By Bryan Smith on June 7, 2015 at 10:53am
With rumors of “Kingdom Hearts III” making a big appearance at E3 2015 and Square Enix having its own press conference, fans and critics can’t wait to see the reveal for what worlds that’ll be included in the game. We’ve seen Sora and company surf trees with Tarzan in the jungle, hang out with Jack Skellington in Halloween Town, and sail the seas with Captain Jack Sparrow. The realms for Disney and “Final Fantasy” worlds are bountiful, and today I’m going to list my top ten worlds I want to see appear in “KH3.”
Rules for this list: Worlds or Disney movies that have already seen representation in settings don’t count. As much as I would love to see “The Hunch Back of Norte Dame” done better, that’s not a new world entirely. Additionally, nothing from Marvel or “Star Wars.” As awesome of an idea that is, that is opening a whole bunch of cans of concerns and implications that a final installment to the Xehanort Saga shouldn’t implement yet.
Before we start off the list, I’ll name a few honorable mentions: New Orleans from “The Princess and the Frog.” Now if Sora and company remained their human selves and actually fought Facilier and his voodoo magic, I’m all game for the inclusion. However, if Sora gets turned into a frog… I have a feeling that is just going to bog down the game, as in force even more development on a different system like lion/mermaid Sora. Considering how much time and development is going into this game as it is, I don’t think having a frog Sora would be a good idea. I’m not saying it can’t work, but I think there’s a lot on the table as it is.
The other honorable mentions go to “Atlantis: The Lost Empire,” “Treasure Planet,” and “Tangled.” Not that I don’t think the worlds would take extra work or fit in well, but I just have ten others that fit the bill better.
10. Powhatan Tribe/Jamestown from "Pocahontas"
Now this might be a rather odd choice for some, considering how there are those who are split on whether Disney’s “Pocahontas” is either good (not great but good) or a waste in Disney’s portfolio. I liked the movie as a kid and, while seeing it is quite flawed now, I think “Pocahontas’s” world would be a great place to explore for a game.
Something that a good chuck of “Kingdom Hearts” games lack is the imaginative level design. “Kingdom Hearts 2” is notorious for being very flat. What made certain worlds, like Deep Jungle from “Tarzan” and Neverland (“Birth By Sleep’s” version, that is) from “Peter Pan, fun is how they were designed. They played to climbing trees or flying high above waterfalls. The level design made me feel like I was actually exploring a world as opposed to a box with a world painted on the walls.
That brings me to “Pocahontas” and the “New World,” as the movie calls itself. One of the movie’s biggest strengths is how big and how vivid it made the world. The cliffs, the waterfall, the misty waters around Grandmother Willow- they’re so imaginative and that could easily make for great level design. In fact, I remember that the Sega Genesis game being a lot of fun to play. If it worked for a game almost as old as me, I think it can translate well to “Kingdom Hearts.”
9. Andy's Bedroom from "Toy Story" (or almost any Pixar movie in general)
You know what “Kingdom Hearts” has been lacking? Pixar movies. I know that Disney didn’t own Pixar when “Kingdom Hearts” first became a thing, but now they are, I think Sora needs to meet Woody and Buzz Lightyear. The world of toys coming to life is just begging to be made. “Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue” was a pretty fun game back in the day, so I don’t see why making a world for “Toy Story” would be a problem.
Why stop at “Toy Story” though? A world for “The Incredibles?” That’s just brimming with ideas for a world. “Monsters, Inc.,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Brave,” “Up,” and “WALL-E” would also make for not only some great worlds but fun stories to have with Sora (not feeling a “Cars” world though. That’d just be weird). Come on Disney; let’s give Pixar some love here.
8. Prydain from "The Black Cauldron"
Ah, here’s a little movie that a lot of people probably didn’t hear about. This was one of Disney’s failed projects, as it bombed at the box office and has a mixed reception all across the board. While not the biggest fan of the movie, I think it had its moments. For one, it was dark in nature, which I think a company like Disney should be taken out of its comfort zone every once and a while.
Another thing is that the world is perfect for “Kingdom Hearts.” The possibilities for Heartless and the Horned King’s minions are just staggering. Imagine the Horned King as a boss battle. That would be epic. “The Black Cauldron” wouldn’t be the darkest thing to touch “Kingdom Hearts” either. “Pirates of the Caribbean” certainly has darker themes (i.e. children being hanged) but the movies are a-ok for “Kingdom Hearts.” I don’t see any reason why “The Black Cauldron” can’t join.
7. Incan Empire from "The Emperor's New Groove"
Can’t go wrong with the humor brought by the antagonists Yzma and Kronk. These two characters are arguably the best part of “The Emperor’s New Groove” and I’d love to see their banter translated into a “Kingdom Hearts” game.
Going back to the whole level design, there are so many hills and stairs and rocky cliffs to work with. I can totally see Sora fighting Heartless while Kuzco and Pacha drift down the waterfall having some banter.
6. Middleton from "Kim Possible"
You know what’s another thing that is lacking in “Kingdom Hearts?” TV Disney cartoons. Sure, a good majority of Disney cartoon shows have been from movies, there are some original shows that deserve recognition. One of those shows that would fit in “Kingdom Hearts” seamlessly would be “Kim Possible.”
There’s just some characterization that makes Kim and her friends/enemies feel right at home for a “Kingdom Hearts” game. Doctor Drakken would simply have giant robots and giant Heartless fight Sora and Kim while trying to take over the world. Shego would also make for an awesome mid or a fully-fledged boss. Bosses and antagonists from “Kim Possible” could also make for future installments too as to prevent the formula of Drakken coming back again and again getting stale.
5. St. Canard from "Darkwing Duck"/New York from "Gargoyles"
Out of all of the Disney cartoon shows, there isn’t anything bigger and well known (outside of “DuckTales” of course) than “Darkwing Duck.” Darkwing Duck himself is a rather interesting take on a superhero- being egotistical and so full of himself. Much like Captain Jack, I think having Sora and Darkwing Duck bouncing off different ideologies on doing good deeds would be fascinating. The super villains Darkwing Duck fights would also make for interesting boss battles as well.
Before anyone jumps at me for not mentioning it, yes there is another show that could rival “Darkwing Duck” as representing Disney cartoons- “Gargoyles.” Having gargoyles fighting alongside Sora while fighting gargoyle Heartless would be awesome. However, I have a slight feeling that if any Disney cartoon show were to be represented in “Kingdom Hearts,” it would be “Darkwing Duck.” Considering that Scrooge McDuck is already in the game series, Darkwing Duck wouldn’t be so farfetched in comparison to the gargoyles. Would I enjoy having the gargoyles being in the game? Of course, but I just don’t see it very likely.
4. Arendelle from "Frozen"
Obvious choice is obvious. I have a very strong suspicion that “Frozen” will have some form of representation in “KH3” one way or another. That, and Diamond Dust would be an excellent weapon to bring back just for this world. Other than knowing that “Frozen” has a very good likely hood of getting in, regardless of rumors and naysayers might say, Sora and Riku could play off of Anna and Elsa brilliantly.
Sora and Anna are bubbly, friendly, and very quick to do what is needed for their best friends. Riku and Elsa, on the other hand, are more seclusive and distant, but will do whatever it takes to help their friends even if it means something worse for them in the process. This choice is more so the character building than the popularity of “Frozen,” and I hope they at least see the potential of the parallels.
3. San Fransokyo from "Big Hero 6"
I might be cheating with the whole “no Marvel” rule, but technically this is more a Disney animated feature than a Marvel movie to begin with. That, and the movie has a bunch of Disney references to begin with, so it counts for this list!
The biggest appeal for this world is how vibrant and big the city is. The lights man- look at those lights at night. The boss fight with the masked man would make a great fit into “Kingdom Hearts.” Hiro also looks like he’d fit right in alongside Sora’s company.
2. Litwak's Arcade from "Wreck-It-Ralph"
A video game movie being represented (properly) in a video game? Perish the thought. I think that “Wreck-It-Ralph” is one of the more obvious choices to be featured as a whole in this game. Perhaps this could be the only chance that Mario and Sonic interacting with Sora? Though admittedly, the game developers could think of a more clever way of working around that and only needing to worry about certain games getting in (still would be awesome though).
Implementing “Wreck-It-Ralph” wouldn’t be that hard to begin with either. Sora could just happen to run into the arcade store or cabinet and get sucked in just like he did for Space Paranoids from “Tron.” Heck, Cid could make an offhand comment and said he found it in ruins and restored the game cabinet to its former glory.
1. Any "Final Fantasy" Game (or Square Enix Game)
The biggest opportunity the “Kingdom Hearts” series missed continuously is leaving out the worlds for any “Final Fantasy” world. Heck, any Square Enix game for that matter. Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden doesn’t count since that is a “Kingdom Hearts” world. No, I want a world for a “Final Fantasy” or Square Enix game.
They teased the possibility for “The World Ends With You” to have its own world. “Chrono Trigger” has a great potential to make a comeback and have Crono fight alongside Sora. Arguably the most criminally unused game not to appear is “Final Fantasy VI.” Wouldn’t be the first time a character with a similar name appeared in the same game (Riku and Rikku, now Terra and Terra). I’m sure a lot of Kefka fans would adore seeing him tormenting Sora and friends as he commits his nefarious plans.
With Disney’s large library of movies, the possibilities for new worlds are staggering. Making a list of ten feels like I’m not doing certain movies justice. Whether or not Disney puts any of these worlds in is to be seen.
So what worlds do you want to see in “Kingdom Hearts III?” Leave a comment and let us know what you’d like to see in the game!