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Zombie Hydra

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Zombie Hydra EBF2

The Zombie Hydra's appearance in EBF2

The Zombie Hydra is a boss in Epic Battle Fantasy 2, and an optional boss in Epic Battle Fantasy 4. It appears as a multi-headed skeletal dragon with two or three long necks, numerous spines, and a spike-tipped tail (which only appears during certain attacks). The heads count as separate enemies, but have identical stats and abilities.

In both appearances, the Zombie Hydra mainly favours Dark magic and powerful physical attacks. Its signature ability allows it to revive its heads when their HP is depleted - only by slaying all of its heads at once can this be averted.

The Zombie Hydra is usually vulnerable to Holy and Fire, but impossible to Poison.

Epic Battle Fantasy 2

The Zombie Hydra is the penultimate boss of the game, appearing in Stage 18 of Matt and Natalie's quest to defeat Lance.

Attacks

  • Bites a player for high physical damage. It can also bite repeatedly (up to five times).
  • Stabs a player with the tip of its tail, dealing high physical damage.
  • Casts Haunt, hitting both players several times with moderate Dark damage.
  • Casts Poison Bubbles, hitting both players for moderate Poison damage and a high chance of poisoning them.
  • Casts Reaper, which inflicts 99999 damage to either player (Instant Death). Also fills the target's Limit Bar if successful.
  • Revives the other head.

Strategy

The biggest issue when battling the Zombie Hydra is its revival ability; if one head is defeated, the other can revive it with a decent chunk of HP. Consequently, you must carefully manage the two heads' HP in order to bring them down in rapid succession (preferably in a single turn). This can be complicated by any automatic attack skills equipped by Matt and Natalie - if one head's HP begins dropping too quickly, focus all of your attacks on the other head until its HP is near the other's level.

Defensively, the main concern is the Reaper spell, which can instantly kill either of your characters if it hits. On higher difficulties, its success rate becomes dangerously high - if both heads use it simultaneously, the fight can end before it really even begins. Try to come in to this fight with the "Survivor" and "Angel" perks, which can at least increase the chances of Matt and Natalie surviving a hit from the Reaper, and keep Autolife (via Natalie's Revive) up as much as possible. Blinding the Zombie Hydra can also increase the chances of Reaper missing, but don't put too much stock in it, especially on higher difficulties (which seems to lower the success rate and duration of your status-inducing effects).

Apart from the Reaper, the Zombie Hydra has an irritatingly balanced set of attacks, including physical, magical, and status-based assaults. Keep Protect and Barrier up to reduce the incoming damage, but put a bit more priority towards maintaining the former, since the Hydra's physical attacks tend to be a bit more dangerous than its spells (especially its multi-bite and tail stab). In between buffing and healing, hit the Zombie Hydra with SeikenEruption, Fireball, Judgement, and Legend (preferably when Matt is equipped with Heaven's Gate or Inferno).

Don't forget about your Limit Breaks, either; Kyun is a great way to give your characters some breathing room (although it doesn't help against the Reaper spell) and Cleaver is one of the most effective ways to finish off the Zombie Hydra once both heads are severely weakened (although you may want to have Natalie on standby with Judgement/Fireball in case one head survives the assault).

Epic Battle Fantasy 4

ZombieHydraEBF42

The Zombie Hydra's appearance in EBF4, with one head severed from its neck

The Zombie Hydra is located in the western tomb of Graybone Cemetery, and can only be reached with the Winged Boots. Unlike most optional bosses, their is no reward for killing the Zombie Hydra appart from the enormous amounts of experience and ability points accumulated from its reviving heads, and as such can be fought as an experience farm rather than a challenging boss.

Unlike many returning bosses, the Zombie Hydra has undergone significant changes in appearance and abilities. It has three heads instead of two (likely to compensate for the increased player headcount), and casts Fire and Dark skills. Each head can also deal enormous physical damage, well able of killing one of the players at full health and buffs if caught off guard on Epic difficulty. Also, if any of the heads suffers from a powerful hit (around 70 000 in Epic difficulty), it will detach from its spinal cord, permanently increasing its evade by 50 points. Much like its EBF2 counterpart, the Zombie Hydra is able to regenerate its severed heads, requiring all three heads to be killed within one or two turns to be defeated.

The Zombie Hydra completely absorbs Poison and Dark attacks, while having a 100% weakness to Fire and Holy.

Attacks

ZombieHydraEBF4

The Zombie Hydra's EBF4 Bestiary entry

  • Bites one of the players for moderate physical damage.
  • Crushes one of the players with its tail, dealing immense physical damage.
  • Casts Fire Spin, hitting all players with Fire damage and burning them.
  • Casts Antimatter, hitting one player for high Dark damage and the others for moderate damage.
  • Casts Reaper, attacking one player for light Dark damage with a chance of Instant Death (Epic Difficulty only).

Preparation

As most of the Zombie Hydra's damage is pure Dark and Fire damage, getting 100% resistance in both these elements will entirely nullify its Magic damage output, enabling players to go without Magic Resistance buffs such as Barrier. Your equipment choices should boost Defence and HP as much as possible without increasing vulnerability to Fire and Dark damage, since the Zombie Hydra's physical damage output is staggeringly high - the Dragon Armor and Drill Bits are good examples of effective equipment.

Offensively, you may want Fire and Holy-based weapons to exploit the Zombie Hydra's severe weaknesses to Fire and Holy damage. If you're worried about setting off their Evade boost, however, you may want to focus on weapons that raise your defences and resistances to Dark and Fire.

Strategy

The obvious precaution is maxing fire, dark, and death resistances; however, the physical attack of the Zombie Hydra is arguably just as threatening. Even with high defence, including a maximum defense buff, the Zombie Hydra's tail crush is likely to kill off one of the players in one shot unless at a high level (expect 20k-30k damage). Using spells such as Guardian, Reflex + Solar Flare, and abusing Auto-Revive are good ways to counter the Hydra, while the latter will also charge the Limit Break bar rather quickly.

The Zombie Hydra's high weaknesses to Fire and Holy make it an easy target for spells like Judgement and Nuke, though abusing these spells will likely break off the Hydra's heads' spinal cords, increasing their evade. As such, a good strategy to damage them is to use multi-hit abilities such as Legend with Heaven's Gate or the Magma Hammer as well as Bullet Hell. The evade can also be circumvented with high accuracy abilities such as Judgement, Lock On, or Bind.

Hellfire, as the greatest source of magic fire damage in the game, may seem like an attractive spell, but be aware that the Zombie Hydra is vulnerable to berserk—and guaranteed empowered physical attacks from this juggernaut may prove more trouble than it's worth.

If farming for experience, a good idea is to try to keep all the heads at low HP in case the party is starting to get overwhelmed by the Hydra to quickly finish off the fight with a Limit Break.

Trivia

  • The Zombie Hydra likely inspired the Zombie Dragon enemy in Epic Battle Fantasy 3; both creatures have the same sprite and almost all of the same attacks.
    • One of the final enemy encounters in EBF3 is a pair of Zombie Dragons, homaging the Zombie Hydra battle (although at significantly reduced difficulty).
    • The Zombie Hydra may also have inspired the Pyrohydra boss in EBF3.
  • The Zombie Hydra's theme in EBF2 is "Twins of Duality".
  • The Zombie Hydra is one of the few recurring enemies in the Epic Battle Fantasy series to undergo a drastic design change between appearances - most enemies either undergo relatively minor updates or go completely unchanged from game to game.
  • In EBF2, the Zombie Hydra's roars are taken from the eponymous character of the Godzilla film series.
  • A four-headed Zombie Hydra appears as the final opponent of Battle Mountain's Miniboss Marathon. Oddly, the first head to be destroyed sometimes fails to revive itself, no matter how long the battle drags on - the other three will revive themselves normally.

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