The game progresses linearly from one story event to the next, usually presented as a cutscene, though there are numerous side quests available that provide bonus benefits to the characters. Most of the gameplay occurs on interconnected field maps where battles take place. Combat in Kingdom Hearts occurs in real time and involves pressing buttons to initiate attacks by the on-screen character. An action menu, similar to those found in Final Fantasy games, found at the bottom left of the screen provides other combat options such as using magic and items. There is also a context-sensitive option at the bottom of the menu, usually used for interacting with the environment or performing special attacks. This menu is manipulated by using the right analog stick or digital pad, while movement is controlled by the left analog stick, allowing the player to navigate the menu while avoiding or approaching enemies.
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