Talek's Trophy Tips: Spellseeker Supreme
Ever wondered how to get that shiny golden trophy? Or chase up that elusive avatar? With guides abound, it has never been easier to get trophies. Everyone’s writing down tips, but you still can’t wrap your head around it? Talek will take you down the path towards the gamer superstardom. Follow this new series of “Talek’s Trophy Tips”, and every once in a while I will present you with a new tutorial how to make it to the top of the scoreboard. This article will provide a step-by-step tutorial and some advanced insight to reach that extra mile.
NOTE: This step-by-step guide will set you on the path to stand the highest chance of getting a champion trophy after the monthly trophy reset. For the month-to-month evolution of the scores, consult Sabre’s TrophyTracker petpage.
CREDIT: Special thanks to Steve_KM for the idea suggestion and inspiring me to follow up on it.
Time has come for Neopians to cross the veil and enter the world of magic! The special time of curses and spells has come, and who else but one of Neopia’s most mysterious sorcerers can help you quickly give you a crash course on all things magic. Despite his grumpiness, he is not above rewarding brave and talented budding magicians with shiny magical trophies for their trophy cabinets. So is there a better combination than that to extract enjoyment from this magical occasion?
The game puts you in the role of an apprentice spellweaver, tasked with weaving complex spells under the guidance of Neopia’s own Sorcerer Supreme. With the old wizard observing you from afar, shaking his head at each failed attempt with a furrowed brow, you will navigate from level to level of increasing difficulty while attempting to build the best magical spell possible. The game’s premise is simple - link up the longest sequence possible of adjacent tiles on the board and score as high amount of points. Each level will increase in complexity, requiring either more tiles to be connected or providing a more complex set of numbers to work with. Likewise, each level will impose certain limitations, such as only using even/uneven numbers, which will become more difficult the deeper you get.
As you start the game you can choose between three game modes:
Numbers - consisting of numbers
Symbols - consisting of runes
Words - consisting of letters from which to form words
For the bravest of you, symbols and words may be an interesting shout; but numbers is the go-to category if you want to achieve a trophy-worthy score and is the easiest of the three to play. As such, beyond the initial section, we will only refer to the game’s magical tiles as numbers.
At the start of the game you will be presented with a board of 58 randomly-selected magic tiles. To make a successful spell you will have to chain together at least three tiles and either double-click on the last tile in the combo, or click “Submit”. Your boss will be constantly eyeing you from the side, pushing and prodding you when whether the spell is “Correct” or “Incorrect”, which will help you not lose track of your chain. At the bottom of the screen you will also have the “Shuffle” option, which will change all tiles on the board into random new numbers. As you shuffle the board or successfully submit a chain, new tiles will start dropping from the top. The “Slime tile” will spell game over if any of them is allowed to reach the bottom of the board, while the “Gold/Magic tile” will act as a score modifier if used in a chain, multiplying and increasing your score, as well as building up your energy meter - the Vial of Power - that you can use to clear all slime tiles in sight when fully charged. Shuffling and getting a good set of numbers and bonus tiles will be vital in your attempts to score high.
The level progression is relatively complex, ranging from just three numbers in level 1 (1-2-3) to presumably 13 and more in later levels (I personally have not been past level 12, but do not fret, it is more than enough for a gold trophy). Even more complex are the level requirements: initially requiring 10-20-30 tiles for the first three levels, the number resets with level 4 and then resets again in levels 7, 10 (to 20) and 13 (to 30). The changes coincide with the number changes on the tiles, eg. level 4 has you line up even numbers 2 through 8. Level progression is very important in trophy runs so we will provide a more in-depth look at how the levels are structured in the “Trophy Run” section.
The scoring might look complex at first glance, just like the level progression, but it is relatively straightforward. For each tile in the chain you are awarded 300 points. For each Gold tile in the chain, you get a +3 multiplier added to your score, e.g. chaining 34 tiles at 300 each and 2 gold tiles nets you 10200 base points, and another 30600 for each golden tile, for a 71400 total. Personal highest was over 200000 points, and hey, that’s like 30-40% of the way towards a bronze!
While the game is not action-based, relying on your awareness and foresight to get you through, there are definitely little tricks available to improve your score building.
Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle. As previously mentioned, shuffling will be an important part of your game, as will collecting gold tiles and using the power meter. When you shuffle, get the slime ones to the 2nd row from the bottom at most before you start removing them. If you cannot get more gold tiles, might as well remove some of the slime ones first. If you see it is futile, restart and try again.
Focus on the gold tiles. This is a no brainer. Not only do the magical tiles increase your score in big chains, but you can use them to nudge the meter to completion. This will be crucial in later levels when you are fighting for survival. However, be careful - even though they are beneficial: you do not want to miss the threshold to complete the level just for some points.
Connect as many gold tiles as possible, but do not fret about missing one. Yet another self-explanatory situation. Always see if you can connect the gold tiles on either end of the board. In some cases, there will be 5-6 (in later levels even more) gold tiles at one time, but you will only be able to connect 2-3 at a time. Do not be disheartened - sometimes that is the only way to chain as long a sequence as possible.
Gold tiles can disappear! When slime tiles descend on top of the gold tiles, they will disappear, so be wary of how many there are and use up ones you can.
Link up smaller chains before a big one. If you do not have many gold tiles available or some slime tiles need to be destroyed, try to remove any potential dangers in hopes of also getting some more gold tiles to spawn. In levels where you need 30-40 tiles, it can particularly beneficial to build up a score first (20-29 tiles) before starting a long sequence.
Never submit your first chain. After you reach a dead end, always look at alternative routes. In many cases, you will be able to use one or two more tiles by diverting the sequence from another point on the board. Memorising the paths you take is massively beneficial in optimising your chaining.
REMEMBER THE VIAL! The vial or the power meter is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL. You will need to use it to clear your way out of a pinch. Activating is just as simple as clicking on it. Now there are two times to use it: a) when you are in critical danger, b) when you have a ton of gold tiles. In the case of the latter, I would recommend you to get rid of the dangerous tiles even when they are not close to approaching the bottom. Gold tiles will help you replenish what you use up, so sometimes it is more worthwhile in the long run to use it early.
NOTE: As this is an old flash game, occasionally you will encounter screen freezing, with the game window becoming unresponsive to your clicks. Sorry to say, this will spell the end of your run, and you will likely have to refresh the window. Not even the Vial of Power will save you in this case...
Before you even attempt a trophy run, take heed - Spellseeker is a long game. A champion trophy run (0.9-1million+) will spell (no pun intended) that the game may last over 40 minutes, and even a lower score (700k+) can take over half an hour.
Likewise, remember that restarting the early few levels will determine how far you can go. Later levels are more about surviving and getting enough tiles in to get you through to the next level and powering up your meter. As such, the higher the score you get by end of levels 5 or 9, the better off you are later in your run.
Now that you are ready to start your trophy run, let us look at the scores. On average, month-to-month the bronze scores range between 500-650k, silver scores between 700-800k and gold scores 850k-1m during the monthly reset. As of mid-August (or I should say, month of Hiding), scores of 1mil+ are likely to get you into the top 5 and 850k+ into top15. Overall, the game is not a difficult game to get a bronze in. Following this guide, you could theoretically get to 500k, the reset score, between levels 4 to 6, and continue to push further. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 100k points per level. If you can get more, it will average out later levels. Past level 8 it will be very difficult to get 100k+ so most of your point building be before level 8. If you feel like bronze is enough, going for 20-25% less than the prerequisites laid out in the section should be enough. I will lay out the way I achieved my gold trophy with 1mil+ score midway into the month.
(NOTE: The example images were taken for educational purposes. They were not part of my trophy run).
Let’s start with something simple. In level 1, you only have to chain 10 tiles and you only have 3 numbers to play with: 1, 2 and 3. This is the level where you need to start building your score. There is little leeway for clearing tiles, so that can be outright skipped as you can restart the level. Should the opportunity arise, however, go for it. In this level, you need to link up at the bare minimum 30 tiles and 3 gold tiles for 100000+ points for the lowest tier trophy run, but I would advocate anymore to keep restarting until you get between 90-150k, and over 120-150k+ for a champion run (Proof of concept in the image below). The random nature of gold tiles will play a part and later levels spawn them more often, so sometimes foregoing max in the early level may pay off later.
Level 2 doubles the required amount of tiles to 20 and introduces number 4 into the mix. A minor change, but an important one nonetheless as you cannot link up 1 to 4 (insert /sadface). The same tactics apply for level 2, however, you have much more leeway to clear the slime tiles with 20 tiles. This is easily another 80-120k level and you should focus on it as such. A good run would have you at 250-300k after level 2 for a champion run, but again - do not get discouraged. Restart, if you must.
Now level 3 is the first level where survival matters more than building, though chaining long sequences still remains important. Now you have 30 tiles to clear and a fifth number (5) is added to the mix. Also, this is the level where it is likely you will string together a long enough chain of gold tiles to fill up your vial of power. Because of levels 4 and 5, this is the level where you can use the meter and try to build up as many small chains before linking up a larger one. With some luck, you will have a few 20k or 40-50k chains before you start building your large one - in some cases they may be longer than the one that takes you over the 30 mark. However, this level still enables you to safely get between 60-100k. For a champion run, if you do not have 400k points, give or take 50k - I strongly suggest restarting.
Levels 4 through 6 work exactly in the same fashion as levels 1-3. Level 4 resets the requirements back to 10 and also resets the numbers to 1, 2, 3, whilst also adding a 0. Levels 5 and 6 add numbers 4 and 5 respectively, and increase the reqs to 20 and 30 per level. Levels are slightly more difficult but in principle follow the same guidelines as before: build a high-point chain in level 4 and survive level 6. The point thresholds per level are generally lower too, but you can expect to get around 20k-30k less on average (60-80k each). Past this point it should be enough if you have 400k-500k for a lower tier run, and 550-650k for a gold.
Levels 7 through 9 are also identical to levels 4 to 6, but with a slight catch. Instead of increasing the numbers by 1, the numbers on the tiles increase by 2. So you start out with 2-4-6-8 and add 10 and 12 as you progress. However, this does not change the game whatsoever, despite seeming a lot more difficult. The frequency of slime tile drops also increases, but so does the chance of gold tiles. While it may seem on paper like you will get fewer points (and you are likely to do), you can still anticipate the 60-80k average, with an occasional 120-150k (while writing this guide I scored 140k on level 9, so hey, anything is possible).
Level 9 is also the LAST real level to amass points, so do not expect to get a lot more points in levels 10+ (give or take 150k-200k, depending on how deep you can go). If you are aiming for gold, you need a bare minimum of 750k, but preferably closer to 850k-900k at this point. Kudos if you get more than that!
By level 10, your apprenticeship is more than complete. This level throws at you what it really means to be a spellseeker. All 9 digits from 1 to 9 make their appearance right off the bat. What’s more, the necessary difference between two tiles has to be 2 digits away: so only adjacent even or uneven numbers 1-3-5-7-9 or 2-4-6-8 work. With approx. 20 tiles you need to progress, you are better off trying to collect smaller chunks rather than shuffling until the very end for gold tiles.
Strategically, in order to go further you MUST have a full vial when you enter level 10, and you should try to keep your vial always full or as close to full for subsequent levels where possible. This allows you some freedom to shuffle a few times before you start connecting some tiles. Always make sure to have one or two gold tiles to get at least 8-16k points per chain. You can still expect 30-50k in this level. If you follow the point threshold, you should have around 850-950k points by this point.
Now once you get to levels 11+ it gets even more difficult to pass. Digits’ ranges increase to 1-13 and 1-15 for levels 11 and 12 respectively. Likewise, you need ~30 and respectively to pass which makes it extraordinarily hard. Anything you get here is a bonus to your score. At this juncture it is very likely that you will already have a high enough score for a trophy. The farther you go, the more solid your chances will be.
This was a special, magical edition of Talek’s Trophy Tips. The guide should help you get on track to get that coveted Spellseeker trophy. Remember: practice makes perfect. Train your technique and use the level point requirements to guide you. Likewise remember, the game is supremely dependent on how lucky you get with the gold tiles. The game takes quite some time, so make sure you get a good start. Do not despair - persevere! And go do some spell-slinging.
Struggling to get a trophy? Want tips on a certain game? Neomail me and I will consider including the game in an upcoming article for Talek’s Trophy Tips.
Thank you to Sabre’s TrophyTracker petpage for the average reset scores.