Barroth is dead, long live the Hunter

So Barroth is dead, finally. And I only fainted… twice.

So it was a bit of a close call. Barroth’s pretty hard-hitting and becomes much more deadly when enraged, because in addition to being very painful, it becomes fast enough to make dodging tricky, especially when it walks past you and outside your view. I also need to learn not to hang around near the edges of areas, where it can corner me. On a couple of occasions it knocked me into adjacent areas because I was hanging around the exit, but that isn’t really something I can rely on. I imagine that Rathian will also become more deadly through speed when it enrages, but knowing that one it might pick up extra attacks in that state, too.
Some things like Qurupeco and Royal Ludroth are just pathetic and easy to dodge even when enraged, though.
Also, I captured a Royal Ludroth. It never managed to hit me when it was underwater; all of the damage I took was either out of the water – I got hit with its breath a few times, caught by its tail when it rolled, and it charged over me once – or in the water, from the normal Ludroths which, whilst annoying, still aren’t enough of a threat to warrant attention.
Now I get to take on a Gobul, which I hear has qualities of both Plesioth and Gypceros; you can fish it out, and it has a bright thing on its head which can stun you. And here I am without my stun-proof armour sets; joy. Gypceros was another one I had problems with working out how to beat in Monster Hunter Freedom 2, and was actually the creature that got me using Hammers after a couple of failed attempts with a bow. I think my main issue with the fight was that it tended to be in the Swamps, at night, so in addition to stunning I also had to be careful where I walked, ran or dodged, else find myself dealing with poison on top of everything else.

Monster Hunter Tri’s Missing Weapons

So Monster hunter Tri is out. I got my copy.
…I haven’t been able to play it yet, but I have it. So I’ve been reading through the manual a couple of times, and confirming things with a friend who has been able to play.

Monster Hunter Tri ditched some of the weapon types from Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (and earlier games).
The weapon types available in Tri are:

  • Sword and Shield
  • Great Sword
  • Hammer
  • Lance
  • Switch Axe
  • Long Sword
  • Bowgun

For comparison, there were 11 types available in MHFU; Dual Swords, the Hunting Horn, the Gunlance and the Bow have been omitted, and Bowguns were split into Heavy and Light.

I can see where they were going. It’s annoying that my favourite weapon type vanished, but I spent time running around last night in MHFU using a Light Bowgun that I hastily threw together to kill Anteka; there wasn’t that much difference between using a Light Bowgun rather than a Bow. You can’t charge your shots and you need to spend time reloading after a given number of attacks, but the basic power of the ammo you’re using might be better than a bow would give you anyway, and you have more variability so long as you fill your inventory with more stacks of ammo.

There just wasn’t that much difference. Gunlances were lances, but with ranged elements. Hunting Horns were Hammers that could replicate a set of buffs from items. Dual Swords were Swords and Shields that dropped the ‘shield’ bit to attack faster, and copied part of the Long Sword’s ‘spirit gauge’ mechanic. Bowguns Light and Heavy were still both Bowguns, and if I’m reading the manual correctly – my friend hasn’t gotten around to testing those yet – now have their weight determined by both the frame and the parts used, rather than being fixed with minor modifications if you add a scope or long barrel.

The Switch Axe is a new type, though, pulling elements from both the Great Sword and what looks like the Dual Swords. Or the Long Sword. Or the Bow, based on the terminology, but I’m reasonably sure it’s not that.
The Switch Axe’s shtick seems to be that it can switch between modes; axe mode, and sword mode. The axe mode is for hitting things, and the sword mode is for using special moves or unleashing elemental fury or… something…
I’m not much for melee combat with edged weapons. Give me a good Hammer or Hunting Horn any day.

Still, it’s a new weapon type for this game. I wonder how many it’ll stick around for?

And another thing…

…upon reflection, De Ragan is almost as pitiable as a Basarios, when it comes to difficulty.
Yes. De Ragan, the obligatory dragon boss in Phantasy Star Universe, is almost as easy to beat as the Easiest Wyvern Ever. The only reason it isn’t easier is it has homing fireballs that you must rely on luck for dodging, and spades more health, making tapping it down with a lone Force an exercise in the durability of your digits more than anything. De Ragan moves and attacks so slowly that the only thing that ever hit me was the aforementioned homing fireballs, which are a little cheap.

In every other way, it’s more pitiable than a Basarios. Its model looks ugly, and its feet don’t actually line up with the floor. I also think it’s supposed to be coloured ‘realistically’, as it may not be infected by SEED, but… well, in that case, it’s naturally in possession of neon-green lines.

I suspect Monster Hunter Freedom 2 has broken ordinary bosses and models for me. Why can’t more games look nice?

Why I don’t like Phantasy Star Universe as much as Phantasy Star Online or Monster Hunter Freedom 2…

Well, I’m still alive. I’ve just been taking an unannounced-though-obvious vacation from… uh… inspiration. Not relating to ideas for articles, as I have many of those lying around, but relating to how I should write them. What particular games I should reference, why those and not others.
As far as art’s concerned, I’ve just been lazy, though. I need to get back into the habit of both posting and practicing art, really, so… here’s a not-as-small-as-first-intended rant that connects to game design a little.


As much as I loved Phantasy Star Online on the Gamecube, I really don’t enjoy most of Phantasy Star Universe; I didn’t have anything to compare Story mode to the last time I played it, but now I can say the characters and lack of acting are reminiscent of Two Worlds. Ethan is as annoying as the unnamed protagonist from that game, and only shows barely more expression… and that’s simply because the story mode uses emote animations from the Extra and Network modes. Voice-wise, only a few characters show any emotion besides an arbitrarily-determined default setting.
So I don’t like Story mode. I’m also too cheap to pay money to play a mission-based game with very little exploration online.

Why don’t I just play Extra mode? That’s just like the offline mode of Phantasy Star Online, right? Well, in order to unlock Extra mode, a player has to complete up to chapter 4 of Story mode, first; they sort of serve as a tutorial – chapters 1 to 3, anyway, chapter 4 is anyone’s guess as to why it’s a requirement – and you only have to do it once… per install. I’m not on the computer I was last playing PSU on, so I had to go through it all again. Additionally, that only opens Parum for Extra mode. If I want to amble around Neudaiz and Moatoob, or unlock more than the basic four-or-so missions for Parum, I have to complete more chapters. Each chapter drags on slightly too long for me to enjoy, and having to go through the first four chapters with Ethan Waber and his merry men in order to unlock something that should have been

It’s also not entirely like the offline mode. I’ve mentioned it before elsewhere, but there are two very significant differences between Phantasy Star Offline and Phantasy Star Universe. In each case, Monster Hunter Freedom 2 is closer to PSU than PSO, but manages to make their decision work where in PSU a similar mechanic falls flat.

The first difference is that PSU is exclusively mission-based; you cannot go anywhere without a mission. When you pick a mission in PSU, you are essentially picking a map, the spawning patterns of enemies, and each Free Mission – the only kind of mission available – took place on a different map. I think. PSO, on the other hand, allowed you to go out without a general mission – though you still had an objective – and all missions for a given area (say… Ruins…) took place on the same series of maps. PSO’s maps had a number of possible starting positions, a number of different possible spawning patterns depending on where you started and what mission, if any, you were currently working on, and were much larger than PSU’s maps. By necessity; anyone forced to run through the same area ten times in a row would swiftly tire of the game. A large continuous map allowed a player’s knowledge of the area
from missions – which tended to cover just a small portion of the whole
map – to guide them when just exploring and trying to complete the area, and vice versa, without giving the entire game away. ‘That path leads to a dead end, that other path leads to the teleporter when not on a mission, Delsabers spawned here last time, after poking the item box…’ Missions themselves in PSO were not made to be repeated until a player either beat every mission and the game, at which point they all unlocked again, or until the player starts a game on a new difficulty setting, and begin all the missions from the start; thus keeping players from having the exact details of a mission etched into their very grey matter from sheer repetition.
Unfortunately, PSU’s missions are designed to be repeated, ad nauseum; with just Parum’s initial set of Free Missions unlocked, a player has to run through the first mission three or four times killing everything just to attain the level requirement for the next mission. I can only imagine things get worse as it starts to take longer to level, but despite unlocking Neudaiz and Moatoob for Extra mode in my first install of PSU, I never lasted to the point where my character would have enough levels to survive a single hit on those.
However, Monster Hunter is an exclusively mission-based game. You can’t go anywhere without accepting a mission; which selects map, enemies, alters the chances of picking up certain items around the map sometimes…
So why is Monster Hunter Freedom 2 much better than Phantasy Star Universe, if they’re both entirely mission-based? Well, MH takes the PSO approach to maps and missions; each mission takes place in a region (Hills & Forest, Snowy Mountain, Volcano… and so forth), and that region’s map is the same every time. Missions alter enemy spawn rates and patterns, the chance of picking up certain items, and the goal of the mission, but not the map, beyond occasionally blocking off a few areas… just like PSO. The player does not necessarily have to visit every single area in the region to complete a mission; usually, they’re set up so that is specifically not the case, with target creatures running through just three or four areas, or target items only obtainable in one or two constant areas, out of sixteen. MHF2’s missions also tend to be… short, despite having absolute upper time limits of fifty real-time minutes, in most cases. Either you succeed, or you die three times, hit reward zero and fail automatically, and you usually succeed or die long before time over. Taking close to the entire allotted time is usually a big hint that you should reassess your equipment. Speaking of which…

The second major difference is in your inventory. PSO’s total set of items is, on the whole, much more interesting than PSU’s list. For a very, very simple reason:
I do not like generic gear. I like interesting loot.
Phantasy Star Online had enemies drop equipment. Mostly… yes, it was generic. Sabers (Brands, Busters, Pallasches, Gladius’…), Swords (Gigushes, Breakers, Claymores, Caliburs), and Wands (Staves, Batons, Scepters) for a few examples of weapons and their better-statted counterparts from later areas and difficulties. Sometimes, however, you got a shiny RED box, rather than a dull green or blue thing; a rare item. Like DISKA OF LIBERATOR… which was probably the most common rare I ever saw, but still better than another Cane. Or an enemy part; how about a Rappy Wing? You could also get Mag cells, which changed your already-nifty evolving piece of equipment into something shinier, under the right conditions. There was always the possibility of a very nice drop
Phantasy Star Universe had a Star Trek replicator disguised as a poor replacement for a stay-at-home MAG. Enemies occasionally dropped materials for replication, but more often than not you had to go out and buy those. Usually they just dropped meseta and monomates. Once in a blue moon, you’d find…!
A circuit board. You had the budget MAG-substitute produce a generic piece of gear for you. No legendary rare items, just another generic-though-better-statted piece of probably-mass-produced gear. Or a novelty room decoration requiring drops just as rare as the board was, and with a high chance of failure. So not only could you not immediately use what you picked up, there was even a chance you’d never get to use it anyway.
Which sounds better? Rivetacle, or Heart of Poumn? Burzaihoh, or Snow Queen? What makes a Ryo-Betatore better than a Ryo-Louktore? Even PSU’s ultimate weapons, from boards not found in shops, sound generic. I don’t know what they look like. I never felt motivated to invest the effort to find out.
MHF2 takes a similar approach to equipment to PSU; enemies don’t drop equipment, but instead drop materials for equipment. It’s understandable; in PSO, equipment drops were weakly justified by telling us they previously belonged to a now-dead military, or… well, worse, you’re killing the, um, Jenova’d remains of that military. It’s never quite specified exactly what happened, and it stretches credibility that the monster standing in front of you a few seconds ago was holding a DISKA OF LIBERATOR and is not now dancing in your guts. In PSU, enemies might drop things like Acid or Jelly… oh, I don’t know. It’s never made clear how you GET these materials, as enemies tend to disappear in a cloud of blood once they die. Microscopic SEEDs, perhaps?
In MHF2, however, the material drops make more sense; Genprey can be carved to produce Genprey Fangs, Claws, and Scales, amongst other stuff. The things you’d expect to get when tearing apart a monster’s carcass to salvage anything useful. PSU would just give you ‘Paralytic Venom’, and never tell you that you really have a handful of Genprey Fangs. Sensible naming, whoo… but it doesn’t stop there. MHF2 doesn’t have generic equipment, doesn’t have different names for something that is nothing but a basic upgrade of something you had previously, and doesn’t require you to find a ‘recipe’ for each weapon; if you have the parts to make something, you definitely have the ability to tell the weaponsmith or armoursmith to make it. There’s no chance of failure, either; having a chance of failing at both the point you loot (not getting the necessary item) AND the point you craft (failing to make it and wasting your items) is too much chance of failure, and needlessly frustrating to see all your work at the first stage possibly ruined at the second. MHF2 simply lets you have your item as soon as you have the materials and money to pay the crafter… and materials aren’t in short supply. You just sometimes need a lot of them.

Summary and Conclusions

Repetition is, to a certain degree, unavoidable in any game that allows you to backtrack and revisit previous areas. Naturally. Painful repetition can be alleviated through a number of methods:
Not requiring the player to visit every single place on the map, every time they visit. This very quickly gets old. Where a single large map is used for multiple missions, each mission could only allow passage to a much smaller portion of that map, and where each mission has its own map, don’t require footsteps over all of it in order to finish the mission, and don’t have only one useful mission at any given time.
Adding a little variety; through multiple start positions, a la PSO, or through randomised (…maybe) spawns of monsters each mission, or even each time you visit the area in a single mission, a la MHF2. Variety in the target of the mission also counts; PSO had you pick up parts of an CAST, at least one miniature stealth mission, hunting a scientist wearing a Rappy costume, and killing 100 monsters with another Hunter before he dies… complete with timer ticking down for the NPC. MHF2 has its large cast of boss monsters, such as the one I took my name here from, and a host of missions tracking down items and hunting smaller things, as well.
Interesting maps; MHF2’s regions look stunning every time I play, and PSO’s maps, with the exception of Forest, were absolutely huge – with, yes, some repetition, but not painful repetition. I always used to get very lost in the Mines.

Non-generic equipment is either easier or more difficult to solve, depending on how you look at it. MHF2 had no generic equipment or models for equipment whatsoever; each weapon-series was never visually repeated. A War Hammer+ looked the same as a War Hammer, but looked nothing like Crystal Hammer, Crater Maker, the Sanctioned Hammer, or Iron Striker… for a small example. However, it takes much more work to make unique models for each distinct weapon than, say, to make a lightsaber, call it a Brand, and vary its colour randomly or based on its element.
The other solution is to come up with significant names; nonsense names don’t cut it, as PSU proved with its ‘Baybari’ and ‘Ryo-Betatore’. PSO had ‘Rika’s Claw’ and ‘Nei’s Claw’, named after famous characters from earlier Phantasy Star games, and ‘Heart of Poumn’, referring both to another earlier character (Alis), and to a significant piece of text within the main game (‘MUUT DITS POUMN’). Hildebear’s Cane, Diska of Liberator, Meteor Cudgel… they stand out from the generic weapons by their name and description – and stats, and rarity – if not always by appearance.

Phantasy Star Online was by no means perfect, or non-repetitive – Forest, though nice, gets repetitive eventually – but it had far less problems than Phantasy Star Universe, where everything became tiresome for me. A lot of PSU’s trouble was probably caused by noticing small maybe-problems in Phantasy Star Online and generally answering them correctly, but getting many small details wrong in the process. MHF2 independently made the same choices, and without (as?) many of those small annoying burrs that turn up in PSU.
I guess that makes PSU an example of what not to do for… well… anything, then.

Blog Stats and the ‘Search Engine Terms’ (AKA, Aunt Lio Answers…?)

I check my stats often. For this blog, I mean. I check a lot of stats normally, but they’re usually in whatever games I’m playing; my levels in Destruction, Restoration, Mercantile and Stealth, for instance.
Wordpress blog stats, anyway. How many people visited; usually an increase of some kind after writing a long, essay-length piece, like my last post (18 ‘today’, or yesterday by my clock, when I write this). Masses of people searching for impressions of Portal: Prelude on the 11th, most hitting my review/rant.
There’s also more constant traffic, rather than traffic depending on what’s currently popular, to play or talk about; usually at least one person daily looking for something about Blaze & Blade, who may or may not be someone I know. Likewise Etrian Odyssey, but no one’s commented on those posts, sadly. I love chattering about those games.
I’ll post more soon, promise. Etrian Odyssey 2 is on the top of my ‘must plaaaay’ list, and shall be returned to after I beat Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations. Which is much, much easier, but I don’t play that game for the difficulty.

I like it when something I’ve written gets seen; I think everyone feels at least a mild sense of achievement when they do something they like, other people witness, and no one disapproves without reason. Mostly, though, I check that page to see how people found this lair. Whether it’s something I wrote that they’ll be interested in, or they found it by mistake because some of my tags matched their terms.
Quite a few search terms seem to be more active queries, and I always get the urge to answer those. Which is really why I’m making this post. The five I got today range from random things to some of those actively questioning queries, and one recurring query – the one about Etrian Odyssey and its password – so you’ll see a nice selection.

To the adventurer who asked about ‘blaze and blade canyon path’…
I think it’s a bit of a tedious area, but that’s partially highlighted by that collapsing bridge right at the start. It looks like, for once, you’re going to get a quick path – you know they might take it away after the boss – but, no, you have to walk the long way both times. I wouldn’t mind it if, say, the long path led to something interesting, like an optional cave or somewhere with history, or… well… anything. But it doesn’t, and there opportunities have been lost.
What do you think of the place?

To the guildmaster pondering the mystery of the ‘etrian odyssey password’ – and, uh, everyone else turning up here since I first posted about the game…
I had the same problem, I think. Hit select when on the menu, after loading a save, and you’ll get the option screen with the password available. The one from the game’s main menu is a nasty red herring, and I’m surprised it was left in on that particular screen, considering how many people it’s confused.
I abstractly knew I should have checked the manual, but I didn’t, either. I thought I had to beat EVERYTHING to get the password, and thus all my headaches over fighting Primevil. Then again, it gave me something to do while my foot healed, so anyone finding this post from now on should know they’re not alone, and that I probably went through more thanks to my own idiocy anyway.

To the possible member of the Hunter’s Guild, Pioneer 2 Chapter, wondering about ‘the ruins 2’:
Ahh, sorry you didn’t find what you were looking for, if my guess on the above line is correct. Completely coincidentally… or not, as that game really does share a lot of qualities I love with Blaze & Blade, including a whole boss in Ep. 2… I’m rather fond of PSO, and I’m disappointed that PSU wasn’t quite as good, in my opinion, trading the whole ‘item collection’ thing for a ‘make your own’ mechanic that’s implemented in a worse manner than Monster Hunter’s.
Ahem. PSO, Ruins 2. Where enemies come in nigh-neverending waves, and a humble FOnewearl on her tod has to inhale most of her ‘fluids to deal with each room. Which is all well and good, since the value of the loot by that point tends to exceed the cost of the ‘fluids, but it does get a little ridiculous, thinking about it. Still, it’s a beautiful, if deeply frightening place.
‘Revolution to the origin PART 2’ is one of my favourite musical pieces in that Episode, discounting the boss themes, thanks to the strings right at the beginning. Manic strings. Glee.
This probably didn’t help you at all, whatever you were looking for, but if you did play Phantasy Star Online, I hope this provokes fond thoughts of Ruins 2, rather than nightmares.

To the gamer… um… hmm. I’m running out of synonyms for ‘aski-‘ okay, I’ve got it.
To the gamer seeking a ‘rpg fantasy first person’… which technically was what I was writing about in my last post, but probably wasn’t quite what you were interested in…
Oblivion’s good, seriously, even though I can find enough things to poke about it to write an article like that. Morrowind is also good if you don’t mind older graphics, and is available in a single box with both of its official expansions from, well, anywhere that sells games. Even Tesco.
I also mentioned the Ultima Underworld pair of games, spinoffs from the successful Ultima line of PC RPGs, which were good enough to keep me playing even though I sucked horribly at them. They’re proto-Oblivions, if you think Oblivion is a good game.
On the consoles, you might want to try finding the King’s Field series of games on the PSX and PS2; I never played them, aside from Eternal Ring, a sidestory. Which I never got far in, but was enjoyable like Ultima Underworld 2.
Um. Other than that, I tend to go for anything that isn’t first-person, I’m afraid. You’re asking the wrong person. Do you know of any good games I might want to try?

To the hunter wondering ‘how to kill a cephadrome with a bow’… and this was the second query in the list, but it’s long enough and detailed enough that it might be a bit much for someone not playing MHF(2) to skip past, so it’s here at the bottom.
Exactly how you kill a Cephalos with a bow, really. But just stopping there is a bit cheap. Cephadromes, like their smaller kin, are weak against Ice, so take your trusty Blango Fur Bow * for this trip, along with two less than as many Sonic Bombs as you can pack; Cephadrome really aren’t any trouble to take down with one or two Bombs, once you get the hang of it, but it’s always worth taking as many as you can the first time, whilst you learn when you can safely fire or not.
Presumably you know the range of your bows. If you don’t, take a trip to the Snowy Mountains and snipe some Popos; knowing how far you can stand from ANY Wyvern or Primatius boss is essential, and it’s even better when you know just how far away to stand and fire from to hit, say, a Yian Kut-ku’s ears. Knowledge of your weapons is essential; take some stones and practice throwing those if you’re not sure about Sonic Bombs, either.
That out of the way, actually taking down the Cephadrome. I recommend taking the Sonic Bombs from the supply box every time, as if you use only one of them, you’ve gotten a free Bomb in addition to saving the ones you made yourself. Take the rest of the stuff as you feel necessary, down a Cool or Hot Drink, whichever’s needed, and head out to the desert. Virtually every time I’ve taken this mission, the Cephadrome’s been on this screen; its fin is larger than those of the Cephalos, and if it IS there it tends to start trying to knock your feet out from under you almost immediately. Run to the centre, wait a little, and go search for it elsewhere if you don’t hear the ‘something big’s watching me’ piece.
Once you’ve found it… it’ll still be underground. What you’re aiming for when you toss each Sonic Bomb is its fin, and that usually means timing a throw to coincide with the fin missing you as it rushes past. The range of the soundburst a Sonic Bomb produces is about the size of a hunter, but if you get  it right on the fin the Cephadrome will react without fail. If you hang around long enough without doing that, whether because you keep missing or because you’re out of bombs, the Cephadrome’s fin will dip beneath the sand, and shortly afterwards it’ll arch its head out and spray sand at you. When the fin disappears, just make sure you’re moving, and this shouldn’t hit you; it’s a good opportunity to spike it in the head with a few arrows, or a better opportunity to throw a Sonic Bomb at it than as it goes past, as there’s less chance it’ll move out of the range before it goes off.
Having convinced the Cephadrome to please surface, it’ll flop around for a bit, just like Cephalos. Make sure you’re not standing in front of it, and throw off charged bowshots at it. Always fully charged shots unless you’re almost out of stamina, or have to dodge NOW, as uncharged shots do much less damage than fully charged ones.
Eventually it’ll stop thrashing, and get to its feet. This is very important; do not stay in front of the Wyvern. Never stand in front of any Wyvern without being in the middle of going to stand elsewhere; it may make hitting the head, or head and then straight through the body to the tail with a Piercing bow that much easier, but almost all Wyverns’ most devastating attacks can only be applied to a Hunter standing right in front of them. Hunters who stand still in front of Wyverns get spat, burnt, poisoned, bitten, stepped on, jumped on and shocked to failure. Not simultaneously unless there are some REALLY unfair missions out there, though. At this point in the game, you’re still able to easily heal the damage you’ll take there with Potions and other restorative items, but by the time you reach Red Khezu, you can get KO’d from full health instantly that way. Get out of that habit now and you won’t do stupid stuff like simultaneously wear Lightning-weak armour AND stand in front of Red Khezu later on.
Ahem. Ranting about my own stupidity aside, you can rather safely stand at a nice range from Cephadrome just slightly away from dead ahead; directly facing you is bad, facing 10 degrees away is pretty safe, as its sand breath, though it possesses a very long range ahead of the Wyvern, is much more a line than a cone or quarter. Work out what’s safe; it’s nasty, but it shouldn’t be deadly if you’ve picked decent armour. Bows are probably one of the best weapons to use against Cephadrome, as its weakness is its neck, and all its attacks save spitting sand fall much shorter than the comfortable range. Take your time aiming, try to make most of your shots fall against the Cephadrome’s long neck – preferrably whilst its spitting, as it should know better than to  leave itself open like that – and practice using rolling rather than running to dodge, if you feel like it. If you’re using any form of the Blango Fur Bow, the Cephadrome shouldn’t take long to fall, but just use a Sonic Bomb to convince it to surface properly again, or practice quickly aiming with the bow as it pops out of the sand; you’ll want to be good at that for a certain later Piscine Wyvern or two…
Oh, and remember to watch out for the Cephalos that may be lurking, depending on the area. They’re easy to dodge if you move every so often, but they’re an irritation, nethertheless.
I know that was long, but I don’t believe in knowingly being vague; Cephadrome was the first Wyvern I ever managed to take down, and I never managed it without a bow, so I never got further than the piscine livers quests in the original game.
As a very happy bow-using hunter, I hope this advice helps you… if you ever return here. Not likely, I know, but if you ever come by in future, tell me how it went!

That was fun. And I really don’t mind comments, even if it’s about how my opinions differ from yours. I don’t know everything, and I enjoy rambling and listening to people ramble about this stuff, so TALK, darnit. And post if these help!

First wyvern kill!

…okay, it’s not Yian Kut-Ku yet, but I’m working my way there.

I just succeeded in killing four Cephalos wyverns, and one Cephadrome, with a bow. I think the bow is my new favourite weapon in Monster Hunter Freedom 2; I can keep my distance with a bow and avoid getting clawed or tail-whipped to death.
I’m still failing at killing Gendromes, though. Are Gendromes tougher than Piscine wyverns, or am I just useless at fighting them?