Our Latest Kingdom Hearts Deep Dive Catches Up to 'Kingdom Hearts III'

Kingdom Hearts III may be out, but look, we’re still working our way through a game from 2012, okay? Welcome back to Lore Reasons, our multipart deep dive into the story and larger mythology driving Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts series. We are not experts, but through the power of friendship (and ice cream), we can try. On today’s episode, we finally catch up to the modern timeline, as we make sense of Dream Drop Distance. We’ll be back in a few weeks with more episodes, including talking about Kingdom Hearts III. Stay tuned.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/pan39z/our-latest-kingdom-hearts-deep-dive-catches-up-to-kingdom-hearts-iii

Holy hell, this podcast starts off strong! Also I think Patrick entered a parallel universe in the later half of this podcast…

Lore Reasons continues to be the greatest thing ever.


I hope Riku shows up.


I have one small addendum to the Phil Collins saga portion of Lore Reasons: I was listening to the Friends at the Table COUNTER/Weight campaign recently and during one of the finale episodes (ep42 - A Splintered Branch, A Ringing Bell Pt. 2) at about the 2:29:15 mark Austin, as Lazer Ted, also does the drum fill from In The Air Tonight. I’m no musician but I’m pretty sure he got it right, but gosh it would’ve been hilarious if Natalie could’ve dragged him back for it.

Anyway, I love Lore Reasons and while I’m not sure I know much more about Kingdom Hearts than I did at the start of this series, it sure has been a fun and wild ride.

I’m sad the journey is already over, but it’s been a hell of a time listening to this series. Can’t wait for a new game/series to be discussed, even if it’ll take 358 days.

That being said, there’s one major thing y’all missed when talking about KH3D- when Sora dreamdrops into The World That Never Was, he’s told that the Org 13 Nobodies were beginning to grow new hearts. This is why Roxas has a heart, despite being told that they could only get their hearts by creating KH2’s Kingdom Hearts. Xemnas knew this from the start, but had an ulterior motive- he was planning on the “13 norts” plan the entire time.

As Xigbar gleefully says, “I’m already Half Xehanort.”

Needless to say, this is where the term “norting” arrived, which I only learned from that Prozd video despite joining the fandom a couple years prior.

One last correction, that I’m going to try to keep back from explaining the entirety of the KH mobile game- you’re not time traveling to the future. Instead, MoM, with his future eyeball powers, was able to copy down the events of the future- a tale of Alice in Wonderland, the world of Agrabah during the events of Aladdin, the home of the 7 Dwarves, and other places you’d recognize. With this information, he’s able to simulate these worlds for the keyblade unions to explore and collect Lux. It’s also good to note that these worlds do not show the adventures of Sora or have members of the Organization, but you encounter heartless just the same (shoutouts to the Gaston heartless that is too rad not to be mentioned)

And where exactly do you get this information, or at least the suggestion that these worlds are not what they seem? Mission 319. Out of 800~. Yes, 90% of those missions are filler, but jeez I do not blame anyone for not dropping into that one (but totally should). I highly recommend the KHInsider playlist for all the cutscenes as seen in their original form


It might just be because I’m running on fumes, but latter parts of this episode made my head hurt, particularly the run-on sentences about the specifics of Xehanorts time travel shenanigans and Riku entering a simulation inside Sora’s heart (what?).

I appreciate they’re in way off the deep end of course, but boy the details really muddle things up. That said the only KH explainer (and KH related thing) I’ve absorbed has been this fun light casual summary of the concepts of the world and its events by Barry Kramer.

Edit: Also I find it hilarious that in trying to sum it up at the end they literally got one point in before trailing off about who the 7 pieces of light are, I love it.
More. Lore. Reasons! (rest easy, Austin)

rip in peace Leonard Nymroy


This series has been a very fun listen. Natalie did a really fantastic job hosting. Thank you so much for going through what I’m sure was no small effort to put all this together for us.


Great news

Riku showed up


Hooray!!! You did it!!! Big shoutouts to Natalie for leading this journey, it’s frankly incredible that you were able to get through everything without having played the games or at least watched the cutscenes- I can’t imagine keeping all this stuff (mostly) straight without being able to recall specific cutscenes where things were shown or explained and it’s all just names and phrases without context, so SUPER well done!

Honestly, y’all hit a fuckin homerun on DDD, it’s definitely the most complicated game by far and y’all absolutely nailed it! I only have a few things to mention this time:

  1. This is just a fun aside, but similar to Mickey losing his shirt, Lingering Will randomly sprouts a cape at the end of BBS, specifically in the HD version. In original BBS, Lingering Will doesn’t have a cape because the PSP couldn’t handle it, but in his boss fight in KH2FM, he has a cape, so to reconcile this, they added the following scene for the PS3/PS4 versions, which is so ridiculous it literally looks fake:
  1. An important timeline clarification: at the end of 0.2, Aqua is lying on the beach on Destiny Island, which disappears out from under her as the world is restored at the end of KH1, so she falls back into the darkness. The scene with her speaking to a hooded figure takes place on a different beach in the realm of darkness and is much later- this scene plays out in full as the secret ending of BBS, so we already know that the hooded figure is Ansem the Wise and, based on events he refers to, this scene takes place after the end of KH2.
  2. At the end of DDD, Sora has a trippy dream sequence after young Xehanort puts him under and Riku is trying to save him, during which Sora sees Terra and Aqua, briefly turns into Ven, sees Namine and Xion (who he doesn’t recognize but seeing her brings tears to his eyes), and talks to Roxas, who then shares all his memories with Sora.
  3. By experiencing Roxas’ memories for himself, Sora realizes that all the emotions Roxas felt were real, not fake as all previous knowledge of Nobodies had claimed. Sora insists that Roxas did have a heart (as did Xion and Axel), telling Xemnas, “You have to have a heart to cry,” and Xemnas confirms that Nobodies can begin to regrow hearts over time, which is part of why the original Organization failed- too many of its members either began to regrow their own hearts or were otherwise unfit as vessels for Xehanort.

I think that’s about it! Awesome job!!! I’m super looking forward to the KH3 episode :slight_smile:

i dunno what podcast player people are having problems with patrick’s audio in but i’ve never had a problem

anyway this show was the best and i will follows you down any lore reasons rabbit hole y’all attend. may your heart be your guiding key.

Cado fixed the issue, so you likely got the revised version.

it’s been a week of complaints and i’ve been hitting download as soon as i see it hit my podcatcher but c’est la

Ah, my mistake. I thought you were referring to people talking about Patrick’s doubling in this specific episode. I didn’t realize there were more general complaints.

So we need a Mickey audio book of Dialectic of Enlightenment by Horkheimer and Adorno. Can you imagine!

“The culture industry perpetually cheats its consumers of what it perpetually promises. The promissory note which, with its plots and staging, it draws on pleasure is endlessly prolonged; the promise, which is actually all the spectacle consists of, is illusory: all it actually confirms is that the real point will never be reached, that the diner must be satisfied with the menu.”

Then just a goofy: “gawsh”


“Next Lore Reasons: Digimon.” “That wouldn’t be that hard.” I’ve heard some stuff about time loops and the WonderSwan (?) games. Not to mention stuff with Yggdrasil and Digignomes and X-antibodies, about which I know: some stuff, very little, and absolutely nothing. There’s definitely material.

I’d like to throw another long running series with a recent release in the ring for the next lore reasons. May I present this line from the Ace Combat timeline.


Holy shit, that cape literally just sprouts from his back. That’s amazing.

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As someone who has reached the end of KHX Union Cross, I cannot overstate just how much of a waste of time it is. It is not interesting to play, and it offers mere drips of story content every couple hours. It took me over a year to drag myself to the current end point. And that isn’t any more inciteful than just reading the KH wiki about what happens. It’s not worth bothering to download.

Hey Austin, if you’re reading this, please go into the kingdom hearts 3 podcast unspoiled if you can. I need someone to react to the wild shit that happens , since the others would have finished it by then.

Love the work waypoint does.