Analytics Made Easy - StatCounter
Jump to content
  • Sign Up

The 100 Greatest Kingdom Hearts Scenes (40-31)

Recommended Posts

After taking a break from the Kingdom Hearts series for a few months, I decided I wanted to piece together a summer project that I can share with the world. This is that project. I will be counting down the 100 greatest scenes in the series’ history. Ten scenes will be revealed at a time, so this will run for a few days. No text box cutscenes or opening cinematics are included in this list. Each of the scenes is listed under their “Theater Mode” title. I hope you enjoy the countdown, and I hope it can spark some hearty discussion.


40. “Together Again” (Kingdom Hearts II)

While the actual reunion scene between Sora, Riku and Kairi is also pretty touching, seeing these characters fight alongside each other is a much more interesting take that emphasizes their combined strength. The standout is Kairi, who we learn is also able to wield the Keyblade. It may be her strongest moment in the entire series. It isn’t just that she holds the Keyblade, but that she quickly and willingly proceeds to jumps right into battle with it. This is a girl on a mission, and her actions here make her promotion to Guardian of Light later on more believable. Unfortunately, it also makes some other choices the writers have made with her far more egregious. As that’s happening, Saix informs Sora that the Organization’s Kingdom Hearts is just about complete, essentially making Sora dispensable. This is a good setup for the fights that follow, as Sora’s transition from tool to threat means bad news for the Organization’s survivors unless the hero is stopped in his tracks. Nine down, four to go.

39. “Watch Out!” (Kingdom Hearts II)

What a strange title. Goofy totally says “Look out!” in this scene’s big moment. But first, Demyx’s in-character but painful cries as he fades away are relatively disturbing considering the character’s generally peppy nature. Who would have thought that Demyx’s farewell would go on to be the second most memorable death in the scene? Mickey eventually meets up with the group and vows to work with them going forward, but that’s when Goofy’s head meets a round piece of rubble. The violent connection is still absolutely shocking at first glance, and while it was unlikely to hold up (it didn’t), it was still really jarring at the time. Goofy’s lifeless body lying on the ground while his friends question the reality of the situation is some of the strangest imagery the series has ever provided. And speaking of bonkers imagery, Mickey taking his revenge and finally doing away with his black coat is the kind of catharsis that only Kingdom Hearts can provide. This is some high-level E3 2001 fan fiction that’ll get long-time fans ready to run through a brick wall. In other words, this is why Kingdom Hearts exists.

38. “2.9 – The First Volume” (Birth by Sleep, 0.2)

When Sora, Donald and Goofy are the focus of the action, the hype is almost always at an all-time high. While it was nice to play through 0.2 as Aqua and get some backstory regarding her still being there, the Sora scene of the game is certainly the highlight of the experience. There’s not just nostalgia when it comes to Sora, Donald and Goofy all being together; there’s a sense that something massive is about to happen. The something in this case is Kingdom Hearts III, which includes the most momentous task the trio has dealt with yet. Yen Sid gives them the update on what’s happening with the other main characters and sends them on their way to Olympus. Our first Gummi Ship interior shot then properly frames the much-anticipated Kingdom Hearts III with some crafty dialogue. The banter and charm of SDG’s interactions are still there, but then Goofy recites the phrase “May your heart be your guiding key.” The series’ expansion is rarely as clear as it is in that moment. The settings and characters haven’t changed much since the last time we were treated to these three, but the plot has never been as thick and the universal stakes have never been as high.

37. “The Outside World” (Kingdom Hearts)

Here is where we get our first good look at Riku, the boy who would go on to become more than a rival in the worst way in the original Kingdom Hearts. His unparalleled thirst for travel is relatable, but it’s an ironic wish given the setting. There may be no more beautiful spot in the universe than Destiny Islands. I can see a case for Kingdom Hearts being associated with any of the seasons, but scenes like this give it a distinct summer feel. Anyway, Riku’s curiosity, which was undoubtedly the mold for Xehanort in future games, is brimming with ambition. Unfortunately, our friend would have trouble reigning it in, but it initially comes off as characteristically heroic. To stick with the rivalry arc, this is where we are introduced to the sacred Paopu, the ultimate symbol of togetherness, by Riku. The fruit we see here would kick off allusions and imitations galore throughout the series, marking its first appearance as one of the seminal moments of Kingdom Hearts mythology.

36. “The Light of the Past” (Kingdom Hearts III)

Zisa who? Though it starts off as a pretty by-the-numbers “overcome by darkness” scene, “The Light of the Past” turns into a moment of glory that absolutely no one expected to happen. From the second the screen goes white and we see the heavenly glow surrounding the ancient Keyblade wielder Ephemer, we know something massive is about to happen. Then, of course, there’s the glorious Yoko Shimomura score backing things up, tossing the scene into another realm of excitement. Xehanort once referred to the keys left behind in the Keyblade Graveyard as lifeless, but he couldn’t have been more off target in his analysis. The keys of the past come to life and assist Sora and his friends in their time of need. I could see how the mobile game tie-in doesn’t sit well with some, but there is no denying that the name-in-game contest that was channeled through Union Cross was brilliantly handled. We, the fans, are involved in this fight. There’s been some buzz regarding Nomura’s focus on Kingdom Hearts III in the months following the game’s release, and it is possible that some of those concerns are valid. But after all of the systems we had to buy, convoluted plots threads we had to iron out and trailers we never got, scenes like this one prove that there is an overflow of care and passion put into the Kingdom Hearts series.

35. “Where the Road Leads” (Chain of Memories)

Following the final boss, the easy writing technique is to have Riku finally cast out Ansem’s darkness once and for all and move on with his life. However, the easy road, both literally and figuratively, don’t quite match Riku’s style. He realizes that Ansem is still in there somewhere and that he won’t be able to shake him, so he doesn’t try. Rather, he puts his faith in Mickey and, most importantly, himself. If he can use the darkness and light in moderation, he can mold himself into a force like no one has ever seen before. Even DiZ gets fooled into thinking that light and darkness are the only two options, but Riku quickly shuts this thinking down. His declaration of walking the road to dawn is a line of liberation and recovery for this former a-hole. No longer is he caught in the petty rivalry between the sides of light and darkness. Riku decides to live and act on his own terms as a renegade warrior to the status quo and conventions of the Kingdom Hearts universe. He’ll probably never have a shot at taking over the mantle as the series’ main protagonist, but he would make a damn good one.

34. “The Last Light” (Kingdom Hearts III)

Wow, all of those interval cutscenes with Ienzo, Vexen, Demyx and Ansem the Wise really paid off. The Days trio get a marvelous spotlight, with each of them making an enormous impression in this aptly titled scene. First, Axel’s new set of last words are of the fourth wall breaking variety. How dare Xemnas refer to Axel as bound to be forgotten? Both in and out of universe, Axel is a brand. Xion being unhooded and remembered by Axel is huge revelation for these characters, properly reversing one of the saddest endings to an arc. Her turn to the Guardians’ side was most definitely predicted by the always perceptive Xehanort, and it must have been the reason why the benched members of the New Organization were kept around. Roxas’ return, though, is the scene’s grand finale. His entrance is a complete crowd-pleaser and offers some nice closure for the aforementioned Radiant Garden crew… for now. What’s more, now Roxas can coexist alongside Sora, so the scene may even get better in time. Were it not for Kairi’s weakly scripted capture, this scene would’ve landed in the top 30.

33. “Destiny” (Coded)

The only scene from Coded that is worthy of a spot on the list, here we get a nice breakdown of Xigbar’s genius. Throughout this Secret Ending, he baits the younger version of Xehanort into feeding him information he already knows and a little bit more just for fun. With his California surfer dude persona in full gear, it is easy to think that he is either not paying attention or doesn’t care, and he would probably agree should you say such a thing. But that’s the exact façade he is going for. The fact is that Xigbar is the smartest guy in the room because - irony incoming - he has seen the most. When Young Xehanort mentions that the No Name is the oldest Keyblade in existence, the former Luxu doesn’t let on to the fact that he was there when it was still being used by the Master of Masters. Only a slight squint lets us on to the fact that his plan is greater than anything that Xehanort has going on, but he’ll play along for the time being. The subtlety is worth a lot on the rewatch, and the character study in general is strong with this one.

32. “The Guardians of Light Gather” (Kingdom Hearts III)

This is what we’ve wanted to see. Finally, each of the games is represented in a single frame on the night before the fated clash. There are too many meaningful connections made during the course of this scene to give them all proper due. The full extent of how intertwined these characters’ stories are may not be properly understood until a scene like this happens. Its sole purpose is to make those bonds come to light, and that’s perfectly fine. Honestly, it would probably be more awkward if they got to the Keyblade Graveyard and Axel didn’t reference Ventus looking exactly like Roxas. On that, it is super cool to see everyone in such high spirits. This series sometimes has trouble slipping into melancholy nonsense, so it feels good that we get a moment in which Axel demands answers about what a Jiminy Cricket is. While I have focused on Axel’s fairly prominent role here, the fact is that the entire ensemble is clicking. You can usually trust in a scene that facilitates the characters being themselves.

31. “Fly, Sora” (Kingdom Hearts)

If you were wondering, this is the highest Disney-related scene on the list (though not necessarily the highest rated scene that takes place in a Disney world). It makes sense, as NeverLand is probably the most consistent Disney world in the series. All of the best hallmarks of a great Disney world scene pop up here. Captain Hook name drops Hollow Bastion, which is a pretty unique occasion on multiple levels. Rarely is a world’s name mentioned at all, let alone one that we have yet to visit. Also, Hollow Bastion? What movie is that from? The thematic elements are on point here as well. Peter Pan instilling a sense of belief in Sora and returning to his side as an ally before the Hook boss fight is the blueprint for what needs to happen with Riku, albeit on a much larger scale. When we judge whether a Disney world is working or not, we often come back to everything that this scene represents and portrays.


To 50-41:  https://www.kh13.com/forums/topic/121643-the-100-greatest-kingdom-hearts-scenes-50-41/

To 30-21:  https://www.kh13.com/forums/topic/121657-the-100-greatest-kingdom-hearts-scenes-30-21/


Edited by InnerLight13

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...