Peek at the Past: Neoschool
With Neopets being over 19 years old, there is a deep and rich history to this website that few others can match. There are hundreds of games that have come and gone, items that have long since been retired, and entire merchandise lines that have come and gone. Some people might remember playing the real life trading card game, using rare item codes to get TCG items online, or the range of plushies that have gone up for sale through time.
In the current era of Neopets we have amazing plots and mini-plots, the Altador Cup, really cool enamel pin merchandise, and so much more, with even more on the horizon. In order for Neopets to make room for all of this cool stuff, some things have had to be retired or re-designed. These changes help keep Neopets current and less buggy, using new coding and design strategies, as well as new artwork.
I wanted to take a dive into some of the rich history of this incredible site and educate newer users on something that once existed: Neoschool! If you have spent any time at all on this website then you surely have come across Neoschool accessories at one point or another. Notebooks, coloured pencils, lunchboxes, backpacks, and so on. There are over 800 items specified as "School" related! And while it's been well over a decade since Neoschool has been around, there are still items being released for collectors and studious Neopets everywhere. Even the NC Mall item "Snowy Day Cloud" makes a reference to Neoschool in its description. This is a long defunct but not forgotten aspect of the site, and for those who have no idea what these items reference, hopefully this article will help.
Neoschool was an activity on the site that was never actually released, but went into development from around 2002 to 2004. It came close to seeing the light of day but was eventually scrapped from development. To this day it lives on as a legend in Neopia lore.
There was a whole issue of the Neopian Times dedicated to Neoschool, Issue 336. It was around this time that more information about the teachers of Neoschool were released.
A Lenny named Dr. Ballard would be teaching Basic Mathematics, starting with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Eeventually moving on to formula and shape by the end of the course.
A Tonu named Mr. Noakes would be teaching Starting Science. Weights and measurements would be taught for the first half of the course, with a field trip to Meri Acres Farm to learn about crops and petpets, as well as potato and turnip farming techniques. After that there would be a big science competition!
An angry looking Pteri named Mrs. Owen taught Grammar and Language, helping us all speak better on the Neoboards.
There was even an art class from a Lupe named Mr. Lupid. It started out with finger painting and progressed to charcoal drawing, and even an art competition.
Spelling would be handled by an Elephante named Miss Matthews, who also would teach rhyming to help you get published in the Poetry Competition.
There was a Zafara named Mr. Leer who handled Potion Brewing Basics, with a guest lesson from the magic master Kauvara.
Your Neopet wasn't only bound to a classroom, they would get a break for exercising with Miss Stryke. She was a Kau and her mastery went beyond sports and team building, she also would be teaching Geography at some point.
And what would Neoschool have been without Early Neopian History class taught by Mrs. Green? She would teach all about the ancients lands, house construction, and about all the massive plots of the past.
You can get the full information on all the teachers, see the photos of them, as well as see when the final exam dates were on this page that is still up. The fact that this page still even exists is a message that Neoschool still has some mysterious significance in Neopia, as well as the fact Neoschool items are still actively being released.
So as you can see, the concept was fairly fleshed out but never actually saw the light of day. There are still rumors kicking around that it could come out eventually, but with all the really cool new stuff The Neopets Team has planned for us, it's unlikely. In fact, there is a reason this was never released in the first place; maybe it just wasn't going to be that fun. I mean, a lot of us come on Neopets to get a break from school, not to keep studying!!
There is some evidence that Neoschool is gone for good. If you played the game Neopets: The Darkest Faerie (released on the Playstation 2), there was one point where the word "Neoschool" appeared on a grave stone. This is another reason I wanted to put this article together, those who weren't around in 2002-2004 might not be in on the joke of the long defunct Neoschool!
There was also a Daily Puzzle that was released in late 2014 with the question "What can you buy supplies for, but not actually do?" The answer for that was "Neoschool". Another reference to this missing link in Neopian history.
Neoschool has also come up countless times in the Editorial. In Issue 608 it was referenced that Neoschool would be far too boring for players and thus it was never actually released. I think it is important to acknowledge this as it shows The Neopets Team works really hard to give us enjoyable content, that even when they've gone through the effort of creating something they won't release it if they aren't absolutely proud of it. It is a very admirable trait.
There was also reference to a university in issue 652's editorial, but it was used as a joke, saying you have to complete Neoschool in order to get there.
I hope this gave you all a glimpse at what could've been, and why we have so many notebooks and lunchboxes around the site today. Like I said, just because there isn't a Neoschool doesn't mean you can't collect all your favorite School themed items! School galleries are really cool, or lunchbox collections even. Maybe some day Neoschool will be spruced up and make an appearance, but until then we still have plenty of amazing content to enjoy.