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Kingdom Hearts Retrospective



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BlackOsprey

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Woah... wow. Woooow. I have been enjoying this retrospective for a while now, but that had to be one of the best chapters so far. I loved your analysis of the "My friends are my power" line; I've never thought of it like that, not with that much depth. Small wonder that the Keyblade chose him right afterwards... I'd imagine it's the weapon's way of doing a standing ovation.

Who'da thought... the foundation story of a franchise that's gone on to become an integral part of many childhoods centered its main theme around the concept of a foundation story and all the integral parts of childhood. This is why I love it when video games have a true story.
 

kuraudoVII

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I'm with BlackOsprey on this one. This is by far your single best entry on your Kingdom Hearts Retrospective thus far. All of it came together so beautifully. From the ideas of childhood to the maturity found along the way, the friendship speech here is an integral part of why so many of us are Kingdom Hearts fans.
 

Blackdrazon

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Thanks, both! I hope to get more entries like this up as we go along into other games!
 

FudgemintGuardian

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You...you made me like the friendship speech...
Blackdrazooooooooon!!!!!!
tumblr_static_tumblr_mtrr28tfil1rv33z4o2_400.gif




Childhood builds the road to adulthood, and Riku's road is full of potholes.
This one was fantastic (well, I mean they're all fantastic but this one is the fantasticiest!) and it made me see that scene in a new light. Kudos, dude.

And then it goes further: Kingdom Hearts 1 uses this sentiment as a springboard to a new point that will serve as a critical thesis in later games. “My friends are my power.” Just like how these childhood experiences shape you as a person, the people in your life also shape you into a new person. And so long as they support you, they will further shape you into a stronger person. As long as you support them, you’ll be stronger together. The idea of foundational experiences shaping the person is used as a platform for the higher idea that relationships shape the person.
For some odd reason I have the feeling we'll see this brought up again a few times in the later Retrospectives~

Wow, the first Retrospective is almost over. I love the love you put into this and while the first was always one of my most favorites this Retrospective really renewed my love for it. I'm already excited for your Chain of Memories Retrospective
 
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Blackdrazon

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Thanks Fudgemint! I can't believe we're so close to the end of the first one too. Look forward to CoM!
 

h.e.hassanein

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Great work Blackdrazon! I've been reading your entries and I enjoy them a lot, especially the grumpy complaints :rolleyes: we're fans here, not worshippers, and your comments take me back to when I first played this game
I really hope you get into the console games, with a lot of them I was forced to just watch cutscenes on youtube, so I didn't even bother with coded and (literally) fell asleep in DDD. Your entries are so full I feel like reading them is almost the same as playing the game, kudos to you :redface:
 

Blackdrazon

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Thanks h.e.hassanein! That's exactly the feeling I'm aiming for! As for the later games, I've been trying to keep in mind players who have only watched the games, especially with the two "movies." I know a lot of people have only seen these games on YouTube. I want to get across the feeling of playing the game for people who haven't, or watching the movie for people who haven't done that, either!

Actually that reminds me, I need to watch a playthrough of the original cell phone coded one of these days...
 

kuraudoVII

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Thanks h.e.hassanein! That's exactly the feeling I'm aiming for! As for the later games, I've been trying to keep in mind players who have only watched the games, especially with the two "movies." I know a lot of people have only seen these games on YouTube. I want to get across the feeling of playing the game for people who haven't, or watching the movie for people who haven't done that, either!

Actually that reminds me, I need to watch a playthrough of the original cell phone coded one of these days...

Any chance that you'll also cover the other oh so lovely cell phone game? :p
 

Blackdrazon

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Heh, I have a perfunctory write-up that's going up after KH1 along with a quick look at the manga and The Scepter and the King, but there's not much I can say about it. I should maybe give the few surviving videos a closer look just to see what I can scrape off the floor.
 

dlppictures

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I have been reading since the beginning, and have had some great laughs and other thoughts.
Some things that have been on my mind:


* In the Giant Ursula fight, it is possible to avoid all of her attacks, I’ve done it before, not as a No Damage fight, but I have avoided all her attacks on several different occasions. So I’d say it should be possible to No Damage her.
Sure the tactic I would use would involve swimming around as far away from Ursula as possible, and let my party members do the damaging, but then again I always were the defending type. (Like running up the vines in the Dragon Maleficent fight where none of her attacks can reach me.)

*In the wrap-up section of Neverland part deux, you explain the controls of Glide.
Glide lets Sora float from a jump by pressing Square in mid-air, after which he’ll gradually descend like a kite.
Whilst that is the standard controls for the series, I am positive that Glide in KHI is jump and O (or X in my PS2 FM case) and that jump and square is just for Super Glide.
It has been a while since I played the game seriously, but I am positive on this point.

*This is a fun fact. SGB did a Let’s play of KHI a few years back, and like many others made fun of the Hercules battle. Like “Why do barrels hurt him?”. After the fight, one of the guys did some googling, and came upon a story of Deianeira, wife of Heracles, when she heard Heracles had married a younger bride by the name of Iole,
The young bride, Iole, was also rumoured to be very beautiful, and Deianeira was at her wits end. When she had made sure her husband was really coming with Iole through a servant, she put the Centaurs cloth in a barrel of water, and then put a shirt in it that she sent to Heracles.
When Heracles put the shirt on it stuck on his skin and caused him great pain. When he tried to take it off, pieces of his own flesh came with it.
So in a way, unintentionally as it must have been, there is some Greek mythological reasoning for Hercules to be weak of barrels.
Source: Deianeira, Greece, Greek mythology

*There are a lot of things to extract from the “My friends are my power!” scene. I have always liked that scene, and honestly never understood why people like to make fun of it, but here you are making a whole essay about why this is an important scene, and it reminded me of Frustrated Jacob’s LP.
He too went in a long tantrum about why this scene is the most important scene in the game.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxHWorrLhKk
Around 07:00 – 15:30
Jacob has mentioned several times during the LP that he wants to make a full fledged video about the importance of this scene, in a similar vein to his FFXV analyses and his “Plot of KH series in 20 minutes” video.


*
You can’t climb up on Maleficent’s platform, so at first glance you have no choice but to attack the platform directly.
I have pretty much always believed you couldn’t climb the platform, but then...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHD0O1OVz-k#t=20m25s
At 20:25, a noob who hasn’t touched the game for months, jumps up on her platform, the very first try.
I feel a little ashamed.


All in all, I very much enjoy reading through these, and am very much looking forward to the following posts.
 

Blackdrazon

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* In the Giant Ursula fight, it is possible to avoid all of her attacks, I’ve done it before, not as a No Damage fight, but I have avoided all her attacks on several different occasions. So I’d say it should be possible to No Damage her.
Sure the tactic I would use would involve swimming around as far away from Ursula as possible, and let my party members do the damaging, but then again I always were the defending type. (Like running up the vines in the Dragon Maleficent fight where none of her attacks can reach me.)

I like it! Gotta like how helpful the NPCs can be in this game, I get into that during the final boss battle. Though I've never outright considered letting them run a fight! Do you mind if I mention your strategy in that section?

*In the wrap-up section of Neverland part deux, you explain the controls of Glide.

Whilst that is the standard controls for the series, I am positive that Glide in KHI is jump and O (or X in my PS2 FM case) and that jump and square is just for Super Glide.
It has been a while since I played the game seriously, but I am positive on this point.

Shoot, of course. I'll fix that as soon as I can.

*This is a fun fact. SGB did a Let’s play of KHI a few years back, and like many others made fun of the Hercules battle. Like “Why do barrels hurt him?”. After the fight, one of the guys did some googling, and came upon a story of Deianeira, wife of Heracles, when she heard Heracles had married a younger bride by the name of Iole,

So in a way, unintentionally as it must have been, there is some Greek mythological reasoning for Hercules to be weak of barrels.
Source: Deianeira, Greece, Greek mythology

Hahaha, I love this!

*There are a lot of things to extract from the “My friends are my power!” scene. I have always liked that scene, and honestly never understood why people like to make fun of it, but here you are making a whole essay about why this is an important scene, and it reminded me of Frustrated Jacob’s LP.
He too went in a long tantrum about why this scene is the most important scene in the game.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxHWorrLhKk
Around 07:00 – 15:30
Jacob has mentioned several times during the LP that he wants to make a full fledged video about the importance of this scene, in a similar vein to his FFXV analyses and his “Plot of KH series in 20 minutes” video.

Jacob's stuff is always fantastic, he's one of the best analysts I've seen in recent years. I haven't had the chance to watch the LP, unfortunately. Today is not going to be that day either, but hopefully soon. :/


I have pretty much always believed you couldn’t climb the platform, but then...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHD0O1OVz-k#t=20m25s
At 20:25, a noob who hasn’t touched the game for months, jumps up on her platform, the very first try.
I feel a little ashamed.

Noooo way. I almost can't believe the devs allowed that, but I suppose that's one of the virtues of a 2002 game, less hidden constraints!
 

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Dont know if it's nostalgia or your words but makes one wanna play and love KH1 again. TuT
 

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ALWAYS!! TnT
I almost wish there was some alternate endings too it haha. A standalone or another that could spawn some parallel series to try and get that KH1 magic back.

Tis a dream though.
 

Elysium

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I'm not sure if this is different in the Final Mix in the ReMIX from the Final Mix released years ago (before the ReMIX, I'd never been able to play FM), but the White Mushroom Arts are still completable before End of the World even with Pink Agaricus. The Stop Mushrooms are still inside the Sunken Ship in Atlantica.

I admit I was always confused by that last scene with Leon, Yuffie, and Aerith in Hollow Bastion, too. It always seemed like they're talking about the Keyhole at HB, but then that couldn't be it. I suppose they put that there because the group wouldn't be able to come to End of the World?
 

Blackdrazon

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I'm not sure if this is different in the Final Mix in the ReMIX from the Final Mix released years ago (before the ReMIX, I'd never been able to play FM), but the White Mushroom Arts are still completable before End of the World even with Pink Agaricus. The Stop Mushrooms are still inside the Sunken Ship in Atlantica.

Right, thanks!

I admit I was always confused by that last scene with Leon, Yuffie, and Aerith in Hollow Bastion, too. It always seemed like they're talking about the Keyhole at HB, but then that couldn't be it. I suppose they put that there because the group wouldn't be able to come to End of the World?

That's probably the easiest answer for the whole fiasco. Hrm, or maybe if they met after the Keyhole in place of the rushed introduction of End of the World with the princesses? That's probably just hindsight talking.
 

FudgemintGuardian

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This is the magical equivalent of melting down a wrecking ball and watching a skyscraper reassemble itself!
I'm reminded of the Aladdin movie. Where defeating Jafar not only reversed what magic he did but the palace, which was wished to be on a mountain, magically return to its location. Leading to the question of "why would that undo his wish and wait, if his defeat undid his own wish, wouldn't it also undo his wish of becoming a genie?" I suppose Genie could have actually moved the palace back but if he did we should have seen him snap his fingers or something.


In Report 4, we learn that Ansem was “feeding” the Shadows with more victims: “living and unloving samples,”
Found a small oops.
 

Blackdrazon

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I'm reminded of the Aladdin movie. Where defeating Jafar not only reversed what magic he did but the palace, which was wished to be on a mountain, magically return to its location. Leading to the question of "why would that undo his wish and wait, if his defeat undid his own wish, wouldn't it also undo his wish of becoming a genie?" I suppose Genie could have actually moved the palace back but if he did we should have seen him snap his fingers or something.

Ugh, right, I forgot about that bit in Aladdin. The whole sequence in KH1 seems to play off the tropes of "everything is fine now don't question it and be happy children" but also its companion trope "you must return to your original life and can't come back." I'm having trouble thinking of examples but I know I've seen it all over (the first arc of Digimon? It seems to descend from Wizard of Oz, but Dorothy wasn't so keen on staying in the first place, only in later books).

The latter trope always struck me as being just as arbitrary as the former and it's only recently that I started to think of it as a refinement (however insufficient) to the first, a sort of "everything is fine but you can't live in a fantasy world" corollary. KH1 uses those stock plots to surprise you when Sora actually gets trapped outside his real world, but I don't want to give them full credit for the twist when the setup still seems unwarranted.

Found a small oops.

Pffff, I'm not sure I want to think that much about unloving samples.
 

BlackOsprey

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Ah, the bonus bosses. So many good, angry memories. Good job as always. Small thing, though- I noticed that the pictures that were included with this one were used in older passages, and they don't have anything to do with what this one was talking about. Kinda weird. Other than that, no complaints from me. Looking forward to the conclusion. :D
 

Blackdrazon

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Yes, unfortunately the Longplay I've been using as a source for screenshots only ever fought Sephiroth, none of the others. He also died almost immediately (as one does against Sephiroth) so all the screenshots are of mostly the introduction. Giving it a check just now, it seems that World of Longplays' video of the original PS2 version by RickyC does have a copy of the Ice Titan, Phantom and Kurt Zisa fights. Unfortunately, RickyC's version can't have the fight with the Unknown, but I'll set to work getting screenshots of the others as soon as I can download them.

This is an ongoing trouble with screenshots. I don't have any capture equipment of my own (Kyle of the Marathons suggested it, but there's been a change in financial situation over here), so I'm at the mercy of internet Let's Players, Speedrunners and Longplayers to provide my screenshots. I have to contact them for permission, and typically they just... don't get back to me. That's their right. Thankfully World of Longplays functions as a sort of open archive, and has a sort of standing, open permission system where I can use their videos so long as I credit them with links to both their site and their YouTube channel, as you see inline or at the end of every one of my entries. But whenever World of Longplays has a gap...

In the immediate future, I'm still trying to track down a source of screenshots for a number of games. On the Final Fantasy side I need Final Fantasy Legend II (indeed, I shouldn't be running FFIV right now at all as FFLII was released before it, but I couldn't find a source in time), FFLIII and FFIV: Interlude. On the Kingdom Hearts side, I still need a source for Re:CoM (though World of Longplays thankfully does have a longplay of the GBA version). There will be further trouble down the road for Kingdom Hearts, since they also don't have videos for the DS version of coded (or the cell phone, for that matter), or for DDD, but it's going to take a while for us to get there, so there's always a chance that they might be uploaded in the interim.

I'll be providing my own screenshots of KHX and KHuX, and I'll be taking screenshots from the only surviving V-Cast video (you know the one I mean) simply because I don't think anyone will care.

In the meantime, what's everyone's thoughts on out-of-context screencaps? Would you prefer there be out-of-context screencaps simply for colour, no screencaps to avoid being distracting or confusing, or do you have some other ideas?
 
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