My story - Kingdom Hearts and Me (warning: tedious and long)



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Joveus

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This isn't a question or a discussion really, this is just somewhere for me to give structure to my thoughts.

I am 28 years old, soon to be 29. While that is probably older than most members of this forum, I was only 15 when the first Kingdom Hearts was released on the PS2 in Europe. Again, unlike most members of this forum, I did not buy the game for the Disney elements. I bought it for the Final Fantasy, because it was the closest I could get to a shared Final Fantasy world (until Dissidia came along later), but by the time I defeated Ansem I had gained a respect for this new IP and was more than willing to see where it went.

Chain of Memories was released on the GBA, I bought, played and completed it, and by the time I entered University in 2005 I was devoting hours of thought into the identities of the missing Organization members. My old university lecture notes still have scribbles in the margins of Organization XIII members, the lists becoming ever more complete as Famitsu released tidbits of information in the run-up to Kingdom Hearts II.

Kingdom Hearts II was released on the PS2, I bought, played and completed it, but this time there was a problem. By now I was fully proficient in navigating the internet and I was more than aware of the Final Mix content available in Japan for the first Kingdom Hearts game. No big deal, I thought, it's only one boss really, and nothing I can't watch online.

Then Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+ was announced. Fight all the Organization members? Lingering Will? Complete 3D remake of Chain of Memories? Sign me up. This was when my interest in the series was undoubtedly at its highest.

Naturally, this never made it to Europe. Never mind, I begrudgingly thought, at least the rest of the world has to suffer through this together. Re:Chain of Memories was subsequently announced for a US release. Fantastic, I thought, now I just need to wait another few months and I can play it myself.

It was never released in Europe.

More announcements, more releases, all for portable gaming devices. Coded was Japan exclusive, 358/2 Days and Birth by Sleep required me to buy a 3DS and PSP to play them. So I did. But I couldn't play them, I wasn't skilled or patient or serious enough, I couldn't handle the camera controls, and by the time Re:coded was announced for release I had only completed the prologues in both games.

Not good enough, I thought, I need to knuckle down and show 358/2 Days and Birth by Sleep the kind of attention they deserve before Re:coded gets here, especially since they are supposed to be good games.

Then Birth by Sleep Final Mix was announced.

This was in 2010, after following the series for 8 years, and I had finally had enough. The Final Mix content was one thing, but combined with the lack of a Re:Chain of Memories European release and my inability to play decently on handheld gaming consoles sealed the deal for me. The final deciding factor was that I could not follow the story any longer, it had become almost needlessly complicated and I could not understand where the series as a whole was going. All the more annoying was that the Final Mix exclusive content was referenced in the openings of both Kingdom Hearts II and Birth by Sleep.

In mid 2010 I sold my entire Kingdom Hearts collection - Kingdom Hearts, GBA Chain of Memories, a US version of the PS2 Re:Chain of Memories I imported along with a US PS2 to play it, Kingdom Hearts II, 358/2 Days and Birth by Sleep.

When Dream Drop Distance was announced for the 3DS it seemed I had made the right choice. Another handheld game, another portable console I would have to purchase just for one game. However, it was a shame, since it became clear after watching videos of the game that not only was it a good game, but it also served to connect the disparate story threads and show me where Kingdom Hearts was going, something that affected me greatly 2 years prior.



Obviously the story doesn't end there because if it did, there would be no need for this post. The reason I am making this thread is because 2 days ago, on the 17th of June 2016, I defeated the super bosses on the II.5 ReMIX version of Birth by Sleep with Terra, Ventus and Aqua, finished the Secret Episode and watched Re:coded in it's entirety.

Almost 6 years to the day after selling the series, I have 100% completed the Final Mix versions of the games that once seemed impossible for me to play. I did not purchase I.5 when it was released, I waited until II.5 was released so I could check if Dream Drop Distance HD would be teased in the ending credits. It was, so I bought both I.5 and II.5 together in December 2014.

It took me 12 months to complete them all, mainly due to two 6 month long periods of abstinence - the first when I started my Proud run of Kingdom Hearts and was decimated by the Sniperwilds on my first visit to Traverse Town - and the second when I attempted the Organization XIII data battles on Critical and got my ass soundly handed to me.

When I sold my Kingdom Hearts games in 2010 it felt right, I was ready to let the series go and I did not think about it for years. This time I have completed them in their entirety, over 300 hours of gameplay combined, and I have not had enough. I am wanting, eager for more, and I have not felt like that since I was a teenager, nearly 15 years ago.

In 6 months time II.8 Final Chapter Prologue will be released, containing the final Kingdom Hearts game I never played, and I will purchase a PS4 just to play it. And while many here are waiting for Kingdom Hearts III as opposed to II.8, I personally cannot wait.

By the time Kingdom Hearts III comes out, I will be 30. I never thought I'd still be playing Kingdom Hearts at 30.
 
Last edited:

DefiantHeart

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Trapped in some random lolita doll.
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Personally I never pursued the hd remakes myself, just played all the first releases of the games since I'm just into the story, not the gameplay as much. Chu not that old, I'm just two years younger then chu. ^_^
 
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