Drive Forms (ドライヴフォーム Doraivu Fōmu) are special forms that appear in Kingdom Hearts II. Through the magic of the clothes that Flora, Fauna and Merryweather gave him at the Mysterious Tower, Sora is able to temporarily take on a new appearance that grants him a separate set of abilities, often through merging with his allies. Sora's use of Drive Forms is mechanically similar to Riku's Dark Mode or Terra, Ventus, and Aqua's Command Styles.
Entering a Drive Form immediately refills Sora's HP and MP Gauges, but more significantly, it gives his outfit a style bearing the color and symbols of that Form, while replacing his normal Action and Growth abilities with a new list of Action, Growth, and Support abilities unique to that Form. These changes can go so far as to grant dual Keyblade wielding or variations of Sora's Magic spells. Each Form gains experience and levels up in a unique way, independent of other Forms and Sora's own experience level, and every Form excluding Anti Form can reach Level 7. In addition, every Form has an associated Growth ability that grows as the form does, and, with the exception of Anti Form, upgrading the Form's Growth ability allows Sora to use that ability in his Standard Form, albeit at a lower level.
The Drive Gauge determines the length of time that Sora can remain in a Drive Form. It is filled by picking up Drive Orbs, but it begins to continuously drain once Sora enters a Drive Form. However, Sora can still pick up Drive Orbs to replenish a small portion of the gauge and prolong the Drive.
The Drive Gauge, located above the Magic Points Gauge, limits the Drive Forms from being used infinitely, like waiting for magic to recharge. The Drive Gauge is measured by different levels that can be gained by beating bosses or performing certain events. In the original version of Kingdom Hearts II, seven was the maximum level that the Drive Gauge could fill. In Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, however, the Gauge is maxed out to nine. There are several ways to fill the Drive Gauge. The most common way is by attacking enemies, scenario objects, and bosses (with the latter filling up the gauge faster than the rest). It can also be filled by grabbing Drive Orbs (which come in two sizes) that certain enemies and objects drop, or by being attacked when a certain ability is equipped. When a Drive Form is triggered, the Drive Gauge starts draining away depending on the level of the Form that the player uses. After the Drive Gauge becomes completely empty and uses up all of its levels, Sora will revert into his normal form unless he is riding something like a skateboard. Using specific skills and combos during the Forms will also proceed to make the Drive Gauge deplete faster than it normally would.
There are six Drive Forms in total. Five can be triggered from the Command Menu, but the last one is random. The Drive Forms are:Goofy's power and is based on him. Sora's running speed is noticeably enhanced in this form. As mentioned, this form gains experience with each successful hit on an enemy, making it the easiest form to level up. Sora gains this form when he obtains his new clothes from the fairies at Yen Sid's Tower.
Donald Duck's power and is based on him. This form gains experience whenever a Heartless is destroyed. It is obtained after Timeless River is completed.
Twilight Town. This is the only form that Sora can trigger alone.
Hollow Bastion by speaking to King Mickey before the Battle of the 1000 Heartless and during the events of Space Paranoids.
Nobody is destroyed, possibly making it the hardest form to level up. It is obtained randomly after Sora fights Roxas in The World That Never Was; while the first occurrence of the form is random, it can be accessed at any time afterwords.
- If Sora is in a Drive Form before a cutscene, he will appear in the cutscene in that Drive Form (the exception being Anti Form), although the actions in the cutscene are not changed in any significant way. He will also handle his main-handed Keyblade as he normally would, whether he has dual-wield capabilities with the form in question or not.
- If Sora mounts a skateboard while in a Drive Form, he will not revert to his normal form even when the gauge is depleted.
- In the room where Sora receives his new clothes, hints to future Drive Forms that he will receive later on can be found by examining the mirrors - each of the five mirrors around the room describes the abilities of one of Sora's original five Drive Forms, including his Anti Form. It should be noted that in Final Mix, an extra mirror is added for Limit Form.
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