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Kingdom Hearts 2 Retrospective



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I always found the pole falling scene to be rather funny with how overly dramatic and slow-mo it is. The whole thing is unnecessary.

The second world visits are nice, except they are a bit boring compared to the first visits for the most part. Beast's Castle, Olympus, Agrabah, and Space Paranoids are the only worlds which continue the story with the second visits.

I like how the Land of Dragons is portrayed in the KHII manga adaption, where the events of both visits are merged together.
Khan and Chi-Fu even make an appearance. (still no Cri-Kee, though)

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Still reading, don't worry! :)

I too think that the first half of the game is filler, and the second half of the game is where the game really takes place.

Something I really dislike about KH2 is what they did with Maleficent's character. There were definitely ways of making the Organization relevant without having to make her weak compared to them.
 

BlackOsprey

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I'm really surprised to hear that people actually dislike the scene of Belle elbowing Xaldin in the ribs. It's pretty in-character of her and it's probably one of my favorite moments in any Disney world ever.
 

h.e.hassanein

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I'm really surprised to hear that people actually dislike the scene of Belle elbowing Xaldin in the ribs. It's pretty in-character of her and it's probably one of my favorite moments in any Disney world ever.

Me too, especially since it's kind of the antithesis to the weird Mulan helplessness that was discussed in the previous post...I mean I guess the way it's animated it doesn't seem like her blow to the ribs should have the impact it does on Xaldin so maybe people thought it was weird that Beauty could so easily get away from this bull-like man?

I always find physical hits in the middle of games that use swords (or keyblades) refreshing too but that may just be me
 

Elysium

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I agree, loved Belle elbowing him.

Xaldin is great because he's one of the only challenges to KH2. Maybe it's because he stands so far apart from the rest that I'm terrified to begin that battle. lol Even knowing he's more difficult, the game really sets you at such a low bar for hours that you're never fully prepared...
 

BlackOsprey

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Me too, especially since it's kind of the antithesis to the weird Mulan helplessness that was discussed in the previous post...I mean I guess the way it's animated it doesn't seem like her blow to the ribs should have the impact it does on Xaldin so maybe people thought it was weird that Beauty could so easily get away from this bull-like man?
I think it's like what Drazon said: most of these people don't know what it's like to be elbowed in the ribs.
Aside from that, I think Belle was able to pull that off for the same reason why some players couldn't buy that scene: no one saw that coming. Few people- not Sora & co, definitely not Xaldin, and not even the players- were expecting the seemingly helpless songbird to actually fight back. Let alone succeed. Element of surprise can be quite helpful sometimes.
 

FudgemintGuardian

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Woah woah woah, there are people who dislike the scene of Belle elbowing Xaldin? Where are these people so I can elbow them in the ribs?


I like to think she really did do damage to him too, since his first health bar is a quarter short. XD
I can't remember if other bosses have started with short health bars and I don't care it's still funny
 

Chuuya

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^ Looool. You're probably right Fudge! Belle may have helped us! xD Man, I love that scene though! How could anyone see that scene and not laugh?
 

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Maybe all princess have extremely strong elbows? A lot of problem could be solved if Jasmine just elbow Jafar in the dick.
 

dlppictures

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I know the game only has two ship models, but didn’t the film make it clear one person couldn’t pilot the Interceptor? Is everyone else dead?
Will said:
The medallions...and...the stone chest - someone's taken them... Next thing I knew, we were attacked...but I couldn't see who it was - his face was shrouded...in a black hood. We found a way out of the cave, but the villain sent a horde of terrible creatures after us...I've never seen their likes before. I think I'm the only one who made it back to the ship... Elizabeth...I feel rather...
So yes, propably.

I know a lot of people feel this second Port Royal plot is just a rehash of the original, and they’re not wrong, but this is exactly what I want to see a future Kingdom Hearts game to be about. I want to see the elements cross-over: have Disney impact the main plot instead of the main plot influence the Disney (or the main plot not influence the Disney at all, Kingdom Hearts 2).
I don't disagree, but I still feel like it could have been executed better. Plotwise Port Royal is definately one of the better second visits, but I don't see why this could not have been integrated with the first visit. Aside from the scene on the Black Pearl where Will threatens to kill himself and Pete summons the Heartless, what did he do that affected the story (capture of the gang and subsequent barrel mini-game) and didn't just serve as a gimmick for a boss fight (Illuminator)? If Luxord had taken Pete's spot in the first visit, he would not only be powerful enough to do everything Pete did, but we as the players would also learn more of how manipulative the Organization can be, especially if it turned out near the end of the visit that Luxord double-crossed Barbosa and summoned the Grim Reaper, (might even have been possible to include the line "Bloody Pirates" which is one of my favourite lines from the film).
As an added bonus, it would also give more screen-time to a supposed main villain who only had maybe five linesoutside battle quotes in the entire (vanilla) game.

The Grim Reaper is a disappointing fight,
crying-slide.gif

But, but, but that is one of my favourite fights of all the second visit battles, second only to the Hades battle.
Yeah it is meant as a weak small taste of what is to come, but it is one of the only fights in the second half of te game, that isn't an Org fight, that is fun to me.
It even encourages the use of magic...okay, I can't really use that as an argument as I absolutely loath the second Grim Reaper fight. (Why does he always, without failure, use the tornado attack that makes him invulnerable at the exact same time as I cast Blizzara on him?)

But yeah, I know I'm in the minority but I love this first Grim Reaper fight.



A strategy I like to use on Mushroom X is to go into Master Form before activating the shroom, and spam Reflect. When using Reflect in Master Form Sora homes, a little, in on the enemy he targets. So if you stand close to the right Mushroom as he jumps before they start shuffling, and spam Reflects, Sora will automatically home in on the right Mushroom, giving you and easy challenge. Just remember to let the Reflect spell finish fully, so Sora doesn't immediately use a finisher that accidently hits a neighboring Mushroom before the real one.
 

Blackdrazon

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You make a good point about the first visit. I would have loved to see Luxord in Pete's place.

A strategy I like to use on Mushroom X is to go into Master Form before activating the shroom, and spam Reflect. When using Reflect in Master Form Sora homes, a little, in on the enemy he targets. So if you stand close to the right Mushroom as he jumps before they start shuffling, and spam Reflects, Sora will automatically home in on the right Mushroom, giving you and easy challenge. Just remember to let the Reflect spell finish fully, so Sora doesn't immediately use a finisher that accidently hits a neighboring Mushroom before the real one.

I'll have to try that the next time around! Anything would be better than trying to squeeze in hits with Final Form again. :S
 
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"Sora helps fight them off (eventually – he takes a lot of umbrage over Jack not remembering his name. We’re the heroes)."
If KHII had been more recent, this scene would've been a good opportunity to put in "Dolan and Gooby" in addition to "Zola". It would fit in with Jack's slurred speech and it wouldn't feel too forced or cringeworthy.

"Downes makes a good point: the way Disney elements can react to the main Kingdom Hearts plot is very interesting and feels like it deserves more attention. Bad guys coming to a Disney world to exploit its unique powers – medallions, genies, magical tridents – seems like the sort of thing you could build an entire game around! I know a lot of people feel this second Port Royal plot is just a rehash of the original, and they’re not wrong, but this is exactly what I want to see a future Kingdom Hearts game to be about. I want to see the elements cross-over: have Disney impact the main plot instead of the main plot influence the Disney (or the main plot not influence the Disney at all, Kingdom Hearts 2). As a result, the second half of Port Royal is the part I actually prefer, and part of why I rank the world so highly in general!"
"Have Disney impact the main plot" - what does that mean? I'd love to have the Disney worlds feel faithful to the movie plots while still feeling integrated to the main storyline and involving some original characters. Hopefully they won't be mutually exclusive.
I do agree with everything else. Makes me curious if we'll see Marluxia's original self in Corona and what he would do. Would he try to find the magical golden flower that Gothel originally had and use its healing powers for something?

"The characters talk, which prompts a bit of introspection from Sora, who becomes upset when he realizes he never stays anywhere, and wonders when he’ll see home."
You overlooked the part where Sora and the gang are talking about different worlds and different laws and Jack is right within earshot.
I mean, Jack probably thinks their "yammering" is just them being loopy from the shipwreck or something, but still.

"This makes for one of the only visits to a world in KH2 that focuses on a unique set of mechanics (a gimmick, if you will). Coming to mind are training Ping in Land of the Dragons, the Mayhem bar in Timeless River, and of course the Pride Lands. Another is upcoming in Agrabah and sort of in Olympus Coliseum. This compared to KH1, which had world-specific mechanics in nearly every world… even though many of them were bad."
...Wait, what gimmicks did the KH1 worlds have? There were the different swimming controls in Atlantica and I guess the flying in Neverland and parts of End of the World, but that's all I can think of.

"You now have free reign of Port Royal, including the port itself, Isla de Meurta, and a return to the ship graveyard. Gamblers can show up in any of those locations, each with a specific challenge depending on where you find them (though there are quite a few repeats)."
Wait, do the Gamblers show up in the Port Royal areas as well? I only remember seeing them on the island and the graveyard.

"Once you’ve fought a Gambler in one location, the others won’t appear there, but there are far more than four locations to begin with. There’s one on the Isla de Meurta with an incredibly short timer, for instance, another in the Ilsa’s gunpowder room where you have to blow up crates to find the Gambler."
In the Moonlight Nook area, you have to find a Gambler within the darkness, which is rather cool.

"Worse, if you don’t do it before a timer expires… huh, come to think of it, I’ve never actually allowed it to happen. I imagine you either get a game over like in the first visit, but maybe you have to fetch it back from a Gambler?"
From what I remember, the Gambler just flees the room and you have to go to a different place or come back later.

"Jack asks what was up with that, and for some reason Sora recaps plot we should already know, and then suddenly announces he has to find their stronghold. Wait a minute! This sounds like the setup to the dialogue in Beast’s Castle! And come to think of it, Luxord kept underlining the basic plot through his actions here: the Org commands the Heartless, fosters them to be strong, sets them on the populace so Sora will be forced to act, and then they take the hearts. This… this used to be the first world in the second loop, wasn’t it? Geeze!"
To be fair, you CAN go to this world first during the second loop as it's unlocked at the start along with Disney Castle, Atlantica, Land of Dragons and Beast's Castle.

Might talk about today's update in a later edit or a second post.

----
 

Blackdrazon

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"Have Disney impact the main plot" - what does that mean? I'd love to have the Disney worlds feel faithful to the movie plots while still feeling integrated to the main storyline and involving some original characters. Hopefully they won't be mutually exclusive.

I mean that right now, the Disney plots are is based on external factors impacting them (Heartless or Nobodies show up to disrupt the goings-on), when it could be borrowing elements from Disney to impact the main plot, say a villain who makes off with the Fairy Godmother's wand and keeps it until the big showdown, casting spells on Final Fantasy characters or whatnot, or making it the crux of the plot.


You overlooked the part where Sora and the gang are talking about different worlds and different laws and Jack is right within earshot.
I mean, Jack probably thinks their "yammering" is just them being loopy from the shipwreck or something, but still.



Hah! You've got me there.


...Wait, what gimmicks did the KH1 worlds have? There were the different swimming controls in Atlantica and I guess the flying in Neverland and parts of End of the World, but that's all I can think of.

The gimmicks in KH1 are more fundamental to the level design: Wonderland is a maze, Olympus Coliseum is a tournament (the same is true during KH2's revisit), Deep Jungle is a vertically structured platforming challenge, Agrabah is full of traps and the basement is a maze (unfortunately), Halloween Town is full of secret switches, Atlantica is about swimming and flying, Neverland is about locked doors (which admittedly is so weak they just undo it later).

Even without that we have a few explicit gimmicks besides: Alice's trial and collecting evidence, rescuing gorillas, Agrabah restructuring its exits on your second visit (a little temporary, that one), swimming, flying and of course, Sora becoming a Heartless (although that's also a little temporary).

KH2's level design is about corridors, so that's dead. That just leaves the latter, which is improved but is only in a few worlds, leading to the game's notorious "flatness."


Wait, do the Gamblers show up in the Port Royal areas as well? I only remember seeing them on the island and the graveyard.

I'm pretty sure I've seen one, though I may be mistaken.

From what I remember, the Gambler just flees the room and you have to go to a different place or come back later.

Thanks, I'll edit that.
 
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It would be as if Riku started to fly. We’ve seen him run on walls, jump high, but what if he just started to fly...once and then never again, because it was convenient to the plot. And in every other instance where Riku could have benefitted from flying, the game just has no explanation for why he doesn't.

I see what you did there.
 

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Wait, do the Gamblers show up in the Port Royal areas as well? I only remember seeing them on the island and the graveyard.

I'm pretty sure I've seen one, though I may be mistaken.

I don't think I have ever tried since back in 2006, but can you even go back to the town at that point in the plot?

IIRC, they talk about how the Nobodies most likely won't be in town, for some weird reason, thereby not giving the player a reason to go there.
Remember I have not really played in English since FM released in 2007, so I might be misremembering.

Also, I just remembered, Grim Reaper is there waiting for you as you arrive, and you have to enter from the ship.
Sure the game teleports you to the ship when you have all four, but it doesn't make much sense to be in the town -> leave town -> return to town.
But again I have not tried in ten years.
 

Blackdrazon

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Yeah, all that makes sense, so there probably aren't any Nobodies in town at the time, but I really should check as well. :/
 
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I never realized how long of a game KH2 was until reading your retrospective. Didn't you start covering KH2 in early January right at the beginning? And I would think you're only a little over halfway done, maybe almost 3/4 of the way done.
 

Blackdrazon

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It's got a lot of stuff to cover, that's for sure! For the record, the Days retrospective is closer in length to the previous two, and the BBS retrospective is shaping up to be similar in length as well (but that's harder to say - right now I one character written up but I can't just multiply it by three - the second and third characters will probably be shorter, for example). So, so far, it's just KH2 that takes up this much space!
 

h.e.hassanein

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It's got a lot of stuff to cover, that's for sure! For the record, the Days retrospective is closer in length to the previous two, and the BBS retrospective is shaping up to be similar in length as well (but that's harder to say - right now I one character written up but I can't just multiply it by three - the second and third characters will probably be shorter, for example). So, so far, it's just KH2 that takes up this much space!

This actually makes a lot of sense- KHII's story itself was drawn out and the multiple visits to the Disney worlds doubled the amount of time it takes to finish the game. Looking back I have no idea how I never realized what a giant it was in comparison to the test of the series. However, I'd've imagined the Retrospective for BbS would be just as long? You are pretty much visiting what's worth thrice the amount of worlds there...
 
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