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Test of the Singing Cicada

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Main Shard Bastet T5 Beta
Test of the Singing Cicada
  • Find your first Cicada Cage
  • Check Status using your Tests Menu
  • Accumulate 1000 Cicada Points (Check Status)
  • Turn in enough (4-9) Cicadas to build a cage
  • Place your Cage
Demonstrated by Malard in Meroe on 2009-01-09by fulfilling the requested requirements.


Find cicada cages placed around Egypt by other players, then place your own for a stream of points.

The Test of the Singing Cicada is one of the 7 Tests of the Human Body, and is also the way to permanently increase one's Speed attribute. The test focuses on exploration, particularly of remote or hard-to-reach areas in Egypt.

Hidden across the Egyptian landscape are dozens of cicada cages, detectable mainly through the continuous chirping sounds they emit. A player who comes across a cicada cage is allowed to take a cicada from it (provided the player has signed up for the Cicada test). When a player has collected enough cicadas, he may build and place a cicada cage of his own. Cages disappear after 7 players have discovered them.

Cicada points are earned both by finding other players' cages (a single bonus for each cage found) and by building your own (points earned continuously for as long as your cages survive). Every 3 Egypt days, the 21 players with the highest scores receive 1 permanent Speed point. They then all lose cicada points equal to the 21st player's score.

To pass the test, a player must achieve a permanent Speed of 7. Players may continue to gain Speed points through this test even after passing.

Unlike the locations of mushrooms and otters, the locations of cicada cages should not be shared. Doing so is considered rude and ruins the test for other players. However, sharing the locs is Legal, so only a DP can ban your for that.


This Test has two components: hunting cicada cages placed by other players and placing your own cages. As a Body Test, it involves a lot of running and exploration of Egypt. The better you know the land and the people, the better you will be able to hide or find cages.

Finding Cages

Cicadas make a continuous chirruping/buzzing sound (see below), which is directional and gets louder as you get closer. It can be heard to a distance of about 62 coordinates from the cage. Having any sound option active will activate the cicada sounds -- pick whichever is least annoying if you want minimal audio. (NOTE: Music DOES NOT count for this -- having only Music enabled will not let you hear the chirp. I found this out the hard way.) Even if you haven't yet registered for the Test of the Singing Cicada you will still be able to hear them.

The different required sounds are a common misconception ("Because sound X worked for me, it must be the correct one"). Providing any sound is enabled, the cicadas will sound. Pick whatever is most tolerable to you. Best suggestions are to enable the Building sounds but nothing else, or interface sounds but nothing else, since both these will generally make no sound whilst you are out hunting, allowing a clear audible once in range of a Cicada.

When you find someone's cage, you can take a single cicada from it. You will gain a point for every minute since the last time a cicada was taken, or since the cage was built if you are the first to find it.

Note: You cannot hold more than 21 cicadas at a time -- turn them in for cages, first!

A cage initially has 7 cicadas in it -- when the last one is taken, the cage crumbles. As a matter of courtesy, it is polite to /chat the owner of a cage you've crumbled and tell them where it was. This helps him know which of his cages were well or badly hidden. Players receive no automatic notice when one of their cages crumbles, and can only manually check how many cages they have in total, not their specific locations.

Placing Cages

When you have enough cicadas, you can trade them in at any University of Body for a cicada cage. You may carry a maximum of 21 cicadas in your inventory, and may only make 1 cage every 5 RL hours.

Once you received your cage, 1 Linen and 4 Boards are required to actually place your cage on the ground. Once you place a cage, you will receive one point per minute from it until the last cicada is taken from it and it crumbles. You cannot take a cicada from your own cage, nor can you pick up your cage once placed.

The number of cicadas required by the UBody for a cage varies automatically with the number of cages that exist in the world. It can drop to as low as 4 or, on rare occasions, even rise above 7. Regardless, the cages they hand out will always contain 7 cicadas. See Cage Costs for details of recent cage requirements.

Moving Cages

Even though a cicada cage cannot be picked up, it can be moved after it has been placed. You must be standing fairly close to the cage (within 1 coordinate or so), and then an option will appear under your "Tests->Test of the Cicada" menu to "move nearby cage". This will move all nearby cages to a point more or less close to where you are standing. This works on all cages, even other players', and is very useful for extracting cages deliberately hidden inside other objects or land features, as well as separating stacked cages. You can only do this once per minute.

Speed Points

The top 21 scorers receive 1 speed point per day, with the cost of the point being automatically deducted. The cost is the lowest score of top 21 scores. You can see how many points and active cages you have (and when/whether you got a speed point recently) from your Tests->Test of the Singing Cicada menu.

The maximum speed a person can have is 21 [confirmed for T4] (after that, they are no longer counted in the scoring), though you only need 7 speed to pass the Test.

The way you advance up from speed 8 has changed now. In order to get speed 9 you must advance in points more then 1 time now. Below is the info Teppy gave to me in a dev call now.

Teppy: Cicada speed is based on the number of times you advance. It goes like this.

TestCicadaLog 0 0 
TestCicadaLog 1 1
TestCicadaLog 2 2 
TestCicadaLog 3 3 
TestCicadaLog 4 4
TestCicadaLog 5 5 
TestCicadaLog 6 6 
TestCicadaLog 7 7 
TestCicadaLog 8 8
TestCicadaLog 9 8 
TestCicadaLog 10 9
TestCicadaLog 11 9
TestCicadaLog 12 9
TestCicadaLog 13 9
TestCicadaLog 14 10
TestCicadaLog 15 10 
TestCicadaLog 16 10 
TestCicadaLog 17 10 
TestCicadaLog 18 10 
TestCicadaLog 19 10 
TestCicadaLog 20 10 
TestCicadaLog 21 10
TestCicadaLog 22 11 
TestCicadaLog 23 11

Teppy: So it goes 1-for-1 up to 8..Teppy: Then you need one extra advance to get to 9. Teppy: And a total of 4 advanced to get to 10

If it doubles for each additional speed, then speed 21 will cost (assuming my maths is correct) 16390 'passes' (starting from speed 0).
1-7 (up to test pass) costs 1 each (2^0), 8+ cost 2^(speed-8).
Hence 7-8 would cost 1, and 20-21 would cost 2^13=8,192 -- tlanthil

Update: Teppy confirmed that 21 perm speed is meant to be impossible to get, making it a sort of soft level cap (the higher you go, the more effort to get higher, but you'll never get to the stage where you can't keep working on it) -- tlanthil (it was a chat on channel ENN, 2009-02-15)

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