How to Create the Perfect Faerie Cave
LOST IN A CAVE – Thank you Neopets. Once again you create a spotlight that involves
mapping, and who am I to turn it down? Now, much clicking and many hours later,
I’ve finished my Faerie Cave, and can write this guide. One thing, I must say
before I start is: the map editors are getting easier and easier to work with.
At the same time, the games and maps are becoming more and more complicated. While
Hannah and the Pirate Caves had its water, and Escape from Meridell Castle has
its almost robotic-like enemies… Faerie Caves II has, well, balloons, boulders,
and traps; and did I mention the spike traps? Yes, one can only imagine a day
when the perfect map editor arrives, filled with excitement of explosives, the
thrilling effect of water, and the deadly beauty of… balloons.
Getting Started / Using the Editor
As always, you can never start on your mapping adventure, if you don’t know
where to look. Luckily, Neopets has created FC2FQ’s (What I’ll refer to Faerie
Caves II - Fyora's Quest from now on as) with a built-in map editor. Open the
game as you normally would, and make sure to click, “Level Editor.” You should
be met with a large green grid, with small icons in the bottom left hand corner
and four large boxes located on the bottom right hand corner. Quaglor the Quiggle
will already be placed on the grid, along with the exit door and the key to
the exit. Do not panic. You can move the Quiggle, as well as the key and door
to any location that you want.
Let’s begin with testing the tile pieces. By clicking the tile piece next to
Quaglor, you can now place “Solid Tiles” anywhere you want. Experiment with
the tiles for a few minutes, and once you’ve created a basic layout for your
first map, click “Test Level.” The editor will switch to the map, and allow
you to test out your brand new creation. This is by far my most favorite feature
that Neopets added. Once you’re done playing around with your map, click, “Editor,”
to return to the level editor, and begin the actual mapping.
Different Tiles / Tile Placement Tips – Row One
Now that you’ve experimented with the tiles, I’ll go through them one by one
and explain what they do, and how best to use them. The placement tips are from
experience, and normally based on how to make the map look its best. An example
placement tip would be; don’t have the horizontal trap floating in midair. Its
best to have them connected to walls.
The first, and probably most important tile is Quaglor. By clicking this tile,
you may choose the location of which you want the Quiggle to begin the map on.
Having him in the corner for now is fine, but it’s always best to test new starting
locations once you get the hang of mapping. Experienced mappers will mold the
map based on the Quiggle’s starting point, not the other way around.
Next to Quaglor are the “Solid” and “Walkthrough” tiles. These are helpful
for filling the map with detail, and for helping to direct the player of the
map around. Some like to outline the map with solid tiles, but while this is
not needed, it helps to increase the detail of each map. Walkthrough tiles are
also nice, just to fill empty space, but still allow the player to travel over
Moving on, the tiles next to the walkthrough piece are some of the most dangerous
ones in the game. Boulders and balloons may look like innocent inanimate objects
at first, but both are ready to attack your Quiggle without a moments notice.
Boulders will remain in place, until the tile under them, if possible, is removed.
This means the boulder will fall downwards, if the tile beneath them is a walkthrough
tile. Balloons do the exact opposite. If the tile above them is removed, the
balloon will rise quickly until it can no longer travel upwards.
Boulders and balloons can be used not only to kill the Quiggle, but also to
set off traps and open gates. When used correctly, you can have a more complicated
game just by adding a few tiles. One of my favorite maps includes a balloon
that is moving right as you begin, and an explosion with dynamite, which I’ll
talk about later on.
The next tile on the list is a gem. Gems are not needed, but are helpful to
add detail to your level. One problem I currently have with gems though, is
I believe that when used in abundance, they may cause lag for users. Lag is
when you play someone’s map, and the map and Quiggle seem to be moving very
slowly. Older computers will notice this more often then a new computer will,
so its something you have to pay attention to while creating your level.
There’s not much to say about Level Exits, except that you can only have one
of them in your map at a time. Place the exit accordingly with how your layout
is setup, and try to make things interesting.
Treasure chests can be very useful in maps, such that not only do they block
player’s paths, but can control which direction the user must go. You can make
your maps seem much longer and more difficult, by spacing treasure chests along
the route and forcing them to search for keys.
Lastly, for this row is one of my other favorite tiles for FC2FQ. Dynamite
I is the lesser of the two you can use, and I’ll tell you why. When it explodes,
only itself and other neighboring dynamite tiles go off with it. This is useful
in creating a chain that does not harm your map, and looks cool in the process.
Dynamite can only be trigged by a torch, which I’ll explain farther down.
Different Tiles / Tile Placement Tips – Row Two
Now for the big explosions! Everyone enjoys these, and it’s easy to see why.
Dynamite II’s not only set off neighboring dynamite, but destroy every other
tile within a one-tile radius. All tiles except for the exit key, exit door,
and gate pads are destroyed when this occurs. If you do not want to destroy
your map with these dynamites, stick to the lesser red ones.
The next two tiles are helpful for using your treasure chests, and to complete
the level. Make sure to always have one key for every treasure chest in the
map, unless of course the maps aim is for the player to pick and choose. Try
to have players work for the keys, and not just hand them out. Making the player
explore the map is a lot more fun then just grabbing the keys continuously.
Torches are only useful if you‘re using dynamite. If you're not (using them
for detail is fine), but the issue of lag comes into play if you over do it.
As for dynamite, make sure you have one torch for every dynamite tile you use,
which is sitting by it. Logically, you won’t need one for those connected to
other dynamite tiles.
The next three tiles can make or break a map. When used correctly, gate pieces
can add puzzles, and annoy players quickly into submission. Pads can be used
to open or close gates, but quickly reset if nothing is on top of them. Boulders
and balloons can be used to weigh pads down, so use them strategically. If a
balloon or boulder is already on a gate pad, other pads will not work.
Finally, we have the spike traps. While great for Neopet parties when serving
Mynci Fruit Kebab, they are very dangerous for our Quiggle hero in FC2FQ. The
traps remain dormant until triggered, which only happens when you run over them.
Using them in groups can make moving down hallways difficult. Once the traps
are activated, you cannot travel back over them, as they will block your path.
The non-tile icons, such as the eraser, help to delete unwanted tiles, and
fix mistakes. Just be careful not to delete something you wanted to keep. If
you still have trouble, or want to learn more about the editor, Neopets included
a great help piece by clicking on the question mark.
That’s it! Now you’ve completed your map, hit save and name it something innovative.
Test it a few times, and change anything you don’t like. Maps become better
and better if you continue to test it for bugs and glitches. Have your friend’s
try them out, and work on the feedback they give to you.
As always, never give up on your map that you create. Submit it every week
and hope for the best. It’s amazing what you can learn from other people’s maps
that win, but try not to copy their layout, stick with something original. If
you enjoyed making a map for FC2FQs, then try your hand at Escape from Castle
Meridell, Hannah and the Pirate Caves, or even Tyrannian Mini Golf. Each has
ideas in mind, for the type of level you need to create, but are equally entertaining
to do. Until next time, good luck, and keep on mapping!