Hey Poptropicans, we have a very special guest with us! Girl Power (aka Lyndsey, or GwenBrightly on Poptropica) is one of the winners of Poptropica’s Design Your Dream Island Contest. In this post, she’ll be sharing about her winning idea, Secret of the Jade Scarab Island. Let’s get digging!
Hello, Poptropica Help Blog readers! I’d love to share more details about Secret of the Jade Scarab Island. I kept the descriptions spoiler free, so that certain plot points remain a surprise. 🙂
I had a ton of fun brainstorming for Secret of the Jade Scarab in between grading homework and writing lesson plans (I was in the middle of student teaching). I grew up playing games like Cluefinders and Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego, which gave me a love of games that teach about history. Ancient Egyptian lore and culture has always fascinated me, so it was awesome to have an excuse to use all that knowledge.
Our story begins when the player arrives outside the Ancient Antiquities Museum in a bustling Egyptian city and follows signs inside to find that Claira the Curator is in a panic because the newest exhibit isn’t going to open on time. She’s lost contact with the team of archeologists who were supposed to be excavating King Khnurn’s tomb (his name means “reborn sun” in Egyptian). Being the kind, friendly, and helpful Poptropican that you are, you volunteer to go investigate.
When you arrive in the village of Iteru (which means “river” in Egyptian), a local merchant points you in the direction of the archeological dig, where you meet Howard Diggory, head egyptologist. He explains that bizarre things have been happening at the dig and that there are rumors of a mummy’s curse, which has stalled progress in excavating and cataloging the tomb. It’s up to you to find the root of the problem and discover whether or not the tomb really is cursed.
You’ll explore the tomb and village, speaking to the locals and gaining their trust through various tasks. Befriending the merchant is a good place to start. She’ll tell you all about the legend of the Jade Scarab, said to give its owner untold power, but only if you help her translate some old scrolls and track down her great nephew for her. Could someone be after the scarab?
Featured locations include:
- The Ancient Antiquities Museum in Cairo – a place filled with displays of famous ancient Egyptian artifacts. Players can learn about life in ancient Egypt and maybe find some easter eggs from other islands. I like to imagine that it’s owned by the Poptropica equivalent of Zahi Hawass – a very famous Egyptologist who has probably appeared in pretty much any documentary you may have watched on Egypt.
- The village of Iteru – Close to the dig site. I envision something multi-levelled and filled with bright colors against the sandy/tan-ish color of the brick buildings. There are houses on the higher level and a market on the lower one. You can visit lots of townspeople to learn about the origins of the mummy’s curse, tomb robbers, the importance of the Nile, etc. In order to get them to answer your questions, you have to run errands for them such as potentially fishing, sailing, gathering papyrus, etc. The merchant’s shop is a highlight, as she gives the player a lot of the background on the Jade Scarab after you find her grandson (who is in an alleyway playing with a cat).
- The dig site – in the Valley of the Kings – lots of weird stuff is happening there, which has caused the locals to theorize that the team of archeologists have unleashed a curse. You can find typical archeologist tools, crates, tents, various artifacts that are being catalogued, and maybe a jeep. There are a few site members to interview, but several have fled, and one is in the hospital.
- King Knurn’s Tomb – Either underground or inside a cliff. The Jade Scarab is supposedly hidden somewhere deep inside. The player can explore different parts of the tomb throughout the story, with some getting unlocked as they progress. Skills learned from the villagers (like reading hieroglyphics) can be used here to solve puzzles and gather more information about the legends surrounding the Jade Scarab.
- Claira the Curator – Runs the Ancient Antiquities Museum and is worried about the museum’s latest exhibit not arriving on time. I chose her name because I wanted something with alliteration and a tie to Egypt, so I took the a-i-r from Cairo and inserted it into a name that went well with Curator.
- Howard Diggory – Head egyptologist of the archeological dig, worried about the recent mishaps and potential curse. Very passionate about Egyptology and uncovering lost history. He was named Howard after Howard Carter, who discovered King Tut’s tomb, and Diggory because he’s an archeologist and spends a lot of time digging.
- Awantagi – the foreman of the dig. He’s the prickly type and doesn’t particularly like you sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong.
- The Merchant – a mysterious old lady who sells a variety of objects (both ancient and modern). She tells the player the legend of the Jade Scarab after they have helped her translate some old scrolls (learn about Egyptian culture and book of the dead) and located her great nephew (who is chasing after a cat).
- Bast – the Egyptian cat who likes to pop up and do cat stuff, like expect you to cater to her every whim.
I am not the best of artists, but I do have some pictures from an old project I did for school that I used for inspiration.
I didn’t necessarily plan for a pyramid to appear Secret of the Jade Scarab, but I do really like the concept of having a scene that shows the Nile and some Egyptian boats.
This is sort of what I’d like the market to look like. Bright colors, hieroglyphics, and an abundance of different objects for players to interact with.
Anyway, thank you SO much to the PHB for reaching out, and to all of you for your interest! It’s such an honor to be able to share some of the ideas that have been floating around in my head for the past three months. I honestly can’t wait to see where Poptropica goes with this!
Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Girl Power/Lyndsey. If you did, you might also enjoy other posts in our My Dream Island series, such as Prehistoric Peril Island by Sporty Boa. And consider sharing yours!
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! 📰✨