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VernaxEater's Guide to Pwning the Web of Vernax


by giantspyder

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WARNING: The following article may cause you to suffer from a serious condition called Vernacularitis if not read carefully. The symptoms include a large sense of confusion and seeing red colored Meepits in your sleep. To avoid having an evil Meepit bent on conquering all of Neopia take over your mind, it is important that you take a three-minute break at the end of each section. (There will also be a few extended breaks.) Remember, you have been warned!

Suddenly, you find yourself wandering through the Haunted Woods. You seem to have lost your way until you stumble upon a forgotten path. As you pass the dark, barren trees, they seem to come alive and block your escape with their prickly branches, forcing you to forge ahead. The path seems to go on forever. Your feet begin to ache and you feel yourself becoming light-headed. Then, all of a sudden, a small, spooky-looking tower appears from out of nowhere and you decide to enter. As the door creaks open, you hear distant laughter. Inside, you see a Halloween Lenny bent over a large, boiling cauldron. As the witch turns towards you, it lets out a loud, bone-chilling cackle.

"The master has been expecting you. He is right through that doorway. Don't worry about the Spyders. They don't bite... much."

So, you want to master the Web of Vernax, do you? Well, it looks as if you came to the right place. There are multiple reasons for why you might be here. Perhaps you are an over-achiever who likes to look at things too deeply like myself, or maybe you just came here by accident. Whether one of those reasons are true or not, one thing is for certain. You want to improve your score on the Web of Vernax. After all, if you risked traveling through the Haunted Woods for my help, you must be having some sort of problems with the game.

Prepare yourself, for now I will tell you information that even the Brain Tree could not handle. (Poor little creature...) He didn't stand a chance. Hopefully, you will fare better against what has yet to be told, though. I think that I'll start off by introducing you to the Web of Vernax just in case you are unfamiliar with the game.

Introduction

The Web of Vernax is a fairly simple game once you understand it. You are the Spyder. The Vernax is your target. You are the hunter. They are the prey. Even though you are the hunter, that does not mean that the Vernax cannot fight back. I will show you what I mean in just a moment. First, let me explain how the game works. On the first level, you will see a purple little creature called a Vernax running around inside a grey square. Your objective is to trap it in a smaller box, thus, creating a complete web for it to get stuck to. The smaller the web, the more points you get for the capture. To create a strand of web, click and hold in the desired location and an arrow will appear. Point it in the direction of your choosing and release it. The whole square is 30x30 web units (the number of web strands when they are closest together). Farther to your right, you will see an old grandfather clock. It will tell you how much time you have left. You have one minute to complete each level. When there are five seconds left, the clock will warn you by flashing red. Just don't panic when you see it. That would cause you to lose your concentration and lower your chances of completing the level on time. Underneath the clock, you will see little black Spyders. Those are the number of lives you have left. Once those Spyders are gone, so are you. You can lose lives in two different ways. While you are in the process of creating a strand of web, the strand is red. This is when you are the most vulnerable. If a Vernax runs into it from the side or if you run directly into a Vernax, you will lose a Spyder. If time runs out before you finish the level, you lose a life and the level is restarted.

Now that you have learned the basics of the Web of Vernax, I will explain the game in more detail.

Level Progress

As you progress through the levels of the game, you will notice certain changes. The Vernax change in quantity and speed with each level you complete. In the first level, there is only one Vernax. That number increases to two and then three by the third level. On the fourth level, the quantity increases to four. I bet you're thinking that level 5 will have five Vernax. If you guess that then you will be absolutely... WRONG! Good luck winning that contest because the real answer is actually four. I know what you are thinking. Four? Why four instead of five? If I knew that I would have had to burrow into the mind of a game programmer and... well, you get the picture. After level 5, the number continues on normally up to level 7. After level 7 has ended, you are back to one Vernax again. Hooray! Wait. They are increasing again. No! You will have to complete seven more levels with faster Vernax but they're not too hard... at this speed! The same thing happens with four Vernax on level 12.

The speed of the Vernax will increase two more times before you reach a special level and that level is level 29. It looks as though they return to the speed that they were moving at during the first seven levels. I refer to it as the "Bonus Level." The best thing about the Bonus Level is that there are not only seven but a whopping twelve slow-moving Vernax. That should be enough to stock up for the winter. Maybe you could keep some around to play tag with later on. It's good to play with your food once in a while. It breaks up the monotony.

Once you reach level 30, you will find that this game is far from over. Here is the level layout:

Level(s) 1-7: This is easy!

Level(s) 8-14: Okay. This is better.

Level(s) 15-21: Bring it on!

Level(s) 22-28: Whoa! That one almost hit me!

Level(s) 29: Yay! The bonus round!

Level(s) 30-36: Uh oh! Too fast. Watch out for that... GAME OVER!! MUAHAHAHAHAHA!

Red Mutant Spyders

Unfortunately, with level advancement comes a new type of enemy. You first encounter this enemy at level 6. A red Spyder slides along the boundary lines, eating your web. It gets really annoying after a while. Most especially in the later levels. When you just barely manage to create a strand in a level where the Vernax are bouncing around like miniature lightning bolts, a red Spyder just so happens to show up and eats your strands, causing you to run out of time before the level has been completed. These red Spyders also destroy strands around previously completed webs. The good news is that the Vernax stays stuck to the web. The other Vernax bounce on the light grey area of the trap a little bit differently than they do on a strand of web. Instead of bouncing at an angle, they end up bouncing back in the opposite direction. Just try to figure out a way in which you can use it to your advantage (or at least try to work around it).

You might not have an old, rolled-up copy of the Neopian Times to squash them with, but you can still destroy them. When they eat your web, they follow the strand to the end and sometimes switch to different strands along the way. If they follow a strand that connects to the outer boundaries and they take that path, the red Spyders will be safe, but if they take a strand that leads to somewhere inside the square, they spin around and disappear. When you move on to level 7, that red Spyder will return, but with a friend this time. Now you have two mutant Spyders to deal with. Oh, Goodie! Twice the fun. *cough*

They will disappear once you reach level 8 but they will be back during the last two levels of each seven level set. During the later levels, it is sometimes good to create multiple smaller strands along the edge of the boundaries so it would be less likely that they would go for the bigger strand and more likely that they would disappear. Just make sure that those tiny strands don't connect with each other. It destroys the purpose in creating them. Maybe you could lend them some floss after the game. That web really gets stuck between their fangs. Oh yeah! Maybe even a glass of water to wash it down with. Mmmmm... tastes like cotton candy!

Something that is really funny when dealing with those red mutant Spyders is when the little bulb or sphere at the end of the strand is missing. If they take that route, they will end up flying off across the screen and sail into oblivion.

Now would be a good time to take a break and have a nice Almost Gummy Rat. I like the grape flavored ones. Relax and read on when you feel up to it again...

BREAK OVER!!

Let's continue, shall we? Now where was I? Oh, yes! Before I explain some more of the secrets to the Web of Vernax, I am going to talk to you more about bagging these little critters.

Capturing a Vernax

When capturing a Vernax, it is good to know exactly how long it will take for the Vernax to bounce back before you create a strand that will be used to box it in. In the later levels, it is always good to create large strands in some of the corners of the square and seal the box once they enter. That same strategy can be used in the earlier levels, but that would be the easy way. Why not make things more elaborate? After all, it's in the title. You did read the title, right? There is another strategy for those who are looking to score more points in the earlier levels (you can try it in the later levels but I don't recommend it). Once they enter the box, instead of sealing the box, close it so the connector (bulb or sphere-like thing) on the end of the vertical strand is one web unit away from touching the side of the horizontal strand, or vice versa. Don't put a connector next to another connector. The edges of the connectors will touch and close the web. If you leave a space between two of the connectors, there will be a gap for the Vernax to escape, so it is better to use the first strategy. Once the Vernax is unable to escape, you can create new strands vertically and horizontally as the Vernax moves to different parts of the web, making the overall box smaller than it was originally. You can close it up whenever you are satisfied with its size. Watch out for red Spyders when you use this strategy, though. They can really mess things up.

Ghost Vernax

In levels 22 through 28, some of the Vernax have the ability to move through the walls of certain webs. You could close a box and the Vernax could slip right through the wall and come back out without being captured. It's time to get "Over-Elaborate" again. Think! How could we use this to our advantage? Well, it's simple really. Let's just say that you're try to trap a Vernax and you end up closing the web after they have already escaped. So you are thinking that you wasted space by creating an empty trap. Not necessarily. If one of those Vernax manages to travel through the strand like a ghost, it might still be useful. You have to be quick when you use this strategy because, at this point, the Vernax are moving really fast. Let's say that the empty box is in the lower left corner of the square. When the Vernax enters the box, you should already be prepared for its arrival. You will have to reconnect the upper right corner of the box before it escapes. If you are successful, it should be captured.

Staying Alive

As I had mentioned earlier, you start out with three lives. The maximum number of lives that you can have at one time is four. How do you get four lives, you ask? Throughout each level, little Spyder bites with bright red eyes will appear in a random location inside the square. If you collect ten Spyder bites, you will get an extra life. Once you have four lives, I would recommend that you try to collect nine more Spyder bites. When you lose a life, all you will have to do is grab another Spyder bite. Voila! Four lives again!

I know what you're thinking (well, not really). How do I collect that many Spyder bites? Well, there is a solution. When you capture the Vernax, leave one of them alone. Trap it in a box like I mentioned earlier with the connector of the vertical strand next to the side of the horizontal strand so it can't escape. While you are waiting for the clock to reach the five second warning, grab any Spyder bites that appear. This is very helpful for getting a better score in the Web of Vernax. Just make sure that you close the box before time runs out.

Movement Types

If you have played this game before, then you should know about the message box above the upper boundary line. It displays different messages at different times of the game. For now, we will focus on the "last capture" messages. Whenever you capture a Vernax, it displays what kind of capture you made. What do these different messages mean? Well, that's what I am about to explain to you. I will start by explaining the first part of the message, direction. Based on the direction the strand was going when you captured the Vernax, you will make either a horizontal capture or a vertical capture. That part is fairly obvious but the type of capture is also affected by the number of Vernax that you capture in one trap. It's practically self-explanatory. Here is a list:

1 Vernax - Single

2 Vernax - Double

3 Vernax - Triple

4 Vernax - Quadruple

5 Vernax - Quintuple

6+ Vernax - Mega Multi

The most interesting one is where you get six Vernax or more in a trap. That is really hard to do, though. In normal levels there can only be up to seven Vernax. The only type of level that has more than seven is the "Bonus Level." Good luck trapping all of them in one web.

When it displays the last capture, it also shows how much skill it took to make such a capture. This was the most interesting part of my research:

10-38 points - (Blank)

39-43 points - Phat

44 points - *unknown*

45-49 points - Mega

50-55 points - Outrageous

56-63 points - Ultra

64-65+ points - Elite

There is just one more part of the capture. When you close two different traps at once, you end up with a "Split" capture.

It's time for another break. I would recommend spinning the Wheel of Monotony or going outside and counting how many grains of sand you can find in the Lost Desert. Come back when you're ready to move on.

Jump-Starting Your Score - Bonuses

There are three different types of bonuses that you can earn. One of them is from Spyder bites. The amount of points you get whenever you collect a Spyder bite is determined by the amount of space between the beginning of the strand and the location of the Spyder bite. The number of web units is the same as the number of points. The maximum number of points that you can earn is twenty nine since Spyder bites don't appear on the boundary lines and the square is only thirty web units across.

The second type of bonus is a Web Bonus. How much you get is determined by the number of strands you used in that level. You only get the bonus when the level ends. This is the only time that the last capture messages are overwritten. Here are the messages that are displayed:

1 WEBS = 75 PTS WEB BONUS!!

2 WEBS = 50 PTS WEB BONUS!!

3 WEBS = 30 PTS WEB BONUS!!

4 WEBS = 20 PTS WEB BONUS!!

I would recommend in levels that you are able to get Web Bonuses easily such as the first and second levels (where there are only one or two Vernax) that you go for them instead of the Spyder bites.

The third kind of bonus is a multiple Vernax bonus. When you trap more than one, it says something like "50 x 3" (three Vernax in this case). The bonus part of it is that the total amount of points that you scored in that capture is doubled. The more Vernax you trap, the more helpful the bonus can be.

What You Need

Now that you know everything there is to know about the Web of Vernax, it is time to review the basic skills and factors that play a part in earning a postition in the high score table:

1. Determination. In order to get good at a game you must be determined. You cannot just give up and move on to something else that seems easier. If you do, all of the effort that you previously put into that game will be for nothing.

2. Practice. Practicing is one of the most important things in playing the Web of Vernax. When I first started playing this game, I only had high scores in the 3, 000 range. I have more than doubled that amount. With practice comes some of the skill and knowledge that you will need to beat the game.

3. Concentration. If you begin to panic during the game, you will lose all concentration and before you know it, the game will be over. You must be patient and focused so you don't mess up.

You are now ready to play the Web of Vernax. I have taught you all that I know. Whether you are trying to earn a gold trophy or you are trying to figure out a way to harness the power of Spyders to conquer all of... Oops, that one's taken... you are now one step closer to your goal.

Just as the game says:

GOOD LUCK!!

 
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