Why Final Fantasy doesn’t matter to Kingdom Hearts

We suppose our regular readers, weaned on the violent acts of Marcus Fenix and Solid Snake, deserve an explanation. Why has GamesRadar devoted five whole days to anthropomorphic rodents and smile time gags on the week Halo 3: ODST hits shelves? It’s partially due to poor scheduling (not necessarily on our part!) and a lifetime of love for The House of Mouse. And it wasn’t all that long ago when Disney’s name actually meant something.

Above: During the early to mid ‘90s, Disney’s games earned an illustrious slot in Nintendo Power’s Game Atlas right alongside Mario and Link

For almost a decade prior to the first Kingdom Hearts, the name “Disney” meant approximately jack and shit to gamers with disposable income and pubic hair. While the Kingdom Hearts’ releases didn’t quite create a resurgence in quality cartoon products, they were at least robust and rewarding enough for animation fans to look forward to. So, it’d be a shame to see that go away because of some spiky haired people we could do without.

We love Kingdom Hearts (Duh!)

It’s not every day that two of culture’s most prolific stables of characters crossover into a singular universe! Even if you’re a gamer who claims not to care about either Final Fantasy or Disney, you should at least be curious for the medium’s sake. Which reminds us:

Above: Check back Thursday for our EXCLUSIVE KH 358/2 review

We’ll always have a soft spot for Kingdom Hearts, and with over ten million games sold over the course of three games, we can safely assume you do, too. To put that in perspective, the original Kingdom Hearts on PS2 individually moved more units than the all but a few Madden titles available on multiple platforms, as well as a majority of games in the ultra-successful Zelda series. So yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.

Final Fantasy doesn’t matter
Why not a “Week of Kingdom Hearts?” Well, not to sell Square’s cast of characters short, but Kingdom Hearts matters because of Disney. After all, it’s their story. You see, if we have one beef with the KH franchise, it’s that the Final Fantasy folks have never served much of a meaningful purpose. Cloud and Auron have had moments in the spotlight, but they’re extremely brief within the scope of the series, and just about every other FF character is reduced to cameos and roles of pure exposition.

Above: Dude, your sword has a gun in it… Little help?!

Think about it: With twelve games featuring the most richly distinct universes of all time, how is it Kingdom Hearts has never once taken us to Midgar, or Zanarkand, or Esthar? Apparently, they’re less important than the 100 Acre Wood and Tarzan’s Jungle, which we’ve been to repeatedly!

Above: Who would want to play here? Oh yeah, Everybody!

When we say “Final Fantasy doesn’t matter” that doesn’t mean we don’t wish it did. But it looks like the people at Square believe the people of Gaia are better served outside of the Kingdom Hearts universe. And if you don’t believe us, take a look at the brand new Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days… because this is the only Final Fantasy representative you’ll find in the DS game:

Above: “Hey, the other guys couldn’t make it…”


  • chrisda - September 21, 2009 7:31 p.m.

    But nah, the article was good.
  • mertor3190 - September 21, 2009 8:06 p.m.

    Man, Kingdom Hearts is the BEST thing that has ever happened to video games. This article tells the truth in every way. A third one needs to be made, but in a way that givesyou that same feeling the first one did. I love Kingdom Hearts and I hope the guys making the games would come across this article.
  • waynski1457 - September 21, 2009 9:08 p.m.

    Now just because it's because of KH, doesn't mean it all has to be about KH. Don't disappoint GR! Who am I kidding? I've loved every "Week of" so far and Disney has always dabbled in the awesome. Bring it on!
  • Cyberninja - September 21, 2009 9:26 p.m.

    now i want a new kh right now never mind the new one is coming out next week and we may get the news that coded and a new kh is comimg out after 358/2 or birth by sleep is released
  • Doctalen - September 21, 2009 11:51 p.m.

    I lost hope of any notable KH sequel mid 07 when the hidden trailer was well known about and nothing had been announced what so ever.
  • XxMrHitDatHoexX - September 22, 2009 12:42 a.m.

    Whens KH3 comin out for the ps3?
  • AaronTheGamingGeek - September 22, 2009 1 a.m.

    god knows
  • animeman - September 22, 2009 1:12 a.m.

    They need to make a KH 3! If I could only pick one reasone why it would be because they need to wrap up the series. Remember at the end of KH 2 when Kiari came runing with a note with Micky's seal on it? What did it say what will be the next adventure? Also they need to explane some things in the series. Maby they will be explained in 358/2 Days and Birth by Sleep. But I garentee that some things if not more things will be unexplaned. In conclution I am a HUGE fan of the series I own all the games even CoM and RE:Com and if ther is no KH3 I might die.
  • sylkar - September 22, 2009 7:26 a.m.

    The pragmatism of the article was a little debilitating XD but i do get your point. My point however, is that the cast and the story (oh the story) is strong enough to stand on its own. Yes, we don't really NEED FF characters but no one can deny that fighting alongside cloud, even for a very brief moment, was just pure awesomeness condensed on your TV screen and that Auron's combination moves were the very best apart from Riku. Which brings me to my point, the only constants that need to stay for Kingdom Hearts to be credible are the few very relevant Disney and FF chracters. Donald Goofy, Mickey, Yensid(he is disney is he?), maleficient and pete for Disney and at most Cloud and Leon(yes i called him Leon deal with it :P) for FF. Bottomline; I think that kingdom hearts has evolved to a point where its own assets like the amazing gameplay, godly graphics and unqeustionable style (cross out nothing) can sell the series by itself. If ever the deal should break and Disney would be idiots to do that, Square should definitely make another series along the lines of KH (FF Versus XIII *wink* *wink*)
  • Conman93 - September 22, 2009 5:22 p.m.

    Nomura has already said that ther will be a trailer at the end of birth by sleep. Could this be kh3. Get down on ur knees and pray!! Kh in midgar would be so good. I love fighting sephiroth no matter how hard he is
  • Cloud1Fair3 - September 23, 2009 1:25 a.m.

    I deny my post, sorry I didn't fully understand the article till reading Chris' comment, true, maybe the Final Fantasy world is causing too many legal problems and stalls. But the gameplay is basically all about final fantasy obviously so you can't eliminate things like Curaga and I like how the summonings are disney characters which is clever. But true this game has soo much going on for it it could stand alone as a different entity from Final Fantasy and Disney alltogether and it would be foolish for Square and Disney not to figure something out to keep this thing alive. It would be like the next final fantasy, they could make so many titles based off it and cash in so much as long as the story never faltered and the clever mix of FF and Disney continued, they defintiely need to figure a better thing out.
  • GamesRadarChrisAntista - September 23, 2009 2:03 a.m.

    The template is certainly a Final Fantasy game, or rather a Square-Enix game, with no devotion to any particular FF storyline. Kingdom Hearts is Disney's story, but with the cooperation of both companies it cannot exist
  • Cwf2008 - September 23, 2009 3:23 a.m.

    To hell with ODST this is Disney week not "OMG GAYLO HAS A NEW GAMES LETS BLINDLY DROP ON THE BANDWAGON!" reCAPTCHA: Sacramento upswing....huh interesting. Is this a sign of the future?
  • chrisda - September 21, 2009 7:39 p.m.

    Who would've thought Disney with final fantasy? what would it be like if they had done it with Nintendo characters?
  • Awesomeforthemasses - September 21, 2009 7:41 p.m.

    It did seem like having FF characters was just a selling point, this pretty much confirms it. It is a decent series though.
  • Wave360 - September 21, 2009 7:50 p.m.

    I miss Kingdom Hearts, both Playstation ones and the Gameboy one were some of my favorite games. Afew years back I couldnt wait for Kingdom Hearts 3 not knowing anything about legal issues and such. I 100% KH 1 and almost did the same for part 2. Lastly this article was really interesting and now that I think about it FF characters never really did matter as much as I though, the only really memorable one in the series is Sephiroth who is the best boss fight in both KH games.
  • elilupe - September 21, 2009 7:58 p.m.

    I would cry if they never made Kingdom Hearts 3
  • AaronTheGamingGeek - September 21, 2009 10:07 p.m.

  • D4rk2triker - September 21, 2009 11:53 p.m.

    Why not try adding some of the newer or really older FF characters? I haven't played 2 or beaten 1 yet, but it from who I've seen, it's just characters from FFs 7 & 8.

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