Joseph Campbell researched mythology throughout his lifetime, and even came to write a famous book called The Hero with a Thousand Faces, a book thats contents inspired the amazing Star Wars films by George Lucas. Campbell devised a common structure and named it “the monomyth.” This structure complies the many different stages of many different stories that all relate back to each other. This story-structure has existed for thousands of years and is still relevant today, and to prove this I’m going to explain the different stages of the theory and apply them to a beloved children’s game published by Disney and SquareSoft (before SquareEnix), Kingdom Hearts (the first game in the series).
THE ORDINARY WORLD:
This is the equilibrium to our story, the calm before the storm - it shows how the regular world is before the events that throw our hero into turmoil occur. Our hero, Sora, is on Destiny Islands, his home. Everything is calm and peaceful, but he and his friends, Riku and Kairi, want to leave the island to explore other worlds on an adventure, and so they build a raft with the intent to leave the next morning.
THE CALL TO ADVENTURE & ACCEPTING THE CALL:
This is where the story begins, and our hero sets out on the adventure. These two are put together, because “Refusing the Call” never happens - Sora immediately sets out on his adventure to save his friends. After meeting a strange man in The Secret Place on Destiny Islands, Sora is warned, “this world has been connected, tied to the darkness… soon to be completely eclipsed”. Not long after, Riku and Kairi are taken, and Destiny Islands is swarmed by strange creatures called Heartless.
ENTERING THE UNKNOWN:
This is when the hero enters the place where his quest will be set, usually somewhere unfamiliar and strange to them. When the darkness clears, Sora wakes up in a strange world he’s never seen before - Traverse Town. He explores the town in search of Riku and Kairi, slaying Heartless with his weapon, the Keyblade - he meets merchants and other characters but doesn’t find his friends.
This is a sort of talisman or other aid that will help the hero as he progresses through his journey. After exploring Traverse Town for a while, Sora is approached by a man called Leon, who tells him, “They’ll come at you out of nowhere. And they’ll keep on coming at you, as long as you continue to wield the Keyblade.” before he asks, “But why? Why would it choose a kid like you?” This hints that Sora’s weapon that suddenly manifested is a supernatural weapon that has the ability to choose who wields it and therefore holds great power.
These are the people that the hero meets who accompany him as he sets out to complete his quest, they’re very loyal to him. Sora makes a lot of friends throughout the game, but his two main allies are Goofy and Donald, who come to him not long after meeting Leon. Goofy and Donald are looking for King Mickey, so they and Sora decide to work together.
These are the things that happen to the hero that prove their strength or help them build their strength before the ultimate battle at the end of the story. Throughout the course of the game, Sora explores many worlds in search of his friends, with the aid of Goofy and Donald - while doing so, they face many challenges, make many friends and learn a lot about the darkness that is taking over. One of his biggest tests is fighting his friend Riku, when he finds him, he learns that he has been taken over by darkness and is now called Rikunort - at Hollow Bastion, where he fights Rikunort, he sees Kairi’s body on the floor. Rikunort tells Sora that Kairi’s heart is inside him, so Sora stabs himself in the heart with his Keyblade, and Kairi wakes up. However, because of what he did, Sora becomes a heartless, and it is up to Kairi to save him, which she does. After this, he defeats Rikunort and goes off to destroy Ansem, the one that has been controlling all of the darkness.
This is the final showdown between our hero and our villain - this is where our story comes to is climax. Sora and company make it to the end of the world, where they face off with Ansem, their main foe and the main antagonist for this game - Ansem has caused the many trials that Sora has had to face, and his goal is to open Kingdom Hearts and the door to darkness, to release darkness and millions of Heartless upon the worlds. When Ansem is defeated, it is up to Sora and his friends to close the door, but unfortunately they can’t do it alone - that’s when Mickey and Riku appear on the other side of the door, in the realm of darkness, and Mickey uses a golden Keyblade to lock the door, sealing himself and Riku inside. Before closing the door, he claims that there is always a door to light, suggesting that he will not be trapped forever, and that Sora is able to save them.
This is where the hero sees his work pay off and he can finally relax and go back to his altered home, the same place as the ordinary world, but it will be somehow changed after the events of the story. As the doors close, Riku tells Sora to take care of Kairi; as Sora turns around, he sees Kairi stood on a patch of sand across the room and he runs to her. He promises to return to her as the worlds begin to get restored once again.
MASTER OF THE TWO WORLDS:
This is where we see how the story has effected the hero and how much stronger he has become. After the credits, there’s a cutscene of Sora, Goofy and Donald walking along a path, discussing what they were going to do and how they were going to save King Mickey, when suddenly Pluto appears with an envelope stamped with the King’s seal - they start to chase after him before the scene fades away and some text appears, reading the same message that is shown in the prologue of the game: “Remember Sora, you are the one who will open the door to the light”.
@sorceressrinoa and i were talking about how utterly mortified riku would be if he had trouble calling his keyblade back to him after even after becoming a master. he thinks the whole concept of strike raid is bullshit, honestly, who even,, throws a keyblade, come on, ,,