Every Sunday for the past few weeks, my youngest brother and I sit down and play Monster Hunter Freedom Unite until either Stephanie gets home from work or one of us gets tired of it. It’s been a great tradition so far and I hope it can continue for a long time to come. I’m a really big fan of both Monster Hunter and brotherly bonding time. I wouldn’t mind having a third (and fourth!) join the group, but neither of us know anyone else who plays. Sure there’s online play, but being in the same room really helps team coordination, and that’s a very important part of Monster Hunter.
Last weekend we took on the dreaded Ashen Lao-Shan Lung. Zac’s played through most of the game with random hunters online, but this is the first time I’d ever come face-to-snout with the gigantic elder dragon. Cedaeus and Jhen Moran from Monster Hunter Tri got me used to building-sized monsters, but it’s always thrilling when you meet a new one in combat for the first time. I’d seen Lao-Shan Lung artwork before, so I wasn’t surprised by his size, but when you run up to a creature that could swallow you whole, it’s exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.
The battle itself wasn’t terribly difficult. Lao progresses slowly from area 1 to 5. The plan was for me to keep whacking him in the face to break his horn since I was rocking a great sword, while Zac sliced away at the beast’s belly with his dual blades. Much to our surprise, the horn smashed almost immediately and I moved onto the belly. It was a little cramped down there (Lao creeps forward on all fours), so I ran back up to the head. It was pretty smooth sailing until we got to area 5. Lao’s feet and tail are the only things that can hit you until he gets to 5 and enters attack mode, and by focusing on the head I was far away from those danger spots most of the time.
During the march, I used up all my mini whetstones (I don’t think I’ve ever had to sharpen that much while using the Blue Claw Blade), and Zac managed to get on Lao’s back and ignite the Dragon Bomb. I figured that with such a huge amount of damage being done we’d surely fell the beast. But no, the fight ran out to the end and Lao retreated. It’s probably my fault because I spent a lot of time waiting for an opening to use the dragonator, and then proceeded to screw it up. Oops. But at least we completed the quest! Not that I’m really ready for 7-star quests, but whatever.
That said, I’m really dreading our next play session. The 7-star urgent quest is two tigrexes. I’m pretty sure I made very clear how much I hate tigrex. I can barely deal with one of the damn things. I’d rather fight Shen Gaoren and Lao-Shan Lung at the same time.