Overlooked Neopians: Tarla
TOP OF TERROR MOUNTAIN- Terror Mountain is as harsh and freezing as ever. It’s winter year-round and one can only imagine how the residents of the mountain can brave it, especially those who not native to the environment. The unforgiving wind-chill is enough to make a visitor from Mystery Island turn and run for the hills (or valleys as the case may be). That is what makes the case of Tarla so curious. The intrepid pink Ixi left Meridell, despite the warnings of her friends, to make a life for herself on Terror Mountain.
She is the titular owner of Tarla’s Mystery Shop, all items in Tarla’s shop are just as the name of the shop implies a mystery. One of Tarla’s patented Mystery Items can cost anywhere from a few hundred Neopoints to ten thousand Neopoints and contain anything from a Pile of Dung to a Speckled Paint Brush to an exclusive Tarla themed item. But even if you get nothing but a simple Red Kazoo from your trip to the Mystery Shop don’t fret, upon purchasing your first Mystery Item you’ll receive a spiffy “Tarla- Shop of Mystery” avatar to use on the Neoboards. Tarla even set off on her own Tour of Mystery, if you ran into the Ixi during that time she would grant your own Mystery Item free of charge. But Tarla’s influence doesn’t end there, there are a few Tarla themed items that go for a hefty amount of Neopoints around the Trading Post. Such as Tarlas Scarf and Tarlas Underground Workshop Background, both wearable items for your own enigmatic Neopet.
Just like the nature of her business Tarla remains a bit of a mystery. An enigma of an Ixi on the top of the mountain. So, I braved the snowy peaks and harsh winds of Terror Mountain to sit down with Tarla for an interview.
The inside of the Mystery Shop is warm and inviting, a pleasant fire crackles in the brick fireplace. The familiar blue bag containing Mystery Items line the shelves of the shop, one after another. Tarla lights a few candles before sitting down with me at a nearby table to partake in some Spiced Pomegranate Tea and friendly conversation.
Interviewer: Do you get many personal visitors up here on the mountain?
Tarla: No, not many. Most of my old friends and family live down in Meridell, the trip here isn’t, she pauses for a moment palatable for them.
Interviewer: I heard you discuss your old friends before, are you still angry that they tried to discourage you from moving here?
Tarla: Sighs No, I’m not angry at them anymore. I know they just said those things because they were worried. I mean I’m a little hurt that not one of them had faith in me, but I’m not angry anymore.
Interviewer: What made you want to open a shop on the top of Terror Mountain in the first place?
Tarla: Laughs I like the cold!
Tarla: No not really, everyone asks me that question then look at me like they’re looking for this great, grand, philosophical, answer! But the real reason is, I wanted a shop and this one she gestures around her was what I could afford at the time.
Interviewer: Was the transition from Meridell to Terror Mountain difficult?
Tarla: Laughs Oh it wasn’t easy! My first time here I climbed the whole mountain on foot!
Interviewer: You didn’t notice the stairs, huh?
Tarla: Nope! I was a total newbie, I had the knowledge of a tourist, maybe even less than that! I would have given up and crawled back home to Meridell with my tail between my legs if it hadn’t been for my amazing neighbors.
Interviewer: They taught you the ropes?
Tarla: Even more than that, they helped me paint the shop and get in shape. They’re all such amazing people, you need to stop by the Igloo Garage Sale before you leave the mountain. Mika and Carassa are two of the best friends an Ixi could have.
Interviewer: So, the big question everyone has is, why sell only Mystery Items?
Tarla: Laughs Yeah, I’ve been asked that hundreds of times. It’s another question I’m afraid I don’t have a satisfying answer for, it just seemed like an interesting concept, I needed a good gimmick!
Interviewer: Why didn’t you wait a little longer, save a little money and open the Mystery Shop on Mystery Island?
Tarla: Laughs That would be just a little TOO gimmicky even for me!
Interviewer: How often do you get angry customers in the shop, upset by what their Mystery Item turns out to be?
Tarla: Oh, geez, every day. You try to warn them that they may not get what they want, you call it the ‘Mystery Shop’ and tell them they’re ‘Mystery Items’ but someone is still losing their temper and demanding a refund.
Interviewer: Is that why you won’t haggle with customers?
Tarla: I mean that’s part of it. I just think it’s paradoxical to haggle over the price of an item when you don’t even know what the item is!
Interviewer: You have a point there.
Tarla: Yeah, but still everyday someone brings a bag up to the counter and tries to haggle with me.
Interviewer: But yet you still seem to have a passion for shop keeping.
Tarla: Yeah, she smiles I guess you can call it a passion. I’ve always wanted to have my own shop, I could never be happy just working for someone else, it had to my own. I built this shop into what it is today with my own hooves, and help from my friends of course, I would be nowhere without them.
Interviewer: So where does Tarla and her Mystery Shop go from here?
Tarla: Go? She doesn’t go anywhere, she stays right here to tend her shop. She laughs
Interviewer: Thank you sitting down with me today, Tarla.
Tarla: It’s been my pleasure, don’t forget to stop by the Igloo Garage Sale on your way out and tell them Tarla sent you!
Tarla’s Mystery Shop sits nestled in the powder white snow on the Mountain Top awaiting its next customer. Stop into the Mystery Shop and pick up an item, who knows? It might be your lucky day.