Monster Gate is a roguelike Japanese-only arcade Role-Playing Game with two Game Boy Advance followups. The game features a selection of procedurally generated dungeons, each of which has its own size, depth, selection of monsters and various special rules/features. Entering a dungeon requires paying a dungeon fee (arcade only); You start out with base stats and quickly gain experience levels for killing monsters (which are invisible, and which you can judge only by looking at your max HP). It doesn't take many kills before you stop gaining exp levels. To help yourself in the dungeon, you can bring up to 10 single-use cards (more can be found in the dungeon), which act as spells (cost money in the arcade, or mana in the GBA versions, to cast).
The arcade game features non-interactive multiplayer modes where you can try to conquer one of many dungeons and assign elite monster guards to protect it from other players trying to take it over. You can also customize your own dungeon using dungeon cards which can be found throughout the game.
This game provides examples of:
- Bonus Stage: You can visit a special level, which will appear from time to time. This level had 30 floors (more than any other dungeon), didn't allow you to take any spell cards in with you, didn't have a dungeon fee, and had extra money in it. However, it's mostly ignored in the GBA version, aside from the challenge of beating it.
- Dark Self: The most powerful basic monster is a darker version of your class.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Despite the automatic saves. If you die, you lose the items you took with you, keep any money you found, and need to "Try Again".
- Fantasy Character Classes: Generic warrior is the easiest to play, with superior attack and defense; Red Mage has more powerful healing and damage spells, and you see further in the dark; Gambler has better luck with dungeon items, can use the slot machine outside the dungeon and can see money items on minimap; Majin has awesome stats and better spells but loses 1 hp every turn, and others, depending on the game.
- Money for Nothing: In the GBA ports, the dungeon fee and spell fee were removed. Worse, monsters in the first GBA remake gave you money, shops were all in dungeons with limited inventory, and many of the rarer spells could not be obtained though the slot machine. The second GBA game tried to fix this, but didn't go far enough.
- New Game+: In the first game, you can do this when you finish the main (short) story line. Doing so allowed you to choose another class, while still being able to use any previous classes in the side dungeons.
- No Range Like Point-Blank Range: Monsters that use ranged attacks are just as powerful as melee-only enemies, except when they shoot at a distance, their damage is divided by the number of tiles they are away from you.
- Randomly Generated Levels
- Save Scumming: Averted, as the game automatically saves (even on the GBA).
- Too Awesome to Use: Some spells are rare, and some are really, really rare. They are awesome and can be used only once. If you don't finish the dungeon where you took this spell with you, then you've lost it.