Agreed, what the Darkness does is practically acting on their own whim and also own interpretation of the few feelings and wishes they are able to glimpse without any effort to gain insight on context and proportionality.Based on the summary, I don't feel Darkness is flip flopping? From a vague point of view, Darkness seems to go with the flow. It doesn't have deep desires of its own, it just "answers to the call" so to speak. Ven possibly had this small insignificant wish to be somebody or something and Darkess was like, "Oh, so you want this girl dead so that you can take her place. That's EXACTLY what you need! I'll help you!"
This aligns with what we already sorta know about Darkness doesn't it? It's not necessarily evil, it greatly depends on the user. Though either way you slice it, it does seem "negative".
Considering Ven's overall personality the "power" he wanted was very likely along the lines of having more self-confidence and courage to interact more with people, make friends etc., not some actual political power or being an actual leader of other people, which is shown throughout the entirety of Ux how shy and insecure he is about everything and how he's totally uneasy with all this "leader"-stuff.
He only gets somewhat more confident once he has had "pep-talks" of almost all of the other leaders and feels included in the group, which makes sense in the light of during his introduction where he lamented about being a loner which he obviously wasn't comfortable with.
Such nuances are completely lost on those "Darkness" beings though and I do honestly hesitate on the whole "depends on the user"-interpretation because these "Darkness" beings still act on their own volition, not on command by those who they (apparently almost always without consent) chose as their hosts.
Since these Darkness beings seem to be an entirely different form of life their effects on beings like "us" being completely negative in almost every way would be an effect of nature though, just like a virus in real life.
The whole "evil" or "not evil" issue thus still stands but generally spoken so far the possibility that the Darkness beings doing these things out of ignorance rather than willful malice is still up in the air.
Not that it makes much of a difference to those harmed by them though in-universe compared to us in the audience here who can easily indulge in some philosophical debate about the whole issue because we aren't affected by it.
I could imagine Lauriam really not caring much about any of these "finer details" and the MoM telling Luxu about how "Darkness" are masters of mental warfare makes me doubt if there's really no malicious intent involved from their side.
This reminds me of a discussion with @Sephiroth0812 a few months ago about the events that led to Eraqus attacking Ven:
Now we have evidence that this stuff was in the Book, and we can assume that Brain will do his best to pass it on to future generations, so it's likely that Eraqus did know it as well. Also, note how Brain will be able to confirm the story, because he's got the Book. At the same time, both candidates for the person who was supposed to have it at this point are knocked out. So, if things had been as planned, Brain would have had little reason to believe what the Darkness told him. This may well be the scene where the Masterplan went off the tracks!
Clearly it does explain both Eraqus' and Xehanort's (as Hirokey notes further down) more extensive knowledge although their sources are likely different so they both also get a biased and skewed version of it all from their respective sources with Brain being Eraqus' while Xehanort's would be most likely one of the "Darknesses".
The extent of the knowledge is still up to debate, but Eraqus certainly knew that Ven is someone "special" just as Xehanort did, which makes Ventus practically the exact opposite of Sora, almost a "cosmic plaything" for the "big players" to push around.
This makes quite some sense I'd say, also in regards to Xemnas stating something along the lines of "it has been a long time "friend" when he sits down on the throne of the CoR.More than ever though I am doubling back down on my theory that Xemnas was talking to "a" Darkness in the chamber of repose. Especially now that it's confirmed Darkness as a species can turn invisible and that it can choose when it takes corporeal form or has a voice. It would explain everything honestly, Xemnas constructs a room where Darkness can appear in visible form to speak with it, and when he leaves darkness can just hide itself so if anyone goes poking around in the room they won't find anything. Xigbar/Luxu spying on Xemnas trying to find out what he is doing is because Luxu knows about Darkness's abilities and he may have suspected that Xemnas was talking with Darkness.
To further this Darkness would explain a lot on Xehanort's knowledge.
Sora: He knew everything that was going to happen?
YX: No not everything, but remember Ansem possessed Riku and saw his experiences in real time
Sora: So, that could only tell him so much. How did he know I would be here?
YX: Simple *shows image of Kairi's heart flying into Sora's*
*skip to TT*
YX: You've been to this world many times in your memories, in the data, and in your dreams again and again like deja vu.
In other worlds the MoM saw all this happen and wrote it down, then stuff from the book was brought into the world multiple times, and darkness experienced all of this again and again. Just sitting, watching, observing, experimenting to try and understand, and trying to keep things on course like sending Maleficent back. Then at some point it joined with Xehanort, seeking refuge in him like Kairi did to Sora, and in doing so Xehanort gained access to its knowledge and experiences. Maybe that's what the eye color change represents, they eyes of the being called Darkness staring out from within him. Would explain the opening of KH3 with the scene where YX stares into the sky and sees a dark purple flame in the sky that is reflected in his eyes.
Many have interpreted this as either the "Terra-side" shining through addressing Aqua or Xehanort being a bit "mockingly" but who knows, maybe it was Xemnas addressing a "Darkness" being or even two Darkness beings, one in Xemnas the one "freely" non-physically swarming the room having a conversation among themselves.
In one of the KH2 FM scenes when Zexion and Vexen talk about Xemnas being in the chamber Vexen murmurs something about Xemnas "sleeping" which was in the Days of DDD being interpreted as Xemnas possibly visiting the Sleeping realm but it could also be him just having relinquished control completely to the "Darkness" being.
So, are you suggesting that Xehanort has/had a similar situation as Ven but unlike him, he willingly accepted that Darkness being?Thus I will take it one step further and suggest that Apprentice Xehanort when he said he isn't Xehanort in DDD is true, that Ansem is Darkness or the being of Darkness merged with Xehanort's own darkness. In fact you could take it a step further, continuing the experiment under Ansem's name then taking it himself. If Darkness can sense what a person wants it may literally have just been acting on what it felt from Ansem the Wise. In other words it was doing what Ansem the Wise wanted to do, carrying on the work he wanted, because it doesn't comprehend the morality of why Ansem the Wise stopped. With Xehanort's own desires getting mixed up in there as well.
When Xemnas says he thought he be praised but instead Ansem the Wise kept holding back causing him to want to erase him, it's genuine. It was acting on what AtW wanted and no matter how much it did what he wanted it was met with being told to hold back, to stop. Unable to understand that it saw Ansem as holding himself back so it got rid of him and took his place, but again Xehanort's own desires are mixed in with this to. It's a messy hodgepodge where there is no real distinction where one ends and the other begins.
In way then for a time Xemnas really WAS all that's left of Xehanort. Since darkness is incorporeal unless it chooses to take form the human body is 100% the being of light's. Ergo as the living body of AX he was all that was left of Xehanort (well really all that was left of Terra hijacked by Xehanort but let's not get into that), but you can then see Xehanort's nihilism at work. Taking the name of Xemnas meaning in a way all he ever was, was the husk vessel for Darkness, for Ansem, thus the name Xemnas. Because that's what Young Xehanort ends up believing, that the heart's true essence is darkness, and Xehanort carried that belief with him for the rest of his life. If the heart's true essence is darkness you don't need to fight the darkness you need to embrace it, be one with it, to be true to yourself is to act on those dark desires in your heart not hold them back.
Your light is a farce, you're just a vessel for a darkness you can barely contain with a false light, and that's all you ever will be in this broken ruined failed world. Co-existence is impossible with no leader managing people, they will always be at war because the average person can't comprehend things. They see it black and white, darkness vs light, evil vs good and in that rigid view peace can't be reached so someone who can comprehend it all, like Xehanort believed himself able to become, needs to step up and lead. Start the world over free of preconceived notions and guide it from the beginning to create harmony rather than an endless war. In a way it seems almost noble, in the most absolutely depressing faithless way imaginable. A belief and plan based on assuming/seeing the worst in everyone.
In the BBS reports Xehanort does state he eventually ceased to wear his armor so that might have been the time period where he "met" one of these Darknesses and probably came to a sort of "agreement" with it.
The MoM states that Darkness cannot see a persons thoughts so it can't actually see what said person truly wants, only the more primal, feral desires involved in it so it would make sense that if Apprentice Xehanort had such a being with him the reasons why Ansem the Wise would actually want to stop all his research would completely fly over the Darkness beings mind because it has no concept of morality or even care and empathy.
I can imagine that this whole "researching people's hearts" must have been like a golden opportunity for a potentially involved Darkness being because the heart is the thing they know and understand the least about, although this would of course throw the whole issues with Terra-Xehanort and Apprentice Xehanort even more out of whack because now one would have to nitpick out what statements and actions were actually Xehanort's and which ones were the "Darkness being" at helm.
No doubt there will also be debates to have then how much of Xehanort's undoubtedly horrible actions were truly done on his own volition and how much was, perhaps albeit indirectly, influenced by "Darkness".
Thanks for the translations! This was certainly interesting learning more about Darkness. Even though it is being painted as the main antagonist right now, I would not count out the Master of Masters. There could be a twist coming where his plan to eliminate Darkness is just as evil as...whatever it is Darkness does.
I'm also fascinated that Darkness used Ventus as a vessel because he was pure. Does that mean Darkness was inside Sora too all those years of his life while inside Ventus? Can Darkness qualify as another Sora? While I ponder that, Darkness said Ventus wanted power or to be a Union Leader. So the dark Ava couldn't have been the real Ava. It makes me even more curious where she is.
And finally Luxu is going to observe the Dandelions? How much watching has this guy done? This makes his connection with Ventus bigger then was BBS showed at least.
I think the main issue here will be what further actions the MoMs "Master plan" actually entails, as while possibly having noble intentions the MoMs plan could possibly end only in a pyrrhic victory or in a "was it worth it?"-question considering all the collateral damage that seems to be caused by it.
The scenario of both Darkness and the MoM being antagonistic and wrong has also been proposed several times already with Sora and his circle of friends and companions needing to come up with a third option so there's still quite some room for alternate outcomes.
How big is the chance that Darkness only learned of Ventus because they overlooked the writing of the Book of Prophecies in the first place?
MoM says to Luxu that "Darkness hates those who are pure of heart, " and that "There may be danger, but they're just the kind of people that darkness is weakest against. " which indicates that people of pure heart have something which can be used either against Darkness or at least deny them success.
Why would Darkness qualify as "another Sora" though? What does Sora even have to do with it?
Ven's and Sora's hearts didn't actually merge at any time, they're closely connected and Sora harbored Ven's heart for a while so if the hidden Darkness was still present it would still be confined to Ven's heart...unless Roxas accidentally released it when he reached into Ven's heart to activate his Keyblade for dual-wielding.
Who knows, the armored Ventus-Nightmare enemy in DDD which possessed Ven's armor might actually have a connection to this "Darkness".
What Darkness says about Ven "wanting power" is the very limited understanding it has of it, not what Ven actually wanted.
Terra and Riku too "wanted power" but it was for overall noble and understandable reasons, yet the Darkness beings can't see those according to the MoM so they go with the assumption of the most primal variant of it.
Tbh to me it looks more like Ven has "a beef" with Luxu and not the other way around. What Xigbar is consistently mentioning and remembering is the "angry look" Ven gave/gives him so it looks more like there is something that made Ven angry at Luxu, possibly even different factors and that look got "passed on" to both Sora and Roxas due to how close Ven's heart is to both of them.Which makes me wonder why he's got beef with Ven, because in BBS, he was planning to kill Aqua and Ven in the Keyblade Graveyard himself. That HAS to be going against the Master's orders because that's well beyond "meddling". However... Luxu says he's never read the Book, so maybe the Master had already known what Luxu was going to do later down the road. As Xigbar, Luxu plays an immense role in the Keyblade War, basically serving as Xehanort's right-hand man, so there's no way the MoM didn't know. Especially when we know he met Young Xehanort way back in the day.
It makes me think before Ven was sent to the BBS era, he and Luxu must've had some sort of showdown or something, and he's had it out for him ever since. Cause Luxu is going from "I have to protect these kids!" to "You idiots never saw what was coming." Although... Body hopping through time and seeing the darkness play out the way that it did, I could see why he became a lot more cynical. Still, what a change.
It is by now however pretty clear that there seems to be something bigger between Luxu/Xigbar and Ventus in terms of connection beyond what all the earlier games so far hinted at, even completely unconnected to Xehanort.
However, since Luxu is a body hopper Ven might not even be aware that multiple people he used his "death glare" against were in fact secretly the same guy who remembers every instance of it.
Speaking of it, this also perhaps merits another look at some of the more obscure things given by Xigbar in 358/2 Days which when it was released were certainly intended and given as references to Birth By Sleep, yet might actually go further.
That Xigbar sees Ventus in Xion's shapeshifting ability primarily while Xemnas' view shifts between seeing actual Xion, Sora and Ventus in her.
In the original Days Luxu/Xigbar comments "Of all the faces... Why do I look at her and see yours? Do you always have to stare at me like I just drowned your goldfish?"
which indicates Ventus glaring at him like this more than once, so it doesn't just reference the one time in BBS.
In the ReMixes they changed the line to "Why is it that you always have to glare at me like that?" which imho drives the point home even further that it a) happened more often already and b) that the antagonism comes mainly from Ven's side and Xigbar/Luxu not exactly understanding why.
In the secret reports Xigbar also comments with some vague stuff on Roxas and Ven:
Sure, people can argue the "him" means Sora but that doesn't really add up with Xigbar's assertion about never escaping the things he did as a human. Sora has never met the human Braig, but Ven has.Days Secret Report Day 117: "Him" and Roxas said:Roxas is maturing at an impressive rate. His face, the way he handles the Keyblade, it's all exactly the same. The worlds seem so divided and alone, but there's always that steady thread there to connect them. And we Nobodies can never escape the things we did as humans. So it goes.
Furthermore, throughout the Secret Reports in Days when Sora is spoken about he's either referred by name or as "the hero", not "him".
In a different Report Xemnas confirms to sometimes see Xion as Sora, but the Days Ultimania states sometimes he also sees her as Ventus and sometimes even as her "default" black-haired girl form.Days Secret Report Day 256: Who we each see said:Xion's disappearance is fascinating. If she really is breaking from our control, it's a sign of her approaching the essence of the hero. It seems Saïx doesn't truly "see" her. I'm curious to know how she appears to the others. I see her as... him though I suspect that Xemnas sees entirely something else in her.
As usual it is very vague but it is exactly such a setup which Nomura has often used to expand on later down the whole overarching story line.
What I find interesting about Luxu here is how concerned he seems about the welfare of the Dandelions, like a 'mother hen'. It doesn't sound like Xigbar at all, who appears to not care about anyone in the main games and is frequently causally cruel and mocking. I wonder what happens to him in the meantime and what his change in personality could mean.
There is a huge gap of time between these conversations Luxu and the MoM have and present era "Xigbar-Luxu" so the opportunities for Luxu's outlook to change are manifold.
Not to mention that Luxu's own motivations are still quite a mystery themselves and Ava did accuse him of misreading/misusing the Master's intentions right before the Keyblade War itself.
Then there's also the issue with Xigbar/Luxu having the golden eyes and claiming to be "half-Xehanort" so that could also have affected his personality and outlook.
Depending on if there's another of these "Darkness"-beings involved as mentioned earlier with Xehanort, Xemnas etc. so could Xigbar/Luxu be as well which might also attribute indirectly to a change in personality.
I do in fact think that besides Xigbar/Luxu and Xehanort all the Foretellers might be "afflicted" with a "Darkness" being which worked towards them giving in to their darker desires and intentions which eventually caused the escalations between them.
It is especially noticeable with Aced and Gula whose "sanity" seemed to detoriate over the course of back cover and the original browser Chi.