In the process of developing a video game, many ideas are discarded as unworkable for one reason or another. However, if the idea makes it far enough into the development process, aspects of it can be still be found within the code of the released games, or it may show up in trailers or interviews with the developers.
The following list covers much of this removed content. It is not comprehensive, and focuses on the more prominent elements.
Prominently removed content
Bahamut was originally planned to appear as a summon in Kingdom Hearts, but was removed before the game was released. Through cheat codes, a "Bahamut" option can appear in the Summons menu and can be selected. However, since there is nothing on the game disc to execute, the game will crash when chosen.
As seen in the game's beta trailer, Disney Castle was originally set to appear as a playable World in Kingdom Hearts. Removed for currently unknown reasons, the world can still be accessed via cheat codes, as areas of the world exist from the game's opening cutscenes. Despite its removal as a playable world, it still appears on the gummi ship map.
Toy Story World
The proposal folder shown to Buena Vista included plans for a world based on Toy Story.
Unused Agrabah NPC
Within the game files a model for a fourth Agrabah NPC can be found that is not used in the game.
An area known as the Crumbling Island was meant to appear in the End of the World as the setting for the final battle between Sora and Riku before the climactic battle with Ansem. It appears as a remnant of Destiny Islands, consumed by the darkness. The area itself is reminiscent of the Secret Place, where Ansem is introduced for the very first time.
In earlier builds of the game, the combat menu would display the MP cost of associated spells.
At the end of the beta trailer, an alternate Kingdom Hearts logo is shown, the word "Kingdom" in standard golden text on top, the crown just above it, while "Hearts" is displayed in a toned down version of the standard logo's spiked font below. The trademark heart is absent.
In the E3 2001 trailer, the scene where Destiny Islands is destroyed plays out slightly differently from the final game. At the end of the trailer, Sora also manually inserts the Keyblade into Destiny Islands's Keyhole in the Secret Place; in the final version of the game, the Keyblade would shoot a beam to lock or unlock objects. There are also several cutscenes with Riku that do not appear in the final game, one of which being when Riku is atop the Big Ben, seen staring out in a crouched position. The other being a moment at the destruction of Destiny Islands where Riku is seen standing in an open armed position staring up and saying something to particularly anger Sora enough to attack him. Donald and Goofy also have different attires all through the game, and the cutscene after the defeat of the Guard Armor is set closer to the world door of Traverse Town then in the final game. And there is a scene where Sora is seen running down an alleyway in Traverse Town from something almost falling over before turning around to look behind him.
Within the game files there's an idle animation along with a jumping animation for the Fat Bandit Heartless which are absent from the game.
|E3 2001 trailer (Kingdom Hearts)|
Dive to the Heart
A screenshot from an early magazine scan shows the Dive to the Heart was set to appear in Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, likely as a memory-fabricated floor in Castle Oblivion, but was discarded.
Deep Jungle and Jungle King
Deep Jungle was set to appear in the game—as an early screenshot of the game testifies—as was its Keyblade, Jungle King, as a Card, but was removed due to Square Enix being unable to secure the rights to use Tarzan in future works.
Unused Map Cards
Three Map Cards were present in an early build of the game, but were removed in the final release: One bearing the image of a grassy field, one being a desert, and one showing what appears to be the platforms in Dive to the Heart. All three were Status Map Cards with unknown effects.
A mode called Extreme Mode can be found within the files of Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories. The mode can be activated through an editing program but no noticeable changes can be found compared to the other modes. A description can be found in the pause menu which states that both Sora and the enemies are meant to be at their strongest from the start in this mode.
Through the use of a cheating device, two palette swaps of the Ultima Weapon can be obtained in Kingdom Hearts II. These are the "Edge of Ultima", a version of the original Ultima Weapon with a non-textured appearance, and the "Detection Saber", a palette swap of the original as well, except slightly larger. When these Keychains are accessed in Sora's Items menu, no picture of the Keyblades are shown, only map icons; additionally, they use the effects of the Oblivion Keychain. Using the same method, Donald and Goofy can achieve similar weapons called "Staff of Detection" and "Detection Shield" respectively. These weapons were most likely used as collision models to check if battles or cutscenes could glitch.
Woody and Buzz Lightyear summons
Woody and Buzz Lightyear, characters from Pixar's Toy Story series, were at one point planned to appear as new summons in Kingdom Hearts II. Their models appear within the game coding, albeit without textures.
- "King" redirects here. You may have been looking for other uses of King.
In his final battle, Xemnas was originally intended to use two "super-gigantic Nobodies" other than his dragon; King (キング Kingu ), which is humanoid and fittingly has a crown adorned with Nobody sigils, and Kentauros (ケンタロウス Kentarousu ), a humanoid upper body fused with a quadrupedal lower body. Both of them appear to be created from Dark City, similar to the Dragon Form.
For Kingdom Hearts II, Tetsuya Nomura intended to allow players to fight all of the Organization XIII members again at the Coliseum. This idea, however, was dropped due to time constraints. Instead, the characters were included in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, along with the rest of the members as data-based versions in separate optional boss fights and in a new location.
The E3 2005 and the TGS 2003 trailers for Kingdom Hearts II shows scenes that were ultimately removed from the final release of the game:
- The scene where Roxas chases the thief is altered.
- Axel walks closer to the far wall in the scene before his fight with Roxas; as he approaches it, he looks back at Roxas and grins.
- Donald and Goofy are released from the pods in the Old Mansion's basement; Donald fires a Blizzard spell which ricochets off the walls and hits himself instead, freezing himself in a block of ice. (TGS 2003-only)
- The Kingdom Hearts version of Hollow Bastion, specifically the Great Crest, appears as the place where Sora first met the surviving members of the Organization, after the trio slays a horde of Neoshadows.
- Sora meets King Mickey in his Kingdom Hearts II attire before visiting the Mysterious Tower.
- Sora was shown on the Dark Margin and holding his Keyblade up to something like he was getting ready to seal a Keyhole. (TGS 2003-only)
The Hi-Ether was planned for Kingdom Hearts II at some point but was never implemented, only the sprite remained in the game files.
Guardando nel buio
A version of Guardando nel buio that differs slightly from its appearance in Kingdom Hearts can be found in the game data.
Final Fantasy IX inspired theme
An unused and not instrumentalized song that might be inspired by the Final Fantasy IX theme "Daughter of Madain Sari" is present in the game data.
Behemoth and Wyvern
The promotional trailers for Kingdom Hearts II depicted Sora, Donald, and Goofy running towards the horde of Heartless, which included a new kind of Behemoth and several Final Mix-design Wyvern. The Behemoths and Wyverns were excluded from the final game, although this version of the cutscene appears in the opening of Kingdom Hearts Re:coded.
|E3 2005 trailer (Kingdom Hearts II)||Final Fantasy IX inspired theme||Kingdom Hearts II - TGS 2003 trailer|
Pinocchio's World was originally set to appear in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, but was eventually removed due to space restrictions. Tetsuya Nomura explained that the planned plot for the world was,
Set in a circus and playing off the story of Pinocchio, a puppet with a heart, and the Nobodies who possess no heart, we planned for a sad episode with Roxas and Xion looking for hope for themselves.
The Crooked Chariot (ローディチャリオット Rōdi Chariotto ) is a Heartless that, judging by its pegasus-like appearance, was set to appear in Olympus Coliseum but was ultimately cut from the game. It would have used lightning as its weapon.
Pinocchio's World would have included Pinocchio (as a human) and Geppetto, as well as the villains, Honest John and Gideon from the original film. The profile sprites for the characters still appear within the final game's code.
Hades and Megara were also planned to appear in Olympus Coliseum, and Tinker Bell was apparently planned to have lines, before she was made mute. These characters' profile sprites also appear within the final game's code.
Early screenshots shows early versions of the character icon in battle. Unused version of the character sprites also appear within the final game's code. Xion's unused sprite shows her with bluer hair than with black hair.
Weapon palette swaps
Wing Gear and Wind Maker
The Wind Maker (ウィンドメイカー Windo Meikā ) was to be an aerial attack Keyblade when the Wing Gear (ウィングギア Wingu Gia ) was equipped. However both the Keyblade and Gear were ultimately cut and the Wind Maker's appearance given to Leviathan.
MP and LM Gauges
The 2006-2007 beta build of the game featured an MP gauge to execute magic spells, and an LM gauge to trigger Limit Breaks.
Originally, it was planned for Roxas and the members of Organization XIII to feature unique animations when they stood idle for extended periods of time.
Stop magic was planned for the game at some point, but was ultimately scrapped. It can still be accessed via modifying the games files but crashes the game when used in most cases.
A version of the Kingdom Key D, the Lightseeker (ライトシーカー Raitoshīkā ), was set to be an equipable Keyblade for Ventus. It can still be equipped through the use of a cheat device on the Japanese version.
The Jungle Book World
The Jungle Book was originally set to appear as a playable world in the game, but was removed. The world can still be accessed by the use of cheat codes. A number of areas are accessible, including Louie's Throne Room.
Cutscenes and altered maps
Certain cutscenes which appeared in early trailers - shown at events such as the Tokyo Game Show and Jump Festa - were later altered for the game's final release. For example, the scene in which Master Xehanort reveals his plan to forge the χ-blade to Ventus was originally meant to appear in Olympus Coliseum, rather than the Keyblade Graveyard. A scant few scenes were also omitted, including one where Terra watches a young Sora and Riku partake in a sword fight, as well as individual lines, such as Terra telling Aqua that searching for the light Master Xehanort is after will lead them to him or Ventus at Destiny Island telling Aqua to erase him.
Some worlds had areas that are inaccessible to some of the characters in the game's final version. Examples include Ventus in the Palace Courtyard at Castle of Dreams and Terra at the cottage at Dwarf Woodlands.
Until mid-2009, the design for the rear of Aqua's outfit left her back exposed, but by the time the game was released, Nomura edited the outfit to cover her lower back. These earlier designs also gave Aqua's hair and eyes a dark shade of blue, and lacked the sheen her final model has.
Originally, the Mirage Arena was meant to have a slight element of story to it, rather than be completely distant from any auxiliary characters. The developers planned for Laguna Loire from Final Fantasy VIII to appear in the Mirage Arena as the head of the arena. However, the team was also planning Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy at the same time, and decided that if Laguna appeared in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, he could not appear in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy. The team eventually decided they would rather have Laguna appear in the latter, and so Laguna was ultimately left out of the final product. As of yet, no data has been found in game of his planned appearance.
Large Land of Departure chest
A texture for a large Treasure Chest for the Land of Departure appears in the game files, but does not appear in-game.
A removed scene of Ventus at the Castle of Dreams.
|Jungle Book World (Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep)||Removed Cutscenes (Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep)|
Kingdom Hearts 3D Demo renders
The renders for the demo version of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance were left within the game data of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix, including Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, Xemnas, Sora, Riku, Kairi, and the Twilight Thorn along with various elements of the demo's logo.
Airstrike Command Style
An early screenshot reveals that Shadow Sora was originally set to appear in Traverse Town, but was removed for unknown reasons.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days-style talk sprites
Kingdom Hearts Re:coded was to use talk sprites in the same fashion as Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. The idea was scrapped in the final release, but the talk sprites are still available within the game's coding.
In the first two trailers for the game, the Heartless were the primary enemies Sora and Riku would do battle against - specifically Shadows. This was eventually changed into Dream Eaters, with common Heartless scrapped entirely.
Near the end of the first trailer, there is an unused scene of Sora running at the top of La Cité des Cloches before jumping off of it and into the festival. Also, Sora and Riku were to meet Xemnas and Ansem in Traverse Town respectively, though both these scenes were scrapped.
A screenshot from an early trailer of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance depicted Sora and the Twilight Thorn standing in the Second District of Traverse Town. In the final game, the Twilight Thorn does not make an appearance.
Flowmotion effects and abilities
In the second trailer for the game (and first gameplay trailer), Sora had a yellow Flowmotion glow while Riku had a white-blue glow - the final game gave Flowmotion a pink glow for both characters. Additionally, players could slide along the rooftops in Traverse Town. In the final game, players could only slide and grind along specially marked rails and lines.
Early Drop gauge
In the first trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3D, the Drop gauge originally had a gradient from violet to magenta to cream. It was also much longer in length.
Alternate Dual Link icon
In early screenshots for Kingdom Hearts 3D, the icon on the touchscreen for activating Dual Link was represented as a purple rounded rectangle with "Dual Link" in orange text. This icon was later replaced with a white circle containing the Spirit sigil.
Queen Buzzerfly as a common enemy
The Queen Buzzerfly was originally created as a much smaller common Dream Eater before being reintroduced as a Dive Mode boss. During battle, the Queen Buzzerfly would have sat in the eye of a needle and spun like a top.
Cut World Scenarios
Originally, Space Paranoids was set to return as a Sleeping World for Sora's scenario of The Grid, as well as having Fantasia 2000 elements/worlds appearing in Riku's scenario of Symphony of Sorcery. Tetsuya Nomura found that they "had a lot to work with in the original Fantasia", so the latter was dropped. The former was likely dropped due to timing constraints. Had the original plans gone through, according to Masaru Oka, scenario and cutscene director for Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Rinzler was originally intended to be a boss for Riku's side of the story
Kingdom Key D
Rabbit-type Dream Eater
A lapine Dream Eater concept was planned for inclusion at one point, and is depicted in the Ultimania. It would have fought using carrots plucked from the ground.
The Whirligig (ウィンドミル Windomiru , lit. "Windmill") training toy is depicted in the Ultimania, which claims it is a special gift for Streetpassing. A second unused training toy called Fireworks also has a sprite present within the game data.
Kingdom Hearts χ[chi]
Fairy Stars Keyblade
While the Enchanted Dominion world became fully playable in Kingdom Hearts Union χ, along with the Fairy Stars Keyblade, there were plans to include it in the browser version of the game at some point. The first and third Keyblade upgrade can still be found in the game files, although they are omitted in the mobile versions of the game. The Keychains for these Keyblades, however, were implemented into other versions of the mobile game's Keyblades.
In the closed beta of the game, there were three additional Orichalcum materials besides the normal one that is used to upgrade the Keyblades to their next form. While the stone and shard materials are not seen in other games, the highest tier that looks like Orichalcum+ from Kingdom Hearts II was most likely later replaced by the Adamantite Ore.
Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross]
Pink Dragon Spirit
When the Pet system was first revealed, several Spirit parts depicting a pink dragon Spirit were among the promotional images. However, the Dragon Spirit was never introduced in-game.
Most Pets come in three color variants while some of them weren't released before the online service for the game ended. They still can be found in the game files along with the most likely named "Goatstar" which was skipped entirely.
Animated battle sprites
In the D23 Expo Japan 2013 Trailer, Sora and friends' battle sprites are animated. This is not the case in later trailers or the final version of Kingdom Hearts III.
In the D23 Expo Japan 2013, E3 2015, and Jump Festa 2016 Trailers, Sora and friends battle a group of Heartless in the Tram Common, near the Woods. This is changed to the lower portion of Tram Common in the final release.
Playable Mysterious Tower
In the Jump Festa 2016 Trailer, Sora and company battle a group of Heartless outside the Mysterious Tower. While the world itself appears in Kingdom Hearts III's final version, it is not explorable in any capacity and only shows up in cutscenes.
The game's data includes an unused Critical difficulty level. A fully developed Critical Mode was later added as DLC.
Unused idle faces and animations
The game's data includes unused idle faces for Aqua and Riku when playable, different ones as party members, and ones for Mickey, Ventus, Lea, Kairi, Roxas and Xion. Riku and Mickey also have movement animations while in idle. These do not appear in regular gameplay due to Aqua and Riku only being playable during boss fights and the rest only being present as a party members when boss fights occur.
The idle faces do appear in the save file menus, but are simply not used as intended. Riku's idle face with his second hairstyle and idle movements, however, were finally used during the Limit Cut episode in Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind.
During Re Mind, there are three additional unused idle sprites, one for playable Kairi, one for playable Roxas and one for Sora as a party member.
Necklaces and Medals
The Bronze Necklace was originally intended to have thirteen different variants. In addition to the version in the final game, variants which switch out the +1 Strength and +1 Magic for Defender, Extra Cost, Full MP Blast, Lucky Strike, HP Converter, MP Converter, Munny Converter, Burn Protection, Cloud Protection, Sneeze Protection, Freeze Protection, or Electric Protection exist in the game's code.
The Silver Necklace was originally intended to have twelve different variants. In addition to the version in the final game, variants which switch out the +2 Strength and +2 Magic for Blizzard Boost, Water Boost, Magic Treasure Magnet, Second Chance, Stun Protection, Item Boost, Fire Syphon, Blizzard Syphon, Thunder Syphon, Water Syphon, or Aero Syphon exist in the game's code.
The Master's Necklace was originally intended to have eight different variants. In addition to the version in the final game, variants which switch out the +3 Strength and +3 Magic for Aero Boost, Wizard's Ruse, Withstand Combo, Damage Syphon, MP Thrift, Berserk Charge, or Dark Syphon exist in the game's code.
The Junior Medal was originally intended to have three additional variants. In addition to those in the final game, variants with +2 Strength and HP Converter, +2 Magic and MP Converter, or +6 AP and Munny Converter exist in the game's code.
The Star Medal was originally intended to have two additional variants. In addition to those in the final game, variants with +1 Strength, +1 Magic, +9 AP, and MP Thrift or +1 Strength, +1 Magic, +9 AP, and Berserk Charge exist in the game's code.
The Wayfinder Situation Command from Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage- is still within the games coding. Should Aqua be hacked into a fight with Mickey as a party member, Wayfinder has a chance of appearing as a Situation Command. Although it works exactly as it did in 0.2, the Finish command, graphic, and the Situation bar doesn't work and is missing.
Terra as a party member
Terra was planned at one point to be a party member, but in the final game, he only appears in cutscenes and during the Guardians of Light fight as one of the playable characters. When spawned as a party member, Terra's model spawns in a T-pose and has no animations or HUD portraits (if spawned after another party member, he will reuse theirs). Unlike other temporary party members like Aqua and Ventus, Terra does appear in the menu, however his model does not appear nor does he have any stats or abilities associated with him.
Cutscenes and altered maps
Kingdom of Corona
In the E3 2015 and Jump Festa 2016 Trailers, Sora walks from the cave in the Hills to the Tower before encountering a group of Chief Puff and Puffball Heartless. In the final release, Sora runs out of cave in the Hills and doesn't encounter any Heartless.
In the Jump Festa 2016 Trailer, Sora and company battle a group of Reapers Nobodies near the waterfall near Rapunzel's Tower. In the final release, they do not appear here.
In the E3 2013 Sony Conference Announcement Trailer, Sora, in his Kingdom Hearts II attire, finds the Master's Defender on the beach of Destiny Islands, before examining it. In the final release, Sora appears in his Kingdom Hearts III attire instead.
In the files for Kingdom Hearts III, there are several tracks whose code remains present in the game, despite not playing in the final game. Based on the location of the files, we can tell where in the tracks were meant to play in the game. The cutscenes where the tracks were meant to play are silent instead.
- "Riku" from Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX was meant to play during the cutscene where Riku Replica first makes contact with Riku.
- "Scent of Silence" was meant to play during the reunion of Ansem the Wise and Ienzo in Radiant Garden.
- "Skyward Striker" was meant to play after the Dark Baymax fight until "Baymax Rebooted" plays.
- "Scala ad Caelum" was meant to play when Sora finds the Master's Defender on Destiny Islands.
- "Aqua -Mirror Illusion-" from Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage- was meant to play after the fight with Anti-Aqua.
- "Ventus" from Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep was meant to play after the fight with Vanitas in the Land of Departure.
- "Forze del Male" from Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX was meant to play during the cutscene where Ansem leaves the fight against Dark Riku and Xigbar until "The 13th Dilemma" plays.
- "Lord of the Castle" from Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX was meant to play after Xemnas leaves the fight against Luxord, Larxene, and Marluxia until "The 13th Struggle" plays.
- "At Dusk, I Will Think of You..." from Kingdom HD 1.5 ReMIX was meant to play after Saïx's fight. The file contains "At Dusk, I Will Think of You...", then a 30 second gap, and finally "Musique pour la tristesse de Xion" to play during the cutscene.
- "Beyond the Door" was meant to play when the Guardians of Light activate the portal to Scala ad Caelum.
- A version of "Precious Stars in the Sky" was meant to play during several interludes (III, V, and IX).
There are also dummied tracks that have no obvious place in the game:
- "Go! Go! Rumble Racer" from Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep was supposed to be used for the Cherry Flan and Frozen Slider minigames. Instead "Go! Go! Rumble Racer -Pudding Grand Prix-" and "Sky High Slider" accompany the minigames respectively.
- "Go Go Rumble Racer -Pudding Grand Prix-" was also supposed to play for Frozen Slider instead of "Sky High Slider".
- "The Deep End" from Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX was also used as a placeholder for multiple unused boss battle themes in the files. It's unclear where if and where it was supposed to play, however the versions found in the files were labelled for a Heartless boss battle and three Organization XIII boss battles.
Several other tracks were also altered during development:
- "Missing You" originally played after Master Xehanort struck Kairi in the Keyblade Graveyard. This was replaced by a new, unnamed arrangement of "Destati" in version 1.07.
- In the same cutscene, the Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep version of "The Key of Darkness" was replaced by a new arrangement of the track in version 1.07.
- In the cutscene "The New Seven Hearts", a new arrangement of "The Nightmare" plays for shortly under 30 seconds before being cut off. A full two-minute version of the track is still present in the game's files.
- A unique track for the Summary page of the Festival Dance mini-game exists in the game's files. In the final game, nothing plays after the conclusion of "Sunshine Dancer".
Unused idle sprite of Riku not in combat with his second hair style when playable, later used in the Limit Cut episode of Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind.
- During a Gargoyles panel at 2015 MomoCon, Greg Weisman revealed that a world based on Gargoyles was initially proposed for the Kingdom Hearts franchise at some point in time, but the idea was eventually scrapped.
Notes and references
- Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days Fan Powered Q&A
- Nomura and Takahashi on Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, Anoop Gantayat: "The FFVIII hero was actually supposed to have appeared in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Nomura revealed. They'd even partially prepared a scenario where Laguna appears as the head of Mirage Arena. In the end, they decided that if they were to have a new character from FFVIII in Duodecim it would end up being Laguna, so they left him out of BbS."
- Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance Ultimania, Mamoru Ohashi: "Of course, halfway through development, many Dream Eaters were cut, to my extreme sadness. Among them was Queen Buzzerfly, which began designed as a normal small-fry enemy and cut, but made a miraculous recovery as a Dive Mode boss, which is rare to have happen. By the way, when it was small-fry it attacked by sitting in the eye of a needle and spinning like a top." Translation via Goldpanner
- How Fantasia And The Hunchback of Notre Dame Got Into Kingdom Hearts 3D
- Space Paranoids replaced by The Grid in KH3D
- Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance Ultimania, Interviewer: "Were there any rejected cutscenes?" / Masaru Oka: "Not rejected as such, but in the beginning, we planned the battle with Rinzler in The Grid to be Side: Riku. Before the start of that battle they announce the 'thirteen combatants', and though we didn't consciously choose the number '13', changing it to Side: Sora gave it an unexpected deep meaning." Translation via Goldpanner.
- ||KH3 Mod|| Aqua Vs Xemnas, Ansem, and Young Xehanort
- Kingdom Hearts 3 (PC) Mod - BBS Trio vs Lump of Horror
- Kingdom Hearts 3 Toy Story World Cutscenes
- Spreadsheetby AlphaKretin
- Gargoyles: A Retrospective at MomoCon 2015