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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 30th day of Storing, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 44 > Articles > SweeTARTS: The Newest Quest Item?

SweeTARTS: The Newest Quest Item?

by amyli_emitar

GAMES ROOM - If you're a long-time citizen of Neopia, I'm sure that you remember the Treasure Hunt. This was a fun game where you and your pets followed clues all around Neopia, and were rewarded with a map piece if you visited every assigned location. Well, to the unhappiness of many, this fun game no longer exists. Instead, there's a new sort of quest: the SweeTARTS quest!

Yes, the rules are a little different. Instead of getting map pieces, legend has it that those who complete the quest receive access to the Isle of SweeTARTS, a place surrounded by myth and rumour. My silver Kougra, Stelmariah, being the adventurous pet she is, decided to investigate. Besides, she's always had an affinity for islands - after all, Kougras originated on Mystery Island. What follows is the account she gave me of her quest.

It wasn't to hard to find the entrance to the island. There were plenty of pets willing to direct me, and once I got close, the crowds of people made it easy to distinguish. So, I waited my turn with all the rest. Finally, I met a red Techo, who seemed to be in charge of giving permission to go to the island. "Excuse me - I'm researching the Isle of SweeTARTS. Could you let me go on to the isle?"

He gave me a suspicious glance, fingering a candy-shaped charm that he wore around his neck. "Ya think I'll letcha by that easily? Nope; ya gotta do the quest, just like everyone else."

I wasn't really surprised; after all, challenges are what make life interesting. If gaining access to the island was easy, people would not be so eager to get there. "So... how do I complete your quest?"

He nodded, evidently pleased. "Now that's more like it. Well, ya gotta bring back these four items." He handed me a sheet that showed pictures of four candies: Giant Chewy SweeTARTS, Mini Chewy SweeTARTS, Gummy SweeTARTS, and Original SweeTARTS. It didn't seem very helpful, and certainly didn't narrow down the search. But, as I was about to go, he called me back. "Wait. I'm s'posed ta give ya this." He tossed me a sheet with four clues.

This might help! I thought excitedly, and began to read.

1. Are Mika and Carassa ever going to move out? Oh well, might as well take advantage of the bargains while you can...

This first clue was easy. I had been to Terror Mountain before, so I hurried to the huge garage sale held by Mika and Carassa Chia. I scouted around the house for a while, but the cold finally drove me in.

Carassa met me at the door. "Hello, can I help you with anything?"

"Yes, as a matter of fact. I'm on a quest for SweeTARTS. Do you sell them?"

She shook her head sadly. "No. The candies are fairly new items, and we're trying to get rid of items, not gain more."

At that moment, Mika appeared from the back of the house. "Wait a moment. Did you say that you're on a SweeTARTS quest?"

"Yes!" I affirmed eagerly. "Can you help me?"

Mika shook his head. "'Fraid I can't, Stelmariah. But I do know that we've had a lot more visitors than usual; I think some of them were also looking for candy."

"And did they find it?"

"Ah, now, that I couldn't tell you. They spent quite a while looking around outside, but whether they finished the quest or the snow drove them away, I can't guess."

There went that lead. "Oh well. Thanks, Mika."

But as I turned to leave, Carassa stopped me. "Wait, Stel. Won't you have a cup of borovan before you go? There's no telling where you might me going next, and it's cold out there."

I smiled warmly. "How could I refuse?"

While drinking the freshly made hot drink, I took out the paper to show the hospitable Chias.

"2. Please the mighty Pango Pango by paying Jhuidah a visit. However, you shouldn't come empty handed... " Mika read aloud.

Carassa turned curiously back from her shop counter. "Who's Pango Pango? Or Jhuidah?"

The names rang a bell, and I tried to remember my lessons from the school on Mystery Island. Mystery Island... "That's it!" I cried, and grinned sheepishly when my hosts stared in puzzlement. "Pango Pango is the god of the natives of Mystery Island. And Jhuidah is the faerie who watches over the cooking pot. She's like Pango Pango's priestess."

Carassa nodded. "Sounds like you know exactly where to look next."

I thanked them, and was just about to leave when Mika called out, "Stelmariah! Come here!" He was holding several large candies that he had pulled from under a snowdrift. The SweeTARTS!

As I took them, he asked, "If you ever finish the quest, will you come and tell us all about it?"

"Of course!" I promised, and hurried down from the mountain carefully carrying my precious candies.

Once on Mystery Island, I knew exactly where to go. The clue had to mean the giant cooking pot, where my friends and I had played so often. Fierce Jhuidah greeted me as I approached her pot. "Care to give a gift to the great Pango Pango?"

The only thing I had was the bag of SweeTARTS. I held them up. "Not today. I'm on a quest!"

Jhuidah frowned, restlessly stirring the contents of the pot. "Oh, that. You wouldn't believe how many tourists I've had, rummaging all over the place and littering the island. They aren't even respectful of Pango Pango!"

I nodded sympathetically. "I'm sorry if I'm bothering you. I'm trying to uncover the secret of SweeTART Isle."

The faerie stared into the pot, and finally pulled out a package of candy. "Here, take this. I shouldn't really be helping you, but it would be nice if you could find out the secret. And tell everyone, so they'll stop bothering me!"

I took the tiny candies, and, after profuse thanks and apologies, hurried away from the irate faerie.

As I boarded the ferry that would take me off the island, I read the next clue: After swinging by the ticket booth, you can come here to check out the hottest bands in all Neopia.

I grinned. This shouldn't be too hard. My little sister, Emmnei, loved the pop band M*YNCI; she dragged us to the concert hall at least once a week. "Tyrannia, here I come!"

As I reached the prehistoric plateau, I realised that any band playing in the hall would probably be the hottest - in the literal sense of the term! The sun was scorching, and I hurried to the hall, eager to find the candy and move on to a cooler world.

When I arrived, the jazzy sounds of music reached my ears. But before I could enter, a furry, purple arm slammed out in front of me, and a Tyrannian Mynci glared up at me. "Hey! Where's yer ticket? Can't jus' let ever'one in fer free!"

I backed up, a little surprised. "I'm afraid you don't understand. I'm not trying to sneak in - I just want to look for a bag of candy."

"Candy?" The gatekeeper stared suspiciously at me. "Den yer in da wrong place. G'wan back to da food store, in da jungle."

I sighed. This was becoming tiresome. "No, I'm on a quest, I'm here because of a clue, I'm trying to get to-"

But he waved a hairy hand, cutting me off. "'Scuses, excuses. Just wanna get in free, like all o' dem." He pointed to the lengthy line that had begun to form behind me. "Now, if ya don't gotta ticket, move along!"

A flash of colour caught my eye, and I desperately scrabbled in the dust for what I hoped was a ticket. I just had to be able to go in and look...

But when I held the bright thing out to him, I realised that it was round... and squishy. Wait a moment! It wasn't a ticket, but a Gummy SweeTART!

"Erm... OK, I'm going. Thanks anyway!" I called, and raced away, leaving the gatekeeper as well as several of the concertgoers staring after me.

Several moments later, I stopped to look at my sheets. I only had one candy left: the original SweeTARTS. And the final clue read as follows:

4. Okay, so they might slobber all over the place and keep you up all night, but everyone knows that Grundos need love, too. You can pick one up here...

In all Neopia, there was only one place from which Grundos could be adopted. So, knowing that my next destination was clear, I hurried on to the space port. Maybe if I was lucky I could catch the next shuttle up...

When I reached the space station, I took a right and entered the Grundo adoption agency. Now that the episode with Dr. Sloth was over, the excitement over the alien pets had almost died out; the agency was quite empty. As I opened the door, a woman seated at a desk announced in a bored monotone, "Yes, you can be the proud owner of a Grundo, one of the slave pets of Dr. Sloth. I don't know why you want one, however. They are horrible, slobbering little things, and they cry at night. Oh well, guess you know best."

"Um... no, I'm not here to adopt a Grundo," I explained, causing her to glance up for the first time before her gaze returned to a book. "I'm a Neopet myself - and I'm on a quest."

"Great. Go find one of the faeries. And quit bothering me, I've got to go feed the Grundos She rolled her eyes, grabbed several cartons of food, and headed down a dusky hallway.

"Could I come?" I inquired curiously. She did not reply;nevertheless, I slipped in before the door swung shut.

I was facing rows and rows of cages, filled with sorrowful-looking, pitifully thin Grundos "What do they eat?"

She tore open a case, and pulled out odd, bright coloured spheres of what I hoped was more nutritious that it looked. "Space food. It's disgusting. But so are they."

"Could I have some?" As I spoke, I reached for a serving... For among the strange tubes and exotic concoctions I had seen the bright, cylindrical shapes that had to be the candies I was looking for.

She shrugged, and didn't even seem to notice as I hurriedly left the dreary place, clutching my prize.

As I left the agency, a strange sensation enveloped me, and I felt myself being pulled by a warm wind. A vortex swirled pink and blue, and I was drawn inexorably into it.

I emerged on a little island so knowledgeable that I knew immediately where I was. But, to my disappointment, it was a bit of an anticlimax. Several adorable pets with noticeably forced smiled were distributing large chests to those who, like me, had finished the quest. I took one - maybe I'd get something out of this all - and left. It was all a bit too cutesy for an adventurer like me."

Well, that's the story of the Isle of SweeTARTS, just as Stelmariah told it to me. Yes, the reward might seem minimal; many of the users whom I spoke with on the chat boards agreed with this statement. But if your pets choose to go on a quest, they will likely have interesting adventures and meet many new people; Stel herself has gone off again, to tell Mika, Carassa, and Jhuidah all about her search.

And then again... there's also the question of where the treasure chests come from, and why the people of SweeTARTS Isle want all that candy... Personally, I think it's a plan to take over the candy economy! But this article is already getting long, and so I'll leave that question to another reporter of Neopia.

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