The dragon’s pretty hard actually. Does a lot of DPS, hard to predict/avoid its attacks, has the longest health bar of anything in the game. I was definitely reminded of Dark Souls in some ways, if only because that’s my only other major action-RPG lol. Dragon!Maleficent was not as terrifyingly hard as the last videogame dragon I fought, Darkeater Midir in the Dark Souls 3 DLC, but it was an intense fight and it took me about five tries to beat it.

Anyway once Drageficent dies, she completely catches on green fire (bright green is of course the colour of dark) and burns away. Metal.

That guy turns up again!

Riku saying 'The Heartless were using Maleficent from the beginning.'

Shock as the villain of this game isn’t from a disney movie!

Riku leaves through another dark portal. But there’s still the portal we entered by, and the wall behind the save point disappears in true Dark Souls fashion.

Sora kneeling with Kairi in front of the portal.

Now this is a final boss room. Pipe organ stargate here we go!

Riku - or rather the entity possessing Riku, conveniently absolving him of moral responsibility - says Kairi is the final princess, and she needs her heart to produce the Keyhole. Which has to come from Sora.

Riku stands in front of the portal between the pipes, saying 'Don't you see yet?'

Going to guess what Sora doesn’t see yet: through the magic of obligatory heterosexuality and also that thing Sora said about his heart being connected to the hearts of others, Kairi has given him her heart.

Riku shouting 'Kairi's heart rests within you!'

Yeah.

Riku grandly declaring 'It is I, Ansem, the seeker of darkness.'

What a twist!

Ansem’s a Final Fantasy guy, I recall Squall saying. Interesting that he could be the villain here.

Ansem/Riku swats Donald Duck aside like a small duck.

Riku/Ansem standing over a kneeling Sora, commanding 'Open the door, lead me into everlasting darkness!'

Ansem, you don’t think you’re overdoing it… just a bit?

Sora blocking Ansem/Riku's keyblade with his own, shouting 'Forget it!'

This is a game about boys hitting each other with large keys.

Anyway, I have to fight Ansem without my party. There’s very dramatic organ music. Somehow I think this is the final boss.

This game has a very annoying habit of putting checkpoints right before long cutscenes. Fortunately having an emulator lets you use savestates to bypass that.

The third phase of this fight is really hard actually. In the second phase, every so often he goes into a more powerful state. In the third phase, this becomes his default state, and he does an AoE on the whole arena every so often. It took several tries to learn…

…but I did it! I got good at hitting him during the powerful state/third phase, and figured out I could totally avoid the AoE by standing still in a corner and then be ready for his attacks after.

So he disappears. Is Riku dead? Aww he and Sora were going to kiss and stuff.

Donald and Goofy seem to have recovered, and the party observes the Keyhole is not finished, so Sora can’t close it. They conclude they have to wake up Kairi, so they’ll need to free her heart, and Sora gets a terrible idea…

Kora stabs himself in the chest with the black and red keyblade, causing a burst of light.

He does The Face right before this, but I wasn’t quick enough to capture it!

Anyway this causes the ancom keyblade to turn into metroids, which are presumably in fact hearts, because all the princesses and finally Kairi get reactivated.

Unfortunately Sora turns into a particle effect just as Kairi wakes up. Does that mean in the next game we’ll be Kairi trying to rescue Sora? That would be cool.

Ansem's true form is revealed. He has long white hair, brown skin, white gloves, a long black coat, a long white coat underneath it, but no shirt. The Heartless emblem hangs right over where his heart would be.

This guy - presumably Ansem’s true form - shows up!

A glowing Riku saying 'No. You won't use me for this!'

Unfortunately for him, disposing of Kairi finally crosses a line for the host body. Riku buys time for Donald, Goofi and Kairi to escape.

And then… here’s twist I did not see coming.

A tiny Heartless - one of the standard enemies in the game - at the bottom of a flight of stairs.

I’m a Heartless now! Moreover I’m the weakest kind of Heartless! Turns out stabbing yourself in the heart with a magic key has consequences. :O

Can’t wait to be murdered by my allies. Were we the real monsters all along? #makesuthink

As a Heartless, I can lope along, and I can jump. I can’t press buttons, activate lifts, or the like. Somehow I have to get down this tower.