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The Pixelated Formula - Mystery Pic


by watermario222

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Perhaps you’ve seen it on the New Features page, but never bothered to investigate further into it. Or maybe, you just “don’t have enough time” to do it. Every Wednesday and Friday, it gets posted and you still convince yourself that one day you’ll get around to it. But after a few attempts at it, you’ve gone back to your original prediction: the Mystery Picture is just plain impossible.

This is what many people instantly think when they read the description of the Mystery Pic that comes out on Wednesday and Friday. This statement straight from the link itself, “We will upload a picture that appears somewhere on the site” dissuades about half of those who visit the game from participating. The remaining fifty percent goes on to check the further information. Simple enough, until you reach the picture itself. The square pixelated image seems so deterring. And this is where forty percent of the remaining half leaves. The small chunk of people left start searching. And then, after a few minutes, another five percent leaves. Then, about three percent of those who search eventually finds the picture and submits the answer.

I don’t necessarily disapprove of this; for many people, Mystery Pic is just not their thing on Neopets, for it simply takes too much eye concentration and requires a lot of time on your hands. But the payoff is definitely worth it. Because most people do the Mystery Pic for the prize, I’ll just mention this first. You will usually receive around 4000 Neopoints (from a neomail courtesy of TNT) from submitting the correct answer. If you’ve been quick on referring your answer, you might even get an item worth usually around 10000 Neopoints or 10k. Now that’s a prize that’ll actually make your bank account (or more so, that green Skeith) happier! The great part about Mystery Pic is that there are very few occurrences where people make a board simply to give out the answer (unlike Lenny Conundrum, where it happens every week).

Of course, the prize is just your reward. Some people consider the Mystery Pic just a fun and exciting activity to do on Wednesdays and Fridays. To them, the prize is simply a bonus. And once you get going into it, hopefully you will too! To start, usually, TNT will remind you that a new Mystery Pic has been released during Wednesdays and Fridays. First, copy that humongous image and paste it onto Paint or Microsoft Word. Preferably, I use Word, but that’s just because I’m not very fluent in Paint. On Word, resize the image to the smallest it can get. This is what the real image on Neopets will look like. After that, you’ll need to start searching for the image. I strongly recommend that you go onto the Neoboards and onto the games board. Usually, there will be a topic named something like “MP” (which stands for Mystery Pic). Go onto there, introduce yourself and be polite. They won’t take kindly to spam, chain letters, sarcastic remarks and idiotic proclamations. Ask them where you should look or simply choose a random area. If you work hard and post consistently on the boards, it’ll become natural and you just might be able to retrieve a clue via Neomail if somebody finds it. Never, EVER talk about what you think might be the answer to the MP; lurkers are always around, and they’ll do anything they can to get a free answer and get Neopoints without having to do any work.

There are various places on Neopets where you can search for the picture. A list of the places will accompany this paragraph.

-Games. By this, I mean the headers (the banners at the top of the page), the play button (the image you click on to play the game) and sometimes, but rarely, inside the game. This includes every game, including Action, Puzzle and Luck/Chance. Though it seems like a tedious chore, it’s actually one of the easiest areas to search, in my opinion.

-General Headers and Banners. Just look around Neopets and see what kinds of Headers look alike. Remember to use your copy/pasted image to confirm with any suspicions!

-The Neopedia. This can be a tedious task, not to mention boring and time-wasting. At least you’ll learn a lot of little-known Neopian facts. That Lenny Conundrum is seeming more possible day after day…still, this is where going onto the Neoboards and joining in the search is most effective. Plus, a few other places…

-The Captions. Possibly the most annoying area of Neopets that the Mystery Pic can be located in. Be prepared to spend a good three to six hours looking for the correct image if you’re doing this alone. You’re going to have to look in-depth; the Caption Contests tend to be very colorful and pleasing to the eye. Don’t get distracted!

-Worlds. By this, I mean searching around the parts of Neopia. Clicking on the “Explore” link at the sidebar to the left and searching the different parts of Neopets, such as Kreludor and Terror Mountain. Search the snow, the mountain, and the caves when looking through Terror Mountain. It might also be in your best interest to look through the various activities and shops dedicated to that specific place.

-Neogreetings. To access it, simply go to the Gift Shop in the Bazaar and click on the hyperlink in the Shopkeeper’s greeting. There, you should find many, many Neogreetings (animated/non-animated greetings that you can send to friends via e-mail) to search through.

-MSN/AIM Buddy Icons. You can find these through here: http://www.neopets.com/buddyicon2.phtml. If you’re familiar with the MSN Messenger and the AIM, then you should recognize these as “Buddy Icons” which are kind of like avatars. The Mystery Pic can be located in any of these (usually the bigger ones), so get ready to spend a little bit going through them.

-Items. Yet another mind-boggling (not to mention eye-distorting) area where the MP is sometimes located in.

-How to Draw. Incidentally, there was a Mystery Pic in this section in which only about twenty people won. Before that, most never bothered to search this section and it is quite new to the Mystery Pic. Usually, if the Mystery Pic is in here, it’ll be one of the finished products of the How-to-Draw. You can access it from Pet Central.

-Gallery of Evil. Similarly to the Neopedia, the Gallery of Evil features villains of all sorts, ranging from the infamous Sloth to the newcomer, Razul. You can access it from Pet Central. These pictures are all in black and white and there are only twenty-ish entries in there anyways. Shouldn’t be too difficult to look in.

-Neopian Times, News, etc.: Remember the MP can be anywhere! Be creative and go search in a place you’ve never gone to look through before. It just might be in there.

And lastly, a few additional tips that can help anybody

1. Never assume that a picture has the MP in it unless you check. I tend to skim until I find a somewhat close image to the pixelated image. Then, I double-check.

2. Take breaks. Your eyes should come before the MP, or anything on the computer for that matter. Plus, with rests, they’ll be sharper once you continue searching and you might spot something that you might have missed before.

3. DOUBLE-CHECK! Can’t find anything even after looking through every part of Neopia extensively? Double-check! Most likely, you just skipped or didn’t notice something that you could have noticed if your eyes were more relaxed (cough).

4. Search with the Neoboards! There will always be a board specifically designed to help each other work and find the MP. This will greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to find it and you might make a few new friends too. Most likely, if you’re an active helper and contribute to the board, you’ll be neomailed a clue or hint that will eliminate the excess work the MP forces you to do. Never beg for clues, however. It’ll only get you reported.

5. Wording the answer is a big part of getting the MP right too. You have to make sure that all of the key words are included in the answer, but it isn’t so lengthy, that the system doesn’t mark it as right. For example, if you found the MP in a Neopedia Entry for Dubloon Disaster, instead of putting: Neopedia Entry: Dubloon Disaster Picture on the bottom, you could simply pout Neopedia: Dubloon Disaster.

6. Take your time in finding the answer, but be hasty in submitting it. Once you find the MP, before revealing any clues to any of your friends, submit the answer, so that you have a higher place in the list than others. Remember, the first 250 people will also receive trophies (if they don’t have one/have that rank already) and a cool item that can surely sell for a few thousand NP.

7. Have fun! You don’t need to stress yourself to solve the Mystery Pic. If you simply can’t find it, no matter how hard you try, feel free to stop searching. If you’re getting to the extent where you boil over whenever you don’t find the MP, then this game might not be for you.

And as the article comes to a close, a crisp breeze blows over the sea…and alas, the article has finished. Good luck in searching and hope you can earn a spiffy trophy of some sort from Mystery Pic!

 
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