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Gamer Tuesday

October 29, 2013

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights: Pap's Dream Worlds for Kingdom Hearts III Part 2: The Live Action Fantasies

Author's Note: These are NOT in any way, shape or form PREDICTIONS of what worlds I think will be in Kingdom Hearts III. As the title says, these are my DREAM worlds, ie the worlds I would love to see in the final game. The way Square Enix and Disney selects the Disney worlds is a complex one, and just because they can use a property it doesn't mean they will.

Before I continue with my dream worlds for Kingdom Hearts III, there is something I want to elaborate upon. I have mentioned that Kingdom Hearts II broke new ground in terms of what Disney worlds could be included in the game. Let me elaborate further on that...

The first Kingdom Hearts game almost set a rule that people expected Square Enix to follow in all the games: to create worlds based on the Disney Animated Classics and the off-shoot animated efforts. In that game, Halloween Town served as the odd world as it was based on a Disney film that wasn't exactly released by Disney, and at the time it was relatively obscure in the eyes of the mainstream audience. That movie was The Nightmare Before Christmas. Since then Disney has fully embraced the film and has become just as popular as the other animated efforts.

Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts II was then announced a few years later, and one of the first worlds to be announced was Port Royal, based on Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. The movie was a surprise hit that re-awakened interest in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at all Disney theme parks, made pirate movies popular again, and gave Disney a brand new franchise to feature on all over their assets. So it made more than enough sense to create a world based on the film in the latest Kingdom Hearts game. Problem was, the characters would be presented as their live action selves, while Sora, Donald and Goofy would remain in their animated form, creating a contrast similar to Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. Fans were excited as this meant that Square Enix almost had no limits as to what worlds they could create as long as they had Disney's blessings. But at the same time, they felt that the animated characters clashed too much with the live action characters.

A few years later, Square Enix announced prior to the release of Kingdom Hearts II the existence of a world based on TRON, the 1982 movie that introduced a computer generated world to the Disney audience. That meant that the sequel would have two worlds based on live action films. Last year's Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance on the 3DS introduced The Grid, the world based on TRON: Legacy, the sequel to the 1982 film that continued the story as seen in Kingdom Hearts II.

What I am getting at is that with Kingdom Hearts III now a reality, I wouldn't be surprised if we get at least one world based on a live action film. I expect them to continue the Port Royal storyline as now they have three new Pirates film to borrow elements from. Many more live action classics have been released since, and while the number is smaller to that of the animated classics, Square Enix could still work with these films. Here are the worlds I am hoping to see made based on their live action films. Like I stated in part 1, this is just speculation and my own ideas, not to be taken as any official confirmation. It is all up to Square Enix and Disney what worlds they want to see in the film.

The Land of Oz (Oz: The Great and Powerful, 2013)

Oz: The Great and Powerful poster 

The Story: Just as Sora and friends fly into a new world, they are swept up by a very powerful tornado. They end up at a very colorful world called Oz. In there they meet Oscar, or Oz, a conman of a magician that has been labeled the savior of this land, even though he is nothing especial. As they join Oz in his journey, they learn more about the war between the witches of Oz, and how just as this is going on, the Heartless have also descended upon the land. Could they be related somehow?

Why I think it should be a world in Kingdom Hearts III: In the last few years, Disney has seen mixed to great success with epic fantasy films and re-tellings of their classic stories. So if Square Enix were to include a live action world, you can bet it will be based on one of these epics. A lot of people suggest that they could make a world based on the 2010 hit Alice in Wonderland, suggesting that Square Enix could introduce the concept of alternate worlds within the expansive Kingdom Hearts universe. But there is already a Wonderland, based on the 1951 Disney version, that Sora has already explored. So by process of elimination, the Land of Oz has a higher chance since Square Enix has yet to explore that land, and with the film being so successful, Disney may want to further capitalize on it. In fact, there have been rumors that Disney may finally build a whole land based on Oz at Disneyland! Not to mention that even though MGM has made their Oz film the most iconic one, Disney has more than tangled with the fantasy series before. The fantastic vistas and characters could lend themselves well to the colorful aesthetic the Kingdom Hearts series is known for, and may be a great chance for Disney to further cement its relationship with Oz.

A Galaxy Far, Far Away (Star Wars series)

Star Wars

The Story: Just beyond all the planets Sora and friends have discover there is a whole galaxy undiscovered by the motley crew. Their adventures lead them towards a whole new galaxy where light and darkness completely rule its fantastical denizens. They find themselves crammed in the middle of a whole battle where the rebel alliance wants to take down the galactic empire. Are the heartless connected to this galaxy in any way, shape or form?

Why I think it should be a world in Kingdom Hearts III: The minute Disney had announced that they had acquired the Star Wars license directly from Lucasfilm, the very first thing many Kingdom Hearts fans said was... 'STARS WARS IN KINGDOM HEARTS III!' On the one hand, it seems very possible that in order to cross promote the upcoming release of Star Wars VII, they want to create a whole world based on Star Wars to make its presence well known in the Disney universe. That being said, it is too early for that sort of cross synergy to happen between the two companies. There have been talks about how Disney could use its ownership of Star Wars beyond the new movies, and there MAY be a small element represented in future Kingdom Hearts games, but it is nothing but a wild dream many fans, myself included, have.

City of Heroes (The Avengers/Marvel Universe)

Avengers poster

The Story: Sora has swam under the sea with Ariel, flown the Neverland skies with Peter Pan, and even sailed the seas with Captain Jack Sparrow. What else does he have left to do? Why be a super hero alongside Earth's mightiest heroes, of course! A childhood dream made real, Sora stumbles upon some of the greatest super heroes of all time, including Captain America, the unforgettable Iron Man and even the god of thunder Thor! As he enters this universe, Sora uncovers that the darkness is raging war against another world, this time under the guidance of Loki, the god of mischief and Thor's adopted brother. Can pure nature heroism be enough to stand up against the hordes of Heartless invading the city?

Why I think it should be a world in Kingdom Hearts III: Much like with Star Wars, people began to wish to see more Marvel properties in the Kingdom Hearts. But much like with Star Wars, it might never become a fruition till much later in the series' life, or never at all. Even if Disney owns these properties, it is a very complex affair that involves legal issues and ownership rights. Still, I think I would love to see a world based on the Avengers. If Disney could somehow make a Phineas and Ferb crossover with the Marvel heroes seem plausible and a decent one at that, I am sure Square Enix could create a world based on Marvel. Even better, the world doesn't have to be specific to the Marvel film as they could create the characters as they see fit and even create their own story that melds well with the Kingdom Hearts franchise.

And there you have it, my DREAM worlds for Kingdom Hearts III! Unlike the animated worlds I dreamed for, the live action worlds I picked have even less of a chance of appearing in the game for ethical and legal reasons. Still, I love to dream that one of these days I can see Sora changing Tony Stark's hand as they finish off a boss battle, or Sora witnesses Luke Skywalker do battle with Darth Vader. As the original tagline for the game said, you never know who you will run into. There may be a hint of these licensed in the game, but don't count on it.


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