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The Day the Soda Went Bad

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It all started the other day... Everything seemed normal at first: staffers were going about their business as usual, working on the site. Occasionally, someone would stop over at the soda machine for a cold drink - the Nexy Cola had been flat this week, so I helped myself to a Suzukaberry Punch around 1:00pm. As the day wound down, though, I noticed that some staffers were beginning to act a little... strange. Grog had started to growl, and Skumby kept trying to fly.

In fact, I realised, everyone who was acting out of the ordinary had drunk a can of Diet Terry that day. But what did it mean?

Most of the staff had left the office by the time I made this connection - I had stayed late to clean off the Jelly Trampoline for the annual bouncing competition coming up in a week, since Dave had proclaimed something so dirty simply would not do. The vending machine was glowing eerily out in the main area of the lounge, daring me to confront it. I really needed to get home, but I decided it couldn't hurt to take one of the cans of Diet Terry over to a programmer for testing on my way. I dropped some Joodles into the coin slot and pressed the button. The machine rumbled ominously and...

Sold out?

Sold out?!

Well, wasn't that just great.

Feeling somewhat dejected, I headed home, hoping that a good night's sleep would clear everything up. Suzuka was there, curled up under my couch cushions, but that was hardly out of the ordinary. Besides, I was pretty sure she had chosen Doctor Dave today. I climbed into bed and snuggled with my pillows, ready for this day to pass.

Unfortunately, the morning brought nothing good. I was a few minutes late coming in, and when I arrived, I found that a barricade had been set up around the perimeter, being paced by some very strange looking individuals. I noticed Illy standing near the perimeter, sipping absentmindedly on a Pekkasi, and quickly made my way over to her.

"What's going on?" I asked, certain she'd be the most likely to know. "Who're the weirdos tromping around?"

"They're staffers - or at least, they were." She replied, a slight frown creasing her brow. "But for some reason they're wearing weird costumes and claiming only those who join them or defeat them in Yooyuball can go in."

'Yooyuball?' I wondered. 'Why that?' The answer soon became apparent, however, as the nine staffers parading the border suddenly lined up and did a very... flashy introduction.

The Baddies - Diet Terror

Zipping through the skies on patchwork wings, Skumby represents the Darigan Citadel!

She'll curse you and your little Yooyu, too! From Faerieland, Uuliani!

No one will escape her thundering claw - Mystery Island sends forth noileh!

Tearing through the earth, Aurora will show all how hot Moltara can burn!

Fur will fly long for a furlong before Herdy abandons the Haunted Woods!

Island Fever? 'Aaaardly! Krawk Island means business - and so does Scout!

Good luck getting past the stone defenses of the Lost Desert and the pyramid shell of Marie!

Through wind and snow, sleet and hail, Grog unleashes the beast of Terror Mountain!

Ugga kraka ooah eva! SKYLAR UGG TYRANNIA!

Clearly, the possessed staffers weren't going to give up without a fight. Well, who were the rest of us to deny them? They had chosen the battleground with their land-related costumes, and we could do the same! For the remaining lands, nine brave staffers stood up to do battle in the court of Yooyuball!

The Goodies - Jelly Squad

From the homeland of Altador, where the sun shines brightly, Emily!

Coming forth to show that brains and brawn are hardly exclusive, Brightvale's Zelda!

Representing Meridell with honour and valour, Link!

Blasting in from Kreludor just for the opportunity, Torratz!

He's usually chill, but Kiko Lake's RedOtter won't stand down this time!

Bursting through the Bubblesphere from Maraqua, Rylon takes no prisoners!

She may be bouncy and fun, but Roo Island's Rosie aims for number one!

Quiet as the wind and deadly as a sword, Shenkuu's Suzuka!

Rolling with the robots, zapping whoever he can - Virtupets' Nick!

Nine staffers from each side, eighteen in total, but they would need a referee, of course! So I pulled out my uniform from last year (it still fit, naturally), and polished my whistle. No matter what the outcome of this battle, I wanted to be there for all of it!

Are you ready to YOOYUBALL?!