KH3 Ultimania and why I find it potentially frustrating



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SerDuncan

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So KH3 Ultimania isn't even out yet, we've still got two weeks before the release. I'm as excited as the rest of you for translations, scans, all that good stuff... but I think I have an issue I want to address... and discuss, hopefully.

The first is pretty simple: As much as I love previous KH Ultimania, I really don't want this book to be full of explanations and corrections for KH3. As a few people on this forum and elsewhere have come to feel, KH3 had a lot of writing issues and numerous plot holes. I've seen a couple of people talking about how they hope the Ultimania clarifies/fixes/explains these issues, and I gotta be honest... that would really piss me off. Now before anything else, I just want to make it clear that if you want the Ultimania to be that way, I don't think you're stupid or anything, I just disagree with that. I'm a firm believer that a game should be able to stay within it's own media and hold on it's own. Since Kingdom Hearts is a video game, I don't see why Nomura couldn't just answer these questions in the game itself. If he purposefully didn't answer questions because he was saving it for the book, that's just scummy. When you look at some of the better companions to video games out there, like art books, or Zelda's Hyrule Historia, they always serve as an extension of the game. They serve as expansions to the world, that aren't necessarily canon but are fun and can help expand the world. They aren't a piece of duct tape you slap onto an unfinished game to fix the issues you were too lazy/rushed/past budget to solve before the release of a game. So as much as it would be comforting for Nomura to do this with the Ultimania and the many issues in KH3... I think it would feel like an insult to me and the fanbase more than the love letter to fans it's supposed to be.

Does anybody else feel this way? Or, conversely, do you hope the Ultimania gives you the answers KH3 wasn't able to? Or did you think Kh3 was fine as is? I mean, either way I'm still at least a little excited for what the book offers us, even if it's not what I would want.
 

AdrianXXII

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I get where you're coming from, but the Ultimanias have always been kind of patches to unclear plot points, lot of information we only had stated in the games recently were known to us for years thanks to the Ultimania, such as defeating a Heartless and a Nobody means the original person gets recompleted.
That said the Ultimanias some of the information provided to us pan out to be inaccurate or retconned in later games.

Personally I don't mind some of the more minor plot holes or unclear issues being explained in the Ultimania, but overall I would prefer the potential Final Mix version to clarify and improve some scenes and story beats over the Ultimania. This is mainly because the number of fans that'll be exposed to the FM will be greater than the number of fans that learn about the Ultimania and it's interviews.
 

drew0512

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I don't see why Nomura couldn't just answer these questions in the game itself.
I agree, but you're making KH3 look like a flawed game in a series of perfect games. We've been getting answers and whatnot from Ultimanias and interviews and that's not because of a scam, but because Nomura is a mediocre writer. He prioritizes shock value over cohesive and linear narrative, but this is not a secret. Why shouldn't KH3 get the same treatment as the other games? After 17 years, we either roll with Nomura's style or we put our time and money into another franchise that gives us what we want.
 

alexis.anagram

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The thing with the Ultimania is that it can't "fix" KH3's problems, because KH3's problems don't stem from a lack of hard, factual answers to important questions; rather, ambiguity in KH3 is symptomatic of the actual deficiencies in how the story is structured, in particular its incapacity to build on its inherently character centered framing to provide substantive arcs that make the core cast feel as whole as the story wants us to believe they are by the end. That's not going to come from an Ultimania, no matter how many Word of God confirmations and/or revisions in the text Nomura decides to insert post factum.

Moreover, I don't retain an encyclopedic knowledge of where and when Nomura says things, but the Ultimanias have never struck me as some kind of holy bible to be referenced when there's a need to discern the dramatic reasoning behind any particular game's approach to the material. I've never read an Ultimania and found myself thinking differently about its respective game than I did or would have otherwise. They're a novelty, really: in KH3's case, I'll be looking to it as a kind of autopsy for this conceptual carcass that was DOA.
 
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Has there ever been anything revealed in a KH Ultimania that hasn't been addressed directly within a later game, like why Vanitas looks like Sora? Because that case makes me feel that certain things remain unexplained when the scenario writer feels it isn't the best time to do it; in Vanitas's case, it doesn't make narrative sense for him to explain why he looks the way he does in BBS when he feels answering Ven's question about the Unversed takes priority, only addressing it when Sora has a chance to directly see his face and properly take it in during KH3.

Besides, I'm convinced the answers to some of KH3's unexplained moments are already there, just in the form of dots waiting either for us to connect them, or for the author to connect them for us. It's just taking me a bit more time to wrap my head around with some than others.
 
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