Five scientists, each of them vital to the Alien Aisha Invasion Force lead by Supreme Commander Arlhox VII, have become stranded on distant planets throughout the galaxy. As an ambitious (and expendable) new recruit, the important mission of braving these dangerous planets and rescuing the scientists has fallen to you. So, recruit... Are you up to the task?
You can bet we are!
How to Play
In Assignment 53 you take control of either Eddix or Moxi, Alien Aisha recruits that, coloration aside, are identical. The game can be played in its entirety with the arrow keys, left and right moving your character, up jumping, and down crouching. Alternately, you can use the W, A, S, and D keys to play. To pause the game, however, you must use your mouse to press the button in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
On each planet you visit, your goal is to rescue a scientist from the wreckage of their crashed ship. Planets are split into two acts: the first ending when you reach a signal beacon, and the second ending when you reach the scientist. Along the way you can collect Nerkmids, gross food, and Alien Aisha technology that have fallen from the crashing ships. You will also have to be on the lookout for strange alien lifeforms, as most prove to be hostile and will damage you on contact. Most of these creatures can be defeated by jumping on top of them.
"Strange" may be an understatement...
In the lower-left corner of the screen is a display showing your air supply gauge, your health (represended by three green lights), your lives, and the number of Nerkmids you've collected. This area will also show any power-ups you're currently holding. If you run out of air or health, or fall into a pit, you will lose a life and restart from the last checkpoint you reached. While losing all of your lives represents the failure of your assignment, if you manage to collect enough Nerkmids you will be able to gain extra lives.
You can also gain an extra life by using your arrow keys to input the code Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right in the game's main menu.
There are four ways to increase your score in Assignment 53: collecting Nerkmids, destroying enemies, eating Gross Food, and completing levels quickly. Nerkmids are worth 10 points each, but are only added to your score on completing a level, so don't expect to get points from them if you get a mid-level Game Over. Every enemy destroyed is worth 30 points, and as most only require being jumped on, this is a quick way to earn points.
While eating a piece of Gross Food will restore your health by one unit, if eaten with full health they grant an instant 100 points. Finally, you will receive bonus points depending on how quickly you finish a level, as indicated by your air gauge in the lower-left corner of the screen. While you can get a considerable Air Remaining Bonus in the early levels, later in the game it's more worthwhile to collect Nerkmids and destroy enemies for points, as there are many more of them at this point. If you lose a life, you will also lose all of the points you've earned since the last checkpoint.
The forest-covered first planet in the Wuba system, Wuba Prime is where your assignment begins. Act 1 poses little threat to you, and serves as a tutorial on the basic mechanics of the game. If you jump at the wall to the right of the checkpoint, you will find a secret area leading to a piece of gross food.
Act 2 features moving platforms and several seed-spitting plants. In order to pass the first moving platform without being knocked off, crouch at the front of it until the plants have spit their seeds.
|Due to their coloration and the fact that they're low to the ground, it can be easy to bump into these creatures without realizing they're there.|
|These plants will spit seeds in your general direction, which travel in an arc before falling off-screen.|
|These multi-eyed creatures tend to appear in pairs near spitting plants, though have no offensive abilities of their own.|
|The most dangerous lifeform on Wuba Prime, these plants will launch three pointed seeds at once, which travel in a straight line until leaving the screen.|
The second scientist can be found on Octozodi, a rather swampy planet inhabited by slimey, primitive lifeforms. From the start Octozodi is much harder than Wuba Prime was, with a barrage of slug-like creatures that launch projectiles at you. If you watch for openings and crouch where it's safe, you should be able to get through this area without too much trouble.
At the start of Act 2 is a moving platform that will take you to an area filled with Nerkmids, power-ups, and aliens. If you avoid the moving platform, or go to the left when you reach the bottom of the area after using it, you will come across a small ledge with a creature on it. If you jump on the creature for a height boost and press against the left wall, you will find a secret area with twelve Nerkmids.
|These slug-like creatures appear in large groups, lobbing spheres in your direction with an arching trajectory.|
|Resembling a cross-section of an animal cell, these small creatures simply roll back and forth, posing little threat.|
|While these slime mold colonies remain stationary, it can be easy to mistake them for a harmless piece of the scenery the first time you see them. They cannot be damaged without a Force Field.|
|Lumps of slime with large mouths and leg-like tendrils, these creatures will try to push you into the slime molds seen above.|
|These shelled creatures often appear in groups, and shoot three needle-like projectiles at once.|
Next up is the mountainous Wuba Secundus, the aptly-named second planet in the Wuba system. This is much harder than the previous levels, with tight, alien-filled corridors that require precision and a good sense of timing. If you drop straight down into the first pit after collecting the Gravity Boots, you'll find a Force Field that will make this area considerably easier; you will, however, need to wall-jump to get out.
Act 2 begins with a Speed Wing area in which you can dash through collecting Nerkmids, but unless you've mastered the Speed Wing you will likely take damage trying to do this. It's considerably easier to proceed through this area slowly, taking out aliens as you go. After this is a segment in which you must follow a moving platform as it passes between rocks, forcing you to jump over them. While there are projectile-launching enemies here, if you stay on top of the rocks you should be able to avoid them.
If you jump at the wall to the left from the top of the blue moving platforms after the checkpoint, you'll find a secret area containing Nerkmids, a Force Field, and a Speed Wing. Using these power-ups, you can charge through the final portion of the level to quickly earn points.
|Despite their rather intimidating appearance, these large-eyed creatures are mostly harmless.|
|These small geysers regularly release a spout of highly corrosive acid, and can only be destroyed with a Force Field.|
|Resembling a writing, bouncing mass of bubbles, these creatures can be found near acid geysers.|
|These anemone-like creatures move around on the small platforms they often occupy, and will spit streams of water at you.|
|Filling the now-familiar role of enemies that launch three projectiles, these creatures frequently shoot molten rock from their tube-like appendages.|
Our fourth scientist seems to have crash landed on the rocky planet of Gorignak V. The first act is markedly easier than Wuba Secundus was, with open areas, easily defeated enemies, and plentiful power-ups. At one point you will see a vertically-moving platform that you can't quite reach; if you collect the Gravity Boots, which are just a short platforming section away, you can ride it to find Nerkmids and a Speed Wing. You can also reach this area if you wall-jump just past where the Gravity Boots are found. When you reach the red checkpoint beacon, you can wall-jump against the wall to the left for an easy gross food.
Act 2 is another very easy area, with several moving platforms that take you to caches of Nerkmids and gross food. If you're going for a high score (or the avatar), this is a good place to quickly collect points.
|With a shape similar to a stone wheel, this odd-looking creature simply rolls around.|
|These living piles of mud crawl around any area they can access, spitting rocks that fly with an arching trajectory.|
|These statue-like creatures shuffle back and forth, showing no interest in Alien Aishas.|
|While these rocky formations regularly thrust out dangerous crystalline spikes, there will usually be a Force Field nearby to protect you.|
|These small volcanic spires litter the surface of Gorignak V, spewing stones five at a time.|
Well, this is a familiar sight! The fifth and final scientist is on Kreludor, Neopia's moon. The first act is relatively easy, with wide open areas and plenty of Nerkmids, gross food, and power-ups. Use this opportunity to stock up on points, as well as lives... You'll be needing them.
At the start of the second act is a large pit filled with tough-to-kill enemies; to avoid them, stick to the upper route. Here you will find a small bonus area accesible with Gravity Boots, several of which are sitting on nearby platforms. After the checkpoint the level becomes a bit harder, with a tight corridor and robotic turrets that can only be destroyed by putting yourself in another turret's line of fire.
If you want to heal up before taking on this section, you can bounce to the left after landing on the second turret in the tunnel, which leads to a secret area full of Nerkmids and gross food.
For an extra challenge, one more secret area can be found by jumping at the wall to the left of the first moving platform after the tunnel. The challenge aspect comes from the fact that to actually get to where the items are, you must have a pair of Gravity Boots in order to perform a wall-jump. This means going through the tunnel area with Gravity Boots on, and not taking a single hit. If you lose the boots, you will have to lose a life and start over from the checkpoint, as you're unable to leave through the tunnel's entrance. It may sound a daunting task, but as the forty Nerkmids and eight gross food items hidden here add up to 1,200 points, it may well be worth it.
|These small sentry robots likely send out an alarm upon seeing you, but are almost defenceless on their own.|
|While it isn't clear what the purpose of these spherical robots is, you can destroy them for an easy 30 points.|
|The first really dangerous enemy on Kreludor, these laser turrets will fire a single burst of energy in your direction, their shots moving in straight lines vertically, horizontally, or diagonally depending on your location.|
|Whatever these miniature drilling rigs are bringing up to the surface can't be good for you, so avoid them unless you have a Force Field to protect yourself.|
|These stationary defence droids release three shots at once, which can be fairly annoying when coupled with their strategic placements.|
Kreludor - Final Act
At long last, you've found the final scientist. Unfortunately, it seems that his ship was shot down, and is being guarded by a large security robot. The robot's pattern of attack is fairly simple: it will jump three times, stop to launch one of two different types of projectiles, pause for a moment, then start jumping again. The first projectile it shoots is a series of nine green laser bursts (three up, three to the left, and three to the right) which travel in straight lines, and will harmlessly pass above your head if you're standing at ground level.
The second type of projectile is a searingly hot lump of molten metal, which will arch and fall in a way that should be familiar to you by now. It releases fifteen of these in three series of five, which can be hard to avoid. Unfortunately, there's no way to tell which attack the robot will use, so don't get too close to it until its attack is done. If you stand in the corners of the area, the robot will be unable to jump on you, but it will still be able to reach you with its arcing shots.
To fight back, wait until the robot is cooling down after an attack, then jump on the green dome on its top to cause damage. You can bounce on the dome three times before the robot starts moving again, after which touching any part of it will hurt you. If you can hit the dome ten times, the robot will become damaged beyond repair and explode. Congratulations, you've rescued the five Alien Aisha scientists, and completed Assignment 53!
C'mon, let's eat some delicious Gross Food and celebrate!
This game guide was written by: Chesu