Tag Archives: sora

Hardships and Victories of Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix

“Kingdom Hearts” is one of my favorite games ever.  Seriously.  I love it.  And I love it so much, it’s not even easy for me to write a post about it.  There’s just too much I can rant on.  The story is amazing, complex, and beautiful.  The characters are wonderful.  And the way they combine “Final Fantasy”, Disney, and original characters and locations is just…  I don’t know how they do it.  It just works.  Disney and “Final Fantasy” don’t really seem like they’d fit, but Square managed to combine it all in a way that is just perfect, in a way I think few others could pull off.  In short, I adore this game and the series as a whole, but there’s strangely not a whole lot I can say.

            The game is simply perfect, or nearly as close to perfect as a game can get, and with the long-awaited “Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix” finally being released for the first time outside of Japan, I was so excited to play this beloved game again and finally get to see the extras I had been missing out on for so long.  And so when I was thinking about what to write for this post, I thought this game needed something extra special to remember my time with it.  Plus, if you haven’t played this game yet, I have no more to say except for, oh my gosh, what are you waiting for, go play it!  And if you have already played it, you don’t need to hear me ranting about what you already know.  So for this post, I will simply be discussing my experience with the most amazing “Final Mix”.

            Even though I had already played this game twice before the “Final Mix” version was released in my part of the world, I had such a great experience playing this enhanced version of the game.  Things started out rough at first, as there is this secret battle with someone called Unknown (I know it’s you, Xemnas…) that I wanted so badly to get to fight.  I thought to myself, the easiest way to unlock this battle would surely be to play the game in Proud Mode, as there are fewer requirements than in Normal Mode.  After all, the only time I got the secret ending of “Kingdom Hearts 2” was when I beat it on Proud Mode, because I just could not get 100% in the game on the regular difficulty.  Surely the same method will work here, right?  Wrong.  Proud Mode turned out to be much more absurd than I expected, and when I was being completely annihilated in Traverse Town (Traverse Town!  On your first visit!), I decided I’d never even get through the game like this, and so I started over in normal mode.

            Things went much more smoothly this time, and I decided that I was going to try my hardest to fulfill the requirements for fighting Xemnas (sorry, Unknown…), but if I didn’t, I didn’t.  At least, I’d be able to beat the game and see all the other secrets that “Final Mix” had to offer.  So as I played the game, I worked to collect all the Dalmatians (in the end, I found all of them on my own except for the 70-72 set), found all trinities, and I was surprised to find that there were actually bosses that appeared in the original version of the game that were new to me, not to mention enemies that really were exclusive to this version.  I guess I wasn’t very observant last time.  And not being entirely certain of what exactly was needed to fight Xemnas/Unknown, and for the pure fun of it, once I got to the final location of the game, I went back and got to work getting everything I had missed.

            After lots of leveling up, I kicked butt in Olympus Coliseum (the regular matches, where you have to fight a zillion things), but Sephiroth remained too difficult for now.  I went back and defeated Kurt Zisa in the desert and beat the Ice Titan once I figured out how to actually hit him.  It took a long time to get strong enough to beat the most terrifying Phantom, but I finally beat that thing, as well. (I loved that battle, though.  I love fighting scary things.  And I was down to almost no magic, with all my Ethers used up, when I finally dealt the finishing blow.  How relieved I was.)

            And all the while I worked on collecting items I needed for item synthesis (which I called my “Kingdom Hearts” grocery list) so that I could eventually obtain the Ultima Weapon, at the same time getting stronger and stronger so it would be easier to beat the bosses I couldn’t…beat.  I had trials and tribulations sneaking around, trying to take out Sniperwilds before they spotted me, and I had quite a frustrating time attempting to get Mystery Goo from those darn White Mushrooms (they’re adorable, but sometimes I just wish they’d use their words), and I tried countless times in Deep Jungle to get the stupid Pink Agaricus to just give me a Serenity Power already!  Eventually, I got the hang of all this and the Ultima Weapon was mine (I didn’t bother with Donald or Goofy’s better weapons, as I was so sick at that point of trying to get rare enemies to appear so I could get the items needed).

            Even at this point, however, defeating Sephiroth seemed impossible, as I simply could not stop his Heartless Angel attack (it reduces your MP to 0 and your HP to 1, and then he attacks you before you can say “time out!”).  I thought I’d perhaps fight random enemies a little longer and get Sora to level 100 to see if that would do it (even if that wouldn’t prevent Sephiroth’s most horrible attack, but hey, I had to try something).  But first, just in case I can’t beat him, why not go and see if the battle with Xemnas is unlocked yet.  To my surprise, it was (apparently defeating Sephiroth is not required to fight Xemnas, even though I heard it was), and you have no idea how excited I was to find that today was the day I was waiting for, when I could finally try that secret battle I had been working so hard for.  Oh, glorious day!

            After several tries, Xemnas was defeated during a battle where I just went berserk on him in an effort to beat him as quickly as I could, with the hopes that this would allow me to face his worst attack as few times as possible (it drains your HP and doesn’t allow you to heal until you press the right button at the right time, and it makes me rather sad, not to mention trying to avoid him while staring at the bottom left corner of the screen and waiting for the correct command to appear is not easy).  Overjoyed, I then went ahead and got Sora to level 100, and I went to face Sephiroth again…and you know what?  I beat him.  Twice.  (I mean, it would be pretty pathetic if I couldn’t beat him even at level 100, and a much better gamer would have done it much earlier, but hey, I was proud anyway!)  Another bout of being a berserk lunatic in battle won the day against this one-winged monster, and my journal was complete.

            And not about to waste time with the Gummi Ship missions (I hated the Gummi Ship levels; they were the only part of this masterpiece that was cheaply made) and lacking the will to try and collect rare items ever, ever again, I was as done as I was ever going to be.  Not only did I get to see this version of “Kingdom Hearts”, new cut scenes and enemies and all, but this was also the first time I actually got the full experience, defeating all the bosses and finding all the lost puppies and the trinities and, yes, even tracking down items that made me tear my feathers out in wrath when an enemy I needed wouldn’t appear or that stupid Pink Agaricus refused to drop a Serenity Power yet again!  It was time to beat the game, and I did, in a most-unsatisfying final battle, since it was no challenge because I was so darn strong at that point.

            I love this game, even more now than I ever had before.  This was my third time through, but I realized this time that I had never really played this game before, not really, as there was so much I was missing originally.  There is so much more to experience than just the game’s main story.  I left so much unfinished my first two times, and this was the first time I actually stuck it out and completed nearly everything I could no matter how tough it got.  It was a whole new experience, and I guess you can say I kind of bonded with this game in a way I never had before.  I had been through so much in this game.  And so that’s why I wanted to share my experiences with this game with you, because it is not often you discover a masterpiece like this after having already played it.

Final Duck

Advertisements

Day 5: Game Character I Feel I’m Most Like (Or Wish I Was)

It is now day 5 (or topic 5, as I am way beyond day 5) of my 30 day video game posts, which focuses on a game character I think I am most like (or wish I was), though this may or may not already be pretty clear from the title.  This is a rather hard one.  There are a lot of characters out there, and there are some I share similarities with and some I don’t.  But, I am really not sure who I am most like, and it’s a strangely embarrassing question, I think.  I’d sound like a weirdo if I said, I don’t know, I was like Samus.  What a conceited jerk I’d seem like to everyone.  I think I’m similar to the super awesome bounty hunter from the “Metroid” series?  Yeah, right.  No one compares to Samus because she is awesome.  Well, no, I wouldn’t choose her anyway, as I am nothing like Samus.  Perhaps that counts as a character I wish I was like, but still.  That’s not a good topic, either, as there are a lot of characters I wish I was like.  I wish I was cool and brave like Samus.  I wish I was as sweet and kind as Sora from “Kingdom Hearts”.  I mean, who doesn’t have a dozen characters they wish they were like?

            So that brings me back to which character I think I’m most like.  Well, none of the heroes, that’s for sure.  None of the villains, either, fortunately.  I’m neither heroic nor villainous.  So I guess I’d have to go with a minor character.  After thinking long and hard, for much longer and much harder than I really should have been, I decided on one particular character I may share the most similarities with.  This character would be the not-so-well-known Vin from “Jak II”.

            You may remember the post I wrote on this guy.  Vin is this nervous, nerdy character that manages the Power Station of Haven City.  While I certainly don’t do anything important like he does, I believe our personalities have some unfortunate similarities.  For one thing, I am super nervous like Vin is.  I’m sick to my stomach right now.  Why?  I don’t know.  Maybe because there are a million things out there to be sick to your stomach about.  Where to begin?  I may not fear Metal Heads as Vin does (if they existed, I’m sure I would), but I do fear all manner of illnesses, clowns, natural disasters, bears, crime, bear-clown hybrids, and that fateful day I just know is coming when a large spider is going to end up in my house or the smoke detector will go off due to low batteries, and I will not currently possess the necessary skills to stop it.  I also dread the day my computer finally dies.  Or gets so dang old, it simply isn’t compatible with anything anymore.  Heck, I was nervous enough when Youtube was acting up on my computer (I love Youtube).

            I am also paranoid.  While Vin thinks everyone, including Baron Praxis, is out to get him, I have suspected others were out to get me, too.  There were multiple occasions where I was alone with someone, and the thought suddenly went through my head that, if they decided to kill me, what would I do?  How would I fight back?  And if I failed, would anyone ever find my body?  (Well, I’m not going into the middle of nowhere with people, but a duck body may be pretty easy to hide due to our small and compact size, and my corpse may spend years in the ventilation ducts in the ceiling, which is surprisingly fitting, as the word ducts sounds like ducks.)  I started to panic inside, thinking this is a prime murder location.  If I was a murderer, surely I would murder myself here.  If they wanted to do it here, they would probably succeed.  Oh, if I just hadn’t made the decision to go here with them, I would have lived a long and happy life.  Or I worry that when we’re driving somewhere, someone is going to take a detour to drive me out into the middle of nowhere and butcher me rather than continue on to our planned destination (I’ll drive to the comicon alone next time, thank you very much!).  That’s the reason why I do the driving.  Plus, people drive like maniacs, with their lane-changing and their lack of turn signals.  You always know when I’m going to change lanes.  Always.  No surprises driving behind this duck.  You’ll just be stuck driving the speed limit.  Sorry.

            Also, it is not part of the game itself, but “Jak 3” has these goofy interviews with the characters, and while it is not canon, the characters are still, well, in-character.  Anyway, in this interview, Vin is also bothered by “people getting too close” and germs, which is why he doesn’t shake hands.  I don’t like people getting near me, either.  I don’t hug.  I also don’t see the appeal of kissing (get your face away from my face; I’m not food!) or holding hands (I don’t want to touch your clammy mitts, either!).  I also usually don’t like people sitting next to me.  I know I’m on a full-sized couch, but sit on the other couch.  My bubble of solitude needs a good ten-foot radius.  I also don’t like shaking hands.  It’s filthy.  We’re going to have an epidemic that will spread like wildfire because of this bizarre ritual to grasp the hands of everyone you meet.  You don’t know what disease they have.  If they have leprosy or some other affliction of the epidermis.  If they wiped their nose or coughed or sneezed on their hand.  You don’t know if they washed their hands or not after they went to the bathroom.  You can’t know these things, and it would be rude to ask, and yet you are expected to touch other people and get their germs on you.  Why?  I say we do away with the whole thing.

            So there you have it.  I share the unappealing characteristics of a guy described as “pathetic” and “a bit crazy” by other characters in the game.  Which are words possibly bouncing around the minds of my readers right now.  …Hey, you guys aren’t, perchance, considering to murder me, are you?  Oh, what’s wrong with me, now you know I’m on to you, which will only make my assailants all the more sneaky.  Must lock doors and keep Keyblade close by…  Not that I don’t always do that anyway…

The Duck is Keeping a Close Eye on You….

My Memories of Chain of Memories

I recently beat the PlayStation 2 remake of “Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories”.  Sora’s story took 27:25, and Riku’s story took 16:04.  This game was originally released on the Game Boy Advance, and I thought it was really boring.  But, nevertheless, I still bought the remake, and I thought it was a lot more fun.  It’s probably mainly because I just don’t like GBA games, but still.

            Anyway, in this game, Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy are searching for King Mickey and Sora’s friend, Riku.  They find a mysterious castle where “to find is to lose and to lose is to find”, whatever that means, called Castle Oblivion.  As they go further and further into the castle, they start to lose their memories, while Sora starts to remember a girl he knew when he was a little kid.  But, why hadn’t he remembered her until now?  Also in the castle are some strange people in black clothes from a group called Organization XIII that are led by a man named Marluxia.  Now what could they be up to?

            This game is played a bit differently than the other “Kingdom Hearts” games.  You still fight in real-time, but now you use cards.  You choose what cards you want, then as you fight, you scroll through your cards and can use attack cards to attack, magic cards to use things like cure or fire, and item cards for reloading cards.  There are also summon cards where a character appears for a short time to help you.  My favorite is Cloud (the same Cloud from “Final Fantasy VII”) because his attacks are strong and because he’s Cloud.  There’s also Tinkerbell, the Genie from Aladdin, and others.  Cards are numbered from 0-9, and the higher the number, the more effective.  Plus, if you play a card higher than what your enemy is using, you can break their card and stop their attack.  (0’s can break anything or be broken by anything, depending on when you use them.)

            Each world in this game is made up of a bunch of rooms.  At each door, you use a card that determines what kind of room it is.  You can make a save point, or a room with a lot of Heartless, or a room with sleeping Heartless, for example.  And each world has various rooms where part of the story happens, as well.  Going through a whole bunch of rooms can get a bit redundant, but this game was still more fun than the original.

            There is also another story when you beat Sora’s story.  This story is called Reverse/Rebirth, and you play as Riku.  The game chooses for you which cards you can use, which can be bad or good, depending on what they decide to give you.  Riku can’t do as many things as Sora can, but he can go into dark mode where he can use strong sleights (where you combine three cards together for an attack).

            One thing I think is worth mentioning is that in this version of the game, you get to fight Organization member Zexion.  For a while, he was the only member of the Organization that you never knew what powers he has or what weapon, so I thought it was fun fighting him for the first time and seeing what he can do.

            Anyway, to summarize, the remake of “Chain of Memories” was a lot of fun.  This game is played much differently from the others because of the cards and the rooms, which can make it both unique in some ways and a little boring in others.  Overall, I’m glad I got the remake.  Now the game is actually fun to play.

Chain of Ducks

Coded

I couldn’t think of a creative title, but anyway, I recently beat “Kingdom Hearts: Re: Coded” for the DS, which is a remade version of “Coded”, which came out on a phone.  It took me a little over 19 hours.  The game takes place in a digital version of the journal Jiminy Cricket wrote during the first game, and digital Sora has to get rid of the glitches and figure out where the mysterious message came from.  The game sounded rather silly to me, and so I didn’t expect much from the plot, but it ended up being better than I thought it would be, though I still don’t fully understand it.

            The game was quite fun and consisted of exploring worlds, doing whatever you needed to do there, (for example, in Wonderland, the characters have lost their memory, so you need to find inklings to help them remember) and finding “system sectors”, where you destroy bugs to get rid of glitches.  In many system sectors, each level has a challenge, such as destroy this many Heartless, or don’t miss with more than so many attacks, and you wager a certain percentage of your points.  If you win, you get more points, and if you lose, you lose the ones you wagered.  Sometimes I did pretty good, sometimes pretty sucky.  At the end, you’d buy upgrades, moves, etc. with the points you got.  Good stuff.

            Something unique about this game was the keyholes that you went through at the end of each world.  In several of these, the game was played differently.  Sometimes, it was a side scrolling 2D level, sometimes a shooting type level, and once, there was turn-based fighting.  (Normally, I don’t think they should do that, but it was fine in this game.)

            Methinks this game was easier than the others, which is mostly good, except you didn’t get a ridiculously epic, ridiculously annoying, multi-part boss battle at the end.  A shame about the epic part, but good about the annoying part.  And you’ll never guess who you fight last.  Well, maybe you will.  I don’t know.  I didn’t, at least.

            No cute mini sheep to report, but there still was something super adorable.  From the main menu, you can design a little, cutesy-fied character called an avatar.  You can make it look like a character from the game or design your own thing.  Needless to say, I had quite a bit of fun with that.  Choosing clothes, hair, peepers (that’s what they called the eye section, so I can’t take credit for that bit of funnyness).  Though, one time, I put a belt on the avatar, and its clothes disappeared, and it was naked except for that belt.  That was a bit disturbing.  Naked, belt wearing Sora.  Shudder.  Somehow, the belt made it worse than simply being fully naked.  I now leave you with that image.

 Re: Ducked