Mission Mode is a gameplay mode that made its debut in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. Through Mission Mode, two to four players can compete in missions across the worlds, and it can also be played solo. Mission Mode uses the Nintendo DS's wireless capabilities to compete with other players, but all players must have a copy of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. Items collected and character growth in Mission Mode carry back to the save file the player selects at the start. Guest Play can also be selected, where upon the player is given preset items instead of those obtained in Story Mode.
At first, the player only has access to thirteen characters, all members of Organization XIII. However, as the player progresses through Story Mode, an additional six secret characters can be unlocked.
Right from when a player accesses the main menu, they have the option of playing either the main game, Story Mode, or the multi-playing Mission Mode. After the player selects the "Mission Mode" option, they are taken to the Character Selection Screen. They are given a chance to view the average stats of the character they choose, just before being taken to the Menu Screen. The player only has access to Organization XIII to begin with, later gaining access to new characters as they play through Story Mode.
At the Panel Customization Screen, players have the ability to select weapons, items, spells, and abilities that are to be used during competitive gameplay. It should be noted that players will also have access to items gained during Story Mode. It is then that each player is taken to the Mission Select Screen, the last screen to appear before gameplay begins.
At this last screen players select a world and a mission they would like to play from Story Mode that took place in that world. It should be noted that missions are made playable once their respective Unity Badge has been collected in Story Mode.
During actual gameplay, players work toward the same goals that Roxas would in Story Mode, collecting Mission Points along the way. Players can attack each other, stealing the targeted players' Mission Points as a result. While the Mission Mode is mainly a way to battle enemies with friends in an allied setting, its true intention is competition due to its friendly-fire format. Just as in Story Mode, a mission ends when the Mission Gauge is filled to the first, or sometimes only, marker. However, in Mission Mode, extra Mission Points can be gained by getting to the RTC in a certain amount of time.
At the end of a mission, the results of gameplay are displayed. The characters selected for play appear in the thrones of Where Nothing Gathers, the thrones' height determined by the number of Mission Points. Places are awarded as first, second, and third, each displayed by a gold, silver, or bronze crown respectively.
An especially new feature in Mission Mode is the ability to chat with other players. During a mission, players can message each other via stylus or in-game keypad. Various colors of text can be used, adding to the fun of this feature. From saying hello to requesting help tackling a boss while a friend is busy with another target, messages are displayed on the Nintendo DS's bottom screen along with Mission Objectives.
In general, the Heartless and Nobodies fought in Story Mode will be in their respective places in Mission Mode, though some enemies have been removed when not integral to a mission, such as the Jumbo Cannon in Mission 73: Defeat Heartless in the Games, or Xigbar in Mission 61: Vanquish the Heartless Threat. Furthermore, enemies generally drop items much less frequently in Mission Mode. While not an actual change in game mechanics, the Saïx and Riku bosses were replaced with shadowy Anti-Saïx and Anti-Riku bosses, to prevent confusion between the bosses and the playable Saïx and Riku. Also please note that the enemies in Mission Mode are now three to four times stronger then they are in Story Mode.
Every character has their own defeated position. When they fail or withdraw from a mission, they will show their defeated position.
- Xemnas: Xemnas holds both hands in the air.
- Xigbar: Xigbar bends down, hitting his leg occasionally.
- Xaldin: Xaldin crosses his arms.
- Vexen: Vexen bends down.
- Lexaeus: Lexaeus bends down.
- Zexion: Zexion rests his head on his hand with an arm below.
- Saïx: Saïx puts his hand to his head, shaking his head occasionally.
- Axel: Axel faces sideways with his arms crossed.
- Demyx: Demyx puts his hand to his head, moving his head up and down.
- Luxord: Luxord puts his hand to his head, moving his head up and down slightly.
- Marluxia: Marluxia puts his hand to his head with an arm below.
- Larxene: Larxene faces the side, stamping her foot.
- Roxas: Roxas bends down. (Identical defeated position for Dual-Wielding Roxas)
- Xion: Xion bends down.
- Riku: Riku puts his hand to his head.
- Donald: Donald jumps up and down on one foot, angry.
- Goofy: Goofy bends down, putting his hand on his eyes.
- The King: The King bends down.
- Sora: Sora bends down.
These poses are used whenever a character is victorious in the Games at the Olympus Coliseum.
- Xemnas: Xemnas simulates his movements during battle before standing triumphant.
- Xigbar: Xigbar crosses his Arrowguns before going into his battle stance.
- Xaldin: Xaldin twirls two of his Lances around before crossing them behind his back in an "X".
- Vexen: Vexen slashes the air with his shield before going into his battle stance.
- Lexaeus: Lexaeus raises his Axe Sword high above his head before going into his battle stance.
- Zexion: Zexion reads his Lexicon momentarily before closing and wiping his brow.
- Saïx: Saïx spins his Claymore before holding it diagonally in front of him.
- Axel: Axel throws one Chakram into the air, spins and catches it, and then goes into the battle stance he used in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.
- Demyx: Demyx strums his Sitar before striking a victorious pose.
- Luxord: Luxord spins his Cards around him telepathically before going into his battle stance.
- Marluxia: Marluxia twirls his Scythe above his head before holding it behind his back with a reverse wield.
- Larxene: Larxene hops twice before spinning and striking a triumphant pose.
- Roxas: Roxas utilizes a pose similar to that of Sora in Kingdom Hearts, slashing the air twice before turning around and holding the Keyblade over his shoulder (When Dual-Wielding, Roxas spins the Oathkeeper and Oblivion before striking a triumphant pose, similar to his movements during battle when he's fought in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix).
- Xion: Xion spins the Keyblade and holds it to the side while brushing her hair off her face.
- Riku: Riku twirls the Keyblade from left to right, then placing it at his side while looking down.
- Donald: Donald hops and spins around twice before holding his Staff high above his head.
- Goofy: Goofy jumps up and down in a manner similar to that in Kingdom Hearts, this time spinning every so often.
- The King: Mickey simulates his movements during battle before raising his Keyblade high above his head in victory.
- Sora: Sora slashes the air from left to right with his Keyblade before raising high above his head and holding it over his shoulder.
Playing as Xemnas
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Xemnas takes on the role of a playable character rather than a boss. While playing as Xemnas, the player has the ability to equip spells, items, and abilities by using the Panel System. He has excellent stats, excelling in both Strength and Magic, only exceeded by Lexaeus in Strength and Zexion and Donald in Magic. He has fairly average stats elsewhere, similar to Roxas and Xion.
Xemnas floats rather than walking or running. Xemnas fights by slashing at enemies with his ethereal blades, though certain Gears give him the ability to throw them as a combo finisher. Xemnas's Limit Break, All-Vanity, surrounds Xemnas in a damaging force field. His Final Limit includes an additional two beams of energy, which are fired from his hands and slowly move behind him. Due to his attribute in the Organization, he becomes increasingly resistant to nil-based attacks as he levels up.
Playing as Xigbar
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Xigbar attacks similarly to his boss incarnation in Kingdom Hearts II. Xigbar's weapon, spells, and abilities are customized within the Panel System. Despite his seniority in the Organization, Xigbar is among the weakest in the Organization, having poor stats in nearly all areas, but has the highest attack speed. Xigbar's attacks all involve firing a bullet-like projectile from his arrowguns, though some Gears change the number fired at once or the position at which they are fired.
This gives Xigbar the ability to attack enemies from a safe distance. Xigbar's supply of projectiles must be reloaded whenever he has fired a certain amount of projectiles; this amount varies depending on what Gear Xigbar has equipped. In his Limit Break, Critical Snipe, Xigbar combines his two arrowguns, allowing the player to fire large, powerful projectiles in a stationary, first-person view. His Final Limit simply fires more powerful projectiles. Due to his attribute in the Organization, he becomes increasingly resistant to space-based attacks as he levels up.
Playing as Xaldin
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Xaldin attacks with wide-range swings of his six lances. He wields two in battle, but uses all six during his Limit Break and combo finishers. By using the Panel System, Xaldin can be customize his weapon, abilities, spells, and items. His stats are not that impressive, having average attack speed, defense and good strength but not much elsewhere. Xaldin's lance combos always involve Xaldin slashing at an opponent with them, but can end in a powerful, straight strike, or Xaldin closing his six lances on one enemy.
Both of these basic types of combo finishers come in many different forms, which change depending on the Gear Xaldin has equipped. Xaldin's Limit Break, Dragoon Storm, causes Xaldin to swirl his blade-like weapons around himself in powerful bursts, damaging and pushing enemies away. He also forms a minor wind shield around himself. In his Final Limit, Xaldin crashes down upon enemies with a massive strike with all six of his lances. Due to his attribute in the Organization, he becomes increasingly resistant to wind-based attacks as he levels up.
Playing as Vexen
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Vexen is a defensive character, wielding a shield and wielding the element of Ice. His strength and defense are weak, but Vexen has exceptional capabilities in magic spells. By using the Panel System, the player can customize Vexen's weapon, spells, items, and abilities. Vexen fights by striking enemies with his shield; his combo finishers involve Vexen sending his shield forward quickly, then retracting it. Depending on the Gear he wields, his shield can also circle around him, pushing away nearby enemies.
Vexen's Limit Break, Diamond Dust, allows him to summon three glaciers to come up from the ground to strike enemies, damaging and possibly freezing enemies. During Vexen's Final Limit, a single, enormous glacier is summoned. The damage dealt by this mound of ice is greater than the three smaller glaciers before it. Due to his attribute in the Organization, he becomes increasingly resistant to ice-based attacks as he levels up.
Playing as Lexaeus
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Lexaeus uses his mighty axe sword to make large, powerful strikes. Lexaeus can be customized by using the Panel System, which can change his Gear, spells, and abilities. Lexaeus has exceptional strength, defense, and HP, but his speed and magic capabilities are extremely poor. Lexaeus's attacks are usually combos made up of mighty swings of his axe swords. His combos are usually short, but the attacks deal massive damage. Lexaeus may also change toward his opponent before striking, or even swing his axe sword over a very wide range. Which combos Lexaeus performs depends on the Gear he has equipped.
Lexaeus's Limit Break, Ayers Rock, allows him to perform a "charged" attack. Lexaeus charges energy in an aura; he then can release the stored energy in a powerful smash, followed by a shockwave. The longer the player charges before releasing this attack, the stronger the attack will be. During Lexaeus's Final Limit, Lexaeus's weapon becomes engulfed in rock before releasing the charged attack, increasing the strength of the attack and length of the weapon. This attack can be performed twice during one Limit Break. Due to his attribute in the Organization, he becomes increasingly resistant to earth-based attacks as he levels up.
Playing as Zexion
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Zexion fights by slamming enemies with his Lexicon. Via the Gear System, Zexion can be customized along with all other playable characters, attacking in quick, short-ranged combos that specialize in opening windows for Zexion's true attack specialty; the use of magic. He is relatively weak in comparison to the other Organization members but he has the highest Critical Bonus alongside Saïx and also has the second highest magic stat, only exceeded by Donald. Zexion's Limit Break, Meteor Mirage, causes Zexion to levitate in the air with his book-like weapon open. While in the air, a ball of light appears in front of Zexion's Lexicon, symbolizing that it is the source of the attack. Zexion summons many balls of dark indigo energy to bomb the field, dealing a large amount of damage to enemies hit by the barrage.
During the bombardment, Zexion can slowly move around to hit enemies that are further away with the meteors. During Zexion's Final Limit, Zexion exerts more power into his lexicon for the attack, as shown by his different pose. The meteors that he summons are larger and more plentiful. It is interesting to note that when Zexion executes Guard, he merely opens his Lexicon to the enemy, absorbing the unfriendly attack. Due to his attribute in the Organization, he becomes increasingly resistant to illusion-based attacks as he levels up.
Playing as Saïx
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Saïx does battle with his Claymore with fast, furious, and heavy combos. Via the Gear System, Saïx can be customized along with all other playable characters, attacking in powerful, fast combos that specialize in single-enemy focus, thus, crowd control is not exactly his strong suit. His stats range him with above average strength but specializes in Critical attacks; having the highest chance of Critical attacks and Critical Bonus, making him a formidable powerhouse. During his Limit Break, Berserk, Saïx goes into a berserk stage; he jumps around the field, dealing devastating damage to enemies that he comes down hitting with his mighty blade. Each smashing attack is followed up by a shockwave.
During Saïx's Final Limit, Saïx goes into an even more berserk stage; he comes down to attack even more often, and exerts a sphere of his strength straight from himself while in the air before coming down. The shockwaves that come after each attack also increase in range. This is especially best suited for multiple enemy confrontations where his shockwaves deal the most damage around him. The downside to this Limit Break is that Saïx is constantly moving when attacking and directing his attacks are made more difficult, hence the berserk state. Due to his attribute in the Organization, he becomes increasingly resistant to moon-based attacks as he levels up.
Playing as Axel
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Axel fights with his Chakrams in fast, versatile combos that are effective in both short and long-range combat. Via the Gear System, Axel can be customized along with all other playable characters, attacking in quick combos that close distance between enemies. He has well balanced stats similar to Roxas and Xion, with above average strength and speed. Axel's Limit Break, Explosion, causes Axel to throw his chakrams at enemies while they're engulfed in fire when activated, creating a small explosion of fire afterwards.
While not being thrown, Axel's chakrams spin rapidly, the layer of flames surrounding the unique weapons thickening as they continue to gather. However, they can be thrown at any time, and do not need to charge. During Axel's Final Limit, Axel combines his two flaming Chakrams into one enormous flaming version of the weapon, easily many times larger than the two Chakrams. The explosion after the attack is also much larger. Due to his attribute in the Organization, he becomes increasingly resistant to fire-based attacks as he levels up.
Playing as Demyx
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Demyx fights with his Sitar to perform long, multiple-hit combos that leave enemies open to other, more powerful attacks. He has relatively below average stats though magic is his strong suit. Via the Gear System, Demyx can be customized along with all other playable characters, attacking in combos that leave enemies vulnerable to other players' attacks. During his Limit Break, Wave Gigs, Demyx jams on his Sitar, summoning up large pillars of water to rise and strike enemies. Enemies that are hit by the pillars take Water damage. During Demyx's Final Limit, Demyx releases a large ball of water while playing Arpeggio. The ball creates a watery explosion that knocks enemies back and again deals water damage. Due to his attribute in the Organization, he becomes increasingly resistant to water-based attacks as he levels up.
Playing as Luxord
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Luxord uses his playing cards for a strict crowd-control game, attacking multiple surrounding enemies. He has somewhat average strength and defense though not suited for the more powerful enemies. Via the Gear System Luxord can be customized along with all other playable characters, using wide-ranged combos that spread enemies apart. During Jackpot, Luxord's Limit Break, he summons a card in front of him. While it is summoned, the card alternates between a cross and a flashing symbol similar to Roxas's pendant. Selecting the cross results in the card merely exploding, and Luxord will visibly flinch, whereas selecting the flashing symbol will create a few powerful energy blasts that follow a trail between Luxord and the target.
During Luxord’s Final Limit, Luxord summons two cards in front of him instead of one. The player now has three alternating symbols to choose from: double crosses, the flashing symbol and an additional red symbol or two large red symbols. The crosses cause the cards to explode as before, the flashing symbol and the red symbol create the exact same energy blasts as summoned by one card. When the two large red symbols are selected, Luxord will create more energy blasts than with one card, with the final blast being much bigger and more powerful. Due to his attribute in the Organization, he becomes increasingly resistant to time-based attacks as he levels up.
Playing as Marluxia
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Marluxia uses his large Scythe to fight as a focus fighter, attacking in wide-angled, quick swipes that focus on a single enemy, yet keeps surrounding enemies at bay as well. He has rather impressive strength backed up by high Critical power though lacks in defense. Via the Gear System, Marluxia can be customized along with all other playable characters, using wide-angled attacks that focus on single enemies, keeping both surrounding friends and foes at a distance.
Bloom-Out, Marluxia's Limit Break begins with a charge attack while a large black ring forms around him. Once the attack finishes charging and the black ring is completely formed, Marluxia swings his Scythe multiple times over a large area on the black ring. With perfect release timing, Marluxia can instantly kill any normal enemy regardless of remaining HP. During Marluxia’s Final Limit, he swings his Scythe more frequently, and each swing is followed by the release of a large, crescent-shaped projectile. Due to his attribute in the Organization, he becomes increasingly resistant to flower-based attacks as he levels up.
Playing as Larxene
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Larxene is the fastest attacker in the game, using powerful rush attacks that give enemies no quarter, though her attacks are short-ranged. By using the Gear System, Larxene can be customized along with all other playable characters, using her knives to attack enemies faster than they can act. She has relatively low stats, but excels in attack speed and magic. During Voltic Rush, Larxene's Limit Break, she rapidly slashes away at her enemies, dealing Lightning damage. During Larxene’s Final Limit, Larxene darts around the field while enveloped in lightning, making her even faster. She also deals even more Lightning damage to enemies. Larxene holds the honor of being the only one of two female characters playable in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, sharing this role with Xion. Due to her attribute in the Organization, she becomes increasingly resistant to lightning-based attacks as she levels up.
Playing as Roxas
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Roxas acts as a balanced fighter, having average stats. The true potential of having low, but even stats makes him the most versatile character in the game, able to specialize in any specific area. Via the Gear System, Roxas can be customized along with all other playable characters in the game, using various Keyblades to augment any specific combat area the player wishes. Roxas's Limit Break, Event Horizon, causes the Keyblade wielder to rapidly attack around the field while his Keyblade is enveloped in light, slashing away at enemies with great speed and strength. During Roxas's Final Limit, Roxas summons five thin pillars of light which quickly move in straight paths to ends of the field, dealing heavy damage to any enemies in their path.
Roxas's Final Limit is identical to a desperation attack used by his Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix boss incarnation when Sora steals his Oblivion and Oathkeeper via a "Duelstance" event. Roxas uses a three-hit ground combo exactly identical to Sora's from Kingdom Hearts and both versions of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, a forward slash followed by a lunge and finished with a spin-slash, when wielding only one Keyblade. His aerial combo involves simple strikes from his blade, followed by an aerial spin. Due to his attribute in the Organization, he becomes increasingly resistant to light-based attacks as he levels up.
While Roxas Dual-Wields the Oathkeeper and Oblivion Keyblades when fought as a boss in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, he can also use the blades during gameplay in both 358/2 Days and Kingdom Hearts II.
In 358/2 Days, Roxas only Dual-Wields in Story Mode at the end of the game. He shows superb strength capabilities as he battles Neoshadows in the brief pre-boss gameplay, sacrificing the second Keyblade almost instantly before the final battle with Riku. Roxas only has the full ability to Dual-Wield during Mission Mode, but his attacks are far weaker. While Dual-Wielding, Roxas uses a combo comprised of many hits, dealing a finisher exactly identical to that of his boss battle version. His aerial combo involves multiple strikes with his Keyblades, followed by an aerial attack similar to Strike Raid. Dual-Wielding Roxas also replaced his main form's Limit Break, Event Horizon, with one useable only by his alternate hooded form that matched his Final Mix boss incarnation's laser desperation attack, Magic Hour>T Dual-Wielding Roxas is made playable by equipping a Zero Gear and three ability units to the normal Roxas, has access to spells and abilities via Gears, but is only allowed to wield Oathkeeper and Oblivion.
Playing as Xion
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Xion fights in the exact same manner as Roxas, acting as nothing more than a gameplay carbon copy. Like Roxas, she also has low, but even stats, which make her just as versatile as Roxas, able to specialize in any specific area. By using the Gear System, Xion can be customized along with all other playable characters, using Keyblades to augment any specific combat area the player wishes. Xion's Limit Break, Event Horizon, is the exact same Limit Break that Roxas uses. She rapidly attacks around the field while her Keyblade is enveloped in light, slashing away at enemies with great speed and strength. During the Final Limit, Xion summons four thin pillars of light that quickly move in straight paths to the ends of the field, dealing heavy damage to any enemies in their path. Unlike Roxas however, Xion is unable to Dual-Wield her Keyblades by using the Zero Gear and three ability units; her weapon will just revert to a Kingdom Key+ with this panel combination.
Playing as Riku
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Riku attacks with combos comprised of quick and powerful strikes. His combo finishers usually hit more than one enemy, making him decent in the crowd control area. Riku's stats rate him above average, with decent strength and HP. Riku excels in the Critical area, with high Critical chance and bonus. However, his magic leaves something to be desired. Riku's Limit Break, Darkstrom, is very similar to his Dark Aura attack from Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. During Darkstrom, Riku utilizes multiple lunging stabs in his Limit Break. During the attack, he is surrounded by many small strands of dark energy. This attack is also visually similar to Sora's Sonic Blade attack. Riku's Final Limit has him infuse his weapon with light energy, elongating his blade and making it more powerful. He then proceeds to wildly slash at the enemy.
Playing as Sora
Sora appears as an unlockable character in multiplayer mode (in his first Kingdom Hearts appearance). Sora is a secret character, unlocked by purchasing "Sora's Awakening" in the Moogle shop, available after filling the mission bar completely for all missions in story mode. He fights with a standard combo and aerial combo similar to Roxas. He is also customized via Gears, using an ability from Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories as a Limit Break, Ragnarok.
Playing As The King
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Mickey is a secret character, unlocked by purchasing "Return of the King" from the Moogle Shop after getting all missions finished. He has rather low HP, average strength and attack speed but excels in the Magic and Critical areas. He uses his small size to his maximum advantage, swiftly evading enemy attacks while exploiting enemy openings likewise with wide, fast strokes of his Keyblade. He is customized via Gears, having the Pearl ability from Kingdom Hearts II as a Limit Break.
Playing as Donald
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Donald is a secret unlockable character, equipped with various staffs from past installments. He is the most inept character in the game, possessing the lowest stats, but boasts the highest magic power, exceeding Zexion's. To unlock him, one must play story mode up to day 225. His Limit Break, Fantasia, is similar to his Kingdom Hearts II Limit, Comet and is named after the activating ability.
Playing as Goofy
Goofy, like Donald, is a secret character unlocked as the player proceeds through Story Mode. Having a high attack and defense power, his Limit Break is similar to his Teamwork ability from Kingdom Hearts II, Goofy rushing into enemies to deal damage.
Notes and References
- It should be noted that Dual-Wielding Roxas is also available for gameplay after the player equips the Zero Gear and three ability units.
- Xion is unlocked by reaching Rookie rank on day 117
- Riku is unlocked by being promoted to Agent on Day 172.
- Donald is unlocked by being promoted to Expert on Day 225
- Goofy is unlocked by being promoted to Master on Day 296
- King Mickey is unlocked after clearing all missions and the buying of "Return of the King" at the Moogle Shop.
- Sora is unlocked after fully completing all missions and the buying of "Sora's Awakening" at the Moogle Shop.
- The selection between solo and multiplayer mission mode was made more clear cut in the English release. Unlike the Japanese version, selecting mission mode in the English version offers a choice between solo and multiplayer on the main menu. The Japanese version instead brings the player to the Wi-Fi group menu and the player can continue without other players.
- During solo mode in the English release, you can earn the Gold Crowns, unlike the Japanese version where you must be playing with others.
- Though to many it appears that the characters are seemingly weaker in Mission Mode than they are in Story Mode, in actuality, the enemies themselves have been buffered up as they were originally intended to be fought by multiple players.
- Interestingly, the Character Select menu lists Sora's weapon as a Keyblade, when two out of his three weapons are Keyblades, and the other one is a sword.
- Ironically, the Character Select menu lists Riku's weapon as a sword when only one is a sword, the other two are Keyblades.