Herein I continue my rambling review of some of the monsters from the Monster Hunter franchise (of which I have only played one game, the Mons game spinoff Monster Hunter Stories)! In today’s entry, we get spoopy with some spiders, snakes, and big ol’ owls, among other things!
Gammoth is our new Herbivore, and it’s a big friggin’ mamoth with scaly lookin’ legs and a cool Cthulhu-cultist mask for a face. I know they’re not the focus of the series since their nature makes you feel bad for killing them, but I like how hardcore the herbivores look in this series regardless.
We’ve got a few big bugs this time around, and the series is better for it. The Seltas Queen is a good starting point, looking like an earwig that is also a kick boxer. I’m surprised it took us this long to get to a big Queen Bug monster, especially given the fact that Larger Monster Leading Small, Less Impressive Underlings is such a staple trope of this series.
Nerscylla is a big spider-y creature that plays with the idea of spiders as seamstresses in a way that’s oddly appropriate for Monster Hunter – namely, it’s a spider-y monster that skins the monsters it kills and wears their hides as a cloak. You know, like the human player characters in the games do! You can even recognize what species’ skin a Nerscylla is wearing if you look close enough!
It’s creepy, but, like, you will do exactly what the Nerscylla is doing if you play one of these games, so who’s the REAL skin stealing spider monster here?
Of all the arthropod monsters in this series, I think Nerscylla is my favorite.
Ahtal Ka is a praying mantis that is also an Egyptian Sarcophagus. If you need me to say more to sell you on this design, there’s no helping you.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a good freaky monkey, but Kecha Walla makes it worth the wait. Look at this freaky tapir ape, with its long nose, enormous talons, and cool Baragon-style ears that double as a face shield. It looks like what would happen if Seymore and Elmer from the Sandsverse did a fusion dance. Even when the lizard elements are minimal to none, Monster Hunter knocks it out of the park.
Y’know, we’ve seen a lot of bird wyverns, but this is perhaps the most bird-y of them all. Yet even then, this big, intimidating owl is still deceptively chimeric – notice those scaly phalanges on the edge of its wing? Stolas would be proud, Malfiesto. You’re a sweet ass owl.
Mizutsune is meant to be the fox to Zinogre’s wolf. I like its butterfly-esque head frills and Lisa Frank approved color scheme, but what I like most is that it attacks with bubbles. I love it when a monster can kick ass with weapons and powers that are blatantly cutesie and effeminate – it’s fun!
Zamtrios is a big shark frog that covers itself in icy armor. Again, if that doesn’t sell you on it, what will? It can also plump up into a giant, rotund marshmallow form like a kid chewing prohibited gum in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, which, uh… well, if that sells you on Zamtrios, you may have a fetish. Nothing wrong with that though!
…anyway it’s a really fun shark frog. I like how it hops.
Tetsucabra doesn’t re-enact any of the death scenes from Willy Wonka, and for that we are thankful. Instead it’s just a simple frog boar lizard with a tail club and Dunkleosteus facial plates. You know, like you do.
It’s not one of the best blended designs in the series, to be honest, but I still like it.
Seregios is a flying wyvern that tried to pull a JP3 by kicking the shit out of the franchise’s original mascot, Rathalos. While it failed to replace the King of the Skies as series mascot, it’s a cool design nonetheless. Those clattering scales are a really cool touch, as is the fact that they face forward instead of back. It makes Seregios kind of poorly designed for flight, but it’s COOL and WEIRD, and sometimes that matters more than abiding by the laws of physics.
Glavenus is a bit more successful, as it was designed less to replace Rathalos and more to be Rathalos’ land dwelling equivalent (we’ll ignore Rathian’s title as “Queen of the Earth” ’cause it doesn’t make a lot of sense). This Brute Wyvern has an awesome demonic carnotaurus head, huge dorsal spikes, and most awesome of all, a tail that is also a BURNING SWORD. It’s a rad as hell design that shows there are still a lot of new spins to be had on the mixing of fantasy tropes and prehistoric monster design elements.
Najarala is part of and the sum of its own Monster Class, the Serpent Wyverns. Well, Serpent Wyvern. Poor Najarala has no peers (well, ok, there is one other monster who was retroactively declared a snake wyvern, but still), which is a shame because snake monsters are rad as hell. I like that it’s sort of a riff on Quetzalcoatal, swapping the feathers of the Aztec Feathered Serpent god for a beak and legs. I also like those ornate neck plates, which reinforce the vaguely Aztec vibe this snake has going on.
And just like that we’re onto the Elder Dragons already! Gore Magala actually starts out as “unknown” class, only to metamorphose into Shagaru Magala once its consumed both Android 17 and 18! I kid, I don’t actually know what triggers its metamorphosis. Gore Magala is also something of a plague rat, spreading a rabies-like virus that drives other monsters into uncontrollable rages! Pretty nasty, but fitting for a stunted monster whose own body looks almost mummified/shrunken.
Dalamadur is a heckin’ ENORMOUS snake monster of an Elder Dragon, and goddamn is that a fine ass snake monster! I love snakes and I love kaiju, and boy howdy is this a good example of both. Easily my favorite of all the Elder Dragons – just a big slithery boi!
Though it shares the sand monster role with its relative, Dah’ren Mohran drops a lot of the crocodile-aspects in favor of a more chimeric look. I like the big drill horn and the fantasy monster vibe, but man… I kind of wish it was ALSO a sand crocodile, y’know? We still have its cousin though, so it’s ok. We can have both.
At first Gogmazios looks like a pretty standard dragon, but the closer you look the more creepy little details you notice. It’s dripping all this tar and goo, its forearms look stunted and uncomfortable, and what the fuck happened to its chest? Whatever’s happening to this dragon looks just as bad for it as it is for whatever monster hunters are in its way.
Ending on a suitably creepy note, let’s take a moment to consider this soil surfing skeleton monster that is Nakarkos. A real ghastly bunch of Elder Dragons this time around, huh? Let’s see where it goes from here for the final part of this Monster Spotlight!