The Top 5 Most Memorable Moments in the ‘Kingdom Hearts’ Series

Back in 2002, a game called “Kingdom Hearts” was released. Disney Interactive and Square Enix created a game that some have described as Disney meets "Final Fantasy." Either way, “Kingdom Hearts” spawned 13 games over 17 years, with releases on PlayStation, X-Box, Game Boy, DS/3DS, PSP and mobile. It’s safe to say that the series has influenced a generation. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of me sitting in front of my PlayStation 2 desperately trying to beat the first boss of “Kingdom Hearts.”

With the long-awaited release of “Kingdom Hearts 3” now upon us, I decided to take a trip down memory lane and narrow down some of my favorite (and most tearful) moments of the first saga. This list may only have five, but it’s infinite in my heart.

Spoiler warning ahead for a few of the games, including “Kingdom Hearts 3.” Read at your own discretion!

1. The Opening Sequence to “Kingdom Hearts”

The “Simple and Clean” PLANITb remix arguably inspired my love for EDM music—that beat drop was way ahead of its time. Plus, the gorgeous shot of Riku reaching out to Sora as an impending tidal wave threatens them both became an iconic scene for the entire series. Of course, this opening was nothing compared to the more convoluted ones that were to come, but more often than not there’s beauty in simplicity.

2. Sora Reuniting with Kairi and Riku in “Kingdom Hearts 2”

Though the Destiny Island Trio had only been apart for a year in-game, fans had to wait three long years for Sora, Kairi and Riku to meet up again. Sokai shippers swooned as Sora and Kairi tenderly embraced and Soriku shippers practically passed out as Sora got on his knees and cried at the realization that he had finally tracked down his best friend. Kairi’s always going to be the side chick, isn’t she?

3. Roxas and Riku Duking it Out in “Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days”

“Kingdom Hearts” featured a secret movie that depicted an older-looking Riku battling a Sora look-alike. Fans deciphered it for years, eagerly waiting for the moment it would come to fruition. That moment came in 2009, seven years after the secret movie’s release—and man, was it worth the wait. Not only were fans better acquainted with Riku and the newly-featured character Roxas  (Sora’s Nobody), but the sequence proved to be a pivotal turning point in several of the saga’s storylines.

4. The Organization Boss Fights

Organization Xlll is by far one of the most iconic groups of bad guys to grace video game history. However, no matter how freakishly awesome their hair or powers may be, bringing these guys down proved to be pretty annoying. I have to give first place to the "Kingdom Hearts 2" Demyx fight since his “Dance, water, dance” catchphrase and water clones still haunt my dreams at night. Honorable mentions go to the “Kingdom Hearts 2” Xaldin fight and Marluxia’s Absent Silhouette, because wielding six lances or correlating enemy attacks to the player’s level is just so unfair.

5. The Wayfinder Trio Reunion in “Kingdom Hearts 3”

“Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep” made me fall head over heels for Terra, Aqua and Ven. Knowing that they were separated for a little over a decade broke my heart. The pain persisted through the nine years I had to wait between that game and “Kingdom Hearts 3” to see if justice would come to these characters. Finally I, along with many other Wayfinder Trio fans, got to see the OG keyblade squad emotionally reunite with a big group hug. My heart will never be as fulfilled as it was at that moment.

Considering only the first saga in the Kingdom Hearts series has come to an end, there’s no guessing how many more memorable moments are waiting up ahead. Nevertheless, may your hearts be your guiding keys towards the next installment in the Kingdom Hearts series.

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