Pop Petitions

Pop Petition: Story changes for classic islands

Hey Poptropicans, this is a guest post from HfEvra, who will be discussing ideas for changes to classic islands should they get remade in Haxe. Enjoy!

Greetings, fellow humanoid creatures with unrealistic proportions who lack ears and noses! My name is HfEvra or Mess of a Being (or Messy Knuckle in-game) and I’m here today with a guest post about island stories.

Though the fandom at large seems to be disappointed by the changed gameplay of the first (and currently only) Haxe remaster, Mythology Island, its existence has made me hopeful that perhaps remastered islands could also have story changes in addition to gameplay changes. In this post, I’ll go over some of the story changes I’d like to see in future Haxe remasters. (Warning: Contains spoilers for Mission Atlantis, Super Villain, and Monster Carnival.) Without further ado, let’s begin!

#1: More on the aliens in Mission Atlantis

One of my biggest gripes about Mission Atlantis Island is how little we learn about the aliens of the story. Poptropica had already made an island about potential alien life (Lunar Colony) two years before the release of Mission Atlantis: Episode 3; and despite it being an island I have very mixed feelings about, I firmly believe that the story of Mission Atlantis pales in comparison.

The big reason for this is that in Mission Atlantis, the alien aspect seems to come out of left field with no prior build-up in episodes 1 & 2. It doesn’t seem really well thought-out, and feels a lot like it was just thrown into the story for no other reason than because the writers wanted to subvert the players’ expectations by having it so that an island called Mission Atlantis doesn’t even have an Atlantis.

At least in other mystery islands like Ghost Story and Steamworks, there was constant progress being made with the mystery. The more you played, the more questions were answered as to why everything is the way it is. The answers weren’t as blatant and in your face as islands like Mystery Train, but they were still there.

With Mission Atlantis, there’s barely any time for the alien mystery to be expanded on — we spend the entire second episode trying to find a way inside a mysterious underwater structure, and then spend the entire third episode trying to find a way out of it. We get a small slideshow near the end of the third episode, but even then, that slideshow doesn’t tell us much beyond the reveal that the fortress is of alien origin and has been underwater since before the continents were formed.

Zapped: A jarring circumstance for this little fella.

I understand that the reveal of the fortress being unrelated to Atlantis is meant to be a twist, but that doesn’t mean we can’t know a little more about the extraterrestrials to whom this vessel belonged. Sure, the artifacts and glyphs from Episode 2 are a start, but there are more ways to scatter clues throughout the story without having them instantly spoil the twist. After all, Super Villain and Mocktropica could leave a trail of clues; I’m certain Mission Atlantis could benefit greatly from it.

#2: The totems in Super Villain

Speaking of Super Villain Island, another story change which I’d love to see in a Haxe remaster is changing what the totems in the villains’ dreams are meant to represent.

The plot of Super Villain Island revolves around helping Dr. Jupiter by removing totems of evil from the minds of some of Poptropica’s most infamous villains in an attempt to bring them back to the light, only to find out that Dr. Jupiter is Zeus in disguise and that he wants to use the power of the totems to take over Poptropica. And though this isn’t necessarily a bad idea for a story, the plot suffers in its treatment of the totems less like a source of evil energy and more like a physical manifestation of a person’s dark side, which can simply be removed from a person’s mind with no immediate consequences.

Not only does Super Villain not at all address the aftermath of the totem removal and the (former) villains’ escape, it glosses over some other pretty important questions: Have these people been completely stripped of any and all evil? Is it possible for them to go back to villainy, or will they remain cleansed for all eternity? And if they truly are good now, what will happen with their former victims? Will they be obligated to forgive the people who have tried to ruin their lives?

The Big Sleep: A pirate just can’t get any rest around here.

Due to how the island immediately shifts all its attention to Zeus following the retrieval of all the totems, none of these questions are given so much as a passing mention. Not even the bonus quest gives us any answers — it’s basically a fetch quest that takes place in Zeus’ dreams. (By the way, is there any reason as to why the player can’t also just take out Zeus’ totem of evil and turn him into an ally? Wouldn’t it be very helpful to have the king of the gods on our side? Just saying.)

#3: The ending of Monster Carnival

Would you look at that? This month’s Island Flash-back actually found its way onto the list! And it’s for good reason.

If there is one thing that almost the entire fandom unanimously agrees on, it’s that the ending of Monster Carnival is extremely problematic due to the way it dehumanizes a man of color who was already treated as a literal monster by the narrative because of an aspect of himself that he had no control over. Although I do not fully agree with the idea that Ringmaster Raven did nothing wrong ever, I am of the opinion that the punishment is far too severe for the crime, especially considering how villains like the Shogun from Red Dragon and Scheherazade from Arabian Nights committed far worse crimes and got away scot-free.

I already made an entire video months ago talking about the messed up implications of Monster Carnival’s story, so I will not re-tread that ground. All I will say is that the way Monster Carnival went out of its way to give Ringmaster Raven one of the saddest backstories in the game and then stripped him of his free will to make him go through even more suffering is not okay. If I could change only one thing about Poptropica, it would be Monster Carnival’s ending.

Spread Your Wings: And fly on out of here, or you’ll be sorry.

(Thankfully, it does seem that the creators are aware of the community’s view of Monster Carnival, as evidenced by the Q&A with the CEO back in November. Does this mean that justice will finally be served after seven years? Fingers crossed!)

Hope you enjoyed this guest post by HfEvra (Mess of a Being). If you did, you might also enjoy other posts in our Pop Petition series.

The Poptropica Help Blog welcomes interesting Poptropica insights from anyone in the Poptropica community with thoughts to share. Interested in writing for the PHB? We’d love to hear from you! 📰✨

42 thoughts on “Pop Petition: Story changes for classic islands”

  1. I love the ending to Monster Carnival so much. Probably the best ending ever. Ringmaster Raven was horrible. instead of leaving the town and forgetting about them, he goes and nearly kills everyone by making them monsters. He was traumatized and should have been put in an asylum. He was a danger to society

    1. How can you not tell on his backstory in the newspapers? Raven wasn’t treated well at the circus and was blamed by someone else for stating a fire thus people chased him out because the believed the lie, He wanted to live with people but they drove him, He doesn’t want to be alone anymore and needs serious therapy.

      An asylum isn’t the best solution at all to him, Therapy and recovery is needed for Raven and he isn’t a big huge danger, just someone who wanted to be loved and respected.

    2. You said it yourself, Raven is a victim of trauma. You can’t expect trauma victims to just suddenly move past all that was done to them; and it’s especially unrealistic to expect something like that from Raven, who went through all that in an extremely vulnerable age and likely never got help for it during the 20 years between Monster Carnival and his banishment.

      1. As we see in the newspapers, Raven was completely innocent, but treated horribly by the townspeople. In the later dialogue, he even adds “All I wanted was to live among these people, but they drove me out.” He never did anything wrong; it was entirely the fault of the townspeople that caused him to become what he did. He was never a ‘raving lunatic’, he was just somebody who wanted revenge on people who had ruined his life.

        Of course, hypnotizing people into monsters wasn’t the best way at all to go about getting his revenge, but it’s at least obvious why he did it in the first place. In the ending of Monster Carnival, we saw everything loop right back to where it began; Raven as a seemingly worthless circus worker with no life, disrespected by everyone around him. We never saw the townspeople attempt to fix the damage they’d made—they didn’t even apologize once. After all that, an asylum is the very last place Raven should be.

      1. he was a raving lunatic that was a danger to society. have you seen a crazy person? they become narcissistic and proceeded to do reckless dangerous things.( making everyone monsters…?) have you ever tried to talk to a mad man? they try to attack you and that is the reason for asylums.

      1. Well, as much as I believe Raven’s ending was unfair and he was treated badly, I cannot escape the fact he did do something wrong.

    3. ok there were newspapers in the vent. from my pov raven was accused of burning a house and treated horribly as a child just because he had a big nose and looked different. he became very lonely and decided to turn everyone into monsters because he wanted to live with others. basically he just wanted to become a part of them and be accepted in the society.

    4. Putting someone with mental issues in an asylum without actually trying to help them is not a good mindset to have. Especially since we already know the root of most of Raven’s problems. You don’t just go for AN ASYLUM before trying other things; your thinking is way too extreme, and should only be a last resort when all else fails.

      1. so your logic is: raven needed therapy and was not a danger to society even though he tried to turn everyone into monsters thus killing people and their mental state. okay sure. raven would not have listened to people. he needed an asylum

    5. What?! I am sorry but I cannot agree. Ringmaster Raven apparently was an orphaned carnie who did nothing wrong, yet was blamed and kicked out of town. Perhaps the hypnotizing was a bit overboard, but can you blame him after the way the town treated him?? And like the post said, worse villains in poptropica got off the hook free and still roam poptropica. The ending was not great in my opinion. Seriously, after the poor kid had already been treated horribly in his youth, and then when they could’ve just talked him out of it or stopped him like we did with the Black Widow and Zeus, they hypnotized him and made him an amusement view in the carnival? That is seriously messed up. They guy deserved a better ending after all he was through.

    6. Listen, Small Piece Of Cheesecake. Believe what you want, but how would you feel if you were an orphaned, picked-on kid who was kicked out of town for the accusation that you did something you didn’t (and was also programmed with a bit of a revenge-thirsty mind, which didn’t even occur to him until he was older)? Being sent into asylum is a very severe punishment for what he did. Besides, he ATTEMPTED to turn the whole carnival into monsters. He didn’t even finish the crime before he was caught. This is not fair, and I hope Ringmaster Raven will get some justice, even if it is just something small, like maybe a Ringmaster Raven costume in his honor. I think he did not do as much damage as people give him credit for. I do not think the ending to the island was as happy as it should’ve been. Besides, the mayor did realize the mistake she made, but instead of welcoming him back with open arms, she let him become a part of the carnival amusement. That is just sad. He didn’t deserve that big of a punishment for a tiny little crime.

      1. The fact that he made a conscious decision to harm others who had done nothing wrong to him cannot be excused by “his upbringing”. Yes, his upbringing may have given him new options, choices, and harmful thoughts to consider, but he was never forced to act upon them. He saw good and evil and chose evil, and you cannot say “he chose evil because his past made him” because one whose past has wronged them still has a clear view of what is good and what isn’t. If this isn’t clear enough, the fact that he took extra steps to conceal his evil is proof that he knew exactly what he was doing, you cannot excuse that. He may have been mistreated in the past, but he was not some mindless blob of cells who wasn’t capable of rational thought. It all boils down to conscious choice, and he chose to do evil. Going by your thinking, then Hitler should be considered a good person, because certain people traumatized him… now that doesn’t sound right, does it?

      2. …What kind of person do you have to be to compare someone whose “LIFE OF CRIME” was literally 5 MINUTES, to the man who is perhaps the biggest war criminal in the entire world. Please, tell me what that’s like.

      3. Small Piece of Cheesecake, okay. Yes, he did choose evil, but only because the town treated him badly. You can’t say the town did nothing to him. They drove an orphaned child out of town for something he didn’t do. It is true that nobody made him try to take over the town, but his past made him bitter, and can you blame him? Think about Binary Bard. He was also treated badly in his past, but not as badly as the Ringmaster, and then he took revenge. His revenge was very extreme, but all we did was defeat him and make him give up. Who says the Bard isn’t still roaming Poptropica, planning his next evil scheme. Whereas, the man who was treated terribly for no real reason except he looked different, was banned from the town for a crime he didn’t commit. He took revenge also, but his was much smaller, and yet he was turned into a monster and sent out of town yet again. I don’t mean any offense, and I hope you don’t find this offensive, but seriously! How much evidence do you need? The island literally provided the proof (in the newspapers) that he was innocent! He was the least of the worst villains in poptropica, but his punishment was severe and that isn’t fair! Maybe you should watch a video or walkthrough of Monster Carnival (because we can’t access it as of right now) so you can actually see the island again and point out what is wrong. You seriously think he’s a bad guy? Wow just wow look at the story of his life and think again.

      4. The reason why Hitler is a valid example here is because I am applying your logic to his life. “You cannot blame a mental person for the things they do” is the kind of logic that can be applied to anyone with mental issues, whether that’s a life of 30+ years or a planned mass destruction of human life. Because if what the Ringmaster planned to do is by any means excusable simply because he was “traumatized”, then so anyone with mental issues can be excused from the things they do. Not to mention, it really makes no difference if plans are successfully carried out if the person mentally constructed the plan to harm.
        The big problem I have with people like you, and many others nowadays, is that you attempt to show empathy and excuse mentally ill people’s harmful actions just because they have brain issues. But by trying to show sympathy to a mentally ill person, you actually dehumanize them by claiming they are incapable of rational choice. You dehumanize them by excusing what they do because you subconsciously take away their human rights and label them as ‘brainless, incapable of thought, and incapable of human choice”. Yes, some people are braindead and cannot physically think. But most people are simply troubled souls who can think and make conscious, logical choices. Beware of dehumanizing the mentally ill, they need mental help but most definitely not sympathy for the evil things they willingly choose to do and cover up like most humans on this earth.

      5. i’m sorry, but all plot details aside, the fact that they cast a black man to play an evil villain, and used a number of anti-semitic stereotypes in his design (the long nose, the bird theme; look it up), is bad enough. and the fact that you’re comparing this anti-semitic caricature to literally Adolf Hitler is absurd.

      6. Exactly he hypnotized like 6 people who treated him badly. Is that as bad as stealing world-famous art, or plotting to take over Poptropica, or trying to get rid of the main attraction at the Chicago’s World Fair? Did Zeus get punished? I never saw M. Moreau go to jail. It isn’t fair that someone who attempted to hypnotize one town after they treated him terribly is getting possibly the biggest and most unnecessary punishment in the history of Poptropican villains.

      7. I don’t get it. What are you trying to say? That we are right about Ringmaster Raven? Sorry I don’t understand

    7. he did nothing wrong in the first place and people dehumanized him as a kid for being different. he just wanted to fit in the society

      1. Cheescake- If your reading this know this isn’t okay and i highly doubt you are in the discord server or have any social media, If you are not going to listen to opinions then i don’t know what will get you to understand has people question what you said.

        And if i might ask, Have you even seen the criticism Monster Carnival has gotten?

      2. I thank you all. All your precious shallow arguments which have done an insane amount of good to my thinking. Thank you all so much. I am not being sarcastic, genuinely thank you. I hope to address this in an upcoming guest post because I actually think this is crucial…and big. Without your arguments, I would have never looked into this stuff.
        As for the black and Jew villain nonsense, I’ll just slightly go over it.
        1) By trying to be “anti-racist” you actually once again manage to dehumanize people, people of color this time. If you take a look at all the villains in Poptropica, count how many black villains there are. Literally only one. You guys should actually be happy, considering black people get at least one villain of color. It’s also crucial to look at context… his persona is a literal black bird. It is estimated there are at least 4 white ravens in the entire world. It’s kinda obvious.
        2) Ask yourselves who’s the real racist here, you see a big nose and instantly scream “JEW!”. Haha. If you want to personify raven qualities into a human, the beak shape transfers onto the nose shape, and in case you haven’t seen how a raven’s beak is shaped I think it would do you well to search it up. As for the Hitler comparison, I was only using your logic on a well-known real-life villain, in order to show you how flawed it is when used on someone believed to have done wrong as well. It was not a comparison of villains but rather an example of how screwed that type of logic is.
        I hope I don’t come across as racist, or biased. I’m simply showing you some decent common sense. If you want to see something, you will see it. If you are looking for racial inequality of any type, you will find it in the most unassuming subjects.

      3. thanks for your awfully condescending tone, cheescake. and as far as i’m aware, i’m not the anti-semitic one for noticing that the jewish nose stereotype is very real and very harmful. by pointing out the stereotype and how harmful it is, i never diminished jewish people to said stereotype. i’m simply pointing out how harmful it is + the bird theme which is constantly used in anti-semitic imagery to dehumanize jewish people. please try and be a little more mature and intelligent about this, please. xoxo

      4. + i never said that jewish people have large noses; i’m saying that the jewish nose stereotype is literally directed at jewish people. the stereotype isn’t true, but the association of the stereotype to jewish people is very real and very dangerous. i apologize that i articulated my arguments in a way that made me come off as racist.

  2. Hi! So here’s my question: What do you like to do in your free time on Poptropica? Also, I noticed that your character wears a Dr. Hare costume, do you like Dr. Hare or a different villain?

  3. Ringmaster ravens story is sad. It focuses on real life things like getting abandoned and losing parents. I used to be scared of him but but I’m the opposite now

  4. About the Shogun and Scheherazade, just pointing out that both had a relative that stepped in at the end and help them redeem themselves (Basho and the Sultan). Poor Raven grew up orphaned and exiled, and therefore couldn’t reform at the end.
    Also, I don’t think anyone’s said this, but I think the real villain of Monster Carnival is Honest Gabe.

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