Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep [PSP – Beta / Unused]

As we can read on Wikipedia, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is an action RPG developed and published by Square Enix for the PSP. The game was released in Japan on January 2010 and it is planned to be released in North America and in Europe on September 2010. Development of the game began in June 2005 and was originally intended for the PlayStation 2 with Sora as the prototype protagonist of the game.

Birth by Sleep was developed by Square Enix’s fifth Product Development Division, based in Osaka, the same team behind Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories, and uses the same graphical engine as Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.

The plot was completed for the PS2, but development was halted six months after it began due to development of Re: Chain of Memories. The development team changed the platform to the PlayStation Portable so as to make use of the PSP’s functions such as co-operative and competitive multiplayer gameplay.

In August 2009, new Famitsu scans revealed a revamped User Interface (having been revamped twice before) as well as new worlds after a lack of news for close to a year.

As posted by Granville in our U64 Forum, hidden in the final game’s code there is a very cool secret world that was cut, but that you can still access via hacking! It’s a world based off the classic movie The Jungle Book.

The first area is in the Monkey Temple of the orangutan Louie. The other areas are your basic jungle type areas, although they are all clearly incomplete and lack a lot of their texture work. I’d say the Temple is the only complete area. The only way to access these areas is via hacks, they were never used in the main game and no images were shown in prerelease photos. It’s a pretty interesting find actually. A hack hasn’t been released yet, but i imagine it will soon.

On Youtube we can also see a video of Keytotruth, who managed to hack his/her way into the data and play around in it.

Thanks to Granville for the contribution!




Kingdom Hearts 2 [PS2 – Beta]

Kingdom Hearts 2 is an action RPG developed by Square Enix and published by Buena Vista Games and Square Enix in 2005 for the PlayStation 2. Superfun64 has noticed a beta screenshot from an old magazine article, in which we can see Donald and Goofy in the scene with the huge Heartless war battle, but they are not in there in the final game.

Also, in a beta video from Tokyo Game Show 2003 we can see a different Twilight Town, the removed Hollow Bastion Tower and various removed scenes, like one in which Donald freeze himself.

Yaz0r found out that there is a Woddy & Buzz (from Toy Story) model in the KH2 data. They are unfinished/untextured but it looks like they were planned as summons. They are in the middle of the other summons models, that’s why we can assume that they were planned as summons. During KH2 production, there were an issues between Disney & Pixar (especialy around Toy Story 3 and the deal they had signed together). It’s possible that Square scraped the Pixar stuff to prevent from beeing involved.

There are even more early screens at KH2 website, if you can find other beta images, let us know!

Thanks to Superfun64 and Yaz0r for the contributions!




Kingdom Hearts [PS2 – Beta]

Kingdom Hearts is an action RPG developed and published by Square in 2002 for the PlayStation 2. The idea for Kingdom Hearts came about when producer Shinji Hashimoto met with a Disney executive in an elevator;  Square and Disney had previously worked in the same building in Japan. The game began development in February 2000 and originally the beta focused more on the gameplay with a simple story to appeal to Disney’s target age range.

After executive producer Hironobu Sakaguchi told director Tetsuya Nomura the game would be a failure if it did not aim for the same level as the Final Fantasy series, Nomura began to develop the story further. Some content that did not make it into Kingdom Hearts was later added into Kingdom Hearts II.

The “Pride Land” from The Lion King, for instance, was infeasible because an additional program was required to process movement on four legs—a necessity since Sora would become a lion in that world. Due to time constraints, the developers left out an optional boss battle, similar to the Sephiroth battle, against Tifa Lockhart. She was later included in Kingdom Hearts II as a more developed character. [Info from Wikipedia]

In a beta trailer from 2001 you can see many differences between the beta build and the final build. Such as Sora roaming around Disney Castle. In the final build, you do not go to Disney Castle, but there is an image of it on the world map, but it is never selectable.

More differences, as spotted by YT users:

  • The logo’s different
  • Goofy’s cloth is different
  • Sora’s beta hair color
  • removed scene with Riku on the Clock Tower

In an interview with Nomura, we can read that:

“Actually,” he continues, “the first weapon I showed Disney was a chainsaw. It was this chainsaw-like weapon that I had a rough sketch of when I first showed my concepts to Disney. Everyone got this scrunched-up look on their face and nobody said a word in the entire room. Dead silence. And I thought ‘No, I guess this wouldn’t work, huh?'”

Shadowdorothy also noticed:

  • In the beta Riku didn’t have his black gloves he does in the final release
  • Kairi’s skirt is longer in the official release.
  • The opening monologue by Sora went through a major change, as in the commercial it appears that Sora is having a conversation with someone.
  • The magic system was changed dramatically, as the magic system sub-menu originally opened on top of the action menu.
  • The door was also removed, and by “the door” I mean that strange door on Destiny Island that you can’t see until Sora has a flash back that involves Riku and him being kids.
  • It also appears that Sora, not Kairi, was the one that needed saving, as per some dailouge seen at the end of the com.

Some more info on the beta can be found on X-Cult!

Thanks a lot to Brad and Shadowdorothy for the contributions!




Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days [DS – Beta / Unused Stuff]

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is an action RPG developed and published by Square Enix for the Nintendo DS with assistance from Hand. Granville has created a topic in our forum with an interesting series of beta screenshots and early videos that show various differences from the final version.

This footage is the earliest known footage from a Nintendo conference in 2007. The two worlds shown are Twilight Town and Wonderland. The structures of the levels are very different from the final game, there are a kind of heartless in wonderland where there aren’t supposed to be any of that species, and you’ll just notice a lot of general differences from the final game. Especially the HUD, which is nothing like the final game. Different sky color in Twilight Town, and you don’t go in that little underpass area to my knowledge.

In the gallery below you can see the gradual development of the game, with an early scenario that could have been used to test the gameplay. You can also notice a different hud, with magic bars: in the final game, there is no MP bar at all. Magic and items are both handled by numbers instead of a bar that depletes and refills.


In one of the beta screens there’s a place that seems to have been removed from the final game: it’s a grassy area with some broken columns (probably a beta Twilight Town). In another image we can notice a scene in which the player is chasing the rabbit in Wonderland, but that does not happen in the released game. Also, the area in the final version of wonderland seems more cramped than this one.

We can also notice that in one screen Roxas’ mugshot is slightly different from the final game. However, the old mugshot is still hidden in the game code as seen in the sprite rip from Barubary. There are actually SIX unused battle portraits listed in there.

In the July issue of Nintendo Power, the magazine told everyone that the worlds of Pinocchio and Traverse Town would be present in the game. Not so unfortunately. In the final game, those 2 areas were removed. However, a new sprite rip from Barubary has unveiled some other interesting mugshots that were unused but still hidden in the code. You can notice 3 character portraits from Pinocchio (Pinocchio, the Fox Honest John, the cat, and Gepetto). As Smouvy has made us to notice, if you play the mission where you face Guard Armor for the first time in the Colosseum, you’ll see flashes of Sora fighting Guard Armor in a fully modeled area of Traverse Town. So at least one area of Traverse Town did make its way into the final game.

Hidden in the game’s code there is also a Hercules character that doesn’t appear either: Megara.

Two more videos show a couple of unused scenarios: they were taken at a game conference back in 2008. It seems that these 2 unused scenarios were created specifically for that conference they were not intended for the final product.

Roxas and Axel in Twilight Town:

I don’t believe the scenarios or dialog ever happened as seen in this video. Perhaps a few parts did, but I know for sure that Roxas and Axel never fight that armored heartless beast in the final game. He does appear as a boss, but not in this scenario of this video.

Roxas and Xaldin in Beast’s Castle:

This one I know for sure has unused parts. For one, you only start out at that area once in the entire game. And it is not with the partner in that video (Xaldin). The events seen there do not happen, including the heartless ambush in the beginning. One more important thing- The potions you collect around the 2:05 portion of the gameplay are totally different looking in the final game. They just look like generic packages in the final. Same sound but different appearance. The boss there though did appear in the final game. There were some minor camera angle differences though.

Thanks a lot to Granville for the contribution! 

Nomura talks about KH: Birth By Sleep development

Interviewer: Can you tell us a bit about the development of Birth By Sleep?

Nomura: Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep is being worked on by the same team that created re: Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep’s development had originally started before the development of re: CoM, but production was stopped to complete re: CoM. At first it felt a bit weird starting the project again. I believe this project started before the other two of the Kingdom Hearts games, and I also believe it will be the last to hit the market.

[Maybe there was a proto of the Ps2 version made before the first KH? or it was just a concept that remained on paper and the real development began only on Psp ?]

Interviewer: In Birth by Sleep, is the gameplay done by choosing action commands lined up in command list?

Nomura: I believe it is necessary to say first, The Command Menu that was shown to the public [A.K.A scans, and video] has now changed. A system close to that of re:COM has been created, feeling like a command deck. However, the present screen shots show it was a bit too close to the idea of re:COM. The battle screens you see in the images now, have already been changed. However the operating sense is similar to that of the Kingdom Hearts series. The gameplay has slight influence from the DS game “It’s a Wonderful World”.

[They changed the command menu.. so the old scans and the video are beta!]

You can read the whole interview here .