Has Kingdom Hearts become too complicated?

Have too many Alt-Characters, Keyblade Wielders and Plot-Twists spoiled Kingdom Hearts?

Kingdumb Smart

Is Kingdom Hearts becoming too complicated? Fans seem to be divided over whether the series’ ever increasing complexity is smart, or actually dumb.

Looking to the fandom for an answer, you’ll see the word “convoluted” being thrown around Kingdom Hearts boards frequently nowadays. Some have even gone as far to suggest that the story of Kingdom Hearts has become as convoluted as, or even exceeded, such infamously complicated series as Metal Gear Solid. But is this the case? If so, should us fans be worried?

Back to Square One

To get some perspective on the issue, let’s start back at square one. With the release of the first Kingdom Hearts, I think we’d all agree that the plot was fairly straightforward. A boy goes on a quest to save his friends with a magical weapon, the Keyblade, all while felling dark creatures called Heartless. Simple enough. Then through Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II, the mythos was expanded to include such plot devices as false memories and a new enemy, the Nobodies.

The latest entry in the series, Birth by Sleep, continues this pattern, as it naturally should, with the introduction of the Unversed, and some surprising revelations. What is at issue here isn’t the fact that the mythos is being expanded, but how it’s being expanded. If we were to take the principle of Occam’s Razor, in which the simplest explanation is regarded as the best, and held it up to Kingdom Hearts… let’s just say that there would certainly be quite a bit of fat that razor would have to trim.

Take a look at the most egregious violations of that principle- the series’ protagonist, Sora, and the antagonist, Xehanort.

[Warning: Birth by Sleep spoilers!]

Timeline of Sora

  • Sora (KH1): So there’s this boy
  • Sora (KH2): who splits into this other boy
  • Sora (Days): that spends his time with a clone of the original boy who looks like the girl the boy likes.
  • Sora (BbS): But wait! The other boy looks just like a boy from ten years ago who has another half who looks like the original boy.

Timeline of Xehanort

  • Xehanort (KH1): Some guy who possesses a young guy, who ends up looking just like the guy.
  • Xehanort (KH2): But this guy is actually part of another guy who is the apprentice of an old guy that goes by the same name. Oh, and the other half of the guy is running around too.
  • Xehanort (Birth by Sleep): When those two halves of the guy were one guy, though, even the original guy was actually made from yet another old guy possessing yet another young guy.

What’s wrong with this? Well, when you need a flow chart just to keep track of all the derivatives of your two main characters, something’s not right. Note here that I’m not arguing, like some have, that Kingdom Hearts “doesn’t make sense.” But it feels as though the series is becoming more and more complex just for the sake of being complex, which doesn’t add any real depth, only a superficial semblance of it. In other words, the series is trying too hard to be smart, but ends up looking dumb.

Even worse than that, the convolusion is making it harder for new fans to hop on to the series’ bandwagon. Any diehard fan of the series should have no problem differentiating Ven from Roxas, or Master Xehanort from Xehanort the Apprentice.

But someone who’s looking into Kingdom Hearts now has to digest all of this information at once, which, going back to the examples of Sora and Xehanort, can be both daunting and unappealing. It’s becoming a series that isn’t even remotely easy to jump into.

Kingdom Hearts 4: Revenge of the Spleen

And you have to ask: Where do we draw the line? If it isn’t already too intricate, then what is? What if we found out in KH3 that Master Xehanort was actually the roommate of the real Xehanort? What if in KH4 we found out that the roommate of Xehanort was actually made from the spleen of another man?

Also bear in mind that this is not an attack on any of the characters. For instance, I loved Ven as a character, but as a plot device? Eh. Simple enough to understand his role within Birth by Sleep, but when examining the larger context of the series, he just makes things that more complicated.

And that’s not even taking into account all of the smaller plot holes. When you have a story that grows this complex, there’s bound to be some holes that pop up out of negligence or some other reason.

For example, how come Donald and Goofy don’t recognize Yen Sid’s tower in KH2 when they were there in BbS?  Or, Why does Ienzo appear to age so much when the apprentices were supposed to have given up their hearts a year after BbS (knowing that Nomura said Nobodies don’t age)? Don’t even get me started on Roxas and Naminè’s births..

These are negligible, to be sure, and taken by themselves, they’re no big deal whatsoever. But what these holes lack in scope, they make up for in number. Kingdom Hearts is in danger of creating a Kudzu Plot. The more you think about the series, the more of these dangling plot threads you find.

It’s like if Grandma made you a sweater for Christmas. At first, you think it’s perfect. But then you notice a dangling thread here, a dangling thread there, and before you know it, the sweater is unraveling at the seams! Goddammit, Grandma!

So what’s a Kingdom Hearts fan to do?

Well, if you’ve made it this far with the series, there’s some merit in that. Clearly, the complexity hasn’t become so much of an issue that fans are dropping like flies. Kingdom Heart’s strong fan base is a testament to the fact that it is, indeed, a great series, despite its faults.

And there’s hope for us yet! Even Nomura has admitted, in a recent Famitsu interview, that “the story thus far has extended too much” and that in Kingdom Hearts 3D it would “be good to bring it together plainly for a moment.” By no means, then, has the complexity gone past the point of no return.

Going back to the comparison to the Metal Gear Solid series, Metal Gear Solid 4, while universally acclaimed, was also lambasted for its complexity. The latest in the series, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, returned to a simpler style of storytelling.Maybe KH3D will be our Peace Walker, with Kingdom Hearts returning to its roots: A story that isn’t so simple that it’s dumb, yet also a story that doesn’t blanket itself in a veil of “smart.”

Whether or not Tetsuya Nomura continues on the route of complexity, one thing is certain: From that complexity one universal axiom has emerged.

Do you think KH has became too complex?

What say you, reader? Has Kingdom Hearts become too complex for its own good? If so, what game did you get ‘lost’ at? Or do you still think the storyline is still quite clear and enjoyable?

Has Kingdom Hearts become too complicated?

  • Not really, but it’s close. I’ve had my fill of Xehanort's (51%, 138 Votes)
  • Heck no! I want more Sora-Offspring! (31%, 84 Votes)
  • Yeah, and it’s too late. I’ve drowned in a sea of Sora's. (18%, 46 Votes)

Total Voters: 268

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Grassy Avatar“Has Kingdom Hearts become too complicted?” was written by Grassy, moderator on our Kingdom Hearts Forums. Each Monday, we publish a Guest Blog from a member of the Kingdom Hearts or Gaming Community.

64 Responses to “Has Kingdom Hearts become too complicated?”

  1. Therandompianosong Says:

    YES. It. Has. End of story. XD

  2. Ayumifan16 Says:

    No. I’ve been able to follow the storyline very well. I’m looking forward to more games from it. But now that we’ve beaten Xehanort and his nobody Xemnas, and the real Ansem is dead, we need a new mega villain.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t think it has (yes I am a die hard fan of the series). But I understand why to people who haven’t had a chance to play the series for whatever reason might think it is a long story that has expanded over 6 titles so far, with one more still in the works. Still though I don’t find it at all complicated to understand.
    But that point you made about Donald and Goofy not noticing Yen Sid’s tower in KH2, they did because they even mentioned to Sora that he used to teach Mickey Mouse, (sorry had to just point that out :P ).

  4. Shirozora Says:

    I’m a die hard fan but still believe that the story has gotten extremely out of hand when it comes to being complicated. Like the other day I tried explaining the WHOLE story to my friend and not did he get lost but as well as me. Don’t get me wrong though I still believe there is but a light at the end of the tunnel for the series what they need to do is end everything having to do with the current main characters and start from scratch but still have some small link to what had happened in the past sort of how fable has been doing it where there is a connection between all the games but nothing major enough to affect the story

  5. Robbington Says:

    The KH series is simple, but people just make it not simple. For example, how can 2 people play BBS, and after completing the whole game, 1 person understands it all and the other doesnt.

  6. Jerold Says:

    As a long time fan of the series I do think the KH storyline has become too complex. I my honest opinion, I think the reason why the storyline became complicated is because Nomura must have been coming up with more plots for the games as the series progressed in the past couple of years. Correct me if I am wrong but I don’t think Nomura or Square originally planned on KH to be turned into a series. Since the first game had a straightforward story, I think KH 1 has the best story in the series. I am not saying that the other games’ storylines are bad, but the story expanded way too much. Even though the storyline of Kingdom Hearts has became a little too complex, KH’s storyline is still enjoyable! This is my opinion on this topic.

  7. Tiffany Tran Says:

    KH HAS gotten too complex and can never go back to the original “feel” of the first game. Of course nothing is as good as the original, but that won’t stop me from playing the future KH games.

    The reason why KH has gotten complex is because it could have ended a long time ago, EASILY. Yet the game makers continued to pull story lines and plot devices out of their rear end. Rather than a game born from a story, it’s a story born from a game. Until they decide enough is enough, it’ll continue to get out of hand.

    KH3 NEEDS to end the Xehanort Arch, and if it doesn’t then KH will continue to decline.

  8. Franco Castaneda Says:

    No it hasn’t become to complicated. My younger brother, who has never played a Kingdom Hearts game in his life, knows and understands the entire game’s plot all from what i’ve told him. For Pete’s sake he doesn’t understand the plot of Star Wars. Kingdom Hearts is no more complicated than it has ever been. People who say its complicated are just lazy. They see a plot that is bigger than 1 game and they think,”Oh. Its too complicated.”

  9. Age Says:

    Well, if you’ve read the “Director’s Report” (Google it), or you wiki’d Re:Coded’s secret talk, then you know that Xenhahort (The original one) is returning.

    But…I suppose. For people who’ve been there from the start, not so much. But I can see how it can be hard for others, because many people don’t own a PS2, and can’t play the originals. Maybe a remake for the PS3 will make people running back to their PSP’s and DS’s in understanding.

  10. Sasukex27 Says:

    Hahaha. Total lol on the timeline. ROFL

  11. Kevin Lee Says:

    Too complex is not the way I would describe “Kingdom Hearts”. I don’t have any difficulty following it and don’t see why anybody else would if they just took the time to think it through a bit (which the game gives you plenty of time to think it through due to the next point I’m about to make).

    Starting from the very first game, it was a simple story to be sure. But it left a lot up for speculation, setting the stage for more backstory to be revealed. As I played the first game, I felt that “Ansem”‘s appearance was very abrupt and didn’t make sense with the rest of what the game tells us: that he was an old wise man; that he wanted to protect his world from darkness, not invite it in; and the kicker to me, that he was somehow friends with Mickey Mouse. It just somehow didn’t make sense to me that the Ansem from the first game would be friends with Mickey Mouse. Then we got to the GBA release of “Chain of Memories” and Mickey telling Riku that he finds DiZ familiar somehow and that was the point that I realized “This guy is Ansem” and “That other guy is just someone calling himself Ansem.”

    It isn’t so much that there are too many quasi-Soras either, because they seem easy enough to follow. If anything, I feel like the explanation of all of his detachments is poorly paced. Roxas had a heavy presence in the promotions for 2, but when we finally get the game, it’s all revealed within the first 4-5 hours and is never touched upon again until the final 2 or 3 or so. Xion pretty much goes unexplained until her very last appearance. Ventus has the benefit of having the appearance of a character we already know so, by the time the opening tutorials are over, we can already guess what’s going to happen to him.

    I don’t think Sora’s existence is so complicated, and neither is Xehanort’s. Here is one thing that I do think you should have brought up in your criticism and the part of the series I am becoming rather weary of:

    Too many Keyblades.

    In the beginning, we believe there is 1 chosen Keyblade wielder and 1 only. Then a second one appears and it’s the one for the Realm of Darkness, which I can accept. Then 2 comes along and suddenly Riku is using one. Then Kairi is using one. Then Xigbar tells us there are a couple of other Keyblade wielders. Then Terra’s Lingering Sentiment is using one. Then Xion has one. Then we got 3 new heroes that are using them, as well as one supporting character and 2 villains. Before we know it, Donald and Goofy are going have Keyblades. Lo, we find out every world has one and that there are hundreds of them in the Keyblade Graveyard.

    I don’t know about you, but I felt like the first Keyblade we saw in the first game suddenly appears cheapened to me. Pretty soon, everybody is going to have one.

  12. Edith Moreno Says:

    There is no way this game could become complicated, when it is still focused in the same era…constantly… BBS is the exception, but even then all that does is help you understand the game better, and enjoy the secrets of everything. And why things are the way they are!

    No one should say it’s complicated, because that just means they don’t enjoy the game very much. If you were a true Kingdom Hearts Fan, you would simply try to understand the story more by asking around or analyzing it. Not blaming it on the creators who have done a fantastic job.

    Although I would like for them to continue on forward, It is tough to be patient of what will happen next.

  13. Andy Star Says:

    It’s hard to agree with your point of view when it’s been so plainly explained in the games WHERE those plots come from and why they’re happening. I thought Ven’s story elements give us all something to look forward in KH3 along with the characters/struggle from BbS. Have you seen the secret ending to RE:Coded? Do it. It kind of puts BbS into perspective. It all MEANS something. It just takes a while to tell it. The plot holes aren’t actually that big. Maybe Donald and Goody KNEW it was his tower but didn’t SAY. There are things unsaid for reasons. I’ve actually recently played through the series in chronological order BECAUSE of this issue. I played through because my friend was saying that it’s all just a gimmick to sell more games and milk it(basically). So, I checked it all out and told him what added up, it all checks in just fine.

    I think people are just dissing because their little minds can’t take in the story as a whole and that scares them. It takes a GOOD plot evolution to keep gamers interested. :D just my opinion

  14. jhdkjahsd Says:

    I totally agree, and I’m in a similar situation as you where my little sister doesn’t understand Star Wars, but really understands the plot of Kingdom Hearts, and her favorite KH game is the so called “horrible” KH game, 358/2 Days!

  15. jhdkjahsd Says:

    So true! In fact, I constantly play the KH games in chronological order all year long, shows how much of a fan I am! And looking at it, the story really does flow smoothly. I think the problem is that some people skip eras in the games, like going from KH1 straight to KH2 rather than playing CoM before getting to 2.

  16. jhdkjahsd Says:

    Complicated? No, not at all. I’m very satisfied with were the seies is headed. I actually loved the WTF moments in the series, like when the whole Xehanort/Ansem thing was revealed. And as much as I like Sora, I actually found his other “selves” much more likeable, especially Ven & Roxas. And in response to the person who said there are too many keyblades, I have to respectfully disagree. The only people who thought there was one Keyblade master in KH1 were Leon and the gang, who apparently didn’t know much about it and probably got their info from legends/myths. BBS perfectly explains why Kairi, Sora, Riku, and Mickey each wielded a Keyblade. Kairi was able to use it after touching Aqua’s keyblade (as stated by Nomura in an interview). Riku was able to do so thanks to Terra. Mickey was already a Keyblade wielder training under Yen Sid. Roxas is obvious since he inherited some traits from Sora, which includes the Keyblade. Same goes for Xion, who got the ability from her time with Roxas. I’m guesing the Keyblade goes to anyone who touches one AND has a strong heart (stated by Xehanort in KH1 when Riku lost to Sora). Terra even said that the Keyblades are very picky about their masters. So don’t expect EVERYONE to have a Keyblade. For example, Jack Sparrow touched Sora’s Keyblade in KH2, but does he have a heart strong enough to wield one? Only time will tell.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Um, Ansem isn’t dead, watch the secret ending of BbS.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    No, the series haasn’t gotten too complicated, it’s just the laziness of people who simply don’t WANT to understand it.
    I mean, a lot of the so-called plotholes are merely left open for interpretation and are usually picked up on in the next game. It leaves you thinking and wanting more.

  19. Brooser Says:

    I agree that it’s complicated. I LOVE the series and I’ve been playing it since it came out when I was 12 eight years ago… but while I don’t have any problem understanding the various plot twists, it’s annoying that there IS so much to keep track of. A story shouldn’t be this complicated.

    Defined liberally, there have been SEVEN incarnations of the main character (if you count Ventus, Vanitas, Sora, Roxas, Xion, Data Sora, and Data Roxas), four incarnations of his girlfriend (Kairi, Naminé, Data Naminé, and Xion), three incarnations of his best friend (Riku, Repliku, Data Riku/Jiminy’s Journal), and six incarnations of Ansem/Xehanort (Terra, Master Xehanort, Apprentice Xehanort, Ansem Seeker of Darkness/Xehanort’s Heartless, Xemnas, Ansem the Wise/DiZ). And that doesn’t even begin to cover the scope of the main cast. I’ve attempted to get other people interested in the series, but as soon as I start to explain the basic plot of the series and how all of these characters relate to one another (in addition to the dozens of other main/minor characters not even listed here), I can see their eyes start to gloss over. It’s just too complicated to even be compelling.

    I know many people who HAVE played the original games and loved them, but a lack of DS/PSP/GBA has prevented them from playing anything but KH1 and KH2… and if I try to explain the side games that Square-Enix keeps churning out, they just get confused/annoyed when I tell them that such-and-such staple character of the series is ACTUALLY made of two other people ten years before KH1, or that there was an entire other main character who was a clone of the series protagonist but whom everyone forgot about. There’s going to be a big problem once KH3 does come out, in that casual gamers who have only played KH1 and KH2 are going to have NO IDEA WHAT’S GOING ON. “Who the hell is Aqua? Why does that guy look like Roxas? Why does that girl look like Kairi but with black hair? Why is Xehanort back even though I defeated his Heartless and Xemnas, and why did he just split up into some old guy and a guy with brown hair?”

    As far as the matter of there being too many Keyblades… one person said that this isn’t the case, because BBS explains everything. And yes, that’s technically true. The problem is that, while BBS does explain all of these things… it took eight years to do it. I find it really hard to fathom that Nomura had all of that planned out in KH2, let alone in KH1. In fact, the constant additions of new “explanations” with every new game just kind of prove that he’s been making it up as he goes along — which goes contrary to every story-writing class ever taught. Even some explanations have been changed — when 358/2 Days came out the explanation for Roxas’s two Keyblades was that he had both his and Xion’s, but after BBS it changed to him having both Sora’s and Ventus’s. When you have to CHANGE your explanations for things within the series, you’ve got a problem.

  20. Test Says:


  21. KHLostEmpress Says:

    Coming from someone who’s read mangas like Tsubasa Chronicle and books like The Wheel of Time (don’t even get me started on RahXephon), I don’t really think Kingdom Hearts is that complicated or complex at all. I’m one of those people that just tries to accept things as they are and don’t really try to poke holes at things. I like to enjoy any story for the sake of enjoying it. So, no, I don’t think KH is becoming too complex at all. There’s only so many times you can have the same character do the same thing over and over, so you have to expand the story or else it will get boring.

  22. Fate Defied Says:

    I’m one of those fans that comes from the beginning of the series and honestly, I see where you’re coming from. Birth By Sleep, a lovely game in of itself, made things a lot more complicated than they needed to be in regards to Ven and Master Xehanort’s lineage; I understood it all, but it felt a little unnecessary to tie a bunch of characters to Sora. The sheer amount of plotholes in these games is also quite astounding; I find the Nobodies themselves, particularly the Nobodies of the apprentices, plotholes themselves. I thought I did hear that Nomura changed his mind on the whole “Nobodies don’t age” thing, but I can’t find a source at the moment that says that; in that respect, you have not only Ienzo to look at, but Isa and Lea (don’t know when they lost their hearts, but it couldn’t have been too long after the apprentices). nnI’m not sure if it’s reached the limit of how intricate it is, but I don’t think I want to see it go further down that road. I like a certain amount of intricacy in games, but Kingdom Hearts is bordering on ridiculous with its interconnected characters. I have hope that Nomura can bring it back down to its roots. I don’t think it’s gotten too complicated yet and almost any gamer can jump into the series and understand it. It just takes a little work.

  23. Calvin Bonifu00e1cio Says:

    I just love how this game is becoming complex, it means that games have stories better and more developed than many movies and books nowadays.

  24. Calvin Bonifu00e1cio Says:

    I just love how this game is becoming complex, it means that games have stories better and more developed than many movies and books nowadays.nBut in the end, I just think that KH story is really easy to understand, seriously, if you play the games and don’t understand, I’m sorry, you’re really dumb.

  25. RoyalGuard Says:

    I think the story is just fine, their are some instances where i get lost but its nothing too big

  26. Sora Says:

    Not for me!rnKingdom Hearts is actually really easy for me!rni understand the story & everythingrnbut the story goes a long way to understand it!

  27. Shay Says:

    not to mention NAMINE! nugh this stuff gets hard to follow

  28. Shay Says:

    I concede this point…..nAfter Tsubasa, EVERYTHING makes sense.

  29. Alex Ladzinski Says:

    Kingdom Hearts? Complex? Hmmn.nI’m going to have to say . . . yes. Kingdom Hearts IS colplex. But that’s the point. It’s suppose to be complex. That’s the fun of it! Seriously, who wants to play a predictable and boring game with a not so exciting story line? I’m glad its as complicated as it is. But that’s just my opinion.

  30. Xxmoonangelxx Says:

    if you’ve stuck through all the games, like me, from past to present, the series is very simple! but if your just now jumping in(like my friend is trying to do) to this KH world, you’ll be lost. extremely lost. D: so its a good/bad thing thats its complicated. kinda sucks that for the people who are now knowing about this series pretty much have to go play KH and then go in the order of the gamesXD

  31. Michael Mayne Says:

    Think of this: Playing Kingdom Hearts 1, it was fairly easy to not only “like” a certain character or characters, but you could readily relate to them.nnSince then, there are so many alternate/prime/clone/whatever versions of characters that they’re all becoming quite diluted.nnNow, speaking as someone who was onboard with the series from the day it was announced, suffice to say I’ve been keeping track of the character development along the way.nnBut I can easily agree with the author when saying that newcomers to the series (especially AFTER Kingdom Hearts 2) really are in for quite an overwhelming amount of characterization.nnI also agree that much of this “intricacy” is quite superficial and more consisting of plot devices than relatable character development. After all, Sora at the end of Kingdom Hearts 2 is still behaving much the same way and acting on the same convictions as he was by the end of the first game. KH2 didn’t really develop Sora’s character at allu2014on the other hand, Chain of Memories did. But because of what happens in CoM, Sora in KH2 can still work from the same slate he had at the end of the first game.nnUltimately, I think the series’ story has gotten as grandiose as it’s ever going to get, and it got there quite a while back. It’s not as genuinely deep a story as, say, Final Fantasy 7. It’s just a matter of how it plays out from here on out.nnBut don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the Kingdom Hearts series more than Final Fantasy 7, at least in general. I’m just not expecting much of anything more out of the series (specifically, the Xehanort saga) at the rate it’s going.

  32. IncrediBurch Says:

    I like some of the complexities because of their potential for other plot material. I don’t like how the most of the new games are rehashes of KH1 simply because they need to retread old material to catch up new fans. I also don’t like how the SQEX won’t bring the Final Mixes to the US. It really makes no sense that they don’t want more money in this case. nnSome of the plot devices are a little ridiculous like the heart within hearts and the nobodies. It was mentioned in this article that Roxas and Namine require mental gymnastics that are not simple to comprehend. nnI think SQEX needs to finish this the tale of Sora and move forward from all these current complex character relationships. The general mythos of the keyblade, light and darkness, and hearts of worlds and people are fine because they can stay vague and mysterious. They aren’t factual science. Relationships have to make sense or else the interactions are non-sensical. n

  33. Dragni28 Says:

    Kingdom Hearts is a great story! Nomura is doing a good job keeping his fans interested in the game! Its so complex; I want to know more!

  34. Grassy Says:

    Bear in mind Andy, that, as I pointed out, I’m not saying that the series doesn’t make sense. It’s not like I had any trouble understanding who Ven is (though I can’t speak for any newcomer to the series). Rather, it becomes convoluted.nnVen was a great addition to the series, but was it really necessary to make him yet another part of Sora? When we already have Roxas, Namine, and Xion, all of whom were created through Sora, don’t you think that a Roxas look alike and a Sora look alike (in the case of Vanitas) have worn the novelty of having Sora “clones”?nIf not, where do you stop? What if we had, say, a Sora Unversed? Or some other Sora “clone”?nnThe problem isn’t that these are nonsensical, but they’re just one more step to an equation that has already been done. Nomura, as I see it, should simply focus on the core characters like Sora or, if not possible (as is the case in Days and BbS given their timelines), simply make up original characters that may be /connected/ to the main characters but not /part/ of the main characters, if you catch my drift. There’s nothing wrong with having someone like Aqua, who, thankfully, did not end up becoming a part of Kairi or any other character through some ludicrous means.

  35. Rob Says:

    Its depends if you played it chroniclogical order or if you had played it by the years each game came out.

  36. Ian Manning Says:

    It’s become complicated due to all the stalling of the main story, the so called “darkness” that threatens living creatures, the supposed force of good known as “light”, and the whole “nobody dies in this story” dilemma. It’s stale and ridiculous. It’s like eating a cat instead of a turkey for Thanksgiving, it’s getting out of control.

  37. Neru00f6sktji Says:

    Nah, I havn’t had any problem understanding the story in BBS, the first game, CoM and days. nI think the story of the second game is ment to suck though. I found it hard to care since you actually NEED to play CoM and Days (Which wasn’t even out then).nThough i really like when developers make stuff like that, because today like gears of war, you don’t need to play the first one. And so, there’s no personal connection quite as huge as kingdom hearts was for me. But the bad thing in kh2 is the expocitiondumps you get and the have to move to some world that really explain… nothing at all! (Flanders voice)nnSo for me, It’s kh2 with the DUMB storytelling, instead of saving the savannah they could have dived deeper in the REAL kh story, like in the first game.

  38. VD Liver Says:

    I agree to an extent. Kingdom Hearts as a series in general has become complex in its roller coaster of a storyline but at least beating the game gives you something to look forward to. Games like Super Mario Galaxy where the princess gets kidnapped, you play a bunch of long levels and at the end you save her… The End, leave you kind of disappointed. Don’t get me wrong the game is one of the best games of all time, but if your looking for a story with substance then look elsewhere. nnYet, Kingdom Hearts storyline is intricate and relates to each title somehow. But i agree that the continuing side stories, the never-ending creatures with no hearts, the hideous amount of memory loss, character re-incarnations, plot-holes, and numerous amount of keyblades has gone beyond a joke. The first title gave you the feeling that the keyblade was a mystical/legendary weapon that chose its wielder, being King Micky and Sora. As time went on, replicas could use key blades, bad people could use keyblades, in BBS everyone could use keyblades! I believe that while Nomura has made one of the awesome-est series of all time, that he needs to tie up the Xenmas Arc soon, maybe with the saving of Terra, Aqua and Ven, and restoring Kingdom Hearts, because as the title suggests, Kingdom Hearts where darkness and light dwells has only been the main feature of the first title. If we didn’t save Kingdom Hearts in the first title, then why has it been prolonged for so long with numerous amounts of twists? That’s just my opinion… haha

  39. Alec Rollemark Says:

    i think it will clear up when its kh is done

  40. Turtle Says:

    Of course the series’ plot is convoluted. But it is smart. Not because the story is terribly smart, but because as long as the series is confusing fans, Nomura can keep putting out prequels and sequels and spin-offs to un-confuse them, making more cash money for himself. Nomura is only pretending to be an incompetent write so he can be filthy rich. Seems to be working out for him so far.

  41. Monkey See, Monkey Do Says:

    Hey sorry just had to point this out to you Brooser about the incarnations of Ansem/Xehanort, Xehanort isn’t a relipca of Ansem but he took his name from him after presumably killing him in order to further his research, which is why in KH1 Ansem Seeker of Darker has that name, because he believes his Ansem but is actually the Heartless of Xehanort/Terra and I also believe that even though Nomura probably had no direct plan with these video games he is trying different avenues to get the whole story across to anyone he can so that they can play the main games KH1, 2 and BBS and understand fully

  42. Peanutnjel Says:

    I agree… i thought the the keyblade was some special weapon but now everyone can use it! And the never-ending clones and so forth have started to become tiring… Hopefully the series will make a fresh start after the Xemnas Arc… But keep the deep storyline aspect because we don’t want it to become too simple -.-

  43. Jameslutz2 Says:

    I love all the games first off. KH1 and KH2 are very key to the overall story, and BBS is very important too. I love Xion, but realistically there was no point for making 358/2 days. Despite the random card system, CoM was important to plot, especially the setup for KH2. From what i’ve seen coded isnt really all that important until the end.nnI dont think its too complicated. as long as you take the series one game at a time then u should be fine. As far as the different forms of Sora and Xehanort goes, i agree that there was no point in creaing them, but since they’re here we might as well accept and enjoy them anyway right? lolnnKH3D will be awesome!!!!!

  44. Fenrir7 Says:

    I’m ok with. I think its a good story line and i’m pretty ok with following it and look forward to their next one, but thats just me

  45. Just-a-Nobody Says:

    I don’t know, I don’t really mind complex story lines, in fact I kind of like them. I think the story is pretty interesting, then again I’ve been with KH from the start, so I guess it mite b a lil easier for me to follow. Though I will admit BBS did throw me for a lil bit of a loop, but I still loved it! The only thing that’s bothering me is how we need to keep copying all the characters! I mean I love Sora, Roxas, Ven n all of them! But they all look the SAME! Couldn’t you have changed Ven’s hair color? Or even eye color! Then in coded we have a digitized Sora and Riku!? I mean ok Riku replica was a clone, so I guess he can be excused. Even all the Xehenort’s running around look different. Don’t get me wrong I love the story and the characters, even the ones that look the same, I just need some kind f indication to tell them apart, aside from the fact that their clothes are different. Just a lil change in hair or eye color is all I’m askin! Still luv KH to death tho! N always will! XD

  46. Xeri Kaioh Says:

    This speaks the truth, I thought I had Kingdom Hearts figured out until Birth by Sleep came along. That not only confused me but brought up a bunch of other questions~ *sigh* Hopefully those will be answered soon enough-unless we’ll be bombarded with more mysteries?

  47. Brooser Says:

    Well, yes. I know that the true Ansem the Wise isn’t actually directly related to Apprentice Xehanort, aside from Xehanort working directly underneath him. However, the main villian in Kingdom Hearts WAS “Ansem,” with the main villian in KH2 being “Xemnas,” so you kind of have to include him — that’s why I said “defined liberally,” since it might be easy for someone unfamiliar with the series to confuse Ansem Seeker of Darkness from Ansem the Wise. On top of that, with Ansem the Wise masquerading as DiZ masquerading as Apprentice Xehanort masquerading as Ansem the Wise in Chain of Memories… yeah, it’s easy to get confused by all of that. :P nnAnd yes, you’re right about being able to understand most things from BBS, KH1, and KH2… but the most common reason I hear for people not playing BBS is “I don’t own a PSP,” which was true for me as well (I had to borrow one from a friend). In my opinion, you should be consistent with consoles, especially for the “main games” in a series.nnSo far it hasn’t really been THAT much of a problem; all of the side games on alternate consoles are optional (CoM [before the PS2 remake], Days, Coded, BBS) and you don’t have to play them to understand the series — especially since the plots aren’t directly relevant to the main character Sora because of his own memory loss, him not being present, or it taking place in the past. But this is going to be a big problem in KH3 if they do start “bringing people back” as they’ve hinted in the past; like I said, the people who only played KH1 and 2 will have no idea who Aqua, Terra, Ventus, Master Xehanort, or Xion are. Some people don’t OWN every system known to man; that shouldn’t affect their ability to enjoy a single series of games.nnThen again, I suppose Sora won’t have any idea who those characters are either — so the player can have it “explained” to them when it’s explained to Sora. Still, unless they summarize the entire plot of BBS within KH3, a rich character like Ventus or Xion will just be watered down into “a boy who, 12 years ago, lost his heart to save his friends and put it inside of you” or “a replica of you used by Organization XIII, made of your memories”. That doesn’t do the characters nearly enough justice. :
    nMaybe my real beef is with the fact that all of these side games are on side systems, meaning that no one gets to appreciate their awesomeness. :P The series is complicated and convoluted, yes… but that doesn’t make me love Terra or Xion any less, and maybe it wouldn’t be as bad if EVERYONE was able to appreciate these characters.

  48. Khmatrix Says:

    The KH story is not that hard. . .at all, the story line makes so much sense. its just some people make it hard for themselfs. I’m a KH fan and I got the whole thing, me and my cousin will explain the game to other people and they get it just as fine, obviously not using big words and get right to the point. The only thing I care about is Recoded, which I don’t get. but I bet if I play the game I will. and if you have a good memory of the whole game, you can channel everything that happend and it makes sense. but I care most likely theories like the one me and my best friend madenn”What if Vanitas was still in Ventus thats still in Sora, When Sora committed sacrificed himself in KH1 would Vanitas be reborn as his heartless?”

  49. Top 10 Kingdom Hearts News Stories of 2010 - Kingdom Hearts Ultimania Says:

    [...] 10. Has KH Become to Complicated? [...]

  50. Dominionofsound Says:

    The thing that I find to be the most complicated and annoying isn’t so much the games, but the spread of the games. I mean, they’ve put some many parts of it on different systems, and to fully understand the world of the game you have to play all the games, and to do that you have to get access to the other systems before you can even play the games.

  51. Necrokeryx Says:

    Not only has the plot become convoluted, I believe the game play has as well. My grandmother bought Kingdom Hearts RE:coded for my little brother who’s eight. I had suggested it to her because I had figured it was a remake and had played the first game when I was bout his age. The problem is, the original game didn’t have phrases like this…

    “When you level up, install level chips into a stat matrix.”

    I could tell my little brother was very sad because he could not comprehend the game I had recommended for him, and I felt bad for recommending him a game I thought he could just enjoy without all these pointless complications like I had. You’re 100% accurate in saying it’s trying too hard to look smart and ending up looking dumb. As far as I’m concerned, Kingdom Hearts is a dead franchise.

  52. Jay Collins Says:

    the fact is that when you consider the plotline overall to kingdom hearts you think mainly of the original characters and settings while the disney worlds are just a useless marketing point. the characters from the disney films with the exception of goofy mickey and donald really dont have an impact on the plot. hell, mickey is the only one with any real impact on the overarching narrative. it may not be too complicated for some of you, but its just unnecessary and detrimental to the concept as a whole. the approach should be a marriage of disney and final fantasy, and if this is a marriage, it is a dysfunctional one. The first game really used both aspects to compliment one another. later games have lost focus and forgotten to create any sort of balance.

  53. Blu Terry Says:

     mysteries are a good thing. they keep you on the edge of your seat and give you something to think about even when your distracted by other matters. kingdom hearts started out simple and clean, and eventually became one big cluster of questions. the side stories for the DS are just that. their side stories. they were made for the fans to keep them waiting for the next big game. which, in my prediction, will be kingdom hearts 3 for the playstation3! its been building up to this the whole time. birth by sleep was to fill your head with questions, and 358/2 and coded were to keep you preoccupied while they have been secretly been working on the latest and greatest kingdom hearts game yet! i am not talking about 3D’s. I’m talking about the big KINGDOM HEARTS 3!!! i haven’t played 3D’s yet; YET! but i am going to. but until then, i just LOVE mysteries!

  54. Athar1007 Says:

    Thank you. You hit the nail right on the head! Kingdom Hearts had a perfect, simple, straightforward story, but the sequels kinda fuzzed it all up …

  55. Dumb Says:

    I am posting 2 years later to inform all of you that the story of Kingdom Hearts is fucking clown shoes and as the series went on, became a clusterfuck of clones and look-a-likes that culminated in an explosion of light and dark spoogefest buttfarts.

  56. Soracles Says:

    I absolutely love the first game, but I just don’t care about the series anymore. As you said, everything makes sense. Heck, even Namine’s birth makes sense (not so much her powers). And Roxas is a great character. But everything is so ugly and convoluted. The magic of the first game is nowhere to be seen. Not to mention how KH2 ruined pretty much every single main character, especially Sora and Kairi’s personalities.

    I’d rather see Ansem (the one from the original game) as a king corrupted by the darkness, instead of “the heartless of an amnesiac apprentice who stole the real Ansem’s name”. I’d rather see Namine as a random witch who happens to look a bit like Kairi.

    Only the first game exists for me. I really, really want to accept Chain of Memories as canon, because I loved certain things about that game, but I have a few problems with the story (organization bullsh*t, Riku cheaply escaping from the realm of darkness, Twilight Town, Roxas, DiZ, Axel saying that he knows Sora, Riku’s clone, etc).

    I guess I can just invent my own non-convoluted explanations for most of these things (Sora never heard of the organization ever again after this game, Axel was lying to confuse Sora, Twilight Town was part of Sora’s fake memories, Vexen created Riku’s clone using Sora’s memories of him) and pretend that Riku’s story never happened (this would erase DiZ and Roxas from existence, and Riku would still be trapped in the realm of darkness).

    If I was good at writing, I’d write a fanfic about how Sora woke up a month after CoM, found Riku after another big adventure and returned to the islands with Kairi. That story would replace my memories of KH2, I’d FINALLY get rid of them! But it won’t happen anytime soon, sadly.

    What do you think?

  57. tigerspaw Says:

    Yes, the story line is become way too convoluted I don’t understand how so many people think it’s fine the way it is. I’m so sick of all these clones and bullshit. Where’s the mystery and intrigue when all these new characters are just embodiment’s of other character’s “memories” or “dark sides”. It’s lazy. And to say it’s complex for the idea of having sequels to pick up and explain that’s bullshit. We can have an intriguing plot without rehashing the constant introduction of characters ‘dark sides/memories’ every entry into the series thus far. It’s stupid, and you guys are all just fan boys that will go along with this garbage.

  58. captain Says:

    seriously??? lot of “VOTE on NOT REALLY??” damn.. how many REAL REAL FANS of the STORY ITSELF are there left??.. fuq. graphics. fuq complicated story arcs. we love the BIG BAD BADDIES.. but what we love most is the THRILL OF THE STORY ITSELF not the complexity of this and that trying to “FIT” everything on one place up to anther…

    imagine from HEARTLESS to NOBODIES them the UNVERSED.. now this?.. they are totally ruining the JOINT FF and DISNEY key here.. since after the boom of KH1 and 2 on the PS2.. they made everything worst.. and worst of all they think KH is now just a cash cow.. just like whats happening to Resident Evil ..

  59. Jonathan Andrews Says:

    I agree that the story as a whole is far too complex for it’s own good, but it’s hurt even moreso by the fact that the installments of the series that contain so much of the convulusion were released across different platforms, if they had all been kept on the PS2 things would have so much simpler and accessible to fans and newcomers, it’s a similar problem faced with mew fans to Comics, is there’s too damn much to catch up on before you know what’s happening, I also think it was a mistake to introduce the Unveresed, just keep it to Heartless and Nobodies, there’s nothing wrong with that, it would have been just fine, what the series needs is a re-release across the current-gen platforms, like DMC got, with KH3 on the horizon, there’s never been more of a need for it.

  60. Cyran Says:

    It’s not that it’s hard to follow if you played the games from step one. Here’s the problems.
    1) if you’re JUST getting into the game, and people are telling you all this information before you play.
    2) it’s stupid. You can tell they’re just making this crap up as they go to try adding in story for filler.

    3) they’ve already changed their lore on timelines enough. Seriously, now there’s nothing really that special about Sora and I’ll be damned if they use marvel characters…
    Wolverine: Sora, we need you to defeat the heartless.
    Sora: OKAY!!!

    I do not wanna see wolverine pussin out to this hacky character

  61. lalalala Says:

    Lol~ “Pete’s sake…” I couldn’t help it…

  62. Jared D. Darty Says:

    I agree, the story should’ve taken a different path after KH II. THe change of story for Ansem may also be why they changed his voice actor as you may notice famous characters get the best voice actors.

  63. _ElMasterGooby_ Says:

    The plot of Kingdom Hearts matters little, the important thing for me is playing it.

  64. Anonymous Says:

    I’m a little late. But I stopped by to thank you.

    The four-line summary about Sora is EXACTLY what went through my mind when I finished Birth by Sleep.

    So some background. I LOVED the first game. I initially skipped it because I hate Disney, but the first game was truly a legend in its own time. It seemed to have a somewhat deep story, but I figured the cloaked guy (Xehanort, it seems) would just be the final boss or something. No. Well, not really. Anyway, the first game REALLY was about Mickey going missing and the saga on the island was just an added bonus. I was ok with that because I wanted to know what happened with Mickey and Kairi.

    Second game was ok. But it didn’t make sense that they just mysteriously lost all of their powers. Yes, I know about the Chain of Memories deal and them having their memories wiped. The problem is that’s called a deus ex machina; a plot device whose purpose is just to get out of a plot hole. None of what happened in Chain of Memories really mattered by the time you hit the second game, since they’d all forgotten what happened to them there.

    The concept of “Nobodies” went totally over my head. Mostly because it was just thrown in there and overshadowed the idea of Heartless completely.

    Then you get 358/2 Days which was my favorite of the series in terms of gameplay. Helped a tiny bit, but the whole computers and all that just made it worse.

    Birth By Sleep introducing characters sort of like the characters whose Nobodies are running around.

    RE:Coded, which might as well not have been released.

    I mean, we STILL have not gotten to explore the other side of the body of water at Destiny Islands; where Sora’s house is, where Kairi lives, any of that. We never got back to Traverse Town. Why introduce it in the first place?

    Now, it sounds like they’re going to make it seem like Riku is the real hero of the story. After 4 frickin games positioning Sora in that role. Riku, who apparently is possessed by Ansem or something, who entered Kingdom Hearts and survived, who is apparently invincible but couldn’t save himself from getting sucked into a vortex in the first place.

    Kingdom Hearts totally made my head hurt. I didn’t even bother playing Dream Drop Distance and it’s unlikely I’ll play 4. They’re doing to KH what they did to Final Fantasy: took a very simple, very effective concept (Final Fantasy 4, 6, 7, 10) and going way out of whack with it in the wrong direction (10-2, 11, 12, 13, 14).

    This is what I DON’T like about Square Enix.

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