Before you go get that key go across the wooden bridge to the right and speak with Mags, she's got a Villain Quest for The Gulper called "Balloon Redemption". What a villain quest consists of varies from quest to quest, here you'll be going on a short mission to redeem The Gulper's bad behaviour, sort of like a Heroic Challenge from previous games. The reward for finishing a quest is that your villain gets "evolved", they are stronger, have an extended timer, some get a new ability and their appearance can change. What you need to take part is a Water Trap with The Gulper trapped on it, switch to the villain in question and talk to Mags again to get started.
This quest takes place in an area you might recognise from Skylanders Giants, grab a few balloons from the steps (you can carry four at a time) and head out to deliver them. There's one kid right by the steps and another to the north, I'd recommend then going back and grabbing another two balloons. Watch out for the little Tussle Sprouts that are attacking.
The next kid is found to the north-west through some barrels and a line of Tussle Sprouts, after that go to the right over a bridge and down to a fourth kid standing by a Slobber Trap (and a teleporter that'll take you back to the start to get more balloons is hidden under the wagon). Use the bounce pad to get up to another kid by a pair of Slobber Traps, then cross the bridge and go right to another kid by some Tussle Sprouts, use the teleporter in the wagon next to him to return and get more balloons.
This time go to the left through some barrels, there's some more Tussle Sprouts and two kids, one on the floor and one up on the tower. Cross the bridge and go left up a bounce pad to find the ninth kid by a whole load of Tussle Sprouts and a single Slobber Trap, behind all of them is a bounce pad up to the top of a tall tower where the final kid is found.
You can replay the quest by returning to the level and talking to Mags again, you can even do it again with an already evolved Gulper. Return across the bridge and jump up the steps next to Buzz to grab the key and open the door.
And before you do anything else here go to the left to find the Villain Stash. After chatting with Buzz drop down towards the Traptanium Crystal and smash it with a Trap Master (while fending off the little flying Buzzer Beak enemies, they're fairly weak and take just one hit to beat).
Smashing that Traptanium will start a fight with an Earth villain called Tussle Sprout. You may have seen a bunch of enemies like him in the villain quest but this guy is a bit tougher than them (first get rid of the three flytrap enemies he's joined by), his attack consists of sitting down and spewing out a cloud of harmful gas so move away from him when he begins to do that. A melee character will have to rush in, hit him and rush away again but a ranged one can sit back and keep firing at him until he gets too close (although you'll want to let him get close enough so that he stops or he'll just keep following you). Keep hacking away at him until you've trapped him, earning the 150 coin bounty, a new Skystone and a trapped villain to play with (provided you have an Earth Trap, if you don't he'll go to the vault where you can get him later if you get a suitable trap).
Before you leave the hole go over to the right at the back where Treasure Chest 1/3 is sitting. Then go up the steps and bounce pad out of here.
If you have an Earth Trap Master go to the right now to find an Earth Elemental Gate next to a familiar face, Arbo.
The Weighting Room (Earth)
Push the stone block in front of you forwards onto the platform below, it'll weigh it down. Jump onto it and then up to the left and go push a second block onto the platform. Jump on it and over to the right onto the platform that's being raised up, then go up left to Treasure Chest 2/3 and a third block that you need to push down and then down again to put it on the platform with the other two. Now you can jump up to the present and get Hat 1/3 - Sleuth Hat. The teleporter will take you over near the entrance to exit.
Back down to the left and bounce up to the first of the talking stone heads to get some info on the Chompy Mage. (Hidden Treasure location) Go up the steps next to him and bounce up to a double locked gate and a set of blocks. Push the tower of two blocks to the right all the way off the edge, then push the top block one further to form a bridge over to Persephone and the first key. You'll be able to find Persephone partway through each level to help you upgrade more often.
Cross back over and push the remaining block off to the left and grab the second key from in front of another stone head who wants to talk about Dreamcatcher. Back over again and open up the double locked gate.
You'll see a few Buzzer Beaks and a flytrap enemy, after chatting with Buzz again pick up the bomb he puts down and throw it at the bomb icon on the wall blocking your way. It's worth noting that any Giant Skylander can smash bombable walls by themselves. That said the tank ahead cannot be smashed by a Giant, but the bomb in front of you should do the trick anyway. To the right next to Arbo is a Life Elemental Gate.
Enchanted Forest (Life)
A familiar looking environment, pick up the bomb and throw it at the first troll you see down the slope. Then to your right pick up a second bomb and throw it down onto the large chainsaw below, grab another bomb and throw it at a pack of trolls further down the slope as well. Go up the chainsaw now that it's been turned into a ramp and kill a couple of trolls guarding Treasure Chest 3/3.
Follow the rotating blade around to use the bounce pad on the other side. There's another chainsaw you need to bomb but you have to get past it to get to the bomb, wait for the saw to turn to the left so you can quickly run past it, onto a bounce pad and then around another rotating blade to get to a bounce pad that'll get you up to the bomb. Throw the bomb at the chainsaw and walk up the ramp to get Hat 2/3 - Hedgehog Hat.
Talk to Blobbers behind the monster gate and he'll open up a steam vent for you, ignore it and go to the right where you'll find a Story Scroll in front of a dark cave (that you can't go in), next go to the left where there's a Traptanium Crystal to smash.
Another villain fight! This time it's an Air villain called Buzzer Beak, once again you've fought several identical looking enemies throughout the level already but this one's different. Because it takes more hits to kill. Before you get to fight the villain himself he'll send out a few waves of Tussle Sprouts, the weaker Buzzer Beaks and lastly a few of those flytraps with some more Tussle Sprouts where he'll jump down and begin fighting you. His attack pattern is the same as the regular versions, he moves towards you and then starts spinning his rotors, easy enough to avoid by walking in a circle around him. Just keep on hitting him. The reward is 100 gold and a Buzzer Beak Skystone.
Before leaving the fight area make sure to pick up that glowing, floating stone head - it's a Legendary Treasure - Legendary Statue (you also get 500 gold)! In this game Legendary Treasures are a mostly decorative item, they do not give stat boosts and you cannot use them to customise anything, they simply add a new decoration to the Skylanders Academy (once you've found and activated them in the hub).
Moving on go up the steam vent that Blobbers opened up.
Steam Vent Junction
Ignore Blobbers for a moment go off to the right where there's another stone head who talks about Wolfgang (not that it's actually necessary). Bounce back up and go talk to Blobbers again, he wants you to push a boulder onto the large steam vent to open up a different one with a small rock stuck in it. Over to the left up the steps is a large boulder that you can push simply by bumping into it, for me it pretty much rolled itself into the vent so it shouldn't be much issue here. Follow Blobbers up.
Boulder Falls Circle
Again ignore Blobbers and jump up to the left, at the edge you'll find a Winged Sapphire, if you now go to the right you can drop down to an "Unknown" Dark Elemental Gate.
Shadowy Sanctum (Dark)
Go to the left and jump on the green button several times until the block has fully risen, push the block to the right until it drops into the hole. Push the back block to the left so that it's lined up with the bounce pad to get up to Soul Gem 1/3 - Blackout.
To the left of the Soul Gem is another green button, keep pressing that until a large glowing ball rolls down. Go to the right still up on the side here and push a block off the edge, drop down and move the block by the bounce pad so that it's next to the one you just pushed off, then go to the right side and push the last block so that it's in the line with the others. Push the glowing ball so that it's against a flipper on the bottom edge in line with the blocks, pull the lever next to it to launch the ball along the blocks and into a hole. You'll need to push the block back to the left so you can use the bounce pad again to go get Hat 3/3 - Skipper Hat.
Bounce back up and use the steam vent next to Blobbers to take part in another boulder rolling exercise.
After pushing the boulder off the cliff you'll squish a bunch of Buzzer Beaks and trigger a generic Chill Bill enemy to appear, he'll freeze you in place but not do much else. Rapidly tap to get out and carry on attacking (try pushing the boulder at him). This boulder is a little less automatic so might require a few nudges back and forth to get it to roll into the active steam vent.
To the right as you land is another of those stone heads, this one talks about the Golden Queen. And next to him is a Mebu called Gumbus, he's got Slobber Trap's quest "Gumbus' Fortune". In straight level progression you don't yet have Slobber Trap (he is next up however) so come back when you do. And when you do Slobber Trap will simply knock over the statue next to Gumbus and complete the quest, nothing as elaborate as The Gulper's one. There's a few coins over there but nothing worth writing home about.
On the left you might be able to see a soul gem on a platform, to get up there you first have to clear the debris next to the platform, you should be able to see a light glowing through it where there's a hidden bounce pad. Bounce up and grab Soul Gem 1/2 - Food Fight.
Jump back down and cross the bridge towards a turret. Get in after talking to Blobbers and Buzz and shoot down the three flying trolls to complete it. Go to the right over the bridge.
Immediately you'll meet the villain Slobber Trap. Take out the flytraps and Tussle Sprouts and then wait for some troll reinforcements to arrive by ship, the trolls with magnets on their heads, Lob Goblins, will throw bombs towards you that will then start rolling towards you. Move away from the bombs as they land at attack the trolls. Once those are down a Chill Bill and a few Mace Majors will start attacking, try to avoid the ice beam as you take down the mace wielding trolls before taking the Chill Bill down.
After that Slobber Trap will finally start fighting you, his attack pattern is to run up to you and perform a lunging attack. Quickly move in a circle to the side of him to avoid it and then turn and attack him back. Keep it up and then watch out for a few more Lob Goblins that pop up partway through. A Water Trap will catch Slobber Trap (if you already have, say, The Gulper in there then you can now switch him out to get Slobber Trap in there), and you'll get 150 gold and a Slobber Trap Skystone, naturally.
You might now want to double back a short distance and complete Slobber Trap's quest. After that go up the slope where Slobber Trap was sitting for a while to Buzz and another turret. All you have to do here is shoot down the four troll ships one by one, once that's done it's level complete and back to the Skylanders Academy.
Mags adds a special purple glowing gate on the left side of the Academy, something that's useful for going to the new Adventure Packs. If you picked up the Legendary Treasure in Know-It-All Island then to your right at the start is a yellow icon, approach it and interact to activate the Legendary Treasure. You'll now see floating stone head islands around the academy.
Ignore Flynn for the moment, he just wants to take you to the next level, and go up towards that purple gate that just appeared. If you jump over the gap by the steps next to it you can get over to a red carpet that leads to a button that opens a door to let you into a sidescrolling section called "Courtyard Tower". In here you'll find lines of coins and plenty of bounce pads but hidden somewhere is a trinket to find, there are a few ways to get through so you might miss it. A warning that falling off or exiting will mean you get locked out until the next time you visit the academy. First jump up the moving platform and step onto the first bounce pad, go to the right at the top and jump the gap over to a second bounce pad, go right up another moving platform and then up another bounce pad before going left up a slope. At the top of the slope you'll find a round present with the Trinket - Iris' Iris inside. The bounce pad next to you will take you up, go to the right onto a diagonal bounce pad and then again onto another one that'll take you up to the exit.
The front door of the academy now has a Lock Puzzle on it. These are similar in design to those seen in earlier games but instead of rotating the puzzle and using gravity you just direct the imp in which direction to move. The idea is to get to the orange receptacle to exit the puzzle, you fly the little imp around in his jetpack bouncing off diagonals and stopping at blocks or walls. This first one is fairly simple, Up, Down, Up, Down should do it. Collecting the coins will give you a small bonus gold amount at the end (not that you can complete this one without getting them).
Through the door you'll find the Main Hall, not much here just yet but you will find Auric at the back selling a few items.
|Lock Puzzle Key||200|
|Vote for Cyclops||100|
|Medal of Heroism||100|
|Flight Attendant Hat||50|
The Lock Puzzle Key can be used to skip over a Lock Puzzle if you're not fond of them, you can buy as many as you want.
Next to Auric is a fireplace, and next to the fireplace is a button that opens the fireplace up so you can go to a sidescrolling area and find another trinket. Drop down the first gap and go to the right, go down and jump the gap to a bounce pad that takes you high up to a platform with Trinket - Big Bow of Boom on it. To get out just drop off to the right and keep following the bounce pads right until you reach the exit (a solid wall).
One last thing that's worth mentioning here is the small glowing hot air balloon, that's a teleporter and will whisk you to the start of the level. I recommend using it now as that will unlock the ability to teleport from the start of the hub back to here in the Main Hall (not that it's all that far).
Once you've finished exploring and upgrading your Skylanders talk to Flynn near the Villain Vault to get moving to the next level, Chompy Mountain.
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