Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX CD Mechanic - Why Fans Are Worried

Monster Rancher is coming back on PC, Switch, and iOS, but it'll be different than in our memories.

By Iyane Agossah

August 26, 2021

Koei Tecmo announced today (August 26) it plans to release Monster Farm 1&2 DX (Monster Rancher) in Japan and in the west on December 9 for PC and Nintendo Switch – this sounds great, though fans of the original games and their CD mechanic might be disappointed.

Following fan demand, Koei Tecmo decided to bring the Monster Rancher ports to the west. Though I’m thinking the popularity of Uma Musume and the renewed interest in Raising Simulator games also played a big part.

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Monster Farm 1&2 release date, limited edition

Monster Farm 1&2 DX will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Monster Rancher franchise, with a physical limited edition in Japan sold for 15,070 Yen, and a regular digital download version for 3520 Yen (taxes included).

Producer Kazumi Fujita also teased more developments for the anniversary of the series are coming. Furthermore, note that in the west, the game is also launching on iOS platforms. In Japan, Monster Rancher was already released there in 2019. Furthermore, Monster Rancher 2 was re-released on iOS in 2020. It’s thanks to the fans outside Japan who kept asking for these ports to come over that Koei Tecmo took the decision to release them outside Japan.

The limited-edition in Japan includes a soundtrack CD and an artbook among other goods. All of this was announced during a special live stream for the 25th anniversary of the series. An unboxing of the limited edition also happened during the stream. The unboxing happens around the 32:30 timestamp.

Monster Farm and its CD mechanic to summon new monsters

One iconic feature of the original Monster Rancher PS1 game is how in the summoning menu, you could remove the game’s CD and insert various music CDs in its place to summon monsters. Some ultra-rare monsters could only be obtained this way, and the developers specifically chose which iconic music CD would summon which ultra-rare monster, it wasn’t random. It wasn’t just “Singles” CDs too, as some really unexpected things could also summon rare monsters, like OST CDs of classic movies.

Obviously, that feature isn’t coming back, though it’s still present in a different form. The iOS versions of Monster Farm 1 and 2 let players connect to an online database, where they can search for CDs and summon monsters with them. This same database should be accessible in the Switch and PC versions. It’s an updated CD database too, which includes recent CDs released long after the game’s initial release date 25 years ago.

Monster Rancher was a typically unique kind of game in its era, and it’s pretty much impossible to recreate its magic now. Personally, besides the success of the iOS versions and western fans asking for the ports, I’m also guessing Koei Tecmo took this decision after seeing the massive success of Cygames’ Uma Musume in Japan. The horse girl raising simulation parts is definitely pushing players towards a new craving for these games.

Uma Musume just celebrated its half anniversary on August 24, and it’s one of the mobile games with the highest revenues in Japan now, ahead of FGO and Genshin Impact. What do you guys think, are you looking forward to these ports, and are you playing Uma Musume ? You can always reach me on Twitter @A_iyane07 for a chat.

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Iyane Agossah

Living near Paris, Iyane is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. He speaks Japanese, has been watching anime for over 25 years, and plays Genshin Impact mainly for its story. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07.

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