Ye Olde Monster Hunter
Let’s travel back in time, to a land almost forgotten. A land known as… Two Thousand and Four! *Dramatic Music*
Why ’04 you ask? Well that was when the original Monster Hunter was released! And that my friend is the beginning of a long journey of Monster Hunting.
Game play based on skill
One of the great things about Monster Hunter is that the combat is based around skill. The combat itself isn’t particularly deep; each weapon only has a handful of attacks and combos. It’s more of the easy to learn hard to master kind of combat system.
Each monster has its own move set of hard hitting attacks; although there are some similarities. The good thing is that in almost all cases the monsters have very specific ways of telegraphing their attacks. Such as a specific sound they make or an animation used to tell you, “I’m about break you and devour your bones!“. That doesn’t mean you always have enough time to react, but if you’re observant you will know what’s coming. Meaning the game sets you up to be able to learn the ins and outs of each monster and to deal with them accordingly.
Similarly every weapon has its out unique move set, some are better than others but each can be used effectively by someone that understands how they work. However, not every weapon can block. So in order to protect yourself you have to be nimble. In order to get out of dangerous situations you perform a dodge roll. Now… If you’re good enough, that’s the key, you can pretty much dodge anything. It’s all based around timing; the roll makes you invulnerable during specific frames of the animation, meaning if you have the timing down you can defeat a monster without getting hit.
Which is sometimes necessary!
In Monster Hunter if you know what you’re doing (or are crazy) you can kill any monster without armor. When you boil it down, it’s all pattern recognition and timing.
Now if you’re familiar with the series you will know the most commonly given advice to any hunter asking how to beat a monster.
1. Dodge more.
2. Hit it ’til it dies.
3. Don’t be greedy.
All of these apply pretty much at all times.
If you are fighting a Rathalos and you’re using a great sword, you want to wait until the wyvern leaves itself open, probably after it descends from the sky, to hit its head as many times as you think you can, which is usually about 3 or 4 hits, before you dodge away so that it won’t be able to murder you. You then repeat this process until you can make the wyvern flinch causing it to recoil and allow you to land another set of hits, or you cause enough damage to hit a threshold where the wyvern falls to the ground and leaves itself wide open for a series of attacks.
But don’t get greedy!
Side note: The hit box on Plesioth’s Hip check is stupid, as demonstrated by this video
You get three shots during a quest, BUT for every death the reward is reduced by one third! So the stakes are high!
We require more minerals!
Monster Hunter is a game of skill, but it can also be a game of luck.
Many claim the game knows what you need and withholds it from you, the ever present desire sensor.
In order to get better gear, you have to kill harder monsters and carve the materials from them. As well as gather materials from the maps, such as herbs, ore, minerals, etc. Well the loot tables are random, so maybe you need five Rathalos plates to make the best set of gear in the game… good luck back in my they were like a 0.1% drop. I have 300+ hours in Ye Olde MH, and I never received a Rathalos Plate. Not. A. One.
Luckily now they’re easier to come by.
But that’s a bad example, a better example is this:
I need to make Kut Ku armor, I need five shells, ten scales, two webbing, fifteen iron ore, and three earth crystals.
I’ll probably have to kill at least three Kut ku, and mine every mining point on the map every time I fight it in order to get all the necessary materials. Then once I have all that I need, I can create a nice set of armor. That took me about an hour or two to make.
It’s really rewarding… Especially when you make the rare stuff.
My first hunt
I still remember my first hunting quest; it was to kill a group of Velociprey.
Velociprey are small and nimble, about four feet high. They hop around erratically making them hard to hit with a slow weapon. Naturally I pick a great sword because they’re massive two handed swords that are bigger than a human is tall. Making it unnecessarily hard to hit them…
After about ten minutes of struggling to kill the Velociprey, The final Velociprey leaps at me from behind, while at the same time I slashed backwards over my head to try and hit him behind me. My blade connected with it while it was in the air, severing the creature in half!
I was sitting there stunned! And then the quest ended, and I was blessed with a screenshot of the final hit. The blow that dealt lethal damage, thus ending the quest. It was my Character, Zeil, his blade in the air over his head cleaving a Velociprey in half as its blood rained down.
It was pretty epic…
It was at that moment that I realized I would really like Monster Hunter.
Now about that Wall?
Oh yes, the Wall
There have been many Walls over the course of the Monster Hunter series. Most notably being the Yian Kut ku.
The pink engine of deeeeaathhh
This guy is the first wyvern that you fight. And fighting a wyvern is unlike anything that you will have encountered up until that point. Not only is it significantly larger, it’s stronger, faster, it can fly from area to area, and it can breathe fire… yeah…
Either way it certainly kicked MY ass the first five times I tried to kill it.
The Yian Kut ku is basically Murai from Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox, it doesn’t care about you or your feelings and it’s going to teach you how to play the game by breaking you into tiny pieces. Over, and over, and over again until you learn…
And then you kill it… and you cut it into tiny pieces and then you wear it in the ultimate act of defiance. Not only did you kill it, but you also made it into a stylish suit of armor.