Kingdom Hearts (video game)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Note how the White-Haired Pretty Boy isn't facing the same direction as the others. Oh, and his sword resembling a batwing isn't hinting at anything.

You never know who you'll run into next.


In May 2001, Square Enix (back then still Square Soft) announced a game at that year's E3. To everyone's shock, the game showed scenes of Disney characters fighting tandem with Final Fantasy characters. The reaction wasn't positive, and many thought Square had gone off the deep end. Then, the game came out.

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. It proved popular enough to result in (to date) five sequels and a prequel.

An update, called Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix, was released in Japan only and contains all the English voice acting as well as bonus content.


Note: This page contains examples pertaining to the first game in the series. For examples relating to the series in general, please see Kingdom Hearts.

Tropes used in Kingdom Hearts (video game) include:
  • Adaptation Dye Job: In the stained glass level, Cinderella's hair color is brown.
  • Alien Geometries: The Bizarre Room.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: The first game is where the World Terminus type comes from.
  • 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, 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 mid-game, he turns back shortly after.
  • 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.
  • Barrier Change Boss: Ursula, who is frustratingly hard to read, and the Phantom, who changes its orb's color to signal what magic it's weak against now.
  • 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).
  • Battleship Raid: The World of Chaos.
  • 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.
  • Bittersweet Ending
  • Black Cloak:
    • The Phantom is effectively a Heartless Dementor: it may be the only Heartless not to have Eyes of Gold visible anywhere.
    • Ansem wears a brown cloak in his first appearance, and Xemnas wears a black one in Final Mix.
  • 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.
    • While you can't avoid Monstro, you don't actually have to complete the level either.
  • Bookcase Passage: The Library at Hollow Bastion.
  • Breather Episode: The 100-Acre Wood.
  • Breath Weapon: Cerberus, Giant!Ursula, Dragon!Maleficent, Chernabog.
  • Bridal Carry: In Neverland, Riku carries Kairi, who has lost her heart.
  • Call Back: Everything about Ultima Weapon. 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.
  • 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.
    • The locations for the Keyholes in many of the worlds are inside conspicuous-yet-innocuous looking objects.
  • The Chessmaster: Ansem, or Xehanort's Heartless.
  • Climax Boss: Maleficent and Possessed Riku, both of whom are candidates for That One Boss and have very long Cutscenes preceeding them, which can only be skipped in Final Mix.
  • Cognizant Limbs: The Guard Armor. Also a case of Raymanian Limbs: they can even be fought separately in tournament matches.
  • Colossus Climb: Cerberus, Behemoth Heartless and Oogie after he merges with his manor.
  • Combination Attack: Trinity Limit.
  • 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.
  • Damsel in Distress: Kairi and all the Disney princesses... and Wendy. Though Kairi is something of a subversion in that her heart was actually protected within Sora's all along.
  • Degraded Boss: The Behemoth, the "boss" of the second Hollow Bastion visit, 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 ain't gonna let a spoiled brat, a crazy witch and some actual ugly freaks of nature stop him once he's there.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Certain cutscenes will play out differently if you Sequence Breaking. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Disney Princess: The Princesses play a key part in the game. Oddly, Alice is included in this group while Ariel is not, presumably for logistical reasons (Ariel's still stuck underwater).
  • 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.
  • 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 if you take the time to beat them all.
  • Duel Boss: Hercules, the Ice Titan, Sephiroth, Riku once he's been possessed, and two stages of the final boss sequence (three if you count Darkside's last appearance).
  • Early-Bird Cameo: If you're playing the Final Mix version, Xemnas. Which doubles as a very early Final Boss Preview.
  • Easing Into the Adventure: Destiny Islands.
  • 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 Kingdom Hearts-verse, the essence of a person is their heart, and Kairi's is within Sora's.
  • Evil All Along: Ansem. Or, more accurately, Xehanort's Heartless.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Almost every single antagonist of the game eventually succumbs to this.
  • Evil Makeover: Riku.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: Maleficent in dragon form.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Ansem. Xemnas in Final Mix.
  • 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.
  • Five-Bad Band: The Disney villains form one:
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Infinity-1 Sword: Two of them: Oathkeeper on the magic side, plus a high critical hit rate; Oblivion on the physical side... raw attack power at the cost of magic.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: Ultima Weapon for Sora, which combines the strengths of the two Infinity-1 Swords. Save the King/Queen for Donald and Goofy. 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.
  • Invisible Parents: For everyone on Destiny Islands.
  • 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 her [Kairi]." With that, he concedes Kairi chose Sora over him.
  • Jungle Japes: Deep Jungle.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Love Triangle: There is an implied one between Sora, Kairi and Riku.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Maleficent, Hades, Ursula and Ansem.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Riku was guilty of this at the start of the game.
  • 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.
  • 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... uh, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • Or Was It a Dream?: The intro.
  • People Jars: The Princesses are imprisoned in wall-mounted glass chambers while Maleficent attempts to open the Hollow Bastion keyhole. For some gamers, the lack of any cutscene showing the characters' reactions made this even creepier... what, you're just ignoring the women in sparkly coffins?
  • Pimped-Out Dress: The princesses.
  • Point of No Return: Final Rest.
  • The Pratfall: The Bouncywild enemies throw out Banana Peels that cause Sora to fall on his butt.
  • Puzzle Pan: In the beginning, before the race with Riku.
  • 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.
  • 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. He's a minor boss at best, with no speaking part at all.
  • Sequel Hook: "Deep Dive", a post-ending cinematic.
  • 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.
  • Space Whale: Monstro.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Kerchak. Oh, and Aerith.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Sora and Kairi.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Thirty 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!