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Kingdom Hearts 2 Retrospective



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LightUpTheSky452

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Kingdom Hearts 1 is my favorite entry in the series, and the best entry at that.

But, speaking as someone who thought in their silly teen years that KH2 was the best, I think I can kind of see what people see in it (also because I'm watching NicoB's Kingdom Hearts 2 blind playthrough right now, and seeing all the things that he's enjoying in it right now):

For one thing, as NicoB says in his playthrough, the fights are a lot more cinematic and different from each other than they were in 1--even if it's really gimmicky (requires little skill) and lives off of quick time events to pull this off.

I also, personally, LOVE Roxas' story (it took me sometime to come to this point, but now I think it's the absolute best part of 2), and I think there are certainly some fans out there that agree. It's fun for reasons that Blackdrazon said, in that it actually lets you piece together the answer for yourself about Roxas in a well-written mystery, and doesn't tell you what was up if you missed it until Sora and Riku's one conversation later on. Roxas' story ended on a tragic note, and people thought that if Roxas had to (sadly) go away to wake Sora up to fulfill DiZ's plans, that Sora's story must be so much more epic and important. You expected good things coming, after the fated moment of finally getting Sora again. Sadly, the game disappoints in almost every way at this point, though.

Even though I HATE how they handled Sora's personality in this game, I do think he has more of one in this one, and I think people like that (and adore seeing more of the KH-central stuff this way). In KH1, Sora doesn't react to certain things in the Disney worlds like you'd hope he would at some points (probably because SE still didn't want to offend/wanted to play homage to Disney more than anything then, and maybe didn't know what all they could do with the hardware at the time), but in this game he has a clear, visual response to everything and is at the fore-front of it all. Too much so, maybe--and sort of at the sacrifice of everything else--but I can get why some people might appreciate getting to know our "hero" more... Even if Sora's like nails on a chalkboard in this game in many ways, and this is the game that started destroying Sora's characterization.

The fact that there's less fish face in the game, and everyone is more emotive, also helps a lot and helps with players connecting to them, I think. They can see more what's behind a character's thoughts and emotions--and they don't seem like poorly-animated puppets as much anymore--and good writing or not, I do think players will subconsciously notice this and feel more for the characters more this way (even if the characters in 1... Well, mainly Sora--and the game as a whole--were much better written).

Also, the gummi missions. The gummi ship missions in 2 are SO much better than they were in 1, my goodness.

And certain controls (such as the god-awful camera in 1, not being able to skip cutscenes, etc.) were done so much better in 2.

...You know, it's funny that I was able to compile this list, because KH2 is the game I criticize the most and can see the most wrong in, but I guess at the same time... I can still kind of see why people like this game so much and why I used to (even if I think some of their reasoning's kind of flawed, maybe). And seeing NicoB's reaction to II for the first time is reminding me of things I first felt for it, too.

Still... I do think KH2 is one of the worst games in the franchise, and just a huge disappointment in so many ways (especially as the direct sequel to 1). And not even coming up with this list now--and reminding myself of some of its good qualities--is enough to save it from drowning. A lot of the series' problems started with this game, and I will always resent it for that. Even if it's actually not my most hated KH game (that dishonor goes to Dream Drop Distance, with Coded only slightly beating it out; and I may or may not like 2 more than Days... maybe), and I still do thoroughly admire some parts of it.

Edit: And though overbearing (and I kind of wish they'd find a happy medium...), the Information Bar and objective section in the Journal are miles better than running all over Deep Jungle multiple times with no idea what to do.

And I find the fights added to KH2FM super fun and challenging on critical mode, so there's that.

...

ANYWAY, I'm sorry that I've fallen behind on reading your retrospective, Blackdrazon! I'm trying to get caught up with it again (hopefully I will soon!), but I have to say that I'm still so very much loving all the work you put into it and I thank you for working so hard to make it; I know it couldn't have been easy. Hopefully I can catch up to where everyone else is at in it soon, and give you some proper reviews on it again:) I definitely plan to stay caught up, no matter what it takes, when you start doing Days!
 
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Elysium

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Are you talking about KH1 here? I mean that these points are better in 1 than in 2?
Sorry, I get how that was confusing. The first sentence about the graphics being better was about KH2. The second sentence was about KH1.
 

Venx

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@Tartarus

Ah, alright. I thought that, but I wasn't really sure about it. That's what I hear from most people and I really don't understand it since I think KH1 has so many problems that I don't wanna play it again. I talked with some people that like 1 better and I listened to them. They reminded me of a lot of cool stuff that KH1 had and I was like "Hm, maybe I should play it again.", but everytime I see something about it again (like the Let's Play TFS does at the moment) it just scares me away, because I remember also why I didn't play it in a long long time.

Trinitys are definitly better than puzzle pieces and I feel like KH1 had a lot of more late-game stuff than KH2, since you're mostly done with a world after finishing the story (except for some puzzle pieces). The secretbosses are also way better, since Sephiroth is in my eyes the only real "secret" boss KH2 has. Finding "Kurt Zisa" or the Phantom was a really cool thing and Kurt Zisa is probably the best in the whole game in my opinion. Coliseum? The Cups were way better, but the world itself was worse in my eyes.

But these things are probably the only positiv things about KH1 I can think of right now. Everybody says the story is way better and the writing of KH2 is horrible + the story itself ruined the series. Mostly because KH1 is more about Disney and it's relevant to the Plot. At the same time Villains like Hades and Ursula appear in major cutscenes (like the first one where they all stand around that..table?) but can be skipped by just not visiting their world. And Riku is probably the worst character in the entire game, because he has absolutly no motivation and has already been a dick back on the island. Everything Maleficent did with him was like watching best of Terra & Xehanort. I know that KH1 was 8 years before BBS, but stupid characters aren't smarter when they were made earlier. Ansem is a great character, but the way he was revealed was kinda strange. It was pretty random how someone suddenly speaks through Riku and I feel like that was some "Riku is a good guy, he just controlled by the main villain" move.....but Riku was just an asshole. Ansem became thing when he already fell for Maleficent tricks.
I like the way KH2 introduces the organisation members a lot, because it's building up until the end. You see after the fight together with Leon all these People with the same coat, but different body shapes and poses (the way Xaldin stands with his arms behind his back is probably just tells you that he will fuck you up once day). You know that you will fight everyone one day and have some motivation, but at the same time respect because you never saw anyone fight (except Axel who you could fight with 2 keyblade). And before I talk to much about the story: I think the organisations motivation just to get hearts and be like everyone else is great, since you got People who just want a heart and some bad guys like xigbar or Luxord who straight up wanna f*ck your shit up. That makes me love the cutscenes before you fight Xemnas so much, the way they ruined the entire story in DDD is for me one of the reasons why the franchise has a stupid story. KH2 was about Ansems appreantice whos experiments failed and got turned into a heartless and Nobody. I think the story should have ended there (Or after KH1 and make a different cast for new games like this).

I guess you mean with World design, you mean the level design, because I would also count appearance of characters and meaning of its existence to the world design. Because with things like Demyx running around in the underworld or the beast talking about Xaldin in the first visit and giving the player a sneak peak of the organisation, I would definitly say that KH2 has a better world design.
I understand why you think that the worlds in 1 are better, because Wonderland or Agrabah are connected with some so many areas and that it's tricky and cool to explore these areas. At the same time....KH1 has platforming level design and an absolutly horrible camera and controls that makes me hate it. The way of designing the worlds should have been switched out between KH1 & 2. Because I don't know 1 person on this planet who jumps through monstro and says "wow, this is really great. This feels natural and fun.". I just don't get why People make platforming games, when their physics are really really strange and your character hard to control.

(I'm going through your points, but I guess I already talked enough about plot structure.)

Difficulty is a strange point, I mean...If we talk about original games I know what you mean. If we talk about Final Mix, I think critical is a solid difficulty (even tho it should have been proud.) and....is KH1 actually difficult? Because I feel like the most difficutly KH1 has is because of bad controls and a lot of bad boss designs. I mean Agrbah has 4 boss fights and not one of them is fight. Jafar and wondercave are seriously ridiculous. Atlantica is a great example for this, too since the gameplay becomes worse underwater and the first Ursula fight is one of the worst things I've ever experienced. Oogie Boogie is really great to compare to the fight in KH2, because both are kinda similar. In both fights is Oogie up somewhere and he attacks you. After you survived his attacks, you can fight him (or in KH1 you have the option to do it). In KH2 he falls down and you have an amount of life from him that you can take. This way he has 3 straight phases that you have to face and then you defeat him. Guaranteed.
Oogie in KH1 has also some lifecap and if you reach it he smashes you down. Or...you don't make enough damage or waste your time. Then you got smashed down and can wait for the option again. And if the camera doesn't work like always and you can't follow him, you can spend a lot of time in this fight. And it becomes really really annoying and boring.

KH2 can be really easy. Yes. But the battlesystem is so great made, but sadly you only realize it when you have low level or doing a level 1 run. Fighting bosses like Roxas, Marluxia or Larxene is just a lot of fun when you have to time block/dodge roll and figure out how they work. The revange value system in the game is probably the greatest thing ever, since you can realisticly fight a boss (stagger a normal guy like a organisation member all the time with hits unlike in other games where bosses have superarmor for some reason), but not stunlock them forever, because they break out can counter (Not talking about Saix or experiment). KH1 has the same thing (I think? Or atleast something similar), but it doesn't work as nearly as good, because the bosses are just not really fun.

This got....kinda long, but I gave my best to keep it short. No joke.
 

Elysium

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And Riku is probably the worst character in the entire game, because he has absolutly no motivation and has already been a dick back on the island. Everything Maleficent did with him was like watching best of Terra & Xehanort.
Riku is not a stupid character like Terra. Riku was stubborn and jealous, not stupid.


I like the way KH2 introduces the organisation members a lot, because it's building up until the end.
I would agree if the Organization actually felt relevant throughout the world visits, but they are mostly absent.

I guess you mean with World design, you mean the level design, because I would also count appearance of characters and meaning of its existence to the world design. Because with things like Demyx running around in the underworld or the beast talking about Xaldin in the first visit and giving the player a sneak peak of the organisation, I would definitly say that KH2 has a better world design.
I was more talking about the fact that KH2's level design is linear and boring. But as far as cohesion with the larger story, the KH1 worlds far and away beat the KH2 worlds. Most of the KH2 worlds have nothing at all to do with the overarching story, whereas you have the Keyholes, Disney villains, interaction with Riku & Maleficent in the background happening pretty regularly.

But I am a fan of platforming games... And that is what the KH series is. Or, at least, should be considering that's what it began as. I don't find most of KH2's bosses fun either. Most of the time it's just mash X until the Reation Command appears, /end. And the controls are often horrible in KH2. Like the Luxord fight for instance, who in the world enjoys that? The 10 second part of Demyx's fight and the Roxas battle are annoying more than anything. In KH1, most of the time I feel like I'm in a real life-or-death situation like Sora is because one wrong move will kill you. Where in KH2, you'd probably have to stand still and do nothing for 5 minutes to die except maybe with Xaldin and some of the final level bosses.
 

Venx

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And the controls are often horrible in KH2. Like the Luxord fight for instance, who in the world enjoys that?

Are you talking about changing controls in the fight or doing something new? Yes, the part as cube was horrible, but the fight itself was really nice. But in what other situations are the controls horrible? Are you talking about things like playing as Riku in the middle of the Xemnas fight? I understand that people don't like it, I personally get annoyed at that part, too but I don't think you can say that the controls are sometimes horrible when it's just about a special boss. I talk more about controls in general, for example healing with Sora in KH1 in the air and then get cancled because I landed on the ground.

The 10 second part of Demyx's fight and the Roxas battle are annoying more than anything.

Roxas is in my eyes one of the best and most fun bosses in the entire game. Extremly fast boss, atmossphere, amazing pattern and look + blocking and countering feels very smooth. Like almost every boss.
 

LightUpTheSky452

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@Venx Not to jump into you and Tartarus' conversation unasked, but I'd just like to offer some alternate perspectives on some of the things you said:)

For one thing, you were saying that the Organization is present in the worlds more than the Disney circle of villains was back in I (though personally, I think that's up for debate), but I think that actually causes another problem.

Granted, this is more KHIIFM's problem than vanilla's... but I think in seeing the Organization so much, and knowing what they're doing/planning at times sort of makes them less threatening.

Nostalgia Chick, in her review for "The Phantom of the Opera" 2004 musical movie adaptation talks about a similar problem to KH that that film does that the musical itself did not. (For reference, here's https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m5I_5Vnh6A the video I'm talking about and this particular section starts at 31:07; it's a really interesting video, well worth a watch).

In the musical, Christine flees to the rooftop of the opera house with her love interest, Raoul, in learning that the person she used to care about (who also lied to her, lowkey kidnapped her, and freaked out at her earlier) is, in fact, a murderer and that he just killed someone to "punish" the people at the opera for not putting Christine in the starring role like he'd demanded.

Christine is scared (for good reason), and there's a moment in the scene where you hear the Phantom's voice and it's very intimidating. You're left wondering if he's there, or if it's just in her head and you feel just as Christine does in that moment.

The scene then changes to a love ballad between Raoul and Christine, and through it all you get caught up in it and almost forget that the threat even existed...

Until right afterwards, when they've finally left the roof, the Phantom reveals that he was there the entire time and heard everything--fueling the start and tension of Act 2.

The movie also has this scene, but it keeps showing you what the Phantom's doing/thinking throughout all of Raoul and Christine's love song! The suspense is gone, because you know exactly what he's doing and pondering then.

The "All I Ask of You" instance and then the moment where you see the Phantom are even sort of diametrically opposed (which is why we didn't need them to be happening at the same time during the adaptation).

I'm pretty much quoting Nostalgia Chick word for word here, but you can't have it both ways: you can't have a sweeping love ballad but then keep switching back to the Phantom, because that way you're not getting any of the emotions that you should. You're feeling nothing, essentially. You can't feel for Raoul and Christine then, because the movie pretty much keeps telling you not to. But then the Phantom's not really interesting either, because he's just moping around the entire time. It's not a good scene when spliced together like that.

And I definitely think KHII has a bit of this same problem--which I noticed significantly when finally getting to see all the new KHIIFM scenes through II.5.

Less sometimes really is more as far as villains go, and I'm glad that KHX seems to have realized that and is sort of going back to leaving things in the dark and that makes for a good story, imo.

Furthermore, KHII does a bad job of showing why the Organization is bad, and why we should be stopping them in their efforts. This isn't good storytelling, and it's no wonder that so many people--even to this day--think that Organization XIII were the victims and Sora was a jerk who just cut them all down just for wanting hearts of their own.

Actually, Frustrated Jacob's video about the Top 10 things Kingdom Hearts III needs does a really good job of summarizing up some of KHI's lovers thoughts on it, if you're interested in that at all:D https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhrGqE8UId4

And about the battles in I, I think plenty of them were difficult--perhaps most notoriously the Riku/Ansem fight. You felt like Sora and Riku were on pretty equal standing there, and you get a long, difficult fight that seems more like what you would expect from two accomplished swordsman.

KHI also gave you reasons to use everything in your arsenal, and to use more effective things for certain fights. Whereas KHII tries way too hard to be flashy and most everything in the main story when it comes to battling is mostly a dud. Sora really looks/feels like a god compared to these "lesser individuals" and I hate it. Especially since Sora's supposed to be an ordinary boy.

I definitely agree with you about Riku, however. I actually have more sympathy for Terra in BbS then I do Riku in KH1. Riku was more like "screw the world and what's best, I'm going to do whatever I want to get the ends that I want." And we see this in how he treated Pinoke, Jasmine, you name of it. At least Terra was always trying to do the right thing. Not Riku.

I also feel like Riku was pretty stupid in KHI, myself. Not to the extents of Terra stupidity, but Riku why would you EVER listen to someone telling you to open your heart to the dark, that you hardly know and have never seen without a hood? That just screamed Stranger Danger from the get-go. And especially don't close your eyes during it, so you can't tell what he's doing! -sigh-

But back on topic, Venx, I can completely understand why you like KHII so much and you more than have the right to. It was my favorite for a while, after all, so I sincerely hope you continue to always love that game as much as you do now^_^
 

Elysium

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Terra is more sympathetic than Riku because he is stupid. Riku was not, which is why he was a villain most of KH1. He deliberately gave into the darkness because he was jealous of Sora, not because he was unaware that Maleficent was untrustworthy. His first few conversations with her, it's obvious he does not trust her.
 

Venx

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Whereas KHII tries way too hard to be flashy and most everything in the main story when it comes to battling is mostly a dud. Sora really looks/feels like a god compared to these "lesser individuals" and I hate it. Especially since Sora's supposed to be an ordinary boy.

I totally get your point, but why the "flashy" thing for so many people such a big deal? I mean, eveything everyone was wondering why Sora was cutting down buildings in the end fight and it was way to much from out of nowhere.
My point was that the battlesystem is really great made and the look might be to much for some people, but it was balanced. Not if you play it on the wrong difficulty like beginner, normal or proud, but I think it is really balanced when you play it on ciritical mode. I mean I can stand in 10 enemys in my level 1 run, use "explosion" and don't do much damage in the end. It just looks way stronger than it is and I had enoug situation that never made me feel like a god.
But I know what you mean, there is a huge jump from KH1 to KH2 if we talk about Sora.
 

BlackOsprey

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I totally get your point, but why the "flashy" thing for so many people such a big deal? I mean, eveything everyone was wondering why Sora was cutting down buildings in the end fight and it was way to much from out of nowhere.
My point was that the battlesystem is really great made and the look might be to much for some people, but it was balanced. Not if you play it on the wrong difficulty like beginner, normal or proud, but I think it is really balanced when you play it on ciritical mode. I mean I can stand in 10 enemys in my level 1 run, use "explosion" and don't do much damage in the end. It just looks way stronger than it is and I had enoug situation that never made me feel like a god.
But I know what you mean, there is a huge jump from KH1 to KH2 if we talk about Sora.
The flashy thing bothers people because it often feels like a case of style over substance. Examples of this can be found all over KH2.
And if you have to play on the hardest difficulty possible and forgo various abilities to get a balanced experience, your game has a bit of a problem.
 

Venx

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Yeah, that's why they put critical in Final Mix. The game is definitly way easier than it should be since it looks like it's made for harder fights.
 

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The revange value system in the game is probably the greatest thing ever, since you can realisticly fight a boss (stagger a normal guy like a organisation member all the time with hits unlike in other games where bosses have superarmor for some reason), but not stunlock them forever, because they break out can counter (Not talking about Saix or experiment). KH1 has the same thing (I think? Or atleast something similar), but it doesn't work as nearly as good, because the bosses are just not really fun.

I prefer KHI overall, in fact KHFM is my all time favourite game, and I will give a longer post explaining why I like it over KHII when I have the time, but KHIIFM is definately in my top three games of all time as well. (KHII vanilla not so much).
But for now I just wanted to adress this quick.

Yes, I absolutely adore the Revenge Value system, and I think it makes KHII's combat systems one of the greatest combat experiences in games I have come across, and I loath how it was missing from later games.
KHI does not really fall into the same category as BBS and DDD however, as in those games enemies could break free of "comboes" at random, sometimes even after one hit.
But KHI uses something known as "Auto Counter" by those who spend time learning all of the mechanics of the games, like speedruners for example.

"Auto Counter" functions in way that make enemies retaliate after a certain amount of hits. Like Riku on DI would counter with his falling on his back and jump kick you after every 4 hits. Or Sephiroth guaranteed to teleport away after every 4 hits.
I don't know if it's 4 hits for all enemies, but it is for those bosses I know, Riku/Ansem also retaliates after 4 hits, with a jump spin, which actually leaves him open for a couple of seconds if you can block it, which lets you loop him, if you have trouble with his fight.

The "Auto Counter" system in KHI is a precursor to both the "Revenge Value" and "Flinch Count" systems in KHII, and it shows, but it was the first game in the series, it is only natural that the sequel would improve on such a relatively balanced gameplay feature.
 

KHHacker6595

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at the moment KH2 is one of my least favorite in the series mainly due to the really bad writing, pacing, and flat/un-explorable level design. I hope this isn't off topic, but this is how I rank the series. Keep in mind I'm including all the improvements of the HD/Final Mix versions of these games.

1. Kingdom Hearts
2. Re: COM (the character development, strong narrative overall, and interesting but flawed battle system win me over)
3. Birth By Sleep (battle system is incredibly unbalanced and Terra is a terribly portrayed/voice acted character, but the rest is really nice, its a return to the charming simplicity of the original game)
4. Dream Drop Distance (the visual aesthetics and scale of the worlds is impressive, the overall style is interesting, and the weird combination of world choices and guest characters makes up for a lot of its problems, but the plot slowly transcends into utter garbage with Sora at his lowest portrayal yet in the series.)
5. Kingdom Hearts II
6. 358/2 Days (the panel system was misguided, the structure was bad, but the character moments almost make up for it)
7. Re:Coded (it arguably has the best combat system in the series and the best use of the command menu so far, but it can't make up for everything else it does horribly, from its lackluster ridiculous uninteresting narrative, to its choppy level design and gimmicks, it just so forgettable and bland)
 

h.e.hassanein

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So I was wondering if I'm the only one at this point really ready to see what Blackdrazon will have to say about that unfortunate incident with Kairi and her undergarments? Like yes the game is finally ending and there is so much to cover but....what was that about?!
 

redcrown

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Am I the only one thought Riku was pretty much next to fully redeemed by the time he turned back into his original self? For me the fact that he pretty much gave up his identity and pretty much any life he could have had to wake Sora redeemed him enough in my books. Unless you mean how he helped DiZ manipulate Roxas?

It was for Sora's sake in the end, even if he had been brash about it. That's pretty much 100% on DiZ though, Riku really just went along with it for Sora's sake. Also remember how he really started to loathe/resent him after he admitted his prime motive for his goals was revenge, and hid Namine from being executed by DiZ? He was already proven to be a true ally by that time in my eyes.

Also, forgot to say this earlier but that's a really interesting take on the crying scene. I agree with Tartarus in that it was more a resolvment to their friendship and searching for each other since Riku shut the door at the end of KH1. At least that's a reason to not make it seem as random and uncalled for as it felt for just KH2 and it's lack of buildup.

And thank God I wasn't around for the strong homophobia that scene supposedly exposed within the fandom.
 
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Elysium

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But most spectacular of all is Riku, whose body has been restored to his original self, and his cloak destroyed to reveal his new costume, which I hate. Also, his blindfold is back. Where on earth did Riku’s blindfold come from? No, wait, hold on, this whole thing is horse**** and even the cast seems to know it, I shouldn’t focus on the blindfold. Let’s just say that the blindfold is some of the charred and shredded remains of Ansem the Wise blasted onto his face.
This has to be the funniest thing you' ve written so far. Seriously, I had to stop reading for a little while because I couldn't breathe from laughing.
 

Blackdrazon

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Am I the only one thought Riku was pretty much next to fully redeemed by the time he turned back into his original self? For me the fact that he pretty much gave up his identity and pretty much any life he could have had to wake Sora redeemed him enough in my books. Unless you mean how he helped DiZ manipulate Roxas?

Yeah, I'm referring to Riku and Roxas, since that's what transformed him in the first place. A bit like the ending of Shadow of the Colossus, what with its also involving a transformation, Riku's good deeds (saving Sora, Namine) don't, in my mind, undo his unrelated bad deeds (Roxas). I'll edit to clarify!
 
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ShardofTruth

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All things considered I wouldn't say Ansem's intent was suicide or attest the rest of the gang to be in favor of the death penalty or active euthanasia, I think this is going way too far.

Now I agree, that the scene is pretty stupid, almost all about it apart from like two lines of dialogue that are actually good. If Ansem would have considered suicide he would have jumped off the building, or even better, take Xemnas with him in the resulting explosion.

He is making sure his plan succeeds by pressing the power button on this bad designed deus ex machine until it finally explodes. He didn't know what would happen but he was willing to push through it because he's making a sacrifice, aka the trope-secured way to redeem oneself. Nomura isn't finished with him yet as the secret ending of BBS and DDD showed, so maybe we'll hear what his actual plan was out of his own mouth someday.

I just think there is a fine line between these things, a line that Kingdom Hearts hasn't crossed (yet).

Anyway, let's talk about Maleficent and Pete, or rather don't because what you wrote are my thoughts exactly. Since Maleficent's only really active role is in Disney Castle/Timeless River, I think that's also were she only appeared in the original script and the rest is tacked on, in rare cases for better often for worse results. They didn't really know what to do with her (and Pete), she's certainly no Xehanort with an extra plan ready as soon as the current one fails.

I think an uneasy alliance with her is generally a great idea and I feel that's what the writing team was going for in the end, but it didn't really work out because the script is a mess. I still have hopes we'll see her back in her old shape for KHIII with some real impact on the story, Re:coded and even DDD should have made sure of that.
 

Elysium

Be Wiser Than the Serpent
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I think you're right about the two-party member system probably having been a thing at one time. I wonder why they backtracked on it? Too bad. It would've been so fun to play with Nala, Kairi, and Hercules. Could the PS2 not support KH2 with that much going on or something? Maybe that's why the 1000 Heartless battle was disappointing and they likely cut a battle with the Heartless in The World That Never Was.

Although I wonder if it isn't just as likely that Kairi might've been tacked on, but was originally absent for the entire game except for her appearances to Roxas in the intro and the ending where Sora takes her hand in the ending CGI scene. Most of her "plot," which is barely anything, seems extraneous and unimportant. Axel was supposed to die after the fight with Roxas originally, too. It explains the nonsensical Keyblade because they weren't really thinking about her at all and why Sora only cried about Riku. I'm guessing the game was supposed to center around Sora's search for Riku before he could return to Destiny Islands where Kairi was waiting.
 
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