Another possible reason for Sora being more aggressive in this particular adventure can be found at the end of the prologue, if one remembers what DiZ said to Roxas before the latter met Sora.
"You should share some of that hatred with Sora, he's far too nice for his own good."
Why does Mickey just run off and leave Minnie behind? As revealed by Dream Drop Distance, she is the one with royal blood; its her castle, so of course he's going to leave the Queen in charge - leaving her behind also keeps her safe.
It also helps that the Cornerstone of Light makes Disney Castle a very safe place, and in the event that's not there, she does have Light magic to protect herself with, up to the point she and Sora can clear out the entire throne room of Heartless with it alone. Even less of a reason to worry about her.
When Sora finds Ansem's computer, he shows some serious incompetence with it even reaching the point of smashing the keys (mostly out of frustration) until Leon warns him that he could break it. Ask yourself this: would you really know how to handle a computer properly if you've lived most of your life in tropical islands, where that much technology is not needed at all?
The fight with Xaldin is a HUGE Final Fantasy throwback, more than the other organization members if you notice a few points about it. Xaldin not only favors a wind shield that makes it extremely difficult to attack him, he also controls the dragoon Nobodies. In FF4, the wind elemental fiend liked to wrap herself up in a hair/tornado shield that made her invulnerable and could only be broken by a dragoon's Leap skill. So how do you fight Xaldin? Your reaction command is the Blue magic skill "Learn" to copy his dragoon attacks and break his wind shield.
Remember the room where the fairies gave Sora a new outfit? Remember those pieces of cloth that you can observe? Compare what they say to what your Drive Forms emphasize. Foreshadowing maybe?
In the Final Mix, there was another one added for Limit form (I believe it is called that, DQ me though), so yes, it's confirmed.
Minor brilliance dealing with the Digital Twilight Town Namek-long Prologue: When none of the characters can say "photo"/"photograph," it's not that the Dusks/Assassins could steal words so much as they stole the part of DTT's data containing the word. Lesser Nobodies are incredibly stupid about what they need to do, but amazingly skilled at trying to get it.
Now consider this, when Xemnas personally recruited Roxas into the Organization, you'd think he'd send other members to do the recruiting, as it has been known that he's not one to do his own dirty work, and even when Roxas refused at first, he just backed off. But if you think about it, he has a part of Terra, so his subconscious is actually seeking out Ventus himself! Also, when he said "A New You", it holds a double meaning since we now know that Roxas has Ventus's heart.
As it turns out, Dream Drop Distance gives us the actual answer. Rather than the above reason, it seems the true one is that this was when Xemnas symbolically affixed the Recusant's Sigil to Roxas. Presumably, despite his hands-off attitude with the Organization, he was the one to meet with and rename each member for this exact reason.
She also stops wearing that awkward armor that's obviously far too heavy for her and starts using Mushu's power in her attacks, both making her much more effective and agile.
While it appeared somewhat in the original Kingdom Hearts though to more of an abstract degree, the Gummi Ship missions have the player flying through large landmasses, highways and other factors despite none of them appearing on the map. These are probably fragments and remnants of the World when it was one, untied to any of the individual Worlds. However, this crosses over into Fridge Horror when you realize that the Keyblade War basically destroyed the vast majority of the world as a whole and then left only the Worlds we visit throughout the games.
Someone had mentioned this to me before (not here), and I thought it made enough sense to belong in Fridge Brilliance. During the final fight, after Sora and Riku beat him the first, he gives his speech . He KNEW it was very possible that he'd lose the battle. Remember what he said at the beginning of the speech? "I will not allow it to end this way—-not yet." NOT YET. He KNEW! Thanks to his studies with the Heartless and Nobodies, he knew that he could return completely if Sora destroyed his Nobody (since Sora already defeated his Heartless). Even if the fake Kingdom Hearts plan failed, he had a Plan B!
This is largely unknown, but after the shepard finds his lost sheep, he breaks its legs and places it around his neck not only to heal, but the bond with the shepard so it won't run away anymore. After the battle with Xemnas, Riku is too weak to stand, and Sora slings his arm around Riku and supports him.
We know how in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep King Mickey feels terrible for failing Terra, Aqua, and Ventus, right? He probably wouldn't want to repeat that, hence his reluctance to allow Sora in the Battle of 1000 Heartless.
Fridge Brilliance: According to The Other Wiki, Axel controls the Assassin nobodies. These nobodies will sometimes blow themselves up in a kamikaze attack rather than allow you to collect their experience. What does Axel do toward the end of the game...?
Remember how Auron asks Sora if he needs a guardian? Well of course Auron wants to be Sora's guardian- Sora's a Summoner!
Why does Auron look so young compared to how he looks in Final Fantasy X? Because he was sent or passed on at death instead of becoming an Unsent like in FFX
Some might wonder why Hades decided to summon Auron instead of someone like Seymour. Here's why: Auron's a samurai. Samurai are obligated to follow their lord's orders. Hades is the lord of the dead. Auron's dead. Ergo, Hades is Auron's lord and, as such, Auron has to do whatever Hades tells him to do.
The in-game journal says that Goofy has a tendency to notice things that others don't. Goofy is known for being a simpleton, right? What if the reason he notices things easier is because while others are busy thinking, he is just looking around without thought, so there is nothing to distract him from what's different?
Why was Scar using Thunder and Fire magic? What was going on in the background during the Final Battle in The Lion King? A raging inferno started by a stray lightning bolt!
There's a good reason why the Feather Charm can be found in Port Royal, since Peter Pan's arch nemesis is Captain Hook. Both worlds contain pirates, and Sora became quite fond of pirates after the events in Neverland. His memories probably created the Feather Charm when he first boarded the Interceptor, which he didn't find until after it sunk.
Though the other three charms? Sora probably got the Baseball and Lamp Charms from Merlin and Genie, respectively, while Stitch left the Ukulele Charm behind for Sora to find once he escaped from Space Paranoids.
Why does Stitch pick Sora specifically?? Ventus has spiky hair - Sora has spiky hair. Stitch [[confused the two for one another and believed he was reuniting with Ventus after all these years! Technically, he is.
Why did Sora consider tweeting with Tron's programming to allow him to sing and dance? He's just recently taken part in a musical in Atlantica, and was still in the mood to sing! In gameplay, "A New Day Is Dawning" is unlocked around the same time as the final visit to Space Paranoidsnote provided that the player follows the level difficulties and completes the Pride Lands last, so in canon, Sora was only just getting over the musical when he fought the MCP.
When the train pulls up at the Mysterious Tower and disappears when it's passengers disembark, Sora just laughs and says "There goes our ride" in a bored tone. According to the manga, the trip lasted two hours, so if it's the same in-game, then there's a reason why Sora sounded so bored.
Anti-Form. This only comes around when Sora accidentally taps into the darkness in his heart when entering a Drive form. Now, why does the chance of it appearing boost up considerably while fighting an Organization member? They're trying to get Roxas to appear. Funnily enough, Sora's reunion with Roxas yields Final Form, which decreases the chances of turning into Anti Form.
This makes some sense when you consider Roxas probably continues to resent Sora to some degree, making the darkness in their fused hearts flare. By contrast once they've made peace with one another it lets their light shine as bright as it possibly can, creating the Final Form.
As of Birth by Sleep, the Keyholes Sora keeps unlocking to continue traveling are pretty obviously the Lanes Between.
Ever notice the way Axel sometimes summons his chakrams? With his arms spread out and the chakrams appearing symmetrically in either hand? Don't they kinda look like two wheels connected by an axle? Even more blatant by 3D where Lea is never shown with two chakrams so he can't make the same pose and will probably ditch the weapons altogether in favour of his keyblade.
Xemnas represents Nothingness, which is Light and Darkness clashing to nonexistence. He goes up against Sora and Riku, representatives of Light and Darkness working together. Xemnas and the team of Sora and Riku are opposites of each other!
The explosion of Ansem the Wise's machine returning Riku to normal actually has some precedent in the first game. At the end of the original Kingdom Hearts, the light of the Kingdom Hearts of Worlds destroys (mostly) Xehanort's Heartless, returning Riku to his normal body. This is the exact same thing that happens in II, except this time the Kingdom Hearts involved is the Kingdom Hearts of Men- or rather, its power and light, drained and converted into data by a machine that couldn't possibly hope to contain it.
The trio's armoring in the Space Paranoids level is even more brilliant once you take into account the Expanded Universe for TRON. Sora and Goofy are armored like game fighters, but Donald's caftan and skullcap are closer to a Tower Guardian (priest) attire - perfect for for his mage class. Also, in-universe, their Tron Lines (both color and patterns) would mark them as User-Believers (or Users) from the Encom System, which would also be a big signal to Tron that they were on his side.
"Because I want to help them. Something written into my code commands me to do what is right." - Oh, Tron. If one remembers the film, then you remember Gibbs's line "Our spirit remains in every program we design!" It's not necessarily his written code, but the fact he was designed by an incredibly ethical programmer. The films also play into the ambiguity of how much like humans Programs are, reflecting the best and worst of their creators. likewise, come Dream Drop Distance, we don't get a clear answer as to whether Programs have hearts or can develop them. Quorra certainly didn't think so, but Sora heartily disagreed.
Upon defeat, Xemnas' last words are "Cursed... Keyblade". After the events of Birth by Sleep, you realize he's actually referring to the X-Blade, who's most-commonly used pronunciation is exactly the same.
Why is Xigbar of all people number II in the Organization, when that position could easily belong to either Saix or anyone else? Because before they became Nobodies, it turns out Braig and Xehanort (Xigbar and Xemnas' completed beings) had known each other before anyone else in Organization XIII, and had secretly planned the whole events of the series together.
Demyx's Let's Get Dangerous! wasn't just because Sora, Donald, and Goofy brought up the whole lack of a heart thing. It's because of the perceived hypocrisy that Roxas was telling him that.
In Dream Drop Distance it's revealed that Nobodies actually do develop replacements for their hearts over time. Maybe Demyx was somewhat aware of his own "heart" and was just very pissed off when Sora and co. outright told him that he's lying when he's not. Of course, it's just as likely that Demyx thought that he really was lying all along.
On that note, I was puzzled ever since playing Kingdom Hearts II about why the Organization members kept refering to Sora as Roxas. Then, after playing Days and learning Xion's true nature and that she merges with Roxas, it seems clear that Sora's appearance in KH2 varies depending on who is looking at him. Thus, the Organization members are calling him, "Roxas," because when they look at him, they see Roxas.
Alternate explanation: They somehow sense Roxas buried inside Sora. (They seem to recognize him as both Sora and Roxas at times.)
To add to the alternate explanation above, it's been stated in-game that Nobodies give off a similar presence as their original being. Mickey states in-game that he'd seen Xemnas and Xehanort before, and that it "kinda felt like being around the same person. Additionally, in 358/2 Days the Magic Carpet in Agrabah seems to recognize Roxas (according to Genie, Carpet thinks he is a friend), but neither Carpet nor Genie can explain why. It's actually because Carpet recognizes Roxas as Sora, but because this was during the period in time where Sora's memories were being put back together, their memories of him were faint at best!
To add to the above, when you go to Never Land in Days you meet up with Tinker Bell, who grants you flight right away. It's not hard to see why, you need Flight in order to move around on the map. Then when you come back with Axel she hides behind Roxas as if she completely trusts him. It's only because she senses Sora through Roxas that she's willing help him, without Peter Pan to be seen no less.
Adding to this Roxas looks just like Ventus, she might just think that they're the same person. After all someone not aging a single day after 10+ years wouldn't exactly be new to her.
Alternately, they're just fucking with him.
Possible, just look at the scene where Demyx reads out from the cue card!
Demyx: If the subject fails to respond, use aggression to liberate his true disposition... Right.
Usually we don't get jack of explanation about how Sora gets new Keyblades on every world he visits, neither on I or II. The first Keyblade Sora earns (Besides his trademark Kingdom Key) on II is the Star Seeker, obtained on Yen Sid's tower. It would remain just another unexplained Keyblade until Birth By Sleep came out. The Kingdom Key D wasn't King Mickey's first Keyblade, that was the Star Seeker, which Yen Sid gave him in the first place. So it's not hard to conclude that same Star Seeker is the one Sora obtains on II. It's a variation of Take Up My Sword. — Oliveira
Considering the Keyblades are actually just Keychains changing the form of the main blade, Sora probably just finds Keychains lying around. Kairi even gives him a Keychain (her good luck charm) at one point, and it's possible to use it as a Keyblade.
It's more likely that the Key chains are just manifestations of Sora's memories of each world.
I thought it was obvious (especially after BBS) that the "different" keyblades aren't actual different keyblades; just different forms the keyblade takes depending on it's keychain? For example, when Kairi gives Aqua the bunch of flowers in BBS, it's pretty much assumed Aqua just makes a wee token out of it to stick on the end of her keyblade's chain and tht transforms it. So I assume Sora just takes something to remember the world by and makes a keychain out of it.
When I played Kingdom Hearts II, it always bugged me a little bit how much of an Idiot Hero Sora was, just driving forward in the plot without barely even considering what Organization XIII was planning. The main reason for this was because of Roxas - during his seven days, as he tried to figure out what was happening around him, he struck me as smarter than Sora, which didn't make sense, considering he was his Nobody. Then I played 358/2 Days, expecting Roxas to stumble over a big secret of the Organization. Instead, he stumbles around in the dark, completely unaware of his and Xion's status as pawns in Xemnas' plans. He doesn't even try to solve the mystery, he's content just to do his work and eat ice cream with his friends. At that point I realized, not only is his thought process exactly like Sora's, he's a kid that never learned to have the drive and initiative that Sora and Xion have in spades. Bravo, Nomura. - Arc Varanus
Okay, so apparently in the Birth by Sleep Ultimania, Nomura said that Xemnas may have been able to use the Keyblade, and that it's possible that he was intentionally choosing not to use one in Kingdom Hearts II. At first, that made absolutely no sense to me, since if Xemnas could use a Keyblade, then Roxas and Xon wouldn't have been so important to his goal of completing Kingdom Hearts. But then I thought back to all the things Xemnas said about the power of Nothingness ("Nothingness is eternal!", "Embrace Nothing!" and so forth), and it all came to me! Xemnas obviously believes that Nothingness is the superior force in the universe. But according to Xehanort's Report there are three types of Keyblade (X-blade aside); Keyblades of Light, Keyblades of Darkness, and Keyblades of Heart. None of these seem to represent Nothingness. So, Xemnas chose not to use the Keyblade, instead wielding Ethereal Blades, which better exemplify the power of Nothing. There's also a reason why he never used it even for heart collection... he never needed to! Xemnas definitely seems like the kind of person not to get his hands dirty unless he absolutely has to (notice how he's the only character other than Saïx who never accompanies you on a mission in Days?), and for a long time he had other people to complete Kingdom Hearts for him. For Kingdom Hearts I, he had Sora to collect hearts, and between Kingdom Hearts I and II, he had Roxas and Xion to pull heart collection duty. Even when Roxas and Xion left, Xemnas still didn't need to use the Keyblade himself, because six days later Sora woke up and started killing the Heartless again. This, of course, makes Xemnas even more of a badass than he was before, because it means that he is (if I'm not mistaken), the only character so far who actually REJECTED the Keyblade!
Well, before Roxas joined, there was a nine year period where no one was collecting hearts (Marluxia even says that Roxas is the first member of the Org. to actually collect hearts.) You'd wonder, if he had a Keyblade of his own, why he didn't just collect the hearts and get it over with, but the thing is, Xemnas is very patient, and has apparently spent his time making lots of plans. I mean, consider how well Organized the Organization is for (most) of Days, and the fact that Xemnas has managed to build a castle, city, replicas, and an army of Nobodies with eleven-going-on-twelve Higher ranking ones directly obeying him. And there's a second Fridge Brilliance for Xemnas not going on Heart collection, and it's that he doesn't want to risk being destroyed. When a Heartless and a Nobody are destroyed in that order, the original self is reborn, but it's not known what happens the other way around, and it's doubtful that Xemnas would risk that, so he's basically been waiting nine years for someone to off his Heartless. And finally, it seemed odd to me how Xemnas's weapons were almost more ridiculous than the rest of the Organization, Frickin' Laser Beams coming out of the hands, but now I get that his real weapon was the Keyblade and the Ethereal Blades were a manifestation of his powers.
If a Heartless and a Nobody being destroyed in that order causes the original self to be reborn, doesn't that mean Xemnas got what he was after?
There's no particular consequence in killing the Heartless and the Nobody in order. If the Heartless is destroyed, the heart remains in stasis until its Nobody is destroyed. If the Nobody is destroyed, it will be consumed by darkness waiting for its heart to be liberated by the keyblade.
Xemnas and Axel both suggest that spending time near Sora's heart caused Axel to feel emotions of his own. If that's true, then no wonder he was acting so strangely! Feeling emotions after several years of not being able to? I'd go a little crazy, too.
Not to mention they flat out say that Axel was the Organization's assassin, and probably racked up a hell of a body count during the decade or so he was in it. So since he's starting to be able to feel, the emotional whiplash of it all is probably hitting him like a fucking train. It's amazing that he's functional at all. Although that interpretation does give more motives to his suicide, while making it even more of a tearjerker
On their return to Atlantica, Sebastian asks Sora: "Now den... what brings you three into de sea?" - they have remembered that Sora and co are not native sea dwellers.
Near the end of the game when Ansem the Wise was using his Heart Encoder to encode the artificial Kingdom Hearts and Xemnas did nothing to stop it. Why, why did he not try to stop the one thing that could put a dent in his master plan? It's revealed in Dream Drop Distance that the true goal of Organization XIII was to implant the heart of Master Xehanort among thirteen vessels using the power of the artifical Kingdom Hearts. So there was no point to stopping Ansem since by that point, the Organization was reduced to just Xemnas.
In Sora's first encounter with Xigbar, Xigbar says, "He used to give me that same look." "He" isn't Roxas, because Roxas never had such interaction with Xigbar. No, the "he" in question is Ventus.
This always confuses me, but whenever somebody enters the alternate Twilight Town, they remain in their normal forms, despite being in a computer. Maybe DiZ created a laser that teleports people without turning them into programs, thus. Shows he may be even better with computers than Kevin Flynn himself, considering that he had access to Space Paranoids for at least 11 years before Terranort stole his name.
Either that, or this is further proof that programs can leave computer worlds on their own free will (that's later confirmed with Quorra), since Sora, Donald, Goofy and Mickey use a dark portal to leave a computer; thus, they remain pseudo-programs to this day.
Organization XIII could've had their own digitization tech on their end of the portal. Presumably, that hole in the simulation was where Axel and his mooks got in when they were trying to extract Roxas.
The Proof of Existence in The World That Never Was, as Kairi points out, looks like a graveyard. So why do the Nobodies that are still around have tombstones that are perfectly intact, but not the ones that died? Because they regained their hearts and exist again. They're less dead.
So I was thinking about the Cavern of Remembrance, Final Mix's Bonus Dungeon, and why it's so platform-heavy compared to the rest of the game. Then I realized: the Cavern represents Sora's remembrance of his earlier adventures, and requires him to platform (and use the abilities gained by leveling the Drive Forms), to reach the end! And what's at the end? The area in the waterfall where the Data XIII await.
Each of the Mushroom XIII correspond to a certain member of the Organization, yet most aren't encountered where you fought that member, except for one. Xemnas's mushroom is fought at the base of Memory's Skyscraper, where you fight Xemnas's first form. I also figured out that they're challenges also represent you releasing their hearts, be they that of the Organization's Other's, or others that imitated those Nobodies. Which is why once you complete their challenges and find them in the Great Maw, they give you the Winner's Proof and leave.
Why is Sora so fascinated with pirates in KH 2? As an island dweller he very likely grew up hearing pirate stories and spent his childhood playing games pretending to be a pirate, so he has both an ingrained love of the life of piracy and an overly romantic notion of what it's like.
Wait a second. Scar's HEARTLESS? No, I'm afraid not. If someone with a strong heart gets turned into a Heartless, they leave a Nobody behind, right? So where was Scar's Nobody? RIGHT THERE ON THE PEAK OF PRIDE LAND. Scar's true Heartless was Groundshaker - the battle you fought on the first visit to the world was his Nobody, not his Heartless! Just because it was surrounded by darkness doesn't necessarily mean it was a Heartless.
Actually it does. You don't necessarily always create a nobody when you become a heartless. Only those with a strong heart become nobodies. Scar had much darkness, but there's no proof he had a strong heart. Even if he did, it would have to be very strong to retain it's original form and it would definitely have Scar's mind. So why does it never say anything? Scar created an incredibly strong-willed heartless.
To give some correction to the above points, Nobodies can be formed from those with strong hearts and strong wills, as stated by Yen Sid himself. This, along with the fact that Scar had a heart strong enough to handle as much darkness at it did to come back as a Heartless twice (combined with how skilled and confident he is at manipulating things to suit his own desires) would prove that Scar indeed would have had the capability to create his own Nobody. Additionally, the creature that Sora, Simba and party fought couldn't have been Scar's Nobody, as Nobodies only come into existence in the realm between (eg. Twilight Town or The World That Never Was) due to being "turned away by both light and dark", and the Pride Lands exist within the realm of light. Jury's out on what variety of Nobody would've been created from Scar, though. If it was one that looked similar to his original form, and thus retaining all his memories and personality (and thus his superiority complex), it's not implausible that Scar's Nobody would've been so defiant to Xemnas and the rest of the Organization that they turned him into a Dusk immediately after finding him.
Quite a few things about the prologue make more sense when you look back and remember it's a program.
Seifer's "totally owned you lamers" line sounds like an absolutely terrible bit of writing, but it actually came from Ansem the Wise putting down what he thinks teenagers talk like. Notably, real-world Seifer never says anything like this.
Despite all of the weird things that happen to Roxas nobody seems to notice or care for more than the current moment, such as a Dusk stealing Pence's camera straight out of his hands but seemingly not realizing what happened later on. This is of course to keep up the facade of a relatively normal existence, albeit poorly, while also unintentionally gaslighting Roxas into becoming more and more unnerved and upset by what's happening to him.
The 4th Day and onward is where it really starts to fall apart, as losing to any of the Struggle battles before Setzer results in the game filling the screen with static and doing a soft reset to before the battle. The 5th day is also full of static scenes whenever you solve one of the 'wonders'.
Pence is also very insistent on solving the 'wonders', which are all problems in the simulation caused by Nobodies, making it come across very much like Ansem the Wise was using Pence as a mouthpiece to do some bugfixing for the simulation. After all of the wonders are debunked and everyone goes home, Hayner becomes uncharacteristically aggressive and snappish when Roxas asks about the last wonder, which takes place at the Abandoned Mansion. Pence only sighs and blunty tells Roxas the location and afterwards everyone tells him not to get his hopes up, essentially trying to verbally roadblock him from going there.
Two field themes for Twilight Town, "Lazy Afternoon" and "Afternoon Streets". They're not just to distinct two versions of Twilight Town. When you think about it, Afternoon Streets has the "awakening" feeling in it, befitting Sora, Donald, and Goofy who just recently awakened. By contrast, Lazy Afternoon in Roxas's story, Chain of Memories, and 358/2 Days has the "sleeping" feeling in it, not only because the title has the word "lazy" in it but also because, in many ways, Sora (or, in the case of Chain of Memories, his memories thanks to Namine/the Organization messing with them) is still "sleeping". Notably, when Sora enters digital Twilight Town, the music is still Afternoon Streets because he's not sleeping. Meanwhile, Lazy Afternoon plays as field theme for the real Twilight Town in 358/2 Days since in that game Sora is still sleeping.
Why does Axel self immolate himself? Because he knows that he will come back! Fire burns as long as there is Oxygen. And there's lots of that around, so he knows, being a being of fire, he'll come back again, hopefully (and successfully) whole again.
The reason why Roxas acts so different in the virtual Twilight Town is because, having no heart, the only thing that makes him who he is is his existing memories. Replace a Nobody's memories and the Nobody will be unrecognizable.
The cover art for Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix features some of the cast sitting on a ceramic heart-shaped object, and the background is a cloudy blue sky whose horizon meets with an endless sea...just like The Final World.
The footprints that Sora follows from Santa's workshop back to Halloween Town look like they were made by bare feet, which Goofy comments on. It's confusing, as Lock Shock and Barrell are all clearly wearing shoes. But the next time we see them, they're in their walking bathtub. A close examination shows that it has toes. Those were the bathtub's footprints.
Why does Tifa seem to be the embodiment of Cloud's light, just as Sephiroth is his darkness, when it would seem Aerith would be a better fit, especially with how she's treated post-death? Because, for as near-divine as Aerith is as a Cetra, as revealed in the original game, Cloud's entire sense of self-worth is based on Tifa, and his constant depression, most egregiously in Advent Children, is basically summed up as "I failed Tifa". And Sephiroth is his darkness, because he's that nagging voice that we all hear that tells us we're not useful, worthy, meaningful, or capable of doing right. But it's also Tifa who brought Cloud out of the darkness of his own mind that Sephiroth plunged him into by helping both of them remember why Cloud does what he does. And she constantly chases Cloud to share her light with him, much as someone morbidly depressed with an inferiority complex would need something or someone to at least stave off the darkness of one's depression.
The Nobodies, unlike the Heartless, don't even begin to try and blend into the worlds they appear on. The Snipers don't look like they belong in the Land of Dragons nor the Dragoons in the Enchanted Castle, for example. Nobodies don't belong anywhere after all, as many would say.
Both Simba and Hercules go through a similar depression storyline in their respective worlds based on the actions of their world's villain, doubting their worth and needing to snap out of it to save their loved ones and families. The two aren't traditionally connected: Hercules might have beaten up a giant Scar in his movie but Hercules has more direct connects to Aladdin than Simba. However Hercules is known for wearing a lion skin cape after defeating a giant lion (his first labor and what the giant Scar in the film referenced) and some versions of him are known as the 'Lion of Olympus', so Hercules and Lions are connected thematically.
While we only get the Final Fantasy and original characters outright mention the memory loss about Sora and co until recently, some of the behaviors lean on this fact as well.
Daisy Duck had a Tsundere-like freak out at Donald's return. How would you react to forgetting about your long-term love interest for a year and only suddenly realizing it?
Beast was already being screwed with by Xaldin before Sora came back, per 358 days, and suddenly having people appear in your memories and remembering details of an adventure made Xaldin's gaslighting all the easier.
Ariel had already saved Eric and fell for him, but getting a surge of memories about someone from another world could only have spurred her restless desire to be part of the surface world, if not other worlds, even more.
While it is implied that Jack Skellington had done the whole 'Christmas thing' before Sora arrived, he's back at it. Why? What holiday would be proper to celebrate such a return between Halloween and Christmas?
Aladdin is depressed and restless over Genie and Carpet being gone, seeking adventure and excitement again. One could easily add 'Sora, Donald, and Goofy' to that duo for a similar result, if not more so.
Simba's conflicted nature and fears would only be amplified if he remembered friends he had forgotten suddenly. Hard to be all 'Hakuna Matata' when you have that sort of worry hanging over your head.
Why can Mickey fight certain bosses but not finish them off? Considering how Riku insisted on fighting Ansem alone in COM under the belief that he had to conquer his darkness by himself and ultimately came out stronger for it, Mickey likely recognizes that Sora wouldn't get any better at fighting if he stepped in and took down every opponent he faced. It may also justify why Mickey only appears for specific bosses and not generic heartless/nobody mobs to begin with; bosses are just powerful enough to justify lending a helping hand for, compared to the generic mobs which Mickey likely knows Sora can take down by himself.
A major complaint about the later KH games (namely COM and KH2) is that Sora seems slightly out of character in them - namely, that he is less compassionate, swatting down Organization members right and left. However, considering Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Ven's heart, which had been inside Sora, was inside Roxas at that point. So, Sora really WAS less compassionate, at least in COM, than he was in KH 1, because he literally had only half as much heart to be compassionate with.
That could have something to do with it, although I happen to think that it's just Character Development in action. If you consider his state of mind at the end of KH 1 - which, thanks to Naminé's actions, would continue to be his state of mind at the beginning of KH2 - it's understandable that he's losing patience. All he really wants is his friends back, and though he's willing to save the world along the way, Kairi and Riku are his first priority (with Naminé supplanting Kairi for the duration of CoM). If some guys in black coats are between him and his friends, then he's going to plow them down.
I like that mention of "losing patience", actually. If Sora's been running around looking for his friends unsuccessfully for a year or more, it's understandable for him to be a little more aggressive in his search. Anti Form is canon proof that events are starting to take their toll on his psyche.
This theory fits even better if you look at Sora's reactions after he's finished with a world. Most of them—Beast's Castle, Halloween Town, etc—end up with the Love Interests of that world holding each other and/or dancing. Sora visibly becomes increasingly depressed with each Happy Ending that he makes happen, and I think (it's been a while since I last played the game) at one point he makes some sort of statement about how he's rapidly losing hope that he'll ever find Kairi. Add that to the stern-and-slightly-bizarre law among the Trio that there are No Frowny Faces, it's easy to see how Sora could have become a Stepford Smiler.
Well, for those worried about Sora becoming less compassionate, he seems to have done a 180 in Dream Drop Distance, sympathizing with Roxas and outright telling him that he deserves to be his own person. It helps that at this point, he knows Riku and Kairi are okay, so he's a lot less stressed out in general.
In Chain of Memories it could be the fact that Naminé manipulating his memories causes such cognitive dissonance in his mind that it's beginning to render him unbalanced. If you take close notice, he isn't cold and uncompassionate at the beginning of KHCoM, just a bit bewildered. As he begins forgetting things and remembering things he shouldn't remember (the fake memories) the cognitive dissonance grows, and the fact that the fake Naminé memories come in bit by bit, instead of just instantly, causes even more conflict in his mind. The cognitive dissonance and contradictions in his mind render him unbalanced, and the true Fridge Horror of it all? It was Marluxia's plan to render him insane and "bind" his heart (as Vexen says right before his 2nd boss fight) and then make him a puppet to fight Xemnas and take over the Organization. If Naminé didn't put him back, then Sora would eventually have ended up either completely insane, a catatonic mess or both. Also note that his behavior in KH2 (while at times cold, like with the "losing Donald to the curse of the treasure" joke) is not at all like in KHCoM's last hours. In the fully-voiced cutscenes from the PS2 version of Chain of Memories it might be more easy to notice due to the fact the old game just has sprites and dialog boxes.
It's most clearly shown when he finally finds Riku at The World That Never Was, but Sora is VERY close to breaking during KH 2. Sora collapses in relief when he finds Riku, nearly breaking down crying after all he had to do to reach that moment. Sora has not only had enough of this crap by now, but he's being constantly jerked around by anyone and everyone, particularly the Organization. Unlike most of the previous villains who were concerned about simply getting him out of their way but otherwise don't care about him, Organization 13 goes out of their way to personally antagonize Sora in order to manipulate him for their plans, so it's understandable Sora would hold a grudge against them.
It gets even better. Why didn't Xemnas use any of the weapons of the Organization who died in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories? Because, according to the ending of RE coded and Dream Drop Distance, those members are already back as their original selves.
In response to Xemnas in perhaps THE WORST Nightmare Fuel in the series: Yes, he CAN spare a heart.
Holy...! Chain of Brilliance! Xemnas went out of his way to extract Sora's heart because the part of him still influenced by Terra had finally found his "friend" he had been searching for for years: Ven, whose heart was inside of Sora's! - X2X
Alternatively, it could be that the part of him still influenced by Xehanort had finally found his old Apprentice/X-Blade materials. It could be either one, really. Or both.
The game suddenly becomes a little more disturbing if you're playing it after Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance:
To add a bit to the Saïx example above, and the fact that Xehanort also marked Sora (the X on his clothes, and the "As your flesh bears the sigil" quote implies it might actually be on his body, but that is a bit of Fridge Logic though) it could be that Xehanort marks Vessels he doesn't quite trust too well. It might be slightly like Supernatural's devil trap sigils; that the X on Saïx's face "locks" him to Xehanort and basically prevents him from betraying him if he wanted, or enables Xehanort to track him down like with Sora in DDD, or all the "ideal candidates" are marked like Saïx and Sora in some way to lead Young Master Xehanort to them when picking them up. It's far-fetched, but the thought slightly freaks me out.
If Demyx is redeveloping a heart, then his sudden 180 suddenly holds more potential horror... oh crap, Xehanort's heart was developing.
Given that The goal was to turn all the nobodies into Xehanort hosts, you're putting them out of their misery and sparing them. ...Except for Saïx and Xigbar.
When Hercules goes into his Heroic BSoD after the first visit to Olympus Coliseum, it seems like a big case of Wangst. However, it is hinted that the film Hercules canonically took place before the events of Sora's visits there, as opposed to being in an Alternate Continuity. If this is the case, Hercules has fought the Hydra before, and really should have known better than to leave it in the Coliseum. This makes his guilt seem much more justified.
Plus... well, he did just leave a bunch of innocent people at the mercy of a giant monster. If you could've stopped that, you might feel a bit bad about letting it happen too.
What innocent people? It was no one around at the Colosseum.
Maybe they just weren't rendered
When Herc defeats The Hydra the first time around, you hear people cheering and chanting his name, so yeah, their was people there we just didn't see them.
The restoration percentages bothered me for a while. Namine has been restoring Sora's memories for nigh a year, so why does it seem like she just started? Days reveals the answer: it's Xion's fault. She had been absorbing Sora's memories, forcing them to reset after Roxas had merged with her and been secured. Of course, now that the memories are coherent, they can be repaired in a single week, rather than several months.
Now, there're people out there whose main complaint of this game was Maleficent's Villain Decay. For some of them, the moment when the decay hit the bottom was Maleficent's plan to turn Santa Claus into "Santa Heartless". Now, when you play the game the first time, you might think that at that moment, Maleficent is officially just a second-rate side villain since she decides to waste time turning Santa into a heartless when she should instead try to conquer the universe but if you really think about the whole grand design of her "campy" plan, you realizes that it might be one of her most sadistic and sick plans ever, because Santa Claus' whole job is to deliver Christmas presents to nice boys and girls at Christmas, and from what we can hint from his first scene with the list, he don't just move around in his own world but to other worlds as well, just like the heroes but with a sled instead of a gummi ship, and if he would turn into a heartless, he still would be able to travel around the worlds and so if he would become a heartless and then travel to all nice boys and girls during Christmas, they would not be greeted with presents as gifts for their "niceness" but with a Santa Heartless who would take their, and their familymembers, hearts and turn them into Heartless as well. So what Maleficent is doing is not of Villain Decay form since she plans to boost her Heartless horde by turning a beloved and popular figure into a monster and then let him loose on innocent, goodhearted people, specially children, around the universe, and they wouldn't see it coming, no less preparing any defences for it, since Santa is the last person they would suspect being an heartconsuming monster acting on orders of one of the most megalomaniacal people around.
I had the same thought too, the first time I played the game. -The G Dude
Good thing Oogie had amnesia, because if he'd regonise Maleficent after her attempt to turn Santa into a Heartless was interupted, then she would've succeded with the transformation; thus, sending "Santa Heartless" to murder billions of children just to steal their hearts and cause Maleficent to cross the Moral Event Horizon.
Question though! Would the heartless that Santa Claus actually produce would be actually that powerful though? Heartless are only so strong depending how much and how strong the darkness if within a person's heart? Why would Santa Claus, one of the nicest people around produce a powerful Heartless? He might be strict towards troublemakers and don't give presents to bad children but he has a reasonable explanation for it. The Heartless he might produce might be just a Shadow like Sora.
It's possible that Malificent doesn't know the specifics of what makes a powerful Heartless, just how to make Heartless in general and assumes that strong heart = strong heartless. Alternatively, she could've been planning to manipulate, brainwash, and/or corrupt Santa over time similar to how she did with Riku in KH 1, just a lot more forcefully seeing as Santa already knew she was bad. As far as I remember, there's nothing within the cutscene in Christmas Town that outright states she's going to turn him into a Heartless right then and there so she could've had plans to take him away until Oogie annoyed her away. -Ghost Ion
Santa's Heartless would probably just be a Shadow, as you said, but if Santa is gone, Christmas will be ruined. That is the extent of Maleficent's plan, and it certainly is evil, but even she doesn't understand the true implications of this. What happens if a person with a strong heart becomes a Heartless? A Nobody is created. This is Santa Claus we're talking about; his heart is definitely strong, maybe even strong enough to retain his original appearance. And what happens when a Nobody is born? The Organization immediately manipulates and recruits them to serve Xemnas's plan. If Maleficent succeeded, then we could've had Santa's Nobody serving Organization XIII. Unlike Heartless, Nobodies are intelligent, so he would be able to continue delivering "presents," but he would probably bring Heartless to the children in the different worlds to force Sora to go there and slay them, thus furthering the Organization's goal. Just imagine Santa's Nobody delivering Heartless to children on Christmas.
As pointed out in the Monster subpage, Scar's Heartless Form is not that different from his normal form. The only way for a Heartless to correctly resemble their original incarnation is if they were completely evil. In other words: Scar has no good in his heart.
Additionally, his Heartless form can be considered a Pureblood, but the Groundshaker is an Emblem Heartless. Then I remembered that 1) Organization XIII is forcing Sora to fight powerful Heartless so that they may steal the freed hearts. and 2) Xehanort created the Emblem Heartless and marked them. It's possible that Xemnas, Xehanort's Nobody, "saved" Scar's Heartless and turned it into a powerful Emblem, so that he'd free lots of hearts when slain by Sora.
In the Battle of 1000 Heartless, all the Heartless are a lot weaker than their normal version. While of course if they were all a full strength it would have been a LOT more difficult, if you remember that the army was made by the Organization it makes sense on another level. The org. WANTS Sora to defeat tons of heartless so they can get plenty of hearts, so of course they'll send easily expendable ones at him.
Another thing; Days showed that killing multiple Emblem Heartless in a row unleashes a bigger net bonus of hearts than if they were all slain seperately, hence why the Organization had the Heartless Zerg Rush him in the first place!
When Sora first gets to the 100-Acre Wood in this game, he sees Pooh attempting to perform what he believes are his daily routines, albeit without being able to recall important information. Everything then freezes in place, and Sora is forcibly ejected. This sounds very much like a system crash with a perspective from inside the system.
Remember Axel's line about "Being turned into a Dusk", something he fears? Well... obviously he's seen it happen before, or at least heard of it. (Or had it threatened) Given that we learn from Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] that the intent was to put a copy of Xehanort's heart into their bodies, and then in Kingdom Hearts III that every member of the original Organization was chosen for a reason the first six for being apprentices, seven and eight for potential, and nine through thirteen because they were keyblade wielders. They weren't just the only ones strong enough to retain their original forms... they were just the only ones lucky enough - anyone else would be turned into a Dusk or another Nobody.