A tribute to Myron Van Buren

This is a guest post written by Trusty Leopard, a Poptropican who’ll be sharing a tribute to a favorite villain, Myron Van Buren of Survival Island. Enjoy!

Hello everyone! My name is Trusty Leopard and this is my first ever guest post on this awesome blog. I hope you enjoy this article about my favorite and perhaps one of the most craziest antagonists in Poptropica.

Myron Van Buren (MVB) is the bad guy of Survival Island, a five-part Poptropica adventure that I loved. Van Buren is a cool-looking villain with his hunting clothes, tooth necklace, safari hat, crossbow and creepy smile along with a facial scar to complete the look. A great design, if you ask me.

His catchphrase, “Tally-ho!” is something that I have started using. It just sounds really cool. When I first saw Van Buren and the description for Survival Island, I had some idea of what it might be about, and the villain’s plans. But I figured Poptropica wouldn’t do something like that in a kids’ game, so I was interested to see what exactly MVB’s plans were. Little would I or anyone else have known they did go there.

In the first three episodes, you don’t actually see a bad guy, just someone watching you with cameras after you successfully complete the first two episodes. Pretty creepy.

With the third episode comes your rescue in a sweet-looking helicopter. Your rescuer is big game hunter Myron Van Buren, who lives in a huge mansion with just his chef and butler Winston. (Seems a bit strange to me.) When you tell him you just really rather go home, he insists you mustn’t miss the big hunt tomorrow and just basically won’t let you leave. Totally not a red flag at all.

He acts all nice, showing you his animal trophy collection, but then he makes a ghoulish joke about Winston being another one of his trophies.

But Van Buren laughs it off and tells Winston to go ask the chef to prepare dinner. Winston responds with “Yes, m’lord.” Definitely not normal…

Once you eat the steak, you pass out and wake up locked in a room. That note was absolutely right when it said, “Don’t trust MVB!”

When you finally make your escape, he tells you that you are the quarry for the hunt. O.M.G. Things then cut to an epic mini-game where you’re running from Van Buren’s arrows and his hounds chasing you. I mean for goodness’ sake, he’s a human hunter!

It was a truly fun and exciting twist for an island that was a bit slow in the first three parts and then just exploded once you got to parts four and five.

The idea for this island came from the 1924 short story “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell, a tale about a big game hunter named General Zaroff who hunts people who get trapped on his island, just like Van Buren did. I was genuinely surprised that Poptropica did something a little dark for a kids’ game.

Even though it was a bit shocking, it was quite fun to play. The mini-game when running from Van Buren was fantastic, in my opinion. The music during the game was suspenseful, catchy, and added to the whole storyline gracefully. In fact, the music for all the parts of the island fit perfectly. My favorite was the “Escape!” episode music. While gathering the supplies for a trap and trying not to get caught, that tune was excellent to play.

Creepy…

The ending of the island was truly in Poptropican fashion. With the cage trap all set, you blow the whistle hoping to get Van Buren’s attention. Instead, he sneaks up behind you and scares you so that you are the one that falls back in the trap! When you ask why he likes to hunt humans, he says he just loves the thrill of the hunt. That is messed up.

Now I know how wild animals feel when they are the ones being hunted. Not fun. Although I knew my Poptropican would live it was still scary watching that scene unfold, never have I seen a more psychotic villain. (Zeus is just really annoying, but it comes close.) Before Van Buren can shoot you and add another trophy to his creepy collection, Max McGullicutty comes in and saves the day on the bear you freed while hunting for trap equipment. You basically high-jump kick Van Buren so he gets trapped in the water tread and ends up being slapped by two beavers on the bottom. Leaving him there for a taste of his own medicine, you exit on the helicopter with Max and watch a beautiful rainbow sunset completed with sweet music. That nightmare is finally over.

This island is one of my favorites and always will be. I love seeing fan art for this island and reading articles about how he is one of the scariest villains in Poptropica. If Survival Island ever makes it into Worlds, they should find a way to make the first three episodes a little more fun and not so tedious. Add some arrows from his crossbow sticking out in trees as you continue along. Put more escape-like mini-games in the final parts. More history about Van Buren’s family would be cool too.

One other thing I would love is if MVB is added to a new version of Super Villain Island. Have Van Buren be one of the villains whose dreams you have to go inside in order to recover an evil totem. If only Survival had come out before Super Villain—it might just have happened. But I can always hope that if Worlds does add a Super Villain Island, they would add this crazy dude to it.

Well that’s it, my post about my absolute most favorite super crazy bad dude of Poptropica! I hoped you enjoyed it. Tally-ho!


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Trusty Leopard! If you did, you may enjoy some other PHB guest posts honoring Poptropica villains.

The Poptropica Help Blog welcomes interesting Poptropica insights from anyone in the Poptropica community with thoughts to share. You can find some tips and guidelines on our Write for the PHB page. We also encourage sharing blog posts on the PHC.

If you have an idea for a PHB post, send it in!

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A Timmy Failure Poster & Whoopsie Survival Strategy

Heyyo Poptropicans, it’s Ultimate iPad Expert here with today’s Timmy Failure prize. You may be asking, “Y u b releasin dis post so l8, brah?” Firstly, you need to work on your spelling. Secondly, we mistakenly thought it had already been posted. Now let’s move on to the actual post (if you didn’t notice I get quite distrac- SQUIRREL! Okay, let’s move on.

Today’s Timmy Failure prize is a Timmy Failure Poster which you can print out with your character on it! The poster itself has a pretty cool design, so be looking forward to what else this giveaway could possibly have in store. 😀 Of course, be sure to tune in next Thursday for more Timmy Failure prizes!

Remember, Timmy Failure Island debuts September 17th for members, and you can check out our Behind-the-Scenes Overview & Theory post for an exclusive and extensive sneak peek!

Also, over on YouTube, the Poptropica Creators have posted a new video titled Inside Poptropica: Whoopsie Cushion, which you can view below! Myron Van Buren remains oblivious…

By the way, members can get the “Whoopzie Cushion” item for free as part of the Night Watch Island prize pack in the Poptropica Store.

So, what do you think of the Timmy Failure Poster and this Survival Island strategy? Comment below.

• Ultimate iPad Expert •

Poptropica Portfolio: Chris Goodwin

Nate Greenwall isn’t the only one posting his Poptropica illustrations – I recently stumbled upon the site of Chris Goodwin, an illustrator/designer working for Poptropica, whose online portfolio can be found here. This post comes in three parts. As always, click to enlarge the pics!

Perhaps the most interesting section is character design: designs for E. Vile’s robots from Legendary Swords (as well as some props seen in P-Con: Ep. 2), a huge collection of characters (including several unreleased ones – some possibly for Ep. 3 of PoptropiCon!), unused flying ace designs (the corner suggests they were for the Virus Hunter minigame, Nano-Combat Training), ideas for Max McGullicutty’s look in Survival: Ep. 5, and finally, rough drafts of robots for Game Show Island.

The next section is concept art – ideas for various parts of the game. Here we see color plans for areas inside Joe’s body on Virus Hunter Island, shape ideas for “air creatures” in his lungs, a look at an extravagant (though unused) virus bug, several sketches of dark scenes, racer cars we’ve seen before as a scrapped idea, a Legendary Swords doodle, the Monster Carnival common room, and a sketch from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory Island.

Lastly, there’s a section devoted to scene illustrations – most of these are already in the game, though the one of the cabin is not (but it seems to belong to the unnamed geological park island).

The rest are: the tutorial island in the Poptropica app, Ephraim University (both exterior and interior) from Mocktropica, Soundstage #1 on Back Lot, the Hemlock Herald newspaper room on Ghost Story, a hallway door and post office common room on Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, and the bonus quest on Twisted Thicket. Seeing them each as one big scene makes it all the more awesome. ❤

Poptropica sure is beautiful, and Chris has made some really creative contributions to the game we know and love. Enjoy the Chris Goodwin collection, and stay popping, Poptropicans! 😀

2014 Rewind: Poptropica Islands & Big Events!

2014 rewind

Hey guys! 2014 is coming to an end, and of course, what better way to wrap up than with a recap of Poptropica over the past year? Here we go!

Part One: Islands

Let’s start off with Poptropica’s islands! This year, 5 islands were released. Poptropica also celebrated the rise of a new episodic island system — instead of full islands, islands were divided into parts called episodes. Also, a couple of classic islands were transformed into SUIs (sound-updated islands): Mythology and Shrink Ray. Now, let’s get into the recap of islands released in 2014!

Monster Carnival Island

After 6 long years, Poptropica’s most awaited island finally showed up in February 2014. SInce Monster Carnival was known as a myth in Poptropica for years, this island has always been the talk of the town for years. Monster Carnival Island was one of the easiest islands this year, and the visuals, music, story and characters were all awesome! I just wish it was a little harder, and that Ringmaster Raven was made a bit more despicable. Anyway, it was a great start to the year!

Monster Carnival Island Game Play #1

Survival Island

The second Poptropica island this year came as a surprise for the whole Poptropica community: for the first time ever, an Island would be divided into episodes! The best thing about episodic islands is that it leaves the players wondering what will happen next. Survival Island introduced a brand new Poptropica villain, Myron Van Buren, and the ending was brilliant. The island had awesome visuals, a great story, and excellent music to accompany the story. Last but not the least, the island was really unexpected with MVB and the man hunt because we know it’s Survival — man vs nature! Great job, Creators! What I didn’t like was that our blimp was destroyed. How sad. 😦

Survival Game Play #1

Mission Atlantis Island

We’re halfway there! So, what about this island? Well, as players become curious about the lost city of Atlantis, we concluded that this was connected to the aliens from Lunar Colony. Although we had no villain to fight in this island, we discovered the ancient underwater city of Atlantis saw some aquatic animals. At first, I thought this island would be a flop, but it wasn’t so bad towards the end. This underwater adventure was really “out of this world”! Even though this island just had three episodes, the adventure was once-in-a-lifetime.

Mission Atlantis Game Play #3

PoptropiCon Island

This brought a new island theme to Poptropica: fantasy & conventions. The first episode of PoptropiCon was really crazy. Just for a ticket, we had to disguise ourselves, and then find a new way to enter the convention center. The second episode was really awesome (I’d give it a 9/10) – and the ending was quite a twist! The final episode isn’t out yet, but we do know Omegon will attack the convention and it’s up to us (and perhaps the Mighty Action Force) to save the day! The battle will start sometime in 2015, so be ready to hero up! Plus, it was pretty cool that the San Diego Comic Con was happening around the same time as this island’s planning stages.

Poptropicon Game Play #1

Arabian Nights Island

The winning idea for the Create Your Dream Island Contest is finally on Poptropica! This island is based on 1001 Nights (also known as Arabian Nights), a famous Arabian literary work of the ancient times. Since the announcement of the winner, players were very excited to see this island. I thought it really reflected the culture and life of Arabs back in the old times – I loved the part where the thief couldn’t get the camel to move, so he fed it a banana! The second episode was even better: the characters, puzzles, music and story were all just amazing. It just makes me wonder, where did the prisoner and Vizier go? Were they really killed? Anyway, I’m very excited to meet the genie in 2015!

Arabian Nights Game Play #3

That’s it for 2014’s islands! Thanks to the Creators for an awesome year of awesome islands. 🙂

Part Two: Timeline of Big Events

Alright, now for the second half of this 2014 recap – looking back onto the biggest Poptropica (and PHB) events of the year! Without further ado, let’s get right into it.

Poptropica Magazines: Revival

At the end of 2013, we announced that we’d be reviving our popular Poptropica fan magazines, then known as The Poptropican’s 911 (for all your Poptropica emergencies), which ran for a year in 2009-2010. And we delivered on that promise this year, with four issues in the first half of the year and six in the second due to changes in the publication schedule and giving the series a delicious new name: The POPCORN. It’s had a good run, but it’s come to an end – at least for now. You can read the issues any time on the PHB’s Magazines page!

Poptropica Labs

a5704-poplabsIn January, Poptropica announced a brand new feature allowing Poptropicans to create islands of their own: Poptropica Labs! This awesome feature was released exclusively to members, but many have agreed that it was awesome. Some players have even called it “Poptropica’s Minecraft with a twist”! You can read HPuterpop’s review of the original Labs here.

New PopTopics Books

scaryMonstersShortly after the excitement of Labs, Poptropica announced two new PopTopics books! This Poptropica book series explores the real-life facts behind the islands. There were two new PopTopics books — Scary Monsters and Wild West. Scary Monsters (pictured) tackles the myths and legends about the world’s cryptids and creepy creatures like vampires and zombies, while Wild West takes you back to the American frontier with cowboys, horses and bandits!

PHB’s Valentine’s Day Party

valentines2014The PHB threw a whopping 6 parties this year, and the first of them was on Valentine’s Day! Several PHB authors and many more Poptropicans showed up to spread the love on Valentine’s, and everyone said that it was a lot of fun. Check out the recap here.

Poptropica App on iOS & Android

popappFinally! Poptropica has gone mobile! In March, Poptropica announced and released the official Poptropica app for the iPad, then for iPhone two months later, in May. There was also a lot of excitement over an elusive iPad/iPhone handheld item. Last but not the least, six long months later, Poptropica was finally made available to Android in November. Everyone can play Poptropica anywhere!

PHB’s 11 Million Hits Party

11m party recapAlso in March, the PHB hit the milestone of 11 million views! Of course, being the PHB, we had to have a Poptropica party. Between Multiverse hopping, Doodle Race games, and chatting it up on the PHC, it was a lot of fun – check out the recap! Plus, we also raffled off 11 monstrous prizesrare costumes from Monster Carnival!

Mysterious Disappearance of Shark Boy

In mid-April, Poptropicans began to notice Shark Boy slowly being alienated from the Poptropica world, and it began with the changing of his name into “Shark Guy”. Reporting our findings here on the PHB led to even more eradication of Shark Boy’s existence. You can read all about it in the PHB article titled Mystery of Shark Boy. You’ll be missed, Sharky. 😦

Poptropica Comics

pop comicsIn May, Poptropica released a brand new featureoriginal Poptropica comics starring two mismatched boys named Jorge and Oliver who end up exploring peculiar islands in the world of Poptropica. Poptropica comics are updated daily, but are currently on a hiatus, promising to return again in 2015. Plus, there’s now a Poptropica Comics app!

PHB’s 12 Million Hits Party

phb12mILLIONThree months after the last party, the PHB reached 12 million hits. Yay! Of course, the celebration called for another PHC/Poptropica party, and this time, it was joined by the Season 1 Finale Livestream of HPuterpop’s Poptropican Portraits series – a successful drawing series with over 100 Poptropican portraits done this year!

Poptropica Sticker Album

sticker coverThough its cover was created years ago, the Poptropica Sticker Album was only made available in July. This book contains over a thousand stickers, each with their own cool little fact! Awesome, right? You can get it for $11.69 on Amazon or your nearest bookstore (if they stock it) to enjoy the stickers!

PHB’s Sixth Birthday Party

PHB6 recapAnother successful year has come to pass for the best, the greatest and the coolest blog ever — the PHB! We celebrated our sixth year with a party (of course) and as always, that involved hanging out on the PHC, jumping around Poptropica’s Multiverse rooms, and sharing music on plug.dj. Here’s to more years to come – long live the PHB!

PHB’s 13 Million Hits Special: Daily Pop Archive

thirteen milThirteen million?! Seriously? 13 million alright. Well, we laid off on the partying this time, but we celebrated with some other special things: 1) the PHB finally built up its very own Daily Pop Sneak Peek Archive, with each and every DP sneak peek and caption ever to exist; 2) we surveyed our readers to get to know everyone better; and 3) we gave a shoutout to 13 lucky Poptropica fansites!

Poptropica Land

PopLand_TempImageIn August, Poptropica Labs got a major upgrade in the form of Poptropica Land! With an ancient hammer, we had the power to create and destroy our lands at will, and by mining Poptanium, we could unlock more things! It was exclusively released to members at first, but in October, the Creators released Poptropica Land to all with several theme challenges and posted their favorites (including Slanted Fish’s dream home!). In 2015, everyone will get to play the next reincarnation: Poptropica Realms!

Poptropica’s First Music Album

volume1In September, Poptropica released their first-ever music album! The first volume of this album contains music from different sound-updated islands, but with a unique sound not heard in-game. These MP3s are all instrumental tracks. You can buy the album from Amazon or from the iTunes Store. Rumor has it that Poptropica will have more volumes soon!

Poptropica’s 7th Birthday + PHB Party

7th pop bdayAlso in September, Poptropica finally turned seven! Yay! Continuing their birthday tradition, Poptropica released a color-changing balloon with the number “7” on it and had their annual balloon scavenger hunt for the seventh year birthday costume – which had no cakes this year. The PHB threw another party to celebrate Poptropica’s seventh year and the 15th birthday of PHB author Samwow5! We inflated our seventh year balloons as we grooved to the songs playing at Sam’s plug.dj station, and it was a blast.

Forgotten Islands for 3DS

forgotten islands 3dsIn October, Poptropica’s Forgotten Islands video game was finally made available to the Nintendo 3DS, boasting stereoscopic 3D Poptropica graphics for the first time ever! Forgotten Islands is also available on iOS devices. If you need help or just want to see what the game’s like, check out the PHB’s written walkthough – it’s loaded with pictures!

PHB’s Christmas Party 2014

popchristmas editLess than two weeks ago, the PHB threw its last party of the year: a fun-filled Poptropica Christmas party! Everyone had a great time hopping between Multiverses, chatting on the PHC, and jiving along to Christmas carols on plug.dj. Check out our recap post – this one even contains a video to encapsulate the goings-on of the PHC, a place where many PHB readers regularly hang out, so go check it out: you might just have fun. :mrgreen:

That’s it for a wonderful year on Poptropica and the PHB! Next year’s going to be full of surprises and great updates, I’m sure. Are you excited as we are for 2015?

Happy New Year!

-from the PHB. 🙂

Bazaar as it may seem…

Arabian Nights Island (Episode 1: How Bazaar) is out for members! Check out our written walkthrough here! Looking for a video walkthrough? We’ve got that too!

f1

The island awaited for a year has been released. Arabian Nights Ep. 1 has come out of the shadows and is available for members! If you’re looking for a written walkthrough, click here. Our video walkthrough is coming soon, you’ll find it here on my channel when it is released. When you’ve finished the episode, be sure to check your rank on the World Champions Map!

There’s good news for everyone else as well – Survival Ep. 5 has been released for non-members! If you need help getting out of this neck of the woods, check out our Survival Island Guide. Tally ho!

survival5 carousel

Also, if you haven’t forgotten, the PHB’s 20th issue of the POPCORN is coming this Sunday – there’s still a window for submissions, so if you have something cool to share, be it art, fan fictions, or costume designs, be sure to send it in to phbpopcorn(at)gmail(dot)com!

Enjoy, and have a truly “bazaar” experience!

-HPuterpop

Survival Island vs. The Most Dangerous Game

survival vs dangerous game

In the first three episodes of Poptropica’s Survival Island, you’re trapped in the woods and are trying to survive: first you build a fire, then you catch a fish, then you send a distress signal. The story could have stopped right there, with you being rescued – but instead, it was just the beginning of something a little more sinister… and our quest for survival became a much more dangerous game.

The Most Dangerous Game (TMDG) is a short story published in 1924 by Richard Connell. Since Daily Pops of Survival’s fourth episode and beyond have surfaced, we’ve speculated that the island could take a twisted turn in the direction of this classic literary work — and now that the Survival series has come to a close, let’s take a look at some of the similarities and differences between the two tales.

If you’d like to read TMDG, you can click here for the full story. For our Survival Island Guide, click here. Note that for the remainder of this post, there will be SPOILERS for both Survival and TMDG!

Continue reading

Survival (Ep. 5: Escape!) for members, but nothing new for non-members?

Hey everyone! Quick post to let you guys know that Survival (Episode 5: Escape!) is now out for members! If you need help, click here for the PHB’s Survival Island Guide, which includes all five episodes and plenty of pictures. Or, check out our full video walkthrough series. 😀

survival5 carousel

When you’ve escaped from the dastardly Myron Van Buren, be sure to check out your ranking on the World Champions Map to see how you stacked up with other Poptropican competitors across the globe! Tell us what you thought of the final installment of Survival in the comments and on the PHC!

By the way, there’s nothing new for non-members today, despite hopes for PoptropiCon Ep. 1 (currently out for members only). Sorry, guys — maybe next time! 😛 But if you are a member and need help on the island, do check out the PHB’s PoptropiCon Island Guide! 😀