Cloud is a boss in Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. In the first Kingdom Hearts, Cloud is hired by Hades to kill 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 you fought the six previous matches. Hopefully, you managed to minimize the damage taken and saved some Potions before fighting him. Cloud's movement is slow, but his attacks are quick and cover much ground. First, try to keep your distance 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.
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. Cloud's stabbing attack can be easily dodged by Dodge Rolling when you hear Cloud yell. Be wary of Cloud's Sonic Blade: once his combo connects, there's a good chance that Sora will be killed. Luckily, Cloud mostly focuses on defeating Donald and Goofy before striking Sora, which leaves more time for recovery (provided you have potions/MP left).
While Cloud's standard sword combo appears overwhelming, it can be easily blocked with a well-timed attack, or more preferably - Guard, which leaves Cloud stunned for a moment, giving you 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 you out of his range. It should be an easy fight as long as you have enough curative items or MP.
Equip the Dodge Roll ability as it is essential to this battle. There are two very basic ways to handle this fight. The first of is counter-attacking. When he uses basic swings to attack, time your attack to match his, which will cause both of you to flinch. You should be somewhat faster than him, meaning that if you attack immediately after countering, you will be able to land a combo. When he starts using a thrusting attack, simply lock on to him, run in one direction (e.g. left) and dodge roll when he's about to hit you.
If you block this attack twice he will be knocked back, leaving him open to attacks. He will always do a set number of thrusts before either 1) stopping completely and start pacing; 2) start thrusting again; but more often 3) leaping into the air and homing into your current position, were he impales his sword and does minor area damage. This is what you are waiting for. 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, go combo-bananas on him. Simply repeat this process.
If you lose 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 you should have cleared Pegasus Cup and learned Strike Raid, so try to keep your 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 gold 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 so don't feel shy to abuse them. If Sora has MP Rage equipped, you can regain lost MP just by taking a few hits. If you are high enough level you should be able to blindly charge in on him although it's recommended not to do it but if you do you still need to be careful as he doesn't take damage during his Omnislash.
Here, Cloud and Leon are fought simultaneously. Each is stronger than their previous appearances, with more health and dealing better damage, but their attacks do not change. Both Cloud and Leon must be defeated to continue in the Hades Cup. 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 using a jumping attack that 4 out of 5 times will be evaded when trying to evade Cloud.
Before fighting Cloud, it is recommended to have at least some healing cards, and quick reload cards. Hopefully, there's enough CP left to stock a few 0 cards. In order to win, knowing where your 0 cards are kept is very important, therefore it is suggested to place them in the last row of your deck. With every card played by Cloud, including individual cards will be 2-3 hit combos, the first hit always stuns and damages you, 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 you 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. Pick up from where you left and continue hacking him and he'll fall.
A faster strategy would be to just store two Cure cards (normal ones, not Premium Cards), and have half of your deck comprise cards numbered 7 or more. You can easily launch Stun Impact several times, giving you room to attack him. You may use the 0 cards to break Omnislash, or if you don't have any (that is, if you have chosen Olympus Coliseum for the 2nd floor), dodge him! Keep your distance while curing and reloading cards, and you'll be able to take him down in a flash. Your reward is the Hi-potion item card.
- Cross-slash ( + + ): Cloud performs a three-hit slashing combo.
- Omnislash ( + + ): Cloud performs a multi-hit aerial slashing combo.
His attacks are:
- Cross-Slash - 3-hit sword combo.
- Sonic Rave - forward charging thrust.
- Warrior's Spirit - spirit blast, then 2-3 leaping triple-cuts, finished with downward thrust.
In the Hades Paradox Cup, you have to fight Cloud three times. The first time you fight him he is in Round 25, where he's accompanied by Tifa. In this round his Health Points are 1448. When fighting him with Tifa you can start out with either one. When he uses Warrior's Spirit, you should use Glide to keep away from him. When you use Limits in this battle, the amount of MP you spend is lessened, so Limits are always a smart move. Just make sure you listen for Tifa to say "Final Heaven", that could prove a problem if you don't watch out.
In Round 40, you fight against Cloud again, but this time he's paired up with Leon. His HP is the same as it was before but this time you can use Drive Forms and not Limits. You can still use your own Trinity Limit to pummel them though. This should be easy if you use Final Form or Trinity Limit, but make sure to heal yourself when necessary. This battle is also timed so make sure also watch the clock.
In Round 49, you fight Cloud again but this time with Tifa, Leon, and Yuffie. His HP is reduced to 724, so that is a plus. You are by yourself and you cannot use forms or summons, only the Trinity Limit. If you are dying and your magic is still restoring itself, you can Glide around the arena until it is full, then quickly use Cura/Curaga. Items can also be a great help if you do not have Glide. Trinity Limit is very useful in this battle because it allows you to attack three times and also has a finishing move to fully KO opponents. Just make sure you use it when you are at a good health level because then you have to wait for your 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 in the RPG system. 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
- In the story battle with Cloud, his boss music is coincidentally titled "Shrouding Dark Cloud." He is also one of only two non-Heartless bosses to use 'Shrouding Dark Cloud', the other being Xion's first transformation in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.