Pop 5, Uncategorized

Pop 5: Things You Need to be Poptropica’s Protagonist 🗺️

Hey there, everyone!

Imagine you step into the shoes of your avatar and become a Poptropican hero, hopping from island to island and saving the day. And imagine that, to apply for this thrilling occupation, all you have to do is check 5 requirements off a list presented to you. Only 5. Sounds easy enough, right?

If you think you’re up for the job, grab a pen, gather your wits, and keep reading!

1: Courage, bravery, and a strong will

First and foremost, all the greatest heroes are brave and courageous, and refuse to shy away when danger strikes — as it often does in the world of Poptropica. If you’re looking to protect your home from all the odd terrors it’s riddled with, you must swallow your fear, stand your ground, and hold your head high no matter what you’re facing!

Swords Drawn: Adventuring is not for the faint-hearted.

2: Speed and agility

While courage is important, it’s not the only thing. Saving the day often requires physical strength as well! To navigate your way through Poptropica’s perilous adventures, you’ll need to be agile and speedy. Whether it’s dodging weapons, jumping high walls, or outrunning Myron Van Buren, tough obstacles arise at the unlikeliest of times. Whew!

Breaking In: Better be quick on your feet.

3: A bottomless bag, for your numerous possessions

We never did get an explanation for our mysterious bottomless bag (which has the capacity to hold a picture frame, a trident, and a model Statue of Liberty!) — so it’s good to have a spare just in case it doesn’t show up right away. Or if it becomes beyond repair during the events of Mocktropica. Where would you keep all your useful items then?

In the Bag: Well, not anymore.

4: Within your bag, a handy First-Aid kit

Fast as you may be, finishing an Island unscathed is a feat Poptropica’s protagonists have yet to complete. If you’re not drowning at the hands of Gretchen Grimlock, being kidnapped by the Black Widow, attacked by Director D’s and Binary Bard’s robots… etc, etc… you’re probably still falling into cacti or being knocked off your feet by rogue animals. Poptropicans may be tough, but a handy First-Aid kit is always a good idea.

Drink Up: Even the hero’s tired sometimes.

5: Knowledge!

Knowledge is key, and this is no exception. Doing research is an excellent way to prepare for what’s in store. While reading about mythological creatures and the best way to steer a rocket may seem like a waste of time, you’ll thank yourself for doing it once you’ve boarded your blimp. Besides, you won’t have much time to read while you’re undergoing your adventuring career; best to absorb all the information you can beforehand!

Book It: Reading is fundamental.

…and that’s it! How did you do? If you managed to check everything off the list, congratulations: you’re Poptropica’s newest adventurer! If not, I’m sure there’s something else out there for you. I personally had trouble getting my hands on that never-ending bag. 😜

Anyways! That’s all for today, and I’ll see you next time.

~💜

The Villain Saga, Uncategorized

“The Villain Saga” Episode 3, Part 1

(Table of contents) (See previous)

FADE IN.

We open on DR. JUPITER in his office, which is buried in papers that have been ignored for weeks at least. On his desk are two diagrams he’s editing. To the left is one of a machine, quite similar to what RAVEN saw before. To the right, heavily shadowed, appear to be some sort of magical instructions.

A knock on the door. JUPITER quickly shuffles the paper away among the others. A GUARD enters.

GUARD

Dr. Jupiter, we just had to intercept another major fight in the lunchroom.

JUPITER

Any injuries? I hope the high-risk ones weren’t involved.

GUARD

A little bump here and there, but that’s it. And no, the “Big Four” are still eating separately.

JUPITER

Ah, good. I want them kept well for what’s going on this week.

The GUARD looks uncertain, especially towards JUPITER’S clear prioritizing of certain inmates. She pauses.

GUARD

With all due respect, Dr., I feel that if we started more programs for the less dangerous inmates, they might have a higher chance of rehabilitation.

DR. JUPITER stands, sighing.

JUPITER

“With all due respect”, we are a HIGH-RISK prison. None of those here have any hope. All we can do is see what use they have while they remain here.

GUARD

But some of them are quite peaceful–that, raven man, for example. I don’t think it’s right to focus on what they can just do for us–

DR. JUPITER glares at her. The GUARD falls silent. A dark aura seems to appear around him.

DR. JUPITER

I will not have any of this. Good day, miss.

The GUARD freezes, opens her mouth, then closes it. She turns and leaves the office. Once the door is closed, DR. JUPITER rolls his eyes and reaches for the phone.

DR. JUPITER

Yes…I’m interested if we can hire new guards.

CUT TO Dr. Hare, sitting by himself in the lunch room, nibbling on a carrot and completely ignoring the rest of his food.

A green-haired man rushes to the window, tapping on it rapidly.

DR. HARE

Ugh, what’s going on Spike?

SPIKE

Heyhey Dr. Hare! You should have seen it!

DR. HARE

Seen what?

Several guards come and try to pry SPIKE from the window, but he keeps talking.

SPIKE

The fight! It was epic! Even that Dr. D…dude…was impressed! Very!

DR. HARE

What is with him watching everyone eat lunch?

The GUARDS finally pull SPIKE away from the window and take him away. HARE shrugs and turns back to his carrot.

HARE

Eh, we’re all up to something here.


Castori honorem ~ Maryann/Smart Bubbles

Game Show Island, Island Flash-backs, Mocktropica Island, Uncategorized

Island Flash-back: Game Show & Mocktropica 💻

It’s the end of the year, and we have two islands to mark it (totally not because I got so lost in the holidays that I forgot to make November’s post!). I’ll be highlighting both islands selected for the past couple months, which are…

Game Show & Mocktropica!!

While not often listed among the most favorite classic islands, many fans have good memories of Game Show Island, and it has a particularly unique design and setting! It takes the futuristic aspects of Astro-Knights and the apocalyptic ones of Steamworks, and fuses them together in an A.I.-takes-over-humanity story. Also includes the fun and games style of Reality TV, this time with more danger!

More Robots: It’s like they’ve taken over or something.

But unlike Sprocket and Merlin, these robots are not so friendly, all culminating to an epic battle against the evil supercomputer Holmes… who you defeat with a flash drive. Ahem. Definitely a brains-over-brawn island!

Deep Thought: Putting processing power to good use.

All jokes aside, this island does have a lot of fun puzzles, at times requiring players to test their real-world knowledge with fun facts! It also features several IRL locations, including Istanbul, Miami, and Buenos Aires.


Operating System: When technology meets talent, anything is possible.

For our second and final feature, Mocktropica Island is a special one that is not remembered so much for storytelling, worldbuilding, or puzzles, but for its humor that pokes fun at the game itself, and all the negative directions the game and its developers could turn… some of which are hitting a little too close to home now.

Also, the theme music is severely underrated.

Strap In: Concussion prevention starts with sensible headgear.

Mocktropica is definitely a cult classic. But will the devs ever re-release an island that would be even more self-deprecating now (especially considering the references to former employees)? Only time will tell. And let’s not forget the official Mega Fighting Bots website!

Let’s remind the Pop Creators why these islands became so memorable, and why the efforts that went to create them should not go to waste. Encourage them to preserve their past stories and their potential!

Until next year!

Castori honorem ~ Maryann/Smart Bubbles

Island Flash-backs, Uncategorized

Island Flash-back: Ghost Story 🎻

Time for spooky season, Poptropicans! 🎃 While there are several contenders for creepy Poptropica Islands (including Vampire’s Curse and Virus Hunter), I decided on one that, in my opinion, is the absolute peak of Pop’s storytelling. Many people know I love a good bittersweet tale, and this island is exactly that…

Ghost Story!!

Repent: Or they’ll lock you up and throw away the key.

While naturally family-friendly, Ghost Story takes on some deep topics compared to past islands, notably death, betrayal, and the difficulty to forgive and find peace, both from the actions of others and yourself.

I actually did cover this island before in the PHB’s Ramble Review series, and you can read it here!

Spooky Scenes: Could this be a scene for a new Poptropica Island?

Ghost Story also has some quite impressive art and background design, and also included the 3D sailing map seen in Skullduggery! This is used to go from island to island in this… island. In each area you learn about the different characters, and eventually how they are all connected, from the lighthouse to the prison.

Stringing Along: Play the music if the spirit moves you.

Ghost Story is also one of the first islands (pre-SUI, i.e. pre-Sound Updated Island) to include sound! Many Poptropicans remember the shock of hearing the voice of a character, Fiona — something that wasn’t done again until Survival Island and PoptropiCon. Along with that, there’s also the short but very sweet violin song you get to play.

Ghost Story also has some soundtracks made and released by Jeff Heim! They appear to be for whenever it would be updated to SUI or ported to Haxe, although this has yet to happen.

So let’s continue Fiona’s legacy! Ghost Story and other classic islands were rendered unplayable in the Flash-Haxe transition, but it should not go to waste. Let the Poptropica Creators know what you appreciate about the island to encourage them to preserve it!

Castori honorem ~ Maryann/Smart Bubbles

Fairy Tale Island, Uncategorized

Riddled with Rumpels, treasure, and unfinished stories 🧚👑

Hey there, everyone! At long last, it’s time to continue the abruptly ended story of Fairy Tale Island with the new “side quest” Rumpel’s Challenge… which is conveniently locked behind a paywall. Ah.

Scratch the “soon,” here it comes!

For those of you with memberships who are able to access the side quest, scroll down for a walkthrough if ever you’re stuck. For the rest of you non-members, keep reading to find out what happens next in this ongoing tale nonetheless!

Note: Alongside a membership, you’ll also need your Fairy Tale Island medallion to proceed in the quest.


To begin, find Rumpelstiltskin himself waiting outside the Adventure Outfitters store on Home Island.

You’re (naturally) startled at the sight of a known villain hanging around as though he owns this place, and immediately call for Amelia to tie him up with a rope. But Rumpel doesn’t have time for your threats. He tells you that he knows where the real Fairy Tale king is imprisoned, and gives you a riddle, all for his amusement.

Accepting the side quest will cause Rumpel to vanish in a puff of purple smoke. Now, time to find the king…

The instructions on the riddle point to Mythology Island; specifically, the Museum of Olympus with its statues of gods. Once inside the museum, you’ll find a second riddle hovering in front of Zeus’s statue; whose head has now been replaced by Rumpel’s.

Pick up the second riddle. “Vikings”… “time”… this riddle clearly references Time Tangled Island!

If you’ve already completed Time Tangled, you should have a time travel device ready and waiting in the lower-left corner of your screen once on the island. If you don’t see the device, follow the first part of our Time Tangled Island walkthrough to acquire it.

Now click on the image of the Viking at 2 o’clock on the time device. You’ll be transported back to the year 831 AD. Climb up the rocks as high as you can go, past the cave. A third and final riddle will be waiting for you beneath another horrible stone bust of Rumpel.

“Weep and cry”…who else fits this description but the disheartened Fairy Tale prince himself! Follow the riddle to Fairy Tale Island and enter the castle area, where you’ll find the prince sitting on the flight of steps, continuing to lament the loss of his real father.

He’ll perk up when you share the clue with him. He knows what “golden troves” is referring to: the castle’s treasury! And luckily, he’s got a key.

Inside the treasury, jump up onto a platform at the far right, where a gate hides a small trove. Pulling the lever on the wall beside it will raise the gate and reveal a gold mermaid with — you guessed it — Rumpel’s head in place of the original.

Moving on from this cursed image… jump down from the platform on the opposite side, and descend the stairs onto a lower level. Pull the lever set into the side of the stairs, which will raise a gate up ahead. Go through it and jump all the way down. Here, you’ll find your path blocked by another gate; pull another lever on the wall just behind you to open it.

You know what they say: never tickle a sleeping dragon.

There’s a new challenge beyond this gate: a giant, snoozing dragon, guarding its treasure. To avoid waking it and activating its fire-breathing abilities, jump over the heaps of gold until you reach the opposite side of the scene. Whew — you’ve made it pretty far!

Finally, you’ve reached what you came for. As you’ll see, there are six troves behind gates: three on a bottom floor, and three on a top floor. Each trove has a pink panel beneath it. And trapped behind the bottom middle gate is the king!

Upon seeing his father, the prince cries (at least this time it’s out of relief). His tears change the panel below him from pink to gray, and the adjacent gates surrounding the king’s cell will be lifted.

The key to freeing the king lies in the prince’s “fragile crybaby disposition,” to quote the king. In other words, you’re supposed to throw various insults at the prince to make him cry on the panels to activate the movement of the adjacent trove gates.

The key to opening the king’s cell is to get all of the gates open at once. This can be done a number of ways, although the simplest way may be this: bottom middle (done automatically), then top middle. (Thanks for the tip, Ammonite.)

Hurrah, you’ve freed the king! That’s all there is to this mystery, right?

…Right?

Aw geez.


That’s that for Rumpel’s Challenge, everyone. What did you think of this side quest? Personally, I’m finding it a bit odd how fragmented Fairy Tale Island is turning out to be (plus the frequent use of the term “side quest” — what is that, really?). I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see how this all wraps up in the end.

Until next time,

~💜