Quick Backstory: I love Kingdom Hearts. I’ve been super hyped for every game they’ve made. It’s been on my favorite games of all time lists for so long. Until recently. I don’t know why happened, I just stopped being excited about it. But after watching some previews of KH3 from E3, I was getting excited again. So I decided to scratch that itch by playing KH2.8. I played a bit of Dream Drop Distance (I already beat it on the 3DS) and I played all of 0.2: A Fragmentary Passage. And when I finished it, I realized why I’ve been growing frustrated with the Kingdom Hearts series. So much of the extra material that has been added through side games doesn’t actually improve the overall story at all. After I finished 0.2 I thought “Well that was cool… but it didn’t do anything. Aqua didn’t need to help Mickey and Riku. This doesn’t close a plot hole or answer a burning question. It’s just extra stuff that now I need to keep track of because it looks like they are bringing this all together for KH3.”
So I’ve been thinking about how I would “fix” the plot of Kingdom Hearts to make it tighter and more digestible. Here are my thoughts, but I want to hear everyone else’s. Please help me be excited for Kingdom Hearts 3!
KH 1 - Everything is solid here in my opinion, I would just tweak the end. I would have Sora become a heartless at the end of the game just after the closing of the Door of Darkness. Sora disappears and no one is quite sure where he went. They assume he is sent back home. Donald and Goofy start looking for him.
KH Chain of Memories - Everything plays out mostly the same. I really like what this does for Riku’s development, but I don’t think the side games should be necessary to understand the plot of the numbered games. In my canon, I would have Sora’s memories getting messed up, but the reveal at the end is he’s a heartless and was kidnapped by Organization XIII. Namine offers to fix him and he goes to sleep at the end. I like this because it gives us fewer incarnations of Sora to keep track of while still allowing for the existence of Roxas.
KH2 - I really like Kingdom Hearts 2. It’s my favorite in the series. I would leave it as is. Begin with Roxas and have him, as Sora’s nobody, fuse with sleeping Sora to make him whole. The proper game then begins with Donald and Goofy finding a newly awakened whole Sora. If you didn’t play chain of memories, this will be weird, but not quite as much as I think it currently is.
KH 358/2 days - Get rid of Xion. She serves no purpose to the story other than complicating it. We don’t need a million versions of Sora.
Birth by Sleep - I would make this a tragedy where all of the characters die or are lost at the end. I like the idea of them having touched the lives of characters in the main game, but I think re-introducing and focusing on them later (DDD and KH3) is a mistake. Just way too many story arcs to keep track of at once. This is a solid origin story for Xehanort, but I feel like it goes off the rails at the end and I’m not a big fan of people’s hearts being nesting dolls of other people.
Dream Drop Distance - Do we even need this game? It feels a bit fluffy if you ask me. Mechanically enjoyable but a bit light on actual development. Same with coded, by the way.
Kingdom Hearts 3 - I would wrap the story up with a now fully reborn Xehanort free to unleash his master plan. I think that the time travel and 13 Xehanort incarnations is way over the top and difficult to alternatively justify. One Xehanort is plenty.
What do all of you think? What changes would you make? If you’re satisfied with things as they are, why is that? I’m legitimately interested since it’s possible I’m missing something.