Welcome back to “Pop Places IRL,” Poptropicans! Today, we’re visiting ye olde times and heading to Astro-Knights Island. Enjoying the series? Be sure to check out other Pop Places IRL posts.
Astro-Knights Island takes place in Medieval Europe, but obviously includes a sci-fi twist. Though its exact location is never specified, we’ll assume the kingdom of Arturus has British roots, given its repeated connections to Arthurian legend.
Before we launch our rocket and start soaring through the stars, we get to explore the kingdom a bit to kick off the mysterious story of this island. The Castle is definitely the largest structure in town, and an iconic element of Medieval Europe to say the least.
Besides the castle, however, we get to see a medieval aesthetic all throughout Arturus, particularly when looking at Main Street. Er… save for those sci-fi elements we talked about earlier. I don’t think we would be able to find a glowing rocket statue in the Middle Ages…
The Ye Olde Rumour Mille is another major location in town. The name might be a bit of a joke, but the actual structure is pretty similar to its IRL counterpart!
General town aside, let’s step back inside the castle. That’s why we’re here, aren’t we? Cool castles!!! Though many castles in Europe have been refurbished in one way or another, it’s nonetheless interesting to still see them standing at all. You can even tour some!
Continuing inside the castle, I think the most important room to talk about is the Throne Room. Gotta have a center piece for the whole castle! The room we have pictured is from France, but you get the idea. Quite ornate!
On the opposite side of things, however, we have the Dungeon. These sorts of cells, including “oubliettes,” are often associated with with the Medieval era (though its correlation with torture more accurately pairs with the Renaissance period). Too bad there weren’t any mysterious robots IRL to keep prisoners company!
The last room in the castle is the Library. Art history buffs will certainly be familiar with some illuminated manuscripts from this era, though we don’t have much time to stop and study anything in Poptropica. Gotta love that Old English, right? Unfortunately the library in Poptropica is, er, in a bit disarray…
While in the castle library, we could also glance at some references Poptropica makes to Arthurian legend (as I mentioned earlier). Though the legend primary features King Arthur, we learn from the Astro-Knights novel that the King of Arturus is actually named Richard. As in Richard the Lionheart!
Similarly, the knights have ties to legend: Pelasus (named similarly to Pelleas, a knight of the round table), Gawain (another knight of the round table with the same name), and Cador (Duke of Cornwall, related to Arthur). Cador may not be a knight of the round table like his comrades, but the ties are there nonetheless! So… have a photo of Sir Lancelot in his place.
Another good comparison to legend: Merlin! Other than sharing the name with a wizard, our “feathered” friend also shares his name with a type of falcon.
Last but not least… Binary Bard! Or Mordred, to be clear. There are various depictions of him in legend, but as Modredus, he is Arthur’s traitorous nephew.
Alright, I know we strayed away from “places” for a bit there, leaning more towards “people,” so let’s get back on track! Other than Medieval Europe, the other dominant setting of Astro-Knights is, of course, space! The real moon may not have an AstroZone like the Pewter Moon in Poptropica, but maybe we’ll get to that point someday.
If you recall, the three main planets we visit on our space adventure include the Ice Planet, Fire Planet, and Jungle Planet. Wellllll, those planets may not be in our solar system, but we can still compare them to what we have IRL! Based on their distance from the sun and atmosphere characteristics, Uranus is our coldest planet while Venus is our hottest. Does that make Earth our Jungle Planet then?
Phew, now that was a long trip! I guess space is a pretty far off flight, huh? But anyway, it’s no wonder that Astro-Knights won “OG Island We’ll Miss Most” in the 2020 Poppies. It’s quite the adventure!
Aside from the sci-fi elements, how well do you think this island holds up to IRL Medieval Europe? How much do you know about Arthurian legend? And what other islands would you like to see in this series? Don’t forget to leave your thoughts in a comment below!
Until next time, Poptropicans, I’m blasting off for now!