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A few video game characters stand out from the crowd, to the point that even the most casual gaming fan will know exactly who they are. I tend to use my mother as a litmus test for this sort of thing. If I show her a picture of a certain famous mustachioed plumber, or a vibrant yellow Electric-Mouse Pokemon, she will know exactly who they are. If I show her a woman with triangular breasts and guns akimbo, she will shout Tomb Raider. However, if I told her to name any games that came out in the last decade, she would almost definitely draw a blank. Just as is the case in any type of media, there are some entities that transcend their genre and become household names, and due to the incredible success of Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth is absolutely in that category.
The One-Winged Angel and antagonist to Cloud Strife burst onto the scene in January 1997, and I would argue, immediately cemented his role as the most iconic villain in video game history at the time. He had some truly unforgettable moments, and provided some of the most intense boss battles ever produced for all the nineties kids out there to enjoy. However, I connected with Sephiroth in a different way than most, as my first encounter with him was in Kingdom Hearts, where he served as the toughest boss in the entire game. A fitting tribute to the Final Fantasy alum. Then he would later pop up in Kingdom Hearts II to test my mettle yet again.
No matter how adept you are with a Keyblade in hand, Sephiroth provides one hell of a challenge to KH players any time he makes a cameo, and if you aren’t prepared, he can decimate you in seconds flat. So I thought I would take the time to walk you through each encounter with Sephiroth in Kingdom Hearts and ensure that when Matsutake comes at you from on high, you can get out of the way and put on a clinic of your own. So without further delay, here is RPG Informer’s Sephiroth Kingdom Hearts Guide.
Sephiroth’s Story In Kingdom Hearts
Before we jump into the boss battles, perhaps we should give you some context on Sephiroth’s role in the KH world. Well, in the first game, you will be able to fight him in the Olympus Coliseum. However, unlike some other Final Fantasy characters that have a role in the story, like Aerith, Leon, Yuffie, and a few others, Sephiroth only appears for this boss battle and does not have any role in the Kingdom Hearts storyline.
However, In Kingdom Hearts 2, Sephiroth does play a role in a sub-plot that also involves Cloud Strife. This plot revolves around Cloud coming to terms with the fact that Sephiroth is his darker half, and with this knowledge, he wants to confront Sephiroth and put an end to him once and for all. The two eventually do meet in Hollow Bastion, but despite this encounter, Sephiroth scoffs at the idea of fighting Cloud, stating that he could never defeat him and that he will always cower in the light.
The player will not encounter Sephiroth until much later in Hollow Bastion. He will ask Sora, Donald, and Goofy where Cloud is, but as the trio has done throughout the game, they will remain silent. However, Sephiroth clocks Sora’s keyblade and wishes to test his power against his own.
If Sephiroth is defeated, he will commend Sora for his efforts, but ultimately shake off the intense battle as if it were nothing. He claims that only Cloud has the ability to truly defeat him. There is then a final confrontation between Cloud and Sephiroth where he seems to be losing the fight, but with the help of Tifa, Cloud is able to access the power of light, and as they come together one final time, they both disappear in a flash of light, and even with further Kingdom Hearts titles releasing since then, the conclusion to their story remains a mystery.
Sephiroth In Kingdom Hearts
- Location: Olympus Colusium
- Health: 1,800
- Rewards: 10,000XP + One-Winged Angel
How to Unlock Sephiroth Fight
In Kingdom Hearts, there are a ton of worlds that require you to explore a huge map to progress the story. However, in the Olympus Collusium, the player will progress the story by competing in matches, battling Heartless and the occasional Final Fantasy character for good measure. However, even when you wrap up Hercules’ story, there are a few matches that offer special rewards. One of which is the Platinum Match which is unlocked when you seal the keyhole in Hollow Bastion. This match is a one-round affair that will see you face off against the One-Winged Angel himself.
How to Prepare
This will be dependent on your skill level, as I have seen a few players beat Sephiroth with next to no provisions whilst being desperately under-leveled. However, for any newcomers or casual players looking for a fair challenge, I would recommend doing the following before taking on Sephiroth in KH1:
- I would recommend players level Sora to at least Level 80, but if you have the time, grind to 99
- Equip abilities like Dodge Roll, Glide, Leaf Bracer, Strike Raid, and Second Chance
- Any Keyblade that isn’t the Ultima Weapon just isn’t going to cut it
- Stock your inventory with Elixirs
- Use accessories like Crystal Crowns and Gaia Bangles to reduce Sephiroth’s Dark-type damage.
The first phase of this battle is all about dodging Sephiroth’s Horizontal attacks and getting in a few hits before retreating to safety again. The best way to avoid his horizontal attack is by using High Jump to avoid the slash. You can also use Guard if you time it perfectly, but don’t try to Dodge Roll because his ridiculous range makes it impossible to get out of the way.
Try to keep a mental note of how many times you have broken his guard, because, on the fourth successful strike, he will use his Pillars of Fire attack, creating three surging infernos around him. You can Dodge Roll or Glide to safety, but the best way to deal with this if you have MP to spare is by using Strike Raid to deal damage from a distance, while enjoying a period of invulnerability while the animation takes place.
Rinse and repeat, bringing his health bar down until you chip off some of the red HP bar.
When you chip off some of the red health bar, this will initiate phase two, a stage where Sephiroth becomes more offensively minded. The main thing to worry about in this phase is Sephiroth’s Sin Harvest attack. Sephiroth will lunge forward, urging Sora to attack, and when you do, he will teleport somewhere in the arena, usually behind the player. You then need to find him and strike him within a few seconds, because if you don’t, this attack will drain all your MP and leave you on 1HP, which makes you a sitting duck unless you pop an Elixir fast.
After this, the bulk of the fight remains similar to the first phase, where you will jump over his slash attacks and land quick combos before retreating again to avoid his Pillars of Fire. The only difference is that he will run toward you to make these slash attacks, and with every two successful attacks, he will use his Octoslash attack. If you are very skilled, you can use a variety of guards and dodge rolls to avoid this attack before starting a counterattack as Sephiroth strikes downward to end the combo. However, the easiest way to avoid this is by using Strike Raid, or spamming Cure to make yourself invulnerable during this flurry of attacks.
When Sephiroth starts absorbing power from a black and green puddle, you know that you have reached the final stage of the battle. This signals the beginning of his Meteorite Attack, which will summon six huge meteors from on high. What you want to do here is quickly glide to the outer edge of the arena and hang out there until this sequence ends. You will need to dodge roll to avoid the outermost meteor, and when the sequence ends, try to glide away or use Strike Raid/Cure to avoid being hit by the huge ball of energy he tosses at you.
When this is over, Sephiroth will now attack using dark projectiles and a Flying Slash attack. It’s practically impossible to dodge his attacks at this stage, so you will need to jump to avoid projectiles that home in on your position, and try to strike Sephiroth as he lands on the ground after a Flying Slash. You will also need to use Guard quite proficiently to avoid being engulfed in a circle of Dark Projectiles.
After a couple of successful hits, he will retaliate with attacks from his previous phases, so be aware of sound cues and act accordingly. The key here is to make the most of each Flying Slash, because it’s really tricky to land any hits on him during his other strong attacks.
If you managed to survive this onslaught and whittle his health down to nothing, then congrats. You beat him!
When you defeat Sephiroth in Kingdom Hearts, you receive the following:
- One Winged Angel Keychain
Sephiroth In Kingdom Hearts 2
- Location: Hollow Bastion/Radiant Gardens (Dark Depths)
- Health: 1,800
- Rewards: 18,000XP + Fenrir
How to Unlock Spehiroth Fight
As was the case in Kingdom Hearts, one does not simply get handed their Keyblade and then immediately take on Sephiroth. You have to put the work in. Players will need to complete all the story beats within Hollow Bastion. This means that you’ll need to do everything right up to defeating MCP in Tron’s world. After this, if you head out to the Dark Depths in Hollow Bastion, you’ll find Sephiroth waiting on his own, and after a cut-scene, he will challenge you to a battle.
How to Prepare
I’ll be honest with you. While this is a much more dynamic and satisfying boss battle, this one is nowhere near as difficult as the one in KH. What I would suggest is that players grind their way to at least Level 70, and have access to a decent Keyblade like Oblivion or Decisive Pumpkin, for example. Then for good measure, players can stock their inventory with a couple of Hi-Potions and Elixirs. However, unless you are really caught off guard, Cura should carry you through this battle. I would also suggest you equip the following abilities:
- MP Hasteaga
- Slide Dash
- Aerial Recovery
- Once More
- MP Rage
- Leaf Bracer
Phase one will always begin with a Reaction Command, so quickly react, and this will open Sephiroth up for a lengthy combo. After this, Sephiroth will be quite passive and will only attack when the player is very close to them. Sephiroth will attack with a flurry of slashes, but these are easily dealt with if you use guard or Reflega, and this allows you to follow up with a combo of your own. Just don’t get too greedy because if you use a finisher, he will use the same attack again, and you’ll get caught up in the combo.
Bear in mind, though, if you remain too far away from him, he will teleport behind the player and perform an upward slash followed by an aerial combo. You can break free using Aerial Recovery, but it’s best to remain on the offensive during this stage.
Very simple, rinse and repeat until Sephiroth starts pulling out some of his bigger moves.
After you take off about a third of his health, he will begin his next phase with a move called Shadow Flare. This is a series of Dark Projectiles that will surround Sora and close in on him. This is usually followed by another Reaction Command attack, so use Reflega to ward off the projectiles and then use the block command to open him up for a combo. After this, he will continue to use his slash, dark projectile, and teleport attacks. However, he will also introduce two other strong attacks.
He will use his Pillar of Flames attack, which is similar to the one used in KH1, but this one has a magnetic pull that will draw the player in. So when he uses this attack, get some distance and then run in the opposite direction until this sequence ends.
You will also need to be aware of his most devastating attack, Heartless Angel. This attack is signaled by Sephiroth rising into the air while saying, ‘Descend Heartless Angel.’ This gives you about five seconds to get up to where he’s floating and attack him to stop this attack from taking place. If you fail to do so, you’ll be completely drained of MP and have 1HP. If this happens, use an Elixir immediately.
These attacks will repeat until the player cuts him down to about four health bars.
Much like the final stage of the fight in KH1, Sephiroth will open up this segment of the battle by using his Meteor Shower attack. This will see Sephiroth shoot a series of Meteors at the player, but if you keep airborne and make use of your Aerial Dodge skill, this can be avoided relatively easily. It’s best to go to the edge of the arena so you can use the perimeter to control Sora more effectively in the air.
Other than this one attack, this phase plays out pretty much exactly the same as the second stage. You will notice that Sephiroth has a dark purple glow now, and that essentially means he hits faster and harder now. However, if you know how the attack mechanics work, this shouldn’t really add too much more challenge.
He has the potential to use any attack you have witnessed to this point, so try to remember the sound cues, and if you manage to land that final blow. Then congrats, you beat him, again!
This is an important bit of info if you want to receive the rewards for defeating Sephiroth. You will receive the XP and the additional Drive Gauge when you defeat him in battle. However, if you want to get your hands on Fenrir, you will need to head to the Radiant Gardens Marketplace and speak to Cloud. Then when you return to the Dark Depths, Cloud and Sephiroth will face off in a cut scene, and after this plays out, you will receive Fenrir. Here is a complete list of the rewards for defeating Sephiroth in Kingdom Hearts 2:
- +1 Drive Gauge
Angel or Demon?
It’s a question that I asked myself as I tore my hair out with each defeat when fighting Sephiroth. He may be just about the coolest video game villain that we have ever witnessed, but as a result, he’s no pushover. Kingdom Hearts 2 is definitely my favorite of the two battles, because there are story beats to enjoy, the battle is more dynamic, and I just prefer the battle system of KH2 in general. However, if you are someone that really loves a challenge, then it’s hard to point you to harder boss encounters in all of gaming than KH1’s offering in the Platinum Match in the Olympus Coliseum. I hope that this guide helps you wipe the floor with the One-Winged Angel, and as always, thank you for reading RPG Informer.
Question: Does Sephiroph Appear In Other KH Games?
Answer: He does make a brief appearance in Kingdom Hearts Union X, where you will also be able to fight him in a limited-time quest. Then while he doesn’t appear in person in Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep, Zach witnesses a black feather fall from the sky, signaling that he is near. It is not known whether Sephiroth will appear in another mainline Kingdom Hearts game, as he was not featured in Kingdom Hearts 3.
Question: Is Sephiroth The Hardest KH Boss?
Answer: It’s a subjective question, but if I can give my two cents, I would say that Sephiroth’s KH2 battle is far from the hardest, and his KH1 battle is probably the second hardest fight that the series has had to offer. For me, at least, I would rank The Lingering Will as the hardest boss that Kingdom Hearts has ever produced.
Question: What is The Sword Sephiroth Uses?
Answer: Sephiroth uses an extremely long, thin sword that resembles a katana. It is actually modeled after the traditional Japanese sword, the ōdachi. This sword is called matsutake.
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