Meta:Monster Mechanics in Mystery Dungeon

The MDFW - Documenting Mystery Dungeon since 2008.
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Monster Mechanics in Mystery Dungeon are often re-used by other games or series in the franchise. This page aims to illustrate as many of these similarities as possible.


Monsters attack from a distance
  • Shiren: Chainhead's can attack from a distance using their heads.
    • Shiren can obtain some items which allow him to attack from a distance.
  • Pokémon: In PMD, there are moves that hit targets from 2 tiles away like Quick Attack and Fake Out.
Attack from across the entire floor
Monsters move through walls
  • Dragon Quest: Spirit can move through walls.
  • Shiren: Pacorepkin Family can move through walls.
  • Pokémon: Certain Ghost-Types in PMD can move through walls. Non-Ghost-Types can equip a Mobile Scarf for the same effect.
Monsters cause the player to be unable to heal
  • Shiren: Fog Hermit Family fire spells from their magic staves that prevent the player from healing.
  • Pokémon: This effect first appeared in Explorers TD in the form of Heal Block.
Monsters place traps
  • Shiren: Mecharoid Family monsters place traps as their special ability.
  • Pokémon: In PMD, moves such as Toxic Spikes and Stealth Rock do this.
Monsters leave a trap when they die
  • Shiren: Trap Nin(UT) family leave a trap when they die.
  • Pokémon: While not exactly like Shiren, the PMD ability Aftermath is similar. Causing the enemy to explode when they faint.
Enemies cause explosions
  • Dragon Quest: Briny Mine enemies work similarly to Spike Bombs.
  • Shiren: Spike Bombs explode when they're at low health and are attacked but not killed.
  • Final Fantasy: In Chocobo's Dungeon 2, Bomb Species monsters will begin to charge up an explosion attack after they take damage. If the bombs are not defeated before the charge meter fills up, they will explode and destroy the 8 adjacent tiles.
  • Pokémon: Pokémon such as Electrode can learn explosion moves. Stunky/Skuntank and Drifloon/Drifblim have the ability aftermath, which has a closer effect to the Spike Bomb family.
    • In Super MD, Explosion and Self-Destruct were changed to self-destruct as a counter to damage.
Higher chance of critical hits
  • Shiren: Minotaur's Axe's have a high chance to land a critical hit.
  • Pokémon: In PMD, everything has a higher chance to land a critical hit.
Monsters toss stones in an arc
  • Shiren: Piggy Family toss stones in an arc.
  • Pokémon: Geo Pebbles, Gravelerocks, and other thrown rocks all fly in an arc.
Knock the player's items and armor off
  • Dragon Quest: Merderer knocks Torneko's and Paolo's items off. Items will be sent flying across the room until they land in water, on the ground, or into an enemy (item is destroyed).
  • Shiren: Cell Armor Family knocks Shiren's items off. Items will be sent flying across the room until they land in water, on the ground, or into an enemy (item is destroyed).
  • Pokémon: The move Knock Off in PMD has a similar effect. But items won't directly be lost if they hit another target.
Monsters attack 2 times or more in one turn or move at increased speed
  • Shiren: Various monsters have double speed and can move twice in one turn, or move once and attack once in one turn.
    • Knifegator Family are able to attack 2 or more times a turn.
    • Certain Monsters such as Gitan Mamels and Level 2 - 4 Death Reaper Family can move or attack twice in one turn, or move once and attack once (double movement + attack speed)
  • Pokémon: This is similar to the abilities Speed Boost, Unburden, Chlorophyll, and Swift Swim; and the moves Rock Polish, Agility, Tailwind, and Shell Smash.
    • The Moves Double Hit, Twineedle, and Double Kick, hit twice in one turn, and the moves triple hit and triple kick hit thrice in one turn.
  • Final Fantasy: In Chocobo's Dungeon 2, the Field Rat Species can increase their movement speed from single speed to double speed
Monsters that cause the player status conditions
  • Dragon Quest: Many monsters such as Man'o War can cast an attack which would cause various status conditions.
  • Shiren: Ghost Radish Family tosses herbs at players that cause various status conditions. Other enemies such as the Gaze Family and the Naptapir Family can also inflict status effects.
  • Pokémon: This is similar to the various moves Pokémon might inflict on the player.
Monsters disguise themselves as others. (Decoy)
  • Shiren: Baby Tengu Family disguises themselves as other monsters. Various other decoys exist. See Decoy Mechanics.
  • Pokémon: Ditto does this in Rescue Team, Explorers, [Research required]. In Gates and Super MD, this is relegated to the Zorua family.

Enemies disguise themselves as items
  • Shiren: Too many to list. See Shiren:Decoy Mechanics.
  • Pokémon: Ditto in Super MD acts as a traditional decoy now. It can't be picked up like in some Shiren titles.
Transform into monsters
  • Shiren: Shiren is able to eat meat to transform into monsters.
  • Pokémon: In Super MD, Transform works by allowing the player to transform into the enemy and copy their moves, similarly to meat.
Various monsters destroy, damage, or replace inventory items
  • Shiren: Too many to list.
  • Pokémon: Starting in Explorers TD, moves such as Bug Bite, Pluck, Incinerate can destroy food items in the player's inventory.
    • Switcheroo exchanges the player's held item with the item carried by the enemy.
Monsters summon other monsters
  • Shiren: Schubell Family rings a bell and summon other monsters.
  • Pokémon: The move Beat Up summons a Pokémon's allies to them. In Explorers T/D, Sky and Gates to Infinity, the ability Illuminate summons an enemy to the floor whenever the Pokémon that has it takes damage.
  • Final Fantasy: In Chocobo 2, the Puppteer Species can summon other monsters.
Picking up and throwing the player
  • Shiren: Tiger Uho Family picks Shiren up and throws him across the room or floor. Throw Beetle(UT) do the same thing.
  • Pokémon: Rescue Team: Vital throw as a counterattack. Explorers of Time, Darkness, and Sky: Fling serves this purpose. Super MD and Rescue Team DX: Seismic Toss.
Fixed Fire damage
Monsters knock players back
  • Shiren: Dremlas Family knocks Shiren back.
  • Pokémon: Roar / Whirlwind in PMD.
Shopkeepers in Mystery Dungeon have extremely high stats
  • Shiren: Shopkeepers train specifically for the job.
  • Final Fantasy: In Chocobo's Dungeon 2, Doom takes the role of shopkeeper, and will attack the player if they steal or spend too much time on a floor. In Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon 3, Dungeon Hero X acts as the shopkeeper and will attack if you try to steal the bag from his shop.
  • Pokémon: Kecleon takes the role of shopkeeper.
Items or attacks pierce targets
  • Shiren: Mini Tank shoots silver arrows that pierce the target.
  • Pokémon: Hydro Pump, Hydro Cannon, and Bonemerang pierce targets in Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon.
    • Rescue Team DX has silver spikes that function similarly to silver arrows.
Enemies swarm
  • Dragon Quest: Powie Yowies sleep in a swarm of 4.
  • Shiren: Floaty Family sleeps in a swarm of 3.
  • Pokémon: Ledyba sleep in a swarm of 4 in Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon and Rescue Team DX.
Enemies flee, drop items when defeated
Enemies level up when they defeat the player or another monster
  • Shiren: Standard Shiren mechanic.
  • Final Fantasy: Standard mechanic in Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon 1 and 2
  • Pokémon: First introduced in the Adventure Squad titles.
Enemies respawn after death, level up other monsters
  • Shiren: When you kill an Evil Soldier, several turns later a member of the Dead Soldier Family will spawn.
  • Pokémon: This role is filled by Shedinja. It spawns when Nincada is defeated. Other monsters will attempt to defeat it to level up.
    • Monsters attempting to defeat it to level up is similar to the Chow Family in Shiren.
Enemies go around the player and appear on the other side
Monsters that act as healers
Enemies hypnotize the plyer
  • Shiren: Gaze family.
  • Pokémon: The same hypnotized effect occurs when an enemy uses hypnosis on the player while they're asleep in Super MD.
Enemies degrade equipment
  • Shiren: Green Slime Family
  • Pokémon: Gastro Acid destroys the emeras on your looplets.
Fire-based enemies incinerate items when thrown
Explosions that cause splash damage
  • Shiren: Popster Tank Family shoots explosive rounds that cause splash damage.
  • Pokémon: Hyper Beam in PMD: Super MD now causes splash damage. The cooldown is reminiscent of the movement of the Shiren tank family.
Enemies hold you in place
  • Shiren: Parthenos Family holds Shiren in place.
  • Pokémon: In Rescue Team and Explorers, Pokémon with Arena Trap and Shadow Tag sometimes holds a Pokémon in place after hit with a move that makes contact. In Super MD, these abilities prevent the foe from fleeing.
Enemies decrease fullness points
  • Shiren: Polygon Spin Family sap Shiren of his fullness. As does the Blue Lanternfish(UT) monster family.
  • Final Fantasy: The Mummy Species in Chocobo's Dungeon 2 can decrease Chocobo's Energy by 10.
  • Pokémon: Sweet Scent in Super MD may occasionally decrease fullness.
Enemies fire random spells at the player
  • Shiren: Skull Mage Family fires random magical attacks at the player. (From a select pool of staff abilities.)
  • Final Fantasy: In Chocobo's Dungeon 2, the Black Mage Species casts random spells at the player when its ATB Meter fills up fully.
  • Pokémon: Braixen and Delphox in Super MD now have this ability.
Enemies dig through dungeon walls
  • Shiren: Soldier Ant Family digs through walls in Shiren.
  • Pokémon: In PMD, players could tunnel through walls with a high enough IQ in Rescue Team, with a high enough IQ in the right IQ group (Explorers) or via the TM Rock Smash. In Super MD, Sawks can smash through walls, as well as other Pokémon that knows Rock Smash.
Enemies steal items and warp away
  • Dragon Quest: Bag o' laughs steals currency and warp away.
  • Shiren: Pickpocket Family steals currency and warp away. Thiefwalrus Family steals items and warp away. The Crow Minion Family steals items, warps away, and leaves them under a pile of feathers that require a staff bolt to uncover.
  • Final Fantasy: The Thief Species in Chocobo's Dungeon 2 can steal Chocobo's items and warp away.
  • Pokémon: Thief / Covet allow a foe to warp away after a successful theft in Super MD.
Enemies can gunk up (curse) items
  • Shiren: Curse Girl Family.
  • Pokémon: Super MD has the sticky web move which slows down the target and can make items sticky.
Remove enemies from the dungeon
  • Shiren: Shiren has a scroll that will remove monsters from the rest of the dungeon.
  • Pokémon: The Ban Seed in Super Pokémon Mystery Dungeon removes a move from the rest of the adventure.


Pass Off Attacks
  • Shiren: Shiren 1 DS introduced the Kigny Shield, which occasionally passes off attacks onto monsters.
  • Pokémon: The Pass Scarf may have been the inspiration for the Kigny Shield, as it functions nearly identically.
Power up the player

See Also

Cross Series Mechanics in the Mystery Dungeon Franchise
Cross Series Mechanics Adventure LogFloor TypesFloor TilesFood in Mystery DungeonGame StructureItem Mechanics in Mystery DungeonInventory SpaceMonster Mechanics in Mystery DungeonMultiplayerOrigin of Mystery Dungeon Mechanics


  • [1] Enemy Roles from Shiren to PMD and PSMD. (December 6, 2015)
  • Thanks to user /user/Aw_ on Reddit for the post idea and initial batch of research.
  • [2] Thanks to user /user/Amphouse for the additional notes in the comments of the original post
  • [3] Shiren references within PSMD. (December 10, 2015)
  • [4] Thanks for a similar posy by the /user/Theguesst on Reddit.