One of the strangest blips in Neopets history, CryptoQuest involved you going on a "blockchain adventure" with pets on a card collecting quest. These cards were purchasable and tradeable using crypto technology in an attempt to simulate a real-life trading card game, nearly three years before NFTs and other cryptocollectibles broke into the mainstream.
Unlike any other virtual good, such as the items purchasable from the Neocash Mall, the trading cards available from CryptoQuest were backed by a blockchain, the same technology used by cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to establish ownership and history of a given card.
CryptoQuest was a partnership among Neopets, ill-fated merch manufacturer Overpowered, and now-defunct crypto marketplace Rare Bits.
An informational website for CryptoQuest was first started on October 10, 2018. However, CryptoQuest itself was not officially announced until October 18, 2018, in the New Features page of the Neopets website.
Cards were available for purchase from October 18 through November 4th, 2018. After that, cards could still be exchanged between players and redeemed for rewards until April 30th, 2019.
Presumably, there were intentions to continue CryptoQuest with additional limited-time events, perhaps centered around other holidays. However, CryptoQuest did not return after the completion of the Halloween event.
CryptoQuest cards were purchasable through a card pack. Each card pack included 3 cards. Deluxe packs, which offered higher chances of rarer cards, were available for an extra cost. The packs could be purchased with either standard USD through a credit card, or using the Ethereum (ETH) cryptocurrency. The Ethereum price would change based on the current market exchange rate of ETH to USD.
Cards purchased with Ethereum were stored in an Ethereum wallet. Cards purchased with USD were stored in a virtual wallet hosted by CryptoQuest, but could then be transferred to an Ethereum wallet.
Individual cards that had already been purchased from a card pack could also be resold to other players on an open auction market. These transactions had to be completed using Ethereum currency so that the cards could continue to be tracked on a blockchain, which enabled a player's ownership of the cards despite them being digital goods.
The standard (left) and deluxe (right) CryptoQuest card packs
How to Play
CryptoQuest involved completing any of 4 Halloween quests. These quests were completed by collecting a certain set of cards belonging to a quest. The four quests were:
|Quest Name||# common cards||# uncommon cards||# rare cards||# super rare cards||# total cards|
Before purchasing any cards, your progress on each quest would be empty.
An example of a Zombie Aisha quest without any progress
As you obtained cards, either from a pack or from another player, your progress would be shown. Cards that you have at least one of would light up, and your total count of each card would increment in the upper right corner.
An example of a Pirate Draik quest with a single Golden Pirate Sword card
Once you completed an entire set, you could turn it in for a reward card, thereby completing that quest! If you had multiple sets of a given quest, you could complete that quest multiple times; the only restriction is that each CryptoQuest card could only be used towards completing a quest once.
When viewing an individual card, it was decorated with some icons indicating important data about the card:
Additionally, each card was labeled with an ordinal indicator, showing which number card it was found (or created, for reward cards) out of the total number of that card that have been found (or created) by any user:
This card was the 6th Costumed Zombie Aisha card created.
At the time of the screenshot, 31 total Costumed Zombie Aisha cards had been created.
Making Use of Cards
Cards could be "scratched" for a prize code (see the next section) or, of course, used for a quest. Additionally, cards could also be auctioned off to other players in exchange for Ethereum, an appealing option if you received extras of certain cards.
Cards could be sold before or after being scratched and/or being used for a quest. However, each card could only be scratched once, and used for a quest once. As a result, an unscratched, unused card would thus have better resale value than a scratched, used card. Cards that have been both scratched and used could theoretically still hold some value, such as if it had a special ordinal number (for example, the first card created) or had sentimental value to a particularly voracious collector.
An example of an unused, unscratched Golden Pirate Sword being auctioned for Ξ0.020
Each CryptoQuest card included a prize code that could be "scratched off" and redeemed at the Grundo Warehouse. Each of these codes would award 500-2,000 Neopoints and an item prize. Standard cards and reward cards had separate item prize pools.
Below is the list of known possible item prizes from redeeming codes from standard cards. CryptoQuest advertised that there were over 40 different possible prizes, but so few cards were scratched that these are the only ones Jellyneo was able to confirm.
Instead of a standard prize code, the reward cards had a prize code that was connected to a different item prize pool. Each reward card had a 50% chance of earning a special item specific to the completed quest:
If you did not win this special item, you would instead win an alternate prize from a pool of 10 items that were advertised by CryptoQuest as being worth "anywhere from 40,000 to 100,000+ Neopoints." Again, since so few cards were scratched, Jellyneo was only able to confirm 1 of these 10 items:
Do CryptoQuest Cards Still Exist?
In short: it depends what you mean by "exist."
The FAQ for CryptoQuest included the bold claim that, because CryptoQuest cards were backed by a blockchain, "they are yours to keep forever or sell." However, the CryptoQuest website went down sometime in late 2019, which had two separate implications for CryptoQuest cards.
The first implication is visual. Because the metadata for CryptoQuest cards points to the CryptoQuest website for its image and other information, the images can no longer be rendered. While the metadata may still exist, it cannot be readily interpreted by a human.
The second implication is existential. As mentioned in the Price section above, CryptoQuest cards could be purchased with either USD or the cryptocurrency Ethereum. If purchased with Ethereum, the metadata for the CryptoQuest cards you received were stored in an Ethereum wallet, from which they could be traded on an Ethereum secondary market. However, if you purchased the cards using USD, the metadata was stored in a CryptoQuest wallet. Although the cards could be transferred from a CryptoQuest wallet to an Ethereum wallet, any cards that were still in a CryptoQuest wallet when the CryptoQuest website went down became permanently lost.
Thus, cards that were stored in an Ethereum wallet at the time the CryptoQuest website went down technically do still exist, and could even be traded, though no longer in a form that is especially meaningful. Indeed, you can see what remains of what are presumably CryptoQuest cards in the "Fan Bits V2" collection on crypto marketplace OpenSea (the oldest items have a creation date that lines up with the launch date of CryptoQuest).
In 2021, Jellyneo was able to get in touch with five different players who had purchased CryptoQuest cards, and none were still able to access their cards. If you are still able to access yours, we would love to hear from you about it!
How Many Cards Were Sold?
The CryptoQuest website would list a live count of how many total packs had been sold so far. Jellyneo recorded this number each day. Our count is not perfectly scientific—it was not at the same time every day, and we did miss a day—but is interesting data nonetheless.
|Date||Day #||Running Total||Packs Since Previous|
|Oct 25||7||We missed this day—sorry!|
(~37 per day)
Interestingly, we can use this number to estimate how much revenue was generated from the sale of CryptoQuest cards. In the best case scenario, in which all 1,819 packs were sold as individual Deluxe packs, the revenue would have been
1,819*$7.99 ≈ $14,534. In the absolute worst case scenario, in which all packs were sold in Standard bundles of 10, the revenue would have been
1,819*($42.99/10) ≈ $7,820. From this, we know that the true revenue from the event was somewhere between ~$8k and ~$14k.
|Reward Card||# created|
|Costumed Halloween Uni||233|
|Costumed Ghost Kougra||115|
|Costumed Zombie Aisha||56|
|Costumed Pirate Draik||41|
CryptoQuest was based on the story of four Neopet friends: Sam the Uni, Gimly the Draik, Benny the Kougra, and Starie the Aisha. Together, they decided to visit the Brain Tree in the Haunted Woods and learn from him. Unfortunately, they did so at Halloween, and got caught in the Woods after dark. Ghosts, ghouls, and lost Faeries attempted to drain their life in the hopes of escaping the woods. The Brain Tree informed them that they needed to find magical items in order to be able to escape.
This is not your typical Haunted Woods tale about ghouls and goblins lurking in the neglected and dangerous Haunted Woods.
It all started when some Neopet friends decided to go to the Haunted Woods, being brave and curious. They wanted to be challenged on a quest to feed the Brain Tree and find out a mysterious piece of Neopian lore.
As it grew darker they said, "Guys, it's getting late and we don't want to be stuck in the Haunted Woods when it gets dark."
Someone else chimed in "And don't forget that we still have Halloween parties to attend."
So they all agreed and decided to complete the quest and get out as fast as they could.
But the darkness came earlier than they had expected, earlier than they were used to, earlier than anyone had ever seen before. They had forgotten that around Halloween the Haunted Woods received special powers. It came to life, energized by the ghouls and ghosts, and the energy from dead games buried beneath its earth.
The mist rose from the ground. The tombstones shook. In the distance at the Deserted Fairground you could hear the Wheel of Misfortune spin violently...on its own.
Lightning crackled. The werelupes howled.
Mushrooms and fungus balls shot up from the ground as the tomb of Chomby and the Fungus Balls was gashed open. The funky beats of Neo DJ overtook the lightning crash. Your Kougra tapped his paw at the tunes before being reminded that he should be scared.
Sam, the Uni, jumped, and turned quickly to look behind her, "Guy's, did you hear that?"
It was the sound of pitter pattering footsteps and faint giggling. The leaves crackled as the invisible feet ran over them. Gushes of wind rustled the dead tree branches so hard that they snapped one by one and fell to the ground.
Just then the ground grumbled and the tombstones in the Game Graveyard cracked, and a chorus of voices whispered "play with us."
Gimly, the Draik, said, "Guys...we...we...should...we really should....gooooo!"
Everyone's heads shook like bobbleheads as they agreed with Gimly.
Benny asked, "But how will we get out and escape the ghouls and ghosts?"
"Let's run!" yelled Sam.
As they ran through the Haunted Woods the grounds shook even more furiously. An evil has awakened. The whispers grew louder and they stumbled into the Brain Tree.
Shaking off the cawing crows and stretching his arms the Brain Tree said,
Little Neopians, the Haunted Woods are mysterious and filled with magic and secrets.
It is disguises you need and you must find the backgrounds that will magically transport you to where you want to be. Search the woods with open eyes, diligence, and persistence and you will succeed.
Don't let the lost faeries distract you with their tales. They will stop you and the evil will use your energy and knowledge to leave the Haunted Woods and spread through Neopia. Good luck Neopians on this most perilous quest!"
This certainly was an unusual time. The Brain Tree had never sent Neopians on a quest for items.
Neopia is in peril.
Can Benny the Kougra, Starie the Aisha, Sam the Uni, and Gimly the Draik, find the items they need to disguise them and transport them out of the Haunted Woods in time?
Player, that is your quest. Help these Neopians find the items they need to save Neopia from being overtaken by the ghouls and stop the Game Graveyard from unleashing its dead to destroy the lands we know and love!
From Neopets CryptoQuest Medium blog, October 10, 2018
This article was written by: Kenny