Hey Poptropicans, this is a guest post by Purple Paw, who will be exploring how animals play different roles in Poptropica. Enjoy!
Hi there! Purple Paw here with another guest post, this time highlighting (you guessed it) Poptropican wildlife.
Planet Poptropica is best-known for its wonderful Poptropican people, but we often disregard the many other species inhabiting its diverse environments. Almost every single island (even Home Island) is home to an animal of some sort, whether it’s a rendition of something existing in real life, or a fantasy creature never seen before.
Perhaps the island we most associate with animals is Twisted Thicket (and it sure has a lot!). But the truth is, they’re everywhere — not only in the wild, but living right alongside Poptropicans, too. Just like in real life.
There are different ways for animals to show themselves in the islands, whether they’re only making a short appearance, or the whole story revolves around them. Let’s take a tour of how wildlife plays a part in Poptropica!
Animals can affect the gameplay
Affecting the gameplay means that an animal makes a small (perhaps repeated) appearance in an island, while not being a prominent character or affecting the deeper plot. The Werewolf in Vampire’s Curse is one that comes to mind here. The story would still be pretty much the same without it: but if the werewolf weren’t there, the climb to Bram’s castle would have been a whole lot easier.
Animals can influence the plot
A bigger role for animals to play is actively affecting the story, meaning the story perhaps wouldn’t be the same if they didn’t show up. An example is Mission Atlantis’s hydromedusa. The hydromedusa are mostly regarded as enemies, due to the fact that they attack your ship, sending you sinking to the bottom of the ocean…
But without them, would the rest of the island ever have happened? If they hadn’t stung you, the ship wouldn’t have sunk; and the lost city of Atlantis would never have been exposed.
Animals can even create the entire island!
What this means is that the core of the story revolves entirely around animals; both gameplay and plot. Without them, the island simply wouldn’t be. As previously mentioned, perhaps the only island to fit in this category is Twisted Thicket, as it’s the only island to feature animals as (mostly) the only main characters.
We see a whole zoo of animals in this island, and for the most part, they’re out to get you — leafcutter elves, the Nokken, trolls, dryads, and more. Without them, Twisted Thicket simply wouldn’t exist; Burt Diamond would have gone ahead and bulldozed the entire forest without the animals protecting it, and your Poptropican would never have interfered.
Those are the main reasons that animals show up in Poptropica (that is, in the islands—but there are also our loving pets, of course!).
However, continuing from Twisted Thicket… what happens in that island brings up a new question. How do the Poptropican people treat the animals? It seems to vary depending on the island, and the Poptropican. In Twisted Thicket, though the battle is won in the end, animals are treated very poorly. The Lumberjerks are attempting to destroy the forest, without sympathy for the animals that inhabit it.
But I think it’s fair to say it was a mere misunderstanding that cause that. The animals never ventured out of the forest, perhaps fearing their safety being away from their natural habitat, so the townspeople never saw who they truly were. And the townspeople never ventured into the forest, perhaps for fear of being harmed by the animals. It was fear from both sides that caused this misunderstanding.
So, in some cases, it’s the situation (a misunderstanding) that causes Poptropicans to treat animals the way they do. But with different characters, it’s quite the opposite. Patches on Escape From Pelican Rock, for instance, is friendly with their pet bird. Patches treats birds very well; they feed them every day, and the birds obviously seem to like them.
Then, of course, there’s Myron Van Buren, who goes ahead and hunts animals for his trophy room, seemingly without any reason to do so, except carrying on the family legacy and, of course, just from his pure evil.
As for our own Poptropicans, they seem to have a pretty good reputation with animals. Unless they have a reason not to, most animals don’t tend to mind when you walk straight up to them, which is also the case with most other NPCs.
So, coming to a conclusion, I think it’s safe to say that the world of Poptropica coexists relatively well with its wildlife, other than the occasional squabbles (watch out for those evil Poptropicans!). We’ve even seen human-animal hybrids, including customizable cat and dog parts, among other animals! So maybe Poptropican people and animals aren’t as different as we think? But that’s a whole other rabbit hole to go down…
Anyway! Thanks for sticking with me through this rather lengthy post. There are many more animals I’ve left unmentioned… swooping robins on Counterfeit, faithful horses and key-stealing canaries on Wild West, basking lizards and stubborn camels on Arabian Nights… and many more.
These animals all share something in common: they all go unnoticed to a certain extent. The eye is usually on the Poptropican people. But let’s not forget the fascinating wildlife that makes Poptropica such a beautiful and diverse world.
Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Purple Paw. If you did, be sure to check out some of her other writings we’ve shared on the PHB, including this Ramble Review of Red Dragon Island and Pop 5 of Best Dressed Characters in Poptropica!
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