Now with 50% more useless text Circulation: 164,193,660 Issue: 179 | 25th day of Awakening, Y7
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series

Run, Glubgar, Run! A Guide to Volcano Run

by chilling_apparition


TYRANNIA - For some reason, Glubgar the Scorchio keeps getting stuck in a volcano. It’s up to you to guide him to freedom, even though he’ll inevitably meet his doom…Oh, well. At least you’ll get a bundle of Neopoints for your troubles. And don’t forget to send poor Glubgar a get-well Neogreeting. He would do it for you.

The Basics

Why bother playing?

Volcano Run is a simple, but very deep game. Volcano Run is easy to play, and impossible to master. Fast paced, it will net you a lot of Neopoints in a small amount of time. Also, Volcano Run is very low in Kbs, which means it’s easy for us dial-up users to load.


Controls in Volcano Run are very simple: Left-Click and hold your mouse to move up, and let go to fall. Pressing and holding spacebar allows you to pull to the back of the screen, and letting go will give you a little boost of speed as you move back into position. You must master both clicking and using the spacebar simultaneously to do well in Volcano Run. It is difficult, but you’ll get better with a little practice.

Type “lava” (without the quotes) to get a shield. This only works once per game, and considering the quick pace of Volcano Run, it is actually quite hard to successfully type those four letters without running into something. Remember that while you can click the mouse while typing lava, you may NOT press spacebar lest you ruin the word. Like the basic controls, make sure you practice the lava code; it is a very important tool.

Friends and Foes

Time: This is both your friend and foe. As time passes, you automatically earn points, but the game also speeds up uncontrollably. Avoid time if you can, anyway. :)

Walls: You’re in a Volcano, so the walls are bound to be hot and deadly, right? Well, if you disagree, take that up with the programmers, and avoid walls anyway. They’re up to no good.

Blocks: The most common foe (unless you count walls), these molten boulders will fry you if you touch them, so don’t (easier said than done, I know). Blocks are placed about three Glubgars apart, are found in every stage, and begin to move up and down at 100 points, then tend to speed up with the rest of the game at 500, 1000, 1500, and so on…

Fireballs: These flaming masses of magma are bent on ending your game. Don’t want your game to end? Then stay away from fireballs, silly. You’ll, first encounter a lone fireball, then two, then three, up to four. Watch out for fireballs to appear at then end of the tunnel and cavern stages.

Shields: Your dearest friend, the shield will protect you from one hit before it disappears. Shields don’t fade, but you won’t find any more if you already have a shield (so you can’t get multiples) or you reach 2000 points, so beware. Shields can be found lurking at the entrance of the tunnel stage.

Crystals: These little blue dots always come in groups of three, and touching them will net you an easy 25 points apiece. You’ll find crystals hanging out with fireballs at the end of the tunnel and cavern stages.

Simply put: Blue good. Glubgar hit blue. Red bad. Glubgar no hit red.

Now that we know what we’ll find, let’s have a look at the places we’ll encounter them.

Single Stage Strategy

The Stages

There are three basic stages in Volcano Run: the tunnel, the transition, and the cavern. The tunnel is a narrow passage that first rises, then descends. The transition is a simple screen that ferries you to another stage, and the cavern is similar to the transition, with added fireballs, crystals, and even less wall.

The Tunnel

The tunnel is the hardest stage in Volcano Run, and you’ll probably find yourself losing most of your games to the fireballs that await you at the exit. Anyhow, let’s get started:

As you enter the tunnel, hold space to pull back. Stay low when moving up the tunnel. Most blocks start at the bottom, then move up. When the game is going fast, you’ll usually be able to slip under the block by letting go of spacebar for a speed boost before it hits the bottom. As soon as you get past one, start holding spacebar in anticipation for the next block.

Use the same strategy as you descend the tunnel, but this time try to stay near the top. This will prepare you for the fireballs you’ll encounter as you exit this stage. When you do near the exit, look ahead to see if the fireballs are clustered near the top, bottom, or center of the screen. If the fireballs are clustered near the center, forget about the crystals and hug (not literally, funny bones…) the bottom of the screen. If the fireballs favor the top or bottom of the screen, ascend and snag those crystals. If they aren’t clustered at all, try to squeeze into a gap and carry on, collecting the crystals if you have the chance.


This is a very simple, single screen stage, and if you need a shield, the exit of transition is the best place to type lava. No real strategy here, just dodge the two blocks, using spacebar if you need it, and continue along your path. If you would like, position yourself a little above the center of the screen in hopeful anticipation of the cavern. At the very least, you can use this stage to relax your nerves and adjust a bit.

The Cavern

The cavern is a little more dangerous than transition, since you’ll be facing fireballs, but it is way more rewarding, with three of the easiest crystals you’ll ever earn. The strategy is simple: dodge the fireballs and get those crystals! If the fireballs are in the way of the crystals, try to get directly above or below the crystals, and start holding spacebar as you fall or rise, hopefully snagging some or all the crystals as the fireballs pass. There are a couple of blocks in this stage, but they’re very rarely anything to worry about, considering the open nature of the cavern.

Well, that about covers the separate stages. Time to move on to some advanced strategies for the trophy-bound players among us.

Advanced Strategy

*If you find yourself at 1500-1999 points without a shield, avoid crystals until a shield pops up. Shields stop appearing at 2000, and you will need one if you want a decent score.

*The lava code is absolutely vital to getting a high score. Even if you get hit more often than you succeed, you should always give lava a try if you haven’t met your skill threshold (usually, you can type lava about 500-700 points below your high score, but this varies from player to player). If you try and fail, you lose. If you don’t try, you’ll lose the next time you get hit. If you try and succeed, you’ll get what amounts to an extra life, and an extra life amounts to extra points, guaranteed.

*Never give up your shield if you don’t have to. You need the shield way more than you need crystals. If you get hit and you have a shield, you simply lose your shield and continue to soldier on for more points. If you get hit and you don’t have a shield, you’re dead, and you don’t get any more points.

*Set attainable objectives for each game, and don’t send your score if you fail. For example, I always try to get to 4500 with a shield. I used to just try for 4500, and 4000 with a shield before that. By not sending my score when I failed, I force myself to evolve and get better.

*Practice makes perfect, and remember that games are supposed to be fun. If you find yourself getting mad because you can’t progress, then maybe Volcano Run isn’t the game for you.

And remember, strategies are flexible, and may not be right for everyone. Develop your own, or fine-tune mine to meet your own tastes. You’ll often have to forego strategy and think on the fly, anyway.

Thanks for reading! Hope this guide helped you in your quest for grandmasterdom and beyond. :)

Search the Neopian Times

Great stories!


The New Plushie Tycoon
Do you want to be a Plushie Tycoon? To build plushies, ship them, and sell them? Do you want to enjoy the game for itself, and not just to get the avatar and the bronze trophy? Then this guide is for you!

by m_evard


Ironies of Neopia
Isn't this fun?

by blubblub317


A Rather Unsuccessful Attempt at an April Fool's Joke
Something caught the dark faeries interest as she was floating by. It was a Chia, carrying a bunch of paper to print. After a few seconds, Onda realized that it had to be... the Neopian Times!

by shadowcristal


The Citadel Faerie: Part 3
Here's the last part. (parts 1 and 2 are in issues 77 and 81)

by cyberneko

Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.