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How would you summarize KH2's journey?



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kairi_key

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Here's a random thing I find while thinking about the plot of each game in respect to Sora's personal journey.

KH1 can be summarized as Sora's journey to find his friend, Riku and Kairi. He learned throughout the journey about the power of heart and how friends is with you not in body but in heart. Both concepts are being brought up again and again with each Disney worlds. Tarzan introduced the concept. Aladdin can let Genie go to where his heart desire. Kairi, throughout the game, is already with Sora in his heart, while Riku who had her body was still alone and consumed by darkness. In Hollow Bastion, Donald and Goofy went with Riku in body, but their heart told them to come back to Sora. In the end, he finally let Kairi go back to Destiny Island because Kairi will always be in his heart.

KH3 can be summarized as Sora's journey to learn about love. Many Disney worlds deal with love and how Sora can be seen learning something from it. He learned in the end that love is not about possession but about being brave and sacrifice for the person you love. Mother Gothel was keeping Rapunzel to herself. Rapunzel saved Flynn from death with the power of love. Elsa saved Anna with the power of love. Will was able to sacrifice himself for Elizabeth. Even in the final moment, Riku was bravely able to protect Sora, facing death head-on. In the end, Sora did the same, saving Kairi from death with the power of love, sacrificing himself.

So in the same vein, what do you think is Sora's journey in KH2?
 

Elysium

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Sora spends KH2 searching for Riku (and then searching for Kairi in the latter portion), but mostly I believe KH2 is about duality and reunion. Most of the story and worlds revolve around those concepts*. In a way, Roxas and Sora reunite with one another (since they are two pieces of one another) the same way Sora reunites with Riku at the World That Never Was and S&R reunite with Kairi at Destiny Islands finally at the end.

* Beast's internal conflict over being a beast v. his true human self, Hercules with powers / self-belief v. Hercules without powers / self-belief, Pumpkin King Jack v. Santa Jack, Mulan as Ping v. Mulan as herself as soldier, powerless TRON v. TRON in the MCP's absolute-power role at the end, Simba as his free pre-King self v. King Simba, mermaid Ariel v. human Ariel, evil Iago v. reformed Iago, human Jack Sparrow v. cursed Jack Sparrow; Riku as himself v. Riku in Ansem SOD's form with dark powers. Even many of the worlds are given sort of two halves--the human world v. the underwater world in Atlantica; Hollow Bastion v. its true self, Radiant Garden; the Coliseum v. the Underworld; Halloween Town v. Christmas Town; data Twilight Town v. real Twilight Town; Port Royal normally v. Port Royal in moonlight, etc. On top of the enemy dichotomy of Nobodies v. Heartless, the Organization v. Maleficent. And a lot of those dualities are resolved at the end with the two halves coming together--or an acceptance of both sides of self in those characters--similar to Sora accepting that Roxas is part of himself in a reunion.
 

KeybladeLordSora

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Sora spends KH2 searching for Riku (and then searching for Kairi in the latter portion), but mostly I believe KH2 is about duality and reunion. Most of the story and worlds revolve around those concepts*. In a way, Roxas and Sora reunite with one another (since they are two pieces of one another) the same way Sora reunites with Riku at the World That Never Was and S&R reunite with Kairi at Destiny Islands finally at the end.

* Beast's internal conflict over being a beast v. his true human self, Hercules with powers / self-belief v. Hercules without powers / self-belief, Pumpkin King Jack v. Santa Jack, Mulan as Ping v. Mulan as herself as soldier, powerless TRON v. TRON in the MCP's absolute-power role at the end, Simba as his free pre-King self v. King Simba, mermaid Ariel v. human Ariel, evil Iago v. reformed Iago, human Jack Sparrow v. cursed Jack Sparrow; Riku as himself v. Riku in Ansem SOD's form with dark powers. Even many of the worlds are given sort of two halves--the human world v. the underwater world in Atlantica; Hollow Bastion v. its true self, Radiant Garden; the Coliseum v. the Underworld; Halloween Town v. Christmas Town; data Twilight Town v. real Twilight Town; Port Royal normally v. Port Royal in moonlight, etc. On top of the enemy dichotomy of Nobodies v. Heartless, the Organization v. Maleficent. And a lot of those dualities are resolved at the end with the two halves coming together--or an acceptance of both sides of self in those characters--similar to Sora accepting that Roxas is part of himself in a reunion.
You can add the theme of identity to some of the worlds too
 

bambii

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Yeah I think the others here basically nailed it. Duality/polarity, reconciling with one’s “shadow” or inner darkness, and the sense of wholeness that comes with that reunion. The mythologist Joseph Campbell likes to talk about the double meaning of the word “atonement:” “at-one-ment.” Related to the concept of reunion/reconciliation and seen most clearly in its double meaning with Riku’s journey. Identity is integral to this as well since it ultimately boils down to self-acceptance, or bringing the unconscious side of the self/personality (e.g., Roxas for Sora and vice versa, Kairi/Namine, or Riku and Ansem SoD) into light/consciousness.

Never really thought about this before, but super interesting.

Meanwhile, looks like KH4 is gearing up to be oriented around the concept of death, which is exciting
 

kairi_key

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Thank you! These answers gave me something to think about and I think something clicked in my mind.

So I think Sora's journey in KH2 could be about reconciling with his other part of self and is a more metaphorical coming-of-age journey than his actual journey. It is more of an allegory to accepting oneself. Roxas, one part of Sora, fusing back with Sora. He shouldn't be, but by accepting his other part, he can live on and finally meet with his friends again when Sora would wake up later in the non-data Twilight Town. Every Disney world is a double visit. There are 2 sides to every story. Beast tackled with his deep and dark thoughts. Mulan had double identity. Coliseum had the underworld side, and Herc tackling his weakness. Disney Castle had 2 time period and in its Timeless River phase, we had Pete fighting his other self. Sora, at one point, asked Saix to take him to the darkside to save Kairi. While fighting the Heartless, he was also helping the Nobodies. There is inner conflict within him. Riku also had the conflict of being in the darkness and could not live in the light. Maleficent, who'd used to be bad, turned out wasn't always as bad since she also helped Sora in the end even if it's for her own agenda. Sora plunged into the darkness to save Kairi and dealt with the conflict inside him which is Roxas. Riku accepted the light and became whole again. Xemnas was a man who abandoned his true name to search for darkness in one's heart. He abandoned darkness that is the heart inside him. Sora couldn't defeat Xemnas on his own, but he need his other half that is Riku to defeat Xemnas. In the end, Sora symbolically reconciled with Riku in the conversation about how each of them are jealous of one another, while inside the dark side of the universe itself, commenting on how this place wasn't so bad, accepting the dark. Both of them came to a realization to be themselves and accept something unique about them and the other as a part of their whole and that was the moment when Kairi's letter finally reached them and opened the door back to light. In Kairi's letter, there're words like "hope that our hearts will blend" as a wish for connection to her other part. There are many worlds as there are many hearts, many of our selves, but all of them is you, because they share "one sky(sora), one destiny(life)." Realizing that everything is a part of him, both light and dark, he found his way home.

So, I think I see KH2's journey as a journey of Sora to recognize the darkness as part of him and he is rewarded by a reunite with between all of his friends. It might be a little clunky to make it out, but there are some hint of that thread of an overarching journey of Sora inside all the Nobodies mess.
 

bambii

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Beautifully articulated.

Now, the question is whether we can find the same thematic cohesion within the other titles 😅
 
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