In video games, the Beastmaster either has complete control over their ally, an ally that follows the "Monkey-see, monkey-do" mentality and follows the master's actions, or the ally just does what it wants in range of its master. As the AI isn't always very good at doing actions that don't kill everyone, the playerbase may regard the job as unpopular. This will normally not be the case in other forms of fiction, as no computer is directing the ally's actions, as that's now the plot's job.
Due to the fact that the ally is, at best, another damage dealer/damage taker, Beastmasters are generally able to do things on their own in an MMORPG environment.
Named after the Beastmaster class in Final Fantasy XI.
Dragon Rider, Marionette Master, and The Minion Master are specific subtropes, compare with Summon Magic also see Mons. May overlap with Fluffy Tamer.
Not to be confused with The Beastmaster, which was a 1982 fantasy movie and a 90's show about a Nature Hero, very, very loosely adapted from a 1959 science fiction book series, or the Shoujo manga Beast Master.
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Anime and Manga
The Pokémon anime is pretty much a multi-series embodiment of this trope. It's the entire point of the video games as well; see below.
The Anima from Tower Of God. Special in this case would be the fact that they are all aquatically themed, since the Tower is filled with water-like Shinsoo.
Not just restricted to aquatic beasts, though. It has been revealed that a few Anima seem to have a thing for creating... People Puppets. So, it's a bit hard to say what an Anima truly is: Marionette Master or straight-up Beast Master: you decide. Guess it's up to the individual.
Kiba and the rest of the Inuzuka clan use one or more dogs.
As the living nest of a colony of bugs, Shino is an example of a Beastmaster with way more than just one ally.
Several ninja make pacts with summonable creatures. Kakashi can summon dogs, Temari can summon a weasel, Jiraiya and Naruto can summon toads, Tsunade can summon slugs, and Orochimaru can summon snakes.
Meiko Rokudo in Ghost Sweeper Mikami is able to control 12 powerful Shikigami (beast-like spirits or monsters), with different abilities. However, Meiko is very powerful but also ditzy, inexperienced and extremelyinsecure; she not only considers these spirits more like pets, but is easily scared by little things (little spiders, a balloon that bangs), and then she summons instinctively enormous quantities of energy causing massive destruction. On the other hand, Meiko's mother (as the Shikigami's former master) can control all of the twelve Shikigami perfectly.
Caro Ru Luche from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS has two dragons she can call into battle, her pet dragon Friedrich, and the Dragon God Voltaire. She claims that she doesn't control Voltaire so much as call for his assistance if things are really desperate: it's implied that he will not answer the summons if his power is not needed.
Zazie The Beast, one of the Gung-Ho Guns in Trigun. He controls enormous sandworms in the anime —his manga counterpart is... squickier.
Sei Arisaka can physically control animals via Mind Control but he can get them to do his binding, such as whistling to make a group of doves appear or merely telling them to "go to sleep" will make them instantly fall asleep.
Katherine McDonald of Kaze no Stigma has three separate 'beings' of summoning, of different power levels.
In Vathara's Upon A Fiery Steed some of the residents of the L3 colony, and some residents of another planet visited in the story, are Beastmasters; people with the ability to communicate with, partially control and fight alongside animals. Examples shown in-story are bat-winged cat-like creatures called esmeril, hawks, dogs and lizards.
Avatar. All the Na'vi are beastmasters to an extent, thanks to the Bio-USB.
Dar in The Beastmaster. He can telepathically communicate with animals, first seen when he mind-controls a bear to leave him and his foster-father alone and can see through the eyes of his falcon scout. And don't forget the loveable ferret scouts/thieves and the black tiger.
Jennifer from Phenomena can telepathically communicate with insects and command them to attack people.
Tortall Universe: In Tamora Pierce's Immortal's Quartet Daine the Wildmage can communicate with animals and even shapeshift into them.
Several characters in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire qualify. The Stark children all possess direwolf cubs. Hints are dropped that all of them can actually project themselves into the creature's mind, though only Bran actively develops the ability, while it remains a passive one with Jon and Arya. Also, Varamyr Sixskins, a wildling.
In Shadow Ops, "Whispering" is an application of terramancy that allows the user to control animals. It is also very illegal, right up there with gate magic, entropy magic, necromancy, and creating sentient elementals, due to its sheer destructive potential. One doesn't realize how dangerous Whispering is until the person using it calls for literally every animal in range (including millions of nearby insects) to literally swarm the target.
In Thomas Disch's "The Roaches" the main character discovered that she possessed the ability to telepathically communicate with and command cockroaches. Let's just say that it turned out to be not so good of a thing in the end...
Live Action TV
The Legend Of Dick And Dom: A character who is actually called "The Beast Master" is the Big Bad. He's seen controlling many types of animals, although he tends to foil his own schemes by (for example) trying to get ants to capture his ememies. Prone to throwing tantrums when he fails- he's seen roasting a pair of pigeons at one point. Can also turn parts of his body into animals ("My powerful caterpillar arm will devour you!"), and other people into animals, who are then under his power.
Merlin is this way with his powers as a Dragonlord. He can call the dragons and they are bound to obey him, and it also works on their relatives the wyverns.
The Ranger of 4th Edition has a Beastmaster build option which allows him to fight alongside a beast that he has forged a bond with. The build even gives the ranger a ritual that he can use to raise the beast should it die in battle.
In Magic: The Gathering, the players themselves may count as this if they're playing the right creatures, but there are specific character examples as well, such as the planeswalker Garruk Wildspeaker.
As does Turntimber Ranger, which brings along a wolf for every fellow adventurer you summon. (One hilarious combo uses Xenograft set to Ally to produce an infinite loop, leading to an arbitrarily large Ranger and a similarly huge number of wolves.)
Ogre Hunters in Warhammer Fantasy Battles can be accompanied by one or two trained sabertoothed tigers (Sabertusks) that they have trained.
The Amber Wizards and the Beastmen as well. In fact, anyone capable of using the wind Ghur can be this.
The Mask of Rahi Control grants this power in BIONICLE.
All Makuta can do this as well.
The Heroes of Might and Magic series is this trope, the game revolves around the strategy of recruiting monsters and using them to fight other heroes and creatures.
In Heroes of Might and Magic III there is a class of heroes called Beastmasters, who control creatures of the swamp such as Hydras, Basilisks and Wyverns.
Final Fantasy XI has the Beastmaster class. Also, the Dragoon class receives a pet wyvern.
While the MMO is the Trope Namer, Final Fantasy V started the tradition. In addition to the Trainer class which used whips and could capture and control enemy monsters, the archery-focused Hunter could summon animals to achieve random effects.
The GBA remake retroactively named the class Beastmaster, just to drive it home.
Hunters in World of Warcraft can have animal companions that assist them in battle. The Beast Mastery talent tree works with the bond between Hunter and pet, and ultimately grants access to Exotic pets that other Hunters can't tame, such as Devilsaurs, Core Hounds, Silithids and Chimaeras.
World of Warcraft also gives the Warlock class pets, although they are more limited in nature than the hunter ones (Hunters can tame pretty much every animal and customize it, using it as a friend and companion; Warlocks have a set number of demons with fixed abilities and names, that are enslaved).
Frost Mages can summon a Water Elemental as a permanent pet/companion as a perk of the Frost talent tree.
Going into the realm of NPC's, there's the half-orc Rexxar, who is essentially a Hunter minus Archer Archetype aspect and the Beastmastery taken up to eleven.
In Warcraft 3, the hero class that Rexxar belonged to is actually called the Beastmaster. All its abilities summon different kinds of animals (bear, hawk, boar, and STAMPEDING GIANT LIZARDS). Other hero types can also summon minions, but the Beastmaster's arsenal is entirely based around it, letting him summon a self-supporting army.
Diablo 2 Druids can summon wolves and ravens, among other things.
It also has Necromancers, who have an archetype called the "summonmancer", they are generally held to make better pure summoners then druids (Druid summons are mainly for support).
Diablo III's Witch Doctor has a few creepy-animal-based attacks, such as summonable toads and throwable jars of spiders.
Ultima Online had tamers as a skill set who depending on the circumstances could be either pretty powerful or near useless. They were commanded by typed commands or clicked ones. Tamers would need to make sure both that their pets would attack when needed and protect them when needed as well.
City of Heroes has the Mastermind class, capable of calling upon a number of controllable minions. A recent update even added a powerset called Beast Mastery, enabling the player to call wolves, lions and birds aid them.
A number of other archetypes can also summon pets or allies to aid them, with top-end powers making it available for every class. Unlike the Mastermind, however, these allies are rarely fully controllable and usually only stay for a few minutes.
Warhammer Online has the Squig Herder (a goblin and his pet fungus creatures), and the White Lion (an elf and his pet . . . white lion).
Although in the tabletop game, the aforementioned elves are only called White Lions because they have to hunt, kill, and skin one as an initiation test. They then wear the skin as a cloak.
They do, however, now have a chariot in which two elves ride, pulled by actual lions. That's gotta be awkward...
You, and a very large number of the NPCs in the Pokemon games are essentially Beastmasters.
Most notably used in Super Smash Bros Brawl, where the Pokémon trainer is the only character to stand in the background while his Mons are the ones who do the fighting.
Guild Wars contains a few different types of this. Rangers can charm certain animals that then follow them into combat, Necromancers animate undead minions from fallen enemies, and both Rangers and Ritualists can summon spirits to aid the party.
Alchemists in Ragnarok Online can create and program artificial life forms (Homunculi) to fight for them. The programming bit is player side. That is, Homunculi run on a specially written coding language, which is stored in text files in the game folder. Players are encouraged to attempt to modify the AI files as they wish.
The player in Lost Magic can amass a small armada via careful use of the Dark Rune.
Samurai Shodown has a few of these. Galford (with Poppy the dog), Nakoruru (with Mamahaha the falcon or Shikuru the wolf), Rimururu (with Konru (or is it Konril?), an ice Nature Spirit), Cham Cham (with her brother (Tam Tam) as Paku Paku the monkey), Mina (with Champuru, an annoyingly cute man-eating monster in disguise) and even SNK Boss Mizuki (with Maju, some sort of dog-shaped demon) all feature. Oddly, of the ones listed, only Mina's is completely useless in combat. Pets in attack mode are subject to attacks, too, just in case you try sending the dog to rush through a tornado.
Arietta the Wild from Tales Of The Abyss usually brings in her beasts whenever she fights, except when there are other God Generals around. It also helps that those beasts actually raised her.
Jao from Tales Of Xillia. He's accompanied by wolves whenever he's alone, and in your first fight with him, he'll keep calling in more monsters to assist him if you get rid of the ones that are with him initially.
In Age Of Empires III, European explorers can get a canine companion that follows them around and helps them fight.
Native Warchiefs take it to another level. They can train animals and convert treasure guardians, which frequently results in the warchief being followed around by a menagerie of jaguars, wolves, and bears.
In NetHack the player character always starts out with a pet and may end up taming additional monsters. The care, feeding, and proper use of such pets is a science of its own since a number of parameters influence their behavior.
Aruruw of Utawarerumono adopts the tiger Mukkur early in the storyline, which apparently carries a title and makes her 'Mother of the Forest.' A mook who tries kidnapping her finds out she is not just a helpless Token Mini Moe princess and is brutally killed and eaten by said kitty. Mukkur is generally a pretty amiable fellow though. Later, she also makes a pet of Gacatar, some sort of small ferrety creature with special powers that allows her to perform her ultimate technique. She can talk to both and is essentially Mukkur's mother.
Every class in Geneforge has at least a basic ability to do this, with Shapers, Lifecrafters and Shock Troopers specializing in it. Somewhat unusually, you make your own monsters through genetic engineering, sacrificing essence until they die or you "absorb" them.
Free Korean MMORPGMabinogi includes a pet feature. All pets possess a number of abilities beyond combat; including healing and carrying items. Certain pets possess additional useful and entertainment abilities such as rideable mounts, combat-oriented transformation, "fetching" random items, producing crafting supplies (such as wool from pet sheep), and dancing. The Mabinogi pet system is different from most, in that pets have a selectable AI, with a powerful scripting language available to create custom AIs far more complex than those used by monsters. Players can also play as their pets, instead of their characters, which is good for level grinding. Pets also grant variable stat boosts, and are subject to the same levelling, aging and hunger mechanics as player characters.
The Dark Knight released in Generation 3 possesses the Control of Darkness skill, which allows the player to control any animal or "Fomor" (non-human sentient beings). Control is far more limited than with pets, and is predominantly combat-oriented.
Starting with Generation 7, all players have access to a similar ability with the Taming skill. Like Control of Darkness, it allows only very basic control over the creature.
The new Elven Warden from Runes Of Magic has the ability to summon a pet to help him do his fighting.
The Beast Tamer class in the Disgaea series supports monsters by increasing their stats and EXP gain with her abilities or by simply being adjacent to them and is powered up by them in the latter two games of the series. It's something of an odd case when considering that the monsters in question are perfectly sentient and differ little from the humanoid Netherworld citizens in anything but appearance.
The Turtle Tamers in Kingdom Of Loathing can be considered beastmasters. One strategy used is to increase their familiar's weight (i.e. level) with buffs and equipment.
One of the bosses in Albion is called The Beastmaster. He's more of a beast tender, really, since his job is to raise the various beasts the Kenget Kamulos use for training. Although when encountered, he does sic a number of predators on the player before finally deciding to fight.
Borderlands includes one in Mordecai, the Hunter class avatar. He uses his pet bird-of-prey Bloodwing to aid in attacking enemies.
Borderlands 2 has DLC character Gaige, whose ability summons a giant robot called Death-Trap that can be upgraded to be more powerful.
Lieza of Arc The Lad II an a gifted ability to communicate with beasts and allow them to join the party.
The player character from Adventure Quest can become a beastmaster as a class.
The Beast Master kit in Baldur's Gate II. It gets the special abilities of Summon Animals (a low-level druid spell) in return for the inability to use metal weapons and armour. It is generally considered to be the worst or second-worst kit in the game, its only main competitor being the Wizard Slayer.
Matsu from Sengoku Basara has the unique ability to summon animals to aid in her attacks, including boars, hawks, moles, bears and a white wolf.
The summoning tree of magic in Arcanum begins this way. Unfortunately it doesn't make for a very powerful build in and of itself.
The Ranger specialization in Dragon Age: Origins allows characters to summon wolves, bears or enormous spiders to help out in combat.
Greyback from Battle Realms has animal magnetism so strong that wild wolves will never attack him, and will instead automatically attach themselves to him as bodyguards and fight with him to the death.
ADOM has a villain employing such methods: the last level of the dungeon of Keethrax the Black Druid is populated with animals, including kinds more dangerous than usual at that character level.
The Lore Master class in Lord of the Rings Online can summon several species of animals, from ravens to grizzly bears to lynxes.
RuneScape doesn't have a class system, but all players are capable of being The Beastmaster if they wish, with summonable followers that can fight for them, heal them or even carry their loot, as well as purely cosmetic pets.
DC Nation's Fauna has this ability, bribing local raccoons to watch Dr. Thompson's clinic, gathering information from stray dogs, and so forth. She tried to use it when a right-wing militia was attacking her hometown, recruiting everything from flocks of birds to the local livestock, only to get soundly scolded by Nightwing for reckless behavior. She hadn't used it since, even though she will still talk to animals.
Whateley Universe: Whateley Academy student Dragonrider has a dragon she can command. She created it and gave it life. Other students like Aquerna and Arachne have command over one type of creature: squirrels and spiders, respectively.
The main character of Worm has the power to psychically command invertebrates, such as insects, arachnids, and crustaceans. She has lots of fine control over them, to the point where she can summon them unconsciously to aid her when under stress. Another character has the power to transform dogs into huge, incredibly strong Lovecraftian monsters, but she can't control them mentally. Instead, she has to train the dogs to respond to words and whistled commands, otherwise they wreak havoc when she transforms them.
Tavros of Homestuck can psychically control pretty much any kind of animal or creature, including the trolls' guardian lusus. This control also extends to the enemies they fight in the Medium, ironically making him one of the most powerful players in their session (although he refuses to actually hurt any of them). Then it turns out that this power extends to Becquerel, and that he's successfully controlled said reality-warping god-dog before. And it turns out that the former Troll Empress-turned-Black Queen has similar control over the equally powerful GCat.
Zoophobia's Carrie is a master creature-handler, and teaches the practice at the academy.
Although it was not an ability held by his original comic book incarnation, several versions of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Rat King possess the ability to control rats, and use them to attack. It becomes especially troublesome when fighting against Splinter, since he can control him as well.
Soundwave from Transformers. One of his most distinguishing traits is the menagerie of loyal animal (and two humanoid) robots that he can release from the tape compartment that makes up his chest.
Occasionally his Autobot counterpart, Blaster, has his own set of tape-bots as well.
The youngest prince in Conan The Adventurer has this as his ability, though mostly he's only good enough to command his loyal ferret.
Fluttershy in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic can win over and command anything from a herd of rabbits to a full grown dragon and a cockatrice. Unfortunately, on the rare occasion that her creature-charming fails, she suffers a fair amount of Sanity Slippage and resorts to physically chasing and trapping the animals so that they may love her!
To be entirely fair, this resulted from her misapplying a method Twilight Sparkle had used in helping her treat Princess Celestia's pet phoenix in an earlier episode. She didn't seem to think through that Twilight's method produced the exact same results... the animals involved running away from her. She's also something of a subversion of the typical Beastmaster; not only would she never risk her animal friends getting hurt (she openly threatens anyone that MIGHT endanger them), but her own pet rabbit has been known to take charge of her when neccessary.
Ma'ti of Captain Planet can communicate and guide any creature on Earth.