Today, I’m going back to a topic I spoke about before, because while I’d introduced it, there is so much more to it than I first thought, and because I’ve just been given big news about what’s coming up, I have to talk about it again! It’s a franchise that’s basically become a universe that has dominated my life since it first came out in 2002. Y’all know what I’m talking about! It’s Kingdom Hearts!
Now, I know I talked about the general gist of the gameplay, but I thought it was time we started looking into the actual plot, and believe me, it’s a very complicated one, so if you have the time, invest in some research, before you play, because there are a lot of plot holes and loops that can get you in a tizzy, even before you finish the game.
Once Upon A Time
To really get into this game, the first thing you need to know is that most of the dialogue will be poetic, so half the things they say, in the cut scenes and the opening and ending credits, will not make a lick of sense, if you just watched them, without the background context, even the gameplay would confuse you, since some of the scenes you play don’t actually make sense when you do get into the game.
Let’s start with the first Kingdom Hearts game.
A young boy, named Sora, is chosen to wield a magical and powerful weapon called a Keyblade. Now, the Keyblade isn’t just any sword or key. It’s a combination of the two. Its initial use is to fight off the physical manifestations of darkness, otherwise known as Heartless. Now, when I say the physical manifestations of darkness, I don’t just mean the standard absence of light collecting to create a creature. The darkness that I’m talking about is the “darkness in people’s hearts”, or in other words, the negative emotions that can consume a person. If these emotions become powerful enough, they can turn that person into a Heartless. Their purpose is to basically snuff out the “light” of others, and ultimately the world. So, emotions like hope, love, joy, and happiness will no longer exist. The only way to turn them back into what they were before, they have to be defeated by the Keyblade.
The second use is a little more complicated. Essentially, it can be used as a key. Yes, at the very basic level, it unlocks and locks rooms, boxes and items, but it can also be used to lock and unlock hearts and worlds. Complicated yet? Ok, so in the Kingdom Hearts universe, every world has a heart, and that heart is the source of all light and goodness in that world. Now, it’s not that easy to get to this heart, but there is always a way. In every world, there is a door that leads to its heart, and if the Heartless can find this door, they could snuff out the light that the heart gives. The only way to prevent that is to lock the door completely. How? You’ve guessed it, the Keyblade. It’s the only thing that can lock the door.
Let’s Get Back To The Story
As I mentioned before, a young boy, called Sora, is chosen to wield the Keyblade, but at the very beginning, he doesn’t know it. In fact, he’s only vaguely aware of it, because of the strange dreams he has, whenever he lazes about on the island he and his friends play on. Now, Sora has two really close friends, Riku and Kairi.
Riku is a young boy, with whom Sora grew up. He’s a few years older than Sora, and acts more like an older brother, watching out for Sora, whenever he gets a little too reckless. Now, as they grow older, Riku becomes more aware of the fact that there is more to life than the little island they play on. He becomes more obsessed with the idea of travelling to other places and worlds, as he tries to convince Sora and Kairi to join him.
Now, Kairi is a young girl, with whom the boys play, after finding her washed up on shore, in their hometown. No one knows where she really came from, but both Sora and Riku, decide to take her in and befriend her. She’s a kind soul and tries to help the two boys realise their dream to travel. She’s also the person on whom Sora has a major crush.
At the beginning of the story, the trio is getting ready to build a raft, so that they could travel farther than their little island (kids’ logic, don’t ask), and as they’re building it, Riku goads Sora into challenges, where the winner gets to share a Paopu fruit with Kairi. The legend of the fruit is that if you share it with the one you love, you’ll be together forever, and nothing can separate you (you see why Sora would accept).
After a few days of building the raft and playing about, it’s finally done, and the trio waits for the next day to sail away. However, that night, a terrible storm engulfs their home and the island. Worried about his friends, Sora sets off for the island to try to look for them. What awaits him makes him even more anxious. He finds the island overrun with creatures that are made from the shadows themselves and try to fight his way through them, to find his friends.
Eventually, he ends up on the hill of the Paopu fruit tree and confronts Riku, who seems to be excited by the events that are happening. However, as he speaks, it becomes clear to Sora that whatever Riku’s plans are, they aren’t good. Eventually, darkness engulfs the both of them, and Sora starts to lose hope of ever reaching his best friend. However, before the darkness can completely consume him, somehow, a Keyblade manifests in his hand, dispersing the darkness and keeping Sora alive.
When he comes to, Sora finds out that Riku somehow disappeared, along with all the shadow creatures. Hoping that his friend had just gone somewhere else, he searches the rest of the island and comes across a door, that leads to the entrance of the secret cave, at the heart of the island (see what I did there?). There he finds Kairi, looking dazed, lost and helpless, but before he could get to her, the door behind her (which was always there, and could never be opened) suddenly opens up, releasing a strong wind that pushes Kairi to him. Hoping to catch her before she fell, Sora opens his arms but finds that she too disappears right in front of him, before he is blown out of the cave as well.
Out on the beach once more, he finds out that most of the island and his home has been destroyed by the storm, and faces more of those shadow creatures, this time they’re more powerful than before and it takes every ounce of his willpower to even fight them. Eventually, he ends up being sucked up into the storm, and blacks out.
At the other end of the universe, Donald and Goofy (that’s right, we’re delving into Disney territory here), find a note from the king, given to them by Pluto the dog, that he had ventured out to other worlds, trying to find out why the stars (or in this case the lives of worlds) are disappearing. He instructs them to go to Traverse Town, a world that’s made up of the broken fragments of others, to try to find the one he calls the Keyblade Master (obviously, we’re talking about Sora here).
With a reluctant Queen Minnie, and her Lady’s Maid Daisy, sending them off, Donald and Goofy set off, to carry out their king’s orders. When they arrive at the town, they immediately start looking for the Keyblade Master and travel the length and breadth of the town to find any clues about him. Meanwhile, Sora wakes up in an alley of the same town and comes across a gang of people, who help him fight off the Heartless he encounters there. They explain to him what the Keyblade does and express their jealousy that he’s the one the weapon chose. They teach him about the Heartless and try to help him come to terms with how to use the Keyblade.
As they’re talking, the Heartless begin to attack, and Sora tries to find their leader, to stop it. When he does, he finally bumps into Donald and Goofy, who immediately stick with him, since he holds the Keyblade. Soon after, they start travelling to other worlds, trying to find Riku and Kairi, and saving them from the Heartless.
To Be Continued
Ok, so the beginning of the story did take up quite a bit of time, so we’ll leave it there for today because believe me, there is a lot to uncover here, and this is just the first twenty minutes of the game. We’ve got EIGHT games and a mini-movie to get through, and that’s just the first saga! Not to mention there are a few side stories and theories that avid fans come up with. So, we’ll be speaking about Kingdom Hearts for a while. Isn’t that great!
Anyway, I’ll see you guys next time!