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Video Game / Monster Hunter (PC)

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It's a Monster Mash!

Monster Hunter is a 2002 PC game produced by MonkeyByte Studios and Contraband Entertainment and a Genre Throwback to old-school maze-style games from the 1980s.

Players assume the role of the Monster Hunter (the eye-patched hero on the cover, surrounded by hostile monsters), a Hunter of Monsters (well, no doy) who is tasked with cleansing the land of evil by infiltrating three towers belonging to an Evil Warlock, the Grim Reaper, and a powerful Vampire Lord. Ascending the towers, one floor at a time, the Hunter must eliminate all monsters, destroy the monster spawners that created them, before confronting the ultimate boss at each tower's peak.

Over two hundred levels, spread across four towers (excluding the tutorial stages) await our intrepid hero as the Hunter goes on his lengthy quest...

No relation to Capcom's Monster Hunter franchise.

Dare you challenge the Warlock and his Monster Army?

  • 1-Up: Collecting an enchanted Crystal Ball grants the Hunter an extra life.
  • Amphibian Assault: One of the most difficult levels ("Hopping Mad!") have giant, invincible frogs dropping into the area regularly. They're not hostile, since they don't pursue the Monster Hunter (instead choosing to hop out as quickly as they arrived) but it's still very easy to get flattened by those falling frogs and lose a life.
  • Anvil on Head: One of the various hazards in the later levels are hard-to-dodge falling anvils.
  • Bat Out of Hell: The Belfry level contains invincible bats that regularly flies across the corridors, capable of killing the Hunter with a single touch.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: The Ghost mooks resembles the classic bedsheet ghosts.
  • Bewitched Amphibians: Works both ways, in that evil witches attack by launching spells turning the Monster Hunter into a frog, while the Hunter can only defeat witches by collecting a grimoire... which turns them into frogs as well. In levels containing several witches, expect to see tons of hopping frogs all over the place in the "Level Complete" screen.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Ghosts debuts in a level titled "The Graveyard" (accompanied by a random Man-Eating Plant, for some reason). Later on there are levels like "Torture Chamber", "The Dungeon" and "Who You Gonna Call?" which consists of nothing but ghosts.
  • Blackout Basement: The "Darkness" levels, where vision is limited to just a circle around the Hunter, which makes locating spawners before a slain monster can be regenerated a challenge. If combined with the B-Movie levels (where everything is Deliberately Monochrome)… well, it's difficult as heck when that happens.
  • Blob Monster: This game has invisible blob monsters, who can vanish while pursuing the Hunter only to suddenly reappear. Their spawner appropriately enough resemble tables filled with flasks of chamicals.
  • Bonus Stage: The "Treasure Room", which can be accessed by collecting a treasure room key before completing each level. These stages are loaded to the brim with gold, jewels and crystal balls, but also contain various monsters and NO weapons, with the Hunter being given thirty seconds to collect as much loot as possible. Survive up to thirty seconds, all monsters onscreen dies as the "Level Complete" music plays with the words "Treasure Looted" displayed. (The Hunter wouldn't suffer any lives lost should he be killed by a monster, but the stage screen will mock him "Loser" before moving on to the next level).
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Mummies, whose default form is acceptably weak enough... but needs to be hit twice with a Magic Staff, the first successful hit turning the mummy into a fast-moving skeleton that now pursues the unarmed Monster Hunter, who must rush like crazy to collect a new staff to use against the mummy-turned-skeleton. To hit that point even further, one of the later levels is set in a room full of spikes... and contains precisely one mummy.
  • Creepy Centipedes: Each level needs to be cleared within two minutes, and if there are monster spawners remaining after the time's up, the game will release a huge, invincible giant centipede monster to pursue the Hunter. Said monster cannot be stopped, until the Hunter ends the level by destroying the last spawner, at which point the centipede explodes while the "Level Complete" music plays.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: "B-movie" levels are entirely in black-and-white. The monsters are mostly the same, but the visibility makes it difficult to tell the Hunter apart from the onscreen monsters or to locate the right spawner to destroy after killing an enemy.
  • Dem Bones: The Warlock boss has numerous skeletons as flunkies. While the game doesn't have skeleton spawners by default, it does have Mummy enemies in later stages who needs two hits to kill - after being hit once, the mummy instead turns into a fast-moving skeleton.
  • Dual Boss: The level which has a single Gremlin spawner which creates Giant Mook version of the Gremlins, given that Gremlins are created two at a time.
  • Elite Mook: Goes without saying that as the game progresses, it will throw increasingly stronger monsters at the Hunter. Vampires and Mummies are definitely amongst the toughest monsters encountered, the former due to its speed in dodging attacks, and the latter needing two zaps to kill. Appropriately enough, the latter is the last type of monster to be introduced.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Monster Hunter, the Warlock, the Grim Reaper and the Count... their names are never revealed during the game.
  • Evil Wizard: The Warlock, who serves as the boss of Warlock's Keep and later battles the Hunter halfway through the Reaper's Tower.
  • Evil Witch: There are witch mooks spawned from cauldrons, who attack by using their magic to turn the Hunter into a frog.
  • Excuse Plot: The plot is basically just "Monster Hunter Hunt Monsters".
  • Eyepatch of Power: The badass Monster Hunter wears an eyepatch over his right eye.
  • Fish People: The Lagoon Creature, resembling exactly like it's namesake. They're the second enemy type introduced (after Man-eating plants), with their spawners resembling wells and making splashing noises as it starts regenerating a new creature, and charges at the Hunter with a fast tackle.
  • Flash Step: The Vampire mooks have the ability to sidestep the Hunter at rapid speed, which makes staking them difficult, requiring the Hunter to come up with thinking out-of-the-box tactics. For instance, sneaking upon a vampire and staking it from a corner, force the vampire to flash-step into a dead end note  or, if the level contains a different monster other than vampires, stun the vampire with a different weapon first, then grab a stake and execute him before he recovers.
  • Flunky Boss: There's quite a few.
    • The Giant Blob and Giant Lagoon Creature, for instance, is backed up by two smaller versions of themselves.
    • The Warlock have skeletons flanking him in both battles. These enemies can be killed with a single zap of a magic staff, but they're revived as soon as they're killed, with the only way of defeating them being taking down the Warlock.
    • The Grim Reaper, appropriately enough, have tons of Ghost mooks backing him up. They can be taken out thanks to the level generating plenty of Holy Water, but the Reaper will just create new Ghosts in seconds.
    • The Count who is the Final Boss have werewolves backing him up. In this particular case, the level contains tons of stakes (necessary to kill the Count) but NO Silver Bullet pistols, making the werewolves practically invincible until the Hunter kills the Count.
  • Frankenstein's Monster: The first enemy type that need two hits to kill. After being struck by a torch, the monster will scramble back to it's spawner - the Hunter must find another torch and burn the monster before it touch the spawner, at which point it will regenerate back to health.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: One of the later obstacles will have the level dropping the giant, severed foot of some unidentified humanoid at random, all over the place.
  • Giant Mook: Several bosses are just giant-sized versions of lesser enemies, such as the giant plant (in a level titled "Bob the Angry Plant"), giant werewolf, giant witch, giant gremlin(s), giant lagoon creature, giant blob...
  • The Goomba: Man Eating Plants are the first, most common, and easiest-to-defeat enemies in the game, having no ranged attacks, special moves, and can be taken down with ease by weedkillers. Even levels containing three of them aren't that difficult. The game seems aware of their uselessness though, what with their Title In describing them as "Slow and Stupid. A little weedkiller ruins its day".
  • The Grim Reaper: The boss of the Reaper's Tower is none other than the Grim Reaper himself, complete with the usual hood and scythe depicted with his common portrayals. He's also flanked by tons of ghosts.
  • Griping About Gremlins: Gremlins are another recurring monster after debuting in "The Workshop". It's worth noting that gremlin spawners can create two of these critters at the same time, and the spawner wouldn't be vulnerable until both gremlins are killed.
  • Hologram: "Illusion" levels, which contains holographic duplicates of monsters mixed with the real deal (one level, titled "Which Witch is Which" has the Hunter battling two real witches while avoiding six fake holographic ones). However telling them apart isn't too difficult thanks to Hologram Projection Imperfection.
  • Holy Water: Ghosts can be put to rest after being splashed by holy water, at which point they dissolve into smoke. As does the Grim Reaper.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Guess who?... alright, it's the player hero, who racks up dozens of monsters hunted by the time he reached each towers' peaks.
  • I'm Melting!: Man-eating plants, Gremlins and blobs dissolves into puddles once defeated. Surprisingly, NOT the evil witch mooks, despite their namesake.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: The bats in the belfry and giant frogs cannot be killed by any other weapon. They wouldn't deliberately target the hunter, since they're merely wild animals, but they can still kill him with a touch.
  • Justified Extra Lives: The Hunter's Medallion is stated in the intro to "respawn the wearer, thrice", hence the Hunter having three lives by default. Collecting enough points by killing monsters will "charge the medallion's powers" allowing it to generate more lives, while picking up a magic Crystal Ball will provide the medallion enough juice to create a whole new Hunter.
  • Magical Accessory: The Hunter's Medallion, the source of the Monster Hunter's extra lives and also what allows him to destroy monster spawners.
  • Magic Cauldron: Witch spawners are cauldrons, who makes bubbling noises when creating a new witch after the Hunter had killed the previous.
  • Magic Staff: The Warlock's sole weakness (he needs to be zapped five times) and also the only weapon that can harm mummies. It takes two hits to completely destroy a mummy, and after receiving a first hit, the mummy would shed its bandages turning into a fast-moving skeleton, and the Hunter must find a new staff as soon as possible while being pursued by a vengeful pile of bones.
  • Man on Fire: Frankenstein Monster mooks can be killed by two torches, at which point it burns into a crispy carcass. Try hitting it the first time while it's a fair distance from its spawner though, lest it regenerates its health.
  • Mercy Invincibility: The Hunter's medallion can make him invincible for a few seconds if necessary, but that drains it of its magic. He's also invincible by default after losing a life and respawning from a checkpoint.
  • Monster Mash: From hostile fish-people to ghosts, witches to vampires, blob monsters and mummies...
  • Mook Maker: Monster Spawners serves this purpose, although they're capable of spawning only one monster (except the gremlin spawner, which creates two at once) at any given time. Once the monster is killed, the spawner will start creating another, but it's vulnerable while in it's spawning process, allowing the Hunter to destroy them with a single touch.
  • Mummy: The last monster introduced within the game, and also the deadliest. It's default form is rather slow, but after being zapped with a staff it sheds its bandages and turns into a fast-moving skeleton to pursue the Hunter - necessitating the Hunter to run like hell and find another staff before the Mummy's second form catches up on him.
  • One-Hit Kill: This trope works both ways, in that the titular hero and most of the monsters (save for the Frankenstein's Monster and Mummies) can be killed by a single hit.
  • One-Hit Polykill: Very frequently, the Hunter can execute the same monster type with a single shot, especially in given situations when monsters are closely packed together. Mostly tend to occur with man-eating plants, ghosts, gremlins note , blobs and witches.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The Monster Hunter is tasked with obliterating the world of evil, but can be killed by a single hit. Thankfully the medallion can generate extra lives...
  • Our Clones Are Different: The "Made of magic" variety of clones appear in a few levels (debuting in a stage called "Send in the Clones"). In this form, clones are depicted as translucent ectoplasmic entities that turns into whatever monster it touches, having the same abilities, attacks and weaknesses, and while you're required to destroy all monsters to proceed as usual, you don't need to kill all clones (you do get points for killing clones though) — remaining clones disappears as soon as a level is cleared.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The Ghost mooks in the game, for example? They're spawned from graveyards, have a permanent Ghostly Gape, moans whenever they're onscreen... they're also among the most dangerous enemies (very likely the first monster-type to frustrate players) due to their ability to phase through walls.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The Vampire mooks have Flash Step abilities, and unlike classical depiction of vampires, they cannot be harmed by Silver Bullets or light, although they do get stunned by those weapons.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The Werewolf mooks mostly resemble the classic depiction of werewolves (howling, walking on two legs, etc.) but for some reason, the werewolf spawners resemble doghouses (complete with a sign that says "Fido" — implying that the werewolves are the monster equivalent of guard dogs).
  • Quieting the Unquiet Dead: Ghost mooks, unlike the other monsters, are not "killed" when defeated. Instead, by dousing them with Holy Water, the Hunter can put them back to rest allowing them to disappear into mist.
  • Recurring Boss: The Warlock is fought twice in the game, firstly in the final level of "Warlock's Keep", and later halfway through the Reaper's Tower, in a level called "Warlock's Revenge". He's a Degraded Boss in the latter, implied to be revived by the Grim Reaper in order to "test" the Hunter's skills.
  • Reduced to Dust: Vampire and mummy mooks crumbles into dust after being killed.
  • Shout-Out: Plenty, mostly in titles of various levels.
    • The Lagoon Creature enemies are based directly on the titular monster of Creature from the Black Lagoon, for starters, as if the name isn't a giveaway.
    • There's also the Gremlin mooks, which resembles more like the 80s movie rather than the classic cultural depiction of gremlins, right down to their weakness of light.
    • One level infested with Vampire mooks is called "Where's Buffy when you need her?"
    • A ghost-filled level is named "Who you gonna call?"... there's another level called "He Slimed Me!" containing three green ghosts, resembling Slimer.
    • A level containing numerous Man-Eating Plant enemies is called Little Shop of Horrors. Another is called "Feed Me Seymour!"
    • The first giant Man-Eating Plant boss is fought in a stage called Bob the Angry Flower.
    • The Giant Mook Blob Monster boss level is titled "Beware! The Blob".
    • The stage where the Warlock is first confronted as a boss is titled The Wizard of Wor.
    • There's another ghost-filled level, titled The Exorcist.
    • And another vampire-centric level called Dark Shadows.
    • As well as a darkness-themed stage called The Twilight Zone.
    • Seriously, you can play a drinking game with the massive amount of references the game squeezed in. "Walking on sunshine", anyone?.
  • Silver Bullet: The weakness of werewolves, where a single shot will put them down regardless where they're hit. It doesn't affect vampires however, despite the classical beliefs.
  • Spell Book: The Grimoire is the witch enemy's weakness, and reading from it turns surrounding witches into frogs. It's also one of the few weapons that goes through walls, making it useful in taking out multiple witches with precise timing.
  • Spikes of Doom: A recurring threat in several levels, where the floors can unload spikes capable of killing the Monster Hunter with a single touch. Mind your Step!
  • Stalked by the Bell: The Monster Hunter have two minutes to complete each and every level, with the screen giving a "Hurry Up!" warning when the time limit is near. Surpassing the limit doesn't kill the player - instead the game dispenses an invincible monster (see Creepy Centipedes).
  • Sticky Situation: There are certain levels containing green, sticky goo on the floors, which forces the Hunter to slow down, something that's NOT desirable when trying to get to a spawner before it can finish creating a new monster.
  • Taken for Granite: The Warlock turns into a statue upon defeat. As does the Lagoon Creatures.
  • Thinking Up Portals: Teleportation levels contains portals on the ground, which can automatically zap the Hunter — and also monsters — from one portal to another, whether they want to or not.
  • Title In: Used before the start of a level, whenever the game introduces a new monster, obstacle, or boss. Sometimes the accompanying title will provide a hint on what to expect ("Beware of the Lagoon Creature's charge!", "Don't let the Frankenstein's Monster touch its spawner!" etc.).
  • Vampire Monarch: The game's Final Boss is a Vampire Lord simply called The Count, who resembles an upgraded and empowered version of the game's lesser vampire mooks. He needs to be staked six times, has the ability to turn into a bat to pursue the Hunter, can throw fireballs as a ranged attack... the final battle is as difficult as it sounds.
  • Vampires Sleep in Coffins: Vampire spawners are coffins, and each newly-spawned vampire are created with the sound of an opening coffin lifted from old Hammer Horror films.
  • Video Game Tutorial: The Tutorial Levels, which are entirely skippable, consisting of fifteen easy levels (the first two which contains precisely one enemy, a Man-Eating Plant which is The Goomba), and the hardest monster being the werewolf (which really isn't that hard even for beginners).
  • Weaksauce Weakness: While most enemies can be killed by Logical Weakness means (man-eating plants are weak to weedkillers, werewolves can be killed by a Silver Bullet, stake to the heart kills vampires, etc.), then there are these:
    • Lagoon creatures are fatally allergic to salt. A single whiff and the creature shrivels before solidifying into a statue.
    • Gremlins can be killed by having torchlights pointed at their faces. A fraction of a second of being exposed to light can somehow make them melt into a green puddle of slime.
  • Werewolves Are Dogs: Werewolves have behaviors more akin to dogs, making dog-like barking noises while they attack, occasionally stopping to pant while pursuing the player, and their spawners being a kennel with a sign that says "Fido".
  • Wolfpack Boss:
    • "Savage Garden" have the Hunter fighting THREE Giant Man-eating plants.
    • Near the Count's final encounter, there's a room containing a giant version of a werewolf, ghost, Lagoon Creature, and Frankenstein, ALL at once.
  • Wrench Whack: Gremlins are armed with wrenches, which they use to whack the Hunter dead if he gets too close.