My ranch is currently in either its sixteenth or seventeenth year. The game’s on in the other room and I’m too lazy to get up and go check it. I’ve raised several monsters at this point, and I’m currently training a Hopper/Tiger called “William I.” It’s the most annoying monster in a series of monsters that just seem to get more and more … I don’t know, … frustrating.

My first monster, a purebred Zuum called “Richard III,” was a stock monster, pulled from the Market, that went all the way to B-Rank in only a few years, and has lived a surprisingly full life. It placed in the IMa vs. FIMBA tournament, and was instrumental in unlocking the Henger type, of which I raised two. (A Henger/Zuum called “Gustav I,” and a Henger/Golem called “Gustav II” … they’re contemporaries.)

Though I originally intended to raise another market Zuum, cookiemonger suggested I try a different monster type, and I settled on a Henger, which I had to search several discs to find. Training “Gustav I” was a dream. It handled just like a Zuum, but it was stronger, faster, more accurate, and I could invest more in feeding and training it. I got antsy waiting for it to grow up, and jumped the gun, entering tournaments early.

Still “Gustav I” handled very well and remained active just about as long (perhaps a little less?) than “Richard III.” Once he was retired, I planned to breed them when I ran into another snag. Apparently, combining monsters across different types means they carry over few to none of their powers. After several attempts, not only were the starting stats pathetic, but I couldn’t get virtually any of their powers to breed through.

I picked out another Henger, called “Gustav II,” and trained it to breed with the first Gustav. I’ll say this now, … I will never intentionally raise a Golem. If “Gustav I” handled easily because he was part Zuum, “Gustav II” must have been such a pain because he was part Golem. He became easily tired and stressed, even though he started with better statistics and was facing the same exact same training regimen.

I’ll admit, he remained active in tournaments for far longer than either “Richard III” or “Gustav I,” but he remained in infancy for over two years. There are few things I can think of as more frustrating than having to put up with the volatile nature of a baby monster for two years in game. I made virtually no progress toward unlocking more types in that time. I did eventually recoup my training investment… eventually.

“William I,” as mentioned above, is the most annoying monster yet. Despite using the exact same training methods that produced a B-Rank monster in less than three years, he has proven to be quite prone to stress and fatigue, and has only recently cleared D-Rank (I think). He’s easily spoiled and I’ve spent a small fortune in Smoked Snakes to feed him as a method of teaching him discipline.

Well, I’ve had it. I’m going back to Zuums. As soon as I retire “William I,” I’m grabbing another Zuum out of the Market. What I should have done two monsters ago…