Overall, I really liked Dark Road.
It is 100% the best implementation of Disney worlds in a KH narrative thus far, by a wide margin.
I definitely feel that if service hadn't closed, the story would've gone on longer and been more in-depth, but what we have is still good and feels like a proper "Reverse/Rebirth" for UX.
I saw Baldr being the final boss coming a mile away, though... I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the boss itself being him turned into a Heartless.
Nomura gaslit this entire fanbase into thinking Player reincarnated as Xehanort with nothing but a camera. God damn him but also great job.
Maybe the biggest surprise for me is that everyone
died. I really thought some of the classmates would make it and just die in the interim of various normal reasons before BbS or KH1.
And yes I am mad that the "too obvious to be real" Bragi=Braig was, in fact, real. Played me like a fiddle.
Now I patiently await Re:UXDR
Wonder what are the circumstances that dictate where people will end up when they die in this series? On one hand we have Xehanort, Eraqus, and Player who all went to Kingdom Hearts or whatever, and on the other we have the upperclassmen who ended up in Hades's Underworld. Is the difference whether you go peacefully or not? But then what about someone like Strelitzia, whose death was no different from the upperclassmen yet she wound up all the way in Quadratum?
When they speak to the upperclassmen, they actually describe arriving at the Final World, having lost their bodies and only remaining as hearts.
That being the case, it seems to me that the Underworld is somewhere "close" to the Final World, and this allows Hades access to the people lingering there.
I want to say that I don't see it that way.
First of all, the way the Book functions--that the Master's eye sees the "future" in real time--is more similar to a journal than prophecy. It's not that Sora was born with his future already decided for him, it's that the Master's eye witnessed his achievement, and relayed that information backwards.
Second, the concept of a "chosen one" seems to have been born within the Scalan society. There's an air of ideology to it, and I have no doubt that Xehanort being of Ephemera's bloodline is related to him having been believed to be "chosen." Like others before them, they read the vague entries in the Book and fill in the blanks with their biases.
And finally, typically a "chosen one" is the "only one." They do what no one else can, which is why they are chosen. But Sora's ability is something which isn't unique to him. Baldr, Xehanort, and who knows how many others.