That right there? In the featured image? That’s me as the returning hero. Narwa is no more. I am done with the main story of Monster Hunter Rise which was locked behind Hunter Rank 50 and, apparently, wasn’t even present in the Switch launch version of the game. It came in a later patch.
I mean, sure, I was all but forced into waiting — but I’m still going to claim it anyway.
Can I just say too though, I found Narwa the Allmother to be way, way more difficult than Shara Ishvalda the final boss of Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. Shara could certainly give you a pretty bad day in a hurry and I went on plenty of hunts where we wiped right out of the mission. Particularly when we were aiming for head breaks for the Tenderplates and Gems. Even so, Shara’s move set was very readable. And with that readability, it became easy to respond to and know where, exactly, it was about to be a very bad place to be.
By comparison, Narwa — especially in the latter phases of the fight — was just everywhere.
I think what made Narwa particularly difficult was that through a mix of her size (that picture above may not adequately display this — I am a really long way away from her in that shot!), her attack sizes, and movement patterns, she can hit you multiple times very easily. If you’re out of wirebugs to use to recover, or heck — sometimes even when you do have them — you can get hit two to three times from the initial knock if you’re really unlucky.
If you weren’t already essentially at full health when that combo started in on you, you were probably dead.
I spent… a lot… of time running in a panic, trying to chug a mega potion before something else could happen and end me. In the final stages of this fight, I suspect I spent more time doing exactly this than actually dealing damage. xD
It only took me two attempts to beat her, but it felt like more given it was probably a wipe somewhere around the 15-20 minute mark for the first attempt. I had a join request open (allowing random joins of other players) from the very start of the mission but I was solo through the first phase of fighting Ibushi, solo for the drop down into the lower arena, finishing Ibushi off, and then most of the Narwa fight.
I had someone join me around the time a surprise invading monster dropped by for a visit, then it all went downhill from there.
The second attempt was similar. I opened join requests again but determined that if I failed the quest due to joiners again that was it — I was just going to solo it and be done with it.
When the very same person from my last run joined again I was already anticipating having to do exactly that. But! I’m very aware with these big-damage enemies, hey, sometimes, you just get unlucky. I’ve been that guy in someone else’s game in World before. More than once, even. So I didn’t kick him from the game and just decided to see how it went.
He did die pretty quickly. So I farcasted out — if you’re unfamiliar, it’s an item that lets you essentially teleport even in combat back to the camp or preparation area.
There, I picked up buff powders (for armour and damage) and life powders (which allow me to heal the party, even without the skills slotted which would allow this to be done normally). I also restocked on my personal healing supplies as I was running low by that point anyway.
Then we went back in together and I buffed us, starting immediately with the defence powder and off we went.
I ended up going through the life powders very quickly (you can only hold very limited quantities) and even then, there were a number of sucked-air-through-teeth moments of near death.
We had two more people join us.
If absolutely nothing else, having four people in the fight gave Narwa more targets to pick from and — hopefully — decide to pursue a single individual til they died a little less frequently.
And you know what?
That seemed to work.
Finally, Narwa went down. Nuh-uh Narwa, not gonna wipe us again!
Well… Not last night at least. I’m slightly ahead of my friend group now who we got up to HR 40 last night. So I’ll have to do this again. Last night doesn’t exactly endear me to the thought of this but they’re at least a lot better than the average random. ;)
Most important thing though? With the completion of Narwa I can happily put Monster Hunter Rise to the side… … … Until Sunbreak, the expansion comes out later in the year. But it’s at least clearing space for Lost Ark and Elden Ring next month!
Don’t get me wrong, there’s more I could do. There is actually another enemy that unlocks at HR 100, and I haven’t hunted down all the Apex monsters of the game yet. Things I may or may not get to, but I’m OK with that and boy have I had a blast already. :)