Friday 'Nite: Fortnite's reality tree shows nostalgia comes in many forms

Friday ‘Nite: Fortnite’s reality tree shows nostalgia comes in many forms


Friday’Nite is a weekly Fortnite column in which Mark Delaney takes a close look at current events in the vast world of Fortnite, with a special emphasis on the game’s plot, characters and lore.

Although it may be intrinsically linked to the game’s next main, but unnamed, villain, the vibrant reality tree is a fan-favorite star of Fortnite Chapter 3 Season 3. This towering growth off the island’s west coast is one of the most visually striking points of interest (POIs) in the game’s nearly five-year history. With its impenetrable towering base and distinctive foliage, it’s a sight like no other. Not even this season’s roller coaster can compete with it.

Although the tree itself is a new sight this season, it has special properties that fans will miss. As its twisted roots rise from the ground across the island, the places it touches are changing, as if they were looping endlessly in a multiverse that includes the Fortnite islands of the past.

When Epic debuted brand new islands when it launched Chapter 2 in 2019, many fans missed the Chapter 1 islands. In Chapter 3, many fans couldn’t help but look back at Chapter 2 more fondly. It’s a common human reaction, even among young Fortnite players who don’t live long enough to feel nostalgic about anything to remember “the good old days.”

In Fortnite, nostalgia centers on maps that players can no longer access. But with the reality tree, those long gone settings reappear in unpredictable ways. From a narrative standpoint, it’s probably bad news that a shadowy bad guy has such a big influence on Reality Zero, the home of the Fortnite island. But from a fan’s perspective, this reborn landmark and POI’s fantastical journey is fulfilling a long-standing need for the island of Fornite of the past.

At the time of this writing, the two locations on the island are jumbled up with each new round. The Butter Barn that used to be in the south central part of the map is now sometimes a fragment of the Coral Castle or Coliseum in Chapter 2. Other times, it resembles Neo Tilted, a futuristic take on the leaning tower from Chapter 1 Season 9. To the north, POI formerly known as Logjam Lumberyard is now Logjam Lotus, regularly moving between past locations such as the pirate-themed Lazy Lagoon, the aforementioned Coral Castle, and more.

Dataminers revealed that more of Fortnite’s current reality will be bent and reshaped by its mysterious tree in the coming weeks. Since the season doesn’t end until mid-September, and new updates are released every Tuesday, the nostalgia train may have barely left the station.

With that in mind, I asked the Fortnite community to tell me which POIs and landmarks they would like to see resurface on the island this season. To my surprise, the answers vary widely, with few repetitions despite dozens of replies. Thanks to the unique power of the reality tree, here are some of the many past hangouts that Fortnite fans hope to see on the island soon.

I would absolutely love having The Agency, Lonely Lodge, The Fortilla or Misty Meadows bring Bloom back into the game!

— EniofANexus (@youhavemyword77) June 30, 2022

🤔 We haven’t really seen a town POI on the Chapter 3 map, it’s using Chapter 1 for Happy Hamlet (in the Snow biome) and Chapter 2 for Misty Meadow (by the lake) ) and rugged cliffs (on the coast). do we have?

— Knusperfrosch (@schwanenwald) June 30, 2022

I want a poi from the chapter 2 season like the agency, but if not I want a dusty turf themed location

— SomebodyYouKnow (@SomebodyYKVR) June 30, 2022

Misty Meadow, my beloved.
The same goes for Frenzy Farm or Corny Crops, since we don’t have any farm POIs in Chapter 3.

— eb boy (@ebboy53) June 30, 2022

Please bring back pleasant parks or lazy lakes

— Tyler Guthrie (follow you) (@TylerGu47506141) June 30, 2022

I honestly don’t really like how they reuse the gym and coral castle assets, I’d rather have diversity in each POI
The Agency, Lazy Links, Paradise Palms, Retail Row, Junk Junction and Haunted Hills are some of the buildings I would like to see

— Babies | Fortnite News (@FNChiefAko) June 30, 2022

Would love to see Ghost Mountain or Lucky Landing in Chapter 1. Not sure if they are back. Didn’t get a chance to play it a few days ago.

— GeekyAcrylics (@sedoster) June 29, 2022

Retail Street, Weeping Woods, Institutions and Rigs

— ᴛʜᴇ ᴏʀɪɢɪɴ (@Fortnite_Origin) June 30, 2022

Yachting, would love to see the sound of sleep in the bay!
I also love the return of Tomato Town or Lucky Landing

— Omega Lama (@Lamalucis) June 30, 2022

Lazy linking, obviously. 😄

— Andrew Potter (@POTPOT3323) June 30, 2022

Those who articulate their choices often support what I already suspect: each of us misses some POI from our earliest Fortnite days, when the game was brand new and there was a lot to learn. Not necessarily that the game is worse now, although maybe some would argue. It’s just that people, by their very nature, like the comfort that arises when they think of some distant time in the past. This is true in Fortnite as it is in many areas of life.

So Reality Tree is an interesting experiment in fan service. A live service game like Fortnite will change dramatically and frequently, meaning some seasons are more memorable than others, some arched weapons are sorely missed, and the memory of each of us exploring the island can’t really be replicated , because the game is always moving forward, always being reinvented.

Soon, we may learn that this “Bloomwatcher”‘s reality-bending abilities pose yet another existential threat to Loopers everywhere. But until we understand it better, I and many other fans are content to use its powers to recall every one of our earliest landings in an ever-changing game.

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Wilbert Wood
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