Capcom’s wildly successful Monster Hunter series has seen a resurgence of popularity thanks to the recent release of Monster Hunter Rise. The Switch exclusive game shipped over four million units in its first weekend and is possibly on track to dethrone World as Capcom’s best-selling game of all time. It’s quite the accomplishment both in terms of sales and its technical achievement on Nintendo’s moderately powered device.
I’m not here to talk about Rise, though. I’m certainly digging through the game and will have additional thoughts on it, but I want to wind back to the last main entry in the series and talk about a monster that is severely underappreciated: The Great Jagras. The first monster players face off against in Monster Hunter World, Jagras became something of a punchline to jokes about being weak within the community. He’s such a push-over that a strong wind could practically defeat him. His underlings are stronger (and even make an appearance in Rise).
That’s an unfair assessment of his abilities, however. In my mind, The Great Jagras is gaming’s greatest underdog. He reminds me of Glass Joe from Punch-Out!!, just without the cowardice. When agitated enough, The Great Jagras will start to take out his aggression on monsters stronger than him. He even charges headfirst into certain death against hunters that are massively over-equipped to deal with him. He’s a fearless leader that will defend his clan with his life…numerous times.
But that could describe any monster from the series. Most will counter you when provoked and pack leaders are always looking out for their smaller comrades. What makes The Great Jagras’ story so incredible is the event quest called “The Greatest Jagras.” After months of jokes about his ineptitude, the devs at Capcom created a quest that flipped the script. Now, The Great Jagras was massive and could one-shot most players. Hell, there’s a Deviljho in the quest that gets tackled and runs away in fear. This dude is no joke.
It’s an amazing turn of events for a monster that many forgot existed because of how simple he was. Things sort of returned to normal when Iceborne introduced the Master Rank variant of The Great Jagras and he was a total joke, but that just endears him to me even more. This guy will not give up in the face of adversity. He’s an inspiration to do better in life and never accept defeat…even when you’re dead and being carved for armor pieces.
Why did I take the time to talk about The Great Jagras? Interestingly, the lower level Jagras are featured in Monster Hunter Rise, but without their fearless leader. A few monsters first introduced in World also make a return and are typically stronger than their previous incarnations. One such is Jyuratodus, who is comparable to The Great Jagras in terms of strength. He was a complete breeze in World, but will likely take you around half an hour to defeat the first time you encounter him in Rise.
To me, these observations are Capcom preparing us for a content update that reintroduces The Great Jagras in Rise. If both The Great Baggi and Great Izuchi have their underlings following them around, why is The Great Jagras nowhere to be found? Is he off training to become the badass we know he can be? Will he feature in the conclusion to Rise’s story that is set to release in the next few weeks? Only time will tell, but bringing him back into the fray would complete his underdog story.
Much like how Rocky Balboa lost his fight against Apollo Creed in the first film only to come out victorious in the sequel, I have a feeling The Great Jagras will be charging into Rise as an apex champion. His day will come, mark my words. When it does, you’ll understand why I view that majestic beast as gaming’s greatest underdog.
Next: Monster Hunter Rise Review: Hunters Rise Up
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Peter is an aspiring writer with a passion for gaming and fitness. If you can’t find him in front of a game, you’ll most likely find him pumping iron.
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