A Beast is a kind of program in Beast Signer Alpha. Beasts are programs whose function has changed, usually spontaneously; they are a 'mutation' or 'virus' in The Machine. Because of their altered programming, beasts attack the humans dwelling in the Machine, who can't harm them since they're also programs. Beasts have a decent AI, and can do battle without instructions.
Beasts can be brought under human control by a process called 'Signing.' Since beasts can harm other beasts, people sign, collect, and train beasts, in order to protect themselves from 'wild' beasts, and for sport. There is also a Signer Elite which uses beasts to battle beasts which are particularly troublesome. The player is a member of the Signer Elite.
Elements and families
Like everything else in the Astrostles Galaxy, beasts have elements. However, beasts are unusual in that they somehow have two elements, instead of one. One of these elements is dominant, and is referred to as a beast's 'primary' element. The other is recessive, and is referred to as a beast's 'secondary' element. A beast's primary and secondary elements can be the same. Beasts are limited in their elemental configurations to the natural and moral elements, perhaps as a result of limited knowledge when The Machine was being created.
Beasts which share primary and secondary elements have similar characteristics, such as coloration, and are found on the same evolution chain. As a result, beasts' elemental permutations can be used to divide them into 'families,' or categories. There are 36 families in total.
List of families
A Beast's type determines which techniques it can use. It is also supposed to modify the damage dealt by certain techniques, but this feature is not implemented.
List of types
Evolution and merging
Beasts are not static in nature. If one gains enough combat experience, it will evolve into a new beast. That new beast's new form will be better suited for the conditions in which it was raised. A beast which uses many physical attacks, for instance, will become even better at physical attacks when it evolves, but its magical prowess will worsen. It may also change types, disabling a few moves. There are six 'stages' of evolution, ranging in power from Stage 0, the weakest, to Stage 5.
A beast can also have its programming merged with another beast, forming an 'egg,' or Stage 0 beast. This new beast receives all of its parents' combat abilities, though it may not be able to use them.