City in the Sky Inspired by M.C. Escher?

DaveyNovember 29th, 2012 by Davey

A recent Did You Know Gaming is telling of some speculation that Twilight Princess’ City in the Sky dungeon may have been inspired by M.C. Escher’s art piece “Another World.”

There are certainly many uncanny similarities, especially the “birds” in the M.C. Escher work and the ooccas from Twilight Princess.

There are other similarities, too, such as how the ooccas can be seen running along the walls in a similar fashion to the paradox portrayed in “Another World.” Though the City in the Sky dungeon had to respect some level of normal physics to be playable whereas “Another World” did not, it’s hard to believe Twilight Princess wasn’t inspired at least a little bit by M.C. Escher’s work.

Hit the jump for more!

(Click on the image for a larger view of Another World)

Was Twilight Princess’ City in the Sky inspired by “Another World?” Probably. Nintendo has taken inspiration like this and incorporated it into their games, and it certainly wouldn’t be surprising if this was yet another case.

But I’m not completely sold. As similar as M.C. Escher’s amazing woodcut print is to the City in the Sky dungeon, there have been many times where Nintendo developers have stated connections the fans made weren’t true. We may never know unless this question arises in an interview. Until then, we can do what Zelda fans do best, speculate more!

What do you think of the connection? Do you think Nintendo took inspiration from “Another World?” Tell us in the comments!

Source: Did You Know Gaming


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  • hot apple Fi

    There is no way this art didn’t inspire the city in the sky. The colors, birds, and gravity in the piece and dungeon, are too strange for two seperate creators to imagine.

  • linkasourous

    I think it was inspired. I love it how Nintendo makes little secrets and mysterious attributes in their games to keep the fans occupied with theories. Like me. :)

  • blubb

    Wasn’t that already posted here 2 years ago?

  • VaatiReborn

    I go on Did you know gaming a lot. I had found this out about a week or two ago

  • abaddon

    I think not. in painting there is only one bird, seen from three different perspectives,

  • Lexi Z

    THAT’S what that part of TP reminded me of! My dad was a huge fan of this guy and was always taking his art book out to show it to me! Thanks Zelda dungeon, glad to finally have one of those, “I know what it is but can’t put my finger on it,” moments cleared up:)

  • faror

    If you look it is the same bird
    from a different view each time like Picasso often did with his abstract
    paintings. If you look at the top bird you can see the ground from the center
    bird and if you look at the bottom bird you can see the sky from the center
    bird. At first ii thought that the horns were staying like that because they
    were attached to poles but if you look closely the horns are attached to ropes
    that are hanging from hooks. And as far as the dungeon being inspired… I don’t
    know that is defiantly my favorite dungeon so I’ve played it a lot. And wow I
    hate my art class! I mean look at me! Ranting on about angels and looking closely!

  • Emma Mix

    Dude, there is no way they didn’t draw inspiration from that art. Absolutely NO way.

  • Mike Sauer

    “But I’m not completely sold. As similar as M.C. Escher’s amazing woodcut print is to the City in the Sky dungeon, there have been many times where Nintendo developers have stated connections the fans made weren’t true.”

    Just because they say it isn’t true, doesn’t mean it isn’t. Maybe they face copyright laws by admitting to certain things?

  • Stevie

    I remember an article saying this painting inspired The City in the Sky on the website a long time ago.

  • marill

    This dungeon was actually creepier than Arbiter’s Grounds to me. I mean, it’s just so… eerie. Especially because of the music. I guess it is probably the remains of Skyloft. What was once a prosperous community is now an abandoned dungeon occupied by strange creatures. The boss fight is epic though. =D

    • Seth Taylor Moore

      I don’t think it’s Skyloft. Skyloft was earthen, while this is mechanical.

      I think it is the ruins of the Wind Tribe’s home from The Minish Cap. Since The Minish Cap is the second game in the chronology, a logical story can be deduced. Some of the Hylians apparently wanted to return to the skies again, but either Skyloft descended, or they lost access to it somehow (the mini Loftwings in The Minish Cap suggest that they shrunk once their original role was over). Since they couldn’t return to Skyloft, they built a mechanical flying city and lived there instead. At some point, the Oocca moved in (probably after the Wind Tribe abandoned it), and it’s been falling into disrepair ever since.

      • baileygirl99

        Nice theory. It’s very explanatory

      • zombie_eat_flesh

        Mini Loftwings? I don’t remember seeing any of them.

  • Heroine of Time

    Just gonna say: the grammar’s awful in that Did You Know Gaming. What’s with the comma splice? As far as I know, the word “Ooccas” is just like any other and doesn’t need an apostrophe if it’s not showing posession. Plus, “City in the Sky” should be separated by commas.

    • The Hylian Monolith

      …I’m going to go completely Nazi Monolith here, so feel free to dislike this comment. I totally deserve it.
      “Plus”is a mathematical term. It really gets on my neves when people use it in place of “also”or “and”. “And” would not have worked in this case, but “also” could have. Please use proper grammar when you’re talking about proper grammar.

      • Heroine of Time
        Down the page a bit:

        Informal. also; and; furthermore: A bicycle is cheaper than a car, plus it doesn’t pollute the air.

        Plus IS a mathematical term, but it is not grammatically incorrect to use it to say “in addition” or “also.” It is an informal way of saying “futhermore” or “also”, and I wasn’t intending to be formal. Your real argument there should have been that I was using a conjunction at the beginning of a sentence — though I’m still not sure THAT’S a mistake. I think it’s more of a stylistic thing. I’d have to look it up.

        Nevertheless, sorry for annoying you!

  • IMFWeirdo

    Idk, I don’t see any similarities except for the bird… the architecture in the drawing has arches and columns, and the City in the Sky was more steampunky; it didn’t have anything like that… but hey, maybe. I like Escher’s stuff.

  • ZdkDzk

    The weird thing about another world is that while the bottom and top arches are mirror images of each other, the middle one is actually a different image with different placement and the bird facing another direction.

  • baileygirl99

    The birds in the pictures have faces too! What is up with that?!


    • Vistor

      hello Mr. strange ;D

  • zombie_eat_flesh

    Makes me question if my previous comment about a Zelda DYKG led to this.