Gwyl's Great Escape Guide
As flash games go, Gywl’s Great Escape is one of the hidden gems on Neopets. Rather than requiring the lightning reflexes needed for many other games, this is a game requiring precision, control and judgment.
It's Gwyl the Symol’s first day at work and in an effort to impress his co-workers he heads into the deepest part of the mine to gather the largest and shiniest gems. Disaster strikes when a landslide traps him in the tunnels and your job is to guide Gwyl, suspended from his balloon, through the tunnels whilst collecting all the gems to his freedom. You do this by controlling a Lightmite (which is a petpetpet which looks like a tiny buzz) and clicking the mouse to make its wings beat and blow Gwyl along under his balloon.
How to move Gywl
In principle the controls are easy:
Move Gwyl up – click underneath the balloon
Move Gwyl left – click to the right of the balloon
Move Gywl right – click to the left of the balloon
Move Gwyl down – click on top of the balloon
Easy, except that once Gwyl is moving, he’s suspended from a balloon, so no brakes! Once he is moving in a direction, he will carry on drifting that way even if you stop clicking. To stop him moving that way, you have to click on the opposite side to counteract the movement. For example if he’s moving to the right and heading for disaster, click to the right of the balloon to stop it moving that way and bring him to a stop.
An additional complication is gravity. Leave Gwyl alone and he will start to sink downwards as gravity has its effect. This you have to counteract by clicking under the balloon, so moving in a horizontal line is hard as you have to click not just to the side but also slightly under the balloon to keep him from dropping. Practice is required; as I said earlier, control is key in this game. If you can confidently and precisely move Gwyl around, then a high score is very likely.
The final point is that if you hold down the mouse button, the Lightmite will continually flap those tiny wings and Gwyl will go faster. Moving the Lightmite very close to the balloon also increases the speed. As time bonuses are available, this has major advantages, but it does make him harder to control. Fast clicking the mouse makes him move slightly slower but gives more control. Pick your speed of clicking to suit the circumstances. If there are no obstacles around, hold it down and close to the balloon and get zooming, Struggling to make it through a tight gap, slow down and get it right.
There are nine levels for Gwyl’s great escape plus a secret level. Each level requires you to navigate Gwyl so he collects all the gems and then lands on the magical platform. The levels are full of nasty jagged edges that if you bump into them cost you energy. There are no moving obstacles or enemies to avoid; the only way you lose energy is by crashing Gwyl into a wall. There are also no power ups to give you more energy; run out and Gwyl loses a life. He starts each new level with the amount he had at the end of the last one, so energy levels are key. Fortunately, being a magical Symol with a cool name, he has a spare life. (I know, magical platforms in a mine and spare lives, I could barely believe it myself, but let’s just roll with it, ok?) Lose the second life and it's game over.
Points are scored for each gem that you collect and also by time bonuses for completing the levels. To collect a gem, move Gwyl over the gem (not his balloon, Gwyl himself) and he will grab it automatically. Once all the gems on a level have been completed, the exit platform lights up and can be used. The difference between an ok score and a trophy score is time bonuses; the faster you go, the more points, but the more likely you will bump into things. There are a number of things you can do to increase your score:
Play low quality: This is critical, particularly low quality. It seems a little crazy but Gwyl moves faster on low quality, giving more time bonuses. The game does not adjust for the fact it’s all running a bit slower on high quality.
Play on large game size: OK, this won’t increase your score but there is a rather annoying glitch in the game where sometimes you float through the platform at the end rather than it registering you as landing on it and you can’t finish the level. The only thing you can do at this point is restart, which if you were on a fantastic game is extremely annoying. Playing on large screen seems to reduce the problem. You might float through once but just float up and try it again and you will hopefully be ok. If not, I’m afraid you may have to restart, a pain but not the end of the world.
Land just right of centre on the platforms: The game sometimes gives you multiplier bonuses on your time if you land slightly to the right of centre. You might as well try to do so as it only takes a second to get properly aligned.
Use the gwylsgreatestescapeever code: When you launch the game, a screen comes up where you can start a new game or continue game. Press continue game and type in gwylsgreatestescapeever to open up a secret level before level 1. As this means more gems and more time bonuses, this is critical to getting a high score. It’s also a very easy level so it shouldn’t cost you any energy.
Take a quick route: Hardly surprising this one. We want time bonuses, so take a fast route between the gems and to the exit. I have described below a suggested route which can score over 2000 points. As that will be a gold trophy at most times, I think that makes it a good route. There may be other ways which yield similar results; feel free to experiment.
For each route I have explained where all the gems are and general directions around the level. I can’t describe every feature, but this should be enough for you to be able to follow the approach. Just start out following it and look out for the landmarks I have described. To help you make sure you haven’t missed any, after each gem pickup I have put a number in brackets which shows the total gems you should have collected on this level once you pick up that gem. Following this guide should get you at least 1800 points, but over 2000 is possible, and based on recent high core tables, this would be at least a silver trophy score. Of course, if others read this guide as well, that may change, but I can’t help that!
Secret Level – 21 gems:
Go right and through the gap, picking up 7 purple gems on your way (7). Then go down to the red gem (8) and right to the purple gem (9). Then head up and right, grabbing the purple (10) and orange gem (11). Head straight down for a little distance to the purple gem (12) and then go a short distance right to get the red gem (13). Now go left until you see a green gem close to a wall. Sink down to get it (14) and then go up and left through the gap (it’s fairly tight – you might bump the gap a little – just keep going fast!), grabbing the purple gem (15) on your way through. Grab the turquoise gem (16) and head left, collecting the last 4 purple gems (20) and the final gem on the level, the pink one (21). Drop down to the now glowing platform, land slightly right of center. Level complete.
Level 1 – Catacombs I – 7 gems
Down to the green gem (1) and then down and left to the purple gem (2). Right to the turquoise gem (3) and then down to the pink (4). It’s easy to miss the pink one as it's off the bottom of your screen; make sure you don’t! Now go up and right through the tight gap to the orange gem (5). I always lose health here; be quick and you shouldn’t lose too much. Keep going right under the small square block to collect the green gem (6). Go up on the right and once clear of the small block to your left head up and left, aiming for the pink gem (7). Down and left to the finish, landing slightly right of center. Level complete.
Level 2 - Catacombs II – 14 gems
Down grabbing the purple gem (1) and keep heading down to the pink gem (2). Now go right and up and right. The finishing platform should pass beneath you as you aim for the small gap in the top right. You will know you have the right spot as a pink gem will be visible in a small chamber above you and slightly to the left. Go up through the gap (be precise) and grab the pink gem (3). And then head right. You will see 9 purple gems in the shape of an arrow. Go down and get all of them (12) and then head down and right. Get fairly close to the righthand wall and keep going down. You will see a turquoise gem positioned in a really nasty spot under a spike block. Go quickly through the gap from right to left grabbing the turquoise gem (13). You will lose energy here, just be quick and you shouldn’t lose too much. I have tried, but I cannot get through without losing energy and it would take too long, wasting time bonus points. Head back up the lefthand side, going up and left and then back down through the gap we entered through earlier. This time, stay close to the righthand wall and go straight down. Sink down to the red gem positioned to the righthand side of the exit platform (14). Head up and left to the exit platform, landing slightly right of centre. Level complete.
Level 3 - Catacombs III – 7 gems
You can’t really go wrong here; the level just weaves downwards. Take your time and don’t lose unnecessary energy; the walkthrough explains why further down. Go down and right to the green gem (1), then down and left to orange (2). Down and slightly right to the red (3), then continue down and then right to the pink gem (4). Go right and get close to the righthand wall and then sink down, going to the right of the block in the middle, picking up the two purple gems on your way down (6). Now go under the block on your left and grab the final turquoise gem (7). Don’t worry if you lose energy doing so because at this point we are going to sacrifice Gwyl in the search of extra bonus points. Just bump poor old Gwyl into the walls until he loses his first life! But why be so mean I hear you cry? Well, to get to the exit you have to navigate all the way back to the top again which takes ages. By sacrificing Gwyl, you get to restart at the top of the level but with all the gems you have already collected. When it restarts, just head quickly to the right and land on the exit platform for a huge time bonus. This also means that on the levels before this, losing a bit of energy trying to go quickly is not a problem; as long as you have enough energy to get all the gems on level 3, then you are nicely on track. Level complete.
Level 4 – Catacombs IV – 8 gems
Now, before we start this level, it's important to clarify that health is now critical. We have no spare lives, so making it to the end requires some accurate navigation, as there are some very awkward parts to come where you will lose energy. I don’t mean slow to a crawl as we still need time bonuses but don’t be reckless. Head down the lefthand side collecting the red gem (1) and then the pink gem (2) in the cavern below. At the pink gem start heading down and right, following the roof around until you see a very narrow gap above you. Go up through the gap (careful – you will probably lose some energy here; make sure it's not too much) and then up to the green gem (3) above you and slightly to the right. Drop back down and then head up and left (not back through the narrow gap yet) to grab the purple gem (4). Now double back and drop back down through the narrow gap (very tricky) and keep going down to grab the orange gem (5). Now go up and right over the diamond shaped obstacle and then right, grabbing the turquoise gem above you (6). Go straight down to grab the pink gem (7) and then head up and left until you see a red gem (8). Grab that gem and carry on up and then right to the exit. Level complete.
Level 5 – Lava Caves I – 6 gems
Nice new background but it makes no difference to gameplay (the lava flows in the background don’t hurt you) so on we go. Down and right to grab the orange gem (1). Go right until you clear the ledge below you. Go down and head left when you can, grabbing the red gem (2). Go right again and then down as soon as you can and through the gap. Go left to the pink gem (3) and then double back to the right. Go up back through the gap you just dropped down through and up and right to the turquoise gem (4). Go right and then up and on your left is a green gem (5); go grab it. Head down and right and then go down, staying fairly close to the righthand wall. A fair way down is a green gem (6) and then it's up and a short way left to the exit platform. Level complete.
Level 6 – Lava Caves II - 7 gems
Straight down the narrow gap to the green gem (1) and continue going down a fair distance until you reach a red gem (2). Go back up (there is nothing in the gap to the right of the red gem). When you clear the horizontal barrier, go right and then at the first opportunity go up through the gap. Up and left to the orange gem (3), then double back and head right until you see a green above you; go up and grab it (4). Now head down, staying very close to the righthand wall, squeezing through a narrow gap to grab a turquoise gem (5). Keep going down past the exit platform and grab the last two red gems (7). Hop up and left to the exit platform. Level complete.
Level 7 – Lava Caves III – 5 gems
A simple level to find the gems but watch the walls as it’s tighter than it looks. You go right, grabbing gems in the following order: green (1) purple (2) turquoise (3) purple (4) orange (5). Now double back the way you came to the exit. Level complete.
Level 8 – Snowy Mountain I – 10 gems
Another background change. This level is a pain, lots of narrow parts, be careful. Go down and left, grabbing the purple gem (1), and then keep going down the very narrow gap to get the green gem (2) at the bottom. Go up and right and then you have to squeeze through the gap on your right to get into the space there. It’s very awkward. Go right and up to grab the pink gem (3) and now you have the pleasure of going back through that narrow gap and then heading up to grab the red gem (4) which you can see above you. Go all the way up and then move right through the narrow corridor grabbing a purple gem (5) on your way through. Once clear of that nasty part, go down, grabbing the red gem (6) as you pass. Go left as far as you can and above you is a green gem (7); grab that and then go down and a little right to grab an orange gem (8). Go up and over the little block to your right and then you have to squeeze through another nasty gap down and right to get into the cavern there. Grab the two green gems (10) and you will see the platform light up above you. No easy route there, though, so back through that tight gap, up through the gap where we got the red gem and then right to the exit. Level complete and probably not much energy left!
Level 9 – Snowy Mountain II – 9 gems
OK, there are 9 gems but where they are varies so I can’t guide you through. As it seems to be impossible to get a time bonus here, take your time and make sure you get all the gems. The setup of the level is best described as a corridor round the outside with another corridor inside that and a central space. There are a few dead ends too. Just search methodically through the level. When you have all the gems, you have the choice as to whether to get Gwyl to the exit or just bump into walls and lose his last life. It doesn’t make any difference to your score, but personally I like to get him to the finish and get the congratulations you have beaten the game message! The exit is at the bottom of the cave, near the lefthand side. Game complete!
I hope you find this guide useful and give Gwyl’s Great Escape a try. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to drop me a neomail. Thanks!