Where Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate’s Localized Monster Names Come From

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Andrew Alfonso, the Localization Project Manager at Capcom who’s working on Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, recently posted a blog entry providing insight into the localized names for some of the monsters in the game. Check out the explanations below and read the full blog entry here.

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Arzuros (original: Aoashira)

The name Arzuros is a combination of two words: “azure” and Latin word “ursus“, which means bear. Oddly enough, this was actually one of the easier names to decide on. We did throw around a few other ideas that utilized the same combination of words, such as Azursus and Azuros, but in the end we felt that Arzuros was the best fit for the monster.


Lagombi (original: Urukususu)

Believe it or not, the localized name for “Urukususu” was one of the hardest names to decide. For the localized name we decided to base it off of the Greek word for hare, “lagos“. The “-mbi” part was to give the name a unique, cute sound overall, ala “Bambi”.


Volvidon (original: Rangurotora)

Volvidon was conceived by combining the word “revolve” and adding the dinosaur-like suffix “-idon“. We didn’t go with “-odon” because that suffix means “tooth”, and because it’d sound way too much like “Volvo”, and it’s not cool to beat up on a car. While “Volvidon” sounds vastly different from the monster’s Japanese name “Rangurotora”, we still feel that we captured the essence of the monster well.


Zinogre (original: Jinouga/Zinogre)

Since the beginning of the series, every localized name has had to receive the official seal of approval from the director of the game in which the monster first appears. That said, the final decision to go with “Zinogre”, which is the official English spelling of the Japanese name, was made in the same way by the director of Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, Yasunori Ichinose. The name had appeared on several pieces of merchandise – most notably t-shirts sold in Uniqlo – so he wanted to stick with that naming scheme for the localized version.


Stygian Zinogre (original: Zinogre Sub-species)

For the Zinogre subspecies, we initially proposed “Scarlet Zinogre“, but the Japanese development team wanted to emphasize a different side of this vicious beast. They had imagined the Zinogre subspecies as having the presence and attitude of a hellhound a la Cerberus when they came up with its initial design, so we went back to the drawing board and came up with Stygian. As to be expected of a word related to the river Styx, it sounds as dark and treacherous as the monster itself. Having battled it numerous times myself in the Japanese version, I have to say that Stygian definitely fits!


You can check the full blog entry out at the link posted above. It contains more details about some of the monsters you see here, most notably a short-lived alternate localized name for Zingore.

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Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.