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Kingdom Hearts: Connected Lights – Part I

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SECRET FOREST – “THE RING” – DAY

Kairi comes to in the middle of a fight against Axel, in a very small clearing, in the Secret Forest seen in KH3. She is in her KH2 outfit and her hair is pulled up in a bun.


AXEL
Bring it on, Princess!


This friendly fight is the battle tutorial of the game. Learn the basic battle commands: attack, dodge, block, lock. You don’t have aerial recovery yet, but you can counterattack.

You can also hide behind trees and rocks, but it’s pretty useless here.

If you successfully block and counterattack, Axel exclaims, “Wow, not getting used to this thing…” while awkwardly twirling his keyblade.

After you learn the basic commands, Axel and Kairi circle around each other and a free fight starts:

[Practice with Axel].


AXEL
With all you’ve got!


A water magic command is available [L1 + ∆] but not pointed out. If you use it, Axel says “Hey! No cheating!” and counter attacks hard.

Axel is practicing close range physical attacks, but sometimes he’ll throw his Keyblade like a chakram and you’ll hear, “Woops…”

 

[Axel beats you]

[You win the fight]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Axel beats you]

Axel walks to Kairi and extends a friendly hand to help her up.

AXEL
You okay?

Kairi accepts his help.

KAIRI
Yes. Thank you.

She wipes her brow with the back of her hand.

AXEL
You should stop charging like that. You know that’s not your strongest suit.

KAIRI
I know... It’s not that easy.

They give each other a lopsided smile. Kairi nods and dismisses her Keyblade.

 

[Got it!]

[But what if I win?]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[You win the fight]

Axel stands back up and dismisses his Keyblade.

AXEL
Maybe I shouldn’t hold back.

Kairi wipes her brow with the back of her hand.

KAIRI (smiles)
Told you so.

Axel leans forward and grins, tapping his temple.

AXEL
I’ll get it memorized.

Kairi nods and dismisses her Keyblade.

 

[Got it!]

[But what if Axel wins?]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Go back to the beginning of the chapter.]

 

 

 

Axel sighs loudly and stretches his arms. You can explore the small clearing. If you go too far from Axel or go talk to him, he asks, “Do you want to head back?”

[Yes / Not yet.]

Axel takes a path and walks away.

[Follow Axel.]

You can look around and follow at your own pace, but you cannot stray too far off the scripted path for now. If you lag behind or go too far, Axel waits for you and grows impatient.

AXEL
Speed is going to be a problem. We need to find you a way to make up for that.

KAIRI
Merlin says to be “patient.”

AXEL
Yeah, right.

KAIRI
It’s easier when I can use magic.

AXEL
For sure. But you know what grandpa says…?

KAIRI
Don’t call me old?

AXEL (laughing)
Haha, that too.

KAIRI
Magic doesn’t solve everything.

AXEL
Magic doesn’t solve everything… But it sure helps a lot.

KAIRI
I’ll find a way to sneak behind you someday. You’ll see.

AXEL
Oh, I’m sure you will. And that’s…

KAIRI
What?

AXEL
Nothing. That’s good! It’ll keep me on my toes.

KAIRI
Axel…

Past a small side-path to an old well, you reach a small cottage with a thatch roof. There is a SAVE POINT nearby. Merlin comes out of the cottage and takes a look at his pocket watch.

MERLIN
So, you did make it for tea, after all!

KAIRI (smiling)
We’re back!

As Axel and Kairi close the remaining distance, they walk past a phantom present-day Kairi in her KH3 design, who watches them and then looks up and away. The camera pans and zooms out, over a sea of trees, to TITLE ART:

 

~ THE SECRET FOREST ~

 

KAIRI (voice over)
The forest is beautiful, just like I remember. Training here with Merlin and Axel, I remember feeling like I was finally done waiting. Why is my heart guiding me here?

There are two Kairis on screen. Memory-Kairi (in KH2 outfit) is chatting with Axel and Merlin. You now control the present-day Kairi, whom none of the others notice, though they will shift absent-mindedly if you bump into them. This main version of Kairi will now be called Heart-Diving!Kairi or HD!Kairi for disambiguation, when necessary. The field theme changes depending on which Kairi you control.

You are explained how the SHIFT command works:

[SHIFT 1: Hold L2 or R2] Throughout the game, you will be able to Shift from Heart-Diving!Kairi to younger versions of herself from her memories; switching from one controllable form to another will grant you access to some areas that either HD!Kairi or Memory!Kairi can’t reach. Thanks to the light connecting hearts, there will be even more possibilities to unlock.

Situational prompts will let you know when to Shift to reveal hidden scenes, switch characters, and follow new paths. You can try and activate the Shift command at any point during the game, except during random fights. Successfully Shifting after running away from enemies will make them disappear.

As Heart-Diving!Kairi, you cannot enter the cottage.

[Shift to Memory!Kairi.]

Heart-diving Kairi vanishes from the screen; the camera angle changes slightly to center and zoom in a little on Memory!Kairi, whom you now control. A combat portal appears in the area, which allows you to replay Memory fights like the opening Axel fight with various constraints. Use these fights to practice, level up, win accessories and earn Dream Drops—the currency for this game. Axel, Memory!Kairi and Merlin debrief the training session.

AXEL
…no problems with the Keyblade.

MERLIN
Splendid!

Talk to Merlin, or try the cottage door:

MERLIN
Are you ready to learn more spells?

KAIRI
Yes!

[Obtained Blizzard, Aero and Stop]

AXEL
I am not gonna like those…

Talking to Merlin:

MERLIN
Use the portal if you want to practice some more.

 

When you approach the cottage door, Merlin asks if you are ready to call it a day.

[Obtained SECRET LETTER 1]

 

MERLIN’S COTTAGE – DAY

The inside of Merlin’s cottage is packed with piles of books. If you touch the SUGAR BOWL, it will hit your fingers with its teaspoon. There is a CABINET surrounded with ominously bubbling multicolored concoctions, in which you can trade Dream Drops for curatives. A grumpy ARCHIMEDES is the one supervising the transaction. There is also a BOOKSTAND, which prompts Kairi to remark, “There used to be a book here.” If you try to Shift, Kairi will think to herself, “I’m not tired yet.”

The MENU gives you access to KAIRI’S JOURNAL—an on-going collection of letters to Sora that track your progress, like Jiminy’s journal or Mickey’s letter to Sora in Re:Coded. The SECRET LETTERS are letters like the one featured in KH3, which Kairi wrote during past games. Other sections are standard KH features.

[READ SECRET LETTER 1]

[MEMORY SIDE-QUEST]

Exit the cottage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECRET LETTER 1

Dear Sora,

I’m sorry I left without saying goodbye. Did Master Yen Sid tell you? I’m training to be a Keyblade wielder, like you. Can you believe it? No more waiting around for you to come home from your adventures. Now I can do my part to help. I’ll still have to wait a little to see you though.

I hope you get back safely. Whatever Xehanort did to you, I need you to believe it wasn’t your fault. You are stronger than you think, Sora. Strong enough to be a Master. Even more than that. I hope… No. I know you’ll be okay. We’ll all be okay.

Things have started to move faster, and there’s so much to cover. Merlin came to get me at Disney Castle. I met Donald’s fiancée—Daisy—, Chip and Dale, and Queen Minnie, and now here I am, in a magical forest where I can take all the time I need to train. It’s pretty amazing.

And I’ll be training here with Axel—I mean… Lea.

I admit, I’m a little worried about training with him. Mickey said he helped save you—for that, I should be grateful—but it’s hard for me to unsee the person who tried to kidnap me to get to you. He does feel a little different. He certainly doesn't act the same around me as before. I can tell he’s trying to apologize. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see for myself if I can trust him.

I know I’m safe. I trust Merlin, and Riku said he trusts Axel to be on our side, now. I mean, Lea. Queen Minnie also said he saved her. She said… She said I could reach out to her if I was feeling uneasy. She said Merlin would understand and they’d find another way.

I want to figure things out for myself. I am scared. But I’ll hear him out and see for myself. I’ll be strong.

—Kairi

[Back to Kairi's Journal] 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEMORY CARDS

Throughout the game, just like the Puzzle side-quest in KH2FM, you'll find cards representing matching pairs of male and female animals inspired by the Pomp and Circumstance segment in Fantasia 2000. There are fifty pairs to collect. The corresponding journal page has designs and check marks like Donald's illustrated list in the original Fantasia 2000 movie.

[Back to Kairi's Journal] 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Woops! I want to go back to Kairi's Journal] 

 

 

Back outside, Merlin has an additional recurring line:

MERLIN
Now don’t get any idea that magic will solve your problems!

AXEL
Yeah, yeah, we’ve got it memorized…

 

[Shift back to Heart-Diving!Kairi to explore the woods.]

 

This is a sort of “Lost Woods” world. You won’t feel a lot of spatial limitations until you reach points that very obviously loop back to previously visited areas. A hand-drawn map—kind of like the KH3 Caribbean map or Pooh’s Storybook in KH1—is available in the menu; you can lock a target area on it and party member hints will help navigate the world. The Secret Forest is designed to feel like a safe, visually boundless space, for now, but new areas will appear throughout the game, gradually revealing its “real,” original outline.

 

[ACCESSIBLE AREAS]

Read in the order of your choice.

 

The Grumpy Well (North-East)

The Path (West)

Sunset view (South-West)

Downhill River (South)

Hilltop (South)

The Oldest Tree (North-West)

 

After at least two memories have been watched or played through, including one combat segment, the forest expands to the North with a new area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE GRUMPY WELL (NE)

 

A tiny clearing to your right when you leave the cottage. The old stone well at the center of it attacks you with its chain if you get too close. Block three attacks in a row without counterattacking and it will throw Ethers in return. Trying to Shift only prompts the well to echo and gurgle back grumbling lines like, “fiendish chain”, “one big medieval mess”, “age of inconvenience,” in a distorted Merlin voice. No random encounters.

 

[Explore another area.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PATH (W)

 

The Path leads to the clearing where Axel and Kairi dueled. It’s not possible to Shift. A few Nightmares start spawning on the way. A Tama Sheep pops up.

[Dream Eaters] As this game takes place in dreams, a benevolent Dream Eater will be your companion throughout the Dive. Unlike in Dream Drop Distance, only one Spirit can appear on the field at a time, as other characters will sometimes join the party. You can however find and create new Dream Eaters along the way and switch between them, in and out of combat. Holding L1 will prompt your Dream Eater to point out elements to interact with on the field or help you find your way, all the more so if you have locked targets on the map.

If you climb up the side of the path, you have a 60% chance to just reappear on the other side of the path instead of progressing deeper into the woods.

 

[Explore another area.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUNSET VIEW (SW)

 

You can hear OFF-SCREEN VOICES as you draw near.

AXEL
A letter?

KAIRI
Yup.

AXEL
To Sora?

KAIRI
Mmm, technically yes. But I won’t send it. It’s more for me.

A gorgeous view of the world as you step out of the line of trees. The forest sprawls in every direction. There seems to be hills with fields in the distance, lost in odd sunset colors. Kairi will automatically stop before you step off the cliff, but if you insist, you can jump down.

An ICE CREAM STICK lies on the ground. You can Shift next to it. This will trigger the first KH3 Lea & Kairi scene [Watch here], starting with their voices alone as a transition to the flashback.

Skip the KH3 Flashback

KAIRI
Ice cream? Really?

AXEL
Yeah. I asked Merlin to pick these up.
Ya know, we did both summon Keyblades. Gotta celebrate.

KAIRI
You’re sweet, Lea.

AXEL
Naw…

 

Kairi takes a bite while Axel stares.

 

KAIRI
What?

AXEL
N-nothing. I just…

KAIRI
You’re trying to remember what you forgot?

AXEL
Well, I, uh… Yeah… Yeah.

KAIRI
So tomorrow—you and me in the ring. You ready?

AXEL
‘Course.

KAIRI
Don’t hold back, Lea. Promise?

 

A vision of Xion. Lea drops his ice cream, starts crying.

 

KAIRI
Huh? Are you okay? Lea!

AXEL
Yeah… Sorry…

KAIRI
You’re crying. What’s wrong?

AXEL
Something in my eyes.

KAIRI
Lea…

AXEL
I’m… gonna go. Sorry.

KAIRI
‘Kay, but stop apologizing.

AXEL
Fine… on one condition.

KAIRI
What?

AXEL
Call me Axel from now on. Got it memorized?

KAIRI
Yeah. Okay, Axel.

Axel leaves. Kairi watches him go, then looks down at the untouched ice cream in the grass.

End flashback and back to Heart-Diving!Kairi.

 

[Explore another area.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DOWNHILL RIVER (S)

 

Croaking of frogs. Your Dream Eater hops around a particular rock. Shift to a playable training segment: Lea and Memory!Kairi battle Merlin’s water walls, without weapons, while constantly being turned into frogs. Merlin turns into a frog himself and leaves his hat floating in a magical bubble that moves very quickly around the area, which you need to hit. Frog status greatly decreases all stats, blocks magic, but you can still attack, guard and dodge, and use Remedies to turn back to human. Although moving about seems slow and jumps are awkward, it is easier to get close to the target unnoticed as a frog as you are smaller and can hide behind rocks. If your HP drops to zero, Merlin will heal you and tell you to try again.

Halfway through the battle:

KAIRI (thinks aloud)
We need to team up.

LEA
Kairi, watch out!

Kairi dodges a crashing wave and lands closer to Lea; Lea grabs her arm to steady her and Kairi jumps at the touch. Lea lets go immediately. Both look unsettled and try to cover it up quickly. You still have to play and dodge as the dialogue runs.

KAIRI
It’s no use, is it?

LEA
Do you trust me?

KAIRI
What?

LEA
I’ve got an idea, but…

Wave crash.

KAIRI
Okay…

LEA
Okay. Wait for my signal.

 

Press ∆ to activate the Team Attack that appears as a Situation Command while you are under Frog status but Lea isn’t: Lea grabs Frog!Kairi and throws her across the field like she's a Chakram; Kairi curls into a ball. Hit X as she hits the water bubble to successfully complete the Team Attack.

 

If you miss the mark:

Kairi bursts through the bubble, awkwardly grabs the hat with her front frog legs, and splashes into the water with it. The battle ends. Merlin steps into view.

MERLIN
Haha! Well done!

He picks up the hat, to which Kairi is clinging, and deposits her on the rock.

MERLIN
Snick snack snorum!

In a puff of pink smoke, Kairi turns human again.

 

If you hit X at the right moment:

Kairi bursts the bubble and grabs the hat and keeps dropping down with the hat held over her head like a parachute, which only slows the fall so much. She lands in a puddle of water on a flat rock, with ease, and promptly half disappears into the hat.

MERLIN (off screen)
Haha! Well done!

His wand appears into view and hits the hat as Kairi was lifting it up from her face.

KAIRI (surprise, not pain)
Ow!

MERLIN
Snick snack snorum!

In a puff of pink smoke, Kairi turns human again.

 

Lea is a pathetic sight with wet red hair hanging over his face. He picks himself up, slips and falls back down, this time staying there. Merlin is beaming.

MERLIN
Now that was a brilliant idea, Lea!
Combine your strengths and you’ll make up for any weapon you can’t use anymore.

LEA
Water’s the worst. Ugh…

Kairi is still processing what just happened. Lea catches her eye and looks away, uneasy.

LEA
Don’t laugh.

Kairi gets up and stumbles, too. Lea instinctively holds out his arm to catch her, but he’s too far and hasn’t gotten up from his sitting position, so it’s useless; Kairi regains her balance without falling anyway. Lea drops his arm and focuses on his hair.

MERLIN
Do you need a break, lads?

LEA (mumbles)
Always.

 

[Try again.][Shift out of the memory]

 

[Obtained Toad spell. Cast it successfully on a staggered or stunned Nightmare and it will be instantly defeated. Cast it on yourself to turn into a frog for a limited amount of time.]

 

[Explore another area.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HILLTOP (S)

 

Cross the river and climb up the hill. When you reach the top of the hill, you hear Merlin’s voice.

 

MERLIN
Now, by the by, in what direction is this castle of yours?

BOY
I think it’s north. The other way.

MERLIN
Oh, oh.

 

Shifting makes the voices clearer as Kairi turns around; it allows you to hear the lines again if you insist, but shows nothing. Kairi turns back. If you keep going South, you slip and fall to Merlin’s cottage.

 

[Explore another area.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE OLDEST TREE (NW)

 

A clearing, larger than the Ring, around a very big tree with thick branches twisting smoothly up and out into the sky. You can hear squirrels in the branches overhead. The sound makes your Dream Eater hop around happily.

[Shift] As Heart-Diving!Kairi turns into Memory!Kairi, she’s suddenly back to back with Axel. A playable defense exercise starts, where you have to dodge/deflect physical and magical attacks; locate the invisible enemy and wait for an opening to attack using “Heart of a Princess.” This is the Shotlock tutorial. You can also earn XP by hitting flying pinecones at the right time to send them back to the attacker. Axel keeps reflexively throwing his Keyblade like a Chakram and gets increasingly frustrated.

After your first successful attempt at Heart of a Princess:

AXEL
That’s great! Next time try not to burn the whole forest down?

KAIRI
You’re one to talk!

AXEL
Touché…

Failed attempt:

AXEL
Keep it up! It’s just a matter of focus!

KAIRI
Yes!

Other successful attempts:

AXEL
Want to reign it in a little?

KAIRI
Sorry!

 

AXEL
Looks like you can aim!

 

You can now use “Heart of a Princess” in combat.

If you search the area thoroughly, you can find a TORN PAGE described as “a cracked piece of parchment with the words LAWS OF NATURE… probably.”

 

[Explore another area.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NORTHERN AREA (N)

 

The area is slightly gloomier than the rest of the forest.

[Skip the scene if this is your second visit.]

[Shift]

Kairi and Lea are walking further north. Depending on how far you’ve gone in the area before Shifting, Heart-Diving!Kairi will merge into Memory-Kairi quickly or turn into a glowing orb of light floating back to the edge of the area which Kairi and Lea have just entered. The light transitions back to the usual copper hues, though still a shade darker with the foliage blocking the sun.

LEA
Ever wonder how far we can go until we reach the edge?

KAIRI
Uhm. Maybe a little. But Merlin said it was no use anyway.
I guess I just wonder where this world comes from, mostly.

LEA
Huh. Yeah, I guess that’s a good question, too.

KAIRI
I can't help but feel like the woods are hiding something.
Like we're not seeing all there is to it. Not in a bad way, but... It's not what's beyond that matters, but what's already there.
I don’t know if it’s just me.

LEA
No. I feel the same. I’ve been having dreams that don’t feel entirely my own...

KAIRI
Really?

LEA
Yeah, like wanting to fly, or… turning into a squirrel.

KAIRI
No way!

The flashback is cut short by a startled doe rushing right past Heart-Diving Kairi, pulling her back from the memory. When Kairi spins around, the doe has already vanished into the woods. There is distant shouting to the North:

MAN
Why, you clumsy little fool!

BOY
Oh, Kay, please, I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it. Please.

KAY
If I ever… (grunts as he falls) If I ever get my hands on you, I’ll, I’ll ring…
your scrawny little neck, so help me, I will.

 

Kairi runs two steps towards the voices, then it’s up to you.

 

BOY (voice getting closer)
I’ll get the arrow, Kay. I’m sure I can find it.

KAY
Don’t tell me you’re going in there. Why, it’s swarming with wolves.

BOY
I’m not afraid.

KAY
Well, go ahead. It’s your skin, not mine. Go on, go on.

 

WART from The Sword in the Stone barges through the thicket, trips on a root, and crashes to the ground near Kairi.

KAIRI
Are you alright?

WART (getting up)
Ye… Yes. I’m sorry, I have to… Who are you?

KAIRI
I’m Kairi.

Nightmares spawn around them. Arthur jumps. Kairi summons her Keyblade.

KAIRI
Move back.

[Defeat the enemies.]

Wart runs around and picks rocks and a stick up to defend himself.

Once you’ve cleared the area, Wart is on his bum. Kairi helps him up.

WART
Thank you, miss. What're those?

KAIRI
Nightmares. I think.

WART
Are you a fairy?

KAIRI
No. What about you?

WART
Oh, my name’s Arthur, but everyone calls me Wart.

KAIRI
Nice to meet you.

WART
My foster brother’s lost an arrow. I’ve got to get it back.

 

He’s more hesitant than he sounded earlier.

 

KAIRI
I can go with you if you’d like.

WART
Would you? That’d be awfully kind of you, miss.

KAIRI
Kairi’s fine.

WART
I’m sorry, miss… Kairi.

Kairi smiles kindly. Wart smiles sheepishly.

KAIRI
So, where do you think it is?

WART
I think it went that way.

KAIRI
Alright. Let’s look around.

 

You can’t Shift anywhere while Wart is in the party. Help him find the arrow in the slightly bluer forest. He will fight with a stick, using it like a sword with comically awkward moves. He’s most efficient with stones, but Kairi will have to do all the hard work against the Nightmares and make sure his HP doesn’t drop to zero, or you’ll have to start over. You can sometimes direct Wart to climb in trees and shower apples that will stun the enemies below… but also hit you if you don’t move away or block. He’ll drop hidden items from trees, too.

Once you reach the path to Merlin’s cottage, Wart spots the arrow.

WART
Oh, there it is!

He runs ahead and climbs up the trees to retrieve it.

KAIRI
Be careful!

More enemies spawn at ground level—a pack of wolfish Nightmares. Among them, an invisible one.

[Shift-during-boss-fights tutorial: Use the Shift to reveal weaknesses or hidden layers to the enemy.] Here the Shift briefly shows the true appearance of the invisible wolf: the famished wolf from the Sword in the Stone, much smaller in size than the invisible Nightmare. You won’t be able to hit the original wolf because we do not condone animal cruelty :) Instead the wolf will dodge and hide in bushes and sprint to another side of the battle field. Use Aero while Shifting to make branches fall and scare the original wolf away; unshift and you can hit the branches to one-hit the Nightmares or use Aero again to create a tornado of sticks that will clear the area. Shift again and hit the wolf with Water magic to end the fight.

 

WART
Whoaaaaa!

 

Crack!

 

KAIRI
Wart!

 

Kairi sees the hole in the cottage roof and runs to the door.

 

You can now enter the cottage without Shifting to Memory!Kairi first. In fact, you have to, in order to get the next scene, otherwise you'll end up in the usual room.

 

The cottage is completely empty. Not a single piece of furniture in sight. There is a hole in the thatch roof and an old book lying on the floor next to the patch of sun.

[Pick it up.]

The book has a deep red cover and a bright golden lock. It is a heavy volume, but the first pages are missing. Kairi carefully turns a page, covering a drawing of the sword Excalibur stuck in an anvil. The first intact page is filled with illuminated text.

 

KAIRI (reads)
“A legend is sung of when England was young…”

 

The book is ripped away from her by Merlin.

 

MERLIN
“And knights were brave and bold,” yes, yes… rubbish.
A pack of mindless brutes, like they all were in the Dark Age.

 

The cottage is back to normal, except Archimedes isn’t here and Kairi is still in her present-day outfit, looking around in a daze. Merlin steps over a chest to go put the book back on top of a pile of other books and items.

 

KAIRI
What is this book?

 

Merlin pauses. He shakes his head and sighs.

 

MERLIN
These are the memories I used to create the forest.

KAIRI
Memories?

MERLIN
Yes. Do you remember what I told you about these woods?

KAIRI
You said you’d dreamed it up. That you took the idea from a book you found.

 

Merlin scratches his head.

 

MERLIN
It was indeed a book. I created this place using my memoirs.
You and Axel weren’t the first I trained. Young Wart was the first. Back in Old England.

KAIRI
The boy I saw in the woods.

MERLIN
Indeed. There used to be a forest, and I used to have a house there, until the time had come to meet my pupil. I kept what happened in these woods hidden from you, however—to the best of my ability. Yet it would seem that those memories found a path into your heart anyway. Probably the time you spent within these lines… Nothing’s ever truly lost, it would seem. See, I met Wart right… here.

 

He moves the chair to the right spot, measuring out the exact position with his wand, glancing at the ceiling. There is a hole in the roof.

 

KAIRI
There wasn't a hole in the roof before.

MERLIN
Well there is one now. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain.

 

He grabs a pot and places it on the chair.

 

KAIRI
I don’t understand... Are you a memory, too?

 

Merlin stops to look at her.

 

MERLIN
In a way, I am.
This is your dream, Kairi.
Dreams hold memories, and I am part of the dream.
We may not have had this conversation before, but you have perceived its truth while you were training.
Even though I tried to keep parts of the story away from you, it is tied to every line of this world.
A world to which you’ve opened your heart and soul.
Truths and secrets can be shared without words. Sometimes without us meaning to.
This is what it must mean.

 

Kairi doesn’t respond.

 

MERLIN
Your heart is connected to many others. Use this connection to find your answers.

KAIRI
Will you always be here?

MERLIN
As long as you’ll need me, child.

Kairi nods.

 

Nothing else happens. Get out of the cottage.

 

[UPDATED AREAS]

 

Going back inside the cottage, you can retrieve the Sword in the Stone book from the pile.

If you do so as Heart-Diving!Kairi—Merlin isn’t in the room anymore—you can then put the book on the BOOKSTAND and it will work like the Winnie the Pooh book in KH2, when Sora realizes the pages are missing and the book world is quite empty. The open double page features paragraphs of incomprehensible KH writing with blank space for missing illustrations.

If you retrieve the book as Memory!Kairi, Archimedes says, “Oh, best not let him see you take this one…” and you have to Shift back to Heart-Diving!Kairi to place the book on the bookstand.

There are FIVE MISSING PAGES to recover. Find out what Merlin kept hidden.

[But wait... I found a TORN PAGE earlier... Can I try it?]

Memory-Kairi and Axel’s positions near the cottage change—Axel leaves the area, Kairi sits down in a corner, pulls out her notepad and a pencil, and thinks. Merlin is nowhere to be seen; the portal is still there.

  • When you take control of Memory!Kairi, you’ll now hear “Ow”s and “By George” and “Oh confound it!” coming from the general area of the Path and Grumpy Well. You can take the Path as Memory!Kairi, which wasn’t possible before, or Shift to her along the way to the new playable flashback.
  • Your Dream Eater really wants to return to the Oldest Tree area.
  • A new area can pop up to the North. It seems you'll be able to step out of the woods a little.

 

You can also go back and explore other areas you’ve skipped earlier. The Northern area Skip link will bring you back here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE OLDEST TREE

 

Unless you’ve marked another target on the area map, or you’ve already found the TORN PAGE after your first visit, your Dream Eater will always stray towards the Oldest Tree area until you find MISSING PAGE #2.

[Found MISSING PAGE #2]

[Return it to the Sword in the Stone book.]

[Explore some more]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIDE-QUEST: MISSING PAGE #2, “Laws of nature”

An illuminated drawing of the Oldest Tree has appeared in the book.

[Enter the page]

SECRET FOREST – TREE TOPS

Kairi falls through the branches, transformed into a pinkish-burgundy squirrel. She screeches in surprise and half lands on Archimedes who was napping on a branch.

ARCHIMEDES
Who? Who? What—what?
Oh, get a tree of your own! Now, go on. Shoo! Skedaddle!

KAIRI
Sorry!

ARCHIMEDES
Oh, you squirrely squirrels!

Kairi hops to another tree and barely catches herself as the thin branch breaks and she drops lower.

MERLIN (up above)
Now, what did I tell you? Always look before you leap.

WART
Well, I made it, didn’t I?

MERLIN
Yes, yes, you made it. You made it, but you can’t always trust luck, boy.

 

Merlin is a bluish squirrel with a mustache and spectacles. Wart is a young brown squirrel.

 

There are three short platforming mini-games you can play:

1) Climb up and catch up with Merlin and Arthur as they leap from tree to tree overhead.

2) Arthur suggests a race. Kairi says, “okay,” but warns him that she’s not good at this. Arthur says he’s sure she can do it and it’ll be fun anyway.

3) Arthur trips over a bird’s nest, upsetting its occupant; fleeing the red bird, he lands badly on a branch and is about to fall off the tree as he desperately clings to it. Rush to his help; be mindful of the angry bird and falling acorns on the way.

 

Rewards:

1) Gravity magic, Lvl1.

2) Air dodge.

3) Form change #1: Squirrel. Turn into a squirrel to dodge attacks, climb up trees, and more. Like Form Changes and Link Summons, the transformation only lasts a certain amount of time, and you can cancel it before the time is up.

 

Try out the new form in the forest. Find cards in the branches and make items (AP/Magic/Defense bonus) drop to the ground. Reaching a high point in the trees will trigger a FLASHBACK:

SECRET FOREST – GROUND LEVEL

Under the canopy of foliage, Kairi is sitting, taking notes on her notepad. Axel, sitting a couple feet away, is not taking notes; he looks supremely bored. They glance at each other while Merlin draws diagrams on his blackboard.

MERLIN
…Gravity is what causes you to fall.

AXEL
Oh, like a stumble, or a trip?

Kairi giggles behind her hand.

MERLIN
Yes, it’s like a stumble or a… No, no, no, no, no. It is the force that pulls you downward. The phenomenon that any two material particles or bodies, if free to move, will be accelerated toward each other…

He looks at them both chidingly, brandishing his piece of chalk at them.

MERLIN
Don’t take gravity too lightly or it’ll catch up with you!

END FLASHBACK

[Explore another area.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE OLD MOAT

This is a small, quiet and empty area: a moat snakes along the edge of the forest area you’ve just left. On the other side of the water stand the walls of a medieval castle. The bridge is up; you cannot cross.

[Shift] Nothing seems to happen—the screen ripples briefly and Kairi doesn’t change. But then your Dream Eater spots reflections of Arthur and Merlin in the water, as if the two were walking along the moat. You can hear their conversation clearly. Arthur hops from rock to rock, swinging a stick as if it were a sword. Merlin walks ahead of him, turning around when he speaks to him.

ARTHUR
I’d give anything to go riding about on a great white charger… slaying dragons and griffins and man-eating giants.

MERLIN
Well, won’t you?

ARTHUR
Oh. No. You see, I’m an orphan, and a knight must be of proper birth. I only hope I’m worthy to be Kay’s squire. That’s a big job too, you know.

MERLIN
Oh, indeed, yes, yes. I would say almost impossible. Yes.

A dragonfly buzzes over the waterlilies—a fish jumps out of the water, breaking the vision and swallowing the bug. When the ripple smooths out, the reflection is gone.

 

[Explore another area.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE GRUMPY WELL

Merlin hops on one leg as his other leg is tangled in the well’s chain. Lea tries to help, but Merlin is flailing and cursing.

MERLIN
Oh, confound it! Haven’t you had enough?

THE GRUMPY WELL (echo)
ENOUGH!

With a loud boom the well bursts into a cloud of multicolored smoke and stars. When the smoke dissipates, the well has mutated into a Nightmare reminiscent of Lord Ochu in FFX, with tentacular chains and vines.

[Boss fight] Use all the skills you’ve learned to defeat the Nightmare. Example: The well occasionally blows out smoke which inflict Sleep, Confusion or Poison status effects; turning into a frog beforehand makes you immune to the toxic fumes. Kairi can’t summon her Keyblade yet, so during the first phase of the fight, you can only use magic. Lea uses his Chakrams, but the well catches them and sends them back, dealing significant damage, so he gives up quite quickly.

KAIRI
We need our Keyblades!

LEA
Yeah, I figured that out!

KAIRI
Then summon it!

Lea tries several times, and gets hit when he pauses to do it. Heal him when he gets knocked out or you will fail the fight. Merlin is outside of the battle field, still grumbling and struggling to free his foot.

MERLIN
No, no, lads, you can handle this on your own!

The Shift prompt appears telling you to summon your Keyblade.

KAIRI
Please work!

A chain whips down and Kairi automatically dodges the blow with a zip and spin, Keyblade in hand.

KAIRI
Yah!

You can now block physical attacks and hit the core of the well. At some point, Kairi gets hit and blown back by a vicious counter-attack. She picks herself up and staggers. Lea appears in front of her super fast to block another chain attack with his Keyblade.

KAIRI
Lea!

LEA
You okay?

KAIRI
You did it!

LEA
No time to celebrate!

[Finish the fight.]

LEA
Hey, Kairi!

You can activate a Team Attack. Lea jumps into the air, spins his Keyblade and shoots fireballs at the well; meanwhile Kairi uses the distraction to charge, lifting her Keyblade forward as she runs. Steam clouds form as the fire magic clashes with the well’s magic. Kairi jumps out of the haze and slashes down at the well, creating a bright gash of light. Then Lea lands, grabs her arm, and pulls her out of the way. They nod at each other and return to the fight.

 

[You win the fight.]

 

The well shakes and spouts old-fashioned expletives. It slowly turns back to normal, withdrawing its chains, freeing Merlin in the process.

Kairi and Lea catch their breath. They see Merlin. Kairi dismisses her Keyblade and runs to him. Lea follows.

KAIRI
Merlin! Are you alright?

Merlin straightens his robe.

MERLIN
Yes! Why, yes. I’m quite alright.
Did you two just summon your Keyblades? Hm?

KAIRI
Oh!

She holds out her hand to try it again, and it works. She looks amazed. Lea tries, too, looking doubtful; it works and he looks surprised.

LEA
Huh.

Kairi grins.

KAIRI
I guess, we did.
(to Lea)
Good job, Lea!

Lea smiles then stares a little too long and frowns. Kairi’s smile fades to a concerned expression. Lea looks away.

LEA
Yeah, you did great!

Kairi looks like she wants to ask more, but she doesn’t.

MERLIN
Well, I had no doubt you’d succeed in due course.
That blasted old well does have its use, it seems.

The well whips at him again with its chain; Merlin yelps. He shakes in annoyance, then grabs his wand, pushes his sleeves up—uselessly as they are too large and flop back down—and steps to the well menacingly.

MERLIN
Why, you…

LEA AND KAIRI
Merlin, no!

They run to him to stop him. Doing so, they pass Heart-Diving Kairi and fade away. Kairi chuckles at the scene and smiles fondly.

She walks to the well, now alone in the area. Stopping next to it, she holds out her hand to lay it on the stone brink gently. The well gurgles. Kairi chuckles and pets it.

KAIRI
I’m sorry it took Merlin so long to be nice to you. He is one grouchy old man.

THE GRUMPY WELL
(echoing a distorted Merlin voice)
Ugly, horrible, grouchy old man!

Kairi chuckles again.

She steps away and looks around, losing herself in her own thoughts. Her smile gradually fades away, and she looks more and more determined. She takes a breath and nods.

KAIRI
Alright. I know where to go now.

 

The SAVE POINT can now take you [BACK TO THE STATION OF AWAKENING]. You may stay or come back later to collect the rest of the Training Memories.

 

[I’m not done yet.]

 

[Return to the beginning of the chapter.]