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Where it all started
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Monster Hunter is the first installment in the Monster Hunter franchise, released for the Playstation 2 on March 11, 2004 in Japan, September 21, 2004 in America and May 27, 2005 in Europe. The game's flagship is Rathalos, who would to an extent go on to become the most recognizable monster in the franchise.

The game puts you in the position of a newbie hunter from the small town of Kokoto Village, where you take missions from a Hunter's Guild to hunt down and kill or capture monsters of all kinds that threaten the livelihoods of the villagers. As you progress and gradually defeat stronger monsters, you grow in strength and experience, gaining increasingly powerful armor and weapons with the parts you obtain from the many monsters you defeat. There was also an online room meant for the "High Rank" (where you fight stronger versions of the monsters you've fought so far and new ones) and multiplayer gameplay where you and other people could gather to defeat monsters quicker or deal with very powerful monsters that few can take down alone. The online servers were shut down in early 2008 in the West and 2011 in Japan; as a result, neither High Rank nor the online multiplayer are legally available anymore. The game was part of an initiative of Capcom to make online-oriented videogames, hoping that one of them will break the 1 million copies sold threshold, this game and Resident Evil: Outbreak both were the two games to succeed at that.

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It received an expansion named Monster Hunter G with an added "G-Rank" that allowed you to fight even tougher versions of the monsters you encountered already and a whole slew of subspecies of existing monsters with differences in attacks and behavior as well as new materials to craft equipment with; among those subspecies, Azure Rathalos serves as the flagship monster. It released on January 20, 2005 for the Playstation 2 and later received a re-release for the Nintendo Wii on April 23, 2009, both the PS2 and Wii versions of G were released only in Japan. The online servers of the Playstation 2 version closed on early 2011, while those of the Wii version closed in 2014 alongside the online services of the system as a whole.

In late 2005, a mildly reformulated version of Monster Hunter G called Monster Hunter Freedom was released for the PlayStation Portable in an effort to boost sales for the console, it worked very well turning the games into a rather iconic part of the PSP lineup that led to sequels being released for the system. This handheld entry was developed by an alternate team within Capcom, who would go on to reprise their roles with all subsequent handheld games in the series except Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and both versions of 4. The game's flagship monster is still Rathalos, but also introduces a new monster to the bestiary (Yian Garuga).

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    Tropes used in Monster Hunter and Monster Hunter G 
  • Anachronism Stew: In a way, the game seems to showcase civilization as being based on gathering and hunting primarily despite the presence of metallurgy. Future installments would explain it with supplementary material describing that the games take place After the End of an advanced Ancient Civilization.
  • Boss-Only Level: The Lao-Shan Lung/Ashen Lao-Shan Lung and Fatalis/Crimson Fatalis fights have no other monsters or objectives beyond slaying or repelling the monsters. The hunting areas in question are the Fortress for Lao-Shan Lung and its subspecies, Castle Schrade for Fatalis, and Battleground for Crimson Fatalis (this one would be also the whereabouts of Akantor in Freedom 2).
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: The Swamp is a wet marshland filled with ankle-deep water in many areas and cold caves where hot drinks are needed to get through without losing stamina.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: As the very first game (and expansion game in G's case) in the franchise, it has a lot of differences with nearly every future installment of the franchise:
    • The controls were completely different from the ones introduced in later games, with the right analog stick being used for attacks and the left one for the camera.
    • There isn't a snowy area nor is there an ice element.
    • The "Dromes" don't have any breakable parts and run away instead of limping. They also don't actually command their minions with calls, despite Velocidrome's introductory cutscene showing him doing exactly that. They don't have their own Mini-Boss music either (none from the Theropod branch of Bird Wyverns would gain one until Monster Hunter 3).
    • Weapon sharpness only went up to Green (later White in G) and the indicator on the screen always was shown as yellow regardless of sharpness.
    • The Great Sword had no charged attacks.
    • There were no Gathering Quests at all, nor extra objectives on quests either. The Wii port did introduce Gathering Quests, however.
    • You did not start the game with one of each weapon and basic armor, you started with no armor and only a Sword and Shield.
    • The game's music and ambience had a more "grim" feel to it, with monster themes being less bombastic and adventurous and more tense in terms of melody (such as the Old Swamp and Old Volcano themes).
    • Despite being the game's flagship, Rathalos (and in G, Azure Rathalos) has no unique theme that plays for him regardless of area, though the Forest and Hills battle theme became his Leitmotif. Almost all future games' flagships (except for Tri's Lagiacrus) have unique themes that will play for them regardless of the area they're fought in starting with 2's Kushala Daora.
    • All Elder Dragons in the game are online-exclusive, and thus not legally available to hunt anymore. This changed in G and Freedom with Kirin being able to be hunted in offline quests, though Lao-Shan Lung/Ashen Lao-Shan Lung and Fatalis/Crimson Fatalis remain online-locked.
    • The missions initially always said to "Slay" the monster you needed to hunt, rather than "Hunt". It doesn't affect your results on a quest, however; so if you captured a monster in a slay mission you'd still win and earn the rewards for it.
    • Weapon selection was much less varied in the original Japanese version with only Great Sword, Sword and Shield, Hammer, Lance, Light Bowgun and Heavy Bowgun being available; in the US version, the Dual Blades were added to add more diversity.
    • Most subspecies in G were simply stronger Palette Swap versions of the original monsters with little to differentiate them beyond one or two different moves and some were not really "Subspecies" (for example: Black Diablos are female Diablos in heat, Black Gravios are the result of Basarios spending too much time submerged in magma and burning their shells before maturing, Ashen Lao-Shan Lung are individuals exposed to volcanic ash) instead being more akin to the Variants introduced in future games, which are used for special monsters rather than legitimate subspecies. Relatedly, only Azure Rathalos and White Monoblos are available to hunt outside the now-closed online campaign.
    • In the original game, the skill system was dictated entirely by armors rather than numbers. G changed that and it has remained that way ever since.
    • Hunters with any amount of completed quests could join any missions online. G introduced the proper Ranking system, which prevented certain ranks from being able to participate in certain quests.
    • Originally there were no size differences for any monsters. G is also responsible for introducing the concept.
    • Pre-Hunt Meals could only be eaten online. the Updated Re Release of G for the Wii changed it so meals could be consumed in both offline and online modes.
  • Fiendish Fish: The fish-like Piscine Wyvern, Plesioth, is a very aggressive monster that will bring you harm, be it on land with the hip checks (which have an inconsistent hitbox) or from water while it shoots water beams. Its fellow Piscine Wyverns Cephadrome, which inhabits the deserts, focuses on ambushing its enemies from the sandy underground.
  • The Generic Guy: Downplayed. While Kirin has otherwordly powers of lightning and thunder, it stands out in a sense among the other Elder Dragons in the games due to coming off across as a normal monster due to not having a unique theme, not being fought in an exclusive area and being rather small compared to the colossal Lao-Shan Lung and the massive Fatalis.
  • Green Hill Zone: The Forest and Hills are the first areas unlocked, filled with lush vegetation and green prairies.
  • Hailfire Peaks: The Desert has an oasis cave that looks more like an area from the Jungle or the Swamp than an area you'd find in the harsh heat of the desert.
  • Harder Than Hard: G-Rank introduced in G serves as this to the rest of the game as the High Rank was previously the absolute epitome of hard in the game, with G-Rank taking everything before Up to Eleven to truly challenge the player without mercy. Particularly standing out is the Crimson Fatalis, the True Final Boss of the game that has all of Fatalis' moves and then some such as raining meteors from the sky.
  • Herbivores Are Friendly: Subverted. While most small herbivorous monsters in the game are friendly or peaceful and will not attack unless provoked, there are exception like the temperamental Apceros and Bullfango that will charge you on sight. There are also large, super-aggressive herbivores like Monoblos and Diablos.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: As the game that started it all, it had perhaps the most cases of this with the Plesioth being the absolute worst offender with its hip-check that had some rather odd range and could hit you even if you were behind it, though other monsters such as Gypceros, Rathalos and Gravios aren't any less guilty of it themselves.
  • Hub City: There are two main towns in this game for the offline and online modes:
    • For the offline mode there's Kokoto Village, where you fight all Low Rank campaign monsters.
    • For the online mode there's Minegarde Town where you and other hunters could join together to prepare for hunts before setting off. It had markets, armory and a tavern so hunters could prepare themselves for any hunt
  • Jungle Japes: The second area unlocked in the game is the Jungle, filled with palm trees, abundant plant life and lakes.
  • Kaiju: The Lao-Shan Lung (and its Ashen subspecies) is a colossal Elder Dragon that you have to slay or repel at least lest it destroys the massive fortress protecting Minegarde Town.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The Volcano is an unforgiving land where some of the toughest base game monsters such as Gravios and Rathalos await you. In addition you will need a lot of cool drinks to prevent the effects of the intense heat in the magma areas from chipping too much of your HP away.
  • The Lost Woods: The first hunting area in the game unlocked are the Forest and Hills where you have your first gathering, small and large monster hunting quests.
  • Making a Splash: Plesioth is a large Piscine Wyvern that can shoot a laser-like water stream at the hunter, be it while standing on land or while swimming in a moat. The Updated Re-release Monster Hunter G adds the subspecies Green Plesioth, whose water shots are stronger.
  • Mama Bear:
    • The Rathian won't take kindly to you stealing her eggs and will chase you through multiple areas to get you for it. Same goes for the Apceros when you steal Herbivore Eggs as they will hunt you down for them.
    • Maybe Papa Wolf instead, but the adult Aptonoth in the introduction tries to protect its baby from a Velociprey ambush but sadly is unsuccesful.
  • Mascot: Rathalos for the original 2004 game, and Azure Rathalos for G.
  • Moveset Clone:
    • The theropod branch of Bird Wyverns, most noticeable with Velocidrome, Gendrome and Iodrome in the first generation games; and again with Great Jaggi, Great Wroggi and Great Baggi in the third generation games. They all rely on group attacks with the help of their smaller minions, though most of them also have some special attack to stand out (for example, Iodrome and Great Wroggi use poison, while Gendrome uses paralizying bites). Giadrome is added to the Drome trio in the second generation (standing out for its ice-based spits), while Great Maccao does the same in the fourth generation, and Great Izuchi joins Great Wroggi and Great Baggi in the fifth.
    • Rathian and Rathalos. It's justified because they're the same species of monsters that differ gender-wise. Rathian is a female wyvern that inflicts poison with the tail and spends more time on land, while Rathalos is a male wyvern that inflicts poison with the legs' claws and spends more time on air. However, both share many other attacks, such as charging at the hunter, spitting fireballs and turning around constantly.
    • Basarios and Gravios. They're part of a species as well, with both being winged monsters with rock-based skin, only in this case distinguished by age (the former is a young form and the latter is an adult form). While both monsters can expel flames from their skin and charge at the hunter, Basarios shoots fireballs from its mouth while Gravios shoots a laser-like fire beam.
    • Monoblos and Diablos are horned, territorial monsters that inhabit deserts and attack with melee-based attacks (including a charge from underground). However, Monoblos is more calculating in its moves, often turning around as it runs before attacking; Diablos is more reckless and tends to attack the hunter directly.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: There isn't a real overarching plot in the game, all you have to do is hunt every monster you're told to. There are some tidbits of lore and information given by NPCs but they don't impact your gameplay experience at all.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • The Rathalos will not take kindly to any who steals his eggs and will hunt you down to the ends of the Earth where he can reach to get you for it.
    • The Kokoto Village Chief is fiercely defensive of the other inhabitants of his town, he even slayed a Monoblos in the past that threatened them.
    • Maybe Mama Bear instead, but the adult Aptonoth in the intro tries to fight off the Velociprey pair to save its baby. Sadly, it doesn't work.
  • Playing with Fire:
    • Yian Kut-Ku is a pink Bird Wyvern with a regal crest that can spit fireballs at their enemies, be it while standing still or while running. The expansion Monster Hunter G includes a subspecies that retains this attack, while Monster Hunter Freedom introduces the related Yian Garuga, it too being capable of attacking with fireballs (but also with poison from its tail).
    • Basarios and Gravios are gargoyle-like Flying Wyverns capable of attacking with fire, but in different ways. Basarios, being only an infant, shoots small fireballs forward and can prepare a discharge of burning gas from its body to attack unsuspecting hunters; it can also shoot a prolonged fire beam from its mouth, but only when it's enraged. Gravios, meanwhile, can shoot a larger fire beam even when it's not too upset, and immediately afterwards release the burning gas from its belly to burn any hunter who attemps to cause it damage from below. The expansion Monster Hunter G introduces a black-colored subspecies of Gravios that can shoot the fire beam while aiming from one side to another, or even from down to up. Basarios wouldn't get a subspecies (Ruby Basarios) until Monster Hunter 4.
    • Rathian and Rathalos, being draconian Flying Wyverns, can shoot fireballs at hunters (be it in succession while aiming at different angles or as a single fireballs that explodes into a wider blaze). However, Rathian uses them more often when she's on land, while Rathalos shoots them more often while flying (and sometimes from an unreachable height and/or distance). Their respective subspecies and rare species, all of which debut in the expansion Monster Hunter G, have these attacks as well.
    • Fatalis is a very powerful Elder Dragon that can shoot a large fireball at anything that tries to attack it. When it's enraged, it can shoot a massive fireball that can cause a One-Hit Kill to a hunter whose defense is too low. The expansion Monster Hunter G introduces the Crimson Fatalis (not a subspecies or varint, but still part of the Fatalis family), whose fire attacks are even more powerful.
  • Poisonous Person:
    • Iodrome is a red-colored Bird Wyvern of the theropod family. It is the King Mook of the Ioprey, and its primary means of attack besides performing leaps onto the hunter to hit it, is shooting luminiscent purple globules that inflict poison onto the hunter or prey that touches it (or is hit by it).
    • Gypceros is a cunning, dangerous Bird Wyvern that can vomit large purple fluids that are poisonous upon contact; though that's far from the only attack that makes it a threat. The game's Updated Re-release Monster Hunter G introduces a purple-colored subspecies whose poison is deadlier (it depletes the hunter Life Meter much faster).
    • Rathian and Rathalos are draconian Flying Wyverns capable of inflicting poison to hunters and other monsters alike, though they're predominantly Playing with Fire monsters. The difference is that Rathian's poison is located in her tail (so she inflicts it when performing a backflip), while Rathalos inflicts it with his claws (which he uses during a rapid aerial attack). Their corresponding subspecies and rare species, all of which are introduced in the game's Updated Re-release Monster Hunter G, retain these poisonous attacks.
  • Predators Are Mean: All predatory monsters are very aggressive and will aggro on sight regardless if you provoked them or not.
  • Ominous Fog: The Swamp has tons of Fog that will hide monsters in it and further amplify the unnerving experience you'll have in the area.
  • Sand Is Water: The Desert's dunes have the Cephalos, Cephadrome, Diablos and Monoblos casually swimming through them like it's water, unlike most examples there's actually an in-universe justification as it is explained that all those species have special chemicals in their skin that allow them to "repel" the sand grains when submerged into the dunes. The Cephalos' sand spits also somehow gives you Waterblight.
  • Sand Worm: Cephalos and Cephadrome are sand-swimming Piscine Wyverns which are designed like Hammersharks. The latter is a King Mook of the former, and is part of the list of boss monsters to hunt (strangely, it has no unique drops; they're all shared with Cephalos).
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Desert in the day is hot enough that unless you bring in cool drinks you'll be slowly losing HP in the sandy areas, at night the whole place instead is very cold forcing you to bring in hot drinks lest you face losing stamina and being forced to replenish it constantly.
  • Shock and Awe: There's the blind, serpentine Khezu and its red-colored subspecies (which debuted in the game's first Updated Re-release, Monster Hunter G), as well as the Elder Dragon Kirin (the Oroshi subspecies, introduced in the fourth generation, is An Ice Person instead). Khezu and Kirin can shoot lighning bolts, and the latter can even use electricity as a barrier to protect its body, thus only leaving the head as its weak point.
  • Socialization Bonus: The biggest one in the franchise for both the base game and G, the entirety of High Rank and all Elder Dragons were locked behind the online content and you got the best possible mileage by hunting with other people.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Threatening Geography: The areas unlocked in the game go from relatively harmless lands to hazard-filled harsh places.
    • First are the Forest and Hills, where the biggest danger are the cliffs that might make Egg Delivery hard but is otherwise harmless outside of monsters showing up.
    • Next is the Jungle, which while not capable of harming you with hazards or environment can still prove a nuisance with its intertwining palm tress and dense vegetation that may block your view in a hunt. It also has cold areas where your stamina will drain if you stay on them long enough.
    • Afterwards comes the Desert, with a large amount of hot areas that will drain your HP without Cold Drinks and to boot a cold underground cave area that will instead sap your stamina without Hot Drinks.
    • Then comes the Swamp, which has large foggy areas that will impede your view and 3 cold areas that will drain your stamina without Hot Drinks.
    • The last regular unlocked area is the Volcano, a harsh hot land where most of the area will be draining your HP unless you bring Cold Drinks there.
  • The Spook: Fatalis' icon is a big question mark, as the monster is a rarely seen powerful creature.
  • Superboss: Debuting in the original version of the game, Kirin always appears in randomly-appearing quests, being a small, yet powerful Elder Dragon famous for being very elusive (hence its hunting quests being of ephemeral availability). So if you spot one of its quests and want to accept it, make sure to prepare everything to achieve a succesful hunt, because failing or abandoning it will force you to wait until the next opportunity.
  • Temporary Online Content: The entirety of High Rank and all Elder Dragons could only be fought in the online mode in Minegarde Town, with the online servers shut down for good there is no longer a legal way to do those quests anymore.
  • Underground Monkey: In G's online High Rank quests you could find and fight "Gianosu (Giaprey)", who were just slightly tougher Palette Swaps of regular Velociprey, though without any alpha monster in sight.
  • Updated Re-release: The base game received one in G which kept the base game the same but added an extremely difficult "G"-Rank, subspecies of existing monsters, new items, weapons and armors.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The nature of the game allows for some rather mean-spirited actions towards the creatures of the world.
    • Herbivores are friendly and peaceful for the most part, but you can still go out of your way to kill them without punishment or repercussions from the game.
    • One worthy to mention is that you can kill both adult and baby Aptonoth, or kill both adults guarding the baby and let the little thing escape orphaned... Or kill the baby but spare its parents.
    • It's possible to drop and break several Wyvern Eggs on purpose. If you feel like being extra cruel, you can do so in front of the Rathian or Rathalos, slowly depleting their nests of their offspring beyond necessary. Alternatively, you can slay them and then drop their eggs after you're done.
    • The egg proccess can also be done with the Apceros but with Herbivore Eggs.
  • Volcano Lair: G introduces the Battleground, a volcanic rock arena surrounded by lava, where Crimson Fatalis is fought. Like the Volcano area it will drain your health without Cold Drinks.

    Tropes exclusively to Monster Hunter Portable/Freedom 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/box_art_mhf1_psp_na_2.jpg
Hunt anywhere you go!
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The game adds a bunch of quality-of-life changes to ease up on the more restrictive parts of the original:
    • There are now special Treasure Hunt Quests given by Treshi, reducing the necessity to do specific quests for certain items. Though they can't be played solo.
    • A farm is added, which greatly reduces the necessity to do quests for basic items, it does require you to bring your own tools to it, however,
  • Dub Name Change: The Giaprey are renamed White Velociprey for this game only in the American version.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • It's the only game of the "Portable/Freedom" sub-series, as well as the handheld lineage of games in general, that is a straight-up slightly expanded port/alteration of a previous game rather than a brand-new game with elements lifted from the main game as its successors were. Freedom 2 and Portable 3rd had many elements in common with Monster Hunter 2 and 3 respectively, but were otherwise their own endeavors. 3 Ultimate was planned to be a port of 3 for the 3DS but eventually evolved into an expanded version of it, and from 4 onwards all handheld releases were unique entries to begin with.
    • Despite having its own unique theme and being treated as a major threat of the game, Yian Garuga is not a flagship nor an invader monster (a concept that wasn't made until Generation 3). To this day it remains one of the few non-invasive and non-Elder Dragon level monsters with a unique theme. It also can be repelled, which has not been done for any other non-Elder Dragon monsters ever sincenote .
    • An American version-only example comes with the G-original "Gianosu (Giaprey) being named "White Velociprey", this was corrected in later installments. They also can be fought on all ranks and always appear alongside regular Velociprey, while later games restrict them to snowy areas and the Tower.
    • Subspecies fought in the village aren't indicated to be actually subspecies and share the same icon as their vanilla counterparts. Only quest descriptions and titles give it away that you'll fight a subspecies.
    • Unlike the more traditional farms/harvest sections of later games, the one in this game acted more as a special mini-quest, where you needed to bring in picaxes and bugnets to gather materials from special spots rather than leaving behind a basic item to be multiplied.
  • Mascot: Once again it's vanilla Rathalos.
  • Moveset Clone: Yian Kut-Ku and Yian Garuga, starting from the latter's debut in this game. Both are Bird Wyverns that attack with their beaks and shoot fireballs, though Kut-Ku has trouble putting a fight due to its inexperience while Garuga is more vicious and can also inflict poison with its tail (similar to Rathian).
  • Poisonous Person: Yian Garuga borrows the poison tail attack from Rathian, though it's performed at the end of a dash (which in turn is signaled with a roar the monster does while stepping backwards).
  • Put on a Bus: Minegarde Town is removed from this game, instead now the Kokoto Gathering Hall takes its place as the Hub City for online gameplay.
  • Superboss: Yian Garuga is unlocked after hunting 10 Yian Kut-Ku. Its quest is rated with six stars (the highest grade), and it's ill-advised to challenge it until you have a decent postgame gear. The monster would later reprise this role in Monster Hunter 2 (dos), where it can only be unlocked via Old Save Bonus by connecting the game with Freedom through an USB.
  • Updated Re-release: It expands on the contents of Monster Hunter G, though it changes up things so it's not a full-blown re-release such as adding a village farm, the capacity to fight subspecies in village quests, treasure hunts, the Kokoto's tavern near the chief's house is turned into a gathering hall and even the bushes on Kokoto Village being changed to have pink leaves.
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