Saving the World on a Budget
The Defenders of Neopia would have you believe saving the world is a glamourous, hazard-free, rewarding job, with many perks, both in the Neopoint department, and in the way of warm-fuzzies and the satisfaction on ridding the world of EVIL.
Being a superhero is eventually all that, but to get started, it takes some serious coin. So I present: Saving the World on a Budget.
You need to start out small. Sidekicks, headquarters, and fancy costumes are expensive. Unless you’re operating out of your mother’s basement, have the neighbor kids following you, and are pasting logos to your old clothing, you will NOT be able to start with a bang. If you can, splurge on just ONE of those items. Most people like to start out with a costume, and go from there.
Once you have a costume worked out, you need a name. A simple way is to pick a noun or verb that indirectly describes your powers, and a word for your gender.
Nouns/Verbs | Gender Words
Hydrogen | Boy
Running | Contessa
Dumpling | Man
Pretzel | Critter
Smiley | Lady
Those are a good start, mix and match. Pet species, colours, and adjectives such as glory or ultra can be added onto the front or tail end of your name as you see fit. And if you want to stick to something gender neutral, instead of gender words, state what you hope to accomplish, like Avenger, or Restocker. Be creative, but remember, first impressions last a lifetime, so don’t pick something too silly.
Once you’ve picked a name and run it by some test audiences, (neighbors are perfect for this!) a costume is your next goal. You can be elaborate and spend many hours laboriously hand-stitching a jumpsuit with matching mask and cape, then spend months testing it under high stress environments, or you could wear a paper bag with eyeholes in it. This department largely depends upon your patience and sense of style, so choose something unique that’s flattering and comfortable. Even if that means the Ultra Fashionable Potato Sack as a start.
Your costume should be memorable and have lots of pockets and accessory options. You’ll need lots of places to conceal your ray-guns, nunchucks, or whatever it is you fight with, in addition to your civilian clothing and whatever you might be holding when you’re called into duty. It should also fold up really small so you can hide it in a backpack when you’re on the town, and it’s inconspicuous if your house is being searched by the oogly-booglies.
After that, a Secret Headquarters is in short order. A good idea to start is bumming around the Defender of Neopia Headquarters. You’ll eventually get kicked out, so then you can pitch a tent in your backyard and then move onto to bigger and better things. A good headquarters, (or HQ, which is much cooler, no?) needs a place to sleep, a holding pen for villains, a place to stash snacks, and a trash receptacle. You can put anything else you want in there; popular options include some sort of conference table, vaulted ceilings, a vault for your stuff, and numerous escapes, as well as switch boards and levers with no clear purpose. If you’re really famous or conceited, you could clip every mention of yourself from the NT and frame them, and hang it prominently.
Now that you look like a hero, you need a shtick. Maybe you wear a different hat every day, or have a notoriously loud Pirakeet. Traditional shticks tend to be emotional scars, and deep personal conflict, but who wants their day saved by Gloomy Gus? Pick something fun and a little odd, or you might as well be EVIL.
Once you’ve got a shtick, you need a sidekick. Yet another use for neighbors, a sidekick basically needs you to follow them around and hold your purse while you’re fighting. They should have their own name, preferably not as cool as yours. Try naming them after your favorite snack food, one you keep in your HQ.
Now you’re a real hero, except for one thing. You need an arch-nemesis. Arch-nemeses are easy enough to find; just pour hot coffee on a random stranger next time you step into a cafe. Depending on your budget, you may want to simply anger a tribe in Tyrannia or some other such primitive area so you don’t have to spend a lot on weapons. Try paging through the gallery of EVIL or hang out near the Battledome, and wait for someone EVIL-looking to exit.
The last thing you need is a following. This is the hardest item to acquire, as it necessitates that you deal with other people. But on the plus side, it can earn you money, so you can upgrade your snacks, or buy more sophisticated weapons for fighting EVIL with. I’d recommend doing children’s birthday parties; all little kids love superheroes, right?
Most sports teams will take you on as a mascot, or you could be a clown. These are excellent ways to build a fan base, as well as earning money, so you can spring for that sweat-wicking cape with concealed pockets and ultra everything.
A small following is good to start, but once you’re out there, you need a good licensing agent. Put your name and face on stress balls, beanies, and little fans. Get a float in a parade, and throw your cheap merchandise to the crowds. Put your name on pens, and carry them with you everywhere you go. If you go to a place such as a school or bank, steal their pens, and put your own product-placement pens in their place. Soon everyone will know your name; you can’t buy advertising this good!
Let’s review. First you need a name. Once you’ve got something appropriately catchy and tough, find a costume to match. Find a place to crash, be it your house, a street corner, or bench in the park. Obtain a memorable quirk, a wide-eyed sidekick, and a sworn enemy. You are now ready to go out there and find some fans, then move onto saving the world, or at least your neighborhood, from EVIL!!!!!!!