Shen Molinaro, designer of the recently blogged Suomi, has just completed a new sim, Tatakai Tochi (meaning Fight Land in Japanese), owned by Regina Mills (HeatherFury). The result is a stunning region that evokes the mountainous lands of rural Japan, with tremendous opportunities for photography. "It's my best sim so far," Shen offered a couple weeks ago as we talked while he was building.
"When I set out to make this sim," Regina/Heather says, "my intention was to create a peaceful and serene place where I could come and hang out with my friends without any distractions or bothers. I sought out a very good friend of mine, Shen Molinaro, who is an amazing sim builder and has built many sims previously. I toyed with the idea back and forth about whether or not this would be a roleplay sim, or just a place for people to come and explore and take pictures, before finally deciding that the sim is much more enjoyable without the roleplay aspect. I want to keep the environment as peaceful mentally as it is beautiful physically."
Visitors arrive near the top of the rugged landscape, which hosts several small buildings and looks down through swirling flower petals and clouds to the land and seascape below. There is a way down: look for the windmill, and take the zigzag path nearby down to the ocean's edge, there following the wooden walkway that hugs the stones until reaching the valley floor. Here, a delightful display of floating lanterns awaits, and explorers can take a couple of different stone paths to continue their journeys. The lowland interior of the sim, often dotted with shrines or places of reflection, is filled with pastel trees in bloom, thick bamboo, and gently winding streams fed by high waterfalls.
Shown in these images is Tatakai Tochi's default environmental setting, a dreamy and hazy sky that evokes the soft early morning sun. For full effect, visitors should raise their draw distances, as the sim provides some striking panoramic views. Repeated visits may be needed to fully explore all of the winding pathways in the sim's interior and to enjoy its many fine details.