Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Kingdom Hearts I: Summary

With the announcement of Kingdom Hearts IV, I decided to replay the games to understand the story better. I don’t have a PlayStation, but Kingdom Hearts is currently available for PC on EPIC Games. If you are interested in playing, there are sales that happen throughout the year that makes the game cheaper.

I played the game as a kid, and I thought the idea of having Disney and Final Fantasy mixed together was awesome. However, I remember the story getting very confusing when I played Kingdom Hearts II. I learned as I grew older that there were games in between Kingdom Hearts I and II that you should play to understand the story. But in order to play them you had to own different game console, Nintendo DS. With Kingdom Hearts IV being announced, I decided to give the series another chance and play them all to gain an understanding of the story. I recently finished playing Kingdom Hearts I and, in this post, I will summarize the main story. 

Kingdom Heart I Main Story Summary

Sora (the main character), Riku (his best friend and rival), and Kairi (Sora's love interest) are leaving destiny island to explore new worlds. As they are about to leave on their raft they are attacked by the heartless---enemies that steal hearts. While this was happening Kairi is taken by a robed figure (Ansem) because she is one of the seven princesses of light that can open a hidden world (end of the world) that leads to the door of darkness where Kingdom Hearts is located. From this invasion Sora gains the keyblade to fight against the heartless while Riku decides to follows the darkness believing that he is stronger than the darkness, that it won't have the ability to corrupt his heart and give him a chance to leave this island. Riku invites Sora to follow him, but Sora refuses and they fight each other. By the end of the fight Sora is teleported to Traverse Town, another world. 

At Traverse Town he finds many iconic Final Fantasy characters that were driven out of their home (Hollow Bastion) and finds refuge on this planet. During his time there he runs into Donald and Goofy who was instructed by King Mickey to find the Key bearer, in the realm of light (the universe that they live in). Mickey at this time is off on his own adventure in the realm of darkness to find the other keyblade there, in order to close the door between both realms. Sora, Donald, and Goofy team up to fight the heartless.

As Sora goes from planet to planet sealing away the heartless (each planet has a keyhole that can be locked by the keyblade) he finds journal entries from King Ansem, ruler of Hollow Baston where Final Fantasy characters reside. These notes explore the paradigm shift from Ansem seeking how to remove darkness from people’s hearts by studying the heartless to becoming corrupt by the darkness. Ansem eventually desires to go to the realm of darkness to find Kingdom Hearts “the place where the world’s hearts connect”. Ansem recruits Disney villains to help him in his quest of getting the seven princesses by promising them what they desire. Through their aid the princesses are all captured and brought to Hallow Baston.

Sora goes to Hallow Baston to save Kairi, who has been comatose since leaving destiny island, and the other princesses. While he is there, he runs into Riku who, like Ansem, become corrupted by the darkness. Even though Riku has been working with the darkness to save Kairi the method to save her is wrong. Riku attempts to take Sora’s Keyblade but is unworthy and Sora and Riku fight. Riku uses the keyblade of heart to fight against Sora, even with that keyblade Sora wins. After the fight Riku’s body is taken over by Ansem and Riku spirit goes to the realm of darkness, where Mickey is. Ansem opens the end of the world by using seven princesses he has captured and leaves to open the door of darkness. Sora goes to Kairi and gains a revelation that Kairi's heart has been with him this entire time while he has been on his adventure. So he takes Riku’s keyblade, the keyblade of hearts, to release Kairi’s heart from him so she can be awakened.

Sora, Donald, and Goofy go to the end of the world to stop Ansem. They are told if they stop him the universe will reset causing Sora to never see his new friends again *Plot hole: we never see this happen in the game so it’s very confusing*. After numerous of trails Sora and the gain find Ansem and fight against him. After defeating Ansem he opens the door to darkness to gain power from Kingdom Hearts to beat Sora, but as he does Sora emphasizes the true nature of kingdom hearts, that even though it dwells in the realm of darkness it is light. The light from Kingdom Hearts coheres with Ansem, destroying him. As Sora, Donald, and Goofy close the door of darkness (to make sure the heartless doesn’t escape) they find King Mickey and Riku helping from the other side to close the door. Riku can’t leave because he was reformed in there and Mickey stays to lock it from that side (he might possible be dead because we don't know how he got to that realm). Sora promises to rescue Riku and King Mickey as the door is closes. King Mickey and Sora use their keyblades to lock the door from both sides preventing the heartless from going to the realm of light.

The story ends with Sora, Donald, and Goofy searching for Riku and King Mickey.


  1. I feel you absolutely must include the detail that when Sora stabs himself with the Keyblade of Hearts, for a brief time his own heart is removed, resulting in him becoming a Heartless...but also (though not addressed until a later game) in the creation of Roxas.

    1. That is a detail I should have included. Thank you!