Kingdom Hearts is an action RPG published and developed by Squaresoft, and produced with the cooperation of the Walt Disney Company. The game incorporates many characters from Disney's animated works and several of Square Enix's Final Fantasy games. Kingdom Hearts sold 5.6 million copies worldwide (It was Square's highest selling PS2 game in North America) and was critically acclaimed for incorporating the two distinct worlds of Disney and Final Fantasy into one entertaining game.
The game's story revolves around a young boy named Sora, who lives on an island with his friends, Kairi and Riku. Their ordinary lives are interrupted when dark creatures called the Heartless attack their island. Though his own home is destroyed, Sora soon learns that he has been chosen to wield the keyblade, the only weapon that can prevent the Heartless from consuming entire worlds. Sora ends up in Traverse Town, where he joins forces with Disney representatives Goofy and Donald Duck in an effort to stop the Heartless from exerting their wrath upon other worlds.
The gameplay in Kingdom Hearts combines Final Fantasy-style RPG elements with action-oriented combat that allows the player to take direct control of Sora while two CPU-controlled characters attack based on behaviors set by the player. While Donald and Goofy usually fill out the party, they can be swapped out at save points for other characters that live in the areas Sora is currently visiting. Jack Skellington, Beast, Simba, Tarzan, Aladdin, and Hercules can all join the party when in their respective worlds.
The three main characters can be divided into traditional JRPG archetypes with Donald as a mage, Goofy as a tank, and Sora somewhere between the two depending on choices made during the introduction. Early on the player will be asked a set of questions based on their personal fears and aspirations, with each answer determining both bonus stat attributes (Strength, Magic, etc) and the rate at which experience is earned.
In addition to the standard array of RPG spells, Sora also has access to another Final Fantasy staple: summons. Instead of summoning creatures from classic mythology, however, the player has the ability to call in characters from classic Disney films. Genie, from Aladdin, Simba, from The Lion King, Mushu from Mulan, Tinker Bell from Peter Pan, Bambi from Bambi, and Dumbo from Dumbo all make appearances. Kingdom Hearts also served as a who's-who of latter day Final Fantasy games, with heroes like Cloud, Squall, and Yuffie making notable appearances.
The secret boss Kurt Zisa was named by a contest held by Square in the US to promote the game.
There are 4 secret bosses: Sephiroth, Kurt Zisa, Phantom, and the Ice Titan.
Choosing The Path
At the beginning of the game, Sora is asked to choose either a sword, shield, or a staff. Each has a different advantage for the player throughout the rest of the game. Choosing the sword maximizes Sora's starting Strength rating, while the shield and staff maximize their starting Defense rating, and Magic (MP) rating respectively. Following this choice, the player must sacrifice one of the remaining two options. Below is a table of all the combinations of starting attributes. Note that AP is short for Ability Points, and MP is short for Magic Points.
Following these choices, the player must also answer three questions from three of Sora's friends, Selphie, Tidus, and Wakka. There are three possible answers to each question, and the pace at which Sora levels up is based on the player's answers. Choosing the first answers will allow Sora to level up through lower levels (1-50) quicker than higher levels (51-100). Choosing the third answers will allow Sora to level up through higher levels quicker than lower levels. Choosing the second answers will allow Sora to level up steadily at an even pace throughout the game. Below is a table of all the possible answer combinations and the result they yield.
|Quick Early Leveling||Steady Leveling||Quick Later Leveling|
|"Your journey begins at dawn."||"Your journey begins at noon"||"Your journey begins in the dead of night"|
|1 1 1||1 2 3||1 3 3|
|1 1 2||1 3 2||2 1 3|
|1 1 3||2 1 2||2 3 3|
|1 2 1||2 2 1||3 1 3|
|2 1 1||2 2 2||3 2 3|
|3 1 1||2 2 3||3 3 1|
|2 3 1||3 3 2|
|2 3 2||3 3 3|
|3 1 2|
|3 2 1|
|3 2 2|
"Main character. Age 14. As a teenager he has his share of concern, but he manages to keep a upbeat attitude. He may seem simple-minded at times, but he has a strong sense of justice."
"Captain of the royal knights, a solider who despises weapons. Under the king's orders, he accompanies Donald on the quest to find the key. An easygoing, clumsy knight."
"Court wizard and loyal servant to the king. He embarks on a journey to carry out the missing king's orders to find a mysterious "key" and its owner. A feisty, impatient magician."
"Age 15. He may seem cool and collected for his age, but he is far from the quiet type. Always curious about the unknown, he begins to question the small, closed world in which he lives."
"Age 14. She moved to Sora and Riku's island a few years ago. Though she may appear delicate, she possesses a strong, unyielding will."
"A mysterious character who sends Donald and Goofy on their mission."
"That's me! The cricket who keeps Pinocchio to the straight and narrow. I'm along on the quest as the royal chronicler."
Also called 'International version', this game features the original Kingdom Hearts game along with the updates the countries outside of Japan got (including English voiceovers). But also has more content added specifically to this version for the patient Japanese players.
So in short this game adds new cutscenes, new enemies, new keyblades and abilities for Sora, and new aspects to the game including the Ansem reports.
While the Playstation 2 version of Final Mix was only released in Japan, the Final Mix version is included in Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix for Playstation 3 which will be released in North America and Europe as well as Japan.
The story in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix remains largely unchanged, although a few additional cutscenes were added to further advance the plot towards Kingdom Hearts II.
Japan gets to fight new bosses but also the ones that weren't included in the original Japanese version but that was in the American one (like the Ice Titan, Kurt Zisa and Sephiroth). The new boss is "Unknown" or the "Enigmatic Man" who we find out to be Xemnas is Kingdom Hearts II. The fight can be accessed in Hollow Bastion at the end of the game, and is considered one of the hardest, if not the hardest boss fight in the game. He comes to test Sora's power, and remarks that he looks just like "him" (who the player learns to be a reference to Roxas).
The game also has some new features concerning enemies in common like Heartless with different colors and higher stats like their health or their magic points. This works for every enemy in the game and does increase the level of difficulty.
A lot of people have been asking for the Heartless that were appearing in the video at the end of Kingdom Hearts and the fans (in Japan or worldwide with import) will be pleased to know that the Neo-shadows are available to fight in the last level of the game.
The game adds new cutscenes including a new secret ending for all to enjoy!. The secret ending we all know now shows Riku and Roxas fighting in the World that never Was and the other cutscenes concern Cloud and Sephiroth as Sora sees them fight and Riku in the two others in which he is in a flashback along with Sora and another talking to King Mickey. Some conversations have been added to the game including one in which Aeris explains to Sora what Cloud is looking for.
Sora can obtain 2 new keyblades to fight with. They are obtained by defeating Sephiroth (One-Winged-Angel Keyblade) and the other for defeating the Ice Titan (Diamond Dust).
New Ansem Reports
There is 2 new Ansem Reports which can be unlocked for more information on Ansem and the way he saw the world. Those reports are greatly appreciated by fans as they give a good explanation on the story and give the player enough facts to start speculating about a next Kingdom Hearts.
Last but not least, Sora now has several new abilities, which are:
- Slap Shot [AP: 1] [Interrupts enemy attacks]
- Slide Dash [AP: 1] [Use keyblade to slide and close in on enemies]
- Stun Impact [AP: 1] [A finishing combo which stuns enemies with lightning]
- Gravity Break [AP: 1] [A finishing combo, throws a black orb]
- Ripple Drive [AP: 1] [An uppercut attack which distances an enemy]
- Hurricane Period [AP: 1] [An aerial finishing attack that works quite fast]
- Zantetsuken [AP: 1] [finishing combo which can auto-defeat an enemy]
- Leaf Veil [AP: 5] [Enemies cannot hurt Sora when trying to heal]
- Tech Plus [AP: 2] [Tech points x2, x3 etc. depends on how many equipped]
- Encounter Up [AP: 1] [More heartless will appear]
The Final Mix Version of Kingdom Hearts is the basis for the HD Version included in Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix (Along with Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories and cutscenes from Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days) for Playstation 3. Aside from the HD conversion, this version also features several small tweaks to game as well, that are based off of later entries in the series. HD Version tweaks that are confirmed are:
- Unlike the PS2 version of Final Mix, which used English voiceovers and Japanese text, the Japanese HD version will use the original Japanese voiceovers. The North American version will have only English voiceovers while the European version will have voiceover options in English, French and German.
- Cutscenes can now be skipped, should the player choose to.
- Kingdom Hearts 3D's models are used for certain characters including Sora.
- Zero EXP ability has been added. When active players won't gain experience. This means players should be able to play though the entire game at Level 1.
- Combo Master ability has been added. This allows the player to continue a combo even if a part of the combo doesn't connect.
- Abilities that were in the fourth menu option are now used via the triangle button akin to the reaction commands in Kingdom Hearts II.
- Summons are now broken out into their own spot in the command menu, taking the fourth menu slot's place.
- It will use Kingdom Hearts II's camera which is on the right thumbstick. (The original version was heavily criticized for its L2/R2 camera.)
Kingdom Hearts Soundtrack
|2.||"" Hikari ( 光 )-KINGDOM Orchestra Instrumental Version"||3:42|
|3.||""Hikari ( 光 )" -PLANITb Remix- (Short Edit)"||2:31|
|4.||"Dive into the Heart -Destati-"||4:57|
|6.||"Bustin' Up on the Beach"||2:01|
|7.||"Mickey Mouse Club March"||1:02|
|11.||"It Began with a Letter"||1:32|
|12.||"A Walk in Andante"||1:18|
|13.||"Night of Fate"||2:06|
|15.||"Where Is This?"||1:42|
|17.||" The Heartless Has Come"||0:54|
|18.||"Shrouding Dark Cloud"||2:15|
|19.||"Blast Away! -Gummi Ship I-"||1:50|
|21.||"Welcome to Wonderland"||1:53|
|22.||"To Our Surprise"||2:14|
|23.||"Turning the Key"||0:16|
|25.||"Road to a Hero"||1:30|
|26.||"Go for It!"||2:05|
|27.||"No Time to Think"||0:33|
|29.||"Having a Wild Time"||2:25|
|32.||"Hand in Hand"||2:26|
|34.||"Merlin's Magical House"||1:46|
|35.||"Winnie the Pooh"||2:28|
|37.||"Just an Itty Bitty Too Much"||0:40|
|38.||"Once Upon a Time"||0:21|
|40.||"Precious Stars in the Sky"||1:08|
|41.||"Blast Away! -Gummi Ship II-""||1:50|
|1.||"A Day in Agrabah"||2:23|
|3.||"Villains of a Sort"||1:32|
|4.||"A Very Small Wish"||2:16|
|6.||"Friends in My Heart"||1:30|
|7.||"Under the Sea"||1:54|
|8.||"An Adventure in Atlantica"||2:03|
|9.||"A Piece of Peace"||1:00|
|10.||"An Intense Situation"||0:48|
|11.||" The Deep End"||2:14|
|12.||"This is Halloween"||2:22|
|13.||"Spooks of Halloween Town"||2:14|
|15.||"Captain Hook's Pirate Ship"||2:06|
|17.||"Never Land Sky"||1:26|
|19.||"Blast Away! -Gummi Ship III-"||1:51|
|21.||"Scherzo Di Notte"||1:49|
|22.||"Forze Del Male"||3:38|
|23.||"HIKARI - KINGDOM HEARTS Instrumental Version"||1:09|
|25.||"End of the World"||3:14|
|26.||"Fragments of Sorrow"||2:18|
|27.||"Guardando Nel Buio"||4:24|
|28.||"Beyond the Door"||1:08|
|29.||"Always on My Mind"||1:47|
|30.||""Hikari ( 光 )"||5:03|
|31.||"March Caprice for Piano and Orchestra"||5:13|
|32.||"Hand in Hand -Reprise-"||0:55|
|33.||"Dearly Beloved -Reprise-"||1:20|
|34.||"Having a Wild Time -Previous Version-"||1:11|
Final Mix Disc
|2.||"A Night on the Bare Mountain"||4:07|