Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2021-05-12 14:00 (JST)
Translated by. Ari Clark
A Monster Hunter: Rise player has crafted 1000 copies of the Origami Axe I, a Switch Axe weapon that looks like a folded paper crane. The internet has been buzzing about him since he embarked on a quest in April to collect 1000 of these axes, in a reference to the Japanese tradition of folding a string of 1000 paper cranes. On May 11, he finally completed the challenge.
The Origami Axe I is a Switch Axe in the shape of a folded paper crane, printed with a pattern of falling cherry blossoms. It has one of the most strikingly elegant appearances of all the weapons in MH:R. The flavor text for it reads, “An ornate axe said to grant a wish if one can somehow collect a thousand of them.”
In Sword mode, you can see that its form looks even more like a paper crane than it does in Axe mode. Since it’s a transforming weapon, you can have twice the fun with it. It can be crafted with 8250z, one Kamura Ticket, one Aknosom Crest, two Volvidon Shells, and two Golden Mucks.
A Reddit post about the Origami Axe I attracted a lot of attention on the Monster Hunter subreddit. On April 17, Reddit user The_Walrus_Wrangler pointed out the game text that mentioned a wish coming true if a player could collect 1000 Origami Axes, and posted, “I know at least ONE of you is crazy enough to pull this off!” One comment in the thread drew the most attention by claiming that someone had already collected 153 of them. That someone was Twitter user ceph0rend.
By April 21, ceph0rend had collected 250 Origami Axes, and it had taken him at least 70 hours of gameplay to get that far. He estimated that it would take him another 220 hours to collect the remaining 750 axes. That isn’t an especially huge number, as far as playtime for a Monster Hunter game goes. However, spending 220 hours making the same weapon over and over would definitely take some serious determination.
Then, on May 11, ceph0rend finally completed the challenge, livestreaming the creation of the last axe on Twitch. This almost certainly made him the first player in the entire world to collect 1000 Origami Axes. It was a gameplay challenge like no other, hunting down a total of 317 Volvidons, 952 Aknosoms, and 491 Almudrons. Some on Reddit expressed worries about his inventory capacity, but that doesn’t seem to have been a problem. As shown in the Tweet below, he was fortunately able to store a thousand weapons in his item box with room to spare.
So, just how tough was this 1000 Paper Crane Challenge, in reality? We were able to get some answers to our questions from ceph0rend himself. First, we asked about the time it took. He apparently started collecting axes on April 8, so the challenge seems to have covered about one month. He also mentioned that “I did manage to finish a few shows on Netflix.” It seems like he did have some time to relax as well.
When we asked what inspired him to embark on this challenge, ceph0rend said, “When I found out the Origami Axes existed I thought it would be a fun challenge to gather 1000 of them. I did it mainly for pride, ‘Hey, I did this,’ but over time people were cheering me on and it helped me focus on my journey.” It seems like a lot of people ended up rooting for ceph0rend to complete his journey to 1000 paper cranes, thanks to the attention it attracted on Reddit and the coverage it got in the international media.
Although his determination and motivation were crucial, it was just as important for him to collect the materials efficiently. “So every morning I start off gathering the required materials, usually preparing 30 Aknosom Crests, 60 Volvidon Shells and 60 Golden Muck. Afterwards I spend my time doing the 1* quest to quickly reroll. After 30 village quests total, I get 5 Kamura tickets. I did this every day until I was done,” he explained to us.
Traditionally, folding 1000 paper cranes entitles the folder to expect some sort of blessing. In an interview with the gaming news website GamesRadar+, ceph0rend expressed hope that the Gu-Ku would make a reappearance. His wish doesn’t seem to have changed at all since then. He mentioned to us how he still misses Gu-ku from Monster Hunter: Frontier and how he really wishes for its return.
Gu-Ku are duck-like pets that appeared in Monster Hunter: Frontier. Unfortunately, since service has already been terminated for Monster Hunter: Frontier, you couldn’t meet a Gu-Ku now, even if you wanted to.
It might be difficult to incorporate the classic Gu-Ku in Monster Hunter: Rise. Still, there should be plenty of scope to incorporate Gu-Ku-related content, such as a skin for Cohoots. Perhaps someday the day will come when the legend of the Origami Axe I flavor text becomes a reality, and ceph0rend’s wish will come true.