A Whole New World: Places (we hope) Kingdom Hearts III will go

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Thanks to the announcement and release of the the super-exciting trailer for Kingdom Hearts III at this year’s E3, many fans of the series have been speculating which colorful Disney worlds will be included.

With series creator Tetsuya Nomura having previously mentioned that KHIII will feature world-specific graphics filters to replicate the look and feel of the respective Disney movies, there is such awesome potential to be had.

This is not a “dream list,” per se, but a decent stab at what would most likely be up for inclusion this time around. Some of these worlds are no-brainers. Some of them have even almost appeared in past Kingdom Hearts games. Some of them are old favorites with a high probability of returning.

So join me as we peer into the keyhole…

The Jungle Book  finally gets in after being snubbed five previous times.

mowgli-the-jungle-book1Now, you may or may not know this, but a world based off of The Jungle Book has been planned for inclusion in nearly every single Kingdom Hearts game—including the first.

The Jungle Book not only almost made it into Birth By Sleep–there are entirely explorable rooms hidden in the game’s coding.

This is not a first-time occurrence for the series either; The Lion King’s Pridelands was planned for the first game too, but never went into production due to technical limitations at that point in the PlayStation 2′s life cycle.

Kingdom Hearts III would be as good a time as any to include this world, especially since so much of it has already been conceived. The tale of orphan Mowgli and his animal adventures is typical Kingdom Hearts lightheartedness.

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The Sword in the Stone  or The Black Cauldron  will get in.

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Many fans have been clamoring for Merlin—who has been featured in Kingdom Hearts lore as a main ally—to get a chance to visit his home world. Even more obscure and darker than that, however, would be The Black Cauldron. Featuring a more prominent and deadlier villain, as well as a more unique location, that location would also be a great medieval world.

Though it’s feasible that both worlds could ostensibly make the cut (and with the three Princess worlds from Birth By Sleep being similar yet unique enough to do the same) this one is a little tricky.

It’s more than likely though, that a vaguely medieval-themed Disney movie will probably pop up this time around.

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A Toy Story  world marks Pixar’s official debut.

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Buzz and Woody were to be featured as summons in Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix, and their basic models can be found in the game’s coding. This makes it seem like Square-Enix has no issues when it comes to using Pixar characters.

It’s probably very likely though that we will get at least one Pixar world, and Toy Story makes the most sense.

Not only would this world look positively amazing in 3D, but it gives Sora, Donald and Goofy a good chance to try out new “toy” forms.

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If not an entire world, KHIII  will feature an appearance by The Avengers.

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Judging from a recent interview with Kingdom Hearts creator Tetsuya Nomura, the Kingdom Hearts director is reportedly excited about the prospects of using Disney’s recent acquisitions of the Marvel and Star Wars licenses.

With that in mind, even he acknowledges that there are certain limitations. As cool as it may seem—and perhaps I should be dreaming bigger—we probably won’t get any Star Wars in Kingdom Hearts III. Not only because such a prospect would probably tear a hole in the fanfiction continuum, but because it’s probably more likely that Disney will allow a few Marvel characters to show up.

That being said, the chances that we’d see an actualized world with a plot are probably very slim. In my opinion, I think the Avengers are the most likely characters to make a cameo.

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The Princess and The Frog  reps newer Disney properties.

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It’s more than likely that Square-Enix will want to choose a recent Disney title for the new title. Though Tangled is a fun romp and Snow-Queen-Adaptation Frozen is on the horizon, for now it’s a safe bet that The Princess and The Frog will get to make an appearance in KHIII.

Featuring a unique setting as well as a wickedly amusing villain, The Princess and The Frog’s ’20s New Orleans and bayou would make for a very original world.

The question is, will we get to play as Sora in human form or are is Square-Enix going to transform him into some type of frog? There’s plenty of creativity and scenery to work with here.

I’m not sure where Square-Enix stands with the whole “Princesses of Light” plot, but seeing as TPaTF’s Tiana is considered an official Disney princess, there may be some plot relevance to be had here that would guarantee this potential world’s inclusion.

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Pocahontas  finally makes it in.

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This is one that gets a lot of mention in other “Worlds We Most Want to See in Kingdom Hearts” lists.That this world hasn’t yet been included in Kingdom Hearts  is somewhat odd, considering its status as one of the remaining “classics” from the Disney Renaissance period.

I can see Pocahontas’ river valley as being somewhat similar to the forested parts of Wonderland or even Deep Jungle.

Since the movie’s villain isn’t exactly “boss material,” Pocahontas’ world would probably go the Deep Jungle or Wonderland route and feature a giant Heartless as the boss.

Pocahontas herself would even make a capable ally who already comes equipped with some fairly adept skillsets.

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Fantasia returns as music mini-game (that is less annoying than The Little Mermaid  world from KHII ).

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Kingdom Hearts II is a good game. It’s not a great game solely because of the inane musical version of The Little Mermaid. Blech!

Nomura has already mentioned that there was so much he wanted to do with Fantasia’s Symphony of Sorcery world in Dream Drop Distance, which would have originally seen Riku tackling a world based of Fantasia 2000 and Sora going to the original Fantasia.

Since KH is all about including a mini-game world (and quite frankly I’m over The 100-Acre Wood), Symphony of Sorcery could be a great place to try out some sound and rhythm games. The level mechanic would play out as Sora finding notes or musical scores found in chests across worlds. Each successive score would unlock a new mini-game.

There’s plenty left to work with when it comes to a movie as diverse as Fantasia: dancing hippos, those dinosaurs, the trippy flying whales. Oh and the thing that will haunt your nightmares tonight: Chernobog.

Though I’m trying to not be biased, I have to say that Symphony of Sorcery is probably one of my favorite worlds in the series and it definitely has to make a return in some form.

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Atlantis: The Lost Empire or Treasure Planet  gets in.

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This is a tough one. If there’s any justice, both movies will make some sort of an appearance in KHIII. Atlantis and Treasure Planet hail from the final days of Disney’s 2D, traditionally animated era and were attempts to showcase “cool” action-packed adventures.

Both movies would make amazing locations—the crystalline temples and ancient caverns of Atlantis versus the interstellar swashbuckling of Treasure Planet. My money is on Atlantis, however, for two reasons: it features much more diverse locations than Treasure Planet and the inclusion of the latter film would severely limit the chances of Pirates of the Caribbean from returning.

With so much more content and plot to be explored with Captain Jack and his friends, we may have to nix Jim Hawkin and his motley alien n’ cyborg crew in favor of Milo and Kida’s adventures in the lost city.

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Lilo and Stitch gets a more plot-specific world.

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Stitch has been a faithful summon since KHII. In Birth By Sleep a whole “prequel” world was devoted to Stitch and his misadventures before escaping from the Galactic Federation.

This is a perfect set-up for the actual plot-adaptation set on tropical Hawaii. Sora and company could explore the beaches, the rainforests, the beach-side town and the spaceships of a certain space bounty-hunter and mad alien scientist.

Just as long as they include Pleakley, I’ll be happy.

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Pirates of the Caribbean  returns with a world inspired by the sequels.

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With such an immersive and lore-driven world, Port Royal wasn’t nearly as cool as it should have been in Kingdom Hearts II. The Pirates movies had two decent sequels that managed to weave together a continuous narrative and featured strange and diverse locales.

It also featured Davy Jones, who tops Captain Barbosa as a more creepy, tortured villain. Sure, Barbosa had a malicious wit, but did he have tentacles, an army of fish-minions and sick organ playing skills? I think not.

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The Beauty and the Beast  saga concludes with a world that actually follows the movie’s plot.

The way Kingdom Hearts has taken on Beauty and the Beast is rather commendable, as little of the movie’s story has been used in the first and second games. While what the writers have done with the characters and relationships is very unique compared to how other Disney-inspired worlds have been handled, it’s time we actually wrapped up Belle and Beast’s actual tale.

Gaston hasn’t even made an appearance yet! Not to mention the movie featured more locations than just the castle, and these have yet to be explored in full.

Yes, I know the credits at the end of Kingdom Hearts II show the Beast transformed back into his human self. But that doesn’t necessarily have to have taken place within the context of the Kingdom Hearts II timeline.

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*Bonus: A world based off one of the sad animal movies

We’ve seen Bambi and Dumbo used as summons, but it’s very hard to conceive of them creating a full-length world based off of those tales. And I’m pretty sure The Fox and the Hound world’s final boss would just be an aggregate of your own childhood tears.

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Author: Maxwell Coviello View all posts by
Maxwell Coviello is a graduate of Hampshire College with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Media Communications. A gamer from a young age, his interests are in RPGs both obscure and weird, adventures, and survival horror games. He has previously written for NEXT Magazine and OUTinCHI and has a background in LGBT and social justice issues. You can usually find him hunting the wild Cactuar of Coney Island, raiding the Froyo Dungeons of Queens, or serving as sentry for a certain toy store in Midtown Manhattan.

2 Comments on "A Whole New World: Places (we hope) Kingdom Hearts III will go"

  1. jak mckratos July 26, 2013 at 11:25 am - Reply

    Maxwell you are a writer after mine own heart…I agree with many of this worlds…Lilo and Stitch, Toy Story and more Pirates are a MUST. And I want a friggin boss fight with Gaston! I also believe that there will be more than just TOy story for Pixar…hopefully MOnsters University(with the heroes having a new design based off Monsters) and an Incredibles world…

    Pochahontas would be awesome…Atlantis over Treasure Planet and Sword in the Stone over Black Cauldron…I personally enjoyed ALL those movies but Sword in the Stone would pertain better to Sora’s Quest and Atlants would be an awesome place to explore…besides hopefully the hunger for a space based section will be filled by Star Wars….

    It’d also be disappointing not revisit some worlds where the movie’s stories are complete but as KH has proved in the past there’s always more room in the worlds to get creative…personally Aladdin, Peter Pan, Herculeus , and Lion King would receive a warm welcome from me!

    Also Tangled, Wreck it Ralph and Frozen should get in there….and maybe a level from a theme park..perhaps EPCoT where Figment is your partner!

  2. syafickix July 28, 2013 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    what about tangled?????

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