E3: Kingdom Hearts revealed

[05.17.01] » First details on the RPG from Square and Disney.

   In a press release issued this morning, Square and Disney have released the first batch of information concerning their joint project, titled Kingdom Hearts. The game will star old Disney favorites, such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, along with a new group of characters designed by Tetsuya Nomura. Gameplay will take place in many environments based on some of Disney's most popular movies, including Tarzan, Peter Pan, and Aladdin.

   The game centers around a 15-year old boy named Sora, whose life is turned upside-down when a violent storm wreaks havoc on his island-paradise home and separates him from two of his friends, Riku and Kairi. Meanwhile, King Mickey has disappeared from Disney Castle and Court Wizard Donald and Captain Goofy have set out on a mission to find him. While out searching for King Mickey, they run into Sora and decide to team up in their quest to find their friends after hearing some disturbing information about new monsters in the region.

   The three heroes are told of a group of dark, ominous creatures called the Heartless, which are responsible for the storm at Sora's island home. The Heartless come from another dimension, and as their name would imply, they don't have hearts. Their master plan is to persuade old Disney villains to join them and steal the hearts of the pure and innocent.

   Kingdom Hearts has been in production for the past two years and boasts a staff of more than 100 people from both Square and Disney. The title is currently scheduled for release in winter 2001 in Japan, and fall 2002 in North America and Europe.

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