Journey of the Prairie King

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 the player with a Prairie King Arcade System, delivered by mail the next day. Abigail also possesses a console version of the game that can be played 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".
W
A
S
D
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.

The player begins with four lives (shown as "x3" in the upper left), and is instantly killed upon contact with an enemy or projectile. Losing every 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 the player. Enemies stop spawning when the timer bar has counted down completely, and the level is completed when all enemies are defeated, allowing progress to the next area.

Enemies will sometimes drop power-ups, coins and extra lives upon being killed. One power-up at a time can be stored in a slot in the top-left, and can be activated by pressing
Space
. If a power-up is picked up while another is already being held, the new power-up is consumed immediately. Power-ups last only for a short time.

Items Dropped by Enemies

Image Name Description
JOPKCoin1.png 1 Coin Increases coin count by 1.
JOPKCoin5.png 5 Coin Increases coin count by 5. Appears less often than the single Coin.
JOPK Life.png 1-Up Increases life count by 1.
JOPK Coffee.png Coffee Increases movement speed.
JOPK MachineGun.png Heavy Machine Gun Significantly increases fire rate.
JOPK Nuke.png Screen Nuke Instantly destroys all enemies on-screen. Enemies killed like this do not drop items.
JOPK Shotgun.png Shotgun Causes three bullets to be fired at once in a cone at a slightly slower rate.
JOPK SmokeBomb.png Smoke Bomb Teleports the player to a random spot on-screen and causes enemies to 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 fire rate and movement speed, and causes three bullets to be fired at once in a cone. Effectively a combination of the machine gun, shotgun and coffee (although fire-rate and movement speed bonuses are slightly lower than from coffee/machine gun). With max boots/gun upgrades, this item is only a minor buff.
JOPK Tombstone.png Tombstone The player becomes a zombie for a brief amount of time, granting increased movement speed and the ability to kill on contact. Enemies flee from the player. (Note: This power-up does not grant protection from bullets fired by bosses.)
JOPK Wheel.png Wagon Wheel Causes the player to fire in 8 directions at once.

Upgrades

A Vendor appears after certain levels are completed and will present the player with three upgrades that can be purchased with coins dropped by enemies (see above). Only one item may be purchased per visit, and the items in each slot are always presented in the same order, requiring the first item in that slot to be purchased before the next one is shown in a later level, etc. (For example, both boots upgrades must be purchased before an extra life can appear in 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 1-Up 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 Applies the effect of the Shotgun powerup permanently without the fire-rate debuff. Will also be shown as a 4th icon on the left, on top of the other 3. Picking up the shotgun power-up will not increase the bullet spread, but will still decrease fire-rate. This upgrade is only available in hard mode. Requires all other gun and ammo upgrades to be purchased 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 at least two weak enemies to be killed 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 First appears in
Baddy1.gif Orc 1 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. Kills the player on contact, whether deployed or undeployed. If time has run out and the only remaining enemies are spikeballs, their HP is reduced to 1. 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. 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 Evil Butterfly 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. 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)

Friendlies

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.

Gophers may carry the player on a parade float upon a victory against a boss.

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. The cowboy will run out of cover and shoot a volley of bullets upwards, sometimes matching the player's movements, before retreating back to cover. He often pauses behind cover, and sometimes outside of cover. Upon dying, the boss drops an extra life, a bridge appears crossing the river, and a raft pickup appears which sends the player 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. Movement is not restricted on this stage, for the player or for Fector. Fector can fire directly at the player, or in eight directions as with the Wheel power-up. As his health decreases, he starts summoning enemies. The player is victorious after defeating Fector. 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

As of version 1.1, after completing Journey of the Prairie King, the player has the option to start over in Hard Mode. All upgrades and coins are carried over into the new game, but lives reset to the default "x3", and held power-ups are removed. Enemies spawn in greater numbers, some move faster, and each has at least one extra hit point. Additionally, Imps now spawn in every level except boss stages, and extra lives drop far less often.

Each time a harder mode is beaten, the option to start once again is offered, with the game getting progressively harder each time.

Trivia

Bugs

  • 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, resulting in a softlock. This also occurs when using the Tombstone power up against Fector.

References

  1. https://twitter.com/concernedape/status/1094755018945703937

History

  • 1.0: Introduced.
  • 1.1: After beating the game, the player can play in Hard Mode.
  • 1.5: Progress can now be saved and resumed, so it can be completed in multiple sessions. You now also replay the original difficulty even if you’ve already completed it. (Previously it would increase difficulty automatically, which is now a New Game+ mode.)
  • 1.5.2: You can no longer instantly kill Fector as a Zombie.
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