The Kingdom Hearts series is filled with plenty of memorable battles that you have to complete in the story, but it also has a host of tough secret encounters. Kurt Zisa was one of two battles that you could undertake late in the first game, along with the Phantom you fight in Neverland.
This humongous Heartless can be found in the deserts of Agrabah, and it wields some deadly looking blades that definitely aren’t just for show. Despite it’s size, Kurt Zisa is surprisingly agile and comes with five health bars. There are three stages to the fight, and during the first one the boss blocks the parties’ magic with a pair of orbs. After the orbs are destroyed the boss moves on to phase two and three.
Luckily, you get a wide open arena to glide and run around in, dodging the bosses’ attacks. The lack of magic in the first part definitely makes this battle quite a challenge, not to mention the deadly and damaging attacks it throws at you. This is one fight you’re gonna need to train up for first.
9. Pete (Timeless River) – Kingdom Hearts II
You encounter Pete multiple times in Kingdom Hearts II, but none are quite as memorable as the final battle you have with him in the Steamboat Willie world. Here modern Pete comes face to face with black and white Pete, then ends up punching him and stealing his boat along with the cornerstone.
Sora and the party have to dash up and down the river, battling Heartless and knocking items back at Pete on the boat before he escapes. Eventually things take to the shore, where the battle gets really fun and the other Pete even joins in. The battle goes through phases, where Pete changes up the battlefield in an old timey kind of way. He drops a giant burning building onto the field, transports the party to a house, and then an open field filled with tiny towers shooting cannons.
The entire battle feels very cartoony, and fits the Steamboat Willie world perfectly. It’s a fast paced and exciting battle, only made better as the theme “Rowdy Rumble” plays in the background, kicking things up a notch.
8. Oogie Boogie – Kingdom Hearts
Kingdom Hearts has you battling many iconic Disney villains, but Oogie Boogie stands out purely for how unique his battles are. With Jack Skellington in tow, the party arrives at Oogie’s Castle, where the villain is hatching a scheme to use the power of the Heartless.
The boss battle actually takes place in Ooogie’s torture chamber, which is designed as a kind of roulette wheel. The party has to contend with the villain throwing flaming dice, different sections of the wheel being sealed off with spikes, and other effects that happen as Oogie gambles. Things aren’t over when you defeat him here though, as the second phase sees Oogie actually taking control and morphing into his entire castle.
Now you have to jump all over the castle destroying dark orbs, as the villain continuously shoots fireballs at you. Oogie’s battle truly is the perfect example of how Kingdom Hearts has been so great at creating unique bosses.
7. Chernabog – Kingdom Hearts
The battle with Chernabog isn’t necessarily incredibly difficult, but it has some of the best presentation of the entire series. Sora and the party have to take this towering demon on at the remnants of Bald Mountain, contending with his massive size as they fly through the air.
It’s an incredibly cool looking battle that keeps you on your toes, as Chernabog attacks the party with massive swipes of his claws and walls of fire. Even better, the song “Night on Bald Mountain” plays in the background during the entire fight. This makes the battle almost feel like you’ve stepped right into the movie Fantasia, and certainly fits the game perfectly.
6. Possessed Terra – Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
The final battle of Birth by Sleep has you going head-to-head with Terra, although he’s been possessed by the Dark Keyblade Master Xehanort. This makes the stakes of the battle even higher as not only are you fighting one of the people Aqua cares the most about, but one of the characters you were also playing as. However, to reach this battle you have to complete all three characters storylines, and collect all 12 Xehanort Reports.
Terra-Xehanort is certainly no pushover, as he dashes all around the battlefield and unleashes deadly and far-reaching darkness attacks on you. Both in the first phase and second he’s an up close opponent, so you have to take every chance you have to both heal and attack.
Defeating Terra is the ultimate test of your abilities in Birth by Sleep, and helps put an emotional cap on the story the game tells.
5. Mysterious Figure – Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
The Mysterious Figure is a secret boss battle in Birth by Sleep, that can only be found after completing the game, battling Vanitas’ Lingering Spirit in the Keyblade Graveyard, and then returning to the Land of Departure. It turns out that this cloaked figure is actually a young Xehanort, and one tough opponent.
The Mysterious Figure is incredibly quick and able to unleash devastating attacks. He can attack with a flurry of sword strikes, freeze you in place and deplete your health to one, and unleash a swarm of laser beams on you. The battle requires some quick reflexes, and smart use of all your abilities, especially healing. Defeating this fearsome foe certainly feels like one of the best accomplishments in Birth by Sleep, especially after you’ve hit your head against the battle a few times.
4. Roxas – Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix
This extra battle was included in Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix, meaning western audiences didn’t play it until the 2.5 collection. It’s definitely a tough battle that has Sora squaring off one-on-one against a digital recreation of Roxas when he was part of Organization XIII.
The boss uses the dual Keyblades Oatherkeeper and Oblivion to unleash massive combos on you as well as fire off beams of light in every direction. As it’s a one-on-one battle, you have to be more careful with your healing and blocking. Roxas also has five health bars, and can completely deplete yours with just a few hits.
The real touch that elevates this battle is the piano version of Roxas’ Theme that plays during it, lending a different tone to the battle than usual. It’s a somber battle that has these two personalities facing off in a duel.
3. Sephiroth – Kingdom Hearts I and II
Sephiroth is one of the most well known villains of the Final Fantasy series, and he’s appeared as a secret battle in both Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II. They’re both also two of the absolute toughest battles you’ll face in the series.
Sephiroth is an optional battle in Olympus Colosseum in the first game, while he can be found at Hollow Bastion in the second. Both versions of the battle have him using his huge sword Masamune to cover large distances and obliterate the party’s health in just one blow. This isn’t even to mention his abilities like summoning Meteor, and using Sin Harvest to instantly deplete Sora’s health.
The battle in Kingdom Hearts may be more difficult, but the Kingdom Hearts II battle really ups the ante with presentation. Sephiroth darts all around the battlefield unleashing attacks, and you have to constantly dodge while finding windows to attack. There’s a few times as well where you’re really gonna need to mash the triangle button and use quick time events to block a devastating flurry of sword strikes from the villain. This is one enemy that should only be taken on with the utmost preparation.
2. Xemnas – Kingdom Hearts II
The final battle of Kingdom Hearts II absolutely nails both its presentation and challenge, as Sora and Riku team up to take down the leader of Organization XIII. The first part of the battle has Sora taking on Xemnas alone atop a huge tower, eventually running up and down the building while they fight.
Things only ramp up from here, as Xemnas sits on a throne atop a giant dragon Nobody, and Sora and Riku have to fly through the air dodging projectiles and all. Finally, Sora and Riku team up in a direct fight with Xemnas, as he basically wields two lightsabers that extend out of his sleeves.
Each section of the battle feels distinct, with different challenges and tactics to use. One particularly memorable segment has the two surrounded by countless energy beams, requiring you to mash the triangle button to have Sora and Riku reflect them with a flurry of attacks.
The Xemnas battle really is everything a final boss should be. It’s challenging, engrossing, and definitely visually stunning.
1. Lingering Will – Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix
Before we knew about Birth by Sleep and who Terra was, this mysterious suit of armor was featured as a secret boss battle in Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix. The boss is actually the lost mind of Terra, lingering in his armor after Xehanort stole his body. When Sora and the party take a portal in Disney Castle to the badlands, the armor starts speaking cryptically about Aqua, Ventus, Xehanort, and Sora.
Lingering Will could also be the most difficult boss in the entire Kingdom Hearts series. The armor darts around the battlefield, as fast as you’d expect a Dragon Ball Z battle to be. It can also transform into a glider, or enter a berserk mode that increases its combo count and damage exponentially. Even fully leveled up, the boss can take any character’s health all the way down with just a couple of strikes.
If you take on Lingering Will, you’ve got a long arduous battle ahead of you. With the context of Birth by Sleep, it transforms from an enormously difficult fight into a tragic and poignant one. This is as good as a Kingdom Hearts battle can get.