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Trying to fully understand this forsaken game



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Loxdani

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The parameters are good b/c it prevents a lot of the headache and plotholes associated with time travel done improperly. Forget the having to give up your body part, if a person can only time travel with the limits of their life time that could help prevent the "couldn't they just" question I mentioned.
 

Gram

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^ Pretty much this right here. Sure Xehanorts method for his time trolling is complicated or better yet merely convoluted but it also restrains him and keeps the story from becoming a timey wimey wibbly wobbly mess of a timeline story.
 

Jim Hawkins

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Based off of interviews, replaying the game multiple times, and various forums, this is how I’ve come to understand KH3D and its many tricky plot elements. If there is anything I don’t cover, PLEASE COMMENT! I am, after all, trying to learn & understand just like everyone else. :)

Time Travel
Various books, films, and television shows have presented many forms of how time works, and I think that is where some KH fans first get confused. The timeline in the KH universe is not just a straight line (with an already established future), nor is it a line with multiple lines springing from it (alternate timelines or dimensions). Think of time in KH as a line that is continuously moving forward (with an unwritten future). You can perform actions in the present and shape your own future, but the actions of the past are cemented in time and cannot be altered. This is why no one (good or bad) from the future can go back to change the present, nor someone from the past to base their decisions on future events. These rules are forced upon everyone, but there are two KNOWN methods of time travel:
The Magic Method: Someone with powerful magic (Yen Sid, Merlin, and even the Three Good Fairies to an extent) can simply open a portal and have people walk through to the past, with no repercussions or time limits.
The Xehanort Method: By discarding your body and becoming a heart, you are free to roam the timeline wherever a version of you is present, but must return to the time & place of when you initially departed for your time adventure after an undetermined amount of time. Anyone you pick up along the way doesn’t have to lose their body, but must also return to their point in time and play their part in the timeline.

The Realm of Sleep
When a world in the Realm of Light falls to darkness, it falls into a state of sleep (a.k.a. the Realm of Sleep). From there, it eventually ends up in the Realm of Darkness (as can be seen in the Birth by Sleep Volume 2 trailer). After the events of KH1, all the worlds in the Realm of Darkness returned to the Realm of Light. However, the ones that were still asleep at the time remained in the Realm of Sleep. The RoS is outside of time, and thus why it was possible for Sora & Riku to enter it from the past, but then pop out of it into their current present. It should also be noted that Nomura has said that there may be more sleeping worlds in the Realm of Sleep that we do not know of. I always imagined Dumbo’s world was returned to the Realm of Light, but I guess his world could be in the Realm of Sleep.

The Mark of Mastery
Since Sora & Riku needed a quick crash course to prepare them for Master Xehanort, and the Sleeping Worlds needed to be awakened anyway, Yen Sid sends the duo to the Realm of Sleep to do just that. If they can return after unlocking the Seven Keyholes of Sleep, then they would be dubbed Keyblade Masters. In order to teach them the proper way of Keyblade wielding, Yen Sid makes them physically younger to before they received the Keyblade. Based off the flashbacks, it’s obvious that Yen Sid gave the duo a lot of information before sending them off. He probably told them the proper way of Keyblade combat was using the Deck Commands, thus why he is not there with them in person to instruct. Nomura has also stated that it was Yen Sid that gave them the new clothes. It was Xehanort that gave Sora the X on his shirt (to track him) and Riku received the Dream Eater mark after becoming one. Since Sora “lost focus” during the exam, and Riku conquered a deeper level of sleep, that is why he was the only one to become a Master, even though Sora was the one who actually woke the worlds up.

Xehanort’s Time Travel Plan
After Apprentice Xehanort split into two (Xemnas & Ansem SoD), his Heartless gains the ability to time travel (since he is just a heart), but does not use it immediately. It instead follows Kairi to Destiny Islands and waits. When Sora & Riku arrive from the future, he follows them into the Realm of Sleep. It is from there that the Heartless goes into the past to Young Xehanort and transfers his Time Traveling powers to his younger self, as well as informing him of the plan to form the X-Blade. Having lost his time traveling ability, Xehanort’s Heartless returns to the point before he enters the realm of sleep (since you cannot return to a place that is outside of time). Just as Destiny Islands is disappearing, Xehanort’s Heartless begins to follow and slowly posses Riku (as we see in the events of KH1). Meanwhile, Young Xehanort is able to jump to points in time where a version of himself is present, and begins to collect hearts of darkness. He is also able to go to the Realm of Sleep because that is where Xehanort’s Heartless (a version of himself) originally made the time jump. Since Xehanort’s Heartless time jumped before Master Xehanort was reassembled in TWTNW, that is why the Organization did not know that Lea would come to the rescue and foil their plans.

I hope this helps anyone and everyone! I didn’t think of all this overnight, and I am continuously updating it. So, if there are any comments or questions, please help me to improve my understanding! :D
 

limit

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Xehanort’s Time Travel Plan
After Apprentice Xehanort split into two (Xemnas & Ansem SoD), his Heartless gains the ability to time travel (since he is just a heart), but does not use it immediately. It instead follows Kairi to Destiny Islands and waits. When Sora & Riku arrive from the future, he follows them into the Realm of Sleep. It is from there that the Heartless goes into the past to Young Xehanort and transfers his Time Traveling powers to his younger self, as well as informing him of the plan to form the X-Blade. Having lost his time traveling ability, Xehanort’s Heartless returns to the point before he enters the realm of sleep (since you cannot return to a place that is outside of time). Just as Destiny Islands is disappearing, Xehanort’s Heartless begins to follow and slowly posses Riku (as we see in the events of KH1). Meanwhile, Young Xehanort is able to jump to points in time where a version of himself is present, and begins to collect hearts of darkness. He is also able to go to the Realm of Sleep because that is where Xehanort’s Heartless (a version of himself) originally made the time jump. Since Xehanort’s Heartless time jumped before Master Xehanort was reassembled in TWTNW, that is why the Organization did not know that Lea would come to the rescue and foil their plans.

Oh lord... the future not existing only complicates things even more..
If Ansem SoD traveled to meet YX in the past, that means he came from the future in YX's point of view, meaning the future has been written already... my head hurts...

Not only that, but the rules of time travel state that a version of yourself needs to be present - does this also include a place where you were present at one point? It doesn't make sense anyway of time traveling in the dream worlds, as they are outside of time - if the future hasn't been written, how would he be able to travel to a place outside of time without first going to Ansem Sod, who is in the future??

I like to think that Ansem SoD, after fulfilling the requirements of time-travel, traveled directly to YX and, in transferring his powers, he exempted himself from the time limit and did not have to return. After YX set off gathering the Xehanorts, Ansem SoD waited patiently (a virtue he claims to have learned after BBS's incidents) so that this could serve as a point to enter the sleeping realm. I'm assuming that with MX in reality and with YX in sleep, they worked together to lead Sora into reality in TWTNW.

As for why they didn't know Lea would come and interrupt? I'm pretty sure it's safe to assume that this was a fault on MX - he had already created this complicated and intricate plan extremely prone to error, and it's not like he hasn't messed up before (again, BBS). Of course, there lies the question of one line given by MX: "It is the future which lies beyond my sight." I'm honestly freaking lost there.

Alright, with that out of the way, it's time for WTF #2: Traverse Town!
What I don't understand is why Traverse Town could be considered a sleeping world - it wasn't sleeping originally, so why would it be now? Could this be considered a special world that only temporarily comes out of sleep when a person needs it?

Branching off of this, why are Beat, Shiki, etc. in Sora's dreams? I'm assuming Sora entered Traverse Town at the exact moment the members of the TWEWY gang did, and by chance accidentally captured some into his dream. But what about whenever Sora was awake? Riku clearly couldn't be concious, so what about the others? How did Joshua end up getting Shiki out and Rhyme in - did he not know what happened?
 

Jim Hawkins

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It IS confusing, and unfortunately my answers are not going to help relieve the pain:

-Don't look at the timeline from the point of view of a single moment, but in the grand scheme of things. Yes, Ansem SoD came to Young Xehanort from the future from YX's point of view, but looking at the whole timeline, Ansem SoD simply went to the past.

-Since the Realm of Sleep is outside of time, then there is no time, and therefore things are simply there. It doesn't matter how long Sora stayed there for the Mark of Mastery, when he started, or when he finished. He was just... there. Same for Ansem SoD. Normally yes, you could only time jump to where you are present at that time. But since the RoS is without time, Ansem SoD was just there (no matter his duration), and so Young Xehanort could be there for as long as he wanted.

-As for how and when Ansem SoD transferred his powers, your answer could work as well. Either way it's the same result and doesn't appear to differ the story, no matter how you want to imagine that part.

-The "future lies beyond his sight" is because the future is not written yet. He knew of everything up until then because of the doing of Young Xehanort and Ansem SoD.

-Traverse Town is a special world. It was formed and made up of bits and pieces of worlds that were destroyed before KH1 and became a sort of "magnet" for people that had survived the destruction of their worlds (thus why Sora ended up there in KH1). Once Sora restored the worlds at the end of KH1, the pieces that made up Traverse Town returned to their respective worlds, and the world known as Traverse Town fell to darkness. Remember, for a world in the Realm of Light that falls to darkness: Realm of Light --> Realm of Sleep --> Realm of Darkness. So, it was in the RoS during KH3D, but still serves as a shelter for those without a home (thus why Sora, Riku, and TWEWY gang end up there when they go to the RoS).

-It's never said why some of TWEWY gang are with Sora, and others in Sora's dream along with Riku. It can probably just be assumed that Young Xehanort had something to do with it. But no worries, their separation doesn't seem to be crucial to KH3D's plot, or the overall series plot. Also, I haven't played TWEWY, but from what I've read, Joshua is some sort god-like being, and so can do whatever he wants. lol
 

limit

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Yeah, I guess. I just wanted some sort of explanation to the TWEWY gang's activities, but I guess that's why we have KH3, it should explain everything.

I'm still a little shaky on the whole future thing, but I understand. For now, just refer to my signature: "Darn it, Nomura"
 

Jim Hawkins

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I'm still a little shaky on the whole future thing, but I understand. For now, just refer to my signature: "Darn it, Nomura"[/QUOTE]

I think that's how all KH discussions should end.

"Darn it, Nomura"
 

ShardofTruth

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I don't think Young Xehanort was a part of the true Org XIII. After all, he had to be snapped back to his own time, so that rules out all past versions of himself, really (including Xemnas, Ansem, etc.).
Everyone returned to their respective time and Young Xehanort is definitely part of the true Organization XIII.

You can perform actions in the present and shape your own future, but the actions of the past are cemented in time and cannot be altered.
Expect that this does happen in KHII when Pete meddles with the cornerstone of light.

When a world in the Realm of Light falls to darkness, it falls into a state of sleep (a.k.a. the Realm of Sleep). From there, it eventually ends up in the Realm of Darkness (as can be seen in the Birth by Sleep Volume 2 trailer).
I think that's two different things happen at the same time, the heart of a world falls into darkness and is sleeping until woken up again. It was not explained why not all worlds returned to the Realm of Light at the end of Kingdom Hearts and became trapped in sleep instead.. Dumbo's world was specifically stated as still being asleep after the end of the first game in an interview with Nomura.

The RoS is outside of time, and thus why it was possible for Sora & Riku to enter it from the past, but then pop out of it into their current present.
If the Sleeping Worlds are outside of time then it would be possible to enter them (Riku and Sora can at the end of KH3D) and leave them whenever you want, in the past, present or the future. I don't think that's right because that would be another method to time travel.

He probably told them the proper way of Keyblade combat was using the Deck Commands, thus why he is not there with them in person to instruct.
Except we never see or read that and there is absoutely no scene that indicates this in the slightest.
 

Antifa Lockhart

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It was not explained why not all worlds returned to the Realm of Light at the end of Kingdom Hearts and became trapped in sleep instead.. Dumbo's world was specifically stated as still being asleep after the end of the first game in an interview with Nomura.

Which interview was this? I'd love to read it.
 

limit

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Yeah, see, I don't get why Young Xehanort would be part of the True Org XIII, he says himself that he'll follow his own timeline and grow into Master Xehanort. If somewhere along the line he joined the True Org, what would happen to Master Xehanort?

And about the Realm of Sleep, it doesn't necessarily mean time travel. I don't think you can decide what point in time you want to return you, it just shoots you back to the present. I feel like it's part of time, but time itself doesn't flow inside. Not to mention it's pretty darn hard to enter the Sleeping Realm.

As for the deck commands, I feel like it's pretty safe to assume Yen Sid gave them some background knowledge on using the Keyblade the proper way. Doesn't seem like it would impact the story that much.

Oh, and I'd love to see the interview as well!

BTW, I think I got an answer as to why MX says he can't see the future - I feel like after traveling to the past once, the "you can only move forward" rule applies to travel itself as well. Ergo, Young Xehanort couldn't go to a point past the assembly and travel back to join the assembly - he had to be extremely careful in assembling the Xehanorts.
 

Antifa Lockhart

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Ah, I remember this now. But I didn't get what you got out of it...and still don't.

  • The “World Submerged in Sleep” is a complex story, but there were worlds other than those that Sora restored in KH1, some that were not submerged in darkness. Like the worlds of the princesses and Dumbo’s, etc. In the end of KH1 it was established that some of those worlds were restored, but not all of them. Those that were neither in light nor in darkness, but those that were submerged in sleep.

That doesn't say that Dumbo's world is trapped in the realm of sleep, just that it was one of the worlds that fell (alongside the princesses worlds) and that in KH1 some of those worlds were restored but there was nothing specific about the above quotation, especially since we know that the princesses worlds were most likely restored. It's possible, I mean we don't really know how the worlds got stuck there or the nature of the Realm of Sleep so anything could be going on there.

Also, you can't really compare what happened with Pete to what happened with Xehanort since the methods were totally different.
 

ShardofTruth

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You're right, maybe I was reading too much into that.
Also, you can't really compare what happened with Pete to what happened with Xehanort since the methods were totally different.
I didn't. I just wanted to deliver an example that you can in fact change the past and therefore the future with the time travel methods the KH universe has to offer.
 

Antifa Lockhart

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You're right, maybe I was reading too much into that.

I didn't. I just wanted to deliver an example that you can in fact change the past and therefore the future with the time travel methods the KH universe has to offer.

I see. There really isn't any way for me to make my peace with this game, each explanation creates another plothole.
 

Sephiroth0812

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I didn't. I just wanted to deliver an example that you can in fact change the past and therefore the future with the time travel methods the KH universe has to offer.

Except that there wasn't any future being altered because SDG went also back in time to prevent "present"-Pete's and Maleficent's plan and thus the timeline was corrected before any lasting changes were able to be made.

Even of it looks like as if the future could be changed it can't, as in one way or the other the timeline itself will experience another event that "corrects" any divergence or disturbance that may occur and thus a paradox is always averted.
Sora and co. going back into time and prevent Maleficent's scheme was this event for timeless river, ensuring no permament alteration to the present time.

That's called the Novikov self-consistency principle I believe.
 

Gram

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^ Which supports Xehanorts explanation of the timeline that events truly can't be altered. Which is why any traveler from the past to the future immediately loses their memories upon return.

As Young Xehanort stated "Even though one can move through time, time itself is immovable"
The timeline in kingdom hearts always corrects itself in some form or fashion.

This is also most likely why the Xehanorts seemingly could only all be present at the end of DDD for a set amount of time.
 

limit

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Sweet, I think we solved the whole time travel issue!

I like to attribute the self-consistency principle to most instances of time travel I see, it seems the most justifiable.
 

Solo

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^ Which supports Xehanorts explanation of the timeline that events truly can't be altered. Which is why any traveler from the past to the future immediately loses their memories upon return.

As Young Xehanort stated "Even though one can move through time, time itself is immovable"
The timeline in kingdom hearts always corrects itself in some form or fashion.

True. In KH, time always managed to find a way to defend itself from perceived threats, ensuring that history isn't altered and preventing alternate timelines in which events take place differently from ever coming to existence.

Sora and co. going back into time and prevent Maleficent's scheme was this event for timeless river, ensuring no permament alteration to the present time.

That's called the Novikov self-consistency principle I believe.

That's right. To understand more about what this principle is all about, consider the following example.

You wanted to prevent WWI from happening, so you went back in time to when Franz Ferdinand was born. There, you kidnapped baby Franz and took him under your care. However, unbeknownst to you, that baby was a different Franz; the real one, the Archduke, would still be assassinated, thus triggering WWI, and history would still unfurl and play the way we all know. Alternatively, Franz's parents killed you before you could snatch him, saving him so that he could grow into Archduke Franz.

This applies to the case in the Timeless River days. Maleficent thought she could alter reality by going to the past and trying to corrupt the Cornerstone of Light, but no, she was wrong. The present-day Merlin had SDG time-travel to the past, proving Maleficent wrong and foiling her plans. This, therefore, allowed Disney Castle to remain as it had always been.
 

Gram

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True. In KH, time always managed to find a way to defend itself from perceived threats, ensuring that history isn't altered and preventing alternate timelines in which events take place differently from ever coming to existence.



That's right. To understand more about what this principle is all about, consider the following example.

You wanted to prevent WWI from happening, so you went back in time to when Franz Ferdinand was born. There, you kidnapped baby Franz and took him under your care. However, unbeknownst to you, that baby was a different Franz; the real one, the Archduke, would still be assassinated, thus triggering WWI, and history would still unfurl and play the way we all know. Alternatively, Franz's parents killed you before you could snatch him, saving him so that he could grow into Archduke Franz.

This applies to the case in the Timeless River days. Maleficent thought she could alter reality by going to the past and trying to corrupt the Cornerstone of Light, but no, she was wrong. The present-day Merlin had SDG time-travel to the past, proving Maleficent wrong and foiling her plans. This, therefore, allowed Disney Castle to remain as it had always been.

The Timeless River is a great example really, pete used a special door to enter the past and in order to counter it a second door also existed which Merlin summoned.
 

ShardofTruth

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Just because all turned out well doesn't mean the timeline is self-consistent. The future was altered before Sora & Co were also sent in the past, we've seen it. Just because they've undone the harm doesn't mean it wasn't done, because that's what's self-consitency means.

I realized I have to be more precise to show my point: In a self-consistent timeline the thorns would have never appeared, in KHII we see them disappear.
 
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