With E3 just around the corner, it’s safe to say that Square Enix has a lot of fans with some pretty high expectations. With the trailer for Final Fantasy XV, it got people talking about the company, and not in a way where we made fun of their consistent blunders in this last console generation. Another thing that was debuted was a teaser trailer for Kingdom Hearts III. That got ALL of my friends talking, and hoping. XV might be Tetsuya Nomura’s magnum opus, but he has promised that he is going to be putting all of his attention in to KHIII now that it is done. So, we are all waiting eagerly to see the woefully late next chapter of the franchise. With that in mind, I thought that I would do a list of the worlds that I want to see. I couldn’t limit this to 10, because with the next console generation, the potential for exploring worlds just got so much better! Now, Disney may own the Marvel and Star Wars licenses, but I tell you now – those universes will NOT be in this list. Universes that are based around real people are terrible. Just look at the Pirates of the Caribbean one from KHII. Let’s get started.
15. Deep Jungle
A world that I have been dying to go back to with a new console generation. Know why – the tree surfing! In the first Kingdom Hearts, it was cool, but the idea was limited due to the hardware. Now, we can actually make the dream of surfing the trees come true! And it could be done within the universe of Tarzan. Anyone remember the old TV series that was based on the film? That is a very nice segway to jump in to the Kingdom Hearts universe. But for real, all I want is to become a sick tree-surfer and be able to explore the jungle again, in a way that I couldn’t before.
14. Disney Castle
A level that I was actually very fond in KHII. It was kind of nice to see Donald, Goofy and Mickey’s crib. Getting to meet some of their people was a bonus. That’s something I’d like to expand on in a sequel. For real, there is a lot of potential to get some of their chums from the more-obscure Disney films and make them all a lot more rounded as characters. If there was one thing that was kind of a bummer, it’s that you never see very deep into Donald and Goofy’s lives and personalities. With how they run the emotional gamut on some characters, it’s kind of a shame that we don’t get to see more into them. I also wouldn’t be against heading back to Timeless River for a few. One of the most under-appreciated gems in the second game.
Alice in Wonderland
Let me head off the worry by saying I’m not talking about the god-awful Tim Burton version. I’m talking about the animated version that was the original game. However, I want to be a little more ambitious. With all the forced Disney sequels, something that was always got my attention was – why no Alice in Wonderland sequel? There was a sequel book just waiting to be talked about. It just seemed strange to me. However, that’s where the magic behind Kingdom Hearts comes in. As we saw in these games, they are able to go out of the bounds of the stories that the films they are representing. But the chance to go back and see some of the characters that we missed out on from the film sounds like just what the doctor ordered, doesn’t it?
12. English Countryside
Ever since I have been playing Kingdom Hearts and seeing the Disney worlds come to life, I have been DYING to see one of my favorite Disney characters and the world he lives in come to life. The Robin Hood from the film was classy, charming and cute. The look of a fox fit him so well, and he always had this fun attitude that was just fun to watch. Not to mention – Prince John. For real, the Prince is one of the most hilarious comedic villains, alongside his sidekick, Hiss. There is a lot of potential for some Heartless or Organization XIII shenanigans. But yeah, that aside, I want to get Robin Hood on my team and see what kind of overdrives I can get with that sword of his.
11. The Pride Lands
The Lion King
I have been hearing that one of the angles that they are going to be focusing on in the third game in the Kingdom Hearts franchise is the fact that the main characters have been at this for a long time, to acknowledge the aging of the voice actors who are doing the main roles. That’s a clever way to not have to cover their aged voices. With that in mind, there is potential to go back to the Pride Lands. With all the terrible Disney sequels, there were some diamonds in the rough. One of them was The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride. While the first film pretty much told the story of Hamlet, this one decided to tell the story of Romeo and Juliet. And, it nearly was a pretty good film. For real, the animation wasn’t as good and the plot wasn’t as fully developed as it could have been, but there is still potential to continue that story well.
10. More Holiday Worlds
Nightmare Before Christmas
My favorite side-character in the Kingdom Hearts franchise is, without a doubt, Jack Skellington. They got the guy from the films to do the voice-work (not Danny Elfman, who did the singing. The other guy), and it was always fun to listen to. Something I’d like to see is to let the creators of Kingdom Hearts have a crack at representing some of other holiday worlds. There was a game made that had Jack exploring the other holiday worlds, and that was surprisingly creative and fun. You could take a page or two out of that book, or totally strike out on your own and see what you can come up with. Still, the potential is there. Just putting that out there.
The Great Mouse Detective
One of the things that I have wanted all my life is to get to work with Sherlock Holmes. With this universe, I could get to work with someone who fits that bill perfectly. Basil of Baker Street is an awesome character. Cocky, charming, kind of a dick but his heart is in the right place, he is so fun to watch. Now, we could team up with him and become mouse-sized. Something that sounds fun is if we could actually examine crime scenes and solve a mystery with the man himself. That would be so cool! Think detective mode in the Arkham games, but here. Yeah, that would be fun. Now, there is one major issue – the fact that the person who did the voice of Rattigan, the flawless Vincent Pryce, is dead. Where’s Troy Baker. He’s the premiere voice-actor, who REALLY came into his own last year with three amazing performances. I think he could make this role work.
8. Down Under
The Rescuers Down Under
Speaking of Disney sequels that get little attention, this is one of the few where the sequel beats the shit out of the original. The Rescuers was a very basic and kind of dull movie. The sequel, however, was better in EVERY conceivable way. The visuals were amazing, the characters were more fun. Everything worked better. Something that nobody has talked about is how the world of tiny mice could be kind of awesome to play through. Getting to deal with all the problems that they have to, the potential is just dripping for how good it could be. But all that is aside. The thing that I absolutely MUST have is a scene where I am on the back of that giant eagle, fighting the Heartless. With PS4 visuals, good-god! The potential for that is incredible! If you haven’t seen this movie, I recommend you do. When you do, I have the feeling that you’ll be with me on this.
7. 100 Acre Wood
Winnie the Pooh
Now, before you say that we’ve been there and done that, there is still more potential. It all comes down to how unbridled the potential with the next console generation has on a game like Kingdom Hearts. What’s more, and this will sound kind of dumb, but I kind of want to see the gang in the book again. Talking about the idea of focusing on the amount of time that the heroes have been at this, I think it would be kind of cool if this time the focus was on growing up, like the end of the original Winnie the Pooh film, where Pooh and Christopher Robin were talking about what it means to grow up. That could actually work, maybe as a referendum to how Sora is having to accept that he isn’t the young boy he started as. It would is kind of sad to grow up. That could be a poignant thing to talk about.
6. Inca Empire
Emperor’s New Groove
I got a confession to make – this world being in this game is conditional. I have but one condition – we absolutely MUST have Eartha Kitt and Patrick Warburton reprising their roles as Yzma and Kronk. For real, they MADE that movie, and they would be hilarious here, with the right writers. Granted, the world is neat to look at and the Emperor is fun, but for me, it all comes down to those two characters and getting to see them again. What could be even more fun is if Yzma fucks with Sora by turning him in to various animals. There is a lot of comedic potential with that various potions. But yeah, all of this is contingent on those two voice actors coming back to reprise their roles.
5. The Grid
The movie that this universe is based on is a boring waste of cinematic time. That said, this universe has SO much potential. I’m kind of tired of the Olympus Coliseum as the place where all the duels happen. This world has SO much cool potential. Especially if we could get Daft Punk to do the score for it in Kingdom Hearts III. The arena in this game could be so fun to fight people in. With the digital effects of the PS4, I can just imagine the awe of how cool it would be. That said, there is one thing that I am waiting for above all others in this world – the light-cycle duels! For real, I wants! It would be kind of cool if we could have them outside of the arena, too. Like in the trailer for the film, where the duel is happening outside of the city. That would be awesome.
4. The Forest
One of the characters who we get to meet as a summon but never got to see their world was Bambi. Something that always kind of bummed me, given how gorgeous the universe of Bambi is. For real, watch that film, it’s amazing! They capture what nature would look like so well that it’s kind of stunning. Part of me really wants to go there and fight the Heartless in an amazing forestscape. I can just imagine the scene where it is night and the wind is blowing the trees. There is so much potential for beautiful imagery, especially on the PS4. Whereas with other worlds, I want to see a certain character or play a certain aspect, with this one, I just want to visuals. I’m imagining a kind of Journey-esque visual experience.
Another aspect of Disney that I REALLY want to see incorporated into the Kingdom Hearts is the Pixar films. If they could get Nightmare Before Christmas into these games, then they could get these ones. There are a lot of fun choices to go with, but of them all, the one I really want to see is Toy Story. For real, seeing the toy versions of Sora, Goofy and Donald would just be so much fun. Not to mention, I can see some very good puns made about the marketing of the games when he sees Kingdom Hearts merchandise around Andy’s room. Still, the aspect that appeals to me the most is the world of Sid’s bedroom. For real, some of those toys are creepy as fuck, and getting to see them up close, is terrifying. Not to mention, a battle with Sid himself, yeah, I’m down with that.
2. One of the Fantasia or Fantasia 2000 worlds
One of the crowning jewels of Kingdom Hearts II was the level Timeless River. The way they made the animation look in the old fashion was flawless. Something people didn’t really see that I did was how they also made Sora look old-fashioned. Not just with his clothes. His eyes were in the old style of Japanese animation. Think the original Astro Boy. The point of me saying this is that these games have shown that they can be incredibly creative. I would LOVE to see some of that creativity applied to something like a Fantasia segment. But, and I cannot stress this enough, it would have to be done without ANY dialogue! For real, it would have to be an experience of music and facial animation. I am debating if we would even have combat. Or, if we did, make it part of the musical number. That would be pretty smart. Maybe make it an interlude into a character’s mind. I don’t know how you’d make it work, but I’m sure that one could.
And the world that I want to see most is…
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
I do NOT get how this game has avoided the Kingdom Hearts universe for so long! Kida is a Disney princess! For real, this just baffles me. Sure, the plot of the film might have been dumb, but the world is awesome! Not to mention, we can work with the plot. Square Enix has shown that they are good at finding another angle to look at a universe in. More in the first game than the second, but still! I want to explore Atlantis. Go down and see the depths. See the crystal chamber. There are a thousand and one ways to see this world and get to fight the Heartless in it. Another thing that this next generation can do is to make the Heartless look more intimidating. But the best perk – I want to fly one of the flying fish! Those things are awesome, and I want to peruse Atlantis in one! Gimme!
So, what worlds do you want to see in Kingdom Hearts III? Let me know in the comments section.
Until next time, a quote,
“I’ll always be with you. Right here. You don’t have to go anywhere. Just stay here, and you can see me anytime you want.” -Sora, Kingdom Hearts II