Ask the Joker

Ask the Joker #5: TMI: Tail-wagging Moments & Islands

Ask the Joker is a Q&A segment here on the PHB where you, dear readers, are invited to send in your Poptropica questions to have them answered, with wit, wisdom, and wisecracks, by one Incredible Joker.

Tell us about your Poptropica pet! Name, species, items of clothing, personality, likes and dislikes? You might be able to collect them all, but how many pets should one Poptropican really have? ~Slanted Fish

Well while that is technically more than one question, since you are my boss so polite about it, here we go. 😂😋 I got a pet literally just to have answers to this, so these were made by my tired, not thinking creatively, mind. I have gotten myself a pink/purplish dog 👍.

His name is Coney (try figuring that one out people 😜) and he has his fedora and yellow dead eyes. He likes: Being a dog, having a fedora, dog food, and naps. He dislikes: Losing his fedora, running out of food, and alarms. I mean I think you’d agree on this, but can you really limit your love to only one pet at any time? Gotta catch them all give them all nice, loving homes to enjoy!

What is your favorite moment playing Poptropica? ~Pegs

My favorite moment is probably not one that most people would see as a big deal, but I just really enjoyed it and I am easily amused 😅. I was really happy when I ran across the violin playing on Ghost Story.

Violin Ghost Story

I probably played that part over again a dozen or so times. I really like the tune (even though I have no musical talent myself) and I like those small things we get with sound in the game. The ‘rare’ and somewhat off feeling fit the creepy vibe of that island.

What do you think should be the next island to be ported to Haxe? ~Silver Horse

I really miss Spy Island. I always liked the feeling of it and the dark colors. And using the bowtie to almost fly around the place, and using the chameleon suit to talk to the enemy guards. 😂 I used to stand just far enough from their stop point to be able to bring up a chat bubble. And whether they do bring this one back soon or not, I would also like to see maybe a sequel or just a similar concept? Maybe the agency needs you to help again? They could introduce new gadgets, maybe some James Bond type stuff?


How can you send in your questions to Ask the Joker?

That’s a great question! You can use the following methods:

  • 📧 Send an email to justaskthejoker (at) gmail (dot) com. This way, you’ll get to keep your questions a surprise when they get answered on the blog.
  • 💬 Comment on the latest Ask the Joker post. Your questions will be publicly visible before they appear in a Q&A post, but this allows others to interact with your question if they so choose. If you don’t have an email address, you can enter a fake one in the email field when you post your comment.

See you all next time, and remember: You can’t spell Poptropica without letters.

Pop Petitions

Pop Petition: Story changes for classic islands

Hey Poptropicans, this is a guest post from HfEvra, who will be discussing ideas for changes to classic islands should they get remade in Haxe. Enjoy!

Greetings, fellow humanoid creatures with unrealistic proportions who lack ears and noses! My name is HfEvra or Mess of a Being (or Messy Knuckle in-game) and I’m here today with a guest post about island stories.

Though the fandom at large seems to be disappointed by the changed gameplay of the first (and currently only) Haxe remaster, Mythology Island, its existence has made me hopeful that perhaps remastered islands could also have story changes in addition to gameplay changes. In this post, I’ll go over some of the story changes I’d like to see in future Haxe remasters. (Warning: Contains spoilers for Mission Atlantis, Super Villain, and Monster Carnival.) Without further ado, let’s begin!

#1: More on the aliens in Mission Atlantis

One of my biggest gripes about Mission Atlantis Island is how little we learn about the aliens of the story. Poptropica had already made an island about potential alien life (Lunar Colony) two years before the release of Mission Atlantis: Episode 3; and despite it being an island I have very mixed feelings about, I firmly believe that the story of Mission Atlantis pales in comparison.

The big reason for this is that in Mission Atlantis, the alien aspect seems to come out of left field with no prior build-up in episodes 1 & 2. It doesn’t seem really well thought-out, and feels a lot like it was just thrown into the story for no other reason than because the writers wanted to subvert the players’ expectations by having it so that an island called Mission Atlantis doesn’t even have an Atlantis.

At least in other mystery islands like Ghost Story and Steamworks, there was constant progress being made with the mystery. The more you played, the more questions were answered as to why everything is the way it is. The answers weren’t as blatant and in your face as islands like Mystery Train, but they were still there.

With Mission Atlantis, there’s barely any time for the alien mystery to be expanded on — we spend the entire second episode trying to find a way inside a mysterious underwater structure, and then spend the entire third episode trying to find a way out of it. We get a small slideshow near the end of the third episode, but even then, that slideshow doesn’t tell us much beyond the reveal that the fortress is of alien origin and has been underwater since before the continents were formed.

Zapped: A jarring circumstance for this little fella.

I understand that the reveal of the fortress being unrelated to Atlantis is meant to be a twist, but that doesn’t mean we can’t know a little more about the extraterrestrials to whom this vessel belonged. Sure, the artifacts and glyphs from Episode 2 are a start, but there are more ways to scatter clues throughout the story without having them instantly spoil the twist. After all, Super Villain and Mocktropica could leave a trail of clues; I’m certain Mission Atlantis could benefit greatly from it.

#2: The totems in Super Villain

Speaking of Super Villain Island, another story change which I’d love to see in a Haxe remaster is changing what the totems in the villains’ dreams are meant to represent.

The plot of Super Villain Island revolves around helping Dr. Jupiter by removing totems of evil from the minds of some of Poptropica’s most infamous villains in an attempt to bring them back to the light, only to find out that Dr. Jupiter is Zeus in disguise and that he wants to use the power of the totems to take over Poptropica. And though this isn’t necessarily a bad idea for a story, the plot suffers in its treatment of the totems less like a source of evil energy and more like a physical manifestation of a person’s dark side, which can simply be removed from a person’s mind with no immediate consequences.

Not only does Super Villain not at all address the aftermath of the totem removal and the (former) villains’ escape, it glosses over some other pretty important questions: Have these people been completely stripped of any and all evil? Is it possible for them to go back to villainy, or will they remain cleansed for all eternity? And if they truly are good now, what will happen with their former victims? Will they be obligated to forgive the people who have tried to ruin their lives?

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

Due to how the island immediately shifts all its attention to Zeus following the retrieval of all the totems, none of these questions are given so much as a passing mention. Not even the bonus quest gives us any answers — it’s basically a fetch quest that takes place in Zeus’ dreams. (By the way, is there any reason as to why the player can’t also just take out Zeus’ totem of evil and turn him into an ally? Wouldn’t it be very helpful to have the king of the gods on our side? Just saying.)

#3: The ending of Monster Carnival

Would you look at that? This month’s Island Flash-back actually found its way onto the list! And it’s for good reason.

If there is one thing that almost the entire fandom unanimously agrees on, it’s that the ending of Monster Carnival is extremely problematic due to the way it dehumanizes a man of color who was already treated as a literal monster by the narrative because of an aspect of himself that he had no control over. Although I do not fully agree with the idea that Ringmaster Raven did nothing wrong ever, I am of the opinion that the punishment is far too severe for the crime, especially considering how villains like the Shogun from Red Dragon and Scheherazade from Arabian Nights committed far worse crimes and got away scot-free.

I already made an entire video months ago talking about the messed up implications of Monster Carnival’s story, so I will not re-tread that ground. All I will say is that the way Monster Carnival went out of its way to give Ringmaster Raven one of the saddest backstories in the game and then stripped him of his free will to make him go through even more suffering is not okay. If I could change only one thing about Poptropica, it would be Monster Carnival’s ending.

Spread Your Wings: And fly on out of here, or you’ll be sorry.

(Thankfully, it does seem that the creators are aware of the community’s view of Monster Carnival, as evidenced by the Q&A with the CEO back in November. Does this mean that justice will finally be served after seven years? Fingers crossed!)


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by HfEvra (Mess of a Being). If you did, you might also enjoy other posts in our Pop Petition series.

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! 📰✨

Guest Posts, Monster Carnival Island

Why Ringmaster Raven is a real hero 🐦

Hey Poptropicans, this is a guest post by Dangerous Dragon. Enjoy!

Hey everyone, it’s DD! In support of this month’s Island Flash-back, we’re going to be looking at why Ringmaster Raven from Monster Carnival Island deserved better.

You may remember him as the “villain” of Monster Carnival, known in his early life as Bird Boy. The Ringmaster’s life was very sad, and it led him to do some bad things, but he also did things for good!

To really get to know his story, and how he got to where he did, let’s look back and see how people were treating him when he was younger…

It looks bad, doesn’t it? Poor Bird Boy. People weren’t helping him, but instead making him run away! What a sad story…

Although he later tried to ruin the town, he did also help them by bringing Dr. Dan out of hiding! This also showed that the people of the town loved Dr. Dan, as they happily came to him at the roller coaster. If I were Dr. Dan and I had finished the cure, I would give it to Raven. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Raven also made the town realise what they had done! This is a very sad island, isn’t it? (But it was also kind of funny seeing him as a Chicken Man…) Still, he had his boss moments too, especially when he turned the carnies into monsters, and used his machine to send Edgar to hypnotize us. Yikes!

Anyway, show your support for Monster Carnival Island and especially Ringmaster Raven this month with fan art, writing, videos, and more! Let’s show the creators that we want this island back, and this time with Raven getting justice. Let’s get moving!

Before you go, share your thoughts in the comments! How should Raven be welcomed by the townspeople if this island returns? Do you think Dr. Dan and Ringmaster Raven were related? What do you think would’ve happened if Bird Boy hadn’t been mocked and exiled?

That’s it for now, DD popping out! Keep popping, Poptropicans!


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Dangerous Dragon. If you did, you might also enjoy their guest post on “Creating the perfect Poptropica name.”

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! 📰✨

Clubhouse

Clubhouse Tour: Slanted Fish 🏡

Hey Poptropicans, welcome to my crib. Some of you may remember the last house tour I hosted over on Poptropica Worlds, but of course, we’ve all since moved into the Haxe neighborhood. So come on in for a fresh clubhouse tour! Don’t worry, the octopus is friendly. 🐙

Treat yourself to a bite over to the left and follow me up to the party corner for more refreshments! Towards the middle, you’ll find my slick rocket hideout, but keepeth out! 🚀 A magic gnome guards this space, so don’t try anything. However, make yourself at home over by the couch corner, which comes furnished with some cute little plants. 🌱

Go up further and you’ll find a few more cozy nooks. To the left is a study space, with a happy axolotl to keep you company. And to your right is a rec room with a TV, big unicorn beanbag, and a zigzagging bookshelf. 📺

At the center is a magnificent, mythical, and magical display of beautiful creatures and celestial objects. 🦄 They go great with the unicorn sky background, don’t they?

If dancing among the stars isn’t enough, there’s also a trampoline! (Too bad it doesn’t actually bounce you, but your Poptropican can still jump plenty high.) 😄 And finally, when you’re tired, you can retreat into the bedroom and fall asleep hugging the fish plushie. 😴

That about concludes this clubhouse tour! Thanks for stopping by, and if you’d like to visit in-game, add me on Poptropica (username: slantedfish) and click “Visit” next to my name on your friends list. Once inside, you may have to crank the “Switch Room” lever a few times.

By the way, you can share your clubhouse with readers of this blog by sending in a guest post! Find out more on our Write for the PHB page.

See you next time on Poptropica Clubhouse Tours!

~slantedfish 🐠

Clubhouse, Creators, Poptropica Store

A very bright clubhouse and store update 🎇

Hello Poptropicans! Maryann here with a rundown of the latest updates to the clubhouse items, store, and Creators’ Blog!

You have no clue how hard it was to get Denali to pose for these with me.

Many of these new items take on a more modern style, including neon lights and a small vending machine. There’s also some gamer oriented decor, including a gaming chair and a neat little wall sign.

All we need now is a gacha system and I can replace my Genshin Impact addiction with a Pop one!

This recent store update included new outfits as well as the return of some familiar ones, including the Heart Astro Knight (a hint at the creators remembering the objectively best much-loved island?), as well as more Winter Girl/Boy sets. New additions include some cute t-shirts!

Along with a clubhouse update post, the Creators’ Blog made another soon after discussing the future of Poptropica in 2021. This post recalls the game’s creation by Jeff Kinney, as well as plans for “new islands… player requested updates to features, launching new side-quests and mini-games, and even giving Home Island a makeover.”

The post ends with dubbing 2021 the “Year of Stories” and hinting at another guest blog post about Paradise (Airport) Island. It also included this really pretty art!

That being said, mentions of new islands have encouraged a pressing question: Where is the news on the Dream Island contest? The most recent addition to the line-up was Goofball Island about a month ago. While outfits and accessories are fun, what makes Poptropica unique are its stories and islands, and it would be nice to have some idea of what is planned for the future, as well as what fan ideas can be achieved through the contest!

I don’t want to end this on a sour note though! So, what are your favorite of these new items? And what are your hopes for future Poptropica islands, both reboots and newcomers?

Castori honorem ~ Maryann/Smart Bubbles