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Oh, Joy, I'm Unhappy


by nut862

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Mood plays a central role in your pet’s life. After all, keeping your pet fed and happy is a big part of what everything is about, right? Nobody wants to have unhappy pets, especially when they sit on your user lookup crying mournfully in plain sight, declaring to all the world what a bad owner you are.

Pets are very unreasonable when it comes to their mood. They’ll sit quietly while you let their hunger hover around Dying all day, so long as you don’t expect them to go into the Battledome, but as soon as you let their mood sink a little, they’re up in arms about it.

What Makes Pets Unhappy

The strangest things cause pets to get unhappy: lack of food, for one. I guess that since Neopets can’t die from hunger, they decided to go for the next best thing and have it make their mood go down. Admittedly, that’s almost as bad. I suppose it would make sense that food and mood would be connected. They do rhyme, after all, and any budding poet who has observed “sky”, “fly”, and “high” can appreciate this. (“Ogrin” and “No chin” will continue to stump rhymesters.)

A common cause of unhappiness is sickness, and I’m not just talking about NeoBlues here. The second your pet contracts a disease, its mood plummets. One little germ destroys all your efforts to keep your pet happy. All those hours spent playing with Neonip… wasted!

You can cure your pet’s illness, but no number of visits to the Healing Springs will get its mood back up to the max. You’ll have to dig out that Neonip toy and spend lots of genuine quality time with your pet to make it happy again. And if the Neonip critter has somehow gotten a Mootix in it during the time it was buried under the Fly Pie in your Safety Deposit Box, don’t come running to me when your pet comes down with Itchy Scratchies. Be more careful what toys you keep around the house next time, and I don’t just mean Malevolent Sentient Poogle Plushies.

Another cause of unhappiness is the Battledome. For my Shoyru, at least, this seems to be true. She seems more depressed every time she comes home soaked in snot and covered with bruises from another unsuccessful fight with Meuka. I guess I wouldn’t like being in that situation much, either, but what I don’t get is why winning a fight doesn’t make her happy. Pets these days are just never satisfied!

I don’t see why she should have any more fun with a Neonip toy than the Inflatable Balthazar. I don’t dare suggest giving up the Battledome, though, because she says she loves it, and we all know that forcing someone to lose something they love only sends them into a downward spiral of depression. Seems pretty similar to the effect of losing a fight with Meuka. It’s a no-win situation.

One big cause of unhappiness is--are you ready for this?--unhappiness! That’s right, if your pet is unhappy, its mood is just going to get worse over time. You’ll save yourself a lot of extra trouble by making your pet happy as soon as you can. As soon as you see that mood slip down to Unhappy, get into happifying mode. Dress up as the Chia Clown and make silly faces, hire a faerie to lift your pet’s spirits with her magic… I don’t care how you do it--just make that pet happy!

Just don’t hire the Grey Faerie, because she doesn’t have any magic, so she won’t be much help. And don’t hire the Happiness Faerie either. I don’t trust her.

The Consequences of Unhappiness

At some point in the distant and blissful past, unhappiness didn’t matter much. Unless you cared about keeping your pet well and happy (what an idea!), you didn’t need to worry if your Blumaroo suddenly slipped into a state of depression. Then a bunch of upstart pets who apparently were unhappy because no one noticed that they were unhappy (imagine that) decided to punish the careless owners for their negligence.

How did they do this? With random events, of course--the things that make up the fear or wishes of all Neopians. It was a brilliant idea, really; through random events, you can get all of Neopia to do just about anything you want. (I’m pretty sure that the creators of the Safety Deposit Box secretly employ the Pant Devil, the Shadow Usul, and Dr. Sloth and his sludging ray.)

The first random event that these pets created in the hopes of nudging Neopia’s negligent owners into caring for their pets was a simple one, in which your pet comes up to you and declares, with their best guilt-inducing voice, “You don’t play with me enough!” They even tacked on a sad smiley face in case the owner missed the point.

Unfortunately for them, Neopia’s owners didn’t pay attention to this event, only yelling, “When’s Jacko going to show up with my paint brush?” and moving on. The event, they found, was also rather unconvincing, especially when your Delighted! Quiggle appears with a giant grin on his face and bounces around the room as he happily shouts the words of it. Okay, Quiggler, you can stop now… really.

The second event these pets came up with hit the mark, and hit hard. In this event, your pet comes up to you, gives you its most woeful gaze, and promptly turns blue. Owners of White pets immediately found themselves looking to the sky for pranksters with buckets of paint, but sadly, this is not a joke. If your pet is anything less than delighted, there is a chance that its costly Royal paint job will be replaced with plain, common blue.

Worse, your pet will get so upset at having lost their beloved colored coat that you’ll have to listen to their crying for days. I hope after paying for that Royal Paint Brush, you have enough money left to buy a pair of earplugs.

Owners everywhere went into a frenzy and dragged their depressed pets off to Roo Island and forced them to ride on the Merry-Go-Round several dozen times without stopping. The perpetrators of the now-dreaded “blue” random event were so happy to see their success that they came out with another event that’s just as devastating.

Appropriately dubbed the “red” event, the owner who finds himself in this unfortunate situation will watch as his toy-deprived pet becomes so angry that it turns a bright red. Don’t bother trying to scrape the red off your pet’s skin--it’s permanent. Don’t scrape too deep either, or you might end up with an even unhappier bright pink pet.

What Makes Pets Happy

With those two random events floating around Neopia, owners should have more than enough incentive to keep their pets’ moods in check. The question now is… how to do it?

Toys have long been Neopia’s reliable source of happiness. I can understand why--after all, they’re so cute and adorable and huggable and lovable… Ehm. If you can keep from snatching all those sweet plushies up for yourself, your pet will be more than happy to engage in a game of tea party with Miss Pink Poogle Toy and Sir Plushie Jeran with you.

It can get tedious, however, to sit there shoving your toys in your pet’s face for several minutes. After a while, your pet will get bored. (Their attention span usually outlasts yours.) My Shoyru says that if I show her that babyish Neonip critter one more time, she’ll throw it and me out the window. I think all that time she spends in the Battledome is making her violent.

Another way to make your pet happy is to bring it to Roo Island and pay a small fee to let it ride on the Merry-Go-Round. You even get to watch the carousel spin around while your pet is riding. This seems like a fun and cheap way to make your pet happy, but be warned that if your pet is really unhappy, it will take a lot of rides to make it cheerful again. If you’re a cheapskate like me, those 50 NP fees will add up. Not only that, but your pet will emerge from the Merry-Go-Round walking in dizzy circles and clutching their stomach.

According to the mood readout, pets enjoy nausea, but according to my Shoyru’s baleful glares at me after she emerged from the bathroom, I would’ve been better off with the Neonip toy.

Certain games, ones where you interact with your pet, also make your pet happy. However, I’ve found that while these games are pleasing to pets, owners are another matter. After several terrifying episodes where I thought my Shoyru would be lost forever in the Ice Caves, I had to give up Kacheek Seek. The doctor said it was bad for my nerves, not to mention my bones-- ice is awfully slippery.

And while my Quiggle loved playing Guess the Card, my cash reserves were groaning from his seeming lack of psychic abilities. Maybe I’ll try that game with the Kyrii fortuneteller someday--though I have a feeling he wouldn’t be much better.

This isn’t to say that I’m a bad owner who doesn’t care about her pets’ happiness. I assure you that all three of my painted pets are in a simply Delighted! mood right now. As for my Shoyru, I’m enjoying the time that she’s still a basic blue. As soon as she gets that million-NP paint job I’ve had my sights on, I’ll live in fear of the “blue” and “red” random events just like everyone else. I’ll buy an annual pass to the Roo Island Merry-Go-Round, and take my Shoyru there all the time. And while I’m at it, I’ll find out if Neonip Critters are sold in bulk. I think the one I had got a Mootix in it when she threw it out the window.

 
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