Monster Hunter World: Endgame, I guess — Adventure Log
Believe it or not, I was not entirely sure I would come out of this liking Monster Hunter World as much as I still do. It’s definitely a good game — don’t get me wrong. But, if there’s anything I’ve learned with my time in video games journalism, it’s that games are no longer fun when you turn them into work. But, if anything, I have a newfound fondness for this game. I’ve dedicated myself to playing it every single day (minus a week of vacation), and I’ve learned to see each new hunt as yet another reason to enjoy my time playing — though, I’m still pretty terrible at it. A big part of why I began doing this Adventure Log was to try and discover something that I would enjoy writing rather than continue grinding away at nothing worthwhile. While I’m still working out the kinks here and there, Monster Hunter World has set me on the right path, and I honestly couldn’t be happier.
So, yeah. If you can’t tell, I’m done. Like, actually done this time. There’s no joke around the corner. I beat Monster Hunter World. I made it to the endgame, and it’s… Well, let’s just say Iceborne is even more exciting. But, we’ll get into that soon.
Last time we left off, I was just a few short moments away from battling the dreaded Nergigante. And, yeah. Preparing for this thing was a major waste of time. Nergigante is definitely a difficult battle, for sure. But, as it turns out, people grind it for materials on the regular. You can SOS Flare and end up with a full party before even finding the monster. So, as a result, I don’t really have any exciting stories here. I didn’t even get into grinding its materials afterwards. At this point, I have battled it a grand total of one time(s).
That said, the hunts that take place after it are easily the most exciting fights in Monster Hunter World (I know I say this in every update, but now I can actually mean it). These are the elder dragon battles. Now, I’m not just talking Zorah Magdaros, popping its back pimples and waiting out a clock. I mean, actual elder dragon hunts. They are among the most mechanically interesting, most difficult, and downright fun hunts in the game. I wish I had seen them earlier. My already glowing review of Monster Hunter World might have been visible from space had I wrote it with these hunts in mind.
You’ve got Vaal Hazak, an undead dragon that literally exudes pure poison as you fight it — and a name that sounds suspiciously like a collectible trading card game from an old CRPG (going for those deep references this time around). There’s Teostra, a giant fire lion that blows everything up just by looking at it. I also keep calling him Toaster, by accident — though, it’s a relevant nickname. And finally, there’s… Kushala Daora. I mean, between undead poison swamp dragon, and lion toaster, Daora’s kind of like… I mean, he’s a pretty cool, tornado dragon. But, he’s definitely the weakest of the three.
That said, he was the first one I fought. Essentially, Daora is constantly messing with wind pressure, forming miniature tornadoes throughout the battle. He also flies by launching himself with said miniature tornadoes. While a lot of the fights up to this point are cool, Daora is definitely the first time I’ve ever felt like Monster Hunter World was a true spectacle. It’s something you really have to see for yourself. The fight itself is pretty fun, too — though, bows are definitely not great against him. It was at this point I had just given up and started going down the coilbender tree, a.k.a., the “I don’t care. Just give me damage,” tree. But, because he flies around all the time, and spends most of the fight blowing you away, it’s pretty tough to get some good hits in on him with the bow. Fortunately, persevering results in his ultimate demise.
The next monster I challenged was Toaster — uhh, I mean Vaal Hazak. Toaster was kind of… Well, you know. If an enormous lion can blow you up just by looking at you (for once, that wasn’t an exaggeration on my part), he’s going to be tough. So, after a few failed attempts, I took on Vaal Hazak instead. This guy was actually pretty rad. He’s another dragon, but all of his flesh is practically melting off of his body. Plus, there’s that whole “poison swamp” thing I was talking about earlier. Much like Daora, the fight was pure spectacle, with him leaping around and swiping at you with his gangling, rotting claws, and leaving a literal trail of death behind him. The effluvium that he spouts from every pour of his body actually results in a brand new poisoning that halves your health if you breath in too much of it — unlike earlier effluvium that just sort of drained your health a little bit. So, unlike Daora, the bow actually really helps here, as you’ll be spending most of the fight trying to get away from his path of destruction. He can also spit it out at you, though it’s pretty easy to dodge. Regardless, yet another really cool fight — his materials are used to make some rad armor, too. Though, it’s somewhat difficult to get a hold of everything required.
Back to Toaster. Man, screw this guy. He is so cool, but I kind of hate him. Much like Daora, fighting him with a bow is really not what you’re supposed to do. It’s hard to get close enough to him for shots to be effective without him gouging out your innards (or just head butting you, which happened way more than I care to admit), and more often than not, arrows just kind of bounce off him with a truly colossal “0” damage. Oh, and to top it all off, he just occasionally blows himself up. Like, no joke. He actually blows himself up and takes out a decent chunk of the arena with him — which usually includes you if you’re trying to desperately deal some damage. To make matters worse, no one was hunting him while I was waging war against him, so folks rarely responded to my SOS Flares — assuming Toaster gave me enough time to fire one. Ultimately, I believe it was just me and one other truly wonderful dude who took him down with practically no room to spare. Of course, now that I’ve beaten him, all I see are Toaster SOS Flares. So, yay for that.
With the elder dragons out of the way, you must think that’s the end of the game? Well, you’d be wrong. There’s one more hunt — one more terrifying creature to take down: the Xeno’jiiva. This fight occurs after the admiral kind of forces you to follow him into some weird cave to collect some crystals (there’s a joke here somewhere), and then the Xeno just kind of appears. I’m paraphrasing, but this is actually a really cool way to end Monster Hunter World. The battle follows an enormous, newborn dragon forced to learn its powers and evolve as its immediately thrust into a terrifying battle against a bloodthirsty predator (you). It’s a pretty neat little parallel to your journey up until that point, resulting in one of the most interesting and introspective moments of the game. Unfortunately, that’s about all it has to offer. It’s not a particularly difficult fight; it’s attacks are telegraphed practically minutes ahead of time, and while they hit hard, he doesn’t really aim for you so much as desperately attack in all directions. So, you can probably take this one out on your own easily enough. Regardless, Monster Hunter World finally comes to an end after defeating the Xeno, and everyone decides they’d rather live at the New World than go back home. No, really. That’s how the game ends. I would have been on the first ship home after all of those dragons, man, not setting up shop on their corpses.
So, yeah. That’s Monster Hunter World. Guess all that’s left to do is wait for Iceborne, right? Well, maybe not. There are a few special quests, including some Final Fantasy content as well as an entire level based on The Witcher. So, I’ll definitely try to check those out at some point. I’d also like to work on my equipment. At this point, I’m decked out in a lot of Xeno’jiiva stuff, including it’s weirdly strong bow. But, there is a lot more equipment left to craft and discover, including rare loot obtained from a full-on raid found in Monster Hunter World’s endgame. That said, it’s worth mentioning that a huge portion of this endgame is entirely RNG-based. So, while I could show up to Iceborne decked out with all the latest gear, I could also just have the same piddly stuff I have now. At the moment, though, I’m just proud that I beat the game. I’m going to bask in that glory for a little while now — or at least until Iceborne comes to put me back in my place.
Note: As you might imagine, I’ll be taking a little break with Monster Hunter World for now. I’d definitely like to do an update on getting better gear, and maybe one on the special assignments you can unlock at the end of the game before Iceborne comes out. But, for now, I have other plans — this isn’t the end of regular updates on the Mjolnerd! I’ll be playing Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers — but with some extra flare this time around. It might take me a little time to get that “extra flare” set up, though, so don’t despair if there are no updates next week. Regardless, thanks for reading, and happy hunting!