Little behind on posting these, but hey, who cares? Everyone? Oh.
So after completing Traverse Town I moved onto the next world, Cites las Cloche… Las Cite Cloches…….
La Cité des Cloches. Ugh, mouthful. I know I didn’t comment on Dive Mode before (this game’s method of going to new worlds instead of the Gummi Ships) so I will now. I think it’s a fun minigame and I think it’s good that they’re doing something different than the Gummi Ships for a bit, at least for variety (though I hope to see them again in Kingdom Hearts III). I especially liked fighting a boss in Dive Mode, though I’m a little worried that it means most of the cool Dream Eater bosses I’ve seen aren’t going to be for fighting in the normal battles. At any rate, I love the music for Dive Mode bosses.
So onto the city, starting with Riku, the first thing I notice is that the music is incredible. I mean, I already knew this. I listened to some of the music before even getting the game, so I came to des Cloches prepared: I brought headphones. The music is startlingly dark, but it really fits the world and everything. It’s very cool and it’s a major reason why this world is so cool.
The second thing I notice is… good god, Esmeralda is hot. As she should be.
She wouldn’t be Esmeralda if she wasn’t hot.
So I went through the early story-filled parts of the world, fighting some extremely tough enemies who initially wiped the floor with me and still gave me a lot of trouble even after I’d been in the world a while. I spent a lot of time fighting and just exploring the Notre Dame’s interior, before climbing the belltower itself… and holy crap I didn’t realize the exterior was the same as the square below… You can actually climb the entire tower using the Flowmotion wall jumps. This is one of those moments where Flowmotion is really, really cool.
Then after the early story portions of the world were done, I went through the rest with both characters. That’s worth noting because… it seems like the worlds are going in that order so far. The first portion with both characters is largely plot-driven with few battles, but then you have to make your way through multiple and/or large rooms filled with enemies and lots of hidden chests. It’s almost like a “town -> dungeon” format… something I’ve been saying each world in Kingdom Hearts should do for a long time.
So Riku got to do a hugely awesome escape sequence where the world’s Dream Eater boss, Wargoyle (I preferred his Japanese name: Bullet Gargoyle), chased him while firing bombs, as he runs along the bridge and a large section of town, followed by Riku going to face Wargoyle directly atop Notre Dame while the city burns below. (And on a side note, you hear Wargoyle’s theme for that entire chase sequence, several cutscenes, and both fights against him. I did not expect this great theme to get so much love, but it’s amazing that it did.)
Meanwhile, what does Sora get to do? You’d think that it would be a softer experience, because come on, Riku’s the grittier character and Sora’s the goofball. In Traverse Town, Riku got the bad*** backstreets while Sora did the ridiculous underground post office.
But in La Cité des Cloches? Yeah Sora does some catacombs underneath a graveyard.
It was awesome though. Sora got an extended sequence of quality exploration, while Riku did an awesome action sequence. Which of course brings us back to Wargoyle:
Look at this thing and think of a word to describe it other than “awesome”. I DARE YOU.
Wargoyle is probably the best boss battle (or pair of battles, I guess) in the series, at least for me personally. He is quite a challenge and killed me numerous times in both versions. Against Riku, he’s an awesome winged boss with a partially aerial battle, who spends most of the fight bombing the hell out of you and just firing tons of shots. Then he’s knocked down from the belltower, where, now wingless, he confronts Sora as a berserking juggernaught who charges, leaps, and smashes. They are both very challenging fights and a lot of fun. I had a blast.
It’s interesting how none of the characters are as prominent as the badguy, Frollo. Fitting, I suppose. I’m loving how this game is melding the overall story and the in-world stories. The worlds and their individual events are allowed to progress unhampered, but always seem to tie into the main story, either through the actions of the complete troll, young Xehanort, or because of some kind of lesson or significance the events have on the characters. It’s great.
So onto The Grid!
(Thanks to Kingdom Hearts Wiki for the images.)