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Video Game / Lil' Monster

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Lil Monster is an obscure Game Boy Color Eastern RPG, released in 1999. Inspired by Pokémon, you make a monster beat up other monsters with a "deck" of attacks chosen at random, in the vein of Mega Man Battle Network.

While the US saw only Li'l Monster, Japan had two entries in the franchise—this game, known as Gem Gem Monster there, and a prequel called Kandume Monster ("Canned Monster").

This game contains examples of:

  • Antidote Effect: Even though they're hard to get, Canaries are mostly useless.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Confuse your opponent right after you poison them? Deliberately putting bad gems in your deck? Sure! However, there are times when the CPU does do some pretty smart things...
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The aptly-named Tricky, with its super-speed, powerfully damaging attacks, and lots of healing abilities.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Surprisingly averted. Cutting and clawing attacks result in visible spurts of blood.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The StarChange gem renders all of your attacks super effective against enemies and gives you no weaknesses, but you only get it once you defeat the final boss.
  • Cain and Abel: Hot Joe (good) and Cool Joe (evil). Interestingly, Cool Joe is the younger one.
  • Combos: The "Combo" gem, which gets more powerful the more of them you have in your hand when you use it.
  • Continuing is Painful: While continuing allows you to change your monster's species, it also halves their love for you, resets their weight, and makes you lose the gem you use.
  • Counter-Attack: The Dream, Counter, and Reflect gems all do damage to your enemy when they attack you. Dream and Counter don't do as much damage as Reflect, but there are several powerful moves that can skirt Reflect.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Macron and the "Isar-" family.
  • Death Is Not Permanent: If your monster dies, you can just turn it into another one by using another gem.
  • Death Mountain: Mt. Coral.
  • Demoted to Dragon: Kromar is the Final Boss of the first game, in the second he's the penultimate and is just another of Cool Joe's lackeys.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Minhand, which doubles your attack power. You can only get it if you you use Dowser's gem to summon the monster, however.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Actually, it's card suit rock paper scissors. Spade beats Heart, Heart beats Club, Club beats Diamond, and Diamond beats Spade.
  • Excuse Plot: You aren't even trying To Be a Master, really.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In Kandume Monster, Cool Joe—the primary antagonist of the second game—was a fairly harmless ringleader who helps you earn points to buy new gems.
  • First Town: Olive Town is the first and only one.
  • Fixed Damage Attack: The (Blank)-Killer gems, which do 100 damage to an enemy of that type no matter what. Also, Clutz, though it's more like Scratch Damage.
  • Gainax Ending: When climbing the Spiralwood to confront Gizmo you'll notice what appears to be a planet on the other end. Defeat Gizmo and you discover the other end of the spiralwood connects to a town, with your name on it. Try to access this town and- The End, Roll Credits.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The end of Mt. Coral suddenly casts you into a Mirror Match for no good reason.
  • Green Hill Zone: Tan Field.
  • Guide Dang It!: Many of the puzzles in this game involve using items in random places, though you'd never think of most of them—such as using the MiniCar in the first area of Mt. Coral to enter the MiniCar Grand Prix, or using the Battery in the second area of Aloe Lake to open the Fishing Mini Game. The lack of NPCs to help you along doesn't help.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Weirdly enough, even though you give your character a name, most NPCs will only refer to your monster.
  • Interface Screw: Several varieties. GemWave completely randomizes your hand, the Confusion status effect will keep you from choosing your moves, Bio and Combat transform your gems into ones that hurt you, and Virus slowly replaces all of your gems with itself, which causes 25 damage every time you use it.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Li'l Monster has one, though the cycle is pretty long—it takes about 3 or 4 real-world hours of gameplay to trigger night. The game can be beaten in less time than that. Averted with Kandume, which used a real-time clock.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Meteor Drop and Star Change gems. Both as attacks, and when transformed into the Infinity Plus One Monsters, Kromar and Gizmo.
  • Killer Rabbit: Par for the course in a children's Mons game. Including literal, bright-purple rabbits!
  • The Lost Woods: Pop Forest, and the more sinister Spiral Wood in the endgame.
  • Mirror Match: The boss at the end of Mt. Coral.
  • Mons: It's right there in the title.
  • Monster Arena: The appropriately-named Arena. It's completely optional until the end of the game, where it plays host to the penultimate boss fight. It's also the only way to obtain certain gems.
  • NPC Scheduling: In Kandume, certain areas of the world only open up during certain times of day.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The Dowser and Dragonscale ability gems, and their associated monsters, Gyro and Argon. These two monsters are fought as bosses. However, the bosses will only appear once, and if you lose to them, they'll vanish. You'll never be able to get their ability gems. To make things even more annoying, due to a variant on Tech Trees, failing to get Dowser will prevent you from getting the extremely useful Minhand, which doubles your attack.
  • Pet Interface: Moreso in the original than the sequel—the original had a full-on Tamagotchi-style interface with a real-time clock.
  • Poison Mushroom: The Virus and Death gems, which do damage to you. Luckily, two gems, Bio and Combat, let you give them to your OPPONENT instead...
  • Protagonist Without a Past: You, the person playing the game, are supposed to be the main character, so...
  • Quad Damage: The Minhand gem, which doubles your attack, and the HiSpeed gem, which does the same for your speed.
  • Random Encounter: Notable for being a complete and total aversion—except for a few boss fights, you never even see enemies wandering the map! You choose not only when you'll fight, but what you'll fight.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Pin Desert.
  • Skippable Boss: You don't have to beat Gyro or Argon at all to advance the plot! But if you lose, you'll lose a pair of unique gems.
  • Status Effects: Poison decreases your health slowly. Palsy prevents you from moving for a turn. Confusion is an Interface Screw.
  • Super-Deformed: All of the monsters. Even Gizmo, who's supposed to be a kind of Eldritch Abomination.
  • Toilet Humor: One thing your monster can do is poop.
  • Underground Monkey: Because you can fight almost any monster anywhere, you can have some pretty weird matchups in different places—such as fighting the dolphin-like Cupee in the Tan Desert...
  • Useless Useful Spell: The Reflect gem. Although it's a powerful Counter-Attack that will deal any damage dealt to you back at your enemy, there are several gems which it doesn't affect... two of which are the second-most-powerful gems in the game, and are found in the arsenals of most of the strongest enemies. However, it can be Not so useless against enemies that like to spam you with the most powerful gem, Meteor Drop.
  • Use Your Head: The Headbutt gem does Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Gyro, who is suddenly much tougher than anything else you've fought so far.