Monster Hunter World: Iceborne has recently released it’s latest and final update for the record breaking title. Capcom had amazed players across the globe with it’s stunningly beautiful and incredibly engaging game which has surprised no one in going on to become the single best selling title that Capcom has ever produced. Now, sadly, it’s coming to a close with the Fatalis update. The sun is setting on what I can confidently claim as one of the greats of the last generation.
Anyone who has stuck with the game this long will know that with each major title update there comes yet another huge obstacle, usually with sharp teeth and breathing fire, that players will struggle to overcome. These encounters, each made tougher than the last, will test the mettle, skill and patience of any who dare to challenge it and only the most committed are likely to succeed. Fans of the series won’t be surprised to learn that the finale for this game is no different. If anything, it’s even more difficult.
Fatalis: Back in Black
Dubbed as ‘The Final Stand’ in the game’s developer diary, the finale for Monster Hunter reintroduces an old adversary from previous games in the form of Fatalis. A black dragon which, in the game’s story, destroyed an entire nation overnight and served as an online only event boss in the very first instalment of the now 15 year long series. Hunters are tasked with taking on the fearsome Black Dragon in the boss arena of Castle Schrade. A returning locale which has become synonymous with the encounter. It features cannons, ballistae and other assorted artillery for players to use to bring the beast down.
The final encounter with Fatalis is not the only thing that comes with the latest Monster Hunter update, however. This update hosts several new features, the first of which is my personal favourite addition. The completion of the layered armor system.
Keeping up Appearances
Armor keeps players alive and reduces incoming damage. Obviously. Monster Hunter doesn’t lack for choice either. But what’s the use of having it if you can’t look cool too. The best looking armor may not be the best option for keeping you alive and the temptation to wear something out of vanity can be tough to resist. If it means I need to take more damage in order to look good then someone out there better have life powder at the ready because that’s a sacrifice that must be made.
Thankfully, since the Iceborne expansion this dilemma has been solved, and the amount of layered armor, which serves as a glamour system in the game giving hunters the appearance of a different armor set, has been steadily expanded. This is a necessity for players who rely on mixing armor sets to maximise their skills.
In addition to making your character’s armor look cool, there have been a myriad of new additions to the smaller more personalised options that help you stand out. Guild Card backgrounds are the least of these, whilst they have also added more decorative pendants that players can attach to their favourite weapons. These come in the form of cool animated clockwork watches, floating spider bots and little flying pigs. These attach to your weapons like key chains and some have visual and audio effects as well.
Also included with the update is expanded housing decor. Monster skulls and statues as well as new paintings and more custom BGM tracks round off the final update. There are more ways to personalise player housing than ever. If that’s your thing, then the final update won’t disappoint.
No Skill, No Kill
Next up are the skills and abilities. New additions include the Clutch Claw Boost skill. This skill will make it easier for light weapon users to soften up parts of the monsters. New charms have also been added and new levels of existing charms are available. This makes fitting in those bigger skills much easier to do. The last addition to the skill set is from the Fatalis gear itself. Wearing enough pieces will grant players the Fatalis Legend bonus. This new skill comes in multiple tiers. Two pieces of gear will grant you the inheritance ability. This unlocks skill caps for previously limited abilities like ‘Agitator.’ Four pieces of Fatalis gear will unlock the Transcendence effect. This will grant extra health and the True Razor Sharp/Spare Shot skill, preventing weapon sharpness loss and ranged ammo expenditure. To get this gear, however, you need to slay Fatalis first.
The Briefest of Introductions
After ogling the new skills and armor sets, we now come to the main event. The story surrounding the encounter is really a nothing affair with a new character being introduced very late in the game. This seems pointless to me but I haven’t really paid much attention to the drama of the story. It’s all about the hunt. Players will be tasked with taking down the previous update’s boss Alatreon, the element shifting dragon, as a warm up for things to come. This gave players a tough time earlier this year, but don’t fret. This version of the fight is much weaker and only boasts around 1/5th of it’s regular health.
The story will progress once Alatreon is defeated and you will be introduced to a new character. Like everyone else in the Monster Hunter world he doesn’t have a name beyond his title, the ‘General.’ He will brief the player and his companions on the history of Fatalis. Once the briefing is done, you’ll board a ship and then it’s off to battle. After arriving at Castle Schrade, the player and his entourage will inspect the castle ruins looking for Fatalis. It doesn’t take long for the big fella to show up. Players are tasked with taking on the first phase of the fight solo. This will be the first hurdle for anyone who can’t keep their cool under pressure. Fatalis is significantly larger than previous monsters and it makes a big difference, especially when you consider that the arena you will face him in is smaller than previous bosses.
The Final Push
If you manage to get past the first phase then it’s truly on. You can fire an SOS flare and call in the cavalry. Even with a full team this fight is tough. He boasts perhaps the largest HP in the game and can one shot an unprepared hunter with ease. His fire breath attacks have a tendency to scorch the ground causing it to explode shortly afterwards. His main breath attack produces a massive cone of flames. It’s curtains for you if you get caught.
Teamwork is a must for players who want to survive. You’ll need to coordinate your attacks in order to create openings. The arena is home to a set of cannons and having a member of the team keeping these loaded is a good way to ramp up the damage. You can also use the Clutch Claw to crash him into walls for big damage. If you’re looking to break his head then this is essential. Using dragon pods can stagger Fatalis, creating openings for these attacks.
As the fight progresses, Fatalis will use it’s ultimate attack. A huge fire breath attack that will engulf the entire arena. The only way to dodge this is to run into the safe areas behind cover. The second and third of these attacks will require you to activate a door to shield your team and then run underneath the monster to avoid dying respectively. At this time you’ll have access to the Dragonator weapon. Hitting this is key if your planning on winning as it takes a massive chunk out of the Monster’s health pool. A little tip is to save any sleep ammo you might bring for this part of the fight. Sending Fatalis to sleep will double the damage from one of the Dragonator’s spikes.
A Fitting Finale?
Keep your cool and take advantage of the tools provided and you may well be successful. Slaying Fatalis will be the crowning achievement of your Monster Hunter career. I can tell you that my own team have had a difficult time of it. We’ve come close on a number of occasions but sadly fell short. It took a lot of practice before finally scoring the kill. The end game updates have been under a lot of criticism as of late. Players have expressed concern over the difficulty of games new bosses and feel that only the most dedicated of the player base is being catered to. Some may see this fight as excessive in it’s difficulty to be sure but for a game famed for it’s tough bosses it seems only fitting to end with a real challenge. Fatalis is tough. No doubt about it.
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