Die-hard fans of the video game series “Kingdom Hearts” had a lot of mixed emotions when the bundle of the first six games was released on March 28 for the Playstation 4.
The date marked the 15th anniversary of the original release date in Japan back in 2002. It has been 10 long years since the sequel had come out, so many fans were frustrated that the third and final installment of the story arc had not been released.
The series follows a boy named Sora who was given a key blade when his island was falling into darkness. The key blade is a special weapon that has the ability to unlock any door and destroy the creatures that are fueled by the darkness in people’s hearts. Once someone is consumed by darkness, they run the possibility of being controlled and turned into a darkness. When he appears in an entirely new world, he meets up with Donald and Goofy from the Disney universe to travel to the various worlds in order to save them and the rest of the universe before they fall into darkness.
Sora’s best friend and rival Riku has a different story but it proves that one person can indeed win over the darkness. In the beginning, he embraces the darkness and works for Maleficent in order to save his and Sora’s friend Kairi. As time goes on, his love for darkness begins to overtake him and all is almost lost by the end of the game. When he is saved by a mysterious entity and taken back into the light, he struggles to keep his darkness at bay but he is finally able to overcome that darkness and work side-by-side with Sora.
The storyline is very complex and many fans are frustrated with the various spinoffs to the series. In reality it is important to know the games’ story and lore in order to make sense of the plot in the long run. However, to many die-hard fans, including myself, “Kingdom Hearts” is not just a video game. The combination of Square Enix and Disney create a brilliant story that emphasizes the power of friendship and love. No matter the struggle, Sora never gives up on his goals, which began with finding his friends and blossomed into a will to save the universe.
The story is so inspiring and tugs at the heartstrings many times throughout. When all seems impossible, something good always comes to save the day. Sora represents the epitome of hope. In a secret cut scene this factor is apparent, when all those who are suffering in darkness or in death are sitting in a place looking out to the sky in some way. “Sora” is what each person says, and it is a powerful and emotional display of how everyone is counting on the young teen to save them.
The latest bundle entitled “Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5” included the first six games which include the playable titles of “Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix,” “Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories,” “Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix,” “Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep,” and two cut scene movies of “Kingdom Hearts 365/2 days” and “Kingdom Hearts Re-Coded.”
Not only does the release mark the 15th anniversary, but it also follows a prequel to the next installment of the long-awaited “Kingdom Hearts III.”
“Kingdom Hearts 2.8” carried the remake of the Nitendo 3DS game of “Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance,” a cut scene movie from the mobile app game “Kingdom Hearts X(Chi)” to explain the story of the game for those who do not play it, and an entirely new, smaller-scale game called “Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep 0.2.” According to the creator of the series, Tetsuya Nomura, “0.2” was originally going to be the beginning of the third and final game in the “Starseeker Saga” as he calls it.
My favorite character in the entire franchise is the fire-wielding Lea (formerly Axel). Even if his motives in the beginning were selfish, he did the right thing in the end, which allowed him to become a better man. His goal is to save his best friend from darkness just like Sora did. My cosplay goal is to cosplay him and make it so he is the best cosplay that I own. His story is tragic and his actions are fueled by jealousy and turmoil, but ultimately all he wants is to save his friends. I believe that in the next installment he will find the happiness he truly deserves.
A new saying that has come up in “Kingdom Hearts X(Chi)” is “May your heart be your guiding key.” The works cut deep in the hearts of all the fans because it makes you believe that you can do anything as long as your heart is strong and you follow it to the destiny you are meant to have.
Clare Turner is a fourth-year student majoring in English writings track with a minor in Spanish.