On the Validity of Zapped Petpets
Since some petpet species and colours can only be obtained via the petpet Lab Ray or created with the petpet Lab Ray exclusively, I think that validates all zapped petpets as legitimate Neopian creatures. Calling zapped petpets names and saying they are not 'real' or not as ‘special’ as their bought version is ridiculous!
(Owners of Baby Neopets and those Pets, petpets and petpetpets of a slightly nervous disposition might want to distract them with food or a toy for a moment while they read the next section.)
I have got news for you Neopet owners out there who scorn defenceless, zapped petpets and ridicule them for not being ‘real’ - none of us are 'real', you know!
Hello? Pixels? Virtual? Besides which, name-calling really is not very nice and you should be ashamed of yourselves!
(OK, it is now safe for any Pets, petpets and petpetpets you have sidetracked – for their own safety - to carry on reading over your shoulder.)
However, this elitism that has established itself around the origin of a petpet’s species is becoming irritating. Let us imagine your dream Pet was a Faerie Draik. If the Lab Ray zapped your lowly Lab Rat into a gorgeous Faerie Draik, you would not like it very much if people went around saying, "Oh well, what a pity it is not a real Pet though." Actually, the whole ‘it’ reference would annoy me; whatever therapy a Pet may be undergoing as a result of constant gender-changes administered by the Secret Lab Ray could be catastrophically undone with a careless comment like that. Referring to a Neopet as an ‘it’ is simply not acceptable. They are all a ‘he’ or a ‘she’ so remember that before you use the ‘it’ word carelessly and hurt a Pet’s feelings.
And what about avatar petpets? I will bet that the issue of whether a petpet is 'real' or not pales into insignificance if the Petpet Lab Ray happens to zap yours into a species you need for an avatar, does it not? All of a sudden, when your humble, aged Abominable Snowball becomes a beautiful Quadrapus, things seem a little different, do they not? Besides which, some people like having a Pile of Soot for their Pet’s petpet and you can only get one of those from the Lab Ray (makes mental note to check if a Pile of Soot is eligible for and has ever won the PPL award and resolves to rectify that situation if the findings are negative).
Then there are those amongst us who claim that a zapped petpet is a lazy achievement. Excuse me? Lazy? Now look here; to get the Petpet Lab Map involves getting the Secret Lab Map first, which is tediously difficult to collect from REs and over half a million NP to buy outright! Once you have that, only then can you use the Petpet Lab Map, which you also have to collect over time (unless you actually have the NP to go out and buy it - although at least it is a little cheaper than the Secret Laboratory Map). And what about the various petpets you have to buy? Brave little souls who risk life and limb (OK, not always limbs...) to serve your quest for perfection.
Regular petpets are something you can buy/sell/trade, so TNT fixed it so that their zapped brethren can't be taken off to be sold and mess up the Neopian economy. Well, you can't sell Pets either (thank goodness) so I guess that puts zapped petpets up there with them, does it not? The only differences between zapped Pets and petpets is that I can distinguish is that you cannot move the little zap-ees about independently of the Pet they were attached to when they were zapped (or they will do a Cinderella at Midnight on you) and they are marked with a zap flash (which should be a badge of honour, not a stigma) - that's the only way you can tell.
I conclude that in terms of their validity as petpets (regardless of rarity) all petpets are equal (although the Meepits do seem to think that some are more equal than others, which needs watching...). Calling zapped petpets names and turning your noses up at them is simply not nice and probably a little dangerous. Just you try calling a Jelly Meepit a phoney... I dare you!
(A side-account Lab Rat – currently a Rainbow Kacheek with a Blue Quadrapus petpet and yes, he is zapped and I am proud)
(a suggestion to redress the balance)
There are a great many Pet owners in Neopia who have petpets with petpetpets attached. Petpetpets, unlike Pets and petpets, can neither be painted nor zapped and must remain their original colour and species. Pet owners spend great chunks of time (sometimes days) refreshing their Inventory, trying to get (sometimes expensive) petpetpets to attach to their active Pet’s petpet, knowing that the Pant Devil or the Grundo Leader could strike at any moment and, once they succeed, they will have to keep the petpet attached to the same Pet or lose the petpetpet forever! Gulp!
Hypothetically speaking, ‘if’ a Petpetpet Laboratory was to be discovered on Neopia and it was found that petpetpets could be zapped into different species or even colours that were exclusive to that Laboratory’s Petpetpet Ray, I think it would be an extremely popular feature. In addition, if TNT never, ever brought out a Petpetpet Paint Brush, then Petpetpet Lab Ray zapped petpetpets would be the only way to create those ‘special’ colours and perhaps detract from the plight of petpets who are considered not to be ‘real’ – the poor, little things.