Kingdom Hearts Re:Mind May Trap You for an Hour at a Time

Just a warning: At times, the only way to take a break is to pause, put your controller down, and walk away.

Many of us played Kingdom Hearts 3 like a marathon when it came out. And clearly, Nomura took that to heart in the new Kingdom Hearts 3 DLC, Re:Mind. We wanted more, but… you know, in moderation.

One of the charming, if sometimes frustrating, parts of Kingdom Hearts 3 is how damn much the team tried to fit into the game. There are unique Keyblade attacks and RPG-style cooking, Heartless mini-games and parkour and Mickey-head hunting (less violent than it sounds, promise). The game even unlocks hidden bosses once you reach the ending portion.

It was clear that the game’s DLC, Re:Mind, would try to do a ton more. But maybe they were a little too ambitious.

WARNING: Kingdom Hearts 3 and Re:Mind SPOILERS to follow!

For those of you wondering what the hell Re:Mind is for: As we all know by now, Xehanort yeeted Kairi out of existence with one slash. It’s implied through the pre-credits ending that Sora did some shenanigans to try to get Kairi back. And it looks like he succeeded.

Re:Mind takes a step back and asks: How the hell!? 

So the DLC starts off with cutscenes. You see, there’s a recap about how Kai… wait, no, it starts off by inserting a cutscene from a long while back to create more mystery around this big box someone’s been carrying around… explanations about the Organization… Okay, back to the actual story.

Sora’s being pushed back in time in order to jump through all the hearts of the Guardians of Light and trace a path to Kairi. Easy! Is that how it’s played out? Eh. You’ll see.

Save the cheerleader, save the world.

But this series of convoluted but intense cutscenes is 26 minutes long. TWENTY-FOUR! And then, the game throws you into a boss battle with Young Xehanort. Then, cutscene… and another boss battle, this time Dark Aqua. And then one more, with Ansem—y’know, for good measure.

And then, finally, you hit a save point. So you need to navigate three boss battles, in a row. And that’s before the Labyrinth of bosses, with four boss battles in a row with no save point. Yes, the very same as the original game, but you get to play as others! And there are more cutscenes than before!

In one walkthrough I found (a level 53 player), the player took about 48 minutes to beat all of these bosses before the first save point. Personally, I needed four tries on the first boss (one on the others), which likely brought my estimate to about an hour. Assuming most players take about as long as I do, that’s about an hour of gameplay and cutscenes.

In the final stretch of bosses — which the game barely gives you a warning about — the walkthrough player took just under an hour to beat up all the bosses and work through all the cutscenes, including credits and post-credits cutscenes. And again, this is with no extra deaths.

Overall, the average player should take something over four hours of boss-strategizing and cutscene-watching to get through Kingdom Hearts 3:Re:Mind. And the game only provides four save points scattered throughout the entire DLC storyline. Two of these essentially lie steps away from each other. That’s… not a lot.

I mean, you can also skip the cutscenes, but then you’re really not experiencing Kingdom Hearts at its fullest and corniest.

If this were 2007, the peak of Kingdom Hearts 2’s popularity, my mom probably would have walked in the room at one point and asked me to do the chore. And I would have been half as coordinated as usual, so it’d be my tenth attempt at Young Xehanort, so I’d have to go, “After this boss!” …and then ninety minutes later my mom would look grumpy because I hadn’t done my bed yet, and I’d have to worry that she was about to shut off my PS2 after two hours of effort.

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I’m living with another adult in the year 2020, so obviously, the frustrations of “no save points” are different. As in, I was actively texting a friend I had plans with, “I am so sorry but this DLC has literally no save points BUT this battle looks either very finite or penultimate-ish.” And what’s better is, you can put your console to sleep instead of turning it off. This way, you don’t lose any progress.

But save points aren’t just a matter of losing progress. It’s a matter of having a breath of fresh air. And honestly, in a game as loaded as Kingdom Hearts—and a DLC stuffed with lore, gameplay, emotions, scenery—a break would have been great for processing… well, everything.

For Kingdom Hearts 3: Re:Mind, I think I see the intent of “trial by fire.” But I got pretty easily burned out. So just be warned, if you intend on trying Re:Mind, make sure you have plenty of  time on your hands. The bosses are legitimately a lot of fun, honestly. Plus: PARKOUR IN SCALA AD CAELUM! 

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Victoria Rose

Victoria is a Brooklyn-based, chaotic-good former dungeon master and a Contributor-At-Large for Fanbyte. She's a self-proclaimed esports pundit, and used to do Dota 2 news and reporting as a full-time part-time gig. She's also four red pandas stacked in a hoodie. [she/her/hers or they/their/theirs]

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