8 Altador Cup Teams Nobody Wants to See
DISCLAIMER: I will go ahead and admit that I support Krawk Island, but I do not condone bashing/flaming anyone that plays for a different team. Any jabs made in this article are purely for humor’s sake and do not reflect how I actually feel.
With the recent addition of Moltara to Neopia’s map and its subsequent eligibility to play in the Altador Cup, one has to wonder: what makes a nation worthy enough to compete in this prestigious, noble sport? Is it valor and courage in the face of adversity? Could it be hospitality and diplomacy towards all other lands and species? Perhaps the only things needed to make an acceptable team are terrifyingly strong—or strongly terrifying—athletes. (Case in point: Moltara. I dare you to try to get past a Skeith made of boiling rock without having to pay for a full-body skin graft later.)
Whatever the reasons, every team on the Cup roster must have had at least one good reason to be included. What’s wrong with the little worlds around Neopia that are perpetually left off the list? The AC has been going on for five years now; there must be some reason why each of them has no official team. I’ve examined the cities, countries, and islands that have yet to play the game that unites Neopia, and with the help of some fellow Yooyuballers, I’ve concocted a few theories as to why these lands keep getting benched. Ladies and gentlemen, owners and pets, pirates and ninjas alike, I present to you the eight Altador Cup teams nobody wants to see.
#8- Neopia Central
“I think a Neopia Central team would be pretty lame.” – patt788, Team Shenkuu
Doesn’t it seem strange that a competition devoted to bringing the lands of Neopia together always leaves out Neopia CENTRAL? I mean, let’s be honest with ourselves. It’s not like Tyrannia is the hubcap of the planet. Home to such important figures as the Shop Wizard and Kauvara, Neopia Central is the bustling capital of this virtual globe. I’ll say that again: Neopia Central is the capital of a planet. There are very few cities I know of that can boast being the most important city in their hemisphere, much less the entire world. So why isn’t it a contender?
Well, let’s look at what makes all the other places popular: the themes. In Terror Mountain, every day is a snow day; Mystery Island is ripe with lush rainforests and exotic voodoo culture; Meridell is a never-ending Renaissance festival, etc. etc. Unfortunately, the only shtick Neopia Central has is taking everything way too literally. The bookshop is a giant book, the auction house is an auctioneer’s gavel, and the post office is a package with too many stamps and a letter glued on top. Of course, none of these are the main attraction. Oh my, no. There’s only one thing that truly defines Neopia Central.
“...somehow I picture their logo as a burger. XP” –patt7788
“Their uniforms would make them look like hamburgers. 8D” –jadeitite, Team Shenkuu
That’s right. The most crucial place in Neopia is synonymous with a giant hamburger. Thanks, Food Shop Chia. You have singlehandedly hammered the last nail into the coffin of Neopia Central’s ineligibility. I hope you’re proud of yourself.
I was fortunate enough to meet a fellow who was very adamant about the idea of Qasala’s inclusion in the Altador Cup. Thatsextraheretical, or Burn, as he likes to be called, is a firm supporter of Darigan Citadel. However, he had this to say about the all-but-forgotten desert city: “I think Qasala should be given it's own team. Sure, the Lost Desert team sorta encompasses that, but the team obviously hails from Sakhmet. I think this is because of post-war aggression between the two cities... it was teleported in after an ancient evil was awakened and dead-set on rendering the already scorched desert into nothing but sulfur fields and charred wasteland. That's pretty special in my book.”
...Well, I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Sadly, not many people have as immersive a recollection of Neopian history as Burn. The cold, hard truth is that, for most people, choosing a team to back up is a beauty contest. All the teams are taken at face value: what you see is what you get. The theme issue comes back into play here— I can see a bubbly, sunshiny person choosing to be a Rooligan, and it’s not hard to imagine a quiet, morbid little fellow decide to root for the Haunted Woods. However, with the most definitive thing about Qasala being a small purple fruit nowadays, I doubt the fan base would ever be all that large. (Except for the screaming blue Techo. Fun fact: He loves queelas.)
#6- Jelly World
Okay, let’s ignore the whole “I’m a Neopian Times writer and if I talk about Jelly World, the Meepits and White Weewoos will get me!” canon for just a second. It’s no secret that the practice team is formed entirely of jelly pets. Everyone knows it. Since this is not a secret, can’t the conclusion be drawn that maybe, JUST POSSIBLY, this “coincidentally all-jelly” pet practice team could PERCHANCE hail from Jelly World?
“Jelly World? What's that? There isn't such thing as a Jelly World... what a silly question!” –pseudo_philosopher, Team Lost Desert
“...Certainly a team made of jelly... would be ridiculous.” –maxlolll, Team Lost Desert
“...they don't exist, of course. *shifty eyes*” – patt788
“Hmm? What is this blasphemy? Jelly World is the practice team? How silly! Everyone knows that Jelly World doesn't exist. :p” –jadeitite
(staggers back after having fought off legions of angry Meepits and white Weewoos, all wielding coils of rope, gags, burlap sacks, and plenty of other items, each with their own rather unpleasant implications)
#5- Happy Valley
Technically, Happy Valley is only a subset of Terror Mountain, which we all know has its own team already. Guess what? This article isn’t about technicalities at all! Therefore, I can rationalize whatever I gosh-darn please! (See, kids? That’s the fun of writing your own list instead of reading someone else’s. Save a tree. Type a list.) But I digress. Let’s look at an example I’ve made up right now to help me further validate my arbitrary argument.
And now, we present a short play entitled, “Secrets of the Snow”.
Act One. A blonde human girl, Robyn, is wearing a Krawk Island jersey when she crosses paths with a blue Bruce who is proudly sporting the colors of Terror Mountain. Conversation ensues.
Robyn: Good day to you, sir! I see you have elected to support Terror Mountain in the upcoming athletic festivities!
Bruce: Why, that I have, miss!
Robyn: (chortles, elbows) Rather fitting for a Bruce such as yourself, I must say. Tell me, do you hail from Terror Mountain?
Bruce: Indeed I do!
Robyn: Is that so? Sir, for all the Dubloons in the world, I wouldn’t be able to live in such harsh terrain as that treacherous tundra at the tip of Terror Mountain. No offense meant, of course.
Bruce: Why, none taken! You see, I actually dwell in the little valley right below Terror Mountain! That’s where the majority of us pets live, you know.
Robyn, still smiling, takes on an expression of mild perplexity.
Robyn: (hesitantly) You’ll pardon my naivety, sir, but I had no inkling of such a notion! Since the Altador Cup team itself is called Terror Mountain instead of Happy Valley (or even the Ice Caves for that matter, old chap!), I immediately assumed that everyone lived right on top of it.
The Bruce is understandably taken aback.
Bruce: My word! Is this the conclusion that most have drawn about us peaceful, snow-loving folk?
Robyn: Alas, so it seems!
With an anguished cry to the heavens, the Bruce drops to his knees, shaking his tiny, flippered fist at the sky.
Bruce: Fyora above! Can nothing be done to put an end to this pandemonium? Why would this happen? Why? WHYYYY?
The curtain is drawn as his laments echo on. End Act One.
As evidenced from this completely legitimate account, it would make much more sense if the place with the most pets got their own Altador Cup team. In fact, now that I think about it, when you visit Terror Mountain, the very first place you see is Happy Valley! Compared to both Terror Mountain and the Ice Caves, Happy Valley has a larger number of shops, games, and residents. Why is it so misrepresented?
“Haha, I think that's why TNT called it Happy Valley, because there is nothing intimidating about it. (Although those snowball fights can get a little rough.)” – chris123094, Team Lost Desert
Earlier in this article, I made the point that sometimes, all a team needs to qualify is the intimidation factor. I also mentioned that most of these Altador Cup teams have to be taken at face value. If we stare Happy Valley dead in the face, aim at it point-blank, really stare into the very soul of it... we find that there is absolutely nothing frightening about this jovial holiday village.
What in the world would a Happy Valley team do to scare anyone? I can see them dominating at Slushie Slinger, but as far as Yooyuball goes... let’s put it this way: Happy Valley is known for its generosity. It’s the home of the Advent Calendar, and what’s more generous than giving everyone who stops by a present for a whole month straight? While being selfless and considerate is honorable in every other situation, I can’t see this working out very well in the field of competition. “Oh, did you want to score a goal? Please, go right ahead! It’s my pleasure. Giving is better than receiving; that’s what I always say. We’re losing? Look at the bright side! We’re making our opponents so happy. Perhaps we can treat them to sundaes later. First round’s on me!”
When we think of Happy Valley in this light, it starts to make sense why Terror Mountain represents the whole group. The most daring game in the valley is Rink Runner, which is all about collecting little music notes while figure skating. In Terror Mountain, the most daring game involves throwing a helpless Tuskaninny over a cliff for an avatar. If it were up to me, I’d get behind the team that’s merciless enough to sacrifice the same pet over and over for a word game. That’s hardcore.
I’m going to bet that Geraptiku was known for one thing and one thing only back in its prime: being complete beasts at sports. Looking over the ruins, what’s the one thing that shows up more than anything else? Bones. They’re everywhere. They form neat little piles all around the village, they form the (don’t hurt me) skeleton of all of the signs, and just look at the petpets! Look at the Lizarks! Lizarks paint the skulls of their departed brethren and use them as HATS! That is eight levels of messed up! But what does this have to do with sports, you may ask? My theory is that games were played a little bit differently back then. If you lost a game of Yooyuball (or maybe... Gypmuball) in Geraptiku, you got eliminated from the tournament. Permanently. Or maybe there are just bones because it’s a creepy, ancient, deserted village. I could be wrong... but I’m probably not.
“...no one's there! It's 'lost', right?” –fionnthegreat9, Team Lost Desert
“Hmm... I'd like to say that seeing a team for Geraptiku would be nice, but alas, it has no inhabitants. D'8” –jadeitite
The main reason nobody wants to see Geraptiku at the Altador Cup is because, well, there’s nobody TO see. Whether they mysteriously died out a long time ago or just all moved to the mainland of Mystery Island, nobody knows what happened to the absent villagers. There are a few beings that haunt the jungle... but even then, how well would they fare in the Cup?
“What about that Ghost Hissi from that tomb? He needs to get out more.” –thatsextraheretical
“Er... the bag of bones that mans the Petpet shop could be the goalie, and it could teach the Ghost Hissi of the Deserted Tomb to score goals?” –trisshamster, Team Darigan Citadel
It’s as hopeless as it sounds. Even so, I’m not too sure I’d want to see Geraptiku at the Cup even if the inhabitants were still there... what if the game went into overtime? That’d be what you call a (oh please forgive me) sudden death match!
#3- Evil Alternate Universe Teams
Little by little, all the lands of Neopia are being discovered. There was a time where we were in the dark about both the other half of the globe and the moon that orbits our planet. What will happen after we’ve unveiled all the mysteries that this world holds? Sure, we could colonize Kreludor. That might give us one or two extra maps, but what comes next? Maybe we’ll discover different worlds entirely, making the Altador Cup an interplanetary event! But after we’ve exhausted those options, what will be left?
I’ll tell you what there will be. It’s not even a matter of the future; it exists right now. Neopia is a world of hyper-advanced technology and awe-inspiring magic, so it’s only a matter of time before one of those forces reveals the alternate universe that is home to everybody’s evil twin, complete with goatee. Can you imagine each team having an evil counterpart at the Altador Cup? Think of the lands of Neopia, no longer facing off against each other, but instead combining forces to be pitted against their malevolent, bearded doppelgangers! It would be, for lack of a better word, EPIC. So what’s the problem with that?
“Ugh... I'd rather not think that I would have to play against two Garven Hales... that GK is really cool, but incredibly freaky at the same time.” – pseudo_philosopher
“Oten Runeu from Maraqua + Alternate Universe + Evil Twin = OMG. HOW. IT'S, IT'S, IIIT'S... LAWYERBOT.” –maxlolll
“...Kep Bonnefie, Darigan Citadel. The horrible daemon from the parallel dimension is a frightening thought that would make mortal men flee in terror. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give it a 7.” –thatsextraheretical
“*shudders* Chelo Binay with a goatee? We must never speak of this.” –trisshamster
The only thing about evil twins that would present a bit of a problem would be that they’re evil. Surely once they’ve been introduced to Neopia, the only thing on their mind won’t be to send the traditions of the Altador Cup tumbling down a vortex of despair. It might be on their to-do list, but it would be way down there, probably #17. I’m pretty sure they’d be more concerned with things like overthrowing Fyora, helping Sloth rise to power again, and causing the ultimate downfall of our fair planet.
I also think they’d cheat.
This ghost town is a cult favorite of many users, and it’s not hard to see why. With its creepy, anachronistic Victorian atmosphere and its intriguing history (yes, I think rampaging, cursed, mutant townsfolk are intriguing), what’s not to like? It doesn’t suffer from Geraptiku’s lack of residents. It’s about twenty-six times more intimidating than Happy Valley. It’s more popular than Qasala, and while it’s a bit spooky, no one in the town is pure evil. At least, not anymore. Best of all, it actually exists, unlike-
(a few Meepits stare a warning from a distance)
*sigh* -unlike a world whose name I shall not mention here. All in all, Neovia would make a perfect candidate for the next Altador Cup team. Right?
Wrong. I was reconsidering Neovia’s placement on the list until I read this and, again, found a way to make myself right about everything:
“Seeing as how Meridell is stuck in the medieval ages, and they're playing Yooyuball (as well as Darigan Citadel) I don't think Neovia would have much of a problem. I'm afraid, though, that every time a lady on the team would break a nail playing, she'd take one dainty, worried look at it and fall apart.” –shadow_sabre_, Team Shenkuu
As I mulled over the first statement and roffled at the second, I realized that there is a big difference between Meridell and Neovia. The single degree of separation that kept Meridell in and Neovia out of the Cup was their culture. Meridell, for the longest time, was a land at war, hailed for the bravery and skill of its knights in shining armor. Being a successful knight, like being a successful Yooyuballer, takes an equal amount of brain and brawn. It should come as no surprise that the Meridellians can always hold their own in such a competition.
Neovia, on the other hand, tends to either fall on one end of the spectrum or the other. When the town was cursed, each Neovian was transformed into a hulking, raging monster. Such beasts would be perfect for the sport if they could actually strategize. (Just look at Tyrannia.) However, when they were returned back to normal, they went back to doing what Neovians do best: reading, eating crumpets, and being generally scrawny. Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against the town. I’m sure that most of the citizens would have the mental capacity to churn out game-winning plays, but when it comes to physicality and stamina, I don’t think they’d be able to hold up. Besides, what would their uniforms look like?
“Ghost figures in old fashioned clothing is what really comes to mind since Neovia was once a ghost town. XD” –jadeitite
“...what for the females? Big, frilly dresses wouldn't be the best for sports. I guess they could just wear suits, too, although that wouldn't fit with the 19th century England theme.” –patt788
I rest my case. And now, what you’ve all been waiting for... the top team that nobody wants to see at the Altador Cup:
#1- Lutari Island
“They're a cool world, so I expect they would have plenty of supporters.” – fionnthegreat9
Ah, Lutari Island. Swirling with mist and hidden by storms, there isn’t much we know about this mysterious islet. We know that Lutaris come from there, and that there seems to be some obsession with feathers, but that’s pretty much it. Who doesn’t love Lutaris, though? They’re adorable, friendly, and with their aero/hydrodynamic bodies and sturdy statures, I’m willing to bet they’d be great athletes. It’s not like the Altador Cup team has a problem with teams being centered around one species. (cough)RooIslandandKikoLake(coughhack) Excuse my unfortunate allergies. With that being said, why would no one want to see a Lutari Island team?
“A team I would NEVER want to see would have to be... Lutari Island. XD I know everyone thinks it would be really cool, but for now Lutari Island is a mystery and I think it should remain that way.” –jadeitite
“Lutari Island. I'd approve the entrance of Geraptiku or Neopia Central to the AC, but I think Lutari Island shouldn't even be considered for entering the competition, due to being closed to visitors. Also, I hate the whole concept of Lutari Island. So, yeah. =P” –pseudo_philosopher
“I probably wouldn't want to see Lutari Island because I think they would have a lot of supporters and be a tough team to beat. :p” –chris123094
While all of these are good reasons in their own respect, none of really them matter, because only users of Neopets Mobile would be able to join the Lutari Island team. ;)
Well, you've seen the worst of the worst. Come time for the Altador Cup, I'm sure we'll be able to determine who's the best of the best. Good luck to everyone competing; play safe and play fair! GO KRAWK ISLAND!