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News ► KH Character Files: Short Stories - Master Xehanort, Master Eraqus, Vanitas



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ComeGuardianSubmit

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nah it's rambling from the SUB IS SUPERIOR crowd 9 times out of 10. obviously. French is not 1:1 with English, just like English isn't 1:1 to Japanese, just like Japanese isn't 1:1 to Korean. not calling out the staff or people like soc725, just the randoms who are "calling out" the ENG localization as though they read JPN [fluently]. but lets not blow that out of proportion, the point is that both these character files and kanemaki's writing are fantastic and do a great job conveying (more) character to these characters. KH never gets time to do slice of life or care for its characters, and to see these writings come out is a boon for the series and what KHDR (and KHUX) should (have) do(ne)
 

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nah it's rambling from the SUB IS SUPERIOR crowd 9 times out of 10. obviously. French is not 1:1 with English, just like English isn't 1:1 to Japanese, just like Japanese isn't 1:1 to Korean. not calling out the staff or people like soc725, just the randoms who are "calling out" the ENG localization as though they read JPN [fluently].
Literally no one here was doing that so your posts were completely uncalled for. You want to complain about this topic, go to the appropriate channels for it instead of coming in and antagonizing people. This behavior will not be tolerated.

but lets not blow that out of proportion, the point is that both these character files and kanemaki's writing are fantastic and do a great job conveying (more) character to these characters. KH never gets time to do slice of life or care for its characters, and to see these writings come out is a boon for the series and what KHDR (and KHUX) should (have) do(ne)
Fantastic? I'll agree to disagree.
 

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I was just making an offhand remark on how much the fandom's attitudes towards it have changed, and I do agree with @SuperSaiyanSora in that the Remixes probably had a lot to do with it. They probably also had a lot to do with BBS's fall from grace too.
Yeah, and like I was saying earlier, it's so weird that BBS isn't as praised as it used to be. There was a time when people called it the best KH game in the series. Even more than KH2FM+, people actually liked the Command Decks and Vanitas Sentiment boss. I don't even think "floaty combat" was a complaint until way later.

I see people wanting a 358/2 Days remake, and I'm like, what? Bruh. Most people back then thought the game was mid, and only liked it because of the Organization being fleshed out and really the ending. A lot of the game was monotonous with barely any story in the missions (mostly just go to a world, kill the heartless and go back to base), and the story parts don't even really kick in until WAY later. Now, I like the story (I even liked the game too, as a matter of fact) but 358/2 benefited from the movie SO MUCH. And if it ended up getting a full remake... I don't think it'd be appreciated as much as it currently is, in all honesty.

Union X basically follows the same formula, and look how people reacted to Dark Road. Only difference is, if UX gets a remake, they can afford to cut the filler because a lot of it is inconsequential enough to exclude. You can't really with 358/2, because that's the entire point of the game. If you cut out too much, you may as well make the movie, and that's what they went with lol.

And for you dub vs sub nerds, 90% of you can't read hiragana let alone kanji, stop pretending like the difference in JPN script compared to ENG script is something you can recognize and not just the ramblings of a tumblrite.
Thing is though, we do actually have staff on here that can read and understand Japanese at a very high level. Most of the translations we'd receive if not done by the official localization team would be done by one of the translators (shout out to all of you!), and they haven't disappointed us yet. So they'd be able to let us know if there were any differences between the JP and ENG scripts.

Now, whether those changes personally means anything or not would really depend on the individual's interpretation. I'm sure the localization team at Square Enix takes this into account and translates certain lines accordingly, but there's probably so many factors into why some lines may change when translated into English. Far as I can tell though, the basic meaning is the same, so no harm no foul at the end of the day.
 

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While I agree that Kanemaki does flesh out most characters a bit more and makes them more relatable in the novels when you compare it to the games and Nomura's own lack of proper characterization it's certainly not top tier writing deserving of the "fantastic" moniker all around.
When it comes to Nomura himself I am by now convinced that he is totally into a plot-driven narrative and that is subject to multiple changes because of a) what is Nomura's current biggest interest and b) what serves his "must be surprising"-tick.
If in order to reach these two aims internal logic and already established character arcs have to be thrown out of the window they will be.

Back to initial topic though, I haven't even commented on these stories yet, so here goes.
All in all, they're certainly better than the Young Xehanort, Terra-Xehanort, Ansem SoD and Xemnas ones as they at least feature the characters the supposed story is about themselves.
Still, I find them to be less thrilling than the first three we had about TAV.

Xehanort's is first about the chess scene from the KH III Prologue/Reveal trailer which as such is essentially another recap.
Xehanort said:
After that, I set out on a journey traveling the worlds alone, in order to prepare myself for the Mark of Mastery examination. I learned many things on that trip.
This is arguably the part that could yield the most new information and yet it is only a small paragraph.
Seriously, if Xehanort didn't emphasize that he traveled the worlds alone I would even call it sneak advertising for that new mobile game KH: DR aka Kingdom Hearts: Darkness Rubbish.

Eraqus' story, despite being the shortest, is at least to me the most interesting one as there are at least some glimpses of new insight into Eraqus himself.
Eraqus said:
You’d said darkness is a beginning, and that the world itself was born from it. But even if that were true, we cannot allow the world to return there.


I wonder if the measures I put in place to stop you worked, Xehanort.


I was always by your side.
Interesting thing in the first paragraph is that Eraqus apparently went from "poetic excuses" to "if it were true" throughout time and while he still thinks how Xehanort does things is wrong he doesn't adamantly think that Xehanort is wrong about everything anymore.

Eraqus, my neglectful lightbulb Samurai, I'd like to know what exactly these "measures" you put in place were about for a start. Then we can talk about how much of them worked.
Was hiding out in Terra's heart to help him against Nortys possession part of these measures or an improvisation? Was trying to go stabby-stabby on Ven part of the toolkit?

Eh, I guess technically you were as you both were somehow piggybacking on Terra for eleven years.

When it comes to Vanitas though I am a bit baffled on what I am supposed to feel/learn from this.

That Vanitas is totally nihilistic and essentially just a ball of hate and aggression happening to have humanoid form who either wants to see everyone and everything suffer and if he's denied that just wants to disappear?
Only the last bit is new as the rest was already known from BBS and acted upon in KH 3 again.

Emptiness? Return to it? Neither darkness nor light? Is he now copying Xemnas' spiel from KH2?
"Emptiness" and "Nothingness" are very similar if not the same in principle, the whole "Nothingness is eternal"-stuff and babbling about an abyss was done by Xemnas first.
The whole
Vanitas said:
I am both you and not you at the same time.
thing is also something that has already been done multiple times, with Riku Replica, with Naminé, with Roxas and with Xion.

Yea, sorry, but nothing (pun not intended) revealed here does change my opinion on Vanitas as a character at all.
He's still the aggressive, bullying extra Edgelord™ who hates everyone and everything, now just sprinkled with some additional nihilism and adapting a theme already done with Xemnas.
When I combine this with how he behaves in BBS and KH 3 proper I also fail to see where this character shows any redeeming qualities or traits.
 

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VANITAS: "I hate you Xehanort, I hate you Ventus, I hate the world around me and everything in general and to top it all off I probably also hate you too... yes, you, the reader who is holding this book and reading this story. Now put the book down or turn to another page before I lose more than just my marbles."
 

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nah it's rambling from the SUB IS SUPERIOR crowd 9 times out of 10. obviously. French is not 1:1 with English, just like English isn't 1:1 to Japanese, just like Japanese isn't 1:1 to Korean. not calling out the staff or people like soc725, just the randoms who are "calling out" the ENG localization as though they read JPN [fluently]. but lets not blow that out of proportion,
Nobody here said or did this, though. And it’s not bad to compare scripts. When authorial intent is at jeopardy by a localization, it’s nice to be able to look at both the English and Japanese to see where the changes occurred.

the point is that both these character files and kanemaki's writing are fantastic and do a great job conveying (more) character to these characters.
Definitely agree to disagree on this. There is a distinct lack of character in most of these short stories, especially the ones where it is in Sora’s POV.

KH never gets time to do slice of life or care for its characters, and to see these writings come out is a boon for the series and what KHDR (and KHUX) should (have) do(ne)
As somebody who likes the novels, I do agree with this point that it is nice that the novels give us these small moments that really enhance the characters and make them into people.

These short stories, though? No. Much of that is not in these at all. They are literally just recycled lines or Sora’s summaries with a bit of what Kanemaki has injected into the novels. We got a few gems out of these but I think Kanemaki’s energy would have been better spent working on the KH3 novels rather than these short stories because she does better work when she has a longer word count.
 

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When it comes to Nomura himself I am by now convinced that he is totally into a plot-driven narrative and that is subject to multiple changes because of a) what is Nomura's current biggest interest and b) what serves his "must be surprising"-tick.
If in order to reach these two aims internal logic and already established character arcs have to be thrown out of the window they will be.
Maybe a mini writing rant, but I hate "plot-driven" stories, because they're barely stories, but rather just a list of ideas for a story. No matter how cool one thinks their "plot" is, it's meaningless if the characters are written poorly and stupidly forced into dumb actions in order for these events to happen. Quality of character dictates quality of plot, and if a writer really cares about their plot, then they would care about their characters just as much, if not more.

KH: DR aka Kingdom Hearts: Darkness Rubbish.
Is it sad how "Darkness Rubbish" has a more KH sound to it than Dark Road?
 

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Yeah, and like I was saying earlier, it's so weird that BBS isn't as praised as it used to be. There was a time when people called it the best KH game in the series. Even more than KH2FM+, people actually liked the Command Decks and Vanitas Sentiment boss. I don't even think "floaty combat" was a complaint until way later.

I see people wanting a 358/2 Days remake, and I'm like, what? Bruh. Most people back then thought the game was mid, and only liked it because of the Organization being fleshed out and really the ending. A lot of the game was monotonous with barely any story in the missions (mostly just go to a world, kill the heartless and go back to base), and the story parts don't even really kick in until WAY later. Now, I like the story (I even liked the game too, as a matter of fact) but 358/2 benefited from the movie SO MUCH. And if it ended up getting a full remake... I don't think it'd be appreciated as much as it currently is, in all honesty.
I feel like BBS became an easy target post-KH3 for KH2FM gameplay stans because it was Osaka Team's pride and joy. The first KH game they'd ever worked on, and the one they were universally praised for between the characters, story, gameplay, etc. So a lot of folks who were upset about KH3 sought to take out their anger and frustration on that instead. While there are perfectly fair criticisms against this game (I've seen many right here on this forum), I feel like we don't really hear much about it because this petty feud dominated the conversation.

Days on the other hand has been divisive from the start, and the original game, despite being praised for the story and main trio, was not remembered well for everything else (the gameplay sucked, the missions were tedious and the rest of the Organization were horribly underdeveloped). But the HD collection cut all that stuff out and focused entirely on its strengths in RAX's emotional journey, which worked entirely in its favor. I completely agree that a full HD remake of Days wouldn't be as well received as the cinematic scenes because of all this BS we'd have to sit through.

At least from my observations, BBS has been slowly regaining its popularity now that Osaka Team have proven themselves with Re Mind and more people have been able to pick up the collections.
 
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I feel like BBS became an easy target post-KH3 for KH2FM gameplay stans because it was Osaka Team's pride and joy. The first KH game they'd ever worked on, and the one they were universally praised for between the characters, story, gameplay, etc. So a lot of folks who were upset about KH3 sought to take out their anger and frustration on that instead. While there are perfectly fair criticisms against this game (I've seen many right here on this forum), I feel like we don't really hear much about it because this petty feud dominated the conversation.

Days on the other hand has been divisive from the start, and the original game, despite being praised for the story and main trio, was not remembered well for everything else (the gameplay sucked, the missions were tedious and the rest of the Organization were horribly underdeveloped). But the HD collection cut all that stuff out and focused entirely on its strengths in RAX's emotional journey, which worked entirely in its favor. I completely agree that a full HD remake of Days wouldn't be as well received as the cinematic scenes because of all this BS we'd have to sit through.

At least from my observations, BBS has been slowly regaining its popularity now that Osaka Team have proven themselves with Re Mind and more people have been able to pick up the collections.
It always seemed to me like Days was highly ambitious for a DS game in terms of graphics and scope of it's story and in the end it's really just a huge cheesy mess.

BBS struck a good balance but it's easy to look back on things and find flaws. Or maybe it's more accurate to say it's easier to be vocal about flaws than it is about things the games got right. I think BBS has a lot of redeeming qualities, probably more than Days does, but I've never personally thought that the characters or their relationships were done well. TAV came off as cliche to me, even their names "terra" "aqua" and "ventus" came off as uninspired, and the reason for why they care about each other so much is never explored.

Someone else mentioned it in this thread or another I think but I'm really starting to believe KH needs the sort of downtime that Destiny Island/Traverse Town brought to Sora/Riku/Kairi in KH1 and Twilight Town brought to Roxas in KH2. They need the casual, lazy, peaceful days those worlds brought to individual characters and their relationships to contrast the moments where they struggle. When I think of TAV my first thought always goes to the secret movie where they're fighting Xehanort, absolutely beautiful and I can always tell how much they care about each other while they're fighting together, but as far as I can remember that's all the game ever really offers in terms of their relationships and it ends up feeling... static, plot driven, uninspired. I don't think my first thought of a group of friends should be of them fighting together against an ultimate villain; I want to think about the days that Sora, Riku, and Kairi spent on Destiny Island because it makes me care about Sora rescuing them. They didn't even need to spend much time elaborating on destiny island either, all they had to do was show us a few scenes of their day to day lives.

Days instead builds a relationship between roxas and xion from the ground up and offers them downtime in the form of cutscenes, but its unfortunate because cutscenes don't make the player feel like they're really involved. And the number of insignificant missions you're forced to do only serves as an impediment for you to get to the next cutscene. As a result, unsurprisingly, the game ends up feeling convoluted and melodramatic.
 

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I feel like BBS became an easy target post-KH3 for KH2FM gameplay stans because it was Osaka Team's pride and joy. The first KH game they'd ever worked on, and the one they were universally praised for between the characters, story, gameplay, etc. So a lot of folks who were upset about KH3 sought to take out their anger and frustration on that instead. While there are perfectly fair criticisms against this game (I've seen many right here on this forum), I feel like we don't really hear much about it because this petty feud dominated the conversation.
I don't think this is quite true. Perhaps on KHInsider but on KH13 (haha yes I know) BBS started to really lose favour around 2015/16, but especially moreso in 2016. I do think a lot of that is down to the remixes A) exposing BBS's faults on a larger scale B) the remixes were generally kinda ass and coloured the experience for a lot of people. It's certainly not something that's out of the blue to me at any rate. It's definitely not something that's only recently been raked over the coals because of KH3, it's been getting shat on for a long time.
 

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I don't think this is quite true. Perhaps on KHInsider but on KH13 (haha yes I know)
you're dead to me

i'm kidding

I think this has a lot to do with each game's appeal towards different demographics. Just from my own observations, I found the younger audience (such as the folks at KH13) favors Days more whereas the older ones preferred BBS.

BBS started to really lose favour around 2015/16, but especially moreso in 2016. I do think a lot of that is down to the remixes A) exposing BBS's faults on a larger scale B) the remixes were generally kinda ass and coloured the experience for a lot of people. It's certainly not something that's out of the blue to me at any rate. It's definitely not something that's only recently been raked over the coals because of KH3, it's been getting shat on for a long time.
As I acknowledged in my own post there are perfectly valid criticisms against it, but this particular matter was something I had noticed over the course of the past year. It definitely wasn't an immediate drop in popularity since each new title leads us to rethink our opinions for older games, and BBS is certainly not perfect by any means, but there was very sudden spike in BBS trashing post-KH3 on social media and other message boards, and I definitely don't think it was a coincidence.
 
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It always seemed to me like Days was highly ambitious for a DS game in terms of graphics and scope of it's story and in the end it's really just a huge cheesy mess.

BBS struck a good balance but it's easy to look back on things and find flaws. Or maybe it's more accurate to say it's easier to be vocal about flaws than it is about things the games got right. I think BBS has a lot of redeeming qualities, probably more than Days does, but I've never personally thought that the characters or their relationships were done well. TAV came off as cliche to me, even their names "terra" "aqua" and "ventus" came off as uninspired, and the reason for why they care about each other so much is never explored.

Someone else mentioned it in this thread or another I think but I'm really starting to believe KH needs the sort of downtime that Destiny Island/Traverse Town brought to Sora/Riku/Kairi in KH1 and Twilight Town brought to Roxas in KH2. They need the casual, lazy, peaceful days those worlds brought to individual characters and their relationships to contrast the moments where they struggle. When I think of TAV my first thought always goes to the secret movie where they're fighting Xehanort, absolutely beautiful and I can always tell how much they care about each other while they're fighting together, but as far as I can remember that's all the game ever really offers in terms of their relationships and it ends up feeling... static, plot driven, uninspired. I don't think my first thought of a group of friends should be of them fighting together against an ultimate villain; I want to think about the days that Sora, Riku, and Kairi spent on Destiny Island because it makes me care about Sora rescuing them. They didn't even need to spend much time elaborating on destiny island either, all they had to do was show us a few scenes of their day to day lives.

Days instead builds a relationship between roxas and xion from the ground up and offers them downtime in the form of cutscenes, but its unfortunate because cutscenes don't make the player feel like they're really involved. And the number of insignificant missions you're forced to do only serves as an impediment for you to get to the next cutscene. As a result, unsurprisingly, the game ends up feeling convoluted and melodramatic.
I agree a lot with this. While I don't find TAV cliche exactly, I felt they were too burrowed from everyone else in their first game. I cringe everytime I hear "Give me a break Aqua" and then you have Terra with Riku's taunts during training and my personal favorite in the flashback zombie Ventus sitting with a guy friend on his right and the girl to his left. This is why I loved the bits from the novel and those short stories. It felt like TAV finally had something of their own.

The thing with Days is Roxas has more interactions with nearly everyone while on missions but you'd have to play the missions. While I personally don't think all the missions are that bad, most of them are not fun and downright tedious. Particularly the ones where Roxas is by himself because now you won't have someone for him to bounce off of. This is one of the reasons I'm not too fond of the Days movie. Many of my favorite character interactions did not make it in the movie. Such as Lexaeus smacking Roxas, Roxas and Axel's banter with Tinker Bell in Neverland, Demyx tricking Roxas into doing extra work in Olympus, Luxord's luck talk to Roxas in Wonderland, Roxas and Xion meeting Genie and fighting Pete, Roxas answering any question wrong with anybody he's with, practically every cutscene in Beast Castle inlcuding "Roxas that's a stick" and Roxas being confused about Lumiere. A lot of personality was lost in the Days movie, because like you said you are playing the game and making the relationships yourself it's just Days did not have good gameplay structure by KH standards. I even think at times the KH portraits in Days give them more personality then half the cutscenes do in the movie. I remember Xion lost a lot of her attitude in the cutscene where Roxas called her out on how he thought she never worried over him. She got angry and made a annoyed noise in the original while in the movie they kept her rather quiet. Likewise Axel's reveal of knowing Xion was a puppet was far more intense in the original then how it's presented in the movie. But maybe that's just a translation thing.
 

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OMG Vanitas' character file gives me a whole new perspective on him. I'm loving it! I wish he said all that "I hate Xehanort, I hate everyone" stuff in the games somewhere! That would make me actually be way more interested in his character.
 

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While I personally don't think all the missions are that bad, most of them are not fun and downright tedious. Particularly the ones where Roxas is by himself because now you won't have someone for him to bounce off of.

A lot of personality was lost in the Days movie, because like you said you are playing the game and making the relationships yourself it's just Days did not have good gameplay structure by KH standards. I even think at times the KH portraits in Days give them more personality then half the cutscenes do in the movie. I remember Xion lost a lot of her attitude in the cutscene where Roxas called her out on how he thought she never worried over him. She got angry and made a annoyed noise in the original while in the movie they kept her rather quiet. Likewise Axel's reveal of knowing Xion was a puppet was far more intense in the original then how it's presented in the movie. But maybe that's just a translation thing.
These are largely the reasons I give days a pass and why I think people maybe judge it too harshly because I really do think Days has a lot of redeemable qualities about it. The humor, dialogue and individual moments are some of the best that the series has to offer, but everything outside of those bits I'm tempted to call a failure.

Because honestly, conceptually, Days was in a really really reallyyy awkward place from the very beginning.
Spoiler Spoiler Show


Anyway, I've written too much on the subject already so I'm gonna stop here but I wanted to point out the flaws so I could say that there's really no point in arguing over what the 'worst' games are. Like I said before, it's easy to point out flaws in things, I could systematically tear every KH game apart if I wanted to, but the 'redeeming qualities' are the ones that stick with people, and those qualities are naturally different for everyone.

OMG Vanitas' character file gives me a whole new perspective on him. I'm loving it! I wish he said all that "I hate Xehanort, I hate everyone" stuff in the games somewhere! That would make me actually be way more interested in his character.
On topic, I totally agree with you. I really hope this "emptiness" thing becomes canon because I would actually love his character if it did.
 

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These are largely the reasons I give days a pass and why I think people maybe judge it too harshly because I really do think Days has a lot of redeemable qualities about it. The humor, dialogue and individual moments are some of the best that the series has to offer, but everything outside of those bits I'm tempted to call a failure.

Because honestly, conceptually, Days was in a really really reallyyy awkward place from the very beginning.
Spoiler Spoiler Show


Anyway, I've written too much on the subject already so I'm gonna stop here but I wanted to point out the flaws so I could say that there's really no point in arguing over what the 'worst' games are. Like I said before, it's easy to point out flaws in things, I could systematically tear every KH game apart if I wanted to, but the 'redeeming qualities' are the ones that stick with people, and those qualities are naturally different for everyone.



On topic, I totally agree with you. I really hope this "emptiness" thing becomes canon because I would actually love his character if it did.
I'll agree that the manga is the best way to experience this one over the games. I'd even throw in the novel. I'll also agree that this off topic has gone on long enough.

Back to Vanitas, Eraqus, and Xehanort...um, did I already make my motorcycle/shotgun joke with Vanitas already? It's my go to thing when bringing him up lol.
 
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