With Kingdom Hearts 2.8 releasing at the end of this month, I (Joe) thought it would be more than appropriate to formulate a list of my Top 10 Moments in the Kingdom Hearts Franchise – These can be moments that were purely epic, story developing, character defining, shocking, funny or even sad; without further ado…Let’s begin…
WARNING!! THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS FULL SPOILERS FOR THE FOLLOWING GAMES:
- Kingdom Hearts
- Kingdom Hearts II
- Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days
- Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep
- Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance
If you have yet to play these games fully, then feel free to turn back…Or not…I won’t judge (No, seriously, I won’t – I don’t mind!)
10) Goofy’s ‘Death’ – Kingdom Hearts II
When I was playing through Kingdom Hearts II for the first time back on the old PS2, I was absolutely blown away by the 1000 Heartless War; the volume of enemies, Organization XIII within reach, and all of my abilities culminating into a marathon that felt like it lasted for weeks…Fighting against Demyx, the first ‘serious’ Organization XIII battle was truely defining, and set the standard for difficulty and uniqueness for future Org. XIII battles…
…However after struggling against Demyx, slashing through a few dozen Heartless, and dying more times than you can imagine (Dance water, dance!), I was treated to a sight that lil’ 9 year old me just wouldn’t believe – Goofy being struck on the head with a large boulder blasted by a nearby Heartless, only to have him incapacitated for a short amount of time; everything from the character’s emotions and reactions, to Mickey’s epic cape toss and pure anger in his beady little eyes made it out that I had just watched a beloved Disney character pass on.
…Obviously that’s not the case since he returns 5 minutes later, but at the time I had seriously just thought I had witnessed the death of a Disney character. I just sat there for minutes…Shocked…
…Hopefully Kingdom Hearts III can pull another fast one on me…
9) Eraqus’ Death – Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep
Now onto one that still tugs on the heartstrings to this day! Master Eraqus was a prevalent (And important) character within Birth By Sleep, being the tutor of the three protagonists, Aqua, Terra and Ven, and being the long-standing best friend of main antagonist Xehanort…When Terra is lead astray from the path of Light and seeks revenge for Eraqus threatening to kill Ventus to rid the world of the malicious entity Vanitas (Formed from the darkness in Ven’s heart), it’s a messy situation…
After a long-fought battle fuelled by lies and frustration, Terra ends up killing the one person he looked up to the most…His own master, in cold blood…With his homeworld left in ruins, enveloped by the darkness, the ruins ended up forming Castle Oblivion, the resting place of Terra’s now-comatose friend Ven. Certainly a somber note, and definitely not the happy ending many were expecting.
8) Reveal of the Thirteen Xehanorts – Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance
Imagine this…It’s the end of the game…You’re coming up to the final boss, and the last portion of your adventure…Having confronted many personal demons, plot reveals and character-defining moments, you finally reach some form of closure…
…That is, until Young Xehanort turns up and reveals his master plan. The resurrection of Organization XIII, this time not with a varied cast of colourful characters, no, but instead one containing thirteen copies of Xehanort, Thirteen beings of pure darkness…
It’s at this point that we learn of what is to come in Kingdom Hearts III; a war the likes has only been briefly mentioned back in BBS – A new Keyblade War, between seven Lights and thirteen Darknesses…And at every step, Xehanort will be plotting…Scheming…Waiting…
Regardless to say that if Kingdom Hearts III doesn’t have a final boss with 13 forms, I’m going to be disappointed…!
7) Sora finds Kairi and Riku – Kingdom Hearts
Another near-end-game highlight, the ascent of Hollow Bastion is a lengthy, difficult challenge, especially on Proud Mode; filled to the brim with Heartless, being commanded by Maleficent at the top, and Riku in the central antechamber, it’s a setup that definitely pays off – When you finally reach Riku’s hideaway, you find not only him…But Kairi too…Revealed as a Princess of Heart, she was taken in order to find a way of opening Kingdom Hearts.
After an arduous confrontation between Sora and Riku, the fight culminates when Sora is forced to commit suicide by stabbing his own heart in order to save Kairi from death…I have to say though, for the first game in your franchise, it takes some balls to (Temporarily) kill of your protagonist…
6) Arriving at Disney Castle – Kingdom Hearts II
Now for something a little less…Dramatic. Finally seeing Mickey, Goofy, Donald, Chip, Dale and Pete’s Homeworld of Disney Castle was certainly a welcome addition to Kingdom Hearts II – Gaining some closure onto their private lives, relationships and rankings within the castle, followed by the ensuing humour from Donald and Daisy helps to break up some of the tense pacing of Kingdom Hearts II; it’s by no means, epic, or dramatic, or sad or…Anything…It’s simply nice to see where these familiar characters has been prior to meeting Sora.
5) Sora VS Roxas – Kingdom Hearts II
An obvious choice, yes…However there’s no denying that the battle between Sora and Roxas is one of the highest points in Kingdom Hearts history, especially given the journey the two had made to come up to this point – With both being fully hardened combatants, and amassing an impressive array of skills and abilities, this fight is one that you’ll be struggling with.
Set to the epic orchestrated theme of Roxas, amidst a mixture of darkness and twilight, the battle has become one of the most iconic on the PS2. Even when fighting his data version, Roxas still holds up, and never fails to kill me at least a few times…
4) Sora VS Mysterious Figure (Xemnas) – Kingdom Hearts
Now I’m not going to lie, the rest of this list is entirely composed of fights from Kingdom Hearts – It’s what it prides itself on! Given this, the first ‘Secret Superboss’, The Mysterious Figure posed as the hardest boss in the game (Tied with Sephiroph); this mysterious person, shrouded in mystery was left as a superboss to hype up Kingdom Hearts’ mini-sequel, Chain of Memories, and the introduction of Organization XIII…
The Figure, now revealed to be Xemnas, leader of Organization XIII is one that is still giving us hints and insight into the series even today, with passing lines to Ven, and one hell of an epic theme, it’s one fight that I won’t be forgetting any time soon.
3) Roxas VS Xion – Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days
Poised as the final boss of Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, Xion, a near-exclusive character to 358 was both a treat OST-wise, and story-wise, offering one of the most touching and heart-throbbing deaths in all of Kingdom Hearts. No character has made me feel such remorse for fighting them than Xion…Words cannot describe how it plays out…Instead, watch the fight below:
2) Sora & Riku VS Xemnas – Kingdom Hearts II
Another highlight of Kingdom Hearts II, the final battle against Xemnas with both Sora and Riku is, in my opinion, the second-highest point of the entire franchise; finally, at long last, Sora and Riku get the chance to exert their fullest potential, together by one-another’s side instead of against eachother or indirectly.
With Riku’s Limit, Eternal Session, an array of absolutely stellar tracks, and a multi-stage final boss fight ending in a challenging test of endurance, courage and strategy, Kingdom Hearts II ends on a high note, after testing the player to their fullest.
1) The Entire Final Arc – Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep
Finally on the list, we have what I consider to be the pinnacle of Kingdom Hearts as a franchise; the final fight against Xehanort and Vantias in the Keyblade Graveyard – An encounter that had been set up throughout the whole game, and through a secret movie at the end of Kingdom Hearts II…And boy, did it pay off.
With 3 unique final bosses with varying levels of difficulty, forms, etc depending on which character you chose, there’s no easy way to tackle it. It’s really recommended to watch a compilation of each scene chronologically to get a real sense of the scale of this fight…I can only dream that the one we’ll see in Kingdom Hearts III is as good as, if not, better, than this…!