Neopia's Greatest Villain?
This past October 5th we recognized the one year anniversary of the passing of the beloved Hubrid Nox. A villain, as TNT themselves stated, who was blasted away in the prime of his villainy by the underhanded Xweetok, Xandra. Now, I'm not here to argue about who took a cheap shot against whom or who has a terrible fashion sense (seriously, don't even get me started on those glasses). No, what I want to discuss today came to me in a moment of quiet reflection as I prepared to honour Hubrid's memory on that tragic day. You see, while Neopia certainly has a plethora of villains terrorizing innocent civilians and keeping the Defends of Neopia busy, to me none of them really seem to approach the greatness that is Hubrid Nox. In fact I came to realize that Hubrid truly stands above all other villains in Neopia's Gallery of Evil and here, my fellow Neopians, I present 5 reasons why I (and why you should too) consider Hubrid Nox as Neopia's Greatest Villain.
1. An army of loyal minions
We'll start with one of the most basic requirements for villainy: minions. Any villain worth his salt needs minions to help carry out all the evil schemes he'll concoct and if they can get a hold of some loyal ones, even better. For the more diabolical villains aiming for planetary domination, they need an entire army. Hubrid Nox, the machiavellian villain he was, fulfilled this requirement in spectacular fashion. His horde of undead ghost and zombie minions were not only loyal (being mindless slaves and all), but fearless and unhindered by a need for food, sleep and dental benefits. It might just be me but a villain that can summon a mob of undead flesh eating creatures, pulled from the deepest recesses of my nightmares seems far more threatening than one that has to worry about a grocery budget and unionized worker contracts. And the best part (well, probably the worst part from your or my perspective) was that he could always summon as many shades and spectres as he needed with plenty left over for seconds. He had the whole of the Neopian historical population to draw on for members of his undead legion. You know Ethel JubJub? No, of course you don't; she died a long time ago... but yeah, she was probably working for Nox.
Fuuulll Deeentaall! GrhAgRHa!
2. Evil and loving it
Hubrid was evil... and there's really no ifs ands or buts about it. He didn't have a misguided sense of justice *cough* Xandra *cough* and he wasn't simply a "the end justifies the means" kind of guy. This fiend had no qualms about the suffering of innocents and his only motivation was world domination. Best of all, there was no chance of him going soft and reforming because some goody-two-shoes hero decided to show him the error of his ways (I hate when a good villain is ruined like that). No, Nox was already aware of the "error' of his ways, he was just having far too much fun to care. Really, the only kind of error the impeccable Hubrid Nox would admit to making was if his victims' screams didn't sound particularly agonizing enough. Though no one's actually heard him say any such thing, or at least lived long enough to tell anyone else they had for that matter.
And there is no doubt in my mind that he enjoyed what he did. He was the only villain I could imagine constantly smiling, smiling and scheming, smiling and terrorizing, and at the end of the day smiling and cracking a witty joke to himself after a job well done. Just take a look through the Gallery of Evil. Practically every villain is scowling like someone just stepped on their patch of prized daffodils at the county fair. Except Nox, that is; he's too busy thinking about all the horribly evil things he's going to enjoy doing to the other contestants. Compared to a ruthless brute, it's much easier to love a dastardly charismatic villain who truly puts his heart into his work, especially when he's torturing you in the basement dungeon of his luxurious fortress. Speaking of which, this self-proclaimed Master of Evil spared no expense in his love for all things villainous. Isolated stronghold in the creepiest part of Neopia? Check. Equipped with a labyrinth of passages and booby traps at every turn? Check. Stylish attire complete with flowing black cape? Check. Maniacal laughter? Double Check. All hallmarks of a villain who'd never contemplate quitting his day job. Oh and I almost forgot his most dashing feature:
3. Dat stache...
That's all there really is to say on the matter.
4. A legendary rivalry
Rivalry is a powerful force. It puts individuals in a situation where they must struggle to survive, to constantly improve themselves and their skills or risk being left in the dust by their opponent. With that in mind, it can also make for a pretty good show. Unfortunately, personal rivalries between Neopian villains and heroes are few and far between, and even those can be lacking at times. Take Lord Darigan, for example. As the villain he once was, he possessed many of the qualities I mention here that make for greatness. I'd even give him style points for transforming into a fiery spectre filled with nothing but rage and the desire to see Neopia burnt to the ground as a last insane effort to win the first Meridell war. But the reason I'm here today talking about Hubrid Nox and not Lord Darigan, the one factor holding him back from being a truly great villain, is that his rival, his arch nemesis, his antithesis... is a lazy, cowardly king from whom no one expects anything great thing to come. There's just no intensity, no excitement in such an unbalanced match between hero and villain and it's hard to admire a villain who doesn't even have to make an effort to stay on top.
"I was once your slave, but no more!" ...Epic
Hubrid Nox, on the other hand, hit the rivalry jackpot with Magax: Destroyer. Right off the bat, you can tell this guy is awesome because he's got punctuation in his name. He wants to make sure the first thing anyone knows about him is his job description. And this Wocky's fully equipped for the job, I might add, with a glowing green Darklight Axe and the ability to fly and fire lasers which vaporize members of Nox's ghost army. Combine that with an ambiguously dark past which torments him to the point where he'll stop at nothing to defeat Nox and right the wrongs he committed under Hubrid's name and you've got a recipe for rivalry. Of course the most important point and critical factor to this rivalry is that Magax is always toe to toe with Hubrid. If Hubrid's stirring up trouble, Magax is there to bring order to the chaos and send those undead minions back to the graveyard. Now, obviously it's not possible for Magax to completely bring down such a nefarious villain as Hubrid Nox, but it's the struggles and the occasional foiled plot that make the battles that much more exciting. The only rivalry I can think of that may even come close to the intensity these two share is between Dr. Sloth and the Space Faerie. I mean, how many other villains can claim a rivalry so strong it features as the plot in their very own game!
5. Serious Battledome prowess
No really, even Balthazar wouldn't try messing with this Chia. When I first started battling I always thought to myself how cool it would be if Hubrid Nox was a Battledome challenger. Imagine facing off, head-to-head, against one of Neopia's greatest villains. Every battle would be an epic engagement of strength, wits and courage... or so I was naive enough to believe. After running the idea around in my head for some time (there's a lot of unexplored space up there), it suddenly dawned on me why Hubrid Nox could never be a Battledome challenger and the answer is surprisingly obvious. For my fellow Neopians who, as I have, ever wondered why you never had the opportunity to face Nox in the Battledome, let me put your minds at ease: you would lose. Though to simply say that would be an understatement. Even the phrases "lose horribly" or "beaten outright" cannot convey the magnitude of defeat any one of us would suffer at the hands of this malevolent being. In fact, I am confident in my belief that should any of us have ever faced him in the Battledome, there would not even be enough of that poor soul left to be declared the loser. Where Nox is concerned, a Battledome match only has a winner. He is the winner. It's him.
"Now hold on a second," you might say, "I've got this Brynns Legendary Sword of Wraith Smiting and maybe even a Hanso Charisma Charm from that last plot and my pet could probably beat yours blindfolded with one arm tied behind its back. So who are you to tell me I don't have a snowball's chance in Moltara of beating Nox." Well, firstly, that's some nerve you got there, buddy. Save that kind of language for the Stonedome. Secondly, for those of you blissfully unaware of the danger, I suppose I should detail the kind of arsenal a maniacal villain like Nox carried with him into battle. Hypothetically speaking, were you to face the great Hubrid Nox in battle, your pet's first doses of unimaginable pain and suffering would be wrought upon them courtesy of Hubrids Puzzle Box, a weapon capable of instantly draining a third of its opponent's hit points. "But wait," you might respond. "That takes three turns to activate, and by then my pet will be enjoying a generous serving of Chia pate and a side of garlic mashed potatoes." Well, my insolent and clearly misguided friend (everyone knows you're supposed to have fava beans with a nice Chia) you would be wrong. While it may take your pet three turns to decipher the mysteries of the puzzle box, a genius like Nox would be able to solve the puzzles presented by it in no time at all. So before you've even had time to size up your opponent he's already taken more out of your pet than one of Count Von Roo's bite victims. If you aren't already shaking like a codestone, you should be. For those too scared to keep reading, don't feel bad; I'm not even sure I can finish writing.
Your worst nightmares come true
Now after being blindsided by the box, your pet might start to feel a slight stabbing pain in their everything, as Nox goes to town with his Hubrids Noxious Blade, a poisonous sword designed especially for dispatching Chias' number one enemy, Lupes. But don't think just because your pet isn't a Lupe you're in the clear. For a villain as wicked as Nox disposing of Lupes is just business, everyone else on the other hand... is sport. Yes, those pets among us unlucky enough to not be Lupes would then have the full force of the Hidden Tower mercilessly rained down upon them as weapon after weapon is summoned from the destructive powerhouse that is Hubrids Odial Sphere. ...so much for one hand tied behind your back, eh?
And there you have it, the portrait of a perfect villain. Undead minions, an ecstatically evil personality, a suave moustache, an awesome arch-nemesis, and strategic battling skills, Hubrid Nox had it all... though he should probably talk to his agent about getting a better role in the next plot. But I digress, even if I haven't convinced you that Hubrid Nox truly is the greatest villain in Neopia (perhaps you still think petty vandalism and destruction of private property is "cool") I hope you at least remembered to pay your respects this week to one of Neopia's great villains. Because if you think a slight case of death is enough to keep a guy like Hubrid Nox down, you've got another thing coming. Maybe even a few hundred things (and I'm sure they're all just dying to meet you).
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