Since Terra has no particular objective at this point, the game teleports him back to the the lower levels of the aqueduct, where he’s greeted by a familiar stranger: Braig, whom we saw at the end of Ven’s storyline. Dressed in a palace uniform and a torn red scarf, Braig is still in possession of both eyes, has no scar on his face. His eyes are not yet yellow, and while this was visible in Ven’s storyline, I forgot to mention that his hair is all black instead of black striped with grey like Xigbar’s. Speaking of the uniform, Braig’s connection to the palace goes largely unexplained until a much later scene, and you could be excused for not noticing the uniform under that scarf, especially if you came to Terra’s storyline first and have yet to catch sight of Dilan and Aeleus with Ven! (more…)
At this point, you actually get to keep the submarine as a vehicle, ala FFV. Fun fact: if you lose in the submarine minigame, you do lose the Huge Materia, but you can get a nifty red submarine instead of the grey one! As I complained earlier, they’re both slower than drifting along with the current.
After the battle, we got a message from Shinra themselves, mistaking us for a legitimate submarine and apparently having received no news about the recently sunk submarine. They told us to report to the Junon airport, and Cloud said that we should do so immediately, even if it meant leaving the Huge Materia behind. Kyle and I ignored him, fetching the stuff on the spot (and I see RickyC does the same!). We also went to visit another area that you could only access with the submarine. This was the ruins of a “Gelnika,” and yes, the proper phrasing does seem to be “a Gelnika,” not “the Gelnika,” as “Gelnika” is a class of airplane (airship?). This Gelnika served as a hidden area and bonus dungeon. There, we were promptly mauled to death by a Poodler. (more…)
After you clear Terra’s third world, he gets a brief scene where he announces his new intentions. This takes place in the courtyard in Dwarf Woodlands – the intended third world – but there’s actually a variant of this scene in the Castle of Dreams if you happened to have gone there third. How KH1! The Castle of Dreams variant simply continues Terra’s “musing in the darkness” scene at the end of that world, and so takes place in darkness. This made it easy to create, not like all those nasty KH1 variant scenes with their viewer friendliness and accessibility, blech. (more…)
Terra’s journey to the Dwarf Woodlands begins with the evil queen from Snow White summoning the Spirit of the Magic Mirror to ask her iconic question. I don’t know, something about country fairs, I don’t remember. Naturally, the mirror reveals that the queen has been pushed down in the local fair’s beauty contest by Snow White. We’ve already discussed how the Queen is voiced by Susanne Blakeslee, while the Spirit of the Mirror is so Corey Burton that I didn’t even need to look it up. Hey by the way, did you know the Evil Queen in Snow White is named “Queen Grimhilde?” (more…)
Plunging into the Lifestream, Tifa finds herself in a void, threatened by voices of people the player cannot see, before she finally wakes up in a strange world that she (rather quickly and astutely) recognizes as Cloud’s subconscious, made up of places from his past. There were also three memory-copies of Cloud in the area, alongside a giant, if… yet again unfortunately… comical vision of Cloud in pain in the background. I’ll admit that that last one’s probably only funny to me and not anybody else. Anyone who’s read the Kingdom Hearts 2 Retrospective knows that I find giant humans to be hilarious rather than threatening, and certainly not emotive, and the slow motion makes it so much worse for me. (more…)
After crossing the boss arena, the game basically skips the entire walk from the Tremaine manor to the castle, dumping you right in the courtyard from the garden. Here you can fight Unversed both in and around a large fountain, and can find a save point – and hey, did you know that save points in this game disappear if Unversed are nearby? Because if you didn’t, this save point would be happy to tell you, since a troupe of Unversed are stationed just to one side of it both in Terra and Aqua’s scenario, making it almost useless in a rush, unless you approach it from the exact right angle.
Once you enter the castle it’s in to a long, straight hallway with nothing in it. Ah, finally! A room from KH2/BBS that isn’t afraid to be what it truly is inside! I respect your confidence and candour, uninspiring tunnel-room! Bland on, you dingy pebble. (more…)
You might remember I said we’d be back in the Mirage Arena to cover the second stretch of challenges for Arena Mode. Well, here we are! Once again, Mirage Arena screenshots are from me, but we’ll be rejoining Spazbo4 when we return to the plot.
The first challenge at Arena Level 6+ is at Rank 7: Combined Threat. Combined Threat is only available after Radiant Garden, since it ends with a battle against the Trinity Armour! As if you weren’t going to get tired of fighting that thing after three story encounters! Clearing Combined Threat with Aqua gives you the Sky Climber Command Style, which you might remember from Ven’s coverage of Mirage Arena. (more…)
Once Tifa was safely aboard, Cait Sith explained that, in short, this airship was now under the party’s control. Its name? The “Highwind,” clearly named after Cid. As it happens, this is the airship Rufus used to get to the north, so this is a hell of a carjacking. Cait Sith rushed the party inside, and we – still in control of Tifa – followed, leaving poor Yuffie to be airsick on the deck.
Cait Sith led us into the bridge, revealing that everyone else in the party had already been rescued off-screen, and sure enough, Cid had taken command of the airship (we later learn that Cid had talked the crew into committing mutiny to join him). While talking to Red XIII, the party entered a conference, Tifa saying: “…If only Cloud was here, everything would be fine.” This prompted Kyle to say: “No, things wouldn’t be fine with Cloud! He’s the reason things aren’t fine!” (more…)
Since we already covered all three characters’ time at the Land of Departure, we get to jump ahead with our big buddy Terra, where we join him on his first world, the Enchanted Dominion. To recap: Terra is off on a mission to fight the Unversed and find Master Xehanort, and to prove that he can overcome the darkness within. Since he left the Land of Departure before anyone else, he’s got the simplest setup, even if we know things didn’t go… very great for him. In any event, let’s hit the ground running!
Like I implied when I started with Ven, Terra gets to work by actually encountering and reacting to Unversed at the get-go! “Monsters!” he shoutes. “The ones the master mentioned. These are the unversed!” Either that or I’m about to kill my first squirrel! This is the best possible opportunity I’m going to get to name Terra’s starter Keyblade, the Earthshaker, an extra-long, extra-wide chunker of a Keyblade. I’ll also introduce his Command Style, Critical Impact, which turns many of his attacks into small-range area attacks! Just to cap off our gameplay amuse bouche, I’ll remind you to try out Ven’s D-link while you’re at it, and to make an active effort to use it so that the game might level it up and give the D-Link the Haste ability! (more…)
The Keyblade Graveyard turns out to be a very familiar place indeed: it’s the proper name for the Badlands, and as Ven arrives in another location, he discovers scenes of great destruction, including a gash that seems to have been cut across more than one mountain, and a (honestly somewhat comical) hidden Mickey crater. Ven approaches the view and draws his Keyblade, vowing “friends forever.” Goooooood luck with that! (more…)