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The tendency for modern RPGs to have more than one World Map: sometimes this is a Dark World or an Alternate Universe, but sometimes it's another planet, or a different time period, or simply an After the End scenario. A very common way to make Disc One Final Dungeon less obvious (because you can have the entire world visited before you get to it).
Note: This isn't the case when they make minor changes to the map (like in Final Fantasy VII when Diamond Weapon scars the world map) or in cases where there isn't really a world map or the worlds are just 'extensions' of the same multi-world map. This is for if there's a world map and then, surprise, you've got another one.
A supertrope of Dark World.
- Zelda series:
- Chrono Trigger uses time periods.
- Chrono Cross has an Alternate Universe.
- Final Fantasy III has the floating continent and the surface world.
- Final Fantasy IV has the main world, the underworld, and the Moon.
- Final Fantasy IV: The After Years has another moon, in addition to the other 3 maps.
- Final Fantasy V has two planets, and a third world map when they combined.
- Final Fantasy VI had the World Of Balance and World Of Ruin.
- The 7th Saga had the past.
- Oracle of Tao has Earth (a second version of it), and once done exploring that, there's another world called the Void which is presumably based on the original Earth, but is barren and has some different rules, like that nothing can exist for very long outside its towns at night.
- SaGa had four different main worlds, several minor ones, as well as the tower which connected them all.
- SaGa 2 had twelve different worlds all connected by a celestial-based hub.
- SaGa 3 went a bit nuts with this concept. It had three time periods, each with an overworld and an under(water)world. It also had a floating island and a separate dimension, the latter of which had its own underworld.
- Star Ocean: Some of them let you travel between worlds (like in Till the End of Time). The Second Story destroys the planet you're on at the end of Disc 1 during the Disc One Final Dungeon. As a result this might actually be surprising in the PSP remake which is on one disc...
- Tales of Destiny covers its planet in a shell of impacted earth. However, the only thing thing of interest on said shell are several dungeons.
- Tales of Eternia has Celestia right after you can visit pretty much every obviously visitable place on Inferia.
- Tales of Phantasia has time periods.
- Tales of Symphonia has the worlds of Sylvarant and Tethe'alla.
- Ultima II had 5 time periods: Pangea, B.C., A.D., Aftermath, and Legends.
- Shin Megami Tensei uses this often:
- Shin Megami Tensei I has pre- and post-cataclysm maps.
- Shin Megami Tensei II has the normal world and the Abyss.
- Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne has pre- and post-conception maps much like the first game. However, you don't see the pre-conception map as much, since The End of the World as We Know It happens very early on.
- Dragon Quest III, Dragon Quest IV and Dragon Quest V each have an overworld and underworld.
- Dragon Quest VIII too, although only one area has a Dark World map for it (Empychuu island). So, this is probably averted.
- Dragon Quest VI has the dream world and real world. The Dread Realm opens up after exploring both of those and aside from the fact that it's reached by air (specifically, by having Pegasus fly there), it's basically the equivalent to the underworld in the rest of the Zenithia trilogy (i.e. IV and V).
- Every game in the classic Phantasy Star series: Phantasy Star I and Phantasy Star IV both have 3 worlds, Phantasy Star II has two (one after the other, in perhaps the straightest example of this trope), and Phantasy Star III has a whopping eight worlds (if you count the underworld), though they're much smaller than the worlds of the other games.
- Bored with Google Maps? Try Google Moon or Google Mars. In a major Subversion of this trope, you can't actually go there (as of 2011).