Cloud is a boss in Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts II, and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. In the first Kingdom Hearts, Cloud is hired by Hades to defeat Hercules, but requests that Cloud defeats Sora in the preliminaries first. Regardless of losing or winning this battle, Sora will still progress in the storyline. After the preliminaries, Cloud can be fought in both the Hercules and Hades Cups. Cloud is also fought in the memory version of Olympus Coliseum in Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, while he is searching for Hercules. In Kingdom Hearts II, Cloud appears within the Hades Paradox Cup.
Cloud can be either an easy or overwhelming foe depending on how Sora fought the six previous matches. Cloud's movement is slow, but his attacks are quick and cover much ground. First, try to keep some distance away from him and pay attention to his movements, as Cloud will try to close the distance by continuously executing Sonic Blade, which is a fast attack that pierces anything in its way, dealing good damage. Be wary of Sonic Blade, once his combo connects, there's a good chance that Sora will be defeated. Should Sora be in his targeting range, Cloud will either execute Sonic Blade or Braver, in which he makes a high leap and then stabs his sword into the ground, creating a short-ranged impact. Braver can be easily dodged by Dodge Rolling when Cloud yells. Luckily, Cloud mostly focuses on defeating Donald and Goofy before striking Sora, leaving more time for recovery (provided Sora has potions/MP left). While Cloud's standard sword combo appears overwhelming, it can be easily blocked with a well-timed attack or Guard, which leaves Cloud stunned for a moment, giving Sora an opportunity to combo him. It should also be noted that all of Cloud's attacks have recoil, which is exploitable, as it can push Sora out of his range. It should be an easy fight as long as Sora has enough curative items or MP.
Equip Dodge Roll as it is essential to this battle. There are two very basic ways to handle this fight. The first is counterattacking. When he uses basic swings to attack, time Sora's attack to match his, which will cause both characters to flinch. Sora should be somewhat faster than him, meaning that if he attacks immediately after countering, he will be able to land a combo. When Cloud starts using a thrusting attack, simply lock on to him, run in one direction, and dodge roll when he hits Sora. If this attack is blocked, twice Cloud will be knocked back and open to attacks. He will always do a set number of thrusts before either stopping completely and start pacing; start thrusting again; but more often leaping into the air and homing into Sora's current position, where he impales his sword and does minor area damage. When he leaps, stand still for a brief second. He will then home in on that position. Now simply run 1-2 steps and dodge roll to evade the attack. While his sword is impaled, strike with combos quickly. Simply repeat this process.
If Sora loses to Cloud, the story continues, but the following cutscene is different.
This time, Cloud's overall stats increase and he gains another signature attack-Omnislash. He hits harder and faster, but still retains some of his weaknesses. By now Sora should have cleared Pegasus Cup and learned Strike Raid, so try to keep at a distance from Cloud and start executing Strike Raid. Once around 50% of his HP is drained, he'll start using Omnislash. Omnislash is a predictable move but can be tough to evade. When Cloud runs to the center of the stage and charges (a golden glow can be seen surrounding him), heal Sora to full HP and Dodge Roll when Cloud yells and slashes to evade. Cloud's Omnislash mostly homes in on Donald and Goofy before focusing on Sora, but his finisher varies, though he uses the stabbing strike for his combo most often. Sora should have learned special attack abilities by now. If Sora has MP Rage equipped, he can regain lost MP just by taking a few hits. If Sora is at a high enough level he should be able to blindly charge in on Cloud. This is a risky move as Sora may get hit by Omnislash.
Cloud and Leon are fought simultaneously. Both are stronger than their previous appearances, with more health and dealing better damage, but their attacks do not change. Focus on defeating Cloud first, as his thrusting attacks are the most dangerous attacks in this fight. Leon will spend most of his time passing back and forth, and when he finally does attack, he uses a jumping attack that will usually be evaded when trying to evade Cloud.
Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories
Before fighting Cloud, it is recommended to have at least 3-4 healing cards and quick reload cards. Hopefully, there's enough CP left to stock a few 0 cards. In order to win, knowing where the 0 cards are kept is very important, therefore it is suggested to place them in the last row of the deck. Every card played by Cloud, including individual cards will be 2-3 hit combos, the first hit always stuns and damages Sora, while the second hit deals even more damage. When Cloud stocks two "Cloud" cards, pay attention to what he is going to do. Usually, he'll run behind Sora and execute the sleight Cross-Slash, let loose 0 cards to break this sleight. Eventually, he'll stock three Cloud cards to execute Omnislash, his strongest sleight. Only release 0 cards when Cloud starts yelling and flying, continue to break his cards and sleight, and eventually, he'll only have two cards left. At that point attack with as many cards as possible and he'll soon fall.
Another faster strategy would be to just store two Cure cards (normal, not Premium) and have half of Sora's deck comprise cards numbered 7. Sora can easily launch Stun Impact several times, giving him room to attack Cloud. Sora can use the 0 cards to break Omnislash or if he doesn't have any, just dodge him. Keep at a distance while curing and reloading cards, and Sora will be able to take him down in a flash.
Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories
Kingdom Hearts II
In the Hades Paradox Cup, Sora has to fight Cloud three times. The first time is in Round 25, where he's accompanied by Tifa. When he uses Warrior's Spirit, use Glide to keep away from him. When Sora uses Limits in this battle, the amount of MP spent is lessened, so Limits are always a smart move. Just make sure to listen for Tifa to say "Final Heaven," which could prove a problem if ignored.
In Round 40, Sora battles against Cloud again, but this time he's paired up with Leon. His HP is the same as it was before but this time Sora can use Drive Forms and not Limits. He can still use his own Trinity Limit to pummel them though. This should be easy if Sora uses Final Form or Trinity Limit, but make sure to heal when necessary. This battle is also timed so make sure also watch the clock.
In Round 49, Cloud is fought again, but this time with Tifa, Leon, and Yuffie. Sora is alone and cannot use forms, only Trinity Limit. If Sora's HP is critical and his magic is still restoring, just Glide around the arena until the gauge is full. Trinity Limit is very useful in this battle because it allows Sora to attack three times and also has a finishing move to fully KO opponents. Just make sure to use it when Sora is at a good health level because then he has to wait for his magic to restore.
Kingdom Hearts Re:coded
Cloud is fought on Floor 3 of the Olympus Coliseum episode, in the same room the exit portal is in. Cloud is difficult the first few times, especially since his Omnislash is hard to block. Powerful single target commands should be used, such as Explosion (derived from equipping Fire magic). Sora's Limit Break will also make short work of Cloud, provided it activates. If all else fails, use Auto-Block and Regen Licenses for an easy win.
Notes and references