Even though Kingdom Hearts is one of my favourite things in the whole world, I don’t seem to write a lot about it on this blog so this is me attempting to change that! In this blog post I’m going to list in no particular order; my favourite worlds within the Kingdom Hearts franchise, this means from the first Kingdom Hearts game all the way through to the latest: Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage.
This blog post is really for those of you who have played some if not most of the Kingdom Hearts games as I will be discussing plot points which you would have never heard of if you haven’t played at least one of the games.
Without further ado…
I hope, the big fans of Kingdom Hearts have the field music for this world; ‘Waltz of the Damned’ now in their heads, I definitely do every time I remember this world! Although Sora encounters Beast during the Hollow Bastion chapter of Kingdom Hearts 1, We don’t actually visit Beast’s Castle until Kingdom Hearts 2. I like this world for a number of reasons, I think the novelty of exploring the world of one of my favourite Disney films may play a part in it but this world does have great boss battles. As fans of KH will know, in KH2 you visit a lot of the worlds twice so therefore you have to fight 2 bosses per world, the first boss of Beast’s Castle is kind of fun! I mean, a lot of bosses in this game are frustrating but some I look forward to replaying. The first boss consists of a fight in the iconic ballroom, a dark orb heartless, known as a ‘Shadow Stalker’ possesses the ballroom so essentially, you’re fighting the ballroom pillars and chandelier, it’s not too difficult but then he comes back twice as nasty, now as a ‘Dark Thorn’ here you have to fight an invisible entity whilst also using the chandelier to your advantage, using reaction commands, you are able to swing on the chandelier (Lets keep the Sia references to a minimum) thus causing damage to the ‘Dark Thorn’ as well as causing him to turn visible, from there you can use combos and reaction commands to defeat him, pretty standard stuff. However, upon your second visit to Beast’s Castle, this is the boss that I honestly think angered me the most, I’m not entirely sure why as I’ve completed it a few times over the years but the first time I played it through, boy did I get stressed out. This second boss takes place out on the Bridge where you’ll find yourself fighting Organisation XIII member; Xaldin. Xaldin is a pain as he utilises a number of long range attacks ranging from essentially jabbing you with a number of long spears, hitting you with beams of light and eventually RIDING ON HIS SPEARS so that he’s out of reach where he then aims a long gust of what I assume is wind towards you and nothing is out of the firing line for this attack, good luck dodging that! He also summons darkness for a portion of this fight where he is literally invincible for a few seconds, this is where he utilises melee attacks and does NOT STOP attacking you close range, it’s difficult to get away, all I can say is thank god for reaction commands! Other than the bosses though, this world has a few good side quests, I enjoyed trying not to wake the wardrobe, the mini boss where you have to fight the heartless; “Thresholder & Possessor” who cling to the doors of the dungeon as well as lighting the lanterns with Lumiere and Mrs. Potts before Cogsworth’s grip slips. As you can see by this huge chunk of writing; Kingdom Hearts 2 has a lot more to do within it’s worlds.
The Land of Dragons
Fun fact: I once went to a theme park that had a dragon themed ride and no word of a lie, they played the field music for this world; ‘The Home of Dragons” whilst you waited in line, now I’m just assuming here, perhaps Japanese video game composer; Yoko Shimomura gave permission herself for the small theme park in the UK to use her song or perhaps they found it online and thought it fitted the ride, who knows! or maybe it’s a sample of a song I’m unaware of, all I know is I felt pretty cool with the inside knowledge, I tried to explain it to the friend I was with at the time and she didn’t seem to understand how bizarre the coincidence was for me! Anyway, back to Land of Dragons; This world is only found in Kingdom Hearts 2 so far and in case you weren’t aware, Land of Dragons is based around Disney’s 1998 film; Mulan and if you know the film, you know that it’s based around war so the Kingdom Hearts world isn’t much different. You spend the first visit of this world pretty much investigating the different sections of it, pretty much just fighting any and all heartless, I quite liked the morale system, it made fighting heartless just that little bit more interesting. The first boss in this world is pretty standard, it consists of you fighting Shan Yu, the movie’s villain whilst also not letting the palace gates receive too much damage, I don’t think I’ve ever found this boss particularly difficult. Upon your second visit to The Land of Dragons, things begin to get more interesting, the main thing being you get to fight a big ol’ dragon heartless, known as; a ‘Storm Rider’. The ways in which to defeat this almighty beast include; making use of those Kingdom Hearts 2 Reaction Commands by riding on gusts of wind in order to jump onto it’s back and attack it’s weak points, once the Heartless’ HP is down to a certain point, it then begins to use big beams of light and walls made up of light to close in on you to take down your HP, this boss also begins to then drop bombs onto you whilst flying above the entire fighting ground. Overall, this world isn’t that interesting to begin with but I think fighting the ‘Storm Rider’ makes up for that, it’s also great having a female party member! I mean, there’s only really Ariel other than Mulan, Let’s make that change for KH3, shall we Square Enix?
Mysterious Tower / Symphony of Sorcery
I’ve managed to squeeze two entries onto this entry for the simple reason that you find one world inside of the other, for those of you that haven’t played Dream Drop Distance, it’s similar to how the Hundred Acre Wood can be found within Merlin’s House in KH1 and within Hollow Bastion in KH2. Let’s start with the Mysterious Tower, the home of Master Yen Sid. Firstly, I love the score behind this world, it’s very… mysterious! I also love near the start of KH2 where you’re required to fight your way up to the top of the tower, I think the train you need to get in order to reach the tower is adorable, it looks so cosy inside, it reminds me of the kind of trains you get in London. There isn’t actually that much to this world, just a couple of mostly empty rooms but it’s the small details I love about this world, the score, how beautiful the sky looks, the train, the stairs? Let’s move on to the Symphony of Sorcery. The Symphony of Sorcery world – as mentioned before – can be found in Dream Drop Distance, it’s based on, you guessed it; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice from Fantasia and wow is it beautiful. I’m going to be focusing on Sora’s experience in this world as I feel it was the most fun to play, once you enter this world through The Mysterious Tower, you initially end up in fluffy cloud area, there’s literally clouds making up the path, the walls, the platforms and there’s a rainbow in the sky! you can also use flow-motion to glide along rainbows connecting the cloud platforms together. Much like every world in Dream Drop Distance, there are opportunities for you to perform ‘Reality Shift’, You can use Reality shift to perform attacks on nearby enemies as well as open new areas, etc. etc. In this world, the way to initiate reality shift is by finding small pink cups within Symphony of Sorcery that are spewing purple goo, the player then pulls essentially a guitar hero by hitting certain buttons during certain parts of the song, this is my favourite Reality Shift within the game so far. The next section of this world is ridiculously pretty, it’s similar to what I expect zero gravity to be like, you’re required to navigate this area whilst floating and gliding to each platform, there’s also cherry blossoms floating around you, very pretty. The final section of this world is super super cool, you’ll find yourself walking through multicoloured meadows when suddenly stormy weather begins and you’re required to find the cups mentioned earlier, you have to trigger reality shift in order to stop the rain and clear the skies, which I thought was pretty cool. Just another note if you haven’t played Dream Drop Distance, the game is played through both Riku and Sora, you literally have to play each world twice but the story is different for both, therefore the boss is sometimes different and sometimes the same but under different circumstances. The boss fight for Riku was pretty fun and not too difficult , it’s similar to the Ursula battle in KH1 if you can remember back to that one where you have to fly towards her in order to attack, this time though you’re attacking the Chernabog from Fantasia. The boss you have to fight as Sora though is much more difficult (for me anyway) I’m currently playing DDD on the PS4 remaster and I’m stuck at the Sora boss, it probably isn’t too difficult but I don’t really have the patience for the Dream Eater you have to fight; Spellican, he has a lot of HP and there aren’t that many opportunities to attack, I’ll get it eventually!
La Cité des Cloches
Translated to “The City of Bells”, La Cité des Cloches is another world found in Dream Drop Distance, based on one of my favourite Disney films; The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The main reason I think I like this world is similar to what I said in the Beast’s Castle entry, I like being able to explore a world I’ve seen before in the film but in more detail, I really liked being able to explore inside of the Cathedral and in the Catacombs which to my foggy memory wasn’t seen too much in the film. Lets talk about the boss for this world, as I mentioned previously in Dream Drop Distance you play through the worlds as both Riku and Sora, when I played through this boss with Riku, no problem. Sora however? This boss is another Dream Eater, this time a Wargoyle which is basically a giant Gargoyle that’s equipped with fire, he has powerful close range attacks that are difficult to dodge but isn’t short of long range attacks either. So basically, it’s pretty tough, especially playing on a 3DS, I found this battle easier on the PS4, it’s difficult to react fast using 3DS buttons. Later on in Dream Drop Distance you find yourself fighting all 3 of the previous bosses you fought one after the other with no break in which to save, the Wargoyle is included in those 3 and that was tough (although the guy in the video I linked made it look easy).
The World Within
So here is where it gets confusing, for those of you who don’t know, in 2017; Square Enix released Birth By Sleep 0.2 A Fragmentary Passage for the PS4, It’s a short couple of hours long sequel game to 2010’s PSP game; Birth By Sleep. The World Within is technically kind of The Dwarf Woodlands? (a world based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs found in Birth By Sleep) But a version of The Dwarf Woodlands that has been taken over by darkness and is therefore in the Realm of Darkness. So within Dark World Aqua finds herself in a place that’s similar to Dwarf Woodlands where she encounters a large mirror, this is where her reflection pulls her in and she is then in The World Within, now that we have that sorted, onto the rest of the post! I like this world as like most of Dark World, it’s pretty creepy! this one more so though, with mirrors surrounding you, you play as Aqua stepping into each mirror and defeating the unversed that lie within, however some of the mirrors (similar to a hall of mirrors at a fairground) trick you and give the illusion of something else, for example the mirror that confused me the most is the one in which you can turn the screen literally upside down and you have to navigate your way around the world with backwards controls and upside down visuals, I’ve linked a play through of The World Within in this entry so you can see what I mean for yourself. There’s also a boss for this world and it’s Aqua’s reflection! so you’re essentially fighting yourself which isn’t the easiest thing when you both have the exact same abilities and fighting style.
Ahhh good ol’ Traverse Town, feels like my home away from home. It’s popped up in 5/9 (maybe??) of the games in the series, it’s kind of like a hub town as you start a lot of the games in this town, It’s probably one of my favourites due to it’s sentimentality it’s where the journey begins!… Well I know technically that’s Destiny Islands but you know what I mean, Traverse Town is where Sora first meets Donald and Goofy, where Leon, Yuffie, Aerith and Cid first explain what Sora has to do and it’s where you spend a lot of your time returning to in the first Kingdom Hearts game. Similar to Beasts Castle, I hope when some of you read the title of this entry you immediately got this tune stuck in your head. I was a little unsure at first when Traverse Town was featured in Dream Drop Distance as a lot of new areas that were previously never mentioned had now appeared eg: The Fourth District, Fifth District, Garden, Fountain Plaza, Backstreets, Post Office and more, simply because something I knew so well and was so comfortable with was being changed but now I’ve played enough DDD I’m pretty settled on this extended Traverse Town, I mean the people of this world have to get their post delivered somewhere!
Agrabah is pictured twice here as it’s slightly different in KH and KH2
Agrabah which is based on one of my favourite Disney films; Aladdin is pretty familiar to your average Kingdom Hearts fan, I think it actually appears in 4??? of the games in one way or another. I always get the tasks to do in Agrabah in KH1 mixed up with the tasks you have to in Agrabah in KH2 but from what I remember there are multiple bosses and all of them are a lot of fun. I’m going to try to list them off from memory; I remember the ceramic pot centipede boss where you have to rescue Jasmine who is stuck inside one of the pots (I looked it up, it is literally called a ‘Pot Centipede’ I think ‘Ceramic Pot Centipede’ is better…) then you’ve got to go fight the Cave of Wonders along with all the heartless that appear with it then isn’t it a fight with Jafar who now has control of Genie? Then there’s ANOTHER BOSS FIGHT, this time you’ve got to fight Jafar AS a Genie overall I don’t think these bosses were particularly difficult, I loved flying the magic carpet out of the cave of wonders once you had finally defeated Jafar. Now onto KH2, I enjoyed the Cave of Wonders more this time around, I liked fighting my way through layer upon layer of heartless and helping Abu place the jewel back in it’s place, the first boss for Agrabah in KH2 is actually two threats to the city of Agrabah; Volcanic Lord & Blizzard Lord once defeating the fiery and icy pair, Agrabah is complete until you return later in the game. Once you return to Agrabah, things are just as busy as well as the usual fighting any heartless you find routine, you also now have to find and fight Jafar’s shadow all whilst flying on the magic carpet. Upon this second visit, I also loved solving the puzzles in the desert ruins as well as escaping them afterwards. The last thing you then have to do in Agrabah is fight Genie Jafar… again. This boss again, is similar to Ursula in Atlantica and the Chernabog in Symphony of Sorcery – a giant boss that you have to fly towards to attack. Obviously there is also Agrabah in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Chain of Memories but look how much I’ve written already.
I’m pretty sure the Olympus Coliseum is featured in every game except A Fragmentary Passage, I’m even including the mobile game and KH3 in this, the Olympus Coliseum is everywhere! meaning you do a lot in each game so I’ll focus on my favourites parts for this. In the first KH game, the Olympus Coliseum has a little story but is almost used a mini game to level up and to unlock more items, it’s essentially just tournament stuff, you fight rounds of heartless, Titans and Final Fantasy characters, oh and there’s a boss battle with Cerberus; the huge three headed dog. this tournament theme follows through to many of the other games. In Kingdom Hearts 2 you do similar stuff except now you get to explore the Underworld as well as fight Hades, fight Cerberus again, fight water forms, protect Megara from Pete and heartless, Fight Pete then fight the Hydra, and that’s just the first time you visit the Olympus Coliseum! Once you return to the Olympus Coliseum later in the game you’ll have to do more tournament stuff, that is until you fight Hades, once last time. In Birth By Sleep, again you’ll find yourself doing the tournament stuff but with a new friend; Zack from Final Fantasy! As well as young Hercules! Honestly I played Birth By Sleep so long ago I don’t remember exactly what there is to do but I know I did enjoy each play of it.
The World That Never Was / Kingdom Hearts
This is the world where it all kicks off, I’m fairly certain this world is seen in KH2, Dream Drop Distance and maybe 358/2 Days? I decided to add it to this list though for all the boss battles you have to do here, there’s the Xigbar battle where you basically have to dodge all his shots and deflect them back to him, then there’s the boss battle with Luxord which I remember HATING, I couldn’t keep up with all the card tricks! Then we get to the Siax battle, I remember this being tough at the time but I’d have to give it another go soon to see how I get on with it now. Once you think you’re done with all of that, you’ve got to face Xemnas (for the first, but not the last time) and from what I remember, this battle wasn’t too hard but I think that’s because you still have to fight him another 80 times after (okay, that’s a slight exaggeration) Now moving onto Kingdom Hearts itself, here is where all the final boss battles take place, although dragged out quite a lot, this may be the coolest boss battle in the entire franchise.
I know Hollow Bastion later turns into Radiant Garden but in this case, I’m just talking about Hollow Bastion. This is a pretty world! in both Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2, the main scores for this world in both games makes me really nostalgic. Focusing on Kingdom Hearts 1 for a moment, although confusing at first, I enjoyed playing through the dungeon puzzles with Beast as well as the puzzles in the library. I also liked fighting Maleficent, on her floating platform and as a dragon, I remember that battle being very rewarding once I had done it. Some things changed in Hollow Bastion by the time Kingdom Hearts 2 came around, it’s now under construction! with actual residents consisting of the usual Final Fantasy characters and Scrooge McDuck. Hollow Bastion is also where one of my favourite battles takes place, I know a lot of people will disagree here but I love Demyx’s “Dance Water, Dance!” battle, this is also where you avid Goofy fans may get a shock… There’s also a pretty cool event where you’ll find yourself fighting your way through waves of heartless whilst simultaneously making your way down a mountain with the help of different Final Fantasy characters!, then it gets pretty epic, then you have to fight 1000 heartless. Once all of this is done, Hollow Bastion then turns into Radiant Garden where you have the choice to fight Sephiroth (good luck with that!)
Aww, Destiny Islands, much like Traverse Town this is a sentimental world as like I said before, this is literally where it all started! I must have played through this world like 6 or 7 times now, I’ve played it myself about 3 times; on the original game, the PS3 remake and the PS4 remake. I’ve also played it with my younger sister, 2 of my cousins and friends that want to get into the franchise, phew, that’s a lot! So as it’s the first world within the first game, it’s the world I’ve experienced the most. This means that I know where all the items are that you have to find for Kairi for the raft off by heart. It’s also the most rewarding thing when Riku and Sora finally get back to Destiny Islands at the end of KH2, I felt so proud for completing both games! I also love the race with Riku but out of all the times I’ve played it, I’ve probably only won around 2/3 times, what a speedy boy.
Country of the Musketeers
I wont lie, I was a little apprehensive about this world before I got to it but when I did, I realised how fun it could be! Country For Musketeers can only be found in Dream Drop Distance so far. The Reality Shift for this world is great fun, small comic book strips fall from the top of the screen towards the bottom and you follow the way the arrows on screen are pointing on each panel with the joystick! I also had fun protecting Minnie who is being chased by the Tyranto Rex. I just loved exploring the huge theatre in this world, I also liked fighting both bosses, one as Riku and one as Sora, both in the theatre! Sora got to fight Pete and the Beagle Boys and Riku got to fight a Mole like Dream Eater called Holey Moley, how cute!
Everyone loves Pride Lands! As most of you know, Simba is featured in the first Kingdom Hearts game as a summon but he actually gets his own world in Kingdom Hearts 2! I only have one problem with it, I understand that the Hyenas are annoying but I don’t like the fact they whimper when you attack them, they sound like a sad dog and it breaks my heart! I did enjoy chasing them around the Elephant Graveyard though! The main boss during your first visit to the Pride Lands is of course, Scar, I think I remember this fight being difficult but honestly I don’t remember too much about it. I do remember how ugly lion Pete is though! The second boss of this world is a giant Rhino like Heartless called a Groundshaker, I remember this being tricky but pretty fun once the frustration had worn off!
Now I’ve left Twilight Town last for a reason, Twilight Town really is my ultimate favourite, even out of all the different Disney worlds, this is the one I’d love to live in! I know a lot of people disagree with me here but I actually love the 7 Days in Twilight Town at the start of Kingdom Hearts 2! I love Struggle, I love Hayner, Pence and Olette, I love Sunset Station, I love the part time jobs you can take, I love the 7 Wonders of Twilight Town, The Old Mansion, the clock tower, sea salt ice cream, need I go on?! Kingdom Hearts 2 is my favourite in the franchise. This is a nostalgic, sentimental world (I know I’ve used those two words a lot to describe many worlds) The scores of Twilight Town help contribute to this too, At Dusk I’ll Think of You, The Afternoon Streets, Lazy Afternoons & Xion all make me very emotional and nostalgic of Twilight Town for obvious reasons! Twilight Town features in Kingdom Hearts 2, 358/2 Days and has been spotted in some Kingdom Hearts 3 trailers.
I know this is a long list, if you’ve read the entire blog post, congratulations! you’ve read over 4000 words from this post alone today! this is a topic I can talk a lot about as you now know. I’d just like to give the Timeless River world a shout out for being super cool, however it didn’t make this list because of the Hot Rod Heartless, I know everyone will agree with me on that one. If you liked this post, check out my post on 10 plausible predictions for Kingdom Hearts 3 as well as all the Kingdom Hearts posts I’ve done for nerdoutwordout.com I know I’ve got at least 3 on there. I might try to write more about Kingdom Hearts in the future but not everybody wants to read a 4000 word blog post, understandably! All the links included in this post will take you to videos of the topic I’m talking about, enjoy!
Hopefully this post keeps you going until Kingdom Hearts 3, I know, It’s been a long time.