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The Almost-Forgotten Tale of Kat and Illy's Editorial
Published: September 12, 2009

You walk down the stone steps of the Catacombs, your eyes never leaving the globe of light hovering before you that is the cloaked figure's candle. You want to point out that it seems a bit too bright for its size, since it glows as much as a Shenkese paper lantern despite being only a couple of inches high, but you decide to put up, shut up, and keep on going.

Five steps later, you find yourself in a dim chamber, and your hooded comrade's candle suddenly illuminates everything for you to see--the great stone walls meeting at the zenith of the domed ceiling, and a vast floor that looks as if it has never seen any feet for a long, long time--until now. You tilt your head back to gaze at everything as you search for something notable, but instead you nearly break your neck and get dizzy staring overhead.

At last, the stranger reveals himself--or rather, herself, throwing back her black hood.

"I know you," you exclaim, very grateful for the time you spent leafing through the Book of Ages. "You're the Storyteller!" So adamant are you in your conclusion that you even strike a pose as you point to her and speak her title, and nearly trip over a loose stone on the floor. Wait, if nobody's been in this part of the Catacombs before, why is there a loose stone? Never mind, it must be the erosion or something...

The Storyteller just nods. "I am glad you came, [insert your name of choice here]. Yes, I knew you would come, and that I can trust you with my latest discovery." Magical candle in hand, she crouches down and opens an old wooden chest that you seem to have missed as you took in the sights. You hear the tiny click of the opening lock echo all around you and the Aisha, and the gentle rustle of parchment ensues.

She proffers the paper, which you take as you wonder why she still had to drop messages and bring you to this old place instead of simply handing over The Almost-Forgotten Tale of Kat and Illusioniste's Editorial.

"Thank you for your cooperation," the Storyteller whispers, even though you're positively sure that you're both alone in the chamber. "Kat and Illusioniste send their regards."

"So...I can take this back to the world above us and share it and stuff now, right? I mean, other people might want to read it. That's...pretty much all I want to do, besides read it." you ask tentatively as you roll up the yellowing sheet into a scroll, half-expecting it to crumble into dust.

The Storyteller nods.

"Okay, so can we go back now?"

In the "Suggest a Word" page for the Word of the Day on Neopets, it says:
"Also, if you use the word of the day in captions or storytelling competition entries, you may be eligible for a random prize :) "
Is this true? ~ Bmwsu

Ooh, I keep forgetting to try this out, but some words may be common enough that I'm already using them unwittingly. Anyhow, I know many other users who enter writing contests more or less as often as I do, and I haven't heard anything about this ever happening (believe me, if it ever did, it would be big news).

But now that Kat is trying to get back into Storytelling after quite a while, she could give this one a spin and see what happens!

We said, "MAY be eligible". No guarantees, folks.

My question is about the unreleased Neopet that was mentioned in Coach Riki's editorial (Editorial 88). I just wanted to ask, do you know its name? ~ michaelli910_8
It doesn't have a name, it was just a decoy or "fake" Neopet to liven things up before the release of the actual new species (at the time): the Tonu.

Why is it that you have to win a gold trophy in the Better Than You contest (or any other game/contest, for that matter), before it starts saying "x2," "x3," etc.? Because I've gotten 3rd place 3 times and it feels sad if the trophy can't say that. ~ Gamemaster32792
Because gold is the only colour that matters. ;) It's more special and deserving of recognition if you've repeatedly excelled at a certain game or competition.

Gold, gooold! *Happy prospector dance*

I recently got Adobe Photoshop, and I was attempting to make those old Neopets top banners from your tutorial page, but I want them to be exactly old, so I was wondering, what font did they use for them? ~ Crisis_courier
They used two fonts: Heffaklump and Coolvetica. Here's an example of an old top banner:

So I was lurking on the Customisation Board and I saw a link to a petpage that had the codes for backgrounds given out in the USA and Canada. Would it be okay if I used those codes or will I get frozen for doing so? Thanks! ~ majaduncan
You are allowed to redeem the Burger King Canada codes on your main account as well as on side accounts (the items you get cannot be traded/sold). We have a complete listing of the codes in our guide.

Is Neocash for the NC Mall separate from Neocash for the Petpet Park Mall? ~ sjreed13
Thankfully, they're not separate, so you don't have to buy a different type of Neocash for Petpet Park (phew!). If you have NC on Neopets right now, you'll see that you have the same amount on Petpet Park. So, if you spend NC in the Petpet Park Mall, your NC will also decrease on Neopets, and if you spend NC in the NC Mall, it'll decrease when you visit Petpet Park. If you want to go on a Mall shopping spree on Petpet Park, but you find that you need more NC, you can just redeem a card or buy Neocash on Neopets. Your NC amount will always be the same number for both sites.

I've stumbled upon my JN trophy cabinet. Is there any way I can currently earn trophies for my cabinet? ~ ryanneodt
Right now, there are no events or contests on JN that will earn you shiny trophies for your cabinet. But I assure you, stay tuned for updates, and you never know when a chance might rear its polished head! Oh, and you're not alone. My cabinet's probably as bare as yours!

Why aren't we allowed to change our Neopets' names? ~ 22_net_pet_22
Changing a Neopet's name, like changing your username, would require a considerable amount of coding and programming that will free up the old name and input the new one, and if that option were available, many people would definitely exploit it just to have better names. That equals a whole lot of changes in, say, a single minute.

In short, there's a whole lot of work involved that not even I could ever fathom. Besides, TNT must surely have more important issues at hand than that. I'm sorry, but if it makes you feel better, I would definitely want to change some of my pets' names if I could.

Arrrr, why did I have to be named Fluffbally_12345? That's why me shipmates never take me seriously!

About my question in the last editorial (Editorial 101): Then why does TNT post the links (in the news section of the homepage) a while before 12:00am NST? ~ Shermanpeople
The news is released some time in the late afternoon or early evening (in NST). For the users that live in North America, it means that the news is posted a day ahead of time (i.e., September 12th's news is posted when it's still September 11th).

Neopets does this to compensate for users who live on the other side of the world in other time zones. Granted, depending on where you live, you might have to get up incredibly early or stay up late at night to see the new news, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. Isn't wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff fun?

Why is it that every time you choose the Faerie Alabriss in Chariot Chase, it turns Ghost? Thanks! ~ Panini_Puff
It doesn't change colour, the Alabriss that's depicted is Faerie. You can see some tiny areas of pink, which indicate its wings. I suppose it is a bit confusing since both colours have the same base "skin tone."

Kat! Hi! *Waves vigorously* I know you from somewhere over yonder. Do you have any recommendations or suggestions for Neopians who wish to become an NT Legend such as yourself? ~ buizelmaniac
Hey, hi! Not so loud, they'll find me too. Um, first of all, you must renounce your life and throw it away in favour of sitting in front of your computer mindlessly writing, editing, submitting, rinsing and repeating.

*cough* Okay, okay, now I'm serious! Here on JN, we have a couple of guides (one written by yours truly) for aspiring Neopian Times authors and artists, but I'm going to reiterate some important pointers which have truly helped me over the years:

  • Neopia is crawling with ideas. I highly doubt they're completely and perfectly original, but you can (and definitely should) add your personal, creative twist to make your piece stand out and to give readers a reason why they should waste time over your submission. ;)
  • Practice, practice, practice! Try to devote some time every now and then to writing or drawing, to bring out and refine your style, and to shake off any rust.
  • Edit, edit, edit! Be your worst editor! Let not a single typo escape your ever-watchful eye!
  • If you get a rejection letter, go over your work again regardless of whether it was specific or not. Repeat the above step.
  • Remember that writing for the NT is not entirely about the avatars, or the trophies, or the possible prizes. It's more on giving the rest of Neopia something interesting to read every week, sharing your talent, and learning along the way. The Times, believe it or not, helped me ride the waves of campus journalism and has established my passion for writing, which extends outside Neopets. That's why I continue writing for the NT even after more than five years--because I enjoy it for what it is. And besides, I still have so many story ideas I want to work on!

I'm going to need a thicker notebook than that...

Hello out there! I noticed something: The item "Gift Bag of Neopoints" (r88) came out on July 31st, 2009. When you click an item in the Item Database, there is an icon for "Edit Price of Item." That icon uses the Gift Bag of Neopoints, am I right? How is it that the item is there before the real item came out? ~ likeshshnia
The button does feature a bag of NP that looks identical to the Gift Bag of Neopoints. However, the image was taken from the Bag of Neopoints (TCG) preview and resized. The TCG preview has been on Neopets for a long, long time. So, no magic foreshadowing powers or witchcraft in this case. JN graphic designers are just sneaky, is all. ;)

If I'm on my side account, and I get a random event that gives me, say, a Nerkimd, or something else of value, what should I do with it, since I got it on my side? ~ rosesong13
According to this editorial from Issue 379, it's perfectly fine to transfer items you got on your side through random events to your main. Just don't try to keep on refreshing or do anything to earn more random events.

Once again, we'd like to plug our side account guide, which summarizes the things you can and cannot do with your extra account(s).

What exactly does Neopian Inflation mean? It says that in every Neopian shop. ~ pzekl98
According to this NT editorial...uh...well...okay, it goes something like this: Your Neopoints are created through games and similar features, and disappear when you buy from Neopian shops or, once again, through site events and stuff. The thing is, Neopoints tend to pop up more often than they are spent, especially since they tend to simply circulate from one user to another via auctions, user shops and trades. With so many Neopoints around, their worth decreases, and items wind up becoming more expensive to strike a balance. This is also the very same reason why, with the recession in the real world, printing more money is not the solution.

Public service announcement: If you want to learn more about capital markets and price elasticity of demand, you can find economics books, as well as business finance books, at your local library! :D *thumbs up*

Are we allowed to open the free mystery capsule on a side account? I didn't know I had made mine soon enough to get it, but apparently I did. :D ~ Ducky555999
Yes, that is fine, because it's part of a "newbie pack" of sorts. But don't go creating a ton of new accounts just to get the capsule. Every user is limited to a maximum of 5 accounts (one main account and up to four side accounts).

Do you know a list of wearable items that would end up in the bottom right corner on our Neopet images when we customise our Neopets? ~ momijiki
Do you mean bottom left corner? Well, I suppose that from the perspective of your pets, it would be their right and our left. From our point of view, there normally aren't items that appear in the bottom right corner, unless the pet has hooves or paws and can't hold items properly...but I digress. Yes, we do have such a list. Just go to the Wearables section of the Item Database and check the box that says "Only show trinkets?" Then you'll see all the items that appear in the bottom left corner (or bottom right corner, from your pet's point of view...yeah, you know what I mean).

I've been curious to find out how you guys figure stuff out for the guides, like cheat codes, hidden Orange Shirt Guy spots, and other weird things like that. How do you guys get that info? It's so cool! ~ peabigmane
I'm afraid once I reveal this secret, it'll be a lot less cool and impressive. :P

For cheat codes, there are a multitude of resources: the Wheel of Knowledge dispenses out a limited number of codes, sometimes we get lucky when we type in random words while playing games, sometimes users tell us through bug reports, and sometimes TNT discloses them (they revealed some in the first issue of the Neopets magazine).

For the Phantom Orange Shirt Guy and Weepit (the TNT staff member, not the JN staff member), it's mostly a combination of trial and error on our part (playing games and seeing if they pop up, or trying to see if anything can be clicked) and bug reports from other users. You can see our humble homage to the two in our guide.

And if you're wondering how we find unreleased Neopets news...some of it is image URL manipulation (for caption contest images and shopkeepers). As for the more complicated things, such as items and petpets...well, that'll remain a secret. We won't be answering any questions related to that. :)

I read the article you have about the Wishing Well, but I'm wondering...if an item doesn't show up in the search function at all, will the Well still give it to you? (This is assuming you're one of the lucky people, of course!) ~ dragonsrneat
After much investigation (or at least after plugging in "wishing well" into the editorial database), it seems highly unlikely for the Wishing Well to grant items that are too rare to be searched on Neopets. As this issue of the NT editorial says, there are limits. No Wishing Well is perfect, after all!

Cut me some slack, don't you know how many wishes I get in the six hours I'm awake?

My sister was looking for a Faerie petpet to give to her new Faerie Gelert. Is there an easy way to find all the Faerie petpets in the Item Database (not just petpets from Faerieland, but Faerie petpets of all varieties)? Thanks! ~ kbeanie
You mean all the petpets that can be painted Faerie? In that case, the Petpet Puddle is super useful, for you can easily sort by colour.

If you wanted to include petpets that had a certain colour scheme or that looks a certain way, then sorry, the Item Database doesn't have those capabilities. :( You can try putting in words in the "item name" and "description contains" boxes, but your results will end up full of other non-petpet items.

Hey JN. I joined Neopets about 2 years ago. One thing I'm not a fan of is the bank. Why can't they make the bank interest system similar to a shop till, where it can collect and build into a pot by itself? I hate having to collect 200NP daily. Was it ever like the shop till? Thanks. ~ Hades_92
Yes, actually, in the beginning, your bank interest was collected automatically on a daily basis, but that was changed because you're supposed to work for your NP. :P Are you really spending time improving your account and playing the game if all that extra NP is just given to you? By changing the system and adding more dailies, it really forces you to visit Neopets more often and perhaps stay for longer periods.

I saw that this week's PPL is for the Peedleedoo, and the one with the lowest age on the chart is around 300 days old. My Chia has a Peedleedoo over 400 days old, and its not listed on there! Does it have anything to do with my Peedleedoo coming from a Petpet Lab zap, or is TNT just being mean to me? Thanks! ~ Raichu_66
As stated on the Petpet Lab page, zapped petpets are automatically disqualified from the PPL. Sorry. :(

Okay, I doubt I'm the only reader baffled by one of the common questions asked to TNT for the editorial. So I will ask you, kind TJNT to answer my precious plea:
Who is Derek Eyrie? And, of course, "Where, when, and how did Derek Eyrie die?"
Thank you, the great Jellyneo Team, I beseech you! ~ shroommi

If you ever see a question like "Where and when did [insert Neopets-sounding name here] die?" then the person asking it is almost certainly on a Brain Tree Quest. See, ol' Brainy is very smug and morbid and likes to ask those types of things (he doesn't ask for how they died, though...that would be taking things too far).

The tricky part is that the names of the deceased, as well as their location and time of death, are "randomly" generated from a list of names, locations and dates, so you won't find information on them in the Book of Ages or the Neopedia. You can think of them as faceless apparitions who need your help. ;)

The only way to obtain the necessary answers is to feed the Esophagor twice. You can't use someone else's answer, even if they got the same deceased person as you, because of the randomness thing.

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