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Goodbye, Sora

You didn’t deserve what you got, Sora.

You really didn’t deserve what happened to you.

After everything you’ve done the last fifteen years— after everyone you met and loved and saved— the game ends with your demise, with none of those people coming to save you. They all get to live the happy ending you gave them, while your heart is forced to wander listlessly for the rest of your days. How could they do that to you, Sora?

Kingdom Hearts III begins with Kairi writing you a letter that she never sends. I kind of feel like this is the same thing. Firstly, because your fictional. You obviously won’t read this. Secondly, because there will be no point in sending it. You’re gone. I know you’re probably okay with that. This is what you chose. But the people who love you are pained by your absence. I’m one of them.

I met you 17 years ago and have been with you for a majority of my life. For better or for worse, your franchise is a long one. I played KH in elementary school, KHII in middle school, Birth by Sleep in high school, Union X in college. Even as a “real world adult,” I played 0.2 and 3Ds. Your story has always been with me.

I had heard that Kingdom Hearts III would be the end of your story, but didn’t pay any mind to it. This is a Disney game, they won’t let anything bad happen. Especially not to Sora. He’s Sora. The protagonist. The dopey kid. The saver of worlds. He has done so much and has been a part of so many people’s lives. If this is the end of his story, it will be a happy one.

Gawrsh, was I mistaken.

I won’t tell you that you were wrong. The whole point of your adventure was to save Kairi. It would feel incomplete unless you brought her home. But at what cost? You could’ve gone to Yen Sid. You’re new, fully fledged keyblade wielding team could have thought of a plan together. But you went it alone and now there is a gap where you are supposed to be. Possibly forever. Did you think about how that would affect everyone? What about Kairi? What about the millions of people who grew up with you?

Fans are chomping at the bit for Kingdom Hearts IV. To find the more answers. To save you. But I know a Square Enix game when I see one. If they say this is the end of your journey, you’re not coming back. Maybe you’ll return as a spiritual presence or an old man (if you even get the chance to grow up), but you’ll never be the Sora we know again. We’ll never get the chance to play as you or see you interact in your colorful, multi-dimensional world. Who wants a new Kingdom Hearts adventure if you’re not in it?

So if this is the last time I get to play with you in this franchise, there are some things I have to say:

Thank you, Sora, for this incredible story. Over the greater part of two decades, you showed me how to be kind, playful, and optimistic. You taught me to never give up and to enjoy the journey and the destination, no matter how difficult and painful that may be. You made me believe that with the right mentality, anything can happen.

You showcased the true power of the human heart.

You are one of the characters that shaped my life. My sister loved you, my brother wanted to be you. I didn’t realize how much you mattered to me until you were gone. And now, I feel like my childhood is officially over. Wanting to know how your story ends made me want to return to the days in my parents' basement with my siblings exploring the worlds with you. Now, there is nothing holding me back.

I’m not a fan of feeling this way.

I’m going to replay KHIII and drag it out as long as I can. I will try to play every mini-game and side quest, I will dance in Corona until I memorize the moves, I will fly through the skies with Baymax until I get motion sickness. I will find all those stupid lucky emblems and cook until I break all my eggs. I am going to drag out this final chapter. You deserve to enjoy every second it.

I don’t know where you are, Sora. I don’t know if you’re coming back. But no matter what happens, I hope you enjoy your next adventure and live as passionately and excitedly as you did in this one. And who knows? Starting a new journey may not be so hard. Or maybe it’s already begun.

Sora, thank you for everything. And, no matter where you go, may your big, beautiful heart be your guiding key.


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