November 19, 2023
January 9, 2024
Tamagotchis, the Bandai digital pets that captured the hearts of millions of kids in the 90s, are still as popular as ever. Just like a real pet, these compact cuties need consistent TLC – but one question has tickled the minds of every virtual pet parent; “How long can a Tamagotchi live?” Well, buckle up your curiosity cap as we dive headfirst into unraveling this digital mystery.
From the time it hatches to the day it sprouts angel wings and ascends to the heavens, the life cycle of your Tamagotchi depends on which version you own.
When the original Tamagotchis first released, they could live up to 25 “years,” or 24 days. Time moves faster for these iconic egg-shaped toys; each time a Tamagotchi wakes up, another year has passed, causing the age counter to increase by one. Your original Tamagotchi can live for up to 25 years, but the typical lifespan is around 12 “years,” or 12 days. In comparison, the animals you care for in Tamagotchi’s competitor Giga Pets, will typically live for 14 days when cared for properly, but can live on infinitely after that if their health bar is maxed out before sleeping.
However, with the newer version, Bandai realized that players wanted more time with their Tamas and increased their lifespans. The Tamagotchi Connection V4, released in 2007, has a lifespan of approximately 45 days, almost double the life cycle of the classic Tamagotchi. The Tamagotchi Connection V5 increased its lifespan to around 60 days the following year. In 2009, Bandai released the Tamagotchi Connection V6, which has a lifespan of around 100 days.
Every Tamagotchi becomes needier as it grows older, so you’ll have to pay more attention if you want to see them reach a ripe old age.
Just like us, a Tamagotchi’s life starts at the Baby stage. With proper care, your pixelated pet evolves to the Child stage, Teen stage, and then to the Adult stage. Depending on the version you’re playing, your Tama can advance to the Senior stage, where it spends its days complaining about those disrespectful Teen stage Tamas.
Upon hatching, your Tamagotchi’s Baby stage lasts approximately one hour before evolving into a Child. In certain older releases, like the Mori de Hakken!! Tamagotchi, this stage can last for up to 24 hours.
Thankfully, Tamagotchis can’t die as a baby, but they can at the Child stage if their needs are neglected.
Not every Tamagotchi version goes through all the same stages. For example, the Tamagotchi Nanos and minis are babies for 24 hours and then evolve into adults, skipping the Child and Teenage stages entirely (if only we could do that!).
Child Stage lasts 24 to 72 hours before it evolves into a Teenager, depending on your version. The same timeframe goes for the Teenage stage, which evolves into the final stage, Adult. How long an Adult stage Tama lives depends on what you do with it (again, not unlike us humans).
Your Adult Tama’s life expectancy also depends on which species you have (for example, Mametchi could live to be 21-22, but a Tarakotchi can only live to be 7-8).
Duh, of course it does! The level of care you provide will affect the lifespan of your Tamagotchi (after all, who wants to go on living in a prison of their own poop?)
Suffice it to say, if you neglect your virtual pet (perhaps by muting your Tamagotchi’s sound or not cleaning up the poop), you will earn a “care mistake”. The more care mistakes you collect, the more likely your Tama will croak.
The three categories of care mistakes are hunger, sickness, and neglect. As you might expect, you earn a care mistake if you fail to feed your Tama, give it medicine, or play games with it when it calls. Sometimes this can overlap (for example, your pet becoming sick because it hasn’t been fed).
Each version of Tamagotchi has its own lifespan, so anything beyond the average life cycle is extraordinary. For example, the original Tamagotchi typically stays alive for around three weeks; however, someone managed to keep their critter alive for an astounding 89 days!
The oldest Tamagotchi on any model is said to have lived for 145 Tama years (or 145 real days). The newer versions allow for generations of marriage which help the pet avoid death for as long as the user provides good care.
The most common way for your virtual pet to die is through care mistakes. Too many care mistakes, as previously mentioned, will trigger death. Luckily, with newer releases, the threshold of care mistakes needed to cause death has increased, allowing the user more opportunities to give proper care before the Tamagotchi dies.
Sickness is another cause of death for the Tamagotchi. Providing medicine for sickness is considered care, as well as feeding, playing with, and disciplining your virtual alien.
Old age is an inevitable cause of death in the older version of Tamagotchi. In newer versions, there is the Senior stage, where the Tama can still pass away from old age, but there is a way to avoid this by having your pet marry and produce children with another Tama.
Several releases, like Tamagotchi Ocean, Mori de Hakken!! Tamagotchi, and specific Tamagotchi Nanos, have predators which can attack the Tamagotchi and cause injury or death if you fail to save the day and intervene. Additionally, in modern releases, the Grim Gotchi appears on the screen and can trigger death if it is not banished within 15 minutes.
Other versions have factors that could contribute to the Tamagotchi’s death that are unique to them. For example, in Tamagotchi Angel, if the pet is ambushed by Gaikotchi too many times, it can cause death.
The Gaikotchi are a type of Devilitchi that attempts to corrupt your Angel Tama with “liquor” and “lust”. Don’t give in!
In certain versions, care mistakes could affect evolution and limit care options after that, like Tamagotchi Osutchi and Mesutchi, where the character can become Debutchi if the Tamagotchi weighs its max. As a result, it will limit access to care options, potentially causing care mistakes that could lead your Tama to an early grave. You’ll have to reduce your pet’s weight by having it participate in games to regain access to care options and avoid the worst.
If your Tamagotchi died (or for the kids “returned to its home planet”), you’ll see a “death” sequence on your device and the pet’s final stats, like age and generation. Try as you might, you can’t bring a Tamagotchi back, but you can begin again with a new egg by pressing and holding the buttons “A” and “C” until you hear a long beep.
Once the new Tamagotchi hatches, you can start the exciting journey of being a parent all over again. Hooray!
And there you have it, folks! The exhilarating odyssey of the Tamagotchi: from egg to angel wings. Be it hunger, sickness, or a lack of loving attention, there’s no shortage of hurdles in the Tamagotchi world. If you want your virtual pets to live long and prosper, you’ve got to stay vigilant and pay attention to those chimes (no matter how annoying they get).
Lee is curator of nostalgia and a long-time collector of loveable junk. An 80s baby, 90s kid, he knows he had it good when it came to Saturday morning cartoons. Spends his life trying to recapture the dopamine hit of playing Game Boy for the first time and believes Beanie Babies will make a fortuitous comeback. Obsessed with everything (and anything) retro, he is your trusted guide to a world of 90s toys, games and collectables.
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November 19, 2023
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