Secrets of the Cathedral

Author: Unknown
Year: Unknown

Remember the beginning of Kingdom Hearts? Sora is in a limbo-like shadow area, standing on cathedral-like objects made of stained glass that show a Disney Princess in a scene from a movie. Usually, if you were to be defeated by the Heartless there, you would start over from the beginning of the fight. However, if you're defeated on top of the Snow White cathedral, exactly in the center of the apple she's holding, you won't start before the battle.

Instead, Sora respawns atop a different cathedral.

The first thing to point out is the music. Instead of being choir-like or happy (as the music in the game often is), the music here is nothing but an odd static noise, accompanied by a single broken violin attempting to play a scratchy version of Simple and Clean. The longer one stays in this area, the louder the "music" gets. Even if the television is muted or turned down, it won't shut up. As for the floor, it's essentially the Snow White one. The color of the glass is harsher, and the scene is somewhat more frightening than the original. Instead of Snow White eating an apple, she's lying dead at the bottom, holding the apple. Blood is leaking from all her facial orifices. The queen is in the background, appearing to laugh in triumph while holding a bleeding heart.

As you progress in this new place, the other cathedrals have similar scenes. Belle watches in horror as her father is devoured by the Beast. Aurora lies there, her face a gaunt gray (hinting at death, I assume) while King Philip is being burned to death by dragon form Maleficent. Cinderella appears to be being sold into slavery by her step-sisters. The scene show what dark endings could have happened in the stories. The details in the pictures are fare more advanced than one would expect, too.

The Heartless you face in this area are also different. Instead of being cute shadows, they're horrifying. They're kind of like the Neoshadows, but way more sinister. They have red eyes with yellow irises, and there are sharp claws at the ends of their hands. They're taller than Sora and much more slender. They move insanely fast and often dispatch all but the most experienced players. They're also very difficult to see, as they tend to blend in with the black background. On a lot of TVs, it's only possible to see their eyes. The staff and shield don't work against these creatures. Only people who picked the sword are able to fight them.

Most people who randomly stumble upon this often reset the game, thinking it's a glitch because it's extremely difficult to get past the first cathedral. However, some have made it much further. The music gets louder (as mentioned before) and at high enough volumes you can hear a strange whispering beneath the static and the violin. Finally, the player makes it to the last cathedral and fights Darkside. He's different than the one you usually fight - there's no heart-shaped hole in his chest, and his eyes are red with yellow irises like the sinister Neoshadows. The fight is rather short, too. The giant grabs Sora, who gets wrapped up in darkness. It begins to enter his eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. Sora screams and all the sounds get super loud, combining together until it becomes a mess of noise...and then the darkness covers Sora entirely.

All of the noises, except for the whispering, abruptly stop and the words "Game Over" appear on the screen. The animation of Sora floating below his heart isn't there, nor are there any options to return to the game or the title menu. Players who reset the console and start over find that every time they play that copy of the game, all the screen shows is the Game Over screen with the whispering noises. Some players who made it that far reported to hear whispering when they're alone in a room, and have occasionally said to see red eyes with yellow irises in dark and distant places.

The designers of the game deny ever making this section and say the creatures, area, story, and music don't appear in the code. They claim it's a fabrication by people with a sick sense of humor. However, there was one designer - Akane Hoyotami - who was only around during the time when the cathedral levels were being created. He left shortly after this section was finished. Because he left so early, his role in the game is uncredited. He made some calls to the police after that, claiming he was being followed by creatures with red eyes and yellow irises. The police dismissed his reports as the ramblings of a lunatic and led him out of the station. He was found dead the next morning, with serious lacerations all over his body. The neighbor in the apartment next door claimed they heard the man screaming about eyes and whispering.