How can the story be "fixed" going forward?



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AdrianXXII

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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?
Given the current track record, a lot will come back in someway, but none of it will be all that fleshed out.

This series tends to prefer to keep vague and ill-defined, seeing they can do what with it this way.
 

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I wonder what's to come after the Foretellers Saga.
Well that's hard to say, we don't even know for certain the Foretellers Saga is a Saga, might just be a game. Chances are we won't get any indicators of the next Saga until the Foreteller one is almost over.

However my gut feeling is to assume it'll not be another 7+ game arc like the Seeker of Darkness Saga was. There might not be anything after the Foretellers Saga, if it ends up the same length as the last Saga.
 

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I don't think we'll ever get a saga as big as Xehanort's, in my honest opinion.
The Xehanort saga was like eight games in total right? I doubt we'll ever go that far again. Especially since Union X is a mobile game and can keep adding lore to be just as much as eight games right? But it is curious how long the Foretellers arc will be. One game can have the Zoo-Keys (My nickname for them) as the main antagonist and another could have MoM and Luxu in the role. I just hope MoM is more personally involved in this storyline then old man Xehanort was in the finale of KH3.
 

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I hope not, especially if the development cycles have become longer.

That said I can see the Foretellers arc lasting at least 3 games, not counting UX.
The development cycles have become longer because of the new technologies, but after you develop a game, you can pretty much reutilize assets and work around them and things will be faster.

The Xehanort saga was like eight games in total right? I doubt we'll ever go that far again. Especially since Union X is a mobile game and can keep adding lore to be just as much as eight games right? But it is curious how long the Foretellers arc will be. One game can have the Zoo-Keys (My nickname for them) as the main antagonist and another could have MoM and Luxu in the role. I just hope MoM is more personally involved in this storyline then old man Xehanort was in the finale of KH3.
If the next KINGDOM HEARTS game is a bridge game between III and IV, then IV could pretty much be the end of the Foretellers Saga. If you count KHUx, you could make an argument for a trilogy of the Foretellers Saga: KHUx, KHIII.5 and KHIV.
 

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The development cycles have become longer because of the new technologies, but after you develop a game, you can pretty much reutilize assets and work around them and things will be faster.
Well I think that's most likely true. Still at the same time I can't help, but feel like with the added size and detail of the worlds now they'd tale longer to finish and polish. Especially because the trees in one world (Corona) will most likely look different than the trees of another (Olympus), making reusing such assets a bit harder.

If the next KINGDOM HEARTS game is a bridge game between III and IV, then IV could pretty much be the end of the Foretellers Saga. If you count KHUx, you could make an argument for a trilogy of the Foretellers Saga: KHUx, KHIII.5 and KHIV.
That seems like a good length for the story arc. Let's hope Nomura doesn't want to drag it out from 4 to 6 with non-numbered games between them.
 

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Nomura would need to rediscover, or reconfigure, his theory of the narrative. The ship has sailed (or sunken) on Xehanort's saga as a whole, and trying to recall its specific plot points in order to clarify the trajectory of an unfolding story would be an exercise in futility, not only because it would further muddy the waters by intersecting ideas which Nomura hasn't made any meaningful effort to connect, but also because it misses the point by a significant margin: KH has always been vague and noncommittal with regards to its utilitarian elements (i.e. How Shit Works). That's not what sank KH3.

The problem that "broke" KH3 and which presents an issue for the series moving forward is that Nomura either had no idea what story he was writing or had no clear and confident method of communicating that story using the parts he had assembled for himself over 10+years of narrative development. It wasn't that he revised or retconned character and story arcs through the introduction of new elements that are not carefully explained, he's been doing that forever by accident or deliberation; it's that he chose to apply such broad strokes in writing his characters through that process that none of it feels essential to them and it thus hampers or obscures (or eliminates) their relationship to the larger work. Aqua and Kairi get placed in plot freezers with no conceivable benefit for them as characters; Axel has his conflict with Saix regressed to a dispute not of personality, nor of will, nor even of moral direction, but of an attention deficit that speaks more to a lack of believable friendship between them rather than a breakdown in something meaningful; the ensemble is altogether mismanaged to the extent that nobody has any particular reason to be anywhere for most of the story, driven neither by a pursuit of one another or some greater objective which could expand the scope of ideas and possibilities fueling this ostensibly climactic chapter, but by the smallest form of narrative pragmatism: because the damn thing has to end sometime. Characters convene and are separated according to a logic of rote convenience: the story as it has been thinly laid is just more manageable if things unfold in a way that doesn't actively coordinate the best possible telling of it with the outcomes that have been earned over the course of the series. It's a simple trade-off: figure out a way to represent the whole tenor of Aqua's personal journey and give closure to her struggles by bringing her heroism and humanity into focus, or shove her off stage for most of the action because allowing her to participate in the story creates "problems" that belie the corner into which most of this story's key factors have been written.

This is not the issue of a functioning narrative beset by faulty turns (again, we've had those KH games before, like hi II and BBS), but of a dysfunctional narrative aiming to fill in its faults with incoherent material that doesn't effectively cover for the lack of structural integrity, and in many cases only embellishes the sense of disaster. This is a game that was marketed on a thematic notion of "resolution," only to make the most technical, literal endeavors to bring its legacy full circle with all the creative spark of drawing up a grocery list while using narrative recall as a blunt instrument to justify (or distract from) a conferment of all of its real dramatic energy upon a set of narrative concepts lifted from another installment that have yet to coalesce into something resembling an actual story: one can only imagine why it comes off feeling less than fully formed. The characters in KH3 and their corresponding stories lose definition and thematic immediacy as an expense paid to that design: some of them have none to begin with, because their presence in KH3 is entirely predicated upon their future relevance (hi Larxene, Marluxia, Luxord, Demyx, oh wait did I just list half the antagonists?). KH3 is a sham of a resolution to anything, but Nomura still opted to propose that as its core conceptual drive, which indicates either a deep wanting for self-awareness as a writer or an erroneous way of articulating his own creative process, and either one is enough to "break" a story that requires the level of micromanaging and obsessive attention to what is not known as KH. It's easy to lose the forest for the trees with this series, and Nomura appears to have compounded the problem by bifurcating the best laid route in an effort to get where he wants to go faster than his own narrative would have allowed. A continuance of this tendency will only result in a story that feels increasingly pared down and directionless, as well as repetitive: people who write without aim tend to write in circles.

I guess the only question I would ultimately propose is what keeps Nomura creatively tethered to this series: what does he want to do with it? I don't know that there's ever been a consensus surrounding that within the fandom, but that wasn't really a problem because between I & II, and I would argue even moreso in the handheld era, I think there was a general confidence that Nomura himself had a vision, for better or for worse. But now between KH3, the endless gacha game standbys and the (likely) return to a SoRiku duopoly on meaty drama, there's a sense that wheels are being spun, and the output feels not only incomprehensible on an intellectual, left-brain level, but also increasingly seems to have lost focus of the personal and emotionally resonant rationales behind the series' conceit. I guess that's also more generally an issue with media consumption and franchise storytelling now: having a destination isn't as vital an expectation as maintaining a continual flow of cash. KH3 and Union Casino do that so...what is it that we're proposing to "fix," again?
 

Ballad of Caius

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Nomura would need to rediscover, or reconfigure, his theory of the narrative. The ship has sailed (or sunken) on Xehanort's saga as a whole, and trying to recall its specific plot points in order to clarify the trajectory of an unfolding story would be an exercise in futility, not only because it would further muddy the waters by intersecting ideas which Nomura hasn't made any meaningful effort to connect, but also because it misses the point by a significant margin: KH has always been vague and noncommittal with regards to its utilitarian elements (i.e. How Shit Works). That's not what sank KH3.

The problem that "broke" KH3 and which presents an issue for the series moving forward is that Nomura either had no idea what story he was writing or had no clear and confident method of communicating that story using the parts he had assembled for himself over 10+years of narrative development. It wasn't that he revised or retconned character and story arcs through the introduction of new elements that are not carefully explained, he's been doing that forever by accident or deliberation; it's that he chose to apply such broad strokes in writing his characters through that process that none of it feels essential to them and it thus hampers or obscures (or eliminates) their relationship to the larger work. Aqua and Kairi get placed in plot freezers with no conceivable benefit for them as characters; Axel has his conflict with Saix regressed to a dispute not of personality, nor of will, nor even of moral direction, but of an attention deficit that speaks more to a lack of believable friendship between them rather than a breakdown in something meaningful; the ensemble is altogether mismanaged to the extent that nobody has any particular reason to be anywhere for most of the story, driven neither by a pursuit of one another or some greater objective which could expand the scope of ideas and possibilities fueling this ostensibly climactic chapter, but by the smallest form of narrative pragmatism: because the damn thing has to end sometime. Characters convene and are separated according to a logic of rote convenience: the story as it has been thinly laid is just more manageable if things unfold in a way that doesn't actively coordinate the best possible telling of it with the outcomes that have been earned over the course of the series. It's a simple trade-off: figure out a way to represent the whole tenor of Aqua's personal journey and give closure to her struggles by bringing her heroism and humanity into focus, or shove her off stage for most of the action because allowing her to participate in the story creates "problems" that belie the corner into which most of this story's key factors have been written.

This is not the issue of a functioning narrative beset by faulty turns (again, we've had those KH games before, like hi II and BBS), but of a dysfunctional narrative aiming to fill in its faults with incoherent material that doesn't effectively cover for the lack of structural integrity, and in many cases only embellishes the sense of disaster. This is a game that was marketed on a thematic notion of "resolution," only to make the most technical, literal endeavors to bring its legacy full circle with all the creative spark of drawing up a grocery list while using narrative recall as a blunt instrument to justify (or distract from) a conferment of all of its real dramatic energy upon a set of narrative concepts lifted from another installment that have yet to coalesce into something resembling an actual story: one can only imagine why it comes off feeling less than fully formed. The characters in KH3 and their corresponding stories lose definition and thematic immediacy as an expense paid to that design: some of them have none to begin with, because their presence in KH3 is entirely predicated upon their future relevance (hi Larxene, Marluxia, Luxord, Demyx, oh wait did I just list half the antagonists?). KH3 is a sham of a resolution to anything, but Nomura still opted to propose that as its core conceptual drive, which indicates either a deep wanting for self-awareness as a writer or an erroneous way of articulating his own creative process, and either one is enough to "break" a story that requires the level of micromanaging and obsessive attention to what is not known as KH. It's easy to lose the forest for the trees with this series, and Nomura appears to have compounded the problem by bifurcating the best laid route in an effort to get where he wants to go faster than his own narrative would have allowed. A continuance of this tendency will only result in a story that feels increasingly pared down and directionless, as well as repetitive: people who write without aim tend to write in circles.

I guess the only question I would ultimately propose is what keeps Nomura creatively tethered to this series: what does he want to do with it? I don't know that there's ever been a consensus surrounding that within the fandom, but that wasn't really a problem because between I & II, and I would argue even moreso in the handheld era, I think there was a general confidence that Nomura himself had a vision, for better or for worse. But now between KH3, the endless gacha game standbys and the (likely) return to a SoRiku duopoly on meaty drama, there's a sense that wheels are being spun, and the output feels not only incomprehensible on an intellectual, left-brain level, but also increasingly seems to have lost focus of the personal and emotionally resonant rationales behind the series' conceit. I guess that's also more generally an issue with media consumption and franchise storytelling now: having a destination isn't as vital an expectation as maintaining a continual flow of cash. KH3 and Union Casino do that so...what is it that we're proposing to "fix," again?
Oh hi I missed your posts ;) But yeah, you present good points. And right now, I think that Nomura's goal is to tell the story he couldn't tell in Versus XIII.
 

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And right now, I think that Nomura's goal is to tell the story he couldn't tell in Versus XIII.
I think he does want to use KH as a vehicle to recuperate some of his lost efforts from the work he did on Versus, but given the way he's framed it a lot of that material feels like fishing and (fan) baiting. It's for the best that he doesn't try to refashion KH wholesale in order to accommodate that story he couldn't tell, but rigging a new plot around these prefrabricated parts seems potentially just as fraught. There's a risk that the characters and thematic elements will end up feeling even more abstracted and remote than they did in KH3; this tendency to force the rote utility of his narrative components over an organic throughline which should form the core of his stories is what makes them come across as arbitrary and deficient in form. It can make even the most climactic and dramatically merited moments come across like tablesetting; hence KH3 presents itself as approximately as important and emotionally fulfilling as Coded (but with none of that title's inherent sense of charm). Future titles will need to tell stories that are as satisfying in their self-contained qualities as any "big picture" meta commentary tracking Nomura's career, or whatever; outsourcing the basics to the remnants of dead projects offers the impression that there isn't enough inherent to the world of KH to flesh out another saga. Not exactly a fantastic place to start.

But then the other half of this story is coming from a mobile game that updates once every time Halley's Comet reaches perihelion, so.
 

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I don't think we'll ever get a saga as big as Xehanort's, in my honest opinion.
Nah, I doubt it either. Games are MUCH bigger now, so Nomura can put a lot more content on a disc compared to the previous games. That includes stuff like story, so there's more room to cover certain plot lines instead of simply doing one game here and there for a certain idea.

I think what can solve a lot of these writing and pacing issues people have is if Nomura starts to be more comfortable with letting KH games run longer than usual. Of course, you also run the risk of it becoming TOO bloated, but think about it. He was going to make the Keyblade Graveyard more fleshed out with interaction in KH3 but he felt it would've taken forever and decided to streamline it. Turns out, that's actually what most fans would've wanted. He's also mentioned how he struggled with writing the ending and that whole segment entirely, and I think that could be solved with just letting it run as long as it needs to.

However, he's also mentioned that KH3's content was tough to fit on the disc, and 0.2 was also supposed to originally be a part of KH3, so that might really be it - restrictions were in place.

But given how 99% of ReMIND's promotional material has shown events in the Keyblade Graveyard, I think we're going to get to see what he originally planned plus those moments we've wanted to see.
 

Ballad of Caius

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I think he does want to use KH as a vehicle to recuperate some of his lost efforts from the work he did on Versus, but given the way he's framed it a lot of that material feels like fishing and (fan) baiting. It's for the best that he doesn't try to refashion KH wholesale in order to accommodate that story he couldn't tell, but rigging a new plot around these prefrabricated parts seems potentially just as fraught. There's a risk that the characters and thematic elements will end up feeling even more abstracted and remote than they did in KH3; this tendency to force the rote utility of his narrative components over an organic throughline which should form the core of his stories is what makes them come across as arbitrary and deficient in form. It can make even the most climactic and dramatically merited moments come across like tablesetting; hence KH3 presents itself as approximately as important and emotionally fulfilling as Coded (but with none of that title's inherent sense of charm). Future titles will need to tell stories that are as satisfying in their self-contained qualities as any "big picture" meta commentary tracking Nomura's career, or whatever; outsourcing the basics to the remnants of dead projects offers the impression that there isn't enough inherent to the world of KH to flesh out another saga. Not exactly a fantastic place to start.

But then the other half of this story is coming from a mobile game that updates once every time Halley's Comet reaches perihelion, so.
To be honest, I'd like to think that Nomura introduced Yozora's character in KINGDOM HEARTS in order to use KH as a sort of "marketing" for a possible Versus XIII spiritual successor and later make a true Verum Rex video game outside of KH.
 

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To be honest, I'd like to think that Nomura introduced Yozora's character in KINGDOM HEARTS in order to use KH as a sort of "marketing" for a possible Versus XIII spiritual successor and later make a true Verum Rex video game outside of KH.
That's an interesting theory and maybe it'll be borne out someday, but it doesn't really make the case that KH is benefiting from some guiding vision. If anything, it's actually a bit believable because it conforms with the regression the series seems to have undergone into the very thing people mistakenly anticipated from the first game: a hollow marketing platform for other popular IPs empty of any strong internal identity that might persuade people to take it seriously. In which case I guess the only relevant question becomes whether or not Disney would be willing to share their ad space.
 

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That's an interesting theory and maybe it'll be borne out someday, but it doesn't really make the case that KH is benefiting from some guiding vision. If anything, it's actually a bit believable because it conforms with the regression the series seems to have undergone into the very thing people mistakenly anticipated from the first game: a hollow marketing platform for other popular IPs empty of any strong internal identity that might persuade people to take it seriously. In which case I guess the only relevant question becomes whether or not Disney would be willing to share their ad space.
So basically KINGDOM HEARTS is the Pokemon Animé of Square Enix.

In the meantime, I'd rather we get spinoffs centered on TAV and Roxas. Give us Dissidia KH.
 

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To be honest, I'd like to think that Nomura introduced Yozora's character in KINGDOM HEARTS in order to use KH as a sort of "marketing" for a possible Versus XIII spiritual successor and later make a true Verum Rex video game outside of KH.
I think this is it, or at least part of it. There's no way Nomura made every Verum Rex reference in KH3 without the intent of possibly bringing it to life in some way. He even knew that people were going to make connections to Versus XIII, so I think it's coming in some form.

Actually, Disney owns all the characters and weapons for Kingdom Hearts as a franchise, right? I was thinking, maybe Verum Rex could be a "KH title", but not necessarily Kingdom Hearts itself. If that makes sense. You'd have all the lore from KH, but since it's a "new series" in a sense, it allows for concepts and plot points to be darker. I think that would be cool.

Not that I could see this actually happening, but a darker and more mature KH title would be a pretty interesting idea, considering how dark the regular Kingdom Hearts games actually are.
 

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I think this is it, or at least part of it. There's no way Nomura made every Verum Rex reference in KH3 without the intent of possibly bringing it to life in some way. He even knew that people were going to make connections to Versus XIII, so I think it's coming in some form.

Actually, Disney owns all the characters and weapons for Kingdom Hearts as a franchise, right? I was thinking, maybe Verum Rex could be a "KH title", but not necessarily Kingdom Hearts itself. If that makes sense. You'd have all the lore from KH, but since it's a "new series" in a sense, it allows for concepts and plot points to be darker. I think that would be cool.

Not that I could see this actually happening, but a darker and more mature KH title would be a pretty interesting idea, considering how dark the regular Kingdom Hearts games actually are.
Verum Rex could be KINGDOM HEARTS x FINAL FANTASY without the FINAL FANTASY, or rather, FF-ish.
 

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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;
I kind of love the idea of it being a mistake about Demyx and Luxord. Like Luxord would be like," I guess the cards weren't in my favor." Then Demyx (my favorite one) always talked about how they "picked the wrong guy" so it would be so funny to see that he was actually right.😂
 

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I kind of love the idea of it being a mistake about Demyx and Luxord. Like Luxord would be like," I guess the cards weren't in my favor." Then Demyx (my favorite one) always talked about how they "picked the wrong guy" so it would be so funny to see that he was actually right.😂
Given Luxord's hilarious reaction to the reveal, he's either faking it (knowing what little we do from the Re:Mind trailer), thinking this wasn't the plot twist he was expecting, or is like "Wait, I'm 100% positive that's not right!"
 
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