Also known as Kemono, Wild Hearts monsters are a vital part of the ecosystem in this Japanese folklore-inspired world. The people of Minato have lived in fear of them and the terrible destruction they are capable of causing. To protect their home, the villagers mastered the use of ancient technology to hunt the beasts down.
To take the Wild Hearts monsters down, you must master your weapons in this RPG game. You must also use the highly adaptable ancient technology to soar into the sky, blast them with cannon fire, or even as a wheel to chase down a fleeing Kemono. Some beasts will be more susceptible to certain Karakuri, so it’s worth studying them to work out what to take on your next hunt.
Wild Hearts monsters list
At the time of writing, we know of eight Kemono. These all appear in trailer footage for the game since the first announcement. Here are all of the Wild Hearts monsters:
- King Tusk
- Golden Tempest
- Smouldering ape creature
- Giant rock bear
A multi-eyed boar infected with plant-like growths, this relatively slow-moving monster aims to skewer you with its tusks, stomp with its trotters, and charge at you. It can also summon earthquakes when angry. Its appearance is very similar to the Nago no Kami from Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke, who curses Ashitaka during their encounter at the beginning of the film.
A cross between a squirrel and a rat, this chittering critter uses a pod on its tail to swat away enemies. It focuses on hit-and-run tactics, backing off at every given opportunity. Rats often feature in Japanese folklore, though this is perhaps more based on the Kyūso than any other yokai.
Another creature that has succumbed to the plants living on its body, the Sapscourge specialises in stunning would-be hunters with its attacks before charging at them. Though it looks like a raccoon, it doesn’t resemble the famous Tanuki.
An icy wolf creature, we see it use its jaws and agility to snatch up hunters. It lives in mountainous areas and uses the walls of caves to leap long distances. Japanese folklore and the Shinto religion call them ōkami and believe that wolves are messengers from the kami spirits, offering protection to crops from grazing animals such as deer.
The nearest inspiration for this Kemono in Japanese mythology comes from the Okuri-Inu. It follows people who walk along mountain paths at nighttime, eating them if they fall over but not attacking them if they just have a short rest. The name translates to ‘escorting dog’, so thanking them for escorting them safely across the mountains will cause the wolf to leave.
This fire bird swoops, pecks, and slashes with its talons to tear its prey apart. Though some may mistake it for the phoenix, a mythological bird of Greek origin, it’s more likely to be the Suzaku, the Japanese name for the Vermilion Bird.
This is one of the four symbols in Chinese constellations that resembles a pheasant and has a multicoloured plumage. Its name, Amaterasu, is the name of the sun goddess – the most important deity in the Shinto religion.
Golden Tempest, also known as Aragane, is a ferocious tiger-like Kemono that uses the power of storms to blow away its foes. It’s swift too, using somersaults to slam its scarf-like whiskers to cause heavy damage. Its closest yokai is the Nue, the lightning cat that those who played Nioh will be all too familiar with.
Smouldering ape creature
During the recent story trailer, we see this smouldering ape swaggering through the forest until an arrow hits it. Then, with a feral roar, it sprints towards the hunter, snatching him out of the air as he tries to flee. The name of this creature is currently a mystery. Still, it could take inspiration from the Sarugami, which is bigger, more vicious, and smarter than the average monkey, or it could borrow from Journey to the West in the form of the mythical figure Sun Wukong.
Giant rock bear
At the end of the Wild Hearts CG trailer, the puppet show telling the history of the Kemono is interrupted by an earthquake. Looking up, we see an enormous bear made of stone rising from beneath the earth. As it roars, we can just about make out that it has some houses on its back, implying that it’s been lying dormant for centuries.
It’s perhaps taking some cues from the Onikuma, which according to folklore, is just a regular bear that’s lived for many years, able to move large boulders with ease and kill small animals by simply pushing them.
And those are all of the Wild Hearts monsters, or Kemono, that we know of so far. We are looking forward to hunting these beasts down, as Wild Hearts has every potential to join the list of the best PC games of the year. You can check to see if your PC can run it by checking out the Wild Hearts system requirements guide. If you can’t wait to play Wild Hearts and have exhausted everything Monster Hunter Rise offers, there is a list of the best games like Monster Hunter, with some alternative games out right now that have similar mechanics.