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"It's the crossroads of all dimensions, like Grand Central Station for space and time."
Michael, describing the Interdimensional Hole of Pancakes, The Good Place
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A world that contains access to many others, most of which are themselves unaware of the existence of portals/other worlds.

Where the Portal Crossroad World is populated and has widespread portal travel, expect the culture to be a strange mishmash of elements from other worlds. Hopefully there's signage or Portal Endpoint Resemblance that let you know which portals go where; otherwise, be very careful where you step.

Compare Portal Network, more often found in sci-fi where many worlds are equally interlinked by a portal transport system; contrast Void Between the Worlds, the space through which the portals pass. Also compare Inn Between the Worlds, the single-room/building version which is itself outside reality. See also Extra-Dimensional Shortcut.

This is a common form of the video game mechanic, Hub Level.

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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In ID: Invaded, Chief Hayaseura's ID-well is one of these due to his connection to Kiki Asukai and her psychic connection to those with murderous intent. When Hayaseura becomes aware of his true memories in there, the ID-well expands into a dark, muddy cavern full of masks that act as portals to other killers' ID-wells.
  • The Pokémon short Pikachu, What's this Key?, Klefki is a Dimensional Traveller who takes Pikachu and friends along on one of its adventures. Klefki's own realm, whose key it keeps on its person at all times, is an area of parkland containing countless keyholes to other dimensions and a massive pile of keys to open them. The local plants resemble keys of varying designs to keep with the visual motif.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Incredible Hulk Issue #300, Doctor Strange sends a mindless rampaging Hulk to the "Crossroads," where all the worlds join, allowing him to choose the world he wants to live in. In case he enters a world and isn't happy there, Strange places a subconscious trigger in the Hulk's head to send him back to the Crossroads again.
  • The Battle Void from the Story Arc of the same name in the Invader Zim (Oni) comics (Issues #46-#49), is a Pocket Dimension composed entirely of a single planetoid surrounded by wormholes leading to an apparently infinite number of Alternate Universe. As it's inhabited solely by counterparts of Zim, it's also called the "Zimvoid".
  • In Dynamite Entertainment's Flash Gordon, the planet Mongo has a Valley of Portals that link to various other planets that they've conquered.
  • In the DC Comics, Aquaman's daughter Andy and Aqualad encounter the Confluence, an aquatic region where all the oceans across time and space meet and flow together.

    Fan Works 
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    Film - Animation 
  • In The Nightmare Before Christmas, a grove of trees with holiday-themed doors provides passage between Halloween Town and Christmas Town, similar to "the wood between the worlds" in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew.
  • Treasure Planet itself is a planet-sized portal generator created long ago that was discovered by pirate Captain Nathaniel Flint. Flint used the portals to surprise merchant ships and plunder them ruthlessly, then store the captured booty on the centroid of the portal mechanism. This was how Treasure Planet got its name.

    Film - Live Action 
  • Contact has Hyperspace Lanes from many worlds all leading to the one place where the aliens bring new sentient species to introduce themselves.
  • The Rock of Eternity in Shazam has a room full of Portal Doors that each lead to a different world.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Doctor Strange (2016) feautres the Rotunda of Gateways, a round chamber with doors that can lead to any location anywhere.
    • Sakaar from Thor: Ragnarok is a planet surrounded by thousands of portals from across the universe, many of which appear and disappear at random. Blind FTL jumps and other errors during teleportation can lead to you being dumped there. You can use the portals to leave, but that's easier said than done when the planet's ruled by an immortal, questionably sane tyrant who really doesn't want anybody to do so.

    Literature 
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew has a universe/dimension referred to only as "The Wood Between the Worlds". It's a forest that stretches as far as the eye can see, dotted with pools of ankle-deep water. With the proper magic (such as the rings created by Digory's uncle) these pools become portals to other universes, like our Earth or the land of Narnia. On the one hand the Wood is described as bright, peaceful and serene, but it is also completely silent and devoid of life apart from the trees and the grass. It seems to come with a dangerous, if not sinister side in that it gradually induces drowsiness in anyone inside it, and eventually to sleep - forever. All the pools also look exactly the same, meaning one can easily become hopelessly lost and never be able to find one's home pool again.
  • In Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell The King's Roads, created by John Uskglass, serve as a way to travel from place to place through mirrors. The Roads are described by magician Jonathan Strange as “...great stone halls that lead off in every direction," and with “canals of still water in stone embankments.“...staircases that rose up so high I could not see the top of them, and others that descended into utter blackness."
  • The Neitherlands in The Magicians, The Neitherlands is a City Planet covered in Portal Pools leading to the rest of the multiverse. Word of God said it's the same place as "The Wood Between the Worlds" of the Narnia series. Grossman said either the city was built over the forest or the city gets demolished and the forest grows over it.
  • The city of Scalentine in the Babylon Steel novels sits at a planar convergence and has portals to several other worlds. As a byproduct of the meeting worlds, most magics are nerfed while you're in town.
  • Sergey Lukyanenko's Borderlands multi-author series (no relation to the games). The world of Centrum lies at the crossroads between dozens of worlds. Once, it was a thriving world a century ahead of Earth. Then a calamity known as the Plastic Plague struck, destroying all kinds of plastic in the world, including any petroleum (it even went deep underground, wiping out vast oil reserves and causing earthquakes). The people of Centrum believe the calamity was an attack by an unknown world they call Source. Without plastics or petroleum, Centrum stagnated. The once-powerful Empire broke into many smaller nations. The only structure that retained its unity and grew in power are the railroaders, who went back to using coal-powered steam locomotives. Some people of Earth have a natural ability to open portals to Centrum. Only a small percentage learns to control it. Some move to Centrum permanently. Others become either smugglers or border guards. The latter patrol Centrum for interdimensional smugglers. Most border guards are from Earth, one of the most advanced known worlds. Strangely, no native of Centrum can open portals. They can be taken to other worlds by off-worlders but never feel quite right. It's started that Earth governments are aware of Centrum. They just don't know how they can make use of it (a traveler always comes back to the spot he left on Earth, although the emergence point on Centrum is random). Everyone's trick for opening portals is different. The protagonist of the first novel can only do it naked, wet, and while walking backwards while drying himself with a towel. Another man is an adrenaline traveler, who opens a portal when he's afraid. A girl can only open portals when she's insulted.
  • In Jim Butcher's Codex Alera, Word of God says that Carna is Another Dimension that has wormholes pop up in other dimensions and suck beings in.
  • Crossroad of Nick O'Donohoe's Crossroads trilogy (The Magic and the Healing, Under the Healing Sign, and The Healing of Crossroads). Some inhabitants there can go to and from there at will, but most end up there by mistake. It's very much a refuge of mythological species.
  • In Stephen King's The Dark Tower novels, the Dark Tower is the nexus and linchpin of the space-time continuum. From it, a traveler can reach anywhere or anytime in The Multiverse.
  • In Glory Road Earth is important because it has many portals; it might even be the birthplace of himanity- other than that, it's considered a dumpy backwater.
  • The Arena in Grand Central Arena, where every spaceship with a drive for Faster-Than-Light Travel ends up.
  • In The Great Tree Of Avalon (Sequel Series to The Lost Years of Merlin), Avalon is imagined as a World Tree that is said to connect to every other world. It's eventually revealed that Avalon's stars are the portals, filled with magical fire to keep people from using them. The Big Bad is extinguishing certain stars as part of his invasion plan.
  • Hell's Gate: The titular world, a parallel Earth, contains the largest portal cluster known to the two civilizations exploring the portals, who first encounter each other there.
  • His Dark Materials: Cittàgazze's world in The Subtle Knife has many portals thanks to the titular object.
  • The Manticore system in the Honor Harrington series sits near a Negative Space Wedgie dubbed the Manticore Wormhole Junction, a cluster of six (later seven) wormholes connecting points hundreds of light-years apart. The Star Kingdom of Manticore's ownership of the junction has made them incredibly wealthy and also grants massive strategic advantages to their military, since they can get their forces around the galaxy much faster.
  • In KJ Taylor's first book, The Land Of Bad Fantasy, the protagonist comes from one of these, called Y'hyerd B'zeck. There, interdimensional travel is so common that there are various Advice for Dummies books about it, aspects are taught in school, and there is no semblance of whatever their original culture was.
  • From Stephen Donaldson's Mordant's Need series, Mordant is this through the use of Imaging and the mirrors. Curved mirrors act as windows to other worlds, according to their shape and exact composition. An Imager is then able to summon what he sees through the mirror and into Mordant.
  • The Nightside from Simon R. Green's novel series is a hidden urban center full of Timeslips to distant eras or alternate histories, passageways to alien realities and planes of existence, and Bigger on the Inside pocket dimensions. Characters such as the Doormouse or the proprietors of the Mammon Emporium have actually commercialized this trope, using portals for architecture, transportation, and importation of exotic goods.
  • The Quentaris Chronicles: Quentaris, with its rift caves (acts mostly as a one-city-world) is a variation. While many worlds trade through the rifts, many also do not know of their existence. Quentaris also has a greater concentration of rifts than any of the other worlds, which have few or no others.
  • Magic by the Numbers: In Secret of the Sixth Magic, the demon's realm acts as a one-way version as fires in any realm all lead to it. In Riddle of the Seven Realms, the titular question is if all fires lead to the demon's realm, where would a fire in the demon's realm lead? To the Void Between the Worlds, which would destroy all the realms.
  • The Star Gate in The Space Odyssey Series leads to a hub solar system at the center of the galaxy with portals leading everywhere else.
  • Liv in the Future: Portals have been appearing on Earth since the end of a nuclear war in 2967, connecting to alternate universes, other time periods, and other dimensions. These portals stay open for thirty seconds at most unless they're sustained by government technology.
  • In The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Xibalba is a crossroads linking to several other Shadowrealms.

    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • The Concordant Domain of the Outlands are said to be the "hub" of the Great Wheel cosmology, and settlements evenly-spaced about from the plane's central spire contain freestanding portals to every one of the Outer Planes. Situated atop that infinitely-tall spire is the planar metropolis of Sigil, the heart of the Planescape setting. Sigil covers the inside of a torus (don't ask natives what's on the "outside") with no access points to the rest of Outland, instead the city is rife with planar gateways to more or less anywhere, assuming the would-be traveler knows how to activate the portal they seek. Sigil is thus known as the "City of Doors," though another epithet for it is "the Cage," due to both the difficulty of leaving if you lack the right key to return home, as well as the difficulty in finding a reason to leave.
    • In the Forgotten Realms, one drow city has a whole bunch of portals to various places on the surface, and so is commonly used by raiding parties from various other cities.
  • In Eclipse Phase the Solar system has at least five Pandora Gates, which for some unknown reason aren't all capable of dialing into the same systems. Most other systems have one, but the creatively-named Portal has six Gates that are not only on the same planet but clustered within a 1-kilometer radius, while Sunrise has seven Gates spaced equally around its' equator.
  • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar has an extra-dimensional space once known as the Allpoints, outside the Eight Mortal Realms, but connected to all of them through the Realmgates. Since it was conquered and corrupted by Chaos, it is now known as the Eightpoints, and at its center is The Varanspire, home base for Archaon the Everchosen, Exalted Grand Marshal of the Apocalypse.

    Theme Parks 
  • In the former The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera at Universal Studios, after a computer-animating machine malfunctions, it creates one of these that sucks the guests in. The single portal leads to further portals that allow travel between the various worlds of the Hanna-Barbera characters.

    Video Games 
  • The Gateway of the Ancients in AMID EVIL is an overgrown ruin that serves as the game's Hub Level. It has six portals connecting to five worlds, which two of the portals connecting to the different parts of the same world. Once the evil force that corrupted those worlds finds the gateway, it forcibly opens a seventh portal to the Void in the Gateway's basement.
  • The titular planet of Anachronox is covered in Sender Spikes that can transport a traveller to other spikes all over the galaxy.
  • Near the end of Bioshock Infinite you will enter one of these and travel around to different Alternate Universes. It appears as a infinite sea with infinite lighthouses equidistant from each other, each representing a distinct universe that in the distance begin to resemble a star filled sky.
  • Chrono Trigger has the End of Time, a dimension that exists after time is eaten, containing portals to the different eras and can be used to access an early-game Peninsula of Power Leveling.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition has a pocket realm on the edge between the mundane world and the Fade where the ancient elves' Eluvian network had a hub. It's specifically called the "Crossroads".
  • The Nexus in Heroes of the Storm is implied to be one, connecting through the universes of various Blizzard games and franchises like StarCraft, Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, and even to the classic ones like the The Lost Vikings.
  • A House of Many Doors is the story of a living pocket dimension that steals from other worlds. The three arc questions are: what is this place you were born in, who originally created / owned it, and how do you get out. There's two ways out, but they're kept triple-locked for a reason; the first is the doorway containing THAT Eden. Eat the fruit, and you will be immortal as long as you stay in the house, but an entire random living world will DIE. The second is a breach point made by the original owner when they were locked out and busted their way back in. The breach point is guarded by one of the higher gods, Scorpidithon, and it will break the house apart if it isn't held together.
  • Four episodes of Minecraft: Story Mode involve Jesse's newest friends traversing worlds connected by this in an attempt to return home.
  • Mortal Kombat: Deception introduced the Nexus, a void-based Hub World of sorts that opens portals to other realms with the use of the Kamidogu.
  • Myst:
    • Riven has the 233rd Age of Gehn, which contains linking books to all of Riven's islands, and is the only way to access Prison Island.
    • The later Myst game Uru has the Nexus, a one-room Age with a jukebox-like machine that provides quick access to multiple Ages and D'ni locations that the player's KI is registered for.
  • Napple Tale applies this trope in more than one way. In plot terms, Napple World lies between life and death; in gameplay terms Napple Town is the Hub Level that connects all of the season-themed worlds which the main character must explore.
  • The Reaper's Realm in Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark has doors to several worlds, although you can only use the one connecting back to Toril at first. After Mephistopheles kills you, that door closes and the door to Cania, the Eighth Circle of Hell, opens.
  • The Quilt in Nightmare Ned, where all 5 nightmare worlds are represented by a symbol on one of its patches. It's subverted in that aside from you being able to instantly return to it at will (at the cost of one of your 8 hours), there are also hidden doorways within the nightmares themselves that can be used as shortcuts between each world.
  • The Homeworlds from the original Spyro the Dragon trilogy act as this, having easily accessible portals to smaller worlds populated by other inhabitants.
  • Super Mario 64: The paintings in Peach's castle act as portals to 11 of the game's 15 stages, note  which Mario has to enter to retrieve the Power Stars.
  • In Touhou Tenkuushou ~ Hidden Star in Four Seasons we're introduced to the Ushirodo-no-Kuni (The Land of the Rear Door), filled with many doors that go to every possible place in Gensokyo, it's the setting for the latter half of the game.
  • X3: Terran Conflict and X3: Albion Prelude have the Hub, a sector consisting of a giant, spherical space station that can insert itself between up to three pairs of jumpgates, dramatically shortening routes across the gate network.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: In Volume 8, using whatever dimension the Vaults exist in, Team RWBY gets the idea to use this interdimension to have Ambrosius temporarily turn it into a Portal Crossroad World to evacuate Atlas to Vacuo. However, due to Exact Words, the portals only allow entry and exit one-way. Ambrosius also cautions them not to fall into the void, which then happens to Yang and various people in the following episode.

    Webcomics 
  • Kaspall gets a lot of people from other dimensions falling through unstable portals, unfortunately they can't seem to go back. There is also a stable Portal Network but it only connects locations within the city.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons has the city of Throne, the hub of the wheel that is the multiverse. It was heaven back when the gods were alive but is now a Vice City the size of southern California. It holds several of the King's Doors, which link it to the 777,777 worlds/universes created by the gods, and is ringed by the rest in the Void it hovers above.
  • Missing Monday features a maze of twisting corridors lined with doors to many worlds.
  • The Shadows Over Innsmouth features the city of Yizix, where its many portals are visible in the sky.

    Web Original 
  • Orion's Arm has Aksijaha, the Root of the Eye. It's a system with literally hundreds of wormholes and anyone who travels far enough through the wormhole network will pass through it. The Eye is an AI god who oversees the system and ensures that no one learns of the Root's location or even existence.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • Downplayed with Three Portlands, which only connects three locations within the same universe (Portland, Oregon; Portland, Maine and the Isle of Portland in the UK). It is more notable for being an anomalous city-state that operates within The Masquerade and being neutral ground for various anomalous organizations. The Foundation and the GOC both have a presence in Three Portlands, but mostly let them go about their business as long as they keep it under wraps.
    • The Wanderer's Library connects to countless interdimensional pathways called Ways that in turn connect to countless worlds. This along with its nature as a multiversal Great Big Library of Everything makes it the perfect base of operations for the Serpent's Hand. It also has its own wiki for content unrelated to the SCP Foundation's setting.

    Western Animation 
  • The planet Freleng lies at the center of the galaxy in the Loonatics Unleashed universe, where it functions as a portal junction. Control of planet Freleng is critical to a trio of villains bent on galactic conquest.
  • Star Wars Rebels introduces the World Between Worlds near the end of the show, which is basically this. Since it allows not only fast travel via fold space, but also Time Travel, it is very dangerous to use, especially if put in the wrong hands. This is why only select individuals like Ezra, Ahsoka, lothwolves, and Morai can access it, while Palpatine, even while using Sith alchemy, can only stick his hand in. From what is currently known, there are portals on Lothal, Malachor, and Coruscant. The "wood between the worlds" from The Chronicles of Narnia are specifically stated to be an influence.
  • Transformers: Cyberverse introduces Unspace, a dimension that lies between Spacebridges across the Multiverse. Escaping requires a tremendous amount of energy and anything that stays there too long spontaneously disintegrates.


 
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The Hollow Earth

The hub of the Tree of Life, Agartha links countless locations, time periods and dimensions together - from the distant past to the depths of Hell. All you have to do is walk along the branches...

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