Keeping Your Lab Pet Happy
Nearly everyone in Neopia has heard of it. The secret, highly sought-after and VERY expensive Secret Laboratory. It's a major goal of many an excited pet owner. After all the time and Neopoints spent hunting down and acquiring the map pieces needed to reach it, most owners have just one thing on their minds: ZAPPING!
But what about your Neopets? The ones who will be on the receiving end of the “zapping”? How do they feel about being constantly submitted to the dangers of the Lab Ray? Did you even consider their feelings before you began changing their stats, color, gender and even species?
This article should help you better realize just what your pet is going through, and give you some tips on how using the Lab Ray can be a profitable and fun experience for both you AND your pet!
Secret Laboratory Facts:
According to the Neopedia, the Secret Laboratory is hidden on a remote island in a secret location. It can only be accessed by those determined few who have assembled all of the pieces of the Secret Laboratory Map. Since even THEY don't know where it actually is, we can only assume that the map leads to some kind of teleportation device (probably underwater, since that's what appears to be pictured on the map), which then beams the owner and pet directly into the lab.
Once there, they are greeted by the Lab Ray Scientist. His actual name is unknown, as even in the Battledome he goes by this vague title. Who is this strange yellow Scorchio? Did he invent the Lab Ray himself, or does he just operate it? And what exactly happened to his hair?!? These questions are as of yet still unanswered.
If you decide to let the Lab Ray Scientist zap your pet, there is no way to know what might happen to it. As an example, allow me to show you a few entries from the “Lab Log” of one of my own lab pets, Violinya (this is exactly what happened to her over a span of 8 days):
Changed color to Speckled
Gained 2 levels
Gained 2 defense points
Gained 2 defense points
Changed into a Red Gelert
Went down to Level 1
Changed color to Yellow
As you can see, the results from the Lab Ray are completely random. Gender changes, stat changes, color changes, species changes or sometimes... nothing at all! It is completely possible to go weeks with results of “no change” and stat effects, and then all of a sudden, BAM! Your Royal Girl Uni gets transformed into a Mutant Mynci!
Now that you know a little about the Secret Laboratory and the Lab Ray, let's talk about your lab pet. How does it feel about all this? This will very likely be a huge change for your pet, or even more likely, a LOT of huge changes. Is there anything you can do to make it more comfortable during this transition phase, or perhaps even help it to enjoy this?
The answer is: Yes!
5 Simple Steps to Having a Happy Lab Pet:
1 – Have a goal. I know this sounds strange, but this is very important. You and your pet need to decide why exactly you want to use the Lab Ray at all. Are you hoping for a specific species or color? Are you using it to train for the Battledome? Having a goal will help your pet feel comforted, knowing that the zapping will not go on forever. It can also be exciting for both of you, especially when that color is finally achieved or that stat hits a ridiculously high number! Be aware, though, that there are certain colors the Lab Ray does not have programmed into its system: Baby, Pirate, Plushie, Usuki, Quiguki, Royal and Ice Bori. No matter how many times you zap, you'll never achieve one of these colors, so keep that in mind when you are making your goals.
2 – Watch what you say. Please do not refer to your pet as a “Lab Rat”. This can hurt their feelings. I know that Violinya and CaptainTonya (my own pets undergoing lab zapping) prefer to be called “Lab Pets”. Also, try not to say things like “I just have this pet for zapping”, or “I'm trying to make this pet something that's actually likable”. These statements both imply that the pet itself doesn't mean much to you, it's just an object needed to reach a goal. Little details like this can mean the difference between a pet that feels excited and involved, and a pet that feels used and uncared for.
3 – Be careful with customization. You should always try to think ahead when customizing a pet that will be using the Lab Ray. Try to avoid any species-specific clothing, as these might not always fit, and your pet could get upset or sad at losing them. Also be aware that your pet could change gender at any time when using the Lab Ray. How embarrassing would it be for your poor pet if she was wearing a Prissy Miss Usuki Collector Dress and a Fur Lined Tiara, and then got zapped into a boy? I prefer to use clothing that would fit either gender, such as trinkets, or a Royal Qasalan Cloak. In addition, be cautious with things like shoes or hand-held items. If your pet gets zapped into a species with no feet (such as a Hissi), or a species that cannot hold items (like a Kau), these items wouldn't do them much good.
4 – Try to keep them well fed and happy. I know this sounds unrelated to the Lab Ray, but think about it. If you pet is going to be constantly changing everything about them, the last thing they need to have to worry about is how hungry they are. It's the least you can do. Besides, you never know if your pet might get zapped into a Skeith or a Grarrl, and then you certainly wouldn't want them to be hungry and start eating things out of your inventory!
5 – Keep their room safe and neutral. Every pet needs a place that they can call their own, where they can escape everything else and feel comfortable and secure. I suggest making a special room in your Neohome just for them (and their Petpet, if they have one and don't mind sharing). Try to make it non-species or gender specific, so that they won't ever feel out of place or confused. A room full of Pink or Lupe items would be a bad idea if your pet changed into a boy Chia! Or, if your pet prefers, decorate their room to match the color/species that you are aiming for. If you eventually hope to gain a Starry Hissi, then it would be all right to decorate the room in that theme. It can help them keep sight of your goals, and not get discouraged.
If you follow these tips, instead of being a dreadful and confusing ordeal, using the Lab Ray can be a wonderful and profitable adventure for both you and your brave Neopet!