happy monday system

How I Discovered Monster Hunter

It’s been really busy here over the past few days, so I almost forgot to write a post. I can’t quite talk about what’s going on yet, unfortunately.

I’ve been playing the Monster Hunter X demo recently. The game came out over the weekend and my copy should be getting here by the end of the day, so I’m greatly looking forward to that. I figured I would share an anecdote about my first encounter with the Monster Hunter series.

It was the day after I arrived in Japan for the first time. I’d decided to stay the first night in Yokohama, and I had spotted the closest arcade so I could go play some music games. I woke up early that morning hoping to be there for the opening and get as many plays in as possible before going into Tokyo where I’d be staying the rest of the trip.

The arcade in question was AM PIA Isezakicho which unfortunately closed last May, but it’s one of those arcades that are tacked onto pachinko parlours. I was aware of that much, but what I wasn’t aware of was that the arcade section was walled off from the inside of the parlour. So I ended up standing at the door and fairly quickly a line started forming behind me.

Very quickly I realized something was wrong, but I wasn’t sure what. A woman started pouring everyone in line some tea to drink as we waited. Then the doors open and everyone starts welcoming us like it’s the iPhone launch day at the Apple Store.

That morning was the morning they were launching their Monster Hunter pachislot machines. I was first in line for a launch I had no interest in.

Very quickly I asked one of the attendants where beatmania was, and was unfortunately taken to the beatmania pachislot instead of the actual game. Asking for the arcade game specifically, they realized I was in the wrong place and guided me to the correct entrance.

I loved that arcade the first two years I went to Japan because it had most of the Bemani lineup right there and it wasn’t very busy on weekday afternoons, which meant I could just stay there all day and play whatever I want. While that was a selling point for me, it probably wasn’t very good for business when the weird foreigner wasn’t around to pump credits into their machines on weekdays. Another pachinko parlour owned by the same parent company was only a few blocks away, so last year they decided to merge both of their arcades into one.

I miss that arcade from time to time, and even though I can drop by the merged arcade when I’m in town, it’s just not the same.