Thank Grog It’s Firday!!
Let’s start with a reminder. This game, the show, and all of the “definitive guides” that are offered up in the pantheon of Simpsons lore, is just that…lore.
It’s made up by people who either work every waking hour to unravel the mysteries of a specific topic, so as to become an “expert,” (or become conspiracy theorists and get talk shows), or they are just well-meaning fans that have their opinions about where things are, and how they work, in a world that is completely malleable…because it’s all made up.
That said…we now have yet one more cluster of items to add to our own self-imagineered towns…the much anticipated, much desired, much sought after, Shelbyville!
And if we are all honest…it landed with a bit of a, “Is that all there is? Thud!”
But, to continue on with a mild debate about “Where things are, if you are following “Simpsons Canon” we have a couple of important pieces of archived evidence, that may, or may not help you decide “Where’s Shelbyville?”
There is a map. A glorious, amazing map of almost every building imaginable, and where it is located in Springfield. It is an amazing piece of work…from two guys (Jerry Lerma and Terry Hogan) who should clearly get a life.
CLICK THE IMAGE TO ENLARGE IT TO FULL SIZE
How old is it? Well…it is so old, that it hasn’t been updated since 2004…a full 8 years BEFORE TSTO was even launched! So…apparently, Jerry and Terry DID get a life!
There really hasn’t been another “expert” treatise on the topic of “Mapping Springfield” until an article written by a guy named Jeremy Rice, on the amazingly fun, “Atlas Obscura” website in 2015. But, while he reinforces all of the information about Springfield in our games, being based on Springfield, Oregon, he mostly just references the same map, done by Jerry and Terry (I wonder if they are still friends? Do they get together and order pizza and watch the Simpsons together?).
Still don’t believe me? How about THIS article, written by other “experts” on the Simpsons…that make a DEFINITIVE statement about where the REAL Springfield is???
But, I hear you screaming, “OK. OK! Enough…we get it! But what about Shelbyville??? This is an article about Shelbyville!!”
Uhm. OK then. You didn’t have to yell…. I was getting to it!
You have to know where Springfield is, to know where Shelbyville is…because they are just across “the border” from one another.
All of this points to doing our best to take hints from the show. And let’s face it…there just aren’t that many hints from the actual show.
Now…ironically…while the MAP itself has almost become canon, strictly because nobody else has taken in the daunting task of doing something more accurate, it is hard to find online. The original link Jerry and Terry put up, brings up a 404 error. There is a site that claims to be “Interactive”, and it is…kinda…but the original map isn’t there, just all of the reference points and pics of the items on the map. Oh…and about ten different ways to get tricked into downloading a “Free” PDF viewer. Don’t do it. In fact…don’t trust anything that says “Free”, and then requires you to download from a site you don’t know. But, I digress…
If you are going to call something “Definitive” and most especially, “Canon,” then it has to be based on original source material. As in…THE SIMPSONS! Anyone who can look at a map, can see that if we are looking across the city, FROM the Nuke plant…to the Springfield Sign, it is in the hills…in BOTH of the opening sequence shots. They both look toward the sign…across the town…to the sign.
Weirdly (or not) the water is in a couple of locations, but, it is not where the JTMap places it. So… Canon? Not so much.
But, we HAVE to place Shelbyville somewhere…right?
And if we look at the land we have to work with…and want to go along with “the water is either West on our Map (the preferred way to look at it) or South on our maps (as some argue), then Shelbyville would have to be either NORTH (if the water is West) or West (if the water is South).
But, since the only land that is truly WEST (or North), is actually designated as Springfield Heights…if you want to be as accurate as possible…we are screwed.
Or, we aren’t.
Because, just like the now infamous, (and perhaps wishing they never made the map), Map that Jerry and Terry made, we are free to imagine Shelbyville any damn place we want!
Will EA give us back a chance at the Shelbyville Impound lot, without spending cash?
Shelbyville has their own version of Bart…will we get one?
OK. So in this event…All Bets Are Off!
As of today…we have a sprinkle of Shelbyville buildings to go with. I gave up on “trying to go Canon” about the time the writers and EA started mixing and matching time/space in the game. And now…we have yet another slippery slope of Future/Past items to add. And, so I am doing so.
I just don’t care if Welcome to Springfield is on both sides of the arch…or one. I don’t care if Tongue Kiss Point and Conception Overlook are from two different episodes. I like that one, leads to another…now THAT’s reality!
If/when they ever bring back the golf course holes…I am going to build a HUGE golf course for Principal Dondelinger, and call it good!
As for “Where is my Shelbyville?” It’s kinda East…at least according to my town map. It’s pretty close to heaven…which is where the twin peaks of Tongue and Conception should be. The rest? It’s just made up. Like the infamous map by Jerry and Terry.
So, the REAL answer to the Question, “Where Is Shelbyville” comes down to; “It’s in your imagination. It can be anywhere you want it to be!” (as long as you admit finally, that Springfield, Oregon is the REAL Springfield!).
Tell us where you put YOUR Shelbyville. Do you think we will get more items, or is this it? There are LOADS of buildings left that we could get. But, if you look at the map, there are also loads and loads of buildings we could still get in our Springfields.
So…keep your fingers crossed. We may not be done with Shelbyville!
OH…..and for those interested in more about Jerry and Terry…