Gothic Styles for Dark Nights
Never have I thought myself to be a professional Neopets stylist. Economist: maybe. Crazed utility-fish fan: you bet. But not a stylist. That being said, I am a Goth. Being a Goth, I like dark clothing and during this time of year Neopets seems to pull all stops and release a plethora of dark "Halloween" goodies. This article contains a selection of choice gothic items and economic advice to help you make the most of this time of year.
Before exploring the different items for each zone, I must point out that during Halloween dark items raise in cost due to increased demand. This includes NC items, which rise in cap value often during this time. So my advice is to plan ahead if you really want to dress for Halloween, or wait if you want your pet to be dressed like this at all times. All values are approximates based on the time of writing, and in the case of NC items reflect the amount of NC you would have to spend on capsules to trade for this item or the value of the item you would have to trade to receive it. The NC item values are not law, and will depend on the individual trader for actual cost.
A Good Style needs a good background to support it. While most good backgrounds are Neocash, there is plenty of variety. For a gothic style generally the rule is to keep to darker settings, with rainbow lands of pink love sparkles generally frowned upon. Due to the general and wide-reaching nature of backgrounds, there are tons to choose from.
Dark Cave Background (NP, Value approx 50,000 NP)
This may seem like an odd choice for a list of "gothic" backgrounds. However, darker colours go well with darker locals. Being a plot prize, this background makes for a good investment and a solid dark NP starter. When it comes to NP items, one cannot afford to be picky. Other darker cave like backgrounds like Tarlas Underground Workshop or Moltara Silhouette Background may also be suitable replacements.
Neovian Twilight Background (NC, 200NC Value)
Need something dark, with character that won't cost you a bundle of NP or your priceless bag of bottled faeries? Look no further than the Neovian Twilight Background. Being on sale in the mall means this background is still easily obtainable for little cost. The darkness of the background, coupled with the classic olden style houses, makes this a great hangout for any number of shady types.
Malicious Dark Faeries Background (NP, Value approx 60,000 NP)
Much like the Neovian background above, this Brightvale background offers and almost ideal setting for most gothic attires. While by no means perfect, this item still stocks in Neopian stores and thus has the potential to one day be much cheaper than the Dark Cave background.
Eliv Thade Castle Background (NC, via Eliv Thade Token 500NC value)
Eliv Thade has things going for him besides his love of anagrams. He also apparently has a mighty fine castle. This background comes to us surprisingly in the form of a token prize and provides a perfect backdrop for a gothic pet. Keep in mind, though, that this token has a limited sell date, and the value will rise after it retires. Also, when the token is re-released with another bonus prize the background will be only obtainable by trade. Gothic Party Background or Moonlit Ruins background from the gothic Wonderclaw machine are other alternative soon to be retired backgrounds you should look into.
Entrance to Haunted Woods Background (NP, approx value 2,000,000 NP)
Being from a retired sponsor event, this particular entry in the article may seem a little too expensive for the average Neopian punter for a pet costume. However, the fact still stands that this is one of the best NP gothic backgrounds out. If the price tag seems too much, try to get your hands on the Burger King Canada codes and get your hands on the non-tradeable alternative to this item Haunted Trees Background. While dark woods may not be inherently gothic as such, the atmosphere spawned by such a background helps add to many gothic costumes.
Phantom of the Background (NC, approx Trading Value 5000-7500NC)
Phantom of the Opera is a perfect gothic story which evolved into a similarly engaging musical. This background shows that someone in TNT agrees and also provides users with an elegantly great backing for any number of gothic costumes. Being from 2007, and retired in 2008, the price tag of this item may seem extreme; but the item is heavily traded in the NC Mall world and is only equalled by similarly expensive backgrounds. The best alternative is the Haunted Mansion Background, which unfortunately was also retired at the same time.
Collars and Makeup –
After leading with one of the more important areas of customisation for a gothic style I will continue on with a less important one. Gothic styles range from olden style Victorian clothes, to punk and steampunk style offerings and not all of these require makeup or collars. In general, when deciding on a collar or makeup, try to look at how well the makeup covers the face and try to work the other clothes around that. In Neopets it may be hard to find good makeup or collar items, but sometimes you can hit the nail on the head.
Vampire Costume Face Paint (NC, approx trading value 200-400NC)
When looking for Makeup on Neopets, one must remember that unfortunately the only options are NC. That being said, makeup is not required for a gothic look, but if you need to put some on it is best to choose pale makeup like this that makes the pet whiter. Despite being retired the Vampire Face Paint's value is just around 1-2 Caps for trading, and should be accessible by most users.
Gothic Inspired Makeup (NC, approx trading value 150nc)
This new item, despite not being as pale as the Vampire Costume Face Paint, provides a full coverage of the Neopet's head, meaning it is much more versatile. This item can be bought via trading for a single GBC, or if you are lucky you can still win one from the gothic Wonderclaw machine. The slight tinge of purple may require extra matching to look right; however, in general this item is rather useful. Besides these two, you could also trade for the much more expensive and popular Skeletal Face Paint.
Black Jewelled Collar (NP, approx value 300 NP)
Collars are a particularly rare item type on Neopets, and by no means required for a gothic outfit. Collars are generally seen as a more punk style, but may still find a place on a gothic outfit. If you are looking for one, remember to also search for "Choker", and look to see if you can find any species specific items. The best of these are the Poogle Punk Collar and Black Hissi Choker, but the Black Jewelled Collar mentioned here is the only all pet alternative.
The foreground is another optional addition but by no means unimportant. It represents an object that can either look very tacky, or seamlessly stylish depending on how it is used. Try not to crowd the pet frame with a hundred little items in every slot, and leave this out if it starts to look too cluttered.
Delicate Ink Frame (NP, approx value 99,000 NP)
Somehow ink frames just seem to add an extra level of charm to some Neopets. The particularly good thing about these frames is that some of them can remove the need for a background entirely and provide a frame for an elegantly gothic Neopet. While not all of the ink frames will suit the style of a gothic outfit, experiment with which one looks best.
Wilting Garden Foreground (NC, approx trading value 200nc)
While part of me wishes that this foreground was unanimated on the wilted state, the idea of this JubJub Power Bounce prize seems to work. Despite being retired, this item is not very popular and has a large supply so finding one will not be hard through trading. To be honest, if TNT releases another dead flower foreground, consider this one replaced in the list.
Cover of Darkness Foreground (NP, approx value 120,000 NP)
This simple GMC prize foreground is one of the few prizes to retain value from last year. The foreground itself provides a perfect way to take a little bit of colour away, and add atmosphere to your outfit. Besides that, owning one of these may be considered a good investment, due to the popularity of this item among customisers.
Tombstone Foreground (NC, approx trading value 400-750NC)
A similar vintage to the wilting garden foreground, this tombstone foreground was a much more popular item. This is the kind of item which can turn a non-graveyard background like the sponsor items mentioned above and turn it into a perfect gothic scene. This item also has the double advantage in adding a light fog.
A good hat makes the man or well... woman, erm pet? Oh, whatever. The fact still stands that choosing a hat adds more character to your Neopet. When working on a gothic style, you don't want to remind the person that you are working with a pet here, you want to make the wearer look realistic and hiding their mane may just work. Besides the items listed below, often species hats are worth a look as they are designed to work for the particular Neopet in question.
Elegant Gear Top Hat (NP, approx value 9000NP)
Top hats are a perfect hat for any gothic outfit, however on Neopets it is very hard to find a good simple Top Hat. Most good top hats are species specific, and don't be fooled by the unwearable Top Hat item released in 2006, or the Devious Top Hat and Cane Battledome item from 2009; there is very little choice. Essentially, choosing a top hat on Neopets is saying 'hey, which of these little things tacked on ruin it the least'. That being said, there are a couple of nice top hats, like this elegant gear top hat. The hat itself is a Moltaran item and is great value for only 9000 NP.
Spooky Spyder Top Hat (NC, approx trading value 1200-1500NC)
Top hats are even hard to find in the mall, this item from 2008 is one of the few NC Mall top hats that looks any good. Nothing says dashing like a good top hat. As with the rant above, remember there is very little choice with top hats, but make sure to look over species selections before deciding.
Elegant Black Feather Hat (NC, approx value ???)
Gothic styles aren't all the same. While some prefer the heavy makeup and buckles, others prefer more elegant Victorian, Steampunk or Reserved styles. That being said, this black feather hat may not appear to be gothic at first glance, but can be woven into a gothic costume easily. The only problem is, being retired in early 2008 and not widely traded I do not feel confident enough to put a value on it. The best way to get one of these is to look on people's tradelists and ask them what they would trade it for. It may also be possible that few exist, due to age. Keep an eye out for re-releases.
Jackets come in many different flavours and styles. These clothes can either be open, allowing extra room for a shirt, or closed and very much reliant on the foreground/trinkets you use. They are perfect for gothic pets, and TNT seems to release a fair number of them. All you need to do is keep an eye out for a darker one.
Dashing Gothic Jacket (NC, 150NC Value)
A nice jacket is a must for Goths but despite this fact there is little choice on Neopets. One choice is the rather nice Dashing Gothic Jacket which is still for sale in the NC Mall. Jackets such as this may limit the usefulness of shirts and trouser items, but it may also add some needed class.
Steam Jacket (NP, approx value 6,000,000NP)
Steampunk may seem like an odd addition to a gothic styles article, but in truth it is much more at home than you would expect. Steampunk is very close to both Victorian gothic styles and cyberpunk styles, this steam jacket is one of the best jackets on Neopets for NP. Being a very limited plot prize its value dips and rises from 6million, all the way up to 12 million, so it may be hard to find one for trade. However, if you can find one to buy it can be blended into a gothic or steampunk style to make a respectable gothic style. Alternatively the Bomber Jacket Shrug provides a much cheaper alternative, but be warned; you get what you pay for. Though, it must be noted that due to a mix-up at TNT, if you own a Hissi the jacket shrug will actually show up as a Steam Jacket on it.
For the female style, gothic dresses can come in two flavours. Shorter, less traditional punkish dresses which are often worn with pants included and the more reserved flowing long dark dresses. The dress sets the whole colour scheme, and often is the deciding factor between black, red and black or purple and black.
Black and Red Promenade Dress (NC, approx trading value 150NC)
If you get lucky on the new gothic Wonderclaw machine, you may find yourself a proud owner of this stunning gothic dress. While it is true, that on some pets this dress looks pretty bad, on some of the two leg Neopets it can look great with the right additions. The red and the black are classic colours for Goths and provide a good basis for the style as a whole. Consider this interchangeable with the "not really as good" Gothic Red and Black Dress which provides a similar base.
Whimsical Gothic Dress (NC, 150NC value)
Much like the jacket above, this dress is still for sale in the NC Mall and can thus easily be obtained. The style is similar to the above promenade dress, but scaled down and in a much less in-your-face colour of purple. This dress blends better with darker backgrounds and provides an elegant Victorian style of Goth. Much like the above, it also has an alternative in the retired "Spyder Web Dress" but expect to be forced to trade a lot more to receive it. The Black Lace Up Dress also provides a cheaper dress of similar style.
Fiery Dance Dress (NC, approx trading value 200-400NC)
Ironically booted out of the Wonderclaw machine lineup by the gothic machine, the Fiery Dance Dress can suit a gothic style. If it is too bright, simply put something darker over it to help tone down the brighter colours. This item is fairly recently retired, and will be pretty cheap to acquire through trading for the foreseeable future.
Deathly Union Dress (NC, 150NC Value)
Introduced in a recent costume pack, this deathly white addition may seem a little bit bright for a gothic style article; however, the ghostly qualities and elegance allow for this dress to work when mixed with graveyard backgrounds or heavy fog. If you want one of these dresses, they are on sale for a limited time in the NC Mall; otherwise, you will have to trade for them.
Shirts are similar to dresses, in that you can use them to set the colour scheme for the entire outfit. Unlike the dress, however, it may be either an important feature OR a jacket/cape supporter item. When choosing a shirt, make sure the colours do not clash with the other items; for example if you are wearing a Steam jacket and decide to use a black shirt under that, in my experience black pants have looked better than the brown ones I had on without the shirt.
Gothic Buckle Shirt (NC, 150NC Value)
Depending on the type of pet, this gothic buckle shirt can be a faultless addition to a gothic style. It is dark, simple, and can easily be combined with any number of items without standing out. The Tasteful black Cardigan can work also; however, it has an alignment issue on some pets which makes it look a little odd.
Spooky Tattered Shirt (NC, approx trading value 250-750NC)
This new bonus item is one of the only other half decent shirts for a gothic Neopet. It should be great combined with other items, since unlike the gothic buckle shirt, it can stand out in a bad way. Being a bonus item, its value will be higher than most, and trying your luck earning one through a capsule may cost you more than just trading for it. Tattered clothes are better for more 'haunted' locales and generally do not lend themselves to elegance.
Much like the jacket, a cape can be either open or closed and both present different style options. Those going for a more "dark and mysterious" vibe may choose a closed cape to act as if they are hiding something, while those trying to be more confronting may choose a more powerful open cape which allows for a more powerful view of the shirt and pants. Capes are, however, optional, and having a bad cape is certainly the lesser option versus wearing no cape.
Fancy Theatrical Cape (NP, yeah don't even bother)
This very limited cape was only given to around 6 people on Neopets; most players such as you and I will never own one. The fact still stands, though, that the dark simplicity of this cape could lend itself to any number of gothic styles. Unlike the Hubrid Nox Cape, it covers most of your Neopet and puts the focus more on backgrounds, foregrounds and trinkets to make the scene.
Hubrid Nox Collectors Cape (NC, approx trading value 1200-1500NC)
One of the more popular Collectors items released, the Hubrid Nox Collectors Cape represents a near flawless all species cape. It has the classic evil vampire feeling to it and plenty of room for shirts or other clothing items. If you want one of these, I would consider trading for it as soon as you have the value as one day it may be worth a lot more. If you have a Grarrl or Gelert, it may be worth mentioning a very similar cape is used when you paint your pets Halloween. Eyrie owners may also be pleased to know a similar cape is also for sale in the form of the Eyrie Magician Cape for you.
Dark Winter Hooded Cape (NC, approx trading value 600-1000NC)
This particular cape is sometimes overlooked and may seem a bit too Christmassy for some people, but it does provide a unique cape style. It represents the only dark hooded cape on Neopets on provides an interesting array of choices with the dark wilderness backgrounds of the haunted woods.
Boots are hard to find on Neopets at the best of times, and sometimes a good alternative is simply having a good pet colour to complement your style. However, assuming more boots will one day be made, or your pet looks good in one of the selected examples, it should be clear that these can be an important part.
Quest for Knowledge Boots (NC, approx trading value 12,000-15,000NC+)
These terribly expensive boots work well on many pets and the buckles work with gothic style. On some pets these boots even seem to leave off the green making them even better boots/tailguards. Cheap wellington boots may work as better tail guards, and as for boots there is definitely much better value out there; however, for a gothic style it is hard to go past these boots for looks.
Elegant Gear Boots (NP, approx value 4000NP)
Joining the matching gear hat, these boots join this list with great recommendation. These dark simple gear-laced boots allow for a nice simple black addition without breaking the bank. Combine this with the darker clothing items on the list, realistically boots on Neopets are often not even that important.
Black and Red Stripe Stockings and Shoes (NC, 100NC Value)
These still on sale boots are great for combining with the other black/red combo clothes on the list. They are cheap and good value due to not being retired, not much more to say on these.
When selecting clothes, surprisingly pants may not come up at all. If you have a closed cape or a long jacket, sometimes the pants may be entirely invisible or simply a tail warmer. That being said, if your outfit requires them, they are a necessity. Unlike skirts, which may become the centrepiece of the style, trousers' job is to be unassuming and simple. The best working trousers are the ones that simply blend into your other clothes seamlessly.
Black Utility Trousers (NC, 150NC Value)
Trousers and pants are much more common on Neopets, and some very good looking ones are around for different species. One of my favourite all-species pants are the un-retired Utility Trousers. They are simple and unassuming, working well with items like the Steam Jacket on four leg Neopets.
Moltara Inventor Trousers (NC, 150NC Value)
Another un-retired NC set of trousers is the Moltara Inventor Trousers. While they may be a bit more expensive than the Utility ones, the extra colour gives them more use on pets that use red. Due to these being part of a Superpack there is a good chance one day it will be included in a supersale and be retired.
While a purely decadent and un-required step in customising a gothic style, wings can offer an otherworldly effect to your pet without looking too out of place. While wings may be a mainly NC item, sometimes the more static the wings the better as animations often look overly corny. When you try to put on a set of wings, colour match well and don't keep them on if they stand out too much in the face of your other clothing.
Dark Faerie Wings (NP, approx value 90,000NP)
With NC wings being commonplace, to find any wings with darker colours is often a treat. These wings may not be the best gothic wings; however, when you have no NC and little choice this is a good alternative. For NP users, Beautiful Glowing Wings may offer a similar chance, but be warned they are brighter and much more expensive.
Lady Blurg Wings (NC, approx trading value 250NC)
These wings were recently retired from the mall and thus are pretty easy to find. It may seem hard to find a good match for them but the fact is that it does match well with the new Promenade Dress and other Red/black combos. Get this through trading; it may not be that good looking, but the value will go up at least slightly after.
Warlock Battle Wings (NC, approx trading value 400-750NC)
You may notice that this entry is not the exact name of the item in question. That is due to the fact that these wings come in four different colours and all four match with different costumes. These are personally my favourite wings, and were released during the recent faeries ruin plot. They are not as heavily animated as other wings and may work better in your costume then a high movement set of wings.
Gothic Leather Wings (NC, 150NC Value)
These newly released wings are almost as perfect as the warlock battle wings, but have a very active animation. These leather wings are almost the perfect example of dragon/demon wings and make for a very unique addition. The Lacy Cobweb Wings also released in the gothic machine also should be worth a look.
Skeletal Wings (NC, approx trading value 100-250NC)
These 'bonus' wings are not retired, and they have been out for years. Due to being a prize for a common mystery capsule they are cheap and easy to get a hold of. Gnarled Bone Wings are a more expensive and arguably nicer set of wings from last year's trick or treat event and may act as a good alternative.
Special Items/Trinkets –
When I talk special items, normally I think of nice R101 retired spinster items, but this article is different. This section mainly includes trinkets and other objects I have yet to mention, but may add something special to the mix of your costume. Really there are hundreds of these; some will be more forward than others, and some may stand out while others blend in. Look at the items mentioned, but don't be afraid to go further afield. After all Here Lies Fluffy isn't mentioned here, but it is highly popular in trading.
Gothic Black Rose Bouquet (NC, approx trading value 400-750NC)
From the JubJub Power Bounce, this Bouquet is only rivalled by the Gothic Lily Bouquet and match well with most female gothic styles. Besides customisation, it makes a great gift to someone who likes those kinds of things. It is still rather cheap due to it being so commonly owned.
Gothic Red Rose Necklace (NC, approx trading value 400-500NC)
The gothic Red Rose Necklace is a very beautiful necklace which can be used on multiple different styles and look good.
Glowing Handheld Candle (NC, approx trading value 800-1250NC)
This candle works well with haunted and ghostly costumes; it is a simple but rather expensive retired trinket.
Species Items –
You may have noticed that this guide has focused only on items that all pets can use, that being said there are plenty of good gothic species sets. Directly, there are gothic set clothes for Korbats, Nimmos, Rukis and Wockies but there are others.
Draik Traveller, Dapper Poogle, Cozy Techo, Grundo Gentleman and many more are worth exploring. Most species have their own top hats too. You must keep in mind that often these clothes are expensive and rare, taking years to reach a reasonable price.
Paint Brush Clothes –
Another source of good gothic items is the Zombie and Halloween paint brushes. Zombie paint brushes have the best trousers, while Halloween pets can be best overall. Chomby, Grarrls and Gelerts have the best capes, with Hissi and Scorchio having the best gothic look.
When it comes to items like these, they are few and far between. Luckily each Halloween we get a few more items, and slowly our selection increases. Hopefully this guide has outlined some ideas to help you plan a good gothic or Halloween style dress, while keeping you thinking about the economic situation behind the items.