Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Release date:||September 20, 2002|
|Game modes:||Single player|
|ESRB rating:||Everyone (E)|
Kingdom Hearts (Japanese: キングダムハーツ Kingudamu Hātsu) is an RPG that was released in Autumn of 2002, which is notable for being the result of a collaboration between the video game manufacturer and producer Square-Enix (then Squaresoft) and Disney.
Kingdom Hearts begins on lush tropical islands called the "Destiny Islands", home to the main characters Sora, Riku, and Kairi. One night, a storm sweeps through the island, and evil creatures called the Heartless appear. The three friends are separated. It is then Sora receives his weapon, the Keyblade. Using the Keyblade and teaming up with various Disney characters, such as Donald Duck and Goofy, he seeks to defeat the Heartless and be reunited with his friends.
It is an action-based RPG, featuring realtime rendered backgrounds and scenery. The music is composed by Yoko Shimomura, the ending credits theme and opening orchestration is by Kaoru Wada, and the main vocal theme is "Hikari" (light), or "Simple and Clean" in Western releases, composed and performed by Utada Hikaru.
In Kingdom Hearts, an evil villain has used the Heartless to tear down the walls between the many worlds. Lead character Sora, as well as popular Disney characters Donald Duck and Goofy, must travel to each of these worlds, using the mighty Keyblade to seal the entrances to the hearts of the worlds before the Heartless can destroy them. The main villain himself seeks to find the door into utter darkness. Sora's friend, Riku, has been seduced by the darkness, and makes several attempts on Sora's life.
In Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix, the Japanese re-release of the game, several events and a number of gameplay tweaks are added. Various new enemies, abilities and weapons are created, and slight changes have been made to affect the game's difficulty. The game ends with what many fans assume to be the teaser trailer for Kingdom Hearts II, a sequel which has recently been announced. In this teaser, titled Deep Dive, Mickey and four other cloaked figures are shown. One of the Unknowns carries two keyblades, and the other has been confirmed as Riku.
The many worlds in which the game takes place include various Disney settings, as well as some original ones.
The Disney-based worlds:
- Wonderland, from Alice in Wonderland
- Deep Jungle, from Tarzan
- Olympus Coliseum, from Hercules
- Agrabah, from Aladdin
- Monstro, from Pinocchio
- Atlantica, from The Little Mermaid
- Halloween Town, from The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Neverland, from Peter Pan
- Hundred Acre Wood, from Winnie the Pooh
- Disney Castle (non-playable)
The original worlds:
- Destiny Islands
- Traverse Town
- Hollow Bastion
- End of the World
Voice cast (English)
- Haley Joel Osment ... as Sora
- Tony Anselmo ... as Donald Duck
- Bill Farmer ... as Goofy
- David Gallagher ... as Riku
- Hayden Panettiere ... as Kairi
- Billy Zane ... as Ansem
- David Boreanaz ... as Leon (Squall Leonhart)
- Mandy Moore ... as Aeris Gainsborough
- Steve Burton ... as Cloud Strife
- James Lance Bass ... as Sephiroth
- Sean Astin ... as Hercules
- Bobby Castanzo ... as Philoctetes (Phil)
- Robby Benson ... as Beast
- Dan Castellaneta ... as Genie
- Gilbert Gottfried ... as Iago
- James Woods ... as Hades
- Christy Carlson Romano ... as Yuffie
- Dee Bradley Baker ... as Wakka
- Shaun Flemming ... as Tidus
- Molly Keck ... as Selphie
- Chris Sarandon ... Jack Skellington
- Kath Soucie ... as Sora's mother and Shock
- Jeff Bennett ... as Barrel, The Mayor, and Mr. Smee
- Ken Page ... as Oogie Boogie
- Ken Mars ... as King Triton
- Jim Cummings ... as Winnie the Pooh and Tigger
- Jonathan Freeman ... as Jafar
- Tony Goldwyn ... as Tarzan
- Linda Larkin ... as Jasmine
- Chris Steele ... as Peter Pan
- Audrey Wasilewski ... as Terk
- Scott Weinger ... as Aladdin
- Russi Taylor ... as Minnie Mouse
- Wayne Allwine ... as Mickey Mouse
- Seth Adkins ... as Pinocchio
- Kathryn Beaumont ... as Alice and Wendy
- Jodi Benson ... as Ariel
- Susan Blakeslee ... as Maleficent
- Brian Blessed ... as Clayton
- Corey Burton ... as Captain Hook, Doorknob, Flotsam, Jetsam, and White Rabbit
- Eddie Carroll ... as Jiminy Cricket
- Pat Carroll ... as Ursula
- John Feidler ... as Piglet
- Jess Harnell ... as Dr. Finkelstein and Lock
- Naia Kelly ... as Jane Porter
- Eli Linnetz ... as Flounder
- Tress MacNeille ... as Daisy Duck and Queen of Hearts
- Mark Mosely ... as Mushu
- Tony Pope ... as Geppetto
- Kevin Michael Richardson ... as Sebastian
Voice cast (Japanese)
- Miyu Irino ... as Sora
- Koichi Yamadera ... as Donald Duck, Genie, Mushu, Beast, Sebastian
- Kaneta Kimotsuki ... as Jiminy Cricket
- Akio Otsuka... as Ansem
- Mayuko Aoki ... as Selphie
- Masakazu Morita ... as Tidus
- Kazuya Nakai ... as Wakka
- Hideo Ishikawa ... as Leon
- Yumi Kakazu ... as Yuffie
- Maaya Sakamoto ... as Aerith
- Takahiro Sakurai ... as Cloud Strife
- Mika Doi ... as Daisy Duck and Alice
- Yasunori Matsumoto ... as Hercules
- Ichiro Nagai ... as Philoctetes
- Juurouta Kosugi ... as Tarzan
- Shinichiro Miki ... as Aladdin
- Banjou Ginga... as Clayton
- Akira Kamiya... as Iago
- Akira Takarada ... as Jafar
- Yuji Mitsuya... as Dr. Finklestein
- Mitsuo Iwata... as Peter Pan
- Chikao Ohtsuka... as Captain Hook
The hero of the game, Sora is 14 years old and on a quest to find his friends while saving various worlds from the Heartless. He carries a peculiar weapon, the Keyblade, and travels with Disney characters Donald Duck and Goofy who are looking for their king, Mickey Mouse. As a teenager, Sora has his share of concerns, but overall, he manages to keep an upbeat attitude. He seems too simple-minded at times, but he has a strong sense of justice.
One of Sora's best friends, Riku is 15 years old, and lives with him on Destiny Islands. Although Riku is 'officially' Sora's best friend, it seems more like the two are rivals. Riku is older than his friends and much more serious than them. He cannot stand living in the enclosed world of the islands and seeks to find a way out. He and his two friends start to build a raft in hopes to sail to another world at the start of the game. However, when the Heartless attack the islands, Riku seems to have no fear of the darkness they bring and goes into it willingly. After discovering new worlds, he searches in an attempt to find them, but when he finds Sora with Donald Duck and Goofy, Riku assumes that Sora has abandoned him. After that, Riku joined with with Maleficent and made several attempts on Sora's life, including stealing the Keyblade and his friends, because Riku was meant to have the Keyblade and he seemingly believed that Sora is far too weak to protect Kairi. But Riku was cast into the World of Darkness after his body was taken over by Ansem.
Sora's other best friend who lives with him and Riku on Destiny Islands, Kairi is also 14 years old. Sora and Riku often compete for her attention and affection. Kairi also disappears after the destruction of Destiny Islands, and Sora doesn't find her until he reaches Neverland. However, she doesn't react to anything he does and is completely unaware that he is even in her presence. Riku reveals that she lost her heart sometime between the destruction of their home and his finding her, and that he joined Maleficent to locate her heart. Kairi also seems to have some connection to Hollow Bastion and its mysterious keyhole, which is said to need "seven princesses of heart" to open.
Donald Duck appears as a magician, capable of doing various spells from curative to offensive. He, along with Goofy, go to find their missing king, who has gone on a mission to investigate the bedlame the kingdom is under, as well as the Keyblade Master. He contributes to the party with his repetoire of spells and also brings the comic antics he never seems to lose throughout the Disney series'.
Goofy appears with Donald on the same "find the king" mission. He appears as a monk, a master in physical stats (HP, strength, and defense). He is the Captain of the Royal Knights and despises weapon usage, so he uses a shield to attack and defend, and is the king's most royal subject. He is a great help and is the group's pack mule (he carries the most accessories and items). Like Donald, his comical antics never seem to die out.
The villains of Kingdom Hearts. Led by Maleficent, they are composed of Jafar, Hades, Ursula, Oogie Boogie, and Captain Hook. They use the Heartless for their evil plans in order to obtain seven maidens of the purest heart, called the Princesses of Heart, and to dominate their resident world under their rule or vengeance, etc. As Ansem's journal said, once they had obtained all 7 such Princesses, they will be able to unlock the Final Keyhole. Other Disney villians that also appear but are not affiliated with Maleficent are the Queen of Hearts and Clayton.
The true villain of Kingdom Hearts, he was hiding in the shadows until Maleficent gathered all seven Princesses of Heart. He was the ruler of Hollow Bastion (where the villians set up their base of operations), but he went insane due to his research on the Heartless, believing that only the power of darkness rules existence. He entered the darkness, losing his body in the process, but had a will great enough to withstand becoming a Heartless himself, and instead became something more. Deceiving Riku into letting him possess the boy's body, Ansem regained his physical form and purged Riku's heart from him when he tried to fight back. Sora followed Ansem to the world beyond the Final Keyhole, the End of the World, where the door to Kingdom Hearts awaited, and defeated him before Kingdom Hearts was fully opened.
The Heartless are creatures born of the darkness in people's hearts. When they consume a person's heart, their body vanishes and their heart falls to darkness. There are natural Heartless made of pure darkness, and there are artificial Heartless created by the sage Ansem as an experiment and are branded with a symbol. They pursue the wielder of the Keyblade, Sora, to get rid of him so that their plans to shroud the universe in darkness continues uninterrupted.
- Types of Heartless(In order of appearence)
- Shadows: The most basic of Heartless, they are found everywhere. They sneak up to their enemies and strike them with sharp claws. They are extremely tenacious, often chasing their prey to the end.
- Darkside - Enormous Heartless that appeared in the Destiny Islands with Shadows. Although Sora defeated it, the island was swallowed by the darkness. Sora would face it agian during the fight with Ansem.
- Soldiers: Found in various places.
- Guard Armour: Living suit of armor, it was the first Heartless Sora fought with Donald and Goofy by his side.
- Red Nocturne - Fire spell-casting Heartless.
- Large Body - Overweight Heartless, they seem tame and laid-back but go berserk when they are angered.
- Trickmaster - A Heartless Sora and company encountered while they searched for Alice. Its herky-jerky attacks and juggling act flustered Sora and the others.
- Blue Rhapsody - Ice Spell-casting Heartless.
- Powerwild - Monkey-like Heartless that have great physical strength and agility that they use in combination attacks.
- Bouncywild - Monkey-like Heartless that unlike Powerwilds, attack from long-range with a slingshot. They scamper about during battle, making them difficult to hit.
- Stealth Sneak: A chamelon-based Heartless Clayon used in battle. It somehow manipulated the light to turn invisible. It crushed Clayton to death before it faded away.
- AirSoldiers: Winged heartless found in various places. They fly over their enemies and dive to strike them. Their high endurance and quickness make them tough to beat.
- Yellow Opera - Thunder spell-casting Heartless.
- Green Requiem - Cure Spell-casting Heartless, able to asborb most magic attacks.
- Opposite Armour - A strongest version of Guard Armor, it guardsed the keyhole in Traverse Town.
- Bandit - Heartless that mostly appear in Agrabah. They can travel under the sand. They attack deftly with a long sword.
- Fat Bandit - Heartless that mostly appear in Agrabah. They are well balanced offensively and defensively. Besides strong physical attack, they use fire and they block attacks against them. Their movement is their weakness.
- Pot Spider - Heartless in the form of ordinary pots, they lie in wait as ordinary pots then reveal themselves and attack when their enemies draw near.
- Pot Centipede - A Heartless whose long body is composed of a number of Pot Spiders linked together. Even if its body comes apart, it can regenerate itself by gathering other pots.
- Search Ghost - ghost like Heartless that mostly appear in various areas. They roam in dark areas and emit light from their eye to target their enemies. They can warp from one place to another.
- Barrel Spider - Heartless in the form of a Gunpowder barrel. They use exploder in their attacks.
- Parasite Cage - Heartless that appeared inside Monstro. It's known to swallow its enemies. Sora and the others rescue Pinocchio who was trapped inside it.
- Sheltering Zone & Sea Neon- A giant jellyfish Heartless, Shetlering Zone breaks up into many smaller Sea Neons some times.
- Screwdiver - Heartless that acts with Aquatank. Unpredictable creatures, dashing forward one minute, cowardly retreating the next. They are invigorated by the spark from Aquatanks.
- Aquatank - Heartless resembling fish that calmly swim the seas. They are often carrying Screwdivers. Leisurely lazy creatures that do not attack unless provoked.
- Wight Knight - Mummy-like Heartless that mostly appear in Halloween Town. Their jerky, dance-like attack moves are fairly easy to dodge, but cause large damage.
- Gargoyle - Winged Heartless that mostly appear in Halloween Town, they can move from one place to another almost without notice.
- Pirate - Heartless that mostly appear in Neverland, that are master swordsmen.
- Air Pirate - Winged Heartless that mostly appear in Neverland. They are extremely combative and are hardly ever caught off guard. They attack with martial-arts-like techniques.
- Battleships - A Heartless that is from the waist is fused onto a pirate ship. They attack with homing and magic projectiles. Attack them at close range.
- Defender - Knight-like Heartless that mostly appear in Hollow Bastion. They each carry an eerie shield that casts Fire and Blizzard and bites nearby enemies.
- Wyvern - Dragon-like Heartless that attack from the air. They are quite swift for their size and are hard to attack, especially while they are high in the air. Counterattacking when they come down would be most effective.
- Darkball - Heartless born purely out of darkness. Their movements are unpredictable as they often make sudden moves and attacks.
- Wizard - Heartless that attack with various powerful spells.
- Behemoth - Immensely powerful Heartless. With their large frame, they trample enemies, and repel most attacks. Damaging their horns makes them lose consciousness for a while.
- White Mushroom - Non-attacking, friendly Heartless that plays charades.
- Black Fungus - Hostile Heartless, unlike White Mushrooms. They attack with poison mist.
- Rare Truffle - Non-attacking mushroom-Heartless that are rarely found. They like to jump, so they reward those who can give them in the air.
- Phantom - Ghostlike Heartless that haunted the ClockTower standing far away from Neverland when the KeyHole was opened.
- Kurt Zisa - Exclusive in US & Final Mix version, this cobra-headed Heartless appeared when the Keyhole was opened by the princesses. It swings its six powerful arms to attack Sora and company and block their attacks.
- Invisible - A natural heartless that wields a large sword. These winged Heartless can move freely through the air. Besides their sword they attack with their tails and wings. With their high attack power, they often defeat their foes quickly.
- Angel Star - Flying Heartless that most appear at the End of the World. They are born of holy spells, they attack from long range with magic. They block physical attacks with their wings, making them difficult to defeat.
- Neo Shadows - Evolved versions of the Shadows seen in the preview. You can only fight them in Final Mix.
- Pot Scorpion: Exclusive in Final Mix.
- Chimera: Exclusive in Final Mix.
Final Fantasy cameos
On Destiny Islands, the player meets younger versions of Tidus, Wakka (both from Final Fantasy X) and Selphie from Final Fantasy VIII. In Traverse Town, the player encounters Squall (under the alias of Leon) from Final Fantasy VIII, as well as Aerith, Cid, and Yuffie from Final Fantasy VII. In the Olympus Collesium, the player gets to fight Leon, Yuffie, and Cloud Strife of Final Fantasy VII. In the American and Final Mix versions, the player gets to fight Sephiroth as well, but Final Mix has an additional scene where Cloud and Sephiroth fight to the death.
The game also uses other Final Fantasy-related things. Moogles make an appearance and help you obtain the ultimate weapon. Several other weapons, such as Lionheart and Save the Queen, have a Final Fantasy theme. The Final Fantasy Magic Naming System (ie. Cure, Cura, Curaga) is also in place.
The main weapon in Kingdom Hearts, the Keyblade, is wielded by Sora and is the only thing that can lock the worlds, thus preventing the Heartless from consuming the heart of a world. It is the only weapon that can destroy the Heartless completely, though because of it, the wielder, Sora, is constantly pursued by the Heartless. They are mainly drawn to Sora's heart, however, not the Keyblade.
The Keyblade is upgradable via keychains, each of which change its appearance and powers.
List of Keyblades
- Kingdom Key
- Jungle King
- Three Wishes
- Wishing Star
- Fairy Harp
- Divine Rose
- Metal Chocobo
- Lady Luck
- Ultima Weapon
Final Mix Keyblades
- One-Winged Angel
- Diamond Dust
The secret boss Kurt Zisa that can be encountered in Agrabah is named after the winner of a contest held by Squaresoft to promote the game.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, the Game Boy Advance sequel to the original game, takes place directly after the plot of Kingdom Hearts, and as such is an interquel providing the link between Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II. It was released on December 7, 2004.
A second sequel, Kingdom Hearts II for the PlayStation 2, is in the works. Its planned release dates in both Japan and the United States are confirmed to be in Q3 2005. Despite this, though, Square Enix is a bit vague on the release date, stating that it might not be out in time for Christmas of 2005, maybe even being released in Q1 of 2006.
Kingdom Hearts has many positive points. The game features a unique battle system that provides a new style of RPG gameplay. The intriguing plot line and character development really shows off Square Enix for its unique talent in developing RPGs. The opening and credit songs performed by Utada Hikaru are spectacular and have been used not only for Kingdom Hearts, but also the new Game Boy Advance interquel Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, delving further into the story between Sora and Riku. Kingdom Hearts combines the world of Disney's simple and imaginitive stories with Square's unique and emotional plot lines. This in turn will develop a story for all ages that will grip you and draw you in to the amazing world of Kingdom Hearts.
Kingdom Hearts is criticized by some fans for ruining the Final Fantasy characters placed in it. For example, several characters are made younger and do not play a major role in the story. Some of the voice actors for the more popular Final Fantasy characters (for example, Mandy Moore voicing Aerith and Lance Bass as Sephiroth) were seen as another element of error. Other critisms include the addition of Disney characters (many Final Fantasy and RPG fans were turned-off by elements they considered to be for children), the debatably childish storyline, and awkward camera angles during battles.
- Kingdom Hearts II News
- Kingdom Hearts Ultimania
- Official Kingdom Hearts site
- Official international Kingdom Hearts site
- Kingdom Hearts Images
- Kingdom Hearts at the Internet Movie Database
- Ansem Report
- Kingdom Hearts coverage @ The Square Haven
- Kingdom Key
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