Re:Coded started out as a Japan exclusive phone game, then released in America as a Nintendo DS title. Originally it wasn’t supposed to have a canon plot towards the Kingdom Hearts series, but Tetsuya Nomura is a madman. Re:Coded on its own seems like it has no effect on the series.
However, the recent Big Hero 6 trailer, as well as the entirety of Kingdom Hearts: Union X, bear strong connections to the ideas presented in Re:Coded. Let’s RECAP Re:Coded. This takes place directly after the end of Kingdom Hearts 2. Jiminy Cricket and the Disney gang are back at Disney Castle.
Their relaxation is halted however, as Jiminy remembers how the journal entries of Sora’s first adventure were erased. The only message remaining being “Thank Namine.”
Upon further inspection, another message has appeared in the journal. “Their hurting will be mended when you return to end it.”
To find out the meaning behind the message, they digitize the journal (I know it sounds stupid) to analyze the data of the journal.
Turns out the journal’s data is packed with bugs. To combat this, Mickey remembers that Sora’s “data” must still be in the journal.
(Bear with me here) They CREATE a digital version of Sora (NOT THE REAL SORA) and instruct him to get rid of the bugs within the digital worlds of the journal.
Data Sora travels through the Datascape within the Disney worlds he traveled through back in Kingdom Hearts 1.
He is followed around by a mysterious hooded fellow, who turns out to be the Data of Roxas that existed within Sora’s heart after his self sacrifice.
While Sora is on Destiny Islands, a bright light shines from Mickey’s computer, sending him, Jiminy, Donald, and Goofy into the Datascape. They’re stuck in Jiminy’s Journal, within the digital version of Disney Castle with the door stuck and no hope of escape.
Data Sora breaks the door down while chasing after the mysterious hooded figure.
As if this wasn’t already insane, Riku appears. The Data version of Riku from KH1.
Actually, this isn’t Riku. This being was created by all the memories that were encoded in the journal, and bears the knowledge of the journal and Sora’s journey. Data Riku is essentially the sentient being of Jiminy’s Journal. Data Riku aids them on their journey.
Eventually, they find out that the real life Maleficent and Pete went into the datascape to analyze the data of the worlds to plan out how to take over the real worlds. This reminds Maleficent about something she learned many years ago.
The Book of Prophecies. Now THIS is (epic) where the connections to Union X are realized. The whole premise of the Book of Prophecies is the containment of worlds in the form of data, as well as the storage of the data of Keyblade Weilders. Maleficent learned of this from Story Quests 841-845 in Union X where she met the mysterious figure.
Anyways, Data Sora and the gang eventually drive Maleficent and Pete out of the datascape and find the source of the bugs.
Sora’s Heartless. Normally, defeating a Heartless causes its heart to be released. But when Data Sora defeated Heartless here in the datascape- that didn’t set any real hearts free. What Sora released was the Heartless’s minds. Sora’s Heartless has been gathering, then devouring the dark intentions of all the fallen Heartless. It got its power from dark data.
Data Sora defeats his Heartless and gets rid of the journal’s bugs. Unfortunately this process resets the journal.
Data Sora loses his memory of the journey through the datascape. Mickey and the Disney gang return to the real world as well.
Unfortunately, they never found out the meaning behind the strange messages that popped up.
Data Riku pops up on the screen, telling them that a new world appeared in the journal, Castle Oblivion. Data Sora restarts his journey in Traverse Town, unaware of what has happened.
Mickey explains everything to Data Sora who is surprisingly oblivious to how crazy all of this sounds.
Data Sora travels to Castle Oblivion, where Data Roxas is there to bring torment to him.
Data Roxas teaches Data Sora about the pain that the real Sora will have to face and that he should just give up on saving other people.
Data Sora tells Data Roxas that if he puts the pain aside, he’ll lose his ties to all the people he cares about.
That carrying around this pain of forgetting is worth remembering the people he fought for.
Data Roxas decides to fight him to give him a taste of real pain.
But Sora sensed something else from when they fought.
Something that felt more personal than physical pain.
If pain is something that can bring people together, that’s alright.
You can’t have light without darkness.
Data Roxas gives up. Sora has learned.
Data Sora continues on to the next room where Data Namine is there.
Data Namine was the one who created the mysterious message in the book.
She wanted the real Sora to know about the other people who need their pain to be healed, such as the Destiny Trio, or Xion.
Data Sora accepts this burden.
He tells Namine a message that the real Sora wanted to pass on to her.
The journey through the datascape is finally over.
Mickey writes a letter to pass on the real Sora segwaying into Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance. Re:Coded was a peculiar edition to the franchise. Despite the absolutely convoluted plot, the gameplay was actually more polished than the previous Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep. At least in terms of balance.
The Command Deck system was used again and, this time, it wasn’t broken with overpowered commands (though Judgement Triad is on thin ice). The alarming connection to Union X with the whole data nonsense is actually rather interesting. Tetsuya Nomura managed to expand this one wacky story into a whole -beautiful- mess. Despite the criticism that this KH game got, I have a newfound love for it and I’m excited to see how the data bugs and Data Riku will affect the story in the Big Hero 6 world of Kingdom Hearts 3.