|Monster Farm Online|
|Release date(s)||December 21, 2007|
Monster Farm Online was a game prototype (called a beta test) to see if the Monster Rancher game franchise would be popular if released as an online RPG. The developers sent out messages telling people to sign up, and once you paid a fee you could play until that session closed. Several weeks later a new one would open up. This went on for almost a year until they structured the game and opened it as Monster Farm Lagoon.
Game play involves the creating, training, and fighting of monsters much like previous games in the Monster Rancher series. However, there is much less emphasis on the ranching portion of raising your monster, and far more emphasis on interaction with other characters and beating level bosses as a team. This game is much more like an interactive world.
Originally there was an option to "fuse" your monster with a teammate's to make them more powerful, but the idea was never fully developed. Instead, monster traits and appearances change depending on what they are fed, their age, and their power level. The following foods allow your monster to change color:
Red: Salmon, Carrot, Mushroom, certain Meats
Blue: Crab Meat, White Turnip
Green: Green Fruits, Vegetables
Yellow: Fruit, Grain
Purple: Purple Vegetables and Fruits, certain Meats
Overfeeding causes monsters to gain weight rapidly, while underfeeding leaves them very sickly-looking.
Monsters also can have their stats and lifeforce saved in crystals after they die and these crystals can be transferred into a new monster, not necessarily even of the same species. This gives the new monster some of the previous monster's stat gains and traits.
Since there is no training involved in the game, stat gains depend on the type of food fed to your monster. A new stat was added to monsters in the game, called Spirit. It decreased the amount of damage done by magical attacks and also effected your monster's mood and temperament. Techniques are automatically learned as your monster levels up. You can choose which techniques to save as a shortcut.
You can start out the game by picking a companion from a list of beginner monsters, which includes Tiger, Hare, Pixie, Antero, Korunu, and Kikimo. From there, you can use a CD or DVD to modify their traits, stats, and appearance (give them accessories, armor, or wings).
Other monster types could later be regenerated from CDs or from silver disc stones that were given to you as in-game events. Special items could also be used to regenerate monsters.
There is no battle system set up to increase your breeder rank in this game, so instead they use a quest system. You can go to the "Quest Vendor" in town and recieve a quest. Once you complete it, your breeder rank increases.
Since technically only the main breeds can be considered "playable monsters" (all variations are just a change made by the user), the game has a total of 20 raisable breeds and 8 non-playable enemy monster breeds.