Six Reasons Why Map Pieces Aren't Numbered
We've all been there: you're walking around Neopia Central, perhaps picking up some fresh asparagus or gazing longingly into the Petpet Shop window, when suddenly a passing zombie groans and hands you a piece of a treasure map.
You take it gratefully (how rude would you be otherwise?) and pause for a moment. Questions race through your mind. Is this sanitary? What's a zombie doing out in Neopia Central, anyway? Are they even supposed to be out in sunlight?
Oh, right. That's vampires.
As you turn the map over in your hands, noting its ripped edges and wondering how it all fits together, a greater question suddenly weighs on your mind.
WHY THE HECK DIDN'T HE NUMBER THIS THING?
Fellow Neopians, this reporter feels your pain. How many hours have we spent comparing little scraps of paper, counting how many palm trees or Waleins we have?
How horribly have we confused those who strive to help us, like the Shop Wizard or the lovely Trading Post folks, when they show us the exact same map piece ten times in a row?
It's time for the madness to end. That's why, on this lovely day in the month of Swimming, I set out to find the answer to the unending question:
Why aren't these blasted map pieces numbered?
Reason #6: The Meepits did it!
Just... just look at that face. Those eyes!
Inside sources tell me many Neopians believe it was actually Meepits who caused multiple Neopian wars and the fall of Faerieland. Some even believe they can summon the Maintenance Pteri at their will, and that they are the reason why Darigan Yooyus exist.
Truly, we may never know what kind of evil lurks behind those unblinking eyes. Who knows what horrors they are capable of?
What's that, you say? Meepits couldn't create such fancy maps, because they don't have thumbs? I'm not sure we should discount them so easily, but if you insist...
Reason #5: The Shop Wizard just can't keep up!
I pity the Shop Wizard. I really do.
Every day, he is swamped by thousands of shouting Neopians who wave their codestones and limited edition Usuki dolls in his face, demanding to know the lowest prices in all of Neopia.
Not only is his job demanding, it is thankless.
Come on, when was the last time you uttered a simple "thank you" before you darted off at record speeds to buy that one-Neopoint dubloon before somebody else did?
But still, he is faithfully waiting every day, ready to serve the ungrateful masses as they try to make and spend Neopoints. And he does it all with no hands!
With so many thousands of items to keep up with as it is, can you imagine how hard it would be for the Shop Wizard to memorize corresponding numbers for every piece of every map ever found? Give the guy a break!
What, you think his job is easy because he has all that magic at his disposal? You think tossing a few numbers in there wouldn't really be that difficult? You think it might actually make things EASIER for him?
All right, you might have a point. So that must mean...
Reason #4: Maps were created by Tyrannians!
Seriously, have you ever tried playing "Tyranu Evavu" with these guys?
Sometimes they can't even tell the difference between their own words for "higher" and "lower" — can you really expect them to count all the way up to a large number like nine?
We really don't know how secret maps came to be, and a prehistoric land like Tyrannia could be the perfect answer.
... Except that, you know, secret maps created by Tyrannians probably would have been made of rock and led you to a nice dung table lamp for your troubles. Okay, so I'll give you guys this one. But what if...
Reason #3: An avatar collector fed them to the Kadoaties!
Ah, avatar collectors.
It takes a special sort of Neopian to brave the Snowager's lair, throw random concoctions into a cooking pot for three years, and stalk Neopets until they turn an exact number of days old, all for a little pixel square.
But it takes an even... more special sort of Neopian to face the Kadoatery: a scary little place where Kadoaties go when their owners are vacationing without them. I suspect the reason why so many Kadoaties don't get to go to Mystery Island with their family is because their eating habits tend to get a little... pricey.
And that's where the avatar collectors come in. Inside sources tell me that if you feed Kadoaties like Lester and Bigglesworth the foods they so desperately crave, you'll earn yourself a purrfectly acceptable avatar to parade around the Neoboards with.
What does this have to do with map pieces not being numbered, you ask? Well, it's simple. What if many years ago, a Kadoatie asked for all the numbers to all the secret maps? And a poor avatar collector, their own Neopets eating scraps from the Soup Kitchen, gave a particularly finicky Kadoatie the ultimate appetizer?
What do you mean you can't eat numbers? Puh! Try telling that to a hungry Kadoatie!
Well, if you don't believe that theory, that can only mean one thing...
Reason #2: It's Dr. Sloth's fault!
Really, it all makes perfect sense. Dr. Sloth must have created numberless maps as a distraction for a much greater evil.
While we've been sitting around trying to find that one last piece that has part of a palm tree in this corner and a speck of beach in this corner, who knows what kind of horrors he has been plotting?
We've wasted so much time trying to fit secret maps together, by tomorrow we might all be turned into mindless Grundo slaves! The NeoApocalypse may be upon us!
But before you start preparing for the end of life as we know it, I do have one last theory to share...
Reason #1: It's not supposed to be that easy!
Would a treasure be all that special if you could find it effortlessly?
Sure, it would be nice if that kind zombie just handed over a jingling bag of Neopoints instead of an old piece of paper, but where would the adventure be?
Searching for all those map pieces might make you want to rip your hair (or fur, or scales, or feathers...) out, but the end result is an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. You and your Neopets have done something that not many other Neopians have.
Instead of fretting over all the bumps, just enjoy the ride — and remember to thank the Shop Wizard when you find that last piece you've been searching for.
Good luck and happy hunting!
Author's Note: If you're reading this, you're reading my first Neopian Times article! Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed! While I'm here, I'd like to thank my Neopets, everybody at TNT, King Altador, Niptors, asparagus, and... oh no!!! The Meepits are coming for me!!!!