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Monster Rancher 4 is a ranching sim video game. It was released in America on November 13, 2003 by Tecmo, a small video game company which manufactures other Monster Rancher video games. The game is alternatively titled Monster Farm 4 in Japan, where it was released on August 14, 2003.
A young boy named Phayne stows away on a ship from a far away land called Age Island, but when he is caught sleeping in a stranger's room without permission, he is kicked off at Togle. There, he meets a Shrine Priest named Cesare, and, after some conversation, becomes a monster breeder, and thus begins a journey full of trial, mischief, battle, fun, and surprises.
Phayne: The main character in the story, he is controlled by the player. His default name is Phayne, but can be named anything the player desires. An outgoing boy and a master breeder, he was expelled from the Elives School, a school that trains elite breeders, after being thought to have stolen the Tome of Black Arts.
Rio: Phayne's assistant. After Yuri retired her position, Rio took over. Rio has the unusual ability to communicate with monsters, for which many people hated her. Originally a shy girl, she gradually became more outgoing after working with Phayne. She is Cesare's daughter.
Cesare: The Shrine Priest. A kind, jolly, and wise man, he is Rio's father. When he regenerated a Saucer Stone long ago, a baby came out of it, and he decided to raise the baby, Rio, which upset Rio when she found out. He gives Phayne his start as a breeder.
Yuri: Phayne's original assistant. Hot-headed and feisty, Yuri was always looking for a good battle. After Phayne made it to Rank D, she quit to work at her father's shop, allowing Rio to take over. She is sworn enemies with TeeTee.
There are 34 breeds of monsters in Monster Rancher 4. However, they also have subbreeds (i.e. Dragon/Tiger, Pixie/Lesione, Madillo/???). Combined, there are 328 breeds of Monsters in MR4. The main breeds are listed below in alphabetical order.
Zan, Mocchi, Raiden, and Phoenix must be unlocked. All other breeds are available from the beginning of the game.
^The ape breeds are all /??? type breeds. There is no pure breed or any other kind of subbreeds. The game also lists the three subbreeds as different monsters.
Monster Rancher 4 introduces a new aspect of the game-adventuring. Similar to exploring in Monster Rancher 3, the player now has the option of exploring any time they want to.
Adventuring is an essential part of Monster Rancher 4. The entire plot of the game revolves around adventuring. Adventuring enables the player to figure out the subplot and the "major plot". Players earn Breeder Rank through adventuring, and therefore, a player must adventure. Techniques are also learned through adventuring.
The player can adventur in four different places. They are listed below.
The Togle Caves are where the player first starts adventuring. They are located behind the ranch. It is here that Rio finds the first Gaia Stone, King Shiden lives, and the Healing Mushrooms are found. The player earns Breeder Rank "D" here. There are five floors in the Togle Caves. The adventure experience points are lowest here, as the player can gain only between approximately 26 and 90 points.
The player is sent to the Kalaragi Jungle to find "junk" after finding the Healing Mushrooms in the Togle Caves. Rio finds a second Gaia Stone here. The jungle is home to Don Mudlone/Nendoro, the gigantic, altered Gaboo. The player earns the Breeder Ranks of C and B here. There are seven levels in Kalaragi.
After Rio collapses on stage at the Official League, Rank A, Rio and Phayne are sent to the Promiass Ruins to figure out some mysteries of the ruins. Here, there are two ancient writings. The Boss Monster here is The Wise Turtle of Promiass. It is here that Rio learns the history of her secret, and of the world. There are eight levels at Promiass.
The Kawrea Volcano is searched after Deihl tells Phayne about a spike in stray monsters, all coming from the volcano. Here, Rio finds the final Gaia Stone and remembers her ancient past. The Boss Monster in The Kawrea is Xevion, The Dark Lord. After defeating Xevion, the storyline concludes. There are ten floors in The Volcano.
The "(+)" RuinsEdit
The "(+)" Ruins are elongated passageways in the other four regions. Basically, they are the same things as the other ruins, only they are longer and have "S" Class Monsters. The bosses remain, but are more powerful than before. If the player defeats them, he or she can earn special items, including Rainbow Saucer Stones, which produce special (/???) monsters.
Reception of the game was mostly positive. IGN, a notable gaming website, gave the game a favorable 8.5/10. a "great" score.1 The game has also received widespread approval from fans of the series, though many feel that the game would not appeal to new players.
Many fan reviews note that the adventuring aspect of the game was a nice touch, giving the player the feeling that this is also a typical game, not just a Monster Rancher game, as previous installations of the series have tended to be different from other Playstation and PS2 games.