INTRODUCTION:Top of me shell to ya, matties! So sorry for the months long inactivity on the KHInsider forum. But I had SO many errands/plans involved with my imaginary pet Danuki Dalmatian Troopa. (He runs a twitter account Danuki's Dalmatian Studio under the name Cutekoopa1).
So, for many past months, I've been throwing some ideas/concepts for a thread that I've been meaning to post for the Kingdom Hearts community. After my previous thread talking about 101 Dalmatian Street, I've been working around the clock with Danuki months in advance to make this topic of ideal world for a future KH title (Main entry or spin-off), and believe me, this world is a wild card!
What if 101 Dalmatian Street was made as a potential world for a future Kingdom Hearts title? Just think of it for a second. A world where you can actually play as Sora in his Dalmatian form? Before you quickly dismiss this thread, hear this little koopa out, and think for a minute. How much can 101 Dalmatian Street work as a world? And would it even make for a good world at all? How does it tie in to the Kingdom Hearts storyline? What's the point of this thread? And why does Wario keep dying so many times in so many multiple outcomes!? (Okay, I was kidding about the last part)
Just sit back in your chairs, grab yourself a platter of Yoshi cookies and a Super Soda, and let's dive right into this long thread of why I believe
101 Dalmatian Street would make for a good potential Kingdom Hearts world!
1. WHAT EXACTLY IS 101 DALMATIAN STREET?
Now, in my first and only thread, I made a thorough explanation about 101 Dalmatian Street's existence, how it's related to 101 Dalmatians, what the characters are, and why it's worth watching. To sum it up, it's a show that takes place 60 years after the original 1961 film, starring two siblings Dylan & Dolly who take charge of looking after a large, plethora of 97 siblings and having chaotic misadventures in the town of Camden. Though the show ended with only one season, it was strong enough to generate a strong, and ever-growing fandom of 101DS fans, who work day and night to make the show popular again. I on other hand wish to bring awareness of 101 Dalmatian Street to the Kingdom Hearts fan community, and that's why I put this thread together to tickle KH fans with a sense of curiosity. The show is currently available to watch on Disney+ if you're are lucky enough to own it.
Starting off with the basics, we have two main protagonists: Dylan and Dolly Dalmatian. Dylan is the more responsible step-brother of the Dalmatian family, making sure no pup is left unaccounted for, always looking after his youngest siblings, taking them for a walk at the park, and back home by night. Dylan also happens to be the total nerd and know-it-all sibling, obsessed with personal hygiene, not to mention like every other geek, he expresses his love for space, science, rocks, and even his favorite board-game "Poodlewolf".
That's not to say the same to his sister Dolly, who happens to be the opposite of Dylan. She's a wild, chaotic, misheveous, and rebellious step-sister who wants nothing more than to give her family the best life they could offer, even when it comes to disregarding rules/boundaries, and even poking fun of his step-brother. She's known to utter her favorite catchphrase "Bow-Whacka-Wow!!", and loves to show off her radical moves on her skateboard. Dolly's not a perfect step-sister, but she does in fact care for Dylan and the other siblings as well. The two step-siblings may have major differences from each other, but whenever trouble comes, Dylan and Dolly would willingly work together to protect their siblings, as well as helping each other through the worst. Their mother and father are Delilah, who works as a Doctor, and Doug, who works as a fire dog. The two parents would often leave for work, leaving Dylan and Dolly to take charge in taking care of their 97 brothers and sisters.
Aside from these two protagonists and their parents, there are other siblings whom have more diverse and unique character designs to stand out amongst the wave of 99 siblings. First of course is Dawkins, who is the brains, the sidekick and one of younger brothers of the family, whom Dylan and Dolly would leave in charge of the pups when they're not around (Oh, Kibbles!). He also has an attachment to his doll, Princess Positron. Another sibling amongst the family is Dante, a gothic-paranoid pup who pops in and out of nowhere, always predicting some kind of potential disaster or even yet, the end of the world (Which of course, still hasn't happened. We're all still here! ) Then there's Diesel who loves nothing more than to dig, dig, dig! Da Vinci, who is a painter. Dizzy and DeeDee, Dolly's two mischevious younger sisters. Triple D (Dallas, Destiny and Deja Vu), the diva triplets and celebrities. There are plenty of other siblings with unique and colorful personalities that you can see on the show for yourself. 101 Dalmatian Street also introduces other unique characters outside of the Dalmatian family, such as Fergus the shady, cunning fox, Hansel the sensitive, kind-spirited, poem loving Husky, Roxy the slobbery Rottweiler, Clarissa the snobby, Dalmatian despising Corgi, Portia the gothic Poodle, and Constantin the cat, and the worshipper of Guru Miaow. The show has plenty of diverse and unique characters to offer, along with many slice-of-life stories centered around Dylan, Dolly, their siblings, and the dogs of Camden. While most of the episodes from the show are basically self-contained, focusing on characters' every day lives, weather it's the Canal Crew, Portia, the siblings, it does have a overarching plot that's carried over years from the original animated film. And if you're hoping your favorite iconic Disney villain Cruella De Vil is in this show, then *Ding Ding* you are correct!
Cruella is still alive within this modern era, and she now runs a billion dollar company. However, her life-long ambition to obtain a lush, spotted fur-coat made from Dalmatians hasn't changed at all. 60 years after having her plans thwarted by Delilah's great-great-grandparents Pongo and Perdita, she is now plotting her revenge on the new generation of Dalmatians, and Dylan and Dolly are in it. Her role is pretty minimal up until the season 1 finale, but she does have an outside source to help her retrieve her fur coat: Her descendant and grand nephew, Hunter De Vil. Hunter is the lonely, side-villain of the 101DS, who wishes to please her Great Aunt Cruella by fulfilling her wish to kidnap this generations' puppies and make a fur coat out of them. Of course, this was before Hunter came to a full grasp of how exactly animals were made into fur coats. In the end, Hunter stands up to Cruella and frees the puppies from her grasps, putting an end to her 60-year-long revenge. Well... for now at least. The story runs deep into the aspects of family, showing some heart-warming moments, friendship building, bonding, and it's totally worth giving 101DS a watch.
Well, now that I've gotten the entire topic for 101DS out of the way (As well as spoiling the ending of the show just a teensy bit!), I think is the perfect time to talk about how 101 Dalmatian Street would fit into the Kingdom Hearts universe. Starting with our next topic!
3. WHY SHOULD 101 DALMATIAN STREET BE IN KINGDOM HEARTS ANYWAY?
After looking back at the first Kingdom Hearts game while watching 101 Dalmatian Street, I thought it'd make sense for the 101 Dalmatians franchise to appear again as a potential world. That is of course through 101DS. In Kingdom Hearts 1, there was a side-mission where you would go to various Disney worlds to rescue 99 lost Dalmatians and bring them back to Pongo and Perdita, who both reside in Traverse Town after their world was torn apart. (Of course, that's pretty obvious to many Kingdom Hearts fans) You would then be given several gifts from the Dalmatian couple depending how many puppies you've saved. After taking time to think about this, I thought to myself "Yeah, I want 101 Dalmatian Street to be in Kingdom hearts, and nobody's gonna tell me otherwise".
So, how exactly will 101 Dalmatian Street work as a world in the Kingdom Hearts franchise, you might ask? Just think about it for a sec. There's been several surprise worlds based off films that no one would've expected to appear in the KH series: "Nightmare Before Christmas", "Tron" and "Mickey, Donald and Goofy starring the Three Musketeers". Seeing a world based off an underrated Disney property appear in a KH game is not uncommon, and I think 101 Dalmatian Street fits the bill. Where exactly does the show fit in the KH timeline anyhow?
As mentioned in Kingdom Hearts: Dark Road, time flows differently in each world, so I had a theory that during the Dark Seekers Saga, Pongo & Perdita's world would go through a MAJOR time-skip to an era where Dylan and Dolly are still active. Of course, if Sora ever finds his way back to the realm of light...
<The poor dude is stuck in a universe where he fights a large roster of Non-Disney characters like a short mustached dude who shoots fireballs, a walking talking bear with a bird on his back, a Red tiger who'd look like the next WWE wrestler, and so forth. That or he's still trapped in Quadratum!>
...I would love to see what sort of impact Sora's actions have made on the Dalmatian family and future generations. Dylan and Dolly could somehow have a connection to Sora's heart (My friends are my power), the same way that their great-great-grandparents did. A human, that dogs assumed were dumb and hard to raise as pets, had risked his very own life to save their older generation of Dalmatians from the spirits of darkness, with the mighty swing of his Keyblade! Just imagine the interactions that Sora would have with Dylan, Dolly and the other siblings...
Or for that matter, imagine other Keyblade wielders interacting with the pups: Kairi, Axel, Ven, Terra, Aqua, Roxas... The possibilities here are just endless for this potential world. I know 101 Dalmatian Street seems like something that's out of the realm of possibility to ever appear in a future Kingdom Hearts game, but I think it's still worth discussing about! Which is why I'm about explain the potential elements/plot for a 101DS world in the next topic.
4. GAMEPLAY/WORLD MECHANICS
Writing up a concept for the potential gameplay mechanics for a 101 Dalmatian Street world was not an easy one. You may be convinced that the show has very little to offer, gameplay wise. You might be right about that mates, as the world leans far too much into real-life, much like the way Toy Story once did. But somehow, Tetsuya Nomura was able to find a way to make the world work in a way that worlds wouldn't normally be represented in the Kingdom Hearts series. But I'm getting a little too ahead of myself. Let's dive right into the gameplay mechanics and what the world has to offer for us KH fans.
First off, let's talk about the locations/environment of 101DS's colorful, eye-popping stylized take on the small town of Camden, London:
There are many various locations in Camden that Sora can visit and interact with. Mainly, the most iconic locations of course are 101 Dalmatian Street (The actual street, where most of the show takes place), The park, The Canals, and the skatepark where Dolly often skates at. The locations within the 101DS world have a rather unique art-direction with a bright, unique color palette to make buildings and skyscrapers pop out more, abstract-like atmosphere, very distinct type of shading, and that's also not to mention the air-brush and sponge-paint like visuals to make this world stand out among other worlds that you would normally see in the Kingdom Shader.
We basically slapped together a couple of the Dalmatian family's everyday househoulds, starting with the banister of the stairs. At the time, we were stuck in a limbo of what we should use as a bridge for the keyblade. First there was Dylan's duster broom, then the vacuum nozzle, of course that was just an idea at the time, never really drew it. In the end, we picked the banister rail and threw in an empty water-bowl at the tip for a messy representation of the keyblade. That's when we threw in several collars: Red to represent Dylan, and Indigo, Orange and Blue to represent Dolly.
Then we used the paw-scanner as the teeth for the Party Dogs Forever keyblade. We were originally planning to go for several brushes and combs from the stroking machine before we decided the scanner made more sense. For the other half of bridge, we drew a stack of bricks, splattered with paint to represent Da Vinci and her love of painting. For the base, we used three tennis balls in 2 rows for the top base, and a blue, bone-shaped bottom. We wanted the Party Dogs Forever keyblade to represent the original 1961 film, the continuity, and Sora's connection. So, we thought we'd imprint three, tiny golden portraits of three of our most recognizable characters: There's Pongo on the left, Perdita on the right, and the fur-obsessed madwoman herself, Cruella De Vil in the middle!
The handle was kind of rushed (It's supposed to be piece of a stair-rail with dog collars around it).
And finally, for the keychain, we used a dog-leash with Dawkins' Princess Positron doll at the end of it. The Princess Poistron doll was perhaps the most known item seen throughout the show, and we felt it made sense to use her as the keychain.
Despite some design flaws, I think me and Danuki had made the best representation of 101 Dalmatian Street with this keyblade, and I'm actually quite curious to see how Nomura's 101DS keyblade design would look if he even decides to make 101DS as a playable world! With all being said, I think now is the cue for me to talk about the gameplay mechanics for a potential 101DS world!
3. GAMEPLAY MECHANICS
So, I'm not gonna lie, mates. It was not easy constructing a visionary gameplay mechanic for this world. That being since there's so much content in the 101 Dalmatians franchise to pull from, I wasn't sure where to start. I guess I can start off with the most basics. If Sora were to visit this world, I can easily imagine Sora being a Dalmatian himself. Or better yet, for something more out of the box. Like how Sora's form from the Toy Story world is based off of Yozora, how about we take a similar crack at it by basing his design off of Poodlewolf himself! He can be a combination of all three canine breeds, a Dalmatian, poodle and a wolf. It would certainly give the story for a 101DS world a more unique story to tell, like Dylan mistaking Sora for a real-life Poodlewolf and going full 101% geek mode. It would make for an interested intraction between the two protagonists of two Disney properties! Perhaps Sora would take up interest in the Poodlewolf board-game! As for Donald and Goofy's forms, I'd say base Goofy off of a Great Dane since that's what he's most likely based off of, and make Donald an average, feral duck with an adorable little hat and big blue eyeballs. (I mean with Goofy being a dog, and Donald being a duck, I think that's a pretty much a no-brainer.)
Moving on to the gameplay mechanics of the world itself, I thought of unburrowing some old gameplay concepts from a classic 101 Dalmatians game "102 Dalmatians: Puppies to the Rescue".
I have my bets that if Tetsuya Nomura were to make implement 101 Dalmatian Street in a future Kingdom Hearts title, I'd imagine the storyline to be original, perhaps taking place after the events of Season 1 (The only season sadly. Cue the salty tears to add to your Sea salt Ice cream, mates. T-T) After Hunter had saved Dylan, Dolly and their family from the evil clutches of Cruella De Vil and single-handedly thwarted her revenge with a simple bark to her face.
To start off, Heartless (And/or Gigas, depending on where the story goes after Kingdom Hearts IV) have made a rude, unwelcoming visit the very fragile existence of dogkind and the vulnerable town of Camden, thanks the new 13 Darknesses. During the sudden invasion, the newest generation of the Dalmatian family have been caught in the crossfire, and most of the 101 siblings have been captured and taken away by the heartless, including Delilah and Doug. Dylan, Dolly, and the few of the surviving siblings, Diesel, Dawkins, Triple D and Dorothy have been separated from the rest of the family and were forced to take shelter in their home until the invasion has blown over. Unfortunately for them, the heartless do not appear to be stopping their attack on Camden anytime soon. Now determined to save their family from this undiscovered force, Dylan and Dolly and the remaining siblings prepare to strike back against the heartless on their own with nothing but spots on their backs. Coincidentally, Sora, Donald and Goofy arrive in Dylan and Dolly's world
--This thread is still under Construction. Will continue working on it within due time.--