Not understanding the story of KH3 is like failing a test you had 13 years to study for



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Twilight Lumiair

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At the same time I'll always sorta be upset that there wasn't something after that were all of the guardians got to land a hit on Xehanort at the end. They were all fucked over by him personally in some way. It wasn't fair that they were only there after the battle happened.
To add to this, note that the whole reason the Guardians sat out the final fight was because Sora went out of his way to tell them to focus on "keeping Kingdom Hearts shut." And yet not only does this NOT stop KH from going out of control and being moments away from performing a purge anyway, but they also ended up having to assist Sora in actually closing KH by the end (so I guess they were just buying time until they weren't because... Idk). So what was the narrative purpose of keeping them out of a fight that had everything to do with them and instead opt to make them require Sora's support anyway? Very little can justify that, and it's things like this that make me continue to insist this game gives Sora WAY more of the spotlight than it realistically should instead of balancing it out with the other protagonist (who apparently aren't important enough to accomplish anything major by themselves in the finale of a saga they were so heavily involved in 🙄).
 
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Face My Fears

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The comparison between KH3 and Endgame isn't really fair. Endgame had 21 films that fleshed out every character that was seen in the film and a plot that was building in those 21 films with a clear end point (IE knowing what information these films had to convey). The other advantage that Endgame had is that all the films leading up to it (and itself) had source material to go off of, which gives the writers a sort of "safety net" in terms of storytelling.

Nomura had to take this complicated plot (that he was sort of making up as he went along) and make it into this cohesive saga. That's why KH1 is probably the best game (storywise) on its own, Nomura thought that was it and was able to construct one solid story. When he found out that he was getting sequels, he had to lengthy the story again and again. It resulted in this weird storytelling style that I normally wouldn't like, but I love it in KH. When I first played KH2, I loved it, but after all the years and information from future games, I love KH2 even more (now that certain things in KH2 are better explained). I am sure that KH3 will ultimately become a game people love because of the information Nomura placed in the game, I'm sure there will be several "a-ha!" moments when future KH games come out. KH3 may not have been the huge climax that everyone was expecting, but I do think that the whole Xehanort saga was a learning experience for Nomura, so I am very excited and trust Nomura with the next saga.
 

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The comparison between KH3 and Endgame isn't really fair. Endgame had 21 films that fleshed out every character that was seen in the film and a plot that was building in those 21 films with a clear end point (IE knowing what information these films had to convey). The other advantage that Endgame had is that all the films leading up to it (and itself) had source material to go off of, which gives the writers a sort of "safety net" in terms of storytelling.
No, it is fair. Kingdom Hearts had plenty of hours in each game to flesh out its cast––more time than an average film usually has to flesh out its own cast, in fact. Nomura has his entire series to reference back to as a safety net.

The Russo Bros had a much harder task to accomplish BECAUSE they had 22, not just 21, films (we are counting Endgame because they had to balance its story and everything else) and dozens upon dozens of characters to juggle, and many of those characters they had no hand in developing. That's dozens of visions by other directors and screenwriters clashing in one single film.

Meanwhile Nomura had a significantly smaller cast and is the creative director, base story developer, and recently revealed to be the main scenario writer on top of all of that. That's all his vision, his direction, his story.

My reason for the comparison is that Endgame set the bar for a massive climatic conclusion to a long-running saga. Its going to be hard to look at any piece of long-running media and not think about Endgame.

But my example would stand even if I had used something like One Piece as a comparison to KH3. There are plenty of example of how to close out a saga out there. KH3 didn't fail at it, but it definitely didn't 100% succeed at it. If it did, we wouldn't be left with a million questions about non-future related events.

[/quote]Nomura had to take this complicated plot[/quote]

That he wrote himself into. He didn't have to do such a thing if he didn't want to.

(that he was sort of making up as he went along)
We know it is a mix of him making some things up while having the rest of it planned. He wasn't diving in blind the whole time.

When he found out that he was getting sequels, he had to lengthy the story again and again. It resulted in this weird storytelling style that I normally wouldn't like, but I love it in KH.
I love it too, but that doesn't excuse Nomura from the criticism about how he delivered the story.

I am sure that KH3 will ultimately become a game people love because of the information Nomura placed in the game, I'm sure there will be several "a-ha!" moments when future KH games come out. KH3 may not have been the huge climax that everyone was expecting, but I do think that the whole Xehanort saga was a learning experience for Nomura, so I am very excited and trust Nomura with the next saga.
I agree. It'll be loved and looked back on fondly. That doesn't mean it isn't without its faults, and much of that comes from the fact that Nomura got bored and was more interested in telling a future story rather than focusing on the one in front of him. He shouldn't be excused from criticism because it'll all potentially pay off in the future and we should trust Nomura with the future of the series just on that alone.

This is my same view on his treatment of Kairi. How can anybody trust Nomura to not repeat his mistakes when he repeated them plenty in the past and has had ample opportunity to guide the story on a more coherent path? There is a point where you have to stop trusting in somebody to learn from their mistakes and actually call the out for those mistakes. At least by calling it out, there is a small chance that he will learn.
 
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Face My Fears

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No, it is fair. Kingdom Hearts had plenty of hours in each game to flesh out its cast––more time than an average film usually has to flesh out its own cast, in fact. Nomura has his entire series to reference back to as a safety net.

The Russo Bros had a much harder task to accomplish BECAUSE they had 22, not 21, films and dozens upon dozens of characters to juggle, and many of those characters they had no hand in developing. That's dozens of visions by other directors and screenwriters clashing in one single film.

Meanwhile Nomura had a significantly smaller cast and is the creative director, base story developer, and recently revealed to be the main scenario writer on top of all of that. That's all his vision, his direction, his story.

My reason for the comparison is that Endgame set the bar for a massive climatic conclusion to a long-running saga. Its going to be hard to look at any piece of long-running media and not think about Endgame.

But my example would stand even if I had used something like One Piece as a comparison to KH3. There are plenty of example of how to close out a saga out there. KH3 didn't fail at it, but it definitely didn't 100% succeed at it. If it did, we wouldn't be left with a million questions about non-future related events.
Nomura had to take this complicated plot[/quote]

That he wrote himself into. He didn't have to do such a thing if he didn't want to.



We know it is a mix of him making some things up while having the rest of it planned. He wasn't diving in blind the whole time.



I love it too, but that doesn't excuse Nomura from the criticism about how he delivered the story.



I agree. It'll be loved and looked back on fondly. That doesn't mean it isn't without its faults, and much of that comes from the fact that Nomura got bored and was more interested in telling a future story rather than focusing on the one in front of him. He shouldn't be excused from criticism because it'll all potentially pay off in the future and we should trust Nomura with the future of the series just on that alone.

This is my same view on his treatment of Kairi. How can anybody trust Nomura to not repeat his mistakes when he repeated them plenty in the past and has had ample opportunity to guide the story on a more coherent path? There is a point where you have to stop trusting in somebody to learn from their mistakes and actually call the out for those mistakes. At least by calling it out, there is a small chance that he will learn.
[/QUOTE]
The Russo Brothers may have had several different writers/directors' previous work at their disposal, but all of those writers and directors were guided by Marvel to this climactic build. The people that worked on Guardians of the Galaxy or Ant-Man must have known that they were a small chapter in the Infinity Saga and that they were building to something big.

Nomura had KH1 which he thought was it. Then when he got KHCoM and KH2, he had to backtrack and force connections between KH1 and KH2 ("Ansem" is now Xehanort's heartless and the KH2 villain is Xehanort's nobody). I'm pretty sure this was a repeated scenario with Nomura and KH. If you look at KH's storytelling, a lot of it is patchwork and one of the reasons I believe is because Nomura never knew how many games he would get, if he would ever get KH3 or how many games he would get before he hit KH3. That is not excusing the storytelling, but I'm trying to at least understand Nomura's issues with telling the story. Marvel planned it out - 22 films to build up to the climax. I don't think Nomura had that luxury.

Nomura also had to endure the wrath of Disney. More than half the Marvel films aren't re-tellings of another movie that the protagonists have to explore. A great deal of KH is spent in the Disney worlds and Nomura is very limited in how he can use those worlds to progress his story (as seen clearly in KH3, especially in Arendelle). So it's not the same as other conventional media that will have full episodes dedicated to progressing the story, the way I see it KH games always are shorted on time because at least half the game is irrelevant Disney story. Maybe the solution is to make the Disney stuff relevant, but again, Disney calls the shots on that and we don't know what Nomura has had denied before.

I don't think Nomura got bored with the Xehanort storyline. I think his explanation was truthful - there were so many characters and he was limited in what he could do. He admitted to having issues with how to conclude the story. He wrote himself into a corner with the final battle being in the keyblade graveyard and the 13 vs. 7 thing. What we got was the most organic path for that story. It would have been weird to assemble Aqua and Ven, then spend time chatting away at Mysterious Tower, then stroll into other Disney worlds while Aqua and Ven catch up with Kairi and Lea etc. Could he have done things better in KH3? Absolutely. I think Nomura knows the mistakes he has made.

Honestly, I will wait until KH4 to make judgement about the Kairi situation. Something in me is telling me that Kairi's role was purposefully limited in KH3 for the next saga. Granted, that choice is bizarre since she was being built up for something more in this game and even if she HAD to be captured again... they could have shown Kairi fighting a lot during the war before she was kidnapped.
 

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I don't agree with the criticism of KH3's plot being backloaded... I don't feel that way about 3D either, although to a smaller degree. I felt we we got more tidbits throughout both of those games than we did in KH2, where everything happened in the prologue and then in TWTNW with very little between. We do learn the whole Ansem was not Ansem thing at Radiant Garden after around 9 Disney worlds where mostly nothing happens, but there's no glue scenes between the Disney worlds like in 3D and KH3 (and KH1 and Coded and CoM), which made KH2 feel like a pointless slog.

I guess there are many criticisms of KH3 I find ironic, mostly because they describe KH2 much better to me. Like when 3 was accused of being easy even though that's one of the qualities I most detested about KH2. Or the Disney worlds being pointless, when there's much more interaction with the Darknesses in 3 than there ever was with Org. XIII in 2. Then there's the criticism of scenes going on too long, which I would concede is true of KH3...but also was a problem with KH2. That last point is easier for me to bear in KH3 because of how much prettier everything is, how much better / more entertaining the dialogue is, and the fact that we see things with the villains and secondary plots (Riku and Mickey, Aqua, Axel and Kairi, Ienzo) throughout.
 

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I don't agree with the criticism of KH3's plot being backloaded... I don't feel that way about 3D either, although to a smaller degree. I felt we we got more tidbits throughout both of those games than we did in KH2, where everything happened in the prologue and then in TWTNW with very little between. We do learn the whole Ansem was not Ansem thing at Radiant Garden after around 9 Disney worlds where mostly nothing happens, but there's no glue scenes between the Disney worlds like in 3D and KH3 (and KH1 and Coded and CoM), which made KH2 feel like a pointless slog.

I guess there are many criticisms of KH3 I find ironic, mostly because they describe KH2 much better to me. Like when 3 was accused of being easy even though that's one of the qualities I most detested about KH2. Or the Disney worlds being pointless, when there's much more interaction with the Darknesses in 3 than there ever was with Org. XIII in 2. Then there's the criticism of scenes going on too long, which I would concede is true of KH3...but also was a problem with KH2. That last point is easier for me to bear in KH3 because of how much prettier everything is, how much better / more entertaining the dialogue is, and the fact that we see things with the villains and secondary plots (Riku and Mickey, Aqua, Axel and Kairi, Ienzo) throughout.
I think the primary thing, aside from the story's quality itself, is that people were going into this game thinking it would be better written/paced than Kh2 overall (even I was expecting a greater deal of improvement in this regard despite being skeptical of the trajectory the story was shown to be going). Especially in terms of it's Disney world integration, which was one of the bigger things I saw many take away from the pre release advertising. But in reality, plot lines like the new PoH, the Black Box (two things that were heavily advertised to be of major importance in the game), and the whereabouts of Subject X ultimately don't mean anything in the end (heck, SoD flat out said he stopped caring half way through), and are just there to fill in time, give the org a reason to "threaten" the Disney Worlds, and act as sequel bait (which is not something a finale of this scale should realistically be focusing on, lest it lose time give proper attention to the plot points that actually matter, hence Nomura's struggle when writing the cramped KB segment of the game). It's trying to give the illusion that the plot within the Disney worlds is of higher consequence/importance than it actually is, but that veil is very thin, and it shows by the endgame when none of it comes into play. Though I suppose one could argue Xion, despite how vague and completely off screen that was.

In regards to Kairi and Lea, note that the most we got of them were two cutscenes and passing mentions of their training, which in and of itself doesn't exactly move the plot forward. I say that because it's A) entirely off screen, B) completely independent of the character we're actually following or any of their connected goals, and C) are in a dimension where time doesn't matter (meaning they're done when they're done and not when the plot says they have to be done, so the training ending/continuing doesn't signal anything moving forward). They're also reletively inaffctual during the final battle in ways that directly relate back to their training, so there's no real pay off for that anyway besides them just being there, and again that doesn't affect much.

In regards to the Aqua subplot, that went nowhere up until the end of the game. I.e. when Sora had to come in and make things progress himself. If I recall correctly, they had to show certain cutscenes relating that plotline either twice during the game, or out of sequence to give the allusion that things are currently progressing in the story (specifically Riku and Mickey's second confrontation with the Demon Tower, & "Aqua, Ansem, and Ansem SoD" respectively). But really, not much of anything is actually happening when you get right down to it. The in-between scenes of him and Mickey in Radiant Garden are also ultimately fruitless and they head back to the RoD anyway, so that's not moving anything forward either. Not even Ienzo's goals.

Aside from that, the background talks between the organization don't ever lead to anything directly relevant to this game's story either, with the exception of Vexen & Siax's scenes, and even then we play no part in that betrayal plot whatsoever. And like the rest of the story, nothing major happens with it till the near end of the game (mostly off screen too in terms of "reconstructing Roxas' heart," or any level of involvement from AtW).

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that most everything happening in parallel with the Disney worlds (the first 2/3's of the game), specifically concerning the original story, ultimately doesn't move the plot forward much, if at all, or flow in any kind of cohesive way till the end. And even then everything is crammed together. Outside of the vague illusion of things happening, the actual pacing of the game is very, VERY slow for the majority and I just don't see how one could think the game isn't poorly paced when looking at it's story on a broader scale. But then, that's my perspective I guess. Maybe I missed something, idk. It's late, and I'm like half asleep.
 

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To add to this, note that the whole reason the Guardians sat out the final fight was because Sora went out of his way to tell them to focus on "keeping Kingdom Hearts shut." And yet not only does this NOT stop KH from going out of control and being moments away from performing a purge anyway, but they also ended up having to assist Sora in actually closing KH by the end (so I guess they were just buying time until they weren't because... Idk). So what was the narrative purpose of keeping them out of a fight that had everything to do with them and instead opt to make them require Sora's support anyway? Very little can justify that, and it's things like this that make me continue to insist this game gives Sora WAY more of the spotlight than it realistically should instead of balancing it out with the other protagonist (who apparently aren't important enough to accomplish anything major by themselves in the finale of a saga they were so heavily involved in 🙄).
Yeah, its very weird. It was a convenient way of keeping them out of the final battle without it really meaning much to the narrative. It would have been nice if we saw them trying their hardest to keep Kingdom Hearts shut but they can't, so they decide to help Sora, but by time they get there the battle is over.

I agree with everything you said.

I think the primary thing, aside from the story's quality itself, is that people were going into this game thinking it would be better written/paced than Kh2 overall (even I was expecting a greater deal of improvement in this regard despite being skeptical of the trajectory the story was shown to be going). Especially in terms of it's Disney world integration, which was one of the bigger things I saw many take away from the pre release advertising. But in reality, plot lines like the new PoH, the Black Box (two things that were heavily advertised to be of major importance in the game), and the whereabouts of Subject X ultimately don't mean anything in the end (heck, SoD flat out said he stopped caring half way through), and are just there to fill in time, give the org a reason to "threaten" the Disney Worlds, and act as sequel bait (which is not something a finale of this scale should realistically be focusing on, lest it lose time give proper attention to the plot points that actually matter, hence Nomura's struggle when writing the cramped KB segment of the game). It's trying to give the illusion that the plot within the Disney worlds is of higher consequence/importance than it actually is, but that veil is very thin, and it shows by the endgame when none of it comes into play. Though I suppose one could argue Xion, despite how vague and completely off screen that was.

In regards to Kairi and Lea, note that the most we got of them were two cutscenes and passing mentions of their training, which in and of itself doesn't exactly move the plot forward. I say that because it's A) entirely off screen, B) completely independent of the character we're actually following or any of their connected goals, and C) are in a dimension where time doesn't matter (meaning they're done when they're done and not when the plot says they have to be done, so the training ending/continuing doesn't signal anything moving forward). They're also reletively inaffctual during the final battle in ways that directly relate back to their training, so there's no real pay off for that anyway besides them just being there, and again that doesn't affect much.

In regards to the Aqua subplot, that went nowhere up until the end of the game. I.e. when Sora had to come in and make things progress himself. If I recall correctly, they had to show certain cutscenes relating that plotline either twice during the game, or out of sequence to give the allusion that things are currently progressing in the story (specifically Riku and Mickey's second confrontation with the Demon Tower, & "Aqua, Ansem, and Ansem SoD" respectively). But really, not much of anything is actually happening when you get right down to it. The in-between scenes of him and Mickey in Radiant Garden are also ultimately fruitless and they head back to the RoD anyway, so that's not moving anything forward either. Not even Ienzo's goals.

Aside from that, the background talks between the organization don't ever lead to anything directly relevant to this game's story either, with the exception of Vexen & Siax's scenes, and even then we play no part in that betrayal plot whatsoever. And like the rest of the story, nothing major happens with it till the near end of the game (mostly off screen too in terms of "reconstructing Roxas' heart," or any level of involvement from AtW).

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that most everything happening in parallel with the Disney worlds (the first 2/3's of the game), specifically concerning the original story, ultimately doesn't move the plot forward much, if at all, or flow in any kind of cohesive way till the end. And even then everything is crammed together. Outside of the vague illusion of things happening, the actual pacing of the game is very, VERY slow for the majority and I just don't see how one could think the game isn't poorly paced when looking at it's story on a broader scale. But then, that's my perspective I guess. Maybe I missed something, idk. It's late, and I'm like half asleep.
No, your thoughts are very clear and in fact resonate with my own feelings and observations about KH3.

The things the Org. XIII do in KH3 feels like rehash of things they’ve done before. It’s formulaic. Visit a world, Org. XIII member is there either causing trouble or there to tease Sora.

What was the point of Xehanort splitting Toy Box into two? They could have had a scene showing them making Xion after that world concluded to show how it was meant to be a hint at the return of the replica program. Xehanort gives up on the box. Maleficent and Pete just wander the whole time. 7 PoH goes nowhere. Nothing of value is gained from the Disney worlds besides Sora realizing love and sacrificing one’s self for love is a powerful force, something he has learned before in the past, but now it’s even more important.

Sora’s quest is literally “go follow your heart and maybe you’ll finally stumble upon the power to return hearts again...hopefully.” That doesn’t help focus the game at all.

It’s nothing against the Disney worlds themselves. They were fantastic and in their best form yet, but they really don’t add anything to the climax of the game or overall story. KH3 could have done better to integrate them into the story. Or Sora’s quest shouldn't have been an aimless one. It could have been about finding the Organization and trying to reduce their numbers to prevent the Keyblade War, but due to Sora being in a weakened state, he continues to fail at this task. Meanwhile he has to find the power to return hearts he lost, and the Organization manipulates Sora into feeling the hurt in his heart again to make him feel hopeless, but every time he does he is faced with the Disney heroes overcoming their own suffering and it inspires him to push forward.

These are ways to pull in past plots while doing something new. And it’s still the same game, but things are framed differently with a stronger sense of urgency so it feels like it really is going somewhere. It’s small things like this that can really help tighten up a story, and something I think would have been easily pointed out had there been one more writer or an editor involved.
 
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And it’s still the same game, but things are framed differently with a stronger sense of urgency so it feels like it really is going somewhere.
This is one of KH3's most glaring omissions in that it functions less as a genuine storyline and more as an assembly line of red herrings, false starts, and sequel fodder arranged in the general shape of a Kingdom Hearts game without conveying the requisite imperative that is the stuff of a true, fulfilling journey. The whole narrative is couched in vague, indecipherable threats and eleventh hour exigencies that come and go (often offscreen) without the emergence of a new turn to rationalize them as ever having been integral to the story Nomura chose to tell. This creates a significant dissonance between what is ostensibly happening in the story and how it comes across in context, and that dissonance runs through from beginning to end. Leaving aside the massive narrative sinkhole that is the Power of Waking, which serves no purpose in this game except to set up problems for the next one, there's the Aqua plot, where she's in some sort of darkness-induced danger but then she isn't, and that's it. Nothing happens to her, she doesn't come out of it a more learned, cautious, or capable character: it doesn't give her an edge on Xehanort, or even a specific vulnerability she wouldn't have otherwise had against him. It doesn't help her bring back Terra or Ven. Or there's the half-formulated whiplash of the final few hours where the game regurgitates its own dramatic excesses so quickly it's like Nomura dropped his typewriter and didn't realize he had skipped a page over from one scene where Sora is distressed over his friends dying to the next scene where Sora is distressed over his friend dying.

It's not just that KH3 does a disservice to the legacy of installments that laid the groundwork for it, it fails its own internal dialogue when it asks audiences to believe that Xehanort is so motivated to bring his decades of planning to culmination that he'll give his OK to the heroes to go coasting through Disneyland while he gestures noncommittally at some Disney chicks and threatens to, I don't know, do something to them at some point if he eventually feels like it. The game is overfull of slapstick and suffers from a vacancy of substantive motive and, eventually, that makes the whole exercise feel meaningless. Xehanort barely feels involved in his own endgame, and neither do any of the characters who stand to benefit most from the events that transpire: the things they experienced, felt, and accomplished throughout the series have no weight in this title in which those things should feel explicit and concentrated, the central elements of their respective arcs. Instead, Xion's a bad guy that got baddied backstage, then she isn't and she's a good guy. Terra is a bad guy, then he's saved by a character he has never interacted with even once and he's a good guy. Roxas is a puzzle box, then he isn't and he's back because whoops would you look at that we're all out of time. Nomura can't even give his gacha game backstory due credit: the Light from the Past passes Ven up even though he has an actual connection to the time and people who embody it. Yikes.

I remember when KH games could evoke a simple sense of startled interest at the thought of a star going out, or a memory being rewritten, or the steady march of time towards the inevitable, and scattered implications of what these things meant, the consequences any of them could entail, the sense of loss within a vast distance that has as much darkness as light to it. KH3 only retains the vacuousness: nobody moves hell and earth for anyone in this game, but they'll tweak the scenery here and there to give the impression that vain embellishments can make up for a fundamental insufficiency in spirit. I'll take Sora grasping Riku's hand or returning Kairi's lucky charm to her any day over the cacophony of exaggerated plot noise that is the Keyblade skirmish and Master Xehanort's crass attempts at insinuating himself as the main antagonist (while still getting upstaged by Xemnas). I'll take Roxas and Namine coming to a bittersweet but serviceable conclusion to them being absolved of their existential circumstances through cheap contrivance and optional exposition. Heck, I'll even take Xion dying for the greater good to her being reduced to a prop intended to function as an emotional bait-and-switch that goes nowhere except to maybe assign her the status of the new, improved, not-dead Kairi. KH3, it would seem, is the hurt that must be mended, and it makes me think these characters would have been better off staying forgotten.
 

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I don't think the thread title holds completely true. Yes, of course the people who have just played 1 & 2 should stop complaining, but I played / consumed all the titles including that trainwreck of a mobile game and still got hella confused on some parts because they just weren't explained properly or executed poorly. For example, Aqua obviously lost her keyblade in 0.2 which I played two times and rewatched it after KH3 to see where she lost it and it still is unclear to me when exactly she is supposed to have lost it OR why Aqua tried to kick the Guardian down in KH3 when she still should've been able to cast magic. Or why Roxas randomly appears on the Graveyard due to "friendship" reasons, how Xion could be overturned so easily or at the bottom what the Power of Waking actually is and what it does other than being the reason for basically everything in the finale. Or why Ephemera is in the demon wave and so on and so on. And yes, some of these issues do have explanations, but the game does a poor job at delivering these explanations to the player, so saying people should've just paid more attention to previous games just doesn't cut it. KH needs to get better at explaining itself and in the way it does - while I really liked that the characters talked more about what was actually on their mind in this game (like Mickey telling Riku what happened to TAV in Radiant Garden), they could work on the way it's delivered (exposition speeches are not exactly the greatest thing for that). I really hope the KH4 or whatever absurd name it gets plot will try to be more straightforward, show more and try less to be overcomplicated and later explaining it through interviews or words of god because you otherwise don't get it.

EDIT: I completely agree with alexis.anagram. I have to say the Aqua and the saving of Terra disappointed me the most by far. While I really, really love the scene when Aqua realizes she's in the RoL, the whole "she's fallen to darkness" thing beforehand served no purpose than trailer-bait. Oh, no, she now is possessed by darkness, of course Riku and Mickey can't do anything, so Sora just wacks the darkness out of here and saves her randomly (not even through Ven shining through him or something). Later, Terra is just drawn out of the guardian form by a guy he doesn't even know, Lingering Will has randomly disappeared and everyone is happy. Yay.
 
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while I really liked that the characters talked more about what was actually on their mind in this game (like Mickey telling Riku what happened to TAV in Radiant Garden), they could work on the way it's delivered (exposition speeches are not exactly the greatest thing for that).
The sad thing is, the characters are even worse at communicating crucial information in this game than previous ones, and unlike, say, BBS, it's not a matter of overzealous characterization and prideful naivety. Sora tells Aqua nothing, apparently, of what he knows about Ven before they go to wake him up, and Aqua in turn tells Ven nothing of what she knows about Terra. The Guardians are all gathered in the same room and then given Gummiphones to ease their communication, and yet by the time they arrive in the Keyblade Graveyard it's as though they had no plan or strategy at all save for one aside from Aqua about "getting in formation": bearing in mind this very game introduces the concept of a training space where time is held in stasis in which these characters could spend virtually an eternity preparing and strategizing, considering all possible routes and outcomes and formulating back up plans-- you know the way one old guy did all by himself, but I guess we're meant to believe 3 Keyblade Masters, a court magician, a palace knight, one of the Pure Lights of legend, the guy who's saved the world twice and a guy who used to do covert ops for one of their main enemies couldn't come up with...anything? better than stumbling right into a death trap. It's not just us, the characters of this game don't even take the plot seriously, they half-ass everything they do and spend more time whining/complaining about the lack of progress they've made on the core issues than we do as the audience. It's the inevitable result of a story that wants to have its cake and eat it, too: we're meant to believe that the stakes are higher than they've ever been and the heroes are accordingly unprepared for an event on this scale and yet we see again and again how they're afforded nothing but time and information which is designed to convey to the audience that the wheels of the plot are turning even as the characters seem stuck in the gears.

At the same time, I don't want to overextend the argument for plotting as a pure issue of logistics and totally explicable material. Healthy narratives often draw on ambiguity and lean into subtext for the most effective impact; for example, if we look at the storyline for KH1, it only barely holds together as a logical scenario if we squint hard enough at it, and there are plenty of components for which we have no point of reference in order to comprehend them fully (it's still confusing why the Final Keyhole is in Hollow Bastion but then they have to go to the End of the World to get to the place that is total darkness but isn't the Realm of Darkness where Kingdom Hearts is cracked open even though they locked the Keyhole that supposedly opens Kingdom Hearts). There's a reason it works, though: because all of the magical, inexplicable elements of the story are contextualized as being part of a huge and unknowable and highly mythologized Universe with as many questions as answers to it-- questions which the characters ask with us, and which we learn in real time with them. This is true for the central conflict of pretty much every KH game up until DDD: CoM's memory mystery as the building blocks of the human heart, Days' preoccupation with truth in identity and the power of self-actualization, KH2's inquisitive distancing of people from the fundamental aspects of themselves that make them whole, BBS's conflicts of leadership and tragic perspective on extremism and polarization as a route to self-destruction. What all of these games put first is the emotive contexts that drive the characters as people with desired outcomes: as agents with individual, personalized mandates who know what they want, learn what they need, and succeed or fail-- and, often, surprise themselves-- in their efforts on the basis of their utterly human qualities (a yearning for reunion, a shameful self-concealment, a prideful assertion of authority). The characters breathe as if there's real life to them because where they end up on their journey always has a way of clarifying and reaffirming where they started out while the unknowable is left to, rhetorically speaking, "God": the Kingdom Hearts of every title (up until DDD and KH3, where it becomes primarily utilitarian rather than evocative and thematic) is only the instigating cosmic force that puts the characters on the path to growth, evolution, decline, and redemption. We don't need to know why the universe of KH works the way it does because that leads to shallow, arbitrary rules governing its behavior like the 13 VS 7: we just need to understand what the characters want from it, and what they're willing to do to get it.
 

Tartarus

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I think the primary thing, aside from the story's quality itself, is that people were going into this game thinking it would be better written/paced than Kh2 overall (even I was expecting a greater deal of improvement in this regard despite being skeptical of the trajectory the story was shown to be going). Especially in terms of it's Disney world integration, which was one of the bigger things I saw many take away from the pre release advertising. But in reality, plot lines like the new PoH, the Black Box (two things that were heavily advertised to be of major importance in the game), and the whereabouts of Subject X ultimately don't mean anything in the end (heck, SoD flat out said he stopped caring half way through), and are just there to fill in time, give the org a reason to "threaten" the Disney Worlds, and act as sequel bait (which is not something a finale of this scale should realistically be focusing on, lest it lose time give proper attention to the plot points that actually matter, hence Nomura's struggle when writing the cramped KB segment of the game). It's trying to give the illusion that the plot within the Disney worlds is of higher consequence/importance than it actually is, but that veil is very thin, and it shows by the endgame when none of it comes into play. Though I suppose one could argue Xion, despite how vague and completely off screen that was.
I don't expect either of our opinions to be altered, but... I guess I find this a strange way to diminish a game which integrates its worlds much better than it has in the past. You could just as easily find fault with KH1's world integration in the same way if you chose to and argue that many of KH1’s worlds aren’t really important in the scheme of that game's ending either if you get down to brass tacks. Aside from the PoH plot, which at most affects only 1 world in particular (Agrabah), since Sora has no idea about what happens to Alice or why during Wonderland, none of the worlds actually tie into the ending's plot. The backstory we learn about the Keyblade in Atlantica is never called back to; Olympus and Halloween Town add nothing; Deep Jungle's function is to deepen the SDG relationship and its callback later (in HB's Grand Hall when they return to his side) isn't dissimilar to me to the Disney worlds being recalled later in relation to the Power to Waking; Neverland only stretches out the plot in the same way as the stuff with Aqua in KH3 does, considering the conflict with Riku had already been setup in Monstro and the actual confrontation / rescue of Kairi is put off to the final worlds; all the Disney villains are canon-fodder besides Maleficent and even she is usurped by a character who had no involvement in the middle of the game; locking the Keyholes throughout ultimately was pointless, too, since Sora shuts the KH at the end of the game which makes them irrelevant.

At the end of the day, the scenes with Aqua, Ienzo, Lea & Kairi, the PoH subplot, and the Darknesses (both inbetween and throughout the Disney worlds) all relate to the central plot leading up to the KG which is the assembly of the 13 Darknesses and 7 Lights. However belabored it is, those scenes do relate to the purpose of the overarching plot. And Sora's heart guiding him to visit the Disney worlds he does and his desire to gain strength being the reason he helps resolve their conflicts, gives at least a little more sense of the world-hopping than KH2's object-sparked lightshows.
 

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That didn't mean he had to turn KH3 into a game full of sequel bait.
True.

There was enough content to explore without needing to rely on sequel bait to create mystery within the plot.
Pretty much. He could have just left everything to the Epilogue and Secret Reports.

I don't want to use it as an example, but I will because it's fresh on my mind. Endgame is a great example of how to utilize existing story to create new self-contained mysteries and story intrigue.
We can also use KH2 as an example. Even the secret ending. This is how KH3 should have handled its story: self-contained, and the future is teased in Epilogue and Secret Ending.

At the same time I'll always sorta be upset that there wasn't something after that were all of the guardians got to land a hit on Xehanort at the end. They were all fucked over by him personally in some way. It wasn't fair that they were only there after the battle happened.
A Situation Command where all of the Guardians land a hit on Xehanort would have been cool. Something akin to Noctis hitting Ardyn with each of his Royal Arms in FFXV.

There was no jumping between worldlines there. This was very much something like in KH3D where Joshua could create a portal by using Rhyme's dreams.
True. I wonder where that world is, though?

Or maybe simply Xehanort was chosen to wield No Name and carry on that legacy, and Eraqus was chosen for another purpose. There are so many different scenarios. I want to know exactly what the truth is.
It's a real mystery. You'd think that Luxu would interfere in this process, but
 

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One thing I'll always respectfully disagree with when it comes to KH3's story is the whole "Disney worlds barely had any relevance" argument that I've seen across the internet here and there, time and again. Sure, it may seem like that at first glance (and I guess that's an issue of writing but eh), but to me, they were super relevant. People wanted Sora to go save Aqua early on, then go find Ven and save him, but remember that once Aqua was taken care of, there really wasn't any need to prolong the final battle any further. Once Ven was rescued, it was off to the Keyblade Graveyard.

The whole point of Sora going through worlds is to rediscover the Power of Waking and regain his strength. The whole theme is "May my heart be my guiding key" along with the power of love, and every single world SDG went to, he was guided by his heart. And in every world, there was a consistent theme of love between each other, romantic or otherwise. So when Sora is told "you never lost it", it's not as if he had access to it or was even capable of being strong enough to use it from the jump. For all we know, if he had used it as early as Twilight Town, he could've dusted himself.

Let's also not forget that Sora couldn't even land a hit on Young Xehanort in Toy Box and then was blasted into a TV screen shortly after. And then struggled with Donald and Goofy to hold guard while Woody was dealing with Buzz. Sora also seemed to get wrecked often by a lot of the Organization XIII members throughout the journey too until the Keyblade Graveyard. I do think that the writing should've made all of this absolutely crystal clear, and I suppose you could give it a knock for that, but it is what it is.

--

I can agree with the lack of everyone getting a crack at Xehanort, and I thought that when Nomura was saying that we were going to have multiple people in our party that it was going to basically be an All-Out Attack type of deal in the final battle. It was personal for everybody, not just Sora at the very last second. I do think that Riku should've been the one to save Aqua instead of Sora, and I do think that there were loose ends that could've been tied up neater.

But I do think that Face My Fears is right, because:

Nomura had KH1 which he thought was it. Then when he got KHCoM and KH2, he had to backtrack and force connections between KH1 and KH2 ("Ansem" is now Xehanort's heartless and the KH2 villain is Xehanort's nobody). I'm pretty sure this was a repeated scenario with Nomura and KH. If you look at KH's storytelling, a lot of it is patchwork and one of the reasons I believe is because Nomura never knew how many games he would get, if he would ever get KH3 or how many games he would get before he hit KH3. That is not excusing the storytelling, but I'm trying to at least understand Nomura's issues with telling the story. Marvel planned it out - 22 films to build up to the climax. I don't think Nomura had that luxury.
And it's clear that he makes it up as he goes along. Marvel had a game plan going into Infinity War, as well as reference material spanning years and years of stories to pull from. Not to mention, different writers and different directors. Of course, the Russo brothers had an extreme amount of pressure to deliver, but it's not like they were heading the entire MCU themselves. They had four films, and even then, people still have complaints about Endgame.

This doesn't give Nomura an excuse, don't get me wrong, but I'm sure it's easier to write a plot when you know where you're going. That's why One Piece is amazing -- Eiichiro Oda's said multiple times that he knows how he wants to end OP, and will even give you a percentage of how completed the story is. He's had it laid out for years, but the only time that may change is if he wants to add or flesh things out. If Nomura has the next saga planned out from beginning to end already, it should be more concise, but we really won't know until we get there.
 

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And it's clear that he makes it up as he goes along. Marvel had a game plan going into Infinity War, as well as reference material spanning years and years of stories to pull from. Not to mention, different writers and different directors. Of course, the Russo brothers had an extreme amount of pressure to deliver, but it's not like they were heading the entire MCU themselves. They had four films, and even then, people still have complaints about Endgame.

This doesn't give Nomura an excuse, don't get me wrong, but I'm sure it's easier to write a plot when you know where you're going. That's why One Piece is amazing -- Eiichiro Oda's said multiple times that he knows how he wants to end OP, and will even give you a percentage of how completed the story is. He's had it laid out for years, but the only time that may change is if he wants to add or flesh things out. If Nomura has the next saga planned out from beginning to end already, it should be more concise, but we really won't know until we get there.
I always felt like the only main title game that the Disney worlds did not really matter is KH2. That being said, I did enjoy playing through the worlds as Sora having unadulterated fun in Disney worlds, but critically looking at the Disney world roles in KH2, it was basically non-existent.

I strongly believe that Nomura has the future of the KH series thought out - at least more clearly than the Xehanort saga. I feel like the Xehanort saga was just him assembling the pieces necessary for the next saga, and in a way, the Marvel films leading up to Endgame. I know that KH3 should have been the Endgame for the KH series, but I think Nomura has something else in mind. It sucks that Xehanort's story got shafted and a lot of the characters didn't get their closure/more time in KH3. But stepping back from all of that, I see a pattern emerging. Each game introduced us to new concepts that exist in the game world and seem to culminate to KHUX (and apparently what's to come in KHIV). Coded was the datascape, DDD was time travel/dream realm (which facilitates the different "world lines"), Chain of Memories was replicas, KH2 was nobodies, 358/2 Days was nobodies able to grow hearts, and BbS was how to summon the true Kingdom Hearts/X-Blade (and hints at Luxu's role in getting the ball rolling on the Keyblade War). With all of that lore out of the way, Nomura doesn't need a whole game dedicated to explaining it anymore, we got that info. So now he can go ahead and tell a cohesive story without having to backtrack and explain stuff - which was sort of the defining trait of the Xehanort Saga. Nomura literally explained why Mickey was shirtless in KH1!
 

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It would have been weird to assemble Aqua and Ven, then spend time chatting away at Mysterious Tower, then stroll into other Disney worlds while Aqua and Ven catch up with Kairi and Lea etc.
Um.......no it wouldn't have? This was what I was expecting exactly to happen. Save Aqua early in the game, have her wake up Ven midway through the game, Mickey/Sora/Riku/Yen Sid informs them of what happened while they were gone, and then they prepare and rest with Axel and Kairi, while having them bond and reminisce and reflect on all that's happened since they met each other.

I feel like not having the main heros interact and develop their own connections and friendships to each other before the final battle was a really crucial missing aspect from this game. It would have been nice to give the audience at least a small amount of potential emotional investment into the fate of these characters. A throwaway line of "now everyone has gummiphones to text each other" at the very end doesn't count.
 

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Um.......no it wouldn't have? This was what I was expecting exactly to happen. Save Aqua early in the game, have her wake up Ven midway through the game, Mickey/Sora/Riku/Yen Sid informs them of what happened while they were gone, and then they prepare and rest with Axel and Kairi, while having them bond and reminisce and reflect on all that's happened since they met each other.

I feel like not having the main heros interact and develop their own connections and friendships to each other before the final battle was a really crucial missing aspect from this game. It would have been nice to give the audience at least a small amount of potential emotional investment into the fate of these characters. A throwaway line of "now everyone has gummiphones to text each other" at the very end doesn't count.
I meant it would have been weird in the KH3 that we got to have us save Aqua. Imagine doing all the Disney worlds (in KH3), then saving Ven, then going to additional Disney worlds. It would make no sense if everyone's ready. I get where you're coming from to save Aqua early, then save Ven later, but... would Aqua really wait around to save Ven while Sora is listening to Elsa perform "Let It Go"? KH3 was written into a corner on certain things. If you save Aqua, the logical option is for Ven to be saved right after.

A potential way to stall for more time, so that Ven/Aqua could catch up with the rest of the gang, was if they said Axel/Kairi was taking longer than expected to train. Then you could have saved Aqua and Ven in the first 2/3's of the game and not go straight to the Keyblade Graveyard, since you were waiting on Kairi. Then to finish their training, Aqua would train Kairi and Ven would train Axel, while Sora and the gang roots on the sidelines. Then Kairi and Axel have their final fight (which Kairi wins), then they take a night to rest up (with all of them chatting away about their hopes and dreams and who they miss), then go to the Keyblade Graveyard.
 

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I meant it would have been weird in the KH3 that we got to have us save Aqua. Imagine doing all the Disney worlds (in KH3), then saving Ven, then going to additional Disney worlds. It would make no sense if everyone's ready. I get where you're coming from to save Aqua early, then save Ven later, but... would Aqua really wait around to save Ven while Sora is listening to Elsa perform "Let It Go"? KH3 was written into a corner on certain things. If you save Aqua, the logical option is for Ven to be saved right after.
Not necessarily true. Tbh I was actually rather surprised that Aqua Sora and Co were able to get to Castle Oblivion with no obstacles or hinderances whatsoever, since it's in between the RoL and the RoD. Sora wasn't able to get into the Dark Realm for 90% of the game, yet going to the Realm in Between was as easy as a snap of the finger. It should have been portrayed as a daunting task to journey through and access, and it would have given a plot reason as for why Sora and Co couldn't wake up Ventus immediately after rescuing Aqua.
 
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Even if Aqua and Ven were saved earlier, it wouldn't really lead to a whole bunch of new interaction or anything. It's not like they're going to replace Donald and Goofy in your party and go to Disney worlds with you. (And once Ven was gotten back, why would the Disney plots exist at all? They have the guardians, they have the power of waking. Why would Xehanort wait?)

I think it's easy to forget that the character trio build up was for Donald and Goofy and Sora to journey together, that that combo is part of what makes a numbered title a numbered title, and that it hadn't really been a focus for like six games. (It's not a coincidence 0.2 ends with them getting back together as a team and Yen Sid literally saying "I'd have it no other way".) That was clearly the focus for KH3, it was their journey, and I think it delivered in that sense. It's why they are the ones who get the triumphant moment in the final battle, they were the ones that were with you, on this journey, from beginning to end, etc.

I also think we have to consider the fact that, unlike movies, games are meant to be played. The player is meant to be the focus and the developers need to juggle that. Nomura's quote about his difficulty with the KG makes it pretty clear that they were aware of the desires of fans, of the fact that each character has things they want to accomplish and that he wanted to make it so they each got to deal with their stuff themselves, but by the nature of it being a game, that the player character is Sora, that it wasn't feasible for them to make any more playable characters (and would also be awkward for endgame fights to be heavily based on a character you cannot customize or have relation to all the powers, skills, equipment you gained throughout the game), that it was something they struggled with, that they went back and forth on and rewrote again and again, but that they ultimately chose to focus on the player's actions and to do what they could to keep the pace of gameplay quick in that final segment. When you can't make all of these key characters playable, you end up having to limit yourself to everything happening in cutscenes, without any player input. I don't think that would have gone over very well either (I can just picture the threads of "KH3 is trash. A battle against 13 and you only get to actually play 6 of them?!" etc). Honestly, they were in a damned if you do, damned if you don't position when having to deal with the realities and limitations of game development.

I don't know. I always maintained for years that, for character interactions/development etc, the title to look forward to was KH4, not KH3. I knew that the game would be too focused on the plot, and on saving these people (and wanting these savings to happen in the climax) that there wouldn't be time for the interactions that people crave and want, so I wasn't too disappointed in that sense. I knew it would happen. It's a numbered title, that's kind of their M.O.s. I think part of the disappointment comes from everyone knowing they would be saved, so naturally the thing they wanted was The After, but KH3 isn't the end. There is more to come.

(Though, for me the game was full of great character interactions and character moments, it just wasn't really about the Guardians. But the interactions between Disney characters and the Org? The interactions between the Org members themselves (the Demyx/Vexen scene is amazing, Demyx/Zexion charming, Demyx/Larxene hilarious, Larxene's "Ugh. Xemnas." when he shows up, haha, Luxord/Vexen scene managing to be true to their characters, reveal past history and details, raise doubts, etc) like I loved all of these scenes, I felt like the Org members finally got to actually show their personalities and play off each other and we got unique matchups that hadn't been seen in the series yet, Vexen's surprising atonement arc, HPO getting focus and interacting in the main plot, the way Sora and co interact with the Disney chars (I'm especially a big fan of BH6's interactions and Toy Box's and Rapunzel's), Axel and Kairi's friendship, Riku and Repliku, Jiminy gets some nice moments with the gang and Sora, Sora/Pooh, Sora/Nami, Sora/Ienzo, Sora/HPO, Sora/Merlin). Heck, even within the Guardians you still have a decent amount of moments, and some that people have been wanting for a long time (Lea/Ven, Lea/Saix, Aqua/Kairi, Aqua/Sora/Riku, Ven/Aqua, Vanitas/Ven, Sora/Xion, DiZ/Apprentices etc etc)). Idk, for me there is still a lot of good here.

I understand why Nomura made the choices he made with the KG. I think he pared it down a little too much personally, but found that he still managed to hit the big emotional beats right for me, but that also seems to be something he's aware of as well and intends to address it in the DLC (personally i'm hoping that, if the battle structure can't be changed, that they will at least add special team attacks for each guardian team up in the KG, and I'm hoping for a few extra scenes of character moments). For some this is "too little, too late" which I can understand. For some, having to wait for those interactions for future titles isn't good enough. I get it, but I don't really know what more there is to say about it at this point. Is the next five years+ of this fandom and community just going to continue to be the same arguments, the same threads, the same list of disappointments, the same criticism, the same insults at the devs, and so and so on? Like at a certain point accepting and moving on is a necessity. Finding a constructive path forward is needed. Lest we poison our own well.

Anyway, that's where I'm at.
 
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SuperSaiyanSora

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I always felt like the only main title game that the Disney worlds did not really matter is KH2. That being said, I did enjoy playing through the worlds as Sora having unadulterated fun in Disney worlds, but critically looking at the Disney world roles in KH2, it was basically non-existent.

I strongly believe that Nomura has the future of the KH series thought out - at least more clearly than the Xehanort saga. I feel like the Xehanort saga was just him assembling the pieces necessary for the next saga, and in a way, the Marvel films leading up to Endgame. I know that KH3 should have been the Endgame for the KH series, but I think Nomura has something else in mind. It sucks that Xehanort's story got shafted and a lot of the characters didn't get their closure/more time in KH3. But stepping back from all of that, I see a pattern emerging. Each game introduced us to new concepts that exist in the game world and seem to culminate to KHUX (and apparently what's to come in KHIV). Coded was the datascape, DDD was time travel/dream realm (which facilitates the different "world lines"), Chain of Memories was replicas, KH2 was nobodies, 358/2 Days was nobodies able to grow hearts, and BbS was how to summon the true Kingdom Hearts/X-Blade (and hints at Luxu's role in getting the ball rolling on the Keyblade War). With all of that lore out of the way, Nomura doesn't need a whole game dedicated to explaining it anymore, we got that info. So now he can go ahead and tell a cohesive story without having to backtrack and explain stuff - which was sort of the defining trait of the Xehanort Saga. Nomura literally explained why Mickey was shirtless in KH1!
I honestly think that the next saga will have some of Nomura's best writing to date due to him not needing to backtrack and reconnect (lol) stuff here and there. It does sound like he has an idea of where he wants to take the story next, and I think the biggest clue will be that massive Union Cross update that they apparently have planned (stated in the Ultimania), as well as the KH3 DLC. When both will release is anybody's guess, but I think they may release around the same time, kinda like how the stuff with Brain and the "virus" stuff came out around the same time KH3 did.

But the ReMIND/Name TBA DLC stuff that gets released, I'm sure there's going to be much more clues for the saga ahead.

Even if Aqua and Ven were saved earlier, it wouldn't really lead to a whole bunch of new interaction or anything. It's not like they're going to replace Donald and Goofy in your party and go to Disney worlds with you. (And once Ven was gotten back, why would the Disney plots exist at all? They have the guardians, they have the power of waking. Why would Xehanort wait?)
That's precisely the point I've been trying to make. People wanted the two to be saved early, but that is precisely the event that gets the ball rolling towards the final act. It's been made clear time and again that the guy is a tactician and had multiple options at the ready should something occur, so he pretty much was more or less waiting for the Guardians to get assembled. There's absolutely zero reason to go anywhere besides the Keyblade Graveyard by that point, why? It's not like Maleficent and Pete were an active threat, and the New Seven Hearts were only at risk if they hadn't found all the required Lights. The only reason why Sora kept getting harassed in the Disney worlds was due to him being guided, they wouldn't even bother visiting anywhere if all the pieces were in place.

I mean, even the reunion at The Mysterious Tower was enough. They're not gonna get super emotional at the moment because there's still people to save, and their battle is literally the next day.

I understand why Nomura made the choices he made with the KG. I think he pared it down a little too much personally, but found that he still managed to hit the big emotional beats right for me, but that also seems to be something he's aware of as well and intends to address it in the DLC (personally i'm hoping that, if the battle structure can't be changed, that they will at least add special team attacks for each guardian team up in the KG, and I'm hoping for a few extra scenes of character moments). For some this is "too little, too late" which I can understand.
Actually, perfect timing. I was reading the KH3 Ultimania just now, and I read this:

—Is work on the upcoming DLC going well?

Nomura: At this point in time, I have given the staff a list of the battle elements I want to do, and they are investigating. As for additional story, I think it will mainly be expanding on the Keyblade Graveyard things I mentioned before when I talked about narrowing my aim. I do plan to complete it as soon as possible, but as we are working on it alongside preparation for the next project, I still can't tell you when to expect it to be released. For the time being, we are planning to present several pieces of content as one pack rather than release several separate things.


(And for those who wanted to read the "narrowing my aim" topic in context):

—The story's endgame where all your friends and foes gather at the Keyblade Graveyard was a masterpiece.

Nomura: I know each fan has their own different beloved character, so I wanted to give each one an appropriate moment. But in the end there was too much story that had to be told then, and I ended up being restricted to the minimum necessary to move Sora forward. The truth is, the Keyblade Graveyard was the toughest part I faced when writing the scenario. Shining the spotlight on each character one by one allows you to depict the unfolding developments with time and care, but the flow of the game requires the player to control Sora and fight battles. Ideally, I should have had characters with connections fight it out one by one and settle things that way, but that would have required too much exposition. On the other hand, I did think of limiting the number of enemies you actually battle and finishing others with cutscenes, but it didn't feel right. At the end of deep worry and thought, I narrowed my aim and ended up with the way it is now, which prioritizes rhythm.


Which confirms you're right. (I know you're aware of the Ultimania stuff already, but just for the sake of the topic at hand lmao) It's clear that Nomura knew that the Keyblade Graveyard would probably have the most criticism, and lo and behold, it does. Pretty sure nearly all of the criticism regarding the pacing is due to that exact same scenario. He felt the rhythm of the Keyblade Graveyard would probably be too bogged down, so he made it as streamlined as possible, but it's clear he knew that he probably could've went with the fan-favorite idea that was letting everyone else duke it out.

So that's why I think this DLC is going to alleviate a lot of people's concerns when it comes to the lack of interaction between characters and whatnot. It's really the Keyblade Graveyard that could use some tweaking the most. They could expand Scala ad Caelum, but probably not. Since they're preparing for the next title, I wouldn't want them to get held up too long on this DLC.
 
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