is a creature, generally magically or mystically summoned, which fights on behalf of its summoner. This allows characters to fight each other without actually fighting themselves. Instead, they conjure an avatar—perhaps a beast or a machine—that fights for them. Sometimes, only one side will have Mons, so the other side will have the characters directly fighting the Mons. Wild Mons—those uncontrolled by anyone—are also known to appear.
Mon range up and down the scale in terms of intelligence, power, and appearance. Some are almost mindless, while some are far, far smarter than their so-called "masters." Likewise, whether they're servants, partners, or just another race depends on the series.
Good relations with Mon are recommended, as The Power of Friendship
usually serves to make your Mon more powerful and loyal to your cause. Apathetic or cruel treatment, on the other hand, may cause them to run away, turn on you
, or (depending on their particular powers) bring about The End of the World as We Know It
The types of Mons tend to vary series to series, but there are some common themes:
- Mons are analogous to ordinary (if super-powered) animals. Humans in the setting use them in various types of hobbyist activities, such as collecting all species of Mons or using them in sporting tournaments, in order To Be a Master. This version tends to appear most often in games, such as the Pokémon, Monster Rancher and Dragon Quest Monsters series.
- Mons are fully sapient beings who partner with humans to fight a Big Bad and Save The World. Anime series, like Digimon and Monster Rancher, tend to use this type. Later Pokemon games have also edged into Type 2, as antagonists have shifted from nebulous Gotta Catch Them All goals to world domination.
- Mons are spirits or Familiars; here, only humans with unique abilities are capable of persuading hostile Mons to join their side, and generally only use them in order to accomplish their own personal goals. Often used in fantasy settings, like Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World and Final Fantasy XIII-2.
- A Deconstruction of the above, too: Mons are Living Weapons or Literal Gods enslaved to human masters. This leads to Crapsack Worlds where they're used as slaves in Blood Sport, like in Alien Dice, or mass chaos, death and destruction as humans abuse their newfound power, like in Devil Survivor. This also happens to be the type originally used by Trope Maker Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei, making Mons an Unbuilt Trope.
May overlap with Our Monsters Are Weird
if (or "when") the roster of creatures is big enough. Also a type of Attack Animal
. Occasionally, some Mons may get an Inconvenient Summons
(no pun intended). Jarringly-powerful Mons are Olympus Mons
, while totally pathetic ones are Com Mons
Compare and Contrast Cool Pet
as well as Summon Magic
. See also The Beastmaster
and Bond Creatures
. May function as a Guardian Entity
For an index of works based around this trope, see the Mons Series
index. For those who want to start their own, we have a handy guide on writing one right here.
Not to be confused with mon
, a historical currency in Japan, or with mon
, a Japanese symbol similar to a coat of arms in European heraldry, or with Doraemon
, for that matter.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Mon Colle Knights.
- Duel Masters, besides Pokemon and Digimon, is one of the examples most likely to be familiar to Westerners.
- Many of the fighters in Zatch Bell! resemble humans, but have a mon-ish flavor to them.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! wound up becoming a hybrid Mon series, in the form of a magical card game, and then with Duel Monster spirit "partners" in GX.
- Mai-HiME is an example of a series with Mon intended for an older audience.
- Narutaru viciously deconstructs the genre by showing in rather graphic detail just what could happen if misfit teenagers suddenly found themselves controlling awesomely powerful Mons.
- In the series Zero no Tsukaima — set in another world where the nobility are Harry Potter-esque magi — a hapless yet haughty mage named Louise accidentally summons a computer science student from Earth as her familiar. All the other mage familiars are Mon.
- Gigantor is probably the earliest example of mon, where the mon is a Humongous Mecha — the very first of the genre.
- The Angels in Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer could be somewhat identified with Mon.
- Beyblade is a series that has mon, but focuses less on them and more on the humans who wield the eponymous Beyblades.
- Speaking of shamanism above, Shaman King has this, albeit with the spirits of the deceased and nature taking over mon duties.
- Summoning mystical, talking animals is one of the many varieties of Ninjutsu magic used in Naruto.
- Bistro Recipe, AKA Fighting Foodons, was a mons series where all the monsters were living food items.
- An Affectionate Parody in Hell Teacher Nube —a priest, who is a friend of Nube's, comes across a box full of capsules with miniature yokai sealed within. He then sells them as capsule toys to the children, who use them to battle exactly in the same manner as Pokémon. Too bad one of the sealed monsters actually was a real threat and starts devouring all the others, threatening the entire neighborhood.
- Bakugan, the spiritual successor to Beyblade and the less successful B-Daman, and from the same studio that did Tiny Toon Adventures, but without the top-notch animation due to bad outsourcing.
- Zoids are arguably just Humongous Moncha. And before they converted into Humongous Moncha of wartool, they are used as MONCHA CAVALRY!
- Jewelpet, although they aren't the fighting type.
- In Magic Knight Rayearth, there's Ascot who can summon all kinds of Mons he calls his friends.
- Blue Dragon's spinoff manga Ral Grad is mostly focused on monster-to-monster combat, being that these particular mons are parasitic. There is plenty of human-vs-monster action, however.
- The RPG Guranbo◊, released only in Japan in late 2001, innovates little from the theme. It's quite close to Digimon.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure becomes a sort of Mon series from Part 3 and onward, with many characters having their own creature that is basically a manifestation of their soul which they control.
- Medabots, where the mons are customizable robots powered by medals. Subtly deconstructed, the main character's mon's VA is an African American, at least in the English dub.
- Live On Cardliver Kakeru is a semi-Mon series fairly similar to Yu-Gi-Oh, with cards to summon the familiars, done by TMS of Bakugan fame.
- In Magi - Labyrinth of Magic, djinn are Type 2, with the magic lantern or other artifact acting as a "Pokeball" rather than trapping them as such.
- The "Giant Warrior" from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind qualifies as type 4.
- Flint the Time Detective revolves around collecting Time Shifters from different time periods.
- Mix Master series.
- Cencoroll, a Reconstruction of the genre.
- Buster Keel! has quite a few, like Lavie's flying pig Mippy.
- Sekirei takes a very unusual direction with this, combining it with the Harem Genre through the use of Human Aliens with many of the hallmarks of the Type 4 Mon. The Sekirei instinctively seek out and form a bond with a human master, becoming their partner in a secret tournament. The Ashikabi's role involves standing back, and occasionally giving their Sekirei orders or encouragement while they duel to the death. This is even lampshaded by the character of Mikogami Hayato, a bratty teenager that wants to Catch Em All and gets excited at the prospect of being able to capture one of the main characters because he's a super-rare natural element and a fire type!
- The cards of Battle Spirits Shonen Toppa Bashin and its sequels.
- In Fairy Tail, celestial spirit mages, such as Lucy, Yukino, and Angel, summon spirits from the Spirit World, who then fight for them.
- Very creepily used in And The Ass Saw The Angel, a novel written by Nick Cave, when Euchrid starts collecting wild animals in cages and teaching them to fight. He eventually unleashes them on the town, killing many.
- In the Jim Butcher series Codex Alera, Furies serve a somewhat similar role to Mons. Indeed, he admitted he was inspired by Pokémon in writing it. Only earth and fire furies manifest physically most of the time though, and it is truly Serious Business since the entire world's technology and culture has evolved around the use of Furies.
- The demons of the The Bartimaeus Trilogy.
- Kamen Rider series, starting with Ryuki, use this in varying degrees. In some, the heroes draw power from a contracted (Ryuki) or sealed (Blade) Monster of the Week to use their unique traits. Hibiki has the Disc Animals, which mostly play the trope straight. Den-O and Kiva have the interesting spin of having the "Mons" (the good-guy Imagin and the Arms Monsters, respectively) being regular characters in their own right who can merge with the Riders to power them up, taking control of the body to boot.
- However, Ryuki's example is a deconstruction. The monsters are not friendly and will eat their owner the moment their contract is broken, their body parts are used as weapons, and a few of the riders use their monsters to attack and kill citizens.
- Kamen Rider Decade takes this trope, and runs it as the main plot element. The two main Riders, Decade and Diend are, respectively, a Mega Man and a Pokemon Master, fighting by way of Yu-Gi-Oh!.
- Ultra Series
- Ether Saga Odyssey makes the player capture pets to aid them in their journey through some of the aftermath of Journey to the West. Essentially, its a type II. Many monsters you fight can be captured, allowing a lot of variety for which ones can fight by your side. It has been described as Pokemon meets Journey To The west
- Phantasy Star Online Episodes I and II sort of has this with the mag. Mags are a race of living computers that are freely distributed to new hunters/rangers/forces, but more can be found in other places such as the mines in Ragol. When they are new, all mags share the exact same form except for their color (which they have a handful of options), and are almost widely useless for anything except to use up extra mates/fluids when they take up too much space in your pack. The mon part? If you feed them certain mates/fluids/cures/etc. or a combination of them that typical mag can quickly change its form into many other different and unique models (sometimes even changing back to a previous form, not including the infant model) and learn different combinations of photon blasts (up to three). Their transformations are based around their levels, their stats and a few other tricks (such as the owner's Section ID or other rare event items), and if the stats are tweaked the right way by the time they cap their level, they can make a permanent change into a very rare model of mag. While they aren't used to directly fight in battle (unless you count some of the photon blasts) and while the player has few reasons to go out hunting extra mags, some of the rarer mags can perform valuable techs aside from the photons, including reviving their owner if they die or temporarily boosting their attack and defense. Not to mention that their stats directly affects the players and also adds significant boosts to them for as long as that model is equipped (which can really shoot high with some more clever tweaking). They also have intelligence and feelings to watch for as well as a damage meter, the two formers of which are affected by their "food", such as if they like it or if it's good for them, or (for synch) whether or not you give them mates/fluids/cures/so on quick enough when they're hungry (the latter charges up energy for the photon blast the more hits you/they take). Ironically, although the game also makes an effort in a few missions to make it clear how mags are living creatures that try to protect and serve you well in exchange for care, and they made it also clear that every Hunter (and Ranger and Force) gets one upon becoming hunters (part of the Hunter's Guild/government on Pioneer 2, not just the class), there are only a small number of characters (besides player made ones) whom have one or were seen with one (Elenor comes to mind and supposedly Ult).
- Grand Chase has the "pets" who get to attack with you during dungeons and pvp.
- MapleStory allows players to collect cards dropped by most monsters and set them as their familiar, which provides a passive bonus (increased meso drops, increased item drops, increased movement speed, immunity to environmental Damage Over Time effects, etc.) and provides combat support. A familiar can only be summoned if it has enough Vitality (indicated by a red orb), in which case the player can summon another familiar while its Vitality recharges. If you use more than one of that monster's card it will increase its Vitality up to a maximum of three orbs, allowing you to have it out longer.
- World of Warcraft is introducing a Mons system in the Mists of Pandaria expansion, using the pets that before now have always been there to look cool. It is constantly referred to as "Pokemon" rather than the official "Pet Battle System" by fans, though rather calling it that is a Take That or not depends on the individual person's opinion.
- Dragons Prophet has this as a primary mechanic, regardless of class, making it one of the few mmos to do so. Your mounts and summons all consist of a number of dragons that you capture and train. The "gotta catch 'em all" aspect of the mons genre is played down here; at the start you can only have four dragons, being a F2P mmo, you can use real-world currency to purchase room for twelve.
- Small-scale games of Privateer Press's WARMACHINE and HORDES tend to be duels between two opposing magic users and a handful of either steam-powered robots or giant angry monsters on each side. As the games scale up, though, the robots and monsters stop being Mon so much as units in a larger military force.
- Arguably played somewhat straight with the Warjacks - if a specific 'Jack is used by a Warcaster frequently for a long period of time, they can gain a level of personality. This is likely what has happened to Stryker's faithful Ironclad Ol' Rowdy and Haley's special Lancer Thorn. Drago could also be viewed as this to Vladimir Tzepeci, and Beast 09 for Sorcha is most definately this. Likewise, said Warcasters can also get very defensive about particular 'Jacks as well (case and point - this is the reason Haley refuses to have Cygnarian Mechanics "examine" Thorn).
- The Tabletop RPG Monsters and Other Childish Things presents a Mon setting in which the mon are things like dark and malevolent forgotten gods and Lovecraftian abominations against the order of our reality. Unlike some examples, it has a strict "one monster per kid" rule, so there's no collecting or catching.
- Let's not forget Pokéthulu. It's what it says on the box.
- Project Nephilim introduces Cthulhu Tech's own take on the anime genre, with genetically engineered mini-mecha horrors that have to be kept under control by psychic handlers. There's also a plethora of spells which allow sorcerers to summon various Eldritch Abominations, usually to serve as assassins or bodyguards.
- Pathfinder's Summoner class takes the "one mon per person" route (barring a certain subclass that uses many weak versions of them to Zerg Rush the enemy). Baisically, a type of Mage who specializes in summoning Outsider allies, their unique class path is based around forming and utilizing a personal summoned ally they are bonded to, and a second experience pool to buy evolutions for it. The base creature can be anything from an Angel to a Zombie.
- The franchise, Magi-Nation, which was more or less Lord of the Rings/Magic the Gathering meets Pokémon.
- The Japanese Ur Example is an Edo period Older than Television Collectible Card Game called Obake Karuta ("Monster Cards"). In the game, a set of cards with depictions of various monsters from Japanese Mythology would be placed on a table. Each round, players would be given a clue, and attempt to grab the card of a monster who met that clue before their opponents could. At the end of the game, the player with the most cards won.
- The Mutants & Masterminds supplement based on Japanese media Mecha and Manga has a chapter devoted to this concept.
- Started with the Shin Megami Tensei series of JRPGs, where the main characters recruit demons, angels, Cosmic Horrors and Physical Gods to fight alongside them, only for everything to go horribly wrong because of it.
- Pokémon, Digimon and Monster Rancher are the flagship Mon series, because all were licensed and released around the same time in North America and all have "mon" in their name (not to mention have/had their own Anime). Comparing the three shows the diversity of the genre. Pokémon came out the victor in terms of popularity, which, led the others to be thought of as "Pokémon knockoffs".
- Ironically, the Pokémon franchise was criticized early in its history for having alleged Satanic themes. Fortunately, one can only imagine what the critics would have thought of the Shin Megami Tensei series.
- This may well have roots leading to an "Oldest One In The Book", in that Pokémon, for one, has strong stylistic overtones of shamanism. However, Pokémon itself was originally inspired by its creator Satoshi Tajiri's hobby of Bug Catching. He reportedly wanted to create a way for people to have the same experience searching for bugs (and other wild creatures) as he did after realizing that many of the forests he used to play in had been destroyed.
- This trope is a very popular trend in many Chinese childrens online browser games today since when Taomee's Seer was released, often ripping straight from the Pokémon formula.
- The Summons in the various Final Fantasy games occasionally resemble Mons, particularly in VIII and XIII where GFs/Eidolons are both closely tied to the characters and play a notable role in plot.
- Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings has most of your troops being summoned monsters. The main characters also fight, but the main point is using these summoned monsters that you steadily gain a better selection of by recruiting them from a ring with auracite.
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 makes use of a Pokémon-esque gameplay feature that involves capturing and training the random battle monsters that usually plague you out in the field and then using them as a de facto third character alongside Serah and Noel.
- Fate/stay night is a Visual Novel set in the Nasuverse where the main characters get control of "Servants." (The souls of former heroes, now in various RPG-esque classes.)
- Medabots and CustomRobo are both Robot versions of the standard Mon design. Medabots anime and games being a cross between Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokémon when it comes to making fighting Robots for Children Serious Business.
- Geomon is a mobile phone based game where you catch spirits using GPS.
- The Chrono Trigger DS remake allows you to raise a monster which can become pretty much any enemy in the game, although sadly you can only own one per save state.
- The Chao of the Sonic the Hedgehog series in the first two Adventure games. Collected as eggs ingame or online, raised with fruit to eat and small animals/drivers to influence stats and looks, can be bred, grow up and change appearance based on stats and looks, and used for contests like racing and sparring. If raised correctly, Chao can evolve into Chaos Chao, immortal beings with superb stats.
- Azure Dreams is a game where a human takes monsters with him to fight other monsters in a tower. You need monsters as your stats reset every time you return to town. It is a more hands on form of this genre.
- Although it's not a Mon series, per se, both Summon Night and its spinoff Swordcraft Story have elements of it, as in the setting, humans can't use magic directly, and have to rely on various summoned creatures to provide it.
- The Cyber-Elf gathering and utilization system introduced in the Mega Man Zero series had this sort of feel to it.
- The Mega Man Battle Network series went a step further—not only do Navis do all the fighting, they are also relied upon for using the internet and fixing or utilizing all manner of electronic equipment. It functions basically as a type 2.
- In the third installment, you can collect viruses that can be summoned to perform a single attack while in battle. The sixth installment, however, goes all the way with it, implementing a virus battling minigame and having you find special viruses to use for it as rare Random Encounters throughout the net.
- All of this was later continued in Mega Man Star Force.
- Even Dragon Quest got into the Mon craze by releasing the Game Boy games known as Dragon Quest/Warrior Monsters, where one can capture and raise many of the enemies in the game, including an entire family based on the Slime... although even before this — and before Pokémon — Dragon Quest V and VI let you recruit and train monsters.
- Dinosaur King is this with dinosaurs.
- Predated by Mushi King from the same company (built around insects, hence "Mushi")
- Ditto Fossil Fighters.
- And Disney's Spectrobes, although they're a straiter example in that they aren't based on real creatures.
- Oddly enough, Bomberman also did this with Charaboms, creatures that many claim are too similar to Pokémon simply because... well... they are. Started in the Game Boy Color games called Bomberman Max.
- Mario Party 3 also had a Duel Map Mode where each character essentially had one of the various enemy species as their mon, also released around the height of Pokemon's popularity.
- Folklore, where the captured Mons are actually forest spirits.
- Jade Cocoon, which was partially designed by Studio Ghibli artists.
- The little remembered Dokapon, which had a translation but was kind of interesting. When the series was revived on the Wii/DS, though, it came back as a mon-free RPG with Party Game elements.
- Dragonseeds, a Follow the Leader version of Monster Rancher/Farm. Most of the monsters didn't look anything like dragons, with some being animated coffins, shakōkidogū, or owlmen. Monsters were created by scanning other PlayStation save files.
- Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World includes a monster-pact system which is pretty much Tales of Symphonia meets Pokémon. However, the cast of the previous game shows up often enough that there are really only a few bosses and dungeons where you have to make use of the system, if you don't like it.
- Unfortunately, the Symphonia characters are also Crutch Characters who only level up at specific points in the plot (and stop leveling up around level 50.)
- Geneforge. Shaping your own army of creatures, from cute mascot-like tiny dragons to acid-spitting worms to lightning coatl to full-fledged drakes and giants. Almost every character type depends on them in some way or another, and the few types that are designed for operate solo can still make use of them. They can develop along with the character, augmented with more essence, or have their essence reclaimed to build stronger monster types. Under certain circumstances they may go rogue. Different factions have their own ideology regarding their rights to life and freedom, but they never really demonstrate any personality of their own (as of Geneforge 4.)
- The semi-obscure RPG series Robopon is like Pokémon with robots!
- Enchanted Arms has golems you can collect by finding and defeating Preexisting Encounters. All the game's random enemies and some of the bosses are acquireable. Unfortunately the Arbitrary Headcount Limit makes the golems more or less useless as soon as all four human party members have joined.
- Titans from Huntik. They're summoned from amulets using the summoner's own magical energy. Some are unique, like Metagolem or Garghoul, while others are common, like Hoplites (lion-centaur-Spartan things) or the Redcaps and Mindrones the Organization mooks use.
- The Korean online game T-Crew was a casual online game in which creatures named Crews assist the player and have evolution methods like that to Pokémon.
- Touhou Puppet Play (also known as Touhoumon), a Touhou ROM Hack of Pokémon, has you using the girls of the Touhou series much like Pokémon.
- Keitai Denju Telefang was a Game Boy Color/Game Boy Advance release loosely based off Pokémon, although it has some Digimon elements to it.
- The series is most well-known for the mediocre bootlegs of the original games that actually tried to pass itself as Pokemon games.
- Culdcept is one of the few mon games/manga where the humans fight just as hard as the monsters.
- Disgaea has elements of mon games, in that you are able to create monster units if you've killed at least one of that type, though unlike most RPGs featuring monster allies, they're treated more like full-fledged characters, being able to equip weapons and armor, and possessing unique abilities to make up for the ones they lack in contrast to the humanoids.
- Ni No Kuni features Imagines, which fight alongside the human characters. In the PS3 version of the game, they do all of the fighting in their owner's place while they're active, but as manifestations of their owner's fighting spirit, any harm that comes to them affects the owner, too.
- Invizimals attempts to bring Mons into Real Life by way of camera.
- Eternal Eyes
- Lil Monster and its Japan-only prequel Kandume Monster, though the prequel was also rather "traditional RPG"-ish in its way.
- Golden Sun has Djinn. While your characters do most of the fighting, the Djinn provide passive stat bonuses, as well as a variety of attacks.
- Monster Galaxy and Outernauts, two Facebook games.
- Pocket Frogs is apparantly this with frogs. Which hatch as miniaturized adult frogs instead of tadpoles.
- Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance has these in the form of the spirit Dream Eaters, brightly colored creatures based on real and mythological animals who exist to rid their dream world of their evil counterparts, the Nightmares. They fight alongside you, provide you with new abilities, and can be a huge source of Video Game Caring Potential thanks to their adorable reactions to being pet and poked. As is usual for Mons, they can also be battled against each other in the Flick Rush minigame.
- Monster Racers is a rare example of a non-combat oriented Mon video game, centering in, well, racing.
- Viva Pińata.
- Familliars from Kingdom of Loathing have a shade of this, being mostly pets who randomly use a unique attack or other benificial effect. They are not, however, the focus of the game, and you can only watch them dog-fight in a certain area (however, a noncombat adventure where it looks like you may obtain a large number of rare familliar larvae has your character extatic, and some players may adopt a Gotta Catch 'Em All attitude), and the Pastamancer-exclusive Pasta Guardians go the one-per-person route (although their nemesis quest gives you an item that lets you switch PG's without nuking your progress with your first one). There is also Pokëmann, a parody of Pokemon, which is a set of figurines that your Pen Pal (if you have one) randomly sends you.
- The very obscure Sega Dreamcast game Kiteretsu Boy's Gangagan has a total of 144 different Mons with some similar to Japanese Mythology beings. What is more unique to the game is a bundled microphone that must be used during battles, so your mon spits out a Japanese word to the opposing Mon. And you play as that mon in a tiny size on a living room, tackling certain objects to find and battle other mons.
- Dragon Island Blue is basically Dragon Quest Monsters for the iPhone. Differs by being a Type 4, however - mons are considered living weapons and tightly controlled by the Trainers Guild, with the tools necessary to capture and control monsters (special, magical cards) available only to properly-licensed trainers. Sadly, at some point, the Trainers Guild has turned into The Empire, and now they enforce their edicts with armies of powerful monsters led by top-ranked Trainers... resulting, of course, in the forming of La Résistance, who sell stolen or bootlegged Cards on the Black Market and encourage Guild Trainers to wake up to the Guild's tyranny and defect. Guess which side you are on.
- The World Ends with You features Noise, which are ultraterrestrial manifestations of negative soul energy in the form of animals such as frogs, hedgehogs, and elephants. Though naturally forming, Reapers (and, with the right pins, Players) can create Noise. Because of this, most of the game is Player vs. Mons, but once you get Rhyme's pin, battles can become Mons vs. Mons and Mons. vs Opponent (though it's a tad difficult to aim the Noise).
- Alien Dice is a webcomic that advertises itself as being Pokemon IN SPACE!, but it's actually a deconstruction, showing the brutal side effects of having evolving monsters, self-aware sentient creatures as slaves, and the side effects of being captured and imprisoned in an itty-bitty dice would have on your body and your psyche. It's particularly anvilicious since the main character is a Dice.
- But I'm a Cat Person is another deconstruction. The Mon owners have jobs, other hobbies, and personal issues to deal with aside from fighting, and not all of them are sure they want to participate in the first place. Well into the third chapter, there's only been one battle, and it was entirely off-panel.
- Monster Pulse plays with the genre. On paper it's a coming of age story about kids and their mons. The twist being that said monsters are made from the organs and body parts of the main characters.
- Not to mention, said kids and monsters are being searched for by the organization that created the monsters for reasons unknown. Given the world the series is set in, their intentions are ambiguous.
- Hi to Tsuki to Hoshi no Tama is about three magical girls with "beads" which turn into mons.