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Video Game / Monster Rancher EVO

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Ladies and gents, the Orcoro Circus!
In our world, creating monsters from items called "Saucers" and then raising them is a part of everyday life. We call the places where monsters are raised "Monster Rancher."

And so begins the tale of Julio, your average 15-year-old Monster Breeder, and our hero in Monster Rancher EVO.

Monster Rancher EVO (Monster Farm 5: Circus Caravan in Japanese) is a bit different from older entries and later entries in that it retains 4's "raise five monsters at a time" mechanic, while being more plot heavy and traditionally RPG-ish than any predecessor. You play as the aforementioned Julio, who, in the beginning of the game, is not confident in his Breeding skills as his only monster ran away. The game begins as your circus troop of you, Albert, Marlene, and Gaufre are joined by Nayuta, who quickly demonstrates a rather unique talent, unlocking monsters from Saucers.

Armed with this ability, and Julio's Anima Recorder, you and the Orcoro Circus set out on a continent-spanning adventure, fighting stray monsters with darkened anima, unraveling each character's past, and putting on circus shows.

Tropes present in Monster Rancher EVO:

  • Alternate Dimension: The world of Warp.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Gaufre and Nayuta. The former is from a colorful Jamaica caricature, but the latter is more of a straight example.
  • Anime Hair: Spikes and huge, naturally gravity-defying hair are front and center among the main cast.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Fighting the stray monsters can become this, as they'll politely wait around for your Guts to charge up most of the time. But sometimes, they won't.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The translation is generally competent, but the lack of contractions and plurals rears its ugly head now and then.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": Tigers, which are wolves. Golems, Pixies, Plants and Dragons avert this trope, as do other species of monster.
  • The Cameo: When your monster is performing tricks in the circus shows, sometimes the tricks involve old monsters such as Bakus and Color Pandoras. Just like with Bajarl, they're for show only and completely un-raisable.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Dotty and Petty play this trope completely straight. They quote tried-and-true villain staples like getting somewhere before the heroes and blocking their path and stealing the MacGuffin just because the heroes want it.
  • Cherry Tapping: The quickest way to win a boss fight is to raise a monster's Speed and Power/Intelligence to ridiculous heights and pound away with low-Guts moves.
  • Com Mons: Hares are a fairly common disc monster.
  • Continuing is Painful: Averted in the case of losing to the dungeon bosses. If all three of your monsters get knocked out, you'll simply get a scene where Nayuta and Julio resolve to come back stronger.
  • Cool Helmet: Gaufre makes steel and bull horns look natural. There is a reason for it though. In his village, it's customary to only show your face to family members.
  • Competitive Balance: Any monster can beat any other monster if you put enough time and effort into raising it.
  • Dungeon Crawling: Very present. A few monster races are rideable however, making moving through the dungeons much quicker.
  • Evil Counterpart: Dotty's Piroro/Gitan is a dark purple sub-breed of your purebred Piroro.
  • Exposition Fairy: Bajarl, a monster which was only raiseable in the second game, returns to explain things to you as you traverse the various dungeons.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Big Bad hates humanity.
  • First Town: Colno, which possesses nice trees, a breezy atmosphere, and relatively normal living conditions compared to later towns you'll find.
  • Genre Shift: It's more of a half-and-half RPG/Simulation than earlier Monster Rancher entries.
  • The Gimmick: Like previous games, you can unlock the monsters inside of your CDs and DVDs to raise and battle.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: The Violet Cats, a duo of by-the-book villains who are out to annoy you at every turn.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: There are 246 Monsters total.
  • Guide Dang It!: Getting Henger requires you to go to a place you've already cleared and find a specific item.
  • Hope Bringer: Your party brings hope to the towns via their circus shows.
  • Idle Animation: Every monster breed has them, and they're quite nice to look at.
  • Love Triangle: Albert was caught up in one in his hometown that carried on for years due to a misunderstanding. It gets addressed and wrapped up over the course of the game.
  • Magikarp Power: Every monster in the game, if raised properly, has the power to beat the final boss single-handedly.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Woo, to Dilong.
  • Minigame: The bread and butter of your circus performances is doing well in minigames, which are tied to specific tricks that increase specific parameters for a single monster. That 30-second time limit feels shorter and shorter as you get more monsters and harder minigames to complete.
  • Mascot: Piroro for Monster Rancher EVO specifically.
  • Mon: Two hundred and forty six of them in all.
  • Monster Clown: Albert.
  • Mysterious Waif: Nayuta and Linka.
  • Mythology Gag: Moo was the main antagonist and a world-destroying force in the anime.
  • Nintendo Hard: Easier than earlier games, but still prevalent.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Dilong wants to destroy the word, courtesy of Moo.
  • Optional Boss: A bonus dungeon unlocked after you beat the game has you fight a red version of Moo.
  • Pretty Butterflies: Monsters' souls are represented as rainbow-colored butterflies.
  • Rebellious Princess: Marlene.
  • Save Both Worlds: By the end of the game, Julio has to save both his own world and the world of Warp.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Big Bad of the game is trying to revive Moo.
  • Training Boss: Dotty is the very first person you fight in the whole game and gives you a rundown of how Monster Battles are fought, with Nayuta chiming in to elaborate.
  • Trippy Finale Syndrome: The final world is like an Escher painting.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The game departs from the usual tournaments and stat-raising of previous games, and is a lot lighter on the simulation aspect in general.
  • You Lose at Zero Trust: If your monster hates you because you were unnecessarily hard on it, it'll run away.