Mona² Monarch Monarch

Original Title
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Monarch Monarch takes the basic territory controlling strategy from Falcom’s Lord Monarch series and adds something new – height. Maps are now viewed from a fixed isometric perspective and players must take the height of the terrain into account when planning their takeover. Sometimes it’s as simple as building a house nearby to be used as a stepping stone but on other maps elevators or more circuitous routes need to be navigated to gain access to higher ground or even whole new layers.
The goal of each map is defeat the other three kingdoms, either by completely removing their territories from the map or by knocking down their castle walls and then killing their leader. While the player is planning their own takeover those three kingdoms are also fighting amongst themselves for control of the map as well, and it is possible to wait for two factions to battle it out and then try to take on the victor – the disadvantage being that the player will then be taking on one powerful enemy instead of two weaker ones.
As this is a true strategy title rather than an RPG or SRPG, victory depends entirely on how the tools available are used in conjunction with the map in question. Every kingdom has the same abilities on every map – the main ones being to build houses, bridges, and blockades. Houses spawn new units which can perform a variety of tasks – clearing out trees or enemy territory, blocking off access to parts of the map with blockades, or merging together to fight off another faction. All these tasks cost not only personnel but gold too, the CPU controls the level of taxation by default but the player can intervene at any point to raise taxes (which stunts the rate soldiers spawn) or lower them.
The game has a total of sixty six maps – five tutorial stages, fifty one standard maps, and ten additional challenges. The bonus disc that’s included with the limited edition (pictured below) also includes further maps and characters to use as well as screensavers and other miscellanea.
A year after Monarch Monarch came out Falcom released Minna de Mona2 – essentially the same game but with the difficulty level noticeably reduced. While Monarch Monarch hasn’t been released in Western countries it did come out in Taiwan (by Acer. TWP) and in Korea (by inter soft).
A playable demo of Monarch Monarch can be found here.