Video Game Atlas: The First Kingdom of the Unfinished Swan
Once a week Art Attack will offer you a handy little travel guide to the fictional worlds of video games.
Name: The First Kingdom of the Unfinished Swan, Unfinished Swan series
Population: Virtually abandoned
Sailing west of C-Island and away from the closest apex of tropical utopia this side of Costa Del Sol, I awoke one morning to find myself in a very strange land. The First Kingdom of the Unfinished Swan was not only ruled over by a young artistic king, he had painted it into existence by hand. Where my boat ran aground, the area is a completely pure white landscape.
The perfection of the blankness is such that maneuvering through the area is extremely difficult. Even the trees and rocks and assorted hills are so white that they cast no shadow, and I had to make my way through by marking barriers with a sharpie pen.
By strange contrast, the majority of wildlife seen is pitch-black in color. Fish, frogs and alligators populate the shore, and birds can be heard in the background.
Despite being all but invisible save for the occasional golden ornament, the outlying city features an amazing sculpture garden full of works created by the King, including an impressive self-portrait bust some 20 feet high. At one point, the citizens of the city revolted against the whiteness of their surrounding, complaining that they were constantly barking their shins and running into doors. After the people began painting the city, the King finally gave in and allowed shadows in the living areas. His garden remained unblemished, though like much else in the city, it's fallen into disuse.
Beyond the white spaces lies the city proper, housed within a gigantic labyrinth that was also a constant source of annoyance to the King's subjects. The sheer size of such mazes is known to attract dragons, and monstrous creatures can be seen in the sea on the city's eastern edge. It's only a matter of time until they leave the water to take up residence in the vacant maze. The remains of the King's first workshop can be visited easily should you find yourself there. The strangely childlike apartments house unbelievably detailed models of the city that the King used for guides in his creations.
Ultimately, The King grew tired of dealing with the inhabitants of his city and left to start again in a painted boat. Upon establishing a new creation on a new shore, the subjects left the labyrinth and the blank metropolis to take up residence in the newest work of art... much to the consternation of the King. He had neglected to build a sewage system and was aghast when people began to use his pottery as bathrooms.
It's a beautiful place, the Unfinished Kingdom, and as much a work of art as a location. There's not much to do there for tourists save admire the strange, brilliant vision of a master artist, but it's worth a look before the wilderness finally reclaims it. Think of it like Houston's own Rothko Chapel. The fishing is fine there, as well, though the fish themselves taste somewhat inky.
Having explored as much of the labyrinth as I dared, I climbed the watchtower to borrow one of the tethered airships still docked and waiting for passengers. There was color in the distance, and I made for it. See you at the next stop!
Previous Entries in the Video Game Atlas
C-Island, StarTropics series Sanctuary, Borderlands series Monstro Town, Super Mario series Hope, Hitman series series The Velvet Room, Persona (Shin Megami Tensei) series Onett, Earthbound (Mother) series Bionis, Xenoblade Chronicles series Blobolonia, A Boy and His Blob series The Citadel, Mass Effect series Gold Saucer, Final Fantasy series High Hrothgar, Elder Scrolls series The End of Time, Chrono Trigger series Kakariko Village, Legend of Zelda Series Silent Hill, Silent Hill Series Monkey Island, Monkey Island Series Rapture, BioShock Series The Republic of Dave, Fallout series
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.