CC Prime #56 - April 2018 - Kingdom Hearts

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CC Prime #56 - April 2018 - Kingdom Hearts

Post by Round2Gaming » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:01 pm

Come join the Cartridge Club as they play through the first installment of the beloved franchise, Kingdom Hearts. Join Sora, Donald and Goofy as they make their way through all of your favourite Disney worlds, defeating the heartless and sealing each land from the darkness.

What's your favourite world? Which sidequests are you tackling? How far were you able to make it in the Colosseum?

Let's share all that and more, right here, on the Cartridge Club forums!

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Re: CC Prime Ep. 56 - Kingdom Hearts

Post by poyopotpie » Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:12 pm

When I first played this game it was at launch. I remember the first evening with it very vividly because we got it on my brother's 18th birthday so I was 15. When I first heard about this game months prior I wasn't that crazy about it, but my brother's hype along with one of my cousin's slowly won me over so by the time it actually came out I was super stoked.

That year my brother had a house party for his birthday and eventually we all went upstairs to the Game Room and started to play Kingdom Hearts. The opening where you are essentially choosing your level progression without realizing it (I love how the game does this) I was stunned by how they designed it. The floor was like that of a rose-window that you would see in a church but with the art of the Disney princesses and such. And then at the end of that section you fight that gigantic Darkside Heartless. This was also the first truly fluid-feeling action RPG that made it feel like the genre had finally reached its potential for the PS2 hardware. For the tech at that time as well as the way controller layouts were at the time it felt revolutionary.

Needless to say, I quickly became obsessed with this game and it is one of perhaps...3-5 games that I have ever 100%/completed. I wanted to do everything and unlocked everything. Did every challenge and did every secret boss and the idea of trying to do that again is crazy. My favorite world is probably Halloween Town for the first game. So when I first found out that it was a club game, and the slots were full, I was sad since I did not check the CC Prime list sooner. By the time I checked and asked P1 the guest list was full and I signed up for Odin Sphere's podcast, at least. Very recently a slot opened up but I was super later because I worked literally that entire day and following morning so I did not know right away and the slot was then taken again lol.

I recently replayed this game on the 1.5+2.5 HD ReMIX and still enjoyed the game, but I was not at all motivated to do anything past the critical path. I love the series, but so many entries have had so many flaws IMO that I just want the series to end with KH3 and to end coherently. I can follow the story but each time I need to recall certain points I need take a step back and really double check myself and that's a problem. The story has become way too convoluted and Dream Drop Distance only made it worse with them introducing Time Travel elements.

Because of how complex things have gotten, as a whole I like the first game the best. Things get wonky when the true story of the first game really comes through as well as the ending...but it is a lot easier to piece together than future games. By all rights Birth By Sleep should be my favorite, but it being on the PSP holds it back control-wise and the pacing isn't the best. 358/2 Days should also be a top tier game in the series because of the tight story between Roxas, Axel, and Xion...but it is held back by the mission gameplay being so damn boring. Dream Drop Distance would be more enjoyable if the Drop System wasn't as annoying as it is and if Sora wasn't just a buffoon in that game (it seems the older he gets the less I like him and the more I like Riku; although I've always liked Riku). I plan to replay it, but I actually don't have a lot of love for KH2 compared to most people. All I recall about that game is how much easier and dumbed down it was because you were so over-powered and it did literally feel like it took no effort or skill to beat. But I hate Chain of Memories and the Coded game(s) way more. Fuck those games.

The original KH is a solid 93/100 grade game on the PS2, though (a 94/100 on the PS4). I think once I replay KH2 and Birth By Sleep on the PS4 HD ReMIX that they will grade better with PS4 controls.

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Re: CC Prime Ep. 56 - Kingdom Hearts

Post by bstat55 » Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:16 am

Goodness, I am a huge Disney fan, and I'm glad I can come back to playing this game. This game brings back so many memories from my childhood. Despite some clunky platforming, this has to be one of my all-time favorite games. I still have yet to play Kingdom Hearts 2. I might go through that immediately after KH. Not interested in Chain of Memories or any other spin-off. I'm still waiting for Kingdom Hearts 3, darn it!

I am going to be writing as I play, so here's my first log into KH.

I went through awakening as fast as I could, taking the sword and giving up the shield, and then choosing the path to where I level up super fast in the first few levels of the game to where I can be OP by Tarzan's world if I wanted to, only to get destroyed near Hollow Bastion.

Playing through Destiny Islands right now, my main goal is to meme this file up as much as possible. I have come to the decision to name my gummi ship "Despacito" and vow to beat Riku in the race to keep the name. I have never beaten Riku in the race. However, first try and I win by a small lead, like literally him behind me. I forgot how boring Destiny Islands really is, just one big long fetch quest with little to no combat.

I will probably not build or fix up "Despacito" in any way. Gummi sections are so freakin' boring. Not gonna spend too much time in that section.
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Re: CC Prime Ep. 56 - Kingdom Hearts

Post by poyopotpie » Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:24 pm

bstat55 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:16 am
Goodness, I am a huge Disney fan, and I'm glad I can come back to playing this game. This game brings back so many memories from my childhood. Despite some clunky platforming, this has to be one of my all-time favorite games. I still have yet to play Kingdom Hearts 2. I might go through that immediately after KH. Not interested in Chain of Memories or any other spin-off. I'm still waiting for Kingdom Hearts 3, darn it!
With the exception of sort of the Coded game(s)...each game is "needed" to grasp the story. However, out of the spin off games the most crucial games storywise would be Birth By Sleep and Dream Drop Distance (unless KH3 explains Dream Drop Distance in a way that KH2 explained parts of Chain of Memories).

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Re: CC Prime Ep. 56 - Kingdom Hearts

Post by poyopotpie » Tue May 08, 2018 8:34 pm

So the plot of the KH series is indeed very convoluted, but KH1 is possibly the simplest plot. I'll give a sort of TLDR version, and then the full version.

TLDR: Sora, Riku and Kairi wanted to see if there are any other worlds than there own and plan to explore other worlds. Riku ends up opening the door to their world and because of it the heartless and the darkness claim their world. As their world is destroyed they are scattererd to other worlds. King Mickey knows that something is wrong and leaves a note for Donald and Goofy to seek out the Keyblade wielder and they find Sora with the Keyblade. Sora is trying to find Riku and Kairi, but Riku is really only trying to find Kairi because he thinks Sora has abandoned them. Sora goes from world to world looking for his friends while stopping the heartless attacking those worlds and being sure to lock the doors to each world.

While Riku is doing Maleficent's bidding and is also searching for Kairi he gives in to the darkness in his heart and gets possessed by what appears to be the Heartless of a man who once studied the creatures years ago and that performed experiments on himself. Riku finds Kairi but she is basically soulless and finds out that Sora has her heart. Sora finds Riku with Kairi, the Heartless controlling Riku reveals himself, and Sora and this Heartless fight. After the battle Sora unlocks Kairi's heart from his own, restoring her. He becomes a heartless briefly but by the power of her heart, Kairi is able to make him whole again. Sora finds the Heartless that has taken over Riku's body at the End of the World. The Heartless reveals that he believes Kingdom Hearts is the source of all darkness because he believes that the true nature of a heart is darkness. The two fight, but eventually the Heartless manages to open the door to Kingdom Hearts and is destroyed because it is revealed that where there is darkness there is light.

Riku has control of his body again, and they need to seal the door to Kingdom Hearts or else all this uncontrollable power will get out, destroying stuff. With the help of King Mickey Riku seals the side from the realm of darkness, and Sora seals the side from the realm of light. As worlds are restored Kairi is sent back to their home and Sora, Donald, and Goofy are sent somewhere new. Riku and Mickey are stuck in the realm of darkness.

Roll credits.

Detailed version:

Sora, Riku, and Kairi are 3 kids who live in a world where they begin to wonder what else is out there and if there are other worlds out there. They eventually make a plan to build a raft and explore. The night that they complete their raft we find out their world is taken by the Heartless and darkness and amid the chaos Sora finds Kairi but as their world is swallowed by the darkness she sort of "phases through him" (this will be important later). As their world gets completely taken by the Heartless and darkness they are stranded in different worlds. We eventually find out that what happened was that Riku opened the door to their world in a nearby cave that they would often play in as young children.

On a different world King Mickey goes missing leaving only behind a note for Donald and Goofy with a task for them: they need to find the Keyblade wielder. As they are discreetly traveling from world to world (the worlds are separate and people on said worlds are not aware that there are other worlds) they eventually run into Sora in the world that he ended up in after his world was taken by darkness. When the pair discover that Sora is a Keyblade Wielder they decide that this is who King Mickey wanted them to find and follow (the true reason that Sora is a Keyblade wielder is not revealed until later games FYI). They eventually meet Final Fantasy characters who are refugees from another world (Squall, Aerith, and Yuffie) and are told what the Heartless is and that the king of their world, Ansem, was studying the Heartless before their world was lost. Remember Ansem's name for later on. Ansem did experiments on not only the Heartless but himself as well. Squall, called Leon in these games, also tells Sora what the capabilities of the keyblade are and what its purpose is: it can 1) seal or lock the doors between worlds, 2) unlocking/stealing people's hearts, and 3) it is the only kind of weapon that can defeat The Heartless. Let it be known that in these games unlocking/stealing/losing a heart is like losing your soul.

The rest of the game is basically Sora looking for Riku and Kairi, going from world to world, solving the Heartless issues that pop up in these worlds, and being sure to lock the doors to the world so that the Heartless can no longer travel and attack said worlds.

During this time we find out that Riku is on a mission solely to find and save Kairi, and that he has been influenced by Maleficent. She molds him to harness the darkness in his heart and be one with the darkness, promising him that if he does he will have the power to save Kairi. She lies to Riku, telling him that he needs to help her gather the 7 Princesses of Hearts in order to do so (not telling him that Kairi is the 7th Princess of Heart). The 7 Princess of Heart are needed because they are one of the easiest ways to open Kingdom Hearts (we still do not know what exactly Kingdom Hearts is but the idea is that it is great power that can be used for light or dark depending on the person controlling it). She also turns Riku against Sora saying that Sora has replaced Riku and Kairi for Donald and Goofy as his friends and tells Riku that Sora is not bothering to look for him or Kairi. It might also be worth mentioning that there is a unsaid love triangle between the characters of Riku, Kairi, and Sora. However, Sora is too oblivious to notice and Riku is a bit older so he makes fun of Sora for his childish habits and naivete. I think Riku is like 15 and Sora and Kairi are like 14 in the first game. Because of this, in some worlds and missions, Riku starts to become a sort of mischief maker for Sora. Riku eventually finds Kairi but notices that her heart is missing.

Eventually Sora finds Riku at Hollow Bastion, and Riku reveals to him that he isn't a true Keyblade wielder and that it is Riku who is supposed to wield the Keyblade. So for a brief time Sora loses his Keyblade to Riku (how both Sora and Riku could wield a Keyblade to begin with is explained in a future game). Eventually Sora finds Kairi with Riku, and Riku explains to Sora that she is in a coma-like state because she has no heart, and that her heart is inside of Sora. When their world was being consumed by the darkness and they were all being whisked away to other worlds, Kairi passed/phased through Sora and in turn his heart took hers in (this is also an important thing about Sora in future and "earlier" games timeline wise; him being able to do this). At this time it is also revealed that Riku has been taken over by Ansem--The Seeker of Darkness--Heartless (in future games you find out that he is not Ansem's Heartless but someone else's). Ansem takes control of Riku's body, Sora proves himself to be worthy of the Keyblade (and again, we find out in another game the real reason he can possibly weild a Keyblade) and in anger of losing Riku to this powerful Heartless Sora fights The Seeker of Darkness and defeats him; but the baddie escapes. Sora then realizes that if Kairi's heart is inside of him, all he has to do is use the Keyblade to unlock her heart. Problem is that he doesn't know wtf he is doing so he ends up unlocking his heart as well in the process and he becomes a heartless for a brief time (this also has other reprocussions in future games). Kairi, now back to whole, finds Sora wandering around, following them as a Heartless, and recognizes that it is Sora. And pretty much because she is a Princess of Heart is able to restore him to his normal self by the strength of her heart.

Sora and co. find out that Ansem The Seeker of Darkness has retreated to the End of the World which is a place that is comprised of a bunch of pieces of other worlds that have been swalled by the darkness. Now The Seeker of Darkness has much more control over Riku's body and appears in his more true form. The Seeker of Darkness reveals that he believes that darkness is the heart's true essense, therefore Kingdom Hearts is the source of all darkness. Obiviously Sora fights him and but ss The Seeker of Darkness manages to open the door to Kingdom Hearts however, it reveals light which kills him. Riku gains his body back, but we find out that there is a both a realm of darkness and a realm of light, and that Riku is in the realm of darkness and Sora is in the realm of light. The door must also be closed from both sides and King Mickey shows up to help Riku close the door from the realm of darkness. As Sora closes it from the realm of light, the fragmented worlds that make of the End of the World start to reconstruct themselves and Kairi is pulled back to their home world while Sora, Donald, and Goofy disappear to a different world.

Roll credits.

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Re: CC Prime Ep. 56 - Kingdom Hearts

Post by alatinolawyer » Wed May 16, 2018 1:59 pm

I finished enjoying the podcast yesterday. Some thoughts: Bob is really ready to be a great dad with that "here son, let me tell you about Kingdom Hearts" exposition. I definitely remember when Kingdom Hearts came out, but have never had an opportunity to play it. I have the 3DS game which I started, but put it aside when other things took up my time.

I loved Rusty's story of going to his mom's hair salon and playing in the office while his sister watched. It was very touching. Those are definitely the kinds of connections to a game that make lifelong bonds that can't be broken.

Josh is a big fan of 3D platformers, so I trusted his commentary that while the 3D platforming is annoying, it doesn't ruin the game.

I hope to try this game out one day (I'm work Mark, I'd love a Switch port!) and I suspect I would enjoy it quite a bit. Thanks for the great episode.

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Re: CC Prime Ep. 56 - Kingdom Hearts

Post by poyopotpie » Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:28 pm

Was randomly thinking about this episode and remembered something that you guys talked about that is incorrect and misleading: what you choose as your strength and what you sacrifice at the beginning of the game does actually have ramifications in how you progress in the game Stat/ItemSlot/Skill-wise:

1) Power of the Sword:
- Choosing: affects your physical attack damage as well as limits your max Item slot to 7. Lastly, you will unlock Offensive type of Skills earlier in the game.
- Sacrificing: affects your physical attack damage and you will unlock Offensive type of Skills later than usual in the game.

2) Power of the Wand:
- Choosing: affects your magical attack damage as well as limits your max Item slot to 6. Also, you will be able to reach Maximum amount of MP which also affects magical damage. Lastly, you will unlock Offensive & Defensive Skills later that usual in the game.
- Sacrificing: affects your magical attack damage and limits the amount of Maximum MP which, again, also affects your magic damage even further.

3) Power of the Shield:
- Choosing: affects your defense as well as sets your max Item slot to 8. Also, you will unlock Defensive Skills will unlock earlier in the game.
- Sacrificing: affects your defense and you unlock Defensive Skills later than usual in the game.

There is also another part of the game that affects your character’a Growth: when you are on the first Island and you are talking to the NPCs on the island. They each ask you questions:

1) (Dawn) Choosing the first answer will increase your EXP gain from levels 1-45 and decrease your EXP gain for levels 46-100.
2) (Noon) Choosing the second answer will give you no increase or decrease so your EXP gain is normalized from 1-100. Your neutral option, basically.
3) (Dusk) Choosing the third answer will decrease your level gain from levels 1-45 and increase your EXP gain from levels 46-100.

Since you answer each person you can obviously answer differently, but after you choose a message appears that references your adventure starting at Dawn, Noon, or Dusk (each referencing those 3 types of EXP gain). So if you get an option you don’t want you get the option to change your answers.

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