Character Introductions: Elvin
Welcome to Character Introductions, a series where I interview newly introduced characters to the site and hear what they and others have to say about them. This time I'm interviewing the host from the newest daily in Kiko Lake, Kiko Pop: Elvin.
Not much is known about this slick haired (well, as slick as you can get with one hair) Kiko. He appeared suddenly in Kiko Lake with his dart game and doesn't say much else besides a friendly greeting and how to play his game. I've played the game a few times to get a bit familiar with it before finally asking for an interview which he gladly agreed to once he gone on a break. But with customers lining up I only have a few minutes to ask many questions:
Welcome, Elvin! I'd like to thank you for using your break to have this interview.
"No problem, I take a break every start of the hour. Usually I use this time to grab a quick snack and fetch a new box of supplies, being ready to get back to the customers in about five minutes, so this interview is a nice change of pace."
Glad to hear. So Elvin, as far as Neopia knows you suddenly appeared out of nowhere with no past or story. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
"Well, I'm not as mysterious as you're making it sound like. I originally worked as a furniture maker at the Kiko Lake Carpentry shop next door. Now it was a good job and all, but being Kiko Lake is not that big of a world we don't get that many customers, so business was slow. And not just for us, but all the shops in Kiko Lake. I thought about worlds that get more tourists than us and wonder what do they have that we don't, and the answer came quickly: a daily. So on my spare time from work I used my carpentry skills to build a wheel for Kiko Lake."
A wheel? As in a wheel like Wheel of Excitement or Wheel of Mediocrity? But you're daily is nothing like those or similar wheels.
"Well, I wanted to make a wheel for Kiko Lake, but ever since they got fixed up, all the wheels joined an organization which got the rights to decide whether someone could build a wheel or not. You've got to talk with them if you want to build a wheel, but they're VERY strict and won't just let anyone build a wheel. I presented them a few ideas for what I wanted to do with the wheel but they refused all of them, saying that nowadays new wheels need to have a gimmick to make them worth approving; otherwise Neopia would be filled with wheels that are all the same and take away customers from existing wheels."
Sorry to hear that. How did you come about with this dart game idea then?
"I had already built the spinning wheel and it would have been a waste to not use it, and I still wanted to get Kiko Lake a daily to draw in tourists. Doing some more research, I read about the Deserted Fairground games and they reminded me of when Kiko Lake held a small carnival which had similar games. But one game they had which the Deserted Fairgrounds didn't was a throwing dart game where you threw darts at balloons tied to a spinning wheel. Well, I have a wheel, and since the Deserted Fairgrounds don't have that attraction, it was free for the taking and would provide a unique experience which Kiko Lake would only have! After a little funding from the Kiko Lake community, I opened up and tourists have been coming to Kiko Lake in droves!"
Good to hear things worked out. However I am glad you brought up the Deserted Fairgrounds. Reports have been coming in of players who say they've hit a balloon yet the dart bounced off. Now everyone is thinking your game is rigged, what is that about?
"*sigh* It's not rigged; these balloons are just a bit more difficult to pop."
(Elvin goes over to a box and takes out an uninflated balloon and gives it to me. The balloon feels like it has a thicker rubber than normal balloons.)
"Those balloons are specially made for dart games like mine. You throw a dart at a normal balloon it's going to pop no matter where you hit it, not much of a challenge. These balloons, however, you need to hit close to the center, where the rubber had been stretched out the most, in order to pop it. Hitting anywhere else and the dart would just bounce or slide off because the rubber is too thick for it to pierce. Of course players naturally aim for the center of the balloon, that why it's on a spinning wheel too to add to the challenge."
The rumblings on line start to get louder and louder as the waiting customers got more and more impatient. We had gone a bit over five minutes so we ended the interview so that Elvin could get back to work and I can go around to other characters and see what they have to think of Elvin.
Kiko Lake Carpentry Shopkeeper (Kiko Lake resident & Elvin's former boss)
"Elvin was a good worker, knew his way around a saw and hammer. When Elvin first told me about his idea I wasn't so sure about it; not only didn't we know if a daily would bring in customers, but I would be losing a valuable employee. But after much persistence and another year of low sales, I decided to invest in his idea. I then went around and convinced the other Shopkeepers and community leaders to chip in; we even held a fundraiser to get the entirety of Kiko Lake behind the idea. Now that it's up and both tourism and profits have also gone up we all kind of wished we did this years ago. A few Kiko Lakers were disappointed that we couldn't get an actual wheel, but I think Elvin's quick thinking to turn the wheel into a dart game was a pretty clever move and I'm certainly not going to complain about the results. And though I lost a pair of good working hands, I'm still selling way more furniture than I did before and from what I'm hearing all the shops are getting way more customers too! I've even heard the mayor of Kiko Lake was thinking of making Kiko Pop a national landmark since it done so much good for Kiko Lake!"
Wheel of Excitement Host (Member of the Wheels Of Neopia Association)
"As a member of the Wheels of Neopia Association, we would like to congratulate Elvin for coming up with a unique daily idea even after we turned his idea for a wheel down. We don't want to turn down Neopians' ideas for wheels, but the problem is if we accepted even a tiny bit of those who come to us with a wheel idea, then every World would have dozens of wheels. We don't want to, but we have to, if only to also not lose customers ourselves. After Moss Tullerby and his Neopian Conversation Society helped saved the various wheels of Neopia, we hosts of the wheels realized how important the wheels were to everyone, so we got together and made the Wheels of Neopia Association to assure the ongoing care of current and future wheels. That's why we take the wheels seriously and have to be strict when it comes to new wheels submissions. Nowadays you really need a strong gimmick for us to approve you, like the Wheel of Extravagance and its gimmick of being REALLY expensive. A lot of those we turn down quit trying to create their own daily, which is why we're happy to hear that Elvin stuck to his dream. We're more than happy to include him as a daily brethren, just not as a wheel."
Arnold (Test Your Strength Host, resident of the Deserted Fairgrounds)
"A dart game, why didn't we think of that? Oh well, can't think of everything, though I am kind of disappointed he revealed a secret of our games. *sigh* Yes, it's true, our games aren't rigged but some elements of the game have been made a bit more difficult. As this Elvin said, if we didn't make our games a bit more difficult than players will be winning left and right and we'd not make a single bit profit. *I point out Kiko Pop is free to play* Ah, but Kiko Pop is being supported by the Kiko Lake community, we Deserted Fairgrounds venders have to fend for ourselves. *I ask what element of his game has been made a bit more difficult* Sorry, as I told you, it's a secret. But what I can tell you is that every carnival game like Test Your Strength, Coconut Shy, Bagatelle, and Cork Gun Gallery use the same tricks... I MEAN slightly modify the same elements to make the game a bit more difficult to win. It's just how the game is played, but a skilled player can still overcome these small changes quite easily; so how skilled are you?"
Well, I must not be very skilled as I didn't get above "Useless" on Test Your Strength *sigh*. I think that'll end this edition of Character Introductions, we now know the inspirational story of a patriotic Kiko Lake carpenter who just wanted to help out his world by creating a daily to bring in more tourists despite being turned down a few times along the way. If you want to take a shot at Elvin's dart game, then head to Kiko Lake and try your aim at Kiko Pop. And if you miss, though you could have sworn you hit a balloon, don't worry, despite how Elvin put it the game is rigged (because that's what you call manipulating an element of a game to make it more difficult). But personally I don't put it against Elvin; the Deserted Fairground venders on the other hand...