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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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"I end up back at the Lair of the Dragon, only to say to myself, 'Self, I think you've fucked this up. Reset and start over.' Lather, rinse, repeat."
     -Kelly, Legend of Dragoon Part 10

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Kingdom Hearts : Part 5
By Sam
Posted 05.26.03
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
Last time we checked on Junior and the Gang, they were doing the Jungle Boogie and had just finished fighting the good fight for endangered species preservation by dispatching Mr. Prick and the Stealth Sneak. @%$#!!!, however, set the movement's progress back about five notches by getting cozy with a gorilla. And once again Junior got his groove thang on with a keyhole. Everyone was gettin' some in Deep Jungle!

Arbor Land now barely behind them, @%$#!!! and Goofy ponder what we've "learned" thus far, and come up with more questions than answers. That is, what gives with all the random gummis? What happened to Alice? What kind of drugs are the game designers on, and where can we get some? And finally, why is Junior, the savior of the universe, such a goddamn wanker? Goofy randomly muses that Squally may be able to shed some light on things. Hate to disappoint, sweetie, but unless your queries involve leather fashion, eyeliner or well-oiled gunblades, I don't think he'll be of much help. @%$#!!! says, then, that Traverse Town will be their next destination. Junior, who had not been listening to any of this important stuff, blurts out that he wants to pilot the Gummi Ship of Intense Star Fox Ripoffery. @%$#!!! tells him to cram it, and didn't we just go through this, children? Junior whines that heeeeeeeeeeee's the Keeeeeeeeeeeyblaaaaaaaade maaaaaaaaaasteeeeeer. Therefore he should get his way all the time and get to fly the ship, @%$#!!! and Goofy's sense of self-preservation be damned. What I wouldn't give for that ship to have a roll of duct tape in the glove compartment. The Gummi Ship veers wildly around Gummi Space as Junior and @%$#!!! ostensibly battle for the controls. Goofy confirms my déjà vu by saying "Here we go again..." Hopefully this time around, instead of letting them crash the ship, Goofy takes matters into his own hands and brains the both of them with the hilt of the Keyblade.

Worst. Mini-game. Ever.

The scene fades into the world map, and for my own sanity I'm going to assume that my fantasy scenario actually happened, and that Goofy is happily flying through Gummi Space with Junior and @%$#!!! unconscious in the back seat. And my sanity does need all the help it can get, as I'm in for a lot of crashing into shit and getting hit with missiles. I'm not, as the story suggested, going to talk to Squally in Traverse Town. As those of you who have played this game may have noticed, we skipped a world a couple recaps ago in the interest of moving the story along. Olympus Coliseum is an optional world and has no real bearing on the plot, so we figured it would be best to save it for last in this circle of planets, but unfortunately the dialogue we just witnessed threw any continuity we were going for out the window. Not that it matters--I'm sure Squally has plenty to keep him occupied in Traverse Town until Junior arrives. Wait, Seifer's not there? Shit.

What will you give me for a 13-year-old boy in red overalls?

After a quick stop in Traverse Town for supplies--being careful to avoid anything that would further the plot and trap me in Porno Music Town--the Thickheaded Threesome hops back into My Worst Gummi Nightmare and sets a course for Olympus Coliseum. Crash, crash, crash, the Gummi Ship goes. Sometimes I wonder if the controls for this mini-game really were designed and tested by lazy-eyed stoners, as I originally thought, or if the game designers made it this infuriating on purpose, as the folks at Squaresoft just can't stand making a game without throwing in something like this that will make gamers the world over stop believing in a merciful God. Then again, I spent my afternoon yesterday dodging 200+ lightning bolts in FFX's Thunder Plains, so maybe I'm a little biased at the moment.

The ship finally reaches its destination, which looks nothing at all like an actual planet. Olympus Coliseum is quite literally a coliseum hanging in the middle of space. The front of it features two Romanesque bronze statues crossing swords, and sand from the small bit of earth it's rooted to pours into the void from the sides. Admittedly, this isn't quite as ridiculous as the giant lifeboat hanging off of Deep Jungle, but couldn't the coliseum at least be sitting on a round planet? I suppose, if I want to be fanwank this into making sense, the planet could have been blown up and the coliseum is the only thing left, à la that tiny piece of Planet X that remained in that one Duck Dodgers cartoon. But Occam's Razor tells me that the game designers simply think coliseum-shaped planets are okay. Because THEY'RE ON DRUGS!!!

Where is the center of gravity on THAT?

We're welcomed to the joint by flashing golden lights and the sound of clashing swords, with the words "Olympus Coliseum" spelled out in that typical Greco-Roman all-caps font games like these are so fond of abusing. The camera pans down to show a sandy courtyard surrounded by high stone walls and the aforementioned bronze statues. Eternal flames abound. On the side opposite our boys is a tall door emblazoned with lightning bolts. After pillaging the area for treasure chests and trinity marks--Pongo and Perdita just got more of their brood returned to them--the trio opens the door. Behind it is a small, dimly lit (by a couple more eternal flames) room with a save point. Across the room a "closed" sign hangs from a chain across a doorway. Junior ventures in, and is about to say something to its one occupant when he's addressed by Danny DeVito.

Well, DeVito's voice, anyway. The stout, goat-legged creature--whose name, as we all probably know, is Philoctetes--doesn't turn around to greet them, but assumes Junior is someone else and asks him to help out by moving a large stone pedestal near the wall. "I've gotta spruce this place up for the gaaaaames," he exposits, and why the hell does a satyr sound like an underling of Jimmy Hoffa, anyway? Disney and their celebrity voice actors. Junior walks over to the heavy stone block and tries and tries to push it, but his spindly little pipecleaner arms just aren't up to the task. Junior returns to Phil and whines accordingly. "What? Too heavy?" he says. "Since when have you been such a little--" and then he realizes that Junior is not who he thought he was. If you like, do what I did and fill in the end of his sentence with various rude names for Junior beginning with "little." It's fun! Now that Phil has regained his composure, he asks Junior what the hell he thinks he's doing there. "This here's the world-famous Coliseum--heroes only!" Excuse me? In case you didn't notice, the coliseum takes up the entire goddamn planet. World-famous, indeed. Nitwit.

The pouting! I can't take it! *sob*

The satyr stares them down in a pseudo-intimidating manner and tells them to get lost, as they're clearly not heroes and he's too busy to babysit. He also calls them "pip-squeaks," even though Junior and Goofy are each about three times his size. Whatever, little dude. See, heroes are coming from "all over" to fight monsters in these games. This claim is all kinds of bullshit, but we'll see that later. @%$#!!! uses his indignant voice--which sounds exactly like all his other voices--to tell Phil that they are heroes, gosh darnit! Goofy puts his gigantic hands on Junior's shoulders and pronounces him a "real hero chosen by the Keyblade!" Puke. @%$#!!! adds that he and Goofy are also heroes, and I'm inclined to agree. I mean, if Junior is what qualifies as a hero these days, the bar isn't exactly high. Phil points at Junior in disbelief and, quite rightly, laughs his hairy ass off. God help me, here comes the pouting. "What's so funny?" he asks, and clearly he's never looked in a mirror in his life or he'd know the answer to that. "I've fought a bunch of monsters!" he adds, pumping his fist in a gesture that so violently reminds me of Tightass I want to curl up in the corner and cry. Thanks for that, game designers--now I owe you all one more kick in the balls.

Phil eventually stops laughing, but tells them that if they couldn't even move the stone pedestal, then there's no way they're heroes. But he says this as he himself tries, and fails, to move it, which makes Junior look all vindicated. Hey, Phil never said he was a hero either, Junior, so don't think you're hot shit now. Proven "wrong," he decides to give Junior a chance to prove himself. After saving, Junior speaks with Phil to enter the hero trials.

The trials turn out to be timed exercises in destroying barrels. Because nothing says "heroic" like smashing bits of wood. Thankfully, the strategy guide comes through for me this time, by telling me in what order I should attack the barrels to get them all in time. And it was good enough to let me know to turn off Junior's Vortex ability, as Junior twirling around like a fairy princess as he's attacking just makes the barrels move too much. Unfortunately, I still have to listen to a good ninety seconds of Junior grunting and shouting "C'mon!" to himself. Actually, double that, as I still had to attempt each trial twice before getting it right. I'm being punished for something, I just know it.

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