Koei Tecmo’s Monster Rancher series of life-simulation RPGs used to be something of a big deal. It was unquestionably cool for its mechanic that created monsters based on CDs that players loaded into their PlayStation while the game was stored in memory. After the 1997 original debuted on PlayStation, more than 10 Monster Rancher sequels and spinoffs were released across various Nintendo and PlayStation platforms. With the exception of the Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX re-release in 2021, the series has been largely dormant over the past decade.
But thanks to Ultraman and Bandai Namco, Monster Rancher lives again; a new game, where players raise, breed, and battle kaiju made famous by battling Ultraman is coming to Nintendo Switch.
That game, which is currently confirmed only for release in Japan, is titled Ultra Kaiju Monster Farm. (Monster Rancher is known as Monster Farm in its home country.) Koei Tecmo and Nintendo revealed Ultra Kaiju Monster Farm during the Japanese-language version of Tuesday’s Nintendo Direct Mini presentation, showing off a clever spin on the franchise that will appeal to fans of watching giant monsters beat each other up.
Ultra Kaiju Monster Farm will let players raise Ultraman baddies like Zetton, Gomora, Dada, Kanegon, Alien Baltan, Birdon, King Joe, Eleking, and Golza, and even cross-breed them. (The game’s reveal trailer shows a new monster that blends Zetton and Gomora’s appearances.) Players will feed, train, and adventure with their kaiju buddy, teaching it new skills, like how to water crops or build an Ultraman snowman (an Ultrasnowman, if you will).
Players can then take their kaiju into battle, squaring off against other kaiju. Like the original Monster Rancher, players will generate Ultra Kaiju from songs using an in-game tool. Switch owners can also generate their monsters from NFC cards.
Ultra Kaiju Monster Farm seems unlikely to make its way stateside, but given increased global reach of Ultraman, thanks to a new live-action movie, a Marvel Comics line, and an ongoing Netflix series, we’ll keep our fingers and our arms crossed.