History The Giga Pets series by Tiger was one of the first answer to the virtual pet craze from a North American company in the 90's. Instead of basing the characters off of unique alien creatures like the Tamagotchi line, Giga Pets were each based on an animal. The first edition of Giga Pets included a cat, dog, and a monkey, which was closely followed by a frog and koala for the base edition pets. A second wave of these pets were released with a speaker upgrade that allowed them to make real animal noises. Soon after, licensed versions of the Giga Pets line created pets like the Lost World T-Rex, Sabrina the Teenage Witch Salem the Cat, and the Oreo Mouse.
Digital Doggie Shells The Digital Doggie was one of the original Giga Pets ever released. It came in a purple, transparent shell. There was also a special gold shell released that was known for rubbing off, so most collectors keep this one for collection purposes only, and do not play it.
Strategy Many players find the Giga Pets series incredibly difficult to keep alive. This guide will go over the basic functions, then have a strategy section below. Knowing how the functions operate is not enough to be successful at this pet.
Giga Pets do not evolve into different characters like Tamagotchis. You get your pet as a baby, and raise them into adulthood. You will see them slowly grow up as you care for them.
Low Health The health score is the tipping point of the whole game. The prosperity of your pet rides on the health score. Taking care of your pet, keeping the hunger, discipline, and happy scores up helps raise the health score. When your pet's health score falls below 50, the pet is too sick to sit up anymore, and will be shown lying down on the screen. This is one of the most depressing animations to me! I hate it! You will have to take immaculate care of your pet at this point to recover.
Check out the official English instructions from Tiger Electronics here.
Food There are two food options to feed your dog. Kibble is considered a meal that should be the main portion of your pet's diet. Bones are considered a treat, and should only be a small portion of your pet's diet. Meals will raise hunger by 20 points. Fish bones will raise hunger by 5 points, and raise the happiness points. When your pet gets too hungry, the food icon will begin to flash. Feed them immediately, or their health points will decrease! Giving your pet too many treats will also lower health points.
Sleep Unlike Tamagotchis, the sleep option does not function as a light. This option will force your pet to go to sleep. This is an important distinction, because you should only ever have your pet go to sleep when they need it. They will call for it on their own. You will know your pet is calling for sleep, when all of their stats are 20 or above, they have played a game, but are still calling out to you. If they get tired enough, the sleep icon will begin to flash. Let them sleep as soon as possible, or they will pass out, and their health points will decrease. Your pet will normally call for sleep around 9:30 to 10 PM. It is never at the exact same minute.
Play Another difference in the play option from a Tamagotchi, is that Giga Pets only want to play a bit. If you continue to play games several times, they will get upset. The dog's game is to catch the ball. When you see the dog facing right, press the right button twice to catch the ball. When you see the dog facing left, press the left button twice to catch the ball. Do this successfully three times in a row to win the game, get some playtime with your pet, and raise happiness.
If you do not play with your pet enough, they will call for it, and it can drop your score. It's a very delicate balance to keep.
Vet This option is also quite different than a Tamagotchi. A vet visit isn't for curing a sickness like with Tamagotchis or Nano Pets. Vet visits are for directly raising your pet's health score. However, like real pets, this lowers their happiness. They hate going to the vet. Do not take your pet to the vet more than once per day, regardless of the circumstances. Ever! It won't raise the health score after the first time, will greatly lower happiness, and can actually have a detriment to your pet's overall health with the large decrease in happiness. Once your pet is at a high health, there is no reason to take them to the vet. I usually don't use the vet at all.
Cleaning This option is used to not only clean up your pet's poop, but also to give them a bath. Clean up their poop when you see it on the screen next to them while they are not performing an action. You should only bathe your pet once per day. Bathing your pet will directly raise the health score by one point the first time each day. Afterward, it will decrease happiness and give no perks to health.
Status The status section tells you all the information you need to know about your pet, and is vital in keeping your pet alive.
Name This is the name you gave your pet when you adopted it. You can change it at any time on the clock change screens.
Overall Score This is a relatively unimportant score. It is just the average of your pet's hunger, discipline, health, and happiness. Those individual scores are far more important. I rarely pay attention to this number.
Hunger This score shows how hungry your pet is. 100 is completely stuffed. 0 is starving. Your pet will begin to call for food when this score falls to 19 or below.
Discipline This score shows how disciplined your pet is. This number will slowly lower through the day like hunger and happiness do. You can raise this score by training your pet, or disciplining it.
Health This is the most important score of them all. It is easy to lose health points, and difficult to regain them. The only ways to directly increase this score is by a vet visit or a bath, both of which can only raise it once per day. Otherwise, it has to be indirectly raised by raising hunger, discipline, and happiness over time. When any score is at 0, and you ignore it, the health score will begin to dramatically drop!
Happiness This is how happy your pet is. You can raise this score by giving your pet treats, or playing a game with them.
Age This is how old your pet is.
Weight This is how much your pet weighs.
Training The training option lets you teach your pet tricks. Dogs can learn to bark, sniff, sit, and run on command. At first, your pet will not know any tricks. To teach them, select a trick from the list, and watch what they do. If they do the trick incorrectly, select that trick again until they perform the correct action. Once they have done the correct trick, give them a reward. They have now learned this command.
Once your pet has learned a trick, each time they perform this trick, it will raise their discipline by 10 points. Performing a trick successfully 10 times will completely fill the discipline meter, which makes the discipline option unnecessary.
Discipline This option will scold your pet, and raise their discipline score. Unlike a Tamagotchi, your pet will not misbehave, so this is just scolding your pet to raise the score. This will raise the discipline score by 10 points, but it will also lower the happiness score. Since the training option can easily raise discipline without a detrimental effect on happiness, I never use this option, and think it is a poor function to use to raise the score.
Attention This icon will light up when your pet is calling for care. You will also see a sad face on the screen cycled with the animal calling out. Go to the status screen to see which score is 19 or below. If no scores are below 20, your pet has either not played enough games, or wants to sleep. Play a game with your pet, and if it continues to call after that, then have them go to sleep!
Chattering Just like with real animals, your pet will just like to talk. When you hear your pet call twice (2 barks), they are just talking. When they call four times, they are calling for your care, and you will see the attention icon light up. This can be pretty annoying to many players. To not hear them talk all day long, keep the screen on clock mode. In this mode, you will only hear your pet call when they actually need something.
Keep in mind that regardless of what type of care your pet is calling for, ignoring it can cause the health score to go down.
Naps Your pet will want to sleep at night, but it will also need naps through the day. Naps tend to happen at 10:45 AM, 2:45 PM, and 6:45 PM. Your pet will call out, even with care scores above 20. Play with them to ensure that they aren't just wanting to play, then have them go to sleep. They will wake up on their own.
Pause There is no pause on a Giga Pet. Using the clock set screen does not pause your pet.
Mute Sound To mute the sound, go to the clock screen from the character screen by pressing the Menu button when no icons are selected. Press the right button to make the bell on the screen disappear. The sound is now off. Press the left button to make the bell reappear, and turn the sound back on.
Set Clock To set he clock, go to the clock screen from the character screen by pressing the Menu button when no icons are selected. Press the enter button to enter the time change mode. Use the left and right buttons to change the time, and enter to select the time entered.
Strategy Guide Now that you understand how the individual functions work, you will still need a proper strategy to keep your pet alive. Knowing what the options do is not enough to be successful at this pet, but when you do succeed, it is an incredibly satisfying victory.
This is the same method I have used for all my Giga Pets since I was 12 years old in 1997. I used to teach this to the other kids at school when their Gigas kept dying. Follow this method to a "T", and you will have no problems keeping your health score at 100.
Startup When you startup your pet, you will begin with 0 hunger, 80 discipline, 80 happiness, and 80 health. There is a pattern I use when caring for my pet, and I call each round of the steps a "care session".
Teach your pet one trick. Feed a reward to lock in the correct action. (hunger: 5; discipline 80)
Perform the learned trick 2 times. Throw in a reward here and there 2 times. (hunger: 15; discipline: 100)
Feed your pet 4 meals which add up to 80 hunger points. (hunger: 95; discipline: 100)
Play a game.
Wait 20 seconds, and your pet will poop. I wait here, because otherwise it will poop while you are playing a game, and it makes the game stutter.
Clean up the poop. When your pet poops, you will lose a little discipline. Don't worry about this. It's normal.
Play 2 more games.
Give pet a bath.
You're done! Leave it alone for a couple hours except to clean up any poop!
When filling the hunger meter, never go over 100. I feed until I hit the 80's or 90's, then I stop. If you do this, then play with the pet, the health score will go up by a point.
I try to use treats or rewards to get the score in to an "odd" number 10's. So, 20's would be an even number section, and the 30's would be an odd number section. I do this so that I can easily get the hunger score into the 90's using only kibble, since they are worth 20 points, and I like to make sure the last item my pet eats is a meal.
For example, if my hunger is 25, and I feed my pet 3 meals, then my hunger score is 85. If I feed any more meals, then my score will go over 100. If my hunger is 35, and I feed my pet 3 meals, then my hunger is 95, which is very close to 100 without going over, giving me a health point up, and giving me more time between care sessions.
If I am at 25 hunger, then I feed my pet 2 treats during tricks to get the hunger to 35. Then 3 meals gets me to 95. Done!
Only bathe your pet once per day
Only take your pet to the vet per day. Vet care isn't a necessity, so you can skip it, and raise the health by care instead. This is what I normally do.
Do not tell your pet to sleep when they do not need it. This can cause their health to drop.
Only play with your pet 3-4 times per care session, or they will become too tired.
Maintenance Care I normally wait until the health scores are in the 30's to bring them back up. Check the steps below for maintenance care steps you use after you have already done the startup section steps.
Wait for hunger and discipline to hit somewhere in the 30's.
Perform the learned trick or tricks 7 times, or however many it takes to get to 100 discipline. Going over 100 on discipline is perfectly fine.
Eat 3 meals getting hunger into the 90's.
Play a game.
Wait for a poop, then cleanup the poop.
Bathe your pet. (Since this is only done once per day, I do this in the first care session of the day, then wait until tomorrow.)
Play 2 more games.
Done! Your health points will have increased! As long as you do not neglect your pet, you can get to 100 and maintain using this method.