Friday, June 15th, 2007...11:05 am

TOy GeVault: Tamagotchi Connection V4

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Introducing a new segment of ToyVey: TOy GeVault! A catch-all for old toy reviews, items in our toy vault that we’re just now unpacking, and anything else that’s not quite new-news.

Tamagotchi Connection V4

Tamagotchi Connection V4

Manufacturer: Bandai

MSRP: $14.99

Availability: Mass retail, now


In past years, I have been a veritable Tamagotchi maniac. I bought Tamagotchi-related books while in Japan, translated any Japanese information that I could find into English and put it on my website, and kept copious notes on the results of my inhumane experiments in light deprivation and so forth.

With Tamagotchi Connection V4, though, I’ve been considerably more relaxed. In fact, my Tamagotchi Connection V4 lay dormant and in-package for some time after I purchased it (the glow in the dark one which was the winning design in the Great Tamagotchi Shellection Contest). I didn’t do any research on what the “good” Tamagotchi characters looked like… or even which characters were part of the teen stage and which were part of the adult stage.

Instead, I enjoyed the Tamagotchi Connection V4 as a fresh-faced newbie. Well, an educated newbie who’s raised many healthy Tamagotchi to adulthood. I gave the manual a cursory examination and nodded in approval at the many new mini-games. There was a Jump-rope game (a variation on the traditional “hop-over-stuff by hitting button B” game), a Flag game that appeared to be a more advanced version of the Old School “guess which way he’ll look” game, a Dance Dance Revolution-style Dance game and some puzzling games called Mimic and Shape. All of these games not only exercised the Tamagotchi and made her happier, they also allowed me to gain Tamagotchi Points which could be redeemed at the Shop for more food options, or Items that the Tamagotchi could play with.

There were many new functions relating to the Tamatown website, where Tamagotchi owners could log in to play mini-games, collect items, and gather numerical passwords to be painstakingly inputted into their Tamagotchi toys.

Another new element was the mail or messaging system. Several times a day, the mysterious Nazotchi would come to deliver some mail. Sometimes it was a horoscope-style daily fortune, foretelling my Tamagotchi’s luck in the departments of money, love, and health. Sometimes it was a message from the school, or an alert that a robber had just stolen a chunk of my Tamagotchi’s Tamagotchi Points. Sometimes it was an anonymous heart or poop. As far as I can tell, the hearts and poops are just random factors that make my Tamagotchi’s happiness rise or plummet.

I hatched my first Tamagotchi, Anna, and quickly went about the business of raising her to adulthood. Each stage of development unlocked new games that she could play, or gave her new destinations to visit whenever I chose the “work” option. After six days, I noticed that she was no longer changing forms… so presumably, she was all grown up.

I finally went to the Tamagotchi site and, after some poking around, found the page with the V4 character chart. Apparently what I have is Ponytchi, and she doesn’t appear to be an especially “good” adult form.

Currently, my Ponytchi Anna is stuck in the unglamorous job of “person who watches people get on and off a bus”. Part of this is the fault of some poorly written instructions in the manual that the Tamagotchi came with– for the Shape game, they tell you to hit button A to match shapes when you’re really supposed to hit button B, and use buttons A and C to fire the shape into the appropriate column! It took me several tries to realize why I kept losing the game!

The other part is my fault entirely.

During the child and teenager stage, my Tamagotchi went to school whenever I chose the Work option. It took me a while to figure out that I could hit the B button to watch her school activities, and it took me even longer to figure out that the “teacher presents her with three gifts, if she chooses the right one her stats will be boosted” event was, in fact, a mini-game. A mini-game with RULES.

I noticed that sometimes, the gift box contained a pencil. This pencil made my Tamagotchi happy and hopefully smarter. Sometimes, the gift box contained a poop. This poop made my Tamagotchi angry and sad.

What I hadn’t noticed was that this WASN’T a cruel and arbitrary lesson in how sometimes life gives you pencils, and sometimes life gives you poop. The blinking boxes were meant to indicate that the box with the pencil in it was being shuffled around, and I was supposed to keep track of where it ended up. Poop’n’Pencil Academy was, in fact, trying to teach my Tamagotchi and I to pay attention. I failed to learn this lesson, and my Tamagotchi has had to pay the price.

So now, Anna is in what I can only assume is the Tamagotchi equivalent of a dead-end job. I don’t think she’s going to get any more opportunities to do the job interview rounds (probably I should’ve made sure to boost her intelligence via mini-games before she hit adulthood). As horrible as this sounds, I can’t wait for the match-maker to come and set her up with someone, so I can start again with a second generation Tamagotchi and hopefully have better luck. I’m under the impression that Tamagotchi V4.5 is either coming out, or already in stores… perhaps the offspring of a V4 and V4.5 would have better luck in life?

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