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The Best Kingdom Hearts Bosses

this in’t gonna be pretty

When I say best, I mean best at making you cry.

And no, I’m not talking about “I just heard your sad backstory” tears, I’m talking about tears of rage. I’m talking about tears of despair. I’m talking about those throw your controller at the wall and call your mom tears because these bosses are real bastards. For a video game for kids, the Kingdom Hearts series has some notoriously difficult bosses. Bosses that I still shudder to think about to this day. This game was doing Dark Souls hard bosses before Dark Souls was even a thing. I truly don’t know what sort of demon-possessed the creator of the series, Tetsuyo Nomura, to inflict this kind of boss fight pain on innocent children who really just bought the game because it had all their favorite Disney characters.

Innocent children like me.

So let’s go back through the annals of history and take a look at all the bosses from Kingdom Hearts that drew so many tears from my young eyes.


image credit: Square Enix

So in Kingdom Hearts 1, you fight all the way through waves of Heartless to reach a place called Hollow Bastion, where your best friend Kairi has been taken prisoner by your former best friend Riku. It’s not entirely Riku’s fault, because he’s become possessed by Ansem, the most powerful Heartless in the game. And the only capable of speech and reason. So you go meet Riku in front of a horrible machine meant to use the energy of Kairi’s heart and other pure-hearted people in order to open the door to the all-powerful world of Kingdom Hearts. You pull out your keyblade, and after a long and dramatic cutscene you start hacking away at him. And it’s a bitch.

Not because of the fight itself. Yes the fight is hard. Riku changes forms and starts teleporting around the more health you take from him. But the worst part of this fight is that when he kills you, you have to watch the long and dramatic cutscene again. And again. And again. And again. Until you finally beat him. See the problem is that the original Kingdom Hearts didn’t have a “skip cutscene” option. So you had to just sit there and watch a long-ass scene that you’ve already seen before just so you can die fighting Riku and then have to watch it again. It wasn’t like you could do something else while you were waiting, because if you weren’t ready when the fight started you’d get instantly killed and have to go through the cycle again. Damn you, Tetsuyo Nomura.


(image credit: square enix)

Okay so at least this guy doesn’t have a cutscene right? That makes thing better right? Should be easier right? WRONG. Sephiroth was on a whole different planet when it came to the bosses of Kingdom Hearts 1. His big ass sword is deceptively long, and if you fight him at too low a level he will literally one shot you with it. So to defeat him you first have to level grind until you can actually survive a single hit from this guy. THEN you have the privilege of getting your ass handed to you countless times. When you first start the fight, Sephiroth doesn’t waste much effort, and he walks towards you and takes a few devastating swipes. If you survive that, he starts running at you. If you survive that, he starts warping behind you and you have to dodge or die.

If you survive that he warps to the other end of the battlefield and starts casting a spell that is guaranteed to hit if you don’t interrupt him. And what does that spell do? It reduces your health to 1 and your magic to zero so you don’t have enough magic to heal but you desperately need to. You have to go into your items list and use a healing item while Sephiroth is running at you in order to cut your head off. And if you survive that Sephiroth summons fucking meteors to kill you. And if you survive that he does everything I mentioned before all at the same time. This battle is agony. It’s one of those boss fights that you leave shaking. If the game let me I would have beat his body with a keyblade after I won just to make sure he stayed down.

Clocktower Phantom

image credit: Square Enix

This bastard is the worst. Remember when I said ol’ Seph has a spell that is undodgeable and will basically kill you when it hits you? Well the phantom has a spell that will 100% kill you that you cannot avoid. The phantom starts the battle by casting a spell called “death,” which takes the form of a numerical counter over your head that immediately begins counting down. Once that counter reaches zero, you die. The only way to stop the counter is to cast the stop spell on the clocktower in the level. But the thing is, the spell wears off. So you have to fight your way through the phantom to cast stop, then you have a little time to fight the phantom and his plethora of other horrible attacks and spells. Then you have to turn your back on the phantom and cast stop again once your timer runs out. And you repeat this until you finally kill the bastard. But this bastard has a lot of health bars. So it takes a lot of time, something that you don’t have. Ugh. I hate this fight.


(image credit: square enix)

Okay after Tetsuyo Nomura made us suffer through a litany other brutal boss fights (I’m looking at you, Lingering Will), he then woke up one day and said “fuck it, my goal is to make these children cry.” Look it up. He actually said this. Maybe without all the profanity, but Tetsuyo Nomura has indeed said that he designed the boss fight with Yozora to make the player cry. And my God did it work. This boss fight is only available as DLC for Kingdom Hearts 3, and for good reason. No one should have to be exposed to this boss fight without their explicit consent in the form of buying the DLC.

So why is Yozora so tough? Well, remember how I mentioned that Sephiroth starts warping around to kill you a little before halfway through the battle. Yozora, sweet guy that he is, starts doing that instantly. AND he doesn’t just have short range attacks like Sephiroth, he has long range attacks too. This man will warp to the other end of the level and shoot lasers at you. And getting hit even a few times will kill you. Eventually the motherfucker gets serious by changing his attacks from red colored to blue colored. The blue ones, you find out are unblockable. And the longer you fight him, the more blue colored attacks he uses. And the worst thing of all? When you beat him, he doesn’t even seem bothered, as if he was holding back the entire time. WHAT!?!!

Tetsuyo Nomura, you should be arrested for what you’ve done to us. We’re still scarred.

(featured image: Square Enix)

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Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.