San Monique – click any image for full size
“I’m not really a big Bond fan, just that film and the locations in it,” Zakk Lusch informed me ahead of the official opening of San Monique, his latest region design, developed with They Wray DoneAway (They Ellisson). The region takes as its inspiration the first Roger Moore film in the Bond franchise, Live And Let Die (1973), to which Zakk alludes in his comment. He continues, “I just thought I would be fun to try a create something like this, as Bayou type region can be a challenge to find stuff to use. There are loads of little fun things as you look around.”
These little things include Zakk and They themselves who, for the opening, had adopted looks taken from the film – think Baron Samedi and you’ll get the picture – but there are more to be found when exploring this homestead region. However, it would be a mistake to consider it a representation of any single aspect of the film. As noted, the region is very much inspired by Live and Let Die, and thus is an amalgam of interpretations of settings, themes and ideas from the film.
An example of this is the region’s name and look. While the name may come from the fictional the Caribbean island-nation of the film, the overall look is very much that of the bayou region of Louisiana, – and the Bayou Des Allemands featured in a boat chase during the film.
Visits begin in the south, where one of only two upland area rise from the waters of the region. A flat-topped table of rock, this is home to the welcome area and landing point, a paved footpath and steps leading down to the lowlands of the region. It is along this path the another motif for the film can be found in the form of the fortune teller’s booth, echoing Solitaire’s harnessing of the Obeah to discern the future.
The second upland area is a small knuckle of a hill on which is perched a small wooden chapel. Within and around this are further echoes of the film – notably the coffin and the snakes and the Samedi-like skull and top hat sitting on a grave.
The rest of the region is given over to a bayou-style hamlet: wooden buildings fronted by board walks built out over the water. Here again are more references to the film – a tarot reader’s sign, the mask worn by the chap fishing off of one of the board walks, and – if you walk out and around the buildings – a small club taking its name from Mr. Big’s chain of eateries – the Fillet of Soul.
Given this is a bayou setting, the presence of crocodiles shouldn’t be that surprising. But even these echo the film – remember the crocodile farm on the island of San Monique? Thus even the reptiles offer a cinematic link to Bond’s 1973 adventures.
That said, there are some motifs from Live And Let Die that might be considered “missing” – no poppy fields, for example. But again, this is a Bayou setting, and not a reproduction of San Monique. So instead, it offers more a bayou look and feel: broad walks wind over the shallow waters, crocodiles lurk, an airboat awaits its owner – there’s even an illicit still hidden in a shed out on an island shoal among the bayou’s trees.
All of this makes San Monique a visit of a different kind; those who enjoy Roger Moore’s first outing as the eponymous British secret agent will likely enjoy discovering all the little nods to the film. Those who enjoy visiting, exploring and photographing regions in Second Life will find San Monique an engaging visit – and photos taken in the region can be submitted to its associated Flickr group.
As always, should you enjoy a visit, please consider making a donation at the landing point to help with the region’s continued presence. I’d like to extend thanks from Caitlyn and I to Zakk and They for the invitation to visit San Monique.
- San Monique (Tumbleweed, rated: Moderate)