In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, a Shotlock is initiated by holding down and simultaneously (or just in the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix port). The user enters a targeting mode and locks onto enemies, and by pressing ( in the Japanese version), the user then initiates a powerful attack that hits all targeted enemies. By locking onto the maximum amount of enemies, additional attacks can be added by following on-screen prompts. The amount of time the user has to lock onto targets depends on the Focus Gauge, which empties when the attack is initiated and can be refilled by attacking enemies and using Ethers. Most of the Shotlocks in Birth by Sleep can be learned by all three Keyblade wielders, but they also get several that are unique to themselves.
Each Shotlock can be enhanced by performing a certain action to add extra attacks. There are four methods of adding extra attacks, which determine the Shotlock's class.
In Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage-, a Shotlock is initiated by holding down . The user enters a targeting mode and locks onto enemies, and the Shotlock begins by pressing ( in the Japanese version). Triggering a Shotlock slows down time for the duration of the Focus gauge's depletion, allowing the player to maximize the number of lock-ons while minimizing damage and interference. Prism Rain is the only Shotlock available.
In Kingdom Hearts III, the mechanics are similar to 0.2. However, Shotlocks are now tied to Keyblades. Each Keyblade has a certain amount of Shotlocks; for most Keyblades, their Shotlocks are differentiated by whether the user used an incomplete or max lock when firing. However, Ultima Weapon and Destiny's Embrace each have just one Shotlock, Shooting Star and Hunny Spout's max-level Shotlocks depend on whether a max lock was used on a single target or a group of enemies, and Master's Defender and Braveheart's Shotlocks only prompt additional attacks when used at max lock akin to Birth by Sleep or 0.2. Visually, all of Sora's max-level Shotlocks implement the corresponding Keyblade's Formchange, with his clothes transforming into the corresponding Form for the duration of the Shotlock. As in 0.2, time is slowed while locking onto enemies; however, timers, such as the ones seen in minigames, as well as the Doom counter used by Marluxia's Replica Data, will still run at normal speed. The Airstep Flowmotion technique is also executed from the Shotlock menu by pressing .
List of Shotlocks
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
Vanitas and Vanitas Remnant
Kingdom Hearts III
The Vanitas Remnant utilizes a unique Shotlock during the battle against it. Vanitas Remnant takes the position it takes when using the Dark Cannon and surrounds itself in a black ball before shooting out copies of itself which make one slash before freezing in place.
The Armored Ventus Nightmare utilizes a Shotlock against Riku during the final battle. When Riku absorbs his Dream Eaters to counter, the rest of the battle involves the two of them rushing against each other until one of them is knocked out.
Notes and references