Fan Fic: Kingdom Hearts: The Third Epic
Sora and Riku, having defeated the Heartless (and Nobodies) and closed the Door to Darkness, are living happily with Kairi and their friends on their islands once again. However, despite the peace and happiness of the trio, Sora cannot help but wish to see all his friends from past journeys again. Cue Darker and Edgier
, Damsel in Distress
, Bag of Spilling
and Oh, Crap
all at once. Kairi is kidnapped, and the Big Bad destroys Sora’s Keyblades with a mere gaze. And just like that, Sora and Riku are off on another adventure.
The Third Epic by Lord Cavendish
is a Crossover/Alternative Universe Fic, set after the events of Kingdom Hearts II and mainly based around the journey of Sora and Riku. The original trilogy (more commonly referred to as The Third Epic, whereas the fourth entry is referred by its own subtitle) followed them along with fellow companions Mickey, Donald and Goofy as they set out to not only rescue Kairi by defeating the seven Cavendish Shinobis, but help the Universal Alliance disrupt the plans of the Dark Empire. (the perpetrators of her kidnapping)
The fourth part, Final Confrontation, is more a sequel to the original three stories rather than a Part 4, as it is set six years after, and also is five times the length. Carrying 145 chapters and nearly 1.4 MILLION words, Final Confrontation is the longest Kingdom Hearts fanfiction yet. In this fic, a section of the Dark Empire, called the Midnight Faction, invades and captures Disney Kingdom, taking Mickey captive, but not before Donald and Goofy can escape to warn the Universal Alliance of the impending threat, setting off yet another adventure for Sora and company.
Apart from Kingdom Hearts and a mass of Original Characters on all sides, there are numerous anime titles and video games that have their own worlds, or ‘Realms’, such as Zoids
, Gundam Wing
, Gundam SEED
, Rurouni Kenshin
, as well as some new Disney worlds such as Treasure Planet
and Monsters, Inc.
. This fic defines Loads and Loads of Characters
The Third Epic contains examples of:
- Action Girl: And how! There many females in this fanfic, and many of them are more than capable of handling themselves.
- Kairi starts out as a Damsel in Distress in The Third Epic, but in Final Confrontation is shown to be capable of handling herself, although not to the degree of the battle-hardened females like Ophelia.
- Adaptation Induced Plothole: Pre-Final Confrontation, everything was written before Kingdom Hearts II even came out, so there is a lot of key details to miss or get wrong. Thankfully, this only really kicks in once the KH team reaches Hollow Bastion, either through intelligently avoiding anything that could have been overwritten by canon. There are some big mistakes or discrepancies, mind…
- For starters, they find a secret lab hidden by Ansem (though which one we’ll never know), which contains the ‘original’ Heartless. This Heartless is also self-aware and wishes no harm upon Sora or his companions. He also claims to be the ‘good’ in Ansem/Xehanort's Heartless. Thing is, Heartless existed long before Ansem the Wise experimented with them, so this part is somewhat redundant.
- Also, when Sora gets to Olympus Coliseum, he greets Hercules and says it has been three years since they last met. Sora is either 17 or 18 in this fic, so this part ignores the existence of Kingdom Hearts II.
- It’s mentioned offhandedly, but this fic states Lord Cavendish was the true perpetrator of opening the Door to Darkness and unleashing the Heartless upon the world, not Xehanort. Final Confrontation never brings this little bit up.
- Final Confrontation does proceed to acknowledge Kingdom Hearts II in its own way, but some discrepancies now exist between this and later games. For instance, when Yzak becomes a Nobody, his new name (Lord Xeftum) includes an X, which Xehanort only gave to other Nobodies as revealed in Kingdom Hearts 3D.
- Anti-Hero: General Triiken in Final Confrontation. He may have changed his allegiance since The Third Epic, but he still promises to kill Riku when the war is over.
- Bag of Spilling: At the beginning of the story Sora doesn’t lose his powers, he loses his freakin’ KEYBLADES. The Big Bad just looks at them and they shatter instantly. Also a case of So Last Season, as the abilities he has at the time are only really good against agents of darkness such as the Heartless, and Curaga only heals wounds to the soul and heart, not physical wounds inflicted by real weaponry such as swords. To replace the Keyblades, Riku and Sora use Imperial Swords, which are given to them by Lord Thundro.
- Once Sora gets given a new Keyblade forged by the Universal Alliance (called the Way of Light) he drops the sword and sticks with the Keyblade once again. Riku also gets this too, but only in Final Confrontation (as he is unable to receive his new Keyblade, the Way of Justice, due to having left the KH team in The Third Epic and later being dead)
- Final Confrontation inverts this, as not only do Sora and Riku keep their powers, they have new ones at the start. (such as the fusion ability)
- Berserk Button: Don’t ever insult Cuchulain in the middle of a battle. You are just asking for a swift death.
- Big Bad: Lord Cavendish in The Third Epic, Sirius Viicous in Final Confrontation.
- Body Horror: Sirius Viicous might have survived the events of Chain of Memories, but since then he was disfigured to such a point that one half of his body now looks like a Heartless, doe to the fact that, not having a heart but owning a ‘replica’ of one, he could not be properly split in to a Nobody and a Heartless, and thus went through the painful experience over and over for years, only escaping when he relinquished his sense of self, and all his memories with it. Riku and Sora’s involvement with the Universal Alliance causes his memories to resurface.
- The author also did some artwork of what’s behind Cavendish’s mask. It ain’t pretty.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Ameba inflicts this on Riku for the crime of ‘damaging his pride’.
- Damsel in Distress: Kairi in the original fic. She is the catalyst that enters Sora and Riku into the war against the Dark Empire. She gets an upgrade to Action Girl in Final Confrontation, although she doesn't really get in on the action until late into the fic.
- Darker and Edgier: And how! Riku and Sora, two Keyblade Wielders who normally fight manifestations of darkness and nothingness with Keyblades, suddenly forced to change to katanas and fight real people. Blood and death is everywhere, the enemy has no qualms about bringing the universe to its knees or destroying it, and Disney characters are involved!
- Deus ex Machina: The Dragon Balls at the end of Conclusion AND Final Confrontation.
- Disc One Final Boss: General Kai becomes this.
- Doorstopper: Final Confrontation alone is 1.3 Million words, and currently stands as the longest single piece of Kingdom Hearts fanfiction on fanfiction.net (although Annalsof Darkness has almost passed the collective total for the series, which is approximately 1.71 million.)
- Dreaming of Things to Come: Sora has this at the start of The Third Epic, Riku at the start of Final Confrontation.
- Enemy Mine: The KH team reluctantly team up with the Arakis Foundation to fight Maleficent. Following this, the Arakis Foundation withdraws from the conflict with the Universal Alliance, and much later on they undergo a full Heel-Face Turn.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Several high-ranking members of the Dark Empire (including Lord Arakis) condemn General Ameba for his ruthless tactics, in spite of his impressive record.
- Evil Knockoff: Sirius is actually the Riku Replica from Chain of Memories, who survived his supposed death in that game.
- There’s also a Dark Sora, who is a direct clone of Sora. He doesn’t last very long, however…
- Expy: Triiken is one of Saito in Final Confrontation.
- Face-Heel Turn: Yzak Joule in Final Confrontation. He pays the price for it, mind…
- Friendly Enemy: Despite all that Sora has done to disrupt and destroy the Imperial Axis, Sirius Viicous refuses to harm Sora personally, owing to how Sora recognized his individuality in Chain of Memories. This changes when Sora refuses to let Riku die at his hands, however…
- Fusion Dance: Sora and Riku can combine with each other via a DBZ-style fusion in Final Confrontation.
- Happily Adopted: It is revealed in Final Confrontation that before Organization XIII took her in, Namine was adopted by the family of Ophelia Billiard. Didn't last too long however, as the organization took her by force, killing Ophelia's father in the process.
- Heel-Face Turn: Lord Thundro. His betrayal happened before the story began, but comes as a shock to several Imperials, and catches a few Alliance members off-guard.
- Standing Eagle is the only Cavendish Shinobi to survive, because he opens his eyes to the similarities of the Imperials and those who took his home from him.
- General Triiken in Final Confrontation. His reasons why are much the same as Saito’s reasons for accepting the Meiji Era in Rurouni Kenshin (which is not a coincidence either, considering how Final Confrontation starts…)
- Cunla, Kirin and Ophelia all defected in Final Confrontation after discovering how they were being used and manipulated by the Axis.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Sora and Riku. Considering all that happens canonically, plus how they constantly throw themselves in harm's way to protect the other, and how they 'love each other like brothers', the bond is as strong in canon as it is here.
- Hidden Elf Village: Twilight Town is a neutral world in Final Confrontation, and refuses to allow either side to station themselves in the world. Suprisingly, the Imperial Axis respects this law. Until they find out Sora and co. snuck through the world, however...
- Homage: There are a lot of them sprinkled throughout the series, often in reference to particular scenes from anime.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: Sora fighting Lord Cavendish.
- It Gets Easier: The fact that none of the original KH members have ever killed an actual human being before is brought up when Sora makes his first kill in Traverse Town. He feels initially horrified at what he’s done, but Riku snaps him out of it, telling him it was either them or him, and Goten points out that they are killing clones that have no free will or soul. From there on, he plows through enemies with ease, but his dislike for murder is brought up many times by both friend and enemy, along with his motives for commiting to such violence.
- Karmic Death: General Ameba. He links his soul to Riku’s using Kai’s control over darkness, meaning that if Ameba is attacked, Riku will feel it too, and vice-versa. Riku, realising that Death Is the Only Option, sacrifices himself just as Sora is about to be killed by Ameba, causing Ameba to be killed. Ironically, Ameba dies almost instantly, whereas Riku manages to hold out for a few minutes to say sorry to Sora for deserting him.
- Kick the Dog: General Ameba pulls this twice. First, for annihilating Europe in the SEED Realm after he has been defeated, and second for his Cold-Blooded Torture inflicted on Riku.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: When you have Kingdom Hearts, Dragon Ball Z, Zoids, Gundam Wing, Gundam SEED, ICO, Rurouni Kenshin, Dynasty Warriors, and a horde of original characters, (and that's just before Final Confrontation!) you know this series is the definition of this trope. Maybe counts as Cast Herd as you seldom rarely see any of the different world’s characters interact with one another.
- Mook: The Imperial Guard.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Riku has this moment when he realises that Sora never actually betrayed him, and that Sora was right to withdraw from the battle with Arakis.
- Near Death Experience: These happen often to various characters throughout the fic.
- One key moment for the opening of Final Confrontation is when Riku remembers a fight he had with General Triiken at Halloween Town six years prior, in which he nearly had his neck cut open by his opponent. He dodged it by under an inch, but the air currents accumulating from the force of the blade left a scar that bothers him still, six years on.
- Sora has had several. He was left mortally wounded in Halloween Town by General Kai, he was nearly killed in a Curb-Stomp Battle by Lord Cavendish, he was hit by an exploding castle door, and he sacrificed himself in Riku's fight against Sirius so that Riku would not be killed.
- Neutral No Longer: Twilight Town after Rellantando crosses his Moral Event Horizon. Not that it matters too much though, considering that most of the population is dead following it.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Great Resurrection in the Retcon ending of The Third Epic (wished for by Sora) revives only those who died as a result of actions taken by the Dark Empire. Needless to say, the leftover members of that empire aren't too happy when they realise this.
- Original Character: There are a lot of them, and not all are of the author’s making, either. Nearly all of the characters of Imperial allegiance are original.
- Plot Hole: In Final Confrontation, Sora advises Riku that they should fuse together to fight Triiken. At no point beforehand was an ability to use the fusion from DBZ ever mentioned in the story, and it has never been explained where they got it from.
- Retcon: The ending to The Third Epic: Conclusion, once Final Confrontation was started. Sneer and Goten gives the Dragon Balls to Sora so that he can resurrect Riku. He not only does this, but also wishes everyone back to life that died at the hands of the Dark Empire in their journey.
- Super-Powered Evil Side
- Riku’s Darkness Form. Much like when Ansem possesses him in Kingdom Hearts, but he has control of it. It can take it's toll on his heart if he uses it for too long, however.
- Sora’s Rage/The Keyblade Hound. Given to him by Cuchulain in The Third Epic. Allows him to exceed his strength and speed limits while also taking on a more deadly personality. While similar in many ways to Cuchulain’s Rage, he is not as experienced with it, and at times has attacked friends while under its influence, including Riku.
- Cuchulain’s Rage/The Hound of Ulster. Unlike Sora’s version of this, he was born with it, and thus has a much better control of it. That doesn’t mean he isn’t at risk of letting it take control.
- Kenshin when he becomes Battousai the Manslayer, similar to how it is portrayed in Rurouni Kenshin.
- Ironically, Sora’s Anti-Form subverts this trope as not only is it weaker than Sora’s other forms, Sora is also still himself mentally, openly lamenting his luck at getting the form instead of whichever of his other forms he was going for.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Sirius feels this way about Riku, as he blames him for everything bad that has ever happened to him.
- Lu Bu also wants to make sure Riku survives the war so that he can personally kill him in a bout.
- The Team: The KH Team:
- This Is Unforgivable!: After Ameba wipes out Europe in the Seed Realm as retaliation for having suffered defeat, Sora openly promises that he will kill Ameba for his actions.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Riku in The Third Epic, when he decides to save Kairi by himself. And much like Kingdom Hearts, Laser-Guided Karma quickly turns him back on the right path.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: All of the major antagonists portray their cause as this.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Sirius calls out the heroes for only resurrecting their allies with the Dragon Balls, and leaving Imperial members dead. He doesn't realise who is really responsible, but even if he did the trope would still count. (It was Sora.)
- Whole Plot Reference: The opening to Final Confrontation (at least, the part on Destiny Islands) is almost a shot-for-shot remake of the opening to the Shishio Arc in Rurouni Kenshin, where Saito is sent to ‘evaluate’ Kenshin’s ability.