Digital Monster (virtual pet)

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The Digital Monster was a virtual pet released in 1997 by Bandai. These pets were a spin-off of the Tamagotchi, aimed at boys.[1] It spawned the Digimon franchise. It was similar to earlier virtual pets with the distinctions of being a fighting pet that could connect with others like it.

Gameplay[edit]

The Digimon game consist of the following functions:

  • Checking the pet's status (age, weight, strength, hunger and energy stats)
  • Feeding the Digimon. The meat increased the pet's hunger, and the vitamin increased its strength and energy.
  • Training the Digimon to gain weight and strength.
  • Battle mode. Once activated, the owner could link up to another owner's Digimon and begin a battle.
  • Cleaning up the Digimon's droppings. Leaving droppings uncleaned for too long would cause the Digimon to become ill.
  • Toggling the light. If the Digimon fell asleep and the light was never turned off, its overall condition (an unviewable stat) would decrease, and its chances of a high-power evolution would decrease.
  • Healing the Digimon. If the Digimon got sick or injured in battle, it would have to be fixed before it could battle again.

Device Operation[edit]

The original Digimon has three buttons and one reset button. The buttons are located to the right of the screen. The top "A" button scrolls through the icons and options on the screens. The middle "B" button activates the selected function. The bottom "C" button cancels out whatever is on the screen. Pressing "A" and "C" simultaneously toggles the sound. The reset button could only be pressed with a pen or other sharp object.

Digimon Characters[edit]

Changes for US market[edit]

When the pet was brought to the US, elements such as the "Megalthic Mainframe" were added to soften the concept of death (thus Digimon cannot die, but instead return to a fictional world). Devimon was renamed Darkmon because of censorship and the Japanese-related reference in Monzaemon's name was removed in favor of Teddymon.

Digimon Pendulum[edit]

In 1998, Bandai released a follow-up virtual pet series known as Pendulums. The pendulum is used to count the number of times the device has been shaken. Five versions of the Digimon Pendulum were released, each of these being followed by a .5 version which contained a slightly-altered character lineup. A Version 0 was also later released.

Pendulum Progress was the successor of the original Pendulum series. There are three in total; the Pendulum Progress is an upgrade similar to the Tamagotchi Connection. The character lineup on each is expanded and it retains the pendulum feature that became a series standard; it also has the ability to have the current monster fight a computer monster in battle as opposed to linking up with another device.

Digimon Mini[edit]

The Digimon Mini is modeled similarly to the original pets but at a much smaller size. The character set has been minimized and functions are limited. For example, there is no status screen to view the Digimon's hunger. The player must simply feed it when it is hungry.

The Mini also uses the three-prong connector; it is thus compatible with the Pendulum X, the Digimon Accelerator, and the Digimon iC. The third Mini updates the character roster, expanding the available Digimon from 13 to 18.

WonderSwan[edit]

Digital Monster Ver. WonderSwan is a Japanese handheld version of the original Digimon pet for the WonderSwan. It includes all of the original Digimon from the five different pet devices. In this game the player can have up to five different Digimon with them at a time. It has computer controlled opponents to battle with. The game has the ability to connect to another WonderSwan through a special link cable. It can also hook up to the original pets through a Digimon "dock N rock" connector.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Digimon Tamagotchi". Pixelmood. Retrieved 2013-08-02.