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Kingdom Hearts is a series of action role-playing games developed and published by Square Enix (formerly Square). It is the result of a collaboration between Square Enix and Disney Interactive Studios, combining characters and elements from Square Enix's Final Fantasy series and multiple Disney franchises. Currently the series includes six video games released on various platforms, a manga series, a novel series, video game soundtracks released on audio CDs, and a collectible card game.

The video games provide the canonical story of the series. The manga series is adapted by Shiro Amano and the novels are written by Tomoco Kanemaki and illustrated by Shiro Amano. The stories follow the events that take place in the video games with differences to account for the loss of interactivity that a video game provides. The manga and novel series are both divided up into three series based on each of the three main video games. Each series is further broken up into multiple volumes. The manga was originally serialized in Japan by Square's Monthly Shonen Gangan, but has since been released worldwide. The manga was released in the United States by Tokyopop near the end of 2005.

Games

Video games

Main article: Kingdom Hearts

Each game in the series has been critically and commercially successful, though each title has seen different levels of success. As of December 2006, the Kingdom Hearts series has shipped over 10 million copies worldwide, with 2.0 million copies in PAL regions, 3.0 million copies in Japan, and 5.6 million copies in North America.[1][2] The main games in the series were released in chronological order, with each new game following the events of the previous. The exception is the V CAST mobile game, which was developed independently of Square Enix's games. Three new titles in the series were announced at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show, though one was already released.[3] Currently coded and Birth by Sleep are only confirmed for a Japanese release, though Square has plans for releases in other territories. 358/2 Days is the latest game of the series, being released in North America in late September 2009.[4] Template:Video game table

Collectible card game

The Kingdom Hearts Trading Card Game is a collectible card game based on the Kingdom Hearts series. It was first released in Japan to coincide with the release of Chain of Memories and was produced by Tomy.[5] The TCG features starter decks, playing mats, and booster packs.[6] In 2007, Fantasy Flight Games acquired the rights to translate the game and market it in North America. In the game, the player takes the role of Sora from the Kingdom Hearts games. Using the cards, players travel to worlds to battle the Heartless. The game allows for two players with a deck and "Player Card" to play together.[7] The game is distributed in a variety of booster packs.[8] The game was released in North America on November 15, 2007.

Soundtracks

The music of the video game series Kingdom Hearts was composed by Yōko Shimomura with orchestral music arranged by Kaoru Wada.[9][10] The original soundtracks of each game have been released on two albums and a third compilation album. The games feature two main theme songs, which were written and performed by Utada Hikaru, as well as music from Disney films.

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Printed media

Manga

The plot of the manga stays true to the events in the video games, though it does diverge at certain points. Certain fights were shortened or excluded and some minor characters and worlds visited in the game were also excluded. The fourth series, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, is currently being serialized. The first series was re-released in three volumes in Japan in December 2006 as "Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix". The manga series has been well received. Several of the manga volumes were listed on USA Today's "Top 150 best sellers".[11][12][13] The highest ranked volume was Kingdom Hearts volume 4 at #73.[12] Every volume listed stayed on the list for at least two weeks; Kingdom Hearts volume 4 stayed the longest at four weeks.

Kingdom Hearts

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Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

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Kingdom Hearts II

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Kingdom Hearts Final Mix

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Novels

A novel series has also been released in Japan. It is written by Tomoko Kanemaki (金巻ともこ Kanemaki Tomoko?) and illustrated by Shiro Amano. Like the manga series, it is divided up into separate series based on the games.

Kingdom Hearts

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Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

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Kingdom Hearts II

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Companion books

There have been numerous books that provide walkthroughs and supplemental information to the video games. Square Enix has released six Ultimania guides and one bonus book on the Kingdom Hearts series exclusively in Japan. The Ultimania guides primarily serve as strategy guides for their respective games, revealing secrets from the developers' perspective. They also contain interviews with the staff, extended information on backstory, and original artwork. In North America, BradyGames has been given exclusive rights to publish strategy guides for three of the games.

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References

  1. SquareSoft (2007-02-05). "Kingdom Hearts Series Ships over 10 Million Worldwide". GameSpot. Retrieved 2007-05-13. 
  2. Script error
  3. Charles Onyett (2007-09-19). "Three New Kingdom Hearts Titles". IGN. Retrieved 2007-09-19. 
  4. Emma Boyes (2007-09-20). "TGS '07: Three new Kingdom Hearts games coming". GameSpot. Retrieved 2007-09-20. 
  5. Chris Cook (2004-09-24). "TGS 2004: Square Enix Press Conference Wrap Up". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  6. GameSpot staff (2004-10-13). "Kingdom Hearts trading card game for Japan". GameSpot. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  7. "Kingdom Hearts TCG - About". Fantasy Flight Games. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  8. "Kingdom Hearts TCG - Products". Fantasy Flight Games. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  9. Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack CD insert. Toshiba-Emi Limited. 2002.
  10. Kingdom Hearts II Original Soundtrack CD insert. Toshiba-EMI Limited. 2006.
  11. "USA Today Best-Selling Books Databse - Top 150 best sellers". USA Today. Retrieved May 17, 2007. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "USA Today Best-Selling Books Databse - Top 150 best sellers". USA Today. Retrieved June 7, 2007. 
  13. "USA Today Best-Selling Books Databse - Top 150 best sellers". USA Today. Retrieved May 24, 2007. 

External links

Template:Kingdom Hearts series

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