Continuing on from my previous post in Kingdom Hearts: A History, we’ll be taking a look at Kingdom Hearts Final Mix. As a reissue of the original Kingdom Hearts, it was originally only available in Japan. However, Kingdom Hearts Final Mix has been given a worldwide release. Kingdom Hearts Final Mix is an interesting game, and involves a lot of classic Disney movies and characters. First, let’s talk about the world building of the game.
With Disney as the driving force behind the game, there’s much more of their elements within Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix than from Square Enix. A lot of the worlds you explore will be in-game originals or Disney originals. Undoubtedly, this is due to Final Fantasy having a bit more of a mature audience that wouldn’t mesh particularly well with a game that’s targeted to all ages. Despite that, you can expect to see cameos from characters from Final Fantasy games and even do battle with a few of them. Many of the characters from Final Fantasy have arrived to their respective locations after their own homes are taken over by darkness – which makes quite a bit of sense when you think about it.
The main feature of Kingdom Hearts is to travel via Gummi Ship to the different worlds in order to find Sora’s friends and King Mickey. Each of the worlds are rather small, so they’re not too difficult to explore, and many of them have their own little niche elements. For example, Wonderland allows you to change your body size to access different areas of the map. In the Deep Jungle, you need to swing on vines to get to different areas, and Agrabah requires you to jump around on the different buildings and explore the Cave of Wonders. However, these are elements I’ll mention more of in my piece about the worlds.
Overall, the worlds are separated so it will require a Gummi Ship to travel, and only those who have been affected by the darkness of the Heartless seem aware that there are other worlds.
Sora, Riku and Kairi were all living peacefully on Destiny Islands, hoping to travel the world on their raft. However, their plans changed when the Heartless attacked the island and it became shrouded in Darkness. This has happened to multiple other worlds, and King Mickey leaves to discover what exactly happened, and so he sends Donald and Goofy to Traverse Town to find the key. This will be where they find Sora, who has the keyblade. The keyblade can seal the darkness in the worlds, so Donald, Goofy, and Sora team up to travel the different worlds. However, they had different goals in mind, with Donald desperate to find King Mickey and Sora needing to find Riku and Kairi.
This is a fairly regular sort of tension in Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix. Each world allows you to discover a different aspect of the storyline, with Wonderland being the start of the disappearing Princesses of Heart. Deep Jungle is the beginning of Donald’s and Sora’s clashes regarding their goals. Traverse Town is where you discover that the Disney villains have teamed up and that a man named Ansem was researching the Heartless.
The Heartless are the main monsters you fight in the game, and there’s a large variety of them. They’ve invaded the different worlds and are controlled by Maleficent and the other Disney villains. Not only this, but Ansem takes advantage of the Heartless’ nature to take control of Kingdom Hearts. Maleficent is also seeking Kingdom Hearts, which is known as the heart of all worlds. Heartless are essentially the darkness in the hearts of people, and easilly controlled by the villains. As well as the Heartless, Maleficent has also been corrupting Riku by convincing him that Sora has replaced him and that by allying himself with her and her group, that he can save Kairi.
The mechanics of Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix are simple enough, with melee attacks and magic used in battle. Not only this, but there are summoning elements that you would find in Final Fantasy. However, instead of summoning the likes of Ifrit and Bahamut, you can summon other Disney characters such as Simba and Genie. Due to it being a game originally made in 2002, the graphics aren’t exactly the best when compared to modern games. Yet for their time, the graphics have held up considerably well.
The camera can be a bit awkward to control, especially in certain aspects as it all depends on the angle that you face. The battles are easy to figure out, and are made easier once you customise your party’s fighting habits to create the best conditions for you to fight. It even helps with ensuring they don’t waste potions and other healing and magical items when they aren’t needed.
I’d have to say that Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix isn’t a bad game, and the story isn’t too complicated in the first game. There are several side quests you can do, such as the tournaments in Olympus Coliseum. This makes for a good couple of fights and ways to gain EXP as well as upgrades for your keyblade. It’s held up quite well for the test of time, and there are some good optional bosses. However, it’s not perfect by any means.
Next time in Kingdom Hearts: A History, will be looking through the next installment in Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix – Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories.