Shark Week special: how real sharks inspired the design of the Zamtrios!

Aug 15, 2014 // Yuri Araujo

#SharkWeek is coming to a close so by now you should know all about real life sharks; let’s put that knowledge to the test and take a quick look at how these apex predators inspired the creation of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate’s brand new shark monster: the Zamtrios!

We’ve received some TOP SECRET sketches and early design files from the development team in Japan for this special occasion; here they are side-by-side with pictures of some very real sharks that inspired the designs:

One of the key features of the Zamtrios is its ability to secrete a special liquid that coats its body with an icy armor when it becomes enraged. This was inspired by dermal denticles, or placoid scales, very hard and sharp scales present in actual sharks. In real life, these tiny scales reduce underwater drag, helping sharks move faster, but they are also hard enough to work as armor.


Zamtrios concept art (left) – Dermal denticles illustration (right)

Another source of inspiration for the Zamtrios was the second largest shark in the world: the Basking Shark. The final design kept some of this shark’s traits, but here’s a very early sketch that looks a lot closer to the existing fish:


Early Zamtrios concept art (left) – Basking shark (right)

Now moving on to a piece closer to the final monster design, here is a close-up on a Frilled Shark’s head. See the similarities? Also note frilled sharks are very common in the seas surrounding Japan, but you have to dive deep to find one of these.


Zamtrios concept art (left) – Frilled shark (right)

The more you know, am I right? You can hunt the Zamtrios early next year when Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate arrives on the Nintendo 3DS.

UPDATE: The Twitter giveaway has come to a close and a winner has been selected.

In the meantime, we have a Twitter giveaway for you; all you have to do is follow @MonsterHunter and ReTweet this tweet for a chance to win a miniature Plesioth, another monster inspired by real sharks!

Mini Plesioth figure; Twitter giveaway ends at 12pm PT (8pm GMT)