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Knowledge and Truth in Kingdom Hearts



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Ikkin

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Something I find rather interesting about the Kingdom Hearts games past the first one - and something I'm sure a lot of you find frustrating - is the way the series deals with what we, as the players, know.

In one sense, it's a big mess of retcon. There's a blatant disregard for what we've been told in the past, leading to situations like the infamous "fake Ansem" mess that non-fans like to use as an example of something they just don't get.

But, taking a step back from that, you come to a realization - almost everything that's been retconned is something that was told to us by a character, rather than something we saw with our own eyes. But, most of what we know about the metaphysics that the game runs on comes from the characters... So, essentially, every source of information in the game is an unreliable narrator.

Kingdom Hearts, in a sense, has a really tenuous relationship with the truth - it's almost as if it doesn't think it's even possible to obtain the truth, so it just provides us with the characters' own efforts to reach it, warts and all. Even the Secret Reports, the very things that are meant to explain what's really happening, are impossible to take as truth, being written by characters who themselves are struggling to understand the concepts they're trying to explain and changing hypotheses left and right as they're given more exceptions to synthesize into their models.

Which seems a bit like the game is, rather bizarrely, embracing the scientific method of gathering information in the context of fiction.

But, it's actually a whole lot weirder than that.

Because, if you think about it, the pursuit of forbidden knowledge is the root of all evil in Kingdom Hearts. The desire to know what the result of a Keyblade War is drives Master Xehanort to destroy many lives (and risk the deaths of thousands). Curiosity about the source of the darkness of the heart leads to the creation of the Heartless and the destruction of countless worlds. Even the Keyblade War itself was caused by the desire to attain that which should never have been sought after in the first place.

Which makes me start to wonder - Nomura's said in the past that he wanted to create something that fans could discuss and theorize about, but it's still easy to assume that there's still meant to be a "right" answer under all of the confusion that can be reached with enough effort. But, if the series is so antagonistic to the truth in general... might it not be the case that it's intended that we can't (or shouldn't) ever understand it...? And what, exactly, does it mean to imply by having the cause of the most destructive events in the game be essentially the same questions that it leads us to argue over? XD
 

HeartSeams

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I don't see it being antagonistic to the truth at all. There's not nearly as many contradicting retcons as people like to pretend there are. All additions to the story work with the information given previously, so, rarely, does it ever actually contradict.
 

Vani

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you have a point but... well its just a game.
 

Vanitas666

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I could not help but laugh at this but I like the theory a lot still

This makes since. Hey going after taboo Knowlge has messed up Man/Womenkind from the start.
true if you're christ
 

KeybladeCounsel

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So... You're basically saying... That we'll never be settled with a game of no secrets when it comes to Kingdom Hearts. That there will always be something that us the people will question.

Honestly dude that's where the big bucks come from. Thats what makes it possible for Kingdom Hearts to keep going. Because we will never be satisfied. Go back to KH2. A lot of people thought that that would be the end of Kingdom Hearts, but what's this? A mysterious letter with contents that we wouldn't know about until 5 years later? Not to mention Nomura comes in KH2 Ultimania and says-

Nomura:"Once the Heartless and Nobody are destroyed in that order, the original will return."

Leaving us all to speculate, hey, Xehanort's back! So now we have a mysterious letter and Xehanorts return. What? Something else? Oh that's right, the KH2 secret ending. "3 mysteriously armored figures picking up Sora, Riku, and Mickey's Keyblades? OH MY!" There's 3 new cliffhanging secrets right there. What? A shadowy figure leaving some dust? Wait don't go off yet secret ending! I wanna know who it is!... Darn. So a mysterious letter, Xehanorts return, 3 armored figures, and a shadowy figure approaching the armored figures.

I mean this is what Nomura does to stay in business. Leave us with so many unanswered questions seeking an answer. By the way, I know all of that extra stuff I put up there was pointless. Don't kill me...
 

Grey

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...lol what? XD
lol!

You kinda lost me there too. (or i didn't take the time to vividly scan thru it)
He's saying that everything we "know" about Kingdom Hearts is often (in some ways) contradicted and therefore cannot be completely accepted as fact within the Kingdom Hearts universe. When we get new information, it will sometimes explain a part of the series that was previously unexplained or mysterious (such as how Roxas looks like Ven even though Sora isn't Ven, etc.), yet when those explanations come forth, new mysteries are unlocked and are left hanging for us to theorize about. Thus, because of this never-ending cycle, perhaps we will never (or should never) know everything about Kingdom Hearts, for what is "true" in the Kingdom Hearts world is so easily disproved or called into question.

(At least, I believe that's close enough to what the OP is saying.)

While I don't necessarily agree with that, I believe this series has gotten incredibly confusing. There are so many weird mechanics at play associated with the Heart, Memories, the Soul, and anomalies within those mechanics that it's difficult to grasp exactly how everything falls into place.

At least, for me it is. Of course, over time my memories of Kingdom Hearts theories and facts have grown fuzzy, so I'm also confusing myself.
 

KeybladeCounsel

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Well, he has to keep us entertained somehow right? Not to mention what Yen Sid said in the Re:Coded Secret Ending.

"If perhaps, Xehanort wasn't alone."

What the heck?! So Xehanort had some secret alliances with people we don't even know in the series yet? Or perhaps its "sleeping" characters returning? Questions Nomura leaves us hanging over a cliff about...
 

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You have a very good point. It is ironic that a series which relies very heavily on fan speculation is full of instances of curiosity being evil. It almost seems insulting. With MX, Nomura basically said "look at what happens when you get too curious" in the middle of a series that is popular almost solely because of the curiosity of fans. Haha, I love it.
 

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The games aren't all that hard to understand, there's just a lot going on at once. You just have to play them all to understand them. I don't think they're just 'lying for the sake of lying' as you seem to indicate.

They put in plot twists to make the story more interesting.
 

Ikkin

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The games aren't all that hard to understand, there's just a lot going on at once. You just have to play them all to understand them. I don't think they're just 'lying for the sake of lying' as you seem to indicate.

They put in plot twists to make the story more interesting.
I didn't mean to suggest that they're "lying for the sake of lying."

It's more that everything we know comes from the characters' understanding of the situation, which is naturally limited and fluctuates as what they know changes. We're never really given the truth, just the characters' best guess at it.
 
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