For several months now DanamesX has been doing a community event called EXP Share where a video game related writing prompt is provided and participants respond through posting their answers. I’ve been meaning to throw my hat into the ring the last few months, but never got around to it. No longer! This month I fully intended to hold myself accountable and actually write a response. What’s even better is that this month has a topic I’m well suited to write about: a time when we overcame a difficult obstacle in a game. As such here is how I overcame Alatreon, in a solo run, in Monster Hunter World.

I’ve talked about Alatreon before on the Frosty Canucks podcast, but here’s a recap. Alatreon is a dragon that can switch elements meaning it can change its attack and weakness type throughout the fight. Like many of the siege style fights, Alatreon was given an insta-kill attack, but, unlike those other attacks, this one can’t be avoided. Rather, hunters need to do a specific volume of elemental damage to the beast to reduce the power of the move. If you’re unable to do enough damage you’ll lose the fight. These two factors make Alatreon a particularly challenging fight to navigate.

On top of all of this, players need to use the clutch claw. I’ve written before about how much I dislike this mechanic and this fight in particular inspired that very post. Hunters simply can’t do enough damage to Alatreon without keeping various parts of its body weakened which necessitates using the clutch claw. Further, you need to use the flinch shot religiously in this fight to break Alatreon’s horns so that it can’t swap to a different elemental weakness as that will prevent you from meeting the damage check for its insta-kill move. If you didn’t already hate the claw Alatreon forcing it upon you will make you hate it.

I’m not exaggerating when I say it took weeks for me to figure out how to beat this piece of shit. Let me walk you through the express version of what happened.

Firstly, and most obviously, I had to learn Alatreon’s moveset. Simply dodging the creature’s attacks isn’t a viable strategy. Because of the damage check, players have to learn how to dodge attacks while positioning themselves to immediately counter attack. The windows for attacking almost exclusively exist while Alatreon itself is attacking, so players need to learn how to dance through the creatures many strikes while launching their own. From my end this was simply a practice thing where I had to do the fight over and over until I finally understood all of my openings and the appropriate counter.

Secondly, came supplies. You don’t have the ability to return to base during this fight so bringing crafting supplies to make additional healing items mid-fight is essential. With only two max potions and ten mega potions I’d be tapped out pretty quickly, but with seven max potions and twenty mega potions I was in much better shape to sustain through the whole fight. It’s also worth noting that this had the knock on effect of making every other fight in the game a lot easier because my supplies stopped running out in some of the harder fights.

Thirdly, was figuring out what equipment to bring into battle. Having the right skills for a fight can make a world of difference. Obviously having a lot of skills focused around elemental damage would help with Alatreon, but the biggest help was a skill called blight resistance. Each of the elements has a different debuff that it can apply to your hunter, and Alatreon is able to inflict several of these simultaneously. With blight resistance you’re fully immune to all of these debuffs, however, meaning you don’t have to stop fighting to remove a debuff every time you get hit. This helped to save a lot of time that had previously been spent attending to these crippling ailments.

After many hours of planning and practice I was able to carefully and thoughtfully transition from one move into the next whilst dodging each of Alatreon’s attacks. The only time there was a gap in my offense was when the monster took to the skies. As such, I used those opportunities to tenderize its limbs so I could continue the beatdown once it returned to the ground. And when I finally hit the killing blow I felt a wave of relief wash over me. Watching the creature finally fall over and die was fantastic, doubly so after all of the work that had preceded my win.

I probably don’t do it justice in written form, but I imagine it was an interesting fight to watch. In fact, I’d hazard the few Alatreon hunts I did on stream where I actually managed to win were something to behold entirely because the fight demands so much from the player.

So there you have it. A time I overcame an incredibly difficult obstacle in a game. I don’t know if this counts as an obstacle in the traditional sense because I didn’t actually need to kill this thing to progress forward. However, of all the optional fights in World I found Alatreon to be the most difficult. Mostly because of the additional mechanics that the fight has which artificially raise the difficulty and the forced inclusion of the clutch claw. Still, I beat it and that’s all that matters.

Thanks for reading folks. And thanks again to DanamesX for the prompt. If you’d like to read other replies to this prompt or take place in it yourself you can check out DanamesX’s post about it here.