Everybody has their dream lists, be they beloved-yet-overlooked characters they want added to the next Super Smash Bros. roster, which franchises should be used for the next LEGO games, or Disney worlds to visit in the upcoming Kingdom Hearts title. With the E3 reveal of Kingdom Hearts III (FINALLY), it’s time to hope and wish and cross our fingers again.
A common problem among many wish lists seems to be the implausibility of it all. Goku in Smash Bros? Get real. LEGO Pulp Fiction? Not a chance. As such, I have compiled a list of potential worlds for that would not only be fun and interesting and satisfy my fanboy urges, but are also very real possibilities within the scope of the game.
Tetsuya Nomura has shown great interest in the past in bringing Pixar worlds to Kingdom Hearts, but said the timing was never right. What with the original Disney worlds clashing with Pixar in the upcoming Disney Infinity, the timing could never be better. And what better way to introduce Sora to the beautiful 3D world of Pixar than with their inaugural installment of Toy Story?
Sora’s appearance could easily change to that of a Play Arts action figure with over 15 points of articulation (which would be genius for marketing purposes), while Donald and Goofy could also turn into popular toys versions of themselves. Meanwhile, Buzz and Woody would both make worthwhile party members, and their struggle to become friends would fit in perfectly with the overall theme of friendship strung throughout the Kingdom Hearts franchise.
I would love to see multiple Pixar worlds, but if they only include one, this is the one that needs to be there.
Andalasia/New York City
I can see it now – Sora and company land in the bright and beautiful cartoon world of Andalasia, and help the princess Giselle to find her true love, Prince Edward. They escort her to the wedding, and watch as she gets pushed down the well/portal to another world by the evil Queen Narissa, and jump down after the maiden fair in an effort to save her.
Unexpectedly, they are now in the real world. New York City. For the first time really taking advantage of the HD capabilities never before available for a Kingdom Hearts game, Sora appears looking like one of us – a real boy (Pinocchio would be so jealous). Meanwhile Donald is a real duck and goofy is a real dog, and much to their dismay, neither of them can speak. With the help of Giselle and her new McDreamy love interest, Sora must find a way out of this strange new place, while helping teach the naive princess about harsh realities of the world.
Oh, and of course there’s the inevitable boss battle against dragon-form Narissa, who almost seems like a sister to another prime Disney/KH antagonist who has been keeping quiet as of late…
We have seen in previous titles through the worlds of Pirates of the Caribbean and Tron Legacy that the KH team is fully capable of bringing live-action realism to the otherwise cartoony-looking games, and the blend of animated and real-world settings from Enchanted would be nothing short of a fantastic addition. Let’s see it, Squeenix.
In Kingdom Hearts II you travel to Port Royal and Sora has a wonderful time playing the part of a pirate with Captain Jack Sparrow. It only makes sense, then, that he would be all for joining up with the do-gooder thief Robin Hood in stealing from the pompous rich to help out those less fortunate.
We all know Sora loves looking out for the little guy with a big heart, so while the baddies in Robin Hood aren’t quite as bad or evil as others we’ve seen, the events reuniting Robin and Maid Marion, rescuing Friar Tuck and the townsfolk from prison and ultimately bringing justice to Prince John would all be commonplace for our crew. Plus it would be great fun to see Sora get all cocky and enter the archery tournament (even though he has no formal training with a bow and arrow) only to lose to our outlawed fox hero.
Robin Hood has in fact always been my personal favorite Disney movie, so romping around with Robin would be a dream come true. As far as wishing and hoping goes, this has been high on my list since KH1.
Mushu and Simba were summons in Kingdom Hearts, then in number 2 we visited their respective worlds of the Land of Dragons and the Pride Lands. Then we gained Stitch as an ally later in that game, and were delighted in travelling to Deep Space in Birth by Sleep.
Dumbo was also a featured summon in the first game, and it’s about time we met his mother and mousey friend. While there may not be a prime “bad guy” in Dumbo’s world, the themes of being shunned for being different would play well with the KH undertones of acceptance. Sora accepted Dumbo just as he was and gratefully accepted his help, and now it’s time to repay the favor by helping the crows and gossipy elephants to see just how wonderful Dumbo is, despite (more like due to) his large ears.
Plus, you cannot tell me a playable level of Pink Elephants on Parade wouldn’t be totally awesome, especially with the source of the terrifyingly trippy nightmare stemming from Master Xehanort‘s powers or a Heartless infestation.
Bob Parr wants to fight crime and make his home a safe place again as Mr. Incredible. Sora wants to play the part of the hero and defeat baddie Syndrome so innocent lives are not lost. Also, he’s a ridiculous good-hearted guy who wants his new friend Bob to be happy. Naturally, they buddy up in an effort to restore peace to this once peaceful, happy city.
This would be a prime world for Sora to learn his first (or final) special form, were they to appear again as they did in KHII. The five members of the family (okay, maybe not Jack-Jack) could all potentially join your party at different points in the world, as you never know when you’ll have need for super speedy, invisibile or stretchy limbed allies. Even Frozone (scratch that; ESPECIALLY Frozone) would be a crazy fun teammate to have.
As in every world, there would be plenty of obstacles to overcome, friends to be made, and special powers to be unlocked here. Truly, it is a Pixar world not to be skipped over.
Sora and friends receive reports from King Mickey of peculiar monsters in a world he had scouted out. They Gummi Ship on over to the Monster world, only to find mayhem and confusion over the appearance of a human child in the world. The fact that Sora is human and is now roaming around freely doesn’t exactly help the situation.
Even so, just as Sully comes to love Boo, he also learns to trust Sora, and we begin our quest to find Boo’s door to send her home.
The MI world could in fact serve as a hub for a good chunk of the game, being where you travel to other worlds from. Doors in Monsters Inc. lead to children’s bedrooms (like Andy’s, perhaps?), but while searching for Boo’s flower-printed closet, Sora finds doors that in fact open up strange new worlds, all with a serious Heartless (or Nobody… or Unversed… or whatever…) problem that needs taking care of. And who better to help them than our keyblade-master-in-training, eh?
Okay, so those are the best guesses I’ve got as to what we can actually hope to see in the true third installment to this beloved franchise. If it’s all the same to you, I have to get a few things off my chest regarding worlds we WON’T be seeing.
Now that Disney owns the rights to LucasArts and Marvel, many fans would be absolutely elated to see Darth Vader join the Xehanort army, or have Iron Man fighting alongside them. As admittedly badass as these concepts would be, there is just no way. The Kingdom Hearts franchise was built on the combination of Disney and Final Fantasy. Granted, they went outside the box a little in KH3D when they introduced the main cast of The World Ends With You, but to throw the Marvel and Star Wars universes into the mix? I don’t think so, Tim.
That’s not to say it won’t EVER happen; just not right now; not in KH3. Nomura has actually expressed interest in delving into the Star Wars worlds if the opportunity arose, but I have extremely high doubts that they would appear now. Kingdom Hearts III marks the end of an era – the finale to the “Xehanort Saga”. The franchise will very likely continue afterward, but with a new set of characters and side stories. In that set of titles I don’t think you’d be hard pressed at all to finally get those amazing crossovers to happen.
One more note to be touched on is the issue of Wreck-It Ralph. Game Central Station acts as a hub for all the gaming worlds in the arcade, which encompasses many franchises owned by neither SquareEnix nor Disney. Capcom, Sega and Namco are the big ones represented there, and much like the reasoning above, it just isn’t plausible to have that kind of mega mash-up right now. Would I like to create a cart and race against King Candy? How about a mini-game based on Hero’s Duty? Absolutely on both fronts. But will we see these in Kingdom Hearts III? My magic 8-ball says “All signs point to no.”
In the end it doesn’t really matter which worlds end up in KH3. I will play it, and I will love it, just like millions of other fans the world over. Still, I have my dream team of worlds listed above, and would love to hear solid arguments in favor of something different. Sound off in the comments below!