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Video Game: Monster Hunter

"In the world of Monster Hunter, you are never alone."
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite tagline

Monster Hunter is one part role playing game, one part action game, one part MMORPG and two parts adventure game, cooked by a pack of anthropomorphic cats and lifted from the flames the second it turns a delicious bronze hue, all to the sound of a surprisingly cheerful jingle. So tasty!

Developed and published by Capcom, the original game wasn't as big a success in the United States as it was in Japan. However, its portable sequels are among the most popular games available for the PSP, and subsequent sequels have been released on the Wii, PSP, Wii U, and Nintendo 3DS.

Monster Hunter is a unique experience. Playing as a hunter assembled from a list of faces, voices, etc., you try to make a name for yourself battling an array of increasingly bigger and nastier creatures that can kick your ass shockingly fast if you're unprepared and/or rush them head-on as if they're Mooks. Each Monster not only has a variety of attacks, but a number of both subtle and overt visual and audio cues to each action, as well as its own status. Recognition of these cues is crucial to properly defeating them. A typical Monster Hunter battle has a graceful Zen-like quality to it, like a bullfight with a 700-pound gorilla (or wyvern, or dragon, or Giant Enemy Crab) should.

The weapons and armor store is pretty weak, and everything they sell will be out of date only a few hours from starting the game. To get better equipment, the player has to assemble his or her own equipment from parts of fallen monsters as well as activities like combining, mining, fishing and bug collecting.

Also spawned a manga adaption, called Monster Hunter Orage, written by Mashima Hiro of Fairy Tail and Rave Master fame.

How popular is it? Portable 3rd for the PSP, sold over four million copies in Japan alone in a mere two months, which is more than enough to tell. Also, 4 sold two million copies in mere FOUR DAYS. Cha-ching!

The number of games released are classified under "generations". Here's the list of the main series and spin-offs:
  • First Generation:
    • Monster Hunter: Playstation 2 (2004-2005) - The original. One of the number of games to utilize the PS2 Online functions. The servers outside Japan were closed at the end of 2007, with the Japanese servers closing on July 1, 2011.
    • Monster Hunter G: Playstation 2 (2004), Wii (2009), Japan only - An Updated Re-release of MH1 with some new monster variants. The PS2 version servers were closed down in 2011.
    • Monster Hunter Freedom: Playstation Portable (2005-2006) - A straight port of MHG, known as Monster Hunter Portable in Japan.
  • Second Generation:
    • Monster Hunter 2: Playstation 2 (2006), Japan only - A sequel to MH1, with all new monsters and new subspecies of old ones. The servers were closed down in 2011.
    • Monster Hunter Freedom 2: Playstation Portable (2007) - A sequel to MHF1, known as Monster Hunter Portable 2nd in Japan, it is separate from MH2. Uses the same monsters but has different quests and setting.
    • Monster Hunter Freedom Unite: Playstation Portable (2008-2009) and iOS (2014) - An Updated Re-release of MHF2, in Japan known as Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G, featured a few new monsters and subspecies. Has the most content monster-wise of any game in the series to date. An HD version was released worldwide on the iOS app store.
  • Third Generation:
    • Monster Hunter Tri: Nintendo Wii (2009-2010) - The third main game. Introduces underwater battles, a new weapon type (the Switch Axe) and a new weight classification of bowgun (Medium Bowgun). Many new monsters were added, as were two all new monster types, but only three old ones make reappearances. The servers were closed on May 1, 2013 after the release of 3 Ultimate.
    • Monster Hunter Portable 3rd: Playstation Portable (2010) and Playstation 3 (2011), Japan only - A sequel to MHF2. Has several new monsters (and another new type) and subspecies (and more returning monsters from the previous generation), but omits the underwater parts. Not a port of MH3, same deal as MHF2.
    • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate: Nintendo 3DS and Wii U (2011 and 2013) - An Updated Re-release of MH3, known in Japan as Monster Hunter 3G, with several new monsters and touch screen features. This release keeps the Switch Axe added in the original Tri and brings back underwater combat, but removes the Medium weight class of Bowgun. Released on the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U with the ability to transfer save files between the two systems and online capabilities for the Wii U version. The 3DS version was originally limited to local multiplayer, but a free app on the Wii U e-Shop lets the 3DS version use the servers for the Wii U version.
  • Fourth Generation:
    • Monster Hunter 4: Nintendo 3DS (2013), Japan only - The fourth main game. Introduces two new weapon types (Charge Blade and Insect Glaive), and the addition of more three-dimensional movement and combat, although the underwater combat from Tri/3 Ultimate is removed again. The game has more of an emphasis on adventuring and story progression, featuring the ability to travel between four different villages. Item management has been changed some: blademasters and gunners share the same item pouch (24 regular slots and 8 "gunner" slots for bowgun ammo and/or arrow coatings), the Emergency Pouch system from Portable 3rd returns, and custom "My Sets" are changed to include items as well as armor. The game has online play implemented without the need for additional hardware or software.
    • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate: Nintendo 3DS (2014-2015) - An Updated Re-release of MH4, not much is known about it at the moment, but it is confirmed that this version of the game will have an international release. It has been confirmed that like in the original MH 4, underwater combat is not returning. The emphasis on three-dimensional movement has been enhanced further, with the ability to use the knockback from heavier weapons such as the Hammer and Greatsword as a legitimate means to help launch allies onto monsters.
  • Spin-offs:
    • Monster Hunter Frontier: PC (2007), Xbox 360 (2010), PS3 (2013), Wii U (2013), PS Vita (2014), currently limited to Japan, China and Korea - An MMO spinoff (earlier simply a PC multiplayer of MHF2) of sorts that has mostly exclusive monsters. Major updates repeatedly changed the title to (in order): Monster Hunter Frontier Forward, Monster Hunter Frontier G, and the upcoming Monster Hunter Frontier G Genuine.
    • Monster Hunter Dynamic Hunting: iOS (2011) - Released internationally for the Apple iPhone.
    • Monster Hunter Online: PC - A second MH MMO in development by Tencent and officially backed by Capcom, using Crytek's CryEngine 3. Currently in beta in China. Crytek initially announced an international release, but the announcement was pulled. Due to developer Tencent being a Chinese company, it is possible that it may be Chinese only, or at least released in China first. The earliest known version of the game was a leak in 2012 for a version on the PS Vita, but that version was cancelled and what work was done was transferred to the PC version.

Here is the list of monsters you will inevitably encounter.


This series provides examples of:

  • Acquired Poison Immunity: The more you apply the poison status to a monster, the more resistant it will become to poison. The same holds true for other status effects.
  • Adventure-Friendly World: Minegarde seems to be a very Schizo Tech world, with medieval weapons created and infused with modern technology. The number one job is hunting the monsters that roam the world for the materials you can harvest from them and their habitats, and there are PLENTY of them. With the absence of airplanes and other powerful modern weapons though, the primary way of hunting them is of course getting up close and personal.
  • Aesop: No matter how vicious, scary, or outright massive the obstacle, with preparation and teamwork, you can make it fall!
  • An Interior Designer Is You: Monsters are used for equipment and decoration of the headquarters.
  • Anachronism Stew: Early on this was very prevalent; in the first game the world of Monster Hunter was implied to still be based heavily around tribal societies that operated on hunting and gathering, despite the existence of advanced metallurgy and chemistry. Subverted by later games when it was revealed that agriculture does exist and hunters exist primarily to protect humanity from the giant monsters and dragons that live in the wilderness, with gathering food being a lesser priority.
  • Ancestral Weapon/Empathic Weapon/Evil Weapon: Weapons come with a description that can fit one of these. For example...
    • Black Lance - "Lance that holds a dark power within. The despair within eats at its user."
    • White Fatalis equipment, such as the Glorious Victory bows - "White Bow said to hold the soul of an ancient dragon. Cleanses away the darkness.". Every Fatalis type weapon that doesn't praise the dragons as gods will have flavor text ranging from "rivers of blood" to "eternal darkness" or "glittering divine light".
    • Tenebra - "A dark blade that pulses with the lifeforce it saps from any who wield it..."
    • Every single Dire Miralis weapon. If its description isn't about setting everything on fire, then it's about The End of the World as We Know It.
    • The Gigginox hunting horn. "A coffin-like weapon sealed with Gigginox hides. At night, the wails of the dead emanate from the inside." It sounds like a description befitting a black metal hunting horn.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing:
    • Naturally, defeating the flagship monster of the game results in this. Special mention, however, goes to Portable 3rd, which features a festival for which Yukumo invites people from across the realm (explaining several cameos from previous games).
    • Defeating the final boss of the single-player quests, typically an Elder Dragon, will also result in this.
  • An Axe to Grind: The Switch Axe. Bonus points for being a Swiss-Army Weapon.
    • The Sword and Shield and Dual Sword classes will also occasionally switch out said swords for hatchets.
    • The Charge Blade from MH4, which is a Swiss-Army Weapon like the Switch Axe.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Played with — straight in that you usually make either armor or weapons with materials gleaned from dead or captured monsters, while averted in that the "clothes" are far from useless, with many being awesome and completely practical. Since you are making clothes out of monster parts, you can pick and choose what you make, so getting a full set is actually a lot easier than just getting anything that looks good (that and the prospect of Set Bonuses).
  • Antidote Effect: Who actually bothers with the Lightning Rod? Same with the Tranq Shot (which, like every Shot, will default to the Ammunition/Coating storage, which ends up saving space for valuable equipments, carves and gathers). This trope is averted with status-healing items, including antidotes. The real-time battle system means that using such items to keep your health/stamina/mobility up are pretty much a prerequisite for not dying.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: There are a few in place. Notably the addition of Pokke Farm in Monster Hunter 2, as well as Moga Farm and the Moga Village Hunting Fleet in Monster Hunter Tri make gathering minor materials less of an issue. Item Farming is definitely still there, but at least they make it so you can focus on gathering monster materials rather than having to spend hours gathering herbs, honey, and the like.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Only two Large Monsters can be on the map at any one time. This becomes advantageous in multi-monster hunts and when fighting Qurupeco, because the last thing you need is three or more Deviljhos breathing down your neck.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: For the higher rank monsters, this is pretty much the only way to inflict decent damage to them. Traditionally, weak spots are found by either the "softness" when a weapon hits (fountains of blood with some hit lag as the blade is simulated to be piercing deeper flesh) or by the ease you can flinch the monster by hitting said spot.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Pretty much the purpose of the game is to fight these things. Better examples are Lao Shan Lung, Shen Gaoren, and all the other really huge stuff.
    • Taken to new heights in Monster Hunter Tri. While exploring the woods outside your town you may encounter super-sized versions of normal creatures with increased HP but much better drops. While not as big as some of the elder dragons they can still be quite massive, with the super-sized aptonoths appearing to be around 30 feet tall.
    • In the online event quest World Eater, you hunt a Deviljho so huge you barely come up to its ankles. Its attack power and range increase proportionally.
    • Coincidentally, the trope is inverted in the form of several monsters (usually unique to specific quests or events). Namely, the Phantom Uragaan, in which it's almost one-tenth of the the size of a normal Uragaan but retains all of its power (normal Uragaan are around 2500cm, the Phantom is around 400 cm). The equally tiny At Bird's Hill Yian Kut-ku (making the Kut-ku and chicken parallels all the more appropriate). Lastly, the high-pitched, tiny Khezus, which shoot dangerous normal-scale lightning.
    • Frontier manages to beat them all with Raviente. He's so big that up to 32 players can hunt him at once in 8 groups of 4 hunters each (it's a server-wide battle) AND has an entire quest just to get carves off of him. Just look here if you want to see for yourself.
    • The offline Monster Hunter games finally get a creature to rival it with 4's Dara Amadyura, the first creature in the Colossal size category to not be a type of Raviente.
  • Attention Deficit... Ohhh Shiny!: While battling monsters, sometimes they'll drop a flashing... thing, on the ground. These are often referred to as "shinies" by players and will either be a Tear or Sob item, which are both worth a decent chunk of change, or a random and potentially very rare drop from that monster.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Most of the Dual Blades that feature two elements. They look awesome at first, but in the 2nd Generation games, the combinations of elements are unwieldy, i.e. monster is weak against one but immune to the other. The notable exception is the Fatalis/White Fatalis duals, which are dragon/thunder endowed, given most end game monsters weak to thunder are also weak to dragon.
    • In Epic Hunting Quests, monsters with vastly different resistances are sometimes presented. This is where some awkward combinations shine, especially when appropriate raw damage weapons are not available.
  • Badass Adorable:
    • Your Felyne Comrades.
    • In games based on Moga Village, Cha-Cha the Shakalaka. 3 Ultimate adds Kayamba.
  • Badass Boast: The Argosy Captain in Tri, on the concept of trade: "Men die, but trade lives on!"
  • Badass Normal: The Hunters in general, though one tends to wonder how "normal" they are.
  • Bag of Holding: The storage boxes and the hunter's (unseen) item bag. Q: How does a hunter store dozens of claws carved from the Giant Enemy Crab? A: In a Bag of Holding of course!
  • Bandit Mook: The moment a Melynx sees you, it'll try to steal something from you. If it succeeds, it will try to escape as soon as possible. You can retrieve your stolen items by attacking the Melynx before it escapes, or checking their stash at the large cat statue in that area.
  • Battle Couple: Rathian and Rathalos are implied to operate like this. They're actually the female and male of the same species, and their descriptions often refer to them hunting together as a couple. There are even a few missions that pit players against a Rathian and Rathalos together.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Portable 3rd introduces Arzuros, the first bear-like monster throughout the series. It even eats honey to restore stamina.
  • BFG:
    • Well, big fucking bowgun at any rate. If it looks like a gun and it shoots like a gun...
    • The gunlance!
    • gunhammer?
  • BFS: Comes in two varieties, the bulky greatsword and the slimmer longsword.
    • Really, this series loves giant weapons. The only weapon sets that aren't ludicrously over-sized are the sword and shield and the dual wielded sword sets, and even then, they would usually be two-handed weapons.
    • Even so, the Akantor Broadsword (Great Sword) is absolutely humongous even compared to other Great Swords.
    • And then there's also the Huge Dragon Sword "Olympus", which makes the Akantor Broardsword seem tiny.
    • The Tenebra is a Long Sword that's bigger than most Great Swords. It is BIGGER THAN ITS OWN SHEATH. Makes more sense when you consider the sword contains what looks like a miniature black hole.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: The Great Jaggi is an adult Jaggi, they mate with the female Jaggias, which look like mere toddlers when they stand next to a Great Jaggi.
    • Same goes for the Ludroths. The Royal Ludroths are only males of the species, the regular Ludroths are mostly female, and they are easily less than 1/4 of a Royal Ludroth's size.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: The "Throwing Knife" items. In addition to always landing (hitting) blade in, they fly perfectly straight as well. These throwing knives have diplomatic immunity from the laws of physics.
  • Blade on a Stick: The Insect Glaive, which comes with a Neopteron to assist you.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • In Unite, finishing every regular monster training mission unlocks Black Fatalis. Beating him unlocks Crimson Fatalis. Beating a total of three Fatalis unlocks White Fatalis. All of them take several quests to kill and are known for their many one-hit-kill attacks.
    • 3 Ultimate has the Hallowed Jhen Mohran, which is unlocked by defeating every other large monster in the game, including subspecies, with the exception of the Savage Deviljho, Lucent Nargacuga, and Abyssal Lagiacrus (all three being Bonus Bosses on their own).
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Keeping the monsters dazed with flashbangs, rooted in successive traps, or staggered by Slime explosions, and shooting them to death with a team of gunners.
    • Hunting monsters with other players, especially the full 4 member team, is easy in general. It's solo hunting monsters that can kill you in 1-3 hits that are the hard fights of this series.
    • The Fluffy Mask in Tri and 3 Ultimate. Oh, sure, it's probably the second or third mask you'll unlock, and the partner wearing will not attack, but the ability to know where EVERY large monster on the map is located, as well as their type (Brute, flying, etc.) and whether or not they're still aggressive towards you, without having to invest in the Autotracker skill is invaluable. In particular, this makes High-Rank quests and their tendency to throw Deviljhos at you at random much easier, since it decreases the odd of being ambushed.
    • Despite all of the elemental and status abilities the Shakalakas can be taught, it's usually smarter to just give them Weatherbreaker and Earplugs, which like the Fluffy Mask are obtained pretty early on. Since their attack power is much weaker and less reliable than the hunter(s) themselves, focusing on ways to prevent their supporting dances (particularly healing dances) from being interrupted and turning them into dedicated medics or White Mages is usually much more effective, even if it means doing all of the damage yourself.
    • Craft dozens of weapons to adapt to every situation and punish your target's elemental weakness ! Or, if you use a slow weapon that deals a few big hits rather than many small blows, just go for the one with the highest raw power and clobber everything with brute physical damage.
    • The Hunting Horn's basic Self-Improvement song provides a movement speed increase, allowing you to move as fast as with Sword & Shield and Dual Blades, as well as buffing the horn itself to cut through the enemy in situations where the attack would otherwise bounce off.
  • Boss Game: Despite the fact there are collection quests and stuff like Treasure Hunting, boss/monster fighting takes up about 90% of the game.
  • Boss-Only Level:
    • Each Elder Dragon is fought in one of these. Those places are always unavailable otherwise. In the case of the Underwater Ruins, the lair of Ceadeus, it's also the battlefield to fight Gold Ceadeus and Abyssal Lagiacrus.
    • The Tower is a large battlefield set in a field of abandoned ruins, and often is the location where Rare Species are fought.
  • Boss Rush: The "Epic/Marathon" Hunting Quests. Made particularly difficult because you can't change your weapon mid-hunt and each monster is easier/harder to deal with using certain weapons more than others (e.g Dual swords on a Plesioth is pain incarnate; a bow or bowgun with Pierce shots will make sashimi out of one). In 3 Ultimate, these missions become the largest part of the final rank chapter (9 stars).
  • Bottomless Magazines: Bows have unlimited arrows despite their quiver being quite visible.
    • The same can apply to Gunlances... guess that bullets were just for Bowguns after all...
    • Normal Shot level one for the Bowgun, and (at least up until Unite) the Autoreload skill actually makes it so you don't have to reload, either.
    • In 3 Ultimate, limit-breaking a Light or Heavy Bowgun lets you cram more ammo into them than should be logically possible: loading all types of ammo to their max capacity at once for the Light Bowgun, and getting a huge magazine limit increase and the ability to use Wyvern Fire shotsnote  for the Heavy Bowgun. It comes at the cost of their respective Rapid Fire and Crouching Fire abilities however, though you can return them back to normal whenever you want.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • If you can clear all the training missions with all the weapons, you probably don't need that Sword Saint Piercing. Same goes for the stuff that's unlocked once you clear G Rank in Unite and Ultimate. Also applies for getting a full set of White Fatalis armor.
    • In Tri, most HR51-armorsets count (Deviljho, Alatreon, High-Rank-Ceadeus and High-Rank-Jhen-Mohran). Getting these means you already killed everything you can kill. Multiple times.
    • In 3 Ultimate, crafting a full set of Nether armor means you've hunted literally every monster in the game, due to being made from parts from the last three monsters available, one of which requires hunting every monster before it.
  • Breakable Weapons: Downplayed, as they don't really break, but lose sharpness. Losing sharpness lessens the damage they do and also will make them bounce off of the monster's hide, interrupting your combos and reducing your damage output further. So while you never lose your weapon, it can become next to useless if you don't keep it sharp.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: The Flooded Forest in 3rd generation games.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Measly raptors are liable to attack and wake up nearby sleeping wyverns of any kind, including apex predators. That's right Baggi, go ahead, bite that sleeping Brachydios.
  • Burning with Anger:
    • Most fire-breathing wyverns have a lasting flame lingering their mouths when enraged. The Diablos and its subspecies also pant black smoke whenever they're angry, too.
    • The Deviljho starts breathing dark lightning when it goes berserk, which it will then weaponize. Even more so with the Savage Deviljho, which starts spraying so much dark lightning out of its back that it becomes completely wreathed in the stuff.
  • Butt Monkey:
    • The Aptonoths seem to be at the very bottom of the food chain. They're preyed on by both hunters and monsters, and they almost never fight back.
    • The carnivorous (Great) Jaggi have been either eaten by Ludroths, killed by Lagiacrus or Barroth, Rathalos or stomped on then mercilessly eaten by a Deviljho. It can be done among players as well.
    • Felynes also occasionally suffer some abuse from the larger monsters, particularly in the "Monster Life" videos. One gets chased by a pair of Uragaan in its life video, and another is sent flying during the Brachydios Life after being caught up in a fight between a Brachydios and an Agnaktor.
  • Came Back Strong: With the Survivor skill found on equipment such as the HellHunter Jacket, your attacks get a stackable boost each time you faint.
  • Captain Obvious: The Guild Sweetheart, or rather, her guidebook.
    "Let's see, Flooded Forest... a forest flooded with water. Okay then."
  • Canis Major:
  • Cats Are Mean: Melynx, black Felynes who tend to snitch Hunters on sight, charging at and sometimes knocking them out. Can be irritating during those egg fetching quests.
    • "Wild" Felynes can be just as bad. Though they have to be provoked first and don't steal your items, at least Melynx don't go around tossing explosives.
      • If they take damage from a monster, they blame you.
  • Chainsaw Good: The Prototype Saw-slicer. Dual-wielded chainsaws. There is also the Chain Blade/Chainslaughter, a BFS/katana chainsaw. Both of which do lightning damage.
    • The Switch Axe can perform chainsaw-like attacks.
  • Challenge Gamer: In games that allow modding, many players produce differently sized, stronger or more numerous versions of regular monsters. Many also stick to one 'trademark' weapon regardless of how suitable it is for a quest, refuse to use items and traps or decide to solo online-only superbosses like the infamous Fatalis. There are players who do all of that and more.
  • Character Customization: Creating your hunter was originally very limited, but the number of choices became more robust as the series progressed, with MH4 having the most options of the main games.
  • Character Level: Notably absent. Played straight in Unite with the Felyne Fighters as well as in Tri and 3 Ultimate with Cha-Cha and Kayamba the Shakalakas.
    • Played straight however with the Hunter Rank system in the online modes of the PC and console games. Completing quests awards Hunter Rank Points, which contribute to raising a player's Hunter Rank. In most cases, clearing out all the quests in one tier won't be enough to unlock the next set. You'll have to redo quests over and over until your HR is high enough. It doesn't really make a difference though, since you'll be farming the wyverns for their armor and weapons anyway.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Your hunter, a normal-ish human, can fish out a 20-30 meter Plesioth, as well as lift, wield and strike with weapons up to twice their own size.
  • Character Select Forcing: Played straight-ish though averted. Any monster can be killed with any weapon once you understand the limitations and openings specific to each weapon. However, some weapons have a huge advantage over others against certain monsters. e.g Any close range weapon against a Plesioth is frustrating as hell since it has the hitbox from hell and it sometimes refuses to leave the water note . A bowgun or bow prevents both of these. In Ultimate, it's possible to fight it underwater, but Plesioth becomes good at fighting there as well.
  • Charged Attack: Comes in nine different flavors (as of Monster Hunter 4)!
    • Collect Type: Long Swords, Switch Axes, Dual Swords, Charge Blades (It's even in the name!);
    • Hold Type: Great Swords (main modus operandi), Hammers, Bows, Gunlances;
    • Literal Type: Lance. You duck behind your shield, hold your lance close to your body and pointed outwards, then run as fast as you can forward. Run far enough and the power of your attack increases.
  • Cherry Tapping: Killing a monster by kicking it. For Plesioth (a giant amphibious fish-like "wyvern"), it is possible to kill it by fishing it out of the water. In rare cases, the monster will die by accidentally getting hit by a Mook.
    • In Tri, letting Cha-Cha get the kill can feel like this; though he can reach decent levels of power, he's still not nearly as strong as your hunter. Same goes for Kayamba in 3 Ultimate.
    • Also Felyne Comrades in Unite.
    • For the player, getting killed by Mooks, who hardly deal any damage at all, even at low defenses— or getting stepped on by the larger Wyverns.
  • Colossus Climb: Many of the larger Elder Dragons, such as Jhen Mohran, Lao-Shan Lung, Yamatsukami and Shen Gaoren, are big enough to walk on.
    • 4 allows you to jump on the backs of normal-sized monsters and attack them.
  • Cool Shades: The Shadow Shades in Tri.
  • Competitive Balance: Each of the weapons fits a role, even as many types of weapon keep comming:
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • Missions where you need to carry something in your hands back to the base camp are hated for this. At first the map looks normal with the usual mix of docile and violent creatures running around... until you pick up the object in question, causing every area to be filled with violent monsters just to make you drop it.
    • Hunters immediately get taken to another area when touching an area boundary. Monsters, on the other hand, are not affected by this, only moving to the adjacent area if they choose to. This means monsters can waste your time hanging around outside the boundary, and if you slay a monster while it's beyond the area boundary (easily possible with ranged weapons), no carves for you!
  • Continuing Is Painful:
    • If you die in a mission, your reward money is cut by a third, which is painful if you already spent most of that money on ammunition and supplies. If you die three times, however, all items you used on the mission disappear, you lose a small amount of money, and you have to repeat the mission again. And the worst part? Most missions usually take around 20 minutes to complete. You do still get to bring home anything in your inventory, which may or may not contain rare monster tails/drops obtained from battling monsters. This sort of thing could be hard to keep track of. To put it simply, if you complete a quest or fail it by getting knocked out three times, you don't get back anything you used up, but you keep whatever items you found. If you abandon a quest, you get back whatever items you brought and used up, but anything you found is lost.
    • The first time that you are KO'd in a mission, you'll lose any boosts that were earned from eating (or hot spring bonuses) before the hunt (aside from those earned from the food's skills) unless the meal provided the "Felyne Foodie" skill. If a monster was already taking out half of your health in one shot despite of the health and defense boost from your feast, for instance, imagine trying to do the rest of the quest without it. Consumed-item related boosts (such as demondrug, armorskin, nutrients, power juice, etc.) are also lost after fainting.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Averted, in that if you go to a volcano, you'll take continuous damage unless you use a Cool Drink, or have the Heat Resistance skill up to 10 points. Stepping close to or on lava (in some games) will also cause heat damage. Terrain skills reduce at 10 and provide immunity at 15 to lava, and in some games, Heat Resistance at 15 points provide immunity to both types of heat damage.
    • The elder dragons Teostra and Lunastra have this as a battle mechanic, so much so that Kushala Daora armors (designed for use against them) has Terrain Damage Negate (or in 2 cases, the end-game Anti Fire Dragon skill) on low, high, and G-rank.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: The real difficulty in fights with multiple wyverns is keeping them apart and fighting them seperately. As the quest time and item limits do not change depending on quest type, each of them are notably less threatening and easier to kill in such a quest. This varies depending on wyvern type, however. Nobody wants to fight two Tigrex at the same time.
    • Kinda subverted in the High Rank quests, in Monster Hunter Portable 3rd anyways. Every High Rank hunt will have another large monster in addition to the one you have to kill. Unless you use Dung Bombs, you will have to fight with both of them in the same area over 50% of the time. You don't have to kill the other large monster but since you don't have to kill it, both monsters are in their full powered form.
  • Covered in Mud: Tri introduces the Barroth, the love child of a Tyrannosaurus rex and a Bulldozer that is often covered in mud. It has a habit of shaking said mud off, and any hunters unfortunate enough to get hit by the flying globs are covered in quickly-hardening mud that makes it impossible to attack (and open to getting plowed under by the Barroth!).
  • Critical Existence Failure: Taken to ludicrous heights. While it's relatively normal for the player, a monster can be near death and still be in rage mode, where it will be moving faster than normal and putting more force behind its attacks.
    • While played fairly straight in that monsters enter rage (aforementioned 'moving faster and dealing more damage' mode) more easily when nearly dead, also averted in that after breaking certain body parts monsters may not be able to use some of their attacks, and in Tri monsters become tired after throwing out powerful attacks or being hit by concussive attacks.
    • Also, when brought below a certain health threshold, they will try to escape by slowly limping away, practically making them sitting ducks.
    • Also when the monsters are below a certain health threshold, they will always try to sleep whenever not engaged in battle. Did we mention that a sleeping monster takes three times the normal damage? Using bombs and the Great Sword, you've basically guaranteed a kill once they've entered this state.
    • Played straight with the Dragonship when fighting Jhen Mohran in 3 Ultimate. In spite of all the abuse it takes, it looks perfectly intact up until the moment the Jhen Mohran delivers the finishing blow, and then all of a sudden, QUEST FAILED.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Playing this game requires you to equip yourself accordingly to whatever you're going up against. In some cases you simply won't win or get what you want without the right tools. For the record, this means arming yourself with the proper weapon, an armor set that complements this weapon or is useful against the monster, and several items ranging from healing potions to Flash Bombs to traps. Hell, you even have to consider details like keeping your hunter well fed, his or her weapon sharp, look out for the climate of the area you're going to (going into the desert without something cool to drink is generally a bad idea) and even the weather (some tools do not work in rain or snow, others ONLY work there...)
  • Creature Hunter Organization: The Hunter Guild. since they only hunt monsters.
  • The Cutie: Guild Sweetheart
  • Death from Above: The Bows' Arc attacks. They fire a shot into the air, then rain back down some distance in front of you, with effects such as a concentrated rapid-fire Rain of Arrows or an explosive blast.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: What you have to do to take down most of the monsters.
    • Marathon Boss: Some monsters can take up to 40 minutes to kill. This is mostly for stuff like Fatalis.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: Tri has a quest called "Wyvern Preservation", where the client points out that the hobby of hunting monsters has dealt a huge blow to the wyvern population, thereby deconstructing the concept of the series. The client then reconstructs the concept by having you go on a quest to bring back wyvern eggs to help preserve the population.
  • Description Porn: They manage to do this with some weapons and armors, despite the small text character limit. Just check the descriptions for the various Rathalos sets, for instance.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The highest-ranked Nargacuga greatsword is called the Darkness Darkblade.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: All elemental weapons to an extent, but special mention goes to Dragon element weapons. It's never specified just what is it, but it sure kills elder dragons fast.
    • Most dragon weapons are made with elder dragon blood, the content of which has been baffling the Guild and scholars for some time. Dragon Shot ammunition, however, is made with Dragon Seeds, so that might fit the trope better.
  • Desperation Attack: The Armor Skill "Potential" will give you a big Defense boost when your health is below 40% (and if you get 15 points in it, you'll get an Attack boost too). The Kitchen Skill "Felyne Heroics" doesn't kick in until your HP is down to 10 or less, but it gives you an even bigger Attack and Defense boost. Some expert players use Heroics and deliberately injure themselves down to 10 HP for it to activate, allowing them to kill whatever they're hunting much faster but at the risk of getting downed with a single hit. This is particularly useful for bosses that'd kill you in a single hit anyways (all the Fatalis "brothers" in particular).
    • On the flip side, a lot of monsters will go into near-permanent rage when near death - they move faster and hit harder. Special mention to Shogun Ceanataur, who does go into literal perma-rage as soon as you smash one of his claws.
  • Determinator: The hunters, of course. Considering how extremely hard to kill their prey is, this is practically a requirement to make it far in the business. Also present among some of the monsters. Special mention goes to Tigrex; this wyvern is made out of the following things: 50% determination and 50% pure rage. He's so stubborn that, if you dodge his charge, he won't just finish it and then turn around to try again like other wyverns, oh no, he is going to change the direction mid-charge just to get you, and he'll do that up to four times. Combine this with him being a Lightning Bruiser and a creature whose Rage Mode is absolutely devastating and you'll understand why he's considered the bane of many hunters.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: If you try to cook meat off a cliff, the BBQ spit will have braces connecting it to the cliff face.
    • If you get Fireblight (that is, set on fire), you can put it out by stopping, dropping, and dodge-rolling. And the rolling around caused by monsters throwing you across the field? That counts, too. You can also roll through water to put it out faster.
    • Nargacuga's eyes glow red when in its rage mode and leave a short light trail when it moves. If you deal enough damage to its head that it "breaks," it will have a scar over its left eye. The left eye will no longer glow or leave a light trail while it's in rage mode.
  • Difficult but Awesome: Certain weapons against certain monsters. For example, once you learn the timing, a Great Sword will absolutely destroy a Tigrex with little effort.
  • Difficulty Spike: The first happens once you start doing high-rank quests; it only takes a few mistakes to get clobbered, and some previously trivial monsters can knock you out with three hits, especially the ones that get new attacks. Once you're doing G-rank quests, all bets are off.
    • The first big one is probably when the player fights a Yian Kut-ku for the first time. Before this, missions were simple slaying x Mooks and gathering missions. The Yian Kut-ku shows the lengths that the player has to go to beat the bosses without getting slapped silly (analyzing attack patterns, finding weak spots, figuring out what weapons are best, etc.)
    • In Tri, the Barroth is the first sign that the gloves are coming off, and it's usually considered to be a harder fight than the next couple of fights after it, largely in part of the fact that unlike some of the later fights, it has armour, is very fast, and that its charge attack hits like a truck.
    • 3 Ultimate also has the Purple Ludroth, the first "subspecies" that the player will encounter as well as the introduction to High-Rank quests. There is a reason that most high-rank armour usually has at least twice the base defense of low-rank armour, and it is borderline impossible to have any until the Ludroth is defeated, meaning that you are definitely going to feel the difference.
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: In Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, it's the rank chapter (fifth) that was originally the last one in the Wii version (Monster Hunter Tri). After you defeat Ceadeus, originally the Final Boss of Tri and then the Disc One Final Boss in Ultimate, you'll be presented the first of the high-rank new chapters.
  • Disc One Nuke:
    • Through smart trading with Veggie Elders, one can easily obtain rare materials or materials not normally accessible. Also, the optional Trenya's Boat allows one to get things such as Dragonwoods or Dragonmosses way before you're supposed to.
    • In Freedom 2, the Long Sword "Devil Slicer."
    • If you're a Hammer user, in MHF2 and MHFU, the Bull Tusk Hammer can be made without leaving Hunter Rank 1 and has 936 raw damage.
    • The Insecticutter Dual Swords in 3 Ultimate qualify, if only for their element. While most Dragon weapons require either late game bosses or a very lucky random Rustshard drop, the Insecticutters can be easily forged from Low-Rank insect parts and various ores and bones; a savvy hunter can easily nab all of the required materials long before they reach High-Rank. Since most monsters have, at best, neutral Dragon resistance (and most of the ones that don't are found very early in the game), this Dual Sword set can allow a hunter to waltz through a decent portion of the game without bothering with any other weapon.
    • In network mode for 3 Ultimate, as long as you're high rank you can take on ANY high rank mission. If you have a good team you can get drops to make HR 5 gear when you're still HR 3.
  • Drop the Hammer: The Hammer weapon class.
  • Dual Tonfas: A weapon class introduced in Frontier G Genuine is this, with it having two modes: A typical tonfa mode where it deals Strike damage and a tonfa with a spike on the end which deals Pierce damage.
  • Dual Wielding: Dual swords, with which you can belt out a continuous barrage of attacks, but you can't block.
  • Dung Fu: Flinging "Dung Bombs" at boss monsters is an effective way to show who's the real boss here. They simply flee in terror (or disgust). This attack must be executed stealthily to be any effective, though.
    • Congalalas and Emerald Congalalas lob their fresh excrements at you as ranged attacks. The resulting status effect renders hunters too disgusting to even consume anything (wears off with time or with deodorant).
    • The Stink Mask in 3 Ultimate allows the hunter's AI partners to throw Dung Bombs as well, making it incredibly invaluable in situations where a hunter can expect to fight two or more monsters at once; which is most of the time in High-Rank and G-Rank.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Fire, Water, Lightning, and Dragon, later Ice.
    • The Manga features a protagonist that Dual Wields Wind-element Blades, something unobtainable in-game. This fact is outright stated in the manga itself: the protagonist's partner has never even heard of a Wind element.
    • There is one monster claimed to possess "Wind" element: Kushala Daora. This isn't really an element so much as it is an extra ability given to it to make it on par with other dragons though...
    • Ditto for the Sand Barioth in the third generation games.
  • Elemental Crafting: Basically the whole purpose of the game.
  • Elite Tweak: Mixing and matching armors and gems can result in some potent skill combinations. Add to this that there are several weapons available, each with different playing styles and there are plenty of skills for each weapon.
  • Endless Game: There is no real "end" to the game other than maybe 100% Completion.
  • Equipment-Based Progression: Your power is based completely on the equipment you own.
  • Equipment Upgrade: Weapon upgrades become available once you've unlocked the relevant tier and own at least one required material.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs
  • Everything Is Better With Explosions: Bombs deal set damage, regardless of the monster's defense, particularly useful for those made of granite.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with the Brachydios, a Brute Wyvern whose main feature is an explosive slime that coats its fists. Anything hit by this will explode after a few seconds and the weapons forged from it provide a similar effect for the Hunter.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: So far: the oafish Congalala (with younger congas and the badder Emerald version), the proud Blangonga (with its mob of blangos and its desert-based Copper cousin), the terrifying Rajang (and its numerous Dragon Ball themed variants), the literal spidermonkey Gogomoa (mothering its kokomoa whilst fighting), the lemur-like Kechawacha, and last but not least, the double team of Ray and Lolo Gougarfs.
  • Threatening Shark:
    • Sharqs
    • The Plesioth is a essentially a dragon shark. Able to shoot lasers.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You:
    • Played straight in that smaller monsters will attack you even if there is a larger, more threatening monster in the area. For example, Agnaktor will feed on Rhenoplos to regain stamina. Instead of fleeing the area or ganging up on the Agnaktor, they will keep attacking you with their charge attack.
    • Subverted in some instances. It's possible for a group of Jaggi to gang up on a sleeping Arzuros and to attack it multiple times to wake it up. Also, some monsters will attack each other in some occasions, though they will focus the hunter most of the time.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: In this game, you hunt monsters. In fact, initially Monster Hunter was only a Working Title, but the developers liked the simplicity so much they just kept it.
  • Fartillery: Congas and the Congalala are able to release a cloud of noxious fumes from their behinds, and this is actually one of the most insidious attacks in the game, as when you are "soiled," you cannot eat or drink any healing items. Returns in 3 Ultimate with Volvidon and Steel Uragaan, but both of them are closer to gassing than outright farting.
  • Final Boss: Despite being an Endless Game as mentioned above, every entry in the series has some sort of final monster whose first defeat generally triggers the credits to roll.
    • In Monster Hunter Freedom 2, this was Akantor, in Freedom Unite, his older cousin Ukanlos took that spot (beating Akantor in the village quests still shows the ending sequence).
    • Ceadeus fills this role in Tri, while a different Elder Dragon takes over for him in online: Alatreon, who's basically every Elder Dragon from MHFU combined into one. Portable 3rd has the Amatsumagatsuchi, with a moveset similar to Lagiacrus due to the underwater hunt feature being absent. 3 Ultimate demotes Ceadeus to a Disc One Final Dungeon, while Ivory Lagiacrus serves as the story's final boss and whose defeat rolls the credits in Single Player, and Alatreon becomes the True Final Boss available only after every single offline quest is done. The multiplayer mode (also playable offline) has Dire Miralis.
  • Fixed Damage Attack: The Crag S and Clust S bullets for bowguns do exactly this. Gunlance shells and Wyvern's fire also count. And while not strictly an attack per se, all bombs play this trope as well.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Playing this game multiplayer would be much more difficult if this wasn't the case. When everyone's swinging weapons the sizes of small cars around one area, this is pretty much a necessity. Also demonstrated in the fact that bombs the size of people do little more than inconveniently send a player flying (2 Large Barrel Bombs+ may be fatal though). And fortunately, this trope does not apply for the monsters.
    • It should however be mentioned that while players cannot damage each other, they can instead stagger, trip, and send other players flying with particular attacks, which may occasionally put other players in a position of receiving damage from the monster. This is the main reason behind longswords getting as much flak as they do - it has long reach, and its primary gimmick, the Spirit Combo, utilizes wide, sweeping attacks that can leave teammates stunlocked if the user is not careful. Special mention also goes to the Greatsword's circular and upwards swings, the Hammer and Hunting Horn's super pounds, the Gunlance's shelling, the Switch Axe's back and forth sweeps and upswings... the list goes on.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In 3 Ultimate, nothing is stopping you from leaving Moga Village and joining the online mode right from the start of the game. It is very much possible to earn yourself G-rank status and craft G-rank armor and weapons. If you haven't done anything in Moga Village, everyone there will still treat you as a hunter in training. This is especially bad if you are facing the single player Lagiacrus for the first time. Even if you are wearing a full Lagia armor, the game will still treat it as a Hopeless Boss Fight.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: An infamous one plagues the Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate version, both on Wii U and 3DS. When you create a character, the game will determine which charms you can find by choosing between different charm tables. The problem is, some charm tables are "cursed": instead of offering a variety of about 20000 charms, those tables only offer 200 to 800 different charms (and not the good ones: none of the cursed tables offer any charms with 3 gem slots). This doesn't stop here: some of these cursed charm tables prevent you from finding rustshards, which mean you won't be able to find or craft some weapons and armors at all. You can find more info on this on the official forums (including ways to determine which table you got).
    • The tables first came about with Tri, which actually only had one table that everyone shared. And then Portable 3rd had multiple, but they were chosen upon starting the game up and not on character creation, so they cycled every time you stared a new session.
  • Gang Up on the Human: You ARE the most dangerous thing in Monster Hunter's ecosystem, after all. But only because, for some reason, you never die even when taking a full bite from a set of jaws that's larger than your entire body. At worst, you just "faint" and once you've fainted, the monster leaves you alone instead of finishing you off.
  • Genki Girl: The Guild Sweetheart in Tri/3 Ultimate.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!:
    • Your Felyne will do this if you start cowering in fear of a monster, get put to sleep, dizzied, frozen or otherwise incapacitated. Considering that any time your movement gets hindered, there's a fair chance whatever wyvern you're fighting right now is going to use that opportunity to turn you into toast, this is a very useful feature.
    • Cha-Cha does the same thing in Tri. He even has dialog boxes that have some variation of the phrase. Kayamba does the same in 3 Ultimate.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Several members of Moga Village seem to be too innocent for their own good. The shopkeeper even asks what else an Armorskin could make hard...
    Neko (Means "Cat"): Kuso start to hit the proverbial fan, honto.
    Neko (Means "Cat"): You one dirty yaro, honto! "Yaro" means... never mind.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Seven versions if you count the color-variations in Unite as separate types.
    • Shen Gaoren is by far the biggest. Fittingly, it seems to be somewhat based on the Japanese Spider Crab, which is among the biggest (if not THE biggest) crab in the world.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere:
    • Ceadeus in Tri. A gigantic serpent-whale-dragon thing that was the real cause behind the Moga earthquakes and isn't introduced or even confirmed to exist until the final tier of quests, unlike Lagiacrus. Though if it's any consolation, the village elder eventually tells you that he had a suspicion all along that Ceadeus was the cause, because he had faced it himself when he was younger.
    • Quite a few monsters in the series have little or no background information — particularly those introduced in the Updated Rereleases and Frontier's patches — because what little storyline there is is usually not modified to account for them. Ceadeus is only exceptional because he's a storyline boss in a main game.
  • Green Hill Zone: The Forests and Hills that appear the 1st and 2nd generation games. In the 3rd generation, the Deserted Island (Moga Woods) takes this role instead.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Since your weapons are made of monster parts, you may find yourself wacking stuff with a Rathalos or a Plesioth head for a hammer.
  • The Grim Reaper: The Death Stench armor set has you looking like a heavily-armored version. There's also its armor pieces' descriptions. You can even forge an accompanying scythe as well, even one that bisects the more miniscule creatures in the game with one stroke.
  • Guide Dang It: Focusing on improving one weapon type at the expense of others can make material gathering a nightmare, as certain materials can only be gathered if a certain part of a monster is destroyed, and many of these parts can only be destroyed by a very specific weapon type. This leads to a game of trial and error as you try to figure out which weapon breaks which part of which monster.
    • It breaks down to two questions: does it require slashing or bashing damage, and what weapon of that type can I hit it with?
    • There's also trying to figure out what element each monster is weakest to, as well as what parts of it can be broken at all. Some monsters have parts that break in two stages, and you're probably not going to bother targeting a body part that's been broken already if you don't know that it can break again.
  • Hard Mode Filler:
    • In Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, several of the high-rank missions are about hunting Palette Swap versions of previous monsters. These revamped opponents are far more aggressive, their attacks may be of a different element from the originals and, at the start, you're placed randomly in a part of the battlefield, far from the resting area, and the supplies to help you won't arrive until much later, when there's little time left to hunt the monsters.
    • In addition to new monsters and subspecies of old monsters (described above), the old monsters themselves return as well with buffed HP and attack power. Even the Great Jaggi can cause trouble at first, and monsters like Khezu and Yian Garuga (1st and 2nd Gen) / Gigginox and Lagiacrus (3rd gen) become a nightmare because of this.
  • The Hat Makes the Man: The various masks that can be equipped by Cha-Cha and Kayamba radically change their personalities... at least, during a hunt, as they retain their normal personalities while in town.
  • Healing Shiv: The bowgun's healing shots.
  • Heart Container: Nutrients slightly increase the Life Meter during a quest (and its effects are reverted after the quest is over or the player quits or loses). It's possible to upgrade the Nutrients into Mega Nutrients (which grant a greater meter increase) and then Max Potion (which instantly increases the meter to the fullest extent possible, while also healing you to that maximum). Ancient Potions work like Max Potions, but also maximize the stamina bar as a bonus.
  • Herbivores Are Friendly: Zig Zagged. Some herbivores, like the Aptonoth, Gargwa, and Slagtoth, are friendly and will only attack you if you attack them first. Other herbivores are less so, like the Bullfango and Rhenoplos which will both charge the player on sight. And then there's Monoblos and Diablos, which only eat cacti and yet manage to be two of the most terrifying monsters in the series.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The Pokke Guild Hall Manager planned on either fleeing for her life or staying or letting all of her subordinates evacuate because of Ukanlos. Everyone decided to stay and help the village, though no one needed much help thanks to the player hunter.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Many of the first and second generation monsters have a hitbox that is way larger than their bodies. Who could forget Khezu's tail hitting you even when it's several meters high, or Rathalos trampling you when you're in the gap between its feet? The worst offender is probably Plesioth and his infamous hipcheck, which can (and will) hit you even if his body doesn't come in contact with yours. Thankfully, Tri mostly fixed this (emphasis on mostly. Almost all monster hit boxes while underwater are ridiculous).
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • When the Uragaan swings its tail, it sends out lumps of unstable rock that explode when hit or the Uragaan uses its chin slam attack. The Uragaan is not immune to the damage from these explosions, so it is entirely possible for it to kill itself with its own explosives.
    • The Qurupeco can call other monsters to its aid, and it is not immune to their attacks. The monsters will usually not attack the Qurupeco, but they will sometimes catch it in their attacks accidentally, and may end up killing it themselves.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: In Tri and 3 Ultimate, the Lagiacrus is introduced in the first tier's quests, and is a 5th tier monster. You can't gain access to better equipment, and your weapons will be doing minimum damage or just bounce off. When he appears, the guild sweetheart immediately tells you to run away just in case the futility of fighting it wasn't obvious. You can fight it anyway if you want. You can actually get some break rewards earlier than expected by damaging it, although it remains unbeatable.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Portable 3rd introduces the Gargwa, Bird Wyverns that look like oversized ostriches which not only serve as prey for some of the larger monsters out there, but are also used by the people of Yukumo as livestock and beasts of burden.
  • Hot-Blooded: The Training Instructor certainly seems that way.
  • Human Popsicle: Like the Mud listing above, Tri gives us the Barioth, which can encase you in Ice. Not a nice place to be when dealing with a Lightning Bruiser Saber-Toothed Dragon-Cat. Other games also give this ability to one of the Dromes, an Elder Dragon, and a Tundra variant of the abovementioned Barroth.
  • The Hunter: The point of the series.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Almost all of the lines of dialogue in Tri are puns or other bad jokes. Moga Village is where the puns reach hurricane levels; between Cha-Cha, the Felynes, the quest descriptions, and one villager who lives for awful puns.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Played straight by both monsters and hunters alike. It's entirely possible for monsters to eat herbivores ranging from a third to half their size in a matter of seconds, and then become starved after another couple of minutes. Hunters can also wolf down as many arm-length steaks as they want in no time at all. Justified to some extent with the Deviljho, who need to eat constantly to maintain their high body heat. Unlike most examples of this trope, however, eating only restores stamina, not health.
  • Impending Clash Shot: The covers always feature a Hunter using a Greatsword about to clash with whatever the flagship monster of that game is, background is usually inconsequential (MH:Freedom for one uses a plain white frame and a small circular background).
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Too many to list.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: The gunlance, basically a lance fitted with explosive shells that can be detonated on command.
    • The Switch Axe is a mechanical axe that turns into a sword. Like the gunlance, it also shoots explosions.
    • The Charge Blade takes this up to 11, as it unsheathes as a sword and shield, but the shield can be combine' with the sword to create a massive double-edged axe head. Rather than exploding from the weapon itself, a hunter can utilize special attacks which consume collected charge and leave sticky, detonating charges on the monster similar to a bowgun's Crag shots.
    • The Bow fires arrows that are as big as (normal) spears. Justified because of what you're hunting.
    • The Insect Glaive is a weapon that allows you to control a small insect while bashing monsters with a double ended staff. You can shoot a bullet at monsters to have the insect home in and absorb essences from monsters to power you up.
  • Improvised Weapon:
    • While they may have been crafted rather than picked up from the environment, some weapons' designs have you doubting them. Example: A plunger shaped lance (no, you hold the proper plunger handle - you stab with the plunger head), two stick puppets, and fuzzy maracas. Justified in that some have such terrible stats that they border on being a Joke Item.
    • You know that giant cutlery set your hunter held while waiting for their meal in Unite? It's a craftable Dual Sword set called the Glutton's Tools, complete with two upgrade paths. It can be unlocked for crafting by having your Felyne Chefs handing you a regular meal pass, which in turn unlocks the Felyne Ragdoll and Melynx Ragdoll, both of which are bowguns.
    • The Pink Maracas mentioned earlier upgrade into Jungle Maracas (that look more like pompoms), which, at the endgame upgrade into Evergreen, considered one of the best dual swords of the game, and require materials obtained slightly earlier than its competition.
    • Tri brings in the Sharq Attaq lance... which is basically a stuffed sharq that you swing around and beat things to death with, and it comes with a no swimming sign that acts as your shield. It's actually pretty decent.
    • There's also the Pop Corn, which is a giant corn-on-the-cob. You wield it like a lance. It comes with a straw hat to be used as a shield. And most importantly, when you stab things with it, they explode.
    • From Portable 3rd: Hunter Dumplings. They're dual blades that are... dumplings. On sticks. Specifically, three (really big) dumplings per stick. The weapon tree branches from there into White or Purple Dumplings. The Purple ones can cause the Poison status effect.
    • Also, the Scabbardfish Blade - a longsword that is, quite literally, a fish on a stick. It does additional Water damage.
    • The Wyvern's Perch, a greatsword that looks like someone cut down a rather thick tree with mushrooms on it and mounted a hilt on one end.
    • Also, the Numbingbird. It's a giant flower that has the hitting power of a hammer and can paralyze monsters to boot.
    • The Type 63 Warmonica (Nibelsnarf Hunting Horn) is Exactly What It Says on the Tin - an oversized harmonica. It's one of the few weapons in the game to get a Water element without needing the Awaken skill, and gets access to Health Recovery (L) at the end of its upgrade path which heavily (though not completely) mitigates the need for Potions.
    • In games where Speartuna are available, the Frozen Speartuna (which is also exactly what it sounds like- see Shamu Fu) and the Swordfish Bow (made of an entire fish skeleton). Worth noting is that they are actually fairly decent weapons, being available quite early in the game, and in the case of the Frozen Speartuna having a low attack rating but an abnormally high ice elemental power.
  • Instant Sedation: Tranquilizer Bombs, or Tranq Bombs. Damage a monster until it starts showing signs that it's almost dead (usually limping), catch it in a trap and chuck Tranq Bombs at it and you'll capture it by putting it to sleep. Bigger monsters will take more Tranq Bombs before they'll fall asleep, but you can also use Tranq Throwing Knives or make Tranq bullets for use with a bowgun.
  • Instant-Win Condition: In the 20-60 seconds after you finish a quest, but before you collect your reward and head home, you won't take damage from anything, even though any remaining creatures can attack you, interrupting if you're busy carving something.
  • Instrument of Murder/Magic Music: Hunting Horns. Their main gimmick is their wide array of buff songs to aid the party, though they're also almost as good as hammers at beating things senseless.
  • Item Crafting: The only way to get weapons and armor.
  • Item Farming: This is key to the Monster Hunter games, if you want to get items to forge better armour and weapons, otherwise you won't be able to make much progress.
  • Joke Item / Lethal Joke Item: A lot of weapons and armor sets are like this, such as the Vaccum and the Bistro Armor. See Improvised Weapon above.
  • Jousting Lance: Lances and Gunlances.
  • Jungle Japes: The Jungle in Monster Hunter 1 (old) and 2 (new).
  • Kaiju: Elder Dragons tend to be huge.
  • Kaizo Trap: If weak enough, it is theoretically possible to die from a monster collapsing on top of you after you catch it. Made impossible in most normal quests, since after the main quest conditions are fulfilled, the player is invulnerable to any monster attack. In quests with multiple monsters, or quests with monsters that appear but do not need killing, monsters like Congalala that have post-death attacks can potentially harm you. Exceptions to this rule include quests which don't end the instant you capture the monster, but a few seconds later. In these cases you can effectively die if the monster you just caught happens to fall on top of your hunter. Fortunately, this only applies to first-gen monsters (Rathalos, Diablos, etc.) in older games.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Uragaan, while not particularly just, has a very formidable chin. Ukanlos as well, with its mighty shovel jaw.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The Volcano, with each main game having its own incarnation.
  • Level Grinding: Not for character levels as such, but the items: you'd sweat through killing a certain monster sometimes over 20 times only in order to get armor that helps you kill the same monster.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • The Barioth is one of the fastest wyverns... and hits like a giant flying saber-toothed tiger dragon. The same basically applies to the Nargacuga and Tigrex "families", all of which enjoy the collective fan-classification of Pseudo-Wyverns.
    • Another famous example is Rajang, who gets bonus points for actually being able to shoot lightning. From its mouth.
  • Lost Woods: The Great Forest in Monster Hunter 2, Misty Peaks in 3.
  • Low Fantasy: Very little/ none whatsoever outright magic. Instead there's a huge amount of fantastic creatures that are used as raw materials.
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: The Sword & Shield, Lance, and Gunlance classes all have shields, and the Great Sword class allows you to use your sword as a shield. Shielding blocks most attacks provided you have the stamina needed to shield them successfully, including physical strikes, breath projectiles, and, strangely enough, stun flashes and roars.
  • MacGyvering: The local smith always seems to be able to upgrade your equipment in seconds, using materials ranging from iron ore, to monster bones, to monster kidney stones, to bugs.
  • Made of Iron: The hunters are all about this. Ten story falls? Minor landing stun. Run over by a monster that weighs somewhere around ten tons? Get right back up!
    • Some of the creatures, such as the Uragaan, have scales or skin that is made of or coated with minerals and ores that greatly increase their durability. There is even a literal invocation with the Steel Uragaan, an Uragaan sub-species, which is covered in steel. These creatures are, incidentally, typically the physically toughest monsters next to creatures such as Elder Dragons.
    • Kushala Daora literally the Elder Dragon of Steel. The outer steel skin doesn't grow well and rusts, which is why Kushala Daora regularly shed skin (the choice of meal for Khezu whelps). The rusted skin may not be immediately shed, especially if the dragon is away from the safety of the mountains. These rusted Daoras are irritable, and don't conduct electricity (thus resistant to thunder weapons/shots) but become vulnerable to water.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: A lot of large monsters are able to shriek so loudly they stun your character, leaving them helpless for a moment. Roars can come in different potencies, some leaving you stunned for longer than others.
    • Special mention goes to the Black Tigrex, which has a roar so powerful that it can damage you. Also of note is the Gigginox, which just loves to screech several times in succession.
  • Mascot Mook: Felynes often show up in promotional material for the game, as well as in various "technical" screens like loading and installation prompts as stick figure-like drawings doing various cute things.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Lao Shan Lung and Shen Gaoren, both Chinese. Lao Shan Lung means "Ancient/Old Mountain Dragon" and Shen Gaoren means "Godly/Divine Giant."
    • Ceadeus. "Cea" sounds like "Sea", and "Deus" means God. Sea God. The Japanese name, Navaldeus, is even more direct.
    • Trenya, the adventurous Felyne.
  • The Medic:
    • If you have the Wide Area/Range skill, certain flutes, or Lifepowders, you can heal your whole team if they are in the same area; that also includes status ailments, even Blights! The Demon and Armor flutes also allow hunters to have additional stackable stat buffs.
    • Certain Hunting Horns are geared towards this as well; others are built for a more general White Mage role. Of course, they're also pretty effective for actual combat too...
  • Medieval Stasis: Averted and played straight with different aspects. The overall tech level has noticeably improved as the series has progressed... but it remains a predominantly hunter/gatherer society which depends on the Hunters for both supplies and safety. Considering how long Hunters have existed and the fact that there are still Elder Dragons and other monsters roaming free, it's not surprising that the tech level is slow to advance.
  • Mercy Invincibility: If an attack causes players to roll across the ground, they're immune to damage during the roll and before getting up. 4 Ultimate even allows players to choose when to get up in order to take advantage of this invincibility, although hunters will get up automatically after a set amount of time.
  • Meido: A certain line of female armors puts you in french maid clothes - fully done.
  • Mini-Boss: In the third generation of games (Tri, Portable 3rd and Ultimate), there are two groups of large monsters that serve this role: Fanged Beasts (Arzuros, Lagombi and Volvidon) and series veteran Theropod Bird Wyverns (Great Jaggi, Great Wroggi and Great Baggi), the latter having had monsters in previous games. These monsters have a lower HP than other monsters, and each group has a particular battle theme that differs from those of the main areas where they're found. In the multi-monster quests with two or three monsters, one of these miniboss beasts will appear first and, upon hunt or capture, will be followed by a larger monster.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Many of the monsters, especially from Tri onward.
    • The Royal Ludroth is basically a water-based iguana with a lion mane made out of sea sponge. And its cry sounds like an eagle's.
    • The Gobul is a mix between a pufferfish, a flatfish, and an anglerfish.
    • The Barioth is a mostly reptilian wyvern but with the fur, head, and fangs of a sabertooth cat.
    • The Nargacuga is similar to the Barioth, but replacing the sabertooth cat features with bat and black panther features.
    • From Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate the Arzuros, Lagombi, and Volvidon are basically bears mixed with a badger, an arctic hare, and an armadillo respectively.
    • Jhen Mohran: part crocodile, part walrus, part mountain.
  • Monster Arena: Some monsters in Monster Hunter 3 and its expansions are fought in a special Arena battelfield. There's also an underwater version to fight aquatic monsters.
  • Musical Assassin: Some horns get the Sonic Wave song, which is basically a Brown Note version of the Sonic Bomb item.
  • My Blood Runs Hot: Played fairly realistically with the Deviljho, who has a very high body heat and needs to eat frequently to maintain it.
  • Mythology Gag: The "ending credits" of Portable 3rd (played after you defeat Zinogre for the first time) features Nyanjiro, the courier Felyne (who can deliver items to your box though a barrel he rolls around once a mission) leaving Yukumo to roam the world of Monster Hunter and deliver invitations to Yukumo's victory party onto every past home village up to that point: Kokoto (MH1 offline and MH Freedom), Minegarde (MH 1 online), Jumbo (MH Dos offline), Dondruma (MH Dos online), Pokke (MH Freedom 2), Moga (MH Tri offline) and Loc Lac (MH Tri online), before returning to Yukumo in time for the festivities.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: a whole gallery before even delving into the monsters' titles. Diablos, Ceadeus ("deus" as in "god"), Crimson Fatalis, Dire Miralis... Special mention to Deviljho; other large monsters will actually flee from the area should a Savage Deviljho appear. For good reason.
  • Never Say "Die": Subverted. Quest objectives that use the term "hunt" and not "slay" do so because you don't have to actually kill the monster; capturing also counts as victory. When you do objectives involing ancient dragons, the quest objective do use "slay", and that's because you can't capture them. The term is also used to warn that a mission will fail if the point is to capture the monster alive.
  • Nintendo Hard: Yeah... there's a bit of a learning curve.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: The Ultimate Mask in 3 Ultimate makes its wearer immune to most attacks and status problems. In fact, the only way that wearers can take damage is when they become enraged, which slowly consumes their health until they are K Oed.
  • No Arc in Archery: Averted. The arrows launched from the Bow weapon type fall to the ground as they fly, making long-range shots trickier than medium-range ones.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Narrowly averted at the end of Tri. After repelling Ceadeus, your character was supposed to have his/her license revoked by the Guild for defying its direct orders to evacuate Moga Village, but was let off the hook in light of his/ her overwhelming support from the villagers, as well as his/ her feat of defeating the monster against the Guild's pessimistic predictions.
  • No Hero Discount: In Freedom Unite, Tri, Portable 3rd, and 3 Ultimate in particular. The shopkeepers and the blacksmith will charge you for their services, even though you're trying to save their village from certain destruction.
    • Justified in the case of Pokke Village. The Guild warns the village of its imminent destruction due to Ukanlos. The village itself is fully confident that the hunter will save them, and go about their merry ways charging you for services. Played straight by the local guild hall, charging you fully for the Absolute Zero quest contract (the most expensive contract in the game) despite the guild manager telling you she is absolutely terrified and plans to let her subordinates evacuate and handle the guild hall herself.
    • Plain evil in the case of Zinogre of Yukumo Village. Most of the monster's victims are the village children. No luck with getting any sort of privilege here.
  • Noodle Incident: The description for the Angel Parasol light bowgun states that the weapon was "found in the possession of a captured spy, [yet] the Guild has denied any involvement." This in a series of games where you never really see the actual Guild itself, just liaisons of.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: You can faint twice in a quest, but on the third time you will be taken out of the quest. Also, by trapping a monster and throwing tranq bombs at its head you can knock it out and capture it. Some quests require you to do this to win.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Triggered by killing a monster when the objective is to capture it alive.
    • In quests where the objective is to defend the Town or Fortress, Lao Shan Lung, Shen Gaoren, Yama Tsukami can do this if you fail to stagger their attacks.
    • Also happens if Ceadeus reaches the deeper underwater ruins without having its beard cut or if Jhen Mohran manages to destroy the sandship you were traveling with.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: In 3 and 3 Ultimate, Once the Ceadeus is revealed to be the true source of Moga's earthquakes, the Hunter's Guild demands that you abandon Moga Village, claiming that the Ceadeus is "out of your league". Naturally, you and the Guild Sweetheart ignore their orders and take out the Ceadeus.
  • Oh Crap: Your character will sometimes flinch when they are spotted by a large monster.
  • One-Man Army: Entirely possible. In fact, it actually gets invoked in Tri and 3 Ultimate. The Ceadeus is specifically stated to require an entire army of G Rank hunters to defeat, but you manage to kill it on your own.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting (During the battles against the three varieties of Fatalis, recurring Bonus Bosses of the games)
    • Also, the first part of the fight with the Lao-Shan Lung features some Latin.
    • White Fatalis' theme has some Russian mixed in.
    • The Ceadeus's second battle theme includes a lot of tonal chanting, but it's Indonesian instead of Latin. Ominous Indonesian Chanting — that's a new one.
    • Dire Miralis' theme in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.
  • Overly Long Fighting Animation: Rathalos has this annoying move where he pointlessly takes to the air, flies one or two rounds around the area, then attacks the Hunter with a dive.
    • Hunters, themselves, have an animation whenever they use an item where they flex their arms triumphantly. It's not very long, but in the middle of a heated fight, you're bound to get attacked during that animation.
  • Palette Swap: Most monsters have subspecies (eg. Rathalos: red, blue, and silver), with each different colour variant having few, if any, noticeable physical differences between them.
    • Subspecies often appear to be this, but they always have new moves and almost always have different elements associated with them. For example, the regular Gigginox poisons, while the Baleful Gigginox subspecies uses lightning. The craftable equipment from these monsters are very different in terms of statistics and use as well.
  • Panthera Awesome: Nargacuga.
  • Panty Shot: Depends on which armor set you use or how much of the armor you choose to equip. Some of them are even the stripey kind.
  • Papa Wolf: The Aptonoth. The alpha male will attempt to fight back when its kind is threatened while the others flee, only to run away himself.
    • The Kokoto Village Chief was this to the entire village, but sadly not enough to save his wife from the Monoblos.
    • Played straight with the Moga Village Chief's Son, who had to face a Great Jaggi to save a child.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: The Dengeki Khezu and the Phantom Uragaan.
    • A similar event quest in 3 Ultimate has you fight several mini Qurupecos, as well as their crimson brethren.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Status effects on some weapons.
  • Power Equals Rarity: Played straight. Although in this case, the rarity-number-and-color-coding works more like a weapon ranking, stronger and better weapons generally have both a higher rarity AND need more difficult-to-attain crafting materials.
    • Though since the crafting shops have their services open to anyone in the world, anyone who can A) attain the materials for the weapon and B) pay for the service, can have an Infinity–1 Sword / Infinity+1 Sword. Most likely observable in Monster Hunter Frontier (the MMO game in the series), where basically everyone over around HR200 is running around with Rare-12 weapons.
    • Also, "rarity" is more along the lines of "how difficult it is to make" than actual "how hard it is to find." In Freedom 2, everyone and their grandma had the full set of Akantor armor (both Blademaster and Gunner) despite being Rank 8 (the highest in Freedom 2).
  • Prongs of Poseidon: A few Lances in the game. Bonus points because they tend to be water-elemental too.
  • Pungeon Master: One of the Moga villagers in Tri is an absolute master of puns, and throws at least one in almost every single conversation with the player. She manages to make them even worse by explaining them all.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender
  • Purple Is Powerful: The series has Purple as the highest accessible level of melee weapon sharpness in the main series. The only games that really subvert this are the PC games, though occasionally there will be the odd main game that only reaches up to White sharpness, the level immediately below Purple. Purple is typically reserved only for the final tier or upgrade of weapons, and will occasionally require an additional armour skill to unlock, though some weapons will never reach Purple no matter what you do.
  • Put on a Bus and Written-In Absence: Lagiacrus and Gobul were noticeably absent from Portable 3rd, even though the same locations are used in this game as their debut in Tri. Their disappearance from this game are attributed to the summer season taking over their habitats, leaving areas previously used for underwater combat dried up.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: Mostly averted; you need to wear the entire set of an armor type to get the full bonuses. Mixing up armor also has the problem of messing with your elemental defenses, which become quite important in later quests. However, some skill combinations can only be obtained by mixing armor sets, and some sets are incomplete (Example: Diablos armor used to be only a helm, chestplate, and armguards), requiring you to find another set to fill the missing slots.
    • On a more literal note, S-Rank and other higher rank armours have the option to change its colour, including one "Rainbow" option. Relevant, seeing as they are best worn in sets.
  • Randomly Drops: To be more specific, randomly carves from dead monster.
  • Random Number God: Experienced hunters can tell you horror stories about their attempts to appease the RNG, which has been outfitted with a "desire sensor" that reduces the drop rate of any monster part you really really need to make your armor. The only way to increase the chances of getting something is to not want it. Mind, you have to actually not want it. The Desire Sensor is immune to reverse psychology. Petting the pig may help you, though. Maybe.
  • Raptor Attack: The first aggressive monsters the player always encounters are basically these. The first generation introduces the "Velociprey" line — Velociprey, Genprey and Ioprey, as well as their "alpha" males Velocidrone, Gendrome and Iodrome, respectively, with the second generation adding the Giaprey and Giadrome to the family. The third generation replaces them with the "Jaggi" line — Jaggi and Baggi, with their "alpha males" Great Jaggi and Great Baggi, respectively, with Portable 3rd adding the Furogi/Great Furogi(know as wroggi/great wroggi in the western versions) to the roster.
  • Recurring Riff: Monster Hunter Tri has a recurring segment in its opening theme that also plays in the battle themes for Moga Woods/Deserted Island, Alatreon, Dire Miralis, and the arena. A dark, twisted version of the segment shows up in Deviljho's theme.
  • Red Baron: Many powerful wyverns almost seem as if people are worshipping their awesomeness, as certain titles and motifs tend to appear over Quest Names, Monster Descriptions and Item Descriptions. For example, Khezu is the "Light in the Dark", Blagonga is "The White Darkness", Yian Garuga is The Lone Wolf, Rathalos is the "King of the Skies"...you'd think with all those wyverns they have by now, it'd get difficult to top the titles they already have. Played with when talking about the Lagiacrus. "The Azure Lightning! The Lord of the Seas! The... the Stinky Sea-Devil! OK, I made that last one up."
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Quite a few monsters get this when they go into rage mode.
  • Regional Bonus: Tri's Western release drops the monthly fees for multiplayer and also allows for voice chat online.
  • Repeatable Quest: Online play consists almost entirely of repeatable hunts, so the quests are naturally repeatable as well. However, the extended preparation required for each task keeps players involved. Most quests in offline play are repeatable as well, with the exception of certain storyline quests (such as when you encounter Cha-Cha for the first time). Generally speaking, those that aren't have a Suspiciously Similar Substitute.
  • Replay Mode: In 3 Ultimate, there is a Felyne located in the house of the player who can take him/her to a special menu to rewatch all cutscenes unlocked (area introductions, monster introductions, special events and even exclusive videos like monster ecologies).
  • Rhino Rampage: Although technically rhinoceros are not present in the game, the Rhenoplos monster is clearly designed off of one, even having a similar name. It behaves exactly the way you would expect a video game rhino to behave.
  • Riches to Rags: The Uppity Instructor in 3 Ultimate. After bragging about his wealth for much of the game and insulting the hunter at every turn, he loses it all on a trading deal gone bad. At one point, he admits that he was rooting through garbage cans in order to feed himself. He eventually returns to hunting for a living after being inspired by the hunter saving Port Tanzia from the Dire Miralis.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The fanbase has taken quite a liking to (miniature, or miniaturized) Yian Kut-Ku. Cutesy fanart of miniature kut-kus aren't hard to find on 4chan.
    • The Felynes are 2-foot tall, anthropomorphic Siamese cats with the cutest meow ever, speak in gratuitous catspeak with words like 'purretty' and 'beclaws,' and do a little dance around you when you hold a torch up! Tri adds a Felyne chef who says things like "meown ami".
    • Subverted with the Melynxes, the black-furred counterpart to the Felynes. They may look cute, but watch out, as they will attempt to steal your items on sight.
    • Then there's the Hypnocatrice, which is basically a smaller, cuter version of the Kut-Ku with more birdlike traits and the threat level reduced by a truckload. In a world with many a deadly Breath Weapon, its special attack is... putting its enemies to sleep. You probably are going to feel a bit guilty when whacking on this creature.
  • RPG Elements
  • Running Gag: In Tri, whenever the Guild Sweetheart tries to find helpful information about a new monster or area, she inevitably comes up with nothing, due to either lack of information or a painfully obvious description.
  • Sand Worm / Land Shark: Many, many examples.
    • From Tri onward we get the Jhen Mohran, which is arguably the best example of a Sand Worm in the franchise. It swims through the sand at high speed, leaping to attack. It has even gained a mythical status in the Monster Hunter universe, similar to the Shai-Halud, being seen as an omen of prosperity.
    • Many smaller monsters such as Rhenoplos and Bullfangos have also been known to move about by burrowing.
    • The Cephalos and its larger cousin the Cephadrome are piscine wyverns that swim through the sand like fish. From Tri onwards Delex take over the role of "sand fish" from the Cephalos, and in 3 Ultimate we get the giant Nibelsnarf.
    • The giant crabs as well. Daimyo Hermitaur burrows through the sand in the desert, and the Shogun Ceanataur burrows through the mud in the swamp.
    • Most brute wyverns move about by burrowing - the Barroth, Uragaan, Duramboros, and The Dreaded Deviljho. The only brute wyvern that does not move around this way is the Brachydios.
    • A number of flying wyverns can also burrow, notably the Diablos, Monoblos, Basarios, and Gravios.
    • The Agnaktor and its smaller counterparts the Uroktor are a notable example in that they burrow not through sand or dirt, but through solid stone by superheating their beaks to instantly melt the stone into magma.
  • Save Scumming: Played straight because it's very helpful in manipulating the RNG into giving you that one last monster piece with a 2% drop/carve rate. Somewhat subverted in that you can only instant-save/ load between quests, so you only save yourself the money and resources, not time.
  • Scare Chord: Plays when you encounter a large monster.
  • Schizo Tech: The original game had an apparent Bronze Age or Iron Age with primitive firearms. The rest of the tech has advanced as the series has continued... but the firearms have kept step, and are always better than what should actually exist at that point in history. Then you get airships in Frontier and Sandships in Tri, plus complex mechanical weapons like the Switch Axe.
  • Scratch Damage: Played straight on both the monsters and on the player: any weapon can do damage no matter how insignificant, and most monsters can inflict this upon players who get in the way when the monster is repositioning itself - no, not actively charging, as in, stepping sideways to rotate themselves. Becomes irritating in the latter case as it often leaves you vulnerable from the resulting flinch animation.
    • Generally speaking, if you have any armour at all, most small monsters will only be capable of doing this to you. Instead, the threat comes from knockback and potentially status problems.
  • Screw the rules, I have more money than the Guild: An NPC in Loc Lac city says this practically word-for-word.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: The player character at the end of the single-player campaign in Tri. With the revelation of the Ceadeus, the Guild has ordered the evacuation of Moga, and has expressly forbidden your Hunter from going after the monster, as it is one that they generally send armies of Hunters after. The Hunter's license is at risk if she/ he doesn't follow the order. She/ He does it anyway.
  • Serial Escalation: The weapon sizes by themselves could fit this trope, but weapon power is a whole different story. The Ukanlos Trampler has a raw damage rating of 1820, the highest of any weapon (at least in Freedom Unite), and that's before applying any attack bonuses. To put this in perspective, the only hammer to come close is the Enormous Ham G at 1612, but even then it's missing the Ice Element damage and the Defense bonus (though it does have a better affinity).
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: It's rare, but it's possible for two large monsters to fight each other if one manages to hit the other and all the players vacate their immediate area of awareness. The perpetrator is usually Deviljho.
  • Set Bonus: The games encourage you to create a full armor set from materials gleaned from a given monster to earn special bonuses otherwise unavailable when wearing equipment of different sources.
  • Shamu Fu:
  • She-Fu:
    • In a very bizarre example, Rathian's special attack is a draconic air-backflip that will poison you.
    • Pink Rathian can do this too, but with spinning.
    • Gold Rathian can do this multiple times in quick succession (with painful accuracy if the target is close enough), as well as backflip right after tripping. To be precise, tripping a monster usually means all hunters go full attack with free hits, rendering themselves vulnerable in the process, and this is where Gold Rathians' become annoying if unexpected.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Desert in Monster Hunter 1 (old) and 2 (new). In 3, the Sandy Plains takes this role. During night, those same areas will be instead very cold, and decrease the player's stamina unless a Hot Drink is consumed. And various large monsters happen to love lurking in them (especially if their names are Nibelsnarf, Sand Barioth or Diablos).
  • Short Range Shotgun:
    • The "Pellet S" ammunition rounds for the Light or Heavy Bowguns. It's basically buckshot that works exactly how this trope describes it - minus the instant lethality (you are fighting huge monsters).
    • The "Wyvernfire" is also a lot like a shotgun - get up close and unleash a massive burst of fire and gunpowder right into a monster's face.
  • Shoulders of Doom: The Diablos armor makes good use of the monster's horns. The Gunner version of this set is slightly more subdued.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Rajang is a giant golden ape, similar to the Golden Oozaru from Dragon Ball GT, and Lao Shan Lung looks suspiciously like Godzilla when he stands up.
    • Godzilla shrunk down: Deviljho. A big green dinosaur with a destructive breath attack who attacks and kills other monsters.
    • Also, the Master's Replica looks like a different sort of Master Sword.
    • The starting Great Sword in MHF2 is called the Buster Sword.
    • From Monster Hunter Tri:
      Argosy Captain: Now that other lands want to trade with you, we must formulate keikaku. "Keikaku" means plan!
    • During his first talk with you in the online mode, the Uppity Instructor says the following. Maybe a coincidence, but quite possibly a reference to Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series.
      • And after he is broke after clearing the 3rd urgent quest: "Screw the rules, What do I care? I'm flat broke!"
    • Sadly exclusive to the Japanese version, there was an event that allowed you to actually wield Tessaiga, the weapon used exclusively by the half demon InuYasha.
    • "Hunter is GO!"
    • One of the dairy products available in the meal menu is "Royale Cheese".
    • "You will drive your prey before you and hear the lamentations of their mates." — The Savvy Hunter, on pulling off a perfect Spirit Slash combo.
    • In Unite there is a quest that takes place in the Volcano area where you have to kill a certain number of large monsters. The name of the quest? "Hotter than Hell itself." Coffee, anyone?
    • In Portable 3rd, one of the available weapons is based on Asuna's BFS.
    • A Shout Out in translation: The Male and Female Blademaster and Gunner sets for Jhen Mohran are all supposed to be named after Japanese Battleships or Aircraft Carriers. One doesn't have to wonder what the translator was thinking of when the Female Blademaster armor, supposed to be named after the Battleship Hyuga, got called Hinata instead.
    • If you feed Kayamba a Well-Done Steak while he's wearing the False Felyne mask, he says, "Om nom nom nom. Kayamba can haz more?"
    • After defeating the Ivory Lagiacrus, the Argosy Captain says A Winner Is You.
    • Many, many quests allude to some form of pop culture. Examples include quests called "Purple Reign" (hunt a Purple Ludroth), "Mud Brothers" (hunt two Barroth), "Splash Damage" (hunt a Plesioth), "Pretty and Pink" (hunt a Rathian and Pink Rathian), "Crus Control" (hunt a Lagiacrus and Ivory Lagiacrus) and "Breaking the Ice" (hunt two Glacial Agnaktor).
  • Shows Damage: Averted for the hunters and their companions, but played straight for the monsters to the point of being a gameplay mechanic. Taking enough damage in certain parts of their body can cause them to break or otherwise suffer visible injury, usually giving the hunter an advantage. Cutting off a monster's tail, for instance, makes evading certain attacks easier, while damaging horns, fangs, claws, and other body parts can decrease the monster's damage or agility.
  • Sinister Scythe: A few longswords are visibly scythes, but this is mostly aesthetic. Some are capable of literally slicing small wyverns in half, something that most other weapons in the game cannot claim to do.
    • The switch axe named "Sinister Saints"; the axe part looks like death, and the blade of the weapon is death's scythe. making it one in name as well.
  • Situational Sword: Though often just an easter egg/visual gimmick, it's played straight with a lot of Long Swords, Hammers, and Great Swords once their Charged Attack is used.
  • Slice-and-Dice Swordsmanship: Many of the smaller sword-type weapons. Example: the Order Rapier - a Dual Sword weapon whose weapon class only has about two stabbing attacks.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Snowy Mountains in Monster Hunter 2, the Tundra in 3. In this case, there are no slippy grounds or dense snowy terrains, but rather there's the very cold temperature which will gradually deplete the dash meter of the player. Drinking a hot beverage will prevent this.
  • The Slow Walk:
    • Done by some wyverns. Sometimes, they will just decide to screw using their breath attacks or charges and simply walk towards you slowly, then use a bite or hip check. Sometimes it's actually not dangerous at all and a good chance to get in a few hits, but in a game where you're used to having an interval between enemy attacks of maybe 2 seconds, such a long silence can be oddly terrifying as the monster approaches you.
    • Zinogre is fond of this, tends to do it completely unpredictably and right in the middle of battle before suddenly launching a lightning-fast attack. He can also summon an actual lightning storm while doing so.
  • Smashing Survival: How to escape when a large monster has you pinned. Or you could just detonate a Dung Bomb in it's face.
  • Smoke Out:
    • "Smoke bombs" can be used to get close to a monster unnoticed, or make a monster lose you. If you drop a Smoke Bomb at the start of the Alatreon fight in Tri, you can buff up in peace for the time the bomb lasts. It will notice you very quickly otherwise.
    • The Farcaster item releases a burst of green smoke and teleports the user back to the base camp, simulating the effect of a smoke-covered escape.
  • Socialization Bonus: A major part of the fun of the series is getting some friends together to clear out online quests that are much easier done with fellow hunters than by oneself.
  • Socketed Equipment: Weapons and Armor can have from zero to three "slots" in which to put gems. Said gems then count towards skill points needed to activate certain skills.
  • Soft Water: Played very weirdly in Tri. As always, your character can fall from any height onto anything without damage — at least one area has two exits that are probably 100 foot drops — minimum — one into water and one onto solid ground, and they're both perfectly safe.. However, whenever you fall into water while carrying a Wyvern Egg, no matter how far you fall, you get the "sinks to the bottom" animation for dropping an egg by entering water, not the "break on impact" animation for falling from a height.
  • Some Dexterity Required: The games are known for their hand-unfriendly controls, particularly the PSP ones. Players of the PSP games can often be seen "claw-gripping" their systems—using their thumb on the analog nub to move and index finger on the D-pad to swing the camera.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness: Applied to all items in the games, not just weapons. When looking at any item, you see its Rarity, a number indicating how early or late in the game you're supposed to be able to get it. As of Unite, the Rarity levels go up to 10 (and in Frontier, 12). Everything up to Rarity 5 is the items obtainable with materials from low-rank quests, Rarity 6-8 is items from high-rank quests, and Rarity 9-10 is items from G-rank quests.
    • However, effectiveness is subverted occasionally with some weapons. For example, Siegmund in Freedom 2 is widely considered to be among the best Great Swords despite being Rank 7.
  • Spam Attack: The entire point to the Dual Swords weapon class.
  • Standard Status Effects: Poison, Paralysis, Sleep, and Frozen in later games. You can inflict and be inflicted with them.
  • Sticks to the Back: Played straight. Every single weapon class in the game does this - no, not even the Long Swords that come with sheathes are exceptions. The Bowguns that could have been given shoulder slings? Don't have them.
  • Stripperiffic: Female armor sets have a 20-40% chance of being this, but there are also a lot of Battle Ballgowns and everything in between to boot. Some sets, like the Bone armor, are skimpy even on male hunters.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Subverted- bosses tend to flee when wounded, but minor predators like Velociprey will continuously do Scratch Damage at you even if they should be fleeing from the barn-sized monstrosity that keeps crushing them by accident.
    • Technically, with the practice of Persistence Hunting, the Hunters themselves.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, otherwise known as 3U / MH 3U, has one of its releases on the Wii U.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon:
    • The Switch Axe and Charge Blade. The Switch Axe is an axe that folds into a sword whereas the Charge Blade is a sword and a shield which combines into an axe.
    • It is important to note that in the Switch Axe's case, the Axe is the standard form where energy builds up while in the Charge Blade's case, the Axe is the alternate form where stored energy gets used.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: The Agnaktor is covered in an armor of rapidly cooling lava. After enough time, it hardens enough that nothing short of explosions can harm him. However, when he burrows underground, or uses his heat beam, or wades into lava, it softens enough for him to be attacked again. He'd be close to invincible if he stuck to just his hip attacks and charges, rather than burrowing and using heat beams.
    • The Glacial Agnaktor has the opposite problem, in that its icy armor melts the longer it's above ground and and freezes back up once it burrows.
  • Take That: The ad campaign for Monster Hunter Tri, pointing out the difference between "sissy" real life hunters and fishermen as opposed to big, awesome monster hunters. The ad campaign often made use of footage from television show Deadliest Catch. Deadliest Catch appears again as the name of a 3 star quest in Tri, pitting you against giant man-eating catfish and alligator monsters.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Raw meat can be tampered to give it different effects such as poison, sleep, stun, etc. which will be applied to a monster stupid enough to eat such "Trap meat".
  • A Taste of Power: The training missions and many of the downloadable quests give you predetermined sets of equipment, some of which are far beyond what you're capable of making around the time you first unlock these missions.
    • The downloadable demo for 3 Ultimate gives you the highest tier equipment in the game, and lets you hunt a monster at the lowest rank. Mmmm, power.
    • Ditto the arena battles in Tri.
  • Technical Pacifist: You can spare a large monster's life by capturing it instead of killing it. In "hunt" quests, this counts as a successful hunt; you don't actually have to kill the target unless the quest objective explicitly uses the term "slay".
  • The Ace: The newest weapon, the "battle tonfas", in unite is critized for being this due to it's VERY acrobatic move set and ruined the competetive balance. it has the mobility and versality of sword and shield, the fire rate of dual blades, the charge-gauge-based special attacks like a charged axe, but with spontaneous damage output like wyvern fire from a gunlance. On top of it all, it has a jumping move and can keep attacking mid air. Oh, did I mention that it can do both IMPACT and CUTTING damage by utilizing the gauge and is therefore the quickest impact weapon you can use to knock out a monster? Japanese fans said that this weapon has at once put lance, hammer, dual blades and insect glaive all to tears.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: In those missions where you're fighting a giant-class monster around the fortress, the BGM will switch from that monster's rather threatening battle theme to a more heroic one once it reaches the final area of the battlefield, since that's where the outcome of the battle is decided. The final battle with Lao Shan Lungs use the games' signature main theme music for full effect.
    • When Hunters manage to hit Jhen Mohran with the Dragonator during the final showdown, a new orchestral version of "Testament of a Hunter" plays, being the only time you hear the MH main theme in Tri and 3 Ultimate.
  • Third-Person Seductress: Like any game where you can choose gender, many males tend to choose the female option. Must be due to all those outfits you can dress her in.
  • This Is a Drill:
    • A couple of the lances in Unite.
    • Most Dragonators, such as the one at the Castle Schrade (a drill, a very large, spiky drill), the one at the Fort (consists of four very large, not-so-spiky drills), and the one during the Jhen Mohran fights.
    • The Skyscraper, a powerful weapon that is hard to obtain and is made from a chunk of worn-out ancient metal, is the largest lance in Tri and perhaps the entire series. When the player uses the lance's charge move, the lance spins, resembling something like a portable Dragonator. And according to the description, it's capable of piercing the heavens.
    • Also the Grief Lance/Fiendish Tower.
    • The Spiral Heat lance also starts spinning while charging.
    • The Undertaker series of lances seems to be a broken drill. It doesn't spin, but it's still a dragon-element drill. The Matenro series is the the fully repaired version of the lance, but exchanges dragon element with a huge boost in raw power.
    • The Ukanlos Trampler is the most powerful weapon in Unite. It's a drill hammer.
    • Another drill hammer makes its way into Monster Hunter 4. This time with a rocket that ignites while it charges!
  • Throw a Barrel at It: The bombs in this game always come in barrels. Hence the names "Small/Large Barrel Bomb/Bomb+ "
  • Toilet Humor: Most of the dialogue from Stink Mask wearers in 3 Ultimate runs on this.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The -dromes from recent MHF updates. While still King Mooks, they get significant attack pattern changes, making them more threatening than just being health-buffed versions of their subordinates.
  • Too Long; Didn't Dub: The Argosy Captain and Neko (Means "Cat") parodies this habit of anime fansubbers in all their dialog and in the latter's case, his name.
    Neko (Means "Cat"): The Tanzia is three ports wrapped up in hitotsu! Hitotsu means one.
  • Tranquillizer Dart: Used frequently, with Tranq Bombs, Tranq S bowgun ammo, and even Tranq Throwing Knives, required for monster capture quests. It's not Instant Sedation though, the monster has to be near-dead for it to work.
    • There's also Sleep element weapons, which can make a monster randomly doze off in the middle of a fight.
  • Trick Bomb: Felvine Bombs- essentially catnip potpourri bombs that can either leave annoying Felynes and Melynxes drunk off their asses and have them drop Shinies, or can tag a monster and have said Felynes and Melynxes ignore you to focus on them. Just don't get caught in the blast radius or you'll be tagged as well.
  • Trauma Inn: Most Base Camps have a bed that can be slept in to restore health and cure negative status problems. The sleeping hunter's AI partner(s) are also healed instantly.
  • Turns Red: Nearly every monster gets angry when you damage it enough, and gains some combination of power, speed, and new moves while enraged. Usually they'll calm down after a while, but the less health a monster has, the less damage it takes to make them angry again. On the plus side, you can get a rough idea of how close a monster is to dying based on how quickly they get mad.
    • Can also happen visually with certain monsters, such as the Gigginox, who will change their colours to depict whether they are enraged, or even exhausted.
      • Special mention goes to the Baleful Gigginox, who literally turns red as a shout-out to the Red Khezu.
  • Twenty Bear Asses: The game is completely devoted to collecting chunks of slain monsters.
    • Averted in the actual quest structure for the most part. Most of the quests only involve slaying a boss or two, though a few of the lower rank missions do involve killing a larger number of smaller monsters. Tri's subquests sometimes play this straight, however, adding an optional requirement to kill a certain number of smaller monsters during a quest for additional rewards.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Ever wondered who'd win in a fight between Tigrex and Nargacuga? Now you know.
  • Underground Monkey: There are several monster families that share movesets, tactics and certain features, plus subspecies and such. This is usually a good thing however, given that having to learn a brand new moveset for every new wyvern would make the game even more absurdly difficult, and the wyverns usually have enough distinctions between the subspecies, such as new moves, weaknesses, varied features etc.
  • Unfortunate Names: There's a Black Face armor piece.
  • Unfriendly Fire: Aside from player-to-player damage being heavily decreased, this is in full effect; players can send flying or stunlock their allies if they don't pay attention to where they're swinging/shooting. See Friendly Fireproof above for examples.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Large monsters can become enraged after taking enough damage. Generally speaking, this results in faster speeds, higher damage, and even entirely new attacks that they are not usually capable of pulling off. On the plus side, they usually become exhausted shortly after their rage subsides.
    • As of Monster Hunter 4, the Infected monsters can enter an essentially permanent Rage Mode once the infection inevitably assumes total control of its host, gaining speed, strength, and imbuing some attacks with the virus itself, potentially inflicting it upon the hunter.
  • Unwinnable by Design: Running out of tranquilizers on a capture quest won't immediately result in quest failure, but it may as well do.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Averted. Most monsters can suffer from practically any status effect, and may be particularly vulnerable to one or two.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • Hitting your fellow Hunters inflicts no damage, but causes Knockback. However, this is generally a bad idea while hunting, so this is best saved for the post-victory standby period.
    • Hitting Felynes and Melynxes with Felvine Bombs to render them drunk.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: With the wide variety of armour you can make, you can mix sets together for skills and looks.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • Tri has Barroth, the first urgent boss (large monster) of the online mode. Not only are his movements completely different from anything you know from other MH games, he is also heavily armored, moves around a lot and has a nasty and hard to dodge status attack that renders you unable to act for a short amount of time. The fact it's the first monster whose roar stuns you doesn't help. There's a reason why players above hunter rank 9 tend to be a lot more skilled than below.
    • Yian Kut-ku is the wake-up call in earlier installments.
    • In Tri and 3 Ultimate, take your time to train up underwater combat skill against Royal Ludroth or Gobul. You will need them against Lagiacrus and others.
    • Later, the Purple Ludroth in 3 Ultimate serves as a message to players that high rank is high rank for a reason.
  • Walking the Earth: Unlike previous games, the player's "home village" in 4 is actually a traveling caravan led by a veteran hunter, though you still make stops on different villages.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: Both hunters and large monsters lose stamina the longer they go without eating. For the hunter, this decreases the amount of time they can run, dodge, or block attacks. For monsters, this can result in needing to stop and catch their breath, stopping certain attacks from working, and an overall decrease in attack power and mobility.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Gravios' heat beams can and often become OHK Os at zero or worse fire resistance. Their rock-like magma resistant shell will usually take the sharpest weapons to even hit properly. Cue Akantor, unfazed by a several seconds of concentrated fire, only to bite down at Gravios' neck in a Curbstomp Battle.
    • Agnaktor has the same moveset and roughly the same power as Lagiacrus, the flagship monster of Monster Hunter Tri. In Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, it's seen fighting a Brachydios; it uses its most powerful attack, a fire laser, on Brachydios. This does absolutely no damage to Brachydios whatsoever (and Brachydios goes on to kill Agnaktor in less than a minute.)
  • World of Badass: Well...this game essentially has two parties. The giant, ancient, powerful dinosaurs and dragons that walk the land and destroy whatever comes in their way and their hunters, who actually manage to beat these monstrous creatures with wit, skill and sheer determination. It's further emphasized with the use of Red Baron for the wyverns and Description Porn for the items, to make sure you have an idea just what kind of beasts you are dealing with.
  • Wutai: Yukumo, the player's base of operations in Portable 3rd, has a Far Eastern (particularly Japanese) look, down to a guild base which also doubles as a hot springs resort.
  • Y Not?: G Rank armors are marked with X for the main species of the monster and Z for the subspecies. For example, G Rank Lagiacrus armor is "Lagiacrus X" and G Rank Ivory Lagiacrus armor is "Lagiacrus Z". And then Abyssal Lagiacrus (which is a G Rank monster to begin with) gets a different name altogether.
  • You No Take Candle: Cha-cha in Tri talks like this, as does Kayamba in 3 Ultimate.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: If you thought the humble Chainmail Bikini was sexy, you have yet to see how this game outfits its girls' chainmail stockings.
    • This game has many examples of this. If you give her the right combination, you can make her look completely like a school girl. Purely aesthetic though, the defense and armor skill on it blows.

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alternative title(s): Monster Hunter Tri; Monster Hunter; Monster Hunter 2
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