Vanitas is a boss in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, fought by Terra, Aqua, and Ventus. While he only faces Terra as an aid to Master Xehanort during their final battle, he battles Ventus in hopes of making him stronger and with the goal of fusing with him in the end to create the χ-blade. Should Ventus fail to serve his purpose, he wishes to use Aqua as his backup plan. Vanitas appears as a boss six times in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep.
In Kingdom Hearts III, Vanitas also appears as a boss at the Land of Departure against Aqua in a bid to collect Ventus's body, and at the Keyblade Graveyard alongside Terra-Xehanort against Sora, Ventus, and Aqua. A data replica of him is also a optional boss in Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind.
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
The only time Vanitas ever faces Terra in combat is during the final battle with Master Xehanort, during which Vanitas assists Master Xehanort in a battle against the young Keyblade wielder. During this battle, Terra has access to D-Links, Shotlocks, and Command Styles. While clearing this boss fight without the use of these special powers and abilities is quite possible, it is recommended that Terra instead make full use of them.
It is very important that Terra immediately go on the offensive against Vanitas at the start of the battle, as he has two powerful bosses attacking him simultaneously; fortunately, only Vanitas must be defeated to progress. Vanitas will not attack often and will mainly attempt to dodge the Terra's attacks, but certain abilities such as Chaos Rave will allow Terra to stay on him. When Vanitas vanishes, Slide out of the way; if Terra does not, he will fall victim to an downward strike from Vanitas with his Keyblade. When Vanitas sinks into the ground, only visible by a moving pool of darkness, immediately chain Slides together. Otherwise, Terra will be bombarded with fireballs as the boss reemerges. Vanitas may leap into the air bombarding Terra with dark lightning, or he even may shoot a single, large fireball that later splits into three homing ones. Slide can be used to dodge these attacks, as well.
Once enough HP has been depleted from Vanitas, the battle will automatically end, regardless of how much of it currently remains, but in the 1.5 + 2.5 version, it will end when his health's completely gone. However, remember that Master Xehanort is also present during the battle, and he may strike Terra with his Keyblade or shoot a long-range, dark Blizzard spell in his direction. Master Xehanort may also combine the two attacks, assaulting Terra with a fast-paced physical combo and ending it with a Blizzard spell that can freeze Terra, leaving him open to both Vanitas and Master Xehanort's attacks.
Vanitas first fights Ventus in a two-part boss battle after luring him to the Keyblade Graveyard. The first will end only once enough HP has been depleted from Vanitas, the second beginning soon afterwards. However, in the second part of the battle, Ventus has the assistance of King Mickey. He will also have access to Shotlocks, Command Styles, and D-Links, increasing the easiness of winning the battle along with Ventus's normal abilities.
Vanitas at first challenges Ventus with the goal of testing his power. During the first part of the two-part battle, Ventus should go on the offensive while also following a hit-and-run strategy, using both physical and magical attacks in a balanced manner before fleeing Vanitas's close combat attacks. Vanitas may disappear during the battle, but Ventus should immediately Dodge Roll, or he will fall victim to his downward strike if they do not dodge. The boss may also shoot a single, large fireball at Vent that will soon separate into three smaller, homing fireballs after traveling forward in the his direction. Dodge Roll again can be used to avoid this attack. If Vanitas leaps into the air, he may strike Ventus with a dark lightning attack, which has a relatively long range. Dodge Roll is recommended in terms of avoiding it. lastly, Vanitas may perform a simple two-hit physical combo, an attack easily dodged with Dodge Roll.
In terms of offensive tactics, Mine Square and Tornado are highly recommended for use, as they will deal great damage to the boss, as well as interrupt his attacks. Other good weaknesses to exploit are the boss's vulnerabilities to Magnet, Aero, and Gravity magic. Each of these spells temporarily hoist him into the air, leaving him open to major damage, although timing is key to successfully use these attacks on him. Note that this rule applies to all of his battles. Whatever physical attacks Ventus attempts should be the most powerful in his arsenal. Continuation to use powerful physical and magic attacks is the key to ending the first part of the two-part battle with ease and minimal damage.
Now that King Mickey has joined Ventus in his battle with his darkness, Vanitas is forced to eliminate them both. His HP will be the same as what it was depleted to in the first part of the battle, and will also use the same battle tactics. Ventus can follow the same strategies as in the last battle to defeat Vanitas this time. In terms of King Mickey fighting alongside Ventus, his physical attacks are strong, and there is no need to worry when his HP reaches 0. He will automatically revive himself in time. One major advantage to fighting with Mickey is that he will grant Ventus the usage of a powerful offensive ability, Burst of Faith. Again, continue using the same strategies as the first part of the battle, and take advantage of the King's presence.
Ventus initiates the second battle with the embodiment of his darkness, after Vanitas had attempted to eliminate Aqua by ambushing her. His HP has not increased since the two-part battle, but Ventus no longer has King Mickey to aid him. By now, Ventus should not need his presence. The only thing Ventus needs to worry about would be the new attacks added to Vanitas's arsenal.
Vanitas will begin the battle by jumping onto a vortex of flying Keyblades. As he travels around the battlefield, he will cast dark Blizzard spells in Ventus's direction. These Blizzard spells have strong homing capabilities, but they can be dodged with relative ease. Fire Glide, Shotlocks, and other magic attacks can be used to make Vanitas fall from the flying Keyblades. If Ventus doesn't knock him off the Keyblade vortex, when returning to the ground, he will imbue the Void Gear with darkness, strengthening his attack power. Vanitas also may sink into the ground once he dismounts the Keyblade storm, visible only as a mobile pool of darkness. Vanitas will travel to Ventus's location, so Dodge Roll to prevent being hit by several fireballs. Note that he may perform this attack up to three times in a row.
Vanitas's other attacks are the same as those he used in the first encounter with him, save for his two-hit combo, which now adds a blue crescent-shaped wave of energy. Also, when he teleports behind Ventus, his downward strike now causes a large pillar of ice to erupt out of the ground. But they can be dodged the same way. As with the last battle, careful timing of Dodge Roll and a balanced use of physical and magic attacks are the key to winning this battle. However, it should be noted this battle can be won purely with Reprisals (Reversal Slash, Counter Rush, etc.) as almost all of his attacks can be countered this way.
The final battle with Vanitas has come; Vanitas has entered Ventus's heart, fusing with him and creating an incomplete version of the χ-blade. This tremendous weapon has not only increased the strength of his attacks and changed those he can use, but his HP has also increased a great deal. Ventus has access to D-Links, Shotlocks, and Command Styles during this battle, so make full use of them.
Vanitas will first charge his weapon, surrounding it and himself in a damaging aura. The attack is indicated by the lines "Forge the χ-blade!", "What's yours is mine!", or "Show me anguish!" He will then proceed to lunge at Ventus with the massive weapon, slam the ground and create an X-shaped shockwave, perform another lunging slash, and even shoot a homing blast of energy in the shape of an "X" at Ventus. Dodge Roll can be used to avoid this attack. Note that if Vanitas is attacked while charging the χ-blade, the attack is cancelled, so Reversal Slash can be used to avoid damage altogether and cancel out the attack. The boss also still favors the dark lightning attack, and he still has the ability to vanish and appear behind Ventus. However, rather than performing a single, downward strike, Vanitas will use an attack called Dark Splicer, similar to Time Splicer, wherein he will slash Ventus multiple times while teleporting around him to attack from all sides. Dodge Roll until he stops or, a more preferable option, block his attack. This leaves the boss open to damage from Counter Rush.
Vanitas also may begin to utilize an attack called Dark Spiral, similar to Riku's Dark Aura, charging at Ventus at a fast pace multiple times, while the χ-blade cloaks him in dark energy. Dodge Roll can be used to avoid this. The attack can be predicted by the quotes "There's no escape!", or "Darkness waits!" While Ventus should continue to use a hit-and-run strategy, it is advised to use Tornado and Mine Square to interrupt Vanitas's combos while still dealing great damage to him. Physical attacks should not be used as the main offense, as this will open Ventus to Vanitas's attacks. Instead, utilize magic or other long-ranged attacks to the fullest.
It is impossible to fully deplete Vanitas's HP once Ventus deals an attack that should defeat him. Instead, Vanitas's HP will remain at 1, and he will then shatter the pillar on which he and Ventus are fighting on. Vanitas will then become a temporary D-Link, granting Ventus the attacks that are key to defeating him once and for all, which uses his own attacks against him. As the two Keyblade wielders float in a dark realm amidst shards of stained glass, Ventus can move to Vanitas's location and hit him with Dark Spiral or Dark Splicer. However, it is recommended to merely use Ventus's only available Shotlock, Dark Link. This will cause Vanitas to fire his own version of the attack, Dark Cannon, to counter. As the two beams of energy collide, rapidly tap a button or spin the analog stick to win the grapple. This method can also be done with the Dark Spiral and Dark Splicer attack. This must be repeated several times before the combo finisher, Last Word, can be activated. Once this is done, Ventus will surround Vanitas with three beams of crystallized light. He will then shatter them, defeating Vanitas once and for all. However, Ventus can miss when performing this attack, therefore timing is crucial. Ventus also cannot heal during this phase.
Vanitas first challenges Aqua in the Radiant Garden. While his attacks are the same as in the early battles of Ventus's scenario, keep in mind that Aqua favors magic, which calls for a change in strategy. Aqua has access to D-Links, Command Styles, and Shotlocks in this battle, and they should be used if possible to gain the upper hand in battle.
Aqua should go on the offensive while also following a hit-and-run strategy, using magical attacks as her primary source of dealing damage. Vanitas may disappear during the battle, so Aqua should immediately Cartwheel, or fall victim to his downward strike if she does not dodge the assault. Vanitas may also shoot a single, large fireball at Aqua that will soon separate into three smaller, homing fireballs after traveling forward in the her direction. Cartwheel again can be used to avoid this attack. If Vanitas leaps into the air, he may strike Aqua with a dark lightning attack, which has a relatively long range. Cartwheel is recommended in terms of avoiding it. Lastly, Vanitas may perform a simple two-hit physical combo, an attack easily dodged with Cartwheel. In terms of offensive tactics, Seeker Mine and Raging Storm are highly recommended for use, as they will deal great damage to the boss, also interrupting his attacks. The Sleep magic command works great as it inflicts sleep status, leaving Vanitas at Aqua's mercy. Whatever physical attacks Aqua attempts should be the most powerful in her arsenal.
Vanitas next challenges Aqua in Neverland. Aqua has access to D-Links, Command Styles, and Shotlocks in this battle, and they should be used if possible to gain the upper hand in battle.
Aqua should go on the offensive while also following a hit-and-run strategy, using magical attacks as their primary source of dealing damage. Vanitas may disappear during the battle, so Aqua should immediately Cartwheel, or instead will fall victim to his downward strike. The boss may also shoot a single, large fireball at Aqua that will soon separate into three smaller, homing fireballs after traveling forward in the Aqua's direction. Cartwheel again can be used to avoid this attack. If Vanitas leaps into the air, he may strike Aqua with a dark lightning attack, which has a relatively long range. Cartwheel is recommended in terms of avoiding it. Vanitas may proceed to sink into the ground, visible only as a pool of darkness that will move to Aqua's location. Unless Aqua Cartwheels away, she will be hit by several fireballs. Lastly, Vanitas may perform a simple two-hit physical combo which now adds a homing, blue, crescent-shaped wave of energy, an attack easily dodged with Cartwheel. In terms of offensive tactics, Seeker Mine and Raging Storm are highly recommended for use, as they will deal great damage to the boss, also interrupting his attacks. Whatever physical attacks the Aqua attempts should be the most powerful in her arsenal.
Kingdom Hearts III
Vanitas's moveset is nearly identical to how it was in Birth by Sleep. He can perform a two-hit combo, the finisher sending out a shockwave, crash down on Aqua and summon an icicle in the process, and melt into the ground before emerging under a hail of fireballs. He also has the ability to cast Dark Firaga, which is either a slow-moving orb that splits into multiple fireballs, or a fast-moving fireball.
Vanitas's final stand occurs at the Keyblade Graveyard, where he and Terra-Xehanort team up to decimate the Guardians of Light. Sora has Aqua and Ventus as party members.
In this fight, Vanitas's attacks generally remain the same. He has a new desperation attack in which he summons a Keyblade twister and rides on it, often barreling into the party or firing Blizzard salvos, the latter of which can be guarded or even deflected back at Vanitas at the right angle. Eventually, Vanitas will guide the twister towards the center and surround himself with the Keyblades, often sending then groups at a time at Sora. He is completely vulnerable while doing this, so it is possible to get up to Vanitas and pelt him with reprisal upon reprisal. Once this is done, he continues the fight as normal, though he does occasionally continue this attack.
It is recommended to defeat Vanitas first since Terra-Xehanort's desperation attack is even more dangerous to deal with when Vanitas is around. Vanitas and Terra-Xehanort will try to blindside Sora if he remains too occupied with either opponent so keeping them both within view is crucial. Bringing Vanitas into the air for an air combo is recommended to make sure Sora's attacks are not interrupted. Fending off Terra-Xehanort should be a priority if he is attacking Sora but it is important to make sure his health does not reach 50% because that will be the period he starts using his desperation move. When that happens using long ranged attack on Vanitas, such as magic or shotlocks, is useful for adding damage to him while Aqua and/or Ventus keep him pressured. As keeping an eye on both opponents is necessary, being an opportunist is important and taking whatever opening available is key. Should Aqua or Ventus catch Vanitas in an air combo, feel free to air step over and follow up with another air combo. Keep this up and Vanitas will fall, giving the party free reign to finish off Terra-Xehanort.
Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind
Vanitas's first battle in Re Mind is a revisit of his and Terra-Xehanort's battle from the base game. For the first part of the fight, the player plays as Aqua with Ventus as a party member. Once Sora joins the battle, the player can choose to play as either Sora or Aqua. When playing as Aqua, she and Ven can use the Icy Slider Team Attack.
Vanitas's data serves as a boss in the Limitcut Episode, where his moveset has been heavily upgraded. Several of Vanitas' attacks can Freeze Sora, so it is recommended to equip Freeze Protection through equipment such as the Snowman Rosette armor or the Crystal Snow Keyblade.
If Vanitas appears in the air above Sora, he is doing his triple downward slash combo. He will do three downward slashes, with the last breaking Sora's guard and leaving a cluster of ice on the ground. If Sora is hit by this third strike, he may get frozen. Block each strike, risk dodge after Sora's guard is broken, and attack. If Sora is in the air when blocking the third strike, he can perform a normal reprisal and still hit Vanitas for the punish.
If Vanitas dives into a red circle on the ground, he is doing his Fire fountain combo. He will dive and approach Sora, then rise out of the ground, raining down several Fire spells. He will repeat this two more times - dodge roll towards Vanitas' red circle as it approaches each time. Vanitas will then end the combo in one of two ways:
It can be difficult to tell which ending of the fountain attack Vanitas will use, so after the third fountain, guard quickly. If Vanitas doesn't do the downward strike after a moment, then Airstep to Vanitas once he hits the ground.
If Vanitas cartwheels some distance away and casts two Fire spells, he is doing his Fire combo. For each set of two shots, the lower fireball is fast while the upper fireball is slow and will break into smaller ones after a brief moment. He will cast two sets of these, then will rapidly teleport 5 times on the left, then right, left, right, and finally left before casting one fast Fire spell. Afterwards, he will cast a quick Fire up close, teleport twice and shoot a slow-moving Fire, shoot a fast-moving Fire, do a cartwheel, and cast one final Fire spell. Block the first two sets of Fire spells, and when he starts his five-teleport sequence, keep an eye on the left and count three teleports. Just before he casts his Fire, dodge roll towards him and attack. It is also possible to block and then Airstep to him to attack instead. If this fails, quickly block the next Fire, wait a moment to guard the slow Fire and the fast one, wait for the cartwheel, and then block the final Fire.
If Vanitas cartwheels to the side and fires white beams at Sora, this is his white beam combo. He will fire three beams, with the third spinning. He will then repeat the three-beam combo, and backflip away. Guard the first beam, then use Counter Kick to close the distance and attack. It is common to get hit by the first couple of hits unexpectedly, but it is very possible to recover and block the remaining hits.
If Vanitas appears far away but instantly teleports before materializing (essentially, a black ball in the distance), he will do his six-hit combo. He will perform four quick flashes at Sora with the fourth being a downward slash, then he will cartwheel on the ground, and follow up with two more hits. Guard immediately when Vanitas teleports at the start, block the first four hits, wait for the cartwheel, and then block the last two hits.
When Vanitas' revenge value is hit, he will teleport above Sora and perform a single downward slash, which can be blocked.
If Vanitas appears on the opposite side of the stage with a dark portal, he is performing his ultimate attack. A cloud of Keyblades will emerge from the portal, and Vanitas will ride on it. From here he will fire three Blizzards, perform a blue-tinted dash at Sora, fire another three Blizzards, blue dash, fire six Blizzards, and finally perform a pink dash. The blue dashes are blockable, however the Blizzards and the pink dash are unblockable. When he starts this move, Doubleflight into the air and glide away from Vanitas, which should make the Blizzards miss. When he blue dashes, Air Slide or block to avoid it. After dodging the pink dash, enter focus and Airstep to Vanitas as he lands to attack. Alternatively, it is also possible to cancel this entire move by hitting Vanitas with Thunder when the dark portal is still visible - just keep an eye on the far edge of the stage to know when to cast.
When Vanitas has about six bars of HP left, he will perform a variation of his ultimate attack. He will summon his cloud of Keyblades again, but this time form a large orb around himself. Streams of Keyblades and Vanitas shadows will fly out of the orb - the Vanitas shadows can be blocked, however the Keyblades cannot be blocked simce they are glowing pink. he will perform the following combos in sequence:
Due to the frequent pauses, it is usually safer to wait for the shadows to approach instead of guarding their attacks too early.
Note that this Keyblade cloud move can be cancelled the same way as before, with a Thunder while the dark portal is still visible. Since he will use the move at about six HP bars remaining, watch his HP carefully and prepare a Thunder cast when he is close to the threshold.
After the variant of his ultimate attack (whether it was cancelled or not), Vanitas will be in his second phase and will gain some new attacks. Note that these new attacks do not have openings to punish, however:
This article is a stub. You can help by .
Notes and references