Neopia's Secret Villains: Part Two
Neopia is filled with hundreds of characters. These characters range from brave heroes to dastardly villains, and everything in between. The Gallery of Heroes describes the former: characters like Neopia’s protector, the Space Faerie, or the repentant Commander Gormos. Perhaps even more well known are the villains of Neopia. Hunted down and defeated by the Defenders of Neopia, these villains are well known due to the terrifying Gallery of Evil. This gallery, along with the Defenders of Neopia missions, attempts to warn Neopians of all possible dangers and villains they could come across. There’s one problem though – not all villains are recognised as the true villains that they are.
In the second part of my expose on Neopia’s secret villains, I’m looking into a villain who isn’t violent, aggressive, or all that threatening to Neopia. In contrast to the majority of well-known villains, this villain prays on the psyche of their victims. This villain lays low for the majority of each year, masquerading as a meek and innocent Neopian character, but each year, for a period of a few weeks, this villain reigns supreme within Neopia, whipping people into a frenzy and consuming their lives. I’m talking, of course, about the nefarious White Weewoo, mascot of these very Neopian Times.
The White Weewoo sprung into existence over a decade ago, quickly emerging in the prominent role as the Neopian Times’ figurehead. The White Weewoo is widely considered to be a peaceful petpet with above average intelligence. It’s depicted as kind, knowledgeable, and helpful to writers everywhere, and for the first few years of its existence, it’s possible that the White Weewoo really was a kind, wise, and supportive petpet; it’s also possible that the White Weewoo was biding its time before revealing it’s true villainous ways. Whether either of these assumptions are true, however, matters little, as the White Weewoo is now perhaps Neopia’s craftiest, and most secret, villain of them all.
The White Weewoo’s emergence into villainy first became apparent a decade ago with the release of the second Neopian Times avatar. At first it seemed to back up the Weewoo’s supportive image – this was a reward for writers, right? Wrong. This avatar didn’t bring joy; it brought heightened competition, a strong sense of desperation and a general aura of panic to the writing community. Over the past ten years, these feelings have only increased as the level of competition and desperation has skyrocketed. Nowadays, you can find hundreds of people submitting comics without punch lines, poorly fact-checked interviews, and the most misguided of the bunch simply submit an editorial question, all in the hope of obtaining the elusive White Weewoo avatar.
Whilst at this point it is clear that the White Weewoo has less-than-honorable intentions, we can’t yet call it a villain. To understand the motives of the White Weewoo, we need to delve into its origin. A lesser-known fact about the White Weewoo is that it originates from Krawk Island, and as such is a pirate petpet. Thus the motives of the weewoo become clearer, since it knows well how to be devious, self-serving, and underhanded. Whilst an argument can be made that the White Weewoo may have changed its colours since its appearance, the recent release of the Coal War Tactics game has proven otherwise. The White Weewoo can be seen cosying up to Madam Salt, thoroughly enjoying itself whilst the Madam and Baron destroy each other’s carts and the surrounding land.
It is clear that the White Weewoo enjoys villainous acts, but doesn’t have the physicality to engage in games such as Coal War Tactics, nor the ability for full-time piracy. Therefore, the White Weewoo has used its pleasant appearance and intelligent demeanour to bring itself to a prominent position in Neopian society, where it can cause the most mayhem and despair. As discussed above, the White Weewoo’s villainy centers on the release of the White Weewoo avatar. This avatar is awarded to those who are published in every 50th issue of the Neopian Times. This avatar causes the chaos that the White Weewoo feeds off, and is unable to gain in other ways.
For at least two months before every 50th issues, the White Weewoo is able to watch friendships break down. No longer do Neopians discuss their favourite land, what to do in their spare time, or which Neolodge their pets are sent to. All people are able to discuss is the upcoming 50th issue. They query their friends about their ideas, trying to size up the competition. They reveal snippets of information to their friends about their own ideas - enough to confirm if their idea is half-decent, but not enough so that someone else can create anything similar. Neopians talk in hushed whispers to hide their secrets, and avoid boards lest they be distracted.
Collaborations are the worst of the lot. Friends try to work together to obtain the avatar, reducing their overall competition. It’s inevitable that someone will not understand the joke, or someone will complete their part later than the agreed date, or, worst of all, someone will miss a typo that ruins everything. The White Weewoo watches as the Neopian society crumbles each year with unadulterated joy.
That’s not enough for the White Weewoo, though. Watching the Neoboards become deserted, friendships dissolve, and guild boards descend into 50th issue comparison discussions and arguments about whether that comic is actually funny is thrilling for the weewoo, but it is simply able to create the atmosphere, and doesn’t get to have a direct role in the despair. As such, the villainous White Weewoo has stepped up its game and now has a direct, one-on-one impact on a Neopian’s joy. Picture it, you’ve been working hard on a story for the 50th issue, and receive a neomail saying that your entry has been held over. You’re on top of the world, you think you’re getting that elusive avatar; but that’s when the White Weewoo strikes, sending out a last minute rejection neomail, citing too many good entries, or simply offering a ‘try again next time.’ That crushing feeling is what the White Weewoo thrives on.
The White Weewoo may not even come close to your typical Neopian villain, but may in fact be the cruelest villain of them all.
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