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Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Retrospective



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Blackdrazon

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Also Ventus's first report talks about the Unversed, I've also sort of just figured that we are suppose to assume that Ventus read that report since he does already know the Unversed's names and says "these are the unversed" or something along those lines like he had heard of them. He could of picked it up at pretty much any time since MX and Vanitas were all over the place, and also it was a letter to Eraqus so even Eraqus could of dropped it by mistake.
Aaaah, that's probably it! I was so convinced no one was reading the Reports that I overlooked the possibility with this one! What do you know! I guess I'll have to make a few more corrections...
 

Sephiroth0812

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Anyway good read as always, I find Ven's beating up of the dwarves so very unnecessary. There is no reason they couldn't of talked to him from the distance they were at, in fact they were already doing so. Thus Ventus's insistence that they talk to him up close is kind of random and it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for a hero like us to...quite literally bully the information out of people with our keyblade unless they were villains. In fact I'd call this the most villainous act in the game done intentionally by our heroes and sorta makes Ven's judgement of Terra's actions in this world hypocritical.
Well to be fair though the dwarves were really unneccessarily hostile to Ventus first despite all his efforts to defuse the situation and apologizing for startling them. When I played BBS for the first time on the PSP I was actually kind of shocked that the dwarves are so unreasonably hostile from the get-go.
They level baseless accusations of being a thief at him and refuse any attempt at reasoning and you wonder why he gets fed up with those shenanigans?

Having a heart of pure light doesn't mean you have to let yourself being pushed around and yelled at with false accusations when you're just politely asking for some information.
 

Hirokey123

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They were hostile yes but that doesn't make Ventus running after and beating the tar out of them the appropriate reaction. If Grumpy had like thrown something at him or at least made some kind of attempt to strike Ventus then it would be justified, at that point it's just self defense. As it stands Ventus is supposed to be a good guy, a hero, who is defined by his kindness. There is standing up for yourself and then there is being a bully and what Ventus did was flat out bullying. Let's put this into a slightly more real world scenario...you go into a factory to ask the people there some questions but they accuse you of being a thief and refuse to talk to you. So you pick up a metal pole and start beating the ever loving crap out of them until they no longer have the strength to fight back and are forced to answer you. You would go to jail for something like that because it's just horrendously wrong. That's basically what is happening here, the Dwarves don't have to be nice and trusting but Ventus still needs to act like a decent human being or someone needs to call him out on his crap. Especially when the big crux of this world for Ventus is hypocritically judging Terra for doing basically the same thing.
 

BlackOsprey

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Well to be fair though the dwarves were really unneccessarily hostile to Ventus first despite all his efforts to defuse the situation and apologizing for startling them. When I played BBS for the first time on the PSP I was actually kind of shocked that the dwarves are so unreasonably hostile from the get-go.
They level baseless accusations of being a thief at him and refuse any attempt at reasoning and you wonder why he gets fed up with those shenanigans?

Having a heart of pure light doesn't mean you have to let yourself being pushed around and yelled at with false accusations when you're just politely asking for some information.
Yeah, but... I get frustrated by people all the time, but that doesn't typically result with me running around and physically attacking the frustrating people. That's just something that most would assume is generally unacceptable behavior. I mean, aside from people with impaired judgement or serious anger management issues, the only ones who become that belligerent over a frustration are little kids who don't understand that it's unacceptable to act that way. Like, my little brother was one of the nicest 6-year-olds you could meet, but there was still that one time he karate-chopped a classmate because he got mad that they weren't listening to him-

...

*sigh* Wow, okay. As I was typing that out, I realized this: Ven is literally behaving with the petty belligerence a 6-year-old. This behavior isn't happening in spite of that pure-light heart of his, it's happening because of it. Childlike heart equals childlike mentality and maturity. Unfortunately, Ven has the appearance of a teenager, and that alone is enough to make this characterization REALLY grind people's gears even if there's an actual reason for it. Little kids can already be pretty annoying with their immaturity, and this annoyance is just amplified when you put this kind of childishness into a character that, by all appearances, SHOULD be more mature than that.

tbh I can't even write this scene off as Out of Character now. Little kids can be very kind, gentle, and excitable (like Ven), but they also sometimes act out because they're immature and don't know any better.

As for whether the writers actually intended to get this kind of message across with this scene, who knows. Could've been their intent all along, or this might've just been completely accidental a la KH2 but just happened to conveniently work with the rest of the canon. >__>
 

kirabook

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It might have been intended. Ven DOES act way younger than his appearance. He seems more like an 8 year old than a 15 year old, but we all know why.

I remember a while ago on Tumblr some people were arguing that it's ok to ship Ven with Terra and Aqua because he's basically the same age as them. He's really REALLY not. Probably in actual age and definitely not mentally.
 

Sephiroth0812

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They were hostile yes but that doesn't make Ventus running after and beating the tar out of them the appropriate reaction. If Grumpy had like thrown something at him or at least made some kind of attempt to strike Ventus then it would be justified, at that point it's just self defense. As it stands Ventus is supposed to be a good guy, a hero, who is defined by his kindness. There is standing up for yourself and then there is being a bully and what Ventus did was flat out bullying. Let's put this into a slightly more real world scenario...you go into a factory to ask the people there some questions but they accuse you of being a thief and refuse to talk to you. So you pick up a metal pole and start beating the ever loving crap out of them until they no longer have the strength to fight back and are forced to answer you. You would go to jail for something like that because it's just horrendously wrong. That's basically what is happening here, the Dwarves don't have to be nice and trusting but Ventus still needs to act like a decent human being or someone needs to call him out on his crap. Especially when the big crux of this world for Ventus is hypocritically judging Terra for doing basically the same thing.
Interesting point to be sure.
Tbh I never looked that deep into it, classifying it as just yet another excuse to have a "battle" of sorts (which Nomura apparently loves to add, if the interviews around DDD are anything to go by).
So I just filed it in under the other examples of the series as i.e. beating up Lock, Shock and Barrel in KH 1, capturing them in gift boxes in KH 2 or beating up the Hyenas in KH 2 Pride Lands to get information out of them.
You want information => the one who's supposed to give it is uncooperative => have a sort of "mock battle" to get them to divulge information isn't really a new thing to the series.

*sigh* Wow, okay. As I was typing that out, I realized this: Ven is literally behaving with the petty belligerence a 6-year-old. This behavior isn't happening in spite of that pure-light heart of his, it's happening because of it. Childlike heart equals childlike mentality and maturity. Unfortunately, Ven has the appearance of a teenager, and that alone is enough to make this characterization REALLY grind people's gears even if there's an actual reason for it. Little kids can already be pretty annoying with their immaturity, and this annoyance is just amplified when you put this kind of childishness into a character that, by all appearances, SHOULD be more mature than that.

tbh I can't even write this scene off as Out of Character now. Little kids can be very kind, gentle, and excitable (like Ven), but they also sometimes act out because they're immature and don't know any better.

As for whether the writers actually intended to get this kind of message across with this scene, who knows. Could've been their intent all along, or this might've just been completely accidental a la KH2 but just happened to conveniently work with the rest of the canon. >__>
Bingo, that's also a thing one has to take in mind, although in case of this retrospective here I think Blackdrazon is impersonating a first-time player who doesn't know all the finer details yet.

Both the part where Eraqus reveals that Ven has lost almost all of his memories and the issue of Xehanort revealing the white-washed version of how Ven's heart got damaged are in Terra's story, which for the latter one I now actually realize gets spoiled when playing Ven's story first due to the flashback with the Heartless where it is shown that it was not an accident as Xehanort claims but deliberate abuse/torture because Ventus wouldn't "function" as Xehanort wanted (aka giving in to the Darkness).

It might have been intended. Ven DOES act way younger than his appearance. He seems more like an 8 year old than a 15 year old, but we all know why.

I remember a while ago on Tumblr some people were arguing that it's ok to ship Ven with Terra and Aqua because he's basically the same age as them. He's really REALLY not. Probably in actual age and definitely not mentally.
Indeed, and if you play Terra's story first you can also already understand it due to knowing what happened to Ventus (heart damage + severe memory loss), but when starting with Ven at this point in the story when being a new player you don't know why.

People also ship Axel with Roxas which is, strictly spoken on real world terms, also not okay.
14/15 is in many countries around the world (including Japan I think) official age of consent, but when taking into account that both Roxas and Ventus are mentally younger it may indeed cause some eyebrow raising.

Also, the claim that Ven is basically the same age as them is even factually wrong. While no explicit ages are ever given it is made clear in the reports that Ventus is significantly younger than Terra and Aqua, the age gap between him and the other two is definitely bigger than between Sora, Riku and Kairi.
If we go by the usual/default assumptions of Ventus being 14/15, Aqua being 18/19 and Terra 19/20 that's still an age gap of four or five years just going by physical age, mental age not even included yet.
Sure, it may be more "acceptable" to some shippers due to the age gap between Axel and Roxas/Xion being even bigger, but in the end true shippers are not really deterred by anything such as supposedly problematic age gaps anyways.
 

Hirokey123

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I think the main issue is yes that's exactly it, it's an excuse to have a fun dopey little battle hunt, but for one reason or another they forgot that we only have these with bad guys or in tournaments. Lock, Shock, and Barrel are bad guys and they attack us first so it's just self defense. They threw so many pumpkin bombs in Roxas's face that he was more than justified in his actions later on however Roxas is also a "villain" so it's okay to have him do less heroic things like constantly using and ditching Tinkerbell. Lock, Shock, and Barrel we at least thought had stolen lots of presents and they are again bad guys so it's more morally okay. The Hyenas are evil they tried to kill us more than once we are justified in attacking them when it comes to getting information about the scar ghosts that are running around causing trouble all over the pridelands. The dwarves were....just innocent folk who are a bit rude and what Ventus wanted to know wasn't even pressing information. Like again this was just more of a Terra thing to do.

Onto the update:

While not canon here is my theory on the trees in the woods. Princesses of Pure heart don't have darkness in their hearts but they tend to manifest darkness in the ones around, generally unintentionally. I think that basically when Snow White felt intense fear the darkness of that fear took root in the objects she was fearful of, not unlike how Hook's darkness born of greed took root in the final treasure to create Ruler of the Sky. Or how Simba's darkness, his fear, also manifested externally by calling back Scar from the dead as a ghost and as soon as Simba conquered that fear the darkness lost its form of scar and took the form of just a regular giant heartless. So yeah Snow White's fears are literally causing those trees to come to life and when Ventus blasts a calming light it pushes the darkness out of those trees and calms Snow White, so the trees turn back to normal. At least that's how I'VE always seen it but again it's just headcanon.

Also a pox on you and your family :p I LOVE the DDD blade designs, BBS as well but BBS is a bit too simple at times for my taste. Keyblades should always looks a little garish it's part of their charm. The sleek designs are honestly some of the most boring ones, TAV's keyblades are especially boring saved only by their unique shapes. Terra's being ungodly long and wide like a claymore, Ven's being backwards and ridiculously short, and Aqua's being a combination of a rapier and a magic rod. But the sleek trimmed down design makes them lack personality and charm, it makes them feel generic and very artificial not befitting the KH series. I mean Chi takes it a little TOO far in the garrish department but the game's whole art style is very tiny and silly so I think it still works. I know opinions and all that, and you even said it was just your opinion so I'm like not attacking you just stating my piece.

Anyway I think for Ven's first bost they intended you very much to use your D-Links, in fact I think they intended you to do the whole world that way. Because if you do then you can have actual decent commands by the time you reach the boss assuming the star drops are kind to you.
 
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Aqua's boss used to be the only one in Dwarf Woodlands that I found odd, but when I think about it, the Mad Treant seems weird as well.

All the other Unversed bosses are being an immediate threat to the surrounding people or places, but the Treant is just standing there in the woods. "it's just a tree doing a tree thing"

Sure, it's an Unversed and they need to be defeated, and it could cause a threat to someone or something eventually if left alone, but at the moment it's just...there.
If Ven was so desperate to find Terra and prove the dwarfs wrong, he could've just ran past it and defeated it later.

It's like the developers couldn't really think of a boss scenario for Ven, so they just put it there as a roadblock for the sake of having a boss.

I think the idea that the Unversed designs were based off Snow White's clothes is really stretching it. But since I'm on the topic, I'll point out that the first summon you get in Final Fantasy 8 has a VERY uncanny resemblance to the Unversed.

Personally, I think the resemblance of the Unversed to the Quezactoal is just a coincidence, but you never know.
 

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In terms of Keyblade designs, I think Birth By Sleep has a lot of designs I like, but they tend to be the ones that aren't based on Disney Worlds. I found Sweetstack pretty unappealing in terms of stats & appearance. I was initially impressed with the X-Blade's design, although I think one of the Kingdom Keys should've been replaced with the Kingdom Key D to highlight its construction from light & darkness.

When DDD introduced the Reality Shift for the World That Never Was, I found myself making a fanon idea that the reality shift is the true appearance of the X-Blade that appears when light & darkness work together & the canon X-Blade form was one built from light & darkness clashing.
 

FudgemintGuardian

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I'm not much of a fan of some of the later Keyblades either.
Sticking with BBS, the only ones I outright dislike the design of are Treasure Trove (it's just meh) Fairy Stars and Stroke of Midnight (too busy) and Hyperdrive (it's just plain ugly.) But I think Pixie Petal and Mark of a Hero are nice, and I love Sweetstack (it's icecream and I'm weird.) And the X-Blade just looks kinda dumb. The rest I either think look good or I'm just indifferent about them.


When DDD introduced the Reality Shift for the World That Never Was, I found myself making a fanon idea that the reality shift is the true appearance of the X-Blade that appears when light & darkness work together & the canon X-Blade form was one built from light & darkness clashing.
This is also my headcanon.
 

rokudamia2

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I think you forgot to mention Snow White's voice actor.
 

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Since the Novels can be considered secondary canon I believe their explanation on Tiny Ven. To get to Dwarf Woodlands Ventus took a portal already opened by Terra ergo everything went smoothly. According to the novels since the next world was reached by Ventus opening his first lane he basically screwed it up and wound up opening a tiny portal into Cinderella's world instead of a proper sized one, ergo Ventus came out of the portal tiny as well which I think definitely is very believable. Out of story I partly believe this was meant to be a wonderland call back, you're not a proper Sora/Roxas until you've been shrunk down and had to deal with an obnoxious cat. Just like they have Ventus accused of being a thief in Dwarf Woodlands as a Roxas callback. (literally every world in Ven's story is someway a callback to Sora or Roxas)

It also probably has to do with the fact that if early trailers are any indication originally they weren't going to have Ventus be tiny and stuck inside the house. He would have explored the castle proper and been the one to see Cinderella going to the ball. I have to wonder what they had planned for Terra if Ventus was going to be second to this world. Still the change in plot explains the lack of explanation on why Ven is tiny....or maybe the novels are right that Ventus messed up opening the exit point in the lane and the writers just thought that was more obvious than it actually is.
 

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You say Magnet isn't an option but technically it actually totally is as Aqua plays magnet on the first command board all the time, I often go into Ven and Terra's first worlds with like magnera right from the get go as..ironically everyone but Aqua since when you play as Aqua no one plays magnet. >.>
 

Blackdrazon

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You say Magnet isn't an option but technically it actually totally is as Aqua plays magnet on the first command board all the time, I often go into Ven and Terra's first worlds with like magnera right from the get go as..ironically everyone but Aqua since when you play as Aqua no one plays magnet. >.>
Ah, that's right! Thanks, I'll correct that.
 

Hirokey123

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it's worth noting that while it's implementation is lackluster, BBS at least has NPCs in areas that you can talk to-- DDD doesn't have this even once
You can talk to Mickey once in CotM to start the next leg of the quest. Honestly I wouldn't even give this point to BBS it falls back to BBS stuff things in sporadically and barely like it's trying to check a bunch of boxes off, which just makes it all around feel more artificial and faker than if they had just had them vanish. Likewise DDD has the excuse that the only people who should be around are the dreams and only while the dreams are playing, the rest of the world should feel sound asleep making it a LOT like CoM in that respect honestly. For its sleepy lonely feel makes DDD one of the only KH games alongside CoM that can get away with NPC bare worlds. BBS doesn't have that excuse, its worlds should be lively and filled and the fact they aren't just drastically takes away from the feeling of being in a living world.
 
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