Does the Kingdom Hearts series do a bad job at paying homage to the Final Fantasy series?

MoogleChocobo

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I love the Kingdom Hearts series, but however I think the series does a bad job at paying homage to Final Fantasy.

I mean the Final Fantasy characters have been bastardized in the Kingdom Hearts games. The characters are almost nothing like how they appeared in the Final Fantasy games. I feel like the Kingdom Hearts series could've done a much better job at paying homage to Final Fantasy than it did.
 

ZaXo Ken'Ichi

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I actually like most of them, because they were reworked to make sense in the KH universe. I like that they all come from the same world. I like that -in an attempt to parallel the 'mirror image' relationship between Cloud and Sephiroth- Sephiroth is Cloud's darkness. I like that Cid is in charge of Gummi Ship stuff, and then later is in charge of Hollow Bastion's computer systems. Aerith gives you Curaga at the end of KH1. Squall is insecure to the point that he can't even bring himself to use his real name, which is a great representation of his character in VIII. Yuna, Rikku, and Pain are portrayed as lighthearted, almost Disney-esque reworkings of their selves in X-2. Vivi is quiet, timid, and a bit of a follower. Seifer is a butthead, but one that's not wholly a bad person.

Honestly, the weakest ones are probably Selphie, Tidus, and Wakka, if only because they don't really pay much homage to their original selves. The deepest it goes with them is "Wakka lives on an island", "Tidus was on that island once and is Wakka's bro", and "Selphie is a nice person who wears yellow", lol.

I'm not going to say the ones they got right are amazing representations. But I'm also glad that they have the roles they do. Make a lot of these characters less important, and they'd become uninteresting cameos. But make them more important, and the nostalgic respect a lot of them garnered would've undoubtedly overshadowed and undermined the KH universe and its characters. I think they struck the right balance, and most of them do a good job of representing a morphed version of their original counterparts... though... maybe Cloud could've looked less ludicrous in KH1; thought it was cool as a kid, but I really don't see the point today.
 

MoogleChocobo

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I actually like most of them, because they were reworked to make sense in the KH universe. I like that they all come from the same world. I like that -in an attempt to parallel the 'mirror image' relationship between Cloud and Sephiroth- Sephiroth is Cloud's darkness. I like that Cid is in charge of Gummi Ship stuff, and then later is in charge of Hollow Bastion's computer systems. Aerith gives you Curaga at the end of KH1. Squall is insecure to the point that he can't even bring himself to use his real name, which is a great representation of his character in VIII. Yuna, Rikku, and Pain are portrayed as lighthearted, almost Disney-esque reworkings of their selves in X-2. Vivi is quiet, timid, and a bit of a follower. Seifer is a butthead, but one that's not wholly a bad person.

Honestly, the weakest ones are probably Selphie, Tidus, and Wakka, if only because they don't really pay much homage to their original selves. The deepest it goes with them is "Wakka lives on an island", "Tidus was on that island once and is Wakka's bro", and "Selphie is a nice person who wears yellow", lol.

I'm not going to say the ones they got right are amazing representations. But I'm also glad that they have the roles they do. Make a lot of these characters less important, and they'd become uninteresting cameos. But make them more important, and the nostalgic respect a lot of them garnered would've undoubtedly overshadowed and undermined the KH universe and its characters. I think they struck the right balance, and most of them do a good job of representing a morphed version of their original counterparts... though... maybe Cloud could've looked less ludicrous in KH1; thought it was cool as a kid, but I really don't see the point today.
I just feel like they could've still done a better job at handling the characters, but I see your point though.
 

Vivi-Gamer

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I still don't see why Kingdom Hearts never dared to visit FF Worlds - Having Sora turn up during FFVI's Opera House Scenario would have been amazing! They could have easily set up scenarios like that for Each FF title VIII's Garden Battle or X's Zanarkand Opening conflict. That would have made them feel more in place with the series. While the problem I have with them currently is they're out of their own worlds and just sort of there... I think KH2 made a better attempt to make them more involved in the Hollow Bastion scenes but even so they don't feel very integral to the series - Certainly not as much as Disney.

That said, I still want to see Cloud, Squall and co' in Hollow Bastion in Kingdom Hearts III it wouldn't feel right without them - At the very least a conclusion to Clouds conflict with Sephiroth at Hercules Olympus Coliseum.
 

Mitsuki

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I’ve only finished KHI (a little bit of KHII) and that was years ago, so I can’t recall a lot of details, but from what I do remember I thought the integration of Final Fantasy felt a bit clunky, but it also wasn’t exactly bad either. I recognized the game for what it was and even if some of the characters felt odd to me, I enjoyed KHI thoroughly.

I do think Vivi-Gamer gamer has a point - it would’ve been great to see some of the Final Fantasy locations in the game, but I think the younger me (being a fan of Disney and everything) was way too enamorered at the Disney worlds as well. It was a great mix for me..
 

The Witch

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After learning about KH3, yes. Yes it does.

It started off strong, but over the years Nomura got lazy with the FF cast members and their connection to the story.
 

MoogleChocobo

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I still don't see why Kingdom Hearts never dared to visit FF Worlds - Having Sora turn up during FFVI's Opera House Scenario would have been amazing! They could have easily set up scenarios like that for Each FF title VIII's Garden Battle or X's Zanarkand Opening conflict. That would have made them feel more in place with the series. While the problem I have with them currently is they're out of their own worlds and just sort of there... I think KH2 made a better attempt to make them more involved in the Hollow Bastion scenes but even so they don't feel very integral to the series - Certainly not as much as Disney.

That said, I still want to see Cloud, Squall and co' in Hollow Bastion in Kingdom Hearts III it wouldn't feel right without them - At the very least a conclusion to Clouds conflict with Sephiroth at Hercules Olympus Coliseum.
Well the reason is because Final Fantasy worlds are huge, and there would be no way to fully explore them in a Kingdom Hearts game. Also it's much easier to turn a 2 hour movie into a world than it would be to turn a 100 hour game into one.
 

ZaXo Ken'Ichi

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I don't really think that makes much sense. Firstly, most of the Disney worlds are smaller, or even completely different from what is offered in their respective movies. So there's absolutely no reason why they couldn't do the same with FF worlds, and just use a specific part of them like Vivi suggested. Like, they could just include something like the Temple of the Ancients from VII, or a chunk of Rabanastre and the Giza Plains from XII.

But also, they obviously wouldn't be turning the entire game's story into a world. They don't really do that for Disney movies either most of the time. Most of the time it's heavily abridged version of the story. If we assume the FF characters were exact copies of their original selves, there's no reason they couldn't just do a portion of the story where an important goal is met. Exploring Besaid and the first Cloister of Trials, ending in Yuna gaining access to Valefore, or as Vivi said, specifically FFVIII's Garden battle. As long as it has a satisfying conclusion, they can make a full, short story arc for a word out of it. There's no reason why they couldn't bring the worlds back later, and explore another part of the original FF story for that game in another KH.
 

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I felt like in the beginning they did an okay job with that but I felt like in KHIII they lost or forgot about the FF characters. At times it felt like FF characters were there just be included in the game in my opinion.
 

Dionysos

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I could have sworn I'd posted here before... Then I realised I'd just had a Discord conversation instead. :D

I'll never forget playing the beginning of KH1 for the first time. It was Christmas Day and I wanted Kingdom Hearts for the FF cameos. I played the opening scenes at Destiny Islands and enjoyed them, but then I went to bed and I seriously had to ask myself in the morning if I'd dreamt the whole thing....

None of the Final Fantasy characters seemed right. They grew on me in their own way, of course. But the kid versions of Wakka and Tidus and Selphie (who, for some reason, was now hanging out with Spirans) really threw me.

I felt that I'd been tricked. I really enjoyed it though so I liked the series anyway, but I had to consciously unlink the FF-based characters I was seeing from any version of the characters in actual FF games. They all seemed so different.

I don't think that FFVI's Setzer would waste his days smacking kids with a foam baton. I doubt FFIX's Vivi would be cool with a haunted hat...

Adding FF characters to the games was really just a lure to attract FF fans, hook us, and reel us in. We've been reeled, and now we're flopping about in the boat of KH3 'drowning' in the air because there are now zero FF characters for us to live on. That said, I rather enjoyed KH3 without FF characters, so I'm a fish who evolved to live without water.

Ignore that final paragraph.
 

PeaceLoveArt

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I definitely agreeed with what you said about the FF characters just being in the game. I didn’t feel this way at first but now I can see that. There are moments that FF characters are just there and to me it does not made no sense to me
 

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I've been saying this for YEARS!! Give the Final Fantasy characters more appearances in the game....their worlds etc it's like with each series, you start to see less of them. If you can give the Disney characters all the spotlight...give some love for the FF characters. I'd love to traveled to a location in Spira or Midgar or a location in FF8. Do it Square!
 

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Adding FF characters to the games was really just a lure to attract FF fans, hook us, and reel us in.
I think this just about nails it, but on a wider scale, to attract gamers in general.

Kingdom Hearts was introduced back in 2002 when Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX and X were released within a four year window; arguably, the Square Enix 'golden era'. On the other hand, whilst Disney are a marketing monster, they aren't a company that would have attracted gamers or sales for a new IP solely driven by original characters supported by Disney characters. Disney's core audience is children and as such, the game would have been conceived (wrongly) as targeting children - what better way to persuade people otherwise than to introduce some of the most popular gaming figureheads from a company at their peak? Final Fantasy turned Kingdom Hearts from a game aimed at children into a serious IP; if it weren't for Final Fantasy in the beginning, I'm almost certain the franchise would have flopped.

Fast forward seventeen years to 2019 and Kingdom Hearts no longer needs Final Fantasy to drive the franchise sales: it now has its own hardcore fanbase and well established characters / storyline that can drive itself. On top of that, I don't think Final Fantasy is as coveted as it once was - whilst it certainly still ships big numbers - they've only launched three 'main' (XII, XIII & XV) series games (excluding XI and XIV) since 2001. Even Disney didn't play an overly big role in story advancement in Kingdom Hearts III in my opinion, I thought Square-Enix did a very good job of showcasing the worlds and characters, but if you had replaced any of the Disney worlds with a different Disney world or Final Fantasy world, barring a few minor tweaks, you could keep almost an identical storyline and theme running throughout the worlds and game as a whole - I think this is largely down to the Kingdom Hearts franchise as a whole; it had become so convoluted that unnecessary storylines needed to be dropped. That being said, as Kingdom Hearts is now an established IP, Disney is much more marketable than Final Fantasy so made sense to focus on Disney as a franchising branch.
 

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Hell yes, it does, just look at what it did to characters like Cloud Strife and Setzer Gabbiani. Completely broke them.
 
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