Mutant Reviews II
Back in issue 489, I reviewed the ups, downs and little-known trivia behind an assortment of mutant neopets, being somewhat of a creepy creature connoisseur. There are, of course, many more mutant monstrosities in the Neopets universe, and you're all no doubt eagerly anticipating more opinions from a complete stranger about deformed fantasy creatures. What else is the internet for?
THE MUTANT KACHEEK - 10/10
Simple but cool, the Mutant Kacheek's giant, externalized brain is the sort of gross transformation I'd like to see on a lot more mutants. Little else differs from the standard Kacheek besides its fangs and its sinister eyes, but that brain is just way too cool. This was actually one of the first four mutant neopets ever revealed, along with the Grundo, Chia and Techo, and has changed little since.
Petpet suggestion: the rather spooky Pinceron looks like just the kind of thing a giant-brained mutant would hang out with, possibly while menacing civilization with maniacal schemes.
THE MUTANT JETSAM - 8/10
It's fitting that the mutant Jetsam would have eyes more like a hammerhead shark, one of the real world's more alien-looking sharks. The real focus of this pet, of course, are the squid tentacles, which give us a hybrid between two rather formidable predators. Fun fact: the suckers of many squid, especially the largest species, are lined with a ring of razor-sharp "teeth," and some species also possess large, hooked talons in the suckers.
Petpet suggestion: I've always liked "complementary" petpets more than petpets who "match" the color and theme of their neopet, and I think the perfect counterpart to a ferocious, tentacled red shark is this gloomy, misshapen green echinoderm, the mutant urgoni.
THE MUTANT TUSKANINNY - 10/10
The mutant Tuskaninny is more or less just a more lifelike walrus, which certainly looks quite monstrous - in a friendly sort of way - when compared to the more cartoonish look of the normal tuskaninny. For an extra touch of weirdness, the artist saw fit to add an "illicium" - that's the doodad on its head, used by real-life sea creatures such as anglerfish to lure their prey!
Petpet suggestion: Jawshell. Ever hear the story of the Walrus and the clams? It's a good one, nice and disturbing.
THE MUTANT SKEITH - 7/10
Everything about this pet is pretty darn cool. It's a big, burly, thoroughly grumpy and hungry-looking beast with a cool dingy color scheme, nasty looking spikes and proportions very different from the standard Skeith. On the downside, I always thought it could use something more... something weirder. Skeiths are famous as eating machines, so I'd have pictured a mutant with a much more exaggerated mouth... maybe even a whole second mouth, multiple rows of teeth or a gross, transparent stomach.
Petpet suggestion: the Intesteen, a living digestive tract, makes a great thematic partner to a big, fat monster that eats anything it feels like. I'd like to take a moment to mention that the Intesteen is easily my favorite thing in Neopia... it's such a wonderfully bizarre, even gruesome concept, but unbelievably adorable at the same time.
THE MUTANT CYBUNNY - 9/10
It's cute how these chipper, springtime bunny rabbits take on such a dumpier, scuzzier "goth" look when they mutate. While still rabbit-like, this mutant looks entirely unlike the basic pet in almost every way. The skulls on the ruff really tie it all together, though I wonder if it naturally looks that way or had them dyed. You know, to express its darkened soul and all.
Petpet suggestion: the Droolik and the Zomutt are most popularly paired with the Cybunny due to their matching colors, but like I mentioned earlier, petpets don't need to be an exact match to be cool. Why not go for a creepy, mutant tortoise & the hare thing? I always liked the eeriness of the mutant turdle's single, emotionless little eye.
THE MUTANT DRAIK - 10/10
As the fiercest and most detailed dragon-like pet currently available, the mutant Draik is overwhelmingly popular and can set you back a mind-boggling sixteen million neopoints. Now, I've never been as fond of fearsome dragons as I am of slimy bugs, but there's no denying this is a striking pet, and I love the fact that it appears to be decomposing. The gruesome little patch of brain tissue is what really brings this pet across as "mutated," and was the closest thing to a "zombie" available before the release of the actual zombie paintbrush.
Petpet suggestion: nothing could possibly suit a rotting, undead mutant dragon better than a living, ravenous mutant treasure box. The Cofferling is a direct reference to the many treasure chest monsters or "mimics" in fantasy role-playing games (a tradition started by the famous Dungeons & Dragons), where dragons also happen to be traditional treasure-guarding boss monsters.
THE MUTANT KRAWK - 4/10
The mutant Krawk has one of the coolest color schemes a Krawk could hope for - I especially like those dull, golden insect-like eyes - but compared to other mutants, it's a rather underwhelming change for such a rare and expensive pet. We've seen mutants that dribble slime, mutants that look like they're decaying, mutants with mouths where mouths really don't belong and mutants with barbed tentacles on their heads. All the Krawk gets is an extra eye and extra arms... it could have really stood to be more redrawn.
Petpet suggestion: the mutant Fir rather ingeniously goes from a Christmas tree to a rotten, swampy tree stump, which is just what you might find in the lair of a mutated crocodilian.
THE MUTANT BRUCE - 8/10
We're not nearly through with mutant pets who underwent dramatic facelifts - the mutant Bruce is another one whose original version, like the Aisha, was never even released to the public!
This creepy snot-like penguin was uploaded to the neopets image servers not long before the tragic revamp of my beloved mutant Chia, so it may have been intended as a replacement. Unfortunately, it sat on the servers for years before it finally disappeared, with the current mutant Bruce appearing another couple years later. I'd have definitely loved this slimy beast, but I also love the goofy hunchback we wound up with. The mutant Bruce now has a look straight off your classic hunchbacked laboratory assistant, a must-have if you want an account with a "mad science" theme. Might I suggest a mutant Kacheek for the actual scientist?
Petpet suggestion: the lil' Frankie or some other Frankensteinian peptpet goes with the theme I already mentioned. Maybe your mutant Bruce made the little guy himself?
THE MUTANT KIKO - 6/10
This poor little guy has actually undergone TWO major changes. The very earliest version of the mutant Kiko was radically unlike a Kiko in almost every single way:
It's understandable that they would give this pet a more Kiko-like appearance, though it's pretty interesting, right? I rather wonder how it got a set of killer gloves out of the mutation deal. This version was soon replaced with a blobbier, slimier critter that really did look more like a horribly mutated Kiko:
I was pretty fond of this version, and owned one for the longest time. Unfortunately, I think it really lost its charming ickiness in the switch to "converted" pets. Most mutants underwent this transition unscathed or even improved, but I rather miss the Kiko's pug-like frown and weird, bony fingers.
Petpet suggestion: I like the gross implications of a mutant ghostkerchief owned by a slime-drooling pet. The Kiko's own slobber could have slowly turned his ghostkerchief pal into a mutant itself!