After many years as a PlayStation console exclusive, Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix is now available on another platform. Not just Final Mix, but all Kingdom Hearts Remastered Collections are available on the Epic Game Store alongside Kingdom Hearts 3 and Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory.
Since this will be the first time for many players to experience the sometimes convoluted story of Kingdom Hearts, it will be a chance to start at the beginning with the original Kingdom Hearts which released 19 years ago. More specifically, fans will have a chance to play Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix, an updated version of the original title that remained a Japanese exclusive until the release of Kingdom Hearts 1.5 Remix.
One of the biggest ways Square Enix changed the game with the Final Mix version was including the Proud Mode difficulty. Similar to how Kingdom Hearts 3 introduced Critical Mode post-launch, Proud Mode was an entirely new way to play the game. With new fans now getting the chance to play Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix for the first time, here are some important tips to remember for those willing to try Proud Mode.
The original Kingdom Hearts opens with a truly memorable sequence as players are thrust into a strange yet intriguing tutorial that teaches the basic gameplay elements. Before Kingdom Hearts shows players the basics of combat, they are thrown in the deep end with a surprising decision. At the start, players are tasked with selecting between three weapons: Sword, Shield, and Staff. Players must choose to keep one and discard another.
For a Proud Mode playthrough, players should choose to keep the Shield and discard the Staff. There are two very specific reasons for doing so, as keeping the Shield provides the two most valuable abilities early on. With the Dream Shield, players will get Leaf Bracer and Second Chance much earlier than the other two options. This will also provide players with the highest starting Defense and item slots.
The next choice is to discard the Staff, as doing so will only negatively impact how much AP Sora starts with. After choosing the weapons, players should also answer the next three questions with the first options provided. Players should select the answers: "Getting Old," "To See Rare Sights," and finally "Being Number One" as these will help get levels faster in the early game.
Every now and then when casting Aero, Sora has the habit of screaming "Defense!" This enthusiastic shout pretty much cements why Aero is an important tool to have throughout Proud Mode. Aero adds a layer of defense that will halve all incoming damage for at least 18 seconds. The spell itself will cost two MP to cast but for best results, Sora should always be surrounded by wind.
While Aero alone is incredibly useful, its next levels give it an extra sting. Aerora provides a barrier that will inflict damage to any enemy touched by the wind circle. Aeroga takes it further by upping the power of the damage and adding a deflect ability. Considering how strong both of these upgrades are, they will require more effort to obtain. Aerora is found in Neverland by using the Yellow Trinity in the Ship's Cabin. To get to the final stage of the spell, players must collect all 99 missing Dalmatians for Aeroga. The spell is given to Sora by Pongo and Perdita in Traverse Town upon returning with all puppies found.
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