Top 10 worst bosses in the Kingdom Hearts series

By Joseph Heindl
Published: December 21, 2020 (Last updated: last month)
Top 10 worst bosses in the Kingdom Hearts series

Top 10 worst bosses in the Kingdom Hearts series

For nearly twenty years, this Disney/Final Fantasy mashup series has gifted gamers with a plethora of exciting memories. Among the best are the epic boss battles. Kingdom Hearts is well-known for having countless creative enemy designs, and that also goes for the boss monsters that Sora and friends face in their journeys. These fights constantly combine a slew of interesting attacks, forcing players to adapt to ever-increasing danger and develop fresh strategies to win.

However, not every skirmish should go down in the Hall of Fame. There have been several encounters that have amounted to little more than pain and suffering for fans everywhere. Now, it’s time to stick it to some of those struggles, paying them their due disrespects and hopefully helping developer Square Enix learn from their mistakes in this list of the top 10 worst bosses in the Kingdom Hearts series.

10. Darkside – Kingdom Hearts

Unlike the other entries, this fight makes the list because of how pitifully easy it is. This shadowy colossus moves at a glacial speed. Each of his attacks has a comically long windup, and the fact that he’s always open to your melee strikes means that you can drain most of his health before he has a chance to do anything.

Even if you get hit by his projectiles, his volleys only last for a few seconds, preventing them from being much of an issue. What few enemies he summons are so insignificant that you can just ignore them. All in all, there’s no challenge to this guy; he exists purely to waste your time.

9. Demyx – Kingdom Hearts II

A bone of contention with fans is that you only spend a portion of this fight engaging Demyx himself. Instead, you’re tasked with eliminating the legions of water-based doppelgangers he creates.

That may sound self-explanatory, but you’re also given a short, arbitrary time limit to defeat them all. If you fail, then you lose the battle and have to start over. What sense does that make? Does your character simply die from lack of confidence? This is a bizarre stipulation that severely hinders an otherwise harmless boss.

8. Young Xehanort – Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

This may sound self-indulgent, but you truly have no time to waste in this climactic struggle. Xehanort uses a hectic flurry of sword and whip strikes, meaning he can attack you at a mile a minute from any distance. Plus, he frequently teleports, preventing you from pinning him down and dealing any significant damage.

What really hammers him home as an irritant, though, is his temporal trickery. His time-bending abilities allow him to slow you down to a crawl, essentially giving him a few free shots. Eventually, he uses this to wind back the clock and force you to redo half the battle. Thus, an exhausting experience is drawn out even further.

7. Clayton – Kingdom Hearts

It’s bad enough that this weaselly hunter shoots at you while riding a giant chameleon, but he eventually leaps off and takes a position on the surrounding cliffs. This forces you to contend with two imposing adversaries who can kill you in a few hits. You only have to defeat Clayton to end the fight, but the first game’s wonky platforming sometimes makes it hard to reach him.

Since it’s still early in the story, your party members are embarrassingly weak and virtually useless. It also means that you haven’t yet learned any healing magic, making this fight a beginner’s trap for those unfortunate enough not to have any potions or elixirs left.

6. Riku Replica (fourth battle) – Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

Quite possibly the most overused opponent in the series, this clone of Riku attacks Sora a grand total of four times, getting stronger with each encounter. In the final skirmish, he comes at you with everything he has. He’s fast; he hits hard, and he has several wide-ranging moves that are hard to avoid.

The real issue, though, lies in the card-based battle system. When an enemy is constantly wailing on you, every second counts, as it could mean the difference between victory and defeat. Awkwardly fiddling with your cards in such a chaotic scenario adds an element of micromanagement that makes things much more difficult than they need to be. Nowhere is that more obvious than this battle, be it in the GBA original or the PS2 remake.

5. Giant Ursula – Kingdom Hearts

It’s no secret that Atlantica is a chore in any Kingdom Hearts title. The swimming controls are questionable at best, making it tough to dodge projectiles and zero in on the enemy you want to hit. How appropriate that the grand finale is this much of a pain.

The sluggish underwater movement makes you an easy target for this sea witch, who pelts you with magic attacks through the whole fight. If you manage to get close enough to her head for some melee strikes, don’t expect to stay there for long. She quickly activates a devastating wall of electricity, and you’ll be lucky to turn yourself around and retreat before your health is completely drained. To be even more cumbersome, she repeatedly sucks you toward her, and you can rarely build up enough speed to get away before her weirdly damaging bite. Maybe this is Square Enix subliminally telling us this fight sucks.

4. Captain Hook – Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

This entry refers to the original Game Boy Advance version of the game, as the hardware truly sinks you. Because of the system’s limitations, the arenas are all uncomfortably small, giving you little room to maneuver. This often places you right next to your opponent and encourages you to use the card-based battle system, but it becomes a particular problem when you also have to deal with environmental hazards.

You fight Captain Hook on a ship, and ships rock… a lot. Amidst all the sliding back and forth, it’s hard enough to get your bearings, let alone fiddle with your deck. However, that doesn’t stop the swarthy pirate from tossing bombs at you, all of which have abnormally large areas of effect. When he unleashes a batch of these things, you’re guaranteed to take a chunk of damage unless you can break his card combo before sliding to your doom.

3. Phantom – Kingdom Hearts

When you gain the ability to fly in Neverland, it’s a magical feeling. Unfortunately, that elation fades when you stumble on this secret boss in front of Big Ben. Your main method of damaging this thing is magic, constantly switching spells in accordance with its weakness at a given time. That entails constantly restocking your MP with items, wasting precious time.

On top of all that, the Atlantica problem resurfaces. You can’t adjust yourself quickly while flying, and that often leads to issues with targeting and dodging. It makes fighting a more adept airborne opponent floaty and frustrating.

Finally, the developers decided to be especially mean and cast a Doom spell on Sora and his friends. This can’t be stopped; it’s only postponed by occasionally freezing the clock and eating up more MP. You have to deal with all of the irritating gimmicks… under a time limit. Thanks a lot.

2. Data Xion – Kingdom Hearts III

In all fairness, the Data versions of Organization members are supposed to be tough. Many of the ones in Kingdom Hearts III are appropriately fast-paced and chaotic, challenging all the reflexes you’ve accumulated thus far. However, few of them render you incapable of taking even the slightest bit of damage.

Numerous times throughout the fight, Xion bombards you with beams of light that not only drain your health but also decrease your maximum health limit. Eventually, you’ll get down to a pixel of HP, which is nearly impossible to protect from your enemy’s rapid-fire assault.

1. Yozora – Kingdom Hearts III

This endgame encounter somehow amplifies the pain of the previous boss, giving players a taste of future titles in the worst way possible. Yozora sports the same health-sapping attacks as Xion, but these are even harder to dodge. He frequently teleports around, so it’s hard to react to his strikes or come up with a counter-strategy. In addition, he seems to have a tractor-beam-esque effect with certain moves, drawing himself toward you and making it nearly impossible to get away. Adding insult to injury is his tendency to steal your Keyblade. This leaves you utterly defenseless as he pelts you with lasers and drains your health in a matter of seconds.

So much of this fight just feels cheap. More often than not, the difficulty comes from crippling the player rather than a fair challenge. Making you feel cheated due to something beyond your control is one of the cardinal sins of gaming. That is why Yozora is truly the worst boss that Kingdom Hearts has to offer.

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