Monsters are one of the many races of being that exist with the various worlds of SaGa. While often an antagonistic race, there are several entries that show that monsters can easily integrate themselves into the societies of other species peacefully. Early in the franchise history, monsters are a race the player can choose to be, but as the franchise became more narratively driven, these options are rare in recent installments. Despite that, there are still some prominent friendly monster characters who are playable in later installments such as Riki.
Makai Toushi SaGa
Monsters are one of the three races a player can choose to make their player avatar into. While monsters are genderless, the player has the option of choosing between four different types of monsters: Clipper, Wererat, Redbull, and Zombie. Like the other two races, monsters do not grow stronger through conventional experience mechanics, instead monsters will transform into stronger monsters by consuming Monster Meat from fallen enemies.
The mechanics for determining what the monster will change into can be a bit complicated. All none-boss monsters found in the game are divided into classes of their type based on their sprite model for the maps. There are 26 classes of monsters with five monsters per class. These monsters are then graded between 1-14, with 1 being weak and 14 being the strongest. The monster class will be determined by the classes of the monster the player is transforming and the class of the monster meat being consumed.
Example - Goblin Class + Zombie Class Meat = Lizard Class.The specific type of monster within that class will be determined by the highest level grade between the two.
Example - Goblin (Goblin Class Lv. 1) + Ghoul (Zombie Class Lv. 3) = Gecko (Lizard Class Lv. 3)Basically Ghoul is the highest level here and when consulting the class chart, the result would be a Lizard monster. Gecko is ranked as Level 3, so the result will be a Gecko. If the player tries to consume monster meat of the same class as the monster, nothing will happen.
In the event that there is no monster within the class that is the same level as the highest level grade of the ingredients, the game can potentially bumps the monster up to the next level within this class.
Example - Oni (Goblin Class Lv. 2) + Wight (Zombie Class Lv. 12) = Salamand (Lizard Class Lv. 13)Wight is Level 12, but the Lizard Chart has no corresponding monster of that level, the game checks to see if there is a monster listed one grade higher, where it will find Salamand. Thus the result will be a grade higher than either ingredient.
If there is no monster listed one level higher than the highest ingredient within the class, the game will then check one level grade below the highest and further until it finds a match.
Example - Goblin (Goblin Class Lv. 1) + Red Bone (Skeleton Class Lv. 4) = Gecko (Lizard Class Lv. 3)This is because there is no Lizard monster that is Lv. 4 or 5. The next Lv. Grade is 11, which is too far away from the parameters to be created, so instead it checks down the list and finds Gecko at Grade Lv. 3.
Since every class has monsters that are ranked as Level 13 and 14, once a monster is transformed into this level tier, they can never be transformed back to any lower level tier. It should be noted that the Meat of the Four Gods dropped in their second encounters are all Lv. 14 Meat, guaranteeing the player a Rank 14 monster by end game.
SaGa 2 Hihou Densetsu
The algorithms have been changed, but mostly work the same. Monster classes have been expanded up to 36 separate classes with five monsters per class. Unlike the original, Level Grade has been simplified to level 1-5, but every class has a numerical value attached to them. Classes are now grouped into three categories of 1-3.
When a monster eats a meat. The numerical value of both monsters are added together. Then the game checks the grouping of the two ingredients. Based on their grouping, the formula will be modified be either subtracting 1 from the numerical formula of the monsters, adding 1, or not modifying it at all. The game will then reference the classes listed by their numerical value against the resulting integer and that will be the result.
There are special meats that have radically different modifiers and are always in one grouping. The main ones to look out for are Fenrir and TianLung as these are the only two meats capable of bumping a monster into the Level 5 Tier of monsters. Like the previous game, once a monster achieves the highest Tier, they can never be dropped into a lower level tier.
SaGa 3 Jikuu no Hasha
While SaGa 3 largely dropped the class/race mechanics, it expanded it by allowing any of the four default characters to transform into a monster by consuming meat. Unlike previous installments, the game also allows the player to revert their character back to their non-monster form using a device called the Flushex, which is obtained through the course of the journey. It is also possible to switch back by installing robot parts on a monster.
The algorithms for transformations are far more simplistic in this version. All four of the main characters have one of the four elements (Air, Fire, Water, and Earth) attributed to them. Monsters are now divided into four classes based on one of these elements. There are sixteen monsters per element which are determined by a level ranges. When one of the characters eats a monster meat, the game checks the elements of both ingredients to determine which Element Class to choose from. If the elements of both ingredients is the same, the element will not change. The game then checks the player characters level and cross-references it with any available level range within the Element Class to give the player the final result.
Example - Character (Fire/ Lv. 10) + Enemy (Water) = Evil Eye (Air/ Level Range of 9-10)New to the series are transitional forms. When a human/esper consumes monster meat, they do no immediately become a monster, instead they transform into a transitory Beast form. Beast use the same algorithm formula as monster listed above. Once a beast eats another monster meat, the result will be a full monster. Once a monster, the player can transform into the other monster types easily like before and will grow stronger with their level.
Monsters gain no bonuses for weapons or magic like Espers or Humans do. Monsters can use abilities/talents and they come with higher base stats than most of the other classes. Monsters can finally equip spells and use them, and while they can equip armor and weapons, these do not affect the monsters stats making it pointless to do so.