Top 10 Neopian Plots
In preparation for the upcoming Tyrannia Mysterious Obelisk War Plot (I hope the official name isn't that wordy), I decided to look back and choose my top 10 favourite plots. Now, as a disclaimer, this list will only have plots that I personally saw during my time on Neopets. So, even if you think Battle for Meridell was the best plot ever, I never experienced it, so it's not on the list.
Now, without further ado, my Top 10 Plots on Neopets!
10. Atlas of the Ancients
Atlas of the Ancients just came up at a bad time. This was one of the first plots after the introduction of NC, and the major overall of the site that came because of it, which many people didn't like. It didn't help people that this was the first plot which had a NC segment running alongside it. Of course, if the plot was good, this would be forgiven, but Atlas of the Ancients...
It wasn't bad story-wise, following Roxton A. Colchester III's adventures to find a new land and save Neopia, but the puzzles and plot steps users had to do involved either clicking in the right spot in the comic, or having to get a high score on a flash game with slightly tweaked graphics (and sometimes the hit detection on these altered games were a little off). It did lead to the introduction of Moltara and Magma pets, which were some pretty cool additions, though. It wasn't necessarily awful, but the circumstances upon which it came out didn't help its reputation.
9. Journey to the Lost Isle
The problem with Journey to the Lost Isle is that I don't remember any of it. It followed a team of scientists and explorers in an attempt to find a new land (It actually being Atlas of the Ancients' predecessor). Of course, when they found the land, they realised it wasn't quite what they were expecting...
I think the reason it's looked upon as being forgettable is because it didn't introduce anything new. The Lost Isle wasn't added as a new Neopian world, we didn't get a new paint brush colour, nothing of the sort. It did integrate both puzzle solving and battledome fights, though. And you have to give TNT credit for trying something new.
8. Curse of Maraqua
I had only just joined Neopets when this war broke out, so I didn't really know how to participate. I did read the comic, though. The story was very interesting, about a Usul named Garin's discovery of a rebuilt Maraqua years after the first one was destroyed, and his relationship with one of the sea dwellers named Isca. This was one of the last two-sided wars, and it gave a lot more to do than just battling. It helped introduce the supporter feature, meaning you didn't have to have a really well trained pet to participate in the plot, which I really appreciate. Plus, this plot introduced New Maraqua.
7. Return of Dr. Sloth
An old classic! This is actually a rebooted story from quite a few years ago (You'll recognise the main characters from a few games that predate this plot by a few years) This follows Gorix and Cylara, members of the Resistance, in an effort to defeat the evil Dr. Sloth. It had a good integration of puzzle solving and battledome fighting, and I personally enjoyed seeing a new take on this rather old story.
Also, that code-breaking puzzle was the bane of my existence.
6. Cyodrake's Gaze
This was a very unique plot, in that it wasn't really a plot at all – it was a mystery that you needed to solve. You had to use your lateral thinking skills to work out who pushed the navigator Hoban off the ship, the aforementioned Cyodrake's Gaze. Or, you know, you could have guessed. It also brought us the introduction of Shenkuu. This might have been higher, but this plot also brought us the Blumaroo – Chef Bonju avvie. I think I'll just leave it at that. If you ask anyone who was on Neopets around that time, they'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
5. Hannah and the Ice Caves
OK, maybe I'm sort of cheating, considering I wasn't around for this plot, but I can see how people might have enjoyed it (plus, I need ONE plot I wasn't around for to make this a top 10 ☺ ) Hannah and the Pirate Caves was one of my favourite flash games for quite a while, so a plot focused entirely on Hannah? What's not to love!
This turned out to be an epic quest, involving ancient monsters, undiscovered species, curses, and the introduction of the Thieves Guild (yes, the Thieves Guild from the current plot. I guess they get busy). Also, this was one of the only plots that led to an introduction of an entirely new species – the Bori. So, Bori lovers, you'll love this plot as well.
4. Tale of Woe
This was a very well-put together plot. It explored the plight of the villagers of Neovia, a small town in the Haunted Woods, and a young girl named Gilly (from the Castle of Eliv Thade) and her attempts to find the truth behind the village. Along the way, she is joined by Bruno, a Gelert from the village who was affected horribly from the curse on his home and his sister (!), none other than Sophie the Swamp Witch herself.
One thing that I loved about this plot is that it really felt your actions were doing something – more than in the other plot. This is because the comic actually stopped just before the plot step began, so it really felt like you yourself were continuing the plot. Add a heartbreaking story and a lot of user collaboration, and you have yourself a very decent plot.
3. Lost Desert Plot
The first thing I think about when I think of the Lost Desert plot is scale. One of the first pretty much puzzle-only plots, it was HUGE. There were many puzzles, plot steps, wandering in ancient temples, excavations, and thinking that you've finally discovered the mystery, only to find yourself covered in scarabs (yeah, TNT were pretty big trolls on this one). This was also the plot with the most user collaboration required. After all, you weren't awarded prizes based on how quickly you solved it, you just needed to get to the end. The plot boards became very busy for this one.
The only bad thing I can think of is that it didn't really have much to do with the story – about a cursed prince threatening to destroy the Lost Desert, until the weapon you got in the final step was used to defeat the final boss, and even that didn't make much sense in the context of the story.
2. The Faerie's Ruin
Whoever says I have some sort of nostalgia filter on can stop with their impending neomails, because one of the most recent plots is number 2! We'd all been waiting for a Faerieland plot, and it didn't disappoint. Number 2 is the Faerie's Ruin, a plot so big that Faerieland itself fell to the ground as a consequence of it.
The plot was very interesting, with a wide cast of characters (some from other plots) banding together to discover what has turned the Faeries into stone. It introduced a lovable their, Hanso (have you noticed Neopia's obsession with thief heroes? Hanso, Kanrik, Tomos and Nabile...?) , as well as his probably-love-interest Brynn. I think this really showed that TNT can make a good plot even after the NC change. It also introduced a lot of surprising twists, which I can honestly say I didn't see coming.
...and number 1 is...
1. Altador Plot
You know how I was saying I prefer it when the puzzles actually have something to do with the plot itself? Well, in this mini-plot, the puzzles ARE the plot. What seems like a simple 'discovering the constellations' puzzle turns into a massive adventure about finding out the reason behind the Altadorians' memory loss, and who might be behind it. And this plot has no comic. Everything you learn is taught from the puzzles themselves.
But, of course, the main reason why this is number 1 is because it's still playable today. So you don't need to have been around at the time to experience how amazing it was (even though I was). Just hop over to Altador, and try to work it out yourselves.
Here's to the Astronomy Club, the Quiggle, the Punch Club, the Lenny Conundrum Lenny and Meepit Plushies, the Altadorian Water Distribution Plant, and the awesome Yurble janitor. (But not the sick Vaeolus. That puzzle was really annoying)