KH Storytelling After Xehanort Saga



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SweetYetSalty

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Roxas is chill to come back. It gives a reason to remember that Hayner, Pence, and Olette exists. Xion died and sacrificed herself after days, and it's BEEN told that she wasn't going to come back. BUT THEN WHOOP-DE-DOOLDE-DOOOOOO LOOK, IT'S XION....OUT OF FUCKING NOWHERE! Literally nothing was explained why Xion was needed, or how the hell she even came back at this matter. What we just need to leave it at the replicas? Xion...makes no sense in returning and had no reason to come back. Like said above, she was probably the most demanded to make a return by fans.
Because you don't need a reason to save a life? Honestly this argument of saving a life only if it matters makes no sense in any sense of the word. A firefighter rescue squad doesn't ask the people who are burning "Yeah, how important are you to society? What reason do we have to save you? Why should we care and waste resources on you?"

And Sora saves people he doesn't know or just met all the time. You mean to tell me he wouldn't try to save someone that gave up their life for him? Also why is Xion being singled out here? I don't recall why Roxas and Namine are needed either. Namine's better off a nameless star at this point, if she can pull more deus ex machina's out her butt like Lingering Will. Roxas is my favorite character in the entire series but what did he really add to KH3? A awesome fight against Saix? Sora could have beaten Saix himself, why was Roxas needed? Sora was not trying to bring these guys back because they were so important to the world or the plot of Kingdom Hearts. Quite the opposite, they were not important at all and were sacrificed, and Sora thought it was unfair they had to give up their lives and wanted to save them. This is why Sora is the only character qualified to be the main character on a game series about friendships and unbreakable bonds that transcend any other power. There's also Kairi's speech about saving Namine and how unfair it was for her and Roxas to no longer be alive. It was beautiful. Xion was in the same state as them, so why is her life not as important? Were Aqua, Ventus, and Terra really that important? Aqua was a jobber, Ventus was just kinda there, and Terra doesn't actually partake in any battles at the Keyblade War. Even Xion did more then him in that sense, does that mean we shouldn't save Terra because he did less then the less important Xion?

There are fair arguments to be made of leaving Roxas and Xion as tragic dead characters. Many I even agree with, and as a big fan of both characters I was torn on bringing them back. But I don't agree with the argument of "WHY BRING THEM BACK, THEY DON'T MATTER AND HAVE NO REASON TO BE HERE" As if anyone here knows what Nomura could use them for in the future. If you had told me Axel and Saix were going to have a plot in KH4 back in 2009 I would have not believed it. Saix was nothing but a stereotype until Days gave him a character. Yet here comes Subject X outta nowhere making them relevant. The Disney and Final Fantasy characters fit that same mold of "Why are they here? What are they adding beyond fanservice?"

So that's my thoughts on that. Oh, almost forgot, why bother to save Kairi? At this point what reason does she have to still be in the game? And I love Kairi.
 

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If there's two things Nomura needs to do, it's to stop saving the important stuff for the end. KH3 had no legitimate reason for dragging out Sora's Power of Waking or Aqua's rescue, or Roxas' return, or the insert-whatever-other-issue-we-have-here. The sooner they could have been dealt with the better. I hate, hate, hate when writers are so insistent on things having to happen in a certain why at a certain time that they're fully willing to damage the rest of the story for them to happen that way, which also in turn ruins whatever they're trying to accomplish.

The other is to stop treating scenes as if they're in a vacuum. So much of KH3 only works if you disregard other scenes or previous games.
 

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Roxas is chill to come back. It gives a reason to remember that Hayner, Pence, and Olette exists. Xion died and sacrificed herself after days, and it's BEEN told that she wasn't going to come back. BUT THEN WHOOP-DE-DOOLDE-DOOOOOO LOOK, IT'S XION....OUT OF FUCKING NOWHERE! Literally nothing was explained why Xion was needed, or how the hell she even came back at this matter. What we just need to leave it at the replicas? Xion...makes no sense in returning and had no reason to come back. Like said above, she was probably the most demanded to make a return by fans. And yeah, like you said. We have some randomly introduced plot with this mysterious 3rd trio between Lea, Isa, and X...or whatever the hell and Xion and Roxas'll obviously get in the way of what could've been a...pretty interesting development between these two. (Even though we barely GOT this development, and this....mellowed and sarcastic Siax came tf out of nowhere. Yes, we get that ISA is mellowed out and sarcastic, but SIAX showed literally NONE of that. Not in Days, not in 2, not ANYWHERE.)
Except it was not stated that she wasn't going to come back. In fact, it was made abundantly clear since BBS that Xion WOULD be coming back and that was reinforced with KH3D's confirmation that by remembering somebody and keeping them in your heart, they become real people. This wasn't out of nowhere. This was planned and all of the hints were in every game following Days.

It's fine that you don't like her. It's fine to have not wanted to see her again, but she was always going to come back. There was no way she wasn't going to come back regardless of being a fan favorite.

I mean I find the bigger issue of Lea and Isa's whole thing is that Subject X didn't need to be a thing because it undermines their friendship and really reduces Subject X into a convenient plot device or some sort of goalpost. It's a disservice to all three of these characters.

My issue with Roxas and Xion tagging along definitely is about how I think it'll undercut Lea and Isa's well-needed development, but also because I think they should be off on their own adventures or should be allowed to enjoy being regular teenagers for a minute like they wanted.

But this is also a bigger problem I have with KH3 for nearly all of the main characters tbh. Because of Sora being gone and because there were so many new mysteries introduced, none of the main cast really gets any time to relax. They all are going to be jumping right back into the fray and that really defeats the purpose of wanting all of these characters to reunite again after so much time spent apart and suffering.

Saix is plenty sarcastic in KH2 and Days, although it is way more understated in those games than it is in KH3. I like to believe that he was always holding back as to not tip off Xemnas of his true nature, but in the end it didn't even matter because in KH3 it isn't even like Xehanort even cares that everybody is plotting behind his back. He just lets it happen and it never really bothers him or hurts his plans. Saix could have always been a little sassy shit and I doubt it'd have gotten in the way of anything.

Saix definitely needed some extra cutscenes in KH3, though. At least some flashbacks to how he had been planning all of this since before Days and how he made all of this stuff happen in KH3.

So that's my thoughts on that. Oh, almost forgot, why bother to save Kairi? At this point what reason does she have to still be in the game? And I love Kairi.
To make Kairi a convenient plot device when one is needed. This has always been her role, and I am convinced this will continue to be her role.

If there's two things Nomura needs to do, it's to stop saving the important stuff for the end. KH3 had no legitimate reason for dragging out Sora's Power of Waking or Aqua's rescue, or Roxas' return, or the insert-whatever-other-issue-we-have-here. The sooner they could have been dealt with the better. I hate, hate, hate when writers are so insistent on things having to happen in a certain why at a certain time that they're fully willing to damage the rest of the story for them to happen that way, which also in turn ruins whatever they're trying to accomplish.

The other is to stop treating scenes as if they're in a vacuum. So much of KH3 only works if you disregard other scenes or previous games.
Yeah, When a game is going to have a 40ish hour runtime, the last four hours should not be an unending info dump while the previous 36 hours are just a drip-feed.

Aqua being saved and then Ven finally waking up should have definitely been a mid-game event. Moving those events to an earlier time-frame also doesn't really change anything in the story. Aqua and Ven could have spent the hours after resting and catching up. And in regards to the Power of Waking nonsense plot, and it wasn't like Sora really understood the Power of Waking when he saved Ven. He uses it then forgets he did until Chirithy has to remind him how to use that power later on in the Final World.

Sora could have saved Ven and then still have gone on his journey to other worlds because of the Organization's meddling and still have doubts about how to use the Power of Waking. Claim that saving Ven was different because Ven was already in Sora's heart, so there was an established connection there.

idk but there were definitely better ways to organize the flow of the story without undermining the "lesson" Sora was meant to learn on his journey.
 

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Saix definitely needed some extra cutscenes in KH3, though. At least some flashbacks to how he had been planning all of this since before Days and how he made all of this stuff happen in KH3.



To make Kairi a convenient plot device when one is needed. This has always been her role, and I am convinced this will continue to be her role.
Saix needs a lot of cutscenes for ReMind. He's the one working with Vexen, right? Which means he got Roxas a body or helped in that department. It would make more sense if he's also the one who got Xion in as the 13 vessel. Yeah she's on the bad guys side, but it still gets her a body and all he has to do is rub her against Sora or something This way Xehanort and Xemnas don't look too incompetent bringing her back, as Saix and Vexen are trying to screw over the bad guys side for their atonement. Hope ReMind adds this.

As for Kairi, LMAO! I guess when you're good at one thing, why change now?
 

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Hmm.... I kinda feel like something a lot of people are missing is that: It's not really a matter of whether or not the returning characters NEEDED to come back. No character absolutely has to return. Not even Sora. They could just as easily make someone else the main protagonist if they really wanted to.

To me, what each person ended up bringing (or not bringing) to the story of the KH3 shouldn't be viewed as the end all, be all to they're potential as characters in the series. Ultimately, that's a choice Nomura has to make. TAV, Roxas, Xion, Namine, AtW, and even the apprentices ALL had potential to add new and interesting dynamics to the plot while simaltaneously tying a bow on their own stories. And I mean that whole heartedly. Just because we barely see Siax and Vexen, or Xion and Terra (for example) do anything in the version that we GOT, doesn't necessarily mean they couldn't have been given a legitimate purpose and actually ADDED something the story. It simply means that Nomura CHOSE not to do anything with them (despite hyping up their return), and thus undermined their whole purpose for coming back in the game.

So, to give you a few examples of how utilizing one of the returning characters to a higher degree could've added to the game, let's take a quick look at Roxas.
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Recall that he had still yet to work things out with Riku and AtW. In fact, he never had a single positive interaction with either of them up until this point. Well, this had the potential for some really engaging and tense scenes that could call back to key moments in the characters history, and show us each of their perspectives and how they differ from one another (ex. AtW seeking atonement versus Roxas holding a bitter grudge, since they were both essentially trying to kill eachother the last time they were together). It even had the potential for some heartfelt moments too. We could've seen him grow to accept, understand, and eventually be on good terms with them across his duration in the game (provided he gets brought back a decent amount of time before the ending). I'm particularly curious to see what Riku would've thought, since he hardly ever expressed his own personal feelings on the matter. And also, what would Aqua think? Seeing as how her and AtW formed a very important bond while in the RoD, wouldn't it be interesting to see her act as a mediator of sorts? Learning/demonstrating an understanding that things aren't always black and white (which was a flaw she's been slowly learning to grow past over the course of several games), and playing a part in convincing Roxas to hear him out/give him a chance (maybe even bringing up what Ansem told her while they were together)?

We could've seen the new beginnings of his relationship with Hayner, Pence, and Olette. Axel made a huge deal about him seeing them again in KH2, so why not show us their reunion/first proper meeting (a very unique scenario) ON SCREEN? The three expressed genuine interest and curiosity about Roxas, and thought he seemed like "a cool guy." Well, what if they got the opportunity to not only see that, but also witness another side to him too? For example, say Roxas and Ansem reunited (or just interacted) at the TT Mansion. If the trio was also present, they could see some of Roxas' angrier, bitter, and colder side that even we as the audience only really saw when he fought Sora in KH2, when his data self guided Data Sora in Re: coded, and when he interacted with Xemnas in the version of KH3 that we got. That, to me, could make for some really interesting drama & diologue that could help further flesh them all out as individuals. Show that Roxas isn't quite the same as he was when he met their digital counterparts (since ya know, no more fake memories and all that), and help distinguish that they're starting their friendship for real this time. Heck, just seeing some fun banter between them would've gone a long way (the diologue in this game was so damn stiff after all).

With Sora.... *Sigh* From the very beginning of the game, the reunion between Sora and Roxas (after the latter was saved) was framed as something very important for both of these characters. They have a really strong connection, but they never truly established a BOND. They never got the chance to speak to each other as equals on even footing. KH3 was a prime opportunity to give them just that. Let us get more insight into how Sora feels about Roxas' sacrifice (and I mean the physical act itself, not just that he was a nobody) and the sheer amount of guilt he's been holding onto since then. Let him say it to Roxas (and maybe even Xion, since he should also come to know her own sacrifice) face to face. Even something like "If I was there.. If I had known, I would've never wanted you to go through with that" could've gone a long way to organically demonstrate Sora's selfless nature as a person. This could even lead to Roxas having an epiphany, and realize that it's exactly THAT attitude that separates him from Sora. Potentially prompting him to start an arc of learning to be less selfish and more forgiving in general (at least a little bit).

Another dynamic we only got bits and pieces of was his relationship with Xemnas. We rarely get to see the two speak one on one, yet more often than not, when we do, it's very intriguing. Roxas seemed like the only person Xemnas ever spoke to on equal footing out of his fellow members in the Organization, and I'm specifically reffering to their private meeting at the dark margin. Xemnas wasn't speaking to Roxas in his usual "superior-subordinate", tone. Rather, he seemed genuinely curious on what Roxas thought of Sora (not really pressuring him to talk about it if he didn't want to), and asking him if he remembered his "true name." Which is the exact same way Namine spoke to him in KH2, only she actually told him her name. Unfortunately, since it was only the sixth day and Roxas hadn't really formed proper social skills- or even a personality yet, the conversation was short. We then later see Xemnas, in private, address Roxas as "friend" when he sees him in a coma. It's clear that part of him felt attached to Roxas, since he resembled Ventus so closely (which makes sense, since it would've caught both Xehanort and Terra's attention). Why not expand on that more? There could be one or two scene's where the pair have another of those one-on-one conversations, and discuss the value of having a heart and what it could bring & has brought them since they were completed. Since Roxas has experienced, very deeply, both the positive and negative spectrums of emotions, he could help Xemnas to slowly realize that, as a former Nobody himself, a heart isn't "just pain." It can be that, sure, that's the price of being human. But ultimately, those happy moments are the things that make life worth living for. It's because Xemnas abandoned that idea so long ago that he ended up feeling nothing but loneliness and truly hollow at the end. Well, what if Roxas, in addition to helping Xemnas come to realize the strength people require to endure the everyday of having hearts/being human (like in the game we got), helped him to feel something positive in the end? Finally giving Xemnas the sensation he had been missing and unknowingly longing for for years; solidifying the complicated bond between the two. Bonus points if Xemnas leaves Roxas some kind of momento so that he could, in a way, carry on the legacy of the original organization (the people he saw as his companions), and become a representation of they they should've been trying to achieve. It'd be Xemnas' final order as his superior. Another connecting factor could be that both he and Xemnas take a part of themselves from two different people, so they, from a physical standpoint, have a lot more in common then most Nobody's. Making it all the more poetic for him to be the one to reach Xemnas' heart. Also, you could add another storyline boss fight with these two clashing at, least once, before the endgame battle (similar to Aqua vs Vanitas), so that's one gameplay incentive. I feel it's reasonably important enough to justify it's inclusion too since this is the only real chance we'll get to see the two settle who's actually stronger (it was also being built up to since 358, and it's not really clear what either was thinking in that regard during KH3).
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So again, this just one example of how a returning character could've really added to the the narrative of KH3, and helped to present, and more importantly close, old tensions and character plots. In this case, using Roxas more could've really done a lot to flesh out the cast, and open the door to new dynamics and interactions we've never really seen before. It could've also helped to bring the themes presented in Days and KH2 to a proper close. And again, just because this didn't happen, doesn't mean that the potential didn't exist. There was a lot of value in bringing some of these characters back, and I just don't think saying "they only didn't add/do anything because they had no business coming back in the first place," is really a fair statement. I mean, the game's entire premise was to bring these characters back, no? The simple truth of the matter is that he just didn't utilize them properly, and never really gave them enough to do to justify their return and roles in the first place. In the case of the tragic characters, this, ironically, also ended up hurting their sacrifices because now it feels like they're just present because people want them to be, and not that they had an actual purpose to serve. The struggles to bring them back also felt very rushed or otherwise contrived, and had a kind of "check that one off the list" vibe. It's no wonder it feels like they shouldn't of have come back, they barely do anything and we're tacked onto the story, rather than actually apart of it. If Nomura doesn't know how to handle a large cast of characters, then DON'T set up the ending to every one of their stories in the same game.

In the case of characters like Larxene, Marluxia, and Luxord on the other hand, they're only really there to help serve as sequel bait. Nothing more tbh. If he wanted to bring them back so much though, then maybe we should've seen their original somebodies come back as regular people at some point. Though even that could've honestly waited till the next game. Which circles back to the fact that this game could've, and should've focused more on the history of the series (and wrapping up any of those lingering plot threads) rather than include so much sequel bait that isn't even important to the Saga it was supposed to be concluding.

*Yeesh, this post wasn't meant to be so lengthy lol*
 

FudgemintGuardian

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But this is also a bigger problem I have with KH3 for nearly all of the main characters tbh. Because of Sora being gone and because there were so many new mysteries introduced, none of the main cast really gets any time to relax. They all are going to be jumping right back into the fray and that really defeats the purpose of wanting all of these characters to reunite again after so much time spent apart and suffering.
The only way any of them will get at least some down time is if they just so happen to forget about Sora.

*remembers Sora's in the Reaper's Game*

No, no, no! Not one more step, Nomura. Get out!

To make Kairi a convenient plot device when one is needed. This has always been her role, and I am convinced this will continue to be her role.
It might as well be her super power at this point.

Yeah, When a game is going to have a 40ish hour runtime, the last four hours should not be an unending info dump while the previous 36 hours are just a drip-feed.

Aqua being saved and then Ven finally waking up should have definitely been a mid-game event. Moving those events to an earlier time-frame also doesn't really change anything in the story. Aqua and Ven could have spent the hours after resting and catching up. And in regards to the Power of Waking nonsense plot, and it wasn't like Sora really understood the Power of Waking when he saved Ven. He uses it then forgets he did until Chirithy has to remind him how to use that power later on in the Final World.

Sora could have saved Ven and then still have gone on his journey to other worlds because of the Organization's meddling and still have doubts about how to use the Power of Waking. Claim that saving Ven was different because Ven was already in Sora's heart, so there was an established connection there.

idk but there were definitely better ways to organize the flow of the story without undermining the "lesson" Sora was meant to learn on his journey.
^^^^^
 

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I hear what you are saying and I don’t disagree, but I think the fact that they were underutilized and the fact that people have to create these kinds of scenarios to justify why they should have not been underutilized kinda proves the point that many of these characters had no business returning.

These types of scenarios really show potential for what could have happened, but the fact that Nomura didn’t bother to give any of these characters the same level of consideration that we as fans have means he either didn’t have an idea of how to use them or that he didn’t care.

And that’s really the essence of the problem. It isn’t that they didn’t have potential, but rather that Nomura didn’t care enough about these characters to truly validate their existence in his own narrative.

If he wasn’t going to bother, he should have not had them in.
 

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I think one of Nomura's biggest mistake was not using DDD/.2 and maybe even Coded to move some of the major plot points of KH3 so it becomes easier to write.

Like they could have had Kairi's training and gameplay happen during DDD so Nomura can get it out of his system. Aqua recovering could have just been .2. I get how they save Aqua was a big mystery for KH3 but given how underwhelming it was (Sora just decided I want to save her now) they could have really flesh it out in .2 Then in KH3 you have more hours to pour into other things that Nomura finds important.

Instead we get Coded which meant very little long term because Sora's hurt did not seem to matter much? DDD which could have done more and then .2 which was a big recap in a big sense. Nomura had extra hours to reduce the burden of KH3 but he chooses an odd route to say the least.
I feel like 0.2 should have ended with Sora actually saving her. That way KH3 could have been Sora in Disney worlds, Riku/Aqua trying to save Ven, and Axel/Kairi training. I agree with your idea that some elements should have been placed in those games to cut down on what KH3 had to cover.
 

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The only way any of them will get at least some down time is if they just so happen to forget about Sora.

*remembers Sora's in the Reaper's Game*

No, no, no! Not one more step, Nomura. Get out!
I feel like rather than everybody forgetting Sora, Sora will forget everybody as a reverse to what happened in CoM/Days. His Entry Fee would totally be his bonds to his friends.

It might as well be her super power at this point.
Sora could be glued to a tree using industrial strength cement and Kairi would suddenly develop tree-unsticking powers just because Sora needed her help.

Nomura really needs to lay out what PoH can do rather than them just having convenient powers xD
 

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I hear what you are saying and I don’t disagree, but I think the fact that they were underutilized and the fact that people have to create these kinds of scenarios to justify why they should have not been underutilized kinda proves the point that many of these characters had no business returning.

These types of scenarios really show potential for what could have happened, but the fact that Nomura didn’t bother to give any of these characters the same level of consideration that we as fans have means he either didn’t have an idea of how to use them or that he didn’t care.

And that’s really the essence of the problem. It isn’t that they didn’t have potential, but rather that Nomura didn’t care enough about these characters to truly validate their existence in his own narrative.

If he wasn’t going to bother, he should have not had them in.
Aw, my mistake. That actually makes a lot more sense then.

Of course, I can agree with that since why bring back characters (least of all tragic ones) if you can't even give them enough value to justify their returns? Especially when you clearly struggle juggling that many elements already, and have a bad habit of wasting precious time and space by bloating the game with sequel bait (despite being well aware of how much you already have to cover in the game as it is). It's just an inevitable set up for disappointment on all fronts, hence why even he himself wasn't satisfied with the way the Keyblade Graveyard sequence came out. And I mean, who wouldn't be after that God awful Terranort sequence (I've seen even the more positive fans cock a few eyebrows at that)?

Maybe he felt too obligated to bring them back after all the set up he made for their returns in BBS, Re Coded, DDD, and 0.2? But then that's all the more proof that he should've been thinking about how to tackle their returns for a LONG time (at least from a story standpoint), so how did the situation still end up as such a mess? Far too much of KH3's narrative feels rushed and undercooked for me to believe that most of it wasn't just shoved in there for the sake of getting things out of the way and keeping up with development time (which would explain why so many new elements and ideas come out of nowhere and have very little barring on the actual saga of games). But again, that makes me wonder why Nomura didn't seem to have a clearer picture of how things would unfold in mind years prior to actually working on the project. Maybe it's like everyone said, and he just got so enamored with his ideas for the future that he just never bothered coming up with a satisfying conclusion to the story he's already written. Which would be pretty sad if it's actually true, and certainly not a habit I hope he carries on into the series' future. Though that sentiment is more for the new fans' sake since I couldn't care less what he does anymore. :cautious:
 

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Aw, my mistake. That actually makes a lot more sense then.

Of course, I can agree with that since why bring back characters (least of all tragic ones) if you can't even give them enough value to justify their returns? Especially when you clearly struggle juggling that many elements already, and have a bad habit of wasting precious time and space by bloating the game with sequel bait (despite being well aware of how much you already have to cover in the game as it is). It's just an inevitable set up for disappointment on all fronts, hence why even he himself wasn't satisfied with the way the Keyblade Graveyard sequence came out. And I mean, who wouldn't be after that God awful Terranort sequence (I've seen even the more positive fans cock a few eyebrows at that)?
Bringing back characters also means if Nomura wants to have hero characters (Roxas/Terra whoever) die a tragic death in the future no one will actually believe they are gone forever. The question is just going to be ok how will they be brought back and when. So Nomura can't really go back to the well and do that story again without getting some disinterested faces.

I will say I don't think Sora's in KH1 or Terra/Aqua/Ven tragic sacrifices were hurt too badly (jeez there is a lot of that in this series) by them coming back in kh3 because for the most part they still suffer so I can still feel bad that they went away. Ven was in a coma, Aqua was stuck in KH hell and Terra was bodyless all for 10 years. The rest of the pre kh3 death gets a bit more questionable whether it still has the same impact for me post KH3.

But KH3 in general just made such a joke of death which is a contrast to how the other games wrote their version of death. You had Sora after killing Larxene tell her why are you upset you are going to be completed again (good job taking tension away from the fight Sora). You also had everybody die via heartless tornado but Sora in maybe a span of an hour or so revived everyone back. Then you had Kairi die, no one but Sora reacted too angerly and then Sora seemingly saved her pretty quickly.

In summary, if KH3 was the last game ever in the series then yea bring everyone back but now Nomura has to write more future stories where fans are going to skeptical to say the least whenever a hero charachter dies and thinking it's for the long term.
 

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Really, the Disney characters need the biggest overhaul.

In the original KH game, the Disney Villains were actively driving the plot by carving worlds in search of their princesses and commanding the Heartless to do their bidding.

From KHII and arguably CoM, they are more filler.

KHIII tried to rectify this by having some worlds be a bit more proactive with the villain plots like Young Xehanort in Toy Box, Dark Riku in San Fransokyo, and Vanitas in Monster's Inc.

Still, there are some problems with even that since you would ultimately get a rather formulaic experience with how the villains are constantly pulling the Disney characters' strings if you repeat the story enough. Even with Maleficent, she's a joke.
 

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I feel like rather than everybody forgetting Sora, Sora will forget everybody as a reverse to what happened in CoM/Days. His Entry Fee would totally be his bonds to his friends.
That would be interesting to see. At the same time though, I want the lil' babby boy to feel his friends can't help, that he's alone in this and needs to learn to stand on his own. I think about how if the memory of his friends is his Entry Fee, then Sora would become a guy who believes he always accomplished everything by himself.

Maybe his Keyblade as the Entry Fee could give me what I'm looking for? Having it tied to his self-worth, and losing it making him feel he's no longer that "small part of something bigger."
 

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That would be interesting to see. At the same time though, I want the lil' babby boy to feel his friends can't help, that he's alone in this and needs to learn to stand on his own. I think about how if the memory of his friends is his Entry Fee, then Sora would become a guy who believes he always accomplished everything by himself.

Maybe his Keyblade as the Entry Fee could give me what I'm looking for? Having it tied to his self-worth, and losing it making him feel he's no longer that "small part of something bigger."
While I think this would be an interesting concept, I have to ask what "standing on his own," means exactly? Because back in KH1, he not only got abandoned by Donald, Goofy, and Riku, but he also lost his Keyblade. Yet he still kept going and persevered anyway despite having neither of those things. Wouldn't that count as precedent for this idea? Also, in DDD, despite Sora knowing that he was literally being dragged several layers into the Realm of Sleep with no back up, he still had this amazing speech:

Note that he specifically says: "I know the Keyblade didn't choose me, and I don't care. I'm proud to be a small part of something bigger. The people it did choose."

Maybe it's just me, but don't these events show Sora's true strength comes from his bonds/memories/feelings, rather than any tangible physical thing (like their presence, or his Keyblade)? One could even say that the phrase "my friends are my power" is just another way of saying that he's never alone. That's part of why his breakdown in KH3 felt so forced and regressive to me, and that's saying a lot considering it was bassically Sora's only major lesson learned across the series as well (he's been mostly static otherwise). It was NEVER about having his friends by his side, it was about the bonds they all shared despite any amount of distance. That's what made him so formidable.

Then there's Axel's whole message to Roxas and Xion in Days that furthers this overarching theme:

"What's important, isn't that we hang out with eachother everyday."

"As long as we keep eachother in our thoughts, we'll never be apart, right? We've got it memorized Axel."


Or how about Data Sora's second arc in Castle Oblivion? The whole message there (and in Re chain come to think of it) was that you don't just need memories of your friends to hold onto to your ties with them. You just need to keep the feelings etched into your heart with you, and not let them go. It's what ended up keeping him going despite Roxas' warnings, and how he was proven worthy of seeing Data Namine... Though maybe I misinterpreted something there.

It just feels like something Sora, of all characters, should already understand.
 
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Sora doesn't fear losing the Keyblade. He sees it as the tool to wield the power he has gained from his friendships—the Keyblade is not the origin of his power. Certainly Sora is rather proud of his ability to use it and has never been afraid of showing it, and has even been too over-confident in his ability, but he never claims that the Keyblade is his power.

By removing his bonds, though, you effectively leave Sora powerless. He fears losing his friendships because he thinks they are all he has. He thinks he is nothing without his friends. This is what his breakdown is about in KH3, and it is not regressive because Sora has never had to face a situation where his friends are dead and gone. He's never faced a situation where he has failed to protect them.

Sora values his friendships above all else to the point that he essentially starts his own slow death to bring them back to life, and then hastens his death by saving Kairi.

Which is why I think the Entry Fee would be his bonds or memories of his friends. He would become cocky because he has done so many amazing things alone in his mind and then be faced with the reality that he is weak and incapable of doing anything in a strange world. Then it would introduce doubt in all of his actions. Or if he remembers them but loses the bonds, he'd be forced to learn how to love himself and find value in his own abilities.

It's not perfect but...I think taking the Keyblade from him wouldn't work to teach Sora the lesson he needs to learn. Also, I can't imagine a KH game without the Keyblade at this point. I don't think they would go that route.
 

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Honestly if Sora gives up the Keyblade as the entry fee I think it would be a good opportunity for him to use the Dream Sword. I always felt if he had never acquired the Keyblade the Dream Sword would have become his primary weapon.

Plus it's not like it would be permanent. He could regain the keyblade again once he returns to the land of the living
 

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Honestly if Sora gives up the Keyblade as the entry fee I think it would be a good opportunity for him to use the Dream Sword. I always felt if he had never acquired the Keyblade the Dream Sword would have become his primary weapon.

Plus it's not like it would be permanent. He could regain the keyblade again once he returns to the land of the living
It wouldn’t be permanent, but it would be for the duration of the game. I suppose there is still Riku to wield the Keyblade but much of the iconography of the series is focused on Sora’s Kingdom Key. You show that to people and people know that is Kingdom Hearts.

It’s why Ven’s key looks vaguely like Kingdom Key in the handle or why Starlight in its base is also similar to the Kingdom Key. These are very specific design choices to maintain that iconographic representation of Kingdom Hearts as a brand.

The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that they will definitely let Sora keep his Keyblade or that if he doesn’t haven’t it, he’ll get it back at some point in the game.
 

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While I think this would be an interesting concept, I have to ask what "standing on his own," means exactly? Because back in KH1, he not only got abandoned by Donald, Goofy, and Riku, but he also lost his Keyblade. Yet he still kept going and persevered anyway despite having neither of those things. Wouldn't that count as precedent for this idea? Also, in DDD, despite Sora knowing that he was literally being dragged several layers into the Realm of Sleep with no back up, he still had this amazing speech:

Note that he specifically says: "I know the Keyblade didn't choose me, and I don't care. I'm proud to be a small part of something bigger. The people it did choose."

Maybe it's just me, but don't these events show Sora's true strength comes from his bonds/memories/feelings, rather than any tangible physical thing (like their presence, or his Keyblade)? One could even say that the phrase "my friends are my power" is just another way of saying that he's never alone. That's part of why his breakdown in KH3 felt so forced and regressive to me, and that's saying a lot considering it was bassically Sora's only major lesson learned across the series as well (he's been mostly static otherwise). It was NEVER about having his friends by his side, it was about the bonds they all shared despite any amount of distance. That's what made him so formidable.

Then there's Axel's whole message to Roxas and Xion in Days that furthers this overarching theme:

"What's important, isn't that we hang out with eachother everyday."

"As long as we keep eachother in our thoughts, we'll never be apart, right? We've got it memorized Axel."


Or how about Data Sora's second arc in Castle Oblivion? The whole message there (and in Re chain come to think of it) was that you don't just need memories of your friends to hold onto to your ties with them. You just need to keep the feelings etched into your heart with you, and not let them go. It's what ended up keeping him going despite Roxas' warnings, and how he was proven worthy of seeing Data Namine... Though maybe I misinterpreted something there.

It just feels like something Sora, of all characters, should already understand.
Sora doesn't fear losing the Keyblade. He sees it as the tool to wield the power he has gained from his friendships—the Keyblade is not the origin of his power. Certainly Sora is rather proud of his ability to use it and has never been afraid of showing it, and has even been too over-confident in his ability, but he never claims that the Keyblade is his power.

By removing his bonds, though, you effectively leave Sora powerless. He fears losing his friendships because he thinks they are all he has. He thinks he is nothing without his friends. This is what his breakdown is about in KH3, and it is not regressive because Sora has never had to face a situation where his friends are dead and gone. He's never faced a situation where he has failed to protect them.

Sora values his friendships above all else to the point that he essentially starts his own slow death to bring them back to life, and then hastens his death by saving Kairi.

Which is why I think the Entry Fee would be his bonds or memories of his friends. He would become cocky because he has done so many amazing things alone in his mind and then be faced with the reality that he is weak and incapable of doing anything in a strange world. Then it would introduce doubt in all of his actions. Or if he remembers them but loses the bonds, he'd be forced to learn how to love himself and find value in his own abilities.

It's not perfect but...I think taking the Keyblade from him wouldn't work to teach Sora the lesson he needs to learn. Also, I can't imagine a KH game without the Keyblade at this point. I don't think they would go that route.
*acknowledges strong points but is still sad I can't just "like" a post as others can*

Granted, I wasn't even sure if I wanted to leave that part in, but I'm so used to Nomura's shenanigans and redundancy I take nothing off the table of possibilities, no matter how much something been used. lol

But something that just came to me is we should consider if (and this could be a big "if") Sora's Reaper's Game is like that in TWEWY. In which case his Entry Fee would be something he's taken for granted. I wouldn't call his bonds of friendship that.

Of course, this all revolves around if Nomura even bothers to do Entry Fees or just considers the Keyblade the Entry Fee because Joshua has to have Sora follow the Reaper's Game rules and use Pins and whatever...
 

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It wouldn’t be permanent, but it would be for the duration of the game. I suppose there is still Riku to wield the Keyblade but much of the iconography of the series is focused on Sora’s Kingdom Key. You show that to people and people know that is Kingdom Hearts.

It’s why Ven’s key looks vaguely like Kingdom Key in the handle or why Starlight in its base is also similar to the Kingdom Key. These are very specific design choices to maintain that iconographic representation of Kingdom Hearts as a brand.

The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that they will definitely let Sora keep his Keyblade or that if he doesn’t haven’t it, he’ll get it back at some point in the game.
I thought if Sora lost his keyblade Riku would lose his as well through some means and wield Soul Eater once more. That would add a parallel to their situation

I know keyblades are a series staple but I'd like a game were just for once they took a backseat. Especially since when Sora does return home those weapons will be dominating the series through the heroes and Foretellers
 
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