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For once I'm pleased to see the fallacious 'trio' of Mickey, Donald, and Goofy in favor of the comparably fallacious Sora, Riku and Kairi. Makes it so I don't have to choose between Sora, Donald and Goofy. Anyway,
The perfect character for Kingdom Hearts. Widest range of emotions and moods, can fit in anywhere and wants to explore just as much as the player likely should.
For the absolute hell this kid went through from birth to recompletion, he's actually quite likable and is just a good guy. His characterization reminds me of KH1/COM Sora. Willing to help, and has a good heart (lol) but not bubbly and ditzy.
She's got a great design. By that I mean she's hot. She's a bit too stoic and serious for me to consider her main character material, and doesn't really have a lot of entertaining traits, but she's not an active creator of problems like her buddies kind of are. I was close to giving it to Terra, but I can't give him full credit for how cool Lingering Will is.
He's soooo cute!! He always comes in clutch to heal you (if you actually manage your settings correctly) and he's such a funny presence in all three games. I adore his energy, his relationship with Sora is one of the very best in the franchise, and he's actually got an arc in the first game. The fact that he and Goofy are striking out on their own to find Sora in KH4 is worth of a chef's kiss.
SRK – Riku. A combination of his design, his personality and storyline (that I could relate to), and David Gallagher's incredible voice acting. He's always been my favorite KH character and I don't think that'll change if Aqua or Saix didn't manage to knock him off that pedestal. RAX – Roxas. This is the only one of the original character trios where I don't mind any of the three characters. I liked Roxas better in 2 before Days came along though, if I'm being honest. ATV – Aqua. Terra is very pretty, but Aqua was the only thing good that came out of BbS existing, imo. SDG or MDG – Donald. He was always my favorite of the Disney core characters. To be fair, KH's iteration of Mickey is actually the only version of Mickey Mouse I like. (A Goofy Movie is my favorite iteration of Goofy.) I know as a party member, Donald annoys a lot of people, but his screams as he gets attacked make gameplay so much more fun than it would be otherwise. <3
Riku because he has learned a lot through the series and has matured more than any other character, which feels realistic and is more relatable to adult people than Sora.
Roxas, Aqua and Donald for the same reasons Launchpad said before.
Selphie is my favorite from the Destiny Islands Side Characters trio. She's my favorite FFVIII character and she looks like her FF counterpart, unlike the other two. KH Wakka is... wrong in every way. KH Tidus is not Tidus but a twin of that boy in Traverse Town, who dyed his hair.
Pence is my favorite from the Twilight Town trio. I love how smart and laid back he is.
Fuujin is my favorite from the Seifer & Friends trio. I never liked Seifer and Raijin is just too stupid in KH.
Paine is my favorite of the Gullwings trio, because she's my favorite character in FFX-2.
Xemnas is my favorite from the Terra-Xehanorts trio, because of his english voice actor.
Even is my favorite from the Radiant Garden Researcher trio, I've always liked Vexen a lot.
Riku (SRK) - Honestly, he feels like the a large part of the themes that continue to echo throughout the series: the trials, choices and strength that fortify relationships and friendships. He's a huge reason why I look forward to each game. I just love his journey. He's probably not just my #1 for this trio, but for all of them. Not to mention his design was iconic for me when I was a teen, becoming interested in fashion, lol. He's dark, wears a kilt, has grey hair, etc.
Wakka (TWS) - Kindof arbitrary, considering how little we get to see these three. But Wakka seems like the most fun to hang with.
Aerith (LYA) - Look at me, making up bs trios! Cloud can get bent. No, but really, her first appearance in the series gave me such joy. I'll always appreciate her sage, bohemian presence in any incarnation. (Also, she's a trip in the 4-panel manga strips.)
Donald (MDG) - I love Donald forever, in and out of KH. Goofy is A+++, but I love his wiseass banter with Sora. Gotta keep that hero ego in check, boy!
Pence (HPO) - Smart, quirky guy, into sci-fi goings-on. Not afraid to show his appreciation for The Bouncer. He's got it going on.
Xion (RAX) - The youngest of the organization with yet enough wisdom to remove herself from the equation, against her friends' wishes, in pursuit of the truth. I absolutely love that she elevates Vexen's role and his research with the replica program. Love her themes and boss iterations too, both in Days and Re:Mind.
Terra (TAV) - He's so pure, and I think this quality tends to be overshadowed by how literal Ven's heart of light is. Really, though. He's the hunk with a heart of gold who doesn't judge by appearances, and he's a good "older brother" figure for Ventus. Even if he is more naive than even he is capable of acknowledging. He's neck and neck with Aqua in being misunderstood (she's a literal hair's breadth from being my favorite, because I think she's amazing), which is a great duality given the morally ambiguous tone of dark vs. light BBS focused on.
HPO - Hayner. One of my favorite of KH's original characters. LYA - SquallLeon. I was thinking about LYA earlier when I saw somebody branching out to other trios. Squall is my favorite of those, but, tbh, Yuffie and *especially* Aerith are SOOO much better in KH than they were in FFVII, jmo. Aerith almost reminds me of FFX Yuna in KH. Squall is a little more mature in KH, but still feels largely the same. SRF - Seifer. YRP - Yuna. TWS - Selphie. She's so adorable. I think they all feel fairly different than their FF iterations; Selphie seems much more overtly feminine than in VIII. Her stomping tantrum when she loses is adorable. Terranorts - Ansem SOD. Researcher Trio - Even. Always liked that character, and he turned out to be interesting as a non-evil character in 3, too, surprisingly. Masters Trio (Xehanort, Eraqus, Yensid) - Yensid.
SRK - Sora. He's such a fun protagonist and I don't think any other character - including Riku - has managed to be as dynamic to follow as a playable character. He's a joy and SO much of what Makes KH work for me.
RAX- I usually say Roxas, but I'm feeling Xion recently. She's kind but also kinda unhinged when there's something going on. No hesitation before throwing hands with Axel, and orchestrated her own death to get in the way of the Org's plan, which is super metal.
TAV - Terra. He's the most... Interesting BBS protag, though that isn't saying much. He's the one I like to play as better too because I enjoy the physical attacks in BBS over the flashier magical moves and he's the only one who actually does damage with those.
MDG- Love them all, but Mickey. There's something fascinating about the fact that he's the grayer of the trio (though still obviously a good guy). He can be shady and sometimes he fails, it's genuinely interesting.
destiny trio= sora
sea salt trio= axel close second going to xion
Wayfinder trio= ventus and aqua are tied
Disneyland trio= Mickey
master's trio= eraqus
Daybreak Quartet (Ephemer, Skuld, Chirithy (specifically Ven's), and Brain) Ephemer's my favorite with a close second and tie between Brain and Skuld
Research trio- Ienzo ansem being a close second
Fantasy island trio= a tie between Selphie and Tidus
traverse/ radiant fantasy quartet= Leon close second Aerith
Twilight trio= Hayner close second going to pence
Terranort trio= apprentice Terranort close second going to xemnas
wizards trio= fairy godmother close second goes to yen sid
Reunion quartet Lauriam, Elrena, Ven and Strelitzia= strelitzia and lauriam are tied
Destiny Island Trio: Sora, always Sora. Always will be Sora. I don’t think I have to explain why.
Sea Salt Trio: It used to be Axel, and then it was Roxas, but now I kind of like Xion more. It’s hard to choose between them since I love all three. Axel is a riot, Roxas is cool, but Xion just had something about her. I love her tragic and slightly confusing story. I love how calm and somber she can be while still being innocent and sweet. She is a very charming character in my opinion.
Wayfinder Trio: Aqua. She hot. She cool. She amazing. But genuinely, I love her character! I will say that Ventus is creeping up there, but Aqua forever!
Disneyland trio: Donald. He is so hilarious, and has just so much character! Goofy is a very close second though.
Destiny: Kairi. I used to hate her as a kid (because I had a crush on Sora lmao) but she's grown a lot on my and is my overall 2nd fav character in the franchise for years now. At some point, she was my absolute fav but that title's been taken by Ven now. She's just so cute and sweet, and I love the little glimpses of sass we've seen from her. She's grown stronger, as much as the plot will let her.
Sea Salt: Xion
Wayfinder: Ven. Just love these two pure lights. Both sweet and adorable. I just love how polite he talks to the characters in the Disney worlds. On the other hand, he has a sassy, bratty side to him too. Definitely biased but I think he's one of the most interesting characters in the series considering he doesn't remember his past at all. He's also been asleep for probably the majority of his life, and he had an entirely different life that he has absolutely no knowledge of, so I've always thought he could have some juicy inner turmoil from that. Like an existential crisis lmao
Disney: Goofy (but Donald is a very close second). He's so loveable and always makes me smile.