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10 Worlds That Deserve to Be in Future Kingdom Hearts Games


10 Worlds That Deserve to Be in Future Kingdom Hearts Games

After over a decade of waiting, Kingdom Hearts 3 has turned out to be everything we hoped. Well, almost everything. The game satisfyingly closes the door on the “Dark Seeker Saga,” but it also leaves the door open for future entries, which is good since several good Disney movies and shows have yet to be touched.

If series directer Tetsuya Nomura wants to continue the franchise, I suggest including some of these properties in future games.

Worlds That Deserve to Be in Future Kingdom Hearts Games

The Emperor’s New Groove

While many Disney movies are remembered for their timelessness, most of us remember The Emperor’s New Groove for its comedy and meme-able moments.

The villainous duo of Yzma and Kronk are some of Disney’s funniest characters, and the studio took a risk by portraying the main character as a schmuck who undergoes a redemption arc. But Disney struck gold with The Emperor’s New Groove. Incan gold.

A level based on The Emperor’s New Groove would probably be the funniest Kingdom Hearts world ever and could feature plenty of callbacks, a few new jokes, and more Yzma and Kronk. Heck, given Kingdom Hearts’ reputation for being narratively unapproachable, a The Emperor’s New Groove world would let the game’s writers cut loose and forget the convoluted story.

No Organization XIII, no flowery script that mentions Darkness every five seconds, nothing but the comedic styling of Yzma and Kronk. And plenty of Incan-themed Heartless to bash.

Worlds That Deserve to Be in Future Kingdom Hearts Games

Treasure Planet

Yep, Treasure Planet is a Walt Disney movie. I honestly forgot about it before I wrote this list, but there you go.

Anyway, in case you never heard of this movie, it’s basically Treasure Island but (pause for dramatic effect) IN SPACE. Honestly, the movie is 90% gimmick, or to be more specific, it’s mostly about manning sail boats from the 1700s with aliens, shooting the boats into space, and calling them space ships.

To be fair, though, Treasure Planet almost won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, so the movie clearly has some merit.

Kingdom Hearts features a noticeable lack of levels with a sci-fi aesthetic. Sure, the franchise has the Tron-themed Space Paranoids and The Grid levels, Lilo and Stitch’s Deep Space, whatever the heck Mirage Arena is, and maybe San Fransokyo, but that’s it. The rest are either magical or mundane.

A Treasure Planet world would be another check on that underrepresented sci-fi world list, and better yet, since Treasure Planet is based on Treasure Island, the level would include a type of villain never before seen in Kingdom Hearts: a Disney villain with a redemption arc. Sounds intriguing, no?

Worlds That Deserve to Be in Future Kingdom Hearts Games

The Princess and the Frog

The “Seven Princesses of Heart” have played a vital role throughout the Kingdom Hearts series. These five Disney princesses (plus Alice and Kairi) are connected to the χ-blade that serves as the franchise’s McGuffin. However, the first Kingdom Hearts game hit store shelves when the princess roster wasn’t overflowing.

While two of Disney’s most recent princesses, Rapunzel and Elsa, appeared in Kingdom Hearts 3, the rest, including Tiana from The Princess and the Frog, have been left by the wayside.

More importantly, the number of Princesses of Heart has yet to increase, even though Kingdom Hearts has included other Disney princesses such as Ariel and Mulan. Quite frankly, we’re long overdue for a world that delves into the nature of the Princesses of Heart and what sets them apart from regular princesses.

Sure, the Princesses of Heart are supposed to be born without any darkness in their hearts, but what does that mean exactly? Pacifism certainly isn’t a requirement since Ariel, Mulan, and Kairi are fighters, so visiting a world that explains the hows and whys of their congenital darkness-lessness would do wonders for Kingdom Hearts lore.

Now, why would I pick Tiana’s movie, The Princess and the Frog, over Princess Merida’s movie, Brave? The Princess and the Frog takes place in 1912 New Orleans and features a voodoo villain voiced by Keith David.

Since Kingdom Hearts doesn’t feature enough real world locales (punctuated by supernatural magic and/or jazz), The Princess and the Frog would give a level that dives into a major plot element of the Kingdom Hearts franchise that extra bit of cajun spice.

Worlds That Deserve to Be in Future Kingdom Hearts Games

The Incredibles

Kingdom Hearts 3 includes a feature gamers have wanted for a long time: a world based on a Disney/Pixar movie. Technically, the game includes two: Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. And no, Big Hero 6 isn’t a Pixar movie.

However, it’s a shame Kingdom Hearts 3 does not include a world based on The Incredibles, since The Incredibles is one of Pixar’s best movies.

I could go into every tiny detail why The Incredibles deserves to be in Kingdom Hearts, but when you get right down to it, we need a world based on The Incredibles because it’s superhero-themed. Ever since Disney bought Marvel, gamers have begged for a Kingdom Hearts level based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

However, that’s never going to happen since Disney only owns Marvel and didn’t invent it, which is where The Incredibles comes in. A world inspired by the movie would be the closest gamers will ever get to fighting Heartless alongside The Incredible Hulk and Mr. Fantastic, but with the added bonus of one of Edna Mode’s signature “No Capes!” rants.

Worlds That Deserve to Be in Future Kingdom Hearts Games

One Hundred and One Dalmatians

Everyone remembers the 99 Dalmatians quest from the original Kingdom Hearts game. It was tedious but somewhat excusable since the quest was developed when Kingdom Hearts was trying to find its footing. Then again, players had to find all 99 puppies to unlock a secret ending with plot-crucial information, which kinda means those puppies, despite being relegated to a side quest, are essential to the story.

So let’s take that sentiment to its logical conclusion.

Depending on where the Kingdom Hearts franchise leads, we might require more backstory and lore, and an excellent source of backstory is the worlds the Heartless have already destroyed. Perhaps a future game could visit the One Hundred and One Dalmatians’ world, if only to answer some lingering questions.

How did the dalmatians escape their apocalypse? What happened to their owners? Did Cruella de Vil play any part?

The storytelling potentials are endless, especially if the writers don’t pull their punches and use the world to remind gamers that sometimes even heroes fail.

Worlds That Deserve to Be in Future Kingdom Hearts Games

Gravity Falls

Yes, we’re getting into Disney properties that aren’t movies now. While Disney is known for its movies, its cartoons deserve as much attention. Gamers have begged for Kingdom Hearts worlds based on Disney cartoons, which isn’t surprising since some of Disney’s most recent shows are wildly inventive.

Case in point: Gravity Falls, the show that transformed its audience into cipher-cracking wizards while telling a timeless tale about summer vacation.

Words cannot accurately describe Gravity Falls’ popularity. What started as a seemingly episodic, monster of the week mystery tour starring two children and their “Grunkle” (great-uncle) Stan transformed into a clever, humorous, and occasionally terrifying story that kept viewers watching and guessing.

Some might argue Gravity Falls’ story has come to a close, but the show and its tie-in books are full of ARG clues that hint at the possibility of future stories.

More importantly, Gravity Falls revolves around the existence of alternate worlds and planes of reality, and wouldn’t you know it, that’s also a major plot point of Kingdom Hearts. Coincidence? Only Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch knows for sure.

Worlds That Deserve to Be in Future Kingdom Hearts Games

Kim Possible

Whenever you see a list of the best Disney cartoons of all time, Kim Possible will either be at or near the top, and for good reason. An example of the rare and elusive action cartoon for girls, Kim Possible garnered fans of all ages and demographics, a feat which wouldn’t be repeated until 2010’s My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Kim Possible is as much a love letter to spy thrillers as it is a parody, a genre that has zero representation in Kingdom Hearts. Outside of franchises such as Deus Ex and Hitman, Square Enix has few (good) spy thriller games to its name, so a Kim Possible level would give the genre a much-needed boost.

Moreover, a Kim Possible world would throw typical Kingdom Hearts cliches for a loop, thanks its brilliant characters, especially the resident supervillain duo of Dr. Drakken and Shego.

Normally, the most competent and powerful villain leads and the incompetent one plays second fiddle, but in a brilliant subversion, Dr. Drakken is in charge despite his buffoonery, while Shego is the hired muscle despite being smarter and stronger.

Imagine: a level where Dr. Drakken continually tries to harness the Heartless but fails in exponentially more hilarious ways. That would be comedy gold.

Moreover, Kim Possible and Lilo & Stitch canonically exist in the same universe, and since players visited a Lilo & Stitch level in Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, even Dr. Drakken is capable of doing that math.

Worlds That Deserve to Be in Future Kingdom Hearts Games

The Haunted Mansion

While audiences fondly remember the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, they try to forget the movie based on The Haunted Mansion ride. Even though it was also inspired by a DisneyLand ride, The Haunted Mansion film failed to captivate audiences, which is a shame since the ride is a staple of any DisneyLand visit and deserves so much more. The ride deserves its own  Kingdom Hearts level.

The Haunted Mansion ride is equal parts haunted house and Disney whimsy, essentially baby’s first haunted house but in a good way. More importantly, The ride features enough story material that can be translated into a multimedia story.

It’s just a shame the filmmakers went about it the completely wrong way.

The Haunted Mansion should appear in a Kingdom Hearts games, as it would give the writers the perfect opportunity to go nuts and make their own Disney story, one closer to the source material and without the cringe-inducing “humor” of the film.

Admittedly, the level would still tie into the overarching narrative of Keyblades and Heartless, but it would give the legendary ride a well-deserved second chance at unlife.

Moreover, the level would be the first Kingdom Hearts world based on a Disney property that is neither movie or show, which could set a new and fascinating precedent if handled properly.

Worlds That Deserve to Be in Future Kingdom Hearts Games

Darkwing Duck

Even though Darkwing Duck is a spin-off of DuckTales, Darkwing Duck is the better show. Granted, DuckTales is beyond memorable and has survived in our collective unconscious thanks to video games, reboots, video game reboots, and what is arguably the catchiest theme song ever, but Darkwing Duck has survived just as well without those boons.

Audiences still remember the main mallard’s penchant for alliteration and catchphrases, his novel single-father status, and his iconic villains.

If a The Incredibles world would be the closest gamers ever get to a Marvel Cinematic Universe level in Kingdom Hearts, then a Darkwing Duck world would be the closest we’ll ever get to Batman level in Kingdom Hearts, or at least a parody of Batman.

Moreover, Darkwing Duck knew how to balance the parody with the worldbuilding to make the show’s fictional universe stand on its own and tie into DuckTales, complete with character development for bit players in DuckTales.

Who wouldn’t want to see how Darkwing Duck interacts with Donald Duck in a future Kingdom Hearts game? Plus, we’d get to hear Darkwing’s voice actor Jim Cummings utter, “Let’s get dangerous!” at least a dozen more times, which is always a positive.

Worlds That Deserve to Be in Future Kingdom Hearts Games


Kim Possible may be one of the best Disney cartoons of all time, but Gargoyles is the best Disney cartoon of all time. Audiences tend to misattribute Darkwing Duck as Disney’s answer to Batman: The Animated Series, but that honor actually goes to Gargoyles. After all, Gargoyles isn’t a parody but a bona fide action cartoon with comedy, drama, and mature stories brought to life by creator Greg Weisman.

Audiences fondly remember the characters and their adventures decades after Gargoyle’s final episode, and the fandom was so fierce, people organized their own Gargoyles-themed annual convention. If that’s not a sign of devotion, I don’t know what is.

As an action cartoon, Gargoyles lends itself naturally to a Kingdom Hearts level. Granted, exploring the Gargoyles’ version of New York City is probably going to feel as jarring as Super Mario Odyssey’s New Donk City —especially since Gargoyles takes place in the 90s, back when the World Trade Center was standing.

But players will eventually learn to love weirdness as they glide from rooftop to rooftop and fight Heartless alongside Goliath and the rest of the Manhattan Clan —because Gargoyles is just that awesome.

Plus, we’d get to witness David Xanatos concoct one of his patented Xanatos Gambits that involve the Heartless. Even if he were to lose, he’d still win, which is something that can’t be said of Kingdom Hearts’ big bad Xehanort.

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