Welcome back to Key to the Heart. Last time, we set sail on the high seas with Jack Sparrow and crew in The Caribbean. This time, things get a little more modern, as we travel to the futuristic city introduced in Big Hero 6.

We arrive in San Fransokyo just in time to see the titular team get wrecked by Heartless. Go Go is the first to go…go. A massive heartless knocks her around hard enough to give her a concussion. What is it with the Bay Area and concussions? Someone get Steve Young on the phone.

Sora and company soon run into Hiro and Baymax, as this story takes place after the movie, before taking on the giant Heartless. While successful, the outlook still isn’t as rosy. We meet the rest of the team back in Hiro’s garage, as they lament both their inability to handle the threat and the fake news going out over the broadcast waves.

A quick aside here, much of the cast of Big Hero 6 has returned to reprise their roles, including Ryan Potter (Hiro), Scott Adsit (Baymax) and T.J. Miller (Fred.) The only one who didn’t return was Damon Wayans Jr., but Wasabi is now voiced by Khary Payton (Cyborg in Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go!), so that’s a great rebound.

Due to either inspiration or a lack of originality (going to lean more toward the latter on this one), Sora introduces himself, Donald and Goofy as Keyblade Hero 3. Not gonna lie, that name is still cringe-worthy. At least Big Hero 6 had the same befuddled reaction as I when I first heard the name during the 2018 Tokyo Game Show trailer.

To take on the new Heartless threat, Hiro has Sora undergo AR training to collect valuable combat data. That’s the first of many interactions that Sora will have with this team while in this world, something that was sorely missing in Arendelle. Indeed, Sora’s run through AR training (called Flash Tracer in-game and resembling something you would see in Pilotwings) gives Big Hero 6 a better idea of how to take on the Heartless.

Good thing too, because the Heartless are attacking downtown San Fransokyo and are actually taking out the citizenry. Dark…

A couple unique fights later, showing downtown San Fransokyo as a large place to run around and up in, and the newly combined team stands to be more than a match against the Heartless. We even get a Baymax fist bump, because it’s not Big Hero 6 without one of those.

This brought a smile to my face. You know it did to yours too.

After the scene at the Golden Gate Bridge, where Sora eats ice cream with Big Hero 6 and thinks of Roxas in Twilight Town with his buddies, creatures that look like the Blox (from re:Coded) attack. Hiro thinks it to be the microbots he invented, and heads back to his garage to research. That leaves Sora and Baymax to help the rest of the Big Hero 6.

With Hiro having found the Blox’ (or, excuse me, Darkubes’) weak point, it’s time to take it on. Success allows us to meet the mastermind behind the whole thing, Dark Riku. That is, the piece of Xehanort’s heart that possessed Riku in Kingdom Hearts stuffed inside a replica of the Riku from that game. At least, I think.

Dark Riku produces a curious object; the original Baymax’s combat chip. Hiro deduces that Baymax 1.0, who stayed behind in another dimension to get him and Abigail Callaghan out, has somehow returned. It doesn’t take long for Baymax 1.0 to show himself, given his original combat chip and a combat suit made of Darkubes, as well as the negative emotions the Darkubes managed to collect data on while ransacking the city.

Yeah, that’s all kinds of bad.

Dark Riku believes he has created a heart made entirely out of data. And he tests it out on Big Keyblade Hero 9 (hey, Sora’s not the only one who can come up with slightly unoriginal names). This leads to an airborne struggle, partly on rails and partly free-flying, against Dark Baymax. In terms of keeping you on your toes, it’s a great fight. In terms of a boss fight, it’s underwhelming.

That’s right, folks. The battle with Dark Baymax marks the end of this world (in a narrative sense that is.) However, the game keeps us here, in case we want to explore some more. And after being guided around the world pretty much on rails, that’s exactly what I want to do. Doing so allows us to search for treasure, as well as take on a couple Flash Tracer courses.

Well, that and see Big Hero 6 become Big Hero 7 with the addition of Baymax 1.0. Seriously, better make new business cards, guys.

#photobombfails #halfassed #goofyass

When it’s finally time to leave San Fransokyo, Sora learns aboard the Gummi Ship that Riku and King Mickey appear to be trapped in the Realm of Darkness. Using his heart as his guide, Sora wishes to travel to the Realm of Darkness, but instead ends up at the Destiny Islands. It’s not all moot, however. After finding the Master’s Defender keyblade, once wielded by both Master Eraqus and Aqua, Sora is able to open up a door to the Realm of Darkness, and arrives just in time to assist Riku and Mickey against the newly-revealed, newly-emo Anti-Aqua (well, after Riku got a crack at her first.)

Riku. Aqua. War on the Shore. Coming to Pay-Per-View!

I may have been overleveled, because I didn’t have any difficulty in the fight against Anti-Aqua, ending it with the anti-climatic Pirate Ship Attraction Flow technique. Still, with Anti-Aqua defeated, the gang is able to return Actual Aqua to the Realm of Light. Score a victory for the good guys!

As if to further help us along, Vexen recruits Demyx to his side. Wishing to atone, he has Demyx bring Good Ansem to Ienzo in Radiant Garden, bringing along a mysterious vessel wrapped in a white cloth. Is this the mystery girl Bad Ansem has been looking for?

With Riku and Mickey resting at Yen Sid’s tower, Sora, Donald and Goofy take Aqua to Castle Oblivion. Master’s Defender in hand, Aqua returns the world to its original form, the Land of Departure. It’s time to bolster our ranks and go wake up Ventus…

Stay tuned to Key to the Heart as we approach the end game, while also delving into much of the game’s side content.

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GP Sean

GP Sean is an avid JRPG gamer, having immersed himself in the genre for nearly 30 years. When he isn't smacking down Heartless or thwarting the machinations of Kefka, Sephiroth and the like, you can usually find him kicking back and watching some anime. Some of his favorites include Gurren Lagann and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. He also holds in high regard the Fruits Basket manga (don't judge.)

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