Hardship is a Kaiju.
Hardship's appearance is similar to Mutavore, its main distinction being the huge knife-like protrusion in its head. It also possesses a yellow bioluminescence in the eyes, mouth, and across the rest of the body. Its attack behavior is similar to Leatherback's, which consists of pouncing at an enemy and clutching tightly at it.
Hardship attacks during the earlier years of Kaiju War. Romeo Blue is deployed in an undisclosed location where it made landfall sometime during the night. The Mark-1 Jaeger fights and kills Hardship.
Hardship's likeness is later used in a shoe line alongside Romeo Blue's as a part of merchandising gambit to promote the Jaegers to the public in commercials. In addition, Hardship's likeness is used by Kaiju Cultists for churches and general worship of the Kaiju.
- According to Travis Beacham, the original concept for Mutavore was used for Hardship's final design in the film.
- Hardship has similar facial characteristics as the earlier Kaiju, Hundun. In place of Hundun's blunt head, Hardship gains a bladed skull.
- A Toy of Hardship appears in the introduction to the film.
- "Hardship" is a noun referring to something difficult to bear, or a condition that is too difficult to endure