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10 Video Game Locations You Didn’t Know Actually Exist –



The transportative nature of video games means that even the most insular of players who’ve never so much as left their home town, let alone their home country, have travelled the entire world. Spanning from LA Noire’s Los Angeles to Persona 5’s Tokyo and everywhere in between, a control pad has been a passport for countless indolent gamers. who’ve been able to cross the entire globe from the comfort of their couch.

We all know Liberty City is a slightly more dangerous New York City, and that Fallout 4’s Commonwealth is a bomb-shredded Boston. But there’s a whole host of incredible real world locations you’ve probably visited from your living room without even knowing it. Some of them not even on this planet!

10. Taiping Road (Street Fighter II)/ Chun Yeung Street (Hong Kong)


Although there is a real Taiping Road in Qingdao, China, the well-p*ssed against walls of Chun-Li’s Street Fighter stage are actually based on Hong Kong’s famous wet market along Chun Yeung Street.

A short trip on the eastbound ding ding – the city’s adorable nickname for their ancient tram system – to North Point brings you out onto a vibrant market awash with incredible sights and smells. There even used to be a Xiamen Meat Company on the street – identical to that one seen in the background of Chun-Li’s China.

9. Da-Chao Statue (Final Fantasy VII)/ Leshan Buddha (Sichaun, China)

Square-Enix/By Ariel Steiner [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Standing some 71 metres tall, the Leshan Giant Buddha, built around the turn of the 9th century, is by far the world’s largest Buddha hewn from stone. It’s all a bit much, really.

Final Fantasy VII’s Wutai – effectively an amalgamation of Japan and China – features its own giant statue based on the big Buddha of Sichaun, that of Da-Chao. Only he’s dabbing, for some reason.

8. Corneria (Star Fox)/ Fushimi Inari-taisha (Kyoto, Japan)

Nintendo/BriYYZ from Toronto, Canada [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The inspiration for Star Fox struck Shigeru Miyamoto when visiting the phenomenal Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine in his hometown of Kyoto.

Outside the shrine sits dozens of stone fox statues of just about every imaginable variety in tribute to Inari, one of the main gods, or kami, of Shintoism. Though none of them depict a vulpine-piloted spaceship, the oft-flying Inari gave Miyamoto the idea for his spacefaring fox.

Fushimi Inari-taisha is also known for its hundred and hundreds of red torii gates. Miyamoto mused that arches make people want to go through them – and later made it possible in Star Fox, albeit in the cockpit of an Arwing.

7. Schloss Ritter (Gabriel Knight: Sins Of The Fathers)/ Schloss Neuschwanstein (Füssen, Germany)

Sierra/Thomas Wolf, Wikimedia Commons

Hunting the trail of the fabled Schattenjäger, New Orleans’ novelist Gabriel Knight jets off to Germany, wiping his snowy shoes on the welcome mat of Schloss Ritter in his search for answers.

The Romanesque castle is heavily reminiscent of Schloss Neuschwanstein, Ludwig II’s opulent winter retreat deep in the heart of Bavaria. In reality, Knight wouldn’t have been able to drive right up to the door – not without mowing down about a million tourists, anyway.

6. Kowloon (Shenmue II)/ Kowloon Walled City (Hong Kong)

SEGA/Untapped Cities

Ryo Hazuki’s $47 million search for the men who killed his father eventually leads him to a plateau on the outskirts of Hong Kong, upon which precariously resides the lawless, listing enclave of Kowloon.

Shenmue II’s impromptu metropolis is an exaggerated version of the real life settlement known as the Kowloon Walled City. The actual ad-hoc suburb was a vertical slum, with foundationless, unregulated buildings leaning against one another for support, remarkably housing over 50,000 largely ungoverned residents.

The Chinese government eventually demolished the Walled City in 1993, though it can still be visited today; in its place is a rather attractive ornamental garden, effectively wiping clear any trace of the bustling subculture that once existed on the outskirts of Hong Kong.

5. Altissia (Final Fantasy XV)/ Venice, Italy

Square-Enix/By Didier Descouens [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Final Fantasy XV’s Altissia couldn’t be any more Venetian if it was a set of slatted blinds.

Everything from Italy’s ‘City of Masks’ is faithfully reproduced in Square-Enix’s Accordo counterpart, from the beautiful bridges and undulating gondolas right down to the distinctive red and white briccole. The only thing our foppish band of brothers don’thappen across in Final Fantasy XV’s version of Serenissima is an insufferable throng of tourists. They’re quite insufferable enough.

4. Scarlet Monastery (World Of Warcraft)/ Lichfield Cathedral (Lichfield, UK)

Blizzard/By Bs0u10e01 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Scarlet Monastery is the Tirisfal Glades’s favourite haunt for budding World of Warcraft dungeoneers entering their early-level twenties, and a superb place to pick up a shiny new chapeau.

Though many veteran adventurers of Azeroth might be sick of the sight of the place, they can visit the monastery’s real-life inspiration in Staffordshire, the appropriately named and similarly flamboyant Lichfield Cathedral. To paraphrase Lady Whitemane, you will pay… in the gift shop.

3. Anor Londo (Dark Souls)/ Il Duomo Di Milano (Milan, Italy)

From Software/By Jiuguang Wang [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], from Wikimedia Commons

When Dark Souls’ designer Masanori Waragai visited Milan, he imagined how incredible it’d be to walk across the flying buttresses of the city’s iconic Duomo.

When it came to making his gruelling, Gothic’em up, he didn’t miss the opportunity to make it a reality; Anor Londo’s centrepiece is an almost exact facsimile of its Italian inspiration. It’s a much less fun holiday destination, though.

2. Bell Tower (Pokémon Gold & Silver)/ Kinkaku-Ji (Kyoto, Japan)

Nintendo/By Jaycangel [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

A giant pagoda sits at the centre of Ecruteak City, a sacred, gilded temple atop which legend has it roosts the mythical Ho-Oh. The jewel of Johto is a mélange of several temples in real-life Kyoto: the equally aureate Kinkaku-ji, the supposedly-silver Ginkaku-ji, and the supertall Tō -ji – Japan’s largest pagoda.

Both the Bell Tower and Tō-ji once had twins to their west – only for them to burn to the ground. The one big difference is that Kyoto’s didn’t have a massive fiery bird sitting on top of it. One for the insurance people to sort out, that.

1. Café Calavera (Grim Fandango)/ Rick’s Café Americain (Casablanca, Morocco)

Lucasarts/By Didier55 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Bit of a cheat this one, as it’s a fictional location based on a fictional location, which later became a real one.

Rick’s Café was opened in Casablanca, Morocco in 2004, designed to replicate Humphrey Bogart’s famous watering hole from the movie named after the city. The Moorish arches and grand piano of Café Calavera, from Tim Schafer’s noir masterpiece Grim Fandango, clearly match Rick Blaine’s decor. Both are a perfect place to relax as time goes by.

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