The Art of Yooyus
Hello, fellow Neopians! I wanted to do today’s article featuring seven of Neopia’s most famous petpets, if only for a short while until their fame is replaced with someone new. But I hope that this article will bring them the justice that they deserve. I am talking about none other than the Seven Yooyus of the Altador Cup!!!
“Hello, Yooyus,” I said, politely stepping up to the large metal cage that housed the yooyus when they were not on the yooyuball field. “How are you all doing today?”
Seven heads turned to look at me, and six of them then turned away and rolled into a ball. Only the normal yooyu was left looking at me. I was staring at the other six with what I knew was a hurt look on my face. I knew yooyus weren’t the friendliest, talkative bunch, but I did not expect them to completely ignore me!
The normal yooyu walked up to the edge of the cage and stood to its full height to talk to me. “I’m sorry that they hurt your feelings,” he said quietly. “It’s just that Neopians keep coming by just to gawk at them or even try to take them to keep. So they really aren’t trusting anybody.”
“I’m really sorry to hear that,” I replied. “I was hoping to get an interview with each of you to find out what each of you brings individually to the game of Yooyuball. I even have a note here, signed by theneopetsteam, allowing me to take you out of your holding area and interview you in any setting that you want. The only condition is that wherever I take any of you, no one runs away. What do you think of that?”
The normal yooyu had taken the permission slip that I had received from theneopetsteam and finished reading it. “It seems valid enough,” he said thoughtfully, “and I for one would like to take a break and get out of this cage. Let me go see what the others think.”
The yooyu ran over to his comrades and quickly talked to each of them. Each time he finished his speech and showed them the note from TNT the yooyu perked up and took a look at me. The normal yooyu came back to the edge with all of the others following behind.
“Everybody wants to do it,” he said excitedly. “Who gets to go first?”
“Well,” I said, “on the actual rule page for the Altador Cup the order the yooyus are listed are Normal, Fire, Snow, Mutant, Faerie, Darigan, and Clockwork. So I was thinking of going in that order if it’s okay with all of you.”
All seven of the yooyus looked at each other and nodded; this made perfect sense. “I’ll see you all later then,” said the normal yooyu as the cage door slowly opened and he stepped out.
When he was out, and on the ground, I realized just how tiny a yooyu was. When they are several feet higher in a cage no one actually notices their size. The same can be said for on the playing field. The players are so busy throwing the yooyu around and the spectators are so busy watching the players that no one looks twice at the yooyu. That was going to change once I was through!
“Would you like me to carry you?” I asked. “It might be faster and nobody would step on you.”
“That’d be great,” said the yooyu happily. And with that he jumped right into my arms and sat quite contentedly.
“Now, where we go is up to you so where did you have in mind?”
“I think I’d like to go to Neopia Central and sit outside of the Chocolate Factory, if that’s okay with you,” the yooyu said hopefully looking up at me.
“Of course that’s okay! I’ll even buy you a piece of candy while we are there.” After a few page clicks we were standing outside of the Chocolate Factory. “We are going to go in, and you can pick whatever you want. Just pick quickly so I can make sure that I get it.”
We entered the building and after just one round of haggling with the shopkeeper we left the shop with a strawberry jelly usul.
We sat down at a table outside of the shop. (Well, I sat on a chair; the yooyu sat on the table.) “This is really good, “ he said while nibbling on one of the usul’s ears. “Now, what was it that you wanted to ask me?”
“Okay, first question is what advantages do you give the players when you are on the field?”
“That one is easy. Since I’m really just a normal yooyu, with no special affects, players can easily handle me and control the direction in which I go. They like that because it means that I’m the easiest to score with. The downside to that, though, is that if the opposing team gets a hold of me, it’s easier for them to score as well.”
“Next question is what do you like best about being on the Yooyu squad?”
“It feels nice to be needed, even though things can get a little rough. I’ve enjoyed meeting the other yooyus and becoming friends with them. And since none of us are really cheering for any particular team, no rivalries get in the way.”
“Final question. Is there anything you wish you could change about yourself? Anything that you want that the other yooyus have?”
“Yes. I feel silly saying this, but I’m a bit jealous of the other yooyus. Neopians always ooh and ahh over them because all of them are so exotic looking. I’m just the plain looking yooyu. I sometimes wish that I could have a special ability like all of the them.”
I reached over and picked the yooyu up, and gave him a huge hug. “You are perfect just the way you are and I’m positive that the other yooyus would say the same thing.”
The brown and gold yooyu gave me a watery smile of his own. “Thank you, Lisha,” he said.
“It looks like this is all the time that we are going to have,” I said. “Let’s get you back to the other yooyus. And I had a lovely time hanging out with you, and thank you for answering all of my questions.”
“You’re welcome,” replied the yooyu. “I had a wonderful time too.” At this point we had reached the yooyu pen and when the cage opened I gently put the yooyu back in and jumped back just in time to not get hit with a ball of fire. The Fire yooyu.
“Why hello there,” I said, “would you like me to... err.. carry you?” I said nervously as I looked at the flames coming out of the yooyu’s back.
“No thank you, I can walk myself,” responded the yooyu rather hotly. “You can follow me.”
I nodded, but knew that we were not going to be getting very far. It wasn’t much later when the fire yooyu figured this out as well. You see, petpets did not have access to venturing around Neopia without a pet or a Neopian so the yooyu was stuck because he couldn’t activate any pages.
“I think I’m going to have to help you,” I said cautiously, not wanting to have a yooyu yell at me. “Where would you like to go?”
“Somewhere warm where I can soak up some heat.”
“All right then, we can go to the volcano in Tyrannia. But I’m going to have to carry you there, so could you please turn down the heat?”
The yooyu did so, albeit reluctantly, and we were on our way. Soon, we were sitting in front of the volcano. I was already sweating, but the fire yooyu seemed to be perfectly comfortable. “Sorry about earlier,” the yooyu said to me. “When I get too cold I get a little cranky. And being in that pen with a snow yooyu is bound to do something to my body temperature.”
“That’s entirely understandable, I would probably feel the same way,” I answered. “Now, while you relax, I’d like you to answer a few questions for me.”
“Fire away,” responded the yooyu.
“First question, is what advantages and disadvantages do you give to the players on the field?”
“My biggest advantage is that I am really fast. So when and if players throw me correctly I normally streak by the goalie and effortlessly score goals. However, the disadvantage in that is that I burn the players if they hold me too long, so when I’m not thrown properly, it’s normally into a wall and let me tell you, going really fast to have a collision with a wall is not a fun experience.”
“I don’t think it would be either. What do you like best about being on the yooyuball team?”
“Getting a chance to show off my skills and meeting all of the other yooyus.”
“Is there anything that you want to change about yourself?”
“No, I like who I am. I can even burn Neopians that I don’t like. Not you of course,” he added hastily.
“That’s about it then,” I said closing my notebook. “Let’s get out of here before I sunburn to a crisp.”
The fire yooyu nodded and jumped into my arms, and even though the flames were on basically nonexistent, he was still very hot from sitting next to a volcano.
“Can we get something to eat first?” he asked. “I love Tyrannian food, especially nerkin legs- they are so juicy and warm.”
“All right, I’ll buy you a nerkin leg,” I said, smiling. I quickly popped into Tyrannian Foods and purchased a nerkin leg for the yooyu.
“This is very tasty,” he said as he munched on his treat as we walked back to the yooyus. “Thanks for the break,” the yooyu added as I set him inside the pen. The Snow yooyu was waiting at the entrance and was quick to hop out (albeit sluggishly) as soon as the opportunity presented itself.
From the looks of it, the fact that it was in an enclosure with a fire yooyu was taking its toll as well. The snow yooyu seemed to be having a bit of a meltdown right in front of me! “I think I know the perfect place for you,” I said and without further ado transported us to Terror Mountain.
The snow yooyu took a deep breath and smiled. “This is much better, thank you.”
“You are very welcome, I didn’t want you melting in front of me. Why don’t I get us a slushie each to help cool you down?”
“That would be wonderful.” The yooyu flopped into the snow.
“You stay there, I’ll be right back.” I returned shortly with two Snow Slushies in hand. “Here you go.” We both sat in a snow bank and slurped our slushies. “I’m getting cold now, which means that you are probably feeling better, am I right?”
“Yes, much. Can I assume that you are going to ask the same questions that you asked the normal yooyu?”
“Yes, that’s right. I want to be able to compile and compare everyone’s answers and if I asked different questions to everyone that would make it a bit difficult, now wouldn’t it?”
“Okay, then my advantage is that I wear down players quickly; however, that backfires for each team when they have both handled me. My disadvantage is that I move quite slowly so it isn’t hard for a goalie to catch me and throw me back into play.” The snow yooyu smiled sheepishly.
“It’s nothing to worry about, that’s how you were made. Why do you like being on the yooyu team?”
“You are probably going to hear this answer a lot, but I like meeting different yooyus. Although, not having heatstroke from the fire yooyu would be nice.”
“Is there anything that you wish you could change about yourself?”
“Yes, I wish I wasn’t *this* slow. Not so much for the game, but when I’m trying to move around in general it takes a while.”
“I’m sorry to hear that. But at least you can still move at all.”
“That’s true; I would hate to be stationary my whole life.”
“Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.” With that said, we departed back to the rest of the yooyus. “I believe that the Mutant yooyu is next, if you’d like to join me?”
The spiky yooyu leaped out of the cage and promptly jumped onto my shoulder, ignoring my wince of pain. “I’d like to go to the Haunted Woods, please,” he said politely.
“You know,” I said as we were departing, “because you are mutant I expected you to be a bit more... evil.”
“I get that a lot,” he admitted, “but in truth I’m really polite; it’s just that my looks have a tendency to scare Neopians away.”
“Clearly you aren’t a “bad” yooyu,” I said as we settled ourselves on a patch of grass near the Brain Tree. “Would you like anything to eat?”
“That would be wonderful; anything will do.” With a nod I got up and went to the Spooky Food shop in the Deserted Fairground. I paid for a Spooky Raspberry Pie and headed back to our spot. “That looks scrumptious,” said the yooyu and he dug right in.
As he started his snack I opened up my notebook to a blank page and prepared to start writing down answers. “First question, is what advantages and disadvantages do you bring to the yooyu team?”
“My movements are very erratic so players generally have a hard time scoring with me. It normally takes them a longer time to put me in a goal, so I’m usually very tired by the end of the day. My spikes also cause a problem for players who don’t pick me up correctly. I sort of stab them with a spike without meaning to, and if it’s serious enough there is a timeout for medical treatment.”
“That certainly sounds like a long game; what do you like about being on the yooyu squad?”
“Getting to learn about and meet all of the other yooyus. It’s fun to see what effects each yooyu can bring to the game.”
“Is there anything that you wish you could change about yourself?”
“Not having red eyes would be nice. I feel that my eyes are one of the factors that make Neopians run in the other direction. And to maybe not be so spiky. I don’t like unintentionally hurting Neopians, but I do.”
“These are some very good insights on you; thanks for answering my questions.”
“The pleasure was mine,” the yooyu said as he gave a little bow. “Thank you for the snack.” I put the mutant yooyu into his home and carefully picked up the faerie yooyu.
“I’m going to assume that you would like to go to Faerieland?” I asked.
“Yes, please. I really want to go sit on a cloud.” And so we did.
Once we were situated, myself also having bought the faerie yooyu a Flaming Fire Faerie Pizza for us to share, we were ready to talk. “Now, I didn’t ask this question to any of the other yooyus, but what does it feel like to be the only girl yooyu on the team?”
“It’s different. I think some of the guys think that if they touch me too hard I’ll break. Hello? I’m playing in the Altador Cup. Obviously I can take a little damage!”
“I’m sure you can. What do you think are your advantages and disadvantages as a faerie yooyu?”
“I really like the fact that when I am thrown I float. It gets me out of the mayhem below and gives me a chance to get my bearings. It’s also unpredictable as to where I will land so it adds a bit of excitement to the game. As for disadvantages, I don’t think I really have any.”
“Okay, what do you like best about being on the yooyu lineup?”
“My favorite part is getting a chance to meet all of the other yooyus. Everyone is different in his own unique way, and I love all of them for that.”
“Is there anything that you would change about yourself if you could?”
“No, never. I love who I am. Especially for the fact that I can fly wherever I want to go; no walking for me!”
“I wish I could fly,” I said ruefully. “However, I was meant to stay on the ground so I’ll be content with it. Let’s get you back to the other yooyus.”
We made it back to the pen and the Darigan yooyu was sitting at the doorway waiting for us. “I’m ready,” he said as soon as we approached. “I’d like to go to the Darigan Citadel.”
“Okay, but you do know that there really isn’t any food I can get you there.”
“I know, I was hoping that you could get me a plushie instead. I love plushies,” the yooyu squealed.
“Okay, I’ll get you a plushie,” I said. We transported to Darigan Citadel and took a seat in the corner of Lord Darigan’s chambers. Luckily, he wasn’t pay any attention to us or we might have been thrown out.
“Since I already know what your questions are, I’ll start. First off, with me being new this year it is a bit tricky for players to understand my habits. Basically, whatever direction a player is facing when they throw me, I’ll spin off in a different direction. It makes for a very random game when I am on the field. I like being on the team to meet the other yooyus and learn from the yooyus who have been here longer. Those guys and girl know what happens during the Cup and have been very useful sources of information.”
“Whoa, slow down there! I’m not that fast at writing!” The yooyu sat quietly for about a minute; the only sounds were the scratching of my pen as I wrote as fast as I could. “All right, caught up. Carry on, please.”
“There is nothing that I wish to change about myself. The colors that I am are actually my favorite colors so I’m very happy. Can we go get a plushie now?” The yooyu looked at me with such hopeful eyes that I laughed.
“Yes, let’s go get you a plushie before you have to go back.” We made a stop at Plushie Palace where I purchased a Darigan Peophin Plushie which the yooyu hugged to himself.
“I’ll need to think of a name for you,” the yooyu said to his toy as he climbed back into the cage. With the Darigan yooyu back, that left only one yooyu. The Clockwork yooyu.
“You’re not going to explode, are you?” I asked nervously, eyeing the wind up stick on the yooyu’s back.
“Nope, I won’t. It’s only programmed to explode when I’m actually on the field. And if I do, it is only my shell, and it puts itself back together,” he said in response to my questioning look. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to go up to Virtupets; the technology there fascinates me.”
“One stop to Virtupets it is,” I said. When we arrived I bought my last yooyu interviewee a sugarbunny surprise from Grundo’s Café. As we sat down on stools I asked my first question. “What do you bring to the game of yooyuball?”
“I’m a really random yooyu, because even I don’t know when I’m going to detonate. So there is always a surprise factor when I’m out on the field. I really like the game, though.”
“Why do you like being on the team?”
“I like being useful and being recognized for my skills. Meeting the other yooyus is fun too.”
“Is there anything that you wish you could change about yourself?”
“The only thing that I could think of is knowledge of when I actually am going to explode. That way, I could brace for impact. But if I could do that, then all the players would know too, so it would never work.”
“Thanks for your time,” I said as I glanced at my watch. “Oh my goodness! I need to get you back right away! There is a practice match in 10 minutes between Shenkuu and Meridell and you need to be back for that!” I scooped up the yooyu and made a mad dash back to the yooyuball field.
We made it back in record time. Putting the clockwork yooyu back into the compound, I addressed all of the yooyus. “I would like to take this time to once again sincerely thank all of you for giving me your input on yourselves. I’m sure that this will make a newsworthy article that you can all be proud of.”
Just as I finished the referee blew his whistle and a claw came down to pick out a yooyu. “Good luck to all of you,” I called as the fire yooyu began to head for the arena.
“Best of luck to you too,” shouted all of the yooyus in unison. “We hope your team wins!”
And with that I headed out of the area and towards my neohome where I would begin composing the greatest article on yooyus that Neopia had ever seen. Are you wondering what happened to that article? Well, you just finished reading it.
Comments are always welcome so feel free to drop me a neomail!