This is a topic I’ve been wanting to discuss, but I’ve had no outlet. I’ve never seen any kind of coverage for it, no content creator has talked about it, and it seemingly has completely gone to the wayside. But, to me, there’s something going on behind the scenes, beyond the Keyblade and Lucky Emblems. Get out your tinfoil hats, because I’m taking everyone to the weird side with today’s question. Is Kingdom Hearts an allegory for growing up?
Debuting in North America on September 17, 2002, Kingdom Hearts went on to become a powerhouse of a franchise, with 13 games in the series and over 36 million copies shipped worldwide. The team up between Disney and Square Enix basically reinvented what fan fiction could be, letting the player interact with their favorite Disney characters and movies. Granted, the Final Fantasy cameos could have been a bit more interesting, but what are you going to do?
Now, forget all the Disney crap, because we have to go back, all the way to the very beginning in Kingdom Hearts. The tutorial is disguised as the Destiny Islands, where you figure out the controls and get used to the bad camera. We are introduced to Kairi, Riku, and Sora, the main characters who we follow throughout the series. Long story longer, their home island gets destroyed by the Heartless, setting off the story of exploring new worlds.
Except there’s one thing that has always bothered me in the story. When you gain control, you can walk around the entire island, and there is no mainland whatsoever. But in the cutscene where the story takes off, Sora is looking at the event happening to the island from apparently his actual room. Heck, you even hear his mom calling him for dinner. This has always bothered me, as not only does it kind of make preparing to leave an island a complete moot point, but it shows just a snippet of what’s going on behind the curtain.
My theory is that Riku, Kairi, and Sora are childhood friends who shared a hobby in video games, hence why Tidus, Wakka, and Sophie are on the island, but don’t really interact with them too much. But Sora gets word from his parents that they are moving away, hence the destruction of the island. So Sora has to deal with the emotions of starting all over and going to a new place, which is why the hub world is called Traverse Town. To comfort himself, Sora then surrounds himself with his favorite movies from the Walt Disney Company, which is why you explore all these Disney movies.
What do you think? Is Kingdom Hearts about growing up? Is Goofy a representation of the id? Let us know on the Boss Rush Discord.
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The Boss Rush Podcast is the flagship podcast of Boss Rush Media and The Boss Rush Network. Each week, Corey, LeRon, Stephanie, Edward, and their friends from around the internet come together to talk their week in games, entertainment, and more while also bringing topics for conversation, answer listener and community questions, and cover major news and events happening in the video game industry. Watch The Boss Rush Podcast live on Wednesday Nights on Twitch at 8:30PM ET / 5:30PM PT or on Friday mornings at 7AM ET on YouTube and podcast services everywhere. Thanks for listening! You can also get this episode one week early on Patreon.
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