A return to a cyberpunk Cocoon in Second Life

Cocoon; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrCocoon – click any image for full size

In August 2017, Caitlyn and I visited Cocoon, a futuristic, cyberpunk-ish role-play environment established in 2016 – see A cyberpunk Cocoon in Second Life for more. Since then, the entire setting has relocated and has undergone an extensive update. While I didn’t document the previous simulator type on which Cocoon was placed, the new one is a Full region, utilising the added full region land capacity bonus.

Alongside the move, the backstory for the environment has also been updated, moving the clock forward some two years from the August 2017 setting:

It is the year 2489. What’s left of Earth is a by-product of the things that went wrong there. The weapons unleashed in the Transcendence War transformed the surface into a blighted wasteland and forced the refugee remnants skywards, first to floating cities and arcologies in Earth’s upper atmosphere, then further out, to orbital colonies and settlements throughout the solar system. 

– Cocoon introduction

Cocoon; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrCocoon

Cocoon is one of those orbital facilities, an artificial asteroid owned, operated and governed by the Cocoon Corporation. Its primary function is that of a commerce hub, and – if I might borrow from Babylon 5 (one of my favourite Sci-Fi shows) and re-phrase it a little:

It’s a port of call; a home away from home for business men and women, hustlers, entrepreneurs, freighter crews, smugglers, gangs, and wanderers, all alone in the night…

The station itself appears to have been greatly expanded on as well, although many of the locations present from the last iteration we visited remain – such as the walks visitors are delivered to from the main landing point / information area (be sure to collect and wear your OOC visitor tag if just visiting), the Pulse Bar, the Luxxon Hotel, and the extensive road network which Cocoon group members can be ride via bike. However, the overall sprawl of the asteroid city appears to have been extended.

Cocoon; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrCocoon

This makes, as I noted when previously writing about the setting, Coccon feel much more of a place – walking the streets with their automated vehicles and interactive non-player character (NPCs) – just touch them to engage with them via a mix of local chat and dialogue menu options – it is easy to become disoriented.  Thus, just like any newcomer to a strange environment, you have to spend time gaining familiarity with the city and its various sectors.

It might be a case of mis-remembering, but the city also seem to have far more depth in a literal sense, levels being more stacked one atop the other. This again adds to the feeling this is an entirely artificial construct. In particular, the main terminal building seemed to be much larger and more multi-level; finding your way down to the shuttle teleporter to reach Earth can be a little bewildering, for example, and I don’t recall that from our last visit.

Teleporters are also provided in the form of The Fifth Element style flying taxis. These are either parked on various platforms or parking bays, or can be summoned via yellow taxi call boards. Just select your desired sector and destination in that sector. Within various buildings are elevators. These may operate as actual elevators, as per the one at Pulse, or as teleporters.

Cocoon; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrCocoon

One of the aspects of Cocoon I’ve always liked is this blending of influences. There’s the echo of The Fifth Element in the taxis, sense of Blade Runner within Sector 2’s residential strip and within the advertising boards and signs, and there are the Anime reflections throughout. There’s even a slight whiff of the Yorktown star base from Star Trek Beyond with the freighters moving directly below the building and walkways of Level 1.

Again, as I noted last time. this doesn’t make Cocoon in any way derivative, but rather a unique blending of styles and approaches that simply work. And while the city was not quite as active during our more recent visits as it was in August 2017, it still offers an attractive – a pull if you will.

Nor is this all. As Ellie (Mii1a), the prime mover behind Cocoon informed me on our first return visit, a new Lunar setting is being added to the region as a further destination alongside of Cocoon and the remnants of Earth below.

Cocoon; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrCocoon

With full information on role-play and the setting available on the Cocoon website as well as at the landing point, Cocoon remains an intriguing place to visit.

SLurl Details

  • Cocoon (Esperia, rated: Moderate)