Do You Think Anti-Aqua's Actions and Feelings Were Justified?



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D3cca

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Personally, I can relate to the way she had felt in being trapped for so long in the Realm of Darkness, because I myself have went through times where I just felt lonely, abandoned, and everything that she was feeling. That was a few years ago that I experienced that, but even though its been awhile, I can still remember what it felt like to have no one. I think that her actions and feelings are justified on this note, because misery and despair are powerful emotions. You either let it consume you and cause your demise, or it fuels your determination and anger, like it did for Aqua.

And another thing I noticed is, even though Aqua tried to kill Mickey, Sora, and Riku, they acted like it never happened, and forgave her actions, because they knew she had been through some hard times, and maybe wasn't in full control of herself. That's something that we truly need more of in this world. All people ever do most of the time is fight with others about things, and hold grudges, but they don't stop to think about what the other person has gone through. I always try to think about things from the other person's perspective, to try to get the full picture, and things work out so much better when people do that and forgive each other instead of fighting, and then never talking to each other again.

I know, I know, I just went completely off topic and ranted in that second paragraph, but it's something the real world needs, and we can change the world by starting here, and then spreading the word to our friends. Anyways, what are your guys' thoughts on Anti-Aqua's actions and fellings, or on this subject as a whole?
 

Zettaflare

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I'd say Aqua was justified in her feelings of helplessness and anger. Seeing her chew out Mickey after twelve years of bottled up resentment is easily one of my favorite moments in the game.

I just wish Anti Aqua wasn't revealed so late in the game. She could have been a recurring antagonist recking havoc in the Realm of Light
 

Oracle Spockanort

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They were justified. I think what wasn’t justified was the manner in which she fell to Darkness. It should have been a failing of hers, not something forced upon her by Ansem SoD. She should have began to experience this grief and anguish on her own terms and for it to have been a personal shortcoming that caused her to turn into Anti-Aqua. 0.2 set this up very well with her inner doubts manifesting in her Phantom.

If anything, Ansem SoD could have still fought her and she could have still lost but in her anguish at failing to protect another person, she slowly begins to believe in her fears and doubts. They should have had her continue waiting until her pain consumed her and manifested as Darkness. Instead any meaningful growth is tossed aside for what we got in the game. Aqua is made into Anti-Aqua and her return from that is all too easy after Sora defeats her.

Also, Riku should have been the one to connect with her due to their similar feelings and self-doubts. Sora could have still been the one to pull her from the depths as a final guiding light, but it should not have been his role to fulfill 100%. And I think Aqua should have had more agency to chose her salvation after falling to the Darkness. I think the whole Anti-Aqua segment was just poorly handled.

Honestly I think the entire Anti-Aqua storyline was meant to be a mid-game plotline that was going run for quite a number of hours and lead into a second act climax. Instead, the game is really just one very long rising action with like one-and-a-half story acts. /tea
 

mytomxxx

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Honestly I think the entire Anti-Aqua storyline was meant to be a mid-game plotline that was going run for quite a number of hours and lead into a second act climax. Instead, the game is really just one very long rising action with like one-and-a-half story acts. /tea
T

I got lots of this feeling through the game. I think they wanted to do a bigger game but for some reason they coundt.
 

DarkosOverlord

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I agree with Spockanort.
I wish this was a plotline started and hinted at in 0.2, which would've perhaps gave us the time to get accustomed with Aqua's feelings (since her falling to Darkness was SO not supposed to be a surprise by the time KH III came out, and I'd be impressed if anyone managed to kept that as such) and could've possibly told a more believable and detailed descent into Darkness and sadness rather than Ansem's Unfunny Ball Attack.

Some people believe 0.2 foreshadowed Anti-Aqua, but for the life of me I don't see it. Aqua is more determined and hopeful than ever at the end.
 

VoidGear.

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Sadly, it's pretty hard for me to feel anything for a plot point when it's
a) introduced poorly (Ansem SoD throwing her into a pool of darkness? Uhh, what?)
b) resolved too soon (it should've been introduced way earlier; like this, it was hard to feel anything about it before it was already over)
c) a pointless contradiction to a game that was released for the same sake (don't give me a game about Aqua doubting herself, but finding and regaining the mental and physical strength to keep fighting, dramatically announcing that she'll be there if someone else falls into the darkness and needs help, and then suddenly the only one falling and needing help is herself)
 

Alja

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Sadly, it's pretty hard for me to feel anything for a plot point when it's
a) introduced poorly (Ansem SoD throwing her into a pool of darkness? Uhh, what?)
b) resolved too soon (it should've been introduced way earlier; like this, it was hard to feel anything about it before it was already over)
c) a pointless contradiction to a game that was released for the same sake (don't give me a game about Aqua doubting herself, but finding and regaining the mental and physical strength to keep fighting, dramatically announcing that she'll be there if someone else falls into the darkness and needs help, and then suddenly the only one falling and needing help is herself)
All of this basically. I didn't feel anything because Ansem SoD basically making Anti-Aqua was cheap. It also doesn't remotely fit with Nomura's confusion about why we're shocked because we should have expected it.

You know what we should have expected? Ansem SoD coming to get Ansem the Wise. Possibly hurting him in the process while Aqua can't defend him properly. Aqua gets severely injured because she has no Keyblade and the last human being that kept her sane is being abducted by Ansem SoD. Aqua is alone, injured, doubts herself. How can she be a wayfinder when she doesn't have the Keyblade and the last person with her just got hurt and kidnapped? And slowly but surely the Darkness gets to her.

That would have actually made me care about this situation and I really love Aqua. But it was introduced so poorly and had no connection to 0.2 whatsoever.
 

kirabook

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I guess I pictured how this all took places very differently.

I haven't read any reports or official statements on what happened with Aqua, but i was under the assumption that Ansem's attack is not what created her feelings of resentment and despair. As we saw in 0.2, no matter how much she tried to push it all down, Aqua ALREADY felt most of these negative emotions. They were so powerful that they took the shape of phantom Aqua and Aqua was convinced darkness was winning after "defeating" said phantom.

I love that she had multiple moments of clarity, whether it was her short time with Mickey or her new friend on the beach Ansem the Wise. But I also love that these moments of clarity didn't erase all the negative emotions she's been bottling up all this time. I love that it all came spilling out to an uncontrollable state.

So when AnsemSoD attacked her, I didn't get the impression that it was his darkness covering her that caused her to become like that. I thought his attack was just a nail in the coffin that sent her into the spiral once and for all with no one to take her hand and shake her out of it this time.

I even began to question if falling into that water like she did is what allowed the darkness to do that to her too. Like what if it's not water, but extremely condensed darkness (I overthink things)

Anyway, I think most of her feelings were justified. I don't think it was fair to pin the entire 10+ years on Mickey, but he certainly knew for at least a year that she's been trapped down there for a decade. He also didn't take her concerns about darkness getting to her seriously and kept reiterating, "Eh. You'll be ok, you're strong!" He even said that to Riku.

I love to see my favorite characters deal with their inner most demons. I do think Aqua's story should've either concluded midgame (like Riku and Mickey should've kept going into the dark realm and getting booted out or something. Lingering Will style). I think Aqua's story could've ended like it did for Sora in DDD. They got Aqua out of the dark realm, but she was stuck in a "sleep" of darkness (like Sora). Someone close to her had to dive in and fix it. And then Sora dives in (but Ven does the heavily lifting somehow since he's actually the one closest to her)

tldr, I think she was justified and I'm 95% ok with how her story played out.
 

TruestSyn

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I love reading this here, talking about strong female characters in the series in other threads and their treatment but the same people complaining over there are in here saying "They should have let Aqua be weak".

Seriously? She survived 10+ years in the RoD and still didn't get corrupted and it took Ansem SoD blasting her with darkness to corrupt her. That's bad ass. Nothing could weaken her except a villain. She's strong af.
 

Sora2016

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I guess I was never gonna be into this plot so I was glad that it resolved fast lol. But yes, it would have been more meaningful if it actually had anything to do with her ha.

On that note, her feelings were mostly justified. To be fair, the whole "Mickey left her there for a decade" thing isn't true though is it? He only found her at the end of KH1, which was like a year ago in the current time. So she is kinda blaming the wrong people lol. At least imo.
 

kirabook

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I think my position is the same through and through. Since the moment phantom Aqua was revealed leading all the up to revealing "Aquanort", I was excited with what they were going to do with it. I can think of twists and turns I would've added on to make it even better, but I've never had problems with the idea of Aqua falling to darkness. I think it's understandable and is not a sign of weakness. She was there for 10+. It's also supernatural that she's managed to hold out for so long. Riku was there for at most weeks or months and barely made it (he was younger and more vulnerable than her, but still)

The point where I agree that they should've tweaked is post Anti-Aqua. Like either don't give Aqua a confident speech only to make her lose for the sake of plot. Let her have a more active role in saving Terra rather than including Sora so much. Etc etc. But even that is not a problem of "this series specifically treats women badly". It's that Sora the MC and technically the player overrode any personal goals most characters had regarding saving their friends.

I still think what happened with Kairi is way worse than any treatment of other female characters. And at this point, I feel like Kairi was uniquely shit on as a character period. No story turn that happened to Aqua that people don't like or have problems with even compares to her treatment. It's almost apples and oranges.

But all this Anti-Aqua stuff? Cool as heck. Reminds me of headcanons I had when Anti-Sora was at peak popularity. "Good" character coated in darkness for a little bit is never not interesting.
 

alexis.anagram

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Her feelings were justified but considering she doesn't do anything with them and it's all played for the purposes of victimizing her and giving Sora another hero moment, it's clearly utilized as padding and holds no real weight within the narrative. Ansem corrupts her with a blast she could have easily blocked or dodged, Sora fixes her by whacking her around with a Keyblade. Yeah she really grew and changed through this experience.

It's also clear these feelings are not regarded as justified within the story, because first they make her evil, and then they make her weak. She's not shown to draw on them to prove her perseverance, or to claim the truth of her own experience. She doesn't get to follow up by showing Xehanort what she's capable of. She gets sidelined and stomped on, and her failure to escape the Darkness is the framework applied as cover for that.
 

Oracle Spockanort

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I love reading this here, talking about strong female characters in the series in other threads and their treatment but the same people complaining over there are in here saying "They should have let Aqua be weak".

Seriously? She survived 10+ years in the RoD and still didn't get corrupted and it took Ansem SoD blasting her with darkness to corrupt her. That's bad ass. Nothing could weaken her except a villain. She's strong af.
Nobody is saying she needed to be weak, though. Only that her personal character growth from this experience was lost by not exploring the idea of her losing faith naturally due to the stress of time and her overwhelming feelings of abandonment. People can be strong and also lose faith briefly. Instead, the game just makes it out to be that Aqua was too weak to defend herself from Ansem SoD and gets blasted with dark energy that consumes her. That is not good writing at all. She lost all agency by becoming dark for...what? Reasons? That plot went nowhere and only served to be an tool to give Sora a moment to be a savior.

If Aqua had fallen of her own accord and then played a larger role in the game for some time before she was saved, it would have given her a much better character arc.

At no point has any user said she needed to be weak. Even Sora in CoM and KH3D was losing himself in the Darkness in its own way. Even Riku fell to the Darkness, first as a villain and a second time because he chose to use that power to save Sora. Why wasn’t Aqua given the chance to walk this path because of her own mistakes and doubts? It gets willed upon her by one random darkness blast.

Please explain to me how that is better than people suggesting that she fell and used this power of her own choice?
 

TruestSyn

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Nobody is saying she needed to be weak, though. Only that her personal character growth from this experience was lost by not exploring the idea of her losing faith naturally due to the stress of time and her overwhelming feelings of abandonment. People can be strong and also lose faith briefly. Instead, the game just makes it out to be that Aqua was too weak to defend herself from Ansem SoD and gets blasted with dark energy that consumes her. That is not good writing at all. She lost all agency by becoming dark for...what? Reasons? That plot went nowhere and only served to be an tool to give Sora a moment to be a savior.

If Aqua had fallen of her own accord and then played a larger role in the game for some time before she was saved, it would have given her a much better character arc.

At no point has any user said she needed to be weak. Even Sora in CoM and KH3D was losing himself in the Darkness in its own way. Even Riku fell to the Darkness, first as a villain and a second time because he chose to use that power to save Sora. Why wasn’t Aqua given the chance to walk this path because of her own mistakes and doubts? It gets willed upon her by one random darkness blast.

Please explain to me how that is better than people suggesting that she fell and used this power of her own choice?
If she fell of her own accord, she would have showed weakness. She would have given up, given in, which is a sign of weakness. She wouldn't be strong enough to ignore her doubts and let the darkness in. She was unwillingly taken by darkness, which was the only way to corrupt her.

You can't compare her to Sora or Riku in that respect. Sora was willingly diving in because he thought he was doing good. His corruption would have also been from outside forces, Xehanort entering Sora would have corrupted him. Other than actually being a heartless he never gave in to the darkness. Riku willingly gave himself to darkness, because he wanted to continue to be stronger than Sora and when he realized the price he was going to pay his redemption came from that realization and he continued to walk the path of redemption from his terrible choice.

Aqua was strong, she was the only one who became a master. She started to wane when she was in the darkness for at least 10 years because of the loneliness of RoD and being teased with these images of her friends. Her resolve was strengthened when she beat Phantom Aqua by realizing that was someone she didn't want to be. Then her resolve was strengthened further when she realized those two boys were the ones saving the worlds. She didn't spend as much time after the strengthened resolve before she met Ansem who further increased that resolve by verifying it was those boys again who saved the world.

At that point she did not have any reason to lose that resolve because she believed that Mickey and those boys would be able to open the door on that side so she could finally return to the realm of light and save her friends. Then, Ansem SoD shows up and the only way to stop this fully resolved Aqua is to corrupt her with a blast of darkness. The Anti-Aqua is a reflection of her negative feelings that she had repressed at that point. After she was freed, she was a little upset that she was still stuck in the RoD until they clarified. At that point, she was filled with more determination and decided to forego rest to accomplish her goals and save her friends.

That's an argument for another thread, of course, but to that extent it shows how strong she was to withstand all of that without corruption as opposed to weakening herself, letting darkness in, and then being saved from her own weakness. I look at Anti-Aqua as a tool created by Ansem more than a corrupted Aqua because without his interference she would never have fallen.
 

kirabook

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Her resolve was not strengthened after encountering phantom Aqua though. She literally admitted that the phantom wanted to kill her, that the phantom was just her inner thoughts, and that seeing the phantom meant darkness found the cracks in her heart. Right before she left the mirror world, she said, "Is this the final step before darkness takes me over?" or something to that effect.

What strengthened her resolve was Mickey telling her that he found her because her light shined brightly (and Aqua believes it's because of Terra and Ven) and finally, when she sees DI returning to normal.

Next time we see her in Blank Points, she's crying after hearing Sora was still saving the worlds and so she resolved to sit on that beach until someone cast her a lifeline. (plus it was probably the safest place for her to be, doesn't seem like heartless normally spawn there... except in KH3)

I personally prefer that an outer force is what tipped her over the edge. Aqua was going to hold out and stay strong. Even as down and out as she was, the smallest bit of hope kept her afloat for a year after her encounter with Mickey. Something or someone else needed to tip the scale. (Again, personal preference) Whether it was another Phantom Aqua (which is her doubts and fears personified) or AnsemSoD.

I don't think this takes away her agency or makes her feelings invalid. It is still her darkness. Her innermost thoughts and feelings. Just because it all spilled out because of someone else doesn't make it less impactful. I cannot ever imagine Aqua pulling a Riku and willingly accepting the darkness. Aqua has always been more like Sora in that way, Sora who wouldn't use darkness purposely but gets tangled up in it because of someone/something else.
 

Zettaflare

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The whole fight between Aqua and Ansem confused me a bit. Why was she resorting to hand to hand combat instead of magic? Sora showed you can still cast spells without a keyblade. I'm not sure if she would have won but she could have stood a better fighting chance.
 

kirabook

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There were multiple moments in this game where I questioned why they didn't have Aqua the mage casting a bunch of magic. She doesn't need the keyblade to do that. It's all for plot convenience.
 
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