Sasha's Story: Key Quest from a Pet's Point-of-view
I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Sure this game had been around for a while, but I'd never gathered up the courage to give it a try. Besides, I was quite fond of staying at my owner's side being fed gourmet foods every time I felt a tiny bit hungry. Hey, after all, I am a royal girl Uni. Certainly I deserve the royal treatment.
However, my beloved owner had just recently activated a new token, my royal girl Uni token for that Key Quest game everyone was buzzing about and now she had been begging me to come and play ever since.
"Come on, Sasha, it will be fun! Besides, I'd really like to try for a rare paint brush or piece of laboratory map if I- er, I mean you win a gold key!"
My owner really had her own ways of coaxing me into doing things she wanted me to do. I took a minute to think about it.
"Well, fine... I'll play, but only if you promise to buy me a happiness negg afterward. I'm going to need it," I grumbled.
My owner was already scurrying toward the Key Quest game boards, I wondered if she had even heard my request at all.
I sauntered in slowly, glancing around at the other Neopets waiting to join a game.
"Oh boy," I thought to myself. "This will be interesting."
There was an old-timer, a pink Bruce from Collection one (or so I hear) stretching his arm muscles and splashing his face with a bottle of water that his owner gave him.
All of a sudden I got a queasy feeling, what in the world was I signing up for? Was this like the time my owner told me we were going to Brightvale and we ended up at the –shudder – battledome? Surely my owner knew how long it took me to recover from that filthy place, would she really put me through that again?
I slowly walked over to her and nudged her back as she was standing at a table signing me up for a 2-player, 5-key game in Terror Mountain (oh boy, just the name of the board sounded like loads of fun).
"Yes, what is it, Sasha?" she asked me.
"Well, I would just like to know why all these other Neopets are acting as if we are entering a wrestling match, I thought you said this was a fun, lighthearted game?"
"Oh yes, it is! Don't worry, everything will be fine," she replied quickly. I wasn't sure if the look in her eyes was reassurance or already thinking about what she could do with a Tyrannian paint brush if she won one.
I figured arguing was a lost cause so I hoisted up my headdress and got ready to play this game... or whatever it was.
"Come on, Sasha, your game is ready! You're playing against this wonderful Pink Bruce, Alex." She was hurrying me over and introducing me to Alex, the Bruce I had scoffed at earlier... great.
"Good luck!" was all that Alex said to me as he walked through a brown wooden door that I followed him through.
I followed his lead after he stepped onto one of four colored squares; he chose blue and I chose yellow, one comfortable square in between us.
An awkward looking Lenny came in and gave us each a dice to roll, I rolled a six.
"You pick first," the Lenny said.
He gave me four starting houses to choose from and I, naturally, picked the most beautiful one- the one that looked like a Faerieland house.
Alex chose the dark Haunted Woods house, of course.
The Lenny then motioned us to follow him so I trotted off my yellow square and followed him through the other wooden door in the room marked "exit."
My eyes became wide when I saw the board we were going to play on, it was huge! There were so many different squares and I wasn't sure what each of them meant but not wanting to look so much like a newbie, I followed Alex's lead at standing in front of my starting home.
"Good luck to both of you and play fair." The Lenny waved at us and waddled off.
"You roll first," Alex coldly shouted at me from across the board. I was beginning not to like this guy.
I picked up the dice and rolled another six, my lucky day. I looked around, wondering what to do next.
"Um, you have to move six spaces. Choose the way you want to go. I don't have all day, you know!"
I was determined to figure this game out more quickly so I didn't have to hear more complaining from Alex.
I stepped off my home base and glanced quickly to the left and right. To my left I spotted a silver key so I headed that way. I picked up the Neopoints that I found along the way and ended up on this purple spot with stars.
"That's a minigame. Roger will be out shortly," Alex said to me in a surprisingly nice tone of voice.
I nodded and pretended like I knew who Roger was when all of a sudden a friendly Kacheek sauntered over to us who I could only guess had to be Roger.
"Alright, this time around it will be Nova Matcher. Look carefully at each Nova and pick a pair that you see are alike. The Neopet who gets the most pairs, wins!" Roger explained to us, although I imagined Alex already knew how to play. I, on the other hand, was quite delighted to actually have directions on how to play something for once so I smiled broadly at Roger before he walked away.
A board of different colored Novas was presented to us and I started just a second after Alex. However, he was no match for my quick eye and quick movements. Just half-way through the mini-game I was already at 16 pairs whereas Alex only had a few.
By the end of the minigame it was clear that I had more pairs and I breathed a sigh of relief. At least I could beat him in something. I suddenly gained a new level of confidence.
"Well, good game," he grumbled as he hobbled off back to his home square to roll the dice.
As a reward for winning the minigame I was presented with all five keys to choose one from. I quickly glanced around the board to see which key was least attainable compared to where I was standing and I ended up choosing the yellow. Boy, this game was getting quite fun; I already had two keys and Alex had none!
I heard a huge sigh of frustration coming from Alex when I looked over and realized he had rolled a one. Surprisingly, I actually felt bad for the poor Bruce.
"Don't worry, you'll get something better next time," I reassured him.
I guess my kind words surprised him because he looked up at me with a puzzled expression before quickly waving me off to roll my next turn.
Once again, I rolled a six. I looked over to Alex and gave him a beseeching look as I walked forward toward a green key and picked it up. Three keys now, two to go! Surely I would be rewarded with mounds of gourmet food if I won this game for my owner.
After picking up the green key I continued on and was given the option to travel through a portal. A high speed wind slashing through my beautiful mane? I think not. I declined and continued on toward a red key that I saw in the distance.
Alex's turn. Luckily he rolled a six which brightened his spirits a bit. He picked up a yellow key at the end of his turn and put it in his pocket. I knew enough now not to have to wait until he told me to roll the dice. A four, just enough spaces to go pick up the red key. I was disappointed that we hadn't had another minigame yet but I was eager to finish the game and go back home.
Alex rolled a two. I had spoken too soon, he landed on a minigame. I trotted over to his space and waited for Roger.
"This time it's Petpetpet Snare," he explained. "Carefully circle the designated petpetpet with this pen as quickly as you can! Bigger loops give more points!"
I looked over at Alex who sighed and looked as if he'd already been defeated. I wondered if he was just sick of his owner making him play so many games or if he was bothered that he was being beaten by a girl.
When the minigame begun I frantically started circling petpetpets as quickly as I could. I was wondering why I wasn't gaining any points when half-way through the game I realized I had been circling just any petpetpet, not the ones I was supposed to. I knew I would still have time to catch up and possibly beat Alex but the compassionate side of me got the best of me and I slowed down, letting Alex win.
"Yes!" he announced when the timer ran out, making it clear he had won.
"Great job," I answered back sincerely.
I walked back to the square I was on while Alex chose his prize, a power-up that allowed him to portal to another square. I was secretly glad that I hadn't gotten that as a prize when I had won.
I just needed one more key and then I could go home and rest my sore hooves. I was getting pretty tired from walking all over this board.
Another six. This time I didn't feel bad as I had already done my good deed for the day by letting him win the last minigame. I followed the board and took a left at the next intersection, hoping to get this blue key in my next turn.
Alex chose to use his power-up on his next turn and chose the portal closest to me. He then rolled a three.
"Yes! Perfect!" he shouted. I was quite confused as to why he thought rolling a three was so wonderful. I watched as he made his way toward a treasure chest. Ahh, now it made sense.
Alex took his yellow key out of his pocket and used it to open the chest. Inside were tons of Neopoints, his choice of any key color and a free power-up. Boy did he hit the jackpot. He chose the silver key and got a power-up that would allow him to take any spare keys from me if I had more than one of a color.
This time I rolled a one. I walked to the next square which had the earth faerie symbol on it.
A beautiful earth faerie appeared right on front of me.
"You have been granted the protection against power-ups for two turns and you get to go again just this once," she explained in such a sweet, melodic voice.
I looked over to be sure Alex had heard and wasn't thinking I was cheating. His face showed me that he had heard.
A rolled a five this time and landed on nothing special. I counted, I was four spaces away from winning. I didn't see how it was possible to lose now.
Alex rolled a five and went to go pick up the red key.
My turn now, I was hoping for a four. Nope, a two. I realized, however, that this landed me on the treasure spot! Woohoo!
I opened it up and collected my prizes, choosing another yellow key and the rainbow key power-up.
"Well, I suppose this is the end then after your next turn. For a newbie, you didn't do so bad," Alex said over his shoulder as he begrudgingly rolled another one.
I guess my attempt to hide my new-ness to this game had failed.
"Yeah, thanks for a fun game."
I had made it! I rolled my dice and managed another six! I stepped in front of the metal door and placed my key to open the lock. After entering I saw my owner waiting for me on the other side.
"Ohhh! I knew you could do it Sasha, my little royal girl," she cooed at me.
If I was being honest with myself, it really wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be and I did like the attention I was getting for winning. The royal Uni in me never shied away from praise and admiration. Boy was it great being royal.
"Here you go miss, reach in and pick out your four prizes," Roger said to my owner, presenting her with a huge red satin bag that apparently contained a slew of prizes.
My owner reached in and pulled out a book.
"Oh, well... I think you've read this one already," she said, trying to sound grateful.
She pulled out her next two prizes at the same time: another book and a flower for our garden at home.
"Hm, lovely." She nodded, getting more disappointed.
She reached in to pull out her last prize and came up with, I gasped, a Tyrannian paint brush. I couldn't believe it.
"Oh... my, I- I can't believe it!" she stuttered. "I actually won a paint brush!" She started to squeal and jump up and down as I felt my face flush with embarrassment.
"Please, not so loud." I whispered. "Everyone is looking at us."
"Oh that's only because they're jealous. Everyone secretly hopes for a paint brush!!" she exclaimed, not lowering her voice one bit I noticed.
I looked around and spotted Alex. I nodded my head at him in a friendly fashion and he returned by waving at me as he and his owner headed out the door.
"Well, my dear Sasha, aren't you glad you came and played?" my owner asked me as we also headed toward the door and, I thought, home.
"Yeah, I suppose it wasn't as bad as I thought and I actually had fun," I replied.
"Good, because our next stop is the Rainbow Pool, now I can finally paint you Tyrannian!"
Editor's Note: As we have learned from this story, it is not always easy bringing your Neopet to play Key Quest for the first time! In order to ease them into the transition it is important to explain the rules to them and coax them into it by promising to buy them gifts afterward. And the moral of this story? Never use your Key Quest prizes on your Neopets without asking them first! After all, they did play the game for YOU. ;)