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by cheeze42

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Level 1 Challenge Guide by cheeze42

Version: 1.0.1 | Updated: 07/25/15

KINGDOM HEARTS 1.5 LEVEL 1 CHALLENGE GUIDE by cheeze42

Introduction & FAQ

Hello! I'm cheeze42, avid Kingdom Hearts player and general Action RPG fan. This is my first walkthrough I've written, so pardon me if it's a bit lackluster. This guide is to help people through with the Level 1 challenge introduced in 1.5 Remix. Some questions people have:

  • Q: How do you stay at Level 1 the whole game?

A: When you play the game on Proud Mode, you automatically get the ability EXP Zero ability before Darkside I. By equipping this ability, you forgo all experience gained for you and your party members. If you keep the ability on the whole game, you will stay at Level 1. Keep in mind that this ability is only on Proud Mode, and that you cannot get it on Beginner or Standard modes.

  • Q: How is it possible to win the game, if you're Level 1?

A: In order to balance Level 1, the developers added several special rules to the ability so that it was at least manageable:

1. All enemies have a damage cap of your maximum HP-1. What this means is that as long as you are at full health, you cannot be killed in one hit. This cap also exists for bosses, and is raised to three hits for superbosses (Sephiroth, Ice Titan, Kurt Zisa, etc.) and four hits for anything in the Pegasus, Hercules, and Hades Cups (Phil Cup stays at 2 hits). Keep in mind this only works if you're at full health, so if you even have 1 less than max health, you'll die in one hit to most enemies. This also means that your Defense stat is practically worthless, for enemies hit this cap VERY early.

2. You deal increased damage to bosses. This is just so that bosses don't take forever. It's not much, but it's better than chip damage. Keep in mind there's no special scaling for enemies, so they still take a LOT of hits with normal physical combos. This also means that your Strength stat is meaningless once you get past Agrabah, for past there you're dealing the minimum damage anyway.

3. There's a bug called "damage storage". This is an odd glitch where if you land a combo finisher, all magical/summon damage you deal after the finisher is multiplied by ~1.5x/2x. This bug lasts until you swing your Keyblade, use a Limit (Ars Arcanum, etc.), or use Guard (Dodge Roll is fine). This allows some bosses to be taken down very easily. Because of this, your MP stat does matter, for magic and summons are going to be a major source of damage for most of the game.

Keep in mind that these special attributes work at any level, but only if you have the ability EXP Zero equipped. If you take it off, you'll lose these attributes.

  • Q: So can you do everything in the game at Level 1?

A: Almost. You can complete the Journal 100%, and you can do Synthesis 100% (although it'll take a while), but the one thing you cannot do is the Hades Cup Time Trial. It's just not possible to kill that many enemies at Level 1 in that amount of time. Luckily, it's not part of the Journal, so the only thing you're missing out on is Save the King.

  • Q: How hard is the challenge?

A: As of the time of this writing, I've beaten the game on Level 1 twice. Compared to a normal playthrough (on any difficulty), things are just a lot different. Some bosses that were easy will still be easy (Darkside). Some that were easy will be hard (Cave of Wonders Guardian). Some that were hard will be easy (Dragon Maleficent). And some that were hard become ridiculously hard (Ice Titan, Sephiroth). And Synthesis grinding takes forever. Overall, though, it's a very fun expedition that really challenges you. However, I would recommend that you play the game normally first on a different difficulty to get used to the mechanics and such.

Without further ado, let's get on with it!

Walkthrough

General Tips

Keep in mind that this walkthrough was written assuming you have already completed the game and have a general sense of where to go and what to do.

Also, I'm going to mention "parrying" quite a bit throughout the walkthrough. Parrying is when you swing your Keyblade in order to block or deflect attacks. This is a very important skill to learn because you don't get Guard in a Level 1 playthrough. You can practice the timing on Wakka and Tidus on Destiny Islands if you feel like you need it.

Another important mechanic to keep in mind is execution time. Combos and all Magic but Fire execute faster if you jump beforehand. This is especially important for attacking, spamming spells quickly, or Curing. Fire is the exception to this rule. The first Fire you cast is faster in midair, but if you want to cast multiple, it's faster on the ground.

Finally, the rule with EXP Zero is to not use any boosts. That means no Power Ups, no Defense Ups, and no AP Ups. Otherwise it sort of defeats the purpose of a Level 1 playthrough.

The first thing you're doing to want to do is start up the game, select Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, make a new file, and make sure you're playing on Proud Mode. It's the only way you'll get EXP Zero.

Dive to the Heart

As per normal, watch the intro and walk forwards.

The first decision you'll have is which weapon to pick and which one to drop. Pick the Staff. I cannot stress this enough. The Staff gives you an extra MP, which is crucial for the rest of the game. Technically, you could do without it, but it's best to get it, just in case. As for which one you drop, I would recommend the Shield. That point of Defense really doesn't matter, considering you'll get two-shotted by Darkside II anyway. It doesn't matter too much what you drop, as long as you pick the Staff.

Another bit of tutorial, and you'll fight some Shadows. There's no special strategy for these guys, they're the same as always. Just bash into them. You actually can't die here; if you get low on health, you automatically get healed.

Continue along with the tutorial until you get to the questionnaire section. Pick the bottom option for every question. Once again, this is very important. If you do Dawn or Midday, you'll hit Level 2 before you equip the EXP Zero ability, so you have to pick the last options for Dusk. You'll know you did it right if the voice tells you your "adventure begins in the dead of night".

Keep going for another Shadow fight. Once again, you automatically heal if you get too low on health, but try not to let that happen.

After the shadow fight, you'll get a save point, but more importantly, you can now access the menu. If you look at the Abilities section, you'll see the EXP Zero ability for 0 AP. Equip EXP Zero. That's the last of the three important things you need to do, so your Level 1 challenge has been properly prepared now. Save if you want, then approach the final platform.

BOSS: Darkside I
Difficulty: 0/5 (1/5)

You don't even have to win this fight, so you can just put the controller down. If you really want to win, just whack at his hands when you can.

Reward: N/A

Once you defeat Darkside, you'll automatically be brought to...

Destiny Islands

Destiny Islands doesn't have any fighting until after the second day. When the storm strikes:

BOSS: Darkside II
Difficulty: 1/5Basically the same as Darkside I. Just keep attacking his hands, remember to use air combos, and use your Items if you get too low on health (although you might just want to save the items and take a Continue).Reward: N/A

Traverse Town I

Good old Traverse Town. You'll be seeing this world a lot, so get used to it.

Something to note, if you didn't already know it, is that you don't need to run everywhere and trigger the Donald and Goofy cutscenes to progress. If you kill 5 Shadows, and return to Cid's shop, the plot will progress as usual. Speaking of which, after leaving Cid's shop...

BOSS: Leon
Difficulty: 0/5 (2/5)Another boss you can just lose to. However, you get an Elixir for winning, so it might be worth your time. Parry his fireballs back at him to stun him, then smack him around a bit. Keep in mind he'll retaliate after a certain amount of hits. You might want to make a save beforehand if you plan at making multiple attempts at this guy.Reward: (Elixir)

When you awaken in the Green Room, make sure you talk to Yuffie and unlock the chest on the table for an Elixir. Ethers, Mega-Ethers, Elixirs, and Megalixirs are pretty important for Level 1, so don't sell them or waste them.

Talk to Leon, then make your way to Guard Armor.

BOSS: Guard Armor
Difficulty: 2.5/5

This fight can get out of hand quickly if you let it. When the fight starts, he'll use the spinning move. Parry it and use air combos on the torso. He'll then use a jumping slam attack. Just run away, then use more air combos on the torso when he lands. If you get off a finisher, he'll stagger and fall to the ground; use this time to whack at him. Whether you miss the finisher or not, he'll split up. Focus on the torso and the other pieces will follow. Eventually he'll loop back to the beginning.

Once the arms and legs are gone, whack at the body. A little thing to note; after the limbs are destroyed, an animation will play where the torso flips slowly in the air; he's invincible during that time, so just wait until he rights himself.

Reward: Brave Warrior

After Guard Armor, you'll receive a nice plethora of things; most notably, Dodge Roll and Fire. Make sure you equip Dodge Roll and Brave Warrior before leaving.

For your next world, it's actually best to go to Olympus Coliseum, so fly south.

Olympus Coliseum

This is actually a pretty short visit. Head inside, talk to Phil, and complete the barrel minigame for Thunder. Then leave. Don't bother with the prelims, take them on later.

After grabbing Thunder, keep going counterclockwise to Deep Jungle.

Deep Jungle

One of the tougher worlds. Luckily you get Cure by the end of it, which is a major perk. Once you land...

BOSS: Sabor I
Difficulty: 0/5Just lose.Reward: N/A

You'll join up with Tarzan. Go to the Tent, grab the slides...you know the drill.

The Powerwild fights can be a bit annoying on Level 1. Use Thunder and Fire to clear them out pretty quickly, and use an Ether if you have to.

After quite a bit of plot, you'll end up at the Bamboo Thicket.

BOSS: Sabor II
Difficulty: 3/5

This guy is decently difficult if you don't know what to do with him, and his lack of staggering can be tough. Bait him into the charge attack and parry, then follow up with a ground combo and a Thunder. Try to conserve Items, but if you have to pop a Potion it's not that big of a deal. Just repeat until he dies. It can be tough to nail the parry timing, so it might take a few tries.

Reward: White Fang

Equip White Fang for the Strength and move on.

Afterwards, you'll have a fight in Climbing Trees with a black fruit in the center. Just hit it 12 times, and the fight is over, no need to worry about anything else.

Finally, make your way to the Cliff to face...

BOSS: Clayton I
Difficulty: 1/5Just use two-hit air combos and he'll never recover. If Powerwilds are a problem, use Thunder a couple times.Reward: N/A
BOSS: Clayton II and Stealth Sneak
Difficulty: 3/5This fight is a good deal tougher. To start, Clayton always uses a shotgun shot, so either use a well-timed Dodge Roll or move to the side. Afterwards, wait for the Stealth Sneak to attack and use combos to knock Clayton off. Once Clayton is off, you have two options. Either fight him on the ground, or climb up the pole and camp on the ledge and wait for him to jump up. Either way, use the same strategy as the first fight to ensure victory. Note that on the ledge, Stealth Sneak can jump up sometimes, so you might want to bring the fight back down if that happens.Reward: Cure Element

After the Clayton fights, climb up Waterfall Cavern and seal the keyhole for Jungle King, then move on to the last unexplored world:

Wonderland

A pretty short world. Make sure you equip Jungle King when you land.

When searching for evidence, you only need to grab one box, so just grab the one in the alcove on the right in the Lotus Forest, then head back for...

BOSS: Crank Tower
Difficulty: 1.5/5Pretty simple. Just use air combos on the tower. If the cards are a nuisance, then use Fire on the Queen to distract them for a bit.Reward: N/A

When going through the Tea Party Garden, Examine the sign in the back and sit in the back right chair (it's the plain wooden one) for an Elixir before continuing.

BOSS: Trickmaster
Difficulty: 1/5Jump on the chair/table, attack his chest, repeat. Use Thunder or Fire if things get tricky.Reward: Ifrit's Horn

The Cheshire Cat will also reward you with Blizzard. No need to equip Ifrit's Horn. Now that that's over with, return to Traverse Town.

Traverse Town II

Back in Traverse Town. Normal plot progression, so there's not much to say until you try to seal the Keyhole.

BOSS: Opposite Armor
Difficulty: 1/5Just use air combos. Try to parry his feet swing if you can, and Cure when necessary.Reward: Aero Element

On to Agrabah!

Agrabah

This world is chock full of fights. Some are bosses, some are just enemies, but most are rather difficult.

For the Bandit fight in the desert, immediately summon Simba and try to wipe them out. If you fail, you might want to leave and heal up at the save point in Storage to try again.

When the enemies spawn in the Alleyway, leave, go back to the Plaza, and enter through the top door. If you Dodge Roll forwards and mash Triangle, you can unlock the key before the enemy spawns prevent it.

As for the Bazaar, you're going to have to actually fight them, but if you never drop down to the floor, you'll never spawn the Pot Spiders, so try not to fall. It's only a couple Bandits and Green Requiems anyway, so basic physical combos will deal with them.

Eventually, you'll get to Pot Centipede.

BOSS: Pot Centipede
Difficulty: 3.5/5

This is an annoying fight. When the fight starts, split up the Centipede by attacking the head. Once it splits, be very careful, as Pot Spiders will attack from every angle. Continue to do damage until it forms back together and transitions between rooms.

When it moves from room to room is the best opportunity for damage, actually. Stand to the side just behind the head and do air combos, following it to the next room. Once it splits, repeat. Eventually, it'll stop splitting and just move from room to room repeatedly; this is your chance to deal the most damage and finish it off.

You may wish to cast Aero to reduce the damage (and thus the amount of Curing), but Aero isn't cheap either, so use it wisely.

Reward: Ray of Light

You might think of equipping Ray of Light, and although it's a useful piece of equipment (don't sell it), it's actually detrimental at the moment.

BOSS: Cave of Wonders Guardian
Difficulty: 4/5

Another troublesome fight. When the fight starts, summon Simba. Dodge Roll through the lasers and wait for him to summon the enemies. If he spits out any Bandits, use a full-charge Proud Roar to get rid of them; otherwise, just Dismiss Simba. The Guardian will then bury his head in the ground, so jump up and do single hits, alternating between the eyes. When he levels out, do three-hit combos, but lock on and use L2 to alternate between the eyes. When he tilts back, do single hits or use Thunder/Blizzard.

At some point, he will spawn more enemies, and Bandits will start flinging themselves up at you. This not only has a good chance of knocking you off, but also messing up your lock on switching. It's a rough fight, but it's the last rough one for a while. This will probably take you several tries.

Reward: N/A
BOSS: Jafar
Difficulty: 1/5

Easy, if tedious. When the fight starts, hug the side of his platform so that his laser clips the platform. Then jump up around the back. Do two aerial hits then a Blizzard in place of a finisher before continuing to attack him. Eventually he'll turn into a little dark wisp and fly around.

When this happens, move to the center and Dodge Roll to avoid Genie's attacks while watching Jafar. If Jafar's hands turn blue, then move out of the center until the blizzard subsides; if just one of them turns purple, however, then he's about to rush you and attack. Use this time to deal some damage. Repeat until you defeat him.

Reward: Blizzard Element
BOSS: Genie Jafar
Difficulty: 1/5Just attack Iago and Cure when necessary. You might want to parry Jafar's boulder toss, but it doesn't really matter.Reward: Fire Element

Afterwards you'll get the Three Wishes keyblade and the Genie Summon. There's actually no need to equip Three Wishes, your Strength doesn't matter at the moment, but do it if you want to. Doesn't matter too much, although Jungle King has a longer reach.

Try flying to Halloween Town (the upper world) so you can get interrupted by...

Monstro

Short world, but you get some useful things here.

BOSS: Parasite Cage I
Difficulty: 1.5/5Attack the stomach with air combos, heal when needed. Nothing too crazy.Reward: Cheer (Goofy)

Once you get High Jump, go to where Pinocchio was in the cutscene (tall pillar near the teeth) for the Watergleam summon gem before continuing. Also, make sure you equip Goofy's Cheer to make your summons last longer. It's pretty important for Level 1.

BOSS: Parasite Cage II
Difficulty: 1.5/5

Summon Genie as soon as the fight starts and circle around the room on the platforms, using Showtime. Once Genie runs out, jump down to the Cage's platform and do combos on the chest, but make sure you stay close to the center. When it uses the acid spray, move behind it and let it rotate towards you before you start attacking again.

Reward: Stop Element

Afterwards, you'll be ejected back to Agrabah. Warp to Monstro before flying to...

Halloween Town

These upcoming fights are pretty technical, so be prepared.

At the start of the world, dequip both of your accessories. If you don't it'll take two Cures to heal one hit, which becomes a problem very quickly. Besides, most of your stats don't matter anymore anyway, so there's not much of a detriment.

For the forced fights in the Graveyard and Moonlight Hill, just use air combos and magic. Stop, Thunder, and Blizzara all work just fine.

For Oogie's Manor, you can skip killing the enemies in front of the door. Get to the front door and jump onto the roof shingles to your right (you're going to have to jump from the banister). Then jump to the top of the door and move along to the side. You should be able to ledge-grab onto the wooden walkway to the left. After that, just keep going normally to get to the Evil Playroom.

BOSS: Lock, Shock, and Barrel
Difficulty: 3/5

Focus on Shock (the girl) first. Use ground combos, but when she starts spinning, use an air hit to parry her. After she's down, Barrel will fall in a similar manner. Finally, Lock tends to jump around, but he's not that big of a threat. Make sure to jump when you Cure.

A note: the couch is safe from Shock and Barrel (not Lock).

Reward: N/A

Remember to hit the lever to unlock the Torture Chamber.

BOSS: Oogie Boogie
Difficulty: 1/5This is the first exposure you'll have to the damage storage bug. Do the fight normally until you get up to where Oogie is. Do a single air combo, then Summon Genie. Spam Showtime and the occasional Fire and Oogie will be defeated rather quickly. You can do the fight traditionally, but it'll take a while.Reward: Holy Circlet
BOSS: Oogie's Manor
Difficulty: 3.5/5

Okay, this fight can be rather rough, so pay attention.

As soon as you destroy three of the dark orbs, Gargoyles spawn on the remaining orbs, which makes this VERY difficult. To bypass this, approach the first orb and count how many combos it takes to destroy it. Then move to the next one and deal a combo or two LESS than that amount.

Do this for each orb so that each orb is just a combo or two away from bursting, then descend and destroy them in reverse order. If one or two of the orbs are killing you consistently, then deal with them first (you can kill two orbs safely).

Reward: Gravity Element

Traverse Town (Short Visit)

Land in the Magician's Study and talk to Merlin to get Spellbinder. Equip it immediately. This is the Keyblade you'll be using for the rest of the game until Hollow Bastion, so get used to it. Also, you can now put back on the Ray of Light and White Fang. Finally, talk to the Fairy Godmother to get the Dumbo Summon. You'll be using it pretty frequently.

After this short visit, warp to Halloween Town before continuing to...

Neverland

BOSS: AntiSora
Difficulty: 2/5Use normal combos and Fire. Cure when necessary, and this fight isn't too bad.Reward: Raven's Claw

For the pirate fight, Summon Simba and land on a higher deck for the first few waves, then use air combos and Gravity on the Air Pirates and Battleships respectively.

BOSS: Captain Hook
Difficulty: 3/5

Leave and re-enter when the fight starts so that you don't have to redo the pirate fight.

Use damage storage Genie and Dumbo at the beginning to make the fight faster, but otherwise it's the standard stuff. Don't use Fire or knock him off the boat, he'll go crazy. When he starts berserking (his face will turn red), try to parry the wild slashes.

Reward: Ars Arcanum

You'll get Glide at the Clock Tower. Make sure to equip it. Also, in case you were wondering, most of the Limits in this game are worthless, so don't bother equipping Ars.

Back to Traverse Town.

Traverse Town III

Nothing new to say here. It's the same as a normal playthrough.

On to the penultimate world!

Hollow Bastion I

You won't be doing all of it, however.

BOSS: Riku I
Difficulty: 4/5

This fight is awful. Start with a damage storage Dumbo, but after that...Riku retaliates every third hit, which means you can't even get off a full combo. Parry his attacks if you can, or wait for him to jump, but no matter how you do it, it's going to be rough.

Reward: Trinity Detect

For the fights on the elevator (both this visit and the next), use two-hit air combos on the Air Soldiers and Wizards.

When you get to the area with the two pillars you have to lower (High Tower), Glide down to below where the moving pillars are. There should be a doorway with a Gravity chest with the Royal Crown in it. Grab it and equip it, then leave, fall back down, and take the lift back up.

Luckily, you don't need to do the pillar switches. Instead, spawn the Heartless, Summon Dumbo, move up to the edge, and Dismiss. If everything goes to plan, you should jump off of Dumbo and ledge grab. Quickly pull yourself up and head through the door. This could take several tries (the Wyverns like to knock you off), but it's much better than the alternative Heartless fights.

BOSS: Maleficent
Difficulty: 1/5Use Gravity on the platform, Stop on Maleficent, then damage storage Genie while using Stop.Reward: Cheer (Donald)

Remember to equip Cheer on Donald before this next fight; you can't do it without it.

BOSS: Dragon Maleficent
Difficulty: 3/5Use Stop and damage storage Genie while moving in a circle around her. This could take a couple tries, and the timing of the first Stop can be a bit finicky.Reward: Fireglow

Once you beat Dragon Maleficent, do not advance with the plot. Advancing with the plot increases the Battle Level of all other worlds, which makes them much harder to beat. Instead, leave from the Save Point. Time for some sidequests.

If you don't want to do any of the sidequests, then skip back down to the Hollow Bastion I (cont.) section, but these sidequests make the rest of the game so much easier.

Wonderland (Short Visit)

Land in the Queen's Court and head into the Lotus Forest. Jump up to the back, where there's a hedge ledge with a doorway in it (above the Tea Party Garden door). Head through to get to a sideways Bizarre Room. Glide over to the second lamp and try and light it before the Heartless spawn. If they do spawn, kill them with Thunder.

Either way, light the lamp and examine the painting to head through. There's a White Trinity on the ground; activate it for a chest with Lady Luck in it. Make sure you equip it; Lady Luck is like Spellbinder, but the damage is actually decent. This is going to help a lot with Olympus Coliseum. As with Spellbinder, get used to this Keyblade; you don't swap for a different one for a long time.

Olympus Coliseum (cont.)

Remember that world we started but never finished? We're back. The cups become much harder after HB1 is completed, so now is the time. But first, the prelims.

The prelims are pretty easy now that you have such a high Magic stat. Use Thunder to take out most of the waves.

BOSS: Cloud
Difficulty: 0/5 (1/5)You can lose here and the plot will still advance. If you really want to beat him, attack him until he blocks, then move behind him and do a full combo again. If you keep doing this, he'll never break out.Reward: N/A
BOSS: Cerberus
Difficulty: 1.5/5Pretty simple. Use Stop and damage storage Genie. Similar to Dragon Maleficent.Reward: Inferno Band

You also get Sonic Blade after this. Neither Sonic Blade nor the Inferno Band are worth equipping, however.

As for the Phil Cup, Pegasus Cup, and Hercules Cup, they're much easier pre-HB1, and the Time Trials are close to impossible afterwards, so if you want to do any of them, now would be the time. For Journal completion, you need to do at least one solo cup.You also get Sonic Blade after the prelims. Neither that nor the Inferno Band are worth equipping. After leaving, come back for the other cups.

I would recommend doing the Phil Cup normal and solo, Pegasus Cup normal, and Hercules Cup normal, solo, and time trial. This gets you a Gravity element, Combo Plus, Strike Raid, Herc's Shield, Critical Plus, and Gravity Break, most of which are useful.

In terms of strategies, most of the rounds can be done quickly with Thunder or slowly with combos. Your choice. If some of them prove too hard, come back after Atlantica when you have Thundara. Just keep in mind you have to at least do the Hercules Cup normal without it.

Equip Herc's Shield on Goofy, do the Yellow Trinity in the lobby, dismiss the rest for now, and move on.

Neverland (Short Visit)

Land wherever and make your way to the Hold (where you first landed). In the room just outside the save room, there should be a Yellow Trinity in front of a door. Clear out the enemies with Thunder and combos so you can use the Trinity. Inside are several chests; open them all. The important one is on the shelf; that one has an Aero element. Once you have the loot, return to the world map and head to the yet unexplored world. Warp to Agrabah and fly to...

Atlantica

Fira spam deals with most of the Heartless encounters in this world. The Shark can be taken down with some combos and Fira.

BOSS: Ursula I
Difficulty: 1.5/5Spam Fire on the cauldron, then use 2 hit combos on Ursula. Repeat.Reward: Mermaid Kick

Equip Mermaid Kick after that fight.

BOSS: Ursula II

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Remember those Elixirs we've been saving? Now is the time to use them. Swim up to the head and maintain Stop and damage storage Aerora (just do a single combo at the beginning). Use the Elixirs to restore your MP (you'll need 3, I believe). If those run out, try lodging yourself behind her head and attacking with basic combos.Reward: Thunder Element

Loose Ends

Now things get loose. There are plenty of things for you to do at this point, considering the enemies are still weak:

  • You know every Trinity at this point, and every Trinity is accessible.
  • Most of the Dalmatians are also accessible.
  • The Olympus cups get way harder past here, so this is your last chance.
  • Now might be a good time for Synthesis as well, with the weaker enemies and normal spawns.

You should also probably heavily consider doing 100 Acre Wood at this point. Completing 4 of the 5 pages gets you a Stop upgrade, which makes Linked Worlds a LOT easier. Also, all five pages can get you a third Cheer ability, which cuts the final round from Linked Worlds. It's not a necessity, but it certainly makes endgame tolerable. I would recommend 100 Acre Wood, most of the Dalmations, and at LEAST getting a Moogle Badge (second list), but it's up to you.

No matter how much of this you do, it's back to Hollow Bastion.

Hollow Bastion I (cont.)

For this fight, equip Combo Plus if you have it.

BOSS: Riku II
Difficulty: 2/5

Not actually that hard, luckily.

For the first phase, move close to him to bait the leaping attack, then do a full ground combo. He retaliates after four hits, so take the hit, Cure, and continue.

Once he powers up, bait him into the leap attack and do a full combo, but don't mash the combo. If you output slow enough, he'll retaliate with the spin slash, which'll parry with your finisher. You can do another combo after this, so just keep doing this and he'll fall pretty quickly.

If you didn't grab Combo Plus, just do a single hit followed by a full ground combo for the four hits.

If he does break out, then you can get him back in the loop with his leaping attack. To dodge Dark Aura, jump above the initial charge, glide above the rest of them, and try Dodge Rolling through the slam attack.

Reward: Ragnarok

Afterwards, you'll be auto-ejected to Traverse Town again. Remember to dequip Combo Plus.

Traverse Town IV

Nothing too different, but make sure you talk to the Fairy Godmother to get the Mushu Summon. It's important for some endgame stuff.

After this, head back to Hollow Bastion.

Hollow Bastion II

You can talk to Belle in the Library for Divine Rose if you want, although it's pretty worthless as far as Level 1 goes.

The Princesses give you a Fire element, bringing you up to Firaga.

BOSS: Behemoth
Difficulty: 1/5Damage storage Genie takes him out pretty quickly. Keep in mind that when he comes back up from his stagger, he's invincible for a bit, so don't waste a Showtime.Reward: Omega Arts

Afterwards, you can head to End of the World. However, you might want to take this time to finish your Dalmatian collection. The last set of Dalmatians is at the Great Crest, and there are none at End of the World, so there's nothing to stop you now. Getting all of them will give you a full Gummi set (if you're so inclined) and, more importantly, an Aero element. This is extremely important for the Hades Cup; without Aeroga, it's a nightmare. Just as with the other sidequests, of course, you don't have to, but I'd strongly recommend it.

Also, come back to Hollow Bastion and talk to Aerith a bunch for a Cure element. This should bring you to Curaga.

End of the World

This world isn't bad until you get to Final Rest. Then things get rough.

For the Invisibles and Angel Stars, Stop and Gravity are your best friends. Just be careful with MP usage.

The Arch Behemoth falls just like the normal Behemoth.

Don't bother with most of the Termini .If you did the extra worlds, you shouldn't need to do the Olympus Coliseum or Atlantica Termini. If you didn't do those worlds, use Simba for the Olympus Terminus and Firaga spam for the Atlantica Terminus.

The 100 Acre Wood Terminus (the green one) has a Save Point and a chest with a Megalixir. Make sure to grab it and heal up.

The Hollow Bastion Terminus is more of the same.Stop and Gravity.

Make sure you return to the earlier Save Point and restore your MP for this next fight.

BOSS: Chernabog
Difficulty: 2/5Fly up to his face, do a single combo, and land on his arms to summon Mushu. Damage storage Mushu does a LOT of damage, so it should be enough to kill him. It might take a couple tries, you have to be quick with the Summoning, but otherwise this fight is a cinch.Reward: Superglide

Equip Superglide. It's a nice ability to have.

Fly up and head back again to the 100 Acre Wood Terminus to heal once more. This next fight is easily the hardest one yet.

Linked Worlds

So technically, this isn't a boss, but it deserves it's own section for sure.

Before you even enter, make sure you have full HP and MP and that your items are two Elixirs and a Mega-Potion. That's the ideal setup.

For the Arch Behemoth, use Damage Storage Genie, but Dismiss him after 3 Showtimes and finish off the Behemoth regularly. Make sure you finish him with damage storage enabled if you can (i.e. with a finisher). As soon as the Arch Behemoth dies, Superglide over to the emblem door and open the menu. If you killed the Behemoth with Genie, you can't do this, but killing him regularly means you have about a second where you're out of battle. Open the menu and use a Cottage.

For the Darkball wave, summon Dumbo and deal as much damage as you can. Finish them with normal combos and Firaga. As soon as the Darkball wave ends, use an Elixir.

This next wave is the WORST wave. Stand in the center of the Invisble spawn, wait for them to charge you, jump, and use Stop. Then spam Gravity a bunch, switching targets. Repeat this a bit until there's only one Invisible left. This is the tricky bit. You need to have this Invisible die, you need to have at least 2 MP, and Donald and Goofy need to be alive. My favorite strategy is to use Stop, do three combos, then use Stop again and just keep doing it.

Once he's sufficiently stopped, use a Mega-Potion and an Elixir and Superglide to the edge of the room. Put your cursor on Simba and wait for the Invisible to die before Summoning.

For each round, Charge up completely, wait for all the enemies to fully spawn in, release the Proud Roar, and Charge again.

This is where the Cheers start impacting things. If you got the Cheer from 100 Acre Woods, then you can actually Simba every round and be done. If you didn't you won't have enough for the last wave. For the last wave, Summon Dumbo if you hadn't already, Genie, and maybe Tinker Bell. Just go ham with Summons, Stop, Gravity, combos, everything.

Once this is done, pat yourself on the back. Linked Worlds is easily the hardest storyline fight in a Level 1 playthrough.

There's another Megalixir chest in Final Rest, along with a save point. Remember to save.

Equip every Elixir and Megalixir you have. It's World of Chaos time.

World of Chaos

Here we go.

BOSS: Ansem I

Difficulty: 1/5

Damage storage Mushu. Real simple.Reward: N/A

Use a Cottage between this fight and the next.

BOSS: Darkside III
Difficulty: 1.5/5Another easy fight. Damage storage Firaga spam. Just do a couple combos, then lock on and use Fire. Just drain your entire MP gauge, except for a bar for Cure. Then do more combos to finish him off.Reward: N/A
BOSS: Ansem II
Difficulty: 3/5This guy can be difficult, but he's not that bad. When the fight starts, he'll do the charge move. This is his most dangerous move. If you parry it, it stops immediately, or you can Dodge Roll to the side with each charge. Just remember that there's a pause before the last charge, which might throw you off. Submit is also a bit dangerous, but if you Dodge Roll it's fine. Finally, his Desperation Move (when the screen goes dark) is easy to dodge, just Dodge Roll in a circle around him. Normal air combos are the best here, Cure when necessary, and you'll be fine.Reward: N/A
BOSS: Ansem III
Difficulty: 4/5

This fight is awful. Do a single combo to set up damage storage, then start spamming Firaga. Once he reaches a certain health, he'll start spamming lasers; unfortunately, that amount is dependent on how many Firagas you use, and the amount of damage you deal is based on your MP. Try using various amounts of Firagas and seeing how many it takes before he spams. You'll know he starts when he twirls his dual Soul Eater lazily in his hand. Once you know how many Firagas it takes, you're going to want to do one less than that, use an Elixir, then spam HARD. Do as many Firagas as you can. Note that if you fly behind Ansem to the side, his swings won't hit you.

In terms of the general strategy, fly behind Ansem and start with the Firagas. The swings should miss. He'll then do a set of lasers. Fly out and around for those. He also does a little shield move, where an energy sphere pulses around him. Every other time he does this, he'll spawn Bit Snipers (those little bats). In order to get rid of them easily, fly FAR away. They'll despawn. His shield move follows a pattern as well, so every other time he's about to do it, fly far out so that the Bit Snipers spawn in and out, then fly back and Firaga.

If you mess up the spam skip, you can fit in a single Firaga between his spin moves, but if you really end up messing it up, it might be better to take the death and Continue.

Reward: N/A

Shadows

You can just use Gravity and normal combos to take care of these guys. If you have Aerora/Aeroga, the Shadows bounce off most of the time, making this a lot easier.

Artillery

Combos and Gravity. Cure when you need to. Aeroga will deflect the projectiles, if you have it.

Darkballs

This fight is tough. Use some Blizzards at the beginning, then move in a circle, shooting a single Fire when you can. You're going to have to just poke them with Fire until they die. If you're out of MP, either try and single one out with combos or use an item. Just remember you need at least an Elixir for Ansem IV.

BOSS: World of Chaos - Face
Difficulty: 2.5/5

First, a warning: if you dip too low in this fight, little artillery will spawn, so don't fly down.

As for the Face itself, move back and forth while doing combos. Once he starts doing the burst move, just back off, then fly back in and keep attacking.

Reward: N/A

Invisibles

Stop and Gravity again. You should be familiar with this by now.

BOSS: Ansem IV
Difficulty: 1/5After all that, this guy is a joke. First, do a single combo on Ansem. You can fly around the back so that the giant laser thing doesn't kill you. Then move back to the front, land on an arm, use an Elixir, Cure Donald and Goofy, Summon Mushu, and just pew pew him to death.Reward: N/A

What now?

And now you've done it. That's it. Congratulations.

There's still plenty of stuff to do. Finishing the Journal, Hades Cup, Sephiroth, Ice Titan, Phantom, Kurt Zisa, Unknown, Item Synthesis, and Gummis are still out there. Unfortunately, I haven't done any of that stuff except for the Hades Cup, and the Hades Cup is pretty easy with Aeroga. Perhaps later if I ever get through those, I'll post something, but otherwise it's up to you and whatever else you can find.

Thanks

This guide wouldn't be possible without the help of several people/organizations:

  • GameFAQs, for not only hosting the site, but also for their HTML FAQ maker
  • Square Enix, for making Kingdom Hearts
  • Most of all, the KH speedrunning community, for finding most of this crazy stuff out

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