I first visited Roche in 2012 (see here). Then held by ddsm2 Mathy, the region offered a rural setting which was instantly attractive, making it a popular destination for SL travellers. In 2015, it was announced Roche would by closing. However, Ricco Saenz pointed out to me, it later re-opened as Up to U, a collaborative effort between Fio and ありえす (ArieS Magic), offering a new look and beauty, which I wrote about here.
Over the course of the next year, I lost track of the region, so I was intrigued to catch word from Annie Brightstar that Roche would once again be closing at the end of September, as announced by the region’s current holder, Uta (xoYUUTAox). Intrigued, Caitlyn and I went to have a look.
Mostly given over to water, the region sits beneath a dark sky, lit to one side by a bright white star caught forever just above the horizon, giving the region a magical, otherworldly feel. Tall trees are scattered across the shallow waters, their willow-like branches glowing dimly and strung with lights as much as leaves. Blue and red lilies carpet the water under some of the trees, whilst a grove of bamboo stands guard around two oriental style bridges, which rise from the water to span the water, sharing the space with tables of alien-looking blue plants caught in the light of that distant star.
Ruins can be found among the carpets of lilies, and to one side of the region a single rocky outcrop pushes its way clear of the dark water, a giant piglet asleep on its grassy head. The remaining occupants of the region can be found flapping above a dual line of old electrical poles, or fussing around the litter of chairs and seats scattered in the lee of the poles.
With light falling like raindrops from a cloudless, starry sky and lanterns floating on the water, Roche is a strange, but enchanting place. There is no ambient sound scape; instead the gentle sound of piano solos is offered via the audio stream. For those seeking somewhere to sit, places can be found among the jumble of chairs and seats, at the top of a curving flight of steps, among the ruins, or against the giant piglet on his island.
Roche has always offered unique environments, and Uta’s design is no exception. Whether or not the next incarnation of the region maintains that tradition remains to be seen; as does whatever comes next from Uta’s imagination; I gather she is already thinking about something new elsewhere. In the meantime, if you’ve not paid her vision for Roche a visit, you might want to do so before the region changes hands once again.
- Roche (Rated: Moderate)