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, mainly for boys[1] (as Bandai was also the creator of the Tamagotchi, which was deemed more appropriate for girls by some people). 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.


The Digimon had several functions that allowed the owner to take care of the pet. The first icon is the status. The user can check the pet's age, weight, strength, hunger, and energy stats here. If a Digimon had no energy in its energy bar, it would be unable to link up and battle.

The second icon fed the Digimon. The meat increased the pet's hunger, and the vitamin increased its strength and energy. However, feeding the pet either of these would increase the Digimon's weight, affecting evolution possibilities and battle outcomes. Once the Digimon reaches the Rookie stage, it will be able to eat far more than its hunger level requires before getting full. Digimon can eat an unlimited number of vitamins.

The third icon trained the Digimon. In shadow boxing, the owner's Digimon would appear on the right, and a duplicate "shadow" would appear on the left. The owner would then push either the top or middle buttons, and the Digimon would fire an attack either upwards or downwards, respectively. The shadow Digimon would attempt to block, either upwards or downwards. It was a game of luck. If the owner's Digimon hit three out of five, it would lose one pound and its strength would increase. If it didn't make this quota, the Digimon would only lose a pound and not gain any strength.

The fourth icon was battle mode. Once activated, the owner could link up to another owner's Digimon and begin a battle. The two Digimon would exchange blows three times, then one would fire a double attack; the other Digimon would fire a single attack. The one who fired the double attack on the fourth turn dodged the other Digimon's attack and was declared the winner. Whether the Digimon won or lost, it was still susceptible to acquiring an injury during battle. Battling too many times in one day could "kill" a Digimon (see Digimon Mainframe below).

The fifth Icon (the first on the bottom row) cleaned up the Digimon's droppings. Leaving droppings uncleaned for too long would cause the Digimon to become ill.

The sixth icon (second on the bottom row) toggled 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.

The seventh icon (third on the bottom row) is the medical icon. If the Digimon got sick or injured in battle, it would have to be fixed before it could battle again. The Digimon becomes angry when it receives medical treatment, implying perhaps that it received a shot.

The eighth and final icon is not manually selectable. It is the alert icon. It lights up and begins to beep if the sound is on if the Digimon poops, needs food, or falls asleep with the lights on.

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 Evolution Tree[edit]

Like the animated series and video games, the Digimon evolved and changed form over time. The evolution tree was as follows:

Digimon I[edit]

Digimon II[edit]

Digimon III[edit]

Digimon IV[edit]

Digimon V[edit]

Digimon VI[edit]

The sixth version was released exclusively in Australia. Due to its rarity, it is often not included in most Virtual Pet listings. The Digimon that appeared in this version are virtually identical to those that appeared in the Pendulum I. It features the same training method that was first introduced in the original Version 1 v-pet. Battle, feeding, and all other functions are the same as all previous v-pets, and it is able to interact with all other Digimon/digivices.

Digimon Mainframe[edit]

When a Digimon's time expired, it would be sent to the Digimon Mainframe, which resembled a personal computer. The Digimon Mainframe is where all Digimon come from, and where all Digimon go. According to the stories, once they return, they remain in the same evolutionary form they were in when they left the owner, and would do battle with other Digimon whose time also expired.
Digimon could expire due to extreme hunger, illness, too many battles, or old age. The Digimon Mainframe is only viewable on the American version one pets.

In the Japanese versions, when a Digimon's time expires, the screen displays a grave instead of a Digimon Mainframe.

Branching out[edit]

When Digimon became an animated series, there were several major changes made, mostly to the Digivolution chains. 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.

The original MetalGreymon that was obtainable in the first pet was viral, but the character used in Digimon Adventure was made a vaccine (vaccine being considered good type, and virus type being bad, although in Adventure 02 they showed a virus MetalGreymon).

Though the concepts were similar between the Digimon pet line and the Digivice toys released following the release of the animated TV show, there were some differences. For example, the Digivices were not "true" Tamagotchi, in that they did not need to be fed or have their feces cleaned up. (The exception to this is the Data Link Digivice, based on the device from Digimon Data Squad, which acts more like a traditional Tamagotchi than the previous versions of Digivice.) Also, the Digivices included a pedometer function that advanced the game, and did not require the level of care of the Digimon virtual pets. In addition, there were side quests, like locating Digieggs in the D-3 version, and the Spirits in the D-Tector game, side quests that did not exist originally in the original Digimon or Pendulums. These games could be left at home all day without care and did not require the constant attention that the Tamagotchis required during those days. However, the original Digimon pet remained battle compatible with the newer Digivice releases, permitting them to engage in battle, though the graphical details of the attacks are different between the two systems.

Additional Digimon v-pets[edit]

Digimon Pendulum[edit]

In 1998, Bandai released a follow-up virtual pet series known as Pendulums. The Pendulums introduced Jogress (DNA Digivolution in the US release); a pendulum-type counter, and the evolution level, Ultimate (Japan) /Mega (Dub), which comes after Perfect (Japan) /Ultimate (Dub). 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.

Digimon Pendulum I: Nature Spirits[edit]

In Digimon Pendulum 1.5, Gatomon replaced Tortomon, Angewomon replaced Jagamon, and Magnadramon replaced HerculesKabuterimon.

Digimon Pendulum II: Deep Savers[edit]

In Digimon Pendulum 2.5, Ebidramon replaced Coelamon, Divermon replaced Scorpiomon, and Plesiomon replaced MetalSeadramon.

Digimon Pendulum III: Nightmare Soldiers[edit]

In Digimon Pendulum 3.5, Dokugumon replaced Bakemon, LadyDevimon replaced Myotismon, and Daemon replaced Piedmon.

Digimon Pendulum IV: Wind Guardians[edit]

In Digimon Pendulum 4.5, Palmon replaced Floramon, Lillymon replaced Blossomon, and Rosemon replaced Gryphonmon.

Digimon Pendulum V: Metal Empire[edit]

Digimon Virtual Pet of Digimon Pendulum V: Metal Empire with a Clockmon

In Digimon Pendulum 5.5, Thundermon replaced Tankmon, Cyberdramon replaced Andromon, and VenomMyotismon replaced Machinedramon.

Digimon Pendulum 0: Virus Busters[edit]

Digimon Pendulum Progress[edit]

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 Pendulum Progress I: Dragon's Roar[edit]

Digimon Pendulum Progress II: Armageddon Army[edit]

Digimon Pendulum Progress III: Animal Colleseum[edit]

Digimon Pendulum X[edit]

The Pendulum X combines the original virtual pets with the side quests of the "Digivices". The Pendulum X is the first device to use the three-prong connector. It was remade by Bandai Asia and marketed as the "D-Cyber"; this version is similar with a slightly different translation and classic two-prong connector.

Version 1[edit]

Version 2[edit]

Version 3[edit]

Digimon Accel[edit]

Version 1: Justice Genome[edit]

Version 2: Evil Genome[edit]

Version 3: Nature Genome[edit]

Version 4: Ultimate Genome[edit]

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.

Version 1[edit]

Version 2[edit]

Version 3[edit]

Digivice iC[edit]

The Digivice iC is based on the Digivice used in Digimon Savers. Unlike previous Digivice toys, the Digivice iC is not quest-based. Instead, it is a v-pet. The Digivice iC can link to battle with the Accelerator, Mini, and other iC’s. It can also link to the Digimon Battle Terminal, a Japan-only arcade game.

Digimon Twin[edit]

The Digimon Twin was the latest virtual pet to be released. It comes in an L and R version (Liberation and Revolution) and specializes with its event communication. In event communication, the possibilities are that the Digimon can eat together, train together, receive an item or make a special event egg. It is also possible to get Azulongmon, which fits on both Twins.

Wizarmon (Special Event Egg)

Piccolomon (Special Event Egg)


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 even 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.


There have been many fan based PC Digimon pets released, starting with simple Tamagotchi emulators back in 1998.


  • This virtual pet was among the first to connect to exchange data. The term "Dock 'n Rock" was used in early American marketing. It is unknown if this term was used in Europe, but it was absent entirely in Japan. Later, the connectors would also be used to "jogress" (a combination of 'joint' and 'progress') as well as battle.

This backwards compatibility continued through many models of pets and digivices, becoming the D-Link System. This system of compatibility encompasses the pets, pendulums, digivices, devices such as the Digimon Analyzer and D-Terminal, WonderSwan games, and special action figures. The Pendulum X, Digimon Mini, and Digimon Accelerator are excluded because they have a different three-prong connector; in certain cases functions will not work between same-type connectors due to an alteration in battle system or other errors.

  • The American and similar Bandai Asia versions of Digivices are typically an entirely different product from the Japanese counterpart. They usually register as a pet in the D-Link System.


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