With Kingdom Hearts III living in my Playstation 4 right now, it seems fitting to bring you on my Kingdom Hearts journey.
I remember my senior year of high school, when the first Kingdom Hearts released for PlayStation 2. I waited patiently, searching the internet for prerelease information. My job gave me the freedom to buy the games I wanted, and deal with the lecture of saving later.
I want to say Kingdom Hearts was our video game present that year, although now I can’t remember how we got it. As long as I can remember, my parents bought us one video game present, especially the latest console, bless their hearts. Now as a parent, I realize how much work they put into those purchases. At any rate, the game was much anticipated at my house. My sisters and I would sit around the tv, eagerly awaiting that first cutscene.
Kingdom Hearts brought me through a journey like no other. Containing my absolute favorite characters from both the Final Fantasy and Disney universes, I could not think of a better way to spend all of my free time.
Every world mesmerized me. I loved the detail, thought and love put into the worlds. There was one small detail that surpassed all the rest of the game, the amazing all star cast. My 12 year old crush, the great David Boreanaz, aka Angel, voiced my all time favorite emo protagonist, Leon aka Squall. Say what you will about that sentence but I shit you not, I could not wait to get my hands on this game.
The music hit me. Square in the face.
The Kingdom Hearts soundtrack blew me away. I fell in love with Yoko Shimomura, her music of the worlds with her deep understanding of emotional composition, and of course, Utada Hikaru, with her amazing opening songs. The emotions behind the songs resonate with me now, 17 years later. As a piano player myself, I deeply respect the ability to compose music. That amount of creativity still inspires me.
”Simple and Clean” and “Hikari” still pump me up. The mix of guitar and piano, with that extra dance beat, is the perfect energy mix for the journey this series takes you on, the search for your friends, along with the lessons on community and love.
Let’s not forget determination.
The lyrics for Simple and Clean do not make much sense in the context of the game. The translations of Hikari I’ve found, show a better link between the game and song, while the lyrics for the english counterpart are a stretch from the adventures of KH.
I will admit I was not as excited for Kingdom Hearts II, except to hear what Shimomura and Hikaru had in store for us. For me, “Sanctuary (Opening)” achieved the same effect the opening music as the original. The slow harmonizing in the beginning reminds me of a dream, and then a slight pause, with a big wake up. Playing through the latest installment, I have a deeper appreciation for this song with the subtle details in the background.
As I revisit the themes of friendship and devotion in Kingdom Hearts III, I am reminded of all the life lessons the series brought me and everything it taught me. It showed me what it means to build healthy relationships, and how the divine feminine is your guide, always.
“Face My Fears” with Utada Hikaru and Skrillex, has brought the series to a little more grown up, modern sound, while still keeping the same feeling we know, love, and expect from an opening song in the Kingdom Hearts series. “Don’t Think Twice” hits the feels in so many ways. I’m not qualified to speak on these two just yet. Once I am further in KH3 I will do a post on these.
Although the latter has already brought me to tears once.
Oh yeah. You’ve heard of chicks that cry at rom-coms. I am the mom that cries at music and video games.
The music of Kingdom Hearts III reignited my passion for gaming. It’s reminded me why I loved these games so much, and how soothing they were. I am reminded of the love and energy I poured into the other games of the series. It is an essential part on my journey of self discovery. I feel invigorated, and alive. I am able to give myself permission to sit and enjoy my time gaming, because all of my sense are in a state of carefree.
It is like catching up with a childhood friend, yet that friend is your own inner child. I am excited to be on this adventure again. I am excited to see what Sora, Donald, Goofy, and most of all the music have in store for me. I cannot wait to see the growth they achieve on the other end.
How many of you are on this journey through Kingdom Hearts III with me? What are your fondest memories of the series, or are you new and entering the world for the first time?
Please let me know in the comments, on facebook, or on instagram.