Content of the article: "Gen. 1/Freedom Fatalis is better balanced and less bullshit than Iceborne’s (without a doubt the most controversial take I’ve ever had here)"
Yes I know how crazy this sounds. Dear fucking god do I know how crazy it sounds. But I'm farming Freedom's HR5 Fatty for its sweet sweet True Black Dragon Sword and it's a bit of a slow burn of a fight. Gives me time to think and mull things over about how the fight is designed. And it's a feeling I've come to in that all my grievances that can be found with Freedom 1's Fatalis can be found just as easily with Iceborne's, buuuuuuut there are also cases where the problem isn't as big of a concern as it is in Iceborne.
Damage potential: Both fights are fucking bullshit in this regard, with moves that can easily one-shot a hunter with maxed out endgame armor without difficulty. Freedom has the iconic snap-and-drag plus general bullshit with belly flops, Fatalis's wobbly knees. Both fights have fireballs that can just obliterate you in one go. In general it's just an experience of pain and suffering and the underlying idea is less that you should risk tanking hits, and instead just worry about not getting hit period.
… But this is where things get interesting. Freedom 1, for those who haven't played it, is far more restrictive in terms of armor and skills. You're likely to only get one (or two, if you're willing to also take a negative skill) worthwhile skill in a build. So whereas IFatty feels like the culmination of more than two years of relentless power creep because it, requiring many players to bring their absolute best of the best to take it down, armor isn't much of a concern at all against F1Fatty and the gear that helps out the best vs. the fight (specifically the Garuga S gear for HG Earplugs) isn't hard to farm.
Crunched time limit/pseudo DPS check: Both the HR5 F1Fatty fight and the IFatalis fight are under significantly limited time; 15 minutes for the former and 30 for the latter. You don't have a lot of time to dilly-dally around for either, and unfortunately both do have bullshit that they can do to waste significant time. F1Fatalis takes FUCKING FOREVER to transition from one zone to the next. IFatty has its OHKOs and spends a lot of time airborne too, and unfortunately attacks while using the Clutch Claw aren't known for their high damage potential and Fatty also doesn't land in as exploitable a way as Freedom 1's.
… But the time limit, while twice as strict in Freedom 1, feels half as punishing. F1Fatalis's super-long transition move I bitched about one paragraph above? Yeah it doesn't do it in the lowest entry-fee version of the fight because you're only using half the arena, saving yourself significant time. And even if you time out and fail to repel/kill Fatalis in Freedom 1, you still have moved closer to eventually killing the bastard because its health carries over between fights. It all just feels like more forethought went into designing the mechanics behind Freedom 1's Fatalis than Iceborne's, which was more concerned with spectacle. If you got to F1Fatty, you probably are well-equipped to beat it. For IFatty, you might have to workshop things again from the ground up depending on how you tackled Alatreon.
Movement speed: No contest here. Freedom 1's Fatalis moves sluggishly and its AI seems to crap out regularly, belly flopping against walls for some reason or another that devs at Capcom looked at and went "yeah, this is acceptable". F1-Fatty hits hard but its slow movement speed gives you at least some leeway in knowing when you have an opening and can pour on the damage. IFatty's movements honestly feel overcranked to hell and back and you can very easily be in a situation where you think you have an opening, take advantage of it, and then Fatalis just backs up and nukes you with its ground AOEs.
Breaking parts: This is a weird one but I'm bringing it up because I find it rather odd but interesting. F1Fatty's HR5 fight seemingly handles part breaks differently from pretty much every other hunt I've ever seen in the franchise, wherein partbreaks are tied to successfully repelling Fatalis. Fatalis's eye is damaged upon the first successful repel. Its horn is chipped upon the second. The horn breaks off cleanly after the third. And its chest and wings are damaged after the fourth. On the fifth, F1Fatty'll either be killed by the end or is so close to death that the next fight will see it drop dead after a few hits. I don't really mind this approach because there gives a certain degree of certainty to it, something that -to IFatalis's credit- it seems to have inherited with its guaranteed rewards for breaking certain parts. Only issue with IFatty is they made that head notoriously hard to crack for quite a few weapons and I'm not a fan of that.
Visuals: Yeah IFatty looks great in HD and whatnot, but the fight and its appearance really loses something by not having its eye torn out. World in general had a problem with downplaying the appearances of a lot of part breaks and the one that hurt the most for me was not seeing Fatalis's face getting scarred.
But yeah, tl;dr: Fatalis in Freedom 1 just resonates with me a hell of a lot better. Fuck it, it might unironically be my favorite version of the fight for how no-nonsense it was.
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