Counterfeit Island, PHB Specials, Super Villain Island

Interpreting the Main Four’s dreams, pt. 3: Black Widow πŸ–Œ

Hello and welcome to a third dream interpretation! (If you haven’t already, you can check out the previous installments in this series here and here.)

In this post, I’ll be exploring the dream world of the crafty art thief Black Widow. Let’s pop into it!


Overall, there’s not a ton of material to work with in this dream. While the player enters stolen paintings and cleans up graffiti, the Black Widow herself mostly stands around and watches. The setting isn’t particularly interesting either, seeing as she spends a good deal of her waking life inside art museums; it’s likely just a reflection of her life and isn’t meant to represent anything.

With that being said, this dream isn’t useless. Not at all. For one thing, it gives us a new look into Black Widow’s shining personality, something we didn’t get to see much of in Counterfeit Island alone.

Her dream suggests that she’s a bold, fierce villain with a fiery temper and a disregard for hesitation, as shown when she chases and attacks you with nothing but her own two fists! (In a dream, attacking someone might represent confrontation against a threat or a defensive attitude.) And when she’s called out for her villainy, Black Widow refuses to listen and keeps focusing on her goals–traits she might share with the Binary Bard.

Ouch!

Another key part of this dream is the destruction of Black Widow’s own portrait. Dreams about any sort of damage and destruction could represent a number of things: guilt, failed expectations, hopelessness, or, most interestingly, a ruined relationship.

Remind you of anything?

The Strange Man (also known as the Brown Recluse) fits this interpretation perfectly. Throughout the happenings of Counterfeit Island, the Strange Man works as Black Widow’s right-hand man; until for reasons best known to herself, Black Widow betrays him, leaving him tied to a chair alongside the player in her underground lair. The Strange Man proceeds to side with the player and ends the Black Widow’s art-stealing career once and for all.

Could it be that Black Widow’s reflecting on this dismissal? From what I can tell, her betraying the Strange Man was entirely unprovoked, but then again, they don’t call her the Black Widow for nothing…

Looking closer at Black Widow’s attack, a final point I’ll bring up is her chasing the player to reach them, which could represent an attempt to be in control or get ahold of something.

Gotta run fast!

Here’s what I’ve gathered based off of these hints: Black Widow is missing her right-hand man, but is trying to act as though she isn’t, hence the defensiveness suggested by her attacking the player. After all, she’s a solitary being akin to the spider she’s named for; she uses someone for what she needs them for and then lets them go. She’s the opposite of loyal.

But why? Pretending to trust someone only to betray them will only turn them against her, as shown when her entire villainous career slips down the drain thanks to the Strange Man. Wouldn’t it be more useful to have kept her servant instead of creating another enemy? The confrontation against a threat also suggested by her attack could add to this. As for trying to assert control over a situation, well, maybe she’s just frustrated that she’s hopelessly trapped inside a cryotube in Erewhon Prison instead of out resurrecting her art-stealing life. πŸ•·οΈ

That’s it for today, everyone. I’ll see you for my next but possibly not last post in this series, highlighting the Binary Bard and his spectacular dream! Pop on,

~πŸ’œ

PHB Specials, YouTubers

Speedrunning Poptropica Islands πŸƒπŸ’¨

How fast can you finish a Poptropica island?

Back before the days of side quests and short islands, Poptropica islands were often long, leisurely, exploratory experiences that could take hours to complete and maybe needed walkthroughs to figure out. But if you already know where you’re going and what you’re doing, the island medallion can come a lot sooner. Enter the art of speedrunning!

A speedrun is a play-through of a game (or a level within it) as quickly as possible, and can apply to pretty much any video game. Unlike playing through a game the usual way and taking in all the sights and sounds, speedrunning aims to do things differently, maybe even involving some clever tricks to get to the goal of a speedy finish. Poptropicans on YouTube have gotten in on the challenge, too!

(Note: All the islands featured below are old islands that can currently only be accessed through Flashpoint, not the official game.)

Earlier this month, popular speedrunner EazySpeezy zipped through Counterfeit Island, clocking in at just under 18 minutes and condensing the adventure into a 10-minute video that already has 725K+ views. His main strategy is to use the backspace key to teleport places. Check it:

Another speedrunner, Motorjam, manages to complete Super Power Island in about 5 minutes (for reference, the PHB’s video walkthrough, which already contains some sped-up parts, is 12 minutes long). His strategy is to use a glitch with the clapboard item that allows players to jump over and over again, essentially “flying” to be able to reach high places, which comes in especially handy for catching Crusher.

Even islands known for being short can be made shorter still. Snakey642 suavely masters Shark Tooth Island in under a minute, again making use of the clapboard, this time to fly right over the shark-infested waters to rescue the stranded and save the day.

You can find lots more of these challenges on YouTube, as well as browse through (or clock in your own) world records on Speedrun.com.

What’s the most impressive Poptropica speedrun you’ve ever seen? Are you in a hurry to try this challenge combining memory, gaming, and glitching? Run wild and (figuratively) break a leg!

~🐠

PHB Specials, YouTubers

PHB Special: Backspace β€” “Blank Space” Taylor Swift Parody Music Video πŸŽ΅πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ€

Hey, Poptropicans! We had a lot of fun watching your Poptropica Month videos this year β€” and even highlighted some of our favorites.

Of course, we didn’t want to feel left out of the fun, so we’ve been working on something too… Without further ado, we at the Poptropica Help Blog present our first hit single: “Backspace”!

A few months ago, Slanted Fish had the idea to write a Poptropica parody of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” for Poptropica Month 2021. While the original “Blank Space” satirizes media’s obsession with Swift’s love life, “Backspace” expresses fans’ grievances with modern-day Poptropica. The end product was a fun and (unfortunately) relatable glimpse into being a Poptropica fan in 2021.

Every lyrical masterpiece needs a singer, so imagine my surprise when Slanted Fish asked me to provide vocals! Why me? Well, it might have had something to do with me mentioning that I like to sing WAY back in my introduction to the PHB post. I wonder what 2018 me would have thought if she knew what including that little detail would lead to? Just don’t ask me to dance, though.

Recording audio was easier said than done. I own a Blue Snowball microphone, an omnidirectional microphone that picks up every little sound in the room. On top of that, it was difficult finding a good time and place to record amid conflicting work schedules, Florida’s summer storms, and noisy chickens. Don’t believe me on that last one? Here’s an exclusive behind-the-scenes listen at me dealing with four rambunctious roosters. πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“

Recording was only half the battle. For mixing, I used a free program called Audacity, which is also called Audiotonic in the Microsoft Store. After sorting through multiple takes and playing with the volume, I finally exported the track and sent it Fishy’s way. Finally, she created the accompanying music video using various Poptropica island trailers from over the years.

We hope you all liked our little pop song! Will we make another music video like this in the future? Eh, we’ll see… Anyway, be sure to also check out the Poptropica Month 2021 playlist for more awesome Pop-related videos. It’s a fun way to celebrate Poptropica’s birthdayβ€” err, funeral as the Dimension Bros would say.

Thank you for listening, and have a good day!

β€”Gentle Dolphin 🐬

PHB Specials

PHB Special: Pop the Difference, Round 4 – Answers Revealed

Howdy Poptropicans! About an eternity ago I posted 5 pairs of Poptropica images to see who could find all of the differences in them β€” where the quickest person would receive a drawing of their Poptropican by me.

It’s been about four months since that post went up and in all honesty, I completely forgot about it. I’m super sorry for keeping anybody waiting! Anyway – without further ado, let’s pop right into the answer reveals. Frankly, there’s no more time to waste. πŸ˜…

1) Shark Tooth Seek

  • Missing coconut
  • Pink skirt/blue skirt
  • Blimp silhouette
  • Monkey’s gaze
  • Shark Boy Guy

2) Fairytale Fish-Around

  • No troll/troll
  • Missing words on sign
  • Extra shimmer
  • Additional window
  • Colors of dragon tail

3) Bazaar Bewilderment

  • Tarp color
  • Missing thief
  • Extra window
  • Running thief
  • Genie

4) Comb the Crowd

  • Purple lipstick/pink lipstick
  • Girl’s stare
  • Third light on helmet
  • Hue of lenses
  • Missing skull & crossbones

5) Scour the Staff

  • Different colors on Slanted Fish’s hoodie
  • Gentle Dolphin’s missing glasses
  • Sporty Boa’s half-closed eye
  • Missing lightning bolt in between Sporty Boa and Fierce Flyer
  • Lightning bolt/star

In the time the game was open, I got a ton of entries for about two weeks straight – so I wanna thank you for the participation! There were a few who were able to spot all of them, but there was one person who was faster than the rest…

Congratulations Dangerous Shadow for winning my game! I hope you like your portrait. Once again, I’m sorry for the wait. Also, I need help with hands 🀨

Dangerous Shadow

So what other kind of games would you like to see? Let me know in the comments or by messaging me on Discord.

Anyway, I’m glad I finally got this out. Thanks for your patience with me and thank you for reading. Talk to you guys in the next one. Pop on!

– LJ πŸ€

PHB Specials, The Villain Saga

The Villain Saga – Talk Like a Pirate Day Special πŸ΄β€β˜ οΈπŸ¦ž

HELLO THERE EVERYONE. CAPTAIN CRAWFISH HERE. MY RABBIT… ACQUAINTANCE? I CAN’T QUITE CALL HIM A FRIEND. HE SAID THAT TODAY IS INTERNATIONAL TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY, WHICH I FIND ABSOLUTELY ABSURD. YOU REALLY NEED DAYS FOR EVERYTHING?

ANYWAY. I WANTED TO CLEAR UP SOME THINGS, BECAUSE SOME OF YOU ARE TRULY BECOMING AN EMBARRASSMENT TO US VILLAINS.

FIRST. I BEG–NO, I NEVER BEG! I DEMAND THAT YOU STOP WITH THIS WHOLE “ARRR ME HEARTIES” STUFF! EVEN IF WE HAVE OUR WAY OF SPEAKIN’, WE DON’T HAVE MAGGOTS FOR BRAINS! MOST PIRATES COME FROM AROUND THE WORLD, MANY OF US FROM EUROPE OR ASIA. ME PERSONALLY, I’M FROM BRITAIN.

I CAN’T REMEMBER EVER SAYING “ARRRR” EITHER. THAT SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING SOMEONE MADE UP IN FICTION TO MAKE US SEEM AS STRANGE AS THOSE ALIENS MORDRED TALKS ABOUT.

EITHER WAY, I JUST WANTED TO CLEAR THAT UP SO YOU KIDS COULD STOP MAKIN’ FOOLS OF US.

YO HO HO AND A BOTTLE OF ROOT BEER BECAUSE THERE’S NO GOOD STUFF HERE

– CAPTAIN CRAWFISH 🦞

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

Aye, so it appears Crawfish somehow bent the rules o’ time ‘n space t’ access me account. He also appears t’ nah understand wha’ the CAPS LOCK be. Me deepest apologies fer any confusion, but ahoy, nah me fault!

Honor t’ the beaver

Maryann/Smart Bubbles