|None||Tamagotchi (1996 Pet)||Tamagotchi Mothra →|
|This article is about a Japanese Tamagotchi release.|
|None||Tamagotchi (1996 Pet)||Tamagotchi Angel →|
|This article is about an English Tamagotchi release.|
The Original Tamagotchi (たまごっち), also known as P1 or P2 depending on the version, was the first Tamagotchi toy produced. It was developed and shipped in fall of 1996, produced only in small numbers, as Bandai had not anticipated much. However, the toy become a sensation overnight, launching a franchise that continues to this day. A second generation edition, also known as the Shin Tamagotchi/New Species Tamagotchi in Japan, was produced not long after. It is a slightly harder version of the original, featuring new characters.
The toy's concept was developed by Aki Maita of Bandai. She came up with the idea after seeing a commercial about a boy bringing his pet turtle to school. Akihiro Yokoi assisted with the concept, and in October 1996, 200 prototype units were given out to high school girls in Tokyo's Shibuya district for a consumer test. The girls were surveyed about the toy over several weeks, and the final toy was launched on November 23, 1996. The toys came to the United States a year later, with packaging and artwork designed by Bob Nenninger.
The Original Tamagotchi contains most of the features that are still used in modern-day Tamagotchi toys and games.
The user uses this icon to feed their Tamagotchi either a meal or snack. Meals fill the Hungry hearts, and each meal adds 1 oz. to the Tamagotchi's weight. Snacks raise one Happy heart and add 2 oz. to the Tamagotchi's weight.
The meal is a bowl of rice on the Japanese edition, and a slice of bread on the International editions. The snack in all regions is a piece of candy in a wrapper.
For the second generation, the meal is an onigiri in Japan, and a hamburger for English editions. The snack on all versions is a slice of cake.
When the Tamagotchi goes to sleep, the user selects this icon to turn the lights on or off. Not turning the lights off before the Attention icon vanishes will result in a care mistake.
Left or Right
The game featured on the original Tamagotchi is "Left or Right". The user must guess whether their Tamagotchi turns left or right, and a minimum of 3 correct guesses out of 5 is a win. The A button chooses left, while the B button chooses right. C button returns to the main screen.
Higher or Lower
The game featured on the second generation Tamagotchi is "Higher or Lower". The Tamagotchi presents a number, and the player must guess whether the next number it thinks of will be higher (B button) or lower (A button) than the displayed number. It cannot pick a number higher than 9, or lower than 1. 3 or more correct gusses out of 5 is a win.
When the Tamagotchi becomes ill, a skull will appear beside their head, and they will refuse to eat or play. Using the Medicine icon will heal them. The Tamagotchi will get ill prior to evolution, before death, with old age, if poop has been left on the screen for too long, or if fed too many snacks.
On all Japanese editions and the first generation in the US, the icon is a syringe. For the generation 2 in the US, it is a bottle of medicine with a spoon.
Occasionally, the Tamagotchi will leave poop on the screen. The user must select this icon to clear it away. Leaving more than one poop on the screen for too long may result in illness.
The Tamagotchi features a menu screen that shows the Tamagotchi's overall stats. The first screen displays age and weight, the second displays Discipline, the third shows Hungry, and the fourth shows Happy.
The Discipline icon is used to scold the Tamagotchi for misbehavior. Occasionally, the Tamagotchi will call for attention when it's still in perfectly good health, or if they still have plenty of hearts in their Hungry/Happy meters. When this occurs, the user must use the Discipline icon. The amount of discipline the Tamagotchi receives directly affects what they grow up into.
- Oyajitchi (Japanese release only) secret character; evolves from Masktchi
- Bill (Non-Japanese releases only) secret character; evolves from Masktchi