Kingdom Hearts opens with an ambiguously yaoi music video, then
drops Sora into a mysterious, surreal dreamworld in which the disembodied
sages of the world impart to him mysterious, surreal advice and
mysterious, surreal encouragement (along the lines of, "It's
going to be dark and scary, but don't fear, because eventually your
own shadow is going to turn into an enormous tentacle monster with
supersensitive wrists and an ethereal crotch") and put him
through mysterious, surreal tests. A mysterious, surreal door stands
closed on the edge of the mysterious, surreal platform and will
not open until Sora wreaks enough havoc on innocent pieces of set
furniture. And there is much mysterious, surreal talk of "buttons"
and "joysticks" and "forget everything you learned
about navigation in FF9 because we are going to fuck you up."
And then he wakes up on the beach, where all 14-year-old boys sleep
at night on Destiny Island.
Kairi is there. AAAAAUGH! WILL THE NIGHTMARE NEVER END?
...But no, it's over, and this is real life. Kairi is here and
must be dealt with. If you plug your ears and sing "Anacreon
in Heaven" loudly enough, you might not have to hear her "self-satisfied
six-year-old learning to flirt" voice. If you can get past
that, you'll be treated to the sight of Sora, who's much less sexy
as a Gumby-faced adolescent with perfectly flat teeth.
And then you'll be able to explore the island, which is apparently
designed for Lost Boys on Quaaludes. Ramps and featureless shacks
made out of bulk lumber cover most of the ground. Small snotty children
wave swords in every corner, telling you that you're not nearly
as good as Riku. Riku sits in the paopu tree and does sweet fuck-all.
And Kairi orders you to get a bunch of stuff for the raft.
So you do, because otherwise the gods of Plot will not be appeased.
By this time you've been awake for maybe half an hour to an hour,
depending upon how competent your player is at navigating the place,
and Kairi is tuckered out from all this standing around and bossing
you. So everyone goes to bed.
And then they wake up the next morning and mope about the beach
some more. It's dawn in Paradise, and the natives are restless.
They're tired of bouncing around a skateboarder's paradise with
no skateboards, wearing oversized Spandex workout clothes culled
from ship wreckage. They're sick of their coconut, fish, and water
diet. The fact that they don't know where they live and they never
actually see their parents is starting to subtly freak them out.
It's time to leave this world, and go on to another--a kinder, gentler
world, one where people eat mammals and vegetables and wear cotton
clothing, one where they live in "cities" and night occasionally
falls, one where they will be popped into starchy uniforms and hustled
off to school in the nearest reformatory the instant the authorities
get wind of them. But, uh, they don't know about that last bit.
Evidently they don't know the difference between a "world"
and an "island," either, because they keep talking about
how they want to go to other worldsworldsworldsworlds. And the way
to travel is aboard a raft. *sage nod* The raft is done now, thanks
to yesterday's treasure hunt, so now they need provisions. Kairi
sends Sora off to get an egg, a couple coconuts, some fish, a handful
of mushrooms, and a little flask of water.
Kairi's mom does all the cooking at her house.
Sora bounces off to get the groceries. He has astonishing good
luck with coconuts--the trees shower him with scores of ripe, juicy
fruit, possibly in an attempt to kill him--but less luck with fish,
since his mun can't direct him for shit. There's a little glitch
when he goes to get mushrooms from his Secret Place, gets sidetracked
into drawing graffiti of him offering paopu fruit to Kairi, and
is interrupted by a Jediless Jedi bathrobe. He grrs at the bathrobe,
the bathrobe tells him that he's stupid, and he bounces off as though
nothing happened. A mushroom-heavy diet is poor for the discerning
At some point during the festivities, Riku handed Sora a paopu
fruit. "They say that if two people eat it together, they'll
be bound together for all eternity." Sora looks confused, Riku
looks sly, Sora throws the paopu fruit into the sea. Hey! Don't
do that! That's the only source of vitamin C on the island! But
Sora is more interested in demonstrating his disdain to Riku, who
refused to meet him in the Secret Place last time he asked and went
off with that tough blond kid instead, so into the drink it goes.
Later, Sora and Riku are having an argument about what to name
the raft. Riku wants to name it Highwind, 'cos he has a thing for
tough blondes. Sora wants to name it Excalibur, 'cos he has a thing
for names which are really comical when the Japanese try to write
them in romaji. They agree to race. "If I win, I get to be
the captain!" says Sora. "Winner gets to share a paopu
fruit with Kairi," says Riku. Sora boggles. He's not quite
into puberty yet; he doesn't need any vitamin C! But Riku grins
and he's off.
I decide to throw the match. The game won't let me, though. I make
the obstacle course in about eight tries, yelling "FUCK A TUFFET!"
all the way.
Riku wins and names the raft Highwind, then goes off smirking.
When Sora asks him about the paopu fruit later, he claims that he
was "only joking." Sora knows he's lying, though. His
legs are straight.
Eventually Sora wreaks enough damage on the local wildlife, and
drops off his groceries with Kairi. There are enough coconuts to
sink the raft.
...And by the way, what's this about a raft? Three children too
young to drive are going to float away from the only home they've
known on a RAFT, armed with nothing but the makings for a small
fish lunch, to go to another world where they may never see their
parents again? What crack-ass stories have their parents been telling
them? Is this just a rite of passage--turn 15, paopu somebody, float
off to found a new home somewhere else, be eaten by bitterness for
the rest of your life and hide away from your children in jealousy
for the ease with which they navigate this strange new world?
But such is not to be the fate of our bold adventurers.
That night, there's a storm. Sora runs out into it and gets to
see Sora go completely whacked, then Kairi disintegrates, then a
tentacle monster starts eating the island. An enormous key materializes
from Sora's ass. He slaps the monster on the wrists for a while,
and it groans, explodes, and drops him off in the Disney version
Complete with prostitutes.