Oh, Kingdom Hearts 3. Many fans along with myself eagerly awaited its release on January 29th, and then played through it to get the story and many of the extra details that come with the completion of the game. The story itself is pretty satisfactory and not only wraps up the last decade of games but brings the franchise into a new era. This is your spoiler warning. If you wanted to avoid spoilers, not sure why you'd click this list, but go ahead and bookmark this page so that you can come back as soon as you're done playing through the main story.
As I was playing through the game, I often would notice little things that would stand out to me. They ranged everywhere from small to large and could be about anything. Kingdom Hearts is a game series where acute perception is rewarded. But sometimes even those who pay the most attention to things can be mind-boggling. Some can be racked up to being typical Kingdom Hearts conventions, but others are a bit out there, even for the franchise.
As I've said to my family, there are a lot of things about the game series that don't make sense and probably never will. But it's important to remember that we don't play the game to make sense of everything. We love it for the characters they've created and borrowed and the connections they've made among each other. I will always love Kingdom Hearts and can't wait to share it with my children.
25 Getting Meta
We learn later that Master Eraqus and Xehanort were the ones playing chess at the beginning, and their movements dictate what happens in the game. So does that mean that Sora and literally everyone else in the series is simply a personality attached to a chess piece that the masters are using to tell a story? They don't act like lives are on the line at all. The chess game also takes place in the past, so how could it be that their game reflects the events of the future?
24 Don't Stop Believin'
We know it was Kairi who kept Sora from disappearing all together towards the end (more on that later), but that begs the question: who was making the conscious effort to believe that everyone else would survive?
Who kept everyone tied to the world when Sora almost disappeared?
The heartless came so quickly that it must have been hard to get your bearings straight. Call it luck, fate, or whatever else, but someone, somewhere must have been wishing pretty hard for these guys. My money is on their parents that get neglected.
23 Wasted Talent
Okay, I know that Master Yen Sid does a lot for the plot. He even helps to stop the heartless so that our heroes can move forward in their progression. But you'd think that with the universe's fate on the line that he'd be more of an active participant. With his trove of magical knowledge, he probably could have done a lot more than let me ignore a hoard of enemies. We never even see him again after his spell.
22 Heart Of Darkness
I think by now we all know the story is basically being written as they go along. That's why things change and are rearranged all the time. One problem that arises because of this method of game development is the inability to give a logical explanation for something.
Vanitas' creation doesn't make much sense.
If a heart really is more than negative emotion like Sora says, how did Vanitas get created? How does he continue to exist? He is made up of darkness and wasn't technically supposed to exist. Gotta love the writing.
21 Obvious Convenience Is Convenient
I haven't played through all of the games yet, so I may be unfamiliar with this, but where did Ventus and Axel meet? They ideally are roughly around the same age, (if not Ven is a little older) so when and where did they meet? How did they become friends? While it seems a bit like lazy writing to me, it sure is convenient that Axel and Ventus happened to have a connection prior to this most recent game happening.
20 Slim Pickings
In order to help Kairi and Axel train to become keyblade wielders, Merlin sends them to a world where time doesn't actually exist. This is great because it means they don't have to worry about honing their skills quickly, right? Wrong! They still have to eat and sleep. They are going to get picked up at a certain time in the story, so why should it matter that they have all the time in the world? A little background information would go a long way, is all I'm saying.
19 Science Mumbo Jumbo
What little we get to see of Radiant Gardens includes Ienzo's laboratory and some of the gardens. Even had done a lot of research concerning replicas, even so, that he knew how to make one using a spare heart and a dummy.
A dummy shouldn't be able to take in a heart.
But what's the process? I get that in a series of magic there are some things that can't be explained. However, the research all seemed scientifically based, not magic based. Makes you wonder if the heart just floats in, or what.
18 Fairly Large Plot Hole
Okay, so if we except that Xehanort has the ability to travel through time, that leaves a couple of questions: how does he do it and what are the rules? With the use of time travel being open to interpretation and changing based on what series is using it, you never can tell if bringing someone or something with you is kosher as you travel along. Does he just use a dark portal and then bring the other person through with him?
Getting real nitpicky here, but in the first game, the legend of the paopu fruit simply said you only need to share a fruit in order to be connected forever. By using the words 'a fruit' denotes that there can only be one paopu between the two. In the third game, however, Sora and Kairi each have their own that they feed to each other. It may be a small detail, but loopholes are everywhere. They'll always be connected because of their journey, but it was a nice detail to add.
16 World Order
One of the running rules Sora and gang have to abide by is to keep the world order. They can't let others know they're from another world. Being able to travel from world to world seems to be a privilege among the keyblade wielders in order to keep balance and the darkness from spreading.
Does the world order not matter among friends?
But what now? If they really did avoid another keyblade war, then is their official work done? And what are the rules as far as using the gummi ships for fun?
15 An Excuse For Another Game
If Kairi is indeed back (there have been some theories that say she didn't actually make it back just yet), then why did Sora appear at all only to disappear right afterward? Unless some fans are correct in saying that Sora didn't make it back after all and is somewhere in limbo (thanks to The World Ends With You setting in the secret video), then why have him show up for a few moments, even if it was only in Kairi's mind?
14 Speaking Of
Speaking of the moment with Sora and Kairi on Destiny Islands, where on Earth did she go? It doesn't make sense to send her off during the main game only to have her come back with no explanation as to where she might have gone. I have a theory she was in the Final World, but there's nothing to confirm or deny it. I know as I finished the game, I was yelling at the TV, practically begging for an explanation, even if it were in some note hidden in the game.
13 An Unlikely Ally
A lot of things about Replica Riku are simple and complicated at the same time. He shows up out of nowhere and is a good friend for Riku. He helps get rid of the evil replica Riku and opens up a vessel so Namine can have a body. After all that, he disappears into the sky with the other replica's heart in a cloud of light and darkness. But is he gone forever? We thought we'd never see him again after Chain of Memories and yet here we are. So when does a heart really move on?
12 An Unexpected Surprise
All throughout my playthrough of this game, my husband and I couldn't help but joke that even a wrong look would result in Donald fainting. I'm happy to report that he faints significantly less in this game. He also has a pretty powerful attack that he only uses towards the end when dealing with a powerful enemy. When I first saw it, I wondered why he saved it for so long. Surely there were times in the game where we had needed it just as badly, but he didn't show that power. Makes you wonder what else he's hiding.
11 Crossed Timelines
As I was playing through the game, one cutscene, in particular, got me very confused as to the timing of everything. In one we see Aqua and Ansem the Wise talking and seemingly right after he is taken away by the Organization, Aqua turns to the dark side.
What is the timeline?
Okay, so maybe it was like the last of her light had been diminished by Ansem's departure. But if that's the case, why couldn't Mickey track her down? Surely she would have still been giving off enough of a trail.
10 Survival Of The Fittest
Okay, so continuing on with a rant about Aqua and her time in the dark realm; how on earth did she physically survive? She was there for 10 whole years, but there isn't really a way to grow your own food there. It's doubtful at best that any store would deliver. Unless your physical body forgets that it needs certain things to survive in the dark realm, I don't know how she could have made it for so long on her own.
9 Incredible Joints
I understand that when you take in media, you have to take things with some measure of salt. While some video games take advantage of real-world physics and give you damage from too high of a fall, it should be expected that Kingdom Hearts would not. I love the mechanic and the things it allows you to do. However, it does bend the mind a little. Since you don't get glide until the end of the game, it makes you wonder if there's an in-game explanation as to why falling from a large distance bears no ill to Sora's health.
8 New Abilities
Along the same vein as the last entry, it's curious that even though Sora has lost all of his previous abilities, he can still do some new and improved tricks. For example, Sora can freerun up certain walls and cliffs, allowing you to reach places you wouldn't have before. I'd like to know when he learned that ability and how. Perhaps he's always had it and we just never had the right walls to work with. I love the ability; it adds a lot to the game. It's simply odd they throw it at us with no explanation.
7 Juggling Act
While it might be explained away with magic, it's curious that in the Kingdom of Corona Flynn Rider has instant access to barrels for attacks, even in the middle of the woods. As one of his special attacks, Flynn brings out a barrel and rolls around the playing field.
Where do Flynn's barrels come from?
It's creative and fun, but it makes me wonder where the barrels come from and where they go after the ability is finished. Perhaps he has a little bit of magic after all.
6 A Bit Of Magic
Once again here is an aspect of the game that can be explained away with magic because the story doesn't want to spend much time on it, but here goes. Why would young Xehanort give Buzz a laser that actually inflicts damage on his enemies? I might understand it if it were to protect himself from heartless, but Andy's room is one place heartless don't go. He was only experimenting with Buzz and Woody's connection. Is a laser really necessary?
5 What Are The Odds
I get that this will probably be explained in the next game, but the fact that Riku and Yozora are practically identical (even down to the clothes) is way too big of a coincidence to really make sense.
Yozora's design will probably make sense next game.
Especially since it's a world Sora didn't realize he could travel to. We didn't either until the secret movie at the end of the game. Sora even gets confused for Yozora, even though they are different. He doesn't even look like any of the supporting characters.
4 The Missing Piece
Going back to the replicas, we noted that putting a heart into a dummy didn't make any sense. Now comes the next step. How is a doll with a heart practically human? when Riku was explaining how replicas work to Sora, he made it sound like they became human. So what is the qualifying trait that makes one human? I can't help but wonder if that's a topic they'll explore in the next game if Namine remains as a major player in the plot.
3 Doing The Un-Doable
So Kingdom Hearts has finally done it. They've gotten to the point that a lot of TV shows have reached today where sacrifices don't really mean much anymore. So many characters sacrifice themselves and then beat the odds to come back from wherever they go. It cheapens the experience a bit and we as a culture don't seem to ever really believe it when someone is gone. But what makes a difference is that the game kind of yadda yaddas over the details.
2 Stayin' Alive
One of the biggest twists at the end of the third game was that Xigbar was actually the apprentice of the Master of Masters and had been around for a long time, toting around a big mysterious black box.
Did Xigbar make use of a replica?
We know at this point he isn't a nobody anymore, so his life should be as long as a regular human's. Except that he was around before the last keyblade war. Did the Master of Masters put some time magic put on him?
1 On A Wing And A Prayer
As promised, we're revisiting the plot point that Kairi's belief that Sora wouldn't disappear was the only thing that kept him tethered to the world. How does that even make sense? I get that the whole theme of the game is that keeping someone in your heart allows you to be with them no matter the distance, but I feel like that's taking the idea to an extreme. It's par for the course for the game but logic takes the back seat here.