Square EA LLC has released info and media for the upcoming US version of their colloboration with Disney, Kingdom Hearts. As previously reported, the game's main character is a 14-year-old boy called Sora, who is sucked into another unknown world during a storm that hits his island home. To make things worse, Sora is also parted from his two friends Riku and Kairi. Sora ends up meeting Goofy and Donald, who are looking for Mickey, who mysteriously disappeared from Disney Castle. Of course, the source of all this tragedy are the Heartless, evil creatures from another dimension, who possess no heart and invade the eight worlds of Kingdom Hearts in order to destroy them. Each of Kingdom Hearts' worlds features a so-called Keyhole, which allows the Heartless to enter any world at free will. The aim for Sora and friends now is to defeat the bosses of the Heartless and seal the Keyholes with a powerful magic tool known as the Keyblade. Apart from the Heartless, players will also have to deal with well-known Disney villains, since each of the worlds themed after eight Disney films has its evil doer, a la Captain Hook.
Kingdom Hearts plays like an action RPG, as you can jump, swim or fly. The battle system includes elemental magic attacks and summons. Just like in the company's upcoming online RPG Final Fantasy XI, Square has done away with random encounters in this game as well.
Kingdom Hearts, which has sold almost 620,000 copies in Japan to date, is expected to be released on this side of the Pacific sometime in fall 2002.