Winterizing Your Neopets: A Guide to Terror Mountain
TERROR MOUNTAIN....AND HAPPY VALLEY....AND THE ICE CAVES TOO, I GUESS--Maybe it
was a certain smell in the air. Maybe it was an instinct, passed down from generation
to generation. Maybe it was the sweltering heat wave that had relentlessly pounded
my Neohome for the past four weeks, causing my box of crayons to goopify, my potion
collection to bubble, boil and explode, and my melted chocolate Neggs to- well,
you get the picture. All I knew was that I felt drawn to the cool appeal of Terror
Mountain, specifically, I was drawn to the notice on the Weather page that said
‘Frigid Winds all day; the coldest point of Neopia!’
As readers of the Times will no doubt be aware of, I write a travel column,
in return for which I receive shiny, shiny trophies. I do love shiny things.
But I thought I might as well give Terror Mountain a review while I was collapsing
headfirst into cooling snow drifts.
This would also mark the first time I would take one of my pets with me on
a business trip; my Fire Draik, Detrivore, was not being accepted by the other
residents on our street, as the combination of the heat and his flames were
causing all objects within a 30m radius of him to spontaneously combust. I thought
taking him on this trip might cool him down and let him blow off some steam.
(I’m so clever.) So, I packed my bag and set off, looking for adventure and
a cheap lunch.
And snow. Lots of cool, soothing snow.
My arrival in Happy Valley (Motto: Where everyone is HAPPY!, or else they’re
dragged away and injected with SeraTonu™, the new experimental happiness chemical)
was not what I expected. I had been hoping for nice, open fields of snow, ready
for me to frolic in. What I found were nice, open fields of snow filled with
thousands of Bruces that would NOT let me have a turn on their toboggans. Those
big meanies. Seriously though, the description for Happy Valley calls it ‘a
merry little land where Bruces and Blumaroos can be found frolicking in the
snow.’ This presented a serious problem, as I could not see the snow under the
thousands of frolicking Bruces. I thanked myself that I did not bring Alethiometer_reader
with me. He’s my Baby Gelert who’s had a bit of a squabble with Bruces ever
since Boochi blasted him. (‘squabble’ here should indicate a desire to single-handedly
bash in the heads of every Bruce in Neopia, which he practices for by ripping
apart his Bruce Plushie Collection,)
Wanting to cool down, I checked out all that Happy Valley had to offer. Several
games immediately caught my eye, specifically Grundo Snow Throw and Snow Wars.
Unfortunately, the Grundos had terrible aim and couldn’t come close to me with
any of their shots. They kept aiming for a little green Grundo that Detrivore
yelled at me I was supposed to control. Like I’d listen to a Draik. Snow Wars
wasn’t much better, as it involved firing surprising fast-reloading catapults
at surprisingly movable structures belonging to, among others, Evil Elf and
The Happy Monkey. (I don’t know what a ‘Monkey’ is, but I assumed it’s some
sort of mutant Mynci that they shipped off to Happy Valley after looking at
it’s HAPPY expression. Well, he didn’t look too happy under 50 lbs of snow.)
No, Snow Wars is a fine game. But the opponents kept missing me with their soothing
snow payloads and instead aiming for my buildings. Of all the terrible luck.
Fearing heatstroke, I turned to the shops. But the Advent Calendar was closed
and the Wintry Petpets shop was sold out of Abominable Snowballs (probably a
good thing; they might have bitten me when I tried to crush them into a soothing
snow paste,) and then there was the Slushie Shop. (Motto: Now with 150% more
sugary goodness!!) I’ve never been big on foods with sugar levels exceeding
the lethal dosage, but I didn’t care at that point. So I sent Detrivore in,
while I collapsed into what I thought was a pile of snow, but turned out to
be a big pile of sugar discarded by the Slushie Shop on the grounds that it
was infested by Cootys.
Once I finally got the insects out of my clothes... and hair... and..., well
you get the picture. Once I got cleaned up, Detrivore had shown up with the
Slushies. Unfortunately, his intense heat had first melted them, then boiled
them so that my Cheery Rainbow Slushie was now Cheery Rainbow Vapor wafting
up towards the summit. It was then I realized that Detrivore was actually not
the right pet to bring.
Purchasing a Chia Pop was my last hope. Nothing cools you down like a frozen
Chia Pop, right? Apparently so, as it was completely packed full of users who
were willing to do whatever it took to get a magical Chia Pop so they could
turn their Chias into vegetables.
That’s right. Vegetables. And fruits. I don’t quite understand the reasoning
behind this; perhaps they want to make their pets more appealing for Balthazar
before he eats them. At any rate, the whole of Happy Valley was like this; chock
full of tourists and no way anywhere to cool myself off. Sweltering heavily
from the sunlight, (and possibly Detrivore, who was carving a path through the
snow like a Million Degree Sword through a pile of snow.) I ventured into the
Ice Caves, hoping to cool down.
There’s not too much in the Ice Caves. You can buy an Icy weapon from the Ice
Crystal Emporium (apparently their principle is that you can’t get Ice anywhere
else, most of all in the ICE caves,) or you can buy a Negg from the Neggery.
It doesn’t make much sense for tropical fruits to be growing in the middle of
a glacier, but I didn’t care. I wanted to see the Snowager.
For those of you who are, I don’t know, allergic to ice, and have never been
to Terror Mountain, I’ll explain. The Snowager is a big nasty worm who lives
deep in the Ice Caves in a secret (supposedly it’s secret, but the entrance
is right next to the Scratchcard Kiosk, and is noticeable by the big worm head
sticking out,) cavern, atop a pile of neggs that seemingly regenerates, as Neopians
are constantly stealing from it. If you want, you can enter the cave when he’s
sleeping to try to take a Negg yourself. This would be perfect except for the
teensy habit the Snowager has of waking up and blasting you across the caverns,
freezing you to the side of the Neggery, where the Negg Faerie has to peel you
off with a Plastic Butter Knife.
Normally, that’s bad. But I didn’t care, as the Snowager’s breath seemed mighty
good compared to the sweltering heat outside, which was now up to the point
where plushie pets burst into flame in direct sunlight, and Snow Pets would
more aptly be named Puddle Pets. Unfortunately, luck was not on my side, as
the Snowager was asleep. Asleep as the sleeping Turmaculus, asleep as the beast
within Mystery Island, asleep as a sleeping Shoyru sleeping under the Sleep
Faerie’s Sleep shop with a Sleep Grenade in one hand. OK, that last one was
going a bit far. But nothing could wake the Snowager up. We poked. We prodded.
Detrivore melted a hole measuring six cubic meters in his side. But nothing
worked. Cursing my terrible luck, I slid down off a giant mound of Fish Neggs
and headed to the summit of the mountain.
A couple of specialty shops make up the main attractions of the Mountain. Example
is Tarla’s Shop of Mystery, which sells random items in bags for high prices.
Normally I’d critique this, but I realized how jealous I am. I want to open
a shop where people pay me hundreds of Neopoints for my junk items. Heh... conning
people is fun. But the bag that I bought didn’t have a snowball in it, only
a boring platinum dubloon, so I chucked it out and continued my Snow Search.
I thought the Snow Faerie could help me, but there was unfortunately a sign
on the door saying something about how she was away at a business meeting for
the ‘HATIC’ plot. I didn’t know what that was, but I was betting it didn’t stand
for ‘Hits Anyone’s Torso with Icy Coolness’ which was all I wanted. So on we
The Snow Foods place was sold out and no matter how many times I shoved the
Tuskaninny off the Cliff, it didn’t make me feel any better. So I tried my last
hope: Mika and Carassa’s place.
Mika and Carrasa are two Chias moving away from Terror Mountain. They have
to empty their attic first, though, as everyone knows you can’t take anything
with you when you move, duh. So for the last several years they’ve been holding
a huge garage sail with a seemingly bottomless source of items and foods from
their attic. Many people have asked where all these items come from. Others
have asked why Mike and Carrasa are hanging around for so long. Not nearly enough
have asked how an igloo can have an attic. My question was none of these. We
went inside and here’s how the conversation went.
Me: Do you have any cheap snowballs for sale?
Mike&Carrasa: AAAAHHHH!!! OUR HOUSE IS MELTING! GET THAT DRAIK OUT OF HERE!
Yes, Detrivore had completely melted the Igloo. I thought it would be a good
idea to get away as fast as possible so I jumped on a makeshift raft (Mika&Carrasa:
HE’S STEALING OUR MATTRESS!!), grabbed a couple of makeshift oars, (Mike&Carrasa:
HE’S STEALING OUR SPATULAS!!) and something to use as a makeshift rudder. (Carrasa:
HE’S STEALING MIKE!!) Then I paddled away on the roaring waterfall from the
melted Igloo, (leaving Mika and Carrasa behind to rebuild their home so they
can continue trying to leave it,) and shot off the top of Terror Mountain, flew
through the air and landed smack in the middle of: The Lost Desert.
I know, the irony hit me too. (And you might question how I could fly several
hundred miles on a mattress, but hush. This is a good story.) But the funny
thing is, I actually got cooled down in the Desert; the Fruit Machine exploded
with heat friction due to Detrivore and blasted me with Bagguss Juice. So all’s
well that ends well.
And my final word on Terror Mountain? Meh. Okay, I guess, though somewhat crowded.
I know I’m going to spend my vacations somewhere a little cooler and colder,
like the Mystery Island Volcano, or the Tyrannia Volcano, or Detrivore’s room.
No, maybe not that last one. I don’t want to get too hot.