So, I was anticipating having more of these updates as I went, but random things kept getting in the way, so I actually ended up finishing the game before I had a chance to write another post.  But, I’ll wrap up my thoughts here.

I left off last time about to start Hollow Bastion.  As expected, having Beast in my party was a lot of fun.  What was not so fun was a lot of the platforming bits, and areas with no ledges.  Locking onto an enemy to start a combo just to have the game drag you off the edge halfway through was not exactly my idea of gripping gameplay.  And the slow cutscenes that you have to sit through as you make your way up the lifts just adds to the pain.  But, I made it all the way up and handled Maleficent and Riku without much trouble.  After I was done there, I went right ahead and blasted through all of The End of the World level, and got up to the last save spot before the final boss.  As with a lot of RPG’s I’m a little OCD, so I decided I was gonna finish up all the side stuff.  Game time roughly when I made this decision?  Probably around 35 hours give or take.

So, the trek back through the rest of the game now begins.  I went back to get all the Trinity marks (thank god they moved the one that was missable in Halloween Town).  I then was going to push for all the synthesis items, then realized it was gonna take me hours…then tried to do some of the side bosses, but again realized it was gonna take me hours to grind up to a high enough level.  Ditto goes for the Coliseum cups.  I honestly almost gave up at this point, but I just buckled down and took it step-by-step.

I started by getting as far as I could in the Hades cup.  I managed to get through it the first time, and then again with just Sora.  No way I was able to do the time trial though (hell, I couldn’t yet do the previous cups’ time trials).  I then started going through the worlds, getting as much of the synthesis materials I could.  The guide I was using was mostly for the original KH, not the Final Mix version, so some of my earlier attempts at trying to get materials before I needed them didn’t really pan out.  After getting enough items to open up the 4th list of items, I went back to beating 2 of the side bosses I had left (the one in Agrabah and the stupid Phantom in Neverland…what a bastard).  By this point, I made it up to around level 75.  I figured I’d give Sephiroth a try…yeah, no.  That didn’t work.  I realized I honestly just needed to grind more, and get enough synthesis materials to get the Ultima Weapon.

So, out into the world I go.  After chopping down what felt like millions of heartless, I got all the materials I needed.  Side effect of all this searching?  I’m not level 92.  Yeah.  Lets just say Sephiroth wasn’t much of a challenge anymore.  I figured I’d also give the last secret boss a shot (The Unknown).  This was late at night, and figured I’d lose, but may as well give it a go.  Well, turned out he was much easier than even Sephiroth.  So much for hardest boss in the game.

I’m now level 99, and the game clock now reads just shy of 50 hours.  I honestly can’t believe I grinded for 15 hours.  It really didn’t feel like it (which is probably a good thing).  Obviously by this point, the final boss was just a walk in the park.  Fly up to him, bash on the A button, and win.  Game, set and match.  And spoiler alert, but how awesome was it seeing King Mickey there at the end?

It was sorta sad to be done with it already, but am now excited to get going on Chain of Memories.  I had played the Gameboy Advance version way back when it came out, but never played the 3D remake they did for the PS2, so I’m looking forward to seeing how its changed.  It’s also pretty heavy on story if I recall, so we now get into the meat and potatoes of Kingdom Hearts.

Until next time…