Becoming a Spy
It’s deep within the heart of every Neopet. The need to be sneaky arises from time to time. It’s a dream shared by all--to be a spy. But, you can never seem to get there. You always get caught, you can’t seem to be quiet enough, and you lack that delicate reasoning. My friend, be disheartened no more, for the secrets about being a spy are about to be divulged.
Section I: The Spy Make Up
There are some favorable physical characteristics that many of the top class spies possess. First of all, the spy is naturally quiet. Quiet hands, quiet feet, quiet movements. This may be difficult for some Neopets to achieve because of their body build or nature. If you find yourself in this predicament, don’t worry. There are ways to practice your quiet steps. Begin with a creaky wooden staircase. As soon as you can climb the stairs under a minute with no sounds, advance to crackers dispersed about a room. When you can exit the room without a single cracker broken, continue on to slightly inflated balloons. After you have mastered the balloons, you will have become so super sneaky quiet, your siblings and owner may forget you exist (which, in this case, is good).
Second, the spy is usually small and slim. The fact that a Neopet is tall cannot be helped, but that does not mean he or she cannot continue in the spy business, especially if they have already mastered the Sneaky Feet (look into the bodyguard business as it pays well). But being slim can be accomplished by all. Cut back on your food portions and stay away from the Meat Feast Pizza Blocks. Substitute it with fruits and vegetables. Drop the Neocola and drink Achyfi (especially before any big stakeouts). Super charge your health with some delicious health shrooms. Work out every day with a nice jog or bike ride through your city or village (for winged pets, follow up with a fifteen minute flight to strengthen the wings and back muscles). Continue with your dietary and exercise regimens and you’ll be super sneaky slim in record time.
Section II: The Spy Disguise
No matter how quiet, small, or slim you may be, it is difficult to be a spy with just these three attributes. And, although no spy could be a spy without these foundational characteristics, no spy could be a spy without a masterful disguise.
As we begin from the top, we see that many famous spies have head shapes that are unknown to most. This because their head is always covered. Whether it be a hat (I recommend the Jazzmosis Hat), a fabric covering (dark colors such as purple, black, or crimson are ideal), or a hood (especially with a black cloak), the spy is always covered in the head. This assures that recognition from the back due to ears, fur color, etc., does not occur. Head coverings also do well to shade the face.
A common way of recognizing people is by their eyes. Many spies find sunglasses essential (Jazzmosis Glasses are favorably dark). If you choose to wear glasses, do well in choosing a pair. Stay away from gaudy colors, huge lenses, or funny frames. They are more likely to be a dangerous distraction instead of a devious disguise. Some spies have also gone the way of the mask. If you choose the mask over the glasses, be extra careful as well. A Kiko mask with arms and legs will not do and neither will a mutant Krawk mask with blue fur. Find a matching color and species in the shops or have on custom made (if asked why, simply say it is for a costume party--they’re all the rage nowadays).
It is desirable for a spy to have a cloak or cape of some sort. This is because a spy must have equipment (discussed in Section III). Many pockets, neutral colors, and a hood are favorable but not exactly necessary. I would recommend the Black Long Sleeved Cape, a Heavy Robe of Thievery (which is actually comfortably light and maneuverable), or a Regal Black Robe. Many of these capes and robes also double as armoury and are exclusive to exotic places such as Brightvale, which can make them pricy. If you have not the Neopoints or desire to purchase one of the recommended ones, a Simple Burlap Cloak can suffice.
Shoes or boots with super sneaky grip could be helpful when ducking between buildings and alleys. Black is a great color for shoes or boots, but again, neutral is key. Nimmos have the greatest advantage in that the Dark Nimmo boots are excellent for silent spy business. However, there are alternatives. Since not everyone is a Nimmo, a few of my roundabout favorites would be the Boots of Jumping or a nice pair of Fur Boots. Both pairs are covered in sound absorbing material, which make them great for super sneaky assignments. But these boots can be big and bulky, which may suit our taller Neopet bodyguards. The small and slim spies, however, may prefer the Leather Tooled Boots or plain old Wellington Boots (be sure they’re broken in so they don’t squeak). If you feel these price ranges are not suitable, then invest a few Neopoints in Old Rotten Boots (be sure to get the left and right). This pair is very budget friendly and well broken in so they’re nice, soft, and comfy. But be cautious as they may not last long (you may want to consider more than one pair if you go this route).
Last, but possibly the most important is disguising your inevitable characteristics. Scars, tattoos, accents, and other unique features can be dangerous giveaways if not dealt with properly. Scars and tattoos can be covered up make up (it's not only for the girls, you know). There are many different shades and colors which makes it perfect for finding the right one for your fur or scale color. Eyeshadow and Blush works well in covering fur. For the scaly skin, try one of the many Lipsticks, as it will stick better than the Blush.
Work on your accent by visiting many places. If you’re from Meridell, spend some time on Mystery Island and pick up the exotic accent. Learn the language, listen to the natives, and master their accent. Get a native’s help. They’ll critique you in pronunciation in order to get speaking like the natives. Learn the spooky tongue of the Haunted Woods or the gruff, choppy grunts of Tyrannia. If you have the Neopoints, invest in the book Extinct Neopian Languages and gain an accent only familiar to few in the Neopian World. Whatever you do, let it not be your own voice or language--it adds to the mystery of it all.
Section III: The Spy Equipment
A spy is known for his gadgets and the use thereof. There are some necessities for all spies and should be gained upon your decision to be a spy. All gadgets will be carried with you in your cloak, cape, or robe. Before you use any of your newly acquired gadgets professionally, be sure you comprehend the full use and potential of each and every one. If you’re having trouble mastering one of your gadgets, discontinue its use until you find a nearly equal replacement. Be sure all gadgets are in working order before going on a mission.
The first gadget is a Pocket Magnifying Glass and will be used often. Clues are important in the spy business and are the goal of any stakeout or mission. Its powerful lens is perfect for small details and its compact size is great for any pocket. You may consider investing in a small cloth or sack in order to put it in to keep the lens in perfect condition.
The next gadget will aid you getting where you need to go. An Inexpensive Aisha Pin is ideal in picking locks in that it's small, sharp, and fits into almost any lock in Neopia. And remember, in lock picking, it's all in the wrist. Be careful and gentle and it should spring right open.
Rope is a necessity in spy business, especially when sprung upon in surprise or in need of quick escape. Hannah’s Magic Rope is ideal, but it's pricy and not all spies (no matter how good the pay) will want to afford such an item. From my experience, the Meerca Brothers Toy Rope works nearly as well (except there’s no magic). Of course, a rope is just a rope without knowing how to use it. Visit Krawk Island pirates to learn to tie many types of knots which may aid you in the capture of the enemy or a fast getaway.
Of course, no spy is perfect and capture is inevitable. But, it does not need to be condemning. If locked in a dungeon, wait for clearance before picking the lock. If your paws or claws are tied behind your back, move into the fetal position, bring your hands below your feet and out in front you. To cut the rope, you will need something sharp. Every spy should a carry a dagger inside his cloak, preferably the sleeve if he is caught in a tight situation. But if your cloak has no sleeves or only short sleeves, place it just inside your shirt or cloak (be sure to buy a sheath or you could be in serious trouble if not careful). The Cobrall Dagger and the Intricate Qasalan Dagger are compact in size and price. Make a visit to the Lost Desert and you may even gain a new accent.
One last gadget is a pair of gloves. They aid in combat and keep you from leaving evidence of your existence. You may go for a species specific glove usually used for the Battledome or a pair of Basic Dueling Gloves made for all. Stay away from the Nimmo Boxing Gloves as they can be heavy and difficult to grasp with.
All other gadgets are luxury, but the aforementioned are necessary to any spy. Master these gadgets and you're well on your way to becoming a top class spy.
Section IV: The Spy Defense
Being a spy can be a dangerous job and is not for the weak in spirit. Before you sign with a super sneaky agency, be sure you can defend yourself well. Spies never attack unless attacked first (making the first move could blow your cover and get your badge and dignity stripped). Spend some time at the Mystery Island Training School or the Swashbuckling Academy (this is a great time to pick up a new language and accent) and sign up for intensive training (this is where your nutritional regimen comes in). Also, familiarize yourself with the Battledome by battling fellow Neopets (friendly fights, of course). No need to mention you’re training to become a spy. Tell them it's part of your new nutritional regimen (which it is). Observe your fellow Neopians’ fighting characteristics intensely. Learn how and what to block and learn when to attack. The faster you get to know a fighting style, the faster your reaction time becomes and the faster you can perfect your super sneaky fighting style. By the time you graduate from your school of choice, you should be able to take on any situation that should arise. (For those training to become bodyguards, graduation from the Secret Ninja Training School on Mystery Island is a massive plus and highly recommended).
Section V: The Spy Lingo
No matter what language you speak or what language you choose to learn, among spies, there is a universal language. Commonly called “spy lingo”, it consists of many secret phrases used amongst the greatest and the least of spies. It is considered the only safe communication when speaking of missions and thus makes it a vital part of becoming a spy. Read them, learn them, memorize them, digest them. You will use them for the rest of your spy career.
Agent - A spy (see Pteri Watcher)
Cooked - A false/true mix of information provided to the enemy
Cover - The false image taken on by a spy
Double Agent - Serves for two parties (usually enemies of each other)
Blown - The discovery of true purpose of something (an identity or mission)
Ears Only - Information so secret it cannot be written down
Eyes Only - Information that is to be read, but not discussed
Lupe Pack - A stakeout team
Pet Sitter - Bodyguard
Pteri Feed - bait information given to the enemy to gain credibility between enemy and spy
Pteri Watcher - A spy (see Agent); usually used in Meridell or Brightvale
Snorkle - Traitor
Symol - A spy sent in to gain information through employment
Now knowing the secrets of spy business, you may now begin your journey as a spy-in-training. Remember, be super sneaky, always observant, and ready for anything. Master the ways of the spy and you’re sure to be top notch. Suspect everyone and overlook nothing. You never know what lies behind a dark corner.
Author’s note: This article is labeled “EYES ONLY” and must be disposed of immediately after examination. I am in no way responsible for what your Neopets attempt after the perusing of this paper.