RPG Index: Single player Role Playing Games

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Kingdom Hearts: Expert mode guide

A screenshot of the story in Kingdom Hearts
Riku annoys me. Sora kinda does too.

After recently smashing my way through the original Kingdom Hearts on expert mode, I realize that some of the bosses were actually pretty challenging. Some parts of the game are a cakewalk, but I managed to get myself killed on more than one occasion. If you're having a little trouble with the game on expert (or normal), read through some of this guide; it has plenty of hints and tips that will make the journey to Keyblade master easier.

A screenshot of Pluto and Sora in Kingdom Hearts
Waking up in an alley with Pluto, sounds like my Saturday morning.

Kingdom Hearts: Expert- hints and tips
- Always keep your party members stocked with items. Personally, I farm enough munny for 40+ potions at the beginning of the game, so I won't run out for a while. It's really important to fill your party with items before a boss.
- Dodge roll is an incredible tool, your best friend. Learn it, Love it, Abuse it.
- You can adjust Donald and Goofy's behavior in the menu. It's not much, but make sure you change it to your satisfaction. Goofy has loads of item slots, so set him to use items regularly.
- Donald should always have an ether or two. The duck has saved my life more than once with a well placed cure. Make sure he has enough mana to cast what he wants.
- It's a shame but magic and summons aren't as useful as your Keyblade. Keep whacking away with it, it's your best source of damage.
- Aero is incredible. It blocks damage, and at higher levels it will even attack back. Any tough boss fight can be made much easier if you can keep Aero up.
- Upgrade to new weapons and accessories whenever you get the chance. Just remember, the newest Keyblade is not the best Keyblade. Pick one that suits your playstyle.
- Pick the abilities for your party carefully. When you run out of AP to equip them all, sometimes you will have to make sacrifices. For example, I cut Sonic Blade out early game because it wasn't very useful; so I could keep everything else activated.
- Don't attack wildly mashing your Keyblade around. If you miss, you have a moment of vulnerability where you can't attack or defend. Try to make every attack land.
- If an enemy is exceptionally big or hard to hit, try an air combo. In the air it can be a safer method of putting out damage. I attack most bosses from the air, you can dodge the majority of their attacks that way.
- If you get stuck on a particular area and start getting frustrated, take a break. You can take stupid amounts of damage on Expert mode if you're not careful, so come back after doing something else for 30 minutes, it will be easier.
- Grind as much as you can. I have a rule of thumb that dictates if I find a good place to farm enemies, I'll keep killing them for 10 minutes for free experience and loot. If you press too far early game, later on you will have a lot of catching up to do.
- When in doubt, always heal yourself. Don't fuck around on low health, keep retreating until you can use Cure or a Potion. I've died dozens of times by thinking I can keep fighting with 50% health.
- Before you get Goofy and Donald, it can get really tough at places. I suggest you either rush to the part you can get your lovable Disney crew, or spend an hour farming on the Destiny isles.
- Since magic basically sucks, reserve your spellcasts to Cure and Aero. Only use offensive spells like Blizzard or Thunder if you have a good reason; such as hitting several targets or having too much mana.
- Forget about healing Donald and Goofy. They can take care of themselves, so worry about yourself instead of them. I've completed more than one playthrough without healing them once.
- Tinkerbell is the only useful summon in the game. She can bring you back to life when you die. The other summons should only be used for fun.
- Donald and Goofy are fantastic meat shields. Taking damage in your place is their primary role. Aside from that, they are only good for throwing you heals.

A screenshot of Kingdom Hearts Expert gameplay
Fuck Selphie, and her stupid jumping rope.

Although this guide only gives you hints and tips on a general level, it should help. I've finished the game several times and taken down Sephiroth on just as many occasions. If you're still struggling, just keep trying. Some bosses won't go down first time, it takes a little practice and luck.

Kingdom Hearts is a great game and a brilliant franchise. Take the time to complete it, and I'm sure you will feel the same way. If you're looking for a review, go here.

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