The monster list is an ordered list of monsters, dictating what moves and when during gameplay.
The DAT format and as such the MS ruleset allows for a maximum of 128 entries on the monster list at level start, the monster list can expand to any size during play from cloning. Chip and blocks are not on the monster list and are handled separately. The monster list is processed from front to back in the ordered specified by the DAT entry for the level. All movement is done in one shot, choosing a direction, moving, and side effects – such as pressing buttons – are all done for one monster before moving onto the next.
Due to the MS ruleset taking the contents of the monster list without any checks, several issues can arise such as a monster listed multiple times (which causes it to appear multiple times from a single tile), tiles that aren't monsters appearing in the list (which usually has no effect), or monster tiles without an entry (which leaves an unmoving monster in the level).
Take this level for example:
The balls move in the order shown in red. The top ball moving onto the toggle floor, followed by the middle ball moving onto the green button, pressing it in the processing, finally is the bottom ball trying to move forwards, running into the now closed toggle wall and turning around to move backwards.
Closely related to the monster list is the sliplist which contains all sliding monsters and blocks as they are removed from the monster list.
The monster list in Lynx is also bound by the 128 restriction at level start, the original version enforces this throughout the entire level whereas Tile World's emulation of Lynx rules allows the list to expand to a maximum of 2048 entries. Unlike MS, Chip and blocks are on the monster list and processed normally. Also unlike MS the list is processed from the back to the front, meaning that monsters are the end of the list move first.
Movement in Lynx is done via 2 passes of the monster list. The first has all tile aligned monsters select an unblocked direction and claim it, so that only one monster can move into a tile at a time. Following this is a monster actually trying to move, which usually succeeds due to the earlier check (if the direction becomes blocked for some reason before the creature moves it halts for a single tick before resuming movement the next turn). A move is made of 4 ticks (2 for sliding monsters that aren't blobs which move at 8 ticks normally and 4 when sliding), a monster partway onto a tile will always finish moving onto that tile and then process any side effects such as pressing buttons.
The last oddity in the Lynx ruleset is that when loading the level Chip is always at the start of the list (meaning he is processed last due to the reverse order), if Chip is not at the start of list by the time the list is built, he will swap places with the first monster on the list, which can cause the occasional oddity.
The monster list in Steam is functional identical to that of Lynx, except Chip (or Melinda) is not moved to the list's start.
- Controller and Boss Glitch an MS only glitch relating to monsters in traps and monster list order.
- Release desynchronization a Lynx only mechanic that causes some cloned or trapped monster to move faster due to list positions.
- 3 technically but the last is only teleporting.