Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Kingdom Hearts Primer - 358 Days / 2 - Episode 4 - Relationships Founded On Lies

This clock tower is really starting to grate on our nerves.

I try genuinely hard to avoid spoiling things for Sam on this Kingdom Hearts adventure we've embarked on. But every now and then, a reveal is so tantalizing that I can't help myself. This was one of those times. It doesn't help that those kinds of retcons are alarming frequent, especially in the spin-off games. On top of that, they are necessary in order to properly contextualize the experience.

This game spends so much time dwelling on the fact that Nobodies don't have hearts. This is problematic for two reasons. One, while they talk a lot about it, they never explore the ramifications of what it must be like to live without emotions and how having and losing emotions can change someone. Despite constantly saying that Organization members don't have feelings, almost all of them have distinct personality traits, thoughts, and emotions (or at least character archetypes). Even if Kingdom Hearts 2, it stinks of a lack of opportunity.

But then coming out and saying that they *do* have hearts and feelings causes it's own set of headaches. It makes all the pointless, meaningless dwelling on the subject feel like a collective waste of time. Why did we spend so much time going "Oh, we don't have emotions", when that couldn't be further from the truth? And it jettisons all the potential there could have been to explore a very interesting premise.

I can't figure out what it would be, but there had to have been a more satisfying way to resolve this problem than the route they took. As it stands, it feels like Nomura figured out we couldn't write characters with "no hearts" and just did away with the premise with a half-assed retcon. I'm unsatisfied.

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