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Character-switching: how would you make it work?



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The Dead Skin

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party members haven't always been the best thing about KH - they die fast, the AI ain't great... so i always thought the best solution would be to just make them playable alongside the main character. but in a totally action-driven series like KH, it probably wouldn't be easy to implement.

this post was absolutely spawned by my FFVII remake video/stream binge and that game plays totally different from any KH thingo, so i want to hear some thoughts.
how would you feel about 100% playable parties with character switching in a KH game? and if you had the power to get it in, how would you make this mechanic work?
 

Cumguardian69

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•Keep character switching to KH OCs only to keep Disney's nose out of things.

From here, you can have active party member swapping like in SO3/FF7Re. I wonder how they would have GUARD function seeing as no party member in KH3 ever guards (but they occasionally dodgeroll), but that's besides the point. Build fully functioning and fully GROWING party members so that they can be swapped between. It isn't a hard concept. FF7Re proves it can work.
 

Tartarus

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I would make the next saga a case of Sora, Riku, Kairi, Donald, and Goofy exploring every Disney world together. Sora would be the de facto main character in the sense that he would remain the focus of the cutscenes, but on the battlefield you could switch between the characters the way that you do in Final Fantasy XV. Sort of how Noctis remains the main character in the story even though you can play as the others throughout. The world-specific party members would work the same, while being confined to being only playable within that world.

In those Disney worlds where party members aren't possible, they really should add an OC like Aqua, Roxas, etc. there to fill the void.
 
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MrFranklin95

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You know, given that this series is techically a spin-off of Final Fantasy and even obviously taking characters and gameplay elements from that series, I'm surprised that the one thing they omitted was other playable character in your party. Probably because it's an AJRPG and it more then likely harder to implement, especially since there multiple Disney characters, that's a lot of work. As Tarturas said, you could just focused on making the OC characters apart of your party and it would be a lot simpler that way. It would pretty much be the same thing as FF7R.

But I mean hell, they made almost all of them playable in 358/2 Days multiplayer and playing as Mickey was one of the best features of KH2. So I'm surprised this is feature they've never thought about adding. I guess most fans havent really complained about it TOO much to the point where devs felt like it was a priority feature to add. And I'd also feel like it be wasted opportunity to not have the Disney characters be playable as well but its completely understandable they wouldn't or can't realistically.

Which is a shame because I think it's something that KH would definately benifit from as playing as other Disney/OC characters in-party like FF would be great. But I guess the way FFXV turn out, when we got playable party members a year later after release, I'm guessing it would be too much work and would take up a lot of development.

I just remember last night when my little niece wanted play KH so she could go to Atlantia because she wanted to play Ariel and it was hard to explain to her that she couldn't and she ended up crying lol I felt bad but she's three years old to be fair. Still, I was thinking at the time when I calmed her down, "damn, that would be cool though". But if it were to happen it would've by now, which makes me think Playable party members isn't really on Nomura to-do list for KH.
 
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okhi12

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I'm not interested in controlling Donald, Goofy or any Disney character, but if there was another KH game with a trio of OCs, being able to swap them would be great. In every KH game with more than one playable character they have always followed different paths and can't be in the same party (except for boss battles at the end of the games). It would be a nice change if they stayed together for once.

I don't think Sora and Riku (and Kairi if she's playable) will be in the same party in the Shibuya game for obvious plot reasons, at least for most of the game, but if we ever get a game about TAV in the realm of darkness, I hope they are in the same party. Swapping them would be a very interesting and strategical mechanic because each one has different strengths (physical attacks, magic, speed) that could be taken advantage of depending on the circumstances and type of enemies. After all, Aqua said ' I'm not alone this time' before they left.
 

SweetYetSalty

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Character switching is cool as long as the party is fully developed in gameplay. Playing as Donald or Goofy doesn't sound fun at all due to their limitations and lack of good stats. But among the Keyblade wielders that sounds fun. If they ever remade Days switching between Organization members on a mission would be a dream come true with different game play styles. I want a RAX game like this so badly it hurts...
 
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If they end up making another BBS game now that TAV are all together, I really hope they do add a character switching mechanic.

They could make it as simple as pressing the right arrow or left arrow to quickly switch between characters . Maybe even implement a mechanic where you hold L1 and then press a directional button to have a character you're not controlling do a special team attack that consumes MP or Focus.

For the sake of replayability and forcing the player to vary their play style, they could also make it so that you gain more experience with the character you're controlling when you defeat enemies.

Giving the 3 characters different sets of magic spells could also add to this idea.

Terra could have Thunder, Fire, and Blizzard (offensive)
Ven could have Aero, Gravity, and Stop. (stagnating)
Aqua could have Water, Reflect, and Magnet (defensive)

(They would all have cure as an automatic 4th spell)

For magic use, you would have to switch characters constantly depending on the situation and the specific enemy you were fighting.

Implementing this mechanic would also mean the developers would have to have a lot enemies at once for mob fights, and/or make them a lot tougher too. Which could potentially make the game even more exciting, so I'm all for it.
 

Face My Fears

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I think character switching comes down to difficulty of the worlds and improving/advancing the RPG elements of the game. The fact that Sora is the best at everything will probably kill the idea of character switching. I think that if they adjusted Sora to be an all-rounder (with access to summons and whatever other gimmick they want to give him in that game), then give Riku and Kairi (or whoever are his companions) character specific abilities that will make the player inclined to switch it up. Riku will be more dark abilities and speed, while Kairi will be light abilities and defensive/healing. They could even have Xion have the ability to copy others (like if she activates the ability, she targets a heartless and gains that elemental power for a limited time) and Roxas can have dual-wielding focused gameplay and the pillars of light.

All of this will be based on something like the Final Fantasy XII level up system, where you have to build yourself up in certain areas, but you can't change things. That will add more replay value to the game as well. But again, all of this will be moot without actual difficulty during the game. What's the point of leveling up or caring about what abilities you boost, if you can run through everything smashing X and doing cure?
 

SweetYetSalty

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I think character switching comes down to difficulty of the worlds and improving/advancing the RPG elements of the game. The fact that Sora is the best at everything will probably kill the idea of character switching. I think that if they adjusted Sora to be an all-rounder (with access to summons and whatever other gimmick they want to give him in that game), then give Riku and Kairi (or whoever are his companions) character specific abilities that will make the player inclined to switch it up. Riku will be more dark abilities and speed, while Kairi will be light abilities and defensive/healing. They could even have Xion have the ability to copy others (like if she activates the ability, she targets a heartless and gains that elemental power for a limited time) and Roxas can have dual-wielding focused gameplay and the pillars of light.

All of this will be based on something like the Final Fantasy XII level up system, where you have to build yourself up in certain areas, but you can't change things. That will add more replay value to the game as well. But again, all of this will be moot without actual difficulty during the game. What's the point of leveling up or caring about what abilities you boost, if you can run through everything smashing X and doing cure?
You bring up a great point with Sora. He can do virtually anything so switching to another character might not seem ideal. You'd have to work around that and get creative. Let's say a team of TAV for example, they are fighting a powerful bulky Heartless enemy. How about Terra, being the raw strength guy, be able to do more damage to this heavy enemy and can defeat it faster. Or a enemy that has magical barriers up, that Aqua can dispell easier due to her magic tier powers. Or a fast moving enemy that is hard to hit with Aqua and Terra, that is where Ventus comes in. It's gimmicky sure, but it would entice character switching. This could apply to the other trio teams as well.

But even if they don't do that, I think many fans would want to play as their favorite character in a group regardless if they are better or worse then the lead. Roxas is my favorite character and I loved playing as him in the ReMind episode, but I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't have liked the option of controlling Axel or Xion in that fight too, regardless if they are not as powerful as Roxas.
 

MATGSY

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Character switching is cool as long as the party is fully developed in gameplay. Playing as Donald or Goofy doesn't sound fun at all due to their limitations and lack of good stats.
They would be heavily retooled in such a scenario. D&G are weak because KH doesn't give a damn about competent party members.
 

SweetYetSalty

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They would be heavily retooled in such a scenario. D&G are weak because KH doesn't give a damn about competent party members.
That's not entirely true. Ventus and Aqua are pretty good party members. Balanced, can use magic, have good enough stats even on Critical. Donald and Goofy are limited because of how they're roles are. Goofy can't even use magic, and his physical range is so clumsy at times. Donald can be a solid mage for magic players, but even he would be gimmicky. These two were practically made to be sidekicks, but if they can make it work I won't complain.
 

Clue.Less

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They would be heavily retooled in such a scenario. D&G are weak because KH doesn't give a damn about competent party members.
I can't imagine how Donald and Goofy would be fun to play. I love (LOVE) them as characters in KH, but I can only see the Sora/Donald/Goofy trio fun to switch around in gameplay if, say, Sora loses all his magic and whatever skills Goofy could make up for. How would you retool them?
 

legacier

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As far as Donald and Goofy go, it would be better just to let you give them commands rather than controlling them directly. That would mean you can tell them to use certain abilities and maybe direct them to attack certain enemies, but they would handle their movement and basic attacks on their own. It would be kind of like the situation commands such as "flare force" and "goofy bombardier" in KH3, but you would have much more control over them and be able to use them more freely. Of course to make it worthwhile there would need to be more abilities to unlock and there would have to be some kind of system along the lines of an ATB gauge to keep it balanced. But maybe this way Donald could actually be a reliable healer. I wouldn't take it much further than that because frankly I have no interest in playing as Donald or Goofy directly. The same system could be applied to guest party members in Disney worlds as well.

This is tangentially related, but I'd also like for them to have more customizable A.I., so that you could have some measure of control without having to micromanage them in battle. This might entail options like, for instance, specifying how low Sora's HP gets before they try to heal him or which spells they can use.

As for other keyblade wielders, direct switching could work either instead of or along with the above system. However, having multiple keyblade wielders in the same party is so rare that I doubt switching between them will ever be implemented, or if it is it'll be very limited. Outside of Dark Road, having multiple keyblade wielders only happens in special, temporary circumstances and has never been a permanent part of gameplay, and I don't really expect that to change. Perhaps both a cause and an effect of that fact is that Kingdom Hearts has never had a robust party system—growth has always been focused mostly on the main character, which just isn't conducive to character switching. It would be a pretty big departure to suddenly change that, but I may very well be proven wrong. This is "phase 2," after all, so the time for major changes is now.

But anyway, if character switching does happen, I expect they'll keep it fairly simple—you switch characters, and whoever you're not controlling is taken over by their A.I. All playable party members are equally customizable, to the same degree that the player character usually is in previous games. Keychains are shared, so obviously two party members can't wield the same one at the same time unless you somehow have multiple copies of it (maybe via item synthesis, like the Ultima Weapon). Stuff like that.
 
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NoWay

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They really should make the BBS 2 game with TAV in the RoD just to experiment with character switching. This would be the perfect opportunity to give it a try as the side games always tend to be more experimental gameplay wise.
 
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MATGSY

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That's not entirely true. Ventus and Aqua are pretty good party members. Balanced, can use magic, have good enough stats even on Critical. Donald and Goofy are limited because of how they're roles are. Goofy can't even use magic, and his physical range is so clumsy at times. Donald can be a solid mage for magic players, but even he would be gimmicky. These two were practically made to be sidekicks, but if they can make it work I won't complain.
I can't imagine how Donald and Goofy would be fun to play. I love (LOVE) them as characters in KH, but I can only see the Sora/Donald/Goofy trio fun to switch around in gameplay if, say, Sora loses all his magic and whatever skills Goofy could make up for. How would you retool them?
Both characters could use their Musketeer swords for longer reach/combos. Goofy could be changed into more of a paladin class with white magic such as Evolution from KH1FM. Goofy could get a hold of some magical trinket that does the spell casting for him, etc. Donald could embrace his temperamental side & be more of a berserker.

Or just give them keyblades & get it over with.
 

SweetYetSalty

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Both characters could use their Musketeer swords for longer reach/combos. Goofy could be changed into more of a paladin class with white magic such as Evolution from KH1FM. Goofy could get a hold of some magical trinket that does the spell casting for him, etc. Donald could embrace his temperamental side & be more of a berserker.

Or just give them keyblades & get it over with.
I mean if we're going to give them swords, might as well make them Keyblade wielders in that case if playable. Not saying they need Keyblades, but regular swords in KH is the equivalent of the wooden sword or stick in terms of power.
 

MrFranklin95

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I don't think it's that hard to switch up Goofy and Donald's abilities to suit player needs. I mean, the reason they wouldn't work as they are as playable characters... is because they weren't designed to be playable party members. It wasn't in Nomura's priority list to make them that way. But if you did, I think they would work just fine.

Honestly, Goofy doesn't need magic and Donald doesn't need melee abilities. What they are as specific party types is fine, they just need to be retooled and their already established abilities neee to be enhanced. Aerith in FF7R didn't need melee abilities to be useful because that not her role; its magic and healing. It's the same with Donald and Goofy. Making Sora, Donald, and Goofy all-rounder is kind of pointless. In fact, Donald's magical abilities should be far more advanced then Sora's since he is an advanced mage and Goofy abilities should have a lot more offensive abilities.

I'm not a gane designer, so you would have to go a lot more in-depth that balance everything, pretty in the same way they did in BBS. But I think it can work and you wouldn't need to give them keyblades to do it.

I mean, in the end, none of it matters since Sqaure is never going to go this route anyways
 

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I don't think it's that hard to switch up Goofy and Donald's abilities to suit player needs. I mean, the reason they wouldn't work as they are as playable characters... is because they weren't designed to be playable party members. It wasn't in Nomura's priority list to make them that way. But if you did, I think they would work just fine.

Honestly, Goofy doesn't need magic and Donald doesn't need melee abilities. What they are as specific party types is fine, they just need to be retooled and their already established abilities neee to be enhanced. Aerith in FF7R didn't need melee abilities to be useful because that not her role; its magic and healing. It's the same with Donald and Goofy. Making Sora, Donald, and Goofy all-rounder is kind of pointless. In fact, Donald's magical abilities should be far more advanced then Sora's since he is an advanced mage and Goofy abilities should have a lot more offensive abilities.

I'm not a gane designer, so you would have to go a lot more in-depth that balance everything, pretty in the same way they did in BBS. But I think it can work and you wouldn't need to give them keyblades to do it.

I mean, in the end, none of it matters since Sqaure is never going to go this route anyways
Yeah, what is this? fire emblem 3 houses (like 20% of you will get that joke)
I never had a problem with Donald and Goofy's roles, as they're supposed to fit their mage/knight archetypes. The only time we saw any deviation from the two of them was in 358 days, and their inclusion to that isn't necessarily canon. If anything, the reaction commands that they perform in tandem with Sora are sufficient and prevent Disney from having too much control. We did get a bit of Donald's advanced spellcasting at the end of 3, but it's debatable whether or not that was a canon event to begin with.
 
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