[[quoteright:188:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MR_4_8735.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:188:[[AmericanKirbyIsHardcore American MR4 is Hardcore]]]]

[floatboxright:
* Anime:
** Anime/MonsterRancher
* Main series:
** ''Monster Rancher''/ ''Monster Farm''
** ''Monster Rancher 2''
** ''Monster Rancher 3''
** ''Monster Rancher 4''
** ''VideoGame/MonsterRancherEvo''/''Monster Farm 5''
** ''Monster Rancher Advance''
** ''Monster Rancher Advance 2''
** ''Monster Farm DS''
** ''Monster Rancher DS''/''Monster Farm DS 2''
** ''Monster Rancher Online''
* SpinOff games:
** ''VideoGame/MonsterRancherHopABout''
** ''VideoGame/MonsterRancherBattleCardGame''
*** ''Monster Rancher Battle Card Game Episode II''
** ''Monster Rancher Explorer''
]

''Note: If you're looking for the anime of the series, [[{{Anime/Monster Rancher}} go here]]''.

How can you describe ''Monster Rancher''? Take the {{Mons}} fad of the late Nineties and early Noughties. Throw it into a [[SimulationGame simulation/management game]]. Add an action-oriented battle system unlike just about anything else out there, a unique method of obtaining monsters, and some [[NintendoHard truly unforgiving gameplay]]. [[GenreBusting Put it all in a blender and press "puree."]] Season to taste with a few odd RPG elements, and you have the ''Monster Rancher'' series in a nutshell. [[note]]Or perhaps a pumpkin shell, considering the Panchoes...[[/note]]

''Monster Rancher'' (known as ''Monster Farm'' in Japan) is a console and handheld RPG franchise that combines the heart-pounding battling action and cute critters of a {{Mons}} series with the strategy and challenge of a simulation and management game. The premise of most games? You (yes, you, the player) have recently become a "monster breeder"--someone who raises and trains monsters to, well, do what monsters generally do--to fight. Monster battles are an extremely popular sport, and there's good money in raising strong monsters and winning lots of battles. You have a farm or ranch (as the title implies), and every week, you and your monster engage in some activity. You can train them by putting them through exercise routines, go battle, and, occasionally, go on adventures to various regions. The ultimate goal? ToBeAMaster and win the ultimate cup of the game, whatever that may be. But nothing lasts forever, and eventually, your epic monster will grow old--you must either retire them, or "fuse" them into a new, baby monster and start again. Although a few games have deviated from the basic formula slightly (most strikingly, VideoGame/MonsterRancherEVO which is one long UnexpectedGameplayChange), but in every ''Monster Rancher'' game, you know you'll find certain traits.

The series has gained some renown among gamers for its extremely unique means of obtaining monsters: Rather than running out and catching them, as is the case in most {{Mons}} series, you create monsters from "saucer stones." And what are saucer stones? Ordinary [=CDs=] and [=DVDs=]! By reading something known as "subcode data" off of [=CDs=], games in the ''Monster Rancher'' franchise create monsters from pretty much any disc you can stuff into your Playstation. When the series progressed to the Game Boy Advance, it switched to using "passwords" (simple combinations of letters and numbers). And when the series went to the Nintendo DS, it got ''three'' new methods of monster creation: Sound (by using the DS microphone), drawings (using the DS touchscreen), and, in a nod to the originals, by reading the data found on GBA carts in the DS's GBA slot.

Despite its semi-famous gimmick, though, ''Monster Rancher'' itself remains something of a cult series, at least in America. (It's pretty well known in its native Japan, though.) It ''did'' spawn its own late-90's anime series, though, and it did air stateside. If you're looking for a brainier {{Mons}} game, you could do worse than this series--''Monster Rancher Advance 2'' is recommended if you're a total newbie, as it's relatively forgiving compared to other ''Monster Rancher'' games.

And it's still only relatively. Another thing about ''Monster Rancher'' games? They're hard. ''[[NintendoHard Really]]'' hard. This is partially due to their depth--despite looking fairly simple, there's a ''lot'' that goes on in the background. There are, in fact, entire websites dedicated to plumbing their depths. [[http://www.monster-rancher-metropolis.com Here's a pretty good one]] should you happen to need one. And you most likely will--[[GuideDangIt trust me]].

''Monster Rancher'' isn't a series to everyone's taste, unlike say, {{Main/Pokemon}}, but if you get into them, they're actually quite rewarding. There's nothing quite as satisfying as beating an [[InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons enormous fire-spewing, skeletal white dragon]] with an [[CuteMonsterGirl adorable, pink-fuzz-covered little girl-monster called a "Pixie."]]

Not to be confused with [[VideoGame/MonsterHunter Monster]] ''[[VideoGame/MonsterHunter Hunter]]''. If you should find Hunters on your Ranch, be prepared for some ''intense'' territorial disputes. Also not to be confused with ''VideoGame/MonsterRacers'', which is a racing game.

VideoGame/MonsterRancherEvo, VideoGame/MonsterRancherHopABout and VideoGame/MonsterRancherBattleCardGame now have their own pages. For information on the various breeds, check out the Characters/MonsterRancherSpecies character page (which needs help).

----
!!The games provide examples of:

* ActionCommands: They're not quite standard "action commands," but the battle system ''is'' action-oriented without the games being full-on action-{{RPG}}s.
* AfterTheEnd: In the distant past, there was a horrible disaster that caused the gods to send down monsters to help people. Some monster descriptions (especially in ''2'') suggests that the "ancient age" was, in fact, our own. Other games, however, don't seem to have this, and are just set in an AnachronismStew world of their own.
* AmericanKirbyIsHardcore: Fleria, the assistant from ''3'', was aged for the US release.
** The more typical cover art variation appears too. The most noticeable is for ''Monster Ranchers 4''. The [[http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/bigboxshots/0/914760_27365_front.jpg Japanese cover]] is cute, bright, and colorful - just the protagonist running with an array of monsters. The [[http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/bigboxshots/0/914760_front.jpg American cover]] has a Suezo glaring intensely at us with a blocky picture of the protagonist and some monsters in his eye, set to a black background.
* AnimatedArmor: The Durahan species.
* AntlionMonster: If you send a monster out on errantry in the desert themed area, the third hazard it needs to get past is a "Giant Antlion". If it succeeds, it manages to run up the sides of the sand pit, if it fails, it falls into it.
* ArtEvolution: Some of the monster's designs have changed so many times, it's hard to figure out which is the "canonical" version. Many monsters have gone through an art shift or two, but there are some standouts:
** Mew: Its original form had a much smaller head, looked as much like a bear as it did a cat, and was called "Nya." Later games flip-flopped between just how "plush" it was--it went from "not very plush at all" (such as in ''3'' and ''Advance 2'') to having a gingham pattern, and its button eyes fluctuated between designs.
** Plant: The Plant originally had three flower heads, with a much different, 3-petaled design, as well as a barely-visible mouth. Later Plants had just one, giant flower, with five petals and a prominent CatSmile.
** Golem: You wouldn't think that you could do much to change a giant rock monster, but both its "connectedness" and its head have changed a lot. Golems have ranged from having a very humanoid, Egyptian mask-like face to a simple, flat rock with eyes on it, to many in-betweens. In some games, the rock parts of its limbs visibly float apart, while it others, it's fully connected unless it's doing a special attack.
** Color Pandora: Originally depicted as one big caterpillar, with the three "parts" of it only splitting up for certain attacks. It had small noses and more generally "cute" faces. The version in ''3'' split it up into three parts, and was even cuter, with no noses at all. Later games gave them huge noises, and significantly [[{{Gonk}} cut back on the cute.]]
** Joker: Quite possibly the most variable one of the lot, the Joker changed almost completely from its first incarnation--where it was mostly corporeal, and had a MonsterClown face--to its second, where it became a floating spirit with RaymanianLimbs and a blank mask face. Then ''that'' changed into a fierce, floating humanoid head.
* ArtShift: ''Monster Rancher 3'' was the first entry to drastically redesign the monsters' appearance, skewed towards {{Kawaii}}. Perhaps best represented by the Jells, which went from humanoid slimes to 'cuddly' balls of goo.
* ArtificialStupidity: In any battle where your monster is forced to "fight for itself," without your instructions--well, let's just say you'll swear they were never that dumb when ''you'' were training them.
* AwesomeButImpractical: Due to their high cost and frequently low accuracy, super-powerful moves tend to be a lot less effective overall than smaller moves used more frequently.
* BlindIdiotTranslation: Various games across the series have had translation quirks, but the standout is probably ''Battle Card'' for the GameBoy--the whole thing is a mess of pea-souper Engrish.
** Monster Rancher 2 had quite a few, including such gems as "I wonder it buds the flower?".
* [[HairColorDissonance Body Armor Color Dissonance]]: In official art, and in the Game Boy Advance games, Zans are depicted as being a teal color (and in the GBA games, even create dark teal hybrids). However, in the console games, Zans and their hybrids are ''black!'' We don't get it either.
* BoringButPractical: Consequently, spamming your opponent with many smaller moves can be more effective than trying to pull off big ones. The downside of this is that you need to be accurate, or you won't be able to KO the enemy fast enough.
** Withering tactics. Using guts burning moves to make your opponent unable to attack or only able to attack with low-class moves.
* BloodKnight: Jokers often ask you to participate in fights, and enjoy it thoroughly. Also Nagas and any monster whose Like trait is fixated on battles.
* BonusBoss: Lots. There are monsters that come from bonus tournaments after becoming Master rank, secret matches, post credit battles, unlocked monsters, and more. However the second game is still the king of this trope. There's the enemy class monsters from errantry (Rank A and S) and Legend Cup (the infamous Most and Poritoka). The IMA vs FIMBA match is notable since it's not only hardest in the entire game, it's also the most GuideDangIt.
** Advance 2 has a notable one in Ragnaroks. It's only accessible by raising a specific monster, but is necessary to unlock a few Dragon types.
* BrotherChuck: Unlike Pokemon, which adds old monsters to new ones, Monster Rancher shuffles its cast around, with some monsters vanishing (and others [[ContinuityNod suddenly reappearing after a long absence]]). With 71 total breeds and only about 20-30 coded into each game, odds are that your favorite monster won't be available in a new game, unless you happen to like only the mascots Suezo, Tiger, Mocchi, Pixie, Hare, and Golem.
** Quite possibly the most bizarre case of this is ''Advance 1''--Hare, considered the most popular monster in Japan and one of the series' staples, ''wasn't present!'' It was back good as new for ''Advance 2,'' though.
* CallASmeerpARabbit: the Tiger is a blue wolf with horns, not feline at all.
** Further confusion stems from the Japanese name of Hare. There, it's called "Ham," short for Hamster. But even its early designs (before the name was scrapped) were still clearly a rabbit!
* TheCameo: By using other Tecmo games as spawners, you can unlock monsters modeled after [[{{Deception}} Ardebaran]], [[FatalFrame Miku Hinasaki]], Doctor Dance from ''Unison'', [[Videogame/DeadOrAlive Kasumi]], and many others.
** Holly, the first game's breeder's assistant, appears as a monster breeder herself in the second game to fight you.
* {{Cap}}: Your monster's stats usually cap at 999. In newer games, they can go as high as 2000, but your monster's stats then have a ''combined stat cap.''
* CherryTapping: And ''how.''
* CleavageWindow: A standard part of the Pixie attire.
* CloneDegeneration: Sueki Suezo in 2 dies after only one week, and is stated to be a man-made monster based on Suezo.
* ComboPlatterPowers: Some monsters have an unusual combination of abilities. Mocchi is probably the most obvious of these, given how it's a JackOfAllStats--it can change size, has a dangerous lick attack, summons magical cherry blossom winds, ''and'' can shoot FrickinLaserBeams.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: "That move only had a 25% chance of hitting! How'd he pull it off ''three times in a row?!''"
* ContinuingIsPainful: Although you won't necessarily get kicked out of a tournament if your monster is KO'd (unless it's explicitly a tier-style tournament), your monster may get severely injured if it's KO'd.
** In the first game in the series, if you had low enough will when receiving a blow of sufficient power, your monster could die in the ring.
* ContinuityNod: Lots of references to earlier games in the series pop up throughout the games, and species that haven't been heard from in several games may suddenly be referenced (or even become available) again.
** To unlock Phoenix in ''Advance 2,'' you need to raise members of five specific species and gain their "orbs." These five species--Mocchi, Suezo, Tiger, Hare, and Golem--were the five protagonist monsters of the anime, and it references their role in finding the Phoenix.
** ''[[MonsterRancherEvo EVO]]'s'' ExpositionFairy is Bajarl--a monster who hasn't been seen since ''MR2'' on the original PlayStation.
** In the first ''Monster Rancher Advance'' game, you can get a White Mocchi by using the password "Most"--the name of the infamous White Mocchi BonusBoss in ''2.'' Same case with "Pabs", from the name of Most's owner.
** The code "Tesla" produces White Suezo, as a nod to Poritoka, the BonusBoss in 2.
** In ''2,'' it's stated that a dragon called "Ragnaroks" was responsible for the destruction of the ancient world. In ''Advance 2,'' you get to raise a monster version of TheChosenOne to fight it and keep it from destroying the world again.
* CreepyDoll: Wracky from 2. The first time you get it, your assistant not only is freaked out by its appearance but is quite disapproving of its character. Even better, she names it Charles, a ShoutOut to ''Film/ChildsPlay.''
* CriticalHit
* CrutchCharacter: Exaggerated (and possibly parodied) with Sueki Suezo in 2. It has maxed out life and defense, one speed point, and other stats that are awesome for a monster straight from the disc. [[spoiler: It dies in a week]].
* CuteMachines: The Metalner species from 2. Also doubles as a RobotBuddy once you train one of them.
* CuteMonsterGirl: The Pixies.
* DanceBattler
* DarkerAndEdgier: The plot of ''[=MR4=]'' addresses the problem of monsters being abused, mistreated and experimented on. Your trainer has a DarkAndTroubledPast, and so does your assistant Rio. Then there's her [[spoiler: visions of monsters being ''crucified'' by an evil army]].
** Ironically, MR4 actually does away with the death feature despite being DarkerAndEdgier. Of course, this isn't necessarily a bad thing...
* DeathOrGloryAttack: A major feature in the movesets of both Colorpandora and Suzurin. Colorpandoras have many strongly-damaging moves, but said moves also do damage to the Colorpandora themselves, meaning Colorpandoras tend to get high HP to compensate. Suzurins favor moves with a fairly low hit rate, but one hit is often all they need.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Rio, your assistant in ''[=MR4=]''.
* DifficultButAwesome: The games as a whole, really. Certain monsters as well, which appear to suffer from CripplingOverspecialization, can be turned to the player's advantage with the right training.
** Dragon is more or less an in-universe example.
* DinosaursAreDragons: Dinos/Zuums can learn powerful fire breath attacks.
* DiscOneNuke: In ''[=MR2=]'', using the a save data from the first game, you can transfer your monster from the first game as a newborn monster in the second game, albeit with an altered stats to logically match a newborn monster, which is based on how good the first game version are. A properly trained monster from the first game can produce a monster with a much better stats than a newborn monster that you get from the Market and the Shrine, which make the early part of the game much more easier.
** Alternatively using the first game as a Disc Stone in the second game produces a Sueki Suezo who has MASSIVE all around stats including one maxed stats. The Sueki Suezo can only survive for one week, but you can use it to win a couple of Tournaments, including the Free-for-alls to get an extra cash to work with. It is also useful to unlock a couple of a monster breeds.
** In the Advance game, entering a proper password can give you a great monster even early in the game. Of course, the problem is the fact that having said proper password [[GuideDangIt without a guide]] turns it into a LuckBasedMission.
* EarlyBirdCameo: ''Monster Rancher Explorer,'' a GB spinoff game, "previewed" several species of monster before they showed up in the main series: Octopee, Gitan, Pancho, Psyroller/Rhinoroller, and Suzurin.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The first Monster Rancher game features Dinos instead of Zuums, a strange design for the Mew (here called Nya), and ''no Mocchis...'' among other things, like training taking the form of odd jobs and errands that earn you money. It's rather bizarre in comparison to other games in the series.
* EmbarrassingFirstName: Cleo in DS--Call her "Cleopatra" and die.
** Ditto with Colt in ''2'' (her full name being Coltia) and Cue in the Battle Card spinoff (her full name being Curie).
* EvilCounterpart: The Jokers are the evil counterparts of the Gali--both are floating robes with a mask for a face, but Galis have a sunny, godlike appearance (and are even hinted to be gods incarnate), while Jokers are dark, bloodied, and are said to be too fierce to be thought of as normal monsters.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: The Hares are... giant rabbits. [[KillerRabbit Giant rabbits of adorable cuddly death.]]
** Also subverted with the Tigers. What do they sound like? Uh-huh. They're actually wolves.
** See also: Dragons, Phoenixes, Worms, and Dinos.
*** Also, [[WhenTreesAttack Plants.]]
** Then there's Ghost from ''1'' and ''2''.
* ExcusePlot: Except in ''4'' and ''EVO''.
* ExpendableClone: Letting a bunch of Sueki Suezos die is a fast way to get a Ghost in 2.
* {{Expy}}: Quite rampant in the early days of the series. A few of the more "redundant" monsters seem to have been resigned to the "obsolete" bin due to their expy nature, though a ContinuityNod or two will reference them again. In particular:
** The Zuums replaced the Dinos in every non-spinoff game since the first. Spinoffs still used them, but as of Monster Rancher 4, it seems to have been RetConned to a subtype of Zuum.
** The Undine is essentially a watery expy of the Pixie, with no wings and a Jell-like body. Both are also {{Cute Monster Girl}}s. Since the Pixie is one of the Big 6, it stayed around while the Undine has been somewhat forgotten. (In fact, in 4, there's an ordinary Pixie subspecies called Undine now.)
** The Beaklon and the Worm are both brown insects with big horns, while the Worm is more "larval." In fact, [[GuideDangIt it was possible to carefully raise your Worm to become a Beaklon]] in ''[=MR2=]''. They also tend to create similar styles of subbreeds. The newer Beaklon has remained while the old Worm has only popped up in the online games.
** The Momo (3) has a very similar raising style to the Kato (2), with very high Speed and decent Attack and Int, but low Defense and Life. They also have some similar attacks (sharp claws, tail whipping) and both carry {{Iconic Item}}s (Katos have bottles of sake/"oil", Momos have giant walnuts). However, Momos are more "cute" in design.
** [[OurGhostsAreDifferent Ghost]] from ''1'' and ''2'' looks like [[CasperTheFriendlyGhost Casper]] except without legs, a beige tint, and a magician's hat.
* {{Fartillery}}: The Hares have a "Gas" attack that does ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. Bakus also have the "Foul Wind" attack, which... well, you know. Also, the Apes have their "Blast" attacks that are even more dead-on than the Hares' version.
* FinalDeath
* FlyingSeafoodSpecial: Ogyos can fly gracefully through the air.
* FragileSpeedster: The Tigers, though their fragility varies with the game you're playing. And to a lesser extent, Hares, and exclusively to 2, Kato. Then there's Hopper.
** 4 has Ripper, which has good speed and is known particularly for its accuracy, but is very fragile.
* FrickinLaserBeams: Any monster that has attacks named "Beam", "Ray", or any other name variant. Mocchi's [[SerialEscalation Ray/Beam/Cannon]] and Suezo's Eye Beam are clear-cut examples.
* FurBikini: The Pixies.
* GameBreakingBug: ''DS'' (the translated version of Japan's ''DS 2'') seems to be positively riddled with them. Most of them are freezing bugs, which are nasty since resetting the game incurs massive monster penalties--the most peculiar of which involves monsters finding textureless white items during the Kawrea Volcano errantry. But one Magic Spell glitch can ''prevent you from combining monsters forever.'' Ouch.
* GeniusBruiser: Dragons have very high attack and intelligence, balanced out by sub-par speed, very slow guts regenartion, and extremely short lifespan.
* GenreShift: ''VideoGame/MonsterRancherEVO,'' which was much closer to a standard RPG (with, uh, rhythm game elements) than a simulation game (which Monster Ranchers traditionally are).
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: The card entry for the [[Videogame/DeadOrAlive Kasumi]] (Pixie/???) monster says "Its breasts tend to get more attention than its battles". Could possibly averted by the fact that the first Dead of Alive game, which is required to get the monster in the first place, is rated M.
** Your MsFanservice rival in ''4'' is named Teetee.
* GlassCannon: The Hares; they have high speed and physical attack, but their average HP and Defense are... lacking. On 2, Katos are intelligence versions of Hare. Suezo has good accuracy and attack stats, but lacks in speed, defense and life. In some games, a monster can't become a pure GlassCannon due to Power and Intelligence factoring into defense calculations.
* {{God}}: Oddly enough. He appears only in the backstory, however; a disaster struck the world, the people called for help, and the monsters of the game were the result. Then the monsters only caused more problems, so God, exasperated, sealed them away in disc stones.
* {{Gonk}}: The current design for the Colorpandora is ''far'' less cute then its two previous designs. Although, some people find them to be UglyCute.
* GoodBadTranslation: Some of the series' less-good translations over the years have gone on to become classics. "Durahan" is an example of JapaneseRanguage, but calling the monster "Dullahan" (after the actual mythological creature it's based on) would just feel... ''wrong.'' Similarly, the Hare/Pancho cross has been called "Jackoranta" since its first appearance, even if that has the same problem.
** The word "Errantry" [[YouKeepUsingThatWord does not mean what it's supposed to mean in-series]]--it means "acting like a knight-errant," not "going on an adventure"--but like other things, it's stuck.
* GrievousHarmWithABody: The Color Pandora often attack by throwing one of their segments at an enemy. A lot of their attacks do recoil damage too, making them risky.
* GuideDangIt: [[GuideDangIt/MonsterRancher Has its own subpage for them.]] The games make you think they seem accessible to a casual gamer, but when you're about to get started, you'll soon realize that they aren't Pokemon..
* HardWorkHardlyWorks: A sort of meta-example in ''DS.'' In all the previous games, the idea has ''always'' been: even if you're training a Gali, Monol, or Magic--which are supposedly ''[[OlympusMons gods in human form]]''--you have to train hard and work a lot to get a truly butt-whooping monster. Then the DS game introduces the Xenon species, which is [[LightningBruiser better at everything]] and can dominate with its ''basic attacks'' due to their high damage, accuracy, and Guts drop rates. Sorry, Gali...
* HappyBirthdayToYou: In ''2,'' Colt comes up with various... uh... "creative" birthday songs for your monster. The monster doesn't always approve.
** In ''DS,'' it's worth noting, the devs got away with using the ''lyrics'' to Happy Birthday, but not the melody.
* HappyFunBall: Lots of monster species fall into this category.
** The Mew is just a stuffed kitty brought to life...with wolverine claws. One of its attacks involve shacking a rattle in front of an enemy with one paw as a distraction before stabbing him in the face with the other.
** The Ducken is a children's wooden block toy in the shape of a duck. It tends to fall apart when it's disappointed.
** The Doodle is a living stick figure. It attacks by blowing up its own head, summoning giant stiletto heels from the sky to stomp on its opponents, and by running them over with a chicken on wheels. No, really.
** The Monol is even better. It's a ''giant floating faceless rectangular slab of rock.''
*** That's because it's a ShoutOut to TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey
** The Gali is a cape with an Aztec sun mask for a face. It is also able to create psychic projections of limbs for physical attacks.
* HelloInsertNameHere: [[JustifiedTrope Justified]], as the protagonist in most of the games is supposed to be ''you,'' the player.
** And your {{Mons}} are nameable too. Which can cause [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential abuse]] and [[HilarityEnsues giggles]], like with Colt, your assistant in ''2'' saying things like "My butt is well".
** Subverted in ''4''; while you can name your character whatever you like, your character is only male, unlike the previous games whether you can choose to be male or female, and [[spoiler: later revealed to have a DarkAndTroubledPast.]]
* HolidayMode: ''DS'' uses this with a weird combination of VideoGameTime. In the in-game week that would correspond to your real-world birthday, you'll get a free gift--so if your birthday was August 25th, you'd get a present in the fourth week of August.
* HotLibrarian: One of the characters in MR4 tries to invoke this (she claims her boss likes it when she dresses that way).
* IconicSequelCharacter: Mocchis are considered one of the "core 6" monsters, but they didn't debut until ''MonsterRancher 2.''
* IdleAnimation: Very nice "standard" animations for all the monsters, too.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Not only do some monsters attack with things like yodels, walnuts, and ''bells'', but there's an entire ''species'' of monster (the Monol) that is pretty much its own improbable weapon.
* InconsistentDub: Is it Ducken or Dakkung? Colorpandora or Koropendora? Zuum or Zoom? To say nothing of the "Mew/Nya" debate, where the fandom is still divided on whether or not they're separate species.
** In ''4'', the Ancient Documents you can collect are filled with misspellings and a complete inability to keep the gods' names straight... ''even in the same entry''.
** Similarly, even in games which use the "Colorpandora" rendition of that particular monster's name, they still tend to use "Koro" to refer to the original monster units (Like the Puppy Koro).
* JackOfAllStats: Mocchis. Unlike many other monsters, which have large spikes in certain stats and large drops in others, Mocchis have fairly balanced stats all around, and even their "weaker" areas don't tend to be too terrible. Zuums as well.
* JokeCharacter: Some {{Hidden Character}}s from some games could be considered this, due to their ridicule nature and the fact they never appear again. Since they are sometimes very strong, that makes them [[LethalJokeCharacter LethalJokeCharacters]]. Particularly [[http://monsterrancher.wikia.com/wiki/Bajarl Bajarl]] (a genie like creature), [[http://monsterrancher.wikia.com/wiki/Disk Disk]] (a living monster disk), [[http://monsterrancher.wikia.com/wiki/Doodle Doodle]] (a living Stick-man) and [[http://monsterrancher.wikia.com/wiki/Wracky Wracky]] (a Chucky-like doll).
* KamehameHadoken
* [[KavorkaMan Kavorka Mon]]: The Suezo species is the monster version of this. Everyone in-universe wants one, despite the fact that they're well-acknowledged as selfish and lazy.
* KilledOffForReal: Your monsters ''die'' when they get old. You can't get them back.
** Averted with the Phoenix species in ''2'', which just fly away to 'return to nature' whenever they get too old, what with Phoenixes being known for their reincarnation, and all. The effect is pretty much the same, though. They never return.
*** The same might be said for Metalners, except instead of flying off to unknown parts of the planet, they fly back to their home planet.
* [[KillerRabbit Killer Hare]]
* LastLousyPoint: Mention Octochrome to a hardcore Monster Rancher Advance 2 player. Watch the tears start to form.
* LetsPlay: Skillfully done by Mr. Swoon, there's a Let's Play for [[http://lparchive.org/LetsPlay/Monster%20Rancher/ the first game]] and [[http://lparchive.org/LetsPlay/Monster%20Rancher%202/ the second game]], where the main character is an abusive drunk.
** [=LordSmapy=] [[AndZoidberg and aichon]] do [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m12w7R3l_M8 a video LP of MR1]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSLRKWdn1n8 a video LP of MR3]].
** There's also one of [[http://lparchive.org/Monster-Rancher-4/ the fourth game]] by [=FredMSloniker=].
** [=BlueThePrairiedog=] has a video Let's Play of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR7-A8hJV7o MR: EVO up.]]
* LimitedMoveArsenal: Type 1 for 1 and 2, Type 2 for 3. Averted in the fourth.
* LightningBruiser: Tons of them based on stats growth. Xenons in the DS game are some of the more notable examples. Mocchi is naturally this in the second game. Other than that, combinations can result in this both starting stats wise and stats growth wise.
* LostForever: Unfortunately, due not to programming but to {{Game Breaking Bug}}s.
* LostInTranslation: In Japanese, a particular Dragon is named 'Muu', which means darkness or emptiness. In English, he's named 'Moo'. Yes, after the sound a cow makes.
* MagikarpPower: ''Every single monster,'' more or less.
** Wracky in 2, especially by this trope's standards. He has pathetic starting stats and is a pain to raise. He can be one of the most lethal {{Fragile Speedster}}s in the game if trained right, and he has the longest lifespan in the game.
** Colorpandora. Pathetic stats, but REALLY good and varied movepool and a long lifespan gave it a huge potential.
* ManaDrain: Guts drain, actually. ''Loads'' of moves use this.
* MascotMook: The "core 6"/"big 6" monster species are the six species usually considered to be representative of the series as a whole. They are: BigBadassWolf Tiger, RidiculouslyCuteCritter (with a side order of [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins penguin]]) Mocchi, EyeballMonster Suezo, StoneWall {{Golem}}, literal KillerRabbit Hare, and CuteMonsterGirl Pixie. Notably, all of them (except for Pixie) were main protagonists in the anime series, with Pixie being the primary of the QuirkyMinibossSquad.
* MightyGlacier: The Golem species. Their attack is so high, they can defeat many monsters in one hit and they can soak up damage like a sponge--but they're sssssoo ssssslow...
** Beaklons are pretty much an insect Expy of the Golem. High attack. High Defense. Slow as molasses.
** Durahans are also incredibly strong and tough, with their horrible speed being their only real weakness. Unlike Golems and Beaclons, they won't miss constantly due to a decent skill stat. They also have longer lifespans and are easier to raise.
* {{Mons}}
* TheMonolith: The Monol race of monsters, a StockShoutOut to [[ASpaceOdyssey 2001: A Space Odyssey]]
* [[WizardNeedsFoodBadly Monster Needs Food Badly]]
* MsFanservice: Pixies and their sub-breeds.
** Teetee in ''4''.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Central to the main plot of ''4'': [[spoiler: Phayne [[SilentScapegoat took the fall]] when his friend Wit broke the school's biggest rule and read the forbidden book. Wit goes on to unseal and revive the ultimate evil.]]
* NintendoHard: One of the many common complaints among casual gamers, which reduced the series to [[CultClassic cult status]]. They've gotten slightly easier recently. Slightly. The first two Playstation games, however, were absolutely ''merciless.''
* NoExportForYou: The first DS game was never released outside Japan. However, thankfully, its sequel was released in August 2010.
** Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Monster Farm Online, the MMORPG. Even if you go through the trouble of singing up for a Japanese account, you can't play it because it blocks all foreign [=IPs=].
* NoFairCheating: Turn off the DS game without saving, and the monster's combining potential will be drastically lowered.
* {{Notzilla}}: The Zilla (not to be confused with the Toho monster of the same name) class monsters are a PunnyName parody of Godzilla. They look like a cross between a whale and an ape [[BilingualBonus (The name "Gojira" is a combonation of the words "Kujira" (Japanese for "Whale") and "Gorilla" meaning it literally translates into "Whale Ape").]]
* NumberedSequels
* {{Oculothorax}}: Suezo's race.
* OddballInTheSeries: ''EVO,'' definitely. The shift towards a more traditional RPG might make sense, but we really don't know what to make of the fact that monsters now gain stats through a rhythm game.
* OddlyNamedSequel: ''VideoGame/MonsterRancherEVO.'' (Which is a MarketBasedTitle; it was properly numbered 5 in Japan.)
* {{Obake}}: The Baku species, although they don't seem to bear much resemblance to their mythical counterparts. Also, the Ripper species.
* OurCentaursAreDifferent: The Centaur species may look vaguely humanoid, but they are not human in the truest sense of the word.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: They are mostly based on the Western variant, although a few sub-breeds follow the Eastern variety.
* OurMermaidsAreDifferent: The Undine species from Monster Rancher 2 have a rather transparent, Jell-like appearance and can even float in the air. They are similar to Pixies but tend to favor a lot more magical attacks than physical ones.
* PaletteSwap: More or less every monster was this in the Advance games. They all had different stats and growth patterns, though.
* PamphletShelf: The Ancient Texts in ''4'' are supposedly ancient books that you can have translated for you. Volumes average two to four 'pages', usually with only one sentence per page.
* ProtagonistWithoutAPast: [[JustifiedTrope Justified]]. ''You'' are the protagonist of most games.
** In ''Monster Rancher 4'', however, the hero does have a past, which comes into play as you progress.
* QuicksandBox: Part of what makes the games NintendoHard.
* RareCandy: In various installments of the game, there are items which are basically steroids: You can stuff your monster full of them to increase their stats, but it greatly decreases their lifespan in the process.
** The DS game provides a tamer varient with the Ability Fruits. They increase one of your monster's stats by a small amount. However, since they can be found in large amounts on errantries, you can in fact earn some decent stat gains from exploring.
* RelationshipValues
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter: Mocchis, Mews, Lesiones, Suzurins, Panchos, Octopees, and Hares.
* RocketPunch: Golems, Arrowheads, and Hengers employ this kind of move. Henger can combine this with ThisIsADrill for better results.
* SaveScumming: Trying to raise that perfect monster? You'll find yourself saving and resetting ''a lot.''
** Try that in Monster Rancher DS, and combined monsters will be much weaker.
* SchizoTech: Present in all the games, as well as the anime.
* SequelFirst: The original ''Monster Rancher'' never came out in PAL regions--instead, its sequel, ''Monster Rancher 2'', came out first with the number dropped. This caused certain aspects of the anime and the spinoff games to become cases of MarthDebutedInSmashBros--the Dino species were MR1 only.
** Similarly, the original DS game never came out in English. English-speaking markets got ''DS 2'' instead, with the similarly-dropped number.
* SeriousBusiness: [[JustifiedTrope Justified]]. Monster battling is a major league sport, with lots of money to be made.
* ShoutOut: A variation in some games, where certain discs will result in exclusive monsters so close to the title or subject of the disc that it's blatantly intentional. For example, a ''Videogame/DeadOrAlive'' game disc creating a CuteMonsterGirl based off series heroine Kasumi, or the ''RushHour'' soundtrack giving a "Kung-Fu Bunny"
** And you get a living samurai armor suit called a "Shogun" with "Brave Fencer Musashi" in 2.
** There's a handful of titles that will produce unique monsters. Most of the mons produced from these discs often had names that were obvious puns on the title or artist. Just from the original game you had Gallop from Patti Smith's ''Horses'', Tank from TheClash's ''Combat Rock'' and Gooaall! from INXS' ''Kick''.
** Errick in ''DS'', after Cleo misinterprets his mumbling as talking about a "curse," says a curse might not be so bad: "Black magic woman..."
** Password system in advance. The system has a special calculation to generate the monster, however sometime this can result in some words resulting in special monster. There's also in game given password that produces special monster that doubles as ShoutOut. For example [[FistOfTheNorthStar a variation of Kenshiro's infamous battle cry]] produces a special Raiden, a martial artist bird species.
* SilentScapegoat: ''[=MR4=]'' has [[spoiler: ''the hero'', who took the blame when one of his friends stole a book of forbidden techniques, and got expelled from the academy over it]].
* SpamAttack: The series has several moves that can upgraded into its higher level version, many of which are this. The second game employs a system where you need to use the same move over and over again until it reaches the necesarry number required to learn the upgraded version. Essentially, [[DepartmentofRedundancyDepartment you need to spam attack to learn a spam attack.]]
* SpeaksFluentAnimal: Your assistant in ''[=MR4=]'', Rio, can understand monsters. And she was despised by many for this in her childhood.
* SquishyWizard: The Pixies, who have very high Intelligence (thus powerful magical abilities), but low Strength, Defense, and Life. They're pretty fast, though.
* StalkerWithACrush: Errik from ''DS.'' More or less the first words out of his mouth? "Definitely not a stalker!"
* StealthPun: Zilla is a [[Franchise/{{Godzilla}} Gorilla Whale mix]]
* StoneWall: The Monol species. Both figuratively and ''literally.''
** Niton from 2 also qualifies, but in a figurative sense, of course.
* SuperMode: Every game has special status effects that give status modification or special effect to a monster in specific condition. There's some that are species exclusive. In the second game, two are available to every species depending on how good/bad they are.
** Joker's Real status effect is a good example. When you are having a huge advantage (mostly by hitting with your moves several times in a row), Joker get a huge status buff and damage/hit rate/evasion buff to every stats for a limited time. It's also a case of PowerupLetdown and/or DeadlyUpgrade though. When it ends, you get a huge penalty on your stats so much that if it happen early in the match, you might as well forfeit, making it a sort of HeroicRROD (or in this case, Villainous, since Jokers definitely aren't of the heroic type).
* TailSlap: The TropeNamer, Dinos, Suezos, Zuums and Nagas make heavy use of it. Dragons use this too, but it is less common compared to their significantly more powerful attacks.
* TakeThat: Using the password "POKEDEAD" at one point in the game adaptation of ''Monster Rancher Battle Card'' will give you a special card.
* TechTree
* ToBeAMaster
* TooLongDidntDub: The Suzurin species' name is a Japanese pun that doesn't particularly translate well into English, so it stays despite not meaning anything in particular in English.
** For the curious, the pun: The Suzurin is a monster made out of bells, which also happen to make it look like it's wearing a robe. Its overall outfit resembles a Japanese feudal ''suzeran'' lord. That's the first part. The second part is that "suzu" is Japanese for "bell," while "rin" is the onomotopoeia for a bell ringing.
* UnexpectedGameplayChange: Pretty much the entirety of VideoGame/MonsterRancherEVO falls into this category. It changed the training/raising with gadgets to mini-games in a circus. So, now it's up to you the player to determine how well they do by button mashing.
* UnusableEnemyEquipment: A number of games, such as ''2'' and ''4,'' feature special monsters that show up either as wild opponents or bosses. While you can get info on them, you can't use them for yourself. Especially frustrating in ''4,'' because those bosses frequently represent past species, but you can't get them.
* UseYourHead: So many species of monsters have headbutt attacks, it isn't even funny.
* VendorTrash: And lots of it, oh boy.
* VideoGameCaringPotential: Raising your Monster invokes this, as it's a personal investment. Doubly so if it's a game where Monsters can die.
* VideoGameTime: The games use a timeframe based on years but while your ranch can run for well over a hundred years, the characters stay the same. In fact, in MR Advance 2, your assistant, Holly, will always say that she was a representative of the monster league FIMBA until "last year"—even if she's been your assistant for decades!
----