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  1. #1
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    Default Is Xehanort right?

    Is Master Xehanort speaking the truth when he says there should be a balance of light and darkness? I understand he is trying to create a balance for his own selfish desires (X-blade, Kingdom Hearts, etc.) but is darkness really an "evil" thing in the KH universe or does it just happen to attract evil characters?

    These questions might be really dumb. I don't know. Hence my name.
       

  2. #2
    Poutymer in da house Sephiroth0812's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Xehanort right?

    Generally spoken it is neither confirmed nor denied, although when it comes specifically to Xehanort it is very obvious by his actions that he is the one who upset the current world balance.

    Darkness as an element itself is largely neutral, yet some of its properties are rather dangerous and easy to misuse.

    There was already a similar thread some time ago as well HERE.

  3. #3
    Dream Eater raccoonscity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Xehanort right?

    ... but is darkness really an "evil" thing in the KH universe or does it just happen to attract evil characters?
    So... it's stated a few times throughout the series that darkness isn't inherently evil and is just a natural force that must exist alongside light. However, they don't really do a good job of actually showing this as it's clear there's a bias towards light.

    All the characters who use it are evil (Xehanort, Vanitas, Maleficent) or suffer a lot because of it (Riku, Terra). Even the good guys using darkness (mainly Riku) are using it to fight for the light.

    Also notice how all the monsters in the universe are related to darkness. Heartless and Nobodies are created when a heart is lost to darkness. Unversed are negative emotions that are solely created from a being of darkness.

    The Realm of Light is filled with worlds and people. The Realm of Darkness is filled with monsters and illusions and destroyed worlds.

    There's Princesses of Heart, but no pure hearts of darkness (except Vanitas, but he was created).

    The world before the Keyblade war (in KHUx and the version told by Kairi's grandmother) shows people were happy until the darkness was created, and then they killed themselves and destroyed the world over their greed and fear. Greed and fear which created the darkness in the first place.

    It's very hard to actually paint Darkness as something that's not supposed to be inherently evil when it's clearly not the case.

  4. #4
    ♫ yo ho, yo ho ♫ Recon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Xehanort right?

    I suspect it's like Ying and Yang, where they are opposite forces, but are complimentary to each other.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is Xehanort right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Recon View Post
    I suspect it's like Ying and Yang, where they are opposite forces, but are complimentary to each other.
    Pretty much this. But imagine that Yang constantly attacks Ying because Yang needs Ying. KH's portrayal of darkness is that it's the natural counterpart of light, but darkness tries to consume light because the darkness needs light.

  6. #6
    Unversed AtDuskIThinkofU's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Xehanort right?

    I was talking with a friend about something kinda like this. She was reading a book where there are creatures of light and dark. But the main charter learns that it wasn't where they came from that made them good or bad, it was their choices. So darkness isn't necessarily "bad", and light isn't necessarily "good". It's your intent and actions that determine that. I think KH is taking on the stereotypical view that darkness is bad though. As said by others above, most people don't typically use it and those that do suffer because of it.

  7. #7
    Poutymer in da house Sephiroth0812's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Xehanort right?

    Quote Originally Posted by raccoonscity View Post
    So... it's stated a few times throughout the series that darkness isn't inherently evil and is just a natural force that must exist alongside light. However, they don't really do a good job of actually showing this as it's clear there's a bias towards light.
    They state that it must exist alongside light and is part of the natural order all right, but apart from villains who want to exploit people like Xehanort I've never noticed anyone actually advocating to embrace or use Darkness.
    The "bias" towards light may come from the simple fact that all characters actually originate from the Realm of Light and because the element is largely life-affirmative while the Darkness element has been shown to be rather volatile and destructive by nearly everyone who is shown using it.

    I think that many people and fans misinterpret the whole theme of "Darkness isn't inherently evil and a part of the natural order" as having the "end goal" of the elements Light and Darkness being treated completely equal and practised/endorsed freely across the universe, which isn't really the case here.

    People like Yen Sid or Mickey are against actively suppressing Darkness or suffocate/fight every small occurrence of it but they do not advocate actively embracing or endorsing it and when it comes to "keeping Darkness in check" so it doesn't cause harm they're in the same boat as Eraqus, only more moderate than him in actions.

    Tolerance is not the same thing as acceptance or endorsement and I feel several parts of the fandom tend to mix this up and have expectations in regards to the Light/Darkness conflict that do not get as far as they want to interpret it in the actual material.


    Quote Originally Posted by raccoonscity View Post
    All the characters who use it are evil (Xehanort, Vanitas, Maleficent) or suffer a lot because of it (Riku, Terra). Even the good guys using darkness (mainly Riku) are using it to fight for the light.

    Also notice how all the monsters in the universe are related to darkness. Heartless and Nobodies are created when a heart is lost to darkness. Unversed are negative emotions that are solely created from a being of darkness.
    It goes even beyond that as basically every trauma and lasting suffering for almost any character in the series is caused by either someone using the Darkness itself or serving the Forces of Darkness in some way.

    Dream Eaters are also made of Darkness though, including the Spirits which are friendly and oppose the dangerous Nightmares, which emphasizes the fact that it is not the element itself which is "evil", but that it properties make it easier to be misused for evil.
    An element which has some properties that can be generally harmful does require caution and more strict control than one which hasn't and it is easier to use for those who want to do harm.

    Quote Originally Posted by raccoonscity View Post
    The Realm of Light is filled with worlds and people. The Realm of Darkness is filled with monsters and illusions and destroyed worlds.

    It's very hard to actually paint Darkness as something that's not supposed to be inherently evil when it's clearly not the case.
    The thing with this assessment is that as far as we know Darkness as an element doesn't have sentience and something that's not sentient cannot be "evil". For something to be "evil" there needs to be an intent like i.e. Vanitas wanting to see the world burn or hurt Ventus is evil because there's an intent behind it, but "The Darkness" so far hasn't been shown as something that has intent and agency of its own.
    Even in the original Browser-Chi there was a mention of "Seekers of Darkness" who pose as Union Wielders in order to use the growing Darkness to their own advantage. The "evil" ones would in this case those mysterious people, not the Element of Darkness.
    This is also what Riku means when he states in KH 2 towards Xemnas that they don't oppose the Darkness because they specifically fear or hate the element itself, but those who take advantage of its more dangerous properties to create chaos.


    Quote Originally Posted by AtDuskIThinkofU View Post
    I was talking with a friend about something kinda like this. She was reading a book where there are creatures of light and dark. But the main charter learns that it wasn't where they came from that made them good or bad, it was their choices. So darkness isn't necessarily "bad", and light isn't necessarily "good". It's your intent and actions that determine that. I think KH is taking on the stereotypical view that darkness is bad though. As said by others above, most people don't typically use it and those that do suffer because of it.
    Correct, although in the KH-verse it looks like that the Element of Darkness has somewhat more dangerous properties and thus is easier to misuse than Light.

    As far as I've observed, most people using Darkness in the KH series do not suffer themselves because of their usage of Darkness (Terra's use is also mostly involuntary) but they very often cause suffering for others in the process.

  8. #8
    Dream Eater raccoonscity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Xehanort right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sephiroth0812 View Post
    They state that it must exist alongside light and is part of the natural order all right, but apart from villains who want to exploit people like Xehanort I've never noticed anyone actually advocating to embrace or use Darkness.
    The "bias" towards light may come from the simple fact that all characters actually originate from the Realm of Light and because the element is largely life-affirmative while the Darkness element has been shown to be rather volatile and destructive by nearly everyone who is shown using it.
    Dream Eaters are also made of Darkness though, including the Spirits which are friendly and oppose the dangerous Nightmares, which emphasizes the fact that it is not the element itself which is "evil", but that it properties make it easier to be misused for evil.
    An element which has some properties that can be generally harmful does require caution and more strict control than one which hasn't and it is easier to use for those who want to do harm.
    The thing with this assessment is that as far as we know Darkness as an element doesn't have sentience and something that's not sentient cannot be "evil". For something to be "evil" there needs to be an intent...
    This is also what Riku means when he states in KH 2 towards Xemnas that they don't oppose the Darkness because they specifically fear or hate the element itself, but those who take advantage of its more dangerous properties to create chaos.
    By bias I had meant the bias by the writers and culture towards the thinking of "light = everything good" and "darkness = everything bad". If the writers wanted to paint light and darkness as neutral forces and that good/evil actually depends on choice rather than light/darkness affecting that choice, there should be some balance with how light and darkness are depicted. There may be exceptions such as Spirits, but generally when we think of darkness, we think of Heartless and worlds being torn apart or any of the villains or monsters. Even with the Spirits, they are creatures of darkness that destroy darkness in order to help light. Similar to Riku, we see them as good because they fight to help the light (and also, the cute colors).

    It still sends a message about what the darkness is supposed to be when the only people who use it are evil, destructive, or suffer/cause suffering because of it. Or that darkness is something that is inherently dangerous that attracts these people. Or that Riku's guilt/shame is intrinsically linked to his use of the darkness, that his choices at the time were influenced by the darkness.

    While I agree that choice is a major factor, the writing often pushes these choices off as something that is heavily influenced by the darkness alone, and doesn't go deep into personal accountability and freewill where the darkness is concerned. Character does a bad thing using the Darkness. Character blames it on the Darkness. The characters deal with emotional issues (especially insecurity/regret) that are generalized as Darkness.

    Also keep in mind that extremities when it comes to light versus darkness are drastically different. Like, if overusing the darkness is dangerous and linked to evil people like Vanitas or Ansem, shouldn't the same be true of overusing light? When thinking of light in real life as a natural property, light scorches, bleaches, burns, blinds, etc. The only time the use of light is depicted as bad is when it's darkness acting on or seeking the light to misuse it; never the light itself, by itself. The closest we get to this is Eraqus, but in the end, he blames his actions on the darkness in his heart and the story never addresses the issues his teachings in a sincere way (by this, I mean that the only who addresses it is Xehanort, so any truth loses its credibility when the only one saying it is the bad guy who is emotionally manipulative).

  9. #9
    Poutymer in da house Sephiroth0812's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Xehanort right?

    Quote Originally Posted by raccoonscity View Post
    By bias I had meant the bias by the writers and culture towards the thinking of "light = everything good" and "darkness = everything bad". If the writers wanted to paint light and darkness as neutral forces and that good/evil actually depends on choice rather than light/darkness affecting that choice, there should be some balance with how light and darkness are depicted.
    Ah, good point.
    The question is however what the writers actually do want to paint as a picture in general since the KH series as a whole can be contradictory/ambiguous on that front, in several cases even with intention because Nomura has stated more than once that he likes for players and followers to come to their own interpretations.

    You can also put the bridle on from the other side by bringing up the question which choices (due to their possible consequences and severity) attract which element more because of the properties involved.

    As far as I've observed (which is thus of course my own personal opinion) the depiction of both elements throughout the series is centered as such that when it comes to potentially dangerous consequences for living beings including worlds themselves, Darkness is the one with higher possible dangers and negative consequences just like when you look at elements in chemistry where some are more dangerous than others by themselves and their own make up.
    That doesn't make these elements, and by extension Darkness in KH, "evil", but certainly more dangerous and people have every right and in some cases even the duty to be more cautious and/or wary with one element compared to another.


    Quote Originally Posted by raccoonscity View Post
    There may be exceptions such as Spirits, but generally when we think of darkness, we think of Heartless and worlds being torn apart or any of the villains or monsters. Even with the Spirits, they are creatures of darkness that destroy darkness in order to help light. Similar to Riku, we see them as good because they fight to help the light (and also, the cute colors).

    It still sends a message about what the darkness is supposed to be when the only people who use it are evil, destructive, or suffer/cause suffering because of it. Or that darkness is something that is inherently dangerous that attracts these people. Or that Riku's guilt/shame is intrinsically linked to his use of the darkness, that his choices at the time were influenced by the darkness.
    Indeed, which further reinforces the idea that Darkness as an element might be certainly more dangerous and difficult to handle, which means neither "evil", being discriminatory as Xehanort and some fans may intent to present it as nor is it necessarily putting "Light on a pedestal".

    I agree that it sends a message about the Darkness, although I don't think there's a single correct interpretation about what that message intends to convey when it comes to the element itself. An element does not have to be regularly used or accepted as an everyday occurrence amidst a society to be a part of nature and the universal order.
    Something being inherently dangerous is also by the way nothing condemnable as such things exist in the real world as well so Darkness being an element of that type, regardless of what required role it plays in the nature of the KH-verse, is something that is completely valid for the narrative.
    That it needs in such a setting a more cautious approach and more "oversight" should be self-evident and not decried as "unfair" or "favoring another element".

    Quote Originally Posted by raccoonscity View Post
    While I agree that choice is a major factor, the writing often pushes these choices off as something that is heavily influenced by the darkness alone, and doesn't go deep into personal accountability and freewill where the darkness is concerned. Character does a bad thing using the Darkness. Character blames it on the Darkness. The characters deal with emotional issues (especially insecurity/regret) that are generalized as Darkness.
    Ah yes, I get where you're coming from and dare to propose that this is yet another shortcoming of the series often shoddy writing and remaining superficial in certain areas of its own themes either due to time constraints or deliberate ambiguity.

    Personal accountability and having characters who "diddlyed up", especially villains and those who do horrible things willingly, facing consequences for their actions is something I feel the whole KH series sucks in portraying and addressing properly.

    That's also why some parts of the fandom are sceptical about "redemption arcs" that tend to gloss over the important part of the character having to face the awful things they've done and have to endure consequences/being held accountable for them.
    Often there is a jump from the "bad" character feeling remorse and doing a good deed to show the potential for change directly to the "good" characters (and often even their direct victims) forgiving and accepting that character, leaving out the important middle part.

    In terms of it being "blamed on the Darkness", this may even be an in-universe thing trying to find a scapegoat and deflect the blame/guilt elsewhere. The problem with the writing is thus not that these incidents happen in itself, but that there is none of the other characters calling this bullshit out by stating "no, it wasn't "The Darkness", it was you and your petty jealousy/greed/whatever that lead to this decision and the horrible consequences of it. YOU made that decision, not "The Darkness™"!"

    It may be a little ironic, yet the one instance where I remember such a thing actually happened in the series proper was during Riku's story in CoM when Zexion (who has arguably no right to point fingers since he's complicit in the same crimes, that's the irony) confronted Riku about his decision/choice to destroy Destiny Islands:
    And who threw away those friends? Maybe it's your own actions that
    you've forgotten. You destroyed your home!

    All of the islands you grew up on were sundered, scattered. Many hearts
    were forever lost to the darkness. Because of what YOU did!

    You hated being an islander, so you opened the door to darkness and
    destroyed the islands. It was YOU! You were pulled into the darkness then, and
    now you belong to the darkness.
    Note how Zexion speaks of Riku's shitty decisions first and only in the end mentions the Darkness and Riku being "pulled in"?
    It was not the "evil" Darkness that made Riku do it, he did it himself and due to the negative consequences of his decisions, the Darkness appeared and latched onto him due to its properties being attracted to negativity.


    Quote Originally Posted by raccoonscity View Post
    Also keep in mind that extremities when it comes to light versus darkness are drastically different. Like, if overusing the darkness is dangerous and linked to evil people like Vanitas or Ansem, shouldn't the same be true of overusing light? When thinking of light in real life as a natural property, light scorches, bleaches, burns, blinds, etc. The only time the use of light is depicted as bad is when it's darkness acting on or seeking the light to misuse it; never the light itself, by itself. The closest we get to this is Eraqus, but in the end, he blames his actions on the darkness in his heart and the story never addresses the issues his teachings in a sincere way (by this, I mean that the only who addresses it is Xehanort, so any truth loses its credibility when the only one saying it is the bad guy who is emotionally manipulative).
    See, and on this one I'd like to propose the question from where you take this proposed causality between Light and Darkness as elements?
    I know many people do this yet I always wondered why. Because of the default depiction in some tropes and/or other works?
    Elements being neutral forces does not mean an automatism that extreme quantities of both have to have the same danger or damage factor, so from where does the conviction come from that Light has to behave in the same parameters as Darkness does?
    By trying to force the causality that Light has to be as dangerous as Darkness one may try to make a comparison/equalization that is ultimately wrong or worse, playing right into the propaganda of dangerous beings like Xehanort.

    That Xehanort is ostensibly the only one to address this "fact" (which is nowhere confirmed as fact in the series) may thus also be a hint towards that what Xehanort is saying is indeed wrong or maybe "tweaked" to suit his own bias and ambitions.
    The picture painted as thus might be a simple preference for Light as an element because its general properties are more favorable and less dangerous to a vast majority of living beings all across the board.

    Last but not least, there is also the tagline of DDD with "Light falls into darkness/Darkness becomes Light" and Riku's assessment towards Ansem to "Consume the darkness, return it to light." which parallels purifying a Heartless to allow the heart to be "returned to its proper state" whose all indicate that maybe rather than two different elements, Light and Darkness are two states of a single element with one being more dangerous than the other, but none being strictly spoken "good" or "evil" by themselves.
    Regular Carbon as an element isn't really that dangerous, yet Carbon Monoxide can be quite dangerous in certain circumstances.

  10. #10
    Hell yeah BlackOsprey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Xehanort right?

    Who cares if he is or isn't, his morale compass is a roulette table and way too many people (mostly children) have suffered physically and mentally for it. I don't see "too much light" experimenting on 4-year-olds, ripping people's very beings from their bodies, dabbling in demonic possession, or forcing someone to experience so much pain that they go into a coma.

    Granted "too much darkness" doesn't do those specific things either. Nah, these are all because some hack thought he was right about something. I call bullshit on defending this guy.

  11. #11
    Dad of Boy Chuman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Xehanort right?

    well khnoob, aptly named btw, i’d just like to say that this would make a bangin episode of OuaT. “a lightbulb sexually assaulted my gerbil. i knew from that day on that i had to balance the light. [fires a grenade launcher into a crowd of schoolchildren while the heroes applaud his bravery]

  12. #12
    Dream Eater raccoonscity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Xehanort right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sephiroth0812 View Post
    The question is however what the writers actually do want to paint as a picture in general since the KH series as a whole can be contradictory/ambiguous on that front, in several cases even with intention because Nomura has stated more than once that he likes for players and followers to come to their own interpretations.
    Honestly, I'd be fine if KH just had a clear stance of darkness being bad, instead of sometimes saying it's not inherently bad but always contradicting it.

    Elements being neutral forces does not mean an automatism that extreme quantities of both have to have the same danger or damage factor, so from where does the conviction come from that Light has to behave in the same parameters as Darkness does?
    By trying to force the causality that Light has to be as dangerous as Darkness one may try to make a comparison/equalization that is ultimately wrong or worse, playing right into the propaganda of dangerous beings like Xehanort.
    It's not that they have to have equal dangers; it's that they have never shown light to really have any danger at all, and on the reverse, they never really show darkness to have any benefit, either. You can't say that something is "neutral" and "not inherently bad" when it's also extremely dangerous and volatile, if there's not something good about it that makes up for the fact that it's dangerous.

  13. #13
    Larxeneboi and proud to be DarkosOverlord's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Xehanort right?


 

 

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