Dubloon Disaster – Not Just Some Floating Mines
Do you remember the last time you were floating along the shores of Krawk Island on a modest aquatic vessel, content with all the treasure you had accumulated, when you were savagely attacked by a large pirate ship? No?
Well, you’re in luck because in Dubloon Disaster, you play Dorak and this is the predicament you find yourself in! Dorak’s ship is attacked by the Black Pawkeet, and his treasure is scattered throughout the water. He wants to salvage as much of it as possible – but ahoy! Pirates do not just attack once and then slink away silently into the night. The pirates of the Black Pawkeet have left mine devices that explode upon contact. Therefore, as Dorak, you must navigate the open waters and collect as much of your treasure as possible while avoiding the mines.
In order to prepare for this mission, you must first get your sea legs, of course! My recommendation would be to make a hat out of Darigan Seaweed and grab your Shiny Shoal Shell Shield for protection. What, you ask? Will you look silly? No – purple vegetation and shiny plastic shields are all the rage in the water these days – look at the Maraquan Gelert if you do not believe me.
Once you’re prepared for your sea voyage, there are some facts you should know about the game. There are seven types of coins that can appear in the water. The most common is a bronze coin, and it is worth 10 points. There are four silver coins: one with a skull (25 points), one with an X (50 points), one with a moon sliver (100 points) and one with a skull and crossbones – not to be confused with just the skull – (250 points). Finally, there is one gold coin that has an X on it, worth 500 points, and the biggest treasure of all is a silver coin with a gold outline that also contains an X and is worth a whopping 1000 points. Every time you collect a coin, a new mine pops up; however, after 9 mines are on the screen, further collection of coins does not produce new mines.
Something important to note: whirlpools will randomly appear throughout the game. If you are not a master rower, you will get pulled into this whirlpool. Also, be on the lookout for any rogue mines because they will be automatically pulled into the whirlpool and if you are in their path, your game will end even if you survive the whirlpool.
There are two strategies to collecting your treasures: the “exploding” strategy and the “cluster” strategy.
In the exploding strategy, you pit two mines against one another in the ultimate goal of getting them to make contact with one another and blow up (remember, anything the mine comes in contact with blows up!). Therefore, you collect two coins, two mines pop up, you maneuver them toward each other, and they blow up.
Advantage: With this strategy, you are guaranteed that there will be plenty of times when there are no mines on the screen and thus you have no chance of coming in contact with one and ending your game.
Disadvantage: Every time you collect a new coin, a mine has a chance of appearing ANYWHERE, including your current position without your knowledge. Therefore, it is really easy to get caught either on top of a mine or very near one without a chance of escape.
In the cluster theory, you maneuver the mines into a pack (again, not touching!) that travels together while you are free to grab coins. This is my preferred method, and I will explain why.
Advantage: With this strategy, if you can get past the 9 mines appearing on the screen, you have little else to worry about except for the whirlpool. It is very easy to get the mines to move once they are in the cluster because they are all near one another. The presence of your boat draws mines toward you, and if there are many mines close together, they will all follow your presence.
Disadvantage: The only real disadvantage of this strategy is sometimes, it is possible to get cornered as you are trying to maneuver the cluster around, especially if your cluster is fairly wide. This is easily remedied, obviously, by creating a narrow cluster and taking the time to properly maneuver the cluster such that you have the time and room to escape.
Techniques of both strategies:
For all portions of the game, you are using your arrow keys to move around. Dorak’s boat can go up, left, right, and very useful – down!
For the exploding strategy, collect two coins. After the mines pop up, determine the shortest distance between the two mines (the straight line) and bring your boat near one of the mines. Slowly keep moving backward toward the other mine, careful not to get too close to either mine. At the last second, dash to the side (or down) and the two mines will explode.
For the cluster strategy, it is a little bit more complex but the same principle applies. You will do the same thing as in the exploding strategy, except do not allow the two mines to get that close to each other that they explode. After they are near one another, collect another coin and another mine will pop up. Position your boat in the path between one of the mines in the two-mine cluster and the new mine that has just popped up; it doesn’t matter which mine you choose. Apply the same strategy as before such that at the end, an obtuse triangle is created. Maneuver your boat into the obtuse part of the triangle so that the mine follows you inward a little bit, creating an approximately equilateral triangle. Wow, Neopets and geometry: what a combination! Make sure that you keep moving backward so that the third mine does not hit you. For the subsequent mines, it is really up to you how you choose to bring in the mines, but take care to make sure the cluster is relatively small.
After you have obtained your cluster and you want to collect more coins in the water, to get the cluster to move, you must do half circles around the cluster. In other words, the cluster is a circle, so if you start from around the center of the circle on one side and move down around it following its outline yet keeping a small distance, the mines will follow your boat. This can be done to move the boat in any direction.
One last note: at certain times, the mines will inadvertently get too close to one another and blow up in the cluster strategy. This is okay, do not panic! Just know that the next two coins will cause the appearance of two more mines, so be on the lookout and ready to float away. Also, obviously, when a whirlpool does come, the mines will all be washed away so a new cluster must be formed.
That’s all I have for you today, and I hope I will “sea” you all on the open waters soon!