Key Quest Horror: How to Survive a Super Key Grabber
Every Keyquester’s greatest joy is finding themselves with this elusive Power-Up. It is also their greatest nightmare to be on the opposite side of a Super Key Grabber, or SKG as I will be referring to it throughout this article. This is a Power-Up so powerful that it can cause players to cringe at the mere sight of it; it can quickly turn games around in the most unexpected ways. First, let’s cover some basics!
What is the SKG and what does it do?
The SKG is a Super Power-Up that allows you to steal any two Keys from any other player. Yes, you heard right; you can steal any two Keys from anyone else on the board, simple as that! This can create a four Key difference between you and another player, since you gain two and they lose two; a pretty sweet advantage to have at any point during the game. Now, don’t go expecting to get a SKG whenever you pass any old Power-Up square on the board. To obtain this, you must land on your own alignment square and be very lucky.
Each token has a different alignment, either Dark, Light, Fire, Air, Earth, or Water. If your token lands on (not passes) its alignment square on the board, you will be awarded a random charm, and a random Super Power-Up, such as the SKG. This is a pretty difficult task, seeing as there is only one alignment square that is yours on the board, but as you can see, the awards can be great (or horrible if you’re the one staring it down!). OK, now that I’ve bored you on what the SKG does, let me teach you how to protect yourself against it.
Knowledge is Power
First, there are seven tokens which you will encounter frequently, and you should memorize their alignments. There are the four basic tokens, which are the Green Cybunny (Earth), the Red Meerca (Air), the Blue Bruce (Light), and the Yellow Poogle (Water). Then there are the three tokens given by Neopets site events, Ylana Skyfire (Dark), AAA (Air), and Abigail (Air). When you first join a Key Quest game with someone, and they are using a token that is not any of the above, look them up. In another Neopets window, go to your own Collector’s Case, which can be found by going to your own userlookup and clicking on the Key Quest symbol there. On the address bar, replace your own username with your opponent’s. Once there, check out their ‘Quick List’ by clicking on the Key looking symbol next to the Heart on the top right side of the case. You should see the token your opponent is currently using right there. Click on the token and it will tell you what that token’s alignment is. Why would you want to know that? Well, you want to be wary if your opponent is passing by the area of that alignment so you can prepare for the chances the SKG comes along. This is how you can prepare yourself:
Tornado Ring Power-Up
This basic Power-Up will replace a player’s Power-Ups with new random Power-Ups, and is often tossed aside by many Key Questers because of how random it can be (and can actually end up hurting you). However, this Power-Up may be your answer to dealing with that pesky SKG, if your opponent is to get their hands on it. In fact, it would work well if your opponent got any Super Power-Up. The negative to using the Tornado Ring is that you may end up getting rid of the SKG, but giving your opponent another good or useful normal Power-Up. However, it is still very useful to getting rid of the problem.
Rainbow Sticky Hand
This Power-Up will let you steal any Power-Up from any player. Sure, switching your opponent’s SKG into a normal Power-Up is great, but how about being able to take it for yourself? My recommendation is to try to save your Rainbow Sticky Hands for dangerous situations like these, unless, of course, your opponent has already passed their alignment square and isn’t likely to pass by it again (especially if it’s the Dark, Water, or Air alignments).
Giant Lint Ball
This Power-Up will let you choose a player and keep them from collecting any Keys or Power-Ups for their next turn. The Giant Lint Ball can’t keep you safe forever if your opponent does get the SKG, but it can serve two purposes. First, if your opponent is within six spaces of their alignment square and has the Loaded Gummy Die (which, we assume, is to use to roll into their alignment), you can use your Lint Ball to keep them off it for at least another turn. The second purpose is to buy you a turn if they’ve gotten an SKG so you can try to get yourself a Tornado Ring or Rainbow Sticky Hand. It’s no permanent fix, but it can sure help.
Suppose your opponent is near their alignment or already has an SKG and you don’t have any of the three Power-Ups mentioned above. Don’t fret, there is still hope! While the usefulness of this Power-Up in an SKG situation depends on the stage of the game, it can be very useful. This Power-Up lets you steal all of the repeat keys your opponent has. As you can see, if it is late in the game and your opponent has decided to steal your keys, chances are, you may get them back. This Power-Up also goes very nicely with the Distraction Potion and Rainbow Fountain Water Power-Ups, as you can switch some of their Keys around before you take them!
Now that we’ve covered some cool ways to get rid of that nasty SKG, let’s focus on the different ways of handling an SKG depending on where you are in the game.
Beginning of the Game
Sometimes your opponent will be smart enough to pick a starting house right next to their alignment square, and they will roll into it on their first turn and grab themselves an SKG. Before you panic and hit the alert button, relax, there are ways to handle this. First, if your opponent was smart enough to (1) know their own alignment and (2) pick a starting house next to it, then it’s likely they are smart enough to use it as soon as they can to anticipate anything happening to it, such as having it get stolen by you. Second, there are two different strategies you can use to keep yourself safe: The Power-Ups Only Strategy, and/or the Copy-Cat Strategy.
The Power-Ups Only Strategy consists of you trying to go around the board and focusing more on passing Power-Up squares to find ways of getting rid of that SKG rather than focusing on your Keys. The Copy-Cat Strategy consists of you grabbing only the same Keys your opponent grabs; that way, they can’t rip anything new off of you, AND if they do choose to SKG you, if you find yourself a Spare Keyring Power-Up along the way you can just take them back. A combination of these two is best; that way you can expand your Power-Up options, and grab Keys at the same time.
If your opponent has gotten their hands on an SKG at the end of the game, then you will want to be very defensive. If they already have all of their Keys, chances are they will try to steal from you the two ‘hardest to get’ Keys you own, such as the White and/or Yellow Keys in the traditional game boards, to make the game much harder for you to win. If they don’t, they may steal a Key they’re missing, and a hard to get one, or if they are missing two, take what they need. In this situation you want to delay the game as much as possible to regain your keys, and this means pulling out everything you can get your hands on. Go to a far off section of the game board, such as where the White or Yellow Keys are and then use your Transporter Helmet on them. Or wait until they get close to the door and use the Misdirected Compass at them. You can also use the Pile of Dung to block off their path to the door, forcing them to pass right by it, or change the Keys they have with a Rainbow Fountain Water or Distraction Potion. Either way, it’s not over, and you CAN recover!
After reading this article, I hope to have put your mind at ease about handling this Super Power-Up. It can seem like a big, scary monster, but as you can see, there are ways to prevent it, or even remedy yourself from it after the damage is done. Always keep in mind that the game isn’t automatically over if someone gets an SKG – in fact, it has only just started!