Adventure fields, gateways, pre-levels; whatever you call them, they’re all the same thing. I just choose to use the Sonic terminology. Regardless of what you call them, an Adventure Field is a (usually; there are exceptions to this) a non-side-scrolling area in a game other than a level. Sometimes entire games have an Adventure Field layout, such as the Pokemon games and the Harvest Moon games. Adventure Fields often connect levels, such as in Sonic Adventure and Super Mario Sunshine. Anyways, here are the ten that really stood out in my mind, whether they were beautiful, winding, item-loaded or just plain fun to explore.

This area pretty much sets the mood for the entire game. Not only are the graphics amazing, but it’s a nice little place to practice catching ghosts and hunting for treasure. Sadly, the scenery gets boring quick. It’s also not very large and unlike many of the Adventure Fields on the list, it’s not enemy-free. Some people could consider this a good thing, but personally I like being able to explore around without getting attacked. The gameplay in general was very frustrating, which took away a lot of my exploring pleasure.

Boo Manor is easily the best Adventure Field in the game. It has a lot of hidden passageways, items and mini-games, as well as an interesting, mildly spooky atmosphere which breaks away a little from the cutesy, bright Adventure Fields that make up this game. There’s a lot of great scenarios, too, but even after beating this Adventure Field once, you get bored all the other times. Also, it’s not very big and is kind of a pain to travel through.

There are a lot of great things about Shoal Cave. It’s a good-sized hidden area to the north of Mossdeep City. Not only are there rare Pokemon you can find there, but there’s a lot of hidden items, and I mean a LOT. Not only are there many caves and tunnels to explore, but when high tide comes, you can explore the upper parts of Shoal Cave where there’s even more to find. However, it’s easy to get lost in, and appearance-wise, it’s not too impressive.

Mahogany Town is probably one of, if not, the best city in Pokemon Gold. You have both the Team Rocket Base; which is loads of fun to explore; and the Ice Cave to the East. While the Ice Cave is fun, it’s also incredibly frustrating. One time it took me almost 45 minutes to get to the third part! The Team Rocket base gets a bit boring after you’ve found everything and fought everyone, though. Still, they’re tons of fun the first few times through.

Mystic Ruins is definitely the biggest (and best) Adventure Field in the game. While the main area is sort of dull, the jungle features multiple paths through it. The jungle area is also the most beautiful area in the game as well, and hosts the best level in the entire game; Lost World. Echidnaopolis (well, there’s no official name, so I call it Echidnaopolis) is fun to explore as well. It’s too bad it’s not open for Mission Mode; I imagine it could stem many excellent missions. The echidnas have some pretty dialogue, too. There are loads of little nooks and crannies to explore, though sadly there’s not much to discover. The same holds true for Mystic Ruin. The music also gets sort of annoying after about 15-20 minutes.

This is probably the most entertaining Adventure Field in the game. Sadly, like the rest of the game, it loses some of its charm after you play through it once. There are a lot of good and original bosses such as Popple and Rookie and the Chuckolator; they’re not too difficult and are pretty fun…at least for the first 5 minutes. You really start to get sick of them after that. About the only reason I rank this above Mystic Ruins is that there is much more to do. Even still, the music is REALLY annoying, in fact it’s even more annoying than most the music in this game (and that is saying something, too.)

You’d never guess from a first glimpse that Spillerston has so much variety. There are many good-sized areas you can enter, such as a large sand castle hosting a maze challenge, and the sewer pipes, which contain many secret areas and items. The boss battle in Spillerston is probably the best one in the entire game. Spillerston also features many hidden areas, which are loads of fun to discover; they’re in places most people would never think of looking. Once you complete all the puzzles, there’s hardly anything to do, though.

Isle Delfino is awesome; it’s beautiful, it’s huge, there’s lots of hidden areas and it has tons of mini games. It’s too bad almost all the minigames are either boring or nearly impossible. Unlike with every other Adventure Field on this list, you can explore it three ways: underground, above ground, or on the rooftops. Or for maximum fun, you can explore all three ways! It’s fun to find the Shine Sprites, but many are not worth the effort to find, and once you find around 55, the rest are almost impossible to get. The missions were original and (for the most part) entertaining, but some were incredibly difficult or frustrating. The camera also caused a lot of problems.

Words cannot describe just how enormous Soleanna is. It’s by far the largest Adventure Field on the list. You could combine Mystic Ruins (all of it; including Echidnaopolis) and it still wouldn’t be as large as Soleanna. Not only is Soleanna huge, it’s also breathtakingly gorgeous. The graphics are amazing; I was shocked with how real everything looked. There are tons of minigames and Silver Medals hidden around the city, too. The minigames are actually very fun for the most part, but the most fun thing to do is explore the city. You could spend about a half hour going around, and you still wouldn’t see everything. Then, if you want a new perspective, you can go up on the roofs and travel from rooftop to rooftop, which can be made much easier with Silver. Other than those things, there’s not too much to do.

Now some of you may be thinking, “WHY THE HECK DID YOU PUT MINERAL TOWN AS NUMBER ONE AND NOT SOLEANNA?!?!?!?!?!?!” well, there’s a good reason. Of all the Adventure Fields, Mineral Town (by far) has the most things to do. In fact, the entire game takes place in Mineral Town. I could take up easily four or five pages just explaining what you can do in the actual town area. There’s also Mother’s Hill, the mines, and (of course) the farm. You can play for about 2-3 hours straight and still not get bored. The only difference between More Friends of Mineral Town and Friends of Mineral Town (other than the gender change; in the former you’re a girl and in the latter you’re a boy) is that More Friends of Mineral Town has far less typos in it.

So, there they are, The Top 10 Adventure Fields. Some of these games (especially some of the GBA games) are surprisingly underrated. Ham-Ham Heartbreak is probably the best TV-based game I’ve ever played. Most TV-based games are either incredibly short-lived or absolute crud. Either way, I highly recommend you explore around some of these areas-in many there’s much more to them than meets the eye.

List by wave_ts (08/18/2007)

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