Friday 'Nite is a weekly Fortnite column in which Mark Delaney takes a closer look at current events in the wide world of Fortnite, with a special emphasis on the game's plot, characters, and lore.
Though it's likely intrinsically linked to the game's next major--and yet unnamed--villain, the vibrant Reality Tree is the fan-favorite star of the Fortnite Chapter 3, Season 3. This towering growth near the western shores of the island is one of the most visually striking places of interest (POIs) in the nearly five-year history of the game. With its impenetrable base standing tall and its otherwordly foliage, it's a sight like no other. Even this season's working roller coaster can't compete.
Though the tree itself is a new sight to behold this season, its special properties are giving fans a heavy dose of nostalgia. As its twisted roots spring up and out of the ground all across the island, places it comes in contact with are shifting as though they're endlessly cycling through a multiverse that somehow includes Fortnite islands of the past.
When Epic introduced a wholly new island for the first time ever, way back with the 2019 launch of Chapter 2, many fans missed the Chapter 1 island. In Chapter 3, many fans can't help but look back on Chapter 2 more fondly. It's a common human reaction, even among Fortnite's younger players who've hardly lived lives long enough to feel nostalgic about anything, to remember the "good old days."
In Fortnite, that nostalgia centers on maps players can't access anymore. But with the Reality tree, those long-gone settings are re-emerging in unpredictable ways. From a narrative perspective, it's probably bad news that a shadowy baddie has this much influence over Reality Zero, the home of Fortnite's island. But from a fan perspective, this fantastical tour of reborn landmarks and POIs is satiating a long-held demand for Fornite islands of yesteryear.
At the time of writing this, two locations on the island are chaotically changing with each new round. What was once the Butter Barn in the south-center of the map is now sometimes pieces of Coral Castle or The Coliseum from Chapter 2. Other times, it resembles Neo Tilted, a futuristic take on Tilted Towers from Chapter 1, Season 9. Up north, the POI formerly known as Logjam Lumberyard is now Logjam Lotus, periodically shifting between past locales such as the pirate-themed Lazy Lagoon, as well as the aforementioned Coral Castle, and more.
Dataminers have revealed that more of Fortnite's current reality will be bent and re-shaped by its mysterious tree in the weeks ahead. As the season isn't set to end until mid-September and a new update comes out every Tuesday, the nostalgia train has perhaps hardly left the station.
With this in mind, I asked the Fortnite community to tell me which POIs and landmarks they'd like to see resurface on the island this season. To my surprise, answers varied wildly, with remarkably few repeats despite dozens of replies. Here are some of the many past hangouts Fortnite fans hope to see on the island soon thanks to the Reality Tree's unique powers.
I would absolutely adore having The Agency, Lonely Lodge, The Fortilla, or Misty Meadows back in the game with a Bloom!— EniofANexus (@youhavemyword77) June 30, 2022
🤔We haven't really seen a town POI on Chapter 3 map which uses those quaint half-timbered houses used in Chapter 1 for Happy Hamlet (in snow biome) and in Chapter 2 for Misty Meadows (at lake) & Craggy Cliffs (at coast). Have we?— Knusperfrosch (@schwanenwald) June 30, 2022
im hoping for a poi from chapter 2 season like the agency, but if not i would like a dusty divot themed location— SomebodyYouKnow (@SomebodyYKVR) June 30, 2022
Misty Meadows my beloved.— eb boy (@ebboy53) June 30, 2022
Frenzy Farm or Corny Crops too since we don't have any farm POIs in Chapter 3.
Plz plz bring back pleasant park or lazy lake— Tyler Guthrie (follows you) (@TylerGu47506141) June 30, 2022
If I'm being honest, I don't really like how they're reusing the Coliseum and Coral Castle assets, I'd rather have diversity in each POI— Ako | Fortnite News (@FNChiefAko) June 30, 2022
The Agency, Lazy Links, Paradise Palms, Retail Row, Junk Junction and Haunted Hills are some of the buildings I'd like to see
Would love to see Haunted Hills or Lucky Landing from Chapter 1. Not sure if they've come back. Haven't had a chance to play the last few days.— GeekyAcrylics (@sedoster) June 29, 2022
Retail Row, Weeping Woods, The Agency and The Rig— ᴛʜᴇ ᴏʀɪɢɪɴ (@Fortnite_Origin) June 30, 2022
The Yatch, would love to see Sleepy Sound with a Yatch inside the Gulf!— Omega Lama (@Lamalucis) June 30, 2022
Also i would love the return of Tomato Town or Lucky Landing
Lazy Links, Obviously. 😄— Andrew Potter (@POTPOT3323) June 30, 2022
Those who expounded on their picks often backed up what I already suspected: We're each nostalgic for some POI from our earliest Fortnite days, when the game was brand-new and there was so much to learn. It's not necessarily that the game is worse now, though perhaps some would argue that. It's just that people, by their nature, like the cozy feelings that rise up when they think of some unreachable time in their past. This is true in Fortnite as it is in many parts of life.
The Reality Tree is thus an interesting experiment in fan service. A live-service game like Fortnite will change dramatically and frequently, meaning some seasons are remembered more fondly than others, some vaulted weapons are missed dearly, and the memories we each have exploring the island can't really be replicated because the game is always moving forward, always being reinvented.
Soon, we'll probably learn the reality-bending powers of this "Bloomwatcher" constitute yet another existential threat to Loopers everywhere. But until we understand it better, I and many other fans are content to use its powers to recall each of our earliest landings in a game that is in a constant state of change.
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.