Friday, February 22, 2013

How Kingdom Hearts 3D showed Religion in a great, and subtle, way.

I don't know why, but games shy away from using crosses in games.  I can see if someone was using to use a cross to impale people... yes.  That's offensive.  But using it in it's proper context or as an easy way to mark a grave isn't offensive at all.  (And I'm saying that as a Catholic)

Now, in Kingdom Hearts 3D, one of the worlds you can visit is "Les Cities de Cloches" aka "City of the Bells" or Hunchback of Notre Dame.

This world:
For various (and should be understandable) reasons, Disney modified the original novel into the movie.  (Such as making Frollo a judge instead of a priest, and having a lot of people live at the end, along with various edits for time since the novel is massive and animating is a very time intensive process)

But they did keep most of the religious imagery in, it's called "Hunchback of NOtre Dame" for a reason.

Now, Kingdom Hearts 3D takes the story and... shortens it even more.  Almost all of the religious imagery was stripped, characters vanished, and Frollo became much less conflicted (Okay, Okay, I know it's space reasons and Kingdom Hearts always does the abreviated versions... but the movie and book are very complex and deserve a bit more discussion!)

Which means I was very happy when I noticed this: (yes, I took the picture myself)
It's not the best picture, but it's a carved picture  of  "Jesus' Ascension into Heaven" which, while not a cross, is a very important theologically.  It's also behind a wooden altar in the Cathedral... and you can't step on the altar (I tried in order to get a better picture.  It made me quite happy when I couldn't.)

Okay, Okay, theology time.

At the end of the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Luke, they both spend a bit of time talking about what happened AFTER Jesus rose from the dead.  After 40 days past, Jesus took the disciples up to a hill, gave one final speech, the rose up into the clouds and disappeared.  After the Apostles spent some time looking up after him, Angels showed up and basically told them to leave.

I'm horribly simplifying it, but the main part is, this is a KEY part of Christianity.

And while there is no cross in the game, there is a Nave, and in that Nave, right where the Crucifix and the Monstrance should be, there is a wooden Altar and a carving of Jesus being assumed into Heaven.

All this Catholic Symbolism, without it being actually said.  It's brilliant.

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