Then we decided the easiest thing to do would be to forget about all the other stuff we have to do and get to work reformatting Fruits Basket 17. (Also that way we'd get to listen to our KH2 soundtrack!) It occurred to me that we actually didn't need to get a head start on it like we did last week, but since we ignore character introductions when we're translating for us, we found out it was actually a very good thing we did. Those character descriptions have gigantic spoilers! My goodness!
We also learned that it can be a very good thing that Miyano-kun tells everybody what new anime he's in, because if we ended up deciding we just don't have the time or space to watch the premieres of some serieses this season, Tokimeki Memorial was definitely near the top of the cut list. Somehow it's looking like all our favorite voice actors end up being in stuff we decide not to watch because it's aimed at boys and therefore the cast would be all girls. Except for the one guy who also happens to be played by our favorite voice actor. Oy.
And last night we played through most of the end of Kingdom Hearts II, so I'm in a, "How could I love anything but Kingdom Hearts?" mood.
So we finally told Pence the password (we've never tried telling him the wrong password; I wonder what happens), and made our way over to the alternate Twilight Town. The scene with Axel reeeeeeeally makes me want to play the Japanese version of the game. I want to know what they translated "Got it memorized?" from. Maybe we can find out from our Chain of Memories manga. I also really want to know the stories behind all of Organization XIII's Others. I kind of get the feeling Axel's other wasn't a villain originally. I wonder if we'll ever find out. And realizing that Saix and Xigbar have pointy ears makes me even more curious.
We weren't sure when would be the best time to try and finish up all the sidequests, so we ended up going back and forth between The World That Never Was and the World Map a lot. That really doesn't have any significance to this review.
The first time we played through, we kept getting closer to the end, and Athena was like, "But... I haven't done everything yet!" And it was annoying. FFX-2!!! *shakes fist* This time we even knew what all we had left, but we just couldn't do it. Frustration abounds. Ah well.
Maybe we're missing something, but we still don't know who Roxas was talking about when he asked why "he" chose Sora. Is that another element for KH3? They left us hanging with Maleficent and Pete, too. Maybe Roxas was wondering why the Keyblade chose Sora? Personification and/or the zero-pronoun could easily have led to that translation.
We finally made it to the castle, and that's when all the stuff we were waiting to see the whole time starts to happen. Kairi and Namine are such girls, the way they run down the castle halls. I'm not sure whether I'm amused or what. It's cute though. And then! Riku shows up to save them from Saix. I was just really happy to see him again, and then Kairi goes to take his hood off, and the whole time, I'm like, "Yes, yes, yes, yes... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Ansem had never, ever seemed that ugly before. In fact, there were comments made when playing KH1 that a villain that annoying should not be allowed to be so sexy. It wasn't right, that Riku should look like Ansem! It just wasn't right.
Although, thinking about it, I realized that they totally gave it away at the beginning of the game. Okay, so they didn't give it away, but if you know, it's so completely obviously. The way "Ansem" moves around, the way he's tossing the money pouch after stealing it from Roxas. His speech pattern, everything! So totally Riku. If I had known that, I wouldn't have been so torn when Roxas was trying to decide between following the hooded figure and going with Axel. Though it does kind of really suck for Roxas, going with Riku. But he gets a happy ending, so it's all good.
We had recently seen episode 41 of Eyeshield21, the episode that will live in infamy as the episode in which Sakuraba's beauty was destroyed!, so our next reaction was, "Can't Miyano-kun play anybody who doesn't ruin their looks!?" We were very frustrated, and we kept yelling at Riku the rest of the night, and the next day, since we got to that part on a Saturday, so we took a break for Sunday.
The first time through, we kept playing until we beat Xigbar (one of Athena's most annoying battles), and we got to the touching reunion between Riku and Sora. It was really touching to see Sora crying when he finally got to see Riku again. Our justification as to him not crying for Kairi is that he had a pretty good idea that Kairi was safe all the time he was adventuring, while with Riku he really had no idea at all, and people had kept telling him, "You don't want to end up like Riku!" And of course, there's all this stuff between finding out what happened to Riku and Sora seeing him again that tells you that he did it so he could help Sora. Riku's totally the best.
The reason we didn't play Kingdom Hearts II on Sundays the first time through was that we were too obsessed with it. On Sundays, you're supposed to take a break and think of the Lord, and if we didn't stop playing KH2, our lives would be completely absorbed in it, and that wasn't right. But after seeing what Riku had done to himself, it was hard not to dwell on it, as I said. So during Sacrament Meeting the next day, I was relating Kingdom Hearts to the Gospel. Riku made a huge sacrifice to help Sora, to show that he would do anything and everything he could for his friend, and I thought about how Jesus is the same way. He, of course, wouldn't have to become darkness like Riku did, because He's more powerful than that and stuff, but it kind of helps me understand His relationship with me to relate it to Kingdom Hearts. I am such a dork.
I was also amused that the game designers were able to make Ansem such a hated existence that making Riku take his appearance would accurately convey how far Riku would go to help Sora. Maybe that's because we hate Ansem more out of annoyance than out of the fact that he, you know, destroyed a bunch of worlds just for his stupid research or power or whatever it was. Now that I think of it, Ansem really sucks.
So finally going on after a weekend of obsessing over Riku's hideous transformation, we beat Luxord and Saix, and then, finally! finally! Riku gets changed back. Okay, so we talked to the real Ansem, and Xemnas showed up and talked about how stupid Ansem is, and then the thing exploded and then Riku changed back, but still. I loved when he took the blindfold off, because he has such pretty eyes. But then he really needs to trim his bangs. Oy. His whole new look reminds me of Matantei Loki: Ragnarok volume 3 of the manga, where
Loki is playing The Game of Life with Utgard Loki, only it's kind of like a roleplay, and they have to apply to get a job, and the interviewers ask Utgard Loki, "What's up with your bangs?" and he answers, "They look cool, don't they?" And they're basically like, "Kids these days..."
Fully rendered, Riku's new look is pretty good. In fact, we looked through a Kingdom Hearts Ultimania (can't remember if it was KH2, or combined 1 & 2), and it had the character picture drawn by Tetsuya Nomura, and that was pretty sexy. But during gameplay, man. The pockets on his pants make it look like he constantly needs to pull them up, but when you look closer, you see his belt around his waist. Or probably just below it, actually. In a place so that you wouldn't see more than you should if he took his shirt off. His hair looks really good fully rendered, but again, it just didn't quite work during normal gameplay. Ah well.
They more than made up for the lack of Riku throughout most of the game by letting him join your party and then having a ton of combination moves with him and Sora. I love to see them working together!!! So much awesomeness during the final battle. I have a theory that the reason they don't unlock all the sidequests until right before the final frickin' battle is that then the player has an excuse to have Riku on the party more while levelling up for tournaments and stuff. A valiant effort, but I hate interrupting the flow of the story like that.
Sora's battle with
Oh yes. Riku gives Kairi a Keyblade. I'm really not sure what's up with that. Especially because when Xemnas addresses all the Keyblade holders, Kairi doesn't step up with the rest of them. They do seem to like handing out Keyblades like candy in this game. Even Squall's gunblade has a chain at the end, like a keychain. I guess that's more for KH3.
The battle they almost make you think is the last one seemed rather anticlimactic. Athena said that she beat him, and they're all like, "Yay! Let's go home!" and she was just sitting there waiting for the controller to start vibrating, a la the rumbling castle in Ocarina of Time. Speaking of Ocarina of Time, a lot of the final battle music in KH2 is very reminiscent of that game. The choir, mainly. Sounds very Water Temple. Or any temple, really; I just always think of the Water Temple first for some reason.
And then the real final battle starts. Athena is very amused that it includes a Gummi mission. I love the move where Sora whacks a building with his Keyblade, and Riku rides on it to the giant shield and then busts everything up. I love all of the Sora/Riku combo moves♥
But for some reason Xemnas wasn't cooperating last night, so comments on the end of the game will wait until whenever we beat it. We'll probably see about finishing up those sidequests first, but you never know.
Today I'm thankful for not having quite as much trouble with the highlighted bits of FB17 I thought we might, Heroes being on tonight, having been relatively productive for our crazy start and long time spent talking about KH2, having tea ring cookies, and having Fiddle Faddle.