Six Difficult Levels of Hannah and the Pirate Caves
Special thanks to vesus10, emokidd0, and summerofjoy for providing their input and opinions!
When I asked several of my friends why they didn't ever play Hannah and the Pirate Caves, they claimed it was too difficult to load. At this, I told them to update their Shockwave, clear their cache, switch to other browsers, and simply refresh. When the complaints still persisted about how much time it took, I told them to try Gourmet Club Bowls and listened with pleasure to their frustrated screams about loading that game.
My point is this: Hannah and the Pirate Caves, being an old game, is certainly hard to load, but it can also be very difficult to play. When I took a survey on the Charter boards asking the users which level was most difficult to them, I got a few surprising answers even I wouldn't have thought of, but the unanimous response was that Hannah and the Pirate Caves was NOT easy as a whole.
The sad part is that, even though I've beaten the game several times from start to finish, I can't disagree with them.
What you are about to read contains spoilers and vivid descriptions of some of the letters and why people all over Neopets have screamed in frustration. If you don't want to be spoiled, scroll down to the ending for a fun little image of Hannah stuck in the corner, and read someone else's article after that. If you do or you already know about the levels of this game, find out what I and several Charter users consider the most difficult Hannah and the Pirate Caves levels.
6. Level Five
This is an up-and-down cave that defies physics.
One or two of the surveyed users on Charter mentioned that this level was difficult, and it's easy to see where she's coming from. The rising water, the far jumps, the crazy, stomach-twisting 7risk the user takes if one dares to jump on the extra life box on the right, and especially the rogue Pawkeets—it's a wild ride from bottom to top twice over. As the muddy water rises, the Pawkeets fail to change their course, swim-flying effortlessly in a strange line. The user, coming up after getting the treasure and not getting hit by the boulder, sometimes has to wait for the Pawkeet. If there are not many bubbles left on the lower left corner of the screen, it could very well mean trouble for the player's Hannah.
For new players and old, Level Five can be a struggle if they're not careful.
This, my friend, is only one of many leaps of faith in Hannah and the Pirate Caves.
5. Level Eight
This level was deemed frustrating by many HATPC players in the Charter community. This in particular is a rising water level, meaning time is of the essence. There is a section containing many crates just before the end: steel crates, wooden crates, and, most dangerously, dynamite crates. The users I've spoken to in Charter seem to remember this level best as the level one has to "dive down to make stuff explode [and ends up] running out of time [sic]." They are referring to the dynamite crates one has to blow up in order to clear a path to the wooden crates, which Hannah must shatter in order to climb all the way back up the ladder, and receive...
One treasure chest. That's it. All that effort for one measly treasure chest on which the opening of the door depends.
Look at all the crate-breaking precision one must perfect...
To get this troll over here.
It's a long series of hoops to jump through for one treasure chest, which is why this level is pretty low on the list despite the consensus. It's not impossible, with enough practice, but it can cause the user to flip a table.
4. Level Nine
Precision is a must with this level, as implied heavily by the results of the Charter survey. It starts innocently enough, but in a matter of seconds the player will see an ominous-looking crate on which Hannah must bounce to progress. Crate bouncing can be difficult at first, but with enough practice it can become second nature. Ladder jumping is slightly more difficult to master, and comes right after the crate jumping section. Last is a combination of the two: Hannah has to jump onto a crate loaded with arrows without getting impaled, which was nearly impossible for me as a child. Level Nine will keep you on your toes, but with playing this level over and over, it won't be so bad.
The pointy bit of the arrow is at the front!
3. Level Ten
The player needs to hit the ground running with this one, as this is a speed cave. Hannah has to jump as soon as she lands for a long stretch of the level, and she cannot mistime her jumps and miss the treasure. The dynamite on the platforms makes sure of that, which is what trips up every player at some point. Once that section of the level is over, the player has to guide Hannah through a section made up of dynamite and one arrow which she has to hit precisely lest she gets blown up. In addition, the brave players who wants to go west and obtain the gem have to weasel their way through a tiny gap flanked by spikes. Potential failure lurks at every turn with this level, as it relies heavily on the player's reflexes. Level Ten is definitely a level to watch out for and a level to act with spontaneity... or else.
Yes, you can still make it from this point.
2. Level Nineteen
Oh. My. FYORA. THIS LEVEL. This is probably one of the most annoying levels in existence for one reason and for one reason only—BOULDERS. They're slow, they're heavy, all they do is block, crush, and kill, and if Hannah sticks two of them together without meaning to, she is done, my friend, DONE, just as several users attempting to complete the game in one go were DONE after tackling this level for the first time.
What's more, the user cannot restart the game once Hannah is only on one heart lit (and has two lives). If the user is at the point in the level where he is stuck and cannot force Hannah to die and start over, he loses two lives when he shouldn't have to! There is one segment in particular in which Hannah must topple boulders onto platforms and smash them to obtain the treasure of her dreams. The catch is that it must be in a certain specific order, or else she will get stuck.
Now which one should I roll over first...?
Given the fact that I'd had to resort to playing the level endlessly into the wee hours of the morning and ended up watching other people play it (desperate times call for desperate measures!), I'd say that Level 19 is incredibly annoying.
Not to mention the fact that it takes me over a minute to remember the particular order of boulders to this day...
And the level rated most difficult in Hannah and the Pirate Caves is...
1. Level Eleven
If there was ever a Hannah and the Pirate Caves gauntlet, it was definitely this one. Level Twenty has got nothing on this level, as it is a very learnable speed cave, but Level Eleven has constant danger with it regardless of the time one takes and thinking ahead one does. The player sees a ladder a few spaces away, plans to jump, and falls into spikes. The player sees an extra life in a chamber surrounded by spikes, and loses one to get it.
As pathetically shown in this image. Heck, Hannah didn't even want to SHOW herself dying in this screenshot!
The player attempts to navigate an upward tunnel chock full of water, stalactites, and stalagmites, and impales poor Hannah or drowns her in an effort to get out of the level. No matter how much the player plans out their moves—they may have experience with the game, as I do—but the dangers still remain difficult to traverse.
I myself have trouble with this level consistently, and it's hampered more than one beginning-to-end run of mine.
In any case, if you haven't played this level yet, just take your time and so help you don't overthink it. That's been the cause of more than half of my Hannah and the Pirate Caves deaths. I have taken my unrestricted rage on my poor computer just because of this level, and I'm sure a lot of people have, too.
Granted, these opinions are not all of my own. I've played the levels suggested to me, and understood the opinions of those who were surveyed. This article is a mix of theirs and mine together. If you have any suggestions of which levels are easy for you or difficult for you, let me know and I might write another one of these! For reading this far, have a fun little image of Hannah being stuck inside a corner.
"No! I'm not coming out! I'm safe in here!"
But Hannah, this is only the first tutorial level....