examples are Vaults or the descendant polities of Vaults, which makes sense — the public purpose of the Vaults was to allow people that entered them to survive the atomic apocalypse, to re-emerge when the worst was over. The Vaults that actually (in practice) did have that purpose tended to emerge into a world where the most common visitors were roving bands of bandits or monstrous beings (and where they were the only ones around to have kept a measure of high technology and a historical record). Add to that Vaults whose actual purpose required/was long-term isolation, like Vault 13 and Vault 101...
    • Fallout: New Vegas has Nellis Air Force Base, populated by the Boomers, a highly isolationist faction obsessed with firepower and all too willing to use it upon outsiders who get too close to them. There's also Jacobstown, a small ski resort populated by mostly peaceful Super Mutants that isn't exactly a secret (though it is fairly remote) is generally left alone by the populace, and Hidden Valley Bunker, home to a remnant of the also isolationist Brotherhood of Steel.
    • Fallout is full of cloistered communities, more or less isolated by distance and lack of infrastructure, and naturally wary of outsiders. Little Lamplight is one of the most hidden, and Bigtown by contrast suffers for its openness.
    • Oasis in Fallout 3, a nature cult in a hidden valley who worship the FEV experiment Harold, who has gradually transformed into a sentient tree. The whole valley is a New Eden of lush vegetation which is only a rumour in the wider wasteland.
  • Final Fantasy games are fond of these. There's Tozus, the hidden gnome village in Final Fantasy III, the Black Mage village from Final Fantasy IX (of which Vivi was a member, though he had never been there before), the Shumi Village in Final Fantasy VIII, Thamasa in Final Fantasy VI, and the various Monster Towns in the early games are just a few examples. Most recently, we are presented with the village of the Viera in Final Fantasy XII, of which Fran is an exile of sorts.
    • Final Fantasy VIII also has the nation of Esthar, which spent seventeen years as a Hidden Elf Country.
    • Garifs of FFXII are a much more lighthearted version of this trope, though unlike Vieras: Garif laws aren't as strict, leaving the village is allowed, they have less of a distaste for outsiders (though they do show concern for how humes are violating the world), and Garif do eventually begin to consider getting involved with the outside world. The Garif are all Proud Warrior Race Guys and will practically give non-Garif proud warriors full access to the village(as is the situation with the game's main characters).
    • The Final Fantasy IX example however is more justified than the others: Black Mages are basically Golems and gain sentience somewhere along the way, the village being a hideout for them to escape the Big Bad who created them. It doesn't work. Vivi is a special case and is vaguely hinted to be the prototype.
    • So is the whirlwind shrouded Cleyra, an off-shoot of another town.
    • Going back to Final Fantasy III, there's also the Dark Knight village, and Doga's Village, although they, and Tozus, aren't really of the xenophobic variety. They are actually a really good way to get powerful weapons and spells.
    • Final Fantasy XIV has Sui-no-Sato, a small village hidden at the bottom of the Ruby Sea that is populated solely by Raen Auri and a tiny group of Kojin who bring supplies from the outside world.
  • Every Fire Emblem game has a Hidden Dragon Village where the humanoid Manakete dragons live. The exception being Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance; it has a Hidden Branded Village. Branded are exiled from society for being half-Beorc (human) and half-Laguz (a humanoid race who can turn into animals). The Dragon Laguz have a not-so-hidden country where they don't let anyone else in.
    • An example that doesn't apply for dragons is the Spirit Village in the kingdom of Verdane in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, and it also hides a nasty secret — the descendants of the dark god Loptous, or more specifically, the priest Maira, the original man who held minor Loptous blood, all live there to protect themselves from the outside world. Deidre, Sigurd's wife, originally lived here, as did her mother.
    • A plot-important village is the Elibe games' village of Arcadia, located in an obscure part of the Nabata Desert. It's a village where humans and dragons live in harmony, much like they did before the Scouring.
  • In Golden Sun, Vale is this, keeping themselves secret so knowledge of Psynergy doesn't get out. Shaman Village fits, too —when you arrive, the inhabitants won't even speak to you. Garoh is a hidden werewolf village, whose inhabitants (rightfully) fear the Fantastic Racism of humans. Lemuria also fits the description nicely, to the point of banishing a citizen who'd dared help our heroes and join them on their quest .
    • Ayuthay initially appears to be this in Dark Dawn, but it's justified: they're under a siege at the time.
  • Granblue Fantasy has Medvecia, the hidden island of vampires, in the Fall of the Dragon event. They've secluded themselves for a long time and forbid any outside contact.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has one when ascended under a Mysticality sign. What, you say you're Canadian yourself and not elfin in the slightest? Well, they are at least portrayed as studious, reclusive, living with nature, and somewhat well-adorned, quite within the common fold of elven tropes.
  • Knight Bewitched: The Nymphs and elves have a village hidden within a deep wood, there's nothing indicating where their village is in the middle of the dense forest in the overworld map, but it's pretty much in the center of it. A drunken Nymph in Westvale will give you the information. This is actually Mari's hometown from Mari And The Black Tower, before it was destroyed by the miasma of the Black Tower.
  • The Last of Us has the Sewer City in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. However, by the time you find it, it's already overrun by infected.
  • League of Legends has the nation of Ixtal, one of the oldest human civilizations and home to some of the most advanced studies and practitioners of elemental magic in Runeterra, but has hidden itself in its jungles for ages after the rest of the world ended up in cataclysm after cataclysm which they had no further interest in getting involved with. Recently, however, with the rapid ascension of blood-and-aspiration-hungry future empress Qiyana, Ixtal is slowly unveiling its presence to the world once again, laying out the groundwork for its future re-expansion.
  • The Legend of Dragoon:
    • The Wingley village in the forest of Mille Seseau qualifies, complete with main character who was exiled.
    • There's also Ulara, a Wingly town hidden in the Death Frontier: it's far more welcoming to visitors, however, as the inhabitants are primarily composed of winglies that assisted humans during the Dragon Campaign.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link has New Kasuto, a town in the later part of the game that requires you to remove the right patch of trees in a forest to reveal it. A villager states they had to flee Old Kasuto, so it makes sense for them to hide their new hometown.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has a literal hidden elf village, Kokiri Forest. The eponymous Kokiri are a race of perpetually childlike elves (compared to the Hylians, who are elf-like but age normally and are basically humans.) They're forbidden to leave the forest by their leader, the Great Deku Tree, since they'll apparently die if they leave the forest (though seeing as the credits show them outside the forest, this seems to be a lie for their own good), though after he dies monsters overrun the forest, forcing the Kokiri to cower in their huts. Link, the hero, hails from this village, although he's actually a Hylian that was left in the forest as a baby.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: The Koroks have a cozy village in the Lost Woods. Since most Hylians can't see Koroks, and the woods are difficult to navigate, the village naturally doesn't have many visitors. They're more than happy to welcome Link, though.
  • The Guild of Weavers in Loom isolated themselves on an island community after being accused of witchcraft and chose to ignore the rest of the world.
  • Mario Kart 8: The DLC course Wild Woods has a Shy Guy village in the trees located in the deepest canopy of a forest. Due to the vertical architecture of the village, a big portion of the course is accordingly positioned that was as well, but keeps all drivers attached via anti-gravity technology for a smooth race.
  • Mass Effect 2:
    • The game reveals that the Always Chaotic Evil Killer Robot geth are in fact the terrorist outcasts of a Hidden Elf Civilization, thus demonstrating yet another problem with the trope; if most of you just sit in your peaceful utopia, all most will see of you are the vicious jerks who go out and raise hell. Galactic Interpretation: All Geth Are Killer Robots.
    • The batarians have a similar problem; their withdrawal from the Citadel (hub of interstellar diplomacy and trade) means that only the pirates still interact with the galaxy. Galactic Interpretation: All Batarians Are Pirates. Though it's also widely known around the galaxy that many of the "pirates" are really deniable assets that the Batarian Hegemony uses to attack their enemies (mostly human colonies) since the Council won't take action as long as they don't do anything too overt.
    • The quarians, having been forced to become a civilization of nomads, simply lack the resources to maintain prisons or the numbers to afford executions, meaning they exile everyone they don't fine, though children of exiles are innocent of their parent's crimes and are freely welcomed back to the flotilla. Unfortunately this means the only members of the species most encounter (other than the occasional Naïve Newcomer on Pilgrimage) are the jerks the other quarians couldn't stand, i.e. con artists to serial killers. Galactic Interpretation: All Quarians Are Crooks.
    • In the Mass Effect 3 DLC Leviathan the race of Leviathan that actually indirectly built the reapers hid underwater for literally billions of years to not get involved in the eternal galactic struggle.
    • Ilos, a Prothean planet where some of them hid from the Reapers. In order to make sure that the planet wasn't found, it was erased from Prothean databanks, such that Javik (a Prothean) mentions he'd only heard stories of it.
    • From Mass Effect: Andromeda, the angara have the Sages of Mithrava, who live on top of a Remnant monolith on Havarl, only ever coming down every few years to catch up with the local gossip (or if they've found someone related to one of their ancestors). After Ryder's visit to the planet, their leader starts changing his views on isolation.
    • Also from Andromeda, it's hinted and suggested several times that the angaara are keeping some of their planets hidden from the Initiative, for their own reasons.
  • Odin Sphere has Pooka Village, where those who received the Pooka curse gather and try to collect all the Valentine coins.
  • Outer Wilds: Terrified of the end forseen by the Eye of the Universe, the inhabitants of The Stranger isolated themselves from the rest of the world, preferring to remain in their own virtual-reality "paradise" within their starship. Should the player choose to venture there, they won't be happy about it.
  • You can find settlements of elves surrounded by mountains in One Way Heroics, who claim they are not interested in your quest to stop the advance of the darkness, even though by the time you find them they are hours away from being destroyed by it.
  • Brightmarsh in Paladins is a secluded marshland village inhabited by vulpines. Vulpines are fox people who keep to themselves and cultivate crops to use in alchemy. It is the hometown of the champion, Pip the Rogue Alchemist, whose lack of family and thirst for adventure motivated him to explore outside of Brightmarsh.
  • Quest for Glory III has the Leopardman village. The village in Quest for Glory IV has been one for a couple generations, ever since it got sealed off from the outside world by the swamp, although the occasional stranger, both magical and muggle (such as Punny Bones), does manage to get in.
  • A particular Wham Episode in Rabi-Ribi reveals that All of Rabi Rabi Island is one, having been sealed off centuries ago to prevent interference from the outside world. Even the one character old enough to remember a time before the island was sealed has very muddled and confused memories of that time. Eventually everyone discovers the truth, and decide to renew the seal so that the entire world doesn't turn their eye on the secluded island full of monster girls and magic and swarm to investigate.
  • Roadwarden has the Tribe of the Green Mountain, a hidden village kept secret by the residents of the northern peninsula. Its residents were driven off High Island by Hovlovan invaders, and have resided in secret ever since.
  • Romancing SaGa has Merholm, a small village hidden beneath some ruins deep in the desert. In this case, though, it's already been used once, the last time the gods broke the world. The survivors emerged to discover that humanity had been remade without them, and became the Taralian tribe... and generations later, when it looked like the war between the gods was heating up again, their descendants headed back to Merholm to wait it out.
  • RuneScape has Lletya, where — well, there aren't many points of interest here... Also Prifdinas, an inaccessible legendary city where humans are initially forbidden; only after the quest it becomes accessible.
    • The entire country of Tiranwyn could count as hidden since there is almost no contact with other countries. The main city is ruled by the Iorworth clan, who are the villains of the elf quest series. Lletya is the base of the rebel elves, and you report there during the elf quests frequently.
  • Shining Force II had the hidden fairy village, but it was more of a bonus area than anything. Pretty much the only notable things about it are a promotion item you can find in a chest and a bonus fight against infinitely spawning monsters (very useful for powerleveling, but it can be beaten by blocking the spawn points). There is also a second hidden elf village near the end of the game that lets you talk to The Blacksmith who can craft the best items in the game for each class, finally creating a use for all the Mithril you have collected.
  • Skies of Arcadia:
    • The Silver Moon settlement, birthplace of main character Fina, appears to fit this trope. It removed itself from the world during the ancient war and thus survived the devastating cataclysm that affected all the other ancient civilizations. Ultimately subverted when the Dark Secret of their immortal Elders is revealed: they caused the ancient cataclysm intentionally, after leaving the surface of the planet, in order to wipe out the enemies they left behind (i.e. everyone else on the planet). They aren't so much a hidden village as they are a bunker of genocidal Knight Templars, waiting to see if they should use their doomsday device again to finish off the descendants of any survivors who might threaten them
    • Two other examples would be Yafutoma, to a degree, as it is blocked off by the Dark Rift, and Glacia, the doomed capital of the old Purple Civilization — it was built under a landmass, so it survived the Rains of Destruction, but unlike other examples, all of its people have disappeared.
  • Stellaris:
    • Xenophobic isolationist empires are essentially an interstellar empire version of this. They seldom expand very much, so as to prevent border friction with aliens, and shy away from diplomatic interaction. Beyond being almost impossible to trade with as they prefer acting as though you weren't there, this makes them generally fairly good neighbours as they're unlikely to start trouble.
    • Militant Isolationists Fallen Empire. Their only ethical ideal is fanatic xenophobia, which means that they are extremely intolerant of any outsider. In addition, they forbid the "younger species" from colonizing any stellar systems adjacent to their borders, using this space as a buffer zone between themselves and the rest of the galaxy.
    • The existence of one is an important component of the "Fear of the Dark" origin in the First Contact DLC. A planet in the empire's home system was destroyed by aliens (or so it is believed) before they discovered FTL, and a segment of the population reacted by colonizing another planet and shunning the greater galactic community. In game terms, an empire with this origin starts the game sharing their home system with a pre-FTL civilization of the same species, which doesn't mind having limited interaction with their homeworld, while being definitely against it with everyone else.
  • Suikoden series:
    • Suikoden III has a rare example of a non-elf Hidden Elf Village in an elf-bearing setting. The "Grasslanders" of Alma Kinan live in a deep forest behind an illusory veil or barrier of some sort, only emerging at the behest of their seers. They have a much more "elfin" style than the elves of the setting, who are more like Tolkien's Noldor.
    • The elves of Na-Nal from Suikoden IV hide in the forest as well, and consider themselves superior to the human natives. In reality, though, they're similar: both sides are equally arrogant, and this leads to disaster. Ironically, in this instance the hidden village works, allowing the elves to pull a Karma Houdini after provoking a massacre.
    • Alseid from Suikoden V fits this trope exactly, with the elves vowing to stay separate from the "barbarous humans". Pretty much every non-human race is like this to begin with, as part of an "Accept People For Who They Are/Racism Is Bad" Stock Aesop.
    • Suikoden V's Beavers also mostly keep to themselves, not wanting to get too involved in the "humans' war". However, they haven't actually hidden their village, which has the expected results when the Godwins decide to go skipping across the Moral Event Horizon and indulge in a little genocide. This naturally leads to your rebellion pulling a Big Damn Heroes and the beavers deciding to be Neutral No Longer.
    • Suikoden Tierkreis Liu comes from a village like this.
    • This goes all the way back to the first game, where the elves aren't just isolationist, but so racist that they are disgusted when Kirkis leaves the village to seek help from the human Liberation Army on hearing of Imperial plans to destroy them. Of course he's right. The village ends up torched to the ground by Kwanda's Burning Mirror.
  • Tales of Symphonia has Heimdall, where many of the main characters (including the Big Bad) come from. Entering this village requires a writ of passage from the King of Tethe'alla, and even with it in hand, guards at the front of the village ban the half-elf members of your party from entering the village. For some reason, half-elves are pretty plentiful in both worlds (much more so than actual elves), despite there being only one village of elves that never associates with humans.
    • Also found in Symphonia is Exire, the hidden half-elf village. It is kept floating in the sky by the power of Maxwell, Summon Spirit of Matter. It is so well hidden that it is unaffected by the turmoil on the ground and some of its residents never saw a human before the player's party visits. Talking to the NPCs also answers the question of how there can be so many half-elves when Heimdall is so isolated: a child with two half-elf parents is essentially the same as a child with one human parent and one elf parent. The half-elf population is self-sustaining.
    • Somehow, four thousand years later, in Tales of Phantasia, it's even better hidden, and now has another hidden village (specifically, a Ninja village) inside of it, like an isolationist Russian doll.
    • Tales of Symphonia also has Mizuho, a Hidden Ninja Village. Though in contrast to most examples, Mizuho is known for taking an interest in the outside world thanks to its intelligence network, those the village itself is still highly isolationist. At least until the hero's party arrives and makes an alliance with them, thanks to party member and Mizuho citizen Sheena and Reasonable Authority Figure Tiga.
    • Myorzo, home of Krityans, from Tales of Vesperia, which "hides" inside a floating jellyfish.
    • There's also Elysia from Tales of Zestiria, a mountain village of seraphim where two of the main characters grew up.
  • In Touhou Project, the Lunar Capital was founded by people who fled the Earth in ancient times to escape its "impurity" (aka life and death) and is kept hidden by a barrier. Mortal beings who manage to reach the Capital (usually by accident) are turned away to prevent them from contaminating it.
  • In Wild ARMs, the elf-like race of Elws transported their land to another dimension so that they won't have to experience the decay of the world resulting from the previous war.
  • Arboria from WildStar was this trope on the scale of an entire planet until the Exiles stumbled upon it. Unfortunately, so did the Dominion, and now there's not much of a "Village" to speak of, either.
  • World of Mana:
    • Secret of Mana has a village of, well not Elves, but Moogles. And you had to walk around a multiseasonal four-screen forest until you unlock it.
    • In Trials of Mana, the Elf Village Diorre is hidden deep within the Lampflower Forest. To find it, players have to search at night, when the eponymous flowers glow, and those that lead towards the village have a different color from the others. Naturally, the elves are isolationist and unfriendly, and even when they recognize that you're trying to save the world, still charge for items and lodging. And to complete the trope, the party member Charlotte is the village's bastard princess on her mother's side.
  • World of Warcraft has the Shen'dralar elves hidden away in Dire Maul.
    • The High Elves also have out-of-the-way holdouts in Plaguelands and Hinterlands.
      • Not so much in the Plaguelands anymore., as they've all been, um, transformed as of Cataclysm.
    • All elf societies work on this to some degree. Before the wars and to varying degrees after, the Night Elves were almost completely reclusive. The Blood Elves also seem to be interested in just keeping to themselves for the most part.
    • Pandaria has remained hidden from the rest of the World for thousands of years, due to a magical mist that hides it from the rest of Azeroth. It was until a clash from the Alliance and Horde fleets who stumble upon it by chance.
  • The Earth State in the X-Universe is extremely paranoid of AI research and is isolationist, due to them facing a hopeless Robot War against their malfunctioning terraformers some 700 years ago which also severed their jumpgate network link; in the meantime, they quietly rebuilt their civilization and their technology. Come X3: Reunion where Earth is (unwittingly) reunited with the X-Universe, Earth's AGI Task Force crushes any non-Terran ship that approaches the Earth jumpgate. They open up somewhat in Terran Conflict, where foreigners can access the outer Solar System, but accessing the inner system requires lots of favors. Access to Earth and its Torus Aeternal is closely guarded; any unrecognized ships will get instagibbed by the Torus's defenses.
  • The Hidden Machina Village in Xenoblade Chronicles 1, consisting of survivors from the Mechonis from the original war between Bionis and Mechonis. Because the current leader of the Mechon considers them to be traitors to his cause, they keep themselves hidden away so he won't find them, but they are welcoming and friendly to anyone who does stumble upon their village. Finding them is the first indication the heroes have that there are actual people that live on the Mechonis, rather than just a bunch of Killer Robots.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has the Kingdom of Tantal, who are isolationists who rarely have any contact with outsiders, aided by the fact that their Titan spends most of its time beneath the Cloud Sea rather than on the surface. The problem is their Titan is a frigid landscape with little in the way of farmland due to how the Indoline Praetorium has essentially strong-armed them into draining the Titan's ether to create Core Chips, weakening the Titan's ability to support life, in exchange for helping keep the Dark Secret about their government's founding under wraps, and there's a chronic problem with their food supply. The heroes' arrival does prompt their government to open up the ports for trading somewhat.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: the so-called "Lost Colony" is an Agnian Colony that got cut off from the war and from the Consuls. It was assumed destroyed and forgotten about by everyone, and its leader at the time instituted a policy of staying hidden within their cave rather than ever venturing outside, fearing what the Consuls would do if they knew about a Colony not under their control. Fears that prove well-founded when one of the Consuls does get word that the Colony exists.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the backstory of Seven Kingdoms: The Princess Problem, Vail Isle was this before Katyia had it officially declared neutral territory. How did an island smack-dab in the middle of seven warring kingdoms remain untouched? No one knows, but rumor claims that people with ill intent towards the Isle's inhabitants are magically prevented from finding it. Given that Vail is a natural paradise of gardens, lavish architecture, and mild weather, the rumor may well be true. Certainly, the natives' white hair and purple eyes- in a setting that otherwise completely averts fantastical colouring- make them look magical.

  • In Adventurers!, Chookie leads the party to Chooktown, the secret abode of small annoying creatures. Drecker sees it as a Place Worse Than Death.
  • Bethellium: The titular city was founded by mages fleeing prosecution by the Inquisition. It is built on lands contributed by a sympathetic king, whose daughter is an elementalist, and hidden behind multiple layers of illusion and wards. Anyone cast out, as Zoana almost is, has their memories wiped.
  • In Drowtales, drow, the underworld dwelling descendants of Dark and Light elf refugees who fled to the underground to escape a devastating war, believed all Light and Dark elf cities had been completely destroyed and the only elves that remained existed in scattered settlements or as slaves in their cities. It is eventually discovered at least one such city still exists, in near-absolute isolation from the outside world and under an extremely oppressive and corrupt regime, that kills anyone who finds their city.
  • In the backstory of Erfworld, the kingdom of Faq was hidden by mountain terrain and a master-class Foolamancer. This allowed its king to indulge his preference for philosophy rather than warfare.
  • In Quest of Camelittle, Elfdust City is a magical Tree Top Town hidden within the Elven Forest.
  • The Hidden Elf Village in RPG World. This is eventually worked into the plot (if you can say RPG World has a plot); once, every N years, a competition of sorts happens between the Elves, Humans, and Monsters to decide the dominant race on the planet. Since humans won the last one, Elves are forced to stay (en masse) in their village and can't settle elsewhere; they can leave their village but are nomads if they do. Similarly, monsters are forced to stay in South City, or lose their minds and become the wandering monsters that the RPG Elements Webcomic relies on.
  • Skin Deep: Avalons are locations, often magically Hidden in Plain Sight in run-down buildings, abandoned warehouses, and other places that humans tend to simply ignore, where magical creatures have created refuges for themselves. These can range in size from a single shop where wondrous creatures can talk and socialize freely to entire secret villages hidden within human cities. The largest, Wonderland, is a good-sized village and surrounding countryside hidden behind layers of magical wards and protections, to the point that it's impossible to notice or enter from the outside and can only be accessed through special magical passages. Not even the magical community actually knows where it is at this point — the best they can figure out is that it's probably somewhere in the Midlands.
  • The Seven Villages of the Racconnans in Tales of the Questor are hidden behind an artificial swamp and an enchanted fog. The reason being that they were persecuted by the other species for their magic-like lux abilities. Though that decision is starting to bite them in the ass centuries down the line because they're running out of resources, two political parties have formed to figure out whether they should expand the Mistwall or attempt trading with outsiders.
  • In Yokoka's Quest, Kagi states that he knows most locations in the Forest Clan but has never heard of the village in Betel's Forest. This is likely due to the magic of the barrier around it.

    Web Original 
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, the biggest elven cities Sanae, Tel'Elee, and Illunii are all hidden in forests.
  • The Forest Bed has the Forest of Dancing Trees, populated by sentient trees that walk, at least in their youth, and are very traditional and secluded, despite Lady Willow's trying to get them to open up a bit.
  • Mahu: In "Frozen Flame", the elf village prince Arius fins is more isolated and forgotten than actually hidden. With hundreds of bandits scattered along the countryside, monsters roaming around, and magical creatures eager for blood, it is quite understandable why contact between the human and elf colonies had not happened sooner.
  • The Tim Tebow CFL Chronicles inverts this with Greenland City, the technological utopia in the middle of Greenland. They hide their existence from (almost) everyone, but they secretly intervene to help the rest of the world, by sharing their technology and offering advice to various governments on how to prepare for the coming energy crisis.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • The Air Nomad temples were like this, being mystical and secluded, attempting to sever contact with the world at large but welcoming those who reached them. Not so much in the series proper, since the populations of every temple were wiped out in the genocide that kicked off the war with the Fire Nation. The Temples weren't necessarily "hidden", but "hard to reach unless you are/are helped there by an airbender". Air Nomad society was known to the world at large before Sozin's massacre.
    • The Foggy Swamp Water Tribe was a very obscure water tribe as well, being different from the two polar water tribes in pretty much every way except that their society was shaped around waterbending. Even their waterbending style was reflective of the stagnant nature of swamp water rather than the more flowing techniques of Northern and Southern styles.
    • The Sun Warriors are an ancient secretive tribe of firebenders largely forgotten by the Fire Nation at large, who learn from the primal firebenders: Dragons.
  • Barbie Presents Thumbelina: The tiny Twillerbee village is hidden in a field of flowers.
  • Dinotrux: Most species want to stay with their own kind; none more than the tiny Reptools that all generally stay hidden in their secret ravine, refusing to leave with the dangers of the outside world like Dinotrux, Scrapadactyls, and Scraptors.
  • Disenchantment:
  • The Dragon Prince: The Silvergrove is a literal Hidden Elf Village. In order to get in, you have to do a dance, and when Rayla defects from the assassination mission, she gets "ghosted", making all others appear as The Blank to her and Callum because she entered with him.
  • Gargoyles: The New Olympians and Avalon Clan, and to a lesser extent the London Clan and the whole town of Ishimura. In fact, most gargoyle clans try to pull this off, except for the Manhattan Clan.
  • Kulipari: An Army of Frogs: The Amphibilands are the lush and vibrant home of the frogs, and are hidden from the rest of the world by a magical Veil that was cast upon them. One of the arguments for removing the veil is to avoid becoming xenophobic and withdrawn.
  • My Little Pony:
    • My Little Pony 'n Friends:
      • My Little Pony: The Movie (1986): The flutter ponies live in Flutter Valley, an isolated part of the setting, and shun contact with the outside world.
      • In "The Golden Horseshoes, Part 2", the castle of the Green Mountain elves is placed on a remote, inaccessible peak that can only be reached by flight, and is so high up that for many the air becomes too thin to breathe before the castle itself is even reached. On getting there, their home's deliberately frightening appearance also serves to keep visitors from approaching.
    • My Little Pony (G3): The pegasus ponies live on their own secret island hidden behind a waterfall.
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Sounds of Silence", the kirin live in a secret village hidden behind the treacherous cliffs of the Peaks of Peril, known to other societies only as vague rumors.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): The hovering Avian city in "A Wing and a Prayer" can only be found with the help of a Y'Lyntian Crystal.
  • Generator Rex: In the fifth episode, Rex saves a guy who invites him to their Hidden Engineer Village (humanity as a whole has developed a Science Is Bad attitude since the Nanite Event).
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears: Gummi-Glen home of the Gummi Bears. There are other Gummi settlements like Gummadoon.
  • The Simpsons: Homer is taken to the underground Land of the Jockeys, where they threaten to eat his brain unless he throws the big horse race.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) has two, both serving as refuges for those who managed to escape the conquest of the planet by Robotnik.
    • Knothole Village is the primary one, and main base for the titular hero and his Freedom Fighters. It's mainly protected by the Great Forest being impossible to navigate if you didn't know the way. It helps that the village was originally a fallback point for the Kingdom of Acorn during the Great War should Mobotropolis have fallen, which explains why the village is such a well-concealed secret.
    • The second is Lower Mobius, a one-off location beneath Robotropolis itself. The Freedom Fighters learn of it when they run into Grif, the village's leader, and wind up having to help them re-energize the power source that makes their lives possible and masks their presence from Robotnik.
  • Transformers: Paradron in The Transformers and the New Crystal City of The Transformers (IDW) are isolated, pacifist colonies of neutral Transformers who have managed to avoid being drawn into the eons-long Great War. The former one was even blown up by Rodimus Prime in order to prevent the Decepticons from having it.
  • Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa: Moo Mesa itself was created when an irradiated comet struck the late 19th-century Western plains, raising it above the clouds (and hiding its surface from human eyes) and anthropomorphizing all the cows and some other animals.

    Real Life 
  • Amish, Old Order Mennonites, most orders of monks (Christian or Buddhist), and other "non-wandering" ascetic or mystic sects usually abide by the "non-subverted" version of this trope. The Amish in particular pledge to "live in this world but not of it." They do let their kids live in the outside world for a time before deciding to stay in the order.
  • Russia has this sort of thing happen frequently, mostly due to the vast size and inhospitality of much of the country.
    • Some settlements of the Russian Orthodox "Old Believers" (who rejected the reforms of patriarch Nikon and were persecuted for that) as well. Many people call the Old Believers "Russian Amish".
    • Multiple anti-communist guerillas lived in isolated settlements and camps from which they harassed the Soviet system until the late seventies. Russian authorities say it's entirely possible there might still be groups of literal Imperialists holed up somewhere, unaware or uncaring that the Soviet Union is gone.
    • The various indigenous groups of Siberia largely live the way their ancestors did for centuries. Some of them may even be considered uncontacted.
    • A few Soviet-era settlements effectively no longer participate in Russian society, having become communist enclaves.
    • And many more that have yet to be investigated. There are villages on satellite images that don't show up on maps, but nobody has sent an expedition to them yet. The government doesn't take kindly to people exploring the country who aren't them.
  • Subverted in the case of the original Buddhist kingdom in Tibet commonly identified as Shangri-La. It was indeed a peaceful and enlightened place that welcomed and made peace with visiting Jesuit missionaries in the 1600s... until the kingdom was invaded and burned to the ground by a rival Buddhist Tibetan group that was angry at them for tolerating Christians.
  • The Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints compounds.
  • The policy of Isolationism is similar to this on a national scale.
    • North Korea's isolation qualifies it as a Hidden Elf Country. Or a "Hidden Something Country"—North Korea is famously not a nice place to live, unless you're a Party member.
    • Isolationism in the Korean peninsula is not a new thing; medieval and early modern Korea, under the Joseon dynasty, was the original Hermit Kingdom. It lost this status when the also-formerly-isolated Japan conquered it in the 1900s.
    • Japan under the Tokugawa Shogunate was within spitting distance of this trope. A literal Gunboat Diplomacy (courtesy of the USA) was required for it to open up.
      • And thus the trope swallows its own tail as the elf village trope, so common in Japanese video games, is likely inspired loosely by history.
    • The United States attempted to invoke itself as this, being the New World of liberty free from the troubles of the Old World. Thus, for much of the nineteenth century, the United States officially practiced a policy of non-interventionism, which turned into full-on isolationism in the period between the two World Wars. Subverted often, however, in that America still had Banana Republics and loyal foreign countries to keep in check and was a major force on the world economy even before the Cold War.
    • Both Japan and Korea's internets by means of language barrier. The latter going as far as to save all its text as images, and if that's not possible, routinely block web translation sites like Google. And the rabbit hole goes deeper to a somehow more literal level. Japan's national internets containing a bundle of core websites locked out unless you have access to an active Japanese mobile phone or .edu university or fauxiversity webmail, and Korea's quite literally requiring a national ID AND a specific digit on the ID identifying you of not just Korean residence but also Korean RACE. Extending to much of the nation's private websites on account of them being published via a corporate web-hub duopoly subscribing to the authentication ideals. Geeeeeeez.
    • Albania during the last years of the Cold War. Enver Hoxha rejected Yugoslavia right off the bat, then the Soviets after Stalin's death, and then China after the failure of the Cultural Revolution, considering them as soft Communists/Socialists, and decided to go it alone. Emigration (and immigration to a lesser extent) was forbidden from 1968. Hoxha trained the entire country to be on alert for war, hence the hundreds of war bunkers scattered all over the country. Albania was the only European country that didn't sign the Helsinki Agreement, establishing the organization that would become the predecessor of the OSCE. By the Hole in Flag, Albania had become a sort of European North Korea (it even had its own version of the Juche ideology, except since there was no Soviet or Chinese aid, it literally was self-reliance) and had the hardest time transitioning to capitalism among the Eastern bloc.
  • While it's started to open up somewhat in recent years, Bhutan still counts even today. Unlike other such modern-day countries, it actually maintains its status of a Kingdom! That said, it can remain a peaceful isolated nation, because the formidable Indian Army is tasked with protecting it.
  • The Hawaiian island Ni'ihau, also known as "The Forbidden Isle", is privately owned in its entirety and access is strictly limited.
  • There are several tribes in the Amazon Basin who have chosen to disappear, retreating into the rain forest's deep interior rather than maintaining contact with the rest of the world. One particular example are the Awá people of Brazil, some of whom still choose to live as hunter-gatherers following their ancient traditions within the isolated cores of a handful of preserves — preserves that are still under constant threat by illegal logging and encroachment, endangering even these isolated holdouts.
  • The Maya city of Tayasal, situated on an island in Lake Peten Itza deep in the Guatemalan jungle, was known by the Spaniards since Cortés himself scouted the region in 1525, but remained unconquered and unchristianized until 1697, a whopping 170 years later. It wasn't exactly a village either: records of the time note that it had 21 functioning temples, as much as the famous archaeological site of Chichen Itza.
  • Attempted by Manco Inca when he retreated behind the Andes and founded the city of Vilcabamba in 1539, in the aftermath of the Inca rebellion against Spanish rule. The Spanish conquered this kingdom in 1572.
  • The Natchez were the only Mississippian culture nation that survived beyond the mid-16th century and were renowned for their bellicosity whenever Europeans showed up. They were finally defeated and dispersed by the French in 1730.
  • Tabaristan (modern Mazandaran province, on the Iranian Caspian coast) successfully resisted the Arab conquest of the Persian empire in the 650s. It retained its independence and Zoroastrian religion for almost a century. While the natives eventually converted to Islam, the region was never under direct control of the Arab caliphates and remained firmly under Iranian control.
  • The remote Afghan region formerly called Kaffiristan adhered to an ancient pagan religion and remained closed to outsiders until the late 19th century when it was conquered by its Muslim neighbors and renamed Nuristan. Its pre-conquest form provides the setting for The Man Who Would be King.
  • The Sentinelese of North Sentinel Island off India have a long-standing practice of trying to kill any outsiders who come too close and remain entirely uncontacted.
  • The town of Bolinas, California, about thirty miles north of San Francisco, made headlines when residents tore down the only sign leading to the town in an attempt to dissuade tourists, preferring the town's seclusion and laid-back lifestyle.
  • Nesting and burrowing behavior in wildlife is nature's version of this trope: the creation and maintenance of a secure, hidden mini-habitat in which offspring can be reared, food hoarded, and rest taken without fear of predators or exposure to adverse environmental conditions.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Hidden Remote Village, Hidden Remote Community



After the first Emu War, the emus secluded themselves from the humans where they evolved and lived in peace and harmony and it's where they found Emutopia.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / HiddenElfVillage

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