Journey of the Prairie King

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JOPK logo.png

Journey of the Prairie King is a SmashTV-style minigame that can be played on one of the arcade machines in The Stardrop Saloon. Beating the game will award you with a Prairie King Arcade System of your own, delivered by mail the next day. Abigail also possesses a console version of the game that she will play with you during her 2-Heart Event. Random elements of the game are not affected by Luck.[1]

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

Gameplay Mechanics

Journey of the Prairie King is a top-down shooter, resembling "twin-stick" shooters such as "Smash TV".
moves the character and
shoots. The player can move and shoot diagonally by combining two keys (e.g. W and A together move up and left diagonally). While using a controller, the left joystick moves, and the right joystick shoots. The D-Pad can also be used for movement and the button pad can also be used for shooting.

In the mobile version of the game, there are two transparent red circles. The one on the left moves the character and the one on the right aims.

You start off with four lives (shown as "x3" in the upper left), and your character is instantly killed if he is touched by an enemy or projectile. Losing your last life (when the counter changes from "x0" to "x-1") results in a Game Over. In each level, a timer bar counts down at the top of the screen while waves of enemies appear from the edges of the screen and move towards you. Enemies stop spawning when the timer bar has counted down all the way, and the level is completed when all enemies are defeated, allowing you to move to the next area.

Enemies will sometimes drop power-ups, coins and extra lives upon being killed. You can hold one power-up at a time, stored in a slot in the top-left, and you can activate this power-up at any time by pressing
. If you pick up another power-up while holding onto one, the new power-up is consumed immediately. Power-ups last only for a short time.

Each stage ends in a boss fight, where the boss has a large amount of health and shoots bullets at you.

Items Dropped by Enemies

Image Name Description
JOPKCoin1.png 1 Coin Increases your coin count by 1.
JOPKCoin5.png 5 Coin Increases your coin count by 5. Extremely rare.
JOPK Life.png Extra Life Adds one to your life total.
JOPK Coffee.png Coffee Increases your movement speed.
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 items.
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 bonuses 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. (Note: This power-up does not protect you from bullets fired by bosses.)
JOPK Wheel.png Wheel Your shots fire in 8 directions at once.


A Vendor appears after you complete certain levels and will present you with three upgrades that you can purchase with coins dropped by enemies (see above). You can only purchase one item per visit, and the items in each slot are always presented in the same order, requiring you to purchase the first item in that slot before the next one is shown in a later level, etc. (For example, you must first purchase both boots upgrades before you can purchase an extra life from the first slot.)

The Vendor appears at the end of every second level: 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. This upgrade is only available in hard mode. Picking up the shotgun power-up will not increase the bullet spread, but it will decrease the fire-rate while the shotgun power-up is active. Requires purchase of all other gun and ammo upgrades before it will appear.
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.


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 while moving, 7 while deployed Enters the area, walks to a random location, and deploys into an armored spikeball. While they can kill the player, whether deployed or undeployed, it can be beneficial to leave some around for crowd control, as they block enemy movement. If time has run out and the only remaining enemies are spikeballs, they will die in one hit. Damage done to the Spikeball while it is moving is still effective after it deploys. 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. Can also fly over obstacles. 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. Can fly over obstacles and is not distracted by the Gopher or deterred by the Tombstone power-up. Stage 3 (areas 1-3)


Image Name HP Description Appears in
Baddy8.gif Gopher Distracts enemies, drawing them towards it and killing them on impact. Does not harm the player and cannot be killed by the player. Disappears after it has fully crossed the screen.

If you are nice enough to them, they might carry you on a parade float upon your victory against a boss.



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 (sometimes matching your movements) 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 Fector Fector is the final boss and is significantly more difficult than the Cowboy. You can move anywhere on the screen in this stage, but Fector also moves around freely and can fire directly at you, as well as firing in eight directions (as with the Wheel power-up). As his health decreases, he starts summoning enemies to attack you and shield himself. Beating Fector finishes the Journey of the Prairie King game. Stage 3 (area 4)


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

As of version 1.1, once you have beaten Journey of the Prairie King, you have the option to start over in a harder mode. You keep all of your upgrades and coins from before, but lives reset to the default "x3". Enemies spawn in greater numbers, some of them move faster, and they each have at least one extra hit point. Additionally, Imps now attack you in every level except boss stages, and extra lives drop far less often.


  • 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, or your house if you are playing on the home cabinet.
  • Having both the wheel and shotgun power-up 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.
  • The title of the game is most likely a reference to the "River King" games (a series of fishing RPGs made by Natsume, who also made the Harvest Moon series), specifically the Game Boy title released in the US as Legend of the River King.




  • 1.0: Introduced.
  • 1.1: After beating the game, the player can play in Hard Mode.