This is my guide to achieving Risk-taker, the most difficult trophy to get in the entire game. I also consider this guide to be an update to my Start Analysis and Analysis Complete guides, so read this if you’re having trouble with those trophies, too, because you’ll first have to get at least one if not both of them to unlock this one. And if you’re still having trouble beating any of the bosses or minigames, there are videos and video guides on YouTube showing how other people beat them and KHWiki articles that you can study as well.
Step 0. If you have save clear data where you’ve at least beat the base game on any difficulty AND unlocked all Keyblades, or at least the Classic Tone and Grand Chef Keyblades, you can skip Steps 0a-0f. You can skip them anyway if you want, but without Classic Tone or especially Grand Chef, Risk-taker will be much harder to achieve.
Step 0a (optional). Start the game on Critical with all EZ Codes enabled, except Survival and maybe Gummi Ship Meister (at least until you get 20 unique treasures, if you want to get the Salvager trophy on this game run/save file).
Step 0b (optional). Speedrun the game, defeating all the enemies super-easily with your EZ Codes, until you beat the main game. This will earn you the Proof of Times Past, which you can trade to a Moogle for the Oblivion Keyblade.
Step 0c (optional). Raise Le Grand Bistrot to five stars by earning an Excellent rating cooking the 20 Classic Menu dishes. If you’re low on ingredients, you will gather more with each Gourmand's Ring and Harvester ability your party has equipped. You earn one ring for earning Le Grand Bistrot its first star, and another from sending off Prize Postcards. Some ingredients can also be bought at Moogle Shops.
Step 0d (optional). Collect all the treasures with LCD-style Classic Kingdom mini-games and play each one at least once. Once all the games have golden Mickey emblems in the corners of their thumbnails, you’ll earn the Classic Tone Keyblade and the Muscle Memory and Classically Trained trophies.
Step 0e (optional). This will require all seven Orichalcums+. A description for finding them all can be found at https://www.khwiki.com/Orichalcum#Kingdom_Hearts_III
. Once you’ve collected enough materials to do so, synthesize the Ultima Weapon. This will also earn you the Ultima Weapon trophy. If you’re having trouble farming, use the sub-guide labeled “Farming:” found lower down on this guide.
Step 0f (optional). To easily win the Behind the Curtain, Start Analysis, Analysis Complete, and Beyond the Curtain trophies, speedrun the DLC Episodes, defeating all the enemies super-easily with your EZ Codes.
Step 1. Start a New Game+ on Beginner with Pro Codes, selecting starting choices Balance & Guardian.
Step 2. You can only earn Pro Code merits for defeating certain bosses, so you can deactivate them all until you fight those bosses. So, keep all your Pro Codes off UNTIL you start climbing the mountain in Olympus. DON’T start running up the mountain until you’ve turned on all your Pro Codes, because once your mountain battle with the Rock Titan is about to begin, you can’t access your main menu, so if you don’t have them all active by then, you’ll have to close the game and load your last save to correct that mistake. You could conceivably just let yourself die and prepare and retry with all Pro Codes on, but with Donald constantly Curing you, the boss would likely die first, even without you fighting it. So, it might be a good idea to keep certain Pro Codes like No Cure, No Battle Items, and No Kupo Coins active at all times to ensure you can kill yourself and retry if you accidentally enter a merit boss fight prematurely.
Step 3. Defeat the following bosses with all Pro Codes on:
Olympus: Rock Titan; Ice Titan, Lava Titan, Tornado Titan
Twilight Town: Demon Tide
Toy Box: Angelic Amber, King of Toys
Kingdom of Corona: Chaos Carriage, Grim Guardianess
Monstropolis: Lump of Horror
Arendelle: Marshmallow, Sköll
The Caribbean: Lightning Angler, Davy Jones
San Fransokyo: Darkubes, Dark Baymax
Keyblade Graveyard: Demon Tide; Young Xehanort, Ansem, Xemnas
Scala ad Caelum: Armored Xehanort, Master Xehanort [you can beat him without Pro Codes and repeat his boss fight(s) later]
Step 4. Tips for the merit bosses:
Wizard’s Ruse - The great equalizer, an ability which has a chance of healing you each time you cast magic proportional to the MP you expend. The chance is 25%, 37.5%, and 50% for 1, 2, and 3 stacked copies equipped, respectively. It doesn’t heal much at a time, but when it's the only thing that can even heal you a little bit with all Pro Codes enabled, Wizard’s Ruse is a godsend and your best friend in Risk-taker runs.
During boss fights, you should have three Keyblades equipped - Ultima Weapon for initial full-health offense, Grand Chef (which has Wizard’s Ruse as a default ability) to heal you by casting all your magic, and Classic Tone (which has up to 3 MP Hastes) to recharge your MP when it runs out. Equip accessories with MP-restoring abilities like Damage Syphon and MP Hastega like Cosmic Arts, or ones with Wizard’s Ruse like Wisdom Ring.
Olympus: Do not go to the waterfalls of Olympus if you can help it until you’ve acquired your Gummiphone. Then, go to the waterfall and take pictures of the Water Cores that spawn as soon as you can, because they will only ever spawn once, and if you don’t snap a pic of them in Olympus, you’ll have to wait until Monstropolis for another chance to complete their associated Moogle Photo Mission.
Twilight Town: Don’t panic when you see the Demon Tide’s countless HP Bars. You only need to take out about three of them to win the fight.
Find and photograph every Lucky Emblem in every level before moving on to other worlds, using other online guides if necessary. 50 Lucky Emblems shot grants you a Wisdom Ring, giving you another instance of Wizard’s Ruse to stack the effect. All 90 gets you Mickey Clasp, which has MP Hastega.
Corona: Eventually, you should see Chaos Carriage in a large, circular clearing. Before you fight it, go back to the nearest save point and save, then turn on all Pro Codes and fight it. Make sure to block when it starts trying its cycle of trying to ram you.
Grim Guardianess: This was not an easy fight; it took me plenty of retries. But keep in mind: some of the walls of spikes she spawns should be low enough that you can jump and slide over them without having to find the lowest rung.
Monstropolis: Don’t leave Monstropolis until you’ve collected at least 1 Sinister Crystal and 3 Sinister Gems. Make sure to keep that many, and 1 Orichalcum, in your Moogle Synthesis inventory when you get them, and don’t spend them until you’ve collected 45 different synthesis materials. Once you have, you can go to a Moogle and synthesize them in return for a Wisdom Ring, giving you another instance of Wizard’s Ruse to stack the effect.
Lump of Horror: This guy killed me a great many times. But properly timed blocking helped me a lot, as always. And when it turns into a whirlwind, airstep to his position and attack until he blows you away and repeat.
Arendale: Don’t leave the The Labyrinth of Ice until you’ve found the Snowman Rosette in a chest at the Middle Tier. You won’t be able to go back until after you defeat Marshmallow, which will be a lot harder without the Snowman Rosette. He has an attack that freezes you, and the Rosette grants Freeze Protection. (So does Crystal Snow, but it’ll be better for you to use other Keyblades in that fight.) For the same reason, equip Aegis Shield+ on Goofy for that fight if you have it. You should be able to collect enough synthesis materials to produce it by then.
Skoll: This was a witch of a boss fight to beat. It took me many tries to achieve victory. I almost considered giving up and disabling a few Pro Codes, but then I discovered online the lifesaver that is Wizard’s Ruse. Between that, getting a meal with a Berserker Charge Full Course Bonus, and careful evasion tactics, I was eventually able to beat it. Use the Nano Gear’s Stun Protection if it’s giving you trouble, but you’re probably better off avoiding it and using other Keyblades.
A possible reward for getting an A Rank in Frozen Slider is a Star Medal with Wizard’s Ruse, so if you don’t have enough Wisdom Rings (which are largely superior) or the materials to get them, you could farm them in Arendale after defeating the Skoll.
The Caribbean: The Lightning Angler boss fight is triggered by trying to open an undersea chest with two glowing whiskers sticking out near it. You can’t switch Keyblades underwater, so before you try to open the chest, go above water and equip the Grand Chef Keyblade if you haven’t already, then go back to the nearest save point and save your game. Then battle the thing. You’ll have to use three-dimensional evasion to avoid its attacks and blast it with Sea magic whenever you can, but once you get the hang of it, it shouldn’t be too hard to hit-and-run your way to victory.
Davy Jones: When he’s about to attack, slide around the map, avoiding the darkened areas that signify where he’s going to jump out and attack from.
San Fransokyo: Don’t listen to Hiro when he urges you not to go the wrong way in the city until you find a save point and use it. Later, after you save all five members of Big Hero 6, find a save point and use it if you can, then turn on all Pro Codes and get ready for the boss fight.
A possible reward for getting a B Rank in Flash Tracer: Course A, which you can replay after clearing San Fransokyo, is a Master Medal Stun Protection. Why they would make its most valuable prize a B Rank-only reward is beyond me, but it’s quite frustrating, because it’s much easier, at least for me, to A Rank it than it is to B Rank it. I had to literally play the minigame badly and deliberately avoid prize hoops to get it. And even if you succeed, you might get the Master Medal with Thunder Syphon instead. Just keep at it until you get the one with Stun Protection; you will need it.
The Final World: Try not to talk to “the Nameless Star”, or Stella as I like to call her, until you’ve regained just enough substance that Sora’s head is no longer transparent. Though I can’t say so for sure, it may affect your Theater Mode scenes. Don’t stop collecting phantom Soras until the game forces you to stop. Getting 333 out of 111 will net you two extra Maximum HP bonuses.
Step 5. Once you’ve beat the game, try to obtain all of the remaining collectibles and level-ups before continuing to the DLC. I was able to complete ReMind at Level 74, but it took a lot of retries at the boss fight, so you might want to get all the way to Level 99 first. Not that it’ll make much difference with the Default Status Pro Code on. Especially make sure to defeat the Dark Inferno and get the Crystal Regalia, which has MP Hastega.
Step 6. Complete the Re Mind DLC campaign and defeat Armored Xehanort with all Pro Codes turned on. Out of all the bosses I ever defeated with all Pro Codes active, this was the hardest. First off, play as Sora, not Kairi. Even with all Pro Codes active on Sora, Kairi is still weaker. At least with Sora, you can use Wizard’s Ruse to gradually regain some health. If you can deplete half of Xehanort’s HP, the battle will enter a second phase. Once there, you can die and retry with your full HP restored at the start. Xehanort’s hardest attack to avoid is his rain of Meteors. You’ll have to glide around carefully to avoid them, and, at times, find the right spot on the ground to avoid the barrage. And all this while the old man’s attacking you. Needless to say, save before this fight. If you absolutely can’t beat him like this and need to deactivate a few Pro Codes to win here, you can make up the points later by defeating Data Master Xehanort and/or Yozora with a few Pro Codes on. And if deactivating just one code isn’t enough, I’d recommend deactivating both MP Slip and No Links so you can use King's Flare to heal you. I believe you can redo the last few parts of the Re Mind campaign after beating it, but only if you haven’t started the Limit Cut DLC, so if you’re stuck and want to beat it and try again, you may be able to.
Step 7. Armored Xehanort is the last unrepeatable boss fight. Now that you’ve cleared him for good, you can now proceed to fight all the other merit bosses with as many or as few Pro Codes as you like and retry them at your leisure. To start things off, defeat the Dark Inferno again, preferably with at least 11 codes activated (I couldn’t beat it without disabling No Formchanges and Default Status).
Step 8. Defeat the final bosses, Master Xehanort and Armored Xehanort, this time with all Pro Codes enabled, if you haven’t already. It will be difficult, especially in the underwater portions, but definitely not impossible, especially since there are several phases in which you can prepare and retry, as in the Re Mind version of the boss fight. And Wizard’s Ruse will help ensure your victory.
Step 9. Continue to the Limit Cut Episode and fight all the bosses. A guide to defeating them with partial Pro Codes enabled is written below.
Here's the Sora setup I used to defeat all 13 Data Bosses at Level 74 on Beginner:
Keyblades: Ultima Weapon, Classic Tone (both fully upgraded), empty third Keyblade slot (so it's easier to switch between the two)
Accessories: Crystal Regalia, Mickey Clasp, Flanniversary Badge [all for MP Hastega/Hastera]
Armor: Buster Band+, Cosmic Belt+ x2 [all for high Defense]
Items: Kupo Coin, Hi-Potion x8 [Auto-Reload] (Elixirs are better, but you can buy Hi-Potions at the Moogle shop cheaply)
Abilities: All of them except for two Attraction Extenders, Zero EXP, MP Safety, Counter Impact, & Counter Slash [and obviously Critical Counter, Critical Recharge, & Critical Converter] (farm AP Ups if you can't equip them all)
Cuisine: Lobster Mousse, Carrot Potage, Bouillabaisse, Stuffed Quail, Berries au Fromage (there are better foods, but these all can be bought at the Moogle shop)
Full Course Bonus: Cuisine Extender [There are better bonuses, but you can use the meals on more consecutive boss fights this way]
Shortcuts: King's Flare, King's Flare, King's Flare, Thundaga
Simba was key in beating 13 of the 14 superbosses, and it was often easier to just collide with them repeatedly than to jump onto them repeatedly. I often only jumped around on him to reach high-up enemies or evade attacks.
Use Stun Protection against Skoll, Xion, Dark Inferno, Saix, & Xemnas.
Master Medal (for Rank B in Flash Tracer A) and Nano Gear have it.
Use Freeze Protection against Marshmallow, Master Xehanort, Young Xehanort, & Vanitas.
Snowman Rosette, Crystal Snow, and Junior Medal have it.
Terra-Xehanort: Block all of his projectiles, then airstep to combo him.
Elixirs can be bought at the Moogle Shop for 4000 munny each. 2000 with the discount EZ Code.
Replace Buster Band+ with Master Belt when you get it. And Flanniversary Badge with Crystal Regalia+.
Use Cloud Protection against Yozora.
Umbrella Rosette has it.
When you get Rage Form at full MP:
Fight 'til low HP
Use a Link
Finish the Link before Rage Form expires
Activate Rage Form prompts when low on HP or just before they expire, whichever comes first
Advice: Spam X with Ultima Weapon whenever you get an opening. Switch to Classic Tone whenever you're out of MP then back to Ultima Weapon when you're not. Use a Link instead of Curaga when your HP is low and MP is full. Make full use of Rage Form and King's Flare until they expire or you're low on HP, in which case finish them by pressing triangle. Seriously, a lot of my later boss fights ended with King's Flare attacks.
Farming: If you're simply just not strong enough to beat all the bosses yet, farm materials for Attack and Defense Boosts to raise Sora's stats at Battlegates 10-12, making sure to have Favorite Deputy equipped on Sora, Lucky Ring equipped on a party member, and all instances of Lucky Strike in your party's abilities activated. Master Medals with Lucky Strike are a possible reward for getting A Rank in Verum Rex: Beat of Lead, which is much easier to do with EZ Cheats enabled if you have them, so do that to farm them if you need the extra help farming other rare materials. You'll also have to buy lots of Pulsing Gems for Pulsing Crystals for Strength Boosts, and that can get so expensive that you may need to farm munny as well. They’re less expensive with EZ Cheats enabled, if you have them.
15625 points, 9 codes (Not default, 0 Def, MP Slip, or No Links) each - Larxene, Riku Replica, Marluxia, Vanitas, Xigbar, Saix, Terra-Xehanort, Ansem, Young Xehanort, Xemnas
Data Xigbar - the trick is pausing until the X button prompt shows up in showdowns
Data Terra-Xehanort - Block all of his projectiles, then airstep to combo him. King's Flare collisions were particularly helpful here.
Luxord - the trick is pausing and viewing your surroundings in the card battles
Xion - used a Master Medal w/ Stun Protection in place of the Flanniversary Badge
Master Xehanort - used a Snowman Rosette instead of a Buster Band+
I beat Data Luxord with all 13 Pro Codes enabled on Level 74 Beginner and Level 99 Proud.
Grand Chef (Wizard’s Ruse)
Classic Tone (MP Hastega)
Cosmic Belt+ x2 (6 Def)
Cosmic Belt (6 Def)
Mickey Clasp (MP Hastega)
Crystal Regalia (MP Hastega)
Wisdom Ring (Wizard’s Ruse)
Make sure to hit all the cards that look sideways during the shuffle hunts. During the phase where Luxord makes you find his card among a bunch of cards around you in a circle, constantly move and shift the camera in circular motions and constantly pause and unpause to help find him.
Data Xion - 11875 pts, 19 stars total, 7 codes (All but Default, 0 Def, MP Slip, No Links, No shotlocks, formchanges)
Data Master Xehanort - 6875 pts, 5 codes (no team attacks, shotlocks, kupo coins, cures, or attractions)
The Merit Rank A minimum is 364,125 points. By this time, you should have the trophy. If you don’t because disabled a few more pro codes than I suggested in any of the previous merit boss fights, you might be able to make up the extra points by beating the Secret Episode:
Yozora - 6750 Pts, 4 codes (No cure, No team attacks, No attractions, No Kupo Coins) [used 6 Elixirs, 2 unused Hi-Potions, no kupo coins in inventory, and no full course bonus, though you may want to use the best Full Course that you can] (Do not have a Kupo Coin in your inventory during this fight. If you do, even if No Kupo Coins is enabled, Yozora will steal it from you and use it when you kill him to respawn with half his health. So, if you do have one on you, disable No Kupo Coins, use it by dying in some other fight, re-enable No Kupo Coins, then save and fight Yozora.)
He’ll kill you the first time; there’s no getting around that. After he does, save your game, then fight him again, only this time, if you die, you can retry the fight. If he tries to “got this” by opening a red cone in front of him, get high into the air and glide away from him in a circle. If you get sucked into the cone, he’ll steal your health and items. Use Simba if this starts to happen. If you beat him, your reward will be the Crystal Regalia+, which has MP Hastega, and thus can help you get better scores in the replayable boss fights, including Yozora's.
Stats of various items:
Hi-Potion: Restores 160 HP to one teammate, 100 munny each
Elixir: Fully restores teammate's HP/MP/Focus & removes negative statuses, 4000 munny each
Megalixir: Fully restores team's HP/MP/Focus & removes negative statuses
Snowman Rosette: +2 Def, +20% Blizzard & Dark Resist, Freeze Protection
Acrisius: +3 Def, +20% all Resist but Dark
Acrisius+: +4 Def, +20% all Resist but Dark
Royal Ribbon: +4 Def, +40% all Resist
Buster Band: +5 Def
Buster Band+: +5 Def, +10% all Resist but Dark
Cosmic Chain: +5 Def, +20% all Resist but Dark
Cosmic Belt: +6 Def
Cosmic Belt+: +6 Def, +10% all Resist
Master Belt: +7 Def, +20% Dark Resist
Power Weight: +3 Str
Magic Weight: +3 Mag
Skill Ring: +1 Str, +1 Mag, +30 AP
Skill Ring+: +2 Str, +1 Mag, +36 AP
Cosmic Ring: +3 Str, +80 AP
Junior Medal: +1 Str & Mag, Freeze Protection (Rank B in Frozen Slider)
Master Medal: +1 Str & Mag, +6 AP, Stun Protection (B in Flash Tracer A)
Draw Ring: +1 Str, +2 Mag, +8 AP, Master Treasure Magnet
Lucky Ring: +1 Str & Mag, +8 AP, Lucky Strike
Star Charm: +3 Str & Mag, Damage Syphon
Cosmic Arts: +4 Str & Mag, Damage Syphon
Phantom Ring: +5 Str, +8 AP, Cure Converter
Orichalcum Ring: +6 Str, +10 AP, Cure Converter
Breakthrough: +7 Str, +15 AP, Cure Converter
Sorcerer's Ring: +5 Mag, +8 AP, MP Haste
Wisdom Ring: +5 Mag, +10 AP, Wizard's Ruse
Master's Necklace: +3 Str & Mag, +16 AP, MP Haste
Flanniversary Badge: +4 Str & Mag, MP Hastera, MP Thrift
Mickey Clasp: +3 Str, +5 Mag, MP Hastega, Endless Magic
Crystal Regalia: +5 Str & Mag, +16 AP, MP Hastega
Crystal Regalia+: +6 Str & Mag, +25 AP, MP Hastega
Lobster Mousse: +1 DEF, +2 HP, +18 MP
Lobster Mousse+: +1 DEF, +4 HP, +20 MP
Carrot Potage: +16 HP, +3 MP
Carrot Potage+: +18 HP, +5 MP
Cold Tomato Soup: +1 MAG, +18 HP, +3 MP
Cold Tomato Soup+: +1 MAG, +20 HP, +5 MP
Crab Bisque: +1 MAG, +18 HP
Crab Bisque+: +1 MAG, +20 HP, +2 MP
Bouillabaisse: +2 DEF, +6 HP, +3 MP
Bouillabaisse+: +2 DEF, +8 HP, +5 MP
Sea Bass en Papillote: +2 DEF, +8 HP, +2 MP
Sea Bass en Papillote+: +2 DEF, +10 HP, +4 MP
Stuffed Quail: +2 STR, +1 DEF, +10 HP
Stuffed Quail+: +2 STR, +1 DEF, +12 HP
Beef Saute: +1 STR, +6 HP
Beef Saute+: +1 STR, +8 HP
Berries au Fromage: +2 MAG, +8 MP
Berries au Fromage+: +2 MAG, +10 MP
Tarte aux Fruits: +1 STR, +2 MAG, +8 MP
Tarte aux Fruits+: +1 STR, +2 MAG, +10 MP