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News ► KH 20th anniversary event Q&A masterpost



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okhi12

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<p><strong>Q. In KH3, Xemnas breaks Lea's Keyblade and says "Your Keyblade is no more."</strong><br />A. The nuance is that even if Lea summons his Keyblade again, it will remain broken. It's impossible to take away the ability (as a wielder) itself.</p>
This still confuses me. Is Lea's keyblade supposed to be really broken? Xemnas broke it but Lea could summon it again shortly after in that scene when everyone use their keyblades to contain Kingdom Hearts while Sora goes through Xehanort's portal. Lea also wields it in the aerial fight against the replicas in ReMind. These events happened after Xemnas broke it and the keyblade looked intact. Am I missing something?
 

Sign

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Updated the OP with a ton of info. I think that's pretty much it for the Q&A.

I don't really understand you.
Lea is a popular character, why can't he get his fame? Or if he is revealed more as a character. RAX trio is the type of characters whose stories are almost more interesting than the story of the main characters. In any case, it was conceived a long time ago. If not at the time of BBS, then at the time of Re:Coded. More than 10 years have passed.
Popular characters are not entitled to continued involvement in future titles. When you're keeping someone around just for positive reception, you merely create more bloat and thereby rob more important but less popular characters of the time and development they need.

Axel was originally going to be killed off by Roxas's hands in KH2's prologue, but they kept him around because he was too well liked. Which is fine for a while, but it's become very clear that he has vastly overstayed his welcome and become a joke of a character. Now that we know Roxas and Xion were only brought back by fan demand, they too run the risk of following in Axel's footsteps, and also force other characters are to compete with them for screentime when they shouldn't have to.

Axel in general is also a problematic character as he has never had to answer for his wrongdoings and is instead rewarded for it. It doesn't serve his character of being friends with two small children to acknowledge that he murdered two men in cold blood. He bore equal responsibility in his fallout with Saix, whose accusations that Axel had replaced him and Subject X with Roxas and Xion were completely fair. Instead they insist that Axel really did care for them and Saix was just being unreasonable, so not only does Axel totally deserve to go on a new adventure to find someone he definitely cares about, but he also gets to drag the kiddos along with them to make sure they have something to do in this new phase. That's "having your cake and eating it too."

And again, we've heard from multiple sources that Roxas and Xion were originally not going to be revived in KH3 and it was a last minute decision influenced by fan outcry that cemented it. Insisting that it was foreshadowed years ago is blatantly false and a misinterpreting of intentions.

This still confuses me. Is Lea's keyblade supposed to be really broken? Xemnas broke it but Lea could summon it again shortly after in that scene when everyone use their keyblades to contain Kingdom Hearts while Sora goes through Xehanort's portal. Lea also wields it in the aerial fight against the replicas in ReMind. These events happened after Xemnas broke it and the keyblade looked intact. Am I missing something?
I did say to take that info with a grain of salt since we're basing it entirely off of impressions, and it's not like the devs are waiting for people to write things down. It's very possible some of the info is not entirely accurate, but we're only able to cross-reference so much.
 
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TheZX

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Damn my pre-KH3 theories of Roxas Xion and Namine not coming back would've been right if Nomura hadn't listened to the fans
 

Sephiroth0812

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— Regarding Roxas and Xion's return.
Nomura: I actually had last minute doubts about their return in KH3. In fact, I originally wasn't going to revive them at all, but fans' voices were so strong that I felt I had no choice but to bring them back. There are parts of the story that I won't bend, but when I'm having trouble, I will consider what everyone is saying.

This adds up with some statements Nomura made in the KH 2 FM+ and Days Ultimania regarding those characters and their appearances in Blank Points, Re: Coded and DDD were indeed ambiguous enough that outright complete revival as their own persons was only one of several possible solutions.
The fans' voices about Roxas started way back directly after KH 2 and about Xion certainly after Days and I do think Nomura was somewhat surprised how popular these characters became, so it isn't clear when exactly Nomura changed his mind nor what his original intended solution was for them.

That being said though I do wonder if there are even more characters which were brought back in KH 3 that weren't intended to be in the original draft.
Isn't it also in KH III that when Yen Sid speaks of those needing to be saved he only ever speaks of TAV?
When I consider the fact that out of the handheld trilogy of Days, Coded and BBS the last one was the only one initially planned after KH 2 I get the vibe that the originally planned story got bloated out a bit more in general with several padding elements added during the long hiatus due to the fact that there was the aim to have a KH game every year and Nomura seems to be just incapable of conceiving a KH game that isn't somehow tied into the main story.
 

Oracle Spockanort

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I wish Roxas and Xion had been retired. Not so much being dead but like making their stories pretty final. A fresh start without their past memories. A chance to live a normal life in Twilight Town. No more Keyblades for them. Something.

But like Sign has said, now we have to worry about them competing for screen time with other characters.

I also feel the same way about TAV, actually, but to a lesser degree in that I think they should be transitioned to support. And I LOVE TAV. I just feel like if the series isn't going to have as many spin-off titles as it did in the past, then the developers need to be willing to let these characters rest and tie off their storylines or be willing to minimize their roles.

Roxas and Xion would have been so easy to close out. Lea would have too if they didn't decide to do the Subject X plot. And in the end it wasn't even worth it because Fujiwara has passed and QF is a piece of shit.

I hope with this new saga, Nomura is finally prepared to let some characters rest. Or give us some spin-off games.
 

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Sad as it is I feel like Roxas and Xion should've stayed gone. They served their purpose and I was someone who screamed when Roxas reappeared in KH3. Now I feel like those two are just going to be dragged along by Lea/Isa as they search for Subject X/Skuld. KH3 already did a poor job with giving them little to no dialogue or character interactions we don't need to add more cast members onto the new arc which is already bloated.
 

Sephiroth0812

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Being enthusiastic to see these characters again and being happy that they finally got their happy ending is one thing and it certainly does induce fuzzy feelings among those who like them.

Yet using them effectively is an entire other can of worms and while in theory each character could get a new story arc either personal or connected to the overarching bigger plot in this new saga the track record of the KH series dealing with a big cast so far isn't exactly good.
Maybe putting indeed some of them "to rest" for a while and re-introduce them later in a rotating system that doesn't require them all at once would be a feasible solution.

Another issue is Nomura's habit to constantly introduce evermore new characters. On one hand it is understandable that one wants to expand the fictional universe but on the other you also need to flesh those characters out and make them feel like an acting and living part of said universe and not just a plot device or living macguffin that happens to have a humanoid form.

If I'm honest the KHverse by now comes over to me like a big sandbox Nomura throws evermore unrefined stuff into while declining to fully flesh out the parts that are already there.
 

ZeVaine

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Being enthusiastic to see these characters again and being happy that they finally got their happy ending is one thing and it certainly does induce fuzzy feelings among those who like them.

Yet using them effectively is an entire other can of worms and while in theory each character could get a new story arc either personal or connected to the overarching bigger plot in this new saga the track record of the KH series dealing with a big cast so far isn't exactly good.
Maybe putting indeed some of them "to rest" for a while and re-introduce them later in a rotating system that doesn't require them all at once would be a feasible solution.

Another issue is Nomura's habit to constantly introduce evermore new characters. On one hand it is understandable that one wants to expand the fictional universe but on the other you also need to flesh those characters out and make them feel like an acting and living part of said universe and not just a plot device or living macguffin that happens to have a humanoid form.

If I'm honest the KHverse by now comes over to me like a big sandbox Nomura throws evermore unrefined stuff into while declining to fully flesh out the parts that are already there.
Nomura's persistent choice of answering nearly every question in the Q&A, down to old still KH2 loose ends, still with "yes, we'll explain later" I think perfectly demonstrates exactly what you are saying lol
 

Xagzan

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Another issue is Nomura's habit to constantly introduce evermore new characters. On one hand it is understandable that one wants to expand the fictional universe but on the other you also need to flesh those characters out and make them feel like an acting and living part of said universe and not just a plot device or living macguffin that happens to have a humanoid form.

Like I said, this is the shounen anime trap. It's not just a KH thing. Every single series I've experienced in this genre seems to think it's a positive to bloat their cast more and more over time. Forgetting old characters, introducing new ones, then replacing them in turn with still more newbies. Why, I don't know, but at least others have the excuse of needing to meet weekly publications, and it can be easier to throw in new people I guess.

To ignore our established cast going forward would make me even less invested in any future characters, for that would signal to us that they, too, could eventually be shuffled aside before their full potentials are realized. And if I expect the payoff to be lacking based on precedent, how can I care?
 

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Updated the OP with a ton of info. I think that's pretty much it for the Q&A.


Popular characters are not entitled to continued involvement in future titles. When you're keeping someone around just for positive reception, you merely create more bloat and thereby rob more important but less popular characters of the time and development they need.

Axel was originally going to be killed off by Roxas's hands in KH2's prologue, but they kept him around because he was too well liked. Which is fine for a while, but it's become very clear that he has vastly overstayed his welcome and become a joke of a character. Now that we know Roxas and Xion were only brought back by fan demand, they too run the risk of following in Axel's footsteps, and also force other characters are to compete with them for screentime when they shouldn't have to.

Axel in general is also a problematic character as he has never had to answer for his wrongdoings and is instead rewarded for it. It doesn't serve his character of being friends with two small children to acknowledge that he murdered two men in cold blood. He bore equal responsibility in his fallout with Saix, whose accusations that Axel had replaced him and Subject X with Roxas and Xion were completely fair. Instead they insist that Axel really did care for them and Saix was just being unreasonable, so not only does Axel totally deserve to go on a new adventure to find someone he definitely cares about, but he also gets to drag the kiddos along with them to make sure they have something to do in this new phase. That's "having your cake and eating it too."

And again, we've heard from multiple sources that Roxas and Xion were originally not going to be revived in KH3 and it was a last minute decision influenced by fan outcry that cemented it. Insisting that it was foreshadowed years ago is blatantly false and a misinterpreting of intentions.


I did say to take that info with a grain of salt since we're basing it entirely off of impressions, and it's not like the devs are waiting for people to write things down. It's very possible some of the info is not entirely accurate, but we're only able to cross-reference so much.
I do not know how to Re:Coded, but in DDD, their return was obvious. Just say that you don't like this character for some personal reasons. What did Axel do wrong besides killing a bad guy (if not worse than himself). Yes, he kidnapped Kairi and wanted to turn Sora into heartless. But he redeemed himself by sacrificing himself to save Sora, and then when he returned, he quite deservedly joined Sora and the others. Do not forget that Riku also did not apologize to Roxas in any way and caused him suffering (Let Ansem the wise be more to blame for this). I've always thought that SRK, TAV, RAX trio are the main characters of KH, so what's wrong if the story unfolds around them.

I love Roxas and Xion. They are my favourite characters. I just thought that they served their purpose - no matter how tragic it was - and they could have ended there. Bringing them back just for the sake of a happy ending is great and all, but now it opens up the door of people (including me) wanting them to be used more frequently and better, when in reality, it seems like the series might be cutting back on original characters.

How much depth and attention will Roxas and Xion get if they're on the backseat to Lea and Isa's search for Subject X?
In any case, it will be fine if they want to help a friend in finding a girl. 🤷‍♀️ And fans of the sea salt family (Roxas, Xion and two surrogate fathers in the person of Lea and Isa) will be glad to see this quartet in action.
 

SweetYetSalty

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Axel in general is also a problematic character as he has never had to answer for his wrongdoings and is instead rewarded for it. It doesn't serve his character of being friends with two small children to acknowledge that he murdered two men in cold blood. He bore equal responsibility in his fallout with Saix, whose accusations that Axel had replaced him and Subject X with Roxas and Xion were completely fair. Instead they insist that Axel really did care for them and Saix was just being unreasonable, so not only does Axel totally deserve to go on a new adventure to find someone he definitely cares about, but he also gets to drag the kiddos along with them to make sure they have something to do in this new phase. That's "having your cake and eating it too."
I agree with you that Axel gets away with a lot of things, and not just killing Vexen and Zexion. He's manipulated, lied to, and threatened other characters as well for his own agendas. And many of those were his own friends too. And it annoys me that we don't address these things and call him out on it because it robs him of story, growth, and dealing with the long term consequences of his actions. Not even onscreen apologies to any of them, except maybe Sora? It's one of the main reasons I didn't agree with making him a immediate Guardian of Light, at least not without him earning it.

However I'm going to defend him on one of these things. And that is the fallout with Saix. Saix was a sociopath who's idea of friendship was for Axel to not have a social life outside of him and to let his two new friends kill one another for the Organization, and that's not even getting into all the psychological abuse he dished out to one of said friends. If I was to criticize Axel for anything with the Saix relationship it's that he didn't stand up to him more, and that it took him forever to finally end it when the damage had already been done. How could anyone salvage a friendship with someone as messed up as Saix?

Apparently Nomura must have thought the same thing because he had to retool the character in KH3 and made Subject X to gaslight everyone into thinking "See? Saix wasn't that bad after all. He was trying to save his girl, just like Riku in KH1 with Kairi. Axel is equally to blame for leaving his toxic friendship." And the sick thing is it's working. Saix is KH's Severus Snape.

I hope I didn't come across as attacking you Sign. If so I apologize, but I wanted to address the Axel/Saix thing.
 
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Nukara

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Sorry I missed you, I posted something else before catching this, my bad. But on the topic, Isa being Lea's goal in KH3 is debatable. There is no real buildup that he needs to be rescued, unless you count that stare down between him and Lea, but if so then Xigbar needs to be saved too. Even with Roxas and Xion's shaky status of being saved or remaining gone they were at least featured in Blank Points, Re:Coded, and DDD teasing the idea. Isa is not, and how heavily he's "possessed" is also debatable given he seems to have his memories and free will making him closer to Xigbar and less of a Terranort/Riku situation.

Granted I'm bias and didn't have much sympathy for Isa/Saix going into KH3, and just preferred him as a villain. But if he was suppose to be Lea's goal then they did a lousy job showcasing that going into KH3. I was interested in what Lea and Isa's backstory was going to be for sure, but that didn't translate to me wanting to save Isa, especially over Roxas and Xion.

Edit: Also can someone please help me with multi-quoting? I just realized this is separate from my earlier post.
Given that he introduced Subject X into their plot, I don't think he will leave Isa in the back seat.
 

Sign

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I agree with you that Axel gets away with a lot of things, and not just killing Vexen and Zexion. He's manipulated, lied to, and threated other characters as well for his own agendas. And many of those were his own friends too. And it annoys me that we don't address these things and call him out on it because it robs him of story, growth, and dealing with the long term consequences of his actions. Not even onscreen apologies to any of them, except maybe Sora? It's one of the main reasons I didn't agree with making him a immediate Guardian of Light, at least not without him earning it.

However I'm going to defend him on one of these things. And that is the fallout with Saix. Saix was a sociopath who's idea of friendship was for Axel to not have a social life outside of him and to let his two new friends kill one another for the Organization, and let's not even getting into all the psychological abuse he dished out to one of said friends. If I was to criticize Axel for anything with the Saix relationship it's that he didn't stand up to him more, and that it took him forever to finally end it when the damage had already been done. How could anyone salvage a friendship with someone as messed up as Saix?

Apparently Nomura must have thought the same thing because he had to retool the character in KH3 and made Subject X to gaslight everyone into thinking "See? Saix wasn't that bad after all. He was trying to save his girl, just like Riku in KH1 with Kairi. Axel is equally to blame for leaving his toxic friendship." And the sick thing is it's working. Saix is KH's Severus Snape.

I hope I didn't come across as attacking you Sign. If so I apologize, but I wanted to address the Axel/Saix thing.
You're good, no worries :)

I'm not saying that Saix didn't have his own share of issues and deserved blame, but more often than not, his conflict with Axel is presented as a completely one-sided affair rather than two people who equally contributed to the fallout. Not only that, but what good he did do tends to be stubbornly downplayed or even flat out ignored in order to place emphasis on him as the one true evildoer and Axel one of his many victims.

Honestly, they're both shitty people, but it's the double-standards that rile me up lol
 

Sephiroth0812

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Nomura's persistent choice of answering nearly every question in the Q&A, down to old still KH2 loose ends, still with "yes, we'll explain later" I think perfectly demonstrates exactly what you are saying lol
Yup, back in the day when BBS was still fresh I used to take most of these Q&A of Nomura from Famitsu magazines and Ultimanias to craft theories and speculate on what he had planned for the future story beats as well as character arcs and relationships.

And yet the lackluster delivery of KH III on these parts "cured" me of that since it showed that Nomura is focused more on what looks and sounds flashy as well as integrating dozens of twists just for the sake of having them and making things "surprising".
Coherency and naturally flowing storytelling involving both the universe and the characters supposed to be living in it, what's that?

Like I said, this is the shounen anime trap. It's not just a KH thing. Every single series I've experienced in this genre seems to think it's a positive to bloat their cast more and more over time. Forgetting old characters, introducing new ones, then replacing them in turn with still more newbies. Why, I don't know, but at least others have the excuse of needing to meet weekly publications, and it can be easier to throw in new people I guess.

To ignore our established cast going forward would make me even less invested in any future characters, for that would signal to us that they, too, could eventually be shuffled aside before their full potentials are realized. And if I expect the payoff to be lacking based on precedent, how can I care?

Some manga and/or anime do get the whole big cast of central characters and hundreds of support characters done well though with at least the dozen or so major characters being decently developed.
But manga or a novel are a different medium with much more room to flesh out stuff compared to the confines of a video game. The KH novels also tend to focus more on character interactions and relationships and are arguably levels above the games in quality in these areas.

As someone who has an own fictional universe since grade school I can completely understand authors and creative minds wanting to expand their universes by introducing more and more characters, locations, abilities et cetera and I guess that is one of the "whys", yet of course the more a work expands, the more details need to be kept in mind including the already existing characters.

To balance this is certainly not an easy feat and the KH series so far sadly does have a negative track record although one has to give credit to them that they at least tried to address this problem.
In KH II almost all story and character interactions concerning Riku, Naminé, DiZ/Ansem the Wise were almost completely delegated to be behind-the-scenes events that didn't get featured at all.
BBS had three separate storylines to give each character room but since it was more about Xehanort's plan than them there wasn't much interaction between them at all.
In DDD and KH III there was at least the attempt to show what the other characters were up to even if it were short cutscenes that included more exposition about the bloated series' lore than actual character building and interactions.
It's gotten better than to KH II times but certainly not to a degree that could be described as satisfying.

I remember Yoshihiro Togashi solving this in his most successful work Hunter X Hunter by dedicating each story arc to a certain subset of characters.
Beyond the very first and the third story arc the four main characters haven't yet met again as a group of four, mainly being split into two duos doing their own thing while keeping loosely in contact with the others.
The supporting characters switch around every story arc and furthermore rotate between these two duos of main characters. They get their development and times to shine by interacting with them in different forms and situations.
Sometimes supporting characters disappear for two or three arcs to make room for some new characters but unless they are confirmed dead there's always a chance for them to reappear later.
There is a dynamic in place that makes the HxH world seem "alive", sometimes a character cannot meet up with or help the main characters at all because they're busy with their own obligations and duties unrelated to the current predicaments of the main cast, something almost impossible to expect in KH because somehow it seems everything has to revolve around Sora.

Ignoring the established extended cast wouldn't be something I would be very on board with but like Sign, Spockanort and others I too see the issue with the limited available screentime around, especially if one also wants to include the Disney elements properly.
So far as shown with KH III Nomura & co. don't seem to have a handle on how to effectively deal with a bigger cast of central characters despite wanting to have them, so there needs to be a better solution that works.
In order to not scratch characters completely putting only a few of them into the spotlight at the same time would be the most effective approach.
Frankly I'd rather have four characters getting effective screentime while four others sit on the "bench" having pause for a while instead of having all eight present but them being only window/background dressing, plot devices, cannon fodder or exposition dumps.

---
Edit:
On the Axel-Saix thingy I struggle right now to remember anything remotely "good" Saix did during the timeframe of Days/CoM and KH II and he always came over to me as much more of an outright villain during these times, as in terms of cruelty he was pretty much up on the same level as Larxene, Xaldin and Xemnas himself.
Axel during CoM at least was on nearly the same level though and I think it was confirmed somewhere that the main reason he mellowed out so much over time and regained somewhat of a moral compass was because of his constant close exposure to Roxas and by extension Sora.
KH III was a mixed bag I must say and Isa's decision to atone and redeem himself was stated multiple times but imho not really shown very well which is why to several parts of the audience it might seem like it came out of nowhere with not much foundation laid for it (the same could be said for Ienzo, Even, Aeleus and Dilan too though).
Both Riku and Ansem the Wise had the foundation for their redemption and atonement laid out beforehand so it was somewhat easier to swallow and accept.
 
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SweetYetSalty

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You're good, no worries :)

I'm not saying that Saix didn't have his own share of issues and deserved blame, but more often than not, his conflict with Axel is presented as a completely one-sided affair rather than two people who equally contributed to the fallout. Not only that, but what good he did do tends to be stubbornly downplayed or even flat out ignored in order to place emphasis on him as the one true evildoer and Axel one of his many victims.

Honestly, they're both shitty people, but it's the double-standards that rile me up lol
I'll agree with you fully on both Axel and Saix as shitty due to their actions. Honestly had Axel remained his CoM persona they would be perfect for one another...and probably backstab each other at some point.
 

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I agree with you that Axel gets away with a lot of things, and not just killing Vexen and Zexion. He's manipulated, lied to, and threatened other characters as well for his own agendas. And many of those were his own friends too. And it annoys me that we don't address these things and call him out on it because it robs him of story, growth, and dealing with the long term consequences of his actions. Not even onscreen apologies to any of them, except maybe Sora? It's one of the main reasons I didn't agree with making him a immediate Guardian of Light, at least not without him earning it.

However I'm going to defend him on one of these things. And that is the fallout with Saix. Saix was a sociopath who's idea of friendship was for Axel to not have a social life outside of him and to let his two new friends kill one another for the Organization, and that's not even getting into all the psychological abuse he dished out to one of said friends. If I was to criticize Axel for anything with the Saix relationship it's that he didn't stand up to him more, and that it took him forever to finally end it when the damage had already been done. How could anyone salvage a friendship with someone as messed up as Saix?

Apparently Nomura must have thought the same thing because he had to retool the character in KH3 and made Subject X to gaslight everyone into thinking "See? Saix wasn't that bad after all. He was trying to save his girl, just like Riku in KH1 with Kairi. Axel is equally to blame for leaving his toxic friendship." And the sick thing is it's working. Saix is KH's Severus Snape.

I hope I didn't come across as attacking you Sign. If so I apologize, but I wanted to address the Axel/Saix thing.
You know, considering what Vexen and Zexion were like, this death is well deserved. Bad guys kill bad guys. Of course, he did a disgusting thing with the Riku replica, but I think he redeemed himself to some extent through Xion. Realizing that replicas are living beings. Yes, he is selfish, but there is nothing wrong with the fact that he wants to save his loved ones. One of whom wants to literally end his life. Even if he doesn't do it in the right way. For me, Axel is a "traumatized child" at heart, who, in addition to the fact that he did not experience emotions, was and grew up in a very shitty environment. And then people appeared in his life who helped him get out of this shit. However, they also left. The guy held on to them like a life raft. In any case, Axel, compared to all the other members of the organization, is far from the worst guy. I'm silent about his FF analogue Reno, which threw the damn stove on civilians.
 

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I wish Roxas and Xion had been retired. Not so much being dead but like making their stories pretty final. A fresh start without their past memories. A chance to live a normal life in Twilight Town. No more Keyblades for them. Something.

But like Sign has said, now we have to worry about them competing for screen time with other characters.

I also feel the same way about TAV, actually, but to a lesser degree in that I think they should be transitioned to support. And I LOVE TAV. I just feel like if the series isn't going to have as many spin-off titles as it did in the past, then the developers need to be willing to let these characters rest and tie off their storylines or be willing to minimize their roles.

Roxas and Xion would have been so easy to close out. Lea would have too if they didn't decide to do the Subject X plot. And in the end it wasn't even worth it because Fujiwara has passed and QF is a piece of shit.

I hope with this new saga, Nomura is finally prepared to let some characters rest. Or give us some spin-off games.
Given that KH4 starts a new arc, there is a chance of spin-off.
 

Oracle Spockanort

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Given that KH4 starts a new arc, there is a chance of spin-off.
Sure, I didn’t say none. I just said less. This generation is way more costly and time-intensive to develop for, so I think we are going to see way less spin off titles in the future
 
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