Imps. Goblins. Slimes. Shitake Mushrooms. These are a few of the first and weakest monsters you face in classic JRPGs like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Chrono Trigger. These monsters lead a depressing existence: walk around the forest, get slashed by a level 1 hero a few times, and disintegrate in an orange blur. Or so you think.
This is all in a day’s work for the employees of “The Bestiary”, the worldwide leader in random monster outsourcing. Employees go to the office each morning, get dressed, and go to work to pretend to die to heroes for their enjoyment.
Mediocre Monster puts you in the role of Gob, as he goes through everyday life working as a random monster. Follow Gob as he goes through a journey from being a lowly tutorial monster in the Tutorial Forest to being palette swapped into a well-respected monster who still dies to heroes easily, but after slightly more hits.
Gob lives in The Grind, which has seen better days. It was once a thriving, developing town in the 1990s, its main industry being outsourced RPG monsters. Since then, many monsters have left the town for greener pastures as better opportunities arose in the Mobile and FPS districts.
Though some monsters who put up local businesses still chose to stay behind, the now near-abandoned town features very few random monsters and decrepit buildings.
As times grew tougher, town morale became low, and the villagers turned to cheap forms of entertainment.
Sometimes, however, cheap entertainment is more expensive than one would hope. Chief Pocajello, the village mayor, grew addicted to free-to-play games. As his addiction grew, his habit became anything but free. Village funds were used to purchase virtual gems. And soon the town was in dire financial trouble and was in danger of being repurposed into a casual city builder location.
Chief Pocajello had no choice but to pressure the town’s main source of income, The Bestiary, to cover his debts, and save the town.
The Bestiary enlists Gob, a lowly tutorial monster, as its new random monster recruit in order to bolster its ranks.
The battle system will definitely look familiar, as you’ve seen the interface countless times. It’s a traditional, turn-based JRPG battle system. This time though, you’ll be playing the other side.
When heroes face these regular monsters, they are oblivious to the amount of work and effort these monsters put in to give them a good experience (and experience points).
The goal of the monster is to eventually pretend to die as the hero strikes a killing blow. There are a lot of tasks to be done, however, before your HP reaches 0.
A few pointers to remember (taken from the RPG Monster Handbook):
As seen in the trailer, Gob has several rules to follow in order to properly perform his tasks as a random monster. Below is an example of compliance and non-compliance of the taunt rule:
As Gob rises up the ranks, and faces higher level heroes with higher level abilities, more complicated rules are introduced. These include preparing for taunts, dropping the correct items, reacting correctly to elemental weaknesses, and others.
Gob must perform all his tasks correctly and eventually give the heroes their satisfying victory.
Gob is then paid a weekly salary dependent on his job performance. As more mistakes are committed, more deductions are taken from his salary. Gob can then spend his money around town for training, skills, items, town upgrades, house improvements, and new buildings.
Eventually, Gob meets other monsters who he can join in work teams.
Career opportunities abound in the random monster industry! Promotions are in store for monsters who do their job right! Benefits for higher positions include higher pay grades, more exotic work locations (everyone’s tired of the forest), new skills and equipment, wider range of clients, and even body transforming palette swaps!
As an RPG monster working in the forest, Gob’s main task is to “level-up” heroes to prepare them for higher level areas. This entails giving them good battle experiences (and thus, “experience points”) and dropping items that will help them in their adventures. Heroes also have a happiness score which is determined by battle satisfaction and fulfilling their wants. (These can include receiving rare loot, not getting hit, activating their limit break, and so on.)
Although monsters can face heroes from different parties and adventures, they are assigned a “main hero party” which they are especially responsible for.
Gob has been specifically assigned to the game below:
Once Gob has successfully leveled up the required number of heroes, including his assigned hero party, he is then eligible for promotion, which will enable him to work in different areas and environments.
Work-life balance is very important in a random monster career. When Gob isn’t busy facing heroes, he spends the rest of his day in town, where he can interact with fellow monsters.
The town is populated by monsters of different species. Aside from being RPG monsters, the town’s inhabitants serve various roles in the community. A skeletal mage serves as the town librarian, an android serves as the town blacksmith, and a weeping ghost naturally serves as the town crier.
Gob is also tasked by the mayor to help out in reviving the town. Gob can use his hard earned gold to improve the town aesthetics by improving roads, fences, and street lights and by constructing new buildings.
Gob can also invite new monsters to repopulate the town. Decisions are made on which monsters to recruit, which affects the town, and the industry as a whole. As more monsters move in, the town takes shape, which open up new opportunities and activities for Gob.
Improving the town is vital to saving it and keeping it afloat. Gob and the rest of the townsmonsters must work together to make sure that their town is not taken away from them.
Mediocre Monster is on Kickstarter right now: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/opalsquad/mediocre-monster-the-life-of-an-rpg-monster