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A city in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with its own team of superheroes we never see and plenty of above-average pictures to show off! :D

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NMUSpidey

The Best Defense #31

Sorry for taking so long to update. I got sidetracked writing something almost completely (but not quite completely) unrelated to this, and it hijacked my life for the last week and a half. So, we're back, and I'm shooting for two or three updates this week. So, let's get down to business!

REPLIES!

emperordaniel: She's bad news, dude. Something pretty awful is going down. Keep in mind we now have a confirmation that Halloran's got a team and Victory is down. Not looking up, things are.

Schulmanator: She's a bad little wasp!

PREVIOUSLY, on The Best Defense: Halloran raised his head out from where he was hiding, and promptly went back into hiding after taunting the Defenders. What is he really up to? And who is Shar Pen?

f7f9a9ae-d333-4b86-a8c6-68d2f68ff9e9_zps439c396b.jpg

Defenders' HQ, the next day...

9ec4de6c-e5a4-4ca5-94fe-1eec97cc3a7c_zpse18a07da.jpg Hoshi-Hime: Shar Pen? Who's Shar Pen?

Hoshi-Hime was confused by the dark looks on all the Defenders' faces (except Sensational Girl who also looked as unfazed as the three magical girls, she also had no experience with Shar Pen).

b92a799d-f57b-485d-802b-d0aaaf129956_zpsc4ea057f.jpg Pierce: She's a mind[expletive] in a weird mass of robes and [expletive] and wants to eat all of reality and puke it back up in her twisted, sickening image. I'm gonna go see how Victory's doing. Lemme know when I'm on next.

They watched him brusquely leave and then Hoshi-Hime was given attention again.

9ec4de6c-e5a4-4ca5-94fe-1eec97cc3a7c_zpse18a07da.jpg Hoshi-Hime: Well, we're working with you again, so, like, you don't have to worry that much about her, right?

Cosmette_zps8ec9f2b9.jpg Cosmette: Uh... You should probably read the file...

Cosmette handed her a tablet. Hoshi-Hime slid her finger across it, flicking across pictures and images, skimming it quickly so as not to keep the Defenders waiting.

9ec4de6c-e5a4-4ca5-94fe-1eec97cc3a7c_zpse18a07da.jpg Hoshi-Hime: So, she's like some kind of demon. We just got done fighting something like that, you know? No big deal.

Cosmette_zps8ec9f2b9.jpg Cosmette: Zama was probably more powerful than her, but she's just... Like Pierce said, she's twisted.

f98d1531-cea1-4353-9582-07b41ccd25de_zps47611c7b.jpgFearless: This is one of the reasons we asked you to help us. With all the villains on the loose, Halloran putting a team together, and the Shar Pen case, we're stretched a bit thin. Victory being down doesn't help, either, but we'll get her back soon enough. Anyways, it's a big deal that you're helping us out like this.

9ec4de6c-e5a4-4ca5-94fe-1eec97cc3a7c_zpse18a07da.jpg Hoshi-Hime: Well, okay...

Hoshi-Hime took another look around the room. A malaise seemed to have descended upon them, making them all look a bit tired and droopy.

9ec4de6c-e5a4-4ca5-94fe-1eec97cc3a7c_zpse18a07da.jpg Hoshi-Hime: You guys don't have to look so excited about it.

56941f04-aff4-4dc1-9160-a5af1061603a_zps13b41f13.jpg Eikyou: We are all very pleased that you have chosen to help us out again. Let's see what Fearless has in store for us today.

All eyes, bleary and bright, turned to Fearless for the day's orders. He took a breath and began.

f98d1531-cea1-4353-9582-07b41ccd25de_zps47611c7b.jpgFearless: I am taking the morning off with Victory and Cosmette. Cosmette and I will then be on standby for the afternoon. Pierce and Titus will be active this morning. Hoshi-Hime, I want you and your team to go through the Shar Pen files and read Professor Stark's updates. We've marked who has been arrested since we started, then it would be wonderful if you are willing to meet up with Red Bear for lunch.

5bc83ae7-63c3-4cc0-95a6-33ca268470dd_zps6008bdd5.jpg Mizu-no-Hime: Red Bear? I haven't seen him since the thing! How nice it'll be to see him again!

9ec4de6c-e5a4-4ca5-94fe-1eec97cc3a7c_zpse18a07da.jpg Hoshi-Hime: No problem on that, Fearless...

f98d1531-cea1-4353-9582-07b41ccd25de_zps47611c7b.jpgFearless: Then this afternoon and evening, you'll be on active patrol with me and Cosmette. Overnight we'll all be on alert, but I think we'll cancel the patrols.

His intent was to use a bit of randomness. Whether or not they actually appeared in the skies was less important than the citizens knowing that they could and would at any time. Their island-wide response time was very good, even when woken up suddenly in the middle of the night. But he was also thinking about Halloran's team. If they were out there, it made them targets, mobile targets over a large, innocent civilian population. That would not do. He also imagined that Halloran would be perturbed by their absence, and it made him smile on the inside to imagine the man throwing a fit over it.

f98d1531-cea1-4353-9582-07b41ccd25de_zps47611c7b.jpgFearless: Any questions?

SensationalGirl_zps876cf726.jpg Sensational Girl: Uh, am I with Eikyou again all day?

f98d1531-cea1-4353-9582-07b41ccd25de_zps47611c7b.jpgFearless: Nope. You're coming with me, we're going to bring Victory here to the clubhouse and get her some sun. If you're with me, Pierce might be nicer, too.

SensationalGirl_zps876cf726.jpg Sensational Girl: Heh, okay.

f98d1531-cea1-4353-9582-07b41ccd25de_zps47611c7b.jpgFearless: Alright, we'll be back later.

Fearless left the room with Sensational Girl and Cosmette, and Hoshi-Hime glanced around at the remaining Defenders. Eikyou had her eyes closed and was apparently falling asleep in her chair. Titus stood up and and left to go meet Pierce. Her teammates had each picked up a tablet and were flicking through the information a bit more carefully than Hoshi-Hime had a few moments earlier. She picked her tablet up and began reading through the information. She never liked this kind of work, but when she first began training with the Defenders, it had been pressed upon her how important it was to research foes, especially when you knew who they were. Thankfully, not every villain was an unknown quantity like Zama, although at the same time knowing what a nightmare certain villains were did not help much, either. So, she read, and did her best to memorize it.

***

f98d1531-cea1-4353-9582-07b41ccd25de_zps47611c7b.jpgFearless: You're on with Titus, Pierce. He's waiting for you, it's up to you to decide whether you want to patrol or man the computers.

Pierce looked up, annoyance on his face, then stood up from the chair beside Victory's bed and skulked towards the door.

b92a799d-f57b-485d-802b-d0aaaf129956_zpsc4ea057f.jpg Pierce: Thanks for allowing us that, much, fearless leader.

He left the room, brushing past Fearless and Sensational Girl. Cosmette was out of his way, but he didn't spare a glance for her before disappearing down the hallway.

SensationalGirl_zps876cf726.jpg Sensational Girl: He's in a fine mood today...

f98d1531-cea1-4353-9582-07b41ccd25de_zps47611c7b.jpgFearless: Don't worry too much about it. It's all Victory's fault anyways. Isn't that right?

He smiled sincerely down at the still quite sickly-looking blonde girl and she smiled weakly back at him.

a8972899-c3c6-45c8-82e2-ff9a60691601_zps114c8113.jpg Victory: He's just sensitive. I'm doing better, I don't know what Snakeskin stabbed me with...

f98d1531-cea1-4353-9582-07b41ccd25de_zps47611c7b.jpgFearless: Dr. Brooks tells me that the wounds on your leg will take a week or so at least to heal. You're not going to be active until late next week at the earliest. We'll get you set up for some rehab before then, though, so it won't be a sudden thing.

a8972899-c3c6-45c8-82e2-ff9a60691601_zps114c8113.jpg Victory: Well, thanks for that, I guess...

She turned her head and gazed longingly out at the city. Being stuck in a room with an IV full of antivenom with stab wounds on her thigh that prevented her from walking around properly was frustrating. On top of that, the cocktail of poisons that Snakeskin had injected into her attacked her body, and she was almost immediately in critical condition. This was the first day since the fight that she was conscious. Dr. Brooks and his nurses and a pair of doctors from the PMU School of Medicine had worked diligently to counteract the poisons, and they were confident that she would make a complete recovery. She just needed time.

f98d1531-cea1-4353-9582-07b41ccd25de_zps47611c7b.jpgFearless: I was thinking about how Sensational Girl helped Cosmette feel better after our fight with Island Hopper a few weeks ago, and I wondered if there was something more we could do for you. So, I got Dr. Brooks to give us permission to take you to the roof for some sunlight, maybe that would help you out some.

a8972899-c3c6-45c8-82e2-ff9a60691601_zps114c8113.jpg Victory: That sounds nice! Wait. Does that mean you're going to carry me?

f98d1531-cea1-4353-9582-07b41ccd25de_zps47611c7b.jpgFearless: Heh, no, we've got a wheelchair for that. Here, let's go.

They helped transfer Victory to the chair and took an elevator to the roof. There wasn't much to see, just a helipad in a corner, the perimeter was lined with the climate-control units, and the middle was open to the area just below the roof where their aircraft were stored. An energy field, similar to the windows at the Stranahan Hills Mall, protected the craft from the elements, allowing only light to pass through. They stood atop a platform spanning the middle of the building between the climate-control units and took in the sights. The Cliffs behind them, they had a magnificent view of the bay and the sea beyond, Kardon at the tip of the eastern peninsula, and the suburban sprawl along the east coast further away. The Financial District with the PM Fuji TV Building was to their left and the New Crossing/Shinbashi leading to East Bank and the Mori Tower and the All-Seeing Eye were to their right. It was dull, a warm, hazy day that looked as though the island was completely enveloped in the spray of the sea. The sunlight shone lazily through the thin clouds overhead. It was not a beautiful day, but Victory was overjoyed to be out of the infirmary and in the late spring air.

a8972899-c3c6-45c8-82e2-ff9a60691601_zps114c8113.jpg Victory: This feels awesome. I feel loads better already.

SensationalGirl_zps876cf726.jpg Sensational Girl: That's great! Fresh air like, does wonders for the soul!

Cosmette was seeing something different from Sensational Girl.

Cosmette_zps8ec9f2b9.jpg Cosmette: Hm, yes... Fresh air, and sunlight. You knew about this, Fearless?

f98d1531-cea1-4353-9582-07b41ccd25de_zps47611c7b.jpgFearless: Austin told me.

Fearless glanced down at Victory. She had a quizzical look on her face.

f98d1531-cea1-4353-9582-07b41ccd25de_zps47611c7b.jpgFearless: He tells me that the magical girls get a lot of their energy from nature. Mizu-no-Hime obviously gets hers from water, Hi-no-Hime from fire, and Victory here from sunlight.

a8972899-c3c6-45c8-82e2-ff9a60691601_zps114c8113.jpg Victory: I do work better during the day than at night.

f98d1531-cea1-4353-9582-07b41ccd25de_zps47611c7b.jpgFearless: Well, since we're so close to the sun, it doesn't especially matter. Same thing with Mizu-no-Hime: the earth is covered by so much water that she could be in the middle of the Sahara Desert and still be quite powerful. So, a bit of direct sunlight, even filtered through the humidity, will help speed your healing up a bit. The power boost from Sensational Girl I imagine helps, too. There was so much damage from the poisons, though, it will still be a while before you can return to active duty.

a8972899-c3c6-45c8-82e2-ff9a60691601_zps114c8113.jpg Victory: A while? How long?

f98d1531-cea1-4353-9582-07b41ccd25de_zps47611c7b.jpgFearless: At least another week, but we'll get you out of bed a lot more, and in a few days you should be able to move around by yourself and get back into a bit of a rehab-and-training routine.

a8972899-c3c6-45c8-82e2-ff9a60691601_zps114c8113.jpg Victory: What about you guys? We're so busy right now, with all the crazy running around.

Cosmette_zps8ec9f2b9.jpg Cosmette: Hoshi-Hime and her friends are downstairs now. They're going to help us while we search for Shar Pen.

Victory's face lost what meager color it had.

a8972899-c3c6-45c8-82e2-ff9a60691601_zps114c8113.jpg Victory: Oh... Shar Pen... I almost forgot about her...

f98d1531-cea1-4353-9582-07b41ccd25de_zps47611c7b.jpgFearless: You're cleared to forget her. Focus on your health. I'll keep Pierce busy enough to keep his mind right, and free enough to spend time with you. I know how close you two are.

Victory's cheeks flushed pink.

a8972899-c3c6-45c8-82e2-ff9a60691601_zps114c8113.jpg Victory: Close? We're just friends.

f98d1531-cea1-4353-9582-07b41ccd25de_zps47611c7b.jpgFearless: Of course you are.

Fearless smiled back, but with an air of condescension he was sure wouldn't be lost on the girl. It wasn't and she shot him a glare.

a8972899-c3c6-45c8-82e2-ff9a60691601_zps114c8113.jpg Victory: You are... You are something else.

f98d1531-cea1-4353-9582-07b41ccd25de_zps47611c7b.jpgFearless: I am indeed. Now, there are a few things I need to take care of. Cosmette, Sensational Girl, whenever Victory's ready, you can take her back downstairs. Don't miss lunch, it's zucchini lasagna today.

SensationalGirl_zps876cf726.jpg Sensational Girl: Alright.

Cosmette_zps8ec9f2b9.jpg Cosmette: Understood.

With that, he left the three girls on the roof to stare into the hazy sky. He returned to his quarters and laid down and took a much-needed nap.

NMUSpidey

Our replies first!

kakado_to_save: Yeah, a while ago I got tired of merely seeing them being used, and decided to use them myself! Of course, most people use them better than this, and these pictures came after a heavy overhaul, but I like the new look. Thank you!

TowerDude: Yes, they try their best to be welcoming and kind both to visitors and to each other! Some people probably find a bit of Singapore in their thinking, though.

Schulmanator: Having been through many schools here, I think that this solution would be desirable to the way many school systems the world over handle it. Lots of room for abusing the system, though.

Mastof: Thank you! I like to run my city when I take pictures so that traffic and stuff shows up.

blunder: I actually wish I had more opportunities to use the raise parks, so I'm happy whenever I can.

SimCoug: Thank you! I love flowers, they are very nice to look at. This is the only city where I made those seawalls look presentable.

westy177: Thank you! I agree!

hahei: Wow, that's the first time anyone's suggested I join a union. Sadly, I do not think I have the time to be active in one, so POrt Matthew will remain independent, aside from being part of Schulmania's feline league.

MilitantRadical: Thank you! That train station is... something I'll have to look up next time I open Marquette (not too distant future). I'll check and let you know!

Jetty Jockey: Thank you!

Marquette is home to a good amount of parkland. A lot of this has been built in the time since I abandoned my old PM&V city journal years ago and decided that all my cities needed to have more greenspace in them. So, for those of you who have read The Sensational Six, I mentioned that the girls saw some of the sights of Marquette on their day off after the volleyball championships. So, here (in addition to Capital Square) are some of the places that they visited before driving back to Mt. Plains.

BarkleyPark.jpg

Near The Point is probably Port Matthew's most important park, Barkley Park. Barkley Park is named in honor of Port Matthew's first Senate Leader, Charles Barkley (yes, THAT Charles Barkley). He is remember fondly for the way his policies shaped early PM society, and especially remembered for punching Russian power strong man Putin square in the jaw at a UN meeting during a hearing over Port Matthew's territorial rights. Russia threatened but at a show of power by The Defenders they backed off and have not been a factor at all in Port Matthew politics or economics.

ThePoint.jpg

In the background is The Point, a series of docks at the end of Marquette Peninsula with many popular restaurants and shops for tourists. It is the easternmost point of Port Matthew. The tall tower in the middle of this picture is Stark Tower/Wayne Tower, depending upon which major comic book universe you want to imagine Port Matthew is a part of (while I probable read more DC now than Marvel, I am more familiar with the Marvel Universe and generally think of this as Stark Tower).

TheSpaceBetween.jpg

Looking westward, we see some more parks and, something artificial...

SunkenPlaza.jpg

Oh, that's nice. Hotel Park Plaza is a popular tourist shopping area, wholly underground. It is also where Hotel Park Station is for the Hantou Subway Line. Hotel Park is a fancy tourist area with...

HotelPark.jpg

...a popular wishing well (to the left of that building in the foreground of my shot). It is said that throwing more than a dollar into the well will bring you more than a year's worth of good luck. For those wealthy enough to afford staying in one of these posh luxury-style vacation resorts, they have good luck anyways. It is said that the city's best coffee is served in Bayview Cafe, and it's a far better bargain than the hotels!

YellowPark.jpg

Going up the hill a bit we have Yokoso Park and Yokoso Station. The park is large and sprawls three city blocks. With Peninsula High School nearby, it serves as a gathering place for many students to study and play when not at school, and residents love it for being a family-friendly place to relax, and dog walkers love it, too (although people who don't clean up their dog's poo are shot on sight. No, just kidding, they are given a heavy fine).

NewStadiums.jpg

And back westward along the bay a bit is Bayside Stadium, home of the Marquette Bay Stars minor league team, part of the SLB Port Matthew Suzumebachi farm system. Major sports offices are located in the building next to it, the Athletic Towers. The Port Matthew High School Sports Authority, the Port Matthew Defenders ice hockey team, and the Port Matthew Island Stars football team also have their headquarters in these offices.

BaysideLiving.jpg

Life along the bay is nice, with a wild shoreline and wealthy people's homes where businesses aren't located. Here we see the very western end of The Peninsula, where it butts up against Central Park (don't be fooled, there's no park there). Central Park Auditorium serves as a lecture hall for speakers too big to fit into UMarq's facilities, and often shows IMAX movies as well (it is PM's sole IMAX equipped theater).

And that will end our update for now. I may or may not show you night pictures, but there will definitely be an overview coming before too long. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my entry, and thanks for the comments and plus ones!

NMUSpidey

The Capital

So, I've seen many other cjs list the facts and figures of their governments, so I figured I might as well do the same. Enjoy a peak behind the curtain (such as it is). But first, REPLIES!

Schulmanator: Thank you! The students love it!

Fox: Thank you! It's so shiny, I couldn't help myself but to use it somewhere.

TowerDude: It's a high tech university, heh heh heh. Thank you!

The city of Port Matthew is not in fact the capital of Port Matthew. That honor goes to Marquette. While The City is without a doubt the financial heart of the small state, the government holds session in a separate location. This is done symbolically to represent the separation between The State and capitalism, although the way legislators are elected, the lines can become unavoidably blurred.

TheCapital.jpg

The Capital itself is home to the 25 directly-elected Senators who make the laws of the island nation as well as the High Court who judges the constitutionality of the laws the Senate attempts to pass. It is difficult for the Senate to pass laws, although this is by design: while the government can be a bit slow to react to certain changes in society, they also find it difficult to complicate things and overregulate every issue that gets screen time on the daily talking head shows. This has caused tension with PM's allies, as PM rarely leans as far left or right as some (the USA, EU nations, Japan, China) wish they would.

NationalRaisedPark.jpg

There are a number of lovely parks across the island, and Marquette is home to a large proportion of them. Here is The Walls of Prince Charles, a reference to the first Senate Leader and PM Icon Charles Barkley (yes, THAT Charles Barkley).

CapitalPark.jpg

Part of the reason PM's parks are able to be kept so clean is that PM laws do not allow for mass protests, and the few protests that are allowed are heavily regulated and subject to occasionally harsh police oversight. Protest groups wishing to hold a demonstration on the island must submit paperwork through a byzantine-by-design series of bureaucracies, then pay large amounts of money to rent the space from The State, pay large amounts of money for police patrols, and pay large amounts of money for the following cleanup. This type of regulation regularly draws criticism from all of PM's allies, but it is something that will never change.

ChinatownandEmbassies.jpg

Speaking of allies, the embassies and consulates of friendly nations are housed in Port Matthew. Those with a special relationship with PM (Schulmania, the USA, Japan), are granted space in the Capital.

EmbassiesandPDHQ.jpg

The National Police Force (and its supervillain counterforce The Power Unit) are headquartered here, and provide added protection to the nearby Embassy Towns.

EmbassiesandPDHQdiffangle.jpg

Here is another angle, as well as the main building of the Port Matthew Central Bank, the only large banking institution allowed to operate within PM borders. Bankers and communists were kept out at PM's inception. There was an effort to keep all high-ranking government buildings within this section of Marquette.

EmbassyLiving.jpg

So, having seen the Embassy Towns, where do the ambassadors live? Why, in the four Roppongi-lookalike towers just a short walk away (or a couple of train stations, at least). PM's closest allies find themselves in the most desirable suites at the tops of the towers. Currently, there is a transition between the former Schulmanian ambassador and the next, and PM eagerly awaits the name of the feline to welcome, although regular consular/embassy staff is housed here as well.

NationalMuseum.jpg

But, not everything is about running (or trying to run, such as the case may be) Port Matthew. Marquette is full of museums of all kinds, this blue building here is the Port Matthew National Museum, a showcase for the colorful history and heritage of the scrappy (and super-hero-y) island nation.

NationalMuseumStockExchange.jpg

The Port Matthew National Concert Hall is a prestigious location for concerts and plays of all types. Not only do you get your orchestras and operas, ACDC will swing through to play a set as well. Everything from Shakespeare to modern Broadway will stop here on the journey to Japan to entertain PMers.

CapitalBridge.jpg

Now, there may be a handful of people here who have seen the original version of Marquette, but things have changed because I wanted to use this bridge so badly. I love how it looks, and although it doesn't really make sense where it is right now, at least it looks so cool. The PM government uses excess tax revenues to make the island look nice where they can, even if it sometimes doesn't really have any benefits outside of aesthetic pleasure.

CapitalSquare.jpg

And finally, our overview of The Capital.

So, a rundown of PM politics:

Senators serve six year terms and are limited to two. Their children are forbidden from entering politics. Compensation is tied to the PM poverty level as determined by the UMarq Department of Business and Economics. If you are a Senator, you are forbidden from becoming a High Court Judge. A 75% supermajority is required to alter the PM Constitution, and a 70% supermajority is required to pass laws and regulations. Tax increases are subject to a popular vote. Everything Senators do while in office is made public. Outside the limited military affairs PM has, there is no confidential information.

High Court Judges serve six year terms and are limited to two. Their children are forbidden from entering politics. Compensation is tied to the PM poverty level as determined by the UMarq Department of Business and Economics. If you are a High Court Judge, you are forbidden from becoming a Senator. High Court Judges are nominated by The Senate and voted upon by the people. They have absolute veto power: if a bill is vetoed, it cannot be altered and re-submitted: it must be re-started from scratch. They can hear high profile criminal cases, especially if the crime or outcome has the potential to set a landmark precedence.

Like Japan, lawyers make up a small percentage of PM's population, and also, much like Japan, it is very, very difficult to pass the bar exam. They tend to be busy, and are well compensated for their services.

Senators and High Court Judges tend to be wealthy males, a high percentage of which are lawyers, with corporate executives taking up another large chunk (famous athletes, celebrities/writers/artists, and philanthropists make up the rest, with the standout of one former Defender from the original team serving two terms in The Senate).

Port Matthew has receives regular criticism for the following issues: women's rights (lack of incentives for girls to play sports, take math/science, climb corporate ladder, etc); abortion (legal, regulated); divorce (heavily regulated, very difficult, very expensive, save for extraordinary circumstances); gay rights (no legal marriage, but a contract with the same rights exists with the same set of paperwork and conditions as marriage, very difficult adoption); firearms (generally illegal, only special members of the PMPD carry, and of course the Power Unit is armed, but citizens are not); lack of military (The Defenders generally protect the island); and of course, the aforementioned right to assemble (or lack thereof). Draconian legislation exists for littering and by extension graffiti (jail time, mandatory community cleanup duty), slow driving and aged people driving (mandatory driving tests every other year starting at age 60), and education (attendance problems and attitude problems are met with trips to the Fort Mison Correctional Camp).

The goal of the Port Matthew Government is to make PM a nice place to live. While many of the laws and regulations appear unfair, they do lend PM a stability and pleasantness that many other nations do not enjoy. PM tends to be a place where lives are lived rather than a place where arguments are had.

NMUSpidey

That was probably the most comments I've received in a single entry since the original PM&V back in the old section years ago! Here they are, REPLIES:

SimCoug: There are official penalties involved in falling into the canals, most of which include official mocking and public humiliation, so many students do their best to avoid drunken frolicking along the water! It has happened, though, more times than anyone would care to admit!

TowerDude: The university tells me it likes you a lot, too! Thank you!

10000000000000: Line them? With what? Money? Marble? Heh, I'm going to assume you meant, "like" them. Thank you very much, in any case!

escilnavia: Thank you! I may have mentioned before, but I am rather proud of this setting!

111222333444: I actually ended up using a variety in this city. The farther south you get the darker the water looks. It's totally magic or something.

Schulmanator: Thank you!

Jetty Jockey: Yeah, I didn't really realize it before, that was completely unintentional and totally fitting at the same time. Thank you! It is 95.3 WXMQ, the official university radio station. It is amped up and can be heard in Port Matthew well to the north.

Fox: I downloaded a lot of baseball and football stadiums, and have struggled finding uses for all of them. If I'm honest, there are a handful I think are better than all the others, and I often have to remind myself not to keep reusing them.

So, UMarq is probably the best thing I've done in this game. I think the campus is fairly unique, it's kinda big, it has interesting surroundings, and I don't think it suffers any major realism problems (I even included two parking garages, a big one near the engineering buildings and an underground one near the library). As such, I don't feel bad showing it again and again. Without further ado, here are the night pictures:

UMarqOverviewnight.jpg

UMarq at night. The campus itself isn't spectacular, but some of the other buildings are quite striking.

UmarqLibrarynight.jpg

This is one of my favorite BATs. The detail is fantastic, especially evident at night. Wonderful.

Southendofcampusnight.jpg

I may have mentioned before, but this stage is one of the few outside of Japan that is officially equipped and recognized for kabuki. There are a number of quite famous kabuki actors who have visited UMarq both for performing and for speaking/teaching students in the drama department, including younger actors Ichikawa Kamejiro and Nakamura Shido.

UMarqStadiumnight.jpg

I'm not sure I care for the nightlighting of the campus itself (maybe if I was using Maxis night it'd be a bit brighter), but some of the surrounding buildings are pretty interesting. This particular building, the UMarq Tower houses a land developer, a realty company, an employment agency, several floors of shopping and restaurants, and an unofficial, unconfirmed branch of one of the larger yakuza families.

This will finish our second look at UMarq. Thank you all for the comments and 5-star ratings, and if you could throw in a couple of +1s that would be great! See you all again eventually!

NMUSpidey

UMarq

REPLIES!

10000000000000: Thanks! I can't take credit for it, though. Maxis and the BATers have all done a magnificent job making this game shine at night.

TowerDude: I know! I love it!

Schulmanator: I know there's a song there somewhere, I just can't recall the next line...

westy177: Thank you! Being compared to Hong Kong is not a bad thing at all!

111222333444: Thank you! I love the colors as well!

emperordaniel: Thank you! It took time, especially to load this massive city!

We have seen the University of Marquette before, but I posted it either right before or right after the big update last year in March so I don't think there are many people who saw it. I think I did such a good job designing the campus that it deserves a wider audience, and those who have already seen it can marvel at the magnificence one more time. So, we'll visit again with some new pictures as well as some night shots!

UMarqoverview-1.jpg

The University of Marquette is lovingly referred to by everyone as UMarq. It is Port Matthew's premier institute of higher learning, on par with Harvard, Oxford, or Tokyo. It has various partnerships and exchange programs with many other top-tier universities.

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UMarq's main building, Barkley Hall is the center of the university, housing the administrative offices and many important professors' offices.

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Green Open Space, or just The Space is a popular place to study or lounge about for both the students and the faculty. It is the site of many university functions, including some intramural sports and various seasonal festivals.

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One of the Engineering buildings, Engineering One houses the classrooms necessary to teach a wide variety of engineering skills.

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Engineering Two, down the hill in the white building with the blue bubbles on the side, houses the laboratories necessary for using and testing those skills learned in the classroom.

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The football stadium (repainted for girls' soccer matches) is home to the UMarq football team, a team whose name I cannot remember at all and cannot be bothered to go back and check right now (maybe tomorrow). They are generally mediocre, but do usually put up a pretty good fight against arch rival PMU (where a championship caliber team is consistently fielded).

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The surrounding area is full of parks and flowers, and the canals that wind around much of Marquette.

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And a second overview from a different angle (although now that empty space is grown over with some apartments I believe, and the buildings along the canal at the bottom are different, you can see in the stadium picture a little farther up).

So, we'll stop back by George's chosen institution of higher learning later when the sun goes down. Thanks for dropping by!

NMUSpidey

Replies! Maybe eventually I'll make a new banner for that hahaha!

Fox: Thank you! Rio was something I had in mind when I was making the landscape. I've always thought it was a cool looking place!

111222333444: Totally. There is an epic story behind its formation. But that's for another time, perhaps.

MilitantRadical: Thanks. I've been building on this landmass for something like 6 years now, so I've had a lot of time to think up backstories and histories and stuff. It helps when I'm waiting for the game to load to daydream about it, too!

Schulmanator: Thank you! Go ahead and take a look! Night pictures are always cool.

10000000000000: Thank you! The Cliffs themselves ended up quite a bit higher than they were in my imagination, but I just couldn't keep myself from holding down the form cliffs button.

escilnavia: Thank you! Rio is fabulously beautiful, so I did kinda steal the idea from there!

Alright, now that the sun has set, let's see what The Cliffs looks like all lit up.

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So, to the south of The Cliffs (actually in the Blue Village), I decided that I had enough of the repeating buildings and placed this thing, the Deconstructivist Mall. Its architecture helps it fit in amongst the creative types that call this area home.

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Heading towards The Cliffs, we get this nice view. In the background you can just see PMU's main campus.

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Luxury highrises have a stunning view of East Bank across the river.

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The coast, even at night, offers places for a jog or even a romantic waterside stroll. After all, there's no crime. Who's gonna try to pull something with The Defenders so close by?

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The boutiques offer some interesting lights too look at as well. I love love love the lit up avenue trees, too. Are those Peg's? I can't seem to remember where I got them, but I do believe they are a Peg Production of some sort.

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The Headquarters of one of the world's premier superteams at night. JR East is one of my favorite buildings, and I think it is an excellent choice for The Defenders' HQ.

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And here's our overview, with a bonus view of East Bank from behind.

I hope you enjoyed our visit to The Cliffs! We'll come back to Port Matthew and take a look at another location. Eventually! Thank you to everyone who takes the time to view and comment!

NMUSpidey

The Cliffs

EDIT: Since I see this so often in other cjs here in the (no longer quite so) "new" section, I'm going to double-post the replies here as well as on the previous page because posting on the previous page makes it so much easier to provide replies. Also, it'll put pressure on me to post links to BATs or whatever you may ask about (none tonight because I'm burned out haaha).

Anyways, REPLIES!

TowerDude; So do I, Dude!

blunder: I know it's a bit late, but it's Aseby Management, I think I got it from SC4D, but it might be on the STEX, too.

Evillions: Oh, totally, I agree. My problem is time: I lack it and don't have enough for proper maintenance and detailing. I try to keep it at a minimum, but... Well, you see what happens...

Schulmanator: :D

escilnavia: Thank you! I think that, even with the hideous repetition, this neighborhood turned out pretty well.

10000000000000: Me too! Nine minutes?! I hate to think I wasted so much of your time!

Efkin: Seriously. I use the NAM, my theory is that with the increased capacity, the game graphicalizes (totally not a word, but whatever) by extended the trains to ridiculous lengths. I try not to take pictures of them, but sometimes it simply cannot be helped.

emperordaniel: Thank you!

Alright, so I didn't update for the Royale Mts. Nat'l Park the way I thought I was going to, but it's possible we'll get to that eventually. For now, we'll take a look at The Cliffs, where Nina had her run-in with Marley...

TheCliffsOverview.jpg

The Cliffs is a slightly upscale area of Port Matthew with luxury living and expensive boutiques sitting in the shadows of Defenders' Cliffs. Its central location in the city made it the perfect home for Defenders' HQ which sits at the end of the peninsula near the highway.

DefendersHQ.jpg

Defenders' HQ is the home of the Defenders and Titus Industries, the technology corporation that helps fund the team of local superheroes. Rumor has it there is a large underground training facility located beneath The Cliffs...

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There is, of course, shopping to be done. Here are a few shops peddling what amounts to high fashion in Port Matthew sitting uncomfortably close to the superheroes' home.

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The Cliffs Library has probably the best view of any library on the island: East Bank (which we've already visited, if I'm not mistaken). It is easily the most popular public library in the city-state, with regular attendance beating out even the National Library in Marquette and heavily-populate Southport's Galleria Library.

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One of the few drawbacks to living in this particular area is the fact that for nearly half the day you are stuck in shadows. Once noon passes, darkness falls, and there is little to be done about it besides turning on the lights.

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That doesn't mean it's a bad place to be. There are nice places to walk along the river, and parks do their best to break up the never-ending concrete of the city.

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And of course, there are plenty of wealthy citizens who call the area home, regardless of the lack of afternoon sunshine.

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This is a bit farther south from The Cliffs, pretty much Blue Village, but I just upgraded the area and I think the new plazas look quite nice compared to the undeveloped, haphazard shoreline that was here before. Blue Village won't receive its own update, as we're seeing some interesting bits here and we saw large parts of it back in the Southport update. But maybe, if you're interested enough, we'll try to take a closer look at it...

We'll stop here and come back by a little later when the sun goes down. Yup, I have night pictures, too!

NMUSpidey

Mori Tower

It has been some time since my last update for this city journal, but The Sensational Six has now visited this particular neighborhood, so it is time to show a bit of it.

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Mori Tower is one of the smaller neighborhoods in Port Matthew. It is home to a cruise ship port, offering (among other things) quaint three hour tours of the surrounding waters.

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This makes Mori Tower (foreground) and Mori Pier the focal points of the neighborhood. Mori Tower is a massive complex, hosting offices, art galleries, upscale dining and bars, shopping, and other attractions, and there are some 10,000 jobs involved in running the whole operation. It is almost a city within a city, the Inception of buildings, perhaps.

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The waterfront next to Mori Tower. Mori Waterfront subway station is there, as well as...

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...doubles. There are a few buildings I really don't mind popping up in sets, and those blue/gray apartment towers (not the glass ones, but those are okay, too) are one of type I won't destroy. I just think they look cool, but I don't blame you if you hate doubles in any shape, size, or form.

GreenTower.jpg

Green Tower is just about as far north as you can get without entering wealthy Kardon. Green Tower thus serves as the opposite anchor to Mori Tower. Green Tower hosts mostly workers: engineers and businesspeople working in the environmental technology field. They have helped Titus Industries and the Defenders out with many tech problems as they work to make PM as clean and erosion-proof as possible.

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Heading back towards Mori Tower, we can see some added park area (named Mayor's Park due to the Mayoral Estate nearby) that I keep trying to add to break up the concrete every time I load up PM.

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Mori Auditorium, a place popular for symphonies and operas and kabuki. The occasional lecture rolls through here, as well. It is surrounded by offices and apartments and there is a large shopping mall up the street a bit.

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And back near Mori Tower and the highway we have this collection of buildings. I think it is a different angle of the above picture.

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Mori Tower is from one of the fabulous Japanese BATers, I can't remember which one right now. It is stunning. I wanted to have a shot of it in zoom 4, but it doesn't fit, so we're stuck with this in zoom 3.

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The Pier at night. It is popular amongst couples, in fact, and has shops and restaurants for those who won't pay the prices necessary at Mori Tower.

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Green Tower at night. It's not green anymore. I think green nightlights might look cool. Oh well.

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The Mayoral Estate is tucked away in this picture. Can you find it?

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Near Mori Tower. It is a fairly nice neighborhood. I saw better nightlighting for the Auditorium in a different city journal. Or perhaps I just have a faulty memory. Whatever!

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And the overview at night. You can kind of tell its relation to East Bank in this picture, with the All Seeing Eye as the northern anchor of that large neighborhood.

I hope you enjoyed this look at one of PM's smaller neighborhoods! It sure likes you!

NMUSpidey

East Bank at Night

Okay, so we're still in East Bank. East Bank does not have the nightlife that Fuji-Cho or Southport do, but it looks pretty and the beach still has support well into the evening hours, so there are still plenty of people out and about. Just not so many bars or nightclubs are located in this area.

EBBeachnight.jpg

But like I said, the beach is still a major entertainment destination well into the summer. During the Summer Festival/Natsu Matsuri (夏祭り), there is a makeshift stage set up near Renpou the Great for a concert series starring local talent. Last year, The Private Messengers rocked the crowd and scored a record deal from their performance.

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Renpou the Great still looks awesome at night.

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The Hess is Port Matthew's sole five star eatery, located near the All-Seeing Eye. Both are afforded wonderful views of The Beach and The Cliffs and Stranahan Hills across the water.

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Nearby is East Sea Temple/Toukaidera (東海寺), the major Buddhist center of worship for Port Matthew. There are very small temples scattered throughout the land, and many have actually taken on a more Western appearance (as the Maxis House of Worship) and blend in much better than this does. But this is supposed to be a bit ostentatious and historical-looking.

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Korea has more than a few representatives in Port Matthew as well, but they still must learn Japanese and English in schools as Korean is not taught. Still, PM is a hub for Asian-American business, and Korean companies certainly make money here as well.

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South of The Beach we can see the Patton Building, East Bank Station, and the East Bank Public Library lit up in all their glory.

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And here we can see the library close up. There's a reason Marv likes this so much (go read The Sensational Six to learn more about Marv!): it's a fabulous structure.

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And here are the nearby EBHS and EBIC. This is a highly populated, very busy area.

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There are a variety of ways to get into East Bank from Southport and the Blue Village. The new Gateway to East Bank in the center is currently at capacity. Commuters have been petitioning for a highway to do the job of ferrying them across the water, but I'm busy and that's a lot of relocation to do with all the surrounding buildings!

EBOverviewnight.jpg

And here is our overview of East Bank. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to view my pictures and/or leave a comment. I appreciate it!

NMUSpidey

Wow, how lucky are you guys? Two PMaV updates in three days! Dang! So, I thought I was gonna put this together and have it up two hours ago, but a thirty minute "touch-up" turned into a two hour improvement project, but I'm staying up to post anyways.

So, East Bank is along the east bank of The River that flows through Port Matthew (although since it's an island, it's really just a glorified section of the Pacific). Anyways, it is a major tourist and business area of the city, and has the second largest population only to Southport. Let's look at it, shall we?

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East Bank's defining feature is its beach. It runs from The All Seeing Eye in the north...

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...past Matthew the Great in the center...

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...to the East Bank Towers in the south.

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East Bank High School is home to over 3000 students and the Red Wings. Zamba, as we learn in The Sensational Six #43 has led the Red Wings to the PMHS National Championship this past season.

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The East Bank Public Library was constructed by Takeda, Ltd, the same firm who designed and built Mt. Plains HS's football stadium. Patton Motors Tower can be seen to the left.

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As much a part of East Bank as Defenders' Square is of Southport, the Plaza sits at the very south border of this section of PM. It is home to a very large art school and gallery, and with the Blue Village across the river, is home to some very trendy people.

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Swinging back up towards the beach, East Bank Station is a major rail hub, conveniently located near...

EBIC.jpg

...East Bank Interchange. PM names its interchanges in a manner similar to Japan.

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Port Matthew's National Police Force HQ is located in East Bank, as well. Not a lot of crime in this particular area (not a lot of crime to speak of overall on the whole island, actually).

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The safety helps to allow Hollywood-style living for even the middle classes of PM.

EBoverview.jpg

And we'll close with an overview. Come back for more later. I'll have some night shots to show you!

Thanks to everyone who comments and views Port Matthew! Don't hesitate to visit The Sensational Six to see how the residents are getting along!

NMUSpidey

The West Coast Highway is a seldom-used link between the Royale Mountains National Park and Schulman in the northwest and the Breaker Islands in the south. It winds along the rocky cliffs of the west coast by itself. Usually, the road is closed down and is used for racing, especially rally special stages and car clubs.

Start.jpg

The end of civilization, this little hamlet is *just* south of Schulman, and falls within Schulmanian jurisdiction and school district.

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Here's the pass to get to the highway from Mt. Plains.

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Here's a coastal view.

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South of the End of Civilization, the highway gets interesting.

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It winds and rises and lowers as well as it can with the terrain.

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Please forgive me for the night view of this particular shot: I added the trees and waterfall a little later to make it more interesting, and forgot to take the picture during the daytime. I may never rectify this, and I apologize! :D

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We're getting closer to the southern end of this section of highway.

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Where we'll take a quick peak at a hidden beach!

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Wow, would you look at that? How romantic! It's as if this place was designed to be like this!

Well, that is all for now. I'll show you more pictures of somewhere else very soon, I believe. Until then, thank you for your comments and views!

NMUSpidey

Fuji-Cho at night!

I may have mentioned before (or at least I know I have in the critically acclaimed Sensational Six) that Fuji-Cho is the most romantic part of Port Matthew city. The nightlife is a big part of it.

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The Coke Building isn't romantic itself, but it has a lovely park about its feet.

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The area surrounding the Stock Exchange is mostly financial institutions and high-priced apartments.

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But at the station, things start to get a bit more romantic. There are a few popular jazz bars and nightclubs located near PMStation, and it is a mere block or two walk from...

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The Fuji-Cho Ice Rink. Certainly ice skating downtown is romantic. Especially when you can look up and see the incredible nightlights of...

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The Fuji TV Building. I forgot how it looked at night, and what a pleasant surprise it was!

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The underground mall is also very nice (although I kept meaning to fix it a bit and make it more attractive). I really wish there was a way to make it so that it's concrete or tile under the monorail. Oh well, I'm not that picky.

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The Media Center is a good place for bumping into the famous and glamorous of Port Matthew, and since they are there, there are plenty of upscale restaurants and, yes, nightclubs for a romantic evening on the town.

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AND our overview, Fuji-Cho at night!

Thank you for coming! I appreciate the views and the comments!

NMUSpidey

Fuji-Cho

Fuji-Cho is the financial and media center of Port Matthew. It is probably the most romantic part of the city, and hosts the most celebrity sightings outside of Marquette.

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Fuji-Cho in the daytime. It is smaller than either Stranahan Hills or Southport, but is a prominent area nonetheless.

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The Fuji TV Building is the centerpiece of the area, a replica of Fuji TV's HQ back in Tokyo (no word was given as to why they chose to use the same architecture twice, so no one bothered asking and everyone just lives with it and enjoys the sight).

AltViewFujiTV.jpg

Another angle. Fuji TV is the largest broadcaster on the island. They have the biggest stars and the most popular tv shows. They also have exclusive rights to show many programs from rival tv studios in Japan to PMers.

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BBC PM, FOX Sports PM, and a number of other studios have their offices in this grouping of buildings. Most broadcast through the high-power digital antennas available at the BBC PM Studios near the highway to save cost.

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Fuji-Cho Station Mall is a large, underground complex comprising some three levels spanning from the nearby Port Matthew Station (rail, monorail, and subway access) to Kaimono-mae (買い物前) Station ("In Front of Shopping" Station) pictured here.

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The anchor of Fuji-Cho, Port Matthew Station, the busiest of all PM Stations.

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The Port Matthew Stock Exchange, never referred to by its initials. Not as important as some other exchanges, but prominent anyways.

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And the last picture of our update, Coca-Cola's PM offices, surrounded by a pleasant green area used by many workers (both from Coke and from nearby offices) during pleasant spring and fall lunchbreaks.

We will end our update here, and come back again at night to see the lights! Thank you to everyone for watching! See you soon!

NMUSpidey

Southport at Night

SO, I would like to tell you more about Port Matthew. Its culture, government, people, etc., but outside of my "Sensational Six" journal, I'm not entirely sure what you would like to know, so before we get this update rolling, feel free to ask my anything in the comments section. I'll be happy to answer any questions you may ask, even ones attached to backhanded compliments. Much appreciation goes out to those who take the time to read my cjs! And now we'll get on with our update!

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This time we'll start with the overviews. I'm using the Dark Night mod (mostly because all references to Batman [even unintentional ones] are awesome).

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I went back and re-read the original Port Matthew city journal, the one I started a few years ago, and I think I have really improved. (click here if you're feeling nostalgic but please don't necro it, it's long since dead)

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The high school at night. Southport has more students than any other high school on the island. It is usually dominant in all sports because of their larger talen- wait, this sounds familiar. I'll try to refrain from repeating myself in this update.

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Southport High School is fed by the large population living in highrise apartments in (and bordering) Southport.

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Southport Station at night. Eagle-eyed viewers will notice that the old park was replaced by the Kirby Plaza. I did this because as wonderful as Paeng's yellow garden looks, the yellow tiles just didn't mesh well in this particular area. I think there are other places where I've used those wonderful parks and we'll see them someday.

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The tea cafe where Tory busted up The Six's big day out (well, four of The Six anyways). It looks a little different on cold, sunny winter afternoons.

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The Port Matthew Institute of Art at night. Maxis did include some cool buildings. Much of the art in this building is local. Its location in the Blue Village is symbolic of the artistic contributions to Port Matthew by the large number of creative people living here. In the Interactive Wing, visitors are welcomed to upvote and downvote newer art in a kind of internet-style popularity contest amongst anonymous passers-by.

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The nearby Gateway to East Bank provides a direct route to East Bank Plaza, home to yet another cultural center we'll be seeing in a different update. For now, just enjoy the look of this bridge.

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And back at the other end of Southport is Defenders' Plaza. It's not lit up at night as nicely as some of the surroundings, but it provides a nice transition to talk about...

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...Defenders' Tower, which is amazingly not in the foreground of every shot of Southport and Fuji-Cho. It is the tallest structure in all Port Matthew. Its lighting is changed depending on the season. In addition to the observation deck and decidedly tourist-y nature of the tower, the game tells me there are some 4400 office workers in there (although realistically there's probably about 10% of that).

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The Tower does get into the foreground of a lot of pictures. This one has some other interesting buildings in it, too. I'll be quite now and you can just enjoy the pictures.

So thanks again for taking the time to read my entries. I'm happy if you are enjoying my city journal, and I'll keep improving. And if you're interested in seeing some daily life, take a look at The Sensational Six. There's drama, and pretty girls, and twists, and character development. Just wait till you see what happens!

Anyways, I'll see you in your journals as well!

NMUSpidey

Southport

Southport is the busiest and largest area in the city of Port Matthew (and probably on the whole island). It is home to the Suzumebachi SLB baseball team and the Defenders STHL ice hockey team. It is across the river from Fuji-cho and borders PMU and the Blue Village to the east, and two as-yet-to-be-named neighborhoods to the south and west (heheh, haven't gotten that far with names yet). There are plenty of schools, parks, businesses, shops, and sights to see, all of which mix together to make up the most dynamic area of the city-state.

Now, let's take a look at what once was and what has become of it...

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The old Defenders' Plaza, a mishmash of different plazas and trees irrationally placed next to each other in an attempt to make something nice but just... wasn't...

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Today, Defender's Plaza is just nicer. The styles mesh together nicely, and it's consistent. Not as amazing as some other parks in other cjs, but still, not bad anymore, right?

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And from another angle. I have too many of those Hong Kong Financial buildings, or whatever they're called. Some must be culled in the near future...

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The old Stadiums. I really like those underground malls, but I've used them so much, things had to change...

Stadiums.jpg

Oooo, what have we here? New BATs! The much more elegant Defenders' Arena is home to the Port Matthew Defenders STHL team, and they'll try for the Cup this year after a short hiatus! Hachi no Su Field (Beehive Field, for those who were wondering) is the home of the Port Matthew Suzumebachi (Hornets) SLB team, a place often referred to as "The Hive" by locals.

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Here's another older image of the old waterfront and stadiums. I think I was on the right track, that's not a terrible picture.

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But, things have definitely gotten better. The trees are nicer and the style is more integrated. My new developer (me, hahaha) decided to use a more consistent style to just make it look nicer.

SouthportHS.jpg

Southport High School, home of the Barracudas. They are a powerhouse in most sports, and currently in a tight rivalry with Mt. Plains in girls' volleyball. They have a big match coming up, I've heard (CHECK OUT MY OTHER CJ, THE SENSATIONAL SIX TO FIND OUT!!!)...

SouthportHSdifferentangle.jpg

Another angle because, hey, why not?

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Southport is home to a great many residents, and they live close together in these highrise apartment complexes. The bigger apartments (condos in English, mansions in Japanese) often comprise of two floors instead of your usual one.

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And at the eastern edge of Southport is the Blue Village, with its many bridges to East Bank. This one is the most famous: the Gateway to East Bank (or just "The Gateway" if you're lazy).

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The Blue Village was named a long time ago for the blue apartment complexes that popped up in the original PM years and years ago. I've decided to keep the name, but gone are those apartments (which is too bad, I liked those). The Port Matthew Institute of Art is the centerpiece of the neighborhood. Yeah, it's Maxis, but I use a ton of museum BATs in other cities, and this one only shows up here. Anyways, there are a great many art galleries and artists' lofts in this section of the city, and during the Summer Festival (Natsu Matsuri) there is a wonderful celebration in this district, and many people are attra- oh jeez, I've talked WAY too much about this!

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And now, we'll take a view of Defenders' Tower. This is looking east towards PMU.

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Southport Station (both monorail and train stations).

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We come to the end of our FIRST update of Southport, and we'll close with an overview of the western and riverfront areas.

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And finally, the eastern area.

Thank you for taking a look at my journal. Thanks especially to those who read my words, I try to read as many of yours as I can, too!

*BONUS: From whence Port Matthew came:

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This is an overview picture of Port Matthew from before it was lost in a file save error. I had to re-load an entire map and import the uncorrupted cities to save my region, but the main city was lost forever. The new version I've been working on is so much better anyways, it needed to happen. :D

NMUSpidey

Schulman Revisited

So, it's been a little while since our last visit to the island city-state of Port Matthew. Now, we'll take another look at Schulman, a beach town on the west coast that I made some slight alterations to. Schulman has a bit of a reputation for being a party town, with a lively nightlife on The Docks, long beaches (one surrounding a lagoon), and easy access by highway, monorail, and regular rail.

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First, this is an old picture of downtown. It's nice and quaint, but not up to the image I had of it yet.

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And here's the new version. New station with rail and monorail more integrated (and I think the monorail line is actually new in this version). My original intention was to build a high speed rail system to link the three major cities in a loop. However after much trial and error (more error than not) I scrapped the idea. This isn't a large nation, and really, it'd be expensive overkill to include high speed rail.

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Originally, the raised rail was for this station only. However, with so many rail crossings in a busy-ish city, I decided to extend it...

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So we get this new station (for which I have not yet thought of a name: suggestions welcome!), and the extension of the raised line.

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And North Beach Station, named for its proximity to North Beach.

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And the raised line ends after this bend into downtown towards Schulman Station. It also allows me to segue nicely to The Docks.

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The Docks end conveniently where North Beach begins.

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They sit at the end of Schulman Blvd, which is the end road of Highway 1.

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And they end where Schulman Lagoon and Schulman Cove Park begin in the south.

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Here's a closeup shot of the eastern portion of Schulman Cove Park.

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And here's another one of the park with a bit of the Lagoon shown as well.

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Schulman Lagoon, looking south.

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Schulman Lagoon looking kind of either north or west. The buildings surrounding the lagoon are quite expensive, a mix of penthouse apartments and suites for renting by the night.

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Schulman High School's football program is also quite good. They are always a contender for the National Championship, frequently visiting the Marquette Dome to challenge anyone who earns their way in. The Fighting Orange are a force to be reckoned with, and have won three of the last seven championships, as well as the first two in the history of the PM HS Tournament.

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Okay, last few shots. Here's an overview of Downtown Schulman.

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And here it is again at night from another angle.

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And Schulman Station at night.

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And finally a portion of The Docks at night.

I know this was a bit of a long-ish entry and I get a little wordy at times, so thanks to everyone for the views and the comments. Kari (from my most excellent cj The Sensational Six) has partied here a bit, including some shenanigans. Enjoy both my cjs, and I'll have more updates here again soon!

NMUSpidey

I have extended Mt. Plains to include a number of more suburban areas to the west of the city of Port Matthew. This one is on the riverfront on a bend before it gets to the industrial Arrinson (which we may or may not ever get to).

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Why not start with an overview? This particular section is built on a small city tile to the south of the original Mt. Plains, and adds about 15000 to the overall population of the suburb.

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Riverfront Park stretches along the northern riverbank, providing a nice spot for those summer barbecues or a comfortable stroll along the river in the springtime.

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The eastern edge of Riverfront Park.

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And the western edge of said park. This is home to a more wealthy subsection of PM society, who have extremely easy access to the Mt. Plains Brewery. No drunk driving for these guys!

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The aforementioned wealthy PMers have a perfect view of this area directly across the river.

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And the rest of the southern bank.

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Back on the north side of the river we have Mt. Plains South Elementary School and Mt. Plains Jr. High School, as well as a nearby park and the sporting grounds for both schools to share.

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And we have a pleasant area to the east of the schools, including Shibahara Station.

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And we'll close with another overview, this one at night.

Thank you to all who tune in from time to time to see what's being built in my humble city! I appreciate all the views and the comments!

NMUSpidey

Stranahan Hills

It's time for a new entry! This time we will head towards a neighborhood of the city of Port Matthew itself! I may have mentioned before, but I've been going through and slowly redesigning many of the cities I've made. There are more than a few easy sections where before I just slapped it together and left (those are easy to improve), but Stranahan Hills was always meant to be a nice part of town, so there aren't a whole bunch of updates for this particular section.

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We'll start with a look at Stranahan Hills from above. The district is bordered to the west by the Simlympic Village (part of PM's failed Simlympic bid from a few years ago) and to the south by Fuji-Cho, with the West River to the east.

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The Port Matthew Main Library is located in Stranahan Hills very close to Fuji-Cho, as well as Stranahan Hills Station (both the monorail and regular rail stations of the same name). Helpfully two doors down is the PM Hard Rock Cafe, to fill your stomach after you've filled your mind with books!

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A bit further east is the Port Matthew Convention Center, right across the street from the Stranahan Hills COCO Mall, which is a major destination for shoppers and sightseers of all ages.

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We'll take a closer look because it just looks so cool.

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Stranahan Hills' unofficial mascot is The Bear by the River. The high school has even adopted it as their school's mascot, and it gets decorated and repainted nearly every month (more frequently as major sporting events approach for the school).

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Stranahan Hills High School, home of the Bears! They have an average football team and an above average upper-middle class segment of PM society to pay for some very nice things.

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The stores behind SHHS are popular places for the students to spend some time after class. There appears to be a restaurant/cafe, a bookstore, a convenience store (helpfully stocked with plenty of sweets and snacks), and a tutoring center for those students whose parents feel that SHHS just doesn't do enough for.

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I just like this particular picture.

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And now some high-class apartments right on the riverfront. Residents of these particular buildings are afforded breathtaking views of East Bank across the bay and the Cliffs towering just across the river to the south. The New Crossing/Shinbashi also makes for a dramatic image from any of the eastward facing rooms.

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Oh my, is it nighttime already? This shot was originally planned to be a night shot of the previous image, but I screwed up the location in my head and instead we will look at some highrise apartments near the COCO Mall.

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PMCC at night.

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I love The Lexington, both during the day and at night. I just think that some of the detailing is great for this building, and it looks nice pretty much wherever it grows.

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And for our parting shot, a view from high above Stranahan Hills at night.

Thank you all for taking a minute to look at my pictures. I will add more later! See you soon:)

NMUSpidey

Mt. Plains

Mt. Plains was the first suburb I made for Port Matthew. At first it was about 1/4 town, 1/2 suburban, and 1/4 rural, but it has changed to about 1/4 city and 3/4 suburban. I've long since decided that Port Matthew is just not an agrarian society, and my building style reflects that. Anyways, I have no more before/after pictures because most of my Mt. Plains stuff from my old thread still remains the same. So, we'll look at some updated stuff, and I believe next week we'll have a few more things to look at in the southern section of Mt. Plains.

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The center of the town's economy is Mt. Plains Station. Across the street from the station is the Mt. Plains Station Shops, a department store with a variety of restaurants on the top floor, and past that is the Holmes Museum of Music, complete with an concert shell for exclusive (and expensive) shows.

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This particular park is near Mt. Plains Station. Called Central Park by locals, its real name is the Mishima Memorial Center Park, but that name is just a pain to say, so it got shortened. It's a popular place in the spring and fall for outdoor lunches for the workers in the nearby buildings when it's not rainy.

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Mt. Plains HS is home to the Foresters, and average football team that won the PM National Football Championship in the opening season for their state-of-the-art stadium a few years ago. They boast a large percentage of graduates attending Tokyo University, Harvard University, and the University of Marquette. The girls' volleyball team is always very good, as well as the boys' hockey team.

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While not the ideal planning situation, subdivisions rapidly filled up the outskirts of the city. Developers bought up as much old farmland as they could and city dwellers eager for some personal space were happy to build.

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They built right up to the high tech facilities (where many of them work).

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The labs and subdivisions share property lines with the shops that set up across town. Originally there were two sections of small shops, one in the east on the border with Port Matthew and one in the northwest leading to Schulman and the Royale Mts. National Park, but the shopping district has expanded greatly.

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These shops are next to Mt. Plains City College. Many of the thriftier students pay cut rates for basic classes and transfer (with some ease) to PMU or UMarq, depending on their academic standing. That's not to say PMU is a bad school, it just demonstrates how prestigious UMarq is.

That is all for our update tonight. Thank you for taking a look at my city journal, and I hope you all visit the old city journal section to take a look at the story of the Sensational Six!

NMUSpidey

I'm going in a new direction with my city journal. Naturally I'm going to continue with the updated versions of my cities, and finally complete my region this year, but we're going to do it in two ways: A story and your normal city journal. The story is going to happen in the "old" section while the cities get showcased in the "new" cj section. The story is called "The Sensational Six" and is not about what you think it's about, given my avatar and the super-hero team that protects my island.

Now, a bit of a spoiler as I try to figure out how I'm gonna do character designs...

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Mt Plains will be our starting position. Our heroes will embark on a journey that will change them all before the year is out...

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In the initial story arc, they will travel to Stranahan Hills where they will meet an enemy who may well outmatch them...

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This is another bit of an update. The old Defenders' Plaza to me was a bit of a mess: mismatched pavement in a variety of plazas smattered together to make an I-don't-know-what... But the new one I think is very classy. I love it. Probably won't get there in the story till darn near Christmastime...

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And our final pic for this particular update, the New Mori Tower north of East Bank. They'll find themselves in this neighborhood in the fall. I hope we can stay tuned that long!

Updates on the story are to come. Keeping it cryptic for now. Let the speculation begin!

NMUSpidey

So, old UMarq was merely a Maxis university (which I really must say, isn't all that bad a design: it's actually quite nice). It's a bit too ubiquitous at this point, and I wanted to try something different, so I scoured the internet for a more suitable replacement and spent a number of hours on the following.

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We'll start with the overview. I'm really quite proud of this. It's big, it's well landscaped, and it's a fitting setting for a prestigious center of higher learning.

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The entrance, with the Barkley Center theater across the street, and the main building, Carter Hall out front (bonus points if you can guess the comic book reference in the above sentence).

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UMarq Square, where in the beautiful spring, summer, and fall months the students congregate to do homework, gossip, and attend all manner of campus life activities, from club sports to cultural festivals.

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The campus is home to a well-regarded theater department, and one of the very few places outside of Japan where kabuki is performed by those considered professionals in their art.

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No university is complete these days without a major college football program, and this one is no different (although really, they're rarely any good, like Northwestern or Vanderbilt). The UMarq Spiders are usually below .500, but that doesn't stop their fans from filling the stadium every Saturday afternoon!

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And our final overview of the campus, with its beautiful canal winding through, the classical architecture, and the terrible (but smart!) football team.

Thank you for watching. There may be a tale of high school romance in the Port Matthew suburbs in the works. Stay tuned to these pages and you'll see that I still have some surprises up my sleeve!

NMUSpidey

Carthage at Night!

Now we'll take a look at Carthage at night!

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The Oceanfront Amphitheater is home to a summer concert series by the Port Matthew Symphony Orchestra. It is also a popular venue for acts to stop at on their way between Asia and North America.

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While I do think it looks cool during the day, the C Center is amazing at night. It's one of my favorite night-lit buildings.

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The C Center's neighborhood. Hm, looking at this I think I'm gonna have to eventually upgrade from using MS Paint all the darn time.

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A number of Korean companies have set up shop in this building. Kankoku Station sits next door, and is the heartbeat of Little Seoul.

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The western edge of Little Seoul, with some parkside residences housing some of Carthage's more well-to-do citizens.

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Little Seoul to the right, the rest of Carthage to the left.

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At the edge of Carthage Natural Waterfront.

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Yeah, it's still interesting at night:)

And finally...

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Our nighttime overview.

Thank you very much for stopping by. The comments are always appreciated, and also thank you for taking the time to take a glance at my journal!

NMUSpidey

Today we will take a brief introductory look at Carthage. Carthage has taken the spot of Rumikoville, whose terraforming was quite poor and whose planning left something to be desired. Let's see if I made it look any better...

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Ah, Rumikoville, you will be missed.

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But Carthage, you might be a step in the right direction.

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There's a lot going on right there.

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Whereas we once had this...

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We now have this!

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Downtown once looked like this...

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But is now much more decentralized (but mostly because regionally speaking, PM is the center of business on the island).

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The interesting transit point was once this...

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But now is the cool raised rails.

And we'll stop there for now. I hope you'll agree that my cities have improved in a few ways, and I hope you'll keep coming back for more! Thank you for your comments, and for taking a minute or two to view!

NMUSpidey

Now we'll take our last visit to Hayes. Let's see how it looks at night shall we? I believe I'll have some before and after shots in this one, too (one before shot, the rest of the Streeter Bay entry was a victim of the hacking attack a couple years ago)!

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This is part of the old town. It's still rather embarrassing to look at, and I hope that the newer stuff is a bit better.

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This is the corresponding area in the new city. There's a nice walk between the small businesses and the high school. The movie theater has been destroyed (because like six of them grew). Nicer though, I think.

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The Mother of Port Matthew and Flower Square at night.

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Opposite side of the lagoon: there are some high-tech industrial facilities, the Sogo Department Store, and Beachfront Shopping Center. There might be a bit of tourism going on in Hayes.

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Sogo, close up.

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Palms Beach.

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The new downtown. Police HQ/City hall/Courthouse in the long building, and one end of Lagoon Park at the bottom.

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Port Matthew Sports Hall of Fame.

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Lagoon Park to the left of downtown.

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The upper left corner is home to Hayes College. There is a large hospital complex kind of in the middle. Lagoon Park kind of goes from top to bottom.

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Closeup opposite angle of the above portion of Lagoon Park.

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Lagoon Park and Nature Reserve.

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Overview.

Hayes turned out pretty nice, I think. Thank you all very much, comments are appreciated, and thanks for watching!

NMUSpidey

Hayes Continued!

Today we'll poke around the beaches and buildings of Hayes. What else has changed between Streeter Bay and Hayes? Let's take a look...

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This is a zoomed out shot of Palms Beach. That's The Palms, a popular nightclub and spa as the anchor.

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This is opposite the mouth of the lagoon from Palms Beach, Hayes Beach. As you can see, it's quite popular in the long, hot summer months.

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What's a town without shopping these days? Downtown's Hayes Station and Hayes Sogo department store.

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Another angle of the big Sogo Store.

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Station Square, between Hayes Station and Hayes Station (hahah, one is the Hayes Line monorail station, and the other is the East Coast Line train station).

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The people of Hayes like to live near where they work.

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Hayes High School, home of the (usually quite mediocre) Hornets. Also in this shot, Hornets Plaza, and The Long Walk.

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The Mother of Port Matthew stands proudly on her pedestal, next to Flower Square.

Aaaaand, that looks like it for now. The next pictorial will take a look at Hayes at night. Thank you very much for taking a look at my city, the clicks and comments are all much appreciated!