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Is Kingdom Hearts poorly written?



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Blenderudit

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I have been wondering that for a while, since it seems to be a general consensus.
What makes a story poorly written? Is it its structure, its dialogue, its character developments?

It's true that the series does not follow natural storytelling structures (hero's journey for example), but does that make it poorly written nonetheless?

No other series manages to create this amount of hype for me and if you are on this forum, then it is probably the case for you too. However, I am sure you probably said more than once these last two years: I am so done with this shit.

If I were to give my opinion I would say that the story in itself is not as bad as people say. Sure it is convoluted, sure it piles up tons of absurd terms and absurd magic laws, but I think that's why it works. It manages to get us involved in problems that would never be possible on this earth and it frustrates us just the perfect amount to keep us involved with it without being too much inaccessible. As much as Kh is absurd, it never gets boring.
How many tv shows, movies series have you stopped because it was just always the same? It never happened with KH for me because every time I think I get the lore, a new rule gets on top of it that flips the table.

A lot of people are under the impression that Nomura is inventing stuff as he goes along (which might be true), but I remember him saying that he does not like stories that are too straightforward. A story that gives all the explanation in the end is not what he wants as it does not produces discussions on the internet.
If you think about it: there is very little inconsistencies in the KH lore (considering its massive absurdities). It is not straightforward to understand, but we always get the answers at some point (even if they are not satisfying).

There is a famous actor/director in France called Alexandre Astier who says that its better to have a piece of art with qualities and issues that show the signature of the author, rather than a product that is way too scholar with no taste. It's better if it's done with heart (see where I am getting there), even if it is not perfect because it can touch more people.

The only criticism I would give to the series is that it is becoming a bit too split on multiple media once again. Even if the multiple consoles issue has been fixed, the mobile game is still a huge problem in term of following the plot. Hopefully, this one will be fixed on next-gen.

I'd like to hear about your opinions on the series narrative structure. Do you like it? Are you invested by it?
 
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okhi12

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If I were to give my opinion I would say that the story in itself is not as bad as people say. Sure it is convoluted, sure it piles up tons of absurd terms and absurd magic laws, but I think that's why it works. It manages to get us involved in problems that would never be possible on this earth and it frustrates us just the perfect amount to keep us involved with it without being too much inaccessible. As much as Kh is absurd, it never gets boring.
How many tv shows, movies series have you stopped because it was just always the same? It never happened with KH for me because every time I think I get the lore, a new rule gets on top of it that flips the table.
This. I mean, there sure are some writing flaws here and there but it was never that bad to make the series non enjoyable. Then KH3 did a bit worse by making Sora do all the important stuff and make other characters rather irrelevant and dumb at times (*cough irresponsive Aqua cough*) and the lack of important lore explanations but I can live with it and ReMind tried to fix some things. KH is a weird series but that's part of its charm.
My major concern right now is that the cast of original characters is huge and Nomura keeps introducing new ones without benching others. Unless he knows exactly what he wants to do with them, many will end up being underdeveloped, nothing more than plot devices, and that's not good for the writing. But I like the series as much as always and it's interesting enough to keep me engaged.
 

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I really couldn't care less. 😅 What matters to me is that I like it. And I like it a lot.

It is a wholly unique piece of media for me. I've noticed that most people that say it is "badly written" or "a mess" overall just want KH to be something it isn't. Now of course there are some stuff I wished were different, my biggest complaint is the distancing from FF. But I still enjoy the overall product a lot.

And the fact that so many people are invested in the story means it must be doing something right.
 
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Aspects of it are VERY poorly written, while other aspects are quite spectacularly written and better than any other story in all of fiction even!

Nomura isn’t very good when it comes to character writing; introspection, motivation (e.g just look at Xehanort’s justification for his actions at the end of KH3 lol), but he is extremely gifted in creating a tangible world and embuing it with charm and intrigue.

The way he reinterpreted the likes of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Jiminy Cricket etc to fit them into RPG archetypes is quite genius and in general stuff like the “world order” and the nature of the different worlds is handled brilliantly!

The best thing about the writing, wether you love it or hate it, is that you can tell Nomura is always confident in his storytelling no matter what. He never winks to the audience about how ridiculous his plots are, he legitimately takes his work seriously and never defers to the detractors— which is the mark of a truly great and special auteur.
 

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I've never found the KH stories to be all that great by themselves. The mobile games are the exception. That said I love the franchise because of the characters. They make the story for me and how they are effected and react to it. They are just that good. Sora, Riku, Roxas, Kairi, Xion, Aqua, Donald, Goofy, Xehanort the list goes on. My connection and love for them is what keeps me in this insane franchise. This is my favorite video game series and will continue to follow.

I think Kingdom Hearts story has many wonderful and good ideas, but just don't execute them all properly, and some ideas are thought of after another game came out so they have to find ways to retcon those ideas in, which can lead to sloppy execution on some of the more out there ideas. If the Dark Seeker saga had been all planned out by KH1, this series would have been much smoother even with all the crazy elements the games dive into. Personally, the manga is my favorite KH media for both story and characters. It flows surprisingly well and takes some ideas that were not that great in the game and make them amazing.
 

AR829038

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Well, let's put it this way: the KH series would NEVER have survived if not for being a video game franchise.
Now, here's what I mean by that: The series is terribly written in many places, and fantastically written in others. But it's very hit-or-miss. Luckily, whenever the story falters, the gameplay and the general aesthetic of the series can usually carry the slack because of how fun and enjoyable they are. I like to think the "bad" moments of writing are actually quite self-aware, the series making fun of how ridiculous its own concept is. But every now and then, the writing does decide to treat things seriously, and it's those moments when it shines. Unfortunately, from what I can tell, these moments feel much rare and more far between than they used to.
Take the case of the first four titles for example: KH1, CoM, and KH2, and Days. These were the games when the series' writing was at its best imo. Nomura had a certain magic touch back then that he seems to have lost nowadays, and that mostly refers to the way he not only wrote the story, but the characters.
KH1, for example, was really great at writing Sora and Riku's characters. Especially Riku. The sense of superiority, eventually corrupted by betrayal and abandonment, was one of the best villain arcs in the series in my opinion, mainly because he was so relatable, and it perfectly fit into the first game's theme of growing up and expanding your horizons, which is not always a wonderful or pleasant thing to go through. Even the little time we got between Sora and Kairi felt more real than all their interactions have since then.
Chain of Memories was another great example of how Nomura used to write characters. I'd go as far as to say that Sora probably had the best character arc in that game, which almost makes it a shame that he forgot all of it. The way the story played with false memories, with self-doubt and obsession, was really well handled, and seeing Sora actually get driven to the point of hatred is something we haven't seen since in this series (would have liked to see that after Xehanort bodied Kairi, for instance).
I've written about how people give KH2's story way too much of a pass for how cluttered and unfocused it is, and how unnecessary most of the Disney worlds are versus KH3 where I feel they implemented the worlds into the plot much better. However, the opening prologue section of KH2 with Roxas to me is still the crowning glory of the series from a writing standpoint. That whole section is a story in itself, and it's a wonderfully told mystery about a boy who suddenly finds his entire world being turned upside down and losing all control over his own life. That shit is extremely relatable. And it was one of the few points in the series that weren't hampered down by all the light-heart-dark nonsense, or the increasingly convoluted plot.
Days, of course, is also great. The relationship between the Sea Salt Trio is one of the best explored relationships in the series, and Roxas' personal growth and learning about the world was perpetually enticing.
In all those games, there are plentiful moments when the writing just gets downright ridiculous, as well it deserves to. This series has always been ridiculous since its conception. And it's healthy for the series to poke fun at it. But the characters were what gave the games a real sense of emotional weight despite how bad the actual dialogue or storylines would get at times.
To me, Birth by Sleep was where the writing started taking a turn in the wrong direction. Now, I know a lot of people love BBS, but hear me out:
To me, the relationship between Terra, Aqua, and Ventus never really reached the same level as the relationship between the Destiny or Sea Salt trios. Their whole dynamic was just not that relatable. Terra was a strangely written character who we're told is supposed to have a lust for power, but they never really show it in any significant way. On top of that, having a lust for power is a very anime motivation for a character to have, and it doesn't have the relatability or emotional charge of, say, turning against your best friend because you feel he's outgrown you and getting better than you (they actually COULD have had that dynamic between Terra and Aqua, in fact they seemed to set it up, but they never actually do anything with that). Aqua is another heavily anime-ed character, who's simultaneously supposed to be the "girl" of the group, but also the "mom" of the group, if that makes sense. Ventus, meanwhile, is just a bright-eyed and naive kid. Despite the constant lessons they each keep learning in the Disney worlds, I never get the sense of them actually developing as characters. From the beginning to the end of the game, they all mostly just turn out more or less the same. Not to mention, I actually think Xehanort and Vanitas from a writing perspective are actually poorly handled as the main antagonists in this game, with neither of them getting very interesting insights into their character, their experiences, or their motivations. They aren't like Riku, who most people who've ever felt abandoned or tossed aside by their friends could sympathize with, nor are they like Xemnas, who was a really tragic character who was willing to commit atrocities just to become human (at least, that's as far as we knew up to that point). The Xehanort Reports belie a deeper character full of scholarly obsession and unfulfilled ambition, but we never actually SEE that side of him in-game. In fact, the Xehanort with the evil grin and the wiggly fingers feels like a different Xehanort to the one who's writing those reports. The Xehanort we see at the end of KH3 actually feels more like the Xehanort in those reports tbh, and that's part of the reason I enjoyed that scene.
Coded doesn't have much to speak of either in terms of story or character, and DDD, well, that whole game narratively was a mess. Even if the plot weren't a massive dumpster fire, I honestly don't think Sora or Riku really evolved that much over the course of the story. They ACT like they did, but really, there was very little actual development. The same with KH3.
And with each of these games, I've noticed the same pattern—just like the earlier games, each of the worlds the characters visit is used to teach them some sort of lesson. But ever since BBS, those lessons have felt more like substitutions for actual emotional struggle and development rather than supplements to it. In KH1, CoM, KH2, and Days, each quest and each world you visit felt like it added to the characters' sense of themselves and their relationships with one another. Sora and Riku's relationship continuously devolves from Traverse Town, to Monstro, to Neverland, and Sora's relationship with Donald and Goofy goes through its own series of evolutions, as well as Sora's sense of his place in the larger world. In CoM, each world, even though Sora forgets it after he leaves, feels like it leaves a lasting imprint on his identity and on his psyche. KH2 constantly plays around with Sora's sense of himself and how Roxas is secretly affecting him from within him. And each mission in Days plays into the developing relationship between the Sea Salt Trio. In each of these games, the worlds act more as bricks to the main story that constantly build on top of one another. There's a sense of progression in them, and therefore cohesion. But in BBS and DDD, each world feels like isolated from the main story. They don't play into it. And so even though they claim to learn these lessons at the end of their visits to each world, we never actually see how those lessons change them throughout the story. They feel like disconnected moral lectures that get immediately forgotten. Because in the later games, the characters revolve around the plot, and not the other way around as it should be.
So, when you DO get to those later games, the "bad" writing stands out a LOT more, because there isn't as much of those emotionally resonant wow moments to lend any gravity to it. Now, even when the story tries to be serious, it still ends up feeling silly, because all the characters know what to talk about anymore is the PLOT. Darkness, heart, light, memories, data, Keyblade. It's a different Ansem who says "So, you have come this far, and still you understand nothing?" from the one who says, "Darkness within darkness awaits you!" Yes, they talked about darkness and hearts and light all the time in the first games, but then they were tempered by deeper messages and characters, whereas in later games that's pretty much all they talk about ever. There's nothing underneath it all anymore. That's why I liked Xehanort's death in KH3—it was the first time I ever saw the HUMAN BEING underneath the hammy evil one-dimensional Palpatine mask. That scene was the first time I saw a man who had spent his entire life since his youth obsessively in search of a single ambition, who was willing to commit his soul and his humanity, who was willing to sacrifice everything good in his life to fulfill that ambition, only to see it all ripped away at the very end. That one scene of Xehanort to me was better than the entirety of his character throughout all the rest of the games, and you can fight me on that. I don't even care if it was inconsistent, it was better. It made me SEE the person that I think Nomura always wanted us to see, but he never managed to actually write him well enough.
It's moments like that scene that give me some small hope that Nomura can reclaim his magic touch, and it's partly that reason why I'm actually glad he's taking the next 2 years off from the series. Hopefully, he can come back fresh and having regained that special emotional resonance that so thoroughly permeated the earlier games in the series, because it's those moments that made those games truly magical. The plot is fun to speculate over as it continues to develop, and yeah, the Master of Masters is an interesting villain, but speculation is no substitute for feeling. If this series is to return to the magic it once had, the plot needs to be refocused around the development of the characters again—the characters have to think about more than just the quest and the battles. They have to think about each other. They have to have real heartfelt moments with each other. And they need to go through relatable, emotional struggles to make them grow, rather than just leaving their growth to sequences of pithy moral lessons and superficial conflicts.
Wow, I wrote a lot. Sorry.
 

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Yes. It's god awful actually. Series is absolutely lacking powerscaling, the Keyblade and its abilities are not clearly defined, character motivations do not matter, what characters SAY and what the plot wants to happen do not line up (see Sora being an idiot vs him saving the world everytime), so on and so forth.

Its melding with Disney wasn't even attempted at ever since KH2.

Etc etc etc
 

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Some games are better than others, some moments better than others. I think Kingdom Hearts still gets small character interactions right. The plot has always been convoluted but got worse with the introduction of time travel. The series is at its best when it does what it set out to do, meld the Disney worlds into an original story. The first game pulled this off the best and it has been hit or miss since then.
 

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I think that there are a few individual entries that are well-written (KH1, CoM, re:coded), but otherwise? I mean, it's not *awful*, it's just not as good as it could be a lot of times. There are usually great scenes even in the weaker entries. I think the relationship between RAX is well-written in Days even if it's a slog as a story. Sora and Riku's scenes together are usually well-written, same with SDG, Riku's arc was well-done, Roxas' prologue was great. Naturally some characters are in a better state than others. I think his weaknesses are more exposed because this is a long-running series. He's perfect for single titles, which is part of the reason I think the writing deteriorated over time despite having been really strong in the first two games. It's the need to continually create twists as well as probably his own growing disinterest over time that is part of the reason for the writing issues in later installments, imo.
 

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Yes, which makes being a fan of it suck in my experience. I stick around because I've been invested in the conflict all these characters are going through, but whoever is responsible for plotting out everything isn't doing a great job about it because so much time is spent meandering instead getting the plot moving. I know how Disney is with their properties, but the blame for how the OC stuff is paced isn't completely on them.

The original story is almost always back-loaded and sprinkled in. And those moments are spent with boring exposition explaining something interesting, boring exposition happening in the place of something interesting, boring exposition before or after something interesting has happened off screen, "very good friends" sitting around talking about what good friends they are instead of being good friends, a hero thinking about what good friends they have after doing some pointless stuff with in a Disney world, a villain cryptically teasing the heroes with exposition instead of doing something interesting, a villain cryptically teasing another villain with exposition, or introducing Nomura's shiny new idea since he's bored with the old ones (unless that old idea is Xehanort).

Even the games that have a lesser focus on Disney manage to squander it's opportunities. At this point, I'm hesitant to be interested in any of the new plotlines because there's a good chance its closure is going to be glossed over or underwhelming. And even through the UX has writing that's leagues better than the main games, it still has the same pacing issue that makes it a drag to keep up with.
 

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Personally, the worst part of the writing is how it devolved the series into yet another by the numbers FF spinoff instead of the marriage of Disney and FF it was intended to be. Turning the story into this heavily intricate timeline with complicated lore that’s impenetrable to anyone not 100% invested is basically the antithesis of what makes Disney movies and numbered FFs appealing.
 

Cumguardian69

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There's nothing "intricate" about KH's timeline at all lol. If you play the games in release order, you'll see they retcon and add unnecessary bullshit to get another title out, but the actual KH timeline is extremely straightforward.

First of all, ignore everything from KHX/UX/XBC and even DR. They're irrelevant for right now. Then the games go from BBS > 1/0.2 > COM/DAYS > 2 > CODED > DDD > 3

You don't need to pay attention to some special scene in KH2 to understand the motivations behind KH1, nor does KH3 really affect how BBS plays out. Yeah, the LorE for the X-Blade got fucky from BBS to DDD, and the Ansem portrayed in KH1 isn't the Xehanort heartless in KH2...but don't worry about that.
 

KeyToDestiny

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Well, let's put it this way: the KH series would NEVER have survived if not for being a video game franchise.
Now, here's what I mean by that: The series is terribly written in many places, and fantastically written in others. But it's very hit-or-miss. Luckily, whenever the story falters, the gameplay and the general aesthetic of the series can usually carry the slack because of how fun and enjoyable they are. I like to think the "bad" moments of writing are actually quite self-aware, the series making fun of how ridiculous its own concept is. But every now and then, the writing does decide to treat things seriously, and it's those moments when it shines. Unfortunately, from what I can tell, these moments feel much rare and more far between than they used to.
Take the case of the first four titles for example: KH1, CoM, and KH2, and Days. These were the games when the series' writing was at its best imo. Nomura had a certain magic touch back then that he seems to have lost nowadays, and that mostly refers to the way he not only wrote the story, but the characters.
KH1, for example, was really great at writing Sora and Riku's characters. Especially Riku. The sense of superiority, eventually corrupted by betrayal and abandonment, was one of the best villain arcs in the series in my opinion, mainly because he was so relatable, and it perfectly fit into the first game's theme of growing up and expanding your horizons, which is not always a wonderful or pleasant thing to go through. Even the little time we got between Sora and Kairi felt more real than all their interactions have since then.
Chain of Memories was another great example of how Nomura used to write characters. I'd go as far as to say that Sora probably had the best character arc in that game, which almost makes it a shame that he forgot all of it. The way the story played with false memories, with self-doubt and obsession, was really well handled, and seeing Sora actually get driven to the point of hatred is something we haven't seen since in this series (would have liked to see that after Xehanort bodied Kairi, for instance).
I've written about how people give KH2's story way too much of a pass for how cluttered and unfocused it is, and how unnecessary most of the Disney worlds are versus KH3 where I feel they implemented the worlds into the plot much better. However, the opening prologue section of KH2 with Roxas to me is still the crowning glory of the series from a writing standpoint. That whole section is a story in itself, and it's a wonderfully told mystery about a boy who suddenly finds his entire world being turned upside down and losing all control over his own life. That shit is extremely relatable. And it was one of the few points in the series that weren't hampered down by all the light-heart-dark nonsense, or the increasingly convoluted plot.
Days, of course, is also great. The relationship between the Sea Salt Trio is one of the best explored relationships in the series, and Roxas' personal growth and learning about the world was perpetually enticing.
In all those games, there are plentiful moments when the writing just gets downright ridiculous, as well it deserves to. This series has always been ridiculous since its conception. And it's healthy for the series to poke fun at it. But the characters were what gave the games a real sense of emotional weight despite how bad the actual dialogue or storylines would get at times.
To me, Birth by Sleep was where the writing started taking a turn in the wrong direction. Now, I know a lot of people love BBS, but hear me out:
To me, the relationship between Terra, Aqua, and Ventus never really reached the same level as the relationship between the Destiny or Sea Salt trios. Their whole dynamic was just not that relatable. Terra was a strangely written character who we're told is supposed to have a lust for power, but they never really show it in any significant way. On top of that, having a lust for power is a very anime motivation for a character to have, and it doesn't have the relatability or emotional charge of, say, turning against your best friend because you feel he's outgrown you and getting better than you (they actually COULD have had that dynamic between Terra and Aqua, in fact they seemed to set it up, but they never actually do anything with that). Aqua is another heavily anime-ed character, who's simultaneously supposed to be the "girl" of the group, but also the "mom" of the group, if that makes sense. Ventus, meanwhile, is just a bright-eyed and naive kid. Despite the constant lessons they each keep learning in the Disney worlds, I never get the sense of them actually developing as characters. From the beginning to the end of the game, they all mostly just turn out more or less the same. Not to mention, I actually think Xehanort and Vanitas from a writing perspective are actually poorly handled as the main antagonists in this game, with neither of them getting very interesting insights into their character, their experiences, or their motivations. They aren't like Riku, who most people who've ever felt abandoned or tossed aside by their friends could sympathize with, nor are they like Xemnas, who was a really tragic character who was willing to commit atrocities just to become human (at least, that's as far as we knew up to that point). The Xehanort Reports belie a deeper character full of scholarly obsession and unfulfilled ambition, but we never actually SEE that side of him in-game. In fact, the Xehanort with the evil grin and the wiggly fingers feels like a different Xehanort to the one who's writing those reports. The Xehanort we see at the end of KH3 actually feels more like the Xehanort in those reports tbh, and that's part of the reason I enjoyed that scene.
Coded doesn't have much to speak of either in terms of story or character, and DDD, well, that whole game narratively was a mess. Even if the plot weren't a massive dumpster fire, I honestly don't think Sora or Riku really evolved that much over the course of the story. They ACT like they did, but really, there was very little actual development. The same with KH3.
And with each of these games, I've noticed the same pattern—just like the earlier games, each of the worlds the characters visit is used to teach them some sort of lesson. But ever since BBS, those lessons have felt more like substitutions for actual emotional struggle and development rather than supplements to it. In KH1, CoM, KH2, and Days, each quest and each world you visit felt like it added to the characters' sense of themselves and their relationships with one another. Sora and Riku's relationship continuously devolves from Traverse Town, to Monstro, to Neverland, and Sora's relationship with Donald and Goofy goes through its own series of evolutions, as well as Sora's sense of his place in the larger world. In CoM, each world, even though Sora forgets it after he leaves, feels like it leaves a lasting imprint on his identity and on his psyche. KH2 constantly plays around with Sora's sense of himself and how Roxas is secretly affecting him from within him. And each mission in Days plays into the developing relationship between the Sea Salt Trio. In each of these games, the worlds act more as bricks to the main story that constantly build on top of one another. There's a sense of progression in them, and therefore cohesion. But in BBS and DDD, each world feels like isolated from the main story. They don't play into it. And so even though they claim to learn these lessons at the end of their visits to each world, we never actually see how those lessons change them throughout the story. They feel like disconnected moral lectures that get immediately forgotten. Because in the later games, the characters revolve around the plot, and not the other way around as it should be.
So, when you DO get to those later games, the "bad" writing stands out a LOT more, because there isn't as much of those emotionally resonant wow moments to lend any gravity to it. Now, even when the story tries to be serious, it still ends up feeling silly, because all the characters know what to talk about anymore is the PLOT. Darkness, heart, light, memories, data, Keyblade. It's a different Ansem who says "So, you have come this far, and still you understand nothing?" from the one who says, "Darkness within darkness awaits you!" Yes, they talked about darkness and hearts and light all the time in the first games, but then they were tempered by deeper messages and characters, whereas in later games that's pretty much all they talk about ever. There's nothing underneath it all anymore. That's why I liked Xehanort's death in KH3—it was the first time I ever saw the HUMAN BEING underneath the hammy evil one-dimensional Palpatine mask. That scene was the first time I saw a man who had spent his entire life since his youth obsessively in search of a single ambition, who was willing to commit his soul and his humanity, who was willing to sacrifice everything good in his life to fulfill that ambition, only to see it all ripped away at the very end. That one scene of Xehanort to me was better than the entirety of his character throughout all the rest of the games, and you can fight me on that. I don't even care if it was inconsistent, it was better. It made me SEE the person that I think Nomura always wanted us to see, but he never managed to actually write him well enough.
It's moments like that scene that give me some small hope that Nomura can reclaim his magic touch, and it's partly that reason why I'm actually glad he's taking the next 2 years off from the series. Hopefully, he can come back fresh and having regained that special emotional resonance that so thoroughly permeated the earlier games in the series, because it's those moments that made those games truly magical. The plot is fun to speculate over as it continues to develop, and yeah, the Master of Masters is an interesting villain, but speculation is no substitute for feeling. If this series is to return to the magic it once had, the plot needs to be refocused around the development of the characters again—the characters have to think about more than just the quest and the battles. They have to think about each other. They have to have real heartfelt moments with each other. And they need to go through relatable, emotional struggles to make them grow, rather than just leaving their growth to sequences of pithy moral lessons and superficial conflicts.
Wow, I wrote a lot. Sorry.
Reading some of this makes me wonder if people like all their villains to be some sappy, tragic, melodramatic mess instead of being actually evil and scummy.
 

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It has many Great ideas but they were executed horribly, and because those ideas are Good it’s basically the reason why many fans still stick around and crave for more, but I sure hope Nomura learns his lesson cause his story telling is all over the place to the point many fans eventually gave up and quit the franchise.
 

AR829038

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Reading some of this makes me wonder if people like all their villains to be some sappy, tragic, melodramatic mess instead of being actually evil and scummy.
It's not about being "sappy, tragic, or melodramatic", it's about being three-dimensional. It's about having a realistic personality and realistic motivations. In some stories, a one-dimensional villain works just fine. And in some areas of KH, the one-dimensional villain works just fine. One-dimensional villains are perfectly feasible. But they're also not that interesting, unless you write them REALLY well like Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty or Jafar in Aladdin. Kingdom Hearts' strongest antagonists were the ones that had layers to them, because they add depth and complexity to the story, and for the longest time, Xehanort felt like one of the most shallow villains in the franchise, even though all the lore behind him suggested that he should have been portrayed much more humanistically. I don't have any problem with the way they portray Maleficent for instance (except when she's relegated to Team Rocket status), but she and characters like Xehanort are cut from very different cloths, or at least they're supposed to be. Instead, Xehanort just wasn't written the way Nomura wanted him to come across.
 

KeyToDestiny

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  • 7 Days Later
It's not about being "sappy, tragic, or melodramatic", it's about being three-dimensional. It's about having a realistic personality and realistic motivations. In some stories, a one-dimensional villain works just fine. And in some areas of KH, the one-dimensional villain works just fine. One-dimensional villains are perfectly feasible. But they're also not that interesting, unless you write them REALLY well like Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty or Jafar in Aladdin. Kingdom Hearts' strongest antagonists were the ones that had layers to them, because they add depth and complexity to the story, and for the longest time, Xehanort felt like one of the most shallow villains in the franchise, even though all the lore behind him suggested that he should have been portrayed much more humanistically. I don't have any problem with the way they portray Maleficent for instance (except when she's relegated to Team Rocket status), but she and characters like Xehanort are cut from very different cloths, or at least they're supposed to be. Instead, Xehanort just wasn't written the way Nomura wanted him to come across.
Why are you looking for realistic personalities in fictional characters from a Disney games for kids?
 

AR829038

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Why are you looking for realistic personalities in fictional characters from a Disney games for kids?
Because it makes them relatable. Relatability is the key to telling a good story. Why do you think so many fans fell in love with Roxas, or with Riku, or Xion? People grow attached to characters that they can sympathize with, and the best way to get players to sympathize with characters is to give said characters depth and personal struggles.
 
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