The Missing Final Fantasy in Kingdom Hearts

Why Kingdom Hearts needs more Final Fantasy

Where art thou Final Fantasy?

There’s been a growing trend in the Kingdom Hearts games that does not really sit well with me. When the game was initially announced, I thought it was going to be a collaboration of all things Final Fantasy, much like Dissidia is. I grew more fascinated when I discovered it was in fact a collaboration of Disney and Final Fantasy. I was a Disney fan growing up, however, I am a bigger fan of the Final Fantasy series so the combination of those two worlds could only mean greatness.

As I started to play the original Kingdom Hearts, I quickly noticed Disney was the prime focus, and that those Final Fantasy characters I knew and loved were now butchered and robbed of their terrific back stories. Tidus and Wakka became children, whereas Tidus’ love interest became a small Yuna fairy featured only in KH2. Selphie is somehow Kairi’s best friend and for whatever reason, Squall insists on being called Leon.

This was not the Kingdom Hearts I was anticipating. Nor was it the Kingdom Hearts I wanted. Nowadays it appears that Final Fantasy characters have been given an even lesser role in the series as the only new Final Fantasy character to be added to Birth By Sleep was Zack.

Final Fantasy ‘Worlds’ in Kingdom Hearts

I think that if the Disney worlds were given such respect and game time, surely Final Fantasy characters deserve some love. After all, they have dealt with similar themes such as evil villains, forbidden love, and cute and cuddly sidekicks.

Their back stories are also far more fleshed out than those of Disney characters. Where Disney movies only provide about an hour and a half of story time, Final Fantasy can offer up to 100! There are plenty of moments that deserve to be relived in the Final Fantasy games or some continuations that could be included.

Perhaps there could be a new sEEd mission in a Final Fantasy VIII world or a lost Heartless temple in a Final Fantasy X world? Why is it that we have to go back to Monstro? Why not get captured by Turks on a ship headed by Captain Hook?

Also, it seems that a lot of the back story between Final Fantasy characters is simply assumed-the anger between Sephiroth and Cloud or the hinted relationship between Cloud and Aerith. Not to mention, most of the lead Final Fantasy characters featured are all from Final Fantasy VII.

Disappointingly, none of it is explained. Thus, those playing Kingdom Hearts and not knowing anything about these side characters’ back stories (aside from a blurb in Jimminy’s Journal) are not aware of the fantastic things these characters did in their original games, nor do they know of characters such as Kefka, Cecil, or even Rinoa.

Representing Final Fantasy

Why aren’t there more and why don’t the ones who ARE in the game mention more of where they came from aside from the rotten excuse that is Radiant Garden. That’s not where they’re from! They’re from Spira! Gaia! They have friends back there who are more amazing then themselves such as Barrett, Quistis, and Reno!

Thankfully, KH2 did us a solid and included Auron from Final Fantasy X. His incorporation into the story was absolutely brilliant, however, that still doesn’t explain how Tidus and Wakka know each other as kids even though they should be 1000 years apart.

Ok, so I realize, if I made Kingdom Hearts my own way with decent representations of all Final Fantasy characters involved, the play time would clock in around 500+ hours, but these are the characters that I know and love. While Disney represents my childhood, Final Fantasy represents my teenage years. It’s sad to see them torn to shreds by their own creator.

I think that at this point, the game would have been better off without the Final Fantasy addition. Perhaps at some point, they will make us Final Fantasy lovers glad with a Kingdom Hearts-like game but with only Final Fantasy worlds. Oh, if only that could happen.

Final Fantasy or Disney?

So what do you think, is there enough elements of Final Fantasy across the Kingdom Hearts games, or are you disappointed also? Should Kingdom Hearts ditch Disney? Which Final Fantasy games would you give their own worlds? Cast your vote below and leave us a comment!

Which is Better? (Poll)

  • Final Fantasy (60%, 431 Votes)
  • Disney (40%, 293 Votes)

Total Voters: 724

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Lauren - KH Union“Final Fantasy vs Disney in Kingdom Hearts” was authored by Lauren or Fozzie (as she’s popularly known), host of the Kingdom Hearts Union Podcast. Fozzie also frequently appears on the MiniGUP and Final Fantasy Union Podcasts.

91 Responses to “The Missing Final Fantasy in Kingdom Hearts”

  1. Patrick Sagon Says:

    to be honest, I like both elements incorporated in Kingdom Hearts

  2. Paulo André Says:

    Really… Final Fantasy elements are weak in Kingdom Hearts =

  3. Christopher B. Says:

    What a great idea to combine two of my favorite genres into one big adventure.

  4. Alex Ladzinski Says:

    I like the idea of visiting final fantasy worlds, but kingdom hearts has only had disney worlds so far other than the original ones like destiny islands and twilight town. It would kind of be awkward to put in a final fantasy world and break off a tradition of keeping disney worlds. That’s just my opinion.

  5. ryomai Says:

    Ditch Disney? I’m sorry. If you ditch Disney, this isn’t Kingdom Hearts anymore. It would be a Final Fantasy game. At heart, Kingdom Hearts is strictly a Disney game with Final Fantasy elements implemented here and there. It’s why Final Fantasy characters are strictly cameos. I’ll admit though. The Disney worlds aren’t written very well, except in Kingdom Hearts 1. But, the Final Fantasy characters…unless you’re Zack and Auron, are kind of…yeah. But, they work with the roles they were given.

    If anything, they should improve the writing on the Disney worlds, not add more Final Fantasy characters. Those guys are only there to market their games. Nothing more.

  6. Iggy v H. Says:

    I agree we need FF-worlds. When I bought KH I, I even thought those were in the game! However, none of the 2 are really better, although the relationship between the 2 is unbalanced. But I want to have Cecil, my personal favorite FF-character, in my party.
    Oh, and I heard somewhere that Lightning from FFXIII will be in KH III, but that’s just a rumor.

  7. Andy Star Says:

    I think you’re missing the point of kingdom hearts. A lot of gamers PLAY the FF series. But not all of us experience Disney in the way we’d all love to (In game) so they blurt IN the FF series into Kingdom Hearts with Little to NONE background IN HOPES that you buy the game to find out. I loved the little FF pop-ins and found it interesting that Selphie wasn’t man-like and that Auron was magically older than Tidus and Wakka. Those little things aren’t really important to the Kingdom Hearts series and if they ADDED those FF world to KH it’d be like playing those games. You have to understand that Tetsuya added those Final Fantasy elements to get us ‘familiar’ players to feel comfortable and excited about this wonderful gaming series. They’re more of a background filler for us and those who HAVEN’T played FF games would be like “Hmm, I wonder what’s REALLY up with them… Let’s buy it and find out” XD Just my two cents… ;p

  8. Nerösktji Says:

    Nope, don’t need Final fantasy worlds in the KH games.
    What we need is kingdom hearts worlds original to the game. Like Traverse town etc etc.
    In the first kh, there where disneyworlds, but it wasn’t disney stories, it was the story of kingdom hearts.

    Most of the disney worlds in the second game is pointless for the kingdom hearts story. Its filler.

  9. Mia Says:

    I would like a little more Final Fantasy, but I have to say, it would be kind of hard for everyone to relate to a single FF game. I mean, I think just about everyone has seen the classic Disney movies featured in KH, but not everyone knows just who Seifer, Yuffie, and Wakka are. So maybe bigger roles and more characters could be featured (like, one or two characters per world that help you out/contribute to story).

  10. Joseph D Says:

    I going to keep it short and simple. Since Kingdom Hearts is its own separate series from Final Fantasy it shouldn’t explore Final Fantasy very much, it would just bog down the story.

  11. Riverribble Says:

    Why use new actors for Disney characters’ movie lines when they can use the soundtrack from the Disney films for the shot-to-shot scenes that I like to call “Disney moments”?

  12. Litwalter Says:

    FF characters were never meant to be anything more than a cameo and if somebody wants more FF then play dissidia lol this is Kingdom Hearts not FF featuring Kingdom Hearts

  13. Miles Metts Says:

    Square Enix is just in not giving Limelight to Final Fantasy. However, the characters need more key roles. I may be Taboo in wanting a few Dragon Quest references, but the Final Fantasy gives the game it’s genre, part of it’s fanbase, and even one of it’s hardest bosses. This seams to be slightly downplayed, and should require a better reception in game.

  14. Fabio Stoppa Says:

    I think that the plot of the final fantasy characters is just to be a cameo

  15. Atietz Says:

    leave kh alone! BITCH

  16. Atietz Says:

    you are right!

  17. Atietz Says:

    i agree with this!

  18. Arcane Says:

    When Kingdom Hearts first came out, I thought(as I assume many people did) that is a was a straight up crossover between Disney and Final Fantasy-that is to say, 50/50. I will also say this though: I didn’t expect it to stay true to either side completely. Kingdom Hearts didn’t exactly deliver this. The first game at least did provide little twists here and there, to a unique story for Nightmare Before Christmas that still explored the theme of it, a prequel to Little Mermaid that again built off the problems of Ariel, and told the same story as Aladdin, but gave you the dark ending to it of Jasmine going missing, but it was still surprsing in how much it was exactly for. THe bigger shock was, of course, the amount of Final Fantasy split, ie, not much. I wasn’t too preturbed by the character changes-I hadn’t played Final Fantasy, so even though I knew who and how they were, I didn’t care when they weren’t. Squall wants to be called Leon? Okay. Tidus and Wakka are kids Sora’s age? Fine. Aerith’s still alive? Groovy. Still, it was interesting just how little there actually was, and I admit, for a while I did hold a minor grudge against the game for it’s non-equal split.

    It took me a long time to realize the Kingdom Hearts series is NOT a crossover. It’s a Disney game. A Disney game with Final Fantasy supports, granted, but still a Disney game. That realization hit me sometime near finishing Kingdom Hearts 2 the second time. By that time, I had bigger gripes in how god-awfully boring it was going through stories exactly like the movies, with little deviation or exploration in stories and themes and possibilities. Auron made a nice twist in the second appearance of Olympus Coliseum, and there were a few other things that added spice, but that change in story style on Disney’s insistence ticked me off, royally.

    Back to the point. Do I think Final Fantasy needs more coverage? I’ll be honest, I think it could use it, particularly since we have the promises of releases beyond Kingdom Hearts 3(a whole new gripe in and of itself). Disney DOES have material to play with, but speaking from experience of trying to pick new worlds for a Kingdom Hearts RPG site with a professional eye, there’s only so much that can practically be used. Plus, there is a rich resevoir of materials to play with just in terms of the backstory given to us in the world of Kingdom hearts, the big one being the unexplained story of Sephiroth, Cloud, Tifa and, on the side, Aerith. If Birth By Sleep does have a failing story wise, it would be the lack of covering the Radiant Garden residents pasts a little more, but to be honest, that would have screwed with the pacing, and we’d all hate Radiant Garden for it. Point is, there is more stuff you could slip in to keep the series afloat.

    But, as is, do I think Final Fantasy is shafted in Kingdom Hearts? No. The themes, the mood, the atmosphere of Kingdom Hearts, by itself, all the unique elements, are distinctly Disney, and therefore the setting and stories of Kingdom Hearts should predominately be Disney. If Nomura decides to keep to the formula he has been using, Kingdom hearts will stil lbe fine. If he could get a little more leeway to explore and play around with unique stories or takes on Disney stories like they did in KH1 or maybe more(so long as he could keep it Disney), that would be even better. There’s a whole host of other things that could use work in the Kingdom Hearts games, and while FF coverage is on the list, I don’t rate it absolutely highly.

    That said, me and friend have had this argument time and again, and I imagine fans will continue having this argument until the series ends or Nomura decides to try something in that direction. Cheers to never ending debates!

  19. Atietz Says:

    qinton flynn’s awesome!

  20. Ian Manning Says:

    Lets face it, Final Fantasy had more swearing, blood, and action than Disney could count. It just didn’t feel right seeing Final Fantasy characters act so…polite.

  21. Countferris Says:

    Honestly, I think the Final Fantasy elements are just fine in KH. It’s just enough for the fans and newcomers to appreciate. However, why not actually have them adventure with Sora? Why not add Cloud or Squall to your party for some battles? I’d like that.

    That being said, I think that the Disney elements need more work. It’s all fine and good to use the plot elements from their respective movies, but it all seems so forced and stale. I remember seeing the commercials for the game. The tagline was “You’ll never know where you’ll end up next.” It all seemed so adventurous and mysterious to me, but upon playing the game, each Disney world was predictable and boring at times. A couple exceptions were Monstro, and Neverland. They did the plot of the movie, but made those worlds advance the overall plot of the game.

    The Disney worlds just seem to be random events that happen along the way and seldom advance Sora and friends any further. I loved the idea of interacting with all my favorite Disney characters, but what Kingdom Hearts does is fall short of the intended aim. I noticed this even more so in KH2. It was fun to play out the movie… the first time round. It wasn’t until we visited the worlds a second time that they started getting creative by incorporating the Organization into the plot. But this is being nice, because even that didn’t make the worlds too fun.

    I suggest fleshing out all the characters. Disney, Final Fantasy, and original characters alike. Make me FEEL the friendship between the heroes. Make me WANT to destroy the enemies. Show me the stakes. I mean, seriously. The Organization was cool as hell when we met them in CoM, but in KH2, we had little to no back story. WHY was it so wrong for them to become whole again? If anything, I felt sorry for them. But no, the story tells us that they are evil, so we have to accept that. The enemies appear so briefly that by the time they are defeated, they are quickly forgotten. Demyx, anyone? Who gives a shit about Demyx?

    Flesh out the characters. Make each and every one precious. Maybe have Disney characters entering different worlds and interacting with the other Disney characters? Make the Disney elements just as important as the Final Fantasy elements with respect to the fact that you have original characters who need just as much attention and detail. While you’re at it, flesh out the worlds, make them more exciting because the friggen Pride Lands was boring as hell. Respect the source material from both areas. Manage this and you will have a perfect game.

    That is all.

  22. Jskellington Says:

    You’re all missing the point. The idea was not to bring FF characters into the game with all of their baggage and backstory. The idea was to integrate them into the Kingdom Hearts universe, not dump Disney Characters into the respective FF universes. And while, yes, visiting Spira or Midgar based worlds would be cool, the worlds introduced in Final Fantasy games just have too much going on in them to condense into a half-hour gameplay experience.

  23. Turtle Says:

    I think that Disney has overall better and more varied characters. However, that’s not to say that Final Fantasy should be as neglected as it is – truth be told, I hadn’t really thought about it like that before. But you raise an interesting point. I’ve never been an obsessive fan of FF, but I do think that they could work a lot more from it into KH than they do.

  24. guess who Says:

    OMG it would be so kick ass if they included a world based on midgar!

  25. Lauren Alesandra Says:

    I never did say ditch disney. I said simply that Final Fantasy deserved more respect. :-)

  26. Andrew Stander Says:

    Spoiler
    Captain Hook’s ship was destroyed in 358/2 days.

  27. Poop Says:

    Like many of the other posters said, I think you’re missing the point of Kingdom Hearts. The FF characters in there are not meant to be the focus of the game, and I personally feel that any more focus on them would be distracting and make the rest of the game unfocused.
    Like you mentioned before, Final Fantasy games offer almost 100 hours of story. In addition, some of the older franchises (like VII) are still being expanded upon to this day. Knowing this, do the Final Fantasy characters really NEED any more expansion outside of their franchises? Personally, I don’t think so. :/

  28. Rebmakash Says:

    Nomura himself said that the Final Fantasy characters are guests in the Kingdom Hearts Universe.

    I came into Kingdom Hearts as a Disney fan. Because of the game, I also now stand as a Final Fantasy fan, too. The point of Kingdom Hearts has and will always be to visit various Disney worlds. Disney and its original characters defines what it is. But the inclusion of Final Fantasy characters garners curiosity from people like me about these characters’ histories. They play roles as important as the Disney characters, even if these are more alternate universe than their Disney counterparts. THESE versions of Final Fantasy characters ARE from Olympus Coliseum, Destiny Islands and Radiant Garden. Just as this version of Mickey Mouse is a king who fights with a giant key and this version of Maleficent has met Belle.

    When I first heard of the game, I never anticipated for it to be much more than Disney. I was wrong.

    I stand by this statement: Final Fantasy is its own series that the curious player may explore as they wish. Kingdom Hearts is a taste. To lose Disney from Kingdom Hearts would be a detriment to the series. And I for one would prefer not to lose all the fun in-references and characters Kingdom Hearts has to offer for the Final Fantasy fan.

  29. IncrediBurch Says:

    Personally, the mix from KH1 and KH2 was fine to me. It would be nice to see more characters integrated into the Disney universes like Zack and Auron were added. The X-2 girls were interesting, being able to cross multiple dimensions.

    Since Maleficent gathered up all the Disney villians before, it would be interesting to see FF villians get together and compete with Maleficent for control of Kingdom Hearts. After Considering the secret ending of Re:Coded, this sounds even more likely.

    The other thing though is that Disney needs to tap into its less popular cartoons and the Pixar universes for the KH universe. Atlantis, Treasure Planet, Toy Story, The Incredibles, Wall-E, and Cars all offer chances for unique environments, interactions and events. They could even begin mixing common Disney worlds for huge multi-crossovers. Imagine Tarzan and Jungle Book, Treasure Planet with Lilo and Stitch on top of Wall-E, Atlantis with the Little Mermaid.

    I think that some Final Fantasy worlds should be included to help spice things up, or at least elements mixed in to new worlds. Combinations of Disney and FF worlds would be cool. There’s a lot of potential.

  30. reko Says:

    Nomura doesn’t like using characters that aren’t his. That’s why they’ve been dwindling in numbers.

  31. Bob Says:

    Personall, I like the all the KH characters and worlds. Disney’s fine but I think there’s too much of it. I loved the Birth by Sleep ending with the X-blade. No disney there!

  32. SomeoneElse Says:

    Not that I disagree with you on the subject, but what about that one guy with the big round ears fighting alongside Aqua? He’s sort of, you know, iconic Disney.

  33. Arcane Says:

    Just as a second thought, while we have proven that FF characters in Disney stories works(somewhat), could you imagine how out of place it’d be to see Donald Duck in Cocoon from FF XIII?

  34. Kevin Lee Says:

    “Final Fantasy 7*” had more swearing, blood, and action than Disney could count. But to say outright that Disney isn’t capable of being dark is rather wrong. A lot of their newer stuff is content on being family friendly. But older films gleefully incorporated death into them. It is for reasons like that Maleficent was the character chosen to play an important role in “Kingdom Hearts”, since she is fairly universally agreed to be one of the most menacing Disney villains, with few redeeming factors (aside from a dark sense of humor).

    As for the “Final Fantasy” characters being polite, I’m not sure I see what you’re seeing. Cid is probably the only character that is toned down, but everybody else seems mostly in character. I don’t recall Aerith ever cursing like a sailor. The characters of “Final Fantasy” are just being borrowed for “Kingdom Hearts”. Among the things borrowed are spell names: Fire, Blizzard, Cure. And items names: Potion, Ether. And ability names: Ragnarok. Everything else is strictly Disney. “358/2 Days” and “Birth by Sleep” hardly had any “Final Fantasy” characters aside from moogles and doesn’t change that they are highly enjoyable and excellent entries into the series. In fact, Zack could disappear from “Birth by Sleep” and I don’t think anybody would notice.

    I’ve always had cool ideas about how “Kingdom Hearts” could bring in some “Final Fantasy XI” characters to give “XI” some exposure, but I’ll survive if they don’t.

  35. RaymondR Says:

    The Final Fantasy characters included in the game aren’t meant to be cameos simply cut and pasted from their respective games, they are included as a means to expand the KH universe to a different genre of characters. Seeing as how the entire KH franchise is centered around the themes of interconnectedness, I think they had to revamp their backstories a bit to fit them with the story of Kingdom Hearts better. If they didn’t explain what the characters were even doing there, they would feel horribly out of place.
    Now, I can sympathize with the fact that it didn’t delve deeper into their already conceived backstories, but how much did you really expect them to fit in? Like the article said, it would take an inconceivably large amount of time to delve into the backstories of a dozen characters, each from their own game, each with 60+ hours of character development unto themselves. I thought Kingdom Hearts did an excellent job of introducing the Final Fantasy characters they used into the game, and they were very creative in going into how and why they managed to come into the world of Kingdom Hearts. Had they not done that, the complaint would have been “ok, this character is the same character I loved in that FF, but why was he/she included?” as opposed to “ok, this is why they are here, and that is what happened that brought them here, but why is that different then what I learned?”
    The way I see it, they did the only thing they could’ve done to make the presence of those characters tangible within a new medium.

  36. Chris Says:

    Hey, just like you, I’ve grown up with Disney and Final Fantasy have been my favorite games as a teenager. But I really like the way Nomura put the FF characters in Kingdom Hearts, not following their own stories but changing them into something different that fits in the KH universe. The thing that I don’t like is that there are not enough FF characters, there are like more than 100 Disney characters, but from FF just like 20 and it’s not fair, I think FF people should have more protagonist in the KH series.

  37. Cncastingforging Says:

    Final Fantasy I personally prefer, but if and girlfriend to the cinema, I want to buy more of Disney’s vote, because make us happier.

  38. Anonymous Says:

    jj

  39. Lauren Alesandra Says:

    I’ve read most of your responses, and I felt a bit more explanation is needed.
    While I agree, FF shouldn’t be the focus.. but I just wished that they didn’t mess up some of the stories, .i.e. Yuna + Tidus, Leon?, and so on. If they just kept them as their original characters… I think I would’ve been happier. It’s respecting the characters for who they are, not altering them severely. I don’t want to ditch disney, but I’m just angry that there are TONS of final fantasies mis represented in this game and I don’t think it necessarily offers much interest to those who have yet to play them.. except of course for FFVII which isn’t really my favorite.. more love for Final Fantasy X PLEASE and FINAL FANTASY IX! ;A;

  40. Jameslutz2 Says:

    You mention how Disney can only offer an hour and a half of story, whereas Final Fantasy can offer 500. I completely agree with this statement. but isn’t this the reason we DON’T have FF worlds? At its core, Kingdom Hearts is about Sora and his story. The Disney worlds give a quick story with great characters, new enemies, and sometimes a look into the personality of Sora. The FF worlds, though supported with amazing characters, are too complex and serious, thus possibly diverting the attention from Sora and his importance.

    For obvious reasons Final Fantasies VII,VIII,X, and X-2 are ruined for the KH games. But after playing Dissidia and being introduced to the other Final Fantasy games, I would love to see these characters with Sora. And (like how the integrated Auron and Zack) to seem actually relevant to the story. And if the can shorten/downplay the story, it’d be great to have a FF world!!! XD

  41. Xxmoonangelxx Says:

    ive always been a disney fan, ive grown up with disney. but i learned about a lot of FF’s from kingdom hearts, believe it or not. for instance, i started to play FF7 and FF8 after playing kingdom hearts. so i honestly think that they shouldnt ditch either one, both sides make the overall story come to life! sure disney can be a bit…dorky sometimes but hey its been that way for a while. plus keeping both sides in the story draws people in, especially people who love mickey, goofy, donald, etc. and those FF junkies out there are drawn in as well, so its a win win situation. :D

  42. Xxmoonangelxx Says:

    i agree, if they incooperate the FF characters in the game, itll make it more interesting. it was cool when FF characters helped you out in KH2 at radiant garden(hollow bastion at that time) during the giant heartless vs nobody thingy. itd be awesome to have cloud or squall as a party member, along with any other FF character featured in KH2.

  43. Sarah Crider Says:

    Yeah, i was playing recently and i started to think about just that, the whole “WHY was it so wrong for them to become whole again?”, and when i played 358/2 i felt badly for the Organization Members, but when i originally played KH 2 i didnt have a clue who the Organization was, and i didnt care about them at all, i didnt even really understand why it was important when Axel died, or the importance of his and Roxas’ friendship. I agree with you, making all of the characters and worlds more important is something that needs to be fixed.

  44. Matt Says:

    Okay, I love Disney (First time I saw a Disney movie was Robin Hood on VHS) and I fell in love with Final Fantasy (First time was II aka IV on the SNES when I was only 9 and beaten it without no help from others or strategy guides). Now, I have basically played every FF game outside of III, XI, XIII and XIV since I am more of a fan of X and going back. I love Disney though I like the movies from the early 2000s back before 3D. However, my loyalty lies more with Final Fantasy because of the how deep the story can get, how awesome the villains were since unlike Disney were the villains were trying to take over a kingdom, Final Fantasy villains actually tried to take over or destroy the world, which one actually succeed in destroying the world (Final Fantasy VI: Kefka). Also, with the FF games, they are in development for several years unlike Disney films which are in development for two or three years.

    But the biggest problem is that with Nomura, he only wants to add characters he made which were 7, 8, 10 and 10-2. He didn’t want to Vivi (From 9) and Setzer (From 6) in KH 2 since originally Hayner (You can tell Hayner was supposed to been Zell with him being a slacker) was supposed to been Zell from 8 due to his rivalry with Seifer, but fans of the game: Kingdom Hearts (From what I heard were only Japanese players) pressured and demanded other characters to be allowed in, which then Nomura changed Zell to Hayner and added Vivi and Setzer instead.

    If I had to give worlds to three FF games, it would be Spira from X, Gaia from VII and whatever world IV is from.

  45. NFO_Memoire Says:

    The Disney-Worlds suck.I think Kingdom Hearts would be better if it´d loose this disney-influence.

    Kingdom Hearts need more own worlds like The World That Never Was and Traverse Town!

  46. KentaTakashi Says:

    Both elements are considered and i know it seems that final fantasy seems to be taking a back seat to the Disney characters but in that sense it makes the story more family friendly/ more family oriented not to mention that the final fantasy characters already have a storyline of their own. I would like to see more original personas of them from the original games but i think they’ve done a good job bringing a new light to them. You have to remember that kingdom hearts is tailored to both young and old… if you have the deep brooding elements of final fantasy most kids might not understand the impact or ramifications of perhaps an inner personal conflict whereas they can relate with in Disney persay.

  47. H.M.J Says:

    Oh my freakin gosh people, this isn’t supposed to be another FINAL FANTASY game, if you take out the Disney characters and elements, it wouldn’t be Kingdom Hearts. As much as I love having characters from FINAL FANTASY appearing in the game, but with all the FF fans bitch and complain about what should and what shouldn’t be, if it were up to me I’d simply ditch the FF characters and request more original characters. It’s not the FINAL FANTASY characters that makes the game what it is.

  48. H.M.J Says:

    Thank you very much! I couldn’t have said it better

  49. jann Says:

    Ok. Final Fantasy in KH. I had to admit that it’s one of the things that introduced me to play FF. But I noticed as I played KH series— most of them are from FFVII. Squall and Selphie from FF8 and Tidus and Wakka (with the addition of YuRiPa later) from FF10 are the only ones that stand out the most of them. I was delighted with KH more when more and different (though I didn’t see Tidus and Wakka again in KH2) when I saw Seifer’s gang, Setzer and Auron. I understand FF7 played a large role in the industry and history of JRPG, but let’s also give love to other FF family members, like the airhead Bartz, or the playful Zidane, or the insane Kefka, or a confused pair of Lunarian brothers Gobez and Cecil. I noticed the inclusion (except probably the roles of Seifer’s group, Setzer and YuRiPa) of the characters gives the moody feeling of KH. I don’t say change the cast, but at least give more love for other FF if you say FF. FF7 is a FF series, but not the entire FF. My point. It would be nice if at least one or two of the join the party. (Only Auron achieved this role)

    FF in KH, is somehow weird. It’s like beginning to think this is FF not KH. But not minding the little story the series share, KH can be as standalone as it is. Of course, this is a work of SE and Disney. I know the Disney characters are meant to be somehow fillers on some or making the story light, but characters are not giving much depth. They’re rather stale and boring, and just there. Tbh, I enjoyed KH story wise. KH2 is brilliant to give out Organization, but let’s consider the fact that nobody heard of CoM, coz that’s when the Org was introduced. From my en know thexperience, I didn’t even think KH is on a GBA. To think it should link the story to KH2, I began to wonder who’s Vexen? And what’s with the pink hair dude? For me it’s somehow a bad move, having it brought to PS2 to GBA then back to PS2. I consider CoM being part of the main series coz it somehow affects stuff a lot in KH2. For me at least.

    Should FF ditch KH? Not necessarily. Like what I said a while ago, I know FFVII being an awesome FF game, but why not give a cast of diverse characters, as how Dinsey characters make their roles out in the KH script? No they’re not the main characters. I’m just saying it because of how diverse KH is. Seeing KH as a Disney game is, we know that most Disney characters are not given depth and their charm and personality play. I’d hope they’d stick to story mechanics of KH, provided with more gameplay addition, just as how BBS play.

  50. Jack Mowat Says:

    The game’s for all ages, and the only Final Fantasy game I actually like is VII. I like the direction Final Fantasy’s gone since they do have importance within the main plot while not taking up half the game like Disney rightfully does.
    Lastly, Kingdom Hearts is a different series so the FF characters can come from Radient Garden if they want.

  51. Erica C Says:

    Two words for you: Alternate universe.

    The Final Fantasy characters in Kingdom Hearts are not the same characters from their respective games. When you encounter Yuna, Rikku, and Paine as pixies? That’s not the literal YRP magically transported from Spira in X-2. Tidus and Wakka? They aren’t from the same world as YRP in Kingdom Hearts. In KH, they are Sora’s childhood friends who grew up with him on–and have always lived at–Destiny Islands. They’ve never even met YRP in KH canon. As for Auron, same thing. He’s not the exact same character from FFX. All of the FF characters are in an alternate universe.

    So the reason we never head to Gaia or Spira or any of the FF worlds is simple: they don’t exist in this canon. Go up to the Aerith of this game and tell her she’s a Cetra, or ask her about the Temple of Ancients and you’d likely get a blank stare because that’s not where she’s from–she’s from Radiant Garden.

    Kingdom Hearts is a Disney game. Any original characters to the story (Sora, Riku, Kairi, Organization XIII, etc.) are property of Disney. So it makes sense that in the games, Disney takes priority. But even then, I didn’t enjoy KH2 as much simply because the Disney was so often pushed aside! Instead of being the main villains through most of the worlds, ever since KH1, Disney worlds have felt more like “ugh okay let’s get this over with so I can get to the real plot!” and I hate that. :( Adding in FF game worlds would only further that, I think.

    You can probably notice that honestly, I’m pretty sure the Final Fantasy characters were just there originally to be basic NPCs and to draw in fans of the FF series to KH. There were a lot of FF characters in KH1, they appeared again in COM, and a few more in KH2, but since then? The series has enough original characters to support its plot, the games are popular enough on their own without being “that weird crossover game with the Final Fantasy characters”, and as a result, there have been less and less FF cameos. 358/2 Days only had the shop Moogle and BBS only had Zack. And you know what? I actually prefer it that way.

    The FF games aren’t as laid back and if KH tried to take the themes from them, it would really mess with the feel of KH, in my opinion. If you want a Final Fantasy crossover, just play Dissidia. KH is a Disney game through and through.

  52. Nahue Says:

    I prefer FF better than Disney, but KH wouldn’t be KH if it hadn’t a lot of Disney in it. But i agree with your opinion, they should include some FF stories/places/characters… I think they are more interesting than Disney. Anyways, as I said before, KH wouldnt be KH without that huge amount of Disney features in it.

  53. Michael Mayne Says:

    ^What she said.

    Seriously, how does the overwhelming majority of Kingdom Hearts players not get this?

    The original premise was never about Disney plus FINAL FANTASY. It was Disney meets Square-Enix/-soft’s game design principles.

    Yes, the Final Fantasy characters could just as well have been NPCs. Another small point of evidence is that early concept art for KH1 shows that Nomura toyed with the idea of having Rikku (FFX) be in the role that wound up being Yuffie’s. Only reason Nomura changed it was the obvious confusion the annunciation would have caused with Riku’s name. Case in point: it really doesn’t matter which FF characters make an appearance as far as the story is concerned.

    Think about this: you can go to a Disney world and cover a good 25-33% of the original movie’s story, if not more. It’s concise and there’s at least some sense of completion after you leave the world.
    Go to Spira and join the machina defense on the beach, and possibly go on to the temple afterwards? Go to Midgar and clear a Mako reactor, and possibly escort Aerith through a train yard? In either case, that’s about all there’d really be time for, and how fulfilling is that?

    Plus, the article mentions the contrast in scale of a Final Fantasy game versus a Disney movie. Exactly. You want the epicness of a “100+ hour story” (try maybe 20-30 hours of ACTUAL story) to compete with the epicness of Kingdom Hearts’ main plotline? Nope.

    Face it: if YOU expected Final Fantasy to be a major part of the Kingdom Hearts experience, then YOU messed up — not Disney/Square-Enix.

  54. heartless prince Says:

    I agree wiht you. And BBS had just one FF character which everyone was surprised or happy to see but in no way did the game, or storyline suffer. The game was still Kick a$$ with just a single FF character. So they don’t need them for the KH series but it definitely helps to enhance the experience :)

    ~J

  55. Michael Mayne Says:

    Then go play Crisis Core or The World Ends with You.

    All the Nomura wangst and weirdness, none of the Disney.

  56. Sea-Salt Says:

    While I definitely agree that KH needs to keep the FF love going, I do have to realize that, at its heart, KH is a Disney game. Sure, we have all the FF characters, but Sora and anyone else created for the series are technically owned by Disney.
    Though, I really DO wish Nomura would (if he’s even able to; there’s been a few hints that Disney is forcing a few things) elaborate a little on the FF gang’s backstories. I accept that they’re separate entities from their original FF counterparts, and frankly that could be used as a clean slate to re-make some characters. As much as I loved Birth by Sleep, my biggest disappointment that there was absolutely no appearances of Leon’s group. If they had shown up, I think we’d finally have just about all the answers involving the mythos’ past (except for the Keyblade War).

    So yeah, KH is a Disney series, but I do hope Nomura tries to keep the FF characters as a steady presense. Hell, we have yet to see an actual chocobo. : P

  57. Bballaguy298 Says:

    i think that you have to understand as well that tetsuya nomura only has the rights to introduced characters that he created…that are his intellectual property. that is why there are characters from 7, 8 and 10.
    also think of it in this way.. the games aren’t a mix of final fantasy with disney..its more like disney with a mix of square-enix role playing amazingness and story. The input of old characters from FF games is great and just is a good way for tetsuya to please older fans etc. I think they have portrayed it well and now people have more love for sora, kairi, riku, roxas, terra, ventus, namine, aqua and the new square-enix characters than almost any other FF game.

  58. Speeddragon4 Says:

    i agree that there should be more worlds original to kingdom hearts but the final fantasy characters deserve worlds of their own where the heartless fit the game and world that theyre from, like say that you had a ffX world where you had yuna as youre in world added character you could summon aeons as your limit command, fight heartless made after some of the monsters and have the main bad guy from the original game summon heartless aeons against you
    the final fantasy games could give so much to kingdom hearts if used right

  59. Speeddragon4 Says:

    EXACTLY
    they need to balance the game and make it ‘progress’ through the worlds in accordance with the story and not just ‘jump’ from one to the other
    not to mention that they should make the characters allies, friends, people that you WANT and NEED to have with you, cause the way those party members are, i could play through the entire game respectively with or without them

  60. Speeddragon4 Says:

    if they had began the kingdom hearts series with good amounts of final fantasy characters and story lines you wouldnt be saying that the final fantasy characters are unimportant because the final fantasy characters would be just as important because thats how kingdom hearts would have started

  61. Speeddragon4 Says:

    thats a good point since it brings back a subtle hint from kh1 in the game kairi is told by her grandma that all the worlds were once whole than after a devastating event they split up
    this would make for a potential third game where the letter from the end of kh2 tells sora and friends that the worlds are coming together and that new and very old enemies (BBS) are threatening to destroy the worlds and that the current 4 keyblade wielders (Sora, King Mickey, Riku and yes Kairi) have to protect the fusing worlds.

  62. Uwe Schöning Says:

    There should be a FF world and more characters from it. But I’ve grown up with Disney, so I had to choose it :D

  63. Michael Mayne Says:

    Nah, The 7, 8 and 10 characters aren’t Nomura’s intellectual property. They’re Square-Enix’s. Legally, he has every right to implement any other Square-Enix characters he wants without any kind of hassle. He simply chooses to mostly stick to ones he’s designed for familiarity purposes—Vivi being the exception so far.

    I just find it funny that when I see fanart of Kingdom Hearts characters, some people try and go out of their way to give proper copyright/trademark credit, but usually just credit Nomura. haha! Nomura doesn’t have any actual rights over these characters himself; they may be designed by him, but Disney/Square-Enix are the ones to claim collective ownership of them. Don’t worry; that’s the whole point of him being “hired” and paid to do it.

  64. Anon Says:

    I do agree that there should be more Final Fantasy appearances, and, or, cameos, but Disney should always be first. I’m perfectly satisfied with all of Final Fantasy being shoved into Radiant Gardens.

  65. Black Otsel Says:

    I don’t think KH should “ditch” either but if they integrated FF more the games would be better maybe have two or three FF worlds and more characters from different FF games but they should “ditch” Final Fantasy OR Disney

  66. Keybldealchemist Says:

    My problem with your argument here is that the the Final Fantasy Characters were meant as guest stars and guest stars only. Nomura stated this himself if the KH Ultimania book. What he does to them is his concern, This is his story. Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden is the world where most of the FF charaters comes from in Kh. While it is strange to see Wakka and Tidus on Destiny Islands and Yuna and Co as pixies, I dont think it matters because they are not the main focus, Sora and other original characters are.

  67. Supershadow125 Says:

    I say the reason kingdom hearts is loved it is because it is unique it blends it’s own originality + final fantasy+ Disney = kingdom hearts. me personally I would like kingdom hearts with just final fantasy charaters but then I don’t because we see that kingdom hearts is childish and serious at the same time games like that are very rare or they are from nintendo. but to me if the whole world in kingodm hearts was filled with final fantsy charaters would be very boring and very bland and the big thing what worlds will there be, how big are the worlds, will there be secret bosses, who are Sora’s teamates that follow him…the final fantasy series is supposed to keep the serious of kingdom hearts if final fantasy was not there then the game would be way to child like.

  68. Shannaro1992 Says:

    Yeah, I thought the treatment between Disney and Final Fantasy was pretty unfair. I do enjoy how some Final Fantasy elements were somewhat echoed in the gameplay such as the spells (ex: spell, spell-ra, spell-ga), and the limits. It even includes terms like Diamond Dust. Still, some fair sharing would’ve been nice.

    I think the reason behind this issue is the fact that more people can relate to the Disney characters than the Final Fantasy ones. Too many people grew familiar with the Disney movies, and as for the Final Fantasy characters, it would’ve been too confusing for fans who don’t recognise the stories behind the Final Fantasy characters involved.

  69. Shannaro1992 Says:

    Yeah, I thought the treatment between Disney and Final Fantasy was pretty unfair. I do enjoy how some Final Fantasy elements were somewhat echoed in the gameplay such as the spells (ex: spell, spell-ra, spell-ga), and the limits. It even includes terms like Diamond Dust. Still, some fair sharing would’ve been nice.

    I think the reason behind this issue is the fact that more people can relate to the Disney characters than the Final Fantasy ones. Too many people grew familiar with the Disney movies, and as for the Final Fantasy characters, it would’ve been too confusing for fans who don’t recognise the stories behind the Final Fantasy characters involved.

  70. Shannaro1992 Says:

    Yeah, I thought the treatment between Disney and Final Fantasy was pretty unfair. I do enjoy how some Final Fantasy elements were somewhat echoed in the gameplay such as the spells (ex: spell, spell-ra, spell-ga), and the limits. It even includes terms like Diamond Dust. Still, some fair sharing would’ve been nice.

    I think the reason behind this issue is the fact that more people can relate to the Disney characters than the Final Fantasy ones. Too many people grew familiar with the Disney movies, and as for the Final Fantasy characters, it would’ve been too confusing for fans who don’t recognise the stories behind the Final Fantasy characters involved.

  71. Shannaro1992 Says:

    Yeah, I thought the treatment between Disney and Final Fantasy was pretty unfair. I do enjoy how some Final Fantasy elements were somewhat echoed in the gameplay such as the spells (ex: spell, spell-ra, spell-ga), and the limits. It even includes terms like Diamond Dust. Still, some fair sharing would’ve been nice.

    I think the reason behind this issue is the fact that more people can relate to the Disney characters than the Final Fantasy ones. Too many people grew familiar with the Disney movies, and as for the Final Fantasy characters, it would’ve been too confusing for fans who don’t recognise the stories behind the Final Fantasy characters involved.

  72. Shannaro1992 Says:

    Yeah, I thought the treatment between Disney and Final Fantasy was pretty unfair. I do enjoy how some Final Fantasy elements were somewhat echoed in the gameplay such as the spells (ex: spell, spell-ra, spell-ga), and the limits. It even includes terms like Diamond Dust. Still, some fair sharing would’ve been nice.

    I think the reason behind this issue is the fact that more people can relate to the Disney characters than the Final Fantasy ones. Too many people grew familiar with the Disney movies, and as for the Final Fantasy characters, it would’ve been too confusing for fans who don’t recognise the stories behind the Final Fantasy characters involved.

  73. Be a Guest Blogger on Kingdom Hearts Ultimania - Kingdom Hearts Ultimania Says:

    [...] Final Fantasy vs Disney in Kingdom Hearts – By Lauren (Gaming Union) [...]

  74. HeartSeams Says:

    I think you missed something big about Final Fantasy in KH… they’re -guests- to the KH Universe. Nomura himself said that he pretty much only added in FF characters because there weren’t enough characters to begin with. You also have to remember that KH is a Disney owned game. KH is Disney with FF cameos, it is not this magical blend of the two, despite what people think. Nomura himself said there wont ever be FF worlds because FF characters are just guests to this universe with completely different pasts.

  75. kh5321 Says:

    I would just like to say the disney does not make Kingdom hearts, square enix does (yes the same company who make final fantacy) The reason they probably don’t wanna use final fantacy characters as much is because they want to explore the other character they could use. I’m sure disney does not want them to alter thier movies and shows to much.

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  79. Benjamin6508 Says:

    The thing is, you CAN’T put in a new Final Fantasy world, at least not without introducing new character. It’s already been revealed in KH1 that the FF characters were all from Radiant Garden/Hollow Bastion. Do the Disney storylines need improving, yes. Could they develop ALL the characters more, yes. But Kingdom Hearts is what the creators have made it, which is a predominantly Disney game with some limited FF interaction. I personally truly enjoyed Kingdom Hearts as it is. It was the first RPG I ever played and I think if they had explained too much of the FF character’s back-stories I would never have gone out and bought the other FF games and become the avid Final Fantasy Fan I am today. The developers should focus on deepening the relationships between Sora, Donald, Goofy, Riku, Kairi, the king, and other game specific characters, as well as coming up with unique stories for the rest of the worlds. I think they did a fair job of this in KH2 as each world was visited twice and had its own unique conflicts each time. Sometimes these were true to the original story, and other times they were not. That being said, creating more unique worlds would be interesting, but I don’t believe it would fit in with what Disney and Square are and were trying to do with this game. That’s just my two cents, but overall I still love Kingdom Hearts and am satisfied with what has come so far.

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  82. Guest Blog Roundup - Kingdom Hearts Ultimania Says:

    [...] The Missing Final Fantasy in Kingdom Hearts: If you’ve been listening to the podcasts featured on our front page every month, then surely you will recognize the name of this author! Lauren from Gaming Union wrote one of our first guest blogs where she talked about her beloved Final Fantasy in the context of Kingdom Hearts. This article particularly resonates with those who are aching to see more Final Fantasy in Kingdom Hearts. [...]

  83. Ian Manning Says:

    What I meant by the FF characters being too polite was the whole “The darkness will go away” bull. Final Fantasy isn’t about crap like Light and Darkness, it’s often a war between emotions or a battle between some big corporation and the little guy.

  84. Mady Says:

    Well, I’d have to disagree with the no Final Fantasy addition because if Cloud or Squall or even the Moogles weren’t in Kingdom Hearts then I would never would have gotten the slightest clue that Final Fantasy existed! But that’s just my opinion..

  85. Darc Says:

    The reason it is focused more on Disney is bc Disney came to SE with the idea for KH. It was not SE’s idea it was disney’s. Disney and SE used to work out of the same building in japan and so they had connections. They even considered Mickey being the central character b4 creating Sora. The final fantasy characters were bonuses to the game the Disney didnt have a problem with. Disney supervised the game bc they are the ones tht wanted it and they wanted all disney material to be potent and untouched as far as design. 

  86. Darc Says:

    This is also why you see almost nothing but FF characters tht Nomura designed.

  87. <3Sony<3Sqaure<3 Says:

    Why not have a new Kingdom Hearts original world that has may 4 or 5 Final Fantasy characters from separate titles? Seeing that their encounters would be unprecedented (Kimari and Lightning) the plot would be very flexible. They could behave with the personalities Final Fantasy Fans know and love in an orignal plotline that is relavent in advancing Sora and friends. I would be pleased. It would get newcomers to be introduced to an awesome jrpg while avoiding retelling their stories and slowing the pace of the game.

  88. Tidus :) Says:

    FINAL FANTASY OF CHOURSE !! WHAT BETTER THAN FINAL FANTASY ?? thought the game of kingdom heart wasn’t bad , i am not voting , but i still like final fantasy. Disney wasn’t the one to blame you know, sometimes, games was like that , i feel hard as well , when i first buy it , i see sephiroth at the back at the game, but when i fight riku even until there , i never encountered a single final fantasy people, i feel angry , but still , i cant blame anyone could i ? please send your likes :)

  89. Tidus :) Says:

    Final Fantasy game playing tips , i willl tell quick :( note, this is disidia, much of it)
    1. if you cant action game , try RPG,
    2. don’t , i mean DONT GO NUTS at playing it, or you will stress on 1 enemies XD
    3. Don’t play around with enemies T_T you wont know what coming ex:
    (a) you make enemies hp with 100- and you let it play , when you critical at bravery, and your enemies full of ex gauge when he/she enter , and hit you , Sayonara XD
    (b) playing final fantasy XII with leaving boss with 1-10% hp (near death), then you keep curing it so get more chalange , or you let him stay alive, just look out, it got max mp can make it cast quickening (ark blast , inferno,) you may be killed
    4. WATCH OUT ! WATCH WATCH OUT !! trap at everygame and dont let your guard down and let your convidense over you , ex : you level 10 and you think you can beat level 11 enemies alone , but then you died :P

  90. Vaati Says:

    I wholeheartedly agree. I honestly feel like Kingdom Hearts was pretty much Disney x Final Fantasy when it was first shown. But, by now, Disney is practically drowning the FF part. I was begging, pleading, and demanding a large fight with Kefka Pallazzo in KH2, but nothing even remotely close. All they have left of Final Fantasy is the recurring Moogle, and that’s just lame.

  91. Riolu Man Says:

    The idea of Kingdom Hearts is to show what could have happened in a universe where FF and Disney characters live side by side together with some original things. Radiant Garden’s name itself is a giant Final Fantasy VIII reference. It also exists as a sort of what if scenario. Something I noticed about the Final Fantasy X characters is that they all are younger. This leads me to believe that maybe Kairi isn’t the only one from Destiny Islands who came here from another world. It’s not magical that Auron is younger. As an Unsent he could be any age he wanted. Apparently, Destiny Islands also has a variation on Blitzball judging from Selphie’s comment in KH2. An ocean area is a perfect fit for Tidus and Wakka. Squall changed his name to distance himself from something. They leave hints that this has something to do with Rinoa. It’s like the Final Fantasy characters had their adventures interrupted midway or even had them prevented from starting. The moogles from Final Fantasy IX also make an appearance (I am aware that there are moogles in other games, but shopkeeper names are from FFIX specifically.) I am a little disappointed at how weak the Gullwings are though. Seriously, 2 of these are part of the group that would go on to face Sin.

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