Although much more well known for his heroine stabbing antics in Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth, one of the baddest mofos ever in gaming history, makes an appearance in the surprisingly solid Square/Disney collaboration, Kingdom Hearts, as a challenging optional boss.

His voice actor is none other than the world infamous *NSYNC singer, Lance Bass. Despite the obvious objections and controversy of choosing a teenie bopper hero for the voice of the most villainous of villains, I have to admit he does a good job. The haunting, hatred filled curses Lance shouts do fit Sephiroth's character very well.

Souped up on Playstation 2 graphics, Sephiroth's former polygon blockiness is gone. Now sporting a single black angel wing that matches his insidiously long dark cloak, he looks much more threatening. Sleek and smooth, his twisted smile and evil blue eyes are extremely unsettling. He carries his Masamune sword, about the length of a school bus, behind him much like a stereotypical samurai would. His characteristic silver anime hair (nearly as long as his sword) whirls behind him, but never gets in his way.

Sephiroth can only be fought in a one on one duel with the main character, Sora. After winning all the previous coliseum matches, the Sephiroth duel is opened up under the title "?????". This option isn't available until near the end of the game.

After clicking on the ambiguous "?????", Sora is led to an area where some flashy black hole opens up in the sky and Sephiroth slowly descends from. If it's the first time someone is fighting him, the player will likely be dead in about seven seconds.

The duel with Sephiroth is the most difficult battle in Kingdom Hearts, easily much more so than the final boss. Sephiroth, besides possessing an exorbitant amount of hit points, dealing out bundles of damage, and moving quick as lightning, goes through various stages during the battle, each one increasingly difficult. Initially, he carelessly saunters around the arena in Sora's general direction, only to teleport behind him and attack with his sword. If the player is skillful or powerful enough to survive or dodge the initial beatings, he is met by pillars of flame emanating from Sephiroth's body. Several other devastating attacks occur if player lives long enough: a charged magic attack that automatically reduces Sora's hit points to 1, a series of dark balls that protectively hover around Sephiroth, and a gigantic meteor strike.

What is your reward for vanquishing such a tremendous foe? Well, besides the satisfaction of pounding on old Seph, not much: 18000 XP. Although that is a massive amount, it is inconsequential by the time you could actually beat him. Some people recommend repeatedly defeating Sephiroth if you desire leveling your characters to 99.

Sources: Playing the game