Hello and thank you for popping in to visit as we present this week's edition of The Neopian News Brief, your all-in-one summary of everything that's been happening in Neopia, from the confounding corridors of the Space Station to the icy apex of Terror Mountain. We've got plenty of topics to cover today, so let's go ahead and get started...
Our lead story this week is Friday's release of Hubrid's Hero Heist, an exciting new game that's tied in to the release of the Neopets TCG. You are the Poogle Apprentice, an aspiring sorcerer who's been thrust into the adventure of a lifetime. Having learned of Hubrid Nox's plot to capture all of Neopia's heroes, your task is to foil Nox's plans for global domination. This can only be accomplished by defeating his ghost legions and rescuing the six heroes that are currently being held by the evil Chia mastermind.
When entering the fray, you'll find that Hubrid's minions are all around, eager to trip you up at every turn. Be especially wary of those werelupes, because the weapons that they fling pack quite a punch. Also keep an eye out for pesky ghost Chias, who seem to pop out from nowhere to storm at you headfirst. If you're not careful, they could easily catch you off guard! You are not helpless, however; thanks to the powerful shrink spell that you possess within your magic wand. Blast the members of Nox's army with your shrink spell, then finish them off with a good trampling.
Once they've been stomped, your foes will be transformed into an array of nutritious goodies, which contain points toward your score, as well as the occassional power-up. These can really help to build up your score, and help to make this a very profitable game that's definitely worth your time. During my very first attempt, I got through nine of the game's thirty-six levels, freeing one of the game's six heroes and coming away with more than 400 NPs--not too shabby.
This past Monday, many of Neopia's elite (and a lucky handful who happen to know somebody that has a friend whose cousin knows one of the guys working the door) put on their fanciest outfits and gathered for this year's Chocolate Ball. While those in attendance were awestuck by the flamboyant displays of ceremonial pageantry, the true belles of the ball, as always, were the stunning array of chocolate confections that were making their debut. Casting aside any pretense of a balanced diet, those lucky enough to attend got the privilige of being the first to tuck into a tasty assortment of treats that included, most prominently, a sumputous parade of chocolate novas.
However, they weren't the only ones that got the chance to bask in the joy of chocolate, as all of Neopia got in on the celebration. Among the tributes that were bestowed upon bonbon buffs this year were a chocolate avatar and blog combo, a pair of chocolatey pet PBs (actually three, if you include the brown Quiggles that straggled in on Tuesday to join the arrival of white Acaras and brown Elephantes), as well as a quartet of choc-o-riffic petpet PBs (making white Meepits and Airaxs, along with brown Pawkeets and Miamice available for the first time). Putting a cherry on top of this sundae (that actually took place on a Monday) were special chocolatey editions of the Poetry and Caption Contests. Mmm... perfect!
Also creating quite a stir this week was Wednesday's Faerie Festival celebration. Due to the festivites that awaited Poogle Day on Friday (more details on that later), it was decided that, in order to not get shortchanged, the festival would be bumped up to Wednesday. Despite some last minute scrambling, everything was ready to go in time for the festival's opening ceremonies. Kicking things off was an announcement that the Soup Faerie had added seven new flavours to the ones that she already offers. How considerate of her, to be thinking of those who are less fortunate on such a special day!
Also in the mix were a quartet of Faerie books (including Neggery Notes, which contains excerpts from the Negg Faerie's diary... ooh!), six additional Faerie shopkeepers, a blog featuring the Battle Faerie, an avatar and desktop theme depicting the Space Faerie, and four Faeriesque (is that even a word?!?) Back to School items. As if that weren't enough, Wednesday also marked the release of three new Faerie Petpets (say hello to the Gwortz, Teemyte, and Feloreena) and four more delicious Faerie foods.
After all that, and despite also being featured in Wednesday's Poetry Contest and this week's Petpet and Gallery Spotlights, the biggest Faerie news actually turned up on Tuesday (and no, we're not talking about the new Faerie Bruce, either). That's right, we could only be speaking of Fyora's much-maligned decision to retire the Faerie paint brush from the Hidden Tower. Oh sure, that's great news if you've already got a Faerie PB in your inventory; but for those who are still searching, Her Majesty's decision couldn't have come at a worse time.
As we mentioned a few paragraphs ago, this year's Poogle Parade started on Friday (just in time for International Talk Like a Pirate Day... yarr!), and spilled well over into Saturday. After the usual offering of books, Battledome accessories and baked goods, the highlights of this year's tribute also included: a trio of shopkeepers, four Back to School items, two new paint brushes (white and ghost), a Poogle avatar and shop blog combination, and tributes in the Poetry and Caption Contests, as well as Friday's Pet Spotlight. Plus, we can't forget the Poogle Apprentice, hero of Neopia's hottest new game, Hubrid's Hero Heist. Hurray for Poogles!
It's now time for us to take a closer look at this week's financial headlines. After more than two months on the upswing, the Neodaq continues to remain poised in the mid-1200's, picking up another eighteen points to finish off the week at 1260. Leading the way during this latest charge was Jacko and Sons Painting, who nearly doubled their share value by vaulting an impressive twenty-nine points. Also posting a hefty profit was Meri Acre Sausages, which jumped twenty-three points to wind up neck & neck with Fish Pops as the top two companies on the Big Board.
After two huge weeks, during which they picked up a whopping ninety-six points, the aforementioned Fish Pops! held at 162, finishing a single point ahead of Meri Acres in the race to be Number One. Coming in a distant third is Chia Steel, who followed last week's twenty-five point climb by tacking on another ten points a share, rounding out the week at sixty-five NPs a share. Coming in right behind Jacko and Sons is Powlex, who put up the week's second largest gain by soaring twenty-seven points, to wind up at fifty-nine NPs. Taking the week's biggest loss was Breadmaster Bakeries, whose thirty-one point plunge sent them reeling from the top five, falling all the way to thirty-seven points.
So then, will Jacko and Sons have what it takes to make a run at The Big Two? Or will they just become next week's Breadmaster Bakeries? We'll just have to wait and see....