Happy belated birthday to the Kingdom Hearts series! The very first game was released in Japan eighteen years ago yesterday, and here at Talk This NYC HQ, we’re celebrating by staying inside and cracking wise about the latest release. This time, Clickbait Boyfriend finally reaches some of the gameplay of Re:Mind and finds it…very similar to the gameplay of the original boss fights. But hey, at least we find out how Roxas zooms out of the sky! Hint: it’s not through a video conference.
(New to Clickbait Boyfriend? Binge the whole series here!)
“Oh no. Wait. No. Wait. Wait.”
-on Dark Inferno X
Clickbait Boyfriend had just watched me fight this bad boy like twenty times in a row while I was working my way through the battlegates, so he was rightly intimidated. The difference in difficulty levels between Normal and Proud was a factor, but they severely nerfed Dark Inferno X for the DLC, and honestly, thank goodness. There are enough super-bosses in this expansion pack.
“How do I dodge? How do I do anything? I don’t remember how to play this game.”
-on the hazards of jumping into a game after a year away
Remember, Clickbait Boyfriend only ever knew how to mash the X button in the first place, so he’s got a lot of catching up to do.
“That’s not even true! There was darkness talking to you in there!”
-on Ven’s peaceful heart
Aqua definitely has some stuff to work through from a decade in hell, but literally hearing the voice of darkness in Ven’s heart was next level.
“It’s such a dumb way to win a boss battle! I’m inside Aqua’s heart and I summon a magical pirate ship!”
-on thematically dissonant attack styles
I think it’s always been safe to assume that the combat in the Kingdom Hearts games is not canon. That said, the secondary power source of this series is Big Ridiculousness Energy, so maybe I am meant to literally believe that Sora is wrecking Dark Aqua with a carnival ride.
“Eyebrow gate. The eyebrows look bad”
He can’t go to his eyebrow threader anymore, he’s social distancing. CBB himself is looking increasingly scruffy, so he should be able to sympathize.
“Man, this DLC is a lot of cutscenes. A lot of cutscenes I’ve already seen. Almost feels like they charged me $30 to watch a bunch of cutscenes I’ve already seen. Big brain Nomura.”
-on brilliant schemes
Clickbait Boyfriend isn’t wrong here, but I know he would also be complaining about not knowing what was going on if we didn’t repeat all of these cutscenes. This is a series that’s obsessed with memory, so recontextualizing old scenes feels appropriate to me while simultaneously triggering that “cash grab” alarm in my head. Walking a fine line here.
“I feel like there was a big question mark of what happened to Terra and the Lingering Will when they went off to battle, and now we’re getting that answered!”
It does make you wonder what that fight looked like before Sora came back for a second helping of time-travel. I probably don’t want to pull this string or the whole thing will unravel, but was he always fated to be there, or have things changed?
“It was thrilling! it was so different! This time I mashed the X button at a slightly different rhythm than as Sora.”
-on sarcastic praise
The big takeaway for me from playing as Sora’s friends is that everyone else is weak as hell. Like, I’m not the kind of stick in the mud who’s going to play through the DLC as Sora, but for all the crap everyone gave me about losing my powers at the beginning of this game, I’ve way outpaced them all now! Plus their shortcuts are all messed up, ugh.
But still, cool!!!
“Riku’s just trusting this dude wearing one of the dark spooky coats the bad guys wear. Has he met Demyx before? It doesn’t seem that way.”
-on never learning not to talk to strangers
Nothing about Demyx suggests that he would be capable of carrying out a successful, evil plan, so maybe Riku is savvier than he seems.
“‘Oh it’s chill, you’re saying you know one of my friends and you have a gummiphone, that’s good enough for me.'”
-on Riku’s inner monologue
Look, thank goodness everyone has gummiphones now that they need to social distance. I know Sora can just follow his heart to visit his friends, but everyone else needs a way to keep in touch, even Demyx.
“No. Why? Is that is new catchphrase?”
-on Demyx Time
“I don’t get to play as Mickey?”
-on delayed gratification
Just you wait, CBB. Just. You. Wait.
“Oh, token lady villain, you were inscrutable from start to finish.”
Her secret crush doesn’t make any more sense the second time around.
“Me when I’m needy for attention.”
At heart, Vanitas is just a three-year-old who needs the preschool teacher to be looking at him at all times. To be clear, I am not saying that Clickbait Boyfriend is like that. I would never think that.
“He’s doing a little skateboard trick!”
-on Ven’s sick moves
Clearly Ven picked up some tricks from Roxas while they were chilling in Sora’s heart.
“Is that HJO? He sounds so funny!”
-on Vanitas’s voice
I feel like you can tell HJO is more relaxed in the new lines. In the vanilla game, it sounded like he was trying way too hard to distinguish Sora and Vanitas.
“That’s a really bad case of mixed metaphor.”
-on Kairi, the trump card
I’ll let you all be the judge, but this makes little sense unless it’s some kind of Luxord reference that will be very important later:
“Kairi, amazed that there are any strong female characters.”
At least Kairi got to show off some of her dope Keyblade skills this time around! Years of magical training for thirty seconds of action…I’ll take what I can get.
“I guess I have to give it up to them for explaining some things. They weren’t the things that were weighing on my mind. I was willing to believe Roxas just zoomed out of the sky.”
-on looking a gift horse in the mouth
It almost sounds like Clickbait Boyfriend is ungrateful. Square will remember this.
“Sea salt ice cream!”
-on the thing Axel, Xion, and Roxas need to reclaim
I know the sigil is more poetic and weird, both things the Kingdom Hearts series values highly, but I think we all know their bond was really forged by daily salty, but sweet infusions of love.
Next time: we finally get the chance to explore Scala ad Caelum!