Arrival of Virtupets
The Arrival of Virtupets, or the Space Plot, was the first plot to feature on Neopets. It began on 15 August 2000 with the release of publicity material involving a Mutant Grundo, although the plot only formally began on 17 August. The plot ended on the 25 August. It starred super villain Dr. Sloth, and introduced the Virtupets Space Station, the Space Faerie, and Grundos. Codestones were officially released to the public as part of the plot, although their use as training items would not be cemented until the release of the Training School.
In conjunction with this plot, TNT set up a temporary site called Virtupets that featured some of Dr. Sloth's designs for Neopets' replacements. Dr. Sloth also received the (now removed) Neopets account drsloth, and he advertised his new Virtupets in his shop. Since the plot finished, many of the pages relating to it have been removed from the site.
The plot commenced with the Space Faerie revealing that she had received an encoded message from space. Feeling a great evil approaching, she made a plea for help to the population. Shortly afterwards, a mysterious celestial object eclipsed the sun: a giant space station had just entered orbit.
Reports came in from different areas around Neopia about strange Neopet mutations being sighted, and Dr. Sloth made a public announcement that he would replace Neopets with Virtupets, creatures of his own design, and even commanded users to abandon their Neopets to ready themselves for the future of Neopia. He began abducting Neopets to experiment on.
The Island Mystic - who had been released with Mystery Island only shortly before the plot - managed to decode the message the Space Faerie intercepted. It revealed that not only did the doctor not have his own race of pets after all, but intended just to transfigure the existing Neopian population. This is what had happened to the Grundos on their home world: the Space Station had appeared in the sky, and their peaceful race was transformed into the monstrous Mutant Grundos that served Dr. Sloth today.
At an abandoned launch pad, a rocket scientist sent Neopians out to gather the items he needed to rebuild Neopia's space ships to get to the Space Station. There, they discovered that the Space Faerie herself had been captured by Dr. Sloth when she attempted to liberate his prisoners. She managed to use the last of her strength to broadcast an emergency message to Neopia: the Grundos must be liberated and adopted, or she would not be strong enough to break out.
Dr. Sloth was unconcerned: he would be enslaving the entire planet in short order. His Space Station transformed into a gigantic ray gun that could mutate the entire planet at once. The ray gun fired, but Neopia was saved by a hair as the Space Faerie burst from her captivity. She managed to divert the beam directly back at the mutation ray gun, which overloaded and exploded.
The space fleet hurtled out of the way of the blast back to the planet, leaving the abandoned Space Station, adrift around Neopia.
While there was no Battledome portion to this plot - occurring some time before its release with the Tyrannian Invasion - users still participated. The Island Mystic required a large number of Codestones to decrypt the message the Space Faerie received. Players began receiving these via Random Events and had to bring them to him.
Later, players retrieved supplies for the Launch Pad, and were needed to adopt twenty thousand Grundos to liberate the Space Faerie.
- After Sloth was defeated, a colony Moehogs was found in the detention level the Space Station, being held captive. They were released, making them available to adopt, and removing the Moehog from limited edition status.
- The Grundo origin story in this plot says they were abducted from the planet Doran, but it was later revealed they were natives of Kreludor.
- Editorial: #132, #140, #345
- Plot Info: Plot homepage (defunct), Plot Trailer, Plot Comic (defunct), Final Plot Comic (defunct), The Space Faerie's plea (defunct), Destruction of the mutation ray gun, The Space Faerie's rallying of Neopians, Space Faerie's emergency broadcast, News report, Second news report, The Coded Message (defunct), Ask Dr. Sloth (defunct), Dr. Sloth's declaration (defunct), Transfiguration details (defunct), Transfiguration details (page two, defunct), The Launch Pad (defunct)