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Video Game / Monster Hunter Freedom 2

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In the world of Monster Hunter, you're never alone.
Monster Hunter Freedom 2 is the second game in the "Portable/Freedom" sub-series of Monster Hunter, originally released in 2007. Unlike its predecessor which was an expanded version, and slightly modified port of, the very first game, Freedom 2 opts to go for a brand-new game while lifting elements from Monster Hunter 2 (dos) and removing some key features from that game (like the subquest system, the Seasonal Baggage mechanic and the monster Yama Tsukami), but also adding some new ones. This gives place to a story that changes the path of quests in comparison to that of Dos, which leads to a different Final Boss.

The story starts with your hunter being ambushed by a Tigrex during an expedition to the Snowy Mountains, after you recover you are then tasked with the usual hunting quests with not much of a greater overarching story, though now you have a clear goal of eventually getting payback against Tigrex. The game's hub setting is Pokke Village, a new location with its own NPCs. Also, Kushala Daora is no longer the flagship and therefore not really important of the story; another notable change is that the Snowy Mountains theme was changed from the original version in 2 to the arena theme of the aforementioned game.

The year after the release of Freedom 2, its Updated Re-release Monster Hunter Freedom Unite was launched. The game brought bigger changes with the addition of G-Rank quests for multiplayer, High Rank quests for the single-player campaign, the option to recruit a Felyne sidekick who can assist you during hunts and gathering, Boss Rush quests where you hunt multiple monsters in succession, and several new monsters like King Shakalaka, Vespoid Queen, Nargacuga (this one doubling as the flagship monster), Ukanlos, and subspecies (including one variant) of monsters that debuted in Dos. It also brought back Yama Tsukami after its absence in Freedom 2, changed all the music of the areas of 2/Freedom (with the exception of the Forest and Hills) to the ones used in then-recently released Monster Hunter Frontier, and even included the original Monster Hunter (2004)'s areas as a bonus for the High Rank (single-player) and G-Rank (multiplayer) quests; finally, the first two monsters from the aforementioned Frontier (Hypnocatrice and Lavasioth) were brought into the mix along with the first area introduced in that game: The Great Forest. All in all, this entry could be seen as the Grand Finale of the original two generations, bringing everything together for the ultimate hunting experience.

Both versions of Freedom 2 provide examples of the following tropes:

  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: The Tigrex is a species that is distinguished by its overwhelming aggression: once aggro'd, it will relentlessly charge at, attack, and roat at Hunters. This is a double-edged sword for the Tigrex, however, as its violently aggressive nature makes it tire more easily.
  • Casting a Shadow: While described as a Playing with Fire monster due to its volcanic habitat and the ability to create eruptions around it with its roar, Akantor's strongest attack is a Dragon-powered torrent of wind it exhales after positioning itself away from the hunter.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Going from this game to any other third person game on the PSP will cause much confusion. The camera is controlled with the D-pad (leading to the infamous "claw grip" with the index finger on the D-pad), the shoulders control running and camera reset, and the joystick controls movement. This a setup unique to this game, and attempting to play Renegade Squadron or Valkyria Chronicles II afterwards is very confusing.
  • Demoted to Extra: The Kushala Daora goes from being the Big Bad of the main plotline of 2 to a minor Plot-Irrelevant Villain in here as its role as the main antagonistic monster is taken by the new flagship Tigrex.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Tigrex. You finally get revenge from the monster that gave you a terrible experience at the start of your adventure, but there are more tasks given to you; so you continue doing them until you unlock an urgent quest where you have to protect a city from the giant, powerful Shen Gaoren, the actual Final Boss of single-player. Later, when you play multiplayer quests, you're tasked to defeat an even stronger abomination, the Akantor.
  • Exposed to the Elements: You can choose to remove your armor in the village as with other games, even though the village is shown to be a cold one due to its proximity to the Snowy Mountains.
  • Forging Scene: Starting from this game, the introduction videos take care to show the weapons and armor being forged in loving detail. The surprising part is that unlike many of the other works that simply use forging scenes for drama, these scenes show the loving amount of work required to make the works of art that you as the hunter who collected the materials to get them. The game even takes it a step further to show the fantastic side of the process by showing how the parts of the creatures will factor in the creation like pouring molten metal on a Rathalos Tail spine to fill in the gaps of the tail grooves.
  • Heroic Rematch: Your first encounter against Tigrex ends in misfortune, as you're very underprepared against it. Several quests later, you get a rematch against it and, though the first is still difficult, you'll ultimately triumph against it.
  • An Ice Person: Giadrome is the King Mook of the smaller Giaprey, and like them it can spit cold fluids at the hunter, which deals ice damage (and in later games, this causes the stamina meter to decrease more quickly).
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Despite being one of the only three monsters introduced in the game (the others being Giadrome and Akantor), Tigrex has become an important part of the Monster Hunter bestiary, being present in at least one game from every subsequent generation, providing materials to craft powerful weapons and armor, and being one of the few monsters in the mainline series to eventually have its own Rare Species (Molten Tigrex in Monster Hunter 4).
  • Indy Escape: The opening features this with a hunter running away from a Tigrex through a snowy cave, since he's carrying a piece of ore that needs to be taken to Pokke Village and met the Tigrex by accident (he ultimately has no option but to drop the ore and run for his life, only being able to fight the monster outside the cave when other two hunters come to help him).
  • "Instant Death" Radius: Tigrex has a tail whip that trips you and pulls you toward him. If you are close and not in front of him, this is basically all he does. If he hits you with one, he hits you with as many as he wants (i.e. you die).
  • It's Personal: Slaying the Tigrex isn't just a matter of simple hunting, the Tigrex attacked you at the start of the game and thus you're out to avenge your loss in your early days of hunting.
  • Monster Compendium: The game marks the debut of the monsters' log entries, available within the Hunter's Notes. Instead of flling in naturally (by hunting the monsters), you have to buy them yourself, and it only shows your kill count of said monster and some lore facts about it. So if you want to know what's the monster's weakness, you have to figure it out yourself... or use a guide.
  • Nostalgia Level: Like 2, the Forest and Hills return as an area to hunt in.
  • Playing with Fire: Akantor is an enormous Flying Wyvern with the strength of an Elder Dragon that lives in volcanic regions. When it's enraged, it can perform a loud roar that causes the floor to experience mini-eruptions. However, its most powerful attack is a huge torrent of dark Dragon-powered wind.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Yama Tsukami is the only monster from Monster Hunter 2 (dos) to not reappear in the game.
    • Jumbo Village, Dundorma Town and many of their inhabitants are absent as well.
  • Respawning Enemies: The monsters that aren't on your kill list only respawn once (except Vespoid and Honrnetaur) and when you come back the third time, they're completely gone. If you're going for 'kill X number of Y' missions, they'll respawn in a different place (again, only once). Good thing to remember if you're trying to get rid of a very big annoying monster using a weak weapon.
  • Superboss: After playing the role of Final Bosses in the first generation of games, the Fatalis dragons became secret, unlockable bosses from the second generation onwards. In Freedom 2 specifically, White Fatalis is the most difficult to unlock, because you must have slain at least five specimens of every other Elder Dragon except the first two Fatalis (you need to defeat only three of those in total); in Freedom Unite, its G-Rank version can be unlocked after defeating the other two Fatalis in G Rank at least once each and completing all Boss Rush hunting quests.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: Tigrex is the tiger to Rathalos' dragon. An interesting case as both are actually dragons with a big cat motif, but Tigrex's tiger motif is rather blatant, and has a wild, charging in berserker style, contrasting Rathalos' rather subtle Lion motif and traditional aerial style with fireballs and poison talons.
  • Updated Re-release: Zig-zagged, as it features many elements of 2 such as monsters, quests, weapons and mechanics; but it also severely overhauls many aspects such as subquests, seasons, location and the main story in favor of a brand-new experience, thus being ultimately a new game instead of a port.

Freedom Unite provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Background Music Override: This trope started becoming possible in the Monster Hunter series since this expanded version, as quests with more than one kind of large monster (the Epic Quests) are introduced here. The standard Battle Theme Music for each area is usually played whenever you're hunting a large monster, unless you're hunting a Yian Garuga, Tigrex, Nargacuga or Rajang. The former three have each a dedicated battle theme that override those of all areas except the Arena's, while Rajang has a theme capable of overriding every theme including the Arena. Interestingly, King Shakalaka's theme can override the Small Arena's, but that's simply because of the playful nature of the monster itself. So in the practical scheme the priority sequence is the following: Stage < Yian Garuga = Tigrex = Nargacuganote  < Arena = Tower < Rajang. None of this counts the Elder Dragon themes, as Elder Dragons themselves never appeared alongside any other monster at the same time in the series prior to Monster Hunter: World.
  • Boss-Only Level: The Snowy Mountain Peak, a single-zone hunting area where Ukanlos is fought, makes its debut here.
  • Boss Rush: Starting from this game, the series features the "Epic/Marathon" Hunting Quests. Made particularly difficult because you can't change your weapon mid-hunt and each monster is easier/harder to deal with using certain weapons more than others (e.g Dual swords on a Plesioth is pain incarnate; a bow or bowgun with Pierce shots will make sashimi out of one). To ease the pain, large monsters in multi-monster quests tend to have less health; a monster that typically takes you 15 minutes to slay normally can take only 10 minutes or even five.
  • The Bus Came Back: After having debuted in Dos but not appearing in Freedom 2, Yama Tsukami makes a return, being now one of the Urgent Quest monsters in G Rank.
  • Canon Immigrant: Many elements from Frontier are transferred over here to the main series, such as the Great Forest location, the music introduced in the game and the first two newly-introduced monsters, Hypnocatrice and Lavasioth.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The English translation features the imaginatively named 'Darkness Darkblade'.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The role in this expansion is given to Shen Gaoren itself, because you're now offered a set of high-rank quests by a revered Felyne (Nekoht), meaning that the quests you did so far are now labeled as low-rank ones. In the multiplayer quests, Akantor (originally the Final Boss in that campaign in Freedom 2) is demoted to this, as now you'll be given G Rank quests to continue your hunting activities, starting with a duo of Hypnocatrice.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Due to its habitats being deserts instead of snowy mountains, Copper Blangonga departs from the ice-based attacks of its parent speces (Blangonga) in favor of earth-based ones. It can throw large rocks lifted from the ground, and spew a sand breath capable of incapacitating hunters. Its fangs are also much bigger than those of its snowy cousin.
  • Enough to Go Around: It's possible to carve two tongues out of a Popo (read: Wooly Mammoth).
  • Fartillery: Besides having featured Congalala since the original Freedom 2, this expansion adds the Emerald subspecies in G Rank. It not only retains the bad habit of farting and burping from its pink cousin, but sometimes it can even fart while it's resting on the ground. And in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, it can even fart several times in succesion while moving beneath the canopies.
  • Grand Finale: To the original two first generations, having brought back every single past monster, map, material and even adding elements from Frontier to the mix. Future games would all fluctuate between the roster of monsters brought back with some having yet to return to the franchise after their last outings in this game.
  • An Ice Person: Ukanlos is the snowy cousin of the volcanic Akantor. On top of being able to traveling under the frozen ground easily, it can exhale a powerful torrent of icy breath. Also, when it's angry, it pops out of the ground so rapidly that it lifts large chunks of snow capable of causing ice damage (and, in later games, covers the hunter in snow, impeding their action power).
  • Insect Queen: The Vespoid Queen, which can use pheromones to attract other Vespoids and command them to attack the hunter.
  • Killer Gorilla: In addition to featuring Congalala, Blangonga and Rajang (all of which are also present in the base bestiary of Freedom 2), the expansion introduces new subspecies and variants based on them in G Rank: Emerald Congalala (which not only tends to fart more often than its pink counsin, but also exhale a bigger variety of ailment-based breaths), Copper Blangonga (which lurks in desert areas and can lift large rocks to attack the hunters), and Furious Rajang (a permanently enraged Rajang with stronger electric attacks).
  • Last Chance Hit Point: One can actually make certain armor sets with a skill called "Survival", which allows the player to survive any attack with 1 HP if they were above a certain percentage of health beforehand.
  • Making a Splash: In addition to having featured the water-based Daimyo Hermitaur and Shogun Ceanataur since the original Freedom 2, the game introduces subspecies based on them in G Rank: Plum Daimyo Hermitaur (which moves in a curved sideway pattern while shooting the water stream to make it even harder for hunters to dodge it) and Terra Shogun Ceanataur (which can shoot water while climbing to the ceilings).
  • Megamix Game: The game incorporates every monster that has appeared in the series up to that point, including the first two monsters that debuted in the Monster Hunter Frontier Spin-Off (Hypnocatrice and Lavasioth). It also features not only all hunting areas from Monster Hunter 2 (dos) and the original Freedom 2, but also those of Monster Hunter (2004) and its rereleases (G and Freedom) and the first hunting area from Frontier (Great Forest). It does introduce brand-new monsters (such as Vespoid Queen, Nargacuga and subspecies of the Carapaceons and Fanged Beasts, to name a few) and mechanics (multi-monster quests and the Felyne partner), to keep things fresh.
  • Moveset Clone: Akantor and Ukanlos, with the latter joining the former since this game. Both are exceptionally powerful Flying Wyverns whose power and size are reminiscent of Elder Dragons, and their proportions and designs are similar as well. They tend to perform large-scale attacks with their mouths and are capable of moving from one spot to another by dashing underground. However, Akantor inhabits volcanoes and its attacks are imbued with fire and dragon elements, while Ukanlos inhabits cold regions and its attacks are imbued with ice.
  • Nostalgia Level: Every First Generation map comes back in High Rank (except Forest and Hills, which has been present since Low Rank in Freedom 2), with their original music and layouts intact.
  • Old Save Bonus: Freedom Unite provides the option to transfer a save file from Freedom 2, since both installments are on the same system. It is one-way only, meaning that it cannot be transferred back.
  • Shock and Awe: In addition to featuring Rajang since Dos and Freedom 2, the game introduces a Furious variant of it in G Rank, whose electric powers are not only even more powerful, but can also be used anytime due to the monster always being in a permanent rage state (meaning that much of its fur remains gold-colored due to the electricity).
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Much like their cousins which borrow skulls from other monsters to use them as carapaces, the subspecies Plum Daimyo Hermitaur and Terra Shogun Ceanataur do the same with Diablos and Black Gravios skulls respectively.
  • Spike Shooter: Nargacuga is able to fling spikes from its tail during battle.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: The Nargacuga has a tail slam that, while powerful, will lodge its tail spikes in the ground for a good amount of time, leaving it far more vulnerable then its other attacks do.
  • Tail Slap: Nargacuga is capable of doing a deadly tail slam that has a hitbox twice the size of the tail.
  • Title Drop Chapter: The game features a special urgent quest called "Monster Hunter", which pits the player in a Boss Rush against Rathalos, Tigrex, Nargacuga and Rajang; the first three monsters are the respective Mascots of all handheld Monster Hunter games released up to that point, while the fourth one is one of the hardest bosses.
  • Updated Re-release: Of Freedom 2, keeping the base game but expanding greatly on it with returning maps and new ones, as well as a whole slew of new subspecies and monsters in addition to Frontier elements.
  • You Are Not Alone: The game's tagline: "In the world of Monster Hunter, you are never alone." Which should be true as trying to solo some of the Harder Than Hard G-Rank quests can result in repeated death with High Rank armor and weaponry. Doesn't really help that the entry G-Rank quest just pits you against two Joke Characters with rather bad weapons and armor...