Monster Hunter World is the latest in the tough as nails action RPG series that is known for its difficult game play. Each time you face down a new monster you must learn its patterns, how it attacks, moves and when it pauses. Inevitably, whether it takes you one try or multiple, you will fell the beast and emerge victorious. You are rewarded not only with the monsters materials and loot but more importantly, the satisfaction of defeating the monster.
Really that's what keeps the game so fun, overcoming difficult enemies no matter how long it takes and reaping the fruits of your labor. But there are no monsters more difficult and mysterious than the Elder Dragons. With the newest expansion, Iceborne, on its way, there's no better time than now to examine them more closely. Here are 10 Facts you never knew about Elder Dragons.
10 They Don't Fit In Any Particular Mold
Most of the monsters you encounter within Monster Hunter World will fall into a particular category, such as Rathalos who is a flying wyvern or Brachydios as a Brute Wyvern. But Elder Dragons don't follow that kind of ecology. Even as they are shoved into the classification of "Elder Dragon", there are no strong commonalities among them beyond that they don't belong anywhere else.
Take Nergigante for example. Hunter of Elder Dragons and overall menace, Negigante has earned its other name, Extinction Dragon, by its brazen and dangerous actions. It will use a massive amount of energy in order to successfully take down its chosen prey. And what is its chosen prey? Other Elder Dragons, which it goes after because of the massive amount of energy it gets from feeding on them.
9 Fighting Them May Require Alternative Methods
From the first beginnings of the Monster Hunter series there have been a large variety of monsters and it's clear that the developers wanted the players to have at least one monster that required different tactics. To this end, gigantic monsters were created and each of these giants has been an Elder Dragon. From Lao-Shan Lung to Ceadus to Gogmazios to Zorah Magdaros and so many more, these gargantuan beasts have tested the mettle of those who wished to hunt them.
The latest in the series, from World, is Zorah Magdaros, also known as the Scorching Mountain Dragon. Interestingly, and contrary to some previous giant Elder Dragons, Zorah Magdaros cannot be killed, only repelled. It is also uniquely immune to all forms of status ailments. To repel it, the use of specially placed ballistas and cannons is advised, as is jumping on it and wailing on its glowy bits.
8 Their Origins Are Often Unknown
Elder Dragons are beings that may or may not have been around for a long time. Some come from deep beneath the earth, others from who knows where. The point is that because of their mysterious nature, its often difficult to know just how old they are and where they've come from. Take Fatalis for instance, Fatalis is old, maybe the oldest of all the Elder Dragons and it is a being spoken of in myths and legends throughout time.
Another interesting example of this is the Dark Light Dragon, Xeno'jiiva. Serving as the final boss of the story, Xeno'jiiva is a newly hatched Elder Dragon that, if legends are to be believed, has been in its egg for a long time. It's also the driving force for so many other Elder Dragons movement to the new world. Finally, it is strongly hinted that Xeno'jiiva came from some other world by way of meteor.
7 They Can't Be Contained
Many the newbie hunter has gone on an Elder Dragon quest carrying their pitfall and shock traps, expecting to contain the beast. Sometimes they can be forgiven for thinking so because the Elder Dragon in question doesn't look like one (Kirin anyone?) but the newbie hunter is quickly dissuaded. Elder Dragons cannot be captured so you must either kill them or repel them.
Take Teostra, the Flame King Dragon and Lunastra, the Flame Princess Dragon. Try and capture one of these two and all you'll get is severe burns and a serious case of dead. But just because they can't be trapped doesn't mean you can't use other tools. Using a flash pod against them can have useful, or not, effects. Against Teostra, simply wait for him to go Supernova and flash him, then attack while he's helpless on the ground. But be careful against Lunastra because flashing her will enrage her, causing her to envelop the area in flames.
6 They Are Not A Singular Unique Being
The older games were sometimes confusing about this because the characters would often refer to the Elder Dragon in question as some singular entity. Monster Hunter World has been better about this in making it clear that each Elder Dragon is part of a species. Just because you've killed one Kirin, that doesn't mean you've made its species go extinct.
Another clear case of this is of Kushala Daora, the Steel Dragon. In Monster Hunter 4 you are tasked with hunting both a regular Kushala and a rusted variant (that simply hasn't shed in a while). Speaking of which, whether it was intentional as a bit of world-building or some other design decision, Kushala Daora has gone through a particularly important change. In the older games you could poison Kushala to weaken its black wind, now you must use Elderseal weapons to stop its winds.
5 They Aren't Always The Apex Predator
The strength and abilities of Elder Dragons can vary wildly, as evidenced by the mere fact that Nergigante likes to feed on them. Some Elder Dragons will rise to the top of the food chain no matter where they go, such as Fatalis, while others will simply be another powerful being in the area. Or they can sometimes just decide to run such as with Lao-Shan Lung running away from a Fatalis.
Perhaps the most notable case of this, though, must lie with Kirin and Rajang. As any hunter who has fought a Kirin (or its Arch Tempered form) knows, this seemingly peaceful beast can pack a mean kick. But the fearsome Rajang actually preys on the Kirin, enough for Kirin to be considered one of its favorites.
4 They Drive Away Other Monsters
A tendency of Elder Dragons is to drive away all other monsters in the area. Both in the older games and in World, Elder Dragons are only ever fought by themselves or with other Elder Dragons. Their sheer power and presence is often enough to drive away any other monster in the area. Even with the few monsters that are not classified as Elder Dragons that would be able to fight them, such as Rajang and Deviljho, we never get to witness them being the same area.
It's not just about their power then but also their rarity. Elder Dragons are not a common sight and the guild keeps a close eye on any that appear. Take Vaal Hazak, the Corpse Coat Dragon, it earns its moniker well by being a completely grotesque creature. It lives in a place called the Rotten Vale, sleeps in a pile of bones and uses a miasma known as Effluvium to weaken or kill its enemies. Not a creature you want to be around.
3 Elder Dragons Inspire New Ideas
The Monster Hunter series, right from the beginning, has had its basic game play loop down. Its refined it and made it more fun but the basic premise of: find monster, hunt it, kill or capture it, rinse, repeat, has never changed. But Elder Dragons seem to be the exception here as they often lead to new and interesting kinds of fights. Zorah Magdaros and the other giants have been the most visible exceptions as they require you to use siege weapons and sometimes ride a sand boat but World introduced even more of this.
Kulve Taroth, the Glorious Dragon, came with its own unique quest called a Siege. It's here that we see another example of an idea that exists because of the Glorious Elder Dragon. Monster Hunter has always been fought in instances that can only hold up to four different players and while that still holds true here, other players can create their own instance to fight against Kulve Taroth and work together with your group towards the goal of defeating her. Each Kulve Taroth you decide to hunt can have up to four groups of four working towards your goal.
2 Where They Come From Doesn't Matter
As mentioned before, the Elder Dragon classification exists because they defy all other forms of classifications. Whether that's because of their size, having four legs and wings or something else entirely, Elder Dragons are who they are for a variety of reasons. Xeno'jiiva came from space so why couldn't another Elder Dragon come from another dimension?
Which is where Behemoth, the Demon Beast, comes in. Make no mistake, this is the same beast that appears in most of the Final Fantasy games. Added as a free DLC, this hunt is one of the most challenging fights you will come across in Monster Hunter World. True to the Elder Dragon name, the Behemoth fight changes the game by basically requiring you to change your tactics to something reminiscent of an MMORPG. Because of all of this and more, it makes sense that Behemoth would be classified as an Elder Dragon.
1 The Only Thing That Matters Is That They're Awe-inspiring
The newest expansion, Iceborne, is coming soon and with it comes the newest Elder Dragon, Velkhana. Known for now as the Ice Dragon, Velkhana promises to be just as awesome (and sometimes frustrating) a fight as the other Elders. From what little we've seen from the trailers and other media releases, Velkhana breathes ice and has some sort of mysterious connection with Legiana. This connection is shown by way of a mysterious song sung by Velhana that attracts nearby Legiana and whether this is for some nefarious purpose or not, it's impossible to know.
Which kind of fits the bill for what makes the Elder Dragons in Monster Hunter so great. They are these mysterious beings which defy the in-game ecological knowledge. They hold themselves as the superior and more powerful being, above all the others. When you, a lowly hunter, get in their way, well, they don't take too kindly to that. All of these things and more are what make them truly awe-inspiring.