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Could the "original" Keyblade war still work as an MMORPG?



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Zackarix

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When the Keyblade War was introduced as a concept it was supposed to be a conflict so massive that it turned one world into many. When we finally got a game about the war it was disappointing for many reasons, such as the story not quite matching up to what we know (Where's the X-blade?) and the premise being wasted on a cheap chibi gacha game when it was by far the best potential setting for a Kingdom Hearts MMORPG.

Eventually we got a retcon that addressed one of these issues: the reason the Keyblade War doesn't completely line up with the history we got from previous games is that it wasn't the only clash of its type. When the Master of Masters was a boy there was another conflict between light and darkness that presumably included all they Keyblade War elements that didn't make it into the KHX saga.

But is it possible that there was another reason for the retcon? Disney and SE don't seem to be interested in a KH MMO right now, but if they ever want one in the future there's now an easy excuse for a do-over Keyblade War game. KHX featured a Keyblade War but not the true origins of the KH universe which still have room to be fleshed out.

Obviously I can't know if they were really considering this. But the door is open to the possibility.
 
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Chie

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As we know, "To tell the story about the Keyblade War we need the capacity of hi-spec hardware and we need to accumulate all of our knowledge on this hardware. And in telling this story, we will need to tell it in seperate episodes, and how specifically to tell it has yet to be figured out."

As I understand it X doesn't truly show its own Keyblade War either, only the very beginning of it. Regardless of what's going on with MoM, X seems to have always been made with the concept of "this isn't really depicting a keyblade war". As such I think things are still consistent with Nomura's statements, more or less.

An MMO presents the same problems as a phone game, namely, it continues to make KH harder and harder to "play" as a linear story, and will one day shut down. I would suspect Nomura's involvement with it would be much the same as X as well (i.e. he sends in cutscene scripts that get made a few times a year and that's it, because games like this are primarily designed by business calculations).
 

MATGSY

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As we know, "To tell the story about the Keyblade War we need the capacity of hi-spec hardware and we need to accumulate all of our knowledge on this hardware. And in telling this story, we will need to tell it in seperate episodes, and how specifically to tell it has yet to be figured out."

As I understand it X doesn't truly show its own Keyblade War either, only the very beginning of it. Regardless of what's going on with MoM, X seems to have always been made with the concept of "this isn't really depicting a keyblade war". As such I think things are still consistent with Nomura's statements, more or less.

An MMO presents the same problems as a phone game, namely, it continues to make KH harder and harder to "play" as a linear story, and will one day shut down. I would suspect Nomura's involvement with it would be much the same as X as well (i.e. he sends in cutscene scripts that get made a few times a year and that's it, because games like this are primarily designed by business calculations).
Musou game by Omega Force it is then.
 

Zackarix

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As we know, "To tell the story about the Keyblade War we need the capacity of hi-spec hardware and we need to accumulate all of our knowledge on this hardware. And in telling this story, we will need to tell it in seperate episodes, and how specifically to tell it has yet to be figured out."
This scenario seems to be tailor-made for an MMORPG, especially with the separate episodes bit that could easily translate into expansions. And somehow I doubt that a chibi phone game was what he had in mind when he said "hi-spec hardware"
As I understand it X doesn't truly show its own Keyblade War either, only the very beginning of it
It showed the build-up and the ending. It's unclear if there was more to it or if they got "war" confused with "single battle"
An MMO presents the same problems as a phone game, namely, it continues to make KH harder and harder to "play" as a linear story, and will one day shut down.
That was a complaint aimed at Final Fantasy XI and yet it's still online nearly two decades later. And ideally a game set in distant past shouldn't fit into the linear story of the present games, but as KHUX shows that might be too much to ask for from this franchise.

Then again, a lot of my arguments presuppose that a KH MMO would be a good, successful game. And Disney might not be as interested in game preservation (RIP Toontown Online) as SE is.
 

Chie

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The linear story of KH is "the series of games released in a linear order". This isn't linear in in-universe time, but very few stories ever are. It's the way the fiction is told. So every single KH release so far is part of the linear story, but X presents a problem because it ran for many years and has not been "compiled" and slotted back in the way coded has. So where does a new player watch those cutscenes, if they want to actually "play all of Kingdom Hearts"? Any future "game as service" model will have the same issue.

If the MMO doesn't have anything to do with the story and isn't important to know about, then I'm not sure it would have a point to be made or played in the first place. Writing new stuff without connecting it to all the other new stuff you're writing is artificially limiting yourself; from your perspective looking at the fiction, "a story from thousands of years ago in another version of reality" and "a story taking place after MoM" might seem unrelated, but in our reality, Nomura + co. would be writing both of those at the same time, and thinking about their contents, and their contents in relation to the rest of the story, at the same time. They're really just one story - Kingdom Hearts - after all.
 

kvyra

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I'm still positive my theory that quadratum is where first keyblade war took place that's why maybe mysterious character asked Yozora in back seat "its amazing isn't it" Kind of like how ffx played out. But if only we had UE5 MMORPG
 

Zackarix

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If the MMO doesn't have anything to do with the story and isn't important to know about, then I'm not sure it would have a point to be made or played in the first place.
The "point" would be to would be to expand the universe and story. And potentially the playerbase, given that not being a direct sequel/prequel to several other games would make it an easy jumping on point for new players.
Writing new stuff without connecting it to all the other new stuff you're writing is artificially limiting yourself; from your perspective looking at the fiction, "a story from thousands of years ago in another version of reality" and "a story taking place after MoM" might seem unrelated, but in our reality, Nomura + co. would be writing both of those at the same time, and thinking about their contents, and their contents in relation to the rest of the story, at the same time. They're really just one story - Kingdom Hearts - after all.
Can I just say that this mindset is the reason KH's story is so unhealthy? Not everything needs to be intimately connected and set up for something bigger in the future; it's fine to have storylines serve their purpose and end. And I certainly hope that if we ever got a real KH MMO it would stand on its own instead of being a plot hook farm for the main series.

The prequel we got is ridiculously connected to the present, to the point where it doesn't feel like it takes place in the ancient past. Ventus is from there, as are Marluxia and Larxene, probably-Skuld was the reason Lea and Isa joined Organization XIII, Xehanort is the player's reincarnation, etc. It's not even that you can't have a story where the past and present are intertwined, but the way it's been done so far is as inorganic as it gets, wielding the new arc to the old in ways that were very obviously not the original intention. You also should remember that less can be more - Ven being from the Age of Fairy Tales had a lot more impact when he was the only one instead of one of several.

And it's not like the idea of a Keyblade War prequel with few ties to the present day is a brand new concept, even for the Chi subseries. The original KHX's story was a bit simple and was cut short, but it was standalone and could have easily remained that way. It was only when the game was rebooted as KHUX that they started relying so heavily on connections to the rest of the series.
 

Chie

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That mindset is the natural mindset for an author to have when they're writing a continuing story though.

The idea of "a universe with various unrelated stories in it" is an interesting marketing one, but when those stories are all written by the same writer or team, it is always going to be One Story. Even if they tried their hardest to make totally separate stories, the ideas and themes they're developing would inevitably still evolve in the order they were written, because that's what writing is - a process. The first thing they write in this continuing story influences the second influences the third. I mean, everyone thinks about Ventus/etc., but there are absolutely many other themes and ideas that develop across UX, 3 and DR that aren't so blatant. Imagine as if the only connection between the three was Scala - UX and DR's place in the series would still be very important because you're supposed to see Scala pop up in these three concurrent games under different circumstances and think about how your knowledge about it develops. That kind of thing would still be there.
 

Zackarix

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Video games are an exceptionally horrible medium for "One Story" because of the time and effort it takes to make them. If you have multiple teams and aren't too concerned about quality you can reasonably have a pace of one game a year. If you take your time you risk running out of creative gas for the ideas you've set up, like what happened to KH3. "One Story" can work in serialized fiction, but games work much better when they have complete stories of their own even when they're part of a series. Ironically, I think the easiest way for games to support a story that truly is One Story with multiple installments instead of a series of multiple stories is Games as a Service because their business models work with having multiple expansions of a game.

The connections between KHUX and the present day go way beyond having shared themes and ideas. There are so many connections to the point where it's probably more useful to list out the elements that don't get thrown forward to the present day. A lot of the time it felt like KHUX didn't take its story, lore, and setting to anywhere near the potential it had because why bother when it could instead lean on yet another "Thing from the main series is actually from the Age of Fairy Tales!" reveal. And so far nothing interesting has been done with those connections, which hopefully will change in the future but for now is just weighing the story down. I find that to be a much bigger artificial limitation than any standalone prequel could ever be.
 

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And it's not like the idea of a Keyblade War prequel with few ties to the present day is a brand new concept, even for the Chi subseries. The original KHX's story was a bit simple and was cut short, but it was standalone and could have easily remained that way. It was only when the game was rebooted as KHUX that they started relying so heavily on connections to the rest of the series.
I have to agree. I watched the cutscenes for the original Chi and the movie Back Cover the other day. And I liked the story of Chi a LOT more, before it got rebranded as Union X. Back when it was standalone. The ancient past was totally distinct from the present era. All the characters were original. Since it was about the Keyblade War, it still had connections to KH3. Obviously, Xehanort is wielding the Master of Masters’ Keyblade and wearing his black coat. But that was about it.

”But no matter how hopeless the situation, people will cling to the last shred of hope, the last piece of their dream, until the very end.”

That’s what your UX player is thinking just before the Keyblade War.

I always got the impression that all the Dandelions were…dead. Ephemer means “lasting a short time”. Scala ad Caelum means “stairway to heaven”. Ava‘s role was to gather wielders with strong hearts. The Final World is where “strong hearts gather after death until they are ready to move on.” Your player character dies during the war and appears to reunite with Ephemer and Skuld in the Final World. The edges of sleep and death touch, so before that, Ephemer could only contact you through your dreams. From the afterlife, your player character’s dreams help rebuild the lost worlds.

I like that idea so much more. There was something beautiful and touching about the fact that all the children die. I hate how the Dandelions are now simply time-travellers to the future. It ruins the original game’s story.
 
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Face My Fears

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Honestly, I would hate if a MMORPG got main story stuff. I do believe that the original keyblade war would work as a MMORPG, especially because after those events everything was literally reset and rewritten in the story world... but as a KH fan I would want to see those cutscenes (and play a game to get them) AND knowing Nomura he will not be able to resist doing more with it (like KHUX).

I think right now the KH series should just focus on console releases. They are at a point where they have FINALLY streamlined all the games to one spot and everyone has access to the full story on whichever console they're on. It would be kind of dumb to restart the trend of games that alienate players from the story.

I didn't actually play this game, but I heard that in Dark Souls I believe that there was "multiplayer" amidst the story mode. Couldn't they do something like that in the original keyblade war game?
 

MATGSY

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My feeling is if there's a KBW MMO, it'll actually be a new war in the present day. The dandelions get freed, DEs turn back into zombie wielders, and/or fringe wielders that have been too far away to be factor up until now could all get dragged into a new conflict now that Luxu/MoM/Foretellers are back.
 
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