Specific Points You Were Disappointed In KH3



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SweetYetSalty

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Well despite it being rather clear to most attentive fans, who the three hearts were, quite a few fans still saw the third one as a mystery. At least initially.

I agree with what you are saying here. Sora understanding and relieving some of the hurt was set up as a plot point and really would have been a more satisfying to experience.

This would have also been a somewhat organic way to recap their stories and adventures.

I'm kind of amazed that Riku didn't think to bring up the black haired girl he saw along with Roxas and Ven, when he dived into Sora's heart.

Both Sora and Riku encountered Xion in DDD, so it's kind of baffling neither thought to look into the black haired girl that looks like Kairi. Especially after learning about a third unaccounted for heart.




Honestly this seems like another example of their waiting until the last minute to actually develop the set up story biting them in the rear.

I feel like the only one that really should have been saved at the Keyblade Graveyard should have been Terra. With Roxas and Xion, being saved earlier and at RD undergoing the process to be revived. They could then later make a grand opening in the fight.
Thank you! Finally someone else says it! Why did they bother having Mickey, Sora, and Riku learn about "that other girl" in Re:Coded and DDD as one of the people waiting for Sora/In Sora's heart if they were just going to ignore her until the very end of the game at the Keyblade Graveyard when she shows up on the enemies side? The Kairis were not treated well in KH3.
 

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Consider me a whiner, but damn so much negativity in one topic, begins to kill a KH fan in me. I feel I am starting to lose interest in the game.
As for the topic, it is strange that everyone criticizes the dialogue in Kingdom hearts 3, on the contrary, I always thought that more humor and self-irony was added to the game.
 

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Thank you! Finally someone else says it! Why did they bother having Mickey, Sora, and Riku learn about "that other girl" in Re:Coded and DDD as one of the people waiting for Sora/In Sora's heart if they were just going to ignore her until the very end of the game at the Keyblade Graveyard when she shows up on the enemies side? The Kairis were not treated well in KH3.
It especially stings with Riku, because he and Xion formed a unique kind of relationship over the course of Days, one that was rooted in a shared outlook on the world and their similarly combative, inquisitive natures. There are so many ways that Riku's new role as Master could have been folded into Xion's journey of return: he has access to Sora's heart, and he guided her once before when she needed somebody to help her find her way. Riku understood Xion better than Roxas or Axel ever did; he was her mirror even as she was reflecting everyone else around her, and the fact that this entire angle of her history is ignored/dropped from KH3 in favor of just swapping out the microchip in the robot is so busted. It would have been only natural if Riku and Namine had worked together to help bring Xion back as a matter of repaying the debt they owe to her, but then it's fitting that KH3 ends in a graveyard, since that's all it is thematically.

As for the topic, it is strange that everyone criticizes the dialogue in Kingdom hearts 3, on the contrary, I always thought that more humor and self-irony was added to the game.
And that's about where it went wrong. KH used to be cheesy and earnest, now it's too clever by half and reaches for a mood that isn't organic to the franchise. The emotional intelligence of past titles was the series' best feature but it would rather be "cool" now, and that means being meme-worthy at all times. Actual story structure and narrative integrity have a tendency to get in the way of that.
 

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Consider me a whiner, but damn so much negativity in one topic, begins to kill a KH fan in me. I feel I am starting to lose interest in the game.

As for the topic, it is strange that everyone criticizes the dialogue in Kingdom hearts 3, on the contrary, I always thought that more humor and self-irony was added to the game.
Well remember people can have issues with a game and still like/enjoy it. I found the game enjoyable, but I also think it could have been a lot better. A it's good, but could have been great kind of thing.

I agree a lot of the more casual dialog in this game was pretty fun. SDG had a lot of fun banter which really sold their friendship to me.

It especially stings with Riku, because he and Xion formed a unique kind of relationship over the course of Days, one that was rooted in a shared outlook on the world and their similarly combative, inquisitive natures. There are so many ways that Riku's new role as Master could have been folded into Xion's journey of return: he has access to Sora's heart, and he guided her once before when she needed somebody to help her find her way. Riku understood Xion better than Roxas or Axel ever did; he was her mirror even as she was reflecting everyone else around her, and the fact that this entire angle of her history is ignored/dropped from KH3 in favor of just swapping out the microchip in the robot is so busted. It would have been only natural if Riku and Namine had worked together to help bring Xion back as a matter of repaying the debt they owe to her, but then it's fitting that KH3 ends in a graveyard, since that's all it is thematically.
Yeah with Riku and Xion's relationship, him not even remotely being involved in saving her hurts. It especially stings considering both Roxas and Axel seem to remember her again upon seeing her face, yet Riku doesn't. I guess it has something to do with her having not returned as an individual yet.

Again I think the fact that all the saving was reserved and pushed to the end of the game made us lose out on a lot of impact takes on these moments that kind of felt rushed and maybe even a bit hollow.

The story kind of suffers from being a video game with only one playable character here. Obviously the player would want to be involved in doing the saving and pushing the story forward, so the developers probably decided against having Riku and Mickey succeed in cutscenes, but by doing that they also paint the two as incompetent and Sora as a bit of a shonen main character.
Had Riku had a full playable RoD segment which ended with Aqua being able to return to the RoL would have helped.

It's weird how much set up Coded and DDD did that wasn't really utilized. Like Mickey, Donald and Goody never asking Axel about a dark haired girl in the Org coat. The cast seems to think anyone in that coat is from the Org, so them not asking their friend, who used to be part of the Org is strange.

Thank you! Finally someone else says it! Why did they bother having Mickey, Sora, and Riku learn about "that other girl" in Re:Coded and DDD as one of the people waiting for Sora/In Sora's heart if they were just going to ignore her until the very end of the game at the Keyblade Graveyard when she shows up on the enemies side? The Kairis were not treated well in KH3.
Yeah, the Kairis were done dirty.

Though I don't dislike the idea of a Dark Xion on the side of the Villains, but I'd rather have her be a dark reflection of Xion, taunting her and calling her a failed prototype. The Dark Xion could have the same memories but twisted and be a manifestieren of her pain of being forgotten, that Xehanort took advantage of.

Kind of like Anti-Aqua just better executed.
 
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SweetYetSalty

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Well remember people can have issues with a game and still like/enjoy it. I found the game enjoyable, but I also think it could have been a lot better. A it's good, but could have been great kind of thing.

I agree a lot of the more casual dialog in this game was pretty fun. SDG had a lot of fun banter which really sold their friendship to me.



Yeah with Riku and Xion's relationship, him not even remotely being involved in saving her hurts. It especially stings considering both Roxas and Axel seem to remember her again upon seeing her face, yet Riku doesn't. I guess it has something to do with her having not returned as an individual yet.

Again I think the fact that all the saving was reserved and pushed to the end of the game made us lose out on a lot of impact takes on these moments that kind of felt rushed and maybe even a bit hollow.

The story kind of suffers from being a video game with only one playable character here. Obviously the player would want to be involved in doing the saving and pushing the story forward, so the developers probably decided against having Riku and Mickey succeed in cutscenes, but by doing that they also paint the two as incompetent and Sora as a bit of a shonen main character.
Had Riku had a full playable RoD segment which ended with Aqua being able to return to the RoL would have helped.

It's weird how much set up Coded and DDD did that wasn't really utilized. Like Mickey, Donald and Goody never asking Axel about a dark haired girl in the Org coat. The cast seems to think anyone in that coat is from the Org, so them not asking their friend, who used to be part of the Org is strange.



Yeah, the Kairis were done dirty.

Though I don't dislike the idea of a Dark Xion on the side of the Villains, but I'd rather have her be a dark reflection of Xion, taunting her and calling her a failed prototype. The Dark Xion could have the same memories but twisted and be a manifestieren of her pain of being forgotten, that Xehanort took advantage of.

Kind of like Anti-Aqua just better executed.
I'm actually okay with Riku not playing a role in Xion's story. He wasn't as close with her as Roxas and Axel were. Plus he had his own story with his own Replica and trying to save Aqua...which I wish he did. The only real thing Riku could have done for Xion was tell Sora he met another girl in his heart that looked like Kairi, and hope that Sora remembers "that other girl" as the third heart. The third heart should not have been a mystery especially one that doesn't get answered by Sora himself. That's bad storytelling. By trying to keep Xion a mystery it just screwed her over in the game, because it was a mystery nobody was trying to solve. She's not listed as one of the friends the Guardains want to save and it's repeated over and over again in the loading hashtags. Save Roxas, Terra, and Namine. Screw Xion.

It makes Lea's early vision of her pointless too. What was the point of him seeing her in Kairi if he still won't remember her through the entire game until she gets her identity back? Was it just to remind you she's going to be in the game? It feels like they were going somewhere with this and then it got dropped. Much like Sora going on a personal quest to save Roxas. Honestly it just makes Lea come off even more disappointing. Not a single one of his friends got saved by him. Roxas and Xion "sparked" one another and then Keyblade Isa/Saix to the face with the help of Sora.

I was all for Dark Xion going into KH3. It made more sense then Anti-Aqua, and she could have been a good rival character to Kairi if Kairi actually had a good role in the game. Dark Xion should have been what Dark Riku was. A 2.0 evil version with no bonds, purposely used to harass Kairi and Lea and at the end the real Xion would drive her out and reclaim her body with the help of her friends. Plus it would have been sick to see her armored forms as bosses in KH3.
 

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I'm actually okay with Riku not playing a role in Xion's story. He wasn't as close with her as Roxas and Axel were. Plus he had his own story with his own Replica and trying to save Aqua...which I wish he did. The only real thing Riku could have done for Xion was tell Sora he met another girl in his heart that looked like Kairi, and hope that Sora remembers "that other girl" as the third heart. The third heart should not have been a mystery especially one that doesn't get answered by Sora himself. That's bad storytelling. By trying to keep Xion a mystery it just screwed her over in the game, because it was a mystery nobody was trying to solve. She's not listed as one of the friends the Guardains want to save and it's repeated over and over again in the loading hashtags. Save Roxas, Terra, and Namine. Screw Xion.



It makes Lea's early vision of her pointless too. What was the point of him seeing her in Kairi if he still won't remember her through the entire game until she gets her identity back? Was it just to remind you she's going to be in the game? It feels like they were going somewhere with this and then it got dropped. Much like Sora going on a personal quest to save Roxas. Honestly it just makes Lea come off even more disappointing. Not a single one of his friends got saved by him. Roxas and Xion "sparked" one another and then Keyblade Isa/Saix to the face with the help of Sora.



I was all for Dark Xion going into KH3. It made more sense then Anti-Aqua, and she could have been a good rival character to Kairi if Kairi actually had a good role in the game. Dark Xion should have been what Dark Riku was. A 2.0 evil version with no bonds, purposely used to harass Kairi and Lea and at the end the real Xion would drive her out and reclaim her body with the help of her friends. Plus it would have been sick to see her armored forms as bosses in KH3.
Yeah, just imagine, if Kairi and Lea had a proper story line, Dark Xion would have been the perfect antagonist for them. She could be angry and constantly acting antagonistic against them. Holding a grudge against Kairi for being real and not just a puppet created from someone's memories and for being able to reunite with her friends. She could also be furious at Axel for forgetting her, for letting her go and for only trying to save Roxas.

And while Riku wasn't as close to her as Roxas and Axel, he played a big role in her life and helped her through some of her hardest times. (Dark Xion could also have haunted Riku for leading her to her demise)

I actually think Anti-Aqua could have worked really well, the stuff she said her the fight sounded like the twisted and irrational thoughts that probably had been nagging at her for years. While she rationally knew Riku and Sora weren't responsible and that Mickey arguably did what he could, there was this doubt that they didn't want to save her, that she'd been forgotten.
But she knew it wasn't true, it was her darkness speaking, which is also why she said they had nothing to apologize for later on, when she was freed of it.

Sadly how we got Anti-Aqua and Dark Xion weren't really satisfying. They failed to live up to their potential.

Also Sora really should have spent more time trying to figure out how to save the hearts with in him and less just trying to randomly reawaken the power of waking. It would have been nice if he'd try to get to know them and feel them so he could ultimately help save them.
The game kind of dropped the ball in that none of the characters really got to pursue or fulfill their goals.
 

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- Honestly the soundtrack wasn't very memorable outside of some standalone pieces (field & battle themes and the like). Shimomura seemed awfully distracted. It's almost like she didn't have a proper story to score!
This is definitely one of my bigger gripes with the game. Not the biggest, but still. The soundtrack disappointed me. I loved the scoring of the scenes, and a few tracks (mostly remixes!!), but most of the ost is just not really memorable to me. I can‘t think of any new themes to hum except for Final World and Scala ad Caelum.
 

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The OST is...odd. I have similar problems with it like I had with some other SE games in the recent years. The more tracks try to sound absolutely blasting, the less of a fuck I could give about it.
Some of the field and battle themes in KH3 were great (POTC, BH6), but other than that...yeah, my favorites were remixes of older songs in the series. It's sad.
 

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Yeah, just imagine, if Kairi and Lea had a proper story line, Dark Xion would have been the perfect antagonist for them. She could be angry and constantly acting antagonistic against them. Holding a grudge against Kairi for being real and not just a puppet created from someone's memories and for being able to reunite with her friends. She could also be furious at Axel for forgetting her, for letting her go and for only trying to save Roxas.
I'm sorry but... No. It would be out of character for Xion, who's famously humble and selfless (never putting the value of her life over others), to hold any sort of grudge against Kairi for being "real." She may have felt disdain at her status as a replica, but she never blamed anyone who was better off for it. Let alone someone she didn't even know and was overall indifferent toward (I.e. Kairi). Nevermind the fact that having her be angry at Axel to any degree over him not remembering her would just be a spit in the face to their final interactions, as he was one of the one's who worked the hardest to stop her from destroying herself. That, and she knew the consequences going into the situation anyway. It was her choice. How could she feasibly blame someone other than herself or Xemnas for a phenomenon when it was strictly out of their control? If she could be upset with anyone, it'd be with herself for wasting so much time shutting out Roxas and Axel when she first discovered the truth of her existence, and even then I doubt she was very hard on herself over that by the end (as she saw everything she did as necessary for the greater good, so her feelings were ultimately inconsequential in her mind). Ignoring all that would just make her look petty and subtract from the selflessness of her sacrifice, and the same goes with Aqua. Their moments of sacrifice (though made in response to circumstances created by the antagonist) were also simultaneously the moments where they had the most agency & impact on themselves, and the world around them. Why would they suddenly pretend like it's everyone else's fault? It's just interesting on a superficial level, but it hardly does the characters themselves any real justice as far as I'm concerned.
 

AdrianXXII

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I'm sorry but... No. It would be out of character for Xion, who's famously humble and selfless (never putting the value of her life over others), to hold any sort of grudge against Kairi for being "real." She may have felt disdain at her status as a replica, but she never blamed anyone who was better off for it. Let alone someone she didn't even know and was overall indifferent toward (I.e. Kairi). Nevermind the fact that having her be angry at Axel to any degree over him not remembering her would just be a spit in the face to their final interactions, as he was one of the one's who worked the hardest to stop her from destroying herself. That, and she knew the consequences going into the situation anyway. It was her choice. How could she feasibly blame someone other than herself or Xemnas for a phenomenon when it was strictly out of their control? If she could be upset with anyone, it'd be with herself for wasting so much time shutting out Roxas and Axel when she first discovered the truth of her existence, and even then I doubt she was very hard on herself over that by the end (as she saw everything she did as necessary for the greater good, so her feelings were ultimately inconsequential in her mind). Ignoring all that would just make her look petty and subtract from the selflessness of her sacrifice, and the same goes with Aqua. Their moments of sacrifice (though made in response to circumstances created by the antagonist) were also simultaneously the moments where they had the most agency & impact on themselves, and the world around them. Why would they suddenly pretend like it everyone else's fault? It's just interesting on a superficial level, but it hardly does the characters themselves any real justice as far as I'm concerned.
I don't disagree with you that this would be totally out of character for Xion, but that's kind of the point. In this hypothetical scenario this wouldn't be the real Xion, but another replica made, like in KH3 proper using, her as a base. Xion 2.0 if you will.

This replica would similar to how Dark Repliku was, be twisted and changed to be more antagonistic toward the real Xion's friends, while thinking she's the real one.
Though I guess the problem with this would be without Naminé there'd be no one to implant these false memories.

My idea is she'd be a character used to make the characters she'd face of against question things. She could either just function as antagonist or be used to help trigger Axel into properly remembering the real Xion.

Honestly this is just a flimsy idea I through out there off the top of my head and not one I spent a lot of time thinking out in detail and now writing this out, I feel like my version would just be revisiting CoM Repliku, which is ultimately pointless and just give us another clone.

With Aqua, you have to remember that she's been pretty much isolated since BBS with only a short contact with Mickey. In 0.2 we got to see the cracks forming, sure put into the same position she'd still do the same thing. Feeling alone and forgotten is horrible and she had to deal with that in a place known to have bad effect on one's mental state.

I feel like giving her doubts and insecurities a voice like with the Phantom Aqua works well, but the execution of Anti-Aqua didn't, because of how we got there.
 

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Yeah, I can't help but think Nomura wanted to dodge the bullet. Maybe that's what actually bothers me. Riku's va is all giddy on it being romantic and Miyu is like "rather not", but people still hold that scene as basically a marriage oath and refer to Chikai. And Nomura just keeps silent until, at the end of the game, has the need to have Sora die and because we kinda care about everyone else, it hits Kairi and no one besides Sora even cares. Everything about her is just so off in this game, even her voice acting kinda irritates me. It feels like she shouldn't even be there because not even the in-game characters give a damn.

What also bothers me tremendously is the lack of emotion on the character's faces. I have just rewatched the mysterious tower scene and everyone basically has the :| face most of the time or they look terribly bored. It feels so awkward that the only people showing emotion in these scenes are the ones talking and even in the moment when Ven declares that he remembers Lea, he just moves his arms a little and has this dead dull stare while saying "of course! We're friends!". Aqua doesn't even bother to turn around to the person who is speaking - she just keeps staring in Lea's direction even when Ven is speaking.
It's like when you go out with your friends but most of them hardly know each other, so only two of you are actually talking and everyone else just stares at you. No comments, no interest, no reactions. The dialogue in this game feels and looks really dull in scenes where you have more than three people involved. I was really looking forward to all the possible conversations in the game and got awkwardness with most of them ...
I have nothing to contribute to this thread right now, but I must have laughed for 3 minutes straight reading your second paragraph.
 

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I'm sorry but... No. It would be out of character for Xion, who's famously humble and selfless (never putting the value of her life over others), to hold any sort of grudge against Kairi for being "real." She may have felt disdain at her status as a replica, but she never blamed anyone who was better off for it. Let alone someone she didn't even know and was overall indifferent toward (I.e. Kairi). Nevermind the fact that having her be angry at Axel to any degree over him not remembering her would just be a spit in the face to their final interactions, as he was one of the one's who worked the hardest to stop her from destroying herself. That, and she knew the consequences going into the situation anyway. It was her choice. How could she feasibly blame someone other than herself or Xemnas for a phenomenon when it was strictly out of their control? If she could be upset with anyone, it'd be with herself for wasting so much time shutting out Roxas and Axel when she first discovered the truth of her existence, and even then I doubt she was very hard on herself over that by the end (as she saw everything she did as necessary for the greater good, so her feelings were ultimately inconsequential in her mind). Ignoring all that would just make her look petty and subtract from the selflessness of her sacrifice, and the same goes with Aqua. Their moments of sacrifice (though made in response to circumstances created by the antagonist) were also simultaneously the moments where they had the most agency & impact on themselves, and the world around them. Why would they suddenly pretend like it's everyone else's fault? It's just interesting on a superficial level, but it hardly does the characters themselves any real justice as far as I'm concerned.
I really like this post. It's deep. I agree with pretty much all you said here. For me a Dark Xion would only really work if she wasn't the real thing, like Dark Riku was. And I can see Xemnas doing something petty like that due to them knowing how to "injure a heart" as payback against Lea.The real Xion then could have made her triumphant return defeating what is basically everything Xemnas wanted her to be.I would have preferred that over her return being kicked in the stomach. Makes me curious if Xion was a boy would she have gotten that? Xion, Roxas, Namine, and Terra really got cheated in terms of screentime but at the very least Roxas and Terra had awesome returns. Namine and Xion? One's a star all game and the other belly kicked.

Edit: To further that. Ventus's return is a grand attack against Vanitas, while Aqua's return is getting blasted into the ocean.Just saying.
 

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I'm sorry but... No. It would be out of character for Xion, who's famously humble and selfless (never putting the value of her life over others), to hold any sort of grudge against Kairi for being "real." She may have felt disdain at her status as a replica, but she never blamed anyone who was better off for it. Let alone someone she didn't even know and was overall indifferent toward (I.e. Kairi). Nevermind the fact that having her be angry at Axel to any degree over him not remembering her would just be a spit in the face to their final interactions, as he was one of the one's who worked the hardest to stop her from destroying herself. That, and she knew the consequences going into the situation anyway. It was her choice. How could she feasibly blame someone other than herself or Xemnas for a phenomenon when it was strictly out of their control? If she could be upset with anyone, it'd be with herself for wasting so much time shutting out Roxas and Axel when she first discovered the truth of her existence, and even then I doubt she was very hard on herself over that by the end (as she saw everything she did as necessary for the greater good, so her feelings were ultimately inconsequential in her mind). Ignoring all that would just make her look petty and subtract from the selflessness of her sacrifice, and the same goes with Aqua. Their moments of sacrifice (though made in response to circumstances created by the antagonist) were also simultaneously the moments where they had the most agency & impact on themselves, and the world around them. Why would they suddenly pretend like it's everyone else's fault? It's just interesting on a superficial level, but it hardly does the characters themselves any real justice as far as I'm concerned.
Yeah, all of this. The reason that Replica/Dark Riku works is that Riku was always his own worst enemy; he couldn't allow himself to place sufficient faith in his friends and sought power as a means of securing his own position, particularly in Sora's eyes, as someone to be reckoned with/won back over. He wanted Sora to chase him so badly but he didn't know how to ask for Sora's help in handling the parts of himself that were slowly corrupting him from within without running the risk of seeming weak and vulnerable. This backfired when he walked right into the manipulations of Ansem SoD/Xehanort as a last ditch effort to regain control over his circumstances, and he spent the better part of the series untangling himself from the snarl of his own dark past and the consequences of his actions: so while I thought it was underwhelming to rehash this dynamic once again in KH3, evil!Riku of whatever variety does have some symbolic value as representative of his history and the beliefs he once internalized about himself, and about others. Riku can't ever shirk accountability for what he did, but he can aim to the best version of himself going forward-- the alternate Rikus who appear highlight his growth and his willingness to learn and to change.

Xion, by contrast, walked herself out of the trap set by Xemnas-- in no small part because Riku lent her the necessary perspective to understand her own position and feelings, as she did the same for him-- and derailed the Org's entire plan by helping to move Roxas from a state of guileless stagnation to a point where he was finally ready to respond to the reality of his circumstances. It was, in its own way, cruel in that it meant shattering his idealistic outlook (which Axel's repeated betrayals of his trust had already started to crack) in the most abrupt and forceful manner possible, but the point was to prompt him to start making the difficult choices he'd been avoiding, the things that he didn't even want to look at because it might disrupt the sanctity and safety he had assumed would always persist within their triad. More than being instinctively humble and selfess-- on the contrary, Xion shows a marked capacity for spite ("Do you hate me for taking your friends away from you?") and the burden of her sacrifice weighs upon her, which is why she asks Axel not to hold back-- Xion is clear-sighted and retains an understanding of the bigger picture that allows her to make decisions, even at a cost to herself, if they're for the greater good. She doesn't show Sora's impulsive drive towards heroism but she does share in his ability to take a broader view of the world around her and accept her place in it, rather than trying to inflict her will upon an unchangeable set of conditions: whereas Roxas is motivated to rebel against the unfairness of it all and try to regain what he lost, Xion accepts that loss as part of the cycle of living, which she will remain a part of even after she is "gone," and that her friends will be better off for her readiness to make the difficult decisions they don't want to accept as necessary. So, Xion's primary conflict is not with an aspect of herself that she can't accept, but a matter of coming to a place of understanding her duty to others and the importance of acting in defiance of the rubric of "destiny" as others would preordain it in order to assert her own authority over what is and is not destined for her.

A Dark Xion wouldn't have been Xion at all; there's nothing for her to reclaim because she has no stake in a conflict of identity polarizing good and evil. She struggled with the competing, conflicting demands of a world that didn't seem to have space for her and had to discover her own will within that context: that struggle wouldn't be clarified through having her swing a Keyblade against some proforma "bad guy" version of herself, or having that version of herself swing a Keyblade against Kairi, someone who had nothing at all to do with her journey. They're only "connected" by the raw material of their makeup, but that's like saying Evil Roxas should fight Ven because they have the same face. It wouldn't do anything for either character, at least not without some very explicit groundwork being laid ahead of it to justify the diversion. What Xion needed more than anything in KH3 was for someone to "recognize" her: that was the literal premise of her dilemma, being "forgotten," and the pain of being exited from the circle of existence-- but there was a part of her that persisted in the actions she took to better the world and make a future for everyone possible, and that ought to have been the key to bringing her back, through a reminder that she could never really be forgotten because her will continued to work through those connections she restored through her sacrifice. That makes her a part of those connections, and it just so happens there's a character who is very good at sifting through such chains and identifying the individual links...

Makes me curious if Xion was a boy would she have gotten that? Xion, Roxas, Namine, and Terra really got cheated in terms of screentime but at the very least Roxas and Terra had awesome returns. Namine and Xion? One's a star all game and the other belly kicked.

Edit: To further that. Ventus's return is a grand attack against Vanitas, while Aqua's return is getting blasted into the ocean.Just saying.
The discrepancy between the depictions of the male characters in their return journey and the depictions of women in KH3 is notable. The men are repeatedly empowered through and in the moment of resurrection, with half of the battle being won by them. Ven calls out to Sora actively and basically helps Sora through the process of reviving himself, so it's not that just that it's framed as "cool" because Ven breaks through to save Aqua, it's that Ven is actually a participant in the resolution of his own dilemma. Terra similarly acts to rescue Ven and Aqua before coordinating with Sora to reclaim his own body, and Roxas returns with full cognizance of his own condition and in a moment of crisis where he's shown stepping in to protect his friends from imminent danger.

Meanwhile, Aqua has the crap kicked out of her by Sora before coming back to the constant refrain that she is too "weak," "emotionally damaged," whatever to actually perform heroically, Xion's entire situation is made as confusing and unintelligible as possible to the extent that it's not even clear if she knows what the fuck is going on while she is simultaneously forced into a vulnerable position specifically for the benefit of Roxas's rescue mission, and Namine is essentially killed off (twice?) while she waits around in limbo for the end credits montage.

In its treatment of the femmes, KH3 makes every recent game that actually took its women seriously seem like a fluke. The fact that there are fans practically begging for Nomura to throw them a bone and let Kairi be playable just so they can actually experience the run up to her getting murdered firsthand is indicative of just how low the collective estimation of this game's treatment of women has gotten. Like that is the best possible outcome. Yeah.
 

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Yeah, all of this. The reason that Replica/Dark Riku works is that Riku was always his own worst enemy; he couldn't allow himself to place sufficient faith in his friends and sought power as a means of securing his own position, particularly in Sora's eyes, as someone to be reckoned with/won back over. He wanted Sora to chase him so badly but he didn't know how to ask for Sora's help in handling the parts of himself that were slowly corrupting him from within without running the risk of seeming weak and vulnerable. This backfired when he walked right into the manipulations of Ansem SoD/Xehanort as a last ditch effort to regain control over his circumstances, and he spent the better part of the series untangling himself from the snarl of his own dark past and the consequences of his actions: so while I thought it was underwhelming to rehash this dynamic once again in KH3, evil!Riku of whatever variety does have some symbolic value as representative of his history and the beliefs he once internalized about himself, and about others. Riku can't ever shirk accountability for what he did, but he can aim to the best version of himself going forward-- the alternate Rikus who appear highlight his growth and his willingness to learn and to change.

Xion, by contrast, walked herself out of the trap set by Xemnas-- in no small part because Riku lent her the necessary perspective to understand her own position and feelings, as she did the same for him-- and derailed the Org's entire plan by helping to move Roxas from a state of guileless stagnation to a point where he was finally ready to respond to the reality of his circumstances. It was, in its own way, cruel in that it meant shattering his idealistic outlook (which Axel's repeated betrayals of his trust had already started to crack) in the most abrupt and forceful manner possible, but the point was to prompt him to start making the difficult choices he'd been avoiding, the things that he didn't even want to look at because it might disrupt the sanctity and safety he had assumed would always persist within their triad. More than being instinctively humble and selfess-- on the contrary, Xion shows a marked capacity for spite ("Do you hate me for taking your friends away from you?") and the burden of her sacrifice weighs upon her, which is why she asks Axel not to hold back-- Xion is clear-sighted and retains an understanding of the bigger picture that allows her to make decisions, even at a cost to herself, if they're for the greater good. She doesn't show Sora's impulsive drive towards heroism but she does share in his ability to take a broader view of the world around her and accept her place in it, rather than trying to inflict her will upon an unchangeable set of conditions: whereas Roxas is motivated to rebel against the unfairness of it all and try to regain what he lost, Xion accepts that loss as part of the cycle of living, which she will remain a part of even after she is "gone," and that her friends will be better off for her readiness to make the difficult decisions they don't want to accept as necessary. So, Xion's primary conflict is not with an aspect of herself that she can't accept, but a matter of coming to a place of understanding her duty to others and the importance of acting in defiance of the rubric of "destiny" as others would preordain it in order to assert her own authority over what is and is not destined for her.

A Dark Xion wouldn't have been Xion at all; there's nothing for her to reclaim because she has no stake in a conflict of identity polarizing good and evil. She struggled with the competing, conflicting demands of a world that didn't seem to have space for her and had to discover her own will within that context: that struggle wouldn't be clarified through having her swing a Keyblade against some proforma "bad guy" version of herself, or having that version of herself swing a Keyblade against Kairi, someone who had nothing at all to do with her journey. They're only "connected" by the raw material of their makeup, but that's like saying Evil Roxas should fight Ven because they have the same face. It wouldn't do anything for either character, at least not without some very explicit groundwork being laid ahead of it to justify the diversion. What Xion needed more than anything in KH3 was for someone to "recognize" her: that was the literal premise of her dilemma, being "forgotten," and the pain of being exited from the circle of existence-- but there was a part of her that persisted in the actions she took to better the world and make a future for everyone possible, and that ought to have been the key to bringing her back, through a reminder that she could never really be forgotten because her will continued to work through those connections she restored through her sacrifice. That makes her a part of those connections, and it just so happens there's a character who is very good at sifting through such chains and identifying the individual links...


The discrepancy between the depictions of the male characters in their return journey and the depictions of women in KH3 is notable. The men are repeatedly empowered through and in the moment of resurrection, with half of the battle being won by them. Ven calls out to Sora actively and basically helps Sora through the process of reviving himself, so it's not that just that it's framed as "cool" because Ven breaks through to save Aqua, it's that Ven is actually a participant in the resolution of his own dilemma. Terra similarly acts to rescue Ven and Aqua before coordinating with Sora to reclaim his own body, and Roxas returns with full cognizance of his own condition and in a moment of crisis where he's shown stepping in to protect his friends from imminent danger.

Meanwhile, Aqua has the crap kicked out of her by Sora before coming back to the constant refrain that she is too "weak," "emotionally damaged," whatever to actually perform heroically, Xion's entire situation is made as confusing and unintelligible as possible to the extent that it's not even clear if she knows what the fuck is going on while she is simultaneously forced into a vulnerable position specifically for the benefit of Roxas's rescue mission, and Namine is essentially killed off (twice?) while she waits around in limbo for the end credits montage.

In its treatment of the femmes, KH3 makes every recent game that actually took its women seriously seem like a fluke. The fact that there are fans practically begging for Nomura to throw them a bone and let Kairi be playable just so they can actually experience the run up to her getting murdered firsthand is indicative of just how low the collective estimation of this game's treatment of women has gotten. Like that is the best possible outcome. Yeah.
Well said. Beautiful post. You guys on this forum give some really deep and insightful answers on the KH characters, some of which I never would have considered. Still I hope the DLC will help give the characters more. Which is why I'm hoping everyone is playable and has their own section of story in ReMind.
 

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Weird nitpick but valid: how Woody, Buzz and the toys just assemble in that straight line looking at you in Andy's room, and then when you return they just resume that position... it's so weird... like just let them walk around, or at least turn around when you walk behind them.
 

Tartarus

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As for the topic, it is strange that everyone criticizes the dialogue in Kingdom hearts 3, on the contrary, I always thought that more humor and self-irony was added to the game.
I agree, KH3 had the best dialogue its had since CoM.
 

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I sure love how Lea isn't part of any conversation regarding Roxas, despite being possibly the entity most emotionally involved in getting him back beside maybe Xion.
Lea also suddenly draws a blank regarding Naminé, despite having quite the connection and shared a good deal of adventure with her.

Then the scene when Ven shows he remembers him: it's supposed to be emotional and engaging, but frankly it just feels odd. Lea just seems content in Ven remembering his name and face rather than, well, anything else concerning their relationship. It's like "Yo do you remember me?" "Yeah" "Ok good now I need to go save my husband so let's not talk to each other again"
It feels more like yet another thing for him to cross on his list rather than something in which he has emotional investment in.
Also Ven would probably be the only one who already knows him who'd feel natural to call him Lea rather than Axel, that could've been nice to add.

My final verdict is that they gave Lea too many connections his character honestly did not need. Lea is connected to more people than Kairi or Riku, he's essentially somewhat of a second Sora, and obviously doesn't have the relevance and screentime to handle all of the plot lines.
̶A̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶y̶ ̶f̶o̶c̶u̶s̶e̶d̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶s̶t̶ ̶o̶n̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶y̶w̶a̶y̶
 

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Consider me a whiner, but damn so much negativity in one topic, begins to kill a KH fan in me. I feel I am starting to lose interest in the game.
As for the topic, it is strange that everyone criticizes the dialogue in Kingdom hearts 3, on the contrary, I always thought that more humor and self-irony was added to the game.
And again, as we always tell you, if the negative opinions of KH3 from others is influencing your feelings on the series, you need to step away from these sorts of discussions and you need to learn to not let other's people opinions influence your feelings for something.

Other people's feelings are your own. Don't let them get in the way of your enjoyment especially if you don't agree with their points.

It would be another thing if you were agreeing with their points, thus making you doubt your feelings for the series. Instead, you seem to not agree with everybody, and yet you let that emotionally affect your connection to something you enjoy and that isn't normal or healthy.

I sure love how Lea isn't part of any conversation regarding Roxas, despite being possibly the entity most emotionally involved in getting him back beside maybe Xion.
Lea also suddenly draws a blank regarding Naminé, despite having quite the connection and shared a good deal of adventure with her.
I thought it was seriously weird that he really plays no role in trying to find/bring back Roxas after that was his entire motivation for becoming a Keyblade Wielder to begin with.

OH LORD. Namine is forgotten by another person yet again. But hey, at least she gets to be greeted by her past captors. That's fun.

Then the scene when Ven shows he remembers him: it's supposed to be emotional and engaging, but frankly it just feels odd. Lea just seems content in Ven remembering his name and face rather than, well, anything else concerning their relationship. It's like "Yo do you remember me?" "Yeah" "Ok good now I need to go save my husband so let's not talk to each other again"
It feels more like yet another thing for him to cross on his list rather than something in which he has emotional investment in.
Also Ven would probably be the only one who already knows him who'd feel natural to call him Lea rather than Axel, that could've been nice to add.
Well don't forget that KH3 was just checking boxes and not actually trying to give us proper emotional closure on certain things. Are you shocked that Lea and Ven didn't have an engaging conversation? xD

My final verdict is that they gave Lea too many connections his character honestly did not need. Lea is connected to more people than Kairi or Riku, he's essentially somewhat of a second Sora, and obviously doesn't have the relevance and screentime to handle all of the plot lines.
̶A̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶y̶ ̶f̶o̶c̶u̶s̶e̶d̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶s̶t̶ ̶o̶n̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶y̶w̶a̶y̶
This is because they stripped Lea of any of the unique characteristics that he used to have. He was an assassin and a theatrical one at that, with a strong parental/brotherly sense. Then KH3 kinda just...wipes all of that away. Sure, he gets two good moments in the Keyblade Graveyard with the whole "I've got a lot of people rooting for me" and his reunion with Xion and Roxas, but its like the game forgot he was one of the most powerful characters who was also always scheming, first with Saix to take over the Organization, then in Castle Oblivion by manipulating everything behind the scenes to get everybody to essentially kill each other or get killed by Sora and Riku, then in KH2 when he was going behind the Organization's back to try and get Roxas back while working with Riku and Namine.

He was always up to something. Why was he content to wait in the wings with Kairi to train rather than insisting that he go out there and find a way to bring Roxas (and Xion) back? There was no thematic closure with his CoM roots despite these things playing a key role in bringing Roxas back.

There is nothing wrong with his connections to Kairi and Riku, except the fact that those also have no payoff.
 

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I thought it was seriously weird that he really plays no role in trying to find/bring back Roxas after that was his entire motivation for becoming a Keyblade Wielder to begin with.
Right? I feel like he should've been the perfect man for the job.
Also that was the easiest way to put him and Ienzo in the same room again (yeah it happened in DDD already but was hardly the time then) and having them acknowledge what happened in CoM.

OH LORD. Namine is forgotten by another person yet again. But hey, at least she gets to be greeted by her past captors. That's fun.
I swear, that scene could've been way better if it wasn't a mute, brief slideshow and didn't have the forced romantic scene at the end. Riku, Naminé and Ansem the Wise, the "broken trio", talking to one another and apologizing.
It's mind-boggling we saw Vexen atoning before Ansem.
Though I guess Ansem atoned in KH II... this series really needs to show people apologizing to their victims and not a third party.

(and on-screen. Looking at you, Lea)


Well don't forget that KH3 was just checking boxes and not actually trying to give us proper emotional closure on certain things. Are you shocked that Lea and Ven didn't have an engaging conversation? xD
Yeah, I guess not.
It's weird. Replaying BbS I suddenly care about Ventus and his quest for friendship, somehow.

This is because they stripped Lea of any of the unique characteristics that he used to have. He was an assassin and a theatrical one at that, with a strong parental/brotherly sense. Then KH3 kinda just...wipes all of that away. Sure, he gets two good moments in the Keyblade Graveyard with the whole "I've got a lot of people rooting for me" and his reunion with Xion and Roxas, but its like the game forgot he was one of the most powerful characters who was also always scheming, first with Saix to take over the Organization, then in Castle Oblivion by manipulating everything behind the scenes to get everybody to essentially kill each other or get killed by Sora and Riku, then in KH2 when he was going behind the Organization's back to try and get Roxas back while working with Riku and Namine.

He was always up to something. Why was he content to wait in the wings with Kairi to train rather than insisting that he go out there and find a way to bring Roxas (and Xion) back? There was no thematic closure with his CoM roots despite these things playing a key role in bringing Roxas back.
What's interesting is that I wasn't even on the hate train for Lea, I thought the Keyblade was unnecessary like everyone else, but I always thought he could've been an interesting addiction exactly because he was a) not a teenager and b) a different type of character. A man of action, with an adult approach to the situation.
Of course he needed to be humanized a bit more than he was in CoM and KH II provided with that (I always loved the "cold-blooded assassin has one single person he cares deeply about" trope), but... yeah.
He got molded into the next good guys pawn in line, and he took the fall like everybody else.

I think that's probably why numbering the parts of Light and Darkness didn't pay out. Characters feel more like items on a list
rather than people.
Like other elements of KH III, it worked wonders for the hype and guessing games in the months (years) prior to the game's release, and got more "in the way" than anything when the game came.
 

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I thought it was seriously weird that he really plays no role in trying to find/bring back Roxas after that was his entire motivation for becoming a Keyblade Wielder to begin with.

OH LORD. Namine is forgotten by another person yet again. But hey, at least she gets to be greeted by her past captors. That's fun.



Well don't forget that KH3 was just checking boxes and not actually trying to give us proper emotional closure on certain things. Are you shocked that Lea and Ven didn't have an engaging conversation? xD



This is because they stripped Lea of any of the unique characteristics that he used to have. He was an assassin and a theatrical one at that, with a strong parental/brotherly sense. Then KH3 kinda just...wipes all of that away. Sure, he gets two good moments in the Keyblade Graveyard with the whole "I've got a lot of people rooting for me" and his reunion with Xion and Roxas, but its like the game forgot he was one of the most powerful characters who was also always scheming, first with Saix to take over the Organization, then in Castle Oblivion by manipulating everything behind the scenes to get everybody to essentially kill each other or get killed by Sora and Riku, then in KH2 when he was going behind the Organization's back to try and get Roxas back while working with Riku and Namine.

He was always up to something. Why was he content to wait in the wings with Kairi to train rather than insisting that he go out there and find a way to bring Roxas (and Xion) back? There was no thematic closure with his CoM roots despite these things playing a key role in bringing Roxas back.

There is nothing wrong with his connections to Kairi and Riku, except the fact that those also have no payoff.
This could be said for just Aqua out of all the characters. Most of what made them a character and a character we love...is completely stripped away. Aqua for example faced the Heartless for like years in this endless battle, but it just feels like in the Keyblade Graveyard she's someone completely different she cowers before something she's face for 10 years packed in a tide...and Terranort just....making her go unconscious by juggling her around in chains. idk, I just feel...she's the last person to admit defeat towards him. idk, I maybe out of the wrong with both points, but I just feel that Aqua hasn't...done much for the group? If that makes sense? And would you say that she's endured more within the bunch?
 
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