'The Big Book of Beasts'
'The Big Book of Beasts' (given in quotes with 'the' being part of the name, originally Monster Book) is a recurring item in the Dragon Quest series. It is an optional item that keeps track of nearly all the monsters players can encounter in the game the book appears in. It first appeared in Dragon Quest VII.
Obtaining the book is purely optional and not a requirement to beat the game. It is essentially a convenience for the player, showing all monsters (with some exceptions between games) the player has fought while listing other statistics like the amount of EXP awarded and how many of that particular monster the player has defeated, and even display the monsters' battle animations. Defeating a large number of a single kind of monster will usually result in a minor reward for that monsters page, such as showing more of its animations and revealing what items it drops if the player has yet to obtain any from the monster in question.
Starting with Dragon Quest VIII, the book also features short descriptions of monsters as well, describing various attributes such as habitat, species family, and natural behavior. Often times these descriptions will allude to resistances or weaknesses of a particular monster, giving clever players an edge in battle.
Absent from the original game; handed to the main character at the start of Chapter 5 by his/her adopted father in the remakes shortly before the village is sacked by monsters. Note that it will include performance data from the first four chapters.
Absent from the original, the book can be purchased at the curiosity shop sometime after the first purchase is made for a wagon. Unlike in Dragon Quest IV, the book does not track bosses.
Absent from the original, the book is obtained in a chest in Haggleton after buying the Thief's Key (the original version of the game had a Scale shield in the chest). As with Dragon Quest V, the book doesn't track bosses.
The first appearance of the book, where it is a reward (in the Present) for winning the guessing game in L'Arca's animal appreciation festival. Completing the book in both the PSX version and the Nintendo 3DS remake will grant the reward of a gospel ring.
Though not named as such, the functions of the book were integrated into the Battle Records menu.
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