Back in the final season of Lost, I undertook a difficult project: a Lost-themed Risk board. Around this time my friends and I had been playing a great deal of Risk, and many of the same friends were avid Lost fans. I thought this would be an enjoyable project, and though it took a couple of months, I really did enjoy the process and the final project.
Before starting I did a little research and found this game board online.
Looking back, I see that this map was probably much better quality and much more like the original Risk board. My map was the first Risk map I ever made– and I was wanting some other elements in the board that this person didn’t include. I mean, yeah, they had a box and cards and everything… but it’s in Spanish. Which is fine, but even if there was a way I could get a copy of that board, I’d rather not have to play the game with a Spanish to English dictionary.
Well, I did a whole lot of research on the geography of Lost. If you search “Lost Island Map” you’ll get these results:
So as you can tell, there are wide variety of ways that people have sketched out the Island on Lost. It’s a fascinating topic, because the Island on Lost seems to break all the laws of physics, nature, and geography. For example, in one episode A is close to B and B is right beside C, but in another episode A is miles away from C. Now you can complain about story continuity and bad writing, but I like to take the world of Lost as it is– a mysterious, changing, inconsistent place.
I tried sketching out my own island with pencil according to the various maps I found online, but eventually I came to this realization: What works for a geographically correct map doesn’t exactly work as a game board. The world map in a normal game of Risk is similar to a real world map, but it’s been reshaped just a tad to make it easier for game play. So I had to do some readjustments and finally add one last element: the outside world.
Each of these maps focused on merely the Island on Lost, but as any good Lost fan knows, there is a great deal of action that takes place off the Island. So I had to figure out how to orient the Island in relation to Los Angeles, Australia, etc. And finally I had this drawing:
I found this image on my computer the other day, and I actually somewhat like it as it is, without any of the additional work I did later on. But I was trying to go for something a little more professional looking, so I took this image and worked on it with a photo editing program.
I wanted to add names of the territories in a Lost-ian font, a font that JJ Abrams seems to enjoy using in almost all his work, from Fringe to Alias to Lost and more. It looks like this:
Well, I couldn’t find the exact font, but I found something similar and it seemed to work great for the board. After that, I edited the colors so there was light coloring in the territory and a darker, bolder color for the edges. Finally, I wanted to find images from the show that gave a simple glimpse of each location– this is definitely what took the longest. I enjoyed the process though, as I searched Lost fan sites for screenshots and images of each location. Sometimes I found scores of images and other times I found squat. But eventually, it all came together, and I hit Save and printed the map out of a few pieces of paper and taped them together. And then threw it out and went back and made some changes and tried again– and finally I had a project of which I could be proud. So here it is, my Lost Risk Board.
(You can go down to the bottom of this post for a Full Size copy)
So what makes my map different is that the territories are organized according to type and not location. Instead of simply lumping all the bottom territories into one group, I picked from different parts of the Lost story-line in order to create a complex world.
The Groups of Territories are as follows:
Dharma- Yellow- 5- Pala Ferry, Harbor, Barracks, Sonar Fence, Mass Grave, and Radio Tower. 4 Points if you’ve conquered the full group.
The Others– Brown- 8- Cliffside Cave, Others Camp, Lighthouse, The Statue Jughead, Jacob’s Cabin, Temple Wall, and Temple. 5 Points.
Visitors– Gray- 8- Freighter, Balloon, Black Rock, Elizabeth, Beechcraft, Rousseau, Ajira, and Widmore’s Ship. 6 Points.
The Stations- Jade- 10- Lamp Post, Tempest, Orchid, Flame, Staff, Arrow, Hydra, Pearl, Swan, and Looking Glass. 7 Points.
Oceanic 815– Purple- 8- Beach, Caves, Golf Course, Graveyard, Cockpit, Waterfall, Tail Section, and Raft. 5 Points.
Outside World– Red- 6- North America, Los Angelies, Fiji, Australia, Europe, and Africa. 4 Points.
Throughout the map, you’ll see Octagons that represent Portals to other territories that are touching borders. These are all based on events or transportation in the world of Lost. For example, in Australia, in addition to the dashes that connect it to nearby territories, you can also travel to C for Cockpit or TS for Tail Section. It can get confusing, but you can be sure they connect if the destination has a corresponding Portal that points back to the original location. So you’ll see that Cockpit and Tail Section both have a Red Octagon A for Australia.
Also you’ll see a fair bit of dark green jungle throughout the Island. This is to follow how hard it was for people to travel between two locations, especially in the beginning of the show. So if you want to attack another territory that’s connected by jungle, to initiate the attack in your turn you have to roll one die and get a 1, 2 or 3 (because you have to travel light through the jungle!). Once you initiate the attack in your turn, you can keep attacking that territory as long as it’s still your turn– you don’t have to re-roll a low number for each attack. However if you want to attack a different territory through jungle, you do have to roll a low number to initiate that new attack.
There are boundaries that you can’t cross over, though. You can’t just attack through water even if the territories are nearby. You have to have a line or a portal or a shared border. There are a couple of mountain ranges that you can’t cross– so the jungle is broken into different sections.
There are also a few fun locations. For example, in the show, the characters traveled from Jughead to the Barracks under the Sonar Fence, so you can do the same on the map. The Temple can only be attacked once you break through the Temple wall. And though I realized the mistake too late, you can only attack Looking Glass from Rousseau.
I originally had plans to give certain territories certain powers– like if you owned Black Rock for two turns you could use dynamite as an extra army or something. I was going to make cards, but got tired after all the editing I did on the board. For game play, you can simply use regular Risk cards and ignore the actual territories on the cards (like I do anyway) and merely use them for turning in cards for extra armies. I also had a huge desire to get little pieces for game-play, instead of merely using the regular Risk pieces. I was hoping to get colors and objects from the show, and I believe it was going to be: White Polar Bears, Silver Metal Scraps (like plain wreckage), Green Jungle Leaves, Brown Wood Pieces (for the Others)… and I can’t remember the other ideas.
It’s not a perfect map nor a perfect game board. But it represents my love for the show and for games and for maps and for design and for a whole bunch of other things! I’ve been able to play with the board a couple of times, and for the most part it plays well. It can get kind of confusing and it may not be as well planned as the original Risk board, but it works and it’s enjoyable to explore the world of Lost in a game. If you ever want to play, let me know!
(And if you want to print out the map and try it yourself, feel free to– I give you permission, because, as it is, I don’t have the authority of the producers of Lost or of the makers of Risk, so I can’t market or produce this game for profit. I think I should be fine, I don’t believe I am breaking copyright laws or anything, but if you are associated with Lost or Risk and need me to take this time, please contact me! In the meantime, Enjoy!)