Month: September 2016

Persona 1 – The Grinding Gear

Maki fled to hide with Mai in the Lost Forest, forcing us to backtrack through the old dungeon to reach the Gingerbread House. There we met Mai, now openly called “Maki” (which won’t make this confusing at all), who explained that Aki had woken a fourth and final aspect of Maki, Pandora, who was presumably made up of all of Maki’s worst traits the way the Maki in our party had been the idealized self. Mai/Maki said we’d need the compacts owned by all the Makis: the original, the one split between Mai and Aki, and uh… well the third was confusing. In a later scene, Mai/Maki would say it was from the real Maki, but that it wasn’t the one from the real world? And shouldn’t Pandora have one? I’m not sure why the game was so obsessed with compacts to begin with, from a metaphorical point-of-view I mean. They let you view but also change yourself?


Kingdom Hearts 2 – Digging for Shrooms

Flashback screenshots again!


KH2:FM+ is the only game in the entire series that I consider to have a proper post-game: a whole bunch of stuff that’s unlocked after the storyline/final boss (decide for yourself if that’s a good thing, I’m only treating it as a definition). There are other post-game examples in the series, but none feel like a dedicated section of the game the way this game does. The games released after KH2:FM+ tend to have at least one post-game boss, but that’s usually the end of it, with BBS showing the rare ambition to have a whole two instead! CoM’s post-game cards and a certain feature from Days are also technically post-game, but both are there on a pure technicality and could hypothetically be done with in only a few minutes if you did all the available steps ahead of time. KH2:FM+, on the other hand, knows how to throw a post-game party, with piles of new gameplay and also new narrative. Strictly speaking, there are three post-game bosses (one with two forms) and one/two post-game Mushroom XIII, but since they belong to sets that include eleven other late-game bosses and all the other Mushroom XIII, the whole thing feels like a unified post-game experience.

On top of that, while it’s possible explore the Cavern of Remembrance earlier in the game, you couldn’t unlock all its content, so I threw in the entire Cavern of Remembrance as a main course with all this added spice. There really is a lot. I was describing the post- and end-game content to Kyle from the Marathon during the writing process, and was struck by how the list just went on and on. Indeed it’s hard to understate just how strong an impact FM+’s additions are to the game as a whole, including balance changes, the mechanically solid Absent Silhouettes dotting the game, and of course Critical Mode, which goes a long way to explain why I’m so fond of the remake that I’d put up with 2.5’s Xemnas glitch and still come out singing FM+’s praises. So let’s take a look at its post-game.


Kingdom Hearts 2 – You’re Home

…So Xemnas sucks the three of you into the Realm of Nothingness, which is a weird bendy white world with black stripes. He’s dressed for the occasion in a similar gettup, leading to what KHI user Sephiroth0812 once dubbed a “lightsaber zebra.” Sadly, Xemnas has one last villain speech to make and it’s just as bad as the others. Here, he decides for no reason to declare that since light and dark are eternal, nothing must be eternal. Okay. At this point his plan gets a little fuzzy to me and he declares this means he must be eternal too, either because he commands nothingness, because he is “a nothing” (the latter is what he says, but it makes no sense considering nothings and darknesses have been dying this entire game, so I’ve presented the former as a counter-argument). Maybe it’s just that he’s on a heady ego trip.


Persona 1 – Wagging the Bloody Tongue

Now unfortunately, this is where my notes – already inadequate – collapse entirely, giving me almost no clue as to which note belongs to which part of the game. I know I promised I would do better with my note-keeping but—oh, what can I say? This game just grated on me from about this point on and was so indistinct from map to map that there was no sense commenting on much of anything.

The Lost Forest found us reaching one of the most important parts of the game: when you finally make contact with the girl in white, and furthermore set yourself well on the way to one of the game’s two endings. As you can see, it was a fantastic place for my note-taking to belly-up and croak.