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Hub City

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Clock Town, a terminal for Termina.
"Many travelers find themselves in Inkopolis Square at some point in their journey. Youth from far-flung seas gather in this colorful hub of comings, goings, meetings, and farewells."

The city in games that you keep coming back to.

This is usually where The Empire or other important political entity makes its headquarters. The center of politics, commerce, religion, culture, and/or crime, you'll find all sorts of subquests and side-plots here, but you may or may not find the best stuff here, thanks to the Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness.

Has an obscene amount of NPCs, sidequests, shops, vendors, and usually Minigame Zones as well. Generally appears in the first half of the game, but players will probably have to return here often. This is the one place most likely to get upgrades and evolving content as the plot progresses. It's also usually safe from enemy danger, until it stops being so.

Compare with Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe and Big Applesauce, when everything takes place in Tokyo or New York; compare also Britain Is Only London for how this can affect the standing of a city being considered representative of the whole region. See Merchant City for the capitalist version, and Holy City for the religious equivalent—either one could overlap. Often has shades of Shining City. May also be a Hub Level.

Not to be confused with Hub City from The DCU, which is a poster child for Vice City.


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    Fan Works 
  • Tevri'ed from The Keys Stand Alone. It's the central city of the three still under Pyar jurisdiction, and usually the one newcomers find themselves closest to when they first arrive on C'hou. It's also just a few miles north of the White Tower, where the Pyars are imprisoned. The four (often just George, in disguise) return from time to time for supplies but can't stay there because they tend to get attacked all the time.

  • Despite the local axiom that all roads lead away from Ankh-Morpork, especially if you run fast enough and are determined enough, events on the Discworld all seem to start or get resolved here. For a city that cultivates a deliberate air of being poor, shabby, and broke, it is the largest human city on the Disc and is getting bigger almost by the day. Carrot points out that Ankh-Morpork is also the biggest dwarf city on the Disc, although the other residents hardly realize this due to how little fuss the dwarves generally make.
  • The Manticore system (especially Manticore A) serves as this writ large for the Honor Harrington series. The location of the largest known wormhole nexus (with six, later seven, connections), several of which are in relatively close proximity to other, smaller networks, means it serves as the hub for truly staggering amounts of interstellar traffic.
  • It's not primarily from a game, but Coruscant in the Star Wars Legends universe fits this trope well. The entire planet is a big city and inevitably important for any galactic civilization — it was the Republic's capital four thousand years before the movies, the Empire kept it and renamed it Imperial Center,note  the New Republic took it back and restored the name, the Vong took it, terraformed it, and renamed it again, on and on. It is described as a world that can only rule or die, as it has an enormous population, has to import everything but people, and in effect exports only politicians, soldiers, and laws.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Sigil (City of Doors), in the Planescape setting for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Similar cities crop up in other campaign settings: Forgotten Realms has Waterdeep (City of Splendors), for example, Eberron has Sharn (City of Towers) and Greyhawk has...well, Greyhawk (City of...hey, the setting's named after it; what more did you want?).
  • Battletech: Most settled worlds only have one spaceport and one Hyper-Pulse Generator uplink station. Wherever they're located is invariably the largest and most important (sometimes only) city on the planet, and usually but not always the seat of the planetary government as well. An invasion force that takes control of both these sites has to all intents and purposes conquered the whole planet.
  • Sharn, the city of towers, in the continent of Khorvaire and Stormreach in Xen'drik in the setting of Eberron act as this. It's worth pointing out that Stormreach is the one city by which all traffic to Xen'drik transits and most of that traffic usually leaves from Sharn. Before Cyre blew up, its capital city Metrol used to be the largest Metropolis, in no small part thanks to hosting the HQ of the most powerful Dragonmarked House.
  • Everway: There are lots of cities scattered through this game's multiverse, but as the title may hint, the game pays special attention to the city of Everway in the realm of Roundwander, "the Crossroads of the Spheres," which has an extremely exceptional 71 or more interdimensional gates. Everway is accordingly a bustling trade city where scholars know a great deal about other spheres and are always interested to learn more. However, it can't exert much direct power over other spheres (i.e. alternate worlds), because only a few people can traverse the Portal Network that links them, and they tend to have minds of their own.
  • Legend of the Five Rings has several candidates.
    • The original capital of Rokugan is Otosan Uchi, but the city is mostly based around supporting the Imperial Court than being a functioning city. A better candidate is Ryoko Owari Toshi, commonly called the "City of Lies." It is a major economic hub and center of intrigue (hence the name). Both cities were detailed in boxed set supplements.
    • The L5R spinoff Legend of the Burning Sands is almost entirely based around Medinat al-Salaam, the City of Peace. Travelers from all over the world eventually find their way here.
  • Cymril in the Talislanta game setting.

    Video Games 
  • Age of Conan: There are four cities in the game: Conarch Village in Cimmeria, Khemi in Stygia, Old Tarantia in Aquilonia and Tortage City in Tortage.
  • The huge, multi-layered Ceres City seems to take up nearly half the game in Alter A.I.L.A. Genesis. In the original, the Slums serve as a hub for most routes; among other benefits, technological genius Tinder lives there.
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura has Tarant.
  • Most Artix Entertainment MMOs have one of these: AdventureQuest has Battleon, DragonFable has Falconreach, MechQuest has Soluna City.
  • Vagrant's Rest in Ashen, which you liberate at the very start of the game. An interesting take on the trope in that it starts as little more than a small campsite with a few lean-tos scattered around the ritual stone. However, you get to see it steadily grow over the course of the game with debris being cleared, and building foundations popping up as you progress. By the end, it has developed into a fully functioning small town.
  • Baldur's Gate was rather unusual in that the eponymous city didn't appear until very late in the game, and didn't even have all that much directly to do with the plot in it—though it was huge, composed of six areas where every other town in the game was no more than two screens if one was generous. Baldur's Gate 2, on the other hand, starts you off in Athkatla (not only several hundred miles south but in a completely other nation), which you'll be returning to more than once. Throne of Bhaal, the expansion to the sequel, didn't really have a capital city, though it did have your pocket plane as a home base.
  • Jibral Castle Town in Blue Dragon.
  • In Borderlands the town of New Haven is the closest thing to civilization you'll find, and you'll frequently return there for new quests or to buy/sell loot. In Borderlands 2, there's the much more prominent hub of Sanctuary, which serves as the Crimson Raiders' base, as well as your own, and it contains the largest concentration of vendors, certain respawning NPCs, a buttload of quests, a safe for storing extra money and items, Claptrap's secret stash (which lets you transfer items between your characters), a Quick-Change station for changing your look and reassigning your skill points, and several unique vendors (including Crazy Earl's Black Market and the Golden Chest). It's your home on Pandora. It also happens to be the only area that levels up with you during the main story, so the vending machines will always be worth checking. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! has the slightly less prominent Concordia, which functions much like Sanctuary but with some new additions: a Grinder to combine unwanted items, a bar with cocktails that give you special effects for a while, and a station to enter SHiFT codes and redeem their rewards. Unlike Sanctuary, it loses plot focus about halfway through the game, and since all vending machines level with you this time around, there's not as much incentive to keep coming back.
  • YouTube in BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm. It's the largest city in the game and the one that you'll be revisiting after each of the next few chapters. It's also the home of the eBuy department store and the Battle Arena.
  • Ant Kingdom City in Bug Fables. It's roughly in the center of the game world and is very close to the Bugaria Outskirts that directly connect to most of the other kingdoms, while the mines below the Palace connect to even more places.
  • Millenium City in Champions Online is this, as well as a City of Adventure. The trope mostly focuses on Renaissance Center, which is the one-stop shop for everything in the game. Other zones have conveniences as well, but nothing comes close to RenCen.
  • Most of the action in City of Heroes takes place in Paragon City, while most of City of Villains takes place in the Rogue Islands. Occasionally the two sides cross over. Each city has a Hub District that fits this trope: Atlas Park for heroes, Cap Au Diable for villains, and Imperial City for Praetorians.
  • The Deus Ex series features these heavily. Each game is basically a series of hub cities, linked by story missions.
    • For the first game, it's mostly self-contained mission areas, but Hell's Kitchen, Hong Kong, and Paris act like this, as well as the UNATCO HQ until JC turns against them.
    • Deus Ex: Invisible War has Seattle, Trier, and Cairo.
    • In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, there are essentially two hub cities: Detroit in the United States and Lower Hengsha in China. Although Montreal and Upper Hengsha were supposed to be hub cities as well, they were Dummied Out and reduced to single levels at the last minute.
    • Deus Ex: The Fall takes place entirely in Panama City (with the exception of the tutorial mission), not even using the self-contained missions outside the hub city structure of the other games. While it will likely never see a sequel, text in the game files indicate plans for the sequel to focus on New York City (specifically, parts of New York City connected by an anarchist-infested subway system).
    • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has Prague, although Rabi'ah is prominent enough throughout the story that it may become the next hub city in the series.
  • Big Ape City from Donkey Kong Land.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: Denerim is the largest city in the game (which isn't saying much), but you're discouraged from going there until later by a Beef Gate or two. Justified in that the Evil Chancellor is there at the centre of his power. It is full of sidequests and critical sequences of the main quests, and The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. In Awakening, it's Amaranthine and in Dragon Age II, it's Kirkwall, seeing how there aren't any other cities in either game.
  • Dragon's Dogma has Gran Soren, which is oft described by Pawns as "the beating heart of all Gransys". It's the royal capital of the realm and has several amenities, including an inn where you can rest and handle your vocations, a Pawn Guild, bulletin boards with job listings, and a fair number of stores and vendors. Subverted, the city would eventually collapse once you killed the dragon, and the true nature of Everfall would be revealed.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Online takes place mostly in the city of Stormreach (see below) The game was even called "Stormreach" before it became an Allegedly Free Game. As you level up, you move through the city's different districts. It helps that the game takes place almost exclusively on Xen'drik, which doesn't exactly have other major civilized areas.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind:
      • The largest city on Vvardenfell island (where the main game takes place) is Vivec, the Egopolis of the Dunmeri Tribunal deity, Vivec. It's made up of several massive cantons (each canton alone is larger than most other cities in the game) and you'll be visiting it repeatedly throughout the main quest as well as most faction quests. Balmora also qualifies as the 2nd largest city on the island, and the first big city you visit if following the main quest (as well as being where your primary quest-giver lives for the first half of the main quest lives).
      • As far as the Imperials are concerned, the technical capital of Vvardenfell is Ebonheart. However, it amounts to little more than a couple of Imperial-style buildings housing the Imperial-appointed Duke and some consular services, across the waterfront from Vivec City.
      • Played with with Mournhold, the actual capital of Morrowind which you visit in the Tribunal expansion. You're unfortunately limited to only a small part of the stated-to-be massive city, where the King of Morrowind (Helseth) and Almalexia take up residence. For the purposes of Tribunal specifically, however, Mournhold does play this part — if only because nearly the entire expansion takes place in Mournhold (the only Tribunal quest that isn't received in Mournhold is the one to get you to Mournhold).
    • Oblivion:
      • Oblivion starts the main character out at the Imperial City prison sewer exit. While this does place the character closest to the Imperial City on the main map, the usual progression for a first-time player is to follow the first quest, which immediately takes you to Weynon Priory, just outside the city of Chorrol. The Imperial City is available to travel to at any time, though.
      • Subverted in the form of Kvatch, which is nearly as large as the Imperial City and even has an arena. It's subverted because the city gets razed to the ground by the invading Daedra before the player ever gets to see it. When you do get inside, it's nothing more than burning buildings and rubble.
      • Played straight in the Shivering Isles expansion for Oblivion, in that the divided city of New Sheoth, capital of the Shivering Isles, is not available until you've finished the introductory quest. Until then, you're restricted to the village of Passwall.
    • Skyrim muddles this trope. Whiterun ultimately fits the description best as it is the Hub City of Skyrim due to its central location. However, due to the Civil War, the political hub cities of Skyrim are Solitude (for Imperial-aligned) and Windhelm (for Stormcloak-aligned) and both are large cities with port access to the other side of the country. Add into this the fact that all the Hold Capitals are Hub Cities for their holds, which add extra layers of complexity.
  • Every country in eRepublik has a capital, certain actions can cause them to move, hence why the capital of the eUSA is Florida.
  • Each game in the Etrian Odyssey series has one, and it's from there where the player's party can access the inn to rest and save the progress, the shop to buy and sell goods, the bar to accept sidequests and talk to non-playable characters, the office of the city's political ruler to accept story missions, the explorer guilds' gathering hall to recruit and manage party members, and the exit that leads to the Yggdrasil Tree (or the overworld leading to it, in the case of Legends of the Titan and Nexus) where most of the adventure takes place. The names of the cities are: Etria (first game and its remake Millenium Girl), High Lagaard (Heroes of Lagaard and its remake The Fafnir Knight), Armoroad (The Drowned City), Tharsis (Legends of the Titan), Iorys (Beyond the Myth), and Maginia (Nexus).
  • EVE Online has Jita, which is so busy that it has its own dedicated nodes to run it and special rules to manage the traffic. Other market hubs include Amarr, Dodixie, and Rens. Putting some numbers to this, Jita regularly tops 1000 people. It usually has about 2% of the entire active population at any given time, while there are some 7500 other systems.
  • Bowerstone from the Fable games. Subverted in both games in that the player visits Bowertone fairly early on.
  • It varies in each Fallout game.
    • Fallout had The Hub as the largest population and trade center of the wastes.
    • New Reno got all the developer love in Fallout 2, but the New California Republic's capital city was also very important in terms of the story since it belongs to the largest faction in the game universe, and there are much more shops there. San Francisco was pretty important in the last quarter of the game as their shops offer many end-game high-tech equipment that you can't get from anywhere else.
    • Fallout 3 was more decentralized, with no real cities. Megaton and Rivet City were the biggest, with Rivet City being bigger and having a better market, while Megaton had more plot and player housing. Like in the second game, the Citadel was big after The Waters of Life.
    • In Fallout: New Vegas, the eponymous city is this in almost every way. While it's only the center of political power for Mr. House and the Families, all the major factions have an interest in it.
    • Fallout 4 has two such cities: one is Diamond City, the "green jewel of the Commonwealth", built in the ruins of Boston's real-life Fenway Park baseball stadium, hence its name. The other is Goodneighbor, which seems like a Wretched Hive in comparison with its population of addicts and grifters, but is a safe haven for all who enter, even ghouls (who are barred from entering Diamond City).
  • Final Fantasy does this a few times:
    • In a variation, Final Fantasy VII makes this the First Town, but Midgar is still the Capital of the planet (Shinra's HQ is located here, natch).
    • Deling City (though Esthar is far bigger) in Final Fantasy VIII.
    • The Grand Duchy of Jeuno in Final Fantasy XI, although nowadays Al Zahbi/Whitegate is busier.
    • Rabanastre from Final Fantasy XII, also the first town. Archadia's capital Archades is also quite large, but not on the same scale and not as friendly. More importantly, there aren't nearly as many places to go in Archades due to its taxi system and being impossible to get around otherwise, cutscenes show it to actually be quite large.
    • Eden is considered the capital of the planet Cocoon in Final Fantasy XIII (with the notable fact that parts of it are made up of living creatures,) and the driving force of the characters' wanting to go there is at first to get help to remove their l'Cie brands, and later to bring it crashing out of the sky.
    • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII has Luxerion, the "City of Light" that has a hand in most of the other events going on in the world (or what's left of it). Case in point, whereas the train stations in other areas are limited in the number of places on their menu, Luxerion has TWO stations that, combined, allow you to ride over to all three of those locales.
    • Gridania, Limsa Lominsa, and Ul'Dah of Final Fantasy XIV, which are also the starting points of the game depending on your starting class. Each expansion adds additional hubs, including Ishgard in Heavensward, Kugane in Stormblood, the Crystarium in Shadowbringers, and Old Sharlayan in Endwalker.
    • Final Fantasy XV has Lestallum, the biggest town that can be visited, with a wide array of vendors selling everything from cooking ingredients to battle gear. There's also a gas station where Noctis can fuel up, and a fancy hotel where the party can rest up. In the multiplayer component Comrades, Lestallum also serves as the base of operations for the remaining members of the Kingsglaive After the End.
  • Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise has Eden, a beacon of civilization in the vast and unforgiving post-nuclear wastes. Compared to other small settlements that dot the wasteland, Eden is a veritable metropolis with clean water, fresh food, and limitless power. There are many shops to frequent (using money instead of simple barter) and amenities of all sorts, including a colosseum, a casino, a hostess club, and a video arcade.
  • Fossil Fighters: Vivosaur Town from the first game features many important locations such as the fossil center, government facilities, and the shops. It is also the connecting point to each of the main dig sites.
  • Freelancer has four Capital Cities, each one of the capital planet of the Houses: Manhattan, New London, New Tokyo, and New Berlin. In terms of where the player can actually go, however, they have the same four locations as every other planet, station, and outpost in the game: the Landing Pad, the Bar, the Ship Dealer, and the Trader.
  • In Genshin Impact, each nation possesses its own hub city, which, as of patch 4.0, has consistently been its capital. These cities almost always have at least one adventurer's guild desk, one general goods merchant, one blacksmith, one specifically marked restaurant, one store where elemental seals can be exchanged for items, one reputation board, and two marked buildings that represent the mortal and divine seats of power for that region. Sub areas in a region will have smaller scale settlements that serve as a sub hub, such as Aaru Village in the Great Red Sand, or Bourou Village on Watatsumi Island, but you will still end up going to the main hub city in the end to collect the reputation rewards received from completing a quest.
  • Tolbi from Golden Sun.
  • Liberty City and Vice City in the Grand Theft Auto series — the former of these is played more straight in GTA3 and Liberty City Stories, where the action is more self-contained (Alderney in GTA4 is treated by the Libertonians as a separate city, despite sharing the same conurbation zone — not quite unlike New Jersey to New York City IRL). As for San Andreas, it's an odd case because the action is rather equally split between Los Santos and San Fierro, with a smaller part of the action being set in Las Venturas.
  • Guild Wars has three of these, one for each continent.
    • Lion's Arch in Tyria, Kaineng Centre in Cantha (which is only the administrative center of Kaineng City — the city itself covers more than half of Cantha, making Kaineng the best example of this trope in Guild Wars), and Kamadan, Jewel of Istan in Elona. these three places are the centres of player trading and chat in their respective campaigns, and are distinguished by being the places you have to go to have access to travel to the other continents.
    • Lion's Arch continued to enjoy its Hub City status in Guild Wars 2, now as a neutral city populated by all races rather than a human capital (it's a long story). It contained portals to all racial cities, as well as PvP and high-end PvE content, dungeon gear vendors, and crafting stations. Then, in a subversion of Status Quo Is God, it was destroyed at the end of the Living Story season one and left a depopulated ruin. The player hub and all services were temporarily moved to Vigil Keep until the city was deemed safe enough for them to return.
  • Killingrad in Heavy Weapon is the capital city of the Red Star forces, and the Disc One Final Level. It's also the level where you first fight against some of the commies' deadly machines such as the Kill Sat and Bulldozer, both of which can One-Hit Kill you.
  • Presumably to save on memory, Jade Empire only has one city and a few villages, and the city's not very big at all.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Kingdom Hearts: Traverse Town, the first world that Sora lands in after his home world is destroyed. As the headquarters of the heroic characters, the player will keep coming back to it, both for plot reasons and because shopping and synthesizing can only be done there.
    • Kingdom Hearts II: Hollow Bastion, which was the penultimate level in the first game, now serves as a headquarters of sorts for Sora and his allies. Many crucial plot points take place here. However, in terms of gameplay, it's not quite as vital as Traverse Town, as shopping and synthesizing can now be done in every other world.
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land features Waddle Dee Town, a small settlement in the New World consisting of primarily Waddle Dees, hence the name. The player can play some minigames, upgrade Copy Abilities, partake in the Colosseum's boss fight cups, rewatch cutscenes, listen to the in-game music, visit Kirby's house, or return to the world map.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • The Citadel in Mass Effect certainly counts, and it's even the capital of interstellar politics.
    • It was even the capital of the Protheans's empire fifty-thousand years before the games. Of course, it was designed by the Reapers so that every galactic civilization would make it their capital, so the first strike of their invasions would immediately take out the nerve center of the strongest galactic power and give them full access to all military and political data as well.
    • Omega acts as this in the sequel.
  • The first three home console Monster Hunter games have each a rural or coastal hub village for the offline campaign and a larger, more populated city for the online campaign. The handheld games prior to the fourth generation have only one hub village for both campaigns (since those games only have local multiplayer support; the multiplayer quests are accepted within an indoor gathering hall). In both cases, the locations serve as residences for most of the non-playable characters and are also places authorized by the Hunter Guild to host quests for hunters to accept. The trope is averted in the fourth generation games, due to the presence of multiple villages and cities, meaning that there's no actual central hub.note  The names of the hub villages and cities are:
    • Kokoto Village (all first-generation entries, single-player; multiplayer in Freedom)
    • Minegarde Town (original Monster Hunter and its G expansion, online)
    • Jumbo Village (Monster Hunter 2 (dos), offline)
    • Dundorma (Monster Hunter 2, online)
    • Pokke Village (Monster Hunter Freedom 2 and Freedom Unite, single- and multiplayer)
    • Moga Village (Monster Hunter 3 (Tri) and 3 Ultimate, single player)
    • Loc Lac City (Monster Hunter 3, online)
    • Yukumo Village (Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, single-player; multiplayer in PSP and online in PS3)
    • Port Tanzia (Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, multiplayer in 3DS and online in Wii U)
    • Astera (Monster Hunter: World, single- and multiplayer)
    • Seliana (Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, same as Astera)
    • Kamura (Monster Hunter: Rise, single- and multiplayer)
    • Elgado (Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak, same as Kamura)
  • Any city from Mount & Blade, but you'll find the place that your leader hides out will be the most commonly visited because sucking up to him is a great way to keep your place in your faction.
  • Neverwinter Nights, set in Neverwinter, is a relatively large city. Not only is the first entire section of the game set exclusively in the metropolis, but one comes back to it for the final battle. Hordes of the Underdark, meanwhile, subverts it: you start off in Waterdeep, which plays this role to the setting... with only a (small) city block available for exploration, and not that much to do; the main part of the chapter is about exploring Halaster's Undermountain.
  • Tairon in Ninja Gaiden (2004).
  • In the Paper Mario games, Toad Town, Rogueport, Flipside, and Decalburg serve as a combination of this, the First Town, and the Hub Level.
  • Perfect World International has Archosaur — so huge that after the 19th level (in particular after what's generally called the "FB 19" dungeon for the respective race) everyone goes there and has more or less the same quests for at least the next ten levels, and thus go to the same areas; it's so huge that you can actually teleport within the city, to a teleport area in the north, west, and/or south. On the Heaven's Tear PVE server this player has seen the area immediately inside the west gate perpetually filled with players.
  • The online iterations of the Phantasy Star series have a singular location where players gather for supplies and meeting up for parties before embarking on adventures, including:
    • Pioneer 2 in Phantasy Star Online, one of the ark ships for the Pioneer Project, which has a hub for players to interact and gather for parties, along with a city with shops, a bank, and a quest counter.
    • The GUARDIANS Colony in Phantasy Star Universe, the capital of the Ghural System. Each planet also has a hub city of their own.
    • Dairon City in Phantasy Star Zero.
    • The ARKS Ship in Phantasy Star Online 2, which has several amenities, including a shopping district, a cafe, a casino, a PVP battle arena, and personal housing.
  • Planet Alcatraz has the Northern City as the largest settlement on the prison planet. There's also Kreuzweizburg, a fortress, inhabited by political prisoners. The sequel also introduces Cop City.
  • The cities of Celadon, Saffron, Goldenrod, Ecruteak, Mauville, Lilycove, Jubilife, Hearthome, Castelia, Nimbasa, and Lumiose from the various Pokémon games.
    • When modeling Kanto after the real Kantō region of Japan, Game Freak split Tokyo into two cities due to its size and influence — Celadon for the culture, Saffron for the commerce.
    • Johto's Goldenrod is an expy of Osaka. Incidentally, Johto itself matches the name of a ward of said city.
    • Jubilife in Sinnoh is based on Sapporo, the capital city of Hokkaidō. In the Distant Prequel Pokémon Legends: Arceus taking place during the Meiji Restoration, Jubilife City is Jubilife Village and more directly serves as the player's hub of operations.
    • Castelia is notably based on Lower Manhattan.
    • Lumiose City is based on Paris. If the Eiffel Tower expy didn't tip you off, maybe the fact that it's the biggest and most important city in a France-based region will. Also, among cities in the Pokémon world, it holds the record for the most routes leading into and out of it (five).
  • Prontera from Ragnarok Online.
  • Downplayed in Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion. While the political center of the Empire of Estellion is the city of Atium, where the Obsidian Perch (The Emperor's throne) is located, the economic and social hub of the Empire is most definitely in the Twin Cities of Whitewater and Istoni (connected by bridges across the Deverra river). This is where the four Queens (think of them as department heads) rule. There are other fairly-sized cities in the game, although you only know that from the in-game Codex: East Isle (a rebellious recently-conquered island city), Halfling Quarter (a Jackdaw city built into a huge crack in the ground), Silvergate (capital of the Commonwealth of Esotre), New Carsis (capital of the Kaysani), Redemptor’s Watch (a smaller Kaysani city; HQ of the Redeemers).
  • Varrock, Falador, and Ardougne in Runescape.
  • Koorong in SaGa Frontier, the only city in the game from which you can travel to all of the others; the others only have a handful of destinations. Manhattan probably has more people, but you only have to visit there in a couple of the quests, and there aren't nearly as many buildings to go into.
  • Shantae: In the games following the first one, Scuttle Town is the place where Shantae can spend her gems to purchase items and spells.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic Adventure has Station Square. This is where you start out (with most characters), and it has three full Action Stages in it (the first of which is quite large) — Speed Highway, Emerald Coast, and Casinopolis.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) has Soleanna, an Italy-inspired city-state from which nearly every stage is accessed (the few that aren't are from a Bad Future).
    • Sonic Unleashed has "Town Stages" situated in each of the game's major countries from which the action stages are accessed (in the PS360 versions, anyway). The Town Stages are inspired by different real-world regions, including Apotos (Greece), Spagonia (London), Mazuri (southern Africa), Holoska (the Arctic), Chun-nan (rural China), Shamar (the Middle East), Empire City (New York City), and Adabat (southeast Asia). There is also a hub for the final area, Eggmanland.
  • Happy Garland in Steambot Chronicles.
  • Stella Glow: Lambert City is the capital of the kingdom where all characters live in, serving as the resting area for Alto and all characters who join him over the course of the adventure. During Free Time, Alto can chat with the characters to increase mutual affinity, tune Witches in case one of them is in need thereof, accept jobs to earn money, do free exploration, and buy or sell products as well as refine orbs. During Mission Time, only the last two actions can be performed, since time will only pass when you're completing the main story objectives. Lambert City is also where you can save your progress outside story-based save prompts. It remains the safest location for the characters until the second half of the game.
  • Summoner featured Lenele, the city of the gods. To say that Lenele was immense would be a mild understatement (Unfortunately, Lenele is the only large city in the game that's still populated, although there was originally going to be another huge city next to Lenele, but it was scrapped midway through development).
  • Tales Series:
  • Britannia from Ultima Online and other Ultima games.
  • Wasteland 3: Colorado Springs is the largest functioning city left in the post-apocalyptic United States, thanks to the Patriarch who rules with an iron fist but otherwise has managed to maintain order and stability. There is a large downtown area full of various merchants, the Patriarch's opulent palace at The Broadmoor, and the remains of Peterson AFB, that Ranger Team November takes over as their base of operations.
  • Vizima in The Witcher. The third game has Novigrad.
  • Wolfenstein has Isenstadt, in which the player can interact with various resistance groups, buy weapon upgrades, and tangle with random Nazi patrols between missions.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Classic had the six capitals of the playable races (trolls and gnomes didn't have any): Stormwind, Ironforge, and Darnassus for the Alliance and Orgrimmar, Thunder Bluff, and Undercity for the Horde. By its end, they all had the same amenities, and the same is true in modern World of Warcraft Classic, but early in the game, only two capitals (Ironforge and Orgrimmar) had auction houses, meaning that most players congregated there. Once auction houses were added elsewhere, the playerbase became more evenly spread across all capitals, with Orgrimmar (once again) and Stormwind being the most popular as world buffs from killing raid bosses could be received there. Both Orgrimmar and Stormwind have remained in heavy use through more or less every expansion thanks to also being portal hubs.
    • The Burning Crusade had Shattrath, a temple city in the middle of Outland. It also introduced two more racial capitals, Exodar for the Draenei and Silvermoon for the Blood Elves, but as the game progressed beyond old Azeroth, these two cities became only relevant for low-level players.
    • Wrath of the Lich King had the wizard city of Dalaran, which was previously a ruin not far away from Undercity but was now repaired, raised to the sky, and moved to Northrend to battle the Lich King directly on his doorstep next to Icecrown.
    • Cataclysm once again returned players to Stormwind and Orgrimmar, which were (like most Classic zones) visually updated and given high-level vendors and portals to high-level zones.
    • Mists of Pandaria had the extended palace complex in the Vale of Eternal Spring, with two sections reserved for the two factions: the Shrine of Seven Stars for the Alliance and the Shrine of Two Moons for the Horde.
    • Warlords of Draenor was originally planned to have featured proper capitals - the ogre-built Bladespire Citadel for the Horde and the Temple of Karabor, a friendly Alternate Timeline version of the Burning Crusade raid Black Temple, for the Alliance. However, these capitals were later replaced by the two military outposts of Stormshield (Alliance) and Warspear (Horde), which were much smaller in size. The customisable player-owned Garrisons also served as (individual) player hubs and featured max-level quests, hubs for crafting and gathering, and a mission table Mini-Game which was important for farming gold and other in-game resources.
    • Legion saw the return of Dalaran, which was moved to the expansion's new high-level zone of the Broken Isles (we even see how it teleports in-game). Due to the expansion's focuses on playable classes, every individual class also got its own "Order Hall"note , which functions similarly to the Warlords garrisons but is shared.
    • Battle for Azeroth had Boralus for the Alliance and Zuldazar for the Horde, capitals of the humans of Kul Tiras and trolls of Zandalar respectively. Both cities are a fair bit larger than their predecessors, but only small portions of them are reserved for actual in-game services: most are used for questing instead. The hub sections of Zuldazar (the government district of Dazar'alor and the Zuldazar Harbor at the shore) aren't even next to each other, so you'll have to fly between them or fight your way through various hostile trolls: for all intents and purposes, they are two separate cities.
    • Shadowlands had Oribos, the Afterlife Antechamber from which you can access the different parts of the eponymous spirit world. Much like in Warlords and Legion, there are also secondary player hubs: the sanctums of the four Covenants which the playable characters can join. The kyrian have the Elysian Hold, the Necrolords have the Seat of the Primus, the Night Fae have the Heart of the Forest and the venthyr have the castle of Sinfall.
    • Dragonflight has Valdrakken, the seat of the eponymous Dragonglights in the Dragon Isles. Like Shattrath, Dalaran and Oribos before it, it is shared by both player factions.
  • New Los Angeles from Xenoblade Chronicles X. It's the last bastion of humanity and home to the headquarter of BLADE, the military organization that employs the many characters.
  • Ys series: Multiple:
    • Minea in I and IV (Mask & Dawn)''
    • Rance in II
    • Redmont in III/Oath
    • Xandria and Kefin in V
    • Port Rimorge in VI
    • Altago City in Seven

    Web Original 
  • For Achievement Hunter, there was Achievement City in Minecraft, and later Achieveland after Achievement City became corrupted.
  • Spawn City in SMPLive is a huge collection of buildings at the server's spawn point. It is most recognizable for the large, intricately built tree, known as "Spawn Tree", and the giant Schlattcoin sign.

    Real Life 
  • A primate city is one that is head and shoulders above all others in its country (or region or state or whatever) in most, if not all, conceivable measures of prominence (politics, culture, finance, science, etc.) The exact list of primate cities (and whether a given country even has one) will vary depending on the exact definitions, but for some illustrative examples:
    • London, England is a commuter city to an extreme — more people work there than actually live there, and a large number of towns are known as satellite towns due to many of their residents commuting to London for work and a lack of local industry. The place is much more concerned with modern infrastructure than elsewhere. In addition, when meeting people from overseas, it is common to cite your town's proximity to London. This is somewhat in contrast with the north of England where a number of cities have made their marks in their own right.
    • Bangkok is a frequently cited extreme example, being around 30-40 times the size of the next largest urban area in Thailand. It is also the capital, the financial and media center, and the central hub of the country's rails and highways.
    • Guatemala City, where all of the country's major highways and airways. It is within driving distance of three different countries and two oceans.
  • A medium-sized university town called Hattiesburg, Mississippi is also known as "Hub City" or simply "The Hub," but mainly because of several historic train routes which once met there. To call it that is stretching the definition of "city" a bit, but the central location means it does fall within driving distance of several larger cities, including New Orleans.

Alternative Title(s): Capital City