Once you start up the game, you’ll be asked if you want to use the Circle Pad Pro and your difficulty. As with Kingdom Hearts II, from easiest to hardest, you’ll get Beginner, Standard, and Proud. I recommend getting on Beginner if you’re new to the series; otherwise, go for Standard or Proud.
We’ll begin our game by watching a scene. We watch what seems to be the human version of Xigbar operate a computer in Radiant Garden or Hollow Bastion, whichever name you prefer.
Two other assistants of the real Ansem are on the floor and we see Xigbar’s human form get killed by someone called Ansem. This Ansem is likely the fake Heartless variation of Xehanort. Moving on.
We then see Sora and Riku standing on the shore of the Destiny Islands before they set out on their raft to other worlds. As they set sail, a storm comes on them. The raft breaks, leaving Sora alone. A whirlpool pops up and Ursula of Atlantica prepares to fight you for payback.
At this point, you’ll learn about Mementos. Basically, they are optional scenes and tutorials. They can also be accessed from the menu at any time out of battles. I will cover each one, video or tutorial. Got that? We’ll get a battle tutorial, so here we go.
Memento: Combat Basics Tutorial
You’ll learn how to fight in this tutorial. You’ll begin by learning how to move around (use the Circle Pad), rotate the camera (L or R), and how to reset the camera behind Sora (L and R). So look around by rotating the camera to proceed.
Next, you’ll learn how to attack. You use the A Button for a single strike with the Keyblade, and press it repeatedly for combos. Take out Ursula’s tentacle in front of you.
Next, you’ll learn about the HP gauge - it that curving green line in the lower-right corner of the screen. If it hits zero, which occurs as a result of damage, your game is over. Also, enemies have HP gauges in the top-right part of the screen when locked on to an enemy.
You’ll also learn about blocking attacks (Y), dodge rolling (Y while moving), and jumping (B). When you regain control, block some of Ursula’s attacks.
Next up, you’ll learn about locking on to enemies, which focuses the camera on them, even as they move around, and also focuses your attacks towards them.
To lock on, press L and R simultaneously with an orange targeting cursor present; to switch targets, use L or R. Do so to proceed. Note that you can stop locking on by pressing L and R again.
Now, at the bottom-left corner of the screen is the command deck in the two slots above “Attack”. There, you’ll find various magic and special attacks. Use Up and Down on the D-Pad to find a desired command, and use X to use it.
As a command is used, it must recharge. Once it has, it can be used again. Once you regain control, use magic to attack Ursula’s tentacles. I only found Fire to be effective, though.
You’ll end this tutorial by learning that new commands can be brought into the deck by installing them via the main menu. You can also modify other things, like equipment, settings, and so on.
After the tutorial, if you opted to do it, you’ll fight Ursula. There is not much really to mention about this fight - she is so easy, so it is likely just a practice fight. Hence, no boss header.
Anyways, the fight can be easily won just by rapidly smashing A and/or X while locked on. Pretty much all of her attacks can be blocked, and consist of an arm slap, lightning, a laser beam (yes, it is blockable), and some bubbles.
And, of course, if you get damaged heavily, you can always heal by using one of the Potions in your Command Deck. After the battle is won, Sora’s max HP increases .
After the battle, the raft sinks into the sea and Sora and Riku slowly float down to the bottom. They unconsciously reach a Keyhole, sensed by their Keyblades, and they seal it.