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Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories Retrospective



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kuraudoVII

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When I first went into R/R, like the very first time, I assumed we would actually be playing as Riku Replica, because it seemed at the end of the game like they were planning on making him a more substantial character. I wasn't really shaken from that conviction until the two Rikus outright faced off, even Vexen didn't convince me at first.

I was kind of let down that we wouldn't have any epic Riku vs Sora fights from Riku's perspective... and still haven't, come to think of it.

All of Reverse/Rebirth was filled with wasted potential. Ansem, Maleficent and even Zexion explicitly state that the only things/people that Riku could see were dark beings. Why couldn't we have any of them interacting with Riku, then? Yeah, they're just memories, but they could have brought in a very interesting insight on how Riku viewed his journeys throughout the first game. How often did he interact with Oogie Boogie? Did he ever even speak to Maleficent? Did he ever lock blades with Cloud whilst the latter was still under Hades' employ? Hell, they could have easily BS'd their way into shoehorning a Sephiroth battle in there somewhere. The memory versions of the worlds act similarly to the Pensieve from Harry Potter anyways, so why not just say that he was somewhere where Riku couldn't really see him or something, IDK.

I'm also still really bummed out that none of the other Organization members even spoke to him at all. The basement dwellers barely interacted with him, so it would have been nice to see Axel, Larxene and Marluxia at least keeping tabs on what the hell is going on personally instead of just using their crystal ball. I just feel cheated out of all the story potential and boss fights that we missed out from on due to the narrative structure of the game.
 

Blackdrazon

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The last boss of Dream drop distance?

Depends on how you interpret it, but yeah, that's true. I'll admit, I've been shying away from DDD discussion somewhat in hopes that when I get to it for the retrospective playthrough, I'll have a relatively clear slate of impressions?

All of Reverse/Rebirth was filled with wasted potential. Ansem, Maleficent and even Zexion explicitly state that the only things/people that Riku could see were dark beings. Why couldn't we have any of them interacting with Riku, then? Yeah, they're just memories, but they could have brought in a very interesting insight on how Riku viewed his journeys throughout the first game. How often did he interact with Oogie Boogie? Did he ever even speak to Maleficent? Did he ever lock blades with Cloud whilst the latter was still under Hades' employ? Hell, they could have easily BS'd their way into shoehorning a Sephiroth battle in there somewhere. The memory versions of the worlds act similarly to the Pensieve from Harry Potter anyways, so why not just say that he was somewhere where Riku couldn't really see him or something, IDK.

I'm also still really bummed out that none of the other Organization members even spoke to him at all. The basement dwellers barely interacted with him, so it would have been nice to see Axel, Larxene and Marluxia at least keeping tabs on what the hell is going on personally instead of just using their crystal ball. I just feel cheated out of all the story potential and boss fights that we missed out from on due to the narrative structure of the game.

I would have loved to see Riku talking to the Disney villains and learning how they see Darkness, and how they see the Darkness in Riku. The worlds that lacked Disney villains could have played host to Ansem (or DiZ in his Ansem Halloween mask). What a crying shame.

The fact that there were so few Org refights is surprising to me considering it would have been easy enough to rig up. I'm fairly certain that Vexen in R/R is just Vexen 2 from Sora's Story with his AP and HP floored. I imagine the devs avoided Org refights to keep it from feeling like a slog, but with some substantial added story, I don't think it would have felt like a slog?

What makes it feel so much worse is that we haven't suggested anything here that couldn't have been done (in CoM, at least) with existing resources. A quality ROM hack could patch them in. But for poor decisions or poor budget, R/R is what it is...
 

Wilford111

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All of Reverse/Rebirth was filled with wasted potential. Ansem, Maleficent and even Zexion explicitly state that the only things/people that Riku could see were dark beings. Why couldn't we have any of them interacting with Riku, then? Yeah, they're just memories, but they could have brought in a very interesting insight on how Riku viewed his journeys throughout the first game. How often did he interact with Oogie Boogie? Did he ever even speak to Maleficent? Did he ever lock blades with Cloud whilst the latter was still under Hades' employ? Hell, they could have easily BS'd their way into shoehorning a Sephiroth battle in there somewhere. The memory versions of the worlds act similarly to the Pensieve from Harry Potter anyways, so why not just say that he was somewhere where Riku couldn't really see him or something, IDK.

This is pretty much exactly what I felt going through it. I wanted to know what Riku's perspective was travelling on Hook's ship, going to Agrabah, etc. I couldn't believe it when I first went into the bosses room, and the boss fight just started without any introduction or anything.
 

Wilford111

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I mean they did that sort of thing in Hollow Bastion, so it wasn't much of a stretch to expect it for the other worlds, right?
 

ShardofTruth

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What makes it feel so much worse is that we haven't suggested anything here that couldn't have been done (in CoM, at least) with existing resources. A quality ROM hack could patch them in. But for poor decisions or poor budget, R/R is what it is...
I thought it was pretty great for essentially being just a bonus mode that were way more prevalent back in the days. They could have made the floors smaller and getting exp easier in my opinion so you are faster through with it.
 

Blackdrazon

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I think they did give the smaller size a shot on some of the floors, though not all of them.
 

BlackOsprey

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The last boss of Dream drop distance?
I wouldn't say that really counts, considering that it was really the armor that was fighting, using everything from Ven's battle stance to his signature moves to his shotlock. The armor itself was animated by the darkness; Sora just happened to be comatose inside of a hostile shell.
 

kuraudoVII

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Ah yes, so we're at the Larxene battle...

I really liked the ending here where you pointed out that Sora's frustrations were actually justifies for this particular moment. I'd be angry if someone that I just fought and is believed to be the one who kidnapped my long forgotten friend was the one that reminded me of said friend in the first place.

All after a terrible Disney segment. XD
 

Blackdrazon

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Well, here we are past the half-way point, and with this entry behind us, officially past all the gameplay too! Yeah, it took me more than half the game to chew through CoM's super-dense gameplay at what I felt to be a reasonable pace. But don't worry, because CoM has your back. After so many floors of repeat worlds made up of repeat rooms, it's going to spice things up, with a repeat boss you fight no less than four times!

Where're you going?? Come back! We're going to celebrate the creative process!






XDXD Ugh, the grin.
 

kuraudoVII

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XDXD Ugh, the grin.

And it wouldn't have been a problem if they decided to animate it properly, but they decided, "Nope, we're just gonna keep him like this to save on frames of animation!"

Anyways, I've finally started catching up on the novelization of this game and I must say that they do a few things differently than from the games. For one thing, the whole Moogle thing never happens in the novel at all; it doesn't just drop on top of Donald. For another thing, the Disney worlds are still filled with Sora actually remembering some of the things that the Organization members said as well as the connections between him and his losing memories. Throughout the 100 Acre Wood of all places, Sora was constantly worried about what he forgot, why "Riku" forgot about him and how worried he is about Namine. Hell, Sora even lampshades all of this by thinking, "Why is such a nice place making me think of all these sad thoughts? This isn't even like me..."
 

Blackdrazon

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Wow! I should really check the novelizations out, I just don't have the money to spare right now. :/ They sound like they're doing good work, at least.
 

kuraudoVII

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Wow! I should really check the novelizations out, I just don't have the money to spare right now. :/ They sound like they're doing good work, at least.

They doing great work, indeed. One of the funniest things that happened was when Sora was trying help Pooh get on a wheelbarrow that they found only for it to break. Later on when they help out Rabbit get the cabbages that were rolling downhill (yeah, they somehow managed to shoehorn that mini game in), he says that he only rolled them down because someone broke his wheelbarrow. Cue Sora having an internal freakout. :p
 

Blackdrazon

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Nicely done! That is, after all, how the puzzle works in the GBA version, and everyone loves a Sora guilt trip!
 

dlppictures

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Speaking of the novelisation, this line:
Sora’s ruthless friendship is not enough for him to run Riku into the ground, and he’s disappeared by the time you make it up the stairs. He probably just opened the door without flashing a World Card at it first. Did you ever consider that, Sora? Did you ever just try the handle?
Made me remember that in the novel, even Riku Replica needs to flash a card in front of the doors to open them, it is not only Sora. It is explained that Axel met up with Repliku to give him a special card that would give him the strength he needs to defeat Sora, and that is the reason why he is missing on the floor after his and Sora’s second fight.

In other words Axel is the reason that Vexen’s "experiment", if you can even call "have Riku fight and potentially destroy Sora" an experiment, didn’t work out and Marluxia sends Vexen to dispose of Sora himself, thus leading up to Axel’s order to eliminate the traitor, which he will use against Marluxia later..
He sure planned ahead.
 

Blackdrazon

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Speaking of the novelisation, this line:

Made me remember that in the novel, even Riku Replica needs to flash a card in front of the doors to open them, it is not only Sora. It is explained that Axel met up with Repliku to give him a special card that would give him the strength he needs to defeat Sora, and that is the reason why he is missing on the floor after his and Sora’s second fight.

In other words Axel is the reason that Vexen’s "experiment", if you can even call "have Riku fight and potentially destroy Sora" an experiment, didn’t work out and Marluxia sends Vexen to dispose of Sora himself, thus leading up to Axel’s order to eliminate the traitor, which he will use against Marluxia later..
He sure planned ahead.

Also interesting! That's our Axel.
 

FudgemintGuardian

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I can't believe I've completely forgot about the CoM retrospective.

I'm only at the seconded page and agh, tutorial. I do appreciate you giving a thorough explanation of the mechanics though, as both CoM and Re:CoM did a crappy job on it. Though I'm dreading if the other pages will also have these.

I used to think that scene with Pluto was in the original. While I knew things were changed (dialogue, the cinematics, obviously) but I never once realized this was a new scene. I just automatically assumed it was in CoM as well, despite that I've played most of the original game (granted it was a long time ago.)

It's kinda funny how not only did I forget this retrospective, but am misremembering things as well. What a perfect game for me to have done this.
 

maryadavies

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I thought I'd mention something about Hook; He doesn't like fire in KH1 either. I can't get a vid of it, but if you cast Fire/Fira on him in KH1, he'll yell and run around crazy holding his butt (pants on fire!). Is funny but you have to be careful not to get hit there, for if you're not careful he will run right into you and do some damage! (Doing a replay b/c of new PS3, so I remember that pretty clearly!)

I got pretty far into this game btw, but it's nice to see this and some explanations of the mechanics since I went in blind. I'll prolly try again later with the new PS3 after a while.
 
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Blackdrazon

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I'm only at the seconded page and agh, tutorial. I do appreciate you giving a thorough explanation of the mechanics though, as both CoM and Re:CoM did a crappy job on it. Though I'm dreading if the other pages will also have these.

I'm afraid they do to a degree, though I hope they won't bother you. Gameplay is content in CoM, for better or worse, so I've been treating it as a sort of necessary evil. Hopefully it doesn't disrupt the reading experience, but if it does, feel free to skip those sections to read whatever you're most interested in!


I thought I'd mention something about Hook; He doesn't like fire in KH1 either. I can't get a vid of it, but if you cast Fire/Fira on him in KH1, he'll yell and run around crazy holding his butt (pants on fire!). Is funny but you have to be careful not to get hit there, for if you're not careful he will run right into you and do some damage! (Doing a replay b/c of new PS3, so I remember that pretty clearly!)

I got pretty far into this game btw, but it's nice to see this and some explanations of the mechanics since I went in blind. I'll prolly try again later with the new PS3 after a while.

Interesting! I'll have to give that a try the next time I play KH1 (probably to get the Beginner trophy, so I'll be able to mess around). Thanks for that!

I'm glad the mechanics are helping! Though it is interesting to see one reader who's wary of the mechanics and one who's glad to see them. I think that might be CoM in a nutshell, right there.
 
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ShardofTruth

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I finally caught up with the retrospective again and loved the first Twilight Town chapter, you really bring everything together, great work.
 
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