When I was a boy at Neopets, my favorite aspect of the game was collecting “secret avatars”. With these avatars the players presented themselves on the Neopets forums. Avatars, which were harder to earn, had a lot of influence. You will need certain pets of certain colors in order to earn some of the avatars, high scores in games for others, and just plain stupid luck for some of them.
As an adult, I still play Neopets sometimes, and those avatars still speak to me. Perhaps that’s why I decided to look for all of these pixel icons before Google Chrome stopped supporting Flash. I didn’t want to think back to my neo life with neo regrets.
Ultimately, I just think they are neat. Maybe it’s the 50 by 50 pixel aesthetic or maybe it’s my obsession with collecting different things. When I heard that Chrome’s support for Flash had been extended from late 2020 to January 12, 2021, I logged back into Neopets and got to work. It was time for me to earn more secret avatars.
There are tons of avatars that you can earn from features on the website that don’t use flash, but I can earn these anytime. Last week, I just focused on the games that I predicted would not work after January 12th. While the Neopets team is apparently working on converting these games to HTML5, if they ever achieve that goal, it will take a long time to convert them all.
As a kid, I remember struggling to get anywhere near OK points in these games. You were too hard! But I thought, “Surely as an adult I’ll get the results I need in these games now – no problem.” I was wrong.
It turns out that many of these games are still very difficult. And I miss dozens of avatars that require you to play a flash game. I signed up with Neopets in early January and thought I’d get some of the avatars if I just played the games a few times. But I quickly realized that this project wasn’t going to be a one-off situation. After I got through the stress, I decided to make a list of games that I could put the avatars in when I bring in the work:
- Sutek’s grave (A match-three, like Bejeweled)
- Gadgadsgame (A combination of Puyo Puyo and Tetris)
- Meepits’ Juice Break (a puzzle game where you connect tubes to feed hungry meepits)
- Meepit Versus Feepit (A Side Scrolling Fighting Game)
- The buzzer game (a game where you have to carefully move your cursor over a line)
- Snow Muncher (A. Dig Dug-like game where you eat through the snow to reach the ground)
- Extreme Herder (A hats game that prevents petpets from being eaten by a hungry wolf)
- Typing Terror (a prediction game)
Thanks to some of the Neopets game guides from JellyNeo, I realized that many of these games require both skill and luck. It wasn’t just about beating a flash game and then unlocking a secret avatar. There have been several games where rare items or monsters had to appear throughout the playthrough in order for you to get the high score required for the Avatar.
Typing terror was one of those games of chance to my frustration. I can type very quickly and finish the game perfectly without making any mistakes, but luck wasn’t on my side. I played Typing Terror for hours, but the Avatar escaped me anyway.
In fact, through the stress and grind, I was able to get about half the avatars I was aiming for. But it wasn’t easy. At some point during the Gadgads game, when my score neared the requirement for the avatar, I started to sweat and shiver. The tuber fell so quickly that I ran out of time to think about where to successfully place it. If I had shyly lost a few points, I would certainly have stopped, but with a little panic and luck, I was able to reach 1,000 points.
“Julia, it sounds like you didn’t enjoy it, so why did you do it?” You can ask. I did it for the same reason that people love to play hard games, readers. The payoff after my sweaty, fear-ridden playthroughs felt incredible. It was so satisfying to see the little blurb that rewarded me with the avatar.
In the end I had avatars from Sutek’s grave, Meepit versus Feepit, The Buzzer Game and Gadgadsgame. Unfortunately, I never got the Typing Terror Avatar. I have to wait for the games to be updated to get back on my feet because apparently I haven’t learned anything from the stress of that experience and just remember the cute price of the avatar.