Hello there! A couple of nights ago, I felled the Gogmazios after a few days of trying, and I can now say that I have solo’d the key quests in a classic MH game for the second time: MH4U! I had previously tried MHGU between and during the wait for Iceborne and had solo’d the key quests there as well, in addition to making it really far in endgame. Some thoughts about my experience with 4U as someone who began in World and is experiencing the games in reverse order.
Look and Feel
I’d like to start off by saying that classic visuals usually aren’t a big deal for me. I’ve played games for most of my 30-year or so existence and revisiting classic games is something I’m fond of. Whenever I’m trying an older game for the first time though, I go in with a mindset geared towards appreciating how good the game looked and played, at the time.
So with that said, I like 4U’s visuals and design. The characters have identity despite the hardware limitations. They have their own outfits, little voice bites, animations, and silly quotes that help bring them to life.
Most of the maps I’d seen in GU already, those are just ok I feel. Sunken Hollow is less annoying Volcanic Hollow, and Heaven’s Mount was alright, didn’t really do anything special for me, except I guess the shifting ground in the Rathalos nest is kinda cool.
Controls took me a while to get adjusted to, for sure. Even with a new 3DS, adjusting the camera can still get challenging and my thumb would start to tire after extended sessions. Recently, I’ve actually gotten more used to using the touch screen camera controls, though. I’d seen some folks mention a PSP nub mod, but my 3DS happens to be the Metroid: Samus Returns special edition and I don’t want to really mess with it. I’ve tried HBG a bit and I definitely miss my dual analog sticks on my Pro Controller for MHGU.
Monsters and Progression
While I’d already experienced the bulk of the monsters present in 4U by way of playing GU and World before it, 4U does have a very nice roster with a good mix of skeletons and fight dynamics. I already liked Zamtrios, Nerscylla, Seltas Queen, and Tetsucabra, so seeing their variants here was very cool. Caravan progression was really well done. The run-up to Gore, the face-off with Shagaru, that was already good. Then HR Caravan has you fighting a lot of fun targets – Brute Tiggy, Stygian Zingore, some crabs and Seltas Queen. Really fun.
I’ll make special mention for Shrouded Nerscylla for being easily my favorite monster of the game. What a great design and fun to fight. Was using Wirebugs before it was cool. Apparently, this thing hunts Khezu, insane. Its Charge Blade is similarly awesome.
Also have to talk specifically about Gogmazios. While the HP this thing is packing is seriously beefy, it’s a really fun fight. The tar does get in the way sometimes, but I found it far less annoying than things like that ‘sticky’ ice Velkhana and Frostfang have in world. There’s a lot of cool stuff to use in the fight – all the siege weaponry at the extra Dragonator you can use if you break the back.
Bumps in the Road
Alright, let’s talk difficulty. Quests in particular that were annoying or tough to get through:
- Advanced: Glacier’s Bane (Carvan 9★ Frenzied Brachydios) – Admittedly, I’m not the best at fighting Brachy. In fact, once I picked up LBG in GU, I refused to fight any kind of Brachy with anything except a gun. Pre-World, anyway. It was already hard for me to play around the slime but with the Frenzy boosting its speed, this was a rough quest.
- Advanced: Speartip Menace (Guild 7★ Dalamadur) – So like most people I guess, I had no idea WTF was going in this fight at the beginning. Giant snek with homing meteors, wat do. I failed about 3 times before I asked in my local discord for some tips and then I was able to solo it.
- Line in the Sand (G1 Double Cephadrome) – Fuck this shit. Already one of my most hated monsters, and now there’s two of them for a key quest. Having to put up with all the time-wasting crap while still using HR gear was not fun.
- Hollow Promise (G2 Black Gravios) – If I never have to see Black Gravios as a key quest ever again, it will be too soon. Between the fire gas hitbox, bouncing without purple, seeking fireballs and Volcanic Hollow BS, I hated doing this quest. Took me around 35 minutes to finally get it done.
- Fire Drill (G2 Brachydios/Stygian Zinogre) – Heard a lot about this one. While it was tough, I think it was mainly tough for me because of not having Dung Bombs due to not knowing most Caravan Points came from expeditions. After around 8 attempts of abandoning due to bad starts, I pulled through abusing mounts.
- Advanced: Storm of Steel (G3 Kushala Daora) – Well what else needs to be said besides wind pressure? So annoying to fight. Could not kill it, had to settle for the repel.
The Final Key Battle
- Advanced: Quagmire Quarrel (Gogmazios) – The final battle! They weren’t kidding about this thing’s HP. I tried and failed twice before discovering the Wyceum had to be upgraded to use more siege weaponry. That meant doing Advanced: Lab Partners (G-Rank Azure Rathalos and another Frenzied Brachydios, shit). Toughed it out though. I had been using full Seltas X gear until that point, but then decided to swap in some other pieces for a budget mixed set. Grinded and added Teostra chest and Ukanlos legs to get Sharp +1 / Razor Sharp / Weak Exploit / Artillery Expert. Then spent a day farming Dalamadur for the CB. The regular iron and Brachy CBs were not cutting it in terms of damage. Armed with better skills, more damage from metal snek CB, and more siege power, I was able to bring down the tarred menace after a long fight. Landed the Demolisher after a Dragonator knockdown and battled it out for about 7 more minutes before it fell dead. In total the fight lasted around 46 minutes.
Ded. After 150 hours, I was able to get my G-Rank special permit.
If you actually read through this, thanks. I had a really great time with 4U, especially since I picked it up for less than $5 during a sale. I was impressed by how well paced the fights were during standard progression. I know the true endgame is loaded with crazy things to challenge, but not sure if I’ll actually go for it. It only took that one Apex Seregios fight to make me dislike the concept of Apex. What I’ll probably do is just see if I can craft some of these cool looking CBs and maybe if some friends catch up I may decide to go further into the postgame. Thanks again for reading!
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