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The object of Extreme Herder is to prevent the notorious Balthazar from eating petpets. To do this, you play Samrin the Kacheek, and his soul objective is to run around like crazy collecting his petpets and putting them into a fenced area that Balthazar cannot get into. Sounds easy..on paper.
How to play:
To play, all that is required are the arrow keys and the space bar. You move Samrin around the screen using the arrow keys, while avoiding Balthazar and collecting the petpets that are in need of your help! Now for some basic game play information.
You get 3 lives in Extreme Herder, each time Balthazar eats you or a petpet you lose one life. Balthazar will never chase Samrin, only petpets. He will try to go for the closest petpet to him. There are some finer points to this that will be discussed later in the advanced section, but in general Balthazar will always go for the petpet nearest to him. He will only eat you if you get in his way. Picking up a petpet that Balthazar has targeted will cause him to target another petpet.
To pick up petpets with Samrin all you have to do is run into them, using, again, the arrow keys. To drop them off in the fenced area, just run into an opening and the petpet will go into there automatically. Samrin can also drop petpets at any time by hitting the space bar. Again, there are finer points to this that will be discussed later on, but for now, that's all you need to know.
There are powerups that you can grab throughout Extreme Herder. Two, to be specific. One of them comes in the form of a snowflake. It freezes Balthazar in his place for a small duration of time, and as the levels go up the time he's actually frozen is even smaller. When Balthazar is frozen, you can walk right through him without being eaten, so fear him not.
The other is an orange speed orb, and it makes Samrin move faster. The time this actually lasts also lessens as you progress through the game.
At the start of each level, Balthazar will come from the top left corner of the screen. After you pick up the last petpet needing rescue, Balthazar will run away from you and into the top left corner again. In other words, after you grab the last petpet you're home free.
In the beginning levels you're given four entrances to the fenced area for you to put your petpets in. There are also teleports on each side of the screen that you can use to get around quicker. Using the bottom teleport will launch you to the top, using the left teleport will launch you to the right, and so on. You should use these teleports as much as you can while you have them, because after level 10 you will be left with only one entrance (the left side) to put your petpets in, and no teleports. This will make more sense when you read the level walkthroughs.
During each level there will be petpets that are worth more than others. Having a star above their heads identifies them. Rescuing these first should never be a strategy unless you're only a few points away from the avatar.
It should also be mentioned that there is an all-save bonus that is gained from saving all of the petpets in first 6 levels. This means you cannot die before level 6 if you're hoping to get the avatar, because you will not get the maximum all-save bonus points.
In the table below you can see an overview of the different fences and teleports available in each level.
You will have all the gates, and all the teleports.
The teleport at the top of the screen is now missing. You can still use the bottom teleport to quickly teleport to the top of the screen.
The teleports at the top and bottom of the screen are now missing.
The teleports at the top, bottom, and right of the screen are now missing. You can still use the left teleport to quickly teleport to the right of the screen.
All of the teleports are now missing.
All of the teleports and the gate at the top of the screen are now missing.
All of the teleports and the gate at the top and bottom of the screen are now missing.
All of the teleports and the gate at the top, bottom, and right of the screen are now missing.
There number of petpets you need to rescue goes up in the first few levels:
|Level 1||3 petpets|
|Level 2||4 petpets|
|Level 3||5 petpets|
|Level 4||6 petpets|
|Level 5 and up||7 petpets|
1. Start in the top left corner
As previously mentioned, Balthazar starts in the top left corner every round. This means that you absolutely must finish each round up in the top left corner. Often times there will be petpets that spawn very close to Balthazar at the beginning of each round. If you are not in the top left corner when the round starts, chances are he will eat one of them. This is especially true in higher levels. So, start at the top left corner at the start of each round!
Start in the top left corner like in this image
2. Walking patterns of Balthazar
You can get pretty close to Balthazar without him eating you. Balthazar has a very predictable non-random path that he will walk when he is not chasing petpets. This means that you can walk beside him anywhere, and so long as you're not in his path he won't eat you. So study how he moves when he turns corners, and where he actually is. You need to learn how close you can get to him when he is walking around, and practice running right by him without getting eaten. The first thing you should do if you're trying to get this avatar is learn how close you can get to him, and how he reacts. There will be levels in which you need to grab petpets very quickly, and to do so you must run right beside him and drop them in the fenced area. So the best advice is to get used to how close you can actually get to him.
Balthazar doesn't realize he can eat Samrin
3.1 Getting to know which petpet Balthazar goes for
It's already been said that Balthazar goes for the closest petpet to him. But unfortunately, the game is glitchy. The ONLY way you will ever get this avatar is if you "get a feel" for how he chases petpets. At higher levels, you really need to watch how he moves, and react accordingly. The whole idea of Extreme Herder is to be able to watch where he wants to go and get there first. What you want to happen 90% of the time is to have him strutting up and down the left side of the screen, never turning a corner. Mastering this is difficult, but with an hour or so of practice you'll find that it's not too hard. Often times Balthazar will have a petpet targeted and start hunting it down. What you have to learn is which one he's actually going for, which, most of the time, is the one closest to him. If you run to the petpet he has targeted and pick it up, he will be forced to re-target another one. Usually it will be one all the way across from him, and he'll just turn around and go for it. This is how you juggle him back and forth. Accomplishing this is what is required to get the avatar, if you can keep him walking back and forth while you're putting petpets in the fenced area, you'll get the avatar. What you NEVER want to happen is having him turn the top right (or bottom right) corner and have him walking around on the right side. That almost always means you're going to lose a life. Your objective is to find the petpet that he has targeted, pick it up, wait for him to target another, go put the petpet you have in your hands in the fenced in area, and grab the new one he's going for. Rinse and repeat. Also, some times you'll be able to get another petpet that he doesn't have targeted in while he's hunting another one. Use your best judgment, just make sure Balthazar doesn't make it to the petpet he has targeted before you can get there.
3.2 Glitches in the game
A finer point that must be noted is that often times when he is chasing a petpet that is closest to him he will just turn around, and head all the way around. This is because there might actually be a petpet closer to him, or because the game is glitchy. You must use this to your advantage. There will be plenty of times that he will be very, very close to eating a petpet and then he'll just turn around and go for another. The same is true reversed. Often times there will be a petpet closer to him than the one he's trying to eat, and this can be a problem. So as stated, you *must* study how he reacts when you're running around grabbing petpets.
After chasing the Doglefox, Balthazar decided against eating him
4. Defining starting areas
In the beginning, it's important to get as many petpets in the fenced in area while Balthazar is coming from the top left corner. Grabbing as many as you can before he gets set up is very important. Where the petpets are at the beginning of each round is completely random, so you could get unlucky. But since there are 7 petpets you must rescue each round, chances are 2 or 3 of them will be right near you during the beginning. You must get these in the pen before he gets set up. Refer back to the screenshot that shows where you need to be at the beginning of each round. When the petpets spawn, check area #1 first for any petpets, then #2. You should be able to clear both of those areas before Balthazar turns any corners. From there, you begin "juggling" him, which is talked about in other sections.
Check area #1 first, then #2 for petpets
5. Sacrificing yourself
Sacrifice yourself if things get too close. If Balthazar is about to eat a couple of petpets and you can't make it to them in time, run into him yourself. It will cause the level to start over (maybe in your favor, maybe not) and you will only lose one life, rather than two or three.
Balthazar is in position to eat 2 petpets, which means you lose 2 lives.
If you let him eat you instead, you only lose 1 life.
6. Cut corners
Cutting corners are one of the most important things. You need to become fluent when moving Samrin around, the quicker you can get to a petpet the better, and this is obviously achieved by cutting corners. Timing is everything; one suggestion is to practice it after you've rescued all but one petpet. Balthazar will leave you alone, allowing you all the time you need to work on turning corners. This is essential and you need to master it.
While moving quickly you would assume that you could make this turn,
but you're still touching the corner here, and can't move left
7. Lining up for a gate
There is also something to be said for how precise you *don't* need to be when putting petpets in the fenced area. You don't have to be 100% lined up, in fact, it's pretty forgiving. Look at the screenshots; you can put every single petpet in from those positions, which in turn can save split seconds, a.k.a. all the time you need to get to the next Petpet before Balthazar. This isn't very hard to learn, practice it and you'll have it mastered in no time.
You can put the petpet in the pin without being anywhere
near lined up with the gate
8. Use powerups on your route
Don't necessarily go for power-ups during the higher levels. You should only grab them if they're in your direct route to the petpet you're going for. Otherwise, you'll waste too much time and Balthazar will most likely eat a petpet.
If you try to get the speed orb here Balthazar will most
likely eat Samrin's petpets before you can rescue them
9. Using the space bar
Hitting the spacebar when Samrin has a petpet will make Samrin drop the petpet. This can sometimes be necessary, like if Balthazar is close to a few petpets. But to be honest, the only time you should ever need it is if you mess up and read Balthazar incorrectly. You'll only need to use the spacebar if he manages to make it to the right side of the screen. As mentioned, that is an unfavorable position, and one that will probably go wrong no matter what you do. You should still practice this, but it will only be a last resort skill.
There is a code for Extreme Herder. Type 'freeze' in to freeze Balthazar in his place. It's basically a free snowflake. You shouldn't have to use this until level 13 and up. Also, you can type in the first 5 letters (freez) and then type in the "e" when you need to. It only works once per loaded window, so if you lose the game you'll be forced to reload the whole window if you want to use it again.
Extreme Herder also has an avatar for you to collect.