|Platform(s)||PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Mobile phone, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, Web browser, PlayStation 4, Xbox One|
|Platform of origin||PlayStation 2|
|Year of inception||2002|
|First installment||KINGDOM HEARTS (2002)|
|Latest installment||Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (2017)|
The KINGDOM HEARTS (キングダム ハーツ, Kingudamu Hātsu) universe refers to the Super Smash Flash series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from SQUARE ENIX's series of action role-playing games involving a crossover of various Disney settings based in a universe made specifically for the series and characters from SQUARE ENIX's FINAL FANTASY games who make appearances and interact with the player and the Disney characters. The series centers around the main character Sora's search for his friends and his encounters with Disney and FINAL FANTASY characters on their worlds. As a pseudo spin-off of the FINAL FANTASY series, it is tell apart from it so KINGDOM HEARTS get acknowledged with its own distinctive symbol, that being the crown that can be spotted is all the logos from the KINGDOM HEARTS games.
In 2002, a collaboration between SQUARE ENIX and Disney Interactive Studios, lead to the creation of the KINGDOM HEARTS series, a crossover between Disney and FINAL FANTASY settings.
KINGDOM HEARTS is the first game in the series, and was released in Japan on March 28, of that year for the PlayStation 2. This was Nomura's first time in a directorial position. KINGDOM HEARTS introduced most of the main characters for the series and established the plot's framework involving hearts and the dark beings known as the Heartless. It also established the role of Disney characters in the series, with character cameos from the FINAL FANTASY series. KINGDOM HEARTS was released in North America on September 17, 2002, and featured additional content that was not in the original Japanese version. The game was later re-released exclusively in Japan as KINGDOM HEARTS Final Mix on December 26, 2002. Final Mix includes the content from the North American release and additional enemies, cut scenes, and weapons.
The second game in the series is KINGDOM HEARTS: Chain of Memories. It was released on the Game Boy Advance in Japan on November 11, 2004 and in North America on December 7, 2004. Chain of Memories was touted as a bridge between the two PlayStation 2 titles, introducing and previewing plot elements that would be explored in the next game. The gameplay is based on a card system; player-composed decks of cards, with each card allowing the player to perform an action in battle, such as attacking or using magic. It was remade into a PlayStation 2 game titled KINGDOM HEARTS Re:Chain of Memories, which was released in Japan as a second disc packaged with KINGDOM HEARTS II Final Mix on March 29, 2007. The remake was released as a standalone title in North America on December 2, 2008.
KINGDOM HEARTS II is the third game in the series, set one year after Chain of Memories. It was released in Japan on December 22, 2005 for the PlayStation 2. The game further explored the "heart" concept by involving the Nobodies and "bodies". The gameplay is similar to that of the first KINGDOM HEARTS game, with the addition of more options to attack enemies and the Reaction Command, which utilized the triangle button to perform context-sensitive actions in battle and interaction with characters and the environment. KINGDOM HEARTS II was revised into KINGDOM HEARTS II Final Mix, which contained more material than the original release, such as additional cut scenes and bosses. KINGDOM HEARTS II Final Mix was released with KINGDOM HEARTS Re:Chain of Memories, a remake of Chain of Memories for the PlayStation 2, containing polygon graphics instead of the sprites used in the original Game Boy Advance game. This collection is titled KINGDOM HEARTS II Final Mix+ and was released in Japan on March 29, 2007.
KINGDOM HEARTS 358/2 Days is the fourth title in the series, set primarily between Chain of Memories and KINGDOM HEARTS II (but starts near the 3/4 of the first KINGDOM HEARTS), revolving around Roxas' time in Organization XIII and his motives for ultimately leaving the Organization to pursue the answers he seeks to questions about his existence. The game was announced at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show, released in Japan on May 30, 2009 for the Nintendo DS, and will be released in North America on September 29, 2009 and in Europe on October 9, 2009.
A KINGDOM HEARTS game was developed exclusively for V CAST, Verizon Wireless's broadband service, and was released on October 1, 2004 in Japan and on February 4, 2005 in the United States. It was one of the launch games for the V CAST services. The game, developed by Superscape and published by Disney Mobile with no involvement from SQUARE ENIX, features gameplay akin to the original KINGDOM HEARTS game, modified for the input method of mobile phones.
The first section begins with the protagonist of the original KINGDOM HEARTS, Sora, shipwrecked on a seemingly uninhabited island, his friends Donald and Goofy missing. Sora must find a way to escape the island, as well as reunite with Donald and Goofy. Reception of the first mission pack was mixed. The game was criticized for its awkward controls and limited availability. The visual appeal was praised; GameSpot stated Sora "is very detailed and well animated" and complimented the 3D environments.
There are multiple versions of each of the main KINGDOM HEARTS games. They each had a release in Japan, North America, and the PAL region; the titles were also re-released in Japan with new content. Both SQUARE ENIX and Disney released numerous types of merchandise before and after the release of the games. Merchandise ranged from toys and figurines to clothing items and jewelry. Two of the games, KINGDOM HEARTS and KINGDOM HEARTS II, had a soundtrack released to coincide with the video games. These were followed by a nine CD complete set which featured both soundtracks and unreleased tracks. KINGDOM HEARTS has been published as a trading card game by the Tomy corporation of Japan. An English version of the game was released in November 2007 by Fantasy Flight Games. The video games have also been adapted into a manga and novel series. However, reporters have observed a curious absence of KINGDOM HEARTS merchandise at any Disney theme parks or stores.
Like the FINAL FANTASY games, a series of Ultimania books were released in Japan for the three main games. There are six books which include game walkthroughs, interviews, and extra information from the developers. Released along with KINGDOM HEARTS II Final Mix+ was KINGDOM HEARTS -Another Report-, a hardback book which includes game information, visuals by Shiro Amano, and a director interview. In North America, Brady Games released strategy guides for each game. For KINGDOM HEARTS II, they released two versions, a standard version and a limited edition version. The limited edition was available in four different covers and included a copy of Jiminy's Journal along with 400 stickers.
A manga based on the KINGDOM HEARTS storyline has been released in Japan and the United States. The story and art are done by Shiro Amano, who is also known for his manga adaptation of the Legend of Mana video game. The story follows the events that took place in the video games with differences to account for the loss of interactivity a video game provides. The manga was originally serialized in Japan by SQUARE ENIX's Monthly Shōnen Gangan and eventually released in tankōbon format. The first tankōbon was released in Japan in October 2003. The manga was released in the USA by Tokyopop two years later in October 2005. It was divided into three manga series based on KINGDOM HEARTS, KINGDOM HEARTS: Chain of Memories, and KINGDOM HEARTS II. The first series, KINGDOM HEARTS, was further divided into four volumes, while the second series, KINGDOM HEARTS: Chain of Memories, was divided into two volumes. The third series, KINGDOM HEARTS II, is currently being serialized. The first volume was released in Japan in December 2006 and was released in the US on July 3, 2007.
A novel series, written by Tomoco Kanemaki and illustrated by Shiro Amano, has been released. Like the manga series, it is divided into separate series based on the games. Kingdom Hearts is divided into two volumes; "The First Door" and "Darkness Within". KINGDOM HEARTS: Chain of Memories is divided into three volumes. Kingdom Hearts II is divided into four volumes; "Roxas—Seven Days", "The Destruction of Hollow Bastion", "Tears of Nobody", and "Anthem—Meet Again/Axel Last Stand".
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The KINGDOM HEARTS franchises makes a sensational debut in the Super Smash Flash series as a new franchise in Super Smash Flash 2.
- Sora: The hero and main protagonist of the KINGDOM HEARTS series, and a wielder of the Keyblade. He is an upbeat teenager with a strong sense of justice and an unrelenting heart, he is also impulsive and quick to anger, but he is always sincere about what he says and does. As a fighter, Sora utilizes his Keyblade as his main weapon whom he can conjure offensive spells in most of his attacks. His Final Smash is the Trinity Limit. The move involves him casting a spell that rises the opponents in the air and he gives them the final strike. Sora can move around the stage during the attack's duration.
One stage from the KINGDOM HEARTS series has been confirmed.
- Twilight Town: A place located in between light and darkness. As the name implies, this world's sun is always in the same position in the sky, as such, it is in an endless sunset. A middle-sized stage, matches takes place on three buildings of the town, one can spot the characteristic train station clock tower in the background. It gets nighttime when some player has only one stock left.