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SweetYetSalty

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I think the fandom, by and large, did not understand Axel nor his relationships very well. Axel was in a lot of pain over how much Saix had changed. You can see it very clearly in his diary entries. One of the main themes in KH is that Nobodies are "chained" by their memories. Axel and Roxas had a discussion about what they couldn't bear to lose. For Roxas, it was his present. But for Axel, it was his memories of his past. Saix was no longer the same person, but Axel couldn't bear to lose the memory of who he used to be, and that was the motivator for all of his actions. That is why Axel needed a proper backstory probably more than any other character, aside from Xehanort. Because without that, his characterization made no sense. And then we wind up with KH3 Lea who had all of his complexity stripped away.
I don't speak for the fanbase, but for me I've played these games for years. I understand Axel's relationships very well actually. Axel seemed far more annoyed with Saix then in pain. Only one diary entry was even about their relationship on Axel's part. In fact of all the things that concerned him, Saix's friendship seemed the least important, because he says he'd just rather miss it. I do believe he missed Saix throughout the game but he never fought to reclaim or save it. So I don't think he was his motivator beyond C.O. Ironically their friendship became the "make believe one" as time went on.
 

MoonRabbit

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In fact of all the things that concerned him, Saix's friendship seemed the least important, because he says he'd just rather miss it. I do believe he missed Saix throughout the game but he never fought to reclaim or save it.
I mean, Axel almost killed Xion on Day 298 because he wasn't able to let go of his relationship with Saix. In one of the novel short stories, they show more of Axel's point of view during Roxas's 7 day summer vacation. This was Axel and Saix's exchange just before Axel was sent to eliminate Roxas on Day 6:

Maybe, this is the last time I’ll see Saix, too.

Thinking, Axel looked at the seated Saix’s back.

“We’ve known each other for a pretty long time, haven’t we?”

Ignoring Axel’s words, Saix continued typing on the keyboard.

“Say something. Have you even thought that maybe I can’t erase Roxas?” Axel said, in a playful tone, and Saix finally looked up. “It’ll be all right. Cause I’m tough.” Axel puffed out his chest.

“How stupid,” said Saix, and for a moment he smiled.

It's pretty clear that Axel was only going to kill Roxas because he was still clinging to his relationship with Saix. Sure, the novels are not the games, but Kanemaki was involved with the writing of 358/2 Days. She understood Axel's motivations.
 

SweetYetSalty

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I mean, Axel almost killed Xion on Day 298 because he wasn't able to let go of his relationship with Saix. In one of the novel short stories, they show more of Axel's point of view during Roxas's 7 day summer vacation. This was Axel and Saix's exchange just before Axel was sent to eliminate Roxas on Day 6:
He knocked her out and brought her back. A chop to the neck is not "almost killing her" and it had absolutely nothing to do with Saix's relationship. It was a job he was tasked with. He'd do the same if Xemnas tasked him...which is what happens later. Axel's not doing it for Saix, he's doing it to keep his position in the Organization secure.
It's pretty clear that Axel was only going to kill Roxas because he was still clinging to his relationship with Saix. Sure, the novels are not the games, but Kanemaki was involved with the writing of 358/2 Days. She understood Axel's motivations.
Axel was ordered to bring back Roxas or terminate him by Xaldin, and he even argued in Roxas's favor. Again it has nothing to do with Saix, they are unfriended at this point. Axel himself states with Roxas that he's not willing to get turned into a Dusk for him in KH2. And with the Xion incident he told Roxas if he didn't bring her back then he wouldn't be safe in the castle anymore. Axel didn't pick Saix over them, he picked himself over them.

I've read the novels, I've collected them, reviewed them here and I love them. But if they contradict anything from the games then it is considered not canon, no matter how good or well written it is.
 

Face My Fears

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At this point I'm sure this question only exists cuz Riku was holding it for three seconds.

Like,

Dark thing holding character down/still

flash of light

keyblade.

Same thing happened to Sora in KH1 only there was no one next to him just holding it there.
You're right. If Kairi ran in to fight the heartless and a flash of light appeared and she had a keyblade, we would accept that without a real explanation.

But I think Riku handing Kairi the keyblade, then also just buying his new one after it broke kind of makes one wonder where Riku gets all these keyblades from? How was he able to change the form of his keyblade? In this same interview, he said that Lea's keyblade was broken, but Lea was able to keep using it. Why did Riku swap out Way To The Dawn? I'm kind of hoping Dark Road touches on some way that keyblade wielders can actually create/modify their keyblade beyond keychains.
 
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Before KH3, I never thought Roxas would come back, and here is how I interpreted that scene. In KH3D, Sora didn't know that he had Ventus's heart inside of him. All he knew was that Roxas felt different than him somehow. He didn't know why, he just sensed that Roxas had his own feelings that were distinct from his own. So, he told Roxas that he was his own person.

Sometime before the beginning of KH3, Sora should have found out the truth about Ventus's heart. The fact that there was a separate heart inside of him would have explained why Roxas never truly felt like he was a part of Sora. He had his own heart all along. And so, in KH3, Sora's goal would be waking Ventus's heart up. Since Roxas's heart was Ventus's heart, there would have been no need for a separate "save Roxas" plotline. Roxas was simply an alter ego of Ventus.



I couldn't help but notice while playing KH3 that the whole plot would have made a LOT more sense if Roxas and Ventus were treated as interchangeable. It just felt like it was intended to be that way, originally. Ventus was trapped in Sora's heart, and they didn't have any way of finding his body in Castle Oblivion without Aqua's help.



If Ventus was revived, he could make the dive to rescue Aqua. So, they thought they could get him a Replica body. Sora would still have gone to Twilight Town and met up with Hayner, etc. The plot wouldn't have needed to change all that much, which always led me to believe that bringing Roxas back separately from Ventus was a very last minute decision.

Frankly, I think the story would have been far better if Roxas and Ventus had remained the same. Things would have been less convoluted, for sure. And Ventus, now with Roxas's memories, could have had a more meaningful reunion with Lea at Yen Sid's tower before the final battle. Although many fans loved the RAX reunion in KH3, I thought it was badly written. IMO, Roxas never truly understood Axel. He never understood why Axel lied to him, or how much pain Axel was in during 358/2 Days. Lea and Roxas/Ventus had a lot of things to discuss through before they were ready for a happy ending.
Honestly, same. The possibility of them being the same character was always there... and I always dreaded it because I liked Roxas far more than Ventus. But after giving it more thought, I found a new, much better reason to dread it: role strain.

By that, I mean mixing Roxas' and Ventus' plotlines into one character. that is FAR too much to dump into one character. The amount of times that Ventus would've gotten amnesia, cured it, then got it again, then got someone else's memories entirely (Sora), locked inside a computer world, questioned his own identity, gotten split into other people (Vanitas, Sora, Xion, his "Roxas persona"), changed his group of friends, dreamed of rising up the ranks of keyblade wielders all the way to Keyblade Master, then desired to want a normal life and reject the keyblade, and all the while never remembering the UX stuff would've been INSANE.

And that's not even addressing the fact that Ventus would've been a human who became someone else's Nobody.

So in the end, where would Ventus belong? With Terra and Aqua? With the remnants of his UX friends? With the Darknesses? With Lea, Xion, and Isa? With, Hayner, Pence, and Olette? Inside some other data world because he's attracted to them like a moth to a flame? Or maybe he should be the new protagonist. With Sora's Roxas' and his own memories plus his truck load of connections, he'd certainly outclass Sora himself.

Aaaand exhale.......

Ask yourself: do you really want the storyline of a single character to be even half as convoluted and unfocused as the series in general?
 
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MoonRabbit

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Ask yourself: do you really want the storyline of a single character to be even half as convoluted and unfocused as the series in general?

Personally, I just wish we had gotten the version of KH3 Nomura actually wanted to write, not the version he felt like he had to write due to the fandom's expectations. His original vision sounds like it suited my tastes a lot more. For instance, if Roxas and Xion didn’t return, what was Nomura going to do with Lea? Well, he'd have to explore Lea's past, since Isa would have been the one who Lea was going to rescue and go home with. And then of course there's Ventus.

By that, I mean mixing Roxas' and Ventus' plotlines into one character. that is FAR too much to dump into one character.
Mixing Roxas and Ventus’s storylines would have only made things more interesting for me. Because now Ven is just off-brand Roxas that nobody cares about. Multiple past lives and amnesia are no big deal in this series. So, that would not have bothered me one bit. Also, a human who became someone else's Nobody, then reclaimed their true self? Why not? It's better than a Sora clone who comes back in a Replica body.

I used to like Roxas back in the old days. But after KH3, he doesn't even feel like the same character. He feels like a Gary Stu fanfic version of himself. His popularity has ruined him. Look at the way he reappeared in KH3, dual wielding (which he shouldn’t be able to even do anymore), stealing a fight that he didn’t belong in, upstaging the real guardians of light, making it all about himself with cheesy lines. I hated everything about his revival. Low quality pandering. I certainly don’t look forward to his future appearances. He has overstayed his welcome and outlived his relevance, as far as I'm concerned. I feel the same way about Xion. The cast is large enough now that we don't need all of these look-alikes and clones. They made sense in KH2 back when the original characters were minimal. But now, they just feel like they needlessly bloat the cast.

So in the end, where would Ventus belong? With Terra and Aqua? With the remnants of his UX friends? With the Darknesses? With Lea, Xion, and Isa? With, Hayner, Pence, and Olette? Inside some other data world because he's attracted to them like a moth to a flame? Or maybe he should be the new protagonist. With Sora's Roxas' and his own memories plus his truck load of connections, he'd certainly outclass Sora himself.

If Ventus had acquired Roxas’s memories, he’d still be good friends with the Twilight Town crew. But of course he’d go home with Aqua and Terra. When Roxas left the Organization, he wanted to learn about who he was as a human. He wanted a past. If he had learned he was Ventus in a past life, I think he would have been happy. He was a normal human with his own identity and his own heart, not just a clone created out of Sora's heart. Much happier ending for him than coming back inside of a fake replica body.
 
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Chie

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I would agree that all of KH's "flaws" (and I don't like to take about something I like in terms of "points and flaws") are the result of trying to appease fan expectations and rando criticisms. The fake and pointless non-explanations of mechanics only started after KH had achieved notoreity as being "too hard to follow", after all.
 
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Personally, I just wish we had gotten the version of KH3 Nomura actually wanted to write, not the version he felt like he had to write due to the fandom's expectations.
We both agree that Roxas, Xion, and also Namine belong in the ground (just like how AtW and his apprentices belong in prison). Sure Roxas is my oshi and I care far more about RAX and occasionally Namine than any other group of characters, but I'm no fool. Of course the quality of the narrative is more important than my own preferences. I often like the supporting cast more than the main cast; I do this to myself, in a way. 😅

Frankly, I'd rather they stay dead than be ignored as if they were still dead. They'd be "functionally dead", and I find that far more insulting.

Now as for this being what Nomura wanted to write... I'm not entirely sure about that.

Nomura said that he had last minute doubts about it. There are certain things he won't budge on, but he will listen to fans when he's struggling. Not verbatim, but oh well.

I hate reading into the nitty-gritty of translated quotes because there's no such thing as a perfect translation. The connotations behind the words and phrases of any 2 languages are vastly different from each other. Thus, it's dangerous to analyze them as if the original speaker knew how it'd be interpreted in English. But alas, my Japanese is below infantile and I can't contact any fluent Japanese speakers so I have no choice. 😮‍💨😮‍💨😮‍💨

It seemed like Nomura envisioned a route without Roxas and Xion, but then wavered on it himself. For what reason(s)? Don't know; won't speculate. He listens to fans when he is struggling. So, it seems he listens to fans only when he's already second guessing himself. The fan feedback was, again, seemingly, merely used to tip the scales.

May whoever translated that question please clarify this?
 
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Sign

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We both agree that Roxas, Xion, and also Namine belong in the ground (just like how AtW and his apprentices belong in prison). Sure Roxas is my oshi and I care far more about RAX and occasionally Namine than any other group of characters, but I'm no fool. Of course the quality of the narrative is more important than my own preferences. I often like the supporting cast more than the main cast; I do this to myself, in a way. 😅

Frankly, I'd rather they stay dead than be ignored as if they were still dead. They'd be "functionally dead", and I find that far more insulting.

Now as for this being what Nomura wanted to write... I'm not entirely sure about that.

Nomura said that he had last minute doubts about it. There are certain things he won't budge on, but he will listen to fans when he's struggling. Not verbatim, but oh well.

I hate reading into the nitty-gritty of translated quotes because there's no such thing as a perfect translation. The connotations behind the words and phrases of any 2 languages are vastly different from each other. Thus, it's dangerous to analyze them as if the original speaker knew how it'd be interpreted in English. But alas, my Japanese is below infantile and I can't contact any fluent Japanese speakers so I have no choice. 😮‍💨😮‍💨😮‍💨

It seemed like Nomura envisioned a route without Roxas and Xion, but then wavered on it himself. For what reason(s)? Don't know; won't speculate. He listens to fans when he is struggling. So, it seems he listens to fans only when he's already second guessing himself. The fan feedback was, again, seemingly, merely used to tip the scales.

May whoever translated that question please clarify this?

After cross-referencing multiple recaps and impressions from both fans and press, most everyone merely say that a scenario in which Roxas and Xion weren't revived was under consideration, but Nomura was swayed at the last minute by fans who wanted them to be brought back. Only a few made the distinction that Nomura was proceeding with no-revival, but then he wavered and was influenced by fans to make a last minute decision to go in the other direction. Nomura's statement (as well as everyone seems to remember it anyways) does not make it clear when exactly he was debating between the two scenarios, just that it was a thing that was happening and pro-revival won out at the very end.

It seemed like Nomura envisioned a route without Roxas and Xion, but then wavered on it himself. For what reason(s)? Don't know; won't speculate. He listens to fans when he is struggling. So, it seems he listens to fans only when he's already second guessing himself. The fan feedback was, again, seemingly, merely used to tip the scales.

Correct. When it comes to critical story beats, Nomura will listen to what fans are saying only when he's being wishy-washy and can't decide whether to go with A or B. The fans' voices are only used to help him make a decision between the aforementioned A and B, which remain unchanged.
 

SweetYetSalty

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After cross-referencing multiple recaps and impressions from both fans and press, most everyone merely say that a scenario in which Roxas and Xion weren't revived was under consideration, but Nomura was swayed at the last minute by fans who wanted them to be brought back. Only a few made the distinction that Nomura was proceeding with no-revival, but then he wavered and was influenced by fans to make a last minute decision to go in the other direction. Nomura's statement (as well as everyone seems to remember it anyways) does not make it clear when exactly he was debating between the two scenarios, just that it was a thing that was happening and pro-revival won out at the very end.



Correct. When it comes to critical story beats, Nomura will listen to what fans are saying only when he's being wishy-washy and can't decide whether to go with A or B. The fans' voices are only used to help him make a decision between the aforementioned A and B, which remain unchanged.
This kind of lines up with how the games treated it. Revival for the Nobodies was teased but not given the level of importance that TAV was throughout DDD, and KH3. I also wonder how much Lea/Axel's DDD revival effected it? The whole "recompletion" angle was just a easy way to bring back the Organization regardless how it impacted the lore, but if they never brought Axel back would that have leaned more into not bringing back Roxas, Xion, and Namine?
 
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After cross-referencing multiple recaps and impressions from both fans and press, most everyone merely say that a scenario in which Roxas and Xion weren't revived was under consideration, but Nomura was swayed at the last minute by fans who wanted them to be brought back. Only a few made the distinction that Nomura was proceeding with no-revival, but then he wavered and was influenced by fans to make a last minute decision to go in the other direction. Nomura's statement (as well as everyone seems to remember it anyways) does not make it clear when exactly he was debating between the two scenarios, just that it was a thing that was happening and pro-revival won out at the very end.



Correct. When it comes to critical story beats, Nomura will listen to what fans are saying only when he's being wishy-washy and can't decide whether to go with A or B. The fans' voices are only used to help him make a decision between the aforementioned A and B, which remain unchanged.
When the world needed you most, you were there 🥲
 

Sephiroth0812

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This kind of lines up with how the games treated it. Revival for the Nobodies was teased but not given the level of importance that TAV was throughout DDD, and KH3. I also wonder how much Lea/Axel's DDD revival effected it? The whole "recompletion" angle was just a easy way to bring back the Organization regardless how it impacted the lore, but if they never brought Axel back would that have leaned more into not bringing back Roxas, Xion, and Namine?

Yea, that's how it played out in my observations as well.

It started with Blank Points in BBS more or less, but typical Nomura-like it was kept highly ambiguous and several possible outcomes could be interpreted from it for all involved characters presented there.

I remember the forums here being filled with debates back in 2011 and following years over which route would be taken from there.

Then came Coded and Re:Coded with the whole scenario around Data-Sora and the question if a heart can be born/created in a being of data and possibly also elsewhere as well as the final part of the game in Castle Oblivion which connected this theme further as well as being connected to Blank Points as well.
The whole theme of "non-natural-born" beings capable of having their own hearts was at the same time also a throwback to Chain of Memories where Sora already insisted that the Riku Replica, despite not being Riku still had a heart of his own.
It was also in the "new" secret ending of Re: Coded where Yen Sid and Mickey debated about the whole procedure of beating both the Nobody and corresponding Heartless will bring back the original person, something already mentioned in the KH II Final Mix-Ultimania years before but was only made 100% canon by being included in an actual primary medium of the series.
Back then there were also countless debates if and how that would apply to Roxas, Naminé, Xion and Xemnas because they were all unusual special cases.

This whole narrative string came then to a culmination in DDD where the question if anything can have or gain a heart of their own was ultimately answered with yes by both the "good" side via Ansem the Wise and the "bad" side by both Xemnas and Xigbar.
What exactly that meant for characters like Naminé, Xion and Roxas was still kept ambiguous even then although the whole "they can form and nurture their own hearts" already pointed to them being their own persons in essence.

Yet it was Joshua from TWEWY who spilled out the essential conditions to if a being would/could be considered their own individual:
Joshua: Well, why can't it? By ourselves, we're no one. It's when other
people look at us and see someone--that's the moment we each start to exist.
All they needed was for someone to see them, connect with them. And the two
of you were a big part of making it happen.

And Nomura played with this during Sora's final world when he finally met Roxas face-to-face without it escalating into a battle and by throwing another curveball.
Originally Roxas was arguably the character who fought for his own identity and individuality with the most effort and fervor seen in the series, but during the sequence there in DDD he seemed to have given up and accepted himself as "just a part of Sora" and it is Sora himself who immediately interjects and rejects this reading, insisting that Roxas has the right to be his own person and that he sees him as his own person as well.

I may lean out of the window here but I do think that this scenario was still part of Nomura's indecisiveness on the matter as it was still open as to which view on things would ultimately prevail and happen in KH III.
Roxas' by now established view that he's "just" a part of Sora or Sora's seeing Roxas as his own individual.
Lea/Axel and other characters who do see Roxas as his own person would certainly also play a role towards this according to Joshua's explanation.

With Naminé, things were more subtle and less shown, but there was another promise between her and Sora beyond the whole "Thank you"-thing and that was Sora promising they'll become real friends once they meet again in person.
Kairi having thoughts about Naminé in III regarding her status and possible existence of her own heart and thus being a person of her own were a nice groundwork for her possibly starting to grow a bit as a character and not being always fixated only on Sora but sadly it didn't amount to much more.

All in all, things were however subtly developed towards them being their own persons, with Xion obviously being the most complicated case because of all the memory shenanigans and I think I do remember Nomura himself stating either in the Coded- or in the DDD-Ultimania that Xion's "return" or similar would be the most difficult to achieve.

All in all, the whole issue seems to me like a repeat of the whole earlier fandom-splitting question if Nobodies really have no hearts or rather if they remain constantly in that state.
There were several competing interpretations of this issue ever since the end of KH II and the one that they can somehow regain a heart won out in the end.
 

NoWay

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If it’s a character we all know, but didn’t hear the voice of it could be literally anyone from Dark Road
 

LoneFox

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If it’s a character we all know, but didn’t hear the voice of it could be literally anyone from Dark Road
Sigurd from UX finale; Odin, Baldr, Bragi, and Hermod from DR. Have I forgotten someone?
 

Revenge

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What I love about all of this is the fact that the devs are hearing the community's complaints. "KH3 was too easy" - they added ReMind which is the hardest challenge the series has ever provided, just behind from the egg minigame from the bistro. "No FF characters & Kairi still does nothing" - they added them in ReMind and made her playable for the first time. "Too much Disney, not enough original content" - well KH4 looks like it's shaping up to have a decent mix of the two.

And now we have reaction commands returning and hopefully the end of those dreadful situation commands. The final product could be amazing.
 
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