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I'm the only one who liked BBS ?



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DarkosOverlord

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And BBS feels to me, in a way I can't quite adequately describe, as sort of a "This is what we're doing now" statement for the overall KH series. It honestly pulled me off the KH train quite a ways. I'm still interested, of course, but that fiery love that I have for the first three (be it simple nostalgia or what have you) just doesn't extend to or beyond this game.
This, so much this.
Personally speaking this is what got to me especially after DDD and 0.2: this is what the franchise is now. More of things I'm not quite fond of and less of the things I loved.
I think sometimes, even on this forum, the key factor is that many people don't realize that the criticism and negativity aren't really about the game itself: a flawed game, a game that didn't resonate with someone's tastes, that's perfectly fine. The problem is when we see a certain element not as a one thing only, but as a new staple in the entire series.

So it's not really "I didn't like BbS therefore it's a dumb game and everyone who likes it it's dumb", but "BbS represents what this saga has become and I'm not okay with it, because I'm at a huge loss."

But, I've always considered that a fault of mine, rather than others being wrong about it.
I think it's neither, it's taste.
Some welcomed the new elements, others were more of a fan of the old stuff.
 

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This, so much this.
Personally speaking this is what got to me especially after DDD and 0.2: this is what the franchise is now. More of things I'm not quite fond of and less of the things I loved.
I think sometimes, even on this forum, the key factor is that many people don't realize that the criticism and negativity aren't really about the game itself: a flawed game, a game that didn't resonate with someone's tastes, that's perfectly fine. The problem is when we see a certain element not as a one thing only, but as a new staple in the entire series.

So it's not really "I didn't like BbS therefore it's a dumb game and everyone who likes it it's dumb", but "BbS represents what this saga has become and I'm not okay with it, because I'm at a huge loss."
I suppose I can see where you're both coming from in that sense. And in hindsight, you're absolutely right. BbS was where those newer elements first really became apparent, though I would argue that they'd been bubbling under the surface since at least Kingdom Hearts II.

For me though, I don't think said-elements really became all that big of an issue until we got to Dream Drop Distance. That, to me, was the point where Nomura went off the rails with it all.

That said, back in 2010, BbS felt pretty damn invigorating for me. On a personal level, I was beginning to wonder if I still wanted to keep going as a KH fan- and I've been a fan since the first game came out in 2002. I had loved playing KH2 when it first came out- and I do still hold a lot of love for it today- but I'd really noticed a lot of flaws with the game that soured my thoughts on it as a whole, now that it had been a few years since it had first been released. And Days wasn't doing much for me either.

But when those first Japanese livestreams for BbS came online, I was glued to the family laptop for several days in a row (it was January and I lived in Kansas at the time, so school was cancelled for the week due to snowstorms). I remember reacting in real time with other members of KHI as players got further and further into the game and we all were seeing the plot reveals. And then at the end of it all, when some random player finally unlocked the Secret Ending for the first time, I was completely won over with that sequence and was pumped for KH3.

It didn't matter that I personally found Terra to be an idiot of a character or that I really didn't like how Nomura robbed the Keyblades of their mystery with the whole "Keyblade masters choose the new wielders, not the actual Keyblades" schtick. Or that Nomura went full HAM with the Star Wars influences.

At the time, Birth by Sleep took me back to 2002 and all my memories of playing the original game. I loved Aqua. I loved Ven. And holy crap, after that Secret Ending, I was eager to see where Sora's Story would go next.
 
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I have a lot of love for BBS in general. I like the story on a general level, and I think it was a natural choice to set the course for the series by building in some history. I also think the characterization in general was good; I think the characters and their decisions are much more logical than they are given credit for (especially Terra, he's so needlessly maligned). As they say, though, the devil is in the details, and I think the nuts and bolts of the scenarios and the gameplay design get the game in trouble more than anything.

Like, if the whole game had been written with the attention to emotional context and an interest in real pay-off which was put into practice for Blank Points, it would have been something astounding. Instead, we got long stretches of awkward Disney B-plot where you could essentially see the strings as the developers tried to work around the limitations of the PSP. And we got some superficial attempts at expanding the mythology but they ended up feeling more reductive than anything: the "Keyblade ceremony" is infamous for being completely uninformative as to how the Keyblade actually functions even while it chips away at the sense of actual mythos and symbolism associated with the Keyblade. And yeah, all this has been hashed and rehashed ad nauseum.

But hey, I still like BBS, because I think there's genuinely strong narrative at its core, and the good guys and the bad guys carry that narrative. Like others here, I also remember when BBS was received as almost a pinnacle of KH storytelling, and in retrospect...it still holds up pretty well, given some of the recent developments. But TelaryCri and DarkosOverlord really hit the nail on the head with the other side of that perspective: BBS solidified a lot of the trends which we're now seeing play out, and for those of us who feel alienated as a result, it's an easy scapegoat. I'm not sure it's quite fair to malign one game for the faults of its successors, though. I don't like the way MX was characterized in DDD, but I do like him in BBS, and I can still appreciate all his wicked camp in the one while disagreeing with the direction the KH team took his arc in the other.

Armors? We'll just make 'em glorified space suits.
I have never for the life of me been able to comprehend the fandom's fixation with the armor. I remember way back when talking with a friend about the secret ending for KH2 and his immediate reaction was, "They look like Power Rangers" and we kind of laughed it off... only then he turned out to be right.
 

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I have never for the life of me been able to comprehend the fandom's fixation with the armor. I remember way back when talking with a friend about the secret ending for KH2 and his immediate reaction was, "They look like Power Rangers" and we kind of laughed it off... only then he turned out to be right.
I don't really care about them myself. It's just that if you're gonna introduce them as something that only TAV can do, then at least incorporate it into gameplay. If BBS had Drives it could've been the equivalent to Final Form and would change your combos to be like LW's DM or something.
 

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Well, the rudiments of the intricacies of the plot were already in COM actually.
I personally do not mind where the plot turned.
And I think that "Entanglement" is both plus and minus KH. If there were not such a twisted plot, we would have gotten so many theories and discussions of this franchise. I think it's also good.
Well, it's just that I started acquaintance with this series quite recently and a feeling of nostalgia does not work for me. Therefore, as a Newfah, I prefer new games over the old. Sorry I've understood you correctly, and you have me, otherwise I do not know English well.
I suppose I can see where you're both coming from in that sense. And in hindsight, you're absolutely right. BbS was where those newer elements first really became apparent, though I would argue that they'd been bubbling under the surface since at least Kingdom Hearts II.

For me though, I don't think said-elements really became all that big of an issue until we got to Dream Drop Distance. That, to me, was the point where Nomura went off the rails with it all.

That said, back in 2010, BbS felt pretty damn invigorating for me. On a personal level, I was beginning to wonder if I still wanted to keep going as a KH fan- and I've been a fan since the first game came out in 2002. I had loved playing KH2 when it first came out- and I do still hold a lot of love for it today- but I'd really noticed a lot of flaws with the game that soured my thoughts on it as a whole, now that it had been a few years since it had first been released. And Days wasn't doing much for me either.

But when those first Japanese livestreams for BbS came online, I was glued to the family laptop for several days in a row (it was January and I lived in Kansas at the time, so school was cancelled for the week due to snowstorms). I remember reacting in real time with other members of KHI as players got further and further into the game and we all were seeing the plot reveals. And then at the end of it all, when some random player finally unlocked the Secret Ending for the first time, I was completely won over with that sequence and was pumped for KH3.

It didn't matter that I personally found Terra to be an idiot of a character or that I really didn't like how Nomura robbed the Keyblades of their mystery with the whole "Keyblade masters choose the new wielders, not the actual Keyblades" schtick. Or that Nomura went full HAM with the Star Wars influences.

At the time, Birth by Sleep took me back to 2002 and all my memories of playing the original game. I loved Aqua. I loved Ven. And holy crap, after that Secret Ending, I was eager to see where Sora's Story would go next.
 

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I think it's still a nostalgia for people who grew up on the early Kingdom Kingdom (KH1, COM) games that are used to magic, sincerity and some simplicity in the plot. KH2 was a kind of transitional when a game from a good fairy tale turned into a complex and highly twisted story With unexpected twists. BBS in this regard has already begun to move away from the old games of the series. Of course, old fans who used to expect from this franchise quite different were not happy with such changes, someone has reconciled, and someone alas has ceased to be a fan, I also met such and it's sad Especially when I largely disagreed with them. I think the reason that I better mastered BBS and the plot of new games in general. Because of the fact that she began her acquaintance with KH2, that's why I was already used to what is now in these games. Well, I still think that all the side games of this series are largely experimental as well as the gameplay plan and in the plot plan and for them it is not necessary to fully judge whether the series is slipping or not, then everything is decided by numbering. And it seems to me that Kingdom hearts 3 will be something average between KH1 and KH2 and will take just a little bit of what there are in those most casual games of the series. Sorry if I moved away from the topic.))
This, so much this.
Personally speaking this is what got to me especially after DDD and 0.2: this is what the franchise is now. More of things I'm not quite fond of and less of the things I loved.
I think sometimes, even on this forum, the key factor is that many people don't realize that the criticism and negativity aren't really about the game itself: a flawed game, a game that didn't resonate with someone's tastes, that's perfectly fine. The problem is when we see a certain element not as a one thing only, but as a new staple in the entire series.

So it's not really "I didn't like BbS therefore it's a dumb game and everyone who likes it it's dumb", but "BbS represents what this saga has become and I'm not okay with it, because I'm at a huge loss."



I think it's neither, it's taste.
Some welcomed the new elements, others were more of a fan of the old stuff.
 

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BbS's biggest problem outside of it's extremely rushed and unrefined gameplay is it's completely weird tone. Why are we playing as stoic, older characters like Aqua and Terra? Where's the fun? There's no wonder or sense of adventure-- everything feels very impersonal and loveless. Regardless of KH2's wild and crazy anime plot direction, almost all the worlds feature these heartfelt reunions where Sora gets to see old friends, and his investment in those locales feels legitimate; beyond that, he's a happy kid who can really connect with these characters, and he has two happy friends with him at all times.

Meanwhile, Terra, Aqua, and Ventus all often find themselves standing alone, pondering their thoughts on the situation out loud to themselves. There's a feeling of loneliness there that's extremely unappealing. I don't think Sora ever had an extended dialogue in KH1 or KH2 where he was just talking to himself. I don't care if TAV being separated is part of the narrative, because a fun and engaging game it does not ​make.
 

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I think it's still a nostalgia for people who grew up on the early Kingdom Kingdom (KH1, COM) games that are used to magic, sincerity and some simplicity in the plot. KH2 was a kind of transitional when a game from a good fairy tale turned into a complex and highly twisted story With unexpected twists. BBS in this regard has already begun to move away from the old games of the series. Of course, old fans who used to expect from this franchise quite different were not happy with such changes, someone has reconciled, and someone alas has ceased to be a fan
I think this is the core of it right here. Fans expectations usually depend on when they came into in the series, and the aspects of the series they love is largely based on this. Each new game brings in new fans based on what elements were most prominent in the story.

So you come into KH from KH1-COM and become a fan for it's simplicity and heartfelt charm and strong Disney presence, KH2-Days for it's heavy angst character-driven drama with the lore mostly reflecting the characters inner will and choices, BBS-DDD and beyond for it's predominant grandiose lore that's more significant than the characters' personal stories and drama.

Well with BBS sort of being the turning point and between the two stages of the character vs lore tug-a-war.
 
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I don't really care about them myself. It's just that if you're gonna introduce them as something that only TAV can do, then at least incorporate it into gameplay. If BBS had Drives it could've been the equivalent to Final Form and would change your combos to be like LW's DM or something.
I feel you, there's a lot they could have done with the armor to make it feel more naturally integrated and useful in-game. I thought the scene where Terra summons his armor to counter MX's possession was executed really well, and getting to fight in his suit was cool, so I agree that it would have been nice to have that as an established element of the game play.

BbS's biggest problem outside of it's extremely rushed and unrefined gameplay is it's completely weird tone. Why are we playing as stoic, older characters like Aqua and Terra? Where's the fun? There's no wonder or sense of adventure-- everything feels very impersonal and loveless.
I agree with you that the tone of the game is often really dry and stilted, but I think that's more to do with the staggered pacing of each scenario and the sense of excessively brief (and repetitive) world visits which result from that. I feel like TAV are written as forming a real connection to the Disney characters and stories they encounter (some more than others), but because those connections are explored in such a hurried fashion the execution feels flat.

For instance, as a character, Aqua is very human and is always looking to help others as a matter of moral duty: in Dwarf Woodlands, she goes out of her way to help Snow White despite having no reason to believe that it will bring her any closer to finding Terra or Ven because she sees the dwarfs as kind people who have lost a friend, and it causes her to recall her own anxiety of watching over a comatose Ventus. We get (or should get) a sense of her personal history from that. She also has other telling reactions to the plights and circumstances of Disney characters: she's enthusiastic about the power of "true love" which she observes in Prince Philip and wastes no time informing Maleficent that was her downfall, and she senses the good in Stitch and asks to be a part of his "circle of friends" so that their bond will be strengthened. She does explore the Disney worlds with an inclination towards curiosity and wonder: the problem is that outside of some specific examples like those I mentioned, the game relies on a method of telling rather than showing vis-a-vis those constant internal monologues in order to keep the individual character plots succinct-- too succinct, I would argue.

Conceptually, though, I think moving away from a "Sora" archetype and giving us these varied, flawed personalities was a smart move. Terra gets caught up in the villain plots due to his own lack of autonomy while Ven struggles to reconcile his own worldly naivety with a sort of instinctive, deeper sense of purpose he has about things, and Aqua works to establish her own identity and confront the contradictions in her roles as both a master and a friend -- there's a lot to work with there, and I think BBS manages to realize about half of it. But there's a definite sense to me that a lot of the good stuff was left on the cutting room floor in order to fit this oversized package onto the PSP, and that's a shame.

Well with BBS sort of being the turning point and between the two stages of the character vs lore tug-a-war.
I'd say BBS was more character-driven than lore-driven, or at least that's how it was intended. The bulk of the game is spent examining these three characters' different experiences and perspectives within the worlds they visit, and how that informs the decisions they make and the parts they play in the larger scheme of things: Terra's ultimate fate, the literal loss of control over his own body, is obviously an extension of the running theme of rote obedience and submission to powers he views as greater than himself (including his own inner darkness) which colors his entire arc. BBS is actually structured more like KH1 in that it brings the grander mythology into focus towards the latter third of the story but, prior to that, it's primarily concerned with questions of character and establishing how each of their journeys is indicative of their destinations. Though, again, I would definitely agree that its problems with pacing and failure to really demonstrate its themes cause the Disney worlds and the character work done there to feel superficial.
 

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There were lore and theories in previous games as well.
KH1 had great lore and greatly presented too in my opinion, like for example that the most "hidden" of the original 10 Ansem's Report was the only way you could learn, already in the first chapter, that there two types of Heartless, Emblems and Pureblood. And you get that by defeating Hades, optional boss of an optional world.
That's how you make lore: I honestly prefer that over BbS' usage of flashbacks and constant Master Xehanort exposition.
I always loved the Reports feature in the Kingdom Hearts saga, it was the predecessor of Dark Souls' items description to get mysteries solved, but I found Master Xehanort's ones a tad underwhelming. It was more of a confirmation about things he and Vanitas said rather than actual answers.

That's why the parts I really liked of BbS was No Heart: I was actually seeing something hidden (read as: not all up in my face) that wasn't completely explained and ripe for theories.
Why it had the Nobodies' symbol? Why the crowns? Who is he? Xehanort? (That's actually not confirmed up to this day, on the opposite it's quite interesting how official sources insist on defining his identity a mistery).
And it was a secret, optional boss and not the actual main storyline, take notes Union X.

About the armors, I just wish they mattered and weren't just for show.
 

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I loved Birth by Sleep. The three character story made it feel more unique and the worlds were, all things considered, pretty good.
 

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I wouldn't say I don't like BBS, but I'm also not particulary fond of it because I see, as already mentioned here, so much wasted potential. While flawed, I love the gameplay, the combat and the way the three characters play differently. The characters themselves ... well, Terra was too sullen, brooding and naive for my taste. Not that I'm not okay with him being that, but he was just too naive. I can understand he trusted Xehanort, an old friend of his master, but to trust Hades (the god of the underworld) and a shady pirate captain but still being paranoid of your best friends and battle comrades just seemed to farfetched for me. Plus, I can tell there's a good guy beneath all that sullenness, but where does he hide? Ventus was ... uh, there. I can't shake the feeling that he seems rather bland for me, but I really really love Aqua. She's flawed, but she is so strong, not only as a mage, but as a warrior too. Finally, a girl that is up to more than being a white mage.
Concerning that they referenced the friendship and "unbreakable connection" over and over, I couldn't feel much of it from the very beginning. Yes, they are allies, friends in combat, but they didn't seem much more to me. From the very beginning they already felt quite distant towards each other to me, I just didn't feel the trust or the mutual respect I never doubted when looking at Sora and Riku or Axel and Roxas. This is what influenced the whole game for me in a bad way, I wasn't surprised the whole thing escalated quickly because in my opinion there wasn't much trust to begin with, but as a consequence, there wasn't much to be lost. While I felt sorry for the characters, I sometimes even thought "Oh, well, it's better this way, you're better off without each other". In a game that is so focused on a friendship and connection and stuff, this is lethal.
The whole conflict felt too forced in my opinion, the dialogues were often rather stupid than touching and there were a lot of things that could simply have been talked through. Eraqus attacking Ventus was unnecessary, as was the battle following up between Terra and Eraqus. If there would've been trust, they wouldn't have rushed in head over heels to smash the shit out of each other, but they would've questioned each other's motives to decide AFTERWARDS that you can still smash each other's skull. The whole game was full of such moments that were created because the oh-so-close people couldn't bring themselves to EXPLAIN. things.

This does all sound very negative, but I think the game also has strong points. As I already mentioned, I enjoyed the combat a lot, I like the three characters despite their flaws, the music is wonderful and I really like the original worlds. The basic idea of having a friendship drift apart slowly is interesting enough and I really loved to see the original organisation members and get to know something about their past. I enjoyed the interactions with Braig greatly, even though I'm not too fond of him as a character. It really is not too bad a game, but the execution has glaring flaws that could've been polished with maybe a little more time.
 

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I'm personally surprised by how many people ive seen hate this game. It is without a doubt my favorite kingdom hearts game to date. Im working on 100% for Ventus right now.
 

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I'm personally surprised by how many people ive seen hate this game. It is without a doubt my favorite kingdom hearts game to date. Im working on 100% for Ventus right now.
Oh boooy finished that a few days ago. Ven gameplay is actually a lot of fun, even if I'm not big on the gameplay overall.
 

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I thought Ventus was pretty fun to play as too. Since I played as Ventus first and Terra second, the change felt kinda jarring and I missed my VenVen. *sobs* I got used to Terra eventually though.

Oh and that reminds me, I really didn't like Jacques' voice in the Castle of Dreams.
 

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Birth by Sleep is my favorite game hands down. I may criticize it, but I do it out of love. I can't count how many times I've 'rewritten' the game to make it better. I simply can't give up on it. I love Terra, Aqua, and Ven and I'm a huge sucker for their familial relationship. It didn't take very much at all for me to love them as a trio and dub them my favorite. A lot of people say there isn't enough going on between them to care about their friendship, but TAV are more involved with each other than SRK was in the first game and honestly, possibly even the second. Unfortunately, their conflict ended up being a bit contrived because all these characters had to end up in a certain place and it seems the writing team couldn't come up with something that was more believable or they simply ran out of space and any and all nuance regard the conflict was cut down to its simplest form.

Maybe I can't give up on it BECAUSE I know it had potential? A lot of the issues people had with it can be chalked up to the shift from a PS2 game to the PSP. Just think about how much cut content and corners were taken to make that game fit on the PSP. When you look at the original trailers, it is just.... SO different. The tone and everything. There even seems to be some lost meanings and connections (Terra passes by Ven and holds his shoulder, just like Xemnas would later do to Roxas. The scene is marked as important as the bass drops and everything) I try to separate what could have been and what actually is, but I simply can't. It's too much fun to dive into the what ifs with his game.

Let me talk about the conflict between them again. A lot of people jump to Terra's defense when Aqua accuses Terra of playing with darkness when she doesn't really have any proof and only hearsay. Maybe if this game had been fully realized, Aqua would have more hard to deny evidence that Terra was tinkering with darkness. Maybe in the original game, Terra actually was tinkering with darkness.

If we had the full original game, maybe Eraqus allowing Xehanort to return and completely trusting him for no apparent reason had actual reasoning. Maybe we would have gotten more cutscenes of Baldy actually appearing to be trustworthy despite what he did to Eraqus and would have lead to Eraqus trusting him again.

And once again I say.... Kingdom Hearts II started all the confusing lore and lore or twists for twists sake. Maybe the gameplay and execution was better so people just ignore how nonsensical the plot can be at times, but Kingdom Hearts II is where the series truly takes off (CoM a little too, but it was quite contained and simple). Birth by Sleep doesn't have any big moments such as Mickey walking into a room with an Organization coat trying to explain to SDG and Ansem is not the real Ansem, but just an imposter of a guy whose name he can't remember
 

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I watched the old trailers from BBS, like the Jump Festa 2008 one, and wow...they're pretty interesting.

The backstories of the TAV seemed to be rather different back then, like how Ven supposedly rescued Terra, and the fact that they were in the blue crystal area of Radiant Garden from KH2 (which I imagine were used as placeholders or something, I'm not sure). I also read in interviews and other places that in the beta, Terra worked for Maleficent to gather the pure lights (the seven princesses) like how Riku did in KH1, probably to find MX? I guess that would give Aqua's accusation towards Terra in the Radiant Garden more weight then.
 
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