Why Your Genius Neopet Can't Solve Zaira's Mysteries
Y14's Festival of Neggs was more than just searching for Plastic Neggs hidden all over Neopia by the Negg Faerie. Riddles each day gave clues as to where the patterned Neggs were hidden just like every year, but Y14 had an extra event added in to make it all the more spectacular... the Mysterious Negg section, at the bottom of the list, almost as if it weren't important.
For the first half of it, every participating Neopian sat on their hands, wondering what on Neopia this Mysterious Negg was referring to. The suspense made it all the more mysterious, and once it was released, everyone sped forward to solve the ensuing riddles, puzzle, and challenge. It was magnificent!
... If you solved it yourself. Sadly, there were some Neopians that fell to laziness, and looked at their intelligence 500+ Neopets, wondering if... maybe, just maybe... maybe their Neopet, who was so much smarter than they were... could solve it for them?
So, here is a step-by-step guide with reasons why your prodigy of a Neopet is not is not the one to solve your puzzles. Really, even moderately intelligent Neopets would be better...
Step One — Mysterious Negg
Your pet is intelligent. We've established this. Your Neopet's intelligence is on par with King Hagan's. Your Neopet is correcting your grammar and syntax. Your Neopet can solve any riddle, absorb any book. Your Neopet, by this point in time, has probably graduated from reading picture books to reading highly detailed mystery novels, and as he or she reads them, probably finds out who the villain is long before the protagonist of the story does. And that's just it... the smartest pets in Neopia are going to over-think this riddle. This means that your pet, while much smarter than you, is likely to see imaginary clues where there aren't any.
Your pet is likely to go on scores of mental side-steps, breaking down each character in the story and attributing aspects to their personality. So the wizard from Entry 8 doesn't like Brightvale... Brightvale is the center of all learning. This means that the wizard is too ignorant to be trusted with any Negg of vast importance, so they definitely aren't going to be the ones grabbing the Clockwork Negg. The blacksmith, similarly, was stupid enough to knock a branch onto his own head and injure himself... even without knowing he takes the Sand Negg, there is no way that he'd be trusted with the Clockwork Negg. Hurok doesn't like the style of the Negg, but he's also untrustworthy. Voughn admired the Cloud Negg most, and even if he changed his mind afterwards, you wouldn't want someone that shallow taking the most important Negg to its destination.
While that is ultimately correct — we all know now that the wizard is Selvin, and Rutu was the one to take the Clockwork Negg — it is easy to see how this kind of psychological logic could mess up the whole puzzle.
Another example of this, one that would be absolutely devastating to the puzzle on the whole, is Entry 12. If Rutu is so unmemorable that someone would call the Blacksmith 'Rutu,' Rutu is certainly not worth carrying the Clockwork Negg to Shenkuu. No, it'd be best just to entrust the Plant Negg to him, because someone so unworthy of memorizing does not deserve to be the hero of the journey. That would mean that the carrier of the Clockwork Negg is Ricky, most likely.
... Or so your hyper-intelligent Neopet would have you believe. No, it's best to just solve this one yourself, and leave your Neopet sneering in the corner derisively about how they could have solved it in seconds with only one Entry.
Step Two — The Cave
While the first step could not be solved by your Neopet because of over-thinking, this puzzle is impossible for your uberly smart Neopet to solve because of... opposable thumbs or appendages. Yes. Think of Lupes. Surely, they are strong and quick... but unlike Myncies, they don't have hands. They have paws. They couldn't twist the Negg or pick up symbols and place them without thumbs.
And the Neopets that do have opposable thumbs are, sadly, the Neopets that have the instinct of taking shiny objects and hoarding them. No matter how intelligent they are, they can't help that when they see something glimmering... like the Clockwork Negg... they just want to grab it and run.
But fear not. Your Neopet is, after all, a genius. There are ways to get around this. For instance, they could solve it for you by dictating where to put each piece, giving step-by-step instructions towards opening up the Negg. You could tie them to a tree so that they didn't run off with the shiny object. They could use their telekinetic powers that all Neopets who have intelligence levels above 600 acquire through enlightenment.
But there is still a problem.
After finding the scroll, they will be focused on searching the rest of the cave for clues towards solving the mystery. Rutu's shoes? They might have traces of the creature that trapped him there. His old food wrappers? Perhaps he scribbled some kind of code on them as his final words. His hat? Maybe there is something in the lining he wanted to hide away for posterity. The moss surrounding the Negg? Perhaps some small clue, a token of his journey?
Your Neopet will spend so much time searching for other clues to flesh out the story that he or she will completely run out of time to solve the puzzle, because your Neopet will be too worried about solving the mystery.
The best course of action is to solve the puzzle as you hold the scroll in one hand and the Clockwork Negg in the other puzzle. By the time your Neopet is finished tossing every item aside and inspecting every inch of the cavern, you'll most likely have gotten the hang of the puzzle and solved it. Your Neopet will probably be huffy about not having been the one to solve the puzzle, but solving it yourself will save you hours of annoyance.
Step Three — The Battle
Your pet is intelligent. With intelligence comes a certain amount of enlightenment... enlightenment such as, for instance, problems should be talked through, not fought through. Sure, you could throw your pet in the Battledome and ask them to use the Neggbreaker's weakness, the Ancient Negg Amulet, against him...
But what are the chances of that?
No, the fight would end in a stalemate. Your extremely intelligent pet would end up trying to talk through the Neggbreaker's problems. They would become a therapist to the Neggbreaker, asking him why in the world he wants to break Neggs. Was it something wrong with his childhood? Did his father make him break Neggs? Is it a compulsion?
Instead of actually battling, your Neopet would work on fixing the Neggbreaker. Your Neopet wouldn't be able to defeat the Neggbreaker in the traditional sense, but would instead attempt to defeat him in the psychological sense. And when that didn't work, your Neopet would deduce that the Neggbreaker would be the perfect subject of a research paper... an extensive one.
After trying to be the Neggbreaker's therapist, your pet would spend so much time just writing about the Neggbreaker that the Battledome bell would ding, your Neopet would lose by default (most likely for not bothering to throw a punch, or for bringing contraband like a typewriter into the ring), and all of your hard work up until that point would just be wasted.
For the Battledome challenge, it might be insulting to your little genius, but bring in the pet that likes playing outside more than reading a book. They'll do much better at defeating the Neggbreaker, and you can probably placate your genius by giving him the Ancient Negg Amulet to them afterwards to study.