Misleading Motives: The Money Tree's Secrets
Everyone in Neopia has at one point heard of a magical tree that leaves donations
of Neopoints or items under its branches, allowing the poorest of Neopians a second
chance. No one ever doubts the generosity of such an entity: then again, who would?
Sometimes, the lucky Neopians can even get 100 or more Neopoints, or some good
The Money Tree is one of Neopia's most well known inhabitants, along with others
like Coltzan, Taelia, Tiki Tack Man or even Queen Fyora. He sits right in the
middle of Neopia Central, beside the Rainbow Pool, the Kadoatery and the Auction
House. There are two different Money Tree stamps (regular and deluxe), as well
as a collectable card (highly sought after at the Wishing Well, and often rewarded)
and a book (Secrets of the Money Tree). There is even a Neopedia article dedicated
to the Tree's "generosity". I'm sure that you could find some other homage to
the Tree, such as a guild dedicated to it.
With all of this generosity and fame, how could anyone ask the question, "Is
the Money Tree evil?"
I suppose I'll have to tell you, then.
There are quite a few reasons why the Money Tree can be viewed as "evil". First,
let's look at a definition of evil, care of Webster's dictionary:
1. a: morally reprehensible; sinful, wicked (an evil impulse)
b: arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct (a man of evil reputation)
From this definition we can begin our review of the Money Tree's stance on
good or evil. We'll begin by creating a list of the Tree's evil tendencies,
and evaluating each.
1. Money Tree Ghosts
The TCG card "Money Tree Ghosts" gives the caption, "They rob from the rich
and give to the... erm... Money Tree." The link given from the Money Tree page
labelled "wandering ghosts" leads directly to the Gallery of Evil. Hmm...
How many times have you been ambushed by a ghost who takes 100 or so Neopoints
from you? It is one of the more common random events, and has happened to me
at least two or three times a week for quite some time. But is all of it donated
to the Tree? Possibly... But, as the TCG card seems to imply foul play, I highly
doubt that it is.
Nevertheless, whether it's spent or given away, the Neopoints under the Tree
are clearly STOLEN rather than donated. What does stealing usually result in?
Dire consequences. I ask you now, why are Neopians punished for stealing, while
this Tree flagrantly gloats about his "special privileges"?
2. The so-called "Spoils" under the Tree
Whenever you visit the Money Tree at any given time, what do you think you
will find? If you answered "Sand, Sludge, and an assortment of other JUNK",
you're correct. 95% of the items "donated" to the Tree are junk. They're Bottles
of Sand, Omelettes, cheap Spooky Food... Donations tend to be the things that
experienced, weathered Neopians have no need of. When was the last time you
saw a Hidden Tower item budding from the branches of the Money Tree?
The rest of the items that are donated will cause an insane amount of conflict
as hundreds of Neopians jump for that... 300 Neopoints? Bones will be broken
as thousands of new players fight for... a Blue Flotsam Plushie? And hundreds
of thousands of bruises will result in the scramble for the grand prize of...
While injuries commence, the Money Tree grins evilly in the background, dangling
another piece of violence-inducing merchandise over the heads of Neopians...
Every so often, there are a few Neopian citizens who decide to put a number
of items under the Money Tree. Why does this show the Money Tree is evil? It
wouldn't normally, except that the ones who donate are Balthazar and Health
Let's start with Balthazar. Where can you find the Lupe? The Gallery of Evil.
Balthazar is an evil entity, making it seem odd that the Money Tree would side
with him. Having such connections raises suspicions about the Tree's motives.
But the Tree does not stop at just an alliance with Balthazar... He allows horrid
items to be placed beneath his branches! All of those helpless Faeries, which
Balthazar captured and jarred (effectively ending their freedom), are accepted
by the Tree and given away to Neopians.
Now the Health Frog. Neopets generally prefer ice cream, chocolate and candy
to radishes and carrots. However, the Health Frog pushes health food on Neopets
anyway, against their free will. The Money Tree at one point saw that pets hated
health food, so he asked Health Frog to join him in tormenting the lives of
Neopians. Health Frog gladly took the opportunity, loving the free advertisement
to his shop.
4. Living Trees
When you look around Neopia, how many trees can you spot that can talk to you?
I may have counted wrong, but I get 2: the Money Tree and the Brain Tree. They
seem to be cousins or something.
The Brain Tree is quite clearly evil. If you have it, check Defenders of Neopia
Mission 5 for details about his evilness. The Brain Tree lives in the Haunted
Woods offering quests to Neopians who will help him out. He'll reward you if
you tell him when and where someone died. Who is his greatest friend? The Esophagor.
Their quests go hand in hand (but that's another story). The Esophagor is quite
clearly evil. He is one of the bosses for Neoquest II in the Haunted Woods.
In fact, he is the main boss who orchestrated the bad stuff happening in that
Even if they aren't in some way related (which I doubt...) the Brain Tree and
the Money Tree have a lot of similarities. Aside from the fact that they're
both trees, anyway. They both have dangerously evil friends, and they both offer
Neopians some sort of prize at a cost. The Brain Tree may be the lesser of two
evils though: he wants historical information. The Money Tree wants you to be,
Now that I have made my point and presented 4 arguments all leading inevitably
towards the Money Tree being evil, it is time for you to make the choice yourself.
Do you see the Tree as being a "good guy", helping out the poor Neopians, or
do you see him as a "bad guy", doing everything he can to torment pets that
come anywhere near?
Perhaps we will soon see the Money Tree making an appearance in the Gallery
of Evil, next to his friend Balthazar.