Video Game / Kingdom Hearts I

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It's hard to let it go...note 

"You never know who you'll run into next."

Kingdom Hearts is the first game in the Kingdom Hearts series, which merges characters from Disney and Square Enix properties along with a slew of original characters.

The story kicks off with three teenage friends: Sora, Riku, and Kairi. They live in the Destiny Isles, but seeking adventure, the trio plans on building a raft and setting sail into the unknown. But then a shadowy storm engulfs the islands and separates Sora from his friends. He soon learns that the worlds beyond his home (almost all of which are versions of the lands different Disney animated films are set in) are far larger and stranger than he ever imagined, and the same darkness that separated the trio is threatening them all. However, it turns out he now has the (very literal) key to stopping it...

The game got 2 Updated Rereleases. The first, called Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix, was released in Japan only late in 2002. It uses the English dub with Japanese subtitles and text, adds the Regional Bonuses given to the North American version, and contains a slew of bonus content: A new difficulty (Proud Mode), weapons, items, abilities, cutscenes, Bonus Boss, and a new secret ending. The second, an HD version of the Final Mix version, came with the Compilation Re-release Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD ReMIX released worldwide in 2013. Outside of the graphical upgrade, it has PlayStation 3 Trophy support, some slight gameplay tweaks such as assigning the camera controls to the second analogue stick, two new abilities (EXP Zero and Combo Master) and an orchestrated soundtrack.

A manga adaptation by Shiro Amano was released not long after the game. It has been translated into English twice; first by Tokyopop, then again with a new translation in 2013 by Yen Press.

This game contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Zigzagged for Cinderella. A picture of her shown at the beginning depicts her as a brunette, but when she shows up in person it's blonde like she's normally portrayed.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Unlike the rest of the Disney villains, Clayton is treated like just another victim of The Heartless rather as a megalomaniac psychopath, whose heart was lost when he'd a moment of weakness and became an emotionless puppet for them to use. After his death, the party expresses pity for him, with Tarzan saying that Clayton was a lonely, bitter and friendless man, and so an easy target for the Heartless.
  • A.I. Breaker: Possessed Riku is one of the game's toughest bosses, but it's possible to lock him in a loop preventing him from ever using his Dark Aura move.
  • Alien Geometries: The Bizarre Room.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: The first game is where the World Terminus type comes from.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • According to one of the series' Ultimania books, King Mickey is the voice that guides Sora in the Dive to the Heart at the beginning of the game.
    • The original manual from the English version of the game is the only source that gives Sora, Riku, and Kairi's ages.
  • Always Night: Traverse Town, Neverland, and Halloween Town all take place perpetually at night. In fact, the only level with any real form of the passage of time is Agrabah, in which some areas are daylight, and others are night, due to the amount of time it takes to travel between the two (which is thankfully skipped with a brief cutscene). Olympus Coliseum also sometimes switches to night for some battles, with the implication being that the tournaments take place over several days, as opposed to the twenty minutes or so the player spends on them.
  • Anachronic Order: Ansem's Report is collected page by page, and you never get the pages in consecutive order. For most of the game, you only find odd-numbered pages, but they do give you a fair understanding of what Ansem was doing before he went missing. Later on, you get all the even-numbered pages at once (note ), and they change the meaning of the rest of the report completely.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Subverted. Though Sora turns into a Heartless near the end of the game, he turns back shortly after thanks to The Power of Love.
  • And This Is For...: During the Olympus Coliseum levels, Donald will occasionally shout "For Daisy!" after a victory.
  • Apocalypse How: Class X-2. Although it's downplayed quite a bit (possibly due to the age of the primary target audience), the universe in which the games are set is essentially being ripped apart at the seams; by the beginning of the first game, many worlds (and their presumably billions of inhabitants) have been completely obliterated, and the remaining ones are in danger of suffering the same fate. Traverse Town, the main city in the game, is essentially an interdimensional refugee camp for the few survivors, and even it is in danger of falling, being subject to a sizable attack not long after the player arrives.
  • Badass Boast: Several when Sora's about to face off against villains; one notable example has Maleficent screeching, "You poor, simple fools! You think you can defeat me? Me, the mistress of ALL EVIL?!"
  • Badass Normal: Captain Hook. Consider it this way. By this point in the game, Sora has punched out very powerful Heartless, a god-like genie, god-like entities in general, villains the size of small buildings, etc. You have an insane aerial advantage over Hook as well. Also, he's not overflowing with the power of darkness either (at least compared to other villains) and lacks real magic. Yet somehow, he still manages to put up a good, solid fight and doesn't die. It's not an isolated incident either. Captain Hook is tough to beat in both Chain of Memories and Birth by Sleep as well.
  • Badass Princess: Ariel may not be a Princess of Heart but she gets to be an action party member (and quite useful too).
  • Barrier Change Boss: The Phantom Heartless boss (an optional fight unless you want the Stopga spell and reopened access to Neverland's Clock Tower; it's unleashed after defeating the fourth boss of Hollow Bastion) can only be damage by hitting it with specific magic when its orb is glowing with the corresponding colors. Red means its weak to Fire, blue is Blizzard, yellow is Thunder, and white means you should hit it with physical attacks.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: Upon arriving in Traverse Town, Sora is confronted by Leon. Either Leon wins (and beats Sora unconscious) or loses (and Sora passes out from the effort). The only difference is that if Sora "wins", he gains experience from the fight and receives a Elixir from Aerith after the battle with the Guard Armor.
  • Battleship Raid: The World of Chaos, the Final Boss.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Maleficent and Ansem.
  • Big Good:
    • Ansem is portrayed as this; he's been researching the Heartless for a long time and presumably has the most knowledge about them. Other characters say he'll help you defeat the Heartless, but he's gone missing, so you need to find him. However, this is completely turned on its head once you get to Hollow Bastion and find out that he turned himself into a Heartless and has been commanding the Heartless from behind the scenes. However, the trope is Double Subverted, due to details revealed in the sequel.
    • Mickey, to a lesser extent. He sets much of the plot in motion by sending Donald and Goofy to find Sora, and only appears to help out right at the last minute, instantly vaporizing two Darksides with a second Keyblade.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Sora defeats Ansem, saves Riku from the darkness, and teams up with King Mickey to stop the destruction of all worlds. However, he is separated from Riku and Kairi (the people he spent the entire game trying to save) in the process, and is now left in an unknown world without a clear direction of where he needs to go. In addition, Riku and King Mickey are stuck in the realm of darkness until they can find a way out.
  • Black Cloak:
    • The creepy figure in a brown cloak Sora encounters shortly before the islands are attacked. He's actually the disembodied Ansem.
    • The Phantom is effectively a Heartless Dementor - it may be the only Heartless not to have Supernatural Gold Eyes visible anywhere.
    • In Final Mix, the Unknown / Xemnas shows up in his Organization cloak.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • Sephiroth, Phantom, Kurt Zisa, Ice Titan, and Xemnas, with the last only appearing in Final Mix.
    • Hades and Hercules apply as well, since fighting them isn't a requirement for anything other than 100% Completion.
    • Similarly, either Atlantica or Halloween Town can be a Bonus World, as you can choose one or the other and immediately go to Neverland, and from there, beat the game, without ever visiting the world you did not choose. The novel adaptation took it Up to Eleven and skipped them both.
    • While you can't avoid Monstro, you don't actually have to complete the level either, you can just move on to a new world after landing there, due to their being no keyhole in Monstro for obvious reasons.
  • Bookends:
    • The field and battle themes of the final level, End of the World, reprise the music from the Dive to the Heart at the very beginning of the game.
    • A less noticable one, but the first villain for the conspiracy that is encountered, Jafar, and the last one opened up for a fight, Hades, are both from films directed by John Musker and Ron Clements (Aladdin and Hercules, respectively.)
  • Bookcase Passage: The Library at Hollow Bastion.
  • Boring Yet Practical: The Leaf Bracer ability in Final Mix/1.5, which does nothing except keep you from taking damage as you cast Cure/ra/ga. You will want this active during basically every boss battle.
  • Boss Bonanza: Hollow Bastion has you fighting 4 incredibly tough bosses. First you fight Riku after regaining the Keyblade. Then after you reach the Castle Chapel, Maleficent comes in to stop you from reaching the princesses, and immediately afterwards, she gets turned into a dragon by Riku, and after defeating her, you must fight an incredibly powered up version of Riku when you get into the Grand Hall.
  • Boss Corridor: Several bosses in the game have a small hall or cave prior to their rooms, but the definitive version is in Hollow Bastion after you kill Dragon Maleficent. After returning to the room prior to the Dragon Maleficent boss fight, which was where you fought non-Dragon Maleficent and where the Disney Villain meetings took place in prior cutscenes, a wall shatters, and it leads to the Grand Hall, where the Princesses of Heart are sealed. This is a Point Of No Return; crossing the hall takes you into the second Riku battle, only he's now possessed by Ansem, and starts the beginning of the endgame that takes a read step up in difficulty.
  • Breather Episode: The 100 Acre Wood; this level involves zero fighting, and essentially has Sora take Christopher Robin's place as the human friend of Winnie The Pooh and friends. This level can be accessed right before heading for Hollow Bastion.
  • Breath Weapon: Cerberus, Giant Ursula, Dragon Maleficent, and Chernabog.
  • Bridal Carry: In Neverland, Riku carries Kairi, who has lost her heart.
  • Butt Monkey: Captain Hook is this during the end of Neverland. After you make his life a living hell (see Video Game Cruelty Potential) he lands in the water and runs away since the crocodile's after him.
  • Call Back: Everything about the Ultima Weapon Keyblade. At its center is the Dream Sword from the very beginning of the game, it's covered in golden coral filigree that brings Destiny Islands to mind, its teeth are, like the Kingdom Key, a replica of Sora's necklace, and its keychain is a gilded heart connected to the Keyblade by glimmering thread.
  • Camera Screw:
    • One of the main criticisms of the game. Combined with very small combat environments, this can lead to a great deal of frustration.
    • Luckily, in the Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix re-release, the camera is mapped to the right analog stick to help with this. But even so, if you happen to have to go into a corner to platform jump the camera will get stuck and you will still have to make a blind jump.
  • Changing Gameplay Priorities: The big change comes when you learn Cure magic. The game can be easily divided into "pre-Cure" and "post-Cure" sections. Healing magic is so overpoweringly useful that it single-handedly makes Magic Points the most important stat in the game. Even more so in Final Mix, which adds the Leaf Bracer ability, allowing Cure to be used as a form of temporary invulnerability.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • When Leon picks up the Keyblade, it appears back in Sora's hand. Later, Sora uses this technique to snatch the Keyblade away from Riku. Also, the fact that Riku was able to take the Keyblade from Sora in the first place without it automatically moving back to Sora's hand.
    • Additionally, the locations for the Keyholes in many of the worlds are inside conspicuous-yet-innocuous looking objects.
  • The Chessmaster: Ansem, or Xehanort's Heartless.
  • Chest Monster:
    • In Wonderland, you will find the Mad Hatter's Tea Garden and can sit down in one of seven chairs to receive unbirthday presents. Most of them will give Sora, Donald and Goofy HP/MP balls and a few other gifts, but two chairs, which are Alice's chair note  and one of the middle chairs on one side of the table, will make a Heartless unbirthday cake appear, explode, and fill the garden with enemies and wipe out the table; you will need to destroy the enemies to leave and then come back to restore the table. The chairs can only be used once each, so you can fight two sets of Heartless and get other items, but then the room will no longer have a purpose.
    • You'll also find chest monsters in the final dungeon, the End of the World. Opening some of the chests in the first area will cause a large dark ball of energy to shoot out of the chest and take you to an arena where you have to fight off Invisibles, Darkballs, and Angel Wings. One of these chests also has a Behemoth boss in it, too.
  • Climax Boss: The possessed-Riku fight occurs at the end of the penultimate dungeon and is accompanied by multiple dramatic reveals.
  • Clipped Wing Angel: Guard Armor and Maleficent are the only bosses with multiple consecutive forms to escape this. Jafar, Oogie Boogie and Ansem all follow their original forms with much less dangerous second forms, while Ursula is either this or One-Winged Angel depending purely on your equipment setup. Oogie's Manor is the worst offender, as rather than listing his blind spots it's easier to note the few places to stand where he can hit you with his attacks, and you can even just walk away from the fight and come back healed up if you're somehow having trouble.
  • Cognizant Limbs: The Guard Armor. Also a case of Floating Limbs - they can even be fought separately in tournament matches.
  • Colossus Climb: The boss fight against Oogie's Manor requires Sora to climb the giant and destroy dark blobs found all over his body. You can also climb other enemies like Darkside or the Rock Titan, but he's by far the biggest.
  • Combination Attack: Trinity Limit has Sora, Donald, and Goofy combining their powers to deal large amount of damage.
  • Cooldown Hug: Kairi to Sora to bring him out of his Heartless form.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss:
    • What few attacks the Rock Titan has are easy to avoid, and the fact that he's the last Hades Cup fight (after more challenging ones like Hades himself) just makes it weird. His only purpose seems to be to eat away as much time in the Hades Cup Time Trial as possible.
    • Sephiroth has, essentially, one more HP meter than Scan shows. Deplete that, and then the purple meter will start going down. But the problem lies in managing to hit him with your Keyblade to begin with...
  • Damsel in Distress: Alice and all the Disney princesses — as well as Wendy, Jane and Terk. Kairi's situation plays with this trope in that her body was comatose for most of the game (so it wasn't really her fault that she couldn't escape or fight back on her own) and her heart was safe within Sora's the whole time.
  • Death Glare: Clayton finds himself on the receiving end of a triple glare from Sora, Jane and Tarzan after he tried to shoot Terk in the treehouse.
  • Deflector Shields: The Aero spell and its upgrades. Capable of deflecting the Ice Titan's small shards without blocking, reducing all damage taken by half, and when upgraded to -ra or -ga, they shred enemy health like nothing else if you choose to stand right next to them and let the wind cut them to ribbons.
  • Degraded Boss: The Behemoth, the "boss" of the second Hollow Bastion visit and the last boss encountered in the world, shows up again in the Hades Cup and at the End of the World as little more than a Giant Mook. The tournaments do this to a few other bosses as well.
  • Determinator: Beast, who survived the destruction of his world and got to Hollow Bastion to save Belle without the help of a Gummi Ship through sheer force of will alone. And he will not let a spoiled brat, a crazy witch, and some actual ugly freaks of nature stop him once he's there.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Certain cutscenes will play out differently if you sequence break. If you complete Deep Jungle before sealing Wonderland's Keyhole, Snow White will take Alice's place in the following cutscene. If you take so much time before beating Cerberus that you've already beaten Maleficent, she won't be in the following cutscene with Hades. Similarly, if you complete Hollow Bastion before Monstro, Riku won't help you in the fight against Parasite Cage or converse much with Sora due to being possessed by Ansem.
    • If you beat Hollow Bastion and then return to other worlds whose bosses you haven't beaten yet, they will actually be stronger.
  • Difficulty Spike: Once you complete the fourth boss fight in Hollow Bastion, Heartless everywhere get a strength boost thanks to their access to the Final Keyhole.
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: Hollow Bastion. Let's review: it's the place where all the Disney Villains have been meeting, Riku and Kairi are there, and it's said to be where the Heartless originate from. This is lampshaded in one of Nomura's interviews, where he asserts that a lesser game would've actually ended with Hollow Bastion and the Maleficent battle.
    • In terms of actual game length, it would probably be Monstro, coming right in the middle of the game and signaling a big difficulty spike, as well as the part when the game starts to drop its sillier aspects and takes on a more serious tone since that's when Sora discovers that Riku is now working for Maleficent (something that is confirmed when Captain Hook and Riku capture him upon the player reaching Neverland.
  • Disney Death: Sora, if being turned into a Heartless counts as death. In any case, it should at least constitute Loss of Identity, which it doesn't in Sora's case.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Donald can be pretty bad about this.
  • Doomed Hometown: Destiny Islands and Hollow Bastion. They get better.
  • Double Weapon: The Final Boss uses a polearm with a copy of Riku's Soul Eater on either end.
  • Dream Intro: The game starts off in a dream to help the player design his character, to give Sora a Psychic Dream, and to establish the bizarre nature of the plot.
  • Dual Boss: Leon and Yuffie in the Pegasus Cup, followed by Leon and Cloud in the Hades Cup. You also get to fight Tidus, Wakka, and Selphie all at once at the start of the game if you take the time to beat them all.
  • Duel Boss: Hercules, the Ice Titan, Sephiroth, Riku once he's been possessed, and three stages of the final boss sequence (four if you count Darkside's last appearance).
  • Easing into the Adventure: Destiny Islands.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: If you're playing the Final Mix/1.5 Remix version, Xemnas. This doubles as a very early Final Boss Preview, for an installment two games after this one.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • This is the only Kingdom Hearts game to not feature a Mundane Made Awesome-esque chest opening animation whenever Sora opens big chests.
    • The Scan ability has to be unlocked; it is one of the starting abilities in later games. Also, the HP bars are displayed as five overlapping bars, each with a different colour, with some later bosses having more HP than those five bars.
    • The Trinities that show up in this game never return.
    • There is more of a focus on environmental interaction for small bonuses in this game compared to others (see Scenery Porn).
  • Eldritch Location: When the final dungeon is called 'End of the World'...
  • Empty Shell: Kairi, who is comatose for much of the game. She technically still has her soul inside her, but in the KH-verse the essence of a person is their heart, and Kairi's is within Sora's.
  • Evil All Along: Ansem...until the sequel reveals there's more to it..
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Riku gets warned about this more or less constantly, by Sora and even by Maleficent of all people. He should have listened. Jack Skellington gets a fairly harmless version, wanting to use the local Heartless for dancing. The Disney villains are all surprisingly good about avoiding this trope: several are hoist by their own petards in other ways, but Clayton and Oogie Boogie are the only ones to succumb to darkness and become a Heartless.
  • Evil Makeover: Riku.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: Maleficent in dragon form.
  • Evil Sorcerer:
    • Xehanort's Heartless.
    • Xemnas in Final Mix.
    • Maleficent and Jafar, just like in their movies.
  • Exclusive Enemy Equipment: The Wizard and Defender Heartless drop weapons for Donald and Goofy. Final Mix adds two new Keyblades, (Diamond Dust and One-Winged Angel), gained by beating the Ice Titan and Sephiroth.
  • Exploding Barrels: Barrel Spiders.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Also That One Boss for many people.
  • Foreshadowing: Quite a bit.
    • Throughout the game, Sora hallucinates that Kairi is with him in various places, but only he seems to be able to see and hear her. That's because her heart is in his own heart, so he hasn't been hallucinating after all.
    • Sora also finds a slide in Deep Jungle showing a castle to look "familiar" to him, but he can't understand why since he's never been off his islands. It turns out to be Kairi remembering her old home of Hollow Bastion from within Sora's heart, which affects Sora.
    • Triton tells Sora that the Keyblade is a weapon that brings destruction - and given that, in Birth By Sleep, the Keyblade War was revealed to nearly be the catalyst for the destruction of the universe, he's got a point.
    • When Sora reunites with Riku, Riku briefly takes Sora's Keyblade from him before willingly tossing it back, unlike how it disappeared from Leon's grip. This is a subtle hint that Riku was meant to use the Keyblade to begin with.
    • Unintentional at the time, but notice how the straps on Riku's chest form an "X", and how he gets possessed by Ansem, an incarnation of Xehanort. In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Sora has a similar "X" on his chest, and Master Xehanort attempts to pull a similar trick with him. This is because the "X" is a Recusant's Sigil, which allows Xehanort to track whoever is marked with it; in both cases, Xehanort was tracking the hero to use as a potential vessel.
    • Ansem's speech before the first battle with him notes how Riku is simply an adventurous boy who dreams of getting off of his island to explore other worlds. Birth By Sleep and Dream Drop Distance both show that he had these very ambitions as a child, and that he lived on the very same island.
    • Pretty much everything to do with Xemnas/Unknown, from him calling Sora incomplete and claiming that he looks like "him", to the Ansem Report the player gets after the battle discussing what happens to a person's body after their heart is taken by the Heartless. Bonus points for said Ansem Report actually giving the Nobodies their name.
  • Four Is Death: There are five separate boss fights in Hollow Bastion: (Unpossessed Riku, Maleficent, Maleficent in dragon form, possessed Riku, and the first Behemoth of the game, in that order), and after defeating the fourth boss fight, cutscenes start that include the Final Keyhole being opened, Kairi recovering, Sora suffering his Disney Death, and then the player is put back in Traverse Town; when they next access the world map, they'll discover that the enemies in all previous levels have gotten stronger, plus it unleashed two of the bonus bosses into the game, one of whom seals off the Clock Tower in Neverland until you can get rid of it (easier said than done).
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • Trying to skip the cutscene just before the minigame with Tigger in Rabbit's garden will freeze the game, requiring a restart.
    • The I.5 Final ReMIX version of the game can crash just by transitioning between rooms, though this isn't common.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Donald and Goofy will not call Sora's name in the battle before they are officially introduced. On the other hand, this trope is zigzagged as Sora will still call out their name if he uses an item to heal them.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: At the beginning of the game, Donald wakes up Goofy with a Thunder spell. In the actual game, Donald (and Sora) wouldn't be able to access the Thunder spell until after doing the pre-liminary trials at Olympus Coliseum. This can't even be explained with Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Genre Blindness: Nearly every villain in the game, including Ansem, who honestly thought darkness was the source of all life in a Disney story.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Stop flying around the room, Jafar / Iago!
  • Giant Mook: Large Bodies, Fat Bandits, and Aquatanks.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere:
    • Chernabog. He was originally intended to be the final boss, but due to system limitations and storyboard development, he was shafted. He was still too awesome to leave out, so he got an out-of-the-blue boss fight in the End of the World.
    • There is exactly one, very obscure hint in Traverse Town in the form of a picture reading "A Night on Bald Mountain". Anybody who has not seen Fantasia will likely not understand this reference.
  • Good Morning, Crono: After Sora's trippy vision and the first boss fight, he wakes up on the beach with Kairi looking down at him.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Sora, just as he turns the Keyblade of heart on himself to free Kairi's heart. He gets better.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The Dalmatians and Princesses of Heart.
  • Gratuitous Italian: The titles of a few pieces on the soundtrack, as well as the vocals from "Destati" and its derivatives. This started a series-wide trend, especially in boss battles related to Xehanort.
  • Gravity Screw: Wonderland's Bizarre Room is a partial example. There are several different doors to it hidden throughout the level, and where the "floor" is for the trio depends on which door you use.
  • Grind Boots: Tarzan, as in the film. Sora apes him during the Jungle Slider minigame. Not only can you do this along trees, but through a cave.
  • Guide Dang It: Finding the 101 Dalmatians. Sure, you might stumble upon a couple of these chests by accident, but finding them all? Jiminy's journal tells you how many chests remain unopened in each world, but that still leaves room for a lot of hands-on searching.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: It doesn't matter if you win or lose the battle with Leon at the start of the game, things proceed the same way regardless. All that changes is you get a nice exp bonus for winning, and the following cutscene changes. But, either Leon wins and knocks Sora out, or Sora wins and faints from exhaustion while Leon walks it off.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Sora's suicide, to save Kairi. It turns out he's not quite dead a few minutes later, though... he's just became a cuddly, adorable, little Heartless.
  • Homosocial Heterosexuality: Sora, Riku and Kairi's situation, since Kairi spends a lot of the game comatose. While Sora and Riku genuinely care about Kairi, on at least one level they see her as something else to compete over. Sora is the first to let go of this mindset, while Riku is so wrapped up in being number one that he can't abide Sora being The Chosen One or her rescuer.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: There are three identical NPCs in Traverse town which are easily recognizable by their blue shirts and symmetrical hair styles. One becomes a Heartless during a cutscene, one stands outside the gate to the Third District and the third takes (who even lampshades it) over the accessory shop after Cid starts selling Gummi Blocks. A fourth is one of two NPCs that appear in Agrabah after you seal the Keyhole there. He has a white shirt and darker hair. The other NPC looks a lot like Wakka, but not exactly.
  • Infant Immortality: Zig-zagged. Sora ends up in Traverse Town, but Tidus, Wakka, and Selphie were (presumably) killed in the destruction of the Destiny Islands. They get better in the end.
  • Infinity–1 Sword: Two for each character, one boosting physical power at the cost of magic, and the other boosting magic at the cost of physical damage.
    • For Sora, it's Oathkeeper on the magical side, and Oblivion on the physical side.
    • For Donald, it's the Violetta on the physical side and the Dream Rod on the magical side.
    • For Goofy, it's the Herc's Shield on the physical side, and the Dream Shield on the magical side.
    • Divine Rose in the Final Mix version. It is on the physical side, and is even stronger then Oblivion, but has a shorter range of attack.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: Ultima Weapon for Sora, which combines the strengths of the two Infinity–1 Swords but loses its critical hit rate. But the boost in power makes up greatly for it. Save the King/Queen for Donald and Goofy, which do the same for their I-1 weapons as well. All three are homages to recurring Final Fantasy weapons.
  • Inn Between the Worlds: Traverse Town, although it's unclear if the game exists in a Multiverse or a single universe with the worlds protected from each other.
    • According to Birth By Sleep, they're in the same universe but the worlds are separate from each other.
  • Inverted Portrait: Sora briefly in the OP, though not entirely upside down.
  • Invisible Parents: For everyone on Destiny Islands, though you do hear Sora's mom's voice exactly once.
  • It's All Upstairs from Here: Hollow Bastion.
  • It Was with You All Along: Kairi's heart was within Sora the entire time post-Destiny Islands' destruction.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: As Riku seals himself behind the door, his parting words to Sora are: "Take care of [Kairi]." With that, he concedes Kairi chose Sora over him.
  • Jungle Japes: Deep Jungle.
  • Just Following Orders: After you defeat Lock, Shock and Barrel, Barrel whines as their defeat quote that they were "just following orders." (Oogie Boogie's orders.) He says it again if you talk to him after the battle.
  • Knight, Knave and Squire: The cheerful and idealistic Goofy is the knight, the more abrasive and goal-oriented Donald is the knave, and the young, inexperienced Sora is the squire.
  • La Résistance: Leon's gang. They actively protect Traverse Town from Maleficent and the Heartless as they try to find the Keyblade master so that they can reconquer Hollow Bastion and finish the Heartless off for good.
  • Legendary Weapon: The Keyblade.
  • Like a Son to Me: Maleficent claims this is how she sees Riku at one point. Riku still has enough self-awareness to be very sceptical.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Sora and Donald behave a bit like this in the Deep Jungle world when Sora and Donald get into a fight over looking for Riku and Kairi in Deep Jungle. They even gave each other a bit of silent treatment and turn their backs against each other when they regroup. They get distracted from more bickering through helping Tarzan and Jane Porter stop Clayton from hunting and killing gorillas and they got Sora and Donald to reconcile and become friends again.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Final Mix, which got included in the 1.5 ReMix.
  • Lip Lock: The game showed off a very thorough facial animation system for a large chunk of its cutscenes, but most of the time the characters' faces are locked into a static looping texture with no regard for lip synch.
  • Lost Forever: There is a Trinity at the base of Oogie's Manor in Halloween Town that cannot be accessed once the manor is destroyed, making 100% Completion impossible if you miss it. This is fixed in the Final Mix version, where it's moved to another location.
  • Love Triangle: There is an implied one between Sora, Kairi, and Riku, but it doesn't come back into play in future installments.
  • Low Level Run: The HD Remix gives you the EXP Zero ability on Proud Mode that lets you do this.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Maleficent, Ursula, and Ansem.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Riku was somewhat guilty of this at the start of the game: calling the darkness that destroyed his world was a deliberate choice, but the destruction of the world itself was unintentional on his part.
  • Mind Screw: The opening.
  • Missed the Call: Riku, by being so eager to rush into adventure that he jumped too soon, and at the wrong opportunity.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Within Monstro, Jiminy is panicking over the fact that Pinocchio seems to have lost his heart, and this happens:
      Pinocchio: Jiminy... I'm not gonna make it...
      [nose grows an inch]
      Pinocchio: Oh... I guess I'm okay!
    • If you're playing Hollow Bastion, there's a very good chance you've just recently done the Hercules Cup in the Coliseum, where Sora tells Phil, "Now I know what you mean by true strength of heart. Mine comes from Donald and Goofy." Now contrast that with where you are when they've just left Sora with the Beast as they go follow Riku. And then again when they realize they messed up and protect Sora. "All for one and one for all!"
  • Morton's Fork: Riku gets into one of these while trying to gather the Seven Princesses of Heart's hearts in order to rescue Kairi's heart, at Maleficent's recommendation. The problem: Kairi is a Princess of Heart, meaning that, if he even could gather all seven hearts, he wouldn't need to. It's implied that Maleficent knew this, and was simply using him to gather the other Princesses.
  • Nemesis Weapon: Sora's Kingdom Key contrasts with the Keyblade of People Hearts wielded by Riku while under Ansem's control, which Sora later uses to free Kairi's heart form his own. Sora's Keybalde has the power to unlock doors and seal the wrolds to protect them from the darkness, Riku's has the power to remove a heart form a person, creating a Heartless.
  • Nerf Arm: In Hollow Bastion, your Keyblade is taken away from you, and you're given the toy sword from Destiny Islands, severely decreasing your strength. Made even more noticeable in Final Mix when you can't even HIT the Heartless, as the wooden sword does not affect them, just like on the Destiny Islands before you get the Keyblade. You can still use Magic to harm them, or sic Beast on them though.
  • Nerf: The Final Mix version of the game made it much harder to forge the Ultima Weapon than in the original, requiring specific material that comes in limited supply that you'll likely have to forge yourself ala' Mythril in Kingdom Hearts II, unlike in the original where not only was everything needed to forge it droppable in supply, but four of the five ingredients could be acquired before even stepping foot in Hollow Bastion.
  • No Cure for Evil: Averted - Green Requiems can't hurt you, but they will annoy you by healing all the damage that you do. Similarly, when you fight him, Clayton will regularly heal himself. Oogie-Boogie will as well, though his relies on getting the right roll of his gambling dice. And when he gets lower, he will re-roll every so often to make sure he can heal.
  • No Hero Discount: "Sorry, Uncle Donald, no family discounts!" The triplets must know you get Munny for Nothing.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: "Forze Del Male" and "Beyond the Door".
  • Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Maleficent and her group of assorted Disney villains are this in the beginning.
  • One-Hit Kill: Zantetsuken, from the Final Mix. This description from the Kingdom Hearts Wiki comes across as completely overt despite being strictly technical:
    In Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Zantetsuken is a combat ability that grants Sora a powerful combo finisher 30% of the time. It does percentage-based damage equivalent to 250% of the enemy's HP and requires 2 AP to equip.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: The intro.
  • Palette Swap: Final Mix does this to most of the Heartless, including almost all of the Heartless bosses.
  • People Jars: The Princesses' unconscious bodies are stored in crystal cases in the wall while Maleficent attempts to use their hearts to open the Hollow Bastion Keyhole. In the cases of at least four of these princesses, it's implied that they were sleeping in crystal for years! They get better, though.
  • Persona Non Grata: King Triton enforces this on Sora out of belief that the boy will only bring ruin to Atlantica for possessing a Keyblade.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: The princesses.
  • Point of No Return: Final Rest. The door from the Dive to the Heart opening sequence is in this room, and inspecting it twice takes the trio to the Heartless-ravaged Destiny Islands, which is fading out and rises into the air at that; inspecting the "secret place" and then approaching Riku starts the long series of boss fights to close the game.
    • There's also one prior to this in Hollow Bastion after getting past Maleficent. The Grand Hall, the holding room of the Princesses of Heart and the room with the Hollow Bastion Keyhole, is just past her Castle Chapel, and crossing the entry hall where the Disney Princesses can be seen and reaching the stairs beyond them starts the cutscene that takes Sora alone into the rematch with Riku, except it's Ansem in Riku's body. After defeating him, a long series of events start that unleash Heartless into the game's previous worlds (this includes two bonus bosses, one of whom prevents you from returning to Neverland's Big Ben clock tower until you are able to kill it), and increases the difficulty of the game, even in worlds you may have skipped out on.
  • The Pratfall: The Bouncywild enemies throw out Banana Peels that cause Sora to fall on his butt.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Attempted by Jafar. In the Agrabah level, he tries to tell Maleficent that it would probably best to tell Riku the truth. He doesn't say because it would be the right thing to do, but because "It would be beneficial to our-". Sora and friends showed up, and he couldn't finish.
  • Puzzle Pan: In the beginning, before the race with Riku.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: Despite customization obviously being encouraged, the way Gummi Ships are setup is that the more blocks used on them, the higher their defense stat and HP is. As a result, the "best" Gummi ship design usually involves a literal Flying Brick with several guns attached to the front and the best jets attached to the back, with the occasional odd special part and wing part to increase mobility.
  • Reality Warper:
    • The Heartless can cause darkness-based Reality Bleeds.
    • Agrabah gives us The Genie and Genie Jafar, naturally.
    • Ansem can wield the power of the Heartless to assimilate any post-Heartless-Reality Bleed world into a makeshift Prison Dimension under his control — aptly called End of the World.
    • Even the player eventually gets spells such as Gravity and Stop.
  • Regional Bonus: Among other things, the game's Bonus Bosses weren't actually in the original Japanese version, so the Japanese had to wait until Final Mix for the bonuses. This is at least justified with Kurt Zisa, whose name actually came from a contest to win your name in the game...that was held outside of Japan.
  • Reset Button: At the end of the game, all the worlds destroyed by the Heartless (most notably Destiny Islands) are recreated. Nobody on the formerly-overtaken planets remembers the events, save for those who were Summons (e.g. Simba and Mushu). Worlds that were attacked but survived retain their memory.
  • Respawning Enemies: The Heartless. They attack like piranha and they're everywhere.
  • Retcon: Many involving Ansem would show up in later titles, not the least of which involves the fact that Ansem stole his name from his mentor. Also of note is the fact that Ansem's possession of Riku wasn't just for the sake of Ansem himself having a body - it was an early attempt to "recruit" Riku as one of Xehanort's vessels for the true Organization XIII, since after all Ansem is essentially Xehanort's heart.
  • Reverse Escort Mission: After Riku takes your keyblade and Donald and Goofy abandon you in Hollow Bastion, you are left virtually unable to defend yourself. You spend the majority of your time in the world relying on your guest companion to defend you against the most powerful non-boss heartless in the game. Fortunately for you, that companion happens to be The Beast.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: A variant. The Final Mix exclusive Grand Ghost is immune to all forms of attack but will die with enough healing items to the face. Thankfully it drops them if you do attack it normally.
  • The Rival: Riku. Then he becomes Rival Turned Evil. He gets better, though.
  • Satan: Chernabog — the devil from the "Night on Bald Mountain" segment of Disney's Fantasia; encountered three-fourths of the way through The End Of The World and several rooms before the Point of No Return and the Final Boss. He's a minor boss at best, with no speaking part at all.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Enforced via certain trophies in the 1.5 ReMIX version. Two of them being never changing your equipment and defeating the final boss in under 15 hours.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • The Secret Ending after the credits that has the trio traversing the world where Castle Oblivion resides, formerly known as the Land of Departure. They see Pluto, who has a letter from the king, implying he knows where he and Riku are. He then starts running, prompting the trio to follow him, which they do. Then a quote is shown, saying Sora will be the one to open the door to light.
    • Also, the Secret Ending, "Deep Dive", a post-ending cinematic.
    • Interestingly, the scene shown in the video (Roxas fighting Riku) did not actually appear in any game until the series' fourth sequel, which came out 6 WHOLE YEARS AFTER FINAL MIX WAS RELEASED (not counting a quick cutscene in Kingdom Hearts II).
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • Because the game does not lock you into a world before continuing, you only need to beat a few worlds (the ones that give you the Gummi Blocks upon completion) before progressing to the next area. Thus it's possible in theory to beat the game without having even set foot in Atlantica or Halloween Town, but the question is, would you want to? In fact, certain scenes are altered if you do this. Many walkthroughs actually suggest this as well for a mild example - Cerberus is often considered to be too difficult given how limited you are in terms of items (and munny) at that point in the game, so many people instead preferred to beat Deep Jungle, get Cure, get the weapon from Deep Jungle, and then beat Cerberus (the strategy guide also advocated this).
    • Sora's descent temporarily stops when he does an attack in mid-air. This allows the player to make jumps otherwise too far to complete by jumping and swinging his weapon. When jumping from high places and attacking multiple times, you can actually get good distance with this technique, and reach some areas that otherwise require High Jump or Glide to access. Usually it just means getting a chest or two earlier than expected, but it can help.
  • Shield Bash: Sora, if he chooses the Dream Shield in Dive To The Heart, and Goofy in general.
  • Sleep-Mode Size: When Sora defeats the Ice Titan, it goes from being gigantic to small enough for Sora to step on. It promptly runs like mad.
  • Sinister Silhouettes: Most of the Disney Villains in the game use this trope while meeting to form their Omniscient Council of Vagueness multiple times early on in the game. However, with even just general knowledge of Disney Villains it's not hard to figure out who they are, and a high enough brightness setting on one's TV they become clearly visible.
  • Space Whale: Monstro.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Kerchak and Aerith (For the latter, there's the infamous Impaled with Extreme Prejudice via Sephiroth halfway through that game; the two characters have yet to cross paths in KH. For the former, he was shot by Clayton at the end of the film when defending Tarzan, Jane and Kala, and dies from the bullet wounds after Clayton is killed; he's barely seen in the game and Clayton never gets a chance to shoot him prior to the player entering the two-stage boss fight against the hunter in Deep Jungle; he's killed when the fight is complete, and Kerchak actually throws Sora to where the Keyhole and Gummi piece can be found).
  • Scenery Porn: If one takes a moment to take in the visuals of the game, they can see just how much effort went into the visuals of each and every world and character.
    • There are multiple instances of interacting with the environments that may (The ringing of Jack's doorbell eventually giving an item) or may not (chiming Pooh's Cuckoo Clock) have points to them, but they create immersion which is important to video games in general.
    • Backgrounds and events can be conventionally beautiful, like overlooking the cliff's waterfall in Deep Jungle, or so otherworldly that they are tough to do justice in words and walk the tightrope between this and Scenery Gorn such as the End of The World's environments.
  • Squad Controls: The game used the Triangle button to call your allies onto the same target.
    • It still calls your allies when you use the triangle button to activate special attacks in the remake. This is a hindrance when fighting the Pink Agaricus as they will decrease its hit counter.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Sora and Kairi.
  • Starter Villain: Clayton is the first Disney villain Sora fights, and his first major enemy who isn't Made of Evil. He's also about as it gets on the villains' power scale (even Hook technically has more resources). With the Retcon, this trope belongs to Jafar, who is also the first of the villain's conspiracy that the player fights in the game (he and Agrabah have to be cleared to continue to the next three worlds.
  • Stationary Boss: Giant!Ursula, Chernabog, and most bosses bigger than you. Ansem in his final form may also count, since he's hooked up to his World of Chaos and can't move much in any direction.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Sniper Wilds occasionally appear in Traverse Town while playing the Final Mix edition. Upon finding Sora in their sights they summon an endless swarm of monkeys to shoot Sora to death unless he escapes. They also have the Power Stones you need for synthesis. Getting spotted will stop you from getting any more. Have fun.
  • Stealth Pun: One enemy is called Blue Rhapsody, after George Gershwin's famous composition Rhapsody In Blue.
  • Storming the Castle: Hollow Bastion.
  • Surprisingly Easy Mini-Quest: Both Riku taking the Keyblade from Sora and Sora becoming one of The Heartless fall under this.
  • Take Your Time: Cerberus is looming over Hercules, who has an unconscious Cloud to worry about...but you can still go beat the rest of the game and then come back.
  • Tennis Boss: The Ice Titan.
    • Deflecting attacks is the best way to farm Wakka for EXP on Destiny Islands.
  • 30 Minutes, or It's Free!: Lampshaded by the Genie in the Agrabah stage:
    Genie: So, master, what'll you have for Wish Number-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r Two?
    Aladdin: Hmm, how about making me a fabulously wealthy prince?
    Genie: Oooh! Money! Royalty! Fame! Why didn't I think of that? Okay, you asked for it! A hundred servants and a hundred camels loaded with gold! [pretends to dial an invisible phone] Just dial that number and I'll deliver it in 30 minutes or less, or your meal's free. Hey, I'll even throw in a cappuccino!
  • This Cannot Be!: Ansem, after you defeat him in the final battle.
    Is this the answer? It can't be!
  • This Is Your Brain on Evil: Riku.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Sora, Riku, and Kairi.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Strike Raid. It helps that the sword is a Clingy MacGuffin, so Sora doesn't have to worry about retrieving it.
  • Title Theme Drop: During the ending scene, in the form of the expanded arrangement "Always On My Mind".
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Riku seems to get worse each time you see him, but he gets better once The Man Behind the Man comes into the picture.
  • Training Dummy: Merlin's furniture.
  • Triang Relations: Type 4. Both Sora and Riku are romantically interested in Kairi, but she only reciprocates those feelings with Sora and just sees Riku as a good friend.
  • True Companions: Ariel and Sora seem to become this. Ariel reveals her inner most feelings to Sora, something the other Disney characters don't really do or at least aren't so up front about it. They bond even more in the second game beyond anything romantic since Ariel's in love with Eric now. And Ariel is the only Disney character that worries that she won't see Sora again.
    • Sora, Donald and Goofy fit the bill very well towards the end of the game.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Sora, Kairi, and Riku.
    • A minor one is Tidus, Selphie, and Wakka.
    • Inverted with the Traverse Town group. It's Squall/Leon, Aerith, and Yuffie. Cid could creep in on this, but he ends up staying at Traverse Town while the group goes to Hollow Bastion.
  • Two Scenes, One Dialogue: An Info Dump variation.
  • Underground Monkey: Final Mix has a plethora of new enemies. A good chunk are alternate versions of other enemies either powered up or given a gimmick.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Gummi Ship levels (a semi-shoot-em-up), Hundred Acre Wood (rest area; no enemies) and the Deep Jungle slide.
  • Unique Enemy: Final Mix adds one to each world except for Atlantica. They all drop unique synthesis materials.
  • Universal Driver's License: Played straight in the game when Sora begins to pilot the Gummi Ship (after the events of Deep Jungle). Averted in the manga adaptation, with Sora ramming it into a meteor near Traverse Town.
    Donald: That's the last time I'm letting you fly our ship!!
  • Updated Re Release: The Final Mix version.
    • Also, the 1.5 HD Collection which has aforementioned FM Version actually brought to an international release, after ten years.
  • Variable-Length Chain: Selphie has a Variable Length jump rope.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: End of the World; in addition to Ansem, the Final Boss, Fantasia's Chernabog also appears here.
  • Videogame Settings: The Disney Worlds naturally loan themselves to this in a crossover adventure.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • When you fight the card guards (and instead have to destroy the tower), you can go over and smack the Queen of Hearts in the face (funny thing is she falls over in one hit). Actually, it's a relatively good idea to do this as this causes the red guards to stand still for a bit.
    • You can also make Captain Hook's day a living hell before you beat him up. Hit him with Fira? Then you light his pants on fire and he starts running around (he will still hurt you if he bumps into you while flying around). Throw him off the ship, and he jumps up and yells, "YOU'LL NOT GET ME OTHER HAND!" For extra fun, he might land off the ship if you light him on fire.
    • Goofy's at just the right height to chuck barrels in his face.
  • Video Game Flight: Glide, and moreso with Super Glide, which isn't obtained until the very end of the game (it's won after defeating Chernabog near the end of the final dungeon).
  • Wham Episode:
    • Hollow Bastion, as it's here where many big reveals take place, and where you first fight the true Big Bad, Ansem.
    • Atlantica also has a wham moment. King Triton explains to Sora that a Key Bearer "shatters peace and brings ruin" (referencing the Keyblade War that was revealed in Birth by Sleep), and Sora enters a small Heroic B.S.O.D. after hearing this news.
  • Where I Was Born and Razed: Riku calls the Heartless at the beginning of the game in the hope of being able to see other worlds, causing Destiny Islands to get destroyed and kicking off the plot.
  • Where It All Began: The final boss fight begins on a recreated (if slightly dilapidated) Destiny Islands.
  • Why Isn't It Attacking?: This is how Donald, Goofy, and Kairi figure out which Heartless is Sora's when they're surrounded by them. Donald's a little slow on the uptake, though.
    • Also, to a lesser extent, the Heartless in Halloween Town, which are (for the moment) playing along with Jack's Hallowe'en plans.
  • Why Did It Have To Be the Crocodile?: Just like in the story (and movie), Captain Hook is terrified of the crocodile.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: Try to lose to the Rock Titan, just try. The difficulty isn't fighting him, it's simply getting to him. Not to mention you get 1 EXP in the form of Tech by simply hitting him.

Regardless of warning
The future doesn't scare me at all
Nothing's like before...


Alternative Title(s): Kingdom Hearts 1

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI