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Iscreamer1

Could either of these scenarios improved the story?

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I got them from TV Tropes:

  • “While at Yen Sid's Tower, Mickey brings the idea of retracing Aqua's steps through the worlds and finding people she formed bonds with. A great idea to revisit Birth by Sleep worlds, give Sora a clearer goal, and tie Kairi into the main plot, given her bond with Aqua and her being located in Radiant Garden.”

  • “The power of waking could have been a solid reason for Sora's adventures in the Disney worlds, if it was actually tied into the Disney worlds whatsoever. Considering that Sora had lost his power from the past games, directly strengthening himself and gaining a new power from his bonds with Disney friends could not only give a sense of of progression and plot development, but also tie into the themes of a series whose most iconic quote is "My friends are my power!””

Edited by Iscreamer1

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15 hours ago, ocean's rage said:

no and no. apart from anything the power of waking comes from the dreaming worlds so you can't be tied into non dreaming worlds. 

But we do have dreaming worlds like Prankster's Paradise, Notre Dome, Traverse Town, and just worlds in general dream like the World That Never Was.

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1 hour ago, ienzo628 said:

But we do have dreaming worlds like Prankster's Paradise, Notre Dome, Traverse Town, and just worlds in general dream like the World That Never Was.

but they were restored. yen sid sent them to the dreaming for two reasons, to free the sleeping worlds from their slumber and to gain the power of waking both of which was done by unlocking the sleeping key holes. not to mention travelling to and from the dreaming realm isn't easy

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@Iscreamer1 I think the retracing Aqua's steps by traveling to worlds she'd been to could actually have helped out from the standpoint of giving Riku and Mickey more to do as a gameplay duo than we got, but for that they'd have to have committed to making worlds Aqua visited feature in more than just cutscenes. The cramming Kairi in there I think wouldn't work so well. What we needed from Kairi (and Axel) for the game (outside of the reunion with Roxas and Xion and reconciliation with Isa on Axel's end) was for them to show us them actually training even if it was only them sparring with their keyblades or beating up animated training dummies in a cutscene or two. This was where their stories were headed at the end of Dream Drop Distance and I don't think doing a 180 for Kairi would've benefited her.

Like honest to gods, just seeing Kairi training would've taken so much of the sting off of the way they handled her in the Keyblade Graveyard because at the very least we'd get to see she's made progress and it just didn't prove to be enough. With Axel a lot of people point out he was just as disappointingly handled, but Axel had been entrenched in good handling since his introduction to the series in Chain of Memories thus there's a lot less sting at play with him than with Kairi, especially given the heartfelt reunion with Roxas and Xion and the reconciliation with Isa. Even the critiques that he was reduced strictly to comedy relief don't add up because he's had a habit of maintaining a balancing act between being serious and being funny since day one and that didn't cease in KH3 or lean in one direction more than the other to the extent that some people pretend it did. That's not even mentioning that Kairi is the series female protagonist, which by default means she should be handled better than supporting characters even the elevated ones.

I know people want Kairi to finally get in on the action at the front line really badly, but if they took their time to do a character arc for her correctly it would be a lot more rewarding than rushing her from point A to point B to point C like they have. And they even appear to have realized it between KH3, the Remind DLC, and Melody of Memory. I.E They took the heavy backlash on how Kairi was handled in the KH3 base game to heart for the Remind DLC responding in the easiest way to appease the critics, but the worst way for Kairi's character arc, making her way beyond a BAMF in a battle against a keyblade wielder as long lived and experienced as Xehanort; then come Melody of Memory they back pedaled, having her turn into Sora momentarily in a battle with a Phantom Memory of Xehanort. About the only thing they did do well in Melody of Memory was make her acknowledge that she needed to continue her training rather than having her insist on going with Riku (which she shouldn't even be able to do because she lacks the Power of Waking).

The Power of Waking being a power that sleeps until you need it was a very disappointing way of going about Sora's journey through the Disney Worlds in KH3, but the power itself is so poorly defined that in Dream Drop Distance they don't even formally call it that. I think that was one thing that might've been destined for poor handling from the very beginning.

Heck at the moment the Power of Waking's rules and what it even strictly is has been so poorly properly defined that it may as well be in the same league as the mysterious deus ex machina powers of the Princesses of Heart. Both of these are among the things that make me go "if you're not going to care to keep track of your own lore and rules why should the audience?" when it comes to Kingdom Hearts.

Edited by FadedSparkle

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7 hours ago, FadedSparkle said:

@Iscreamer1 I think the retracing Aqua's steps by traveling to worlds she'd been to could actually have helped out from the standpoint of giving Riku and Mickey more to do as a gameplay duo than we got, but for that they'd have to have committed to making worlds Aqua visited feature in more than just cutscenes. The cramming Kairi in there I think wouldn't work so well. What we needed from Kairi (and Axel) for the game (outside of the reunion with Roxas and Xion and reconciliation with Isa on Axel's end) was for them to show us them actually training even if it was only them sparring with their keyblades or beating up animated training dummies in a cutscene or two. This was where their stories were headed at the end of Dream Drop Distance and I don't think doing a 180 for Kairi would've benefited her.

Like honest to gods, just seeing Kairi training would've taken so much of the sting off of the way they handled her in the Keyblade Graveyard because at the very least we'd get to see she's made progress and it just didn't prove to be enough. With Axel a lot of people point out he was just as disappointingly handled, but Axel had been entrenched in good handling since his introduction to the series in Chain of Memories thus there's a lot less sting at play with him than with Kairi, especially given the heartfelt reunion with Roxas and Xion and the reconciliation with Isa. Even the critiques that he was reduced strictly to comedy relief don't add up because he's had a habit of maintaining a balancing act between being serious and being funny since day one and that didn't cease in KH3 or lean in one direction more than the other to the extent that some people pretend it did. That's not even mentioning that Kairi is the series female protagonist, which by default means she should be handled better than supporting characters even the elevated ones.

I know people want Kairi to finally get in on the action at the front line really badly, but if they took their time to do a character arc for her correctly it would be a lot more rewarding than rushing her from point A to point B to point C like they have. And they even appear to have realized it between KH3, the Remind DLC, and Melody of Memory. I.E They took the heavy backlash on how Kairi was handled in the KH3 base game to heart for the Remind DLC responding in the easiest way to appease the critics, but the worst way for Kairi's character arc, making her way beyond a BAMF in a battle against a keyblade wielder as long lived and experienced as Xehanort; then come Melody of Memory they back pedaled, having her turn into Sora momentarily in a battle with a Phantom Memory of Xehanort. About the only thing they did do well in Melody of Memory was make her acknowledge that she needed to continue her training rather than having her insist on going with Riku (which she shouldn't even be able to do because she lacks the Power of Waking).

The Power of Waking being a power that sleeps until you need it was a very disappointing way of going about Sora's journey through the Disney Worlds in KH3, but the power itself is so poorly defined that in Dream Drop Distance they don't even formally call it that. I think that was one thing that might've been destined for poor handling from the very beginning.

Heck at the moment the Power of Waking's rules and what it even strictly is has been so poorly properly defined that it may as well be in the same league as the mysterious deus ex machina powers of the Princesses of Heart. Both of these are among the things that make me go "if you're not going to care to keep track of your own lore and rules why should the audience?" when it comes to Kingdom Hearts.

Heck, I didn't like how Sora even needed the Power of Awakening and how everyone in the game, except the player said that Sora was weaker than he was before.  However, we the player got to have all of these attacks that were mainly rides from the Disney parks at the very beginning of the game.  So, how was Sora weak again?  And, why did the spring some old vague plot point from DDD in KH3 to make it so we had to progress?  They just felt like Disney advertising and an unneeded advantage against the storyline bosses.

Edited by ienzo628

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@ienzo628 Pretty sure DDD being the precursor to KH3 is not and was never a secret. All of its major story bits bleed into KH3 (as per usual for this series outside of only a small portion of Coded's story bleeding into DDD, though concepts introduced in it certainly bled over into DDD and beyond). Also in Olympus they were seemingly committed to the idea that Sora was going to regain his strength with the Power of Waking being the culminating ability, but you can tell from the rate at which Sora was gaining skills and abilities that they opted out of keeping the gameplay and narrative balanced pretty quickly. Sora's arsenal is bigger than Riku's coming out of the second world in the game and bigger than Aqua's coming out of the third. So they committed to the idea for exactly one world, which they treated as a mock prologue and labeled it Kingdom Hearts 2.9 because that was just oh so funny to them.

Don't get me wrong the fast rate at which Sora was gaining skills and abilities makes complete and total sense for a modern action RPG (that's just how most gamers like it these days, they don't care to have to work for things, it's one of the express reasons why in many RPGs you can just pay to get everything from the get go now rather than as you level up and even for exp modifiers or amplifiers or straight up for levels themselves rather than exp). However that leaves the narrative around Sora falling flat at every turn. And it really doesn't help that the other playable characters get such limited an amount of skills and abilities to work with. Fixing that would at least maintain an illusion that Sora was catching up to his not back to level 1 allies.

Edited by FadedSparkle

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1 hour ago, FadedSparkle said:

@ienzo628 Pretty sure DDD being the precursor to KH3 is not and was never a secret. All of its major story bits bleed into KH3 (as per usual for this series outside of only a small portion of Coded's story bleeding into DDD, though concepts introduced in it certainly bled over into DDD and beyond). Also in Olympus they were seemingly committed to the idea that Sora was going to regain his strength with the Power of Waking being the culminating ability, but you can tell from the rate at which Sora was gaining skills and abilities that they opted out of keeping the gameplay and narrative balanced pretty quickly. Sora's arsenal is bigger than Riku's coming out of the second world in the game and bigger than Aqua's coming out of the third. So they committed to the idea for exactly one world, which they treated as a mock prologue and labeled it Kingdom Hearts 2.9 because that was just oh so funny to them.

Don't get me wrong the fast rate at which Sora was gaining skills and abilities makes complete and total sense for a modern action RPG (that's just how most gamers like it these days, they don't care to have to work for things, it's one of the express reasons why in many RPGs you can just pay to get everything from the get go now rather than as you level up and even for exp modifiers or amplifiers or straight up for levels themselves rather than exp). However that leaves the narrative around Sora falling flat at every turn. And it really doesn't help that the other playable characters get such limited an amount of skills and abilities to work with. Fixing that would at least maintain an illusion that Sora was catching up to his not back to level 1 allies.

I do feel cheated that Sora got more available abilities for him from the getgo.  Was Square Enix just being cheap because they just wanted to appeal to gamers and just let them breeze through the story without much thought for the other characters and their plot development in KH3 because Sora is the main character?  "We just need to hurry up and finish Sora's story and tie it all to the cruddy mobile games."

 

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@ienzo628 I'm not sure if it'd be right to say they wanted to appeal to gamers of present day but a case can be made just by looking at the more balanced gameplay of what is essentially a KH3 demo, Birth By Sleep A Fragmentary Passage. I also think tying things to the "cruddy mobile games" is a bit much; they managed to stick relevant (if mostly redundant) overarching story into a rhythm game after all. Eventually we'll end up with a Kingdom Hearts version of Mario Kart that has relevant story in it or a good old fashion physical board game with relevant story in it (as opposed to an in game board game that rewards you nicely if you can get good at it as is present in Birth By Sleep).

I don't think it is necessarily true that they didn't care about the other characters and their plot development, it is more that they went with the same mentality that the team writing Dragon Ball GT did. Goku is the protagonist, Goku is everyone's hero, he does the hero stuff. Sora had already been picked for this same role in the past, with Coded insisting Sora had to save the birth by sleep trio and the Days trio and DDD reinforcing it. Also Blank Points or whatever it was called which has all of those characters calling out Sora's name like he's God himself.

The issue arose with how they then divided this task up. Riku and Mickey deciding they'd go save Aqua only to be unable to and Sora having to come to the rescue (and the way Riku gets a badass little speech and is ready to rumble with Aqua before that rescue tells of how they were something like 50/50 or 40/60 on if they should or shouldn't commit to their original plan of Sora saving everyone from the Birth By Sleep and Days trios or let Riku and Mickey have this one). Same applies for the fact Aqua had vowed to restore Ven to normal in Birth By Sleep well before the decision for Sora to be the savior for her entire trio was made in an extension to the game and reinforced by Coded and DDD; with her also getting robbed of her hero's moment because they chose the easy route of the main protagonist doing everything important themself.

DDD has that whole bit with the Guardian recognizing Riku and Riku seemingly recognizing Terra's in there somewhere that proceeds to go nowhere in KH3 even though the trope of a student saving their master is a classic that almost never fails to land, but for whatever reason they couldn't figure out how to incorporate Riku over Sora into returning Terra to normal nor even the compromise of making it a group effort with you deciding if you wanted to play as Riku or as Sora (it's an absolute low blow that we got character selection only in the DLC, feels like a Triple A developer forgot how to make a game nevermind how to make a good one).

Aqua herself who is there when Terra's returned to normal and has such a long history with him likewise suffers a great character disservice with how poorly they integrate her into the save. And here there is no real excuse of gameplay vs narrative dissonance. Motivations wise Aqua has more than enough to be doing what she can to to save Terra, and as a Keyblade Master she has the Power of Waking she can do the same thing as Sora here. That covers narrative, lets talk gameplay. Aqua's also serviceable enough in the base game that you could easily have won a fight against Terranort and Vanitas playing as her with Sora as the third party member instead of the other way around. Especially true prior to them patching in Critical Mode in preparation for the Remind DLC.

At the end of the day Sora would've still had major contributions to make (returning Roxas and Xion's hearts to them, saving everyone when they were felled in the Keyblade Graveyard the first time around but clung to the mortal realm, going off to save Kairi at the end and into the DLC, defeating Xehanort at the end with Donald and Goofy in the base game and with Kairi and an assist from the other guardians of light in the DLC).

I'm of the opinion that taking the easy route of the main protagonist doing everything hurt KH3 more than it hurt Dragon Ball GT because the former had built towards so many other possibilities that they just didn't embrace, unnecessarily sabotaging several characters in the process; meanwhile Dragon Ball had always had a habit of Goku saving the day in the end with his allies becoming less relevant the longer the series went on so by the Buu saga in DBZ the majority of the fanbase was very much used to it.

The difference in medium also takes some sting off of Dragon Ball GT. It being an anime/manga means there's plenty of time in between the heroics for character development of a different sort. This is why a scene like Vegeta telling Pan to take care of a set of Goku's fighting attire towards the end of GT is so powerful. With a video game unless you're willing to take your time and make it very long you can't do slice of life as effectively as an anime or even a manga. And we don't exactly live in an era of 180 hour long RPGs anymore. But I frown upon Kingdom Hearts for the fact that it mostly doesn't even try with the slice of life side of things.

Also at this point there are more mobile/hand held Kingdom Hearts games than there are home console ones making the console ones the outliers not the mobile/handheld ones. The sooner the fanbase accepts that the better off the series will be. And if the console games are going to be lackluster because they're expensive to make I think the series it probably better off continuing to release mobile/handheld games every year or two rather than having a huge cool down between one console game and the next with nothing in between. And from a business standpoint I can't fault Square Enix for capitalizing on Japan's love of mobile/handheld gaming.

Edited by FadedSparkle

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On 10/31/2022 at 10:22 PM, ienzo628 said:

Heck, I didn't like how Sora even needed the Power of Awakening and how everyone in the game, except the player said that Sora was weaker than he was before.  However, we the player got to have all of these attacks that were mainly rides from the Disney parks at the very beginning of the game.  So, how was Sora weak again?  And, why did the spring some old vague plot point from DDD in KH3 to make it so we had to progress?  They just felt like Disney advertising and an unneeded advantage against the storyline bosses.

you know all his stats were reset? him being referred to as having lost his powers is the story explanation for why he has to relearn all his moves in 3. if you compare sora at the end of DDD to the start of 3 you'll see he is weaker

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