Something Fishy About the National Neopian
Most of us have grown to know and love the National Neopian. Represented by an
Ionic column wearing a triangular hat on the yellow shop scroll, it gives us a
chance to hide our money from thieves such as the Tax beast and to collect interest.
We are greeted each time we enter by a kind-of-reluctant-looking Skeith who says
something polite, refined, and ignored as we scroll down to deposit our money.
For those who are uncomfortable carrying around all of their money wherever they
go, the bank is a haven that no words can describe. But, as with all things we
respect and admire, we begin to grow suspicious as time goes on. The bank may
have been a nice, normal virtual bank (as far as virtual banks go) back in the
golden days when people under thirteen were considered mature enough to write
descriptions about their pets. Nowadays, one domineering piece of evidence shows
us that the bank isn't really what we think it is - the game Trouble at the
This game is a clear tribute to our beloved bank and the Neopians who wish
to guard it from danger. I personally enjoy it - catching thieves, intentionally
misusing the security system when I lose a life on level one, and getting freaked
out by the Quiggle. I like the Quiggle. But as I continued playing, I became
aware of how strange the National Neopian had become. People needing only to
walk in through the door to deposit money, with no tellers? Tax-beast-phobes
who deposit money every time they earn a single-digit number of Neopoints? Thieves
dressed super-conspicuously and entering in the most obvious manner possible?
A security system that lets thieves out within the second they were captured?
And why do the thieves steal money from you instead of the bank? Why would the
Skeith, who seems to be the sole employee in this bank which hundreds of thousands
of people visit daily, let this game make a mockery of his bank?
Perhaps it's a warning to us that the bank may not be as safe as we think.
Then again, it's impossible to rob a virtual bank with no accessible vaults,
and definitely not by entering through the door, wearing a ski mask, and looking
threatening. After earning a few Neopoints, I decided to investigate the bank
again. The Skeith gave me the same automated response and glared slightly to
my left, showing off his blue striped tie draped over his hand. Why doesn't
he like looking people in the eye? And why is withdrawing too many times a crime,
yet depositing too many times is not? Other than the bank being almost completely
surrounded by advertisements, I felt comfortable here and decided there was
nothing to be skeptical about inside the normal bank. But this bank-clone that
we try to defend from obvious attackers was still pretty suspicious.
I call it a bank-clone because it is, obviously, some mutated form of our
beloved bank gone wrong. Here is a short list of the things that distinguish
it from the non-Flash version:
1. The sign reads "Neopian National Bank" instead of "National Neopian Bank,"
as the title says. Is this vandalism, or the creator's way of distinguishing
this one from an entirely different bank? Suggested by the different material
put into making this sign, it was probably put up by vandals.
2. The structure of the bank in the game and in Neopia Central are completely
different in every aspect except for the triangular roof... part... thing. What
is it called? The game bank has a cool chimney-like hat, while the regular bank
looks kind of like a mushroom.
3. The food shop and auction house are not visible next to the game bank, and
there is also a pavement path in the game. That one door in the front magically
becomes six doors.
The game bank is clearly some kind of alternate-dimension form of the National
Neopian, maybe from some mirror world, yet they are so interchangeable that
we sometimes refer to the game as "the National Neopian" and refer to the real
National Neopian as "the bank." (The hatted Ionic column may also be an alternate
dimension form, but I have recognized it as their mascot, Mr. Ionic Hatty, who
is POSING as a bank.) But someone decided to use this alternate dimension bank
in the game, and someone chose to create it. Our suspicion moves from determining
whether the game bank is really the National Neopian, which it is clearly not,
to figuring out why the freaky alternate dimension bank was used instead of
the real one. Why would the bank refused to be recognized in the only game to
feature a Neopia Central shop and use a clone instead? Who would move the spotlight
from our beloved bank?
After a number of scientific experiments which mostly consisted of me determining
the effects of ingested jelly on jelly Chombies and ingested jelly Chombies
on jelly, I have determined that green jelly has special powers over the other
colors. And then I started thinking about the bank again. We get a clearer view
of the inside of that column with a hat by playing the game, yet it might not
be the actual bank. It's hard to tell. The entire bank-clone used in the game
may have been developed by the Skeith as revenge for us a) not greeting him
back and b) not admiring his tie. Freaking us out that the bank is unsafe and
strangely run is a harmless form of revenge for our ingratitude. Maybe a criminal
mastermind was trying to alert us about what they have in store for the bank.
Maybe some guy that makes plastic swans for a living got tired of making plastic
swans and decided to make a replica of the bank for us to play in. Or maybe
it was a maker of virtual doors.
Or maybe, I'm just inventing random conspiracies and the game was developed
by a group of people, including some Flash experts, who thought this was a cool
idea and would entertain us.