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Laputa was a city considerably advanced for 1706.

"A vista into a world of wondrous ideas, signifying man's achievements.... A step into the future with predictions of constructive things to come. Tomorrow offers new frontiers in science, adventure and ideals: the atomic age, the challenge of outer space and the hope for a peaceful and unified world."
Walt Disney dedicating the Trope Namer at Disneyland, July 17th, 1955

An inexplicably technologically-advanced area in a place where it's far more advanced than its surroundings — for example, a far-flung Jetsons-esque metropolis in a game set during the modern day; or an advanced techno-dungeon in the middle of your Medieval European Fantasy. Either way, expect to run through streets and buildings high in the sky, and to dodge cars — of either the mundane or the flying variety.

Named after the section of several Disney Theme Parks dedicated to such things.

For the 2015 film, see here.

See also Schizo Tech, Zeerust and Decade Dissonance. May be the work of Fantasy Aliens.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • One Piece: As the great ocean Grand Line are made of small islands in between seas, with high difficulty to even move from island to island in the first place, islands are all but isolated from each other; some islands get to be much more advanced (read: looking like some place in the future instead of the 16th century technology like in the age of piracy) than others. This is especially true of Egghead, in the New World. As it's where the laboratory of One-Man Industrial Revolution Dr. Vegapunk is located, the island is stated to be "500 years ahead in the future".

    Comic Books 
  • The Ultimates: The Maker created The City in Europe, a dangerous version of one of these.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Metropolis: The titular city of Metropolis, which is the most advanced and wealthiest city in the world.
  • Due to a comet made of vibranium crash-landing on the sight millions of years prior, the African-nation of Wakanda from the Marvel Cinematic Universe can be considered the most technologically advanced nation on Earth, having access to advanced technology like hover-vehicles, lasers, medical-tech capable of curing fatal (or at least permanently crippling) injuries in a matter of hours and have a much higher standard of living than even most first-world countries.

  • Galt's Gulch from Atlas Shrugged was created by John Galt to be a utopia built on Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism - a community built on the self-interest of exceptional people (mainly captains of industry and high-grade employers held down by the socialist shit-hole the USA has turned into). Because of this, Galt's Gulch has access to resources and technology more advanced than anywhere else, allowing it to remain hidden and sustain itself while the rest of the world collapses.
  • A Certain Magical Index: Academy City, which is said to have technology that's 20 years ahead of everyone else.
  • 1632: A small town from Virginia in the year 2000 is teleported 300+ years into the past. To Germany.
  • Gulliver's Travels: In his third voyage, Gulliver visits Laputa: a flying city powered by magnetic levitation. Laputa's population consists mainly of an educated elite, who are fond of mathematics, astronomy, music and technology, but fail to make practical use of their knowledge. Servants make up the rest of the population. Gulliver's visit occurs in 1706.
  • Tomorrow Town is an attempt by British futurists in The '70s to make this an Invoked Trope. It turns out to be a deconstruction of the trope instead, as the social and technological advances of the rest of the world soon leave Tomorrow Town behind.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Eureka, the eponymous city is populated by the most brilliant minds in the world. As a result, its technology is significantly more advanced, with nuclear fusion generators being routinely used to power houses, the cure for common cold being available in drugstores, and the deputy sheriff being eventually replaced by an android. This causes endless problems to sheriff Jack Carter, who comes from the "normal" world, and has trouble to adapt to a city where crimes involve invisible people or rebellious self-aware army drones, to name but a few. Meanwhile, his daughter discovers a highschool where cheerleaders discuss quantum physics and science projects involve genetic engineering.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Pathfinder's Golarion setting:
    • The city-state of Alkenstar doesn't share in Golarion's ready access to magic, thanks to the interference of the Mana Wastes, so it dedicated itself to scientific advancement instead. Its most famous achievement is the invention of firearms, and in addition to monopolizing that market, its engineers and alchemists are in very high demand.
    • The Numerian city of Starfall is a downplayed example: access to the nearby Silver Mount, a gigantic ancient starship wreck, has provided it with many relics of the Ancient Astronauts' powerful technology, but the nation's Technic League is mostly stuck in an Archaeological Arms Race and has managed very little actual scientific advancement.
  • The "dungeon" beneath the Barrier Peaks in the world of Greyhawk is actually a crashed spaceship with Robots, keycards, Ray Guns and Powered Armor, as seen in Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • The Alaborn cards from the Portal Second Age expansion have guns. Given that Magic features numerous different worlds, it wouldn't be a problem...but supposedly, they really do come from Dominaria, the same world as most other sets released prior to 2003. Where exactly they were during Invasion has never been answered, although it's debatable whether the guns would have been of much use.
    • Card art during the Invasion block featured Magitek laser guns, planes, and Humongous Mecha. Not everyone was happy.

    Video Games 
  • Ape Escape: Dr. Tomoki's Tomoki City level in 3.
    I have seen the future, and it is BLUE ON BLUE.
  • Backyard Baseball: Unusual for a sports game, Quantum Field.
  • Bioshock:
    • Premiering in BioShock, the underwater city of Rapture, which has automatic doors (made a few years earlier than in real life), genetic modification, and diesel-powered robots and SentryGuns in the 1950-60s.
    • Bioshock Infinite: The flying city of Columbia which has robot Sentry Guns, mechanical presidents, and cyborgs in the year 1912. This is due to them taking ideas from the Tears that open which is why the Vigors are suspiciously similar to Plasmids. Fink learned about them and built upon the failed tests of drinkable plasmids.
  • Chrono Cross: The Dead Sea is a fragment of alt-1999 A.D., and Chronopolis is supposed to have originated in the year 2300. (Just look at the plaque!)
  • Can be invoked in any game of Civilization if you manage to have researched way more technologies than your rivals. Certain civilizations, such as Korea in Civilization V, and Babylon in Civilization VI, let you do this much more easily.
  • Crash Bandicoot:
  • Most of Elona is set in a vaguely Medieval-ish setting (though it is hinted that Yerles and possibly the other continents are more advanced), but then you come across a town called the Cyberdome filled with computers and high technology.
  • 2010's release, Disney and Junction Point's Epic Mickey, has this has one of its early levels. Including Tron Lines everywhere in the latter half of the level, including the boss, the walking TRON homage Petetronic.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy: In the original version, the Floating Castle (AKA Flying Fortress) is an orbital space station, referred to as a castle in-game because the characters don't have any other vocabulary to describe it. This is why you can see the stars out the windows and it's full of robots and other high-tech trappings. It also means that the "prosperous nations" of the past had access to super-modern technology and that the scope of devastation inflicted by Tiamat and Kraken is much more extensive than you first thought.
    • Final Fantasy VIII: Esthar, the most technologically advanced city-state in the game, is full-on Crystal Spires and Togas while the rest of the world has technology roughly comparable to the 20th century. Amongst other things, it has a cloaking device which keeps it hidden from the rest of the world, is the only city in the game shown to have a functioning space program, and is home to Odine Laboratories, one of the finest magical research institutes in the world. The tech difference can be partially justified in that they're also very isolationist, so their advancements wouldn't have spread to the other nations - yet even so, said isolationism is less than twenty years old. Not to mention that isolationist cultures are typically less advanced, due to the lack of external competition.
  • Grand Theft Auto 2: The Industrial District is a stark change to what has come before. Loads and loads of mazelike, mile-high catwalks; a strange power plant which wouldn't look out of place in Sonic the Hedgehog; a Ridley Scott aesthetic in the Russian-owned factories, etc.
  • Deep Space in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. Somewhat justified, as it's a galactic spaceship that merely happens to be crossing through The Multiverse back to its proper dimension... a fantasy-dominant multiverse.
  • Most of La-Mulana is ancient ruins. Then comes the Tower of the Goddess, a spaceship, complete with futuristic lighting, mysterious monitors, and scaffolding.
  • Area 66 from MadWorld, an Area 51 type place... in the middle of a city.
  • Sanctuary Fortress in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. After having just beaten the quiet, tropical Torvus Bog, the Sanctuary Fortress, which is about as technological as possible, snuck up on players.
  • A staple of the Might and Magic series, where each game (except the ninth) has some sort of sci-fi location, most often the Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • No More Heroes III: Neo Brazil, located east of Santa Destroy, is an idyllic region with a futuristic cylindrical building and a wide, very lush grassland that features some monoliths engraved with luminescent figures shaped like plant leaves. It's clearly modeled after an idealized city in the future that is also ecologically friendly.
  • Metropolis Zone, Scrap Brain Zone, Metal City, Grand Metropolis, Power Plant, Eggmanland, and many more, all from the Sonic The Hedgehog series. Justified in that they are presumably the work of Robotnik/Eggman, except for Grand Metropolis. The Sonic Riders subseries has a high level of technology far above the rest of the Sonic games. Zero Gravity has a pair of courses set in what looks like modern-day Japan, but the game explains that this is an artificial construct.
  • Soul Hackers: Amami City, where every home has a networked computer, and there is a virtual city, all in 1997.
  • Robotica Farms from Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!. Another example is from a level not too far from Robotica Farms: Metropolis. It's an even bigger example of this trope because it's a domed robot city, perhaps the urban counterpart to Robotica Farms.
  • A lot of levels in Super Mario Galaxy are like this, since the game takes place in outer space.
  • "Future Fuckballs 2010" in The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures, which is based on science fiction and other "futuristic" elements that have appeared on the Nerd's show.
  • The Elder Scrolls has anything built by the Dwemer. They combined their abilities as master enchanters with their Steampunk engineering prowess to build Magitek machines far more advanced than anything the other races could create. They were also known to tamper with the laws of time and physics to ensure that their creations were built to last. Even 4000+ years after their disappearance (the cause of which is unknown, but very likely involved their attempt Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence using the literal heart of a Dead God) their cities and machinery are still up and running, making them inviting (if extremely dangerous) targets for scavengers.
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Gnomeregan, and anything gnomish.
    • Also any area built by the Titans, such as Ulduar.
  • Super Kiwi 64: The first level of the Doomsday campaign takes place within an enclosed urban rainy area called City 64, which has a futuristic motif. Many neon lights, including some written in Japanese, can be seen, as can various luminescent green orbs that come from the pool of water at the bottom. The level is very tall, being divided into vertical sections that have to be traversed with the help of moving platforms as well as some billboards the kiwi can climb with its beak.


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    Real Life 
  • The art of Nick Kaloterakis, as seen on the covers of Popular Science.