Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix is one of the more open-ended titles of the franchise due to the amount of variance one can have in their builds. However, it is also arguably one of the more broken games to become powerful thanks to some very simple to perform sequence breaking and overpowered combative tools.
The tips I will provide below may seem overtly complicated for beginners, but they are all extremely straightforward to pick up and are just generally worth keeping in mind.
3 Must-Have Abilities Every Player Should Have
Learning abilities in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix is far more involved than prior titles. Rather than simply learning new abilities whenever leveling up, you have to go through the act of manually inputting what types of abilities you want to learn at any point you desire. Whenever performing command synthesis, you have the option of attaching an additive crystal. These crystals all have their own select pools of ability types they will provide, and their descriptions state which types in particular.
Two vital abilities in most of the Kingdom Hearts series are Second Chance and Once More (though Once More is translated as Withstand Combo in Kingdom Hearts III), with the former letting the player survive a massively damaging attack that would have otherwise killed them if their HP is above 1, and the latter letting the player survive from a combo if their HP is above 1.
Another vital ability is Leaf Bracer, which prevents the player’s Cure spells from being interrupted.
Thanks to how uniquely abilities are learned in this title, one can quickly learn these three handy tools. There are guaranteed combinations to learning these abilities, so let’s briefly go through an example for all of them.
- Second Chance can be learned by melding two Curas that are both at least level 3 alongside a Pulsing Crystal.
- Once More can be learned by melding two Firas that are both at least level 3 alongside a Wellspring Crystal.
- Leaf Bracer can be learned by melding 2 Aeros that are both at least level 3 alongside a Pulsing Crystal.
Keep in mind that other melding combinations get those abilities, and the ones above are just ones of many. These abilities are among the most fundamental and absurdly useful, especially on Critical Mode, so make sure to hone in to obtain these first above all else.
The Ventus D-Link is Overpowered
D-Links are a new mechanic exclusively in this game that allows players to use the command decks of other characters they interact with through the story; well, save for 1 exception. They gain levels through picking up randomly dropped stars from enemies that only appear if a D-Link is currently active. Leveling up these D-Links increases not only the command deck arsenal but also grants a new finish command and passive abilities activated only when using that specific D-Link.
The Ventus D-Link is among the first set of two you learn when playing as Terra and Aqua. Funnily enough, the firstly gained level of the Ventus D-Link gives one of the most broken abilities in the game; Haste.
Haste quickens a character’s combat speed to the point where they become borderline unstoppable due to how ridiculously trivial it is to spam combos with little to no repercussions. Unfortunately, only Terra and Aqua have access to this ability since Ventus can obviously not learn his own D-Link. Still, I highly advise learning Haste to at least lean on for difficult encounters.
Also, take this tip as a rule of thumb to experiment with D-Links as a whole. There are some helpful abilities gained from others, such as Aqua’s D-Link granting Auto-Life, and Mickey’s giving Double Experience.
Action Commands Can Only Be Melded if You Have Spare Copies of Them
This is one of the most infuriating bits of lacking transparency in the title’s combative lexicon. Action Commands give the fundamental movement and combat options like Air Slide, Glide, Block, etc. It is possible to meld some Action Commands, but you always need to have a spare copy of the Action Command you intend to meld.
If you lack spare copies of Action Command(s) you wish to meld, then they will be grayed out, and you will be unable to. Unfortunately, the game does not tell you about this requirement whatsoever. Obtaining spare copies of Action Commands is simple as the shops sell them quite cheaply.
There are some truly unique and monstrous abilities one can learn from melding Action Commands. For instance, in my opinion, the most useful Action Command one can meld is Renewal Block. This can be learned by fusing an Esuna command and a base Block command. This new-fangled block will heal players whenever they block anything successfully. It’s disgustingly broken.
Sliding Dash and Surge Abilities Can Be Used to Easily Sequence Break
This might not be a suitable beginner tip, but due to the ease at which anyone can perform these, I figured sharing this was fitting enough.
The Sliding Dash and elemental Surge abilities such as Fire Surge (to lesser extents) can be used to reach areas you are not really intended on being able to yet. These abilities can be used for sequence breaks because they cover an obscene degree of horizontal ground whenever used. For instance, one area a player can employ this strategy is in the Dwarf Woodlands as Terra and Aqua.
When standing on this staircase near the treasure chest, you can jump and quickly perform a Sliding Dash to reach the top of that archway, which thankfully has hit detection. You can perform this trick once again to reach the platform at the other end of the area.
I personally find this trick immensely satisfying to pull off, and if you ever feel like you can reach something that seems just a little too far off via ordinary means, a Sliding Dash or Surge might do the trick. Disney Town has a notable area known for this trick as well.
One of Terra’s Xehanort Reports is in the Mirage Arena
Like Kingdom Hearts I and II, Birth by Sleep also has its fair share of secret reports. These secret reports are necessary to unlock the Final Episode, so they’re always worth keeping in mind. Most beginner players will likely have little difficulty finding the reports, except for 1.
Each character has their own uniquely obtained reports, and Terra has one that is a tad unconventional to receive compared to the rest. The Mirage Arena, an optional world that opens up once you complete your first world in the game, has several activities one can partake in, such as arena matches. The majority of post-game is locked behind here, but there are still a fair amount of tasks one can complete without any need to grind heavily.
The Xehanort report for Terra in the Mirage Arena is in the Sinister Sentinel battle. This fight is rather simple, especially near end-game, so once you reach the end of Terra’s story, you can easily win this fight and get the report. Keep in mind that this fight is locked behind a few Arena levels, so you will have to either win some other fights first or play command board or rumble racing if those are more your fancy.
Magnet and Zero Gravity Are Indisepable Spells
There are various spells in this game, from classics such as Fire, Blizzard, and Thunder, to more unorthodox ones like Mini. Two spells, in particular, Magnet and Zero Gravity, the former initially appearing in Kingdom Hearts II with the latter being new, are arguably some of the most helpful tools in the game.
Magnet gathers enemies up in a circular fashion in the air, making them immensely more defenseless and simple to eliminate. Zero Gravity brings all enemies up into the air, also making them defenseless. While these spells don’t work on most boss fights, they are almost always viable when facing off against mobs. Their upgraded forms also increase their range, making them even more practical. These spells are invaluable in making short work of enemies, especially when early on in the game and playing on Critical mode.
Don’t Forget About Shotlocks
Numerous mechanics make themselves in Birth by Sleep; honestly a little too much, and one that is often overlooked by veterans and newcomers alike is Shotlocks. These are performed by holding down the equivalent of the Playstation’s R1 button and are one of the best tools for ridding the screen of countless mobs and destroying bosses. Some Shotlocks are better than others, but they are always worth keeping in the back of your mind, especially during troubling situations.
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix is one of the most controversial titles of the series, but if you can accept its flaws, this game has an absurd amount of content to keep you occupied. In fact, it has the most amount of post-game content the series has seen thus far. For new players jumping into this game, remember to take your time and smell the mechanical roses because there is a lot you can potentially dive into.
This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate Noisy Pixel earns from qualifying purchases.