I actually just got a great and weird idea

What if I made like the undertale of monstergames

Ok so a little background: I’d had this little tentative project thing simply called “Kai” sitting on the side for a while. The idea behind Kai was that there were these monsterpets that had been abandoned by a futuristic magical civilisation and had just kinda formed their own little world and civilisation out in limbo. And then a human looking for a room accidentally finds one of their ads somehow and ends up there and has to be their roommate

After Undertale came out and I played it, looking back at the notes for that made me laugh a bit and go ‘I could definitely make some jokes in this if I wanted to, like if the human asks them if they want to get out of there the monsters being like huh, we want to be here what are you talking about’. I also made this cute ‘mascot character’ to be the ‘mascot of debug mode‘ because I liked that idea. (I decided it would be a somewhat generic ‘prototype monster’ so its name is Entity)

And now like, I was just thinking about how I had all these great ideas in my notes about how you could spoof monstergames: “Metal” monsters that are created by destroying a monster’s body and shoving its core into a machine, “Inanimate object” monsters that are made when you prevent a monster from being reborn into a body by putting its core into a random object, “tuplet” monsters that can actually just keep infinitely adding tuplets and suck up the whole world like some kind of Godhead Pickle Inspector, and more.

But there was like… this… interesting theme in most of those ideas. That although good choices existed, many ways to evolve monsters would actually be harmful or otherwise inadvisable. There was also some worldbuilding where general things about monstergames that didn’t need explaining were explained, like the monsters didn’t do things on their own because they had these “configure locks” that would prevent them from doing a bunch of stuff without trainer intervention/presence (in their own civilisation they’d of course figured out how to hack them to allow some basic things to be done provided they have SOME kind of roommate, Kai or otherwise.)

And I began to imagine this game that was presented as if it was a regular monstergame, like Pokémon or something. You’re just told to level up and evolve your monsters, equip stuff to them, go fight other monsters, beat the big four, become a champion.

And if you just do exactly what the game says and make it to the end, you’re emptily praised, you get a good ending, nothing looks at all the least bit wrong.

However, if you look more closely, you’ll notice that the creatures are very lively and emotive at the start. And occasionally they do things like chew on their configure locks, or look away when you offer them equipment. Or refuse to evolve. As the game goes on and they attain fancier forms, they become more emotionless and distant, until in their final form they just kinda float in place—seemingly because they’re all godly or whatnot now.

But, if you take a different route, refusing to do all the stuff the game keeps telling you to, something different will happen. The creatures will actually start to look happy and communicate with you. More ways to interact with them open up. You can still do the normal training and fighting stuff but the dynamic of it becomes very different, you practically do stuff alongside the monster and they go from being a weapon to a friend that has your back. Higher rank tournaments become you going up to these galactic, overkill top tier stages with this much more humble, genuine creature that’s stayed the same since its first evolution and yet actually doing pretty okay, with all the little million caveats of the battle system you usually have to worry about (inspired by competitive pokémon but worse) somehow not being a problem and the simple rules the game presented you with actually being accurate. (There’s still some challenge to it, it’s just actually straightforward what the rules are for once.) The ending is actually meaningful.

I dunno I just think it would be really funny to have made this worldwise-elaborate-ish story where you learn all about how the monsters may maybe not have been treated the best and then have this virtual pet/monstergame thing that portrays the “before” of the situation where it’s totally not explained that any of the things that are bad there are bad because they all look like somewhat familiar monstergame tropes, so that if you played the visual novel thing you will be cringing into the fucking ground when you see it but if you didn’t you’ll never suspect anything is the least bit wrong unless you look closely and go ‘wait a minute’