“Already, this is too much.”
-on the very first moment of the game
Welcome to Clickbait Boyfriend: Really This Time It’s The Final Prologue No More Decimal Points After this We Promise Edition! As you might have guessed from the tardy nature of this blog, Clickbait Boyfriend and I have been playing a lot of Kingdom Hearts 3 over the past week and a half. I say a lot, but Emma finished the game in four days flat, so it’s all relative. In this post, we’ll be flashing back to last Monday, January 28th, AKA Kingdom Hearts Eve, when Clickbait Boyfriend played all of Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth By Sleep A Fragmentary Passage in one night. Less impressive than Emma’s achievement, but let the record show we were both ready for the new game to drop.
As you read through his thoughts today, you’ll notice a slight shift in the traditional Clickbait Boyfriend image format. Instead of a variety of spicy memes from both my own brain and the internet, you’ll mostly see some doodles I’ve done to illustrate Clickbait Boyfriend’s predictions for Kingdom Hearts 3. Why, you ask? Well, I’m only about twelve hours into that glorious new game, and as I’m sure you heard on our last sidequest, I’m very paranoid about spoilers. As a result, I’m too chicken to search the internet for basic character images (looking for the few I needed for this post was emotionally fraught), let alone “Aqua 0.2 Memes” or “Xehanort Making A Dumb Face.” Instead, enjoy Clickbait Boyfriend’s thoughts and my artistic renderings!
(New to Clickbait Boyfriend? You’re safe from Kingdom Hearts 3 spoilers here. Click to look back on the whole series!)
“What have you been waiting for? Seems like you’ve been waiting for another way to pad out the plot.”
-on overly convenient hesitation
You thought Clickbait Boyfriend wasn’t going to start this game out with some classic Mickey Mouse hatred? Maybe you need to link on that link in the intro and catch up on all of the roasts he’s been slinging the past year.
“I knew that Mickey saw her. WTF have you been waiting for, ya b!&^h?”
-on cathartic trash talk
What did I tell you? Anybody interested in Mouse BBQ?
-on chibi Sora, Riku, and Kairi
The little baby Destiny Islands trio playing in the surf is pretty adorable. Doesn’t hurt that the 0.2 remix of “Simple and Clean” bumps too!
“Poor Aqua, sucks to be a female character in the Kingdom Hearts series.”
-on journeys through the Land of Subpar Character Development Darkness
Emma tried to convince me the other day that Kairi’s only important role in the plot of the series was to create other characters. She conveniently forgot a few other key moments that I think undercut her argument, but the overall point stands: Kingdom Hearts does not give its women enough to do. Aqua is at least a playable character with a story arc of her own, but let’s be honest, that’s a pretty low bar to clear for female representation in your game these days. Most of her journey is just her saying “Terra…Ven…” which isn’t exactly nuanced character development. Here’s hoping the next Kingdom Hearts saga will focus on a band of lady Keyblade wielders fighting the patriarchy!
“You’ve wandered into Walt Disney World.”
-on Dark World featuring Cinderella’s Castle
Disney Insider Secret: Dark World is a special area of the park that only Disney hotel guests can access after they’ve spent 10 years wandering around Magic Kingdom
“She still does her stupid cartwheel!”
-on consistent character traits
Aqua’s had ten years to practice her gymnastics, but she’s still only doing a dodge cartwheel? Rookie.
“Wow she, like, really runs!”
-on the Dark World training program
Aqua’s super speedy run kind of threw me off when I was playing through this game! I get that she has crazy strong quads from all of her walking through the Realm of Darkness, but slow down, girl!
“It feels like a modern game and not something that came out on the PS2 15 years ago!”
-on stating the obvious
Gee, I wonder why that is?
“Back to PS3 graphics. Don’t tell me she’s getting sentimental about the seven dwarves.”
-on low quality memories
You know that urban legend that people dreamed in black and white before color television became widespread? Aqua’s experiencing a similar version of that.
“Man, she hasn’t changed her clothes in years!”
-on darkness style scarcity
Clickbait Boyfriend said this roughly two minutes before the game introduced the dress-up feature, for the record. Still, where was she supposed to get a change of clothes?
“None of the Kingdom Hearts games with male protagonists had a dress up feature. Even when trapped in the Realm of Darkness, Aqua still has time to think about being fashionable. Hm.”
Like I said, it is really tough to be a girl. You’ve got to fight the forces of darkness, and look cute doing it too.
“You know she’s going to get Norted because she’s reciting emo poetry about darkness and time.”
-on uncanny similarities
First we had Terra asking rhetorical questions about darkness. Now Aqua is waxing poetical about it. It’s a slippery slope, folks.
“I feel like one of the things we were really missing in this series is what the Realm of Darkness is really like. It’s refreshing to be in a new setting.”
-on the joys of exploration
It still kind of shocks me when Clickbait Boyfriend says positive things about these games. Despite the fact that he’s played every single one and spent more than a year becoming a lore expert (if such a thing is even possible), 90% of his quotes are still based on snark!
“If this is what Kingdom Hearts 3 is gonna be like, I’m f#%&ing hyped! I’m like a bad-ass!”
-on high expectations
See? I am flabbergasted!
“Why can’t I just break them by playing a higher powered card?”
-on unexpected nostalgia
Okay, if I was flabbergasted by Clickbait Boyfriend’s praise earlier, my jaw is absolutely on the floor at his hearkening for the card system of Chain of Memories! He did just play through the Reverse/Rebirth Riku storyline there, but does he seriously miss card breaks???
“It’s like Nomura was like, ‘remember those Ansem Reports from the first game? We should make a game where all the dialogue sounds like that.'”
-on constant angst
Clearly Nomura-san has been going through some s#!t for the past twenty years or so, and Kingdom Hearts has been his outlet.
“Always chasing after men!”
-on repeated sexism
0.2 takes Aqua’s obsession with Terra and Ven to a new level. Not only does she say their names all the time, but she’s literally chasing after their ghosts. Does Aqua’s internal dialogue even pass the Bechdel test? Odds seem low.
“Check this out, this is f#%^ing rad. This is such a sensory overload.”
-on Darkside Central
Like I mentioned in the Back Cover blog, Clickbait Boyfriend is a real sucker for pretty graphics.
“With great graphical power comes great responsibility, and they are not wielding this power responsibly right now.”
-on sensory overload
Okay, even Clickbait Boyfriend has a limit. Let’s keep it to just a couple of Darksides at a time from now on, okay Square Enix?
“How long are we supposed to think years are in the Kingdom Hearts universe?”
-on that slippery time thing again
This had literally never crossed my mind, and it is an excellent question. Readers, can anyone provide insight?
“So this is while Kingdom Hearts is going on and why we see Mickey in the Realm of Darkness at the end, I get that. But did Mickey never tell anyone he saw Aqua there?”
-on understanding and not understanding
Just wait another few minutes, young one. Then everything will become clear. It will be stupid. But you will understand.
“Dude, this is so cool.”
-on the final shadow tower
Does that make four positive quotes in a single post? I thin it’s a new record!
“For a game called Kingdom Hearts, we given exactly zero hints to what it is and why everyone cares so much.”
-on dubious titles
I cannot believe that I have to say this again, but for the last time: Kingdom Hearts…is light!
And yeah, it’s also some kind of amalgamation of all the hearts in the multiverse that for whatever reason contains and immense amount of power? And there’s a door to it somewhere?? And maybe we can turn it into some kind of heart power generator for darkness???
“Is Mickey naked? He looks so naked! Look at his little potbelly!”
-on truly incredible retcons
Emma mentioned on our Kingdom Hearts bonus episode that 0.2 featured one of the weirdest, idiosyncratic loose ends being tied up, and she was not wrong. The inconsistencies in Mickey’s wardrobe in this game and the epilogue of the first game would literally never have occurred to me if the developers hadn’t decided that they needed to explain the continuity error. Thus, the Heartless stripping Mickey down to his boxers (???) was born.
“Destiny Islands has never looked so good. Aqua gets a permanent beach vacation. Who cares that it’s in the Realm of Darkness?”
-on not looking a gift horse in the mouth
Dark Destiny Islands is probably Clickbait Boyfriend’s ideal beach vacation, as he is terrified of sunburn. I’m not surprised that he thinks Aqua should stay there forever.
“All this game has done is cement the fact that Mickey Mouse is a huge asshole. I hope he dies in Kingdom Hearts 3, I hope they kill him off.”
-on impossible (and shockingly violent) dreams
Clickbait Boyfriend needs to take a deep breath and a walk around the block. What did Mickey Mouse ever do to you, sir? Let’s cool down the rhetoric for a bit and not wish death upon beloved Disney characters.
“Riku is asking the important questions.”
-on why Mickey told no one about Aqua, part one
Riku, standing for all of the Mickey Mouse haters and, frankly, anyone who paid any attention to this game, asks why the heck the King didn’t tell anyone about Aqua sooner. Maybe if Riku had looked around for a minute when he was in the Realm of Darkness, he would have seen her for himself, but no matter.
“That is such classic emotional abuser. ‘She chose for it to be this way.'”
-on why Mickey told no one about Aqua, part two
Take responsibility for your actions for once in your life, Mickey!
“Yen Sid is about to gaslight the hell out of us.”
-on why Mickey told no one about Aqua, part three
I can’t believe that Yen Sid covered for his pupil like that. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. #MyMentor indeed.
“The odds aren’t so bad given what Sora’s managed to pull off so far.”
-on the probability of rescuing Aqua
Sora has literally saved dozens of individual worlds and the entire multiverse several times, and you don’t trust him to go out at night? Yen Sid is the lamest Keyblade dad ever.
“Is it just me or is Riku looking less buff?”
-on vanishing muscles
Riku does seem to have lost a lot of muscle tone in the jump from the 3DS to the PS4. It’s probably for the best; Clickbait Boyfriend couldn’t stop objectifying him before. It’s less distracting this way.
“The fact that Merlin is training those two does not bode well.”
-on Lea and Kairi’s prospects
Clickbait Boyfriend did not think highly of Merlin’s enchanted furniture training plan when he played the original game, and he still does not think highly of it now. Hopefully the Fairy Godmother has whipped him into shape.
“Oh that’s convenient.”
-on Sora being stripped of his power
At least Sora seemed pretty genre-savvy about it. Square knows its ridiculous, and it was better that they were able to make fun of themselves. “Happens all the time” indeed.
“That idiot, despite knowing about the recusant’s sigil, still has X-es all over his body.”
-on foolish style choices
As we’ve learned over the past nine games, Sora isn’t the brightest bulb. Too bad we don’t have wardrobe options for him here like we did with Aqua.
“That means they’re quarter pints!”
-on teammate math
Who scripted this whole exchange about half pints and whole pints? Because it sounds like something out of one of my tutoring prep books. Never change, Sora, Donald and Goofy. Never change.
“Is that the beginning of Kingdom Hearts 3?”
-on one final prediction
Spoiler alert: it is! And Clickbait Boyfriend could not be more excited.
Next week: Clickbait Boyfriend begins his journey though Kingdom Hearts 3 on the blog! There will be gentle spoilers for the first few hours of the game, so if you’re still waiting to play and care about being spoilers (and really, how many of you could possibly exist?), take heed!