Chapter 1: Mount Cloudbreak
Once the cutscene finishes you'll be asked to place a Skylander on your Portal of Power, you can use any one you like. Your first task is to clear the wreckage from the ship, use your attacks to destroy it all. Once that's clear some enemy Chompies will appear. These are probably the weakest of enemies you'll encounter through the game they only take a tiny bit of damage to kill but there are usually quite a few of them so the issue is watching out for all of them at the same time. Just keep attacking until they stop appearing.
A Greeble will be the next type of enemy to appear shortly afterwards, these take a few more hits but aren't much more of a threat than the Chompies thanks to there being fewer of them. Try not to stand still attacking it but instead attack and then move once it starts to raise its mace into the air, it'll smash it down in front of it so if you're behind it it won't do any damage.
Now that you're off the ship the first thing to do is to turn around and head away from Flynn and Tessa, if you move towards the screen you'll find the first of [Flynn's Missing Stuff 1/5], this is your first example of a new type of collectable for the console games (the 3DS levels often had something similar) a set of items that you need to find in order to help complete the "Dares" Objectives star. In this case it's five things that Flynn has lost which are now scattered through the level. Once you've found one it stays found so if you were to only some of the items and came back to the level later those same items would already be collected and you would only need to find the ones you'd missed. You do get a small amount of coins for picking up one of these items but the main reason is to find them is to get the star.
Anyway, once you've picked up the missing stuff by walking into it head towards Flynn and Tessa over by the ship, you will find that you'll need to jump up the little ledge that you had been standing on before to reach them though. That's new, jumping, the way to go about the jumping in this game is to make sure to keep your character moving normally as you press the jump button otherwise you'll just jump on the spot and go nowhere.
Follow the path to the right where the floating coins lead you, almost immediately you'll need to jump up a ledge. Press the jump button while continuing to move in the same direction to get up there.
The Overgrowth (Fire)
Heading right you'll encounter the first elemental boost. This one's for the Fire element, you don't have to use a Skylander of the boost element but your damage is increased if you do. The character in the Starter Pack that applies here is Blast Zone, use him (or just half of him and half of another swappable Skylander) to get the bonus applied. When you attack enemies you'll see the damage with an elemental background, the number will be larger than you'd get if you weren't in an elemental zone (the amount it's raised by is based on your Skylander's Elemental Power stat).
Jump up the ledges to the right and you'll reach a bamboo fence blocking your way, use your attacks to smash through it and reach the cage behind it.
Trapping Pit (Fire)
Now for some enemies to use your elemental boost on if you've decided to put a Fire Skylander on the portal. Though as it's just a few Chompies that appear you won't really need it as are they each defeated in a single hit anyway. Once they've all been killed the monster gate will open and let you through.
Tangled Thicket (Fire)
If you go down to the left you'll see a [Treasure Chest 1/3], approach it and press the button that the game prompts you to, this will raise the chest into the air and ask you to rapidly tap a button to shake it open. Once all three padlocks are shaken off it'll open and spew treasure all over the place for you to collect. You'll want to find these Treasure Chests in each level as they count towards the "Collections" Objectives star.
Go up the ramp on the right side to talk to Tessa by the cages, there's nothing you can do to help here so move on past up to the left where there's a new type of enemy to be introduced to. The Greeble Screwball is a Greeble type enemy who has a handheld cannon, he'll fire it up into the air towards your current position. If you move away from the red marker that appears it should miss you, just try not to jump into the projectile when you're doing so. Attack him and move out of the red circle each time it appears to stay safe.
Once he's defeated carry on to the left past him, ignore the stepped cages and instead go around the back of the large rock, you should find [Flynn's Missing Stuff 2/5], it looks a bit different to the other item you picked up but it's part of the same collection. Once you've got it jump up the red cages that were behind the Greeble Screwball and onto the path above them.
The game will remind you that you can switch Skylanders but it's not forcing you to, keep your same Skylander on if you want. Kill the two Greebles that run towards you across the stone bridge then smash through the bamboo fence between you and the cages. To help Ms. Poppy down you need to go to the lever in the middle of the tree, press the Interact button and then spin it around.
Use the intact cages at the back to jump up and onto another bridge. Attack the three Chompies that approach but watch out for the Greeble Screwball's attacks that are being fired at you. Kill it and then go to the right where there's an arrow pointing at a large floating key. Pick it up and take it across the last bridge to a large locked barrier. With the key in tow press the Interact button to open the lock.
Time to learn of the elemental gates. The first one by Mr. Yappy is a new type of elemental gate, a dual elemental gate. What this needs is for you to either use a swappable Skylander with a Water half and a Fire half (doesn't matter which way round, so with the Starter Pack that'd be either Wash Zone or Blast Buckler) or to be playing co-op mode and have the two elements over the two Skylanders (so one could be half Fire half Life and the other one Water). Approach the gate with the relevant Skylanders to open it up. Once it's open you can use any element you like inside.
Canopy Hot Springs (Water)
The dual element areas only have one elemental bonus however, this one's Water. While there are no enemies in here to take advantage of that fact there is another property of the Elemental Gates' elemental zone that takes place, if you have the matching element active that Skylander will every few seconds heal a small amount of health. Useful for restoring the health of nearly defeated Skylanders, albeit quite slowly.
This area has a lot of bounce pads, they all just have coins above them but some are also required to get further through the zone. Go forwards and to the right and use the steam jet bounce pad thing to get up to the platform above, then jump up to where there's a rotating blast of air. This one won't damage you directly but it will push you so you may find yourself getting pushed away from the direction you're wanting to go. In this case it's to the back right bounce pad.
Jump up to the left and then again up to another rotating blaster, this one has three jets coming out of it. The path seems like it slightly diverges now but up the righthand bounce pad is just more treasure. The place you'll want to go mainly is forwards at the back. You'll reach another platform above where there's a red present sitting on the ground, approach it and Interact with it before shaking it open. Inside is a [Legendary Treasure 1/1] called "Mostly Magic Mirror", Legendary Treasures are something that you can use later on in the game but for the moment are just for collecting.
Jump up to the large ring with an arrow pointing at it and press the Interact button to be teleported right back to the start of the Elemental Gate.
If you go up to the left now you'll find a second Elemental Gate, this one's for the Life element so in your Starter Pack that should be Ninja Stealth Elf's job to open but of course any other Life Skylander (or half a Life Skylander) will do the trick just as well.
Prickly Pastures (Life)
Already contradicting the conversation you had before entering the previous gate you'll find somebody already in here, talk to Little Bro Pete to get the Rescue the Missing Sheep task. To do that you need to get to the cages they're in first, walk towards the set of spikes that keep popping out of the ground and wait for them to go back down before quickly moving over them. As long as you're not directly on them when they pop out you should be fine.
Jump up the ledges towards the sheep cage and then smash the cage open with your attacks. Lt. Woalf will introduce himself, he's not really anything more than a Greeble Screwball though. Go left across another spike trap and then up the ledges to where there's a regular Greeble Screwball guarding a sheep cage, get rid of him and smash the cage open. Now carry on forwards through several sets of spikes, watch out for the two attacking Screwballs as you pause to not get spiked.
Jump up the ledges to reach the two Screwballs, Lt. Woalf doesn't even take any more damage to defeat so as long as you're watching the red circles it shouldn't be much more trouble than a single Screwball. Once you've freed the last of the sheep you'll be teleported back to Pete and given a present to shake open, inside is [Hat 1/3 - Stovepipe Hat]. Hats can be worn by any number of Skylanders at the same time and give your Skylander a small boost in their stats. In this case it's +5 Armor, +2 Critical Hit and +5 Elemental Power. If you want to remove the hat you can go into the Skylander Menu, select Hats and then press the Remove Hat button listed at the bottom of the screen.
Back out from the Elemental Gates continue forwards over a small stone bridge.
Old Treetop Terrace (Earth)
The active element here is not one you get in the Starter Pack (although you do in the Dark Edition Starter Pack, Dark Slobber Tooth) but remember that it's only a suggestion and not in any way a requirement. Smash through the bamboo fence and then jump up the cages. At the top you'll find the first block puzzle of the game, to push the block take a look at the arrow on top of it, that shows the direction that it is able to be pushed (although sometimes there'll be another block blocking that direction), approach the block and simply walk into it to push it, no buttons required. Push it three times until it falls into the gap and forms a little bridge for you to get across.
There's a spiky purple glowing circle floating up on a small rock ahead of you, this is a Soul Gem, to reach it all you need to do is push the left of the two blocks forwards twice into a small dip, this will give you space to jump up onto the block and then up onto the rock platform to pick up [Soul Gem 1/2 - Pop Thorn]. Soul Gems are the most expensive upgrade for a Skylander, once you've found a particular Skylander's Soul Gem you will be able to purchase that upgrade and use it, if you haven't found the Soul Gem you won't be able to buy it even if you have enough money. Pop Thorn is a character that is sold seperately, at the time of writing he is only found in the Tower of Time Adventure Pack. It doesn't matter if you don't have the relevant Skylander as finding all the Soul Gems in a level counts towards the "Collections" Objectives star. Finding the Soul Gem will also let you see a quick video showing off Pop Thorn if you want.
Jump back down and push the right block to the right so you can use it to get over the gap behind it. Go over the stone bridge but stop and go to the right before going over the second one, down there you'll find [Flynn's Missing Stuff 3/5] to pick up. Once you've got it jump back up and carry on over the bridge, kill the three patrolling Chompies as well as the two Screwballs firing at you from afar.
Jump up to the right and you'll find the game's first [Story Scroll]. These are found in each level and give a little bit of extra story behind some of the places and creatures that are a part of the Skylands, they also reward you with a bit of experience just for picking them up. Follow the path to the left and you'll reach an entirely new type of zone that Fleesly will introduce you to, a SWAP Zone. This first one is a Rocket zone so requires a swappable Skylander with Rocket legs. So from the Starter Pack that'll be the legs of Blast Zone combined with any top half you like.
Forest Flyby (Rocket)
The SWAP Zones are mini-games where you use the special ability of a Skylander's bottom half to play. Rocket mini-games are about flying through rings before the time runs out, there's plenty of obstacles like mines in the way to try to stop you. To make it in time you're going to want to be boosting almost the entire way, just keep the boost button held down to do that. Weave through the fiery rock balls to safely make it to each ring before the timer runs down, you'll get a small boost to your time when you reach a ring but it is just that, a boost, so if you're only one second away from running out of time you'll probably still be struggling to reach the next one too.
In each SWAP Zone there are also three special red gems that you can collect, all they are is just bonus gems awarded once you reach the end of the zone so no real need to go out of your way to collect them (during the standalone versions of each SWAP Zone they are turned into Medals which you do need to collect all of in order to get a star but that's not applicable right now). The zone is sort of cut into three parts where you can find a bit of food to heal up from any damage taken but you won't want to hang around at the refreshment points as the timer still counts down.
If you lose all your health or run out of time you get transported back out to the beginning but without any reward, the bonus gems you may have picked up won't give you anything. Damage taken in here does not defeat or tire out your Skylander in the same way as it would in the rest of the level so you can just keep on trying until you win (if you're having trouble with damage you may want to lower the difficulty as that lowers the amount of damage dealt to you from hitting things) or just give up and carry on with the level.
Once you finally reach the end of the zone with life and time left you get transported back out into the level where you'll be awarded with a present to shake open [Hat 2/3 - Greeble Hat] and be given the bonus gems you've found. It also unlocks the SWAP Zone Challenge for this zone.
Note that SWAP Zones do not count towards the "Areas Discovered" part of the Collections Objectives so if you're missing something there it's not from a SWAP Zone.
Opposite the SWAP Zone is a lowered platform with a [Treasure Chest 2/3] on it. Jump back up once you've shaken it open and smash through the bamboo fence blocking your way. Tessa will pop up to remind you of your quest and talk about a vine, this is an example of an obstacle that helps to separate each level into several parts, once you go down it you won't be able to backtrack up it and get the stuff earlier on in the level. Once you're ready step onto it, press the Interact button and then rapidly tap the button that the game prompts you to, you can back out if you don't press anything or press it enough times in the time it gives you. This first vine doesn't have any obstacles to damage you, just lines of coins that you can try to jump to collect, they're not worth much so don't get too concerned with grabbing them all.
Upon landing you'll reach the level's checkpoint. Go up the stone bridge to meet another type of enemy, the Chompy Pod. These are large stationary enemies that don't do anything except create new Chompies to attack you. They'll keep on doing that until you destroy them. Before moving on past the Chompy Pod however you will want to go to the left off the side of the tree trunk and down to a yellow glowing cave in the side of it.
Honey Trove (Earth)
This cave is entirely optional to do as it just has optional collectables at the end of the obstacles. Push the bottom cage forwards and then jump up and push the left one to the right where the first had been. You can now use it to jump up to the right, go left across the stone bridge and push the cage to the left three times so you can get past it. Behind it is [Soul Gem 2/2 - Magna Charge], so pick that up and then push the cage back across the bridge, six pushes will do it. Once it's as far right as it'll go push it forwards twice into the dip so you can use it to get up to [Flynn's Missing Stuff 4/5]. To leave the cave you have to go back down and through the entrance again.
Long Worn Hollow (Earth)
Moving past where the Chompy Pod was head left through a bamboo fence to find an Air Gate. This is an element not found in the Starter Pack (not even the Dark Edition one) so you'll have to use another of your collection to get in here.
Bulwark Overlook (Air)
There's not much to this zone except the cannon up by Wixxon. Interact with it and start firing at the bombers flying past. They will fire missiles at you so that should really be your main focus with hitting the bombers themselves as second. You won't run out of bombers to shoot but your health is limited, and, unlike the SWAP Zones, getting defeated in here does make your Skylander "tired" and unusable in the rest of the level. Remember that you only need a specific element to open the gate, any Skylander can play this shooting mini-game so perhaps try using one with a lot of health if you keep getting hit.
Beating this earns you a [Winged Sapphire]. This blue flying gem gives you a 2% discount on purchases, it might not sound a lot but when you have several of these it really adds up.
Go up the stone bridge to the right and then over the second bridge to get to some cage blocks. Push the back one to the right and then the front one towards the screen off the edge, push the remaining one forwards but then turn around and jump down following the one you just pushed off towards the screen (or drop off to the right side to land on a small amount of extra coins). You'll land right next to it, push it forwards so that it drops into the little dip and lets you jump up to the last of [Flynn's Missing Stuff 5/5]. There's no particular reward for finding them all except for helping towards the Dare star.
Head into the honey cave to your right.
Canopy Cave (Earth)
Watch out for the Screwballs in here as you jump up the platforms to the top at the back where there's a gap to jump over before reaching [Treasure Chest 3/3] next to one of the Screwballs.
On the way up you may have noticed a large safe with a glowing blue Tree Rex head on the front of it, this is an indicator that only a Giant Skylander, a type of Skylander introduced in the previous game Skylanders: Giants, can unlock the chest. Do not worry if you don't have a Giant though as it is not required for any part of the star completion for a level and all it has inside is a few coins. Once you've placed a Giant next to the safe and the Giant icon has disappeared you can remove it and use any Skylander to actually open it and get the coins.
Exit the cave and go up the slope to the left to get back onto the stone bridge you crossed earlier. Ignore the little step made out of the cage you pushed before and continue to the right where there's a Climbing SWAP Zone. The Starter Pack Skylander Wash Buckler has the required ability in its legs as you can see by the ladder icon on the base.
Tree Top Jaunt (Climb)
Climb Zones are a vertical climb where you need to avoid falling debris in order to reach the top. There's no time limit, the only thing keeping you from winning is losing you health to the falling objects. Make sure to use all of the barriers to wait and watch for times when it is safe to run to the next barrier, Wall Dash can help get through the smaller gaps but it is not something you need to be using all the time like you had to in the Rocket zone. The bonus gems also fall so if they get past you you're unlikely to be able to catch up, there's one to each section so once you've seen one you can stop looking out for them until you get to the next food break.
Once you reach the top you unlock the level in the menu and earn yourself a present with a [Bonus Mission Map 1/1 - Fruit Fight] inside. A Bonus Mission is similar to the Heroic Challenges of the previous games but, instead of needing every single Skylander to do it in order to earn the bonus for each of them, you only need to complete it once. You can keep trying to improve your score but it won't have any additional benefit beyond the three stars you can earn from it.
Now use that cage block you pushed earlier to get up to the path headed forwards over a stone bridge and through a bamboo fence. There's a couple of Greebles and a Chompy Pod to get rid of before advancing through to another cage area, walk up to the lever in the middle and spin it to lower the cages. The honey cave this time is required to go in, the key you'll need is in there.
Gold Hewn Basin
Kill the two Greeble Screwballs in here as you make your way up the right platforms to jump over to the left and pick up the key at the top. And that's it in here, head back out the entrance and jump up the cages to the locked gate.
Knotted Heights (Water)
Take out the two Screwballs beyond the gate and advance forwards to the vine, get on it and start sliding. Again there's not much to it beyond a few jumps to grab coins. Once you land you can either go into the Dig SWAP Zone or continue right. Dig isn't a type you get with the Starter Pack so you'll have to have bought either Grilla Drilla or Rubble Rouser to get in.
Spiky Pit (Dig)
Drill SWAP Zones are more of a platforming zone than the others so far, you need to make your way towards the three blue crystals buried in the ground, to make it harder only nearby is it light, the rest of the area is dark so you may end up going along the wrong path to actually reach the crystal you're trying to get to. Once you reach a crystal press the secondary attack button to dig down into it and then rapidly tap it to dig out the treasure and the crystal. Picking the crystal up will increase your timer. Then just go off and do the same for the other two crystals. There are also bonus gems hidden around the place for you to find just like the other zones but remember that as soon as you get the third crystal you exit the area so try to get all three bonus gems before that.
Your reward is that of present with [Hat 3/3 - Life Preserver Hat] along with the SWAP Zone being unlocked.
Go right from the SWAP Zone and down past a few Chompies to a large gate with a couple of Screwballs in front of it.
Woodburrow Landing (Water)
To finish off the level start killing the Greeble Screwballs and the Chompy Pods next to them, a few more Greebles and Screwballs will arrive once you've killed off the existing ones so take care of them to finish the level.
And now for the game's hub level. Woodburrow is where you'll be returning to after every level and it'll continue to improve and change each time. This first time through there's a few things to pick up, like if you go backwards from where you start up the path towards the Town Gates you opened you'll find a present with [Puma Hat] inside.
You can also head to the right side of the level through the Yard with the bouncy punk mushrooms and, if it's between 3pm and 6pm there's a rainbow bridge active to reach a small island filled with coins, a [Treasure Chest] and a [Story Scroll].
The main task to do though is to talk to the HipBros over by the blue pod to the right of the Enchanted Pool in the centre of Woodburrow. After talking to Gorm and Tuk you'll be tasked to fix up the Power Pod, walk up to it and press the Interact button before spinning the pieces into place. Talk to Gorm again to be shown how to use the Power Pod, you can now purchase upgrades for your Skylander, if it's a swappable Skylander you will first need to choose whether you want to upgrade the Top half or the Bottom half.
After exiting the Power Pod Tuk will create some Training Dummies for you to practice your attacks on. Hit one once to complete the task, then it's time to get going. You can use the glowing "magic circle" next to the dummies in order to quickly jump across the level to the docks where Flynn can be found. Talk to him to get the option to go to the next level, Cascade Glade.
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