We at GameZone have had our nostalgic itches scratched by the many Disney locales of the Kingdom Hearts universe over the years, and with Kingdom Hearts 3 on the way, we’re eager to see what childhood warm-and-fuzzies Square Enix will be splashing in this time. Of course, like every Kingdom Hearts fan ever, we’ve also got a few suggestions in mind, and we expect every last one of them to be included in the final game.
The steampunk tones of this 2002 sleeper are begging to be given the Kingdom Hearts treatment. With a distinct emphasis on space travel and vehicles, semi-space-age technology, and a de facto plot device prepackaged in (gee, I wonder what the treasure could be), Treasure Planet is a no-brainer for KH3. It’s even got an angsty main character — a staple of the JRPG genre.
Yeah, that's close enough.
If you haven’t heard the news (presumably because you’ve spent the past year whiling away your time under a large, sound-deadened rock), you should probably know that Disney has assimilated Lucas Films, consequently gaining control of the Star Wars brand. You should also know that the addition of Star Wars was directly addressed by Kingdom Hearts architect Tetsuya Nomura , leaving the addition’s current standing at a resounding maybe. As a result, all the droids and Jedis that we’ve come to know and love could very well wind up battling alongside Sora and the gang, provided Square Enix has the patience to wade through a jungle of red, copyright-flavored tape.
Also, Lightsaber Key Blade. That is all.
The Road to El Dorado
That's his eager face.
As a comical reimaging of an ancient legend, The Road to El Dorado is brimming with potential for a KH planet. With one of the most entertaining casts in Disney history, a gilded city that would surely dazzle if rendered on next-gen consoles, and monolithic bosses that would make even Shadow of the Colossus question its namesake at its disposal, this one is a sizable contender.
Oliver & Company
Quite frankly, they're overqualified.
As varied and colorful as Kingdom Hearts’ palette is, it suffers from a distinct lack of cityscape shenanigans. Who better to fill that gap than the audacious, endearing crew of loveable street hounds and one lost kitten that is Oliver & Company?
Oh just pick one, Disney. Or nine.
Unlikely as it may sound, the Marvel universe is in a similar position as Star Wars thanks to Disney’s bottomless wallet. The inclusion of its many heroes and heroines in the next Kingdom Hearts would be a landmark addition for the series, and would add yet another fan base to its appeal. And come on, who doesn’t want a superhero in their party?
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
They just exude confidence.
The Little Mermaid is old hat at this point; Kingdom Hearts needs a new source of aquatic escapades. Luckily, the 2001 tale of Milo Thatch, an intrepid tinkerer and historian who sets out with a ragtag team of charitably named specialists to discover the lost city of Atlantis, is perched conveniently in Disney’s repertoire of oceanic chronicles.
Does this look like a duck who takes 'No' for an answer?
Though ancient history to many, Darkwing Duck, a spinoff ‘90s television series based on DuckTales, is an unassailable source of perfectly Kingdom Hearts-y traits. From superhero antics to bombastic comedic appeal, this series is worth remembering as Kingdom Hearts 3 crawls toward its eventual release date.
And now for three personal picks which might not be Disney made or published, but would absolutely fit in within the world of Kingdom Hearts.
I find it increasingly difficult to argue with those faces.
In addition to the concrete jungle, Kingdom Hearts is notably devoid of some good-old-fashioned arctic scenery. With just such tundra and an endearing, albeit overly sappy, cast of competing sled dogs at its helm, Balto would add a refreshingly cold flare to the JRPG.
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
"A mount for you, a mount for you, and … eh, you can walk, Donald."
A woefully underrated tale of loss and racial tension, Spirit stands to trump even the Pride Lands in its vast expanse. Better still, not only do the film’s horse protagonists convey emotion without clinging to the immersion-shattering bus of human speech, they represent potential mounts — a rare and beneficial asset for RPGs. And don’t even get me started on the set piece opportunity inherent in the climactic trainwreck scene.
To answer the proclamation you’re undoubtedly planning to comment: Yes, it is possible. Dreamworks Studios and Walt Disney have partnered in the past and repeatedly dabbled in production assets, making this IP every bit as plausible, if naively idealistic, as Marvel.
The Land Before Time
Dibs on Chomper. He's an investment; kind of like a Magikarp in Pokémon games.
Haphazardly strewn together as it so often is, the Kingdom Hearts storyline does stay true to the concept of coexistent, parallel worlds. There is therefore absolutely nothing illogical in tacking a prehistoric tale of camaraderie on the end, especially if it touched the collective heart of a generation that has since matured into the modern gamer.
We can’t possibly hit all the high notes, so comment the worlds and characters you want to see come to Kingdom Hearts 3 below.