The Traveler

Dani goes on a pet ex­pe­di­tion in Mon­ster Hunter: World

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The day I dis­cov­ered that you could add pets to your room in Mon­ster Hunter:

World was a for­ma­tive one. It gave me a new pur­pose in life. No longer would I be a fear­some war­rior felling gi­ant beasts to turn into jack­ets (sorry, Steve); in­stead all I’ll be hunt­ing are smaller crea­tures to make friends.

Sure, fight­ing fancy T-rexes and im­pos­si­bly huge drag­ons has its charms, but when you see such at­ten­tion to de­tail in even the small­est of crea­tures it’s hard not to take no­tice. It’s the lit­tle touches that make a gam­ing world feel rich. A fierce An­janath wouldn’t feel as im­pos­ing if you didn’t see the more ‘nor­mal’ beasts like in­sects and birds in the same world to com­pare it to. They come in all sorts of va­ri­eties, from ants to an­gler­fish and even dung bee­tles.

Of course I’m a big lover of all things adorable, my first catch be­ing a fer­re­tra­b­bit thing called a Shep­herd Hare. Ap­par­ently they can alert you to dan­ger in the wilds as they’re very sen­si­tive to sounds, but they can’t es­cape my net or my hugs. So my new quest is be­friend all of the most adorable mon­sters and to do that I’m head­ing to the Coral High­lands, an area filled with gen­tle pas­tels and gi­ant fluffy bat beasts.

Small things

There’s no green­ery in the Coral High­lands; in­stead col­or­ful sea­weed­like plants and anemones sway in the breeze, rocks are cov­ered in bar­na­cles and gi­ant slabs of branch­ing corals. The air feels thicker some­how, full of par­ti­cles and nu­tri­ents for the smaller an­i­mals on the food chain to fil­ter out. Glow­ing spec­tral jel­ly­fish float clum­sily through the air, giv­ing me the mo­men­tary panic of think­ing I’m go­ing to drown, even though I’m not un­der­wa­ter.

Worm-like Wig­glers poke their heads out of the ground, sift­ing through the con­tents of the air and re­treat­ing quickly at the slight­est dis­tur­bance. Sneak­ing doesn’t prove very use­ful as they’ll duck out of sight be­fore you’re in catch­ing dis­tance, but whip­ping out a ghillie man­tle al­lows you to get close enough to launch your net.

In my hunt for some cute, fly­ing in­sect pals I spied a few Omen­flies cir­cling each other play­fully, but as I ap­proached they started to glow an omi­nous red and an­grily buzz around. At first I thought they might have spot­ted me sneak­ing up on them, but they usu­ally don’t re­act that way; it was only when I saw a rap­tor-like Tz­itzi-Ya-Ku emerge from that I re­al­ized they were re­act­ing to it. They were able to sense the dan­ger­ous preda­tor’s pres­ence long be­fore I could—a use­ful en­vi­ron­men­tal hint if you’re try­ing to stalk some­thing larger.

They’re not the only crea­ture ca­pa­ble of do­ing that: some­times you’ll spot flocks of birds cir­cling large, meaner mon­sters to feast on the scraps of their kills. My fa­vorites, though, are the rare Downy Crakes that ba­si­cally look like lit­tle puff­balls on stilts and can be found rid­ing on the backs of other mon­sters, much like you’d see birds peck­ing in­sects off the back of a rhino in real life.

Won­der­ful world

The sheer va­ri­ety of tiny fu­ture friends on of­fer is frankly a lit­tle over­whelm­ing, but as I skulk about it gives me a real ap­pre­ci­a­tion of just how well crafted

Mon­ster Hunter: World is. On the sur­face you’re smack­ing gi­ant lizards in the head, but with so much go­ing on in each area you can make the game what­ever you want it to be. What’s meant to be an ac­tion game is a stealth-based zoo col­lec­tion game for me—I get to be a wildlife ex­pert in a ghillie suit.

By tak­ing my time and fo­cus­ing on all things small I feel like I get to see a side of the world that not many think about as they bar­rel through on their way to finding big­ger game. There’s much on of­fer here, so I im­plore ev­ery­one to slow down and find some tiny friends of their own to get a deeper ap­pre­ci­a­tion of why this is such a great place to ex­ist in.

You can see more of Dani’s gam­ing trav­els on In­sta­gram: @daniel­lam­lu­cas.

“My fa­vorites are the Downy Crakes that look like lit­tle puff­balls on stilts”

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