Petpet rescue: a guide to getting that avatar
Hey there, if you’re like me then you might be something of an avatar collector stumped by the frightfully high scores on some of these games. Fortunately, not every score is too high. Petpet rescue only requires a score of 250 from you, and it’s very manageable after a bit of practice. I decided to celebrate my own achievement of this avatar by writing this little article, though I’m afraid the trophy for it is still beyond me.
In Petpet rescue, you play as the brave Scorchio, Samuel, with a mission to rescue the poor enslaved Petpets forced to work in Gargrall the Grarrl's mine. It’s a dangerous mission and you’ll soon be faced with a few obstacles in your journey. There is lava – if you touch it you get burned and lose a life. Moving rocks, which are equally deadly, and finally stone spikes which have a tendency to fly directly into your path, so watch out for them. You also have only 99 seconds per life, or per level, to save the Petpets.
There are a number of Petpets to save and Samuel can only carry one at a time, walk over to them and then make your way back to the entrance. Each one you save is worth 10 points. Not bad, right? You can also collect gems on each level, they come in four colours: purple, which is worth five point, blue, worth 10 points, green, worth 15 points and finally red gems which are worth 20 points. Collect the gems whenever you can as they’ll really help to boost your score up. You also get bonus points for completing a level and all these points will add up into you only needing to play up to level 3 to get the required points for the avatar.
So, this is the sort of game which looks really intimidating at first, as you may find even getting through level 1 to be a challenge. Fortunately, with practice comes confidence and you’ll soon be breezing through it. On level 1, you need to save four Petpets and there will probably be enough on the minecarts travelling over lava. Don’t just get the Petpets though, you’ll want to aim to get all the gems, of which there will be somewhere between two and four purple gems. That’s an extra 10-20 points! Some people might choose to restart until you’re on a level with four gems, but this game lacks a restart button, so the only way to restart would be to push Samuel into the lava four times. It’s a bit annoying for an extra 10 points so I don’t bother myself.
Time isn’t much of an issue here, so feel free to take your time and try to get used to the speed at which the minecarts move at, as the speed is always the same. The patterns in obstacles are always the same for every playthrough, aside from the stone spikes, which you’ll need to keep an eye out for. To travel through the carts, time them so you have sufficient space to move to the next cart before they disappear into the edge. If you need to, don’t be afraid to backtrack to get into a more ideal spot.
The gems will appear amidst the rolling boulders on the other side of the lava. They may look dangerous at first but in truth they are no worse than the carts as an obstacle. It’s may be less obvious at first, but their pattern is just as consistent and there will always be the same amount of boulders on screen, only when one disappears off one side, will another appear on the other side, and each row is of course, all moving in the same direction. Samuel is roughly the size of one of the moving boulders himself so you can weave between them without too much trouble once you get used to controlling Samuel.
It is ideal if you can finish level 1 without losing a life. You’ll receive 25 bonus points for completing it and then you’ll move straight on to level 2. There’s no pauses in this game so be ready as it starts. This time you’ll need to collect six Petpets. This is possible to do in your 99 seconds, but time will be tighter. However, if you’re just after the avatar, you can afford to lose a life here. I find that hurrying tends to lead to me losing a life carelessly so don’t feel too compelled to rush.
First, you’ll face a wall of boulders, followed by more lava and minecarts then more boulders. There should be some gems in either boulder section, including, if you’re lucky, some blue ones. Make sure to pick these up but focus on the Petpets. You’re going to make trips back and forth several times and so you’re bound to fall into the gem’s path anyway. Familiarise yourself with the level and how the rocks move, once you know what you’re expecting, you can quickly navigate them and get to the lava and the Petpets. The biggest danger you’ll face is always the stone spikes though, they’ll be becoming more common and with the increasing density of obstacles, dodging them can be difficult. Samuel’s pretty quick, he’s generally as fast as the faster moving boulders and can move diagonally pretty fluidly but he’s not faster than the spikes. If one is coming in your path, then you’ll need to find a way to quickly move to the side.
Getting a successful score on this game can come down a lot to how lucky/good you are with avoiding the spikes. You’re especially vulnerable once you step onto the lava carts as many of them as too small to move on and there isn’t always one available to jump on. Remember that backtracking is a valid direction though and always keep a wary eye at the top of the screen, so you have the greatest amount of warning. The spikes do start wobbling before they’re released but this isn’t always the most helpful as they do not all wobble for the same length as time, so it isn’t necessarily a great indicator of where the spikes are about to go.
Once you’ve successfully managed your way through level two, you’ll already be pretty close to the avatar as with the bonus for completing the level you’ll be on 150 points plus however many points you’ve gathered with gems. On average, if you collected all the gems on level 1 and 2, your score will probably be around 185. It could be a little higher or lower than this. There are 8 Petpets to collect on level 3, but you should have 250 points before you complete this level.
Level 3 is significantly harder than level 1 and 2 and by the time you’re making good progress on it, you’ll probably be more than adept at the first two levels. Level 3 begins with rolling boulder, four rows of the. At first glance, this might seem like practically a solid fast-moving wall, but you’ll learn to navigate it. The first and second rows contain two fast moving boulders and the last row just one relatively slow-moving boulder, but the third row is tricky. It contains four boulders which are rather close together. Don’t try going between them – after every four there will always be a wider gap, and once you’re in that gap, move horizontally until you can move through to the last row safely, the boulders aren’t as fast as Samuel so it’s not too difficult. There may also be gems around. Green gems start appearing this level.
After the boulders, you’ll be faced with a very long section of lava, full of tons of small, slow-moving carts. These aren’t too difficult in and of themselves but moving through them will be draining on your time and it’s not easy to avoid spikes while you’re on them. Do what you can to be aware and try to avoid any stupid mistakes as you move through them. Sometimes it’s easier to go past certain Petpets and grab a later one instead if they don’t fall directly in your path. After the lava is more boulders, which might contain more gems too.
You will need to collect a few Petpets still, but you should have a few lives to spend. If you’re lucky there might be some good gems around to get the last few points you need. This game will take many attempts though. Don’t be surprised if you lose all 240 or 245, as frustrating as it is. The game itself is very quick to play and persistence more than pays off in this case with a rather cool looking avatar.
Overall though, Petpet rescue is one of my favourite games. It’s a challenge, sure. But it’s a fast, fluid game with a likeable premise where luck is far from everything given that the level layouts are always the same. I hope you enjoy playing this game as much as I did. It’s even not bad for earning Neopoints as it tends to have a generous score ratio. Good luck!