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Video Game / Monster Hunter 4

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The hunt evolves
Monster Hunter 4 is the fourth game in the mainline series of the Monster Hunter series. It was released on September 2013 for the Nintendo 3DS exclusively in Japan and South Korea, and kickstarted the fourth generation of the series.

After its prominence in the previous generation, underwater combat has been removed; in its place, the game ramps up the mobility of hunters, with tall structures and ledges allowing for Hunters to utilize their environment to perform jumping and other dynamic movement options in addition to a new mechanic: Mounting, in which you can attack a monster's back after knocking it down with a powerful aerial strike and even successfully topple it with enough damage. Also added are two new weapon types: The Insect Glaive, emphasizing agility and aerial combat and with a special "Kinsect" that takes extracts from monsters that can boost your stats with the Glaive, as well as the Charge Blade that can switch between an axe form and sword and shield form and employs special fillings for additional effects in combat. The game also puts a higher emphasis on story and character development. The game introduces 4 new monster types to the beastarium: Amphibians, Temnocerans, Snake Wyverns and ???.

The main story (only for offline Low Rank) deals with a Caravan made up of various people travelling many lands not only to deal with various monster threats, but also to discover the origins of a deadly plague known as the Frenzy Virus that drives monsters berserk; also coming with the Virus is the terrifying Gore Magala, a mysterious monster who threatens many locales with its power and forebringing of the Virus. It's up to the Hunter to deal with the threat of Gore Magala while helping the Caravan. Along the way they're assisted by an elite group of hunters known as the Ace Hunters who also help investigate and deal with the threat of the Gore Magala, the Frenzy and an ancient prophecy of disaster foretelling legions of monsters going berserk due to the Frenzy.

The concept of free exploration, first seen in Monster Hunter 3 (Tri), has evolved into the Expedition feature. Players can now undertake off-quest trips to the mysterious Everwood to look for unique resources and hunt freely-roaming monsters, which in turn unlocks customized quests known as Guild Quests (not to be confused with the multiplayer quests, which were known under that name as well in previous games). The more times said quests are completed, the higher their level of difficulty will rise, but so will the rewards for completing them. Last, but not least, the game allows players to unlock materials from monsters that don't appear in this game, allowing one to create weapons and armor based on them. For the first time in a handheld Monster Hunter game, online multiplayer is fully integrated (meaning that it won't need support from a home system to run it as in the case of Portable 3rd and 3 Ultimate), while also retaining the classic local multiplayer play that was present in previous portable entries.

In October 2014, the game received an Updated Re-release, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (known as Monster Hunter 4G in Japan), which expanded on the contents of the previous game with returning monsters and subspecies, G-Rank, as well as the return of the first generation's Old Desert now revamped, redesigned and renamed into the Dunes. Another returning area is the Polar Field, a Boss-Only Level from Monster Hunter Portable 3rd where Ukanlos can be found. Mobility is further increased with the addition of hunters being able to knock others into the air with heavy weapons allowing for aerial strikes. The game's flagship is the Seregios, a flying wyvern that can inflict a new type of ailment (Bleeding, which requires eating meat or crouching slowly to be dealt with). Also added is a High Rank offline campaign where the Caravan travels to Dundorma City to deal with the forthcoming threat of the Rusted Kushala Daora and other Elder Dragons while seeking to fix the town's damaged defenses and exploring the past of the Ace Commander/Julius and his now retired master. Also introduced are a new deadly type of monster known as the Extreme/Apex monsters, an advanced state of the Frenzy Virus that makes monsters stronger and bigger and with tough enough skin that only with the help of the newly introduced Wystones you'll be able to fight them off effectively. Also increased is the Palico level cap, as well as the previous cap of the Everwood's Guild Quests (this one thanks to the presence of G Rank). It was this version that was brought over to the West in February 2015 (vanilla 4 was skipped over).

Another new feature introduced in 4 Ultimate is the ability to tune up weapons so you can further enhance their attributes even after having achieved their last standard upgraded. Finally, with the return of Dundorma, you can unlock songs by completing certain quests (both single- and multiplayer) to hear them in the Assembly.

It received an animated film prequel in 2021, titled Monster Hunter: Legends of the Guild, depicting the adventures of the Ace Cadet/Aiden before he joined the team.

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    Tropes present in both versions of Monster Hunter 4 
  • Actionized Sequel: The expansion on the mobility options for hunters and new mechanics such as mounting make this game even more fast-paced and action-packed than previous ones in the series, especially with the addition of mid-air strikes which can let you use high ledges to attack from above.
  • Admiring the Abomination: The Guildmarm, who crushes hard on monsters. She especially treats the Brachydios as if it was the man of her dreams.
    Guildmarm: "Those strong arms! That explosive personality! And he's right there in the Volcanic Hollow...Oh, I could faint! Be a dear, Doodle, and give him a wink for me, okay?"
  • Alien Blood: Gore Magala, an enigmatic new monster with purple blood, that is the source of a deadly virus that spreads to humans and monsters. While there is no physical change for humans that are infected, infected monsters start spilling purple blood when hit with attacks as well. When a Neopteron gets frenzied, their blood is ALSO purple despite a healthy Neopteron having green blood initially, showing just how much the virus can corrupt a monster's physiology.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: The Ace Cadet has the hots for the Guildmarm, but she ignores his advances and sees him as a mild nuisance more than anything. The Guildmarm in turn crushes on the various dangerous monsters you're assigned to hunt, especially the Brachydios, but those... aren't exactly the type to do anything with humans besides attack them on sight.
  • All Webbed Up: The Nerscylla throws balls of web in an attempt to immobilize you. If it's successful, the Nerscylla will either attempt to bite you with its huge pincers to inflict poison or sting you to put you to sleep. The Shrouded subspecies, introduced in 4 Ultimate, can do this as well.
  • Amphibian Assault: Among the dangerous creatures in the series are a group classified as Amphibians, introduced in this game. They include Tetsucabra, a giant frog with large tusks that can carry boulders; and Zamtrios, an even bigger frog mixed with a shark that can cover itself in spiky ice armor or inflate itself into a giant ball to crush enemies; they gain subspecies in 4 Ultimate (Berserk Tetsucabra and Tigerstripe Zamtrios). A new member of the family (Tetranadon) would debut later in Monster Hunter: Rise.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Climbing walls has been streamlined and made less tedious by allowing you to use the b button to jump up walls and get to the top faster, use certain items while climbing and even carry eggs while escalating.
    • There is now a separate pouch for Gunner ammo available even for Blademasters preventing unwanted munition obtained in a quest from taking up space.
    • Similarly, an extra page is added to the hunter's bag during quests, allowing you to carry more items as well.
    • The Wyporium allows you to obtain materials from past monsters not present in the game itself by using materials from monsters present in the game itself to trade in exchange.
    • You can now register and load item sets, in a fashion similar to equipment sets, saving you the trouble of having to remember what you usually bring on your hunts or with specific equipment.
  • Aquatic Mook: The Zamite, an Amphibian that inhabits the cold waters of Frozen Seaway. Zamtrios is their King Mook.
  • Arbitrary Mission Restriction: Quests that arbitrarily restrict your equipment so they can be accepted (and provide no explanation in the their respective descriptions) are par for the course, but one notable example comes in an Episodic Quest line where the client really wants a bunch of Fulgurbugs. For no apparent reason, instead of just letting you deliver Fulgurbugs to the client if you have them already (from previous Zinogre hunts), the game makes you engage a quest with nothing in your item pouch and use the nets provided in the supply chest instead.
  • Baloon Belly: The Zamtrios uses this offensively, puffing out its belly if it manages to swallow you, afterwhich it'll start hitting it against the ground to cause damage to you and anyone else in the vicinity. Further, if you provoke it by breaking its ice armor, it'll temporarily inflate itself to point of looking more like a Blob Monster then a shark, switching to bouncing and rolling attacks instead of its usual biting and clawing as long as it remains in that state. Unfortunately for it, it's a lot more vulnerable once inflated and can be easily killed, or at the very least severely weakened, while in its inflated state. The Tigerstripe variant however knows how to switch between its normal and bloated states on the fly, and is ''seriously'' dangerous while fat.
  • Background Music Override: This game and its expansion 4 Ultimate, having a larger bestiary overall, introduce a slew of new themes, each having a different degree of overriding privilege, and is too large to be mentioned here. But of note is the theme used for monsters in Apex status, which appear in 4 Ultimate and has maximum BGM priority, overriding even the Arena's and Deviljho's themes. Another unique case is Kirin, which usually doesn't have its own theme despite being an Elder Dragon, but in these two games it borrows the Tower theme whenever it or the Oroshi subspecies is fought outside the Tower Summit itself.
  • Big Bad: Gore Magala works as the main antagonist of the Offline Campaign's story mode, with its threat of the Frenzy Virus threatening the whole region and its transformation into Shagaru Magala threatening to spread the Frenzy all over the world.
  • Boss Arena Urgency: Say hello to Dalamadur, the only boss in the Monster Hunter series to destroy the arena you are fighting him in to limit your movement. In this series, that is a very bad thing.
  • Breaking Old Trends: This is the first and only Monster Hunter generation-starting game to not only be on a portable platform, but also to not have a console release. It also marks the first Monster Hunter non-spinoff game that is on a portable but not part of the Monster Hunter Freedom line.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • A lot of first and second generation monsters that sat out during the third generation come back, such as the Dromes (except Giadrome), Yian Kut-Ku, Gypceros, Gravios, Congalala, Kushala Daora, Teostra, etc. Along with their weapons and armor, of course. Also, one of the monsters that debuted in the third generation but had missed out the final installment (Brute Tigrex) also returns, thanks to the return of the standard Tigrex (and both are also accompained by a brand-new Rare Species, Molten Tigrex).
    • Hypnocatrice weapons and armor make a return, last seen in Freedom Unite, though the monster itself can't be found and its materials cannot be obtained.
  • Colossus Climb:
    • The Final Boss of the high-rank multiplayer quests is Dalamadur, who remains the single largest monster in the franchise, being a 440 meter long snake-dragon. Part of the fight does involve climbing its body to reach its weakpoints. And it's suggested that that isn't even its maximum size: World features a Dalamadur skeleton in one level that is nearly the size of an entire biome, with its skull alone dwarfing most Elder Dragons.
    • The game as a whole introduces "mounting", a mechanic that lets you climb almost all monsters. It's become an integral part of the Monster Hunter metagame ever since.
  • Cool Boat: The Arluq is a pink whale-shaped ship that carries the Capital C Caravan. It boasts a huge drill on the front for inflicting massive damage to dragon-type monsters known as a Dragonator, as well as multiple ballista units and cannons, in the event of a monster attack in mid-voyage. Which does happen when the Caravan tries to leave Harth, courtesy of the Gore Magala. Later, a blimp attachment allows the Arluq to fly, turning it into a Global Airship and letting it reach the high-elevation mountain village of Cathar.
  • Cowardly Lion: The Felyne Whitescruff from Cheeko Sands. The first time you meet him, he keeps whining about he's an easily frightened, good-for-nothing loser. After you take down Akantor, the same one who defeated his original master and made him so jittery in the first place, he asks to join you as a Palico. It gets better: it turns out he's an aggressive-type Palico who prioritises fighting large wyverns, with two special abilities, one that increases his damage and health massively if you are KO'd and another that tantamounts to him jumping on the wyvern's face and clawing away at its eyes, giving you an opening. Not bad, little buddy.
  • Cursed with Awesome: The Frenzy Virus infects monsters and sets off their "rage mode" permanently. As for human hosts, the target is slowly infected over time, and when the infection meter maxes out, their natural health recovery stops. However, if the infectee does enough damage to monsters while infected, they not only recover, but also gain offensive boosts. In fact, the post-Frenzy boosts are vital to the usage of Chaotic Gore Magala weapons, which both have Critical Hit and "feeble hit" chances, and the post-Frenzy boost turns the feeble hit chance into additional crit chance for the duration of the buff; in other words, if you're using a CGM weapon, you want to get infected.
  • Darker and Edgier: With a bigger emphasis on the story, the game's stakes caused by the monsters in the story are much higher. The Frenzy Virus makes even the silly Congalala behave like a terrifying bloodthirsty Apex beast, and the Gore Magala's threat and ominous presence makes the usual journey across the world all the more terrifying.
  • Death Mountain: Heaven's Mount, which becomes plot-critical during the events of the single-player campaign. It is home to several Flying Wyverns like Rathian, Rathalos, Tigrex and Seregios. Close to this location are the Sanctuary and the Speartip Crag, Boss Only Levels where Elder Dragons are fought.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • A lot of past monsters that didn't appear, such as Lagiacrus, Diablos and Lao-Shan Lung, have a presence in the game solely as materials you obtain from the Wyporium to craft their armors and weapons.
    • A less extreme example is Plesioth, who goes from being a normally fought large monster to a fishing minigame monster in Cheeko Sands that dies without a fight after being fished out of the water.
    • An even more extreme example is Amatsu, as only scraps for Palico armor are obtainable in this game.
    • Hypnocatrice gets it the worst, as only its armor and weapons come back, but its materials don't.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Gore Magala plays with the trope. After a lengthy campaign taking you all over the world, you learn about this ultra-dangerous monster spoken of only in legends, and you fight it. You then play some more, and the characters reveal that Gore is still alive, and has evolved into a more powerful version (the Shagaru Magala), later settling the actual Final Boss battle. You beat the monster, you get a satisfying ending sequence, and that marks the end of your adventure (Playable Epilogue notwithstanding)... and then in 4 Ultimate, this only marks the end of the low-rank story, which leaves Magala as a straight example in this version. There is now a whole other campaign and loads of monsters more powerful than the ones you just beat, taking place in a familiar city from Monster Hunter 2 (dos). And that's just the single-player campaign; if you want to do multiplayer expect a whole other set of missions and ranks to earn.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: If you intend to carve Dah'ren Mohran, do not kill it too fast or its carcass will be beyond the invisible wall of the area, preventing you from carving it. Fortunately, it's less of a problem in 4 Ultimate when you fight the G Rank version, as it starts out the second phase much closer to the Dragonship; while the Dragonship is in greater danger of damage, you're less likely to stagger the monster to the point of carving deprivation, and the Dragonship is surprisingly durable anyway.
  • Dual Boss: The game introduces the first proper case of this trope with the Seltas Queen, who always has a Seltas by her side. The Seltas on its own is unlikely to be a threat, being a Warm-Up Boss at best (and if you kill it, she'll eventually summon another one), but it complements the Seltas Queen by sitting on top of her and flying her around (despite the Queen being a good six times his mass), firing projectiles at distant foes and swiping at those who get close. It's also a case of We Have Reserves as the Seltas Queen is completely uncaring for the wellbeing of the Seltas, hitting it if it gets in the way of attacks and outright eating it if she is hungry. 4 Ultimate adds the Desert Stetas Queen, who is even more callous with her partner, firing the Desert Steltas at the Hunter(s) with enough force to shatter the poor bug on impact, then promptly reaching into the ground to pull out another one.
  • Fartillery: When enraged, the Seltas Queen unleashes a large amount of nauseous gas that prevents item usage onto the hunter if they're hit with it. The gas comes from her lower body.
  • Fastball Special:
    • The game introduces palicoes who specialize in launching the player. This was implemented to showcase the verticality of fourth generation by letting players take advantage of the new mounting mechanics for jumping onto monsters even when there's no handy jumping points on the map.
    • Users of the Insect Glaive, also introduced in the fourth generation, can launch their Kinsect to collect extracts from the monster. Generations introduces a Hunting Art that throws the Kinsect even faster, instantly slurping out all three kinds of extracts if it connects.
  • Forest of Perpetual Autumn: The Ancestral Steppe is the first hunting area in the game. It's a temperate region whose flora ranges between yellow in the frontier zones to red in the inner ones (best appreciated in Area 4 when you look at the upper background), though some green folly is still present to an extent. It also includes a climbable rocky plateau in the northernmost territory. It is even called "Autumn Steppe" in the Spanish version, while its Battle Theme Music is called "Golden Reminiscence".
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The Volcanic Hollow is the true form of the Sunken Hollow, after the Hunter has removed the obstacles blocking the lava and restored things back to normal. While the nearby town of Harth will permanently change to a lava-filled cavern, you can still perform quests in the Sunken Hollow, despite the fact that it should not really exist as it was once anymore.
  • Giant Spider: This game introduces the Temnoceran class of monsters, who are based on arachnids, with Nerscylla.
  • Global Airship: The game introduces the Arluq, owned by the Caravan's Captain. At first, it's an ordinary ship (though capable of navigating through the sand as well as the seas), but at one point in the story it's upgraded into a zeppelin so it can soar towards the high-altitude region of Cathar (the last region unlocked in the gamenote ). The Arluq is what provides the in-game justification for you to travel to a specific village, or even to one of the rank-specific parts of the Everwood.
  • Having a Blast: Starting from this game, more monsters besides Brachydios make use of the Blast status, though not by using explosive slime but instead powder-like dust; such is the case of Molten Tigrex, a rare species of Tigrex that lifts puddles of powder with its attacks. This includes monsters that didn't use this status in prior games, such as Emerald Congalala and Teostra.
  • An Ice Person:
    • Zamtrios is a huge, shark-like Amphibian that can perform several ice-based attacks. In its standard form, it can shoot a powerful ice beam from its mouth (and depending on the hunting quest's rank, it can either turn around slowly while it shoots it, or rapidly spin to catch unprepared preys and hunters). When it's angry, it can apply an ice shield to its body, making it harder for hunters to inflict damage onto it unless they're using a fire-based weapon. In its inflated form, it can shoot multiple icy fuilds in succession while it turns around, though they're easy to avoid. Lastly, when it's deflating, its whole body can expel a cold gale that inflicts ice damage to the hunter, as well as make its stamina meter decrease more quickly.
    • Oroshi Kirin is a subspecies that replaces the Shock and Awe traits of its parent species (the Kirin) with ice-based powers. Not only can it shoot large ice crystals from its horn, but as it gallops it can leave traces made of ice which are harmful. And when it's angry, it covers much of its body with an ice barrier, making it much harder for hunters to hit it.
  • Hate Plague: The Gore Magala is an Elder Dragon-like monster that spreads a special substance called the Frenzy Virus to sense its surroundings. This substance also has the debilitating side-effect of turning monsters who breathe it in into Frenzied specimens, who are in constant pain, extremely aggressive, can infect other monsters, and gain greater power. Then, as shown in the expansion 4 Ultimate, those who survive turn into Apex monsters, Typhoid Mary carriers of the Frenzy who can deflect almost any attack without the aid of a Wystone and are even more powerful than Frenzied monsters. It isn't that deadly to humans, though, even providing a temporary attack boost when you shrug it off. The Gore Magala does this so that it can molt into Shagaru Magala, who spreads the same substance to keep any other Gores in the area from molting properly, turning them into Chaotic Gore Magala, and to nip off competition for resources from any other monsters.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: After you hunt the Nerscylla that was cutting off the magma flow from Harth, Harth can be seen with a lava flow running through it that's used for the Troverians' forging operations.
  • Lethal Lava Land: One of the areas introduced in the game is the Volcanic Hollow, a lava-filled cavern system home to numerous hostile monsters and deadly firey hazards. Averted for Harth, which is located close to the Hollow, while it gets filled up with lava on the borders after defeating the Nerscylla that was blocking the magma flow it's actually seen as a welcome change back to normalcy for the Troverians living there whose economy was nearly ruined when the lava went away.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: The game has its own issues, as the game desperately needs the faster processor provided by the New 3DS. Staring the game itself on an old model can take upwards of a minute, and it takes just as long to close. Pausing also incurs two ten to fifteen second loads, though this may have something to do with the fact that the game can only be paused by using the home button and bringing up the 3DS main menu or by closing the 3DS entirely. That's ten seconds to go out to the console menu, another 10 seconds to go back into the game itself, and another few seconds while the game pops up the actual pause screen so you can resume the game. Thankfully, normal gameplay rarely has loads of more than a second or two.
  • The Lost Woods: The Everwood is a dense, exotic forest notable for changing its layout upon each visit, so the Expeditions and quests set here rarely feel the same; a few of the possible areas intersect with other settings, such as Shifting Sand Land and Underground Level. It comes in two tiers (one where you meet Low Rank Monsters and another where you meet High Rank Monsters), each accesed separately from the world map after being unlocked. 4 Ultimate adds an unlockable third tier where you can freely find and hunt G Rank monsters.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The Charge Blade, which looks like a much bigger and heavier sword and shield at first brush. Except the shield is bladed on the sides; jam it onto the end of that sword, which helpfully doubles in length, and suddenly you have a greataxe. Secondly, a few of the weapon's techniques have "Guard points", moments during an attack when the shield is bared. Being hit at this moment counts as blocking without costing stamina, plus the momentum of the attack prevents you getting knocked back so far.
  • Making a Splash: Kecha Wacha is a lemur-like Fanged Beast that can attack by shooting water globules from its trunk. The Seltas Queen and (in 4 Ultimate) her desert-dwelling subspecies have both a similar attack, though they only perform it when they're very angry (and the desert subspecies tends to shoot their male partners as well in the process).
  • Mascot Mook: The Gore Magala acts as the Big Bad of the Offline campaign and the monster on the cover.
  • Moveset Clone: Gore Magala and Shagaru Magala. Gore is a winged, dark-skinned monster of indeterminate category that inflicts the Frenzy Virus with its melee attacks as well as with the frenzied purple projectiles it spits. Shagaru, which is classified as an Elder Dragon, can do these things as well with the difference that the melee attacks have a wider range and the projectiles can split into smaller parts (and ricochet as they do) to have a greater chance at hitting the hunter.
  • No-Gear Level: An optional quest based on this trope is "Naked and Afraid", a High-Rank quest where you must fight two Deviljhos, already dangerous and aggressive monsters on their own, with no armor or Talismans.
  • Nostalgia Level: The Great Desert from Monster Hunter Tri, which was previously the habitat of Jhen Morhan, is now the battlefield of its cousin Dah'ren Mohran. Castle Schrade returns as well, being yet again the habitat of the dreaded Fatalis.
  • Opening Boss Battle: As soon as the game begins, the player's Hunter character is aboard the Arluq in the Great Desert, and then a gigantic Elder Dragon (Dah'ren Mohran) approaches to attack it. The hunter has to employ the equipped weapons of the Arluq to attack the Elder Dragon as it approaches in order to repel it.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: This game introduces a new humanoid race to the franchise: Troverians, who are dwarfish people that inhabit underground lava caverns, have massive beards and dedicate themselves to mining.
  • Palmtree Panic: One of the villages, Cheeko Sands, is located in a coast southeast of Val Habar and far east of Harth. From there, you can access Sunsnug Isle, which houses a Fishing Minigame as well as the Meownster Hunter quests. The trope is averted with the village's associated hunting area (Primel Forest), as while you can see the coast from a distance in its first numbered zone, the area as a whole is located deeper into the dense swamp that geographically borders with the Everwood.
  • Player Data Sharing: The game lets you use StreetPass, local wireless rooms, and online rooms to exchange not only Guild Cards (which is also possible in 3 Ultimate), but also Guild Quests and Palicoes, saving the trouble of having to farm for the latter two. The catch is that any Guild Quests and Palicoes sent to other players will reset to the levels they were when they were earned or scouted by the original player, so you can't just easily grab Level 96 (140 in 4 Ultimate) Guild Quests and Level 30 Palicoes in this manner.
  • Playing with Fire: The base game only introduces one fire-based monster, namely Ruby Basarios which is a subspecies of the first-generation Basarios. It rarely uses fire in battle, as it has other things to attack with.
  • Poisonous Person: Nerscylla is a Temnoceran (a Giant Spider) that can poison its prey, as well as a hunter fighting it, with its expandable fangs. It will use them if it manages to cover a hunter or prey with its spider webs. According to the series' lore, Nercylla's poison is strengthened thanks to the Gypceros it preys on (that's also why its upper body is covered with their dead skin). The Updated Re-release 4 Ultimate introduces the Shrouded Nerscylla, a desert-dwelling subspecies whose poison is far deadlier, though it doesn't prey on Gypceros but instead on Khezu.
  • Randomly Generated Loot: Rusted equipment can be found from Guild Quests and have semi-randomized parameters, some of which exceed anything you can have crafted in terms of effectiveness.
  • Required Party Member: Some Caravan quests have the Ace Palico's deployment as a requirement to start.
  • Retcon: Remobras are reclassified from Flying Wyverns to Snake Wyverns. This change is acknowledged in-universe.
  • Ribcage Ridge: In the Primal Forest, one area is entirely overshadowed by the giant ribcage of some sort of gigantic serpentine monster. The secret starting location for this map is located on top of one of the ribs that has snapped loose from the rest of the ribcage, and is easily large enough for a full party of four hunters.
  • Sand Blaster: Like its cousins Jhen Mohran and the subspecies Hallowed Jhen Mohran in 3 Ultimate during G Rank quests, Dah'ren Mohran can inhale sand from the ground and then exhale it frontward like a powerful sand torrent, potentially damaging the hunter's Dragonship during the second phase. And unlike the two Mohran, it can perform this attack as early as low rank, though it's only a major concern in high rank quests (and later G rank ones in 4 Ultimate).
  • Sand Worm: Dah'ren Mohran is a close relative of the Jhen Mohran with one front tusk instead of two front ones. It borrows many of the attacks from its cousin, and in G Rank (only available in 4 Ultimate) it will start the second phase of the battle very close to the Sandship.
  • Shifting Sand Land: A rare downplay of the trope in the series. None of the six standard hunting areas in the base game takes place within (or close to) the Great Desert, despite the latter's proximity with Val Habar (the horizon of Ancestral Steppe eventually interesects with it, but that part isn't playable), and only some parts of the Everwood are sandy enough to roleplay as desert-based caves. Thus, the only appearance of the setting is when you're in the Great Desert itself (in Boss-Only Level form) to hunt Dah'ren Mohran. 4 Ultimate brings back the desert from the first game to amend this, but it's only available in High and G ranks.
  • Sidequest Sidestory: Sequential quests became common from this game onwards, thanks to the games being more story-minded than previous installments in the series. In 4 and 4 Ultimate, as you play certain single-player quests, you'll learn about optional developments or events related to the quests' clients; however, you won't get to see how their stories go until you raise your Hunter Rank (for high-rank quests) or hunting license (for G Rank ones) so you can unlock the subsequent quests. For example, there's a coward Palico in Cheeko Sands who is afraid of monsters, so he'll ask you to deal with various monsters via quests. His last quest in Low Rank is about hunting a Iodrome and a Gore Magala; when you reach HR 4 (the first tier in High Rank), he'll ask you to deal with a Nerscylla; when you reach HR 5, he'll ask you to take down a Najarala; finally, when you reach HR 7 (nothing happens when you unlock HR 6), he'll reveal that his lack of courage is the result of the death of his human companion due to an Akantor, so his last quest has you slay that monster (which is as powerful as an Elder Dragon). Completing this final quest will give the Palico newborn courage and will make him eligible to be one of your recruited Palicoes.note  This modus operandi also applies for many other quest chains, and a few of them don't even require raising your rank during multiplayer quests, only advancing through single-player quests.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: A new monster class is introduced in the form of the Snake Wyverns, which are serpentine monsters of varying body forms that are as aggressive as any other monster. Also applies to the Dalamadur, the True Final Boss of the game.
  • Socialization Bonus: StreetPassing a fellow player causes you to exchange Guild Cards, as well as Palicoes and Guild Quests of the players' choices.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Threatening Geography: Areas unlocked in the game start out fairly harmless design and hazard-wise, but get progressively hostile per tradition.
    • The starter area is the Ancestral Steppe, a Forest of Perpetual Autumn filled with various ruins that you can climb and where you fight your first large monsters.
    • Following this is the Everwood, a vast forest area seen in a few missions but mainly in Expeditions, while outwardly mild in appearance it has an unstable layout that changes in every quest/expedition and follows a linear path.
    • Later unlocked is the Sunken Hollow, an underground ecosystem filled with dark caves and rather grim sights such as various corpses of Gypceros webbed up by Nerscyllas hanging around or lying on the ground.
    • Next unlocked is the Primal Forest, a tropical forest swamp with varying landscapes and green pastures, like the Ancestral Steppe it has not much in the way of hazards or threatening environment besides a pool of poisonous liquid.
    • Later on comes the Frozen Seaway, an artic landscape where the cold can and will drain your stamina on certain parts, it's got various threatening parts of geography with skeletons underwater, dark skies and even a Kushala Daora shed skin.
    • Then comes the Volcanic Hollow, an underground volcano that is the original form of the Sunken Hollow and is filled with various enviromental hazards such as geysers, magma flows that will drain your health if you stand too close, a generally hot atmosphere that will also drain your health and keeps the creepy imagery of the Sunken Hollow.
    • The last regular area unlocked is the Heaven's Mount, a sky-high system of mountains filled with multiple cliffs and unstable rocky structures. While it lacks enviromental hazards it does have a high-risk terrain feel with all of its unstable structures in the background and foreground.
  • Spider Tank: While the Seltas Queen is a giant insect and not a spider, she sure looks the part, waddling along on her four stout legs and firing huge water blasts. Ironically, the actual Giant Spider present in the game (Nerscylla) averts the trope, as its anatomy is closer to that of a real-life spider.
  • Superboss: The endgame multiplayer quests of the original version consists mostly of souped-up versions of monsters you've previously fought, such as Akantor or Dalamadur, though it also adds the debuting Molten Tigrex (HR 50) and series classic Fatalis (HR 70).
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: Before leaving Harth on the Arluq, you're warned to prepare thoroughly in case something goes wrong. Sure enough, that "something goes wrong" is "Gore Magala attacks the ship and you have to repel it." Note that in subsequent voyages, you don't get the same warning, and nothing bad happens on the way.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The game replaces Jhen Mohran from the third generation to Dah'ren Mohran, whose only true difference is that it has one tusk instead of two. It also introduced a class substitute of the Leviathans (introduced in Tri) in the form of Snake Wyverns: the re-classified Remobra from previous games, the debuting Najarala and later its Tidal subspecies in 4 Ultimate. Generations features both Leviathans and Snake Wyverns, averting the trope with them.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: The game introduces two weapon classes of this type:
    • The Charge Blade is a weapon that starts off as a sword and shield but can be joined together into a massive axe that makes even the greatswords look rather modest by comparison.
    • The Insect Glaive looks like a simple spear coupled with a large friendly bug, but the glaive also incorporates a pneumatic gun that can be used to fire pheromone pellets to guide the Kinsect's attack or to catapult the hunter into the air.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Zamtrios, who in response to having its ice armor broken, will inflate itself like a balloon and start trying to sluggishly bounce and roll on you with its bloated body, which is far slower then its standard mode of attack. Its whole body becomes a weak spot during this time, plus it'll occasionally break through the ice and get stuck if it bounces around too much, leaving it even more open for abuse then usual. This is less of a problem for Tigerstripe Zamtrios in 4 Ultimate, who can inflate and deflate at will, and is very aggressive while inflated.
  • Threatening Shark: One of the new monsters is Zamtrios, a giant shark but with frog-like legs to let it traverse land.
  • Underground Level: The Sunken Hollow. Only the resting area takes place outdoors, while the rest of the areas are several meters underground. Monsters like Tetsucabra, Nerscylla and Rathian roam the place. At one point during the story of the game, the volcanic activity in all of Harth is restored, thus turning this hunting zone into Lethal Lava Land and becoming the Volcanic Hollow.
  • Wintry Auroral Sky: The Frozen Seaway features auroral lights colored green, blue, purple and pink; they're visible from Areas 2, 3, 7 and 9. Notably, they're seen even though this location is always visited during day.

    Tropes exclusive to Monster Hunter 4 G/Ultimate
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Players with weapons like the Hammer, Switch Axe and Great Sword can now better coordinate in a hunt by using upswing attacks to launch fellow hunters into the air for aerial strikes, instead of just knocking them down or interrupting attacks.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Apex monsters will bounce off attacks against nearly all parts of their bodies unless one has imbued their weapon with a temporary buff from the Drive Wystone.
  • Artifact Mook: Though most large monsters inhabit the areas that make the most sense for them, the Everwood (which is tailored for free hunting) tends to ignore this, as monsters like Berserk Tetsucabra (which inhabits underground and volcanic areas), Shrouded Nerscylla (which inhabits deserts) and Tidal Najarala (which inhabits icy lakes) appear in the lush, temperate and open-air forest.
  • Breaking Old Trends: This is the first game in the franchise which only its Updated Re-release was exported to the West.
  • The Bus Came Back: The monsters Cephadrome, Daimyo Hermitaur and its Plum subspecies, Monoblos and its White subspecies, Diablos and its Black subspecies, Rusted Kushala Daora, Ukanlos, Chameleos, and White Fatalis.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Sometime before the events of the game, the Master of Defense took a delibitating blow for the Ace Commander, who was unexpectedly attacked by a Rusted Kushala Daora during a Rathian hunt. Although the Master survived, his injuries were bad enough to force him to retire from hunting.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Like its nominate species, Green Plesioth gets demoted to being a fishing minigame catch in Cheeko Sands.
    • Bulldrome's only presence is in the form of scraps for Palico equipment.
  • Fastball Special: The Desert Seltas Queen can fire the Desert Seltas serving as her thrall at you with a burst of water. This shatters the poor male into pieces, and the Desert Seltas Queen knows this; she just yanks another Desert Seltas out of the ground when this happens.
  • The Fellowship Has Ended: This version of the game plays with this as after defeating Shagaru Magala; like in the original 4, the Caravan members all go their separate ways and even includes a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, but they all regroup later for the next big adventure, taking place in Dundorma.
  • Fission Mailed: There's a High Rank Caravan quest in which you capture a Rathian. Unfortunately, when you move in to finish the job, a Seregios shows up and chases her away. Since you've been prevented from capturing the monster, the quest is considered failed. Fortunately, the Caravaneer and the Guild award you with some cash and items as a consolation reward, and you're then given the next Urgent Quest to avenge the failure (the target monster is Seregios itself).
  • Having a Blast:
    • Gogmazios, which serves as the Final Boss of the multiplayer campaign in G Rank, is a colossal Elder Dragon that employs an explosive element not based in Blastblight, but instead in the debuting Tarred ailment. Since its entire body is covered in volatile tar, many of its attacks leak part of this tar; if the hunter is hit with it, they will remain immobile until the tar explodes, potentially killing them if their defense is too low. The player has to quickly use a Cleanser to get rid of the tar and resume the fight.
    • Raging Brachydios, fought during an unlockable postgame quest, is a variant of Brachydios whose explosive slime is even more volatile.
  • Hub Under Attack: The city of Dundorma, when Rusted Kushala Daora finally arrives. The whole city will be under curfew, with several torches lit in the main plaza to guide hunters to the Battlegrounds and help in the mission to repel the Elder Dragon.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: In addition to the series-traditional "eating a steak instantly raises your stamina bar" and "eat a Sushifish to regain (a negligible amount of) health", you can also eat Well-Done Steaks and Mosswine Jerkies to cure Bleeding. In other words, forget bandages and stitches, just wolf down some meat and your body instantly closes up the wounds!
  • Interface Spoiler: If one has the Capture Guru skill when they attempt the Village Quest to capture a Rathian that ends with a Seregios chasing her away, one will notice that the former starts limping when its icon isn't flashing yet, indicating that this is not a normal quest.
  • Mascot Mook: The Seregios is the monster in the cover of the Japanese version (It gets replaced by Gore Magala for the international release but is still treated as the mascot). It's also the central antagonist for the first half of the High Rank Offline Campaign.
  • Mad Bomber:
    • Berserk Tetsucabra, a subspecies of Tetsucabra introduced in this expansion. Whereas the regular species unearths rocks (or snowballs, when fought in the Frozen Seaway) and throws them at the player or crushes them near them to inflict damage, the subspecies uses its body's drastically high internal temperature to ingite the rocks they're scooping from the ground. These rocks will explode after only a few seconds, and this is how Berserk Tetsucabra will attack during the whole hunting fight except when it's trying to Ground Pound the hunter with either a large amphibian jump or a suplex-like side pound (these moves are borrowed from the main species). For extra difficulty, this is one of the first monsters introduced in the game's G Rank, when the player is still starting to play in this Harder Than Hard phase.
    • In addition to having Brachydios since its base version, the game introduces a variant in G Rank, Raging Brachydios. This green-colored monster is not only even more explosion-happy but uses a slime that explodes at a much faster rate (this includes the slime that covers part of its body).
  • Making a Splash:
    • Due to inhabiting deserts instead of icy coasts (unlike its parent species), Tigerstripe Zamtrios shoots warm water (be it through a succession of globules while it's inflated, or as a powerful stream that instantly puts it back into its usual shark form) instead of ice or cold water.
    • G Rank introduces Tidal Najarala, a subspecies adapted to live in cold waters like those of the Frozen Seaway (though some specimens are shown to also live in warmer water bodies located in forests, much like the standard Najarala); it replaces the sound-sensitive scales of its cousins with scales capable of redirecting the water globules the monster shoots so it can hit unsuspecting hunters (who manage to dodge them the first time) from behind.
  • Missing Secret: Great Jaggi and Gendrome are the only large monsters that don't appear at all in G Rank (not even as DLC), while the related Velocidrome and Iodrome do; their infants (Jaggi, Jaggia and Genprey) appear as well despite this. Many players who enter G Rank for the first time have asked on websites and forums where those two monsters are, and are given either the traditional negative answer or a joking one. Great Jaggi, Monoblos and White Monoblos are also the only large monsters outside the category of Variants, Elder Dragons and Rare Species that don't have any appearance under the Frenzy Virus effect; this too had unsuspecting players searching for them with no success.
  • New World Tease: The city of Dundorma can be visited as soon as you reach Val Habar for the first time in Low Rank. You can fish in the pier and listen to a song in the Assembly, but that's it. None of the Caravan's characters will appear here until after you've completed the Low Rank's Story Arc, since the quests you accept here are exclusive to High Rank. Also, the Elder Hall is off-limits until you've completed all key and urgent quests from Val Habar's Gathering Hall, as the quests accepted in the Elder Hall itself are exclusive to G Rank.
  • No-Gear Level: "Misty Challenge", a G Rank quest where you must slay or repel Chameleos (an Elder Dragon) without bringing any items in your inventory, thus relying on the food and potions provided by the guild in the camp area.
  • Nostalgia Level: One in each category, and each also representing a past generation of the series. Joining the new hunting areas seen in the base Monster Hunter 4 is the Old Desert from the very first game (and all games where it also appeared), which returns in a revamped form to take advantage of the vertical gameplay, and is now known as the Dunes. Joining the new village areas is Dundorma, which originally served as the online Hub City of Monster Hunter 2, now available offline for both the single-player campaign (High Rank) and the multiplayer quests (G Rank). Lastly, one of the boss-only areas from Portable 3rd (the Polar Field) returns as well, being the battlefield of Ukanlos just like in that game.
  • NPC Roadblock: A lance guardian in the city of Dundorma is located next to a large staircase that leads to the Elder Hall, and won't let the player's character go that way until after they've completed the final High Rank urgent quest in Val Habar's Gathering Hall. The reason is because the Elder Hall only hosts G Rank quests, so the hunter has to rank up to accept them.
  • Old Save Bonus: It's possible to transfer a save file from the original 4 to 4 Ultimate, but only with the Japanese versions; this is because 4 was never exported overseas and it's not possible to transfer between versions from the two different sides of the ocean due to region locking.
  • Ominous Obsidian Ooze: The Final Boss of the multiplayer campaign, Gogmazios, attacks with a black, tar-like substance that incapacitates hunters and, if not gotten rid of quickly, will explode and cause them massive damage. Supposedly, the monster got all this substance in its body after a lifetime diet of sulphur and gunpowder.
  • Pinball Projectile: The scales Tidal Najarala throws from its tail are not sound-sensitive like those of the standard Najarala (which explode when that monster roars in order to hurt the hunter or prey it's fighting against). Instead, they're thrown so the water globules Tidal spits hit them to be redirected onto their targeted enemy. Sometimes the globule, after hitting a scale, goes to hit another before aiming at the hunter to further trick them.
  • Playing with Fire: G Rank introduces Ash Kecha Wacha, a subspecies that trades the water globules of the standard Kecha Wacha in favor of fireballs, which can shoot in succession at different angles.
  • Pre-Final Boss: The penultimate quest in the single-player High Rank campaign has you hunting an Apex Seregios, with an NPC introducing you to the Drive Wystone needed to even damage it, as well as the Apex monsters that you'll be hunting in G Rank. The Final Boss afterwards is Rusted Kushala Daora.
  • Prized Possession Giveaway: After the player's Hunter, with the help of the Ace Hunters, manages to repel Rusted Kushala Daora to drive it away from the city of Dundorma, the Master of Defense gives his old pupil (the Ace Commander) his trusty carving knife as a memento for all the time they spent together. This means a lot to the Commander, because it shows that the Master's faith and friendship towards him never waned, not even after an ill-fated mistake on the Commander's part during a hunting quest caused a Career-Ending Injury to the Master several years ago.
  • Superboss: The expansion repeats the trend of its original version for G Rank via the Aged Texts, having buffed familiar monsters while also adding Shah Dalamadur and Raging Brachydios. 4 Ultimate also has the quests where you fight Apex versions of monsters, each of which is unlocked through a specific condition.note  Guild Quest monsters can be repeatedly hunted until they reach the level cap of 140, at which point their quests contain the best Rusted equipment.
  • Wham Line: Played for Laughs when you complete the final Egg Syndicate quest; you get a letter that gives away the identity of the Egg Syndicate leader:
    "Harrumph!note  Egg-cellent work! I knew you had the eggs to pull it off!"


Video Example(s):


White Fatalis

An eclipse heralds the arrival of the White Fatalis, an older variant of the Elder Dragon breed with power over electricity.

How well does it match the trope?

4.67 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / TotalEclipseOfThePlot

Media sources: