306: Mickey's Epic

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Mickey's Epic

He may not be the main character, but there's no question that Mickey Mouse is the real star of Kingdom Hearts.

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Mickey is, beyond a doubt, a freaking badass in Kingdom Hearts II. Made me love [regular] Mickey all the more.
I remember back in the first Kingdom Hearts, I made it a personal quest to finish the game in order to "save" King Mickey. Only to find out he was as fine as could be, with his very own keyblade.

Completely LOVE this article.

What's more was that Kingdom Hearts II made King Mickey playable as your savior from sudden death. Whenever Sora was defeated in battle, there was a chance for the game to give the player the option of continuing the fight instead of going straight to the Game Over screen - and the player's refusal to give up would summon Mickey to the rescue. Not only could Mickey singlehandedly fight foes that had wiped the floor with a team including the likes of Sora and the Beast, he could instantly resurrect the party to fight again in his absence. No matter how much the player leveled up, his characters would never be as capable as Mickey Mouse, in all his round-eared and squeaky-voiced glory.

This is the strongest proof that Mickey Mouse is truly incredible within the Kingdom Hearts II Game period. Instead of just seeing him as a compelling King like most games try to display with theirs, knowing their existence as you serve them for whatever purpose- you actually get to see him summoned and play as him. Not very often at all do you get to play someone with that reputation plus includes what I wish to say:

Video Games always lead the player to die when their main character dies. You see that happen all the time, like in Assassins Creed: Brotherhood, Mass Effect 2, The Darkness, even leading back to the first Mario Series of Games that came out had you instantly die and have to start over. However, in this you can have some major help and no only fight in unforgettable motion but you can revive Sora right there and then to continue the fight after all you've been through to get at this moment. It's remarkable how they thought of that and I honestly wish that Games would more often tribute something in particular to spice things up so death isn't always a true loss.

i agree, one of the reason why i loved the KH games was because of the disney characters in it, it was great to see all the characters i grew up with in this new way (made me like disney even more :D). being able to play as mickey and him having a larger role in KHII was great, i just hope they make a KHIII and dont dissapoint (am also hoping for something that lets us play ps2 games on ps3 slims incase my original one packs up) a guy can dream right? :)

Having only played through the Kingdom Hearts series this last month, this article really rang true.

Micky Mouse = God Emperor of Disney-Kind.

Kingdom hearts 2 spoilers

So yes, I was thinking about this myself. What was the point of Epic Micky, when Kingdom Hearts had already made Micky a memeic badass?

Maybe its because Kingdom Hearts 3 is NEVER going to come out.
Not the way Square Enix is going anyway...

I thoroughly enjoyed this article
King Mikey is one of my favourite game characters, he is just awsome. Kingdom Hearts really made my childhood, I sat and watched my brother play for hours before working up the courage to ask for a go :P It makes having this figurine of him (in organisation XIII cloak and hood of course) that little bit more special :).

Thank you!

I grew up with the Disney brand and I still have some of the old Disney games of the 90s on my Gameboy/SNES so you can imagine what modern Disney is to me with the likes of Hannah Montana et al.

However allowing Squeenix to use their homegrown characters was one of the best business decisions Disney have made in recent years, at least for us.

These cartoon characters are now on the periphery of the Disney business model, apart from pulling kids and parents to Disneyland they serve no other function. They're merely symbols of the childhoods of generations gone past. However no matter what generation you're from their influence is ubiquituous. Squeenix used these symbols to draw in new crowds into JRPGs, and Disney's symbols received the treatment they deserved, each character stays true to its original self. When I play KH, the feeling that they've screwed it up, the feeling you have with so many remakes, sequels and remasterings, is not there. That's why I love this series, for all its failings, it does a few things absolutely perfectly.

I think King Mickey was first seen as a badass in the DS game.... I forget the name. Anyways, the arc of Rikku (awesome character) used King Mickey as his sole ally, and portrayed him as a wise king.

Canadish:

Maybe its because Kingdom Hearts 3 is NEVER going to come out.
Not the way Square Enix is going anyway...

DON'T say that! It's bad vodooo...... :(. I would die if KH3 never came out.

The problem with KH, coming from a former big fan if it, is its original characters don't hold a freaking candle to Disney's.

Malificent is about 153x more menacing than all of Organization 13 put together.

Also Nomura is a horrible storyteller. I'm not joking when I say the KH story feels like a bad crossover fanfic bursting at the seems with Mary Sues.

I heard originally Donald was going to be the main character. I weep over that not happening.

I whole heartedly agree with this. Mickey has never been portrayed so great as he was in Kingdom Hearts II, and though the efforts made by Epic Mickey were valiant, they were insufficient and failed to reach what Mickey was in Kingdom Hearts II. He was someone who ruled, he had power and was the student of a great master of magic. He was an aid to Sora, even if he was busy, which he most often was, and not to mention that Mickey, most of all was a chosen keyblade wielder, and throughout the first game, you only meet three of them; Yourself, Riku and Mickey.

All this together makes Mickey seem even greater but, at the same time, brings annoyance, as there is nay a word of the Third game that takes place after Kingdom Hearts II, which ended so cheekily with a question mark over it's ending title screen.

Calumon: I like Mickey. He helped me a lot when I was stuck in the game, but those Nobodies are hard! >.<

Carlos Alexandre:
I heard originally Donald was going to be the main character. I weep over that not happening.

Donald was my favorite character growing up. Or, actually, I think it was a tie between him and Bugs Bunny. But in any case, Donald is THE BUSINESS. It's a shame that he's often forced to take a back seat to Mickey in Disney stories where both characters are involved. Mickey's usually picked to be the straight man or main protagonist while Donald is his foil and a prominent co-star or supporting character.

Though I think you're right about Mickey being more badass in Kingdom Hearts, Epic Mickey does do one thing right: It makes Mickey flawed. He's too naive for his own good, he can be a bit selfish, and he sees conflicts in black and white (which they addressed in one of the Kingdom Hearts games I think).
These flaws are really all Disney needs to make Mickey interesting again.
And Oswald.

The only thing I didn't like about KH2 was the mission structure. I loved wandering in the Disney worlds even from movies I never really liked. The mission structure in KH2 was essentially go here...cutscene...kill 10 guys...cutscene repeat. It was as if Square Enix had taken more of the direction and mood from Disney. Whereas the first game had a few cringe-inducingly sweet moments the second was just too structured.

I think there's a couple issues with Kingdom Hearts being a "revival", though I confess I've never played Kingdom Hearts myself. I was in high school when it came out so the very notion of combining Final Fantasy (ignoring all the NES and SNES variants) with Disney (which I was in high gear to hate) was appalling. Part of me still wants to throw up a little bit at the sheer popularity of what is the penultimate figure head of "selling out".

I think the major issue here, however, is that the game attracted a large fan base not because of Disney, or at least not primarily, but because of the Final Fantasy element. If it was exclusively a Disney based RPG without a single sign of Cloud or Sephiroth, I guarantee you that it wouldn't have become nearly so popular. People were drawn into seeing their favorite Final Fantasy characters meet Disney characters, not the other way around.

In addition, just because Mickey is "a certifiable bad ass" doesn't mean his character has meaning. I still have trouble taking the later Harry Potter books seriously when they continue throwing childish and idiotic terms like "Muggle" around, attempting to say it with a straight face. I imagine there's a significant number of people with the same issue. The aesthetic I've gotten with Kingdom Hearts is that they're trying to take family entertainment aimed in particular towards children and make it "grown up", and no matter how "successful" you are at such a thing it will still have that aspect of it that is nothing short of silly.

Epic Mickey, on the other hand, didn't try to make Mickey become grown-up. There were mature themes, yes, but the characters were always mischievous in a child-like manner. Mickey was a bit of a rascal and his long-lost brother reacted as a jealous sibling might. It captured emotions that a child can understand and an adult can reflect nostalgically on.

In other words, Epic Mickey sought to give meaning to the character by taking what was already there rather than trying to pretend Mickey could be something he wasn't (in the case of Kingdom Hearts, a certifiable bad ass). Considering how many people that don't even care for Disney had wanted to play the game because of this, because it was a new and fresh interpretation of a character they thought they knew while staying true to the years of history, I think it grabbed an audience it wouldn't have before.

Whereas Kingdom Hearts only truly grabbed Final Fantasy fans first, and what few Disney die-hards continue to exist after.

NOTE: My internet as been wonky as all hell, randomly disconnecting me and connecting me as I tried to do thing like type in the Captcha or agree to the new forum rules about the health bar, so, if this end's up being a double post (or multi post at this point), I apologize, and I'll fix it as best as possible when I see it.

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The thing is, at certain points in the game, Sora matches, and even surpasses, Mickey. In Ultimate Form, with his ability to Telekinetically control one blade while wielding another, his power pretty much matches Mickey. And in Ultimate Form, that Twilight-like blending of light and dark, he's pretty much the most powerful person in the game. Consider this; Xemnas is easier to defeat in Hard mode while Sora is level 71 if you are in Final Form than if you are playing on normal mode with Sora at level 99... and you're not in Final Form. That's how overpowered Final Form is. Riku is similar in the GBA game, except using only darkness (and then destroying everything).

That also makes sense in the KH universe; Kairi is light, Riku is Dark, and Sora is Twilight. Mickey uses pretty much exclusively light, and so his power tops out far before Sora's, who wields everything, or Riku, who is naturally a light being, but has submerged himself in the dark.

On the other hand, Mickey's power is always there. He's always at 100% power, with nothing holding him back. Neither Sora nor Riku can do that; to use their full power, they need to harness outside energy and force themselves into alternate states.

Oh, and yes, Kingdom Hearts was pretty much the first time I ever cared about Mickey Mouse, because he's an asolute badass in those games. Though, funnily enough, i didn't know he would save you until my second playthrough, on Normal (I plyaed it on Hard first because a few friends had told me that the game was a lot easier then the first one. The Normal run was just to mess around in for fun). I had kept myself underpowered for the hell of it, and did fairly bad on the boss in Mulan's level, so I said "Screw it. I'll just let myself die and start the battle over." And then Mickey showed up. I was startled at that.

Like I said, double post (incidentally, I've had to type this twice now because my intrnet disconnected as I hit post)

Okay, I feel stupid. I had no idea Mickey could come and save you if you died in Kingdom Hearts II. Honestly, I didn't. I think I only lost one time in that game (not counting You-Know-Who), and I guess that option didn't pop up for me.
I was excited when Mickey showed up at the end of Kingdom Hearts. That was one of the most memorable scenes in the game for me.

I loved Kingdom Hearts and I never realised Mickey could save you like that. I want to go play them both again now

I really liked this article. I own every Kingdom Hearts game release thus far and Mickey has always been the character I wanted to have his own game in the series.

Mickey in Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep was an apprentice to Yensid to become a Keybade master who took a stone that made him teleport all over the universe randomly and had his classic feel to him. Flash forward to Kingdom Hearts 2 and he's become a Keyblade wielding badass with over a decade of experience under his belt. But then Kingdom Hearts: RE:Coded brings Mickey back to his kingdom and he's essentially a mentor to the digial Sora, kinda like Obi Wan. Mickey is one of the more fascinating characters in Kingdom Hearts because we no almost nothing about him.

As for Epic Mickey my complaint is that all the dark and gritty stuff that made me interested when it was first announced got either removed or watered down. I went in hoping to gain a new respect for Mickey but instead came out wondering why it didn't shock an awe me. Not saying the game sucks but I felt a little ripped off because of what happened to the finished product.

Mickey is one of those characters that isn't hard to revive for Disney but they need to do it right and in my opinion a good way to do it via video games is to make a Kingdom Hearts game with Mickey as the main playable character with Riku as a support character based before and during the events of Kingdom Hearts 2. If they flesh him out right and make him more relevent to the story of the series it may earn Mickey more respect amoung the legion of gamers who like Kingdom Hearts and it's spread from them.

I'm sorry, but I just can't take Kingdom Hearts seriously. I try to always keep an open mind, and weird stuff is usually better anyway, but I looked at those vids linked in the article and it looked like those Something Awful flash video where they animate fanfiction to mock it.

Which is strange, since the incarnation of Mickey Mouse I grew up with was a gritty one in which he was friends with the sheriff and solved crimes. (THEY SOLVE CRIMES.) I'm pretty sure Mickey Mouse holding a gun was a normal sight for me. But the way it's done in KH, it's just... too hard of a juxtaposition.

Then again maybe I'm dumb and actually playing the game will ease me onto those scenes. Who knows?

I always loved the dissonance between the established childishness of the Disney characters, settings, and themes and the darker tones that the Final Fantasy characters themselves lent and allowed - the epic Hollow Bastion siege remains one of my favorite segments: the battle with Demyx in all it's glory; Goofy's "death", as mentioned by Funk; being assisted by Final Fantasy 7's Vincent, Tifa, and Cloud; the 1000 Heartless battle; and encountering both Maleficent, Disney villain turned overarching series antagonist, and the one and only Sephiroth. I've not held any reverence for Disney properties and only enjoy a handful of Final Fantasy games, but Kingdom Hearts makes both stand out and truly shine in a way Epic Mickey simply could not have.

The mere memory of the scene when Mickey gets pissed over Goofy in KHII still gives me chills. They are probably some of my favorite games of all time (when i beat KhI the first time, i stopped to record the ending on VHS, i think i still have it somewhere)

And i was very upset about what transpired with Epic Mickey because i was freaking excited about the steam punk stuff, but i am ok now that i am reminded the truest Epic Mickey :]

First of: I <3 Kingdom Hearts 2 and all the series. (Like my name reads X3)
Secondly: Im glad Sqaure. and Disney combined forces to make this series. I remeber the first day I played Kh2 ,( which was the game that started my fan-dum)I was hoping the game was better then watching Hanna Montana or any low Disney singer at that age.My wish came true by a long shot! I was the happy-est little 10 yrd old that day and on. As years past,I still contined playing the Kingdom Hearts games, Why? because they brought "good" meormises of the "Real" disney I knew and loved(not the "lies" we see today).
(That and the fact they put some of my fav. people (Mickey,Dondald,Goofy,ect.) from Disney fight along side a new brown spicky haired friend that I came to like(Sora).)
My point is, in my opion, I thank Kingdom Hearts for bring back some of that Disney feeling that I long missed. I missed my Disney friends from my childhood and KH brought them back with fimaliar smiles and new "tricks".Plus Ive meet new people(FF/KH People) I came to care for in the series.All that said and done,once again,Thank you Kingdom Hearts.....

calling mickey a badass is a insult for how awesome he is he's so awesome words to describe it would only be an insult to the king.

Epic Mickey was so lackluster, but Mickey in Kingdom Hearts shows us how a character should be. Part Batman, Part Yoda, Part God-King. This is really where Disney should invest in their characters, as this series can draw all kinds of feelings from the audience.

I remember being shocked into disbelief when Goofy was gone. I too swore revenge against them all, and went ballistic. Not many games evoke that kind of feeling.

Long live the King!
Long live Mickey Mouse!

Gods I can only hope I see Kingdom Hearts 3 sometime this millennium.
Even after that I can only hope to see more Mickey of KH2's caliber.

ccesarano:
Whereas Kingdom Hearts only truly grabbed Final Fantasy fans first, and what few Disney die-hards continue to exist after.

Sorry, ccesarano, but I think you are way off base on this one. I think there were more than a few people, such as myself, that had never played a Final Fantasy game before and were not even remotely interested in JRPGs that the KH series grabbed. For me, the whole concept of blending Disney together with an action RPG was enough to bring me in. I am by no means a "die-hard Disney fan," and neither am I one of those die-hard KH fans. However, I do find KH very interesting from the aspect that it has a relatively interesting story, a good mission structure, and it sort of grabs that nostaglic element from my childhood. I was vaguely aware of Final Fantasy before having played KH, but had never played FF, and I have not played a FF game since then.

I guess what I am saying is that you don't have to be either a FF fanboy or a Disney fanboy to like KH. KH 1 and 2 are just fun, nostalgic games with good gameplay and a compelling - if a little sappy - story.

And a TERRIBLE rhythm game in the Little Mermaid World. :)

WOO DISNEY! WOO KINGDOM HEARTS!!
sorry had to get that out of my system
love the games and mickey ever since my childhood so me seeing him being such a badass in KH2 made it so cool god EPIC.
also of topic here man i wish square would annonce kingdom hearts 3 at E3 this year that would ROCK

snakeys:
I guess what I am saying is that you don't have to be either a FF fanboy or a Disney fanboy to like KH.

I didn't say you have to be, and I imagine that it easily appeals to a larger audience than the Final Fantasy games at this point (as heretical as that may seem). I'm saying that the people who saw the game in a magazine or on the Internet and made the jump to purchase it were most likely Final Fantasy fans first (and from my experience, most numerous) and Disney fans second, with anyone in between, a devotee to neither company or franchise, being the third uncommon buyer.

Of course, this isn't empirical evidence, and I don't know if you could ever have reliable statistics for such a thing. Additionally, since its creation Kingdom Hearts has become its own franchise with a following outside of both Disney and Final Fantasy at this point. My perspective was primarily given from that of an observer having worked at GameStop at the time and picking up on conversations in the store and on the Internet.

I'm sad to see what kingdom hearts has become. They are just milking the franchise on handhelds when it could have been so much more.

Canadish:
Having only played through the Kingdom Hearts series this last month, this article really rang true.

Micky Mouse = God Emperor of Disney-Kind.

Kingdom hearts 2 spoilers

So yes, I was thinking about this myself. What was the point of Epic Micky, when Kingdom Hearts had already made Micky a memeic badass?

Maybe its because Kingdom Hearts 3 is NEVER going to come out.
Not the way Square Enix is going anyway...

Given Square-Enix's run for the past while, I'm not sure I want KH3 to come out. Sora in fetish gear is not something I want to see.

Meh...

I absolutely loved Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2 and Chain of Memories. If Mickey had been more prevalent in the story then perhaps but he was always in the background doing other things. Sort of like the 2nd half of Chain of Memories when you play with Rikku.

As for Epic Mickey, I played through the game in a somewhat broken state 4 months before release and had an absolute blast with him. I'm amazed at the negative attention it got. The game is by no means absolutely amazing but it's great for what it is.

Never got to finish it though, I got a progression stopper inside the blot and turns out when we finished the game it crashed and corrupted our save files every time so we never saw the final cut-scene T_T DAMN YOU JUNCTION POINT STUDIOS!!!

*Note - Just wanted to add, if SE were to announce an exclusive KH3 for PS3, I would buy a PS3. I can't wait to see the absolutely absurd and flashy combat particle effects in HD.

I finally got around to trying Kingdom Hearts for the first time the other day and my GOD that's the most bored I've ever been in an RPG. Beautiful design, absolutely average and uninteresting cast. I get the feeling I might have liked it more if I had been a bigger Final Fantasy fan or something because the few hours I gave it seemed to have a lot of shout-outs, but I absolutely could not muster any interest in the story and whining whatsoever. I think I would have liked it more if it HAD featured Mickey and crew as the sole focus and stars in a fantasy setting. As it was, after two to three hours of my husband and I sitting on the couch mocking every line of dialogue and over-dramatic scene, I had to call it quits.

Of course, part of it is probably due to my own changing tastes. I can fully admit that if I'd played it when I was fourteen or so I'd probably have loved it, since there was a period of time when I refused to play a game that wasn't a Squaresoft or Zelda RPG title, but those are the days of yore. You know what started my change in attitude? Harvest Moon for SNES. Once I played that and realised that I actually really liked it even though I thought it sounded stupid, I started taking more chances on games and genres. Now I've got Grand Theft Auto, Silent Hill, Persona, and Fallout all sharing shelf space.

Pfft. Me after grinding for hours upon hours > Mickey.

Niccolo:
Given Square-Enix's run for the past while, I'm not sure I want KH3 to come out. Sora in fetish gear is not something I want to see.

Could be kind of hot...

To bad Disney and Square Enix went overboard with all those hand held tie ins... Man was the beginning of KH2 confusing if you hadn't played CoM...

Love KH and KH2, but didn't like the hand held ones... which sort of ruined the series for me.

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