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(SPOILERS) Union X: Breath of Darkness



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LoneFox

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True, but you also gotta wonder why Vanitas was so strong after being ripped from Ven. The theory up until recently was that Ven's original self was probably darker, but if anything, his UX-era self seems even more chipper than how he was acting in BBS. Going off everything we know in KH, Ven's darkness should've been equivalent to a regular Shadow Heartless or something of that nature, Ven should've been the strongest of the two.
Isn't this explained very well in BBS? Vanitas gains strength from negative emotions, and Ven had a lot of those at the time Vanitas was created.

Also "Eraqus knows what you are," still could be Xehanort referring to Ven being a heart of pure light, which is an anomaly since Ven isn't a Princess of Heart. It's pretty obvious that he's a part of Xehanort's plans even if Eraqus didn't know about the pure light versus pure darkness thing.
I think it refers to ancient keyblade lore. While Eraqus and Xehanort don't have access to a functioning copy of the Book of Prophecies, they do have at least some of its text. I believe Ven is mentioned in it, they both recognized him from it, and that's also why Eraqus attacked him.

About the speculated Gula connection: If it exists, then Ven doesn't know about it. He said that he has no idea why he was selected as one of the union leaders. If he knows that he is Gula's brother, then wouldn't he assume it is the reason why he was selected, and tell the others about it?
 
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Sephiroth0812

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Whatever that meant originally, it's possible that Eraqus and Xehanort could know something about Ventus if they are seeing visions from the UX era in DR. Fwiw when I played BBS I did get the impression that Ventus was even then meant to be more important later on. In Xehanort's report he says they were 'destined to meet'.
If I recall correctly BBS itself was originally supposed to be bigger storywise in all three scenarios. The game was initially conceptualized as a PS 2 game on the scope of KH 2, but development was moved to the PSP pretty quick and then the whole Versus XIII black hole started.

I still remember an interview of Nomura where he stated how BBS was the first of the "Handheld trinity games" (BBS, Days & Coded) to be conceptualized and started in development, but would be the last to be actually finished.

Going by that it is entirely possible that Ven was meant to have a bigger role initially but that went down in the end product.

Sometimes considering the developments during the last few years I get the vibe that Nomura apparently does want to flesh some major characters out more but seldom commits to go the full way through.
Another major example of this is Naminé, whose other promise with Sora, the one to become real friends once all the memory-shenanigans are settled, is largely forgotten in favor of dragging out the "Thank you"-promise and demote Naminé the character basically to either a glorified cameo or an exposition fairy.

Granted, the glorified cameo-treatment counts for many supposed major characters including Ventus, but maybe we'll see a change to that in "Phase 2" of KH if Nomura isn't too busy drooling over and playing with "Yozora".

Yeah, I think it was just easier for Darkness to choose Ven too. By all accounts, the kid just doesn't stick out at all. If it had chosen Ephemer, it'd be predictable but understandable because the Foretellers know about him and he seems to be one of the more known Keykids hanging around. But Ven was a loner and wanted friends, he's basically the kid in high school who was in the back of the room and read manga the whole time. Him not having any friends, on top of the possible lack of connection with Gula (if there IS a connection there at all)... It probably was the right opportunity, despite Ven being pure. At least with Strelitzia, you can see how headstrong she gets when it comes to Player.
Exactly, and considering how "Darkness" rants about Ven's purity during KH III times to Sora maybe they have a reason to want that purity to stay.

Also, Ven's "purity" seemingly wasn't affected from Terra's and Aqua's influence despite him becoming bolder, more sassy and sometimes even aggressive during BBS.

Then there's of course also the "angry look" Xigbar/Luxu keeps referencing which apparently left enough of an impression that Luxu remembers it over several centuries or even more.

True, but you also gotta wonder why Vanitas was so strong after being ripped from Ven. The theory up until recently was that Ven's original self was probably darker, but if anything, his UX-era self seems even more chipper than how he was acting in BBS. Going off everything we know in KH, Ven's darkness should've been equivalent to a regular Shadow Heartless or something of that nature, Ven should've been the strongest of the two. But Xehanort thought to split his heart in two and knew there was a powerful darkness inside him... How? Something had to tip him off, unless the circumstance in how the two met involved Darkness being present and was also controlling Ven. Who knows?
Actually no, I never specifically "wondered" about that because the circumstances in BBS itself and Xehanort's Report together form a pretty plausible explanation for why Vanitas was "so much better off" than Ven himself.

The flashback with the Heartless does not really show it because Square was too lazy to create a younger model for Ven, but it happens four years before BBS proper so Ventus is supposed to be still the 11/12year old child there.

The Heartless attack him and Xehanort himself has to interfere and "save" him. He's lying there unconscious and already (obviously) weakened not only by the attacks themselves, but also because the Heartless try to attack the heart.
He was obviously mad in fear and full of other related negative emotions on the inside at that point.

In this situation Xehanort performs the heart-split "ritual/crime/procedure whatever you want to call it" when in his reports he already described Ven as (generally) frail.
Then in Xehanort-Report X it is stated:
Xehanort's Report X said:
As was to be expected, Ventus lacked the constitution for such an ordeal. I was able to remove the darkness inside him and create Vanitas, a heart of pure darkness, but Ventus drifted into the clutches of sleep. Ventus' heart of pure light and Vanitas's heart of pure darkness...If both could be made strong enough to one day clash, I know the χ-blade would be forged. But Vanitas took too much of Ventus's heart, and from that fracture...
In addition to Ventus already being weakened Vanitas, at the time of his creation, took more of Ven's heart with him than he was supposed to be and thus Ven's heart got further damaged.

The damage done to Ven's heart was the main problem for his critical state, not the amount of his Darkness.
Ven's broken awakening platform also shows less than a quarter actually missing and the part that is missing is already more than Xehanort expected/wanted to be.

Where was it ever stated that Xehanort "knew there is a powerful Darkness in Ven"? Can't remember it.
The only parts I remember is Xehanort acknowledging Ven's general potential, that he's "too kind for his own good" and that he has a general "frail constitution" (which is true, Ven is so skinny that it is almost hilarious and even when he's supposed to be 16 at BBS time proper he still looks like a little boy).
What Xehanort did do however was repeatedly goading Ven into unleashing his Darkness by himself, trying to groom him into a Darkness user which would naturally also involve increasing the level of Darkness inside the heart.
Xehanort repeatedly failed and eventually his patience ran thin, as evidenced by his "Feckless Neophyte"-speech.

Gula seems like the kind of guy who has his own M.O. and while he's probably not an evil guy, he'd rather not have to play babysitter the whole time. Meanwhile Ven is a little kid, and who knows where his parents would be (seriously, where are the parents in all of this lmao), so Ven is gonna wander and do his own thing without guidance. I'm glad the kid has friends now, cause jeez, but if Gula and Ven are related... No wonder he felt the way he did.

And y'know, despite Terra's shortcomings and all that, at least he's a good big brother to Ven. Or tries to be, at least.
It is a sad reality that one doesn't have to be "evil" to be a toxic influence on someone, although in Gula's case I could see the main issue being largely neglect which for an insecure child like Ven seems to be would be akin to poison because damn does he need guidance, encouragement and I dare say some affection.
The sparsely coming out updates of UX did not really give us much in regards to Ven but one thing that can be observed is that the influences and encouragement of Ephemer, Skuld, Blaine and Lauriam did serve to lure Ven out of his shell at least a little during their tenure while working together.

All in all though I'll agree that Terra and Aqua were probably the first unanimously good thing to happen for Ventus and since in BBS itself he shows some more confidence and even a sassy side sometimes indicates the four years they trained and lived together helped him quite a deal.

Terra is fundamentally a good guy at the core despite all the flaws and one can tell he does care deeply for Ven, even attacking his own father figure with little hesitation when his "little bro" seems to be in danger while in 0.2. we get to see that Aqua's feelings for him are just as strong.

@SuperSaiyanSora Remember that Xehanort can feel Darkness coming from people. Also "Eraqus knows what you are," still could be Xehanort referring to Ven being a heart of pure light, which is an anomaly since Ven isn't a Princess of Heart. It's pretty obvious that he's a part of Xehanort's plans even if Eraqus didn't know about the pure light versus pure darkness thing.

Also didn't someone reprimand Terra/Aqua for not realizing that Ven was a Pure Heart after being by so many Princesses of Heart? I might just be misremembering but I do recall a scene like that.
Aqua could also sense that Riku got the bequeathing ceremony from Terra and that Sora had a certain potential, so Xehanort sensing something special in Ventus isn't that out of the ordinary. When it comes to sensing "Darkness" in the BBS reports Xehanort only speaks about Ven having "enormous potential" in a neutral sense, not fixated on any element in particular and a few sentences later dismisses him as a potential new vessel to transfer his heart to because Ven's "too frail".

I know its canon status can be disputed, but I think in the BBS novels Xehanort did tell Eraqus exactly what he tried to do with Ventus, as in trying to claim the X-blade and then feigned remorse for letting himself get out of control and having damaged Ven's heart (he does omit the existence of Vanitas however).

I'm not recalling a specific calling out of Terra or Aqua in relation to Ven himself happening in the games at least.
There were visual parallels given by Aqua remembering Ven's coma when she watched Sbow White in her coffin (which got made up to eleven in 0.2 when she found an illusion of Ven inside the same coffin) or Terra when he watched a sleeping Aurora.

While speaking in Radiant Garden Master Xehanort tells Terra that both Ven's and Aqua's light shines too bright and thus naturally casts shadows on Terra's heart and I remember in the BBS novel both Aqua and Terra refer to Ven as "their light" more than once, but I don't recall a specific statement being made that Ven actually has a heart of pure light.
Isn't this explained very well in BBS? Vanitas gains strength from negative emotions, and Ven had a lot of those at the time Vanitas was created.


I think it refers to ancient keyblade lore. While Eraqus and Xehanort don't have access to a functioning copy of the Book of Prophecies, they do have at least some of its text. I believe Ven is mentioned in it, they both recognized him from it, and that's also why Eraqus attacked him.

About the speculated Gula connection: If it exists, then Ven doesn't know about it. He said that he has no idea why he was selected as one of the union leaders. If he knows that he is Gula's brother, then wouldn't he assume it is the reason why he was selected, and tell the others about it?
Exactly, that too comes on top of what the Xehanort Report and the flashback scenes already show.

No, Eraqus attacked Ven because of the X-blade, that is made clear in actual dialogue right before he draws his Keyblade. He says something around that the X-blade "has no place in this or any other world" and continues with that Xehanort left him no choice and therefore Ven "must exist no more".

Good point about the Gula-issue. We do know however that Ven's memory was tampered with to quite some degree and even if he did remember Gula, considering his diffident and meek outlook I doubt he would have the guts to mention it since he wouldn't want to be compared to his "great bigger brother". Remember this is a 11/12 year old kid we're dealing with, one that has severe self-esteem problems so being compared to Gula if it came out that he, this lonely unimportant wash-out kid is related to one of the Foretellers would result in even more misappropriated shameful feelings on himself.
 

LoneFox

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No, Eraqus attacked Ven because of the X-blade, that is made clear in actual dialogue right before he draws his Keyblade. He says something around that the X-blade "has no place in this or any other world" and continues with that Xehanort left him no choice and therefore Ven "must exist no more".
I guess you are right. Eraqus needed to know what the X-blade is and have some kind of understanding of how it is created, and those come from the lore. If Vanitas was part of MoM's plan, then the whole thing including Ven obviously is in the book (Xehanort used the No Name keyblade to do it, so the Eye saw it for sure), but that hasn't been confirmed. Also, we don't know how much of the Book's text they have and how accurate it is. So, Eraqus could have known more than what was shown on the screen, but he didn't need to.

Good point about the Gula-issue. We do know however that Ven's memory was tampered with to quite some degree and even if he did remember Gula, considering his diffident and meek outlook I doubt he would have the guts to mention it since he wouldn't want to be compared to his "great bigger brother". Remember this is a 11/12 year old kid we're dealing with, one that has severe self-esteem problems so being compared to Gula if it came out that he, this lonely unimportant wash-out kid is related to one of the Foretellers would result in even more misappropriated shameful feelings on himself.
But would pure and innocent Ven lie about it for such reasons?
Altering his memory about the connection doesn't seem to benefit for the killer in any way, and could even be counterproductive if any suspicion arises. An exception is if the killer is Gula himself, which is an interesting idea, because saving Ven from the Keyblade War would be a motive...
 
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Damn.

Another delay?

I know they said the game is entering its final chapter, but this seriously should just finish already. Just tell us how certain characters got flung into the Age of Prophecy, how Daybreak Town turned into Scala Ad Caelum, maybe a final confirmation of who the traitor was with explicit naming, then let that be the end of it. It’s been five years! This wallet-swallowing game needs to end.

Back to topic, Ven’s chirithy sure looks normal colored. Despite being susceptible to Darkness and being made an accessory to murder AND stealing what should never have been his (I refuse to call him a cinnamon roll even back in BbS; he ain’t one), his Chirithy is not a nightmare, so that’s something to infer his probable innocence in all this.

Unless, of course, like Player, he has two and one of them is a Nightmare…
 

Cumguardian69

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^That . I want them to drag out this "final chapter" of UX out for another two or three years while also throwing some of its super interesting, full of potential writing + plot into KH4 and any other games that may come along. Just think of the chilling murder mysteries that can't be told using any format that isn't a mobile game !
 

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Wonder if the delay is because of the lack of animators?

As for why Ven would "lie" about Gula, has he really lied about anything? Has anyone asked if he has family or siblings? I can't recall. I know when the introductions were going around and they were getting to know each other, he mentioned he didn't have friends, nor was he particularly special or powerful. All of that can be true whether Gula is his elder brother or not.

Combined with the possibility of Darkness altering his memories, it might not have been too difficult erasing Ven's connecting to Gula.
 

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Wonder if the delay is because of the lack of animators?
It definitely is a big contributor at least. UX is in its final chapter, so I have to assume this is being prioritized. At the same time, they can't go months without releasing new content for DR, and that is always added in chapters, with multiple 5+ minute long cutscenes with lots of unique animations and dialogue. With anniversary ongoing, everyone still WFH and who knows what other factors at play, I can't say I envy them.

As for why Ven would "lie" about Gula, has he really lied about anything? Has anyone asked if he has family or siblings? I can't recall. I know when the introductions were going around and they were getting to know each other, he mentioned he didn't have friends, nor was he particularly special or powerful. All of that can be true whether Gula is his elder brother or not.

Combined with the possibility of Darkness altering his memories, it might not have been too difficult erasing Ven's connecting to Gula.
They never discussed their personal lives, yeah. Those two bits we got about Ven was because he offered that info unprompted.
 

DraceEmpressa

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Some people may murder me for this, but I don't think the problem with how UX story delivered is because it's on mobile.

I think, it's because it's
1: monthly
2: very short each update too.

Some other games does not only have longer story content for each update, they also may update more than once per month. And yes, it's both for some games whe UX is.... neither. but now there are delays, it seems they are more than.... underhanded, so to speak, to the point just asking for one seems really unlikely
 
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Some people may murder me for this, but I don't think the problem with how UX story delivered is because it's on mobile.

I think, it's because it's
1: monthly
2: very short each update too.

Some other games does not only have longer story content for each update, they also may update more than once per month. And yes, it's both for some games whe UX is.... neither. but now there are delays, it seems they are more than.... underhanded, so to speak, to the point just asking for one seems really unlikely
Can’t argue with what’s true. Those are the main reasons why this game is so despised, alongside the gacha money sink.
 

Chie

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I mean, it being on mobile would still mean the story is delivered for many of us in the form of youtube uploads from somebody else's playthrough. Uploads that I'm very happy to watch, but still far from how Kingdom Hearts is meant to be portrayed I think.
 

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I know this discussion was a few pages ago, but I was just thinking about the checkered back Ventus has in that one 0.2 cutscene and how it was also brought into the novel and manga adaptations, and then I realized.

Ventus side of BBS starts with him shirtless. It never really made much sense to me even now, but then he gets connected to Sora and has a full outfit. Maybe that has some relevance in this?

I know he is wearing his usual outfit minus the Shoulderpad in his flashbacks, but they also did not bother to make a 12 year old model for those flashbacks, so..
 

LoneFox

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Ventus side of BBS starts with him shirtless. It never really made much sense to me even now, but then he gets connected to Sora and has a full outfit. Maybe that has some relevance in this?
The shirtless scene always confuses people, because some censorship gets in the way of interpreting it. You need to assume that he is supposed to be completely naked, then it makes sense. Nakedness can mean three things. First, it means (re)birth and the innocence that comes with it. This is even in the name of the game. Second, it means naked truth. This is also an important theme in the story, both finding the truth about Ven himself, and also Ven telling Aqua the truth that the title of Master had gone into her head. Third, it means sexuality. This isn't really the intented meaning here, although you can sneak it in by claiming that it is a coming of age story.

Ven's usual shirt also has an obvious meaning, it symbolises the split between Ven and Vanitas. Also, my brain wants to interpret it as a sign of noble origins, because it looks like a common coat of arms design, but I'm not sure if it actually is meant to be understood that way.

So, what does the checker pattern mean? I see three ways of interpreting it. It can mean another split, or it can mean recompletion and re-mixing of the previous split, or it can be a chessboard showing that Ven is part of the game that MoM is playing. If it really is present in UX, as that one drawing seems to suggest, then the last option is most likely the correct interpretation.
 
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