Funny Fandom Things Fondly Remembered



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Central Station

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It really hit me this year just how long I've been in this fandom. This year marks 10 years since I first entered it, posting on forums, those old YouTube AMV tributes, devouring every scrap of news for 358/2 Days while it was being developed.
It's strange to look back at the fandom and see how much has changed. It all happened so slowly that I barely noticed until now.

So I just wanted to make a thread kinda for any long time fans to share things they remember about this fandom when it was still new or when they joined. Funny things, things they miss, anything they want to share. And for new fans to maybe see what they missed in a fandom now well established and out of it's more developmental- and some what cringy- stages.

I remember back when the forum threads were full to the brim with people creating their own organization 13 members. XD Scrambling their names (screen or real names) and creating weapons and battle quotes and ect.
After KH2 came out there was alot of sympathetic feelings for the Org as we knew them. People would discuss all the time if they were really all that evil, what it meant to be a Nobody and if we could really blame the Org for doing what they did. So a lot of Organization XIII fans were sprung forth (including me XD) to discuss endlessly about it.

'The Unbirths' anyone remember how when BBS was in development, the name of the new enamy was mistranslated as Unbirth instead of Unversed? I remember this created so many theories about what they could possibly be. People thought they could be unborn people, or ghosts or even the enamy to represent the third piece that makes up a person in the KH universe that being a soul (which was the one I believed). Then it got clarified and people were kinda annoyed because we couldnt even guess what they could be XD I personally still think it wouldve been good to have them be peoples souls to finish the trinity of heart, body soul but the chips fell where they did.

"Kairi, Traitor, Sephiroth, Goofy, Sora, Roxas, Why, Axel, I am a fool, Xemnas, you're right." I can still hear this. So back in the day, THE place to watch KH cutscenes and videos was on KH-vids.net. And if you watched cutscenes on YouTube back then there was a very good chance they came from there. And they always played this little compilation of phrases right before they showed the video you clicked on. KH-vids.net is still active by the way. They have forums that still see activity. I think it's one of the oldest KH fandom sites though I might be wrong. Part of me is glad it's still arround. When I went to go look I dreaded this so important part of our fandom having died.

The changing consoles and 'Real' fans.

Dear God this was insane back when. I remember people being so upset and stressed when a new game was announced wondering if they would actually be able to play it. I remember wanting BBS sooo bad but my parents wouldnt buy me a PSP so I never got to play it until the collections came out.Part of me though yearned to play it on the PSP though how I wanted when I was a kid so this year I finally saved up and bought them.
I remember watching my friend play it on the bus to school, reading wikis to catch up, and let's plays and the KH vids collection of cutscenes.
A lot of people back then couldnt afford all the changing consoles. Which made them only able to experience these games through wikis and khvids. From which sprang one of the first flame wars I remember about if you were a real fan if you hadnt played every game. I remember people fighting bitterly about it. People who loved the series but couldnt afford all the consoles, but still wanted to be a part of the community, fighting against people who wanted to dismiss them as fans because they hadnt played through all the games. It was such a toxic time in the fandom but it eventually evened out. Though I have talked with new fans even now who are embarrassed when they say that's how they've experienced KH because they cant afford everything. But they watch let's plays and cutscene compilations and hope to one day have a good enough job, or save enough to get a PS4 and all the games for their very own.

Fan translations.
This is one I miss very much. Back when we would have to wait months to get the games after the game came out in Japan, the Japanese cutscenes would inevitably make it's way to YouTube and translated by fans and get fan subbed. There was a time when you could find whole KH games fan subbed. This is actually how I first experienced BBS. In Japanese with fan made subs. You could find people comparing scenes between the English and Japanese when the English dub came out, and it was very cool to see how close people were, and maybe get a closer glimpse as to what was being said. They're mostly gone now. Even the old videos. I went searching for some a little while back and only found one that I had watched back in the day which was Axel confronting Xion infront of the mansion. With releases so close together now fan subbing KH stuff is kinda moot. But it was cool to me. I miss it.

The Xion wars.
Ooooooohh boy...anyone remember this? This was baaaaaad... Xion was so controversial when Days released. All the AkuRoku shippers were pissed, a lot of the fandom was pissed because of the memory wiping plot lines- it got nasty real quick. This was a proper flame war. People would just scream at each other on forums. Any discussion about days always seemed to end in a fight about Xion, or the writing or the memory wiping it makes me sad to think back on it. I can even remember at one point people talking about how much they hated the fandom because a Days fan (which was the most recent thing at the time) couldnt talk about it without getting a LOT of hate thrown at them. To the point where people just stopped talking about it at all to avoid it. It was an extremely toxic time. I've seen people talk about how KH3 is controversial now and I just smile sadly. This is nothing in comparison. I was (and still am) a Days fan, and got into many a screaming match with people back then. It wasnt just about the game people went at each other personally if you liked the game. And if you were a fan, and the forum thread you were on got over run by Days haters, it could turn nasty real quick. Not saying that doesnt happen now, but it doesnt seem as much as it was.
A few years ago now, Days got a revival though and suddenly so many people were coming out saying how much they loved it. So much art for Xion, so much love for her, so much love for the sea salt trio that it almost made me cry. And the haters, well everything bad that could be said has been said and the Days fans just kinda shrug it off as old arguments and say they like it anyways. Its funny how things turned so drastically.

Kurix.
Okay bare with me but there was a time when people though Riku turned into a nobody and the name they gave him in this theorizing was Kurix. This was one of the first fan theories I ever read about and I cant find ANYTHING on it when I searched but I swear it was real. Anyone else remember?!

Roxel.
Just Google it, it's funny and SFW.

Old art.
Saix puppy/Demyx puppy. This one, oh man this one. Dear God words cannot describe what it was. Just Google it, you'll get a laugh. This is what I mean by developmental and cringy. It's still out there new fans just go, read them.
I swear to God this has become just like one of those unspoken fandom things that gets referenced every now and then in other works and people who were there for it get it and I just cant believe it. I love it but I hate it all at once.

The Xemnas and Xigbar reports. A really good artist out there once made comics with the premise of it being all the unfounded reports Xemnas made about how things were going in the organization and all the schengens. At some point Xigbar started writing them instead and it was just hilarious. They're still floating arround out there.
I even found reference to one in a comic I found recently and it blew my mind since it's been so long! Google it, it's funny XD

The decentralizing of the fandom.
This one makes me sad. Back then it seemed like everyone was on the forums. They were the place to go to talk KH. If you wanted to talk with other fans, that's where you went. But slowly over time, it seems they arent anymore. People have migrated to YouTube, and Tumblr and reddit and Twitter and the fandom feels so scattered now. I miss when thousands were on the forums at any given time, and when something new happened you didnt have to go to 4 or 5 places to talk about it. You went to one, or two if you were on multiple forums. Now when something happens, when people want to theorize, or discuss KH it's hard to find a place to talk with lots of people. If you dont have lots of Twitter followers no one will see what you say and the character count to boot makes discussing anything like this tedious. Tumblr has the same problem just without the character count. What's worse is it relies on people searching for the exact thing you're talking about.
YouTube has a barrier to entry that being you need to know how to make videos. Reddit annoys me because it's not a good forum for something like this because if your post is older it gets sent to the bottom or if what you post doesn't get attention or is voted down a lot before more people can see it eventually no one sees it.

I miss the KH forum community I grew up with! I dont understanding why people do it the way they do now it's so scattered and you barely get any conversation with lots of people. Are forums dying and I'm just stuck in the past with new platforms rising? Maybe...but I still miss the time when you could post something on the forum and get 50 other people to talk with in the first day. Where now, even on really interesting threads it feels like your lucky to get that at all.

What about you guys? What other stuff do you remember from back then?
It's a strange feeling now that the fandoms so old. To look at myself and realize I'm part of the old guard long time fan category now. I can still remember being 14, and signing up, and growing up with it all. And now here we all are, 10 yrs later.
 

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Oh wow, alot of what you wrote just gave me serious nostalgia. I do remember the Unbirths vs Unversed debate. And I totally forgot about KH-vids.net. I can actually hear that opening in my head now that you mention it again lol. The fan subs were another big thing. I never really paid attention to fansubs of the games themselves, seeing as I usually waited for the English versions, but I do remember the fansubs that people would make for the trailers.

Reading this also brought back some other memories. For me, alot of it was all the crazy theories surrounding Days and BBS. The most notable ones were the theory that Terra was Xehanort, which wouldn't you know it, actually turned out to be true. Another was many people thinking really in depth ways about how Ven was Roxas. In hindsight, this one is amusing as well, because Nomura flat out gave us the answer to this in the very first interview for BBS, stating that Ven may just resemble Roxas. Going on Xion, the most common theory for her was that she was going to be Aqua in some form or another, due to Xemnas having Aqua's armor in Radiant Garden.

I do miss those days myself. I got into KH at the same age as you back in 2007. Back then, I was eagerly awaiting news for Days, BBS, and Coded, and somehow, those years flew, and the end of the Xehanort saga has come and gone. Those were the good old days for the fandom.
 

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Unbirths was actually the original name of Unversed early in development. It was even written differently in katakana and there are like two or three magazine scans with the name. When BBS’s story was changed during its first year of development, the Unbirths were changed to the Unversed.
 

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Man, this thread was so close to be titled "Funny Fandom Features Fondly Flashbacked". In fact, it should.

I've been in the fandom since the very beginning, but for the first years I don't have much to offer 'cept for what was going on in the italian fandom.

Let's see... first and foremost, KH parodies. Around 2006-7, a bunch of fans got on the mics and started either dubbing over KH II footage or associating songs to it (not really AMVs, more like a funny musical compilations.
Demyx singing the italian opening to Mermaid Melody, Luxord and Zexion banding together to solve Vexen's murder are all things fondly remembered by older italian fans. Also since it was almost only KH II footage I think I've seen things like Xigbar's two-handed gesture and Xaldin's close-up at Beast's Castle so many times it got engraved in my memory.
All of those videos have aged pretty poorly as one could imagine.

KH parodies on a global scale, how can I not mention the "KH Ultimate Team-Up" videso. Perhaps some of the first funny montages I've ever seen. I still chuckle thinking about Jack Sparrow shooting Scar down the cliff 4 times in a row.

I remember a specific debate about the "Birth by Sleep" secret video in KH II where people would argue whether or not Terra truly had yellow eyes at the end or if that was the moon's reflex.

I remember when Deep Dive was seen by the first fans and those Riku and Kairi were called "Adult Kairi" and "Adult Riku".

I don't really recall being part of too many debates (prior to recent times I guess), and even if I don't think I'd remember them fondly, so.
It might be the most generic thing, but I guess what I really like to relive is the energy the community used to have. As it was said Kingdom Hearts has been around for a while, and especially after KH II I feel like everything became this huge party and parade. You could at some point walk out of it even for years, and as soon as you'd get back you'd still find some people celebrating.
I sometimes go and search for old pieces of KH fanart or some fanfic, and I'm like "Man, this was made eleven years ago. And it already had Sora, Riku, Kairi, Naminé, Axel all happy together."
My newfound nostalgia for the first three titles only accentuates the feelings. There was something "pure" about all of it, including the fans' reaction and behaviour. Despite all the nasty issues common to any fandom ever.

And I'd be lying if I said the long wait for KH III didn't have its charm, in some way. From the very first teaser trailer to the last piece of information, waiting, covering and discussing every new detail, participating in the general hype was an experience in itself. We'll never have something like that ever again. Even another wait won't feel the same way.
The collections revamped the series and fandom in such a way, too... playing the Final Mixes for the first time, facing off against Unknown and Lingering Will and flying around in the Cavern of Remembrance years after witnessing those japanmese videos on Youtube was emotionally moving.
Having the most beloved titles all neatly arranged and readily available on my ps3 gave me the energy to getting into speedrunning, exploring and experimenting with the games a lot more, writing my own set of stories and doing many other KH-related activities.

I encountered so much hatred and vitriol in the fandom. I myself became a source of negativity and toxic behaviour. KH is fascinating as much as it is deeply polarizing, and the way it tickles feelings gives birth to uncontrolled emotional responses prone to bursting out when colliding.
But I'm glad I learned to leave as much of that behind as possible and still reminiscing why it was good to be a Kingdom Hearts fan, and all the good things being such brought to my life.
I wouldn't have friends without Kingdom Hearts. And that will always be more important than if a game was great or sucked, in the end.
 

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Fan translations are fascinating. I remember back in one of the earliest BbS trailers, Ven’s line that was translated in the final game as “I’m asking you, as a friend, just put an end to me”, was translated in fansubs as “please erase me”. I recall it led to at least one fan theory that the events of BbS were happening in a data world or something.
 
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The KH vids.net intro thing I remember so clearly. I used to watch so many clips on there since the original games didn't have a theater mode.

I think the thing I miss the most is the intrigue and energy people had with the series. Organization XIII got so many people talking. Namine and Roxas led to so many theories and discussions. The secret ending with TAV in armor (and the giant creature thing that vanished that was never explained, not even in BbS lol). It added all this mystery and made me excited for what was to come.

I think the fandom suffered from so many spinoffs before KH3. It seems like people became more cynical and "hate playing" the series just to point out its flaws. I kind of felt that the original fandom embraced the flaws because there was the hope that the next game would flesh out more and there was also the innocence of just wanting to travel the Disney worlds and fight Disney bosses. There weren't hour long analysis of "floaty combat" and commentators giddily pointing out flaws for views on YouTube.
 
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