So, by my count, we have unlocked all seven Sleeping Keyholes - Destiny Islands, Traverse Town, La Cité des Cloches, The Grid, Prankster’s Paradise, Country of the Musketeers, and the Symphony of Sorcery.
So why do we have this to deal with?
Only one world remains, and where is more fitting than the final world we visited on our second journey in Kingdom Hearts II - The World That Never Was once was the main stronghold of Organization XIII and the Nobodies?
It is also where many of them met their "deaths", Riku became Riku, Ansem the Wise died, Kingdom Hearts appeared (again), and we slayed Xemnas.
Regardless, the world was never meant to exist. How did it go to sleep…?
Note that I started this world as Sora.
When Sora dives in, you’ll need to defeat the Queen Buzzerfly, which you’ve done at least twice before. Same as before, defeat the four things circling around her when their backs are turned, then smack her head, then smack the weak points on her back.
The World That Never Was
When Sora arrives in front of the skyscraper, he realizes just where he is. He realizes that the seven Sleeping Keyholes are unlocked, and this world just can’t be sleeping. So, he’s awake in the real world!? And here?
Suddenly, he meets with Xigbar, who ends up shooting at him while revealing that they forced him to come here. Sora dodges the laser, luckily, and meets the fiend who SHOULD be gone by now. How!?
Xigbar makes everything a little clearer. He’s here because the Mark of Mastery exam was hijacked before it started and everything has been guiding him to this place. All was not coincidental.
And the man back in Kingdom Hearts I - the "This world has been connected" guy was Xehanort or some past version of him. He was there way back when; he has completely planned this out to almost complete fruition! Sora is skeptical, of course.
Xigbar also makes it apparent that, because Sora is still in those clothes, he is still asleep, never going to wake up. It looks like this is going to end violently.
But Xigbar teleports and uses lasers to summon other black-clothed people. One of whom is the unknown man, who suddenly appears briefly as Riku. Suddenly, Sora falls into slumber…
Sora awakens in the Destiny Islands, facing the unknown man as the robed figure from Kingdom Hearts I approaches the latter. It is apparently a mere vision, though, from the past. The unknown man, apparently some form of Xehanort, a younger version, speaks on how he is speaking with himself there.
The brown-robed man was Ansem.
Suddenly, we see the area enveloped in darkness moments after Sora received the Keyblade, rushing into the secret area after the man. Young Xehanort speaks on how all the journeys were possible, and how they were slightly flawed in his predictions.
Traverse Town - just as Sora arrives there when he world disappeared, and there are many others falling with him. Sora hits the ground lightly and sees a lot of hims disappearing. Young Xehanort speaks further as we see King Mickey, Goofy, and Donald, all apparently looking for "the key".
They leave, with Sora following, and Pluto going to a warp hole in the Third District (an event seen in (Re:)Coded).
Then there’s a drop. Take Riku there, now.
On Riku’s dive down, you’ll end up needing to collect 1,300 Prize Points in 90 seconds. It’s easy enough, so long as you don’t hit the obstacles.
When Riku arrives in the Organization’s castle, he doesn’t immediately realize just where he is, or the trouble he is in. He notes that he shouldn’t be here, but back at Yen Sid’s tower…
Once you regain control, you’ll learn about the Reality Shift here, Mirage Split - cut all of the white links with three straight stylus-drawn lines or less to deal damage. Now, let’s go. Use the nearby Save Point and Moogle Shop.
Go north and along the path to the next area. As you turn west, remember to go west along the ground first to grab a Dream Candy . At the end of the path, you’ll have to use Reality Shift to open the path by shattering the orb.
Continue along. Head to the north side of the next room to find Curaga , then go along the western path. Once you have to use Flowmotion, when you leap into the air forcibly, go right onto the ledge nearby and open chest for a Confetti Candy 3 , then north and west to find an Elixir .
Scale the western wall and ride the pipeline to the east. Continue eastward past the pole to find two chests. Open them for an Elixir and a Keeba Tiger Recipe . Return to the original Flowmotion path and ride it to a light; go into it and west to find an orb. Smash it and use Reality Shift.
This will break a hole in the ground that you should go in if you automatically do not. Down there, open the big chest for a Doubleflight , which is basically a double-jump. Then attack and use Reality Shift on the big thing in the middle that is shooting lasers to reveal another path.
Use it, or just scale up the eastern wall with Flowmotion. Either way, go along the eastern path first. At the end, after a few fights, you can try scaling the big red wall - it damages you if you touch the red. I tried finding step-like groups and using Flowmotion off of them.
At the top is a chest with Dark Splicer . At other parts, you can find an Elixir and a Dulcet Fantasy . Return to the center room and use the northern branch of the path now. At the end, open the Dream Candy chest, then continue on into the next area.
There, at the Walk of Delusions, open the nearby chest for a Drop-Me-Not , then use Auron’s (Final Fantasy X character) Portal if you need some Spirits. Go along and smash up the orb as usual, use Reality Shift, and let us continue. Go behind the stairs in front of you for a Lofty Fantasy .
Go up the stairs and along the linear path for a bit to another orb, which you should destroy as usual. Go up the ramp and destroy some enemies and you’ll soon hit a dead-end. Return to the entrance and go east to find another orb. You know what to do by now.
Afterwards, open the chest nearby ( Ice Dream Cone 3 within) and use the Save Point, then press onward.
In the next area, Fact within Fiction, go along the very linear path. But go on the ground so you can understand where I’m going - don’t use the Flowmotion rails until I say so. Continue along and you’ll reach some chests, one with a Balloon , and one with an Elixir .
Further north is a Special Portal - win in under 20 seconds to get… Screw it, I wouldn’t even bother with this thing. Not only is it way too hard to beat in under 20 seconds, much less FIVE MINUTES, it is only a strain on your resources at this point. Southwest of there, get onto the overhang to find a Spark Raid .
Further north is a Royal Cake chest, then use the light boost and go west for a battle and a Block-it Chocolate 3 chest. Go south along the Flowmotion path, then, after landing, turn around and go east, north, and you’ll find a chest with an Intrepid Fancy .
Go back along the Flowmotion path and begin heading eastward a while, then north into the next area by using the lift. Grab the Mega-Potion on the way.
At the Verge of Chaos, go along the path to the big outer ledge. After a fight, go south and open the chest ( Paint Gun (Black x10) ), then go south some more to find a Portal - use it and win using at least three successful blocks to obtain 25 DP , a Savage Fantasy , and an Ice Dream Cone 3 .
Go far north for an Elixir , then go southeast from there and ride the pipeline. Keep it in mind to check out the ledges for chests: I got Treasure Goggles , a Wondrous Fantasy , and a Skelterwild Recipe .
At the top, go along the path to find an Elixir chest and a Shield Cookie 3 chest. Use the nearby Save Point and Moogle Shop, and press onward.
At the end of the path, Riku meets up with an unconscious and darkness-bound Sora. He tries dragging Sora out of sleep and the bubble to no avail. Suddenly, the darkness gathers behind Riku and an unknown man in a black coat materializes. Riku withdraws the Keyblade as the Dream Eater symbol appears on the thing’s back.
Boss: Anti Black Coat Nightmare
Game’s words, not mine. This thing has an exceptional array of attacks. It includes attacks from the ground and ones that appear in front of you as it attacks. It can attack you physically, and even has an attack that will reduce you to 1 HP.
But, unlike the infamous Heartless Angel attack of Final Fantasy VI and Kingdom Hearts I and II, the HP orbs will fall around the arena. Regardless, I highly recommend coming into this fight prepared with three or more Mega Potions.
Your offense is going to be hard. This enemy LOVES warping around the arena, faster than even the Dashes can go at times. Whenever you can get a lock, use a Dash attack to get close and batter it with X Button commands.
This fight is hard as hell, but it is not impossible. Coming with enough Mega Potions, or perhaps Curaga, will work. I managed to get by with three on my first try. Barely. Dodge rolling to get around manually is a great aid, because of how easily you’ll dodge some attacks. Even the Dash attacks can help you avoid certain attacks.
But it will be a hard fight. Come prepared with items/spells. And remember during that 1 HP-bound attack you CAN switch commands during the attack, just not use them. Have that item prepared for when you land, because this beast attacks fast and hard; going for the HP orbs can only grant you death.
After the fight, the thing merely disappears.
Riku runs up to Sora, who’s still out cold, and speaks to him, who shortly disappears, and his part of the world materializes.
Ansem confirms that Sora is still asleep, and will never awaken, and says that Sora’s heart belongs to the darkness now. Riku is told that he is a dream of a dream; that he has been within Sora’s dreams, and that darkness within darkness awaits, and he gets sucked into a dark portal.
Ansem speaks about how he was seen dressed in the robe at Destiny Islands, and Riku knew something was up, and unknowningly went into Sora’s dream. And he merely became a Dream Eater to protect Sora from Nightmares. And failed.
Riku still believes that he can save Sora. Ansem confirms this by saying all he has to do is release the darkness inside, trapped within his heart. Riku notes how Ansem/Xehanort used to be a Keyblade Master, one of the most powerful ever, until darkness stole his heart and his Keyblade.
Riku says that this is why is decided to do the journey - obviously, the darkness (Ansem) is still haunting him. How can he be fit to wield the Keyblade?
He understands it and says there is no point in holding back the darkness. When he looks at Ansem, he remembers a promise he made when he was little. He remembers how he wanted to see other worlds, and his journey begins now, so he can go to the real world and protect Sora.
Time to fight.
This fight is actually pretty easy. Mostly, you’ll be hit with punches, though long-range attacks are possible. There isn’t honestly a lot to say with this fight, I’ll admit. It’s dodge-and-hit (and heal when needed).
Most attacks can be blocked, and Ansem, like in Kingdom Hearts I, will command the thing behind him to protect him at times, which is your chance to engage a heal or a link.
After the fight… More!!
When close-up, he’ll do a three-hit combo, a disc attack from afar, throw some lasers at you, or push you back to the far end of the field. The first is pretty much gonna hit you, the second can be blocked, and so can the third. The fourth, well, that’s going to happen.
As for when you’re far off, he can summon two balls to toss powerful lasers at you, or throw a lot of explosive bubbles at you. The lasers are seemingly impossible to deal with, but the bubbles should be dodged by going left and right with dodge rolls - forget going forward.
Additionally, he can throw more minor lasers like he can when you’re close up. Even worse: the laser bubbles still function when you’re close up. Finally, he can sometimes make the area dark and bring darkness attacks from the ground.
This fight is extremely annoying and hard, more than any other one thus far. Ansem has a lot more attacks this time around, and I got to see a lot of them thanks to having four Game Overs.
Your strategy is mostly to survive. If your Spirits have a healing spell on, let them in - I was saved more than once by a Meow Wow’s Curaga. Having your own items (Mega Potions or Hi-Potions, numbering 3/6 or 4/8 respectively) is practically required.
There is no real offensive strategy except hit when you can and block or dodge ANYTHING that comes after you.
After this fight, your max HP increases . Ansem seems to be finally defeated and he disintegrates into nothingness.
Suddenly, Riku arrives at the skyscraper where Sora was before being put to sleep. He notes how he and Sora were separated since the start because of Xehanort’s planning. Thusly, we’re way off from the Mark of Mastery. So, we need to find Sora, now…