To Lab Or Not To Lab
To lab or not to lab. That is a very important question to ask yourself before you go all out and buy those expensive secret map pieces. What will you use the lab ray for? Will spending all that money be worth it? Would it be easier to just buy a paintbrush for your pet? In some cases, yes; in some cases, no.
If you want to train your pet, buying codestones is usually a pretty effective method. But it can be extremely expensive if you want a really strong pet. A codestone will cost around 3000-5000 neopoints, sometimes more. And you will be needing loads of them. Another way to get codestones is through Key Quest prizes and through random events, but you won't always get codestones as a prize and random events are hard to come by. So you say to yourself, what is an easier way?
The Secret Laboratory!
But the Secret Lab can be used for other things too, like changing your pet’s gender, species or colour. Because you only get one zap a day on any one of your pets, it might take you a while before your pet becomes the strongest Neopia has ever seen. They may not become stronger straight away, but over time they will be.
So? Should I buy the secret map pieces?
If you want it to make your pet a certain colour, then no. It would probably be MUCH easier to just save up and buy that paintbrush. Unless you want a lab only colour (custard, jelly, alien, chocolate, coconut, garlic, clay, mallow, ice, robot, MSP, sponge, snot), because the only other way to get these is through fountain faerie quests. But if you don't really care what colour or species your pet becomes, then go right ahead! Because eventually you will find one that you want to stick with.
Now to find the pieces!
This can become a quite tricky. There are a total of nine pieces, so don’t get your hopes up of getting access straight away. It will take time and money to start zapping your pets. Some pieces will go for 25000, while others can go for 250000. The pieces aren't numbered or labelled either, so you need to double check before you buy a new piece just in case you already have it. (I made that mistake!) Trust me, you don't want to get excited over getting the last piece when you suddenly discover that it was actually just the same piece you bought a few weeks ago. You also need to be careful that you don't overpay for your pieces. (Once again, I made that mistake too.) Always double check that the piece you are paying 200k for isn't being traded somewhere else for much less.
So where do I get my map pieces?
The Shop Wizard is a great place to start. The more you search, the more different pieces you will find. It might take you a while, but you should be able to find most of your pieces here, some as cheap as 15000! There are some pieces that you will only get on the trading post or auctions, however. These are the more expensive ones. I recommend that you start off buying the cheaper ones, then go for the more expensive map pieces. But some people prefer the other way around, or just buying them as you see them. On the trading post, you can sometimes find full maps up for trade. Most of the time, this will cost you WAY more than it's worth, but if you are lucky, you will be able to find a great deal. Some trades will even say that you can neomail the user to split the pieces if you are only looking for a specific piece. Just make sure that when you buy a piece, you put it in your Safety Deposit Box so the Pant Devil doesn't steal it from you! *shakes fists*
I have all the pieces... now what?
Now it's time to hand in your pieces to form the completed Secret Laboratory Map. Just go to the treasure map section in the games room, click on the laboratory map, and then click to hand your pieces in. It's that easy! But remember... once you hand in those map pieces, you can never get them back. So make sure that this is really what you want to do. If not, then I'm sure you could get all your money back and more by selling, trading and auctioning off your map pieces. But if you decide to go ahead with it...
WELCOME TO THE LABORATORY!
You will be greeted by the Mad Lab Ray Scientist. Then, it's off to choose which pet you will zap! Once you choose a pet, the following things can happen:
1. Your pet changes colour
2. Your pet changes species
3. Your pet changes gender
4. Your pet will gain or lose strength points
5. Your pet will gain or lose movement points
6. Your pet will gain or lose defence points
7. Your pet will gain or lose levels
8. Your pet will gain hit points
9. Your pet can return to level 1 (only if under level 20)
10. Or nothing happens at all
There are a lot of different outcomes. Your pet could be turned into a beautiful faerie pet. Or it could become a scary Darigan pet. It could gain levels and stats for months without ever being changed species or colour. It really is all up to chance.
So... is that it?
Nope. That is not all. After you have completed hunting down your secret lab map pieces, you can now try and get access to the Petpet Lab Ray! This lab is the same, but for your Petpet. It is a lot cheaper and easier to get these pieces. There are nine pieces in this map, just like the normal lab ray. The price difference is HUGE. Remember paying up to 300k for a piece? Not this time! Pieces are as low as 700 neopoints and prices usually don’t go over 3000.
So, are you sure that’s it?
YES! I AM SURE!!
So the question is, are you willing to take a chance? Are you willing to change your pet into to something better... or worse? Sure, the lab map is useful, but is it for you? Think about the above points before you make the decision.