Journey of the Prairie King

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JOPK logo.png

Journey of the Prairie King is a game playable on the arcade machine in The Saloon. Defeating the game will award you with an arcade machine to put in your house. Abigail also possesses a console version of the game that she will play with you during an event once you have raised your friendship level with her. Random elements of the game are not affected by luck[1].

Please note that none of the powerups or enemies are referenced by any name in-game, so they have been named by members of the community.

Gameplay Mechanics

Gameplay consists of a top-down shooter, resembling "twin-stick" shooters.
W
A
S
D
moves the character and
shoots. Shots can also be fired diagonally by combining two fire keys.

Waves of enemies appear from the edges of the screen and move towards you, while a timer bar at the top of the screen ticks down. Your character has no health bar and will be killed by any enemy or projectile that touches him. You start off with x3 lives, although more can be collected during gameplay. Losing all your lives (i.e. when the life counter reaches x-1) results in a Game Over. Once the timer bar depletes, enemies will stop appearing, and once you've disposed of the rest of them, you can move to the next area. Enemies will sometimes drop powerups and coins upon being killed. Powerups are stored in the slot in the top-left, unless the slot already contains an item, in which case it will be consumed on pickup. Stored powerups are activated with space and can greatly turn the tide of gameplay, allowing you to get out of precarious situations. However, powerup effects will expire after a short time.

Every few levels (see levels), once you have cleared the area, a travelling merchant will present three upgrades to purchase. Only one upgrade can be bought per visit. Each stage ends in a boss fight, where the boss has a large amount of health and shoots bullets at you.

Powerups

Image Name Description
JOPK Coffee.png Coffee Increases your movement speed.
JOPK Life.png Extra Life Adds one to your life total.
JOPK MachineGun.png Heavy Machine Gun Significantly increases fire rate.
JOPK Nuke.png Nuke Instantly destroys all enemies on-screen. Enemies killed like this do not drop upgrades.
JOPK Shotgun.png Shotgun You fire three bullets at once in a cone in the direction you fire. Slightly decreased fire-rate.
JOPK SmokeBomb.png Smoke Bomb Teleports your character to a random spot on-screen and gives your character stealth. While stealthed, enemies will stand still with question-marks above their head. Enemies will continue to spawn, building up inside the spawn zones.
JOPK Star.png Sheriff Badge Increases your fire-rate, increases your movement speed, and causes you to fire in a cone. Effectively combines the machine gun, shotgun and coffee into one convenient, deadly pickup. However, fire-rate and movement speed bonuses are slightly lower than from coffee/machine gun. With max boots and gun, the bonus given from this item are only minimal.
JOPK Tombstone.png Tombstone A bolt of lightning strikes your character, turning you into a zombie for a brief amount of time. You gain movement speed and kill on contact, enemies flee from you, and a brief music clip plays. This form lasts as long as the music plays. You can still shoot as per usual in this form.
JOPK Wheel.png Wheel Your shots fire in 8 directions at once.

Upgrades

Upgrades are bought with coins dropped from enemies, which come in JOPKCoin1.png and JOPKCoin5.png denominations, the JOPKCoin5.png coins being very rare. You can only buy items in descending order of the vendor slot. The Vendor will appear every second area: 1-2, 1-4, 2-1, 2-3, 3-1 and 3-3.

Vendor Slot Image Name Purchase Price Description
1 JOPK Boots1.png Boots JOPKCoin1.png8 Upgrades movement speed.
JOPK Boots2.png JOPKCoin1.png20
JOPK Life.png Extra Life JOPKCoin1.png10 Get an Extra Life. Can be purchased again at the next vendor.
2 JOPK Gun1.png Gun JOPKCoin1.png10 Increases shooting speed.
JOPK Gun2.png JOPKCoin1.png20
JOPK Gun3.png JOPKCoin1.png30
JOPK Gun4.png Super-Gun JOPKCoin1.png99 You will get the Shotgun spread permanently without the fire-rate debuff. Will also be shown as a 4th icon on the left, on top of the other 3.
JOPK Star.png Sheriff Badge JOPKCoin1.png10 Get a Sheriff Badge. Can be purchased again at the next vendor.
3 JOPK Ammo1.png Ammo JOPKCoin1.png15 Increases bullet damage to 2 / 3 / 4. Bullets gain penetration, such that if a bullet destroys an enemy with damage left over, it will keep going until its damage is depleted, allowing you to kill at least two weak enemies with one bullet.
JOPK Ammo2.png JOPKCoin1.png30
JOPK Ammo3.png JOPKCoin1.png45
JOPK Star.png Sheriff Badge JOPKCoin1.png10 Get a Sheriff Badge. Can be purchased again at the next vendor.

Enemies

Image Name HP Description Appears in
Baddy1.gif Orc 1 The weakest enemy. Walks slowly towards the player, often spawning in large numbers. Stage 1 (areas 1-4)
Baddy7.gif Spikeball 2 (6 upon deployment) Enters the area, walks to a location in an area between the middle and the perimeter, and deploys into an armored spikeball. While they can hurt the player, whether deployed or undeployed, it can be beneficial to leave some around for crowd control, as they block Orc movement. If the time has run out and the last remaining enemies are only spikeballs, they will die in one hit. Stage 1 (areas 2-4)
Baddy3.gif Ogre 3 Moves slowly, but soaks up damage. Destroys spikeballs on contact. Stage 1 (areas 3-4), Stage 2 (areas 1-3)
Baddy6.gif Mushroom 2 Moves quickly, running as fast as a player without speed upgrades. Stage 2 (areas 1-3)
Baddy2.gif Pixie 1 The first flying enemy. Can spawn anywhere on the perimeter and fly towards the player. Stage 2 (areas 1-3)
Baddy4.gif Mummy 6 Moves slowly and soaks up a lot of damage. Spawns in large hordes. Stage 3 (areas 1-3)
Baddy5.gif Imp 3 A flying enemy that can spawn anywhere on the perimeter, seeking the player. Stage 3 (areas 1-3)
Baddy8.gif Bear Distracts enemies, drawing them towards it and killing them on impact. Cannot be killed by the player. Disappears after a short time. Random

Bosses

Image Name HP Description Appears in
Boss1.gif Cowboy Both fights with the cowboy take place in open fields with little cover. The player and cowboy are separated by a ravine/river, which can only be crossed with a lucky smoke bomb. Although the cowboy can take quite a few bullets, you can still only take one before dying, requiring proficient evasion. The cowboy will run out of cover and shoot a volley of bullets upwards before retreating back to cover. He often pauses behind cover, and sometimes outside of cover, allowing you to get some easy shots in. Upon dying, the boss drops an extra life, a bridge appears crossing the river, and a pickup appears allowing you to travel to the next stage. Stage 1 (area 5), Stage 2 (area 4)
Boss3.gif Lector Unlike the cowboy fight, the player can move everywhere around Lector. However, Lector is also significantly more difficult to fight, being able to shoot directly at the player. Occasionally, he will move to the middle and fire in 8 directions. As his health gets lower, he will start summoning enemies to track you down. Beating Lector will finish the game. Stage 3 (area 4)

Levels

Screenshots of each level
Stage Area 1 Area 2 Area 3 Area 4 Boss
Stage 1 - Prairie JOPK Level 1 1.png JOPK Level 1 2.png JOPK Level 1 3.png JOPK Level 1 4.png JOPK Level 1 5.png
Stage 2 - Forest JOPK Level 2 1.png JOPK Level 2 2.png JOPK Level 2 3.png - JOPK Level 2 4.png
Stage 3 - Graveyard JOPK Level 3 1.png JOPK Level 3 2.png JOPK Level 3 3.png - JOPK Level 3 4.png

Hard Mode

After beating Journey Of The Prairie King, players have the option to start over in a harder mode, keeping all of their upgrades and coins. Hard mode was added to the game in update update 1.1.

Trivia

  • Once the player finds enough lost books, a book will be available in the northern end of the library that reads,
    "Journey of the Prairie King -- The Smash Hit Video Game! Did you know? Anyone who beats ' Journey of the Prairie King' is automatically entered into a drawing for a special prize! Did you know? The developer has stated that the protagonist is based on a real-life character... A true cowboy hero from a prairie-island in the Gem Sea!"
  • There is a bug in the game that prevents player progression under certain circumstances: If the nuke power-up is used during the first boss fight, the enemy will vanish from the screen but the stage will not end. Also occurs with the Tombstone power up and the last boss. This situation can be escaped from by hitting esc, which will close the game and return you to The Saloon.
  • Having both the wheel and shotgun powerup at the same time will result in you shooting a wheel of shotgun rounds(24 directions), which usually shreds everything in sight very quickly.
  • Zoom level also influences the portion of screen the arcade game takes up. Be sure to check this setting before playing.

References

  1. /u/leuven, "A comprehensive guide to Luck"

History

  • 1.0: Introduced.
  • 1.1: Added hard mode after the the arcade game has been completed