Monday, January 30, 2023

Guest Blog: Dream Island Comparisons (Part 2) by Invisible Ring!

Hello once again from the top guest blogger, Invisible Ring! Today’s guest post of mine is very special, for it is my second dream island comparison!

 

(Comparison 2? What happened to comparison 1? Good question! THAT post happened a long time ago. If you need to, you can view it right HERE! It might come in handy for today’s post.)

 

My first dream island comparison compared the dream islands of Fairytale and Arabian Nights. ...THIS post dives into the OTHER 2 dream islands; Goofball and Jade Scarab. But be warned! This post may contain spoilers, so continue at your own risk.

 

Invisible Ring reading a book

 

Goofball Island, by popular consensus, is better than Fairytale island by far. It's a no mini-quest mashup. It's a real quest with real twists. Simple as it may be, it is exciting all the same.

 

In Goofball island, the villain turns out to be THREE villains. ...Even goofier than that, the 3 villains turn out to be the 3 heroes trying to FIND the villain! 

 

Invisible Ring standing at the intersection of Goofball Island's dull and bland sides. To the left, the Poptropica blimp has crash landed on City Hall's roof.

 

...The way I see it, an accident happens on the island, and the 3 heroes of the island all mutate into the Blandstons. They lose their mind and start blasting dullness... goofiness... Or a mixture of both... All over the island. But this Blandston curse works in strange ways. The heroes all wind up with amnesia. They wonder what is going on, and they join forces to find the culprits.

 

...But as they look into the mystery, 2 of these detectives have relapses and go Blandston-crazy again! Chaos ensues as hero no. 3 goes even deeper into the mystery and stops the 2 Blandstons, and finally, the 3rd hero has a memory relapse and realize they’re a Blandston as well. Once all 3 heroes come to their senses and find out they were ALL Blandstons, they finish the mystery and fix the island once and for all! (And the Blandston curses are finally broken)

 

…At least, this is how I perceive this quest.

 

Invisible Ring inside City Hall, standing between Detective Gram and Mayor Naise. City Hall is divided into 2 sides: goofy and bland.

 

“That’s them right there, officer! A blimp accident made a mess and mutated THOSE 3 into Blandstons! In their states of madness they ruined our island, but once they recovered, they teamed up and SAVED it! …No, DON’T take ‘em into custody, I’m just trying to tell you that everything’s ok now and you don’t have to stick around this crazy island anymore!”

 

Invisible Ring standing next to an open book in City Hall's bland area.

 

There are possible alternative endings to this island, I might add, and it all comes down to the machine dial at the end. Dull, goofy, or balanced... I have not explored any ending other than the balanced selection.

 

(If YOU have, though, you're more than welcome to leave a comment and share these alternate endings!)

 

Last but not least, Jade Scarab island. Like Goofball, it's an easy quest, yet adventurous and twisting. The consensus for THIS island, though, is that it's the best dream island since Arabian Nights, and the first real Poptropica quest since Pelican Rock or Monkey Wrench. Also, Goofball has a bonus mini quest after the medallion. Jade Scarab does not. 

 

The plot for THIS island can be found in this playthrough video made by me and my sister. And I reckon that THIS video is a LOT more enjoyable than my fairytale video!

 

And now to wrap this all up with 2 questions: Which of these 2 dream islands do you like better, and which of all 4 dream islands is your favorite? 

 

While you ponder these questions and add your comments, the time has come for me to say adios to you all once again... But not for long! Pop to ya later, peoples.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Guest Blog: Interview with Spotted Dragon from the Poptropica Creators

Well, well, well, look at whose turn it is for our series with the Pop Creators of PHB team interviews! Li’l old me! As a rather senior player and the second-oldest current PHB author, I’m quite excited to get into this. Let’s go meet Spotted Dragon!

 

Interview with Spotted Dragon (pictured right)

 

1. How were you first introduced to Poptropica?

I can’t quite remember exactly how I was first introduced to Poptropica, but it was sometime in early elementary school. It was most likely through word of mouth, since the game was super popular at that time. Seemingly everyone was playing it (at least all the cool kids), along with a lot of other early 2000s online games, and I wasn’t one to miss out on the trend! Pretty quickly, Poptropica stood out for me and sort of took over my life for a while. I have fond memories of those early days, when I felt like the king of the classroom because I knew the ins and outs of every island.

 

Spotted Dragon's Popsona reference sheet, including 2 outfits versions (casual and adventure), color palette, and personality attributes.

 

2. Who do you think is the most underrated character? Overrated?

This is a toughie! One of my favorites that often goes overlooked is probably Daphne Dreadnaught from the Ghost Story Island mini-quest, Spook Central. I’ve always loved her character design and her interest in ghosts. She seems a bit underrated just because she is overshadowed by some of the bigger-name villains, but definitely deserves some recognition.

 

In terms of overrated characters, I’ll probably have to go with the agreed-upon Dr. Hare. I love him to death, don’t get me wrong, but it is true that he always has the spotlight. Some other iconic characters might want the chance to shine! And luckily, I don’t think I’m making any enemies by saying that. Although Amelia and Rumpelstiltskin perhaps are gaining that overrated status these days as well.

 

Daphne Dreadnaught, drawn by Criaha, featuring a Poptropican character holding a net, just out of grasp from the bordering colorful hands.

Illustration by Criaha

 

Dr. Hare in his signature pink suit and green goggles, pointing into the distance

Illustration by Fierce Flyer

 

3. What are your favorite scenes, aesthetically and to play through?

One of my favorite scenes to play through has to be the part of Spy Island where you have to sneak past the B.A.D. guards at the docks. At the time, the chameleon suit blew my mind! The gameplay was super fun and the technology was extra compelling. In fact, I feel that way about a lot of the items from Spy Island, including the grappling bowtie and decoder kit. It’s one of the best experiences in terms of gameplay. But I’m also a big fan of any sort of puzzles or unique items/powers (like flying in Super Power or changing your eye color on Lunar Colony). They always feel like the most memorable details.

 

Aesthetically, some of my favorite scenes have been the dramatic backgrounds of Monster Carnival Island and the beautiful gardens from Red Dragon Island. I also love the haunting atmosphere of places like Steamworks and the magic of Twisted Thicket. It’s really difficult to pick just one favorite when the environmental art has stunned me so many times!

 

Camouflaged Poptropican character sneaking behind a bush, with the caption "Now you see me, now you don't."

Now you see me, now you don’t.

 

Red Dragon Island's signature scenery, with the red bridge in the foreground.

Red Dragon Island

 

Monster Carnival Island's mainstreet at dusk

Monster Carnival Island

 

4. From your perspective, how have you seen the Poptropica Help Blog (PHB) and community change over time?

There’s been a lot of flux in the Poptropica community, which is mainly impacted by what’s currently happening in-game and simply where players are at in their lives. I’ve seen lots of fans come and go, often aging out or just growing apart from Poptropica in general, which is completely understandable. Back at the peak of the game’s popularity, we saw an enormous surge in fan blogs and community activity. Though things have become much slower these days, I’ve still been impressed with the longevity of fan involvement.

 

The fan base as a whole seems to have gotten much older, at least from my perspective. It demonstrates how older kids and even young adults can still enjoy things that are traditionally targeted at kids. A lot of this may have to do with the factor of nostalgia, but I also just think that things made for kids are inherently fun. Nothing to be ashamed of in enjoying that! You should like the things you like. In turn, I think that a lot of younger kids can, all the same, enjoy more sophisticated, mature modes of storytelling.

 

3 versions of an old Poptropican character, with slight variations in facial hair, attire, and hairstyles.

Old Man: Take a look at my life, I’m a lot like you.

 

As for the PHB, along with myself, our change in maturity certainly mirrors our aging. When I first began blogging in 2012, you can tell that my writing and graphics were rather amateurish and, dare I say, super cringey. But part of that was just a reflection of the times, like the “rawr XD” culture many Poptropicans grew up during. I’m impressed with how far the PHB has grown and expanded. The authors, including myself, have become more professional while maintaining that childlike sense of entertainment. The site is bigger than ever, with countless resources and opportunities for fan participation. And I’m proud to have been a part of that growth, no matter where the future may take us next.

 

Art inspired by Time Tangled Island. The adventurer is looking at their stopwatch, holding the Mona Lisa, and surrounded by Salvador Dali-esque clocks.

Illustration by Spotted Dragon (2018)

 

5. How has your PHB career surprised you?

That growth I mentioned earlier has definitely been a surprise. When I first started my own blog in 2012, it seemed like my wildest dream and biggest goal to join the PHB team. Being invited was a shock in and of itself, and sticking around this long even more so! I’ve been surprised to see how many opportunities I’ve been lucky to encounter as a result, such as collaborating with Poptropica Creators like this. Getting art drawn of my Poptropican by Ashley Lange was one moment I realized I sort of “made it.” Dare I say I became a bit niche-internet-famous?

 

Jokes aside, I’ve also been surprised by how many connections I’ve made along the way. Slanted Fish and my fellow PHB authors have been supportive, even through all the community drama. And I’ve made friends that I still regularly talk to today, even if they no longer play Poptropica. It’s a really funny story to explain how you might know a veterinary or a law student who live across the country from you, all because of an online kids’ game.

 

Poptropica Help Blog's Staff illustration

By (Dr.) Ashley Lange, Poptropica Creator (2014)

 

6. What inspires you?

Maybe it’s a bit on the nose, but the creativity of my fellow community members inspires me the most. As an art student IRL, I’m obsessed with all things creative and artsy, hence why I run the PHB’s Community Creations series. I’m always stunned to see the amazing talent that has come out of such a niche community. The fan art, stories, costumes, etc. are just awesome. If I’m not making art myself, I’m definitely consuming the art of other people. This applies to my life beyond Poptropica too, where I get a lot of inspiration from other games, TV shows, books, and music. Like I said, all things creative!

 

A pair of smiling adventurers, one piggybacking the other and pointing into the distance.

“Art Request-adventure” by SmileyFaceOrg

 

Illustration of Spotted Dragon's Popsona waving.

“RQ: Spotted Dragon” by treesareredinautumn

 

7. What does the Pop community mean to you?

The Poptropica community as a whole encapsulates that feeling of “the good ol’ days” for me. It means nostalgia, unexpected friendship, and nerdy passion. It’s rare to see a big group of people come together, all from different backgrounds all over the world, and share joy about something seemingly simple. We’ve made something so involved and intricate like the PHB all thanks to some insanely dedicated people. The community is really what has made the game such a profound experience for me, and it’s a feeling that I’m still trying to cling to.

 

Illustration of the Poptropica Help Blog's Staff for the 2016 Poppies Awards

“Poppies” by Spotted Dragon (2016)

 

8. How have your experiences with the community and Poptropica influenced you IRL?

Most notably, my experiences with the Poptropica community have oddly improved my art and writing skills. Writing on a regular basis has truly bettered my abilities, and it has allowed me the flexibility to change up my writing depending on audience. It’s been wonderful to keep my love of writing fueled by something more fun, in the face of so many tedious school essays too!

 

My art has also been influenced because of my experience in the community, not only regarding drawing but particularly with graphic design too. If you take a look at the earliest header designs on my long-since-abandoned blog (please don’t), the difference is insane. Over the years, I’ve somehow transformed a pixelated mess into some pretty decent design skills. Without Poptropica, I’m honestly not sure I would have chosen the path I did IRL as an art student. I’m specifically studying digital media, so all that time messing with videos and graphics and web design as a kid seemed to actually pay off.

 

Poptropica has also weirdly taught me a lot, ya know, it being an educational game after all. Mythology Island characters seriously prepped me for all those Roman stories I had to read in AP Latin (I’m looking at you, Dr. Jupiter). Counterfeit Island has actually allowed me to recognize work in my Art History classes before the course even starts. Time Tangled and Mystery Train have left me just a little more prepared for learning about figures in History class. Who knew a video game could be so useful?

 

Gameplay pictures from Mythology Island, Counterfeit, and Time Tangled Island.

 

9. Outside of Poptropica and your PHB involvement, what are you passionate about?

If it wasn’t obvious already, outside of the PHB I’m most passionate about art. Creating, creating, creating. Not only is it really fun, but I firmly believe that creators are an essential part of any society. Art is fundamental to human life and has a lot more power than people realize, even in things as simple as fan art.

 

Moreover, I’m a big advocate of education. School is my main focus right now, and I’m a rather ambitious student, to say the least. I believe that it is important to never stop learning new things and to never stop trying to grow as a person. I love absorbing as much knowledge and experience as possible in the topics I’m interested in. Beyond visual art, some of those topics include psychology and film!

 

Back Lot Island, featuring a movie star Poptropica in the foreground and a movie studio set in the background.

 

Favorites

  • Island: This is always the most difficult question for me, and I think it changes on a daily basis, but I’m gonna go with Cryptids Island.
  • Backstory/Lore: I’m a sucker for any Balloon Boy easter eggs in other islands, and all the lore surrounding his journey through the clouds. But I’m also a big fan of Binary Bard’s backstory in Astro-Knights since it feels like such an attentive storyline.
  • Character: Balloon Boy!
  • Villain: Aside from Daphne Dreadnaught, probably either Black Widow (my artsy gal) or Gretchen Grimlock. Love me some evil girlbosses.
  • Costume: Growing up, I was really fond of the Vampire Girl series of costumes in the store.

 

A frightened Poptropican holding a lantern, with the Jersey Devil looming behind.

Illustration by Gentle Dolphin

 

Black Widow from Counterfeit Island, stealing art and avoiding security lazers.

A picture containing background pattern

Description automatically generated“Black Widow” by Happy Lobster

 

Various in-game Vampire Girl and Vampire Boy costumes

Vampire Girl outfits

 

Balloon Boy aerial view, holding onto the balloon.

“Collab: Day 17” by SydVC & jesta7

 

Gretchen Grimlock staring down right before her foot makes impact.

“Things are looking Grim” collab by SydVC and treesareredinautumn

 

 

Thanks Poptropica, for simultaneously helping me grow up and keeping me young. It’s been one crazy ride. Check out my interview on the Creators’ Blog as well. Until next time, let’s keep creating!

~SD

 


 

Let’s give a hand to the one and only Spotted Dragon for their interview! You've had an impressive role in the Pop community over the years, thank you for sharing your experiences with us. To find more of Spotted Dragon’s writing and art, check out their posts on the PHB!   ✨

Monday, January 2, 2023

Guest Blog: Poptropica Theater with Invisible Ring 🍿

IMPORTANT: I bring a gift to one and all of you this holiday season! …It's at the bottom, so READ ON!

 

As one of my first guest posts state, a LOT has happened to Home Island over the years…

 

But what I DIDN’T say in that old post was that Home Island was at one point my FAVORITE place to hang out in!

 

The reason being was because there was so much to do! There wasn’t just the monkey wrench quest. There was an Arcade (which evidently, turned out to be the Pathfinder’s common room), a shop, a ‘New You’ parlor, a money wheel, a photo booth, and last but not least… THE THEATER! There was no popcorn stand when it first came out, but I came by every day to watch all the amazing screen shows the cinema had to offer. …I loved it all. 

 

Poptropican standing in front of Home Island's movie theater. To the left is the daily wheel spinner, a Poptropican wearing a monocle, and the blimp's dangling rope. To the right is a cloaked Poptropican standing in front of an unnamed building and topiary.

 

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Home Island got its first remodeling in 2018, and the theater got remodeled right along with it. To be exact, it got remodeled into a giant popcorn tower! …A bouncy popcorn machine was added next to it, which was good. But every cool cartoon that ever dwelled in the theater disappeared, which was bad. Not to mention, I liked the old theater design better than a crushed popcorn box. It was just more attractive and inviting in my opinion. And furthermore, all that remained from within the remodeled theater was just one video about a clock plugged into a lemon. My only thought to that was, “Why watch that when you have the Island of ‘Survival: Distress Signal’?”

 

A Poptropican mid-jump, surrounded by a Pop-O-Rama popcorn machine to the left and Movies studio to the right.

 

…I wanted the old theater back, and when you want something badly enough, you find a way to make it happen. And I did. 

 

SURPRISE! Invisible Ring's 🎥 Theater of Poptropica 🍫 playlist!

 

As my old post from up top states, I made a Youtube playlist for myself a while back to watch all the movies and cool cartoons from that theater again. Now, I have finally finished shining up the collection to share with all of YOU! …But is that all a girl can give? 

 

…Nope!

 

There are some BONUS videos throughout this theater playlist, created by yours truly. …Among these, is a brand-new movie trailer. …That’s right! After creating “Battle Morale” nearly a year ago, a new feature film is finally and officially on its way!

 

 

…But, I digress. For all of you who miss the home island in its 2016-2017 glory days, I give a piece of it back to you all, with a library of only the BEST features from the Poptropica Theater… And if you like the theater and wish to see more, there’s more to find on batterypop.com! (And on my Youtube channel, I might add. (: )

 

Enjoy, everybody! And a very merry Christmas and a happy new year to one and all!

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Guest Blog: Invisible Ring's Hare-Brained Reference 🐰🔍

In the beginning of 2021, when the first Guest Blogger tryouts were held, I promised in my tryout that I would commit to sharing BIG news to the people of Poptropica… Hard-core knowledge that others should know, as well as super cool stuff others would WANT to know…

 

Invisible Ring's screenshot of Dr. Hare from 24 Carrot Island, with "...what?" superimposed on the image.

 

Ever since I GOT that Guest Blogger position I have done just that, and I took it over the TOP with my ultimate movie creation… But it doesn’t stop there!

 

…You see, in the making of this movie, I stumbled upon some veeerrrrry interesting information about Dr. Hare. …Turns out that the Big Bad Bunny ALSO had a really big and important personal Poptropica project of his own. …Back in 2013, to be exact. It’s called LEGO CUUSOO, and I have taken the liberty of gathering every old post about this project together into one spot for your convenience.

 

  1. Vote for Dr. Hare’s Lair on LEGO CUUSOO– or else!
  2. LEGO CUUSOO – help us get to 1,000 supporters!
  3. Get your new Dr. Hare wallpaper!
  4. Show your support for our LEGO CUUSOO project
  5. LEGO CUUSOO update – the carrot’s on us
  6. It’s time to ramp up production
  7. You want these balloons. You NEED these balloons.
  8. This balloon’s about to pop
  9. LEGO CUUSOO project update: Dr. Hare Deluxe Balloons now available
  10. LEGO CUUSOO – another milestone is in sight
  11. LEGO CUUSOO – can we reach 6,000 supporters this weekend?
  12. Vote and you shall receive
  13. LEGO CUUSOO – to 7,500!
  14. LEGO CUUSOO: The next milestone approaches, and so does a new prize!
  15. Hurry for Hare ears!
  16. Dr. Hare Ears Power is now available!
  17. Craft your own Dr. Hare!
  18. Go go CUUSOO
  19. LEGO CUUSOO – the drive to 10,000!
  20. Vote for us on LEGO CUUSOO and get a new Rabbot paper craft!
  21. LEGO CUUSOO – the drive to 10,000 and a new prize looms
  22. LEGO CUUSOO – we reached 10,000!
  23. A legendary fan project

 

Ok, Did you read all those posts? …What am I saying, NO ONE would pay attention to a 23-post list! (...Or maybe they would. Who knows? Humans are so unpredictable.)

 

…But here’s the summary: Dr. Hare would show off his master creation many different times so that more people would find it. As Dr. Hare himself said, “Let’s cast our support for this project, and bug -- er, urge -- our friends and family to do the same.” 

 

I bet you’re thinking, “Oh, is THAT why you’re showing off your movie yet AGAIN, Invisible Ring?” 

 

…Yes! Yes it is. Like Dr. Hare, I am intent on sharing my greatest genius work with EVERYONE, believing strongly that it’s something that the whole WORLD needs to see. …Dr. Hare’s Lego project never got off the ground in the end, and there’s a chance that my movie won’t get off the ground either. But the Hare NEVER gives up! And neither do I.

 

A picture of Dr. Hare from 24 Carrot Island, with the phrase, "That's RIGHT! Looks like SOMEONE has done their homework..." superimposed.

 

And being the vigilant funny bunny I am, I shall continue to doctor up more front-page posts, bring more big surprises, and exploit more epic secrets and insights. …You MIGHT find my movie popping up in another post or 2 later on, though. …Self-promotion is rather diabolical, but a TRUE genius doesn’t use that hare-y tactic without an excuse! …Er, REASON, I mean. …Whatever you call it. You see, my signature piece works as a reference to some of my posts… Such as my detective post or THIS post, for that matter! …But nevertheless, as a guest blogger, I am still striving to break the ice, bust out the big news, and blow all your minds to smithereens! BWAA HA HA HA!...

 

So see you next month, Poptropicans!

Friday, November 25, 2022

Guest Blog: Interview with Fierce Flyer from the Poptropica Creators 🦅💫

Meet Fierce Flyer!

 

The PHB's Fierce Flyer Popsona

 

1. How were you first introduced to Poptropica?

 

It’s all thanks to my sister really. I remember back in elementary school, in the late 2000s, I would look forward to staring at her computer screen. Well, up until the day I thought to myself, “Hey, maybe I should give this Poptropica thing a try myself!”

 

2. Who do you think is the most underrated character? Overrated?

 

A name that immediately comes to mind for me as criminally underrated is Merlin. I feel as though Merlin gets lost in the masterpiece that is Astro-Knights Island. I mean, the bird sacrifices himself to save your Poptropican. Any respect Merlin has received through the years needs to be tripled, ‘cause I don’t hear nearly enough about this saint of an owl.

 

As for overrated, it’s gotta be Dr. Hare, right? I mean, no disrespect to the doctor who decided to wear a pink bunny costume but, surely his PhD could’ve gone to better use elsewhere.

 

Merlin from Astro Knights Island

The way to an owl’s heart is through its stomach.

 

The PHB's Fierce Flyer's Portrait of Dr. Hare

Dr. Hare illustrated by Fierce Flyer

 

3. What are your favorite scenes, aesthetically and to play through?

 

Purely for the aesthetics, I’ve gotta go with Episode 1 of Survival Island. I really felt like I was there, like I was freezing and needed warmth and not just in the game. Getting that full immersive experience plus the beautiful scenery, is both nostalgic and was revolutionary to Poptropica.

 

Survival Island Illustration

Survival Island, Ep. 1 wallpaper

 

4. From your perspective, how have you seen the Poptropica Help Blog (PHB) and community change over time?

 

Change is inevitable. In the Pop community, the biggest changes that I dealt with were fellow bloggers and Poptropica enthusiasts coming and going. But through it all, my fond memories with them remain dear to my heart, and I have a feeling they would say the same.

 

5. How has your PHB career surprised you?

 

Joining the PHB has gotta be a top 10 moment in my life in terms of excitement and happiness. I was over the moon when I was welcomed in, and was pleasantly surprised to find that through joining the blog, I also became a stronger writer.

 

Fierce Flyer's Popsona at the Poppies 2018 blue carpet

Fierce Flyer at the blue carpet of the Poppies 2018

 

6. What inspires you?

 

I could go on and on about the many things I see and learn everyday that inspire me, but if I had to choose just one, it’d be my older brother and fellow PHB author Sporty Boa. He’s played a pivotal role in the progression of not only my creativity, but also my journey of becoming my best self. So, shout-out to my brotato chip!

 

Fierce Flyer and Sporty Boa Popsona illustration

Sporty Boa and Fierce Flyer at the PHB’s Flash funeral for Poptropica

 

7. What does the Pop community mean to you?

 

This community means so much to me; it’s hard to just put it in words, as corny as that sounds. I’ve recently turned 18, so I’m officially an “adult,” and I can truly say that the Poptropica community — everyone I’ve had the pleasure of meeting — will hold a special place in my childhood as a cornerstone of my life growing up.

 

8. How have your experiences with the community and Poptropica influenced you IRL?

 

Oh for sure! My blog, Fierce Flyer Adventures, began as a Poptropica site, but has also branched out a bit. I made a post 4 ½ years ago called “The Oath of Socialization” where I basically challenged myself to break out of my shell and be my authentic self around others. That post really changed my life because, although it was only supposed to last for a week, I’ve been running with it to this day.

 

Fierce Flyer vs. E. Vile illustration

Vanquish E. Vile by Fierce Flyer

 

9. Outside of Poptropica and your PHB involvement, what are you passionate about?

 

I’m super passionate about sports — all kinds, really. Anything with a ball, and sometimes a puck or wheel, I’ll be watching it. Along with that, a passion I’ve always had is creating stories. I want to be an author one day, or a director/writer for my own show or movie!

 

Fierce Flyer's Black Panther Popsona

Fierce Black Panther by Fierce Flyer

 

Favorites

  • Island: It’s a toss-up between Mystery Train and Reality TV, but I’ll give a slight edge to Mystery Train because of its captivating story and endearing characters.
  • Backstory/Lore: Ringmaster Raven. Such a captivating character with a truly tragic backstory, can’t help but to feel bad for him…
  • Character: My guy Edgar! Every time he showed up on my screen I was grinning, a bright spot in an otherwise disturbingly creepy environment on Monster Carnival.
  • Villain: Poptropica has so many great villains, but the cake goes to Director D ‘cause as a kid, I thought he was the coolest dude ever. Here’s a hot take: I think he could rock the bald look!
  • Costume: There are a lot of iconic costumes, but the one I remember the most, and always used, was the Midnight Ninja outfit. I would literally try to find any excuse possible to throw that thing on.

 

Fierce Flyer's Favorites: Mystery Train, Edgar, Ringmaster Raven, Director D, Midnight Ninja

 


 

Thank you to Fierce Flyer for the interview – it was an absolute pleasure and the series has been a lovely opportunity to learn more about you and the Poptropica Help Blog’s team as a whole! See more of Fierce Flyer’s writing and contributions on the PHB! ✨

Friday, November 11, 2022

Guest Blog: Interview with Gentle Dolphin from the Poptropica Creators 🐬💖

Interview with the PHB's Gentle Dolphin! Gentle Dolphin's Popsona is shown on a video call, alongside the wolf from Fairytale Island, a pink cat, and flying unicorn

 

1. How were you first introduced to Poptropica? 

I first discovered Poptropica back in 2008 (Man, am I that old?). I watched my little sister play Poptropica on the family computer one day, and I wanted to play as well. Guess who kept playing the game long after that. 😉

 

2. Who do you think is the most underrated character? Overrated? 

Poptropica has a large quantity of characters, so some are bound to get lost in the shuffle over time. I have to agree with Purple Paw and say that Captain Ziggs is probably the most underrated Pop character. He gave his life to protect the citizens of Steamworks Island, yet he isn't talked about much in the community. Even characters like the Elf Queen and the Magistrate get fan art on occasion. 

As for the most overrated, I feel like I’m beating a dead horse by saying that Dr. Hare is overrated. He became the face of spinoff minigames, merchandise, and even Poptropica itself! He got so much attention that could have shared with other characters.

 

Gentle Dolphin's underrated (Captain Ziggs, left) and overrated characters (Dr. Hare, right).

 

3. What are your favorite scenes, aesthetically and to play through? 

I loved visiting the dream worlds in Super Villain Island. They have some of the best scenery and provide interesting insight into some of Pop’s iconic villains. My favorite moment was hopping into the paintings in Black Widow's dream. Talk about an immersive art experience! 

I also want to mention the maze sections in Ghost Story Island. We've seen Pop from side-on and top-down perspectives, but this was the only time we could turn around and see every little corner of a location.

 

Gentle Dolphin's favorite scenes: Super Villain Island (left) and Ghost Story Island (right).

 

4. From your perspective, how have you seen the Poptropica Help Blog (PHB) and community change over time? 

I joined the community sometime in 2017, when Poptropica was searching for ways to survive the death of Flash Player. There was a lot of uncertainty about Pop’s fate during that time, and the community changed along with the game. Older fans either stayed on board or left altogether, and new players joined the community. While the fandom isn’t as active as it once was, there are still dedicated fans creating fan art and crafting theories. 

 

5. How has your PHB career surprised you?

First off, being invited to join the PHB was already a big surprise. 😆

In all seriousness, being part of the PHB taught me a lot about working with others online. I learned how to better communicate via text and how to plan online events like our annual Poppies awards. I still make mistakes every now and then, but that means there's still room to grow.

 

6. What inspires you? 

I get inspired by many things from stories to music to real-life experiences. 

 

7. What does the Pop community mean to you? 

The Pop community is full of creative individuals with a shared passion. The PHB’s Community Creations series is a testament to that fact. 

 

8. How have your experiences with the community and Poptropica influenced you IRL? 

You could say that Pop had a notable influence on my interests. Poptropica used to have a Daily Pop page that included comic strips like Peanuts and Big Nate. These comics inspired me to create my very own comics and set me on a creative path. I should probably get back into making comics now that I think about it.

 

Gentle Dolphin's Daily Pop page influence

 

9. Outside of Poptropica and your PHB involvement, what are you passionate about? 

I’m passionate about art and illustration. I’ve been working on a few projects, whether they be fully independent or with other people. Keep an eye out for them! 

 

Favorites 

  • Island: Ghost Story Island! It has a compelling story and a subdued tone not commonly felt in Pop's other islands. I definitely want to see this island return in the future.
  • Backstory/Lore: I liked learning about Amelia during her side quest. While it doesn’t reveal any groundbreaking lore, it showcases Amelia’s character via casual conversation and set design. Her little apartment showcases her love of tea, her many adventures, and (of course) her obsession with unicorns. I certainly didn’t expect that last one, but I loved it! 
  • Character: Fiona from Ghost Story Island. She is a sweet lady with a tragic history, and she is responsible for some of the island's most iconic moments. 
  • Villain: The Super Power Island crew. They’re a fun collection of villains to fight in a classic superhero setting. 
  • Costume: I may be biased when I say “Pumpkin Punk”. 😝🎃

 

Gentle Dolphin's all time favorites (from left to right): Ghost Story Island, Amelia's lore, Fiona from Ghost Story Island, Super Power Island's crew, and Gentle Dolphin's own 'Pumpkin Punk' costume

 


 

Sincere thanks to Gentle Dolphin for the lovely interview and their outstanding contributions to Pop community and the Poptropica Help Blog! Find more of Gentle Dolphin’s artwork and writing on the PHB! 

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Friday, October 28, 2022

Guest Blog: Interview with Smart Icicle from the Poptropica Creators 🤓❄️

Meet Smart Icicle!

 

Smart Icicle's Snowman Popsona

 

Smart Icicle's Popsona Portrait

Illustration by Smart Icicle

 

1. How were you first introduced to Poptropica?

Ah yes, the nostalgic times. I found Poptropica when I was around 10 years old. Me and my friend were sharing one Windows 7 computer, looking at ads on our games. We had never heard of Poptropica before, but we were in the mood to try something new.

So we created our first account together: Bronze Socks. (If the name sounds familiar to you, yes, that’s my Community Creations partner!) Anyway, this was during the peak of Poptropica, with the Multiverse, all the islands you could play, everything.

After a while, we each got a computer and didn’t have to share anymore, so me and my friend went our separate ways. I continued to play Poptropica as Smart Icicle (username: Target1051). Here’s me on the New You building of an older Home Island!

 

Smart Icicle on an older Home Island

 

2. Who do you think is the most underrated character? Overrated?

My choice for underrated character — I found many, but I would have to say the magistrate from Ghost Story Island. He’s nostalgic to consider, yet a bit villainous — after all, he did orchestrate a murder.

The most overrated character right now, in my opinion, would be Rumpelstiltskin. With all the Fairytale Island lore ongoing these past couple of years, including Rumpel’s possession of the Baron, and now being hunted by the Red Queen, it seems Rumpel is highly ranked among people’s villain tiers. Still, I wish each villain could get equal love in the community, rather than the hype often going to the same ones.

 

Magistrate from Ghost Story

Magistrate from Ghost Story

 

 Rumpelstiltskin from Fairytale

Rumpelstiltskin from Fairytale

 

3. What are your favorite scenes, aesthetically and to play through?

I love seeing Binary Bard’s and Dr. Hare’s dreams in Super Villain Island. Another one is the Imperial Garden from Red Dragon — at one point, I even set it as my phone wallpaper because I loved it so much!

I also liked most of the scenes from Arabian Nights, which have some of my favorites to play through as well: catching Scheherazade as a genie, and being in her princess room. And I enjoy a good villain takedown — although I didn’t get to witness them from personal experience since the gameplay was difficult, it was fun watching Captain Crawfish, Binary Bard, Dr. Hare, and Black Widow getting defeated.

 

 Binary Bard’s dream (Super Villain Island)

Binary Bard’s dream (Super Villain Island)

 

 Imperial Garden (Red Dragon Island)

Imperial Garden (Red Dragon Island)

 

4. From your perspective, how have you seen the Poptropica Help Blog (PHB) and community change over time?

To me, it’s an equation: Pop changes = PHB changes. Every time Poptropica changes, the PHB does as well. So much has happened to the game over the years, and the community has evolved too. I’ve seen this mentioned often and completely agree that, with the end of Flash in 2020, many people lost interest in Pop, including myself.

Perhaps the pandemic had something to do with the game’s momentum slowing down. But despite the shifts, I’m still happy to see the PHB keep going, and parts of Pop still hanging onto some of its OG content.

 

Virus Hunter Island Eye

Eye Alone: Looking out from within.

 

5. How has your PHB career surprised you?

I was really excited to see what would happen after I became a staff writer on the PHB. My PHB career surprised me because it sent huge waves of creativity that I never knew I had, plus it changed my writing style. Before joining the team, as a reader, I had zero creativity and zero interest in writing. I have to say thank you to Slanted Fish for this opportunity to write about something that I enjoy. After joining the PHB, I was inspired to continue writing, and even started my own blog.

 

World Warriors

World Warriors: Welcome back to the stage of history.

 

6. What inspires you?

Music, video games, family history, movies, TV shows — they all inspire me. As the saying goes: Inspiration is the key to success. Even watching other people writing inspires me.

7. What does the Pop community mean to you?

The Pop community means a lot to me. It feels like another whole family to me. I love just watching everyone’s whole different approaches and ideas, and I feel like I helped inspire new guest writers on the blog. 

 

Arabian Nights Character Art

Turban Core: Into the heart of a den of thieves.

 

8. How have your experiences with the community and Poptropica influenced you IRL? 

I would say Pop has influenced me a lot IRL. It not only brought back my creativity and love of writing, it also made me love trying out new games to enjoy on the web.

9. Outside of Poptropica and your PHB involvement, what are you passionate about? 

I love my family, friends, teachers, and writing. They all just make me feel me

 

Arabian Nights Assets

Gallery: The writing is on the walls.

 

Favorites

  • Island: Skullduggery
  • Backstory/Lore: Dr. Hare’s origin story as a lead scientist who engineered a malfunctioning mind control device that turned him into an evil hare-y genius
  • Character: Harold Mews from Cryptids
  • Villain: Dr. Hare, Captain Crawfish, Black Widow, and Binary Bard
  • Costume: Dr. Hare costume

 

Poptropica Island Map Illustration

 

Harold Mews

 

Dr. Hare's Bio

Dr. Hare’s backstory from the 2011 Villain Showdown on the Pop Creators’ Blog

 


 

Thank you to the Pop Creators for inviting me to do this interview. I have had a blast playing Poptropica, keep up the great work!

 

Friday, October 21, 2022

Interview with Smart Bubbles from the Poptropica Creators 🫧

Meet MaryannTheConqueror, aka Smart Bubbles!

 

Smart Bubbles AKA MaryannTheConqueror's Mordred Corner

 

 

1. How were you first introduced to Poptropica?

Like most older players, Funbrain is where it started for me. It was the main website Pop was advertised on, and I remember seeing it all the time there. I used to spend a lot of time on Funbrain as well!

 

2. Who do you think is the most underrated character? Overrated?

Underrated – Probably Fiona from Ghost Story. Ghost Story had by far one of the best storylines in Poptropica and I miss it dearly, and she’s one I don’t see much of except for some fanart every blue moon.

 

I’m also going to quickly mention Binary Bard because — wait, wait, hear me out — the guy has a lot of fans, I’m aware. However, I’ll consider him underrated until his island is back and he has his own book series.

 

Overrated – Poor Dr. Hare’s getting a lot of flack this time, isn’t he? Ah well. He’s a pretty easy answer and to be fair, I do feel that for the main mascot of Pop, he’s definitely one of the simpler characters but don’t take this too seriously as you will soon find how VERY biased I am).

 

Fiona from Ghost Story Island

Fiona (right)

 

Dr. Hare's Dreamscape in Super Villain Island

Dr. Hare

 

3. What are your favorite scenes, aesthetically and to play through?

I remember I used to go to the background of Poptropica Realms — when you exited out of a specific realm and just stared at all the mini worlds in bubbles — and listen to the ambience. The music and calm there was very sweet, and it was one of those rare times when you open a game but don’t really play it, instead just stopping to enjoy the scene.

I remember I used to go to the background of Poptropica Realms — when you exited out of a specific realm and just stared at all the mini worlds in bubbles — and listen to the ambience. The music and calm there was very sweet, and it was one of those rare times when you open a game but don’t really play it, instead just stopping to enjoy the scene.

 

Poptropica Realms Background

 

4. From your perspective, how have you seen the Poptropica Help Blog (PHB) and community change over time?

I’m one of the newest authors on the PHB, and while I had only posted a little bit before joining, I’ve actually lurked in this community since 2015! I read so many blogs, discovering any fan theories or creations that I could. At the time, I was pretty anxious about joining in the fandom, but I think I still got a decent view of what it was like.

I do feel the community is far less active recently. It’s sad to see the fan blogs slow down, but things have been a little slow. I remember enjoying many series from the PHB as well, including their seasonal magazine that has since retired, The POPCORN!

 

Ringmaster Raven fanart - "The Boy Nobody Wanted" by MaryannTheConqueror

 

5. How has your PHB career surprised you?

I think people can have different reasons for any creative arts, including storytelling. For some, they just want to do something they enjoy and express themselves. While I feel that too, I’m also passionate about bringing emotions and inspiration to others.

I’ve been writing a concept script for a Poptropica TV series called “The Villain Saga” for a while now, which you can read on the PHB. It’s very much just for fun, but it brought me so much joy when I saw other Pop fans writing their own stories in a similar format!

 

Smart Bubbles AKA MaryannTheConqueror's "The Villain Saga" Original Script

 

6. What inspires you?

Nature is a massive thing for me. I love being in green forests, which is kind of hard as someone who lives in a desert! Music is also a huge source of inspiration for me — I tend to create things based more on emotions than general ideas, hence why I can have a futuristic comic inspired by a horror musical.

I’ve also been developing an interest in studying cultures around the world. I’m especially passionate about Japan and hope to travel there someday! Who knows, maybe I can even make some Poptropica stuff while I’m there… ;>

 

Arch Enemies: Bridge Over Troubled Water

Arch Enemies: Bridge over troubled water.

 

7. What does the Pop community mean to you?

It’s a lot of fun to just be able to geek out about characters and nostalgia that just aren’t known or discussed outside of this community. I can create things and get feedback or practice ideas through fan creations, which in turn helps me improve my personal work.

 

2022 Poppies Awards by MaryannTheConqueror

Poppies 2022 by MaryannTheConqueror
 

8. How have your experiences with the community and Poptropica influenced you IRL? 

I have to say my work outside of Pop hasn’t changed much before and after. I was an artist and writer before, and I still am. I was involved in the Pop community a bit before being invited to work on the PHB as well. That all being said, I find myself becoming more interested in writing articles on subjects I’m steeped in, such as gaming and fandom, and blogging with the PHB has absolutely given me more practice in those departments. And of course, collaborating on and creating projects inspires me even further!

 

9. Outside of Poptropica and your PHB involvement, what are you passionate about? 

I love all kinds of music (listening, not writing, still haven’t got the hang of that). I hope to learn as many mediums of storytelling as possible, be they comics, animation, or novels. I have a deep love for bittersweet or just downright tragic stories. Astronomy also interests me, and while I don’t think I have the brainpower to study it as a profession, I love learning as many facts as possible!

 

Astro-Knights fanart - "Planets of Astro-Knights" by MaryannTheConqueror

“Planets of Astro-Knights” by MaryannTheConqueror

 

Favorites

 

  • Island: Astro-Knights. Astro-Knights Astro-Knights Astro-Knights. Ghost Story comes in second place though!

 

  • Backstory/Lore: This is going to come as a surprise to absolutely no one who’s read my posts or interacted with me — Mordred’s. I can joke till the end of time about how much of a Bard stan I am, but it’s actually not quite that. The guy’s pretty evil. He’d easily be one of the hardest to redeem. 

    But I love tragic characters, and I feel like he has quite the foundation to become one. There’s a lot to look into. Why did he start performing cruel experiments and rebelling against the kingdom? Will he continue to replace himself with cybernetic parts over time, and if so, at what point will he truly lose himself? Hehe. Yeah it’s a bit much. But he’s just got such a good base to construct ideas from!

 

Mordred fanart - "The Knowledge of the Stars" by MaryannTheConqueror

“The Knowledge of the Stars” by MaryannTheConqueror

 

  • Character: Mordred.
  • Villain: I imagine you’ll never be able to guess.

 

Mordred in Astro-Knights Island

Mordred in Astro-Knights Island

 

  • Costume: The Acidic Dinosaur. Nothing will ever beat it.

 

Acidic Dinosaur costume

Acidic Dinosaur

 


 

Funding for this post is provided by Harold Mews' bank account. If you'd like, you can check out more of my writing and art on the PHB. Pop on!

 

Castori honorem ~ Maryann/Smart Bubbles