Volcano Run II
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The game Volcano Run II features a Tyrannian Scorchio named Glubgar who has foolishly flown into a volcano. Having proved himself inherently stupid by flying into a Volcano, it is clear that Glubgar is a little special and requires assistance. It is therefore your job to fly Glubgar through the scolding hot tunnels to the exit. If you've ever played the computer game 'Helicopter' on the internet you will find Volcano Run II to be very similar in gameplay. You must constantly click or hold your left mouse button to propel Glubgar upward. The game naturally moves the tunnel from the right to the left of the screen, giving the illusion that Glubgar is traveling forward. Should you stop clicking, Glubgar will slowly fall. Points are constantly awarded to you for your distance traveled at a steady rate. Additionally you can speed up and slow down Glubgar through the use of your keyboard.
Your speed and position in the tunnel are of great importance because you must also be on the lookout for obstacles. In addition to dying when colliding with the ceiling and floor of the tunnel, Glubgar will also die instantly if he comes in contact with a fireball, rock, or lava geyser. Fortunately, there are also good things to be on the lookout for. You can pick up gems for points, as well as an invincibility shield. Your goal is to fly as far as you can through the tunnel, collecting gems as you go, without being incinerated. Should you die, you can either try again using one of your remaining lives, or just restart the game. This version of Volcano Run II replaced the first version on December 10, 2006. Consider yourself lucky for that, because the old version was a lot more difficult!
Regardless of how Glubgar himself is traveling, the tunnel moves along at a steady rate. Therefore, there's no way to slow down or speed up the distance you are traveling. What you can do is slow down and speed up to change Glubgar's general shape, and his position in the tunnel. As long as you are constantly clicking your mouse Glubgar will flap and assume the positions illustrated by the first three images in the table below. This is how you ascend or travel straight forward in the tunnel. To descend, simply stop clicking, and Glubgar will stretch out his arms and glide downward. If you were extremely good, you could probably therefore complete the entire game using just the mouse.However, for those of us who are merely human, Glubgar can perform two other tricks. Using the keyboard, you can press 'C' to come to a halt, and 'V' to charge forward.
When you halt you will be pushed to the left of the game window, whereas speeding up will bring you to the right. The benefit to slowing down is that it gives you more time to see what lies ahead. Stopping can also give you the time needed to wait for an obstacle to move out of your preferred path. The downside of stopping is that it makes you taller, and thus a bigger target. Also, if you get too far to the left of the window you don't have much room to operate.
Charging, on the other hand, makes Glubgar less of a target. Also, if Glubgar's normal traveling speed is not enough to avoid an obstacle, charging forward can solve the problem. A downside to speeding up is that as you get farther to the right of the screen, the less time you have to see the oncoming tunnel. It can also be rather reckless, and you may find yourself flying straight into something. The last two images in the table below illustrate what will become of poor Glubgar should you crash.
|The Many Phases of Glubgar|
The game takes into account two factors when determining your score. At the end of the game, before your score is sent, you will be brought to a screen that calculates your total score by simply adding together your 'best distance' and 'bonus'. If you are going for the avatar or a high score, your best distance will probably be the bulk of your score. An important fact to acknowledge here is that your score doesn't take into account the distance you travel on each life, but rather only the best distance. If you die with a poor distance it is better to just restart the game and play again on your first life. This is because your second, third, and fourth lives should be used for a different purpose, which is explained in the next paragraph. If you are having trouble with getting a good distance, be sure to check out this guide's tips!
As already mentioned, the other factor of your score is 'bonus'. Your bonus is comprised of all the little gems you fly over and thus collect with Glubgar. There are two gems, one yellow and one red, respectively. The yellow gem is worth ten points and the red one twenty. They always come in groups of three, making the max amount of bonus points you can get at once sixty, and the minimum amount thirty. You should use any of your lives besides your first to complete your bonus. Gems will stop appearing once you reach a bonus of 450, as the game is programmed to keep players from getting a bonus of above 500. However, it is possible to get a bonus above 450, and even a bonus above 500. Information on this is in the Strategies section further down the page.
You might have also noticed the picture in the table below that resembles a glowing bubble. This is the invincibility shield. If you fly into it with Glubgar, it will surround him and protect him from harm. The shield will be removed after about five seconds, or once Glubgar hits something with it. Its small time duration and rare occurrence in the game make the shield rather worthless.
|Things to Collect|
Avoid the Burning Stuff:
Aside from ceiling and floor of the tunnel, there are three obstacles to watch out for in the game; the rock, the fireball, and the lava geyser. You will either encounter rocks alone at the entrance to narrow tunnels, or in large groups. They will either be stationary or moving up and down. Rocks are a pain, but generally easily avoided.
|Glowing Hot Rocks|
The fireballs, on the other hand, are a real nuisance. They travel towards you from the right of the screen, sometimes angled downward or upward. At the beginning of the game you will encounter lone fireballs and fireballs in groups of two. Once you have a bonus score of 450 or more you will be dealing with fireballs in groups of two and three! If it weren't for the fireballs, Volcano Run II would be extremely easy.
The last obstacle to appear in the game is the lava geyser. The picture in the table below illustrates what the base of one looks like. Every few seconds a burst of lava shoots out from the base to the ceiling of the tunnel, creating a fiery wall. Fortunately, the lava recedes back into the base after a few seconds. The geysers are actually the easiest obstacle to dodge, yet their entrance in the latter part of the game certainly makes things more complicated.
|The Fireball and Lava Geyser|
Tunnel Variation and Strategies:
The game has a limited amount of variation it can use to generate the tunnels, making Volcano Run II fairly predictable. This section provides information on the tunnel's different variations, so that you can get your brain prepared for all of the different scenarios that the game spits out. Overall, there are only eight different variations in the tunnel that you will face, although the obstacles that appear in them change as your distance and bonus increases. The most difficult of these variations are shown below with explanations on how to properly deal with them.
Moving Rock Maze:
Introduced: Distance of 0 Meters
This is probably the most common, yet easiest section of tunnel you will face in the game. All that is needed to get around the rocks flawlessly is the use of slowing down and speeding up. The animation above demonstrates how it is done. Simply come to a halt in front of a moving rock that is in your way, then quickly speed up and pass it once it has moved.
Introduced: Distance of 0 Meters
This is another common but relatively easy scenario. Whenever you enter a wide tunnel with no rocks, expect to eventually see a set of dual fireballs coming at you. As shown in the animation below, it is usually a good idea to fly between the fireballs. Be careful though, as in some cases the fireball on the top or bottom will travel faster than it's companion, closing up the gap between them. It's important to make your decision on what to do quickly, if that is the case.
Introduced: Distance of 0 Meters
This section of tunnel is really a blessing, as you will never encounter any obstacles in it. Unfortunately, Glubgar can easily get toasted by the tunnel ceiling or floor if you are not careful. The key to getting through any narrow tunnel in the game is to press and release your mouse button very quickly. If you hold or release your mouse for too long, Glubgar is going to go sailing unhappily into the tunnel wall.
Tunnel of Doom:
Introduced: Distance of 0 Meters
This is without a doubt the most difficult situation that you must deal with in the game. It combines the rock and fireball obstacles in a very narrow section of cave. You can immediately see that you will have to deal with a tunnel of doom when you see a single rock, either stationary or moving, at the entrance to a narrow cave. The presence of the rock foreshadows a set of rubies and a fireball. The first step to get through safely is to brake in front of the rock until the fireball is visible. The location of the fireball tells you if you want to attempt to go over or under the rock at the entrance of the cave. Obviously, if the fireball is low, you're going to want to go over the rock. Also, you're going to want to speed up once you know you can safely get by the rock and fireball, as there is often more trouble on the other end of the tunnel and you don't want to be trapped too far to the left of the window. Remember; don't risk your life for the gems. They appear constantly throughout the game and can be obtained at a safer time.
Introduced: Score of 450 Bonus Points
Once have 450 or more bonus points, fireballs will become more numerous. There will be new fireballs wherever gems once were. Therefore, if you see a lone fireball, slow down and be prepared to encounter a second, or even a third. A group of three fireballs in a tunnel of doom is probably the hardest situation you will have to deal with in the game. Fortunately, the fireballs tend to stay in a cluster. That means that once you see the first fireball, you can assume that the other two will be at about the same height, and fairly close behind it. Unfortunately, the fireballs tend to travel at different speeds and angles, meaning they can easily get you trapped. As soon as you see them you're going to have to determine if you want to try to fly over the highest one, under the lowest one, or use 'C' and 'V' to go through them, as the animation above illustrates.
Don't forget that fireball clusters can be avoided altogether by simply collecting no more than 440 bonus points on your first life. Use your second, third, or fourth life to collect bonus points. Since you should be focusing on getting the best distance you can your first life, you're not going to want to worry about fireball clusters. On your first life you shoud avoid collecting copious amounts of gems like the plague.
Introduced: Distance of 500 Meters
The lava geysers are really the easiest thing to avoid in the game, but their sudden appearance and loud accompanying noises might catch you off guard. They come either alone or in small groups, but you should treat each individual geyser the same. As soon as you see the base of a geyser you should come to a complete stop unless it just fired. If it just fired, you should speed up and fly over it. If it did not just fire, you should assume that it is going to fire any second and come to a halt. You want to be in the middle of the screen when you reach a geyser, so that you have plenty of space to slow down and speed up. Don't get trapped between the edge of the game window on the left and a geyser. It's not a fun place to be!
End of the Game Tunnel:
Introduced: Distance of 1000 Meters
The last 51 meters of the game combines the lava geyser, fireball, and narrow tunnel. Try to relax a bit before you're there, as you will most likely not blink or breath once during the last 51 meters. That's only a small exaggeration. The key to surviving this part of the game is to stay as close to the middle of the screen as possible. If you move too far forward, you will run into an oncoming fireball. If you get too far back, you will not have enough room to deal with the geysers. Try not to stop or speed up unless you are dealing with a geyser. You should be able to fly above or below the fireballs most of the time, as they usually fly at the extreme top or bottom of the cave.
Maximizing Your Score:
The game kills you once you reach a distance of 1,051. You should attempt to get this distance on your first life. If you die, simply restart the game. It is easily possible to get a bonus of 470, so if you are going for the avatar score of 1,500, you are going to need a distance of at least 1,030. There is no luck involved with getting a good distance, only practice and skill. On the other hand, there is a bit of luck involved with the bonus. Hypothetically, the maximum bonus you can earn is 560 points. You have a better chance of being struck by lightning than getting that though. The game stops programming gems to appear the second you reach a bonus of 450. However, once the game has programmed gems to appear, it does not remove them.
There are therefore several steps to maximize your bonus. First, aim to complete your bonus earnings before you reach a distance of 500, when the game gets harder. Second, watch your bonus score carefully and stop collecting gems once you reach a bonus of 440. Since your bonus is not 450 yet, gems are still programmed too appear. Assuming the next group of gems to emerge is a set of three yellow, you will then have a bonus of 470! Consider your bonus if one, two, or three of those gems is red. You're bonus would reach 500! Unfortunately, you'll be lucky if even one of those gems is red. Fortunately, there's another way to get a higher bonus. Occasionally two sets of gems appear right next to each other, as shown in the picture below. If you can get to 440 bonus points and then avoid gems until you find two sets of gems, you'll get a minimum bonus of 500 points! If a single one of the gems of the six is red, you'll have over 500! The occurrence of two sets of gem is programmed regularly into the game, so the chances of one appearing for you are fairly good. You're going to have to be pretty good at dodging gems to get to one when you have 440 bonus points though.
If you are no where near scoring enough points to get the avatar, you're going to have to practice and read the above section before getting much help from below. These tips are simply small and easy alterations that you can use to make things easier. They're not going to work miracles. However, if you've put a bit of effort into practicing and understanding the strategy, you will find these tips very useful in maximizing your score. Aside from that, good luck going for that avatar or trophy!
- Play the game on the normal screen size. In small you will not be able to determine exactly where the boundaries are around the obstacles, and you're more likely to hit the cave.
- Try to get the best distance you can on your first life. Simply restart the game if you die with a low distance.
- Do not collect many gems on your first life. Focus on getting a good distance. It's okay if you collect some gems, but try to stay under 400 bonus points. If you get 450 or more bonus points you'll have to deal with fireballs that come in clusters of three.
- Use your second, third, or fourth lives to maximize your bonus score.
- To maximize your bonus score, first earn 440 bonus points. Then dodge gems until you find either two sets of gems or a set of gems with a red.
- Try to stay in the middle of the window as much as possible with Glubgar. Use 'C' and 'V' to reposition yourself when you have a break.
- Mute the game's obnoxiously stressful music and either play your own songs or none.
- Your right hand is going to have to be glued to the mouse the entire game. Do not try to eat, itch, talk on the phone, or make sock puppets as you are playing. It is very difficult.
- Remove all distractions from the screen. The only thing moving on your screen should be the game window. Advertisements and flashing AIM or MSN windows will eventually get the better of your attention.
- Keep it simple. If you can hold down the mouse instead of clicking like a maniac, hold it down! If you can fly through a maze of rocks without slowing, stopping, and doing a barrel roll, just fly through!
Type 'glubgar' to earn an extra life. Unfortunately, the game provides little opportunity to safely enter the code. As soon as the game is started there is about a two second window of opportunity to type the code, after which you must immediately begin clicking your mouse to save yourself from dying. You can also obviously type the code with your free hand as you are playing, but that's more likely to get you killed anyways, which is of course ironic because it's supposed to be an extra life code. Aside from being a nuisance to enter, the code has little actual value. While it is a good idea to use your extra lives to earn your bonus points, chances are you are only going to need one or two tries to get all the bonus points, especially if you got at least a few bonus points on your first life.
The avatar was first released on September 1, 2005 to those who could score 3,500 or more points in the original Volcano Run game. However, on December 10, 2006, the first Volcano Run game was cancelled. To replace it, Volcano Run II was released, and the avatar requirement was updated to a score of 1,500 points to match the newer scoring system.