Nostalgia – Exploring Neopia

Hello fellow rose-tinted Neopians, and welcome back to Khin’s adventures in Neopia. What better time to be doing this than when in isolation and potentially weeks of not really going outside the boundaries of the garden? Whilst some people may take virtual tours of amazing places, climb Mt Everest in their own home, or run marathons in the hopes of ruining a carpet they hate, I do not. In fact, I haven’t really done anything of note. Instead I have dived back into video games like Elder Scrolls Online, and returned to Neopets.

I wrote in the first piece on Neopets that I was going to have a look at what I used to do daily when I logged in (“dailies”), but since there’s chaos running rife in the world and lots of us can’t leave our residences, it felt more natural to do a world tour of Neopia first. If you could kindly present your boarding passes please, we shall be leaving shortly.

If I say Neopets, what do you think of? Childhood? The 90’s? A mysterious, short lived Internet phenomenon? Certainly, if you played it in its heyday, you will probably conjure up the bright colours and dubious fonts of the navigation pane, and perhaps of Neopia Central. But do you remember the world of Neopia? Full of fantasical, broadly stereotypical lands full of mini-games, shops that were never stocked when you arrived, and occasionally a freebie or two?

from: https://thedailyneopets.com/uploads/articles/archives/explore1.jpg

OK, so the world doesn’t quite look like this anymore. Across the years many areas of Neopia have changed, updated their looks and even come crashing down to ground level. A whole other side of the world was discovered (yes, the map can be rotated now!) and more lands discovered. But where shall we start first? Well, I suppose it makes sense to start in Neopia Central, where you begin your Neopets journey.

screenshot of http://www.neopets.com/objects.phtml

Looks a bit different from how you might remember it? Like many pages of Neopets, it had a redraw several years ago. But don’t worry, all your favourites are there! The Neolodge (because who wants to bother feeding their pet all the time?), The Money Tree (for all that rubbish you want to pawn off of some poor Neopian) and if we head over to the Plaza, the Pound is still there, where you can adopt, abandon or even trade a Neopet! Yes, trading/transferring Neopets became a thing a while back – no longer do you have to abandon the pet and hope your intended receipient didn’t get sniped by some other random person playing.

But let’s go and explore some more “exotic” lands. Perhaps somewhere hot? And sandy? And full of ancient treasure? The Lost Desert.

This is another land that has had a redraw – actually several as it has featured in a few plots. Many of the shops and things to do have since been moved to Sakhmet and Qasala, but the area still holds many of its original features. Tug of War and Coltzans Shrine are still there, with some minor facelifts, and Pyramids is still pretty much the same, original game it was when the site started.

screenshot of http://www.neopets.com/desert/index.phtml

The Lost Desert was one of my favourite lands and theming – I’m a bit of an Ancient Egyptain nerd so absolutely loved the idea of having my pets painted like a Pharoah or Anubis. I’ve not been as astounded with the later changes and pet designs, but I’m still fond of the sand. And sticking with the sand, let’s go visit the beaches of Mystery Island, but we’ll stop for a brief tankard of grog on Krawk Island.

Everybody loves pirates right? Well, I guess except the people who are pillaged and plundered. But these are fairly friendly pirates, and their dress code is awesome! The map has had an update since the one above and whilst it looks much more islandy and lush, it has had some features removed so it feels a little barren. But when you click on the new town ‘Warf Wharf’. a whole new area opens up and it definitely feels piratey. Sadly we don’t have time to explore further as our boat to Mystery Island is leaving soon!

screenshot of http://www.neopets.com/pirates/warfwharf.phtml

And so we arrive at out final destination, Mystery Island! Another of my favourites, and another one with a pretty awesome styling. No less stereotypical than any other Neopian world, Mystery Island is a land of grass skirts, brightly coloured fruits and having fun in the sun. Many of you may be familar with Tiki Tack Tombola – the tombla that doesn’t cost anything to play and sometimes occasionally gives you some weird prizes, but has largely gone unchanged for a long time.

And that’s it for our tour today ladles and serving spoons. I could go visit a lot more lands in this flying visit, but jet lag (or boat lag? is very real and I’m sure you want to save some more for another trip. And in exploring some other aspects of Neopets in the future, I am sure we will be playing tourist again soon.

Until next time, Khin.

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