Christian Ideals in Kingdom Hearts
In the four or so years of my enduring interest in the Kingdom Hearts franchise, the central conflict between Light and Darkness has stuck out as being an actual reality. In Kingdom Hearts, light and darkness are present in every heart, save for the Princesses of Heart. Sometimes the Darkness is stronger than the Light and vice versa. That is true in the real world, as well. Also like in the game, we see what happens when people yield to their inner darkness. That is where all manner of crime comes from, from thievery to rape. Even little things like fibbing lead into something bigger and it eventually catches up to us. We’ve also seen how the light can shine through all kind of disasters when people respond to cry for help.
Characters in the game are aligned with either light or darkness. The worlds, too, unless they are in the Realm of In-Between, like Twilight Town. However, we of the real world are more like Riku. We are trapped between Light and Dark. We walk the same path he took in Chain of Memories, the Twilight Road. Christians like myself strive to walk on the Road to Dawn while everyone else is either knowingly or unknowingly walks the Road to Dusk. Depending on our day to day choices, we can be pushed onto either road. As a Christian, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only time we will walk the Way of Light is when we die and our souls enter Heaven. We’re not perfect and we also yield to the darkness in our hearts. Heaven is our Realm of Light which we should strive for. Naturally the Realm of Darkness is Hell or eternal separation from the Light. It mirrors how the Realms in the games are separated. The Path of Darkness is walked only by those who rejected Christ as the Light to their dying day. Until then, all of us walk the Road of Twilight to either Dawn or Dusk.
Mickey once said that the world is made of both light and darkness and that you can’t have one without the other. Both coexist in perfect balance in Riku who accepted his darkness. Christians should be like that, too. We should accept that we are not perfect and that there will be darkness in our hearts as well. I don’t think the darkness in our hearts is the true cause of evil since our darkness is only our faults as humans. It’s whether or not we choose to yield to it that it becomes a threat. Riku was able to use his inner darkness for a good cause in the second game. He had to use his darkness in order to defeat Roxas and help Sora wake up. He didn’t yield to it the way he did in the first game but channeled it in a way where he was able to keep Xehanort’s Heartless from taking over.
Riku also proved to me that running from the darkness is useless because of its nature as half of everything. Our imperfect light will not distance us from the darkness either, not on this plane of existence anyway. Heaven, to me, is the ultimate escape from the darkness that plagues the world. Christians should try to be the light of the world. I think by knowing about and accepting our own darkness, we can try to build our light up to be even stronger. Our humanness prevents us from ridding ourselves of darkness all together but if we trust in God, He can help us make the right decisions and keep our darkness in check, unless we stray.
Cloud Strife says a line that has become an enduring mantra for me because of the Christian undertone it can have. “Don’t lose sight of your light.” This is what he said to Sora in the first game after you clear Olympus Coliseum. To the God-fearing Christian, the light we should never lose sight of is God. Once again, we sometimes lose sight of it the way Cloud did and we sometimes have to search for the light in our darkest hours. The two times I had to deal with the OC hijacker from last December were the times I lost sight of my light. I wasn’t depending on God to help me deal with the fact this idiot had decimated Phoenix twice. Phoenix, as a character, is my pride and joy because she embodies some of my negativity concerning my situation as a bastard child to a mother who wasn’t mentally fit to care for me.
I guess when I lost sight of my light, that’s when I yielded to my personal darkness and I paid for it with my happiness. The darkness the idiot drew out of me almost made me abandon my passion for creating whole worlds and characters to live in them. Only by letting go of the conflict did I find peace. I was reminded that Phoenix is mine alone, even if the guy decimated her, mocked her, and openly claimed her as his own. Concerning Phoenix, he never claimed her as herself for his own but he made a facsimile of her in the form of Harpy, the product of an experiment on a wolf by the Russians in the guy’s messed up head. He has claimed fan characters of other people as his own, using the original names in the form of anagrams to get away with it.
This said OC hijacker is a perfect example of one who had yielded to the darkness in his heart time and time again. He gets his kicks watching us get steamed over the abuse of our intellectual property. In a way, he’s just like Xemnas and Xehanort’s Heartless. He’s unrepentant, even when we ask nicely for him to stop. I even degraded myself by begging for answers as to why he was doing this like a dog. I have a feeling, unless he has a sudden realization that what he’s doing is wrong, he’ll remained steeped in darkness. Naturally, those who never gone through this will chalk it up to satire which isn’t against the dA rules. They are often the most unsympathetic because they never had anything precious to them utterly destroyed by someone like him. They, too, reveal the darkness that comes from not caring how people could get hurt for the sake of satire.
I’ve since let the conflict go so I could focus on God again. He’s the one who helped me recover from both the OC hijacker incident and the main cause of my suffering in December. The incident was merely compounding on a family problem that started just days before the hijacker showed up again. As you can see, I was already breaking under my darkness when he started causing trouble again, using his darkness to add onto my own and breaking me in half. Ever since I found my light again, things started getting better for me. The emotional scars I got from my family problem are beginning to heal as long as the one involved stays the way he is, sober. The hijacker had reopened old wounds that only an insensitive person would say I was stupid for having at all. When they have this happen to them, then they will know my pain wasn’t without merit.
Getting back to the game, Sora once said that Kingdom Hearts is light. For me, that represents the world as it was in the beginning before our two common ancestors messed it up, leaving us a world that’s rotten to the core. People can act like the Heartless, trying to get at the heart of the world by attacking those of us who stand for the Light God gives. In a way, we Christians could be like the heart of the world because the life we strive to live is the one we read in the beginning of Genesis. The world was very good then after Creation and darkness didn’t exist then except in Satan. Satan is the master of darkness and therefore also like the Heartless. He’s trying to snuff out the light by imposing his darkness in every aspect of existence. Like Ansem the Wise, if Xemnas is to be believed, Satan is the source of all Heartless, or all the conflicts and problems in this world.
The Nobodies, beings without hearts, I can pretty much say are the equivalent of lost people who try to fill the God-shaped hole in their hearts with things that aren’t God. Human-like Nobodies like Organization XIII depend on their memories to build their personalities around since they lost their hearts, the seat of emotions and personality. Some members, like Xemnas, don’t bother with it while others, like Demyx, only drop the act when they get serious. I read that Saix doesn’t pretend to have emotion unless he’s in a fight because of his berserker rage-filled fighting style. Coming into contact with Sora and Roxas made Axel feel emotion, despite not having a heart. Roxas himself had some emotion because he was different than other Nobodies. Sora had willing lost his heart to save Kairi and retained his memory and feelings as a Heartless. Only Xehanort was able to do that exact thing, explaining why his Heartless retained a human form. Roxas may not have had Sora’s memories but he was something special, like Namine.
I will end on this note. Like Xehanort, whether as Master Xehanort, Xemnas, or Xehanort’s Heartless, the Devil has it in for all of us. Matters not if we’re Christian, atheist, or whatever, he will stop at nothing until the whole world is covered in darkness and those of us who strive for the light of God are all who stand in his way. We are like Sora. The attacks will come at us out of nowhere as long as we continue to wield the light. But as long as we don’t lost sight of our light, God, we can beat the darkness back and not let Satan temper our darkness the way Xehanort’s Heartless did with Riku’s in Castle Oblivion. We will keep fighting.