Lightning Bolt is the name selected by Valarie Muffin Meow (Zalindah) for her latest region creation. It’s an interesting name that appears to be less connected with the region’s presentation than with the fact that it is likely only to be around for a limited period of time, as the About Land description notes:
Made for a special wolf. A temporary nature escape to explore & spend time with love ones. Full of animal friends to hug.
I assume the wolf in question is Dice Starlight, Zalindah’s SL partner – but the region is going to appeal to anyone who appreciates the more unusual, and / or places with a focus on animals and / or with a lean towards the oriental and / or who enjoy whimsy and a twist of fantasy.
Those who visited the now-closed Kintsugi – which I wrote about back in May 2020 – will know that Zalindah very much the eye for creating environments that are captivating and which can, as with the now departed Kintsugi, tickle the grey matter.
With Lightning Bolt, this eye for design and attention to detail is very much on display through the setting, although rather than tickling the grey matter, this is a location intended to simply delight the eye and lift the spirit, and it does so quite marvellously.
Forming a curving island that captures within its open arms a north-facing bay, the landscape rises from the landing point on the western headland to the hills enclosing the bay, before dropping gently down to lowlands on the eastern side.
From bamboo groves to walks between tall fir trees and over razor-backed ridges and through grass and wetlands and with a mix of building – some with a Japanese lean – scattered throughout, the setting offers a lot to take in without even getting to what makes it even more appealing to eye, heart and camera.
This comes in the form of a series of animal-focused vignettes, each of which exists within its own space and can be taken as being independent of the rest whilst also being fully a part of the overall setting. From lions to deer to cats to dogs, with pandas, otters, pine marten foxes, rabbits, bears, red panda lynx and orca, all in the mix. Lightning Bolt is even a place where we can even say, “here be dragons!”, as witnessed at the landing point and up on the hills above the bay. And,of course, there are the wolves.
Not only do these animals come in a multiple of species, they also come in a wide variety of forms, large and small and even entirely plushy and / or cuddly. The best way to see them all is to follow the path from the landing point as it winds up through the bamboo and fit trees and thence around the hills.
Doing so with introduce you to the lynx, lion and the first of the dragons, before moving you on to some of the smaller critters – and be sure to take a careful look at the stone tiers of the garden on the slopes below to catch the otters.
From the top of the hills the path curves onwards past the strangest collection of sheep you’re likely to see, to dragons that look to have a hint of gryphon blood in them. The route then drops down to the eastern side of the island, where more awaits. A nice touch is that as you explore, you’ll more-than-like encounter collision triggers that will use local chat to display a description of the vignette you are about to enter.
Within the buildings spread across the region are further scenes to appreciate. These range from the cosy / romantic and little places simply to sit and pass the time, some of them including their own little critters to appreciate.
There are also numerous outdoor spots to visit, from the wolves in their ruins through a little bamboo pond of koi, to my favourite the piano (surprise!) on its own little island where you can play to an appreciative red panda, enjoy a cup of tea and watch the orca in the bay.
Throughout its design, Lightning Bolt offers a tremendous amount to see and enjoy. No specific region environment has been set, so I do recommend experimenting with your EEP setting as the region’s depth can be greatly added to with a well selected Fixed Sky setting.
Given its proposed short-term availability of the setting, I strongly recommend that if you haven’t already done so – hop along and pay visit.
- Lightning Bolt (New Horizon, rated Moderate)