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News ► Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories The Novel Cover Art Revealed!



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Oracle Spockanort

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I was finally able to read this jewel from start to finish and boy it didn't disappoint.
Getting actually to see the thoughts of the characters allows you to really emphasize with them on an even deeper level.

Especially in the Reverse/Rebirth-part there were some instances that brilliantly showcased just how deep Riku's feelings of guilt run and I won't be ashamed to admit that once or twice I felt like if I had the possibility to I would give him a big hug.
Considering how much I despised Riku initially when playing KH 1 for the first time, this ought to say much.

The parts of Naminé and Repliku are the same if not even worse.
I can only repeat that the novels really manage to get you much more emotionally involved with most of the characters.

That being said, having Reverse/Rebirth being split between Riku's POV and the Replica's POV was surely a good thing in terms of getting to connect better with Repliku, but I noticed that sometimes I didn't really realize a POV-switch and had to reread some passages to ascertain "which" Riku was now in POV.

On a side note, can anybody tell me when this novel was originally first released? Before or after KH II?

Whoo! Glad you enjoyed the book!

The first two volumes of CoM came out October and November 2005. Kingdom Hearts II the game came out December 2005. The third was January 2006.

It is safe to say that CoM was written around the same time KH2 was being written by Nojima.
 

Sephiroth0812

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Whoo! Glad you enjoyed the book!

The first two volumes of CoM came out October and November 2005. Kingdom Hearts II the game came out December 2005. The third was January 2006.

It is safe to say that CoM was written around the same time KH2 was being written by Nojima.

It was as much worth importing as the first one was and I hope they continue with the other novels as well.
I can easily look past Kanemaki's inability to write engaging battle scenes when in return I get such deep emotional involvement with the characters. ;)

Ah, I see, that explains much.
The main reason I asked about this is because of this "gem" given on page 349 by Marluxia and Vexen:
CoM novel said:
"I tell you, the project failed, " Marluxia repeated. "And I must report that failure to our leader."
Their leader - a man who had once had another name with other memories...He was the actual fake. The one who had stolen the identity of Ansem.
So anyone who might get the novels before the games gets a huge point of KH II spoilered here, something that definitely wasn't said out so bluntly in the actual CoM game.

This also more or less "proves" that Kanemaki gets actual input from Nomura or the writers, giving the novels a higher canon status than the manga, directly behind the games themselves and Nomura interviews.
 

hemmoheikkinen

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Finally managed to buy the Chain of Memories novel and the last volume of Days. Now when I get home I am ready for all of dem feels! I would have gotten the first novel, but it was not in the store were I visited, so I decided to get the CoM one instead.

EDIT:
Just finished Sora`s story in CoM. Just like everybody else here said, Kanemaki is not really good at writing about fights, but he makes this up by deepening the characters with their inner monologue. It was really nice to get inside Sora`s and co`s head to see how they felt about different situations. He also really well captured the feeling what Castle Oblivion made me felt when I firs stepped inside of it:

Not a trace of life anywhere - the place was so empty it felt cold, inorganic.

For me this also perfectly sums up the Nobodies. I feel that the Heartless are more organic and beast-like, the Nobodies in the other hand are cold, inorganic and sterile, the complete opposite. Like how the World of Chaos is an hideous organic monster, and Xemans dragons is more mechanic etc...

I also really liked the parts about Namine between chapters. A really nice touch. I especially liked this part:

The future in drawings on white sketchbook pages... "I wonder if I`ll get to meet them...?" murmured a flaxen haired girl in a white dress. She sat in a birdcage.

One thing made me scratch my head thou:

Spoiler Spoiler Show


Gonna continue reading today and start Reverse/Rebirth in the evening. Really excited! :) Also reading the novel really made me want to play Chain of Memories again, and read that poem which it has in the end. Man I love that poem so much.
 
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When the gang later on fights Axel, Axel says: "It is funny. You really have nothing on him. " Who is Axel speaking about in here? Is he meaning that Sora does does not have many things in common with Roxas or something else?

Almost certainly Roxas, yes. Keep in mind this novel was based on the GBA version, which hints more heavily than the PS2 remake towards his existence. Before Days went and retconned it, the implication was that Axel and Roxas had already been friends for a while before CoM, and that what Axel did in Castle Oblivion was, at least in part, for Roxas's well-being (the KH2 novels go a bit more into this).

Kanemaki is a woman, by the way.
 

hemmoheikkinen

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Almost certainly Roxas, yes. Keep in mind this novel was based on the GBA version, which hints more heavily than the PS2 remake towards his existence. Before Days went and retconned it, the implication was that Axel and Roxas had already been friends for a while before CoM, and that what Axel did in Castle Oblivion was, at least in part, for Roxas's well-being (the KH2 novels go a bit more into this).

Kanemaki is a woman, by the way.

Ooh, right. Unfortunately I have not played the original CoM only the Re version, so I was not aware that there were even more hints in the original.
What exactly does Days retcon there? When I played trough it I got the impression that Axel and Roxas are indeed friends. Did the Days change the fact that Axel was there to kill the traitors, and later find the chamber, not to protect Roxas?
 

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What exactly does Days retcon there? When I played trough it I got the impression that Axel and Roxas are indeed friends. Did the Days change the fact that Axel was there to kill the traitors, and later find the chamber, not to protect Roxas?

No, it was more that Axel and Roxas were supposed to have a more established friendship. When Axel leaves in Days, Roxas is still without much of a personality although he was growing a true sense of self Even so, they weren't best friends 4lyfe. It wasn't until Axel returned from CO that Roxas had finally come into his own and their friendship solidified.

It was implied that Axel and Roxas were already good friends in the short frame of time he'd been in the Organization, and that Roxas was a talented Keyblade wielder and supposed to be better at it than Sora.

Days goes back on that a lot.
 

hemmoheikkinen

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No, it was more that Axel and Roxas were supposed to have a more established friendship. When Axel leaves in Days, Roxas is still without much of a personality although he was growing a true sense of self Even so, they weren't best friends 4lyfe. It wasn't until Axel returned from CO that Roxas had finally come into his own and their friendship solidified.

It was implied that Axel and Roxas were already good friends in the short frame of time he'd been in the Organization, and that Roxas was a talented Keyblade wielder and supposed to be better at it than Sora.

Days goes back on that a lot.

Oh, okay now I get it. Thanks!
 

hemmoheikkinen

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Finished Reverse/Rebirth yesterday and it was freaking amazing! I really liked how Kanemaki showed Riku Replicas perspective as well. I thought his story was rather sad when I played trough Re: CoM, but now after reading the novel it has even more sorrow in it. It was just so heart-breaking to see his world collapse when Namine finally tells him the truth. :( The novel really emphasis how horrible it must feel when your personality is re-written with false memories, and you realize that your just a clone who is being used by the people around you.
I am sorry I am repeating myself here, but I finally understood how horrible that is. The constant doubt in Riku Replicas heart, and finally when he thinks that he has found something to fight for, a memory that is true, are all lies. Oh also:
Spoiler Spoiler Show


The real Riku`s guilt about the things he had done was really depressing. Like Sephirtoh0812, I just wanted to give him a big hug and tell him that it`s going to be okay in the end.
This novel was so good! I am really glad that this was translated and published. I will definitely read the rest of the novels if they will be published. I am really curious to see what things might be added to the KH2 story-line with KH2 novel, and I also really would like to read the Days one. Oh, and of course the BBS one! Hell, just give all of them! I am really curious to see what the characters are thinking.
 

kuraudoVII

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Finished Reverse/Rebirth yesterday and it was freaking amazing! I really liked how Kanemaki showed Riku Replicas perspective as well. I thought his story was rather sad when I played trough Re: CoM, but now after reading the novel it has even more sorrow in it. It was just so heart-breaking to see his world collapse when Namine finally tells him the truth. :( The novel really emphasis how horrible it must feel when your personality is re-written with false memories, and you realize that your just a clone who is being used by the people around you.
I am sorry I am repeating myself here, but I finally understood how horrible that is. The constant doubt in Riku Replicas heart, and finally when he thinks that he has found something to fight for, a memory that is true, are all lies. Oh also:
Spoiler Spoiler Show


The real Riku`s guilt about the things he had done was really depressing. Like Sephirtoh0812, I just wanted to give him a big hug and tell him that it`s going to be okay in the end.
This novel was so good! I am really glad that this was translated and published. I will definitely read the rest of the novels if they will be published. I am really curious to see what things might be added to the KH2 story-line with KH2 novel, and I also really would like to read the Days one. Oh, and of course the BBS one! Hell, just give all of them! I am really curious to see what the characters are thinking.

I literally just finished reading the Reverse/Rebirth section myself, and I have to say that I agree with pretty much everything that you said here (to the point that me trying to state my feelings toward this novel would be redundant).

There is one thing, though, that I'd thought I'd bring attention to:

Spoiler Spoiler Show
 

Sephiroth0812

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Finished Reverse/Rebirth yesterday and it was freaking amazing! I really liked how Kanemaki showed Riku Replicas perspective as well. I thought his story was rather sad when I played trough Re: CoM, but now after reading the novel it has even more sorrow in it. It was just so heart-breaking to see his world collapse when Namine finally tells him the truth. :( The novel really emphasis how horrible it must feel when your personality is re-written with false memories, and you realize that your just a clone who is being used by the people around you.
I am sorry I am repeating myself here, but I finally understood how horrible that is. The constant doubt in Riku Replicas heart, and finally when he thinks that he has found something to fight for, a memory that is true, are all lies. Oh also:
Spoiler Spoiler Show


The real Riku`s guilt about the things he had done was really depressing. Like Sephirtoh0812, I just wanted to give him a big hug and tell him that it`s going to be okay in the end.
This novel was so good! I am really glad that this was translated and published. I will definitely read the rest of the novels if they will be published. I am really curious to see what things might be added to the KH2 story-line with KH2 novel, and I also really would like to read the Days one. Oh, and of course the BBS one! Hell, just give all of them! I am really curious to see what the characters are thinking.

Ugh yea, Repliku's parts are sometimes full of so much squick when you look at it more closely. The novel practically presents to us flat out how an extensive and hard brainwashing session plays out, with all the brokenness of the victim displayed in detail before and afterwards.
There are definitely some parallels to the Prologue of KH II as Roxas was brainwashed in order to keep him from rebelling as ordered by DiZ:
DiZ: Until then, he'll need another personality to throw off his pursuers.
Ansem: Poor thing.
I don't think it was made clear in KH 2 if the brainwashing was done by DiZ himself or again by Naminé, in the latter case however it would mean that Naminé repeated the crime she did to Repliku with Roxas in order to help undoing the crime she did to Sora.
Going by that, it's no wonder she still feels so guilt-ridden and "unworthy" as shown in Coded even by her Data-self:
I may be gone, but my promises to him are forever.
And anyway... I owe this much. For all the...all those people that I hurt.
Notice how there she isn't speaking solely of Sora, but more than one person.
"All those people" may very well include Repliku, Roxas and Xion.

The game was already good about portraying this issue with the "real" Riku, but the novel certainly pushed it up another level, as things like these snippets really painfully show:
Riku said:
Why am I alone?
Is it because I lost my heart to Darkness?
But I fought it back once. That isn't good enough? That's not enough for me to see Kairi and Sora?
What do I have to do to see them again? What do I have to do so the three of us can be laughing together again?
...
"If you have to hurt someone else to get her heart back, that's just going to make her sad!"
The words Sora had shouted to him in this place seemed to echo in his ears.
Is this my punishment? Do I deserve this because I tried to take back Kairi's heart by using the darkness?
"Just believe. The light'll never give up on you. You'll always find it, even in the deepest darkness!"
That's what the king told me. But I still can't believe in it.
No one stays with me...Not even the king.
...
It's true, Riku thought in despair. If I hadn't given in to that temptation...If I hadn't believed what that man said...
Riku doesn't look for scapegoats to blame or relativize what he has done. He also admits how awful his feelings of jealousy and resentment were and that it was primarily he himself at fault.
And someone who's able to see and admit that is someone who I can with conviction say deserves a second chance.

---
Speaking of the other novels, is there any word yet about them being eventually translated too?

There is one thing, though, that I'd thought I'd bring attention to:

Spoiler Spoiler Show

A boy with blond hair AND a skateboard? In Twilight Town? Who else than Roxas would it be? Lol, we don't have this combination anywhere else in the series.
 

BlackOsprey

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A boy with blond hair AND a skateboard? In Twilight Town? Who else than Roxas would it be? Lol, we don't have this combination anywhere else in the series.
I dunno. Could be Hayner. He and everyone else in Twilight Town could just as easily hop onto those skateboards that're just lying around. :p
 

hemmoheikkinen

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Ugh yea, Repliku's parts are sometimes full of so much squick when you look at it more closely. The novel practically presents to us flat out how an extensive and hard brainwashing session plays out, with all the brokenness of the victim displayed in detail before and afterwards.
There are definitely some parallels to the Prologue of KH II as Roxas was brainwashed in order to keep him from rebelling as ordered by DiZ:

DiZ: Until then, he'll need another personality to throw off his pursuers.
Ansem: Poor thing.



I don't think it was made clear in KH 2 if the brainwashing was done by DiZ himself or again by Naminé, in the latter case however it would mean that Naminé repeated the crime she did to Repliku with Roxas in order to help undoing the crime she did to Sora.

I had an feeling Namine was behind the brainwashing in KHII. It got even stronger when I played trough KHII last year and remembered that she goes to meet Roxas several times during the prologue.
It would have been cool if the % in Replikus rewriting sequence would have been the same that appears in KHII.

I think it`s kinda funny that to the outside the KH-series might seem to be a cute thing with Disney characters in it, but in reality it`s full of people suffering from existential identity crisis, caused by intense brainwashing and stealing of identity and individuality.

it was sad to see how much guilt Namine has to deal with. The things she did were kinda nasty, but she was in a tricky situation. Loneliness, and mean people around you can make people do nasty things. :(
I was so glad when I saw her smiling in Re: Coded thou. That made my day.

Thinking about all the people Namine had to hurt during the memory mess, I think she might feel as guilty as Riku.

Riku doesn't look for scapegoats to blame or relativize what he has done. He also admits how awful his feelings of jealousy and resentment were and that it was primarily he himself at fault.
And someone who's able to see and admit that is someone who I can with conviction say deserves a second chance.

It was really fascinating to see this side of Riku. While playing KH1, I got the feeling that he was jealous of Sora, and it was interesting to see him really show and ponder about it the novels.
I think it also shows beautifully in KHII how afraid he was to meet Sora and Kairi after all the things he had done. It would be really cool if the KHII or Days novel dives more inside Riku`s head, and into his mind seat during that time.
 

Sephiroth0812

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I had an feeling Namine was behind the brainwashing in KHII. It got even stronger when I played trough KHII last year and remembered that she goes to meet Roxas several times during the prologue.
It would have been cool if the % in Replikus rewriting sequence would have been the same that appears in KHII.

I think it`s kinda funny that to the outside the KH-series might seem to be a cute thing with Disney characters in it, but in reality it`s full of people suffering from existential identity crisis, caused by intense brainwashing and stealing of identity and individuality.

it was sad to see how much guilt Namine has to deal with. The things she did were kinda nasty, but she was in a tricky situation. Loneliness, and mean people around you can make people do nasty things. :(
I was so glad when I saw her smiling in Re: Coded thou. That made my day.

Thinking about all the people Namine had to hurt during the memory mess, I think she might feel as guilty as Riku.

It was really fascinating to see this side of Riku. While playing KH1, I got the feeling that he was jealous of Sora, and it was interesting to see him really show and ponder about it the novels.
I think it also shows beautifully in KHII how afraid he was to meet Sora and Kairi after all the things he had done. It would be really cool if the KHII or Days novel dives more inside Riku`s head, and into his mind seat during that time.

If she was, it was definitely a mirror situation to the issue with Repliku in CoM.
In the first case, Marluxia, Vexen and the Organisation were forcing her to do it and in the second it was DiZ.

Her contacting Roxas several times (in defiance of DiZ's explict orders no less) can certainly be partly motivated by lingering feelings of guilt.

That's probably mainly because a) the Disney characters and environments often being very colorful and lighthearted blurring impressions somewhat and b) most of the suffering and pain caused in the KH series is mental/spiritual rather than physical, which may fly over people's heads.
People frequently cite the KH series as a whole as "not dark and mature enough" because there aren't any fountains of blood, chopped off limbs flying around and permanent gruesome deaths dealt left and right, yet KH's Darkness is there in a more subtle, but I'd also say more terrifying way as much of the "dark" stuff in KH deals with things that are possibly fates worse than "death".

This is one of the reasons why Naminé is one of my favorite characters. The things she does to other characters, Sora most prominently, but Repliku and Roxas are definitely in the same victim-"league" when we compare everything, are when looked at by themselves completely horrible and have a certain "Xehanort would approve"-stamp on them as toying with other characters' memories and hearts, brainwashing them to turn them into puppets or drive them to do something specific is exactly what Xehanort does as well.
Sora called Xehanort out on treating "hearts like bottles on a shelf" and in essence, when looking just at the actions themselves, Naminé does the same.
The main difference is though that Xehanort does all this willingly, on his own behalf without any slice of remorse, while Naminé is strongarmed/forced/blackmailed into it and absolutely loathes to have to do it.
This fact may also explain why Naminé herself is less overt and adamant on insisting to be her own person like i.e. Roxas was, because she most likely does not believe she deserves it with all the pain she has caused, just like Riku for a while thought he didn't deserve to face Sora & Kairi head on and remained in the shadows for most of KH 2 out of shame and self-loathing.

This snippet from Days when she speaks with Riku also shows it more or less subtly:
Riku: So what's the solution?

Naminé: If I try to just jump in and rearrange her memory...then I risk Sora waking up to find out that nobody remembers him anymore. I can't do that to him. It's too late either way. His awakening will have to be delayed.
I never imagined Sora's Nobody and the other one would fight so hard to be their own people. Unfortunately, the only real solution...is for them both to go away.
She makes a small pause in the last sentence before presenting the "solution" because she knows fully well that in order to keep her promise to undo the damage she did to Sora, she will have to create more damage to other people connected to Sora.
She acknowledges how much both Roxas and Xion struggle to become their own persons, which most likely made the whole thing even harder for her to swallow, which also shows clearly in the quote from Re: Coded posted earlier.

Well, Riku outright admitted at the end of KH II that he was jealous of Sora, so that's that. ;)
Reflecting on your own faults and admitting you were the one in the wrong is really difficult and few people manage to do as such thoroughly, which is one of the most interesting and positive aspects about Riku as a character.
It is also a good thing that the awful things he did were not swept under the rug so easily and frequently remained as a reminder, to himself and to us at the audience. Had this whole arc been closed too early, people would certainly have labeled Riku a karma houdini who was easily forgiven for his crimes. Another thing to take note of is the consequences of Riku's actions were still a strong plot point for drama in his own arc despite the actual situation being already remedied. The Destiny Islands (and the people living in it) were restored at the end of KH 1, yet the act of destroying it once still greatly affected Riku regardless of the restoration and gave way to that powerful scene with Zexion.
Ansem the Wise also has a similar arc, although less detailed and focused than Riku's, which is probably also why Ansem still has much more haters around than Riku does.
 

LightUpTheSky452

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Don't mind me, Sephiroth0812 and hemmoheikkinen: I'm just sitting hereand enjoying you guys' take on the series:)

Butseriously, comparing Naminé to Xehanort (though she's, of course, sympathetic,unlike him, because she's forced to do this stuff), and showing how the RikuReplica situation was similar to Roxas' is some amazing stuff. Some things thatI hadn't even thought of before!

Andit's times like this that I'm reminded of just how much I love this series. Itjust has so many deep layers and parallels to delve into, if you want to gothat far into the series' lore. And I just adore that so much:D
 

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I really enjoyed the novel of the first game so I got this one a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten a chance to start it yet (work and currently reading another book) but I am looking forward to reading it!
 

LightUpTheSky452

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So for the heck of it, I went ahead and typed up all of the Naminé PoV moments we got in this novel and put them together. (I think I got them all, anyway. If I'm missing any, please let me know.)

I'll put them below so that anyone can use them, if they want to. I like hearing Naminé's thoughts! She's very poetic sounding to me:)

#1. "I liked to draw pictures.
Drawing on the bright white sketchbook pages.
Maybe they were worlds from fairy tales... or friends I had yet to meet...

Everything in my world.

I can only draw things from dreams.
Dreams that will never come true. Or dreams that might come true.

These are that person's dreams.
Or are they mine?"

#2. "Deep within the castle...
Amid those shining blue-white walls, the plan proceeded,
slow and steady.
Light and darkness.
Two heroes.
Above and below.
The 'organization' and the 'plan.'
Things lost and things gained.
The future in drawings on white sketchbook pages...
'I wonder if I'll get to meet them...?' murmured a flaxen-haired girl in a white dress. She sat in a birdcage."

#3. "The only time anyone looks at me is when I draw pictures.
I want to draw the things I would like to draw.
But the only time anyone looks at me is when I draw what they want me to draw.
Even so... I'll still draw.
I'll put my wishes into it.
If I do, my wishes will come true.
I can hear someone knocking at the door.
Someone... has come to see my drawings.
Who... who are you?
Are you the person in my drawings?
Or are you someone else?"

#4. "I fill the sketchbook with drawings.
Back then, we laughed together. We yelled together. We played together.
The memories of dreams—I make them into drawings, one after another.
Look... Sora, do you remember that cave?
We doodled on the walls together.
And there was the beach.
I was always fighting with you and Riku on the beach, but every time we would make up before long.
Your memories... and my dreams.
I wonder if there's a place where they will meet.
I want them to meet... I want to put them together.
That's the dream that I'm drawing.

Hey, Sora... Do you remember?"

#5. "I color in my drawings with pastels.
White sand... blue sky, warm sunlight... The three of us were always smiling so brightly.
How much of it was a dream... and how much of it was real?
Can you see?
The world is so full of color, but I'm here in this room of cold white marble. All I can do is draw in this sketchbook.
Do you know now? I wonder if you do. I want you to know.
I'm here.
But am I supposed to exist?

Hey, Sora... Tell me."

#6. "'You have my sympathies from the heart.'

'But don't waste your time. We Nobodies can never hope to be somebodies.'

'Say, Naminé. Isn't there something else you can do?'"

#7. "Is this okay?
Was it okay?
Sora... I'm sorry.

In a small room in the castle, she clutched a sketchbook, gazing at the images in the big crystal ball.
Axel slowly moved to her side. 'You have my sympathies. From the heart.'
She looked up and glared straight at him.
For a moment, Axel felt like those deep blue eyes might swallow him up and drown him. He blinked. 'But don't waste your time. We Nobodies can never hope to be somebodies.'
Her gaze fell into her lap. With a slight smile playing at his lips, Axel stared at her.
She held the key to everything...
'Say, Naminé. Isn't there something else you can do?'
It was a risky move, trying to push her into action.
Naminé didn't look at him again or even move.


We Nobodies... And the irreplaceable you.
How much of it is lies, and how much is true? I'm not even sure anymore myself.

Is this okay?
Was it okay?

Hey, Sora... What are you thinking right now?"

#8. "Something I can do...?
Can I do anything for Sora?
Something I can do for Sora, even though I'm nobody, and I can never become somebody...

Hey, Sora.
What should I do?

I don't know.
Because I don't have anything that's special to me..."

#9. "The first time we met was in that town.
And ever since we met, I've been here.
Someone who seems the same. Who smells the same.

And you, Sora...
The first time I met you was on the island.
Don't you remember?
Where was it you made that promise to me—to the real me?

I'm waiting on the island.

Hey, what can I do?
What is it... that I can do?"

#10. "Sora...
Even if you come for me, what then...?
What should I do?"

#11. "Will I really get to meet you? Is the one you'll meet really me?
The girl you knew from the islands—it was me but another me.

I don't exist anywhere. I'm nobody.
Or maybe I'm just a thing.

If I can meet you on that island... something might change.

But the me that you'll meet there is a different me.
A false me.

If I can meet you, Sora, will something change?"

#12. "Something I can do. Something I have to do.

I was wrong, wasn't I?

You know, Sora… I'm glad we got to see each other."

#13. "Maybe it would be easier if I lost my memory.
But… if I do, I'll forget Sora. That would be even sadder.

I did the same thing to Sora.
Sora… I'm sorry.
Riku… Forgive me.
This is my crime… and my punishment.

I'm no one… I'm her shadow.

Even while he—while Marluxia has me by the arm, I'm praying."

#14. "I am her shadow… her darkness.
I will never be able to reach her.

But, Sora… Right now, in this moment, you and I are friends, aren't we?
No one wants false memories…
If this is what it comes to—no… I'm glad I met you, Sora.
So I'm not going to regret anything.

I wonder if we'll meet again. I'm pretty sure we will."

#15. "Memories fading.
Memories reborn.

And a dream—
A dream of you in a world without you."
 
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silentmusic16

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I'm really interested in getting the novels, but I was wondering - how is the actual writing quality? From a prose perspective and from a plot perspective? Getting a look into the character's thoughts and feelings sounds really interesting, especially because we just don't get a good look at a lot of that kind of thing in the games, but I really didn't like Days and I know Kanemaki had a big hand in that (or was she the head writer?).

Also, canon-wise, where would these be placed? Is it the kind of thing where it's canon if it "agrees" with what goes on in the games, but not-canon if it "disagrees" on a certain scene?
 

BlackOsprey

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I'm really interested in getting the novels, but I was wondering - how is the actual writing quality? From a prose perspective and from a plot perspective? Getting a look into the character's thoughts and feelings sounds really interesting, especially because we just don't get a good look at a lot of that kind of thing in the games, but I really didn't like Days and I know Kanemaki had a big hand in that (or was she the head writer?).
The novels' greatest strength is the insight they give for a lot of characters' thoughts and opinions, as well as some extra details on things that we don't actually see in the games. The CoM novels have a good deal of the latter, with things like a very detailed account on the process of stuffing a replica with fake memories. Unfortunately, their battle sequences are... not very good. I could honestly write something more engaging than what's actually there. But I guess it's a trade-off... the books have better characterization and crappy battles, while the games have fun battles and mediocre characterization.

Bottom line is, I'd really recommend getting them. Especially the CoM novels.

Also, canon-wise, where would these be placed? Is it the kind of thing where it's canon if it "agrees" with what goes on in the games, but not-canon if it "disagrees" on a certain scene?
It goes like Games > Word of Nomura > Novels >>>>> Manga/other. I've been told that the novels' author actually has access to quite a bit of info about the games, which is why you'll see references to KHII in a book that was written before II was released. As long as it's not outright contradicted by anything from the games or Nomura, it can be considered canon.
 

silentmusic16

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The novels' greatest strength is the insight they give for a lot of characters' thoughts and opinions, as well as some extra details on things that we don't actually see in the games. The CoM novels have a good deal of the latter, with things like a very detailed account on the process of stuffing a replica with fake memories. Unfortunately, their battle sequences are... not very good. I could honestly write something more engaging than what's actually there. But I guess it's a trade-off... the books have better characterization and crappy battles, while the games have fun battles and mediocre characterization.
Bottom line is, I'd really recommend getting them. Especially the CoM novels.

So they do their job well in the vein of giving proper insight and characterization to characters and plot points we didn't get in the games? Definitely sounds worth buying, then. Although I still have a lot of distrust in Kanemaki's writing skills. I'll have to give it a try myself.

Also, by "books" do you mean there's more than one book per game? Are the NA releases omnibuses?

It goes like Games > Word of Nomura > Novels >>>>> Manga/other. I've been told that the novels' author actually has access to quite a bit of info about the games, which is why you'll see references to KHII in a book that was written before II was released. As long as it's not outright contradicted by anything from the games or Nomura, it can be considered canon.
That's pretty high up the ladder, actually. It's interesting to think that the novels are that important/canon.
 

Hirokey123

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The reverse is true to Nomura will often take ideas from the novels and then rework them to use for the game. I think the most well known one is the white envelope in Days. In the KH2 novel (at least I believe it was the KH2 novel) Axel carried around a white envelope which had a goodbye letter from Roxas in it. In Days the game Nomura brought this idea in but instead of a letter Roxas left Axel an ice cream stick in the white envelope. I think maybe also Axel never actually opened the envelope in the novels but he did so in the Days game.
 
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