August 13, 2012

A TerREble Game, but for Completion’s Sake…

[Celebrating the release of Kingdom Hearts 3DS, Enix Hearts is currently running an article series looking back at the previous Kingdom Hearts games. Since I wrote a piece for them revisiting Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, I feel compelled to do posts for the rest of the games as well. Below is the story of a spin-off to the Kingdom Hearts franchise.]

Cryptic words written on a page in my journal. That’s what started this journey.

While I own the page, and the handwriting looks familiar, I don’t remember writing the lines that led us here. In fact, I’m sure I didn’t. Which means that these words are a message. Whomever took the time to send us this message, to leave it in a place so personal, so hidden…it makes my skin crawl every time I see it.

“Their hurting will be mended when you return to end it.” Is it a threat? A cry for help? Or something in between? There’s some place that we’ve been before, but can’t remember…people we’ve met and forgotten. One thing’s for sure—if someone is in need, friend or not, the King won’t stand by and let them suffer. He’ll figure this out—and I’ll be there to help him, every step of the way.

Kingdom Hearts: Re:coded was originally a mobile game released after Kingdom Hearts II. Jiminy Cricket, official scribe of Team Sora’s journey, notices a line in his journal that he doesn’t remember writing. Confused at its ominous, cryptic implications, he and King Mickey decide to create a digital copy of his journal and attempt to analyze its meaning. Upon “digitizing” the journal and examining the results, they find a variety of bugs corrupting the data that take on the form of Heartless. With the help of a digital copy of Sora, Mickey attempts to rid the journal of the bugs in order to uncover the meaning behind the message. Eventually, a digital copy of Riku enlists the help of Donald and Goofy and, along with Mickey and Jiminy, brings them into the journal in order to fix the bug problem. However, Maleficent and her subordinate Pete also enter the journal in an attempt to conquer the world (which isn’t explained very well, but, hey, this entry is one of the weirdest ones, so…).

Maleficent and Pete end up kidnapping digital Riku and Team Sora has to track them down and inevitably fight against a corrupted digital Riku. Team Sora succeeds, but upon defeating digital Riku, the journal resets itself to a state prior to the infection—and kicks out all the non-digital people in the process.

After the debugging process, digital Riku returns with the discovery of a new portion of the journal—one that leads to memories of Castle Oblivion. Digital Sora heads to the Castle, defeats a digital copy of Roxas, then finds a digital copy of Namine that tells him about everyone he needs to help: Roxas, Axel, Xion, Terra, Aqua, and Ventus. Mickey hears the message, thanks digital Namine for the information, then sends the message to Sora and Riku on Destiny Island—in fact, the bottle that they receive at the end of Kingdom Hearts II is the message that relates this information to them.

And with that, we’re all caught up on Kingdom Hearts lore. Well, not completely, I suppose—after all, Dream Drop Distance has released in the U.S. and everywhere else, so there’s one more chapter in the saga to review. Once I get caught up on it, I’ll be sure to let you know how everything unfolds (and hopefully, hopefully leads into Kingdom Hearts III).

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