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  1. It’s been 2 years since the release of Dark Road and going on hiatus. Now we were graced with a pile full of cutscenes to it’s Finale, I can finally speak my thoughts on the entirety of the story with gameplay, presentation, the revelations, the whole sha-bang. Before I dive into this, before you consider reading, I must warn you that there are spoilers ahead. There is so much to tell my feelings toward this particular title. If you wish to avoid that, I’ll at least start with the artist notes of my Dark Road poster I did back in 2021. I’ll even briefly speak on gameplay because there’s not much to it honestly. But after that, spoiler overload. Let’s start with the summary of the story: A young boy, Xehanort, had left his tiny world of a home and arrived in Scala Ad Caelum as an apprentice to become a Keyblade Master alongside his best friend, Eraqus, and his fellow classmates. One day, their teacher informs the classmates that the upperclassman have gone missing. So he assigns a mission to Xehanort and the others to explore the worlds in search for clues of the missing upperclassman. Little did he know that this mission would change him forever, that it would lead down a dark path… (Thoughts on story are past the spoiler point) __________ Starting with gameplay! It’s pretty similar to the gameplay in Union Cross, but you’re using cards (which is ironic because the original browser version also used cards then the mobile version made them medals). Much also like UX, there is an option to auto play, which to some is instantly a wasted game. I can agree to some extent. I mainly use auto play to grind and be away from my phone for awhile. However, I do play manually on certain bosses in the story or just tougher bosses in general. It ironically felt quicker doing it manually anyway considering the auto play felt slower. Another aspect of the gameplay that’s different from Union Cross is choosing your party members throughout the story. This only occurs mainly in the first 3 chapters. The characters you choose are 4 of your classmates with different abilities: Hermod for attack, Bragi for defense, Urd for Blizzard, and Vor for magic boost. Despite what you choose, there are certain cutscenes that allow you to choose a character to be put in said cutscene. It doesn’t change the outcome of the scenario, but the character interactions are slightly different. There is one character I will not name I chose for awhile for their ability in combat, but there was one scene where another character had a certain interest I just couldn’t refuse picking them out. I felt they purposely made it this way that will stick with you in a way that is impactful. That will be saved in the spoiler section. In regard to grinding, I feel is what keeps people away from giving the gameplay a chance. Keep in mind, it’s no longer online meaning no gacha system can stop you for feeling robbed aside from time. The way to earn and purchase certain cards in the game, you have to earn BP. The caveat to this is that BP is also your EXP for Xehanort. So, it can be difficult to choose between cards and your exp. So, it feels like you have no choice but to grind away for who knows how long just to continue the story smoothly. In fact, I don’t blame anyone for skipping the gameplay and look up the entire story online instead without any worry about grinding. That being said, I was pretty lucky to save my app for the entirety of that hiatus to maintain my data I’ve saved for the past 5 years since I’ve had Union Cross. Because Dark Road also gave free BP after however many hours you’ve left the game untouched. Sadly, that is no longer the case after the update. But I sure had a lot more than I thought to purchase all the cards with my BP. As such, I got through this in a breeze within 4 hours. The gameplay is not the draw of Dark Road, it can be tedious depending on your position. That was mostly for those who just downloaded the game or, based on certain reports, corruption of their progress. There is something else regarding the gameplay I’d like to briefly speak about. But that will be saved in the spoiler section. ::::: ARTIST NOTES So, I actually first shared this back in 2021 during the March Caprice online event. But it was the only place I uploaded to. With that out of the way, the art piece itself was very fun to do. Obviously, I’ve been drawing Young Xehanort a lot recently (in case you don’t know, he’s my favorite character) and this drawing is just one of the many. The biggest challenge for me was the background. The sky was pretty straightforward, since it was inspired by the sky in the opening of KH3. However, doing the islands in a silhouette night setting reflecting the waters was a tricky thing to do. I’ve always wanted to seen Scala at night and I just drew what I envisioned. The main color I choose was purple. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of the title being green for Dark Road in particular. I do understand that it’s meant to connect to the Union Cross era. But the story of Dark Road would be more suitable for with purple. So, I give this art piece some purple vibe. ———————————— So now, with that out of the way, I warn you again the heavy spoilers ahead because I have so much to say. Please please PLEASE be sure to watch or play the game first before proceeding the spoiler section. I also want to share a link of my review on KHUX finale here >>> https://www.kh13.com/gallery/image/69286-the-final-break/ I will bring up some points from that review and utilize this here. Now, without further adieu, here are my rambling thoughts. ⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️ Bit of a background here. I’ve played Union Cross when it first released respectfully inl the U.S. back in 2016. Little did I know that eventually, 5 years later, in 2020, another story would be integrated in the same app. In other words, you could play 2 games in one app simultaneously, in a sense. Of course, during that year it was released, they graced us with only 3 chapters. It only took a couple more years to finally experience the rest of the story to 8 chapters altogether. The question stands: was it worth the wait? It depends who you ask. Some will play the game regardless the progress and others would watch on YouTube. As someone who did play the game since it’s release and finished the finale within 4 hours, here is my perspective on how it impacted me as a KH fan and a loyal player to this app game. I think I mentioned this in my KHUX finale poster that I’m not into MMOs. However, this game has given me a tiny taste of sticking with this world and it’s story for a long period of time. Like watching a long-running show, movie, and game series, you are attached to the world you live in. They eventually had to come to an end and seeing it happen leaves a bit of grievances. This happened for me with KHUX. Now with Dark Road finally completed after 2 years of a hiatus, this gave me somewhat the same thing. The difference is said hiatus and that it dropped all episodes in one to naturally complete via quests. I feel it would be more impactful if they had uploaded the episodes one by one within the 2 year gap. However, the story itself is still quite an emotional experience: more so than I could ever imagine. Enough beating around the bush, Let’s get to the meat of this! VVVVVVVV SO……the story….OH MY GOODNESS THE STORY…..is one of the best written in the series! I cannot say whether or not it’s better than Days writing, but I adored how DR was handled with the delivery and execution. This is also a bonus since Young Xehanort is my favorite KH character and to see him get the spotlight is all the more reason to love this title. I can’t even stress enough how much I enjoyed Xehanort’s character in-sight throughout the game. Seeing him actually be genuinely funny and even moments of vulnerability, especially surprisingly his elder self, was a delight to watch despite him being presented as a 2D flat model with no voice acting. This made me love Xehanort even more, especially his younger self. This is the most character I have seen from him and it’s in a mobile game. Let me remind you that there were only 2 animators during this project in particular. Despite the small number, they managed to animate the characters quite well. I’ve said this back in the UX review, and I still find it impressive. Not jest Xehanort, but for all the characters and environments. That being said, I still hope that Square would consider giving Dark Road a chance to have proper production quality and value via Unreal Engine 4 or 5 as a remake game or a movie. Not just Dark Road, but the entirety of the χ Saga, including Missing Link. One of the coolest things they did in Dark Road is the integration of Disney worlds made us for world building in the world of KH. Each world had served a purpose for the growth of the characters and how crucial they are to the world order. The only title that was close to that was KH1 and a bit of Birth by Sleep. The rest of the games had suffered that issue and were made only as filler. Of course, you could argue that you can view them as parallels to the themes and certain characters with their circumstances or just want to visit these worlds because we love Disney, both reasons are completing reasonable. However, with how much the series is growing and gaining more world building, I feel it was time to make these worlds useful and utilize them to help the characters (both original and Disney characters) with their growth and have consequences. Dark Road is one that did the Disney integration the best so far. In light of this, if Disney steps back a bit aside from being picky with stories and sticks with being picky over design choices and character sustenance in certain properties they own, then perhaps the future titles can allow the Disney worlds to be more interesting with different or tweaked plots to make them important to the already huge world of KH. ————————— I would like to share my favorite moments that stuck with me, but I’d like to share one more thing. I mentioned previously a certain gameplay aspect I wanted to talk about in the spoiler section. The bosses I fight since the beginning of chapter 4 were interesting to say the least. After finishing the story, I can fight them again for bigger BP and to fill my album. This is where I bring my point on why I wished they still let us play the game within the 2 year hiatus. It feels pointless to continue grinding after you finish the story. I have yet to hear any confirmation that there is a secret secret episode after completing your library of enemies and such. I gladly can rewatch the cutscenes I theater mode, but the gameplay felt even more wasted. Continuing on the bosses, there is one boss I felt didn’t feel as impactful like KHUX did. The final Boss you fight in the story is a Hearltess. Not just any heartless, it is one connected to one of the characters names Baldr (we’ll get to him in a bit). A reminder that all the classmates aside from Xehanort and Eraqus are named after Norse Mythology. So, how poetic that the Heartless under Baldr is named Hringhorn, which is the name of Baldr’s ship in said Norse mythology. There’s no denying that it’s an incredibly cool reference. However, I feel it would be more impactful if I fought Hringhorn first then fight Baldr as the final boss. I’ll get to why in the favorite moments section. ————————— I got a LOT to say about the scenes that stuck with me. I’ll be honest, it’s quite a lot. I’d argue that the entirety of Dark Road is just my favorite altogether. I will try my best to condense as much as possible to make make it too long. But, truthfully, I really want to share my love for this title. Regardless, buckle up, have some popcorn and a drink! This is not in order, this is more of a ramble if anything LOL 1. The biggest focus of the story is on Xehanort make no mistake. However, this is where I condense my list a bit by mentioning his relationship with Eraqus in particular. The chemistry could make a list of each moment. Their bond throughout the story is what made it enjoyable. Whether they argue on their beliefs, roast each other, dealing with their trauma, or just chilling & playing chess. Those two have the best chemistry in the series and it did not require a third person to make that bond special. No matter how you look at it (a ship, friendship, brothers, etc.), there’s no denying that it’s real wholesome and charming. Seeing their progression as individuals, how to they sort of grew apart, and even giving me a whole different view when rewatching them in the past games (particularly BBS and KH3). 2. Did I mention how kinda funny Xehanort was in DR? I could could name a few that struck me in the funny bone, especially the carpet scene. However, the one scene that really made him shine with a bit of comedy was his first time meeting the Master of Masters before the remind scene. It was not only funny, but it also combined with a good dose of your typical KH psychology on light and darkness, the strong and the weak, etc. I recommend you see the scene yourselves. I’d argue that it’s up on my top 5 favorite scenes in the series. We just need voice acting from Ray Chase and Ben Diskin alongside some good quality production treatment & you have a perfect scene! 3. One small thing I want to share that made me glad to choose the character Vor in Wonderland is what made a scene with her in Dwarf Woodlands so memorable. She was the first characters to display some character compared to the others. The beginning of chapter 4 made it more so and why she was my favorite classmate. She saves the dwarfs from a a boulder blacking a passage….by over-shouldering the big massive boulder despite her size. I had to leave the app to contemplate and ponder, eventually concluding her as the best classmate. This will eventually lead to an event that made me feel validated why choosing her in a cutscene in Wonderland made a scene later on more impactful. - This event was when we learn that all the students get taken out by Darkness. Of course, seeing Vor being one of them is incredibly heartbreaking. I knew the moment she had a personality and the fact that she is adorable and sweet compared to the others gave me a gut feeling that something big will happen to her and it wasn’t the fan theory hope she was Kairi’s grandmother. Seeing her die in Eraqus’s arms and Xehanort tears up alongside Eraqus made it all the more heart wrenching. 4. One of the most heartbreaking and shocking scenes in this game is learning how much loss Xehanort and Eraqus went through. I remember the first time seeing the end of the first chapter. It shows Xehanort laying flowers on 4 graves. This leads to assume that his fellow classmates have passed away. Of course, within the 2 years on hiatus, we theorize and speculate so desperately for any hope that some students survived. The cemetery scene was one of my favorites for awhile. But after Xehanort lost not only his own (including Baldr), but the missing upperclassman whom he confronted which was now all for naught, it made the cemetery scene [in chapter 1 and the last chapter] all the more powerful. - (Side note, when I first saw end of the first chapter, considering that it was raining in the game, it was also raining + thundering on my end and I was eating ice cream…this is definitely the game for me LOL) 5. Remember when I mentioned how DR has shown Disney worlds being utilized as crucial elements that help the story’s world building? A great example is old man Master Xehanort revisits the mirror in Dwarf Woodlands after 64 years to ask it some questions. These questions he asked and how he responds to the answers given by the mirror, it surprised me to see him genuinely vulnerable at that old age. It’s always quite a treat to see a different side to him we’ve em ever seen since the first time we saw him. I’d say even since meeting Ansem SoD the first time back in KH1. 6. Another huge thing I need to talk is a moment that broke me. In the secret ending of DR, we rewatch the scene from KHUX of a young woman giving away infant Xehanort to the blue-robes figure. We move to a few years later from that (or rather 9 years ago before the current events of DR), we then meet with a supposedly 6-year-old Xehanort snuggled on the blue robe person. We learn quite a few things from this conversation. One I want to speak on is a line that truly hurt in the heart. There were theories about the woman that gave Xehanort away was either his mother or it wasn’t. But this line he says confirms this by saying, “when I get strong enough, will I get to see my mom again too?” I can’t even tell you how much that line broke me. I always have a sensitive spot for kids who don’t have parents (whether one lives or both not present at all). It makes me more than eager to learn more about his mother (especially since Nomura has confirmed she is related to a crucial character). Speaking of relatives… 7. We learn that Xehanort was in fact a descendant of Ephemer, the leader of the Dandelions back in KHUX. Not only that, the crucial character I mentioned is that Xehanort’s mother is related to Skuld. I don’t know how, but I look forward to Missing Link to answer all these questions. 8. You may notice I did not mention another crucial thing: Xehanort being a reincarnation of the player. Welp…..looks like Nomura did a bait-in-switch on us all. Turns out that it’s not the case. We learned that Xehanort can feel and see through other people’s hearts (aka, an empath apparently). As such, he was confirmed by the blue-robed figure to be the Child of Destiny, a special child that hails from the isles of Destiny who can embrace the hearts of others and to save the world from Darkness. Of course, that obviously not the case to which it is implied that it was very likely Sora. What does that have to do with the player you ask? Well, the reason we see the memories of the player is the for mentioned ability of Xehanort he can see other people’s hearts via dreams. But where did he get it from? Well, we are not Xehanort….we raised him! The blue robes figure was the player all along living it’s second life time! 9. Burton here is so many to share I couldn’t make it longer. But one more I want to share that is just heartwarming. The players last words for Xehanort, and to us as the players since playing KHUX, were truly inspiring and beautiful. If there’s anything the player character can do is pull our heartstrings with their speech. The words they say were for Xehanort’s Journey to his Destiny. However, we know the tragic outcome of his fate. Despite that, what they say not only foreshadows the true Child of Destiny, but they’re words were also for us to keep close to our hearts as the audience. This speech was also powerful when “Friends in my Heart” plays to further pull my heartstrings. ————————— I could go on and on on the many scenes that I love. Truthfully, all scene Xehanort have been my favorite. In other words, the entirety of Dark Road! I love this title so much! I may put this at my top 3. Yes the gameplay is still pointlessly grindy with or without the hatch’s system. But the story is just so incredibly written. I would sell my solid for giving it a chance of having a proper unreal engine treated production and voice acting, as remake game or movie. If there’s any hope for lore Xehanort content, I will be on board all the way. Heck, Nkomura himself has said that despite the Dark Seeker saga being compete, since his villain role is done, we may see more of Xehanort should the opportunity be open. The artwork that Nomura shared on Dark Road’s release brought fans (including myself) the possibility that Xehanort might be in the world of Unreality, Quadratum. Xehanort did say he wishes to expand 14 lifetimes after all, 13 to rebuild the world and the 14th to explore the world…. ————————— Anyway, that is my review! I apologize if this was too long for you. This is somewhat a love letter to why I love Young Xehanort as a character. Dark Road was an incredible story and I hoped you enjoyed it as well. If anything, as I write this, that is all the posters I have! Since 2018, it was to promote KH3 and now we’re at the next stage. I don’t know how long Missing Link will last to make a proper review and poster. Perhaps I’ll do a first impression poster, but it will depend. Keeps your eyes peeled regardless.
  2. Man... I had totally forgot about this place after almost 8-9 years since I last logged in. I remember it use to be booming with all kinds of posts years ago. I guess it died down a bunch since then. 1.) Introduction and Explanation Anywho, for those who don't know me. I'm the crazy guy that attempted, Raged hard, raged some more, almost lost my sanity, completed, and proved to everyone on gamefaqs over 8-9ish years ago that it's 100% possible, and legit to be able to complete BOTH (Well... Now 3 is added as well, so more than 2)(NAMELY 2.5, and reasons will be listed next) Kingdom Hearts games at Level 1 Proud Mode for KH1.5(which, if you DIDN'T know, because of the way the mechanics work, Proud mode is actually the harder difficulty for a Level 1 run in KH1.5 instead of Critical because you ALWAYS do chip damage in Proud. Critical is actually a little easier because Sora can do more damage in that difficulty) and Critical Mode(2.5 + 3), but not just complete them at Level 1; (that's been done by a handful of people. However, everybody that has completed the Lvl 1 run always labels their run "complete" Yet, they all stopped at SILVER Crown.) But, I decided, and wanted to take it all a step further, and be the standout of them all. As well as debunking the most ridiculous, yet shockingly widespread belief beyond the masses: the before thought "Impossible" Holy Grail of Kingdom Heart challenges: Completing Level 1 critical mode... AS WELL as obtaining 100% completion in the Jiminy Journal, including completion of EVERY Mushroom XIII challenges, and actually having the GOLD Crown! Which was considered literally impossible. (Yeah, I know. Insane, isn't it?) 2.) The False Rumor And The Mission To Prove The World Wrong To actually 100% the Jiminy Journal, and Obtain Gold Crown in 2.5 which involves the Mushroom XIII challenges. Everybody, and their momma back then swore, and pushed the notion of "You can't complete atleast 1 or 2 of the mushroom challenges (most notably, Agrabah mushroom, Twilight Town, and Port Royal mushroom, respectively) without leveling up, it's totally impossible" As well as the old fable of "It's impossible to get Ultima Weapon in 1.5 at Level 1 because you don't get lucky strike abilities to grind synthesis materials without leveling" etc. Nah, it's all do-able. A huge pain in the ass? Yes. Definitely. But, achievable. 3.) Hype Yourself Up/Believe In Your Ability Like myself before attempting, I'm sure most people would just shake their head, and say to themselves "nope. Never. Cant do it" I was that guy. Then one day, I told myself "Hey... they put the option to void any EXP gain.. I'm gonna try it.. Let's see what happens, and how it goes at level 1. I mean, it can't be IMPOSSIBLE; They obviously added it as a feature for a reason." 4.) The Beginning of Doubt Of course, I begin. I start treading along, beginning my journey into my first attempt into a Kingdom Hearts game without leveling up. Everything goes smoothly, up until you start getting demolished left, and right every second, and the bosses annihilate you in a single hit. Making you re-evaluate, and question your ability, and if you can do it. 5.) Opening Your Perception/Total Realization The KH series, AND the series' difficulty as a whole; drastically, and dramatically changed for me once my eyes opened, and I seen the blatant "slap you in the face" obvious, and stopped trying to play Kingdom Hearts like an Action/Adventure RPG like a normal/casual playthrough would basically literally be. Instead, gaining the Square Enix perspective, and knowing their past; made me realize that it's supposed to actually be played like, (and get ready for a mind blown moment) a friggin' Turn Based RPG... Honestly, I think once you guys get this realization, and mindset in your head like I did while you're playing through; every one of you, and I mean EVERYONE of you guys, no matter how "gud" you ARE or AREN'T at the Kingdom Hearts games in a casual, normal playthrough. You can be absolute dirt at the (falsely assumed random, seemingly "unpredictable", ever-constant flow of combat) but start trying to take a slightly different approach/('s) towards the way you actually play games like this, and even open up your mind, and perceive, and acknowledge the gameplay in a different way altogether than what you, and probably, most people normally would have absolutely no idea or even fathom that there's more to, and many more ways to go into a Kingdom Hearts game than the basic, "normal" DmC-esque style combat that we all experience/('d) and most of us, are even conditioned to. 6.) Breaking Old Habits/Adopting New Ones However, once you change the perception/habits you have of the game already, and change the rules ever so slightly, and subtly to merely change towards a playstyle that of the old-school, traditional turn based views, and start planning strategies, and changing your playstyle around a "turn-based rpg mindset" instead of our pre-conditioned, already accustomed, and comfortable free flow combat that most of us are already "comfortable" with or use to. 7.) Acknowledge Game Mechanics/Learn Everything Any of you guys without a doubt in my mind would be able to Level 1 the game as it then becomes almost trivially easy once you decide to perceive KH in just a slightly different way (Turn Based instead of Free Combat) and start to play in an entirely different way accordingly (Having a turn based view/play style really helps not only by helping you learn to better/more accurately time your attacks, guards, dodge rolls, reflects, and etc. But, also makes you a lot more aware, and attentive as you're going to be learning to take it slow, and not rush battles, but to stay on your toes, closely watch for any, even if very subtle visual clues: motions with an enemy's hands, AND their body language. As well as listening for any audio clues or catch phrases; these are everything you are looking for to expect, and anticipate the next move of your opponent. Get a hit in when you can, and defend all the counter attacks that will be delivered back afterwards. Learn the timing to perfect guard; it's going to be the key to your survival, and the timing of each attack you learn never changes. So you don't have to ever expect or assume that a certain attack is ever going to be slower/faster than when previously used. You finally learn the timing for perfect guarding an attack, and you'll always be able to perfect guard it, as it will never be change the rate of speed. 8.) Truth of Developer's 100% Intended Game Design And The Public's Blindness So yes. After stating this, and the way certain mechanics work. Know it or not, even believe it or not. Even though it does EVERYTHING to make you "think" it's an action RPG. Which is semi-true, and fully the case to the masses. It was fully meant, and intended as a Turn Based RPG, and I'm going to open your eyes, and convince you. 9.) How The Kingdom Hearts Series Hides It's True Intended Design, and Disguises Itself As An Action RPG Any casual player gets the action RPG style in a normal playthrough. Just as every first time, 2nd time, etc. player always does. Nothing about the gameplay comes off as "turn based". And is more than often considered the polar opposite of a Turn Based game. Which, was presented this way to appeal to a wider audience such as younger aged, Disney lovers who didn't grow up with RPGs, or just jumped into the game world. As leveling makes it where you literally never have to learn or even use guard, reflect or parry the counters you receive if you really never even wanted to. As taking damage is hardly worrisome, or trivial, and easily tended to with a Cure, and Potions. You can even just carelessly attack, and attack anytime you want. Even if it isn't the best time, and you take a hit. You can still beat the game, and everything in it regardless. - No Turn Based Elements seen/felt whatsoever 10.) Awakening Into Reality/Acknowledging The Hidden Truth: Turn-Based Gameplay In comparison, Level 1: Any hit you take can 1 shot you. If you get caught in a combo attack, you WILL die. There's no possible way to constantly spam attacks, and tank hits. You gotta learn how to properly utilize things that you probably hardly, if ever even used: Guard, Reflect, Dodge Roll, Aerial Recovery, etc. and to learn timing. All this coupled along with the Revenge Counter mechanic (Which, I will explain in more detail below) is how it becomes a Turn Based game; as there is only a certain amount of attacks you can deliver before the enemy counters. - Turn Based RPG 11.) Notice The Signs/Process Everything/Uncover The Veil The first mentioned; is the game probably 90% or more of the masses experience, and perceive. People just don't see the alternative, and it's funny because I just seen a thread on another forum where the OP literally posted "I absolutely love Kingdom Hearts, because it's not just another cliche Turn Based RPG. I despise them." That was almost laughable, and cringe to read, and goes to show just how many people can overlook major things that are hidden in plain sight. However, if one is to attempt a Level 1 run, and play Kingdom Hearts the true way the developers intended; fact is, it's nothing more than a regular Square-Enix FF style "TURN BASED RPG" with complete movement, and control of character at all times. 12.) The Main Mechanics And Physics: The Enemy's "Revenge Counter" Seriously, when you get down into the physics, mechanics, and all the equations that go into every single boss fight, you begin to see it. Just ONE example is this: You're in the middle of a fight, let's say with Data Roxas; just for an example. Soon as the battle begins, and you gain control of Sora, you need to cast a reflect to counter Roxas' Keyblade Spin. After the successful reflect you are granted a small window where you're allowed to attack, and land up to (and let's just say for instance in this example, maybe 3-4 hits) 3-4 hits on Roxas before he is scripted to automatically counter attack. These counter attacks are termed "Revenge Counter" or just simply "RC" abbreviated. if you ever see the term in guides or posts, or in future research, but didn't know what it meant. 13.1) Explaining "Revenge Counters" And "Revenge Values"/Looping Bosses And Minimizing Danger Ah, Revenge Counter. The key to winning, and main mechanic of a level 1 run tbh. Every enemy has always been scripted to counter attack after a few hits, and this was so everybody at level 100 with Sora couldn't just endlessly wail on an opponent non-stop, and make it even easier than what it already was to begin with. Now, once you actually learn about, and study the revenge counter mechanic, and how each enemy works; you actually can use it 100% in your favor in completing, hell, I'd even go so far as to say even almost cheesing a Lvl 1 crit run. As in, learn to read the small signals before attacks. Nothing is unpredictable. There's ALWAYS a signal/warning. Learn how many hits you can throw before they counter attack Sora. 13.2) Deeper Breakdown Of "Revenge" Mechanics/Examples Of "Baiting" Attacks These hits, the attacks, the number, whatever you're most comfortable calling it; for future reference or research of your own are termed "Revenge Values" or simply "RV" if abbreviated. After you learn how many hits you can land (the number of hits it takes to bait an RC is the opponent's RV) learn the timing to guard the counter attack/(s) after, and retaliating in the enemy's small, brief recovery window. All you do is, count your hits, after you land that 4th hit (or whatever number of hits the current boss' Revenge Counter activates) you need to automatically hit guard so you can negate his RC, and guard his other 2-3 hits he dishes out before leaving another open window to land another 3-4 hits on him. It's literally rinse, and repeat: Attack 3-4 times to force or "bait" the enemy to counter attack-> Guard incoming revenge counter attacks from the enemy -> Throw another 3-4 strikes to hit his Revenge Value again to force another auto-counter. And it's just repeat steps over again. Essentially, what you're trying to do is put an enemy into a neverending loop that you can fully predict. You will see evidence of this in every fight in every video I'm going to post below. You pay attention, and you'll notice that I'll always hit an X amount of times (factor of X is the actual RV. Determined differently with each enemy. Could be 6 hits, like Marluxia's RV. Could be only 4 hits like Roxas' RV) but I ALWAYS land no more, and (hopefully) no less than the exact number of attacks needed to bait them into a RC, and guard it. 14.) Always Land The Exact Revenge Values. No More Any attempt to, or if you accidentally deliver an extra attack that is higher than the actual RV, you might as well retry; because you're not going to be guarding that counter, get caught in a combo you can't escape, and face the 1 hit death. Just follow those simple steps, and it then repeats the pattern if you're doing it correctly, and won't be unpredictable. What you're really trying to do is just try to keep everything in a never-ending loop so any unpredictability, and danger is eliminated. 15.) Explanation of "I-Frames" and How To Use Them For An Advantage Also, another biggie is learning I-Frames. Or, "Invincibility Frames" meaning the tiny few frames where Sora is invincible for instance: when you use a Drive Form, there are a few brief seconds of frames where you will not take any damage in the middle of using a form. Or using a skill like Donald's Duck Flare, and using it to your advantage, as you will see me do a bunch against Lingering Will at Level 1 to avoid being skill/attack/item locked, whip locked, and to stay safe during his DM or "Desperation Move" (Every boss has a DM which is expressed by the screen going dark, and the boss does their "finisher" per se.) 16.) The Biggest Slept On/Underestimated Skills In The Game: Reflect/ra/ga And Guard To probably over 90% of the KH community that sleeps on, and probably have never once used the spell Reflect-Reflectga. You have no idea just how busted, how necessary it is, and how brokenly powerful that spell is. Especially in a Level 1 run. It's pretty much an absolute MUST in it to do any real damage at that level. Not only that, but if you're not a master or not use to timing your guard precisely yet, Reflect/ga is an alternative that is safe, and don't need to be facing any particular direction to guard anything. Only downside to spamming reflect constantly instead of mixing up guards, and reflects is that if you don't rely on using guard, and spam reflect instead; you're going to be struggling to keep, and have MP when you want/need it. 17.) Short Summary/Review Of Everything So Far/Convinced Yet? Convinced yet? Literally. Turn-Based RPG. Except think of each of your 3-4 chain attacks as a "turn" and you know that as soon as you land your 4th keyblade hit, your turn is over, and it's automatically going to be the opponent's "turn", and since you're expecting this, and know this, you block perfectly in time with his counter attacks, and learn their pattern. The key is to try to just keep it in a constant, simple, loop-ish kinda fight. Making sure to force the counter attack yourself so you know precisely when to guard; rather than having to randomly guess/pray when their next attack is going to be, and if you're going to be able to read it quick enough. 18.) Opening Up Your Mindset/Perception/Planning Strategies Toward The Hidden Turn-Based Gameplay Is Key This was the biggest, and most obvious "eye-opening" realization that helped me tremendously once I started looking at it as a Turn Based game. Respectfully like most of Square Enix's works prior. Which, I believe if most people started having that mindset of playing it like it's turn-based, just about everyone that truly wanted to would be able to complete the level 1 challenge a lot easier than ever initially thought. Literally every boss has their own respectful number of attacks they can receive before being scripted to auto-counter attack. Don't matter who you're facing. Don't care if it's a regular ol' Heartless, and Nobody, or if it's the friggin' One-Winged Angel, Sephiroth or the "Seemingly impossible, even at Level 100" Lingering Will himself... They all can be read, and baited into an auto-counter. All of them. 19.) Outro/Final Messages/My Video Proof If anyone is interested in watching a few of my Level 1 Crit 2.5 Organization fights for entertainment or maybe to study for your own future level 1 run, I'm going to be posting links to them below. I just wish like hell that I had a good camera back then... I'm so sorry, and apologize from the bottom of my soul about the quality, but... It's literally all I had. My crap phone camera, and setting it up to point directly at my TV while I'm actually playing live in the moment, as you can probably tell by the noise of all the button mashing but, at that time, all I was worried about was having proof so all the board back then stopped saying that I was a liar, and showing that I actually did it... Recorded most of the highlight battles anyway Level 1 Crit Run .vs Sephiroth - https://youtu.be/GtBcldOxgIg Level 1 Crit Run .vs Marluxia - https://youtu.be/mDz2O8CZxFo Level 1 Crit Run .vs Larxene (THIS BITCH RIGHT HERE...) - https://youtu.be/nf684D52Mwc Level 1 Crit Run .vs Axel (w/ Restrictions) - https://youtu.be/vztQYNIeT4U Level 1 Crit Run .vs Lexaeus (No Damage) - https://youtu.be/ad58PWJmt80 Level 1 Crit Run .vs Roxas (w/ Restrictions) - https://youtu.be/TTaMJpxxxJM Level 1 Crit Run .vs Lingering Will + Silver Crown (Evidence of me using I-Frames to my advantage, and how you can utilize it) - https://youtu.be/dTm215sIhmI Obtaining Crown From All Data Battles Lvl 1 - https://youtu.be/IydQ7qub5-w Obtaining The Elusive and "Impossible" Gold Crown Lvl 1 Proof - https://youtu.be/YdbUuJd5JM8 Then the creme de la creme. 100% Jiminy Journal At Level 1 Proof - https://youtu.be/I0d1_Ec_UdY Bonus: My proof of getting Ultima Weapon on Level 1 PROUD Mode (Ultra Difficult) in KH 1.5 (Was hilariously, also considered impossible at first) - https://youtu.be/ye2ZsgQWI_Y 20.) Final Words Of Encouragement/Faith In You All Hope others may find help, and for others, even courage to attempt this challenge. If anyone is interested in trying it, and maybe have questions, I'd be more than happy to help out in any way that I possibly can, and any feedback, comments, questions, and anything is welcome, and wanted. Thanks guys! Like I said earlier, don't ever doubt yourself in anything. If myself, of all people can beat every KH game at Level 1; then I KNOW for a FACT anybody at all can. I promise you. As for the brave souls that will be attempting this seemingly impossible task anytime in the upcoming future, I leave you all with 1 final, and important message: "May Your Heart, Be Your Guiding Key"
  3. I've been having a blast drawing Y!Xehanort recently. Even more so while I wait for the unknown date of it's update release of Dark Road. I may consider drawing something Xehanort related from the story that stood out to me and post it every week...maybe. We'll see how my energy will sustain itself. But something to keep me occupied. This scene stuck with me since I first watched it back in 2020. Even more so that it was the final nail in the coffin that made Y!Xehanort my favorite character in the series. It made me want to learn more about him and I want the update to get here sooner to finally have all the answers that I needed.
  4. I cannot tell you how much excitement I feel for this title's update. Yes, it's a mobile game. However, this mobile game has had a grip on my heart since 2016. And learning they were telling Xehanort' backstory through this mobile game back in 2020 and giving me such revelations makes me more excited to learn more coming up in August 26th. The fact that I'm seeing different stages of one person's life in the series as a whole compared to the other characters is pretty wild to say the least. Anyway, this is a redraw of the scene from the date release trailer. The moment I saw lil' sleepy toddler Xehanort cuddled up in that person's arms, I was hyperventilating. My excitement peaked, you guys don't understand LOL I guess in terms of artist's notes, when doing projects like these, backgrounds are daunting and challenging but also really fun to do (especially any background related to nature). Toddlernort (yes, that's what we're calling him for this age) was also interesting to do considering that I've mostly accustomed to Teenager and Young Adult versions...maybe someday I will attempt trying out classic old man Xehanort at some point. Not much else to say other than we are getting close to the finale I could taste it.
  5. Here is the darkness version of the scene I drew in my vision. I just couldn't pick one to upload because I was proud of both (mainly it is because of the eye color honestly).
  6. Mykaila Shakespeare

    The Only Way

    In honor of HOPEFULLY Dark Road releasing in August, figured I'd dedicate drawing the boy himself in 2 versions of the scene shown in the trailer. I really loved doing this and just love drawing Young Xehanort in general. Looking froward to see where his story goes.
  7. It’s finally time to properly share my sentiments for the Kingdom Hearts series. Since it’s my birthday, I feel it’s the perfect time to do so after a few months writing this down. Buckle up and have something to eat and drink because this is gonna be a bit long….and I mean LONG. I’ve put my heart and soul in this and I hope you can see that through what I say here. HERE WE GO! _________________ DISCOVERY _________________ I first discovered Kingdom Hearts back in 2006 I believe. My family and I visited a friend’s place for something I can’t recall. What I do recall quite fondly is me going downstairs to their entertainment room. There was a small pile of video games they had (from PS2 to XBOX I believe). One game in particular you can guess was Kingdom Hearts. But it was the first KH game. I’ll never forget seeing the cover for the first time. Seeing a unique dark atmosphere featuring Donald Duck and Goofy was certainly strange. It was clear that it was a Disney game, but it was mixed with something else, something I’ve never felt for before. Seeing the back cover also made me felt more excited seeing what is in the game. I’d like to add that I used to watch some House of Mouse. So, seeing the Disney villains interact in a video game and knowing I will fight them made it all more exciting. I also had no idea that Nightmare Before Christmas was Disney until I saw this game which was an instant win as to why I want to play the game. ______________ BEGINNINGS ______________ I will admit, my memories of my first gaming experience with KH had always been a bit fuzzy. But I will try my best to share as honest and clear as possible. I’ve always struggled to recall the location, was it my house or was it my friends? Which ever it was, it didn’t stop the fact the feeling I had was quite vivid. Hearing “Dearly Beloved” for the first time blew me away. The title screen alone with the song playing on loop gave me such a magical feeling that is so unique and unknown. I previously mentioned how It’s a Disney game so it gave me Disney magic. But it was also mixed with a different magic I’ve never felt before. The magic of Disney and Square Soft (now Square Enix) was truly unique and nostalgic that will stick with me for a long time. Moving on, I start playing the game and further given much more nostalgia with the opening sequence with Utada Hikaru’s “Hikari” English version “Simple and Clean” as a short opening remix. They’re music has always been incredible without fail it’s hard to really pick my favorite. Regardless, the song slapped and was taken straight to more nostalgia with the tutorial segment. The atmosphere of it was quite haunting. Meeting the common enemies I’ll encounter consistently in the series was intriguing considering their nature. Especially the tutorial boss that actually scared me. In fact, it took me awhile to eventually fight this boss on my own despite my fear and years later is kind of a nuisance level boss. But I’ll never forget my fear towards it. Then onto my first world which is the home world of 3 main kids. Being introduced to Sora (the main playable character), Riku, and Kairi are characters I felt close to for a long time, especially Sora. He had been a special figure in my life, probably more so than I thought. He was a pure example of kindness, empathy, and joy. He had his struggle, but he does his best to stick to his principles to help others and see the light within the darkness. Leaving their home world to explore other Disney and origins worlds was also bitter sweet. The home world was comforting and safe until events crash and separate you from your comfort zone. But it is thanks to this separation that I continue to grow as a player and for Sora as a character. The rest of the game is continuous nostalgia exploring Disney worlds, figuring out how to fight the Disney bosses over and over (because PS2 version had no “skip cutscene” option), and just desperate to know what happens next. The final segments of the game will always stick with me. Learning the puzzles of the last couple of worlds with a strange, dreading, mysterious lore-heavy atmosphere filled with revelations and difficult bosses through and through. As previously mentioned how the no “skip cutscene” was a thing on PS2. Well, if somehow fighting the Disney bosses wasn’t memorable enough, the final stages is even more so. As such, the final boss will always be inescapably memorable. This is also incredibly crucial for me because this game was the first game I completed on my own. Fighting that boss (which is a massive creepy lookin boss might I add) and defeating them had sealed the deal that this game was for me. I finally accomplished finishing a game without someone doing it for me. I will forever treasure this accomplishment since I finished the game around midnight at the time. That was my experience with KH1….now to KH2. I’ll never forget learning about KH2’s release. Getting the game was a bit overdue since launch, but I remember the first time KH1 had a sequel via posters at the entrance to one of my local Walmarts. I remembered how excited I was to learn of it’s existence. I took it upon myself to look up some clips on YouTube for awhile. It was a matter of time, about a year or two later, before my mother purchased KH2 for us (me and my sister). KH1 had a unique kind of nostalgia where it was magically unique and mysterious making me excited for the unknown to be unveiled. KH2 was nostalgic for the perfect comforting summer sunny day while eating ice cream, the enjoyment to embrace the new and exciting light-hearted adventure. All things considered that this game is famous for it’s introduction [for the west audience] of the Japanese favorite cold treat in Disney’s Tokyo Sea, Sea Salt Ice Cream. I recall so fondly trying to make some from time to time as a kid. The game itself is somewhat eerily similar to my first experience with KH1, just a bit more upbeat and light-hearted. There are slight differences of course. One being the introduction to a currently most popular KH a character in the series, Roxas. Going through his story as the prologue had stuck with me. Let me make it clear that he is actually not my favorite character, but I truly do love Roxas. What he went through and the music to accompany that story will always be a special experience despite it’s length (to which overtime I appreciated the length needed to progress his character enough for every single person in the fandom to love the character). If you’re new, please check it out yourselves. I feel it is a personal experience many should experience to relate to in a way. As previously mentioned, this game is somewhat no different from KH1 when it comes to my first experience. However, I find the bosses from the main antagonists, Organization XIII, to be the most memorable. From that point for me, the series gained it’s own identity. KH1 was experimental in a way that relies on the heavy Disney involvement such as fighting the classic Disney villains with a Final Fantasy twist. KH2 truly combined that by making Organization XIII the rogues gallery of the game. They are the Disney villains with the Final Fantasy twist. Aside from the comforting comfy inner feeling atmosphere and the easy Disney bosses with more fast and upbeat battle system, Organization XIII was the most memorable aspect in KH2, especially since they were the most difficult for me back in the day and it was incredibly satisfying when I defeated them one by one. _____________________________ MORE GAMES & NEW CONTENT _____________________________ Kingdom Hearts 2 was the game I replayed time and time again throughout middle and high school. It was also the only KH game we owned for awhile. The first KH game I had to borough from the friend I discovered the game from. Another friend had 2 copies of KH1 and gave one to us. So we had KH1 and KH2 for quite awhile. Eventually, we were gifted 2 other games like Re:Chain of Memories and 358/2 Days on DS. Sadly, those game were out of my comfort zone to learn the basics since it was drastically different from the main titles games. Dream Drop Distance was interesting too. I recall it’s release on the 3DS and trying out the demo at my local Walmart. But I never owned one and thus had to watch cutscenes online. Sadly, I wasn’t as involved in the series at the time so I had no full context of the story so far at the time. I vaguely recall my first time seeing the first trailer to KH3. I know I was pretty excited only to, for some reason, be disappointed and frustrated seeing this so called “1.5 collection” and “2.5 collection” since I just wanted KH3. Oh how naive I was since now I realized that it was an incredible collection to own after learning what content it had. This revelation occurred in the year 2015 after attending a comic-con in Texas as a Transformers fan meeting Peter Cullen and Frank Welker in which that experience was incredible in itself. I discovered a replica of the Keyblade and felt the magic again to replay the games again, but it became much stronger than before, more so than I could imagine. I neglected to mention that back in the old YouTube days, there was strange content of particularly secret bosses from OG KH games on PS2, but are only in Japanese. Even when I first played KH2, there was a segment of flashbacks which included a scene from KH1 I have not seen before. Only to learn they were Final Mixes exclusive in Japan. It took till around 2015 where I can experience new content [with a newly purchased PS3] I’ve never touched upon due to it’s exclusivity. After having that experience since 2015, this series had a full grip on me and I began my marathon to play all the games throughout 2016 and the 2.8 collection in 2017. I would go into detail on each experience of the games. But considering how long it is, I have a link to my gallery dedicated to each game in the form of posters I drew alongside a review. Please check them out. Speaking of old YouTube, it was also a time when I learned about these secret ending videos that are unlocked once you completed certain games 100%. The west only had one, while final mix versions had two. Because we didn’t have final mix editions in the west, much like the secret bosses I’ve seen on YouTube, the second secret videos of the final mix games were no different. One that stood out the most was titled “Birth By Sleep” (which was a in a way a preview to the KH prequel game of that same name). I’ll never forget how blown away I was watching the choreography of the battle that occurred that was atmospherically amplified by it’s beautiful animation and incredible music. Funny how we thought it was a preview to Kingdom Hearts 3 and the plethora of fan made game covers proves I was not the only one who thought as such. In fact, in regards to Kingdom Hearts 3… _____________________ KINGDOM HEARTS 3 _____________________ I made a review on KH3 and I’ll leave a link to the poster […]. But the wait for KH3 has all been worth it for me. If anything, this game has been the most emotionally attached I have ever been. Throughout the remaining months before it’s release, I was dealing in a toxic situation at work. I won’t go into detail of course, but it left me in dread and exhaustion from all the emotional damage I had to deal with daily at work. KH3’s release was getting closer and luck begins to shift to my side. The day of it’s release, it was not only the best day, it was equally one of the worst at work. I had to finish work by myself to prepare for the upcoming Polar Vortex that was hitting my town for a couple days which requires many people to stay at home due to it’s lower than subzero temperature. As such, after finally being off work to have the involuntary [but absolutely necessary] days off, I got a chance to play KH3 all to myself. After installing the game, the moment I hear the game’s rendition of “Dearly Beloved”, I was immediately crying and shedding tears. That sudden feeling of nostalgia, comfort, and relief washed upon me like waves to the sea shore. I will speak on my sentiments on music at another segment of this post because it does play a big part for me growing up. But hearing this rendition has been my favorite version in the series just for giving me a big massive gentle hug after dealing with such dark times at work. It took me 4 days to finish the game. Through and through, it was an incredible time to embrace the new content I’ve waited so long for since 2006. It’s also, in a way, the the beginning of my independence. Since I finished the game, a lot of changes occurred for me that made me a bit more independent and having a different job. You could say that discovering life for myself truly began after finishing KH3. I guess the best way to put it is my childhood has finally concluded and my adult life begins anew. _____________________ JOINING THE FANDOM _____________________ I mentioned that after Texas Comicon 2015, I got to Kingdom Hearts full-heartedly this time. It became more than playing games. It also became a journey of joining a union of others who love the games as much as I do. It started with my discovery of a group of people called the X-Keepers (pronounced “key keepers”). Before getting the collections, I watched a YouTube SkywardWing post his gameplay of the series he did so far at the time. It further expanded to TheGamersJoint who did a few top 10 lists and news sources for KH (and he happens to be my favorite). When I wanted to look up any tips and how-to’s on KH content (bosses, treasure locations, keyblades, etc.), Soraalam1 was the guy for the job. The biggest well-known theorist and enthusiast of the KH series was on HMK. It even expanded further with more content creators I discovered that loved Kingdom Hearts as much as I do. To further name I recommend you check out: SuperButterBuns, SarahKey, Clemps, and the previously mentioned X-Keepers of their individual channels (both YouTube and Twitch). I was also more active on Twitter to watch the fandom thrive in watching out for news updates, fan art, interactions (take it or leave it depending how you interact). It’s thanks to to my lookout on Twitter and YouTube (and eventually Twitch) that made the anticipation for KH3 far more fun and exciting. This is especially more so post KH3 with the upcoming new content to come in the series. It’s also thanks to Kingdom Hearts that I got to meet some friends through Tik Tok (which I have an account here if you wish to check it out ___). I’ll admit, it is saddening to not find many fans to connect with on deviantART due to my shift from Transformers to KH. So it is really nice to actually be more involved in a fandom than I’ve ever been for any other fandom. Transformers was somewhat close, but KH was a bit stronger on that regard. Not saying I’m done with Transformers, I’m just currently more emotionally invested in a series that has been the MVP consistently throughout since I first discovered it. I’ve been obsessed with Star Wars, Transformers, and some anime. However, Kingdom Hearts has always been around when I need it. I would sometimes insert the game to my console year after year because I loved it so much. Now I think about it, it had been my core inspiration for most of my artwork I’ve done over the years, especially from it’s music. Before I go in-depth with the music, I want to point out that I managed to get myself into 2 Kingdom Hearts concerts. Both experiences were so incredible in person: the choir, the brass, violins, presentation of the screen above the orchestra, even just the scale of the theater making it all the more powerful. Even more so it reminded me due to the amount of fans in the crowd how much the series meant to every person in the audience. The second KH concert had me meet with a couple of my party members from Union across (when it was active at the time). Again, the series has brought so many connections, especially through the music. ____________ MUSIC ____________ Please remember the name Yoko Shimomura! Out of all soundtracks I’ve heard throughout my life, the Kingdom Hearts soundtrack is my favorite of all time. It was what swayed me further into my first experience when hearing “Dearly Beloved” the first time. As mentioned already, It’s the music I used as inspirations for most of my artwork. I listen to it consistently for so many years and never got bored of it. I can name some favorites if you’re curious: - Dearly Beloved (KH1, KH2, Birth by Sleep, χ Back Cover, Unxhained χ, KH3, and Melody of Memory) - Dive into the Hearts - Destati (Third Revival) - Kairi theme - Fate of the Unknown - Vector to the Heavens - The Other Promise - Naminé theme - Darkness of the Unknown - Limpeto Oscuro - L’Oscurita Dell’ignot - Forza Finale (personal favorite) - Daybreak Town - Ventus’s theme - Aqua Dark Dive - Sacred Moon + Sacred Distance - Rise of the Union - Edge of Existence - Scala Ad Caelum theme - Hallow Bastion (KH1 and KH2) Just so many to name because it’s incredibly memorable for me. If anything, I may stretch this saying that is far more memorable than any Disney soundtrack in existence. I neglected to mention another person responsible for making the games wonderful is the opening and closing vocal themes done by Utada Hikaru. They have created themes for the series that timeless. In fact, it’s truly hard to pick which one is a favorite because of how said timeless and incredible they are. If you are new and read it this far in, here are the names of the songs they did for the series: - Hikari/Simple and Clean (remixes titled with PlanitB and Rays of Hope) - Passion/Sanctuary - Face my Fears - Oath/Don’t Think Twice If I were to pick a favorite that stood out to me it would be Face my Fears. This is the theme used for KH3. It resonates with me and, in a way, comes full circle. It is thanks to facing my fear against the challenges of learning my failures and facing scary looking creatures that got me this far into the series. There are also instrumental renditions of the themes and one that is consistent and (by all means practically the theme of the series) is Hikari. It is the most magical and most Disney feeling song I’ve heard in Disney history. And it my favorite instrumental piece of the themes. I can’t stress enough to say without the music it contains, I don’t think anyone would’ve connected with the series the way we do now. I myself probably wouldn’t have been been as emotionally invested or be as inspired for my artwork had it not been for the music. ___________ ARTWORK ___________ I’m kinda rambling at this point but I want to stress upon another form or inspiration that is indeed a core inspiration for my artwork and that is the artwork of the series director and character designer, Tetsuya Nomura. As mentioned in my first discovery that the cover work is what drew me to play the game in the first place. Back then, I was getting to love anime (the closest and first were titles like Pokémon, Digimon movies, and Studio Ghibli movies) and seeing that style mixed with Disney characters is overall intriguing. Since then, from all the covers I’ve seen for each game and promotional material, Nomura became my absolute artist and director. He pursued this project despite how absurd it sounded to combine Final Fantasy and Disney together and he managed to keep it moving for 20 years. I find him an incredibly inspiring person to me. He had shown me and the fans to embrace our creativity regardless how strange they may be. Might be stretching it to say he lived up to Disney’s motto so strongly that dreams can come true. I personally love crossovers, Disney, good music, and emotional connection. Kingdom Hearts gave me that and Nomura made it happen. Seeing his beautiful artwork over the years made me want to improve my own artwork. I am nowhere near as good as he is, but I am prouder and prouder of every new price I do that took time and effort to make it as good as possible. __________________________ THE LESSONS IT TAUGHT ME __________________________ Time for the more mushy sentimental burst here. Any form of media you love can teach you important lessons to help you reflect and grow as a person. Kingdom Hearts certainly gave me quite a few to name: Courage, Patience, Kindness, Forgiveness, & Self-Worthiness. - COURAGE The biggest for me was certainly courage. I grew up watching my mom playing video games. One game in particular is a game I love and a perfect example of how I viewed games prior to discovering Kingdom Hearts. Not only will this reflect how I feel about how I face games, but in my life in general. The game I speak of is Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I always loved watching my mom play the game and I always wanted to attempt that adventure for myself. However, my fear of facing bosses that felt too big for me, including the first level boss, always takes it’s toll and I have my mom finish the game for me. Then I discovered Kingdom Hearts. Admittedly, even on my first experience, like Ocarina of Time, I was terrified of it’s tutorial boss. But this time, despite the many tries, I finally got through it. As such, I was also able to not only finish KH as the first game I’ve ever completed, but I was able to finally finish through Ocarina of Time on my own. I was also to embrace some video games I never thought I would get a chance to try out. Courage is a crucial thing I needed to continue to improve and I’m still not the best at it. This doesn’t apply to just video games. I have a fear of massive challenges and failure. I hope as I continue to grow, I’ll be able to accomplish bigger trials despite my fear. - PATIENCE This series gave me a boost of patience in many forms. For one, if you’re someone who likes a challenging secret boss or two, you understand that it takes a lot of memorizing move sets and learning how to counter them. It requires patience whenever you need to find the right moves to strike and it takes many game overs to keep learning and learning. In the end, you feel rewarded for your patience in battle despite the many defeats. This also applies to when I waited for KH3. I’ve wanted KH3 since KH2. Square began their development around 2013-2014 when they released the remix collections. I think the range of years truly was a test of my patience. But as I grew a little, I finally accepted that games really needed time to make them as good as they can be. I think gaining that patience really applied to me outside of gaming. I never thought I consider myself to be patient. But after hearing a few people say to me otherwise, I can’t help but feel proud of this accomplishment. This especially helps with finances as well, buying stuff I want carefully and learning to handle my money a little better. Not perfect at it, but it’s thanks to some of my patience that I have some restraint in what I spend. - KINDNESS Another thing that I noticed since I got into playing the series was kindness. Admittedly, when I was into Transformers, I don’t think I was as kind as I could be. Of course, I was pretty young and still had a lot of growing to do. Optimus Prime was the only character to be an example to distribute kindness. It is thanks to that motivation to meet the very person who was also very kindhearted that connects to wanting to play the games. It further showed me more example of kindness of not one character, but many more in a series. It is thanks to KH that got me to stop me in my tracks and actually given myself a chance to think about what words to say and what boundaries I shouldn’t cross. It is thanks to my growth for kindness that I feel like I’m in a much better place for my friends, my family, and others around me. - FORGIVENESS This trait is tricky. It’s difficult to really speak of forgiveness because many view it very differently on how you approach forgiveness. My take on forgiveness is you have to learn to let go of the hate of the person that harmed you. You don’t have to be friends nor do you need to be near them. But you have to accept that it happened and try to heal yourself more so than focus on hatred. The main villain of the series certainly is viewed [by some] to be the person you should not like. Of course, that’s exactly what a villain is supposed to do. However, after learning of his motivations and in-depth look on his view (still wrong it may be), I personally couldn’t bring myself to be angry at him. Mind you, it’s not easily replicated to forgive someone outright. It takes work to really gain the strength of not allowing hatred to consume your mind and heart. But to me, the message of forgiveness certainly helped me strengthen mine towards those that hurt me. - SELF-WORTHINESS I feel out of all things, the message of self-worthiness I feel resonates to many fans. So you ever feel like you want to make a difference to not only to the world but to yourself, except you feel like you’re not worthy or confident in yourself to make a difference? I honestly feel this way constantly. Lack of confidence in myself to do well for me and anyone in the world. There’s quite a lot of work instances from many characters in the story that are told that they’re useless, worthless, cowardice, weak, broken, helpless, etc. Often from the villains to our heroes that they are nothing but tools and (a couple of cases) are not meant to exist. Kingdom Hearts reminds me that even a smallest ounce of self-worth does make a difference more so than you think. Knowing that there are people cheering you on to keep moving and that you are not alone helps boost that worthiness, no matter who you are or where you come from. - LIGHT & DARKNESS This is a no-brainer. The conflict between light and darkness have always and forever be universal. Many media tamper with this trope often leaning the idea that light is good and darkness is bad. In my opinion, I agree with this statement, but there’s more to it. Kingdom Hearts shares all kinds of perspectives of this classic conflict. Here is my take. Yes, light is good and darkness is bad. However, the world is built with light and darkness. Same goes for us. The light represents good, comfort, warm, and strength. But step too close to it, you could blind yourself and not see the growing shadow behind you. The darkness represents sadness, pain, fear, hatred, cold, and weakness - one of which should not drown ourselves in. But with the courage to face that darkness to gain the light needed to see the way, the darkness will not be able to bring you down. We all have strengths and weakness equivalent to light and darkness. It’s a matter of being able to learn if your weaknesses and be able to grow to strengthen ourselves from that weakness. You need shade to not burn yourself from the light of the sun. But you also need light to see the path in the darkest night. The stars even show that it’s not fully dark. The sunsets and sunrises create a perfect harmony of light and darkness. Of course, it’s just my perspective. But I truly stand to my belief that understanding both light and darkness can help us grow to who we want to be. I mostly side with light, but I acknowledge that darkness is a necessary entity that I should face to not drown from. ————————— CONCLUSION ————————— So, if this long post of me rambling about this silly game with a heart of gold isn’t obvious enough, I really love Kingdom Hearts. It is a series I think quite fondly of for inspiration during my obsessive stages with Star Wars and Transformers, and even some certain anime I enjoy. I never get tired of replaying the games I love in the series, especially KH2. The concept, design, characters, music, gameplay, and moments have always been something I will treasure. ———————————— ARTISTS NOTES ———————————— This piece obviously shows the time period of me growing up. If you can see in the background, the art I chose are the ones that stood out to me. This was a personal growth of improving my drawing skills and the media that impacted me the most. The poses I chose were based on Sora from the KH tire screen menus. I tried to make it as sentimental as possible. And if my words here are still too much, I hope the drawing here at least was enough.
  8. So I've been running my girlfriend through KH from beginning to end, and we just finished BBS in its entirety. And ive been mulling over my favorite ongoing wuotes from KH as a whole and the one that I've always loved is "destiny is never left to chance." Honestly, I could have sworn it was used more than once or twicd. But the only instance I've been able to find is MX saying it during the climax in Dream Drop Distance. Is there any other times it's actually said? I always wished it was as notable a quote as "may your heart be your guiding key." Halp?
  9. IN context, this was a re-draw I did with a white board for an "Inktober" project I did last year. I did to do one again, but this time with my Procreate app. I am really looking forward to what Dark Road has in store for Xehanort's backstory. Seriously, I never thought I would love Xehanort (particularly Young Xehanort) as much as I do. He is just super fun and easier to draw (^^)
  10. Is it just me or do I feel Young Xehanort is being underrated...maybe a bit to under appreciated? I am truly excited to see the whole story of Dark Road. Seeing him in a different perspective. Even seeing him in the end of Union Cross has made me more intrigued than I ever have before.
  11. The next of the side games is the prequel to KH1, Birth By Sleep! I hope you all like it! Instagram: chris.arts5 Twitter: Arcanekeyblade5
  12. Let me say that this theory has been discussed here before, but I would like to expand and supplement it.For starters ,we all know that Dark Road and Union cross are connected, if only by the fact that DR is formally launched through Union cross. However, it also seems to me an interesting detail is that in the profile of Xehanort in DR, the nickname "Player" is still marked, tell me why all of a sudden ?After all, in DR, we control a famous character.But what if it was intentional ? What if there is a connection between the" Player " and Xehanort ? As you know ,Ventus, Lauriam, Skuld (Apparently), Alrena and Ephemer (Apparently) went to the future.But what if this also applies to the "Player"? What if the "Player" just also lost his memory and was thrown out on Destiny Island ? At least in the DR itself, Xehanort has the memories of a "Player". And here I also remember another theory voiced earlier ,that the whole world of "Kingdom hearts "is actually an artificial reality created by someone (Probably MoM ) and in fact that the world of" Verum Rex", that the world of" Kingdom hearts "is two video games of"unreality".And if you go back to the UX ,it also seems strange to me that the "Player" essentially just "wakes up" in "Daybreak town" we don't know his backstory, he just happens to be in this place.And as noted earlier, it is suspicious that all the "Players" in KH UX are children. And then I came up with a crazy theory. If the whole world of Kingdom hearts ,and in particular UX, is a kind of "video game", what if the "Player" is something like artificial intelligence ?Which is also the same as any "Avatar" can be customized and have any gender, skin color and hair.This explains why in Xehanort's flashbacks, if this theory is to be believed, the "Player" looks different from Xehanort ,he just reconfigured into the version of the character we know. And it will be funny how many people are waiting for the debut of the "Player", but in fact this is a character with whom we have long been familiar and is the main villain of the series.What if all the characters of KH are essentially these same players who just during this time were able to become individuals in contrast to the UX versions that were almost complete copies of each other. In the KH universe, everyone has hearts, and in addition, if you resort to the rules of the RPG, usually there are characters with increasing levels, becoming larger and stronger. I think this rule can be attributed to the inhabitants of "Kingdom hearts".And maybe there isn't even any real time travel ,and the heroes just got thrown out ,somehow, to later levels.I think this also applies to the Book of Prophecies ,which can be a kind of a kind of "Hard Disk" in which the entire plot of the story is recorded in advance. Also, I just got a theory about "Virus". If the KH universe is a kind of "artificial world", then there must be a real world. And maybe "Virus" is the one who somehow managed to get from the real world to the world of "Kingdom hearts"?
  13. And the final (Maybe) in the series of pieces showing off the final battle of the mainline Kingdom Hearts games, we have Kingdom Hearts 3! Hope you all like it!
  14. Kingdom Hearts X (Chi) and SALIGIA: the Key to an Allegory By Jesus C. Deytiquez Disclaimer: The following (except those validated or founded facts in the Kingdom Hearts series) are my own speculations based with research and knowledge. And sorry for the grammatical errors if there is/are. Reincarnation Theory I know that there is a theory spreading among the fans of Kingdom Hearts like me that proposes the idea that the foretellers and their master, the Master of Masters, will die and then be reincarnated into the several characters that we are very familiar with (e.g. Sora being the reincarnation of Gula). I really cannot say that I am one hundred percent certain with the accuracy of what I will be going to show in this article, but, maybe, just maybe, my speculations will help my fellow fans to reconsider or rethink the aforementioned theory. My Story I am a writer and I like reading and writing allegories, or stories that hide deeper meanings in them through symbolism or imagery, with the goal (although somewhat paradoxical) that by masking such meanings, the meanings will be understood by the reader in a way that a normal presentation cannot do. I like the allegories of C.S. Lewis, Dante Alighieri, John Bunyan, and other Christian writers; they all utilize their character’s name and personality to present several ideas to their reader. One common thing also about them is that they always introduce to their readers the seven deadly sins, namely, pride, avarice, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth by creating characters of their own, based on the sins with related names and suitable personalities—the seven antagonists in the anime Full Metal Alchemist will be the contemporary example of this allegorical style. And these characters representing the seven deadly sins will be the characters that the protagonist will need to encounter and overcome during his or her journey. And I, moved by the beauty of their stories and that particular style, tried to write my own. My Research, Discovery, the Seven Deadly Sins, and the Master of Masters’ Name During my attempt to create my own allegory, of course, I also done some further research to aid me in my endeavor. Ex nihilo nihil fit. From nothing comes nothing. I need to receive first before I can give. Then I discovered along the way that the seven deadly sins, when translated to Latin, will have these names: Superbia, Avaritia, Luxuria, Invidia, Gula, Ira, and Acedia (SALIGIA). By the time I discovered this, mysteriously, I also discovered that there is an android game of my all-time-favorite game, Kingdom Hearts, which is Kingdom Hearts X (Chi) or which now called as Kingdom Hearts Union Cross. (This happened way back late 2016.) I hastily installed the app, and you can imagine my surprise when I learned the name of the foretellers who were the leaders of the five unions. The five foretellers possess names from the seven deadly sins! Master Ava is avaritia. Master Invi is invidia. Master Aced is acedia, and so forth. In other words, the Master of Master’s name, which is still unrevealed last time I checked, is almost sure to be Superbia or some shortened version of that Latin word for pride. I know that it is really fitting for the Master of Masters’ name to be a name for pride because, according to the Christian faith from which the concept of the seven deadly sins originated, pride is the father or master of all remaining deadly sins. Furthermore, all other sins still have some love for others in them or they really on other persons to exist (e.g. you can get mad or be wrathful to a person because you still have, no matter how imperfect or perverted, some care or love for that person, you can envy a person because you perceive him to be better than you etc.). But pride only focuses on itself. Remember the keyblades of the foretellers. All have hearts in them except for the keyblade of the Master of Masters. In support of this, remember how the Master of Masters seemed to be apathetic to what is to befall. But, you might, of course, object that that particular keyblade will be passed on later to Luxu and then to Xehanort. Yes, it was passed on later to several persons, but such objection can be answered easily through analysis of the personalities of the successors and the sins themselves. Lust can easily become more like its father when it is, ultimately, already about satisfying the pleasure of the self alone. And, remember also how Xehanort used Terra and his friends for his own “selfish” reason. The Seven Lights or Virtues Now we will return to the reincarnation theory. I think that if there are seven deadly sins or vices, then there will be also seven virtues that the Christian faith also enumerated, namely, Humility or Humilitas, Charity or Caritas, Chastity or Castitas, Kindness or Humanitas, Temperance or Temperantia, Patience or Patientia, and Diligence or Industria. I believe that these virtues, being contrary to them, are what the foretellers lacked or even repelled respectively, and such lacking and repulsion of those virtues became the reason for their own downfall (I can still remember a clip showing Ira lacking patience during the crisis, being wrath). Sora, Kairi, Riku, Ventus, Aqua, and Terra are the six of those seven virtues or guardians of the light while King Mickey will be the leader. And you can see, dear reader, how very suitable it is for King Mickey to be Humilitas because a mouse is commonly seen as lowly or humble. In other words, the two leaders of warring factions are King Mickey and Superbia. Humility and Pride. Thirteen Seekers of Darkness and Twelve Seekers of Light But of course there are also a dark group called the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness, and currently such group only has six members namely Master Xehanort, Young Xehanort, Terra-Xehanort (heartless), Terra-Xehanort (nobody), Xigbar, and Saïx. How can such a group be completed? One very probable answer is: by adding the fallen seven deadly sins or foretellers. Thus, maybe, just maybe, the foretellers did not really die and got reincarnated to become our seven guardians of the light just as what the reincarnation theory says, but only became fallens and just wandered somewhere and somehow, only to be gathered by the liar and schemer, Superbia to join his student (probably), Xehanort, for a later battle against the denizens of the light. If the aforementioned is true, then the seven guardians of the lights are clearly outnumbered. But let us also remember that thirteen, which is considered as an evil number, also have a positive counterpart: number twelve. Remember that in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the number twelve, along with one, three, five, and seven, is a number for perfection. Furthermore, the Catholic tradition listed twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit: Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-Control, and Chastity. Christ, on the other hand, enumerated thirteen things on Mark 7:21-22 that defile and arise in the heart: wicked thoughts; acts of immorality, of theft, of murder, of adultery, of greed, of maliciousness, deceit, immoderate conduct, an Evil Eye (remember the eye in the keyblade of the Master of Master’s?), blasphemy, arrogance, and lack of good sense.1 Therefore, there must really be twelve seekers of light! Now, aside from Master Yen Sid, Lea is an additional keyblade wielder in the series, and there is also an official video showing Xion and Roxas joining the fight with Sora and his pals. If they really are the additional four seekers, then there are already eleven seekers of light. I wonder who will complete the group? Maybe one or several of the characters in KHUX will be the one(s) to complete the missing spot/s or replace any or even all of the probable four: Ephemer, Strelitzia, Skuld, our character in KHUX, Blaine (though very unlikely and suspicious), and Lauriam (also very unlikely and suspicious). Though still outnumbered by one it is better than only seven, and let us recall also that in the Christian faith, it is the disadvantaged or the weak or the poor that emerges at the end. In Short… Here are the two theories I harbor for the mystery introduced by the age of the foretellers and the Master of Master’s: Superbia or the Master of Masters is the ultimate villain and Invi was the traitor. What is Invi’s mask? A snake. We all know that in Judeo-Christian faith, it is out of envy that Cain betrayed and killed his brother, Abel. Does this mean Invi, a snake, is the one who betrayed them? It is kind of obvious. But the again, is there really any traitor? As what I have said earlier, the devil (known as the father of all lies and as pride which is the father of all sins) is symbolized in Kingdom Hearts, in my own opinion, as the Master of Masters. He might just have lied to all in order for them to kill one another to try to form Kingdom Hearts or the X-blade at the expense of their souls or hearts. He might have just instructed Ava to save some special keyblade wielders or dandelions in order for them to be his backup guinea pigs in case the keyblade war failed to bring his selfish desire fruition; of course, erasing their memories, as what he ordered to Ava, will be very helpful and safe for his plan if ever. (Remember the connection of Ventus as a Dandelion in KHUX and as a boy with no memories in Birth by Sleep.) Kingdom Hearts as a Christian Allegory Now, as an extra, let us ponder on this question: is Kingdom Hearts a Christian allegory? Before I say my opinion about the key or the main theme of Kingdom Hearts series, I would like to warn the reader that if he or she does not like religious matters or hate them, especially those concerning Christianity, he or she is free to read some other article. Now, for those who still willed to accompany me up until the end, I will say that, in my own opinion, Kingdom Hearts’ theme, the very key that connects all worlds in it, is ultimately, very Christian. Of course, the stained glasses are very much related to Christianity, but these particular beauty in the game are only one part (that started it all) of the many things that convinced me to believe and propose such opinion. Consider one of the most crucial points in Kingdom Hearts: Sora’s sacrifice. Like Christ, he sacrificed his life for his beloved. He, in a sense died, in order for Kairi to live. Sora is a Christ-like figure in the Kingdom Hearts. He is the one to mend all the hurting. And since we talked about Sora’s sacrifice and remembered how he became a heartless and a nobody, we might as well talk about the keyblade, the heartless and the nobodies. There are three forces in the world of Kingdom Hearts: the keyblade, the heartless, and the nobodies (as what Roxas drawing shown us in KHII). I believe that the keyblade symbolizes the goodness of God; the heartless symbolizes the people who were consumed by the sin in their hearts; the nobodies are those who are in between or those who are in a state very akin with being in limbo. Of course the people in Kingdom Heart’s world will also symbolize normal human beings like us, and we can all chose which side we will be: the keyblade’s or in God’s side where we will experience everlasting joy in the end, or the forever darkness or hell or eternal suffering because of unappeasable or unquenchable hunger or thirst caused by the hole in one’s chest, or in limbo where we will be in a state of not really suffering nor joyful. In the end it is the keyblade or the goodness or grace of God that will save us from both of the latter and undesirable ends. In support of the aforementioned, normal people like wielders in the Kingdom Hearts world can feel all kind of emotions, the heartless only the unappeasable hunger or thirst to fill the hole in their chest, and the nobodies does not really feel anything. (Special and good nobodies like Roxas might be considered as those who are in purgatory, or a place in hell where souls suffer for a while to become cleansed and later on be in heaven or become “truly real”.) Consider the possessors of the keyblade with no heart: the Master of Masters, Luxu, and Xehanort. They symbolize the demonic side. Aside from the facts or premises already stated earlier, consider this: the sign of the devil looks like what? A goat’s head. What animal did Christ use as a symbol for those who rejected Him until the end? Goat. What animal design does that particular keyblade that the Master of Masters, Luxu, and Xehanort possess/ed? A goat’s head. Since we are on the subject, I think the masks or animal representations of the foretellers are also very fitting for them. A bear hibernates thus can be considered as lazy. A unicorn, as described in mythologies, have a short-temper and can fly into a very bloodthirsty rage, and thus can be considered wrathful. A fox is considered as cunning. A snake, a traitor. A jaguar, a hasty and deadly animal. Trinity is also always being subtly emphasized in KH. Sora, Kairi, and Riku. Ventus, Aqua, and Terra. Roxas, Xion, and Axel. Hayner, Pence, and Olette. The keyblade, heartless, and nobodies. Mickey, Donald, and Goofy—speaking of Mickey, Mickey Mouse’s head is (this one added as a kind of a joke) composed of three circles. The wielder, the keyblade, and the spirit. The wielder can be seen as the Father. The keyblade can be seen as the instrument for salvation or the Son. The Chirity is the guide or the Holy Spirit. Chi is for cross right? Which can mean Christian. Chirity sounds like a mix of the words Chi, trinity and spirit, right? So, the introduction of the Chirity might be pointing to us the symbolism of the Holy Trinity which is the very cornerstone of Christianity, through the interconnection of the wielder, the keyblade, and the spirit. Of course, the Master of Masters may have also lied that he was the one who created them (the chirities). And of course there is the reverse side too. There are the corrupt wielders, the keyblades of darkness, and the nightmare chirities. There is the devil, evil persons or his angels, and the spirit of the antichrist. The devil, as what many saints describe him, likes to turn good and beautiful things into evil and ugly things. For an example look at the reversed cross. The true cross is where the justice and mercy of God kissed, for the salvation of humankind, and the original reversed cross is a sign of St. Peter’s martyrdom and love for Christ. Yet look at the symbol of the antichrist: a reversed cross. And also look at the hour of Christ’s death or the hour of divine mercy which is considered as three in the afternoon, then remember what is always considered to be the most ungodly hour or the devil’s hour (as popularized by the enemy’s agenda I am sure of it): three in the morning. And there is also the black coat that characters use to safely pass through the corridor of darkness and resist its corruption. Veteran readers of Christian mysticism and theology will be quickly triggered by the mention of these two—especially those who read St. John of the Cross, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and St. Teresa of Calcutta; they all have written about that dark night of the soul where there is a darkness that will engulf the soul and enable her (the soul) to pass through a path, unnoticed, and finally meet her Beloved, who is God. The corridor of darkness might be a symbol for a path of suffering or spiritual dryness that the saints usually goes through, and the black coat is the night that will embrace the saint’s soul in order for her to be safely united with the Beloved. But in the end, there is also a hint of Manichaeism or Dualism in KH; Riku’s statement in KH II that light and darkness are eternal pretty much sums up those two beliefs. But of course, maybe he was just fooled by the earlier speech of Xehanort (nobody). But whether KH really endorse the aforementioned two or not, it will not change the fact that the good must be prior to evil and the two are not coeternal with one another; evil is just a perversion the good just as a spoiled food is an edible meal before as what C.S. Lewis once said.2 It is the desire to be powerful and own exclusively the light that made the Master of Masters be like who he is (Xehanort too!). It is because of the desire to be equal to God that Lucifer became a fallen angel. The foolish gods and goddesses of the myth that fought for the possession of the apple of self did not know that it is by sharing that a soul or two is blessed.3 Again it is pride or selfishness that introduced darkness into KH’s world and ours. It is only by Humility or love that the light will return much brighter than before. Ending Remarks There are many other premises and theories that I can include but this article of mine is already too long. Perhaps I will enumerate them in a future article. I am currently busy so I guess I will write that one in a distant future. Let’s meet again somewhere, sometime, and somehow! _________ 1. Elliot, J. (2016). Beware the Evil Eye (Vol. 3). Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers. 2. Lewis, C.S. (1952) Mere Christianity. Great Britain: G. Bles. Bibliography: Black Coat. (2017). Kingdom Hearts Wiki. Retrieved 30 November 2017, from http://kingdom hearts.wikia.com/wiki/Black_Coat Bunyan, J. (1967). The Pilgrim’s Progress. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Pub. House. Elliot, J. (2016). Beware the Evil Eye (Vol. 3). Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers. Fruit of the Holy Spirit. (2017). En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 30 November 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_of_the_Holy_Spirit Lewis, C.S. (1961). An Experiment in Criticism. London: Cambridge University Press. Lewis, C.S. (1952) Mere Christianity. Great Britain: G. Bles. Lewis, C.S. (1933). The Pilgrim’s Regress: An Allegorical Apology for Christianity, Reason, and Romanticism. London: J.M. Dent and Sons. Real Organization XIII-Kingdom Hearts Wiki, the Kingdom Hearts encyclopedia. (2017). Khwiki.com. Retrieved 30 November 2017, from https://www.khwiki.com/Real_Organization_XIII Seven deadly sins. (2017). En.m.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 30 November 2017, from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_deadly_sins The Seven Lights. (2017). Kingdom Hearts Wiki. Retrieved 30 November 2017, from http://kingdomhearts.wikia.com/wiki/ The_Seven_Lights This post can be also seen in: https://thesparrowsnestweb.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/kingdom-hearts-x-chi-and-saligia-the-key-to-an-allegory/
  15. Iman Nazeerudin

    Zwischenschach

    The Keyblade themed after the chess pieces played by Eraqus and Xehanort during their youth.

    © Kingdom Hearts belongs to Tetsuya Nomura, fanmade Keyblade design produced by me @ExusiaSword.

  16. Hey y'all, New to KH13. In no way new to the franchise though! But anyways, I run a very small scale Youtube page just for fun (http://www.youtube.com/c/damnedsam - would love some feedback if you deem it fit) and sometime over the next couple weeks (I upload biweekly due to working full-time), I am planning on filming and ergo planning to put out a video discussing my top 5 picks for voice actors to take over for the late (great) Leonard Nimoy as Master Xehanort. Now, I know this has been a topic before rehashed on multiple occasions, but as we finally have a release YEAR, I thought I would ask again.....And I would love some input! My 5 picks have stars next to them (5* being my top pick). Feel free to add in any thoughts or suggestions that I didn't already previously have. Obviously, the other choice is that they could just be boring (in my opinion) and just go with Ben Diskin as Young Xehanort or make the character a mute...But for a character with such a voice and presence, I think that would be a real shame....Anyways, cheers!!
  17. The 'Project Xehanort' Guess the Name campaign is officially over! The title of the new game/mobile experience will be revealed January 30 at 12:00 AM PT. The winners of the Guess the Name contest will be directly messaged on Twitter, and the Project Xehanort Twitter account handle will be changed to the actual game name. Update: The official Twitter for Project Xehanort has apologized for their typo, and the name will be revealed on January 31 at 12am PT.
  18. The 'Project Xehanort' Guess the Name campaign is officially over! The title of the new game/mobile experience will be revealed January 30 at 12:00 AM PT. The winners of the Guess the Name contest will be directly messaged on Twitter, and the Project Xehanort Twitter account handle will be changed to the actual game name. Update: The official Twitter for Project Xehanort has apologized for their typo, and the name will be revealed on January 31 at 12am PT. View full article
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