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Beyond the Standard Trophies

by avielend


     Very few things on our userlookups make a better, quick impression than shiny trophies. To most of us, we’re happy enough with the dozen or so “easy” trophies that abound, such as Cheat or Beating Punchbag Bob. Secretly we may aspire to more, but unless we love playing games or have a gift for them, we tend to stick to the more obtainable ones. I have a few suggestions for game trophies that are slightly less common, although still relatively straightforward to obtain. Each suggestion is broken down into a little bit of background about the game, basic gameplay, and some game tips.

     1. Imperial Exam

     First on the list is Imperial Exam. In this game, you, the examiner, are responsible for determining the most qualified scholars in Shenkuu. The scholars will approach you with their best attempt at the correct spelling of a word and you can choose to either admit them or turn them away. However, if you allow too many poor spellers into the hall or chase away all the good ones, you will lose.

          The game is split into five levels, each with a different amount of correct spellers needed to progress. There is a timer for each round, but there are no bonuses for finishing quickly – correct spelling is all that matters. Each word has only one incorrect spelling, and the list of words for each difficulty is known, allowing you to study, if needed.

     I consider this game to be easier than most because you can obtain a trophy score on the beginner level – there are no bonuses for completing the game on a more challenging level. Another benefit to the game is that the correct spelling is the main focus, not the timer, allowing you to remain more focused. The trophy score tends to remain about the same each month, so if you’ve scored a comparable score in practice, you should be able to reach that score again. The number of correct versus incorrect spellers does vary though, so there is a measure of luck required.

     2. Ugga Drop

     At the beginning of Ugga Drop, you’ll be randomly assigned one of five characters standing at the top of a cliff. As the game begins, your character will jump off the cliff, and it’s up to you to guide it to the landing zone as quickly as possible. To slow your character down, you’ll need to release a parachute at the ideal location for each level. There are four levels in the game, with multiple rounds, and you’ll want to land first every time in order to get a gold trophy.

     While you’re playing there are a few things you should keep in mind. As I mentioned, you’ll be randomly assigned a character at the beginning of the game. Each of these characters will keep the same starting position every round and game that you play. There are pros and cons to each position, so if you find that you prefer one over the others, you may want to restart the game as needed. For example, I like being either one character to the right or left of the center as this allows me to jostle the other characters out of the way, while reducing the chance that my character will be pushed aside. As your character is falling, remember that your main goal is to reach the bottom first – the tokens may be tempting, but in the end, the first place finishes are worth more and are more relevant to earning a gold trophy. Each level has a different map, so you will need to determine a new ideal location to release the parachute for each one. After each level, you should upgrade your character. It’s best to upgrade evenly, rather than only focusing on one upgrade.

     Rather than a traditional trophy where you must be in the top seventeen scores to receive a trophy, Ugga Drop is one of the few games that anyone who reaches the top three scores (typically 40k, 39k, and 38k) gets the trophy! This reduces the competitive aspect quite a bit because now you’re not competing against other users – only yourself – and you can reach a trophy score at any time, not just on reset day.

     3. The Great Desert Race

     The Great Desert Race, at first glance, looks like an unassuming board game where the first to the finish line wins the game. However, if you play the game that way you’ll never be able to score in the trophy range. Instead, you want to repeat the Tug-O-War game as many times as possible. To do this, you’ll need to position your game pieces carefully.

     One character needs to be staged one space before the finish. This character can only be moved off the board by selecting them to move exactly one space, allowing you to control the movement, or lack thereof, of your second character. Use the red whirlpool near the end of the game to send character two across the board, a few spaces from the Tug-O-War. As you roll the die, either choose player one (if the value would send you past either the Tug-O-War or the red whirlpool) or player two (to land on the Tug-O-War or whirlpool) to move. Scoring a 4, 5, or 6 on the Tug-O-War tile wins 100 points, scoring less than 4 loses. Repeat, until you reach your desired score.

     One of the best parts about this game is that you can place in a trophy range at any time, as long as you have the patience to beat the score. Of course, playing earlier in the month can make it easier on this end, but the choice is yours. A downside of this approach is that your score will likely need to be reviewed so be sure to factor the delay in your score posting before sending in your final score.

     I understand that not everyone is great at games (I certainly am not), but in my opinion these trophies are attainable to anyone, although a bit of practice may be needed beforehand. Since they are not often part of the “standard” set of trophies people obtain, they’ll stand out on your userlookup. Try to avoid comparing your scores to anyone else’s, unless you’re trying to determine the score range for a trophy. Not all things worth accomplishing are easy and sometimes a challenge can be rewarding! Keep at it and soon we’ll all be admiring these trophies on your userlookup.

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