Kingdom Hearts has a very original battle system which after you know all the tricks of the trade, really isn’t that difficult to understand. The system is part RPG and part Platformer. You are totally free like in a platformer where you can run jump and dodge or fight enemies as you please.
This is different from Square-Enix’s usual game because often their games restrict you from jumping and you enter turn-based battles. The basics of the system are you can jump with the button, button executes the selected command.
This is the in-game menu that allows you to do anything and everything. There are four boxes that have different commands, you can scroll through them with and or Up and Down on the Right Analog Stick. When a box is highlighted a key figure will appear to the right and the box will be lighter and appear indented to the right.
The command menu is blue when no enemies are near and turns red when you enter a battle. Note that you can not enter the pause menu when the command menu is red.
When this is highlighted Pressing the button will make Sora swing his sword, pressing repeatedly will do a Combo attack. When you press the Button Sora will jump, Sora can attack while in the air.
When this is highlighted Sora can cast spells he learns throughout his adventure. In the menu you are able to have a quick list of spells. Set 3 spells to the , , and buttons. Then in game, hold down button to bring up the spells, press the corrisponding button and Sora will cast the spells.
Also for the full list of magic spells, when the Magic box is selected, press right on either the Control Pad or Right Analog Stick for the full list, press on the spell of your choice and it will be cast. To attack with your sword again, make sure the selected box is back on Attack.
To get more items in your menu buy them at local shops (commonly found in Traverse Town) then in the pause menu exchange the items in your stock with empty slots in your characters item space. They will then become avaliable from the Command menu.
This executes custom commands that are not often used in battles. For example when you walk against a barrel, this slot will say something like “Grab”. Selecting it will make you pick up the barrel. Then the box will say something like “Throw”. Selecting and pressing this will make Sora throw the barrel. When something appears in this box it often means an object can be interacted with. Although later in the game you will gain abilities like Ragnarok.
During battle this ability will be highlighted at the bottom which you can activate unleashing a furious combo. Here’s a tip, if you need to access this box quickly sometime during the game when you’re currently on “Attack”. Press up on the D-Pad or R-Analog and the selection will skip down to the bottom.
You’ll notice when your playing the game that in battle a yellowish circle will appear around an enemy, in our shot a stronger blue one appears. What’s the point of that? This is the locking system in Kingdom Hearts. This allows Sora to focus his attacks on a single enemy or a single part of a large boss. The yellow crosshair that appears is a light lock which will make Sora attack that enemy but if you turn away Sora will no longer focus on him. Although when you press the button the lock will turn from the semi-transparent yellow to a strong blue, also a box will appear in the top-left corner that says ” LOCK ON! “.
Now your camera will center on the selected enemy so he never leaves your sight, this also makes Sora focus every attack on that one enemy. If you no longer want to target that enemy just press again and the target will unlock. When an enemy is targeted you can press and to toggle through all the enemies on the screen. You can also do this on bosses. Bosses often have weak points and more often than not multiple places to attack them. This switching target technique can be very useful in these situations.
The the HP (Hit Points) and MP (Magic Points) meters are represented by green and blue bars around the picture of sora’s head in the bottom right corner. This is the RPG side of this game. The green bar is hit points, it decreases everytime Sora is hit, it increases every time Sora is healed. The blue bar is Magic Points. Each time Sora casts a spell this goes down, every time Sora uses an item to restore MP it goes back up. To see the exact amount of HP and MP you have go to the pause menu and in the characters info there is you AP, MP, and HP in digits. Everytime Sora levels up and HP or MP is increased the bars get longer.
Donald and Goofy have their own status bars in the top right corner of the screen. New characters that join your party will also be displayed in the same area.