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Much Ado about Dubloon (Disaster)

by _shiny_sableye_


Good day, everyone. Err... Arrr... whatever. I stink at pirate talk, so let’s not go there. Where we should be going is how to play one of the easiest and yet most aggravating games Neopets has to offer. That’s right. Dubloon Disaster. In this guide, I will show you the secrets on how to get a high score-worthy outcome (Don’t believe me? Look at my lookup) and order some pizza at the same time. Yes, that’s right. You can play Dubloon Disaster and order a nice slice of Maggot Pizza (well, for me, anyway...) at the exact same time. Those other guides don’t offer that, now do they?

In this guide, I’ll explain the ins and outs, the ups and downs, and the “OHMYGOSHHOWDIDTHATGETTHERE!?!??!” moments that set you for a loop and cause you to throw a tantrum on the floor or wherever there’s room. Because there are moments in this game that make you want to do just that. I’ll make it a bit more organized and label important sections, plus strategies that might get you closer to winning that avatar, or simply knocking a poor desperate girl off the high score tables, the latter a bit more likely to happen.

Is This Game For You?

First of all, before you even think about playing Dubloon Disaster, you have to THINK about it. Is this really going to be a fun game for me? Well, most likely, the answer is going to be no, unless you have a boatload (literally!) of spare time. To get my score of about 8000, I spent nearly an hour playing this game, and that is an hour I will never get back (except in a trophy and 1000 NP). So this game is only for people who are EXTREMELY patient, and will not throw a tantrum when things go wrong. Because, if it’s your first few times playing this game, you probably will not get past 100 points, let alone 800. But fear not! If you have about three hours of spare time that you aren’t using for more useful activities (because this game requires your FULL ATTENTION. MUCH LIKE THIS ARTICLE. Did I get your attention yet? Lovely), then feel free to play this game all you want. BUT NOT YET. *reader covers ears* Sorry, did I scare you? Didn’t mean to. Anyway, don’t get off the page and go straight to DD yet, because I still have a boatload (man, I love using that pun) of stuff to explain. So be patient.

So, in review, the best type of person to play this game should be...

  • Patient
  • Tolerant of mistakes
  • Capable of having a very long attention span/easily focused.
  • Finished reading this article.


The Basics

So, as you all should know, something happened between the Black Pawkeet and another ship (which, oddly, doesn’t have a name. Must not be too important, then). The little pirate ship was bombed by the slightly more famous Black Pawkeet, and now this random Krawk in a rowboat (you) is trying to get as much of the treasure the little ship had as possible.


Oh, you want that pizza now?

Well, you’re going to have to be patient, which is one of the virtues I listed above.

Anyway, to make life harder for this poor Krawk in the cheap old rowboat, the Black Pawkeet is shooting mines at him, adding one more every time he gets a Dubloon. Before you go about feeling sorry for this unfortunate Krawk, remember that the Krawk is YOU. So either do something about the mines and get as much treasure as possible, or just... don’t bother playing. And why did you read this article in the first place if you aren’t going to play? That’s just like... ordering a pizza and not eating it.


I’m getting hungry, let’s start the game already.

Quick Tips to Get You Started

So, here are some tips that I have found useful in my Dubloon Disaster career. You might find them useful as well.

NEVER NEVER NEVER let go of the “accelerate” key.

That’s the “Up” arrow. Never let go of it unless you are sitting still, luring the mines toward you. In other words, always keep moving. Your score and said Krawk in Boat will thank you for it. The only time I ever use the “reverse” key is when I’m backing into a corner, because I make it an abrupt motion. However, it’s up to you.

Don’t be afraid to take some risks.

Because you’re going to have to every once in a while. Taking some risks is the only way to get the mines where you want them, and if you “play it safe” the whole time, chances are, you’re going to lose the game before you even get to 500 points. So don’t be afraid to get your butt in danger every once in a while. But that only applies in games, not real life...

Water effects? No thanks!

The water effects can be very distracting, and can cause the game to lag if you have slow internet. Plus, every time I see the water moving, I think it’s a whirlpool, so I panic. And when I panic, my guard drops, and likely, so does yours. But, on the other hand, I’ve had two of my best games with the water effects, so it all depends on how easily distracted you are.

Corners are your friends

Whenever in doubt, hide in a corner. Don’t hear that very often, do you?

Mines 101

So you’ve got your first Dubloon. Most likely, you’ve got ten points. Lucky you. But the game obviously doesn’t end there. You see something black and pointy with blinking lights in the distance. Even though the object looks cool, don’t go toward it. Why? Because it’s a mine fired off by the Black Pawkeet. And if it comes into contact with you, the pirates on the Black Pawkeet will be having roast Krawk for dinner (which is kind of an awkward situation, if you think about it). Basically, you only have one life, so you may as well use it collecting Dubloons and running away from mines.

This portion of the guide will tell you all about the mines, and how to either get away from them or put them in a reasonable position where you can get all the Dubloons you want with little interference. I prefer the latter, because it’s more fun. That method, because I like it so much and it is vital to getting a decent score in the game, will be explained later.

But first, let’s take a look at the blinky thingies that will blow you up. You see, mines weren’t originally invented with brains, so they will always resort to following you wherever you go. You can use this to your advantage by going where you want the mines to go, and they’ll most likely follow you. This is good for getting that precious shiny 500-point Dubloon that the mines are guarding so heavily. Don’t get it? I’ll explain it further.

So say the mines are in the upper left corner of the screen, and so is the Dubloon. You can always move your boat (was originally going to say ’butt,’ but this fits better) to the lower right corner and... wait for it...

Just sit there.

That’s right. I said it. While the mines are ever-slowly making their way toward you, you can just sit there and enjoy the view, point out when the mines are arranged in pretty shapes (I had the mines in a fish shape once. Wish I’d taken a picture of it), or order that long-awaited pizza. No, seriously. In the time it takes to pick up the phone, call up Pizzaroo, and say...

“Hello, Pizzaroo? I’d like to order a large Maggot Pizza. What? No, this isn’t a prank call! ... Yes, that‘ll be to the Haunted Woods... 1313 Zomutt Avenue... That‘ll be HOW MUCH?”

Oh, look, the mines are already halfway there. Better move the boat before it asplodes.

So, it’s as easy as that. Now, behold as I unveil a step-by-step process on smooth sailing (am loving these boat puns) to your trophy and your Neopoints on how to outsmart those brainless... mines.

Round ‘em Up!

It’s been said before, and now I’ll say it again. The surefire way to get a clear path to your Dubloon is to round up the mines into one big cluster, and get all of the Dubloons from there. Use the aforementioned method of just sitting there (not in where you’re currently at, hopefully) I mentioned earlier if the Dubloon is hidden or is dangerously near the mines. If you don’t, obviously, a mine is going to sneak right up on you, and... well, TNT would be on my tail if I described exactly what happened, so I’ll just leave it at “it won’t be pretty.”

Below are some methods I use to make the mines into that one big cluster. And remember what I said earlier about risk-taking? There’s going to be plenty of that in here. Which reminds me...


The Alleyway

I’ve heard it called several different names, but the name I choose for it is either the “Alleyway” or the “Aisle.” They both essentially mean the same thing. If two mines are far apart, you can always dive in the space between them (no matter how far away or near they are) and zooming out of the way before they collide and take you with them. This is useful if you have an even number of mines (2, 4, 6, or 8) in your path and they’re all in two straight lines. Guaranteed cluster if you’re quick enough.

The Triangle

This is much easier than the Alleyway, and it also requires at least two mines, although any number will do. This is also a good alternative to the Alleyway, and can immediately be used when the Alleyway is much too dangerous (because, say, there’s another mine between them that you are most likely going to run into). Basically, you sit yourself down at a distance in front of two mines that are far apart. Hopefully, if you do this right, you and the two mines (excluding any other mines that come in the area) form a triangle. So you sit and wait until the mines are close enough to each other that they form a cluster, and then you run... err... row. This method is good for when you have a cluster of eight mines and the ninth is really far away.

The Drag

... It’s not what you’re thinking.

Basically, once you have your mines in the cluster, you can manipulate them to move wherever you like them. This method was explained in the main “Mines 101” section, where you just sit yourself down, order a pizza, and wait for the mines to come to you. Although this isn’t always easy, because the mines sometimes have different opinions on where they want to go, and they’ll accidentally collide with each other, which I’ll explain below.

The Controversy on Exploding Mines

Now, I’ve read some of the other guides previously published in the NT, and they all say the same thing. They say that making two mines collide and causing them to asplode is a good thing. In this guide, however, I will contradict that and say that it is NOT a good thing, and you should stay with nine. No matter what, you should NOT make the mines explode. NOT, NOT, NOT. The reason being... it just makes life a bit easier. If you already have nine mines out on the water, you don’t have to worry about any more popping up and getting in your path. However, if two or more of them collide, and they asplode, then you have to worry about a mine popping up every time you get a Dubloon until you have nine mines again, and you’ll have to take the time to group them all up again.

However, say the pizza comes.

“Pizza’s here!”

And you have an even number of mines on the field. You can lure them to each other, make them burst, and whatnot until there are no mines left. And as long as you have not gotten the Dubloon that’s currently out on the field yet, you’re in the same condition as you were at the beginning of the game, and you’re free to go out and get your pizza and even eat a bit of it before you go back to your game. That way, you won’t get a headache from the constant “Ping! Ping! Ping!” sound every time you get a Dubloon. And it’s a good excuse to take a break. When you’re ready to resume the game, simply grab the Dubloon and continue on.

That’s a Wrap!

Dubloon Disaster is a relatively easy game, although it can get aggravating due to the slow movements of the mines and the amount of time it takes to get a thousand points. You can get a trophy (recommended at the beginning of the month, because that’s when most of the scores are below 10,000) with about three hours of spare time, and a whole lot of patience. Perhaps even something else to think about.

So I hope you got something out of this guide, and if it’s successful, I might even write a companion guide about Sophie’s Stew. It all depends on how everything plays out.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve a Maggot Pizza to eat.

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