The Kingdom Hearts series gained traction in its early days for marrying the worlds of Disney and Final Fantasy. From meeting Squall, Aerith, and Yuffie in Traverse Town to battling Cloud in Olympus Coliseum, the Final Fantasy influence was strong. With Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Square Enix expanded their horizons by including characters from The World Ends with You, another of the company’s hit titles. As far as we’re concerned, that blew the doors open on who could appear in the Kingdom Hearts series.
So here are our top 10 characters who should appear in Kingdom Hearts. We leaned towards Final Fantasy, yes – it’s the series’ bread and butter – but you might be surprised by a few entries.
Dragon Quest‘s most famous baddie would make for a great appearance. Kingdom Hearts already has precedence for fighting creature outside of Heartless and Nobodies, so why not make the Slime another battle option? A platoon of Slimes would make for a great final battle in any Olympus Coliseum tournament.
His son Tidus made an appearance on Destiny Islands in the original game, but Final Fantasy X‘s Jecht deserves some time in the spotlight. The bad blood between Jecht and Tidus could lead to some interesting plot lines, as we’re sure to return to Destiny Islands at some point in the series. The limited blitz ball mini-game in the original Kingdom Hearts could also be expanded, leading to a final match against Jecht. Plus, we’re tired of just playing against Wakka.
Bahamut has appeared in most Final Fantasy games, and even starred in his own. You could potentially encounter him while piloting the Gummi Ship, much like how you reached Monstro in the first game: he would make for a perfect shoot ‘em up-style boss. Failing that, he could appear as an optional boss in another world, perhaps Mulan’s. Hell, it’s called the Land of “Dragons.”
The most notable action from Final Fantasy IV‘s Cecil was his realization that he was working for evil. Upon this epiphany, he then immediately looked for a way to redeem himself. This would translate to a perfect character arc in Kingdom Hearts. Cecil could appear in Hollow Bastion as one of Maleficent’s minions, possibly as a boss for Sora and company. Later in the game, Sora would return to Hollow Bastion to find that Cecil had changed his ways, perhaps even joining as a party member.
Most people pick their favorite Final Fantasy game from VI through IX, and Terra is the protagonist of the first of those four – the first female protagonist of the series, in fact. FFVI‘s most shocking moment is the destruction of the world, the feeling of “oh, wow, that seriously just happened.” As parts of Hollow Bastion were destroyed between Kingdom Hearts I and II, this could be an equivalent to the destruction of Terra’s world. She could even hop into FFVI‘s well known mech suit and help Sora in another 1,000 Heartless battle.
If the protagonist of FFVI is going to make an appearance, then so should its villain. Kefka is one of, if not the greatest FF villain, known for his absolute insanity and taste for destruction. He would be a perfect addition to Maleficent’s court of villains, and it could be his tearing through Hollow Bastion that caused its decay between games. He would make a perfect boss fight to conclude another 1,000 Heartless battle, especially if Terra is present.
Lightning’s popularity has exploded thanks to the FFXIII sub-series hype train. She’s the heroine of FFXIII, the main goal of XIII-2, and the center of her own recently announced game. Rumored to appear in KH3D (she never did), series fans are still expecting her to appear at some point. She would fit perfectly in Olympus Coliseum’s Underworld as a damned soul, eventually joining the party. Fingers crossed that Kingdom Hearts III doesn’t involve 30 hours of playtime before the game actually opens up (zing!).
It’s not all Final Fantasy on this list, as the titular hero from Nier is our number three pick. Nier would do anything for his daughter, an idea that intersects perfectly with the Disney princesses’ kidnapping in the first KH game. If Nier’s daughter were also kidnapped, his search for her would inevitably lead him to Sora and company; he may even team up with the group to take on mastermind Maleficent. Failing that, perhaps it’s the Heartless causing his daughter’s illness. Imagine battling a nightmarish version of the little girl to free her true self from the darkness.
2. Knights of the Round
Knights of the Round is Final Fantasy VII‘s greatest summon. It was a pain to obtain, but being able to use one summon to call 13 different knights (seriously) to attack enemies was worth it. It could also work as a fantastic summon for Sora. Even better, imagine battling all 13 knights in Olympus Coliseum – that would make for one hell of a boss fight. King Arthur’s tournament, anyone?
It’s not a Final Fantasy cast member topping this list – it’s Chrono Trigger‘s Chrono. Perhaps Square Enix”s greatest game, fans have begged for more of the time-traveling hero since his early 90s debut (most didn’t care for the sequel, Chrono Cross). An appearance would mean Square hasn’t forgotten about one of their greatest heroes. He would make perfect sense within the Kingdom Hearts story, as time travel has recently become a major element of the lore. With the series having games at varying times throughout time, Chrono could be the one constant in every title. More than any other Square character, he deserves that.