Sympathy for Balthazar
We all know him. Faeries fear him. Sometimes just uttering his name sends chills down one’s spine: Balthazar. The cruel, feral Lupe that prowls the forests of Neopia, lurking around with a net and empty bottles in paw, waiting to capture any poor unsuspecting faerie that happens to flutter his way... That’s what we’ve all heard of course, but is there more to this story? My sources say yes.
Many years back, when I was starting out on Neopets, I came across an old book that listed all of Neopia’s most notorious villains, and lo and behold, there was a chapter on Balthazar. Intrigued, I read the chapter back and forth, and was shocked at what I discovered. When looking back on Balthazar’s past, we realize that as a youngster he was teased by the faeries. He was all alone, no family no home, all he needed was at least one friend. But no, those cruel faeries just laughed at him and fluttered to and fro just out of arm’s reach. Were these Dark Faeries, perhaps? No one knows. But one thing is clear: this is what inspired the Lupe to become a Faerie Hunter. And really, hunting and imprisoning faeries in bottles is the only true “villainy” he has.
Now, let us all pause to think about what it means to have bottled faeries scattered around. Let’s think very carefully, you and I. Imagine Neopia without a single bottled faerie. Not one. ...You can’t think of it, can you? Know why? Because without bottled faeries, our pets would not gain the super strength they would need to fight off their own enemies. Sure, you could get a random quest or head on over to Illusen’s Glade or Jhudora’s Cloud, but it’s not the same thing. For your pet to truly taste victory in the Battledome, you need “Tough Skin,” “Burrow,” “Heal,” or “Flash” just to name a few abilities. None of these abilities would be possible without first releasing a bottled faerie. And no bottled faerie would be possible without Balthazar.
But wait, Balthazar’s story doesn’t quite end there! Oh no, there’s more. As it turns out, Balthazar is far more generous than meets the eye. Sometimes he just hands you a bottled faerie in a Random Event, or dumps a whole bunch of them underneath the Money Tree in what’s called the “Balthazar’s Mega Faerie Giveaway Bonanza.” Now if you read the Neopedia article on Balthazar, you’ll see he’s quoted to say that the faeries he captures will make him “very rich indeed.” Well, that can’t be entirely true if he’s willing to just throw them away. Something tells me there’s a conspiracy over at the Neopedia... Fyora, is that you behind the curtain??
Alright, so Balthazar isn’t exactly a nice guy. He can and usually will challenge you to a round in the Battledome. But even that can be a good thing, especially if you take into account that his inflatable counterpart can grant you a special trophy if you defeat it in a certain way. So there you go, a training round with the big Lupe himself, and a free trophy when fighting Inflatable Balthazar. Can you ask for a better deal than that?
If you’re with me on this, you’ll want to know where you can get yourself some fine Balthazar-related items. Well, my friend, you’ve come to the right article. Allow me to list a few items for sale right now:
1. Balthazar Action Figure- Rarity 93- Est. Value: 5600 NP
The best thing about this figure is that you can make him flex his muscles... Okay, so he’s not really working out, he’s “swiping” faeries, but to each his own. Moving on.
2. Gigantic Balthazar Plushie- Rarity 90- Est. Value: 4300 NP
A fairly rare item for a rarely-seen Lupe. And hey, it even looks huggable, despite that sneer on his face.
3. Balthazar T-Shirt- Rarity 90- Est. Value: 1403 NP
Just as rare as the plushie, though not as expensive. Maybe it’s because this isn’t yet wearable. But we can all dream, can’t we? ...I mean, look at that thing! Rawr!!
4. Chocolate Balthazar- Rarity 90- Est. Value: 2800 NP
See? You see?? I told you he had a sweet side!!
5. Inflatable Balthazar- Rarity 89- Est. Value: 3184 NP
Another rare item, but one you can add to either one of your Neohomes. Now you can practice for that trophy in the comfort of your own living room, and even if you’re still anti-Balthazar, you can take your frustrations out on him without having to face the real Lupe. Trust me, you would not win that battle.
6. Balthazar Pinata- Rarity 75- Est. Value: 500 NP
...Okay seriously, was this Fyora’s idea? Jhudora’s, perhaps? Th- this is beyond cruel! Balthazar has not once ever laid a hand on anyone, or any faerie, so why are we forced to take a swing at this poor soul’s likeness just for the sake of candy?? ...Okay, maybe I’m being a little overdramatic here. He still looks cool as a dummy.
7. The Balthazar TCG
Sorry, I don’t know the rarity or price of this card, but it seems you can collect it on Neopets. It still says he’s a Villain, but even so it’s a very good card to have. Its stats are amazing: 20 Strength, 16 Agility, 14 Magic and 11 Intelligence. He’s definitely on my team.
So, now that we know all of the facts on this most highly misunderstood Lupe, don’t you think it’s time we cut him a break? Don’t you think it’s time we gave him the love and support he’s always wanted? Sure, capturing faeries is mean, but look at all of the benefits that come from it: nice abilities, cool items, and a Battledome trophy! Alright, let’s not kid ourselves here: if we were to try and pat this Lupe on the back, he’d probably take a swing at us. Maybe he’s not quite yet over the trauma of his childhood. But hey, the least we could do is thank him for all the good that’s come from his so-called villainy. ...Unless of course, you’re a faerie.