Kingdom Hearts

aka: KH, Wangguo zhi Xin
Moby ID: 7341
See Also

Description official descriptions

Sora's world is shattered when a violent storm hits his home, and he is separated from his two closest friends. The storm scatters the three to unknown worlds. At the same time, there is turmoil in the Disney Castle. King Mickey is missing, and Court Wizard Donald and Captain Goofy are out to find him. On their travels they meet Sora, on his own search for his lost friends. The three are told of ominous creatures called Heartless, being without hearts derived from an unknown dimension and are the ones responsible for the devastating storm.

The Disney villains, enticed by the power of darkness, manipulate the Darkness to help them gather the princesses of heart, who are needed to open a mysterious final door. Upon discovering the link between the Heartless, the storm, and the disappearance of King Mickey, Sora, Donald, and Goofy join forces and help familiar Disney heroes to save their worlds from the Heartless.

In Kingdom Hearts players step into the very large shoes of Sora, wielder of the keyblade. Sora can attack with the blade, and as he levels up he will gain more attacks that are automatically chained together. Sora can learn magic and put healing items into a quick menu, and both can only be used in real time. Donald and Goofy (as well as an additional character exclusive to each world/disney movie) will follow Sora. Their equipment and AI can be adjusted, but they can not be directly controlled. Defeated enemies will drop many kinds of items including synthesis materials. Sora can take these to the Synthesis shop in Twilight Town to turn them into usable items, accessories, and weapons.

Traveling between each world requires Sora's party to fly through space in a Gummi Ship. The Gummi Ship can be completely customized, from speed and armor to weapons and shape, out of parts picked up from destroyed Gummi Ships, found in worlds, or bought from a store. Larger, more complex ships can be built as the game progresses, and plans can be found from destroyed enemies or from an NPC that will automatically build a Gummi Ship of specific specifications.


  • キングダムハーツ - Japanese spelling
  • 王国之心 - Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • 王國之心 - Chinese spelling (traditional)

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

555 People (485 developers, 70 thanks) · View all

Theme Song (Simple and Clean)
Cast (Japanese)
[ full credits ]



Average score: 84% (based on 40 ratings)


Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 140 ratings with 14 reviews)

Despite its first childish impression, this game is great - even for the most hard-core gamer!

The Good
First off, I'll start with the first blatant fact; Kingdom Hearts is for children, and makes a weak game for the "advanced" gamer, right? WRONG! This game is totally under-rated by some gamers who claim to be "hard-core", even those who haven't even played the game. Why? Some say it's "Too unreal", others say because of its "dreadful plot" or "it's just too easy". Well, it may be "unreal" slightly, but have we forgotten what fun actually is? It's not how far you've got doing something or bragging your progress - FUN is your own personal entertainment, and believe me when I say that I have had lots of fun playing this.

Many long-time gamers have slammed the game because of its simple plot, but after playing it, the plot is so unique in the way it is told and expressed that many of the gamers who have previously told bad rumors of the game to find it quite fun. But anyway, let's move away from what other people think - this is MY review, and my thoughts of the game which I will express (and the reason you're reading this now):

I'll start with the presentation and audio. Wow. Okay, immediately after pressing New Game, you're thrown into the action - but its not a sharp push into the game, instead, its a cool and funky way of getting you started. Most games just drop a tutorial on your head, and lift off from that point dead quick you're head is spinning. But this game is different, for example, the game is delivered with a funky-beat music video of things to come with really cool music. The graphics of this, and other scenes to come, is just great!

But instead of a do-this-then-that-then-whatever type of tutorial, where everything is boring because of the way it is so linear, Kingdom Hearts lets you roam in a lush colourful environment where you learn how to play the game by playing mini-games in any order you want, and for how many times you want. The first level in the prologue and the only learning curve, but it is the only one needed so don't sweat when you find that you're world has suddenly collapsed around you.

Another interesting thing worth noting is the Journal. This Journal records all major information of your quest, with pictures and back-tracking information which help should you forget where you're up to in the plot. Another quick thing I have to mention is the graphics. During movie scenes, they are simply great and are so too during gameplay. Tropical places are lush and colourful, whilst the latter dark places give a great atmosphere.

The battle mechanics are great fun to repeat in lots of battles and chances are that you'll never get tired of defeating so many enemies using so many combos and other attacks.

The Bad
Somewhat annoying was the camera. Whilst roaming a level or indulging with some puzzles, the camera is fine and out-of-mind. However, come battle time, the camera can become in the way of things and start to annoy you, especially when you've got low life points and are surrounded by deadly enemies.

A feature I've never even experienced like before was the "Gummi Ship". Without revealing what it is, or what it is for, I just want to say how slow-paced it is for something that is supposed to be action-packed. Luckily, this isn't a big part of the game and can be ignored as it only needs to be repeated just a few times.

The Bottom Line
Kingdom Hearts is simply a great game. It's graphics and lovely memorable intro cinematic are simply jems of this game, and it's worth playing. It's nice to know that there are two current sequels to this game, with one currently in production. The next game, thankfully, has everything in this game but greatly improved upon. Enjoy!

PlayStation 2 · by Reborn_Demon (127) · 2007

Squaresoft and Disney budgets combine for an excellent game

The Good
The game begins slow and light hearted, like pretty much any Squadsoft tale and most Disney Movies. Two boys and a girl (Sora, Riku, and Kairi respectively) on an island enjoy a life that is nice and quiet and safe but things go immediately downhill and Sora discovered he is the destined bearer of the Keyblade. After teaming up with Goofy and Donald Duck shortly after, you go on to meet a variety of characters from Final Fantasy and Disney. You travel from Disney world to Disney world and experience the tales that have been told through Disney cartoons as they are now that the Heartless have interfered in thier progression.

As could be expected after Final Fantasy X, the graphical presentation in this game is top-notch. Without resorting to cell shading, which can be very poorly implemented and distracting in some games, Kingdom Hearts manages to look and feel at times like an interactive cartoon. Even so, the worlds and characters are all very detailed and even the simplest characters are made up of enough polygons to make it difficult to find any jagged edges on anything unless they were designed to have them. Lets not forget the spectacular and attractive effects you see in pretty much every battle or cutscene that make the battles more engrossing.

The sound and music are also well done, which is no suprise with Square on the job. With the most of the PS2's resources going to the graphics of the game the music has had to remain synthesized instead of composed and recorded but the game doesn't really suffer for it. The voice acting is usually spectacular, featuring some big pop star names like Mandy More and Lance Bass in addition to the voices behind the Disney movie characters. Billy Zane does an excellent job as well, and is a welcome addition to any game he lends his voice to. There was only a single time where emphasis on different words meshed incorrectly, pointing to the fact that videogame voice acting tends to be recorded in isolation from other actors and without knowledge of how the other actors portrayed their characters. Less can be said of even excellent games like Final Fantasy X.

The Bad
There is not a lot to complain about in this game, unless you don't like 3rd-person adventure/RPG type games.

Initially I did not like the fact that Sora carries a weapon that is basically a big key. The overly "kiddie" weapon appearance was easily remedied early in the game when you get a "keychain" that upgrades your weapon. It actually LOOKS like a blade eventually!

The camera could sometimes have major problems in large heated battles. There has yet to be a perfect camera in any game like this though, so this can not really be held against the Square development team. There are so many variables involves in camera movements and enviroments, especially in those of Kingdom Hearts, a perfect camera may just be a pipe dream.

A personal gripe, though largely incosequential, is that the music in the optional Sephiroth battle should have been orchestrated. Once you've heard One Winged Angel in it's live and orchestrated form you never want to go back.

The Bottom Line
This game is a fun adventure for all ages. Depending on what character development choices you make early in the game, it may be too difficult for very young players. For advanced players that desire a challenge you can set the difficulty to "Expert" for a real challenge.

If you don't like adventure games but wish to just collect Final-Fantasy or Disney related games then you will definately want this one!

PlayStation 2 · by Weston Wedding (61) · 2003

It's all about the adventure!

The Good
Visiting Disney Worlds and interacting with the characters who live there is very entertaining.

The real-time combat is a lot of fun and often very challenging.

Visuals are nice and colorful. Enough variation to keep you interested.

The bits of Final Fantasy spread throughout the game are fun to keep an eye out for.

Lots of exploration to be done and secrets to be found.

The Bad
The exposition and overarching story can be embarrassingly poor at times.

Flying to each level is very repetitive and dull.

I recommend grinding as much as you can, or else you will get really stuck on some parts.

The pacing could really have been better.

The Bottom Line
In Kingdom Hearts the player takes on the role of Sora, a young boy who spends his days playing on an island with his friends Riku and Kairi. They do typical kid stuff, like play-fighting and racing, but their true wish is to build a raft and explore what lies beyond the horizon. This wish is partly granted when the island is attacked by shadows and Sora is teleported to a city he has never seen. As it turns out, an evil force known as "The Heartless" has been invading worlds and making them vanish, just like what happened to Sora's island. Furthermore, a mystical weapon known as the "The keyblade" has chosen Sora as its master and thus he teams up with Donald and Goofy to try and stop the world-vanishing shenanigans of The Heartless and their masters.

As everybody probably knows by know, these worlds are all themed after famous Disney movies, with the exclusion of some later stages and Traverse Town, which serves as a shopping district. These worlds are the game's biggest selling points, as they have the player meddle in the affairs of well-known Disney characters and thus become part of their stories. It's very entertaining to do stuff like training with Hercules or proving Alice's innocence before the unfair rule of the Queen of Hearts. The progression of each stage is also designed to give the game an adventurous and varied feel, often relying on having the player explore areas in order to progress.

There is an overarching plot where famous Disney villains, acting in service of Maleficant, are trying to capture the princesses. This may seem like juvenile villainy, but instead of locking them up in a tower, they wish to use their hearths to open a way into a vaguely explained paradise that is said to grant wishes. This overall plot is alright for the most part, but it gets very cheesy in later stages, when words like "heart(s)" and "destiny" become more common than commas. Most people also played this game at a young age and, like me at the time, didn't really give two fucks about all that shit. Since this game is a cross-over between Disney and Squaresoft, I naturally expected some Final Fantasy influences, but please keep that stuff limited to side-plots, will ya?

Gameplay is also somewhat of a mixed bag. It's really fun and challenging when you're fighting bosses, but when casually exploring levels or grinding, you start to notice how unpolished it is. Sora can attack enemies with his keyblade by hammering the X-button, but the trick is that, in true Final Fantasy fashion, you have to select your spells, items and abilities from a menu. Since the game is real-time, this means that you have to stop attacking in order to navigate the menu via the arrows or right analog stick. If the right analog stick has to serve menu-duty, then that means camera controls are bound to the shoulder-buttons, leaving you at the mercy of an auto-target function with a serious grudge against crates and barrels.

That's not even the worst part; the AI for Goofy and Donald is very poor and usually only serves to get in the way. I've lost count of how many times Donald wasted all his mana casting the useless Gravira spell on every enemy on the field, or how often Goofy would die by pursuing a single flying enemy while ground-based Heartless pummeled him mercilessly. Even when taking matters in my own hand, I often noticed the two would cheekily knock an enemy out of my combo or block my view while playing charades with the White Mushroom enemy.

Furthermore, enemies are usually designed to be as obnoxious as possible. One very common trick a lot of them pull is vanishing whenever they want and reappearing somewhere else. This often comes with a brief moment of invincibility, which often caused me to swing at the air before taking an undodgable hit right into the face. Other filthy tricks include jumping around, flying too high for me to see or constantly creating distance while preparing charge-attacks. It's a shame, because the visual design on enemies is very creative and varied, with lots of cute creatures to face off against.

Visual design as a whole is a very strong point. The graphics look nice, characters are modeled very well, there is plenty of color and the level-design is, once again, very good. The music also brilliantly matches the style and feel of each world and it always changes into something more exciting when combat starts, which is a nice inclusion. Facial animations on side-characters is, perhaps, the only visual flaw I could point out.

Of all the Kingdom Hearts games out there nowadays, I think this one would be the best to start and stick with. It's the only title in the now long-running franchise which actually succeeded in marrying the two cooperating studios in a happy marriage, whereas later entries would reveal the dominating nature of Square (Enix). The story may sometimes be cheesy and the gameplay is not very refined, but fans of Disney will love it and the exploration-heavy stages are going to make a lot of veteran gamers very happy.

PlayStation 2 · by Asinine (957) · 2013

[ View all 14 player reviews ]


1001 Video Games

Kingdom Hearts appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


Aside from Disney characters that are not surprise to encounter, you will also encounter several other characters from SquareSoft other games, such as Squall (main protagonist from Final Fantasy VIII), Selphie (a party character from Final Fantasy VIII), Tidus (main protagonist from Final Fantasy X), Wakka (party character from Final Fantasy X), Aerith (from Final Fantasy VII), Cloud (main protagonist of Final Fantasy VII), Sephiroth (nemesis in Final Fantasy VII), and other.


The secret boss Kurt Zisa in the US version is named after the winner of a contest held by Squaresoft to promote the game.

Theme song

The theme song, Simple and Clean (English) and Hikari meaning "light" (Japanese version), is written and performed by Japan's pop artist Utada Hikaru. After the release of the game's original Japanese version, Hikari was released separately and, according to IGN, sold about 860.000 copies.


  • GameSpy
    • 2002 – Best Use of License of the Year (PS2)

Information also contributed by monkeyislandgirl and Sciere

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 7341


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by vism.

Additional contributors: MAT, Unicorn Lynx, Apogee IV, Guy Chapman, monkeyislandgirl, Solid Flamingo, DreinIX, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added October 2nd, 2002. Last modified November 27th, 2023.