What if there never was CoM?



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Gram

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GMR: Why did you guys decide to make a Kingdom Hearts game for GBA? Why not tell this entire story within the context of Kingdom Hearts II?

Tetsuya Nomura: The story for Kingdom Hearts II already existed when we worked on the original Kingdom Hearts. At the time, the story for Chain of Memories wasn’t concrete. Kingdom Hearts II continues where we left off in the original, but a year later. Initially, we weren’t planning on telling the story of that one “blank” year, but the more we started disscussing the GBA version, the more we thought it would be to do so in Chain of Memories.
Link: GMR Nomura Interview 2004! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider

A little something I stumbled across when making that dictionary thread and something that caught my eye.

Initially Nomura had no plans to make CoM. He had a concept but no intentions to implement them. (much in the same way Days and Coded wasn't originally planned)

And so I can't help but ask: "what do you think it'd have been like if there was no CoM?"

Or rather do you think it'd have been better, worse, or just different?
Think the series would've taken a different route or followed the current one?
Think the series would've been better if it had never brought up the enigma that is namine as well as leaving all 13 org members for kh2?
Think KH2 would've benefited better for whatever reasons?
 
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Prince Enigma

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I think CoM is a good game (the Re:CoM anyways) but like every game in the series save KH1, the direction of the narrative could have perhaps been handled better. I think the series may have suffered should the game have never been made, but then again it's not like Sora, Donald and Goofy remember anything that went on there, and suddenly a lot of the plot in later games focused around waking up Sora, and that I think divided fans especially when Roxas and Xion's sacrifices are concerned.

I suppose though without it we wouldn't have Organization XIII and there wouldn't really be a KH2 for that matter.
Castle Oblivion could always still exist at the end of BBS but the whole surprise factor of Aqua having turned LoD into CO would be lost.

All in all I think CoM is a necessary game. To be honest I think the current state the series is in, it would be too damaging if there weren't any of the games, but then again we may not need a lot of the 'filler' games if the series narrative have been handled a lot better. I mean Nomura actually explaining things IN GAME as opposed to casually dropping them in interviews as if it's the most obvious thing in the world.
 

The_Echo

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Assuming he means that KHII would have been as we received it with or without CoM, I'd say it'd be a lot more confusing.

If it meant stuffing certain parts of CoM into KHII... I'd say that KHII would have been a bit messy. The full Organization alone would take a lot of time to handle in one game.
 

Gram

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Assuming he means that KHII would have been as we received it with or without CoM, I'd say it'd be a lot more confusing..
Actually I meant a bit more like "what would've kh2 had been like without it". So one can post how they'd think it'd have potentially benefitted if never happened or post how they think it'd be with current storylines without, eithers fine. 8D
A surprisingly large amount never heard of CoM so many were already lost confused when they got kh2. =3

I suppose though without it we wouldn't have Organization XIII and there wouldn't really be a KH2 for that matter.
There was always gonna be a kh2 (at the point of that interview) so CoM didnt really affect that but rather affected the story it had.
 

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As already stated, it sounds like KHII would have been pretty much the same. But anyway.

If CoM' story never existed, though. It would mean that everything from that game never existed(Namine, DiZ, Castle Oblivion). So my guess is the story would either be simpler or we'd have gotten something even more confusing. I must ponder this.
 

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I think it would have changed all of the games and not just KH2. Like for example, we wouldn't get the same impact from the scene where Aqua seals the Land of Departure into Castle Oblivion.
 

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If there was no CoM, Nomura must really not care about children lol

Assuming what they're saying is truly legit, it probably wouldn't have made much difference if they skipped the blank year.
 

Blackdrazon

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I don't think it's all that right to assume the later games would have been "simpler" without CoM in place. Remember that the same minds created the game, with much the same intentions, and the same tendency towards complexity. We probably would have got an equally overcomplex series in the end, just of a different nature, or even of the same nature, but with a different plot.

The complexity would also have hit at a different time, which means KH2 would have been easier to understand, probably at the cost of the new third game in the series, whatever that would have been. That is, unless the lack of complexity might have actually killed the series? Remember, KH2 was a sort of unofficial stop point. The way I see it there are two major possible outcomes: either a different, equally complex series... or a dead one, that no one wanted to continue, because they never established how large it could grow. I think the latter is unlikely, however, it seems far more likely that we'd have seen something weird in a different direction.
 

Ballad of Caius

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If there was never a Chain of Memories that either Organization XIII would have been Organization VII/the 7th Order or KH2's pacing would have been HORRENDOUS. Imagine trying to implement THIRTEEN new villains to the plot. What if Nomura wanted Sora to defeat all of them in this one game? Would we have had the opportunity to defeat them via gameplay, or would some be reduced to mere cutscene-exclusive fights? Would Nomura have had Sora defeat part of the Organization in one game and then the rest in another? What group would have survived? Xemnas' or Marluxia's? How would the future of the series could have been affected with this decision in terms of plot?

Lots of questions come to mind, haha.
 

Tartarus

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I wouldn't have liked if the story of CoM was never told, but I wonder if it would've been better if we had got KH2 first and then CoM? Or if they had just had Sora slowly have flashbacks somehow or learned something from other characters throughout KH2 of what happened as a way of adding drama/suspense?
 

Ballad of Caius

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I wouldn't have liked if the story of CoM was never told, but I wonder if it would've been better if we had got KH2 first and then CoM? Or if they had just had Sora slowly have flashbacks somehow or learned something from other characters throughout KH2 of what happened as a way of adding drama/suspense?
Y'know... That would be interesting. Instead of Marluxia defecting from the Organization, he takes care of the remaining members and proposes a plan: attract Sora to Castle Oblivion and bit by bit force him in to the Organization. It would be a game where the main topic would be one's own identity. Through Naminé, Marluxia makes Sora think he's Roxas and inserts false memories of "the good times together with Marluxia and Larxene" in the Organization.
 

LightUpTheSky452

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I would have been happier without it, tbh. Besides the fact that I just really don't like Naminé, or her inclusion into the series, and think that that was the start of the disappearance of Kairi, which I don't even get because they pretty easily could have given Naminé's role to Kairi...

I just don't really like the game. I despise the card and other systems implemented in it, and more often than not I'm screaming at the characters to turn back when I'm playing it. And it was just so stupid of them to risk going up the flights of stairs when they knew they were losing their memories, imo.

Sora's way too angry and mean in that game (which probably led to his similarly somewhat OOC characterization in II), it started the convoluted plot for the series, the console hopping and the confusing names, Disney being usurped from its starring role and becoming unimportant and reused filler (as everything important happened on the different floors, which was an annoying formula and made playing through the Disney parts feel unnecessary more a chore than anything else), etc.

I don't know. While I'll admit I do like the idea of CoM, and the atmosphere and feel to it are probably the most similar to the original game out of any of them, I do think it caused a lot of the problems and shift that we see today in the saga.

It also started that whole bit about the characters never being able to catch up with each other, and I just felt that CoM was so much more ridiculous than the first game. Like, they were in a castle that belonged to their enemies the whole time? What did they even eat then? I mean, they don't eat in the original game, but at least it's easier to pretend that they did in some of the worlds they were at. The worlds in CoM weren't even real, and really just watered down versions of their first inclusions.

And it just started KHII in a really weird place, and CoM sort of put some of the players at a disadvantage by having stuff happen before II. I do kind of wish that KHII had just picked up with what happened after Riku disappeared behind the Door to Darkness, and SDG were on the winding road, etc.

And for that matter, this was also the beginning of plot points being forgotten: i.e. we never find out what that letter Pluto was carrying said.

I'm probably being harder on this game than I should be, but I do think that a lot of the bad things here are really overlooked (especially since a lot of people hate on games like Days so much *cough*).

Oh! And another thing is that I felt the way they handled memories was contradictory and weird. It was so easy for the witch to take them apart, but not at all for her to put them back together.

And I do think Naminé was forgiven way too easily--and given far too much sympathy--for the brain washing that she did, and that that might send a bad message to people... And her whole line of, "one day the light will be ours and it will bring us together again" always rubbed me the wrong way. It's like she's saying that once Sora's restored, she's going to steal him from Kairi again the "right way". I might be perceiving that line wrong, but whatever.

And Riku's story was really too short to be its own game. And it was saddening that there was literally no story for him in any of the Disney worlds at all.

I know I'm probably going to get a lot of hate for this comment, but this is my honest opinion and I can't change it. I'm totally cool with those who like CoM and Naminé, of course. Tbh, I mostly have a love-hate relationship with both more than outright hatred for them. And I really just needed to get all of this off my chest after so many years/having to replay this game in three different formats.

Edit: And the memory manipulation messed up a lot of stuff for future games' characters and whatnot, like Roxas' existence, for instance. He never would have had to give his life up for Sora were it not for Naminé's--the Organization's--meddling.
 
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Gram

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^ I wouldn't worry about hate, though I dont seem them much these days, there are though that feel as you do about CoM and what you have is a perfectly respectable post.

As for myself I'd have liked to seen what Nomura's initial idea was. I know he made CoM because kids wanted KH on the GBA but he says here that he didn't originally plan to make the title so I'm more curious what his original outline was.

I, like many, liked CoM's story and I came to appreciate the card system after I learned the joys of the time saving and room cleaning sleights like Tornado but at the same time I can see what others have pointed out.

The first and biggest thing would've been the confusion. Though it's probably hard to believe it is true that many never knew of CoM when it first came out on the GBA, something I saw to my surprise in this forums much older days.
So for them the beginning of KH2 was very confusing because they had no idea why Sora was sleeping, who Diz was, who or even what Namine was.

There's also the fact that, while CoM did tease the Org peaking curiosity, it didn't really add much either except for Namine, DiZ and Castle Oblivion.
These facts one could, and many actually doing so, skip and still follow the series alright like for such fans who went from KH1 to KH2.
But given the ending it had it was made with that in mind to begin with I suppose.

I'm just curious as to what the original ideas for KH2, the Org and Roxas was before Nomura decided to flesh CoM out.
Would the org have been 7/8 rather than 13?
Why would Roxas be looking for Sora?
What was Roxas' role?
Would the series have been a bit simpler, even if only by a bit?

I'm just curious to know those things. KH2 was already a given at the time of that interview so you know CoM had to have affected what Nomura had in mind somehow or another.
Some have said KH2 probably would've been the same as is but I disagree, had CoM never been made KH2 would've likely been a completely different experience because there are key things that'd have been different.

No CoM, no Sora in a slumber to regain memories.
No CoM, no Namine which still hasn't been explained nearly a decade later.
No CoM, no initial delving into memory. A concept later used with the memory siphoning Xion.
No CoM, no mysterious castle that somehow makes entire illusion worlds fit into floors.
No CoM, no Diz meaning the concept of a "real" or "fake" Ansem might have been much different or not touched upon at all.
No CoM, probably no Org with 13 members since, as it has been pointed out, fitting 13 into one game would be very difficult.

Enough would've have never been introduced to have caused KH2 to been the same as it is, things and concepts would've been handled differently even if the basic outline of KH2 (defeat the org) was the same.
 

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It would have been nice to see the more interesting members of Organization XIII from CoM get bigger roles in the KHII. At the same time, not if they got the same treatment as the KHII Organization members (basically stock characters).
 

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Sora's way too angry and mean in that game (which probably led to his similarly somewhat OOC characterization in II), it started the convoluted plot for the series, the console hopping and the confusing names, Disney being usurped from its starring role and becoming unimportant and reused filler (as everything important happened on the different floors, which was an annoying formula and made playing through the Disney parts feel unnecessary more a chore than anything else), etc.
I actually like what they do with Sora in this game. The fact that he becomes angry and irrational seems understandable to me just because people who suffer from Alzheimer's disease usually have the same issue of becoming angry over the confusion caused by their memory loss.

And it may be that I hate Kairi that I always liked Namine. :p And I do like the look of the game, although I hated the battle system and the filler levels. I agree with you on the point that I wish they'd done something with Riku in the Disney worlds, even if only with the Disney villains he had to've met. He met Pinocchio and Geppetto, Hook and everyone else on the ship, Ursula, Hades, Jasmine, Jafar, and even visited Traverse Town in the original game. Although he never speaks to any of the FF characters, it would've been nice for him to see this moment again, since this is where he really falls into darkness, imo, thinking Sora "replaced" him with Donald and Goofy. And I wouldn't even mind a confrontation with memory-Kairi at Neverland? Tbh, I would've liked him to have confrontations with Pinocchio, Jasmine and Beast, too, considering the harm he did/could've caused them. It would've really boosted his redemptive arc. The only levels I can think of him having no connection to would be Wonderland, 100 Acre Wood, and Twilight Town (and Deep Jungle, but that's not in CoM). Although they could've used Wonderland as an introduction and fudged something with Twilight Town since people's hearts are connected yadda yadda, and he's connected to Sora more than just about anyone except maybe Kairi.
 
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I don't see it making much of a difference. Tons of games and movies don't start at the very beginning of their franchise/leave stuff out only to revisit that period of time years later. Star Wars, The Legend of Zelda, and Metal Gear Solid come to mind. Heck, BBS is a prequel to the entire series and it came out in 2010.

We probably would have gotten it later down the road in place of 358/2 Days and Re:Coded.
 

Gram

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Nomura actually had plans for BBS though. Just like he had ideas for 2 after finishing 1.
CoM & Days weren't and of course it's cause things got so expanded that DDD came about tying it together. And since coded's story hinges on Namine and what took place in CoM I doubt it'd have come up either. (something else probably)

Had his plans for KH2 before CoM came about been the same then yeah I imagine we'd have got it later but given that so much of KH2's current story is set up by CoM I'm doubtful that his original plans/ideas/set up for KH2 was the same as it is now.

Meaning had it not been made we'd have likely not got it or what we did get in it's place would be different.
 

Jotari

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I agree with you on the point that I wish they'd done something with Riku in the Disney worlds, even if only with the Disney villains he had to've met. He met Pinocchio and Geppetto, Hook and everyone else on the ship, Ursula, Hades, Jasmine, Jafar, and even visited Traverse Town in the original game. Although he never speaks to any of the FF characters, it would've been nice for him to see this moment again, since this is where he really falls into darkness, imo, thinking Sora "replaced" him with Donald and Goofy. And I wouldn't even mind a confrontation with memory-Kairi at Neverland? Tbh, I would've liked him to have confrontations with Pinocchio, Jasmine and Beast, too, considering the harm he did/could've caused them. It would've really boosted his redemptive arc. The only levels I can think of him having no connection to would be Wonderland, 100 Acre Wood, and Twilight Town (and Deep Jungle, but that's not in CoM). Although they could've used Wonderland as an introduction and fudged something with Twilight Town since people's hearts are connected yadda yadda, and he's connected to Sora more than just about anyone except maybe Kairi.
Riku already had plot in Twilight Town. That's where he fought his replica for the final time and figured out Ansem was DiZ (or in a funnier way of saying it, figured out Ansem was really Ansem disguised as Ansem). Overall Riku's portion of the plot felt very unfinished. As you said they had plenty of fodder to use for it and Hollow Bastian is implemented well when he meets fake Malificent. I imagine they wanted to do more but didn't get the chance. There wasn't even a Zexion boss battle on the original game.

I also think without Chain of Memories Roxas still would have been killed prior to the game or in the prologue. The memory treatment is an entirely fictional process and Roxas being a problem for it was not something they had to do in anyway to keep consistent with anything we'd seen so far. They decided Roxas had to be merged with Sora because that's the plot line they wanted to go with. If Roxas and Kingdom Hearts II was made without Chain of Memories there likely would have been some other reason Roxas had to merge with Sora.
 

Kh831

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Yes there was But the PS2 version got more in depth into the story than the original. The first time anyone got to play besides Sora for a whole other side story then like in kh2 just for the last battle. Re:cod was the first time Riku was playable to wee he is the main character.
 
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