How to Master the Waves in Shenkuu River Rush
Oh hello! Are you interested in finding out how to ride the rivers of Shenkuu like a pro? Well, welcome to the right place! Wait, what did you say? Surfing is only for Mystery Island buffs with tattoos and long flowing hair? Ha! I laugh at your ignorance! But no, river surfing in Shenkuu is one of the most dangerous and exciting sports there is in Neopia! Unfortunately, it isn't as popular as it used to be but that is why I am here! To bring more people into the wonderful world that is Shenkuu River Rush!
Shenkuu River Rush is one of my favorite games, as unlike many other games in the Neopian arcade, it takes more than a reading of a simple guide like this to master. (Though it will help you.) The controls take practice, and a fair knowledge of the course doesn't hurt either. It is neither a puzzle nor a simple matter of shooting enemies while jumping around on platforms, in order to make the highscore table and snag a lovely trophy, solid maneuvers of tricks and deft movements are required. But don't let that deter you, the trickiness of the game is what makes it fun and exciting.
About the game
The purpose of the game is to surf through the entire river by avoiding rocks, logs, and mastering the sharp turns and drops that are lovingly thrown at you during the duration of the game. The way you get points though, is through tricks. I'll get to that later.
First things first, in order to play the game you will have to download the game player software, but that's easy enough. When you open the game it will prompt you to install the player, and from there it's as easy as following the steps and clicking a few buttons. Moving on now.
Not just anyone can take on this insane ride, but that's okay, since the game provided you with two masters to ride in your honor. You can choose between Bowe, the manly techo with the rippling muscles and red board, or Cassile, the lovely white lupess with the green board. It doesn't matter who you pick, as the tricks are basically the same for the both of them and they don't have any special powers. I prefer Cassile, though. As cool as Bowe is, I find that his large stature fills up too much of my screen for my liking, and Cassile's smaller frame allows me to see more of the river and therefore, more obstacles that I have to dodge.
The controls are very simple, though as they require you to do several things at once with your hands it may take some practice to master them. Anyone who plays video games regularly shouldn't have a problem.
The arrow keys are used to move the surfer around, the up arrow is forward, left and right are obviously left and right, and the down arrow acts like brakes. In order to make the character move, you will have to hold down the up arrow while steering with the side ones. The spacebar is used to jump, and later on in the game (right before level 3) you will get the ability to double jump, and a couple levels later you will be able to long jump, which is basically jumping by hitting the spacebar and up arrow together. I personally don't think long jumps are too different from regular jumps, but over a giant waterfall it might make enough differences for an extra jump combo.
Not only do the arrow keys steer, they also are used for doing tricks while in the air. Here comes another thing to remember: when you want to do a trick while jumping, you must always hold down the shift key. If you don't hold down the shift key and try to do a trick, nothing will happen. Different combinations will do different tricks, and if you keep hitting the keys before your character can do the tricks, they will pile up and this may cause an unsafe landing. Supposedly, hitting the space bar will clear your queue of tricks, but I never found that it worked. I suggest waiting to hit a combo until the character is finished a trick.
Whew, those are a lot of commands. Some people have a tough time keeping track of them all, but using them is quite easy. I recommend keeping your right hand on the arrow keys, and your left hand with the thumb or index finger on the space bar, and your pinky on the shift key. See? Is that so hard? I didn't think so.
Now we're in the nitty-gritty. Tricks. This is where almost all of your points come from, save for a few from completing each level and a bonus at the end. Like I said earlier, the way to do tricks is by hitting key combos while holding down the shift key when you are in midair. Only certain combs will do tricks, and they range from two key combinations to tricks that require five, six, or seven keystrokes. The longer the combination, the longer the trick and the more points you will get when you land. Doing one trick will get you a certain number of points, but doing multiple tricks will add up and with each new trick added to the string your score increases. Oh, and make sure you land on your feet. Landing in the middle of a trick will cost you a life and all those points you just earned in that jump.
Got that? Great, now here comes the fun. Most people will take every chance they get to do the long complicated tricks, since they think it will give more points. Wrong. It is much more efficient and faster to do combos of alternating the two different two-stroke tricks, rather then risk a bad landing with something long and complicated. The two easy tricks are "right left" and "down down". Now, done by themselves they give you one point, but by doing one after another, you will get four, then eight, and so on. Make sure you alternate between them, just doing one trick in succession gives less points than doing them both and changing between them. The nice thing about these small tricks is that you can even get one in with a single jump while just riding the river. That is the secret to racking up tons of points, is to always be jumping and always be doing tricks. Don't just surf, jump every chance you have and sneak in a trick, double jumps will give you time for two, sometimes three. It may not seem like much, but all of those one, four, and eight point little jumps add up. As for the big jumps like the ones over waterfalls, just do combinations of these two small tricks and bam. Lots of points. Also, keep note, the most points you can get in one jump is 100, but usually you won't get that high. Each of the big jumps will be around in the 30-60 range.
There are three different powerups to look out for: silver invulnerability spheres, glowing speed orbs, and white super jump orbs. Super jump orbs look just like speed orbs, but they are whiter and glow brighter. Usually they are found at the end of a string of speed orbs or at the end of a ramp on a large jump, but sometimes they are just hanging around in the river waiting to be picked up. Invulnerability spheres have no rhyme or reason to where they are, but they are much easier to spot since they are silver, unlike the blue and white speed and jump spheres. You don't have to do anything to get the powerups, all you have to do is run into them. It is also noteworthy to point out that every time you play the game the powerups will be in the same spots, so memorizing where they are will definitely help.
Review and Tips
I said this before, but jump and do small tricks whenever you can, this will rack up points quickly. A single jump gives time for one trick, and a double jump gives time for two.
Don't attempt the complicated jumps, they aren't worth it and they take longer than you think. Stick to alternating combs of the two small tricks.
Pick up every powerup that you can, especially invulnerability spheres. They will save you if you run into a log or rock.
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR JUMPS. I can't stress this enough, since this is where all your points come from. Don't do tricks when you get close to the water, but don't waste these jumps admiring how pretty your character's hair looks flowing through the air.
There are a few spots that you can land to rack up the 100 trick points, but so far I have only been able to find one. Right after you acquire the double jump and go through the level three gate, there will be a super jump at the end of a ramp in the river. Take this, and try and land on the rock bridge crossing over the river. If you land just right, you will be able to sit there and do a 100 points combo, then fall back down into the river and keep going.
1000 points equal 1000 neopoints, and if you know what you're doing hitting 1000 points by the end of the game should be no trouble at all.
And... that's all I've got. Follow these tips and you will be on your way to a shiny new Shenkuu River rush trophy! This game may be older and not as popular, but I hope by reading this guide and trying out the game yourself it will propel it back into popularity. Have fun surfing! ;D