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Heroing How-To

by neesboy


Simply put, they are Neopia’s elite. They keep things running smoothly, saving the world on occasion if necessary. No job is too big or too small. They have dealt with ghosts, ghouls, monsters, and megalomaniacs. Yes, they are the Lawyerbot’s attorney squad! Wait a second... all right, very funny. Who wrote on my Neopian Times entry? Let’s try that again. Yes, they are the Defenders of Neopia!

Led by Neopia’s most experienced crime fighter, Judge Hog, the Defenders have been protecting Neopians for years. Indeed, it is difficult to remember a time when they weren’t around to assist those in trouble. While they are not officially taking claim, it is rumored that the Defenders are also the reason behind the notorious Dr. Frank Sloth’s recent lack of activity.

I am here today in an attempt to help answer the second most commonly asked question concerning the Defenders: how do I get in? (The first was “Can I get an autographed robot Sloth clone head?” and would make for a far less interesting article.) While the Defenders of Neopia are unparalleled in their successes, it is not an easy job, and retirement often rolls around prematurely as superheroes find themselves incapable of putting up with the strenuous barrage of radioactive emissions, fireballs, electric shocks, and corny puns thrown at them by villains. The Defenders are always looking for brave new recruits to take on the mask and mantle of a hero.

The first step towards an illustrious position in the comic books is training. While it is well known that potential recruits require a great deal of expertise in Defender Trainer, a number of other games provide necessary skills that can possibly save one’s life- and career- at some point in the future. In order to get used to evil robots, nothing works better than Carnival of Terror. The mass-produced Chia clown robots never stop coming. Ever. Pilots aiming to emulate Captain K should consider spending time with Neverending Boss Battle as well as The Return of the Return of Doctor Sloth to hone their skills.

There is, however, one game that all Defenders-in-training should grow accustomed to. Evil Fuzzles from Beyond the Stars is a perfect blend of countless aspects of the job. It combines a close working knowledge of advanced electronic systems and bombs with acclimation to midsize and overwhelming hordes, on top of the janitorial proficiency needed to obtain an intern position.

Naturally, sheer training is rarely enough to become a superhero. While a few, including Judge Hog, get by on nothing more than practice, a few dozen gadgets up the belt, and a handy catch phrase, most rely on a knack for defying conventional physics. Obtaining a super power is a very important step, and should be approached carefully. Accidents do happen, but only if you’re very lucky.

Several options present themselves to those who do not possess any ability naturally. Vats of toxic bubbling radioactive sludge were the traditional method for many years, until it was discovered that these were potentially hazardous to one’s health. Healthier alternatives include a steady diet of glowing jelly with vitamin supplements, regular labbing, obscure Geraptikuian or Qasalan curses, and technological implants. The last of these is discouraged, given the general prevalence of electricity among the arsenals of even very minor-league “villains” such as humorously infamous Mr. Chuckles. Suitable obscure curses are more reliable, but may have undesired side effects, such as turning the cursee’s tongue neon orange.

Upon mastering basic training skills, memorizing the entirety of both DoN comic series, and obtaining a power, it’s time to put all the pieces together. Fill out the Official Defenders Job Application, and submit your résumé. Be sure to include any abilities, with the exception of those involving famous speeches, enunciation, and large quantities of Achyfi. List any known weaknesses as well as suggested countermeasures. Finally, include any relevant high scores, excluding those, like Qasalan Caper, that indicate an aptitude for crime. For those wondering, padding your résumé only seems like a good idea until it is discovered a few stories up on a training flight that you cannot, in fact, fly.

Applicants considered potential hero material will be called in for an interview. You can expect to be tested on your knowledge of heroing techniques, general aptitude in a mock mission, physical condition, and capacity for coming up with witty rejoinders under pressure. Just remember that you will be fine as long as you don’t worry. Interviewers can smell fear.

Once you pass the interview, it is vitally important to keep in mind that an internship position at the DoN HQ is not like that of an ordinary intern. Productivity is key. You will not be wasting time doing menial tasks like fetching a cup of coffee. Fetching a cup of highly unstable Faerillium compound from the laboratory level is of course another matter altogether. Training is also integrated into everyday work. Any intern will be expected to keep their working space clean and tidy while under heavy laser fire, run errands while under heavy laser fire, and take lunch break under medium laser fire. (The laser firing team has staggered lunch breaks to avoid providing merely light fire at any given time.)

Interns will also be taken on training missions during the course of their position. During these, the hero you are assigned to will rely on you to manage any electronic devices important to the mission, occasionally take out a few troublesome henchmen, and provide them with a snappy comeback if they are unable to counter an insult dealt by the villain. On rare occasions, the hero may need rescuing to varying degrees. In this situation, it is your duty to spring into action without hesitation and call somebody capable of handling whatever it was that was capable of temporarily defeating your designated hero.

When a position opens up, do not assume that it will be able to fill it by default. The interns with the best track record in all applicable areas will be asked to submit an alias and costume design for consideration. Composing one’s own theme song as well is generally frowned upon. Aliases should be descriptive, short, and avoid excessive similarity with any existing alter egos. Every year, the Defenders of Neopia are forced to turn down several Quiggles and Nimmos for applying as ‘Judge Frog.’ Costumes must include a snazzy logo, value function over form, and include at least one oversized belt for assorted gadgets, devices, and keys.

Congratulations! You are now well on your way to joining the incomparably colossal coalition of crime-fighting crusaders. Neopia needs you- or at least, could use you to fill a position they need. So what are you waiting for? Get training!

For anybody with a superhero Neopet and a petpage for them, please contact Neesboy to be registered in a directory and receive a shiny superhero license. Hope you enjoyed the article!

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