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Kingdom Hearts (all versions)
- Beginning the original release of Kingdom Hearts with defensive priority unbalances the game in the following ways: If you complete all of the combat-based worlds before the final worlds, you will likely be leveled up considerably and have a lot of bonus defense and Hit Points; for bigger laughs, extra level grinding will cause this trope to be Up to Eleven. You will have a considerable advantage fighting the harder late-game bosses, due to your Stone Wall defenses alongside the magic point regeneration you gain from weapon strikes and taking damage. Much of the damage from bosses and regular enemies can be offset by your infinite healing. It will turn the Final Boss into a big joke, as long as you have a shortcut button to your cure spell. If you don't wish to do the healing yourself, then you can often summon Tinker Bell to handle that for you, even for some of the Bonus Bosses (details below).
Starting with Defense Priority also allows Sora to learn the "Lucky Strike" ability much MUCH earlier than any other set-up, which means you can start collecting all the rare materials needed for forging better items (including the Ultima weapon) much earlier in the game.
- If you prefer greater damage, Magical Priority is the best offensive choice in the game with Final Mix's retooling of abilities. This is due to the fact that many spells (and your finishers Stun Impact and Ripple Drive) scale not off your magic stat, but what your max MP is. The Staff giving more MP than the other two actually grants an absolutely massive increase in power to these moves.
- Bambi is one of the greatest summons in Kingdom Hearts due to his ability to give you a RIDICULOUS amount of MP orbs which basically means you can spam magic for free while he's there. Did you run out of magic? Just take a second or two to pick more MP orbs and you're full again. Not only that but, depending on which world you are, the more enemies you beat while he's there and the more items you'll be rewarded including various Potions, Ethers and materials. He's also available once per room meaning you can see him quite often.
- Tinker Bell also merits discussion. Unlike the other Summons, Tink does not replace any allies on the battlefield and lacks a depleting MP bar, meaning that she can only be dismissed manually. Tinker Bell will constantly heal Sora and his allies while active and will revive Sora, completely restoring his HP, should he fall in battle before departing. Combined with Second Wind and other Support Abilities, there's little you'll need to worry about as long as you're sufficiently leveled, and Tink's Regen effect largely counteracts the need to spend MP on healing, meaning Sora is free to use Aeroga, Graviga, Strike Raid, Ars Arcanum, etc. instead. Of course, you can't perform any Summons in fights where Sora is down at least one partner and Neverland is the third-to-last world traveled to, but she comes in handy for tough lategame battles like Maleficent's dragon form, Kurt Zisa, and Unknown.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
- Go on, set up a boss deck full of nothing but Sonic Blade + Multiple Hi-Potions. 90% of all boss battles can be won with this in under 2 minutes. Yes, all the way up to the 12th floor, at least. And there's only 13 floors. Needless, this is exploited like all hell for massive damage!
- Even better if the boss has an element. Trouble with Vexen (who is ice elemental)? Throw a bunch of Firagas around + Multiple Mega-Ethers. Each Firaga takes off 3/4 of one of his HP bars. It's super-effective!
- Actually, a Fire-only deck is a game breaker in itself; a Fire-only deck can make every boss but Axel (who is immune to it) a joke. Even the final boss in all his forms perish before it.
- Omnislash (stack three Cloud cards in a sleight) for Sora and MM Miracle Lv3 (stack three The King cards in a sleight) for Riku. Omnislash is a powerful attack that hits everywhere and can only be blocked by a 0 card, which the AI can't seem to do as often as it would like. MM Miracle Lv3 is basically like a Holy version of the Phoenix summon from the Final Fantasy games - it does huge amounts of damage to everything in the area, heals Riku back to full HP, and fully reloads his cards. And since The King is Riku's only summon card, it's not too hard to get plenty of them. As for Sora, people have beaten the game by building decks containing nothing but Cloud cards.
- Dark Mode is Riku's Game Breaker of choice. It powers him up considerably, while giving him access to three new moves: Dark Break (attacks from above), Dark Firaga (a powerful blast of energy that, despite its name, is actually dark element, not fire element) and Dark Aura, which is essentially the same attack he does when you fight him as a boss in the original Kingdom Hearts. All are achieved by stacking three Soul Eater cards in a sleight, the attack done corresponding to the total value of the three cards. The whole strategy for Riku basically involves getting him into Dark Mode as fast as possible.
- While it only becomes available late in the game, Trinity Limit has by far the best power/card ratio in the game. In the first game, it took up all your MP and wasn't that much stronger than Sora's other limits. Here, you only need Donald, Goofy, and a single attack card, of any type and any number. It's perfect for Level Grinding on the final floor because most normal enemies don't have nearly enough card strength to interrupt you, and it hits everything on screen for excellent damage. Combine it with Marluxia's Double Sleight enemy card and you can even do it twice in a row!
- In the PS2 remake, the safest and possibly quickest way to deal with many of the bosses is to simply abuse Riku's new Card Duel mechanic, which if successful, unleashes a very powerful attack that can't be canceled out by the opponent.
- Also in the remake, Sora gets the new Lethal Frame sleight, which has a very simple combination (Stop + two keyblade cards), is very powerful, and most importantly, freezes the target a moment after its activation (even bypassing the immunity most bosses possess to the Stop status), which gives them only a very brief window of opportunity to cancel the sleight with a zero card; an opportunity that can be removed entirely if you break one of their cards with the sleight.
Kingdom Hearts II (all versions)
- Kingdom Hearts II has an area (namely, the Peak of the Pride Lands) in which many weak Heartless appear and respawn rapidly; with some experience boosters, Lv99 is a few hours away at most. The Final Mix removed this, however.
- Berserk Charge is a very powerful skill on its own, but the drawback is that you never get a finishing blow on bosses. But when you combine this with a Square-button skill that acts as a finisher, such as Horizontal Slash...
- Reflega deals multi-hit Non-Elemental Area of Effect damage proportional to the strength of the hit it blocked. Use it on a Mook for a counter that does decent damage. Use it on most anything stronger for a One-Hit Kill.
- Another good one is the way MP works. With the right combination of abilities, you can basically make Sora near-invincible. To explain: Curaga heals Sora to full HP, at the cost of all his MP (and that's all his current MP, not maximum). This seems pretty balanced at first, but can become rather useful with the addition of two abilities: MP Rage and MP Haste. MP Rage makes your MP increase (or recharge faster) when you take damage. MP Haste makes your MP recharge faster when it runs out. These two abilities stack. Equip enough of them and you can basically get hit once and your MP shoots back to 100% again. Equip the Ultima Weapon (which is arguably much easier to get in the second game than in the first), which has the built-in unique ability MP Hastega, and add Leaf Bracer, which means Sora can't be hit out of casting Curaga, and as long as you can hit the shortcut fast enough you can basically never die.
- Even better in Final Mix. By defeating one of the bonus bosses, you can get a synthesis recipe that for an accessory that boosts your strength, which isn't too bad. But upgrade it and you get the ability MP Haste. You can simply make 4 of these accessories and equip them all. That combined with the MP Haste you learn from leveling drive forms, MP Hastera you get if you play on critical mode, and the MP Hastega you get from equipping the Ultima Weapon, your MP will recharge absurdly fast. Useful for all those post game bosses.
- The infamous "infinite combo" trick. Equip the ability Berserk Charge, which allows Sora to perform an infinite combo during MP recharge. Use Trinity Limit, a powerful attack that consumes all of Sora's MP, then follow it up with an infinite combo. Once your MP recharges, use Trinity Limit again and repeat the process until the enemy is dead. If you're fast enough, you can trap them in an infinite combo that they can't break out of. It's not as effective on bosses, as some have a "revenge value" mechanic that lets them break out of a combo if you hit them too many times (Sephiroth's teleportation power is one example), but even they can fall victim to this if you're fast enough and can lock back on to them immediately, or find a way to counter their revenge attack and keep them stuck in an AI loop.
- Magnet/Magnera/Magnega. EVERY non-giant enemy at least gets drawn into it (Sephiroth included), and non-bosses are incapacitated by it 100% of the time (with only one or two exceptions, and then only in Final Mix+). For added breakage, use it with Final Form.
- Critical Mode: You may think picking the hardest difficulty where your stats are greatly nerfed would make the game harder, but that's only true of the beginning stages of the game (when enemies can basically 2-shot you). Once you get a little stronger, you realize just how much that giant AP boost you're given in Critical Mode matter.
- Limit Form. It doesn't require a partner to use, so you can use it in any situation, even in solo fights or in the final boss fight when your only party member is Riku. It gives you extremely powerful basic combos, still lets you use Guard (unlike every other Form), and grants Dodge Roll, making it arguably the best defensive form. Your limits heal you when they hit the enemy, you can't be harmed most of the time when using them, and some (especially Sonic Blade) cost little MP to use, letting you sometimes spam it up to 4 times before MP needs to recharge. And if you do get hit while/after using a limit, with enough MP Rages you can recover just enough MP to use another limit and recover the HP you lost. With Second Chance and Once More equipped, the only hit point that counts is the last one, so using your HP-restoring limits can make you practically invincible.
- For Gummi Ship missions, most players agree that the best design is the "donut ship;" a square ring as tall and wide as you can make it. The reason for this is that enemies always aim for your ship's center, so if the center is hollow, their shots will almost always go straight through it, which can really save you in boss fights, especially against Hunter X's Bullet Hell.
Kingdom Hearts: 358/ 2 Days
- Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days's Mission Mode is completely broken once you're able to get Saix to a high level. His high strength and max crit chance destroys almost everything. His only downside is his low defence, but that shouldn't be a problem for someone who's beaten the game.
- One for the story mode is the Ominous Gear, a gear that can be found in a chest in an extremely early mission, you just don't have the skills to obtain it at that point. It's MEANT to be gotten much later in the game, on day 158. However, by abusing a specific gear (The Lift Gear) and the Air Slide, it can be obtained on day 72 (74 if you've done all the side missions up to that point). Just for reference, the Ominous Gear is the Upgraded form of the Wild Gear, effectively the best Melee Based gear for the early game. You can then proceed to destroy almost anything for most of the game, until you get the local Infinity -1 Sword.
Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (all versions)
- Birth by Sleep has its own potentially game-breaking minigame. Basically, think Monopoly with four checkpoints you touch for points (don't have to touch them to win but they help a LOT). If you win a match, the abilities you used on the tiles that your enemies landed on will boost in the main-game and you may unlock more abilities. It is not quite game-breaking on its own but it can potentially make combat a bit too easy.
- Of the boards the Neverland board is easily the best. This is because of it's Special Panel effect "Pixie Dust," which allows you to place your opponent on any tile you want to, including ones you've bought, which will still steal some of the opponent's GP when placed on. While the AI isn't smart enough to make decent use of this, you can easily just buy a high GP panel like the ones on the island next to the starting panel, then land on every special panel you can and drop your opponent onto that high value panel over and over again to steal any of the GP they get, making winning extremely trivial.
- There's also a few spells that could be considered Game Breakers, though none more so than the spell Mega Flare. It's an absolute nuke that hits the whole area for massive damage, and lasts for several seconds, meaning it's possible to damage multiple waves of spawning enemies with one spell. And, if you play the Command Board right, it can be obtained before you even get to the second world. Level up three Fires and two Aeros. Fuse the Fires into Firaga, then fuse the Aeros into Aerora. Now fuse Firaga and Aerora to make Fission Firaga. Make another Firaga (or buy one from a Moogle if you have enough money) and fuse it with Slow to get Crawling Fire. Now fuse Fission Firaga and Crawling Fire and proceed to own everything that stands in your way. Unfortunately, the spell was nerfed in the Final Mix version by doubling its recharge time.
- Terra's combo finisher Meteor is another good one. A wide area of effect attack that hits for massive damage and makes Terra invincible during casting. Ventus and Aqua have Time Splicer, which freezes all enemies in the area and allows the user to warp between enemies while attacking them. Dodge Roll for Ventus and Cartwheel for Aqua are excellent for dodging, since not only do they allow you to move quickly out of harm's way, they also grant invincibility frames, meaning attacks can be survived by spamming Dodge Roll or Cartwheel. Also for Ventus, Salvation, which is basically his version of MM Miracle Lv3 from Chain of Memories — a massively powerful Holy attack that hits everywhere.
- Even Salvation is dwarfed by Faith — a Ventus-exclusive command that deals heavy Holy damage and fully heals you. And unlike Salvation (which does more or less the same), it heals you fully, comes out immediately, and heals you at the beginning of the attack, rather than leaving you a sitting duck. The only drawback is that it is perhaps the hardest command to synthesize in the game — getting more than one is damn near impossible.
- Perhaps the most simple of the Game Breakers in Birth By Sleep are the shotlock commands. Not only can do they do an utterly ridiculous amount of damage, they make you completely invincible for the duration of the move. With the Focus Guard ability equipped, you can max out your focus gauge in no time at all against tough bosses, and bombard them with shotlocks almost constantly.
- Triple Firaga is no slouch either. It's very easy to make (Firaga + Fira), it can be made as soon as you get access to the command board, has a fast recharge time, does tremendous damage with the fire boost ability, takes up only one slot in the command deck, is homing and can stun some bosses. With the correct deck layout and timing you can even kill the final form of the Iron Imprisoner before it gets a chance to do anything. The only thing keeping this from being completely broken is it's exclusive to Aqua.
- Exp Zero is this in a Difficult, but Awesome way in the HD versions. In order to keep the game from being Unwinnable by Design with it on, Exp Zero has some hidden properties. Namely, it "scales" your attack damage according to each world's Battle Level. This normally doesn't have much of an impact, but attacks that hit multiple times have the damage scaling applied to each individual hit rather than the whole attack. This means attacks like Aqua's Spellweaver and the Peter Pan D-Link's Swordbill can shave off multiple health bars in a matter of seconds. If you're good enough to manage being a Glass Cannon, Exp Zero Critical Mode is actually the fastest way to beat the game, even more so than Beginner mode.
- One of the biggest game breakers in BBS is... ice cream. By farming enough ingredients off of Metal Slime enemies, you can make ice cream in Disney Town that instantly puts you into a Command Style when used. Using a second ice cream instantly fills the Command Style gauge for that Style's finisher. With how strong some of these finishers are (especially Spellweaver and Rhythm Mixer), making enough ice cream can trivialize a lot of boss fights.
Kingdom Hearts re: coded
- The Triple Pursuit, Exo Spark, and Chain Rave commands. Triple Pursuit shoots out three homing ice crystals that pass through walls, and an enemy multiple times with the chance of freezing them, leaving them open to attack. Exo Spark surrounds you in a electrical field hitting multiple times. Chain Rave deflects incoming attacks, hits like a ton of rocks, and pushes you forward, allowing you to hit mid-range targets. All three are useful in filling the Overclock guage, and the only drawbacks for the former two are elemental resistances.
- Judgment Triad, if by Game Breaking you mean "the Bonus Boss battle becomes dodge and shoot this thing". It has extreme homing that can potentially hit several Heartless at once, and damage so massive, it can one-shot several early-game bosses. You can only have 3 of these in your deck, but it was so good you barely need anything else.
- Even stronger than all of the above is the Targeting Scope ability, which is the last clock ability on the Zero/One keyblade. It makes physical attacks automatically strike enemies at range. Add to the fact that earlier in the tree is an ability that makes every strike critical, and that Eliminator you've been running from is only so much road kill.
Kingdom Hearts 3 D: Dream Drop Distance
- Balloon-type Magic in general. While their specific usages vary, they all involve giant, colorful balloons that explode on contact and deal obscenely high Non-Elemental Magic Damage and oftentimes stagger/stun the opposition. Balloon is a very easy high-damage shield spam move that enemies are too stupid to avoid, and both Balloonra and Balloonga sacrifice area of effect coverage for homing shenanigans and concentrated fire. Balloon Magic is broken enough that you can pretty much set your entire deck to Balloon-type Commands and a Curaga or two, get all Magic Haste and Magic Boost Abilities on Ability Link, equip a Magic-boosting Keyblade, and you're set for life.
Kingdom Hearts Union χ [Cross]
- Drew a medal featuring Kairi? Check its special attack out, because you may have just found yourself a Game Breaker.
- Illustrated Kairi was the first, boosting strength by 3 tiers for a turn and healing HP. At the time of the medal's introduction, this was a massive power boost, but Power Creep means that the medal is now outclassed and loses its Game Breaker status, though it's still a solid choice if better boosts aren't available. It's especially useful during events like the Phil Cup, which have prohibitions on Medals based on Guilt Tier, making it so that the even more powerful medals below are unusable.
- Illustrated KHII Kairi, also known as Tieri. For starters, she's a Fixed Damage Attack, so enemies with high defense and especially Metal Slimes go down much easier. She also raises all attribute strengths by 1 tier, and decreases enemies' attribute defenses by 1 tier, and heals HP. And most importantly, not only does this attack cost nothing to use, it actually restores ten full Special gauges, allowing you to spam powerful high-cost special attacks with impunity.
- KH 0.2 Kairi, with a staggering 6-tier strength boost, on top of a 1-tier attribute strength boost and a 1-tier defense and attribute defense decrease for all enemies, and healing HP to boot. The Heartless will no longer stand a chance against your absurdly buffed-up attacks, and if combined with Tieri to constantly restore the special attack gauge, well! Both KH 0.2 Kairi and Tieri were introduced in the global version of the game with special deals that guaranteed the respective medal would be drawn within 5 pulls, which made these Game Breakers much easier to get than any other shop medal.
- Illustrated KH Kairi EX puts even KH 0.2 Kairi to shame. 7 tiers of strength boost, 6 tiers of attribute strength boost, 2 tiers of upright strength boost (which very few other medals can give), 3 tiers of defense reduction, 4 tiers of attribute defense reduction, adds up to attacks 22 tiers stronger than normal, along with restoring 5 Special gauges, increasing the counters for when enemies get a free attack by 1 and healing HP, for no cost except the piles of Jewels it takes to actually draw her (unlike the last two Kairi medals, there's no number of pulls that guarantees snagging this one although at the very least it was a Falling Price Deal, meaning that each consecutive draw costed fewer Jewels reaching only 1900 after 5 draws). Of course, you can still benefit on everything except Proud mode, the Coliseum and Union Cross multiplayer from somebody's shared medal of this, and many have. Even better, out of all the EX medals, the Kairi EX deal has been brought back the most, giving many more chances to get her and even getting a guaranteed one in 15 pulls eventually.
- For previously unimaginable amounts of breakage, place this after the HD Xion medal (was available a little ways back as a guaranteed-within-five-draws) or medals with the same effect like HD Namine, HD Antiform Sora and HD Vanitas, even better if you have Extra Attack +40% on the copying medal, Kairi EX or both. Since imitating the attack also imitates all of the boosts, by the time you get to the final use, you could be dealing upwards of 800,000 damage, assuming the enemy hasn't already fallen. And, yes, this too works with a shared Kairi EX and is godly against raid bosses and other powerful event bosses, since shared medals can be used for those. An added bonus of this is that regardless of what attack they copy, these medals are considered to be single target. This means you can use them to get the absurd effects of Kairi EX at least once in Proud mode quests with the limitation of "only special attacks allowed for single target medals", which would normally prevent you from using Kairi EX. Even if you don't have many good single target medals the Kairi EX buffs will still make your normal attacks strong enough to clear most common enemies even on Proud mode. HD Xion and HD Vanitas have the added benefit of letting you overcome the "only special attacks allowed for reverse medals" restriction as well.
- Illustrated Xion EX is identical to Kairi EX, but it gives a reverse strength boost instead of upright. This is only slightly less game-breaking than Kairi EX due to the general prevalence of upright medals over reverse, but if you have strong reverse medals, Xion EX will carry you.
- Extra Attack 40% Power is a medal trait that lets you use the attached medal twice, but the second use only does 40% of the normal damage. But using a buff medal twice will give you the full power of the buff both times. If you're lucky enough to roll it on one of the aforementioned Kairi medals, or the Xion one, you can easily buff yourself to godlike levels.
- The pet system introduced in the Version 2.3.1 update is this in a couple of ways. It gives each player a spirit or "pet" that accompanies them on their journey (similar to the Dream Eaters idea in Dream Drop Distance) that adds an extra medal slot all keyblades you have with a multiplier of at least 2.40, regardless of whether the medal is Magic, Speed or Power. Not only is this enough to likely get you over the hump on many objectives, it is also extremely helpful on the Proud mode quests which require you to equip a specific keyblade, one which may not be ideal for the use of your most powerful medal. One extra medal slot may not seem like much, but in this case it can make all the difference. As the icing on the cake, your pet can also learn special unique skills such as "Steal" (which doubles materials and medals dropped by Heartless), "Esuna I" (which removes all status ailments on you), "Blast" (which finishes off severely weakened foes with 10,000 fixed damage, "HP Recovery" which, contrary to its name, revives you with 1 HP one time should you fall in battle, acting as a free Second Chance (which stacks with Second Chance so you can potentially survive two lethal attacks) and "P/S/M Attack Boost I" (which raises each attribute strength by 1 tier once per turn whenever a special attack applies that type of buff and, even better, this boost can go over the 7 tier limit for each buff)!
- Fantasia Mickey B medals are incredibly powerful as well. Using one on a medal adds a dot to the medal's special attack bonus as if it were a second copy of the medal. This makes unlocking a medal's full special attack bonus much easier since you don't have to rely on pulling multiple copies of the same medal. Using three of them on a super rare medal like an EX medal that already has three dots (and later on five dots) will instantly give you an attack medal so powerful you can clear pretty much all of story mode with it alone and saves you the thousands of Jewels it would take to get such a rare medal more than once. The only downsides are that using Fantasia Mickey B does not give medals a trait and that they are pretty rare in the global version of the game (although they are slowly becoming easier to obtain as time goes on) but that hardly matters in comparison to their benefits.
- Attack Boost Max & SP GA skills are pretty much the best skills in the game. In addition to providing a guaranteed attack boost to a medal, they make a medal's special attack use a low number of gauges (as low as 0 gauges). On most medals this is merely a nice cost-saving measure but on medals that have incredibly high special attack multipliers but are supposed to be balanced by high gauge costs like Hercules B (a tier 7 medal with a multiplier of 6.10, and 6.60 at max special attack bonus) the effect is absurd since it destroys the balancing factor of these medals. Granted you still need to have more special gauges than the medal's initial cost to use the special attack (i.e. at least 7 gauges to use the aforementioned Hercule B even if the skill would only make it cost 0-2 gauges) but when you can use the most powerful attack medals in the game as long as you're just a little prudent with your gauges that isn't a very big deal. Even better, some of these high cost medals also restore a few gauges after use so you actually gain special gauges when using them.
- The new Stained Glass [EX+] Series is a new contender. One of six medalsnote , guaranteed within 5 pulls, has the following effect: raises generic strength, one attribute strength, and upright or reverse strength by seven, which makes it the first set to raise upright strength fully, as well as lowering enemies generic defense by 4 and elemental defense by 7, which adds up to a total of 32 tiers of advantage. They also raise the special attack bonus damage of all following medals by 40%, although that boost does not stack with multiple uses with things like multiple Stained Glass medals, the Extra Attack: 40% Power trait, copy medals like HD Xion or the HD Terra, Ventus and Aqua [EX] medals with the same effect. The deal also guarantees a trait medal for the medal from the banner with each pull and, oh, allows one free pull, which means you're guaranteed a mercy pull in four tries. Does anyone have some orange juice? I need to sit down.