Fantasy Faire 2011 - Day 5 - Nemo Revisited

4/7/11  at 4:25 AM
Let me tell you what passes for a slow day around here! We add L$200K to the total. That total goes over $10,000 USD, our final total from 2010 on our 4th day of 2011. It rained L$ as Opal Lei, Lerochelle Destiny, & IshtarAngel Micheline were bailed out and Piedras Chama's beautiful Trees were offered up. But my favorite moment was a visit from Captain Ozz Seattle "These totals are unbelievable, " he said "No, I take it back. You look around here, at what everyone has done. It inspires giving." Amen. - Zander Greene, Friends Fighting Cancer.

Day 5 has arrived. Last night the total raised surpassed last years total for the entire event. Today, as we explore the next sim it will pass the 300,000 L$ mark. But I am getting ahead of myself; all too easy to do, for a dyed in the wool steampunk, when faced with the prospect of the reincarnated underwater complex of Nemo.

Day 5 - Nemo Revisited
By Beq Janus
Photos by Judith LeFevre

The smell of salt air mixes now with the familiar intoxicating odour of steam engines as we feel a new pavement of solid steel beneath our feet. We have arrived in the steampunk fantasy world of Nemo revisited.

With inspiration drawn from Jules Verne, The Nemo Trilogy was one of the cult hits of 2010, featured in the destination guide by Linden Labs. When, in October, Sextan Shepherd, the creator of Nemo decided to retire the work and focus on new projects, we may have thought that the work was lost to us. However, as a special treat for the Fantasy Faire crowds, Mr Shepherd agreed to recreate some of the highlights of his former work, including not only the undersea complex but also the spectacular hall of mirrors and a number of other inspirational creations.

The Nemo revisited sim lies on the eastern side of the ring of eight Fantasy Faire sims. To the North, where we have come from, lies Dark Mirage, to the south lies the watery world of the Sea Of Mer. The path, a solid looking construction of mammoth steel plates rivetted to the ground, leads off to the eastern, outer edge of the sim. At the eastern edge the path turns south eventually turning back west at the southern most end of the sim where it eventually joins the Sea of Mer.

Immediately as you enter you see before you, away from the track the colourful glass of the renowned hall of mirrors which we shal investigate shortly. Instead, by following the path we see, amongst a variety of air shafts and mechanical paraphernalia the regualr shapes of the stores. On the surface this sim is neatly laid out, the merchant's themed stores are simple but effective, in one of two basic designs a steampunk, victorian style, industrial hangar or my preference, an art nouveau inspired store front made of embossed steel.

Despite the regions theme being so heavily influenced by Steampunk, the majority of the stores in the first section are more aligned to medieval and fae genres with an array of clothing and accesory stores, a manga influenced outlet and unique to our journey so far, a celebration of servitude SL style with a store that primarily sells a wide range of trays of drinks! Those looking for a cohesive steampunk bolt hole in the Fantasy Faire will be dismayed perhaps, but the eclectic mixture of merchants makes sense as we turn south at the corner and approach the store of sim sponsor Arachne Anatra whose Fae and Elven Furniture market is found by the central teleport hub.
Each sim has had its own custom design of hub, each a large gazebo style structure themed to the sim. The one for Nemo Revisited is no exception, designed by the sim sponsor itself it is undoubtedly the most intricate we have yet seen and reflects neatly the intricate creations of its designer. Arachne has a range of her goods on display, the intricate woven sculpts in complex organic forms are used to created a mixture of Fae and Elven goods, her mainstay, as well as a range of Steampunk inspired furnishings and a rather fetching clockwork doll ensemble.

At this point we can divert from the retial onslaught. The layout of the sim is in fact best suited for arrivals at the TP point. Visitors arriving at the TP point can first head to the underwater attractions and after this will find themselve back at the northern entrance where we started our journey. We however will diver tnow and head west towards the water from the TP point you will find the large copper clad tube that will allow you to descend into the depths and explore the submarine world of Sextan Shepherd.

As we descend the light changes taking on a blue hue of refracted sunlight from the surface. We emerge from the tunnel into a circular pod which holds a 3 dimensional map of the original Nemo city. Underwater here we have Captain Nemos stufy, his workshop and a homage to Tesla. The attention to detail is phenomenal and really sets this build apart and it is clear to all why the Nemo Trilogy created such a stir. Every surface is etxtured to fit the whole and the form is itself functional and practical, you are in no doubt that this could really have been built and the material and design choices carry the influence of Verne's era.

I was lucky enough to meet Sextan Shepherd during my visit. At the time he was musing over the gears texture applied to the sim landscape. He was not entirely happy and I smiled to note that it had been replaced with a detailed sand texture upon my return, his obsession with detail goes through all that he does. In the workshop we find an array of mechanical constructs most are based around creatures of the sea.
The Manta Ray submarine, the shrimp, the crab that lays upon its back in pieces awaiting repair. I have a particular fondness for this type of design as those who know me are all too aware, so I could not resist getting out my wrench and helping with the repairs.

"It's because of the Manta ray that I have built Nemo", remarked Sextan, "I was in need of a place to surround it".

We move on to the next pod, the while space is filled with sound and light as the sparks of electrcity leap from a variety devices, the air crackles and your hair stands on end. We are in Tesla's laboratory. Expect to stand dumbstruck for a time as you take in the full impact of this stunning build.

Eventually however we must move on, and the tunnel returns us to the surface. At this point you may feel that you have seen the highlight of the sim but pause for a moment. At the surface you will find a few more of Sextan's creations. The terrestrial globe spinning beneath the magnifier, a lovely example of scripting. Nearby a new creation a space observatory, take a moment to realx in the large bucket seat and gaze out into space.
Another example of Sextan's detailed approach to design is found as we approach our next destination, the hall of mirrors. On the pathway we find a beautifully crafted clock, exposed gears, complex movements and the intricate case make it a wonder in itself.
The reappearnace of the Hall of Mirrors, one of the many many talking points of the orignal Nemo Trilogy, is most welcome. A simple concept, a beautiful stained glass tower, hung with spinning mirrors reflecting the light filtering through the glazing. But of course, in Second Life we have no mirrors! A relatively simple but effective scripting trick is employed and the visual impact of the structure is realised.

This concludes our detour and we continue on our way, returning back to the teleport hub we head south, once more, and now we find an increased steampunk alignment amongst the merchants alongside a range of medieval outlets.

The full list of merchants squeezed into the Nemo Revisited sim can be found on the Fantasy Faire vendor list for Nemo Revisited

At the end of the steel streetway we come to the water's edge. The Sea Of Mer lies before us, I hope we can all swim. We look back upon the rippled surface of Nemo's sea, remembering the remarkable constructions hidden in the depths, and consider ourselves lucky to have had another chance to see this wonder of Second Life.

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