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  -KH Main
  -Part 1 :: [12.06.02]
  -Part 2 :: [12.29.02]
  -Part 3 :: [01.26.03]
  -Part 4 :: [02.13.03]
  -Part 5 :: [05.26.03]
  -Part 6 :: [10.18.03]
  -Part 7 :: [01.19.04]
  -Part 8 :: [03.09.04]
  -Part 9 :: [08.08.04]
  -Part 10 :: [02.17.05]
  -Part 11 :: [06.06.05]
  -Part 12 :: [02.17.06]
  -Part 13 :: [08.15.06]
  -Part 14 :: [04.01.13]
  -Part 15 :: [11.11.13]
  -Part 16 :: [04.27.14]

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"And here's where it all goes horribly wrong. Tightass grunts a little, takes a few deep breaths (involving several horrific close-ups of his chest), and then makes a sound that could only be considered laughing if the definition of laughing was 'a loud, obnoxious, repetitive shouting sound that causes small children and everyone else in the entire universe to run away in fear.' The closest written approximation is, 'AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!'"
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy X Part 6

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Kingdom Hearts : Part 13
By Sam
Posted 08.15.06
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
In the last installment of this badly-written platforming nightmare, Square wrapped its buttrape of millions of gamers' na´ve, idyllic childhoods in a brightly-colored mini-game package. I'm sure my mere mention of Pooh Bear and his seemingly not-so-platonic friends has many of you voluntarily committing yourselves into mental health care. But at least Junior's adventures in the Hundred Acre Hell were stuffed with fluffy plot filler. Because his next stop on the Sidequest Express is not only familiar territory, but wholly uninteresting and perfectly pointless territory. Normally I would make some remark regarding how long-suffering my co-recapper and I are in our quest to see Emo!Riku with his Emo!Blindfold, but like most of you I have played Square's newly-released magnum opus of misery, and have screamed my lungs out at that smug-faced harvester of pain, Jiminy Fucking Cricket. This is weird to say, because in most respects I vastly prefer the sequel, but Kingdom Hearts II makes it kind of hard to bitch about Kingdom Hearts.

Regardless, I'll do my best.

After exiting Traverse Town, @%$#!!! quacks with uncharacteristic enthusiasm, "All right! Let's head on to the new world!" Whoa, not so fast, Sparky. Goofy agrees, telling @%$#!!! that he's not keen on flying blind to this new destination. Because they don't just fly blind to every new destination. These three fucks have no clue what they're doing, and Goofy knows it just as well as the rest of us. But Goofy's "point" is that he thinks it would be safer to revisit the other worlds first, and since that's exactly what I was planning on doing, I can't be too hard on him. He even adds, "I'm sure we'll find some new items," and we all know that "cool new shit" is at the top of any gamer's priority list. With lofty hopes of new swag in their minds, the trio warps on over to Olympus Coliseum.

Posted on the walls of the Coliseum are fabulous purple banners with the rankings of three tournaments: the Phil, Pegasus and Samcules Cups. Junior's loser ass is at the bottom of all three rankings, displaying to the entire gummiverse how much Junior fails at life. But he'll show them! He can hump his friend's neck, and have his own neck humped by a duck, in order to get a Mythril from an invisible treasure chest! Can losers do that?

Well, this world sure started off on the right foot. Goddamn, I need a drink already.

Samcules is also hanging out in the Coliseum courtyard, presumably to look self-satisfied and tell Junior that he sucks, since that's basically all he's good at. He says to Junior, "It's time to go from junior hero to real hero," like a) that means anything and b) Junior even belongs in the same breath as the word "hero." Shut up, Samcules. Go take some more HGH.

Inside, Phil thankfully skips the pleasantries and asks Junior which tournament he'd like to enter. The first on the list is the Phil Cup, indicating that it's the wimp tourney I could beat with my eyes closed.

If you haven't read my first recap of this sucktacular world and its ridiculous arena system, I'll bring you up to speed on how these things work. Each tournament contains nine rounds, during each of which Junior and his pals must fight a thematic unit of Heartless (generally christened with a punny moniker) or a supah-cool Final Fantasy character or two. After each round, one of the Tiresome Trio utters a stupid catchphrase, and I yell bad words at them. That's it. That's all I will be doing for this entire recap. Aren't you excited?!?!

The first group of opponents in the Phil Cup are labeled the "Jungle Vice"--guess which world they're from. And if you guessed Atlantica, you are wrong and also not very smart. The monkeys and soldiers are wiped out with one blast of @%$#!!!'s lightning spell, my first clue that I maybe should have done this tournament earlier. But the good news is that it might take all nine rounds to use up @%$#!!!'s MP. Oh, wait, he just healed Goofy after all the Heartless were dead. @%$#!!!: finding new and creative ways to be a wasteful bastard. There are homeless, hungry children who could use that MP, jerk.

The next seed is Monkey Magic, which sounds to me like a nice synonymous alternative to Game Designer Wizardry, but is actually just a single monkey and a dozen or so itty bitty elemental mages. These, too, die quickly at the hands of the overleveled totally studly Junior. Just once, I'd like to be this proficient at button-mashing monsters to death when they're not twenty levels lower than my party. I want to know what it's like to be an all-powerful God of Gaming, just like all you fine people who email me with "helpful" advice.

Yes. You're all losers.

Seed number seven is "Big Feet," which just made some foot fetishist's ears perk up, but it's only the creepily displaced feet of the Purple Helmeted Warrior, along with--guess what?--more monkeys. I'm starting to notice a pattern with the Phil Cup. And because I love tangents, I am left wondering how Phil ends up with all the monsters to use in these tournaments. Did he go on a safari to Deep Jungle and capture a bunch of Heartless!monkeys in a net, only to store them for later use? How would Phil even get to Deep Jungle if no one can travel from one world to another? (I mean, no one but Junior, @%$#!!! and Goofy. And the Special Final Fantasy People. And Mickey. And the villains. And Riku. And virtually everyone in the sequel. But still!) And even if he did catch all these monkeys for his stupid tournaments, can't Heartless just vanish into the daaaaaaaaaaaarkness at will anyway? Or do these monsters simply show up on their own, give themselves silly team names, and allow themselves to be killed by Junior? Or did Phil get a contract from the Heartless Union? Monkey Magic, indeed.

(And the first person to comment or email to tell me it's all part of Organization XIII's Grand Plan because SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER will be smacked in the face with my Kingdom Hearts II strategy guide. And you don't want that--it's the size of a phone book.)

Magic Alert, a blasÚ group of homogenous mages, is the next group to sacrifice itself to the Altar of Junior's Ego. I'm so bored at this point that I have Junior try to mix it up a little in battle--i.e., try casting spells instead of just wildly swinging the Keyblade--and end up only hitting one mage at a time instead of five. No wonder @%$#!!! goes through so much MP. It's hardly an efficient killing strategy.

I have to admit the next seed's name has me a little perplexed: this group, composed of five monkeys and one Fridge, is called "Nightwalkers." I mean, I would be making fun of it even if it had a perfectly fitting name like "Banana McFatty," but I have no idea where this "Nightwalkers" business comes from. Are these zombie Heartless monkeys? How would one tell the difference between normal Heartless and undead Heartless, if there were such a thing? Yes, this is the kind of crap I think about when I'm bored. Don't act like you don't do the same.

That's a little boastful.

Let's just skip to the number one seed in the Phil Cup, as exciting as all these random groups of Heartless are. Sadly, the Team to Beat in this tournament is no more interesting--it is the "Shadow Battalion," the Purple-Helmeted Warrior's torso and some more mages. You know what would be much more entertaining than fighting these battles? The tournaments should just be a big underground gambling operation--folks like Junior come to Olympus Coliseum to watch Heartless square off against each other, and have to place wagers on the winner (maybe with some altered point spread system). Then, if Junior is still in the black (or has met a certain munny requirement) by the end of all the tournaments, we get the extra ending. And the gambling profits! Maybe it's my inner gambling junkie talking, but this needs to happen. Get on it, Nomura.

Following the Shadow Battalion's quick defeat, we are treated to a short cutscene. @%$#!!! and Goofy are standing on either side of Junior, and look to him with sickening admiration as he thrusts his Pumpkinhead Keyblade into the confetti-filled sky. "We're the champs!" Junior declares to anyone within earshot, and I'm assuming these unfortunate souls all do like me and puke into the nearest bucket, sink or potted plant. At least I receive a greater reward than Junior's happiness and pride, as Gravity, a spell I confess I love using, is upgrated to Gravira. "Gravira" sounds vaguely dirty to me, like it's a little known part of my own reproductive system.

Back in the Coliseum lobby, Phil expresses his shock--and probable dismay--that Junior could dispose of a bunch of wussy Heartless with anything resembling poise and competence. Samcules tells Phil that he's "just as stubborn as ever." Get it? Because he's a goat?! Those clever writers. "Don't pretend you're not happy for them!" Samcules adds, like he isn't terrified on the inside that Junior is going to usurp his position as Most Annoying Self-Proclaimed Hero in the Game.

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