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Dragon Quest Monsters (titled Dragon Warrior Monsters for the US release) is the first game in the Dragon Quest spin-off series, Dragon Quest Monsters. Released for the Game Boy Color in 2000, it stars a young Terry from Dragon Quest VI as the hero.

Whereas most game in the series focus on the adventures of a hero rising up against the forces of darkness, DQM is the much smaller-scale story of a little boy and girl, Terry and Milly, characters from Dragon Quest VI, when they were just small children. It opens with Milly's kidnapping by an evil creature called Warubou, after which another called Watabou appears, explains the situation, and starts Terry off on his quest to rescue his sister.

DQM took the monster-recruitment elements of Dragon Quest V and expanded upon them, also borrowing a few mechanics from the Pokémon series, setting the standards for what would become the Dragon Quest Monsters series. The basic concept is that Terry, as a young boy still too weak to fight for himself, must enlist the help of various creatures to act in his stead. Collected monsters level up and grow like a character in a main-series Dragon Quest game might. As he progresses, he is able to add more and stronger monsters to his collection, which stands in for usual Dragon Quest power escalation elements such as steadily strengthening spells.

It generally makes quite good use of DQ staples already in place, such as character growth through battling, Travel Gates, the Monster Arena, Tiny Medals, and general progression.

Breeding is one of the game's most complicated and involving aspects, and one of the player's primary motivations for continuing to play, even after having seen the ending.

Gameplay

The game follows Terry as he attempts to save his sister. Instead of fighting in battle, Terry is able to recruit monsters into his party. When fighting random battles, Terry can set out meat, which may coax the monster into joining the party at the end of the battle. Terry can also breed two monsters, combining them into a new, stronger monster. Excess monsters can be placed on the Farm, a storage place for monsters. They can be picked up or dropped off and there is an option to put monsters at the farm to sleep, which allows them to maintain their wilderness level, but not grow in level. There can be 19 awake and 19 asleep monsters at any one time. A monster's wilderness level lowers as Terry trains them, which makes them more likely to participate in battle. By leaving monsters at the farm awake, they become more wild.

Just like in most RPGs, monsters are able to gain experience points and level up after battles. Each monsters' requirements for experience points to level up varies, depending on their plus number or even what monster family they belong to. When they level up, they gain stats and sometimes skills. All monsters can carry a maximum of eight skills; if a monster can gain more than eight skills you have the option of replacing old skills with new ones.

The player moves around to other worlds through warp gates which are located underneath the throne room. To access these gates, the player needs to defeat a certain class ranking. There are a certain number of areas in a world and at the last one, the player needs to defeat a boss. Some bosses in the game offer to join the player's party automatically, some have to be won over with meat, and some will not join at all. Other gates are hidden throughout Great Tree, such as one in the library that is only accessible after befriending over 100 different monsters.

In this game the player fights in the arena and goes through ranks that consists of three different battles that must be won before the player can advance to the next ranking. Each rank provides harder challenges: the higher the rank, the harder the monsters. The battles you able to start at are from Rank G and go to Rank D and later in the game you are able to go from Rank C to Rank A and then Rank S. These battles open up gates for the character to explore and are necessary to progress through the story.

Tiny Medals are scattered throughout different worlds randomly and are picked up by the player. In the game, there is a man who collects these medals, who is later revealed to be the king of Great Tree, and will give certain monster eggs for how many the player gives to him. Also, Foreign Masters may appear while in other worlds. These encounters with other trainers can result in battle. There are different types of trainers that will give or do something for the player if they are defeated. These trainers monsters may also join you if you give them meat.

Plot

Reception

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