Neopets.com is an online virtual pet world that I joined all the way
back in 2000, but had very little interest in when the selection of
pets were just a bunch of cutesy, generic fuzzballs. That is, until
the introduction of "Mutant" pets, one of which I fell in love with
at first sight:
With its flabby, corpsen body, bulging eyeballs and extremely
weird mouth, the Mutant "Chia" neopet demanded that I actively
participate in the website to raise one of my own, and it quickly
became one of my top favorite creature designs.
...But the Neopets staff giveth and the Neopets staff taketh away.
They were always an unpredictable and finicky beast, prone to
editing and re-editing their own creations without warning and
Barely a year after the release of the mutant Chia, the site artists
decided to give it a facelift into something they felt was more
"marketable"; the sad, lowly abomination you see below:
Now more tasty vegetable than ghoulish mutant, I couldn't even
bear to let my pixelated pal go on living this way and promptly put
seventeen bullets through his skull.
That, or I changed him into something more tolerable, like this
mutant Blumaroo. Whatever. The point is, there has never been
anything else on Neopets that appeals to me anywhere near as
much as the original mutated Chia, and neither my respect nor my
interest for the game has ever fully recovered.
This piece of official artwork (also long deleted from their servers)
sums things up nicely:
...But not as nicely as my hastily doodled (with a mouse!) "fan art" featuring
Neopet's co-creator Donna Williams (unfortunately no longer working for the site,
but let's blame her anyway) :