Tips of a Gamer – Petpet Rescue
Petpet Rescue. As an avid avatar collector, that name used to fill me with despair. How could a game that is so simple mechanically be so difficult? How was I supposed to get 250+ points? I thought that this was one avatar I would never get…
Petpet Rescue only has five levels, with the levels having more sections as you progress. However, for the avatar, you only need to get to the third level (and you don’t have to beat it!).
You play as Samuel the Scorchio and member of the Petpet Protection League, whose mission is to rescue various Petpets from Gargrall the Grarrl’s mines. The only controls for this game is to move Samuel (using the arrow or WASD keys), as he will pick up and deposit Petpets and gems automatically. Samuel has four lives (the one you start with and 3 extra).
Each level consists of four main obstacles: boulders, lava and minecarts, stalactites, and a timer.
Boulders roll across the screen in four rows at a time, with up to four boulders side-by-side in each row. Boulders within each row will roll in the same direction, and each row varies in speed. You will need to maneuver through the gaps between the sets of boulders – if you get hit by a boulder you will lose a life.
Lava is, well, lava. Touch it and you will also lose a life. To traverse the lava you will need to hop from minecart to minecart to get to the next section. However, you will need to be careful not to hit the edge of the screen or else you will also lose a life. Minecarts will vary in length, speed, and the number that spawn on each row. Some rows may only spawn one minecart at a time – so be careful when using these rows and make sure you have enough space and time to get to the next set before you hit the edge!
The third obstacle is the stalactites which are fixed at the top of the screen. If a stalactite starts shaking, this means it can drop at any time! If a stalactite touches you, you also lose a life. Be warned though – sometimes stalactites will shake for a long time before dropping, whereas other times they may drop immediately.
Lastly, you will have 99 seconds per life to finish the level. The timer resets when you complete a level, or when you lose a life. If the time runs out, this also means you lose a life. Try not to pay attention to the timer though as it cn be distracting. However, there will be points later in the game where you will run out of time because there is just simply not enough time to rescue all the Petpets in one go.
In order to beat each level, you must guide Samuel through these sets of obstacles and rescue the required number of petpets for each level. Walking over the Petpets automatically picks them up; you will then need to guide Samuel back to the mine entrance to deposit the Petpet and have it count as being rescued. The levels have the same layout everytime, e.g. the first level always starts with four rows of minecarts, then four rows of boulders, then five rows of minecarts. The more you play the more familiar each level will become.
Each Petpet rescued adds 10 points to your score, and every cleared level nets you a bonus 25 points. The first level requires 4 Petpets to be rescued, 6 in the second level, 8 in the third, 10 in the fourth, and 12 in the final level. There are also gems scattered throughout the mines (in the boulder sections) which reward points based on their colour. Purple gems are worth 5 points, blue are worth 10 points, green are worth 15 points, and red are worth 25 points.
The last thing I will note in terms of gameplay is Samuel’s hitbox. Samuel’s front is more forgiving than his tail, and his left more forgiving than his right. This information isn’t something you need to be thinking about all the time, but it is useful to know it when you have to squeeze through a tight gap really quickly.
You’re probably thinking by now, how in the Jhudora am I supposed to get to 250 points for the avatar? Well, let me explain how.
As I mentioned earlier, you only need to reach the third level to hit that 250 goal. Here is a breakdown of those three levels:
The first level consists of three sections: minecarts and lava, boulders, and then minecarts and lava again. If you’re lucky, all 4 Petpets you need will spawn on the first section of carts, but if you are less lucky you may have to cross the boulders to grab your last one or two.
On top of that, each level has a random number of gems that spawn. In the first level, you will most likely only find purple gems (worth 5 points), and there will never be more than four in this level. Therefore, it might be worth restarting your game if you don’t find at least 3 purple gems (15 points) in this first level.
For this level, I usually grab Petpets that have spawned on the first couple of rows of minecarts and deposit them, before heading up to the boulders and grabbing any gems. Then I’ll grab the last Petpets needed to finish up the level.
Take your time on this level; it is very easy to complete within the allotted 99 seconds. Don’t forget to grab the gems in the boulder section, and always keep an eye on the stalactites at the top. Since they are a little unpredictable, I usually try to stay away from the part of the screen where a shaking stalactite is. For example, if one is shaking near the left of the screen, I will try traversing the minecarts on the right side. However, there will be times where you have to be under a shaking stalactite, and if that happens, just try to be ready to move out of the way – even if this means moving backwards! You should also try avoiding losing any lives within this level.
Scoring for this level will look something like this:
4 Petpets rescued = 40 points
Level completion bonus = 25 points
Gems = 15-20 points
This would bring your total to between 80-85 points after this level.
The second level gets a little trickier and consists of four sections: boulders, minecarts and lava, boulders, and minecarts and lava again.
This is where time becomes a little more restricted. Depending on where the Petpets spawn, you may have to go as far as the final minecart section to get the amount you need. This will also affect your time – if you need to go that far for the last couple of Petpets, you may have to sacrifice a life due to the timer running out.
Again, don’t forget to check the boulder sections for gems! Here, the number of gems that spawns varies again, but this time you will start to see blue gems (10 points) as well as purple. Sometimes you may only come across 1 or 2 purples (10 points), but I have seen as many as 3 blues and 1 purple (35 points).
For this level, I tend to grab any Petpets at the top of the first boulder section and first couple of minecart rows and deposit them before going to the second boulder section and grabbing any gems. I’ll also pay attention to how many Petpets I deposited before getting gems, as well as how many are on the first section of minecarts. That way, when I get to the second set of boulders, I will know how many extra Petpets I need to grab from beyond this point. If I do need to go further, I will get the furthest one as I get the gems, and then get the remaining Petpets after that. This helps save a little time.
Try to either have all your lives left, or to have lost no more than two during this level. You will need them for the next level which is much harder.
Scoring for this level will look something like this:
6 petpets rescued = 60 points
Level completion bonus = 25 points
Gems = 10-35 points
At the end of this level you will have between 175-205 points.
The third and last level you need for the avatar requires 8 Petpets to be rescued. You shouldn’t need to finish this level (depending on your points after the first two levels), but I have had to rescue up to 5 Petpets in this level to get that 250+.
This level begins with a boulder section which will require a lot of concentration to maneuvre through the gaps. Depending on the number of Petpets you need to rescue to hit 250+, you will either need to only get to the lava and minecart section after the boulders, or to the second lava and mine cart section (after a second boulder section).
Green gems (15 points) begin to spawn in this level as well as the blue and purple. You again can have anything from 2 purple gems (10 points) to 2 green gems and 1 blue (40 points) or more – you will have to play this level a little more by ear depending on your previous points and the gems that spawn.
For this level, I like to grab any Petpets at the top of the first boulder section and the first row of minecarts, before traversing the minecarts to grab any gems from the second boulder section. Then I finish off by grabbing however many Petpets are needed to get to that 250+ mark.
Hopefully this guide and strategy was helpful, and you managed to net that elusive avatar!