How the Monster Hunter community gaslit itself for over a decade
It all started with Monster Hunter Tri - Deviljho, the devourer of worlds; a monster who would gorge itself on meat traps, other monsters, and even his own tail. Except, that last part has never actually been the case, and the Monster Hunter community has been in disarray as what has long been common knowledge has been turned on its very head.
Monster Hunter as a series has had a long history with community superstitions. The “Desire Sensor” has jokingly been used to describe instances when players continued to only receive materials they don’t need from hunts; while “petting the Poogie” - the adorable pig mascot of the series - was theorized as a means of rigging the RNG in your favor. Yet these have always been acknowledged as fake, and were only ever playful means of massaging the pain of fighting the same monster over and over again in the effort of getting what you’d need to upgrade some equipment.
Deviljho, and his presumed taste for his own flesh, was different. As far back as the monster’s inclusion, it was assumed that he had the inclination to savor his own goods. In the lead-up to Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate, a video uploaded to Capcom’s official YouTube even perpetuated the misinformation that it would choose its own tail to chow down on for a snack. Between everything else that Deviljho would eat - including hunters and even other monsters - it wasn’t that much of a stretch to believe that its appetite might include its own flesh and blood.
Ever since the question was first posed to the community several weeks ago, the community has been under a panic as more and more players spoke out about their perceived experiences, and as others desperately continued to hunt Deviljho in every game it appeared in, trying any number of methods to get one to eat its own severed tail. One clip, which appeared at first glance to show one accomplishing the deed in the Japan-only Monster Hunter Portable 3rd seemed to confirm the phenomena at first - until further testing suggested that the video in question, which was running on the PPSSPP emulator, might have disguised a placed meat trap using an imperfect texture replacement; with a strand of pixels which popped out of the tail revealing the ruse.
Of course, like other instances of the Mandela Effect, many players continue to insist that their memories of seeing Deviljho eat its tail are true; and from their perspective, perhaps it appeared as so. Older Monster Hunters did not sync Small Monsters between players in Multiplayer, so perhaps a Deviljho attempting to eat a Small Monster corpse on another player’s end might have clipped into its tail, continuing the ruse. Perhaps those instances were the result of tricksters hiding meat traps within a tail intentionally, as appears to have been the case with the “proof” we’d linked above.
Regardless of what led to the rumor being perpetuated in the first place, with so many members of the community desperately trying to confirm what everyone had thought to be true - ff Deviljho was actually capable of targeting its own tail for consumption, we would have seen some definitive proof by now. The fact that there’s been no such documentation, from any of the games that the monster has appeared in, and from neither the Western or Japanese communities, can only mean that the Deviljho Effect has been real; and the community at large had fallen for a ruse for over a decade.
For a series that, especially in older games, leaned towards being deliberately obtuse - it’s perhaps not a great surprise that such a misunderstanding could have lingered for so long. For games as mechanically dense as Monster Hunter, it was always very easy to believe that such a system might exist. As sad as it might be to learn that such a defining characteristic of a fan-favorite monster was never actually true, it feels oddly quaint that such a rumor could have existed for so long before finally coming to light. Who knows what other misunderstandings are left out there for players to discover?