The Dark Margin and Adjacent Realms



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Vaddix

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Hi all, apologies in advance if this is the wrong place for this thread, I just figured it might be relevant to KH0.2, especially at its end, but if there is a better place, feel free to move this!

Some time ago, Nomura elaborated in an interview the layout of the beaches we see Sora/Riku, DiZ/Aqua, and Roxas/Xemnas visit, with spatial relation to the Realms of Darkness and Twilight (or In-between, or what have you). I remember this being discussed in the past, but I don't recall much consensus or firm resolution on the matter. Perhaps the issue is that I'm trying to think spatially about planes of existence that were likely never meant to have much spatial relation anyways...but can I be blamed when Nomura laid it out with spatial language? Does anyone here have a good word-picture for describing that whole setup?

My best understanding thus far is that there are two beaches (which happen to look exactly alike) an ocean apart from each other. One is on the side of Darkness (where Aqua/DiZ meet) and the other on the side of the In-between (where the rest show up). I feel this is mistaken however, because IIRC the ocean is referred to as the ocean of Darkness, which seems to parallel the ocean-esque space in which the worlds of the Realm of Light are scattered. A lot of this is just speculation on my part though, likely a lot of errors and points forgotten.
 
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My best understanding thus far is that there are two beaches (which happen to look exactly alike) an ocean apart from each other.
This is the part that's widely debated, and I don't think it's the case. But plenty of people do. So.

One is on the side of Darkness (where Aqua/DiZ meet) and the other on the side of the In-between (where the rest show up). I feel this is mistaken however, because IIRC the ocean is referred to as the ocean of Darkness, which seems to parallel the ocean-esque space in which the world of the Realm of Light are scattered.
The journal in DDD refers to the beach where Sora and Riku end up as the realm of darkness. So. Take that as you will.
 

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This is the part that's widely debated, and I don't think it's the case. But plenty of people do. So.
Ahhh, so that part isn't well-agreed upon in the community. That's actually good to hear, I was actually not terribly fond of that myself considering they do look exactly alike. I think I just had the idea that they were distinct drilled into my head by a KH Info blog on tumblr that I abandoned at some point.

I personally would find it more fitting to the name "Dark Margin" if that shore was the brink of the Twilight, and the ocean was the expanse of the RoD, but I suppose then Aqua's arrival on that shore from the depths of the RoD doesn't make much sense. My poor head.
 

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Well it is the realm of darkness, but it's also not. It's the place where the realm of darkness and inbetween meet, the beach Sora and riku sit on is part of the realm of inbetween while the ocean is part of the realm of darkness which is why door to light appears there. All of that was said by Nomura himself. Also the ocean between is not a literal ocean it's the interspace we fly in...it's like just a big sky full of worlds floating in it. While the ocean of the realm of darkness is literally just that...a "seemingly" regular ocean that is part of the realm of darkness like the ocean that is part of destiny islands or neverland. So it's not really comparable at all.

And yeah the fact is Aqua's arrival makes no sense with what Nomura said if there is only one beach. It's also important to note that he does go out of his way to specify that they were on the side of inbetween which doesn't make a whole lot of sense unless there is another side to this beach somewhere else. Also by law of nature unless this ocean falls off into a void there does need to be another beach on the other side of the ocean.
 

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Also the ocean between is not a literal ocean it's the interspace we fly in...it's like just a big sky full of worlds floating in it. While the ocean of the realm of darkness is literally just that...a "seemingly" regular ocean that is part of the realm of darkness like the ocean that is part of destiny islands or neverland. So it's not really comparable at all.
Well right, I wasn't suggesting both were the same type of ocean and precisely the same, I'm not talking on a surface-level, but on a more...err, symbolic (not the word I'm looking for here) level? Point being, I was suggesting they mirror each other in a sense, both being some sort of "ocean", literally or not. Apologies, as I'm at a loss for comparison at the moment, as the only literary examples I can think of are biblical in nature, and that might not reach everyone.

Also by law of nature unless this ocean falls off into a void there does need to be another beach on the other side of the ocean.
Is that so, though? This is fantasy, and I do repeat my previous thought, being that we are discussing planes of existence (of sorts), and thinking of them spatially and expecting certain rules of reality to apply might lead to disappointment.
 

ShardofTruth

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I don't think Aqua wandering there is much of a problem. Yes, the dark ocean is part of the RoD and the beach part of the unknown world in the realm between (called "End of Sea" in the game files by the way) but it's not like the rest of the RoD isn't solid. She could have wandered there from every direction before finding the beach.
 

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Ah okay, anyway yeah it being fantasy is why I was kinda entertaining the idea that maybe the ocean just falls off into a void though looking back I can see how that comes off a bit sarcastic sounding though that was a sincere idea I swear.
 

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Apologies, as I'm at a loss for comparison at the moment, as the only literary examples I can think of are biblical in nature, and that might not reach everyone.
Oh, don't worry about that. This series is using things like the Seven Deadly Sins and the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven in the story already. Religious parallels are hardly taboo.
 

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(called "End of Sea" in the game files by the way)
Oh wow, that's a neat bit of trivia, thanks! I always like knowing those details, like what certain maps are called in the game data.
As for Aqua wandering, I'm wondering what you mean or what you're picturing. If (again, making the dangerous assumption a spatial description here) we think of a gradual progression of a flat map from Light, to Twilight, to Darkness, then if the Twilight ended at that shore, where would be the "solid" parts of the RoD? And where would they connect to that shore? Wouldn't the shore have to curve forward out around the sea or such? Hahah, this might be overthinking it on my part.

Ah okay, anyway yeah it being fantasy is why I was kinda entertaining the idea that maybe the ocean just falls off into a void though looking back I can see how that comes off a bit sarcastic sounding though that was a sincere idea I swear.
Oh no, I understand now, no problem. I suppose I myself tend to think of it as being endless in a sense, not really dropping off, but just going on into oblivion, though my mental image is a bit hard to describe.

Oh, don't worry about that. This series is using things like the Seven Deadly Sins and the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven in the story already. Religious parallels are hardly taboo.
Ah, nah, I'm not worried about causing offense or committing taboo, I was just thinking that the analogies and comparisons I had in mind might be obscure and not understood by many. As well as my mind thinks in terms of biblical studies, I'd prefer to at least try to express my thoughts in a language a greater audience might understand. XD
 

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Ah, nah, I'm not worried about causing offense or committing taboo, I was just thinking that the analogies and comparisons I had in mind might be obscure and not understood by many. As well as my mind thinks in terms of biblical studies, I'd prefer to at least try to express my thoughts in a language a greater audience might understand. XD
No reference is too obscure as long as you cite it and/or explain it well~ (And hey, who knows, maybe you could teach someone something new by doing that)
 

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That is a good point! Well thanks for the encouragement.
If anyone is interested in that marginal point, I was thinking about how there are many points in the Old Testament that are "mirrored" either further into the Old Testament or in the New Testament, in a similar way I was trying to compare the Ocean of Worlds in the Realm of Light and that Ocean of Darkness. They are not the same, but they thematically...thematically!...that was the word I was looking for!...They thematically resemble one another.

For one example, the Tabernacle, the tent-setup used by the Israelites under Moses for worship of Yahweh, and also the Temple later constructed by Solomon (they both have very similar arrangements), both resemble and represent the Creation narrative in Genesis, in a few ways. In the Temple and Tabernacle, in the main courtyard there are a basin of water referred to as "the Sea" and bronze pillars (these two bits are not the only parts of note for this, but they are just the easiest and quickest to compare). The former is obvious, and the latter represents the "pillars of the earth" that hold up the land. So, the basin is not literally an ocean and the pillars do not literally hold up any earth, but they and the Creation narrative thematically mirror one another, and in doing so reveal things about both (like how the Creation narrative is a Temple-building story, Yahweh creating a place to dwell with Man, etc.).

*Ahem* So hopefully that rant makes some sense, and at least gives an idea as to what I meant by the "oceans" in the Light and Dark realms being some good thematic complements.
 

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So what you're saying is that you believe that the Dark Margin and its ocean and the realms in general aren't laid out like normal landmasses and bodies of water, but rather something more a bit more esoteric.
Yeah, I can believe that.
 

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I suppose I'm more-so saying I have a hard time deciding which (realistic spatial vs esoteric planes of existence) is the best way to think about it. XD
The way the realms seem to behave for the most part of the series, it would seem that they are planes of existence, and that the spatial travel that accompanies any transit between them is more than anything a convenient-for-depiction human experience of the matter that doesn't let on quite what's happening on a dimensional level. So sometimes you may find a literal path or physical way to another realm, and while it may appear you are going there and there should be a physical map, it's not quite so.

However, the way Nomura lays things out, it would almost seem that these layers of the world, these dimensions if you will, do have a sort of physical/spatial way of picturing them. Such as what he has said, you start with the sea of Light worlds, and then you gradually move through worlds in-between in a gradient of Twilight going to the Dark (Mysterious Tower, Twilight Town, CO, TWTNW I think was the order). And somewhere past TWTNW you get the Dark Margin, and then the RoD. And that can still be understood in the goofy dimensiony way mentioned previously, but this spatial arrangement is where the trouble with Aqua comes in, since not only does she seem to walk onto the Margin from the Twilight side, facing the Dark Ocean, but it's also worth noting that the landscape on that Twilight side looks a lot like the landscape of the RoD. It's a mess, sad to say.
 

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Given how the KH universe has been a bit of a divvied-up and nebulous mess from the get-go, I think it might be better to just assume that the realms don't follow our typical spatial logic, so I try to not over-think it too much. =w=

I always just assumed that the Dark Margin was just that: the edge of the RoD where you can go no further. The how and why doesn't really matter to me. I guess I prefer that melancholy feeling of imagining a beach of an ocean that stretches on forever beneath a pale, dying sun.

Yep it's late and I'm getting all thoughtful again, ha.
 

Vaddix

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You know what, though? That late-night thoughtfulness might honestly be the best and only way to go with most of KH-lore. It's mostly based in emotion anyways, and if there's one thing I've picked up from playing Dissidia and KH is that nothing said or done has to seem...tangible or cogent, it's all about the feelings and free-floating concepts here.

I like your take on the Dark Margin, and despite the fact that Aqua entered it from the wrong side and that there should definitely be the twisted mess of the Dark Realm we've seen walked somewhere out amid that ocean, I'll just accept that much, somewhat as I said regarding non-spatial/euclidean paths. Aqua left the RoD, and that goes to the Dark Margin, and that's where she ended up, and some path went there.

And don't even get me started on the Crossroads, like does that exist on a border like the Margin, likewise taking you to different Realms/general areas? I would say that is perhaps best left for another thread, but I honestly feel it fits in with my general purpose of questioning the layout of the Realms.
 

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You know what, though? That late-night thoughtfulness might honestly be the best and only way to go with most of KH-lore. It's mostly based in emotion anyways, and if there's one thing I've picked up from playing Dissidia and KH is that nothing said or done has to seem...tangible or cogent, it's all about the feelings and free-floating concepts here.
Either that or it dissolves into interview-quoting and fact checking with the games. -.-

One thing that I'm not sure about is if the Realm of Darkness existed back before the worlds became fragmented. And if it did exist, was it nearly as massive as it is now? One explanation that came to me about five minutes ago is that the space between the fragmented worlds (the sea of worlds, lanes between, etc) is the void that was left behind when darkness covered the world and made most of it disappear. Since stuff doesn't just vanish, the remains of those worlds ended up in the RoD and eventually decomposed into the eldritch plane we all know today.

And don't even get me started on the Crossroads, like does that exist on a border like the Margin, likewise taking you to different Realms/general areas? I would say that is perhaps best left for another thread, but I honestly feel it fits in with my general purpose of questioning the layout of the Realms.
You know, a bit earlier, I was thinking of using the phrase "one does not simply walk into another realm," but then I remembered that the crossroads let SDG do exactly that.

... Okay, wanna hear a theory that I'm making up as I go along? So, before SDG appear at the crossroads, where were they last? The End of the World. Now, this "world" really shouldn't exist at all, since it's basically formed up by the shattered remains of countless destroyed worlds, all piled up together. So, restoring the worlds put all those pieces of worlds back where they belonged, which destroyed TEOTW in the process. Once that massive pileup of gummi blocks is swept away by Disney Magic, SDG are left standing in the place where TEOTW used to be: the crossroads.

Ok, so how do the crossroads somehow let you literally WALK into another friggin' realm? Well, I'm kinda thinking that SDG didn't. They were already there. Their exact last location was just outside the Door to Darkness, the one physical passageway between light and dark... When they flew into TEOTW, they flew into the Realm of In-Between. Which is possible, by the way. You've got worlds like The Land of Departure (aka Castle Oblivion) and Twilight Town, both worlds located in the Realm of In-between, and both can be accessed via Gummi Ship-like travel. However, it seems like the crossroads allow people to literally walk into the world of Castle Oblivion, so I'm gonna hazard a guess that the crossroads are a unique physical connection between all In-Between Realm worlds.
 

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Hmmmm, that could very well be possible! It would certainly make some sense of the matter, especially with it seeming to somehow connect CO and the location of the DtD. Does it also lead to the Realm of Light? Riku eventually goes to the crossroads (chooses the Road to Dawn and all that), but he and Mickey walking together eventually end up in the Realm of Light together (in the cutscene, they seem to end up in Hollow Bastion, but I'll ignore that in case it was just reuse of assets and not meant to be actually the case).

I'm starting to build this picture of...how can I describe this without a 3D modelling program... XD
Basically, yes, spectrum from left to right going Light to Dark, with the Inbetween gradients towards the center. And many locations and worlds connected by threads in a sort of loopy network in 3D space; multiple paths to various points along the way, not unlike how the Dark Corridors could be seen as wormhole-esque passages to different locations. I suppose I'm thinking, like, there's more than one path to the same place, even when it really doesn't make much sense in euclidean logic (like how Aqua seems to walk from the Darkness that's supposed to be out on the ocean, somehow to the beach). You have different little hubs or bubbles scattered along this 2D gradient (or could be 1D, really), and various loops of thread representing various paths connecting them that would have to loop out of the 2D plane, jump over some locations, meet at the same locations as others, etc.

So the Crossroads wouldn't be the end-all, be-all connector of various locations Between, just one that SDG happened to make their way to. Had they somehow ended up at the Dark Margin, they might've walked in the Twilight direction from there and still found a path to CO along the way somehow, and it would end up appearing like they ended up on the same path to its front door as the Crossroads led them to.

All wild speculation of course, but please do comment and criticize at your heart's content!
 
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I've skimmed a few posts here, apologies, but I think it's worth clearing up a few things.

The conversation seems to be leaning on the assumption that the realms are spaced like a landscape on a horizon. They're not a straight plane, they're more like a spiral staircase with the realm of light being the topmost.

Light goes down into the realm between which goes to the darkness. All the disney worlds and most of the ones we travel to are in the realm of light. Worlds like Twilight Town, Traverse Town and Castle Oblivion are in the realm in-between. Some of them are close to the darkness, and that affects certain properties about them.

The end of the world was at the very edge of the realm in between overlooking the darkness. It actually is possible to travel across those realms by ordinary means, but the Realm of Darkness is separated by walls and the great door to darkness. Unless you're traveling through the dark corridors, it's not happening.
 

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I actually recall an interview that said that the way Sora and Riku got to the crossroads was because the piece of land they were standing on in EotW actually came from the crossroads, and when every world was restored to its true form so to was that one taking SDG with it. You can actually see the visual similarities if you take one final look at where the DtD stood then compare it to the restored crossroads.

Anyway I figured the crossroads were just a leftover connection from how the worlds used to be. Like there are a couple instances like that where we have a natural connection between different worlds. Alice for example isn't from wonderland, she came from another world by falling down a hole in her world. Neverland is another world away from london you reach by flying. Yensid's Mysterious tower thrives on being connected to different worlds like the train that connects it to Twilight Town.

But unlike the others I don't think the crossroads are connected to any one place rather it's connected to all the realms taking what DiZ said. With one path leading you to the realm of light, one path leading you to the realm of darkness, two paths leading you to the inbetween, and one of those inbetween paths always leads you to the dead center of light and darkness aka Castle Oblivion. But I suspect once you get off the crossroad and arrive you can't simply get back on it (unless it's reached via castle oblivion), it sorta becomes as if it wasn't there and you will just find yourself in a new world.
 

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Anyway I figured the crossroads were just a leftover connection from how the worlds used to be. Like there are a couple instances like that where we have a natural connection between different worlds. Alice for example isn't from wonderland, she came from another world by falling down a hole in her world. Neverland is another world away from london you reach by flying. Yensid's Mysterious tower thrives on being connected to different worlds like the train that connects it to Twilight Town.

But unlike the others I don't think the crossroads are connected to any one place rather it's connected to all the realms taking what DiZ said. With one path leading you to the realm of light, one path leading you to the realm of darkness, two paths leading you to the inbetween, and one of those inbetween paths always leads you to the dead center of light and darkness aka Castle Oblivion. But I suspect once you get off the crossroad and arrive you can't simply get back on it (unless it's reached via castle oblivion), it sorta becomes as if it wasn't there and you will just find yourself in a new world.
There's actually a good precedent for that in the form of Traverse Town. Even though It's made up of the remains of other worlds, it always appears when you need it. Who's to say that the Crossroads isn't similar?

The conversation seems to be leaning on the assumption that the realms are spaced like a landscape on a horizon. They're not a straight plane, they're more like a spiral staircase with the realm of light being the topmost.
I actually think a better analogy might be a giant sea. What if each world in the realm of light was like an island peaking above an eternal sea of darnkess not unlike the Great Sea that covered the land of Hyrule, but not the high peaks of mountains which became islands in Wind Waker. The Realm In-Between would be something akin to a submarine or underwater colony just below the surface of that dark sea where it's the brightest & the Realm of Darkness would be the Great fathhoms below (pun intended). We could also attribute the memory loss Ansem has as something akin to nitrogen narcosis. We see in the series that the void between worlds has always attributed to the Sea in someway.
 
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