This is a guest post written by Trusty Leopard, a Poptropican who’ll be sharing a tribute to a favorite villain, Myron Van Buren of Survival Island. Enjoy!
Hello everyone! My name is Trusty Leopard and this is my first ever guest post on this awesome blog. I hope you enjoy this article about my favorite and perhaps one of the most craziest antagonists in Poptropica.
Myron Van Buren (MVB) is the bad guy of Survival Island, a five-part Poptropica adventure that I loved. Van Buren is a cool-looking villain with his hunting clothes, tooth necklace, safari hat, crossbow and creepy smile along with a facial scar to complete the look. A great design, if you ask me.
His catchphrase, “Tally-ho!” is something that I have started using. It just sounds really cool. When I first saw Van Buren and the description for Survival Island, I had some idea of what it might be about, and the villain’s plans. But I figured Poptropica wouldn’t do something like that in a kids’ game, so I was interested to see what exactly MVB’s plans were. Little would I or anyone else have known they did go there.
In the first three episodes, you don’t actually see a bad guy, just someone watching you with cameras after you successfully complete the first two episodes. Pretty creepy.
With the third episode comes your rescue in a sweet-looking helicopter. Your rescuer is big game hunter Myron Van Buren, who lives in a huge mansion with just his chef and butler Winston. (Seems a bit strange to me.) When you tell him you just really rather go home, he insists you mustn’t miss the big hunt tomorrow and just basically won’t let you leave. Totally not a red flag at all.
He acts all nice, showing you his animal trophy collection, but then he makes a ghoulish joke about Winston being another one of his trophies.
But Van Buren laughs it off and tells Winston to go ask the chef to prepare dinner. Winston responds with “Yes, m’lord.” Definitely not normal…
Once you eat the steak, you pass out and wake up locked in a room. That note was absolutely right when it said, “Don’t trust MVB!”
When you finally make your escape, he tells you that you are the quarry for the hunt. O.M.G. Things then cut to an epic mini-game where you’re running from Van Buren’s arrows and his hounds chasing you. I mean for goodness’ sake, he’s a human hunter!
It was a truly fun and exciting twist for an island that was a bit slow in the first three parts and then just exploded once you got to parts four and five.
The idea for this island came from the 1924 short story “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell, a tale about a big game hunter named General Zaroff who hunts people who get trapped on his island, just like Van Buren did. I was genuinely surprised that Poptropica did something a little dark for a kids’ game.
Even though it was a bit shocking, it was quite fun to play. The mini-game when running from Van Buren was fantastic, in my opinion. The music during the game was suspenseful, catchy, and added to the whole storyline gracefully. In fact, the music for all the parts of the island fit perfectly. My favorite was the “Escape!” episode music. While gathering the supplies for a trap and trying not to get caught, that tune was excellent to play.
The ending of the island was truly in Poptropican fashion. With the cage trap all set, you blow the whistle hoping to get Van Buren’s attention. Instead, he sneaks up behind you and scares you so that you are the one that falls back in the trap! When you ask why he likes to hunt humans, he says he just loves the thrill of the hunt. That is messed up.
Now I know how wild animals feel when they are the ones being hunted. Not fun. Although I knew my Poptropican would live it was still scary watching that scene unfold, never have I seen a more psychotic villain. (Zeus is just really annoying, but it comes close.) Before Van Buren can shoot you and add another trophy to his creepy collection, Max McGullicutty comes in and saves the day on the bear you freed while hunting for trap equipment. You basically high-jump kick Van Buren so he gets trapped in the water tread and ends up being slapped by two beavers on the bottom. Leaving him there for a taste of his own medicine, you exit on the helicopter with Max and watch a beautiful rainbow sunset completed with sweet music. That nightmare is finally over.
This island is one of my favorites and always will be. I love seeing fan art for this island and reading articles about how he is one of the scariest villains in Poptropica. If Survival Island ever makes it into Worlds, they should find a way to make the first three episodes a little more fun and not so tedious. Add some arrows from his crossbow sticking out in trees as you continue along. Put more escape-like mini-games in the final parts. More history about Van Buren’s family would be cool too.
One other thing I would love is if MVB is added to a new version of Super Villain Island. Have Van Buren be one of the villains whose dreams you have to go inside in order to recover an evil totem. If only Survival had come out before Super Villain—it might just have happened. But I can always hope that if Worlds does add a Super Villain Island, they would add this crazy dude to it.
Well that’s it, my post about my absolute most favorite super crazy bad dude of Poptropica! I hoped you enjoyed it. Tally-ho!
The Poptropica Help Blog welcomes interesting Poptropica insights from anyone in the Poptropica community with thoughts to share. You can find some tips and guidelines on our Write for the PHB page. We also encourage sharing blog posts on the PHC.
If you have an idea for a PHB post, send it in!