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    Also, I have no idea who the guy in the picture is, outside of him looking like a real like Xehanort.
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    I always felt that Ansem SoD appearing before Riku was simply how Riku perceived the darkness in his heart as opposed to it being literally him, it doesn't feel far fetched that Riku would see his own darkness as the guy who tried to hijack his own body, but I may be mistaken of course. Though I feel if you take most of Riku's run ins with Ansem in CoM and taking his form in KH2 as more a physical repercussion of a metaphorical event, then Ansem's death at the end of KH1 despite his continual appearances sill makes sense. Again, I've not read up on all of Nomura's interviews or the Ultimania concerning him, so I am likely wrong. This was simply how I perceived the inconsistent appearances after KH1.
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    You're preaching to the choir here about the series inconsistencies with it's own rules.

    There's a lot of fan wank concerning Ansem through Riku using the keyblade in KH1. I mean technically the keyblade he was using was incomplete but like you said, there is no actual answer, simply speculation that has to deal with inconsistent rules. I simply have reached the point where I feel you can't even bring up the first game anymore, and any rule established in that title can just be chocked up to the early installment weirdness before the writers had a better grasp of the type of story they wanted to tell. I mean replaying it now, the whole Keyblade deals feels like a twisted play on Arthurian Myth with the Kingdom Key being special and mostly one of a kind except for it's Realm of Darkness counterpart, and yet later on this was retcon to Keyblade wielders being KH Jedi and Riku saying he was chosen was because he remembered Terra giving him the Rite of Passage when he was like five or six. It's kind of awkward going back into this game because the feel of the story which is more like a Fairy Tale in contrast to a Shonen Manga feel that CoM and beyond took the series.

    As for Roxas appearance, I can agree that the way it was established was kind of confusing. It might have initially worked if the writers had given Ventus a different look and instead simply state that Nobodies resemble but don't necessarily look like their original selves as many fans speculated after KH2. I mean Xemnas and Ansem look alike, but there's enough variation between their faces and even the Terra-Xehanort model they used to imply this idea could have been true. I mean isn't Roxas' face basically Sora's? Yet as you mention, it still doesn't really make sense Roxas would look more like Ventus instead.

    I vaguely remember an interview with Nomura around the time of KH2's release where he once again coyly mentions that Sora and Xehanort's Nobodies are unique because of the circumstances of their creation since both of them purposely extracted their hearts, but that may very likely be due to Nomura laying down the groundwork for Birth by Sleep at that point.

    The time travel nonsense, ugh, I hate it when stories use time travel because if the rules are not established well right off the bat, then theories and inconsistencies of their use can go everywhere. [chi] or I guess I should say Union X at this point is kind of weird with how time works and I'm still baffled by how Donald and Goofy managed to reach Daybreak Town since it's heavily implied the Keyblade War took place before Mickey's time. Made weirder now that Ventus has shown up and we're meeting Malruxia and Larxene's original selves. I know the game isn't finished yet with it's story, but my own theory is simply that the events of the game are not real but likely simulation someone is running of what they know happened back then. Thus the Foretellers stuff is canon to the series, but your own player interaction and the introduction of characters who are out of time are more palpably able to co-exist with this setting without having to further complicate the timeline or bring in more time traveling shenanigans. Granted I'm not far into the game, so I can be way off base here, but it's my impression of the game at the moment.

    Overall, it's largely because the series has a hard time keeping it's lore straight that I find dealing with it exhausting, especially because you never know when their going to retcon one part or completely downplay or outright ignore other rules. As I mentioned in Fynn's retrospective thread, I feel like KH runs more on Rule of Cool nowadays, which doesn't have to make sense, but can be really irritating for people who dig the rules and lore of a setting. It will be interesting to read your own thoughts on the franchise, though I may have to wait until I tackle KHIII for myself. I look forward to it though.
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    Yeah, I know Roxas' Keyblades are basically Sora and Ventus. I think I brought up the question because I was reading a translation from the Birth by Sleep Ultimania, and Nomura said something interesting when the question came up.

    Quote Originally Posted by BbS Ultimania Q&A
    -- Roxas, the "Sora + Ventus" Nobody, was able to use a Keyblade. In contrast Xemnas, the "Terra + Master Xehanort" Nobody, wasn't able to use a Keyblade. Why is this?

    Nomura: I'd rather that point remain a mystery. It's possible that he intentionally wasn't using one.
    It just made me wonder if there was more to it since it sounded like he was being coy. Personally, I think it was likely just a design choice. It's difficult to determine how far ahead the plot of KH was planned, so Xemnas' abilities were probably finalized before the whole Terra-Xehanort plot had been finished so there was never a need to address this inconsistency. Headcanon, your suggestion sounds about right. Not like Sora was an impressive Heartless. Hell, it's possible that Roxas was only able to use the Keyblade because Sora still existed as one being, whereas Terra-Xehanort lost the power because they were split into their two halves as Ansem and Xemnas. If Kairi hadn't restored Sora, perhaps Roxas wouldn't be able to use the Keyblade. This gives me something to mull over.
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    Replaying KH1 now, I can agree they held more of a purpose in the first game, but I honestly felt like they just felt contractually obligated to show up in subsequent titles. Not helping them for me is that my favorite entries in the franchise largely ignore the FF characters.

    Though replaying the series, I also feel the Disney worlds suffer this too, being very intricate to the first game before the later entries dropped most of the Disney villains for the original characters. The first game did the best with making this feel like FF meets Disney, but starting with CoM, I feel like the franchise went in a very different direction that simply kept both franchises around for the novelty factor while the series became more of it's own thing. Personally, I kind of felt KHII ended the story of most of the FF cast, and while I would love to have seen a few more cameos, I just feel like the FF characters were left behind around KHII. By this point, I'm more interested in seeing what will happen with the Keyblade trio and Xehanort than see what Leon and Cloud are up to, which is why I'm not terribly bothered KHIII didn't bother. We'll see how I feel once I get to the game though.

    As for the Disney Worlds of KHIII, though I don't know all of them, frankly I don't have as much nostalgia for them like I did for the first three games that stuck to the 90s films. I like Pixar, but I'm not in love with them and most of the 3D Disney flicks of the last decade are okay, but don't hit that nostalgia vibe I got from some of the other world choices. I guess for me, it's the difference from enjoying something from your childhood versus something you enjoyed as an adult. I'm looking forward to Monsters Inc and Tangled, but I honestly never cared for Toy Story, Big Hero 6, and Frozen. I'm honestly more annoyed that my least favorite world from KHII, Pirates of the Caribbean, came back as a setting. Kind of wish they had saved Tron Legacy or Fantasia for this game.
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    OK
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    I'm not too bothered by the lack of FF presence. They always felt out of place after the first game to me. I guess it helps me that they had kind of been phasing them out in the between years. I mean BbS only had Zack and 358/2 didn't have anyone. 3D had TWEWY but no actual FF characters. Come to think of it, it did seem like they were going to do something with Zack based on his ending in BbS but I guess that won't be happening in KHIII if ever.

    Sucks about the "only English" debacle. I was reading some fan comments talking about how strange it was that KHIII wasn't going to offer more voice options. It sucks jumping into a series you know better from another language. Hell they did the same thing to me with the Persona 3 films, it never got translated and I'm far more familiar with the English cast than the Japanese one, so it was always a bit weird expecting one voice and getting another instead.
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    That's a shame. Maybe DLC but I won't hold my breath. Thanks for letting me know.
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    I’ve spoiled myself on all the plot anyway so
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    Well that explains how you got through it so fast. Not sure if I ever played a game for that long.

    The inconsistencies sounds like a drag, but honestly, I felt they had kind of been doing that since KH2 with a few things here and there. Not sure if KHIII will clear up those problems before making new ones, but alas, we'll just have to see for future installments. I guess the only question I have is whether Roxas is playable or not. I don't need to know about anyone else, just a simple yes or no would do please, and thank you.
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