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The "How to Beat Sephiroth" Guide

Kingdom Hearts II: How to Beat Sephiroth Guide
Version XVIIIa
Started: Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Last Updated: Thursday, June 29, 2006
Author: Ezekiel Lonewalker (PsychoZeke)
E-Mail: zekeunbound18@yahoo.com

=----------------------=
=- Table of Contents: -=
=----------------------=

I.
How to Beat Sephiroth Guide
[hbs]
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
Foreword
Adjustment
Action Abilities
Support Abilities
Growth Abilities
[int]
[adj]
[aab]
[sab]
[gab]
II.
Miscellany
[mis]
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
Armor
Accessories
Keychain/Keyblade
Items
Shortcuts
[arm]
[acc]
[key]
[itm]
[cut]
III.
The One-Winged Angel
[owa]
i.
Stats
[sts]
IV.
Know Thy Enemy
[kte]
i.
Battle Spoils
[bsp]

=--------------------------------=
=- How to Beat Sephiroth Guide: -=
=--------------------------------=

Ctrl+F (F3): [hbs]

This "How to Beat Sephiroth" section (originally a guide as already explained) was coincidentally brought about after having received a phone call at the unbelievable time of two o'clock in the morning by two friends of mine - an otaku couple interestingly. The call was a simple "I CAN'T BEAT SEPHIROTH!" line, followed by a subtle silence from my part; I mean - how many times do you receive such a boisterous call, at 2:00am, without so much of a "Hello"? I clearly felt as dry as a mandrill's cherry butt. I decided to pay a visit to them the following morning.

They both had different personalities towards the encounter with Sephiroth: he was cocky while she felt insecure and doubtful about her abilities. So, what I pretty much did was sit and watch them play five times each, ten times in total. To my enjoyment, they both had their particular reactions whenever they got caught in a combo or were defeated, with a colorful language repertoire and all that jazz even. As you could've rightfully assume, they lost each of those five tries, so I just told them what not to do and what to avoid after taking to consideration the notes I had taken while watching their endeavors. Afterwards, at home, notes at hand, I decided to write a small "How to Beat Sephiroth FAQ" just to take that out of my system, and mainly because while participating in the Kingdom Hearts II message boards (at GameFAQs), some members kept asking for help with Sephiroth, or what was denominated the "Help with Sephiroth" topics. Pretty much this guide was concocted to help eradicate such topics in a peaceful manner.

---------.
Foreword: \_

Ctrl+F (F3): [int]

Remember your first battle with Sephiroth in the first Kingdom Hearts? Maybe you struggled with him, having problems parrying his attacks or dodging his sword slashes; or maybe you fell victim to his Sin Harvest assault, which is literally that. I dare to say you did, and perhaps you didn't have that much of a struggle, but it's apt to attest that he can be a challenge, most notably to the inexperienced.

Now, once more, you get the chance to brawl with Sephiroth in Kingdom Hearts II - and a rather tumultuous brawl at that. But the good thing, contrary to the first, is that you can land string of hits to him whereas in Kingdom Hearts he tends to teleport away in the middle of a combo. This specific battle isn't like the first, which was a tournament at the Olympus Coliseum (Platinum Match), but it does share similarities such as a wide-ranged arena and the element of surprise and frustration (mostly if you tend to confide in overconfidence). And like in the first fight, it's practically safe to say, from the get-go, that Sephiroth knows how to use the arena to his advantage. So, on that note, let's get started.

-----------.
Adjustment: \_

Ctrl+F (F3): [adj]

Firstly, have in mind that to access this fight with Sephiroth you need to finish each world, in its first and second visit: this also includes the Disney Castle and Timeless River (which technically are done by default), 100 Acre Wood, Atlantica, and Space Paranoids (its first and
second visit).

Secondly, take to consideration that this guide is meant as a helpful way to beat Sephiroth; it is in no way a "how to beat Sephiroth in Proud Mode, with level 40 and with the Sweet Memories Keychain (or Keyblade for the "politically correct")". I am taking the notes I jotted down while "studying" my two friends' fighting strategies against Sephiroth to make this guide, so this is a recommendable set of abilities to use, including armor, accessories and items (though I prefer that you practice your own tastes when it comes to armor and accessories).

Abilities are far and between, so be sure to equip those that can truthfully help you against Sephiroth; don't equip needless abilities that won't do you any good in battle. You cannot Drive, so don't equip Auto Valor/Wisdom/Master/Final; you cannot Summon, so don't equip Summon Boost, and so on. Don't be afraid to use some of those glorious AP Boosts you've collected so far from your adventuring, and try to equip AP-boosting accessories. What follows are recommendations of abilities, armor, accessories and such to equip. All abilities will be named followed by the amount of AP needed to equip them, which will be represented with a parenthesis and the amount required - (#).

-----------------.
Action Abilities: \_

Ctrl+F (F3): [aab]

- Guard (2) and Counterguard (4): Yes, these two. Contrary to what you might've heard, read or speculated you can guard against Sephiroth's attacks. If you have good dexterity, you can manage to guard against the ground combo by connecting a common Guard followed by a Counterguard. Of course, you can also guard with Reflect magic as well as by fending off Sephiroth's attack with your own while in the ground or in mid-air; thing is, his swings are faster and a bit fiddly to meet and connect.

- Slide Dash (2)/Upper Slash (4)/Finishing Leap (5): These three here are best suited whenever you intend to go for an air-to-air combo. Sephiroth is always open for an air upper, which can help you greatly seeing as in the air he tends to be most vulnerable (which makes you ponder why the wings then...?). Slide Dash helps you to get in closer, but don't rely too much in it or you'll end up at the other end of Masamune. Slide Dash is best suited for when Sephiroth is idle (which is rarely) to slide in and connect your combo, followed either by Upper Slash or a Finishing Leap, which will knock Sephiroth into the air. The drawback of having Upper Slash and Finishing Leap at the same time is that you can't connect a long ground combo and then follow-up with Upper Slash; it always leads to a Finishing Leap. But seldom happens that you can do both at the same time - tends to vary with the way you connect each hit, I presume.

- Aerial Sweep (2)/Aerial Spiral (2)/Horizontal Slash (2)/Aerial Finish (3)/Retaliating Slash (3): Here you have your air strike repertoire; your best bet (dare I say, even safe way) to knock the wind out of Sephiroth while keeping it safe. Following Upper Slash or Finishing Leap, rapidly tap X and let the hits fly: you can do a two-session of Horizontal Slashes following up swiftly with an Aerial Finish. The greatest thing here is Horizontal Slash, which quite frankly, helps greatly to keep the pace of each strike as you go since it reels Sephiroth towards with each hit, though it can also do the opposite if you connect the slash too late during the air raid. Retaliating Slash is there for whenever Sephiroth teleports behind you and knocks you into the air. Here you need to buckle up and lock-on (R1) to Sephiroth as soon as you see a black portal appearing behind or at the left/right side of Sora; but the thing is to keep a timing to it by not retaliating as soon as you get knocked, but right after Sephiroth appears, which, combined with the lock-on, will make Sora hit Sephiroth and you can follow quickly with an air combo. One thing that's advantageous of retaliating is that after clubbing Sephiroth, you can continue to land in new strikes, either on the air as he falls or once he lands on the ground, though the latter needs to be done as fast as possible (Slide Slash can be useful here). And, again, if you have good dexterity (which you can gain by leveling up or simply by entering the Underdrome tournaments and trying to eliminate enemies as fast as you can) you can follow a retaliating strike with a combo then another one and conclude it with Trinity Limit, which will take a good chunk of Sephiroth's life bar (depending in Sora's strength, of course).

- Slapshot (2)/Dodge Slash (2)/Guard Break (3)/Explosion (3): The ground is covered with these four, with addition to Slide Dash of course. I would recommend not relying all the time in these as they can lead to a double-edged situation. However, there are safe methods to land soundly and connect ground combos to Sephiroth after dodging his on-ground slash combo, which is best avoided, for this particularly, by jumping followed by an air dodge, locking on to him and tapping X, which will make Sora do a "swirling" slash strike that will accommodate him with Sephiroth, landing, most of the time, behind him - cue for on-ground smacking. Ground combos are practically straightforward, and you'll most of the time connect both, Guard Break and Explosion; but if you wish to make it more interesting, again, testing your dexterity, follow it with a Finishing Leap and rapidly tap X and connect a string of hits while airborne. The latter strategy is pretty hard to pull off given that Sephiroth - most of the time - will teleport after the second or third hit, pulling himself away from the would-be combo (and always tends to teleport behind Sora and start his own air combo, where you can retaliate as previously mentioned). You can also utilize the Slapshot ability to parry Sephiroth's slash combo by connecting your own. Since Sephiroth lunges around 7 times, depending in your reaction time, Slapshot will most likely parry his attacks.

- Trinity Limit (5): Pretty much you know what this ability is for and what it does. Try to connect it while in the end of a combo finisher; it's best when executed while ending your mid-air combo. Try to have finger #2 (the index finger) on top of the cross-pad to juggle the menu options to reach Trinity Limit.

------------------.
Support Abilities: \_

Ctrl+F (F3): [sab]

*An ability enclosed in brackets ([]) isn't entirely necessary to have.

- Scan (2): Well, it's not a bad idea to know how long till Sephiroth's demise.

- Combo Plus (1)/Air Combo Plus (1)/Combo Boost (3)/Air Combo Boost (3)/Finishing Plus (5): These here are the backbone of your road to victory. If you have both Combo Plus and Air Combo Plus, don't hesitate to equip them as they can help much. The boosting supporters should be equipped so they can definitely give you an advantage over your finishers, which you won't have a problem with thanks to Finishing Plus.

- Combination Boost (4): Granted for Trinity Limit - it's an essential nifty application. No doubt.

[- Berserk Charge (5): This one depends primordially on Sora's level-up growth as he can learn this ability either at level 65 (Roxas chose the Sword in his "Dive to the Heart"), 85 (Roxas chose the Shield in his "Dive to the Heart") or 49 (Roxas chose the Staff in his "Dive to the Heart"). You can also obtain this ability through the Fatal Crest Keychain by winning the Goddess of Fate Cup at the Underdrome (Olympus Coliseum), which can be accessed after clearing all the other cups (Pain and Panic, Cerberus, and Titan) and completing the first battle with Xemnas (Memory's Skyscraper). This particular ability makes a combo go on forever until the MP bar refills entirely (also known as the MP Charge phase). So this, of course, like Combination Boost, is a nifty application after having used Trinity Limit.]

- Item Boost (2): Since we're not covering a "Sephiroth Challenge" guide, equip this alongside Hi-Potions. Healing items of course are best used when truly needed; don't use a Hi-Potion whenever you get caught in a combo and you start hearing the "beeping" sound - if you time your movements right, you can keep fighting while in red and practically take two to three chunks off of Sephiroth's life bar. Unlike Cure magic, healing items combined with Item Boost is quite better given that Cure magic takes away your whole MP bar, which its best saved for the Trinity Limit move. And note that this ability DOES work in battle, contrary to its described function.

- MP Rage (3)/Defender (3)/Second Chance (4)/Once More (4): These four are good supporters, mostly Once More since it protects you after a devastating combo attack and Second Chance, which permits you to remain at 1 HP after taking a strong blow. But have it clear: this doesn't mean you're going to be invincible. Got it memorized?

-----------------.
Growth Abilities: \_

Ctrl+F (F3): [gab]

- High Jump (2)/Quick Run (2)/Air Dodge (3): These three were the only Growth Abilities my two friends had (as well as I did when I defeated Sephiroth the first time). At that rate, they all are at level 2 (if you bothered to level your Drive Forms, of course), which is about enough to jumpstart a revolution. High Jump gives an upper hand when trying to dodge on-ground combos and Air Dodge helps more in trying to land behind Sephiroth or to prevent his Heartless Angel attack; Quick Run is best whenever he casts his Fire Pillar spell, as well as to avoid sword lunges and trying to get to him when he's open. Now, you can always wait to attain Glide (3) if you think you can't go against him without said ability, but in truth, it's not that necessary - believe me. But, if you happen to have it, take advantage of the ability and the arena, as well as it can help to avoid Sephiroth's Fire Pillar.

=---------------=
=- Miscellany: -=
=---------------=

Ctrl+F (F3): [mis]

Now that covered my rundown in regards of each set of abilities, now follows a brief rundown of the possible miscellany to use.

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Armor: \_

Ctrl+F (F3): [arm]

If you happen to have a Cosmic Belt (found in The World That Never Was: Twilight's View), Cosmic Chain (Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden: Heartless Manufactory) and a Ribbon (acquired through Serenity-synthesizing a Petit Ribbon), go ahead and equip those: you'll have +13 points for defense. But you can also go with a Buster Band (acquired through
Serenity-synthesizing a Power Band) instead of the Cosmic Belt, a -1 defense point, but you're not losing that much.

------------.
Accessories: \_

Ctrl+F (F3): [acc]

Cosmic Arts (found in Space Paranoids: Central Computer Mesa) or instead two Star Charms (acquired through Serenity-synthesizing a Moon Amulet); this of course if you've ventured deep in the game. If you don't have the latter, you can always go either with Fencer Earring (acquired through Serenity-synthesizing a Soldier Earring) or a Diamond Ring (acquired through Serenity-synthesizing a Garnet Ring). You will acquire +17 AP either way, the difference being a +6 in strength and magic contrary to +5/+6 strength and +3/+4 in magic. Of course, if you want +3 additional AP, a Cosmic Ring (found in 100 Acre Wood: Starry Hill) wouldn't hurt.

------------------.
Keychain/Keyblade: \_

Ctrl+F (F3): [key]

This one is a bit on your personal style/tastes, but I can still give some recommendations.

- Decisive Pumpkin (+6 - +1: Added Ability: Combo Boost): As far as power goes, this one is the perfect choice. Of course, the added ability helps quite a lot, mostly if you have it equipped as well.

- Circle of Life (+4 - +1: Added Ability: MP Haste): I once used this one against Sephiroth, and the added ability does really help, mostly if you wish to do the Reflect strategy (to parry all of Sephiroth's attacks).

- Fatal Crest (+3 - +5: Added Ability: Berserk Charge): Primordially, what makes this Keychain a good choice is its ability, which allows combos to go on forever during the MP Charge phase. This will surely add a couple of more hits to your combo assault after a good Trinity Limit.

- Ultima Weapon (+6 - +4: Added Ability: MP Hastega): If you have it, then don't be shy to use it. It's strong, but you won't use magic, so going with Decisive Pumpkin works the same way, unless of course you're behind Ultima Weapon's ability.

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Items: \_

Ctrl+F (F3): [itm]

Hi-Potions will work wonders combined with Item Boost. Equip the number you believe necessary, but of course, six won't hurt; but you can always add a few Ethers. Whatever your tastes are.

----------.
Shortcuts: \_

Ctrl+F (F3): [cut]

Just for precaution methods, have Reflect and Hi-Potions in the shortcut buttons, the ones you feel most comfortable with.

Now, if you want to play it cheap, you can equip six Elixirs (you can synthesize them, or try your luck with Devastator in Space Paranoids and Living Bones in Pride Lands since these two have a 5% rate of dropping the aforementioned item). With six Elixirs you can simply use Trinity Limit against Sephiroth, retract once it has ended, use an Elixir, repeat Trinity Limit, and so on. This is of course for the cheap at heart or if you just don't want the battle to protract.

=-------------------------=
=- The One-Winged Angel: -=
=-------------------------=

Ctrl+F (F3): [owa]

------.
Stats: \_

Ctrl+F (F3): [sts]

Now that every aspect of Sora has been covered, following now is a brief explanation regarding Sephiroth and his attacks.

=------------------------------------------------=
=- HP: 3000 (15LB) | Strength: 42 | Defense: 24 -=
=------------------------------------------------=

---------------.
Most Effective: \_

=--------------------------------------=
=- Standard Weapon | Reflect | Magnet -=
=--------------------------------------=

NOTE: Fire, Blizzard, and Thunder magic is infective.

--------.
Attacks: \_

- Cut Combo: 5 consecutive forward sword cuts that can be deflected, but won't interrupt the attack.

- Aerial Cut Combo: An upward slash followed by 4 consecutive cuts that can be deflected, but not entirely interrupted unless you follow the retaliating strategy previously described.

- Moving Cut: A wide-ranged cut that's quick and pretty much precise that can still be deflected, but won't interrupt it wholly; tends to be used whenever a complete life bar has been depleted (if given the chance).

- Flash: A charging slash attack of devastating power comprised of 13 hits - Block Reaction Command will be enabled.

- Shadow Flare: A dark-based attack that will encircle Sora and practically follow him; these can be destroyed with the Keyblade, but its preferably best to use Reflect magic on them.

- Fire Pillar: Fire-based attack that creates 15 pillars around Sephiroth, which consequently pulls Sora towards; other than Trinity Limit, which technically makes Sora invincible while the move is being performed, this attack cannot be deflected by any means.

- Meteo: A straightforward rain of meteors lunged from high above, which isn't deflectable.

- Heartless Angel: If it hits, it will drop Sora's HP to 1 and MP to 0; this attack can be interrupted prior to casting.

------------------.
Reaction Commands: \_

- Block: Deflects the Flash attack.

----------------------.
Victory "Get Bonuses": \_

- Drive Gauge +1

-------------.
Mickey Saves: \_

N/A

=-------------------=
=- Know Thy Enemy: -=
=-------------------=

Ctrl+F (F3): [kte]

Sephiroth simply wants to test your fighting skills; it's an obvious gloat from his part. The battle functions in various ways, one of which is a total disadvantage for Sephiroth if you have good reflexes.

Starting the battle, have your fingers ready to tap two buttons, R1 (lock-on) and Triangle (Block Reaction Command), just as soon as Sephiroth says, "Show me your strength." The whole battle consists of knowing how to keep Sephiroth locked-on, even though it can be a chore. The Triangle option will appear a couple of times in the remainder of the battle, and it is simply to block his Flash attack, which is basically an instant KO trick. After blocking said attack, the One-Winged Angel will be open for any attack - ANY. So be sure to lay waste and bat him into the air, following with an air combo and as soon as Aerial Finish concludes, press Circle to Aerial Dodge away since he will instantly teleport, either to any of Sora's sides (depending in the camera's angle), behind you or straightly a couple of feet away, sword prepared to hack through. Of course, keep Sora poised, and lock on as soon as he reappears to have a lookout for his movements. One way to keep on smacking with the Keyblade is to let Sephiroth approach you while you, at the same time, approach him with prudence. Now this is really risky, just know that right when he's at least two inches away from you, he'll lunge his sword at you, so be prepared to jump and get behind him while using Aerial Dodge and maintaining him locked-on.

You will be able to deplete two to three, even four, of his life bars simply by sticking to normal combos. After that, Sephiroth will begin to cast black orbs around Sora, while lunging towards him as well. Your best ally here is Reflect magic or double jumping. Jumping is a good choice followed by Reflect given that the orbs may follow Sora. You can stick to the common strategy: keep your eyes peeled and your finger ready for the Block Reaction Command. Keep doing the same as you did prior to depleting his two to four life bars and accommodate yourself to the thought that as you keep depleting his life bar, the more vicious he'll get.

As you delve into the fight, Sephiroth will teleport and appear beside Sora, meaning he'll cast the Fire Pillar. Now, I know that you'll instantly use Quick Run as soon as he appears beside you, it will be a natural reflex; so I advise to stick using Quick Run because this Fire Pillar is stronger than the one he used in Kingdom Hearts since this one has a gravitational effect, meaning it'll suck Sora towards it. Try to get the feel of the Pillar's timing since once it ends, Sephiroth is open for an attack, so, if you feel lucky, Slide Dash (depending in your distance) and combo away or go for the easy win with Trinity Limit.

There will be a moment, like in Kingdom Hearts, where Sephiroth will teleport and seemingly disappear, but as soon as you hear the ominous sound of his teleportation reappearance, lock-on and run towards him, jump and smack away. This is his most devastating attack, which you'll know is an eminent threat when he calls, "Descend, Heartless Angel" - or Sin Harvest, whichever you prefer. If you manage to get across and prevent the attack, take full advantage since you can follow up your combo with another, and, if you have Trinity Limit available, let it rip. There's also another instance to watch carefully, which is when Sephiroth teleports away from harms way to prep up. You'll know right away since he will be covered by a pinkish aura; he's invincible in the very start of this phase, so don't waste time or your Trinity Limit. Instead, wait till the phase ends, and pummel away. This phase leads to an "omni-like" stage.

Finally, like in the first, Sephiroth has a meteor shower, just that this time is a bit more focused on Sora - literally. When he casts this spell, simply double jump from side to side - left to right, right to left - until the attack ends; this one is quite easy to evade. The rest of the battle should just be a bit of every strategy used so far. He might teleport more than usual once he's in his last life bar, so watch out for erratic sword lunges; it's best to save a Trinity Limit just for this occasion.

Remember to keep a lock-on on Sephiroth; have your eyes peeled and your reflexes up-to-speed for the Block Reaction Command. Keep dodging and parrying if you can, and connect all the combos you can, while on-ground and in mid-air. Use Hi-Potions when needed and have Reflect ready; it's not that hard of a fight if you simply concentrate on Sephiroth and avoid a desperate fit.

--------------.
Battle Spoils: \_

Ctrl+F (F3): [bsp]

After successfully defeating Sephiroth, head back to the Marketplace at Radiant Garden where Cloud is hanging out, still in pursue of Sephiroth. Approach him and answer his question regarding Sephiroth affirmatively; he'll then leave to the Dark Depths where Sephiroth is. Of course, head over there once more and simply watch and enjoy the "Showdown of Fate II" scene. Afterwards, Tifa will approach Sora, thanking him with the Fenrir Keychain, basically the strongest attack-wise.

This FAQ is for the sole purpose of being accessible to the web community and cannot be reproduced, retransmitted, rewritten in any other form unless acknowledged by its author; it cannot be edited by anyone else but the author, PsychoZeke. As any other form of literature, this is a brainchild, which is to be respected by any who has access to it.

Kingdom Hearts II: How to Beat Sephiroth Guide/FAQ 2006 Ezekiel Lonewalker (PsychoZeke)