How Mickey’s Poor Memory Ties Into KH3: Kingdom Hearts Meta
Right, so I just finished watching the ReCoded HD Cutscene movie and there’s something that stuck out to me.
So we all know that Mickey knew Terra, Aqua, and Ventus over ten years ago according to the KH lore. Yet he never brought them up. This is highlighted in the KH 2.8 Remix trailer when Mickey not so subtly drops that not only did he know them, but he met Aqua once in the Realm of Darkness.
This naturally got a lot of people in the fandom really mad. After the sad events that transpired in Birth By Sleep, the only survivor of the ordeal finds out information but doesn’t say anything for ten years? Yeah, that would be suspicious… but is it possible his actions can be explained?
Let’s step back from that for a minute and go towards KH2. Mickey met Xemnas. The leader of Organization 13. The guy who was purposefully destroying countless worlds so he could create Kingdom Hearts. Yet, even though Mickey clearly met him and understands the danger the worlds are in, he completely forgets ever seeing Xemnas until he sees him again at Hallow Bastion.
Which makes things worse considering Xemnas was the spitting image of Terra. And even though Mickey never met Terra personally, he does know Xemnas’ true identity because of his reaction to it in Dream Drop Distance.
So why would Mickey just casually forget the pain and suffering of his friends? Or forget who Xemnas is?
It’s a mystery unless you analyze the psychology of ReCoded.
Near the end of the game, Data Sora is taken to Castle Oblivion where he begins to walk through the castle and starts forgetting all of his friends. Data Roxas tells him that it’s better to just forget and not connect with people in the first place, because that hurt will destroy him.
Essentially, if Data Sora dwells on the pain, then the darkness will overtake him. Instead of Mickey easily giving sage advice… he instead says something interesting.
The reason why this is interesting is because MICKEY HAS BEEN THERE!
Mickey was the sole survivor of the onslaught that transpired between Aqua, Ventus, and Terra against Master Xehanort. A fight he wasn’t even supposed to be a part of. Yet because of his friendship with those three, he wanted to join in to help in any way he could…
And he couldn’t save them.
Mickey didn’t just forget about Terra, Aqua, and Ven as the years went by… he repressed those memories on purpose because it hurt too much to think about. That guilt built up but he couldn’t face his past because that pain was too much for him. And according to Data Roxas, if you dwell on the pain you fall into darkness. We may not see Mickey get close to darkness per-say, but we do see the effects their losses in his actions.
Why he travels alone during KH1 and 2? Why he has such a strong reaction to Goofy’s “death”? Why he’s so desperate to not let Riku fall into darkness? Why he “forgot” Xemnas?
It’s because he has been hurt by loss in the past and instead of facing that pain head on and accepting it, he ran away and attempted to prevent that pain from happening again by simultaneously trying to repress the memories and trying to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
That’s why he’s forgotten, but won’t let go. He doesn’t want his friends to go down the same path, but he doesn’t want to go through that pain again.
The King is at a crossroads throughout most of the games because of these conflicting emotions! Also, Mickey has taught himself that all darkness is inherently evil and that no form of darkness should ever exist. Which also includes feelings such as sadness, anger, loss, or regret…
So he can really relate to Data Sora here.
If Mickey let his pain in, would it pull him to the darkness? Would it overtake him?
But the difference between Data Sora and Mickey is that Data Sora is willing to accept that pain is essential to who you are and you must carry it. Data Sora can accept it while Mickey, although he accepts darkness can be used for good, still struggles with accepting his own darkness.
And who conveniently meets up with Data Sora after he learns to accept the fact that you gotta carry your pain with you?
That’s right. Mickey. Yes, he didn’t have the energy to talk to Data Sora during Data Sora’s battle with Roxas, but Mickey had to at least keep track of Data Sora somehow. Otherwise he wouldn’t know where Data Sora would be in the Datescape. It’s possible Mickey could have kept a connection open enough so that he could hear Data Sora. Mickey had to since just after he says he’s glad to catch up with Data Sora, he says:
So Mickey knew what Data Sora was going through. Could it be possible that Mickey took his time because he was realizing that Sora was doing something he couldn’t? That Data Sora could accept pain as natural and carry the weight without it letting the pain overtake him?
If Mickey heard the whole exchange between Data Sora and Data Roxas, Mickey would have been faced with a decision. A decision that he’s been running away from for over ten years.
If Mickey were to help Data Sora find the hidden pieces of the journal, he must learn to accept his own pain too. And even though we do not see how Mickey gets affected on a surface level, we do see how the experience changed him immediately after Mickey returns to the real world.
After the events of this game, Mickey seems more aware of his missing friends. In the secret ending of the game, Mickey immediately starts talking to YenSid about finding Ven’s heart and saving Terra, Ven, and Aqua.
It could be possible that he has been investigating their losses in the past, but it was only after he accepted that he wasn’t good enough to save them that he was able to get emotionally strong enough to face his mistakes and take his pain head on.
Data Sora showed him the way. After being with Data Sora and facing the memories that were too painful to bear according to Naminé, Mickey had to face the loss he ran away from for over ten years.
Sora’s not the only one who needed a hand to hold during this painful re-experience.
Naminé then says this to Mickey specifically:
Because, she’s right. Mickey does know how much they’re hurting. And how long he has been running away from that pain.
But now he needs to face it, accept it, and carry the burden to make it right.
Some say that ReCoded was pointless.
I say it added a lot of depth to Mickey and answered a lot of questions related to his character.
Now Mickey isn’t afraid of his own pain, guilt, and loss anymore. Now he can accept that darkness as a part of himself.
It may be a long time coming, but because of his adventures with Data Sora, Mickey is finally ready to acknowledge his memories, forgive himself, move forward, and finally take the steps to save his friends in Kingdom Hearts 3.