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Recapturing the magic



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Launchpad

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I totally agree with Launchpad's post, I hate Yensid since the second I saw him, but I have to disagree with this:


Sora actively goes against Mickey more than a few times during the course of KH2, and finding Riku is still his main goal, the organisation is just a side piece for him until they make it personal by getting Kairi involved/setting off the battle of Hollow Bastion
Right, I said 'respectively' as in Sora usually obeys Yen Sid, Riku usually obeys Mickey. The latter is understandable because Mickey and Riku have a believable friendship and Riku owes a lot of his maturity to Mickey's guidance.

Sora and Yen Sid on the other hand is kind of ridiculous. Yen Sid's exposition dump is one of the lousier parts of KH2, considering that's all we see of him in the entire game. Instead of letting Sora be properly motivated by his own curiosity and goals, Yen Sid tells him what Nobodies are, and why he should hate and subsequently kill them. Sora takes this to heart and greets the organization with an instant, unearned sense of anger and threat.

Then Yen Sid sends Sora on a wild goose chase in KH3 to master the power of waking, which isn't even necessary. I mean, Sora still made good on his time by encountering half of the new organization and informing Yen Sid and company of the threats they were going to face, but that was just good happenstance, not Yen Sid's plan. Sora ends up doing incredible recon on accident and pulls the power of waking out from his ass, all without any personal motivation.
 

TrueTroper

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In my opinion, KH1's secret sauce is that Sora and Riku were travelling around for their own reasons. Sora wanted to find his friends and eventually saw fit to help people in different worlds, as well as discovering that he could seal keyholes to save the worlds. Riku was desperately looking for a way to save Kairi and also seek power to stay stronger than Sora. Their central goals were always what kept them moving forward and made their adventures seem more personal.
The fact that all three characters (Sora, Riku, and Kairi) had more character to them in earlier games than they do in all of KH3 is rather notable, unfortunately.

Which brings me to my feelings of whether Phase 2 can “recapture the magic” of the DDS’s
earliest games. Again, I’m going to say “No.” Aside from my typical "Nomura has too much power over the story" argument, I’m going to add that I’m already seeing warning signs that Phase 2 will end up repeating a lot of the DSS’s mistakes in later games. For one thing, we already know there’s going to be a bloated cast from UX (Foretellers, MoM, Chirithy, the Union Leaders, Luxu, the Seven Lights, etc.) along with however many DSS characters are dragged forward into Phase 2. And KH3 is proof enough that Nomura doesn’t really know how to deal with an overly large cast.

Add to that argument the fact that there's already too many sequel hooks leading into this Phase 2 project, and things are already starting to look imbalanced. It's obvious by now that Phase 2 isn't starting with a "clean slate" like KH1 did, so things are going to get messy once the writers start trying to throw everything together, especially if they try adding new sequel hooks along the way. It's like watching the train-wreck that's KH3 repeating itself all over again.

If anything, KH4 is setting up the best Sora and Riku story in a long time, because they're both going to a world where the fucking wizard and mouse can't send instructions.
Can we really say that Yen Sid is going to be left out of the plot from now on? Remember that while Sora and Riku are adventuring, Kairi is training with Aqua—which means that Yen Sid could easily return for whatever reason to help Aqua give Kairi instructions. Given how fans reacted when Nomura left out the FF characters, I’m sure he’ll be more considerate of keeping the recurring Disney cast in the games as well as FF characters. And Yen Sid is one of said recurring Disney characters, having appeared in KH2, BBS, 3D and KH3, so I wouldn't rule out the possibility of Yen Sid's return.
 
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kaseykockroach

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And the worst part is, we will never find out what Donald meant when he said “I’m sorry about the ice cream!”.
 

Rodin

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I wanted to posit a question to the community: Do you all think there's any possibility of recapturing the magic of KH1, or do you think too much of that magic rests on nostalgia?

Let me be clear: I think that KH1 had a unique atmosphere to the rest of the series. Even KH2 didn't have the same type of vibes to it. Only Chain of Memories (the original GBA release more so than the remake) came close to those vibes, and that likewise might just be due to nostalgia. But it feels like KH2 constituted a pivotal vibe shift for the series—all the games since then have basically walked in the path of KH2 in terms of building off THAT atmosphere, but the feeling of KH1—its story, its music, its design, and so many other things about its aesthetic—feel almost like a different world to the rest of the franchise.

So it gets me thinking: could that special feeling from the first game ever be recreated—is it just an issue of picking the right storytelling technique and eschewing the heavy plot stuff and other characteristics that the series has grown to adopt—or is it a futile errand? I'm interested to know what you guys/gals think.
Depends on the fan. To me, the crossover element ages better than the original stuff. So I'd just do a spinoff with a new original cast. It's not a reboot but a seperate story.

I'd also change the companions from Donald and Goofy to Max and his friends or Huey, Duey and Louie. The main antagonists would be also new.

New characters equal fresh start. Verum Rex might also fulfill this but idk yet.

Nostalgia is hard to recreate but a fresh start could help.
 
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Guernsey

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I think that the Disney and Sqaure elements should merge together to form something cohesive. I really hate how the Disney and Square elements do not merge or mesh outside if a few exceptions.
 

Raz

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I don't think a fresh start is necessary. I think that Nomura and company need a tight plan for the moving parts they've introduced for the series moving forward. A tight plan -- meaning a plot with a clear beginning, middle, and end -- combined with an effort to give each main character a "moment" or a "goal" would go a long way, and an expert integration of the Disney into the main plot. Basically, I'm asking for cogent storytelling. Which is a lot to ask from KH, I know.
 

kaseykockroach

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Nomura can't just magically become a good writer because fans asked him to be, fellers.
Heck, I can't even become a good writer *without* being asked!
 

Sephiroth0812

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Nomura can't just magically become a good writer because fans asked him to be, fellers.
Heck, I can't even become a good writer *without* being asked!
Nomura doesn't even need to magically become a good writer for KH as a series to return to more coherent storytelling.

The only thing he and the others having the most decision power around KH need to do is go back to have a competent team of writers supplementing each other, not just Nomura and maybe one extra writer who just does the stuff Nomura himself either has no time for or isn't interested in doing.

It's a sort of paradox that the more the series expanded in general scope of its own internal universe (not just characters) the smaller the team of central story writers became when for efficiency the other way around would have been more plausible or at least keep the team of writers consistent.

If I recall correctly KH 1 started with a team of four or five writers. CoM had at least three while KH 2 and BBS had at least two. Dunno how it was with Days, Coded and DDD but I think KH 3 was the first time Nomura did almost all by himself and it shows.
 

kirabook

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I could say many things. But I think what KH is missing most is friendship. Literally. (kirabook here from the future. I ended up writing it all anyway. I'm so dumb)

When I think about KH1, I think of the legit friends I feel like Sora made. Ariel. Jack. Aladdin. Hercules. Tron. The FF crew. Those especially stick out. They felt genuine, like Sora was really connecting in these places and making lifetime pals. It contributed to this connection when other characters in the worlds knew he wasn't from there, and not always the villains (King Triton. Small as it may have been, Sora getting chewed out for being a literal outsider sticks in my brain)

It wasn't just Disney characters either. Even though Riku and Kairi's screen time was a little sparse (cause mystery and intrigue), I felt like Sora was really trying to find them. Every time they interacted on screen felt like a big moment, if that makes sense. Like "Phew. They're back together again however short lived."

Although I liked the story of CoM in the in between parts, CoM always annoyed me a little with the extremely useless Disney World revisits. I felt nothing experiencing those worlds and characters again (... except the FF crew, theirs felt meaningful). But I really enjoyed seeing Sora get so upset and confused as his memories got more twisted. And though Namine's existence and powers confused me, I felt for her, being used by the bad guys to hurt someone she cared about.

KH2, while I have my issues with how they presented some of the plot, still managed to keep Sora's friendships with these Disney characters important and relevant to me. It truly felt like Sora was going to visit his friends and hang out. Sora meeting the FF crew again was like their dopey little brother finally coming home after ignoring their calls for a few days. Once again, although Riku and Kairi's time was sparse, it still felt like they were truly friends trying to make things work. KH2 did great to keep the trio thing going even though there could've been more.

I think Days wins over a lot of KH fans because despite the lack of "Disney magic", the game thrives from character interactions sorely missing from future titles.

Birth by Sleep, as much as I love it, could've done more with the trio love and Disney world situation. The only last friendships I can really think of is Cinderella. And Zack I guess. If Sora uses Disney worlds to hang out with da bois, the TAV uses Disney worlds for formal business meetings no chillin' allowed.

DDD has.... nothing. Absolutely nothing. No interactions between Sora and Riku. The Disney worlds/characters aren't real. The most you can take away is TWEWY and even that is lack luster. The whole SRK "trio", at this point, is barely a trio as they missed yet another opportunity to have Kairi train as well. It's a whole mess. The most memorable part of this entire game is Sora having an acid trip, interacting with Roxas, being rescued by Ven's heart, Mickey and Riku failing to rescue Sora, Axel rescuing Sora, and Riku rescuing Sora. So basically, the final 1/4th of the game which is entirely composed of OC interactions (at this point, I'm counting Mickey and pals as OCs) (kirabook from the future. I FORGOT ABOUT TRON, I LIKED THAT A LOT. Only the Tron part, the rest of that world was bland and pretty useless. Not to mention no Tron payoff or mention at all in future titles)

0.2 is an odd one. I'm probably extremely biased since Aqua is my fav. Or maybe it's because though they were only briefly around (Terra, Ven, and Mickey) it almost resembled Sora's KH1 journey??? Like every time they appeared it was a big character/relationship building moment. Maybe it's because we were revisiting Aqua's twisted memories and people who missed her arc before can now see it plainly written that she kinda hates herself and sees herself as unworthy half the time. Like a true character study, something we rarely get to see. Something kinda like Sora in CoM. Something like Riku's journey we only saw bits and pieces of.

Then we come to KH3. It has a similar issues as DDD for me. What... connections are there??? What friendships did Sora form that I think will actually last? I mean Hercules made a return and it was pretty cute. That summon with Ariel is absolutely adorable. But do I feel like Sora truly connected with Rapunzel and Flynn? Not really, acquaintances at best? The monster crew? I mean, Yeetus Vanitas is pretty memorable but I dunno. Toy Story? ..... I guessssss. Moreso than the others so far. Definitely NOT Frozen. They probably don't even remember Sora's name. Big Hero 6? Eh...... It's all so sketchy. The Twilight gang! That's right! They were there. I suppose that friendship/connection is maintained.

TLDR; Not enough of the new KH content properly allows Sora to be a part of it. These new relationships he's building don't feel real. Also, pretty much no one else (OCs) is interacting with the Disney worlds at all EXCEPT Sora.

To recapture the magic, they should consider reintegrating all these characters back into the mix of OC and Disney. They should maintain the relationships OC characters have formed with Disney characters. When new worlds are introduced, they should do better to make Sora's relationship with them more natural and believable. And lastly, the OC characters need to interact WAY more. Nomura spent so much time and effort connecting all these people together. Saying how desperately they want to meet each other and be friends. And yet when they're in the same room, they're just staring at each other like ":) Nice face. Now moving on to Xehanort."

See? It all boils down to friendship. I'm not talking about the sparkly word version of friendship. But actual screentime on screen together talking to each other, hugging each other, punching each other, anything other than stand 6 feet apart since the only corona in KH is the Kingdom of Corona.
 
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Rodin

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Nomura can't just magically become a good writer because fans asked him to be, fellers.
Heck, I can't even become a good writer *without* being asked!
As a writer myself, I'd say you'd get better by doing it, trying new things and getting constructive feedback. I also have a writing coach which Nomura could benefit from. I'd bring back mr. Nojima who is a full time writer. KH was better off with his involvement. He could temper Nomura's inexperience or flaws.

FF has alot of the same problems as KH but much better characterization which what Nomura struggles with the most to me.

I'd still prefer a whole new cast to more Sora but I'd settle for better storytelling.
 
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Raz

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Sora and Yen Sid on the other hand is kind of ridiculous. Yen Sid's exposition dump is one of the lousier parts of KH2, considering that's all we see of him in the entire game. Instead of letting Sora be properly motivated by his own curiosity and goals, Yen Sid tells him what Nobodies are, and why he should hate and subsequently kill them. Sora takes this to heart and greets the organization with an instant, unearned sense of anger and threat.

I was reading the manga version of KHII for the first time, and I really admired how they had Sora struggle with the morality of defeating the Organization -- especially in comparison to what little we got of that in the game. The Organization also had a lot more planning and scenes of general villainy that helped hammer them home as the central threat and not just an inconvenience Sora has to murder on his way to finding Riku.
 

Zackarix

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As a writer myself, I'd say you'd get better by doing it, trying new things and getting constructive feedback. I also have a writing coach which Nomura could benefit from. I'd bring back mr. Nojima who is a full time writer. KH was better off with his involvement. He could temper Nomura's inexperience or flaws.

FF has alot of the same problems as KH but much better characterization which what Nomura struggles with the most to me.

I'd still prefer a whole new cast to more Sora but I'd settle for better storytelling.
Part of the problem with Nomura being an inexperienced writer is that the rest of his job means he has no time to practice. Nomura is an incredibly busy man being a game director and an artist, adding writer on top of it isn't great.

Also worth noting is that most professional writers don't get the first thing they've written published. Publishing is a very competitive industry and most agents won't even look at work that's obviously mediocre, so the average writer at least has to be at a certain level of competence. But Nomura's connections at SE have allowed him to bypass these barriers.
 

Guernsey

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Even if Nomura had another writer helping him, I highly doubt the the general outline would change. I will admit that some things need to be streamlined and changed but the general outline would remain the same.
 

AdrianXXII

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Even if Nomura had another writer helping him, I highly doubt the the general outline would change. I will admit that some things need to be streamlined and changed but the general outline would remain the same.
The general outline isn't too bad, if better written it'd probably work better and feel more rewarding. Generally speaking I really like the ideas and concepts explored in the series, it's just the execution that I find a bit lacking.
 

Antifa Lockhart

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None of you have worked at or for multi-billion dollar corporations and it shows. Nomura is not the sole voice or even writer in the room.
 
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