The Let's Play Archive

Monster Rancher 4

by FredMSloniker

Part 1: 1/4 Acre And a Garu

1Yr. 4Mo. 1Wk.

Chucky it is! I gotta say, though, I think more of 'evil doll' than 'four-eyed coward' when I hear that. Which is sort of why I went with it, truth be told.

...and now I realize you probably wanted me to spell it 'Chuckie'. Too late; apparently I can't change its name for some retarded reason. Oh well!

Anyway, Rio took me out to the ranch, and I gotta say, it's... not exactly what I had in mind.

See that building? The one that looks a bit like a smurf's outhouse?

That's where they expect me to sleep. And eat. And everything else. 'Cozy' isn't the word. I've had closets bigger than this.

I was thinking of taking off right then and there, but then she showed up. Her name's Yuri, and she works at the store in town. Apparently she's wanted to be a ranch assistant for a while, though, so Cesare asked her to help me out.

Yeah, right. An untrained ranch assistant for an unlicensed rancher? Something smells here. I just haven't figured out Cesare's angle yet. I'll have to play along for now.

Rio's apparently been taking ninja lessons, as she managed to sneak off without either Yuri or me noticing her leaving. That left me exposed to the full force of Yuri's personality.


...mercurial. Still, she managed to cover some important, if basic, information about training; she seems to know her stuff. And small mercies, I don't have to share a room, by which I mean an entire house, with her.

She also gave me a PDA with some ranching software already loaded. It's pretty full-featured. It's already got Chucky's information in it too.

Mechanics corner: Chucky is Rank E, like all newborn monsters. He'll advance in rank by winning official tournaments. The two Garu heads next to his name indicate he's a purebred Garu, and the 'Sprite' icon indicates the general class of monster he's in.

Next are his stats, both in raw numbers and in level (each level is 20 points). Some moves use Power for damage, some Intelligence, but Accuracy is important to land any of them. On the defensive side, Speed dodges attacks, Defense reduces damage, and Life is hit points. The wheel to the right shows his stat balance in graphical form.

Adventure level is a new mechanic for this game, which I'll discuss more when it's relevant. Star Points are another new mechanic; basically, you have to fight in unofficial tournaments to earn them, and once you fill them up you're allowed to do an official tournament. No more leaping straight into a ranked match, I'm afraid!

Bonding is how much Chucky is willing to obey our orders in a fight. It'll raise as we train him. Focus indicates how well he's likely to do when being trained, and will go up and down. Tiredness and Fullness should be fairly self-explanatory; it's important not to let Chucky get too tired or too hungry.

Mechanics corner, part two: monsters can know up to twelve combat skills, which are listed in the area on the left. However, in a change from previous games in the series, we can't access every skill in a fight; we have to preload sets of three, on the right, which we can switch between. It's not a big deal, but it is a change.

At the bottom is detailed information on Wild Slash, the attack currently selected. Attacks are either Power Type or Intelligence Type, which determines which stat governs the attack. Monsters typically have one stat grow faster than the other, and it's a good idea to specialize at any rate.

Wild Slash is a short-range attack. Attacks only work at specific ranges, so managing your distance from the enemy monster is important; especially in early fights, you can sometimes find a distance they can't hit you from at all. Chucky also knows Tornado, a mid-range attack, and FireCharge, a far-range attack, so we have pretty good coverage.

Guts is a resource we spend to make attacks. We need 14 Guts points to use Wild Slash at all, and it'll be more accurate the more we have. Some monsters regenerate Guts faster than others, and some monsters specialize in Guts-draining attacks. For the record, Tornado is 24 GP and FireCharge a whopping 30 GP.

The two icons under the Guts cost indicate that this is a cutting attack and has no elemental attribute attached. Tornado is obviously a Wind attack, while FireCharge is... uh... a Fire attack. Tornado also has the added effect of slowing the other monster.

Finally, on the far right we see grade rankings of the attack in various categories. All of Chucky's attacks are reasonably accurate and don't tend to crit. Wild slash is weak, but cheap; Tornado does hardly any damage, but drains the enemy's Guts; and FireCharge does a decent amount of damage.

Mechanics corner, part three: monsters can also have elemental affinities, which boost their ability to both take and dish out attacks of that type. In addition, they can have up to eight Traits. Sonic Nail ups the power of claw attacks (like Wild Slash), while Fire Lore not only ups our fire and ice power, but lets us change a compatible move's type to Fire. We'll see what effect that has near the end of the update.

Mechanics corner, part four: Policy is a measure of how well we've balanced praise and punishment. If it's skewed too far in one direction or the other, our bond will suffer. The rest of the information is fairly self-explanatory.

The PDA has info about me as well. Not much info, but it's a start. Looks like Cesare floated me a loan. Lucky me.

Yuri gave me a book that tracks the monsters I've raised. Here's Garu's entry. Looks like the 'Chucky' name was a better fit than I knew.

Mechanics corner, part five: no, I have no idea why these aren't ordered anything like they are on the Monster Data screen. Note, though, that these are the average stats for this monster at birth; Chucky is ahead of the curve in every stat, especially Accuracy.

And that's about it. I'm not really sure where to start with Chucky, so I told Yuri to start with some strength training and work her way down the list. We'll see what he's good at the old-fashioned way.

By the way, dialup sucks. I suppose I'm lucky this shack even has a computer, though. Or a phone, for that matter.

EDIT: oh, I almost forgot!

If I want, I can have Chucky put a little extra pepper on his punches. You can see the effects here, the blue and red arrows; it wouldn't hit as often, but it'd mess 'em up more when it did. You think I should go for it or not?

EDIT EDIT: so I was watching Chucky doing sit-ups...'s vaguely hypnotic... when somebody from the TMA swung by.

Seems Cesare's been busy greasing some wheels and smoothing over some irregularities; Cynthia here stopped by like there was nothing out of the ordinary going on, wanting me to pick a name for the ranch. I told her I'd need time to think about it.

The rules are kind of weird, though. See, I have to choose one of these prefixes...

...or one of these suffixes, plus a name. And while I have twelve letters to work with, the suffix or prefix counts against those--and so does a space if I don't want to be "TheRanch".

I think we've already established that I'm crap with names, so... any suggestions?

Phayne fucked around with this message at 1Yr. 4Mo. 2Wk. around 10:37