Something that just recently hit me while I was farming Kulve Taroth yesterday, but that I had vaguely in mind since I beat AT Nergigante. I love Nergigante as a concept and I think I'm not alone : an unholy fusion of wolverine, the Devil and a cannibal Elder Dragon just scream cool. Then came the first time you see it. He easily destroy the restreints on Zorah and only get pushed back by the timely intervention of the old veteran, but reveal an incredible regeneration by simply growing spikes where it had been hit before flying off. Then on the final Zorah siege he come and try to prevent you from making his meal escape, and you have a first fight where he flies off again, apparently deciding its not worth. Then he disappear and you find him again barring you the access of the deepest part of the Elder's Recess. You fight him, kill him… Then you fight other Elders before going to Xeno'Jiva…. Wait what ?
There lies the problem. In my opinion Nergigante is defeated way too soon, and his impact was way too small overall. You don't find him the ultimate menace he is meant to be and his contribution is finally quite small, and that take the cake for a flagship. Now, I understand why they didn't make him a fully regenerative monster like its part ( immortal, regenerative, etc, are all names of his parts ) seems to indicate. If Nergigante truly regained health continuously he would be a stone wall beyond reasonnable, and his spike mechanic is honestly very good. But its way too easy to take advantage of it in its normal form and almost make him a joke, especially compared to later Elder that don't have such easily exploitable gimmick. Worse, his "let's get dangerous mode" come so low in its health that you kill him too fast for him to show his full potential. The gap between normal and AT Nergigante, where his spikes are extremely hard to break and his enraged mode come a lot sooner, allowing him to fully use his arsenal of improved attacks including frequent divebomb, is enormous. AT Nergigante is more or less the lore Nergigante, the black monster of destruction hunting and eating other Elder, and the one I would have liked to fight in story mission.
A way to correct this would have been to change the Elder order of apparition. So after defeating Zorah and the pink rathian, you find the Elder Recess, however its the Nergigante's territory and while you can hunt monsters, you can't go too far in it because its well, Nergigante's territory : his enormous strength, speed and durability make anticipating his attack and trapping him impossible, and each of his assaults leave a good number of people injured and camps destroyed. As the Commission gather to find a solution, the Veteran Hunter come back and announce that he found the traces of Elder Dragons, aka Nergigante's snacks. The Commission then devise a plan to beat Nergigante : prevent his preys to reach the Elder's Recess by slaying them first, starving and weakening him. You are sent to hunt Teostra and Vaal Hazack, with Veteran Hunter keeping Nergigante occupied to prevent him from interfering. Then hear that Kushala Daora managed to reach the Elder's Recess. You are dispatched urgently and have to hunt Kushala Daora but Nergigante is present and you have to kill Kushala while driving Nergigante away, similarly to the Zorah Mission but here Kushala fight back. There you see how Nergigante, despite being already starved, is still able to crush Kushala easily in their turf war, displaying that his title isn't for show. Once you push Nergigante back and slay Kushala, the operation to kill Nergigante is finally present and you hunt down Nergigante, granting you access to the deepest part of the Elder's Recess and Xeno'jiva.
This way would explain why Nergigante in story have his spikes easily broken and why he only go in rage mode at a last resort : he is famished, lacking in the bio-energy his body consume insanely fast to sustain his reckless fighting style, which now become more of an hindrance than a blessing since you can trip him repeteadly by breaking his spikes. When he go into rage mode, he is completely cornered and is forced to use his very last reserve to put you down, with the implication that he very well may die of hunger afterward if he can't find something to eat quickly. In comparison AT Nergigante would be healhty, fully satiated, and as a result the terrifying monster that cart people with ease and go in rage mode way sooner since it doesn't have to worry about running out of energy.
Now, this is how I see things could have been better. What do you think ?
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