A New Champion's Guide to Never Ending Boss Battle
Last month I finally won my first game champion trophy on a Neopian classic, “Neverending Boss Battle.” Therefore, I figured now is as good a time as any to write my first game guide as well. I’m not the highest scorer ever, but five thousand points seems decent like a decent enough credential. Enough about my points though, let’s talk about getting you some points and a shiny gold trophy.
It’s a dark day in outer space, as the nefarious Doctor Sloth has just rolled up to the World of Neopia in one of the most devastating battleships the world has ever seen, intent on destroying the planet, presumably because it is blocking the view of some rare cosmic phenomenon. With two main plasma cannons, two blaster turrets with a full three-hundred sixty degrees of rotation, a laser beam turret with the same degree of motion, a pair of missile launchers, and a front-mounted composite beam, Sloth’s battleship seems totally invincible when pitted our tiny patrol fighter that only has a single blaster cannon to its name. Fortunately, while we have no means of actually defeating Sloth in our little ship, the bad doctor can’t stand the thought of even a single person resisting him without being completely destroyed. So, the disintegration of Neopia is on hold until we are soundly defeated, and the wreckage of our ship placed in Sloth’s trophy case.
The game itself is very simple. Fly with the arrow keys, strafe with the z and c keys, and fire with the spacebar for five points a hit, with an extra five points awarded for every power-up collected. Our ship takes five normal hits to destroy and we get three lives to work with. Wait, just three lives? That seems a bit low, doesn’t it? Fortunately, there is a code we can type in at any point after the start of the game to get one extra life and all the points that go with it, although I recommend typing it while the “Press the Spacebar to Continue” screen is up, because you aren’t being shot at during this time. The code is “foreverandeverandever” without the quotation marks.
Alright, time to break down the weapons that Sloth is pointing our way. Figuratively that is, since our blaster is too weak to damage Sloth’s weapons.
Plasma Cannons: As long as you are in the front ninety-degree arc of Sloth’s ship, these guns will fire a two-round burst of yellow bolts roughly every two or three seconds. The blasts are easy to dodge, especially the ship is at the edge of the screen.
Blaster Turrets: These guns fire blue, diamond-shaped blasts in a pretty much random pattern. The shots are easy to move around for the most part, although some move faster than others.
Beam Turret: This gun is very powerful, but it takes a second to charge up before firing. Once it does fire, the beam moves side to side like a seismograph for half a second, dealing damage very rapidly. It is not uncommon to lose half or even all of your hull to this thing despite only touching it for half a second. However, the tracking software Sloth used to make this weapon is no good. The beam will not begin to charge unless you are within a certain distance of Sloth’s ship, making it a non-issue almost all of the time.
Missile Launcher: This guy is what is destroy our ship most of the time. Roughly every seven seconds, a pair of homing missiles fire from beneath Sloth’s warship and chase you. The missiles can travel nearly halfway around the map before exploding, and they move at the same speed as our ship, so once you see them fire, fly away.
Superlaser: Ah yes, the superlaser. You know how I said our ship takes five normal hits to destroy? The superlaser disregards this. It is an instant kill weapon, dealing damage faster than the game can display the changing health total. If we spend more than a second or two directly in front of Sloth’s ship, this weapon charges up and fires to swat us like that annoying Buzz that was trying to sell me bootleg potions last week. Fortunately, nearly any movement will break the beam’s target lock and it will stop charging. I say nearly because strafing with the z and c keys doesn’t move the ship fast enough to break the target lock, resulting in our ship popping like a balloon. Also, the target lock will occasionally not break upon movement, and the beam will continue to charge while the battleship turns at an accelerated rate. If this happens, we are most likely losing a life. Lastly, the orb of energy that builds up while it charges also destroys our ship instantly.
The Ship itself: If we fly into Sloth’s ship, we splat like a petpetpet on a windshield.
Well, that’s all that Sloth can bring to bear against us, so let’s look at what we have in our corner. There are six different power-ups that will fall out of Sloth’s cargo bay as we fight him, so we can rest assured that we are at least costing the megalomaniac a fortune in lost cargo and superficial repairs. Below is the list of power-ups in order of usefulness. The first three of these power-ups are worth pulling some risk maneuvers to grab, while the other three should only be grabbed when it is convenient.
The Shield: Easily the best power-up in the game, the shield gives us an energy bubble that protects us from any and all damage for between eight and twelve seconds. When we get it, the best thing to do is just park our ship and shoot at Sloth for a big load of points, although I still recommend disrupting the superlaser’s charge up, because if the shield drops when it fires, our ship is either destroyed, or very rarely left with only one hit left. If we so desire, we can even fly into Sloth’s ship without getting hurt, although Sloth has a tendency to dispense a new power-up if we do this while shooting, causing an instant loss of a life.
Warp Matrix: The warp power-up is second only to the shield in usefulness. For five-to-eight seconds, instead of taking damage from a hit, our ship teleports to a mostly random location on the map, allowing us to sit still and fire for a while. The warp will not teleport us on top of Sloth’s ship, so we can sleep easy on that point.
Split Fire Module: This upgrade turns our single cannon into a split-fire weapon for around eight seconds, allowing for a period of double scoring that will rocket us to the top of the leaderboard. Unfortunately, it is a high risk-high reward weapon, as the firing angle is wide enough to necessitate getting within range of the laser turret. This is somewhat mitigated by the turret’s charge up time, allowing us to dart in and out of range like a particularly malicious Buzzer. Alternatively, the split fire can be used while flying in circles to land hits while still avoiding Sloth’s weapons.
Bouncing shot module: This weird little module makes our shots bounce around like pinballs for around eight seconds, although what they are bouncing off of is a mystery. This lets us continue to score points while dodging Sloth’s weapons, which can make a big difference in our total. A word of warning, however. The game is somewhat finicky and does not like to take forward or backward input, right or left input, and firing input all at the same time with this power-up, at least on my computer. As a result, we can sometimes end up only flying in straight lines when the missiles come to give us the slam.
Speed Boost: This item doubles our fighter’s flight speed for around five seconds, allowing us to dodge missiles and turret blasts easily. Take care not to fly straight in front of the plasma cannons though.
Fire Rate Boost: This one is almost completely worthless. The instructions say it is supposed to increase fire rate for extra points, but I have never observed any difference in either the rate of fire or scoring increase. Worse still, there can only be two power-ups loose on the screen at once, so we have to take it if we want better ones. At least we get five points for grabbing it.
Lastly, I have a few key strategies and gameplay notes to help maximize scoring and longevity during the game.
Missile dodging: The best way to dodge Sloth’s homing missiles is to position your ship so that it faces in the opposite direction that his ship is facing, making sure the ship is turning towards you and then flying around the outside edge of the map to maximize the distance the missiles have to travel to reach you. If Sloth’s ship is turning away from you when the missiles launch, there is a good chance you can end up flying straight into the plasma cannons’ lines of fire.
Firing position: The safest place to fire from is at the edge of the map directly behind Sloth’s battleship, where the beam turret, plasma cannons, and super laser cannot hit you. However, take care to watch for the missiles, as they will be hidden by Sloth’s ship for half a second.
Power-up spacing: Always make sure to keep a bit of distance between yourself and the drifting power-ups. If they bump into you while you are firing from behind a shield bubble or warp matrix, you are not going to like the results.
Sloth’s turn speed: The speed that Sloth’s ship turns to get you in its sights will sometimes increase, and it will launch more blue blasts than usual. Be extra alert during these times.
Well, there you have it folks, every tip and trick that helped me get my first trophy. Hopefully this advice will help you earn a trophy yourselves, or at the very least earn the two thousand two hundred points required to get the full one thousand neopoints from a score submission. Good luck and keep sticking it to Sloth. I’m sure someone will get rid of him eventually. It would probably be easier if everyone stopped funding him by purchasing Sloth themed and Virtupets brand merchandise, but what are the chances of that happening?