Gotta Hunt ’em All! Monster Hunter X Pokémon
After a long, unscheduled hiatus, The Omega Geek is back up and running! I’ve got a small backlog of ideas scribbled in my notebook, some fresh new ideas knocking around my skull, and I’m ready for action! And today we’ll be looking at a theme that WAS topical before my unplanned blogging break, but what the hey, I want to talk about it so I will!
The end of summer saw the much-anticipated release of a new entry to a huge gaming franchise which brings its players together in their ongoing quest to travel the world capturing a wide range of monsters and using them to improve one’s game until they are the very best, like no-one ever was. That’s right, the mighty Monster Hunter Generations was finally released in the West!
Terrible bait-and-switch jokes aside, the fact that Monster Hunter and Pokémon Go were both released within a similar time-frame did get me thinking about the iconic beasts of each franchise side-by-side. Monster Hunter Generations is called Monster Hunter X in Japan and features a large number of cross-overs from various Nintendo and Capcom franchises from Star Fox and Zelda to Strider and Okami. At first I thought it a shame that there were no Pokémon equipment sets available, until I realised that in a way, Pokémon are already present in the Monster Hunter world as there are a number of similarities between each game’s signature beasties. So I sat down with a notepad and a Pokédex app and came up with a few monsters and Pokémon that are so similar they could almost be cousins:
Malfestio = Noctowl
The first connection I noticed was between one of Generations’ new flagship monsters, the harlequin-like Malfestio, and the Gen 2 Flying-Type Noctowl. Both are very large, imposing owl creatures and as you can see even their official artworks are similar. Both are known for their surprising psychic capabilities; sharing the ability to lull their enemies to sleep with hypnosis as well as cause their respective games’ confusion status effects – quite a big coincidence (in fact Malfestio is the only monster capable of inflicting Confusion). Both being owls their in-game description make note of their nocturnal hunting prowess and 180° head rotation.
Zinogre = Manectric
I was very pleased to find a similarity between one of my favourite monsters and the latest Electric-type I discovered in Pokémon Y! (I am VERY behind in my Pokémon knowledge). These two look so much alike that one could be forgiven for thinking Manectric was some kind of chibi version of the hulking Fanged Wyvern. Aside from the similar colour scheme they are both clearly based on wolves and are surprisingly agile. As the Discharge Pokémon Manectric is known for constantly discharging electricity from its mane; in a similar manner Zinogre is best known for attracting Thunderbugs and charging itself up with their power.
Rajang = Primeape
Surprisingly, the Super Saiyan monster, bane of high-ranked hunters everywhere, bears similarities to a relatively mundane Pokémon! Both Rajang and Primeape are inspired by primates and are well-known for possessing a wild, explosive temper that can be triggered by the the slightest provocation. In both cases their rage greatly enhances their physical abilities and ferocity. It is also said that each creature becomes extremely tenacious in this state; Rajang is said to be “rarely sighted and seldom survived” while several Pokédex entries for Primeape describe its tendency to relentlessly chase anything that angers it and that beating it only makes it madder. Add to this fighting styles primarily composed of furious physical attacks and we find two creatures very much cut from the same cloth. Though there is likely no doubt which would dominate in a fight!
Admittedly, my experience in both Monster Hunter and Pokémon is relatively limited compared to most fans of each franchise, so there are likely some other similar creatures that I haven’t picked up on. Indeed, many other connections on my shortlist which seemed similar purely in physical appearance crumbled away upon actually researching them. If you have any other Monster/Mon connections that I missed feel free to share them in a comment!