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If Kingdom Hearts ever gets a remake, it needs the Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth treatment

There's no other way to do it.

2D art of Sora from Kingdom Hearts with his Kingdom Key held over his back. He is super imposed over some key art from Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth showing the main cast of characters looking out over a grassy, mountainous landscape.
Image credit: Square Enix

When you look at everything that came after it, the original Kingdom Hearts sits in a bit of a weird place compared to the rest of the series. It's the first game in a long-running series that didn't entirely know what was coming next, and from its sequel Chain of Memories onwards the vibes were completely different. I still love it a lot, it's as equally charming as it is frustrating, and because it's so different from the rest of them it feels special.

Square Enix is obviously all aboard the remake train these days, with Final Fantasy 7 being the prime example of said approach, and while I find it unlikely to happen anytime soon, a Kingdom Hearts remake would likely print a healthy amount of money even if it did end up being mostly nostalgia bait. But if it did ever decide to remake the classic RPG, I think it should give it the full Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth treatment,

When Square first announced Final Fantasy 7 Remake, obviously no one but the devs themselves knew that it was technically more of a sequel, or at least reimagining, than it was your standard remake. There's some great meta stuff to be found there, as the games are (whether you think successfully or not) grappling with the original's legacy, dealing with ideas over what a remake of Final Fantasy 7, a game that contains the Darth Vader of spoilers, can look like, and the weight of knowing what is surely meant to be inevitable?

I think Kingdom Hearts is prepped even better for such a twist given… well, everything about it. Throughout the series 22 years worth of games, it's dealt with altered memories changing your very reality, whether the soul can exist without a heart, if lines of code can be alive, dreams being worlds in and of themselves, and time travelling to save all of your friends lives. Safe to say, it's been a bit of a wild ride, so a remake of the 2002 original could really go some places if it wanted to.

And I think it should, too! Honestly, I don't think I want a remake all that much, but I know in an age of companies placing supposedly safe bets with established IP it is entirely possible. So in a hypothetical scenario as a Kingdom Hearts remake, it should look ahead of itself to potentially better tie some of its ideas together. Think of The Gi in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, a group of people that do exist in the original, but have been made actually important in the second part of the remake trilogy in a way that makes so much sense you might wonder it wasn't the case in the OG.

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I'm not gonna sit here and tell Square Enix all the things I think it should do with a Kingdom Hearts remake, more what I want to make of is that I think that the original has a lot of untapped potential. That's often the case with a lot of first games, and some of that potential was explored in later titles, but mostly on the gameplay front. A remake would allow Kingdom Hearts to truly get weird with it (not that it's not an odd one already), and really tap into all of the genuinely batshit stuff it does later on.

Right now, though, series creator Tetsuya Nomura and writer Kazushige Nojima likely have their hands full with the next generation of Kingdom Hearts games. There's Missing Link, a brand new mobile game due out this year, as well as Kingdom Hearts 4, eventually - not to mention the third and final instalment of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake trilogy. If they ever do find time for one, though, I hope they truly go as wild as everyone thinks Kingdom Hearts is.

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