How I Discovered Kingdom Hearts (How Did You?)

How did you find out about Kingdom Hearts?

Finding out about Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts LogoI was a little skeptical about how the whole thing would work–on the one hand, we had Disney’s family friendly lineup of memorable characters, characters that I had grown up with both in the movies and in cartoons on TV.

On the other hand, we had Square’s more mature stable of Final Fantasy characters, which I was just getting to know at the time thanks to playing VIII and Tactics. The question to me was: how could they put both universes together and still have it work?

So not long after the game’s release, I saw glowing reviews pouring into GameFAQs, GameSpot, IGN, and a number of other respectable gaming sites–so Squaresoft had to be doing SOMETHING right. I decided to dig up a walkthrough of the game to find out just what that something was.

I read through a little bit and saw that the main characters of the story were three kids named Sora, Riku, and Kairi, and after Kairi was kidnapped by creatures known as Heartless, Sora receives a weapon known as the Keyblade. It sounded interesting so far, so I kept reading.

What I saw next made me balk–Minnie? Donald? Goofy? What are they doing here? And what do THEY have to do with Sora and his quest? Plus, why are we essentially going through the plots of several Disney movies, movies I had seen millions of times growing up?

Playing Kingdom Hearts 1 for the First Time

It wasn’t until I got the game a year or two later that it finally made sense–the Disney crew were looking for Mickey, and Sora decided to help them in return for them helping him find Kairi.

Along the way they rescue the Princesses of Heart (well, Alice isn’t technically one of the Disney Princesses) and try to stop the Heartless from taking over every world (as well as making sure all the Disney movies got their well-deserved happily ever after).

Furthermore, it was somewhat satisfying to get “revenge” on those characters that had scared me when I had seen them on screen–the final showdown with Ursula freaked me out in “The Little Mermaid”; the part where Jafar took over Agrabah scared me in “Aladdin”; and I could never get past the beginning of “Sleeping Beauty” because Maleficent scared me.

So when I had the opportunity to take on all three of these villains in KH, it was quite satisfying to face my fears and in a way, say to them “Take THAT for all those years of scaring me!”

When Chain of Memories for the Game Boy Advance came along, I didn’t get to play that very much, but one scene from that game sticks out in my mind–the scene when you first arrive in the Hercules stage with Hades sweet talking Cloud in a very similar way that he does to Megara in the movie.

It was somewhat comical to see Cloud replacing Megara in an essential re-enactment of that scene from the movie, which was even more comical when you knew that Cloud had disguised himself as a girl during VII–that one scene proved to me that this combination of opposites actually worked.

Kingdom Hearts stand out for combining two worlds that no one ever thought would be combined–the magic of Disney and the deep and mature stories of Final Fantasy.

The resulting combination in Kingdom Hearts goes to show that you can have something for everyone in a game’s story–be they casual or hardcore player, child or child at heart.

How did you discover Kingdom Hearts?

So, Kingdom Hearts Community, how did you discover the Kingdom Hearts series? Have you played every game from the start? heard about it from a friend? Let us know just below!

SparklingBlue“How I Discovered Kingdom Hearts” was authored by SparklingBlue, Nintendo Editor on the Video Gaming Blog, MonsterVine. Each Monday, we publish a new Guest Post by a member of the Kingdom Hearts & Video Game community.