With one of my favorite holidays in full swing, and primarily because the recent 3DS game has got me hooked on the franchise once more, today I’ll be reviewing my top five favorite monsters from Capcom’s Monster Hunter franchise. Why top three? Because honestly, these five give me plenty enough to talk about without delving into the ever increasing monster kingdom of the games. However, unlike previous top whatever lists I’ve made, this one will NOT be in order of preference, merely which ones come immediately to mind.
Titles: Sea Wyvern, The Lord of the Sea
Weak Against: Fire
Primary Habitats: Tropical Waters
What do you get when you combine a crocodile with a king cobra with an added dash of electric eel? You might get something resembling the Lagiacrus. The monster whom served as the flagship of the third generation, featured on box art, advertisements, and plot relevance (at least in that particular game), the Lagiacrus is one of the more commonly recognized monsters of the franchise.
Reaching lengths of over a hundred feet, the Lagiacrus is one of the deadliest of the leviathan species, it rightfully earns the name of Lord of the Sea. The only natural predator the Lagiacrus have is the Narkaros, an elder dragon species known by its title of Corpse Dragon (despite being a cephalopod) for its use of Lagiacrus bones as both armor and weapon against other prey and hunters.
They can stay over half a day underwater without needing to come up for air and while they may occasionally beach themselves to sleep, they are no less dangerous on land than they are in the water. They are highly aggressive and extremely territorial monsters but have a rather surprising diet of fish, lobsters, and herbivore monsters like Apioth.
Despite being a sea-dweller, Lagiacrus are weak against fire, which oftentimes puts them at odds with the fire wyvern species of Rathalos and Rathian, whom often clash with the Lagiacrus over larger prey. Lagiacrus make up for this odd weakness with a series of electrical energy producing sacs located at the base of their dorsal spikes along their back, and thanks to the unique makeup of their saliva can even “spit” balls of lightning at a surprising distance.
Lagiacrus are one of the few species of monsters that seem capable of cowing a Rathalos, or at least getting it to weigh its options. Considering that most Rathalos exercise the honey badger school of thought, that is to say giving-no-bucks, that’s pretty impressive.
Of the monsters in Monster Hunter, Lagiacrus is arguably one of the most difficult ones to fight in that it primarily attacks from within the water. Excluding the risk of electrocution, do you know how utterly difficult it is to try and kill something that is capable of swimming literal circles around you?
Have any of you ever seen the atypical armor and weaponry needed to even scratch of one these things? They are NOT light and do not make for enhanced swimming let me tell you!
Titles: Cutting Wyvern
Species: Brute Wyvern
Weak Against: Dragon, Water
Primary Habitats: Jungles, Volcanic Regions
The flagship monster of Monster Hunter Generations, the Glavenus is what happens when one decides to cross a dinosaur, notably a Carnotaurus, with a sword. Part of the brute wyvern species, the Glavenus are a highly aggressive species of monster, willing and able to chase down its prey for miles if need be and are considered to be one of the most highly intelligent monsters around by the Hunters Guild.
Contrary to most monsters, let alone brute wyverns, the Glavenus has displayed considerable skill in battle, utilizing its tail as an impressive defense against most weapons, including some pretty powerful ammunition. Utilizing the unique materials composing its tail, the Glavenus will drag it on the ground in increasing speeds before the bladed tail ignites into a flaming sword.
Note that the tail blade on its own is capable of rending most monsters in twain with a single swipe. Set aflame, the tail blade can still cut down most adversaries with the added benefit of explosions.
Should its blade get dulled, the Glavenus will swings its tail into its mouth and use a quartet of specialized fangs to sharpen it anew. It also has the added bonus of allowing the Glavenus to swallow the soot and ore that its tail accumulated into a special fire sac in its throat. The sac can convert these materials into a semisolid form with the same consistency of magma and contrary to most other similarly armed species of monster, the Glavenus can hold its flames in its throat, allowing it to burn its prey while it bites down on them.
That’s not to say it has no means of extended attack either. Rather than straight balls of flame, the projectiles the Glavenus can unleash will either explode on contact with living targets or can be left to detonate on their own if fired to the ground. For a creature of its size and bulk, the Glavenus can be surprisingly agile and is actually able to leap some good distance into and through the air if need be.
The Glavenus is far from being the strongest monster in the franchise but certainly makes up for it through sheer aggression alone given that it is willing and able to contend with the likes of other monsters far bigger, and stronger, than itself. More often than not, these fights end with a wounded but victorious Glavenus.
Titles: Black Eclipse Wyvern
Weak Against: Dragon, Thunder, Fire
Primary Habitats: Mountainous Regions
Of all monsters, Gore Magala is the most distinct among them in that while it is classified as its own species, one can argue that it in fact belongs to the elder dragon species as it is, in truth, the juvenile form of the Shagaru Magala. Regardless of its apparent age and immaturity, the Gore Magala is one of the deadliest monsters to exist and is one of the few that most monsters, including elder dragons, will actively avoid for one reason alone.
This monster, and its variant deviant species and adult form, are the source and primary carriers of the frenzy virus. This virus causes extremely violent behavior in monsters and will eventually lead them to their deaths. those few that manage to not only survive the virus but became carriers of it are known as Apex Monsters, and will actively go out of their way to find others of their species and kill them.
The Gore Magala spreads the frenzy virus by way of its pollen-like scales, most notably the fine hairlike ones from its wings that it uses to better see its environment and body heat of its prey. Should it smell nearby prey, the Gore Magala will loose even more hairs until the sky itself seems to grow dark before its hornlike feelers shoot upwards from its head and it will enter a frenzied state, unlatching its wings from its back to better move around and attack its prey. These claws are heavily ridden with the virus and can leave deep gouges that will not heal.
The Gore Magala’s breath weapon combines with the fine hairs it pollutes throughout the area, causing miniaturized explosions of the virus to go off like a minefield around its prey, further infecting them and enhancing its senses. While it is aggressive, the Gore Magala is most dangerous when it migrates to the Sanctuary located in the heart of Heaven’s Mount, a perilous peak with no equal.
It is here and here alone where a Gore Magala will molt its darkened hide and emerge anew into a golden splendor and so is the most dangerous. Should the molting fail, the Gore Magala will become a mongrel of a beast, incapable of controlling the frenzy virus any longer and become little more than a savage monster hellbent on killing anything in its path.
Yet, for all its potent ferocity, the Gore Magala is also incredibly cunning. It has demonstrated the art of playing dead against more dangerous adversaries and slipping away unseen at the first opportunity. It is also known to come swooping in on ships traversing the Great Sea and loosing the frenzy virus upon all those aboard as though away of the potential dangers that awaits in the passengers, whom are oftentimes hunters on a quest to slay the beast.