Lyoko


Lyoko

Lyoko (pronounced either "l'yoh-koh" or "lee-oh-koh", IPAEng|liːˈoʊkoʊ) is a fictional virtual world in the French animated television series "Code Lyoko".

Overview

Lyoko is a virtual world contained within a supercomputer. It is comprised of five sectors, the first four of which superficially resemble various real-world ecosystems. The first four sectors are arranged at equidistant points around the fifth, like the spokes of a bicycle wheel.

Lyoko is accessed through the scanners, large metal tubes which physically transport the Lyoko warriors to Lyoko using a process of reversible mind transfer reminiscent of planar travel in other fantasy literature. The processes of entering and exiting Lyoko are referred to as "virtualization" and "materialization" (also called "devirtualization"), respectively. According to Jeremie in "XANA Awakens," "the supercomputer analyzes your molecular structure through [the scanners] and breaks down your atoms before digitalizing them and recreating a digital incarnation in the virtual world."; or, in simplified English, "You get inside the cabin, you're teleported to the virtual world."

Lyoko serves as the main battleground for the series, the various conflicts between the heroes and the antagonist Xana being primarily resolved there. Using various powers granted to them by being sent to Lyoko, the Lyoko warriors battle Xana's monsters in an effort to reach a specific activated tower, which Aelita then deactivates to stop Xana's attacks.

The towers act as data processing nodes for the supercomputer, its relevant functions requiring one or more to be active in order to be used effectively. It is through these that Xana (and occasionally Jeremie and Franz Hopper) is able to affect the real world, creating energy-based "ghosts" with which to wreak havoc on whatever he wishes.

If the supercomputer is shut down, Lyoko and the towers begin to dematerialize from the edges inward. The Digital Void remains, as it is connected to the active internet in the human world. The supercomputer has never been deactivated long enough for the full extent of the shutdown to be seen.

History

According to Franz Hopper's diary, Lyoko and Xana were originally meant to destroy a military project called "Project Carthage", which was designed to disrupt enemy communications. Why he wished to destroy it is unclear, but he built the supercomputer to accomplish the task.

Lyoko was later adapted to serve as a sanctuary for him and Aelita, an apparent result of his suspicions that someone was watching him. He split the keys to Lyoko between himself and Aelita, which would make the pair the absolute masters of Lyoko. The government eventually found him, forcing him to flee to Lyoko with Aelita.

Upon reaching Lyoko, Aelita and Franz were attacked by Xana. Franz unsuccessfully tried to reason with Xana, and when that failed he shut down the supercomputer, leaving it inactive until it was found nearly a decade later by Jeremie. Once it was reactivated, Xana took control and used it to attack the real world.

At the end of the second season, Xana manages to escape the supercomputer by stealing Aelita's memories, which contained the keys necessary for him to escape. In the following season, Xana attempts to destroy Lyoko, eventually succeeding in the season finale. Franz Hopper, who managed to escape Lyoko's destruction, was able to send a coded message to Jeremie and Aelita with instructions on how to restore Lyoko. Meanwhile, Xana built smaller, single-sector copies of Lyoko's called "Replikas", in order to maintain his existence.

Following Xana's destruction and a pyrrhic victory in "Fight to the Finish", the group shuts down the supercomputer for good.

Sectors

Ice Barrier

True to its name, the Ice Barrier (also known as Sector One or the "Glacier," "Polar," or simply "Ice" sector) is icy. Composed of large glaciers and thin paths covered in a thin layer of snow, the Ice Barrier is just as slippery as any ice-covered area in the real world. While not dark, there is no visible sunlight in this region. Many of the towers in this sector are only accessible through various caves and tunnels, which sometimes forces the group to slide through the tunnels to reach their destination. Additionally, in the episode "The Girl of the Dreams", Odd mentions that Aelita may be "in a storm or snowbound," referring to a blizzard, but this phenomenon has never occurred.

Simulated water exists in this sector, and like actual water can be swum through. Xana's monsters have proven to be less than proficient swimmers, as four Tarantulas drowned in the episode "Temptation". Odd, on the other hand, has no trouble swimming through the water in the episode "Vertigo". In "Down to Earth", the Kolossus is formed in and is capable of walking through the water to no ill-effect, despite being a fire elemental.

This is the only sector Xana was unable to delete. Though he manages to possess Aelita to do so in an episode prior, it is Aelita herself who willingly deletes it in a pyrrhic victory in "Sabotage" so Jeremie could repair the supercomputer.

Desert

The Desert, like any desert worth its name, is dry and sandy as far as the eye can see. It has an oasis, but the water stored there isn't real. It leads to a lower platform. The biggest danger is falling off the edge (plateaus are rather small here) and into the digital void below. The Desert is very sunny, reflecting the bright and dry climate of regular deserts.

Xana has the ability to create sandstorms in this sector (only seen in the episode "Log Book"), as well as tremors that cause the plateaus to break apart. Additionally, in the episode "Plagued", Xana was able to tilt a plateau to a ninety degree angle. Aelita, Odd, and Ulrich were on the plateau at the time and would have fallen into the digital void had Aelita not used her creativity to save them. The Krabes were able to traverse the tilted plateau easily thanks to their scythe-like legs.

Megatanks are the least proficient in this sector, as their high speed causes them to fall from the plateaus in this sector. However, the craggy rocks in this sector enable them to easily wage a sneak attack.

Forest

Mystery reigns in the enchanted-looking Forest. Graceful trees, suspended in mid-air, let their roots dangle into the void. The Forest can be considered the most beautiful of the five sectors. It also has narrow paths rather than plateaus, though the chance of falling into the void here is less than in the Desert. Despite that, this is the only sector where someone has actually fallen into the void by themselves. The trees also provide excellent cover, which can lead to traps. Like the Ice Barrier, there is simulated water in this sector, but in a much smaller quantity. The Forest is typically bright, but not as much so as the Desert. The Forest noticeably changes in the transition between the first and second season. In the second season, it is far brighter than before, appears to have more trees, and has larger land masses than it previously had. Throughout the series, the Forest sector serves as the setting for Lyoko's plot-related events. This was the first sector XANA deleted.

Mountain

Its peaks craggy and its stones sharp, one false move in the Mountain and the group will topple off the rocks into the gaping void beneath. The Mountain region is full of moving platforms and tricky obstacles, and is known for having further platforms underneath the "cloud cover," obscuring the digital void in some areas. These clouds make it difficult to aim oneself onto the lower plateaus. Xana can extend and thicken the fog. If one of the lyoko warriors falls a sufficient distance, regardless of whether or not they land properly, twenty life points are lost on impact. Though not dark, no sunlight is visible in this sector, as the cloud cover obscures it.

Being mostly empty sky, the Hornets have the advantage over the group in this sector. In contrast, the narrow paths discourage the use of Megatanks in this sector, since falling off of the edge is quite easy. However, the Megatank's attack patterns make effective blockades on narrow paths, since one Megatank can effectively cover a tower on its own without having to worry about retaliation.

Carthage

Carthage, commonly called Sector 5, is a sector hidden deep within Lyoko, discovered in the second episode of the second season, "Unchartered Territory". Carthage is accessible by the special password SCIPIO (from who defeated Hannibal of Carthage in 202 B.C.). This summons the Transport Orb to the edges of the other sectors furthest from Carthage to carry its passengers to the sector's core, called the arena. In the episode "Double Trouble", Jeremie developed a program allowing him to virtualize the warriors directly into Carthage. Carthage is the very core of Lyoko itself, with only one normal tower instead of the standard ten.

The sector itself is shaped as a giant gold sphere. On the outside surface of the sphere is a barrier covered with images of binary code similar to those seen in the towers. Floating in the middle of the sector is the main body of Carthage — a smaller, but still massive, blue orb. Four data streams feed from equidistant points on its surface to the four other sectors. Everything in Carthage is blue and geometrically shaped. In this sector, the digital void has been replaced by a data barrier similar to the ones in the towers, but falling into it seems to be just as bad as falling into the void.

The interior of the orb is an ever-changing maze, designed to act as a security feature to prevent intruders from finding their way around. The interior rooms and corridors of Carthage are composed of planes, cubes, and rectangles that can slide freely over, around, and against each other. Therefore, this sector can reconfigure its topography at will.

Upon accessing Carthage, the labyrinth will reconfigure into a random pattern and a three-minute countdown will begin, allowing the users try to traverse the labyrinth and disable the security system. The security system is disabled by pressing an Eye-shaped switch (called a "key") somewhere within Carthage. Like the rest of the sector, the key is moved with each visit. Failure to deactivate the security system results in the users being trapped in Carthage and having to wait on someone else to reset the maze from the arena (which is a large eye-shaped room where the transport orb drops off users.) They have about a minute or so to escape before this happens, though. After recreating Carthage, Jeremie removes this system, allowing free access to the sector.

After the security system is shut down, a pathway out of the maze opens up. This leads to a multi-directional elevator. It only stops at one point, so a carefully-timed jump is needed to board it. The elevator moves on tracks around the outer surface of the sphere, which is sometimes referred to as the Celestrial dome. It will eventually pause to allow its passenges to disembark. It always pauses at the same spot; another platform that leads to the outer surface of Carthage. On the surface is a special interface that allows full access to the supercomputer, Lyoko, and Xana's data. While the interface is being used, the user controls in the lab are locked out.

Leaving the sector can be achieved one of three ways: the users can be normally devirtualized, they can head back to arena and take the Transport Orb, or they can head to the surface and wait for Jeremie to open one of the data streams. The first option takes them directly to Earth, ending their jaunt on Lyoko temporarily. The second option allows the user(s) to be dropped off anywhere in Lyoko. The third allows them to exit through an exit tower in the sector that corresponds to the data stream they use. In the fourth season, since the towers are destroyed, the gang ends up outside of a giant hole outside of Carthage until the other sectors were re-created. At that point they could travel to the others sectors as usual.

Within this sector are unique monsters that call it home. The first of these are the Creepers. These monsters never leave Carthage. They aren't very tough, but possesses powerful lasers and can scale the walls of the sector as if they were walking upright. Another are the Mantas. They usually hatch from the outside surface of the sector to prevent intruders from leaving, but have traveled to other sectors on occasion. The last is the Scyphozoa. Unlike the other monsters, the Scyphozoa is nearly, if not completely, invincible. To date, it has only been destroyed once. This monster's main purpose is to steal memories, usually Aelita's. It first appeared in Carthage, but now travels wherever it is needed. No other monsters appear in this sector, likely due to its unique layout and purpose.

Carthage is the only sector which can actually devirtualize the heroes without the help of monsters. Various traps exist in this region that can remove a hero in one or two hits. One such set of traps are the walls and ceiling of Carthage, which can easily be moved into positions that will flatten the heroes. Pieces of the ceiling can also be shaken loose, producing the same, albeit less-controlled, effect. As one would expect, getting flattened automatically devirtualizes them. Odd has been the victim of this trap the most; he compares the experience to being run over by a steamroller. Another less-common trap are security lasers. These have only appeared in the episode "Exploration", and cause 90 points of damage in a single hit.

This sector is not connected to the regular materialization program, which means that if the characters lose their life points here, they will not automatically return to Earth unless the proper program is run. In the episode "Exploration", Aelita was forced to sort through the data contained within the sector in order to find the proper materialization program. When Carthage is reconstructed, it becomes connected to the regular materialization program.

This sector was the first sector to exist, even though it's classified as the fifth. The original Project Carthage, as described by Franz Hopper, seems to be represented by this sector, even though the project existed before the supercomputer did. Its purpose was to disrupt enemy communications. For a reason that has yet to be revealed, Hopper sought the destruction of this place. To that end, he designed the supercomputer, Lyoko, and Xana to destroy it. He never went through with this plan, though. Instead, he reworked the rest of Lyoko to serve as a sanctuary for him and Aelita. When they were finally forced to travel there, Xana rebelled. It isn't clear why it did so, but it is clear that Xana took control of the sector instead of destroying it as Hopper had intended.

Within the heart of Carthage lies Lyoko's core, the code which maintains the virtual world. Should it be destroyed, Lyoko and anyone on it would go with it. The core is suspended near the top of Carthage's inner chamber by three conduits. The core itself is a miniature version of Lyoko. Surrounding the core are two transparent cubes, both of which act as shields. A large amount of sustained laser fire is required to break through them. Since these shields regenerate with each failed attempt to destroy the core, destroying it takes a long time. The core is only accessible through a passage on the bottom of Carthage, and the passage is protected by a door that rapidly alternates between open and closed. A key similar to the one that shuts off the timer is present just past the door, and produces a staircase into the actual room.

The dock for the virtual ship "Skidbladnir" is later created in a similar location, and even has an elevator to access it, and spots where the Lyoko warriors can be energized directly into it. In addition, the dock is located near the top of the sphere.

In "Fight to the Finish", Jeremie launches his multi-agent program from a chamber in Carthage, which completely wipes out Xana.

Virtual limbo

Seen only twice (once in "Frontier" and again in Jeremie's dream in "Code: Earth"), the virtual limbo exists as a null space between Lyoko and the real world. It exists within the supercomputer's memory, which Aelita is linked to. Jeremie was accidentally trapped here when he first attempted to go to Lyoko. The scanner memory had been cut off before the process had completed, trapping him in the limbo.

Upon his arrival, Jeremie was able to speak to Aelita through her link to the supercomputer's memory. Through the link, Jeremie was able to tell the others how to free him. After travelling to all four regions and collecting the scanner memory from all four passage towers, Aelita was able to travel into the limbo and free him. During that time, their minds were melded, allowing them to sense the other's feelings.

Digital sea

The digital sea is random data floating about the network that looks and moves like water, hence the name. It lines every sector in Lyoko, with the exception of Carthage, which is lined with an equivalent data barrier. Falling into the sea causes permanent virtualization, reducing a person to data that is pulled through the network at random. Jeremie can track down those lost and use his materialization program to recover them, but he still doesn't recommend falling in since finding them is a difficult task. Jeremie can only retrieve some one if they fall into the sea in Lyoko's boundaries because the sea outside lyoko goes on for ever so the data is so vast to find one human sized piece of data is completely undoable. Yumi is the first one that had ever fallen in (in "Cruel Dilemma"), and she was recovered shortly after, though only barely and Jeremie was only able to save her because Odd had inadvertently entered the proper code earlier (by dropping candy on Jeremie's keyboard), creating a one-time materialization program. Aelita is later thrown into the digital sea by William in "Distant Memory", but is saved by Franz Hopper.

Monsters and vehicles (does not include the four outer sectors of lyoko) that fall into the sea are destroyed should they touch it. The contact produces a column of energy that shoots upward.

In the fourth season, the Xana-possessed William can come and go through the sea as needed. Later, Jeremie decides that the best way to find Xana is to search the digital sea. To that end, he creates a specialized vehicle dubbed the "Skidbladnir" (after the Norse ship of legend), also known as the Skid, to explore it. The digital sea resembles a large, upside-down city; the "buildings" are presumed by Aelita to be networked databases. Various network "hubs" are anchored to the city by glowing blue tubes, allowing for near-instantaneous travel across large distances in the network. Xana even has monsters inside the digital sea, such as the Kongres, Kalamars and the Sharks. Normally, the sea glows light-blue, but it turns red whenever Xana's monsters are nearby.

Replika

Floating within the sea are specially-designed "Replikas" of Lyoko, created by Xana from the data he had stolen from Aelita in "The Key". Each Replika consists of a single Lyoko sector, and is powered by its own supercomputer in the real world. Since the discovery of the Replikas in "Replika", these copies of Lyoko have become the main battleground for Xana's attacks. Through use of Jeremie's program, "Teleportation", the members of the team are able to transport from the Replika to the supercomputer controlling it while retaining their special abilities. The Replikas can be deleted by destroying the mainframe that exists in the real world.

It's unclear how many Replikas exist, though "Cold Sweat" confirms that Xana has hundreds of supercomputers under his control. Four Replikas are known to exist, based on the Forest, Desert, Carthage, and Ice Barrier sectors. Each accompanying facility seems to serve a specific purpose: the Forest Replika, located in the Amazon Rainforest, produced cybernetic spiders until its destruction in "Bragging Rights"; the Desert Replika, located in an abandoned army base in New Mexico, produced parts for the spiders until its destruction in "Hard Luck"; the Carthage Replika, located on an orbiting space station, produced floating metal spheres with limited shapeshifting abilities until it was destroyed in "A Space Oddity"; and the Ice Barrier Replika, located in Siberia, produces battle droids. The Ice Sector Replika is also the home of programs that control William, and were crucial to his freedom. In "Fight to the Finish", all Replikas were destroyed by Jeremie's multi-agent program.


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