My second home.
Ever since I (and many other people like me) was a kid, I wanted to be an explorer. I wanted to be the first person to set off from some destination and discover some gorgeous, untouched destination, or a magical force the world has never seen before. I wanted textbooks and historical novels written about me and my exploits. I wanted the world to know my name, and have it echo throughout the ages.
I also wanted to do this while flying.
Sadly, this world didn’t give me the tools to do that. But, thanks to another world, I can fly the skies in search of the greatest treasures humans never knew existed, and become famous for doing so. That world is Arcadia, the setting for the Dreamcast RPG Skies of Arcadia. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, well…wanna come exploring with me?
Ah, the world of Arcadia. It's truly one of the most fascinating places I've ever been to in a game. Yes, it's a planet. Yes, it's got a few towns and cities, much like any other RPG you're likely to come across. But, rather than separate the cities by land, each island in this massive world is separated BY AIR. Yes, Skies of Arcadia is called so because the majority of time spent in Arcadia is used to traverse the wild blue atmosphere the land is composed of. Airships aren't just fancy means of transportation, they're the ONLY means of transportation. Hell, there's even sky rowboats used by some of the villagers in the game.
This new sky world is definitely quite intimidating when first witnessed. Even more so when you learn that, throughout the world, there are different discoveries just waiting for you (or another wily treasure hunter) to find. The discoveries range anywhere from new species of animals, to natural phenomena, to FINDING OUT THE WORLD IS ROUND.
Holy crap I'm Christopher Columbus...
These discoveries were huge for little-wannabe-explorer me. Throughout the game, you were tasked with finding these discoveries and trading your knowlegde of them for cash. As more discoveried\s were found, your rank/name would change, and you actually became a more well-known explorer. But, there was more than just fame and wealth in it for the adventurous explorer; you also got the glory of being the best explorer around. As discoveries were being recorded, you could look and see that there was another adventurer on your tail: Domingo, some other cunning explorer, could find discoveries before you did, robbing you of any fame and gold you'd get otherwise. So, not only were you trying to find discoveries for wealth, you were in a race with an unseen opponent, trying to become the best explorer in the land.
Man, what a shitty place to live.
One of my favorite movie quotes is from The Truman Show. When a younger Truman expresses a want to be an explorer, a teacher tells him "Oh, you're too late! There's nothing left to explore!" If this teacher's true (which, being that she's in a TV show, I highly doubt), I'm glad there's at least a world like Arcadia, where everything feels new and different, and you never know what you could find around the next corner.
LIKE MEXICAN SKY MONKIES!