From the Monster Hunter Festa '19-'20 held over the end of 2019 into 2020, we've picked up some of the best designs from the popular "Character Designs Exhibition" corner and introduce them in this edition of "Monster Hunter World: Iceborne": Gallery!
These original pieces from the designers and illustrators, are a must-see for any fan! Each entry includes special concept commentary by the designers themselves.
*Monster Hunter Festa '19-'20 was a special event held in Japan.
Keeping the concept of Velkhana in mind, we made the armor with fine details with ice and frost as motif.
The hip dagger and bug cage were both modified to match this aesthetic.
The long chain accessories on the headpiece were designed to appear like the long hair of an elven king. Classy hunting.
In contrast to the wild canine-like ninja motif of the lower rank set, the Ebony Odogaron Equipment was designed to look like a brutal demon who'd kill anything that crossed its path.
The edges of the blades it bears are serrated, so as to rend more than cut. It's a dangerous look.
It drapes its wearer in Elder Dragon power, and is designed to use its tentacles to battle... However, this utility can't be reproduced in game, so please imagine that's what's happening when you wear this!
Even though I am the one who came up with the idea…it was a grueling task to draft such a complex design from all angles.
As opposed to the white Lumu Armor which protects against cold, the Nightshade Equipment has an ominous eye adorning the front of the coat, to give it a corrupted magician sort of appeal. The hood is worn low over the eyes to enhance that appearance.
The jaw parts are meant to appear like a slightly withdrawn face mask. Perhaps the wearer has allergies?
Like the female equipment, this set was designed to impart a dwarven look.
Fluffy heavy clothes seemed like the most appropriately warm gear for anyone hunting in Iceborne's Hoarfrost Reach.
The concept is based on a sort of ice queen. The full concept came together quickly, but the details were... a little difficult.
It started as a long, elegant, tight-fitting skirt, but the width needed to be expanded for the sake of mobility, so this length was the one we settled upon.
We rolled the dice on giving her a transparent cloak. The result turned out to be quite beautiful and impactful!
The lower rank version of the armor has some risque exposure, giving it a sexy impression. For this design we contrasted that by giving a cape concealing the skin, allowing for brief glimpses beneath whenever it flutters while she moves.
On the day of the design check, I insisted that we include the demon's-horn-looking dog ears on the hat. That day left a deep impression on me.
We drew this one with the concept of a protagonist of a sci-fi movie in mind. The Elder Dragon materials still have a life and energy to them, despite being stripped from their owner, and that power still lingers in the equipment.
The hair-like appendages can be controlled by the hunter in their hunt. Well, at least that's how we wished this costume could work!
In order to depict a different kind of cuteness compared to the lower rank version, we gave the costume a snug cover to show off a snowy cloak silhouette and gave the boots a voluminous fit. Areas like the kneecaps are adorned with heart shapes.
The subspecies version covers the eyes to give it a more mysterious atmosphere, and the cloak is given eye patterns.
Because the Banbaro is a power-type monster, its equipment was modeled after a dwarf or viking kind of design.
While we were drafting the design, the long-legged effect we were going for, as well as the adjustments to the length of the hip holsters, caused the skirt to get shortened.
To be honest it must be pretty chilly for the colder territories.
Something flowery, feathery, and bejeweled was the order for this one.
While we were trying to make it look more feminine, I showed the equipment and the armor designer asked, "This frost on its nose, is it snot?", which made me laugh.
I drew it as a male monster, but I suppose Elder Dragons would transcend those kinds of definitions.
This design began as a Monster Hunter-esque Leviathan of sorts.
When you think of Leviathan usually it is something more sleek and stylish, but this is Monster Hunter! With a bit of this and a bit of that, it turned out how it looks above.
Marine life such as squids, octopuses, giant salamanders, moray eels, jellyfish, hammerhead sharks, and seahorses were used as motifs.
It was established as a sleep attribute monster from the start, so the design progressed with the concepts of "dreams" and "nightmares" in mind.
A cutesy-dreamy style and chocolate mint coloration were a couple of the numerous changes this monster underwent through its creation.
This one ended up as a monster you could battle after finishing the last boss of Monster Hunter: World, but from the start, we struggled with it as it was also a monster that was to appear normally in the field as well.
It has distinct mammalian features because a mammal seemed most suitable as the first creature you'd meet in the field.
The 3-D model designer also gave it a belly button. Please give it a look next time you play the game!
When we made this monster a deep blue to indicate its heat generating abilities, the coloring quickly became too bright, and we couldn't find a proper color compromise to maintain the meaning behind its appearance.
The 3-D model designer gave this some consideration and sometimes the blue coloration was mixed in resulting in pink highlights! It was very cute (>///<).
Its face isn't L*cker from Resid*nt Ev*l, we wanted it to be more of a Humanoid Monster B*m kind of thing.
It turned out to be a Showa-era meme of sorts, and that seemed to please Director Fujioka.
We really put in work on this one because we wanted to adopt an American-comics-antihero feel. During the whole process, one of the people on the project kept telling us, "It's a super-ultra-adaptation"...Why "super" AND "ultra", they're practically the same thing!!!
Our constant refrain during this process was that the wings were "just like giant leaf pies..." all the way up to the completion of the design. However the concept wasn't pie; it was "Silver Knight".
In doing our best to convey the concept to the 3-D model designer, we ended up describing the wings as "leaf pies."
Because they live in cold regions, we wanted to give them a warm appearance, and implementing the penguin's molting features and a down-coat-esque mane around the facial area made them look cozy and fluffy.
I would like to imagine that their slightly cute and dumb-looking face design is due to having ceased all brain function for conserving energy to survive their harsh habitat! Or, that's what I secretly thought about while designing.
For this one, we aimed for a compatible feel between a carefree comfortable atmosphere, like a Japanese macaque or an old man soaking in a hotsprings, and the charm of a Senegal bushbaby.
Though the modeler was agonizing over the essential meaning of what constitutes as "cute", they managed to come up with a downright precious 3D model design! We're pretty stoked about it!
The beautiful illumination of the endemic life at Hoarfrost Reach...
That's the image that gave us the idea of a clione-plus-flapjack-octopus crossbreed kind of jellyfish. Take a moment every now and then to look up the night sky with them! You might even catch a glimpse of the moon~
We went forward with the idea of "the blue bird of joy", and through much effort its euphoric feel came through!
In that same vein, the design of the front of its face is actually a four-leaf clover motif!
We're all pretty pleased that the Blue Diva icon also keeps that four-leaf-clover look intact.
It burrows its way underground, so that mohawk's gotta be a hassle...
When we gave its face the "I just lost my glasses" expression, Fujioka-san told us "I think it'll be too hard to render in 3D, just give it simple closed eyes," and we tearfully scrapped the idea!
We know it's doable, please give us the go-ahead next time!
We considered lots of design ideas for this Palico armor such as… ice princesses, or ice fairies, or ice sculptures!
After milling through tons of these kinds of ideas, we settled on going with the armor-and-helmet style.
Since the player version has a royal appeal to it, we decided that servicing that look with a mysterious, knightly feel would be the best design.
The design follows the Namielle's marine-life-like concept.
We aimed for a slightly deceptive cuteness, similar to camouflage that you can see in those cute big eyes!
We're so grateful that the in-game appearance came out so glistening and glossy.
The equipment from the normal Vaal Hazak was like an undead swordsman, so this became more of a leveled-up version, like a skeleton king.
This palico equipment employs an optical illusion to give it the skeletal, floating appearance. Its fluffy crown and cape are made of spores!
Despite being worn by Palicos, this design was made to resemble an evil watchdog.
We were blessed to be allowed to do this one, and as we designed it, we excitedly wondered, "How's this gonna look in the actual game?" with the jacked muscles in stark comparison to the cute features of the Palico.
Though it matches with the hunter's equipment, we managed time and again to slip in some silly twist, or some extra-cute tweak here and there.
While we were drafting the side profile for this starter equipment, before we knew it the model started to look more like a bird. The weird bag on its back is actually a duck!
She has a great silhouette, so we decided on a sleek fit for her design.
The initial clothing was modeled after an older sense of style, which caused it to appear a bit mismatched. This time, we with a more realistic girl-next-door type of design.
The tell the truth, many things troubled us with this design, but in the end, when we took into account his stark contrast to all the other NPCs in artic wear,
it made his character stand out, with his self-styled bared shoulders showing how little the freezing cold concerned him. Must be why he's never too far from any fireplace, either, huh?
Her coat was specifically styled to give her the appearance of an academic NPC. While at first we simply had her wearing it,
it's much more showy and has more character than previous attire, so we opened the front and had her wear it draped over her shoulders, giving her that "I've got this under control" attitude.
But as a result, she's probably quite cold in this climate...sorry.
At first she was much younger, and wore a red cap, but Art Director Fujioka's simple suggestion of "She'd be great as a granny" gave us the NPC we have now, the fluffy-tailed, longhaired cooking master.
Her design motif is a matryoshka. Her cape, as well as her helpers', are all knitted by paw!