Hera’s superb homage to Blade Runner in Second Life

Blade Runner, February 2022
Hi there, I finally decided to do the sim I have been almost doing for the past 20 years, the original Blade Runner set. Hope you can get along to see it some time just opened it.

From Hera (Zee9)

These are the words that sent me skittering over to Hera’s Full region at the weekend, both as a confirmed fan of her work and because I am also a not only a sci-fi fan, but a great aficionado of Ridley Scott’s outstanding 1982 masterpiece, which has oft cropped up in my chats with Hera.

Blade Runner, February 2022 – “A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies. A chance to begin again…”

Surprisingly, I don’t actually have an awful lot to say about Blade Runner, located on the ground level of the region, where it replaces the Drune builds that have previously occupied the space; at least, not it terms of my usual style of travelogue piece. This is not because there is more that much to see – rather the reverse in fact; there is so much on offer here that I actually don’t want to spoil things too much for those who, like me, love Hera’s work and greatly enjoy the film. Because this is a setting where things – like the poster advertising the “75th Anniversary Version” are so superbly put together and the region so rich in detail, it absolutely deserves to have its secrets discovered, not merely written about.

That said, I will offer some pointers to things I feel you should keep an eye out for. It’s intentionally not everything, but it is hopefully enough to whet appetites and get people a-visiting. For example, within the familiar, canyon-like streets we have LCD advertising hoardings and bright neon glow over places of work and business along the busy streets in a manner that directly recalls the movie.  However, within them, there are subtle touches. Not only do the brighter ads for the Tyrell Corporation carry Eldon Tyrell’s words More Human than Human as a tagline, while the logo with them incorporates an owl’s head.

Blade Runner, February 2022

More particularly, spot the adverts for Tyrell’s Nexus 6 Pleasure Models and you might notice a distinctly Pris-like character, complete with eyes masked by black pigment as one of the images displayed by the ads.

Nor is Pris alone in being mentioned. Find your way to The Snake Pit, and you might discover a curtained door that provides access to Zhora Salome’s dressing room, complete with her snake awaiting her return. Elsewhere, Roy Batty gets a more direct reference – and quite rightly, given his richer and deeper interactions with Deckard – as his face is displayed on a police Wanted alert – but I’ll leave you to find that.

Blade Runner, February 2022 – “Queen to bishop six. Check.” ; “Knight takes queen. What’s on your mind, Sebastian? What are you thinking?”
As with the movie, this is a cityscape that is dominated by the great angular form of the Tyrell Building, before which great flame stacks periodically belch frame into the smoggy sky, whilst LAPD spinners periodically zip overhead, and cars and automated vehicles trundle along the wider streets, whilst the narrower throughways are home to a market stalls and corner shops that bring a city to life – and offer further reflections on the 1982 film – and other popular genres. Do be sure, for example, to allow the Globe News stand to fully rendered – there are some nice references to the genuine coverage the film gained on sci-fi and film magazines on its release.

Other touches worth looking out for is the advert for PKD Electric Animals, which includes their new line of sheep – it’s a clever reference to Philip K. Dick’s novel that served as an inspiration for the 1982 film. It’s also an advert that contains a further subtle reference that sits well here. It is to the 1979 song written by Gary Numan for his band, Tubeway Army (and a frequent staple of his concerts as solo artist) Are “Friends” Electric? Released in 1979, three years ahead of Blade Runner, it’s a song about androids – replicants – that are so human-like, they are indistinguishable from flesh and blood – and like the replicants of Dick’s novel (and the film), perform all sorts of menial and other tasks. Actually inspired by Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the song offers something of the same underlying question: are androids real enough to be friends / companions?

Blade Runner, February 2022

There is so much more to be found within this setting – but as I noted above, I don’t want to give everything away, as this is a setting that you should immerse yourself within, although I will note that Deckard’s car, sitting in the rain but sans nosey police spinner loitering overhead, also awaits those who can find it; and do be sure not to miss the other interiors – a couple are hinted at in images here, and there’s another I’ll just introduce by saying, “Good evening Sebastian!”.

So with that in mind, I’m going to bring this piece to a close and strongly urge anyone who likes Blade Runner, sci-fi and / or Hera’s builds not to miss this. Twenty years in the making it may have been, but it is utterly mesmerising – and make sure you have local sounds enabled with visiting!

Blade Runner, February 2022 – “Do you like our owl?”
Blade Runner, February 2022 – “He say you under arrest, Mr. Deckard!” ; “You got the wrong guy, pal.”
Blade Runner, February 2022 – “Is this to be an empathy test? Capillary dilation of the so-called blush response? Fluctuation of the pupil. Involuntary dilation of the iris?”

SLurl Details

3 thoughts on “Hera’s superb homage to Blade Runner in Second Life

  1. This is quite possibly the most amazing sim I have ever visited in my 14+ years in SL. The attention to detail is breathtaking.

    I especially love how a lot of the artwork (posters, adverts, artwork on video game cabinets) has been made in-world with actual Residents rather than just imported from RL.

    It’s absolutely outstanding.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve written an extensive and far more spoiler-y blog post about this amazing sim, which has around 58 photos and has morphed into sort-of a walkthrough.

    The Blade Runner Sim

    Thank you so much for telling us about this sim, Inara. I would never have known about it otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Blade Runner world is a great example of how fascinating these simulations of movie environments can be. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.