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Bongo Bill
04-04-2009, 07:03 PM
Ah, that noble sport of cockfighting! Whether your fancy is monsters, demons, trading cards, robot parts, or anything else, it seems the only thing that can make collection more addicting is to find some way to do make them do battle.

In the Monster Rancher series, the sport of kings is monster battling. Even the low-ranking amateur fights draw sizable crowds, and, of course, there's lots of money involved. You play the role of a monster trainer who, at the beginning of the game, receives a run-down ranch and a plucky beginner assistant. From there it's pretty much open-ended. You take one monster at a time and train it for fighting, or maybe a challenge. Winning higher levels of battle grants you the privilege of raising some of the very strongest ones, but that's really a minor thing. The battles are one-on-one fights with a fairly unique real-time system (but I'll get to that later).

Unlike, say, Pokemon, Monster Rancher has no adventuring at all. It's not so much an RPG as it is a management simulator. Without questing, how can you possibly acquire new mons? That's where the series' trademark mechanic comes in: according to the in-game fiction, there are "disc stones" with the souls of monsters contained in them. They're actually CDs (and, later, DVDs). You put any compact disc in the world in your Playstation, and it'll fart out a brand new baby monster to be your pit-fighting cash cow. When the time comes for picking out monsters, I'll give you a choice from several that I have on hand, and go with the most popular. If, for some reason, that doesn't work out, I'll go with the next most-popular.

Your monster will age and eventually die, and it is expected that you'll raise dozens of them over the course of your career. And it is a career - as a professional monster rancher, you'll need to ensure that you earn enough in winnings to cover your expenses. That and training a monster that wins in the highest rank are your only goals, and there are as many ways to approach these goals as there are species of monster to raise (in Monster Rancher 2, there are at least four hundred).

Because of this, I will do pretty much whatever you guys tell me to. These games contain lots of secrets and hidden mechanics that I, at best a casual fan, don't know about. I'm going to play it without any sort of guide, so I am virtually unspoiled.

I intend to update every Monday with a summary of what's been going on. Before we begin, though, we'll need to know: what are we naming our monster rancher, and are we going to be a man or a woman? This makes almost zero difference, but it's nice.

Also, for our first monster, here's five CDs I've chosen at random. In case one of them requires that the trainer not be a rookie, you should specify a second choice.


The soundtrack bonus CD that came with Chrono Trigger DS
"Head Hunters" by Herbie Hancock
some Linux liveCD from 2007
Metal Gear Solid, disc 2
Grunt: Pigorian Chant


Next time, I'll offer you some wacky music CDs from the collections of my friends and relatives. Additionally, although I said I wouldn't rely on any guides, I am making an exception for the guide that lists rare monsters that can only be gotten from specific CDs; if I can track down any of those, I will definitely show off the results.

First update, with decisions based on your input, will be this Monday.

nadia
04-04-2009, 07:42 PM
I look forward to this!

...

I liked the anime.

Oathbreaker
04-04-2009, 08:16 PM
At the first possible (convenient) opportunity, you need to use Tiger and/or the Gray Wolf variant of him/her/it. (I have no idea what monsters are in the first game, but I'm confident at least one of them is, and those are my favorites)

Oh god I loved the anime.

Starting disc should be "Head Hunters". If that isn't rookie-level, MGS disc2.

Also, being that I'm a male, I vote the character should be male as well.

Rai
04-04-2009, 08:55 PM
Female rancher named Meryl with the Metal Gear disk.

And if that doesn't work, the Linux CD.

rockintomordor
04-04-2009, 09:08 PM
Awesome! I remember renting this game and playing it with my older brother. The idea that any CD could be inserted into the console and produce a unique monster was just incredible. I'm definitely looking forward to this.

I don't have any name suggestions, but the character should be male, because I'm a masculist. Not really.

EDIT: First choice is Chrono Trigger, second choice, Metal Gear.

PapillonReel
04-04-2009, 10:59 PM
I, uh, liked the anime too. :I

Just to be contrary, I'm gonna suggest you go with the Chrono Trigger CD.

Mightyblue
04-04-2009, 11:07 PM
If I recall, the girl Holly from the anime acts as the helper girl for the third entry in the series, doesn't she?

jovewolf
04-05-2009, 12:23 AM
Holly is actually your helper in the first game in the series (so, uh, this one if I'm reading things right) and she shows up as a rival trainer in 2. She might also be in the third, but I've never had a chance to play that one.

I'll go down for Chrono Trigger followed by Metal Gear - I know Metal Gear gives you a special monster in 2 but I don't know about 1 so I'd be interested to find out.

Hopefully we can get a Doodle at some point just because of the crazy stuff it does.

Edit:

Now this thread has made me dig out Monster Rancher 4 again (which isn't my favourite entry, but is the only one I have handy). Man I wish the DS games got localized, if only for the perverse pleasure of generating a monster from one of the GBA Pokemon games....

Balrog
04-05-2009, 12:50 AM
Tecmo games get produce special monsters, don't they?

jovewolf
04-05-2009, 01:05 AM
Tecmo games get produce special monsters, don't they?

Yeah usually but the only one I recall off-hand in the first game though is Tecmo's Deception. I think most of the rest of the special monsters in the first game were on music CDs.

Bongo Bill
04-05-2009, 01:42 AM
I'll go down for Chrono Trigger followed by Metal Gear - I know Metal Gear gives you a special monster in 2 but I don't know about 1 so I'd be interested to find out.

This is 2.

TK Flash
04-05-2009, 05:58 AM
Oh man, I played the hell out of the first two installments in this series. Man, that was such a long time ago...this thread done made me nostalgic, son, and that's a whoppin'.

Octopus Prime
04-05-2009, 07:14 AM
Man, I was looking forward to this one. Go for the Chrono Trigger disc, with MGS Disc 2 as a backup.

I also liked the anime.

Dynastic Bird
04-05-2009, 09:04 AM
Female trainer please.

As for the discs: I didn't know about the MGS special, so why not? #2 goes to "Pigorian Chant" cause the idea of pigs doing the chants is just hilarious.

I never realized the show had so many fans. Like me apparently.

Knight
04-05-2009, 09:24 AM
Tecmo games get produce special monsters, don't they?
Yea, in Monster Rancher 2, you get a Kasumi Pixie monster from the Dead or Alive disc. Some other games and soundtracks can get you unique monsters too.
I also watched the anime, but they changed the timeslot or started re-running episodes, so I never got to the end. =( I also borrowed my friend's gameshark to give myself a Moo monster.

PapillonReel
04-05-2009, 09:26 AM
I never realized the show had so many fans. Like me apparently.

Monsters rule. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GddC44-uqQ)

jovewolf
04-05-2009, 06:23 PM
This is 2.

Ah I see. Sorry about that as I couldn't really tell from the opening post. Just as well though as 2 and 3 are the ones I've spent the least time with. I'm still standing by my choices and looking forward to see where this goes.

Kirin
04-06-2009, 06:41 AM
Female trainer, Chrono Trigger, Linux

What happens if you use Monster Rancher 1 as a generator for Monster Rancher 2?

Another suggestion: Kefka's Domain, the US domestic release of the FF6 soundtrack.


Edit: oh right, trainer name. Uhh..... Breeches.
(Ok, running out of synonyms for pants.)

Bongo Bill
04-06-2009, 09:26 AM
What happens if you use Monster Rancher 1 as a generator for Monster Rancher 2?

The world may never know. (Monster Ranchers 2 and Advance are the only ones I have)

Octopus Prime
04-06-2009, 02:30 PM
I can't remember if you got something spectacular for the MR 1 disc, or something curiously uninteresting for it.

You get some kind of a freaky mutant Suezo from it, according to Gamefaqs.

Falselogic
04-06-2009, 04:16 PM
What happens if you use monster rancher 2 in monster rancher 1? Do Time and Space bend into each other forming some sort of dimensial mobius strip in which they no longer have any meaning?

Or do you just get some random crappy monster?

Octopus Prime
04-06-2009, 05:10 PM
What happens if you use monster rancher 2 in monster rancher 1? Do Time and Space bend into each other forming some sort of dimensial mobius strip in which they no longer have any meaning?

Or do you just get some random crappy monster?

Well, I know that putting the Monster Rancher 1 CD in Monster Rancher 1 gives you an unexciting Tiger/Hare monster.
And Gamefaqs confirms that putting 2 into 1 gives you a Golem. Just a regular old crummy Golem.

Bongo Bill
04-06-2009, 08:54 PM
#2 goes to "Pigorian Chant" cause the idea of pigs doing the chants is just hilarious.

They chant in Pig Latin.

OKAY LET'S GET GOING

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-06_204552.jpg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BE_oVpYowTM)

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-06_205404.jpg

Hi!

"Please sign your name here."

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-06_205545.jpg

"Breeches, you will be a new trainer, right? We're going to have you take the trainer type test. Please answer these questions."

As far as anyone knows, the outcome of this personality quiz makes absolutely no difference in the game, so you can just pretend that I answered exactly what you would have. They're all true-or-false.

1. I can mostly forget about an unpleasant experience by the next morning.
2. Before I start proceeding with something, I should make sure it's safe.
3. I believe that aliens exist.
4. In a battle, what counts in the end is mental power.
5. I have a valuable friend whom I never betray.
6. Sometimes, it's important for people to simply let something go.
7. When I am ordered to do something I like, I'm confused.
8. Once I determine a goal, I must accomplish that goal no matter what.
9. Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night, and cannot go back to sleep.
10. Unfortunately, or fortunately, in this world, money can solve most problems.

"Hello, Breeches. Thank you for waiting."

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-06_210208.jpg

What, don't I get to see the results?

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-06_210220.jpg

This is Coltia, Breeches' perky assistant. She does all the real work.

"She is the trainer assistant who is going to your place. She is still a bit childish, but she sure is a good girl. Here she is. Coltia!"

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-06_210338.jpg

"Please call me Colt!"

Old Man: "You're gonna work with her for quite some time, so please try to get along with each other. Do your best to raise a monster well so that it can win the Major 4. I'm looking forward to your performance!"

Colt: "Yes sir! Well, Breeches, let's do our best!"

Colt offers a brief run-down of the basics. I will summarize the results.

Trainer Assistant: they assist trainers. The process of becoming an expert is very intensive, and as a consequence, a good assistant is very knowledgeable. This is a good thing, because Breeches lost the manual for the game.

Tournament: Monsters are mammals. Monsters fight all the time. The purpose of monsters is to fight in tournaments. The bulk of a trainer's income will be winnings from tournaments, and raising monsters to fight in them will be the bulk of the expenses.

The Major 4: You thought they were going to be like the Elite Four, but the Major 4 are just the four highest-ranking tournaments of the year. You need an invitation just to get in. The stated goal of the game is to win all four of them.

Disc Stone: They're CDs, and they have monsters on them. At the shrine in town, you can get a monster out of them. Whatever is on the disc determines not just the species of monster, but also its stats. Try all your CDs. (One thing I regret is that we'll be unable to replicate the experience of sitting around on a lazy Sunday morning just trying every CD you can find with a friend. Ah, good times....)

Ranch: This is where we live. More importantly, this is where monster training happens.

"Then, let's go find our monster!"

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-06_211539.jpg

This is the town. From here we can go to the Market, the Shrine, the Lab, save or load, or return to the Ranch (but only if we have a monster).

The Market sucks. You can get some generic monsters there even if you have no CDs, but that's not a problem for us.

The Shrine is the most important place in town. That's where we turn CDs into monsters. It's our first stop.

We'll be spending some time at the Lab later. In the Lab, you can put monsters into suspended animation, and you can combine two frozen monsters into a new baby monster with features of both parents and generally stronger stats. Monsters don't age while they're in the Lab, so you can wait as long as it takes to get exactly the monsters you need to breed. You can also just leave them there if you get bored of a good one and bring it back later. Since you don't get to keep the parents after you combine monsters, you have to be careful.

TO THE SHRINE

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-06_211943.jpg

"I am Chaille, a priestess of this Shrine. We reproduce monsters from disc stones (CD) and slates (backup data of 'Monster Rancher')."

A word on Slate reproduction: you can load monsters from Monster Rancher 1 into Monster Rancher 2 by choosing this option. Since I don't have Monster Rancher 1, you won't ever get to see it. Sorry!

By popular request, we are going with the Chrono Trigger DS bonus soundtrack CD thing.

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-06_212202.jpg

I can hardly wait!

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-06_212250.jpg

"...this rare monster can be reproduced only by an authorized IMa trainer. Please come again...."

Guys, we need to level up before we can go with the Chrono Trigger monster. So the second choice was Metal Gear Solid, disc 2. Let's go with that one.

(A moment later) "I regret to tell you that this rare monster" FUCK.

Unfortunately, this is a big problem in the early game. We haven't yet proven that we can handle the really strong monsters. So... the third choice seems to have been: The Kubuntu 7.04_x86 LiveCD.

And here it is, the moment of truth:

"I regret to tell you" GOD DAMN IT ALL

Okay, we're just having bad luck is all. We'll try Head Hunters next. Although I have a sneaking suspicion that Herbie Hancock will be too cool to produce a monster lame enough for a newbie like Breeches.

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-06_212921.jpg

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-06_212941.jpg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yWRn7E9ZDs)

"Curious looking monster."

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-06_213008.jpg

Hell yes we are taking this monster to our Ranch. We went through like fifty (four is like fifty in that they are both numbers) CDs trying to get that guy, and it looks like he doesn't suck.

A breakdown of the stats. There's more to it than there, but the simple version is like this: Life is HP; Power determines the damage done by physical attacks. Intelligence is both damage by and resistance to non-physical attacks; Skill is accuracy; Speed is dodging power; Defense is resistance to physical attacks.

Every monster species has a type (which dictates the model and the general shape of the stats) and a subtype (which dictates the texture and skews the stats); each type and subtype corresponds to one monster family. This guy is a member of the Suezo family, those little buy-eyed things that are the series mascot, and the purple coloration marks it as having a particular subtype that I don't know what the name is.

Notice how small the newborn monster is on this screen.

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-06_213252.jpg

Right. This will be Breeches' very first monster, guys, so make it a good one.

I won't ask you to provide too much input for our general raising style, but do be advised that there is a continuum of strictness with which we can raise our monsters, based primarily on what we punish or reward them. These approaches have different effects on some monsters - some need a loving and supportive atmosphere, and some need a firm disciplinarian to keep them in line. This influences the monster's Loyalty stat, which comes into play during battles, as well as its overall levels of happiness and stress, and a number of other minor effects. Since you guys are more Breeches than I am, I want you to make the broad decisions about raising style, so: should we go for strictness, leniency, or what?

You'll get to see the results of your choices next Monday, by which time this little tyke's training regimen will be well underway.

ChefCthulhu
04-06-2009, 09:00 PM
Hard ass taskmaster baby all the way! They don't stop till they're dead.

mr_bungle700
04-06-2009, 09:46 PM
I think it's only appropriate that we name the beast Herbie.

Octopus Prime
04-07-2009, 01:02 AM
Purple Suezo freak

No monster being surrogate raised by me is going to look that patently ridiculous. Name him Mosh-Pit and have him tossed to the wolves!

Or forced into hard labor for chump-change.

Rai
04-07-2009, 05:48 AM
We can't be too soft on the ugly beastie. Otherwise, it'll never win its fights. Never.

rockintomordor
04-07-2009, 06:30 AM
I think it's only appropriate that we name the beast Herbie.

For sure.

Nobuyuki
04-07-2009, 07:16 AM
Look at that ridiculous creature. It's obvious what we should call it!

Tails. You know, cause of it's huge tail.

Bongo Bill
04-07-2009, 08:04 AM
Honest opinion, guys. The screenshots: too big? I can deinterlace them. (The videos will all be Youtube size, so you can't tell me what to do with those. Bleah.)

Name him Mosh-Pit and have him tossed to the wolves!

When we're done with this guy, we'll be feeding the wolves to him.

Well, some of them.

Falselogic
04-07-2009, 01:01 PM
I don't have a problem with the screenshot size...

Lame that every disc we wanted to use was too good... You'd think they'd just tone down the monster you got from the disc as opposed to making it unavailable.

But what do I know about monster ranching? Nothing!

In regards to the MR2 disc in the first game only giving you a golem, that's lame... so very very lame.

Knight
04-07-2009, 01:12 PM
The screenshot size is just fine. I also vote we call him Herbie, and I think his subtype is Naga. As for raising style, I think he might need to be kept on a short leash, so a stricter style would be best.

Oathbreaker
04-07-2009, 04:48 PM
I'm terrible with naming things, so go with whatever the masses demand.

Also, I'm in agreement with everyone that says grind him into the dirt until he's dead. He will respect us for doing so.

Why, though, are we feeding the wolves to him? Wolves are far higher up the food chain that he is. I demand he be fed to a wolf in order to make the wolf stronger... or combined with something that creates a strong wolf. I really really really like wolves, which in this game means Tiger will devour everything. Including previous Tigers and his variants.

Bongo Bill
04-07-2009, 04:56 PM
Tell you what: I will freeze Herbie before he dies, and if one of the other discs you pick gives us something vaguely lupine, then we will freeze that guy too, and combine him with Herbie.

Oathbreaker
04-07-2009, 05:05 PM
I thank you, sir.

SuperRube
04-07-2009, 05:53 PM
Man, why you guys all hatin' on the Eyeball monster.

You should name him Fluffy and love him forever.

Bongo Bill
04-11-2009, 01:01 AM
Guys, you have given me a complete fuckup of a monster. You'll learn the full details on Monday, but.... Well, stats aren't everything.

Octopus Prime
04-11-2009, 01:19 AM
Well, I don't think anyone actually voted for the disc you had to end up using, so we didn't really screw you over there.

But yeah, there's a reason why I don't like Suezo's.

Dynastic Bird
04-11-2009, 07:25 AM
Wonderful. I guess the only question is:

Who wants Pig Latin? Or a new set of discs?

Oathbreaker
04-11-2009, 01:05 PM
Well, I don't think anyone actually voted for the disc you had to end up using, so we didn't really screw you over there.

But yeah, there's a reason why I don't like Suezo's.

I voted for it. Mwahahahahaha!

Octopus Prime
04-11-2009, 01:09 PM
I voted for it. Mwahahahahaha!

You cad!

Bongo Bill
04-11-2009, 04:24 PM
Wonderful. I guess the only question is:

Who wants Pig Latin? Or a new set of discs?

Now, now, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Bongo Bill
04-13-2009, 04:23 PM
Update to go up later this evening. Possibly much later. Possibly technically tomorrow. But it will come.

Falselogic
04-13-2009, 04:26 PM
We should have known when the monster came out purple... Whenever has anything purple been awesome? Never!

Well for awhile it was cool when Roman emperors were wearing it, but then they got all wussy and ever since than it's been down hill for purple.

I vote we get a new monster, preferably red, red is always awesome

Octopus Prime
04-13-2009, 05:04 PM
We should have known when the monster came out purple... Whenever has anything purple been awesome? Never!

Well for awhile it was cool when Roman emperors were wearing it, but then they got all wussy and ever since than it's been down hill for purple.

I vote we get a new monster, preferably red, red is always awesome

Dude, come on, most Decepticons are purple.

The cool ones, in any case.

Bongo Bill
04-13-2009, 05:14 PM
Dude, come on, most Decepticons are purple.

The cool ones, in any case.

You're not helping your case.

Octopus Prime
04-13-2009, 05:17 PM
You're not helping your case.

http://tfwiki.net/w2/images2/thumb/c/cb/Shockwavearealldead.jpg/300px-Shockwavearealldead.jpg

SuperRube
04-13-2009, 06:13 PM
We should have known when the monster came out purple... Whenever has anything purple been awesome? Never!

Well for awhile it was cool when Roman emperors were wearing it, but then they got all wussy and ever since than it's been down hill for purple.

I vote we get a new monster, preferably red, red is always awesome

http://i677.photobucket.com/albums/vv136/sbrittjr/normal_Joker_05.jpg

My friend would like to have a word with you.

PapillonReel
04-13-2009, 06:50 PM
We should have known when the monster came out purple... Whenever has anything purple been awesome? Never!

http://i232.photobucket.com/albums/ee231/PapillonReel/gravitysuitsamus.png

*cough*

Bongo Bill
04-13-2009, 07:08 PM
I was going to try to go for six months, but this monster is just not working out. In this installment, we learn exactly why! In the end, the decision will be yours: keep going with Herbie in spite of his inadequacy, or cut our losses and try a new one? I've got plenty of CDs.

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_014604.jpg

Let's start by getting a good look at his stats.

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_014624.jpg

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_014627.jpg

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_014629.jpg

See where it says "Worst" there? That's a bad sign. The rest of it are his competencies, his battle records, his demeanor, and so forth. I'll be giving an explanation for each as it becomes pertinent.

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_014633.jpg

Here are his techniques. Right now, he has Tail and Spit. Just two. But, then again, he's just a baby, and many babies start off with only two crappy techniques.

A nice picture, he is indeed half-Naga:

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_014720.jpg

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_015236.jpg

Every monster has a card with a little bit of flavor text. Seems this guy thinks he's too good for effort. Well, we'll certainly disabuse him of that notion.

Gameplay in Monster Rancher 2 is a week-by-week management simulator. There are four weeks in each month, and every week you determine what you want to do that week.

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_014827.jpg

Additionally, at the first of each month, you decide what kind of food the monster gets. We have several options: potatoes (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_014831.jpg), milk (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_014832.jpg), fish (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_014834.jpg), cup jelly (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_014835.jpg), meat (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_014839.jpg), and tablets (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_014841.jpg). Since Herbie is a baby, we're feeding him milk.

Not shown: your other assistant, a toucan (there are animals in addition to monsters in this world) dropping the feed in front of the monster. But since this happens every single month, except when the monster isn't around, we'll have plenty of opportunities.

Some weeks, before you can conduct any business, a visitor will arrive. We have one this week!

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_014946.jpg

However, the only reason he came here is to introduce himself and say hi to Colt.

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_015010.jpg

There's no way that information will be important.

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_015015.jpg

At the start of the week, Colt fills us in on the monster's status. When she says "well" or "very well" that means it doesn't need rest; it doesn't mean it's happy.

From the Ranch, you can check on the schedule of tournaments coming up. There aren't any for rookies this month, as you can see, so we'll spend the month training.

However, until we decide what we want to do on any given week, you can watch the monster walk in circles around the map. The scenery changes with the seasons and the weather, and the monster's animations vary according to its mood. Herbie makes some very weird noises this first week, proving he is, in at least one way, worthy of his name.

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_015057.jpg

Bongo Bill
04-13-2009, 07:09 PM
There are two kinds of training: drills and errantries. A drill costs nothing, as you basically just have the monster perform some menial but strengthening task. There are ten drills: Domino, Shoot, Study, Dodge, Run, Endure, Pull, Leap, Meditate, and Swim. The first six increase one of the six stats each and build up fatigue. The last four greatly increase one stat, slightly increase another, slightly decrease a third, and build up much more fatigue. This week's drill, "Domino," trains strength by having the monster knock over a series of huge stone blocks.

It doesn't go so well.

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/vlcsnap-128818.png (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwmAfCrTKx8)

His Strength did go up, though! ... By a paltry two points.

Periodically, such as when a monster cheats, Colt asks whether we should scold it. (We also have opportunities to praise them.) You asked for it, and now you got it: the result of scolding Herbie for cheating.

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_015339.jpg

I feel good about this.

Next week, we'll try to train Skill instead, with the Shoot drill. That also doesn't go very well:

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_015438.jpg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y19HqKx01Jo)

We also have an opportunity to scold a monster whenever it fails a drill. We do so, naturally.

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_015446.jpg

Not as disappointed as I do.

For the third week of April, we drill Skill again to see if he can nail it this time. The results, well...

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/vlcsnap-129094.png

We scold him again, and once more he "seems disappointed."

The next week, Colt announces that Herbie still seems well, but he's been training for three solid weeks, and he doesn't seem to be making happy noises the way he did the first week. I let him rest.

Next week begins May, and we feed it Milk again.

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-11_015646.jpg

"We have to take care of it...."

Young monsters often react poorly to being scolded a lot. I believe that stress diminishes a monster's lifespan if it is allowed to persist.

The monster's raising style is still listed as "Even" rather than "Strict" or "Soft", but its loyalty, by this point, is nearing twenty. The loyalty score determines a monster's propensity to obey you in combat. However, since we won't be controlling the combat manually (the output lag on my capture card is way too high for anything real-time), then there might not be an effect in battle. Loyalty has other effects, of course.

There is an E-level tournament in the third week of May, but we won't be going. Newborn monsters aren't ready for competition without some successful training, and Herbie just hasn't had any.

And he won't have any, either. He fails a third time at the Shoot drill, and when scolded he still "seems disappointed". To shake things up a bit, I have him try the Domino drill again, but...

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/vlcsnap-129356.png (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHPGVX2j9vA)

Once again, he "seems disappointed" when he is scolded. His stress increasing, I think it best for his health if he is allowed to rest more, although he is not especially fatigued (failure isn't as tiring as success).

June rolls around, and this is what we see:

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-13_190858.jpg

"You have to prepare your Herbie right away."

No way that's going to happen, though.

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-13_190906.jpg

Oh boy! Open it, open it!

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-13_190923.jpg

Ah, a discount this month at the errantry office.

Here is what errantry is: the monster spends one month going on an exotic expedition to train a single stat. There are four escalating challenges that rely on the stat being trained, and if the monster succeeds four times in a row, then he may fight a rare monster at the end (but you can't control the fight). Additionally, during the course of the errantry, the monster might have a chance (which you can estimate before you leave) to learn a new technique. Errantry is the only way for most monsters to acquire new moves, so it's very important.

Errantry is also very expensive: normally $3000 for a single expedition. It makes up the bulk of a monster trainer's expenses, in fact, since food is so cheap by comparison. The price drops considerably on some months, most commonly when an official tournament is taking place, so you have to choose whether you want to train or compete.

This week, we'll just go with a regular drill while we think about it, since the offer is good all month. We're going to perform the Run drill, which will increase Herbie's Life.

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-13_191137.jpg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eA_eH6dfgQk)

We scold it for cheating, and...

http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/monster/_2009-04-13_191151.jpg

Don't you give me that look!


All right. Here's where we stand, folks. Herbie is a delinquent: when he tries, he fails, and increasingly he doesn't try. Our attempts to force competence upon him with discipline are making him very unhappy, but he is learning rote, mechanical obedience at least.

If we stick with him, there is no guarantee that changing to a more lenient tactic will succeed, but there is also no guarantee that it will fail. Monsters change psychologically as they age, so there's a possibility he might respond more positively to strictness... even if it requires breaking him first. His demeanor might improve if he learns that it isn't all punishment and cruelty, that success and obedience will be rewarded... except he might not ever find success and obedience.

We could put him in deep freeze or release him into the wild, and start over - either with an exact clone from the same disc, or a new monster from a new disc. If we keep him, we could continue to be strict with him, or we could become soft. Regardless of how kind we are, we will have to choose: do we continue with drills, send him on an expensive (but discounted!) errantry, or just send him into the official tournament totally unprepared?

I confess I have not checked on the possibility that he will learn a new move. We will have an opportunity to praise him if he learns a new move and scold him if he does not. If he exceeds the minimum requirements of a drill, we can praise him, and we can continue scolding him if he fails or cheats. If he wins a tournament, we can praise him, and if he does not, we can console him in defeat.

If you do not wish to keep him, I can have a set of CDs ready for voting so that next week we can be making progress again.

Healy
04-13-2009, 07:25 PM
Let's cut our losses for now and start training a new monster after putting Herbie in deep freeze. We can always go back to training him later.

Falselogic
04-13-2009, 07:59 PM
exceptions only prove the rule... and the only exception I saw was Samus in the gravity suit.

Falselogic
04-13-2009, 08:06 PM
I don't know, did your two (3?) months of training take a lot real time? If not then it wouldn't hurt to keep trying a little longer, if what we've seen consumed a lot of real time though I think its best to try a new CD and hope for better results.

Bongo Bill
04-13-2009, 08:18 PM
Not a lot of real play time, no, but keep in mind that I only ever intended to update once a week (barring non-gameplay updates like choosing new monsters). I was actually shooting for six months to a year for each update.

PapillonReel
04-13-2009, 08:19 PM
I feel bad for pushing Herbie so hard. :( Maybe we can try a more lenient approach for him?

Rai
04-13-2009, 09:15 PM
I am all for feeding him to the theoretical wolves. This guy is terrible.

On a side note, how does the game take CD-Rs? Could I load LaMulana's soundtrack onto one and have it give me a different monster than, say, Cave Story's? Inquiring minds wish to know!

Oathbreaker
04-13-2009, 09:24 PM
It's an important lesson for every (non-wolf) monster to learn that failure and minimal success are met with harsh retribution and/or death.

Cut your losses for now. He's not even worthy to be eaten by anything. Yet.

Bring on the new stack of CDs!

However, if the other votes sway you in a direction involving his continued use, then I am in favor of praising the poor creature should he manage to learn a technique, win a tournament, or exceed the minimum success in errencies/training. For anything less though, scold the little ingrate.

Bongo Bill
04-13-2009, 11:19 PM
On a side note, how does the game take CD-Rs? Could I load LaMulana's soundtrack onto one and have it give me a different monster than, say, Cave Story's? Inquiring minds wish to know!

I seem to recall that CD-Rs work, and suspect that there are some folk out there that may have managed to reverse-engineer the scanning function to make a thing to burn a CD that gives you exactly the mon you want.

If you wish to send a disc image that I don't need to use my bittorrent client to acquire, then I will accept it for consideration.

Octopus Prime
04-14-2009, 12:53 AM
I didn't want that stupid eyeball in the first place; Get him gone!

Knight
04-14-2009, 07:19 AM
Damn, Herbie is quite the failure. I say freeze/release him and get a new monster.

rockintomordor
04-14-2009, 10:15 AM
Yeah, the eye-ball looked cool, but now that we know his potential, things don't look promising. Let's try again!

mrbuu82
04-14-2009, 07:39 PM
I feel bad for pushing Herbie so hard. :( Maybe we can try a more lenient approach for him?

I am for this option. Give Herbie another chance!

ChefCthulhu
04-14-2009, 07:56 PM
The problem with Herbie is he is a hybrid of 2 of the laziest monsters in all of Monster Rancher. I'd say let him go and get you something a bit more hardworking.

Bongo Bill
04-15-2009, 11:41 PM
The audience has spoken: Herbie gets the ax. We'll get a new monster spawned and named and starting his training by Monday.

Four options for the next CD:

GRUNT: Pigorian Chant
Bing Crosby - White Christmas
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 - disc 1
Ahmad Jamal - Chamber Music of the New Jazz


Please specify up to three ranked preferences.

PapillonReel
04-15-2009, 11:43 PM
I'd say I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know.

Octopus Prime
04-16-2009, 12:51 AM
Mr. Crosby has always been the single most deadly of America's most beloved singers.

After that, the server disc and the pig thing, I guess.

Phantoon
04-16-2009, 01:23 AM
I'm with Octo on this one.

SuperRube
04-16-2009, 02:00 AM
I'm thinking it don't matter what you use so long as Bing is used first. So lets pretend that this is thirding Octo's post.

PapillonReel
04-16-2009, 02:20 AM
I suggested it first. :(

SuperRube
04-16-2009, 05:00 AM
YOU DID NOT OFFER A SECOND AND THIRD CHOICE

Anyhow I would have picked Bing anyhow so neayh.

Taeryn
04-16-2009, 06:28 AM
White Christmas first and if the monster is good, it is purely because of Bing Crosby's musical tallents and therefore the creature's name should pay tribute to him.

Chamber Music of the New Jazz and Microsoft SQL server 2005 disk 1 as my 2nd and 3rd choices respectively.

Dynastic Bird
04-16-2009, 12:36 PM
White Christmas! White Christmas!

SuperRube
04-16-2009, 01:15 PM
White Christmas first and if the monster is good, it is purely because of Bing Crosby's musical tallents and therefore the creature's name should pay tribute to him.

I'm thinking you should name it after whatever his less talented brothers name was. Can't recall it off the top of my head right now and wikipedia is waaaaaaay over there on the other side of the internets.

PapillonReel
04-16-2009, 01:17 PM
According to the ol' wiki, it's Gary apparently. Sounds like a nice name to me.

Healy
04-16-2009, 01:35 PM
White Christmas, followed by Pigorian Chant and the New Jazz CD.

Oathbreaker
04-16-2009, 01:50 PM
White Christmas, Jazz, then the Chant.

Octopus Prime
04-16-2009, 01:55 PM
Alternatively, you could also try getting another purple eyeball thing, and breeding them together time and again until you get a pure-bred Naga.

Which is what I always did, since Naga's are awesome.

nadia
04-16-2009, 03:45 PM
Poor Herbie. My heart breaks for him. :(

TK Flash
04-17-2009, 04:07 AM
Bing-SQL-Grunt in that order.

rockintomordor
04-17-2009, 06:25 AM
White Christmas, SQL, GRUNT

Kirin
04-17-2009, 07:06 AM
Man, Microsoft SQL is evil. THat means it'd make a good monster, right?

Bongo Bill
04-20-2009, 02:35 PM
Due to foreseen-but-not-prevented circumstances entirely within my control, the update will be a day late.

Bongo Bill
04-25-2009, 07:47 AM
Time, I think, to come clean. My capture card has mysteriously stopped working. I will keep trying at solutions... but if it never gets fixed, I guess this thing is grounded. Hope for the best, expect the worst.

rockintomordor
04-25-2009, 01:06 PM
Time, I think, to come clean. My capture card has mysteriously stopped working. I will keep trying at solutions... but if it never gets fixed, I guess this thing is grounded. Hope for the best, expect the worst.

Aw, that sucks. Hopefully your capture card mysteriously (or reasonably) starts working again.