The Oracle Games - Who to Back?
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you'll have heard about one of the two events currently running in Neopia - the Oracle Games.
Set as an extension to the Battlegrounds that have been running for the past year, the Oracle has become bored with just getting factions to fight each other. This time, she's taken a variety of individuals from all across Neopia, and pitted them against each other on a desert island.
She's promising a sight of the future to the winner, who will be voted for by the Neopian public - so the game is on again. But this time, things are a little bit more difficult to judge. There aren't just six factions to chose from this time. A veritable plethora of characters have already emerged as front runners, but who should you vote for? Who has the most chance of succeeding where the others fail?
Well, have no fear! This guide is here to talk you through some of the most likely candidates.
Dr. Frank Sloth
The old fan favourite is back in force. The Oracle claims to have used her powers to release him from the Space Faerie's Token for the duration of the games, though whether or not he will return to his prison upon leaving the island is unknown. Although Dr. Sloth is as ever phenomenally popular, he initially refused to take part in the Games upon finding himself on the island, viewing the entire thing as beneath him.
The Oracle has since 'incentivised' Sloth by using her abilities to seize the Doctor's assets, effectively rendering him broke unless he competes. Now, it seems like Dr. Sloth might be a real contender for the title - in week 2, when contestants were drafted into teams for the Oracle's weekly tasks, he used a mind control device to assume complete control of his team and lead them to victory. If Sloth can harness this power, he may be able to force those under his power to step down from the competition, giving himself further advantages.
The Queen of Faerieland has apparently been attempting to gain access to the Oracle since she returned to the Tyrannian Plain. There are rumours that this is to learn whatever secrets were revealed to the Sway at the conclusion of the war, and counter their efforts. Unfortunately, Fyora was never summoned to the Battlegrounds. Now, she is making up for lost time.
She certainly has a lot of supporters, but will this support last? It's no secret that Team Faerieland in the Altador Cup is viewed as having a lot of players that don't actually play. Will the same happen in the Oracle Games? It's hard to tell, but Fyora faces stiff competition. Neopia loves a bad guy, and there are plenty to chose from, but she is also up against a lot of other heroes, some of which appear to have larger fan followings.
Speaking of which, the loveable rogue that is Hanso, Master Thief, is also in the running. This thief is best known for saving Faerieland from Xandra, and at the time had a very large fan following that has only increased with appearances in the Neopian Times editorial. Initially Brynn was also a contestant, but she chose to step down, hoping that the pair's pooled popularity would be transferred to Hanso.
It is a bold move, and certainly Hanso is a strong contender. However, there is a problem with that - which we will discuss next.
The current head of the Thieves Guild is another of Neopia's most popular thieves. Kanrik has a bitter rivalry with Hanso, which was demonstrated when they were forced into the same team during week 2's task. This resulted in a catastrophic failure for the team as the pair resorted to bickering.
This is the problem for both Hanso and Kanrik. Although both popular, they have begun to define each other by dislike of the other. In terms of fans, and therefore votes, although both might be popular to win, they share fans. This means that, because they are up against each other, their total vote may be divided.
The reason for the cancellation of the Daily Dare this year became apparent with the start of the Oracle Games - the Gamesmaster himself, AAA, is taking part. Although certainly not as popular as the big hitters, AAA does have one significant advantage. The Oracle is offering immunity from the weekly evictions to those who succeed in the tasks. Although there have been team based tasks so far, apparently there will be solo tasks in the future, including those based around playing games.
Obviously AAA has the higher ground there, able to potentially secure himself from the public vote. Though, this policy can only get him as far as the finals - beyond that, he will be at the mercy of the public, and he just doesn't seem to have the power to win.
The knight of Meridell is seen as some as a front runner in the competition. Certainly, he had victory in the team task, but this was largely due to being in Sloth's team. He's a capable fighter, in case the Oracle summons some monsters for future tasks, and was certainly a very popular character at the time of the plots he appeared in.
And there, I think, lies the problem. It has been a decade since the Meridell plots in which Jeran appeared. He has since faded somewhat into the background of Neopia. Those around at the time of the plots might remember him fondly, but other newer players are likely to have favourites from events that have been held more recently. Jeran, I think, will not be popular enough to last as long as many on the neoboards are predicting.
Yes! That's right! the ghost of Hubrid Nox! Now, I know what you're thinking. Hardly anyone you've seen on the neoboards seems to be voting for the deceased necromancer. But, if you'll allow a little personal bias in this article, I can't think of anyone better you should vote for.
After all, everyone loves to vote for the underdog, right? And you never know, maybe thousands of people have voted for him, but not posted on the neoboards.
I can dream, right?
Anyway, that brings to a close our look at the most popular contenders for the top spot. If you are worried you picked the wrong person - don't be! You'll get prizes just the same if you voted for the wrong person (just not the final bonus prize), and if your choice gets evicted at the end of the week, you will be given the chance to pick your new winner.