Luxord is fought as a boss in Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts Union χ, and Kingdom Hearts III. In Kingdom Hearts II, he battles Sora alone at Havoc's Divide, a balcony overlooked by Kingdom Hearts in the Castle That Never Was. In Kingdom Hearts III, he challenges Sora and company at the Caribbean in a ship battle and eventually battles Sora alone in one final game at the Keyblade Graveyard with Mickey at stake.
Kingdom Hearts II
The battle with Luxord is not so much a battle as it is a timed game. Luxord does not have an HP bar; rather, both he and Sora have a Time Gauge, which decreases as the battle progresses. When either Sora or Luxord is hit by an attack, their time bar decreases even more. During this fight, Sora must watch both his HP and his time.
As soon as the battle begins, Sora is transformed into a die—this is unavoidable. When the Drive Gauge depletes, Sora returns to normal, so simply avoid Luxord until then. Luxord frequently leaps around the arena. His cards spin and float on their own to strike Sora, and can be destroyed by attacking them (dropping MP orbs) or using the "Flip" Reaction Command. Using "Flip" can also trigger a trap, assuming the card has one (signified by the fireball symbol on one side of the card). Luxord will periodically summon an orb of dark energy that creates tendrils of energy around Sora, which continuously deal damage. This can be avoided by attacking Luxord before he finishes summoning the orb of energy or by triggering the Reaction Command "Begin Game".
Luxord will frequently give Sora the chance to use the "Begin Game" Reaction Command. When the Reaction Command is used, Sora's command window is filled with "X" symbols and an "O" symbol flashes by the command window. Pressing when the "O" symbol is highlighted will stun Luxord and cause him to drop HP orbs. Failing to "catch" the "O" symbol will cause Sora to transform into a card.
When Luxord's Time Gauge drops to around two-thirds, he will transform himself into a card and summon two more cards. The cards shuffle themselves around on the ground, then flip up and circle Sora. Sora must find the card with Luxord's image on it and "Flip" it to dispel the cards and make Luxord reappear. The other cards contain traps that are set off when the card is Flipped. Luxord will do this two more times, mixing his own card among five, then nine, traps cards each time. After being found three times, Luxord resumes his normal attack pattern, but summons more cards to attack Sora than before.
When low on time, Luxord will cover the arena in his cards face-down, and rise from the cards behind Sora to attack him rapidly. He also spins around the arena with his cards. Luxord's attacks become more unpredictable, but his attacks can be defended with quick timing. Luxord ends this sequence by summoning giant versions of his cards to surround him and Sora and begin another game. Sora must now "catch" four "O" symbols, one in each slot in the command window as the symbols cycle. Once four symbols are caught, Sora attacks Luxord with his own cards, reducing his Time Gauge to nearly zero while boosting his own by half the bar. Failure to do so will result in Sora being transformed into a die while his Time Gauge drops in favor of Luxord's. After this, Luxord resumes his normal attack pattern. When Luxord's Time Gauge is nearly depleted, either because of the aforementioned giant cards or simply because of basic attacks, he will completely stop attacking, instead staying in one spot and repeating the phrase "Don't squander your time." His Time Gauge no longer drops after this point and Sora must deliver a finishing combo to end the fight.
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix
Luxord can be fought again in his Data Rematch. This time around, winning Luxord's minigames becomes critical to victory, but are made more difficult as a result.
Unlike before, Sora will not be turned into a die at the start of the battle. During the "Begin Game" challenges, the shifting of the "O" does not slow down, and in fact slows down and speeds up at random, making it much more difficult to win each game. If Sora does lose and is turned into a card, a good strategy is to move away from Luxord as fast as possible and keep moving until the "Drive" empties. When Sora returns to normal, attack whenever there is an opening. When Luxord transforms himself into a card and shuffles around, manipulate the camera quickly to see which card Luxord is in, then follow that same card until the cards stop shuffling.
During this battle, Luxord will always activate his strongest attack when his Time Gauge drops to a low value (close to 1/8) regardless of how hard he is attacked. The four "O" game now punishes failure more severely. If Sora fails the game, not only does Sora become a die, but his Time Gauge is also depleted significantly, while Luxord's is restored to a value as high as to half his entire gauge. Luxord will repeat this game if his health is depleted again. In this battle, winning the four "O" game is essential to victory.
A rather cheap strategy for this final game is to continuously press the Pause button, to ease the process of spotting "O" commands. Be very careful when using this strategy, however, because recklessly pressing the button when witnessing an "O" during pause mode may result in the "O" becoming an "X" as soon as the pause ends. Instead, pause continuously while the command displays an "X", and then press the command as soon as the "O" appears in pause mode.
Once Sora wins the game, Luxord's Time Gauge will fall, and all he must do is inflict a combo finisher or cast magic (preferably Thundaga) to win.
Kingdom Hearts III
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Luxord is initially fought along with Larxene and Marluxia by Sora and King Mickey. His only attack is to conjure an orb of magic and then spawn cards at Sora's location to attack and he mainly keeps a distance. At the second round of the fight Luxord challenges Sora to one last game in exchange for the captive King Mickey.
While Luxord does not physically attack, he challenges Sora by creating an array of cards with himself hiding in one of them. Though Sora can find Luxord's card by simply looking at the back side of the cards, Luxord will eventually indicate which one he is in by saying, "Over here!" while the card he is in will shake ever slightly. Marluxia and Larxene can occasionally interfere by attacking Sora while he is trying to find Luxord, but will disappear once Luxord has been found. Failure to find Luxord in time will result in him reshuffling himself among his cards again. Eventually, Luxord will fall.
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Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind
Luxord's data rematch uses the same time game mechanics as Kingdom Hearts II, him and Sora having a time bar while Sora also has his HP bar to watch out, but although he can no longer turn Sora into a die, he has several new abilities to make up for it, making him much harder than not just his previous original fights but even more so than his data replica in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix.
Luxord's normal pattern has him send out cards that do not immediately launch themselves at Sora, making it harder to anticipate where it would strike, while teleporting with his cards to prevent himself from being attacked, and he is also able to suspend himself while launching multiple cards at Sora. His deadliest card attack would be when he sends out cards that emit red energy that cannot be blocked and will launch Sora into the air and spawn more cards to damage him unless Sora destroys the cards first. Thunder magic is highly effective at removing this threat from play.
Luxord also has two games: the first is when he is shielded with a barrier of purple energy with multiple cards around him where Sora must destroy the cards in the correct order less the cards explode and damage Sora and the second is when he turns himself into a card while surrounding Sora with multiple cards and failing to find Luxord will cause Luxord to send in a glowing purple card that will explode as soon as it reaches Sora. When his time bar is close to zero, Luxord will access his ultimate game: he will surround Sora in thousands of cards and hide himself within them. Sora must quickly find Luxord not just once but many times and failing to do so will cause Luxord to have all the cards target and launch Sora into the air. If Sora fails to do it too much times, Luxord will have all the cards trap Sora before exploding, effectively winning the game. Losing any of Luxord's games will drain Sora's time while restoring Luxord's.
Notes and references