The Neopian Times - A Chronicle
We’ve finally reached the latest milestone in the history of the Neopian Times – Issue 700. That’s right, there have been seven hundred issues of your favourite weekly newspaper. Just take a moment to let the size of that number sink in. It’s entirely feasible that the Neopian Times has been publishing original content longer than some of its readers have been alive. Especially when you take into account the fact the original Neopian Times started back in Year 2.
There are around 50-60 submissions per issue and so there must have been well over 42,000 pieces published. That’s an awful lot of time and effort that thousands of Neopians have put into ensuring we have something interesting to read each week.
Whether you have only recently started to read the Neopian Times or are a returning user who has missed a lot of issues it’s well worth delving into the archives to discover the breadth and depth of the contributor’s work over the years. Even if you have always been a subscriber, when there is a new issue every week it’s easy to forget some of your old favourites.
In this article we’re going to give a history of the Neopian Times and how it has changed over the years, highlighting the issues worth a special mention. From those we’ll pick out a submission that is really worth a read and, hopefully, will tempt you to explore the rest of the issue.
The (Old) Neopian Times
As mentioned earlier, the first edition of the Neopian Times was published in Year 2, the 25th day of the Month of Sleeping to be precise. It had the natty slogan ‘For an easier life’ and Issue 2 can still be viewed for posterity although sadly you can’t follow the links to the stories, comic, monthly horoscope, art work and puzzles it contained
Week 23 – Unfortunately, several of the earlier issues have been lost/eaten by Meepits but there are some still available in the Archives section of the new Neopian Times . Week 23 is the first of the old issues that you can still read and is the only one to feature the blue Jubjub on the header. It is thought to be around this time that TNT staff member Josh aka Mr Shankly, he of the dung and hair gel obsession, became responsible for running the Neopian Times. The style was updated from Issue 2 to better reflect the look of the Neopets site -the navigation bar linking to the various sections is similar to the page headers on the old layout. Each issue now contained much more content and had to be divided up into short stories, articles, editorial, new series and continued series and had a circulation of 2,500,000. The Neopian Times now also had two different backgrounds the first of which wouldn’t be out of place in one of today’s issues, as many of the items, pets and petpets it features are recognisable today. The second background (visible by clicking to read an article) features one of the earliest group shots of the various Neopian species. New readers might be shocked by the appearance of some of the pets but it will certainly bring back memories for older Neopians.
Our pick: The Path to Hope: Merc's Story by Alkuna.
There were 68 editions of the Old Neopian Times. The articles in these early issues are mainly brief opinion pieces (there is a LOT of arguing about the NeoEconomy and the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer) as well as regular Stock Market reports with Neil Kauvato and Maria Blumaroono. In the beginning the series and short stories really were quite short but as the weeks went by Josh worked hard to get the best out of the budding writers as he encouraged them to improve their style and technique. Those weren’t the only changes he implemented - in Week 24, as well as replacing the blue Jubjub header with a shiny gold version, the circulation number was updated to reflect the huge increase to 12,500,000 readers. Week 29 featured yet another new background, this time featuring the likes of Count Von Roo and Ryshu. Week 31 was the first to feature a Guild spotlight and this continued to be expanded as more Guilds were created. Although Issue 2 featured a comic they don’t seem to have appeared again until Week 52 when they were placed in the articles section. By Week 56 there were enough to merit a separate comic section on the navigation bar. The editorial of these early issues is also well worth a read. It was looked after by Donna as she attempted to answer the most frequently asked questions and dispel yet another rumour about how to create Fish Neggs. Look out for questions about when Neopets will be able to wear clothes (Week 23) and the outcry about various species being redrawn (Week 29). These are great examples of how long it has taken for certain ideas to come to fruition and how some things will never change.
Our recommendation: The Land of Noz series Parts 1-3 by fletcherdog starting in Week 29.
The New Neopian Times
After 68 issues the Neopian Times was in need of a revamp, and after the relaunch on 10th day of Hiding Y3 was referred to as The New Neopian Times for the first 149 issues. Although listed in the archives as Issues the papers themselves still use the ‘Week xx’ nomenclature of the earlier incarnation. For continuity this article will refer to them as issues.
The new look featured user-drawn images in the background and the circulation was updated to reflect the total number of users. If you refresh the page you can see how many new Neopians have joined whilst you’ve been busy reading the start of a new series. A quote of the week section was added and the Neopian Times was now brought to you each week by a different Neopian shop or place of interest. The Guild Spotlight continued up until Issue 27 after which the lack of space to promote even a tiny percentage of the huge number of new guilds led to its cancellation.
Issue 28 - The Neopian Market Report, formerly a stock report written by stereolab in the Old Neopian Times, had been evolving to include more general site news by incorporating interviews with new business owners. In this issue it became The Neopian News Brief and it started with news of the arrival of the Tonu and the release of Krawps. Although there was now more of a focus on new site features and events there was still a brief section about the Stockmarket. This helpful recap of the week’s releases was written by El Picklesaur and lasted for 95 issues until the final edition in Issue 113.
Our pick: Poor Dr_Death by karma_leafbarer – a good example of why this long-running comic was so popular.
Issue 63 was the first Halloween special edition and coincided with the release of the Ghost Paint Brush. The issue was full of themed submissions and was a portent of what was to come as Halloween issues are always bumper editions, on some occasions even beating the anniversary issues for number of published entries.
Our pick: Stevo's Spooky PetPets by shidi with “Stevo Furwin"
Issue 72 is memorable as it contains what we think is the first mention of the enigma that is Chet Flash in an article by ember188. Talked about only is passing this elusive character would go on to (briefly) appear in many a Neopian Times submission.
Our pick: Year 4 Visual Diary by _l_love_plushies_. This is a great summary of the year’s events. You forget just how much happened new content was crammed into a year back then.
Issue 75 was last to be edited by Mr Shankly. As a parting gift, all those who were published in this week found a Tyrannian Paint Brush in their inventory - Tyrannia being the source of most of the dung items in Neopia. As far as we can tell this was the first instance of a ‘prize’ being awarded for a Neopian Times entry, something which became more commonplace during the tenures of the next two editors. Never something to be expected these gifts have always been just a little extra something from the Editors. As ever the Neopian Timers Writers Forum (NTWF) were ahead of the game and three of their members pulled together to create a tribute to Josh which we have selected below. For those who don’t know, the NTWF is a place where users who enjoy contributing to the Neopian Times can get together to test out ideas, offer reviews and work together on collaborations. Many of its members had received comments and constructive criticism from Josh over the years as he aimed to improve the standard of writing at the Neopian Times and were understandably sad to see him go.
Our pick: The Dung Hero by hippiesoul.
Issue 76 was the first issue with Felicia aka Snowflake at the helm. She would remain in charge for over two years, finally stepping down after Issue 192. Outside of her duties as Editor she somehow found time to get married (she loved her wedding dress so much she wore it for her staff photo, hence the image below) and an Accounting degree and it is believed she left Neopets to pursue a career in this field.
Our pick: A Neopinglish Dictionary by Stoneman3x. You will most likely remember this user for his ‘Really Confused’ comic series, indeed there is one of that series in the comic section of Issue 76 as well, making Stoneman3x one of the select few to have been published twice in one issue.
Issue 100 commemorates another milestone in the history of the Neopian Times. To celebrate, Snowflake gave every published author a Starry Paintbrush.
Our pick: The Return of Aglyco: Part One by peachifruit
Issue 104 was, we think, the first to mention the existence of White Weewoos. This was in the comic series Nonsensical Verbiage by laurensama. A number of users, led by laurensama, were keen to have a White Weewoo petpet, which at this time did not exist in Neopia. Therefore they snuck references to this mythical petpet into their comics, articles and stories. Eventually it paid off; first there was an artist-drawn image of a White Weewoo included alongside the short story The Weewoo of White by oily106 in Issue 113. Then a couple of weeks later on the 27th day of the Month of Collecting the White Weewoo was finally made available to all. To celebrate, Snowflake gave all those whose entries were published in Issue 115 a White Petpet Paint Brush so that they could have their very own White Weewoo. Since then the White Weewoo has become the symbol of the Neopian Times, regularly featuring in images, and items connected to the Neopian Times as well as in the newspaper itself, both in the content and the layout.
Our pick: Nonsensical Verbiage by laurensama
Issue 135 was special because Snowflake played her own April Fool’s Day prank by awarding a Meepit to those who were published. You think you’re getting a nice prize but, April Fool’s it’s a Meepit. Which will surely bite your face off/take over the world. Of course, the Neopian Times April Fool’s editions would go on to bigger and better things in future issues.
Our pick: More (Yes, More) Item Descriptions for the Alternative Neopian by too_kule. Also by simsman24000
The Neopian Times
Issue 150 was the first to feature the layout still in use today. Gone was the gold Jubjub header, Neopets-yellow colour scheme and cramped layout. After 149 issues the New Neopian Times now merited being referred to simply as ‘The Neopian Times.’ The new header showcased this in a black, handwritten-style font with a Neopian Times Quill either side. Below this was something new – a selection of phrases that alter at every refresh and reflect TNT (and the Editor)’s unique sense of humour. The circulation had also been updated to reflect the growing community from 193,487,46 in Issue 149 to 81,443,838 in Issue 150. This brings us nicely onto the next change – following the update each edition of the Neopian Times is now referred to as Issue xxx as opposed to Week xxx. Another useful improvement is that the actual date of publication is now recorded so we can easily tell you that Issue 150 was released on the 23rd day of Swimming, Y6. Part of what made this new look so good was that it was much more user-friendly. The new background used the artist-drawn images we still see today (Lucky Green Boots, Neopian Times Mug, White Weewoo etc). There was more blank space between the images and this, combined with the fact that the main body of the NT was now opaque, made it so much easier to read. At the bottom of the pages containing content there was a side background image of the mascot of the Neopian Times, the White Weewoo, sat atop a stack of Neopian Times issues. One other important addition was the cute crayon-carrying Slorg that graces the front page – more on him later. Last but not least to reward dedicated contributors TNT released the Neopian Times Star avatar. Users who had been published at least 10 times could visit their lookups to be rewarded with this avatar. For everyone else it was a new challenge and a great idea by TNT to encourage more users to contribute their ideas. Except I’m guessing Snowflake maybe didn’t feel the same when she suddenly had thousands of entries to read through each week.
Our pick: Sloth on the Rox by arbok2000
Issue 158 was the first to have an altered colour scheme. This was originally intended for Issue 150 as Newspaper Grey was the colour favoured by the NTWF but with the layout changes it was pushed back to this issue.
Our pick: The Editorial by Adam
Issue 164 was the first to have a special themed layout. The quills were replaced with pumpkins, the header text looks to be made from slime and is strung with cobwebs. The Weewoo is replaced by a Furwitch, the usual blue background is replaced with shades of pumpkin orange and the background features an array of spooky items. Scariest of all though is the mean look on that little Slorg’s face. The background and colour scheme was repeated in the next Halloween issue, 214, but with a different title design and without the scary-looking Slorg. Those published in this issue received a Halloween Petpet Paint Brush. Since then the background has gone through a few variations but everything else has remained the same. See also Issues 263 (Pirate Paint Brush prize), 315, 366, 416, 467 (Halloween Paint Brush), 518 (Transparent Paint Brush), 568 (Edible Plushie), 618 (Wraith Paint Brush) and 667 (Acara Transmogrification Potion).
Our pick: The Ultimate Halloween by saneeya1000
Issue 169 featured a snowflake background, purple/lilac colour scheme and a snow-topped header complete with snow petpets at each end. The Weewoo is missing but perhaps they don’t like the cold. Other than it being the month of Celebrating, a period of year associated with snow, we haven’t been able to figure out the reason for this layout. Maybe Snowflake really did just love snowflakes.
Our pick: Whiteout: Part Three by scarrift
Issue 170 was the first Holiday issue and had a special festive layout. The quills were bedecked with snow and holly, there was a green and red colour scheme and a background featuring festive toys, gifts and decorations. The side background for this edition features a Feepit in a Christmas hat. There have been a couple of changes to the colour scheme for this layout and one change to the background. TNT must have been in the festive spirit because they decided to award all that week’s authors a Neopian Times Coin. As a r100 item this only rarely restocks making them a much sought after item. The other Holiday issues are 221(Plushie Paint Brush prize), 271 (Plushie Paint Brush), 323, 372, 423, 475 (Plushie Paint Brush), 526 (Plushie Paint Brush), 575 (Christmas Chomby Plushie), 625 (Christmas Pattern Negg) and 674 (White Paint Brush).
Our pick: And the Meepits Outgrabe by kittylin.
Issue 176 had a green and purple colour scheme in honour of the first Jhudora Day on the 4th day of Awakening Y7. It wasn’t until the next year and Issue 226 that Jhudora had her own header and background for the Neopian Times which has been used for all of her special editions since then. It’s understandable; if there was a risk of you being turned into a Blechy if she didn’t like it you’d spend a year working on it too. See also Issues 378, 429, 480 (Angry Candy), 531 (Jhudoras Bluff Background) and 580 (Jhudoras Harp).
Our pick: The History of the Grundo Thief by fairiefire.
Issue 177 was a celebration of Valentine’s Day with the requisite pink colour scheme, lovehearts around the title and a background featuring gifts for that special someone. The side background was a Valentines Heart Shaped Chocolate Box. There have been a couple of background changes over the years but for the most part the theme has stayed the same throughout Issues 227, 279, 329, 379, 430, 481 (Pink Paint Brush), 532 (Beautiful Columns Foreground), 581 (Pink Flower Garland), 632 (Pink Paint Brush) and 680 (Pink Paint Brush).
Our pick: The Valentine by mad_as_sin
Issue 182 redressed the balance of good and evil by paying homage to Illusen. There was a green colour scheme, a background of Illusen-related items and images of leaves and Illusen herself around the title. The side background image was of an Illusen Day Cupcake and apart from a background change in Issue 435 this layout has remained the same. See also Issues 231, 283 (Finding Illusen), 334, 384, 435, 486 (an Illusen-related book), 536 (Pencil of the Earth Faerie), 586 (Green Alkenore) and 636 (Woodland Petpet Paint Brush).
Our pick: Illusen's Cake by shadowcristal
Issue 184 was the first April Fool’s Day special in this current version of the Neopian Times. The inside joke was limited to the Comics section where, alongside the traditional crossovers, they informed readers that TNT had decided to bring the comic section to a close. The next April Fool’s edition was Issue 233. Eyrie-eyed readers might have spotted that the Editorial Slorg was facing left instead of the usual right and realise that there was something different about this particular issue which had several joke articles and pieces about pranks.
Issue 285 the first issue-wide NTWF prank. As an April Fool’s Day joke they collaborated with Droplet to create articles, comics and stories about a fictional new plot event – The Faerie Wars. The various authors endeavoured to encourage users to choose one side over another and generally caused much mayhem and confusion as users attempted to find out more about this exciting new plot.
Issue 336 caused minor panic as an awful lot of the submissions mentioned that NeoSchools had finally been released. There was a comprehensive backstory, with multiple articles and stories mentioning the names of the new teachers such as Mrs Owen and Miss Matthews. TNT had even drawn custom thumbnails of them. Cue a mad dash to the New Features to figure out how we had missed that announcement before the realisation that it was yet another April Fool’s prank by those jokers at NTWF. But of course you noticed the Editorial Slorg was facing left again and knew straight away what was happening, didn’t you.
Issue 385 saw the NTWF collaborators submitted comics, stories, articles and even a new series about the fictional mining town of Goldrun.
Issue 437 was technically a Negg Festival special edition but you may have noticed something unusual in the background – Novelty Glasses and 101 Uses For Bacon. Actually the whole issue was a little more hirsute than normal as many comic characters sported moustaches and there were articles and stories on the subject.
Issue 488 featured an inside joke about the grand opening of Lutari Island. There was a game guide for ‘Clearing the Storm,’ an article about all the new locations you could visit on Lutari Island along with several other articles, comics and stories leading readers to believe they could finally visit this fabled land.
Issue 538 had several articles and comics about the much anticipated release of NeoQuest III.
Issue 588’s NTWF joke was all about the previously unknown character Grandma Boochi. This kindly old lady apparently had a habit of going around zapping pets Elderly.
Issue 638 made multiple references to ‘The Oracle Games’ – the latest phenomenon to take Neopia by storm.
So, now you know to be on the lookout for Neopian Times pranks. But be careful, the Editorial Slorg hasn’t been able to warn you that something is amiss since Issue 385 so you’ll have to rely on your own nous.
Our pick: The Happiest Quiggle by nut862
Issue 193 featured a purple layout in honour of Fyora Day, with the Queen herself featured by the title and a Fyora Day Muffin as the side background. She had to wait until Issue 242 for her own background which remained the same through Issues 294 and 394 (Hidden Tower Secrets) before a change for 446 (Faerie Paint Brush), 497 (Fyora’s Castle Stamp), 547 (Fyora Cookies) and 647 (Fyoras Castle Stamp).
Our pick: To Be A Master: One Step Nearer - Part One by shelleylow
Issue 196 was the first with Droplet as Editor. She went on to become the longest-serving editor so far, overseeing over 480 issues.
Our pick: A Grey Day by shadowcristal
Issue 200 was another milestone and in tribute the normally blue quills were changed to gold and the rest of the layout had a yellow/gold colour scheme. The background was less faded than usual and featured different Neopian Times related items than usual. As a reward all those lucky people whose entries were accepted received a Neopian Times 200th Anniversary Card.
Our pick: Hunting Down the Mystery Picture by kitty_catz_rule
Issue 235 celebrated (if that’s the right word) the second annual Grey Day. The background consisted of suitably morose grey items, the colour scheme was grey and even the title images were a Grey Petpet Paint Brush and a very sad looking Grey Weewoo. The side background was of a Grey Krawk and a Grey Grundo. The Editorial Slorg looked very out of place until Issue 388 when he too became grey in colour, although he still looked pretty happy. Evidently nothing gets that little Slorg down and he was back to his usual green self in Issue 439, which instead features an actual Grey Slorg on the new background. See also Issues 287, 338, 388 (Grey Petpet Paint Brush), 439, 489 (Grey Meepit), 540 (Grey Paint Brush), 590 and 640.
Our pick: A Diary Filled with Color by undeadfortune
Issue 250 didn’t have the change in colour scheme seen in previous milestone issues but that was possibly because TNT were so excited about the prizes for this particular issue. As was becoming traditional an extra special gift was given out and this time it was a Neopian Times White Weewoo Plushie. On top of that they were also the first recipients of the Neopian Times Writer avatar. For the majority of users who were not published that week it was a long, long wait until Issue 300 to find out whether this avatar was a one-off or an annual event.
Our pick: Message in a Bottle by philodox
Issue 295 was a special edition in honour of Petpet Appreciation Day. There was no colour change but there was a plethora of petpets on the background and a Navibot, Wain, Weewoo and Spardel surrounding the title. Apart from the odd colour change to the Quote of the Week box there has only been one change – a new background since Issue 447. See also Issues 395, 447 (Island Petpet Paint Brush), 498 (Island Petpet Paint Brush), 548 (Snowickle), 598 (Royal Petpet Paint Brush) and 648 (Gwortz).
Our pick: All You Need to Know About PESTS! by lassie_nikki
Issue 300 saw the return of the golden colour scheme, along with the NT Writer avatar and an exclusive Postal Weewoo Action Figure for all those published in the 300th Issue. See also Issues 350 (Neopian Times White Weewoo Plushie), 400 (Postal Weewoo Action Figure), 450 (Neopian Times Writing Quill), 500 (Neopian Times Background), 550 (Neopian Times Writing Quill), 600 (Book of Ideas) and 650 (Neopian Times Coin).
Our pick: Revenge of the Golden JubJub by tashni
Issue 335 celebrated what would become the Negg Festival in later years. The background features Neggs, there were Neggs by the title and a happy Chia sitting near some Neggs as the side background. See also Issues 387, 437, 491 (Rainbow Vanilla Negg), 539 (Green Gem Negg).
Our pick: The Journalist's Guide to Getting in the Times by fenshae.
Issue 357 was a special Mutant Day edition complete with a green colour scheme, background featuring mutant pets, petpets and items. There were transmogrification potions in place of the usual quills and the Weewoo was replaced with a Mutant Slorg. See also Issues 407, 458 which featured a new background, 509 (It Came From the Mine), 559 (Dr Sloth Coin) and 659 although this issue didn’t have the special mutant background.
Our pick: The Top Five Reasons To Be Mutant by ummkalima
Issue 406 celebrated the Annual Usuki Doll Convention and had it’s own special background of Usuki items, a Usuki Musketeer and a Prissy Miss Usuki Collector Dress in place of quills. There was a Skeith returning from UsukiCon laden with new purchases as the side background. See also Issue 558 (no special background).
Our pick: Usukicon: A Survival Guide by enchantmentunknown
Issue 407, previously highlighted as a Mutant Day special edition, is also famous for the fact that TNT gave a clue in the Editorial which helped users pull together and finally uncover the solution to unlocking the Bonju avatar after a three year search.
Our pick: 6 Monstrous Mutant Day Recipes by natural. Also by pixel
Issue 410 was a delicious looking issue in honour of the Annual Chocolate Ball. The Neopian Times received a confectionary makeover with the quills replaced by a Toffee Dubloon and a Triple Chocolate Shell, a background made up of (mostly) tempting treats and the Chocolate Factory Shopkeeper on the side background along with a milk and plain chocolate colour scheme. See also Issues 461, 512 (Chocolate Maractite Coins) and 562 (White Chocolate Lutari).
Our pick: A Touch of Sunlight by dance_radio
Issue 418 had a special look to celebrate 10 whole years of Neopets. The background featured a slice of Rainbow Cake instead of the usual Weewoo, a background of party items and the newly released Delicious Neopets 10th Birthday Cake and Neopets 10th Birthday Balloon Bunch in place of the quills. See also Issues 469 (Hazelnut Whirl), 521, 571, 621 and 669 (Sky Full of Stars) all of which featured a Cupcake with Rainbow Frosting in place of the 10th Birthday Cake on the header.
Our pick: A Nice Little Cottage by insaanity101
Issue 426 was altered in recognition of Sloth Appreciation Day. There was a background of Sloth-related items, a robot Sloth on the side background, and Dr. Sloth himself alongside one of his Hair Combs in place of the usual quills. See also Issues 477 (Big Book of Intermediate Evil Plots), 528 (which was improved by a more suitable green colour scheme) and 577 (Dr. Sloth Stamp).
Our pick: Grundos, Rocks, and Other Things by crazy_holly_ii
Issue 482 added to the celebrations for (Chocolate) Chia Day. The special layout featured plushie, pea and pepper Chias instead of the quills, a background of Chia items and a Chocolate Chia taking a bath instead of the Weewoo. See also Issue 533.
Our pick: I Dream in Ice Cream by raytaybrun
Issue 513 was the first time the Faerie Festival was honoured with a special edition. There was an orange/yellow colour scheme, a background of faerie items, a Faerie Festival Cake and a Fire Faerie Fondue instead of quills and Illusen enjoying some celebratory cake in the side background. Those fortunate enough to be published received a Faerie Slorg Stamp. See also Issues 563 (Fountain Faerie Stamp) and 613 (Air Faerie Snowglobe).
Our pick: Another Ill-Fated Faerie Festival by mystie06
Issue 523 is mainly remembered for the Editorial hint which helped solve the mystery of the Wishing Well avatar which had been released for 18 months at that point which no confirmed reports of anyone getting the avatar. But it also featured many good pieces including our recommendation.
Our pick: The Co-Worker and the Missing Sister: Part Seven by dudeiloled
Issue 537 celebrated Gadgadsbogen – the legendary Mystery Island festival of fruit. A Tagobo plant and a Flarble replaced the quills, there was a background of fruit images, an orange/green colour scheme and an Island Poogle was enjoying a bowl of fruit on the side background. To date this is the only issue to celebrate Gadgadsbogen. Each author received a Tigersquash Crepe
Our pick: A Great Gadgadsbogen Day! by kitti801
Issue 634 was another NTWF takeover, this time with the theme ‘Ode to the Villains.’ The usual items that make up the background were interspersed with those of some of Neopia’s villainous characters. Kastraliss terrorises the side background and instead of the usual quills there was a copy of The Big Book of Intermediate Evil Plots and a Virtublaster 3000. Participants were awarded a lovely cup of Dark Tea.
Our pick: Auction of Evil by herdygerdy
Issue 644 celebrated Tyrannian Victory Day and whilst there was no special layout there were plenty of topical submissions to enjoy.
Our pick: Celebrating Tyrannian Victory Day by klutzygirl1
Issue 654 was another user-instigated special edition, this time the theme was Hero Day. Similar to the last collaboration issue the usual background images were interspersed with plushies and action figures of Neopian heroes and heroines. Instead of the quills there was a copy of Herb Hero and a Hero Hot Dog. Somewhat bizarrely the Weewoo was replaced by the Robo Grarrl from the Virtupets Space Station - if someone could enlighten us on the hero connection we would be grateful. Participants were rewarded with a Gorix and Cylara Coin.
Our pick: It Takes a Hero by parody_ham
Issue 668 saw the NTWF keeping Droplet busy, this time with a Brightvale University special edition. The majority of submissions were connected to Brightvale University and treated it as an actual place Neopians could go and study. The colour scheme reflected the gold and green colours of Brightvale, the background was made up of items a new student would find helpful and the quills were replaced with the books Advanced Learning and Knowledge and Honour. Naturally the Weewoo was replaced by Brightvale University’s shield. A Royal Blue Cape was given out as a prize.
Our pick: Alumni by herdygerdy
Issue 676 was another collaboration issue which had a theme of Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey Stuff! The quills were replaced with a Champions of Meridell Mystery Capsule and a Cheesy Sloth Cake. The background was made up of items connected to time travel such as clocks and topical books whilst the side background seemed to have the Monoceraptor’s claws coming through a wormhole.
Our pick: From Dawn to Dusk by azienskieth
Issue 680 was mentioned earlier as a Valentine’s Day special. However it has become infamous for another reason. It was the last issue published before Droplet went on maternity leave and the Neopian Times went on hiatus. Thankfully she returned several months later with Issue 681 but the sudden absence of the NT was a wrench to its many readers and contributors. Would we ever get to read the seventh and final part of
Our pick: Agent of the Sway: Rogue - Part Six by herdygerdy
Issue 685 saw the Neopian Times community doing its best to move on from the loss of Droplet. Rather than focussing on that sad event I hope you will understand us instead looking at the positives, one of which is that this was most probably the first issue edited by the new Neopian Times Editor – Country Queen. She has now taken her place in the Neopian Times Hall of Fame and I’m sure you are as relieved as we are to know the Neopian Times has someone at the helm once more.
Our pick: Architecture of Neopia: Neovia by arkwright
Issue 701 – What’s that you say? We’re only at Issue 700. True enough but like any news publication The Neopian Times is only as good as the next issue and is reliant upon user submissions to keep it going. The special editions you have just read about, and every issue for that matter, are only possible because of the time and effort users put into creating content. If there aren’t enough entries on a particular theme it’s not worth dusting off the special layout. If there aren’t enough decent entries it’s not worth publishing the Neopian Times. You get the picture. We hope looking back at the old issues will inspire more users to come up with their own submissions and keep the Times going for many issues to come.
Disclaimer: Please note our picks are simply intended as a starting point within a particular issue. They are something we enjoyed reading, hoped that you would too and that it would encourage you to explore the rest of the issue. It is not our intention to say any one submission is better than another – everyone has a different opinion and that is part of what makes the Times so brilliant and so diverse.
Author’s note by equinewhispers: For this special 700th Issue I thought I’d refresh my memory of the history of the Neopian Times as I sought inspiration. I was surprised at the lack of a comprehensive guide about the various incarnations of Neopia’s only weekly newspaper. The guides I did find were often vague about certain points or sometimes had conflicting information. In putting this article together I’ve done my very best to double check the facts from a number of sources in the hopes that it will be both accurate and informative. Please feel free to let me know if I’ve missed something important or am just plain wrong about something!
Finally here are three Neopian Times facts that didn’t really fit in the article but are worth including:
- The Neopian Times wasn’t always released every Friday night like it is now. The early issues especially were often released late. This caused consternation among the contributors who, prior to the introduction of acceptance Neomails, had no way of knowing if their entries were going to be published. On at least one occasion there were two issues of the NT in one week because of delays.
- At one point the Neopian Times had versions in a range of languages - Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Dutch, Japanese, and Spanish. They weren’t translations but entirely separate versions and generally published monthly. Sadly it doesn’t look as though these are available anymore. Besides this article is quite long enough without an overview of all those issues too!
- Issues 355 and 356 were actually put together by El Picklesaur. Droplet was away and so El Picklesaur gamely stepped in to cover. I think this warrants making him an honorary Editor of the Neopian Times.