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Hydras (or Hydrae if you're a grammar nut) are a group of foes introduced in Epic Battle Fantasy 2. They are very powerful foes, typically being either mini-bosses or full-fledged bosses in their own right.

Appearance

With the exception of the Pyrohydra, none of the Hydras are living, instead resembling the skeletal heads and necks of Dragons. Based on this, it can be reasoned that Hydras and Dragons have fundamentally similar anatomy, although their full bodies are never seen.

Hydras are usually found in late-game areas that suit their elemental affinity. They are rarely, if ever, avoidable encounters, instead being placed where they can block the party's path or act as an endgame challenge for players.

Overview

Hydras are almost always fought in groups, being treated as a single creature with multiple heads attached to its unseen body. With the exception of the Pyrohydra, a slain Hydra head will quickly be revived/replaced by its surviving fellows; naturally, the best way to counter this is to kill all of the heads in rapid succession. In later EBF games, they also gain the ability to separate their heads from their necks when they suffer a powerful blow; this boosts their Evade, changes their resistances, and enables some of their more dangerous moves.

Hydras primarily use the elements relevant to their type, though most of them can use Fire attacks. They usually use magic attacks to hit the entire party for decent damage and a variety of status effects and debuffs; in contrast, their physical attacks are used to inflict serious damage (and even Instant Death) to a single target.

Species

Epic Battle Fantasy 2

Epic Battle Fantasy 3

Epic Battle Fantasy 4

Epic Battle Fantasy 5

Trivia

  • The way in which the severed Hydra heads float around and get a higher Evade stat in later games is inspired by Gleeok's[1] appearance in the original Legend of Zelda.
  • Hydras have a close relationship to the Dragon family, with similar appearances and a reputation for being some of the toughest foes in the Epic Battle Fantasy series. EBF3 muddies things further by introducing the Pyrohydra, which has little in common with other members of the family (and would be used as the basis for the Dragon family in subsequent games) as well as the Zombie Dragon, effectively a degraded version of the original Zombie Hydra that lacked several traits of later Dragons.
    • Most of the above can be attributed to the fact that Matt Roszak had yet to develop Hydras and Dragons into full-fledged enemy groups in EBF3. As of the fifth game, the main difference between the families is that Dragons are visibly alive, often appear alongside different foes (including Dragons of other types), and use buffing roars and Megaflare attacks, while Hydras tend to look more skeletal, rarely have backup beyond other instances of themselves, buff their Evade by having their heads severed, and revive each other unless killed in rapid succession.
    • The Origami Dragon introduced in EBF5's v2 update may be a nod to the similarities between Dragons and Hydras; while it's called a Dragon and lacks some of the Hydra family's signature abilities, it's also a floating head that looks a lot like the Zombie Hydra's skull and uses the Hydras' Triple Bite attack. Additionally, its Bestiary entry puts it between the end of the Dragon family and the beginning of the Hydra family.

References

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