"Tamagotchi is a tiny pet from cyberspace who needs your love to survive and grow. If you take good care of your Tamagotchi pet, it will slowly grow bigger, healthier, and more beautiful every day. Bit if you neglect your little cyber creature, your Tamagotchi may grow up to be mean or ugly. How old will your Tamagotchi be when it returns to its home planet? What kind of virtual caretaker will you be?" - Bandai
Listen to the Tamagotchi Song. It's from Japan and all in Japanese, but definitely worth listening to. You will need a RealAudio player to hear it.
Tamagotchi was released on November 23rd, 1996 by Bandai (makers of Power Rangers) and was finally released in May 1st 1997 for the US. A second released of a Generation 2 was made available about 6 months later.
The Japanese story, and the one I believe is this: They are little alien creatures from Planet Tamagotchi, who crash landed on earth, and The Professor and his assistant Mikachu found them. The Professor built them little egg shaped protection cases so they could survive on earth, then Mikachu painted some, took them to school and started the Tamagotchi craze...
There are 6 different characters for each generation. There are two generations, otherwise referred to as P1 and P2. Take a look at the growth charts: Generation one/P1 Tamagotchi Chart and Generation two/P2 Tamagotchi Chart. They list the characters in order.
Depending on how well, or not so well you care for your Tamagotchi, will determine which character you get in the finale adult stage.
When you first pull out the tab in your Tamagotchi an egg will appear. After you set the clock it will take 5 minutes and the egg will hatch. For the first hour of your little creatures life, he will need almost constant attention, so be prepared to have an hour spent with your little pet. When a baby is first born it needs constant love and attention, as a short while the young one will not need so much so fast. If you check the health meter you will determine what the young Babitchi or Shirobabitchi needs. When he is just born, everything will be empty. Your job is to feed the little one meals until he is full, and play a game with him until he is happy, and clean up his mess after he goes poop. For that first hour the hungry and happy hearts will empty rather fast. After a good 20 to 30 mins he will take a nap. After a short 5 minute nap he will wake up. After another 30 mins or more, he will finally cease his demand need for food and play when he changes into his child form or Marutchi or Tonmarutchi, depending on the generation you hatched.
From this point on your Tamagotchi will not need as much attention as he did when he was a baby. Everything you do from point on will determine what kind of caretaker you are. Six to eight days from now you will have your adult character. During this time you will need to discipline your young one when it calls for your attention, but doesn’t need anything and refuses to eat and play the game. You can make your Tamagotchi happy by feeding it candy instead of playing the game, but it is good to play the game and keep the weight down and keep your little friend healthy.
You may notice on the chart that there is a "Secret Character" listed. That character can only be gotten from Zukitchi or Masukutchi. To get this Secret Character you must take almost perfect care of Zukitchi or Masukutchi for him/her to change into the secret character. For more information on what methods I use to get different characters take a look at my Tamagotchi Tips Page.
While you are raising your little cyber creature you may notice as it reaches older ages (ie: 16+) it will began to require more care. Don't get upset with your little friend though, it's just his way of showing age. He also wants more love and memories from you before he departs so when he does return home, he will have lots of experiences to share with his Tamagotchi friends. And if you really feel you are frustrated, don't take it out on the Tama. Many Tamagotchi are abused and mistreated due to owners frustration. Don't be one of these caretakers. Instead of taking out you anger you can simply do this. Go to clock mode by pressing the middle button. Now press the far right button and the far left button at the same time. If you did this right the clock will stop and will now say "SET" on the bottom right. This is a way to set the clock, but also a way to pause. If you need a time away from caretaking this is the best option. When you are ready to care for your little Tama once again, simply set the clock to the correct time and press the far right button once. The clock will start and you can hit the middle button and go back to caring for your Tamagotchi.
Tamagotchi will always return to its home planet. How well you care for it helps determine how long Tamagotchi will stay on Earth. When it is time for Tamagotchi to return to its home planet, there is nothing you can do. Give your self time to morn your little friend. I am one of many that knows what it's like to lose a Tamagotchi I love. When you have recovered from your loss you can always hatch another. Here is the scale Bandai prints in the Tamagotchi Instructions:
Will You Be A Good Caretaker For Tamagotchi?
Last updated: February 25th, 1998
Tamagotchi and all related characters are registered trademarks of Bandai America.