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Monoliths

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"A giant rock? Well, that's not very threatening at all. Is it gonna fall over on us or something?"
―Matt, Epic Battle Fantasy 3

Monoliths are a recurring group of enemies found in Epic Battle Fantasy 3 and 4. They are enormous slabs of carved stone that emerge from the ground.

Combat Style

Although largely immobile, Monoliths can cast devastating magic, as well as a number of supportive skills. They also have high amount of HP and resistances against most Elements. In EBF3 they were arguably the most powerful normal foes encountered, while in EBF4 they became somewhat less threatening in favour of Dragons taking their place.

As Monoliths rely solely of their magical abilities, while having no physical attacks at all, inflicting Syphon or Berserk status on them renders them completely helpless and unable to perform any actions.

Types

SkyVikingMonolithsOverworld

A Sky Monolith (left) and a Viking Monolith (right) in the overworld

In their first appearance in Epic Battle Fantasy 3, there were three types of Monolith: Viking, Ancient, and Cosmic. Epic Battle Fantasy 4 introduced two more types (the Undying Monolith and Sky Monolith) while modifying the existing types, although the Cosmic Monolith was only available as a friendly summon until the Battle Mountain update and the Steam release, where it was reintroduced as an enemy.

Viking Monolith

This pointed grey Monolith is said to be carved by Vikings, it is the first type encountered, as early as Glacier Valley in EBF3 and Crystal Caverns in EBF4.

Viking Monolith uses powerful Ice-elemental skills that usually also have a chance to freeze their targets. It is vulnerable to Bomb and Earth-elemental attacks.

Ancient Monolith

This Monolith is pale yellow and irregular in shape, with a strange pictograph carved into its surface. It is seen mostly around Kitten Kingdom Ruins in EBF3 and the Temple of Godcat in EBF4. It is highly possible that similarly to the Protector, Ancient Monolith was in fact created by the Kitten civilization before their downfall.

Ancient Monolith uses a powerful non-elemental (EBF3) or Thunder-elemental (EBF4) laser, capable of dispelling targets' buffs. It also has access to a handful of buffs and healing skills for itself and its allies. It is vulnerable to Bomb and Ice elements, and, in EBF3 Water-element as well.

In EBF4, Ancient Monolith is also one of available summons, upon appearing it defends the whole party for a single turn, halving the damage received.

Cosmic Monolith

The most fearsome Monolith in the game appears as a perfectly rectangular black slab with glowing red markings. Its primary attack is appropriately nicknamed "Doomsday"; after firing a small laser (which hits the party for minor non-elemental damage), a rift of dark energy envelops the entire screen, dealing heavy Dark damage to everything on the field (and healing Dark-resistant enemies like the Cosmic Monolith). On Epic difficulty, this attack can even cause instant death. High Dark resistance is almost mandatory to survive this attack, but the Cosmic Monolith will never use this attack twice in a row, allowing a chance to heal and retaliate.

When not obliterating the party with Doomsday, a Cosmic Monolith casts Antimatter and Pulsar for dark damage, heals and dispels its debuffs, and buffs the accuracy and evade stats of itself and its allies. Its evasion is also higher than previous Monoliths (described in-game as its ability to warp space for short periods). Lance's Bind is almost mandatory against Cosmic Monoliths, and even then beware of their Purify spell. To deal as much damage as possible, use Natalie's Thunder spells and Lance's Airstrike or better yet, Lightning weapons and thunder spells. Make sure to use Regen (and probably some dark-resistant armor) for this strategy, though.

In Battle Mountain, the Cosmic Monolith appears as an extremely dangerous foe. It is the most dramatically-altered Monolith from Epic Battle Fantasy 3 in terms of battle abilities, although its physical appearance is unchanged. Its Doomsday spell has been nerfed slightly - it is telegraphed by the Monolith gaining Charged status, it does not damage/heal foes, and it only hits once (the small laser fired at the beginning of the attack is now purely cosmetic). On the other hand, the Cosmic Monolith's buff spell now increases the Magic Attack and Evade of itself and all allies in the wave, and it has a new attack: warping space to drop itself on a player, dealing non-elemental damage.

The Cosmic Monolith nullifies most elements (including Bomb), but it absorbs Dark and is weak to Thunder and Water (having a 100% weakness in both). It also has extremely low HP and extremely high Evade. Use Bind so that you can land your shots and focus it with Big Spark, Thunderbolt, Plasma Cross and/or Spark Arrow. Skills and Limit Breaks such as Combo Shot, Cleaver and Rapture which base their elements on the weapon are recommended as well. Debilitate and Screamer can lower its defensive stats so you can bring it down much easier. Barrier will keep it from doing too much damage. Ancient Monolith summon can be used in a pinch if you have no buffs and Syphon can stop it from using its Doomsday and will also stop it from buffing other foes.

The Cosmic Monolith summon is earned by defeating The Glitch in the Waste Disposal Plant. It is the most expensive summon in the game, costing 150 Summon Points to use.

The Cosmic Monolith summon causes an army of Cosmic Monoliths to teleport around the planet, one of which descends upon the battlefield. This Monolith casts its signature Doomsday spell, inflicting massive Dark damage on all foes. It is one of the best ways to damage The Creator aspect of the final boss Godcat and her minions through a summon that does magic damage.

Undying Monolith

A Monolith variant with the appearance of a massive tombstone. Its most notable feature is what appears to be a skull and spine merged with the stone, as well as a red crystal in the mouth of the former. It is mainly found in Graybone Cemetery, within the sealed tombs.

The Undying Monolith uses mainly Dark-elemental skills and specializes in causing myriad status problems such as poison, doom, curse and even instant death. It is vulnerable to Bomb and Holy-elemental attacks.

Sky Monolith

Unlike other Monoliths, it appears to be an actual statue instead of a mere nondescript rock, having a simple face, several horns, and even a pair of stone hands that can move independently of the main body. It is encountered mostly on the upper levels of the Temple of Godcat, as well as the Lost Ruins. Its origins are most likely the same as the Ancient Monolith's and Protector's, also being among the Kitten civilization ancient creations.

The Sky Monolith uses powerful Wind-elemental attacks, and similarly to the Ancient Monolith, may dispel its adversaries. Its charge is less predictable than other Monoliths and follows no pattern, additionally, its charge recovers its own HP and buffs its Magic Attack and Magic Defence. It is vulnerable to Bomb and Earth-elemental attacks.

Adventure Story

Two of the Monoliths appear as high-level enemies in the series' platformer spin-off - Adventure Story. They are immobile spellcasters with hard-to-dodge, highly-damaging attacks.

Viking Monolith

VikingMonolithAS

Largely unchanged in appearance from its EBF3 incarnation (albeit simplified), the Viking Monolith appears in the third area of the game (Snowy Mountain Range). It sits in place and fires off spreads of ice spikes in Matt's direction when he approaches it - the spikes can be deflected, but deal around 12 points of damage to Matt when they hit him.

One of the safest ways to defeat the Viking Monolith is to jump at its upper half and use Matt's aerial attack repeatedly; if done correctly, Matt will bounce in place, damaging the Monolith and deflecting most of its ice spikes.

Cosmic Monolith

Unlike the Viking Monolith, the Cosmic Monolith has been changed significantly for its Adventure Story appearance. It is no longer a perfect rectangle, instead appearing somewhat irregular in shape like most Monoliths. Additionally, it now appears to be fire-based, as its only attack is launching large fireballs in Matt's general direction. These fireballs are fast-moving, extremely damaging (depleting about 14 HP a hit), and capable of homing in on Matt to some extent.

Defeating a Cosmic Monolith is a difficult task, as the previous "aerial bounce" strategy risks being pummelled with fireballs. To evade the projectiles, Matt should retreat to an area with multiple platforms and jump between them as the fireballs approach - if done correctly, this should prevent them from hitting him. However, doing this while finding time to hurt the Monolith is often extremely tricky (especially if other enemies are present), so extreme caution is advised whenever a Cosmic Monolith is present.

Trivia

  • Interestingly, Monoliths appear as floating slabs of rock on the overworld, despite emerging from the ground in battle.
  • The Viking Monolith's runes appear to be slightly inspired by Celtic culture.
  • The pictograph on the Ancient Monolith resembles those found at the Nasca Lines, an area in Central America famous for its enormous, inexplicable images made in the sand.
  • The Cosmic Monolith's design, powers, and alien origin are a reference to the Monoliths from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
  • A few objects in the Epic Battle Fantasy series share the Cosmic Monolith's color scheme, such as the Dark Rune and the "Secret Weapon" used in Air Strike.
  • The movements of the Undying Monolith's skull and the lights running down the Cosmic Monolith's markings are unaffected by turning battle animations off in EBF4's Options menu.
  • The various EBF4 Monoliths (minus the Cosmic Monolith) comprise the second wave of the Battle Mountain Monster Marathon.

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