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I still kinda miss the cool ideas brought up in this game.



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Veevee

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.. by which I mean the memory manipulation by Naminé and the "smell darkness" stuff by Riku. Let me explain.
Back then, when I first played Re:Com in 2013 (Europe didn't have the PS2-version of the game and the GBA one was expensive) I really admired the idea how memories work. A lot of games, movies and other media depict memories as standalone information units that allow you things like keeping someone's general memories intact and erasing specific parts of it, like an event or a person. First thing that comes to mind is in Yugioh, where Yami Marik specifically erased the memories of Mai's friends, one by one. Re:Com explained memories as a chain and when one part of the chain is missing, it affects the parts linked with that - which I always thought made sense, if I don't remember the day I met that friend in school or that friend, it would affect my memory of that friend or vice-versa, the memory of that day changes. In a series that is so much about being connected to others, this is a very neat idea, especially the part that it doesn't only affect Sora's memories, but the memories of Sora that Sora's friends have, it kinda strengthens that connection thought. Limiting this manipulation power to people strongly connected to Sora made sure that it wouldn't be too broken.

So, upon finishing Re:Com, I imagined what kind of cool plots could be spawned out of this. Would Naminé tamper with the memories of Sora's enemies if he became closer to them? Could she use that power to fight somehow? Could she manipulate people into helping the heroes? What would her role be? Would she be guilt-ridden or get used to using her powers like that? Could those powers be evolved? Could she have made Sora meet people he only indirectly knew, e.g. Terra through Ventus?

... needless to say, that didn't happen. I love the beginning of KH2, but I still miss how they could've made this power interesting by making Naminé a character who is so weighed down by her guilt. Which is fine, but I felt kinda disappointing how a concept that had so much potential was just dropped and reduced to a repair device.

Next, Riku's sense to "smell the darkness". The wording of that is awful and I always imagined (I don't know what it was in the Original) that they meant some kind of dark "aura" rather than a smell in the literal sense of the word. Riku could've sniffed out bad people or good people who pretended to be bad or there could be morally grey stinkers, thus pointing out to them that they don't smell bad enough to actually be bad (with people like Demyx). I'm kidding here, but my point still stands, I thought this was a cool idea and it fit Riku, but nearly everything in Re:Com was kinda left behind ...

How do you guys feel about it?
 

GonaldDoofy

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Never thought of a lot of this before but I do like the ideas! Namine having any kind of expanded role would have been welcome, especially if it was to expand on her role in CoM and play into the potential guilt she had and if her power over Sora's memories could have further plot relevance. I also found it weird that they dumped all the smelling darkness stuff (likely just weird translation for that game), but love your idea that Riku could have been able to tell how much darkness was in people later in the series. In general I think CoM is a really interesting game in terms of plot/characters/ideas at least, and it's a shame that the rest of the series doesn't really give it the time of day. Axel's whole characterization being another part of it - I played KH2 first so had my own idea of Axel as a character, and was very surprised playing Re:CoM to see how different and morally grey he was. I love Axel in KH2 (and even in DDD and KH3 when he's become a regular good guy), but I sure wouldn't have complained if we got to see some more morally ambiguous Axel randomly assassinating people....
 

AR829038

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I'm glad they got rid of Riku's smell sense. It got real weird real fast in that game.
To Namine: "You and Kairi smell the same."
O-kay.........
 

OneDandelion

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CoM was the only game in the series that gave me the same feeling KH1 did because so many new concepts and characters were introduced. It's the feeling of being lost in a series of bizarre events and dedicated to finding answers. All of the games that came after have really been trying to push a plot forward to deliver a ideological message to the players, but to me KH1 and CoM were like journeying through a fever dream.

Namine in particular made CoM so complicated that I still feel I don't really understand it. I think her concept and everything about her is great, but she is so underutilized in the sequels to CoM that you almost forget such a powerful character even exists. I would have thought that she would be instrumental in reuniting nobodies with their former selves for example, but the pacing of subsequent KH games is really streamlined and simplified compared to KH1 and CoM and I think part of that necessitated putting Namine in the backseat just so she couldn't complicate things more than they were.
 

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For the 'smelling darkness' ability, I quite like that there's still ambiguity with characters like Demyx and Ven and their true nature can't be so easily determined. It's weird just to abandon the concept though.
 

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Next, Riku's sense to "smell the darkness". The wording of that is awful and I always imagined (I don't know what it was in the Original) that they meant some kind of dark "aura" rather than a smell in the literal sense of the word. Riku could've sniffed out bad people or good people who pretended to be bad or there could be morally grey stinkers, thus pointing out to them that they don't smell bad enough to actually be bad (with people like Demyx). I'm kidding here, but my point still stands, I thought this was a cool idea and it fit Riku, but nearly everything in Re:Com was kinda left behind ...
He was smelling darkness in every iteration, be it the Japanese or the original GBA version.

Maleficent did smell light in a recent update in UX, though I have no idea if the official localization retained it. I guess we can assume Riku picked this up from her.
 
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