The Lingering Will is an unlockable secret boss featured in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix. It can be fought after unlocking The Gathering, then returning to Disney Castle's Hall of the Cornerstone, where a portal to the Keyblade Graveyard has appeared. Defeating the Lingering Will grants the Proof of Connection, and the Lingering Will can be fought again by leaving the Keyblade Graveyard and returning.
Sora should have High Jump, Quick Run, Dodge Roll, Aerial Dodge, and Glide all at Level 3, as well as some support abilities such as Once More, and Second Chance. He should pack as much Ethers as he can, and have at least one Combo Plus. Sora should also have Decisive Pumpkin equipped for its Combo Boost.
The Lingering Will has a very high retaliation point, meaning that it is especially vulnerable to multiple combo attacks. Therefore, the player should equip Combo Boost, Air Combo Boost, and Combo Pluses. However, the player should be careful to back off before dealing a fifth normal combo finisher in a row, as the Lingering Will counterattacks quite harshly at this point. The combo portion of Ars Arcanum, without the Reaction Command finisher, is also quite useful for racking up damage without triggering any retaliations. The safest and most effective setup would be for Sora to have his two Combo Pluses equipped, along with Guard Break and Explosion. This allows him to fit exactly three Guard Break finishers and one Explosion finisher before the Will retaliates.
It mainly attacks by transforming its Keyblade into multiple forms to assault Sora. The Lingering Will's most basic attack is when it leaps in the air, and dashes at Sora three times. The timing of the dashes are easy to predict, so avoid being hit by Dodge Rolling or Guarding. Anticipate where its third dash will end, and attack during its third dash. The Lingering Will can sprint towards Sora and perform a three-hit combo, the finisher consisting of the Will transforming its Keyblade into a drill and thrusting it at Sora, much like Sora's own Guard Break. It isn't easy to predict when the Lingering Will is going to actually use this move after running, but Sora can easily defend himself using Guard, or Reflega. If Guard is used to block the attack, Sora must wait before attacking. If Sora starts the attack right after guarding, the Lingering Will's drill will take most of his health, and he will be knocked far away from the Lingering Will. The Lingering Will can turn its Keyblade into a whip and swing it around itself, dealing massive damage. Unfortunately, when it is going to use this attack is unpredictable, but it tends to use this move after dashing though Sora three times, or when receiving massive damage. Sora can defend himself with Guard or Reflega, but it is a lot better to just run away and quickly get close to the Lingering Will as soon as it is landing and attack it with a new combo. However, if Sora does get hit, do not try to resist with Aerial Recovery or Retaliating Slash. Being hit by this attack will more often than not leave Sora with only 1 HP left, if Once More (and preferably Second Chance) is equipped, so don't try to use Aerial Recovery of Retaliating Slash, or Sora will fall. To get out of the attack and save HP, activating a Drive Form, or using Trinity Limit with Donald Duck and Goofy are the only ways for getting some invulnerability.
The Lingering Will can also use an attack similar to the Ultima Cannon Shotlock that appeared in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. The Lingering Will transforms its Keyblade into a cannon, and fires one giant sphere of energy that follows Sora around the battlefield. The explosion is huge, but Sora can deflect the sphere back at the Lingering Will by guarding, hitting it, or casting Reflega. If it is charging the cannon and Sora is too far away, then Dodge Roll, or Quick Run against it to nullify the explosion. The Lingering Will can turn its Keyblade into a bow-like weapon and shoots three deadly projectiles trying to catch Sora, but keep in mind that it shoots up five when low on HP. If any of the projectiles hits Sora, his health begins to drain and the command bar changes in a manner reminiscent of Xemnas's curse from Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, only showing Release and Fall. To break free of the curse, simply press Release; if Fall is pressed, Sora's health drops considerably. The projectiles can be evaded with the right timing of Dodge Roll, or Reflega, and when it turns its Keyblade back to normal form, that is the time to attack. However, if the Lingering Will's projectile hits Sora, the best way to break free from the curse is to glide away while waiting for the "Release" command.
The Lingering Will can also transform its Keyblade into the Keyblade Glider used by Terra in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, and move around the map extremely fast. Using Guard is the best way to defend, and if Sora is in Final Form just Glide, as his Keyblades will protect him. Sora can attack when the Lingering Will lands, though it's hard to predict when and where. In addition to its Keyblade, the Lingering Will has some magical abilities as well, such as creating an strange looking seal that either creates a blue, or orange orb above Sora's head. The orange orb prevents Sora from attacking, while the blue orb prevents Sora from using Magic or Items. In order to break free from this curse, Sora has to deplete a new, smaller bar of HP, visible when the Lingering Will has been Locked on to. If a blue orb in seen, attack to deplete the bar, if an orange orb is seen, use Magic, Valor Form's abilities, or Limits in Limit Form. Either way, Drive Forms are still usable. Sora can evade this move by using Dodge Roll, Quick Run, or Reflega if timed right. It is unexpected when the Lingering Will is going to use this move, but when if it teleports suddenly behind Sora, then be prepared. Another clue for Sora to dodge this attack is when the Lingering Will begins flying at high speeds and repeatedly landing right behind Sora.
The Lingering Will can conjure drone-like objects which fire beams of plasma at Sora, Donald, and Goofy. When it is low on health (usually six or seven bars left), it automatically launches them and disappears from Sora's sight for a few seconds, signifying the beginning of the second phase. Sora can react to this attack using Guard, Reflega, or simply gliding away. Sometimes though, even when the Lingering Will is full on HP, it can combine its other moves especially its Keyblade Glider attack, with the drones. This can make the battle more difficult as not even a correctly-timed Guard or Reflega can always protect Sora from several angles, although with some luck Sora may be able to deflect against the Lingering Will itself. They can be destroyed with Aerial Dodge but it's not worth it.
When the Lingering Will uses its desperation move, it enters a berserk state similar to Terra's Ars Solum. Its arm gauntlets and helmet will emit a bright red aura, and it then splits its Keyblade into two weapons. The first part of the attack is quite easy. Sora can either use Guard or Glide and no particular time is needed for blocking. In the second phase of the attack, Sora cannot physically block anything. Just Glide away, and land as soon the Lingering Will prepares the third and final phase of the attack. The third part is probably the most difficult move to block/evade in the entire battle. It is all about having perfect timing with Guard, Dodge Roll, and Quick Run. The Lingering Will starts by swinging its Keyblade in midair. Then the Will disappears, and reappears behind Sora and utilizes several teleporting dashes similiar to Terra's Chaos Blade. To defend Sora from this attack, lock-on to the Will and Guard. Keep guarding until it uses the move similar to Thunder Surge and lands. The Will is then left vulnerable. Just like every other move, however, there are various ways to evade this one as well. If Sora happens to get hit, make sure to use Aerial Recovery at the right time to nullify its last spinning move. This way, Sora can still quickly reach the Lingering Will and start a new combo.
Thundaga is best for distracting the Will if Sora is too far away, giving him the time to reach it. A very useful trick is gliding and reaching a specific point on the edge of the map. This way, the Will is forced to always teleport in front of Sora, making it easier to block all of its attacks. In the second phase of the battle, while low on HP, the Lingering Will also makes use of Magic. There is a low chance that it may cast Magnega, that will put Sora into its path, and Blizzaga, both in some lethal combinations.
In the first phase of the battle, the Will usually executes its abilities in a predictable pattern, which corresponds to the first attack it used at the beginning of the battle. Remember to keep track of the Lingering Will's retaliation point to prevent being attacked unawares. In this phase, deflecting the Will's Ultima Cannon back at it will also count as a finisher. When it is left with six or seven HP bars, however, it will use its desperation move for the first time, marking the end of the first phase.
During the final phase, the Lingering Will's AI can be exploited by always interrupting Sora's combos, causing it to repeatedly retaliate with its desperation attack in a predictable manner. Otherwise, the Lingering Will will instead generally retaliate with its devastating triple dash attack and whip attack.
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Notes and references
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