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Haunting Questions
Published: October 27, 2012

With Hallowe'en just a couple of days away, it's time we got the decorations and candy out to greet the trick-or-treaters. There's a chill in the air, as well as a conveniently dangling Spyder that seems to have escaped from Dave's office.

Hmmm... but I still don't have a good scary story to tell. We can't have that. Tell you what; I still have this stack of editorial questions to answer. Maybe I'll find some inspiration in there. Let me see...

It was a dark night in the Month of Collecting and I was sitting at my computer. Suddenly, I noticed something strange on my screen. It seemed like the computer was trying to send me a sinister and cryptic message...

My question is about a scary error message when I play neopets in Internet Explorer. Which is not often, firefox is infinitely better:) Anyway, every now and then when I'm just browsing the site, I get a message pop up saying that Adobe Flash player has stopped a potentially unsafe operation, and that javascript:parent.payload1094 is trying to communicate with video.flashtalking.com ! I guess it's something to do with an advert, but I'm not sure, and is it really unsafe? I can block it on Mozilla with adblock, is there any way to do this on internet explorer? ~ madtamahatta
Without seeing the exact ad in question, it's hard to know what set off your player's security measures. The vast majority of ads on Neopets are completely harmless, though there have been a couple of nuisance ones some time ago that caused pop-ups and so forth.

You can find our guide to removing Neopets ads here. As you can see, we've got sections for Internet Explorer as well as other browsers.

...no, no, no. Sinister computers belong in a sci-fi film, not a Hallowe'en tale. I need something with more atmosphere.

As the moon rose over Neopia Central, I wandered through an abandoned building. Filled with rusted machinery and worn-down equipment, it had been forgotten by every pet. How long had this place stood untouched by living hand or paw?

What? No, that was a rhetorical question. You weren't supposed to actually ask me it--

What date was the Grundo's Gym closed? I used your Timeline Exhibit, and found out when it opened (February 26th, 2001), but I can't find anything about when it closed. ~ sceptil99
Well, all right. There appears to be no official record of when the Gym was closed, and thus we can't give you an exact date... but we can do a bit of detective work to get an approximate idea.

These articles in Issue 68 and Issue 76 of the "new" Neopian Times both refer to a functioning Grundo's Gym. Since they're both how-to articles rather than whimsical stories, it sounds like the gym really was still around back then. On the other hand, this humour piece mentions the gym having shut down -- only two issues later!

Now, I'm not saying Neopian Times articles should be taken as gospel truth; authors can exaggerate, speculate or just be plain wrong. But if we do take those issues as a decent estimate of when the change happened, where does that leave us? Old NT issues aren't dated, but Issue 78 makes references to Valentine's Day, Lenny Day -- and the release of a certain stamp, which pins the publication date down very nicely to February 2003. Based on this, we can guess that the gym bit the dust sometime in early 2003. It was certainly gone by Issue 108, which officially announced the game's demise in September of that year.

The moral of the story? Nothing is impossible with enough research, Neopians have been deprived of their dumbbells for almost a decade, and a certain editorialista still apparently has far too much time on her hands.

Draik Reading Times
This is all very nostalgic, but now there's dust up my nose.

As I wandered through the empty room, I thought I could hear again the echo of a familiar set of footsteps. Yes; so many of my colleagues, my kindred souls, had walked these halls in days gone by.

Where were those footsteps now? Had their owners vanished forever from this mortal world, never again to greet me with --

Terry: 'Sup?

...Apparently not.

Hi there! -hands you some cheese jelly- I've just come back to the site after a year or so of absence. I looked at the staff listing to remind myself of everyone's names, and I realized someone was missing. Does Terry no longer work at JN? If not, where did he go? ~ Anonymous
I think you'll find Terry does indeed still work for us! (Psst -- he's down towards the bottom of the list.)

He was busy with some other stuff for a while, though. It's a little sad, but staffers do come and go quite a lot around here. That other strange game we play called "Real Life" gets a bit intense at times, sometimes quite unexpectedly, and people can't always commit their time to JN any more. Most of the time, when a staffer leaves JN, you can expect him or her to be gone for good -- but it's true that former staffers do occasionally make a welcome return.

Of course, that's assuming they ever actually made it to the exit in the first place... and past that Content Beast-shaped shadow lurking near the door.

About how many real questions do you get, how many junk ones, and how many all together? ~ watchgal
At the time of writing, we have more than a hundred questions in our mailbag to choose from -- but they didn't all come in this week, of course! The more specialised knowledge a question requires, the longer it'll probably take to find someone who can answer it correctly. Our staffers are always trying to track down answers to the longest-standing puzzlers, so don't despair if you've been waiting a while...

We don't actually get a lot of genuine spam sent to the Editorial. In any given fortnight, though, we'll probably see a couple of duplicate questions (normally relating to something in the Neopets news), and at least one or two more from people who haven't read the What Not To Ask list. We also still get a handful of people writing in who seem to think we work for TNT; while most of us would love to do that, we simply don't, so those questions have to be skipped over as well. :(

With all those categories out of the way, I'd guess we get maybe three to eight genuine new questions per issue. We'd love to get more, so get your thinking caps on and ask us that one thing you've always wondered about! C'mon... you know the one!

Okay. Okay. Try again.

It had been only a couple of years since I had begun my work at the mysterious Jellyneo Foundation, but in that time, I had learnt so much! So many things that filled me with fascination... so many things that man was not meant to know.

I could see the effect of my newfound knowledge, now. I had only to speak to people, or to offer them a copy of the latest JN editorial. At first, they would think nothing of it. But I would see their eyes widen as they listened, as they read. For what I had to tell them would irreparably alter the way they saw the world...

This is embarrassing but I'm going to say it anyway. Thank you sooo much for posting that animated image of a fish negg!! I've been playing neopets for 10 years now and I had never seen a fish negg from that angle, only upright. Because of that, I thought the mouth was a winking eye and the fin a silly tongue. ....so yeah. You've enlightened me immensely. ~ silverxkey
We aim to please.

Wiggly Baby BuzzWalking KookithWobbling Poppit
No extra charge.

Hey, I was wandering around the absolutely amazing Item Database when I noticed that some items have a special note if they themselves or their descriptions referenced something. However, I noticed some items with seemingly obvious references were not noted. Do you not distinguish items that are references anymore, because there are so many? Or should I submit them in an error report? Thanks! ~ Lizzie T.
Sometimes we'll be unsure whether something is a reference, or just happens to use the same wording by chance. (We don't believe the Neopian book Catch It If You Can is a reference to the film Catch Me If You Can, for instance.) However, sometimes we do just fail to notice something. If you find a clear reference that you think we've missed, do please get in touch with us! Even if we don't decide to put it in the Item Database, it might make a lovely addition to our Trivia Collection at the Museum.

Many Neopians had travelled to the old cave in search of the treasure that was said to exist there. Some said it was guarded by a spectre whose very breath gave off an icy chill. Some said it held enough riches to make any pet or owner a billionaire.

Most, as it turned out, said "Oh, for the love of... All those pretty things in the pile, and I got ANOTHER Gelert Wand?"

Has anyone, to your knowledge, ever made a list of all of the distinguishable items in The Snowager's treasure pile? I'm especially impressed that he got his hands on Lord Darigan's Jewel. ~ anonymous
Not that we know of. It sounds like it'd be a fun project, though!

So... is it possible to know the rarity of the objects in your SDB without taking them out and checking them one by one? Oh, and have a pumpkin. ~ Anonymous
Well, you could always use our Item Database and skip the taking-things-out step that way. Unfortunately, that would seem to be the extent of your options; there's no way to sort your SDB in order of rarity. Personally, I think an overhaul of the way the Box sorts items could well be in order; there's also no option to view wearable items, or to sort alphabetically. A wish for the future, maybe?

And thank you for the pumpkin. This will make an excellent jack-o-lantern for our porch!

GOOD NIGHT! Wait... wrong mysteriously animated glowing foodstuff.

Once in Neopia, there lived an extremely greedy pet. At first, his owner thought him merely hungry, as any growing Neopet should be. He was brought omelettes, soup, grackle bugs on toast... all the things a young pet normally thrives on. But still he continued to hunger, when any normal Neopet would have been bloated or worse.

He ate everything in the house that had been bought for him. He ate his Petpet's treats from its bowl. When he ate his pillow during the night, thinking it was a large marshmallow, his owner finally asked in desperation...

Hey, Jellyneo People! *tosses baby squids* Watch out, those are slippery. Anyways, about the Ever Lasting Apple. If I were to buy it and my pet were to eat it, would it disappear like a normal food or stay true to its name of 'Ever Lasting?' I've always wanted to buy one but am nervous about this so please answer! Also, enjoy the baby squids! ~ socergrrl
*fetches an aquarium for the squidlings* Yes, this fruit does last forever, no matter how hungry your pet may be. However, it can still get stolen or sludged like any other item in your inventory, so take some precautions if you're going to keep it constantly on hand.

...well, that one went nowhere. Curse you, Neopia, and your abundance of easily available solutions.

How about this, then? Once in Neopia, there lived an owner who wished to take on a new name. Why, no-one can say; everyone feels like a change from time to time. This owner took up a new fountain pen, ready to sign all the legal paperwork that would make such a change possible.

But suddenly, a cold wind blew through the room. An unseen force seemed to freeze the owner's hand, staying the pen. "You must not take this name," a dread voice whispered. "For it is forbidden..."

Confused and frightened, the owner cried out...

Okay, so you may have known that the purge has started. Some of the UNs that have purged are pretty nice. So I searched for some UNs on the user lookup link. (http://www.neopets.com/userlookup.phtml?user=USERNAME) And saw some that said they were untaken. I went to the page where you create one, and it said it was taken, so I tried another, taken. Do you guys know anything about this? ~ anonymous
Even if nobody currently owns a username, there could be a variety of reasons why TNT wouldn't want it to be taken again. For instance:

  • The name could be similar to one used by a member of the Neopets Team, now or in the past.
  • The name could have been used by someone who was scamming, spamming or otherwise breaking the rules, and TNT don't want new users associated with it.
  • The name could cause legal concerns, such as copyright problems.
  • The name could have been used at some point to mean something rude, insulting or otherwise against the rules. (It's amazing what can count as risqué, depending on your variety of English.)

As well as these, there are probably some technical hitches that mean certain names just can't be completely cleared off the servers. Sorry you had to miss out, but there should be plenty of other names available for you to try out once the newest account purge gets well underway!

Let me see, maybe this one will work...
On this darkest weekend of the Neopian year, even the friendliest and brightest towns and cities are no longer safe havens. Lock your doors, for these familiar streets are haunted by all manner of things...

I opened up the Neopia Central page, and a giant Ghostkerchief popped up. I know that's a random event, but this one took up most of the page, and their were no words, except for saying "BOO!!!" at the bottom. Is that new, or old news? I've never heard of it before. Does it have to do with Halloween being so close? ~ anonymous
Random Events don't tend to take account of what date or time it is, as anyone who's ever been hit on the head by a flying Christmas cracker in June will tell you. They do work differently in different browsers, which may be why you hadn't come across this particular effect before. In general, the events that hijack your Neopets-playing experience (earthquakes, summons, the Mark of Ta-Kutep) seem to be the older ones.


...around the streets they lurk. Across the rooftops they drift. In strange languages unknown to the common Neopian, they mutter to one another, and say things like...

Did you ever think about Jellyneo in Spanish? It would be great. Maybe not all the things, just the more visited, like the site updates and the wardrobe. Thanks for reading! ~ picu_tuli
We've discussed the possibility of translation quite recently on the forums, where we concluded that it really isn't something we have plans or resources for at the moment. There would be issues with content updating and moderation that would make the whole thing a bit of a headache for our staff. (Especially since it wouldn't be just Spanish for long -- the "Why not in my language?" emails would not be a very long time coming. :P) Sorry to disappoint, but we hope you can still find what you need -- maybe with the help of some handy online translation sites.

They are the ghosts of Neopia. Though they still walk through our cities, the very lives they lived -- the shops they visited, the decorating they did, the money that once clinked so invitingly in their hands and paws -- are lost to them now. And that is why, if you listen closely on these dark nights, you will hear a wail of frustration...

I'm pretty worried right now. One day I logged in and my PIN had changed. I sent in a ticket; they said I had to get parental consent since I was under thirteen. When I turned thirteen I sent in another ticket; they said since there's no email attached to my account, I can never retrieve my PIN. My PIN's locked to almost everything, including banks, transfers, and emails; I'm locked out of my own account. I can't change my email to retrieve my PIN, because I need my PIN to change my email! There's no point in playing Neopets when I can't withdraw money from the bank, decorate my Neohome, remove items from my SDB, or do basically anything at all. What can I do? I'm not going to start over. ~ pinkkea
It's possible TNT genuinely can't do anything to help you -- this does sound like a tricky situation. Starting over completely does seem a bit drastic, but you could consider making a side account into your new main account (either for good, or until you successfully figure out the PIN), and keeping your current main as a side. That way, you'd have an account you could play games and keep a shop on, but you could still chat and Neomail from the account everyone is familiar with.

Huh. I guess even ghosts are easy to deal with here. What about missing persons? That's got to be good for a story, right?

Kiko with Mystery Photo

What´s up with the faerie_pet6? ~ Me!
Back in the day when the first Faerie petpets were discovered, TNT used a different naming method for the images. The faerie_pet6 was discovered because all previous Faerie petpets from 1-5 had been discovered. From the Pikis, Flosset, Barbat, Cirrus and Harris. Unfortunately, faerie_pet6 was just never released, and my guess would be because it closely resembles the Flosset petpet.

I wasn't good enough exist ;-;

What happens if i abandon or transfer a zapped Neopet? Will it change back to its original color and gender? ~ anonymous
In maybe 99% of cases, no. Changing a Neopet's colour and gender, by any means, is permanent (well, until you choose to change it again), and isn't reversed when s/he gets a new owner. In fact, this is exactly how most foster parents work; they zap Neopets into eye-catching colours in the hope of finding someone willing to adopt.

The tricky exception is Magma Neopets, who for some reason do change colour to red if they're abandoned. So if you're looking for a home for a Magma pet, the best course of action is to find someone willing to take him/her in, then use the transfer function -- which doesn't alter the pet's colour.

This also seems like a good time to remind everyone that, whether they were originally morphed, labbed, or obtained from Create-a-Pet, Lutari cannot be transferred or disowned at all.

Spooky Candy

Oh, never mind. It's obvious I make a pretty terrible spooky storyteller. I'm going to leave the scary atmosphere to the other staffers and the good (?) Neopets over at the Haunted Faire, and stay here and help myself to some of the candy before the trick-or-treaters can get their paws on it.

Hope you all have a happy Hallowe'en, and see you next time!

...okay, WHY does all this chocolate taste of umbrellas?

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie pop? ~ Dave
Send me one and I'll get back to you. But you're paying your own international postage.

Check out The Plot Archive
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The Plot Archive

Whether you want to read about sinister aliens with plans to take over Neopia, trapped children in mortal danger, evil curses in the Haunted Woods, or even the horrific murders of our beloved Neopets Team, these tales of times long ago will satisfy all your scary story needs!