Game:Ansem, Seeker of Darkness
Ansem, Seeker of Darkness is a boss in Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, and Kingdom Hearts III. He is the Heartless of Terra-Xehanort, and leader of the Heartless.
In Kingdom Hearts III, Ansem is fought in the Keyblade Graveyard, initially alongside Xigbar and Dark Riku, although he retreats not long into the battle, and later fights alongside Xemnas and Young Xehanort. A data replica of him is also an optional boss in Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind.
During the fight, Ansem attacks with energy disks as he laughs, which can be blocked with Guard. He can also make his guardian swipe at the party, or defend himself with it. However, with the right timing, Sora can just end up behind Ansem and deal damage to him. Special attacks like Ragnarok can pierce through the guardian's defenses.
Ansem's most infamous attack is when he has his guardian dash at Sora and swipe at him twice. He always yells, "Submit!" as he does this, so Dodge Roll at the right time to evade the guardian. While the guardian will always target Sora, there is a chance for Donald or Goofy to intercept the blow. If any of the guardian's hits connects, it will possess its target, and Ansem will begin to surround himself with an energy barrier to attack. If Sora is possessed by the guardian, the Attack command will be occasionally replaced with "Freeze." Pressing it causes the guardian to hold Sora in place for a brief moment leaving him open for Ansem's energy barrier to damage him; otherwise, the guardian will damage Sora from within. While the guardian will eventually be called back to Ansem's side, Sora can shorten the guardian's hold on its target either with simple combos or with special attacks like Strike Raid.
In the second battle against Ansem, Sora fights solo, so remember to heal with Curaga. Ansem debuts two new attacks to eliminate Sora: one resembles Riku's Dark Aura attack, in which he shoots back and forth across the arena with a shield over his front side. This inflicts heavy damage if it connects, so try to High Jump or cast Aeroga.
When Ansem says "My strength returns!", his guardian will dive into the ground, creating dark pools underneath Sora which shoot out of the ground. During this time, Ansem is invincible and the attack must be avoided, either by dodging or Guarding. Failing to evade this attack can be highly damaging or even fatal, depending on the amount of HP Sora has at the time. The attack ends with the guardian striking the ground, creating a shockwave.
Like in the last battle, Ansem still has a habit of siccing the guardian on Sora. However, he will do this much more frequently than in the first battle. Ansem is especially vulnerable when he calls his guardian to return to him, so unleash combos at this time for massive damage.
The third fight with Ansem involves the World of Chaos.
Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories
Riku's first fight with Ansem is meant to act as a tutorial on basic combat, and is very short.
In Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, Ansem will also use the "Shock Slash" technique, which can be easily dodged. The tutorial has been narrowed down to focus on the new Rapid Break and the new Duel System mechanics, and ends as soon as Riku successfully performs them.
The second time Ansem is fought is during the final battle of Riku's Story. This time around, Ansem brings into play some of his attacks from the first game, such as the Sleights Dark Rush (where he zooms back and forth across the arena) and Dark Shadow (when he sends his guardian into the floor, creating pools of darkness that the guardian rises out of, fist raised). It's best to use 0 cards to break Dark Rush, although it can be jumped over with perfect timing, but Dark Shadow can be avoided easily by dodging. There is one unorthodox strategy that involves losing all of Riku's cards (from Sleights) except one 0 card. If he gets left with one 0 card, immediately reload after (because Riku has instant reload, unlike Sora) and continue a combo. This works because the zero will always break Ansem's next card and if he breaks Riku's, reloading will give Riku a zero card.
In Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, start with the Maleficent Dragon Enemy Card and attack Ansem with combos. Make a Card Break every time to gain Dark Points and after Riku transform into Dark Mode, use the Jafar-Genie enemy card and use Sleights like Dark Break, Dark Firaga and Dark Aura to inflict heavy damage. After taking three (or more) King Mickey Friend Cards, use the MM Miracle Lv. 2 or MM Miracle Lv. 3 sleights to recover HP, reload cards, and damage Ansem. Break Ansem's Sleights every time and continue the attacks. If Riku transforms into his normal form again, keep attacking and use the Item Card Hi-Potion to reload his Attack Cards. Win the Card Duels for heavy damage to Ansem. Never attack Ansem with his guardian in front of him, and instead use that time to reload Riku's cards or use MM Miracle Lv. 3 to recover cards and HP. Use the Oogie Boogie Enemy Card to help keep up Riku's HP in the battle. Watch out for certain Sleights used by Ansem, as some can deal heavy damage to Riku. With a high level, deft dodging, and good use of the Enemy Cards, Ansem should fall eventually.
It should be noted that Ansem's Sleights tend to be reserved for later, and he initially just bothers with single card attacks. Once he loses 1.5-2 bars of HP he will start using his Sleights more regularly and attempt to break the player's. He will always start using his own card to hide his Sleight's value, but the Parasite Cage card can dispel this. A good idea is to use simple Sleights at the beginning to hit Ansem quick and for high damage all the while accumulating DP. Following this the player should have Dark Mode and Ansem will start using his own Sleights so having a few 0 cards nearby is advisable. Otherwise assaulting Ansem with Sleights like Dark Break or Dark Aura is helpful, esspecially the latter as it can prevent Ansem from using his cards during the assault, although special care should be placed during the execution as he can break it with a 0 card of his own so it is advisable (for the entire battle) to use these Sleights instantly after Ansem attempts to use his own cards to Card Break him, thus leaving him vulnerable to the attacks.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
The battle starts with both parties in midair in Darkness's Call, where Ansem has an advantage. His Shock Slash has been upgraded and now homes in on Riku, and he has a habit of chaining them together for combos. His Rush is slightly different from other versions of Dark Rush, and cannot be blocked. In order to evade it, Riku can either just fly in a circle when Ansem is about to charge at him or Air Slide out of the way at each charge.
Simply slide around him and use Sliding Crescent in conjunction with the aforementioned attacks and possibly Balloonga. Ansem can't see Riku when he uses Vanish, so this can be used so Ansem can't attack him. If Riku does enough damage, the Reality Shift marker will appear and he can use Mirage Split to damage Ansem and make a platform appear. Luckily, Reality Shift can reappear a second time after the first one.
Now the battle is on the ground of Darkness's Call. Ansem's guardian now absorbs all damage aimed at Ansem. When the latter happens, use Flowmotion on the guardian as if it's a wall, and attack Ansem with it. The guardian can also attack with swipes and a new, vicious double overhand that can hit Riku even if he is airborne. As soon as the platform begins to fade away, he uses his old lightning bolt ability which is now slower, but more powerful and cannot be blocked. The fight itself is relatively straightforward and the same strategies from before can defeat the Heartless once more.
Ansem merges with his guardian as he transports both himself and Riku to the Darkest End area. Ansem is now sealed inside a massive organic sphere with his guardian attached to the top. The creature will try to smash Riku or throw dark magical crests at him. It will also shoot a massive number of Dark Firaga orbs that can possibly home in on Riku and send waves of Shock Slash-like attacks towards him that can make dealing solid blows on Ansem difficult. After a while, Ansem launches Riku across the arena's pathway, forcing Riku to run back to him. After that, press LR to return the Spirits back to Riku's side (two times if LR unlocks the target) so they will be able to help.
Ansem won't make it any easier for Riku—he forms two balls of darkness which can shoot incredibly quick lasers at Riku which have to be dodged and can't be blocked. He also unleashes a rain of blasts that can afflict Poison on Riku and waves of darkness that, if they catch him, drag Riku into one of the spheres of darkness and leave Ansem free to deal massive non-lethal damage. If Riku has Dark Splicer, Dark Aura or Zantetsuken equipped or access to the Ghost Drive Dual Style, use it the moment Riku reaches the end of the pathway to warp right up to Ansem and deal damage. This is a risky tactic, as Riku can easily be captured into the spheres of darkness, or Ansem's guardian will attack with no chance to escape.
Riku can also use Ice Barrage to damage Ansem even at the end of the pathway, but he must be Locked-On. It is, however, possible to predict what move he's going to use as Riku is running towards him: if he begins forming the light purple blasts of darkness in front of himself, he is about to shoot the lasers. The moment this happens, wait until they submerge into one spot before dodging to evade the attack; if he begins forming the Dark Firaga orbs and sends them upward, he is going to release a rain of energy blasts that can Poison Riku—but they are not that easy to dodge/block and as Riku is blocking them, Ansem can follow easily with the lasers as Riku can't dodge while blocking, or if he sends the Dark Firagas straightforward, he is going to release a multitude of purple and white orbs that can inflict Poison, Blind, Slow, or Confuse, but are easy to evade by simply guarding or dodge rolling straightforward. As the latter can inflict Confuse, which, if inflicted on Riku's own Spirits, can cause them to attack him because of this status ailment. If Ansem releases the energy crests, he's going to summon the waves of darkness that suck Riku in. Use Flowmotion to evade this by staying airborne, as they last for quite a while; or use Firaga Burst with Double Jump to stay in the air so he won't be able to drag Riku in and deal damage. Then use Flowmotion with Sonic Impact, if possible, by going backwards to the walls.
As soon as he has lost at least four bars of health, the next phase starts. Ansem turns the surrounding area black and starts summoning torrents of darkness from the floor drawing Riku to him, which Riku must evade and block. Once he finishes this, he sends Riku flying across the pathway again, but this time he summons rows of large '8-ball bombs' which can easily defeat Riku if he touches even one of them. As they sometimes home in on Riku, he must carefully dodge these, but they can also be blocked. Riku can't use Flowmotion at this point—Ansem prevents the walls from being used here, so rapid dodging and blocking are Riku's only tactics. Fortunately, Riku can dodge near the walls and return to Ansem without the Flowmotion moves, so he can avoid the balls easily. He can also use Dark Splicer as the ball bombs reach him to go near Ansem and deal some damage without being knocked back by the attack, but he should have Second Chance/Once More equipped to survive the attack, and Dark Splicer lasts long enough until the end of the Heartless's attack; therefore, there shouldn't be any risks for Riku to be knocked back, but he should immediately heal after this. Whenever Riku returns to Ansem, press LR to make the Spirits come back to him. After this, just repeat the cycle of pounding Ansem and running back to him and he'll go down.
If Riku does a lot of damage in a short time, the Mirage Split Reality Shift icon can appear (but it can't during the beginning of the second phase of the battle) and after using it, Ansem will be unable to do anything for a moment. If Riku attacks him right away with , Ansem will keep flinching while Riku does combos and can attack permanently until his defeat (even if he retains 1 HP at the end). After some time, while hitting him again and again, the Reality Shift can reappear, so Riku will be able to finish him off with it.
Kingdom Hearts III
Ansem is first fought when he fights Riku and Sora along with Xigbar and Dark Riku, but he quickly leaves and is finally fought for real alongside Xemnas and Young Xehanort at the end of the Keyblade Graveyard.
Ansem's attacks include him creating violet spheres of light around Sora that launch lasers at him, surrounding himself in those spheres to generate a damaging barrier as he rushes to attack Sora, creating multiple dark crests that explode upon contact, spawning a dark circle that follows Sora and eventually transforms into a cage of dark claws, and his deadliest has Ansem exert red energy around him which pulls in and knocks back Sora before he unleashes tendrils of darkness that deal heavy damage; however if timed correctly, one can use Aerial Recovery and Payback Strike, as the knockbacks before the blast deal no damage and it's possible to Glide away before getting trapped. During his attacks with the spheres, he cannot be flinched when hit. When he creates dark mines, the best way to clear them is to use Thunder magic. Sora can also use the explosions to trigger a reprisal by standing near the mines and blocking the explosions. This can work regardless of whether of not flash step is equipped.
Each member will have a dark aura whenever they disappear and reappear, meaning that Sora will be their only target. Each time they reappear, they will use a specific attack with the one with the aura appearing last. For Ansem, Young Xehanort will use his whip-snaring attack followed by Xemnas launching energy balls and Ansem using his shockwave last. To avoid this, Dodge Roll or jump to avoid Young Xehanort's attack, block Xemnas's energy balls and if you get caught by Ansem, carefully time your Aerial Recovery then Payback Strike. Each time a member is defeated or if all three disappear after attacking with the dark aura, the cyclone sequence will repeat itself with each member using a specific attack. If Young Xehanort is defeated first, Ansem will launch spheres of light that will extend into beams, then will release the cage of claws which will launch Sora into the air followed by Xemnas's rolling attack. First jump to avoid the cage and block all the beams and finally Xemnas. If Xemnas falls first, Young Xehanort will launch missiles of ice that will freeze Sora, followed by Ansem's shockwave attack. If Ansem's the only one left, he'll release the spheres like with Xemnas and use his shockwave attack. Sora can either block the beams and use Payback Strike or Dodge Roll the beams and Glide away, but the timing of the spheres can be a little tricky to dodge.
Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind
Ansem's data rematch pits Sora against a much stronger Ansem with multiple new abilities.
Ansem starts by summoning several laser orbs that float around Sora, then he summons a line of dark crests, and he'll follow up with firing sets of four projectiles and two projectiles shortly after that, four times. Once the first orbs start glowing, guard to block the lasers. Then, you can cast Thundaga to stun Ansem, airstep to him and attack to skip the projectiles. Additionally, you can wait until he fires the projectiles and airstep to him to attack. However, the timing is more strict this time as he might fire the second set, or the first set might still hit you. When his HP gets lower, he'll fire the projectiles immediately upon summoning the crests, giving no time to stun him with Thundaga.
Ansem frequently summons a circle of lasers around himself and chases Sora. This attack can easily be dodged or blocked consecutivaly. You can use a reprisal near the end to deal minor damage to Ansem, but don't follow up with a combo, as he'll immediately start the next attack.
Next, Ansem summons a shadow that follows Sora underneath him, along with a circle of crests around Sora. Wait for the shadow to expand, and dodge to avoid the dark claws. Wait for the crests to move before dodging those as they close in. After this, Ansem is open for a combo, so attack, using airstep if necessary.
Another attack involves Ansem rushing at Sora with a dark shield in front of him twice, before charging up and performing a more powerful dash. Block the first two dashes, then quickly airstep and immediately block without attacking. This will allow you to use Risk Dodge to attack him and leave him open for a combo.
After losing some HP, Ansem will perform his ultimate move, where he covers the entire arena in darkness and summons two giant orbs of darkness. The orbs will fire shots that inflict the Ignite or Freeze status effects. Ansem can also trap you with the orbs, dealing heavy damage and inflicting the Cloud status effect. When activating his ultimate move, Ansem will first move sideways in front of Sora. Once one of the orbs starts shaking, guard to block the shots. After blocking four times, airstep to Ansem and attack him. Next, he'll warp further away and the orbs will be at your side. Wait for one of them to move away slightly before blocking. After doing this three times, immediately Dodge Roll forward, as the orbs will try to trap you, and airstep to Ansem to attack him. After this, the attack will end.
After using his ultimate move, Ansem will have some new attacks. One involves him standing in the center of the arena, glowing red, and pulling Sora in. During this move, two sets of laser orbs will appear to damage Sora. Dodge the lasers instead of blocking to avoid getting sucked in, and keep dodging to avoid Ansem unleashing a shock wave. Afterwards, he'll be open to attack, so airstep to him and strike.
Ansem will have a different version of the laser orb attack after his ultimate move. He'll start by summoning a wall of lasers in front of himself, summoning lines of dark crests, and summoning the laser orbs. Block the lasers and use Counter Kick after the final laser to dash through another wall of lasers and attack Ansem.
Once his HP gets low, he'll perform a variation of his ultimate move. Once again, he'll cover the arena in darkness and summons the giant orbs. However, once this starts, quickly dodge away as he'll try to trap you right away. After this, he'll place the orbs behind one another. After a short pause, the front orb will fire a barrage of shots. Guard repeatedly to block the shots (which will inflict the Sneeze status effect if you get hit). Once it's done firing, it'll move towards you, so Dodge Roll through it. Repeat this with the second orb, and once you Dodge Roll though that, airstep to Ansem and attack. Next, he'll stand in the center, firing striped orb projectiles. These can't be blocked, so dodge them. He'll continue with the other attack afterwards, so block, dodge and attack until he falls.
If you're having trouble blocking and dodging his ultimate move, you might want to equip armor to protect against the status effects it causes.
Notes and references