At the Very Beginning with Kingdom Hearts: Unchained χ [chi]

At the Very Beginning with Kingdom Hearts: Unchained χ [chi]

I spent at least two hours trying to free up as much storage space on my phone as possible–deleting songs I don’t seem to care much about anymore, the Facebook app (though I still use the browser version), etc.–and upgrade to a new version of Galaxy S5 in order to accommodate Kingdom Hearts: Unchained χ [chi] last week Thursday. It was painful, but as a Kingdom Hearts fan of nearly a decade, I say it was worth it.

A prequel to the entire Kingdom Hearts series in general, KHUχ features wonderfully drawn 2D character models and a battle system that most claim slightly resembles that of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. Players can also customize their avatars by choosing the hairstyles, their eye and skin colors, and the outfits similar to the ones worn by Disney and Square Enix characters (by “Square Enix characters” I mean Final Fantasy characters).

At the start of the game, young Kairi listens to her grandmother tell the story of the battle between Light and Darkness known as the Keyblade War, which is the focal point that created the present-day structure of the Kingdom Hearts universe. Rewind to the very distant past, and in the Dive to the Heart, five unions are presented to the player character you customized: Angius, Leopardos, Unicornis, Ursus, and Vulpes. Once you commit your loyalty to one of these unions, Darkness moves to envelop you, until you summon a Keyblade to drive it away and are enveloped in Light. Upon arrival in Daybreak Town, your home base you meet a feline figure named Chirithy, who informs you that someone is trying to seek out the Light for themselves, and that your purpose as a Keyblade wielder is to defeat the Darkness that is rapidly covering the worlds it has spread to in the form of Heartless.

kingdom-hearts-unchained-5
Courtesy: Square Enix-Disney

So far, I have visited the Dwarf Woodlands, Wonderland, and Agrabah to fight off the Heartless and I noticed something peculiar. With the exception of the third world mentioned above–oh look, a pun!–the timelines for Dwarf Woodlands and Wonderland are looped. In other words, the two Disney worlds started off from the beginning scenes of their respective movies. Not to mention, they’re repeating the events of Birth by Sleep–which I didn’t finish because I had to give the PSP back to Jack for technical repair a couple years ago and I haven’t gotten it back since, so I don’t know which character started off at Snow White’s castle–and the first Kingdom Hearts installment. It’s kinda weird that history sort of repeated itself. Then again, each Disney film featured in the Kingdom Hearts series is set in their own time period in accordance to the era in which each original literary work was published or orated, so the Keyblade Wielders are basically time-travelling.

To fight the enemies, you either swipe your finger across the screen to swing the Keyblade at every Heartless at once, or you can use Medals that can cause minimal to maximum damage, depending on the Disney or Square Enix character that’s featured on the Medal, and the attributes that come with them–Speed (green), Magic (blue), and/or Power (red). You start off with using three Medals on your deck during your turn, plus a fourth Medal from a friend in case the Heartless proves too powerful for you to handle yourself. The further you advance in your quests, you’ll be able to unlock the last two slots for any new Medal you have earned, which gives you a sixth friend Medal. One warning: they use up your AP gauge, so use them wisely. I’m close to quest #40, and the last two slots on my Medal deck still haven’t opened up yet.

Tetsuya Nomura said that KHUχ will most certainly lead up to Kingdom Hearts III, whenever that will be released. I guess he might be right–he did create the series.

Kingdom Hearts: Unchained χ now available for Android and iOS devices.

One more thing. Will Kairi’s KHII dress come in red when it appears on my Avatar Board?

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Cosplay Blues, Pt. II

Cosplay Blues, Pt. II

The first rule of cosplay is, try to make your costume look as accurate as possible to the character you’re trying to portray. So far, I got the following items for my female Sora cosplay:

  • Crown necklace
  • Blue tank top (though I may have to change it to red)
  • Black shorts
  • Cropped hoodie vest
  • Black faux-leather fingerless gloves
  • Black Mossimo shoes

The last items I’m trying to find are the yellow strappings and red pouch bags for my hips and thighs. I discovered last week that the yellow suspenders I bought at Party City won’t work for the strappings because they’re not long enough for both sides. I could try to buy another pair of yellow suspenders, but I don’t think my mom would want to spend another $10 on an accessory that the original character wears, so I would have to return them.

Here’s where the financial constraints come in. My mom and I spent almost $40 on the cropped hoodie vest Jack and I found at Justice, after which my mom said that my female Sora cosplay is the most expensive cosplay I ever undertook. On Tuesday night, I was waxing extremely desperate from trying to find the yellow strappings and red pouches for my black shorts at the mall. I talked to a girl who worked at Spencer’s about the issue, and she said to look on eBay or Amazon. When I got home, I logged onto the latter website and found exactly what I was looking for:

The leg bag accessory modified by Wing Seng, cosplay seller on Amazon.
The leg bag modified by Wing Seng, cosplay accessory seller on Amazon.

It was relief to find an accessory–er, accessories since there’s an extra leg bag–that looked exactly like it did in the drawing so that I didn’t have to go crazy looking for the materials that the crafts stores in my area might possibly not carry. When I showed my mom the leg bag(s) I needed, I thought she would be relieved, too. WRONG! She looked at the cost of the leg bags, which was $49.98 plus $7.04 shipping (because it’s coming from China, mind you), and said to me condescendingly, “Are you okay?! Only a rich person would want to wear your costume. I’m not gonna spend $50 [on that accessory]. You’re scaring me, Cristina.”

I looked up to my work-in-progress outfit hanging from my closet door and thought to myself, “Looks like the entire female Sora cosplay project is shot (unless I find an alternative to the leg bags I’ve been struggling to acquire for nearly a month).”

The next day or two at school had me convinced that maybe my own mother was right, that I am insane. Insane for taking on a cosplay project that I believed to be fun and fresh because I wanted to try something new. Insane for doing a cosplay that’s hurting my mother financially in the same manner as the unfortunate circumstances that have transpired this year–my grandfather’s death, my wisdom teeth surgery, and more recently, my brother’s non-lethal car accident.

I put in my best effort in everything I do, even if it emotionally kills me. Cosplay has become one of those things. I’m gonna try my hardest to complete my female Sora cosplay done by Halloween. I’ve always wanted to hold a Keyblade, anyway.