Introduction



Escape from meridell castle is a game about a draik called Valrigard who was falsely accused of being a traitor and thrown into the depths of the dungeons. After surveying the guards' movements, he initiates his break out, and that's where the game begins. The complete back story can be found here, but since you're here for help with the avy, let's get right into it

Draik - Escape from Meridell Castle

To get this snazzy looking avatar you must be in the top 50 on the high score list when trophies are rewarded (currently around 10:50pm nst every day). This means that you have the greatest chance of getting the avy on the 1st of the month when the high score lists are reset and scores are low. This month's lowest score which achieved the avatar was *need to update*, with this guide you should be able to score more than enough to beat this, maybe even snagging yourself one of these trophies too!


Thanks to Kiyo, Xiou and Loui for help with the coding :)
To start reading through the guide use the links on the left to navigate. Good luck!

Basics


Controls:
move left move right fly up swing sword
.
Goodies:
Valrigard Mystery Platorm Star
Who you are controlling throughout the game. Fly into from below for 1, 2, 3, 4 or 100 points. These add 1 point to your total score and give you an extra life once you've collected 100.
Energy Boost Exit Door Bonus Door
Replenishes your flight energy to maximum, allowing you to fly further. Takes you to the next level, press the up arrow key once you are in front of it. Takes you to a bonus level, only accessible in levels 11 and 19.
.
Bad Guys:
Spikes (lv1+) Grarrl (lv1+) Korbat (lv3+)
Just your average death-inducing spikes. These guys move left and right along a platform, kⅰll them with a swipe of your sword. Same as Grarrls, but they fly from left to right.
Acid Blob (lv5+) Metal Star (lv6+) Cannon (lv7+)
They drip blobs of acid (go figure..) that kⅰll you. The drips are at regular intervals, but that time varies each time you play. The same as a Grarrl, but is indestructable. Shoots bombs at you. Cannot be kⅰlled, but slash it for points
Spikey (lv14+) Flamer (lv17+)
Very fast enemy that can only be kⅰlled when it is not in a tornado, however if timed correctly you can slash the tornado and keep walking through it without dying. The same as a Metal Star, but it moves vertically instead of horizontally.

Tips and Tricks


Conserving flight energy:
THE most important skⅰll to master if you're hoping for a trophy, or to make the avy MUCH easier. What it means, is effectively tapping the up arrow key to increase how far you can fly by around 3 squares. This is important to escape areas such as in level 9 and 12 to maximise your score. It would be too difficult for me to describe in depth how to use this skⅰll, so i have made a video showing how here.

Attacking:
Time your swing slightly before you get to the enemy and then continue walking (or flying) through them. Too early and you'll finish your swipe before you get to them, too late and you won't swing in time.
Flying past spikes:
Some people have trouble making it through areas with spikes on either side without dying. The trick to this is that the back half of Valrigard is seemingly invincible, it can touch the spikes and nothing will happen to you. So when you're flying past, make sure to stick close to one side, while facing away from it. Note that you can also go slightly into the spikes that face down, when you are flying up.
Shadowing the metal star:
When metal stars are moving away from you, you can walk almost half way into them without dying. You must do this in some levels (such as 7 and 12) in order to collect all the stars. This is a risky technique however, because as soon as the metal star reaches the edge and starts moving towards you again, a slight touch will kⅰll you. I don't recommend risking it because of this, as 1 life is worth much more than 1 point.
Landing in alcoves:
When you let go of the up arrow key, you still go up for a fraction of a second (which is how conserving flight energy works), so to land in areas only one square high, i find it easiest to let go of the up arrow key just before you are level with the entrance, and then hold the directional key to enter.

Level 1


Simple level to ease you into the game. Hit the mystery box, take out all the grarrls and collect all the stars. Note that if you press up on the door you will go to the next level, so you must already be flying to collect the stars above the door. This is seen many times throughout the game.

Level 2


Take out the first grarrl, hit the mystery box, then make your way to where there is a thin path off to the right. Fly up here and hit the other mystery box. Collect all the stars and kⅰll all the enemies as you make your way to the exit. Beginners should not try and get the middle four stars or the stars in the very corner of the top section.

Level 3


Kⅰll the grarrl and two korbats before collecting 9 stars at the start. Fly around the right of the spikes (doing this by conserving your flight energy makes it easier) making sure not to hit the ceiling or you'll die, and then land on the free spot next to the spikes. Don't attempt to hit the mystery box because you'll rebound into the spikes. Collect the rest of the stars, kⅰll the last korbat, move on to the next level.

Level 4


Kⅰll the grarrls, then fly up to the right side of the platform above you, taking care not to hit the spikes. Hit the grarrl and mystery box before dropping off (yes DROPPING, don't fly until you've fallen a bit) the left side and flying to the next area. Land on the conveyor belt, take out the two korbats then move up the right shaft and hit the two mystery boxes. Collect the two stars and exit the level.

Level 5


Kⅰll all the korbats and collect the stars, but watch out for the acid blobs dripping down from above when you're collecting them. Fly up the last part of the level, collect the stars and enter the door. Beginners shouldn't try to get the stars on the left, and remember that you can go slightly into the spikes above you, but touching the one below you will cause death, so make sure you have enough clearance.

Level 6


Don't worry about the red door, as far as i know it's impossible to get to. Start flying up the left side as soon as the korbat starts moving to the left as well, then when you're level with it, turn and slash. Repeat with the next one and then fly up to the platform. Slash the third korbat, fly over the metal star, hit the mystery box, then collect all stars (if you have collected every star so far you should hear a sound notifying you of an extra life!) and destroy the rest of the enemies.

Level 7


Slash grarrl, hit mystery box, then wait on the platform for the metal star to come. You must shadow it (see tips) along the corridor before quickly flying over it as it starts to head back the other way. Collect stars, kⅰll grarrls, then time your flight up to the next area so you aren't hit by the acid blobs. Make sure to face left while you're flying up, so there is a chance the blob will miss you if one suddenly comes down. Make your way up to where there are three acid blobs in a row, observe that each one has a set speed that it drips at, run past when you deem it safe but stay underneath the ceiling still. Wait there until the cannon has fired, then quickly fly up, over the metal star, and exit. I've never been able to score points off the cannon on this level, but if you want to try and swipe it, go for it.

Level 8


Ok, this is a pretty hard level if you're playing for points (which you are ..). First off you should know that you can fly through cannons without being hurt, so start by going straight up, stab the first cannon for points and then land on the left platform. Dodge the first round of cannonbaⅼⅼs while collecting the stars and then slash the top left cannon. Land on top of the mystery boxes and then repeat for the next two cannons. Drop back down to the bottom, hit the two mystery boxes, then fly up and kⅰll both grarrls. Slash the next two cannons, then korbats, then another cannon as you make your way up the level. The last cannon between spikes IS possible to hit, stand on top of the mystery box and wait for it to fire a cannonball at you, then quickly fly around it and slash the cannon. Dodge the metal stars on your way to exiting the level.

Level 9


Hit the mystery box, go up to the empty section next to the spikes, then fly over on top of the three mystery boxes, kⅰlling the korbat on the way. Fly down and hit them one by one, otherwise you'll run out of energy. Fly up to the right side of the first platform with a metal star on it, only stay there for a second to regain energy, then fly to the top left one. From there fly around to the right of the conveyor belt, kⅰll the korbats, and fly into the alcove above. Wait for the acid to drip before moving to the next alcove, and then again to reach the top. Progress through the level collectin and kⅰlling everything until you get to an area with three spike pits. The way to get past these is to hold up and right, do the same thing when the metal star is next to you so you can fly up past it while it's moving away. Go over the door and drop down to gather all the stars, then fly out and exit the level. If you have trouble making it all the way out, check the tips section.

Level 10


Again, the red door here is impossible to reach, so instead just go to the normal exit. Slash the cannon, wait until it's safe to move past the acid blob and metal star, collect and kⅰll everything. When you get to the platform among the spikes, tap up while holding right, then allow yourself to fall for a bit, then hold up and fly out of there to the exit. If you've collected every star so far, then you'll get another extra life in this level :D

Level 11


Another great thing about cannons is that when you're directly on top of them, they can't hit you. So with this in mind move up the level, hitting the mystery box on the way. Be wary of the cannonbaⅼⅼs as you emerge up the top, as they can occasionally be fired at super speed. Kⅰll the grarrl, swipe at the two cannons, and then DON'T EXIT the level. I hope you've learnt how to conserve flight energy by now, because you'll probably need to here. Stand to the right of the huge door and fly up, you'll encounter energy boosts which will allow you to keep flying. After the second one move into the middle for the next two, and then go into the red door to start the bonus level!

Level 12


Before you start this level you should know that this is what i call the 'point hoarding level'. This level gives the most points and so therefore you'd want to complete it multiple times, how would you do that? By suiciding at the end of the level of course ;D. This is why it's best to have as many lives as possible to maximise your score. Start off by going up the left-hand side (if you just want to move on to the next level go up the right, but i recommend the left first for points) slashing at the two korbats, cannon, grarrl, collecting all the stars (possible due to valrigard's back invincibility) and kⅰlling the final grarrl up the very top. Make your way back down and up the right hand side now, hit the cannon then jump down the opening on the left. After getting points from the mystery box you're going to have to use the conserving flight energy technique again to escape. Some people have a lot of difficulty flying out of the next section which contains stars, so only attempt it if you are confident, then move further up so you can see the metal star. Here we make use of valrigard's wings yet again. Land on the platform when the metal star is at the far right, then move left until you are very close to the edge, here you should not be hit, even though it looks like you are. You can try the same thing on the next platform, but i find it easier to skip it entirely, flying up into the are of the three cannons. After many tries i have found it easiest to hit the middle cannon when you initially enter the area, land, hit the right cannon, land, then hit the left and then continue up. Collect the stars (skip the far right ones as they're not worth attempting) on the two bottom platforms, then to get past the top metal star, it's easiest to start your flight from the middle platform when the top metal star is coming towards you, land on the top platform and quickly move the the left edge where the metal star won't hit you, then fly off once safe. Kⅰll the three korbats here then the two cannons up the very top. If you're on your last life at this point then continue to the next level, but if you're not then i highly recommend suiciding to repeat, and since you're dieing anyway, you may as well attempt to go back and get those stars you missed out on earlier.

Level 13


If you get up to this level i assume you know to slash at all the cannons, kⅰll all the enemies (that are possible to kⅰll), hit the mystery boxes and collect the stars. So i'll only write the difficult areas in detail, huzzah for writing less! Move through the level up to where there are the 3 metal stars moving on the one platform, make sure not to touch those random lava drips when you fly past them, i'm not sure if they're a glitch or not .. but they still kⅰll you. Wait for the pair (the group of two aye, not the one by itself :p) of metal stars to reach the right of the platform and begin moving left. Stick close behind them and then fly onto the small platform when you can. Wait for them to hit the left edge and then move past underneath you before you jump down and fly up. Move on to the exit, making sure you don't fall onto the spikes.

Level 14


Probably the hardest level in the game because of those annoying splykes/spikeys. The petpet is a splyke .. the game calls them spikeys, go figure, don't get confused if i swap between the two names. If you want to try kⅰll all of these guys then go for it, but since i tend to die a lot i skip most of them. Fly over the spikey at the start, wait until the next one is moving left before following it, wait in the alcove and fly over it when it is moving right again. You can wait until the next two reach the left of the platform and then fly up and slash at them, or you can just barrel through them and hope your sword timing is up to scratch :D. Fly over the pillar and exit the level.

Level 15


Study the map and decide if you want to go kⅰll everything for points, or just get through the level without dieing. If you want to just finish the level go straight up the middle, but since i'm writing this guide for you to get high scores ... start off by going up the right side. Once you've kⅰlled/collected everything head up the left side until you reach the splyke. I've never been able to make it past the spikes here without dieing so go back down and then head up the middle of the level. If you can't kⅰll the spikey here just keep flying past it into the alcove. Now there's a tricky part, fly up and float next to the platform until the acid blob drips and the metal star is heading towards the left, land for a second and then take off again. I find getting through the spikes before the exit easiest if you land on the right platform just above the exit door. From there you fly diagonally down and to the left past the first two, then hover for a second and fly to the right past the last one.

Level 16


Just remember to hold up as you start this level, don't bother attempting the cannon/mystery box on the left, just hit the right one and move on.

Level 17


Move through the level until you meet the first conveyor belt with flamers, this belt moves towards the left, so you'll need to tap up as you move underneath each one to make it all the way past them before they move down again. The next conveyor belt of flamers moves towards the right, so slowly walk to the left while you're waiting for the flamers to rise, then hold right as you walk underneath each one. Kⅰll/dodge the splyke then hold up+ left to get past the first flamer when it is down. For the next two you'll have to run to the left as the one on the right just moves below you, then start flying when you've fallen about half way to make it over the second flamer. Congrats if you get past this level, the rest are easy :D.

Level 18


The only difficult part of this level is getting past the flamers at the end, but once you know how to it isn't actually that hard. All you do is position yourself between the two while flying above them, then let go of the up arrow key and drop through, you should be able to get past unharmed.

Level 19


If you've made it this far then you really shouldn't have any trouble with this level. Check out the map and decide what route you'll take, and make sure to drop down and collect all the stars. The normal door takes you to level 20 (aka the wizard fight), but you'll get WAY more points if you fall into the red door which takes you to the bonus stage you can keep repeating.

Level 20


You would only come to this level to try it out, because as stated previously, the bonus stage gives heaps more points. It is also pretty difficult to beat this guy, so keep that in mind if you lose all your lives before laying a hit. When you start the level there is some dialogue (shown on the right) and afterwards the wizard takes to the air and shoots firebaⅼⅼs at you. You have to dodge them for a while until the wizard decides to land (sometimes it looks as if he is going to land, but shoots a fireball as soon as he touches the ground and flies off again). When he does, run/fly quickly over to him and slash at him. If you hit him then he will turn transparent and take to the air again recommencing his fiery attack. Repeat two more times to kⅰll him. After all that you receive 1 point for kⅰlling him, and a 300 point bonus that you only see when you send your score. Congratulations on beating the game! If your score is over 2,500, consider sending me a neomail to be added to the Hall of Fame =D

Thanks to fighter_mcwarrior for clearing up some things about this level i had wrong :P

Bonus


The bonus level can be reached by entering through the small red doors, accessible only in levels 11 and 19. Depending on which level you enter from the level is slightly different, however the map is exactly the same.

From level 11:
If you entered from level 11 then the bonus level lasts about 10 seconds. The aim is to collect as many stars as you can for points and an extra life! I've found that to gain the most you should hold right as you start the level and fly up a bit until you reach the 2 star column which lasts most of the way down. If you can't position yourself to collect both stars at once as you fall, then tap left/right on the way down. At the bottom of the level fly up and to the left along the top of the stars conserving flight energy and then drop once you reach the left to collect the ones below.

From level 19:
When you reach this level for the second time the time limit is 300 seconds just like the normal levels. So you repeat the path i described earlier and once you run out of flight energy you fall .. and fall .. and fall .. and fall forever (not actually, just until you run out of time). I suggest you have some good music or try to do some homework while you're waiting for the time to run out. You lose a life when you run out of time, but you get to repeat the level, yay! I average about 85 stars each time, so if you come into the level with 5 lives, that's (5x85) 425 extra points, including 4 bonus lives to go through it again! As you progress you can see the points stack up fast: (4x85) 340 + (3x85) 255 + (3x85) 255 + (2x85) 170 + (2x85) 170 + (1x85) 85 + (1x85), plus the original run of 425 points comes to a grand total of 1785 just from that bonus level. Pretty decent, eh? It's a shame that would take you over 1 1/2 hours..
Now i have to say, congratulations on beating the game! If your score is over 2,500, consider sending me a neomail to be added to the Hall of Fame =D

Cheats and Glitches


Cheats:
Type "valrigard" to reset the timer. Not that useful, but is occasionally helpful if you have to leave the computer to do something.

Glitches:
There's a bit of inconsistent naming in this game which i've decided to list here..
Castle editor name - Mystery Platform
In-game name - Mystery Box

Castle editor name - Spikey
Petpet name - Splyke

Also, in the instructions it states you can get as high as 500 points from a mystery box, i've never heard of anyone getting that high so i believe it to be false.
UPDATE: Proven false

An obvious glitch are the two red doors in levels 6 and 10 which are inaccessible.

There are two drops of lava suspended in midair in level 13, i consider these glitches because they don't serve any purpose and you can't create them in the editor

Occasionally cannons will fire an extremely fast cannonball which can also bend. This is probably intended, but it seems a bit glitchy and is almost imposible to dodge if it's heading right for you

Finally the most annoying glitch, the one that causes you to become stuck inside the floor when you're kⅰlled. It will look like you're just walking on the spot and you survived, but you can't move anywhere, and you also can't die. To fix this you must restart the game.

Point System Explanation


After some sleuthing and testing i have found that the first enemy you kⅰll in a level gives you (number of enemies in that level level) points. The second gives you ((number of enemies in that level) -1) points. The third gives you ((number of enemies in that level) -2) points, etc. So if there are 10 enemies in the level and you kⅰll them all you'll get (10) + (9) + (8) ... + (3) + (2) + (1) = 55 points, plus 1 point for each star you collect as well :)
However, there seems to be anomalies throughout the game, where for some reason you don't get the correct number of points from individual monsters. For example, you may find you get 4 points from an enemy you should have gotten 5 from, and then get 5 points from the next enemy you should have gotten 4 from. This doesn't affect you if you kⅰll all the monsters, i just found it interesting o.o

Mystery Boxes


Results of my mystery box score probabilities will be listed here
Points: 1 2 3 4 100
Number of times: 130 50 60 33 5
Probability: 46% 18% 22% 12% 2%
Total: 278

Recently i received a neomail from sammy42004 explaining how this works:

I can verify for you that you can only receive 1, 2, 3, 4, or 100 points from a mystery box after examining the code. The game generates a random number from 0-100. If it's 51-100 you receive 1 point. If it's 31-50 you get 2. If it's 11-30 you get 3. 2-10 is 4. And of course, 0 or 1 is 100. (all ranges are inclusive)

Reset Scores


I'm going to keep an archive here of what the minimum score needed for the avatar and trophies over the months. I'll make this page look better when i'm less lazy.

August 10
Gold - 1,749
Silver - 1,735
Bronze - 1,254
Avatar - 528

July 10
Gold - 1,749
Silver - 1,749
Bronze - 1,383
Avatar - 870

June 10
Gold - 1,749
Silver - 1,749
Bronze - 1,478
Avatar - 712

May 10
Gold - 1,749
Silver - 1,749
Bronze - 1,683
Avatar - 793

April 10
Gold - 1,749
Silver - 1,749
Bronze - 1,691
Avatar - 814

March 10
Gold - 1,749
Silver - 1,701
Bronze - 1,244
Avatar - 722

February 10
Gold - 1,880
Silver - 1,749
Bronze - 1,657
Avatar - 786

January 10
Gold - 1,749
Silver - 1,748
Bronze - 1,316
Avatar - 834

December 09
Gold - 1,749
Silver - 1,726
Bronze - 1,387
Avatar - 725

November 09
Gold - 1,749
Silver - 1,749
Bronze - 1,684
Avatar - 865

October 09
Gold - 1,749
Silver - 1,747
Bronze - 1,571
Avatar - 804

September 09
Avatar - 1,057

If i havn't updated for a while, then check out this page.

User Levels


Although Neopets has discontinued the Escape from Meridell Castle Spotlight, at this point you can still create your own level by going to the game page and clicking on 'castle editor' in the description, or by clicking this link. To load someone's user level you open the game as normal, but instead of clicking play game, click load user level. You then type in the person's username and click load.

Some generous people have constructed replicas of the real game's levels as their user level, so you can practice it without having to play through the game up to that level. They are as follows:
Level 1 - mousiedragon
Level 2 - triplechewychocolate
Level 3 - joel_hudson or pafc_will
Level 4 - skoped
Level 5 - legolego
Level 6 - 2uk
Level 7 - sk8brdrme
Level 8 - harry_lives
Level 9 - glunf
Level 10 - nitro_buster
Level 11 - shopper_dude
Level 12 - justlilly
Level 13 - muffinhead777
Level 14 - elinithil
Level 15 - pineappler
Level 16 - 5ketchy (the energy refiller is where you start in game)
Level 17 - metal_gear_fox_
Level 18 - brad_333 or yume575
Level 19 - glenny_13 (follow the energy refillers up to where you start in game)
Bonus Level - kakugaigeki (follow the energy refillers up to where you start in game)

Two of the hardest parts of the game are getting past the three metal stars in level 12, and the spikes in level 15, if you would like to practice these specific parts then load jjs1234's level.

The last part of this section will be difficult user levels to try if you're bored, because the majority of the castle spotlight winners are pretty easy :p
Level name - Username
Korbat Wings - tajamoen
The Afterlife - cicillias
The Gate to Heaven - anjapets
Fly High and Fall - kiwakochan
The Downfall - le_male

If you would like me to add yours, neomail me.

Hall of Fame


As recognition of neopia's residents supreme escapology skⅰlls, i will try and keep an accurate list of the top 10 scorers of all time. Neomail me if you wish to be added to this list.
Position Username Score
1 fighter_mcwarrior 5,994
2 aaronyum 5,152
3 milestailzprower 4,866
4 codemaster38789 4,222
5 ddaniiel 4,216
6 brad_333 4,019
7 conferred 3,971
8 guineadan 3,945
9 godzimir 3,446
10 ksifloon3y 3,063

FAQs


Q: What should I do to get a score of at least 1100? @_@
A: Be able to get to level 12, then practice getting there with as many lives as possible.

Q: I can't seem to swipe the sword on time. And honestly, I don't feel like the game is fun. Any tips for those two problems? Haha ;p
A: The game gets more fun the better you are at it, so fix the first problem and it should fix the second :P
When you're swiping at grarrls, make sure to begin swinging a bit before you get to them, and then keep running through them while you're doing the slash, it gives you more of a chance to hit them than if you stand still and try kⅰll them. For the korbats it's essentially the same, except you have to fly through them, the tricky part is that you can't slash the sword while holding up. I find the easiest way is to go in front of them where they're flying towards you, fly a bit above them, and then fall diagonally downwards into them while slashing.

Q: How do you get more than 3 lives?
A: Every 100 stars you collect you gain an extra life. So since you start with 3 lives, just get 100 stars without dieing!

Q: Is there any way i can see the map all at once instead of having to scroll down?
A: Yes there is! Just drag and drop the picture into the address bar and it will come up perfectly fitted to your browser. Then press the back button when you want to return to the guide.

Q: Your level explanations are terrible, do you have any more visual help like for conserving flight energy? A: Yes i do! A long time ago i made a video of me getting an avatar (and almost trophy) score by only completing levels 1-12. If you know where to find videos then search for "EFMC levels 1-12". (This wasn't actually a question from anyone, i just needed somewhere to mention this video :D)

Don't be afraid to neomail me questions ;)

Thankyous


Thanks for all the messages guys, although i lost quite a few when my computer was wiped. If you want me to black out your name just mail me.





























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