The Games Room--A How To Guide
As you step tentatively through Neopia, your precious pet starts tugging your sleeve. Startled, you look up to catch a glimpse of the word on the door- Games- before you're dragged into the bustling room.
Startled, you look around at the barrage of colors that blinded you as your eyes begin to adjust, and you take a hesitant step forward to where your Kau is already in line at a booth titled Kass Basher. "Come on, Mommy!" he yelps. "This is the best game in Neopia! I don't wanna lose my spot!"
"So, you've come across the game room, huh? It might seem intimidating at first, but I'm here to help you," comes a voice from behind you. You spin around to find a short brunette standing behind you. "Hi, I'm Fictionalism. Are you confused? Startled? Frightened?" She laughs at your puzzled face and pulls you over to a spilling desk. "You can call me Fictionalism. I'm basically an assistant here."
"Hi, Fictionalism," you manage to choke out. "Where am I?"
"You're a newbie, huh?" She shakes her head. "I've been here for six years and I've never managed to get used to the crowds of people who burst in here looking startled. Don't worry. This will all explain it to you."
She pulls your hand and with a vague idea of escape forming at the back of your mind, you timidly walk with her towards a booth labeled with a shiny "Featured Game!" header. Its scrolling marquee blares "Double NP Awarded!" as the exasperated cashier sits next to it, doling out neopoints as fast as she can.
"Here! Here! No, no, that was last month. The ratio has changed. Don't use that tone of voice with me! I'm not in charge here," she says hurriedly. Turning to Fictionalism, she catches the question in your eye before you can say a word. The cashier turns and speaks to you in a gentle voice. "When you play this game any other day, you might get, say, 500 NP. Well, if it's the Featured Game, you get 1000 NP from the same score. A ratio is how many points you get from what score. The creators of Neopia change that ratio every so often."
Nodding as though you've understood all of that, Fictionalism drags you to another booth. Looking in dismay around the room, you have to stop and wonder how many booths there are. You count 20 before Fictionalism gets bored and drags you along again. "There are thousands of games here. You'll never have time to count them all!" she cries as she steps over a wailing baby Gelert trying to scoop up his spilled NP as random users pick up ten or twenty at a time.
"Now, this is the New Games. When you come to the Games Room, you'll find that there are usually three games on display near the Featured Game that lets you know which games are newer. Sometimes, it's redone versions of old games, and sometimes, it's completely new games."
Going even farther across the room, she stops and leans on a booth trying to catch her breath as the clerk gives her a dirty look. "This is the Top Games shuttle. There are usually four games that are super popular, and from here, you can catch a shuttle to whichever one you'd like. Here we go!" she laughs as you're swept onto a rickety cart labeled Meerca Chase II. Before you even have time to take another look around, you realize that the cart has stopped and the conductor is waiting impatiently for you to step off.
"Aren't those fun?" Fictionalism asks breathlessly. "Let's go back to the Showcase Games booth... it's right besides the Top Games shuttle." She jumps back onto the cart as it starts to pull away and snatches your hand to pull you up just in time.
As you fall off the cart with a small plop onto the item-ridden floor, you look up and see yet another marquee flashing Showcase Games. Fictionalism snatches you off the floor and smiles. "The Showcase Games change frequently, but they're always good games. They basically show new games, popular games, etc. Well, the most popular are shown here," she recites hurriedly as she pulls you to the booth next to it. "This is the Top Games section, remember?"
You look around, jostled and shoved every few seconds, pondering the multitude of games. "Okay, the Top Games, Showcase Games, New Games, and Featured Game make sense to me. But what are all of those?"
Fictionalism looks at the direction you pointed. She laughs. "Silly, those four sections can't hold all the games! The rest of those booths hold every other game imaginable. The titles are self-explanatory. I know this seems confusing, but you'll get the hang of it soon."
Looking around, you feel as though there's no way you'll ever understand. "What if I want to find a certain game? Do I have to wander through everything just to get there?"
"Of course not!" Fictionalism cries. "That's just plain silly." She leads you over to a very angry looking clerk and pulls you a tad to the side gently. "You might want to memorize shortcuts to your favorite games. You can list them all in one place by choosing the 'Favorite' option in the game booth. However, if you feel that you just plain can't get to them easily, you can use this handy Search booth." She steps forward to the clerk tentatively. "Can you get me a shuttle to the game Neopoker?" she asks softly, as though she's scared of the clerk. You can see why as she barks a grudging yes and yanks Fictionalism to the shuttle prepared. Just in time, you jump onto the shuttle as Fictionalism is whisked off.
"See? It's really pretty simple." Fictionalism winks at you. You look around, confused. You're not in the game room anymore.
"Where in the world am I?" you ask.
"Smile! You're in the Neopian Times," Fictionalism cries. A White Weewoo snaps your photo as you look around confusedly.
"That'll have to wait 'til I can understand it fully. I'm still not even sure why that White Weewoo is following me around everywhere."