BRIGHTVALE – I don’t know about you, but when I first saw Brightvale, I liked
it. From the beautiful landscape and intelligent atmosphere to the pleasant shops
and Wheel of Knowledge, I fell in love with the place. But there was also this
weird feeling in the back of my mind about it. Everything just seemed too perfect,
too smart and precise. Too… normal. And normal in Neopia is a very strange thing.
Very strange indeed.
You see, each world has it’s problems. Brightvale’s neighbor, Meridell, has
had to fight wars against Darigan and then Lord Kass. Mystery Island had the
volcano mystery a little while back. Kreludor and the Space Station have Dr.
Sloth to deal with, and Faerieland has Jhudora as a pain on their wings. Neopia
Central’s bank keeps getting robbed, while Terror Mountain has a bad record
of piano avalanches during garage sales. Krawk Island is plagued with pesky
pirates. The Lost Desert is simply lost, the Haunted Woods is simply haunted,
and Tyrannia has that ever annoying Wheel of Monotony that makes everyone go
nuts! So yeah, every place has it’s problems. Which makes it even stranger that
Brightvale doesn’t. What do I think? I think this whole smartness thing is covering
for something. Here’s why:
To begin let’s take the name of the kingdom: Brightvale. “Bright” obviously
stands for “smart” and “vale” can be defined as a “valley”. So we get “Smart
Valley”. But let’s look beyond that. “Vale” and “veil” are homophones. (For
those of you who need to spin the Wheel of Knowledge a few more times, homophones
are words that sound identical but are spelled differently.) And a “veil” is
a “shroud”. We can also take “bright” the other way, as in a “bright light”.
Now what do we get? “Bright Shroud” – a shroud of light to cover over something.
The first time I saw King Hagan, I didn’t even think he was a Skeith. I don’t
know why, but when I looked at him I saw, believe it or not, Darigan. Now when
I look at the wise King I wonder why in Neopia I saw what I saw, but as I think
about it, it almost makes sense. Hagan and Darigan both end with “gan”. That’s
not much to go on but it’s a start. Besides, King Hagan is apparently wise,
and I don’t know my Meridell history, but Darigan must intelligent, too. Right?
So, who knows? Maybe it IS Darigan. We don’t know what happened to Darigan after
the last war with Meridell, do we? If it isn’t him, who could it be? Sloth?
Ha, now THAT would be ridiculous! Surely Sloth is smarter than that!
Next comes the question of why Brightvale’s castle is so big. I mean, Meridell’s
Castle is puny in comparison! What’s King Hagan hiding in that huge place of
his? Maybe nothing. Maybe he spent so much money just building the massive structure
that he now has no Neopoints left to furnish it. That reminds me of when I spent
tons of hard-earned Neopoints building my Neohome and didn’t have any money
left over for furniture. But no, it’s not entirely empty. You’ll find some nice
dust in there and occasionally a Spyder will call the place home.
Anyway, if there IS something in King Hagan’s colossal castle, I bet it’s tons
of Neopoints from all those shops! There are a total of seven shops in Brightvale,
and most of them are quite pointless. Take the book shop, for instance. Do we
really need more books? Every time I think my pets are close to reading all
the book in Neopia, five new books magically appear in a puff of green smoke.
Then there’s the Scrollery, the Armoury, and the Potionery, all of which I haven’t
visited because I’m too busy trying to keep up with all the new books magically
appearing in Neopian shops. I also haven’t walked into Fruits of Brightvale
yet either. Basically, because my pets prefer junk food, and well, so do I.
There’s also a shop called Brightvale Motery, and I still don’t understand what
that’s all about. What in Neopia is a mote and how did they get here? I guess
they just magically appeared in a puff of green smoke like everything else.
There is one shop, however, that seems to be worthwhile: Brightvale Glaziers,
the window shop. But then again, do we really NEED windows? We’ve always lived
without windows in our Neohomes, and never before has it mattered. We’ve just
used our imaginations and pretended windows were there. But since the discovery
of windows, we no longer have to use our imaginations and will become dim-witted
while our Neohomes become brighter! Remember, if ya don’t use it, ya lose it!
Then, of course, there is the Wheel of Knowledge. It costs WAY too many Neopoints
for what you get out of it. Examples are a pathetic berry, tips on games you
don’t even play, and the worst – a wise but worthless saying from King Hagan.
The best prize to get from the wheel is a window, and it’s sure to make you
dim-witted. So if you get one don’t put it in your Neohome, instead put it in
your shop for a lot of money so that someone who’s already dim-witted will buy
it and add to their dim-wittedness. Also, if you get to spin again, you must
pay an additional 500 Neopoints. Haven’t they heard of a free spin?
There’s one more strange thing about Brightvale. Have you noticed that there
are no games? Yep, someone’s making a lot of money selling cheap stuff and stupid
sayings that he probably didn’t even come up with, and not giving any Neopoints
back to us poor Neopians!
So what does this all mean? It means that King Hagan is trying to furnish his
huge estate! Heh, no! It means that King Hagan is really Darigan or at least
some crazy evil green guy that’s raising Neopoints for a massive war against
all of Neopia. It will be easy for him to win because we will be stupid due
to putting windows in our Neohomes, and we won’t have money because we’ve spent
all our Neopoints on spinning the Wheel of Knowledge, which really isn’t making
us any smarter!
Now this doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop spinning the Wheel of Knowledge.
I’m too dim-witted from buying windows to know that I’m wasting my money. This
also doesn’t mean that you should stop going to Brightvale and buying from shops
there. It’s good for the economy, and if a war starts and Neopia’s destroyed
we’ll be too dim-witted to know anyway.