Kingdom Hearts is a series of console role-playing games made by Square Enix. The main character, Sora, and his friends Riku and Kairi, were created solely for the game, but many of his friends and enemies are existing characters from Disney movies and the Final Fantasy series.
As of 2011, there are six main games in the series, and five reissues. The main games, in order of release, are Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts coded, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. The reissues, in order of release, are Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix +, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix. Of the reissues, only Re:Chain of Memories has been released outside of Japan.
Kingdom Hearts [change]
Kingdom Hearts is the first game of the series, and was released in Japan on March 28, 2002 and in North America on September 17, 2002. It is made for the PlayStation 2. In it, the player controls Sora, a 14-year-old boy who lives on a small chain of islands called Destiny Islands. He and his best friends, Riku and Kairi, plan on leaving the islands and exploring, but their plans are interrupted when their world is attacked by the Heartless; monsters who steal people's hearts. During the attack, Sora becomes able to use a weapon called a Keyblade. Their world is destroyed, and Sora, Riku and Kairi end up on different worlds. Sora teams up with Disney characters Donald Duck and Goofy to find his lost friends, and they travel to worlds based on different Disney movies, including Alice in Wonderland, The Little Mermaid, and The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Sora learns later that Riku has sided with Darkness and kidnapped Kairi. Riku is being controlled by a Heartless called Ansem, who wants to capture women and girls who are Princesses of Heart so he can open Kingdom Hearts, the heart of all worlds. Sora rescues Kairi and Riku and defeats Ansem. Kairi goes home to Destiny Islands, but Riku stays in Kingdom Hearts with King Mickey to defend it. Kingdom Hearts then disappears. Sora tells Kairi he will not come home until he finds Riku, and leaves with Donald and Goofy to start a new adventure.
Kingdom Hearts Final Mix is a reissue of the game that was released only in Japan on December 26, 2002. It has more features than Kingdom Hearts, including a battle with the Unknown Man, who is the main enemy in Kingdom Hearts II. It is also for the PlayStation 2.
Chain of Memories [change]
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is the second game in the series, and was released in Japan on November 11, 2004 and in North America on December 7, 2004. It was made for the Game Boy Advance. It starts immediately after the end of Kingdom Hearts. Sora, Donald and Goofy go to a castle called Castle Oblivion where they visit recreations of the worlds they visited before. Each world is on a different floor, and as they move to higher floors, they lose more and more memories. Their lost memories are replaced by new ones. Sora eventually forgets Kairi, and she is replaced in his memory by a girl named Naminé. Sora also meets and fights members of a group called Organization XIII. The group built Castle Oblivion to erase Sora's memories and trick him into joining them. In the end, Naminé tells Sora she erased his memories, and gives him the choice to keep his new memories or have his old ones restored. If his memory is fixed, he will forget everything that happened in Castle Oblivion. He chooses to get his old memories back and tells Naminé he could never forget her. His story ends with him being put to sleep, because it will take Naminé one year to restore his memories.
After completing Sora's story, the player can play as Riku, who travels through Castle Oblivion's basement levels. Riku meets different members of Organization XIII than Sora did, and fights them. He also recalls what he did during Kingdom Hearts and struggles with Ansem's influence on him.
Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories is a reissue of the game made for the PlayStation 2. It has added cutscenes and battles that were not in the Game Boy version of Chain of Memories. It was released together with Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix + in Japan on March 29, 2007, and was released as a standalone title in North America on December 2, 2008.
Kingdom Hearts II [change]
Kingdom Hearts II starts one year after the end of Chain of Memories. It was made for the PlayStation 2 and was released in Japan on December 22, 2005, in North America on March 28, 2006, and in Europe on September 29, 2006. The player starts the game controlling Roxas, a 15-year-old boy living in a town called Twilight Town. He is on summer vacation with his three best friends, Hayner, Pence, and Olette. As a week goes by, strange things begin to happen. A man named Axel, a member of Organization XIII who was in Chain of Memories, shows up and is surprised and upset that Roxas does not remember him. They fight, and Roxas discovers that he can use a Keyblade. Roxas also meets Naminé and a man named DiZ who was in Riku's side of Chain of Memories. Naminé tells Roxas she has been changing his memories so he can become "whole" again. Axel tells Roxas they used to be friends and that he must either take Roxas back to the Organization or destroy him. They battle, and Axel disappears. Roxas then finds Sora, and disappears himself.
After Roxas disappears, Sora wakes up and becomes the new player character. Donald and Goofy also wake up, and the three of them continue their mission to find Riku. As they search for him, they meet the rest of the members of Organization XIII and learn that they are beings called Nobodies. When a Heartless steals someone's heart, that person also becomes a Heartless, but if their heart is strong, their body becomes a Nobody. Nobodies have no emotions, but want to have hearts again. Xemnas, the leader of Organization XIII, is trying to summon Kingdom Hearts, which he claims will enable the Nobodies to get their hearts back. To summon Kingdom Hearts, Heartless must be killed with a Keyblade, which will release the hearts they hold and let them return to Kingdom Hearts. This is the reason the Organization wanted Sora to join them.
It is later revealed that Roxas is Sora's Nobody, and was a member of Organization XIII. Roxas was created when Sora briefly lost his heart in Kingdom Hearts. Naminé is then revealed to be Kairi's Nobody, who was created when Kairi lost her heart at the beginning of Kingdom Hearts. Xemnas is the Nobody of a man called Xehanort, who no longer exists. Ansem, the main enemy from the first game, was Xehanort's Heartless.
Near the end of the game, Sora, Kairi and Riku reunite and destroy Xemnas. With all members of Organization XIII destroyed and the worlds apparently safe, Sora, Riku and Kairi go home to Destiny Islands.
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix + is a reissue of the game that was released only in Japan on March 29, 2007. It has more content than Kingdom Hearts II, including new areas, new battles, and a new secret ending. It is also for the PlayStation 2.
Kingdom Hearts coded is the fourth game in the series and was released in episodes with the first being released only in Japan on November 18, 2008. It was made for mobile phones. The game picks up after Kingdom Hearts II, focusing this time on King Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Jiminy Cricket, who discover a mysterious sentence in Jiminy's journal and then digitize the journal's contents to find the one responsible.
Kingdom Hearts Re:coded is a reissue of the game made for the Nintendo DS. It was released in Japan on October 7, 2010, January 11, 2011 in North America, and on January 14, 2011 in Europe. It has scenes that were not in coded and a new secret ending.
358/2 Days [change]
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days takes place in the year between Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II. It was made for the Nintendo DS and was released in Japan on May 30, 2009, and in North America on September 29, 2009. The game allows the player to play as Roxas and follows Roxas's time in Organization XIII, from his creation to his escape. It also focuses on Xion, a Nobody created by the Organization who can also use a Keyblade. By the end of the game, it is revealed that Xion, though a girl, was created from Sora. She wants to cease existing, and fights Roxas. Roxas destroys her and she becomes part of him, allowing him to use two Keyblades at once.
The game also uses the DS's wi-fi and lets multiple players battle each other. Each player can choose a different character from the game to play as during the battles.
Birth by Sleep [change]
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep is the sixth game in the series, released in Japan on January 9, 2010, and in North America on September 7, 2010. It was made for the PlayStation Portable. The game is set ten years before the events of the original Kingdom Hearts. The game has three scenarios, with each focusing on one of the three protagonists: Terra, Ventus and Aqua who are apprentices of Master Eraqus. They set out in search of the missing Master Xehanort and protect the worlds by defeating creatures called the Unversed, while each travel their separate ways and encounter their own agenda along the way with the origins of Xehanort revealed.
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix is a reissue of the game that was released only in Japan on January 20, 2011. It has content from the English version as well as new features, such as a playable Secret Episode and a hint at a possible Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep -Volume Two-.
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