This year’s Spookzilla Hunt (SLURL), with dozens and dozens of Second Life stores participating, takes place from October 25th to 31st, 2019. There’s a row of vendor plaques lined up along one street near the spawn point, where you can pick up each vendor’s hunt key to see what prizes you’re hunting for! Each vendor has a differently coloured and patterned ghost that you are searching for. And some of those ghosts are fiendishly hidden! Set aside a few hours for this hunt.
Please note that this is not a free hunt; hunt prizes vary in price from L$10 to L$25 each. But this year there are also many tables of free gifts from the various vendors scattered throughout the sim, so even if you don’t feel like hunting, pay a visit anyway!
Here is one of the hunt prizes by ANTAYA, the red and black Victorian-era Lamia gown, absolutely perfect for my vampire roleplay avatar!
The lace detail at the neck is particularly lovely!
Here’s all six of the hunt prizes from Baetik, a complete witch’s outfit!
The outfit pictured here consists of five separate hunt prizes:
a witch headpiece with horns
a matching witch choker
witch staff (with or without animation and on/off particle effects)
a black long witch’s gown with a high collar
There’s also a black crow with a hold animation, too!
This final look is a more traditional witch’s outfit from N.MA, complete with hat and flyable broom! The outfit comes in five separate hunt pieces:
Persephone Broom (ridable!)
And a set of HUDs to allow you change the colours of the hat, shawl, dress, dress trim, and various aspects of the waist cincher to any of 20 different colours!
This is easily the most versatile witch outfit you could ever own! Here’s another couple of examples from the thousands of combinations you could create—good witch, bad witch, and everything in between!
The black pumps in the three pictures above are from a free set of women’s classic pumps by Marquesse, available from the excellent freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil on the third floor (here’s the SLURL).
Every year for Halloween, the EarthStones jewelry store (SLURL) hosts an annual Trick or Treat Mystery Hunt, where you can pick up some great deals on jewelry for both men and women. I must warn you that this is a challenging but rewarding hunt, with some beautifully-made jewelry as prizes. You are looking for Trick or Treat bags: orange bags contain prizes for the ladies, and purple ones contain both male and female items. Prizes are not transferable, so be careful!
There are 24 hunt prizes in all, hidden in various places anywhere on the EarthBound sim where the EarthStones store is located, both inside the store and outside in the surrounding landscape! (Please note that this is not a free hunt; only four of the hunt prizes are free, and the rest cost L$50, L$75, or L$99, which is still a significant savings over EarthStones’ regular prices.)
I am going to tell you the bag numbers for each of the items I am showing you, so that if you are only interested in that particular set, you can focus your hunt for just those items. I am not going to tell you where they are; I am just giving you the bag numbers to make it a little easier for you!. I rationalize this decision by thinking that this blogpost might drive more traffic—and profit—to the EarthStones store owner Abraxxa Anatine, who richly deserves it for her beautiful work.
I know that this takes a bit of the mystery out of a Mystery Hunt, but I absolutely hate spending Linden dollars on items without knowing what I am getting! I’m sure you do too, which is also why I am doing this. But I do make an exception for the annual Halloween hunt at EarthStones, because I know from previous years’ hunts that all the prizes are very high quality items. And all the other bags will still remain a mystery! A few of the items (ones not shown here) are Halloween-themed.
First up is the simplest—a pair of black diamond stud earrings and a matching black diamond solitaire necklace (two separate prizes, bags 20 and 21):
Next is the beautiful Lakshmi jewelry set in lapis (the earrings, necklace, and bracelets for both left and right arms, are all separate hunt prizes, bags 2, 8, and 14; there is a HUD to change the metals to bronze or silver):
Here are the Kanza earrings and necklace in red jasper (two separate hunt prizes, bags 9 and 16):
These are the Simply Put earrings and necklace in moldavite (two prizes, bags 10 and 22):
And finally, we have the gorgeous Glass Drop necklace and matching earrings in sapphire (again, two separate prizes, bags 4 and 11):
The tenth annual SL’s Top Haunted Places Tour and Hunt is on in Second Life, with no less than 118 stops, as of today! (The organizers keep adding new ones to the list.) At most stops, there is at least one free hunt gift to find, and many stops have more than one. And yes, I have visited every single one of them, just so I can tell you about the best freebies you can find on this year’s Tour and Hunt!
The webbed sneakers are from the Oubliette booth at Trick or Treat Lane (each vendor booth has a free gift, some are hidden and some aren’t). The black printed T-shirt is from the Haunted Frolic maze (it comes in a variety of male and female sizes to fit most mesh bodies).
But I have a few more hunt freebies to share with you!
The Boiling Points 8th Annual Haunted Hunt: The Demented Circus (set up by the Spider Productions store) beats all the other hunts by offering 36 different free hunt gifts! Just go to the store (here’s the SLURL) and click on the teleporter at the spawn point to get to the hunt area. Warning: I found that the teleporter was a bit finicky, so you might have to try it a few times to get it to work properly. Keep clicking!
Once you arrive at the hunt site, click on the large sign at the entrance to get two notecards, one with the hunt rules and a second with the hunt hints to find 36 poison candy apples. The first one is easy; it’s sitting right next to the sign! (The prize is some lovely abstract art for your home.)
I found this to be a very challenging but rewarding hunt! I spent at least an hour and half on this one hunt alone! Some of those candy apples are fiendishly well hidden! What I liked about this hunt is that some of the prizes were not your typical Halloween fare. For example, one prize was this lovely modern fireplace, which looks great in my new Linden Home:
Another prize was this cute, three-dimensional AFK (Away From Keyboard) thought bubble! You can read it from the front and the back! It’s perfect for when you need to step away from the keyboard for a few minutes (or hours, days, weeks…).
But I saved the very best for last! Complete the hunt at JTCrusher’s Haunted Slimy Lava Graveyard and click on the women’s gift box, and you get no less than eleven animated dance attachments with music! (The men’s hunt gift is a pair of gravedigger shorts in various sizes to fit most men’s mesh bodies. For some strange reason, the women’s hunt box also has three patio umbrellas.)
Here’s a sample dance, one that everybody knows well (and some of you might just be sick to death of before Halloween is over):
But it’s not just Michael Jackson’s Thriller! There are ten other dances, too! Here’s the full list of dance animations in the gift box:
Dark Horse by Katy Perry
Roar by Katy Perry
Dancing Queen by Abba
You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate
Booty Man by Tim Wilson (and it’s not just a clip—it’s the WHOLE. DAMN. SONG.)
Caribbean Queen by Billy Ocean
Macarena by Los Del Rio
It’s Raining Men by the Weather Girls (complete with “raining men” particle effects!)
Shake That by Eminem ft. Nate Dogg
This Is Halloween
Thriller by Michael Jackson
So get out there and start hunting! These are just five stops out of 118! SL’s Top Haunted Places Tour and Hunt ends on Oct. 31st, although some stops will run into early November. To get a complete list of stops, go to the starting point and click on the poster to get the first of six notecards describing each of the 118 stops on the Tour and Hunt:
There are links to notecards numbers two through six at the bottom of the first notecard. You can skip around and do the stops in any order.
Hunts in Second Life are a tried-and-true way to get some truly fabulous steals, deals, and freebies. For example, Petite Mort and Oubliette are currently having an hunt for six white Easter bunnies on their half a sim, with each clothing prize only L$10 each, a significant saving:
I have spent almost 13 years doing hunts in Second Life, and I have learned a lot along the way. So here are my top 6 tips for Second Life hunts.
Please note that in the following tips and tricks I am using the Firestorm viewer; if you are using another Second Life viewer, like the default SL viewer, you might have to use different keystrokes to get to the features you want. I rely on Firestorm daily, as most people do, and I honestly don’t know the equivalent keystrokes for the default Second Life viewer.
1. Know what you are hunting for
This may seem obvious, but sometimes people engage in an SL hunt without even checking the associated website, which usually contains a picture of the item you are searching for, a list of store locations, and a hint for each location. Freebie blogs can also be valuable sources of information, showing you what the hunt prizes look like before you go to all the trouble of trying to find them. (Don’t forget about Cat Pink’s hunt videos, too!)
This is also a basic rule: learn how to move your camera around the scene. You don’t even have to move your avatar around; just cam around the store to find what you are looking for. If you learn nothing else, learn how to use your camera.
In Firestorm, the camera controls can be brought up either by clicking the Camera Controls button on the bottom button bar, or by going to the top menu bar and selecting Avatar → Camera Controls.
The camera controls are divided into sections, as follows:
The leftmost circle allows you to rotate your camera.
The vertical slide to the right controls zoom; you can drag it or use the +/- signs for finer control;
The arrows in the square pan the camera left/right and up/down.
Across the top are six buttons. These are:
Front view – places the camera in front of your face, and facing you.
Side view – place the camera over your left shoulder, looking forward.
Rear view – places the camera behind and slightly above you; this is the default position.
Object view – allows you to zoom in on objects by clicking them. Hit ESC to leave object view.
Mouselook view – places the camera in front of you; the camera then moves with your mouse; the camera controls disappear in this view. Hit Esc to leave mouselook.
Reset view – restores the camera to default.
There are also keystroke commands for most of these options; you don’t necessarily have to use the on-screen widget. Here’s a list of camera controls. After countless hunts, by now they are second nature to me:
Rotate camera left/right
Rotate camera up/down
3. Turn on the lights
Are you hunting for an object in a dimly-lit store, or a sim set to midnight? One recent hunt had black eggs hidden in black corners of the store. Drives me absolutely bonkers. Here’s a tip: turn up the lights. If you are in Firestorm, Click on World in the top menu bar, then select Environment Editor, then Sky Presets, then Edit Preset, as shown here:
From the list of sky presets, scroll down and select one called CalWL:
Et voilà! Sharp, bright, clear light by which to properly conduct a hunt. In addition to CalWL, you could try out the presets named Nam’s Optimal Skin 1 and Nam’s Optimal Skin 2, which are also very bright.
4. Use a little helper
Now, this tip is controversial, because some would consider it cheating. Some vendors will go so far as to ban you from their sim if you are discovered using one of these little devices. I’m talking about object scanners, items which automatically search the area you are in for a specifically named object. If all the objects you are searching for have a naming convention (e.g. they all start with “POE” for the Peace on Earth annual hunt), then you can find them more easily using an object scanner. You just have to attach it, then walk around the store.
You should be aware that many store owners deliberately use misleading names (e.g. “Pine Floor”) or even gibberish (“asdfghjkl”) when naming hunt prizes in order to thwart people using object scanners. I’m not going to tell you which model to use; you can find them yourself on the SL Marketplace. In fact, you don’t even need to buy one, since there is already a perfectly good Area Search tool built into the Firestorm viewer (you can find it near the bottom of the World menu). And if the idea of using one feels like cheating to you, then just ignore this tip.
5. Use your X-ray vision
Here’s another really useful hunting trick that most people don’t know about. Did you know that you can toggle to wireframe mode in Firestorm, and literally see through objects? If you are using the Firestorm viewer, just pres Ctrl-Shift-R, and you turn on wireframe mode. Pressing Ctrl-Shift-R again takes you back to regular mode. Try it and see! (Note that you will get a momentary black screen when doing this. This is normal.)
Here’s an example to demonstrate. This is the normal view:
And here is the wireframe mode:
6. Only as a last resort: derender the sim/store piece by piece
This last tip is only if you have exhausted all other methods of hunting, and you still cannot find that elusive prize which you absolutely must have! Essentially, you select walls, floors, fixtures, and temporarily derender them (i.e., make them invisible). Keep doing this until you find what you are looking for.
To do this in Firestorm, right click on the object you wish to remove. From the menu which appears, click on More, then More again. You will see Derender as one of the options on the pie menu. Click on Derender, and select Temporary. And poof! It’s gone. Handy, eh?
Here’s an example of why hunts in Second Life can be so rewarding. This outfit consists of two pieces from the Easter bunny hunt at Oubliette and Petite Mort (the flower basket is a freebie at the landing point, and it comes with a hold animation).
This avatar is wearing:
Mesh Head: Giselle Bento head by Altamura (no longer available for free; this was an Altamura gift from Christmas 2017 at the eBENTO event, and you had to join the Altamura group for L$50 to get it).
Mesh Body: Jenny Bento body by Altamura (this was a free gift from the 2017 Women Only Hunt, and on this version, you can remove the head and replace it with any other mesh head, as I did here. Note that this free mesh body is now available at the Freebie Megastore at London City (more information here), but you cannot remove the head on the newer free version.
Hair: Hannah by MINA Hair (this is an old gift from a previous Second Life shopping event, no longer available for free)
Top: Lace trim sweater by Petite Mort (hunt prize; L$10)
Skirt: Cream midi skirt by Petite Mort (hunt prize; L$10)