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People often ask why Kingdom Hearts uses terms like "hurt" instead of "pain" or "unreality" instead of "alternate dimension." Or why they use the terms "light" and "darkness" so much. The in-universe explanation for this is that the Kingdom Hearts World works very differently than our universe and has its own set of labels and rules for many things. The real world meta explanation for this though is that Tetsuya Nomura seems to like Kingdom Hearts to sort of establish its own labels and rules for things. And there's a reason why. For example, they're now calling the other side of the World that Yozora comes from "unreality" and "fiction" rather than just saying its another dimension or something. Getting used to these terms and the way they're used can be odd and jarring at times, however that's kind of the point as these unique terms sort of make you think and wonder more about these concepts. Something more mainstream such as Marvel uses more common terms such as other "dimensions" and the "multiverse" to bring characters and worlds together that usually wouldn't make much sense to bring together to make it make more sense and easy to understand for the audience so they can just focus on the characters and worlds that are being brought together instead of focusing on how weird and incomprehensible the concepts of other realities and universes really are. Kingdom Hearts likes to use words such as "unreality" and "fictional worlds" to put more focus on what these concepts actually mean and how weird and incomprehensible these concepts truly are. Instead of shying away from how philosophically weird and trippy some concepts are in order to make things easier for the audience to understand, Kingdom Hearts fully leans into it. So, if they were to just use the term "pain" instead of "hurt," you would think you understand what they're talking about completely and not take a closer look at the concept being talked about, while using the term "hurt" makes you take a closer look and examine what the concept of pain/hurt truly means and makes you wonder if you even do understand what it really means. There are concepts in life that we take for granted and think we know what they truly mean just because we've heard the words and the definitions of the words our entire lives, so we don't really take the moment to really think about it philosophically. If they used the word "pain" it would've just become another sentence that passes by and gets replaced by the next sentence without you taking a deeper look into what's being said. I remember as a young kid playing Kingdom Hearts and some of these odd terms would really make me think more about the underlying philosophy and existentialism of it all rather than just focusing on the more generic aspects that overlie it all. People often make fun of Kingdom Hearts for these odd terms and how often some terms like light or darkness are used, but I really do think there's a point to it. The way these terms are used might seem silly in a conventional way, but Kingdom Hearts has never been about thinking conventionally and has always been about establishing and following its own rules. The stuff with Yozora and Quadratum has made me the most interested in the series' future than I have been in a while. The mystique and intrigue of it is on par with after I saw KH1's secret ending for the first time. It's got the same vibes of what got me so hooked on the series so much as a young kid in the first place. It even brings back the same KH1 opening quote, bringing it back to the roots of what made the series so interesting and stand out. The theme of existential confusion that underlies the whole series. "I've been having these weird thoughts lately, like is any of this for real, or not?" "None of this... makes sense to me." Nomura has even said that the KH1 opening quote is what got KH approved in the first place. Q9: What can you say about the secret boss & episode? Nomura: "The secrets contain my thoughts about the future of the series, but with the information out at present I don't think you'll be able to guess any of it. Some parts of the battle ended up very different from what I requested. But it surprised me in a good way, so take it as it is." Q10: Why did lines from KH1 appear in the final trailer? Nomura: "Those were lines I'd long wanted to put together if I ever got the chance. You may not understand, but the inclusion of those lines is what got the world of Kingdom Hearts approved. There is no mystery to solve this time, they stand at the doorway." While many aspects of the story weren't planned by Nomura in advance, I definitely believe there has always been underlying themes and meanings that Nomura has rooted in the series and stayed consistent with and has had plans for ever since the first game. And now that the main story that has been going on with Xehanort is finally complete, it seems like he will finally bring out those underlying themes and meanings in full force and bring them to the forefront rather than in the background. Things are going to start getting really existential, meta, and trippy going forward. And I think this is what Nomura has planned for, hoped for, and always wanted to do since the first game. And I think those quotes of his prove that. The ongoing story has concluded. The ongoing mysteries have now been concluded. The time has come for the underlying themes of existential confusion, hearts, fake worlds, data worlds, dreams, other versions of yourself, not knowing what is real, etc. that have been built up and built up to finally explode and to get what Kingdom Hearts has always truly been about. "There is no mystery to solve this time, they stand at the doorway."
Welcome back to another thread where I talk about things that can be improved or added upon in the Kingdom Hearts formula to not only improve KH3's quality, but the quality of the series as a whole. Now, I've mostly covered some of the more bigger issues in previous entries, so I admit that I'm not running on a ton of gas with this one. Still, it's a concept that was sort of used and then dropped after only one game, the first ever game in fact, and while it wouldn't affect KH3's quality if it didn't return, I think it would be at least interesting to see nonetheless. So then: remember when Kingdom Hearts, the original Kingdom Hearts i.e. KH1, had alternate cutscenes? As in, if you failed certain objectives, completed certain objectives out of order, or plum just ignored certain objectives, the story would change to adhere to your decisions? An example would be if you lost to either Leon, Cloud, or Sabor, the story would show a cutscene to exemplify that you lost, or if you completed Deep Jungle or Olympus Coliseum before you completed Wonderland, the cutscene with Maleficient and the other Big Bads replaces Alice with Snow White, or if you defeat Dragon Maleficent before you clear Olympus Coliseum, she doesn't show up in the cutscene where Hades is raging about Hercules. Yeah, I do too. Good stuff. Like I said before, that was a concept that was only used in KH1. It was sort of used in KH2, in the prologue during battles with Seifer both at the start and during the Struggle tournament, but those were so minor, I wouldn't even count them. The reason I bring it up is because it was a mechanic that allowed somebody to take the story into their own direction, even if they did it by accident. There is a lot of intrigue, I think, to seeing various scenarios play out differently based on making different choices, which is what helps makes other RPGs and games of that nature so interesting and have high replay value. KH3, even though its bound to have other reasons to encourage replay value, can benefit from this as well. Let me bring up the most interesting example in the KH1 "alternate canon" to help gauge my point, which would be Monstro. In KH1, if you complete Neverland, where Riku starts acting like a dick to Sora, before you complete Monstro, Riku's behavior and interactions in Monstro will be drastically changed. Instead of playing around with Sora while also trying to figure out the puzzle that is awakening Kairi, he'll just be straight laced, make less cracks, and in return, Sora will even flat out deny that he is Riku at all. This leads others to theorize that maybe the Riku we meet in this "alternate canon" could be Ansem possessing Riku's body, depending of course on the direct chain of events that leads to that conclusion. It's that kind of narrative structure that could add a new layer to KHIII's story. After all, we've all been pretty set on what is going to happen story-wise in KHIII, so it's not exactly going to be a surprising tale. Even if some new twists and turns are thrown in that nobody expected, I doubt that its going to be largley different that what most of us have come to expect, especially since we've had almost a decade to speculate on it. So letting some events be judged in this manner spices things up a little. Also, its an opportunity to put more emphasis on the Disney World aspect of the series. Granted, I'm in the party that isn't all bleeding heart about Disney Worlds and their importance and whatnot, but I'm not exactly uncaring about them either. And I would certainly care more if they were handled in this manner. Just imagine the scope of the worlds combined with the amount of alternate scenarios you could come up with if you go to this world before that world, or complete this world before that other world, or you help this person before you do that, or you completely leave that person to rot like an asshole and go on to do something else (Poor Pinnochio and Geppetto ), and then imagine how certain characters like Riku may say or do based on your actions, maybe even coming close to slightly altering their motives or just portraying their reactions to certain things in different ways, which in turn make you feel like you're pushing the story into a different direction. Like I said, this isn't something that KH3 really needs, but I think it would be a good addition nonetheless.