Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (キングダム ハーツ 358/2 Days Kingudamu Hātsu Surī Faibu Eito Deizu Ōbā Tsū, subtitle read as "Three Five Eight Days Over Two") is an action role-playing video game developed by h.a.n.d. and Square Enix for the Nintendo DS. It is the fifth installment in the Kingdom Hearts series, and takes place near the end of the first game, continuing parallel to Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. The game was released worldwide in 2009.[2] The story is told from the perspective of Roxas, following his daily life within Organization XIII and his relationship with fellow Organization member Axel; it also introduces a fourteenth member, Xion, who becomes friends with the former two.

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days was directed by Tetsuya Nomura and Tomohiro Hasegawa. Nomura decided to develop a game for the Nintendo DS, and once a system had been chosen, decided upon Roxas as the protagonist. The development team wanted to use gameplay similar to previous Kingdom Hearts games but could not due to the insufficient number of buttons the DS had. Following its release, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days received generally positive response by critics, with praise directed at the gameplay and graphics, and criticisms directed towards its storyline. A soundtrack, various light novels, and a manga series based on the game were released in Japan.

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
KingdomdaysNA
Developer(s)h.a.n.d.
Publisher(s)Square Enix
Director(s)Tetsuya Nomura
Tomohiro Hasegawa
Producer(s)Patrick Chen
Designer(s)Hiroyuki Itou
Yasuhiro Sato
Programmer(s)Yoshikazu Hosoda
Artist(s)Tetsuya Nomura
Writer(s)Yukari Ishida
Tomoco Kanemaki
Composer(s)Yoko Shimomura
SeriesKingdom Hearts
Platform(s)Nintendo DS[1]
Release
  • JP: May 30, 2009[3]
  • NA: September 29, 2009[2]
  • EU: October 9, 2009[4]
  • AU: October 22, 2009
Genre(s)Action role-playing
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Gameplay

Kingdom Hearts 358 2 Gameplay
Roxas and Axel fighting a Heartless on a mission

358/2 Days features the combination of action role-playing game/hack and slash style of the previous games in the series.[5] To accomplish this, the game makes minimal use of the system's touch screen functionality, and it is possible to play and complete the game without using it at all.[6] The game includes single player and multiplayer modes of play.[7][8] The single player mode is story-based, the player controls Roxas, who is accompanied by other Organization XIII members on daily missions to Disney worlds from the previous games.[9][10] The two modes are linked in that character growth is shared between them.[6]

358/2 Days features a new gameplay mechanic known as the panel system which involves the customization of the character's levels, items, equipment, and abilities.[11] For example, certain magic spells cannot be used if their corresponding panels aren't equipped, but can be used consecutively if multiple are attached. Some panels also occupy multiple slots, but can be combined with other panels to form new or stronger abilities.[12]

Limit Breaks, which previously featured in Square's Final Fantasy series, can be activated during a battle once the character's health drops below a certain level, indicated by a yellow health bar. Each character has their own unique abilities during Limit Breaks which allow a temporary boost to their normal abilities, whether it be increasing the attack strength or allowing multiple enemies to be attacked at once.[13] The second stage of a Limit Break known as Final Limit is normally a different or powered-up version of the first and begins at the point where the white line (starting at the high end of the yellow portion of the HP bar) meets top dead center.

Multiplayer

This is the first Kingdom Hearts game to feature cooperative multiplayer. The multiplayer gameplay is separate from the single player story and is mission-based, including cooperative and competitive player battles.[6][14] Up to four players can play as one of the fourteen members of Organization XIII, with each member having different weapons, skills, and stats.[9] Sora, Donald, Goofy, King Mickey, and Riku are featured as secret characters in the multiplayer who are unlockable while playing through the main story. 358/2 Days' multiplayer also features a chat system for communication between players, but differs from PictoChat in that everyone can draw on the same screen.[6] To prevent players missing out on multiplayer content, the games were developed so that the missions could be completed without the need to connect with other players, instead utilising AI-controlled partners.[15][16]

Plot

Setting

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days begins concurrently with the events of the original game and Chain of Memories. Like the other games in the series, the player progresses through a collection of various worlds, based on various locales from the Disney animated features canon: Agrabah from Aladdin; the Beast's Castle from Beauty and the Beast; Olympus Coliseum from Hercules; Halloween Town from The Nightmare Before Christmas; Wonderland from Alice in Wonderland; and Never Land from Peter Pan (featuring a string of islands new to the series rather than Captain Hook's pirate ship and Big Ben from the first game).[17] The game also features worlds created specifically for the series by Square Enix. The most prominent world is The World That Never Was, which first appeared in the secret ending of Kingdom Hearts and serves as the game's main hub, followed by Twilight Town, a frequently-explored locale. Castle Oblivion and Destiny Islands also appear in cutscenes.[17][18]

Characters

The game revolves around Roxas, who was first featured at the beginning of Kingdom Hearts II. Roxas is the Nobody of Sora, the series' protagonist, born when Sora's body vanished as he briefly lost his heart and became a Heartless, and joining Organization XIII, a group of powerful Nobodies who serve as the antagonists of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II. Like Sora, Roxas has the power to wield the Keyblade, a weapon normally used for battling darkness. The other members of Organization XIII play a prominent role as well, particularly Axel, Roxas's best friend who debuted in Chain of Memories. The game also introduces a new member: Xion, a girl resembling Kairi who, like Roxas, can wield the Keyblade.[8][16][19][20]

Other characters who are featured include Naminé, a girl with the power to manipulate memories; DiZ, an enigmatic man wrapped in bandages; Riku, Sora's best friend; and King Mickey, Riku's ally and ruler of Disney Castle. Sora, the main character of the previous games, is featured prominently in the plot, along with his allies Donald Duck and Goofy, though they appear infrequently in the form of several flashbacks and memory-induced scenarios. Also appearing are Pete, a persistent villain who first appears in Kingdom Hearts II, and Hayner, Pence, and Olette, a trio of friends living in Twilight Town who also debuted in Kingdom Hearts II. As with the other games in the series, each Disney world features several characters who appear in the films their worlds are based on; on the other hand, no Final Fantasy characters are featured apart from a Moogle managing a shop for the Organization.

Story

The newly born Roxas is discovered in Twilight Town by Xemnas, the leader of Organization XIII, who recruits him as their thirteenth member. Unlike other Nobodies, Roxas lacks memories of his original self and develops a personality of his own as time passes.[21] Roxas is sent on daily missions to other worlds, either alone or accompanied by a fellow member, to destroy vast quantities of Heartless and release stolen hearts with his Keyblade, which furthers the Organization's goal of creating Kingdom Hearts and becoming complete beings. Roxas is placed under the tutelage of fellow member Axel, whom he becomes close friends with. After Axel and several other members are reassigned to Castle Oblivion, Roxas partners with Xion, a fourteenth member inducted shortly after Roxas.[22] Roxas and Xion bond over their similarities, including Xion's ability to wield a Keyblade and inability to recall her human life. Some time later, Roxas falls into a coma caused by the alteration of Sora's memories, and does not revive until several weeks later, when Axel returns from Castle Oblivion as the only survivor of the group.

Over time, Xion develops a friendship with Roxas and Axel, eating sea-salt ice cream with them after missions at the Twilight Town clock tower. Xion soon falls into a coma after failing to eliminate Riku; like Roxas, she has visions of Sora after waking. In time, Xion questions her own existence, distancing herself from Roxas and Axel to learn more about herself.[23][24] She eventually discovers that she is an artificial replica created as a fail-safe for Roxas, and that her existence prevents Sora's memory from being completely restored.[25] Xion is torn between staying with her friends and merging with Sora as per Riku's advice,[26] but ultimately chooses to escape from the Organization after she begins siphoning Roxas' strength.[27] Axel allows Xion to escape, but loses Roxas' trust. Upon learning Xion's identity from Xemnas, Roxas begins to question his own identity and defects from the Organization in search of answers, leaving Axel dejected.[28]

At Twilight Town, Roxas confronts Xion, whom Xemnas has altered to perform her initial purpose of absorbing Roxas and becoming a perfect copy of Sora.[29] After being defeated, Xion's body dissipates and merges with Sora, causing all memory of her existence to vanish. Returning to the World That Never Was to stop Xemnas' plan as per Xion's last request, Roxas encounters Riku, who attempts to capture him for DiZ and resume Sora's memory restoration process, which has completely halted.[30] When Roxas overpowers him, Riku releases the darkness suppressed within his own heart, giving him the power necessary to subdue Roxas, but also giving him the physical form of Xehanort's Heartless, Ansem, who resides in his heart.[31] DiZ inserts Roxas into a virtual simulation of Twilight Town without any of his memories of the Organization so that Roxas may eventually merge with Sora.[32]

Development

358/2 Days was developed by h.a.n.d., with Square Enix employees overseeing the process.[9] The game was directed by Tetsuya Nomura and co-directed by Tomohiro Hasegawa.[9] In 2007, Nomura mentioned he wanted to do a spin-off Kingdom Hearts game on a mobile platform and wanted the game to play slightly different from the other titles already in the series.[33] 358/2 Days was announced alongside Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts coded at the Tokyo Game Show on September 20, 2007, where a trailer was shown in a photo-prohibited theater.[8][34] New trailers were shown and a playable demo was available at the 2008 Jump Festa in December 2007 and the DKΣ3713 Private party in August 2008.[10][35][36][37] Both single player and multiplayer demos were featured. Xion was also shown in the new trailer and in the multiplayer demo.[17]

The Nintendo DS was chosen as the system before design work on the game had begun.[38] Roxas was chosen as the game's protagonist as the staff thought that having a main character besides Sora would help to introduce gamers to the series' first Nintendo DS title.[39] The staff thought that Roxas' role as a member of Organization XIII would be a suitable theme for the plot.[40] This idea was furthered during the development of Kingdom Hearts II, where the staff wanted to focus on what influenced Roxas to leave the Organization, which resulted in the creation of Xion's character who was connected with Roxas' origins.[41] The development team wanted to have gameplay similar to previous Kingdom Hearts titles, but stated the number of buttons on the Nintendo DS was a problem.[9][38] Some of the DS's functions, like the stylus, are not used in order to retain the similar gameplay from previous titles.[6] Roxas seeing Sora's memories is incorporated throughout the game and has different types of gameplay for each world.[9] The game's logo uses warm colors as a reference to the sunset in Twilight Town. The meaning behind the title, "358/2 Days" was left unexplained by Nomura during the promotion of the game.[38] Upon completion, the player discerns that it references the story of Xion and Roxas, and their 358 days as members of Organization XIII.

Though Birth by Sleep was the first of the three new games to begin development, 358/2 Days was released before it.[6][14] The game was slated for a release at the end of 2008, but Square Enix pushed the date to February 2009.[42][43][44] Once again the game was delayed for Japanese release until May 30, 2009. A release in North American territories was announced on December 2, 2008.[45] The official English trailer for the title was shown at Nintendo's press conference at E3 2009, confirming a release date of September 29, 2009 for North America and October 9, 2009 for Europe.[2]

358/2 Days was originally to have featured a world based on Pinocchio, as evidenced by unused character portraits for Honest John, Gideon, Gepetto, and the eponymous character as a real boy, but this was cut due to space restrictions.[46][47]

Reception

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic75/100[48]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Famitsu36/40[49][50]
G43/5 stars[11]
Game Informer8/10[51]
GameSpot8/10[52]
GameTrailers7.9/10[53]
IGN8/10[12]
ONM69%[54]
RPGamer2.5/5 stars[55]

The game received an average score is 75 out of 100 on Metacritic.[48] Prior to the game's release, Nintendo Power's Chris Hoffman and Steve Thomason referred to the game as highly anticipated, and considered it one of the better titles displayed at the 2008 Tokyo Game Show.[56] The game was met with a range of reviews, ranging from mediocre to positive, where most of the focus was on the game's graphics and storyline.

The graphics of the game were heavily praised by many reviewers, with Hoffman and Thomason going as far as to call them among the best on the system, and complimented the familiar feel of the gameplay and its transition between the PlayStation home consoles and the portable Nintendo ones.[56] Game Informer gave the game an 8 out of 10, praising the graphics for excellent production values and the journey of the camera controls from the PlayStation Analog Stick to the DS shoulder buttons.[51] The Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu gave the game 9/9/9/9 (36/40) and praised the graphical quality of the game saying they were at a level which had not been seen on a DS before, further complimenting the gameplay mechanics and missions. They were also particularly impressed with the new panel system which allows the player to customize their fighting techniques as well as the ability to customize the characters from the Organization. Unlike many other reviewers, they praised the story as "strongly captivating."[49][50] The Australian video game talk show Good Game's two reviewers gave the game a 7/10 and 7.5/10, grateful that the game didn’t force the use of the stylus, especially when it came to battle.[57]

The RPGFan reviewer gave the game an 81 out of 100, praising the visual and aural quality, however they expressed disappointment at the recycling of most of the music from Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II.[58] Kevin VanOrd of GameSpot was complimentary of the single-player mode, commenting specifically that the artificial intelligence-controlled Organization XIII members were helpful and competent. He also praised the multiplayer mode's gameplay, calling it "fun" and citing the ease of using magic spells and items.[59]

The controls and overall story were of particular criticism by the reviewers, with VanOrd stating that the on-screen character ended up in one of the game field's corners often.[59] RPGamer was highly critical of these facts, as it handed the game a 2.5/5 score and reviewer Alex Reimer concluded, "...many fans of the series may be turned off by the lackluster controls and odd story directions taken with this portable spin-off."[60] The Official Nintendo Magazine gave the game a mediocre score of 69% praising the graphics and gameplay, they were critical however of the constant backtracking and confusing plot.[54] Good Game's reviewers stated that while the plot was confusing, and made little sense for players new to the series, it still drew the player in and filled in the gaps of the storyline for continuing players of the series. They surmised that the repetition of worlds and missions, and overall lack of variety, combined with lengthy storytelling really hurt the gaming experience.[57]

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days was the top-selling game during May 2009 in Japan at 291,000 copies, even though it was released during the final week of the month.[61] The following week, it was again the top-selling game in the region at 106,000 copies.[62] By August 2009, the game sold 490,000 copies in the region. It was also one of the most reserved games for the DS.[63] By the end of 2009, the game sold a total of 571,981 copies in Japan alone making it the twelfth best-selling game in Japan of 2009.[64] NPD Group sales data shows the game has sold over 360,000 copies in North America as of October 2009.[65][66] In November 2009, Square Enix announced the game had sold 1.22 million units worldwide.[67] The game was nominated for 7 awards in the Nintendo 2009 Power awards: Nintendo DS Game of the Year, Best Sound/Voice Acting, Best Adventure Game, Best Nintendo DS Graphics, Best New Character (Xion), Best Story/Writing, and Overall Game of the Year. On February 16, 2010, it was announced that 358/2 Days won all seven of the awards that it was nominated for in the reader's vote.[68]

Versions and merchandise

A special Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days-themed edition of the Nintendo DSi was released alongside the game when it launched in Japan.[3] An Ultimania guidebook of the game was released by Square on June 25, 2009.[69] Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days was re-released as part of the "Kingdom Hearts 10th Anniversary Box" package made in commemoration of the franchise's 10th anniversary on March 29, 2012 alongside Kingdom Hearts Re:coded and the debuting Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.[70] The musical themes introduced in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days were included in a CD that collected tracks from Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Kingdom Hearts Re:coded and 358/2 Days released on February 2, 2012.[71]

Manga and light novels

Square Enix published a series of light novels based on the title written by Tomoko Kanemaki and illustrated by Shiro Amano. The first volume, The 14th, was released on July 30, 2009 and the second, Go to the Sea, on January 28, 2010,[72][73] and the third and last volume, Xion-Seven Days, in May 2010.[74] A manga adaptation by Amano was serialized in Square's Monthly Shōnen Gangan from August 2009 to August 2012.[75] A total of five tankōbon volumes were released between June 22, 2010,[76] and April 21, 2012.[77]

HD 1.5 Remix

In September 2012, Square Enix announced Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix a compilation for the PlayStation 3 to include both Kingdom Hearts Final Mix and Re:Chain of Memories in high definition and trophy support. Additionally, the collection includes HD cinematic scenes from Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. The idea of a full remake, like Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, was considered for Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. However, it was later scrapped in favor of an almost 3 hour long cinematic retelling of the game.[78] New voice work was done for 358/2 Days and the HD collection has "70% of the main plot."[79] It was released in Japan on March 14, 2013,[80] in North America on September 10, 2013,[81] in Australia on September 12, 2013[82] and on September 13, 2013 in Europe.[83] A PlayStation 4 version of the Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix compilation was released on March 9, 2017, in Japan, March 28, 2017, in North America, and March 31, 2017, in Europe.[84] A piece of downloadable content for the PlayStation 4 version adds an additional scene to the cinematic, depicting the battle between Roxas and Xion.[85]

See also

References

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External links

Alyson Stoner

Alyson Rae Stoner (born August 11, 1993) is an American actress, singer, dancer and model. Stoner is best known for her roles in Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), The Suite Life of Zack & Cody (2005–2007) and the Step Up series (2006, 2010, 2014).

She has been a dancer for several artists, such as Missy Elliott, Eminem, Kumbia Kings, Outkast and Will Smith. Stoner is also known for hosting Disney Channel's Mike's Super Short Show (2001–2007) and for voicing Isabella Garcia-Shapiro in Phineas and Ferb (2007–2015).

Beast (Beauty and the Beast)

The Beast is a fictional character who appears in Walt Disney Animation Studios' 30th animated feature film Beauty and the Beast (1991). He also appears in the film's two direct-to-video followups Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas and Belle's Magical World. Based on the hero of the French fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, the Beast was created by screenwriter Linda Woolverton and animated by Glen Keane.

A pampered prince transformed into a hideous beast as punishment for his cold-hearted and selfish ways, the Beast must, in order to return to his former self, earn the love of a beautiful young woman named Belle who he imprisons in his castle. All this must be done before the last petal falls from the enchanted rose on his twenty-first birthday. In all animated film appearances, the Beast is voiced by American actor Robby Benson. The 1991 animated film was adapted into a Broadway musical in 1994, with the role being originated by American actor Terrence Mann. Dan Stevens portrays the character in a 2017 live-action adaptation of the original 1991 film.

Bob Buchholz

Robert Buchholz (Born June 1, 1957 in Norwalk, Connecticut) is an American voice actor, writer, story editor, and voice director. He has provided voices for anime and video games. He is the owner of Spliced Bread Productions.

Hercules (franchise)

Hercules is a Disney media franchise comprising a film series and additional merchandise, starting with the 1997 animated Disney feature of the same name, directed by Ron Clements and John Musker.

Jack Skellington

Jack Skellington is a character and the main protagonist of the 1993 film The Nightmare Before Christmas. Jack is the "Pumpkin King" of Halloween Town, a fantasy world based solely on the Halloween holiday. Jack is voiced by Chris Sarandon. Danny Elfman provided Jack's singing voice in the film, although Sarandon has sung as Jack in subsequent productions.

His overall appearance is a skeleton dressed in a black pin-striped suit and a bow tie that strongly resembles a black bat. Originally, his suit was meant to be completely black, but it blended with the background too well, so it was changed. At the beginning of the film, Jack makes his grand entrance by emerging out of a fire-breathing dragon-themed fountain. His last name is based on the word "skeleton". He has a ghost dog named Zero for a pet, who has a small glowing nose that looks like a jack-o'-lantern. He is adored by Sally, a rag doll created by Dr. Finklestein. The character is a popular design on bags, hats, clothing, umbrellas, belt buckles, pet collars and other items.

Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts (Japanese: キングダム ハーツ, Hepburn: Kingudamu Hātsu) is a series of action role-playing games developed and published by Square Enix (originally by Square). It is a collaboration between Disney Interactive and Square Enix, and is under the direction of Tetsuya Nomura, a longtime Square Enix character designer.

Kingdom Hearts is a crossover of various Disney properties based in a fictional universe. The series centers on the main character, Sora, and his journey and experiences with various Disney, Final Fantasy, The World Ends with You and Pixar characters. The heroes of the series clash against the multiple incarnations of the primary antagonist, Xehanort, throughout the series. The Walt Disney Company owns almost all characters and worlds of the Kingdom Hearts franchise.

The series consists of thirteen games available for multiple platforms, and future titles are planned. Most of the games in the series have been positively received and commercially successful. As of February 2019, the Kingdom Hearts series has shipped more than 30 million copies worldwide. A wide variety of related merchandise has been released along with the games, including soundtracks, figurines, companion books, light novels, cards, and comic series.

Kingdom Hearts Coded

Kingdom Hearts Coded, stylized as Kingdom Hearts coded, is an episodic action role-playing puzzle video game developed and published by Square Enix, in collaboration with Disney Interactive Studios, for mobile phones. Coded was a Japan-only release announced at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show. Its Nintendo DS remake entitled Kingdom Hearts Re:coded was released in Japan, North America, Europe, and Australia. A cinematic remake of the game was included in the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix video game compilation for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

The gameplay is centered mostly around puzzle solving, with action-RPG gameplay elements, similar to previous Kingdom Hearts games. Mini-games and platforming are also featured, with three dimensional backgrounds and two dimensional characters. In mid-2007, game director Tetsuya Nomura decided to create a Kingdom Hearts spin-off for mobile phones that would have a different gameplay style than previous titles and allow players to explore the game like a playground. The game was originally released in eight parts and one preview to mobile phone gamers from June 2009 to January 2010. To reach a wider audience, it was remade for the Nintendo DS and released internationally.

Kingdom Hearts coded is the fourth installment in the Kingdom Hearts series and is set after Kingdom Hearts II. Jiminy Cricket's journal, chronicling Sora's fight against the Heartless and Organization XIII, is found to have two secret messages written by persons unknown, and after the journal is digitized for further analysis, the contents become corrupted. This leads king Mickey and his friends to make a digital Sora to enter and repair the journal so that the meaning of the hidden messages can be deciphered. The game received mixed reviews, with critics praising the graphics and gameplay variety, but panning the story, camera and controls.

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix (キングダム ハーツ HD 1.5 リミックス, Kingudamu Hātsu HD 1.5 Rimikkusu, stylized Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 ReMIX) is an HD remastered collection of the Kingdom Hearts series, developed by Square Enix for the PlayStation 3. It was revealed in September 2012 and released in Japan in March 2013, and North America, Australia and Europe in September 2013.

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix includes both Kingdom Hearts Final Mix and Re:Chain of Memories in high-definition and with trophy support. Additionally, the collection features a cinematic remake of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, including high-definition cutscenes from the original game plus new scenes; the 358/2 Days cinematic also has trophy support. Ideas for a remastered collection of Kingdom Hearts games were first revealed in August 2011, with the collection formally announced in September 2012. Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, in addition to being created from the ground up due to lost assets from the original game, had the most adjustments made to its gameplay, including adding Reaction Commands first introduced in Kingdom Hearts II and allowing the camera to be moved with the right thumb stick.

The collection was met to generally favorable reviews. A second collection, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix, was released in 2014 while a third collection, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, was released in 2017. 1.5 Remix was released in a single, combined collection with 2.5 Remix on the PlayStation 4 in March 2017.

List of Kingdom Hearts media

Kingdom Hearts is a series of action role-playing games developed and published by Square Enix (formerly Square). It is the result of a collaboration between Square Enix and Disney Interactive Studios, combining characters and elements from Square Enix's Final Fantasy series and multiple Disney franchises. Currently the series includes seven video games released on various platforms, a manga series, a novel series, video game soundtracks released on audio CDs, and a collectible card game.

The video games provide the canonical story of the series. The manga series is adapted by Shiro Amano and the novels are written by Tomoco Kanemaki and illustrated by Shiro Amano. The stories follow the events that take place in the video games with differences to account for the loss of interactivity that a video game provides. The manga and novel series are both divided up into three series based on each of the three main video games. Each series is further broken up into multiple volumes. The manga was originally serialized in Japan by Square's Monthly Shonen Gangan, but has since been released worldwide. The manga was released in the United States by Tokyopop near the end of 2005, but was discontinued in 2008.

Music of Kingdom Hearts

The music of the Kingdom Hearts video game series was composed by Yoko Shimomura with orchestral music arranged by Kaoru Wada. The original soundtracks of the games have been released on three albums and a fourth compilation album. The soundtracks to the Kingdom Hearts games feature several musical pieces from both Disney films and Final Fantasy games, including such pieces as "Mickey Mouse Club March" by Jimmie Dodd, "This Is Halloween" by Danny Elfman, and "One-Winged Angel" by Nobuo Uematsu. They also feature several vocal songs, the most notable being the two main theme songs, "Hikari" and "Passion". The two themes were written and performed by Japanese American pop star Hikaru Utada; in addition to Japanese, English versions of both songs were produced, titled "Simple and Clean" and "Sanctuary", respectively.

Although the majority of the music has been released only in Japan, the first soundtrack was released worldwide and tracks from the Kingdom Hearts series have been featured in Video Games Live at multiple venues. The music has overall been well received and several tracks have received particular praise. The two main themes were well received by both video game and music critics, and did well on Japan's Oricon Weekly Singles chart.

Organization XIII

Organization XIII (Japanese: XIII機関, Hepburn: Jūsan Kikan) is a fictional group of characters featured in Square Enix and Disney Interactive Studios' Kingdom Hearts video game series. The group comprises thirteen beings without hearts called "Nobodies", formed when a person's body fades from existence upon losing their heart and transforming into a "Heartless".

The concept of the Organization was originally introduced in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix within a bonus ending titled "Another Side, Another Story [deep dive]", where their Japanese name was translated as the "Thirteenth Order". The group was later introduced as the "Organization" in the game Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, where they serve as the main antagonists, and returns in the same role in Kingdom Hearts II. Organization XIII is prominently featured in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days as characters available for play, along with a new female member named Xion. Several members, prior to becoming Nobodies, appear in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, return following their restoration in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, and have returned in Kingdom Hearts III.

The group was moderately well received by reviewers. Comments focused on their difficulty as adversaries and mysterious nature, which fueled expectations of future titles. Roxas specifically received press comments, focusing on his introduction in Kingdom Hearts II.

Peter Pan (franchise)

Peter Pan is a Disney media franchise based on J. M. Barrie's original play and novel, which officially commenced with the 1953 theatrical film Peter Pan. The spin-off film series Tinker Bell has continued this franchise into the 21st century.

The franchise is about Peter Pan, a boy who lives in Neverland and refuses to enter the human world and grow up. He takes Wendy Darling's family to his home and shows them around, and together they aim to foil the plan of the evil Captain Hook.

The character Tinker Bell is also part of the Disney Fairies franchise.

Roxas (Kingdom Hearts)

Roxas (Japanese: ロクサス, Hepburn: Rokusasu) is a fictional character from Square Enix's video game franchise Kingdom Hearts. First revealed during the final scenes of the 2004 title Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Roxas is a "Nobody", who was created from the series' main character Sora who briefly loses his heart during the first game of the series. Kingdom Hearts II reveals that Roxas is a member of Organization XIII, a group of Nobodies who need him as he can wield the Keyblade, a weapon that allows him to capture hearts. As a member of the organization, Roxas bears the title "Key of Destiny" (めぐりあう鍵, Meguriau Kagi, lit. "Serendipitous Key"). He is also the protagonist of the video game Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, which revolves around his origins. In the Japanese games, Roxas is voiced by Kōki Uchiyama, while Jesse McCartney takes the role in the English versions.

Since his cameo appearance, director Tetsuya Nomura has said that Roxas is an important character in the series, and in order to explain his back story in more detail than was done in Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days was created. Since his introduction in Kingdom Hearts II, Roxas has received positive critical response from video game publications with most of them focusing on his development in 358/2 Days. Various types of merchandise based on his character has been produced.

Ryan O'Donohue

Ryan Sean O'Donohue (born April 26, 1984) is an American voice actor, most notable for his performances in many Disney projects. O'Donohue began his acting career at the age of nine when he played Zeke Byrd on the 1994 ABC drama Byrds of Paradise, filmed in Hawaii. The show was cancelled after a 13-episode run despite rave reviews.

O'Donohue was born in Pomona, California to Anita Lynne Rultenberg and Sean Patrick O'Donohue. He married Veronica Faye Dean in June 2004. She gave birth to their firstborn child named Hazel Ryan O'Donohue in December 2004.

Shanelle Workman

Shanelle Workman is an American actress, voice actress, producer and director. She is best known for playing the roles of Sarah "Flash" Roberts on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live and Gabriela 'Gaby' Moreno Forester on the CBS soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful.

Shiro Amano

Shiro Amano (天野 シロ, Amano Shiro, born January 4, 1976) is a Japanese manga artist who has worked on several projects, including his adaptation on the popular Kingdom Hearts series.

Vince Corazza

Vincent Corazza is a Canadian-born actor known for playing the role of Alden Jones in the television series Braceface and Darien Shields/Tuxedo Mask in the anime Sailor Moon.

Corazza began acting at the age of 10. His credits include the 2003 feature film, Owning Mahowny as well as the television movie The Cheetah Girls for the Disney Channel. Other credits include guest appearances on The Famous Jett Jackson, 24, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, JAG and Without a Trace, and a December 2006 appearance on the daytime drama General Hospital.

Notable vocal/animation credits include Alden on Braceface, Tuxedo Mask (CWi dub) and Alan (DiC dub) of Sailor Moon, Sam Sparks of Rescue Heroes and Shickadance of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. He was also the voice of U.B.C.S. mercenary Carlos Oliveira in the PlayStation video game Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, and the voice of Zexion in Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.

Corazza played the lead animated character of "Slim" in an IMAX feature entitled Adventures in Animation 3D.

Corazza also had a role in the horror movie Bless the Child.

Corazza acted as Harry Bright on the US National tour of Mamma Mia!, and also was a part of the original Broadway production of Rocky in 2014. In 2015, he took on the role of male lead in Music Theater of Wichita's stage adaptation of Big Fish (July, 2015). Corazza plays the part of Edward Bloom, a father who raised his son on fantastic and exaggerated stories.

Wayne Allwine

Wayne Anthony Allwine (February 7, 1947 – May 18, 2009) was an American voice actor, sound effects editor and foley artist for The Walt Disney Company. He is best remembered as the voice of Mickey Mouse for 32 years, narrowly the longest to date, and was married to voice actress Russi Taylor, who has voiced Minnie Mouse since 1986. He died on May 18, 2009 of complications caused by diabetes.

Yen Press

Yen Press LLC is an American manga and graphic novel publisher co-owned by Kadokawa Corporation and Hachette Book Group. In addition to their regular book releases, Yen Press produced Yen Plus, a monthly manga anthology (last print issue 2010). The company's varied list demonstrates an interest in publishing a wide variety of Japanese manga, Korean manhwa, and other international content. In addition to translated material, Yen Press has released original series, most notably a manga adaptation of James Patterson's Maximum Ride and Svetlana Chmakova's Nightschool.

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