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Dark Road ► Dark Road Finale Megathread



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The_Echo

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I think you guys missed the part where Baldr specified that he was bringing 13 lights into darkness (y'know, by killing them).

In his plan, his 13 darknesses were 13 lights snuffed out. The keys to the worlds' order would make his 7 lights. Vidar's big heist was part of that plan.
 

Sephiroth0812

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I think you guys missed the part where Baldr specified that he was bringing 13 lights into darkness (y'know, by killing them).

In his plan, his 13 darknesses were 13 lights snuffed out. The keys to the worlds' order would make his 7 lights. Vidar's big heist was part of that plan.

Tbh the thing that still eludes me is Baldr's main motivation to pull all this elaborate shit?

Like I get that he was completely mentally wasted after his sister died and felt it had been largely his fault as well as partly with the upper classmen not protecting her and then themselves getting rekt and that he also had that "advanced" heart-connection ability which both Xehanort and Sora also have yet couldn't really handle it or rather its side effects.

And yet that motivated him to go on probably the most widespread murder spree we've seen in the series so far and decide to let the whole world/universe go to waste?
If the statement that he wasn't the vessel of the ancient true darkness is true it means all these actions came from his own volition, weren't they?
 

Chie

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It's unclear to me too.

I almost wonder if it has something to do with what Odin said, that darkness was placed into mankind and limits it. Like, Baldr was not possessed by a sentient darkness, but acted like one anyway because in a way 'ancient darkness' is already inside every human.

This distinction is also, notably, unclear to the other characters, and keyblade society seems to be built around jumping at vaguely-defined (literal) shadows.

I don't know. It's weird.
 

Zackarix

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Possibly an unpopular opinion in this thread, but I'm going to miss Playernort. The idea of the player reincarnating into the big bad is so much bolder than the player reincarnating into the protagonist of the next phone game and eventually raising Xehanort. I guess this fits better with the whole mistaken messiah subplot, but it still doesn't have the same punch.

But for the record, this would not be a retcon because it seems to have been planned as an intentional mislead from when the idea was introduced.
 
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Now that I've had time to reflect on the game and let it all sink in, I figure now is as good a time as any to talk about what I liked and disliked about it.

Likes:
-The friendship between Xehanort and Eraqus. Whether you look at it as a calm before the storm or as an interesting parallel to Sora and Riku, it just works.
-Some standout new characters. Vor and Vidar are great and I hope we haven't seen the last of them.
-Xehanort throughout the years. By far my favorite aspect of the game, seeing moments like his meeting with The Master, his fights with Eraqus, questioning the Magic Mirror, a conversation with Vanitas etc. Great stuff.

Dislikes:
-Too many characters, not enough time. In a game so short, way too many new characters were introduced. The upperclassmen in particular (excluding Vidar and Vala) had so little screen time that it was difficult to have any real attachment to them. And of course that's not even mentioning Master Odin, a character that did almost nothing.
-Baldr's role. Since he turned out to be so important to the plot, I really think Baldr needed to have a more prominent role from the very beginning. Instead he sits out the early chapters and doesn't really become important until the end.
-The Bragi reveal. There's not much I can say about this that hasn't already been said. A super predictable twist that added nothing to the story.
 

Face My Fears

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I am so confused.

I have to rewatch the whole game again to try to understand.

I feel like this game is loading up on KH Foreteller stuff which doesn't seem to have any connection to Yozora/Quadratum. It also introduced so many new characters and didn't give them enough time to be fleshed out. Unlike the Xion situation, she was just one character and had a whole game focused on her. Dark Road had many characters introduced then killed off just to maintain continuity.

I like how the game fleshed out Xehanort/Eraqus' relationship and delved deeper into Xehanort's past, but the real question I have to ask here is why? The Dark Seeker Saga is over. Dark Road should have shown Xehanort's past, but also build up lore for KH4. Clearly Ansem/Xehanort knew of Quadratum, Dark Road should have shown how he got that knowledge and maybe went further into details about Quadratum.
 

Chaser

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I feel like this game is loading up on KH Foreteller stuff which doesn't seem to have any connection to Yozora/Quadratum.
How Quadratum works and the people within is deliberately kept from us. We'll learn all that relevant information in 4 itself, since no one in the KH side of that universe knows anything about it. I don't see why it would make sense to learn about Unreality that early too.

Xehanort should learn about Unreality, yes, but it wasn't something he had much of a grasp on based on ApprenticeNort's speech in Melody of Memory so learning about it might be chalked up to one of his conversations with the Master of Masters. But if he's there in Quadratum as theorised, then that's something for 4 to address, not Dark Road.

The Foretellers Arc should transcend Quadratum, so I understand that Nomura is using the time he has before overloading us with Unreality stuff to hash out some important details about the darknesses and the Foretellers.

How Quadratum connects to the Master of Masters and the darknesses is clearly a plotline to be explored in 4 itself.

It also introduced so many new characters and didn't give them enough time to be fleshed out. Unlike the Xion situation, she was just one character and had a whole game focused on her. Dark Road had many characters introduced then killed off just to maintain continuity.
We almost didn't get the Upperclassmen. Nomura cut so much out, including them, but then decided to put them back in. I imagine that was cause for the big delay in Dark Road's release.

But I also feel like I'm the only one who was okay with not delving into the characters of the Upperclassmen. I liked that they individually have some mystery about them. I don't need to know a lot of in-depth details about them. They believed in a mission and were fighting for that cause and it was their undoing. The existed to move the story forward, and sometimes that's okay.

We might see them again in the future and they can be fleshed out, or they might not. Dark Road was a victim of budget and scale and I'm impressed with what they pulled off, ultimately.

but the real question I have to ask here is why? The Dark Seeker Saga is over. Dark Road should have shown Xehanort's past, but also build up lore for KH4. Clearly Ansem/Xehanort knew of Quadratum, Dark Road should have shown how he got that knowledge and maybe went further into details about Quadratum.
It more set up Missing-Link than KH4. The concept of Bloodlines, which is a central theme in Missing-Link, continuing the Players journey, as well as Brain, Not-Skuld-Real-Xehanorts-Mum, Odin, and Sigurd, then there's the child of destiny prophecy which we might see the beginning of in Missing-Link.

KH is exploring two different central storylines at the moment that should intersect somewhere in a future game. It's kind of like Marvel making some of their properties focus on Multiverse and others just a generic super hero journey, and then it merges together into the Avengers films. I think of KH like the mobile games tie in to the next mobile game, the console games tie in to the next console game, and then they will intersect (which is what is happening with Missing-Link and 4)

We know parts of Missing-Link will be relevant in 4 (especially Sigurd if his voicing both trailers means he has a part in 4 itself) and Mickey is investigating Scala. Once Sora is free from Quadratum, with the knowledge of that side of reality and all it brings, then it might tie all in together with the legacy of the Keyblade Wielders.

Don't forget Nomura's closing statement during the Gameinformer interview
I also wanted to mention Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link. We're working towards launching the closed beta within the year. I know that not everybody is really into smartphone games, so some fans might not be really excited for it, but we are making it so that it's something that anyone can jump right into. Compared to our past mobile releases, it's a lot closer to the series and also connected in many ways to Kingdom Hearts IV.

The easiest way to get more new information and hints about Kingdom Hearts IV would be first to play Missing-Link. There will also be some more mysteries, not related to Kingdom Hearts IV specifically, but just throughout the series in it. Also, some figures that appear in Missing-Link are tied to Kingdom Hearts IV.
Dark Road served its purpose on getting Xehanort's character in line for KH4, as well as getting the concept of Bloodlines and heritage ready, and introducing us to Odin and concepts like the Darknesses which should be explored in Missing-Link, which in turn will go to KH4. If some questions about Quadratum aren't answered in Missing-Link, then there's a reason for that.
 

Chie

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I like how the game fleshed out Xehanort/Eraqus' relationship and delved deeper into Xehanort's past, but the real question I have to ask here is why? The Dark Seeker Saga is over.
Nomura has always wanted to make a game about Xehanort as a kid for years and years, and didn't get the chance to do it before KH3 because handheld consoles died. As he explained when Dark Road launched, he originally was going to just move on but took the opportunity to try and sneak that story in as a bonus; but then UX was shortly set to be shut down and he had to cut most of it after all.

The story is a victim of the industry. It's not the way nor place in time he wanted to tell Xehanort's story. That's the answer to any "why" question you could possibly ask.
 

Chaser

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You know what, I saw a theory on the explore tab of my Twitter (I of course have KH tracked there) that theorised Xehanort learned about Quadratum during his Terranort / ApprenticeNort days, which makes sense given that ATW also has very cursory knowledge of it.

AtW and ApprenticeNort in MoM had a rough understanding, but clearly under research, understanding of Quadratum. As scientists working alongside each other, the discoveries made on the Unreality realm makes sense to be known to both of them. Xehanort's pursuit of learning more and AtW realising that's a problem fits with the history we know between them.

There's no reason for Dark Road Xehanort to learn about Unreality when that knowledge could be gained later as a scientist.

Edit: This is what I read
 
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bambii

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AtW and ApprenticeNort in MoM had a rough understanding, but clearly under research, understanding of Quadratum. As scientists working alongside each other, the discoveries made on the Unreality realm makes sense to be known to both of them. Xehanort's pursuit of learning more and AtW realising that's a problem fits with the history we know between them.
Now that I think about it, this makes a ton of sense. Also could lend support to the theory that Subject X = Ava, if we recall this line from Yen Sid:
  • “…it was known that the ancient masters had crossed over into another world. I surmise that
    Xehanort looked more deeply into that world.”
…referring, of course, to a) the Foretellers and b) Apprentice Xehanort. If Ava had gone to Quadratum along with the other Foretellers but, for some reason, returned separately as Subject X…. 🤔

In KH3, Ansem SoD also says to Ansem the Wise:
  • “I believe you have seen the girl’s memories.”
If Subject X is Ava, then this almost certainly explains how Ansem the Wise (and, to some extent, Apprentice Xehanort by extension), learns about Unreality.

Xemnas, too, seems to know some cryptic shit, what with the “ancient Keyblade Legacy” thing, how he deliberately picked Luxord—who’s from Quadratum—for the original Org XIII.

Yes, Master Xehanort also seems to know about Quadratum (“I’m almost certain where your heart is” or whatever he says to Sora in MoM), but this is a memory(?) version of MX post-recompletion, and the implication seems to be that he has all of ApprenticeNort/Ansem SoD/Xemnas’ memories.

Fascinating.
 

Zackarix

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I like how the game fleshed out Xehanort/Eraqus' relationship and delved deeper into Xehanort's past, but the real question I have to ask here is why? The Dark Seeker Saga is over. Dark Road should have shown Xehanort's past, but also build up lore for KH4. Clearly Ansem/Xehanort knew of Quadratum, Dark Road should have shown how he got that knowledge and maybe went further into details about Quadratum.
Given that KH4 hasn't been released we don't know how much Dark Road ties into it. But also, are you really complaining that we got a relatively stand-alone story instead of something that focused more on sequel baiting than telling its own story? That's a bad habit and we should be relieved that it was broken for once.

Ideally Xehanort's story should have been told before the Dark Seeker saga ended. But given that the budget for this game appears to have been pocket change and a few coins found in the couch cushions it's not like telling the story now came at the expense of the new saga.
 

AegisXIII

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The story of this game should have been part of KH3. It makes no sense to answer questions and give a purpose to the main antagonist after his death.
When we fight Xehanort, we do not really know why he acts this way, when we enter scala ad caelum for the first time, we have no idea where we are. Having the scenes from dark road in KH3 would have given those moments so much more impact.
I really do not understand what is going on with Kingdom Hearts lately. They have all elements for an insane great tale, but since all informations are shuffled in a random way, none of the reveal have any impac. You cannot retcon how I should have reacted to a past event in another game and hope it fixes everything.

It is exactly the same problem than with ReMind. I felt that since all questions were answered, a lot of the fans were happy with the conclusion. It doesn't change the fact that if you play kh3 for the first time, most of the ending makes no sense until the dlc.
Is it a trope of japanese narration that I am not getting or is it bad storrytelling?
 

The_Echo

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The story of this game should have been part of KH3. It makes no sense to answer questions and give a purpose to the main antagonist after his death.
When we fight Xehanort, we do not really know why he acts this way, when we enter scala ad caelum for the first time, we have no idea where we are. Having the scenes from dark road in KH3 would have given those moments so much more impact.
I really do not understand what is going on with Kingdom Hearts lately. They have all elements for an insane great tale, but since all informations are shuffled in a random way, none of the reveal have any impac. You cannot retcon how I should have reacted to a past event in another game and hope it fixes everything.

It is exactly the same problem than with ReMind. I felt that since all questions were answered, a lot of the fans were happy with the conclusion. It doesn't change the fact that if you play kh3 for the first time, most of the ending makes no sense until the dlc.
Is it a trope of japanese narration that I am not getting or is it bad storrytelling?
It's been known since Dark Road got announced that its story was one Nomura wanted to do before Kingdom Hearts III.
Sometimes shit just don't work out the way you want.
As it is, I don't think there's an issue with Dark Road being where it is in the release schedule, or as a part of the χ saga. Is Xehanort already dead? Yes. Does that matter? Not really. He's an important character to the entire series, not just as the Dark Seeker villain. Don't be surprised when we continue to see Xehanort and his influence across the Lost Master storyline.

I also think you're approaching things with the wrong attitude, like we don't need to know what Scala is when we see it in KHIII.
Nomura knew it was brand-new to us and wouldn't write its inclusion expecting us to know about it. It's supposed to be new.
The real reveal that's supposed to hit you is when you go underwater and see the Daybreak Town clocktower underneath.
(Also Scala is featured in the first cutscene so you should be able to say "oh, so this is where Eraqus and Xehanort were as kids.")

And I definitely don't agree that KHIII's ending "makes no sense" without Re Mind. It's not really about clarifying the existing ending, but adding onto it and leading into the next arc. Everyone had a pretty solid grasp on the events of KHIII's ending prior to Re Mind's release.
 

Face My Fears

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The story of this game should have been part of KH3. It makes no sense to answer questions and give a purpose to the main antagonist after his death.
When we fight Xehanort, we do not really know why he acts this way, when we enter scala ad caelum for the first time, we have no idea where we are. Having the scenes from dark road in KH3 would have given those moments so much more impact.
I really do not understand what is going on with Kingdom Hearts lately. They have all elements for an insane great tale, but since all informations are shuffled in a random way, none of the reveal have any impac. You cannot retcon how I should have reacted to a past event in another game and hope it fixes everything.

It is exactly the same problem than with ReMind. I felt that since all questions were answered, a lot of the fans were happy with the conclusion. It doesn't change the fact that if you play kh3 for the first time, most of the ending makes no sense until the dlc.
Is it a trope of japanese narration that I am not getting or is it bad storrytelling?
How would the ending of vanilla KH3 make no sense without the DLC?

Everyone died. Sora used the Power of Waking to go back in time to get a do-over. Sora kills Master Xehanort. Sora uses the Power of Waking again to find Kairi. Sora dies. It was alluded to throughout the game that using the Power of Waking too much may cause some negative effect. KH may need to spell out a lot of things, but I think the ending of KH3 was pretty clear - in a general sense. Everything else that was revealed in ReMIND definitely needed to be told, but I don't think the ending of KH3 would have caused confusion.
 

Chie

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I really do not understand what is going on with Kingdom Hearts lately. They have all elements for an insane great tale, but since all informations are shuffled in a random way, none of the reveal have any impac.
How many times do I need to make the post "it's the games industry" before people stop saying things like this?

This isn't the way Nomura wants to tell Kingdom Hearts because every single continuing story in the post-iphone, post-death of handhelds, post-gacha era of the games industry is not created in a way that benefits the creator nor the player. This is the explanation, this will always be the explanation.

Again I ask the reader to remember the era where a new full size kingdom hearts RPG was coming out every single year (Days->BBS->re:coded (new for most people)->DDD) and compare that to now, an era of quarter-games that bump the story along very slightly (0.2, ReMIND, MoM) and animated webcomic scenes housed within an abusive gacha framework that Nomura had nothing to do with (UX, DR) - and these STILL come out less frequently than the aforementioned full-size handheld RPGs did.

I reiterate this over and over because I think it's literally always relevant to Kingdom Hearts' release schedule and structure. I won't let people forget what we've lost.
 

AegisXIII

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I also think you're approaching things with the wrong attitude, like we don't need to know what Scala is when we see it in KHIII.
Nomura knew it was brand-new to us and wouldn't write its inclusion expecting us to know about it. It's supposed to be new.
The real reveal that's supposed to hit you is when you go underwater and see the Daybreak Town clocktower underneath.
(Also Scala is featured in the first cutscene so you should be able to say "oh, so this is where Eraqus and Xehanort were as kids.")
That's the thing. I do not know whether it's an artistic choice I do not agree with or just development constraints.
I still believe that Xehanort past and motivations should be known before his death. But I could agree with you on scala. It's okay to keep it mysterious for now.
 

MATGSY

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Whew, finally beat this damn thing today! Goddamned Mirror was a grind!
 
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