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Kingdom Hearts is the first game in the Kingdom Hearts series directed by Tetsuya Nomura. Revolving around a fourteen-year old boy named Sora, it details his adventures after his homeworld is destroyed by sinister creatures known as the Heartless, and his attempts to restore his world and reunite with his friends. In the process, he meets many characters from classic Disney films and a handful from the Final Fantasy video game series. The main theme song for the game is "Simple and Clean", performed by Utada Hikaru.
Kingdom Hearts begins with Sora's Dive to the Heart, which foreshadows the events that will soon take place, but soon progresses to Destiny Islands, where Sora lives with his two best friends, Riku and Kairi. The three friends seek to leave the islands to explore new worlds and have prepared a raft for this purpose. One night, the islands are attacked by darkness and shadow creatures. Sora seeks out his friends, finding Riku first; Riku disappears into darkness, curious about what it contains. Soon after, Sora obtains a mysterious weapon, the Keyblade, to defend himself. Using it to fend off the creatures, he heads for a secret cave, where he finds Kairi near a door. She turns to him, saying his name as the door behind her blows open. The ensuing blast of darkness sends Sora and Kairi both out of the cave. The islands are soon destroyed, and Sora is left adrift, Riku and Kairi's whereabouts unknown.
Meanwhile, King Mickey has left his world to deal with the increasing power of darkness and left instructions for mage Donald Duck and knight Goofy to find the "key". Donald and Goofy use a Gummi Ship to travel to Traverse Town, where it happens Sora has also drifted to. Sora encounters the creatures again in the town, and eventually meets Leon, a mysterious swordsman who explains they are Heartless, creatures that consume hearts, and that the Keyblade is the only weapon capable of defeating them. The king of Leon's home world, a man named Ansem, is said to have studied the Heartless. Donald and Goofy are approached by Leon's ally Aerith, who also tells them what they may be looking for. Soon after, Sora meets Donald and Goofy rather hastily, and the three work together to take down a large Heartless. From there, they decide to travel together: Donald and Goofy to find Mickey, and Sora to find Kairi and Riku.
The three travel to various worlds based on Disney films, finding that the Keyblade also locks "Keyholes", passages that the Heartless use to take the hearts of the worlds. A group of villains, led by Maleficent, seek out the seven Princesses of Heart to unlock the Keyhole that leads to Kingdom Hearts, a repository of knowledge and power and the source of all hearts. This group now includes Riku, who is swayed by Maleficent's promises that she will help find Kairi. At the same time, Maleficent breeds distrust in Riku, telling him that Sora has abandoned him and Kairi for new friends and the Keyblade. An increasingly antagonistic Riku manages to find Kairi's body, but her heart is missing.
Sora and his friends eventually arrive at Hollow Bastion, the home world of Ansem and the headquarters of Maleficent. Riku takes the Keyblade from Sora, claiming that he was fated to have it all along and Sora was simply the "delivery boy". Donald and Goofy, taking their order to follow the "key" seriously, reluctantly leave with Riku. Sora calls on his courage and enters the Bastion anyway, then challenges Riku again, stating that his heart derives strength from his friends. His friends return to him, as does the Keyblade. Shamed, Riku flees and meets a cloaked man who goads him to give into the darkness.
Sora, Donald, and Goofy, meanwhile, engage and destroy Maleficent. They soon after meet a strangely-behaving Riku with a new Keyblade that unlocks hearts. He leads them to Kairi's living but unfeeling body; Riku then reveals himself as completely possessed by Ansem. The newly reformed Ansem explains that Kairi is the last Princess of Heart, and that her missing heart has been trapped within Sora's body since the destruction of Destiny Islands. Spurred to action, Sora defeats Ansem; however, he cannot seal Hollow Bastion's keyhole because Kairi's heart is still in his body, thus the keyhole remains incomplete. Sora uses Ansem's Keyblade to unlock his heart, releasing both his and Kairi's heart, but turning him into a Heartless. Kairi's heart returns to her body, in turn completing the final Keyhole; she then returns Sora to human form by the strength of her heart. The group resolves to follow and end Ansem's plan.
Ansem retreats to the End of the World, the combined fragments of worlds taken by the Heartless. Upon being found and finally beaten, he explains his belief that darkness is the heart's true essence, and he seeks Kingdom Hearts, the source of all hearts, and therefore the ultimate source of darkness. However, upon opening the door to Kingdom Hearts, it reveals Light, killing Ansem. Beyond the door are Mickey and Riku, back in control of his own body. They help Sora and the others close the door, as there are many Heartless beyond it, but Riku and Mickey must remain inside to help seal it. Mickey and Sora then use their Keyblades to lock the door. The destroyed worlds reconstruct themselves; Kairi is pulled back to the Destiny Islands, but Sora promises before separating they will all reunite some day. Sora, Donald, and Goofy resolve to find Riku and Mickey, though they are unsure of where to start. Luckily, Pluto appears, clutching a letter from Mickey in his mouth; he runs off with Sora, Donald, and Goofy in tow, ready for a new set of adventures. The silent narrator from the beginning of the game states in the final scene that Sora's destiny is to open the door to light.
A fourteen-year-old boy who lives on the Destiny Islands with his best friends Riku and Kairi, a kind-hearted young man who dreams of seeing other worlds. After the islands are consumed by darkness he finds himself alone in another world. He travels to various different worlds with Donald and Goofy in search of Riku and Kairi. He wields the Keyblade, a weapon capable of destroying the darkness and sealing the hearts of worlds. His name means "sky" in kanji.("空")
Riku is the fifteen-year-old friend of Sora and Kairi and lives with them on Destiny Islands. He and Sora always compete on everything as friendly rivals, with Riku usually winning. He was meant to be the original wielder of the Keyblade, but he gave in to the darkness of his heart in order to fulfill his dream of seeing other worlds. His name is the kanji for "land." ("陸")
The King of Disney Castle who set out on a mission to find out the secret of the Heartless. He left a note to Donald and Goofy telling them to find the Keyblade wielder.
Disney Castle's Court Magician. He is searching for his missing King by traveling to various worlds in the gummi ship. He and Goofy team up with Sora in order to find their King.
Captain of the Royal Knights at Disney Castle. He is also searching for the King alongside Donald.
The heartless of Xehanort who impersonated the actual Ansem and transformed himself into a heartless so he could find Kingdom Hearts, which he believed would give him the ultimate power of darkness.
Final Fantasy Characters
Square Enix, the makers of the game, inserted several characters from their own popular Final Fantasy game series into the storyline.
Wakka appears as a younger version of himself although he appears to be a bit older than Selphie and Tidus and as old as Riku. He can be challenged by Sora and uses his Blitzball as a weapon. He is found on the beach and beside the waterfall.
Selphie appears as a younger girl on the Destiny Islands. She appears to be a daydreamer although she can be fought optionally by Sora. She uses a jump rope as a weapon. On both days, she can be found on the jetty beside the boats.
Squall Leonheart (Leon)
Squall appears in Traverse Town. He calls himself "Leon" in the game, taken from his last name, which he chose because he was angry with himself for not being able to save his world. Along with Yuffie and Aerith, he helps Sora along his journey. Leon can also be fought in three separate battles during the Olympus Coliseum Cups.
Yuffie is found in Traverse Town early in the game. At first, Sora mistakes her for Kairi. She helps him along with Leon and Aerith. Yuffie can also be fought in two separate battles during the Olympus Coliseum Cups.
Cid is encountered by Sora in the Accessory Shop in Traverse Town. He gives Sora the book containing the Hundred Acre Wood world and upgrades the Gummi Ship numerous times. Later, he can be found near the entrance to the Second District and parts for Gummi Ships can be purchased from him.
Cloud appears in the Olympus Coliseum as a boss, hired by Hades to take out Hercules. He is nearly killed by Cerberus and teaches Sora the Sonic Blade ability. He appears twice later as an opponent in the Hercules Cup and the Hades Cup, alongside Leon.
Sephiroth can be found after the Hollow Bastion keyhole has been sealed. He appears as an optional boss fight for the Platinum Match in the Olympus Coliseum.
The Moogles appear in Traverse Town. One can be seen walking around the World Exit and others can be found in the Accessory Shop and the Synthesis Shop where they synthesize materials for items and equipment.
Temporary Party Members
Temporary Party Members are world-specific characters that join Sora's party to help him during the time he spends in that said world, and as such, will only be present in the world they come from. They are characters that Sora meets and befriends during his search for Riku and Kairi. Each character can become a party member, by switching him/her with Goofy or Donald.
Tarzan (from "Tarzan")
Tarzan is only available in Deep Jungle. He fights using brute "jungle-strength" and his stone-tipped spear. His passive abilities boost his attack power and chance of landing a critical hit.
Aladdin (from "Aladdin")
Aladdin is only available in Agrabah. He fights using "street-smart acrobatics" and a scimitar. His passive abilities boost drops by enemies (HP/MP balls as well as rare items) and also boosts the summon gauge.
Ariel (from "The Little Mermaid")
Ariel is only available in Atlantica. She fights using potions with certain magical effects and swimming skills. Her passive abilities boost her MP recovery as well as raise rare item drops.
Peter Pan (from "Peter Pan")
Peter is only available in Neverland. He fights using his flight skills and a small dagger. His passive abilities are a scattered version of the above four's. He has the critical hit boost of Tarzan, the drop increases of Jack and Aladdin and one of Ariel's MP recovery abilities.
Beast (from "Beauty and the Beast")
Beast is only available in Hollow Bastion. He fights using animal senses, claws and brute strength. His passive abilities are the same as Tarzan's, yet he has one of Ariel's MP recovery abilities, but it's boosted even higher than hers, because he has two of the same MP recovery ability.
Throughout his travels, Sora finds summon gems, which he can bring to the Fairy Godmother, and be granted a summon from the gem. In reality, the gem is the heart of the summon, created when the heart of a world is devoured by the Heartless, but with the heart of one of the residents being too strong to be consumed. Summons take the place of the two AI members of the player's party, and as such, both AI must be conscious before the player can use a summon. Pride Lands, The Land of Dragons and all worlds were destroyed by the Heartless, except Agrabah and Neverland.
Simba (from "The Lion King")
Simba's gem is the first one acquired in the game, and once shown to the Fairy Godmother, she will explain about summons. Simba's attack is a charged attack. Once the charge-button is released, Simba will roar and nearby enemies will take damage. The longer the roar is charged, the higher the damage.
Genie (from "Aladdin")
Genie is acquired by defeating Jafar and completing Agrabah. Aladdin uses his final wish to wish for Genie's freedom, making Genie free to help Sora. Genie uses random magic attacks on locked on targets as his attack. The spell attack power is usually higher than Sora's and Donald's.
Tinker Bell (from "Peter Pan")
Tinker Bell is acquired after completing Neverland. Peter Pan tells her to help out the party, after defeating Captain Hook. Tinker Bell will heal Sora at timed intervals and if Sora is defeated while her summon is active, she will revive him once and then disappear. This summon is unorthodox in 2 ways:
- She doesn't take your allies away
- She doesn't have a time limit, so she can stay indefinitely (or until you faint).
Mushu (from "Mulan")
Mushu is a fire-breathing dragon that is ideal for dispatching single enemies quickly or significantly lowering a boss' HP. This is because of his ability to rapidly shoot small fireballs at targeted enemies. However, this ability takes the place of regular attacks, and is a just a little weaker, but it can be used at long distances, meaning less risk of taking damage.
Dumbo (from "Dumbo")
Dumbo is yet another summon ideal for dispatching several Heartless at once. When Dumbo is summoned, Sora shrinks in size and latches on to Dumbo's hat. Dumbo attacks by dousing the enemies with water from his trunk and the hit has a wide-area effect. Sora is invulnerable while riding Dumbo.
Bambi (from "Bambi")
Bambi is a good summon to use, when facing enemies strong against physical attacks, but weak against magic, or if simply fighting Heartless attacking in large groups. Bambi will jump around the stage (while still staying near Sora), sprouting large amounts of MP balls each time he lands, making him an ideal helper for when excessively using magic attacks. From a strategic point of view, this is better than using Genie, as you have no control of what spells Genie will use, which at times can backfire.
Most of the villains in Kingdom Hearts are taken from the various Disney films that are featured in the game. The most notable Disney villain in the game is Maleficent (from Sleeping Beauty), who initially appears to be the main villain of the game. However, it transpires that an original character, Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, is the main antagonist of the game. Both of these characters are major bosses, though Ansem is in fact the final boss.
These are the main antagonists of Kingdom Hearts, with the majority often seen conspiring together as a group in the ruins of Hollow Bastion.
The Heartless are living beings, whose hearts were corrupted by darkness, and they play the roles of the "common enemies" Sora and party must defeat. They exist for no other purpose than to consume hearts, be it the hearts of other living beings or even that of entire worlds. If someone loses their heart to a heartless, they themselves become one.
In general, there are two types of heartless, commonly referred to as Pureblood Heartless, who are created "naturally", and Emblem Heartless, who are artificially created. The Emblem Heartless received their name because upon creation, they were all branded with an emblem, in order to distinguish them from the Purebloods.
- Destiny Islands
- Traverse Town
- Olympus Coliseum
- Deep Jungle
- 100 Acre Wood
- Halloween Town
- Hollow Bastion
- End of the World
Kingdom Hearts Final Mix
Kingdom Hearts Final Mix is an extended version of Kingdom Hearts. It features many additions to the original game, such as new items, enemies, and abilities. It also features a new secret movie, foreshadowing more of Kingdom Hearts II. Template:Section-stub
Kingdom Hearts 1.5
Main Article: Kingdom Hearts -I.5 HD ReMix-
A remastered version of the game is to be released along with Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories for the Playstation 3 in 2013, and will also come with a set of remastered cutscenes from Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.
In popular culture
In Zero Punctuation's review for Pokemon White, Yahtzee stated that many viewers believe the reason why he never reviews popular games or series wanted by his fans is because they might be his "secret guilty pleasure". When he said all this, he is shown licking the cover box of the first Kingdom Hearts game.
- Kingdom Hearts was originally produced in America by both Square Soft and Disney; Square Soft had come to join up with Disney because of both their ideas on a game when Japanese and American icons come together; Disney and Final Fantasy. The Final Mixes of the games were only released in Japan. Kingdom Hearts Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix are English dubbed but with Japanese subtitles.
- Since the protagonist of Kingdom Hearts was originally thought to be Mickey, Sora's clothes are based on Mickey's clothes, to mesh well with Donald and Goofy.
- Kingdom Hearts had a different logo in the beta trailer showing the word "Kingdom" in gold, bold letters on top of "Hearts" in the same style as the current logo.