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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 20th day of Relaxing, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 62 > Articles > Every Stamp Tells a Story

Every Stamp Tells a Story

by pikatribble

This week: Grimilix Stamp

NEOPIAN POST OFFICE KIOSK - Hello and welcome back, all fellow philatelists. I was incredibly surprised and pleased when I opened up my issue of the Neopian Times last week, to find my article had made it into publication. Given the warm reception my article received (many thanks to those who sent me fan mail), I'm back with the story behind another stamp. This week, I'm here to tell you about the inspiration for this, the Grimilix stamp:

Now, those of you who are new to Neopets will possibly have no idea who Grimilix is, but those who have been here longer will remember him as one of the programmers of Neopet Version 2 (NPv2). For the benefit of newcomers to Neopia (or for those who simply found the NPv2 puzzle too hard to struggle through, such as myself), I thought it might be good to briefly outline what Neopet Version 2 was.

Basically, NPv2 was a program created at the request of Dr. Sloth (you all know who he is, right?) by his four top programmers - Blarthrox, Zyrolon, Tazzalor, and Grimilix. It remained dormant within the computers of the Virtupets space station after the Space Faerie and the residents of Neopia defeated Dr. Sloth (for more information on the battle which removed Sloth from power on the space station, see here). However, one day during the month of Storing, this program reactivated itself, and, taking control of the space stations systems, this lonely virtual pet trapped four children in an elevator, intending to keep them forever as its 'friends'. Unfortunately, the children were quickly running out of air. Several brave and intelligent citizens of Neopia set about finding the programmers of NPv2 to uncover the numerical code that would shut down the program. They succeeded in the nick of time, freeing the children, who were welcomed back to the space station as brave heroes. (As I said, this is a brief recap - if you are interested in a more complete version of events, you can find them here).

There was a great deal of debate by the board of directors of the Neopian Post Office as to whether or not Grimilix should have a stamp. The secretive life of this Grundo has led to both speculation that he is an unsung hero, and belief that he is actually a criminal mastermind. It is very difficult to separate fact from fiction regarding Grimilix, but there are some things that are known for certain.

Grimilix's early life certainly was an unhappy one. As a young Grundo on the Grundo home world (pre-Dr. Sloth), Grimilix was shunned by his peers due to his amazing intelligence. As with most creatures, and even many Neopets and Neopet owners today, the other Grundos feared what they couldn't understand. Grimilix was nothing short of a genius, able to learn foreign languages easily, constantly experimenting and learning about the world around him, and this made the other Grundos incredibly uncomfortable. They avoided him entirely, refusing to allow him to join them in recreational activities, or even their everyday lives. To stave off his loneliness, Grimilix threw himself even more wholeheartedly into his work. Ever curious, he was not content to simply watch the stars go by like the other Grundos (even if they would have let him sit near them), but had to know why the stars moved, what the stars were, and the answers to a million other questions. He set about learning all he could about the world around him.

When Dr. Sloth arrived on the Grundo home world, Grimilix was one of the few Grundos who actually did understand what was happening. However, bitter about how he had been treated by the other Grundos, Grimilix did nothing to warn them about their eventual mutation into soldiers and enslavement. Rather, he immediately set up a hidden makeshift workshop, and worked feverishly to find some personal protection from Dr. Sloth's mutation ray.

Here is where truth becomes difficult to separate from fiction. Some say that Grimilix succeeded in finding a way to counteract the mutation ray's effectiveness. When Dr. Sloth found the hidden workshop and attempted to fire his mutation gun at Grimilix, it failed, and Sloth realised that the protective device developed by the Grundo could destroy his plans to enslave all of Neopia. So Frank Sloth made a deal with Grimilix - in exchange for the protective shield (so it would not fall into anyone else's hands, or paws as the case may be) and Grimilix's loyalty, the Grundo genius would have access to all the technology and intelligence found on the Virtupets Space Station. This was an offer which the naturally curious Grimilix, who due to his poor treatment by his peers had very little compassion for them, could not refuse. Others claim that Grimilix did not succeed forming such a device, but Dr. Sloth saw his attempts and recognised his intelligence as something that could be very useful, so spared him from suffering the mutation gun's effects lest it damage that brilliance in some way. Whatever happened, the end result was the same...Grimilix became the only member of the NPv2 programming team that avoided suffering the same transformation as Blarthrox, Zyrolon, and Tazzalor, and remained an unmutated Grundo.

Rumours abound about what Grimilix has been doing since the shutdown of the NPv2 program. When he was last spoken to, he claimed to be preparing for war, but as he did not specify further, it is not known if he still believes Dr. Sloth's fight against the Neopets on the planet below continues (as the trading card featuring Grimilix implies), or if he was speaking of some new conflict. While it is known that he still resides somewhere within the bowels of the Virtupets space station, any attempts to find him have ultimately failed, for none know the maintenance tunnels as well as Grimilix himself.

Many believe that Grimilix, having been on the station during Dr. Sloth's reign of terror, and witnessing firsthand the pain and fear that many Neopets and their owners suffered at the villain's hands, has come to have a change of heart. They think that secretly, Grimilix worked to sabotage many of Sloth's efforts...weakening the blast of the mutation ray so that the Space Faerie could withstand it, converting the NPv2 program into a much gentler creation that only wanted to find friends and play games (as opposed to what many believe was its original purpose...to fight and destroy all others). Many who favour this theory of Grimilix as a hero forgotten think he still works in the tunnels of the space station, fixing and repairing all the little traps and viruses that Sloth left in the computer systems there. There has even been speculation that it was Grimilix who fashioned a machine to open a small tear in the space-time continuum on the planet below, opening Meridell up for all of us to explore, and that the war he spoke of, which may very well be a side-effect of the creation of this portal, he is now working desperately to prevent.

On the other hand, there are whispered rumours that Grimilix himself intends to take over Neopia. After all, why would one of such great intelligence 'forget' his portion of the Neopet Version 2 deactivation code? It is known that, assuming his creation of a shield from the effects of the mutation ray was successful, technology of his creation can even outwit the villainous Dr. Sloth. Some even speculate that he may have even had a part in the destruction of Maraqua...that he created some type of ray which, when fired from the station into the skies above the underwater city, brought the storm that wreaked its destruction. Perhaps the war Grimilix is preparing for his actually his own campaign to conquer the planet below.

The truth may never be known, but the controversy surrounding Grimilix's secretive life led to a long and heated debate with the Neopian Post Office Board Room about whether or not to feature Grimilix on a stamp. Eventually, it was decided upon by the board members to produce the stamp with the caption "Everybody's favourite Grundo-programmer-stuck-in-a-space-station". It is hoped that perhaps if Grimilix sees the stamp, with the implied caring that the word 'favourite' provides, that it will suffice in some measure as an apology for the years of taunting and distrust he suffered on his home world, and in some way, relieve a little (if any) of the bitterness he has towards other Neopets. If Grimilix truly is an unsung hero, than he deserves our highest praise and gratitude. And if he is plotting some evil conquest...then maybe it might be a good idea to drop a peace offering of one or two of these stamps down maintenance hatch 7B on your next visit to the Virtupets Space Station...

Until next time, I wish you happy stamp collecting!


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