Happy early Thanksgiving to you all, Clickbait Boyfriend readers! This year, I’m thankful to continue to get to share so many wonderful gaming experiences with Josh, Emma, and all of my other gaming friends and family. It’s a pastime that enriches my life in so many ways, and I’m incredibly grateful to Talk This for giving me an excuse to get back into video games.
Anyway, now back to your regularly scheduled CBB roasting. We’re fighting bosses on bosses on bosses this week, but not as many bosses as in my ideal boss sequence, pictured above. Still, it’s gonna be boss.
(New to the series? Catch up on all that Kingdom Hearts content here!)
“There’s that voice acting that we all know and love.”
-on Lingering Will
He’s just so bad. In a series full of unexpectedly great voice acting (see: McCartney, Jesse), this kind of flat delivery is really unforgivable.
“I’ve poured hours into these games and they’re about to show me, at a climactic moment, some f#*%er from a mobile game?”
-on Union Cross raising its ugly head again
Okay, we accept it: Union Cross is an important part of the Kingdom Hearts canon. Just remaster it and gimme some gameplay, and I’ll pay $60 for it on PS4 to learn the lore. My iPhone SE doesn’t have the battery for me to become a mobile gamer.
“They’re making this moment so cute.”
-on Keyblade surfing
Roxas’s skateboarding adventures prepared us well for this.
“At first I thought these were random names, but are these actual usernames from the mobile game?”
-on neat little Easter eggs
Almost makes me wish I had played the mobile game. Just kidding, this will always be a Union Cross hate blog for no explicable reason.
“Oh no, Heartless we can one shot.”
-on inconsistent cutscene strength
Yeah, you’re going to have to work harder to convince me that a bunch of Shadows are a real threat to seven Keyblade wielders plus Donald and Goofy.
“And with that, Moses parted the Red Sea for the Keyblade wielders to cross safely. It was all a biblical allegory all along.”
-on the payoff of those trinity marks from fifteen years ago
Clickbait Boyfriend has found all the trio imagery suspicious since the first Kingdom Hearts. But if Disney backwards is our saint figure, what does that make Disney…?
“Did they rehearse this? That’s a perfect V formation!”
-on Organization XIII choreography practice
“Haven’t I beat this guy in a boss battle like 16 times now across four different games? And he’s done for? Come on.”
Braig has been around causing mischief in one form or another since the Wayfinder trio days, and even Sora has fought him like three or four times already, so it does feel unrealistic to expect him to really be dead.
“Did he just kill himself? This is a kids game.”
-on E for Everyone
As I’m sure you’ve picked up on by now, Clickbait Boyfriend said this quote many months ago. He could not have predicted how tired I would be of the “kids game” label in the discourse right now. Let’s just face the fact that more adults play “kids games” than kids, most of the time. Especially when that “kids game” is part of a long-running franchise that began during a time when gaming was more specifically marketed to children than it is today and there was more stigma attached to being an adult video game player. Being a kids game neither excuses development flaws nor forbids worthwhile gameplay, and that’s not just because adults are often the real audience. /end rant
Anyway, with death now confirmed to exist, Xigbar throwing himself off a ledge hits a little different.
“I was really hoping that by choosing Riku over Mickey, that would be the end for Mickey.”
-on the vendetta that just won’t quit
This isn’t a choice-based game, unfortunately.
“Whoa! Guys night out! Dudes being dudes!”
“Did they really just try to imply a romantic subplot for Larxene? Did they stop to think they shouldn’t give the one female character a romantic subplot?”
-on sexist storytelling choices
Buckle up, buddy. If you thought Larxene’s arc was bad, just wait for what happens to Kairi in about half an hour!
Sora, just to be clear, this whole time has no idea who this guy is.”
Yes, that is correct. Just a beautiful stranger.
“No…why should they look the same? Classic shifting the burden of proof fallacy.”
-on Vanitas and Sora’s resemblance
“It’s way too easy to beat these guys. I don’t know how I feel about these easy boss battles and then everyone getting redeemed.”
-on easy fights and easy forgiveness
To gather the images for Clickbait Boyfriend these days, I rewatch cutscene compilations of the game. It’s a very classic Kingdom Hearts way to revisit the game, in a way. These little character rehabilitation scenes played a lot better in quick succession (and out of context) than I remember them feeling while I was playing (and watching CBB play) this portion of the game. You really get that hit of pathos.
“He was the Guardian? The whole time? That’s wild. That’s the kind of revelation I’ve been waiting for. There’s that hit of understanding!”
-on that sweet dopamine rush
This is honestly the reason to play Kingdom Hearts. I love that the Guardian was Terra. Why the heck not?
“I don’t like that they’ve shoehorned all of these really consequential cutscenes into this maze. They should have fit more of those into this into the Disney worlds where you were just traipsing around.”
-on the perpetual problem of inconsequential Disney worlds
This is a feature, not a bug.
“Oh great, Kairi gets to be a damsel in distress. Just what I was looking for in her character development.”
-on more sexist storytelling
Remember when I told you to buckle up?
“Oh, they love each other!”
-on the Sea Salt trio’s reunion
Cue Emma crying somewhere in the distance.
“I wish that happened to a character I actually care about. Kairi has had less character development than some of these empty vessels.”
-on Kairi’s apparent death
I don’t know why it keeps surprising me that Kairi somehow has negative personality and power over her destiny (haha) in this series, but it does. I still find myself thinking “surely in Kingdom Hearts IV, it will be her time. Maybe even the DLC!” Then again, I feel the same way about understanding anything going on in this universe, and it keeps me coming back for more so…is it my fault Kairi will continue to be dangled as a plot carrot forever?
Next time: adding loose ends onto the loose ends.