Guest Posts, My Dream Island, Secret of the Jade Scarab Island

Inside look at Dream Island winner: Secret of the Jade Scarab 🏝🐞

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.

Sphinx from Nabooti Island

First look

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.

Spelunky: At the end of our rope.

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.

Egyptian tomb from Nabooti Island

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.
Zahi Hawass, Egyptologist (photo: Smithsonian Magazine)
  • 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).
How Bazaar: Every time I look around.
  • 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.
Camp Value: The Pup Tent sleep one
  • 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.
Hieroglyphs on Nabooti Island

Important characters

  • 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.
The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo, Egypt (photo: MoMAA.org)
  • 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.
Striking a blow for workers’ rights.
  • 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.

Visuals

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!

—Girl Power/Lyndsey


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! 📰✨

Contests, Secret of the Jade Scarab Island

Secret’s out: Jade Scarab is the final Dream Island contest winner! 🐞

Hey Poptropicans, more news on the Design Your Dream Island Contest is finally here — two months after the contest ended.

The third and final winning idea, which will be made into the game at some point, is Secret of the Jade Scarab Island created by Girl Power!

If you were starting to feel jaded (heh) about when Poptropica would get around to this long-awaited announcement, well, we don’t blame you! It turns out that the Creators reviewed all the submissions 12 times to determine the final winner, and that really took a hot minute.

So what’s this adventure about? We don’t know much yet beyond the name, as this is all the Creators have said about it so far:

We were looking for a great story, for intrigue, and for a great mystery to solve. We wanted something challenging, exhilarating, and that had a touch of real-world history to it. 

Poptropica Creators’ Blog

And it’s certainly got one of the longest island names in Poptropica history, second only to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Island.”

UPDATE: Girl Power has commented on this PHB post to share a little more about her island idea! Here’s what she wrote:

The concept work I did for Secret of the Jade Scarab included lots of archeological references, curses, and Egyptian culture. The main plot featured the player investigating a string of accidents to determine whether or not a pharaoh’s curse was threatening an archeological dig site and visiting a nearby market to learn about hieroglyphics.

Girl Power, island designer (see her PHB comment below!)

While we wait for more details to be revealed, we can draw some speculations from the name. Secret suggests a mystery to be solved, centered on this jade scarab: jade being an ornamental mineral and scarabs being a kind of popular artifact in ancient Egypt, often used in amulets or impression seals. There’s that touch of “real-world history”!

Scarabs were “typically carved or moulded in the form of a scarab beetle” and were often green or blue, though jade stone would not have been commonly used in ancient Egypt—instead, jade has roots in East, South, and Southeast Asian art. So the Jade Scarab may be a unique Poptropica invention, perhaps one that takes us across cultures.

Meanwhile, the Creators’ Blog goes on to share that the first Dream Island winner, which would be Fairy Tale Island, is already in the works, and it’s going to be different from the traditional island experience:

We have so many great things in the works for you this year and can’t wait to share them all! The first dream island is already in development and it looks SO GOOD! It’s a whole new take on an island experience and we think you’re going to love it!

Poptropica Creators’ Blog

Now that all the winners of the Dream Island contest have been announced — Fairy Tale Island, Goofball Island, and Secret of the Jade Scarab Island — we can look forward to these upcoming, promising adventures. 🧚‍♂️😜🐞 Fairy Tale is promised to release this year in 2021, but then again, if choosing the contest winners took two months, who’s to say when an entire new island will be ready?

Anyway, what are your theories on Secret of the Jade Scarab Island? Which of the winning islands are you looking forward to the most? Share your thoughts in the comments and on our Discord server, the PHC. 😄

Keep on popping on, Poptropicans!

~🐠