Unfortunately, I lost most of what I’d written to some kind of memory leak that completely froze up my browser (it’s always Tumblr, too). So this is rewritten, not a liveblog.
So, the Big Ben Heartless.
Not that hard once I got a handle on the mechanics. Got a bit repetitive even. I can paralyse people better now. Not much use for it at this point, but yay!
We open that door that we saw earlier. Behind is not darkness, but light… the poor videogame camera is getting overexposed.
Behind the door is…
and you may say to yourself… this is not my beautiful island
You can’t climb on all the things you used to be able to climb on, and there’s an invisible wall on the beach. Health and safety these days, I tell you. The only place you can try to go is the hidden room under the tree.
But then some VFX happened and the sea goes purple. Sadly it does not stay purple, but it does get all Heartlessy.
And guess who’s here?
It’s that guy!
Ansem/Riku has an argument with Sora about the properties of hearts. Ansem cannot speak anything undramatically. It’s great. He says all hearts are born from darkness. Sora is skeptical.
Something about him - the long coat, the lack of shirt, the extraneous straps, the long white hair with weird pointy bits that don’t make a lot of physical sense - is reminiscent of Sephiroth, isn’t it?
Anyway we fight him. He floats around with his heartless bf, and we hit him with sharp things. He’s not hard in comparison to the side bosses.
He goes flying into a tree. But oh no! It all explodes! Sure enough, this is a boss with phases.
I have to say, I think Ansem has done some nice stuff with this purple curly hole. Maybe if he survives, he can go into landscaping instead of uh… whatever his endgame is. Darkness something.
Sora gets split from the party and the first boss comes back! I guess it heard there was a fight on and wanted to join in. After all, it did invade this island - perhaps it lives here now. In any case, despite some new attacks, it’s even easier once you have magic and powerful weapons.
Then, round 2 with Ansem. This time, I’m solo and he has more attacks, so it’s not quite the same cakewalk. I get close to dying a couple of times, but it’s not too bad. I beat him!
Then Ansem takes us to see his cool abyss. Time for a title drop: we see the Kingdom Hearts itself, the ‘heart of all worlds’ where all hearts come from. This kind of reminds me of Humanity and Darkness/The Abyss in Dark Souls a great deal actually. They use a lot of the same aesthetic markers. I guess it’s not uncommon imagery.
I have to quibble with Ansem there, on account of a number of things being visible on account of light.
After showing us the Kingdom Hearts, Ansem has us check out his sweet boat.
You gotta respect someone who puts that many skulls on a boat. It could be a metal album!
Ansem himself is wired into the crotch of the big skeleton at the back(???)
Does it like represent… the umbilical cord… or something? Why there?
Anyway this is an aerial battle. Donald and Goofy are lost in the abyss. You have to destroy bits of the boat (mostly giant faces and skulls) one at a time by flying through portals into some properly dark areas:
It’s very reminiscent of the abyss areas in Dark Souls, such as the caves in Artorias of the Abyss, or that boss fight that’s just a huge dark infinite space. The Heartless totally vanish except for their eyes, which is a cool visual. Donald and Goofy are each trapped in one of these rooms.
Once you’ve fought through one of these things, a red doodad appears:
Destroy that, and part of the ship shuts down, or even blows up.
The first time you do it, Ansem some kind of rebirthing thing, just in case you thought there was a fetish that Kingdom Hearts won’t explore.
Snug as an evil scientist in a giant skeletogoth.
After you do that a couple of times, you have to destroy this purple thing:
Aw, lookatit. On a ship covered in scary skulls, this one is pretty endearing. Sadly, you have to wreck it.
Once you’ve done that, Ansem pops out… and I need to eat, so I paused the game. Thrilling conclusion later this evening!