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Video Game / NeoQuest

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Live in your world. Get devoured by a Vampire Bearog in mine.
— Tagline for NeoQuest II

A feature on the website Neopets, these games are PHP RPGs, hard coded into the website. You can get Neopoints, avatars, items or even trophies for your efforts. Despite both games being pretty old by the standards of the site, they are still well played to this very day, and have very good fanbases still talking about them.

The first game (NeoQuest) tells the story of a rather dashing young Lupe. He is transported back in time for some reason to Ancient Neopia (1,000 years ago), and has to fight the members (some former) of the Circle of Twelve, incuding Xantan, the Archmagus of Roo, Gors, and eventually Jahbal, in order to save Neopia. You can unleash the power of five different types of Magic Wand, make new ones out of materials such as Bearog teeth and Lupe claws on the grand quest.

As for the second game (NeoQuest II), it starts out with a very artistically similar plot. You control a young Blumaroo, Rohane (and eventually, an Acara, Mipsy) as he makes his way throughout Meridell to stop the acts of Ramtor, who has crowned himself king after dethroning King Skarl from power. That doesn't sound like much compared to the first game... until you get to the First-Episode Twist.

The third game, Neoquest 3D, isn't as well known as the first two, and it shares virtually no gameplay mechanics from either of them. Instead, it's a Text Adventure, following most of the conventions of the genre. And its plot focuses solely on opening a treasure chest. The parts of the key to open it are scattered all across the surrounding area.

These games provide examples of the following tropes:

    open/close all folders 

    First two games 
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Just about every enemy seen has a recolored cousin, with varying effects.
  • Big Bad: Jahbal in the first game (or so it seems...) and Terask v2 in the second.
  • Beef Gate: This is what encourages the player to enter the dungeons in order.
  • Dead Person Conversation:
    • After you kill Faleinn, you get to talk to her ghost.
    • In the sequel, King Coltzan III has been dead for a while. First you fight his ghost in Chapter III, then you sit down and have a nice conversation about the next piece of the Medallion of Wind.
  • Dem Bones: Prominently in the first game on your way to Xantan the Foul. You'll find all sorts: burned, frozen, broken, rotten... how do you want 'em? The second game recycles a few of these for dungeons an throws in some new ones. The Revenant comes with two possessed skeletons, but they die when he does anyway.
  • Disney Villain Death: Jahbal and Terask both get this, though the latter comes back in force, and a little less so for the former. Also, Scuzzy.
  • Door to Before: Many dungeons will have teleporters right behind the boss which teleport the player right back to the beginning of the dungeon.
  • Genre Roulette: In a unique way. The first game is very similar to a classic Western RPG, while the second takes its cues from the Japanese; a perfect contrast amongst the genre. And the third is something compeletely different.
  • Golem: The Temple of Roo is crawling with all sorts, from your basic rock-type to crystal and even glass golems. Again, the second game brings them back.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: They all determine which kind of trophy you get at the end of the game, and in NQII's case, which items you win.
  • Level-Up Fill-Up
  • Point Build System: In the first game, you choose between fire, ice, shock, spectral and life skill trees. The second does it with more traditional skills.
  • Rock Monster: The dervish-variety enemies are made of a type of crystal.
  • Skippable Boss:
    • Exaggerated for the first game. All except Faelinn and the final boss (or final bosses, on higher difficulties) can simply be avoided, although defeating them gives you access to useful weapon upgrades. Beating Rollay Scaleback also gives you a way to defeat Faelinn instantly.
    • In II, you can beat the game without fighting the Miner Foreman, the Leximp, Meuka, and Hubrid Nox. The only penalty for doing so is missing out on experience, item drops, and some plot details. In the Leximp's case, you also can't use the facilities of the nearby town if you skip him.
  • Take Your Time:
    • Jahbal won't do anything until you march straight into his lair and fight him.
    • For the second game, it's more of an external issue. Really, it doesn't matter that your ship has been infected by a virus which will send you to a fiery death if you don't act quickly...
    • Actually subverted from a real-time standpoint. The player is given a year in real time to complete both games, or else the game resets.
  • Temple of Doom: The Temple of Roo in the first, and the Temple of the Sky plus unnamed Ruined Temple in the second. There are no booby traps (thankfully), but these places are often inhabited by bosses and of course, the monsters.

    NeoQuest I 
  • Character Customization: It's largely all about choosing the kind of skills you will be investing in for 50 entire levels — either Fire, Ice, Spectral, Life, or Shock, but you can spread out and pick skills from each sphere.
  • Deadly Dodging: The reflex skill will enable you to dodge enemy attacks, and have the enemies accidentally hit themselves.
  • Elemental Embodiment: In the Mountain Forest, complete with elemental pseudobosses.
  • Elemental Powers: NQI recognizes five elements: Fire, Ice, Life, Spectral, and Shock, even having five bosses that use these abilities to the extreme. Never you mind, young grasshopper.
  • Evil Overlord: Jahbal.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Archmagus of Roo, Jahbal, and Mastermind.
  • Foreshadowing: Xantan does this when he's defeated. And he sure as heck fulfills it on the top difficulty.
  • Final Boss: Jahbal — although if you go Evil, it's Mastermind. And if you go all the way to InSaNe, it's Xantan Reborn.
  • Final Death Mode: If you die on InSaNe mode, you have to start the whole game over, rather that starting from the last save point. Also applies to NQ2.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: On Evil! mode, losing to Mastermind after you beat Jahbal means you are unable to finish the game, since the latter doesn't come back.
  • Healing Factor: You can specialize in Life Magic.
  • Healing Hands: Boraxis the Healer. Save up on healing potions at the beginning of the game by constantly going to him for a free full heal.
  • The Hero: The Unnamed White Lupe.
  • Life Drain: Subverted for the player character; there is a skill called Lifesteal, but it doesn't drain your opponent's hit points; instead, it increases your own. Enemies, on the other hand, can drain plenty.
  • Magic Wand: This is the only type of weapon that the player can use. But at least you can upgrade it throughout the game.
  • Man Behind the Man: Mastermind claims that Jahbal was only his puppet — at least, in Evil! mode. But on InSaNe, Xantan Reborn rears his (very) ugly head and claims to be the Man Behind the Man Behind the Man.
  • Meaningful Name: The Man Behind the Man is named Mastermind.
  • Muck Monster: Xantan the Foul. 'Nuff said.
  • No Name Given: The white Lupe hero. Although he just takes the name of your active pet, still.
  • Non-Indicative Name: A lot of location names have species in them. All but one of them are utterly devoid of the species in question.
  • One-Man Army: The poor white Lupe doesn't have a party, though this is balanced by not being able to fight more than one monster at a time.
  • One-Winged Angel: Xantan the Foul. He even looks like such a pushover when you first fight him, but on InSaNe mode, he turns out to be the Big Bad. His fate is to turn into a Clipped-Wing Angel.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Justified in Jahbal's case; he is trapped in the Two Rings Palace, so he can only send out monsters while he is stuck there.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: The Chia Spur functions as this if the player neglected to visit the Mountain Fortress.
  • Point of No Return: The Two Rings mountains/palace.
  • Post-Final Boss: Xantan Reborn is considerably easier than Jahbal and Mastermind, both of whom you fight immediately beforehand. Though he has a much higher accuracy compared to every other enemy, he will always do a consistent 50 damage, making him more predictable. Considering the fact that you can't restock on health potions between battles, and the fact that dying on InSaNe (the only level where you fight him) forces you to redo the entire game, this may have been done on purpose.
  • The Professor: Eleus Batrin, sure, but wait until you meet his teacher, Gali Yoj.
  • Shout-Out: This line comes to mind:
    Mokti: Oh, you know how little brothers are... he wanted adventure, excitement. Bah! A Swamp Edge citizen craves not these things. He is reckless. Well, I hope he comes home soon, anyway.
  • Starter Villain Stays: The very first boss of the game is a sludge monster known as Xantan the Foul. If playing on InSaNe difficulty, he is revealed to be the True Final Boss having returned as Xantan Reborn.
  • Storming the Castle: Again, the Two Rings.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Two Rings Castle. And it is huge.
  • True Final Boss: If you're playing on harder modes, you'll come across Mastermind or even Xantan Reborn himself.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: Possible on Evil! difficulty. The only way to trigger the Mastermind fight is to beat Jahbal. If you lose to Mastermind, you can't challenge Jahbal again. This isn't a problem on InSaNe, where dying resets the game, but the same thing happens if you flee from Mastermind (or Xantan Reborn) and since all monsters are gone once you defeat Jahbal, you can mess up your game on either of the higher levels.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: The locked door in Techo Cave 4. People have tried for years to open that door, and TNT has never confirmed whether or not it can be unlocked at all or if it even serves any true purpose. It was eventually revealed that there is nothing behind the door, and it was a deliberate invocation of this trope. Of course, one could always have assumed it was TNT trolling their audience, as they have often done in the past.
  • Victory Pose: Cue snark of victory.

    NeoQuest II 
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Inns get more expensive the farther along you go.
  • A.I. Roulette: Non-boss monsters act randomly, which leads to bizarre things like wasting several turns redundantly activating one ability or mesmerizing characters only to break the effect by attacking them one turn later. Bosses have some predictable behaviours (for instance, casting haste and protection spells only when they're not active already), but are otherwise random.
  • Anti-Villain: The ghost of King Coltzan III appears as a boss, but he's quite unhappy about having to fight you.
    "It is not my will — but you must die!"
  • Backtracking: You'll be doing a lot of this in the Lost Desert. Though ironically, you finish out the chapter to the direct west of Sakhmet.
  • Boss Room: Several of the larger bosses are represented by larger sprites taking up multiple tiles. The rooms accommodating them are much larger and emptier, or just large enough that the player cannot simply slip past them to proceed.
  • Big Bad: The Virus, which takes its final form in the simulation as King Terask.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: Scuzzy. Honestly.
  • Catchphrase:
    Whoo! It's all about aim, baby! - Talinia
    We emerge victorious! - Rohanenote 
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: A rather extreme example. Rohane's sword, passed down from his father, which contains a bit of his spirit. If you take it all the way to the final boss, he awakens, and it becomes more powerful than the apparent Infinity +1 Sword.
  • Combat Exclusive Healing: You've got potions and some limited automatic healing outside of combat, but don't ask Velm for help.
  • Common HTTP Status Code: One location is the lost city of Phorofor, a pun on the "404" error.
  • Cowardly Boss: Ramtor, in the first chapter, who retreats to his tower from the castle after a bit of beating up. The Faerie Thief takes this to a whole new level later on in Faerieland, in which she actually flees twice across Faerie City.
  • Critical Hit Class: Rohane's skills can be developed to make him this.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: The fate of the final boss.
  • Deflector Shields: Mipsy has her damage shields, which damage any monster who attacks at close range, while Velm specializes in shields that raise defense stats without the damage. Some monsters and bosses may also be capable of these skills.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: After trekking across Meridell, entering Ramtor's tower, and laying the smackdown on the man himself (which seems to be your ultimate goal), you return to Meridell Castle and receive a hero's welcome... but then The Reveal happens, and you find out you've only completed the first chapter out of five.
  • Disney Villain Death: When you defeat King Terask, the post-battle narration shows him stumbling backwards and falling out of the tower into the clouds below. This is subverted at the very end of the chapter when it turns out Terask didn't die, has become much stronger, and is out for revenge.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: Assume that your Ultimate Evil is a bunch of destructive tornadoes. The Medallion of Wind was used to control the weather before it was broken and scattered all over the place. The aim of this chapter is to put it back together. But Phebiya warns, "The artifact is powerful and should not be kept in its assembled form except when needed."
  • Dynamic Entry: At the end of the game, the party proceeds down the empty southwest hallway of Faerie Castle. Nothing of note is visible, until the Faerie Queen appears in the corner of the player's field of vision... Cue Terask v2, crashing in from nowhere.
  • Early-Bird Boss: Zombom. The player only has access to Rohane and limited variety of in-battle items, while Zombom freely gets to throw around damage spells, haste and healing. It's only when he's finally fallen when the player picks up the second party member, Mipsy, and gains access to potions that do what Zombom's been doing.
  • Endless Daytime: In the Haunted Woods chapter, the sun's been cursed to stay up forever. It turns out that Edna the witch was trying to bring about The Night That Never Ends and got the spell backwards.
  • Evil Overlord: Terask, who has usurped the throne from Queen Fyora and sent Faerieland into turmoil.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Zombom, Ramtor, Hubrid Nox... suffice to say there are a lot of spellcasters in this game.
  • First-Episode Twist: The revelation of the computer simulation is treated as a complete surprise at the end of the first chapter. But if you've played Neo for a long time, you're likely to know it's coming.
  • Flunky Boss: The Revenant comes accompanied with two possessed skeletons. Unlike most other instances of this trope, its flunkies are rather unremarkable; some players simply focus on the boss to end the fight.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • Rohane - Obviously choleric. It's a leader thing.
    • Mipsy - Possibly sanguine, judging from how excited she was to leap out of her chair and into a life of adventure.
    • Talinia - More melancholic than phlegmatic.
    • Velm - Can be either melancholic or phlegmatic; leaning more on phlegmatic.
  • The Ghost: Rohane's father is only mentioned in the very beginning of the game and doesn't have any presence afterwards. If the player brings Rohane's starting weapon all the way to the final boss, the spirit of Rohane's father lashes out against it, raising his damage output.
  • Glass Cannon: Mipsy. She can use many powerful spells (offensive and defensive) and so is of valuable assistance in battle, but her HP doesn't leave the double digits until she hits level 23. Early-game monsters already tend to do 10-20 HP per attack, so it's recommended to keep plenty of healing potions on hand.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: You may occasionally see some circuit board tiles when traversing the overworld. Your first clue to the reality of this RPG.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: In the first half of the game, especially Terror Mountain, random encounters will be brutal if you're unprepared. Surviving a boss fight is seldom as hard as safely getting to the boss in the first place (with the exception of Zombom). Averted once you get Velm, whose healing abilities make random encounters much less of an issue.
  • Healer Signs On Early: Inverted in that your only healer, Velm, is also the last character to join your party. Until you get him, you have to make do with potions and rest.
  • The Hero: This fits Rohane the most out of the four main characters. And yes, Rohane does prefer a sword and is also The Captain.
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: This pretty much happens with every NPC that has children. For example, in a village in Chapter 3, one family is made up of an Acara (a cat/goat hybrid) father and a Wocky (cat) mother, who have children who are a Cybunny (rabbit) and an Uni (unicorn).
  • I Call It "Vera": There is a NPC called Bledynn who calls his sword Vera.
  • Inside a Computer System: The technically true setting of the game.
  • Kill It with Fire: Quoth Mipsy: "The next time something bites me, it's going to get set on fire." Incidentally, there IS a monster that bites and is also on fire.
  • Lighter and Softer: The Happy Fun Non-Haunted House, which is a beacon of light and general banality in the Haunted Woods. You have to defeat the Four Faeries near the house to get Balthazar to hunt faeries again.
  • Light Is Not Good: Corrupted light faeries.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Inverted. Mipsy starts out as the damage powerhouse (her Direct Damage spell does 100 of it when maxed out), with Rohane and Talinia simply picking up the slack. Unfortunately, once you've maxed it (or Group Direct Damage, which does a maximum of 256 damage; 64 on each of four enemies), that's as powerful as she gets. By Chapter V, the swordsman and archer easily slide past the 100 damage barrier.
  • Magic Wand: The Wand of Reality, Mipsy's ultimate staff, which is even available as a prize for beating InSaNe difficulty. It's not for blowing things up, But that's what it's best at.
  • Marathon Level:
    • After rescuing Lifira, your task of retrieving the remaining pieces of the Medallion of Wind sends you across the north and eastern portions of the Lost Desert. With nothing but sand as far as the eye can see, the player can easily get lost, and there are no new towns in between each objective.
    • The Tower of Nox has a small floor plan, but there's nine of them, and the random encounters can easily wear you down on the way. A prominent NQ guide once described it as "nine levels of solid [NeoQuest] torture".
    • Faerieland in general is an entire level full of punishingly long dungeons, though it does get better once you enter Fyora's domain.
      • Cumulonimbus is a huge city, with stone clouds are blocking your way everywhere you go. Even with a map, it's hard to make out which path to take.
      • Faerie City is massive, and the player needs to traverse it back and forth to chase down the Faerie Thief. Not helping is that it's a fair distance from the closest town.
      • Faerie Castle has a humongous labyrinthine ground floor. It's a long trek to find the way up, but fortunately the reward at the end of it is a convenient rest point.
  • The Medic: Velm, hands down. Once you have him, you rarely need healing potions. Every player swears by his healing abilities. He can also become the Combat Medic if you invest in his only offensive spell.
  • Mirror Boss: The 4 Faeries can do what your party can. The Earth Faerie mirrors Rohane (has Critical Hits and Stunning Strikes), the Fire Faerie mirrors Mipsy (Direct Damage, Group Direct Damage), the Dark Faerie mirrors Talinia (sort of; it's the one that inflicts status effects, even if Velm gets some of them on your team) and the Water Faerie mirrors Velm (Healing, Group Healing).
  • Muck Monster: The Haunted Woods is full of these, including pools of living pond scum.
  • Mummy: They're all over the place in the Lost Desert chapter.
  • Mysterious Past: The fact that Rohane's dad is dead is hinted at in the beginning of the game and is confirmed later on when Daddy lashes out at King Terask if you use Father's Sword for the final battle, but that's as far as it gets. For that matter, this is merely within the simulation; who knows what captain Rohane's life was like.
  • Necessary Drawback: A lot of the weapons that grant bonuses to certain skills... impose penalties on others.
  • NPC: There are a lot more here than in the first game, but most just spout useless dialogue. You only need to talk to a handful to advance. Of course, if one is playing the game completely blind, they may not know about certain people being able to join their party.
  • NPC Roadblock: See those stairs in Sakhmet Palace? That guard won't let you in, and it stays that way. Something interesting could be behind there, but in all likelihood, this is probably an echo of the infamous Techo Caves door from the first game.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: As noted under Unintentionally Unwinnable, in the first game it is possible to render the whole game Unwinnable if you flee from Mastermind or Xantan Reborn since they don't appear on the map like other bosses, but are triggered by another event. To prevent a similar situation happening with Terask II, it is impossible to flee from him.
  • One-Man Army: Rohane has to put up with being alone for a while before he finds Mipsy. This is why Zombom is considered to be such a pain in the neck to fight.
  • One-Winged Angel: After defeating King Terask, the heroes quickly run back through Faerie Palace again to free Queen Fyora - only to meet King Terask II, a bigger, uglier, more powerful version of the Big Bad. Did we mention he has two more arms now?
  • Precision F-Strike: Downplayed (This is Neopets, after all) with "Damn those dark faeries!"
    • NeoQuest I also had a “Not bloody likely!” from the Gatekeeper.
  • Randomly Drops: You can buy basic equipment from stores, but all the cool ones with +skills are randomly dropped, including most Infinity Plus One Weapons and Armors. In the lowest difficulty, these will only drop from bosses, but if you're playing on Evil and above, they will drop from monsters as well.
  • Regenerating Health: Everyone regains a small amount of HP for the first seven steps taken after a battle.
  • Replay Mode: The game allows you to view the end-chapter cutscenes at any time via a button in the menu. There's no in-universe explanation for this.
  • Roguelike: InSaNe difficulty will seem like this, with being a Final Death Mode. Made worse that all of the enemies have 2x health.
  • Shoot the Mage First: It is a common strategy to attack the Fire Faerie first out of the Four Faeries, as she has the least health but deals the most damage, along with the fact that you only get to revive fallen party members outside battle.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Sometimes it's best to go for the enemy healer to keep battles short. It's most significant against the Four Faeries. Luckily for the player, the mobs always go after Mipsy instead! Oh wait...
  • Short Cuts Make Long Delays: Implied with a group of NPCs in Terror Mountain on what's up ahead.
  • Shout-Out: There are a lot of them.
    • One NPC in the Lost Desert has a sword. He calls it Vera.
    • The opening splash screen of the game is a two-fer: Mr. InSaNe is dressed up like The Archietect, with enemies from the game beside him and the caption "Live in your world, get eaten by a Vampire Bearog in mine." below.
    • The secret word for entering Phorofor is "ad ro un ta en", which is made up of syllables from "En taro adun". This happens to be from the Protoss race in StarCraft.
    • Phorofor itself is a pronunciation of 404, which means a dead link. City of the dead indeed.
    • Scuzzy also happens to be the pronunciation of the acronym SCSI, Small Computer System Interface.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Terror Mountain is an environment full of ice and snow, though there isn't much in the way of Frictionless Ice here.
  • Snowed-In:
    • In Chapter II, the Snowager turned out to be trapped by an avalanche caused by Scuzzy. However, in the simulation, it's more of a figurative blizzard caused by the clogging of data lines when the Snowager, which is actually a sentinel program, was kept from doing its job.
    • A similar effect is halting travel in the Lost Desert, though it's a sandstorm. The "sandstorm" is also clogging of data lines, preventing the librarian — a data retrieval program — from accessing the rest of the database.
  • Squishy Wizard: Mipsy has incredible damage output but also the lowest HP count and weakest armor. Velm comes in at a close second, but has healing and defensive skills to mitigate his fragility.
  • Stone Wall: The Battle Focus skill turns any combatant using it into this, dramatically increasing their physical defense but also reducing their offense as well. Rohane can be built to utilize this to great effect if used in conjunction with his Battle Taunt skill.
  • Storming the Castle: Meridell Castle and Faerie Palace.
  • Sword and Sorcerer: Rohane (knight) and Mipsy (sorceress), until Talinia joins their team.
  • Super Happy Fun Trope of Doom: The Happy Fun Non-Haunted House, where the Four Faeries reside (or, have as a temporary home)
  • Temple of Doom: A few are scattered around Chapter 3, but the Ruined Temple is the most significant of them.
  • True Final Boss: King Terask II barges in for a rematch right as you're approaching Queen Fyora, and boasts twice as much health and stronger attacks.
  • The Unintelligible: The inhabitants of the first town you find in Terror Mountain are unintelligible, with the exception of the one visitor who points you to where to go. Acquiring the wordstone from the Leximp lets the party communicate with the townsfolk properly.
  • Wolfpack Boss: The Four Faeries combine this with Mirror Boss, turning into a 4-vs-4 fight with each Faerie capable of everything your party can do.

    Neoquest 3D 
  • Canon Discontinuity: Is Neoquest 3D really part of the series?
  • Darkness Equals Death: Guess what happens if you visit the Dark Forest or the Darkness?
  • Interactive Fiction: Unlike the other two, 3D is completely text-based.
  • Trailers Always Lie: When the game starts to "load" the screen shows a CGI mountain/forest scene (actually from the PS2 game The Darkest Faerie), which is then scrolled up and replaced by a plainer than plain text interface.


Video Example(s):


NQ2's True Setting (Spoiler)

NeoQuest II sets itself up to be a typical swords-and-sorcery medieval RPG, just like the original NeoQuest was. And indeed, most of the game plays out that way. But under the surface, something's wrong, and we find out what, after you defeat the evil wizard and save the king: it isn't a high fantasy, but a science fiction. And this was only the game's first act out of five.
(Note: The game's cutscenes were originally silent; sounds were fan-added for the sake of this upload. The voices are generated by NovelAI, the sound effects are from royalty-free libraries, and the music is taken from other Neopets games.)

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / FirstEpisodeTwist

Media sources: