A Tribute to the Kingdom Hearts Series

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It is strange thinking back on the series over 10 years ago. Kingdom Hearts is one of those rare games which combines a flurry of elements like magic, humor, cartoons, bravery, and obviously friendship. It’s a treasure which stands out among a sea of modern video games with very little soul left. The series doesn’t revolve around wars or famine or genocide or secret agents on covert missions with snipers and grenades. It revolves around a good story.

And I think the story of Kingdom Hearts will stand the test of time. I can remember first seeing the game on shelves in Christmas 2002 when it was released in North America. Also a fun reminder that the PlayStation 2 system was only released two years earlier, in the Autumn of 2000. There were tons of publishers releasing new titles and platformers – many of which have done exceptionally well.

But there was a lot of criticism for Kingdom Hearts. And I’ll admit I was one of the cynical people who didn’t try it out for a year or two. The whole concept seems foreign and ridiculous. Mixing Japanese RPG-style characters with Disney friends in an epic quest to stop the bad guys and save the universe etc etc…

Unfortunately the game’s description and background isn’t something that can be easily explained. The first game often takes people by surprise at how good it all turns out to be. Most have pre-conceived notions that the title is more for children or young teenagers, and it doesn’t pertain to other mature gamers. But it’s really about what you consider “mature”. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the game about standing up for what you believe is right. And protecting those you care about.

Lots of strong moral lessons which you can’t find in many games today. And for a game series which has been spanning a 10+ year continuous frontier, I have to give a lot of respect.

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Many of us can at least agree the Kingdom Hearts series should go down in history as a piece of our culture worth remembering. It represents a powerful era in technology and humanity. The merging of many cultures into a single project. Something that may have been released a little too ahead of its time. But I relish in the idea of watching the game’s legacy progress over the years and decades to follow.

I’d like to assume other fans will also keep this series in their minds over the years. It can be fun thinking back to simpler times with fond nostalgia. And it’s often true that these times have affected your personality and your ideologies in one way or another. So as a eulogy and retrospective for the series, to the Square-Enix team I say thank you.

The Kingdom Hearts series will forever be with me and many others, too. And it is my hope that passionate fans will keep the fire burning long enough so that we may not be forgotten.