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Spoilers ► Is the story of Kingdom Hearts really that confusing?



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MoonRabbit

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On one hand, I did used to like the complexity of the story. I like the twists of two Ansem’s and 13 Xehanort’s (although the latter failed to live up to its potential). But modern KH IS simply too confusing and I don’t think most of the complaints are exaggerated at all. Look at the cutscene in UX explaining how Maleficent used time travel and why Enchanted Dominion wasn’t constructed in the past and tell me that isn’t confusing. The story of KH3 and Re:Mind were very also confusing to me.

To save Aqua, they needed someone close to her to make the dive. And since Ventus’s heart was sleeping inside of Sora, that meant that the main goal for Sora in KH3 should have been to awaken Ventus’s heart. When Sora was looking for a way to free Roxas‘s heart back in Twilight Town, I thought that would have been because he knew that Ventus’s heart had been inside of Roxas. But…apparently Roxas and Ven were now two different hearts?

I was SOO confused by this because it contradicted what Nomura had said in the past and much of the previous foreshadowing. How did finding Roxas a body even tie into the main quest if Roxas no longer had Ventus’s heart? Why would the Organization even want to bring Roxas back? Sure, they needed Ventus because he was necessary to complete Vanitas’s heart. But if Roxas is a completely separate heart…why would they need HIM? Also, why did nobody on the good guy side ever bother to say, “Hey, Sora’s Nobody looks just like the missing wielder we‘re looking for. Roxas went back inside of Sora, right? Maybe Ven’s heart is inside of Sora now.”

So yes, I 100% agree with the people who complain about “two Roxases”. It was this big elephant in the room that the story completely avoided until the very end when it was treated as a big joke and Axel had to break the fourth wall to explain how nonsensical it was. Nomura said he wasn’t even planning on bringing Roxas back and did so to appease fans and I wish he had stuck with his original story, which would have made more sense.
 

Sonofjafar

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Nomura’s biggest mistake was adding time travel to Kingdom Hearts’ lore. The fact that Xehanort can just trap everything in a time loop without causing some wibbbly wobbly timey wimpy clusterfiretruck goes against every rule in the book of fictional time travel.
 

Antifa Lockhart

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On one hand, I did used to like the complexity of the story. I like the twists of two Ansem’s and 13 Xehanort’s (although the latter failed to live up to its potential). But modern KH IS simply too confusing and I don’t think most of the complaints are exaggerated at all. Look at the cutscene in UX explaining how Maleficent used time travel and why Enchanted Dominion wasn’t constructed in the past and tell me that isn’t confusing. The story of KH3 and Re:Mind were very also confusing to me.

To save Aqua, they needed someone close to her to make the dive. And since Ventus’s heart was sleeping inside of Sora, that meant that the main goal for Sora in KH3 should have been to awaken Ventus’s heart. When Sora was looking for a way to free Roxas‘s heart back in Twilight Town, I thought that would have been because he knew that Ventus’s heart had been inside of Roxas. But…apparently Roxas and Ven were now two different hearts?

I was SOO confused by this because it contradicted what Nomura had said in the past and much of the previous foreshadowing. How did finding Roxas a body even tie into the main quest if Roxas no longer had Ventus’s heart? Why would the Organization even want to bring Roxas back? Sure, they needed Ventus because he was necessary to complete Vanitas’s heart. But if Roxas is a completely separate heart…why would they need HIM? Also, why did nobody on the good guy side ever bother to say, “Hey, Sora’s Nobody looks just like the missing wielder we‘re looking for. Roxas went back inside of Sora, right? Maybe Ven’s heart is inside of Sora now.”

So yes, I 100% agree with the people who complain about “two Roxases”. It was this big elephant in the room that the story completely avoided until the very end when it was treated as a big joke and Axel had to break the fourth wall to explain how nonsensical it was. Nomura said he wasn’t even planning on bringing Roxas back and did so to appease fans and I wish he had stuck with his original story, which would have made more sense.

With all due respect, you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what's going on with hearts and the characters.

Ven's sleeping heart was inside Roxas, but Roxas's heart was his own. It was grown and nurtured and asserted its independence as Roxas became his own persona in Days. This is explained by DDD's coda: if you see the heart in something, it's real. Roxas saw himself as an entity distinct from Sora and unique from Ventus, and that's what he became. They're independent of each other but they're linked.
 

MoonRabbit

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With all due respect, you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what's going on with hearts and the characters.

Ven's sleeping heart was inside Roxas, but Roxas's heart was his own. It was grown and nurtured and asserted its independence as Roxas became his own persona in Days. This is explained by DDD's coda: if you see the heart in something, it's real. Roxas saw himself as an entity distinct from Sora and unique from Ventus, and that's what he became. They're independent of each other but they're linked.
Well, we can respectfully disagree. In the Days Ultimania, Nomura said that when Sora used the Keyblade on himself, Ventus’s heart stayed with Roxas, which was why Roxas had a heart, cried, and why he looked like Ventus. After all, Roxas was always referred to a “special Nobody”. The implication was that there would have been no reason for him to nurture a heart gradually the way someone like, say, Axel did, who was not a “special Nobody”.

I saw Roxas as parallel to Xemnas, another “special Nobody”. Xemnas was Terra’s body and soul, but Xehanort’s heart. Roxas was Ventus’s heart with Sora’s soul and body. So he had Sora’s memories and could use his weapon, but the heart was still Ven’s. That’s why they had the Ven/Lea relationship carry over to Roxas/Axel. In the Japanese version of BBS, Lea joked that maybe he should have chosen Ven as his friend instead over Isa. And then, Axel chose Roxas over Saix. The implication was that Ven and Lea’s human bond persisted even as Nobodies. If Roxas had a different heart from Ven, all the significance of that scene is lost and it makes no sense whatsoever.

But just the fact that we could both see the story in such a vastly different way proves the point of this thread. The story is too confusing, there are too many different rules with the lore, too many characters that look alike for different reasons, and many things were poorly explained to the viewer. Whatever Nomura intended for Roxas, he clearly failed to convey that properly to the fandom.
 

Chie

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Nomura did not, in fact, talk about Ventus in the Days Ultimania because Ventus had not been formally introduced yet.

In the BBS Ultimania, it was said that "It is thought that it could be Ventus' heart", and posed it as a question. The idea is raised, but not said with confidence (I don't have the Japanese book though). The Ultimanias are frequently contradicted anyway; the BBS Ultimania is contradicted in BBS Final Mix, and Nomura once said in a Famitsu interview that Nobodies don't age even though they always clearly have.

But just the fact that we could both see the story in such a vastly different way proves the point of this thread. The story is too confusing
"People look into a work and come away with their own conclusions and interpretations, and that's bad" are you sure?
 

BufferAqua

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"People look into a work and come away with their own conclusions and interpretations, and that's bad" are you sure?
Yep, gonna have to fully agree with this one. Different interpretations exist in *any* type of fictional work. It is not and never special to KH, nor does it prove that it's confusing.
 

Liodin

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There may be different interpretations, but that does not mean that all are valid.

Most of the time the answer are clear, and people are not able to understand that sometimes they are the problem and not the game.

Either because they want everything to be explained explicitly and are unable to reflect or look for the answers on their own, or simply lack sufficient capacity to retain information, relate concepts or events, etc.
 

AmaryllisMoth

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How did finding Roxas a body even tie into the main quest if Roxas no longer had Ventus’s heart?
The implication was that there would have been no reason for [Roxas] to nurture a heart gradually the way someone like, say, Axel did,
I don't think it's necessary (or super on topic to the thread) to answer all of the questions you posed about Roxas, but I just wanted to focus on these two points above.

A constant theme of KH has, and likely will always continue to be, how anything and everything has the capability of growing its own unique heart no matter the conditions of their birth. And once something has its own heart it should be respected as their own unique individual person. This is something Sora very, very strongly advocates for even back in KH1 when he was fighting Riku over Pinnochio.

Even if you believe there was no "reason" for Roxas to grow his own heart if compared to a character like Axel, according to the lore he doesn't need one. Roxas became Roxas by nature of being...Roxas. Xion exists as Xion and not as a doll because she gained sentience and her own heart. The game claims data can have hearts too. Why wouldn't Roxas? Just because Ven's heart had influence over Roxas doesn't mean Roxas was forever incapable of being his own person. In fact, it would be extremely odd and incongruent to the lore for him NOT to have his own heart.

And the reason why getting Roxas a body can be tied into the main quest is simply because Sora wanted to save him. That's...literally it. Sora had a personal motivation to make sure Roxas could have his own self. It seems pretty straightforward to me. As Sora tells him in KH3D: "Roxas, you're you...you deserve as much as I do to be your own person."

From the events of Coded as well we learned that Sora was going to be the important key to saving all those who were lost (namely, Ven, Aqua, Terra, Xion, Axel and Roxas) which is what Mickey wrote in his letter to him at the end of KH2: "Sora, you are who you are because of those people, but they're hurting, and you're the only one who can end their sadness. They need you. It's possible that all your journeys so far have been preparing you for this great new task that's waiting for you."

So for Sora, his "main quest" was literally saving these people. Each of them. All shown as having their own "hurt" and struggles necessary to save them. Yes, Xehanort was doing crap and the war and all that, but he set out from the start to bring them back. And in every single one of those instances this quest was mentioned to Sora, Roxas was shown to be a separate person from Ven. So Nomura didn't just "bring Roxas back for the fans" or not explain Roxas properly-- Roxas' return has been telegraphed since literally Coded, with his unique identity being made very clear since Days. I don't know why you believed Ven and Roxas had the same heart, but many times in the game that has been shown to be not the case, and outright stated so by characters.

(as a side-note, when Sora finally "felt" Roxas' pain in KH3D, all of the memories that were shown were of Roxas', not Ven's experiences. Because the heart and experiences Roxas has as part of his identity are independent of Ven.)

If Roxas had a different heart from Ven, all the significance of that scene is lost and it makes no sense whatsoever.
"significance" is very subjective so I won't argue if you think it works better emotionally/narratively to believe Roxas = Ven, but saying that all significance is lost and its nonsensical otherwise is quite a bit of a stretch.

Many different people have "hosted" hearts within themselves, and often we see those hearts actively affecting their host and those around them. And while that influence can vary, it doesn't mean the host individual stops being themselves. In KH2, Roxas' unique heart affected Hayner, Pence and Olette through Sora when they ran to the train station to see him off. They had no idea WHY they wanted to do that (after all, to them Sora was just some weird kid in ill fitting clothes who burst into their secret spot) but they said they felt like they needed to. It's not because Sora made such a great impression on them, it's because some part of them felt Roxas' heart reaching out. After all, to Roxas they were his dear friends. From this experience, Sora wanted to become friends with the three of them, and then eventually did become friends with them in his own right.

You could extend the same reasoning to Axel and Roxas. Perhaps, yes, the reason why Axel felt an initial draw to try and befriend/get close to Roxas was because of Ven's influence, but that doesn't mean the only sensible implication is that Roxas IS Ven. It means that when people in the KH universe host hearts, those hearts and the connections they have with people can affect not just the host, but those the host interacts with. Axel even admits the reason why he sacrifices himself to help Sora in KH2 is because being around Sora made him feel like he was around Roxas again. Perhaps framing things in this way might help you see a significance to the scene you were talking about without denying Roxas autonomy?

More on topic to the thread though, I think sometimes people play the games, try to follow the lore and actually way over complicate things on their own. Sometimes even when the game outright SAYS things it feels like people don't trust it? Or assume the character who says it is wrong? Or ignore it? To be honest, it's probably because the series is very spread out across so many games over so many years it is very easy to forget things, misremember and then think the misremembering is fact. I'm sure I've been guilty of that now and again too since the older I get the less often I can go back and replay the games in my free time.

But it is a vastly different question to ask "is Roxas actually his own person?" (Because yes, he is, as stated by many characters many different times very explicitly to the point that I can't really understand how this gets confused) instead of asking something like "at what point did Roxas really start fully being his own person?" because the first shows a misunderstanding of the game lore and the other is a discussion on something the game is a little more ambiguous about.

Like, I don't have some crazy encyclopedic knowledge of these games. Sometimes someone asks a specific lore question and I'm like "oh yeah, I remember this being discussed in a BBS cutscene or something"--go pull up the game/game script/game cutscene, rewatch the scene for like 5 mins and boom the answer is literally right there.

Earlier in the Roxas discussion it was asked:
Why would the Organization even want to bring Roxas back?...if Roxas is a completely separate heart…why would they need HIM?
The cutscenes in KH3 in Twilight Town literally answer all the questions about Roxas that were posed here. In the scene where Xemnas and Seeker were talking to Sora they quite literally tell him yeah, you should go bring Roxas back because that's going to make you vulnerable to the darkness and we want that. It's not because they wanted Roxas, specifically, it's because they wanted a strong vessel to put their yucky horcrux darkness into.

This is just one example but it does underline for me the assumption that most of the "confusion" I see is because people just haven't played the games in a while, or skipped some games, or just straight up forgot. It's understandable to an extent, but it's just why I said earlier I get a tad frustrated at what I feel is an undue reputation of complexity when like 80% of the questions I see can be answered in a couple cutscenes.
 

Chie

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I also think it's extremely meaningful for these games to have "everyone has the right to exist" as a major theme. The plot details of how Roxas came about and how much Ventus was involved are irrelevant, because Roxas is still a person. If you think he isn't, you're who the games are arguing against.

This is doubly meaningful in light of KH2, which can be read as a downright cruel game if you take it on its own. Despite any lip service to the contrary, even seemingly-benevolent characters like Yen Sid tell you that nobodies are only faking their emotions to trick you, and it's treated as natural for Roxas and Namine to cease existing. It is a game in which there are people who are considered "fake", "not real", "not worthy of existence", and the point of the heroes' actions is somehow not disproving this.

In response to this, the later games take great pains to say to these characters, "you didn't deserve that. the way you were treated was wrong. you have the right to exist." The reason they do is because that's a human right, not because some of them were secretly Ventus.
 

MoonRabbit

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I’ve read all your guys’ replies and I understand your viewpoint. I don’t really have a desire to argue. But I still think the Roxas/Ventus thing was a lot more complex and confusing than it needed to be. Roxas having Ven’s heart was a simple, relatively easy to understand explanation that made a lot of sense in the story.

My main point is that when you have two Roxases running around and even Axel can’t even tell which one he’s supposed to be friends with, it makes the overall story feel stupid. I can 100% see why the KH series has garnered such a bad reputation in the gaming community.
 

Chie

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I'm not sure I get how "Roxas actually has Ven's heart even though he doesn't have Ven's memories or personality and this is why he's special" is less confusing or complicated than "Roxas is a person, therefore he has a heart".
 

Antifa Lockhart

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I’ve read all your guys’ replies and I understand your viewpoint. I don’t really have a desire to argue. But I still think the Roxas/Ventus thing was a lot more complex and confusing than it needed to be. Roxas having Ven’s heart was a simple, relatively easy to understand explanation that made a lot of sense in the story.

My main point is that when you have two Roxases running around and even Axel can’t even tell which one he’s supposed to be friends with, it makes the overall story feel stupid. I can 100% see why the KH series has garnered such a bad reputation in the gaming community.

Tell me you've never been friends with identical twins without telling me you've never been friends with identical twins. It's not as complicated as you're making it out to be.

Sometimes people look alike. They'll deal with it.
 

Liodin

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Okay, now I'm convinced that there are people who make it confusing on purpose.

I mean, how can you be so convinced of something so wrong, that several people spend their time explaining it to you in the best possible way, and decide that the rest are wrong and it is you, the one who doesn't understand it, who is right.

These types of people are not willing to understand, nor will they be. And that's why Kingdom Hearts is confusing.
 

SweetYetSalty

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Imagine Huey, Dewey, and Louie all consolidating into one being simply because they look alike. That would suck for the 2017 Ducktales show.

Anyway on topic, there have been some really good answers already put here. If you are engaged with what's going on in the stories then odds are you won't be confused that much, and if you are you'll just replay to catch something you missed. I've been confused many times throughout the series but it was during segments that are meant to throw you off anyway and later something clears it up...most of the time. Other times Nomura will clear it up in a interview regardless if it's satisfying or not. But for the most part the series does a good job explaining the plots going on in the game, unless it's obvious sequel baiting, and you aren't suppose to know yet. The execution might not always be great though, but it's explained.

These games are a lot to remember, and that is something I agree with. Sometimes I wonder if some say it's confusing because they are generally confused or they just don't like the material. There is a difference.
 

BufferAqua

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My main point is that when you have two Roxases running around and even Axel can’t even tell which one he’s supposed to be friends with, it makes the overall story feel stupid. I can 100% see why the KH series has garnered such a bad reputation in the gaming community.
No offense, but something is telling me that you yourself are overcomplicating it. The story itself is fully aware that they both look alike. The characters notice it, Roxas and Ventus themselves know it. Plus, you can tell them apart. One wears a cloak and the other doesn't. The series isn't making those two running around fully unaware that they look identical.
 
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vaderskywalker

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No offense, but something is telling me that you yourself are overcomplicating it. The story itself is fully aware that they both look alike. The characters notice it, Roxas and Ventus themselves know it. Plus, you can tell them apart. One wears a cloak and the other doesn't. The series isn't making those two running around fully unaware that they look identical.
To be fair, Roxas is only wearing the cloak for the Keyblade Graveyard, for the ending he is in normal clothes, but your right, it is very easy to tell them apart, unless of course on the off chance the camera is zoomed in on there heads when they talk to each other at some point, (that's a joke, please do not take that seriously), but yeah, there regular clothes are different enough to where you can't mix them up.
 
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