That Fantastic Flask!
Also by chivo
Ever had one of those days in Neopia where you want to avoid the rush of restocking? One of those days when it's so warm that pets are huddled under the Money Tree not for rewards, but for the friendly shade that sloping boughs provide? Pick up your fishing line, and head down to Maraqua, where the fishing hole within the ruins is always open and treasure awaits.
One such treasure is the fabled 'Flask of Rainbow Fountain Water'. A mysterious brew, captured in a clear glass bottle. If you were to peer inside, you might even glimpse shifting color. Shimmering blue, soft, silky pink, even a hint of crimson.
If your fishing expedition happens to land you one of these magnificent items, and not the bland, but familiar butterfish you've come to know and love, don't be so quick to discard it. What you're holding there is a bottle of mystery. A capsule that holds all the possibility of Neopian color, if only you're brave enough to open it!
The Flask of Rainbow Fountain Water first appeared in Neopia some time ago, right around the time the fishing hole opened. As your pet would need to be over a decent level to catch one, however, keep in mind that treasure is rare for a reason!
Now. What is a decent level? Having chased various pets and owners around Neopia with a notebook, and luckily caught some, I've found out people have been lucky enough to find one of the flasks at level seventy-five and up. Of course, my own pets haven't yet had such luck, but I do blame that on the desire to not wreck their claws by fishing.
If your pet has similar objections, or you happen to be a pirate who is not yet welcome back in Maraqua's waters, there’s always the trading post. Some of those fortunate users whose pets fish, and fish well, sell their flasks there, bringing in a nice little profit for them. The flasks can sell upwards of 600k!
So, fishing done, trading complete, and a flask is yours. What now? Well, my friend, this is the fun part.
The glistening bottle will sit in your inventory, a shining beacon of hope between that plushie Tarla threw at you this morning and the rotting cardboard box, sent by an irate Neofriend to remind you to clear out your inbox. If you click on the flask, you'll see the option to use it on one of your pets. Now choose wisely, for this flask is a one use item, and you wouldn't want to risk it on the pet you spent your entire neo life saving for!
Why, you ask?
Because the title of the flask is literal. Inside each glassy bottle are the swirling waters of the Rainbow Fountain. For those of you who wonder what I'm referring to, that's the fabled fountain in Faerieland, guarded by a kind faerie, who, should you complete her quest, may allow you to bathe in the waters and paint your pet almost any color.
Thus, once the flask is used, the pet in question might turn any color at all! Your bottle could be hiding a royal shimmer, a dashing pirate color, or dependable, or a basic crimson tone. It's a risk, but sometimes, the reward and the suspense as you wait are more than enough compensation!
The colors a flask can give are naturally species dependent. A flask used on a Chia might produce a fruit color, such as apple or grape; however, the laws of Neopia remain in place, and there is no chance of your Lupe turning into a pear when using a flask.
In a mysterious twist of fate that no one seems to have questioned yet, the flasks can produce colors that the fountain faerie herself cannot! Reports have reached this reporters ears of royal, and even robot pets resulting from flasks of Rainbow Fountain water!
Curious, I decided a little experiment was in order. I used over twenty flasks, none of which my pets were kind enough to fish up for me themselves, and recorded my results over a period of time.
I discovered that some colors seemed to show up more often than not. In fact, three times in a row, my test subject turned checkered! This was an interesting finding, as it teaches us that the flask, while very clever, does not pay attention to the color the pet is already painted. You could use a flask on your green Krawk, and the result be that the Krawk turns green. Confusing, but worth keeping in mind.
I found out that base colors, such as red, blue, green and yellow were possible, and much to my delight, I discovered that Robot was achievable, as my test subject, Crisp, turned a lovely metallic shade. Why was this so exciting? Because the benevolent faerie guarding the fountain doesn't let bathing pets change to robot. This might be because sitting around in a mechanical outfit, soaking in a massive fountain could be bad for electronics, or cause rust. Just a theory, of course.
Soon, other Neopians began sharing their Flask findings with me. People reported color changes such as baby, pirate, electric, and even jelly! I noted all these down as they came in, confirmed the result with the often very excited owner, and stored my research away. A fun fact came to me via people who had managed a royal result. Often, their pet came out of the flask experience as royal, but the opposite gender! For example, the Poogle that was flasked as female. She turned royal, but appeared to look male, complete with beard and robes! Whether or not her owner saw the humor in this is a fact I'm yet to discover.
The most common questions I get asked about flasking rarely differ. Below I've complied a small list of them, in the hopes that Neopia will have a better flasking experience.
Where can I get a flask?
You can fish a flask up from the depths of Maraqua. Remember that each one of your pets can fish, so that's at least four chances a day!
Can I sell a flask?
Of course! Flasks are often sold on the trading post, or if you're lucky, you might find one on the shop wizard! (Though this is very rare; I wouldn't suggest spending all day looking!)
Will the flask give me any color?
You cannot choose the color, but it seems almost any color is possible. The only result I haven't been able to confirm is Ice.
Is it worth it to buy a flask?
As worthwhile as it is to buy a paint brush! Remember, the flask is a little bit like the lab ray. It's a gamble.
Will the flask change my pet's species?
No, your pet is safe. It's only the color that would change.
In conclusion, good people of Neopia, flasks remind us that even those lazy days might yield something fantastic, if only you'll head down to the fishing hole.
Please note: Many thanks to Chivo, who was kind enough to be my flask research assistant! No Draiks were harmed under flask testing.