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I am Monster Hunter, Hear Me Roar

Becky Cunningham

I'm not entirely sure what I expected when I went into Monster Hunter Tri's character creation and selected the little "female" symbol. I wasn't really thinking about my expectations at the time, but what I saw made me blink for a moment, then grin widely. Before me stood a tall, fit woman who didn't look like she would snap in half from a stiff breeze. Her waist connected logically to her hips instead of being sucked in as though she were wearing a corset or had been attacked by a Vogue Magazine Photoshop editor. Her breasts were the appropriate size for her build and had not been given a case of the Jiggletech. Her body was supported by nicely muscled thighs and calves rather than toddling on toothpicks.

When I entered the game, even more pleasant surprises confronted me. My character's stance exuded power and confidence. She strode around the village with pride instead of mincing around as though she were prancing through a field of daisies. Her animations weren't "girled up", either. She scarfed down steaks and bellowed with victory as a monster hunter should. She did not crouch or kneel in a gracefully ladylike fashion, but in an efficient and businesslike manner. When attacking monsters, she emitted grunts and yells that sounded like she was, well, attacking monsters rather than being frightened by a spider or having an orgasm. I found myself experiencing the kind of feeling I often hear about from my male counterparts yet rarely experience myself. I was feeling like saying, "Hell yeah, I'm a MONSTER HUNTER, baby!" It was a truly satisfying gaming moment.

Thus, I offer a tip of my hat to Capcom for contributing to the diversity of female character models in video gaming. I hope that more companies will follow their example and think of what kind of model fits best with the purpose and personality of their female characters, especially when designing a character who will be heavily involved in combat. Sure, different female players have different avatar preferences, but it's past time for at least some games to cater to those of us who want to look rough, tough, and ready to kick some monster butt.

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