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Did you like the direction that the developers took Kingdom Hearts?



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Launchpad

i remember the OLD khinsider
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Well I'm just sayin'.

One game. Out of multiple where Riku or a version of him had a large role.

And then KH3's secret ending and MelMem practically saying he's goin' back to said large role.

And then Nomura looking at a popularity poll where Riku was in like fourth or something and thinking "there should be MORE Riku"

I actually thought it was a bit refreshing that Riku didn't have that big of a role in KH3 despite me thinking he would before it came out. And afterward where people were clamoring for Riku to have more spotlight and even a "Riku game"[even tho DDD is right there and more Riku-centric despite Sora's presence]I found myself thinking "Shouldn't someone else have that treatment instead"
Going 12 years without Riku doing anything cool sucks!
 

Zackarix

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I actually enjoyed Chi/Union X up until Ventus showed up with Marluxia and Larxene. Remaking old characters into new ones because Nomura has clearly gotten bored with the old KH universe and wants to tell a new story
It kind of feels like this is a strategy of "leave characters deliberately underdeveloped so that we can tie their backstories to later plot developments" backfiring. There was a game where every member of Organization XIII was playable, surely this is where they'll get development, right? Nope, aside from the focal characters they're just sorta there. Which is a bit disappointing, but actually fine because not every villain needs a fully developed backstory. But a decade later we're suddenly learning that all the O13 members who didn't already have an established history in Radiant Garden (and even one that did) are all amnesiac Keyblade wielders. And don't even get me started on Subject X. It's all so inorganic.
 

MATGSY

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I'll admit, part of me still wishes this was still a Disney RPG that happened to be made by Square instead of the Square RPG that happens to have Disney in it. That's a ship that has sailed a very long time ago but I still sometimes wait by the docks or however this metaphor is going.
 

Phoenix

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I'll admit, part of me still wishes this was still a Disney RPG that happened to be made by Square instead of the Square RPG that happens to have Disney in it. That's a ship that has sailed a very long time ago but I still sometimes wait by the docks or however this metaphor is going.

Wait by the Gummi Ship bay, looking wistfully at Chip and Dale
 

Oracle Spockanort

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I have a love-hate relationship with this series. There's so much that's messy and overly convoluted about it and that's only gotten worse as time has gone on, but there's also a lot of charm and nostalgia that I have for it almost twenty-two years after first becoming a fan.

Am I a fan of the direction that the devs have taken KH as a series? In general, no. I miss the presence of the Final Fantasy characters in the story, for instance. I miss the days of KH1, where the Disney worlds were all actively part of the main narrative in some fashion- not just because the initial villains were Maleficent and her crew, but because plot relevant events for Sora would happen at these worlds throughout and help build up key moments later in the OC worlds like Hollow Bastion. And to beat on a very old and worn drum, I'm as tired as anyone of seeing Kairi get the short end of the straw as a character.

However there are things and curious moments that I've started to notice more lately about the more recent entries in the series such as Dark Roads that suggest that Nomura might finally start addressing some of the lingering issues I've had with the series in the back half of the Seeker of Darkness Saga in the Lost Master Saga, though this is something we'll have to wait and see for when KH4 finally releases.

Namely, I'm hoping these potential teases of late lead to a more nuanced look at the conflict of Light vs Dark and more insight to the frequently self-contradictory nature of the series presenting Sora as being both "an dull, ordinary boy" and as being essentially a cosmic anomaly such potent ramifications for everyone else in the series that they also recognize "it has to be him" who saved everyone else by the end of KH3 and potentially the "Child of Destiny" too.

If the next saga is meant to be more of a deconstruction on a lot of what was crucial to the SoD Saga, I'll be curious to see where Nomura goes with that.
Woah my man Theart ❤️
 

Face My Fears

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I think I'm the only person that likes the direction. However, I think the execution is the problem.

When I look at the entire KH story, I take a gigantic step back and see so many interesting ideas, themes, and plot points. The problem here is that because all of these things were introduced so haphazardly across a variety of games that spanned a variety of characters/time periods, it's hard to really enjoy these things unless you really take the time to understand and appreciate. Back when BbS and Days came out, they both felt like stories that just added on to the lore of KH: Terra became Terra-Xehanort, there was an explanation for why Maleficent started looking for the 7 princesses of heart, Castle Oblivion's origin is explained, we could assume why Roxas looked the way he did/could dual wield etc. Nothing from those games really spelled out "we're building to KH3" except oddly enough coded. So even after playing BbS and Days, it just felt like there was no direction and we were just getting side stories to enhance the lore.

Then 3D came out and blew everything up. I feel like 3D is where Nomura truly dropped the ball. After all of these years and side games, if he really wanted to steer the series towards a certain version of KH3 (one that would be ostensibly better plot-wise and a better payoff), then 3D HAD to be the game to do it. I think that if 3D was a longer game that was on PS3 and the sole focus was to build to KH3, that would have served KH3 a lot better. I actually feel like 3D should have been like CoM, where after you beat the story with Sora/Riku, you get the Aqua story in the Realm of Darkness. That way you can touch on all the characters and past stories that were kind of stagnant.

If I were to frame 3D, it would have been that Mickey insists after coded that Sora and Riku do their Mark of Mastery because he discovers Lea or one of the other Nobodies have been recompleted. This will remind him of when he met Aqua and she tells him about her fight with Terra-Xehanort. Mickey immediately informs Sora and Riku that the reason for the urgency is that he realizes that if a heartless and nobody are destroyed, they get recompleted which means Master Xehanort has returned. The story could be rewritten that while Sora and Riku do their Mark of Mastery in the dream worlds, Mickey goes with Donald and Goofy into the Realm of Darkness to save Aqua - as he suspects that she will be Master Xehanort's first target (because Mickey knows Xehanort will want to find Ven). I would continue writing the fanfic, but it's late and I'm tired - but basically, some of the things that got time wasted on in KH3 would be dealt with in 3D. As epic as it was to see Aqua get saved in KH3... the pacing is just really bad in the plot. Saving Aqua was contingent on Sora getting the Power of Waking, which meant that it had to be shoved to the end of the adventure - along with everything else.

Anyway, my point is that 3D is where Nomura could have really course-corrected the series. There was no game that really lead us to KH3. It's just fragments across several games that are not really tied together. If Nomura really was going to use Days and BbS to build up to KH3, he should have emphasized the Replica program in Days (like just how important it was to Xemnas and/or maybe even reveal the Organization's true purpose in that game) and he should have Master Xehanort explain time travel and/or the contingencies he had planned in BbS (or at least hint to them).

With all of that said, I think KH3/ReMIND did a really good job refocusing the story onto Sora, making use of the DISNEY worlds, and writing off story elements that Nomura probably isn't going to really focus on going forward. OK, the last part he didn't do a "really good job on", but I think he did the best he could considering that he lost a good chunk of development time on KH3 and that he wrote himself into a corner with so many characters (which he himself admitted). As sad as I am to see Nobodies probably get written off, it's probably best to get rid of them now. They were a plot device for Master Xehanort and all the key nobodies have been recompleted.

As much as people don't like this direction of KH4, I think Nomura actually did the best he could to course-correct the franchise. He learned from the mess that he made for himself with KH3 - there were WAY too many characters. So now he refocused the story onto Sora and essentially locked Sora away from all of the old characters, so Sora can start fresh with new characters. That should make it easier for Nomura to write Sora and KH4's story. The question here is whether this is the right decision. A lot of fans will be upset that their favourites will probably not be in KH4 (I pray for Roxas and Xion to cameo at least). The best we will get is probably Riku, Kairi, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy.

Ultimately, I think it is good to start fresh and trim off characters and plot elements from more than a decade ago that Nomura is clearly not interested in anymore. I like to believe that Nomura learned from the Dark Seeker Saga. Not only did he learn, but I think he's seeing that it's a new era of gaming. There are no "handheld games" to be made anymore. It's basically full length console games with DLC or mobile games designed to make money. It is sad to a degree, honestly. I say that because Nomura actually did something that most other franchises did NOT do back then - he actually made every single entry in the franchise connected and relevant. Other franchises could have a game come out on GBA or DS and it would probably not be connected to the main console titles. Nomura actually did something creative and special in a unique era of gaming, something that we will probably never see again. The fact that he was gutsy enough to do that, honestly, makes me give him a pass on what became of the franchise.
 

Chie

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I actually feel like 3D should have been like CoM, where after you beat the story with Sora/Riku, you get the Aqua story in the Realm of Darkness. That way you can touch on all the characters and past stories that were kind of stagnant.
I mean, it's funny you should say that since that was supposed to be its own game, at least. I mean, it was, in 0.2, but originally BBS Volume 2 was going to be a bigger game that touched on all the little mysterious corners of the series, and when that game was cancelled behind the scenes, most of those corners were just dropped.

Honestly I'm not convinced there ever was a need for a game called Kingdom Hearts 3 in that plot arc, tbh. BBS Volume 2 could have gone into everything left that was interesting, which is what seemed to be teased in its trailer video. Then if there was a KH3 it could've focused a lot more on new stuff.
 

Squood!

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Y'know....that kinda makes me wonder.

Blank Points clearly sets up Sora going...somewhere, having made up his mind on the task before him.

OG Coded/ReCoded reiterates that with the specifics of the note in its ending.

Then we get the teaser for BBS Volume 2 in FM. Stuff like Aqua coming across fallen worlds, Mickey in the RoD, more specifics on Riku, KAIRI STUFF OMGGGGG alongside more light on what happens in the Days portion of the timeline, and finally implications regarding Xehanort which seemingly lead to Sora and Ven disappearing. Frankly, the first secret ending to be 100% blatant in regards to what it is. Not a cryptic CG scene, or just a scene regarding future plot events. It was straight up a trailer for a sequel game meant to really start the build-up to a "KH3", build-up that was planted within Blank Points.

And then ReCoded's secret ending happens, bringing in the Mark of Mastery plot. I specify the Mark of Mastery and not the recompletion of Master Xehanort[or even the possible returns of Ansem and Xemnas] because I feel like MX returning in whatever form was practically a given. Prior to ReCoded, it felt like BBS and its hypothetical follow-up were what would be the lead-in to KH3 only for Yen Sid to barge in.

And we all know BBS Volume 2 was canned.

I think DDD was quite literally a salvage project, and this is comin from someone who has no issues with DDD's story outside of it should have been the SRK counterpart to BBS. DDD's existence in my eyes is a product of the cancellation of BBS Volume 2 and thus had to scramble to change course a bit so that DDD was the build-up game.

Also FMF was right DDD shoulda been on better hardware in fact every post-2 game shoulda been on better hardware have you fuggin seen the "beta" gameplay footage of BBS, combat looked rather speedy.

I may be one of the few people perfectly fine with how the series went but I can see things.
 

Chie

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re/Coded also has the little pre-rendered scenes Data-Riku shows you that he never really elaborates on why he's showing you them, but some of them are the same things that were gonna be in BBSv2. What the heck the idea was with these vignettes is one of the most mysterious things in the series to me.

Some of them still feel relevant too - the weirdest for me is Riku on the Neverland clock tower, reaching for the (round) moon, since it's so similar to the MoM scene in the KH3 secret ending, down to both of them being in a "real" city (you can see other real world London landmarks if you look down from there in kh1).
 
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Ultimately, I think it is good to start fresh and trim off characters and plot elements from more than a decade ago that Nomura is clearly not interested in anymore. I like to believe that Nomura learned from the Dark Seeker Saga. Not only did he learn, but I think he's seeing that it's a new era of gaming. There are no "handheld games" to be made anymore. It's basically full length console games with DLC or mobile games designed to make money. It is sad to a degree, honestly. I say that because Nomura actually did something that most other franchises did NOT do back then - he actually made every single entry in the franchise connected and relevant. Other franchises could have a game come out on GBA or DS and it would probably not be connected to the main console titles. Nomura actually did something creative and special in a unique era of gaming, something that we will probably never see again. The fact that he was gutsy enough to do that, honestly, makes me give him a pass on what became of the franchise.

I agree with your sentiment that every single game being relevant to the overall story of the franchise is something exciting, and I can also give him a pass on the mess this series has become because of that. Like I said on my first post, I don't really mind how convoluted KH has become, it's just that the results of so much retconning and setup was very underwhelming.

Now, if I were to make a rewrite myself, one thing I would do is not bring every single character back. It's a matter of preference, but to me most of these characters are more engrossing as tragic, dead ones. It gives a bit more weight to the 'hurt' Sora was carrying, and maintains a bigger sense of being indebted to these people who had to lose so much in order for him to be who he is. Something along the lines of he can't give up, or all of the sacrifices will have been in vain.

Back to KH4, Sora is locked away from the rest of the cast for now, and that's a good thing. We can only hope Nomura actually sticks to his guns on this one, and that the plot events are more actively connected to Sora himself and his desire to return to reality.
 

Sonofjafar

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All i know for sure is that if Square isn’t going to let the Disney characters do anything important, they should at least give them a spin off with their own adventures.
 

Squood!

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All i know for sure is that if Square isn’t going to let the Disney characters do anything important, they should at least give them a spin off with their own adventures.
I mean you're just askin' for a regular-ass Disney game then
 

Sonofjafar

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Really? The DISNEY side is underutilized? The side that literally went "Oh yes FAIRY GODMOTHER can just POP into the Final World"
I was mostly referring to Mickey Donald and Goofy being relegated to comic relief and the Disney worlds we visit being relatively pointless to the overarching narrative
 

KudoTsurugi

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Did going to Corona or Arendelle get Sora any closer to the Power of Waking?
No, but the Disney worlds were still fun to explore, and Arendelle’s visit left him the knowledge that the Organization found its last members. Yes, it was a lie on Larxene’s part, but Sora didn't know that.

To say that the Disney side of KH was underutilized is just untrue. They got more love than the original worlds in KH3, that's for sure. Keyblade Graveyard aside(since it and Scala are final boss worlds), none of the returning original worlds outside Twilight Town, not even Yen Sid’s tower, were visitable. They were all relegated to cutscenes, which was a letdown.
 

Phoenix

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No, but the Disney worlds were still fun to explore, and Arendelle’s visit left him the knowledge that the Organization found its last members. Yes, it was a lie on Larxene’s part, but Sora didn't know that.

To say that the Disney side of KH was underutilized is just untrue. They got more love than the original worlds in KH3, that's for sure. Keyblade Graveyard aside(since it and Scala are final boss worlds), none of the returning original worlds outside Twilight Town, not even Yen Sid’s tower, were visitable. They were all relegated to cutscenes, which was a letdown.

I see what your saying, but I don't agree in principle. More effort went into the worlds in KH3, but I think that effort was misplaced. A lot of time and passion was out into recreating the Tangled scenes, and Let It Go. But none of that advanced the KH story, or more importantly, the themes and characters of KH (both original and Disney). It was just redoing something that had already been done, in a different engine.

Unlike Deep Jungle, where there's like 6 locations and it's very short, but the entire world is dedicated to what a heart is, and how you keep your friends in your heart. It didn't feel like Sora was being plopped into the Tarzan movie. It felt like Sora had landed in Tarzan's world.

Same for any KH1 world. Triton knowing about keybearers, Pinocchio being a model for a puppet with a heart, Wonderland introducing the princesses. The worlds in KH3 never feel as connected to the game.
 
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