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Bouncy Dream Survival Guide

by kathleen_a_b


     I had the most awful, bizarre dream the other night, more of a nightmare, really. Rather than finding myself in my cosy, wet home in Maraqua, I was lying on a wobbly, bouncy bed of jelly in a room also made entirely out of jelly. Perplexed by this unprecedented turn of events, I went out in search of some form of explanation. I exited the building only to see trees, buildings, even Neopets all made of jelly. The ground beneath my feet wobbled as I stood there in the doorway.

     “No, impossible!” I whispered to myself in awe. I had heard the talk, of course, of such a fictional “Jelly World,” but everyone knew that it wasn’t real. It was just a bunch of nonsense, perpetuated by confused prisoners and children who had eaten too much candy. I walked out in a shocked daze, unable to believe what my eyes were seeing. This couldn’t really be happening right now. How could this be? How was I going to get home to my pets? How was – CHOMP!

     A giant pterodactyl swooped down from the sky and tried to take a bite out of me (in a world made of food, oh, the irony). Looking up, I saw him turning around to have another shot at it; I ran, and he pursued. Eventually I ended up at the edge of a giant lava lake, ringed by volcanic mountains of jelly. With the ravenous pterodactyl close behind, I had no choice but to attempt a crossing…

     As it so happens with nightmares, now that I’ve told you about mine, sooner or later, it’s bound to happen to you, too. Should your sleeping self wind up in such a situation, here’s how to survive until the morning:

     • bouncebouncebounce. Saying this to the empty lake can give you the strength to scramble back atop the pillars one more time if you slip off. It can save you from some seriously bad situations in those moments when you’re feeling shaky or weak with exhaustion. It only works once, though; sadly, shouting at a lava lake cannot solve all of life’s problems. Falling into boiling hot lava and then climbing up a wobbly and unstable pillar made of jelly takes a lot out of you. You just can’t do it more than four times in a single night.

     • Coins. One of the more unusual features of this particular lake is that it seemingly produces money out of thin air. Between the pillars there will be four or five silver or gold coins hovering in the air. If you collect all of them, they seem to keep the pterodactyl at bay longer (who knows, maybe he’s afraid of rich people *shrug*). Plus, the coins are evenly distributed between the pillars, so they can help guide where you jump. Most of the time, if you’re in the centre of the current pillar, I find aiming between and a bit below the first and second coin works best. When there is a large upward jump, you’ll need to aim closer to the second coin, while if there is a downward jump, you should aim more directly for the first coin. This guideline will also be affected by the number of coins present; when there are 5 coins, your aim will always need to be closer to the second one. However, this method is not exact and will also depend upon your exact placement on each pillar.

     • Pillar positioning. As noted above, it is crucial to modify your jumps to account for the relative positioning of the pillars themselves; it is equally necessary to account for your own position on the individual pillars. Ideally you would always land exactly in the centre for every pillar; the aforementioned coins are hanging between the centres of the pillars, and I find jumps to be more difficult if you’re very close to the next pillar. Plus, consistency helps with aim in general. In practice, however, you may often end up closer to one of the edges. This position asymmetry needs to affect your aim for the next jump, lest you keep moving farther and farther from the centres until you completely fall off the edge. Check your jumps to see if any patterns emerge. If you’re barely making it onto the near edge, add some more strength to your jumps to go a bit farther, and vice versa. It’s always best to err on the side of caution when being chased by hungry predators.

     • Focus your attention. I know it’s hard, but you must try to ignore the roaring of the pterodactyl behind you and the bubbling of the lava all around you; focus on the pillars in front of you. Notice that their heights and the distances between them vary. The angle and strength of your jumps must vary correspondingly if you hope to reach the next one safely. Before jumping, make a mental note of the relative positions of the two pillars. Then having successfully completed the jump, compare the relative positions of the new pillars to those of the previous ones, and make small adjustments to your previous jump to account for any differences. Minimizing extra movement and distractions between jumps will help, which leads into the next tip.

     • Limit movement. The ultimate goal is to move as far as possible from the hungry predator chasing you. However, not all types of movement will aid you in achieving this goal. Make only purposeful and deliberate jumps; avoid unnecessary, extraneous movement and don’t move at all while in the air between jumps. Doing so, allows you to keep track of how high and far you just jumped without much extra effort.

     • Keep going. After jumping most of the night, your legs may start to resist the orders of your brain to continue onward. Do not give in. If you’ve been collecting all the coins, you can probably take a short break, but no more than that. The pterodactyl will find you and sweep you right off the pillar if you stay in one place too long. Take it easy on the shorter jumps, and muster all your strength for the long ones. And… just keep bouncing!

     Alas, my perilous journey could not come to a happy end. After traversing what felt like an endless number of pillars, I slipped one too many times. Unable to pull myself out of the lake, the pterodactyl caught up to me and plucked me from the lava. Just as his teeth were about to crush me, I awoke with a start.

     To my great relief, I was back in my nice, solid bed in my nice, watery home. I checked on my pets, who were still sleeping soundly, and went downstairs to make breakfast after that exhausting ordeal. On my way to the kitchen, though, I noticed that a mysterious golden jelly had appeared in my trophy cabinet.

     Perhaps after a few nightmares, mysterious objects could appear in your trophy case, too… ;)


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