Aqua didn't give up, she actually was just addicted to the darkness (?)



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cakito123

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I was playing the anti aqua battle right now, and I realized that she transforms out and into a sworm of darkness. And, at first I think it was weird how aqua in the ending just gave herself up to the DarKnessS.
Think that has any connections? because I certainly did

My first though was that, since Aqua has probably got accostumed to giving herself to the darkness before, she got addicted to it and she did it again (that's her standart of what-to-do, since she JUST got out of Realm of Darkness).
 

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I would love a storyline like this... but it kind of wouldn't make sense since Aqua was one of the lights. Although with so many "lights" and keyblade wielders at the end of it all, plus the vague necessities of what counts as a clash between the 13 darknesses and 7 lights... they could slip it by and actually have Aqua be addicted to the darkness.

Maybe addicted isn't the best word, but perhaps "comfortable" or "accustomed"?
 

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I don’t think she was addicted. She was always determined to be the light shining in the darkness to guide the way. That was her big final moment in 0.2.

Her being addicted to the darkness would imply that she had given into it before, but that never happened. She certainly was tricked by it and would sometimes falter in the face of it, but prior to KH3’s darkness ball of doom and darkness, she never really showed any signs of being addicted or losing her resolve.

The entire darkqua storyline was forced upon her rather than being a choice she made. Ansem shoots her with the darkness and the water corrodes her or whatever and she falls into despair. Before that entire moment she was absolutely fine
 

Twilight Lumiair

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I wouldn't say Aqua exactly "gave in" to the darkness by not retaliating against the tornado. She just inexplicably lost her will to fight back and allowed the heartless to rip her heart from her body (effectively killing her), which she was already warned would happen by Terranort, and I just can't see her purposefully allowing something that damaging to happen to herself.

Edit: Also, remember it's not the only time KH3 had Aqua randomly standing around doing nothing for no reason. She didn't bother to dodge Ansem SoD's "screw you" dark energy ball, and she we went out of her way to let Terranort attack her friends without moving a muscle. If people's theories are right, she was also silly enough to not bother recalling her Keyblade at the end of 0.2, and left herself defenseless despite just vowing to continue fighting in the RoD for as long as it takes for her friends to come find her, mere minutes prior.

And... how does one get "addicted" to the darkness? What does that mean? So far, I can only recall characters succumbing to it, or channeling it. I don't remember someone actively getting addicted to it.

Also, I'm not seeing how Aqua getting forcibly corrupted against her wishes and being thrown into the abyss would lead her to grow used to the action of willing giving herself up to the dark, when it wasn't even a conscious choice on her end to be begin with. I mean, the diologue heavily implies she didn't even understand what the heck was going on as she got anti-fied, and she clearly wasn't in her right mind after she fully succumbed either. There really isn't anything voluntary about what happened to her, and she came out of it just as staunch as ever.
 
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cakito123

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Maybe addicted isn't the best word, but perhaps "comfortable" or "accustomed"?
Addicted was certainly a bad word choicing on me lol english isn't my first language, sorry

I don’t think she was addicted. She was always determined to be the light shining in the darkness to guide the way. That was her big final moment in 0.2.
Yeah, but in KH3 she effectively falls to the darkness, doesn't she?
 

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Yeah, but in KH3 she effectively falls to the darkness, doesn't she?
Falling kinda implies a bit more choice or active engagement in doing so. She gets forced into the darkness more so than her falling into it.

There isn’t any one action that leads to her descent—no buildup or culmination of her constantly stumbling to eventually fall into this. It’s just one minute she’s good and doing flying kicks and punches then the next she’s made evil because the story needed her to be evil.

It would have been different if all of the hints and teasing from BBS and 0.2 led to her breaking down and giving into her despair. If she had fallen because of her feelings of hopelessness and loneliness, it would be her “falling”. She didn’t, though.

It’s willed upon her. She is fresh off the heels of Ansem the Wise renewing her hope by telling her about Sora. She was in a good place. Then Ansem: Seeker of Darkness comes by and trounces Aqua and that’s that. Darth Aqua rises from the Dark Side.
 

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It's never once hinted she's addicted to darkness was it? Honestly Aqua was just made incompetent this game so she wasn't OP and give the illusion the heroes would not win against Xehanort. Even though literally every Heartless and Seeker on the list has been defeated by at least one of the heroes on the Guardians of Light side...minus old man Xehanort himself. Literally between Sora, Riku, Aqua, and Ventus they had already beaten 12 of those guys.

It's almost like Nomura knew people were hyping up Aqua, so he decided to knock her down a peg to remind everyone that Kingdom Hearts is Sora's game. And man did she get knocked down from her pedestal :(

But back to Anti-Aqua, what wasted potential. A Darkqua (love that fan name) story could have been very interesting and done well for Aqua's character. She's had to cleanup Terra and Ventus's messes, shoulder the burden of Keyblade Master that Eraqus gave her, was the last one standing against Terranort, and was rewarded by being trapped in a dark world of Heartless. I wish they did more with Aqua's darkside. It could have been really compelling if done right. It's why I was hoping she was a Seeker, despite how unlikely the idea seemed at first.
 

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Well, although Aqua didn't willingly fallen to darkness, she still did transform into a darkness monster when she drowned in the dark sea, forced or not. The things she says during the boss battle and before it, shows us that she is one with the darkness now and she even wants Sora/Riku to drown in darkness too. "I waited for so long", "No one ever came" "Join the darkness with me!" are lines of the game that shows her feelings towards being in the RoD.

This post basically exists because I like refusing myself to believe that Aqua's death is just bad writing.
The way nomura writes the story and KH's universe is quite peculiar.
He tries to convey everything he created through the games, but it is clear he doesn't always succeed.

Xehanort is the best example: this character probably has a good ending arc, and Nomura way of talking about Xehanort's game and past story shows me he did imagined a backstory for him, and still haven't showed us anything about it. The fact we don't know about his past life surely makes the last scene less emotional how it is intended to be, and maybe that's what happens with Aqua too....

There is probably a reason for why Aqua just gave up at the end, right? My first though made me connect her actions to the time she spent in RoD. To the time she got dark.
Any other explanation would be suitable as well, I'm just theorizing around unanswered questions I find in the game while I watch and play.
 

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This post basically exists because I like refusing myself to believe that Aqua's death is just bad writing.
The way Nomura writes the story and KH's universe is quite peculiar.
He tries to convey everything he created through the games, but it is clear he doesn't always succeed.

Xehanort is the best example: this character probably has a good ending arc, and Nomura way of talking about Xehanort's game and past story shows me he did imagined a backstory for him, and still haven't showed us anything about it. The fact we don't know about his past life surely makes the last scene less emotional how it is intended to be, and maybe that's what happens with Aqua too....

There is probably a reason for why Aqua just gave up at the end, right? My first though made me connect her actions to the time she spent in RoD. To the time she got dark.
Any other explanation would be suitable as well, I'm just theorizing around unanswered questions I find in the game while I watch and play.
Oh, there's no issue with trying to develop a reasonable explanation for contrivances in KH3. It's just that I don't necessarily agree with your hypothesis that Aqua willing let herself get ripped apart because she somehow became "comfortable" with the feeling.

The things she says during the boss battle and before it, shows us that she is one with the darkness now and she even wants Sora/Riku to drown in darkness too. "I waited for so long", "No one ever came" "Join the darkness with me!" are lines of the game that shows her feelings towards being in the RoD.
See, I'm not sure I'm entirely getting what you're trying to say. If Aqua truly became one with darkness as she was anti-fied, why does it matter what she says or feels while she's in that state? She's clearly not in her right mind when she comes to blows with the other protagonist, and in fact, blatantly overexagerates and contradicts the actual course of events, and even her own diologue. It's not something we can use to judge her thoughts when she's in her normal state, and the game doesn't even try to hide that.

"I waited for so long."
-- Anti-Aqua

"I'm not afraid. I will face the long darkness."
-- Aqua in 0.2

"I'm staying. Someone will come for me."
-- Aqua, immediately after Blank Points and just before SoD's arrival in KH3


"No help ever came."
-- Anti-Aqua

Terra and Ventus' Keyblades save her life in BBS.

Terra meets Aqua in the RoD with the specific instruction of helping her, informs her that he and Ven are safe, then neutralizes Xehanort, who also threatened her life.

Mickey saves Aqua from being cast into darkness, and continued to fight by her side for the remainder of the game, with the intention of getting her out in the end.

Ansem The Wise informs her of the current status of the RoL, reveals her friends are still defending it, and reassures her that both he and she will be saved (their "Birth By Sleep").
Like Oracle points out, this gives her the necessary information to confidently place her faith in her friends again.

"Join me in the darkness!"
-- Anti-Aqua

"I will be the light shining in the darkness. A light to cut through all the shadows. I will be their Wayfinder."
-- Aqua in 0.2 (this is reinforced in the secret ending of DDD)



I could go on with pretty much all of her lines, but the point is that what she said as Anti-Aqua clearly wasn't any indication of how she actually felt, or what actually happened. So I don't see how it justifies the moment in which Aqua gives up and let's herself die. Especially when she bassically does the exact same thing when fighting SoD, and does anyone really wanna argue she purposefully let herself get blasted there too?

Like I said, I understand how annoying the poor writing in KH3 can be, and I get that you wanna believe that the action was somehow justified, but I think you're giving Nomura too much credit. He's not always a great writer, and he even admitted to having a lot of difficulty writing the game (no doubt because bad habits made him write himself into a corner). The very fact that fans even need to dig for an iota of an explanation just to make sense of a minor character action in the story is reason enough to call it objectively poor writing. And if the writers themselves can't be bothered to clarify nonsensical moments like this, that speaks to just how little they care. Not saying they did it on purpose or had any malicious intent, but it's clear they weren't focusing very hard on making a digestible, cohesive story this time around.
 

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I don’t think she was addicted. She was always determined to be the light shining in the darkness to guide the way. That was her big final moment in 0.2.

Her being addicted to the darkness would imply that she had given into it before, but that never happened. She certainly was tricked by it and would sometimes falter in the face of it, but prior to KH3’s darkness ball of doom and darkness, she never really showed any signs of being addicted or losing her resolve.

The entire darkqua storyline was forced upon her rather than being a choice she made. Ansem shoots her with the darkness and the water corrodes her or whatever and she falls into despair. Before that entire moment she was absolutely fine
I think it was interesting that she was the only character that we ever saw submerged in the Dark Ocean. Mickey says that it's the deepest darkness. All the things she said as "Dark Aqua" didn't just come out of nowhere, those were her vulnerabilities that she was bottling up inside. I agreed with her when she called out Mickey for leaving her there for a decade. I would love if there was a part of her that struggles with having those thoughts even while in the realm of light.
 

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I think it was interesting that she was the only character that we ever saw submerged in the Dark Ocean. Mickey says that it's the deepest darkness. All the things she said as "Dark Aqua" didn't just come out of nowhere, those were her vulnerabilities that she was bottling up inside. I agreed with her when she called out Mickey for leaving her there for a decade. I would love if there was a part of her that struggles with having those thoughts even while in the realm of light.
I didn't mean her feelings were out of nowhere, only that her transition from Aqua who had a renewed sense of hope -> Dark Aqua who was completely consumed by darkness was out of nowhere. She didn't fall slowly to those fears and insecurities, she was blasted into some water and that is the problem with Dark Aqua.

Aqua had all of the makings for this sort of fall. She constantly battled against her insecurities during 0.2 and was tricked by them constantly. She HAD her emotional journey in 0.2 and came to the conclusion that she would light the way for others. Blank Points showed that she was back at the edge of struggling again but Ansem's words rekindled that hope.

If we wanted Dark Aqua to work narratively, it should have been that Aqua got hit by the darkness and sank into the water and rather than be confused about what was going on, she starts losing her resolve again. She should have been sinking into the depths and thinking "If I could be defeated so easily, maybe I should give up. I've failed my friends. I'm all alone. Why fight anymore?"

THEN she should have given in and fallen.

That isn't what happened, though. It's literally:

Hopeful Aqua battles Ansem: SoD -> gets blasted with a dark ball into the ocean -> "what is happening to me???" -> Dark Aqua

She has no emotional struggle that leads to her change. The game doesn't even bother to try and explain why that combination of attacks and the water corrode her. She just is and that's the tea.
 

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I agreed with her when she called out Mickey for leaving her there for a decade.
*Takes deep breath*
So, I'm not going to fault anyone for sympathizing with Anti-Aqua's claims, but... THAT'S probably the most ludicrous one to agree with.

Most of what she says is just overaggeration or omiting details, which I've come to terms with, but claiming Mickey (whom she told to leave without her) "abandoned her for over a decade" is objectively false. Not only did Mickey, by definition, not abandon her, but the only legitimate "decade" Aqua even spent in the RoD was during a time in which no one knew of her fate-- and she was AWARE of this. She hadn't even run into Mickey till the very end of KH1, which chronologically took place at the end of those ten years, and little over a year before KH3 (potentially even less for her, as she expresses surprise that it had been ten years between the end of BBS, and her initial meeting with Mickey). Not only this, but Aqua herself was entirely responsible for both of her stays in the RoD, as they were conscious choices she made entirely to save her friends. That's why those moments are so powerful. What grounds does she realistically have to claim Mickey "abandoned" her anywhere, when at no point did he even have a say in her own personal decisions? That's called not taking accountability for your actions, and that's definitely not a trait the character has ever displayed, or something I would be comfortable praising.

Really, there's nothing to agree with about this statement, because it's objectively not true in any sense. To the point where it's actually shocking no one ever called her out when she was obviously passing the blame (which, if we were to take that seriously, retroactively damages the integrity of her sacrificial moments).

If we wanted Dark Aqua to work narratively, it should have been that Aqua got hit by the darkness and sank into the water and rather than be confused about what was going on, she starts losing her resolve again. She should have been sinking into the depths and thinking "If I could be defeated so easily, maybe I should give up. I've failed my friends. I'm all alone. Why fight anymore?"

THEN she should have given in and fallen.
Not only this, but if we truly wanted Dark Aqua to mean anything, it should've been acknowledged after the fact, and had legitimate consequences (even if they don't extend beyond extra conversations). The closest and only thing we get resembling that in the game is Aqua outright contradicting her anti-self again, and saying she was never disappointed in Riku or Mickey the way the former thought. And that's really what I mean about the game not trying to hide the fact that nothing Anti-Aqua said is meant be taken seriously, because it's ultimately not an accurate, or relavent enough representation of how the character actually feels.
 
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I didn't mean her feelings were out of nowhere, only that her transition from Aqua who had a renewed sense of hope -> Dark Aqua who was completely consumed by darkness was out of nowhere. She didn't fall slowly to those fears and insecurities, she was blasted into some water and that is the problem with Dark Aqua.

Aqua had all of the makings for this sort of fall. She constantly battled against her insecurities during 0.2 and was tricked by them constantly. She HAD her emotional journey in 0.2 and came to the conclusion that she would light the way for others. Blank Points showed that she was back at the edge of struggling again but Ansem's words rekindled that hope.

If we wanted Dark Aqua to work narratively, it should have been that Aqua got hit by the darkness and sank into the water and rather than be confused about what was going on, she starts losing her resolve again. She should have been sinking into the depths and thinking "If I could be defeated so easily, maybe I should give up. I've failed my friends. I'm all alone. Why fight anymore?"

THEN she should have given in and fallen.

That isn't what happened, though. It's literally:

Hopeful Aqua battles Ansem: SoD -> gets blasted with a dark ball into the ocean -> "what is happening to me???" -> Dark Aqua

She has no emotional struggle that leads to her change. The game doesn't even bother to try and explain why that combination of attacks and the water corrode her. She just is and that's the tea.
Aqua falls in black dye and gets mad.

It....just comes off like, in the last minute, Nomura thought it'd be a bad move to have Aqua succumb to her negative thoughts and feelings. In the "good guys aren't allowed to do that" sense.
 

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I didn't mean her feelings were out of nowhere, only that her transition from Aqua who had a renewed sense of hope -> Dark Aqua who was completely consumed by darkness was out of nowhere. She didn't fall slowly to those fears and insecurities, she was blasted into some water and that is the problem with Dark Aqua.

Aqua had all of the makings for this sort of fall. She constantly battled against her insecurities during 0.2 and was tricked by them constantly. She HAD her emotional journey in 0.2 and came to the conclusion that she would light the way for others. Blank Points showed that she was back at the edge of struggling again but Ansem's words rekindled that hope.

If we wanted Dark Aqua to work narratively, it should have been that Aqua got hit by the darkness and sank into the water and rather than be confused about what was going on, she starts losing her resolve again. She should have been sinking into the depths and thinking "If I could be defeated so easily, maybe I should give up. I've failed my friends. I'm all alone. Why fight anymore?"

THEN she should have given in and fallen.

That isn't what happened, though. It's literally:

Hopeful Aqua battles Ansem: SoD -> gets blasted with a dark ball into the ocean -> "what is happening to me???" -> Dark Aqua

She has no emotional struggle that leads to her change. The game doesn't even bother to try and explain why that combination of attacks and the water corrode her. She just is and that's the tea.
You're right about that, I guess I give KH3 (and KH in general) a lot of lee-way in terms of storytelling and process certain things differently. I saw Aqua being blasted and sinking in the Dark Ocean as a physical representation of her mental/emotional state at the time -- where she was maybe even deceiving herself in believing that she was OK with her situation and waiting to be saved, but deep down she resented that Mickey (seemingly) wasn't coming back for her. This would have resulted in her confusion as she sank and transitioned into Dark Aqua.

The scenario I would have liked to see was Aqua by the ocean and something tricking her to walk into its depths. She would struggle with the choice of submerging in the darkness in the hopes of an escape or staying in the darkness as her hopes of escape dwindled. Aqua choosing to go deeper in the darkness -- thinking she was strong enough -- then being overwhelmed and having facing the harsh reality that she may not ever be saved would have been so cool to witness. It would have built up the excitement to go through the Disney worlds faster and save Aqua (which is one of the things I feel KH3 was severely lacking -- momentum building up to the big moments like saving Aqua/Ven/Keyblade War).

*Takes deep breath*
So, I'm not going to fault anyone for sympathizing with Anti-Aqua's claims, but... THAT'S probably the most ludicrous one to agree with.

Most of what she says is just overaggeration or omiting details, which I've come to terms with, but claiming Mickey (whom she told to leave without her) "abandoned her for over a decade" is objectively false. Not only did Mickey, by definition, not abandon her, but the only legitimate "decade" Aqua even spent in the RoD was during a time in which no one knew of her fate-- and she was AWARE of this. She hadn't even run into Mickey till the very end of KH1, which chronologically took place at the end of those ten years, and little over a year before KH3 (potentially even less for her, as she expresses surprise that it had been ten years between the end of BBS, and her initial meeting with Mickey). Not only this, but Aqua herself was entirely responsible for both of her stays in the RoD, as they were conscious choices she made entirely to save her friends. That's why those moments are so powerful. What grounds does she realistically have to claim Mickey "abandoned" her anywhere, when at no point did he even have a say in her own personal decisions? That's called not taking accountability for your actions, and that's definitely not a trait the character has ever displayed, or something I would be comfortable praising.

Really, there's nothing to agree with about this statement, because it's objectively not true in any sense. To the point where it's actually shocking no one ever called her out when she was obviously passing the blame (which, if we were to take that seriously, retroactively damages the integrity of her sacrificial moments).


Not only this, but if we truly wanted Dark Aqua to mean anything, it should've been acknowledged after the fact, and had legitimate consequences (even if they don't extend beyond extra conversations). The closest and only thing we get resembling that in the game is Aqua outright contradicting her anti-self again, and saying she was never disappointed in Riku or Mickey the way the former thought. And that's really what I mean about the game not trying to hide the fact that nothing Anti-Aqua said is meant be taken seriously, because it's ultimately not an accurate, or relavent enough representation of how the character actually feels.
So leaving Aqua in the dark realm for one year while Mickey did... whatever Mickey does is OK versus a decade? Yen Sid and Mickey knew that she was missing or at least vanished from existence (just like Ven and Terra), and what did they do? They knew Xehanort was out there, but Mickey seemingly did nothing besides befriend Ansem The Wise. He may not have known that he abandoned Aqua in the realm of darkness for a decade, but Mickey did abandon her. Mickey and Yen Sid knew the threat that Xehanort posed, they knew that Aqua was out there somewhere and did nothing to find her. He wasn't even looking for her when he bumped into her in the realm of darkness, he was busy trying to clean up the mess that was caused because he let Xehanort run wild. So I do think that Mickey abandoned Aqua there -- he may not have known the location he abandoned her, but he definitely did abandon her.
 

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So leaving Aqua in the dark realm for one year while Mickey did... whatever Mickey does is OK versus a decade? Yen Sid and Mickey knew that she was missing or at least vanished from existence (just like Ven and Terra), and what did they do? They knew Xehanort was out there, but Mickey seemingly did nothing besides befriend Ansem The Wise. He may not have known that he abandoned Aqua in the realm of darkness for a decade, but Mickey did abandon her. Mickey and Yen Sid knew the threat that Xehanort posed, they knew that Aqua was out there somewhere and did nothing to find her. He wasn't even looking for her when he bumped into her in the realm of darkness, he was busy trying to clean up the mess that was caused because he let Xehanort run wild. So I do think that Mickey abandoned Aqua there -- he may not have known the location he abandoned her, but he definitely did abandon her.
Aaaww, so THAT'S your thought process. Interesting... To that I say 1) Mickey and Yen Sid definitely knew she was out there somewhere, but they had absolutely no way of knowing she was in trouble, or even what happened to her. 2) They WERE looking for her all that time between BBS and KH1, they just made no real progress. There's a cutscene in 0.2 that specifically confirms this.

3) How exactly is it possible to abandon someone when you don't know or have any agency in the event of that to other person's exile or are even aware of their status? The word abandon implies some kind of conscious choice being made, but how was what happened at the end of BBS in any way they're choice, exactly? They held no bearing on, or responsibility for anything that happened there, to my knowledge and understanding of this series. 4) In regards to Xehanort, I was tempted to agree at first, but then I remembered that Mickey actually addressed this in the end of DDD. He thought, or at least wanted to believe their sacrifice had stopped Master Xehanort for good. Of course, he later came to find out that that wasn't the case.


Believe me, I'm not saying Mickey leaving Aqua be after 0.2 for a year was necessarily OK, but up until that point he lacked a reliable method of escape from that realm, and this too was addressed in 0.2 (much to Aqua's disappointment, but it's also important to remember that she was fully aware of this fact too). Yen Sid was understandably cautious about telling Sora and Riku, but I do agree he could've taken more steps in going to rescue Aqua in the mean time. Even then though, the fact that they never gave up on intending to go rescue her already means they didn't actually abandon her in the way the word means. Ultimately my point was that that particular claim from Anti-Aqua just wasn't true... Not even slightly. I don't see anything there to actually agree with about the statement, so I was baffled as to why, out of all the things she said in that scene, that was the thing you sided with her on. That said, I can totally understand why one would sympathize for Aqua feeling like she was abandoned in a more general sense, even if there's no real grounds for it, it's not a completely unrealistic thing to feel in that situation (that is, if we ignore her earlier cutscenes).
 

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Aaaww, so THAT'S your thought process. Interesting... To that I say 1) Mickey and Yen Sid definitely knew she was out there somewhere, but they had absolutely no way of knowing she was in trouble, or even what happened to her. 2) They WERE looking for her all that time between BBS and KH1, they just made no real progress. There's a cutscene in 0.2 that specifically confirms this.

3) How exactly is it possible to abandon someone when you don't know or have any agency in the event of that to other person's exile or are even aware of their status? The word abandon implies some kind of conscious choice being made, but how was what happened at the end of BBS in any way they're choice, exactly? They held no bearing on, or responsibility for anything that happened there, to my knowledge and understanding of this series. 4) In regards to Xehanort, I was tempted to agree at first, but then I remembered that Mickey actually addressed this in the end of DDD. He thought, or at least wanted to believe their sacrifice had stopped Master Xehanort for good. Of course, he later came to find out that that wasn't the case.


Believe me, I'm not saying Mickey leaving Aqua be after 0.2 for a year was necessarily OK, but up until that point he lacked a reliable method of escape from that realm, and this too was addressed in 0.2 (much to Aqua's disappointment, but it's also important to remember that she was fully aware of this fact too). Yen Sid was understandably cautious about telling Sora and Riku, but I do agree he could've taken more steps in going to rescue Aqua in the mean time. Even then though, the fact that they never gave up on intending to go rescue her already means they didn't actually abandon her in the way the word means. Ultimately my point was that that particular claim from Anti-Aqua just wasn't true... Not even slightly. I don't see anything there to actually agree with about the statement, so I was baffled as to why, out of all the things she said in that scene, that was the thing you sided with her on. That said, I can totally understand why one would sympathize for Aqua feeling like she was abandoned in a more general sense, even if there's no real grounds for it, it's not a completely unrealistic thing to feel in that situation (that is, if we ignore her earlier cutscenes).
I'm glad that you confirmed for yourself that Mickey and Yen Sid knew that she was out there somewhere. That's the basis of my opinion. They knew she was out there and achieved nothing. Sure, there's a cutscene that confirms that they made no progress between BbS and KH1 which IS understandable because, like you said, they had no clue where she was. But what really nails in Aqua's point is that after he met her and KNEW where she was... he didn't do anything or even attempt to help her until more than a year later. He rather have Sora toy around with Jiminy's journal or run around in a hood giving vague answers before disappearing instead of finding a way back to the Realm of Darkness. Sure, maybe he didn't have a way to the Realm of Darkness... oh wait, Riku, Namine, and DiZ are all able to (at least at the start of KH2) open Corridors of Darkness. Wouldn't a Riku fully submerged in darkness (ie the Riku for most of KH2) be able to just stroll into the Realm of Darkness and find Aqua easily?

So yeah, after meeting Aqua it SEEMS like Mickey abandoned her for about a year or so because he didn't want to tell Sora/Riku so that they could -- you know -- actually go save her. I mean, Aqua's not privy to that knowledge, but the fact that she met Mickey and then he vanished for another year or so could probably give off the impression that she was abandoned. I mean, she didn't even think of Mickey as hope for escape, but SORA who she heard about vaguely from Ansem The Wise. I think that pretty much explains where her mind is (basically given up on Mickey coming to save her).

Even though Aqua was wrong about the decade part (specifically putting the blame on Mickey for being there for a decade), she was right about Mickey abandoning her there for at least a year. Mickey even admits in that scene that it was all his fault. I mean Mickey and Yen Sid apparently spent about 10 years looking, but made no progress... then when they FIND OUT WHERE SHE IS THEY STOP THEIR RESCUE EFFORT COMPLETELY FOR LITTLE OVER A YEAR!? If that's not being abandoned then I really have no idea what being abandoned means.
 

Twilight Lumiair

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I'm glad that you confirmed for yourself that Mickey and Yen Sid knew that she was out there somewhere. That's the basis of my opinion. They knew she was out there and achieved nothing. Sure, there's a cutscene that confirms that they made no progress between BbS and KH1 which IS understandable because, like you said, they had no clue where she was. But what really nails in Aqua's point is that after he met her and KNEW where she was... he didn't do anything or even attempt to help her until more than a year later. He rather have Sora toy around with Jiminy's journal or run around in a hood giving vague answers before disappearing instead of finding a way back to the Realm of Darkness. Sure, maybe he didn't have a way to the Realm of Darkness... oh wait, Riku, Namine, and DiZ are all able to (at least at the start of KH2) open Corridors of Darkness. Wouldn't a Riku fully submerged in darkness (ie the Riku for most of KH2) be able to just stroll into the Realm of Darkness and find Aqua easily?

So yeah, after meeting Aqua it SEEMS like Mickey abandoned her for about a year or so because he didn't want to tell Sora/Riku so that they could -- you know -- actually go save her. I mean, Aqua's not privy to that knowledge, but the fact that she met Mickey and then he vanished for another year or so could probably give off the impression that she was abandoned. I mean, she didn't even think of Mickey as hope for escape, but SORA who she heard about vaguely from Ansem The Wise. I think that pretty much explains where her mind is (basically given up on Mickey coming to save her).

Even though Aqua was wrong about the decade part (specifically putting the blame on Mickey for being there for a decade), she was right about Mickey abandoning her there for at least a year. Mickey even admits in that scene that it was all his fault. I mean Mickey and Yen Sid apparently spent about 10 years looking, but made no progress... then when they FIND OUT WHERE SHE IS THEY STOP THEIR RESCUE EFFORT COMPLETELY FOR LITTLE OVER A YEAR!? If that's not being abandoned then I really have no idea what being abandoned means.
Nice. Very strong response. And yeah, I can't disagree with a lot of this, lol.

So to start.. *facepalm* I knew- I KNEW I was forgetting something important about this topic, and that was it. I forgot Mickey was aligned with several people across the series that could've helped him to access the RoD, and rather than make use of them, he instead opts to continue waiting. Not just with Riku, Namine, and DiZ, but also Lea during the events of DDD. He even said to Riku at the end of the game that if he gets trapped in the abyss with Sora, he'd use the darkness to bail him out. "Afterall, dark rescue is my middle name." Yikes.
I mean can at least understand why he hadn't done anything during Days, as he was investigating the Organization at the time along with Riku (even if we only get one cutscene addressing his involvement), but it's shocking no one ever brought this up to Lea. Then again, maybe they just didn't think he was formidable enough to fight off the forces of the RoD? I mean, he did wait till Riku became a proper Keyblade Master, and Aqua herself (our only real example of someone successfully fighting through that realm) was also a Keyblade Master. Considering Mickey had experience fighting heartless in the RoD, maybe the implication is that he didn't believe they'd have the combined strength to make it very far once they got in. That said... I really don't wanna dip into KH3's iffy handling of this scenario (because it's not very consistent with what was established in the series), but if we look at that game, the diologue heavily implies Riku and Mickey had not run into a single heartless until they got all the way to the Dark Margin. If we take that seriously, despite the extreme unlikelyhood of such a thing occuring, it's not wrong to say it theoretically should have been possible for any of the people with access to dark corridors to have simply followed Mickey to Aqua's location and bolted back out of there before they encountered any heartless. Still, that's a hard gamble that could've easily backfire. Especially with the looming threat of the organization during KH2 and Days.

Thinking on this all over again, and I'm glad you brought this back to my attention, I can still see, at least somewhat, why Mickey ultimately opted to pass on those opportunities, but I do think that if he really were that concerned about everybody's safety, he should've had Sora and Riku take the exam much sooner. If another chance presented itself, it'd make logical sense to have all their ducks in a row so they could head out as soon as possible. So yeah, I'm not gonna defend Mickey there, he definitely lacked urgency and proactive thinking. Still, he clearly never stopped planning and wishing to get her out; things just weren't ideal enough for him to get the go ahead from Yen Sid (who forbade him from telling Sora and Riku, so clearly the idea was discussed at some point well after KH1 and Re :chain).

In terms of Aqua and her perspective on things, remember that she already learned from Mickey that it wasn't easy getting into or out of the RoD. She knows that Mickey and the others had searched for her the last time they were separated without warning, so they obviously care. She also learned from Ansem The Wise later on that the Realm of Light had been in crisis since she was away, and though she wished she could be there to help, she now knows that the friends she had helped before (more specifically Sora) were defending it in her stead. Why would Aqua, knowing all of this information, not just assume: "Hey, they're carrying out their literal duty as Keyblade Weilders and defending the RoL. I'm sure they're doing their best and will rescue me when the time comes." She already expressed in the end of 0.2 that she was willing to extend her stay in the darkness (even going so far as to say she wasn't afraid), so she knew exactly what she was getting herself into, unlike back in BBS. And despite it being over a year in the RoL, that's still a mere fraction of the time she had already spent enduring there. Not only that, but this time she knows Terra is fighting, she knows Ven's still safe, and she knows her home is still being defended (which were pretty much her main doubts prior to the end of 0.2, and all of them were put to rest), so she essentially feels obligated to do her part and survive till she can be rescued. In the mean time, if anyone ended up there in a similar manner to her, she'd be present to help. That's pretty much the mindset she has going into that last year prior to meeting Ansem, and once she starts to question things again, she gets her spirits re-uplifted by her new companion (whom she fails to so much as mention during her rant to Riku and Mickey). Her final word on the whole matter before she gets anti-fied is: "I'm staying. Someone will come for me." That's pretty much the exact opposite of what she claims as Anti-Aqua, so even saying she was thinking the worst of them isn't accurate anymore.

As for Mickey's own feelings and expression of guilt, like I said before, Anti-Aqua was over exaggerating, omiting crucial details, and falsely accusing them of certain things. He was just emotionally caught up in her half-truths unfortunately. It's definitely not all his fault the way he thinks, as it was Aqua's own failures and decisions that led her to being thrown into the abyss.

Overall, while I certainly don't think Mickey handled the situation quite as well as he potentially could have, I still don't think he completely abandoned Aqua. He just, in his own eyes at least, couldn't get there sooner.
 

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I don't think it was truly forced on her, I mean it was forced but all that stuff she said and felt was absolutely real. What 0.2 does is show us all the negative thoughts and feelings right down to her own hatred of herself that she actively represses, or as she calls it the "weakness/cracks" in her heart. All AnsemSoD did was weaken and bring the darkness in her to the surface, which is Xehanort's speciality. Anti-Aqua is a manifestation of all of Aqua's repressed stuff and this ties back to show that Aqua was just as hurt by Eraqus's teaching as Terra, because Eraqus never taught his students how to face this negativity this darkness all he taught them was repress, repress, and repress some more. But repression doesn't solve these issues it just lets them build up they burst out through one means or another, and for Aqua the means was Xehanort making them bubble to Aqua's surface.
 

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Well, although Aqua didn't willingly fallen to darkness, she still did transform into a darkness monster when she drowned in the dark sea, forced or not. The things she says during the boss battle and before it, shows us that she is one with the darkness now and she even wants Sora/Riku to drown in darkness too. "I waited for so long", "No one ever came" "Join the darkness with me!" are lines of the game that shows her feelings towards being in the RoD.

This post basically exists because I like refusing myself to believe that Aqua's death is just bad writing.
The way nomura writes the story and KH's universe is quite peculiar.
He tries to convey everything he created through the games, but it is clear he doesn't always succeed.

Xehanort is the best example: this character probably has a good ending arc, and Nomura way of talking about Xehanort's game and past story shows me he did imagined a backstory for him, and still haven't showed us anything about it. The fact we don't know about his past life surely makes the last scene less emotional how it is intended to be, and maybe that's what happens with Aqua too....

There is probably a reason for why Aqua just gave up at the end, right? My first though made me connect her actions to the time she spent in RoD. To the time she got dark.
Any other explanation would be suitable as well, I'm just theorizing around unanswered questions I find in the game while I watch and play.
She spent twelve years (at least) in the realm of Darkness with no real protection, the darkness “chipped away” at her heart. It was a feat that not even Xehanort wanted to do with/without protection. I’m not surprised she went a little crazy.
 

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Nice. Very strong response. And yeah, I can't disagree with a lot of this, lol.

So to start.. *facepalm* I knew- I KNEW I was forgetting something important about this topic, and that was it. I forgot Mickey was aligned with several people across the series that could've helped him to access the RoD, and rather than make use of them, he instead opts to continue waiting. Not just with Riku, Namine, and DiZ, but also Lea during the events of DDD. He even said to Riku at the end of the game that if he gets trapped in the abyss with Sora, he'd use the darkness to bail him out. "Afterall, dark rescue is my middle name." Yikes.
I mean can at least understand why he hadn't done anything during Days, as he was investigating the Organization at the time along with Riku (even if we only get one cutscene addressing his involvement), but it's shocking no one ever brought this up to Lea. Then again, maybe they just didn't think he was formidable enough to fight off the forces of the RoD? I mean, he did wait till Riku became a proper Keyblade Master, and Aqua herself (our only real example of someone successfully fighting through that realm) was also a Keyblade Master. Considering Mickey had experience fighting heartless in the RoD, maybe the implication is that he didn't believe they'd have the combined strength to make it very far once they got in. That said... I really don't wanna dip into KH3's iffy handling of this scenario (because it's not very consistent with what was established in the series), but if we look at that game, the diologue heavily implies Riku and Mickey had not run into a single heartless until they got all the way to the Dark Margin. If we take that seriously, despite the extreme unlikelyhood of such a thing occuring, it's not wrong to say it theoretically should have been possible for any of the people with access to dark corridors to have simply followed Mickey to Aqua's location and bolted back out of there before they encountered any heartless. Still, that's a hard gamble that could've easily backfire. Especially with the looming threat of the organization during KH2 and Days.

Thinking on this all over again, and I'm glad you brought this back to my attention, I can still see, at least somewhat, why Mickey ultimately opted to pass on those opportunities, but I do think that if he really were that concerned about everybody's safety, he should've had Sora and Riku take the exam much sooner. If another chance presented itself, it'd make logical sense to have all their ducks in a row so they could head out as soon as possible. So yeah, I'm not gonna defend Mickey there, he definitely lacked urgency and proactive thinking. Still, he clearly never stopped planning and wishing to get her out; things just weren't ideal enough for him to get the go ahead from Yen Sid (who forbade him from telling Sora and Riku, so clearly the idea was discussed at some point well after KH1 and Re :chain).

In terms of Aqua and her perspective on things, remember that she already learned from Mickey that it wasn't easy getting into or out of the RoD. She knows that Mickey and the others had searched for her the last time they were separated without warning, so they obviously care. She also learned from Ansem The Wise later on that the Realm of Light had been in crisis since she was away, and though she wished she could be there to help, she now knows that the friends she had helped before (more specifically Sora) were defending it in her stead. Why would Aqua, knowing all of this information, not just assume: "Hey, they're carrying out their literal duty as Keyblade Weilders and defending the RoL. I'm sure they're doing their best and will rescue me when the time comes." She already expressed in the end of 0.2 that she was willing to extend her stay in the darkness (even going so far as to say she wasn't afraid), so she knew exactly what she was getting herself into, unlike back in BBS. And despite it being over a year in the RoL, that's still a mere fraction of the time she had already spent enduring there. Not only that, but this time she knows Terra is fighting, she knows Ven's still safe, and she knows her home is still being defended (which were pretty much her main doubts prior to the end of 0.2, and all of them were put to rest), so she essentially feels obligated to do her part and survive till she can be rescued. In the mean time, if anyone ended up there in a similar manner to her, she'd be present to help. That's pretty much the mindset she has going into that last year prior to meeting Ansem, and once she starts to question things again, she gets her spirits re-uplifted by her new companion (whom she fails to so much as mention during her rant to Riku and Mickey). Her final word on the whole matter before she gets anti-fied is: "I'm staying. Someone will come for me." That's pretty much the exact opposite of what she claims as Anti-Aqua, so even saying she was thinking the worst of them isn't accurate anymore.

As for Mickey's own feelings and expression of guilt, like I said before, Anti-Aqua was over exaggerating, omiting crucial details, and falsely accusing them of certain things. He was just emotionally caught up in her half-truths unfortunately. It's definitely not all his fault the way he thinks, as it was Aqua's own failures and decisions that led her to being thrown into the abyss.

Overall, while I certainly don't think Mickey handled the situation quite as well as he potentially could have, I still don't think he completely abandoned Aqua. He just, in his own eyes at least, couldn't get there sooner.
I think that the inconsistency on how dangerous the Realm of Darkness is and how easily it is to get there are the issues at hand here. Sometimes it's shown as hard to access (like KH1 and 0.2), but other games people stroll in and out no problem (KH2 and KH3). Then we also see it as a very dangerous place (KH1 and 0.2), but then no danger whatsoever (KH2). If they were consistent in the portrayal of what was happening there, I would probably be less inclined to come down on Mickey. But I still feel like he abandoned her there. Imagine if he had actually provided all the information to Sora and Riku in KH2, maybe they could have found her when they were in the Realm of Darkness (come to think of it, if this was better planned out that would have been an awesome transition from KH2 to KH3 if they were back to back).

Her final word on the matter was that she was staying -- yes... but she probably thought that Mickey who was in possession of the Realm of Darkness keyblade, his own keyblade, and a keyblade master who is Yen Sid's apprentice would be back in a few days, not more than a year.

I think it was all Mickey's fault. He was the link between Aqua and the rest of the cast. He was the only active keyblade wielder (that we know of) that was searching for her from the end of BbS to KH1. Then he was the only one to actually stumble upon her (completely by accident because he moved on to another mission), then promptly forget about her to run around in the Organization's coat and tell Sora nothing but vague information. He also then focused on Jiminy's broken journal instead of saving Aqua or getting Sora/Riku properly trained so they could save her.

Another inconsistency is the whole "not strong enough" thing. Sora is clearly the most powerful one of them all, yet is treated like he's pathetic. Yet when he dove into the Realm of Darkness in KH3 he fixed the problem in like 10 minutes and saved Aqua. I know he regained the Power of Waking, but still, he probably would have been strong enough to go into the Realm of Darkness right after KH2 with Riku, Donald, and Goofy. I mean, if Mickey had the means to get to the Realm of Darkness and the immediate threat (Xemnas) was dealt with and he had concerns about how dangerous it was -- WHY didn't Mickey assemble a team to go in after KH2? Mickey could have asked Sora, Riku, Donald, Goofy, Leon, Yuffie, Cid, Aerith, Tifa, and Cloud to go to the Realm of Darkness with him to save Aqua.

Mickey was the one that made major mistakes in saving her. She felt abandoned by him. I feel for her -- whether it was one day, one year or one decade -- Anti-Aqua's claims about abandonment are true. From what we saw, EVEN with retconning, it's clear that Mickey didn't do enough to actually save her. His best bet would have been to tell Riku while he was Ansem-fied and that would have solved all the issues, but he chose not to (and Aqua wasn't written yet).
 
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