The Awakening is known to be a world within a dream, but it's outcome has an actual effect on the real world. The Awakening serves as the tutorial level of the game. You determine your stats and learn the controls here.
After the cutscene, you gain control of Sora, our main character. You're asked to pick between a sword, shield, and a staff. After choosing one, you have to sacrifice another. Although it's the first choice in the game, it's crucial because it determines your starting statistics and which abilities will be learned first during leveling up. Here are the stats you'll receive with each combination:
|Choose||Sacrifice||Strength||Defense||AP||MP||Max Item Slots|
If you want advice on what to choose regarding abilities, that's completely your own personal decision. No matter what, you'll always have the same abilities by the time you reach level 100. As for stats, the choice should be between choosing the shield and staff. If you choose the shield, you will have 2 more item slots by level 100, whereas with the staff, you will have 2 extra MP. (The sword gives you more strength, but that's not necessarily important as you can easily get a Strength boost item and get maximum strength either way). However, of course, the ultimate choice is up to you.
Once you've made your decision, you'll be transported to another platform. It's time for your first real battle with a Heartless. Beware! The Heartless are ruthless. Go for the hand. If you go for the feet it will try to slap you and then the hand gets stuck giving you a little bit of time.
You'll encounter a few Shadows now. They're the weakest enemies in the game because of their low-damaging and slow attacks. The annoying thing about them is when they meld into the ground. They will become a literal shadow, and they cannot be hit while in this form. Wait until they come back up from the ground (They'll most likely come up behind you).
You shouldn't have too much trouble here. Once they're done for, you'll go to yet another platform.
Here you must examine a door, and then a chest will form behind you. Open the chest. A wooden crate will appear. Pick up and throw it to get a Potion. After doing the same with the barrel, the door will open and you'll be transported to an island tree house with 3 children you may recognize.
Each child will ask you one question. You'll choose one of three answers for each one:
This is very critical to your pace of leveling up depending on which answers you choose. Here are the paces according to answer choices:
- Answers will give you a fast pace, a speedy start, but it slows down after awhile.
- Answers will keep your pace normal throughout the game. This is the most balanced option.
- Answers will make your leveling up process start slow, then speeds up later on.
Here are all of the possible combinations of the paces:
|Fast pace||Normal pace||Slow pace|
|1 1 1||1 2 3||1 3 3|
|1 1 2||1 3 2||2 1 3|
|1 1 3||2 1 2||2 3 3|
|1 2 1||2 2 1||3 1 3|
|2 1 1||2 2 2||3 2 3|
|3 1 1||2 2 3||3 3 1|
|2 3 1||3 3 2|
|2 3 2||3 3 3|
|3 1 2|
|3 2 1|
|3 2 2|
Like the abilities choice, the leveling pace is completely up to you. The voice will let you know when you'll start. If it says you'll start at dawn, you'll be in a fast pace to start until later on in the game. If it tells you you'll start at midday, you go to normal pace throughout. If you'll start at the dead of night, you'll be in slow pace early on, until it speeds up later in the game. Regardless, it's completely your decision. Whether you are a beginner, advanced, or just looking for a challenge, it's still your choice. You can accept it, or make new answers to change your pace. Accept if you want to move on, but remember you won't be able to change it afterwards, so choose your answers carefully.
After accepting your path, you'll move on. You are back in the Awakening. Move up to the light, and you'll be taught about the Start Menu. Battle 10 Shadows. After defeating them, your first save point appears. You'll be taught about the Save Point. Use it, and a stairway to another platform will appear. You may want to get your Potion ready first.
- HP: 240
- Attack: 2
- Defense: 2
- MP Recovery: 0
- EXP: 18
The Darkside will start off the fight by slamming its arm through the floor, piercing it. Move out of the way to dodge. This attack will give you a chance to release combo on its arm, thus damaging it. However, several Shadows will arise trying to give you a hard time. Just attack the Darkside's arm until it starts rising after about 10 seconds. If you're reckless, you'll want to try running up its arm as it does that, you'll end up seeing its head is one of its weak points, so attack it. You will receive two tech points every strike the head.
You won't have to wait for another attack to attack it more. Defeat the Shadows if you need to. When it's standing straight, the hands are out of reach. Be careful not to fall off. When its chest starts to glow, immediately move between its legs. If you attack the legs it will lean down and try to hit you. Sometimes, if you hit it back right, you can freeze it causing it's hand to get stuck. ATTACK THE HAND!!! The Darkside will shoot couples of dark balls out of the glow. You can hit the dark balls back to the Darkside. The Darkside will repeat its attack pattern, so it should be easy to follow. Use a Potion if you want, but it won't matter if you win or lose the fight. Either outcome will move on with the game, so if you want to save your Potion, save it for later on.
After defeating it, or being defeated by it, you'll be transported to your home. Congratulations, you have just completed the tutorial of the game.