Typing Terror Terms
If you are anything like me (and I don't mean this as an insult), you might have found yourself wondering just what exactly is going on with Typing Terror. I don't mean the big and little and malfunctioning clockwork Grundos, I'm talking about the words that you have to type in order to defeat them.
If you're not familiar with the game, in Typing Terror, you are a single yellow Grundo and the sole occupant of a space station, faced with a hoard of rampaging clockwork Grundos who run at you with words written across their tummies. Pick one of the Grundos, type out its word (spelling it right on the first try counts for bonus points), and the clockwork Grundo explodes. If you make too many typos or get too far behind, the clockwork Grundos will overwhelm you! It's quite intense.
The longer you play, the better your typing will be - and you might also start to wonder about these words you're spelling. Some of them are familiar to us all: zoo, vow, Eyrie, Kyrii, Fyora, Ixis. Some of the words are familiar, but unexpected - lye? ozone? zygote? - and some of the words seem like entirely made-up, random nonsense. In order to bring light to the darkness, I have climbed treacherous peaks and braved the desert sun. Czerniak, Szilard, and Lysenko are the names of historical figures, not to be found in Neopia; other words and names led me to discover some of the colorful characters from various Neopian historical events and locales. The more I dug, the more I realized what an odd assortment of words we have in Typing Terror.
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Fuzzitus: (n.) sporadic allergy to fluff, it affects JubJubs especially. You can cure it with Fluff Be Gone.
Gyring: (n.) circular or spiral, a vortex; (v.) a circular or spiral motion. (Lewis Carroll's slithy toves "did gyre and gimble in the wabe," in "Jabberwocky.")
Gyrostat: (n.) a modified gyroscope in a rigid case. A gyroscope is a rotating wheel that maintains the same orientation regardless of how you move it around. If that doesn't help, imagine a compass, and then imagine putting it in a box!
Hypos: (n., pl.) a chemical compound used in photography (sodium thiosulphate)
Jute: (n.) you can make coarse threads and cloth from these vegetables. In fact, your Ultra Fashionable Burlap Sacks may be made from jutes.
Kyruggi: (n.) the Tyrannian Grand Elder; she can be found in the village of Tyrammet, where she is considered a compassionate and fair ruler. She also loves playing GoGoGo, and the "GoGoGo Handbook" promises to give your pets tips for playing against her. She's so popular that you can purchase a Kyruggi trading card, stamp, action figure, and plushie.
Lyses: (n., pl. of 'lysis') can refer to the destruction of cells OR symptoms of a disease becoming less serious
Lysine: (n.) an essential amino acid
Oxymoron: jumbo shrimp; act naturally; good grief!
Ryshiki: (n.) a Kyrii warrior with a lovely mane of flowing golden locks. You can check out his fierce eyebrows on his collectable card (only one is visible, but it's enough).
Ryshu: (n.) a red Nimmo who can be found in the Training School on Mystery Island. He studied under the Techo Master, and now Ryshu is a teacher as well. You can read about his time as an idle young student (he once dreamed of a frivolous life frolicking on the beach), and his adventure with the Tribe of Pango in his Neopedia entries, and you can fight him in the Battledome (he has a difficulty of 250). Ryshu items include the Ryshu stamp, Ryshu Bobblehead, Ryshu collectable card, the Ryshu Ancient Magic Shield, and boxing gloves that Ryshu once owned. He is also a fan of haiku.
Syzygies: (n., pl.) this term is used in astronomy (three celestial bodies, such as planets, in a straight line), math (this is a mystery to me), and biology (something to do with chromosomes), as well as by Carl Jung, who very unfortunately never had a chance to play Neopets, and for him it described a union of opposites (as, perhaps, you might find in a chocolate and vanilla swirl soft-serve ice cream cone).
Tyrela: (n.) also Tyrela Softpaw, a Wocky with distinctive blue-and-white fur. An accomplished tracker who grew up in Terror Mountain's unforgiving, wintry environment, she is the one most likely to find and rescue you if you get lost in a blizzard. You may or may not wish to commemorate the experience with a Tyrela Softpaw trading card.
Tzar, czars, tzarina: (n.) various spellings in the Roman alphabet of a Russian word (czar is more common outside of scholarly writing, where tsar is preferred); a tsar is a tzar is a czar, unless she's a czarina. (And a czarist is (n.) someone who really loves the czars or (adj.) in the style of the czars.)
Uzarro: (n.) a notorious thief, this Usul causes trouble for bankers all over Neopia. You might be familiar with the feeling if you play Trouble at the National Neopian. Just imagine what she does with all of the NP she's stolen! Her collectible card shows off her electric blue eyes and spiffy green bodysuit - but who knows what she really looks like? In Story 600 of the Storytelling Competition, Uzarro is one of five well-known Neopians fighting against the evil Meepit overlords.
Vyssa: (n.) another Usul, Vyssa is one of the Princesses of Sakhmet. In interviews, she tells us how she really feels: she would put Senator Palpus on a diet; she says that "Senator Barca... annoys the sand straight out of my sandals;" and she hates it when other people tell her what to do. Vyssa was one of the suspects when her father, the eminent Coltzan III, was murdered, but the killer was someone else. When Vyssa built Coltzan's Shrine to honor her father, his crown was stolen, and Neopians all over the world joined together to hunt down the culprits. Now, when you visit the Shrine, Coltzan's spirit may give you something nice. Vyssa's favorite things are her petpet, a Khamette named Tut, and her golden hairbrush. For Princess Vyssa fans, you can read Princess Vyssa's Diary, purchase a Princess Vyssa wig or trading card, and put the Sakhmet Palace stamp in your stamp collection (it was printed specially, with Princess Vyssa's permission).
Xantan: (n.) also known as Xantan the Foul, a gross monster who looks to be made of sludge (or perhaps fudge, not that you would want to take a bite). If you play NeoQuest, you've probably defeated him once or twice. He cast a spell on an adventurer named Rikti, trapping him in the Dank Cave; you can collect Rikti and Xantan trading cards. There is also an Eye of Xantan Amulet, a Xantan Cloak of Slime, and a Xantan Plushie of Death (which is about as cute as you would expect, and it won't be very helpful if you take it into the Battledome).
Xelqued: (n.) if this were a verb, it might mean "tricking someone into revealing their secrets," or perhaps, "being tricked into revealing secrets," as Captain Xelqued once tricked Queen Fyora into showing him around the hidden tower (an inspirational experience for the crafty Alien Aisha). A prolific inventor and explorer, you'll have to pay a pretty penny to put his collectable card in your Neodeck!
Yummiest: not the "hot worm hot dog"
Yurts: (n., pl.) convenient on-the-go housing for nomads; you might find some of these near Shenkuu(?), or, if you live on some weird place called "Earth," Mongolia.
Zumagorn: (n.) mischievous faerie Petpet
Zyrolon: (n.) an agèd Grundo with a fringe of grey hair, he has gone from programming for Dr. Sloth to repairing vending machines. You can express your affection for cantankerous ex-minions who might smell of mothballs by collecting his Neocard and stamp.
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One wonders how these of all words ended up on Clockwork Grundos. Was the yellow Grundo, isolated in the vast silence of space, fanatically devoted to reading the entire dictionary? Some sort of scientist? Studying to achieve the lifelong dream of participating in a spelling bee? Were the Clockwork Grundos intended to be ambulatory flashcards, their mechanical activity giving the yellow Grundo some semblance of companionship, while also serving as study aids?
That, we may never know.