So, part 20! The final boss (maybe?). What’s going to happen to our heroes? How many times can the words ‘heart’ and ‘darkness’ be used in one cutscene? Let’s find out!

We fight our way through a lot of ordinary Heartless, and enter the big colourful Heartless emblem into the ‘Dark Depths’. Inside… we meet a large friend!

In a dark, colourful room, a huge purple horned beast faces Sora, Donald and Goofy.

Their weak spot favourite massage spot is the central horn, and surprisingly, it’s very easy to jump on the Large Friend’s back and just beat up give a pleasant massage to that spot while avoiding most of the Large Friend’s attacks clumsy stretches. Thus we go through the enormous health bar pleasure meter very quickly.

Unexpected revelation (that might not be so if I’d played Final Fantasy 8): the Hollow Bastion is the home of Aerith, Squall and Yuffie or something? Confusingly, it seems to be implying Final Fantasies 7 and 8 share a world.

Also, closing the keyhole and defeating Ansem will apparently disconnect the worlds so Gummi ships can’t pass. Given how long this series is, I somehow suspect this won’t happen.

Anyway, particle effects happen!

Sora shooting a beam from his Keyblade, producing pink sparkles.

So: not the final boss. Ansem is somewhere else. But we did a good thing and the Princesses can go home.

…or not, they’re going to stick around to deal with residual darkness. But I’m off.

Apparently there’s another tournament on. I might as well. I glimpsed on the Wiki that Squall and Cloud together are the boss, and it’s called the Hades Cup (Hades being the only survivor of the Disney Villain Council at this point!) so I bet I’ll get some good loot.

Back at Traverse Town, I put some sweet new guns on the Sevatsopol. Turns out I’ve unlocked buying that fancy Ultima-G laser from Cid, so I put three of them on.

So, I think I’m going to take another shot at the Really Hard Boss in Agrabah.

I decided, after a certain number of deaths, that any pride in doing it properly was not worth the frustration, and I would let myself abuse save states. (Slippery slope!) It still took hours, and who knows how many rerecords (as they say in the TAS bis). I know this doesn’t really ‘count’ as beating this boss. Even so, eventually…

Kurt Zisa exploding, with 20,000 xp rising up.

Finally.

Kurt Zisa lying face-down on the desert sand.

Trivia fact: Kurt Zisa is named after some guy in New York who won a contest to get his name in the game.

As a suitably grand reward for beating what’s probably the hardest boss in the game, you get… nothing but xp. Woo.

To wrap up, lets storm the Coluseum. We have…

holy shit.

The Hades Cup requires me to beat 49 groups of enemies. All without healing. This is going to be grueling.

There’s also a ???? option on the menu that turns out to let you fight Sephiroth. He makes an incredibly dramatic entrance through a magic circle.

A complicated pile of baroque magic circles filling up the sky.

You fight him solo, which is a shame, because the internet is dying to know whether Donald Duck or Sephiroth is the stronger fighter. I can’t even damage him. Guess I’m too low level.

So lets tackle the Hades Cup. That, at least, might be manageable.

…there sure is a lot of it. Cloud and Squall is an incredibly chaotic fight and the only place I died before the final boss. Hades makes an appearance, but he’s a comparatively easy. There are many encounters that have multiple waves of enemies. Former bosses show up repeatedly.

Finally, I reach the 49th encounter…

The protagonists facing a huge dark golem that totally fills the screen. It is too dark to see well.

Big.

I think I figured out what happened with the ‘not able to damage Sephiroth’ thing. The same appeared to happen on Hades and this thing, but actually I think it’s that the HP meter is bugged above six stacked bars. Probably every bar from the sixth on up is purple, so you can’t even see the damage you do against the background lol. I don’t know how that passed QA.

Anyway, it’s a trivial boss after what came before - its attacks hit hard but they’re slow and massively telegraphed and when you do get hit, you have plenty of time to heal. Occasionally it falls over and you have to hit its faces instead of its feet. The horde encounter immediately before was harder even. At least Hades had some effort put in, I don’t know why he wasn’t the last boss of the Hades Cup.

Still, realising the thing about the health bars gives me the confidence to take a real go at Sephiroth. And hear that music that the Newgrounds crowd was obsessed with in the ‘00s, with the chorus going ‘Sephiroth’ a lot.

I’ll push that to the next post though, this one’s pretty long and it’s mostly a list of bosses I killed.