Ranking the New Monsters in Monster Hunter Rise

by Daniel Pinheiro

Monster Hunter Rise: All 11 New Monsters Ranked

While Monster Hunter Rise mostly features boss monsters from previous entries in the series, its selection of new monsters is nothing to sneeze at. Rise’s new beasts were created with a single vision in mind, as all of them are based on Japanese folklore, with particular inspiration taken from supernatural phenomena known as yokai. This makes each new monster feel rich in cultural background and thematic cohesion, and the visual and conceptual designs they sport are incredibly imaginative as a result. Of course, the monsters are no slouch in terms of battle design either, with nearly all of them testing players’ combat abilities in engaging and surprising ways. While all of the new monsters are worthy inclusions in their own right, this list will rank them all to decide which of these designs truly stands above the rest.

11) Great Izuchi

Great Izuchi
Image courtesy of Capcom

The first big monster to be faced when going through Monster Hunter Rise’s Village Quests, the Great Izuchi is based on the kamaitachi, a weasel-esque yokai that uses its scythe-like tail to attack its victims and hunts in packs of three. The Great Izuchi, in kind, strikes at players with its own scythe-shaped tail, and it is almost always accompanied by two regular Izuchi that join their leader in synchronized attacks. It cleverly incorporates its folklore inspirations into its battle mechanics, and that alone makes it a worthy introduction to the game. That being said, the Great Izuchi is ranked at the bottom for a reason. It’s the quintessential tutorial boss, sporting a relatively small pool of attacks that are easy to see coming and lack the spectacle and bravado seen in the movesets of later monsters. In addition, despite its noteworthy inspirations, the Great Izuchi feels somewhat derivative, being a bird wyvern similar in appearance and concept to others seen throughout the series, namely the Great Jaggi, the Great Baggi, and the Great Wroggi. To add insult to injury, the Great Baggi and Great Wroggi also make appearances in Monster Hunter Rise, rendering the Great Izuchi even more redundant. It provides a good taste as to the kinds of fights players will find themselves in throughout the game, but it does not offer much more than that.

10) Wind Serpent Ibushi

Wind Serpent Ibushi
Image courtesy of Capcom

Based on the wind god Fujin, Ibushi boasts a striking visual design. His glowing blue sacs strewn about his elongated body make for a monster that is as beautiful as it is terrifying, which is only cemented by his bizarre tendency to float upside down. It’s a worthy design for being such a plot-critical monster, being one of the main culprits behind the calamitous Rampage event. He has a number of extravagant attacks, one of which must be uniquely countered by using a hunting installation to fire at the rocks floating around him. Ibushi also makes decent use of the Wirebug mechanic, as it can be used in tandem with his gusts of wind to set up evasions and attacks from above.

His fight is a spectacle to behold, but he suffers from a fairly significant problem in that he can only be encountered during Rampage Quests, tower defense-like diversions introduced in Monster Hunter Rise. Because of this, Ibushi does not ever get a chance to shine on his own, as the high-pressure nature of Rampage Quests means that players will probably be too focused on frantically defending the final gate to really appreciate Ibushi’s distinct mechanics and attack patterns. Ibushi would have really benefitted from a traditional monster hunting quest dedicated to him, as it’s easy to forget he’s even in the game at all when he is largely divorced from the core gameplay loop. Of course, Monster Hunter Rise is still in its early stages, and a future update could easily patch in a normal Ibushi hunt. Here’s hoping Capcom is planning exactly that.

9) Aknosom

Aknosom
Image courtesy of Capcom

The fire-breathing crane Aknosom is inspired by the kasa-obake, a formerly inanimate umbrella transformed into a yokai. The developers took note of how cranes resemble umbrellas when they stand on one leg, which inspired them to design a crane evocative of this well-known spirit. The result is a fun visual design that lends itself well to the graceful nature of Aknosom’s attack animations. The game notifies players to pay attention to its collar—when it opens, Aknosom will lunge forward and strike at the ground with its beak. It’s a small touch, but since this monster is fought early in the game, it encourages players to watch out for how monsters telegraph their attacks, and the visually striking nature of its collar cleverly trains players to internalize this important skill. Aside from these notable design choices, however, the fight is fairly standard fare. Its attacks are straightforward and well-telegraphed, with some of them, like the status-inflicting fireballs, being well-worn concepts covered by numerous other monsters. It’s still an engaging encounter, though, and it’s a remarkable step up from the Great Izuchi in terms of variety and challenge.

8) Somnacanth

Somnacanth
Image courtesy of Capcom

The aquatic creature Somnacanth evokes the image of a mermaid, but its origins are slightly more nuanced than that. This monster combines the beauty and elegance of Western mermaids with the devilish appearance of Japanese mermaids, which can be seen in how it dons an intimidating appearance while effortlessly gliding through the water and screeching in a song-like manner. The Somnacanth is absolutely mesmerizing in motion, taking inspiration from sea otters to show off some wonderfully unique swimming animations. In battle, its signature ability involves spewing a sleep-inducing mist, which itself is loosely based on Western mermaids’ ability to “lead people astray with their beauty.” The Somnacanth uses this ability just enough to force players to respect the attack without becoming too irritating, but the real highlight of the battle comes in the form of its shells. Every so often, the Somnacanth will crack open a shell to produce one of a few effects, namely a flashbang, a burn-inflicting explosion, and a healing mist. Each of these effects has its own tell, so savvy players can take advantage of the healing mist if they are observant enough. It’s a distinct, engaging mechanic that spices up an otherwise conventional fight, but even without this gimmick, it’s a consistently enjoyable battle that’s respectably balanced in terms of difficulty.

7) Tetranadon

Tetranadon
Image courtesy of Capcom

Yet another early-game monster, the hulking Tetranadon is inspired by the kappa, an amphibious yokai that, while known for many traits, is particularly noteworthy for its affinity for sumo wrestling. Not only does Tetranadon look the part, with its turtle-like beak and trademark “dish” on its head, but it also incorporates several sumo-wrestling moves into its mannerisms and attacks, such as slaps and the classic sumo stomp. It’s a fun concept that lends itself well to an interesting moveset, but this is not the only reason the Tetranadon stands out. Normally, it crawls around on all fours, but it will occasionally eat a big clump of dirt and swell its belly up to a massive size, completely switching up its moveset in the process.

In this mode, the monster’s moves become slower but much more dangerous, and players can knock it out of this state with repeated attacks. This gimmick makes for a more varied and complex battle than the previous ones on this list aside from Ibushi, and it helps keep players engaged as they continuously adjust to new situations. In addition, many of its attacks in isolation are quite creative; the aforementioned sumo stomp creates massive tremors in the ground that players need to watch out for, and it even has a grab that serves as a setup for a follow-up attack, which can be countered by utilizing the new Wirefall mechanic. The Tetranadon does unfortunately get somewhat overshadowed by monsters encountered later in Monster Hunter Rise, but it’s nonetheless a solidly executed monster that fully realizes its concept.

6) Almudron

Almudron
Image courtesy of Capcom

The mud leviathan Almudron is first encountered in High-Rank Village Quests, and although its design was supposedly inspired by the Dorotabo, a mud spirit that emerges from rice fields, it feels somewhat more evocative of the underground catfish Onamazu, as it shares the same “whiskers” on its face. Regardless of its exact inspirations, the Almudron can come across as simply another mud monster in a series that has already explored the idea at least twice. But there is much more going for this monster than just its theme. Its fight feels tailor-made for Monster Hunter Rise’s mechanics, what with the waves of mud that can be leapt over using the Wirebug or the mounds of mud that can be scaled with the Wirebug to get the drop on the beast.

In fact, aside from the final boss, Almudron arguably makes better use of Rise’s new gameplay features than any other monster in the game. It is great that Almudron tests players’ knowledge of the Wirebug in this fashion, and it helps that it has a number of creative attacks at its disposal, such as a vortex of mud and a giant ball of mud that it carries on its tail and slams players with. The fight can get somewhat irritating, however; the Alumdron’s large, windy stature can easily interfere with the camera, and its unpredictable movements mean that striking its head and tail weak points can be a bit of a headache. That being said, it’s a more than worthy inclusion in spite of its issues, and it really demonstrates the value that the Wirebug mechanics bring to the experience.

5) Thunder Serpent Narwa

Thunder Serpent Narwa
Image courtesy of Capcom

The final boss of the base game and the main culprit behind the Rampage aside from Ibushi, Thunder Serpent Narwa has a lot to live up to. She is inspired by the thunder god Raijin, and given that Fujin and Raijin are commonly associated with each other in Japanese folklore, it only makes sense that Ibushi and Narwa are intrinsically connected, from their desire to mate one another to their appearances. Narwa has similar physical traits to those of Ibushi aside from color scheme, so many of the positive aspects of Ibushi’s visual design apply to hers as well. Unlike Ibushi, however, Narwa is fought within a hunting mission rather than a Rampage Quest, which is already a major point in her favor.

What really sells Narwa’s fight is its feeling of finality; players face her in a unique area entirely dedicated to her battle, and it incorporates several mechanics seen elsewhere in the game. Narwa constantly raises rock platforms that players can reach with their Wirebug, and doing so is often essential for approaching her sac, which takes extra damage when hit. These rock platforms also often have hunting installations from the Rampage Quests perched on top, and even the Dragonator makes a reappearance, allowing players to make use of these tools one last time. It’s a perfect culmination of all the mechanics players have learned up to this point, and it helps that Narwa’s attacks involve complex combinations of rings, orbs, and lightning columns that can be countered in some way using these very same tools. That being said, since it’s such a scripted encounter, Narwa cannot quite capture the thrill of fighting a monster within a larger, more dynamic environment, which is a major part of what makes Monster Hunter unique. This is a more than acceptable price to pay considering her status as the final boss, however, and even though the story will continue with future updates, Narwa serves as a very worthy finale for right now.

4) Magnamalo

Magnamalo
Image courtesy of Capcom

As Monster Hunter Rise’s flagship monster, Magnamalo has all of the ingredients of a memorable and imposing design. Its appearance was made to resemble samurai armor, which is meant to evoke the armored samurai spirits commonly associated with Japanese folklore, and it creates a purple gas that resembles hitodama, floating balls of fire representing the souls of the dead. Combined with Magnamalo’s tiger-like appearance, these elements coalesce into an exceptionally intimidating presence, which is more than backed up by the battle design. Magnamalo’s attacks are fast, vicious, and, if players have not upgraded their armor, hit like a truck, and the beast rarely leaves itself open for long.

Its attack animations are nothing short of impressive to watch, involving lunging its tail at blindingly fast speeds and rocketing itself toward players. In addition, Magnamalo can inflict a unique hellfire status effect on players, which can actually be used against it. If players use their Wirebug, they will leave the hellfire behind as a sort of floating mine, which can be used to damage the beast or even stun it. Utilizing a boss’s attacks against it is an inherently satisfying concept, and this fight incorporates this idea to great effect. Besting Magnamalo with any kind of ease requires players to be intimately familiar with the combat mechanics, which contributes to a palpable degree of satisfaction once finished. Although Magnamalo is not the best of Monster Hunter Rise’s new designs, it is definitely worthy of its mascot status.

3) Bishaten

Bishaten
Image courtesy of Capcom

A bizarre bird-monkey hybrid, the Bishaten is inspired by the tengu, one of the most recognizable yokai in Japanese folklore, and its tail, in particular, resembles the fan that is commonly carried by this mythical creature. More interestingly, the Bishaten is also based on an old Japanese folktale known as “The Crab and the Monkey,” in which a monkey murders a crab by tossing unripe persimmon fruit at it. The Bishaten cleverly evokes this tale through its battle mechanics, as it will frequently toss fruits at players to inflict various status effects on them. In general, the developers have injected a great deal of personality into this fight; the Bishaten moves in erratic, unpredictable ways, often making use of its tail to glide across the ground like a top. In a fun twist on the part-breaking mechanic, if players attack its tail enough times, it will scatter around a variety of fruits that yield different benefits, such as Jumbofruit for healing and Poisonfruit for throwing at the beast. The fight has an almost playful energy to it, which helps distract from the fact that most players will likely be viciously murdering this territorial creature rather than capturing it. The Bishaten is among the most inspired designs seen in the game, and it once again succeeds in being challenging without risking too much frustration.

2) Rakna-Kadaki

Rakna-Kadaki
Image courtesy of Capcom

A monster solely encountered in High Rank Hub Quests, the enormous spider Rakna-Kadaki is heavily based off of the Jorogumo, a yokai taking the appearance of a spider woman than can utilize fire-breathing spiders to do its bidding. The Rakna-Kadaki smartly evokes this yokai with the webbing covering its legs, which resembles a bridal gown. This aesthetic touch even lines up with the word “Jorogumo’s” meaning when written in modern kanji, “entangling bride.” The Jorogumo’s fire-breathing spiders are clearly represented by the Rachnoids, the Rakna-Kadaki’s offspring that share a similar function and purpose. This monster really commits to its folklore inspirations, and it helps that its fight is among Monster Hunter Rise’s best.

The Rakna-Kadaki sports some of the most inventive animations and attacks in the whole game; the Rachnoids in particular are used to great effect, being deployed for synchronized attacks and even serving as a makeshift tether that the monster can use to zip around the area. Its strands of silk and flamethrower breath not only look impressive, especially when combined with its strange, elongated neck, but they are effectively utilized in ways that really challenge players’ dodging skills. The fight also benefits from incorporated multiple phases; players can remove the webbing on the Rakna-Kadaki’s legs to stun it, after which it forms an enormous sac made for crushing unsuspecting players that can also be destroyed. It’s an amazing creature to both watch and fight, and it really showcases the developers’ ingenuity when coming up with monster designs.

1) Goss Harag

Goss Harag
Image courtesy of Capcom

At first glance, the bear-esque Goss Harag seems like an odd choice for the number one spot. It was not necessarily intended to be Monster Hunter Rise’s most appealing or marketable monster, and its fight lacks the obvious spectacle seen in fights like Narwa’s. But its conceptual and battle designs are so inspired and well-executed that it manages to stand out even among worthy contenders like Rakna-Kadachi. The Goss Harag’s design is based on the Namahage, mythical demons than men typically dress up as during New Year’s rituals in Oga Peninsula. The costume consists of an oni mask, a straw cape, and a fake knife, and these men walk to people’s houses and scare children who may have behaved poorly. The Goss Harag’s most immediately apparent similarities to the Namahage are its oni mask-like face and dense fur resembling the straw cape. The most striking aspect of the Goss Harag is how it represents the Namahage’s knife—namely, it freezes its own hand using its ice breath and transforms this ice into a deadly blade. It’s an unorthodox yet ingenious way to represent a piece of Japanese culture, and the result is one of the most striking and imposing designs in the game.

The Goss Harag also excels in providing an engrossing, challenging fight. There are several possible states it can transition into; it starts off with its hands unfrozen, lunging at the player, with slow, deliberate strikes. After a while, it becomes enraged, which not only grants it access to a few new attacks, but also allows it to form the ice blades mentioned earlier, which introduces some deadly slashing maneuvers to contend with. In addition, it can form an ice glove that it can use in conjunction with the blade to perform unique combo attacks. The Goss Harag is easily at its most deadly when it gives itself two ice blades, as it gains access to a wide range of extended combos that can easily send unprepared players to the cart. And players have to contend with all of this as the Goss Harag can also attack from a distance with ice beams, shockwaves, ice shards, and even dislodged weapons. Needless to say, the Goss Harag has an immense number of options at its disposal, but it’s all kept manageable by its clear telegraphs and attack cooldowns. Whereas it can be difficult to find openings with aggressive monsters like Magnamalo, many of Goss Harag’s attacks end with clear openings for players to take advantage. It strikes a delicate balance between challenge and fairness, and not only does Goss Harag succeed in this regard, but it does so while boasting an incredibly multifaceted moveset that constantly keeps players guessing.

The Goss Harag also displays a degree of personality not seen in monsters like Rakna-Kadaki. Its movement and mannerisms are reminiscent of an unhinged killer, which can be most clearly seen when players get stunned. This triggers the beast to slowly lumber toward them with its ice blade dragging behind it, practically savoring their moment of helplessness before going in for the kill. It’s a wonderfully terrifying touch that makes the Goss Harag feel like more than just another boss to defeat, and it demonstrates the amount of love and care put into its design. Goss Harag is easily the best new monster in Monster Hunter Rise, and considering its competition, that is saying a lot.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Goomba Stomp
Where the cool kids hang.