Sometime in the near future
, the onset of Global Warming
is causing the polar ice caps to melt. As the ice melts away from the poles, however, something is revealed that has long since been hidden in the ice. Something... big.
An enormous, ancient creature, long before the time of man. Immediately, a team of top scientists and paleontologists descends upon the beast's body, and secretively begin a series of genetic experiments on it.
Several years later, the scientists reveal that they have been cloning the creature... And mutating it as well. The creature's clones come in all shapes, sizes, and powers, and with them, the scientists quickly proceed to take over and establish a new One World Order
. But the clones soon find their way into the hands of the populace, who begin using them for a fierce Blood Sport
that quickly develops into the populace's favorite pastime...
Suffice to say, this is not your average Mons
is a 1999 PlayStation
game that takes an unusually grim and gritty
stance to the Mons
genre—presumably to appeal to an older audience.
The gameplay follows suit, with failed battles often resulting in Perma Death
for the user, and with monsters using a wide array of dangerous-looking weapons to do battle. It also features a very unique mechanic: It can read PlayStation
memory cards, and use the data on them to generate monsters both for in-game use and for "memory battles" between players.
It's also unique among Mons
games at the time in that, while most mons games at the time drew inspiration from Pokémon
, this game takes a more Monster Rancher
-esque approach, with Raising Sim
elements. The whole thing is topped off with a very distinct soundtrack, which relies heavily on Sampling
and remixing. All together, one of the more unique Mons
games to come out of the 90's fad.
This game contains examples of:
- Ambiguously Gay: Kanata, one of the patrons of Pablo's. In addition to his flamboyant dress, he acts in a very feminine manner.
- BFS: Considering the size that the dragons are supposed to be, even the smallest dagger fits into this category. However, there are some that are larger than your dragon.
- Bishounen Line: As your dragons grow, they become larger and usually more beastly. However, their final growth stage has a chance to be either a Mutant or an immortal humanoid if their Wisdom stat is high enough.
- Blood Sport: Dragons usually end their careers by dying in battle, and most of the time, you'll have to kill your enemies to win. It's also possible to run out of time, but rarely happens.
- But Thou Must: You HAVE to pit your fresh, baby dragon against Count Awazanak's grand champion.
- Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": In the NSTC version, monsters are collectively known as "dragons." However, only a few of them actually resemble dragons. The rest take up a variety of forms.
- Darker and Edgier: A rather brutal take on the Mons genre, to be sure.
- Dissonant Serenity: The music for the final World Dragon Championship matches is very peaceful and meditative, in contrast to the battles.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Averted, as when you climb the ranks, Non Player Characters take notice and will congratulate you. Sometimes they'll even give you special treatment, such as Nancy offering you a sale as congratulations. However, if you change to a less decorated dragon, the NPCs forget you other acts and focus solely on the active dragon.
- Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Fire defeats Storm, Storm defeats Aqua, and Aqua defeats Fire.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: The intro scene implies an epic story involving a cloning war, global takeover, and a partial After the End setting. Since this is all old news by the time the game takes place and you're just another dragon/monster trainer trying to earn fame, very little of this is reflected in the actual game.
- Giant Enemy Crab: The Crustacean species is composed of nothing but giant crabs.
- One-Gender Race: Going by the Ultimate forms of the dragons, all of the Winged, Wasp, and Evil type dragons are females, while all of the rest are males.
- Golem: The Natura species is composed of inorganic compounds, and frequently resembles statues or robots.
- Gosh Hornet: The Wasp species are all, well, giant wasps. Except in their final evolutions, where they take on other insectoid forms—and some even become graceful fairies.
- Global Warning: The melting polar ice caps revealed the creature from which the modern dragons were cloned.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: Your very first fight is scripted, and your dragon is a baby with dismal stats paired up against a powerful fully-grown dragon. You can't refuse the fight, and there's no script for a fluke win (using a Gameshark to make your dragon invincible can allow you to win, but this leads to a minor graphical glitch and the characters carrying on as if your dragon had died, and you won't have it anymore after the fight).
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ishuka, the Junk Shop manager. He acts abrasive towards you, but if you talk to weapon shop owner Nancy, she says she overheard him saying that he wishes you'd come around more often. He fiercely denies this.
- Kids Rock: The A-rank tournament battle music features a chorus of cheering children.
- LEGO Genetics: When creating a baby dragon, you choose random DNA strands which to put into it to complete its genetic makeup. These influence its form and evolution.
- Luck Stat: Wisdom. The game tells you that it influences evolution, but remains coy about the full range of its effects.
- Mini-Game: Muscle and Special are raised up through mini-games. Muscle has a timing mini-game where you have to press the button as close to a pre-set time as possible. Special training has a mini-game where you have to follow the position of several fast-moving panels, and uncover them when they hide.
- Meganekko: Mona, the woman who runs the dragon bio-bank, wears her spectacles well.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: The soundtrack contains a veritable buffet of chanting styles.
- One World Order
- Oni: Some of the Natura species resemble them.
- Opening Scroll
- Our Dragons Are Different: Most of them don't even look like dragons! However, the Saurian and Winged species most strongly resembles a traditional dragon.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: The "Evil" species, which is essentially a living embodiment of the "monster in the closet" idea. Evil dragons generally resemble portals (windows, doorways, gates, etc.) with arms and creepy faces floating within them.
- Perma Death: Lose all your HP in battle, and your dragon is dead, no exceptions. The game strongly encourages you to play it safe and surrender if you're fighting a losing battle, but opponents never will. However, if you're playing defensively to keep your own dragons alive, you'll end up winning most of your own matches by having more HP when the timer runs out, meaning few enemy deaths as well.
- Raising Sim: Has elements of one.
- Rare Candy: Ishuka sells a number of different varieties, from simple stat-ups that are relatively cheap, to equipment buffers, to rare items that increase the usages of your special attacks.
- Released to Elsewhere: The game is a little odd about this. Your dragon ages as the days pass, reaching "old" age in roughly the span of a month. Once or twice you're told that at the end of this time frame, your dragon dies, but when this actually happens you're sent to the forest and told that your dragon will be happy there. The implication seems to be that your dragon probably has at least a little time left, but is no longer strong enough to fight and thus releasing it is a more economic option than keeping it (or, if you prefer, that allowing it to live out its last days in freedom is kinder than letting it die in the city). Inactive dragons stored at the lab don't age because they're frozen.
- You can also do this at any time if you feel that a dragon isn't up to snuff or if you need more space for a new one.
- Subverted with dragons that manage to reach the "immortal" life stage - these dragons no longer age, and can keep fighting forever until they're either released by the player or killed in battle. The game never forces you to give them up. The same goes for wild-caught dragons, but these can only be used at Pablo's, and are forbidden from participating in official tournaments.
- Sampling: The game's soundtrack is uniquely reliant on it, and most of the tracks contain at least one sample—from ominous chanting to cheering children to even old movie dialogue samples.
- Sealed Badass in a Can: The original prehistoric beast—never explicitly called a dragon in the Opening Scroll, but heavily implied.
- Any champions you have stored in the lab could count, as well.
- Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: Reflectors stop Special attacks, and Special attacks can also be stopped at close range with physical attacks. However, physical attacks are only effective at close range, and reflectors will do nothing against them.
- Witch with a Capital B: Ishuka constantly calls Nancy a "witch." Presumably, calling her anything else would push the T rating too far.
- Wretched Hive: Pablo's, where non-sanctioned battles take place, and dragonsages fight for wagers. It's the only place in-game where you can use so-called "wild" dragons generated from memory cards.