YMMV: Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days

  • Accidental Innuendo:
    Roxas: "It's sweet, but also kinda salty."
    Axel: "That's exactly what you said the last time."
    Roxas: You did great. In fact, you need a little something extra.
    Xion: Something extra?
    Roxas: Yeah, the icing on the cake.
    • There was also a conversation between Axel and Roxas about how Axel spends too much time in bed...
    • Then there's Axel giving Roxas advice when Xion is upset.
      Axel: All I know about girls is that you should never press the wrong buttons.
    • Roxas is very enthusiastic about having ice cream with Axel and Xion after missions, almost to the point of obsession. If you replace "ice cream" with a certain word, Roxas' diary reads like a pornographic novel.
      Roxas: I've been having ice cream by myself lately, but it's just not the same. All I taste is the salt and my hands get sticky.

      Roxas: Me and Axel went to Agrabah. He seems different now that he's back from C.O. Ice cream was just the two of us today. I wonder when me and Axel and Xion will all get to have ice cream together.

      Roxas: The other members have been teaching me more about how to fight and stuff. It's going, I guess. Every day after work, I've been meeting Axel at the clock tower to have ice cream. It really is salty! But still sweet, too. How come it tastes so familiar?
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • The fandom generally agrees Sax's a less than pleasant individual, but expect debates about whether his motives were sympathetic or not. The redone HD cutscenes also show subtle changes of expression in his cold disposition, hinting that he really isn't as stoic as he'd like to believe he is.
      • He gets even more if you've played 3D and learn that Xehanort has been gradually possessing him the whole time. So how much of his callousness was him and how much was Xehanort?
    • Demyx in spades. Is he a wimp, or just an underachiever? Coward or reluctant badass? The fact that he turned out to be That One Boss in Kingdom Hearts II probably contributes to this.
  • Angst Dissonance: Xion is probably one of the biggest victims of this trope, and some of the reaction to Roxas has been this.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Riku. He's a massive letdown after the Marathon Boss which was Xion. Too bad the fight ends in Doomed by Canon.
  • Author's Saving Throw: The Ho Yay between Axel and Roxas was dripping after Kingdom Hearts II, and it helped that unlike Sora and Riku, neither of them has a "canon" love interest. The introduction of Xion and the very heavyhanded Ship Tease with her and Roxas could thus be considered this.
    • With Xion's true nature being questionable about her real gender, if having a specific one at all (especially amongst all the switcheroos depending on who it is sees her)...and that technically both Xion and Roxas are inside Sora and are Sora, it leaves open whether that was actually the intention.
    • Axel and Roxas' interactions are also written to be less Ho Yay heavy, Accidental Innuendo aside. Axel sincerely comes off as a big brother figure to Roxas rather than the "psycho ex-boyfriend" of Kingdom Hearts II, and he even flat-out says that the love he and Roxas share as friends is different than romantic love like Belle and the Beast share.
  • Base Breaker/Broken Base: The "Sue" status of Xion has been a source of great debate amongst fandom. It's generally divided into two camps: one sees her as a sympathetic deconstruction of a sue who experiences a short, painful, and traumatic life before finding out she's expected to kill her best friend and possible love interest, and the other sees her as a retcon-added Black Hole Sue/Sympathetic Sue who motivates the actions of the main characters more than she should have in a forceful or contrived way that wasn't needed when there were other means available, and whose increasingly sad existence is there simply to garner her as much sympathy as possible from both the characters and the audience. Or so it stands. It's controversial enough that you'll get differing opinions on a lot of things. Her voice actress also falls squarely in this category, with many feeling she did a fine job with what she had and many others feeling that Xion would have benefited from better acting.
    • The failure by Square-Enix to HD the one game in the 1.5 collection that could have really used it. Whether you hate this or don't really care, it's unfortunate regardless.
  • Breather Boss: Riku, especially when compared to the Marathon Boss prior.
  • Contested Gaiden Game: Arguably the most divisive game of the series.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: After the game had been out for about five minutes, the community came to the consensus that "Musique pour la tristesse de Xion" is the series' best leitmotif so far.
    • "The Other Promise", which puts an ungodly beautiful and heartwrenching spin on Roxas's already depressing theme.
  • Fan Nickname: Not so much 'fan' nickname as one given by detractors. Her haters have dubbed Xion "Xarmy".
    • For some fans of the manga, the chapters taking place in Wonderland are dubbed "Kingdom Hearts: Size Matters", due to size-altering mushrooms playing a big part in the saga, particularly with Luxord.
  • Freud Was Right: The Cave of Wonders doors have rather unfortunate designs on them. Inevitably, a demotivator was created in response.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Talk to Luxord on Day 352:
  • Game Breaker: Sax in the eyes of some, due to his critical hit ratio and critical bonus being at max.
    • Lexaeus as well, because of his extremely high power in his attacks, doing more damage per combo than Saix.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Hook and Smee are looking for treasure every single time you encounter them in Neverland. Like they would in 2011.
  • Ho Yay: There's a bit of Axel/Sax bait, if you can believe a Tsundere and a Sugar and Ice Personality, neither with any dere.
  • Intended Audience Reaction: If the player grows to dislike most of the members of Organization XIII after playing through this game, then Nomura did his job successfully. Of course, given many fan treatments of the characters, it's hard to say if this succeeded.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Xemnas, and to a lesser extent Sax.
  • Mary Sue: Many haters (and some fans) believe Xion to be one of the Black Hole Sue and Sympathetic Sue varieties. Whether she is or isn't is up to heavy debate. See Base Breaker for details.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Xemnas's manipulation of Xion and his utter lack of compassion for the rest of the group. This is kind of a Player Punch for those who played through KHII; Sora nearly played right into Xemnas's hands, with Xemnas only losing because Sora wiped him out too!
  • Narm/Narm Charm:
    Roxas: No! Xion... Who else will I have ice cream with?
    • This nearly ruined the biggest Tear Jerker in the game. Although for some it was the line itself, and for others the line was fine but it was the delivery.
    • The final fight with Xion is meant to be a tragic fight between two friends. It's a little bit hard to feel moved while Xion is constantly yelling generic taunts.
    • Some of Roxas's angsty dialogue falls into this, as does his last journal entry. it's the CAPSLOCK
    • Roxas's journal. Just Roxas's journal.
  • One True Threesome: Axel/Roxas, Roxas/Xion, and Axel/Xion are all perfectly valid ships with plenty of subtext to draw evidence from. Inevitably, some fans simply go this route.
  • Player Punch: If you got attached to Xion at all, you WILL need tissues by the end of this game.
    • The Castle Oblivion team sans Axel could count as well. Or even all of Organization XIII, if you consider Kingdom Hearts II.
    • Roxas. If you aren't familiar with the overarching story-line you're lead to believe that after being captured he was destroyed so his memories could be reunited with Sora, and that after fighting so hard to be his own person.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: A lot of people hated Xion on principle before the game even came out, but her final scene changed their minds. Of course, not everyone; Xion is still a Base Breaker.
    • She's more likable in the manga adaptation, however, but the Base Breaker status remains.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Some people think Roxas is a Jerkass because of the way he treated his Poisonous Friend Axel toward the end of the game. And unsurprisingly, Xion also gets this treatment.
  • That One Boss: The Leechgrave. If you can beat the mission when you have to fight this without dying ONCE, then you have skills.
  • That One Level: There are many missions that are just plain frustrating to go through.
  • Tear Jerker: Xion's death. Wait! Roxas's capture. Screw it! The entirety of the ending.
    • For the former, just one line. Who else will I have ice cream with? It's honestly a shame that the line itself is such utter Narm, because the delivery is incredibly well done and sad.
    • Roxas's final diary entry. "I am DONE WITH THIS."
      • For the HD remake, almost every damn cutscene is getting full voice acting. This will most likely include Roxas and Axel's fight before Roxas leaves. As in, you get to hear Roxas and Axel, formerly best buds, screaming at each other with hatred and misunderstanding. Not to mention Roxas's angsty soliloquies. Tissues please, and it hasn't even happened yet.
      • That scene is included, and it is ridiculously depressing.
    • Xion loves Axel and Roxas. Xion learns she is sucking the life out of Roxas just by existing. She realizes that she is slowly killing him, and she can't do anything about it except die.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Despite being a game that focuses heavily on the Organization, many characters (especially Luxord, Demyx, Marluxia and Larxene) barely get touched upon.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: For some, for a game setting before Kingdom Hearts II, it fails to provide more informations about the Organization that we already knew. We still don't know much about the members outside Axel, Saix and the six founders. Riku and Diz investigations about their enemies is also nearly ignored, and Mickey's journey is completely ignored. Many felt that Xion centered the plot heavily around her.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Xigbar. Despite being funny, having a cool weapon (and a cool scar), being quite possibly the best partner in story mode, and having some of the best lines in the game, he's not very good for soloing in Mission Mode, and is usually only picked by people who think he's cool. But he's alright in a group when you have someone else tanking.
  • Uncanny Valley: While it won't mean that much to someone new to the games, it is invoked when Xion removes her hood and reveals herself to have Sora's face and is speaking with her voice, it really feels unsettling.
    • Many of the models for the Disney characters tend towards this, with off-kilter, staring eyes and mask-like faces that are a lot less refined than the Organization members, whose models are a lot less blocky. In particular the Genie falls into this, and given some of his dialogue somebody on the team was possibly aware.
      Genie:(After startling Roxas for the third time) "C'mon, I'm not that scary! You're gonna give me a complex."
  • Villain Decay: Several members, on their off-time and not facing Sora, are a lot less intimidating than they usually are. Noteworthy examples would be Marluxia, who is almost nice, and Larxene, who acts like an Ax-Crazy psychopath in Castle Oblivion but here is just a Laughably Evil Alpha Bitch who even has some Pet the Dog moments.
  • The Woobie: Roxas and Xion.
    • Axel, too. He's the only one to care about Roxas and Xion, knows it, and is literally surrounded on all sides by people who want to harm them. He does his best to keep them both safe, but the choices he makes are so utterly wrong that he winds up making a terrible situation worse.
  • Woolseyism: Near the end of the game, when Roxas looks at Xion and sees Sora's face, Xion uses Japanese Pronouns to indicate that she still thinks of herself as female. The line was restructured into the third person ("This puppet will have to play her part") to get the same point across in translation.