Scale theory

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A player in Temple Trekking visits an area not visible on the World Map.

The scale theory is a confirmed[1] theory that the world of Gielinor as depicted in-game is not a literal representation of how the in-game lore and story represents the world. The scale theory allows RuneScape lore to be interpreted in ways that are not constrained to the limits of the game.

The fictional universe of RuneScape that is suggested to exist is in essence scaled down to be far more reasonable to manage in terms of video game development. Filtering out details not necessary to the gameplay or story is common practice as a means of showing off the most important, most relevant content to the player. For example, although the city of Varrock is apparently no larger than a small town, in-game text suggests it as a sprawling capital city with thousands of inhabitants. Similar examples exist with Falador, Ghorrock, and Senntisten, which in canon are large enough to house 80,000, 10,000 humans, and over 50,000 people in a single district, respectively[2][3][4], when they are clearly too small to house that many in the game itself. It would not be reasonable for the developers to include every citizen and locale as a means of recreating the much larger Varrock that is implied to exist in the game's story. Thus, a scaled down version is presented instead for practicality purposes.

Uses of the scale theory[edit | edit source]

Locations not on the World Map[edit | edit source]

The scale theory is not only used to shrink down the world to a manageable size but to also add new locations on top of existing ones without taking up physical space on the World Map. Examples include Temple Trekking encounters which show locations implied to exist in the swamps of Morytania but cannot be accessed through any other means. Another example is the Ratcatchers Mansion which is implied to be located near Ardougne but does not appear on the map either. The only way to reach the mansion is through reading directions from Jimmy Dazzler.

RuneScape 3 and Old School RuneScape[edit | edit source]

The world maps and locations of RuneScape 3 and Old School RuneScape while similar have some significant differences. The scale theory serves to reconcile the differences between both world maps. Both games are considered to share the same canon, but they have different interpretations of the same fictional universe.[5] For example, in The Branches of Darkmeyer, it is Vanescula Drakan who kills Ranis Drakan, but in Old School RuneScape's A Taste of Hope, it is the player who faces and kills him.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Jagex. Mod Ash's Twitter account. 25 October 2021. (Archived from the original on 25 October 2021.) Mod Ash: "We gloss over size details, intentionally, rather than trying to represent the full ecosystem of a city realistically (e.g. where could all the guards have lived with families while growing up?) - any discussion of these extremely real incongruities can be called "scale theory"."
  2. ^ T.S. Church. Betrayal at Falador, (382). Titan Books, 2008. "The population of Falador is usually forty thousand, but it has swelled to nearer twice that now that refugees from the north have taken shelter here".
  3. ^ Duke Sucellus, "Children of Mah", RuneScape. "*nomf* We have constructed a new fortress near Ghorrock. Room for ten thousand humans, as well as a great palace for myself, of course."
  4. ^ Gorvek, "Croesus Front", RuneScape. "I was there, in the year of Croesus. The year the fungus killed fifty thousand people, and the Tenth Legion were annihilated. (...)In the end Lord Zaros was forced to intervene personally. He *quarantined* this whole district - simply buried it beneath the earth."
  5. ^ Jagex. Mod Ed's Twitter account. 22 February 2020. (Archived from the original on 29 May 2020.) Mod Ed: "Old School is an alternate take on the same universe as RuneScape. Most of the key story beats are the same, but there are differences in how they come about."