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Virus

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It's been quite a while since I've visited these forums, let alone post; I think it's been nearly three years. It's nice to see some new faces on the boards, but even nicer to see some familiar names, some that I even remember from way back in 2006 when I first joined. It's nice to be back, even if it is only briefly. But enough about my nostalgic remembrance.

After replaying KH1 as a part of 1.5 Remix, I remembered what it was about the series that I loved as a kid. I was filled with, well, a sense of nostalgia, falling in love with the game all over again.

And then I found a way to play DDD, and all that nostalgia and love left me. Don't get me wrong, I liked the game. I even managed to get a faint grasp on the story after a while. But it's not the Kingdom Hearts that I fell in love with. It took the simplicity and quaintness of KH1 and blew it up into convolution and intricacies.

This got me thinking, how else has the series been changed, so to speak? Below are my list of the top five biggest "mistakes" in the series, or at least what I think took the beauty of the first game and drastically changed it. In no particular order, they are as follows:

_____

Keyblades. We were first introduced to these in KH1, where only Sora, Mickey, and Riku (briefly) had the capabilities to wield the blade. The keyblades were sacred, rare, and mysterious. In KH2 we were introduced to Roxas, and Kairi was shown to be able to wield a key blade as well; Yen Sid was even a master in his hay day. Suddenly we grew from 3 to 6. Days introduced us to Xion, and BBS to six more wielders. Then DDD decided to give Lea a keyblade because, hey why not. The rarity and sacredness of the Keyblade diminished, when its wielders grew to 14. Suddenly everyone can wield a keyblade. Suddenly keyblades aren't so special. They're not even real, if you want to get technical. only the x-Blade is the true keyblade. Keyblades have become imitation weapons that truly anyone can learn to wield.

Nobodies. Nobodies in themselves are not the issue, but they began a web of convolution in the series. Why couldn't Ansem be a benevolent leader gone rogue? Instead we introduce Xehanort who was split up into both a Heartless and a Nobody and his existence extends to nine games instead of just one. Additionally, after Nobodies came Unversed, and after them came the Dream Eaters. Every game has introduced a new enemy with a new backstory. I think it's about time we stopped introducing new enemies. But maybe that's just me.

I do understand that the Nobodies, in the end, played an essential role for the transition from KH1 to KH2. After all, after the defeat of Ansem it only made sense to introduce a new threat, and it made sense to connect him to the original threat. I'm not denying that, I just think it opened the door to more convolutions.

Xion. I'll keep this brief because I know half of you will hate me for this and the other half will hate Xion more: if you make a game in which all the events of that game are forgotten by the end, the game never happened, and should never have happened. Why introduce a character that a) isn't even real, b) is completely forgotten, and c) was never likable from the start to feel empathy for at the end. This wasn't really anything that affected Kingdom Hearts on the whole. I just really don't like Xion.

Time Travel.
Because duh. I have nothing more to add to this that hasn't already been said.

Disney
. Now again, allow me to explain. I do not think Disney is the problem with Kingdom Hearts at all. Disney is the reason I picked the game up in the first place and continue to play it to this day. What I mean to say is the use of Disney. KH1 integrated Sora, Donald, and Goofy seamlessly into Disney worlds and stories and there was a point to the worlds' existence. In KH2, it felt as though I had to trudge through the pointlessness of the Disney worlds to continue the story. BBS did a good job of remedying this, and even DDD did an ok job of making me feel like there was a point to the worlds.

Until Maleficent showed up. Remember the villains council back in KH1? They were a force to be reckoned with. They worked together, and they worked well together. Now Maleficent is, at best, comedic relief. She possesses no real threat anymore. It seems as though the Disney aspects of the game (along with the Final Fantasy aspects) are getting sidelined for the original characters and aspects, and then thrown in at completely random and inopportune times for garbage minutes.

_____


Feel free to agree/disagree with anything I've mentioned above. Don't misunderstand me though, I still love everything about this game. I just think they could have gone another direction with it.

Also, tell me what I should have added to the list above!
 

Ruran

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Keyblades. We were first introduced to these in KH1, where only Sora, Mickey, and Riku (briefly) had the capabilities to wield the blade. The keyblades were sacred, rare, and mysterious. In KH2 we were introduced to Roxas, and Kairi was shown to be able to wield a key blade as well; Yen Sid was even a master in his hay day. Suddenly we grew from 3 to 6. Days introduced us to Xion, and BBS to six more wielders. Then DDD decided to give Lea a keyblade because, hey why not. The rarity and sacredness of the Keyblade diminished, when its wielders grew to 14. Suddenly everyone can wield a keyblade. Suddenly keyblades aren't so special. They're not even real, if you want to get technical. only the x-Blade is the true keyblade. Keyblades have become imitation weapons that truly anyone can learn to wield.

This is somewhat of a sensitive topic because for all intents and purposes, the Keyblade is still really rare, it's just that the plot calls for focus on a concentrated bunch. In a universe where I can only imagine trillions and trillions of people exist there are only sixteen known wielders and only eleven of them have actual Keyblades. Ten depending on how you view Yen Sid.

This is something that I had sat down and thought over for a while and I came to the conclusion that the issue isn't so much that there are too many wielders/Keyblades, it's the framing, the way in which people get Keyblades and the frequency. When we're first introduce to Keyblades in KH1 they are treated as super rare, even more so than they are now. Not only that, but extremely difficult to acquire. We were first introduced to only three: Kingdom Key, which SOra and Riku were fighting over; the Keyblade made from the hearts of the PoH, which had to be painstakingly forged after a decade of searching for the right ingredients; and Kingdom Key D, which Mickey had to travel all the way to the RoD to get.

KH1 not only gave the impression that Keyblades were scarce and that there weren't enough to go around, but you had to WORK YOUR BALLS OFF to get one. Sora spent almost a year with a Keyblade that wasn't his before it thought he was good enough, Mickey transcended realms putting himself in KH's version of Hell (hyperbole) to find one, Ansem spent a decade trying to make one, and Riku...idk, he's kind of an odd ball here.

Over time that sense of effort slowly disappeared. Roxas could use the Keyblade but it wasn't his and he was Sora's Nobody so that was okay. Kairi could use a Keyblade but she also didn't have one herself and it could be chalked up to her being a PoH, whom have a strong affinity for the Keyblade so that was okay too. Riku got one...which kind of nulls out Sora and Riku playing tug of war over the same one a bit, but he was always a wielder so that's okay too I guess. Xion could also wield but her Keyblade was fake and she was a clone of Sora so that's passable too.

It's BbS where I felt they stopped giving a diddly. They introduced the "Keyblade Inheritance Ceremony" making it easier to hand out Keyblades because someone of master level would simply have to form a "letter of recommendation" so potential wielders didn't have much to do but wait and see. This is where that sense of effort all but completely stopped. Riku didn't have to do anything but be a nice kid and Terra just hoped that ten years down the line that nothing would go wrong and Riku would be generally the same person. Kairi was a complete accident. TAV got their Keyblades off screen and I assume that they just one day came to them the same way Lea's just popped into existence. Not sure how to pin down Vanitas tbh.

In just one game we were suddenly introduced to six new wielders all at once but there was absolutely no sense of discovery or awe between Keyblade and wielder. For just about every character before, even ones like Roxas who didn't really have his own Keyblade, or Xion whose Keyblade was fake, they managed to implement some sort of mystery oframazement. BbS was the first game where I felt that there was a sort of disconnect between wielder and Keyblade and it truly was just a cool weapon used to get from point "A" to "B".

But then again, this is also the game where the X-Blade was introduced and then later we learn that all Keyblades are pale imitations. I didn't mind the X-Blade, but I gotta admit, making them all fake did make me rub my temple a bit. For the common Keyblade they have stopped, or at least diminished, the mysticism around it in favor of the Uberschussel.

Nobodies. Nobodies in themselves are not the issue, but they began a web of convolution in the series. Why couldn't Ansem be a benevolent leader gone rogue? Instead we introduce Xehanort who was split up into both a Heartless and a Nobody and his existence extends to nine games instead of just one. Additionally, after Nobodies came Unversed, and after them came the Dream Eaters. Every game has introduced a new enemy with a new backstory. I think it's about time we stopped introducing new enemies. But maybe that's just me.

I do understand that the Nobodies, in the end, played an essential role for the transition from KH1 to KH2. After all, after the defeat of Ansem it only made sense to introduce a new threat, and it made sense to connect him to the original threat. I'm not denying that, I just think it opened the door to more convolutions.

This sounds to me like it's more of an issue of how they decided to handle enemies in general. The thing with Nobody, and by extension, Xemnas, the real Ansem, and how they came to be is, is that they just decided to take everything one step further. When a Person becomes a Heartless they sometimes create a Nobody, so Ansem spawned Xemnas. Fine, but then they keep the ball rolling by having Ansem not be the real Ansem whose out for revenge because it turns out that the person we thought was Ansem was REALLY a guy named Xehanort who raised a rebellion among the staff, etc, etc, etc. They just went way to far with the conspiracy than they really needed to.

I'm hoping they stop introducing enemy types too, at least for a while. I'd be content if in KH3 we get to fight all the current ones all together and leave it at that.

Xion. I'll keep this brief because I know half of you will hate me for this and the other half will hate Xion more: if you make a game in which all the events of that game are forgotten by the end, the game never happened, and should never have happened. Why introduce a character that a) isn't even real, b) is completely forgotten, and c) was never likable from the start to feel empathy for at the end. This wasn't really anything that affected Kingdom Hearts on the whole. I just really don't like Xion.

To be fair, Xion works as a one shot character, I just wish they kept her that way. Out of all the games I felt that Days felt the most likes its own self contained story since it was more for background information, namely Roxas's backstory. The game as a whole isn't all that necessary so the important elements within would feel the same.

Time Travel. Because duh. I have nothing more to add to this that hasn't already been said.

I got nothing to add either. :/

Disney. Now again, allow me to explain. I do not think Disney is the problem with Kingdom Hearts at all. Disney is the reason I picked the game up in the first place and continue to play it to this day. What I mean to say is the use of Disney. KH1 integrated Sora, Donald, and Goofy seamlessly into Disney worlds and stories and there was a point to the worlds' existence. In KH2, it felt as though I had to trudge through the pointlessness of the Disney worlds to continue the story. BBS did a good job of remedying this, and even DDD did an ok job of making me feel like there was a point to the worlds.

Until Maleficent showed up. Remember the villains council back in KH1? They were a force to be reckoned with. They worked together, and they worked well together. Now Maleficent is, at best, comedic relief. She possesses no real threat anymore. It seems as though the Disney aspects of the game (along with the Final Fantasy aspects) are getting sidelined for the original characters and aspects, and then thrown in at completely random and inopportune times for garbage minutes.

We can all pretty much agree to this so I don't really have anything to add either.

Feel free to agree/disagree with anything I've mentioned above. Don't misunderstand me though, I still love everything about this game. I just think they could have gone another direction with it.

Also, tell me what I should have added to the list above!

To add, as a personal gripe I think the series has been taking itself way too seriously. It's a silly series about a spiky haired boy dressed as Mickey carrying a large Key almost as big as he as he travels the universe in a ship made of gum with Donald and Goofy to other Disney worlds. All the brooding and angst they try to fit in...just doesn't work all that well...
 

Virus

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This is somewhat of a sensitive topic because for all intents and purposes, the Keyblade is still really rare, it's just that the plot calls for focus on a concentrated bunch. In a universe where I can only imagine trillions and trillions of people exist there are only sixteen known wielders and only eleven of them have actual Keyblades. Ten depending on how you view Yen Sid.

This is something that I had sat down and thought over for a while and I came to the conclusion that the issue isn't so much that there are too many wielders/Keyblades, it's the framing, the way in which people get Keyblades and the frequency. When we're first introduce to Keyblades in KH1 they are treated as super rare, even more so than they are now. Not only that, but extremely difficult to acquire. We were first introduced to only three: Kingdom Key, which SOra and Riku were fighting over; the Keyblade made from the hearts of the PoH, which had to be painstakingly forged after a decade of searching for the right ingredients; and Kingdom Key D, which Mickey had to travel all the way to the RoD to get.

KH1 not only gave the impression that Keyblades were scarce and that there weren't enough to go around, but you had to WORK YOUR BALLS OFF to get one. Sora spent almost a year with a Keyblade that wasn't his before it thought he was good enough, Mickey transcended realms putting himself in KH's version of Hell (hyperbole) to find one, Ansem spent a decade trying to make one, and Riku...idk, he's kind of an odd ball here.

Over time that sense of effort slowly disappeared. Roxas could use the Keyblade but it wasn't his and he was Sora's Nobody so that was okay. Kairi could use a Keyblade but she also didn't have one herself and it could be chalked up to her being a PoH, whom have a strong affinity for the Keyblade so that was okay too. Riku got one...which kind of nulls out Sora and Riku playing tug of war over the same one a bit, but he was always a wielder so that's okay too I guess. Xion could also wield but her Keyblade was fake and she was a clone of Sora so that's passable too.

It's BbS where I felt they stopped giving a diddly. They introduced the "Keyblade Inheritance Ceremony" making it easier to hand out Keyblades because someone of master level would simply have to form a "letter of recommendation" so potential wielders didn't have much to do but wait and see. This is where that sense of effort all but completely stopped. Riku didn't have to do anything but be a nice kid and Terra just hoped that ten years down the line that nothing would go wrong and Riku would be generally the same person. Kairi was a complete accident. TAV got their Keyblades off screen and I assume that they just one day came to them the same way Lea's just popped into existence. Not sure how to pin down Vanitas tbh.

In just one game we were suddenly introduced to six new wielders all at once but there was absolutely no sense of discovery or awe between Keyblade and wielder. For just about every character before, even ones like Roxas who didn't really have his own Keyblade, or Xion whose Keyblade was fake, they managed to implement some sort of mystery oframazement. BbS was the first game where I felt that there was a sort of disconnect between wielder and Keyblade and it truly was just a cool weapon used to get from point "A" to "B".

But then again, this is also the game where the X-Blade was introduced and then later we learn that all Keyblades are pale imitations. I didn't mind the X-Blade, but I gotta admit, making them all fake did make me rub my temple a bit. For the common Keyblade they have stopped, or at least diminished, the mysticism around it in favor of the Uberschussel.

I think it was the inheritance ceremony that really did it for me. It takes the sovereignty out of it, and a little bit of the mysticism as well. Also I hate the inclusion of the x-Blade. It turns the keyblade from an ethereal weapon to a manmade imitation.

This sounds to me like it's more of an issue of how they decided to handle enemies in general. The thing with Nobody, and by extension, Xemnas, the real Ansem, and how they came to be is, is that they just decided to take everything one step further. When a Person becomes a Heartless they sometimes create a Nobody, so Ansem spawned Xemnas. Fine, but then they keep the ball rolling by having Ansem not be the real Ansem whose out for revenge because it turns out that the person we thought was Ansem was REALLY a guy named Xehanort who raised a rebellion among the staff, etc, etc, etc. They just went way to far with the conspiracy than they really needed to.

I'm hoping they stop introducing enemy types too, at least for a while. I'd be content if in KH3 we get to fight all the current ones all together and leave it at that.

I suppose this was my ultimate point with that. I just hate how long they've prolonged this Xehanort thing. (Which is funny, because at first I thought it was an ingenious plot twist. Now I realize Nomura is making it up as he goes along)

To be fair, Xion works as a one shot character, I just wish they kept her that way. Out of all the games I felt that Days felt the most likes its own self contained story since it was more for background information, namely Roxas's backstory. The game as a whole isn't all that necessary so the important elements within would feel the same.

Except the story was essentially Xion's story, not Roxas'. Or at least that's the impression I got from the games that followed. But I'll agree with you, that if Xion disappeared after Days and was never mentioned, seen, or spoken of again, I would think she was a fine character.

To add, as a personal gripe I think the series has been taking itself way too seriously. It's a silly series about a spiky haired boy dressed as Mickey carrying a large Key almost as big as he as he travels the universe in a ship made of gum with Donald and Goofy to other Disney worlds. All the brooding and angst they try to fit in...just doesn't work all that well...

Actually, this reminds me of another problem I see with the series: that it doesn't take itself seriously enough. KH1 was serious. CoM was serious, and kind of dark too. BBS was serious and extremely dark. Even Days was serious. But the remainder of the games were just plain silly. Look at Sora in DDD. When did he become so ditzy? He was never that unintelligent. They made an embarrassment of him, and in turn, and embarrassment out of the game. There were times I couldn't believe that I was actually playing it.
 

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Actually, this reminds me of another problem I see with the series: that it doesn't take itself seriously enough. KH1 was serious. CoM was serious, and kind of dark too. BBS was serious and extremely dark. Even Days was serious. But the remainder of the games were just plain silly. Look at Sora in DDD. When did he become so ditzy? He was never that unintelligent. They made an embarrassment of him, and in turn, and embarrassment out of the game. There were times I couldn't believe that I was actually playing it.
Well to be fair Sora had no reason to be serious. He knew Kairi and Riku were safe and he didn't really care about the taking the test as he only did it for Riku's sake. Don't get me wrong, there were moments in the game had me shaking my head in shame, but this is something to keep in mind.
 

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Of all the mistakes you listed I feel I most identify with the keyblade as well.
Don't get me wrong, like Ruran I think the conspiracy of "Ansem not being Ansem" was all but poorly thought out. This whole Xehanort thing has convoluted the series far more than one can tolerate at times.
I have nothing for Xion or days either but I also realize Nintendo asked for those things. So I don't blame Nomura for that mess I blame Nintendo. Nomura himself never intended to make Days, Coded or even CoM initially.
I also couldn't agree more on disney feeling like just filler now or how much time travel wasn't needed.

The keyblade however, yeah that's taken a great hit. It's always been known since KH1 and it's ultimania/interviews that Sora wasn't the first, last or even only wielder during that time but at the same time the keyblade still felt rarer than gold rain even though we knew others existed.
It played at that rarity and made it more standout and as Ruran pointed out it was something you had to actually work for. The keyblade didn't care how it was used but it was sure as hell picky about who used it.

The revelations of the keyblade along the way though have diminished that greatly and not because there are so many wielders now but because of how many of them are wielders.
As far as TAV, Mickey, Yensid and all that goes I can tolerate that. It was with Riku, Kairi, Roxas and Xion that it got out of hand to me.
Riku had lost his keyblade to Sora then just randomly gets a new one? No sorry I don't like that now and never have since KH2. I liked the way Riku was. He had learned to not only channel darkness in a positive manner but use it "back to back" with light as Mickey once said.
This duel nature made Riku extremely unique I think. He lost the keyblade but he could do what no one, or at least very few before him, could do. He could use the darkness, he followed that darkness and was a shining example of how the two forces could balance.
All that however has been draining from his character since KH2.

As for Roxas...it was "alright" I suppose, he was after all Sora's nobody, but it was still a blow to KH1 since Roxas could use the keyblade simply because what was more or less "birthright".

Don't even get me started on Xion and her fake imitation of what is actually a manmade imitation of the Xblade.

As for Kairi, ugh, I have hated her being able to use one since forever. It seemed thrown in just to...actually it just seemed flat out thrown in. And then the explanation for this is that her rite was accidental? No just no. If it was that easy then whats to stop one from randomly grabbing the hand of a master?

Then there's the rite itself. I dislike that and, to be honest, I dislike the whole classing system of the wielders. This whole "true" master thing silly to me.
So far "masters" only have to abilities wielders don't (heart extraction and rite) but given the latter of those powers was used by Terra and the fact that Sora never had a rite at all just makes those powers seem even less standout or important.
As for the extraction of hearts, given Xehanort's nature, that could've easily been a unique power unto him and his dark powers.
There's just not enough to warrant a distinction or class to wielders there to me.

As for the rite, like Ruran said, that really killed on the keyblades mysterious aura. It was no longer something you worked for but something that you got based on luck. =/

In my own opinion I think the keyblade should've remained a total mystery in this series. Not even the revelation that a strong heart is needed to have one. Keep it all mysterious.
The farthest I'd ever elaborate on the keyblade is that it chooses it's wielders. As for the cases of "masters" and "students", well does that really needed any elaboration? It'd seem perfectly reasonable to me for older more experience wielders to seek out and find young and newly chosen wielders to teach and pass on what they know and have learned.
Nomura didn't need a rite or class system for that.

Lastly the Xblade....yeah I too disliked how it's the "original". The keyblades being manmade was the final nail in it's dying mysterious coffin. I don't understand why the Xblade couldn't have been a special/unique one like the Keyblade of hearts used in KH1. (the keyblade Riku-Ansem was using)
We had already seen one case of a keyblade being made from hearts so the Xblade would've fit in nicely to that role.
 

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For all the criticism KHII gets where things go downhill, it's actually COM "where it went wrong" IMHO. The plot of the former is set up by the later, then there's the stuff of memories which would become a recurring theme and went counter to the theme of Kingdom Hearts, to a certain degree, and the fact it was available on on a different console. Perhaps it would've been better had they released COM with KHII in the first place like they did with the Final Mix+. There were probably many fans who were at a loss at the beginning of KHII that didn't know of COM and how it was the predecessor of the KHII.

Sometimes I wish the series consisted of just the original, the second, BBS, a ideal 358/2 Days that just focused on Roxas, and the future KHIII. Hell, I would've even preferred if the series ended with KHII.
 

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^ I consider CoM more of the "middle ground". It set up kh2 but it itself wasn't bad and introduced what could've been interesting villains. KH2 just dropped the ball on that set up.
 

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^

True it's just that the concept of memories would becoming a recurring theme throughout the rest of the series from that, which probably made it a bit convoluted.
 

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Nah I don't think memories made it convoluted. Memories by default will be important in any form of story or real life so that was always a given. It's how they used it as a plot device to explain Xion and why Roxas had to return to Sora. (plus there's the whole Xehanort amnesia mess)
 

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It's been quite a while since I've visited these forums, let alone post; I think it's been nearly three years. It's nice to see some new faces on the boards, but even nicer to see some familiar names, some that I even remember from way back in 2006 when I first joined. It's nice to be back, even if it is only briefly. But enough about my nostalgic remembrance.

After replaying KH1 as a part of 1.5 Remix, I remembered what it was about the series that I loved as a kid. I was filled with, well, a sense of nostalgia, falling in love with the game all over again.

And then I found a way to play DDD, and all that nostalgia and love left me. Don't get me wrong, I liked the game. I even managed to get a faint grasp on the story after a while. But it's not the Kingdom Hearts that I fell in love with. It took the simplicity and quaintness of KH1 and blew it up into convolution and intricacies.

Kingdom Hearts is an incredibly silly series. This has become more and more apparent with the addition of each installment. No matter how seriously the game wants to take itself, it will always be silly. With each game comes a host of brand new wacky moments, a textbook worth of ridiculous lore, and an ever increasing cast of questionable characters. It’s become cliché, it’s always been silly, and honestly, it’s the reason I love the series.

Let’s look at KH1. The apparently “simple” storyline exists as a sort of red herring. We’re given this easily digestible narrative about the evil queen Maleficent who wants to become THE MISTRESS OF ALL EVIL by essentially taking over the worlds. Granted a few character driven subplots, there is absolutely no reason to expect that the story is any more complicated than what we are given at face value. Then, suddenly and without warning, we’re introduced to Ansem and everything changes. The cryptic gibberish we’ve been reading in the reports we collected start to make sense, Sora kills himself, you save Kairi, Riku is lost to Ansem’s control. All of this happens after you have beaten Malifient, the villain who up to this point was assumed to be the big bad; the implied final boss. So much is happening so fast that we begin wondering how in the world this could possibly be the same game we were playing not an hour ago. They purposely created a very simple story for the purpose of yanking the carpet out from under our feet at the last second. It’s this genuinely beautiful, well executed tonal shift and twist that has cemented this game in video game history.

The sequels couldn’t and didn’t try to replicate this false sense of simplicity. They knew the same trick wouldn't work twice. Instead they throw subtlety to the wind, opting for the “ridiculous anime soap opera” routine. In any other series, this would have pissed me off, but once you throw Donald, Goofy, and Mickey into that vat of concentrated angst, shounen cliché, and existential conflict, you have something the borders on divine. Take this scene for example:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYkxVBPx0A4 (Watch from 2:00-3:18)
We have this classic shounen setup: our hero vs his dark half in a fight to the death. We’ve got death threats, dramatic speeches on the nature of light, darkness, and existence itself…. and Micky f*cking Mouse. One of these things is not like the others. I LIVE for those moments in Kingdom Hearts. Having classic Disney characters interact with these moody anime archtypes is one of the greatest novelties in video game history. To top it all off, they start expanding and building upon the world: creating history, establishing this complicated series of rules and stipulations that all life forms in this universe must conform to, and Micky f*cking mouse is still a living, breathing entity in this world. That is so ridiculously silly that, for me, it goes full circle back to being completely awesome. It’s because of this that I’m able to love modern Kingdom Hearts despite its many shortcomings.

Keyblades. We were first introduced to these in KH1, where only Sora, Mickey, and Riku (briefly) had the capabilities to wield the blade. The keyblades were sacred, rare, and mysterious. In KH2 we were introduced to Roxas, and Kairi was shown to be able to wield a key blade as well; Yen Sid was even a master in his hay day. Suddenly we grew from 3 to 6. Days introduced us to Xion, and BBS to six more wielders. Then DDD decided to give Lea a keyblade because, hey why not. The rarity and sacredness of the Keyblade diminished, when its wielders grew to 14. Suddenly everyone can wield a keyblade. Suddenly keyblades aren't so special. They're not even real, if you want to get technical. only the x-Blade is the true keyblade. Keyblades have become imitation weapons that truly anyone can learn to wield.
I like what they did with the keyblades. It entertains me to no end that these ridiculous weapons have such a melodramatic and dark backstory. The fact that they are bastardized imitations of an ancient weapon of mass destruction was an incredibly unexpected and interesting turn of events.

The addition of hordes of new keyblade wielders was a pretty obvious progression from the moment we see Roxas duel wielding during KH1’s secret ending. I’m not particularly overjoyed that Axel has one, but like so many of the additions DDD made, I refuse to judge until I see how it is used in KHIII.

Nobodies. Nobodies in themselves are not the issue, but they began a web of convolution in the series. Why couldn't Ansem be a benevolent leader gone rogue? Instead we introduce Xehanort who was split up into both a Heartless and a Nobody and his existence extends to nine games instead of just one. Additionally, after Nobodies came Unversed, and after them came the Dream Eaters. Every game has introduced a new enemy with a new backstory. I think it's about time we stopped introducing new enemies. But maybe that's just me.

I do understand that the Nobodies, in the end, played an essential role for the transition from KH1 to KH2. After all, after the defeat of Ansem it only made sense to introduce a new threat, and it made sense to connect him to the original threat. I'm not denying that, I just think it opened the door to more convolutions.
I more or less agree with most of the points here. On one hand I love the idea that Ansem and Xemnas are two halves of the same whole; it’s a clever bit of retroactive continuity that links the two adventures together. I also love how BBS and DDD took it a step further by implying they were basically working with each other towards a common goal. On the other, it is unnecessarily confusing and more than a bit lazy that Ansem is not actually Ansem, but an entirely different person.
I don’t particularly mind the increasing enemy types at the moment. The Dream Eaters initially had me rolling my eyes, but they’ve grown on me over time.

Xion. I'll keep this brief because I know half of you will hate me for this and the other half will hate Xion more: if you make a game in which all the events of that game are forgotten by the end, the game never happened, and should never have happened. Why introduce a character that a) isn't even real, b) is completely forgotten, and c) was never likable from the start to feel empathy for at the end. This wasn't really anything that affected Kingdom Hearts on the whole. I just really don't like Xion.


To be fair, Xion is forgotten, the events of the game aren’t. Eventually, Xion will be remembered. It’s just an unfortunate byproduct of being the retroactive third game in the series. It’s clumsy and disjointed, but I don’t particularly mind in a series like Kingdom Hearts. The entire thesis of 358/2 days has to do with existence and the nature of existing. It has heavy foreshadowing for Coded and DDD’s revelation that anything with a mind can grow a heart and Xion was one of the first clear cut examples. She is an existence even less than a Nobody and yet she is able to exist against the odds. I won’t argue whether or not she’s a compelling character as that is completely subjective.


Time Travel. Because duh. I have nothing more to add to this that hasn't already been said.
It’s actually pretty polarizing. This is another DDD development that I’m withholding judgment for until I see how it’s used in III.
Disney. Now again, allow me to explain. I do not think Disney is the problem with Kingdom Hearts at all. Disney is the reason I picked the game up in the first place and continue to play it to this day. What I mean to say is the use of Disney. KH1 integrated Sora, Donald, and Goofy seamlessly into Disney worlds and stories and there was a point to the worlds' existence. In KH2, it felt as though I had to trudge through the pointlessness of the Disney worlds to continue the story. BBS did a good job of remedying this, and even DDD did an ok job of making me feel like there was a point to the worlds.

Until Maleficent showed up. Remember the villains council back in KH1? They were a force to be reckoned with. They worked together, and they worked well together. Now Maleficent is, at best, comedic relief. She possesses no real threat anymore. It seems as though the Disney aspects of the game (along with the Final Fantasy aspects) are getting sidelined for the original characters and aspects, and then thrown in at completely random and inopportune times for garbage minutes.


KH1 definitely did the best job integrating Disney into the overarching narrative. I agree with all of these points.
 
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5glitchers5

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I agree with all of this, and yes if the story stayed in a fashion that KH 1 delivered, I would love it so much more! Nobodies shouldn't have existed, and there should've been a new villain for KH 2 and no villain connected to Ansem. It would be more clever to do this, than make the convoluted story we have today.
 

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By the time 3D came out, KH was officially "The Xehanort Show."
 
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It's a bit sad how close to true this is.
I don't really mind, I like Xehanort so much as a character. And you gotta admire the sheer narcissism of a guy who decides the best organization he could possibly create is one composed of 13 different versions of himself.
 

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In terms of Where They Went Wrong... I don't have many complaints in terms of gameplay. That said, the only real problem that I wished they'd address is the lack of platforming elements. I mean, it was so fun to jump, swim, and throw objects in the original Kingdom Hearts and I wished they incorporated more into that.

My main criticisms with Kingdom Hearts as a series is it's story. I think we can all agree that as time went on, it has become increasingly apparent that Nomura and his team are seriously making it up as they go along. Simply put, this is a team that thinks that they're good gardeners and that they "need no architects". They're not. They're seriously not. And it's things like this that make me think that the story would have benefited from being a series of standalone stories rather then being connected like they are now. In fact, I hope they do that for the next games after the Xehanort Saga is done.

But perhaps the biggest problem for me right now is what they did after Kingdom Hearts II. I don't have too many issues with Birth by Sleep, since it does kinda have some nice backstory for the universe of Kingdom Hearts, but having Master Xehanort being a guy who has manipulated the events of the series for 10 years is a little out there. It gets worse once you get to KH3D where it revealed he orchestrated the events of the ENTIRE SERIES and is being set up as this all-powerful villain that is unstoppable. Again, how is this not like a shonen action series?

Then there's Xion, aka the walking, breathing satire of a Copycat Sue. I'll admit the idea behind her is interesting, but it forced Days to become the Roxas+Xion dating sim with only a bad ending. If they wanted to go that route, I would have given Xion to Sora and played it like how Tenchi in Tokyo did with Sakuya Kumashiro (which is my example of a Copycat Sue done right and is the only thing I can give that series credit for).

And finally, their handling of Disney. Outside of the Disney Princesses, Beauty and the Beast, and the DisneyTown/Disney Castle cast, none of them really have much of an impact on the storyline. Birth by Sleep tries to fix this, of course, only to go back to making them nearly irrelevant by the time KH3D came out. And this is perplexing to me because isn't this supposed to a crossover game? What's the point in having a crossover if the two sides (or three in this case) don't intermingle. To me, it's slowly becoming apparent that the Disney aspect is only there to move the game off the shelves (not that it's necessarily a bad thing, mind you, but when you advertise your canon original characters interacting with pre-established characters, I demand more from the crossover).

I won't go into how I would have done Kingdom Hearts, since we have a thread for that, but I will say that I really would have taken everything up 'til now and put it into one game.
 

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It's been quite a while since I've visited these forums, let alone post; I think it's been nearly three years. It's nice to see some new faces on the boards, but even nicer to see some familiar names, some that I even remember from way back in 2006 when I first joined. It's nice to be back, even if it is only briefly. But enough about my nostalgic remembrance.

After replaying KH1 as a part of 1.5 Remix, I remembered what it was about the series that I loved as a kid. I was filled with, well, a sense of nostalgia, falling in love with the game all over again.

And then I found a way to play DDD, and all that nostalgia and love left me. Don't get me wrong, I liked the game. I even managed to get a faint grasp on the story after a while. But it's not the Kingdom Hearts that I fell in love with. It took the simplicity and quaintness of KH1 and blew it up into convolution and intricacies.
Where you see "convolution", I see a story that demands to be understood. Of course, "simple" is good, but I like it better this way, it's like putting a puzzle back together, as the story progresses.

Keyblades. We were first introduced to these in KH1, where only Sora, Mickey, and Riku (briefly) had the capabilities to wield the blade. The keyblades were sacred, rare, and mysterious. In KH2 we were introduced to Roxas, and Kairi was shown to be able to wield a key blade as well; Yen Sid was even a master in his hay day. Suddenly we grew from 3 to 6. Days introduced us to Xion, and BBS to six more wielders. Then DDD decided to give Lea a keyblade because, hey why not. The rarity and sacredness of the Keyblade diminished, when its wielders grew to 14. Suddenly everyone can wield a keyblade. Suddenly keyblades aren't so special. They're not even real, if you want to get technical. only the x-Blade is the true keyblade. Keyblades have become imitation weapons that truly anyone can learn to wield.
What makes keyblades "special" is not their rarity, it's how difficult they are to get, and the power they pack. The increase in the number of wielders was all but inevitable; we've known since the first game that there are other wielders out there, they were bound to come together one way or another. I even think we'll get to see more after KH III ... Lea getting a keyblade, however seemed forced (to please the fans I presume), but if that situation is used well enough, I wouldn't mind as much (like, maybe he'll casually throw the keyblade away after getting Roxas, Isa, and Xion back leading to a desire vs duty dilemma after Yen Sid scolds him).
The keyblade's backstory is also something I liked, this seemingly holy weapon (that may or may not have been created by gods) that now saved the multiverse was actually created by humans to wage a stupid war over the light. Brilliant!

Nobodies. Nobodies in themselves are not the issue, but they began a web of convolution in the series. Why couldn't Ansem be a benevolent leader gone rogue? Instead we introduce Xehanort who was split up into both a Heartless and a Nobody and his existence extends to nine games instead of just one. Additionally, after Nobodies came Unversed, and after them came the Dream Eaters. Every game has introduced a new enemy with a new backstory. I think it's about time we stopped introducing new enemies. But maybe that's just me.

I do understand that the Nobodies, in the end, played an essential role for the transition from KH1 to KH2. After all, after the defeat of Ansem it only made sense to introduce a new threat, and it made sense to connect him to the original threat. I'm not denying that, I just think it opened the door to more convolutions.
I might be the only one who finds their take on Ansem more believable ... oh well, that's my opinion anyway. I don't especially mind the new enemies addition as long as there is a valid explanation as to how they came to exist, but I don't think we'll see more though, unless a new realm is discovered maybe. The heartless (the pureblood) appear in the RoD after their creation, the nobodies appear in the RoL, and the Dream eaters appear in the RoS (which is an in between realm I presume), yep, we're done. The unversed were just a wild card thrown in because of one entity's creation, and they were never seen since.

Xion. I'll keep this brief because I know half of you will hate me for this and the other half will hate Xion more: if you make a game in which all the events of that game are forgotten by the end, the game never happened, and should never have happened. Why introduce a character that a) isn't even real, b) is completely forgotten, and c) was never likable from the start to feel empathy for at the end. This wasn't really anything that affected Kingdom Hearts on the whole. I just really don't like Xion.
I agree, Xion's existence is pretty much pointless up until now, but I'm eager to see how they'll handle her from now on.

Time Travel.
Because duh. I have nothing more to add to this that hasn't already been said.
I don't like time travel myself, especially when used as a plot device (creating/ solving problems ...). However, in KH, due to the limitations, it's only use as of now is to bring 13 Xehanorts together. With or without it, the man would have achieved his goal anyway (given more time), so time travel becomes no more than a tool. The laws regulating said time travel were explained in detail too, which makes it bearable.

Disney. Now again, allow me to explain. I do not think Disney is the problem with Kingdom Hearts at all. Disney is the reason I picked the game up in the first place and continue to play it to this day. What I mean to say is the use of Disney. KH1 integrated Sora, Donald, and Goofy seamlessly into Disney worlds and stories and there was a point to the worlds' existence. In KH2, it felt as though I had to trudge through the pointlessness of the Disney worlds to continue the story. BBS did a good job of remedying this, and even DDD did an ok job of making me feel like there was a point to the worlds.

Until Maleficent showed up. Remember the villains council back in KH1? They were a force to be reckoned with. They worked together, and they worked well together. Now Maleficent is, at best, comedic relief. She possesses no real threat anymore. It seems as though the Disney aspects of the game (along with the Final Fantasy aspects) are getting sidelined for the original characters and aspects, and then thrown in at completely random and inopportune times for garbage minutes.
KH I didn't integrate Sora, Donald, and Goofy seamlessly into Disney worlds and stories, at least not as much as you think. The story really kick started in neverland imo. The only things tying the worlds to the plot are the PoH and the keyholes, whereas in KH II it was the search for Riku and new pathways.
I personally found the villain council to be a joke, they all followed their own agenda (captain Hook was the only trustworthy villain of the crew) only to fail miserably, and they were being tricked all along. And true, Maleficent isn't a threat anymore (for now); however that makes for a good development, she changes and adapt her plans according to the situation (Her being the constantly failing "mistress of all evil" from start to finish would be dull in the long run). As long as Sora and the Xehanorts are around, I don't know what she could do tbh ... I guess we'll have to wait and see.
 
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