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Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Bestiary Day 3 – Elder Dragon Velkhana

Over the previous couple of days, we’ve taken a have a look at Barrioth and Banbaro, two of the monsters from Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. We’re going out with a bang, with an examination of the growth’s flagship monster, the elder dragon Velkhana.

Iceborne’s frosty new setting of Hoarfrost Attain gave the Monster Hunter crew an apparent artistic course when it got here time to design its flagship monster. “We wished to guarantee that the elder dragon related to this space made sense, so naturally it went to an elder dragon with the theme of ice,” says Kaname Fujioka, the sport’s govt director and artwork director. “One of many defining options with elder dragons usually is we really feel they’ve a a lot greater affinity to the factor that they’re related to.

Thankfully, we didn’t have an elder dragon that centered on ice, so we felt that this was a pure transition to creating an elder dragon with a excessive affinity towards ice.” In different phrases, whereas you could have fended off some icy assaults from Legiana in Monster Hunter: World, Velkhana is a completely completely different expertise altogether.

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“Now that we all know that the overall motif of Velkhana is ice, we wished to guarantee that we put all the completely different particulars into ensuring that the participant is ready to see that motif,” Fujioka says. The design crew put explicit emphasis in carving out a definite silhouette for Velkhana, so gamers might inform at a look what factor it’s related to. It seems distinctly completely different from the elder dragons you could have seen in Monster Hunter: World, which usually have extra of a beefier, brutish look. In distinction, Velkhana is sort of svelte.  

“To start with, we wished to check a sublime monster and sort of envisioned it having a chook wingspan, so to talk, as sort of the preliminary imagery,” Fujioka says. “The wingspan thought was a cool thought, however we wished to guarantee that the overall form and silhouette of the elder dragon this time round was very completely different from earlier elder dragons. … As a result of it has a excessive affinity towards ice, we wished to sharpen up the sides and guarantee that’s way more effectively outlined, in addition to it having extra of a whiplike tail. That’s one thing you didn’t see in earlier elder dragons.”

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It took a number of iterations and false begins earlier than the crew got here up with a basic form. Then they bumped into one other drawback: How does it use the ice? To make issues extra difficult, the Monster Hunter crew tries to work inside the realm of plausibility. As far-fetched as these monsters could appear, the designers agonize over arising with explanations for his or her varied skills past shrugging and invoking the supernatural. The identical goes for Velkhana.

“We didn’t need it to be outlined as, ‘Oh, it’s ready to make use of these ice assaults by performing magic,’” Fujioka says. “We didn’t need that sort of attribute; we wished it to be grounded in some stage of believability. That was sort of a place to begin there. We bounced a bunch of various concepts amongst ourselves, and what we in the end chanced upon was the thought of supercooling, the place liquid instantly turns to a strong underneath sure circumstances. We felt that might be a really attention-grabbing idea to base an elder dragon on, so we went in that particular course.” 

Once you first encounter Velkhana, it isn’t aggressive. You’ll be able to stroll round it and admire its iridescent sheen with out having to fret about being attacked. It doesn’t view you as a risk, or a lot of something, actually. That’s, till you assault. When you begin the battle, it darts into the air and covers itself in a layer of icy shards. It additionally blasts ice at hunters. What’s the in-universe clarification?

“When it shoots an icy breath it’s liquid whereas it’s nonetheless respiratory, however the second that it hits the bottom that liquid instantly turns to ice,” Fujioka says. “On the similar time, if it’s interacting with the air round it there’s sort of a extra dense fog that breath is ready to work together with that fog and create ice in midair.” Between Velkhana’s scales are ducts that excrete the liquid that it may well freeze to armor itself up when crucial. “Once more, it’s grounded somewhat extra within the believability, however executing these nearly magic-like assaults.

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Since Velkhana is an elder dragon, the gear you may craft from it must be impactful. The crew didn’t scrimp when it got here to this side of Velkhana’s design. “We went by means of a number of ideas and in the end landed on the concept that you’d put on one thing that’s nearly like a go well with of armor together with a costume,” Fujioka says. “That is the ultimate model of the Velkhana armor set, actually showcasing that magnificence of carrying a costume and seeing the intricacies of in the event you had been to truly placed on completely different elements of ice. The entire thought is that the visuals are a go well with of armor, however the silhouette is sort of a costume and sort of having that magnificence in each dimensions.”

For the weapons, the designers included parts of Velkhana’s type, together with its wingspan motif and its whip-like tail. “Much like different elder-dragon armor units, these armor units have distinctive abilities related to them,” Fujioka says. “We’ve got that very same factor occurring with Velkhana as effectively, so please look ahead to that.” 

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