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  1. Kingdom Hearts themed iPad cases now available through Gain Garage

    The Japanese website DTimes has announced that Kingdom Hearts themed iPad cases are now available to purchase. These cases come in four varieties, each with a Kingdom Hearts image on its corner.

    The first case features Sora's Station of Awakening. The second case features the Kingdom Hearts II cover art. The third, a red case, features the "Awakening" image from Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix. Finally, the fourth case does not feature an image like the others, but instead features the heart, crown, Keyblade, and Mickey head symbols commonly associated with the series, emblazoned upon the entirety of the front side of the case. Each case also features the Kingdom Hearts logo on its rear side, but does not have a design on its interior. All four of these cases can be viewed in the album below:

    KH iPad Cases KH iPad Cases 2 KH iPad Cases 1 KH iPad Cases 3 KH iPad Cases 4 KH iPad Cases Interior

    These iPad cases can be purchased from the Japanese website Gain Garage for ¥5,162, but it is unknown if these cases are able to be shipped internationally.

    Will you be purchasing one of these iPad cases? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

  2. Kingdom Hearts Way to the Dawn and Kingdom Key D Keyblade paperweights are coming soon

    Keyblade paperweights based off of the Way to the Dawn and Kingdom Key D Keyblades are coming soon. They come in a two piece set on a display stand.

    View the paperweights on the display stand below:

    Posted Image

    View concept art of the paperweights in the box they would come with below:

    Posted Image

    Thanks to @churroz on Twitter for the tip!

  3. GAME and Square Enix have teamed up to offer a giveaway for a Kingdom Hearts framed art print

    One of the UK's leading games retailer, GAME, has partnered up with Square Enix to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Kingdom Hearts franchise. GAME is hosting a giveaway where they are offering a Kingdom Hearts framed art print, featuring many beloved characters in various moments throughout the series.

    To enter the giveaway you can visit GAME's Twitter (@GAMEdigital) and tweet your favorite Kingdom Hearts moment. Be sure to include #MyKHMoment in your entry!

    UPDATE: The winner for the giveaway has been selected! Congratulations to @Halestorm_EU on Twitter!

  4. Kingdom Hearts II Riku Static Arts Gallery now available for pre-order on Square Enix NA store; releasing end of September for $49.99 USD

    The Kingdom Hearts II Riku Static Arts Gallery figure is now up for pre-order on the North American Square Enix Online Store for $49.99, with a release scheduled for end of September 2017. The figure's prototype was previously showcased at the New York Comic Con 2016.

    This news comes a day after Square Enix (Japan) e-Store started accepting pre-orders for the figure, with a Japanese release date of July 29, 2017.

    You can view pictures of the figure below. A description of the product follows.

    The Static Arts Gallery series is focused on pursuing the faithful depiction of characters within its 6-inch size limitation. Now Riku as he appears in KINGDOM HEARTS II will be the latest to join the lineup!
    Despite its small scale, this figure’s exquisite paintwork is applied down to the fine details. Furthermore, the delicate and intricate design of the sculpt will surely surprise those that pick up the figure with all the details in its hair and clothes.

    The star and shadow at his feet are created with translucent material to appear as though the star is casting light at Riku’s feet.

    The presentation is a vivid reminder of the theme of light and darkness that is rooted in KINGDOM HEARTS, and so carefully expressed in the character of Riku.

    Product Size (inches): Approx. W 2.91” x D 2.91" x H 5.6”

    Release scheduled for end of September 2017

    Limit two (2) per customer.

    a b bn grt f

    Will you be pre-ordering this figure? Let us know in the comments below!

  5. Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage- Aqua PAK now available for pre-order on Square Enix NA store; releasing end of August for $129.99 USD

    The Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage- Play Arts Kai Aqua showcased at various events this year is now up for pre-order on the North American Square Enix Online Store. The release date is listed as end of August 2017, with a price of $129.99.

    This comes only a day after the figure's listing on the Square Enix (Japan) e-Store and AmiAmi, which list the Japanese release date of the figure to be July 8, 2017.

    You can view images of the figure below. The Square Enix Online Store description follows.

    Aqua, the first female protagonist in the KINGDOM HEARTS series, has the inner fortitude to withstand adversity. This Play Arts -KAI- figure is sure to please as it showcases her unwavering spirit in its expression.

    The various included accessory parts allow for a multitude of action poses. The paintwork, varying calculated intensities of light and shadow, gives her a realistic presence, all while taking great care to show off of her signature blue color. We also aimed to give her armor and keyblade a heavy feel through the paint-applied metal textures.

    Whether she is charging gallantly into battle with Rainfell or showing her softer side in scenes with Terra and Ventus, we have condensed every bit of her charm into this figure to make it quintessentially Aqua.

    Figure includes display stand.

    Figure Size (inches): W 3.62” x D 1.9” x H 9.1”

    FIGURE 029290 01 FIGURE 029290 02 FIGURE 029290 03 FIGURE 029290 04 FIGURE 029290 05 FIGURE 029290 06 FIGURE 029290 07 FIGURE 029290 08 FIGURE 029290 09 FIGURE 029290 10 FIGURE 029290

    Will you be pre-ordering this figure? Let us know in the comments!

  6. Kingdom Hearts Premium Jumbo Bath Towels are becoming available in Japanese stores

    It has been announced on the Tempo SEGA website that a Kingdom Hearts premium jumbo bath towel will be offered in a total of 34 stores in Japan. The scheduled arrival of these towels is set to Friday, April 14, 2017. The towel features a variant of the original cover art for Kingdom Hearts II. You can view a sample of the towel below.

    2017 04 Kh towel

  7. Kingdom Hearts featured in the latest Famitsu for the series 15th anniversary

    At the end of March the Kingdom Hearts series celebrated its 15th anniversary, and so Famitsu have commemorated this event by featuring the franchise in their magazine yet again. This time, Kingdom Hearts dominates the very front cover of the magazine, and is featured in a 15-pages spread.

    Both Tetsuya Nomura (series director) and Masahiro Sakurai (Super Smash Bros. creator) have discussed the series. In addition, several of the Japanese voice actors for the series were interviewed. There are also results from questionnaires answered by Kingdom Hearts fans.

    The issue seems to contain an overall look at all the games in the series so far, how they fit in the Kingdom Hearts timeline, and how they lead up to Kingdom Hearts III, including information on the game that have been revealed so far.

    The article also features various top 5 and top 10 lists based on fan preferences and expectations. Some of the lists are summarized below.

    Favorite games from the series:

    • Kingdom Hearts II Final mix
    • Kingdom Hearts II
    • Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
    • Kingdom Hearts
    • Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
    Favorite male characters:
    • Sora
    • Roxas
    • Axel (Lea)
    • Riku
    • Terra
    Favorite female characters:
    • Aqua
    • Xion
    • Kairi
    • Namine
    • Larxene
    Favorite moments:
    • "Looks like my summer vacations are over."
    • Xion revealing her true identity to Roxas at the end of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
    • Sora's time as a Heartless
    • The ending of Kingdom Hearts
    • The secret ending of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix
    Favorite Keyblades:
    • Oathkeeper
    • Kingdom Key
    • Oblivion
    • Ultima Weapon
    • Two Become One
    Favorite music:
    • Hikari
    • Dearly Beloved
    • Roxas
    • Vector to the Heavens
    • The Other Promise
    Most wanted Final Fantasy characters in Kingdom Hearts:
    • Noctis
    • Lightning
    • Zidane
    • Chocobos
    • Bartz

    Other lists include favorite boss battles, the most wanted Final Fantasy characters in future Kingdom Hearts installments, and more.

    The feature also mentions the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour -.

    You can view the scans of the feature section below. English translations will be available as soon as possible.

    front page P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 P7 P8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Magazine cover

    UPDATE: In the magazine, creator of Super Smash Bros., Masahiro Sakurai, shared his thoughts on the Kingdom Hearts series and its 15th anniversary. View his thoughts, translated by @KamennoOtoko on Twitter and provided by @AllSourceGaming on Twitter below:

    Sakurai: Congratulations on your 15-year anniversary! (The Kirby series turns 25 this year, as it were.)
    Although the nature of our respective games may differ, as someone who has also worked on several collaborative titles, I understand all too well how difficult they can be.
    My hat goes off to Nomura and his staff for putting together a tale jam-packed with content every single time.
    I look forward to another entry to the series!

  8. Review: Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX

    The Kingdom Hearts series recently celebrated its 15th anniversary with a bang, as renowned RPG developer Square Enix has paved the way to the series' long-awaited climax with a massive compilation. Released for Sony's PlayStation 4, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX offers some of the best experiences that Kingdom Hearts has presented to date, and consists of the first six works in the series. For the uninitiated, these six titles are:

    • Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, an enhanced re-release of the original game
    • Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, a console-oriented overhaul of the Game Boy Advance interquel
    • HD cutscenes of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, the series' first Nintendo DS outing
    • Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, an enhanced re-release of the second numbered entry
    • Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix, an enhanced re-release of the series' prequel
    • HD cutscenes of Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, the series' second Nintendo DS outing
    Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX presents something for every fan to enjoy. Whether you are a newcomer who has decided to jump into the series, a seasoned veteran who has been an avid follower since 2002, or anywhere in between, this collection is sure to contain something of interest to you.

    When considering the perspective of newcomers, it's no secret that Kingdom Hearts has historically had a reputation for having a confusing plot, due in large part to having its titles spread thin across many platforms. However, in recent years, series director Tetsuya Nomura expressed his desire to remedy this stigma by releasing every Kingdom Hearts title on a single platform. Through both this collection and the recently-released Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, Nomura's wishes have been fulfilled; nearly every game in the series is available on the PlayStation 4, with the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III set to continue this trend.

    Posted Image

    As seen above, the newest iteration of the Kingdom Hearts timeline features only four overall releases. The two aforementioned collections and Kingdom Hearts III all have a simple, numerically-ascending order which highlights the intended play order. Meanwhile, while the series' mobile installment, Kingdom Hearts Union χ[cross], is presented as being first in the timeline, it is meant to be played late into the series, as it relies heavily on knowledge learned throughout most of the other games. In summary, with just a PlayStation 4 and a smartphone or tablet, the entirety of the Kingdom Hearts series can be easily understood and enjoyed by newer fans!
    For returning Kingdom Hearts diehards, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX unfortunately offers little in the way of completely new experiences. While the Final Mix-exclusive additions and revamped HD cutscenes are carried over from the PlayStation 3 releases of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, there is no sign of any additional content which is exclusive to this PlayStation 4 release. Instead, much of the incentive for veterans to purchase this compilation comes in the form of technical improvements.

    Kingdom Hearts speedrunner Bizkit047 outlines both the technical improvements and problems within Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX.

    In the PlayStation 3 releases, load times were unusually long, and the included games all ran at 720p and 30 frames per second. In the PlayStation 4 version, by contrast, the load times have all but vanished, the resolution has been increased to 1080p, and the playable titles run at 60 frames per second, resulting in a clearer and more fluid image. The option to play at 4k resolution is even available to PlayStation 4 Pro owners, further increasing the collection's visual quality. Unfortunately, the framerate increase does not apply to any of the cutscenes present in the collection; this is only applicable to gameplay, as the cutscenes are strictly programmed to run at 30 frames per second.

    While these improvements have been widely praised by players, the games are not without their own problems. Several players, including prominent speedrunners Bl00dyBizkitz and Bizkit047, have pointed out several glaring issues with the PlayStation 4 versions of each game. Several crashes and bugs which were present in the PlayStation 3 releases have been carried over, some new crashes have been reported, and the transition to 60 frames per second has introduced several inconsistencies regarding game physics and timings. Thankfully, Square Enix has already begun to roll out updates and patches to lessen or eliminate many of the offending issues.

    Overall, while Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX is by no means a perfect product, and still has a great deal of technical hurdles to overcome, the collection provides an excellent starting point for new players, a large amount of nostalgia for returning players, and a great deal of improvement under-the-hood for those who seek a good-looking, smooth experience. If you've hesitated at the thought of playing the series, or simply want to experience the games in higher detail than ever before, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX will not disappoint.

  9. Kingdom Hearts II Riku Static Arts Gallery will be released on July 29th, 2017; pre-orders available now

    Pre-orders for the Kingdom Hearts II Riku Static Arts Gallery figure will be starting soon at AmiAmi on April 5, 2017, 12am JST. Its listed price is 5,184 yen, with AmiAmi offering a 29% discount.

    A prototype for this figure was previously in display at New York Comic Con 2016.

    The figure is due for release on July 2017 in Japan.

    UPDATE: Square Enix is now accepting pre-orders in the Square Enix Japan store for 4,940 yen (about $45 USD) and the figure is set to be released on July 29th, 2017. It's currently unknown when it will be available in the North American store.

    You can view pictures of it below:

    a b bn grt f

  10. Kingdom Hearts to feature in this week's Famitsu for a 15th anniversary special

    This week's issue of Famitsu will feature a 15th anniversary special for the Kingdom Hearts series! This issue, releasing on April 6, 2017, will contain a commemorative feature celebrating this special milestone for the franchise. In addition to explaining the outline of the series in chronological order, both Tetsuya Nomura and Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai, as well as some of the voice actors from Kingdom Hearts, will discuss the franchise. Results from a questionnaire for the series' fans conducted by Famitsu will also be included. Nomura states that he cannot disclose when more Kingdom Hearts III news will be available.

    You can view three teaser scans from the issue below:

    front page P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 P7 P8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Magazine cover

    Stay tuned for more news after the release of this issue!

  11. Snapchat filter for Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX now available at Disney Parks

    In celebration of the release of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX, Snapchat has a special geofilter with Riku, Kairi, Donald, and Goofy huddled around Sora in the bottom right corner and the logo in the top left corner that you can use to take selfies.

    The filters are only available while you are inside Disneyland Parks and possibly Disney World as well, although no word if they will be available for the other Disney Parks worldwide. It was mentioned during the live stream of Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX yesterday. It's possible that the filters will only be at the Disney Parks for a limited time.

    17619575 1494613957217019 842371309 N C8IeJlDV0AAdflM

    Thanks to @churroz for the tip and thanks to @elizabethapeck_, and @Sheltered_One, for the snaps of the filter.

    • Mar 29 2017 10:25 PM
    • by Leamax
  12. Sora and Riku added to Japanese version of Disney Tsum Tsum mobile game

    Yesterday was the 15th anniversary of Kingdom Hearts, which was celebrated by Square Enix by announcing special Tsum Tsum events for the Japanese version ofKingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross]. It was later revealed that Kingdom Hearts would be joining in the Japanese version of the Disney Tsum Tsum Android and iOS game that's connected to the Japanese social network, LINE. You can view their appearances and stats from the game below:

    block riku L block sora L Riku Stats Sora stats

    Other LINE stickers have been offered in the past, including those for LINE instant messaging. Currently the Sora and Riku Tsum Tsums are only available in Japan.

    UPDATE 1: Sora and Riku have been released for the Disney Tsum Tsum LINE Android and iOS game in Japan! They'll be available until April 30, 2017 for the random Premium Box, which is 30,000 coins. Until April 18, 2017 at 10:59 JST, there will be a higher chance of getting Sora and Riku.

    Both of their skills clear surrounding Tsums, but Sora auto clears them for a brief moment of time, while Riku clears them from a fixed number of taps. When they're activated, you can hear their them say their iconic catchphrases. Sora will say his famous line "My friends are my power!" ("繋がる心が俺の力だ!") and Riku will say "I'm not afraid of the darkness!" ("闇を恐れる事はないんだ!") View images of Sora and Riku in the mobile game, provided by @differem7 on Twitter, below:

    Sora And Riku In Disney Tsum Tsum JP IOS And Android game 1 Sora And Riku In Disney Tsum Tsum JP IOS And Android game 2 Sora And Riku In Disney Tsum Tsum JP IOS And Android game 3 Sora And Riku In Disney Tsum Tsum JP IOS And Android game 4

    View a video of Riku's skill being activated, provided by @ninomiy on Twitter, here.

    Thanks to KHInsider for the tip!

    UPDATE 2: An official trailer for Sora and Riku's appearance in the LINE Disney Tsum Tsum Japanese iOS and Android game has been released! This trailer shows off both Sora and Riku's skills being activated. View it, provided by the official Japanese Disney Twitter account, below:

  13. Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Familiar Faces and Places trailer released

    Square Enix has released a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX on March 28, 2017. the trailer is titled Familiar Faces and Places. It's also available and is available in English UK with French, German, Italian, and Spanish subtitles.

    You can watch the trailer in English below:

    Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX is now available in North America, and will release on March 31, 2017 in Europe.

    UPDATE: A new 60 second long version of the Familiar Faces and Places trailer has been released by the official Kingdom Hearts YouTube channel. View this 60 second trailer below:

    At the same time as this 60 second long trailer's release, they also released a 60 second long version of the Fight the Darkness trailer as well. You can view that trailer here.

    • Mar 31 2017 03:41 AM
    • by Leamax
  14. Series director, Tetsuya Nomura, releases new artwork to celebrate Kingdom Hearts' 15th anniversary

    Tetsuya Nomura, the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, has released a new official artwork to celebrate the series' 15th anniversary. This can be seen below.

    Posted Image

    Interesting notes and observations:

    kingdom hearts Hd 1 5 remix 6

    Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack Cover

    Comparing with previous images with Sora sitting on a throne, for the first time he is sitting with a different attire than from his original Kingdom Hearts one (this time it’s his Kingdom Hearts III outfit). His right leg is crossed over his left, just like in the Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX one. The crown is also rather different than in the previous instances, reminiscing an actual king’s.

    Now let's check the hidden details from the artwork. You can notice all the blurry effects added to the image and the intentional placement of the anniversary date and number to hide what looks to be 3 paintings and another element:

    · In the first painting (upper left corner), you see a mysterious figure smiling mischievously. Does this look familiar to you?

    upper left

    · Next, in the upper right corner, we have the most difficult painting to decipher.

    Upper right


    · Then, in the third painting, we have this:

    bottom right

    It has the clearest element from all three paintings: a musical note. Maybe just a tiny Easter Egg for the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - that we have been experiencing as a 15th Anniversary celebration?

    · Finally, we can see Sora is holding an animal on his lap, one that resembles a canid. As an interesting note, next year is the Year of the Dog in the Chinese calendar.


    Feel free to leave your speculation and other observations about what all this could mean in the comment section below!

  15. Disney Tsum Tsum event coming to Kingdom Hearts Union χ to celebrate the Kingdom Hearts 15th anniversary

    Today marks the 15h anniversary of the Kingdom Hearts series. To celebrate this occasion, Square Enix has announced special Tsum Tsum events for the Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] which will feature the following bonuses for these events.

    <3 Special login bonus avatar <3

    People who log in during this event period, will receive a Tsum Tsum headband!


    Login Period : April 14 - May 1

    <3 Raid boss event & The Union χ Multiplayer event <3

    New raid event quest "The Heartless Tsum stack" will be featured during the event and players can collect Raid Coins and Cross Coins to exchange them for Tsum Tsum avatar items from the Multiplayer event.




    Event Period : From April 17 - April 23

    <3 New 10 medal draws <3

    New raid event quest "The Heartless Tsum stack" will be featured during the event and players can collect Raid Coins and Cross Coins to exchange them for Tsum Tsum avatar items from the Multiplayer event!

    These 10 draws will offer 4 Tsum Tsum medals: each draw will give you a guaranteed Tsum Tsum medal. The first draw is free.


    Event Period : April 16 - April 30

  16. [UPDATED] The cover for the English Kingdom Hearts II Volume 4 manga has been shown off

    Last year, Yen Press announced that they will be releasing the final volume to the English Kingdom Hearts II manga series by Shiro Amano, Kingdom Hearts II Volume 4 on May 23, 2017. Thanks to Yen Press again, we now have a look at the front cover for this final volume. View the cover below:

    Posted Image

    The Kingdom Hearts II manga series finished in Japan in 2015, and now it is finally being finished in English as well. The Japanese Kingdom Hearts II manga series had ten volumes, but for the English series, they've decided to combine them all together to create four large volumes. Kingdom Hearts II Volume 4 contains volumes 8 - 10 of the original Japanese series.

    You can pre-order Kingdom Hearts II Volume 4 from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and RightStuf.

    UPDATE 1: The English Kingdom Hearts II Volume 4 manga has been delayed from May 23, 2017 to May 30, 2017.

    UPDATE 2: The English Kingdom Hearts II Volume 4 manga has released today, on May 30, 2017! You can purchase it from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and RightStuf.

  17. Editorial: The Kingdom Hearts series' 15th anniversary!

    It is now the 28th of March, which means that the Kingdom Hearts franchise has officially turned 15 years old! KH13.com have comprised this article to commemorate this wonderful series that has brought us together today. Originally released in Japan on March 28th 2002, Kingdom Hearts is arguably one of the most bizarre video games ever released due to the unlikely collaboration between Disney and Square Soft (now Square Enix). Throughout the article we will be discussing the origins of the series and how it has brought many different people together.

    The Concept

    The very first idea that lead to the creation of Kingdom Hearts was a conversation between Shinji Hashimoto (now the series executive producer) and Hironobu Sakaguchi (creator of Final Fantasy). The two wanted to create a game that rivalled Super Mario 64 in terms of the way players could move around in the game. The only characters as popular as Mario at the time were in fact Disney characters. Tetsuya Nomura, the lead character designer for Final Fantasy at the time, happened to hear the conversation and asked if he could direct such a project, which the two agreed to. Through pure chance, Disney and Square were working in the same building at the time and eventually Hashimoto encountered a Disney executive in an elevator. The pitch from Square Soft to Disney was somehow a success and hence, development for the first Kingdom Hearts began in February 2000.

    The Development

    Tetsuya Nomura strived for his own original concepts for a protagonist rather than using famous Disney characters. There was a time when Sora was envisioned as a hybrid of a lion and a young boy, who wielded a chainsaw blade. Disney even considered the idea of Donald Duck being the protagonist. There were even restrictions in what Square could do with the Disney properties at the time. Kingdom Hearts was extremely ambitious and in the eyes of many, a huge risk for the company due to its peculiar nature. Square did not want to create a product that would disrespect Disney and Tetsuya Nomura did not consider the idea of a sequel to Kingdom Hearts because of his doubt in the project.

    Posted Image

    Sora as a lion boy wielding his chainsaw blade.

    Hironobu Sakaguchi (working as the executive producer) told Nomura that if Kingdom Hearts did not aim for the same level of quality as the Final Fantasy series, it would fail. Hence, the original Kingdom Hearts went through many drastic changes in its development cycle. Thanks to Sakaguchi’s advice, the story of Kingdom Hearts matured into something similar that you’d find in a Final Fantasy game. The main villain-Ansem Seeker Of Darkness did not appear until towards the end of the game which is similar to how villains appeared in retro Final Fantasy games. His personality is also similar to Sephiroth (FFVII). As a consequence of many of these drastic changes, there was a significant amount of cut content in the first Kingdom Hearts. Some of these include Final Fantasy VII’s Tifa Lockhart as an optional boss battle, Final Fantasy’s Bahamut as a summon and The Lion King as a playable world. However, due to time constraints and hardware limitations, these were not included in the first Kingdom Hearts game. One of the earliest trailers for Kingdom Hearts heavily implied the ability to control Donald and Goofy. Nomura eventually featured this mechanic of controlling party members in another game he would go on to direct-Final Fantasy Versus XIII.

    Posted Image

    Ansem, Seeker Of Darkness, drawn by Tetsuya Nomura.

    The Reception

    For many Kingdom Hearts fans, their first game in the franchise was the original Kingdom Hearts. With its first title released on March 28th 2002 for Japan, September 17th 2002 for North America and November 15th 2002 for Europe, the Kingdom Hearts series has now sold over 20 million copies worldwide as of October 2013. The first Kingdom Hearts was met with critical acclaim and high praise, receiving a 9.5 from GameInformer, a 36/40 from Famitsu and a 9/10 from IGN! Many critics praised the graphics of the CG opening and ending. Kingdom Hearts was released during a time when voice acting in video games was fairly new, and when compared to Square’s Final Fantasy X (released in 2001), the voice acting was a huge step forward. Yoko Shimomura’s musical score was also highly praised at the time, and the Kingdom Hearts series is now widely respected for its amazing soundtrack. Not all reception was positive of course, with complaints against the tediousness of the Gummi Ship missions, the poor platforming sections and bad camera angles. In spite of all of this, critical reception was still very positive, and this is reflected in the popularity of the series today.

    The Games

    Kingdom Hearts drew heavy inspiration from its older “brother”, Final Fantasy. The lighter themes of Final Fantasy games are drawn from things such as friendship, destiny and good versus evil. Tetsuya Nomura is also a huge fan of Star Wars, hence the themes of light and darkness may be considered as inspired by those films. To his delight, Mark Hamil was eventually cast to voice Master Eraqus in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep!

    The story of the Kingdom Hearts series has evolved in a dramatic way that no one would have ever imagined. The original game was extremely straightforward and a tale of good versus evil; a young boy must find his friends and restore peace to the worlds. However, even the first game left a staggering number of questions at the end. Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II helped answer these questions, but also introduced the Organization XIII and the concepts of Nobodies, which to some were confusing. Since KH1, themes of time travel (Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance) and alternate dimensions (χ [Chi/Cross] series) have been introduced. Every Kingdom Hearts game has left fans wondering if their questions will be answered in the next instalment. As a result, Kingdom Hearts III is now one of the most anticipated video games of the decade.

    Posted Image

    A screenshot taken from the footage shown at Jump Festa 2016

    Kingdom Hearts II was released in 2006, and since then, many handheld games and side projects have been released to fill in the story gaps as well as introduce new lore. In a sense, they have created and built up the story for Kingdom Hearts III.

    Although there may be a lack of concrete plot details, and many things have been retconned, there are many emotional and character-driven moments that have caused fans to fall in love with the series. A small few include - Xion’s death (358/2 Days), the endings of Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts II and Birth by Sleep, Riku’s redemption and the battle between Sora and Roxas (KHII). The confusing nature of the plot led to Square Enix slowly bringing every Kingdom Hearts game to home consoles, beginning with the HD ReMIXes on PS3 and ending with both collections being available on PS4 this week.

    Kingdom Hearts as a series has managed to reach a very wide audience; for example, KH13’s own staff and forum members come from a variety of age groups, cultures and countries! The Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - in London had fans travelling from Germany, Italy, Greece and even Canada! This is because the story deals with a wide range of different emotions that any person can feel, such as empathy, hatred, sorrow and happiness, regardless of their personal backgrounds. Many different people can relate to having these feelings. We feel this diversity makes the fanbase one of the most interesting in the community of video gamers. The fact that such a incredible story can appeal to so many different people is very peculiar!

    C7uSkHLXwAEOk 1

    A photo taken from the KH13MeetUp at the London concert.

    The Gameplay

    In terms of its hack and slash combat, the series has seen many changes due to the switch in development teams after Kingdom Hearts II was released. Both KH and KHII focused on using the command menu, with more of a priority given to combo attacks. Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Dream Drop Distance and Re:coded made use of a command deck, where players could stack a deck of abilities and would each recharge after being executed. Kingdom Hearts fans refer to the handhelds production team as the Osaka team, and the original team as the Tokyo team; with the Osaka team directing Kingdom Hearts III, many fans are anticipating how the game will feel after experiencing Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep -A fragmentary passage-. Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix is highly respected by many speed runners due to its in depth game mechanics, and to many fans, it is the best Kingdom Hearts game.

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    The box art for the western version of Kingdom Hearts II, drawn by Tetsuya Nomura.

    Many people have become fans of the series due to the Disney elements such as the various characters and worlds. Exploring worlds based on famous Disney films has always been a delight for players, with continuous discussions about which Disney worlds, characters and cameos should be featured in the next games! The games have always featured some form of treasure hunting: sticker collecting, collecting Ansem reports, finding the 101 Dalmatians and completing Jiminy Cricket’s journal. The platforming mechanics have improved over the last 15 years, with Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance allowing the player to use flowmotion and launch themselves off of walls. Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage- has a refined version of flowmotion that enables players to better interact with surroundings, something that has many times been addressed as one of the main developments in the gameplay of the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III. Many players have criticised the series for not including enough NPCs in the Disney worlds, which can make the worlds feel like hallways and rooms rather than actual worlds. Kingdom Hearts III is believed to be changing this aspect for the better! Throughout Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage-, this feeling of emptiness is not present despite the player being alone in the Realm of Darkness, primarily because of the high level of detail in world design, enhanced by lighting and textures that the Unreal Engine 4 is using.

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    A screenshot from the Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep -A fragmentary passage- opening.

    Allies in each Kingdom Hearts game can be interacted with in a very unique fashion and teamwork attacks. Kingdom Hearts did this through summons; Kingdom Hearts II through Drive Forms, Limit Breaks and summons; Re:COM allowed the player to call for Donald and Goofy’s help; Dream Drop Distance included Spirit Links; and D Links were a main feature in Birth by Sleep!

    The gameplay in the Kingdom Hearts series has always varied from one instalment to another, and Kingdom Hearts III seems to be taking the best mechanics from each and implementing them in its own unique way. The game will feature Shotlocks, Drive Forms, Summons, the evolution of Magic, Flowmotion, Attraction Flow, Keyblade transformations and possibly other methods of defeating enemies that we are not yet aware of! Gameplay has always been something that fans of the series have loved because each instalment introduces a new feature.

    The KH13.com Experience

    During the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - opening night show in London, KH13.com had the pleasure to meet Miss Yoko Shimomura, the composer who has been making unforgettable and heart-wrenching music that reduced us to tears during the concert; music that made everyone in the concert hall rise up simultaneously for a loud standing ovation after the final performance!

    The 15 years we individually spent adoring this series, the 8 years KH13.com dedicated to bring out the best in its fandom and the weeks we spent planning our #KH13MeetUp were rewarded in a single moment on Friday the 24th of March. Our “Thank You” booklet containing messages from fans, a KH13 exclusive journal and KH13 stickers were only a small token of our gratitude to her and those who made the World Tour a reality. Her delight when receiving our gift and briefly hearing about our meet-up was more than worth the wait! At that time it was past 1AM, but we persevered!

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    KH13 social media team leader Andrew Hankinson with Kingdom Hearts series composer Yoko Shimomura.

    The video of our KH13MeetUp for the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - in London.

    During the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - Paris and London concerts, we put out constant live coverage of the two events, and are planning on doing the same for the future concerts to come. Check out our live coverage on the Paris concert here, and check out our live coverage on the London concert here.

    KH13.com is now looking forward to meeting with the passionate fans of the Kingdom Hearts series at other events this year, such as E3 and the other Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - concerts!

    If it weren’t for the amount of care, work, and trust Square Enix and Disney put into this series for the past 15 years, we would not be where we are now. The series has inspired countless people like KH13.com who dedicate their time to cover Kingdom Hearts news, discuss lore, make video skits, and produce amazing fan art, music covers, crafts, cosplay and more. The wait for Kingdom Hearts III has united Kingdom Hearts fans of all shapes and sizes. There is a light deep down that will never go out, and we would like to thank Tetsuya Nomura and everyone who has been involved in the process of making, distributing and promoting these games for bringing us all together under the same sky.

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    The crew from the first Kingdom Hearts, drawn by Tetsuya Nomura.

    For future updates on all things Kingdom Hearts news and information, follow us on our social media below:

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  18. Classic FM's Hall of Fame for 2017 is ending soon — Vote for Yoko Shimomura and Kingdom Hearts

    Each year Classic FM holds a "Hall of Fame" poll, where everyone globally may vote for their favorite classical music composers and pieces. The annual poll starts in January and ends around Easter (which falls on April 16th this year). This year's voting has nearly come to a close, but it isn't too late to vote for Yoko Shimomura, the wonderful music composer for Kingdom Hearts.

    You can submit your vote for the Classic FM Hall of Fame by visiting their website here. If you would like to vote for Yoko Shimomura you can simply type her name in the search bar, and in the results select "Kingdom Hearts (includes The Other Promise) by Yoko Shimomura." You may submit up to three votes for your favorite musical pieces and composers.

    Kingdom Hearts and Yoko Shimomura have ranked considerably high out of the top 300 musical pieces in previous Classic FM Hall of Fames, including finishing at 31st place in 2016 and ranking 30th in 2015. Let's show our support and help Yoko Shimomura and Kingdom Hearts rank higher this year!

  19. Kingdom Hearts publications being released electronically by Yen Press

    For those who haven't been able to pick up the paperback Kingdom Hearts publications that have been released in the past couple years, Yen Press has now conveniently begun releasing their English publications electronically via e-books. On March 21, 2017, Yen Press released Kingdom Hearts: The Novel electronically for $7.99 USD.

    Furthermore, on April 18th, Yen Press will be releasing Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories: The Novel electronically for $7.99 USD.

    With these electronic releases, Yen Press will also be releasing the newest publications Kingdom Hearts II Vol. 4 ($6,99 USD electronically) on May 23rd & Kingdom Hearts II: The Novel Vol. 1 ($7.99 USD electronically) on June 20th, both available for the first time in English and for purchase electronically on day 1.

    You can click on book titles to check the book page and find out where to buy each e-book.

  20. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue Acrylic Stands now available on Square Enix North American store for $19.99, releasing end of June 2017; available on Square Enix Japan e-Store for ¥1850, releasing May 20, 2017

    Update: The fully-colored acrylic stands are now available for pre-order at the Square Enix (Japan) e-Store, releasing May 20, 2017. They are available at 1,850 yen each.

    The Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue acrylic stands are now available for pre-order on the North American store. They cost $19.99 USD, and are in full color.

    The acrylic stands 'COMING', 'AIR', and 'BOND' were available exclusively in Japan for some time as a pre-order bonus for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, and also in limited stock at Amazon Japan. However, they were not in full color.
    These acrylic stands are scheduled for a End of June 2017 release. You can check out pics of AIR, COMING, and BOND below!

    Aqua Ven Terra stand Sora And Riku Stand Sora Donald Goofy Stand

    • Mar 27 2017 10:28 PM
    • by Jake
  21. The Xemnas crash with Limit Form in the English version of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX has been fixed

    In the English version of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX for the PS3, there was a bug that would cause the game to crash when you went into Limit Form during the first Xemnas fight and activated the first Reaction Command. View footage of this old glitch below:

    Thanks to KingdomHops on YouTube, who got the game early, we now know that this has been fixed for the English version of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX for the PS4. He streamed the game and tested it out. View him testing it out in the archived stream below:
    (The testing begins at around 52:26.)

    Also, if you didn't catch it, Square Enix has announced that they will be offering a Day One patch for North American and European players for Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX. It is stated that the patch is to resemble that of which was released in Japan.

    Thanks to @Bizkit047 on Twitter for the tip!

  22. The Kingdom Hearts animated pilot will not go forward as of the moment

    Director of the cancelled Kingdom Hearts TV show, Seth Kearsley, recently pitched the idea of rebooting the pilot episode to Disney. In a series of tweets he has revealed that it will not go forward at this time. However, this does not rule out the possibility completely. You can view the tweets below. Be sure to check out KH13's exclusive interview with Seth here.

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  23. New story quests added to Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts Union χ

    With the launch of Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] in Japan, five new main story quests have been added. The newest story update introduces the concept of "Union Cross", and the characters within say that it would be good for the player character to do missions with their fellow Keyblade wielders. You can view an untranslated video of the new quests below, courtesy of Everglow. A translated version of this video will be available soon.

    UPDATE: The translated video of the new quests by Everglow is now out! Watch the video below:

    Are you excited for the launch of the multiplayer update? Let us know in the comments below!

  24. Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX Fight the Darkness Trailer released

    Square Enix has released a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX on March 23, 2017. It has been titled Fight the Darkness, and is available in an English dub with French, German, Italian, and Spanish subtitles.

    You can watch the trailer in English below:

    Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX releases for the Playstation 4 on March 28, 2017 in North America, and on March 31, 2017 in Europe.

    UPDATE: A new 60 second long version of the Fight the Darkness trailer has been released by the official Kingdom Hearts YouTube channel. View this 60 second trailer below:

    At the same time as this 60 second long trailer's release, they also released a 60 second long version of the Familiar Faces and Places trailer as well. You can view that trailer here.

  25. English copy of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX distributed early with livestream gameplay

    With Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX releasing on March 28, 2017 in North America, and March 31, 2017 everywhere else, some fans have already received their copies of the game in English before release.

    One lucky fan in particular, YouTuber KingdomHops, already got their hands on an early copy of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX in English, showcasing on stream how Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix HD is running on the PlayStation 4. You can take a look at the stream below: