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Faerie Bubbles - Making the Shot


by monosaccharides

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I know the feeling. You’ve read every game guide there is to read about Faerie Bubbles, you’ve practiced for weeks and weeks, and still – you just can’t seem to get that avatar! You *know* what you need to do, the strategy’s practically burned into your mind at this stage, but when you have to have pinpoint accuracy in the later levels, it all slips through your fingers with a simple case of bad aim. But fear not! As long as you’re not afraid to do a little math work, that clumsy trigger finger can be cleared up in no time at all.

... Hey. Hey, get back here. Yes, you! Don’t let the word “math” drive you off, I’m not about to start asking you to do calculus for me; this is simple! If I know most Neopians, the last thing they want to think about in the middle of playing a game is math, with the notable exception of Maths Nightmare, but just stick with me! Here, let me lay out some basic tools and skills that you’re going to need to get through this.

Do you have a ruler? A straightedge of any kind will do in a pinch; you’re not actually going to use this to measure anything. I just personally find a flexible plastic ruler easier to maneuver with for my purposes. You do? Fantastic! The first step’s out of the way.

How about a protractor? *Get back here!* Yes, you need a protractor. You have no reason to fear the protractor. I’ll explain to you in detail exactly what you’ll be doing with it as we go along, but suffice to say you’ll need to know how to measure some basic angles. Do you need a crash course in protractor use? I’ll give you one anyway; it’ll make everyone more comfortable with it.

To measure your angle, lay the center of the bottom line (most will have a dot, hole, circle, or some indicator; it’s directly below the 90 degree point) on the origin of your angle. You’ll notice that there are two sets of graded divisions, going from 0 to 180 degrees in opposite directions, one on top of the other. There are two sets because it all depends on which direction you measure the angle from – for our purposes, all of our angles will be in the 0 to 90 degree range, so no matter which side you draw your angle from, make sure you use the appropriate 0 to 90 scale to calculate. Finding your angle is simply a matter of drawing (or since this is going to be up against your computer screen, resting your ruler against) a line from the origin to the appropriate mark on the number scale along the curve.

That wasn’t so bad, was it? The last things you’ll need are some very basic math skills. Can you add or subtract? I knew you could. :) If in a bind, scrap paper is usually pretty handy, and hey! You’re on a computer, so chances are you’ve got a calculator right at your fingertips already. Now that we’ve got most of the jargon out of the way, let’s work on applying these tools and skills to the game and make that shot!

When you first start Faerie Bubbles, it’s deceptively simple. They even give you guide marks that will show you exactly where your bubble’s going to land! They’re so kind. Level One? No problem! Let’s get the rest of this out of the way and get that avatar!

Wait a minute. Where are the guide marks in Level Two?! How will you know where your bubble’s going to go?! Just stop, and take a deep breath. This is where your handy tools and skills come into play. You can totally do this, and by the time you’re done reading this article, you will be able to find with pinpoint accuracy where your bubble will land before you even fire it off. Have a space that you know you *need* to get that bubble to, but not quite sure how to get it there? No worries! This method works in reverse too. Let’s get started.

First off is the simplest step – the straight shot. Your ruler has now become the guide mark that you loved so much in Level One. Rest the ruler against the lower side of your cannon. That is one side of the bubble that’s about to come out of the cannon. If you see your ruler overlap an obstacle in the way, your bubble’s not going to make it past that. Adjust accordingly. I’m normally able to estimate for the size of the bubble with the other side, but if you’re really not sure or just want to be safe, move your ruler and line it up to the top of the cannon to make sure that the other side clears obstacles as well. This is honestly the most self-explanatory part of the article; I’m sure you can pick this up and run with it from here. :)

As anyone who’s played Faerie Bubbles past the first handful of levels knows... the time where a straight shot is enough to get by does not last long at all. Many times, to get your bubble where you need it, you have to bounce it off the wall to get it around something, or to make it hit from the correct direction. This is where your wonderful protractor and brain power come in!

After a little while of playing the game, I had noticed a pattern when I tried to bank my shots against the wall. Curious, I decided to take out my protractor, and make a few test shots to see if my guess was correct. The result of this experiment was the discovery that when you fire the bubble against the wall, it will *always* bounce off at a complementary angle to the angle the cannon was fired at!

...You’re giving me that look again. Oh.

Angles are complementary if the sum of their measures adds up to 90 degrees. That means, let’s say you had your cannon angled at 25 degrees. The complementary angle to that would be 65 degrees, because 90-25=65. That also means that you now know that if you angle your cannon 25 degrees, when it hits the wall, it’s going to bounce off at a 65 degree angle to the point of impact! Quick! Take your protractor and whip it around to where you used your ruler to find where it would strike the wall! Measure 65 degrees from that point, and look at that! You have exactly where that bubble is going to land when it finishes bouncing. This standard holds true no matter what angle your cannon rests at – and by the way, always measure your angle along the bottom end of the cannon – simply subtract the angle of your cannon from 90, and you have its complement, and the resultant bounce angle.

Now, what happens when you know exactly where the bubble has to go? It would be counterproductive to guess the cannon angle and make the appropriate measurements over and over until you get it right, wouldn’t it? Of course it would! So, you simply start the process in reverse. Lay your ruler against the place you want the bubble to land, and place your protractor up against the wall. Adjust the two until you’ve got the measure of the angle it would have to ricochet off the wall to reach the spot you need, and take the complement of that to find the angle the cannon needs to be at to reach it. If you can reach the wall at that angle without hitting an obstacle, you can reach your point. For example, let’s say you’ve scoped out your target area, and for the bubble to reach it, it would have to ricochet off the wall at a 40 degree angle. 90-40=50, so adjust your cannon to 50 degrees, and fire at will!

Needless to say, this is not a very fast process. More often than not, it’s actually quite slow, and borderline tedious at times, but! It is undeniably accurate. So, if you’ve got some spare time and just *have* to make that shot – go ahead and make that shot! You’ve got everything you need to do it. :)

If you have any questions about this method at all, feel free to contact me! I’d be happy to explain further.

 
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