The Hammer and the Hood


I started playing Dragon Quest Builders recently, and there’s a place you visit early on that’s full of Hammerhoods, and even called Hammerhood Heights.

These are a type of monster originally introduced in DQ5, small impish creatures who, well, wear hoods and carry hammers.

They miss you pretty often, but when they do make a hit, it’s pretty powerful.

Trolls are much the same way with their maces. Comes of wielding really heavy weapons, I suppose.

In Builders, one Hammerhood you talk to says his people didn’t want to join the Dragonlord, but they pretty much had to. While they don’t like humans much, some of them will help you out. Since they weren’t around in DQ1, they couldn’t have been part of the Dragonlord’s original army, unless they were stationed somewhere you couldn’t get to. I suspect they have a presence in the game because hammers are used in building, as the loading symbol shows one of them. They’re interested in making things like cemeteries and gardens. One of them, Clobberina, teaches you how to make a hammer like theirs.

When Hammerhoods talk, they tend to stammer. I’m not really sure why, but perhaps the repetition is like that of hitting something with a hammer

A tougher variety are called Brownies, like the fairy beings in English and Scottish folklore. According to a description in DQ9, they often go camping with Bodkin Bowyers, another elf-type monster known to wear hoods, and pound in the tent pegs.

There’s one of them called McHammer who can join your monster team in DQ8, and DQ Tact has Emcee Hammerhood, obviously both jokes on the same guy, even if neither of them wear parachute pants. Or any pants, for that matter.

I have to suspect Hammerhoods are largely a variant on the oni of Japanese mythology, who are often said to carry magical hammers.

Another type of monster, the Night Clubber, actually has “oni” as part of its Japanese name, Onikonbo, which was originally translated “Ogrebasher” in English. I know oni is often translated as “ogre,” so maybe that’s a literal translation, in contrast to the later punny one. They’re large dragon-like demons with tiny wings that are presumably purely decorative.

Brownies are said to look up to Night Clubbers,and not just literally. The monsters in the series actually called ogres are large humanoids in strong man outfits armed with two spiked balls on a chain, with which they can frequently make critical hits.

Oddly, in DQ10 (the only mainstream DQ game I haven’t played, as it’s only been released in Japan), ogres are very fit red-skinned demons instead.

Maybe they become the other sort when they get older.

He has a point.

I thought I’d remembered a monster similar to Hammerhoods in Chrono Trigger. These are Ogans, hammer-wielding goblins found in the Denadoro Mountains. They’re good at defending unless you destroy their hammers, making them much weaker.

One particular Ogan, the Goldhammer, has the weapon that his name suggests.

These creatures don’t wear hoods, but they do have mohawks. Maybe the hoods have more to do with how household fairies in European folklore often wear hats. There are elves in Final Fantasy Mystic Quest called Brownies, Red Caps, and Mint Mints.

The Redcap is a legendary creature said to inhabit castles along the border of England and Scotland.

They’ll murder anyone who wanders into their homes and use the blood of their victims to dye their hats. If the redness wears off, they die, so they have to keep killing to survive. I hope the same isn’t true for Papa Smurf, but I suspect it is for Trump supporters. Must be why they’re so obsessed with the border. They’re said to carry iron pikes and wear iron boots. Apparently the Mint Mint was originally called a Knocker, a sort of tiny fairy that lives underground and helps out miners, the German equivalent being kobolds.

This entry was posted in British, Chrono Trigger, Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, German, Humor, Japanese, Magic, Monsters, Mythology, Scottish, Video Games and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s