Month: July 2016

Kingdom Hearts 2 – Spiky-Haired Inner Demons

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The game returns control to Sora and the others as they find themselves in the streets of the Dark City from the original KH1 secret ending. Mickey is with them, appearing from nowhere. I guess we shouldn’t even ask where he was. Someone died in his absence, and I’ve already punched so many holes in this game that I don’t want blood to come out of that one. Sora looks up and sees a great, white castle flying over the city, and finally realizes that that’s where Kairi is being held. Thank goodness that’s been cleared up at last.  While we’re here, note the giant, heart-shaped moon. (more…)

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Kingdom Hearts 2 – Look at this Photograph

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Alllllllrighty. In making our approach to Twilight Town, you could say we are either in the last stage of the middle game or the opening stage of the end-game. One way or another, after a very long trip, we’re finally at the finish line. And the only thing standing between us and there is an ominous Gummi sequence.

Assault of the Dreadnought is the last Gummi mission in the game, and is the only one not paired with a sibling somewhere else on the map. It involves nothing short of an Organization blockade of Twilight Town. I hesitate to treat the particulars of Gummi Mode as full canon (the games so often ignore those same particulars), but it really gets me riled and ready to find out why the Organization is so concerned about you going to Twilight Town that they’d show their hand like this. I’m not going to spoil what happens, but some of the Organization’s actions suggest that they’re aware of what’s about to happen on Twilight Town, but if they are, that just introduces a plot hole. If they know what you’re about to do, why not add a more substantial guard on the ground, or better yet: fix the problem directly? Even if the magical solutions wouldn’t work for whatever contrived magical reasons, I can think of quite a few mundane ones. Demyx could have wrapped this up. And he’s dead! (more…)

Kingdom Hearts 2 – Warning! Incoming Game

kh2-2016-07-15-18h05m10s620Hollow Bastion, Re-Revisited

You might recall that all you need to move on to the end of the game is to clear six Disney worlds’ second trips. But should you clear seven worlds, a new episode begins in Hollow Bastion that you just know will lead back to Space Paranoids. Once that’s done, we’ll head over to Twilight Town, and then it’s off to the final world! And with this game’s infamous, back-loaded narrative, I’d say we’re a good half way through the game! Eh? Eh? (more…)

Final Fantasy Marathon Look-Back, Part 1

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Since we wrapped up the FFVI Journal last week, we decided to take the opportunity to do a celebration here at Marathon Recaps and look back over the past two eras of Final Fantasy: the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. And it won’t just be me: for the first time you’ll be hearing Kyle’s thoughts here as well! With many of these games, it’s been years since we last played them, and we wondered if a good look back might have changed out opinions. So here’s the plan: this week, Kyle and I will alternate talking about each game, giving some time-aged insight into each. Next week, we’ll be back with two Top 5 lists each: our Top 5 Worst and Top 5 Best Moments in the Marathon! Be sure to be back for that! (more…)

Kingdom Hearts 2 – Sound, Fundamental Government

kh2-2016-07-15-17h24m54s715Pride Lands, Revisited

Sora, who learns nothing from his mistakes at any time, chooses to touch down in the Pride Lands by going back to the elephant graveyard! Well, near the elephant graveyard, near enough that he runs into the three hyenas the moment he steps off the plane. The hyenas are irritated and starving since Scar was deposed, so Sora’s eager “Hiya!” makes me laugh so hard.

But it seems that just because the hyenas aren’t doing well doesn’t mean Simba is. The hyenas even start laughing when you mention his name. Sora and the others go to find out why “Simba” is so funny, discovering that the Savannah is in just as bad a shape as when they left. Well of course it is, the devs would have had to reskin the entire world, and even I don’t expect that. Everyone who’s still upset about Zora’s Fountain being frozen at the end of Ocarina of Time knows that retexturing the entire world just isn’t done in the industry. “What do you think could have happened?” Sora asks. Dragging an unprepared, uninterested slacker onto the throne solely on basis of royal prerogative proved to be a poor system of government and a poorer means of environmental renewal? (more…)

Kingdom Hearts 2 – A Mean One, Mr. Grinch

kh2-2016-07-10-23h50m13s949Halloween Town, Revisited

If anyone here is new to the game, you might be wondering if KH2 was going to favour the dignity of giving Halloween Town a new plot, or if they’re going to favour the kitch of having two 80s Christmas specials in the same game. Everyone who guessed “kitch” gets a stocking stuffer. Like, little shampoo samplers or something, I don’t know, I’m not made of money. (more…)

Final Fantasy VI – Check, Check, Check, Check and Check

ffvi-2016-07-03-15h59m56s111We began our final dungeon spelunk with Celes’ party, which found itself inside of what had once been the prison in Vector, where Kekfa had been held “prisoner” by the Emperor as part of the peace conference.  In his place was the Ultima Buster, a machine incarnation of Ultima Weapon (you could see the gears) that believed it was Ultima itself.  If Locke had been in party 2, we would have been able to Steal the Blood Sword from Ultima Buster, which was hilarious given our history with Ultima Weapon in Soul of Rebirth. While Ultima Buster could cast Ultima after a time, he did not live that long.  Killing him got us a Save Point and Strago learned Tsunami off him. This isn’t the exclusive Lore I mentioned earlier, but it was very helpful. (more…)

Kingdom Hearts 2 – Battle for Literal Souls

kh2-2016-07-03-15h29m26s800Olympus Coliseum, Revisited

When you return to Olympus Coliseuem, you appear in the Underworld, and for some reason Hercules is arriving here with Meg. Herc has no reason to be here given in the state he’s in, but there is a good real world reason for the scene to start here. Remember when we came here for the first tournament, and Sora had that scene with Auron about the tournaments opening up? The devs were thinking ahead and considered the possibility that you might be seeing that Auron scene for the first time right now. As a result, they wanted to be able to blend from the Auron scene to the Hercules scene without cut. Letting the scenes run together does have a strange effect, given how Auron isn’t in the same mood when you encounter him again in just a few minutes, but they’re doing a great job when they honestly didn’t have to do any job at all, and that’s worth the extra credit. (more…)