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Would anything have really changed if they permanently axed off Maleficent back in KH1?



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Chie

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Calling literally every Disney character "flat", that's a bit of a reach, especially with the last decade or so of Disney films.
I meant the Disney characters in Kingdom Hearts. They might have had better characterization in the actual works they're from, but in KH they are not able to display too much new characterization or else they would cease to become the platonic ideal of themselves they represent, which would go against their Brand. I used Yen Sid as an example because he's especially egregious - his original character was intimidating, stern and harsh, though with a caring intent. In Kingdom Hearts, he doesn't really have either of these sides to him because he just tells the characters what to do for the sake of the plot. You can still read flaws into his character (i.e. representing a harmful tradition), but will the games explore this aspect of him? Maybe if he was an original character (like they did with his counterpart Eraqus), but it seems the writers either aren't allowed to or don't feel that they should be exploring him beyond his platonic ideal of "powerful mentor guy who tells you stuff".

Similar things with Donald and Goofy who had been explored in numerous ways in various cartoons, but in KH (especially KH3) they are basically just Sora's friends and nothing else almost all of the time. Mickey's recklessness as a youth factors into the plot but never so much as to actually cause conflict among the characters. Probably more examples I can't think of right now.
 

Dark Rot

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Even with her villain status in KH1 and redemption storyline from KH2 being completely abandoned for... a continuous state of wandering around with Pete, just having Maleficent around makes a big difference to me. Even with nothing to do, she makes the world of KH feel bigger and more fantastic. Literally just walking around looking grumpy, still more interesting than most of the original characters.

She feels special, getting a bigger spotlight than any other Disney villain and traversing worlds and worldlines. Even when they don't know what to do with her, there's always a sense that the pieces could click together and suddenly, she's the key to everything!

If Maleficent's been disappointing and aimless after KH1&2, well... that's Kingdom Hearts...
 

Soldier

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Even with her villain status in KH1 and redemption storyline from KH2 being completely abandoned for... a continuous state of wandering around with Pete, just having Maleficent around makes a big difference to me. Even with nothing to do, she makes the world of KH feel bigger and more fantastic. Literally just walking around looking grumpy, still more interesting than most of the original characters.

She feels special, getting a bigger spotlight than any other Disney villain and traversing worlds and worldlines. Even when they don't know what to do with her, there's always a sense that the pieces could click together and suddenly, she's the key to everything!

If Maleficent's been disappointing and aimless after KH1&2, well... that's Kingdom Hearts...
Underated comment and very applicable opinion, you sir get a like from me.


Wow, I didn't think that many peolpe cared about Maleficent. If only Nomura felt that way.
 

Bloodedge King

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Maleficent's entire character is being a Disney villain punching above her weight class. She's a character from a very specific story (world) (film) who through sheer determination to Be The Evilest Wickedest Villain pulled herself into the Kingdom Hearts narrative proper. And while she might have been able to be the villain in the context of a story and setting that was built for her, she is woefully unequipped to stand her ground against the people of a world which is vastly more convoluted and just plain Anime than the fairy tale she comes from. She doesn't understand sci-fi tropes like computer simulations, or shonen/JRPG tropes like the introduction of a new group of bosses. Her dialogue is more dramatic and self-serious than the other characters, yet her ambitions are the least philosophically driven of any villain - she just wants to rule the universe, and at one point outright states that the stuff Xehanort told her about how to conquer the worlds was "too complex".

As such, in each game she tries her best to take the role of the main villain, because that's what she thinks she should be. And every time she gets bodied by the actual antagonists. And every time she gets right back up to do it again, because she's 100% convinced of her superiority. To me this makes her extremely endearing, and I would not hesitate to say she is the best Disney character in the series.

If she was a serious villain who had an effect on the story, she would still be a flat character like every single other Disney character, but there'd be no real irony or humor about this fact. She'd be more of a plot point, but a lot less of a character. Just like Yen Sid.

I hesitate to speak about it in the terms of author intent since I don't really know what the writers are actually thinking, but based on my analysis of the work, I'd say the writers know exactly what to do with Maleficent, and they have been doing it. She's a jobber. A writer liking a character is more complex than just "do they give them relevance/depth/dignity/etc.". Sometimes a character being a loser or being messed with is exactly what the writer likes about them.
That's how I always saw her role in the series, so I wanna say I'm glad someone shares the same viewpoint. I wouldn't mind if they decided to give Maleficent a bigger role, but, as a main villain, she's nothing compared to Xehanort, Ansem or Xemnas. Even back in KH1, Ansem was a superior main villain compared to her. Just how I feel at least, but I prefer Maleficent as a big bad wannabe than an actual big bad.
 

Nicolas

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So true, as a big Maleficent fan I don't ever want her to be a big or main villain again. I just want her to be around and maybe have one or two big unexpected moments in the main games that make you think that maybe she'll be back in power, but in the end, she doesn't.
 

KudoTsurugi

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Personally, if/when they follow up on the end of search on the Black Box, I want her to be the one to open it. Not to give her a bigger role than she has, but I honestly thought that was how it was going to play out in KH3: her opening the Black Box, and Xehanort possibly anticipating that as an eventuality in his schemes, and seeing whether whatever was in that box helped or hindered him.

If that KH animated series is adapting the Xehanort saga and decides to go the self-contained route, it’d be a neat way to get a possible answer of what’s inside.
 
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I love Maleficent. Obviously.

I don't have much else to say that hasn't already been said. Plotwise, her absence wouldn't change that much. But, it is nice having a Disney character (other than Mickey/Donald/Goofy) play a bigger role outside the Disney worlds.

Having said that, I'd prefer if she had someone other than Pete as a henchman. Hades or even an OC would be much better for her. I really think Pete is what makes her kind of a joke among the fanbase.
 

kaseykockroach

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In my world, the Pete in KH would have been more based on his more imposing threatening role in the Prince and the Pauper short (look it up, chums!), but his KH role's fun to have around anyhoo. My only qualm is that I wish he was introduced sooner. He would have fit just fine in KH1's happenings.
Maleficent's okay. I'm just stuck associating her with the sleep-inducing film she's from, but can see why she was considered charismatic enough to be used beyond that thing. Queen Grimhilde's hag self is more my style as far as classic villainesses go, but what the hey, Mal can hang around.

Any Disney villain's more fun than the dudes in black coats that leave me eternally grateful than KH2's cutscenes were skippable even back in the PS2 days. If I remember their names, it's mainly because I would look up how to beat their data selves.
 

Elysium

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Having said that, I'd prefer if she had someone other than Pete as a henchman. Hades or even an OC would be much better for her. I really think Pete is what makes her kind of a joke among the fanbase.
This. Even in the capacity she's at now, I still want Maleficent to remain. But it disturbs me somewhat to see her main purpose post-KH1 is to be comic relief considering the character's never been used for humor before. I think I would enjoy it more if she affected the Disney worlds even if she doesn't touch the original plot much. I mean, the original film shows her to be the type of figure to do harm just for harm's sake (like sending a frost to kill Flora's flowers just 'cause, lol). Her wandering through various worlds without occasionally casting a drive-by curse feels strange. It would be an interesting way for characters like Beast or Pinocchio to become cursed again. Or perhaps she would do something malicious towards a character like Rapunzel simply because her light powers offend her or something. One of the things they have done that I like is when they have Maleficent contemplate things beyond her comprehension such as the Datascape, because it's like seeing a person from the 1200's contemplating a cell-phone or a hologram.

I do love the idea of her ensaring a new OC Keyblade-wielder to be her apprentice, similar to Riku in KH1. Maybe a character who's less likely to redeem themselves.
 

Cyborg009

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Having said that, I'd prefer if she had someone other than Pete as a henchman. Hades or even an OC would be much better for her. I really think Pete is what makes her kind of a joke among the fanbase.
well Hades would be a bit of a stretch since he wanted nothing to do with them in KH3 as he was more focused on his Olympus takeover. but since that plan went to pot, i guess he could tag along since he pretty much has nothing else to do plus i could see him having some banter between him, Pete and Maleficent. plus since he rules the Realm of the Dead, Maleficent could persuade him to revive deceased villains from certain worlds they visit. That would be a good excuse to bring back certain villains that already died in the original story.
 

GreyouTT

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Mostly just her actions in 2. You could introduce a new villian to take her place. Like the Evil Queen, Lady Tremaine or Mortimer Mouse.
Mortimer trying to usurp the kingdom would have been both interesting and hilarious.
 

DestinyIslander

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Maleficent should’ve been the main antagonist of the entire series.

But Nomura doesn’t know how to write female characters, so she got shafted just like everyone else that had so much potential...
 

Sean Wheeler

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If they never brought her back, would the memory-created Maleficent on the Hollow Bastian floor of Castle Oblivion count?
 
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