Kingdom Hearts: The Interstitial War ~ RE:view+
“There is a light in your heart that never goes out.”
Team: Carrion Comfort Studios (@comfortcarrion on Twitter)
System: Interstitial – Our Hearts Intertwined (based on Powered by the Apocalypse)
Gamemaster: NoblemanNick (@noblemannick on Twitter)
Format: Livestreamed via Twitch, VoDs available on Twitch and YouTube
Time: On Break
Cat Content: Occasional Cameos (Seriously, more cats plz.)
Some time ago – January 16th of this year, almost four full month ago, in fact – I posted my first “Games to Watch” review of Kingdom Hearts: The Interstitial War from Carrion Comfort Studios. While I haven’t been keeping up with them due to being busy, I have been keeping up with The Interstitial War itself. Now, the series delivered me a birthday gift in the form of the second half of their two-part conclusion to season one on April 23rd (I’ll forgive it being a day late to keep with scheduling). With the finale of the season past and the promise of more to come, I think now’s a good time to do another review of the series.
In what I can now confirm to be another worldline to the Kingdom Heart franchise’s universe – an alternate timeline taking place in a world alongside but separate from the original timeline of the games – four Guardians awake, summoned by Master Stephen Strange (yes, that Stephen Strange that you may know under another title) to fulfill the grand prophecy of the battle between Light and Dark. They are joined by three others Guardians and, together as Seven, must face off against the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness in a race against time. Along the way, they’ll deep dive into an assortment of worlds drawn from the incredibly large volume attached to both Square Enix and Disney – all never before seen in the franchise’s many outings.
The system powering the game is none other than the Interstitial – Our Hearts Intertwined system from Linksmith Games. A Powered by the Apocalypse game focused on creating a tabletop experience of Kingdom Hearts but with the serials filed off, Interstitial is without a doubt the perfect system for such a story. The system is all about the links that connect the characters – both the players and those they meet out in the world – and fits perfectly to the themes at the heart of Kingdom Hearts: the true strength was the friends you made along the way, after all. You can find a more in-depth review of the system we did here.
As I said last time, if there’s anything a Kingdom Hearts game needs, it’s heart – and The Interstitial War demonstrates over and over again just how much it has. The series is, without a doubt, a passion project and everyone puts their all into it. Outside of the master of ceremonies and the four primary players, numerous guest stars appear across the span of the series’ sixteen episodes portraying personages both good and evil and bringing new life to characters. From the amazing performance of Master Strange by Zachary Vaudo across multiple episodes to the absolutely astonishing Envy by Vanessa Hoskins and the redemptive portrayal of Prince Caspian by Quinton (of the Near Dark Society) – each and every guest member on the cast meshes in seamlessly with the existing cast to tell a story of epic proportions.
I also said originally that this was a low budget performance – and while it still is at its heart, it does not suffer in any way for it. The production values on the series just kept rising throughout the entirety of the series with, I feel, every episode topping the one before it almost every way. Every single member of the cast contributes to bringing the right amount to the production to make it an extremely engaging watch. The pacing is on point and the choice of music is at times spectacular with an uncanny sense of timing of turning scenes at just the right moment to be emphasized by the backing tracks.
With the series at an end for the time being, now is a good chance to catch up on all sixteen episodes of season one (one of those episodes is only currently available on Twitch but will up on YouTube soon). But just because the series has come to a temporary hold doesn’t mean the adventure ends – there are promises of an audio drama to bridge the gap between the seasons and help soothe some of the wounds left by the closing episodes and, of course, season two is just somewhere over the horizon…
If you can’t tell by now, I love this series. I can’t do anything but highly recommend it – whether you’re a fan of Kingdom Hearts or not, I think you’ll enjoy it. Everyone has put their heart into this series and it shows. I would hold it up as an example for other limited run series looking to get their start to aspire to.
Here’s looking to season two.
PS: Obligatory #SixSeasonsAndAMovie
Where to Watch
Normally, I’d a link to each episode. However, as this is a full, complete series now… well, I think it would be easier to simply link to the compiled playlist on Carrion Comfort’s YouTube channel. Additionally, as it’s currently only available on Twitch at the time of this writing, I’ll link to the second part of the finale, Face My Fears.