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Vanitas makes his first and only appearance as a boss in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix, 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, more than any other enemy in the series.

Strategy

Terra's Scenario

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 the player instead make full use of them.

It is very important that the player immediately go on the offensive at the start of the battle, as he now has two of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep's strongest bosses facing him at one time, the only instance in Terra's scenario where this is done. However, though both Master Xehanort and Vanitas are present, the battle will end once Vanitas is defeated.

Because of this, the player should immediately target Vanitas, the weaker of the two bosses, hammering him with physical attacks and magic. Vanitas will not attack often and will mainly attempt to dodge the player's attacks, but certain abilities such as Chaos Rave will allow the player to stay on him.

When Vanitas vanishes, Slide out of the way; if the player does not, Terra 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 re-emerges. Vanitas may leap into the air bombarding the player 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. So long as the player makes full use of their Shotlocks, Command Styles, and D-Links, healing with Curaga or Sliding when necessary, this battle should not be that hard to complete. However, the player should 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. So long as the strategy used against Vanitas is carried out throughout the battle as the player attempts to defeat the dark enigma, Master Xehanort's presence in the battle will be irrelevant.

Ventus's Scenario

First battle

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, the player has the assistance of King Mickey. The player 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, the player 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 the player should immediately Dodge Roll, or they will fall victim to his downward strike if they do not dodge. The boss may also shoot a single, large fireball at the player that will soon separate into three smaller, homing fireballs after traveling forward in the player's direction. Dodge Roll again can be used to avoid this attack.

If Vanitas leaps into the air, he may strike the player with a dark lightning attack, which has a relatively long range. Dodge Roll is recommended in terms of avoiding it. The boss lastly may perform a simple two-hit physical combo, an attack easily dodged with Dodge Roll.

In terms of offensive tactics for the player, 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 hoisting him into the air, leaving him open to great amounts of 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 the player attempts should be the most powerful in Ventus's 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 the player, his physical attacks are strong, and the player does not need to worry when his HP reaches 0. He will automatically revive himself in time.

One major advantage to fighting with Mickey on the player's side 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. But as long as the player heals when necessary, utilizes their most powerful abilities whenever possible, and acknowledges King Mickey's presence in battle, then Vanitas should not be a challenge to defeat.

Second battle

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, the player should not need his presence. The only thing the player 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 the player doesn't knock him off the Keyblade vortex, when returning to the ground, he will embed 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 the player'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 the player, 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. So long as the player heals when necessary and makes full use of Shotlocks, Command Styles, and D-Links, the battle should end with relative ease.

Third battle

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, and the player should 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 the player with the massive weapon, slam the ground and create an "X" shaped shockwave, 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. The boss also still favors the dark lightning attack, and he still has the ability to vanish and appear behind the player.

However, rather than performing a single, downward strike, Vanitas will use an attack called Dark Splicer, similar to Time Splicer, wherein he will slash the player multiple times while slowing down time and teleporting around him or her to attack from all sides. The player can 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 the player should continue to use a hit-and-run strategy, it is advised they 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 the player 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 the player deals an attack that, seemingly, 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, ironically enough, uses his own attacks against him. As the two Keyblade wielders float in a dark realm amidst shards of stained glass, the player can move to Vanitas's location and hit him with Dark Spiral or Dark Splicer.

However, it is recommended that the player 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, the player must 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. So long as the player follows the correct strategies, makes full use of special abilities such as Command Styles, and heals when necessary, Vanitas should not be that much of a challenge.

Aqua's Scenario

First battle

Vanitas first challenges Aqua in the Radiant Garden, with his goal being to test her as a back-up for his plan to fuse with a heart of light to form the χ-blade. While his attacks are the same as in the early battles of Ventus's scenario, keep in mind that Aqua favors magic, whereas Ventus is balanced, 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.

The player 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, but the player should immediately Cartwheel, or fall victim to his downward strike if they do not dodge the assault. The boss may also shoot a single, large fireball at the player that will soon separate into three smaller, homing fireballs after traveling forward in the player's direction. Cartwheel again can be used to avoid this attack.

If Vanitas leaps into the air, he may strike the player with a dark lightning attack, which has a relatively long range. Cartwheel is recommended in terms of avoiding it. The boss lastly may perform a simple two-hit physical combo, an attack easily dodged with Cartwheel. In terms of offensive tactics for the player, Mine Square and Tornado 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 the player attempts should be the most powerful in Aqua's arsenal. Continuation to use powerful physical and magic attacks is the key to ending the battle with ease and minimal damage.

Second battle

Vanitas next challenges Aqua in Neverland, his goal to destroy her after his first battle with Ventus, seeing his strength and no longer needing a "Plan B". While his attacks are the same as in the first battle at the Radiant Garden, keep in mind that Aqua favors magic, whereas Ventus is balanced, hence the need for a difference 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.

The player 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, but the player should immediately Cartwheel, or instead will fall victim to his downward strike.

The boss may also shoot a single, large fireball at the player that will soon separate into three smaller, homing fireballs after traveling forward in the player's direction. Cartwheel again can be used to avoid this attack. If Vanitas leaps into the air, he may strike the player with a dark lightning attack, which has a relatively long range. Wheel Roll 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. The boss lastly 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 for the player, Mine Square and Tornado are highly recommended for use, as they will deal great damage to the boss, also interrupting his attacks. Whatever physical attacks the player attempts should be the most powerful in Aqua's arsenal. Continuation to use powerful physical and magic attacks is the key to ending the battle with ease and minimal damage.

Videos

Vanitas (Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep: Terra)
Vanitas I (Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep: Ventus) Vanitas II (Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep: Ventus) Vanitas III (Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep: Ventus)
Vanitas I (Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep: Aqua) Vanitas II (Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep: Aqua)


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