kingdom hearts retrospective

Kingdom Hearts BBS – Ohana Means You’d Make the Weirdest Brothers

Just a heads up: I’ve fallen dramatically behind on writeups for both Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy, and on top of that Kyle and I have yet to clear the next FF game, Final Fantasy Tactics, in this first place.  For this and other reasons, the blog will be going on indefinite hiatus after the completion of Birth by Sleep and Dirge of Cerberus, which are the last writeups I have that are complete.

To try to sync up the end dates of BBS and DoC, Dirge of Cerberus will be uploaded at an accelerated pace, with updates on both Thursdays and Sundays.  With everything going as scheduled, this means the last KH post will be July 11th, and the last FF post will be July 13th.

Sorry for the bad news, but for now: on with today’s post!  Two worlds today!


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Aqua arrives at Deep Space and, showing a continued off-screen disregard for locks, is already on-board the ship the moment her visit begins, with no fussy Glider segment leading it off! An alarm begins to sound, and Aqua quickly discovers why: Unversed are on board the ship.

Fight, fight, fight, and after the battle, Aqua spots a strange item lying on the floor. The player probably won’t recognize what they’re seeing at first, so thankfully Aqua clarifies immediately: it appears to be a Wayfinder made of scrap metal and parts. Just as she’s beginning to question it, who should appear but Experiment 626, who jumps in and takes it from her. Or rather, takes it back, as it appears to be of his own creation! (more…)

Kingdom Hearts BBS – Sack of Ice Cubes

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Aqua has only just arrived at the coliseum when she’s attacked by a troupe of Unversed, and she’s about to respond only for Phil to bound on the scene and start flexing out in a bunch of goofy martial arts poses. He claims that he’s going to fight the Unversed, calling Aqua “sweetcheeks,” and she’s so put off by this that she flinches… well, either that or she’s just as repulsed by satyrs as women in many a Greek myth or adaptation, either/or. Of course, Phil can’t back up his bluff and calls Hercules instead, who appears from the coliseum entrance to join you for the opening fight of the world. (more…)

Kingdom Hearts BBS – Voice Actor’s Guild Violation

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So did anyone else ever notice that no one checks your lifetime pass to Disney Town, orrrr…?

Aqua arrives in Disney Town and immediately runs into another of those unidentifiable heroes they apparently have running around like mice. Let’s see… first it was Captain Justice, then it was Captain Dark, and this is… oh my goodness, ladies and gentlemen, may I present actual voice actor Jim Cummings, walking onto the scene in lifelike 3D! (more…)

Kingdom Hearts BBS – Gymnastic Attack

bbs-2017-06-11-21h28m56s827We’ve seen the Trinity Armour scene and the reunion between the three playable characters twice now, so I’m just going to say that Aqua has gone from “Terra would never do that!” to “I’ve seen the things you’ve done” in just one world and leave it at that. Your prize for clearing the Trinity Armour is the Bladecharge Level 2 Command Style, my one true love.

This brings us back to The Worst Conversation In the Game, and you’ll have to excuse me if I’m missing anything here, because it’s simultaneously hard to squeeze every drop of water from a sponge but easy to get overwhelmed if you try to count the droplets. If I’ve missed anything worth critiquing over these three passes, and I’m sure that I have, feel free to add more in the comments. (more…)

Kingdom Hearts BBS – The Threatless Threat

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So Terra got to Radiant Garden because he was led there by Master Xehanort, and Ven got to Radiant Garden because the Star Shard led him there. How does Aqua “just happen” to end up at Radiant Garden at the same time as her brothers? Honestly, kind of at random! She just happens across Terra on his way from the Badlands to Radiant Garden (or whatever world Terra players had just visited) and she follows! Sometimes the easiest answers work the best, I suppose!

Despite being within line-of-sight of Terra, Aqua arrives on-world in town square with no sign of the man. And please remember that Terra arrived on world and immediately entered a fight with multiple waves of Unversed, right here in town square, so I can only conclude that Aqua went on another of her damnable chalupa breaks between here and there! (more…)

Kingdom Hearts BBS – The Words of a Credible Man

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Aqua arrives at the Enchanted Dominion just outside Maleficent’s gate, and the very moment she arrives she sees Aurora’s heart flying out of the castle and back to her body! While we can’t be sure if Aqua recognized the flying ball of light a disembodied heart even with her specialized training, this is clearly an odd thing, and Aqua decides to investigate.

After fighting her way past Maleficent’s Goons, Aqua finds herself in the throne room at the very end of Ven’s boss fight against Maleficent. To repeat: Maleficent accuses Terra of doing something awful, and Aqua concludes that this must be a lie despite having heard none of the evidence or even a half-adequate summary. Aqua ignores Maleficent even when she tries to goad her, and urges Ven to come home despite her resolution about Ven being ready to leave home just real-world seconds ago, and Ven runs off instead, protesting about Terra and it being almost “too late.” (more…)

Kingdom Hearts BBS – Imaginary Snoring

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You’re not going to be surprised that Aqua wraps up the story of Dwarf Woodlands, considering that it was left unresolved after Terra and Ven’s stories, and moreover, finishing plots is what Aqua’s going to do something like 4 times out of 5, but you might be surprised exactly where she picks this one up!

This world begins with Queen Grimhilde in her witch disguise, violating Snow White’s personal space. As per the film, she is tempting Snow White with a poisoned apple, and as per the film, Snow White tries it. When Aqua arrives on the world, we learn this to have been a flashback, as she finds the Dwarfs grieving at Snow White’s glass coffin. Yes, after being late to the Castle of Dreams only under close observation, Aqua is explicitly too late in her arrival to the Dwarf Woodlands, arriving after Snow White’s death! And Grimhilde’s death too, as the dwarfs soon imply! What a tremendous thing to just skip! It was later adapted into KHX, because… well why was it even skipped to begin with? If you had to copy a Disney plot so thoroughly, why would you cut the action sequence from your Action RPG? (more…)

Kingdom Hearts BBS – I want to be the pewter shoe!

bbs-2017-04-22-16h00m59s560Come one, come all, to the biggest minigame in the franchise! A board game for all ages! Except those ages that might be confused by it! Which is several!

Command Board is an incredibly expansive mini-game in Birth by Sleep that I feel justifies a post on its own. A lot of people are fans of the game all on its own, and for those that don’t, well… I can’t go on forever, now can I? (more…)

Kingdom Hearts BBS – Wet Adventures in Righteous Killing

bbs-2017-04-14-08h03m16s351When I finished first-drafting Ven and Terra’s stories, I measured their initial word-count and was surprised to find that they were only separated by around 5000 words (two blog posts) despite the sheer amount of asset re-use between the two stories. Remember: even though Ven and Terra’s stories were careful not to step in one another’s footsteps for the first four worlds, they were basically piggy-backing for the last four. I do not expect Aqua’s story to go on for quite so long, which is why I’m using her section for all the remaining bonus stuff. This short length isn’t strictly an Aqua problem. No matter which order I took, the last character was always going to have the least content simply as a matter of repetition! If you really do want to break it down, it’s clear that Ven has the most unique content, what with his near-exclusive access to Cinderella’s house in the Castle of Dreams, but Aqua and Terra have just short of a half-dozen unique rooms between them, if I’m not forgetting any! And half of those unique rooms are just boss rooms or save points!

I’m not even afraid to spoil Aqua’s story by summarizing the unique rooms, take a look! Terra’s three unique rooms are 1 + 2) in Castle of Dreams: the hallway and save room leading to the balcony, and 3) Stitch’s prison in Deep Space. Aqua’s two unique rooms are: 1) a save point in Enchanted Dominion, 2) a large room in Never Land. Oh, and Aqua gets to see the foyer of Tremaine Manor during a cutscene, but she can’t actually play there, so let’s say that’s… six and a half?  That’s it! I am going to have very, very little to talk about until we get to the Final Episode. But we might as well get started! (more…)