Japanese Culture: A Monster Hunter’s Life, Pt. 2

The First “Monster Hunt”

I’m only getting around to blogging about it now, but I continued my early “hunter” efforts by fulfilling a basic quest for the village elder and, thanks to my previous Monster Hunter experience, I chose to challenge the first of the game’s “monsters,” Dos Lampos (above), with nothing but a Bone Kukri and the clothing on my back (and the emergency supplies from the Jungle base camp). Note that the name for American purposes differs, but I’ll stick with the Japanese naming here.

A kukri, a.k.a. a Gurkha knife, is a forward curved knife that, because of this curve, has chopping characteristics. In Monster Hunter, this makes for a good early weapon.

Each major weapon type has, to start with, an “iron” line and a “bone” line that branch off into specialized areas as one improves these weapons at the village blacksmith forge. Something that will come into play later, but not really this time, is the hardness of a monster’s hide. This isn’t a factor with Dos Lampos, however.

The lampos are essentially Monster Hunter’s jungle version of velociraptors, made famous in the movie Jurassic Park (and its sequels to a lesser degree). In this game, anything with Dos in the name is a bigger, meaner version of the same monster, or a differently named version of some sort of more common monster at least. In this case, Dos Lampos is a big, mean raptor… but as monster bosses go, he is by far the weakest in the game.

Off To The Hunt

New monster bosses tend to require being found in their “home” areas before they begin what will become a normal pattern: they fight you until you flee, or die, or inflict enough damage to force them to leave, and then they either keep moving around on a circuit (like Dos Lampos), or they find a nest to sleep in (like many others).

In this case, I entered the cave sections of the Jungle island and encountered Dos Lampos for the first time. Not particularly fearing riff-raff surrounding him (largely due to prior experience), I entered into a battle of attrition with the monster, applying several hard-earned lessons:

  • Only fools attack a monster to the front (usually).
  • Beware leaping claw attacks.
  • Always circle around.
  • Always attack the hind quarters.
  • Even with sharpness breaking down, it is better to drive the opponent off than to stop swinging.

Yes, weapon sharpness is an issue here. As a weapon is used for attacking and carving, the sharpness is reduced. This reduces damage and raises the likelihood of a weapon bouncing off tough armor. In this case, though, it just meant less damage.

Finally, Dos Lampos finally left the area and I was able to heal, grind my bone kukri back to full sharpness, and await his return.

Trapping One’s Foe

In true Sun Tzu style, I prepared the battlefield for his return. Or rather, I set a trap that was a gift from the emergency supplies. This “stun trap,” combined with a throw-able tranquilizer (think of it like a ninja hand pellet, just emitting a small tranquilizing cloud), would serve to capture the monster alive. This can only be done with “bosses,” and stun traps don’t even work on all. Just most.

Fortunately, my earlier efforts had weakened Dos Lampos enough that he fell easily to the trap, and then fully succumbed to my tranquilizer. Victory!!

Due to the fact Dos Lampos was captured alive here, there was none of a usual staple of victory in this game, carving the defeated monster for items. Victory nonetheless won me not only money, but bonus items, including a rare Dos Lampos Crest, the red stuff at the top of the head, which is used in certain rarer items. I got lucky, that’s all.

One down. Many more to go.

J Sensei

About J Sensei

Blogger, writer, linguist, former Japanese> English translator, rusty in French, experienced in Japanese, fluent English native. Writing for Technorati.com and various blogs. Skype: jeremiah.bourque (messages always welcome). E-mail: [email protected]
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One Response to Japanese Culture: A Monster Hunter’s Life, Pt. 2

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