PRE-ORDER Kingdom Hearts III on PlayStation 4

Kingdom Hearts


PlayStation® 2 cover of Kingdom Hearts.
Kingdom Hearts (キングダムハーツ) is an action role-playing game developed and published by Squaresoft (now SQUARE-ENIX) in 2002 for the PlayStation 2 video game console. It's the first game in the Kingdom Hearts series, and is the result of a collaboration between Squaresoft and The Walt Disney Company. The game combines characters and settings from Disney animated features with those from Square's Final Fantasy series. The story follows a young boy, Sora, as he is thrown into an epic battle against the forces of darkness. He is joined by Donald Duck, Goofy, and other classic Disney characters who help him on his quest. 

The game was a departure from Squaresoft's standard role-playing games, introducing a substantial action-adventure element to the gameplay. Kingdom Hearts has an all-star voice cast and includes many of the Disney characters' official voice actors. It was longtime Squaresoft character designer Tetsuya Nomura's first time in a directorial position.

Kingdom Hearts was praised for its unusual combination of action and role-playing, as well as its unexpectedly harmonious mix of Squaresoft and Disney elements. It was a dominating presence in the 2002 holiday season, receiving numerous year-end "Best" video game awards, and went on to achieve Sony "Greatest Hits" status. Since its release, the Kingdom Hearts series has sold over 20 million copies worldwide, and the first game prompted numerous sequels. Kingdom Hearts is currently the ninth best-selling PlayStation 2 game of all time and the most commercially successful entry in the series to date.


“I’ve been having these weird thoughts lately…
like is any of this real or not?” - Sora
Kingdom Hearts begins on Destiny Islands, where Sora, Riku, and Kairi live. The three friends want to leave the islands to explore new worlds and have prepared a raft for this purpose. One night, the islands are attacked by shadow creatures called the Heartless. Sora seeks out his friends, finding Riku, who disappears into a dark portal. At the same time, Sora obtains the Keyblade, a weapon effective against the Heartless. However, the islands are destroyed and Sora drifts into space. Meanwhile, King Mickey has left his own world to deal with the increasing numbers of Heartless and left instructions for Donald and Goofy to find the "key" that will protect the worlds from the encroaching darkness.

Donald and Goofy use the Gummi Ship to reach Traverse Town, where Sora has drifted. Sora meets Leon, who explains that the Heartless are beings that consume hearts, and that the Keyblade is the only weapon capable of defeating them. A man named Ansem is said to have studied the Heartless. Sora then meets Donald and Goofy, and the three decide to travel together with Donald and Goofy to find King Mickey, and Sora to find Kairi and Riku. The three go to various worlds based on Disney films (such as Tarzan, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and etc.), finding that the Keyblade also locks "Keyholes", passages to the "heart" of a world which, when sealed, prevent it from being consumed by the Heartless. Meanwhile, a group of Disney villains, led by Maleficent, seek out the seven Princesses of Heart (who are Snow White, Alice, Cinderella, Aurora, Belle, Jasmine and Kairi)  to unlock the final Keyhole that leads to "Kingdom Hearts", a repository of knowledge and power and the source of all hearts. This group includes Riku; Maleficent promises that she will help him find Kairi in exchange for his support. Maleficent sows distrust in Riku, telling him that Sora abandoned him and Kairi for new friends and the Keyblade. An increasingly antagonistic Riku finds Kairi's body, but cannot find her heart.

Sora and his friends eventually arrive at Hollow Bastion, Ansem's home world and Maleficent's current headquarters. Riku takes the Keyblade from Sora, claiming to be the true Keyblade master and that Sora only received it in his absence. Donald and Goofy, having been explicitly ordered to follow the "key", reluctantly leave Sora for Riku. Sora challenges Riku, stating that his heart derives strength from his friends; his friends return to him, as does the Keyblade. Shamed, Riku meets a cloaked man who goads him to give into the darkness. Meanwhile, the three engage and defeat Maleficent. Sora finds Kairi's body and confronts Riku, who reveals that he is possessed by Ansem.  Ansem explains that Kairi is a Princess of Heart, and that her heart has been hiding within Sora's body since Destiny Islands was destroyed. After defeating Ansem, Sora impales himself with Ansem's Keyblade, which is designed to unlock hearts, releasing both his and Kairi's heart. Kairi's heart returns to her body, in turn completing the final Keyhole, while Sora becomes a Heartless. Kairi recognises Sora's Heartless and the light in her heart restores him to human form. He resolves to confront Ansem.

"That's not true! The heart may be weak, and sometimes it may even give in.
 But I've learned that deep down, there's a light that never goes out!" - Sora
Ansem is found in End of the World, the combined remnants of worlds taken by the Heartless. Ansem seeks Kingdom Hearts, the place in which the hearts of all worlds and people are born, hypothesising it to be the ultimate darkness. Upon opening the door to Kingdom Hearts, however, it reveals its light, overwhelming and destroying Ansem. Beyond the door are King Mickey and Riku, who help Sora and the others close the door, as there are many Heartless beyond it. Mickey and Sora use their Keyblades to lock the door. The worlds lost to the Heartless reconstruct themselves; as the Destiny Islands reform, Kairi returns there while Sora is forced to part with her. The game concludes as Sora, Donald, and Goofy resolve to find Riku and Mickey.