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Friday, December 28, 2012

Kingdom Hearts Challenge Day 30: What Kingdom Hearts means to you

Kingdom Hearts is one of the first games I got for Play Station 2. I actually started the series by playing Chain of Memories, and even without understanding what was going on, the game was fascinating to me. There are so many conflicts: Dark vs Light, Brain vs Heart, Courage vs Fear. It's a complex story that goes deeper into the meaning and reason for emotions. What does a heart mean? Is the brain always in conflict with the heart? And so on.
Kingdom Hearts means a lot to me. Not just because it is an amazing story, but it takes you through Disney worlds and brings back childhood memories while introducing characters that you know from other Final Fantasy games. The main characters are very well created, with realistic inner conflicts and responses to philosophical tests and questions. Sora is a character who focuses on the heart, always there for others when they need him. Riku is a character of the mind, focusing on plans and questioning the world. Kairi is a mix between the two. She is a character of support and hope, always there when Sora and Riku need her. Roxas is an interesting character, curious, pensive and also brave. Namine is quiet but clever, finding ways out of the trap she's in and rescuing others from nonexistence.
The story that started it all, Birth by Sleep was a tragedy between three wanderers. Aqua, the responsible, brave and loyal keyblade master. Terra, the rebellious and brave warrior. Ventus the incomplete but kind and curious drifter. When Terra falls to darkness, the tone of the game changes. This is different than when Riku fell to darkness, allowing Maleficent to teach him how to be evil. Terra makes an active decision, even after witnessing what darkness does, and betrays his master, Erauqs, and his friends. Ventus's story is the opposite, he must confront darkness and subdue it with light. Ventus faces Vanitus, his shadow and fights to regain control of his body. Aqua must face the rift and mend it, using what strength she has left after battling Terra and protecting Ventus. All three wanderers were separated and lost the ultimate battle to darkness.
Each Kingdom Hearts story is a clever allegory about the human condition. Roxas asks the very common, "Who am I?" and "What is my purpose?". Sora looks for hope, wherever he can find it, even with his world destroyed and friends scattered. Ventus must battle his shadow, common in the hero's quest and many other stories.
Kingdom Hearts is a powerful collection of epic and human stories. It is the infinite battle of Good versus Evil, and the human condition of purpose and meaning. It is a philosophical story disguised as an epic journey, involving the characters from childhood memories and the warriors of Final Fantasy stories today. It's a story that means a lot to me, and with each new game, I discover something new about fears and dreams.

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