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People often ask why Kingdom Hearts uses terms like "hurt" instead of "pain" or "unreality" instead of "alternate dimension." Or why they use the terms "light" and "darkness" so much.

The in-universe explanation for this is that the Kingdom Hearts World works very differently than our universe and has its own set of labels and rules for many things. The real world meta explanation for this though is that Tetsuya Nomura seems to like Kingdom Hearts to sort of establish its own labels and rules for things. And there's a reason why.

For example, they're now calling the other side of the World that Yozora comes from "unreality" and "fiction" rather than just saying its another dimension or something. Getting used to these terms and the way they're used can be odd and jarring at times, however that's kind of the point as these unique terms sort of make you think and wonder more about these concepts. Something more mainstream such as Marvel uses more common terms such as other "dimensions" and the "multiverse" to bring characters and worlds together that usually wouldn't make much sense to bring together to make it make more sense and easy to understand for the audience so they can just focus on the characters and worlds that are being brought together instead of focusing on how weird and incomprehensible the concepts of other realities and universes really are. Kingdom Hearts likes to use words such as "unreality" and "fictional worlds" to put more focus on what these concepts actually mean and how weird and incomprehensible these concepts truly are. Instead of shying away from how philosophically weird and trippy some concepts are in order to make things easier for the audience to understand, Kingdom Hearts fully leans into it.

So, if they were to just use the term "pain" instead of "hurt," you would think you understand what they're talking about completely and not take a closer look at the concept being talked about, while using the term "hurt" makes you take a closer look and examine what the concept of pain/hurt truly means and makes you wonder if you even do understand what it really means. There are concepts in life that we take for granted and think we know what they truly mean just because we've heard the words and the definitions of the words our entire lives, so we don't really take the moment to really think about it philosophically. If they used the word "pain" it would've just become another sentence that passes by and gets replaced by the next sentence without you taking a deeper look into what's being said.

I remember as a young kid playing Kingdom Hearts and some of these odd terms would really make me think more about the underlying philosophy and existentialism of it all rather than just focusing on the more generic aspects that overlie it all. People often make fun of Kingdom Hearts for these odd terms and how often some terms like light or darkness are used, but I really do think there's a point to it. The way these terms are used might seem silly in a conventional way, but Kingdom Hearts has never been about thinking conventionally and has always been about establishing and following its own rules.

The stuff with Yozora and Quadratum has made me the most interested in the series' future than I have been in a while. The mystique and intrigue of it is on par with after I saw KH1's secret ending for the first time. It's got the same vibes of what got me so hooked on the series so much as a young kid in the first place. It even brings back the same KH1 opening quote, bringing it back to the roots of what made the series so interesting and stand out. The theme of existential confusion that underlies the whole series.

"I've been having these weird thoughts lately, like is any of this for real, or not?"

"None of this... makes sense to me."

Nomura has even said that the KH1 opening quote is what got KH approved in the first place.

Q9: What can you say about the secret boss & episode?

Nomura: "The secrets contain my thoughts about the future of the series, but with the information out at present I don't think you'll be able to guess any of it. Some parts of the battle ended up very different from what I requested. But it surprised me in a good way, so take it as it is."

Q10: Why did lines from KH1 appear in the final trailer?

Nomura: "Those were lines I'd long wanted to put together if I ever got the chance. You may not understand, but the inclusion of those lines is what got the world of Kingdom Hearts approved. There is no mystery to solve this time, they stand at the doorway."

While many aspects of the story weren't planned by Nomura in advance, I definitely believe there has always been underlying themes and meanings that Nomura has rooted in the series and stayed consistent with and has had plans for ever since the first game. And now that the main story that has been going on with Xehanort is finally complete, it seems like he will finally bring out those underlying themes and meanings in full force and bring them to the forefront rather than in the background. Things are going to start getting really existential, meta, and trippy going forward. And I think this is what Nomura has planned for, hoped for, and always wanted to do since the first game. And I think those quotes of his prove that. The ongoing story has concluded. The ongoing mysteries have now been concluded. The time has come for the underlying themes of existential confusion, hearts, fake worlds, data worlds, dreams, other versions of yourself, not knowing what is real, etc. that have been built up and built up to finally explode and to get what Kingdom Hearts has always truly been about.

"There is no mystery to solve this time, they stand at the doorway."

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On 1/29/2021 at 2:58 PM, ocean's rage said:

well we dont know that this "unreality" is just and alternate dimension is could in fact be a place with fiction exists 

Not really sure what you're saying.

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17 hours ago, ocean's rage said:

well youre saying that they're using the term unreality instead of alternate dimension and im saying we dont know enough about the nature of this new realm to say that for sure

We don't know enough about the nature of this new realm to say what for sure? That they used the term "unreality" instead of "alternate dimension?" But, that's what they literally did. Instead of using the term "alternate dimension," they used the terms "unreality" and "fiction."

Also, it's not a realm. Ansem the Wise states it's not a realm like the realms of light, darkness, between, dreams, memories, or data, and is instead "the other side of our World."

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4 hours ago, Elfdemon_ said:

Also, it's not a realm. Ansem the Wise states it's not a realm like the realms of light, darkness, between, dreams, memories, or data, and is instead "the other side of our World."

If he says it's not a realm like the others of reality, that doesn't necessarily mean it's not a realm. He's saying it's a realm that's not like the realms of their side.

'Alternate dimension' and 'unreality' are not the same thing. The definition of 'unreality' is:

Quote

the state of being insubstantial or imaginary; not existing objectively or in fact

which is not what an 'alternate dimension' is.

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2 hours ago, Double OKP said:

If he says it's not a realm like the others of reality, that doesn't necessarily mean it's not a realm. He's saying it's a realm that's not like the realms of their side.

That's not what he says though. The direct quotes are:

"Where voices can't reach... The other side of our world, of reality... Unreality? A fictional world? I'm afraid such mysteries are beyond our comprehension."

"Yes, perhaps. The three realms of our world—light, darkness, and between—these are all places we can travel to because they are on "our side." This also includes the worlds of memories, data, and dreams. If I am correct, then this "other side" of our world from which voices cannot reach must be a place outside of our reality. Namely, it must be unreality, or fiction. But...that is the extent of our knowledge."

He never calls it a realm or says its "like" a realm. There is their side of the world which consists of realms, and then there is the other side of reality/the world.

When I said "Ansem the Wise states it's not a realm like the realms of light, darkness, between, dreams, memories, or data, and is instead "the other side of our World."" I meant "Ansem the Wise states it's not a realm such as the realms of light, darkness, between, dreams, memories, or data, and is instead "the other side of our World."" I was using the word "like" the same way you would use "such as." I was using it as a way to say it's not a realm and is instead something else. I wasn't using it as a way to say it's not a realm similar to other realms.

2 hours ago, Double OKP said:

'Alternate dimension' and 'unreality' are not the same thing. The definition of 'unreality' is:

the state of being insubstantial or imaginary; not existing objectively or in fact

which is not what an 'alternate dimension' is.

The way people use the word "dimension" in media and stories is completely different than what the actual definition is. I think it's pretty obvious what I was saying. I was saying that instead of calling other worlds or universes or "other sides of our world" or whatever things such as "alternate dimensions", "other universes", "multiverses", etc. like usual mainstream stories and media do, Kingdom Hearts instead chooses to use words to describe things like that that aren't typically used in stories and media. I'm saying the easy thing to do to make things easiest for the audience to understand would be to just use those typical terms that most stories and media use such as "alternate dimensions" and whatnot, but Kingdom Hearts chooses not to. And I explained why I think it chooses to do that and why I love that about it.

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54 minutes ago, Elfdemon_ said:

That's not what he says though. The direct quotes are:

"Where voices can't reach... The other side of our world, of reality... Unreality? A fictional world? I'm afraid such mysteries are beyond our comprehension."

"Yes, perhaps. The three realms of our world—light, darkness, and between—these are all places we can travel to because they are on "our side." This also includes the worlds of memories, data, and dreams. If I am correct, then this "other side" of our world from which voices cannot reach must be a place outside of our reality. Namely, it must be unreality, or fiction. But...that is the extent of our knowledge."

He never calls it a realm or says its "like" a realm. There is their side of the world which consists of realms, and then there is the other side of reality/the world.

When I said "Ansem the Wise states it's not a realm like the realms of light, darkness, between, dreams, memories, or data, and is instead "the other side of our World."" I meant "Ansem the Wise states it's not a realm such as the realms of light, darkness, between, dreams, memories, or data, and is instead "the other side of our World."" I was using the word "like" the same way you would use "such as." I was using it as a way to say it's not a realm and is instead something else. I wasn't using it as a way to say it's not a realm similar to other realms.

The way people use the word "dimension" in media and stories is completely different than what the actual definition is. I think it's pretty obvious what I was saying. I was saying that instead of calling other worlds or universes or "other sides of our world" or whatever things such as "alternate dimensions", "other universes", "multiverses", etc. like usual mainstream stories and media do, Kingdom Hearts instead chooses to use words to describe things like that that aren't typically used in stories and media. I'm saying the easy thing to do to make things easiest for the audience to understand would be to just use those typical terms that most stories and media use such as "alternate dimensions" and whatnot, but Kingdom Hearts chooses not to. And I explained why I think it chooses to do that and why I love that about it.

yeah but he never once says its another universe hes says its a place of fiction. 

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11 hours ago, Elfdemon_ said:

When I said "Ansem the Wise states it's not a realm like the realms of light, darkness, between, dreams, memories, or data, and is instead "the other side of our World."" I meant "Ansem the Wise states it's not a realm such as the realms of light, darkness, between, dreams, memories, or data, and is instead "the other side of our World."" I was using the word "like" the same way you would use "such as." I was using it as a way to say it's not a realm and is instead something else. I wasn't using it as a way to say it's not a realm similar to other realms.

Ah I see. I don't think what he said necessarily means that 'the other side' is not a realm, though. He was only hypothesizing after all. 

11 hours ago, Elfdemon_ said:

The way people use the word "dimension" in media and stories is completely different than what the actual definition is. I think it's pretty obvious what I was saying. I was saying that instead of calling other worlds or universes or "other sides of our world" or whatever things such as "alternate dimensions", "other universes", "multiverses", etc. like usual mainstream stories and media do, Kingdom Hearts instead chooses to use words to describe things like that that aren't typically used in stories and media. I'm saying the easy thing to do to make things easiest for the audience to understand would be to just use those typical terms that most stories and media use such as "alternate dimensions" and whatnot, but Kingdom Hearts chooses not to. And I explained why I think it chooses to do that and why I love that about it.

Like @ocean's rage said, Ansem the Wise never says it is another universe. Unreality, as Ansem does say, is a place of fiction, a place of  imagination(Verum Rex literally appears as a video game on 'reality' 's side). For instance, when someone dreams, they dream of something that is 'unreal'; it's imaginary. You could say that person is in 'unreality'(which seems what Riku's case was). However, that doesn't mean that they're in an alternate dimension.  

Yes, I also like how they're using these terms, but if they didn't they still wouldn't use 'dimensions', 'universes', etc. because that's not what 'unreality' is.

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10 hours ago, ocean's rage said:

yeah but he never once says its another universe hes says its a place of fiction. 

That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying if this was a more typical and mainstream series, such as Marvel, they would just simply call it another universe to make it simpler for the audience even if it's not an entirely accurate descriptor.

30 minutes ago, Double OKP said:

Ah I see. I don't think what he said necessarily means that 'the other side' is not a realm, though. He was only hypothesizing after all. 

Like @ocean's rage said, Ansem the Wise never says it is another universe. Unreality, as Ansem does say, is a place of fiction, a place of  imagination(Verum Rex literally appears as a video game on 'reality' 's side). For instance, when someone dreams, they dream of something that is 'unreal'; it's imaginary. You could say that person is in 'unreality'(which seems what Riku's case was). However, that doesn't mean that they're in an alternate dimension.  

Yes, I also like how they're using these terms, but if they didn't they still wouldn't use 'dimensions', 'universes', etc. because that's not what 'unreality' is.

If this was a more mainstream series, such as Marvel, I definitely think they would use terms such as "dimensions" or the "multiverse" or whatnot to make things easier for the mainstream audience even if those terms aren't really accurate. But, I guess a more mainstream series probably wouldn't even have concepts as crazy as unreality in the first place. Multiverses and alternate dimensions are already a hard concept for most people to grasp, but I guess unreality is even more of an out there concept in comparison.

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10 hours ago, Elfdemon_ said:

That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying if this was a more typical and mainstream series, such as Marvel, they would just simply call it another universe to make it simpler for the audience even if it's not an entirely accurate descriptor.

If this was a more mainstream series, such as Marvel, I definitely think they would use terms such as "dimensions" or the "multiverse" or whatnot to make things easier for the mainstream audience even if those terms aren't really accurate. But, I guess a more mainstream series probably wouldn't even have concepts as crazy as unreality in the first place. Multiverses and alternate dimensions are already a hard concept for most people to grasp, but I guess unreality is even more of an out there concept in comparison.

not sure about marvel but i know one or two things that have described a world of fiction without using the term alternate reality 

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6 hours ago, ocean's rage said:

not sure about marvel but i know one or two things that have described a world of fiction without using the term alternate reality 

Like what? I'd be interested in checking those things out.

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14 hours ago, ocean's rage said:

not sure about marvel but i know one or two things that have described a world of fiction without using the term alternate reality 

What terms did they use? Because I'm sure they used much more typical terms than "unreality."

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I'm honestly more interested on which Disney Worlds will be implemented for the next Kingdom Hearts game after Melody of Memory and where it's going to take place.

So far these are the many different realms where many of the KH worlds are explored in the series:

  • The Realm of Light (where the majority of the Disney worlds and original worlds like Destiny Islands and Radiant Garden reside)
  • The Realm of Darkness (Where the Realm of Darkness and where worlds that were destroyed by the Heartless end up in)
  • The Realms Between (Where Twilight Town, Traverse Town, Land of Departure/Castle Oblivion and The Mysterious Tower reside)
  • The Realm of Sleep/Realm of Dreams (Where many of the Disney Worlds that didn't return to the Realm of Light following Ansem Seeker of Darkness' defeat from Sora in the first game appear and also the Final World)
  • The Data Worlds/Datascapes (Consists of Data worlds from Jiminy Journal or the Book of Prophecies, The Tron worlds (Space Paranoids and the Grid) and Game Central Station from Union χ)
  • The Other Side/"Unreality" (The City of Quadratum)


Like I said, were not exactly sure what's going to be the main setting for world exploration for the next KH game it could be the "Unreality" or the Realm of Sleep from Dream Drop Distance once again. I do see the world of Wreck-It Ralph be one of the likely Disney worlds to show in the next game outside of its appearance in Union χ, now whether it will retell the events of the first film again, an original storyline or just jump to Ralph Breaks the Internet instead is up in the air. The Pixar worlds of Coco and Soul along with possibly Treasure Planet and Atlantis: The Lost Empire could also be possible Disney worlds in the next game joining alongside Wreck-It Ralph, it just comes down to how Nomura and his team decide on which Disney films they would choose as worlds for the next game, the environment the world can offer and how the world based on the film fits in the game in terms of story and themes cause they like to cherry pick certain Disney worlds.

Edited by DisneyXPixarfan95

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9 hours ago, Elfdemon_ said:

What terms did they use? Because I'm sure they used much more typical terms than "unreality."

i never said they used the term unreality i was saying they werent described as alternate dimensions

to answer the question "the land of fiction" and "imagination land" respectively 

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The in-universe explanation for this is that the Kingdom Hearts World works very differently than our universe and has its own set of labels and rules for many things.”

No, the reason it keeps using all these terms is because Nomura is a bad writer, he gives George Lucas a run for his money.

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9 hours ago, Ewan Callister said:

The in-universe explanation for this is that the Kingdom Hearts World works very differently than our universe and has its own set of labels and rules for many things.”

No, the reason it keeps using all these terms is because Nomura is a bad writer, he gives George Lucas a run for his money.

I mean I don't think anyone here is disputing Nomura's questionable writing direction. :/ It's obvious that there are certain aspects that were written by the seat of his pants, and OP recognized that later on in his post. 

Nomura may be a lot of things, but I do think there is rhyme to reason with the usage of these terms over more commonplace ones.

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11 hours ago, WakelessDream said:

I mean I don't think anyone here is disputing Nomura's questionable writing direction. :/ It's obvious that there are certain aspects that were written by the seat of his pants, and OP recognized that later on in his post. 

Nomura may be a lot of things, but I do think there is rhyme to reason with the usage of these terms over more commonplace ones.

He thinks it makes him look smart when it’s not, it’s just dumb, I find his writing just so self-regarding & pretentious (on top of being plain bad & nonsensical) I mean this is the guy who literally pitched/wrote a game in a drunken stupor & also can’t manage a lemonade stand without at least 7 people helping & taking like 6 years to get it set up.

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1 hour ago, Ewan Callister said:

He thinks it makes him look smart when it’s not, it’s just dumb, I find his writing just so self-regarding & pretentious (on top of being plain bad & nonsensical) I mean this is the guy who literally pitched/wrote a game in a drunken stupor & also can’t manage a lemonade stand without at least 7 people helping & taking like 6 years to get it set up.

I think you're missing the point. xD No one is disagreeing with you on Nomura being a bad writer, I'll be the first to admit  he's not the creative mastermind some make him out to be. 

He can still have fundamental themes and concepts he wants rooted in his games and be a bad writer. Whether or not those themes and concepts are executed well will be a testament to his writing, but I wouldn't say the presence of those themes on their own are. 

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21 hours ago, WakelessDream said:

I think you're missing the point. xD No one is disagreeing with you on Nomura being a bad writer, I'll be the first to admit  he's not the creative mastermind some make him out to be. 

He can still have fundamental themes and concepts he wants rooted in his games and be a bad writer. Whether or not those themes and concepts are executed well will be a testament to his writing, but I wouldn't say the presence of those themes on their own are. 

His role should lead artist & creative supervisor, he overlooks & dictates the story but does not write or direct it, let other people execute his ideas, I compared him to George Lucas, similar to what Lucas did with Star Wars: The Clone Wars he let other people execute his vision, his ideas while he oversaw the story direction & characters.

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1 hour ago, Ewan Callister said:

His role should lead artist & creative supervisor, he overlooks & dictates the story but does not write or direct it, let other people execute his ideas, I compared him to George Lucas, similar to what Lucas did with Star Wars: The Clone Wars he let other people execute his vision, his ideas while he oversaw the story direction & characters.

This topic isn’t about what role Nomura should play in future games, you’re more than welcome to create your own if that’s what you would like to discuss. ;)  

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