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Small details you missed in the Monster Hunter trailer

Switch axes up, little monster hunters! The first trailer for Resident Evil and Mortal Kombat director Paul W.S. Anderson's latest video game adaptation is here. Based on the mega-popular action role-playing franchise, Monster Hunter will zap viewers to a stunningly gorgeous and extremely dangerous world inhabited by beasts of every shape, size, and potential lethality.

Based on the trailer, the movie is taking a very Hollywood approach to the source material. We follow a military squad lead by Captain Artemis (Milla Jovovich) that finds itself transported to the monster-infested world thanks to a mysterious formation of stones. After they realize they are in over their heads, they must learn how to combat the ferocious predators of this world in order to survive long enough to find their way back to their own. Thankfully, they meet a monster hunter (Tony Jaa) who teaches them how to fight back.

While that plot isn't exactly brimming with originality (though there's some intriguing lore), the Monster Hunter games are all about the details — uniquely intimidating monster types, killer weapon varieties, and strategic uses of armor and other power-ups. In that regard, the trailer teases a movie adaptation that seems to understand what is important to the overall experience. There were lots of small details on display in the trailer, so many in fact that you may not have caught them all.

Here are the things you might have missed in the Monster Hunter trailer.

The Monster Hunter trailer features all types of creatures from throughout the franchise

As the name suggests, the monsters themselves are really the driving force behind the Monster Hunter games, and fans tuning into the trailer will likely be relieved to see that the movie's bestiary looks quite impressive already.

An important thing to note is that the movie appears be drawing from all over the Monster Hunter franchise for its cast of creatures. There's no surprise that the gargantuan, territorial Diablos get prominently featured, but so far we can also see herds of Apceros and the spider-like Nerscylla. The latter wasn't introduced until the fourth game in the series, which is an indication that the production reached deep to pull monsters from throughout the franchise.

One creature you may not have realized wasn't represented in the trailer is the lovable Palico. These feline helpers have become a fan-favorite element of the franchise. Thankfully, according to a Polygon interview with Anderson, it seems likely that they will be making an appearance in the movie. The director teased, "You couldn't make a Monster Hunter movie without having a Palico in it."

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, the trailer did give viewers a brief flash of another monster type whose inclusion should excite and terrify fans.

Did you catch the Gore Magala tease?

Toward the end of the trailer, right after the card that reads, "The bigger they are," there's a very short flash of a very large monster's head. Considering all the other behemoths the trailer previewed leading up to that, you'd be forgiven for not even noticing that this particular gigantic cranium isn't a Diablos or a Rathalos (we'll get to them in a minute), but a Gore Magala.

These creatures look like a dragon mixed with some kind of alien bug, and were introduced in Monster Hunter 4. Despite their reputation as effective predators, they are sightless and use spores deployed from their armor-plated bodies to sense nearby prey. They are also able to infect surrounding creatures with what's known as the "frenzy virus." It can cause human hunters to lose some of their natural abilities, and sends infected monsters into a rage of immense strength and aggression.

Though the trailer doesn't hint at any new monsters invented purely for the film adaptation, it does show us a unique variation on one of the series' most iconic creatures that's exclusive to the movie.

The Monster Hunter trailer includes a new version of a classic monster

One of the signature beasts in the Monster Hunter universe is the Rathalos. These dragon-like monsters have been in every game in the franchise, so it's no wonder that we see Captain Artemis and her team doing battle with one in the trailer. What you might not have realized, though, is that the Rathalos in the Monster Hunter movie is a bit chunkier than the ones you face in the game. That's because Anderson is introducing a new variety of the iconic creature developed specifically for the film called the greater Rathalos.

In his Polygon interview, Anderson explained, "It's a new and improved version that we joked we fed GMOs. So we make it bigger and better." The creature's increased size isn't just for vanity purposes. According to the director, the enhanced monster will also tie into the lore of the movie: "But it's a bigger version of the Rathalos ... and the reason for that is it's associated with this ancient civilization, which is a theme that runs through several of the games, and so there's a kind of secret associated with this greater Rathalos that people will discover when they see the movie."

I spy ... a switch axe?

The trailer doesn't just give us a preview of the monsters, but also the iconic weapon varieties that are used to hunt them.

The hunter played by Jaa is seen above wielding both a jagged greatsword and a massive bow. We also see Artemis don a pair of tonfas, weapons that cover the user's hands and forearms to allow for intense melee attacks. Artemis appears to have a penchant for having a weapon in each hand, as we also see her with a pair of dual-blades. While fighting with these we get a preview of her activating demonization mode with a flash of orange energy, which, in the games, offers dual-blade wielders increased speed and strength.

While Artemis is in demonization mode, there's also a potential glimpse of another fan-favorite weapon type: the switch axe. While one is not explicitly shown in the trailer, Anderson's interview with Polygon does imply that they are in the movie. While discussing what it was like to film with the over-the-top weapons, the director said, "They were not. Ron Perlman complained a lot. I mean, he picked up his axe and he twirled it but he said, 'Oh my god, Paul!' Then we lit it on fire."

Now, go back and watch the scene with Artemis and the dual-blades and keep your eyes on the background. You'll notice a character holding what looks like it could be a flaming axe.

Does the Monster Hunter trailer give away details about the ending?

As is the tradition for major blockbuster movies these days, the trailer for Monster Hunter appears to kind of spoil most of the movie. In two minutes, it takes viewers through the setup, escalating action, and what looks like some of the final climactic battles. In the midst of all that, you may have missed that the trailer potentially spoils details about the end of the movie.

The final scene shown in the trailer is of a military-style plane flying over what looks like the desert that Artemis' squad was traveling through before being zapped to the monster realm. A Rathalos then lands on the wing of the plane, causing it to crash, meaning that at least one monster has crossed over from their world into ours.

Furthermore, we get a brief glimpse of Artemis in the plane attached to an IV bag. This is, of course, pure speculation, but considering Artemis is being given medical treatment, this scene presumably takes place after she has found a way to get back to our world. It also opens the door for some questions: Does the fact that Artemis is alone mean her teammates didn't cross back with her? Are they all dead, or just stranded there (hello, possible sequel setup)? And is it just the Rathalos that follows her back, or are more monsters streaming into our world?

We'll have to wait until Monster Hunter releases on December 30, 2020 to find out.

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