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The 100 Greatest Kingdom Hearts Scenes (90-81)

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After taking a break from the Kingdom Hearts series for a few months, I decided I wanted to piece together a summer project that I can share with the world. This is that project. I will be counting down the 100 greatest scenes in the series’ history. Ten scenes will be revealed at a time, so this will run for a few days. No text box cutscenes or opening cinematics are included in this list. Each of the scenes is listed under their “Theater Mode” title. I hope you enjoy the countdown, and I hope it can spark some hearty discussion.


90. “Wayfinder” (Birth by Sleep)

Perhaps the “hopeless sleepyhead” of it all doesn’t work exceptionally well, but there is a whole lot of heart in our introduction to the Wayfinder trio. Aqua’s allusions to Destiny Islands offer imagery that is familiar in theory but seem ever so distant in the context of Birth by Sleep’s prequel format. That this is the last time until their grand reunion in Kingdom Hearts III that this group will get through a conversation without it breaking down into hurt feelings is a heartbreaking realization in hindsight.

89. “The Letter” (Kingdom Hearts)

It’s a bit difficult at this point to imagine a time when such series standards as the world order, Gummi Ships and Jiminy Cricket were still being established, but here it is. In just a quick four-minute clip, Tetsuya Nomura expanded his world by introducing us to the chaos going on in the outside world. Set as a reflection of Sora, Riku and Kairi’s aspirations, it becomes clear to the player that the impending hero’s journey will not be one littered with the clichés of simple fairy tales.

88. “Clashing Heads” (Kingdom Hearts)

The scene that seems only to get better as the plot thickens, and it comes from a Disney world of all settings. The original game had a way with incorporating the grander ideas at play into the less consequential areas. It had great storytelling pace and balance in that regard. King Triton’s seemingly secondhand knowledge of the Keyblade War is invaluable insight in retrospect, and it inspires Sora to briefly question the power he holds.

87. “Got it Memorized?” (Chain of Memories)

Our introduction to the iconic double agent phase of Axel’s character is a doozy. From his enthusiastic greeting to the first use of his catchphrase to a reference to actual death, it becomes immediately clear that this is no ordinary character. Quinton Flynn’s magnetic and recognizable work enhances just what Axel means to the Organization. He reveals the humanity in this group of shady characters hidden behind the leather of their hoods. It’s fitting that his is the first face we see of an Organization member; none of the others can elevate the action like Axel.

86. “Confrontation with Vanitas” (Kingdom Hearts III)

Affectionately referred to as “Yeetus Vanitas” by some fans, there’s a bunch of great stuff happening in this surprisingly pivotal scene. Sora is given the Ventus story, partly giving way to Donald and Goofy acknowledging the Birth by Sleep era’s circumstances. This is also the entrance of the deliciously psychotic Vanitas we are treated to in Kingdom Hearts III. But yes, Mike and Sully teaming up to trash the little brat, and simultaneously showing that there’s some worthy muscle in the Realm of Light, is maddeningly fun to watch.

85. “Farewell” (Kingdom Hearts II)

Intentions never cease to blur the line between good and evil, at least according to the end of Ansem the Wise’s role in Kingdom Hearts II. The battle of wits on display between the disgraced sage and his former student, Xemnas, contributes to some of the most impressive dialogue the series has to offer. It is the haunting imagery of the Dusks in the Dark City leaping to capture released hearts, however, that confirms the desperation of the world the characters inhabit, and signals that an end to the madness must be in sight.

84. “The Truth About DiZ” (Kingdom Hearts II)

The mysterious DiZ was given a face reveal that was telegraphed and detected by keen listeners (See: Christopher Lee). However, it is by how he explains his plight, not how he looks, that this scene is made special. At first, his intentions are bent on selfish thoughts of revenge that directly lead to Riku’s appearance being tainted by the face of darkness. By scene’s end, he declares himself a changed man on the road to redemption in the face of certain mockery and his possible demise. For a character we hardly knew at that time, it is quite the emotional punch to absorb.

83. “Magic to Keep Kairi Safe” (Birth by Sleep)

Each member of the Wayfinder trio gets an opportunity to interact with younger versions of the original main cast in some way, shape or form, but the moment in which Kairi and Aqua meet stands out as the sweetest of them all. Kairi’s role as a Princess of Heart is given some very nice emphasis, as both Aqua and Mickey instantly point out her natural glow. In addition, some background on the series’ leading lady was much needed in the way of her home world and her path to ending up on Destiny Islands. And to top things off, we get a fully voiced retelling of the modern world’s rise from the grandmother we all wish we had.

82. “Tears” (Kingdom Hearts II)

The ending of Kingdom Hearts II’s prologue may be more appropriately identified as being right here, as in the moment we say goodbye to the Twilight Town gang for a while and head to Yen Sid’s tower. It would be an instance of some emotion regardless, but when a single tear drops from Sora’s eye as he bids farewell to the crew, the entire complexion of the game is rewired. Not only is this Sora’s quest, but the weight of Roxas’ journey shall vicariously live on as well. A soft goodbye to the friends Number XIII only sort of had is the first bittersweet reminder of his abridged experience.

81. “The King’s Memory” (Kingdom Hearts II)

Mickey just happened to be present for what must have been one of many clashes between Ansem the Wise and his apprentice, now often referred to as Terranort. This was our first look at the man who was the whole of Ansem, Seeker of Darkness and Xemnas, the two biggest bads the series had to offer at that point.  Knowing this, there would likely be an assumption that the apprentice named Xehanort would be someone more outwardly vile than the respectful lab rat we see in this scene. On the contrary, his descent into madness would not be fully explored until later titles. In true Kingdom Hearts fashion, the finer moments leave us with a wanted answer and another wave of questions.


To 100-91: https://www.kh13.com/forums/topic/121575-the-100-greatest-kingdom-hearts-scenes-100-91/

To 80-71: https://www.kh13.com/forums/topic/121594-the-100-greatest-kingdom-hearts-scenes-80-71/


Edited by InnerLight13

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