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Thursday, 19 September 2013

Top 5 Final Fantasy Characters that Never Made it to Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts, one of the most successful crossover game series in history, is, as we know, a marriage between the worlds of Disney and Final Fantasy. During the development process, a lot of thought goes into what characters and worlds are to be included in the game. But, for various reasons, some are cut from the game - usually replaced with another character.
In this article I'll be taking a look at some of the characters of Final Fantasy fame that *almost* made it into Sora, Donald, and Goofy's adventures.

5. Irvine (FF8)
Irvine Kinneas of Final Fantasy VIII was originally planned as a part of the Destiny Islands trio. He was, in the end, replaced with Wakka - perhaps to solve the dilemma of having a ranged fighter, without abeing a child wielding a sniper rifle. I guess they could've replaced it with a slingshot or something, but I'm not complaining. Everyone likes Wakka, ya?

Concept art of Rikku for Kingdom Hearts.
4. Rikku (FF10)
'Leon's' original companion in Kingdom Hearts was to be Rikku from Final Fantasy X. Nomura even went so far as to draw a KH character design for her. She was replaced with Yuffie, as Square feared there could be some confusion, having two characters named 'Riku/Rikku.' If you've ever seen the original concept artwork of Rikku, it looks very similar to Yuffie's appearance - with the greatest difference being a change of clothing colour.

She later appeared in the sequel, resembling her appearance in Final Fantasy X-2, along with Yuna and paine from the same game. Interestingly, her name is never mentioned.

3. Vincent (FF7)
Vincent, planned to appear in Olympus Coliseum, was replaced with Cloud of the same game. Cloud's Kingdom Hearts design carries a lot of similarities to Vincent's attire, and is perhaps a nod to the development process.

2. Laguna (FF8)
Laguna Loire was supposed to appear in Birth By Sleep, as the head of the Mirage Arena, but was ultimately cut due to his appearance in Dissidia Duodecim. Zack from Crisis Core, however, made the cut, and is featured in Olympus Coliseum.

1. Cloud and Squall (FF7/FF8)
These two were both set to appear in Birth By Sleep, but were left out to avoid featuring too many characters in Radiant Garden. It's unfortunate - I would have liked to see younger versions of these two, and perhaps some more references to FF8 and Crisis Core.

Fortunately, most of the other characters remained in the game. With the development of Kingdom Hearts III underway, who knows - perhaps we'll see some of these characters in the new title.
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