Even an elf needs a place to hang his cap. Despite the dragons wheeling in the sky, the floating towers of magic and the strange and terrible goings-on beyond the walls the occupants of a fantasy world have normal lives to lead, to meet, trade, live and work. These places can take on a life of their own, and rightly so. If you’re going to be sticking around you might as well enjoy yourself, get to know the place.
Come get to know some of the best towns from fantastic settings. Be they overrun by gremlins, demons or supervillains, so long as they fit the definition of town we considered them for this week’s Top 10 Fantasy Towns.
10) Pallet Town – Pokemon
Pallet Town, one of the most recognisable names on our list, is all the way down at number 10! It’s a bit of a shocking turn of events, but it’s really hard to put Pallet Town any higher than number 10. You see, whilst it’s truly memorable and it says ‘town’ in the name, we were debating the point of what a town is for ages. Lavender Town was closer to a town, but eventually, we turned to Pallet Town – As there’s an important point to be made.
It’s hard to explain this one, but I believe there is an authority figure who acts as a type of governing body for the tiny pokey town. Professor Oak, who seems to send people on epic quests, must fund the kids to do this. As such, it’s a bit of a stretch, but it’s believable that Pallet Town was a small project set up by Oak to raise the best Pokemon trainers ever… And you know what? It bloody worked. Twice!
9) Sunnydale – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Vampire slayer fans rejoice, for we really couldn’t forget about the iconic Sunnydale. We’re keen to point out that we cannot rate this much higher than ninth place, as it’s far too realistic. But of course, thankfully, it’s a made up place in their world. If it weren’t made up, we’d not be able to put it in this list at all!
Now, Sunnydale is home to many supernatural occurrences, all thanks to the fact it’s situated on a Hellmouth – A portal between this ‘reality and the next’. Vampires, demons and more – There’s plenty of fun to be had in Sunnydale!
8) Smallville – Superman
Superman came from here. Okay, so we need to be aware that Smallville is really routed in an ounce of realism, which is why we can’t really score it any higher than it is right now. It’s so grounded, much like Sunnydale, that it’s sometimes hard to call it a Fantasy scenario. But of course, in this particular case, Superman isn’t exactly a normal occurrence. That’s how we’re arguing the fantasy element here.
Plus, furthermore, Smallville isn’t really a real place – So that counts towards it. Still, love it or hate it, it’s got a lot of backstory, a lot of character, it’s own set of businesses which lead independent little lives and boom! You’ve got yourself a series of tales which are sure to keep you thoroughly entertained.
7) Seyda Neen – Morrowind
Good, you’re finally awake.
Once you step foot off the boat you are immediately struck by the alien landscape of Morrowind, and your first introduction is the town of Seyda Neen. The second you turn to face the guard on the deck of the boat you’ll spot the enormous insectile Silt Strider, hear it purr as you make your way to the census office, and that’s only the beginning.
The people are friendly and definitely not up to something or hiding stashes of stolen goods in tree stumps. Take in the fascinating wildlife before it tries to eat you, meet the locals before robbing them blind, bring an umbrella in case of falling mages, and enjoy a long look at the beautiful isle of Vvardenfell… before it’s swallowed by the Red Mountain and coated in a fine layer of ashes.
6) Hallowe’en Town – Nightmare Before Christmas
Not many towns are ruled over by a king, but when your town is the very soul of the pagan festival of the dead and all of its little modern adjustments, then it’s only fitting that it be the seat of power for the Pumpkin King, Jack Skellington.
The populous delight in fear; chills, shocks, and frights that entertain and delight even as they terrify. Some take it too far, but for the most part they are not cruel or mean spirited… just spirited.
Ok while I’m here: there’s a Mayor for Hallowe’en Town, as well as a King. I feel inclined to ask exactly how far the jurisdictions extend, as the town appears to be the entirety of Jack’s kingdom, unless Oogie Boogie and the evil scientist fall outside the town boundaries? Are there other territories and settlements? Because it seems like Jack’s job is way too easy for him to try and take over another Kingdom’s job for a week.
5) Esgaroth/Lake-Town – The Hobbit
In the shadow of the Lonely Mountain, ever in terror of the slumbering dragon within, the small human settlement proves that humans really will live anywhere they damn well please, even in Middle Earth. It’s a trade based city state ruled by Middle Earth’s only elected leader, the Master, and it thrives on the river traffic and the open trade between dwarves, elves and men.
Lake-Town is built upon stilts that rise out of the surface of the water, but since the attack by Smaug the low tide reveals how much bigger the place used to be, stubs of the old piles still visible and submerged. Being made entirely of wood makes the place easy picking for a fire-breathing lizard, and yet Esgeroth is emblematic of the greatest trait of Men, durability.
4) Lut Gholein – Diablo
Sultan Jerhyn reigns from the palace of Lut Gholein, a city beaten back to it’s very limits until it is little more than a handful of buildings between the dock and the palace, and the smattering of citizens that remain have retreated to the safety offered by the few walls that remain and the mixed collection of guards and mercenaries.
As the hub for act two you’ll spend a lot of time among the people, you’ll grow sick of hearing Lysander’s voice, get irritated at all of the places you’re not allowed to go, and slowly but surely cleanse the desert of Radament, Duriel, and the demonic evils that have infested the sands. The more it’s people and it’s Sultan come to respect you, and the longer you spend there, the more Lut Gholein becomes like a home, something that neither the docks of Kurast or the rogue encampment quite muster.
3) Alexandria Town – Final Fantasy IX
Hey, we’re about to be starting up a let’s play of this – But that’s not the reason why we’re putting this all the way up at number three. It’s a wonderful town, full of wonderfully magical things, where a queen is truly horrible and it makes a massive impact on the game. Think about this for a moment: The queen of a relatively small town is able to take down a main settlement of a whole race, which is hidden behind a protective sandstorm. She’s also able to take out the biggest city in the game!
Okay, so of course this a plot device, as you’re supposed to not be a fan of Queen Brahne, but she really was a pawn. But to think, that such a power thirsty queen could cause so much pain and suffering, from such a small, unsuspecting town, it’s truly incredible. Hopefully you’ll join us as we play through our brand new Let’s Play series, starting from this Sunday!
2) Silent Hill
While it’s entrances may be very earth-bound, and it may even look a lot like home, Silent Hill is certainly not of this earth. It’s a hell of our own creation, forged of the worst parts of our mind, manifested by terrible rage and evil. Victims of the haunted town in Maine are always drawn in by a mystery, a stranger in trouble, a message from a loved one, a disappearance, they always discover some terrible truth, and they never leave.
The streets are shrouded in fog, the night is filled with terrors of the mind, and the end is never pleasant. Amongst the favourite residents are the shrouded nurses, grey children, and the titanic manifestations like Pyramid Head or the Butcher. Whatever the origins… the first origins of this terrible town might be, make no mistake it is always your personal hell.
1) Hyrule Town – The Legend of Zelda
If there’s any game in this list that has a town that’s actually synonymous with the whole overall franchise, then it’s this one. Hyrule Town of The Legend of Zelda is a place that appears in just about all of the games in the series to some capacity, as well as the other media, such as the manga and the cartoon series. With this said, a lot of people mostly just think of the castle.
It’s fair to say though, that Hyrule Town is hugely influential, as it’s always one of the primary locations of the games. One of the most important uses for it is as a giant shop. It’s also useful if you want to collect stones that make up a whole stone to progress finding secrets throughout the game. It’s also home to a man who makes shoes. It’s also home to —
There are many stories told here. Each and every one of them are magical, lovable and downright memorable in their own right.
Some towns are just plain old boring aren’t they? Thankfully, not the ones in our list above – Nor the two extra towns we’ve found for you to salivate over. Don’t worry: They’re not quite list-worthy, but they needed to at least be seen!
If you’ve never heard of Lazy Town, then you’ve probably not been lurking on YouTube for all that long in your life. It’s come and gone quite a few times as one of the most memeable TV series ever created. It’s a childrens show, which is so crazy, so sing-song-y and so colourful, that it made the perfect source for mashups and parodies. YouTube Poop videos were commonly using Lazy Town footage and so were other viral videos.
With the shocking development that the guy who plays central villain, Robbie Rotten, was actually hospitalised, it was no shock that it came back as one of the most memeable things again. But this time, people were memeing it for a good cause. To spread awareness of just how camp, but how fun the show actually was. Keep it up internet – Sometimes you do us all proud!
Fantasy comes in many forms… some more alarming than others. While one might not encounter elves and wizards on the streets of South Park (ok you might, but they’re just kids) you’re surprisingly likely to come across crab people, aliens, and gnomes who steal your underwear. The residents of South Park Colorado have come to accept this over time, as you would I guess, survive one Manbearpig or Mecha-Streisand attack and you survive them all.
That’s not to say that the locals are unaffected of course. The backwoods burg claims amongst its most noted citizens an immortal child, Jesus, and a man whose digestive tract is home to the spiritual leaders of small animals… I believe Paris Hilton recently moved in with them. Many have experienced odd changes, cybernetic implants, existential crises, physically manifesting imaginated constructs and the like.
It may be a small town in the northern states, but it goes through a lot.
Quickly, let’s hold a town meeting in the town hall and declare that this list is over! We’re meeting with the local Council of GeekOut South-West to decide what to do about this state of emergency that we’re in. Gather around, grab yourself a lovely cake from old Mrs. Smith, and let’s get the tea poured out. Oh, whilst you’re all here, you get to decide what is our list choice for next week?
That’s all for this week’s Top 10 – We’re done! We’re out of here but now it’s all over to you, ladies and gentlemen. What did you make of our list this week? Did we order it as per your expectations, or were we way off the mark? Did our criteria fit in quite nicely? Let us know what you thought in the comments below, or if you’d prefer to just use your personal social media accounts, engage with us on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.