10 strange facts about the Kingdom Hearts franchise

We've unearthed the following 10 strange facts about the franchise

  • Kingdom Hearts II was censored in the US

    In the original Japanese release, Axel's death shows his body bursting into flames and burning away; this death was apparently too graphic for American audiences, which were treated to a flame-less scene. A scene involving Daisy spanking Donald was also removed from the U.S release, as was the green blood from the Hydra in Hercules's Colosseum. Most infamously, the violence in Port Royal ("Pirates of the Carribbean" World) was toned down with guns becoming cross bows and almost no blood or sword impalement whatsoever.
  • Kingdom Hearts has a weird obsession with the number "13"

    Remember that awful Jim Carrey movie where he kept seeing the number "21" everywhere? Kingdom Hearts does the same thing with the number "13." In multiple instances throughout the series, "13" keeps popping up all over the place, and a lot of these examples are downright mind-blowing. Don't believe us?

    Well, let's start the most obvious. Kingdom Hearts' main group of bad guys is called "Organization XIII," made up of the 13 members. "Kingdom Hearts" has 13 letters in the title. In the opening sequence of the first Kingdom Hearts, the "M" in the title zooms towards the screen - and M is the 13th letter in the alphabet. Still not convinced? Add up the sum of the number of letters in the names of the main trio - Sora, Kairi, and Riku. It's thirteen. Remember the Ultima Weapon from Kingdom Hearts II? Guess how many Orichalcum+ you need to create it. Thirteen. How many worlds are in Kingdom Hearts, KH2, and Birth By Sleep? THIRTEEN.
  • Kingdom Hearts II was also the last thing Pat Morita did

    Pat Morita, better known as Mr. Miyagi from "The Karate Kid" (or Arnold from "Happy Days"), voiced the Emperor of the Land of Dragons (read: China) in Kingdom Hearts II, as he also did in Mulan and Mulan II. Afterward, Morita sadly passed away on November 24, 2005 at age 73.
  • Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days was the second-to-last thing Mickey Mouse voice actor Wayne Allwine did

    The longtime Mickey Mouse voice actor (the longest-serving voice, actually) passed away in May 2009 at age 62. The English language version of Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days was dedicated to his memory. Bret Iwan took over the role for subsequent Kingdom Hearts games.
  • It's the last "Squaresoft" game

    Kingdom Hearts is the last game that was released with the old Squaresoft logo before the company became Square Enix in 2003. Find an original boxed copy and you could have a collector's item on your hands - all "Greatest Hits" and other Kingdom Hearts repackages shipped with the Square Enix logo.
  • Lance Bass voiced Sephiroth

    Yes, that Lance Bass, the one from boy band N'Sync (second from the left in the photo above). We know, it's crazy, especially when you consider the fact they cast more legitimate acting talent to provide the voices for the other characters. Haley Joel Osment headed up the cast as Sora, Mandy Moore voiced fan-favorite Aerith, and David Boreanaz of Bones and Angel fame voiced Squall/Leon. Kingdom Hearts II added the venerated Christopher Lee as Ansem the Wise and Brittany Snow who provided Namin‚'s voice. Granted, Sephiroth had roughly four lines the entire game, but still, you'd think they could have found someone a bit more appropriate for the role.
  • There's a boss named Kurt Zisa

    Squaresoft held a contest where a fan could get their name in the game. The result is a secret bossed named Kurt Zisa - a giant crab you can find out in the Agrabah desert after completing the Hollow Bastion level in Kingdom Hearts for the first time. He's not as hard to beat as secret boss Sephiroth, but he is pretty tough.
  • It was conceived in an elevator

    According to Kingdom Hearts producer Shinji Hashimoto, he got the idea for a Disney/Squaresoft crossover game while chatting with a Disney executive in an elevator - the two companies shared a building in Tokyo before Squaresoft became Square Enix and moved away.
  • Kingdom Hearts settled the "Aeris" vs. "Aerith" debate

    For years, Final Fantasy fans argued back and forth about the correct pronunciation of Aeris' name. The character's actual name is "Aerith Gainsborough" but when crafting English subtitles for Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy Tactics, translators wound up spelling her name "Aeris," based on the phonetic pronunciation "Ea-ri-su." Strangely, it was Kingdom Hearts that finally broke the impasse by choosing the original pronunciation and enforcing it across worldwide release regions. So, say goodbye to "Aeris" and say hello to "Aerith".
  • Japan has five more Kingdom Hearts games than the US

    Although most of the Kingdom Hearts games have had worldwide releases, a handful of titles never made it overseas - Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts coded, Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Mobile, and the upcoming Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep Final Mix, giving Japan 13 releases to the US' five.

    Granted, several of them are remakes and special editions, but they all contain some special weapons, brand-new cutscenes and hidden bosses that most gamers have never seen. If you want to see this stuff, you've got to import the games to get the full experience. Kingdom Hearts Mobile, the odd bunch of the group, is more an Internet hub than a game, where people can play mini-games, download game-specific content like ringtones, and snag limited-edition avatars.
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