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At the End of Your Rope?

by niddyz


GAMES ROOM~~~If you haven't found the latest frantic, frenzied, frenetic, fiery-phalanged game released into the Neopian world, then you must be lost in the Desert! Never fear, though! Just point your compass to the Games Room and you'll stumble upon the game that's sent Make Some Noise fans into euphoria: Tug 'O' War!


Although always a classic staple on the Neopian sports scene, Tug 'O' War received a much-awaited makeover recently. The previous version, although extremely similar to the current incarnation, featured slightly outdated graphics, unsurprising as it was the 52nd game created for the Games Room; an opening screen that frustrated new players---a wall of assorted Lost Desert-related trinkets wherein the center lay Brucey B's famous amulet, which upon clicking would lead the player to the traditional start game, view instructions, et cetera; and a game mechanic that in some players' experiences was "iffy at best": a cloud would appear over each character's head, containing three keys for each player to type as fast as possible, offering a chance to momentarily "stun" the opponent and get a few seconds of free tugging.

All of these problems, however, have been remedied by the new version.

Non-gameplay Information:

This game requires the keyboard only for gameplay, although a mouse is/should be used to click the start, restart, end game, and send score buttons.

This game features both one-player and two-player modes.

Only one-player mode gives out NP.

The NP ratio for this game is 1.00 at the time of article creation; in other words, you need to score 1000 points to earn the maximum 1000 NP.

This game features a screen (Keyboard Controls) to change the keyboard controls to your liking.

This game is logged under the Action and Sports categories, and in the Lost Desert world.

The maximum score attainable in this game appears to be 4,200 points.

What You're Playing:

The object of this game is to force your opponent into the water between the two of you. You do this by playing a simple game of Tug 'O' War. Each player tugs until one player lands in the water with an unceremonious splash. In one-player mode, if you win, you move on to the next opponent (unless you have reached the end, in which case you are greeted with a Send Score/Restart Game page); if you lose, it's game over.

You have the choice to play as any of five characters in this game. Although none of them offer strategic advantages over one another in terms of gameplay, everybody has their own favorites. If you can't decide, here's the lowdown of their basic personalities, paraphrased from the original game's description:

Brucey B (Bruce) - An adventurer who accidentally discovered the Lost Desert. He always wears a Lucky Coin around his neck.

Horak (Aisha) - A cheater in every sense of the word, Horak will do whatever she can to win, each scheme crazier than the last!

Thiebos (Blumaroo) - Thiebos does an odd ritual before every match-up, although it doesn't seem to really affect his ability at Tug 'O' War.

Khadir (Elephante) - Tough and strong, Khadir relies on sheer size alone to win. He tends to daydream a little, though.

Ramset (Kacheek) - Although small, as a practitioner of magic, Ramset knows that the game is about more than size, which she uses to her advantage regularly.

And, for completeness' sake, the other two non-playable characters:

Truggdon (Grundo) - Smart? Check. Experienced? Check. Strong? Double check. Fast? Not so much.

??? (Jetsam) - Nobody knows where this shady character came from, but one thing's for sure: he's the real deal!


To play, all you have to do, as we've established, is to tug your opponent into the water. To do this, press 'A' (or whatever direction you changed the controls to that will make you character go backwards) repeatedly, as fast as you possibly can, until they're in the water.

Of course, that's not all that's going on, and thank Fyora, because otherwise this'd be a rather boring game.

Rage Meter: See the two ankhs at the bottom of the screen? Those represent each character's rage meter. The closer you get to the water, the more the rage meter rises, although it does not decrease as you move further away from the water. In fact, the only way to empty the rage meter is to push 'W' (or, again, whatever you've set one to) when it is full. The meter will immediately empty and your opponent will be dazed and unable to move, giving you some free seconds to tug away without any resistance.

Super Pull Mode: See the funky looking Lupe in the top center of the screen? That's the mask of the beloved King Coltzan the III. You'll find, however, that he's missing most of his headpiece; it's been split in half and directed to either side, one for you and one for your opponent. As you play, they will gradually---and quickly---move together. When they merge, you will be launched into Super Pull Mode. A series of four keys will show up to the left and to the right of Coltzan; yours is to the left. Type that series as fast as possible. There are four sets of four keys, so keep track! If you manage to finish your set before your opponent, you will execute a 'super pull' and yank your opponent across the screen. (The distance they are pulled is roughly one-third to one-half of the distance from the furthest away you can be from the water to the water itself.)

The order of the opponents is as follows: Brucey B - Horak - Thiebos - Khadir - Ramset - Truggdon --- ???. (Note: Remove the character you chose to play as from this list.)

Finally, just so we're clear: if you land in the water, you're done! Game over, sayonara, toodleloo, here's your parting gift!


1. Practice! I can't say that one enough! Play the game the maximum times you can a day, sending your score when you think it's good, and give it your all. You'll gradually improve every time. This applies to ALL games.

2. As with any player versus the computer kind of game, the opponents will get progressively harder. By the time you reach, say, Ramset, you may find yourself tugging for your life! Also, don't let their looks fool you; although you may find them easy to beat in Super Pull Mode, the ??? character is a master at it. Even the fastest typists need to put on their gaming gloves to out-speed this guy.

3. A tip for Super Pull Mode: If, after several games, you're not sure how far you actually pull your opponent when you win in Super Pull Mode, go into Two Player Mode. Don't tug backwards at all; just wait for Super Pull Mode to initiate. Then, when it does, win (which shouldn't be too hard since the other "player" will just be sitting there like a bump on a log) and see how far your opponent gets pulled. That should give you an easier reference point when you're not in the midst of a feisty one-player game.

4. If you get a chance to use your Rage Meter, which you probably will in at least the very last round, use it wisely. What I mean by this is to use it either when A - you're close to falling in and need to recoup, or B - your opponent is close to falling in and you want to seal the deal. In either case, please keep in mind that using it when Super Pull Mode is extremely close to initiating is a waste of your time.

5. Also regarding the Rage Meter, note that if you've got the upper hand, your opponent's meter will build faster, and thus they'll get a chance to use it before you. Don't despair; take a second to regain your bearings, and check to see how close Super Pull Mode is. Also, don't wait for your character to recover---keep tugging anyway. You can't afford to lose a second.

6. Don't slack off, get overconfident, or lose hope. Nothing's more annoying than thinking a big character like Truggdon or Khadir is going to go in the water on the next pull and watching them fail to do so, so do yourself a favor and don't let yourself think it. Likewise, try not to lose hope, even when you're on the ropes (get it? on the ropes? tugging on the rope?); one Super Pull Mode win and you can be right back in the thick of things.

7. Rest your hands. If you're going for a trophy, or just trying to beat your own high score, and you've been playing for a while, take a break. Go feed your pets, check out what's new at the Neopian Auctions, explore Kreludor... just do something to give your poor hands a rest. TNT and I don't want anybody out there hurting themselves accidentally while playing.

8. On the subject of hands, try switching hands if one gets a little tired. You may find yourself a bit more adept with the other fingers.

9. On the subject of fingers, NEVER use your thumb. It's just not a good idea, unless it really works for you, which then by all means do so. Start with your pointer finger on the back/A/whatever you've keyed it to button and fire away until it starts to get a little worn out. Then, switch to your middle finger, but put your pointer finger slightly on top of it---like you're crossing your fingers, except backwards. Proceed to do this for your ring finger and even your pinky as you switch, piling one on top of the other. I find that it helps me focus and hit the key faster if all the weight in my hand is heading straight for one spot instead of spread out across a greater area.

10. Speed matters. Although I haven't really outlined it specifically, the faster you complete a level, the more points you'll earn. In the earliest rounds, try and get your opponent into the water before the first Super Pull Mode. In rounds three through five, aim for having the Super Pull Mode be the last straw that sends them over the edge (literally!). In round six, don't make it a battle of endurance; go as fast as you can, as accurately as you can, and use your Rage Meter wisely. If you can manage it so that the second Super Pull Mode does him in, I'd say that you've got a pretty good score on your hands.

For Our Mathematically Inclined Friends:

A good way to stay on track to a semi-decent score is to follow these general guidelines for scoring each round. If you're going for a trophy, you'll want to exceed these numbers if at all possible.

At the end of Round One: 180 points.

At the end of Round Two: 550 points.

At the end of Round Three: 1110 points.

At the end of Round Four: 1900 points.

At the end of Round Five: 2850 points.

At the end of Round Six (and thus the end of the game): 3900 points.

Also, for 1000 NP per game, do a ratio calculation. Use the following formula:

(Target score) * (ratio) = NP payout

(Note: this formula applies to all games.)

If the ratio for Tug 'O' War is, at is at the current writing of this article, 1.00, and keeping in mind that you want 1000 NP, then:

(Target score) * (1.00) = 1000

(Target score) = 1000/(1.00)

(Target score) = 1000.

Oh, is that it?:

Yeah, pretty much. I don't have much else to say, but if you really want more, I'll give you a quick little conclusion:

Hopefully this assortment of information will help you exercise your tugging acumen. Remember to find what works for you. All of these tips and strategies are just that---tips and strategies. If standing on your head and chanting while you play works, then go for it. (Just do try to not stand on your head for too long, I don't think it's necessarily healthy.)

Until my words reach your eyes again, may you know the wonders of Galactic Chicken Soup.

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