This here isn't Pokemon, is it?
Nope, definitely not a Pokemons
After all, does Pokemon have DINOSAURS?
...alright, fine, BUT DOES IT HAVE DINOSAURS THIS BEAUTIFUL
I SHOULD THINK NOT.
THIS IS MONSTER HUNTER, BABY.
Today we lay witness to an exercise in how far one can contrive something to be a nuzlocke, as I stretch the rules to apply them to one of my favorite games this year, Monster Hunter Stories, or as you could arguably call it, Monster Hunter Pokemon, a game about raising and befriending an eclectic collection of murderous monsters and turning them into your personal elite guard to beat down anything before you.
To those of you unfamiliar with Monster Hunter, it is at surface level extremely simple - you hunt monsters - it's just that there are a stupidly massive number of layers of complexity, weirdness, and complex weirdness beneath that. I'll get into some of that weirdness as we progress, but for the time being, what you need to know is that Stories is a spinoff of the main series of the real time action games, and is of surprising quality.
Now, let's get into the rules, shall we?
- [+] Spoiler
- !) If a monster is brought to zero hit points, it is considered dead and can no longer be used. (Note: Due to the battle system in the game, after reaching zero hitpoints, a life is deducted from the team's total and the monster is brought back to full hitpoints, and will continue fighting. When this occurs, I will immediately swap in another monster, and any action a dead monster takes in that turn after receiving the killing blow will be considered its dying act.)
2) Name all monsters.
3) Only a limited number of monsters may be obtained in each area.
- For large, open areas, 2 monsters may be obtained.
- For smaller areas, 1 or 2 monsters may be obtained, and each one will require a judgement call in that regard based on the size of the area.
- At a later point in the story, several areas will have a number of new monsters available, at which point 2 more monsters may be obtained. I will point out when this occurs.
4) When obtaining monsters, I must go into the first monster den I see in each area, and when inside, I must take only the first egg from the nest, unless it is a duplicate of a monster I already have, in which case I will take another egg.
5) After obtaining and naming all regular monsters in an area as described in rule 3, twice as many additional monsters may be obtained in a similar fashion (Ignoring the dupes clause), but these monsters cannot ever be used in combat, and are only to be used in the Rite of Channeling for gene inheritance.
- [+] Spoiler
- Part 1: The Joys of Parenthood (see below, ya doof)
Part 2: An Unwanted Guest
Part 3: Finally Out of the Village
Part 4: EGGS!
Part 5: What Do You Mean, Riders Have Rules?
Part 6: Time to Go Save My Friends I Guess
- [+] Spoiler
Some heavy stuff. Tall claim, ending all wars. I wonder if this is somehow prophetic?
Regardless, it's about time we got on to the main event.
We find our hero and a couple other chumps in a stupidly beautiful forest, complete with a crap load of god rays poking through the trees.
Obviously this one's the hero because she's the first face we see, right?
Don't be ridiculous, she has a name, and we haven't even gotten around to character creation, YOU FOOL.
Can't be this guy either, he's obviously the local coward. Every village has one, and surely cowards never turn out to be unlikely heroes.
Cheval you're never going to get anywhere in life if you're so indecisive. Have some backbone! Monster eggs are exciting! They have tiny monsters inside that probably can't instantly murder you!
It's at about this point that it becomes immediately clear that I don't really know how to screenshot properly
DAMMIT PAST ME, YOU'RE EMBARRASSING YOURSELF, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, CURRENT ME!
I think I scared Cheval with all that shouting and he fell over.
God damn, Cheval, I know you're playing to your character here but come on, man!
IT'S A BAD
DIDN'T YOUR MOTHER EVER TELL YOU NOT TO TOUCH WEIRD FLOWERS
IT HAS WEIRD PURPLENESS EMANATING FROM IT
Thankfully the power of peer pressure prevents Cheval from doing something that's probably stupid.
Lilia, not everyone can whistle that loud, maybe we can just yell-
Oh. Okay. Guess you're just going to leave me here.
Just like the cutscene did, completely forgetting that I exist.
I'm all alooooone, there's no one heeere, besiiiide me...
Actually, this comes to an interesting point. I now have control over my character, in spite of not having made said character. This isn't something I've seen a whole lot of in games, the first and most notable case I've seen being Dark Souls 2, which also drops you into a mysterious place with a nameless, hooded character.
Now all we need are some old ladies telling me how much I'm going to die and we'll be set.
Enough dilly-dallying, we have eggs to-
Damn this game is pretty.
It's pretty obvious the main path is this way-
Or I could run off and gather a bunch of random forest junk
Alright, fine, I'll go talk to Cheval
To be perfectly honest, you make it really easy.
Then you are of no further use to me. Smell ya later!
Oh, good, I was worried I'd have to stand about making a pathetic attempt at whistling if I found it.
Also, this is a very linear path, why is finding it such a big deal?
I don't think I'm going to get over how great this game looks
Gosh, I wonder if one of these eggs is special?
I have a couple questions. First of all, How on earth could we see those eggs from the bottom of the tree? Secondly, LILIA WHY DID WE CLIMB UP THE FAR SIDE OF THE NEST INSTEAD OF UP THE TRUNK OF THE TREE?
Yes, let's hang about the nest of a likely extremely dangerous monster, messing around with its unborn children.
Lilia, what are you doing with that rock-
Lilia, I am not going to help you bash open an egg with rocks!
Oh, that's what we're doing.
So says the girl imitating said sacred ritual with a bunch of rocks
Ah, finally asking my name so I have an excuse to make my character.
Alright, so we're starting from a pointy haired little twit-
Oh my Gargwa, SHE'S ADORABLE
Word of advice, when given choice between a pointy haired twit and concentrated adorable, always take the adorable.
I'm going to skip past character creation, but I want to highlight some of the eye options there are
Because these are kind of ridiculous. And it's worth pointing out that the last one is "cat-like" eyes, and the "Feline mouth" option.
Did I ever mention that Monster Hunter was weird?
I went with doofy pigtails for maximum adorable, and named her after the Staravia in my storylocke, Lyn.
Uh, let's return to the egg thing
It's almost like random rocks you found in a monster nest don't qualify as Kinship Stones. Does anybody hear roaring in the distance?
We? HE'S MINE!
He is my son and I will protect him forever. I will call him-
Did you just try to name my son for me?
We are no longer friends.
Awwwwwwwww, Mama's here, don't you worry. Let's go home.
- [+] Spoiler
I want to take a brief moment to talk about Rathalos, just for context. It's one of the oldest and most widely recognizable monsters in the entire series. It's iconic, it's awesome. Just look at it:Link because the image is massive
Alright, back to Stories
Uh, I think those windmill blades are Rathalos wings.
Just, don't look back there, okay?
Who's this Dan guy, and why should I pay attention to him if he has pointy-haired-twit hair?
Ooooooh Mom's pissed! Also, you should really talk to your son about not touching weird flowers in the forest.
He raises a good point. Not only are Rathalos (and the female counterpart, Rathians) really territorial and defensive of their young, they canonically can sense when something is messing with their eggs.
No, I'm serious. In the main series games, grabbing an egg from a Rath nest will immediately trigger any Rathian or Rathalos in the area to come kick your ass.
Listen, I've poked around the village off camera, and the only thing more impressive than a Velocidrome we have is an Yian Kut-ku. That's a bunch of oversized raptors and one low intellect, fire breathing... chicken wyvern. As impressive as the raptors might seem, we live in a world populated with dragons capable of wiping our home off the map in less than a minute. He isn't saying no to having a Rathalos around.
I mean look at this thing. It's not exactly world saving material.
Allright, lets go talk to the elder.
Well, that resolved itself rather quickly.
Aw, you guys are too kind. Do go on, though.
SHADDUP, DAN! THEY'RE COMPLIMENTING ME!
That's the alarm!
Right, we need to get my son to safety!
Crap, that's purple mist. Purple mist is never good.
GUYS IT KILLED A FLOWER, WE'RE DOOMED
...I know those eyes.
It's a cat wyvern, run!
Dan, I appreciate that you're trying to be relevant, but you're a biiiiit outclassed here, that raptor is going to be kibble in a few seconds
Oh, and it's angry too.
Cheval? What about the cameraman! Oh, god, there's blood everywhere!
It tried to pin Cheval down with the cameraman's corpse, but I got to him first!
Wait, is that-
Oh my goodness he's protecting us... LOOK AT HIM, HE'S SO BRAVE!
NO, SOMEBODY HELP HIM, HE'S TOO YOUNG! TOO PURE!
Dan, it's too late. He's gone.
It's all gone.