Yooyu Can Do It!
On June 1st, the noble and proud land of Altador announced a great event: they are hosting Neopia’s first big Yooyuball tournament. Sixteen teams of five players each will represent sixteen Neopian areas. However, a lot of people are wondering what the Yooyuball is made of. The answer is simple; it’s a small petpet, named the Yooyu. Yooyus are friendly little chaps, who like nothing better than playing.
Yooyus are really rare Altadorian petpets, usually brown and yellow colored. Due to their rarity, it is seen as a good omen to find one of these critters simply hanging around in the wilderness. They are really loyal, and they enjoy the company of Neopets. They live in small tribes, usually in the small forest near the Perfectly Flat Rock Quarry, where they can find anything they need: food, water and places to build their nest. These star-shaped little critters, which are around twenty-five centimeters tall (head to tail), usually eat berries, leaves, roots and sometimes small bugs that roam around.
These petpets can defend themselves with their small claws, which are retractable, but their famous defence is their ability to turn into a perfectly round ball that no predators can open. This power has been gained over the centuries, due to the Yooyus being perpetually hunted by predators such as Hydruplits and Minithei. Unlike most mammal petpets, Yooyus hatch from eggs (four or five every season). According to researchers, there are five kinds of Yooyus: Basic Yooyu, Fire Yooyu, Snow Yooyu, Mutant Yooyu and Faerie Yooyu.
The Basic Yooyu, also known as “Juvenile Yooyu”, has a brown, tan or black coloring, which is usually temporary; it usually turns into one of the four sub-species near its second birthday. These little creatures are usually clumsier than the other Yooyus, and are unable to completely curl themselves into tiny balls, making them impossible to use for Yooyuball competitions. Young Altadorians love to go in the woods surrounding the city to capture one for training purposes. According to some developed studies, it seems like the season of birth has a major influence on its growth and the powers that it might develop. All Yooyus have a common point, though, and it is the love of sports. Every kind of Yooyu love to roll down hills while curled into a ball to see who’s fastest.
Yooyus born during the summer months (Relaxing, Swimming and Hiding) usually become Fire Yooyus. When a summer-born Yooyu turns two years old, they leave for the Altadorian Mountains to get a real challenge. However, only the healthiest ones can make it to the top of the biggest mountain, where you can access the mouth of the Enora Volcano; the remaining creatures dive into the boiling lava to turn into Fire Yooyus. They are usually less likely to trust Neopets, due to their impulsive and destructive nature. However, when they do trust a Neopet, it’s forever. These fiery creatures are insanely quick, making them hard to hunt down by slower predators, and they can use their razor-sharp claws to injure a bellicose creature. Finally, some observers have reported that Fire Yooyus also have fire-breathing abilities.
Secondly, Yooyus born during the winter months (Celebrating, Sleeping and Awakening) have a serious tendency to become Snow Yooyus. Like Fire Yooyus, the Snow Yooyus have to climb the mountains, until they reach the top of the highest mountain, the kingdom of eternal snowstorms. The young Yooyus have to stay still during seven days and eight nights, until they do not feel the cold anymore. During this period, an armour made of everlasting snow sticks to their fur, until the day they pass away. Snow Yooyus are usually really scared of unknown Neopets; however, they are really friendly once they get to know their surroundings. Considering the weight of the snow stuck in their fur, these petpets cannot move quickly, making them easy targets for predators. Do not think they are defenceless, because their teeth and claws can cause severe injuries, and holding a Snow Yooyu during an extended lapse of time can cause frost burns. Finally, like the legendary Snowager, they can send small blasts of ice to disturb an enemy.
Faerie Yooyus are usually born during the spring months (Running, Eating and Hunting). These lovely swift creatures are seldom seen in the wild, due to their high flying speed and their shyness. However, they are benevolent and well-mannered. Straight after their second birthday, the spring Yooyus build a strong silk cocoon, to rest during seven days, while a wonderful metamorphosis happens. The young mammals grow strong wings, and gain natural agility. These little beasts hide at the top of trees, where they build their nest, usually stuffed with Vaeolus feathers to keep them warm. As seen in the Yooyuball tournament, these winged creatures enjoy flying at low altitude, and you will never know where they will land. The Neopets that manage to gain the trust of Faerie Yooyus should feel really special, for they do not come out often.
Finally, Mutant Yooyus are the remaining ones, which are born during the fall months (Gathering, Collecting and Storing). When the weather starts to be a little colder, the young fall Yooyus bury themselves in the ground during several days, near Hydruplits' nests. Considering the fact that Hydruplit Venom is highly prone to mutation, it is probable that the frequent exposure to the venom turns the nice little Yooyus into greedy, horrible and nasty little critters. These spike-backed rodents like nothing better than bullying other Yooyus and Neopets, usually by zigzagging on purpose while they’re walking, only to enjoy seeing them trip. Their fangs, claws and dorsal spikes also generate a powerful venom, which can be distilled to create a cure for Itchy Scratchies. However, collecting this substance is a dangerous adventure few explorers have tried.
Overall, Yooyus are useful little creatures, as well as a lovely prize given out as a reward at the Altador Cup. (You could buy them for 1,000 points; I managed to buy three.)
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