Clickbait Boyfriend fans, welcome back! We’e got an exciting edition of the blog this week, as Josh is mere cutscenes away from finishing Terra’s storyline! Clickbait Boyfriend has been desperate for answers the whole time he’s been playing Birth By Sleep (or, let’s be honest, since the first time he picked up the original game). I think Ventus’s story only left him with more questions, but with the conclusion of Terra’s arc drawing nigh, surely understanding must be only a few mashes of the x-button away.
(First time reading Clickbait Boyfriend, or back after a break? Catch up on what you’ve missed here.)
“Oh wow, that’s not subtle. How many hidden Mickeys are there in this game?”
-on Keyblade Graveyard’s Mickey canyon
Does it even qualify as an Easter egg when it’s this obvious? It does make you think about how many you’ve missed that weren’t quite so in-your-face. I’d be surprised if there wasn’t one in every world.
“Wait a second, does Greece exist? I know it does, because Hercules world exists, but why would it be a Greek letter?”
-on the X-blade
The existence of Olympus Coliseum does severely complicate the etymology here. It would be one thing to just grandfather Ancient Greek in as a powerful, million-year-old language or something mystical like that. But Phil and Hercules definitely refer to Greece multiple times over the course of the series, which means that Ancient Greek should theoretically exist as the language of the Coliseum. Does this mean that the X-blade has its origins there? Another monkey wrench: the Olympian characters all seemingly speak English (or whatever the universal language of the Kingdom Hearts universe is that we hear as English). Does the Kingdom Hearts universe have some kind of Hitchhiker’s Guide Babel Fish-equivalent, or does everyone really speak English? Where does this mysterious Greek letter come from???
Here, have some classic Xehanort to decompress:
“What’s the Japanese translation of this?”
-on English/Ancient Greek puns
The Keyblade/X-blade homonym is a neat, if super pretentious, pun in English, but I wonder how it works in the original Japanese. If anyone has knowledge of how this is handled in foreign editions of the game, drop us a line! Have the games used the English word “Keyblade” since the beginning, or are there other ridiculous puns in other languages? Chi is particularly apropos because it’s an X…like the finished X-blade. I can’t imagine there’s a better, more out-of-left-field piece of wordplay in translation, but I would love to be proven wrong!
-on Xehanort’s yelling voice
Dude needs to take some Mucinex.
“Why is this so easy? They’re just buttering me up for phase two, and probably three, four, and five.”
-on classic Kingdom Hearts final boss tomfoolery
Where is the lie?
“Is he about to fall for the oldest trick in the book? ‘Look over there!'”
Yeah, Terra’s not the brightest bulb. Xehanort totally got him with that one.
“Terra is Ansem!!!!”
-on answers, finally!
For the record, Clickbait Boyfriend totally called this back when he was first starting Ventus. Despite realizing early on that Terra’s hair looked suspiciously like Ansem’s, he still shrieked when he found out. It’s probably the biggest revelation of the game so far, and CBB has really needed Kingdom Hearts to throw him an understanding bone.
“So this battle’s really metaphorical. I see.”
-on Terra vs. Ansem
There are enough metaphors in these games for a full literature dissertation.
If you’re feeling academic, check out these papers that take Kingdom Hearts as a focus. One. Two (which shows that Kingdom Hearts increases the Happiness factor!).
“Where is the best place to level grind?”
-on one loss too many
Clickbait Boyfriend tried in vain to defeat Xehanort at least a dozen times, if not more, before deciding that having a few more levels under his belt might make things more bearable.
He did not emulate this AaronecusGamin, who took level-grinding to a new level by hitting level 100 on Destiny Islands. Inspiring.
“450% color equals red?”
-on color theory in the Mirage Arena
The ability to change the color of your armor in Mirage Arena is another one of Birth By Sleep‘s pointless features. It’s especially egregious because most of the slider combinations just split out a dull shade of brownish.
“Kingdom Hearts needs to get its ontology of mind straight.”
-on philosophical confusion
Bonus Quote: “So in Kingdom Hearts, there are like three components to a person: the body, the heart, and the soul. Nowadays, substance dualism is considered a pretty radical view, and this would be trialism, because presumably there aren’t grounding or identity relations between these three things. So we’ve got three separate substances. That’s surprising. It’s unclear what theoretical work the soul is doing that the heart isn’t already doing and vice versa, andwhat principled reason we would have to introduce these things and not have them be reducible to each other. As it turns out, there was trialism in philosophy, which I did not know, but it’s dumb. What we’ve got here is an ontology that is as inflated as a Belly Balloon.”
“Is that the powerful negative energy? The belly balloon?”
-on bonus challenges
Sometimes I am possessed with powerful negative energy when I see my belly ballooning too.
“I didn’t realize I’d be so OP!”
-on the dangers of too much grinding
Level-grinding at the end of Birth By Sleep is almost too easy. You can gain like three levels in one rotation through Neverland. Clickbait Boyfriend fell into this trap, and when he returned for a second attempt at defeating (well, sort of) Xehanort, it was a cakewalk.
“What kind of ending was that? I’m honestly mad.”
-on answers…just not enough
Don’t despair, Clickbait Boyfriend! Aqua’s storyline will make everything crystal clear. Well. Maybe not everything.
Next time: The final third of Birth By Sleep begins as Aqua takes center stage!