Kingdom Hearts 2: Final Mix – Game Mechanics Guide

Guide to Game Mechanics

The mechanics behind damage calculation in KH2 are both in-depth and complex. With the help of in game testing and confirmation with the various official strategy guides that have been printed, this small informational guide will go over the gameplay elements that deal with damage.

Hopefully, this information can be useful to people who want some of the ‘behind the scenes math’ that goes on in the game. Please note that this info applies to both Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix on the PS2, as well as Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix that is included within the 2.5 Remix PS3 collection. Many of these numbers and statistics are different than those present within the original Kingdom Hearts 2 for PS2.

The guide will start off with details about battle levels, then go into the damage formula, and finally list the attack multipliers of Sora’s moves. It could be far more extensive, but the basics have been mostly covered. 

Battle Levels

All enemy statistics in Kingdom Hearts 2 (HP, EXP, STR, DEF) are determined by the ‘Battle Level’ of the location in which they are found. The specifics of these statistics will be covered later. 

These battle levels of a world can typically be noted by observing the number that is displayed on the world from the gummi map. The battle levels can change after certain game events take place. For example, on the first visit, Agrabah has a battle level of 22, and on the second visit, it has a battle level of 40. Also, certain rooms within a world can have different battle levels than the rest of the world. An example of this is Sephiroth who has a battle level of 80 even though he is fought within Hollow Bastion which has a battle level of 45 at the time.

The following is a table that summarizes the battle levels of the game based on world/event/opponent:

LevelHPEXPSTRDEFWorld
120452Simulated Twilight Town (Day 1-3), 100 Acre Wood
221562Simulated Twilight Town (Day 4-5)
323673Simulated Twilight Town (Day 6)
628994Twilight Town 1
72910105Mysterious Tower
83112115Hollow Bastion 1
103416126The Land of Dragons 1
133923158Beast’s Castle 1
154329179Hollow Bastion 2
164433179Olympus Coliseum 1
1848411910Disney Castle
1949452011Timeless River
2051502111Port Royal 1
2254612212Agrabah 1
2457732413Halloween Town 1
25592514Zexion’s Absent Silhouette, Pain and Panic Cup
2661872614Pride Lands 1
28641022715Twilight Town 2, Hollow Bastion 3, Space Paranoids 1
30671192916Hollow Bastion 4, Cerberus Cup
32713117Larxene’s Absent Silhouette
35761703419The Land of Dragons 2, Cavern of Remembrance (Depths, Mineshaft A)
36771823419Beast’s Castle 2
37791943520Port Royal 2
38812073620Olympus Coliseum 2
40842343721Agrabah 2, Lexaeus’ Absent Silhouette
41862483922Halloween Town 2
43892784023Pride Lands 2
45923104224Hollow Bastion 4, Space Paranoids 2, Titan Cup
47953444325Twilight Town 3
501004004526The World That Never Was, Vexen’s Absent Silhouette
551094005029Goddess of Fate Cup, Cavern of Remembrance (Mineshaft B, Engine Chamber)
601175431Pain and Panic Paradox Cup
701336236Cerberus Paradox Cup
751424006739Cavern of Remembrance (Transport to Remembrance)
801507041Titan Paradox Cup, Sephiroth, Marluxia’s Absent Silhouette
991818651Hades Paradox Cup, Data Battles, Lingering Will

As you can see, the STR and DEF of enemies are directly taken from this table. The HP and EXP values are numbers that get multiplied by a base value for each opponent. Using Sephiroth as another example, his battle level of 80 has an HP multiplier of 150. We know from strategy guides and observing his HP using the Scan ability that he has a total of 3000HP. 3000/150 = 20, meaning Sephiroth has a base HP of 20, which is then multiplied by 150 to get his total HP of 3000.

EXP works in the same way, each opponent having a base EXP value which is multiplied by the value of that battle level. Note that all bosses and the Coliseum Cups do not provide EXP, so there are blank values in the EXP column for some of the above listed battle levels.

Damage Equation

Now for the actual damage calculation formula.

DMG=(STR-DEF)* PM* RES*GM

This one formula determines the damage output of all attacks in the game. It seems simple, but it is more complex than it looks on the surface. 

First, let’s explain what these variables mean.

DMG is how much HP will be lost. Simple.

STR is the strength value of the attacker, whether it’s Sora attacking an enemy, or an enemy attacking Sora, it doesn’t matter. All instances share the same base formula. The STR values of opponents is based on their battle level, which was covered in the previous section.

DEF is the defense value of the attack recipient. Same as the above value, it doesn’t matter if you are dealing with Sora taking the damage, or an opponent taking the damage, the formula still applies. Like Strength, the DEF values for opponents is based on their battle level.

PM is short for Power Multiplier. This value is a number (usually something like 0.5, 1.0, or 2.0) that determines the ‘power’ of a particular attack. For example, the finishing hit in a combo will have a higher PM than the standard hits in the combo. The PM values for various attacks will be described later.

RES is the elemental resistance of the attack recipient. This value is a bit more complex than those above, so I will go into a bit more detail right here:

There are 6 damage types in KH2:

  • Physical
  • Fire
  • Ice
  • Lightning
  • Dark
  • Light (or ‘Other’)

Most playable characters, party members, and opponents have a resistance value of 1.0 for all 6 of these damage types. This means that they will take full damage from whatever attack is being dealt to them. 

There are, however, a number of exceptions. Some of them are obvious, for example, Axel is weak against Ice damage and is completely immune to fire damage. Conversely, Vexen is weak to fire and immune to ice.

Sora (and his party members) can augment their resistances to 4 of these 6 elements (Fire, Ice, Lightning, Dark) through the equipping of armor items. The in-game menus display this value as a percentage of resistance. A Firaga Bangle, for example, gives a 20% resistance to fire. This 20% value corresponds to a RES value of 0.8 in the damage calculation (1.0 – 20% = 0.8). 

It should be noted that resistance equipment does not stack linearly. This means that equipping 2 items each with 20% fire resistance will not result in a 40% resistance, but instead yields a 36% resistance. This is because the second 20% is taken off of the remaining 80% which is left over after the first accessory’s resistance is taken into account. Therefore, the resulting RES value is 0.64 in this situation (1.0 – 20% – 20% = 0.64).

GM is a special value that deals with  what game mode you are playing on. This value is unique in the fact that it only ‘sometimes’ applies to Sora and other party members, and only ‘sometimes’ applies to opponents. When this variable comes into play, and what values it has, goes as follows depending on your game mode:

Beginner – GM is set to 0.5 for all incoming damage to Sora and his party members. GM is set at a value of 1.5 for all outgoing damage to the game’s opponents. This essentially means that you will take half damage from all attacks in the game, and enemies will receive one-and-a-half times full damage.

Standard – GM is set to 1.0 for all damage. There is no modification for either Sora or the game’s opponents, and all damage received on both sides is set at its full value.

Proud – GM is set to 2.0 for all incoming damage to Sora and his party members. GM is still at a value of 1.0 for all outgoing damage to the game’s opponents. This means you will take double damage from all enemy attacks, but they will still only take standard damage.

Critical – GM is set to 2.0 for all incoming damage to Sora and his party members. GM is set to 1.25 for all outgoing damage to the game’s opponents. This means that you take double damage from all attacks, but also you deal 25% more damage to opponents. This gives Sora in Critical mode a bit of a damage boost over all other game modes, meaning you will defeat enemies faster. However, keep in mind that Sora also only has half his max HP in Critical mode, so the double damage that is shared with Proud mode becomes particularly deadly.

One final point of note for the damage formula is the presence of a minimum damage value for attacks. The nature of the formula means that if the recipient’s DEF value is higher than the attacker’s STR value, you can actually get a negative value in the equation. Since this makes no sense, the bracketed portion of the equation has a minimum value of 1. This means that the lowest damage that can be done is 1 point, no matter how high the recipient’s DEF is. 

For damage Sora deals to enemies, the minimum value is higher than 1. The value in the bracketed portion of the equation in this case has a minimum value of 8. Note that PM and RES take place after this minimum value is applied, so depending on the weakness of Sora’s attack, and the resistance of the opponent, the actual damage dealt can still be as low as 1.

Power Multipliers

The complete list of attacks in the entire game for all characters and opponents is extensive. Sora alone has hundreds of attacks, and each of his forms have their own as well. Because of this, the following list is far from complete, but it does include a number of Sora’s most common attacks.

Standard Form Physical Attacks

All of the following attacks are multiplied based on sora’s STR value unless otherwise specified. Attacks with an (*) in the Power Multiplier column are multiplied based on Sora’s MAGIC stat.

Attack NameFootingAttack TypeNumber of OpponentsPower MultiplierElement
Vertical SlashGround to GroundCloseAny1.0Physical
Horizontal SlashGround to GroundCloseGroup0.66Physical
Thrust (1st Hit)Ground to GroundCloseAny0.66Physical
Thrust (2nd Hit)Ground to GroundCloseAny0.33Physical
Vertical FinisherGround to GroundFinisherSingle2.0Physical
Horizontal FinisherGround to GroundFinisherGroup1.5Physical
Air Upper SlashAir to AirCloseAny1.0Physical
Air Downward SlashAir to AirCloseAny1.0Physical
Air Vertical FinisherAir to AirFinisherSingle2.0Physical
Air Horizontal FinisherAir to AirFinisherGroup1.5Physical
SlapshotGround to GroundCloseSingle1.25Physical
Dodge Slash (1st and 2nd hits)Ground to GroundCloseAny0.25Physical
Dodge Slash (3rd hit)Ground to GroundCloseAny1.0Physical
Vicinity BreakGround to GroundCloseGroup1.25Light
Slide Dash (Both Hits)Ground to GroundFarAny0.5Physical
Flash Step (1st hit)Ground to GroundFarAny0.5Physical
Flash Step (2nd hit)Ground to GroundFarAny1.0Physical
Aerial Sweep (All 3 hits)Ground to AirCloseAny0.5Physical
Aerial Dive (All 3 hits)Ground to AirFarAny0.5Physical
Upper SlashGround to AirCloseAny1.0Physical
Finishing LeapGround to AirFinisherAny2.5Light
Guard BreakGround to GroundFinisherSingle2.5Physical
Explosion (1st – 4th hits)Ground to GroundFinisherGroup0.25*Light
Explosion (5th and 6th hits)Ground to GroundFinisherGroup1.5*Light
Horizontal Slash (1st and 2nd hits)Air to AirCloseAny0.25Physical
Horizontal Slash (3rd hit)Air to AirCloseAny1.0Physical
Retaliating Slash (1st and 2nd hits)Air to AirCloseAny0.25Physical
Retaliating Slash (3rd hit)Air to AirCloseAny1.0Physical
Aerial Spiral (Both Hits)Air to AirFarAny0.5Physical
Aerial Finish (1st – 3rd hits)Air to AirFinisherSingle0.5Physical
Aerial Finish (4th hit)Air to AirFinisherSingle1.75Physical
Magnet Burst (1st hit)Air to AirFinisherGroup0.5*Dark
Magnet Burst (2nd hit)Air to AirFinisherGroup1.5*Dark
CounterguardGround to GroundCounterAny1.0Light
Form ChangeAnySpecialAny2.0*Light

Standard Form Magic

Magic Attack NameAttack TypePower MultiplierElement
Fire (1st and 2nd hits)Standard0.5Fire
Fire (3rd hit)Standard1.5Fire
Fire Finisher (1st and 2nd hits)Finisher0.5Fire
Fire Finisher (3rd hit)Finisher2.75Fire
Fira (1st – 3rd hits)Standard0.5Fire
Fira (4th hit)Standard1.5Fire
Fira Finisher (1st – 3rd hits)Finisher0.5Fire
Fira Finisher (4th hit)Finisher3.0Fire
Firaga (1st – 4th hits)Standard0.5Fire
Firaga (5th hit)Standard1.75Fire
Firaga Finisher (1st – 4th hits)Finisher0.5Fire
Firaga Finisher (5th hit)Finisher3.5Fire
BlizzardStandard2.5Ice
Blizzard FinisherFinisher3.75Ice
BlizzaraStandard3.0Ice
Blizzara FinisherFinisher4.5Ice
BlizzagaStandard3.75Ice
Blizzaga FinisherFinisher5.5Ice
ThunderStandard2.5Lightning
Thunder FinisherFinisher3.75Lightning
ThundaraStandard3.0Lightning
Thundara FinisherFinisher4.5Lightning
ThundagaStandard3.75Lightning
Thundaga FinisherFinisher5.5Lightning
Cure (Target)Special4.0N/A
Cure (Nearby Friends)Special2.0N/A
Cura (Target)Special5.0N/A
Cura (Nearby Friends)Special2.5N/A
Curaga (Target)Special6.0N/A
Curaga (Nearby Friends)Special3.0N/A
Magnet (3.0 sec. duration)Finisher1.0Dark
Magnera (3.4 sec. duration)Finisher1.0Dark
Magnega (3.8 sec. duration)Finisher1.0Dark
Reflect (1st – 3rd hits)Standard0.5Light
Reflect (4th hit)Standard5.5Light
Reflect Finisher (1st – 3rd hits)Finisher0.5Light
Reflect Finisher (4th hit)Finisher5.5Light
Reflera (1st – 4th hits)Standard0.5Light
Reflera (5th hit)Standard5.5Light
Reflera Finisher (1st – 4th hits)Finisher0.5Light
Reflera Finisher (5th hit)Finisher5.5Light
Reflega (1st – 5th hits)Standard0.5Light
Reflega (6th hit)Standard5.5Light
Reflega Finisher (1st – 5th hits)Finisher0.5Light
Reflega Finisher (6th hit)Finisher5.5Light

Limit Form Physical Attacks

Attack NameFootingAttack TypeNumber of OpponentsPower MultiplierElement
Vertical SlashGround to GroundCloseAny1.0Physical
Horizontal SlashGround to GroundCloseGroup0.66Physical
Thrust (1st Hit)Ground to GroundCloseAny0.66Physical
Thrust (2nd Hit)Ground to GroundCloseAny0.33Physical
Air Upper SlashAir to AirCloseAny1.0Physical
Air Downward SlashAir to AirCloseAny1.0Physical
SlapshotGround to GroundCloseSingle1.25Physical
Slide Dash (Both Hits)Ground to GroundFarAny0.5Physical
Aerial Sweep (All 3 hits)Ground to AirCloseAny0.5Physical
ZantetsukenGround to GroundFinisherSingle6.0Physical
Ripple DriveGround to GroundFinisherGroup2.0*Light
Hurricane Period (1st – 3rd hits)Air to AirFinisherAny0.5Physical
Hurricane Period (4th hit)Air to AirFinisherAny1.5Physical

Limit Form Limits

Attack NameFootingAttack TypeNumber of OpponentsPower MultiplierElement
Sonic Blade (1st – 6th hits)Ground to GroundSpecialAny1.5Physical
Sonic Blade (7th hit)Ground to GroundSpecialAny3.0Physical
Strike Raid (1st – 4th hits)AnySpecialAny2.0Physical
Strike Raid (5th hit)AnySpecialAny5.0Physical
Ars Arcanum (1st – 6th hits)Ground to GroundSpecialAny1.0Physical
Ars Arcanum (7th – 12th hits)Ground to GroundSpecialAny1.5Physical
Ars Arcanum (13th hit)Ground to GroundSpecialAny2.5Physical
Ragnarok (1st – 4th hits)AnySpecialAny1.0Physical
Ragnarok (5th hit)AnySpecialAny2.0Physical
Ragnarok (Projectiles) (10, 17, or 25)AnySpecialAny0.66*Light

Special Abilities

There are a few abilities within KH2 that directly modify the previously discussed sections in different ways. One of the most well known, and most useful, of these unique abilities is the Combo Boost and Air Combo Boost abilities. Sora can learn both of these abilities naturally through leveling up, but he can also add an additional one of them by equipping Keyblades that have the abilities. 

  • Hero’s Crest Air Combo Boost
  • Decisive Pumpkin Combo Boost

Decisive Pumpkin is generally considered the best Keyblade in the game, and when you understand the mechanics of the Combo Boost ability, the reason becomes clear.

The game describes the ability in the following way: “Increases the damage of your finishing move relative to the number of hits in the combo.” This means, when the ability is equipped, the finishing hit in your combo will be given a boost in strength relative to the number of non-finishing hits there have been in your combo thus far. The ability follows this formula:

Multiplier=1+(0.1*n)

In this formula, ‘n’ is the position within the combo that your first finishing move lies (1st hit, 2nd hit, 3rd hit, ect…). The position is then multiplied by 0.1 and added to a flat value of 1, resulting in a number that directly multiplies the power of the finishing hit.

For example, let’s say you have a standard 3 hit combo (2 regular hits and 1 finishing hit). The ability looks at the position in which your first finishing hit falls in the combo, in this case, it’s the 3rd hit. The value of ‘n’ is set at 3, resulting in a final value of 1.3 using the formula (1 + (0.1 x 3) = 1.3). This will then multiply the power value of your finishing hit by a factor of 1.3. So if you had the ‘Guard Break’ ability equipped as your finishing move, that ability’s PM value of 2.5 will be multiplied by 1.3, giving a new PM of 3.25.

If you have a combo with 4 standard hits and 2 finishing hits, each finishing hit in your combo will be multiplied by 1.5. Note that successive finishing moves do not increase the count, only regular hits.

With the Combo Boost ability AND the Decisive Pumpkin Keyblade equipped, the boost is doubled, meaning the formula changes to: 

Multiplier=1+(0.2*n)

This can result in incredibly powerful finishing moves, multiplying their damage by 2.0 if you have 4 standard hits in your combo. For some perspective, having Sora at max STR (80+) and having 2 Combo Boost abilities equipped, Limit Form’s finisher Zantetsuken can take off 348 HP from a lv99 opponent such as one of the Org Data Battles, or the Lingering Will. This is almost 2 full HP bars.

Ability Guide

Level-Up Abilities

Level – Sword / Shield / Rod:

  • 7 – Combo Boost / Item Boost / Experience Boost
  • 9 – Experience Boost / Combo Boost / Item Boost
  • 12 – Magic Lock-On / Magic Lock-On / Magic Lock-On
  • 15 – Reaction Boost / Damage Drive / Fire Boost
  • 17 – Item Boost / Experience Boost / Combo Boost
  • 20 – Leaf Bracer / Leaf Bracer / Leaf Bracer
  • 23 – Fire Boost / Reaction Boost / Damage Drive
  • 25 – Drive Boost / Once More / Draw 1
  • 28 – Draw 1 / Drive Boost / Once More
  • 31 – Combination Boost / Defender / Blizzard Boost
  • 33 – Damage Drive / Fire Boost / Reaction Boost
  • 36 – Air Combo Boost / Jackpot / Negative Combo
  • 39 – Blizzard Boost / Combination Boost / Defender
  • 41 – Drive Converter / Damage Control / Thunder Boost
  • 44 – Negative Combo / Air Combo Boost / Jackpot
  • 47 – Once More / Draw 1 / Drive Boost
  • 49 – Finishing Plus / Second Chance / Berserk Charge
  • 53 – Thunder Boost / Drive Converter / Damage Control
  • 59 – Defender / Blizzard Boost / Combination Boost
  • 65 – Berserk Charge / Finishing Plus / Second Chance
  • 73 – Jackpot / Negative Combo / Air Combo Boost
  • 85 – Second Chance / Berserk Charge / Finishing Plus
  • 99 – Damage Control / Thunder Boost / Drive Converter

Special Event Abilities

  • Station of Serenity – Aerial Recovery
  • Twilight Thorn – Guard
  • Axel 1 – Scan
  • Village Cave – Sliding Dash
  • Shan-Yu – Aerial Sweep
  • Thresholder & Poss. – Upper Slash
  • Dark Thorn -Retaliating Slash
  • Cerberus – Counterguard
  • Phil’s Training – Aerial Dive
  • Pete 1 – Trinity Limit
  • Escort Minnie – Auto Summon
  • Pete’s Steamboat – Dodge Slash
  • Barbossa – Aerial Finish
  • Volcanic & Bliz Lord – Finishing Leap
  • Stone Guardians – Summon Boost
  • Prison Keeper – Flash Step
  • Hostile Program – Vicinity Break
  • 1000 Heartless – Guard Break
  • Recover Medallion – Aerial Spiral
  • Grim Reaper 1 – Horizontal Slash
  • Hades – Magnet Break
  • Solar Sailer – Explosion
  • Betwixt and Between – Slapshot
  • Roxas – Combo Master

Drive Earned Abilities

  • Valor Lv2 – Auto Valor
  • Valor Lv3 – High Jump Lv1
  • Valor Lv4 – Combo Plus 1
  • Valor Lv5 – High Jump Lv2
  • Valor Lv6 – Combo Plus 2
  • Valor Lv7 – High Jump Lv3
  • Wisdom Lv2 – Auto Wisdom
  • Wisdom Lv3 – Quick Dash Lv1
  • Wisdom Lv4 – MP Rage
  • Wisdom Lv5 – Quick Dash Lv2
  • Wisdom Lv6 – MP Haste
  • Wisdom Lv7 – Quick Dash Lv3
  • Limit Lv2 – Auto Limit
  • Limit Lv3 – Dodge Roll Lv1
  • Limit Lv4 – Draw 2
  • Limit Lv5 – Dodge Roll Lv2
  • Limit Lv6 – Lucky Lucky
  • Limit Lv7 – Dodge Roll Lv3
  • Master Lv2 – Auto Master
  • Master Lv3 – Aerial Dodge Lv1
  • Master Lv4 – Air Combo Plus 1
  • Master Lv5 – Aerial Dodge Lv2
  • Master Lv6 – Air Combo Plus 2
  • Master Lv7 – Aerial Dodge Lv3
  • Final Lv2 – Auto Final
  • Final Lv3 – Glide Lv1
  • Final Lv4 – Form Boost 1
  • Final Lv5 – Glide Lv2
  • Final Lv6 – Form Boost 2
  • Final Lv7 – Glide Lv3

I hope the above information was helpful. Happy gaming!

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 6964 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.

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