This podcast is everything I’ve ever wanted tbqh, super informative and interesting and makes me super excited for the KH3 Lore Reasons!
I really enjoyed all the Xion discussion- she’s always been one of the most philosophically interesting characters in the series and I’m glad y’all really dug into her whole situation. Something y’all might’ve missed if you never actually watched the 358/2 Days movie is that not only does Xion’s appearance reflect the viewer’s perception of her, but in cutscenes it literally changes between shots, depending on who else is in the shot. There’s a really clear example of it here:
This is at a point where Xion is friends with Roxas, but not yet close to Axel- as such, Axel doesn’t see the ‘real’ Xion yet, just the featureless puppet with her hood up. So when the shot includes just Roxas and Xion, we see her as Roxas sees her, as his friend with her ‘real’ face, but once Axel is back in the shot, because Axel doesn’t really consider her his friend yet, we see her as Axel sees her, in her original ‘puppet’ form. But once Axel comes out and says she’s his friend, he sees her as Roxas does, with her real face. We only ever see her true face if everyone else contained in the given shot or the person from whose perspective we’re viewing her is close enough to her to see her true face too, often resulting in her hood seemingly instantaneously popping on and off her head as the camera cuts to different shots with different people included in them. Xion has to quite literally be ‘seen’ by someone close to her in order for her identity to manifest.
(This also comes up in KH3, albeit a bit more subtly- Xion has her hood up and does not show her face until Roxas, through Sora, says her name. She begins to break down, Xemnas calls her a “useless puppet” and kicks her, and only then does her hood come off and reveal her true face.)
Re: the Lingering Will discussion, as already mentioned, a “human” body (i.e. a person or a replica) is not required to develop a heart, as Baymax and the Toy Story toys have hearts. But I think Austin’s conclusion that Lingering Will’s failure to develop a heart comes from it not really having a sense of self is spot on. Lingering Will has literally one thing on its mind, and it’s Xehanort murder- it couldn’t give a fuck about anyone or anything else, including itself. The only times Lingering Will ever speaks in the first person are when it’s either recalling one of Terra’s memories (saying “You aren’t the one I chose” to Sora, referring to Riku) or in reference to its unrelenting bloodthirst (“How I’ve waited for this moment” when preparing to kick the shit out of Terranort).