How can the story be "fixed" going forward?



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FudgemintGuardian

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We all got our complaints on how KH3's story and plot threads, old and new, were handled (or not at all, in some cases) and while we might have ideas on how things could've been done differently, what's done was done. The plot ship has sailed and it's full of holes, on fire, kids are screaming, and we're out of milk. But that doesn't stop later games from addressing those issues and at least trying to put things back on rails. Which leads me to asking y'all what were your issues with the story and how do you think it could addressed later on?

To give two examples off the top of my head (so yeah, these will probably have their own problems), have Xemnas knowing about members IX-XII being from the Age of Fairytales be something Xigbar told him just recently. Keeping it secret until now because it didn't benefit him at the time. Given who Xigbar is, and that we know he's the one how found Marluxia, it's safe to assume he probably not just found all four, but found them because he knew who they were. This'd take down a lot of headaches from why the heck did Xemnas need a Keyblade wielder when he had four Keyblade wielders just sitting around.

The other is Demyx and Luxord being from ancient times actually a mistake made by Xigbar. Something like that could give equal bad taste on people's mouths, but I just...didn't like that they were also part of that. Ventus was fine enough, but seeing Marly and Larxene also from then was too much already. Not everything needs to be connected to everything else. Not like this. It being just a mistake would be meh, but I'd take that over what we're getting. Have it be mistaken identity or since they became strong Nobodies, Xiggy took that as a sign they where wielders. Or both.

And hey, they haven't appeared in UX yet so Nomura's got time to change his mind!

Please change your mind, Nomura. ;A;
 
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At this point, who knows? The story was already overwhelming after what DDD revealed. Thankfully everything that had to do with Xehanort has been wrapped up, but the story of UX is so incredibly confusing and so much more of a mess than the Xehanort saga was.

All of that and now this Verum Rex stuff on top of it is just gonna make KH4 a clusterf*ck. I really don’t know if it can be “fixed” at this point.
 

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In general I think maybe Nomura should either write out or diminish the role of a lot of characters.

KH3 ostensibly has 20+ main characters due to the clash of lights and darknesses which is a lot for any story, let alone a video game where there are also so many Disney characters.

Almost inevitably, most of these characters, particularly good guys, didn't get the time or treatment fans felt they needed.
 

Twilight Lumiair

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That's... honestly a bit harder than you'd think at first. There are SO MANY things that just can't be satsfyingly fixed in future titles, but I might as well humor the idea, lol. I'll probably add more in later post, but off the top of my head:
  • Aqua gets her Keyblade and armor back immediately off screen, and can use her magic & intelligence consistently again.
  • Roxas and Xion aren't as warmed up to Isa as they first let on
  • Similarly, Roxas may be competitive with Riku in KH3 (ideally with a justifiable reason), but still has an incredibly strained relationship with him and AtW till further notice.
  • Subject X turns out to be someone unrelated to the X era (even though Skuld could desperately use more characterization and relevance).
  • Maleficent gains something out of her search for the Black Box/Book Of Prochecies, and becomes a credible, competent villain again.
  • Terra and Riku go on to have a much closer relationship, and the latter would help guide the former through his spiritual journey.
  • Kairi is spurred into action over Sora's demise, and becomes an active heroine with agency, depth in her character, and a more defined personality.
  • Ventus gets some kind of diologue on his relationship with Xehanort (even if it's too little too late, with the old coot dead), and is considered a whole person after the events of BBS. This at least gives him some better closure, even if, again, it's too late in the story to have same dramatic impact.
  • Aqua and AtW have a legitimate relationship, and get to know and appreciate each other better. Also acting as reliable allies for eachother.
  • Namine becomes friends with the main cast, and gets some satisfying on screen dynamics established.
  • Repliku, if not brought back, gets some nods here and their by characters like Riku, Namine, and Vexen.
  • Xion gets a more unique Keyblade
  • Roxas' continued ability to dual wield is explained
  • NPoH are better explained: the process of how the power transfer occurred; who the members are; why these characters are deemed worthy of such power; etc. Also, make them relevant and more prominent throughout the original story, but don't let their pure hearts define their importance. Their individual qualities should also weigh in on their usefulness.
  • The Black Box is explained immediately, at the start of next Saga. After wasting a lot of KH3's runtime on that stupid macguffin, I'd want it out of the way as soon as possible.
  • Darkness is better defined and utilized within the narrative, and not so one note and fundamentally inconsistent.
  • The focus is better divided among the cast. Best case scenario, this becomes a character ensemble drama, but that absolutely won't happen, so whatever.
In general I think maybe Nomura should either write out or diminish the role of a lot of characters.
I agree with this strictly because Nomura doesn't know how to handle having a large cast of highly important characters i
within the same game. The one time he really had the opportunity to show how could handle a number of characters dynamics and plotlines he himself set up, and Nomura defaults to pushing all the focus and screentime on Sora, humiliating everyone else, outright wasting time, or injecting contrived twist. If I ever seriously get invested in this series again, this can't continue. It just can't. The quality of the writing should be improving with time; not degrading. But I know, I know. Writing is "subjective", lol.
 
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It is a big glaring plot hole whenever viewing the Organization now isn't it? I would have been more accepting with Xemnas picking them because of their "Keyblade Legacy" for the new 13 Seekers and putting some kind of limit on Marluxia and Larxene's movements. But because he states he choose them for that same reason back in the original org creates this massive problem in continuity. I don't know if this will be fixed or if it will just become another Yen Sid/Donald and Goofy situation. Anyway I threw a tantrum on it in the Nitpick thread already the other day so my thoughts on it can be seen there, lol.

There's also the issue of how Nobodies have been screwed up. The growing heart thing didn't bother me, but now we learn that members 9-12 might not remember their past and this use to be a exclusive Roxas issue which was why he was different. How are Marluxia and them operating without their memories because isn't that how regular Nobodies work? And I seriously doubt they regrew their hearts, because they don't act human.

One thing I'm fine if they do away with in KH4 and that's Nobodies. Humanoid Nobodies are not interesting anymore and they are becoming a mess. Replicas have taken that weird human hybrid spot from them. Outside some Dusk and the battle Nobodies I'm fine with no more new humanoid Nobodies showing up again.That's one thing that would help me. Just let Roxas and Namine be the last pure humanoid Nobodies standing in the series and just let the Dusk and others be battle enemies from now on. Dusk are awesome and should stay.

But honestly it's hard to say. So many things need to happen to fix the story that I cannot even begin to list them all. Thankfully I don't play Kingdom Hearts for the story. I play for the characters.
 

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It is a big glaring plot hole whenever viewing the Organization now isn't it? I would have been more accepting with Xemnas picking them because of their "Keyblade Legacy" for the new 13 Seekers and putting some kind of limit on Marluxia and Larxene's movements. But because he states he choose them for that same reason back in the original org creates this massive problem in continuity. I don't know if this will be fixed or if it will just become another Yen Sid/Donald and Goofy situation. Anyway I threw a tantrum on it in the Nitpick thread already the other day so my thoughts on it can be seen there, lol.

There's also the issue of how Nobodies have been screwed up. The growing heart thing didn't bother me, but now we learn that members 9-12 might not remember their past and this use to be a exclusive Roxas issue which was why he was different. How are Marluxia and them operating without their memories because isn't that how regular Nobodies work? And I seriously doubt they regrew their hearts, because they don't act human.

One thing I'm fine if they do away with in KH4 and that's Nobodies. Humanoid Nobodies are not interesting anymore and they are becoming a mess. Replicas have taken that weird human hybrid spot from them. Outside some Dusk and the battle Nobodies I'm fine with no more new humanoid Nobodies showing up again.That's one thing that would help me. Just let Roxas and Namine be the last pure humanoid Nobodies standing in the series and just let the Dusk and others be battle enemies from now on. Dusk are awesome and should stay.

But honestly it's hard to say. So many things need to happen to fix the story that I cannot even begin to list them all. Thankfully I don't play Kingdom Hearts for the story. I play for the characters.
To be fair, though, I don't think Marluxia, Larxene, Luxord, and Demyx lost their memories when they became Nobodies, they most likely lost them much earlier, because both they and Ventus and Subject X (who is definitely Skuld) all have amnesia after whatever contrivance brought them into the future, so they're all pretty much in the same boat: whatever caused them to lose their memories was something else.
 

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Well, now that the Xehanort saga is finally over, Nomura has a real chance to simplify the story moving forward, which could be the best possible thing. It's been FOREVER since we've had a truly clean slate to work with in this series (probably not since the end of KH2, or even KH1 really). That means Nomura has the opportunity to let go of all the twisted convoluted plot threads and character connections that the Xehanort saga indulged so desperately in. Of course, some will remain, seeing as how we have Ventus, Xigbar, and the other UX characters now still being connected to the main narrative. But the series hasn't been this open-ended in terms of possibility for many many years, and that gives me some hope that going forward it will get better, because I'd like to hope that Nomura has learned his lesson about overcomplicating stories. Or, maybe he hasn't. I really haven't been enjoying Union X for the most part—in my opinion, it's easily the worst game in the series, mostly because of how bloated and stuffed with filler it is, and also because of how slowly (and, consequently, how incomprehensibly) the story is developing. I hope that once UX finishes (and please, PLEASE let that be soon!), then maybe Nomura's next projects will be cleaner. I just hold on to the hope that what we've seen of what's to come so far means that Nomura has decided to start expanding the story outward and exploring new frontiers instead of constantly remaining within the same cast of worlds and characters and trying to tack on more and more layers of importance and connection between them all.
 

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To be fair, though, I don't think Marluxia, Larxene, Luxord, and Demyx lost their memories when they became Nobodies, they most likely lost them much earlier, because both they and Ventus and Subject X (who is definitely Skuld) all have amnesia after whatever contrivance brought them into the future, so they're all pretty much in the same boat: whatever caused them to lose their memories was something else.
I really hope that's the case. It doesn't fix them being tied to Keyblades, that I despise, but at least I can live with the memory issue thing happening before they were Nobodies.
 

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I really hope that's the case. It doesn't fix them being tied to Keyblades, that I despise, but at least I can live with the memory issue thing happening before they were Nobodies.
Agreed. I was fine with other people besides Sora being Keyblade wielders, especially since that conferred a mark of importance in the story (i.e., Roxas and Xion in Days and the BBS trio), but now it really does seem like everybody has one, and it's become something almost unremarkable.
 

FudgemintGuardian

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Shoot, I misremembered Xemnas as not specifying who chose members IX-XII when he actually said he did it. Well darn, there goes that.

That's... honestly a bit harder than you'd think at first. There are SO MANY things that just can't be satsfyingly fixed in future titles, but I might as well humor the idea, lol.
Hey, it let's us complain under different context, so there's that. XD

Roxas and Xion aren't as warmed up to Isa as they first let on
This is so desperately needed. It was very uncomfortable how they were just okay with him. Having it be they're actually NOT suddenly chummy with Isa and are tolerating him for Lea's sake makes for good character moments and arc as well where hey, Isa's not going to be instantly forgiven, turns out is still a toxic person, and needs to work in redeeming himself.

Subject X turns out to be someone unrelated to the X era (even though Skuld could desperately use more characterization and relevance).
A little hard for Subject X to not be from the X era given what we do know, and she mentions four friends, so likely is talking about the Union leaders, but~

 

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A little hard for Subject X to not be from the X era given what we do know, and she mentions four friends, so likely is talking about the Union leaders, but~

NO.
ABSOLUTELY NOT.
SCREW THOSE PEOPLE!




(Also, EASILY the worst designed characters in the entire series, maybe in any video game I've ever played)
 

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The nameless friends in UX are of 10 notable NPCs from KHX's 3rd anniversary anyways. Iirc their event quests were setting them up to be from the same party or something.

NO.
ABSOLUTELY NOT.
SCREW THOSE PEOPLE!




(Also, EASILY the worst designed characters in the entire series, maybe in any video game I've ever played)
It's not like any actual design thought went into those characters. They just threw a bunch of avatar parts together and called it a day.
 

FudgemintGuardian

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It's not like any actual design thought went into those characters. They just threw a bunch of avatar parts together and called it a day.
How dare you look at such beautiful characters like these and claim no thought as put into them!!!!! XD
 

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Kairi always felt like an afterthought so id give her a spinoff. She's pretty dull/bland but if it can work Serah from FF13, it can work for her. It would help if she was more of a foil for Sora/Riku.

Instead of sweeping Isa's villianous past under the rug, I'd send him on a quest where he has to confront what he did. He's mainly looking to find Subject X but he stumbles upon worlds he's been to before. He could travel with Lea/Roxas/Xion or someone new like Max Goof and his friends.

Ven being from the Age of Fairytales is stupid but you might as well remake/adapt Union X from his perspective.
 

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Kairi always felt like an afterthought so id give her a spinoff. She's pretty dull/bland but if it can work Serah from FF13, it can work for her. It would help if she was more of a foil for Sora/Riku.
Now I want to see Kairi and Serah meet! I think they would have adorable interactions with one another.
 

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So I played kh3 once, within 5 days. I remember being a bit disappointed when I had beaten it, and I plan on replaying it soon once remind releases, but I can't as of right now remember all the problems I had with it. One thing immediately comes to mind though. The build up of Lea and Kairi training as keyblade wielders only to overall have very small parts in the story. The only important thing those two did was hold their keyblades in the air. That was it. I wish the 13 years we waited felt worth it. I'm lowkey hoping some dlc fixes some of the issues we have with the game.
 

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Ideally the first game in the new Saga would do house cleaning. Explain away some of the unneeded mysteries and address some of the character conflicts and connections, instead of glossing over them as KH3 decided to do.

Elaborat on why members 9 - 12 were keyblade wielders, yet weren't used as such?
My current guess is that along with their memories they lost their keyblades while coming to the present, hence why Ven has a new one. However this is just a speculation and we need to get a clear in game reason for it.

In the main cast there are so many stained or conflicted relationships, that really need to be addressed, if these characters are to continue to work together. I don't want these to just be glossed over like Kairi and Axel's conflict was, those two could have had an interesting arc together, but we were denied seeing it unfold.

It's cool, if Roxas and Xion want to be amicable with Isa for Axel's sake and give him a second chance. But it's not cool if they just completely forgave him, forgot what hell he put them through and he didn't feel the need to work on redeeming himself to them. Yes, his help in KH3 was important, but it's just the first step of him making amends for the pain he caused, especially to Xion.


Also we finally need definitions of what certain things are in the series. I get that Nomura like's having soft magic systems in place, for the flexibility in story telling they offer, but we need some more information on some of these things.

It's been nearly 20 years since the Princesses of Hearts were introduced, yet we know next to nothing about their power. We barely know what they are or what they can do.

One of the known powers is to repel/hold back darkness, so why could Kairi not use this power to hold back the waves of Heartless at the Keyblade Graveyard, seems like that'd be her moment to shine?

On the same note, can we finally get a distinction between the four keyblade types?

Like originally the Keyblade of Hearts seemed to be the only one to be able to unlock and free hearts, then BBS blurred that line when Xehanort and Terra seemed to be able to do the same with their keyblades.

What is the difference between Keyblades of Light and Dark? Is the only distinction that the Dark Realm Keyblade can open the realm of Darkness, for those unable to use the CoDs? Can the Keyblades of the Realm of Light do something the one's of RoD can't?

What can the x-blade do that normal Keyblades can't?

Also it's been nearly 20 years, how is it that Kairi, who has all the basic components to be a interesting main character, is barely defined and has yet to get a game focusing on her?
This one really annoys me, seeing DDD's secret Episode lead me to believe the'd be addressing that, but 7 years later nothings changed.

Most importantly get Nomura an editor to keep him from going too far of the deep end and keep things more consistent.
 

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Like Oracle Spockanort said months ago in a thread: Nomura needs an editor. It's the most reasonable fixing I can suggest.
This is it in short. I remember Nomura saying in one interview that he alone was responsible for KH3's story because it would've taken too long to bring other people on a level where they could properly understand and discuss about the story. Think about that for a second, we're talking about people who have likely played the games themselves, are around them all day, are close to THE man responsible for the stuff and Nomura seems kinda proud that the plot is so all over the place that it takes too long to make other understand his current thought process. I mean, how hard can it be to have a list for the characters or mind maps or whatever that takes everyone to the same page? Something as simple as:

Terra: is going to be revealed as Ansem's Guardian, giving the hints of DDD and other games
- is going to be reunited with Aqua and Ven again
- survives

or you do a similar thing where you write down what you have in mind for the worlds, what is supposed to happen there, which Orga member will be there .. it's really not THAT hard to have people keep track of your story if you bother to explain / write / plan it accordingly and I feel that Nomura is a little too proud of his convolutedness.

Also, Nomura needs to stop introducing new concepts that plainly contradict or overwrite old ones and instead actually establish how old concepts work. As many others in this thread mentioned, we have only vague knowledge on a lot of things: Differences between keyblade types, time travel, Princesses of Hearts, Telepathy, the Power of Waking, what Kingdom Hearts actually does, the book of prophecies, "real" and "sham" keyblades, and the list goes on and on..
 

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This is it in short. I remember Nomura saying in one interview that he alone was responsible for KH3's story because it would've taken too long to bring other people on a level where they could properly understand and discuss about the story. Think about that for a second, we're talking about people who have likely played the games themselves, are around them all day, are close to THE man responsible for the stuff and Nomura seems kinda proud that the plot is so all over the place that it takes too long to make other understand his current thought process. I mean, how hard can it be to have a list for the characters or mind maps or whatever that takes everyone to the same page? Something as simple as:

Terra: is going to be revealed as Ansem's Guardian, giving the hints of DDD and other games
- is going to be reunited with Aqua and Ven again
- survives

or you do a similar thing where you write down what you have in mind for the worlds, what is supposed to happen there, which Orga member will be there .. it's really not THAT hard to have people keep track of your story if you bother to explain / write / plan it accordingly and I feel that Nomura is a little too proud of his convolutedness.

Also, Nomura needs to stop introducing new concepts that plainly contradict or overwrite old ones and instead actually establish how old concepts work. As many others in this thread mentioned, we have only vague knowledge on a lot of things: Differences between keyblade types, time travel, Princesses of Hearts, Telepathy, the Power of Waking, what Kingdom Hearts actually does, the book of prophecies, "real" and "sham" keyblades, and the list goes on and on..
Which begs the question of how many of these concepts are going to come back on this new saga and how fleshed out will they be?
 
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