• Hello everybody! We have tons of new awards for the new year that can be requested through our Awards System thanks to Antifa Lockhart! Some are limited-time awards so go claim them before they are gone forever...

    CLICK HERE FOR AWARDS

What if Final Fantasy characters hadn't been used as OC stand-in in the early games?



REGISTER TO REMOVE ADS

Zackarix

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2021
Messages
359
Awards
3
There's a big difference between how KH treats Disney characters and how it treats FF characters. For the most part the Disney characters are directly based on the films. The FF characters are not lifted from the games, instead most of them inhabit the original worlds and have completely different histories from the characters they're based on. This has made effectively made them into original characters in the skins of familiar characters.

So what if they had decided to go all the way and put true original characters in those roles instead? I don't think that there's much doubt that said roles could have been filled by OCs or even characters from other franchises. But from a marketing standpoint how much did the FF characters (regardless of how in-name-only they were) cross-promote the series?

And how would OCs have been treated differently? Would the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee still have been phased out of the story?
 

Elysium

Be Wiser Than the Serpent
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
3,685
Awards
37
And how would OCs have been treated differently? Would the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee still have been phased out of the story?
Probably not. I think that only happened because Nomura's bitterness over FFXV. Original characters wouldn't have received that kind of irrational ire.
 

Rodin

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2017
Messages
1,458
Awards
4
Location
USA
There's a big difference between how KH treats Disney characters and how it treats FF characters. For the most part the Disney characters are directly based on the films. The FF characters are not lifted from the games, instead most of them inhabit the original worlds and have completely different histories from the characters they're based on. This has made effectively made them into original characters in the skins of familiar characters.

So what if they had decided to go all the way and put true original characters in those roles instead? I don't think that there's much doubt that said roles could have been filled by OCs or even characters from other franchises. But from a marketing standpoint how much did the FF characters (regardless of how in-name-only they were) cross-promote the series?

And how would OCs have been treated differently? Would the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee still have been phased out of the story?
KH1 came out when I was 11. I knew off FF8 beforehand through a promotional demo but KH became my first real introduction. I probably would've discovered other FF games anyway but KH did help.

I think the RG committee would've been phased out anyway but for a different reason. A lot of KH's story problems are quite common if you read/watch shonen anime. Most shonen manga are produced weekly so they suffer from pacing problems. KH has the opposite schedule but same problem.

The Xehanort saga is similar to the Aizen Saga from Bleach or the Future Saga from Katetokyo Hitman Reborn. All 3 sagas started out with a cool hook but spread themselves too thin and overstayed their welcome. In the industry you call it "arc fatigue". So the RG committee would be lost in the shuffle.

A videogame equivalent is King of fighters. It's a crossover series with a convoluted plot. It's basically if KH just used Square Enix properties. It also has similar problems to KH but recycles its characters more. So even if the RG would get lost in the shuffle, SNK (KOF's developer) would bring them back.

For Example- Kof14 introduced a new protagonist Shun'ei but also paired him up with a series mainstay. Which is how SNK addressed your criticism. Most of the teams for KOF15 are new characters mixed in with old favorites.

So Nomura needs to take a page of their playbook
 
Last edited:

Noivern

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Messages
421
Awards
6
Age
26
From our perspective as people who grew up with the games as they are, I obviously wouldn't have liked it, nor do I think the games would have been as sucessful as they were.

But within the realm of discussion, I think the games might have been richer overall if that was the end result all along; Instead of alternative selves to the Final Fantasy characters, having OC's directly based on them with more built-in references that could have been exploited further throughout the series.

Like the restoration commitee, for one. Squall is already posing as Leon for ingame explanations, so it's really not hard to take that further and built a new person over the base already provided; Leon could be his actual name, and while keeping up with the overall punk motif of his clothes, he could have gotten some dark cloud design over his clothes and have lightning powers as a reference to his namesake. Could have kept the Gunblade as his weapon, with some references here in there through the dialogue of other characters or world-interactions about how they were used as weaponry in the Gardens, which could've been retconned as the name of the police force in Radiant Garden later on.

Cloud? Keeping up with the whole darkness motif, have him be a new character (Let's go with Nero as a stand in name) and keep the whole gladiator theme fighting in Olympus Coliseum. Then, during the lore expansion of KH2 bringing him back to Radiant Garden, have his role as a soldier be referenced as a different section of the Garden that were experimented on by Ansem and the Apprentices to try to emulate the powers of Darkness, with "Nero" being one of the survivors and "Sephiroth" being another.

If it seems familiar somehow, it's because it's the same way Final Fantasy itself has built-in references through each game to the usual tropes of Chocobos, Cid, the Highwind/Dragoon class, etc. Except they would do it with Kingdom Hearts.

It obviously would have resulted in a much better narrative with interconnected themes, but the loss in the Character representation is something to keep in mind.
 

Zackarix

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2021
Messages
359
Awards
3
I don't know if it would have made the games richer, but it would have made them more consistent. There's already KH OCs who are based on FF characters but are still separate like Axel and Yozora, so it's not the hard to imagine a scenario where they decided to do that with everyone. It also would have smoothed out any potential copyright concerns - no more wondering if Leon will appear in the Disney+ series.

Regarding the idea that the HBRC would have still been phased out to manage the cast size: the problem with this is that if they weren't FF characters they're no longer obvious choices to phase out. It makes sense that Sora's childhood playmates have fallen by the wayside, same with the rivals to Hayner's group, and the Gullwing fairies probably wouldn't even exist if they weren't cameos, but the HBRC are the first allies Sora encountered and major supporting characters in KH1 and KH2 and they represented the normal inhabitants of Radiant Garden. (It's a pet peeve of mine that despite Leon's group and Ansem's group being from the same would it doesn't feel like it because they've never interacted.)

The loss of cross promotion is definitely the major downside of this scenario. The Final Fantasy characters were probably a major draw to gamers who otherwise would have no interest in a Disney game and the characters probably served as a gateway for kids to get into Square's other games.
 

Rodin

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2017
Messages
1,458
Awards
4
Location
USA
@Zackarix
Most KH characters don't leave their worlds. So I just see Leon staying on Radiant Garden regardless of his origins.

It's a possibility the RGC and Ansem's apprentices never interacted before the worlds fell. But that doesn't mean they can't interact after they come back. However Ansem resuming leadership is a mistake. He should just let Leon or whoever stay the leader and just be head scientist.
 
Last edited:

Elysium

Be Wiser Than the Serpent
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
3,685
Awards
37
I agree. Ansem the Wise isn't a bad character to me, but who would pick him to lead Radiant Garden over Leon or even Aerith* for that matter...? And I'm talking about in-universe, not simply from the fans' perspective. The guy completely failed to rein in the Apprentices who are now *back in power.* That is easily the most shoddy of all of Nomura's shoddiest story logic.

* Speaking of FF characters being different personality-wise in KH, I'd say Yuffie and Aerith both are much better in KH than FFVII, jmo. Cloud is the same aside from having a better design (yeah, I know, it's a look stolen from Vincent, whatever). Squall is not too different, just more mature in KH, imo. He and Aerith almost act like parental figures to Sora. I suppose that's why their absence is so detrimental to the series, they act like a "found family" for Sora in a lot of ways.
 
Last edited:

Zackarix

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2021
Messages
359
Awards
3
Most KH characters don't leave their worlds. So I just see Leon staying on Radiant Garden regardless of his origins.

It's a possibility the RGC and Ansem's apprentices never interacted before the worlds fell. But that doesn't mean they can't interact after they come back. However Ansem resuming leadership is a mistake. He should just let Leon or whoever stay the leader and just be head scientist.
This is why it was a bad idea to phase out Leon's group, regardless of whether they're OCs or FF characters. There's a whole missing story about how the inhabitants of Radiant Garden react to the return of Ansem and the Apprentices. You can't tell that story if you decide to stop using the characters who represent the inhabitants of Radiant Garden.

That's why I say that if Leon's group were OCs instead of FF characters they probably wouldn't have been dropped. In the grand scheme of things they're probably more important than Hayner, Pence, and Olette and yet HPO is the group that made it into KH3. If HPO had been FF characters (maybe Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie) there's no way that they would have been considered more important than the HBRC, but because they're OCs they got prioritized.
 

Rodin

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2017
Messages
1,458
Awards
4
Location
USA
@Elysium
I'm the opposite. Outside of Leon, everybody else just feels less interesting once you learn who they were canonically. I would've just preferred them being refugees of their own franchises than being from Radiant Garden etc.

@Zackarix
If anything they could be the intro world. Leon could help Sora get out of his funk.
 

Zackarix

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2021
Messages
359
Awards
3
wouldnt that require they use FF worlds too as setting? which would be really cool but doesnt seem something SE wanted.
???? Why would removing the FF characters (or rather, the FF skins on what are functionally original characters) require the use of FF worlds?
 

Rodin

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2017
Messages
1,458
Awards
4
Location
USA
I lost interest in Sora halfway through KH2. So unless these new OCs take over I'm not seeing a huge improvement by having them.

Getting rid of the Disney worlds is more of a game-changer. People complain about how restrictive Disney is so I could see the benefits of removing them.
 

Zackarix

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2021
Messages
359
Awards
3
I lost interest in Sora halfway through KH2. So unless these new OCs take over I'm not seeing a huge improvement by having them.
Why would supporting characters stripped of their FF trappings take over for Sora when the existing characters already designed as leads have failed to do so?
Getting rid of the Disney worlds is more of a game-changer. People complain about how restrictive Disney is so I could see the benefits of removing them.
Sure, if you the series to completely crash sales-wise. KH can live without FF no matter how much fans complain, but the Disney levels are the main selling point of the series!

Why is a thread that was dormant for a few weeks suddenly getting these bizarre derailing posts?
 

Rodin

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2017
Messages
1,458
Awards
4
Location
USA
Why would supporting characters stripped of their FF trappings take over for Sora when the existing characters already designed as leads have failed to do so?

Sure, if you the series to completely crash sales-wise. KH can live without FF no matter how much fans complain, but the Disney levels are the main selling point of the series!

Why is a thread that was dormant for a few weeks suddenly getting these bizarre derailing posts?
I wanted a Leon spinoff before I learned about FF8. So I'd be fine with a Leon spinoff if he was just an OC.

Boredom mostly but I'm only speaking for myself.

;)

I just thought "what if KH didn't have Disney" as a interesting alternative to your question.
 
Last edited:

Naminomnoms

New member
Joined
Feb 16, 2022
Messages
2
Awards
1
For me, I was a fan of FF before KH, In fact I thought it looked a bit lame from the trailer, and really did not care for Disney stuff at the time.

It was only when I saw my friend playing, and fighting squall and yuffie at the collosseum that I was like, 'Holy crap FF characters?!'.

I borrowed the game and the rest is history...

So in short, to me it would have made a huge difference. I wouldn't have bothered trying the game at all if not.
 

Zackarix

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2021
Messages
359
Awards
3
I wanted a Leon spinoff before I learned about FF8. So I'd be fine with a Leon spinoff if he was just an OC.

Boredom mostly but I'm only speaking for myself.

;)

I just thought "what if KH didn't have Disney" as a interesting alternative to your question.
The two situations aren't really equivalent, for reasons outlined in the original post. Not using FF characters in the roles off supporting characters would have lost fans like Naminomnoms, but the overall structure of the series would remain intact. Taking out the Disney would either mean having a bunch of worlds that are Disney movies with the serial numbers filed off (to keep it as recognizable as possible) or doing a lot of restructuring to make it into an original or FF spin-off ARPG (it might be good, but it wouldn't really be recognizable as KH.)

Also, "What if KH didn't have Disney?" is a question that has come up pretty often in KH discussions, so I really don't see it as an interesting alternative to the topic at hand.
 

kirabook

Bronze Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2010
Messages
1,660
Awards
4
Location
RoL
For me personally, wouldn't have made a difference. Didn't know about FF until after KH. I didn't know the FF characters were from other FF games. Didn't get any references or anything, I legitimately thought they were original characters to the world and KH1 did a great job with that. (Utada's boppin beats is what convinced my 12 year old self that she was in love)

That said, I dunno if KH would've been AS successful without the FF character hook. It was meant to be a crossover between FF and Disney with the OC characters in the middle. Back then, crappy licensed Disney games were all over the place, I feel like they would've lost the more mature crowd back then without the FF elements. (Do you know how much I struggled and failed to beat Tarzan on PC and A Bug's Life on the PS1??? Terrible)

The thing is though, I LIKE the FF characters. I haven't really only played 10, 10-2, and 14 at this point in depth and yeah, I know a bit about FF7 and FF8 at this point, but their versions in Kingdom Hearts still feels... original. They feel like they belong there, especially the Radiant Garden crew.

And now that someone brought it up, it still irks me that they were completely excluded from KH3, replaced by the old sketchy Org crew, and are seemingly completely out of the loop when it comes to Radiant Garden politics now. Who said Ansem and his screw ups could just come back, re-takeover the castle, and do what they want? "Ansem", though his identity was stolen, was still believed to have caused ruin and chaos. The Radiant Garden crew in KH1 spoke of him like a true villain (even though KH2 says it wasn't him)

This is the kind of stuff KH3 was missing. How about an interlude in the story where Ansem returns and reveals himself and now there's a whole political mess in Radiant Garden that has to be resolved? Or maybe people think that's boring.

Anyway, I appreciate the FF characters as they are. I want them to continue being included in the main plot. And I dunno if KH would have hooked some people if they weren't there from the getgo.
 

2 quid is good

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 27, 2018
Messages
1,030
Awards
16
Location
airbourne
What if's will kill you, if they hadn't been used as stand-ins we would probably get KH OC characters to fill in their spots exactly, they might even be expies of existing FF characters, the way half of the Org is. Irregardless, if they were exactly the same but the names and designs were different, and they were dropped for later entries, the outcry would probably be louder. After all, they don't have the stigma of being from FF attached, thus making even less sense for them not to be there.

And as to whether KH would have been successful, Disney flat out just sells, so I think it would have sold enough to be considered a success but that demographic would probably be 90% little kids instead of the mixture of tweens and teens, they're just less self conscious about playing the Donald Duck and Goofy game. How many people had raised hackles as a 12 year old about playing something "kiddy", probably quite a few. I guess it would be something that's really a cult classic instead of the kinda zeitgeist it was for the mid 2000s.

I don't think I would have been interested in it initally if it wasn't for the FF characters, that was why I looked into the franchise as a whole after all, however I ended up buying KH2 because of the back cover of the game was very pretty (PAL had a different one to NTSC). I probably would have still ended up as a fan but it might have taken me a lot longer.
 

Rodin

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2017
Messages
1,458
Awards
4
Location
USA
The two situations aren't really equivalent, for reasons outlined in the original post. Not using FF characters in the roles off supporting characters would have lost fans like Naminomnoms, but the overall structure of the series would remain intact. Taking out the Disney would either mean having a bunch of worlds that are Disney movies with the serial numbers filed off (to keep it as recognizable as possible) or doing a lot of restructuring to make it into an original or FF spin-off ARPG (it might be good, but it wouldn't really be recognizable as KH.)

Also, "What if KH didn't have Disney?" is a question that has come up pretty often in KH discussions, so I really don't see it as an interesting alternative to the topic at hand.
Sora spends more time in the Disney worlds than he does with the FF. So exploring what KH would be like without them felt more interesting.

The FF characters are just a fun distraction. Cloud popping is not gonna get me to care Sora being a bland shonen jump hero or Xehanort's increasingly hard to care about schemes/motivation.

Not having Disney would not solve every problem but it would help with a few. Sora would benefit from having worlds built around his character rather than stapling him onto an existing plot. Although I felt 3 was a step in the right direction with its new plots.

I'm not talking commercial concerns because they weren't why I played KH in the first place. Without Disney/FF it would be another Jak and Daxter or Rachet and Clank style game. Not a platformer but a boys action adventure series. I would've played it anyway.

@2 quid is good
I remember people playing Sonic and Epic Mickey in college. So I don't think the Disney worlds were the problem. It's more having Sephiroth and Donald in the same room. It's why people don't like the Shadow the Hedgehog game. It feels like a cynical cash grab.

Although I've met people who hated the nobodies and thought they were too confusing/unnecessary. Which is why I think people dropped off the Xehanort saga.

Ironically having Disney/FF be nobodies would have helped explain that concept better. With those characters you have an established personality to play off. It helps with the before/after angle inherent to nobodies. Watching Xulul try to recreate her life as Lulu is easier to follow.
 
Last edited:

Zackarix

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2021
Messages
359
Awards
3
Sora spends more time in the Disney worlds than he does with the FF. So exploring what KH would be like without them felt more interesting.
If you really think so then make your own thread instead of derailing this one.
 
Top