WORLD - Meerca Day! The time of year when we honor and celebrate Neopia's 40th
With all the buzz about Meercas, I think it's time to pay a tribute to all
of Neopia's most important little furballs, from the famous celebrities to the
less well-known, but still important, members of this fuzzle-stealing species.
THE STAR OF MEERCA CHASE - Tied with the Shop Wizard for the most popular
little furball in the game, the star of Meerca Chase is the one almost everyone
associates with this very popular species. Every day, a few hundred thousand
players navigate this golden hero as he races around, snatching neggs and racking
up Neopoints. But for one of the high-profile creatures on the site, what do
we actually know about him?
Surprisingly little, as it turns out. This guy is more of a mystery than how
Cap'n Threelegs can wield that sword with one hand and no opposable thumbs or
exactly how Fire Snow can exist. Clearly, he is a yellow Meerca with a fondness
for neggs. But where did he come from? What's his story? Why does he love neggs
so much? Why do all of the neggs have faces painted on them like Happiness Neggs!?
What the heck are all those red and grey colored neggs, if they don't exist
in the outside world!?! WHAT'S HIS NAME, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!?! I smell a conspiracy.
Someone out there is trying to keep these facts secret, and it's up to us to
seek out the truth! Yes, a conspiracy is afoot, so keep your eyes peeled, have
someone else taste your ummagines before you eat them, quaff a Camouflage Potion,
and start truth-seeking!
Sorry, got a little carried away there. I'll keep my little outbursts to myself
from now on.
MEUKA - Everyone's favorite ball of slime! Though not nearly on par with such
big-league bad guys as Dr. Sloth, Jhudora, or the *gasp* Pant Devil, this ooey,
gooey little menace is nevertheless the most infamous Meerca in Neopia! If your
Neopet has ever come down with the Sneezles, chances are you have this monstrosity
to blame. In addition, Meuka is notorious for running around and swapping people's
hard-earned items with stomach-churning, snotty items. He even has his own Defenders
of Neopia mission, which is convenient and quite gratifying if you have a score
to settle. On the whole, this guy is one heck of a pain!
CHUFFER BOB - Who would have thought a little guy like him could put so much
away? Well, for Chuffer Bob, the jetsetting, high-stakes gambling gourmet, food
is more than a part of life, it's a way of life. Yes, as Neopia's greatest culinary
expert, it is Bob's responsibility to pre-approve every new food that is released
onto the markets of Neopia. Though the job has its down moments, particularly
around Halloween of every year, the unstuffable purple Meerca seems to enjoy
his job very much. However, as much as he is a gourmet, Chuffer Bob is just
as serious a Cheat! competitor. Bob has participated in the annual tournament
for years, and has established himself as one of the game's greatest players.
With his enthusiasm for gambling and eating, it is a mystery why the former
Cheat! champion and Honorary Member of the Gourmet Club has declined membership
in the Food Club, which would seem to combine his two passions. Whatever personal
reasons he has for this remain unknown to the world. Nonetheless, for sheer
fame and expertise, only the Esophagor and Turmaculus, as the biggest name in
food, surpass Chuffer Bob. CHUFFER TEX - Chuffer Bob's younger brother, Tex
has found his own considerable share of fame and fortune. Though he shares his
brother's love of eating (particularly spicy foods), Tex's success came along
with his natural talent for music. As the lead singer and founding member of
the 2 Gallon Hatz, the biggest-selling label in country music, the honky-tonkin'
performer has become one of the most sought after Meercas, as well as artists,
in the world. After making their fortunes with the smash hit "That No-Good Aisha
Done Run Off With My Petpet", Tex and his fellow band members have remained
on top with an impressive string of hits, firmly establishing the Hatz near
the top of the music world and guaranteeing this Meerca a place in the hearts
of thousands of Neopets throughout his native Tyrannia and beyond.
YOUNG SPROGGIE - Yet another famously food-loving Meerca, Sproggie is a new
face in t he Food Club with high aspirations and a bright future. Though lacking
the experience of more successful players and sporting a hardly notable career
record, Sproggie has nevertheless turned quite a few heads for his amazing come-from-behind
routs of the Club's best players as well as for his blow-away victory in the
Neopian Negg-Munching Bowl. Hold on just a second… a yellow Meerca with a big
appetite for neggs? That sounds familiar. Just compare him, minus the vest and…
whoa. This is part of something big, something... sorry, I promised you I'd
keep my theories to myself. Anyway, this newcomer has a ways to go in the world
of commercial eating, but don't be surprised if a few years' experience put
this Meerca on top of the heap for good.
THE MEERCA BROTHERS - As famous as they are for eating, light-footed, agile
Meercas have also established a strong reputation as thieves. In a species known
for thievery, the Meerca Brothers, Hermeedjet and Merouladen stand above all
others as the best of professional burglars. Taking orders from a shadowy crime
boss, the Meerca Brothers have had a role in a number of high-profile robberies
in recent years, most notably their part in the daring theft of King Coltzan's
Crown, but have never been pinned for anything. Despite Hermeedjet the older
brother's tendency for, of course, eating, the two brown Meercas have established
a reputation alongside the Aisha Thieves as the best people for a sensitive
job. The Meerca Brothers take direct orders from a major figure in the Neopian
underworld who remained a mystery for a long time, but after the recovery of
the crown was revealed to be none other than Malkus Vile. Both he and the Brothers
escaped the incident unscathed, and are back to their dishonest ways. Remember,
if ever your Battle Duck goes missing or your Fish Negg disappears, these two
little crooks could be to blame.
SIR NIGEL OF MERIDAR II - Not quite as famous as those who have preceded him,
this Meerca is still clearly an important figure in Meridell. Knighted (presumably)
by King Skarl I, Sir Nigel has seldom been seen outside of the Round Table Poker
game, which in itself tell us more than you might think. Clearly, this Meerca
shares his species' seemingly innate tendency for gambling, and must be an extremely
wealthy member of the Meridell nobility to participate in so many tournaments
of his favorite card game. In fact, Sir Nigel has never been seen away from
the Poker Table. Even during the Darigan invasion, when a leader would be expected
to go to war in defense of his people, Nigel remained at the table, safely out
of harms way. It seems pretty clear that he must have pulled a few strings with
Skarl and his court to stay uninvolved.
In addition, he hardly seems to have any explanation for why he has all of
that money when many of his fellow citizens are so poor… sorry! Looks like I
got carried away again! (Boy, I really need to watch my mouth. Okay... just…
wait… a little… man, it's harder than it sounds. If only I had a mirror. Oh
well, anyway, back to the profile.) In short, Sir Nigel is certainly one of
the most important and powerful nobles in Meridell.
THE MERIFOODS SHOPKEEPER - The owner and proprietor of Merifoods is one of
the big players behind the scenes that keeps this world fed. Clearly, this Meerca
seems no exception to the rule about Meercas and foods. Like so many success
stories, the native Meridell resident started from scratch and from there made
his way to the top through tough work and determination. Beginning as a common
farmer with a small marrow stand, the now-famous shopkeeper worked for years
to realize his dream of a supermarket for Meridell's produce. Ultimately, success
came to him, and he now resides as one of the most respected names in the world
market for his model leadership. Owner of Merifoods as well as co-owner of Meri
Acre sausages, whose recent explosion in popularity has bestowed him with incredible
wealth, this country bumpkin still retains his simple, honest values, and remains
a role model for everyone in the kingdom.
THE MEERCA MENACE - Little is known about this young athlete, who has made
a big splash in the world of professional wrestling with his K.O. of Supersize
Skeith for the Neopian Championship two years ago, as depicted on his Collectible
Card. Though famous inside the ring for his tough, macho image that is a stark
contrast with his small stature, outside the ring, the yellow Meerca (who has
insisted on concealing his identity to the public) leads a fairly normal life,
and boasts an impressive collection of Usuki Dolls. Though he has scaled back
his wrestling career since the championship, this Meerca has no intention of
leaving the spotlight completely, and is still foremost in the minds of Neopian
THE FIRE BREATHING MEERCA - One of Neopia's favorite novelty acts, this little
firebug has become a very hot (literally!) name in entertainment! Since signing
on to Peophin Water Parks' Summer Entertainment Special, the Fire Breathing
Meerca signed up with the Bruce Brothers Three-Ring Circus as a replacement
for the ailing Chia Clown and spent three months touring Neopia. Despite the
big shoes (pun intended) he had to fill, this young entertainer has met with
astounding reviews and ecstatic crowds from Terror Mountain to the Lost Desert.
It's too soon to tell whether he's here to stay or just a flash in the pan,
but the fiery young star has made his mark on show business.
THE FLAMING MEERCA - This rather unfortunate Meerca has become famous as a
Battledome gladiator, but his life hasn't been a walk in the park. Formerly
known as Meer, one of the highest-paid models in the industry, this Red Meerca
was everywhere in the advertising world, doing everything from the Meerca Fashion
Season 1 & 2 catalogues and the cover of Hunting the Meerca Way to modeling
the Halloween Meerca Plushie. However, in the process of posing for the cover
of the Meerca Paint Guide went from a simple Fire Paint Brush makeover to a
tragic accident that left Meer with flaming skin and the power to start and
control fires. After several unsuccessful operations, he realized that his modeling
career was over and withdrew from the world. However, it wasn't long before
his friends showed him that he could turn his seemingly freakish abilities into
a great attraction in the Battledome.
Under the new name of the Flaming Meerca, Meer has met with much success in
the competition, using his supernatural powers to his advantage and producing
a string of impressive victories that have attracted a rabid fan following.
While he may no longer be Meer the supermodel, the Flaming Meerca has found
a future as one of the Battledome's hottest (pun intended) stars.
MAGGIE THE MEERCA - Maggie has inspired thousands with her tale of drama,
adventure, and transformation. Once known as a kind-hearted chatterbox who led
a peaceful (if not quiet) life in Neopia Central, Maggie's talkativeness set
heron an exciting and compelling journey that inspired The Neopian Times best-selling
biography, Maggie the Meerca. Since then, Maggie has become an icon to many
across Neopia for her adventures that are, to say the least, very exciting!
However, if you're interested and want to hear more, you'll have to read the
CAPTAIN MEERCA - In the many, many years since his escapades on the high seas,
Captain Meerca has become a legend rivaled by few. In the early days of Krawk
Island, Captain Meerca and the original Black Pawkeet became a name feared from
the tropical shores of Mystery Island all the way to the calm blue waters of
the Lost Desert Delta. At the helm of the original pirate ship that has survived
to become an even more mythic figure, Captain Meerca looted ships laden with
gold and dubloons for decades, burying it all somewhere on Krawk Island before
he died in a storm at sea. Years later, a lucky Krawk stumbled on the treasure
and set up the famous Golden Dubloon restaurant with part of the vast fortune,
which still remains a closely guarded secret. Also in the centuries since the
original ship sank, a succession of feared pirates, most famously Bloodhook
and Dread, have manned the Black Pawkeet in various forms, keeping that legend
alive even if its Captain no longer is. A figure such as the old Captain is
had to kill, however, and old sailors' tales still tell of sighting a ghostly
ship from a distance in stormy weather, from which you can barely hear the Meerca's
fearsome voice crying out across the waves.
Well, that's it for Neopia's most famous Meercas. From rich tycoons to flashy
entertainers, from past legends to present-day celebrities, these little furballs
have shaped the Neopia of today, and will no doubt continue to do so for years
to come (unless, that is, the Neopets staff has another one of their makeovers
in line.) So let's remember, the next time we start looking for who stole our
Rainbow Fuzzle, exactly how much this beloved species has done for us all.
Author's Note: I have no particular preference for Meercas or any other Neopet,
for that matter. I thought it would be a cool idea for a Times article, and
I'll hopefully be doing it for future Neopet holidays!