[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/BehemothBestiary_9684.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:A typical Monster Compendium entry.]]

Also called a "monster encyclopedia" or "bestiary", this is a feature of various {{RPG}}s that allows you to review the types of enemies, monsters, and beasts (if not more) that you've encountered, battled, and slain throughout your quest to SaveTheWorld. This is related to the EnemyScan, except that while the Scan is a tool you use during actual combat, the Monster Compendium is a reference guide for you to peruse later at your discretion.

The amount of actual information shown on a given Monster Compendium page varies from game to game; it can range from mere FlavorText to a full blueprint of the enemy's statistics (including [[ElementalRockPaperScissors elemental affinities]], [[MoneySpider money]] and [[RandomlyDrops item drops]]), possibly even tips for battling them more easily.

As a rule of thumb, Monster Compendiums always start as an empty book, with information on each monster appearing only after you've actually encountered a monster "in the wild" (this avoids [[{{Spoiler}} spoiling]] the player about future monsters or, especially, {{Boss Battle}}s to come). Sometimes you must actually ''slay'' the beast before it will appear on the Compendium's pages, or you need to register it by using your actual EnemyScan; on the other hand, sometimes merely spotting the beast on the field is enough to unlock its corresponding Compendium entry. In some games, the Monster Compendium will unlock only a partial entry at first, and you'll need to repeat the unlock (possibly multiple times) to reveal the full entry. There may also be different unlock requirements for different pieces of information. For example, loot that RandomlyDrops may be listed only after successfully receiving it.

Achieving OneHundredPercentCompletion on a Monster Compendium (i.e. registering every enemy type in the entire game) is tough work -- some monsters, like the MetalSlime, are naturally elusive and thus difficult to register an entry for (especially when you have to ''slay'' them); [[UndergroundMonkey different variations]] of the same monster archetype might have different Compendium entries; and most annoyingly, some monsters only appear in specific places (or times) and their Compendium entries can become LostForever if they aren't scanned or slain (or otherwise registered) at the first opportunity you get to do so. Fortunately, completing the Compendium is always optional, although some games may actually reward the player (in [[CosmeticAward some manner]]) for full completion.

Often part of a much broader EncyclopediaExposita. The Monster Compendium is a commonly added feature of a VideoGameRemake if the original version didn't have one to begin with; it's also one element that generally carries over to a NewGamePlus.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime ]]

* The ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' Analyzer is basically this.
* As mentioned below, the Pokédex appears in the Anime/{{Pokemon}} anime, and, at times, was of use to the protagonists beyond merely identifying species of Pokémon. In three instances,it served to ruin [[AssinALionSkin Meowth's disguise]], as it identified him as a Meowth (rather than the Sunflora, Nuzleaf, and Kirlia. respectively,that he was dressed up as).

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''FantasticBeastsAndWhereToFindThem'', a guide to the magical beasts which exist in the [[PotterVerse Harry Potter Universe]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/{{Airwolf}}'' has a database on board that does this thing.
* On ''Series/TeenWolf'', Allison's family, who have been hunters of supernatural creatures for centuries, keep record of everything they've ever hunted. [[BadassBookworm Stiles]] knows that it's called a bestiary and thinks that it's probably an old book. Allison remembers that she's seen her grandfather with a book like that, and she, Stiles and Scott decide that they need to read it. Later, it turns out that the real bestiary is on a flash drive, and the book that they went to such great lengths to get hold of is actually [[OhWaitThisIsMyGroceryList a cookbook]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* Pretty much every Pen and Paper RPG ever conceived has additional material in the form of "Monster Manuals". However, they mostly aren't available in-character; they are reference material primarily for the Game Master's world-building.
** Much more common in fantasy, space fantasy, or sci-fi [=RPG=]s than in modern horror or historical, where the antagonists are usually the same things as the [=NPCs=]. The TropeNamer is the old ''DungeonsAndDragons'' Monstrous Compendiums, which in the game's earlier editions were batches of monsters specific to different themed settings that were sold in a packet.
** Making lore checks allows players to make an EnemyScan of sorts in ''DungeonsAndDragons''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/TheSuffering'' has detailed entries of all freakish enemies in both games.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' didn't always have these, but the remakes of ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI I]]'' through ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI VI]]'' have them, as do some of the newer games.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' in particular, is known for its heavy use of PurpleProse and AntiquatedLinguistics in its monster descriptions. Killing a certain number of a given monster unlocks further monster lore, usually about whatever Loot item the creature drops. The lore gives implications that several monster species (like the early-game [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent werewolves]], and Malboro Kings) [[WasOnceAMan used to be humans]], and there are many ways that a slain person will later rise up as a zombie of some variety.
** Monsters in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'' have a hidden "Libra" statistic, usually less than 100. Completing that monster's Bestiary entry requires you to accumulate 1000 points. There is an accessory which speeds things up a little.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' Another Square Enix game also got one for the remake.
* ''VideoGame/BravelyDefault'' has one. As as part of the larger D's Journal. Which also has character profiles and tells [[PowerCopying what abilities you can learn from them]]. As the game is a GenreThrowback to the earliest final fantasy tiles (which as mentione avove have this feature in their remakes, this makes scene.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' preceded Bravely Default as a Square Enix game with this as part of a journal though. Like the above it also has Character profiles. In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' you can also use it to view their reaction commands (and how many times thy have been used), while ''Videogame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories'' and its remake also shows the cards you collected so far... Square Enix really likes this feature.
* ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' has one, though scanning in the first game (as well as the second) also provided a permanent benefit in that you could see the health bars of all further enemies of that type you'd encounter. ''Thousand-Year Door'' also avoided one or two time entries being LostForever if you checked Professor Frankly's trash can.
** ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'' turned this feature into a card collection sidequest. Monster cards didn't only detail its stats but also gave you an attack boost against it. Cards drop from enemies but can also be bought at stores... in true TCG-style booster packs.
* The ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' games, like the anime, have the Pokédex. It lists every Pokémon you've seen, and gives more details on the ones you've actually owned at some point (even if you've evolved, released, or traded them since). Since the series's third generation, all games begin with a regional Pokedex listing only the Mons native to an individual region, and upgrade it to the National Dex later (usually after beating the game), which lists every Mon in the series up to that point.
** The ''VideoGame/PokemonColosseum'' games do not give the player a Pokedex, but a "P*DA" instead which performs similar functions: The "Snag List" / "Shadow Monitor" options display information relating to Shadow Pokemon only, while the "Strategy Memo" displays information about any Mon the player has seen in battle. Like the ''VideoGame/PokemonStadium'' games before them, the player can also view and rotate the Mons' 3D models from any angle.
** The ''VideoGame/PokemonRanger'' series do not use a Pokedex either, but give the player a "Ranger Browser" which logs every Mon the player has defeated ("captured") in battle, and can search through them according to a Mon's field move or elemental Assist type.
** In fact, the makers have released the "Pokedex 3D", a 3DS app that is ''primarily'' a Monster Compendium, with a few other bonus features besides.
* The log function in the ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' series records not just enemy information, but almost anything you can scan, including item pickups, puzzle mechanisms, local/ancient lore, and so on.
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'' and ''Franchise/MassEffect'' both have a giant encyclopedia called a Codex that tells you tons about the setting.
* The free MMO ''VideoGame/AtlanticaOnline'' has an interesting variation in that each enemy of a type you kill has a chance to give you its Monster Info, split into three parts: General, Location and Items. Getting the complete Info also increases the amount of items dropped. The Info can be shared between players and is sometimes required for a certain quest, probably the most concrete use of this trope in gaming history. The game additonal also offers tons of information about [=NPCs=], items and other points of interest without the need to unlock it (though information about which monster drops items is obviously tied to the Monster Info).
* ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'' has the Battle Memory, which not only gives you info on all the enemies, but lets you practice fighting them in safety. Collecting all of them (including the front and back sprites) unlocks some extra features.
** Said compendium is ridiculously hard to complete, thanks to UniqueEnemy, LostForever, and the fact that the game moves on in chapters. If you're not following a guide all the time, it's impossible in practice. And if you can only fight an enemy one time, you'd better remember to turn it around to get the back sprite.
* The ''{{X-Com}}'' games have the [=UFOpedia=], which contained information on the enemies you had researched after capturing or killing them, as well as their ships, their weapons, their useless but interesting technology, and their society. It also contains all the relevant information on ''your'' ships, weapons, items, and base facilities, making it the one-stop-shop for any info you're looking for.
** [[Main/SpiritualSuccessor Spiritual Successor games]] like the ''VideoGame/UFOAfterBlank'' trilogy, ''VideoGame/UFOExtraterrestrials'' and ''VideoGame/{{Xenonauts}}'' feature a similar mechanic.
* The Tome of Knowledge in ''VideoGame/WarhammerOnline'' keeps track of the types and numbers of monsters you've killed. Killing certain numbers of them will sometimes reward the player with things like titles.
* ''ShinMegamiTenseiII'' had the demons you ally stored in the Compendium. This trend continued throughout the entire franchise, and has gameplay purposes beyond being a mere bestiary: as you [[FusionDance fuse together]] your demon allies, the original ones are lost. However, if you recorded your customized demons in the Compendium, you can summon them again and again as long as you have the funds, and use them once more as allies or fusion fodder. Additionally, more recent versions of the Compendium explain the mythology behind each demon.
* The original ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry'' contained elaborate monster descriptions which grew more detailed as you fought them, recording every attack they used against you. The sequels also have monster compendiums, but they only have short descriptions.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' gave Raine a title if you filled in 100% of all enemies. Fortunately, an enemy is logged in the book without scanning, so you don't need to scan any of them to get the prize. It's still a good idea to scan them, though, as it will give you information that simply seeing them won't (Health, Weaknesses, etc). However, to truly complete the book, you need to use Raine to scan them. Otherwise, you'll lack their location info.
** Repede of ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' had an ability that let him use a single Spectacles to scan every enemy in the enemy party, and another one that displayed the health bars of enemies that had been scanned.
** More importantly for Vesperia, building a compendium is one of the games major sidequests for one of your characters who is a monster hunter.
* ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'' had a detailed and illustrated encyclopedia of just about anything you encountered in the game, enemy or not.
* The ''AtelierSeries''.
* ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClank'': The second game features one.
* ''VideoGame/ShadowHearts'' has the Library, which adds entries for every monster you encounter. ''Covenant'' and ''From The New World'' add their stats and other pertinent information if you take the enemy's picture. There's a reward for getting every enemy; since the game is counting the FinalBoss you have to get it on a NewGamePlus.
* ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'' has the highly memorable autopsy reports conducted on anatomically impossible creatures by a man losing his mind from dealing with them.
* ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' keeps a database of all the [[TheHeartless Noise]] you've defeated. It also lists the pins that they drop, combined with the difficulty required, and drop rate. Of course, you actually have to have defeated them at whatever level for it to list. Cue a lot of players getting frustrated at [[ThatOneBoss Sho Minamimoto]], and the various [[BossInMookClothing Elephant Noise]].
* All modern ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' games have this, except ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaCircleOfTheMoon'', which [[CanonDiscontinuity doesn't count anyway]].
** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' puts it in the shop/library, which both [[PamphletShelf makes sense]], and [[{{Backtracking}} doesn't]].
* Several games in the ''WildArms'' series have this.
* ''{{R-Type}} Final'' has a compendium that slowly fills as you rack up kills against those enemies.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'':
** The [[VideoGameRemake DS remakes]] of ''[[VideoGame/DragonQuestIV IV]]'', ''[[VideoGame/DragonQuestV V]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/DragonQuestVI VI]]'' have the Big Book of Beasts, which shows you every type of enemy you've fought, as well as how many you've beaten, how easy they are to recruit in ''V'' (though you shouldn't trust [[RandomNumberGod those chances]] too much), what items you've gotten from them, and their in-battle sprite. You can even press A to see their attack animations.
** ''[[VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII VIII]]'' has a similar monster list, which also shows their character models and allows you to see their attack animations. Completing the monster list by defeating one of every monster (including bosses) netted you a secret item that would eliminate random encounters.
** ''[[VideoGame/DragonQuestIX IX]]'' had the defeated monster list, which showed the models, animations, and obtained drops of all the defeated monsters. The Thief ability "Eye For Trouble" added a second page of flavor text and revealed all the items the monster can drop.
* The [[VideoGameRemake VGA remake]] of ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryII'' adds a monster compendium to the game, which offers a lot of hints that are very useful due to the upgraded combat system. A new side-quest is also added to the game, and the compendium is the reward for completing that quest.
* ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' has an encyclopedia of monsters you encounter, all gorgeously illustrated. It also provides hints on any weaknesses the monster might have.
* ''Sabrewulf'' provides two compendiums, one for "[[MonsterAllies good creatures]]" and one for "[[{{Mooks}} bad creatures]]." Since the game emphasizes avoidance over combat, you get information on the latter as soon as they appear rather than having to defeat them first.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' features a sort of beastarium composed of statues of all the enemies (and the {{NPC}}s, too) with short descriptions of each. So how do you fill this out? Three statues at a time, one a [[InUniverseGameClock day/night cycle]]. [[IncrediblyLamePun Figures]].
* ''Operation Salvage'', the video game based on the ''WalkingWithBeasts'' series, includes a database which the player helps to fill by scanning animals and enemy equipment. It also includes information on your equipment, the plantlife in particular time periods, and a lot of other related information.
* Built up over multiple plays in ''VideoGame/{{Angband}}''. Your characters are assumed to pass down a log of their experiences. The first time one of your characters runs into a monster, you get minimal information. As you encounter more of them, do damage, and take damage, the log automatically fills with lower and upper bounds of damage, AC, and hit points. In most variants it will also record damage resistances and immunities, attack types, known spells and spell-like abilities, apparent intelligence, and so forth as these things become visible to the character.
** ''[[VideoGame/AncientDomainsOfMystery ADOM]]'' and ''{{Nethack}}'' also have their own varieties. ADOM comes complete with some [[EasterEgg easter eggs]] thrown in - try entering the Creator's name, the names of several playtesters, or the name of your own character.
* ''VideoGame/EndlessOcean'' has a non-violent version of this, as the player's whole role (before you start receiving [[spoiler:threatening e-mails that VaguenessIsComing]]) is to catalog the various creatures found around a fictional south Pacific coral reef. You do this by interacting with them.
* ''{{Mardek}}'' has an included Bestiary from its [[AllThereInTheManual Encyclopedia]] section, which also includes other information obtained throughout the game.
* The Flash game ''BubbleTanks 2'' has this. One of the enemies (Sapper Fighter) was unobtainable, however, as a bug in the game made it such that it never appeared at all.
* The Franchise/{{Gundam}} PlayStation2 RPG ''MS Saga: A New Dawn'' had one for all of the bad guys and it was possible to get all but one due to being out of the way and only available during one part early in the game.
* The console-based ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' has one for all characters and mecha, both good and evil. Even more, the pilots tend to have soundbites you can play where they say popular phrases. The same goes for its Gundam-only counterpart ''VideoGame/SDGundamGGeneration''
* ''VideoGame/Kirby64TheCrystalShards'' had a series of cards which could be collected at the end of a level. They depicted the monsters of the game, including the bosses.
* ''{{Opoona}}'' has the Rogue Book. Completing it is actually a sidequest you can get rewards for, and it's more difficult than it appears--some enemies are [[MetalSlime vanishingly rare.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}} 2'' allows you to not only view and read information about the creatures you encounter, but also throw bait at them to see how they would react to your Pikmin.
** And then Louie keeps an alternate log relating to how best to prepare the creature in question ''as a delicacy'' (if it's possible to do so).
* In the ''{{Bionicle}}'' video game ''Maze of Shadows'', there is one of these in the game that fills up with entries after you defeat the monsters.
* ''VideoGame/TheWitcher'' has an extensive bestiary. Note that you have to acquire that information first through various means. The entries give tips to the monsters' weaknesses and many body parts/alchemy ingredients you can only collect if you have the appropriate entry.
* The ''{{VideoGame/Touhou}}'' UniverseCompendium ''[[http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Perfect_Memento_in_Strict_Sense Perfect Memento in Strict Sense]]'' is also one of these, the only official source for information on the various {{youkai}} that inhabit Gensoukyou.
* ''VideoGame/YoshisIsland DS'' has a ''museum'' of enemies (obtained by defeating them with an egg).
* VideoGame/{{Serious Sam}}'s NETRICSA provides this for each new enemy Sam kills, except the bosses, whose description pops out as soon as they do.
* ''VideoGame/WarioMasterOfDisguise'' has a subsection on the treasure guide that lists every enemy Wario has defeated, along with a description of them. If you haven't defeated the enemy yet, there will be a silhouette of them. The bosses, however, do not have a silhouette and have their own pages that appear after completing the level.
* The ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendaryStarfy Starfy]]'' series has these. In the first 4 games, you get entries by talking to friendly characters and defeating enemies (And getting damaged by the invincible ones). In ''The Legendary Starfy'', they are unlocked via a [[LuckBasedMission random-chance toy machine]], which makes getting the last few entries a pain.
* ''VideoGame/MapleStory'' has a codex that stores information on enemies the player has killed after the player obtains the larger cards with a colored background they have a chance to drop, after which they can see that enemy's health, mana, and item drops. The game tries its best to prevent monsters from becoming LostForever, such as the Prime Minister boss in the Mushroom Kingdom level who can only be fought once but has his card obtainable from a friendly NPC in case the player misses it.
* The "Monster Notes" in ''[[VideoGame/DarkCloud Dark Chronicle]]''. Alternatively, Sheriff Blinkhorn can fill this role.
* ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombies'' has the Suburban Almanac, which not only contains info on the zombies, it also gives info about your own plants.
* Likewise, the [[FollowTheLeader similar]] ''VideoGame/MiniRobotWars'' also has a similar concept with the good Minirobots and evil Machines.
* ''KingdomOfLoathing'' has the [[BribingYourWayToVictory donation item]] Monster Manuel, which records monster stats and gives out amusing factoids as you defeat them.
* The Tome of Knowledge in ''VideoGame/BookwormAdventures'', which allows you to replay the enemies' attack, hit & defeat animations, as well as read their flavor text. In ''Volume 2'', it also lists the {{Easter egg}}s you've found, as well as mention which work (if any) each enemy is inspired by.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}} gives us the Hierarchy of Laguna, which provides you with a summary of what the enemy in question's role is and where they rank amongst the other angels (First Sphere, Second Sphere etc).
* In the VideoGame/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban video game, Professor Lupin gives you such a compendium,for some reason only containing a Dementor when first obtained.
-->'''Lupin:''' [[LampshadeHanging It has a few pages missing, but I'm sure you'll be able to find them at Hogwarts.]]
* ''{{Mousehunt}}'' has one for all the mice that can be caught in the game. It also features FlavorText and shows the number you have caught.
* While it's not the main focus of it, the trophy collection in the ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' series doubles as this, especially in ''Brawl'', as it features a trophy and profile for every non playable enemy in the games.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* ''TheMonsterGirlEncyclopedia'', a bestiary dedicated to cataloging all the different kinds of {{Cute Monster Girl}}s in the world.
* The WanderersLibrary has two books that serve this purpose, [[http://wanderers-library.wikidot.com/system:page-tags/tag/howes-bestiary#pages Howe's Bestiary]] and [[http://wanderers-library.wikidot.com/system:page-tags/tag/the-spirit-world#pages The Spirit World]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Other ]]

* See the IndexOfFictionalCreatures.

[[/folder]]
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