Welcome back to Key to the Heart. Last time, we explored our last Disney world the game has to offer in San Fransokyo, where we turned Big Hero 6 into Big Hero 7 by rediscovering and reforming Baymax 1.0. We also started turning the tide in our favor, by rescuing keyblade master Aqua from the darkness. As we approach the final stages of the game, it’s time to fill out the ranks of the Guardians of Light, starting at the recently-returned Land of Departure.
It’s a quick jaunt through Eraqus’ castle before we find Ventus. Unfortunately, so does his “twin,” Vanitas. Aqua, seeking redemption, faces him alone, giving us Kingdom Hearts III’s third playable character.
While Aqua may not be scaled to Sora’s level, she can still more than handle her own in a fight. Good thing, too, because Vanitas is no slouch. It’s a challenging battle, but one in which we emerge victorious. Despite that, Vanitas gets the upper hand, and readies his Void Gear keyblade to strike down Aqua.
With Aqua on the brink, Sora rediscovers the Power of Waking, as it never left him in the first place. This power is used to return Ventus’ heart to him, awakening him from his decade-long coma. And he’s ready to fight.
Faced with the prospect of fighting 3 keyblade wielders, Vanitas departs (like Ron White, he didn’t know how many of them it would have taken to whip his ass, but he knew how many they were going to use.) Ventus is formally introduced to Sora, and despite him taking Vanitas’ visage for a second, the two shake hands. Two-thirds of our Wayfinder trio is now accounted for.
The whole gang comes together at Yen Sid’s Mysterious Tower, which is chock full of meetings and reunions. This serves as both a recap of previous games in the series, and a look ahead to the final battle.
In Twilight Town, Maleficent and Pete finish their search for the mysterious black box, which ultimately turned out to be fruitless. However, the Mistress of All Evil determines the box will not reveal itself until a new Keyblade War takes place, which conveniently enough will be soon. She resolves instead to only wait until that moment before springing her plan into action.
Also in Twilight Town, Lea and Saïx have a reunion that’s anything but touching. In their reminiscing of the past, we learn that Lea and Isa apprenticed to Ansem the Wise to save a girl they met in his castle, the same mysterious girl everyone seems to be looking for and knows about. Except for, you know, the player. Lea claims he will save both this girl and Roxas. Saïx brushes aside his bravado and only expresses anticipation toward their upcoming fight.
The scene then shifts to Destiny Islands, where Riku chats with his Replica (lovingly dubbed Repliku by the fan community.) Apparently, Repliku made his initial appearance during Riku’s battle with the Demon Tower near the beginning of the game. Repliku says he will continue to be with Riku, but apparently only in spirit. Seriously, it looks like Riku’s having a convo with himself.
Spending some time together, Sora and Kairi finally get around to sharing that paopu fruit. They each express a desire to protect the other and remain in each other’s lives no matter what. Aww…
On to the climatic clash! Well, after searching for any remaining treasure, lucky emblems and members of the Flantastic Seven leftover in the various worlds. And then it’s time for exploring the final Gummi Ship map. It’s rather straightforward, but it’s littered with some of the most valuable synthesis materials out there, including Mythril Crystals, Adamantite and even Orichalcum. Yeah, I spent some time farming. Hey, if we’re going to go into the final battle, let’s go into it with the best equipment we can get our hands on.
The final clash quickly approaches, which means we’re nearing the end of Sora’s newest chapter. Stay tuned to Key to the Heart, as the Keyblade Graveyard plays host to the ultimate battle between light and darkness.