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Completing Assignment 53


by asparagation

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Hi there, recruit! Your assignment is to help Arlhox VII, Supreme Commander of the Alien Aisha invasion force, rescue his stranded scientists and allow all of Neopia to experience the joys of convenient gross food vending machines!

In this game, you play as either Eddix or Moxi, and work your way through five planets (or four planets and a moon), rescuing one scientist at each destination along your way.

The first four planets are Wuba Prime, Octozodi, Wuba Secundus, and Gorignak V. Each of these planets have two acts, and at the end of the second act you will find a scientist alongside their crashed spaceship. On the fifth level, Kreludor, there are three acts. In the third act you face a boss who is blocking the fifth scientist from rescue!

This guide will take you through the basics of the game before providing some screenshot guides to help with trickier parts!

Controls

You may use either WASD or the arrow keys to move left and right, jump, or to duck.

Lives

You begin the game with three lives. Each individual life has three components (represented by three green dots underneath your air-meter), allowing you to get shot or hit by a monster three times before you lose one of your lives. However, if you do fall off a planet you will lose a whole life rather than just a component.

If you manage to reach the end of an act with only one or two components left, don't fret, as at the start of each new act all life components will be restored.

Be warned, this is not the only way to lose a life. Whilst on each planet, you have a limited air supply. At the end of each level, however much air you have remaining determines the amount of bonus points you receive.

Objectives

Along the way, there are nerkmids, gross foods, and powerups to be found.

Once you gather 100 nerkmids, you gain a life, and you gain an additional life for every 100 thereafter.

Each gross food you collect will restore a lost life component. If you do have all three components remaining, you will gain 100 points!

Throughout each act you will find one, or later, two checkpoints. Once you reach a checkpoint it will turn green and every time you die you will return here rather than having to go back to the beginning!

Each time you die, however, you will lose any points or nerkmids you gained since starting that level (either from the start or from a checkpoint). All nerkmids and foods will reappear though, you will just have to collect them again.

Powerups

There are three powerups in this game: gravity boots, force fields, and energy wings.

Energy wings appear as an orange wing, and act as a speed boost, allowing you to move very quickly through levels. They last for only around 10 seconds, however. Whilst they may be helpful in some cases, I try to avoid this powerup for the most part, as it may make it difficult to position yourself when killing monsters, which can easily result in the loss of a life component or a life.

Force fields are your friends. These blue spheres last for around 15 seconds, and protect you from monsters. Whilst this powerup is activated, you can run into any monster (including indestructible ones) to kill them immediately.

Gravity boots appear as a grey boot, which can make them harder to see, especially when you're on Kreludor. This powerup allows you to jump very high, and doesn't seem to have a time limit (I've timed over a minute with these boots on, and only had to stop because I finished the act!). These boots also allow you to jump off the side of walls, allowing you to go even higher than you can by merely jumping up, which allows you to collect many nerkmids and gross foods higher up.

However, if you do lose a life or even life component whilst using a powerup it will disappear straight away.

Monsters

There are four varieties of monsters that you will find throughout the game, namely: the walkers, the single shots, the multi shots, and indestructible. These four types of monsters are uniform across all planets, although they will have a different appearance based on their home planet or moon. To kill any monster (apart from the indestructible ones which you cannot normally kill) simply jump directly on top of them. Each monster is worth 30 points.

Walkers are the simplest type of monster. They won't attack you; just simply walk (or some variation of walking) from side to side along a platform. The only thing to be careful of here is to make sure you jump on the middle of their heads, as some do have spikes or other nasty things that can hurt you if you're not centered properly.

Single shot monsters do as their name describes – they fire a single bullet/beam/ball at you at a time. Depending on the planet and the monster, these shots may curve towards you, such as the red flowers on Wuba Prime, or they may fire horizontally, such as the lasers on Kreludor. Be careful with these monsters, as their shots can and do travel through platforms, so always be on the lookout, even if they're through a platform above your head you're not safe. The best way to deal with these monsters is to hold back until they shoot once, then move forwards and kill them. If you find them grouped together, as they often are, it is much safer to take them out one at a time rather than rush through them.

Multi shot monsters are similar to single shot monsters, except they shoot either three or five bullets/beams/balls at a time, with one going directly up, and the rest are evenly spaced to the ground on either side of the monster. Again, they may either all go in a straight line or slightly curve. I recommend a similar strategy to the single shot monsters by taking them one at a time. However, do be prepared to duck or jump around a lower shot as these monsters get quite a good spread, and can catch you out in any position.

The last type of monsters is indestructible. If you jump on top of these monsters all you'll do is lose a life component, so just jump over them. These monsters often look like crystal formations grouping together out of the ground.

So the rule is – if it moves or shoots, kill it, otherwise, jump on over.

The Boss

After you complete act two on Kreludor you get to meet the boss in act three. He's not the brightest fellow, as he reveals his weakness quickly and without any prompting – the top of his head. To defeat the boss you have to jump on his head 10 times, although it is trickier than it sounds, as you can only jump on his head three times in a row before he starts defending himself!

Extra help

Whilst all these slugs might seem daunting at first, they're easily overcome. As shown above, I wait for the first to shoot, and as soon as it passes over my head I'll jump up the platform, jump on the slug, and then turn around and wait on the edge of the platform for the next slug up to shoot. If you're confident you can try to squash two slugs before waiting for the third to shoot.

Wuba Secundus is the trickiest planet of the five in my opinion. The above screenshot illustrates why – there are monsters everywhere. Unless you're very confident or simply crazy, just get through these sections as quickly and safely as possible whilst you're shielded. Sure 30 points is great, but staying alive is better.

As stated above, Kreludor is when lasers appear. They're not too difficult to avoid, but can catch you off guard if you're not prepared. They shoot both horizontally and diagonally, so don't think you're safe! For lasers, I take them on one at a time and as quickly as possible. Once they've shot at you once, I run at them and jump on their heads to get the points and remove the threat. It's too dangerous to keep them around, so make sure you destroy them before you think about collecting points.

Important tips to remember

Gather as many nerkmids as you can – those extra lives are important!

Avoid energy wings unless necessary, as they make it hard to kill monsters.

Don't avoid monsters unless absolutely necessary - those 30 points go a long way.

Checkpoints are vital; make sure you touch them so that if you die you won't have to re-do a whole level.

When monsters are grouped, especially if they are single or multi shot, wait for them to shoot before you attack, and move forward one monster at a time.

Hopefully this guide will help you progress further through the game. If you score enough points you get an avatar! You should be able to get a bronze trophy with a score of around 22,000 at the start of the month. Finally, as always, practice makes perfect! It may take a little while to get used to the graphics, but if you practice daily, you'll love this game and be scoring high in no time! Good luck!

 
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