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Discussion: The wasted potential of Dream Drop Distance



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Tartarus

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A lot of those things should have been seen at this point in the KH series, though I wasn't expecting many of them for BBS since most of what you listed happened 9 years before KH1 and BBS was always going to happen the year before. Still, it could have fleshed out so much more, though maybe it speaks for my disdain for the writing even then that I never expected it to.
Yes, but the makers/Nomura didn't have a requirement that the game had to be set exactly at 10 years with no movement. They could've had you see three different points of view at three different time periods, going on the scenario idea. Point being, all those things you'd even be interested in from a prequel weren't there. /end
 

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Why couldn't MX have just returned, admitted his past failures, and then picked up where he left off?

Why did everything have to be so insultingly retconned into being part of his "master" plan?

Why did characters such as TAV have to be kicked while they were already down?

I'm sorry, but this game just felt like a giant slap to my face.
 

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All I'm gonna say is this.

I like the the whole 13 Xehanort thing. Its awesome. Reminds me of a Doctor Who villain. Like what if different versions of the Master teaming up to take down the Doctor, or the in-canon scene of the Great Intelligence splitting himself up to murder the Doctor's timeline. Man, I'm a nerd.

A council made up of 13 different versions of the same guy? It sounds awesome to me. If others don't like it, that's cool, but I do.
 

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All I'm gonna say is this.

I like the the whole 13 Xehanort thing. Its awesome. Reminds me of a Doctor Who villain. Like what if different versions of the Master teaming up to take down the Doctor, or the in-canon scene of the Great Intelligence splitting himself up to murder the Doctor's timeline. Man, I'm a nerd.

A council made up of 13 different versions of the same guy? It sounds awesome to me. If others don't like it, that's cool, but I do.
The difference is Doctor Who actually builds up such a scheme, executes it well and makes it enjoyable. What KH did ruined a lot of things for many fans such as throwing out any interesting things of their formerly fave past villain.

Personally I just find it lazy and stupid myself. But its rare to see someone that does like it. Your the first I've seen with the opinion. lol Respectable. =u=

This is pretty much how I approach it all. It is bothersome that there are loose ends and missed opportunities that the games' narratives never took, but I don't let it bother me too much. I like all the games, and I don't see the point in dismissing everything over something I have no control over. If I want a change... that's what a headcanon is for. And KHIII trailer hype was refreshing. :p
People do do that. It's how they played them to get their negative opinion. lol
Besides criticizing what is actually wrong isn't dismissing things. It's actually the opposite and being one of the few fans at large to admit that the series isn't perfect and riddled with flaws.
 

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Yeah, there's a point in every series where every scenario strays WAY out of left field, and Doctor Who wasn't necessarily one to not do that. I love the Tennant and Smith eras to death, but they got REALLY silly really fast. Kingdom Hearts has the benefit of being able to make its own universes rules, and Doctor Who unfortunately is open to criticism because it is supposed to be realistic within our own universe. Although Doctor Who could certainly do something with the master, much like they did with the doctor, like what KH is doing. It'd probably be fine, if unbelievable.
 

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KH is funny that people are more interested in the side character untold stories then whatever Sora/Riku/Norty are plotting to do.
 

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Eh, that's kind of the case for most fiction if we're being honest. It's because side-characters are often less-developed and therefore have more potential. The missing pieces of their stories could contain anything and thus it's excited to see and know them. This is why new characters always seem better, because it is a chance to learn new things. But eventually they become known, and then people will be looking to the further under-developed and new characters. Give the BBS trio three games and I can guarantee you that people will start wishing that Newbie X got more screen time lol.

It's Mystery Box kind of stuff. The mystery will always be more exciting and satisfying than the answer. That applies to characters, too.
 

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Give the BBS trio three games and I can guarantee you that people will start wishing that Newbie X got more screen time lol.
No self respecting person will want 3 games of Terra being the role model of why peer pressure is bad.
 

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Wasted potential? Everything about Birth by Sleep screams wasted potential. I'd argue Kingdom Hearts 2 had a lot of wasted potential as well.
Those entries warned us of what to expect from Nomura's shoddy planning.
As much as I like the potential of the cast of BBS and its story premise I've to agree with that.
With BBS it is like they had i.e. two handful of interesting story threads available, but just like with the characterisation they went only one step down each story path before everything had to fall into place for Xehanort's plans to succeed, even if that meant to have all other characters including all three mains had to juggle the idiot ball.

I'm not even sure if it is Nomura himself who plans everything or if he just draws up the general framework of everything and then lets the scenario writers do their thing from just a rudimentary base. Since he's the only one to know all twists and situations though, this may leave the scenario writers with pretty little to actually work upon and then the end result is some sloppy mishmash.

That KH 2 had so much wasted potential can be easily seen by just how much more content the Final Mix version has and even that one scratches only the surface storywise. The vanilla KH 2 is almost an insult.

Even though 1 & CoM had their own flaws gameplay wise, Storywise they were far more solid.
Which is probably because especially KH 1 had not really that much of a elaborate story to begin with, not to mention that there was no already established mythos at all. In this matter, KH 1 had it easier than all other entries in the series.
As for CoM, one can still argue that this title was the one that started the whole complexity due to the whole memory-mess, but if I recall correctly Watanabe was the sole writer for this one and it also wasn't rushed in any way, so that may have played a role.

Thanks for clearing that up. I didn't know about those other sources, and tbh I just read the wiki of re:Coded.

You wrote this much better than I did. I started this thread late at night after just finishing the game and I was frustrated with the confusing way they threw in all these plot devices at the end.

I hope that the time travel and other plot points will end up paying off well in KH3. Hopefully Nomura had really awesome ideas for KH3 but couldn't think of a way to make them happen without all this mess.
No issue.
I used to get somewhat annoyed at people who don't know these facts, but by now I've mostly changed stance because you cannot really expect fans, especially ones outside Japan, to actively seek out such material except if they're truly invested in the series' lore.
In the end, it is clearly the fault of the work to not make that information readily available.
Even the "Kingdom Hearts Series Memorial Ultimania", a work that summarizes the whole series up to KH III and even explicitly clears up that it was really Master Xehanort's old, true body that was revived at the end of DDD, is a compilation that is only available in Japan.
Don't trust the wiki!
While there are some diligent users who try and stay true to established facts from the games and the interviews, more often than not there gets wrong information or just speculation into the articles.
Depending on which wiki you frequent (there are at least two as far as I remember), one of them even includes information from the novels as clear-cut fact when in reality the actual canonity of the events of the novels is unclear.
They're often cited as second-tier canon (after the games themselves and the interviews of Nomura) and events not contradicted by either of the first tier materials are seen as good to go, but there is no official statement about the status of the novels.
The Manga on the other hand is clearly stated to be non-canon/alternate universe.

That's probably because I also wrote that without much emotional investment. I'm with the KH series since 2006 and following it for this long has teached me how it works by now and while these obvious flaws the series as a whole has are undoubtly unpleasant, I do not really waste energy getting upset over them.

I would not place a bet about this since Nomura isn't really the best in letting dangling plot points pay off. If there are five plot points, you can expect Nomura to make two pay off well, one rather shoddy and the last two are either completely ignored, delegated to the in-game reports or cleared up in interviews (or a mix of those last three).
Heheh, the sad thing is that most of the things happening in DDD already had a premise in earlier parts of the series that could have been expanded upon rather than complicate the mess further. I fear more that instead of being unable to think about how making this all happen without what we may call "a mess", Nomura thought that the possible already existing paths were not "surprising and exciting" enough and therefore deliberately opted against using these concepts.

Nomura actually has an error in his priorities when he cares more about making the story "surprising" rather than making it coherent.
He once received advice from the original creator of Final Fantasy back in 2002 when the first KH was made, Hironobu Sakaguchi, who he also considers to be his mentor, that he had to make the story of KH more complex in order to compete on the international market, but when we look at the series at a whole today it seems he took that advice a little too far.

Regardless, BBS may have begun 10 years ago but it doesn't mean it had to be so short. If anything, Aqua's story is proof they could have extended the narrative.
I'd argue that this has also to do with BBS being on a handheld console.
BBS was originally planned for the PS2 and according to Nomura an inofficial "KH 0", so I would not be surprised if the overall story of BBS as a whole got truncated in the process of bringing it over to the handheld console.
The main characters not really being fleshed out that much beyond the initial stages would also fit in well with such a scenario.

A council made up of 13 different versions of the same guy? It sounds awesome to me. If others don't like it, that's cool, but I do.
It is not the premise itself that is the problem, but the way how it is achieved and presented in-game that most people have a problem with.

Eh, that's kind of the case for most fiction if we're being honest. It's because side-characters are often less-developed and therefore have more potential. The missing pieces of their stories could contain anything and thus it's excited to see and know them. This is why new characters always seem better, because it is a chance to learn new things. But eventually they become known, and then people will be looking to the further under-developed and new characters. Give the BBS trio three games and I can guarantee you that people will start wishing that Newbie X got more screen time lol.

It's Mystery Box kind of stuff. The mystery will always be more exciting and satisfying than the answer. That applies to characters, too.
I can only sign that statement, lol. It's really true.
The BBS trio is a good example as most people label them as the least developed and "believeable" trio but that is a "no shit Sherlock"-case when one keeps in mind that the BBS Trio indeed had the least screentime out of all the main trios and gets the short stick in terms of attention and characterization even in the one game that stars them so far.
Xion may be a textbook-example of a solo-spotlight-stealing squad, but even her trio with Axel and Roxas got more coverage than TAV did for themselves.

No self respecting person will want 3 games of Terra being the role model of why peer pressure is bad.
This statement just shows how narrow and partially hollow the characterisation of the BBS trio (or at least Terra) is so far, as he wasn't allowed to play a role much beyond the one stated above so far.
 

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Which is probably because especially KH 1 had not really that much of a elaborate story to begin with, not to mention that there was no already established mythos at all. In this matter, KH 1 had it easier than all other entries in the series.
As for CoM, one can still argue that this title was the one that started the whole complexity due to the whole memory-mess, but if I recall correctly Watanabe was the sole writer for this one and it also wasn't rushed in any way, so that may have played a role.
I don't think mythos is the problem since the mythos built up later isn't properly explained in the games themselves but interviews. What helped make it a more solid story was its expected stand alone status. Everything was tied up nicely yet something was left in case a sequel spawned. Story itself was straightforward with the only info not properly explained being Sora taking the keyblade.

This may just be arguing the same thing you are a certain extent I guess.

I think KH2. CoM was also straightforward. There was nothing you miss or fail to understand through interviews. All it did was build up this Organization mystery which KH2 dropped the ball on hard.
I think CoM is more starting point than the moment it all went to hell.

Hell you could even KH2 "okay". It was also straightforward. It did leave many mysteries yes nothing that hurt your understanding of the series or mythos. We had a reason in-game for Roxas desertion, we had reasons Riku & Mickey were missing albeit lazy reasons on the writers part, etc.
The only stand out in your face mystery was "who's Xehanort" which was meant to build interest in whatever original version of bbs the ps2 had.

I'm not defending kh2s flaws but I think that it having so many starter fans is worth noting of its somewhat straightforward nature.

It's all the games after that really set the title into its spiral. Bbs, days, coded, DDD. All these things built up a story of crazy old Xehanort adding extra plot to the mostly resolved line of the first three games.
The more handheld titles they made the less solid kh2 itself became and the less resolved and straightforward it was.

You now literally need at least four games (kh1, com, days, bbs) to understand kh2 and the series itself as a whole when that wasn't an issue prior. The original set up of KH1>CoM>KH2 was a straightforward tale that explained itself for the most part (kh1 & com more so than kh2). You didn't need wikis, YouTube, interviews or handheld entries to grasp them initially.
 

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I'm not even sure if it is Nomura himself who plans everything or if he just draws up the general framework of everything and then lets the scenario writers do their thing from just a rudimentary base. Since he's the only one to know all twists and situations though, this may leave the scenario writers with pretty little to actually work upon and then the end result is some sloppy mishmash.
Depending on the game, he likely comes up with all the big major plot stuff and then leaves the details to the scenario writers, working with them. For example it was said that Watanabe was the one who came up with the name for the X-Blade, but the implication was that Nomura came up with the idea of it.




I think the biggest downfall of the series post-KH1 is that it doesn't really have an evocation effect like it did in KH1. I was talking about this with goldpanner last night and I'll just quote our conversation:
AUDO: KH has become more convoluted and more ABOUT the mysteries and yet it doesn't actually feel mysterious anymore. It doesn't evoke anything. It actually overexplains

AUDO: I was watching theory vids about Zelda the other night and wanted something like that for KH but there was none because the newer games don't have that feeling of evocation anymore that KH1 did. There aren't like hints at something bigger. There is just convoluted answers to anything

GOLDPANNER: Yeah :/


AUDO I think to things like the End of the World and how you can build a theory of that based on what is shown and not told

GOLDPANNER: Yeah!!

AUDO: But there is nothing like that post-KH1. Nothing that is ACTUALLY left for the player to decide and think upon and expand in their own mind. Just Mythology Locks and Nomura has all the keys and he is happy to tell you which key fits which lock if you'll just buy the post-game guide. And that then affects fandom. Instead of coming up with personal interpretations to pick those locks everyone just brings out the duplicate keys they got cut from Nomura. End of discussion. End of thinking anything new.


Also going back to KH3D wasted potential, it's kind of weird to think in a game both about Time Travel and about Riku's character, that there was never a part where Riku tried or thought about trying to change the past on DI and save himself from everything he went through in KH1 and was still going through in KH3D. It also could have helped establish some of the time-travel rules early on in the story instead of just dumping them all in the last hour of the game. Just curious is all.
 

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The truth of your guys convo hurts it's so accurate. I know theory making took hold around Chain of Memories and KH2 but after the handheld titles started getting released? Nope just died off instantly. Any theories left was mostly Xehanort stuff which is NO LONGER ANYWHERE INTERESTING OR FUN to pick apart.

Before that you had theories ranging from damn good to deep discussions about Roxas having a heart to just plain trolling or people asking a question with an established answer.
Anyone that combs threads from 2006 till now will see the sudden drop in interest about discussing or figuring out the mythos.

If Nomura wanted to leave it to imagination he shouldn't do it the way he is.
 

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Honestly, it kind of makes me want to try and create a community where no Nomura interviews are allowed. Just to see the kind of creative stuff people might come up with if left to just the games to work with and nothing else. Things, for example, like this interpretation (credit to gelandporn):



"I just cast a magic spell on you.
One day when you’re in trouble,
the light within you will lead you to the light of another.
Someone to keep you safe."

ah well. one can dream.
 

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Honestly, it kind of makes me want to try and create a community where no Nomura interviews are allowed. Just to see the kind of creative stuff people might come up with if left to just the games to work with and nothing else. Things, for example, like this interpretation (credit to gelandporn):



"I just cast a magic spell on you.
One day when you’re in trouble,
the light within you will lead you to the light of another.
Someone to keep you safe."

ah well. one can dream.
Nah man any non-interview community would just be a KHwikia forum. It'd also be plagued by idiocy threads like we used to get here like "OMFG GUYS VEN IS ROXA!S!!!LDJFKLS:DE##@#" or "Axel is totally Rikus nobody!".

*shivers* Such bad days. They was worse than the flaming age here. =__=
 

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Nah man any non-interview community would just be a KHwikia forum. It'd also be plagued by idiocy threads like we used to get here like "OMFG GUYS VEN IS ROXA!S!!!LDJFKLS:DE##@#" or "Axel is totally Rikus nobody!".

*shivers* Such bad days. They was worse than the flaming age here. =__=
Except those things can be disproved by the games themselves.
A non-interview community doesn't mean ANYthing can fly lol.

Honestly, at this point in the game, I'd much rather have KHWikia type interpretations, so long as they weren't trying to pass it off as hard fact (like the wiki does). I'm much more encouraging of divergent personal interpretations than I was back in the day, but that's because now the fandom is so effing stale and I've grown tired of the Nomura-Shut-Down-Game.
 

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Except those things can be disproved by the games themselves.
A non-interview community doesn't mean ANYthing can fly lol.

Honestly, at this point in the game, I'd much rather have KHWikia type interpretations, so long as they weren't trying to pass it off as hard fact (like the wiki does). I'm much more encouraging of divergent personal interpretations than I was back in the day, but that's because now the fandom is so effing stale and I've grown tired of the Nomura-Shut-Down-Game.
They CAN be but that doesn't mean it always will be. Anything flew here for a long time despite the interview influence. lol So a non-interivew one wouldn't get much further unless you had a good handful of dutiful members. lol

Honestly the fan-interp's are far better in some cases and simpler. Like Ven>Keyblade>Sora or such.
Thats what made the older days funner too because there was less Nomura interview quotes to shut down ideas with. haha People actually had to pay attention to sh*t back then and give a good explanation for the theory.
 
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