If there is one thing that Kingdom Hearts 3 should get a commemoration for, it is how they approached the DLC. It isn’t to say the “Re:Mind” story was anything to write home about (although parts of it were nice to see), but it is more to the idea of the challenge it provides.
As someone who had to wait an extra month before the Kingdom Hearts 3 Downloadable Content (DLC) would come, I did use that time to carefully study how everyone was approaching the content. It is one thing to experience the story, but another if you are an achievement hunter. It might have been an extra 195 points (or a couple of trophies if you are on the PlayStation 4), but really, the challenge was there for a wide variety of players. What does that mean exactly? Well, here’s a simple breakdown of getting the most out of the Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind content.
Playthrough 1: Beating Critical Mode (through EZ Codes)
You can find plenty of fantastic Kingdom Hearts players online of people who can beat the whole game on level one at the highest difficulty. For the rest of us though… that might be a slightly troubling hurdle to leap over. It can be a touch tricky to figure out how you can exactly beat a mode where nearly everything can kill you in a few hits, but hey, if you did pay for the DLC, you might as well enjoy cheating it.
At the start of a new game when you choose the kind of character you want Sora to be, there is an additional selection about the kind of adventure you want. You can pick the regular game if you want, but there are two other modes you can enjoy. The first of these is Easy Adventure that lets you play with “EZ Codes,” which can suddenly turn a playthrough into a gentle walk through the game. You can set up things like regenerating Health and Magic Points, getting access to special attacks more often, and one hit knockouts on almost anyone.
You can imagine that having a few of these on would help to make a run through critical mode easy, but there’s was one mistake made that Kingdom Hearts 3 into a game of 1-hit deaths.
Tip: Be wary about Survival
So what is so special about Survival? Well, if you go ahead and turn it on, it will triple the damage output out of everyone. Bear in mind that this isn’t just talking about Sora and company, but also the enemies themselves. Far be it to figure out why you would have Survival on when you also have the cheat that also takes out everyone in one shot, but hey, let’s call it an even challenge. If you can take them down in one shot, why not let them have the chance too?
Upon reflection though, it did lead to some rather annoying situations, such as the one section in the Frozen world: Arendelle. Now, you can say there are plenty of things there that can piss someone off such as the rushed story, going up the mountain too many times, and how Sora got to do a self-insertion for Let It Go, but then… There’s the Mountain Sequence.
And remember: Most shots from the enemies can kill in one shot. It got to a point where a bit of grinding was required due to how the one-shot from those blasted Ice Dragons was becoming unbearable (and how when they can cross their shots with each other and requires you to not get hit once). That was literally the hardest part of the entire run, and even now, it is difficult to say how exactly that blasted sequence was finally done. Eventually, Critical Mode was defeated and I got to enjoy my happy award:
Another thing to mention for the DLC, you can unlock two extra Keyblades, which are fan favorites: Oathkeeper and Oblivion. The only catch is that you have to complete a few challenges.
Oathkeeper was easy enough as you only need to find all 90 Lucky Emblems in the game. Something to which was done already, so that got me the Keyblade the moment the game was underway. Oblivion, on the other hand, is a different matter as did require one to complete the game on its highest difficulty: Critical. So as you can imagine, the plan for the first playthrough was just for the sole purpose of getting that other Keyblade.
Now as for the Keyblades themselves, they might not have the near-perfect stats like the Ultima Weapon, but the two are still one of the strongest sets of Keyblades you can use in the game. Oathkeeper favors magic while Oblivion is more strength base. Otherwise, the two Keyblades are nearly identical for their attacks. Even their Form changes of “Light Form” and “Dark Form” function nearly the same. The best part though is that they have a second form that lets you wield both Keyblades at the same time and go all out. Ultima Weapon was still the go-to Keyblade for the next run, but it was nice to have options. Especially for the challenge, I was going to attempt next:
Playthrough 2: Beating PRO Codes
So if one option would make the game super easy, you can imagine the other being its own nightmare to deal with.
If you choose to participate in the Difficult Adventure, you can add restrictions to yourself while playing through Kingdom Hearts 3. These can range from things like the inability to perform special attacks or form changes, having your health and magic slowly drain during a fight, disabling your ability to use Cure or items and the biggest hurdle of them all: setting your whole team’s stats to default while setting your defense to zero.
Now the good thing is that these codes can be turned off at any time, so it isn’t that you’re forced to go through the entire game with so much weight on the shoulders, but when it was time to fight a boss, those codes need to be on so you can earn Merit points.
The fight to Rank A
As what is probably the hardest Trophy/Achievement in Kingdom Hearts 3 (with a seemingly 0.01% earn rate), you have to defeat all the bosses in the game while having as many of the PRO Codes on as possible. As you can imagine, this was anything but easy for a few good reasons. The first one being that bosses you tend to blow through in a simple playthrough suddenly become near unkillable as they can drain your health fast and you can’t even recover any while it can feel like your attacks are bearly chipping away at them.
You might be saying, “Well, why don’t you turn some of the codes off and make it easier?” A nice thought to have until you realize the other key detail here: You can only fight each boss once. There are others you can fight multiple times (we’ll get to those soon), but everything else is a one and done deal. Once the boss is dead and you get your score, that’s it and it stays with you for the entire playthrough. This is especially important too since you want to earn a high enough score for what was to come next. And it was for this reason that playing on Beginner probably would be the best idea.
Limitcut: Sora vs XIII
If you did enjoy the Final Mix of Kingdom Hearts 2, you know what to expect. For everyone else, welcome to the boss rush.
After you finish the “Re:Mind” story, you get the chance to fight all Organization members in 1v1 fights. This might sound like fun at first, but then these bosses get their difficulty cranked up to the max as each of the 13 members all have difficult skills, abilities and other fun tidbits that will turn a living Sora isn’t a murdered pincushion. Larxene will zap around the battlefield, Marluxia can add a Doom timer that will kill you instantly if it hits zero, Luxord still plays his games to defeat you indirectly, Xigbar enjoys keeping his distance while shooting you down, and so many more challenges that will make you want to rage quit.
And keep in mind that it is one thing to beat them, but another entirely to do so with PRO Codes on. Fortunately, if you did get through the entire game and DLC Episode with all the skills on, you might be at a decent rank to know that you have to take out everyone left with a few PRO Codes rather than needing all of them on at once.
The big thing to keep in mind here is that you just have to beat them so you can add them to your merit scorecard. After that, you can do a rematch with them if you want to improve a score, (to which you will start to catch on to patterns and learn how to fight a good majority of them). But all that pales in comparison to… him.
It is a tradition that Kingdom Hearts usually has a “Super Difficult End Boss” that you have to defeat. While the Dark Inferno was a fun little side fight, that it wasn’t really that big of a threat. Little did we all know that the actual true final boss of the game was behind the DLC and holy hell is he near unbeatable. The funny thing is that up to now, doing a run on beginner was able to make most of the fights up to now tolerable if you aren’t a Kingdom Hearts expert. Yozora, on the other hand, takes all those expectations and tosses them out the window and stabbing away at it and shooting it the entire time before it hits the pavement.
Yozora was certainly a challenge as he does have plenty of ways to outright murder Sora. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he can also hijack whatever he wants from you too. He can heal himself by stealing your potions and apply them to himself. If you have a Kupo coin (an item that can allow Sora to revive if his health drops to zero), Yozora will snatch that away and use it himself to stay alive. If he thinks your Keyblade is super neat, he can literally take it away from you and smash your head in while disabling your ability to fight back or use magic.
Now if you are someone who remembers Final Fantasy vs XIII, Yozora might look a touch familiar (especially with what happens in the scene after this fight). Honestly if this is a teaser of Yozora to be a possible playable character in the future and we can do things like what he could do in this fight, then sign me up!
If you are someone who wants to get all the achievements and/or Trophies in Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind, the easiest way to put it would be through beginner and to carefully watch enemy attacks. If you’re someone who constantly mashes the attack without guarding or dodging, you will come to regret that choice almost immediately in these boss fights.
Once you get to the Limitcut, feel free to cut down on the PRO Codes to help make fights easier to manage. The overall goal is to have as many codes on when you beat a boss to have as high of a score as possible. Personally, I found having all codes except the ones that drop your stats to be manageable for some fights. In others, it can help to have a kupo coin with you and having form changes since by the time you start these fights, you should be at Level 99 and can start mowing down enemies left and right. As for healing, while cure would be nice, a hi-potion would likely be more than enough while Rage Form can help bail you out of a hard spot should you be near death.
Most importantly, once you beat Yozora, you gain access to the other EZ codes. From there, you can reward yourself with a small break and complete all the EZ challenges for another achievement (and some would help to have both EZ and PRO codes enabled). You can’t use EZ codes for the PRO Merits, but it is nice to enable half cost at the store to stock up on goods.
It can be difficult and time-consuming, but it can be done. Just don’t be afraid to also grind some defense ups too…
For some casual fans, this likely will be their first “post-game Kingdom Hearts game they will play. And it was certainly a fun ride from start to finish. The story likely will be taking more weird turns as we move forward, but Re:Mind actually does provide some nice content and engaging challenges to overcome. Is it mandatory? Probably not. You can go online and watch the cutscenes if you want. But if you want to see how hard you can make Kingdom Hearts 3, Re:Mind certainly can provide more than its fair share.
Have you had the chance to play Re:Mind? What challenges would you say were the most difficult? And what does the future hold for Kingdom Hearts? Be sure to leave your thoughts down below and follow us here at Culture of Gaming for more content covering Kingdom Hearts and all things in the gaming world.
On a final personal note, I thought I could post a quickie “Tier List” of easy to difficult bosses. If you are trying to figure out which bosses would be easier to tackle with more codes turned on, here are a few suggestions:
Easy: Xigbar, Luxord, Larxene, Maruxia, Dark Riku, Young Xehanort
Medium: Ansem, Saix, Terra-Xeihanort, Vanitas
Hard: Xemnas, Xion, Master Xehanort
And Yozora takes the top spot.
You might find some bosses easier to take down than others, but once you catch onto patterns and work on evasions and counters, some can be hilarious cakewalks. That and if you are approaching the PRO Codes through New Game+, be sure to have Grand Chef since using magic is the only way you can heal yourself when you don’t have items or cure. Best of luck. ^__^