I have a lot of fond memories of Neopets, but I also have a lot of weird and/or embarrassing ones! So here's a page dedicated to some of my favourites.

Neopian Adventure Generator

The Adventure Generator was one of my favourite features, and one I rarely see anyone mention these days! It's actually still around (which I was amazed to find), and you can play or make adventures here.

Adventures were basically interactive text adventures where users could write a story and give you prompts to choose between branching paths, or alternatively, to make quizzes. I'm pretty sure I used it far more for just doing personality quizzes than to play well thought out adventures but I remember spending a LOT of time on there browsing all the latest adventures. I don't think I ever made one of my own, it was all a bit too complicated for me back then, but I loved playing them and sort of roleplaying in my head as I did them.

Smiley Adoptions

So, I can't really remember where this came from, maybe I came up with it by myself or maybe I just stole the idea from someone else, but at one point I was running "smiley adoptions" on the Neoboards. What this consisted of was combining the Neoboards smileys with text symbols or with each other (like making one look like it was wearing a hat) and giving them names, and then giving them out for adoption on the boards. I got a shocking amount of people coming into the threads and playing along, presumably putting their adopted smileys in their signatures. It was the most like an e-celebrity I had ever felt lol.

I can never remember what happened to it in the end, I remember it went on for quite a few threads as I kept making the smileys more and more complex. It may have just fizzled out on its own after the initial wave of interest faded but I have a faint notion that maybe it got stopped by moderators for some reason. I guess I'll never know!

Faking My Age

This is definitely more of an embarrassing one than a fun one. Most of the social features on Neopets are restricted until you were 13; I was probably only around 10 or 11 at the time and I was desperate to get to use the Neoboards, set an avatar and join guilds. I looked into ways to get around the age restriction, and my only option was to get my parents to sign a permission form and mail it all the way to the Neopets offices in America. So I ruled that one out. There was no changing the birth year I put into the account either. So there was only one thing left to do: make a new account with a fake age.

I felt so sneaky on that account, in my head I'm sure I was roleplaying as a mature and responsible adult and crafting a new identity on there - cooler, older, edgier. I pretty much played as normal of course, aside from things like the aforementioned smiley adoptions and whatever the hell else I was getting up to on the Neoboards. I remember loving the guild feature, although I seem to recall struggling to ever really stick around in just one, trying to make my own and then eventually settling in a relatively popular one that offered a lot of giveaways and things - all in the hopes of finally getting a paintbrush, any paintbrush.

I had a lot of fun on that account, building up personalities in my head for my pets and probably contributing to my guild in some way, or at least as much as a 10 year old could really contribute to any kind of older space. I even managed to pick up a painted pet from the pound, a measly Christmas Lupe. Still, I cherished him for being something other than one of the basic primary coloured pets, even if I did have this weird headcanon going where my Usul bullied him for some reason.

In the end, though, the pressure was building on me. I was living a lie. I'm not sure why I ever felt like this - nobody had ever said anything to suggest they thought I was actually pretending to be two or three years older than I actually was - but then again, I am an extremely anxious adult now so I guess pointless paranoia has just always been one of my hobbies. For whatever reason, I snapped. One day in the guild chat, I let it all out. I weeped to them that I was faking it all, that I had lied and The Neopets Team was going to ban me for life and I don't know, maybe come to my house and yell at me or something.

I don't think I stuck around long enough to see the guild's reactions. I transferred all my pets to one of my many, many secondary accounts and I deleted the account before TNT could do it for me. If they would even care to do it. It was the end of an era. An era of 10 year old chaos.

Classic Neohomes

Classic Neohomes - the peak of old Neopets Flash art. These were later replaced by more complex versions called Neohomes 2.0, which were so clunky and intensive they usually ended up crashing my browser. The original Neohomes had you pick a location and pay for the land - prices increased based on which world you picked, with Neopia Central being the cheapest and Faerieland being the most expensive - and then wait for your "building application" to be accepted. There were even neighbourhoods for the houses, with a listing for each world containing different street names and with each home getting its own address number.

The real highlight was the art, which really epitomised the look of the Neopets of old. Your home was shown as a grid being viewed from above, with each square being customisable - whether that meant by building a room and filling it with furniture or just leaving it as an outdoor garden area to decorate. There were these gaudy repeating textures on the ground that differed depending on the world you chose, and you could choose different materials to build rooms out of that increased in perceived quality (the material made no real difference for anything other than looks) based on the price.

It got even more complex, with things like insurance, flooring, lighting, wallpaper, heating and security being added as options once you bought enough rooms. Just to reiterate - none of this did anything. It's one of the things I enjoyed most about the old days of Neopets, things were just there for the roleplaying aspects, and not because they did anything tangible. You could ignore it all if you wanted and nothing bad would happen, or you could get immersed and pretend that your pets will freeze to death if you don't pay for central heating.

This is kind of what Neopets was all about for me back then, pretending that brushing my Uni's mane or applying makeup to my Aisha actually did something outside of increasing a happiness stat that equally contributed to nothing at all. It was easy to use your imagination and feel like you were actually playing with and taking care of your pets instead of just doing a bunch of dailies with a static png floating on the left of the screen. In terms of what you can do with them, Neopets are probably the least virtual of any kind of virtual pet I've played with - it's all just within your own head. It's harder to appreciate that now, but it was probably the sole reason why I was so obsessed with the site as a kid.

The Secrets

Neopets was amazing for its secrets! In a lot of cases these were secret clickable parts of the flash images for each world, taking you to unlabelled areas like the Hidden Tower in Faerieland. But sometimes they were even more complicated, forcing you to find hidden URLs that you could only access directly. The most significant of all of these was Jelly World. It was a hidden world that you couldn't access from the explore page, only through finding a link from someone else or typing it in manually.

Jelly World wasn't anything too exciting, with only one shop and some games, but it also had... the giant jelly. This was an equivalent to Tyrannia's giant omelette, which to this day still gives you a free omelette each time you visit. The jelly was the same, giving you a random type each time you went - the only downside was that the jelly food item could be fed to a pet in two halves, instead of the omelette which was eaten in thirds.

The in-joke was to pretend Jelly World couldn't possibly exist, and this extended to the hidden Jelly World board on the Neoboards. To access this you had to once again find a direct link to it, and then just in order to make a new thread you had to copy and paste some javascript into your address bar. The insanity.

Faerie Dolls

At some point Neopets started selling Faerie Dolls in the virtual shops. I don't know what it was about these things, but they were so adorable and so iconic in their designs that they ended up as extremely valuable items, most of them selling for up to tens of millions of Neopoints. The art for them was very reminiscent of the kinds of pixel art dolls people would have on their websites back then, and the graphics for the dolls definitely got used on a lot of pet pages and user lookups. These things still captivate me to this day.


By the way, I don't own any of the Neopets branding images or other graphics used on here!

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