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Volcano Run II - A Brief Run-Through


by emtz

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Don’t ask me how Glubgar got out of the first volcano... but it seems that this adventurous a.k.a. doomed Scorchio has found himself a new, upgraded volcano with boulders that don’t come in regular red rectangles and fireballs that are actually... well... ball shaped!

Controls

The controls are slightly different from Volcano Run. Clicking and holding down the left mouse button makes Glubgar rise, while letting it go allows him to fall. V makes Glubgar move forward at double the speed, while C makes him move slower i.e. stationary with respect to the screen. (Note: changed from the buttons Z and X with which the game was originally released due to the German keyboard whereby the Z and Y buttons are reversed; the key combination Z and X would be extremely weird for them.)

Introduction

The idea of Volcano Run II is very similar to Volcano Run; simply avoid the boulders, walls and fireballs and pick up the gems and shields. Before we delve deeper into the game strategy, let’s take a look at the differences between the two game versions.

Differences between Volcano Run and Volcano Run II:

Width

Volcano Run: Much narrower

Volcano Run II: Much wider, especially at the start

Music and graphics

Volcano Run: Music is unavailable, and the graphics are... well... not that exciting...

Volcano Run II: Music is available, and the graphics are quite good, just that the new fireballs-on-steroids occupy a LOT more space =(

Gems

Volcano Run: Blue diamonds give a +25 point bonus each.

Volcano Run II: Blue gems give +10 bonus each; red gems give +20 bonus each but are much more rare. Usually, no more gems will appear after you collect about 450 to 520 points worth of them.

Shields

Volcano Run: Occur much more frequently in the form of a blue circle, and do not fade until you collide into any of the obstacles.

Volcano Run II: Occur very seldom and in the form of a transparent circle with a white outline, and give you a temporary invulnerability lasting about 4 seconds. Note that if the shield wears off while you are still in contact with any of the obstacles, you still get fried.

Obstacles

Volcano Run: Boulders and fireballs

Volcano Run II: Boulders, fireballs and a new addition: yellow lava spouts. These spouts appear after all the crystals allocated to you have been collected, and they probably sound scarier than they actually are. These spouts don’t entirely block up a cavern so there will usually be a gap in between the top of the cavern and the top of the spout for Glubgar to squeeze through. Of course, you could just wait for the spout to stop since there won’t be any irritating fireballs coming at you while you’re dealing with the spouts.

Boulders

Volcano Run: Always rectangular, and start moving after you hit the score of 80.

Volcano Run II: Come in 3 shapes, a rough circle, egg-shaped and a rough diamond shape. Among these, the diamond-shaped one is probably the friendliest since it has the shortest vertical length. Most boulders will be moving up and down while some are stationary.

Fireballs

Volcano Run: Small and bullet-shaped.

Volcano Run II: Large, round, flaming balls of doom. The most difficult part about Volcano Run II is probably the fireballs that come in triplets after you’ve finished collecting your crystals: sometimes they block up the entire passageway and ruin a good chance at a trophy.

Braking mechanism

Volcano Run: Hold spacebar to brake, releasing it will give you a temporary speed boost until Glubgar is at the center of the screen again.

Volcano Run II: Press C to brake and V to speed forward, as mentioned above. Glubgar now remains at his position instead of automatically moving back to the center of the screen.

Number of lives

Volcano Run: Glubgar is mortal and dies upon collision into any obstacle.

Volcano Run II: Glubgar can be revived twice (three times if you use the legal cheat). The score for distance travelled will be reset to 0, but the bonus is kept and accumulated throughout the game. Also, the difficulty setting will be retained for subsequent runs.

Scoring

Volcano Run: Total score is the distance travelled plus the bonuses from the gems.

Volcano Run II: Total score is the best distance travelled in the duration of one life added to the cumulative bonus from the gems collected throughout the game.

Basic game strategy

The volcano is split into two sections, the narrow (we’ll call this a tunnel) and the wide (a cavern). In the narrow section there aren’t any fireballs or boulders, so you can just concentrate on avoiding the walls. Towards the entrances and exits of these tunnels is the most challenging portion, where there may be multiple fireballs and boulders that block up the openings into or out of the tunnels. The caverns are probably the easiest sections, just use the C and V keys to avoid the boulders and collect the easy gems here. A good rule of thumb is to fly above boulders moving downwards and fly below boulders moving upwards.

Crystals are much more valuable in Volcano Run II than Volcano Run because of the cumulative effect that they have on the score: it is much easier to get a high score by collecting crystals rather than having a high maximum distance achieved. Don’t risk your life for them, though; remember that the Glubgar who flies away lives to collect crystals another day. The bad point is that these crystals stop appearing after you collect about 450-520 points worth of them, which is usually by about 500-600 metres travelled (added up throughout the different runs, so for example if you finished collecting the crystals allocated to you for that particular game within your first run, you won’t get any more crystals on your subsequent runs).

Shields, on the other hand, are much less worth it. Apart from being rare, they only last a very short time and aren’t that useful anyway (as if you’re going to crash into a boulder on purpose just because you have a shield on). Don’t bother taking them if there’s even the slightest risk involved.

Advanced game strategy

If you are aiming for a high score or the avatar, I will advise that you practise, practise and practise. Volcano Run II is the type of game where you need experience and intuition to judge the best line to take and how close you can get to the obstacles before they fry you. I suggest some guidelines below:

- Practise until you are able to collect all the gems available in the first 500 metres. If you can’t do it at the slow pace and with only those few obstacles, you’re never going to survive the later stages. Having all the gems also helps tremendously in your final score: those few points may make the difference between a gold trophy and a bronze one, or between missing the avatar by 13 points and going “ARGHHH!!!” and laying your head back contentedly with that coveted Volcano Run avatar in your collection.

- At the transition from caverns to tunnels, stay toward the back of the screen. This way, when fireballs appear, they have more room to move toward the more spacious cavern so you’ll have more room to avoid them. On the other hand, at the transition from tunnels to caverns, stay toward the front of the screen so that you’ll have more room to manoeuvre before they enter the tunnel and ruin your game.

- Be prepared for the transitions and the fireballs that often come at these crucial points. Don’t be afraid to rush forward within the tunnel (don’t crash into the walls, of course) because sometimes the tunnel may be short and the transitions may come quickly.

- While Glubgar is braking, even though the graphics may show that he stands up in mid-air and becomes taller, if the tip of his wings or feet touch a fireball or other obstacle there is a margin whereby he will not die, so in the end the actual area that cannot touch obstacles is the same shape and size no matter what his posture is. So, don’t be afraid to brake while you’re dealing with fireballs just because you’re scared that he won’t fit into the gap if he is in the braking posture.

- Keep your concentration, especially on the first and most important run. Subsequent runs continue at the speed and difficulty at which your first run left off, so they’re much harder. If you really want to use the cheat (I personally find it useless since I always get the longest distance travelled on my first run), then type it in right at the start where the cavern is the widest and there are no obstacles.

Q&A

Q: Can I still play the original Volcano Run?

A: I guess if you really liked it you could play it in the Game Graveyard...

Q: What happened to the Volcano Run avatar?

A: A good score on Volcano Run II will get you that avatar; I won’t disclose it here but you can probably find it on the Neoboards if you look.

Q: What on earth is “Weepit was here”?

A: It sometimes appears on the screen where you can send your score for Jolly Jugglers as well, but other than that, I have no clue as to why there’s a message written on a boulder in a volcano.

Well, thanks for reading, and GOOD LUCK!

 
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