Heart Kingdom is a juggling franchise, the wonderfully weird hybrid between Final Fantasy and Disney that has a unique personality of its own despite this. Fans have been following the series intensely, and it’s no surprise to see how far the series extends nostalgia for some of its most powerful moments.
But for a series like this to exist, a lot of work needs to be done because that’s Disney you’re dealing with, and Kingdom Hearts has a lot of history in that respect. For a series that has spanned 20 years now, there’s a small treasure trove of secrets to uncover that may have caught your eye.
The meeting that created the series
So how did a game like this actually come into being? Square Enix and Disney teaming up together doesn’t seem to be the most likely scenario, far from a match in the sky devised by men in suits. But what happened is that Square Enix and Disney Japan used to operate in the same building.
A joke between Shinji Hashimoto and Hironobu Sakaguchi about how only the popularity of Disney characters could match a game like Super Mario 64, prompted Tetsuya Nomura to volunteer to direct the project. Hashimoto then gave up a literal pitch to a Disney executive who approved the project.
Mickey is just a silhouette in the original
As a mix of two major franchises, it only makes sense to have as many features from both. For Disney, this comes primarily in the characters and world of Kingdom Hearts, some of the game’s most iconic features. Donald and Goofy are irreplaceable companions, but Mickey Mouse is a little harder to achieve.
While Mickey is currently a mainstay of Kingdom Hearts, he only makes a very brief appearance in the original game as a silhouette and small dialogue. Apparently, Mickey was heavily legally bound at the time due to other games made with him, although this has since been resolved for all future entries.
Disney used traction to get celebrity voice actors
It’s quite common in animated spinoffs to replace the original all-star cast with more readily available imitators. As for Kingdom Hearts, they really managed to get back a lot of the original voice actors. For the third game, virtually all of Frozen’s voice actors return, as does Rapunzel (who happens to voice Aerith in Kingdom Hearts).
Donald, Goofy, and Mickey all use their official voice actors. However, the games have also attracted the likes of Leonard Nimoy, Christopher Lee and Mark Hamill. Disney’s massive presence has given Kingdom Hearts many voice actors whose abilities are out of reach.
Sora’s original design is more interesting
Sora is the true shining star of Kingdom Hearts, a person of boundless happiness who strives to bring out the best in everyone. And his designs are unmistakable, from the comically oversized shoes to the spiky hair. But it actually not his original design.
Instead, Sora looks much more beastly, akin to Final Fantasy 9’s Zidane, the tail and all. Disney took issue with this, not in the animal aspect but with Sora’s weapon looking too much like a chainsaw, which led to the creation of key blades. From here, subsequent redesigns caused him to eventually evolve into his current form.
The omission of Final Fantasy in Kingdom Hearts 3 has never been explained
Since the franchise’s base is a mix of Disney productions and Square Enix’s Final Fantasy, you’d expect it to be a staple of every game. And until Kingdom Hearts 3, it was. Sure, Dream Drop Distance uses The World Ends With You characters instead, but Dream Drop Distance still feels like a fever dream.
But in KH3, Final Fantasy characters mysteriously absent until Reminder. After being asked prior to release about the lack of Final Fantasy characters shown, Nomura said he couldn’t answer, but he was surprised that so many people were looking forward to their return. . Wonder why?
Nomura worked closely with the film crew
One of the standout aspects of Kingdom Hearts is its worlds, most of which are designed after a single Disney property, many of which give Sora unique outfits and opportunities. play with the characters of that world. But up until Kingdom Hearts 3, most of them were older movies, typically the latest ones from the late 90s.
In KH3, many worlds from more modern Disney and Pixar movies were brought forward such as Toy Story or Frozen. Although Nomura has previously noted that he has relative freedom in design, he must work more closely with actual groups from the movies. This is a special case of Frozen, where more rules apply.
There are references to Final Fantasy Versus 13
While Kingdom Hearts 3 may lack realistic Final Fantasy characters, many may have noted Verum Rex’s Noctis-looking character in the Toy Story world, revealed to be Yozora in Remind. While it was never officially announced, it’s a more obvious reference to Final Fantasy Versus 13.
See, Final Fantasy 15 was originally Versus 13, so Yozora looks like Noctis. But Verum Rex is also Latin for “The True King”, with Yozora being roughly the successor to Verse 13. Another notable feature of Verse 13 that has been shown is the ability to control mechs, much like Verum 13. in the world of Toy Story. And of course, that Car Scene if you beat him.
Union X Name in Kingdom Hearts 3
At the end of Kingdom Hearts 3, Sora dies, traveling through time, getting back together, and trying to bring all of his friends back, before defeating the giant Heartless block with the great power of light and a storm of key swords, after a short time. See some characters not seen in the main game.
This character actually comes from Union X, the now completed browser and mobile Kingdom Hearts game. And all the names that appear that you have to triangulate? All real usernames of game players. Although the team never actually admitted it, many people have confirmed seeing their own names there, a magical experience that is sure to happen.
The forest book world has been cut
With Disney’s wealth of work, there’s no denying the selection of works there is undeniable. I mean, Nomura even said he wanted to do an Iron Man world before, even though he knew he couldn’t. And although there was a Pinocchio world that was scrapped in 358/2 Days, the more mysterious is the Forest Book World Born in Sleep.
Never actually acknowledged by the Square Enix teams, but found in Birth By Sleep’s profile is a Jungle Book world. Although not much complete, there are still rudimentary parts of the jungle, as well as Louie’s Throne Room. What’s interesting is that they’ve never talked about it considering their openness in the past, and worse yet it’s still being developed based on the legality involved to include it.
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https://www.thegamer.com/kingdom-hearts-series-development-trivia/ Kingdom Hearts: Behind The Scenes Trivia