Video Game: Monster Rancher Battle Card Game

"The age of Monster Rancher continues...
As monster battles began to grow in popularity, kids soon realized that their smaller size made them unable to handle monsters in the same way as adults, and flocked to a certain game that suited their style. This game was safe and popular, and allowed kids to increase their knowledge of monsters. It is said that from among the game's many players emerged many fine card breeders.
The game was known as Battle Card..."
Gameboy Color intro

There is a Pokémon card game. There is a Digimon card game. Why would Monster Rancher lose this possibility?

While different from the previously named card games, "Monster Rancher Card Game" managed to capture pretty well the fighting system Monster Rancher games are known for. Of course, there is no breeding simulation included, but the system is still very faithful to the original games.

The rules are the following:
  • Before the match the player has to select 3 monsters. Those are the monsters he is going to use from the begging to the ending of the match.
  • Each player has a 50 cards deck, which can be divided in three types: Offensive cards, Defensive cards and Help cards.
    • Offensive and Defensive cards are designed to a single kind of monster. (with some exceptions)
    • Offensive cards are only used during your turn. To active the offensive card you must have the corresponding monster, and that monster can't be exhausted. After using an Offensive card, the monster gets exhausted.
    • Defensive cards are only used during your opponent turns, when he/she decides to use a card against you. They work as a defense measure allowing you to do things like "Block" or "Evade".
    • Help cards can be used during your turn, and they don't require a special monster to be activated. For those familiar with Pokémon, they are the Trainer card.
  • The cards mentioned above can only be used by spending your GUTS. The only exception are the 0 GUTS cards, which are usually weaker.
  • At the end of your turn, you have a GUTS step, in which you can discard cards. For each card discarded, you gain 1 GUTS.
  • At the beginning of your turn, you draw as many cards you need until you have 5 cards in your hand.
  • The match ends when one trainers' three monsters are defeated (most likely by offensive cards) or one trainer is decked out.

Sadly, the hard copies of the game never made it out of Japan. So far, only two games exist: Monster Rancher Battle Card Game for the Gameboy and Monster Rancher Battle Card Game Episode II for the Playstation. Though a Monster Rancher CCG was released, it used a different system altogether and had more to do with the anime than the games.

Exploration and story progress in the former is very similar to the Gameboy Pokémon Trading Card Game Game for the Gameboy Color, while the latter is more like the original Monster Rancher games, with a calendar and scheduled fights.

The Gameboy game also has gained some notoriety for its infamous awful translation.

This game provides examples of:

  • Awesome but Impractical: Strong attacks require lots of GUTS, so that means you have to discard many cards in order for them to work. Not only that, but you should also avoid using other cards since they would consume your GUTS. At the end, using a couple of high-cost cards is really risky, since you can get Decked out and have to be open to your enemies' attacks. Further, defensive cards generally cost 1 or 2 GUTS at the most, so if your opponent happens to have a card to evade you, they spend ~2 cards (factoring in the cards discarded for GUTS) to negate ~5 of yours.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The Game Boy game is infamous for this.
  • Boring but Practical: Low GUTS attacks. You can use plenty of them to kill one monster. Then, 3 vs 2 is a lot easier to win. Just keep spamming them.
  • Bonus Boss: The monsters in the Paradise of Monsters.
  • But Thou Must: After completing the Game Boy game for the first time, you can decline Tim's offer to start over and continue collecting cards, but there's absolutely nothing else that can be done by that point.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The opponent will often go after the monster with no defense cards, suggesting it can see the player's cards. This is an otherwise illegal move without Suezo's "Scouting" card.
  • Continuity Cameo: Practically everyone from the first two main games appear as opponents, along with plenty of new faces.
  • Continuity Nod: One of the items in the Game Boy game is a pair of skates - Genki's weapon of choice in the anime.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Golem, who has plentiful attack cards, no Dodge cards, and no way to defend against INT attacks.
  • Distressed Damsel: Colt is trapped in the Paradise of Monsters, and it's up to the player to rescue her.
  • Expy: Cue, for Colt. She even dislikes her full name, Curie.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: If you don't have all of the Monster Cards before the mandatory Phoenix Cup, even if you win in every fight Pabs will lose against the final opponent, forcing you to come back when you do get all of the Monster Cards.
  • Fragile Speedster: Pixie, Hare, and Tiger.
  • Excuse Plot: Averted. Little kids cannot play with real monsters because it's too dangerous, so they simulate monster battles with cards. In the second game, the plot is about freeing Colt from the Monster Plate.
  • Fragile Speedster: Pixie has only 6 health, but 9 dodging cards.
  • Glass Cannon: Tiger, Mew, and Hare have only 6 health and powerful attacks.
  • Gradual Grinder: The leader of the BCB has a Pixie. With every dodge card.
    • Plants are this sort of Monster.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: The Game Boy game takes place in one. After Final Boss Tim is defeated, he sends the player on a mission to collect all the cards, a task that necessitates time travel to exhaust all possibilities.
  • Jack of All Stats: Mocchi and Suezo have 7 health and well-rounded attacks and dodge cards.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Zilla and Dragon have 10 health and many powerful attack cards.
  • MacGuffin: The Phoenix card, only obtainable after you have every other Monster card.
  • Mighty Glacier: Golem, who has no dodge cards at all and can only block POW moves.
  • Mirror Match: Miller and Ellie both use your own decks against you. You can win easily by removing all the attack cards and stalling til they deck out.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Juras, the BCB drummer. He even gets a lovingly detailed portrait of his killer abs.
  • No Final Boss for You: When completing the Game Boy game after the first playthrough, the game will skip right over Tim's battle and start over once again.
  • Oddball in the Series A Monster Rancher game that has no simulation.
  • Player Personality Quiz: Episode II has a quiz that determines your starting Monsters and deck.
  • Stone Wall: Most monsters with 10 HP.
  • Squishy Wizard: Pixie, but man can she dodge things.