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The tropical island is a classic game location particularly common in FPS and RPG games. In Mario Kart, the race map "Koopa Troopa Beach" takes place on a tropical island. Other notable games with this location include Far Cry, a science fiction shooter, and the company's next franchise, Crysis. In many games, one of the key ideas behind this location is juxtaposing the evil of the island (such as Trigens in Far Cry) with the majestic scenery, the beautiful sunset, and the clear ocean. This contrast gives the player a sense of "good gone wrong" and often suggests a hidden secret deep within the island.

Fun-minded games such as Mario Kart use the tropical island to reinforce the idea of playfulness, as the island is perceived as a happy and enjoyable environment. Another reason why the tropical island is so common is because it has a very distinctive and recognizable look to it. The tropical island is thought of as a fantasy getaway through popular media such as calendars and desktop wallpapers, and this makes it the perfect setting for a magical and unrealistic game.

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