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HaakonHawk

My road to Kingdom Hearts III | A Thank You to the Community

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I wanted to write a detailed letter to the entire community where I thank everyone who has supported me on my journey to Kingdom Hearts III. And reflect on everything that has happened to me since I first discovered this series. It has been an amazing journey, and I felt that now is the perfect time to post this.
 

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A scattared dream that's like a far-off memory, A far-off memory that's like a scattered dream. I wanna line the pieces up. Yours and Mine. 

I discovered Kingdom Hearts back in September 2016. Now that's a sort of secret that I've been keeping since. That I haven't actually been part of this agonizing 5 year wait for Kingdom Hearts III (or 13 depending on how you look at it). But I have been a Disney fan for all my life.

I grew up exclusively watching Disney films and TV shows. No Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon for me. Which further makes me wonder why I didn't know about the series previously. 

Now, I've told you when I discovered Kingdom Hearts. But not how I discovered it. I actually discovered it completely by chance. I was not recommended by anyone or see any advertisement or trailers.

Back in September of 2016, I was watching a video about Zootopia (being a Disney fan and all). I cannot remember exactly what kind of video it was, only that the topic was Zootopia. I think it was some sort of list. But that's not really important. At the end of the video, during the outro, a remix of a very famous piano melody was playing. Can you guess what it was?

Probably not, because it was not Dearly Beloved. But hold on, because it's leading up to that. It was a remix of "River Flows in You" by the Korean artist Yiruma. I had to look up this remix because it sounded so good. After listening to it religiously for a few days as I do with every new piece of music I like. Another remix uploaded to the same channel popped up in my recommended tab. Can you guess what it was this time?

That's right. It was, of course, a remix of Dearly Beloved. Now, the reason I even clicked on it was that I noticed something peculiar in the thumbnail... What's this? Some sort of abstract artwork with Mickey, Donald, and Goofy alongside some anime characters? I had never seen anything like it.

I played the remix and I absolutely loved it. Instantly, Dearly Beloved felt perfect to me. And listening to it, while I was still taking in the artwork. I just knew I had to find out what this was. What was "Kingdom Hearts"? Reading that, I felt like I had heard that name before somewhere. Maybe someone mentioned it in my presence? I don't know. But I for sure never knew what it was about.

So I quickly looked it up and found out that the artwork in question belonged to Kingdom Hearts 2. I watched the opening on Youtube and that convinced me. I had to try this out. Now the problem was, I didn't have a PS3 at that point in time, I used to have one but it broke only a few months prior. So I had to play it on an emulator.

Now, yes, I played Kingdom Hearts 2 first. I don't know why I decided to begin there. Probably because of the artwork and opening I saw. I started Kingdom Hearts 2 and barely got past the Roxas segment before I started crying. The scene where Sora, Donald, and Goofy were traveling to Yen Sid's tower made me tear up. Already by then, I had completely fallen in love with the game. 

The music, the themes, the characters. It was too perfect. I had never ever in my then 19-year-old life fallen in love with a game that quick. Within 4 days I had already finished the game and was booting up Kingdom Hearts 1 in the same emulator.

This was not Final Mix, mind you. So despite discovering the series 2 years ago, I still had to go through the era of unskippable cutscenes in Kingdom Hearts 1 (Riku, you're an absolute B-*ahem*-Bro).

For Christmas, I got a new PS4 Slim and was now ready for 2.8 which was set to release a month later. 1.5 + 2.5 came out a couple of months after that, and by the end of April 2017. I was a fully incorporated Kingdom Hearts fan.

Skipping ahead to June of 2018. When I officially started working on my project which 2 months later would turn into "The Road to Kingdom Hearts III". I had seen the latest E3 trailers and was inspired to make some sort of recap video that would tackle all the events that had taken place since the announcement of Kingdom Hearts 3. A little under 2 months later, I invited a second producer named Billy onto the project.

I also approached KH13 about helping me publish and promote the film since I believe it would have gone under the radar had I tried to publish it under my own name. I was still relatively unknown to the Kingdom Hearts community at that point in time. 

About a month after that, during the planning of KH13's 10th Anniversary. The idea of launching a Discord server was brought up. I was selected to run this Discord server after having offered to take on the task.

Fast forward another couple of months, and we're here. Writing this forum post. During the past 6 months, I have made so many new friends within the community. And I'd like to thank all of you individually.

 

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Although my heart may be weak, it's not alone. It's grown with each new experience. And it's found a home with all the friends I've made. I've become a part of their heart, just as they've become a part of mine. And if they think of me now and then, if they don't forget me, then our hearts will be one. I don't need a weapon. My friends are my power!

First, I'd like to thank Reflex XII who was the very first person I got in contact with regarding my project. He has been very helpful and is responsible for connecting me and my current co-producer, Billy.

Then I'd like to thank Billy Lawrence, who has been supporting me and doing a lot of work on our project. Including getting most of the cast together. I am eternally grateful to him and everything he has done for me and everyone else involved in the project.

Then I'd like to thank the man himself, DChiuch, who took me in and helped to get my project seen by everyone.

Then there's also all the friends I've made within KH13. Including Toominator, Aquaberry, xionskeyblade, KHWaterBlock, RecusantVessel, and Raxaimus. I'd also like to thank everyone else in the team that wasn't mentioned by name.

Also, big thank you to the cast members of "The Road to Kingdom Hearts III", which includes, KeybladeSarah, SeaSaltShelby, KZXcellent, KHCentral, LostInAdventures, Frustrated Jacob, MoChocolate, Aaron Elliot, Toominator, and of course Samurai Kibiji. Giving the last one an extra since he also did some consulting on the film.

Then I'd like to thank all my moderators over on the Discord, which includes Justin, Aqua_Wren, Bio-Roxas, D3xus, GummiBear64, HuntSD, KHWaterBlock, Le Weed, Raxaimus, Vanitas, Kairi/Harley Queen, and ProdigyxCD. They're all amazing people.

Then I'd like to thank my friend Otti, who's the only fellow Norwegian fella that I know that also happens to be a Die Hard fan of Kingdom Hearts. He also happens to be the only friend I met through Kingdom Hearts that I've actually met in real life.

And finally, a big thank you to all the people over on the KH13 Discord and all the people that follow me on Twitter. You're all amazing people! \(^-^)/

I hope I didn't bore anyone with this long post, and that you found it enjoyable to read. If I left anyone out in the Thank You list, please let me know. It was a lot of people to keep track of, so it could easily have happened, and I'm really sorry if you felt excluded from the list. 

May your heart be your guiding key! 0/*

Edited by HaakonHawk

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Please hide any Kingdom Hearts III spoilers inside a spoiler box using the button on the editor. For more information, check out our KH3 spoiler policy (in effect until March 31).
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