Monster Hunter: World was my first major attempt at getting into the zeitgeist that has consumed so much of the world with its multiple releases over the years. I had always heard how difficult it was to get into and that the multiple systems you needed to juggle while playing would easily scare away newcomers. Well, not only was World the most accessible of the series, but it also showed me that the mechanics aren’t really THAT bad and I ended up really enjoying the game.
That said, being a newcomer made it so I wasn’t prepared for the shenanigans that occur in High Rank, the part of the game you gain access to after the credits roll for the first time. Here, you encounter stronger versions of all the existing monsters you’ve already dealt with, in addition to several bonus ones. My good friend Bazelgeuse is one of them. Since I’m not familiar with the series, I also wasn’t in the know about the super aggressive type monsters that have frequented the series (I’ve heard the name Deviljho several times as an example and apparently it’ll eventually come to World as well, so…fun?). Once you enter any of the 5 hunting zones that World offers, there will be anywhere from 3-5 large monsters you can hunt, even if you’re on a mission for one specific monster (Besides Elder Dragon hunts, those only spawn that dragon and despawns all other monsters). For the most part, the other monsters in the area will leave you alone unless you accidentally attack them or are fighting a monster that it preys on, but Bazelgeuse says fuck all those rules.
You’ll be in the middle of a hunt that is going well and suddenly Bazelgeuse will soar in and ruin everything. Its main attacks center around shooting off scales that can then detonate if hit, resulting in massive explosions. It can do this while on the ground or even do bombing runs over you, typically ending them with a dive attack straight into you to assist in the damage. It will even enter a rage mode where it glows bright red and basically never stop shooting scales out at you, but these will automatically detonate as soon as they hit the ground or you. This interference ends up adding an extra layer to High Rank hunts as you will always have to prepare for a surprise Bazelgeuse attack. The only good that comes out of this is that all the Bazelgeuse’s attacks will also hurt the monster you’re currently trying to focus on, sometimes making it easier to earn your kill. The chaos that ensues while the Bazelgeuse is occupying the battlefield, however, can sometimes make this easier said than done.
The best solution to a Bazelgeuse’s retreat is to find some Dung and make Dung Pods from it, which you can then equip to your Slinger and shoot at the Bazelgeuse. Having shit thrown at you would probably make you run away too, but the Bazelgeuse will only stay away after being hit with a Dung Pod for about 5 minutes…because it’s an asshole. Speaking of projectiles, I would imagine dealing with these monsters is easier if you’re a Bow/Light Bowgun/Heavy Bowgun user, but my main three weapons are Sword & Shield/Hammer/Duel Blades, so I have no such luxury of staying away from most of Bazelgeuse’s attacks.
The bright side of these ordeals is that by hunting those other monsters, my character has been able to craft better weapons and armor. I got to the 2nd credits and defeated the true final boss, entering me into a territory where Tempered monsters are the new worries (they’re stronger than even High Rank monsters). I can now safely go back to High Rank and take down monsters before a Bazelgeuse can even show up (and sometimes when it does, it’ll be moments before I do my final strike on a monster, so it doesn’t matter anyway). I even feel confident enough to fight Bazelgeuse head on, even though its attacks still cause me trouble time to time.
Until recently, I had purposely been avoiding a Tempered hunt where I had to fight TWO Bazelgeuses at the same time, but then I thought to myself “If a Bazelgeuse normally messes with me AND my monster, wouldn’t the same happen in this case?”. And it was true, I went into the fight alone and would start to fight one Bazelgeuse, only for the 2nd to arrive shortly after and try to ruin the fun, but this time I decided to sit it out instead of fighting. The two Bazelgeuses took turns flying over each other and doing bombing runs, amongst some of its other moves. When one decided it had enough and escaped, I would hit the present one a few times and then lead it to the escapee, continuing the fight between the two. It was here where I started to appreciate the Bazelgeuse’s aggressive behavior and, soon enough, both were at the brink of death and I easily captured them with some traps.
Even though the Bazelgeuse isn’t as much of an issue as it once was for me, I have to give a shoutout to the most annoying monster I’ve seen in a video game for quite some time. I’m also glad that a quick Google search showed that I wasn’t the only one who dreaded an encounter with this beast.