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The realization that Sora probably knew everything that he could die makes the KH3 ending for me even sadder.



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Face My Fears

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I don’t disagree. My point is that by creating this teaser, it opens itself to all of these questions that undermine the impact of the ending.



You’re missing my point. Why release a secret ending that, instead of enhancing Sora’s sacrifice, exists to show that Sora isn’t gone like we thought and that he’s might only just be a tad bit dead? Fans went from “Damn Sora’s actually gone” to “oh nvm he’s fine. Like always”

Do you not see what is wrong with that?



The different between ASAD/DD is that those secret endings were visually engaging and mysterious. They were telling us a story that we didn’t have the full picture to and it was fun to imagine what what happening in them.

Yozora isn’t mysterious in the same way. It’s boring. There are definitely questions that come up, but it comes at the expense of ruining the shock value and sadness over Sora’s sacrifice.
I mean did anyone actually think Sora would be really gone? I was confused and very interested in finding out how he would return. Seeing Shibuya and Verum Rex seemingly combined and related to Sora's return makes me intrigued about what's going to happen.

Now I know the "no one actually believed Sora was dead" thing isn't a justifiable excuse to just reveal a few minutes later that Sora is indeed alive. The teaser video could have been done better and less on the nose. However, the secret video in KH1 was put in just as a concept. Nomura didn't know if he could make KH2. I think that's why it was so vague and conceptual, rather than the Yozora ending that was more explicit. If anything, the Yozora ending makes me even more concerned for Sora because we can assume it will be the Reaper's Game and Sora will be away from his friends. After his breakdown about how he was useless without them, he is truly without them now.

At the end of the day, seeing a character die can still be emotional even when you know they're not actually dead -- great example is Spider-Man in Infinity War. We literally knew that a brand new Spider-Man film was coming out right after Endgame, so that basically confirmed he would return. Yet his death was still very emotional. I found Sora's death very emotional, even though I knew he couldn't be dead and the Yozora secret video confirmed he was still somewhere.

I just don't think Sora is going to learn anything given what he knows about his character. What is he going to learn, not save his friends? You can argue that he learns about death but I assume he knew in any given battle he can die right? Like what did he think was going to happen if he lost versus Jafar. So I imagine even if Nomura never told us this that Sora is aware that death is possible during any fight. Which is always a confusing part of the story whether Sora is in actual danger of death or not in his journey.

Maybe Sora does have a character change because he died but since we might have to wait like 3 years to find out doesn't really excuse the flat-ish ending. Like Spockanort said we have no context to what Sora is feeling now which can give an idea if anything changed. I believe in BBS (it's been a while since I played it) Aqua was shown as losing hope in the realm of darkness and then deciding she needs to keep fighting. At least that gives us some insight as a cliff hanger ending.
Aqua's ending in BbS doesn't really compare to Sora's ending. Nomura had to write her out to explain why she wasn't around for KH1, so he really had to go into detail about what was happening with her. Since Nomura (probably) had a vague idea about where he was building up to, it makes sense to show some of Aqua's time in the Realm of Darkness. That was also necessary to answer questions people inevitably had like how did she survive, did Riku/Mickey see her etc. Basically what I'm trying to say is that Aqua being placed there was to allow KH1 to make sense after TAV were introduced. It wasn't building up to a numbered sequel and/or the main character of the series. I think Nomura was scarce with the teaser video because he didn't want to spoil (and/or didn't come up with) plans for future games. Showing Aqua chatting away with Ansem The Wise just confirms she is still alive after the events of KH2 (which hints to the player that she can be saved for KH3). Would Sora waking up in Shibuya and having a conversation with Yozora where he states "I'm alone and scared, I didn't know that sacrificing myself for Kairi would send me here, I think I made a mistake" been better? I don't think so.

I found KH3 to be the best KH game for development of Sora. I feel like he really grew throughout the game and felt different at the end. At the start of the game, we see him groaning about being weak and upset that he has to regain the Power of Waking (showing his immaturity and loss of control of his life). Sora's used to things just going his way and it being easy (show up, kill the Disney villain, kill Ansem, magical lights will help his friends/anyone affected by the darkness), but in KH3 he actually has struggles. He has to regain the Power of Waking -- and he has no idea where to start. His heart takes him to worlds that show him things he never witnessed before (true love/death/abandonment). He finally arrives at the Keyblade Graveyard and a fight with regular heartless goes horribly wrong -- he was probably expecting it to be easy, but then he sees all his friends die and then has a breakdown (and dies). If it weren't for Kairi, Sora would be dead. In previous games, Sora never had to make hard choices (except for his memories in CoM, although this wasn't really a hard choice), but KH3 actually presented Sora with the hardest choice of all -- should he sacrifice himself for Kairi? Throughout the whole game, Sora was pretty much out of control of the situation and weak -- whether it was the different reaction to his arrival (Buzz Lightyear not seeing him as a friend at first), not getting an easy answer from Hercules, being pressured by the Organization to regain the Power of Waking or innocent people will be hurt (Rapunzel/Anna/Elsa), even more pressure being dumped on him when he realizes that he has to take care of 3 hearts inside of him while in this weakened state, and even witnessing that a chaotic battle could result in actual death (The Caribbean). All of that built up to Sora taking control of the situation and choosing to sacrifice himself for Kairi. Throughout the game, Sora is weak, but at the end he shows the strength he has gained by making that choice. Instead of simply going back to Yen Sid's to "figure it out", Sora chose to go after Kairi.
 

Divine Past

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I mean did anyone actually think Sora would be really gone? I was confused and very interested in finding out how he would return. Seeing Shibuya and Verum Rex seemingly combined and related to Sora's return makes me intrigued about what's going to happen.

Now I know the "no one actually believed Sora was dead" thing isn't a justifiable excuse to just reveal a few minutes later that Sora is indeed alive. The teaser video could have been done better and less on the nose. However, the secret video in KH1 was put in just as a concept. Nomura didn't know if he could make KH2. I think that's why it was so vague and conceptual, rather than the Yozora ending that was more explicit. If anything, the Yozora ending makes me even more concerned for Sora because we can assume it will be the Reaper's Game and Sora will be away from his friends. After his breakdown about how he was useless without them, he is truly without them now.

At the end of the day, seeing a character die can still be emotional even when you know they're not actually dead -- great example is Spider-Man in Infinity War. We literally knew that a brand new Spider-Man film was coming out right after Endgame, so that basically confirmed he would return. Yet his death was still very emotional. I found Sora's death very emotional, even though I knew he couldn't be dead and the Yozora secret video confirmed he was still somewhere.


Aqua's ending in BbS doesn't really compare to Sora's ending. Nomura had to write her out to explain why she wasn't around for KH1, so he really had to go into detail about what was happening with her. Since Nomura (probably) had a vague idea about where he was building up to, it makes sense to show some of Aqua's time in the Realm of Darkness. That was also necessary to answer questions people inevitably had like how did she survive, did Riku/Mickey see her etc. Basically what I'm trying to say is that Aqua being placed there was to allow KH1 to make sense after TAV were introduced. It wasn't building up to a numbered sequel and/or the main character of the series. I think Nomura was scarce with the teaser video because he didn't want to spoil (and/or didn't come up with) plans for future games. Showing Aqua chatting away with Ansem The Wise just confirms she is still alive after the events of KH2 (which hints to the player that she can be saved for KH3). Would Sora waking up in Shibuya and having a conversation with Yozora where he states "I'm alone and scared, I didn't know that sacrificing myself for Kairi would send me here, I think I made a mistake" been better? I don't think so.

I found KH3 to be the best KH game for development of Sora. I feel like he really grew throughout the game and felt different at the end. At the start of the game, we see him groaning about being weak and upset that he has to regain the Power of Waking (showing his immaturity and loss of control of his life). Sora's used to things just going his way and it being easy (show up, kill the Disney villain, kill Ansem, magical lights will help his friends/anyone affected by the darkness), but in KH3 he actually has struggles. He has to regain the Power of Waking -- and he has no idea where to start. His heart takes him to worlds that show him things he never witnessed before (true love/death/abandonment). He finally arrives at the Keyblade Graveyard and a fight with regular heartless goes horribly wrong -- he was probably expecting it to be easy, but then he sees all his friends die and then has a breakdown (and dies). If it weren't for Kairi, Sora would be dead. In previous games, Sora never had to make hard choices (except for his memories in CoM, although this wasn't really a hard choice), but KH3 actually presented Sora with the hardest choice of all -- should he sacrifice himself for Kairi? Throughout the whole game, Sora was pretty much out of control of the situation and weak -- whether it was the different reaction to his arrival (Buzz Lightyear not seeing him as a friend at first), not getting an easy answer from Hercules, being pressured by the Organization to regain the Power of Waking or innocent people will be hurt (Rapunzel/Anna/Elsa), even more pressure being dumped on him when he realizes that he has to take care of 3 hearts inside of him while in this weakened state, and even witnessing that a chaotic battle could result in actual death (The Caribbean). All of that built up to Sora taking control of the situation and choosing to sacrifice himself for Kairi. Throughout the game, Sora is weak, but at the end he shows the strength he has gained by making that choice. Instead of simply going back to Yen Sid's to "figure it out", Sora chose to go after Kairi.

I will say I understand the side that the mystery of what happens to Sora makes the ending better. I think I might have been on that side because I do love having a chance to insert my own headcannon on things and what happened. Maybe if I enjoyed the parts around the ending more (Kairi being killed just being a vehicle so Nomura can have Sora die and the other heroes of light just standing around as S/D/G fought MX) I would have felt the Sora death as a great cliffhanger to get me interested in whatever the next game is. So I very well could be too harsh on the ending because I dislike parts of the leadup to it and I can admit it.

On your character development remark on Sora I guess I will agree in the sense that I enjoyed this Sora more than I enjoyed KH2 and DDD Sora so it's an improvement! I only had 1 playthrough of the game but I don't remember actively hating Sora like I did in parts of the other 2 games. The thing I dislike about Sora was out of his control (him doing everything) and not on his personality.

I will disagree on your last point though that Sora's character development leads to him deciding to risk dying to save Kairi because I saw him do the same thing in KH1 and arguable in COM when he told Marluxia to destroy his heart to save Namine. So I won't say the events of KH3 lead him to make that decision at the end, rather it's just who Sora is to risk his life for the people he cares about.
 

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It's just...weird how it's like Sora is the only one who cares about what's happening. Same when Xehanort summoned Kingdom Hearts. The complete non-concern as if Xehanort drew a mustache on a billboard advert. This is supposed to be serious!

Yeah, that was one of my biggest gripes with KH3. Like, how am I supposed to get engaged when even the characters don't give a shit? When the first thing Sora says upon entering a world is "why am I even here?", when characters don't interact with each others, stare with a dull look into nothing and only talk when spoken to them or when no one except for Sora gives any kind of shit about Kairi's death? If the game itself doesn't make me care about Kairi, at least give me an indirect reason to care for her because other people love her!
 

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I will say I understand the side that the mystery of what happens to Sora makes the ending better. I think I might have been on that side because I do love having a chance to insert my own headcannon on things and what happened. Maybe if I enjoyed the parts around the ending more (Kairi being killed just being a vehicle so Nomura can have Sora die and the other heroes of light just standing around as S/D/G fought MX) I would have felt the Sora death as a great cliffhanger to get me interested in whatever the next game is. So I very well could be too harsh on the ending because I dislike parts of the leadup to it and I can admit it.

On your character development remark on Sora I guess I will agree in the sense that I enjoyed this Sora more than I enjoyed KH2 and DDD Sora so it's an improvement! I only had 1 playthrough of the game but I don't remember actively hating Sora like I did in parts of the other 2 games. The thing I dislike about Sora was out of his control (him doing everything) and not on his personality.

I will disagree on your last point though that Sora's character development leads to him deciding to risk dying to save Kairi because I saw him do the same thing in KH1 and arguable in COM when he told Marluxia to destroy his heart to save Namine. So I won't say the events of KH3 lead him to make that decision at the end, rather it's just who Sora is to risk his life for the people he cares about.
I believe KH3's ending was definitely a choice because Riku calmly states that they can all go back to Yen Sid's to figure it out. He has the option to do that with all his friends (his power) or sacrifice himself (alone) for Kairi. The other times you mentioned, Sora didn't really have a choice. There was no other way to save Kairi in KH1 since her heart was in his body. I felt that Nomura put that in there purposefully. He could have easily had Riku say nothing and Mickey not plead for Sora to reconsider, and instead just have Sora say he's going after Kairi, but he made sure to let the players know there was a choice on how to save Kairi. He also made it the two people who could use the Power of Waking be the ones informing Sora of his options/consequences.
 

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I believe KH3's ending was definitely a choice because Riku calmly states that they can all go back to Yen Sid's to figure it out. He has the option to do that with all his friends (his power) or sacrifice himself (alone) for Kairi. The other times you mentioned, Sora didn't really have a choice. There was no other way to save Kairi in KH1 since her heart was in his body. I felt that Nomura put that in there purposefully. He could have easily had Riku say nothing and Mickey not plead for Sora to reconsider, and instead just have Sora say he's going after Kairi, but he made sure to let the players know there was a choice on how to save Kairi. He also made it the two people who could use the Power of Waking be the ones informing Sora of his options/consequences.
At the same time though, can Riku truly believe they had that much time? I wish Sora used this as part of his reasoning to go rescue her. I understand he doesn't want Kairi to wait any longer, but if the rescue isn't urgent then that takes some of the weight away. At least have Sora reason to Riku that there may not be as much time as he believes.

Even if it turns out Sora wanted to commit sudoku, he would have given a better excuse.
 

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At the same time though, can Riku truly believe they had that much time? I wish Sora used this as part of his reasoning to go rescue her. I understand he doesn't want Kairi to wait any longer, but if the rescue isn't urgent then that takes some of the weight away. At least have Sora reason to Riku that there may not be as much time as he believes.

I think the discussion might've been yet another attempt at some "meta" stuff too, like Riku was arguing that they could've prepared and then searched for Kairi as another adventure (another game), and Sora was like "Not this time we won't. No more big adventures, I'll just go there and do it."

Maybe I'm reading too much into it.

Even if it turns out Sora wanted to commit sudoku, he would have given a better excuse.

I laughed way harder than I should've at this.
 

Face My Fears

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At the same time though, can Riku truly believe they had that much time? I wish Sora used this as part of his reasoning to go rescue her. I understand he doesn't want Kairi to wait any longer, but if the rescue isn't urgent then that takes some of the weight away. At least have Sora reason to Riku that there may not be as much time as he believes.

Even if it turns out Sora wanted to commit sudoku, he would have given a better excuse.
I dunno, maybe when we see what happens in future games the ending will make more sense. I'm still processing how the message from Kairi floated from Destiny Islands to the Dark Realm. I actually was hoping for some explanation that Destiny Islands/Dark Realm were linked, but I guess just take it at face value.
 

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I believe KH3's ending was definitely a choice because Riku calmly states that they can all go back to Yen Sid's to figure it out. He has the option to do that with all his friends (his power) or sacrifice himself (alone) for Kairi. The other times you mentioned, Sora didn't really have a choice. There was no other way to save Kairi in KH1 since her heart was in his body. I felt that Nomura put that in there purposefully. He could have easily had Riku say nothing and Mickey not plead for Sora to reconsider, and instead just have Sora say he's going after Kairi, but he made sure to let the players know there was a choice on how to save Kairi. He also made it the two people who could use the Power of Waking be the ones informing Sora of his options/consequences.

Well I can argue in KH1 it was a choice too. Sora could have just taken Kairi back with him to Traverse Town to discuss with Leon and gang and maybe see if there was an alternative path. Like I don't really see how it's all that different than in KH3. Maybe in both cases the answer would have been Sora killing himself but he is the one who decides to take the immediate route rather than talk with his friends. (In the KH1 example Donald and Goofy were pleading for Sora to not do it)

I think you will say well the alternative choice for Sora was having Riku and Mickey go to help Kairi as well but do we know for sure they could have saved her? Because if Riku and Mickey could then why didn't they go while Sora was fighting MX? It's not like they were doing anything in that boss fight. Did everyone but Sora assume Kairi was ok after she got murder? The only evidence we have is I think Xion saying she believes Kairi is ok but it seems Sora thought it was urgent? Because nobody else on the hero side really reacted like Kairi was in a dire situation given their action.

Like comparing the 2 situations it seems remarkably similar in that rather than Sora taking his time to examine his options he went head on to save Kairi ASAP. That is why I don't consider this much character development because this is just who Sora is.
A person who lets his emotions get the better of him.
 

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It's hard to be emotionally invested in "death" scenes in this series since it's mission in every game so far has been to avoid any character ever having it's existence permanently ended. As the games go on every installment has found a new way to undermine a character's supposed passing; from Sora's heart stabbing in KH1, to Maleficent and the defeated Disney villains being resurrected, to inventing Nobodies so people who've had their hearts taken can still be alive in some way, to that being undermined with the ""recompleted" nonsense, to the stars in the final world, etc I could go on and on.

I understand that this is an essential theme in this series, the ability to not have your existence erased permanently and having some part of you always living on, but it pretty much totally undercuts any tension a death scene this series can have when you know characters can and usually come back in some way, and for me really negates any tragic emotion the plot is trying to instill in me.
 
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