The elevator pitch for Kingdom Hearts (literally, the game was born out of an elevator meeting) has always been Final Fantasy meets Disney. That first Kingdom Hearts game had an abundance of Final Fantasy characters as the supporting cast, first on Destiny Islands and in Traverse Town, then at various points throughout the game. The more games that came out, the less we saw Final Fantasy characters interacting with our leads in any big ways, even though they always had some kind of presence.
One of the most noticeable absences then to every Kingdom Hearts III trailer that we’ve seen is the lack of Final Fantasy characters. Square Enix has been keen on showing off new and returning Disney worlds, but there’s been a significant empty space for anyone that remembers that original elevator pitch that made a bizarre idea a reality more than 15 years ago.
Where are the Kingdom Hearts III Final Fantasy Characters?
In an interview with USGamer, Nomura addressed the missing Kingdom Hearts III Final Fantasy characters. Part of the reason we haven’t seen any is due to the complex story that the series has been building up to. “When you look back on the first Kingdom Hearts, Sora was still a new character, so we kind of had the Final Fantasy characters as supporting characters,” Nomura said. “But now that it’s been 15 years, the original characters are more polished than they were before, so I don’t think think they need the Final Fantasy characters’ help as much as they did before.”
Nomura says that due to a large cast of original characters that have their own problems and issues to resolve, there’s not a lot of space to add in the Final Fantasy characters. He also talked about the unique idea of bringing the Final Fantasy worlds together 15 years ago, and how now it’s not such an original idea. “But nowadays, there are an abundance of titles that do that, so I don’t see the value of having that kind of feature in the game anymore.”
He retained an air of mystery, however. If you’re hoping to see Kingdom Hearts III Final Fantasy characters, you might still be in luck. “I can’t disclose too much about the Final Fantasy characters or whether or not they’ll be in Kingdom Hearts III, because I can only speak to what’s been shown,” Nomura said. “…that doesn’t mean that I’m saying that there won’t be any Final Fantasy characters. Please look forward to future information.”
At the very least, I expect that we’ll see Cloud and Sephiroth at the Olympus Coliseum (Hercules) world, as they’ve been a staple of the series. As the end of the Dark Seeker Saga, I wouldn’t be surprised to at least see some callbacks to those Final Fantasy characters that supported Sora at the start of his journey. Concluding the series without them simply wouldn’t feel right.
In the same interview, Nomura also talked about being sad that this story arc was ending, hinting that this would be the last time we’d see many of these characters.
Where are all the Kingdom Hearts 3 Final Fantasy Characters?