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Ride on, my Monsties.
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Monster Hunter: Stories is a Spin-Off game of the popular Monster Hunter series developed by Capcom, made for the Nintendo 3DS and later ported to iOS and Android.

Unlike the main entries, Stories follows a story revolving about Riders; people who can ride and befriend the iconic monsters of the series in a turn-based Role-Playing Game format. Three childhood friends - Lute (the player character), Lilia, and Cheval - go out of Hakum Village and end up finding a monster egg that hatches into a Rathalos that quickly befriends Lute. Soon after, their village is attacked by a violent Nargacuga that ends up scarring the trio and destroying part of the village. One year later, Lute has come of age to become a full-fledged Rider. As they work hard to become a well-known Rider, they deal with the mysterious Black Blight; a strange phenomenon that drives monsters wild like it did with the Nargacuga from one year ago...

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It received an Animated Adaptation in Monster Hunter: Stories - Ride On. A sequel, Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin, was released for Nintendo Switch and Steam.

This game provides examples of:

  • A Boy and His X: Lute and Ratha. Can also apply to other monsters they befriend.
  • Admiring the Abomination: Similar to how Guildmarm adores Brachydios, Captain Simone has a strong obsession with Ruby Basarios, and cites it as the reason why she joined the Scriveners.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: The Riders of Hakum Village aren't exactly welcomed to other towns due to the fact other towns do not have Riders of their own but the usual Hunters, making Riders look very out of place, which is why Riders must follow the code and never interact with other people. This code ends up being broken fairly early in the game's story, with the protagonist getting permission to leave and earning the acceptance of many people, as well as discovering they are not the only Rider village in existence.
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  • Art-Shifted Sequel: This game uses Animesque Cel Shading as opposed to the semi-realistic art style seen in the mainline games.
  • Beam-O-War: A recurring element of battles is both monsters firing a beam of energy at each other (colored according to their element if applicable), while the player inputs button commands to enable their side to overpower the other and inflict extra damage independent of the usual turned-based combat.
  • The Corruption: The Black Blight can infect the land and drive monsters crazy and more violent than usual. It also causes plants to wither and waters to become fouled.
  • Delightful Dragon: This game lets you befriend and ride many of the franchise's most ferocious monsters, most of which resemble wyverns.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Not "desperately," but Lilia isn't interested on being a Rider herself and thus mulls about what to do. Very soon, she chooses to join Simone and the Scriveners in researching the Black Blight.
  • Dragon Rider: Instead of hunting monsters, Riders form bonds with them and ride them into battle, though they will kill wild ones if it's deemed necessary.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower:
    • Navirou's Thunder Form only takes effect if someone he deeply cares about is threatened with death, and is used in conjunction with Ratha's glowing white form to kill Makili Pietru.
    • Ratha takes on a glowing white form before finishing off Makili Pietru.
  • Exposition Fairy: Navirou is this besides making conversation with any other NPC with a name in the story.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • After the village incident, Cheval ended up thinking that all monsters are the same and must be killed.
    • Riders aren't seen on friendly terms with most Hunters, who sometimes even attack them.
  • First-Episode Spoiler: Nargacuga wrecking havoc on Hakum Village, but especially when it ends up killing Cheval's family within their home without ever knowing it invaded the village. There is also Ratha getting knocked out down the village's cliffs and falling to its presumed death.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Various monsters that must gather or grow aspects of their appearance will lack them upon their hatching scene. Nerscylla lack their skin shrouds upon hatching, hatchling brachydios don't have their symbiotic slime mold growing on them yet.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The gameplay mechanics of hatching monsters and using them as mounts mean this trope comes into play in two major ways.
    • Firstly, while all monsties have a baby model used for their hatching scene, this is only used for said scene. Immediately after this scene the monster will be large enough to ride (and still be level 1). Many monsters grow up fast, but there is every indication that in the actual story they don't grow that fast. Also, while they will gain strength and techniques, the monster will not change in appearance or size no matter how much it levels up.
    • The monsterpedia entries will sometimes contradict the gameplay elements. Black Diablos is noted to be a sexually mature female in heat, yet they are black right at hatching. Zamtrios hatches as a Zamtrios instead of as a Zamite. Gravios are stated to be mature Basarios, yet a Gravios egg will hatch as a Gravios and a Basarios will not become a Gravios no matter how much it levels up.
  • Guest Fighter: There are a handful of guest Monsties through DLC: the 3DS versions have Link's horse Epona from The Legend of Zelda, the Japanese versions have Kumashira, a reskin of Azuros based on the mascot Kumamon, and all versions have Kurenai Goukami from Puzzle & Dragons X.
  • Heroic Mime: Lute/Sophie, besides the voice grunts they use. Navirou mostly exists to be more talkative and give exposition in place of Lute/Sophie. Averted at the very end of the game, when Lute/Sophie get voiced lines comforting Ratha.
  • Identical Stranger: The Guildmaster looks exactly like Hakum's village elder, except for the gaudy clothing. He doesn't speak in rhymes, though. They aren't related, but do turn out to be old friends.
  • Kid Hero: In true Mon genre fashion, the Player Character is a pre-teen.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: There are two cases where you can avoid a knockout even if you otherwise lose all your HP; winning in a Head-to-Head, and riding your Monstie (the latter, in exchange, carries the drawback of being knocked off and losing the bonuses for riding).
  • LEGO Genetics: The Rite of Channeling transfers genes from one Monstie to another, granting them that Monstie's gene-locked move along with small stat boosts. This can produce startling results, such as having a Rathian use Thunder attacks, or having a Gravios use Ice attacks.
  • Lighter and Softer: Although the series has never been dark, Stories is noticeably lighter, being focused on teenage characters and having a cel-shaded art style.
  • Limit Break: After charging the Kinship meter and having the player character jump on to ride their Monstie, you can activate a powerful Kinship Attack.
  • Loophole Abuse: Although Riders are strictly forbidden from directly attacking each other in battle, a fact that is explained by Dan early-on, Great Sword users can manage it through some of their attacks due to them hitting all adjacent foes instead of just specific ones.
  • Magic Feather: Downplayed as they are still important conduits necessary for most Riders, but it's eventually revealed that Kinship Stones are not the source of nor required for the special powers Riders and Monsties can use, at least when the Rider is capable enough. Rather it is the power of the bond itself, as shown when after their Kinship Stone is broken the protagonist manages to use the full power of Ratha and their bond anyway.
  • Meaningful Name: Cheval, in a kind of roundabout way. His name means "horse" in French, but "cheval" is also the base of several words in English which are related to riding, such as chivalry and cavalry.
  • Metal Slime: Barrel Felynes spawn rarely, have enough defense that most attacks will do single-digit damage when they can be first encountered, and are likely to flee if not defeated within a turn or two. However, they drop a large amount of Experience Points and a handful of useful items if defeated.
  • Mons: Unlike the mainline games, this game focuses on hatching, training, and fighting alongside monsters.
  • Monster Compendium: This game has two Monsterpedias: one for wild monsters, and one for playable monsties. You get a reward whenever you defeat or hatch a species for the first time.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The overworld starts with a triumphant score before it slowly falls silent until you or a monster start a fight. When it comes to getting eggs, you must be absolutely careful not to linger for too long or else you'll be hunted.
  • Old Save Bonus: Having a Monster Hunter Generations save file gives you a Rustshard that can be used to craft a Glavenus Sword and Shield set, as well as a Hellblade Glavenus costume for Navirou. Starting the game using a save from the Stories demo gives Navirou a blue version of the Rider outfit.
  • Onesie Armor: The game only features complete sets of armor in one piece, in contrast to the mainline Monster Hunter games where you can mix and match armor pieces.
  • Pattern-Coded Eggs: Players collect new monsters by raiding nests for eggs to hatch, and the eggs are designed as a way for the player to identify the monster inside. Each monster grouping has a different pattern (for instance, Herbivore eggs are spotted with horizontal ovals, while aquatic Leviathans have a wave pattern), and and the coloring usually matches the monster itself.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Monsties are way smaller than their wild counterparts, but that doesn't affect their power in the slightest.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: All Monsties and the player have access to basic Power, Technical, and Speed attacks; and some special attacks have these traits too. If two fighters use attacks with these traits on each other, then a "Head-to-Head" starts and the type with advantage does more damage while the type with disadvantage does less (Power beats Technical beats Speed beats Power). If the player and their Monstie both use the same basic attack with advantage on a single target, then they'll pull off a Double Attack combo with even more damage and the target loses their turn entirely.
  • The Power of Friendship: The Kinship Stones run on this, with the Riders' bonds with their Monsties allowing them to charge up devastating abilities that wild monsters don't have access to.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: My little Rathalos cannot be this cute. Applies to many other newborn monsters too, albeit said cute models are only used for the hatching scenes.
  • Starter Mon: Rathalos generally ticks all the boxes — except that, for plot reasons, it's not actually playable right away. You're given a Velocidrome to start out with instead.
  • Toilet Humor: Turns out the Steamy Hot Spring Dumplings are made out of monster crap.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Cheval was one until Nargacuga killed his whole family. Ever since, he has been very reclusive and even disgusted at the idea of making bonds with monsters.
  • Version-Exclusive Content: The Legend of Zelda DLC is exclusive to the 3DS version and has not been ported to the mobile releases.

The Ride On anime provides examples of:

  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: Whilst the English dub settles for using the original opening themes, the episodes on the Arait Play English YouTube channel instead uses a unique theme song. An instrumental of it is used for the closing credits.
  • Butt-Monkey: Navirou is never taken seriously, with various characters making snide and insulting comments on his appearance, gluttony, uselessness, and ego, and a Running Gag involves him getting set on fire by Ratha.
  • Canon Foreigner: The anime introduces many new characters that were not present in the game outside of the 1.3 update that was exclusive to Japanese versions, with notable examples including Nariki, Hyoro, Mille, Genie, Stone, Anvis, and the Black Riders.
  • Damsel in Distress: Avinia is kidnapped by Lord Anvis and his Black Riders due to her long-lost village of Kuang holding the secret to obtaining ultimate power in the form of the Rite of Overlapping.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Doctor Manelger undergoes this in the second season, losing his will to conduct research due to his past failures and becoming completely despondent outside of eating donuts and stacking cans. Navirou and the Numbers, despite their qualms with helping out their hated enemy, choose to help him rediscover his passion for research due to him having a clue as to where Avinia was taken, which could only be revealed upon him snapping out of his stupor.
  • Dub Name Change: Oddly inverted, at least at first. The first thirteen episodes of the English dub uses the Japanese monster names. Later releases redubbed lines in those episodes to use the English names, though the episodes released on the Arait Play English YouTube channel uses the original versions.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: Lilia's Energy Drinks are noted to be incredibly spicy, with their drinkers developing red faces and having smoke blowing out their noses, and both her friends and strangers alike are wary of them as a result.
  • Killed Off for Real: The last shot of Lord Anvis following Gale being freed from his possession and everyone celebrating the end of his reign of terror shows him feebly walking across the shores of Monsonne Plains, his physical body having been broken and battered by Gale's previous Heroic Sacrifice, before Shadow approaches him from behind and pulls out a knife while insulting him under her breath, indicating that she killed him offscreen as revenge for killing her sister through a botched Rite of Overlapping.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Unlike the other human antagonists, which have all displayed comedic and/or sympathetic traits, there is nothing redeemable about Lord Anvis, and when he appears, the series takes a noticeably more serious shift in tone.
  • Madness Mantra: Anvis when under the effects of the Rite of Overlapping repeatedly says "Disappear" as he attempts to kill off the heroes, and Gale falls under it as well when Anvis's consciousness possesses him following his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: As opposed to becoming a Knight Templar almost immediately following the aftermath of the village attack like in the game, Cheval, despite wanting to exact vengeance for what happened, has qualms about going through with the eradication of Blighted monsters and wonders if he truly is doing the right thing by killing them off. It's not until Vlau's necklace is destroyed that he fully commits to having Blighted monsters killed off.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Tigrex EX is revealed to have survived its battle with Lute, and upon being subdued by the Numbers and having its modifications removed by Doctor Manelger, it runs off into the wild, free from human influence at last.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Although the show is lighthearted overall, Lord Anvis is a rather cruel and vicious man, getting the Black Riders to rob Riders of their Kinship Stones on the threat of death if they fail him, being perfectly willing to harm and kill young children to get what he wants, coldly sacrificing one of his top subordinates to test an incomplete Rite of Overlapping, and laying siege on entire cities and threatening the lives of everyone in them upon the successful application of the complete Rite of Overlapping, which he accomplished by threatening to slit Avinia's throat if Gale didn't comply, forcing him to reveal the remaining lyrics to save her. He was also personally responsible for the deaths of Avinia and Gale's parents, murdering them in cold blood because their dad used an incomplete Rite on him after he held their mother at knifepoint, and this revelation fills the heroes with utter disgust. A throwaway line from one of his soldiers also implies that he kills them for the smallest of offenses, such as talking to him at the wrong time.
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