Sideshow’s Week in Geek: Kingdom Hearts 3

Nostalgia is a huge part of why we love what we love as geeks.  There’s nothing quite like revisiting old favorites- rewatching movies, replaying games, rereading comics.  These all have a way of bringing us back to the joy we experienced when first starting that new fantastical journey that still remains with us now.

After about 13 years of waiting, fans the world over are celebrating the highly-anticipated release of Kingdom Hearts 3.  As avid gamers, many Sideshow staff members couldn’t wait to get their hands on this new game to revisit their favorite characters and worlds, and experience all the new story and excitement the Square Enix game has to offer.

We asked some team members to tell us about their Kingdom Hearts fandom, their favorite Keyblades, and their hopes for KH3…  This blog is Kingdom Hearts 3 spoiler-free!


 Which of the other Kingdom Hearts games have you played?

“I’ve played every single one except for the app game, mostly cause I have too many app games I play and not enough space.” –Rachel

“I’ve played KH 1, Chain of Memories, KH 2, Birth by Sleep, ReCoded, Dream Drop Distance, and others.” –Sam

“Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts 2.” –Eric

“Kingdom Hearts I, Kingdom Hearts II. Never really got around to playing the others.” –Kelly

“Half of Kingdom Hearts 1. (And I’ve played the first segment on Destiny Islands probably six times in my lifetime…).” –Eamon


Who is your favorite character? Favorite world?

“Single character? Oh gosh. I suppose Riku is my absolute favorite. I’ve always enjoyed the archetype of a person who started off as a rival, went towards the path of evil/darkness and found themselves on the other end being a hero in their own right. His growth has been just as enjoyable to watch as its been for Sora. Also, Riku’s friendship with Mickey is precious. Best bros.

“As for my favorite world? I’m gonna go with two: one for Disney and one for Original.  Favorite Disney has got to be the Halloween Town. One of my favorite movies, so a world where I can run around and talk to Jack and Sally? Sign me up. Favorite Original goes to the World that Never Was. So much story significant stuff happened here throughout the series and I dig the Nobodies as villains, so this place is awesome.” –Rachel

“Sora was always my top favorite – Namine comes close second. I absolutely adored the Lion King World in KH2 – it’s one of my all-time favorite Disney animated films and being able to play as a little lion cub speeding around the African savannah was just super fun.” –Kelly

“Leon. His compassion and concern for the puppies of the 101 Dalmatians is unparalleled.” –Eamon

“My absolute favorite character is Riku. No question. He’s better than Sora at almost everything, but what makes him interesting is his early willingness to dive into anything and everything that made him stronger or offered answers to questions he had. As a young kid, I found myself really relating to Riku, or at least wanting to be as instantly good at things as he seemed to be. Nowadays, his character has matured and is constantly faced with the consequences his earlier actions.

“He’s a lot like Prince Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender or Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto. He has a past that riddled with bad decisions born from relatively good intentions and is plagued by (sometimes literal) phantoms of the people who used him to further their plans. I’m not kidding when I say I play this game more to learn about Riku than I do Sora. Plus, the second time you fight him in Hollow Bastion is still one of my most vivid and most brutal learning experiences in gaming. It was difficult, heavy with story depth, and it tested everything you knew about the game up to that point. I love Riku! Oh, and favorite world? Olympus Coliseum. If only for the fact that I can STILL HEAR THE MUSIC IN MY HEAD.” –Sam

“Goofy – so selfless and always maintains a positive attitude even in difficult battles. I have a soft spot for Traverse Town in the original game. Just hearing the theme music brings back a lot of fond memories of playing the original game close to its release when I was much younger.” –Eric


What are you most looking forward to in Kingdom Hearts 3?

“A fully realized Toy Story world. So exciting!” –Eric

“Looking forward to what they end up doing to push the main narrative along. It’s been about 10 (-ish?) years of the series meandering around in subplots, prequels, and backstories. While all that is great, I think it’s time to take what was learned from each of those games and mesh them into what I think (and hope) is the best of the franchise. Also, I want to see Kairi use her keyblade. I mean, COME ON!” –Sam

“Is it strange to say just the fact that it even exists and is releasing/released? This journey has been 17 years in the making and I still can’t even believe it’s here. So I suppose I’m most looking forward to is just about everything. Well except for one thing…” –Rachel

“A lot of it is that feeling of nostalgia – I am excited to feel like a kid again and re-experience a game franchise that was such a significant part of my childhood. I remember just the pure joy and excitement of exploring new worlds from my favorite animated films and I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do next with the story.” –Kelly

Eamon


What is your favorite Keyblade design?

“I like a lot of them… Oathkeeper was always one of my favorites – it’s just so pretty. Kairi’s floral keyblade is also really nice.” –Kelly

“The Olympia Key! I really liked Hercules as a kid.” –Sam

“Lionheart – I LOVE Final Fantasy VIII. What better prize for defeating Squall than this piece!” –Eric

“Oh lord, as an artist who’s been severely inspired by this series, this question is tough. I’d say that Lost Memory, a keyblade Ventus gets once he’s remembered his past, has got to be my standout. It’s got a subtle design and maybe not as colorful as so many others, but a trend with my favorites tend to be that they are elegant, and narrative significant. There are so many I adore, but with Lost Memory, I’d have to say Way to the Dawn, One Winged Angel and maybe followed by Oblivion and Oathkeeper are in my top 5 as well.” –Rachel


How do you feel about the Gummi Ship?

“The one thing I am /least/ looking forward too is the Gummy Ship. I’ve NEVER enjoyed it. Maybe this game will finally make me like it.” –Rachel

“I’ve heard that the Gummi Ship segments were put in place to combat 3-4 minute load times that came from switching worlds in the first few games. Even if that weren’t the case, Gummi Ship segments never bothered me.” –Sam

“Harmless fun.” –Eric

“I mean… As a kid I REALLY enjoyed this part of the game in KH2 – even replaying levels over and over to get the highest scores. In KH1 not so much, I couldn’t wait till I had the option to skip these haha. I’m real excited to see how they improve it in the new game, though.” –Kelly

“In KH1… Overly complicated half-baked star fox mini-missions. Not a fan.” –Eamon


Anything else at all that you’d like to add.

“Watched Sam play the first world in KH3 last night and here’s a fun heads up- There’s summaries of each game in a history section of the menu if you need a refresher or haven’t played one of the previous games/spinoffs… So don’t worry about playing the other releases prior to KH3 if you wanna jump in!” –Eamon

“I am so excited, it’s all I can think about lately!!” –Kelly

“Hard to believe KH3 is finally released. It’s been a long time coming! Can’t wait to play it.” –Eric

“HEAL!” –Sam


Big thanks to Sideshow’s keyblade masters for sharing their excitement for the game!  Be sure to check out our last Week in Geek, where Sideshow staffer Amy recounted her experience at the Critical Role D&D live show.

How have you Let Your Geek Sideshow this week?  Let us know in the comments.