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    Oh you and I both know that's going to happen. I'm sure Nojima and Nomura will alter the Remake plot in a way that's different from both the original and Compilation. It will likely be a third interpretation of the title.

    As for the confusion on Cloud, I never saw Cloud's issue as simple confabulation, I honestly feel like he's suffering from a fugue state instead. I say this because I feel there is a significant change in how Cloud acts and presents himself before and after the revelation of his true identity. He loses a lot of his cockiness and bravado and instead starts to second guess himself a lot more. I know a lot of fans whine about "Gloom Cloud" in the compilation, but from my last few playthroughs of VII, I actually see Cloud presenting a lot of those traits already in the original, though I'll agree that it gets cranked up to 11 in later installments for both story and non-story reasons.

    Of course the other issue at play here is that the circumstances of Cloud's identity crisis goes beyond psychology since we have to deal with the fact he's being manipulated through alien DNA as well, so I don't feel we can rule out a more complex answer to his condition. That is why I would argue that Cloud's initial identity is a fabrication, and not simple him trying to fill in holes of his memory. He's being manipulated by Sephiroth through Jenova's DNA, he has transposed himself into the role of Zack, and his initially personality throughout the first disc involves taking on the characteristics of both Zack and Sephiroth which is then completely dropped once his identity is restored. In the case of James Sutherland, his confabulation simply hides the truth of his guilt from him, but he does not undergo any noticeable changes of his personality. Ashley Riot in Vagrant Story also never shifts his personality much when learning his past is a lie, but then that game also makes it difficult to discern which scenario is actually true. Cloud on the other hand begins the game with Sephy's "too cool for school" attitude when dealing with AVALANCHE, finally starts to show his past self when dealign with Tifa, and then jumps into a more heroic self once Aerith shows up, drawing on Zack's selflessness and bravado. Cloud's persona is presented as being rather inconsistent and erratic from the beginning, which I feel is there to serve as early foreshadowing that Cloud isn't who he says he is.

    While I can agree that he has most of the symptoms of confabulation, I feel his disorder goes beyond simply just filling the gaps in his memory and borderlines on disassociate identity disorder, which is why I feel the fugue state diagnosis fits better. Man I feel like I'm back in abnormal psychology class all over again.
  2. View Conversation
    Fair enough, and I can see your point on a few of the cases. It sucks when high expectations hurt the ability to enjoy something. Happened to me for a few entries myself.

    As for Zelda, I feel like Nintendo is overdue to let Zelda or Ganon be playable.

    Also you have way too much time on your hand to get all those trophies, and that's coming from someone else who has way too much time on their hand as it is.
  3. View Conversation
    I can understand the intimate camera, and I honestly didn't have an issue with it being so close. My main beefs with it are largely the fact it's lazy following Lock-Ons which several enemies and bosses seem to be designed specifically to exploit like Riku and Sephiroth, while it also had this weird thing where the camera was treated like a solid object so it would spazz out whenever it came in contact with another solid object like an enemy or most often, part of the scenery in the platforming sections. I do feel as the series has gone on that the camera is a little too far back in places. KHIII especially feels like the camera is moved too far away from the action. Likely to show off the horsepower the game worlds are capable of now, but watching videos of the game, it's hard to tell where everyone is sometimes.

    I'm actually finishing up my first playthrough of the Re: CoM, but I adored the original GBA version. I still feel like the original is tighter from a gameplay design point of view. The smaller battlefields and more simplified perspective made the core card system work better. It also just feels faster because I feel too many of the Sleights have long wind ups in the 3D version for loading purposes and thus it slows combat a bit and sort of hurts some balancing in the bigger boss battles since both the player and enemy A.I. have wider windows to 0 card their opponent out of a move, while also adding a weird stun element to combos. It got kind of annoying watching Axel or Larxene play one car and their attack is basically a three hit combo because the devs just copied and pasted the KHIIFM boss battles into the game. I'm still enjoying myself of course, but I do feel from a gameplay perspective, the GBA version is the definitive version. Story, I feel the PS2 version is the definitive version. Though I have enjoyed some of the new Sleights, boss battles, and Duel mechanic in the remake.

    I'm curious to know why you initially felt disappointed by BbS? I honestly enjoyed it outside of adding in the whole X-Blade nonsense and the fact the game's story is a bit of an "idiot ball" plot, where if everyone didn't simply jump to conclusion and trust absolute strangers all the time, the whole thing could have been averted. Granted, I feel 358/2 has a similar problem, and Xemnas could have easily kept Roxas in the fold if he didn't have chronic "I need to be an evil dick to everyone" syndrome. Course I guess we can chalk all that up to 3D's revelation about the true Organization XIII and him kind of grooming Roxas to be one of the seven lights, but I still feel like this was more of an oversight that a later game tried to fix.

    I'll be playing KHIIFM for the first time after I finish Riku's scenario in CoM, so it will be interesting to see if the new content will change my mind on anything. I'm far more familiar with the original vanilla version, but of all of the Final Mix versions in the series, I feel like KHII had the most to offer. I can't say I was floored by KHFM, and kind of felt the extras were just that. I actually forgot BbS had a Final Mix version until I picked up the 2.5 collection. It's always a little weird when dealing with director's cut versions of games versus the original. Atlus used to be master's of this with SMTIII and Persona 3 and 4, but lately I feel they're diving too far into double dipping than actually just trying to make a better version of a solid game. P3:FES felt like FFXII IZJS, in that it felt like the game the development team wanted to make, but simply fell short of because of time and cost.
  4. View Conversation
    In terms of narrative, I have no real problem with KH1 at all, and largely agree with you that it had a nice simple and fairy tale quality to it. What little I can sayt of it neatively has really more to do with the direction the series took after it making so much of what happened in this game feel meaningless, but I feel that says more about the series as a whole than any actual flaw in the games writing. Gameplay on the other hand... I feel KH1 has aged the worst in that aspect. The world design is okay, but the camera and lock on mechanics are pretty awful both for action game and platforming standards. There is some interesting game design ideas in this title, but I would agree the execution for some of them are not as good as I felt they could be which is why I never really minded the fact the series fazed a lot of it out by KHII.

    CoM is one of my favorite entries, probably because I was pleasantly surprised by it since I went in with little expectation. I also don't mind the slower and more methodical combat system, but I'm old school and still prefer my turn based combat over action shenanigans which alone puts me on the wrong side of history as far as the KH community is concerned.

    I'm honestly more surprised how much trashing Birth by Sleep gets among these "fans" as it seems to me that this entry is the one that just got a vicious turnaround from the fanbase. I remember it comign out and most fans were pleased by it except for the whole PSP thing and not being KHIII, but I'm surprised by the amount of negativity this game has generated over the years.

    I have been noticing those names popping up a lot lately in terms of the whole "BbS sucks and KHIIFM is god" mentality going around on Youtube. Most of the time, I ignore speed runners and I often feel they're harmless, but I've seen some series really get skewed opinions because of that community such as Dark Souls.
  5. View Conversation
    To be fair to the toxic KH fans, it's really the gameplay/speedrunner side of the community that feels like the problem. I mean we still get some people among all the different groups within the fanbase who sort of keep KH1 more on a glass pedestal than I feel it deserves, but my real issue has largely been getting to know the part of the fanbase that's like "skip the plot and only play KH2FM because it's the only really good one". I feel my real issue here is mainly just being caught off guard. I didn't even know these people existed since my last foray with the fanbase was before speed running and twitch were the new hotness in gaming. So it's just weird, especially since I still remember a time when KH2 was a far more divisive title and now their is a loud minority that treats it like the Holy Grail. It would be like if the Zodiac Age suddenly made FFXII super popular and treated by the fanbase as the gold standard of the series.

    I'm actually used to toxic fanbases, my first forum was a Xenogears/Xenosaga forum, so I know all about elitist pricks who treat a game hyberbolic. Hell, it's why I don't really bother with the SMT/Persona fanbase because one look at that group just felt like a rehash of the FF fandom back in the wake of the PSX generation.
  6. View Conversation
    Honestly, after KHII, I felt like the Disney worlds were largely there as a legacy element because that was a good selling point, but the writing staff had already moved on from ever incorporating them into the main narrative. I mean they get a little love in BbS going to Sleeping Beauty's world, but that's largely because the team can't just ignore how much influence Maleficent had in the first entry. Even then I felt the other two Disney princess worlds weren't exactly dragged into the meta-narrative established in the first game as well.

    As for stable time loops, I've always felt like it was a terrible idea to drag time travel into any story. It's too easy to screw up because the writer's rarely take into account how powerful it can be. It's also subject to fans picking the logic apart, and even in cases like FFVIII where the rules are incredibly well established, a lot of fans miss that point and even that game suffers from a paradox concerning it's own stable time loop. It's just too easy to mess up unless you cheat and basically start dragging in alternate timelines, and that in itself creates it's own huge mess of things.

    There are a lot of reasons why I dislike Dream Drop Distance as a narrative. It just brought in too many unnecessary elements to the series and took away too many elements I enjoyed. Maybe once I get to it again on my replay of the franchise, I may come away from it with a different opinion but, man I'm just exasperated thinking about it now.
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    I recognize canon, though I sometimes don't agree with it, but I won't argue when the story follows it though I'll likely complain. I think what bothers me more about the FFVIII theorist is not necessarily they're insistence of being right over what's stated, but their failure to see how their pet theory creates more problems for the story than what it's suppose to fix.

    I can agree with them that R=U takes a really flat character like Ultimecia and makes her 100x more interesting, but I can't look past the fact that such a story beat runs completely counter to what we see in the game proper. I need that logical consistency to enjoy a piece of work and when the information presented either runs counter to what we're being told or simply lacks too much information for there to be a feasible leap in logic as the writer asks, I get a little annoyed. Generally, how I deal with them is simply pointing out how their pet theory creates more problems in the narrative than fixes, and watching them try to methodically piece it all together can sometimes be entertaining but usually just ends in their frustration.

    As for communication, that's a kind of a loaded subject that may derail us even farther. Linguistics has never been my strong suit, and most people would agree I lack any strong interpersonal communication skills.
  8. View Conversation
    I wouldn't say coming up with your answers to a story concept, even if it runs counter to the official explanation is void of value. Perhaps in discussion of the subject itself of course, but coming to ones own conclusion or utilizing someone else's ideas for you own is in many ways the basis of art itself. I mean Disney itself has made most of their success based on remixing classic fairy tales and stories which are hardly close to the original if we were to say they are the truth.

    I can say I prefer my interpretation of what is really happening to Riku and Ansem, and while it will not get me far in a KH discussion out side of a "that sounds like a better idea" or "that's awful, I prefer the official explanation" I can still always take my own version and utilize it for something more personal and original. So I wouldn't say it doesn't merit any value to edit and write your own conclusions to official works.

    In the case of works where there are plotholes and inconsistencies, I feel the author obviously doesn't know or doesn't care enough to give proper answers, at which point they forfeit their right to complain about how fans see it. I mean if they didn't care enough to give a proper answer, then why should they be bothered when others misconstrue the meaning of the piece. The value of a work, regardless of whether it's artistic or not, really comes from those who care about it. There is always the author's view of a work, but it coincides with the public reaction and the way they see it as well. One simply has to look at Alan Moore's Watchemn series in the 80s to see what I mean, because while he's been pretty candid about the purpose of the work, the misinterpretation of it created a whole era of Comic Books that we still feel the impact of today. I mean I know he kind of looks back on it now and wishes he never wrote the piece, but objectively speaking, I feel the fact his work inspired so many, even though they missed the actual point of the story, grants it greater value than had everyone simply came to the same conclusion and moved on from it.

    On the rare occasion I let anyone read my writings, I'm not necessarily as concerned about people getting my message or idea across, of anything I find the wild speculation more interesting. My current comic book project had a moment where I was talking to my artist friend about one of the characters to give her an idea who they are so she could draw them, and she jumped to an odd conclusion about the nature of this figure that I didn't even think about. I liked her idea enough that I actually rewrote his entire scenario to fit into this new interpretation because it was more interesting than what I was planning, and I feel the work is now much richer for it. So regardless of intention, I feel that for the sake of creativity, it's better to look at a work subjectively rather than objectively. If ones opinion happens to coincide with the official explanation, that's perfectly fine, but coming to ones own conclusion is not wrong either as long as the logic is sound.

    I mean, I don't like the R=U or "Squall is Dead" theories, largely because they're off base from what we see in the official work, but I would agree with it's advocates that the theories are interesting and still consistently provide a means to come back to VIII and really delve into the story, characters, and message. I myself have gained a far greater understanding of VIII's story simply arguing with the people who propose these theories. So even for people who staunchly adhere to the official version can often gain some new insight into a work they love by indulging in fan speculation and trying to set them right.
  9. View Conversation
    I simply use the term "revived" because writing out "time traveled Ansem from KH1" is too cumbersome, it's also why I put it in quotation because we both understand it's not a real revival.

    As for my feelings on his continual existence, I feel that my uncertainty comes mostly from the fact I prefer the idea he was metaphorically still with Riku as opposed to actually being there, even though the latter is the canon explanation of what's going on. I prefer the former idea because I feel it adds to Riku's character more. Like he personified his own darkness as the being who took advantage of him and when he tapped into that power to beat Roxas, he took his form because Riku loathes and envy's his power sounds more interesting and adds some interesting layers to who Riku is from a character building perspective than to simply say it's actual just Ansem because he body snatched him and now they're forever connected so even if Ansem is destroyed, his will forever lives on within him. None of which I feel has been helped by kind of how hands off that whole plot thread became after CoM. In hindsight, I wonder if it was meant to have more to it in KHII or 358/2 and was simply cut for time? Something to ponder I guess. I accept the official explanation, but I don't agree with it being the best choice.

    As for the issue regarding the nature of Ansem's being, I'm not sure I would say his consciousness of being within Riku is completely him, though mostly because for my own World View and to a lesser extent, Kingdom Hearts own mythos seems to be moving in the direction that a person is the sum of their parts. So even though his consciousness lives on within Riku, the destruction of his temporal form in KH1 may have been enough to fulfill the requirements Xehanort needed. My point is, you may be projecting your own concept of being on this matter which is creating the inconsistency. Though it also seems I'm trying to deduce a solution without all the facts since I haven't played KHIII yet and I'm likely missing something very important. Your explanation is insufficient because you're trying your best not to spoil it for me which is causing this discussion to go in circles. So yeah, we'll probably have to get back to this once I have all the facts so we can talk more directly on the problem.

    As for communication issues, I think it may stem from both of us just having very different way of viewing things. You strike me, and forgive me I'm off-based here, as someone who is very literal and just the facts. Whereas I'm the type of person who can't accept things at face value and I try to find other meanings or perspectives to look at things. Unfortunately, that means I tend to repeat things that are understood because I'm both trying to make clear we're on the same page, but I'm also constantly mulling over the information to see if there is something I missed or a different angle I can see it in. That's not to say I feel everything has subtext and other meanings, but things that don't rarely hold my attention. You said you preferred concrete answers and official explanantions, but I honestly prefer speculation.

    Sadly, I'm not sure if you'll rectify these inconsistencies within the story of KH because as you know, Nomura purposely leaves gaps in explanations because he thinks it's fun for fans to speculate on the matter. So you may never get an official explanation and have to rely on your own conclusions instead.

    If it's almost a thousand pages though, it may take me a while to get through the whole dissertation.
  10. View Conversation
    Well, after reading an overview of Ansem from the Wiki, minus the KHIII stuff that will likely joss my own interpretation of the solution to this dilemma, it seems that Ansem is in fact attached to Riku up until the events of KHII when the real Ansem's Data Encorder blows up and finally destroys the last bit of him within Riku's heart. Since it is technically him and he embraced his power to beat Roxas, there isn't really an inconsistency with Riku using the Guardian's power in the battle with Roxas and KHII since he would be literally channeling the Heartless Ansem, that is of course assuming KHIII doesn't change this.

    As usual of any story, the moment you introduce Time Travel, the plot gets really screwy, not helped by the fact that being associated with Disney, "death" doesn't seem to really exist in KH or at least not the way we know it in real life. So the whole "Ansem exists because Riku carries a part of him through memory" doesn't feel far fetched, especially when you consider Xion's own existence still somehow persists despite 358/2 saying her entire existence is gone.

    I feel the issue here is simply that Heartless Ansem's temporal form is destroyed in KH1, and while a part of him lingers due to his connection to Riku, the important part of him that was directly linked to Xehanort was destroyed which allowed for Xehanort to revive based on the rules of Heartless/Nobodies established in coded and 3D. Yet since a part of his essence has been connected to Riku, he could still know about the events he physically didn't exist in because of that connection. I don't necessarily feel there is as much of a problem here because KH1 firmly establishes that Ansem's temporal existence was destroyed in KH1, and while he lingered within Riku's heart because of their connection, he was eventually snuffed out by Riku's strong heart and some poorly explained sci-fi mumbo jumbo in KHII, before Ansem was "revived" by time paradox in 3D. Yet due the franchise's cosmology concerning the heart and the power of bonds and connections, Ansem is able to still perceive all the events that transpired after his temporal demise because a person can never be truly destroyed within the series setting as established by characters like Roxas, Namine, and most damning of all, Xion. So I feel that Ansem did "die" in the fact that his existence was reduced to a point where he could no longer influence the story or world outside of being a reminder to Riku of the darkness within, but then he was brought back in 3D by poorly defined time travel that ignores causality, complicated by the rules concerning hearts and bonds in the series that are kind of left up to interpretation but seem to largely state that such bonds transcend reality and physical laws as we know it.

    I remember in the interview I linked earlier, that Nomura mentions that when Ventus meets Sora for the first time, technically it was meant to happen before Sora was born meaning Sora existed in some capacity before his eventual birth, but they downplayed it in the English adaption due to being overly sensitive to the ongoing debate in the U.S. about the subject of when life begins. Still, this sort of points out that a being within this universe always exists in some capacity whether they are killed, retgone, or even unborn. It's also established that the bonds and connections made between people pretty much transcends logical physical laws and states of being, so to me it's not far fetched that a past version of Ansem, through these connections holding on by Riku, could be aware of things that happened while he was dead as if he was there all along. So I'm not sure if there is a real inconsistency here as much as it's an issue of the metaphysics of the game are muddled, unclear, and steeply entrenched in Zen Buddhism.

    Again, I am working here with no real knowledge of KHIII, so there is likely a complication here that I'm ignorant of that josses this whole interpretation.
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