Learning the Basics
KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep starts with Ventus, a young boy who ventures out to observe a meteor shower in the Land of the Departure. The first prompt teaches you the basic mechanics of controlling your character. Use the Analogue Stick to move forward, and pause the game with the Start Button to view the rest of basic commands. Continue moving straight forward to the next area.
The next segment of tutorials show of Birth by Sleep’s battle basics. When prompted, use the X Button to attack the training ring a few times, which demonstrates how a standard attack combo works. At the next set of rings, you are taught the Lock-on and Deck Command Systems. Use the Triangle Button to strike the closest ring with one of your Deck Commands, then Lock on to it while it’s spinning by tapping the L Button and R Button at the same time.
Ventus decides to move on, which brings you to the next tutorial. Use the Circle Button to jump up to the next ledge, where you’ll find a Treasure Chest containing the Sliding Dash Attack Command. You can view the Command Deck tutorial at this point by pausing the game and entering the Command Deck menu option. When you’re ready, head into the next area.
Masters in Training
After a rather lengthy cutscene, you’ll receive the Wayfinder, which will then explain the Dimension Link system briefly. Terra offers some sparring practice in preparation for the upcoming Mark of Mastery exam. This will teach you some more complex battling skills.
Event: Blocking & Attacking Tutorial
You now take control of Terra, who plays a little differently than Ventus. His movements are a bit slower, and his attacks are more physical and close-up. The purpose of this tutorial is to teach you how to defend against oncoming enemy attacks. When Ventus attempts to attack, interrupt his advance by blocking with the Square Button.
Your fight with Ventus heats up a little when Ventus urges you to go on the offensive. This triggers the Finish Command portion of the tutorial, which teaches you about Finish Commands, and briefly about Command Styles.
When you land attacks, the Command Gauge above your Command Deck fills. When it’s filled all the way, you can use a Finish Command by hitting the X Button. By combining different types of attacks and Deck Commands, you can trigger different Command Styles when your Command Gauge fills. This gives your attacks some extra firepower, and offers a huge advantage over your enemies.
Event: Shotlock Tutorial
Controls shifts to Aqua for the next tutorial. The all-powerful Shotlock Command is a very handy technique to use on a large group of enemies.
Hold down the L Button and R Button at the same time to enter Shotlock Mode. Move the scope around the screen using the Analogue Stick to select multiple targets at once.
Release the L Button and R Button to unleash a powerful barrage of attacks on all of the selected targets at the same time.
Event: Use What You’ve Learned
It’s time to put everything you’ve learned all together. Select one of the three characters to play as, and use this opportunity to get a feel for how each character handles.
Terra’s movements are slower, but he makes up for that with sheer brute strength. For players who like close combat and good old-fashioned button mashing, Terra is definitely the character to choose.
Ventus is a lot more agile, making it easy for him to maneuver around the battlefield and avoid taking damage. His attacks are fairly strong, but he’s definitely no Terra. Ventus’ stats are far more balanced, and reminiscent of how Sora plays in previous installations of the series.
Aqua’s strengths lie in her power over magic. Her physical attacks are very weak, but she’s also very good at moving fast to avoid enemy attacks.
You can play through this segment as many times as you want until you feel ready to move on.
When you’re finished, another cutscene plays. From here, the game branches out into three separate campaigns that follow each character’s story. To achieve full completion of the game, you’ll need to play through all three, but the game allows you to choose which character you want to play as first. You can use the links below to view the walkthrough guides for each character’s story.