The Monster Rancher 2 Strategy Guide
By B. Campbell
Created on 8/3/1999  
Updated 11/10/1999 
Updated 2/9/2002

This is the Monster Rancher 2 Strategy Guide in progress. This guide is
designed to provide new and experienced ranchers alike with information on how
to get the most out of the game, while not telling the player exactly how to
play the game, step by step. If you're looking for a walkthrough, codes, or the
quickest way to get money or 'beat' the game, you won't find them here. What
you will find is a guide describing the various aspects and intricacies of the
game, and and understanding of how to raise monsters to accomplish what you
desire. 

To begin with, there is no true way of 'beating' or 'winning' Monster Rancher
2. If that is your goal, you have already lost. The true goal of the game is to
fully explore the game by finding all the hidden items in the expeditions,
obtaining all the different breeds of monsters and all of the monster cards,
and discovering all the secrets of the various aspects of the game. This is a
game that is more about discovery and personal taste, and less about getting
through it as fast as possible and 'winning'. 

There are two basic tenets that the core of MR2 strategy can be boiled down to:
Knowledge is Power and To Each His Own. These two phrases quickly
encapsulate what you need to become a true Master Rancher. As for the first,
knowing everything about the various breeds of monsters, along with all the
items, tricks, and subtleties of the game are what give you the edge to become
the best breeder you can. As for the second, there is no 'right' way to play
the game. There are no best monsters, and there isn't a best way to go about
playing. MR2 is very deep and open-ended, allowing everyone to find a specific
style of play to suit their taste. On a more direct level, the huge variety of
monsters, each with thier own abilities, allows every player to have a
selection that fits thier own style. 

Okay, enough with the introductions. Let's get down to business. 

Your Monster:
You can't be a Master Rancher without a monster. There are three main ways to
obtain a monster: From the Market, from the Shrine, or by combining two
existing monsters. Each method will give you a successively better monster.
Monsters from the Market are simple, basic monsters, and are always
purebreds. They are excellent choices if you are new to the game, as they help
you to quickly see each monster's strengths and weaknesses. They are all
solid, effective monsters, guaranteed to be a good 'average' choice. The
selection at the Market varies from week to week, so check it often. 
Monsters from the Shrine are slightly more complicated, but they can be more
effective as well. At the Shrine, You have two options: Disc Stone and Slate.
If you select Disc Stone, you insert any other CD into your Playstation, and
the game unlocks a monster from that CD. Some monsters may be 'special'
monsters, and locked to novice breeder. You can only unlock them if you
complete certain criteria. You will often get a mixed breed of monster from a
CD, which will combine the strengths and weaknesses of both breeds that
comprise it. There are many monsters that can only be obtained through the
Shrine off of specific CD's... these are the coveted 'rare' monsters. If you
select 'Slate', you can transfer a monster from the first Monster Rancher over
to the sequel. The results of Slating are unpredictable; some monsters may
slate over with different stats and other abilities, and others may change
breeds completely! If the monster was powerful in the first game, chances are
the slated result will be above average as well, so there is some advantage. 
Combining monsters can produce extremely powerful results if done correctly.
When two monsters are combined, not only does it combine thier strengths
and weaknesses as well, but what each monster has learned may be carried over
to the offspring. In this manner, you can create monsters that start off with
very high stats and multiple techniques. This is the manner by which true
Master Ranchers obtain thier best pets. 

The Stats:
One of the first things you'll notice when you obtain a monster is its list of
stats. Each stat has an a specific bearing on the monster, and the combination
of high and low stats give your monster personality and defines its various
abilities. The stats, and the effects they have, are as follows: 

Life: In battle, this is your monster's total amount of 'hit points'. Damaging
attacks subtract from your monster's life in combat (this is temporary, damage
is healed after each battle), and once a monster reaches 0 life, they are KO'ed
and lose the battle. A high life score also serves to slightly increase your
monster's total life span. 
Power: Power determines the amount of damage done by power-based techniques in
battle. A higher power will cause those techniques to deal more damage, and
will also slightly reduce damage done by enemy technqiues that are power-based
(see Weapons of War for more info on techniques). Power is also used on
expeditions to break through certain barriers. 
Intelligence: Intelligence is the yin to Power's yang. It determines the amount
of damage done by intelligence-based techniques in battle, and reduces the
damage done by enemy intelligence-based technqiues. It also has an important
effect during expeditions: the higher a monster's intelligence, the more likely
they are to be successful when searching for items. Also, intelligence is used
to break through certain barriers on expeditions. 
Skill: Skill is the accuracy stat of a monster. The higher a monster's skill
is, the more likely it is to score hits in battle. Skill is run past the
applied technique's hit% rating, and then compared to the enemy's speed to
determine the true hit%. Skill is obviously an important ability in battle. 
Speed: Speed is the ability to dodge attacks. A high speed will lower the
opponent's hit% in battle, and allow the monster to avoid attacks. Because
damage in combat lowers a monster's life span, speed has an indirect effect on
your monster's total life span. 
Defense: Defense has a similar effect as speed, but functions is a very
different way. Instead of decreasing the chance of being hit, defense decreases
the amount of damage done with each hit. A monster with a high defense will
take only negligible damage from even the most powerful techniques, and may not
take any from the less powerful ones. As with speed, defense has an indirect
effect on life span. 

All of the above stats run from 0-999, with 999 being the best. There are two
other stats, both of which run from 0-100: 

Loyalty: A monster's loyalty is the measure of it's devotion to you. Loyalty
has several effects. In battle, a low loyalty will cause your monster to fool
around, unable to attack and giving the enemy a bonus to hit. During training,
a high loyalty slightly improves the chance that the monster will be
successful. Also, a monster with low loyalty may become belligerent and
rebellious, running away from the ranch or even destroying it's pen. A loyalty
of 60 is good, anything above that is exceptional. 
Fame: A monster's fame fluctuates as it performs in battle. A high fame has two
effects: it increases the selling price of your monster at the market, and
increases the chances of the monster scoring a critical hit in battle. In
addition, once your monster is famous enough, it may be invited to go on
expeditions. There are also side effects to fame... as a monster's fame
increases, it may receive fan mail, for instance. 

Strengths and Weaknesses:
Each monster breed has it's own set of strengths and weaknesses. These include,
but are not limited to, aptitude or inability at specific stats, the will
regeneration rate of a monster, its behavior on the ranch, and life span. These
are all important things to consider when raising a monster. 
Each breed has specific stats that it is good or bad at. For example, Pixies
have an aptitude for intelligence, while they aren't so hot with strength.
Golems excel at power and defense, but are terrible at skill and speed. These
are things to consider not only when raising a monster, but also when choosing
one to suit your style. For example, I value skill in my monsters, so I tend to
stay away from those breeds that are bad at it, and gravitate toward those
which are good at it. The easiest way to decide what a specific monster's
strengths and weaknesses are for skills is to look at the numbers it starts
with. This is most effective with monsters from the Market, as they are 'pure',
with no randomness thrown in. Monsters from the Shrine or gained through
combining may have an abnormally high or low stat, which can throw off this
analysis. Generally, stats that start at 110-130 are average. Any that start
below that are poor, and above that are good. If a stat starts below 70, the
monster is terrible at it, and if it starts above 170, the monster is excellent
at it. 

There is more to stat strengths than just their starting values. A monster who
is strong at a particular stat will see increased benefits when training that
stat. A monster with an average stat may see increases of 6-7 points during
normal drills. One who trains a stat it is particularly good at may see
increases from 8-10 points, and if the monster is exceptional, it may receive
up to 12 or even 15 points for one week of training. A poor stat, however, may
only increase by 3-5 points, or in the case of especially horrible stats, 2 or
even only 1 point. 

There are several other categories which can be considered under strengths and
weaknesses. Guts regeneration rate during battle is an important one. The
average guts regeneration rate can be seen by a pure Zuum in combat. Other
breeds have the same rate, but the Zuum is the benchmark. Any monster that
regenerates will slower than a pure Zuum has a disadvantage in this area, and
any that is faster has an advantage. Generally, smarter, quicker monsters will
have higher will regeneration rates, such as Pixies, Plants, and Ghosts. 
A monster's nature is also considered among advantages and disadvantages.
Monsters that are bad natured often cheat on drills, ask for favors, or even
disobey you outright. Good natured monsters are the opposite, but each nature
has its own advantages. 

It is important to balance a monster's skills against its weaknesses not only
to gauge it's overall power, but also to see if that monster's abilities mesh
with your playing style. A player who prefers monsters with a high defense
probably won't like a monster like the Undine with a low defense and high\
speed, no matter how good that speed rating is. 

Likes and Dislikes:
All monsters have certain likes and dislikes, some according to breed and some
randomly chosen. Knowing what your monster likes and dislikes is vital to
raising it properly, as ignoring them can have effects such as lowering the
loyalty value or even shortening your monster's life span. Every monster has
specific things it likes and things it doesn't in almost all areas of the game.

The most obvious area where likes and dislikes come into play is the monthly
feeding. At it's base, the more expensive food you pick, the more your
monster will like it. This works for some of the more basic monsters, but
you'll quickly find as you raise more exotic breeds that it often doesn't hold
true. For example, the Zuum typically follows a normal progression... hates
potatoes, doesn't mind fish, loves meat. However, the Arrow Head normally loves
fish, and the ColorPandora loves potatoes. Feeding your monster a food it
doesn't like may increase fatigue and stress, and decrease loyalty. You will
need to closely observe your monster's reactions to discover what it's tastes
are.

Another part of the game affected by likes and dislikes is training. Sometimes,
when you select a specific drill, your monster registers disapproval. If you
choose the drill anyway, there is an increased chance that the monster will do
poorly, and it's loyalty may drop as well. On the other hand, monsters
occasionally will register approval when you select a drill. If you choose this
one, your monster's fatigue and stress won't increase as much as normal. These
likes can change from week to week, but each monster have a few jobs that it
generally likes or dislikes most of the time. A good rancher will be able to
change his plans if the monster doesn't want to do what he wants, and know when
to send the monster to training even if it doesn't want to.  There are many
more areas where your monster's tastes affect the game. Watch closely for your
monster's reactions, and learn which ones are positive and which are negative. 

Baby Skills:
The most important thing that determines whether a monster will be successful
or not is not its stats or its strengths, but the way in which you raise it.
Especially at a young age, the way you treat your monster is vitally important
to its growth and success. Everything you do to your monster has an impact,
and certain things may have a very positive or negative one.  At this point,
all I'm going to focus on are the first few months of a monster's career. Tips
on raising monsters as they grow will be included in many of the later segments
of this guide. One of the most important things to know in the beginning is
how to properly feed your monster. The majority of monsters should be given
milk when they are very young. Failing to do this may result in a monster who
has poor health, poor stat increases, and a short life span.  Unless milk is a
food that the particular monster likes, no monster should be given milk after
it's full grown. Full grown here means the point where the monster appears
bigger on your screen, and begins to make larger improvements in drills. Even
if it's not full grown, the maximum length of time a monster should be fed milk
is about 5 months. After that point, experiment to see what other foods your
monster likes. 

Sending your monster off to train while still young is a bad idea. When
monsters are young, they don't get the full benefit from training that they
will when they are fully grown. This isn't a big deal for drills... you need
some way to pass the time. However, training costs money and quite a bit of
time. A baby monster will not receive large stat increases in training, will
fail more often, and has a reduced chance to learn new techniques, making
training as a baby a waste of time. However, feel free to drill the monster,
even though it will not receive large increases, and battles are fine too as
long as your monster's loyalty is fairly high. 

Be careful of how you treat your monster as a baby. The effects to training
style are heightened when the monster is young, so that something as simple as
scolding your monster for doing poorly on drills may have a bigger, more
lasting effect than you'd think. Make sure you know exactly what you're doing
when you treat your monster well or poorly in it's early stages. 

Know Your Stuff:
Items are an important part of Monster Rancher. Items have unique effects, and
fill holes in a player's raising. Some are used to create special monsters,
others are used as small treats for a monster, some can be sold for large
amounts of money, and so on. Some items have hidden, negative effects, but all
items should be considered when raising each monster, as they have have a big
impact on the monster's success. 

In general, there are four types of items. Those that you use on or give to
your monster, those that are used when combining your monster, those that you
keep in your inventory that have a permanent, lasting effect, and those that
can only be sold for money. The first category has by far the most number of
items, and each is further broken down into several other categories. I'll go
into as much detail as possible without giving too much away. 

Monster Items: These are the items that you give to your monster. To do this,
simply to to the 'items' menu and pick 'use', then pick the item you want to
use (if the item is one of the other types and can't be used, the game will let
you know). These items have a vast array of effects, and you can initially buy
many of them at the item shop. Some may raise your monster's loyalty slightly,
others may change your monster's stats, and others may keep your monster
happy and calm. There are many items of this type to be found in the game; some
may appear in the shop as new items as the game progresses, others can
be found on expeditions, and others may be found by your monster itself. There
is one specific type of item that will touch on, because it's effects aren't
fully laid out to the player and I think they are very important. Drugs,
medicines, and other items of this nature, are a special case. These items
often raise a stat or two, or give your monster some special ability, such as
increased training results, for a short time. However, they have one nasty side
effect: they reduce your monster's life span. If used sparingly, perhaps once
or twice on a monster, you won't see much of an effect. However, if you use
dozens of these items, you may be reducing your monster's life by a year or
even more. These items are generally not worth it for the penalty they inflict;
through proper training and raising, you can get the same effects with no
drawback. 

Secret Seasonings: These items can only be used when combining two monsters.
They have a specific effect on the offspring of the combination, sometimes
only changing it slightly, such as a stat or two, and sometimes changing it as
drastically as creating another monster entirely. In some cases, this is the
only way to get certain monsters, and it is often easier than trying to find
specific monsters on CD's. One item I will mention is the CD Fragment. This is
an extremely common item that you often win in battles. Each CD Fragment comes
in a color that associates it with a monster breed. The black one is for
Monol, the green one for Zuum, the rainbow one for Plant, etc. When used in
combining, if there are any chances of getting a monster of that breed, the
Fragment will tilt the odds in that breed's favor. This is one good way to get
specific monsters from combining. Also, each CD Fragment has an added affect
on the offspring, from a small stat bonus, to increased lifespan, to special
abilities in battle. 

Money Items: These items are pretty self explanatory. They are simply sold for
several thousand Gold. If you can't find any other use for an item, and it
doesn't tell you that it has some effect in the description, this is probably
what it is. 

Inventory Items: These are hard to find, and often called 'Rare Items'. They
are extremely powerful because they have a permanent effect on your monster,
often an effect similar to one of the monster items. It may help calm your
monster, reduce fatigue, or help your monster be more obedient. These are truly
coveted items, and having them is a big step toward truly being a master
rancher. 

Overall, items are an important part of every rancher's arsenal. Knowing what
each item can do is vital to working your monsters toward the goals you have
in mind. Also, many items work differently on different monsters, and knowing
these subtleties can make a huge difference in how successful your monsters
are. 

The Battlefield
Well, you don't just raise your monster for the satisfaction of having a
digital friend in your Playstation. To earn money, fame, and gain breeder rank,
you need to put your monster in the ring so it can duke it out with other
monsters. This is one of the most important parts of the game, because the
battles are what earn alot of your money, increase your rank as a breeder, and
you can sometimes even learn some secrets of the game from them. 

To begin with, battles are held in separate ranks, from S to E classes, with S
being the highest. Each monster starts at E class, and your monster can only
participate in battles of its class and the class one higher. This means that,
somehow, you'll need to raise your monster's class. Every 3 months, an
'official cup' is held, and if your monster wins that battle, it will be
promoted to the next rank. Beware, however; if you raise your monster's rank
too quickly, you may find yourself in a tight spot, as the enemy monsters get
tougher and tougher. You need to train your monster as you increase its rank. 
The battles are set up in one of two ways. They are either round-robin battles,
where each monster fights each other monster, or elimination battles, where
monsters are paired up and the losers are eliminated from the competition. All
Official Cups are round robin tournaments. Each tournament has a prize value,
or a purse, that you can win if your monster takes first place. There are also
cash prizes for second and third place, and there is a bonus for each monster
yours defeats. In addition to the cash prize, if your monster wins, you may
receive an item as a prize. Some of these items are very special and can only
be obtained through fighting... the Double-Edged Sword for example. Others are
somewhat common, like Disk Chips, and can be easily found on expeditions.
See the Items section above for more info. In addition to money and items, your
monster's Fame is also affected by battle. Defeat monsters, and it goes up...
lose, and it goes down. Many things affect the fame boost, such as the level of
the battle, how your monster defeated the opponents, and so on. 

When you fight, the objective is simple: Lower your enemy's life total as far
as possible. If your enemy or your monster's life total reaches 0, that monster
isKO'd, and the other wins. If neither monster KO's the other, the match is
decided by who has a higher percentage of life left. This means that just
having a large life score doesn't guarantee a win, you need to diversify your
monster's abilities.  If your monster is getting beat really bad, and it looks
like it might be KO'd, a better option may be to just give up by pressing
[select]. Remember, he who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day!
Doing this decreases fame, but if your monster gets KO'd its lifespan will be
slightly shortened, and it may become injured or even die on the spot. It's
more exiting and brave to have your monster fight it out until the last second,
but sometimes it's better to be smart than brave. 

One of the best results of battle is a stat increase afterwards. If your
monster placed 3rd or higher, it will recieve a bonus to three stats. The bonus
gets higher at higher levels (at low levels, it may be 3-4 points, but at
higher levels it can be as high as 15). This makes battles not only a good
way to make money, but an effective part of your training regimen. 

Weapons of War
Once in battle, your monster tries to defeat the opponent by using the
techniques it knows. But what are the difference between each technique, and
what do they really do? 
There are 6 important parts to each technique. I will quickly describe them
here, and just give an overview, because each technique is good in it's own
way, and it's better for each player to find the techniques and fighting style
they like best. 

-Guts: The amount of Guts the technique uses. This is a vitally important part
of each technique, as one that takes 50 Guts may be difficult to use in a
battle where your enemy is withering it all away. Keep a close eye on which
techniques take how much guts so you can select the ones that are useable. 
-Range: This is which of the four distances the technique is in. This has an
effect because each monster has a certain range it's more effective techniques
are in. Pixies, for example, aren't very hot in the very close range, so if
your monster is, you have an advantage. If you have a great attack at very far
range, you can use it at the very beginning of battle, before your opponent has
the chance to attack. 
-Force: This is how much damage the attack will do. This is modified by the
relevant stat (power for power techniques, intelligence for intelligence ones),
and then by your enemy's defense to determine the amount of damage done. Damage
is also modified by how much Guts your monster has when it launches the
technique... if it has lots of Guts, it will do more damage.  
-Hit %: How accurate the attack is. Often, techniques with high force have a
low hit %, and vice versa. 
-Withering: A technique that withers your opponent will drain away thier Guts
on a successful hit. The better the withering, the more Guts it will drain.
This can be very useful, and some monsters are so good at it that thier
opponents always have a very low amount of Guts. 
-Sharpness: A high Sharpness increases the chances that the technique will
score a critical hit. Even with a low force, a high sharpness can make an
attack deal alot of damage. 

It's up to you to find which attacks you like best. Sometimes it's better to
just go in there with your most powerful ones and hope they hit, and sometimes
it's better to just consistently take off small amounts of life. Each monster's
combination of abilities and techniques will determine what style of fighting
is best for it. 

There is one more attribute of a technique that you may notice every once in a
while. Certain technqiues have small 'eyebrow' symbols when you examine
them. Some of the 'eyebrows' look good, while some look evil. These symbols
refer to the nature of the technqiues; a good-looking symbol means a good
technqiue, an evil-looking one means a bad technique. This refers to the nature
of your monster. A good or bad technqiue can only be learned by a monster
of the same nature, so it is important to figure out what the best nature for
each particular breed is. 

Battle Plan
There are two basic ways to battle in Monster Rancher 2. You can either let
your monster fight for itself, with no guidance from you, or you can control
the monster yourself. Most people prefer to control the monster themselves,
because of the unpredictable nature of the AI, but for the feel of the game,
you may want to try letting your monster make it own choices sometimes. After
all, if you're standing on the sidelines, how much advice will some dumb
monster listen to, anyway? 

If you do choose to command your monster, you need to do more than just get in
there and pound on some buttons. You need to have a carefully
formulated plan that takes into account your monster's strengths and
weaknesses, it's techniques available, and the enemy's abilities. If you don't
plan out your battles, you'll find it very difficult to win consistently. 

There are several different styles of battle. I'm not going to go into too much
depth on each one, because these aren't the end-all-be-all of battle strategy,
and it's best for each person to discover a best way for them to fight. Below
are some basic strategies that you can try. Keep in mind that certain
strategies work better with certain monsters because of thier abilities. 
-Guts Miser: This tactic is somewhat of a 'quality, not quantity' one. For the
first few seconds of battle, don't attack. Save up your guts, until they reach
a very high level, at least 90. Then, all of your attacks will have a bonus to
hit% and damage. Whenever you do attack, wait for your guts to refill before
launching another. This technique works pretty well with many types of
monsters... those with high guts regeneration get to launch many attacks at
high power, and those with low regeneration get the bonus of always having a
few extra attacks at thier disposal in case they need them. One big weakness of
this strategy is a monster with very low spd; if you're up against a withering
opponent, you may never get to save your guts. 
-All Out: This is a 'shoot first, ask questions later' tactic. All you do is
attack as much as you can, ignoring hit % or guts. Launch two or three attacks
off the bat, and as soon as your guts goes back up a bit, launch another one or
two. This tactic is best for monsters with high skill, because they will be
able to hit no matter how much guts they have. This is a dangerous tactic to
use, because once you're low on guts, your opponent has a better chance of
hitting and you can't retaliate, but if it works, it can make for quick,
victorious battles. 
-One-Hit Wonder: This tactic attempts to use one attack once to KO the
opponent. The technique used is very powerful: it often takes 30 or more guts,
and has hit% and Force of at least B rating. Many monsters actually do have
techniques like this, and they are often in the very far range, facilitating
this tactic. This can be the most effective tactic if you have a monster
powerful enough and with a capable technique. Beware, however, because if you
rely on this tactic and it fails, the results are often very ugly. 
-Wither Away: This is a 'keep-away' tactic. It is best used with monsters who
have many techniques with high withering ratings. All you do is attack your
opponent with a withering attack, and keep thier guts low, preferably below the
level where they can launch attacks. The damage inflicted is inconsequential,
because if your opponent can never attack you, the bits and pieces of damage
you do while withering them will give you a win. When combined with a high
speed, this technique can be extremely effective. This is one of the hardest
strategies to pull off, however... there aren't many monsters with great
withering attacks, and it can easily be foiled by a high speed or guts
regeneration. Alternately, a monster with very fast guts regeneration may be
able to pull this technique off with a technique or two that has a middling to
low withering. This is because, even if they only take away 10 guts from the
opponent, they can recover enough to do it again before the opponent regains
that 10 guts. This tactic also requires a high skill, however, as it's
important for as many techniques to connect as possible. 

There are several other ways of defeating your opponent, and you can mix up the
styles above as well. Try coming up with your own method of winning,
because each monster will have a specific strategy that is best for it's
abilities. 

Take a Hike!
One of the most exiting parts of the game, and another way to make some money,
are expeditions. Once your monster is C class with enough fame (some
expeditions have other criteria as well), you may get asked to go on an
expedition. Here, you can find special items that are otherwise unattainable,
learn the secrets of special monsters, and discover totally new breeds. The
expeditions are important if you want to unlock all the breeds and learn all
the secrets of the game. 

There are three important stats when you go on an expedition. The most
important is intellgence. A high intelligence makes it easier for your monster
to find items in the buildings. An intelligence of 650+ should be sufficient
for most places, your monster will have about a 3 in 4 chance of sucessfully
finding an item.  Also, a high intelligence will alow your monster to find
things like secret passages. Life is also important, because the more life
you have, the more energy your monster has to explore, and the longer you can
do so. Eash step you take and every time you explore a building takes away
energy from your monster, so a high Life score is neccessary to ensure you can
explore and come back. Power is important as well because there are various
obstacles scattered throughout the expeditions that block off vital areas, and
your monster needs to break through them. 

When you go on an expedition for the first time, try to get used to where all
the paths go and where everything is. After you know the layout, plan ahead of
time where you want to go and how long you can stay. Keep in mind that you need
time to get back, because if your monster runs out of energy before it
reaches the base camp, it's life span is shortened! Each step takes 1 energy
point, and searching a building takes 10, so make sure you have enough time.
When searching a building, don't move on to the next until you have found all
the items. Usually, the best item will be found last, and it may be an
extremely rare and special possession. 

Locked Out
Your first time playing, you'll notice that many CD's are locked, not allowing
you to get at the monster inside. In MR2, many many breeds are locked from
the outset... the number of breeds you can use at the beginning of the game is
fairly small compared to the total number available. Of course, there are ways
of unlocking them, you just have to know how. 

There are two things you can do that will unlock several breeds and get you on
your way. If you see a tournament titled 'Elimination' (this is the title, not
the type of tournament), enter that, and if you win it, you will be invited to
a special IMa vs. FIMBA match. Wether you win or lose that match, it will
unlock four breeds at once for you. Also, if you save up enough money and are
of a high enough rank, Colt will ask you if you want to upgrade the stable. Do
so, and you can raise two more breeds. Doing these two relatively simple things
canopen up several new breeds to get you started.

Beyond those two things, to unlock the rest of the breeds you generally have to
get that monster in the game first (there are a few exceptions). As you play,
you will get hints about special breeds when you go raise your rank, go into
battle, or go on errantry or expeditions. Sometimes, a new breed might just
'fall out of the sky', so to speak! Be patient, and eventually you will be able
to breed them all. 

Overall, Monster Rancher 2 is a game of choices. You can choose from many
different types of monsters one that will suit your style and tastes. you
choose how you want to train an raise it to meet your goals. The most enjoyment
is gained when you find some monsters you really like, and experiement with
different raising styles, while disovering new facets of the game. So, just pop
in a CD or three, see what you get, and go with it! There are no wrong ways to
do anything! 

Thanks for reading this. If you think a specific section is hard to understand,
or if there is something else you think should be added, feel free to email me
using the link below. 

Created on 8/3/1999 by Bennett Campbell 
Updated 11/10/1999 
This original document is protected by US and international copyright laws.