• Hello everybody! We have tons of new awards for the new year that can be requested through our Awards System thanks to Antifa Lockhart! Some are limited-time awards so go claim them before they are gone forever...

    CLICK HERE FOR AWARDS

Kingdom Hearts Retrospective



REGISTER TO REMOVE ADS
Status
Not open for further replies.

Blackdrazon

Vulpes Chronicler
Joined
Aug 8, 2013
Messages
2,655
Awards
8
KHI keeps throwing me errors, but I'm just going to post an update to say that I found the Phantom and Kurt Zisa fights in RickyC's version (and the Rock Titan and Hades, for that matter) so I'll add those as soon as I can download them. Maybe the Destiny Islands final fantasy character fights, too, that's been bothering me for a while. Should have checked out his version a lot earlier. Unfortunately, the Unknown is still out of my reach for the time being!
 

kuraudoVII

D'oh, I missed!
Joined
Feb 20, 2014
Messages
1,974
Awards
1
Location
Somewhere in Castle Figaro...
Loving the retrospective, man. You've been doing a solid job I always found it odd that Sephiroth was the one that held Secret Ansem Report 12 instead of one of the Phantom, especially when the series later goes out of its way to only make the original characters important and almost entirely disregard the Disney and Final Fantasy cast.
 

Blackdrazon

Vulpes Chronicler
Joined
Aug 8, 2013
Messages
2,655
Awards
8
It's true, Sephiroth only really needed the keychain and the cutscene as rewards, giving him three almost seems like overkill. Maybe it was to reward Japanese fans (who were already used to Phantom) to enjoy the new content? Makes you wonder.

I've uploaded the new screenshots from RickyC's longplay, plus additional image credits, added to both this entry and the previous. The Unknown remains without pictures, unfortunately.
 

Rolands

New member
Joined
May 25, 2013
Messages
122
I quite enjoy this retrospective, good work. I think you're maybe a notch too critical at times, but still.

A few things though? First of all, I'm pretty sure Ansem WAS the source of all Heartless. There's no evidence of Heartless showing up in the Realm of Light until Ansem's Heartless showed up, and their disturbance is what broke down the walls between worlds. And, in case you have any doubts, in Kingdom Hearts 2 Xemnas flat out says to Ansem The Wise that "You are the source of all heartless," referring to how he was the one who prompted Xemnas to take his research so far. Now, we know that technically Heartless existed before that point in the Realm of Darkness, but the phrase still make sense if you assume Xemnas was talking about Ansem being the source of all the heartless coming into the Realm of Light.

Second...Kairi WOULD get in Sora's way. There's no getting around it. She's a noncombatant.
 
Last edited:

Blackdrazon

Vulpes Chronicler
Joined
Aug 8, 2013
Messages
2,655
Awards
8
A few things though? First of all, I'm pretty sure Ansem WAS the source of all Heartless. There's no evidence of Heartless showing up in the Realm of Light until the Heartless showed up, and their disturbance is what broke down the walls between worlds. And, in case you have any doubts, in Kingdom Hearts 2 Xemnas flat out says to Ansem The Wise that "You are the source of all heartless," referring to how he was the one who prompted Xemnas to take his research so far. Now, we know that technically Heartless existed before that point in the Realm of Darkness, but the phrase still make sense if you assume Xemnas was talking about Ansem being the source of all the heartless coming into the Realm of Light.

Oh, Ansem is definitely the source of all Heartless in the Realm of Light, you've got that on the nose. However, that's not what I was discussing in that section (or what others were discussing on the forums at the time): I was / we were discussing the creation of Heartless altogether, Realm of Darkness included. This is, of course, non-canonical at this point in the series.

As for Kairi, I don't think she'd be so obstructive. KH1 implies the princesses are holding back the tide of the Heartless from the Realm of Darkness. With the "anyone who joins the party can be at fighting level with just a little grinding" rush that typifies JRPGs, Kairi could have probably filled a White Mage-esque role with healing and debuffs, and maybe some kind of barrier spell, all without much game design trouble, even if it was only as a one-world guest like Riku in KH2

To put it another way: yes, Kairi is a noncombatant, but that's because the developers chose to make her a noncombatant even though she was barely in the game, even when they could have easily done otherwise! Sora was simply their vehicle, and I'm trying to tease at them by teasing at him. I suppose I could redirect the complaint, but knowing she's one of seven ur-powers in the Kingdom Hearts universe and showed at least acceptable leadership skills in her few moments of consciousness, plus the number of teens involved in Disney and FF plots who have no or little experience of their own, I decided to throw a pie at Sora.

The long game here is my attempt to get across the fact that the developers have been shunting Kairi aside since the first game of the series (or using her as a device instead of a character). Unfortunately, that doesn't become obvious in the "low spoiler" perspective until later. I likewise direct Kairi-related jokes and critiques at characters in CoM (though obviously not often) and early KH2. By the end of KH2, the pattern has become evident, and I can point at the developers, who have been responsible all along. But you're right, I could have pointed out that she was a non-combatant at the time, since we're still in the early stages. I'm just sort of bitter she's excluded no matter what part of the franchise we're talking about.
 
Last edited:

Elysium

Villain by Necessity
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
3,614
Awards
36
I agree, and having Kairi be the party member for the second half of Hollow Bastion would've made more sense than Beast at that point in the story. It's only because I'm not a fan of the character that I'm glad they put her in the background..., but they could definitely have done more with her if they wanted to.
 

Anagram

Banned
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
5,681
I also agree about Kairi. I'm no fanboy but I find it stupid to cry noncombatant when whether she is or not was the developers choice. She COULD'VE been made combatant and useful. There's just no way to dance around that truth.
 
Last edited:

ShardofTruth

Unchained
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
1,716
Awards
6
I've been catching up with the retrospective and it's really a pleasure to read. I especially like all those references to other games and series, never heard of Darkened Skye though, is it really good? It looks a bit like Drakan (minus the dragon) from screenshots.

I also like how you're pointing out the advantages of choosing the Dream Rod out more and more, even though you were very adamant in saying that the sword option is always the best option at the beginning.:wink:
I always choose the staff because I can synthesize another Power Boost to get more strength but this extra magic point, that is so important for the magic mechanics, will forever be gone. If you equip the Diamond Dust Keyblade on top you can destroy enemies like you're Aqua on speed, Magic (especially vita/vitra/vigra) is seriously broken in Kingdom Hearts.

I also agree about Hollow Bastion, I still get shivers when the Sora arrives in the world for the first time, the logo is shown, the music begins to play and the castle is shown in the distance (they did the same with The World That Never Was and it works there perfectly too). This is by far my favorite world in Kingdom Hearts and I'm still unsure to this day if Radiant Garden is really a fair trade.

I'm also not that fond of the the gummi missions myself but on the other hand what could SquareEnix do to make this section more interesting? Since the rewards are only more gummi blocks, I always felt that this expansion was only made for people who like this mode and not the rest of the players.

Maybe I can help you with the screenshots of the Unknown, if I can find my savegames for the original Final Mix but I'm not able to take photos/videos with my PS3 either.
 

Blackdrazon

Vulpes Chronicler
Joined
Aug 8, 2013
Messages
2,655
Awards
8
I've been catching up with the retrospective and it's really a pleasure to read. I especially like all those references to other games and series, never heard of Darkened Skye though, is it really good? It looks a bit like Drakan (minus the dragon) from screenshots.

Darkened Skye is... fascinating. The dialogue is cheesy (often bad), the combat is so-so, and the platforming is atrocious (and then they ask you to do stuff like this). Honestly it feels not unlike a PSX action platformer with only a few refinements, despite being the same age as KH1 (maybe this is just the Linda Larkin connection talking, but the gameplay reminds me of Nasira's Revenge).

But then you hit the licensing connection, and you start wonder wow, how on earth did this happen? A licensed candy game about a dark, cheesily comedic fantasy world? And despite the general mediocrity of the controls, no licensed food game has any right to be this good. What are we comparing it to? Cool Spot was from a different era. The Burger King games, maybe? The devs just refused to go down making a trite licensed product, and the whole thing warps back to admirable. I don't know how Mars, Inc let them get away with it, but having worked in licensed games I have to respect their gumption and results.

I also like how you're pointing out the advantages of choosing the Dream Rod out more and more, even though you were very adamant in saying that the sword option is always the best option at the beginning.:wink:

I always choose the staff because I can synthesize another Power Boost to get more strength but this extra magic point, that is so important for the magic mechanics, will forever be gone. If you equip the Diamond Dust Keyblade on top you can destroy enemies like you're Aqua on speed, Magic (especially vita/vitra/vigra) is seriously broken in Kingdom Hearts.

Haha, the Dream Rod becomes more and more valuable in the late-game. Kingdom Hearts games traditionally have a weird, camel-like difficulty curve if you consider the late-game challenges to be part of the curve: one hump near the beginning (traditionally before you get Cure) and one hump in the 80% range. Having played Rod extensively in the past, I had no trouble with Kurt Zisa or of course Phantom, but Sword? Forget about it. It's funny how that works. At least Sword players can close the MP gap with synthesis, but Rod players will always be a little behind on sheer hitting power, which can be trouble against bosses like Ansem, depending on your level.

I also agree about Hollow Bastion, I still get shivers when the Sora arrives in the world for the first time, the logo is shown, the music begins to play and the castle is shown in the distance (they did the same with The World That Never Was and it works there perfectly too). This is by far my favorite world in Kingdom Hearts and I'm still unsure to this day if Radiant Garden is really a fair trade.

It's just unforgettable. One of my favourite remixes is from there, too!

I'm also not that fond of the the gummi missions myself but on the other hand what could SquareEnix do to make this section more interesting? Since the rewards are only more gummi blocks, I always felt that this expansion was only made for people who like this mode and not the rest of the players.

You're right, and I can't offer any other fixes than I already have (a "gummi mission mode" feature where Monstro is disabled and Sora automatically takes the right paths). And I am glad that they made the prizes nothing but gummis. This happens in KH2 a few times as well, where my draft says something like: "This FM+ fix isn't great, but what else could they have done?" Kingdom Hearts takes surprisingly well to revision, but the Final Mix format comes too late in the process to make the big fixes!

Maybe I can help you with the screenshots of the Unknown, if I can find my savegames for the original Final Mix but I'm not able to take photos/videos with my PS3 either.

I'd appreciate it if you find a way! But you're right, there isn't any easy way to take PS3 screenshots either (I tried during my retrospective playthrough). If you can get the shots, PM me, but no pressure or rush. If you can't, that's fine too, I'm much more happy with the entry now that it has the RickyC screenshots.
 
Last edited:

Blackdrazon

Vulpes Chronicler
Joined
Aug 8, 2013
Messages
2,655
Awards
8
Thanks to ShardofTruth, the superboss article is now complete with screenshots of the Unknown!

On top of that, the first End of the World article is now queued, and will be up at Midnight EDT. It goes all the way to the Final Rest, so starting Tuesday we'll be starting the Final Boss, endings, and sequel hooking before bringing Kingdom Hearts 1 to a close!
 

BlackOsprey

Hell yeah
Joined
Jul 5, 2015
Messages
4,525
Awards
20
... Well Blackdrazon, thanks to you, I won't be able to fight the World of Chaos without thinking about dirty jokes. Nice... Still, even before I had that all pointed out to me, my brother and I made fun of the whole fight a lot. We dubbed the World of Chaos "The Gutship" and we'd constantly mock all of Ansem's battle quips- "all shall be extinguished" became "all shall-lagalagalag," mostly because all the sound effects would play over the talk. The only thing you can really take seriously in that whole fight is that double-ended Soul Eater and the kickass music (like usual).

I'm glad that the franchise has mostly edged away from the kind of final boss The World of Chaos was. Instead of colossal final forms with gimmicky controls and fake difficulty, it's been trending more towards human-sized opponents that actually force you to utilize the skills you've honed.
 

dlppictures

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
694
Awards
4
Location
はるかなる故郷
Website
dlppictures.blogspot.dk
This is exciting, both the marathon and Jacob’s LP at End of the World at the same time, let’s see what meaningful thoughts are going to be brought up.

Blackdrazon said:
Goofy addresses the End of the World as “a Heartless world,” which I believe he’s using not just to mean a world populated by the Heartless, but a world-that-is-Heartless the same way a human can be a Heartless. It’s an interesting idea.

A world without a heart? That could explain why some things from other worlds appear here, like the hallway with prop graffiti from the worlds of the Princesses. This world has sucked the life out of the living worlds and what little remained of them was absorbed into this world. Literally a Heartless world.

Frustrated Jacob said:
It’s not one-to-one in geometry, but that’s kinda the idea, is that we’re facing in between different versions of this room. Not a whole lot in this space, the End of the World makes sense as spatially things get twisted around and messed up. You know it’s all topsy-turvy because, you know, it’s a Heartless world, you know, it’s the remnants of all the worlds that have been destroyed.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blackdrazon said:
The first of these unpleasantries is the Invisible. Thankfully not truly invisible, these demon-like figures are Pureblooded Heartless that will topple your assumptions about Purebloods being shitty rank-and-file nobodies like the Shadows and Darkballs.

Jacob and his friend also mention this. Something along the lines of (Joey) “You can be scared of these Heartless. Most of the others look like canonfodder you can just kick them and they’ll fall over. These guys look formidable.” (Jacob) “Yeah, it’s telling when there’s plushies for the basic Shadow.” lol

Blackdrazon said:
The next room in the world is the Great Crevasse, an amalgam of land and Gummi bocks, as well as some strange webbing.

This room is a huge area filled with Gummi blocks, and given the nature of this world of course Jacob gets a theory about the origin of Gummis.

Frustrated Jacob said:
We already know that Gummi blocks come from basically when the Door is opened and the World becomes accesible to the rest of the Worlds, like when there is a Meteor Shower. So it is implied, the Gummi blocks are in space or like they are the atmosphere of the World practically. But for whatever purpose they are in space. And we see them in space cause we see like all these blocks except they are out in space that have these types of colour on them, and you know, blow things up and you pick up Gummi blocks. So it’s obvious that that's where Gummi blocks come from to an extent. My theory is that this world The End of the World, is entirely comprised of the worlds destroyed by the Heartless, and we have this one section that is obviously a bunch of Gummi blocks. So maybe they don’t just come from space, maybe they’re parts of the worlds that we go to. Which would also suggest that the ships we fly around in are essentially the skeletons of dead planets (...) But whatever, it’s just a theory I have.

Suddenly the thought of Gummi blocks became a lot darker.

Blackdrazon said:
There’s no doubt that this machine is meant to be the core of some kind of research into the Heartless.

You can see five ‘pods?’ on the machine with Heartless symbol shaped glass. Could those possibly be connected with the people experimented on? It seems to be able to fit a person in there maybe. Possibly the first people turned Heartless in the Realm of Light? Okay I better stop before I end up making theories I cannot grasp myself…

Blackdrazon said:
Defeating Chernabog gets you the Superglide group ability, which you can use to glide and fly faster by pressing Square to glide instead of Circle (the Square button is used for Glide in all subsequent games, since everyone just got used to using Superglide instead! When I uploaded the Neverland section of this guide, I had even forgotten that Glide was attached to Jump, and a helpful reader had to correct me!)

Squee! I know I am probably too easy to please, but even an indirect mention like this has honestly made my day. :D

Links to Jacob’s first three episodes of End of the World. (Up to Final Rest)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiRWpVWMWF8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xOxrCc4WSk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fs_AxsCO0w
 

Blackdrazon

Vulpes Chronicler
Joined
Aug 8, 2013
Messages
2,655
Awards
8
... Well Blackdrazon, thanks to you, I won't be able to fight the World of Chaos without thinking about dirty jokes. Nice... Still, even before I had that all pointed out to me, my brother and I made fun of the whole fight a lot. We dubbed the World of Chaos "The Gutship" and we'd constantly mock all of Ansem's battle quips- "all shall be extinguished" became "all shall-lagalagalag," mostly because all the sound effects would play over the talk. The only thing you can really take seriously in that whole fight is that double-ended Soul Eater and the kickass music (like usual).

With the Marathons coming from Mega Man, I know a thing or seven about sound effects interrupting the fight. By the way, I love "Gutship."

I'm glad that the franchise has mostly edged away from the kind of final boss The World of Chaos was. Instead of colossal final forms with gimmicky controls and fake difficulty, it's been trending more towards human-sized opponents that actually force you to utilize the skills you've honed.

Me too. I call this the "Wind Waker effect," (in fact I think I mention this in a later game's first draft) because it seems to stem from the fight with Ganondorf at the end of Wind Waker in 2002/3. Wind Waker was so invested in improving your combat skills gradually through the game that any other sort of final boss would have been a disappointment, and I think many other companies came to similar conclusions in the years that followed.

This room is a huge area filled with Gummi blocks, and given the nature of this world of course Jacob gets a theory about the origin of Gummis.

[...]

Suddenly the thought of Gummi blocks became a lot darker.

Yikes, that is dark, but I also like it! It would also explain the blocky construction of the KH1 gummi paths that I criticized, since they might be remainders of the original wall. Though I'm still at a loss to explain the many hoops.


You can see five ‘pods?’ on the machine with Heartless symbol shaped glass. Could those possibly be connected with the people experimented on? It seems to be able to fit a person in there maybe. Possibly the first people turned Heartless in the Realm of Light? Okay I better stop before I end up making theories I cannot grasp myself…

You've got me wondering. There are definitely more cages in the KH2:FM+ cutscene with Xemnas in Hollow Bastion, but they could have easily put someone else in there. ...There were five apprentices other than Xehanort...


Links to Jacob’s first three episodes of End of the World. (Up to Final Rest)

I'll check these out later, because thanks to you I've been catching up on Jacob's videos lately, they're very good! I'm up to Agrabah!
 

FudgemintGuardian

Moist with roistering
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
6,329
Awards
39
I feel like an idiot for never noticing the area beyond the Door to Darkness was meant to look like inside of a human heart.

(he’s not even fully visible in certain promotional art!)
Ah, the art where it looks like Mickey was scratching his nose as the picture was being taken. Good times. *laughs*

The music works a lot better after a short pause. The next thing we know, we, following Kairi, see lights begin to fall like snow,
Agreed. If they waited like, right when little light lands in Kairi's hands, it would have worked out much better. The sudden pop music, starting just after her "I know you will!" kinda detracts from the sad scene.
 

ShardofTruth

Unchained
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
1,716
Awards
6
I can't wait for the secret movies chapter Blackdrazon, the End of the World was an really interesting read. Although you forgot to mention the most important fact of the World Terminus: If you didn't lock the Keyhole of the world that pillar is leading too, it will be blue and you can't skip it, you have to clear the single room before you can reach the next platform.

Most of the problems the sequels have with explaining the first game begin with the final keyhole in Hollow Bastion and end with Sora, Donald & Goofy strolling around the unknown world that somehow becomes Castle Oblivion in the CoM (map or room wise it belongs to Castle Disney, although that doesn’t mean much).
But at least to me Nomura seems to run with exciting ideas, no matter how hard they are to explain retroactively, just to have some fun and twists along the way and that’s totally fine.

I feel like an idiot for never noticing the area beyond the Door to Darkness was meant to look like inside of a human heart.
I've never noticed it either, strange how such details can escape you every time.
 

Blackdrazon

Vulpes Chronicler
Joined
Aug 8, 2013
Messages
2,655
Awards
8
I can't wait for the secret movies chapter Blackdrazon, the End of the World was an really interesting read. Although you forgot to mention the most important fact of the World Terminus: If you didn't lock the Keyhole of the world that pillar is leading too, it will be blue and you can't skip it, you have to clear the single room before you can reach the next platform.

I legitimately didn't know that! I guess I've always cleared all the worlds before going to The End of the World, even Olympus Coliseum? I'm surprised to learn that about myself. Thanks, I'll put that in right away!

Most of the problems the sequels have with explaining the first game begin with the final keyhole in Hollow Bastion and end with Sora, Donald & Goofy strolling around the unknown world that somehow becomes Castle Oblivion in the CoM (map or room wise it belongs to Castle Disney, although that doesn’t mean much).
But at least to me Nomura seems to run with exciting ideas, no matter how hard they are to explain retroactively, just to have some fun and twists along the way and that’s totally fine.

That's definitely what's going on with the secret ending (and KH2's secret ending, for that matter). I'm glad he's having fun, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's why he stopped doing concept trailers after KH2. It's just easier not to have to contextualize these things in hindsight.

I've never noticed it either, strange how such details can escape you every time.

But how many of us have been looking at the insides of hearts, really?

Don't answer that.
 

Elysium

Villain by Necessity
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
3,614
Awards
36
There are a lot of little things I disagree with, but that's probably the biggest one so far. The ending scene of KH1 works extremely well, imo. It would've just been awkward to watch them reach out to each other in silence for seconds before the music finally starts. Plus, it helps the ending from turning into tragic melodrama, which the later games revel in (and I hate). But that's just my opinion.

Are you doing these in order of release? (So CoM next?)
 

Antifa Lockhart

Moderator
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
3,710
Awards
82
There are a lot of little things I disagree with, but that's probably the biggest one so far. The ending scene of KH1 works extremely well, imo. It would've just been awkward to watch them reach out to each other in silence for seconds before the music finally starts.

I agree, besides, there is a break between the chorus and the first verse that gives it that pause when the light lands in Kairi's hand. It doesn't need to be any longer than that.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top