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Chun-nan is based on Chinese-style tradition and appearance, featuring tall pagodas and a run across what looks like the Great Wall of China. The area appears to be set against a coastal mountain backdrop.
During the beginning of Sonic Unleashed, Chun-nan's continent was torn away from the earth's mantle when Dr. Eggman awoke Dark Gaia, resulting in the planet shattering into pieces. At some point around the beginning of this crisis, the village elder, Zonshen, left Chun-nan and went outside the village (in the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version, it was to retrieve the village's treaure that rolled out of the village during the earthquakes). However, when Zonshen did not return after a while, the villagers grew worried about him and eventually entered a uproar.
When Professor Pickle pinpointed a Gaia Temple in Chun-nan, Sonic the Hedgehog and Chip traveled there, where they learned of the village's state upon their arrival. When the duo met Lin and heard her story, Sonic and Chip agreed to help look for Zonshen, and Lin allowed them outside the village. During the night, Sonic and Chip entered Dragon Road, where they both found Zonshen and returned Chun-nan and its continent to their proper place with the Gaia Temple and the Chaos Emeralds. The duo then came back with Zonshen to Chun-nan where the villagers hailed them as heroes.
Some time later, in the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Unleashed, Chun-nan was invaded by Dr. Eggman's Badniks, trapping all the villagers inside Chun-nan. Fortunately, Sonic and Chip arrived in Chun-nan, having heard reports of the development, forcing the robots to retreat and saving the village. On the Wii/PlayStation 2 version, however, Chun-nan remained peaceful. Here, Sonic and Chip eventually came back to Chun-nan upon instructions from Professor Pickle to investigate the area further where they found a tablet fragment for the Planet Tablets.
A while later, when Chip called the Gaia Temples to him, the inhabitants of Chun-nan saw their Gaia Temple rise from the ground from the village. When Dark Gaia then began casting the world into darkness while maturing into Perfect Dark Gaia, the inhabitant of Chun-nan watched in horror as the sky above the village turned dark, but soon after celebrated as the world returned to normal after Super Sonic and the Gaia Colossus defeated Perfect Dark Gaia.
In the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Unleashed, the player can unlock a special cutscene titled "Sonic and Chip (in Chun-nan)" after giving Chip eight of Lin's Meat Buns. In the Wii/PlayStation 2 version, the cutscene is unlocked once the player collects all 103 Sun Medals and 71 Moon Medals.
The cutscene features Sonic and Chip at a Chun-nan food stall comically fighting over the last dumpling (a reference to a scene in the movie Kung Fu Panda where Po and Master Shifu did the same). As Sonic and Chip use their chopsticks in a game of tug-of-war to try and grab the dumpling, Chip realizes that Sonic is too strong for him, so he tricks him into looking in the other direction. Sonic, however, sees through this and pulls the dumpling back, but then loses his grip on the chopsticks, causing the dumpling to be hurled into the air. Then as the two go in a mad dash for the dumpling, Chip pushes Sonic out of the way and eats it in one gulp (just like Po almost did), only to fall headfirst into a jar with Sonic laughing at him.
Chun-nan could have been named after the Chinese province of Húnán (read in Japanese as either "Konami" or "Konan"). The "Chun" part may come from the pronunciation of China in Chinese pinyin (Zhōngguó) and mainly Japanese on'yomi (Chūgoku; not to be confused with the region of the same name in Japan), which both literally mean "middle country" due to China's position in Asia. Thus it can be assumed that Chun-nan is in the middle of a certain region in the world of the game, with its possible Chinese pinyin reading being "Zhōngnán" (or Chūnan in Japanese on'yomi).
It is also possible that the name "Chun-nan" is varied from "Chang'nan," one of the ancient names of Jingdezhen.
All the female villagers in Chun-nan have the word "Lin" in their name.
Chun-nan is the only area in Sonic Unleashed where the player can obtain the Planetary Tablet after they have beaten the boss.
In the internal data of the game, it was found that the original name of Chun-nan was "China."