Developed by Square Enix with the cooperation of the Walt Disney company, Kingdom Hearts is a series of roleplaying video games. Over the years, these games have received high praise from critics and fans alike. However, during development, numerous elements were discarded from the final products.
Kingdom Hearts (2002)
An early version of the first game had the ability to summon Bahamut from the Final Fantasy series. It was cut from the retail version, but through cheat codes, a "Bahamut" option can appear in the summons menu and can be selected. However, since there is nothing loaded on the disc for Bahamut, the game will crash if this is done.
Disney Castle world
As seen in the beta trailer, the famous Disney Castle was originally set to appear as a playable world in the game, but was removed for unknown reasons. Fortunately, the world wasn't entirely removed, as it can still be accessed with cheat codes, and areas do exist, as seen in the opening cutscenes. In addition, it can still be seen in the world map.
An area known as the Crumbling Island was meant to appear in the final level, End of the World, as the setting for the final battle with Riku (possessed by Ansem, Seeker of Darkness) at the End of the World. The area was cavernous with purple walls; it had a large amount of running water on the walls, and a large hole in the ceiling. It is reminiscent of Destiny Islands while it was being consumed by darkness. The map for Crumbling Island was placed out of the way within the remains of World Terminus, where it can be found through hacking.
Pride Lands world
Another unused world, the Pride Lands from The Lion King was originally going to be a world used in the game, but was removed due to the software having difficulties portraying convincing quadrupedal movement and needing another collision detection engine for the level. Which in the final version of the game that Simba is become as an Summon Gems after his world is been destroyed by the Heartless, It was later featured as a playable world in Kingdom Hearts II.
Alternate logoAt 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.
The Assault Rider was going to appear in the game, but was removed because it "didn't fit" in any of the worlds, possibly due to its style. It later appears in The Land of Dragons in Kingdom Hearts II.
In the E3 2001 trailer, the scene where the Destiny Islands are destroyed plays out slightly differently from the final game. At the end of the trailer, Sora also manually inserts the Keyblade into the Destiny Islands 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 arm position staring up and saying something to particularly anger Sora enough to attack him.
Donald and Goofy also have different attires throughout 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.
Aside from the E3 2001 trailer, and in the final version of the game, a scene where Sora and Riku are exploring the secret place is cut off right as new dialogue appears, but in the continued version of this scene later in the game, no such dialogue appears.
In the Station featuring Alice and the characters from Alice in Wonderland is shown, but it was omitted in favor of the pink Princesses of Heart Station.
In earlier builds of the game, the combat menu would display the MP cost of associated spells. But it was changed in the final version.
Unused Goofy and Donald Costumes and Hit Boxes
In the trailer Goofy and Donald have an old original costume from the original Disney cartoons, which it have the Hit Box of Goofy and Donald but it was been change of their appearance in the final version. (which when you beat the final boss, it shown an cut-scene of Goofy and Donald is have their own old costume)
Sora and Keyblade Original DesignAfter by the development of the first game the main protagonist, Sora's design is look like an Lion human-alike but it was been changed to an normal human in the final version, which the Keyblade was gonna be as the Chainsaw but it was been changed to the Keyblade from the final released.
Dive to the Heart
A screenshot from an early magazine scan shows the Dive to the Heart was set to appear in the game, but was discarded and replaced with Castle Oblivion.
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 Disney being unable to secure the copyrights of Edgar Rice Burroughs (the creator Tarzan book) that it was become the only appearance in the first game, later in few years in Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix that the Deep Jungle is reappearing.
In an early screenshot of the game, Magic cards were substituted by some Card Prototypes, such as Cure and Thunder, that had their picture sightly altered. However, they were removed from the game for unknown reasons.
Kingdom Hearts II (2005)
Edge of Ultima and Detection Saber
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.
Alternate Xemnas forms
In his final battle, Xemnas was originally intended to use two "super-gigantic Nobodies" other than the World of Nothingness; 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 World of Nothingness.
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 Memory 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.
Lazy Afternoons alternate
An alternate version of Twilight Town's theme, Lazy Afternoons, is present in the game data.
Old Munny sprite
The old Munny sprite was used in earlier trailers, but was removed in favor of a new sprite.
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.
Buzz Lightyear and Woody summons (Final Mix)
Buzz Lightyear and Woody, characters from Pixar's Toy Story franchise, were at one point planned to appear as new summons in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix. Their models appear within the game coding, albeit without textures.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (2009)
Pinocchio's World was originally set to appear in the game, 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 world was eventually recycled for Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance as "Prankster's Paradise".
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 utilized lightning as its weapon.
Pinocchio's World would have included Pinocchio (as a human) and Gepetto, 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
Palette swaps of Midnight Roar and Twilight exist in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days's game data, but do not appear as formal weapons.
A Darkside was set to appear in Beast's Castle instead of a Dark Follower.
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.
A version of the Kingdom Key D, the Light Seeker (ライトシーカー Raito Shīkā), 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.
Pleakley from the original Lilo & Stitch movie was set to make an appearance in Deep Space, but removed for unknown reasons. His model is still in the game's coding, albeit without textures.
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 swordfight, 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.
The rear of Aqua's outfit was left ambiguous for some time due to series creator Tetsuya Nomura being unsure in its finalization. Until mid-2009, the back was left exposed until the game was officially released, where only the upper-back was exposed due to censorship. Also, Aqua's hair and eyes were 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 auxillary 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.
Kingdom Hearts 3D Demo renders (Final Mix)
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.
Kingdom Hearts coded (2011)
An early screenshot reveals that Shadow Sora was originally set to appear in Traverse Town, but was removed for unknown reasons.
358/2 Days-style talk sprites (Re:coded)
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.
Early Drop gauge
In the first trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3D, the Drop gauge originally had a gradient from violet to magenta to cream.
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
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 Windmill (ウィンドミル) training toy is depicted in the Ultimania, which claims it is a special gift for Streetpassing. A second unused training toy has a sprite present within the game data.
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.