Monster Hunter Tri Diary 8 – The Fall of Rathalos

I have spent the last few play sessions in Monster Hunter Tri to prepare myself to face Rathalos again. I’m glad to report that preparation finally paid off. The Rathalos is slain.

I must say fighting Rathalos seemed like a quite unfair experience to me. Some of his attacks happen quite suddenly, he tends to waste your time by hovering in the air where you can’t reach him and he seems to have a bit too many health points. After the series of defeats last time I was quite frustrated. I have invested quite some time in the game and I didn’t expect such a challenge at this point. I decided to prepare as best as I could and simply leave the game if it wouldn’t help me.

I researched Rathalos’ weaknesses. One of them was thunder. I had no weapons with thunder element damage so I had to craft some. Weapons with thunder element damage are made of Lagiacrus parts. I decided to craft the lance which is my favorite weapon. I also set out to craft the great sword which seemed to work quite well against the Rathalos. This meant I had to fight the Lagiacrus a lot. The lance required a couple of Lagiacrus horns, which were quite a rare item. You could only get them if you damaged Lagiacrus’ head. The great sword was ever harder. It required two Lagiacrus tails. You need to actually cut off the tail of a Lagiacrus to get them and even then you don’t always get them (I know, it’s moon logic). I never actually managed to cut off a Lagiacrus tail before and it took a bit of training to get a hang of it.

In between I was also investigating alternatives. It turns out that thunder wasn’t Rathalos’ biggest weakness. It’s biggest weakness is an element called “Dragon” but the weapons with this element are quite special. There is an interesting mechanic about them. You can’t really build them. You must find them.

When you go mining in the Vulcano level, you sometimes find items called “Rustshards”. After the mission is over the Rustshard turn into various weapons. Most of the time they turn into very weak iron weapons. But on rare occasions you get rusty weapons. At first, the rusty weapons are even worse. They do practically no damage whatsoever. But you can invest a lot of different items to refurbish them. Already after two upgrades, they become actually quite descent equipment. And they are the only ones that do dragon elemental damage.

I must say I find the idea quite attractive. You excavate an old, broken weapon and then keep repair it until it’s like new. Reminds me of finding an old car at the scrapyard and restoring it piece by piece.

So I started to grind to get a rusty weapon. I have managed to get 3 different ones, among them a great sword that would be useful against the Rathalos. However the problem is that refurbishing it up to a point where it is usable would require items from a monster I haven’t even met yet. So even though I really loved the idea of restoring an ancient weapon to it’s former glory, I had to concentrate on my other plan. At least I got a ton of different ores I used to upgrade some of my armor.

Eventually I got all the Lagiacrus parts I needed. I got the lance and the great sword. I even got a Lagiacrus armor. I didn’t use that one against Rathalos but it is a cool armor anyway. So I set out to fight Rathalos once more…

… and I lost.

After I recovered from my rage blackout (kudos to Nintendoo: the new classic controller is REALLY sturdy) I decided to try again. While equipment can play an important role in Monster Hunter, it doesn’t really help unless you really know the monster you fight against. It seems like I was fighting the Lagiacrus for so long that it took me some time switch mentally to Rathalos’ attack pattern. So again, I played more defensively and I was able to slay Rathalos at my second try.

I went on fighting the Barioth which everybody complains is too hard. I beat him on my first try. I didn’t find him even very hard. That confirmed my suspicion that Rathalos may have been a little bit mis-balanced.

With my total play time being around the 100 hour mark, I really hope that I’m approaching the end of the singe-player campaign. The game is great fun but with mechanics like the rust weapons I get a sense of the depth of the rabbit hole and it is quite scary…

Next on this Monster Hunter Diary: Diablos!

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

7 responses to “Monster Hunter Tri Diary 8 – The Fall of Rathalos”

  1. GhostLyrics

    :) Thanks, you gave me quite a laugh when I read the part concerning the controller’s sturdiness.

  2. Max

    Reading your Rathalos entries made me very happy. Rathalos is one big cruel joke.

    I prepared so much for fighting him; I got the wind-resistant armor, the dragon switch-axe, the traps, the bombs, the antidotes etc. I fought him for 45 minutes and used up 10 mega potions, 7 first-aid meds and 6 normal potions and 2 max potions. I broke the head and both wings and cut of the tail. I had him on the ropes, but with only a few minutes left I couldn’t afford to play it safe. And then he just killed me, with his god damn instantaneous dash attack. For my trouble I now have a piece of rath marrow, carved from his tail, to remind me of my total defeat.

    The guy is just too tough on all fronts. Lots of health, fast, strong and relentless attacks, constant flying and short openings.

    On a separate note though, dragon weapons aren’t too hard to get. The crystal weapons deal dragon element, and they can be made from Tundra minerals.

  3. Spectral

    Ummm, there’s more weapons that you make that do dragon damage than one that you find, lurk more before you post a false statement.

    1. Max

      You’re right. Sorry. Only the crystal Switch Axe does dragon damage. I got that one first and then I assumed it was true for all crystal weapons. My bad.

  4. monster hunter guy

    I would advise you to use the roral claw+ raphlos is weak against water when he flys in the air run around in circles and keep an eye on him so when he goes down u have a fair amount of time when he flys ups and turns into a hoaming missile i would run and jump in the air you are invunreanble to his attacks take cha-cha with you and wear rathian greaves baggi coil lagicarogues vest lagi acrus vambraces borroth helmet and upgrade all armor to max now the items.
    10 mega potions shock trap pitfall trap flash bombs when he is hovering so you can knock him out the sky tranq bombs if you wanna catch him cool drinks whetstons achient poitions mix imunnizer with kelbi horn antidotes when you are poisned demondrug armorskin to get them mix might seed with catalyst and admantseed with catalyst potions herbs honey and blue mushroom if you are on your last life and low health and risk getting killed abandon quest you keep all items hope it helps:) if you need any more help email me at happy hunting.!!

    1. Krystian Majewski

      While Rathlos has some weakness to water, it’s much more vulnerable to thunder and dragon. I don’t use Sword and Shield but for those who do, I would suggest the Lagia Sword instead of the Royal Claw+.

      I’m not sure what your armor composition is supposed to do. It doesn’t really look like a useful setup to me. Can you explain?

  5. Austin

    I killed Los my second try. No dragon weapon, no bombs, etc.. Just two traps (plus two that I later combined), the chak-chak SnS, and about five flash bombs. I finished with at least 10 minutes to spare. Tail cut of, wyvern tear delivered (with the help of a farcaster), both wings wounded, and Rathian armor.

    Some tips (not saying this in arrogance, but in sincere desire to help):
    Bring a lot of flash bombs, and use them when he is in the air, near the ground. Use them carefully.

    I’d suggest bringing as many traps, and materials needed for trap combos, as possible, as it is a great way to get his health down

    Use paintballs. Searching for the Los is a great way to waste precious time. That’s what cost me my first try.

    Bring demon drugs, might pills, etc.; anything that’ll bring your attack up, really (try to get a food combo that gives you attack bonus as well).

    Cha-Cha is very helpful. Give him dragon elemental attack (if you can), and I’d suggest his rage ability as well.

    Don’t stress, and don’t worry about the subs or wounding him. For your first time, just focus on hurting him.

    Hope this helps! I’m sure most people already know this stuff, but just in case. Good luck


The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


follow Krystian on Twitter
follow Yu-Chung on Twitter
follow Daniel on Twitter