Day 296: Confessions
Should you ask around the Grey Area on Day 296, Xigbar teases that he knows you’re looking for Xion. “Heh heh… Keep running wild and somebody might have to throw a leash on you.” Despite this, Saix promotes you to Master, the last promotion you’re going to get prior to the final boss.
Prizes directly attached to Master include another Magic Lv 2 (which will be largely useless unless you keep a huge spell library, or in case you wanted a new block pattern), an upgradable Block panel with one Lv+ to go with it, an Air Slide Lv+ if you’re still using that, a temporarily useless but highly intriguing High Jump Lv+ panel, some Treasure Magnet Lv+s (wait, they gave you the upgraded Treasure Magnet for the Expert promotion but only let you use it with Master?), and the cream of the crop: the last Auto-Life+ panel, which will cause Auto-Life to restore you all the way to full.
Wall Market is basically a red light district of some sort, spotted with a number of unrelated shops. While I was playing, I tried to explore things from bottom to top, but here in the Journal it’s probably best if I cut to the chase and explain that Cloud and Aeris track Tifa to the north end of town, where they learn she was brought to meet a man named Don Corneo, who invites women to his mansion to be his “bride” (i.e., to sleep with him). His guard refused to let Cloud in, but he implied that Aeris might get in if she wanted to be the Don’s “bride” herself. This gave Aeris an idea: dress Cloud up as a woman to get them both inside the mansion together!
Now, I’m not nearly well-enough versed in drag or trans culture to comment on FFVII’s famous/infamous crossdressing sequence. Hell, it would probably be best to bring in someone from Japanese drag or trans culture rather than someone from a western culture. The short of it is: I am out of my depth, and so I’m going to stick as close as I can to the bare facts as possible, since I’m in no position to comment.
Day 276: Disorder
This is going to be tricky to recap, but it’s a hell of a scene. I’ll do my best to describe it, but strongly consider watching one of the two longplays here as a compliment to the description.
The scene opens on Destiny Islands, where, in the DS version, we find Roxas looking sad out to sea, as the opening moments of KH1 play on the bottom screen, with Sora being woken by Kairi. In the film, the two have to go one after another, and so the bottom screen takes place first, but none of the voices are playing, which shows that the sequence is artificial in a different manner.
Day 255: The Longest Day
Here we are at last: the day that was so important to the game that we were shunted here at the start of the narrative despite no obvious signs that this day was important. By all writing guidelines, this should be the most important day in the entire plot, short of the ending itself. Let’s see how it lives up to the hype, shall we?
The day starts with the Organization’s commanders meeting in the throne room. If you weren’t sure of who was in charge before, this will certify it: Xemnas, Saïx and Xigbar. Not that they’re cooperating. Saïx says that Axel has been sent to Castle Oblivion to shut down their operations there permanently. Xemnas turns the subject to Naminé, only for Xigbar to start acting like he knows where she is! This is very strange, as it is never followed up on as a plot point, and no one asks Xigbar what he means. I suppose they’re just used to him being a dick like this?
The brief dungeon that followed featured a number of new enemy encounters, including several flying fish. It also featured a bubble attack that for some reason caused Sleep, something that was so “Mario RPG” that it made me sniffle with nostalgia. Later in the dungeon, we came across a chute that Barret refused to go down without some goading. Rough-and-tough Shinra-listed terrorist is worried bout going down a little slide. That’s cute, don’t you think Tifa? I think that’s cute.
Days 225-227: Quietude
The next day, Axel reminds Roxas in private that Saïx never gives days off, so their “go to the beach” plans are fairly weak. Still, the plans are as solid as it’s going to be. Xion, being unwell, is sitting down in a chair next time you see her, a pose I don’t think is used at any other point in the game.
Having cleared another major boss – even if it was an underwhelming one – Roxas is promoted to Expert. Between Xigbar challenging you and the meaning of the word “Expert,” I’m starting to suspect that Roxas may be pulling ahead of the Organization’s curve at this point, towards becoming the serious threat he was in KH2. In addition to your usual promotion benefits, Saïx hands you a new panel directly: the Final Limit panel. This is attached to an ominous warning that “The Heartless grow ever more powerful.” You must be fun at parties, Sai.
Day 224: Anomaly
Day 224 (wow, that may have been our largest time skip yet?) starts in the Mansion at Twilight Town, where Naminé is tending to Sora’s pod. DiZ comes in, once again (but for the last time) voiced by Christopher Lee, and states matter-of-fact that Naminé has stalled. Naminé admits that “A Nobody is interfering, I think.” She “thinks.” The picture she drew over a month ago, and the detail she’s about to provide, suggest she’s known about Roxas for a while but has just been hoping DiZ wouldn’t catch on, probably suspecting what DiZ will eventually do. But now that he’s confronting her, she buckles at once. Poor Naminé.
Barret tells everyone to split up for their escape, and despite going the same way the player is forced to, he’s nowhere to be seen after you catch up to him. Heading into the city, you’re confronted by a number of posters for LOVELESS. Kyle then sighed really, really loud, and we moved on with great remorse.
Days 194-197: Like It Should Be
The Day 197 block starts with essentially no preamble at all, except for a sidequest from Xigbar that’s just awful. He wants you to kill 30 enemies during Limit Breaks, and he only starts counting now. Bear in mind the HP Sponge enemies and the fact that Limit Breaks last on the lower side of ten seconds, and you’ve got some real boredom ahead of you. Welp. Who wants to run some Deserter challenges? The prize for doing this sidequest is Bonus Mission 59, but the task is so boring that starrk’s walkthrough, the longest and most thorough on GameFAQs, recommends you skip the whole thing and come back to 59 as a Holo-Mission! RickyC’s longplay – which hasn’t missed a mission yet – skips the sidequest too! Now, I am going to cover the bonus mission, because I feel that’s too much content to just let pass me by, personally, but I get where starrk and RickyC are coming from, sheesh. For those who are trying to do the sidequest, starrk recommends the Icy Cube swarm in Mission 35.
Day 193: Xion Awakens
Day labels, what did I say about spoilers? Oh, why do I even bother.
After the time skip, we get an extended, bottom-screen recollection of Sora giving up his heart to Kairi and she having to watch him dissolve in her arms. But to our surprise, when the top screen chimes in, it’s Xion we’re looking at, if only for a moment. Xion wakes up, and finds Roxas looking over her, leaving it unclear whose memory we just saw.