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Hannah and the Ice Caves for Beginners


by mistoffelees_cat

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TERROR MOUNTAIN - Hannah the Usul clutched her evergreen colored coat tightly in her matching colored mittens. She sucked into her lungs a large gust of the crisp Terror Mountain air, and let it out again in a big cloud of vapor that formed in front of her chilled face. Before her stood the enormous, looming, ice-covered mouth of the barren Ice Caves, and whatever those caves may hold, whether it be forbidden creatures or treasure, Hannah was willing to risk her life to get through them. She trudged on, facing the bone-chilling wind as she made her way into the Ice Caves…

"What?" exclaimed Hannah. "Who is this Bori beside me? What is that big, pacing mass of white fur that looks three times the size of me? What are these wooden structures looming mysteriously before me? How can I possibly make that jump and how am I supposed to get through this mass of solid ice? How do I even move my very own feet? What is this place?"

Yes, quite unfortunately, dear reader, The Neopets Team when making the marvelous Hannah and the Ice Caves forgot to put in a tutorial! How in the world is Hannah supposed to know what to do on her first venture into the forbidding Ice Caves? Not all players of Hannah and the Ice Caves have played Hannah and the Pirate Caves before, which is the original Hannah game, which, may I add, has a marvelous tutorial, quite unlike Hannah and the Ice Caves which barely explains the instructions thoroughly enough for a beginner to start off. So that is why I have decided to compose my own little 'tutorial' here, except this tutorial is composed of words. So, if you are new to Hannah and the Ice Caves, are a little confused, or are considering playing the game for the first time, then this guide is most definitely for you!

Important Note: I try my best to stress that this guide is strictly for beginners. For other players of Hannah of the Ice Caves, you may find this guide boring as it is quite in-depth and gives only the starting tricks to get you through a level successfully. So, I apologize, experienced players, but you may want to consider clicking the back button on your browser.

The Main Page:

This section will help you successfully navigate you way around the main page of Hannah and the Ice Caves, the page that first appears when the game is fully loaded.

When the game is fully loaded, you will be faced with the main page. You may want to stop for a moment and listen to the extremely catchy marching music on the main page... Anyway, by clicking on 'Instructions,' you will be presented with a brief overview of the "instructions." You'd much rather read this thorough guide, right? I thought so. By clicking 'Options,' again on the main page, you can chose the sound and graphic options that you wish to be present while playing the game. Toggle these on and off depending on what works for you and your computer. Again, back at the main page, the last button is 'Start Game.' By clicking this, you will be taken to a list of levels. The levels you can play are light blue, and the ones that are not available for you to play are a faded grey. If you have not played the game previously, simply click on the first level to get started which is entitled 'Hannah.' If you have played before, you have a choice. You may either play a level you have already beaten, or you can choose to play the level that you left off on last time you played. Note that you will start at the beginning of the level you chose, even if it is the level you left off on. After clicking on a level, you will be presented with a rough map of the level and a white percentage. The percentage is the percent of that level that has loaded. After the level is completely loaded, you may hit the space bar to start that level.

So those are the basic instructions for getting started with a level. Now, before you traverse any level, you ought to know the basics of what can be expected inside the actual level, so read on.

The Controls:

Imagine, Hannah and Armin in a forbidding icy cave with both feet seemingly glued to the ground with scores of treasures just waiting to be uncovered and skeletons to destroy. Well, that is what our heroes will precisely be doing if you have no clue how to make your characters move! Here is a quick and simple section teaching you how to make Hannah and Armin move and look about.

Hannah: The left arrow key moves Hannah left and the right arrow key moves her right. Pressing the down arrow key will cause her to duck/look downwards. Press the down arrow key and the right or left arrow key to have her crawl right or left. The up arrow key will have her look up. The space bar will make Hannah jump. You can also control Hannah with letters on your keyboard – Q (look up), O (move left), P (move right) and A (duck/look down). Hannah can swim in water, but for a short time. At the bottom of your screen you will see a row of bubbles. These will run repeatedly out until you are totally out of breath and you die. Hannah will give a warning glub symbolizing when she has one bubble left. To restore your bubbles, simply break the surface of the water. Beneath the surface of the water, you can use the arrow keys to swim around, similar to how you would move on land, except the up and down arrow keys will move you up and down in the water. When you touch the bottom of a pool while underwater, Hannah will walk/ crawl just as she would on land. To break out of your walking/crawling state, press the space bar, and Hannah will push off into the open water. Also, sometimes you will find air pockets underwater, small areas of space not filled with water, where Hannah can take a relieving breath. Hannah can still run into crates and operate other items like she would do on land. Yet another thing on swimming – if you stay still in the water, you automatically float gradually upward.

Armin: Armin has the exact same controls as Hannah has. The letters you can use as an alternative to the arrow keys will work on him to. Unlike Hannah, Armin has a special ability – he can dig. Anywhere you see a white square of white ice, crawl as Armin towards it and you should dig straight through it. Hannah cannot crawl in Armin's holes. Another ability Armin has is that he can defeat many, in fact, all but two foes you may come across in your travels through the caves. To destroy an enemy, simply run into it or jump on it when their weapon is at their side. Be sure to read the 'Enemies' section of this article before you try killing any – there are a couple curveballs in the concept that could throw you off. And a word to the wise as well; though Armin can dig, he cannot jump nearly as high as Hannah can, and more importantly Armin can't swim and will drown if put in water.

Pressing the S key while firmly on the ground or ducking (that means you can't press it while swimming as Hannah or jumping) will switch your characters. If you look towards the top of your screen, their will be a small picture of either Hannah or Armin. This is the character you will turn into if you press S. The inactive character will freeze, but they are still vulnerable to arrows and other dangers explained later. Also, Hannah will still lose her breath if she is frozen underwater, so be careful!

The Items:

You will come across many items in your travels through the Ice Caves, each one having different effects. This section will tell you all you need to know about these many items that can be found through-out the game, many of which are essential to finish the level.

Crates: Crates look like small, wooden boxes caked in ice. These simply smash apart if you run into them. If you jump on one, it will give you a small boost of air-time before you come down.

Arrows: Arrows look the same as crates do except they have a picture of a blue arrow on them. Hitting these will set off an arrow in the direction the arrow on the crate is pointing. Be careful! If you get hit by an arrow, the arrow will kill you! Items arrows can break are other arrow crates (which will set off that arrow), both metal and wooden dynamite crates (you will read about these later, and the arrow will set off the dynamite), boulders (you will read about these later), ladders (you will read about these later), platforms (you will read about these later), icicles (you will read about these later), metal blocks (you will read about these later) and life and gem crates (you will read about these later and you will collect the gem/life when you hit it with an arrow).

Dynamite: Dynamite comes in two types – wooden and metal, which means it is either in a wooden crate or a metal block. Wooden dynamite crates look like an average crate with a small picture of dynamite on it. The dynamite picture may look familiar – it's the same picture used on the avatar TNT uses. The metal dynamite block has the same dynamite picture on it except the dynamite is on a cubical, silver, metal block. The difference between these two types of dynamites is this: The wooden dynamite will be set off if you touch it where as the metal one will not. With wooden dynamites, the dynamite will be launched into the air depending on where you hit the dynamite crate. If you come in from the left, the dynamite will make an arch in the air to your right. If you come at it from the right, the dynamite will make an arch in the air to the left and finally if you jump on the dynamite crate from the top, the dynamite will fly straight up and possible kill you if you don't move. Metal dynamite will explode in place if hit with an object that can penetrate it. Items dynamite can destroy are arrow crates (setting off the arrow), other dynamite of both types (which will set off the dynamite), boulders, ladders, platforms, icicles, metal blocks and life and gem crates (you will collect the life/gem).

Boulders: Boulders look like aquamarine spheres. You can move boulders running into them. Run into a boulder from the left and it will move right, and run into a boulder from the right and it will move left. Boulders can be rolled over dangerous objects and destroy them, but falling boulders can kill you. When boulders fall, they may roll places until they can get a sturdy place to sit; watch out for rolling boulders. Items boulders can destroy are icicles and platforms. Boulders will simply sit and rest upon any other item.

Ladders: Ladders look like brown poles with rungs and small caps of snow set upon every rung. You can move up and down a ladder by pressing either the up or down button (depending on which way you want to go on the ladder) while next to one. Ladders have absolutely no destroying techniques, but can be destroyed by many other items.

Platforms: Platforms look like ice-covered, long pieces of wood stretching horizontally across the screen.

Platforms are only used to walk on. You may jump up onto a platform, however you cannot get back down through it unless you destroy it.

Icicles: Icicles look like jagged spikes coming from either the ceiling or the floor and are a light blue color. Icicles will kill you if you run into or land on them; however, they can be destroyed.

Metal Blocks: I suppose I should have talked about these earlier, but metal blocks are basically the metal dynamite blocks minus the dynamite picture. You cannot, unlike the wooden crates, break these by running into them; they must be destroyed by another object. You cannot move these either like you can move boulders, but like boulders, falling metal blocks can kill you however when they hit the ground they will not roll. Metal blocks, when falling, can land on icicles and smash them.

Life Crate: This looks like a normal crate except it has a picture of a pink heart on it. Collect one of these (which, I might add, are often extremely hard to find or very dangerous to attempt to obtain) and you will be granted an extra life. Your lives are shown on the top left corner of the screen. If you already have three lives and you collect one of these, a small plus sign will appear on one of the symbols of your already-gained three lives. Also, a falling life crate will smash icicles.

Gem Crate: This also looks like a normal crate, except that it has a picture of a red crystal on it. This gem crate, when collected, will simply add to your overall level score and will be tallied when your treasure chests are (which will be explained later). Gems are also quite hard and dangerous to find. A falling gem crate will smash icicles.

Treasure Chests: Perhaps the most important item of all, these are the things you need to collect all of in a level to beat the level. Treasure chests look like small chests covered in solid ice. Falling treasure chests can smash icicles.

The Enemies:

Every adventure game must have a villain, no? Well, it so happens that Hannah and the Ice Caves has not one but many villains, each with their own, erm, annihilating technique. Hannah is completely defenseless when it comes to these horrible villains; however, Armin can step right in and defeat them with a single step.

Ice Ghost: Not the scientific name, but it's what I call them due to their appearance. They're a light blue, the same shade as the icicles and look like a small flame except instead of fire the flame is ice. They whoosh through the air instead of tread the ground. This is the one of the enemies Armin cannot kill, but arrows, dynamite and falling crates, metal blocks or boulders can kill them.

Large Icy Skeleton: This enemy is very large, about twice the height of Armin, yet skinny. They have ice for skin with a still bony skeleton beneath and they wield a large shield and a club sort of weapon. Armin can kill these enemies as long as their weapons are at their sides. And, just as a general note on all of the Icy Skeleton clan, not only Armin can kill them (which is the most head-on way to dispatch them), but exploding dynamite, arrows, boulders, metal blocks and crates can kill these guys too.

Small Icy Spear Skeleton: These small skeletons covered in ice are miniature versions of the Large Icy Skeleton and are about the same size as Armin. They wield, hence their name, a short spear or lance, and Armin can kill them as long as their weapon is at their sides.

Small Icy Axe Skeleton: An exact replica of the Small Icy Spear Skeleton, except he wields an axe for a weapon. Armin can kill these as long as their axe is at their side, like usual.

Snowbeast: It seems as if these are the lord of all enemies in the Ice Caves – a big, bulky mass of white fur three times the size has Armin with sharp horns and bare fists. They need not wield a weapon for their sheer size and strength is enough to kill Hannah or Armin in a single touch. And as a note – Armin cannot kill them. In fact, Armin should stay straight away from them as he cannot jump over them like Hannah can, and even though Hannah can jump, you need near perfect timing to make it over these monsters. You do have hope, however. Dynamite, falling metal blocks and boulders can make these masses explode, however one would need two hits with an arrow or falling crate to down these monsters.

The Levels:

Before the sections on items and enemies, you learned on how to start a level. Here is another description on what you should do and your goals and objectives inside the level itself.

At the start of a level, you will be dropped off at the starting point in the level. You start out as Hannah automatically, so if you want to move as Armin you'll have to press S. Next, you have to make it through the level safely, keeping both Hannah and Armin alive while collecting all of the designated treasure chests. You can tell how many treasure chests you have and how many there are total by looking at the top of your screen, where it will show a picture of a golden coin and in light blue numbers the amount you have out of the amount you need. Also at the top of the screen in other light blue numbers on your far right are your points. After you have collected all the treasure chests, you must successfully make your way to the door, which is shaped like a tall icy arch. The door is usually placed at the end of a level, and to win the level you will have to guide both Hannah and Armin to the door. Once both Hannah and Armin are at the door, your treasure chests (which will be represented by small gold coins) will be tallied along with any gem you collected in that level and you will be given your points. You will then be taken to the loading screen of the next level.

Remember, inside levels, if you happen to lose all of your three lives (or more if a life crate was collected), you will be presented with a game over screen, where you can choose to play again or send your score and collect your neopoints for the game you just played. You can also get to this screen by pressing 'End Game' at any time while playing a level; the link can be found at the top of your screen. From here, you can start the game over; however when you start a level, you will find that you will still be able to play up to the level you died on, even though you were presented with the game over screen. Note that none of the points from your previous game will still be on your new one.

Extras:

Here I composed a list of fun things, hints or facts about Hannah and the Ice Caves that may be of use to you as you make your way through those treacherous caves!

- The abbreviation for Hannah and the Ice Caves is HATIC, which you will see in a lot of places.

- You can download that extremely catchy marching tune you hear on the main page by clicking on the small, dancing Kiko on the game's play page.

- There are currently two Neogreetings you can send to someone that have the theme of Hannah and the Ice Caves. You can reach these Neogreetings by clicking on the picture of a card on the game's play page.

- There is a background, as well, that has the theme of Hannah and the Ice Caves and you can use to adorn your desktop. These backgrounds can be found by clicking on the scene of a brown Uni on the game's play page.

- Upon beating Hannah and the Ice Caves, you will be given five bonus levels to play which you must beat before you can officially beat the game.

- The last level (the last bonus level) is where you will see the omnipresent Phantom Orange Shirt Guy dancing in the background in place of the regular words!

- Also in the last bonus level, a series of metal blocks will fall spelling out the name 'Olli', which is really the Phantom Orange Shirt Guy!

- By beating Hannah and the Ice Caves, you are rewarded by 3,000 Neopoints a day: you get 1,000 already by simply playing the last bonus level alone! Play the last bonus level the maximum three times, and you'll be taking home 3,000 Neopoints!

- Secret areas can be found in the levels, some needed to be found to win the level. Secret areas look exactly like the actual building blocks of the level, except you can crawl/walk though them! You may be able to spot secret areas if you look closely – false level building blocks that you can pass through have a faint array of black dots on them. Secret areas are easiest to see in the levels with the solid pale blue building blocks.

- On each level, small words can be seen in the background that can be a hint to you. Some of them are useless, however, and are just plain creepy!

Author's Note: This is my fourth Neopian Times article, and I'm already working on many more. You can simply type my name in the Neopian Times search bar to see my other pieces: Werelupes – Neopia's Fear and Awe, A Hint of Malevolence, Dearest Sophie… and Chapter Four – Slime Recipes. Please feel free to send me a Neomail about anything; I reply to all of them.

 
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