General Overview and potential Tamagotchi care instructions
In the pursuit of portable video game systems, I managed to get a Tamgotchi for myself. Unlike the other systems I own, this one is fairy rigid. There are no cartridges, no choice. From here on out, you're on your own.
This little lump of plastic comes in many colors. Mine happens to be white with black background and buttons. Fairly simple. I was hoping to get a blue one, but this is nice. I bought it via the internet. Sure, I paid a little over retail, but no place around where I live has them. The convenience of not having to drive all over the greater Sacramento area was worth the few extra bucks, which probably would have been spend on gas while trying to locate one of these elusive critters.
Bandai is hyping the thing as a virtual reality pet. Other places claim they are games. Still, others claim they are toys. Then on the other extreme, some claim it is one or more of those items. Others claim that these virtual pets can help teach responsibility. Personally, I am viewing it as a game, a LONG drawn out game, but a game none-the-less. Hey, nothing against those with Nano-Pets, Giga-Pets, Nano-babies and whatever the hell else is out there, they are all basically the same to me. The Tamagotchi has greater appeal to me due to not only its rarity, but also the egg shape, and the simple fact that it is the "first".
This thing is so tiny, a Game Boy Pocket looks huge compared to a Tamagotchi. The Tamagotchi comes with a keychain, assuming that if you attach some keys to it, you'll have a harder time losing it. Good plan, but I'm not sticking this on my keychain. Just in casual usage, I've already nicked the black border and put scratch on the screen. I certainly don't want METAL KEYS scratching up everything.
So, it arrives in the mail. New in the box, never opened. Exactly as promised. I read the instructions enough to get started. I yank out the little pull tab so the battery contacts and the batteries can touch, completing an electrical circuit, allowing the Tamagotchi to operate. A wonderous thing, this electricity. There is a reason behind Bandai's madness. The unit does not have a power switch, it stays on until the tab is somehow re-inserted, or the batteries are removed. After I removed the pull tap, I set the clock. A few minutes later, the pulsating egg "hatches" and the Tamagotchi was "born".
Immediately upon entering this new world, the Tamagotchi is immediately beeping for attention. Give it some food to fill it up, play the game a bunch of times to make it happy. That seems to pretty much shut it up for a while.
There are two basic strategies for playing the Tamagotchi game. The main goal is to keep it alive for as long as possible, which is always the primary strategy. Once people have gone through a few "pets", they opt for the other strategy of trying to get to the secret character. I'm on my first "pet", so I'll just try and keep it around for as long as possible.
Building on the pet idea, you have to treat it like a pet. You can't really snuggle with it, you can't exact expect it to come when you call. What do you do? I suggest you name your little virtual pet. I've named mine "Peeve". But what else? All pets need to be fed. Tamagotchi is no different. No, you don't feed it batteries. There is a menu that allows you to feed your Tamagotchi. Pets like to be happy, and so does Tamagotchi. There is a game you can play with your Tamagotchi. It's a simple game: guess which what it will face. What, you were expecting fetch? Tamagotchis are team players, and it makes it happy when you guess right. This seems to go along with the team player idealology I've seen in a lot of Japanese businesses. Hey, nothing against that, although I personally prefer to work alone. Now, there are two ways to make your Tamagotchi happy. One way is to play the game, the other way is in the food menu by giving it a snack. Too many snacks pack on added weight, so play the game to burn off the fat.
Speaking of getting sick, when your pet gets sick, you have to take it to the vet. Virtual pet owners do not have the luxury of a vet on call, but you can administer injections of medicine to your sick pet. Your Tamagotchi will inform you when it is sick by a little skull symbol. Sometimes multiple applications are required. Apparently Tamagotchis only get one type of sick, because there is no selection of medicines. Just like in real life, these little electronic pets can get sick for no reason. To date, Peeve has gotten sick twice, and I can't really figure out why. He's been happy, full, and given lots of attention. I guest it's just one of those things.
Pets need training. You can't teach your Tamagotchi how to "play dead", "roll over", "fetch" or not pee in the house. Your Tamagotchi is rather simple. When it is not happy or it is hungry, it will try and get your attention. When it does this, check it's health statistics to find out what it wants, and then provide it. If it is hungry; feed it. If it is not happy, toss it a snack or play the game with it. If it is trying to get your attention and it is hungry and won't eat, or not happy and won't play, then it needs to be "disciplined". No kinky S&M crap. Based on the symbol, it appears you have some harsh words with it. Tamagotchis apparently don't like to be disciplined based on the expressions they go through during such sessions. Also, if the Tamagotchi is beeping for attention and is completely happy and completely fed, then it needs discipline, as there is no reason for it to bug you if it doesn't need something. To simplify, you have to train it to not bug you unless it actually needs attention.
Pets need rest, and so does your Tamagotchi. I'm not sure if anything past the initial hatchling stage takes naps, but when they sleep, they sleep for around 12 hours. This is good, because then you can sleep, leave it somewhere, or basically ignore it for a long period of time. Now, I can't sleep with the lights on, and your Tamagotchi will get restless if you leave its lights on. Turn out the Tamagotchi's light so it can get some rest. The lights will come on when it wakes up.
I think there is some sort of algorithm that is key to the programming of the Tamagotchi. It seems to have picked up on some of my traits. It's little potty sessions seem to be more or less on my schedule, oddly enough. Also, Peeve likes to sleep in, which is always nice. However, in a few days, when I have to get up at my normal time, Peeve will be fast asleep. Peeve got sick today, and I found this out when I check on it after having a bloody nose. Peeve has been relatively well behaved. He has only beeped for attention immediately after hatching, and then only twice, and both times he needed discipline because he was both hungry and not completely happy, but wouldn't eat or play.