Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Kingdom Hearts Primer - Birth By Sleep - Episode 6 - Let's Talk About It

Before I even had the chance to, Sam immediately points out the problem with the scenes in this episode... both of them.

The second problem Sam mentioned was elaborated on in the previous episode's post. In the scene with Terra and Braig, Sam talked about how this game seems to need to explain every single thing that happened in later games as a side effect of what one of our main characters in this game did. That issue I had with Aqua's spell on Kairi is the same problem I had with Braig's scar: There was no need to explain it.

However, that leaves the other elephant in the room. The first problem that Sam pointed out, and my biggest issue with Birth By Sleep, is that when the three met up again, the entire plot would have been solved if they just sat down and compared notes.

Though the footage we borrowed from AtRiley (Thanks to them for allowing us to use it) cut these scenes to be in chronological order, Birth By Sleep is a Rashomon plot. As a player, one plays through each character's story one at a time, and only gets the full understanding once they've completed all of them. On some level, this only works if each character has knowledge the others do not have access to.

But the best way to make sure that happens is to either prevent them from gathering together in the same place, or otherwise disincentive them from divulging information to the other parties. In the scene at the beginning of this episode, where the friends meet up, neither of these conditions hold.  Not only are all three of them in the same location, but as friends they would almost automatically open by asking what the other two have "been up to".

Think about a time when you, the reader, reconnected with an old friend. There's an almost 100% that within the first five minutes of talking, you asked them happened to them between when you last saw them and when you met again. It's just something we do, but this doesn't happen in this scene.

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