Last week, I did a post on my top 5 bosses in the Legend of Zelda franchise. That list can be found here. This inspired to make a list of my top 5 bosses in Kingdom Hearts, another one of my favorite series. As I started building the list, I realized I needed to go bigger. Thus, I put together my top 10, and it was still a challenge having to cut some bosses out. Without further ado, I bestow my list upon you.
Out of all the games, the first still carries the title for best opening in my book. There you are, trodding along the tutorial, breaking crates and answering personal questions (sidenote: although I know the outcome of how you answer the questions, I still feel strangely compelled to answer them honestly). Then, you’re hit with a fifty foot, wild-haired monster being spawned from your shadow and attacking you. This isn’t necessarily a hard battle, but one is not generally expected to throw down with such a creation within the first fifteen minutes of starting a game. Darkside has appeared in every Kingdom Hearts entry, but his debut stands out the most. A close follow up would be the second time you fight him, when he appears in Destiny Islands.
Serving as the 20th Seed in the Hades, comes the dynamic duo, Cloud & Leon. Cloud, by himself, isn’t much of a threat. He attacks pretty often, but they are easy to dodge. So, if keep an eye on him and time your attacks, you can fare rather well. Pair him up with Leon, and you’re in for a vain-popper. Keeping an eye on both is impossible, unless you battle from a corner (doesn’t end well). Regardless, I still find this to be a fun fight. Defeating them is quite satisfying, despite having to go through nineteen more battles.
Xemnas makes for a tough opponent and definitely lives to being the final boss of Kingdom Hearts II. His first battle isn’t all that much, but his final form is worth noting. The final battle kept me on edge for the whole ride. Xemnas even merits being a secret boss in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix (I promise a riot if 1.5 isn’t brought to the U.S.). I can’t speak for that battle, having never played Final Mix, but I’ve heard he’s even harder. In his final form, he also rocks one of my favorite attires (as depicted in the picture to the right).
Seeing the story unravel in Birth By Sleep can be pretty depressing, assuming you feel a connection with its characters. It’s debatable, but I’d say Terra faces the saddest end, as he has to face his own possessed body while being reduced to nothing more than a spirit in a suit of armor. As far as fights go, its well done. Maybe not the hardest on this list, but it provides a tough challenge. The music is good, and I love the backdrop. The battle mainly makes it on this list due to my love for BBS (my second favorite entry in the series), and for the fact that even after Terra succumbs to darkness and lose his body, he is able regain enough will to keep fighting.
I melded this into one battle, because it essentially is all one battle. Ansem may not be as difficult as his counterpart, Xemnas, but his fight left more of a mark on my mind. Maybe, it was because it was the first game. Maybe, it was because I was twelve and his guardian trying to grab me caused my heart to stop. I was also a fan of them adding Darkside in there. It made the game feel full circle. Defeating Ansem/World of Chaos marked a milestone for me. Although, I consider II to be superior in game play and quality, beating the first game hit me with a much stronger feeling of accomplishment.
For being one of the series protagonists, Riku pops up as a boss battle more than a mole pops up in whack-a-mole. Of course, he did wander down the path of darkness in the first game, causing much grief for Sora and much aggravation for the player. Even walking in path of light, he was still the final boss of 358/2 Days. Despite the fact that he only gets stronger throughout the series (and gets a badass sword, Soul Eater), I still find that the hardest and most rewarding fight from him is in Destiny Islands when you challenge him to a friendly spar. I’m too ashamed to admit what my score was against him in my first run through of Kingdom Hearts, but I will say I have never been more proud than the first time I took him down. Then, I made the mistake of trying to even our score.
The Phantom has quite the spooky entrance. Not horror movie spooky; more of a “real life” spooky. I imagine if I was flying around London, I’d be pretty spooked if this flew up next to me. Anyway, the Phantom is hard, but if you know the technique, he’s manageable. He mainly ranks so high on this list because of the mechanics of the fight, and for the fact that I love phantoms (see Legend of Zelda list). Not only does the orb below his cloak dictate what you can attack him with, but he casts Doom. This version of Doom not kills your party member, it negates the ability to revive them. Cleverly, they made it so that Doom can be stopped by casting “stop” on Big Ben. Clever, indeed.
Some of you might be saying “WHAAT?!?!?! How is Sephiroth only number 3 on this list?!” and to those people I say, “I dunno.” Putting him number 3 doesn’t mean I don’t think the fight is amazing. It is! Going into the Coliseum to fight you mystery opponent, seeing Sephiroth come down from the sky and fighting him with the company of “One Winged Angel” is breathtaking. It’s an incredible feeling the first time you beat him. Anything I could say to describe the fight is depicted in the picture to the left.
2. Vanitas Remnant
This is, arguably, the hardest fight in the series. Sephiroth is up there, but there is a strategy to working your way around his moves. Vanitas Remnant provides an onslaught of attacks, leaving no breathing room between. I’ve found moves that work better on him than others, but no set technique. You may need to brush up on your dodging skills before attempting to face him, and stock up on some Megapotions. On top of his insane strength, speed and ability to teleport, VR can copy you when you use Cure. Fortunately, he is an optional boss, only appearing after clearing the Final Episode. But if you’re like me, and you want to take on every aspect of the game, then there is no option.
Perhaps its the cinematic aspect, but for some reason, I’ve always adored this battle. I remember it catching me completely off-guard (as do most battle in Kingdom Hearts) and putting me in awe. From the moment “Night on Bald Mountain” kicked in, I had chills running down my spine. Seeing Chernabog open his eyes and rise is intense, and the battle that follows is intimidating. You can feel that the team behind Kingdom Hearts put a lot into this battle, as I’m sure they do with most. There’s just something about this one that sends it slightly above the rest for me. I don’t know. Maybe it’s the sense of doom you feel when you see an eighty foot gargoyle shooting flames out of its mouth.
1000 Heartless (not really a boss I guess, but still one of my favories)
There you have it. I hope you enjoyed reading, and I hope you wish to partake in commenting with your top 10.