PHB Sunday Special: Villain Origin Stories

villain origin stories

Welcome to another PHB Special! “Villain Origin Stories” is a work of fiction based on certain Poptropica villains, and it was sent in by reader Persephone2117. Enjoy!

One October twentieth, in the dead of night, there was a young Poptropican girl born. The island? Art Island. You say there isn’t an Art Island? There was, and there still is, but you know it as Counterfeit. The reason? The girl.

The girl’s name was Penelope Anansi Webster, and she was, well… different. She didn’t like to play with dolls, or dance, or any of the nice things little girls usually like. Instead, she would sit and draw pictures on whatever she could reach. This habit aggravated her parents to no end, even though Penelope was quite good. Eventually, they got so fed up with her that when she was six, they just left her outside one day and didn’t let her back in. Penelope was not in the least bothered by this, since she knew exactly where she wanted to go.

The museum guard didn’t even notice the skinny little kid sneaking in through the window.

[Read more…]

Interview with MotM illustrator & bite-sized blogging

Hey Poptropicans! Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock for quite some time now, you may have noticed that a Mystery of the Map Island (based on the Poptropica graphic novel) is in the works. Check out Slippery’s post below (and our Daily Pop archive) for more details!

Anyway, the Creators finally decided to post something other than Mystery of the Map pages on their blog: an interview with its illustrator, Kory Merritt! (Btw, you can read the entire volume – even unreleased pages – on our Comics page!) Here it is:

Captain Crawfish: How did you get involved in illustrating Mystery of the Map? 

Kory Merritt: The Poptropica Creators originally hired me to illustrate the Poptropica comic strip. After a little while they asked me to try some graphic novel page samples, which led to me working on “Mystery of the Map” with author Max “Galactic Hot Dogs” Brallier.

CC: What are the challenges of adapting Poptropica’s art style from an online game to a graphic novel? What are the joys? 

KM: Poptropica has a very distinct style. I’m actually an art teacher by day and didn’t have much freelance experience, so working for Poptropica was the first time I had to draw someone else’s characters. It took a little while to get the hang of it – the Poptropica design might seem simple at times, but there are little details that can make or break the characters. Fortunately, the Poptropica Creators were very patient and helped guide me along. I’m pretty happy with the results, for I think the illustrations resemble the standard Poptropican model, but at the same time have a hand-drawn, comic-type feel.

CC: What’s your process for illustrating the book?

KM: I’m old-fashioned enough to still use pen and paper for the most part, but for “Mystery of the Map” I also used digital color and made corrections in Photoshop.

CC: Who’s your favorite MotM character to draw?

KM: The Vikings! It’s fun to draw angry faces.

CC: What other projects have you worked on that Poptropicans might like to know about?

KM: I draw some of my own stories, mostly just for fun. One of them is on FunBrain, and some are on GoComics.com. It seems I will also have my own illustrated book coming out later this year, published by Andrews McMeel.

CC: So as you know, I’m a Crawfish. Anyway, I know it can be difficult to resist my succulent flavor, but thank you so much for not nomming on me during this interview. It’s been great talking with you––

KM: Who said anything about not nomming you?? I was just waiting for the right moment to sink my teeth! (leans closer and pulls out a fork and knife) Mmmm….

Okay, that last part may or may not have actually happened… hehehe. >:D

–––

We also have some other news regarding the future of the PHB…

Twitter timeline: bite-sized blogging

You may have noticed the Twitter timeline we recently added to the sidebar. For a while now, Poptropica has been using Twitter as a means to get out a lot of bite-sized extras: Popstorms, unreliable release dates, Remarkable Realms, and so on.

It’s difficult for us blog authors to keep up with all of this on this site, so if it is something trivial, we will simply retweet it instead of blogging about it. If you don’t use Twitter, you’ll still be able to see the retweets on the timeline in the sidebar, and if you do use Twitter, give us a follow! :)

This gives us more time and energy to focus on creating other posts: bigger news (like island releases), theories, reviews, etc. We may not always post about every ad (unless it’s a big one) on the blog, but we’ll still keep you posted on smaller updates via the Twitter timeline.

Poptropica Help Network changes

With our recent merge with the Poptropica Wiki, we are excited to bring you an ongoing community project where we would like to document all the items, characters, scenes, etc. on Poptropica. If you’ve ever wanted to be a PHB author, well, this is the next best thing, as you’d be working on a project of ours alongside other Poptropicans. Anyone is able to edit, and we welcome you to join us in reading and maintaining this large database: there’s lots to be done!

key ingredient wikiWe’re also considering changing our web url/name for a few reasons to unify all the sites in our network (blog, wiki, chat, twitter, forum, etc). The name we want to go with is Poptropedia, and here’s the reasoning behind it:

  • It combines “Poptropica” and “encyclopedia”: the wiki is like an encyclopedia, and plus, the title of “Help Blog” doesn’t fully define what’s on the PHB – it has much more than a blog, and all those extras (guides and whatnot) are like pages of an encyclopedia. A knowledgebase.
  • “Poptropica Help Network” fits the PHB’s url – poptropicahelp.net, but the name is long, and a .com tends to be more memorable. At this time, we own the alternative domain as well.
  • Possible con: It has no abbreviation. However, this will probably be less confusing in the long run. Poptropica Help Network can be shortened to PHN, but when we tried using the PHN in the past, it never really caught on as the focus was always on the blog (“PHB”). But if we’re combining blog and wiki (and more) under a name that fits all, it’ll be easier to remember this way. When people say Poptropedia, they’ll mean what is now the PHB, and the wiki is an extension of it where we allow people to edit/maintain an ongoing database of info.
  • Link changes: If the blog (well, WordPress site) changes its url (unfortunately Wikia doesn’t usually allow custom domains), poptropicahelp.net will still redirect to (what is currently) the PHB to minimize confusion. Wiki will hold trivia, which anyone can edit, while guides and trivia can still be found here.
  • Wiki editors (or will-be-editors: as mentioned above, everyone is welcome to help!) – this means more emphasis on a project you can be a part of. We also have a forum on the wiki, so if you’d like to join a Poptropica forum, that’s all the more reason to sign up for an account on the wiki.

To summarize: less confusion, more unity, looks cleaner. :)

It’s understandably a big change, and will take some getting used to. There’s a poll on the sidebar where you can cast your vote, so let us know what you think! Thanks for reading. ;)

Sam’s Personal Review of PoptropiCon Ep.3

(Warning: This review contains spoilers. If you’re looking for the PHB’s PoptropiCon Island Guide, our full written walkthrough with pictures, click here!)

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[Read more…]

Daily Pop Peeks: Prepare for MotM Island!

Hey guys! Slippery here.

It looks like we’re having a Mystery of the Map Island soon! The Daily Pop sneak peeks from the past month or so have clearly been referencing scenes from the MotM graphic novel. Check it out. :D

Yup, the graphic novel will be coming to life on Poptropica. The sneak peeks are the same as the novel — the deflated hot air balloon (which they rode on), the map, the broken viking ship, and even Oliver, Mya and Jorge inside the cage! Another thing to point out, looks like the common room in this island is called “Viking’s Grotto”. For what I can tell, it looks like we’re going to save the gang from the Vikings and stop Octavian from his diabolical plans.

If you’re still not convinced, try typing mysteryofthemapisland.com – and it will direct to Poptropica! According to a Whois search, the domain has been owned by Poptropica since February 25, 2015.

There’s been no official announcement yet, but it’s looking very likely. If you want to see more recent MotM sneak peeks, check out the PHB’s Daily Pop Sneak Peek Archive!

Also, if you haven’t already, visit our Comics page to read the entire Mystery of the Map graphic novel – even pages that have not been published on the Creators’ Blog yet!

Looks like the island is going to be exciting, and I can’t wait for its confirmation! Are you excited as I am? What do you think of it? Leave your comment below! :)

-Slippery

PHB Review: Mission Atlantis Island

Hey Poptropicans! Slippery here.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a review on an island/episode, and although Mission Atlantis Island has been around for some time, we haven’t reviewed it as a whole yet – until now! (If you need a walkthrough, check out the PHB’s Mission Atlantis guide— complete with pictures!)

Warning: This review contains slight spoilers for the island. :D

Episode 1: Into the Deep

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For me, the episode is average. The episode itself was kind of uncomplicated and it lacks one thing—challenge. The island’s plot did tell that it’ll be simple but I think it needs something more. I can’t seem to find any difficult spots on the island since you only have to take a picture of the given sea creatures then move to the other but I had a bit of fun in this episode. The vastness of the ocean was seen through the visuals and the music accompanied the underwater scenery very well. What got me was the ending—it was nice and made me excited for the next episode.

Episode 2: Fortress of the Deep

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The second episode was breathtaking. Curiosity started to get to me since rumors of aliens have spread throughout Poptropica. We didn’t encounter any despicable villains along the way, but some ferocious animals inside the city. It finally had a challenge after the first episode! Solving puzzles, taking footage of glyphs, getting puzzle pieces and aquatic animals made the episode very great. When I finished getting all of the animals in their cages, a couple of questions got to me: Why would it use animals to power up the whole city? Is this really a city? 

When I got to the stand where the puzzle is placed, it made me interested on what lay ahead. The music used in this episode was very appropriate for a dark place and an abandoned ancient city. The visuals and animations are really cool, especially for the sea creatures. The ending was quite startling because when the door opened and sucked us in, what would come next was left vague… I thought that we’d be in another dimension, and it made me very inquisitive for the final episode.

 Episode 3: Out of the Blue

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The episode’s name speaks for itself—unexpected. Let’s start with the soundtrack. The music is so thrilling that you’d probably notice we’re in the climax of the story! Then the visuals are fine even to the details, and the animations were awesome – especially to the Leviathan, Atlantis drones and even the thingamabobs all over the ship. The visuals barely tell that we’re not in Atlantis at all, but in an alien ship!

This episode was the finest of them all. The revelations, the discoveries and everything was just amazing! The challenges were quite hard especially the disc part with the Leviathan.  What I loved the most was the ending scene— everyone was amazed at what we’d discovered! Mission Atlantis had a fine ending. :)

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your pain? er, Mission Atlantis gets….

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What do you think? Do you agree with the score? Let me know in the comments! :D

April Fools 2015: Omegon’s Takeover!

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Hi Gs,

Well, as some of you may have guessed, Tobor Aureum was just a clever disguise for Omegon – and once again he came into the real world and trapped us all. BT came up with the idea, then I took care of graphics and in the end we all played a part in an awesome April Fools’ prank this year.

Tobor Aureum, if you haven’t figured it out already, means Robot Golden, which would be Omegon. Tobor is just Robot backwards, and Aureum is Latin for golden.

As the day progressed he made two posts, one with a picture of a nice, young Poptropican, the next with some of his good looking attributes gone, and finally Omegon revealed the next day. Through it all, however, there was a red glow in his eyes that I’m surprised some of you didn’t catch immediately. (Oh, and Tobor’s thank-you post also contained a hidden message that was revealed after the takeover!)

I also updated the header and background to give off a more graffiti-ed vibe. :P

I put together 4 trapped PHB author graphics, which were fun to make. Featuring Samwow5, Spotted Dragon, Slippery Raptor, and Slanted Fish in Omegon’s infamous electro-cells!

The final product was so worth the work and I was really glad to see a good plan come to fruition. :D

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Throughout the day, we had the PHB authors gradually change their profile pictures to henchbot avatars, and because we all live in different time zones, it gave off the effect of us being gradually converted (just as we will slowly convert back to our regular avatars).

henches

Fishy also wrote a post to update everyone about the prank that Poptropica pulled this year, the floppy-disc Text Adventure – all in Omegon’s commentary. It’s pretty enjoyable to read, so head over there and give it a look see. ;)

The best thing about this prank, however, was the comments. The majority the time it was either me, BT, or Fishy who was commenting as Omegon, and the other authors joined in by pretending Omegon had taken over their accounts. I have to say that the conversations (and sometimes arguments) were just gold. The post “The Reign of Omegon lives,” got about 400 comments which is colossal, and through these we learned a few things about Omegon:

  • Omegon likes creme-filled donuts
  • He assigns numbers to his hench-bots
  • His electro-cages have themes
  • His middle name is FEAR
  • He talks in really annoying ALL CAPS

We also learned that some of you would willingly give themselves up to Omegon and join in the fun of being a hench-bot! What loyal fans we have… :P The comments are really witty, so go have a read!

omegon commentsAnyway, thank you, everyone, for the fun yesterday. It was really exciting and many of you had fun trying to solve the mystery of the Blogging Intern. Until next year…

//Ok, back to my donut — hey, where did it go? What is this?  Raw fish?! Wait… no… CRAWFISH?!//

TAFN.

-HPuterpop

The Text Adventure (commentary by Omegon!!!)

THE REIGN OF OMEGON LIVES.

SALUTATIONS AGAIN, EARTH-DWELLERS. IT IS I, OMEGON, HERE WITH AN UPDATE THAT MAY INTEREST YOU ALL. I CAN SEE BY YOUR CONSTANT SASSING IN THE COMMENTS OF MY LAST POST THAT THIS WILL BE RIGHT UP YOUR ALLEY BECAUSE IT INVOLVES THE CLEVER CRAFT OF WORDS.

APPARENTLY THIS IS A NEW PROJECT CALLED “POPTROPICA: THE TEXT ADVENTURE.” WHICH IS BASICALLY POPTROPICA WITH JUST A BLACK SCREEN AND WHITE TEXT. GENIUS!

PopZork_intro

OH LOOK, THEY HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN “IMPOSSIBLE PUZZLES THAT PLAYERS SOLVE BY LOOKING UP WALKTHROUGHS”. AFTER ALL, THAT’S WHY THIS BLOG EXISTS, RIGHT?

PopZork_puzzle

YES OF COURSE I WANT TO MAKE YOU CRY, CAPTAIN CRAWFISH. AND AFTERWARDS, I WILL NOM YOU AND FEED YOUR REMAINS TO THE PHB READERS LIKE THE GREAT VILLAIN I AM. NO, YOU’LL NEVER TAKE ME DOWN. NOT LIKE THIS CURSED CTHULU…

PopZork_boss

POOR GUY. HE WAS ONLY TRYING TO WREAK HAVOC ON POPTROPICA AND TAKE OVER THE WORLD. I CAN UNDERSTAND THAT.

BESIDES, THE ADS ON POPTROPICA ARE KIND OF LIKE ME AND MY HENCH-BOTS – THEY ENTICE YOU WITH THEIR CHARM AND BAM! YOU’VE BECOME ONE OF THEM. THEY SAY THE ADS ARE HARMLESS, BUT THINK ABOUT IT, THEY’RE JUST AS DIABOLICAL…

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WELL ANYWAY, IF YOU WERE HOPING TO TRY YOUR HAND AT THIS BEAUTIFUL TEXT ADVENTURE, I’M AFRAID YOU’RE GOING TO FIRST GET YOURSELF SOME GOOD OLD-FASHIONED FLOPPY DISC-COMPATIBLE COMPUTERS, WHICH IS PRACTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE (NOT TO MENTION INCONVENIENT!) IN THIS DAY AND AGE. SERIOUSLY, WHAT ERA DOES CAPTAIN CRAWFISH LIVE IN?? I TOLD YOU HE WAS BETTER OFF BEING EATEN.

BUT HEY, IT’S APRIL, AND FROM WHAT I HEAR, FOOLISH THINGS CAN HAPPEN. NOT FROM ME, OF COURSE; I AM INFALLIBLE.

BY THE WAY, MY TAKEOVER OF THIS WEBSITE IS GOING WELL. THE PHB STAFF HAVE BECOME MY HENCH-BOTS, AND MANY HAVE FALLEN VICTIM TO ONE OF THE CLASSIC BLUNDERS – THE MOST FAMOUS OF WHICH IS “NEVER GET INVOLVED IN A LAND WAR IN POPTROPICA” – BUT ONLY SLIGHTLY LESS WELL-KNOWN IS THIS: “NEVER GO IN AGAINST OMEGON WHEN DEATH IS ON THE LINE!!!”

WITH THOSE WORDS OF WISDOM IN MIND, I SHALL END THIS POST. PEACE OUT. TYRANNY IN!

The Reign of Omegon lives.

GREETINGS, EARTH-DWELLERS. IT IS I, OMEGON.

I HAVE COME TO TAKE MY RIGHTFUL THRONE HERE ON THE POPTROPICA HELP BLOG. MY DISGUISE WORE OFF QUICKLY, AS YOU CAN SEE (it was so stuffy in there!). TOBOR AUREUM. ROBOT GOLDEN. HEH. CUTE. THANKS TO HENCHMAN 0608 FOR THAT ONE. NO, YOU CAN’T HAVE A RAISE.

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MY HENCH-BOTS MADE ME AWARE OF PITIFUL AND INSULTING SO-CALLED EPISODES OF HOPE AND THE FIGHT AGAINST “FICTITIOUS” TYRANNY IN POPTROPICA.

THEY TEND TO FORGET THAT TYRANNY WILL FOREVER REIGN NO MATTER HOW OFTEN INSULTED AND DEFEATED. I WILL ALWAYS RETURN. AS PUNISHMENT FOR YOUR DISGUSTING OPTIMISM, THE POPTROPICA HELP NETWORK IS UNDER MY CONTROL NOW.

I MUST THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW TO TAKE OVER. YOU SHOULD REMEMBER THAT YOU HAD A ROLE IN MY TAKEOVER, ESPECIALLY TO DEAR SLANTED FISH, WHO EASILY FELL TO MY TRAP.

SPEAKING OF WHICH, YOU’LL BE SEEING SOME MAJOR CHANGES AROUND HERE… SOME BIG CHANGES. SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR BELOVED PHB AUTHORS.

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THE REIGN OF OMEGON WILL LIVE ON… CHECK OUT THE COMMENTS!

Ω

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