Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate WonderCon panel talks epic monsters and costume packs

The people behind Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate held a panel at WonderCon on Sunday morning, talking about some of the game's most epic monster encounters and some of the team's collaborations with Nintendo, Square Enix, and other Capcom franchises.

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After offering an overview of the year to date on Saturday, Capcom returned to WonderCon on Sunday for a panel dedicated to the 3DS hit, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. The panel, led by executive producers Kaname Fujioka and Ryozo Tsujimoto, offered up a look at some of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate's toughest behemoths, while also offering a look at some of the fun DLC collaborations that they've made with other Capcom franchises, as well as with other gaming publishers.

The panel kicked off with Fujioka talking about some of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate's more epic encounters and what set them apart from other battles. He talked about how players could work towards an encounter with the massive whale of the dunes known as Dah'ren Mohran. Players would face this monster while riding a Sand Skriff vehicle, giving the battle a distinct Moby Dick feel. The Sand Skiff would come equipped with its own weaponry, which would be the key to taking Dah'ren Mohran down.

Fujioka then moved on to Dalamadur, a monster so big that he has a special stage dedicated solely to his battle. The producer discussed what set the Speartip Crag apart from other settings. Namely, the stage was destructible and would come crashing down as the battle progressed. This is done to help player strategies evolve over the course of the fight, forcing the players to come up with new tactics while on the move.

Then the topic shifted to Gogmazios, the almighty Elder Dragon that can only be encountered upon hitting the highest G rank.

"Because Gogmazios is another one of these incredibly massive monsters, we wanted to design a special stage for him, as well," Fujioka said, via a translator. "It's called the Battle Quarters. As you can see, he has these incredibly powerful attacks. He's got this incredibly powerful fiery breath and he has tar hanging from his body. It'll fall to the ground and it'll trap players, so if you're not careful, you'll get trapped in the tar and you'll get hit by one of his massive attacks and take a lot of damage. And because he's a massive powerful monster, we wanted to create a stage where players could try other strategies against him and, again, that's what Battle Quarters is all about."

Fujioka then described the various pieces of the Battle Quarters stage. The area has two sets of ballistas, a track cannon that's placed upon rails, a dragonator spear, and a set of restraints. The track cannon will be the key to the Gogmazios battle, but the dragon won't make reaching it easy. Not only must the track cannon be manually activated, but Gogmazios will also actively chase after players, climbing on walls and reaching out with its claws. Players can cause the most damage by syncing together the track cannon and the demolisher that's along one side of the stage. Again, Gogmazios will not make reaching this area easy, which is why Fujioka recommends approaching this fight in online co-op and having a partner activate the restraints to keep the beast in place.

After discussing the epic monster encounters, Tsujimoto talked about some of the costume DLC packs and the dev team's collaborations with other gaming branches. This presentation started with a look at the outfits from Square Enix, which were designed by Final Fantasy/Kingdom Hearts director Tetsuya Nomura. First revealed back in October, Tsujimoto went into how this collaboration came about.

"For this one, Tsujimoto was out to dinner with one of the executives of Square Enix, a guy named [Shinji] Hashimoto-san," Matt Walker said, translating for Tsujimoto. "So they're at dinner talking and wondering, 'Hey, wouldn't it be cool if we could do some kind of collaboration?' So right then and there, Hashimoto called Nomura-san and said, 'Okay, design something for me.' Luckily, it turns out Nomura likes Monster Hunter, apparently plays the game, so he actually agreed to do it."

Gears then shifted to Nintendo's contribution to Monster Hunter, in the form of various outfits based on some of its first party properties. Costume pieces are based on Mario, Zelda, Metroid, and Animal Crossing, with Tsujimoto discussing the Sword & Shield item in Monster Hunter, in particular noting the resemblance to The Legend of Zelda's fabled Master Sword. Capcom also wanted to go out of its way to add each franchise's signature 8-bit sound effects, adding recognizable sounds like Samus' arm cannon, the super mushroom effect, and Mr. Resetti's burrowing effect.

"There's no doubt that we have a ton of respect for these incredible characters that Nintendo has made, so when we decided to come up with these outfits, we didn't want to just limit it to how these outfits look."

Finally, the panel showed off some of the in-house collaboration with sister Capcom franchises Mega Man, Devil May Cry, and Street Fighter, revealing a line of outfits for the feline characters. Similar to Nintendo, Capcom went the extra mile to add distinct effects from each of these series. Burrowing with the Mega Man outfit will add the signature 'death' sound effect, while battling with the Blanka or Chun-Li outfits will use Street Fighter II's signature grunts and defeat cries.

Not all of these costume pieces are available in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate just yet. Look for more DLC to become available in the coming months.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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