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Audio Play / Ghost Rider: The Audio Drama

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This article is about the Audio Play fanfiction. For the Comic Book, click here.

The scene opens to the sound of pouring rain, and a child crying, fighting to escape a tentacled horror. As we listen in, a deep-voiced man makes his entrance, menacing, threatening, as the child begs and pleads. He'll do anything for his safety. The man listens - and offers a deal. Work for him, and the man won't drag him to where he belongs. Work for him, and the man will go away. The young boy hastily agrees - and his life will never be the same.


*cue opening titles*

Ghost Rider (official, full title "Ghost Rider: A Kingdom Hearts/Ghost Rider Crossover") is a crossover between Marvel's Ghost Rider comic books and the popular Kingdom Hearts series of games, with a few Final Fantasy characters thrown in for good measure. The story is centered around 16-year-old Sora Shimomura, though for fans of Kingdom Hearts, this is a very different Sora than they might be expecting. After a traumatic incident of bullying shortly after moving to his new hometown, Sora took up with a gang led by Seifer, determined to 'get even' with the popular kids who ostracized him.

Now the most feared boy in school, hated by everyone, with the respect of Seifer and a crew of 'friends', Sora thinks life is pretty good. That is, until Mephisto shows up and demands that Sora pay his half of the bargain they made when he was a young child, turns him into the Ghost Rider, and sends him off to take in the most dangerous of Hell's escaped criminals.


Along the way, Sora comes to a few epiphanies about himself, has to come face to face with his crimes, and starts on the long, hard path to redemption. Supported by a whole cast of Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy characters, each with a new twist on their personality and role, Sora meets a few friends, and quite a few enemies, on his path to redemption and acceptance.

The series is an Audio Adaptation and Reboot of the incomplete Fanfic of the same name, which can be found here, and was written by Michael Fri, who also serves as writer, director, and lead actor for the series. The first season can be found here as a playlist, and the second season is currently in production.


This series provides examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: Tifa is conspicuously absent from the first few episodes of Season 2, despite having been in the opening credits in the season's first episode, and otherwise a major character.
  • Action Girl: The girls in Seifer's gang are pretty kickass.
  • Adaptation Expansion: To the point where the series has almost entered full-on Reboot territory. Sora's motives are examined much more thoroughly than in the original fic, and many characters' motives, histories, and personalities have been tweaked or edited to make a better story. The sheer amount of new material is also staggering - a large portion of the first season was written entirely for the audio version.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Seifer's gang's supervillain names, costumes, and gimmicks have changed for the reboot
    • Seifer has changed the most, going from the gunblade wielding Hyperion to the crazier and more erratic Vanitas.
    • Paine has gone from the no-nonsense Myrmidon to the Axe-Crazy Jane the Ripper.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: While many characters have had their personalities altered a bit to fit into the crossover and setting, Ansem has been changed completely. He's gone from an enigmatic and serious Evil Overlord to a Jerkass Deadpan Snarker with a love of Black Comedy. Basically think of Genie if he was evil and you'll get the basic gist of it.
  • Aerith and Bob: Nothing less than you'd expect from a work mainly drawing from Final Fantasy characters, but notable for the fact that for once the last names get this treatment, as well. Many of the characters, specifically the main ones, have Japanese last names (see Shout-Out below) and first names, such as Sora Shimomura or Kairi Nomura. A few, like Tidus Davidge, have American-sounding last names. And then... there's Wakka Arundel, which just sounds made-up. These are, of course, mixed together with characters who actually have canon last names, from the Trope Namer franchise, for a very wide mix of names and naming conventions.
    • The voice actors, as well, since you have about equal numbers who go by their internet usernames (Peach Gore, Wuten, 13thSyndicate), some who go by their real names/real-sounding pseudonyms (Michael Fri, Austin Nebbia), a few who go by usernames based on real names (JD Exists), and... Coconut. Quite a varied billing!
  • All There in the Manual: The credits for each episode give out a lot of names that aren't ever actually said in-series, completing some of the cameos from comic-book villains such as Aqueduct in S2 E1 and the Deathwatch crew in S2 E4.
  • Alliterative Name: Several character names - Sora Shimomura, Paine Parks, Namine Nomura, and Vincent Valentine, specifically.
  • And Starring: JD Exists and Peach Gore as the Narrators. Many single-episode characters or important side characters get this kind of billing, as well, notably 13thSyndicate as the Mysterious Girl.
  • Anti-Hero: It is a Ghost Rider story. Sora does appear to be trending more towards the Hero side as time goes on, though.
    • The new character being teased by the promo, Daredevil, appears to be a straighter example.
  • Arc Villain: Stephen Lord and his Deathwatch gang for Season 2. They take over as the main antagonists for the middle of Season 2 while Vanitas plots in the background.
  • Art Evolution: Michael's audio editing skills have noticeably improved over the course of the series, as has his writing style. Large jumps in quality were also made as actors gained new microphones, etc.
  • Art Shift: "My Name is Sora Shimomura", a four-minute prequel 'episode' released before the second season, is presented as Sora's video diary, and is actually a live-action vlog-style segment filmed of Michael himself.
  • Artistic License – History: In-Universe - Vincent Valentine seems to be taking great pleasure tearing apart Jane the Ripper's piecemeal and historically-inaccurate costume.
  • As You Know: The news reporter gives a short one at the beginning of the first episode of Season 2, adding more detail to the opening Recap.
    • A stranger, more ironic one from Sora in S 2 E 1.
      Sora: "Not the first time I broke into someone's locker. (Beat) A-As you know."
  • Ascended Extra: After the first few chapters, many of Kairi's school friends faded out of the original version. They play a much larger role in the audio version, discussing events and serving as the audience's view into how normal people perceive the Ghost Rider.
    • Roxanne Shimomura was basically just there to give Sora some at-home conflict in the original fic and first season. In the second season, she seems to have Taken A Level In Badass. This is expanded on in the spin-off miniseries, Roxanne, which expands on her mysterious past.
    • And Rai and Fuu got personalities of their own, outside of their identities as Seifer's minions.
  • The Atoner: Sora, especially after Episode 10.
    • Vincent Valentine seems to have shades of this, as well.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Apparently, Riku has "fabulously girlish hips".
  • Audio Adaptation
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Sora saves Kairi from a possessed demon car sent by Paine. Kairi's first response? To scream his name and rush to see if he's okay.
  • Ax-Crazy: Jane the Ripper, AKA Paine
  • Badass Baritone: Wuten takes this trope to its limit as the Ghost Rider.
  • Badass Biker: Rather obvious, since this is a Ghost Rider crossover.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Sora and Kairi's relationship, oh so very much.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Though not entirely an angel, Paine is definitely one of the more mellow-seeming of Seifer's gang, when Sora is introduced to her. Underneath it all, she's an Ax-Crazy Yandere who goes by Jane the Ripper.
    • Sora, also, was pretty nice before Seifer got a hold of him...
    • Discussed in Season 2, Episode 2 - Sora muses that Aerith seems nice, but the nice ones always seem to have some repressed desire for danger.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When Deathwatch finally corners Sora, Kairi, Cloud, and Namine, Daredevil makes his first public appearance to save them.
  • Blackmail: Stephen Lord has some on DD Vigilante/Daredevil.
  • Break the Cutie: The first episode is all about doing this to Sora, representing his Start of Darkness.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Jane the Ripper is described as having one in the episode named after her.
  • City with No Name: The writer seems to go out of his way to avoid actually calling it anything, or even referring to it directly.
  • Composite Character
    • Seifer is this of himself and Vanitas.
    • By season 2 Sora seems to borrow influence from his canon self and Riku's Kingdom Hearts II portrayal.
  • Co-Dragons: Hag and Troll to Stephen Lord.
  • Curse Escape Clause: Subverted. Sora's lack of one is what tells Kane that Sora's going to Hell.
  • Daddy Issues: Sora and Kairi hate their respective fathers and bond over their mutual hatred. Though it's heavily implied Sora's dad had better reasons for his neglect than Kairi's.
  • Dark Is Evil: Given all the deals with the devil and demons attacking, pretty much every antagonist fits this trope in some form.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Sora as the Ghost Rider and his partner Vincent Valentine the vampire.
  • Darker and Edgier: Than the Kingdom Hearts source material.
    • Than the fanfic as well - the author/director himself decided that he wanted to explore the darker sides of the characters, as well as play out some of the realism to its natural conclusion. Used to chilling effect in one of the early episodes, when Riku, talking about Sora's bullying, makes a remark that suggests he's contemplating taking a weapon to school.
    • The city is a much more horrid place than in the original fic. In the original fic the only bad part of town was Hell's Highway and it was pretty small. In the reboot, Hell's Highway is a mini-city of scum and villainy that no one can clean up, crime is everywhere and the police is too incompetent to reign the gangs in barring a few honest cops, the cities bureaucracy is completely corrupt on top of all the demons and monsters.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Its basically a World of Snark but Sora and Ansem reign supreme in the sarcasm department...and both are voiced by Micheal Fri. Hmmm...There's probably no connection.
  • Deal with the Devil: Again, this is a Ghost Rider fanfiction, so it's pretty par for the course. Sora made one with Mephisto at the very beginning, agreeing to become Ghost Rider as repayment for Mephisto not taking him as a small child, and Seifer made one in order to get evil powers for his gang.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: After making another deal with Ansem for more power, Seifer and Paine seem to enjoy the kick it gives them way too much undergoing a bit of Motive Decay along with becoming deliciously Large Hams.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Unless its the Hellcycle Sora can't drive worth a damn.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Fans of the original fic will almost certainly recognize the Mysterious Girl, showing up a full plot arc before her original debut.
  • Evil Brit: Jane the Ripper; though, to be fair, she's not actually British.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Nick Smithberger, the voice of Seifer, is obviously having a bit too much fun with the whole thing in the few scenes we've seen him in so far.
    • Most of the villains, really, in some way, shape, or form. Evil Is Hammy seems to be a universal rule in Ghost Rider
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Mephisto, played by Philossus, has a pretty deep set of pipes; Rai's voice is provided by the same actor, though in that case, it's a bit of a subversion - Rai is implied to be the true identity of Kane, but that villain's voice was provided by the much higher-voiced Austin Nebbia.
  • Fake Brit: In-Universe. Jane The Ripper puts on a British accent in her villain persona.
  • Fangirl: Kairi is Ghost Rider's #1 fan bar none much to her friends chagrin.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Ansem normally acts cheerful and witty while almost being a Big Brother Mentor to Seifer but this just enhances his evil.
  • Femme Fatale: The Mysterious Girl is either this or The Vamp - we don't know quite enough about her yet to say for sure.
  • Freudian Excuse: Most of Seifer's gang, including Sora, have one, and most of them are pretty good. Rai's comes back later, in Episode 10, where it serves to imply that Kane is actually Rai.
  • Genki Girl: Yuffie, natch.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: It's never really explained why Aqueduct (a guy with superpowers) was in a normal prison,where he came from, or how he got his powers in the first place, and why no one reacted with surprise that he had powers from a non-magical source or that he had superpowers in the first place when its only recently been a Broken Masquerade.
  • The Heavy: Given that Ansem is a Sealed Evil in a Can its up to Seifer to devise schemes, plots, and high-school drama while trying to free him.
  • Heroic Bystander: Kairi's friends, Wakka, Tidus, Cloud, and Riku tends to be this. Sora becomes this as well during Deathwatch's assault during the day.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Sora's attempts at redemption drive the plot.
  • Heel Realization: Sora has a big one in Episode 10, when he finds out he's going to Hell for all of the things he's done.
  • Heroic BSoD: Sora has one, following his Heel Realization in Episode 10.
  • High School A.U.: When the genre isn't Nightmare Fuel, it's this.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Vincent Valentine, in this series, has a very pronounced Quebec accent. What's the last thing he says to Roxanne's Southern drawl?
    Vincent: If you want to hide...? Lose the accent.
  • Idiot Ball: Lets lock up a guy with superpowers in a normal prison. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
  • Ignorance Is Bliss: Kairi believes this keeping Namine Locked Out of the Loop on how corrupt their father is.
  • Inspector Javert: Detective Ketch seems to be shaping up to this.
    • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: But this is what Ketch really is. He is an honest, competent cop who truly wants to enforce justice to his Wretched Hive of a city, and when Deathwatch attacks he proves himself to be the real deal.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Roxanne Shimomura, reporting!
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: What Sora really is, underneath it all.
    • Discussed by Paine in S 2 E 2, "Will You Be My Beatrice?"
      Paine: You were always the best of us, Sora.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Seifer starts as a Well-Intentioned Extremist, but by the time you get to his admission that he was manipulating Sora all along, you start realizing that his so-called noble cause is just an excuse for him to be a jackass to everyone.
  • Jumped Off The Slippery Slope: At the end of Episode 1, Sora decides to join Seifer's gang to get payback for his humiliation at the hands of the popular kids. By the beginning of Episode 2, he's pretty much a full-blown villain, who seems to genuinely enjoy causing others emotional pain.
    • Let's not forget Seifer himself. He started off as a Well-Intentioned Extremist with an ends-justify-the-means attitude towards things. Then he decided to start summoning demons and made a Deal with the Devil for evil superpowers...
  • The Last DJ: Detective Daniel Ketch is one of the few cops that has refused to give up against the crime and corruption that plagues the city.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Sora and Kairi hilariously argued like this while Sora was trying and failing to drive a van.
  • The Medic: Cloud is training to be a doctor.
  • Mood Whiplash:In Episode 1 of Season 2 Riku makes a deep and meaningful speech about the dangers of vigilantism...Kairi then asks if he watched the The Dark Knight recently instantly changing the mood.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Paine sends a car to kill Kairi when Sora rejects her. It doesn't go quite as planned.
  • Mysterious Woman: The Mysterious Girl from Season 2, Episode 2, "Will You Be My Beatrice?"
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Jane the Ripper
  • Never My Fault: One of the major factors that led to Sora becoming a bully was the inability to take responsibility for his actions as the Ghost Rider points out.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Kane telling Sora that he was going to Hell for being a bully is what motivates him to become a proper Nice Guy hero and The Atoner.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Kairi has a crush on a skeleton that is on fire.
  • No Name Given: 13thSyndicate's character, heavily implied by the artwork and character description to be Yuna, is only referred to as "The Mysterious Girl" in her first (and so far only) appearance.
    • The man from Vincent's flashback in S2, Episode 3 is an even more extreme example - he's not even listed in the credits for the episode, despite the fact that Roxanne, who only appears in said flashback, is. Judging by the fact that he calls her 'honey', and is voiced by Michael Fri, we can assume he's Sora's father, but it's impossible to say for sure.
  • Oh, Crap!: A magnificent one from Vincent. "This is not a power booster...!"
  • Ojou: Kairi has shades of this, as the mayor's daughter, but also as the most popular girl in school. Her friends seem to look up to her and she always acts the Proper Lady to everyone. She often goes out hunting for adventure (such as the time she staged a robbery in order to draw the Ghost Rider to her) and her advice session with Namine before a big party suggests that while she's good at acting the part of the Proper Lady, an act is all it is.
  • One Steve Limit: The girl Riku has a crush on in the audio drama is Vanille, though it was originally Rikku in the fanfic. This was changed because Michael realized that in an audio drama, where the audience can't read a name's spelling or see the characters on screen, the fact that both names are pronounced exactly the same would only cause massive amounts of confusion.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Stephen Lord refuses to let any of the doctors in Hell's Highway be harmed, not out of any moral reservations, but because he knows if they die his gang will never be able to recover from their losses without them.
  • Rule of Cool:
    • As a crossover between a Marvel comic and Kingdom Hearts, the Ghost Rider universe seems to run on this.
    • Not even the author himself is sure how Sora managed to get all those stink bombs into those lockers in Episode 2, or how he returned all those items in S2, Episode 1, without anyone noticing - he mentions in the Youtube comments section on the latter that it doesn't matter how he did it, as it's the gesture that was important.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Ansem. Seifer and his gang are trying to un-seal him, Sora's job is to keep him in the can.
  • Shout-Out: Several.
    • Overlapping with Theme Naming, many of the main characters take their last names from people who worked on the Kingdom Hearts games, such as Sora Shimomura, Kairi and Namine Nomura, and (in the original fanfiction) Roxas Senoue.
    • Wakka Arundel is named after the composer for Batman: Arkham City.
    • In Season 2, Episode 3: Jane the Ripper, the flashback scene with Vincent was a clear tribute to Naughty Dog's The Last of Us.
    • There's quite a few to the Nicholas Cage movie
    • Namine's line in S1 Episode 4, "That's all he is and all he'll ever be, a sad lonely bully." is a play on the lyrics to Shinedown's 'Bully': "All you'll ever be is the faded memory of a bully, make another joke while they hang another rope so lonely."
  • Skeleton Key: The true purpose of the mysterious amulet Vanitas and gang are searching for in Season 2.
    • Despite the source material, however, otherwise averted; the Keyblade is nowhere to be found, at least so far.
  • Slasher Smile: Jane the Ripper sports a beautiful one in her eponymous episode, in the form of a Cheshire Cat Grin.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Kairi tries to be this to the Ghost Rider... it doesn't work out.
  • Stepford Smiler: Conversations between Kairi and Namine suggest that the older Nomura girl is nowhere near as happy or collected as she appears to be.
    • Confirmed in S2, Episode 4.
  • Time Skip: A three month one happens between Seasons 1 and 2 where Sora fights off a monster and demon at least once a week while establishing himself as the cities badass vigilante superhero.
    • A six year time skip happens in S1 Episode 1: Path to Darkness, and a two year time skip in the following episode: No Regrets.
  • Tsundere: Yuffie is Type A towards everyone; Kairi is Type B, towards Sora.
  • The Unexpected: Since every other character is either a pure Kingdom Hearts character or is a Composite Character of a Kingdom Hearts and Ghost Rider character, so Daniel Ketch, a pure Ghost Rider character, is a bit of a surprise.
  • The Vamp: Paine, who attempts to seduce Sora in Season 2, Episode 2, "Will You Be My Beatrice".
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Sora gets called out on his bullying a lot over the course of Season 1.
    • First was his mother who explicitly calls him a bully in the first place. She's sadly ignored.
    • Next Kane calls Sora out on it, telling him that he's going to Hell because of his douchebaggery. This sends him into a Heroic BSoD.
    • Third is the Ghost Rider himself, who points out that Sora basically dug his own grave thanks to his bullying and has no one to blame for his situation is himself.
    • Finally there's Seifer, who admits that he didn't approve of Sora's bullying, but did nothing to stop him because he wanted to test his resolve.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: What Seifer started out as, before he, y'know, started summoning demons and everything like that.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 10, "Sora's Retribution"
    Kane: How do I put this... Oh, yes! Rather fitting, it's like a contract. You have the part where your soul belongs to Hell... but the line in which you get it back after completing your task... isn't included.
    Kane: Do you really thing all the murderers and rapists are the only ones put into Hell? True, the deeper circles are reserved for them, but there's a whole set of others for people just like you.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: In-Universe. Justified, in that Anthony Dube-LeBlanc has a very distinctive Quebec accent, which is rarely heard in the US, where Ghost Rider takes place.
    Sora: With that accent, no way you're from around here.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Where the hell is the city where the story takes place in is, anyway?
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: When Kairi is attempting to stalk Ghost Rider, she has Riku dress in drag and pretend to be getting mugged. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Wretched Hive: The city our heroes live in. It's pretty much as bad as Gotham.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Sora and Kairi
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Jane the Ripper assumes that the Ghost Rider won't torture her for information, because he's The Hero, after all. Well...
  • Yandere: Paine evidently had a thing for Sora; she didn't take rejection very well....

Example of: