The Desinty Trio is the weakest in the whole series



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MrFranklin95

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I think that's honestly the one thing that bothered me more about KH3 then anything else. I can handle no colusiem, No radiant garden, no final fantasy characters. Fine. I can deal without those things but the Destiny trio dynamic, something that has been lacking and could been used in KH3, being almost none existent is something that really bothered me.

I think it really has to do with Nomura's disinterest in Kairi as a complete character and that effected the whole dynamic. The friendship of the trio was at least still present in KH1 and KH2 but after that, following the lack of Kairi's own development going forward, it became the Sora and Riku show. Which I dont hate, I love those two together but Kingdom Hearts 3 was perfect opportunity to finally come back to the Destiny trio dynamic and for some reason, it just didnt happen. No happy reunion like in KH2, no Riku giving at least spoken dialogue to Kairi (which I guess 0.2 counts since that's the only time Kairi and Riku even talk to each other and share a good moment).

Either Noruma only cares about Sora's dynamic with each of them or he figures the trio was already established in KH1 and KH2 and will save them for future arcs, which I kind of doubt a little. I mostly think its the former but it just feels so inconsistent. The rest of trios have clear dynamics with each other, one with the other. BBS trio all care about each other and at least show it, and The Twilight trio is obviously the best one since they were able to have more screentime.

I just dont understand why Noruma doesn't care to give some amount of attention to the original trio. Sora, Donald, and Goofy have better chemistry and granted that's by design since they are the one trio out of all the games that you actually feel like it's a friendship and have to travel together anyways.

I dont know, I just thought about this and needed vent. As someone who grew up with KH1, that detail really bothered me. What do you guys think? Can this trio be saved or is it just the Sora/Riku train from here on?
 
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Face My Fears

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I think the real issue for this trio is that the characters are never in the same place at the same time. Also, the games that they are actually featured in prominently together (KH1, KH2, and KH3) almost all had a plot that either revolved around saving/finding the others. KH3 could have given them moments together, but again, Riku was in the Realm of Darkness until near the end of the game, Sora was on his own journey with Donald and Goofy, and Kairi was in the Secret Forest training. Even if they got a crash course scene before the Keyblade Graveyard where they all chat, it will never be able to compare to FULL games dedicated to Terra/Aqua/Ven's and Roxas/Axel/Xion's relationship. I think this idea of Sora/Riku/Kairi being a "trio" in the sense of the others should be discarded. Even in KH1, I never felt like Riku really cared about Kairi. He used her more as bait/a tool of revenge against Sora after he saw Sora make new friends. I think moving forward, Nomura needs to use Kairi better, but I don't really care to see Sora/Riku/Kairi as a "trio". I feel like that ship has sailed.
 

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It's true that they are the weakest trio. I kind of hate that the games revolve around trios so much at this point though. Sora and Riku are better than the rest as a duo. And RAX is a quartet now because of Isa. Not all friends have to come in groups of three. That's why, even though Xion herself is alright, I thought it was a bit annoying how Days shoved an unknown character into Axel and Roxas' friendship, the same way a mystery girl has been inserted into Axel and Isa's now, too.

The BbS Trio is almost a reverse situation of the Destiny Trio for me. Whereas Kairi is the weak link in the latter, Aqua is the only truly interesting character in the former.
 

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I feel like Nomura is overall not interested in Kairi as anything more than a concept. KH3 was the opportunity to fix her and make her an active member of the “trio” but its clear that ship as already sailed. Sora and Riku are now more of a duo than ever with Kairi being nothing more than motivation and a plot device.
 

MrFranklin95

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I think the real issue for this trio is that the characters are never in the same place at the same time. Also, the games that they are actually featured in prominently together (KH1, KH2, and KH3) almost all had a plot that either revolved around saving/finding the others. KH3 could have given them moments together, but again, Riku was in the Realm of Darkness until near the end of the game, Sora was on his own journey with Donald and Goofy, and Kairi was in the Secret Forest training. Even if they got a crash course scene before the Keyblade Graveyard where they all chat, it will never be able to compare to FULL games dedicated to Terra/Aqua/Ven's and Roxas/Axel/Xion's relationship. I think this idea of Sora/Riku/Kairi being a "trio" in the sense of the others should be discarded. Even in KH1, I never felt like Riku really cared about Kairi. He used her more as bait/a tool of revenge against Sora after he saw Sora make new friends. I think moving forward, Nomura needs to use Kairi better, but I don't really care to see Sora/Riku/Kairi as a "trio". I feel like that ship has sailed.
Honestly, I'd be more on the same boat if Noruma didnt try to keep selling this group as a trio. They are featured together on the box art and even featured all three together at The End screen when the game is done. So it's the same thing with Kairi; if you want her or this trio to be a thing, then put in the work and dont just use it as window dressing.

Although I guess that's always been Noruma's problem. He's more interested in concepts and visual flare rather then completely using those concepts to their complete narrative potential, at least as far as certain characters and character interactions are concerned.

Its just annoying at this point.
 

Face My Fears

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Honestly, I'd be more on the same boat if Noruma didnt try to keep selling this group as a trio. They are featured together on the box art and even featured all three together at The End screen when the game is done. So it's the same thing with Kairi; if you want her or this trio to be a thing, then put in the work and dont just use it as window dressing.

Although I guess that's always been Noruma's problem. He's more interested in concepts and visual flare rather then completely using those concepts to their complete narrative potential, at least as far as certain characters and character interactions are concerned.

Its just annoying at this point.
I think that he just put them together as a trio on the cover because all the other groups featured (minus lonely Namine) were trios. The end screen featuring the three of them felt more like a nod to where the series began (with the 3 of them). I think you should give Nomura a chance with Sora/Riku/Kairi. There's going to be way more KH games. Just because they didn't get fleshed out yet (as a trio) doesn't mean it won't happen. I think the more important thing is to have them fleshed out as characters, so hopefully Nomura lets Kairi shine in KH4 or in the game between KH 3 and 4.
 

MrFranklin95

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He had 17 years of a chance lol
I'll give Nomura this; he has time. At least for one more arc to do more things with the Trio and even Kairi. I know a lot of people have given up at this point and even I'm getting to the point of frustration, but it doesnt mean he can't do it. Although KH3 was the perfect time to do any of this and he sort of mind of did and didnt... KH3 is weird. But still, KH3 did leave all those characters in an interesting place.

Come on Noruma! A Destiny Trio game with Sora, Kairi, and Riku as playable character alas Birth by Sleep

Sora in The World ends with you

Riku in Verum Rex

Kairi visiting various Disney worlds.

And the ending all coming together, ending with Sora being saved, leading up to KH4. Come on Noruma! Make it happen!!!

...I mean, that will 99% never happen and will most likely end up being DDD 0.2 but one can dream (lol) and it would be a perfect way to start off this arc. That and a remake of X on console with online support.
 

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I was also so disappointed with that. I never felt they were a strong trio but that game killed it completely. I mean,
Spoiler Spoiler Show

It's a perfect example of a ludonarrative dissonance.
This is also why I don't get SoKai. They never showed why Kairi was important to Sora; it's just being said. Why does this make a difference? Because if I'd have seen why she is important to him, I would've been more attached to her. This way she's just barely existent or completely reduced to a passive / off-screen plot device in every game since KH3 but since I'm supposed to think of her as important, the game doesn't stop to tell me that she's important to Sora. It's like this: A friend of mine tells my that this friend of his is very important to him but me and my friend spend so much time together but I hardly ever see anything of that and my friend just repeats it over and over. Ultimately, I may care about his friend as "his friend" and his friend is important because it's a friend of his, but not because of that person itself. And this "I care about his friend because it's a friend of his" is a "dangerous" trait for a person in videogame because it ties her purpose completely to another person and has no agenda of her own.
I also hated that 0.2 conversation between Riku and Kairi, it was so cringy - "you've changed" "yes" "you've had character development, you're so much like Sora now, hihihihihi, where's the oooold Riku" "pls, just bcs someone in this series gets character development doesn't mean I'm another Sora we have enough of these" "oh I wouldn't know a thing about character development" "that's true". Nothing about that is my imagination.

I also never liked RAX the way it was built up. I also thought they were more uncle / nephew / best friend of nephew or niece - like and not actual friends. They also have trust issues all the time, but those seem to be a thing for KH friends. HPO rules.
 
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Megavoltage

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I still don't think it's a lost cause even after 17 years of floundering. SRK just needs ONE game where they have an adventure together instead of forever getting separated. But who knows how long it'll take for Sora to come back from death and right when he gets back he'll probably be scooped up for yet another SDG game. B-but a SRK game will happen eventually, we just have to wait a bit longer!! Yeah...
 

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I agree that nothing is a lost cause, not Kairi, not the SRK trio being portrayed in a satisfying manner, and so on.
The problem is that KH III made it clear to me that what we need to wait for it's not some lucky accident or stars getting aligned, but rather that the whole franchise gets a massive God of War-esque reconstruction from the ground up.

After seeing what KH III managed to do with SRK, I can safely say that no trio in the game is actually good in Kingdom Hearts, safe for SDG which is also heavily carried by the sheer amount of games and screentime each character had and the fact that Donald and Goofy are immortal icons with already fleshed out personalities.
SRK has all the problems described by others in this thread and in the latest game they feel like the most disjointed of them all. There isn't a single interaction between them as a trio and if we discount the Anti-Aqua and the Paopu moments they hardly interact as duos either.

RAX uses heavy-handed emotions to make you instantly feel stuff. There's no nuance or subtlety to it: these three guys, who are friends because they ate ice cream a lot, are crying? That means it's all so sad and you should feel sad. But if you're feeling sad for them that means you care for them, so they're a good trio.
Yeah, right. Also the problem I have is that RAX ONLY has sad moments, minus some Days lines that gets up-played more for meme value than anything else. Even in KH III, they just call to each other and cry, and they cry even when it's all done. And in the final scene on the beach they're all separated. Which only makes sense if you think about it: how can you show them sharing happy moments when you've banked everything about them on drawing people in with the teary-eye routine?
Sadness is the default emotion of RAX.
PS: Oh yeah, they do have the ice cream on the clocktower. Well, it's mostly a rogue gallery of "all the remaining characters" than a "trio moment", but even so it's back to the original sin of being only capable of showing friendship by consuming ice cream.
I guess sadness and eating ice cream are the default emotions of RAX.

TAV has sorta the opposite problem in which I never feel the emotions. It all comes from BbS' issues that every emotional conflict feels extremely manufactured and that characters mostly make decisions based on which rails are they on. "I have to do this, because promise." "I have to do that, because friends in danger."
It's the same old gripe we've pointed out time and time again: no starting point, no growth, no variation. We're just told how things are the way they are rather than being shown why.

It'd be easy and not entirely unjustified to blame Kairi as the weak link that makes SRK crumble, but truth is I see huge gaps like that in every trio of original characters in the series, even when all the three involved got more screentime and development than Kairi, so I believe it's just a bigger all-encompassing problem with how character dynamics are being written and handled.
 
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Sephiroth0812

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While Kairi is the most overtly blatant issue I have to agree with Darkos that it extends to the interactions and relationships between the original characters in general being hampered not by lack of potential or possible story arcs, but simply how they are used and portrayed.

KH III is like a sort of bigger showcase for what the previous titles already did wrong concerning the original characters and their supposed friend- and relationships.

It's obvious that you don't get good and visible character dynamics between all these groups if they are almost always kept apart for some contrived plot reasons and interaction is limited to two or three scenes throughout the entire story at hand.

There is no doubt that Sora, Donald and Goofy is the best trio but that is solely for the reason that this one actually gets enough and constant attention to develop in different scenarios and situations.

The narrative does not allow this variety and more dedicated attention to either SRK, RAX or TAV as groups, it's either only separate duo mechanics or have one of the group search for or chase after the other two.

The lack of a true party system which would for example allow for sorts of field-conversations and banter that could develop inter-character dynamics outside of dedicated cutscenes depending on who you choose to have in your party also adds to the overall problem.

There are also almost no opportunities where the characters are just walking around as NPCs so you can initiate conversations with them like which are sometimes offered for Donald, Goofy and some of the Disney party members.

Like i.e. after waking Ven and chasing off Vanitas being given a chance to explore LoD a little and have Aqua and Ven walking around as NPCs and an opportunity to chat with them about a few topics could already help things at least a little.

Like, in the Ultimania Nomura says he wanted to give each character and appropriate moment but couldn't because "so much story had to be told and the flow of the game requires the player to control Sora and fight battles" which while I can accept as a general sorting out of priorities I still think was not a complete either-or-situation it is made out to be here because the most sensible thing to do would have been spreading out the appropriate moments for other characters throughout the rest of the game rather than cram it all into the final battles and ending.
Like yea Nomura, you prioritized rhythm and "controlling Sora to fight battles" but heavily neglected a large group of your other characters in the process.
Even that would not have been much of a problem if the other characters had been given moments, dynamics and interaction before the final battles start that go beyond a single scene at Mysterious Tower which is filled more with Fourth Wall breaking and cheap humor than with meaningful character interactions.

Just let characters be saved throughout and between the Disney worlds and have them interact with each other and Sora on a regular basis either personally or via the new gummi phone which Jiminy confirms to have been prepared for everyone right before the final battle anyways.
This way, a foundation and groundwork would have been up already and make the final battles not only more intense because you already had interactions and dynamics between the whole group of characters, you'd also have more room to tell the, quote Nomura:, too much story that had to be told then as some of the baggage would have been dealt with beforehand.
It's not even about "I should have had characters with connections fight it out one by one and settle things that way" which would certainly have been overkill, but the others could have been more involved so it would have been really a sort of teamwork instead of every success falling to Sora. There weren't even team attacks for Sora to initiate with the other original characters being available.

Like for example, have optional scenes available between Sora and all of the other characters throughout the game once they are saved/available, either by approaching them as NPCs personally in a world they reside or by calling them up on the gummi phone. Interact with them, have develop dynamics and at the end of a conversation chain you unlock a Team attack with that character which can be used throughout the final battles.

There are so many possibilities how things could have been done better and even integrate story and gameplay to an extent by just spreading stuff out and pay more attention to pacing that it's somewhat stunning to see they didn't think of it.
 

allenleonardo

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I agree with you OP. The destiny trio and their missing friendship between all three of them really was one of the very few points that I did not like in KH3. Its just sad that the oldest trio is the least interesting or even realstic one and it hurts even more after seeing how great the friendship is between other trios like SDG.

In KH1 it felt like a group of friends that are on the brink of destruction thanks to Rikus actions but that still pulled through it. Even after everything that happened and was said, Sora still wanted Riku in his life, Riku cared about both of them and even Kairi feared for Rikus wellbeing and did not want to leave both behind.

Then KH2 happens and it feels less like a trio but still there. Sora is focues on finding Riku and sometimes think about Kairi, Riku is completely focused on Sora and Kairi wants to not be left behind. Yet she and Riku still interacted at the end it was Kairi that managed to stop Riku from going away and to show Sora who that person is. Riku also gave her the keyblade. It was less interaction but you still get the feeling of a friendship between all three of them.

Then in DDD Kairi was not in it at all, Sora and Riku seemingly dont mention her, and Riku only has Sora on his mind again. From this moment on and especially in KH3 it feels like the only common ground that Riku and Kairi have is Sora and that they are just "friends" because Sora likes to hang out with both of them. Kairi turned into something even more that seemingly mostly thinks about Sora, Sora cares for everyone that he meets and it feels like he cares more about Riku than Kairi and only shows more affection to her in the final battle. Sora breaks down when Kairi dies (but lets be real...if that had been Riku, Goofy or Donald, he would have reacted quite similiar to that), while Riku only reacts angry after Sora was attacked and fell down. I honestly wondered if the "Xehanort" was even for Kairi or because he had hurt Sora emotionally..

Riku and Kairi also never shared a word in KH3, Kairi only wanted to be in Soras life with the fruit and seemingly did not care that Riku was also going to be in the final battle and could die. Kairi only prayed for Sora to be save, while Sora wanted all of his friends to survive and they are the only trio that never got a scene together before the final battle...

In the end I really wonder how Nomura will go forward with them...the secret ending at least seems to be "Riku trying to save Sora" again with no Kairi near him...why not just kill her off? Then at least you dont have to focus on that at all..
 

The Kid

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I agree that nothing is a lost cause, not Kairi, not the SRK trio being portrayed in a satisfying manner, and so on.
The problem is that KH III made it clear to me that what we need to wait for it's not some lucky accident or stars getting aligned, but rather that the whole franchise gets a massive God of War-esque reconstruction from the ground up.

After seeing what KH III managed to do with SRK, I can safely say that no trio in the game is actually good in Kingdom Hearts, safe for SDG which is also heavily carried by the sheer amount of games and screentime each character had and the fact that Donald and Goofy are immortal icons with already fleshed out personalities.
SRK has all the problems described by others in this thread and in the latest game they feel like the most disjointed of them all. There isn't a single interaction between them as a trio and if we discount the Anti-Aqua and the Paopu moments they hardly interact as duos either.

RAX uses heavy-handed emotions to make you instantly feel stuff. There's no nuance or subtlety to it: these three guys, who are friends because they ate ice cream a lot, are crying? That means it's all so sad and you should feel sad. But if you're feeling sad for them that means you care for them, so they're a good trio.
Yeah, right. Also the problem I have is that RAX ONLY has sad moments, minus some Days lines that gets up-played more for meme value than anything else. Even in KH III, they just call to each other and cry, and they cry even when it's all done. And in the final scene on the beach they're all separated. Which only makes sense if you think about it: how can you show them sharing happy moments when you've banked everything about them on drawing people in with the teary-eye routine?
Sadness is the default emotion of RAX.
PS: Oh yeah, they do have the ice cream on the clocktower. Well, it's mostly a rogue gallery of "all the remaining characters" than a "trio moment", but even so it's back to the original sin of being only capable of showing friendship by consuming ice cream.
I guess sadness and eating ice cream are the default emotions of RAX.

TAV has sorta the opposite problem in which I never feel the emotions. It all comes from BbS' issues that every emotional conflict feels extremely manufactured and that characters mostly make decisions based on which rails are they on. "I have to do this, because promise." "I have to do that, because friends in danger."
It's the same old gripe we've pointed out time and time again: no starting point, no growth, no variation. We're just told how things are the way they are rather than being shown why.

It'd be easy and not entirely unjustified to blame Kairi as the weak link that makes SRK crumble, but truth is I see huge gaps like that in every trio of original characters in the series, even when all the three involved got more screentime and development than Kairi, so I believe it's just a bigger all-encompassing problem with how character dynamics are being written and handled.
Perfectly stated! All of the friendships in this series kinda suck other than Sora, Donald, and Goofy. The sheer amount of screentime they have and Donald and Goofy having set personalities that existed before (and will continue to exist after KH is over) give the trio a level of authenticity that the other trios don't have.

I've always said the most believable friendships in this series are:
Sora/Donald/Goofy (hands down the best)
Sora/Riku
Riku/Mickey
Roxas/Axel

The rest can take a seat.
 

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Perfectly stated! All of the friendships in this series kinda suck other than Sora, Donald, and Goofy. The sheer amount of screentime they have and Donald and Goofy having set personalities that existed before (and will continue to exist after KH is over) give the trio a level of authenticity that the other trios don't have.

I've always said the most believable friendships in this series are:
Sora/Donald/Goofy (hands down the best)
Sora/Riku
Riku/Mickey
Roxas/Axel

The rest can take a seat.
I would add Isa / Lea. I loved their dynamic in BBS where they just hung around with each other, ate ice cream while not being reduced to that and had a common goal, a shared secret and in general behaved like the teenagers they were. Lea was the fiery, extrovert one who loved a good competition and Isa was the rather cool-headed, sarcastic one who tolerated his friend doing dumb stuff, kinda enjoyed it and mocked him when it didn't go as Lea expected. In KH3, Isa seems to be the only one to be able to make Lea angry; while this sounds like a bad thing, it actually shows that Lea acts normal around Isa, being as honest as he can be without constantly having to worry that he will be misunderstood or needs to hide things. These two are EQUALS and to me, they portray a realistic friendship. After all this time and all the mess between them, Lea was hostile towards Isa, but at the end of the day, still felt something for their old friendship,
Spoiler Spoiler Show
This is just how friendship actually goes in a lot of cases; you make a friend, you have a good time, something happens, you fight, you argue, eventually get tired and move on, but that lingering feeling of kind of missing that friendship never really leaves, so when you get the chance to get it back as it was, you probably take it. I loved how that was portrayed. Friendship is being lived; not to be told by repeating the same things over and over and heavily emphasize on how much you are important to each other. If you are really good friends, you just know that and you just see that.
 

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A lot has been said already so I'm just gonna add that I feel HPO is the best original character trio. They act like actual friends.
 

Sephiroth0812

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A lot has been said already so I'm just gonna add that I feel HPO is the best original character trio. They act like actual friends.
Which is because whenever HPO are getting attention they are all involved regardless if it is with each other or other original characters.
They also don't have to pick up idiot balls as often due to plot demands.
 

MrFranklin95

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A lot has been said already so I'm just gonna add that I feel HPO is the best original character trio. They act like actual friends.
Huh... now that I think about it, you are right. In fact, in KH2, Roxas and all three of them had a very realistic friendship and dymanic, which made the ending of the prologue all the more heartbreaking.

But in any case... everyone here has made a lot of great points and all of our complaints all come down to how Noruma approaches the next arc and whether he litsens to fan cries at all.

Like honestly, the top things that many people want from Noruma going foward are things that at this point, I don't really have faith in him doing because he kind of just does whatever he wants and doesnt always completely litsen to fans.

Which I never really think is a bad thing to a certain extent. I mean, a lot of creators tend to focus too much on what fans want rather then just focusing on telling their own story in their own way. Noruma is the exact opposite but like... to the 9th degree. Like, I honestly doubt he gives a F if people call him a bad writer or not after years and years of criticism, so I honestly shouldnt be surprised KH3 turned out the way it did. Good natured criticism or not, He doesn't care to litsen or take the criticism into account for the next story and if he does, he does it on a very superficial level or in a way that just makes people even more upset

*cough*Kairi*cough*

I also get the impression that he's surrounded by Yes men who clearly dont tell him or advise him on certain plot elements that dont work or need more fine-tuning. And granted, this also could be half of Disney's doing since they clearly wanted the Disney worlds this time around to have more focus and put certian restrictions on what you can and can't do. Which I can somewhat understand on Disney's part but that stil hinders creative boundaries for the story. So I can imagine that was hard to write around that.

Still, what really tipped me off to how much Noruma doesn't give a F is when he revealed his reason for not having Final Fantasy characters in the game. It was honest the bulls**t answer I've ever read and the staff were right to mad at him for it. It didn't make any sense.

So honestly, all of this talk of trios and a lot of them suffering from lack of development or realistic interpretation is mostly all on him. And I say this because the Mangas clearly do these characters better justice then the actual video games they're based on. And I dont undersrand Noruma isn't embarrassed by that, even if he doesn't really care too much about the franchise's story; which at this point, I'm getting the strong impression that he doesn't, at least not in the way many other fans do. But to be fair, thats only from my perspective in the US side of things. I don't really know how Japanese fans feel about this story at all but I imagine it would be thebsame consensus, at least on some level.

Overall, do I hope that the SRK trio gets better? Do I hope for better writing going forward and to development these trios more in the future? A more fleshed out, less retconning motivational villian? Yes I do hope for things.

But thats all I have right now. Hope. Because faith is something I'm starting to lose because the more I think about KH3 and all its problems and how all those problems stemmed from other games after KH2 and how those problems did not change at all in KH3, I just think Noruma could give less of a F about fan feedback and criticism of his writing ability and is just going to always do his own thing to the determent of his own narrative.

Still, I have hope because Noruma has great concepts and has a unique visual eye and despite writing issues has still manage to create characters I care about even with what little they have. And for those reason (also because I always had a good time playing these games) Im in it for the long haul. But at this point, I understand why fans jumped ship after KH3. I can't blame them.
 
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Zettaflare

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  • Nothing's Like Before
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Adding onto HPO I think Mickey, Donald, and Goofy have good chemistry as well. There were moments in coded, DDD, and KH3 that sold me on their friendship
 
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