Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 142,874,434 Issue: 200 | 22nd day of Swimming, Y7
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A Walk in the Park - A Guide to 200m Peanut Dash


by shoyru_lover91

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Hello, my name is Emberlynn. I am a yellow Elephante and the creator of 200m Peanut Dash. My twin sister, Amberlynn, is a co-creator along with our dear sweet Puppyblew, Rhea. We live in Neopia Central just at the edge of the Park. Puppyblews need lots of exercise so living by the park makes it easy to take Rhea for a walk as we do every single day. On the way to the park, we pass by the notice board and the food shop. Being Elephantes, we have a soft spot for peanuts and so buy a bag to occupy us while at the park. The story of why and how we created our game started just like any other day.

We stopped by the notice board and clutched our peanuts tightly. I started on the left, scanning inwards, while Amberlynn started on the right, and did the same. Nothing at that time caught our eyes so we turned to leave. I looked over my shoulder and called for Rhea as Amberlynn and I walked away from the board. Rhea didn't move and was tugging at a poster until she finally got it free and tumbled backwards. She had got herself tangled up into a bundle within the poster and was fighting for freedom when I next looked.

I put the poster back up while Amberlynn came to her rescue and untangled her. Meanwhile, I studied the poster. It was for a competition to create a healthy, inexpensive and enjoyable game. The winner would receive a whole year's supply of health food. Applications were to be returned to the owner of the health food shop by the following month. I turned to ask Amberlynn if she wanted to try it out but she was already at the park gates with Rhea so I thought nothing more about it until a week later.

We were already in the park with our peanuts and Rhea was trotting along beside us as she always did. Amberlynn and I were discussing anything and everything from what new food items we would like to see to what were the latest discovered pet colours. Before I could place the peanut I had just picked up in my mouth, Amberlynn told the most hilarious joke I had ever heard. I burst out laughing which sent the peanut flying out of my trunk and through the air. Rhea shot after it while Amberlynn and I just stared at each other. We were too shocked to speak.

Eventually I broke the silence. "Amber..." That was my nickname for her as Ember was hers for me.

"Yes, Ember," she replied slowly as she was still a little shocked, "Did you know she could do that?"

"No," I replied honestly, "but she's just given me the idea I needed for our ticket to a year's free supply of health food." She listened intently as I explained all about the poster and the competition.

She smiled, "You're right, Ember. It does have the makings of a great game. If we just tweak it a little then that prize is as good as ours."

We walked home past the health food shop so we could sign up. As we filled in the application form, we asked how many contestants had signed up apart from us.

"You're up against some pretty tough competition," replied the Quiggle behind the counter, "that poster at the notice board seems to have generated loads of interest."

"Oh!" exclaimed Amber, "This is going to be fun. Now we just need to perfect our game."

The next day we went to the park as usual with our peanuts in hand. We were eager to get started so we rushed off to find a secluded part of the park. As soon as we found a suitable area, we decided to do a test for a suitable distance. Eventually, after many shots, the distance I shot the peanut seemed to level out to about 200m per shot if I drew enough breath.

"That's it, Ember!" Amberlynn declared. "We'll have you shoot the peanut to 200m and then Rhea will chase after it and catch it at the end. Let's see if that works."

I shot some more peanuts and Rhea sped after each, catching them with ease. We practiced this for a while then sat down for a break. To pass the time, I started practicing the tricks I was teaching Rhea. I pulled out a log and placed it in front of her.

"Up (up arrow) and Right (right arrow)," I said to her and she jumped straight over the log. "Good girl. Let's try another. Left (left arrow), Up and Right." Rhea did a forward flip over the log. I patted her on the head and noticed Amberlynn had been watching our little practice session.

"Ember, does she know any more tricks like that?" she asked me with a thoughtful look.

"Yes," I replied, "Let me show you." I nudged Rhea into position again. She looked up at me. "Right, Up and Left!" I called out and she did a backwards flip and landed just a little after the log. "She is a little new to the others, but I have also taught her that Left, Right, Left, Right, and Up means to do a double forward flip and Right, Left, Right, Left, and Up means to do a double backwards flip."

"Perfect!" Amberlynn exclaimed rather loudly. "Go gather up some logs and I'll explain it all when you get back."

She shooed me away to find some more logs. I gathered about four more reasonably sized logs before I wandered back to the clearing. I found Amberlynn drawing on the grass with her set of crayons so I dropped the logs and wandered over to find out what she was doing.

"Amber, what are you doing with those crayons?" I inquired while watching her scribble '150m' on the grass.

"I'm marking our game's playing field," she replied. She took one log and placed it at the 50m mark she had made. "I have marked the start line, the finish line and a line every 10m. I now need you to place logs at random 10m marks, just like I have at the 50m mark."

I just nodded and carried out the task she had assigned me. We practiced and practiced until late into the evening. We then walked home tired but happy; we had perfected our game's rules and were now ready for the competition the following week.

The subsequent week we were at the park once again, but this time it was alive with excitement. Anywhere that there was space, Neopets of all species and colours were setting up their games. Amberlynn took out her crayons and once again marked the playing field we needed. Then we sat and waited. This was the worst part: we were waiting for the judges to come to us for our turn. When they finally came, Amberlynn stood up and announced the name of the game. She then proceeded to give a brief history to the judges. With an impressed nod from most of them, the head judge asked her the rules.

"Instead of just telling you the rules," she answered as she gestured for me to get into my position, "I believe it would be best if my sister showed you as I talked you through them."

I stood at the starting line and gave Rhea a little smile. "This is it, Rhea; do you know what to do? Just follow the peanut and listen to my instructions. Stay near the shadow and you will have no problem catching it. Let's win this competition!"

My prep-talk over, I looked up and gave my signal to Amberlynn to show we were ready. I picked up a peanut with my trunk, and at Amberlynn's signal, I scrunched up my trunk tightly. Getting full pressure to shoot the peanut is difficult. Having practiced, I know that swinging both my arms together backwards and then holding them there (tapping both arrow keys together and then holding them every so often) until the pressure gauge - bought from the Virtupets Station for safety reasons - was full, is by far the easiest way. When the gauge was full, I shot the peanut out (up arrow).

Sometimes I can get a little further distance by letting my left arm (left arrow) free before shooting the peanut and holding just my right arm (right arrow) until I have shot the peanut. The judges watched as Rhea sped after the peanut just as we had practiced. If she was too far behind the shadow I called to her to run towards it (right arrow), and if she had overshot and gone too far in front of the shadow I beckoned for her to run backwards a bit (left arrow).

As Rhea approached the first log and I called out the instructions, Amberlynn explained to judges about the jumps Rhea was doing just as I had explained them to her in the park when she first saw Rhea and I practicing them.

Soon enough the peanut started to fall and I called out Rhea's final jump instructions so that she would catch the peanut mid jump. When she caught it in the middle of a spectacular double backwards flip the judges burst out into applause and called me over so they could ask some questions.

"How do you work out how many points the player gets for each round?" questioned a judge who was a Striped Pteri.

I smiled and answered, "Every log jumped is worth ten points no matter what jump Rhea does. Whatever distance Rhea runs, rounded up to the nearest ten, is the player's distance score. If Rhea manages to do a jump at the end then the player will get bonus points. Ten points for a straight jump, thirty points for a single flip, and fifty points for double flip. Then you add all three of those together for your total round score."

"How many rounds does a game consist of?" asked another judge who was an Orange Nimmo.

"Each game is made up of three rounds," replied Amberlynn.

The head judge, who was a Shadow Kyrii, then thanked us for our time and called a meeting between the judges. They were ready to announce the winners a few hours later. Amberlynn and I waited with baited breath for their answer.

The head judge stepped onto the stage and everyone fell silent. He looked around. "And the winner is…"

Well that's another story. I hope you've enjoyed this story, so why not have a go at my fantastic game? Hang on, before you go don't forget to check out our helpful tips.

Ember, Amber and Rhea's Helpful Tips

1. A good mixture of tapping and holding both of Right and Left Arrow keys together is the key to filling your gauge.

2. Shoot that peanut far with the Up Arrow

3. Oh! For extra distance, don't forget to hold that Right Arrow as you press Up…press down on it hard.

4. Left arrow key pulls Rhea back towards the shadow and the right arrow key nudges her forwards.

5. Follow that shadow…

6. Don't worry about what jump you do…just jump those logs!

7. Up then Right equals a Straight Jump

8. Left then Up then Right equals a Front Flip

9. Right then Up then Left equals a Back Flip

10. Left then Right then Left then Right then Up equals a Double Front Flip

11. Right then Left then Right then Left then Up equals a Double Back Flip

12. Catch the peanut mid-jump for extra points. Double flips preferably.

13. Have fun!

 
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