Have you ever wondered how the Monster Hunter team brings their new designs from paper to the little screen? The A small collection of doodles in the Monster Hunter Generations Concept Art Book distributed at Monster Hunter Festa 16 offers a bit of insight to the process.
Let’s take a look at how Monster Hunter Generations four flagship monsters evolved from cute doodles to fierce game, starting with Dinovaldo.
First, there is Dinovaldo. The goal for his overall design was to be a blend between a tank and a gigantic sword. The sword motif is worked directly into Dinovaldo’s body (in Japanese he is literally called the Blade Wyvern). It was originally planned that, when discovered, Dinovaldo would hold his blade-like tail to the sky and bow low towards to player. The resulting shape of his silhouette would literally be that of a sword – his spikes on his back the mantle, and head the handle.
The tank motif was a bit more challenging to pump out – but in the end, they decided on projectiles that resemble explosive shells. Although he only has a few basic projectile attacks, there are sketches for several different kinds that never made it into the game. It’s also worthy to note that the metallic sound produced when he bites his tail is reminiscent of the destructive explosive power of tanks shells hitting steel.
Oh, and his blade wasn’t always on his tail – they also played with the idea of giving him a unicorn-like blade on his head.
Raizex, the game’s new Thunder Wyvern, had different design entirely. While the concept of him being a “generator” remained, how he creates and stores that energy, not to mention how it deploys it as a weapon, changed substantially before its final design. The signature crest on his head was originally an upward-facing blade it could fold down onto its nose to attack.
Further, Raizex’s tail was originally designed after a coil. The coil would generate electricity, especially as the monster became enraged. Two cable-like veins would run this electricity to the sword on Raizex’s head, at which point it could discharge it by smashing the ground, or by gathering energy in its throat an expelling it. It’s attacks were designed with Kushala Daora in mind.
Gamut – Monster Hunter Generations’ gigantic mammoth monster – followed through on most of its earlier designs. The primary goal was to make its nose its primary means of offense – and boy, does that show in the game. Though early on she was drawn with a nose that, when held up, had fronds that resembled a palm tree or fern, it was abandoned in favor of giving it fangs.
Gamut was originally a much harder creature. Literally. Much like Zamtrios, there are images of her covering her body in ice. This ice would have to be broken (in sections, no less!) to make her vulnerable again. Also of note, although her tusks wound up being blunt in the release, they were originally drawn as sharp. She could also deploy ice offensively by freezing her tusks to make sharp ice-sickles (heh).
In the game, she is a much “softer” monster – instead of ice, she covers her legs and tail in packed snow – and her tusks are more akin to bats than blades.
Tamamitsune – the Bubble Fox wyvern – is a fan favorite here in Japan. I mean, have you heard its battle theme? Early on, however, it was a lot more bubble-y than it was fox-y. The primary design for Tamamitsune was to have its torso covered in bubbles. While ultimately its tail wound up resembling a brush, its original design was that of a hand – and that had direct effects on what its original move-set was dreamed up at the time.
Tamamitsune could spit bubbles onto any part of its body, but the main threat was its tail. On top of throwing large “hard bubbles,” (think Lead Bubble from Mega Man 2) it would also spread the fingers of its tail to create several small bubble projectiles – not unlike a bubble blower. Although its cloak of bubbles was abandoned in the end, Tamamitsune uses its self-produced suds liberally during the game – whether it’s throwing them at the player to cause them to slip, or using it to slide across the map at high speed.
Also, as a cute little nod to its fox origins, when it ran low on stamina, it would go find food it had previously buried and dig it up to recover.