* AngstWhatAngst: At the end of the story, [[spoiler:Riku passes the exam and is recognized as a Keyblade Master. Sora failed the exam when darkness seeped into his heart but he remained optimistic and set out soon after to do his own thing.]]
** [[JustifiedTrope Isn't being optimistic Sora's thing, though?]]
** He does look like he's about to cry (even when he's smiling), which may be a sign that all is not well in Sora's heart.
* {{Anvilicious}}: Whenever Sora or Riku finish a world, they deliver a monologue and it ''always'' plays ThePowerOfFriendship trope straight with glee.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: Both [[spoiler: Vanitas and Riku Replica's appearances]] feel like this as they are never mentioned afterwards.
** WordOfGod says that [[spoiler:Vanitas]] was an image conjured up by Ven's heart reacting to Xehanort, and wasn't really there. As for the [[spoiler:Riku Replica]], [[WildMassGuessing rampant speculation]] is that he's [[spoiler:one of the thirteen Seekers of Darkness.]]
** Maleficent and Pete's appearance. They show up, are driven away by Lea, and the plot carries on without further mention of them.
* BrokenBase: [[spoiler:Lea getting a Keyblade, time travel, and the revelation that Nobodies can grow hearts]] have had mixed reactions.
** The whole game breaks the base, mainly due to amping up the MindScrew and KudzuPlot like never before. This is either seen as a turn-off or an attraction. Also, because it generated so much hype prior to release, it has the problems of having ''dizzying'' expectations to live up to, and the base is further broken as [[HypeBacklash it matches some while fails to with others.]]
** The new remix of "Calling" is pretty LoveItOrHateIt, mainly because of the vocals compared to the original.
** ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou''... Is the magic gone?
* ContinuityLockout: Surprisingly, the developers consciously attempted to avert a lockout for new players. Whenever ContinuityLockout would otherwise rear its head, a new Chronicle summarizing a previous game is unlocked in the Mementos menu. Considering the nature of the game in terms of continuity, the complexity of the story and the many plotlines it encompasses, this was a very good idea; whether it was a ''successful'' one or not varies from player to player.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: Special mention goes to "Le Sanctuaire", considered one of the best standard battle themes the series has to offer alongside "Byte Bashing", "Scherzo di Notte", and "Fragments of Sorrow".
* DemonicSpiders: In the later part of the game, Aura Lions and Keeba Tigers. They constantly spew copies of themselves that block your hits and home in on you, they have a good chunk of HP, and worst of all, they can randomly decide to become invulnerable while they jump and dive into the ground, damaging anyone on impact, and reappearing who knows where a second later. And of course, they will almost always do this last one right when you're about to hit with one of your big Commands that takes a lot of charge time. But wait, there's more! One of Riku's Special Portals is against three Aura Lions...in a small corridor with slow-moving laser beams that block your attacks and damage you but not them. If you're currently under Risky Winds, you can literally spend an entire turn with Riku and fail to kill all three before Dropping.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter Meow Wow]], the fat and cat-/doglike Dream Eater, along with its variations.
** The Aura Lion and Keeba Tiger are also popular, with many players using them on their teams just for the "[[RuleOfCool cool]]" factor. One can also say this about [[TyrannosaurusRex Tyranto Rex]], which is one of the biggest, most useful and most {{Badass}}-looking Spirits you can have in your party.
** When it comes to the worlds featured in the game, [[Film/TronLegacy The Grid]] seems to get the most love from fans, despite the Light Cycle challenge and [[spoiler: the boss battle with Rinzler]]. It helps that it's predecessor world, [[Film/{{Tron}} Space Paranoids]], is also popular with fans, [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff especially in Japan]].
* GameBreaker:
** Flowmotion grants you fast dashes, high jumps, and powerful attacks, and most enemies will have difficulty hitting you. The only limit is having a rail or a wall to jump off of. Around the middle of the game, provided you know what you're doing, you'll begin to get access to commands that are more powerful and/or useful than Flowmotion attacks, lessening their gamebreaker status a bit, especially since caps on how much damage you do to bosses seem to have been lessened or done away with. Flowmotion Attacks are still good on their own though, which ''will'' help you early-game.
*** The thing with the Flowmotion moves is that they don't deal out very much damage. However they are fast, have very large range, can home in on enemies over very long distances, ''can not be interrupted'', have no cost, and move you out of the way very quickly, all at the same time. And they either have lots of invincibility frames or make your hit-box smaller, because some point blank moves will go right through you while you're performing them. You ''can'' take damage during them, in which case you have no way to avoid it, but that doesn't happen often enough to make it dangerous.
*** Another thing about Flowmotion is that you have all the moves from the very beginning of the game and there are only about a half dozen or so actual Flowmotion attacks. So they quickly fall into BoringButPractical territory. While that doesn't take away from the GameBreaker status, it does make them less likely to be exploited.
**** Flowmotion also makes the existance of KH's standard movement abilities (Air dash, high/double jump, glide)in Dream Drop Distance pretty much completely pointless, as Flowmotion can do all that those abilities can do plus more... Or it would if it weren't for the fact that using Flowmotion is restricted to how many walls and other context-sensitive objects you can use, as well as the fact that you're not able to use normal commands while in Flowmotion state, Superglide is arguably just as good as using Flowmotion, and Doubleflight allows you to pull of normal commands like Meteor Crash and Curaga.
** The Balloon series of spells.
*** Especially Balloonga. It can be obtained fairly early in the game, can be activated almost instantly, and can throw foes into the air with six balloon-tracking... balloons to explode on their faces. The spell can also be used as a floating mine. Hilariously enough, this spell is also pretty useful in ''Flick Rush'' itself.
** Once Riku gets his Dark Barrier, and the counterattack associated to it, well-timed use of it allows Riku to be virtually invincible and dish out damages at the same time. It even works against bosses (though some of end-game ones will wait for an opening and punish you if you try to spam it).
** A Riku-exclusive command, Dark Splicer, makes you a ''player character with a TeleportSpam technique''. It hits hard and is a very long combo, and besides just being strong, it can completely destroy the strategy behind the second Ansem battle. The one drawback is that you can take damage during it, but having Curaga at the ready mitigates this for the most part.
** Another Riku-exclusive command, is as useful as (or even more than) Dark Splicer: '''''[[CastingAShadow Dark]]''''' '''''[[TeleportSpam Aura]]''''', Riku's SignatureMove, now available as a mere 2-slot command! Given how it's ThatOneAttack in several ''KH'' games with Riku as a boss, it was to be expected.
** Riku gets a lot of commands that break the game in favour of him, actually: Meteor Crash is really good for chipping off damage on large bosses, or clearing groups of {{Mook}}s, and can be combined with Doubleflight to pull it off in a relatively safe manner. Dark Firaga splits into multiple balls of darkness which all do decent damage, and it can be used at range, making it another great boss killer. Dark Roll has more invincibility frames than Dodge Roll (which was nerfed in this game), and Dark Barrier is pretty much Aqua's normal Barrier move with a dark twist on it. The aforementioned Doubleflight itself can be used to pull of your long-charging commands safely, or to make it easier to get off a Cure spell. Finally, Shadow Slide lets you FlashStep behind the enemy where using the follow-up move Shadow Strike allows Riku to pull of a combo during which he's invincible to attacks (it's much better than Ventus' or Aqua's equivalents).
* GoddamnedBoss: Holey Moley is not that dangerous a boss, but landing a hit can be a challenge, as he keeps warping around the large, obstacle-filled room.
-->'''Riku''': [[LampshadeHanging "They just never want to make this easy, do they?"]]
* HilariousInHindsight: [[http://www.halolz.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/halolz-dot-com-kingdomhearts2-twewy-nobodiescomic.jpg This]] correctly predicted the CounterpartComparison between ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' characters and their ''[[VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou TWEWY]]'' [[{{Expy}} expies]] a long time before they were confirmed to appear in the same game. [[http://www.halolz.com/2010/03/01/nobodies-business/ Lampshaded in the commentary.]] All of this is coincidental, as the trope demands.
** Not to mention [[http://kingdomhearts.wikia.com/wiki/The_Sceptre_and_the_Kingdom The Sceptre And The Kingdom,]] predating this game by ''nearly ten years.'' Again, it's been a coincidence.
** Haley Joel Osment, the voice of Sora, also played David in ''[[Film/AIArtificialIntelligence A.I.: Artificial Intelligence]]''. In this game he finally finds the Blue Fairy.
** The Recusant's Sigil, which as explained on the Fridge page for the game has been around in subtle forms since the start of the series. Tetsuya Nomura found a way to justify in-universe why characters have "X" motifs and meaningless belts and straps on their clothing so often.
** A one-shot fanfiction [[spoiler: [[http://jaceyrae.deviantart.com/art/Hello-FleemCo-123233954 had Master Xehanort gathering up villains from Fleem co. to create a new Organization XIII.]]]] As it turns out, [[spoiler:Master Xehanort's new plan is to create a new Organization XIII.]] Although, [[WesternAnimation/TheReplacements Fleem co.]] doesn't make an appearance.
** [=KH3D=] features [[{{Mon}} Mons]] as party members, which naturally drew comparisons to ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'', one of the major aspects of this game's Mons was that it had a virtual pet aspect similar to ''VideoGame/{{Nintendogs}}'' for you to bond with them. It was rather amusing that little more than a year later, ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'' was released, with introduced the Pokémon-Amie feature, which allows the player to bond with their Pokémon.
* HoYay: Of the accidentally implied kind. When Riku first arrives at Traverse Town, the cutscene with his first meeting with Joshua ends with Riku approaching Joshua and saying "I'll help you" while the camera pans up in order to show the animation for the new Traverse Town logo. It wouldn't be so bad by itself, but sadly said animation ''[[SexyDiscretionShot begins with fireworks]]''. Add Joshua's perceived "AmbiguouslyGay" status from [[VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou the game he's from]] and you get the picture.
** In addition, his English voice actor ''does not'' help this situation. ''At all.''
** When Sora meets Neku, their conversation eventually turns to Joshua, of whom Neku remarks "He's my...friend." The way he says makes it seem like Joshua is a bit more than just his...friend.
** [[FoeYay There is also quite a bit of subtext between Sora and Young Xehanort.]]
* ItsShortSoItSucks: This game only has six worlds; the least amount in any Kingdom Hearts game. [[Disney/{{Fantasia}} three]] [[Film/{{Tron}} o]][[Film/TronLegacy f]] [[Disney/{{Pinocchio}} which]], were already [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI in]] [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep previous]] [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII installments]]. Fans were displeased.
* ItWasHisSled: The silver-haired youth is [[BonusBoss The Mysterious Figure]] from ''BirthBySleep''. And he's Young Xehanort, which [[WhiteHairBlackHeart should be obvious]] [[EyesOfGold from his appearance]].
* JerkassWoobie: Revelations in this qualify Organization XIII even more for this trope.
** Well, [[SubvertedTrope maybe not]] [[spoiler:Xemnas and Xigbar, considering that they knew the whole time about Xehanort's plans, and took advantage of the rest of Organization XIII, without any remorse.]]
* JustHereForGodzilla: Many former fans and every fan who hates the KudzuPlot of the series are only playing this game for the ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' characters.
** Alternatively, some people hate the ''TWEWY'' characters as well and are only interested in seeing new Disney Worlds or simply enjoy the gameplay enough to tolerate the elements they dislike.
** There are also people who just play for the Dream Eaters.
* MemeticMolester: [[ThatCameOutWrong Ansem has giant black balls, and he keeps slamming them into Riku's face.]]
** Sadly [[http://sadpanda.us/images/1509035-HC18O3F.jpg this image doesn't help at all.]]
* MemeticMutation: The borderline InternetCounterattack following the announcement about the game not getting localized in Spanish and Italian[[note]] (for the first time in the series, anyway)[[/note]] culminated in [[http://eu.square-enix.com/en/blog/product-information-kingdom-hearts-3d-updated "KH3D EN ESPAŃOL E ITALIANO YA!"]] written ''[[OverlyLongGag all over the page.]]''
* {{Moe}}: Rhyme, just like in her game of origin. Possibly more so.
* MoralEventHorizon: [[spoiler: What Xehanort plans to do to Sora, and his true plans for Organization XIII. If you thought Master Xehanort [[UpToEleven was evil before...]]]]
** Clu is even more of a monster in this game than in his source film; what really causes him to cross the line is [[spoiler: by forcing Sora to fight Rinzler, then attempt to kill them both after the battle]].
** '''Riku to Phoebus''': "''Once you've fallen that far, there's almost no coming back''". This line outright confirms that Frollo has crossed the line.
* MostWonderfulSound: Whenever you land a hit while wielding the [[Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame Guardian]] [[MeaningfulName Bell]] Keyblade.
** The sounds spirits make when you pet them. So adorable.
* {{Narm}}: Riku's PreAsskickingOneLiner to [[spoiler:Anti-Black Coat.]]
-->'''Riku''': "If you're a nightmare... I'll eat you whole!"
** [[{{Woolseyism}} Thankfully changed to]] the much less narmy [[spoiler:"Are you what's trapping him in a nightmare? 'Cause if you are... [[BadassBoast I'm what nightmares fear!]]"]] in the English version.
** The series' aversion to crowds of [=NPCs=] strikes again. In [[Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame La Cité Des Cloches]], with the exception of the Dream Eater boss Bullet Gargoyle - as well as Sora himself - thrown in for good measure, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=Oii2TovTeFo the iconic "Sanctuary! Sanctuary!" scene made it into the game.]] And it's just as [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome awesome]] as it has always been... except for the fact that there's literally ''nobody else'' in there aside from Quasimodo, Frollo, and Esmeralda. No French townspeople, just them. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking And Quasimodo yells "Sanctuary!" only once.]]
*** There's also the Court of Miracles, home of all the gypsies in Paris. Once you get there, however, the only gypsy to be found is Esmeralda. Actually, she seems to be the only gypsy in Paris, making Frollo's speeches about how evil gypsies are even more [[{{Narm}} Narmy]].
** ''Sora's voice'' in the English version. Creator/HaleyJoelOsment is unquestionably an adult now, so hearing an adult voice come out of 16-year old Sora's mouth is both [[UncannyValley kind of disturbing]] and pretty hilarious at the same time.
*** If that's the case for the English version, then the Japanese is just as guilty, since Creator/MiyuIrino, just like he did in ''Re:coded'', tries a little too hard to sound like he's fifteen and just sounds very inconsistent.
** Sora makes some... ''interesting'' facial expressions while [[spoiler: being implanted with Roxas' memories.]]
* NightmareFuel: The giant clown face in Windup Way at the Prankster's Paradise world. ''The eyes actually follow you.''
* PlayerPunch: [[spoiler: Not only Master Xehanort returning while [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep the heroes whose lives he ruined]] remain trapped, but [[ButForMeItWasTuesday the way he acknowledges it when Mickey points it out]]]]:
-->[[spoiler:'''Master Xehanort''': "[[MoralEventHorizon I merely guided them to their proper places.]] [[EmptyShell The broken boy, who failed to be the blade.]] [[TrappedInAnotherWorld The misguided master, who sacrificed herself for a friend.]] [[GrandTheftMe And the feckless youth who became my new vessel.]]"]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Mickey''': "[[ShootTheShaggyDog I couldn't find a way to save 'em. But I wanted to believe their sacrifice stopped you for good.]]"]]
** There's also [[spoiler: Sora's dreams in the World That Never Was. Not only does the poor kid have no idea what's going on, the players get punched in the gut over and over by the sight of Terra and Aqua/Riku and Kairi turning their backs on Sora-turned-Ven, Namine looking regretful, having Xion outright run from Sora in presumed shame, and seeing Roxas transfer his memories to Sora. And that's not going into the BreakTheCutie run Sora gets throughout this that culminates in him falling into darkness and almost (presumably) dying.]]
* ReplacementScrappy: For some, the Dream Eaters are this for Donald and Goofy.
* SweetDreamsFuel: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HacdoXd6jqo&feature=relmfu "Traverse In Trance"]] is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, and fitting a "sleeping" version of the already relaxing Traverse Town theme.
* ScrappyMechanic: The Drop mechanic is viewed as irritating and somewhat pointless by quite a few critics. It can even happen during boss battles, and when you Drop back to that battle, it'll start over from the beginning with the boss at full health. Considering the game's difficulty, this can be ''extremely frustrating''. The mechanic does have some saving graces--if you're stuck with useless commands or need a boost, you can simply wait out the boss battle and then grind for DP to buy attack boosts, et cetera or switch out commands as the other character.
** The way the game handles abilities is by far the worst out of any KH game when it comes to maxing out Spirits if you don't like caring for them: you need several thousand LP to max out most of them, killing any enemy regardless of strenght is only worth a single LP and playing minigames or feeding them isn't much faster and quickly uses up your munny reserves as well. Combine this with the fact that you also need to change each Spirit to each of their 4 possible dispositions at least once to unlock their entire Link Board which has a large random element and adds another 5-15 minutes of tapping the touch screen to the progress and you can see why completionists can easily grow tired of the damn things.
* SidetrackedByTheGoldSaucer: This can easily happen with the "Spirits" menu for taking care of your Dream Eaters, since it's essentially a fully functional virtual pet simulator.
* TaintedByThePreview: After the hype [[AndTheFandomRejoiced/KingdomHearts3D the game is now well-known for,]] now [[http://kh13.com/news/29072-kingdom-hearts-3d-to-be-localized-in-english-german-french-only/ comes word]] that, contrary to the UK, France and Germany, the European version of ''[=KH3D=]'' won't be localized at all for Spain and Italy. While this is still better than, say, ''[[VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy Dissidia 012: Final Fantasy]]'', not getting localized on-screen text has already resulted in... well, [[http://i.imgur.com/wE5lL.gif a call to boycott a product no one expected them to buy.]] For a less FanDumb-ish approach, [[http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/kingdom-hearts-3d-localization-for-spanish-and-italian.html there's this (better) idea.]]
* ThatOneBoss: [[spoiler:Young Master Xehanort. He's fast, hits hard, has a lot of HP and can rewind time to the beginning of the battle when he hits 0 HP. The only way to defeat him is to use a Reality Shift on the clock that appears when he rewinds time and destroy it from the inside; however, you ''still'' have to keep him at bay whilst doing this, and the clock has as much HP as he does. If you don't do it in time, he simply rewinds time to the beginning of the battle and you have to start over again. His nickname of Trollanort is ''more'' than deserved.]]
** Mercifully, if he ''does'' rewind time, the clock does not recover any health, and his maximum HP is reduced to whatever the clock's remaining HP is.
** Nearly all of the endgame bosses hit this territory without Once More (which is [[GuideDangIt tricky to acquire unless you know what Dream Eaters have it beforehand]]), an ability that allows a player to survive any combo with 1 HP left over. It just so happens that the last 4 bosses are Incredibly fond of melee combos and BeamSpam, [[spoiler: Xehanort's Heartless and Young MX in particular.]]
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter: A lot of players were really looking foward to fighting Frollo, and it actually looks like he's going to be a boss, but then [[BaitAndSwitchBoss he gets knocked of the Cathedral by the Wargoyle]].
** Same can go for Clu, especially those who [[spoiler: finally want to get some sweet payback for his crimes in both film and game canon]].
* UglyCute: To an extent with the Dream Eaters; Nomura designed them to be appealing to the player, but not in the conventional sense of "cute and cuddly." The result is creatures like Meow Wow, who are decidedly odd-looking but still endearing in their own way.
* UncannyValley: The Grid had Sam, Flynn, and Quorra from ''Tron: Legacy''. The faces are so realistic it's really creepy, especially when they share a shot with Riku and Sora who have kept their stylized faces. It's comparable to the ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' situation in the second game.
** The characters from ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' made the transition to 3D very well. However, Shiki just looks... off.
* VillainSue: Xehanort may slip into this for some fans with the twists in the ending. [[spoiler: Namely that EVERYTHING that has happened in the previous games was all part of his plan....[[GambitRoulette somehow]], and just how thoroughly he outclasses everyone else in the game in power and intelligence.]]
** Likely overlaps with MaryTzu.
* {{Woolseyism}}: The route the English version seems to be taking with the Dream Eater names. For example, the Japanese name "Wandanyan" incorporates "wonder", "''wanwan''" (a dog's bark), and "''nyan-nyan''" (a cat's meow). The English name is "Meow Wow", a combination of "wow", "meow", and "bow-wow."
** "Dark Fierce" and "Light Hammer", became "Darkest Fears" and "Shining Hammer", respectively.
** Someone was having way too much fun doing his job, because most of the Dream Eater descriptions are flat-out zany.
** Lines from the Japanese script that would've been flat-out Narm (Riku's "If you're a Nightmare, I'll eat you whole!" and Sora's "This is the key to everyone's smiles" leap to mind) were given somewhat less silly translations.
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