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Video Game / Monster Tale

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They're so cute when they grow up...

Monster Tale is a 2011 Nintendo DS game from the short-lived developer DreamRift and published by Majesco Entertainment.

The game tells the story of Ellie, a little girl that is woken up in the middle of the night by a loud noise. Upon investigation, she finds a strange bracelet. All of a sudden, the bracelet glows and transports Ellie to a different world, populated by new and strange creatures, referred to as monsters. Not long upon arriving does Ellie finds an egg, which hatches a small and cute creature that Ellie dubs "Chomp". Now, Ellie and Chomp must travel through the monsters' world so that the girl may find a way home. She soon learns that she and her new friend are destined to liberate this mysterious world from the rule of five evil children.

A creative mix between Metroidvania and virtual pet raising sim, the game was created by the same people behind the equally Genre-Busting Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure. While traversing the overworld as Ellie, the bottom screen on displays Chomp residing in a pocket dimension, who will come out to aid Ellie in combat. Depending on how you decide to make use of and raise Chomp — from whether you use him for defense, healing, or as an additional source of damage during a fight, to the type of toys and foods you give to the creature to play with and eat during downtime — he will evolve accordingly: growing more powerful, gaining different abilities, and transforming further into even more specialized forms.


Plans for an Updated Re-release called Monster Tale Ultimate for the Nintendo 3DS were announced in 2015, but thanks to Majesco being bought out by a biotech company the following year and immediately ceasing video game operations, nothing ever came of it. In January 2021, years after Majesco changed hands again and re-entered the industry, it was announced that they once again planned on remaking the game for current consoles — whether this project will also succumb to the same fate as Monster Tale Ultimate remains to be seen.


This game contains examples of:

  • All Myths Are True: The one shown during the game's intro. Also deconstructed — the fact that the monsters believed this was what allowed the kid kings to rise to power. It is also reconstructed at the same time, since it refers to Ellie.
  • Alpha Bitch: Priscilla shows what would likely happen if such a character ever acquired any form of power over others.
  • Always Night: Treehouse Grotto is so enshrounded in nighttime, that there are many crescent and colored moons in the night sky.
  • Animesque: Judging by the character designs, you'd think this came from Japan, but in truth, it was made by an American developer and was only ever released in North America.
  • Anti-Villain: Despite the fact that they utilize slave labor, Zoe and Ethan have potentially valid Freudian Excuses for their behavior, depending on how reliable you think their testimony is (especially compared to someone like Deanu, who only complained about having chores back home). Zoe was never allowed to play with toys for fear of breaking them, and Child Prodigy Ethan was tired of being dismissed as Just a Kid when it came to his inventions. The Monster World gives Zoe all the toys she wants and Ethan the chance to build world-changing devices. Priscilla, however, is given no such excuse. She just wants to be popular.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Inverted; the kid kings aren't evil because they're royalty, they named themselves royalty because they're evil.
  • Arms Dealer: Jinx sells items for Chomp that not only give him experience, but also serve as weapons for indirect assistance for Ellie. For example, soccer balls and meteorites bounce all over the screen and hit enemies.
  • Badass Adorable: Ellie and Young Chomp (arguably Teen and Adult Chomp, too).
  • The Beast Master: All the human kids in the Monster World are effectively this, as each one has a monster partner, such as Ellie having Chomp and Meade having Krubble.
  • Big Bad: Priscilla is the leader of the Kid Kings and is thus the big bad.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Prissingham in it's entirety consists of Primhedge Palace, Priscilla's castle, and it's a massive one. It's also a Marathon Level and The Maze, with a couple of All the Worlds are a Stage sprinkled on top of it.
  • Big "NO!": Ellie when she gets knocked out. As well as the Kid Kings (And Queens) when they're defeated.
  • Blue Is Heroic: Ellie is a blue-haired little girl in a white night gown and wears blue sneakers. She's The Hero.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Zoe is the youngest Kid King.
  • Bread and Circuses: It's implied that Meade is doing the "circuses" part, at least.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Using skills eats away at Chomp's life bar, but it's easy enough to recharge.
  • Collision Damage: Played straight, plus some enemies wield melee weapons and attacks that do more damage than simply touching them.
  • Cool Train: The Demon Shuttle in Ethantica.
  • Cute Monster: Chomp himself is one. The contrast between his cuteness and his monsterness is most pronounced in his Adult forms.
  • Death Throws: Ellie and Chomp fall off the screen when they get K.O'd. Chomp however just falls back into the Pet Sanctuary to recover. Ellie has no such fortune.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: The Kid Kings, except for Priscilla, each eventually come around after fighting Ellie for various reasons. Zoe and Ethan even provide Big Damn Heroes moments while you're storming Pricilla's castle. Deanu wasn't really evil to begin with, though.
  • Down the Drain: The Tubeworqs area in Deanuford, overlaps with Under the Sea.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Fire is strong against Earth is strong against Water is strong against Fire. Or, more accurately, Red beats Green beats Blue beats Red, as few if any monsters show elemental traits besides color (and for those that do, it's the color that really matters).
  • Empathic Healer: Chomp's Healing skill works this way, due to the fact that all skills are Cast from Hit Points.
  • Egopolis: All of the kid kings' realms are named after them.
  • Eternal Engine: The Factory Fortress Area in Ethantica.
  • The Evil Genius: Ethan is quite smart and is also one of of the evil Kid Kings.
  • Evil Laugh: Priscilla, Meade and Ethan all have one.
    • Oddly enough, Chomp emits one of these after using a pet item when in a teen or adult form.
  • Forest of Perpetual Autumn: The appropriately-named Autumn Thicket.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Ethan. For bonus points, his theme in the soundtrack is titled "gadgeteer".
  • Game Gourmet: Helping Chomp grow and evolve involves feeding him various meats, sweets, fruits, vegetables, and grains.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: After beating a Kid King, you can see their crown in the collectibles screen. However, you're shown actually grabbing their key, and when the Kid King in question appears again they are still wearing their crown.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The unnamed dragon monster in the beginning of the game. The game data literally calls it "Intro Boss".
  • The Goomba: Small Waddling Heads called Dumbseekers. One ability Chomp can get is the ability to turn into them. As you might expect, this does nothing.
  • The Ghost: Chomp's mother never appears.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Priscilla is bad and also a princess.
  • Green Hill Zone: The Windlemill plains area in Zoetopia.
  • Guide Dang It!: The effectiveness of items unlocking new forms decreases as the adjacent forms increase in level. Nowhere does the game tell you this. This can potentially lead to some forms being unobtainable, or at least taking extremely large amounts of time and diligence to unlock.
  • Hair-Raising Hare: Zoe's monster Lobster.
  • Handbag of Hurt: Ellie's Satchel is used to hit things.
  • Hand Blast: The ancient band that Ellie wears can fire energy blasts against monsters and door panels (and gets more powerful throughout).
  • Heart Container: These can be bought in Jynx's shop or found laying out in the open.
  • Hearts Are Health: Though they're strangely blue, not red.
  • Hedge Maze: Primhedge Palace lives up to it's name, its also The Maze.
  • Hub Level: The Ancient Ruins.
  • Humans Are Special: Because the monsters believed in this, the kid kings managed to seize power.
  • Inescapable Ambush: Much like it's british cousin, it loves these. They get particularly brutal near the end.
  • Infinity +1 Element: Light (White), which resists attacks of other elements (even Non-Elemental) and in turn other elements are resistant to its attacks; and Dark (Purple), which has strong attacks against everything and vice-versa.
  • Joke Item: The Dumbseeker Copycat ability does nothing but turn Chomp into a little green version of the game's Goomba. It does no damage and provides no advantage.
  • Kid Hero: Apparently, the only ones who can see/tame monsters are kids.
  • Killer Rabbit:
    • Chomp, whose child forms are as cute as a button until it starts fighting.
    • Mister Lobster gets bonus points for actually being a rabbit.
  • Konami Code: A shortened version (replace "B, A, Start" with "Select") Palette Swaps Ellie and grants a small shop discount.
  • Little Miss Badass: Ellie. By virtue of the Band, Ellie can beat up monsters twice her size with nothing but her bare hands and a messenger bag.
  • The Lost Woods: Autumn Thicket and Treehouse Grotto areas. Located in Zoetopia.
  • Marathon Level: Prissingham is an extremely long gauntlet through several previous areas' lookalikes.
  • The Maze: Prissingham is huge, with many twists and turns and even some portals to previous areas.
  • Metroidvania: Albeit a very linear one.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Priscilla.
  • Nominal Hero: Ellie just wanted to find her way back to her home world and had no intention of saving the Monster World. She just happened to come across some fellow kids who wanted to kill her. It wasn't until she learned of Priscilla's diabolical scheme that she decides to intervene. Ellie herself lampshades this in the ending, claiming herself as not a hero, she just did what she had to.
  • Not So Stoic: Meade is The Stoic but, when fighting, at which point he goes into a Superpowered Evil Side.
  • One-Man Party: Many of Chomp's skills aren't that useful, and it's easier to go through the game without him on the top screen. Near the end of the game, this trope is still present, but on the other end, with a properly-raised Chomp being practically game-breaking, to the point where Ellie will barely contribute.
  • One-Winged Angel: Priscilla's monster Snout during the final boss battle, though it was already a monster to begin with.
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: Ellie's wears nothing but her nightgown for the vast majority of the game.
  • Palmtree Panic: Deanuford is generally this. The Beach area to be more specific.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The meter for unlocking a new form stops rising once the connected form Chomp needs to be in hits level 30, which will make it impossible to unlock. The sole exception seems to be the Elite Guard form, and only if you had already used enough of the required items before point of no return to build the rest of the meter through having Chomp take and deal damage.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Most of the kid kings don't really have any reason to fight Ellie, and only flip out and try to kill her when they think she's going to ruin their fun somehow. Instead of talking them down, Ellie just leaps into the fray and only explains that they don't really have any reason to be fighting after the battle.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Priscilla, right before the final battle.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Chomp.
  • Royal Brat: The (self-proclaimed) kid kings. Although it is inverted since they aren't likely part of any rich families (to our knowledge), in which case, they are likely just spoiled brats.
  • RPG Elements: Only Chomp gets them, though.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: The Ancient Ruins area. Not only does Ellie begin her adventure here and finds Chomp, it's also the central Hub area.
  • She Is the King: Even though Zoe and Priscilla are girls, they are still referred to as "Kid Kings" in game, instead of Queens.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Ethan says that someone named Henry Hatsworth (he had trouble remembering the name) had stepped in the monster world before. This particular person was a character whose game was also developed by Peter Ong. Ellie says that this reminds her of her great uncle.
    • There are floating puzzle pieces in the background of Zoe's "kingdom" that look supsiciously like the background of the Puzzle Realm. Cole's Machine really did some damage by just existing...
    • One of Priscilla's busts has her leaning forward and clenching her fist with yellow eyes and an angry face (like a certain "Flat-Chested demon" you may know)
    • Ethan also not only uses a DS-like device, but commands his monster Nathan to use "Ludicrous speed!"
    • As well as "Blast Processing!"
    • Priscilla's outfit and hair greatly resemble a certain video game princess.
    • Many of Chomp's attacks such as Drill em Mister, Ghoul's Cascade(which even has a blue fire effect), Artype, and Rolling Thunder are references to classic Video Games. And the form that learns the "Drill 'Em, Mister" attack is called the Petdozer. Chomp also has a move called "Aegis" which is a shout out to Urien's Aegis Reflector, and functions the exact same way.
    • One of Chomp's forms is a furry, fanged beast who has the ability to ram enemies, and is named "Tall Bain". It doesn't seem like a stretch to say the name may have something to do with Jon Talbain, the werewolf from DarkStalkers who's primary attack is to, you guessed it, ram enemies.
    • There's even one in the Closing Credits: The director Peter Ong thanks his brother Jay Ong for "being like Itachi''.
    • Meade: "Sleep Now... In The Fire!"
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Ethantica is located in the cold regions, with the Frigid Cliffs area serving as a starting point.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Baby Chomp puts some on for his "studying" animation in the Pet Sanctuary.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure. Subverted in that it is implied that both games are in the same universe. See Shout-Out above.
  • Stalactite Spite: Stalactites fall on you in certain places, just like the trope says.
  • Surfer Dude: Deanu talks like this.
  • Swiss-Army Hero: Chomp can do just about anything.
  • Toy Time: Zoetopia has this general theme throughout. The Windlemill Plains has Lego-like toy Windmills and toy block tilesets. The Autumn Thicket has loose toys strewn across the ground, the Treehouse Grotto has lots of treehouses, and houses the Spookhouse Lookout, where Zoe and Mister Lobster are fought. It ties into the general lore of Zoe, who became a Kid King in the Monster Realm because her parents wouldn't let her play with toys due to their fear of her breaking them.
  • Tree Top Town: Treehouse Grotto.
  • Underground Level: Meadeland takes place entirely underground, the Caverns area is a more specific example.
  • Underground Monkey:
    • Different "elemental" versions of monsters.
    • Chomp himself is actually a protagonist version of Underground Monkey, as all of his forms in the same stage of growth are slightly altered versions of each other.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: When Ellie first enters the monster realm she doesn't seem too surprised that not only is she in a completely different place, but it has also instantly turned from night to day. Of course there's a reason for this, her great uncle is Henry Hatsworth, adventuring runs in the family.
  • Waddling Head: The basic enemies, natch, given the game's intentionally trope-tastic nature.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The first kid king, Meade, is this.
  • Warmup Boss: The unnamed two-headed dragon at the beginning of the game.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: Chomp can get K.O'd over and over with no penalty. If Ellie dies, however. It's Game Over.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: The kid kings seem interested in subjugatating the monsters only to pursue their interests. Priscilla wants to conquer both worlds to become famous!
  • Windmill Scenery: The Windlemill Plains has lots of toy-like windmills in the background.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Chomp received a ton of spotlight in the games' promotional material, and while he is a significant part of the game, the promos doesn't really shed a lot of light on Ellie, the character you actually play as.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Most of Ellie's powerups, actually. She needs a powerup just to learn how to swing her knapsack. She then needs an additional powerup to swing it continuously, and another to swing it in an uppercut. She also needs one to learn how to roll, and there are two powerups that do nothing except allow Ellie to perform two attacks she learned previously in the air.