Last Saturday was the Monster Hunter Mayhem event at the Nintendo World Store in New York City. I had to wake up at the crack of dawn to be in the city by noon, but luckily that’s the same time a duo of hungry cats wake me up each morning. Thanks, you dumb cats.
I took the New Haven Metro North with Sarah, Shepard from Teamworkcast, and his wife. We hunted the whole way up thanks to new train cars equipped with wall outlets at each seat — my taxpayer dollars hard at work! Oh, and I even managed to snag two Deviljho gems:
After a bacon-filled brunch we arrived at the Nintendo World Store. It was packed. My first thought was that something else must have drawn a crowd this epic, surely not my humble Monster Hunter…
No time to worry about that! My brain went into swag acquisition mode. There was a table right on the way in handing out goodies, so we pushed our way up to it.
We were given a poster, a lanyard, and a scavenger hunt checklist:
Funny thing about the scavenger hunt: there were pictures of each monster hidden all over the store, and everyone was supposed to track them down to figure out each monster’s name. Well, I’d say about 80% of the folks I saw simply filled the names in from memory (as did I).
Upon handing in my scavenger hunt sheet, I was given a raffle ticket and told I could get another one by participating in an event on the second floor. The event entailed fighting the Lagombi in the arena, and the best times earned an additional ticket. Yeah, raffle tickets were definitely THE motivating force, even though I wasn’t entirely clear on what could be won. We made our way downstairs to check out the prizes after putting our names in for the arena challenge:
There were Cha-Cha masks, Kayamba masks, and 3DS covers all signed by Monster Hunter producer Ryozo Tsujimoto. Oh, and some t-shirts and blind box monster figures.
Raffles were every hour, so it was in our best interest to stick around. That meant killing time with some Monster Hunter! The first thing I did was check to see how many guild cards I’d acquired via Street Pass. Ho boy, I got a ton. My poor Felyne Courier became increasingly worn down throughout the day:
If you’re not familiar with the Guild Card Street Pass system in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, here’s how it works:
- When your 3DS Street Passes with another 3DS that…
- has Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate in it/downloaded on it, and…
- has Street Pass functionality turned on IN GAME…
- Each player will receive the other’s Guild Card, which will be placed in the Felyne Courier’s bag.
- By talking to the Felyne Courier you may examine the Guild Cards you’ve earned and choose to register any that you’d like.
If this sounds like something that would happen often, you must live in Japan… Up until now, I hadn’t had this happen once. But at this event…
The fact that my courier could barely “meowve” his bag says it all. I ended up with over 100 Guild Cards, which just so happens to be the maximum.
While I was standing around in line (can’t recall which — there were a few), some Capcom staff told us that we could download exclusive DLC early by connecting to a specific access point. There were 3 quests:
- Gathering of Songbirds: Hunt 2 Crimson Qurupecos, and 2 regular Qurupecos — both incredibly, comically small. This quest also earns a new mask set that both Cha-Cha and Kayamba can wear. High Rank only.
- Gigginox Buffet: Hunt at least 2 Gigginox. A total of 10 can show up, with a new one spawning after each kill/capture. This quest earns tickets which allow you to forge the Lion’s Bane Great Sword. High Rank only.
- Hard Hitting Lineup: Hunt a Diablos, an Uragaan, a Black Diablos, and a Steel Uragaan. Yeeeeessh, this quest is only available to G-Rankers, which is a status I have yet to attain, so I’m not sure what rewards this reaps.
Shortly after getting my DLC, it was time for another raffle. And I was feeling lucky… We went downstairs to listen to Capcom/Nintendo employees coarsely shout out numbers when… they called mine!
I won this blind box figure, which I decided to open when I got home several hours later — there was just too much excitement at the time. Anyway, I ended up pulling an Azure Rathalos — not too shabby!
At this point we’d actually been recognized by a few followers of the podcast/our Monster Hunter Beginner’s Guide. One of them thanked us repeatedly, explaining that the guide helped get his wife into the game and now they play together. This warmed the cockles, man. Warmed ‘em good.
Monster Hunter is a social game, but the social aspect is still taking shape here in the West. So many players only ever play with others online, separated by hundreds of miles and multiple time zones. Others will be forced to solo the entire game since their other gamer friends are only interested in fragging terrorists in one FPS after another. This creates passionate players all over the country who have few opportunities to get together and well, be passionate together. To hear that our guide is helping to change that in some small way is just awesome!
We even met a guy who had won a Stygian Zinogre Ichiban Kuji raffle bust:
There are only 100 of these in existence, so they’re SUPER rare. Thankfully no one shanked this lucky individual… at least I don’t think they did.
Things became really interesting when we met up with some Capcom staff. It was kinda like meeting the man behind the curtain… There was a lot of talking shop initially, explaining our process, discussing the series’ challenges in the west.
Yuri (AKA Dubindoh) from Capcom-Unity spent a lot of time chatting with us and we even went on a hunt together:
Yuri was a genuine dude, who genuinely enjoys Monster Hunter. He told us a story about how he and a few other Capcomers have been playing MH3U in the lunchroom nearly everyday. Rather than go out and eat, they just grab whatever’s fast and easy to maximize their hunting time. Others coming in and out of the break room became intrigued by their boisterous enjoyment and have since taken up arms with them. Cool, huh?
Yuri made a memorable analogy, comparing their enjoyment to a bright candle that attracted others. This is what Capcom wants to create more of in regards to Monster Hunter through events just like this one. Deep stuff…
After five hours walking around the Nintendo World Store, it was time to go. My feet ached as much as my Felyne Courier’s back. What better way to cap off any trip to Manhattan than with some ramen? This time we went to Totto Ramen, a small but bustling shop with the best miso ramen on the east coast — and amazing noodles to boot:
It was almost too much — a whole day of talking Monster Hunter with strangers who became instant friends — finally getting to meet the people at Capcom who made it all possible — and now a delicious bowl of ramen, some kimchi, and a cold beer to wash it all down. Monster Hunter Mayhem was a success — it was amazing — and knowing that it introduced some new hunters to a gaming culture I love so much made it even better.
PSA: If you weren’t able to attend Monster Hunter Mayhem, but still live in or near New York City, the Nintendo World Store will be holding Monster Hunter Meetups every Friday for the remainder of April. This event is run by Nintendo Store employees who just so happen to be big fans of the series. Definitely check it out if you can!