When we got back from the event, we found a second notice on our patio gate. The first one was placed there that same morning. The woman at the management office who hates cats was in our neighborhood again (we're guessing for reasons that will be made clear) and so discovered that we never returned the cat carrier to our garage after bringing it to the patio in the hopes that it would provide shelter for
Anyway, we now had two notices to remove the unapproved items from our patio or face the consequences of being in breach of our lease. Except that we'd already removed them, because of the first notice, but whatever. We had also been thinking we should probably clean our patio anyway, since it's covered in dead leaves and junk and we knew they'd be wanting to show the apartment next door (recently vacated) to prospective new tenants. The notice said we had until today (Sunday) to remove the offensive items, and they'd be inspecting/cleaning the patio on Monday. Well, if they're going to clean the patio for us, that's great!
Then today, we were in the back of our apartment studying scriptures when there was a rather unfriendly knock on the door. I very quietly approached the door and looked through the peephole to see who it was. I thought it would probably be somebody coming around selling something, but it was the cat-hating manager with paper in her hands. I decided to stay quiet until she left, because I wasn't really in a frame of mind to confront her. (We would have happily stopped feeding the cats if they had not brought them back after taking them to get neutered.)
She waited about a minute, slipped the paper into our door, and left. I gave her some time to leave, and opened the door to discover that she had brought the exact same notice. Well, we were already working on that (except that Athena had left the cat food out, because the notice said the inspection isn't until tomorrow), so we weren't too worried anymore...
Until! there was another knock at the door. We were like, "Oh boy, she is bound and determined to give us a stern talking to." The knock was even a friendlier knock, or a more timid one, like she was trying to let our guard down or something. We were still in the back, but we stayed very quiet and very tense. I mouthed to Athena, "If you really want to talk to us, you'll knock again." ...The knock came again. So I went to go answer the door while Athena commented, "That better be the missionaries or somebody."
So guess who it was. That's right, it was the missionaries!!! So we explained to them why we were so hesitant to open the door, and they just listened politely, because it's what they do. We pointed out that we understood that they'd want our patio to look nice so it doesn't scare off the new tenants, and the missionaries were like, "We just met them! They seemed nice."
So apparently we already have new neighbors, so why do they need us to pretend our patio is nice all of a sudden? The new neighbors have already seen the havoc we have wrought (or let be wrought by negligence). The best theory I can come up with is that the cat-hating manager just hates cats that much, that she'd forgotten it was an issue because she hadn't had to deal with it in so long, and when she came by to show the new tenants, she was reminded of our egregious wrongdoing and now is bound and determined (three notices in two days) to correct our bad behavior.
All we can say about that is we hope our new neighbors like cats. (Alternatively, if they have a dog that scares the cats away, we won't feel bad about not feeding them anymore if they don't come around.)
And I still haven't reported on the ending of Kingdom Hearts III! Maybe it won't take too long. We really didn't have much left.
So basically, while Xehanort was trying to make Kingdom Hearts and activate it or whatever, the Keyblade Masters used their powers to send him to a different world, and that's where we went to fight him. We thought there might be a bunch of exploring to do before we found him, but not so. He was right there, almost stalking Sora, and there were several clones of him just showing up in the streets and stuff. And then they had a fight. He used his Kingdom Hearts powers to twist the world around a few times, so the battle kept moving, but that's just typical Square-Enix boss stuff.
The coolest part was in the last phase of the battle when Xehanort zapped Sora and sent him into Rage Form, because it was like, "What! You can't do that!" See, Rage Form (maybe Anti Form in the English version) is what happens when Sora tries to access his superpowers (he can transform) but goes all Heartless instead, probably as a way to remind all the players that Sora has been a Heartless in the past. I'm hoping they delve into that more in future games, because it seems like it's supposed to be a big deal if he's still going all Rage Form about it.
Anyway, you have to fight in Rage Form for a while (unlike in Kingdom Hearts II, in this game, they would warn you about Rage Form and you could just choose not to transform, except in this battle), until finally you activate a special move and Sora does a super cool thing that I don't really remember and therefore can't describe, and he takes back his regular form, tadah! (We think it was called Return to Light.) And then Xehanort kills Sora. Like, he does this super blaster thing, and Sora blocks it but he's not powerful enough, and he dies and it seriously goes to the game over screen and everything, only the menu never came up to give you the option to retry or anything, so she started pushing buttons, and the screen pulses while a heartbeat sound comes from the controller (that's a really cool thing about the PS4). About the third time you try this, you hear Goofy's voice from the controller go, "Sora!" and later you hear Donald.
And then, Sora comes back! Oh my goodness, then Goofy and Donald were there, backing Sora up, and it looked just like the scene in the first Kingdom Hearts where Donald and Goofy join Sora again, and he's all, "My friends are my power!" Awwwwwww! It made me cry.
And all of this happens when Xehanort only has one HP left, so once you can fight again, you just have to whack him the once and it's over. And then there's the obligatory philosophical debate, where Xehanort's all, "Darkness will always win because this world is corrupt. I'm just resetting it so it won't be broken anymore." And I'm like, "Uh...you just got beaten by the light, so..." although in his defense, he had already activated Kingdom Hearts, so supposedly it was too late or something.
Anyway, after a little back-and-forth, Sora's friends come and join the party, and Terra decides he's going to step up and say something, and Aqua's all freaking out because Terra does not have the best track record for beating Xehanort. But then it turns out that pretty much all the Keyblade wielders are just homes for wandering hearts, because Terra says something, and then a heart comes out of him, and it's Eraqus! And then we find out that Eraqus and Xehanort were old friends, and I guess they were both trying to save the world in different ways, and it was a contest to see who did it first. Xehanort was all, "I always figured you would be the one to do it. You're more that type." And I was like, "Well, yeah, when you go around messing up people's entire lives and performing dark experiments on them, you're not exactly the world-saving kind of personality." ...I do wonder if we'll ever get any more insight into how in the world he thought that was a good idea, but this was the end of the Xehanort arc, so we'll see.
Then Eraqus and Xehanort revert to their younger selves and fade away, and Sora and company all go back to the Keyblade Graveyard, and somebody was all, "Well, the gang's all here," and we were like, "Nope," and Sora was like, "Nope." Because Kairi is still nowhere to be seen. So now Sora is determined to go off on his own to go find her, and even though Donald and Goofy offer to go with him, he says he has to go alone.
Then we get a montage of happy endings for everybody else! Aqua, Terra, and Ventus...oh, by the way, when Eraqus came out of Terra, there was a very touching group hug, where Eraqus apologized for all the terrible things he put them through by dying. Anyway, in the epilogue, they're back at the Land of Departures, paying tribute at a little tombstone they set up for Eraqus. That made me cry, too.
In Twilight Town, Axel and Roxas are on the clocktower goofing off when Xion comes to sit with them, and since none of them is in Organization XIII anymore, they're all wearing regular clothes. Axel's outfit looked pretty much like he might as well still be in the Organization. It's just his look, but he stated as much in the game, so it's fine. Xion was wearing a super cute frilly top...that was apparently made of black pleather. It was adorable, though. And while they're chatting, a hand shows up holding sea salt ice cream. It's Isa! He's back! And he's dressed just like he was in Birth by Sleep! Only more grownup-ish, because it's like 10 years later. And then Hayner, Pence, and Olette show up! Awww, happy reunions all around.
Meanwhile, in Radiant Garden, Ansem the Wise and Ienzo and Vexen (we think he's still going by Vexen, anyway...) have just finished their latest replica...and Riku comes to escort Namine back to Destiny Islands. It was so princely! We're a little confused, though, because we're not really sure how all the pairings are going to go anymore, but life isn't always about romantic pairings, so I'm sure they'll work that all out when the time comes.
And now they're all partying at Destiny Islands, and Roxas and Axel are playing frisbee on the beach, and Xion is showing Namine the shells she used to collect, and it was really really cute, but of course missing the two most important people. Riku looks over to the little mini-island with the palm tree they're always sitting on...and there's Sora and Kairi! And they're holding hands! And they close up, and a tear falls down Kairi's cheek...and Sora fades away...
And we're all, "WHAT!!!" Seriously, what was that all about? It doesn't make any sense! Is Kairi back on Destiny Islands? That kind of makes sense, since she seems to always manage to wash up there, but then why did Sora have to go on his journey all alone? And couldn't Riku have called him now that he has a cell phone? We're just entirely baffled by the whole thing.
Then we get credits showing the epilogues for all the Disney worlds, but most of them had us going, "Yeah, pretty much." And then there was the epilogue. Oh, the epilogue. (Did I already call something an epilogue? Eh, that's okay. They're all epilogues, I guess.) This particular epilogue had all the Foretellers from Union Cross (minus one) gather around a black-coated figure...whose voice sounded awfully familiar. They're all, "Why did you summon us, Luxu?" and he's all, "Wow, it's been a long time since I went by that name," and he took down his hood to reveal Xigbar! And I was all, "I knew it!" because I do like to think I'm okay at recognizing voices. And basically they just talk about how he's doing something ominous. And then we see Pete and Maleficent looking on from a distance... Dun dun DUN!!
Then there's a secret movie! And oh my goodness, they went all out on the textures in this thing. Sora wakes up in a brightly lit up city at night. He stands up and looks around, and it did look kind of familiar, but mostly I was thinking about Dream Drop Distance and how the characters from The World Ends with You were all telling Sora, "See you in Shibuya!" so I was like, "Tell me this is Shibuya!" and then we saw the 104 building!!! Woohoo! Sora's in Shibuya. (I know it's really the 109 building, but it's always a parody in these things.) Then Riku wakes up in another place, which, a Google search tells us was near the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. And then we see a mysterious figure with one red eye and one blue eye, and then we see a mysterious black-coated figure, and s/he holds his/her hands up to the moon, frames it...and makes a heart shape. Like Kingdom Hearts! Dun dun DUN! The end.
Beating the game unlocked some things that allowed us to finally start collecting secret reports. In the previous KH games, there was always some kind of report to collect, and this time they were conspicuously absent (I didn't notice, actually, but once it got pointed out, it was like, "Yeah, hey!"). The first one was written by an unknown author who was being held in Radiant Garden and experimented on. She didn't remember her name, so they called her X. How do I know she's a she? I don't, but I'm guessing, because she said the main thing she looked forward to was two boys coming to hang out with her, and we deeply suspect those two boys were Lea and Isa, and that X is the "ano ko" that Saix was talking to Axel about how his whole mission in life is to rescue her. Of course, we still don't know that "ano ko" is a she, but our guess is that she's a mysterious character from Union Cross named Strellizzia (not sure I'm remembering the spelling right). I don't remember the details of her story, so I can't really report on it. Just that she was supposed to be one of the new union leaders, but somebody took her out. (That somebody turned out to be Marluxia! Dun dun DUN!)
And now you see why we need to get back to Union Cross. Here I had an inkling that the Union Cross stories were only tangentially related to the rest of the series, but now it's looking like they're going to turn out to be deeply important.
The second secret report was by Xehanort, something about being friends with Eraqus or something sappy like that. And after we found that one, we had to go to bed. If any of the others say anything that seems important, I might note them here, but we'll see.
Okay, I think I have all the writing out of my system now. Oh, except I forgot to mention that Gaston has once again pulled a fast one on us. We learned to expect him on Tuesdays, so of course he's coming on a Monday now. But we had already been warned that one of our simulpubs would be coming in that day, and that it would be late so we'd need to get it translated ASAP. So we'll be meeting Gaston and Alice later in the day.
Today I'm thankful for finally getting all that stuff written up, a friendly visit from the missionaries, the management cleaning our patio, getting to watch more Story Trek, and getting to eat chocolate very soon.