April Fools' is a day for pranking, pulling the wool over your friends' eyes, and getting a good laugh at someone else's expense. It's goodhearted, harmless fun and one of the best days of the year! It's also the day one of the greatest pranks in Neopia went down: Quiguki Armageddon!
All the way back in Y6, The Neopets Team decided to pull a prank of epic proportions and introduce a whole new style of Quiggle known as the Quiguki. The Quiguki is like an Usuki but...for lack of betters words...not so appealing. It's a green, frog-like creature based around the Quiggle but they are put into loads of precarious situations and given some really wild hairstyles.
The prank started harmless enough, introducing a series of virtual trading cards, claiming that they would be part of the next TCG expansion known as Quiguki Armageddon. These cards featured a Quiguki Warrior looking quite frightened at a patch of bushes, and even a whole new land known as Quigara.
The introduction was met with mixed reception...who really wants a land full of Quiggles in wigs? But all were not unhappy, some Quigukis were pretty adorable. Sure, some Usuki collectors were mad, they felt like their beautiful dolls had been ripped off, that they should be the ones getting special treatment, but others...well, they couldn't help but fall in love with the Quiguki!
People began rushing over to the How-To-Draw page, where a brand new tutorial for drawing the Quiguki Blacksmith could be found! This was one of the new pets featured on the fake TCG cards being released and caused quite a stir of excitement within the community. These TCG cards never made it out of the art room and into stores, but they did become an important piece of Quiguki history and one of many stories still circulating about them.
One of the more bizarre stories to come out of the day was about Xanstalon. Covered in the Neopedia, the gist of this story is that a princess Quiguki who was living in the royal of Quigara was lonely and looking for love. She spent her days wandering the great walls of her home, sighing and sad. One day she decided to go for a stroll around Quigara, thinking perhaps she might find the man of her dreams out there. She went down to her favorite pond (Quigukis love ponds) and saw a bizarre sight, especially bizarre in the context of Neopia, there was a HUMAN sitting there. Upon my first time reading this story I was shocked to see a human had somehow gotten into Neopia, but as I read further I realized the Quiguki princess was just as shocked. She recalled some ancient tale though where if you kiss a human he'll turn into a prince. I believe she was thinking of Kiss The Mortog, but she decided to try it out here instead of on a slimy Petpet. There was a crazy explosion, water flew everywhere, and the human began to transmogrify. What a weird turn of events, right? It's not over! The human turned into a Quiguki, but he did not appear princely. In fact, he revealed that he was an old wizard, an evil sorcerer of darkness named Xanstalon, and the princess had just freed him from his curse so he could unleash an age of darkness upon Quigara.
Imagine that, thinking you found the prince of your dreams but instead he unleashed incredible evil upon your homeland...thankfully this story was just part of the prank, there was no Quiguki princess to have her heart broken or an evil sorcerer to reign doom down on the ugly inhabitants of Quigara.
The aftermath of all of this started with a single avatar, obtainable just after the prank had "ended". Unfortunately, it seems this prank is STILL not over, as Quiguki have caught on in a strange niche fandom culture and are still out there today.
Shortly after the event, Quiguki dolls hit the market. Toy-makers everywhere were trying to capitalize on the popularity of Usuki dolls combined with the recent stories coming out about Quigukis. A huge line of this tiny toy came out, many based on the fashions of Usuki dolls. We saw almost exact copies of Usuki outfits, now on this stout green thing with yellow eyes sitting VERY far apart. These dolls started cropping up in toy stores everywhere, eventually leading to specialty Quiguki retailers setting up shop right next door to Usuki doll shops.
Quigukis began to be styled after faeries, famous Neopian legends like King Hagan and Roxton, even one hocking scratchcards like a familiar Terror Mountain Wocky. Some Usuki collectors openly embrace Quiguki dolls, using it as a way to add to their collection and they see them with the same love they do for their little Usuki dolls. Some go as far as wearing Quiguki accessories with pride.
Before you knew it, we were drowning in collector sets so you could dress up your Quiguki, however you liked depending on the season. To the dismay of many Neopians, the proud and loud minority lovers of Quiguki had gotten their way and got a firm foothold into our late-capitalist economy that allows things like this to thrive. The stock market is in a bit of a frenzy right now, with some NeoDAQ stocks hitting all time lows, while others like Virtupets are out of range for even the richest Neopians, and during these trying times we clutch onto anything that can make us laugh...and the Quiguki sure does make a lot of people do just that.
Furthermore, before we knew what hit us, the famed Usuki Paint Brush could now be used on Quiggles so you could own your very own Quiguki.
Neopians everywhere were going wild, some with excitement and others with outrage. To this day, the Quiguki is one of the most polarizing pets, one where people can't decide if it is adorable and cute, a tad off-looking and peculiar, or a charming yet disarming mixture of both.
The more I think about it, the more my mind brings me back to Xanstalon. When he changed from human to Quiguki, he uttered the words "Why, I am Xanstalon! Evil sorcerer of darkness! Muhahahahaa...the second age of darkness has begun!"
Is this really just folklore, or is the second age of darkness the arrival of Quiguki fashion into our world?