The most fantastic thing in the universe! Circulation: 142,874,434 Issue: 200 | 22nd day of Swimming, Y7
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A Message from Punchbag Bob

by slamina83


BATTLEDOME - Hello, Neopian Times readers and Battledomers. It’s me, Punchbag Bob. You know, one of your possible opponents in the one-player Battledome? Well, the reason I am writing is because there is something that has been bothering me lately that I want to mention to the Battledome-going public. I figured that this edition of the Times would be a good place to get the word out, and I would like to thank Slamina for allowing me to submit this under her name.

I was wondering - how come hardly anyone challenges me? I mean, I know that some of the other Battledome challengers like the Zafara Rogue and Shadow Usul are much more interesting (after all, I’m just a skinny sack of straw with glasses), but it’s a waste never to choose me. I’m such a useful resource for Battledomers of all experience levels. Let me show you how:

First of all, I make a really good punching bag for your Neopet to test new weapons and special abilities on before using it on one of the big boys like Balthazar because, well, that’s what I am. You can see by doing this if that new Battledome item was worth the money you paid or what exactly that new ability the faeries granted your Neopet does. It’s certainly less risky than using it for the first time in battle and will only take a few minutes of your time. Just go to the status page after you’re done to free yourself for another opponent... unless you really want to see how long it will take your weapons to reduce 5000 hit points to zero.

However, before you run out and challenge me for this reason, there are a few things you should know first:

1. You’ll only be able to test how well your Neopet’s attacking-type items and abilities work, as I have no weapons of my own to attack your Neopet back with. In other words, you can see in a battle with me how many hit points of damage your new Scorchio Slingshot can do, but as far as finding out how well your Neopet’s shield and armor works, you’re going to have to find another way. (Hey, I’m just a sack of straw... how could I ever handle a Platinum Bow?)

2. Remember that any one-use items you try on me you’ll lose just like in any other battle, so if you try out, say, a Clockwork Grundo on me, you’re going to need to buy a second Clockwork Grundo after the battle to use on future opponents.

3. Be careful with any “fragile” items that you use on me (you know, the kind that might break and disappear forever during a battle), since there’s a possibility that it could break before you get to use it on whomever you intended to battle.

Another way that I’m useful is that I can help your Neopets to heal quickly after battles. How?

Picture this scenario: Your Neopet is in the Battledome, locked in combat with the Snowager. You predict that your Neopet has only a couple more turns to go before he or she will defeat him. You realize, though, that the Snowager will probably defeat the Neopet before then, so you withdraw your Neopet from the battle to keep him or her from becoming ice worm chow. You then think to yourself that your Neopet could win if you tried one more time and did something a little differently. You decide to do so... but first, you need to heal your Neopet back to maximum hit points. So you go to the Healing Faerie to get your 300 HP Neopet healed back to full... and she only heals 3 hit points.

It’s quite a familiar situation for all Battledomers. And in this situation, your only option is to either wait for the faerie to restore her power or use lots of potions to restore the remaining 297 hit points, right? Actually, no, it isn’t.

I’m an option too. Your Neopet can go into battle with me and use both a Scorchstone and any healing abilities like Heal or Bless he or she has to restore health. If it isn’t completely restored, then exit the battle by going to the Status page and then challenge me over again. Once your Neopet has gotten back to 100%, go to the Status page again and you’ll be free to get a second swipe at the Snowager (or whatever opponent you were battling). And yes, it’s perfectly legal to do this – it’s sneaky but effective.

(Just to let you know, I’m not available to help you do this when there’s a war going on in Neopia. I’m not in the Battledome during those times... I’m off hidin- I mean, assisting in the war effort in the best way I can.)

Ahem... anyway, here’s the third reason to choose me - I’m the only regular Battledome opponent from which you can get a trophy. If you can reduce my 5000 HP to zero, I’ll give you a trophy with my cute little smiling face on it for your user lookup.

Yes, I know what you're probably thinking. 5000 is a lot of hit points to dwindle down... and to do it is kinda like the Battledome’s version of the Wheel of Monotony... but I think and hope you’ll agree that it’s a nice little prize for two reasons: one, it is the only trophy besides the Defenders of Neopia trophy and the various war trophies that is given out based on Battledome skills, and second, it is proof of accomplishing a feat that even a Neopet that has graduated to the red codestones would have difficulty accomplishing.

Well, that’s about it. Do you like what you’ve seen? Then c’mon over and challenge me in the one player Battledome. And don’t hold back from making that challenge - I don’t mind going into the battles at all. Let me have it! And maybe afterwards, you, your Neopets and I can go have a nice lunch together at Pizzaroo or the Golden Dubloon. How does that sound?


Oh... well, never mind, then, about the lunch. Well, see you around the Battledome! I’ll be awaiting your challenge!

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