What New Worlds We Want To See In Kingdom Hearts III
With the Kingdom Hearts III finally a reality, we couldn't help but anticipate what Square Enix and Disney have in store for Sora and company. Part of Kingdom Hearts' magic is stepping into Disney worlds and feeling like you're transported back to your childhood. The nostalgia factor fuels the experience, letting your reminisce about these iconic characters and their journey as you're embarking on your own with Sora.
Square Enix hasn't announced what's coming in the next entry, but did reveal there would be "new and legendary" worlds. While Square Enix has done a good job at incorporating some of our favorites, it has yet to include some of the other well-loved Disney properties for our digital pleasure. Here's some places the franchise has yet to venture, that would truly make Kingdom Hearts III a treat.
The Pixar movies have been a huge part of Disney's success in recent years, and Kingdom Hearts fans have been waiting to set foot into one of these worlds. The possibilities are plentiful: Finding Nemo, Toy Story, The Incredibles, and Brave, to name a few. A cool way to get in as many worlds as possible might be by having the entire stage set in the Monsters Inc. verse, with the closet containing portals to other Pixar worlds. Sulley and Mike's humor could provide some entertaining dialogue (and, yes, I demand Boo make an appearance), while companions from other Pixar films through each of their worlds, like Woody and Buzz or Dory and Marlin, are sure to delight. Also, the backdrops for these specific worlds are just about endless with Monstropolis, Port Jackson, and Pizza Planet. Throw in some vicious villains: The Incredibles' Omnidroids and Syndrome, Braves' Elderly Witch, and Toy Story's Lots-O or Spike. At this point, a whole Kingdom Hearts game could be made of Pixar worlds, but we'd be happy with even one of these making the cut.
Studio Ghibli Lands
Anybody who has seen a Studio Ghibli film knows the visuals are absolutely breathtaking - we even saw a glimpse of this beauty with Ni No Kuni. Can you imagine stepping into one of these gorgeous lands as Sora? Similar to Pixar movies, the choices are abundant: Square Enix couldn't go wrong with any film it selects. I've put a lot of thought into what movie would fit best. While Kiki's Delivery Service would have you flying through the air and Howl's Moving Castle would have you on the contraption helping Sophie and Howl, I believe that Spirited Away would be the way to go. Chihiro "Sen" Ogino becoming trapped in an alternate reality where her parents turn into pigs is not only an engaging ride, but Yubaba, the owner of the magical bathhouse, is a terrifying antagonist to go up against. Let's not forget her giant baby and her creepy No-Face, who eats servants. Having your sidekick, Haku, for dragon rides while overcoming Yubaba is just icing on the cake.
Entering a video game within a video game is a cool concept that Square Enix could definitely capitalize on. And having Wreck-It Ralph's Sugar Rush to kart race on would be a great change of pace for a level. Of course, that's not all that could happen; you'd also trek through the candy-filled land with the out-of-place Ralph and adorable Vanellope bantering and trying to take down King Candy. Add in glitches (though they'd have to be handled better than re:Coded) and hacks throughout the world, and this could give Sora and company a run for their money.
Oliver and Company
Oliver and Company was one of my favorite movies growing up. How adorable is Oliver? How cool is Dodger? And how absolutely diva is Georgette? The characters' witty banter could provide levity as you trek through the rough streets of New York City in the '80s . The majority of the time Kingdom Hearts' locations are extremely fantastical, so a real-world location is always appreciated, bringing some reality into the fantasy. Plus, Fagin needs to learn not to steal little girls' kittens for ransom. Wouldn't you love to explore that experience?
[Up next: Sora needs to find the force, a sword gets stuck, and a new Disney property could take the wheel...]
Since the last Kingdom Hearts release, Disney bought the Star Wars franchise, so it would be great to see the legendary movies and characters make their way into the Kingdom Hearts series. A lightsaber-keyblade? Bring it. Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine? Just try to do your worst with Sora in the fray. Honestly, this is one where numerous characters would be your sidekicks. From Han Solo to Luke Skywalker to Chewbacca to R2-D2, it'd be hard for Square Enix to get this one wrong. What better encapsulates the Kingdom Hearts' message of dark versus light than Jedi and Sith? After all, what would be better than Goofy and Donald sneaking on to ships to visit the Mos Eisley Cantina? The time is ripe for Sora to join up with the Jedi.
The Sword in the Stone
We've seen Merlin in video game form plenty of times, but we haven't experienced his tale to teach a young boy who's destiny is to one day become King Arthur. With Merlin's magic, he often transforms the destined king into different beings, like a fish or sparrow. Seeing Arthur go from a squire to the one who can pull the sword and one day host the Knights of the Roundtable would be a fun transformation to watch.
The Lone Ranger
While The Lone Ranger has yet to hit theaters, it's clear Disney is set on making this its next big franchise. It wouldn't be all that surprising to see a world from the upcoming movie in the new installment. In the movie, we see how John Reid takes on the persona of the Lone Ranger and watch him fight for justice with his partner Tonto, played by Johnny Depp. The American Old West is a great historical backdrop with plenty of potential. The white stallion, silver bullets, and masked ranger add to the heroics. Teaching bandits to play nice with all the Wild West theatrics could be a nice change of pace for Kingdom Hearts.
Other Square Franchises Enter The Realm
Final Fantasy characters have been exciting to encounter on travels, but some new blood always helps revitalize a franchise. We'd expect the cast of Final Fantasy XIII to show up during Sora's quest. After all, Lighting could teach him a thing or two about having the plight of the world on your shoulders. We also saw Neku from The World Ends With You in Dream Drop Distance, but what if Square Enix took it one step further with characters from other Square RPGs? Imagine Dragon Quest, Parasite Eve, Chrono Trigger, or Star Ocean characters also stepping into the journey.
As more details come, it will be interesting to see what steps Square Enix takes with its flagship series. Kingdom Hearts III has been highly anticipated since 2006's Kingdom Hearts II finale, and Disney has kept on track with plenty of releases to pull from. What worlds are you hoping to see in the series? Also, be sure to check out Bryan's piece on what he wants from Kingdom Hearts III.