• Vol. 1
  • Vol. 2
  • Vol. 3
  • Vol. 4
  • Hello! This is Shibata, reporting to you from the Monster Hunter Rise dev floor!
    For this special series, I will be interviewing the developers of the recently announced Monster Hunter Rise.
    I’m sure they have lots of stories to tell about all of the cool things they put into the game!

    Vol. 1

    Monster Hunter Series Producer
    Ryozo Tsujimoto
    To kick off this auspicious occasion, let’s start with Ryozo Tsujimoto, producer on the Monster Hunter series!
    - This should be an interesting interview! (He’s my boss after all)
    - Big Felyne by the way...
    Q1. Alright, let’s get right down to business! What are the main themes and characteristic of this game?
    A1. The theme is “a Monster Hunter that you can play anytime, anywhere, with anyone you want,” and we wanted to make a Monster Hunter that would feel good on a portable console as well.
    One of the main characteristics is the fun of traversal, be it by using the Wirebug to climb and fly all over the map, or by riding a Canyne to run across the fields at high speed.
    - It’s great that you can just pick up and play this game. You can just lie around on your sofa and decide to do a quest or two!
    Q2. I’m sure you must’ve spent a lot of time playing the game already. What would you say is the thing that impressed you the most?
    A2. How good it feels just to move around.
    You can really go to a lot of places on the map, and just climbing up cliffs feels like a fresh and fun new experience. You can climb on top of a mountain and then look down all the way below, where you can see monsters roaming around. Just figuring out how to climb a big cliff face in front of you can be a lot of fun!
    - And then you can actually go there!
    That’s right. If you can see it within the boundaries of the map, you can probably go there.
    Q3. Apparently, there’s a fair amount of people who think the Wirebug actions look complicated?
    A3. It’s a completely new feature, so it’ll take some time to get used to, but you don’t need to whisk around the map right from the start, and we made sure the game is fun enough without using the Wirebug.
    - Yeah, you can get by just fine with the classic play style.
    You can run around the field riding your Palamute without consuming stamina, and you can even climb vines like this, so you can reach some pretty high places with little effort. It feels really good! I hope everyone tries using their Canyne to get around as well.
    - The Wirebug can be used to attack monsters as well, so does that mean the player won’t be expected to fully comprehend that immediately either?
    That’s right. If you manage to incorporate your Wirebug into your combos, your repertoire of moves will expand significantly, but what that means is that you’ll just have even more choice on top of the already rich amount of strategy you normally have.
    - Each weapon type has its own attacks using the Wirebug (Silkbind Attacks), so we’d like players to experiment, and a good place to start would probably be the Wirefall, don’t you think?
    Indeed! The Wirefall can be a lifesaver when used effectively, so it comes highly recommended.
    Q4. At TGS recently, you gave the world its first look at live gameplay, and it was quite interesting to hear hunters talk during quests now!
    A4. Yeah, we received a lot of positive feedback on that. At TGS, the player characters only spoke Japanese, but you can also change this to English or Monster Hunter Language.
    You can even adjust the frequency of the voices, or turn them off altogether.
    Q5. Final question! When’s the next trailer coming?
    A5. I can’t go into too many details, but I want to release a new trailer before the end of the year.
    - I’m sure the fans can’t wait! Thanks for your time today!
    - e-Capcom merch!
    Final Comment from Shibata:
    Wirebugs and Canynes; there’s a lot of new features to be excited about, but it’s good to know that you won’t need to master them right away.
    I’m sure a lot of people will be happy to know that they can adjust the voice settings to their liking as well.
    There’s more news to look forward to, so stay tuned!
    Next time, I’ll be paying a visit to the Director!
    To be continued!
  • Hello everyone! Shibata here, reporting from the Monster Hunter Rise dev floor!
    For our second round of Monster Hunter Rise interviews, I’ll be talking to the Director, Yasunori Ichinose!
    I’ve been a fan of this series since I was still in school, so just getting to meet him was kind of a big deal for me! Enjoy!

    Vol. 2

    Monster Hunter Rise Director
    Yasunori Ichinose
    Q1. I’m sure you got a lot of fan feedback after Monster Hunter Rise was announced. Was there anything in particular that caught your attention?
    A1. I was happy to see the response to the Palamutes was extremely positive, not just in Japan, but overseas as well. A lot of people asked to what extent you can customize your trusty Canyne.
    We already revealed this information, but in case you missed it: you can change the shape of their ears and tail, and the color of their coat. We hope you create your own unique Palamute and treat it with as much affection as you would your Palicoes!
    I’ve been using my own customized Palamute for checking the game, and it’s grown on me a lot.
    - Mr. Ichinose shared his personal Palamute and Palico designs on Twitter the other day as well!
    - I’m playing with a yellow Palamute and a green Palico. I love hot dogs, so I colored them after my favorite condiments: mustard and pickle relish!
    We received a lot of reactions to the Buddies, but the monsters were very popular as well.
    We introduced 4 new monsters (and a few others): Magnamalo, Aknosom, Tetranadon, and Great Izuchi. We only showed their names and what they look like, but people came up with lots of speculation for each creature and it’s all been really interesting to read.
    I’ve seen a lot of fan art on social media as well, which makes all of us working on the game very happy. Thank you, everyone!
    This game has a very Japanese/Asian-flavored setting, so initially I was a bit worried what kind of response that would elicit, but people reacted very positively to this as well, so we’re all very satisfied.
    We want to create something new while maintaining the core Monster Hunter experience, so we hope you look forward to future information.
    Q2. You showed an exclusive first look at live gameplay at TGS. Was there anything you wanted to show off but couldn’t?
    A2. There’s still a lot of things we haven’t talked about yet, so we’ll keep bringing you new announcements as the release date draws closer. Of course there are still plenty of monsters, both new and familiar, that we haven’t shown yet. And there’s some new player-related systems apart from the Wirebug as well...
    In terms of stages, we’ve only shown the Shrine Ruins so far, but of course there are a few more.
    Some of them may even bring back some fond memories.
    - That’s some interesting news! I look forward to talking about the new player systems!
    - Now, I’d like to ask you a few things about some elements that have kept the fans busy over the past few weeks (from what I’ve seen).
    Q3. In Multiplayer, each hunter will be able to bring along 1 Buddy, for a total of 4 hunters and 4 Buddies. This means you’ll be able to take on monsters with a group of 8 characters at maximum, but will monsters actually attack all hunters and all Buddies?
    A3. Yes, everyone’s a target.
    Buddies will be attacked as well, but not quite as often as hunters.
    Q4. Does the difficulty of the quests get adjusted to the number of players in Multiplayer?
    A4. Yes, it does.
    We’ve looked at past titles for reference and tweaked the settings to fit this game the best.
    Q5. Can you explore the locales without objectives or a time limit?
    A5. Outside of the regular quests, we have some quests that allow you play without a time limit as well, so if you want to focus on exploration and gathering materials instead of hunting, you can do that to your heart’s content.
    - Thank you. I still have plenty of other questions, but I think we have to call it a day for now!
    - e-Capcom merch!
    Final Comment from Shibata:
    Mr. Ichinose mentioned the response we received to the Palamutes, but I remember being very excited when I first saw these cute doggos myself. I’m sure people will spend several hours just on the character editor alone, haha.
    I’ll be bringing you more updates in the future, so stay tuned!
    Next time, I’ll be talking to Kosuke Tanaka and Satoshi Hori from the sound team!
  • Hello everyone! Shibata here, reporting from the Monster Hunter Rise dev floor!
    For our third round of Monster Hunter Rise interviews, I’ll be talking to the sound team.
    Meet Kosuke Tanaka, the Sound Director, and Satoshi Hori, the Lead Composer!

    Vol. 3

    Monster Hunter Rise Sound Director
    Kosuke Tanaka
    Monster Hunter Rise Lead Composer
    Satoshi Hori
    Kosuke Tanaka
    Satoshi Hori
    Q1. First, would you mind introducing yourselves?
    A1. Tanaka: I’m Kosuke Tanaka, the Sound Director.
    I’m in charge of designing and overseeing the general sound concepts, as well as schedule management.
    I do some actual production work as well and, to give a few simple examples, I created the sound effects for the Wirebug and the Title Screen.
    A1. Hori: I’m Satoshi Hori, the Lead Composer.
    I’m in charge of supervising all BGM-related elements of Monster Hunter Rise, creating musical concepts for each monster (deciding the sense of scale of each piece, and which instruments to use, etc.), and directing the other composers.
    Q2. What kind of image and goals did you have for the sound in Monster Hunter Rise?
    A2. Tanaka: The general theme for the sound was “catchy and easy to understand.”
    If the sound design for Monster Hunter: World and Iceborne could be described as “Art with delicate layers,” then I’d say the sound design for Monster Hunter Rise is “to convey everything with one concentrated effect.” That’s what we were going for.
    Also, we wanted to treat past titles in the Monster Hunter series with respect, so although there are a lot of new sound effects in this game, we’re intentionally using some nostalgic sounds as well.
    Q3. We’ve already shown some live gameplay footage of the Shrine Ruins at TGS, and the environmental sound effects, like the songs of birds etc., change very realistically based on where the hunter is going, correct?
    A3. Tanaka: Yes, in order to make the new stages, like the Shrine Ruins, feel as realistic as possible, we went out and did field recordings in a variety of places. The songs of birds, the chirping of cicadas, ambient noise in caves, the bells of a temple, and lots and lots of other sounds. We’ve put a lot of “real sounds” into the game like that. As a result, we’ve managed to create a soundscape that feels like a living, breathing ecology, which adds to the realism, I think.
    - As you can see in the image below, we used actual nature sounds!
    Q4. The BGM in the trailers we’ve seen so far also uses a variety of instruments. How did you record all of this?
    A4. Hori: Oh yeah, we recorded a whole bunch of traditional Japanese instruments: shakuhachi, shamisen, shinobue, and koto of course, but also biwa, hichiriki, ryūteki, taiko, atarigane, Kagura suzu, and horagai. There’s even some very unusual instruments in there that you normally wouldn’t hear outside of special occasions.
    On top of these Japanese instruments, we also recorded live orchestral performances in order to convey the strength of the monsters and the scale of the world in a way that you would expect from a Monster Hunter game. The orchestral performances were carried out in Japan, LA, and London, depending on where the music was going to be used and which monster theme we were recording. For particularly fearsome monsters and music that required a large sense of scale, we mainly used Abbey Road in London.
    Apart from the huge collection of instruments, we also recorded several songs in a variety of genres.
    Q5. Yes, I noticed the singing in “Proof of a Hero: Rise Version”! Can you tell us a bit more about that?
    A5. Hori: We used a chorus of 24 people for “Proof of a Hero: Rise Version.”
    I think we’ve managed to create a quite unique version of this fan favorite by combining the usual orchestra with traditional Japanese instruments, and vocal music.
    For this game, we wanted “Proof of a Hero” to symbolize the people of Kamura Village fighting against the onslaught of the Rampage, encouraging themselves and the players through song, in order to protect their homes.
    There are parts in this piece where the themes of Kamura Village and the Rampage are both played simultaneously as well, so keep your ears open for that as well!
    Q5.5. You mentioned monster themes; have the monster themes been remade for Monster Hunter Rise?
    A5.5. Hori: We haven’t made any huge changes to the original music. We made sure to pay the proper amount of respect to the Monster Hunter series by preserving the quality of the original pieces, while also adding a catchy twist to them to better fit the themes of this game.
    Mr. Ichinose wanted to have vocals for every piece, so it’s not just the completely new monster themes that will have vocal performances in them, but the arrangements of existing themes as well.
    Q6. In Monster Hunter Rise, the hunter has actual lines of dialogue. How many voice options will there be in the game?
    A6. Tanaka: If you want to know the exact number, you’ll have to play the game, but there are enough choices for you to be indecisive over.
    As you said, the hunters don’t just grunt anymore, they have actual dialogue this time, and each voice type represents a certain “personality.” Our script writer had to come up with different settings and a whole bunch of lines for each voice type, but we think he did an outstanding job. It really speaks to the imagination: “A hunter with a voice like this probably lives their hunting life in such and such way,” you know? I really think players will enjoy mulling over which voice they’re going to pick.
    - And you can even pick between Japanese, English, or Monster Hunter language! I look forward to spending hours on the character creation screen!
    - Of course, if you only want grunts and efforts like in the past titles, there’s an option for that, and you can even adjust the frequency of spoken dialogue, so you can enjoy the VO in any way you want!
    Q6.5. Why did you make the decision to have the hunters talk this time?
    A6.5. Tanaka: We wanted to use the hunter’s voice as a communication tool between players.
    For most of the past entries in the series, players used to gather together with their portable consoles and just talk to each other in real life, and we wanted to recreate this sense of excitement for people living in an environment where it is not so easy to get a group of players together in a physical space. So we figured that maybe we could pull this off by borrowing the hunter’s voice.
    Using in-game player voices also removes the necessity for companion apps, which significantly lowers the hurdle for communication.
    Q7. Considering that players from all over the world will be able to play together online, is it possible for players to communicate with each other while maintaining their separate voice settings? (i.e. Will it be possible to communicate with players who have different settings from yourself?)
    A7. Tanaka: Each player will hear the voice language that they selected in the options.
    The dialogue spoken by other players will play back in the voice language you selected, so there should not be any trouble communicating. We hope everyone will use this VO to make friends with people from all over the world.
    - Not only will you be able to play with hunters across the globe, you’ll even be able to talk to each other in languages you understand!
    - You can also choose whether you want other players’ voices turned on or off!
    Final Comment from Shibata:
    Thank you, Mr. Tanaka and Mr. Hori! As you can see, we’re paying plenty of respect to the Monster Hunter series’ legacy, while also making sure Monster Hunter Rise is its own unique entry in the franchise, so we hope you look forward to experiencing the impactful soundscape for yourself. The fact that the hunters have dialogue has already got lots of people talking, so in that sense we’ve already managed to get players excited!
    Next time, I’ll be talking to Inouchi, the designer of the monster icons and other illustrations!
  • Hello everyone! Shibata here, reporting from the Monster Hunter Rise dev floor!
    For our fourth round of Monster Hunter Rise interviews, I’ll be talking to Inouchi, who created
    a lot of the illustrations used in the game, like the monster icons, etc.

    Vol. 4

    Monster Hunter Rise UI Visual Illustrator
    Q1. First, would you mind introducing yourself? What did you work on for Monster Hunter Rise?
    A1. I made the ink-like illustrations, and some decorations for Kamura Village.
    Q2. What kind of image and themes did you have in mind for the illustrations in Monster Hunter Rise?
    A2. The biggest themes were “ink” and “dyed fabric.”
    - Monster Icons
    The in-game lore is that Guild Master Hojo draws all of the monster sketches used on the quest notices, so I made them look a bit soft, with swift brush strokes. I can imagine he had to draw them in a hurry while they were charging at him.
    - Kamura Decorations
    I made these in the image of a dyed fabric style called “Katazome.”
    (A dyeing method where you use a small blade to cut a figure out of thick paper and then dye it.)
    I included some imagery of the village itself, the “castle town” style look, the steelworks, and of course ninjas... There’s a lot of strong motifs, even for this series, and I gave everything a heavy, sharp look.
    - Ink and dyed fabric; both are very important visual elements of the world we wanted to create in Monster Hunter Rise!
    Q3. Are there any points about the in-game illustrations that you were very particular about, or put extra care into? For instance, the Nintendo Switch can be played either in handheld mode or on a TV, so did you give any extra consideration to the fact that players will be playing this game on a variety of screen sizes?
    A3. When designing the UI, I made sure to keep legibility in mind in handheld mode. The chat stickers, for instance, are on the small side with a relatively large transparent area so that they don’t get in the way when you interact with monsters.
    At the same time, I wanted to have enough variation in the layout and keep everything tidy, so I paid special attention to the size and coloring of the characters as well.
    And when you look at the village map, this is actually the only instance where you can see the village in its entirety on one screen, so I focused on conveying the atmosphere more than anything else.
    - I heard that a lot of people plan to play this game in handheld mode, so it’s good to know that legibility has been kept in mind!
    Q4. What kind of software and equipment do you use?
    A4. I use Photoshop and a graphics tablet.
    Q5. A lot of fans have been posting illustrations of Monster Hunter Rise on social media, like Twitter and Instagram. Did you see anything you thought was particularly cool?
    A5. I can’t think of anything particular off the top of my head, but I do remember being deeply impressed with the response to our first trailer. Some fans had illustrations ready as soon as the next morning, and it was great to see how excited everyone was about the new Canyne companion, and how much they liked the characters. It reminded me of how excited I was myself when I got assigned to this team.
    As I was going around to look at people’s reactions, I also found out about accounts that tweet out monsters’ thoughts, and that was very lovely as well.
    Final Comment from Shibata:
    Thank you, Inouchi!
    The themes of ink and dyed fabric are of course prevalent in the game, but you can also clearly see them on the official website and in our social media posts!
    The website for the Monster Hunter Official Fanclub has an archive of these Monster Hunter Rise interviews, and the title logo used on that page was actually also created by Inouchi!
    Next time, I’ll be interviewing Mori, player action designer, to talk about the 14 weapon types!
New interviews will updated first via the MHA Facebook page!
Monster Hunter Asia