Early Kingdom Hearts Artwork Shows A Different Donald And Goofy

By Spencer . January 2, 2013 . 1:00pm

Since Square Enix is about to re-release the original Kingdom Hearts with HD graphics, let’s take a trip down unseen memory lane. When Squaresoft (now Square Enix) and Buena Vista Games (now Disney Interactive) created Kingdom Hearts the characters went through a number of changes.


Players see Knight Goofy and Wizard Donald in Kingdom Hearts, but early character artwork from Buena Vista Games shows a different costume.




Here are the models for Knight Goofy and Wizard Donald…

Goofy_Knight Donald_Wizard


… and how they look in Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix.



Here’s a sketch for the Monstro level…



… and finalized art as a comparison.



Also see plans for a Super Smash Brothers-like Disney brawler, a plan to revive the Rocketeer, and Spy Mickey.

Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • DongT

    the original kingdom hearts always had this sense of wonder and adventure that’s lacking in the later titles, but that’s just my opinion maybe im just wearing rose tinted glasses lol.

    • Anime10121

      Nah, the first is DEFINITELY different in the way it handles certain things (especially the way Ansem was thrown in at nearly the end of the game, and until then, we thought Maleficent was gonna be the big bad). I wouldn’t say the newer games (II, BBS, DDD) lacked “adventure”, more than I say they lack the impact the first game made. When the first game came out, most had never even thought of a collaboration between Square and Disney, let alone one that actually worked. The first one is really magical to people, mainly BECAUSE it was the original one, everything was new and awesome at the same time (music, VA, worlds, characters, plot, etc). As the sequels/side stories came out, and worlds started to be re-used and the plot came more into its own, they just started to lose what was special about the first one to some people (meaning that the sequels started to become routine, instead of unique).

      But hey, I love the games, and hope to see the series continue, hopefully considering the “real” KH team (Is it even right to call a team that hasnt worked on the series since 2006 the “main” KH team?) is busy with Vs. XIII, they’ll hand production of KH III to the Osaka team, who have created the excellent BBS, Re: Coded (gameplay wise), DDD, and are now working on 1.5 HD collection! They have proven to be VERY capable of creating proper games, so I hope they get the chance since the main team probably wont be finish with Vs. XIII until 2014.

      • Vitor Navarrete

        Nomura himself said that it would be right to consider that the Osaka Team is now the KH team. I would assume that part of the staff is handling the remasters while other already started planning KH 3. They have 2 directors (Nomura and Tai Yasue) so I think this scenario is quite possible.

      • SpellcraftQuill

        I feel it’s that the Disney characters were placed more on the sidelines later on. I would have loved to fight Gaston in KHII but oh well…

        • OatMatadoQuatro

          No one is excluded from Kingdom Hearts like Gaston!!

      • *claps*

      • A big part of it for me is that the Disney worlds and characters have taken such a back seat to the characters Square created. They’ve become little more then window dressing.

  • Anime10121

    WHOA! Awesome! Where’d this stuff come from? Seems to me they just cut down on a few minor details to make the model easier to create, as the gist of the costumes is still there.

    • Donald look so much better in the concept art WHYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!

  • Hinataharem

    Lol goofy doesn’t use weapons

  • It’s hard to imagine such fun characters like Donald and Goofy have become associated with characters like Sora and Riku, who are loved by yaoi fangirls.

    • Vitor Navarrete

      They’ve been replaced by Roxas and Axel, nowadays.

      • BOOOOO!!! I want cartoon characters doing funny stuff! Not some androgynous men with spiky hair having sexual tension with each other!

        Kingdom Hearts III better have Gaston singing in the pub.

        • Tien Ron

          it’s called friendhship!!!!

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Square Enix: Lets give them Belts and zippers to stay hip with the new kids

    • AuraGuyChris

      They should do that.
      So I can tell them to zip it.

  • KHSoraKeyBlade

    Goofy with a sword would have been interesting, the armour seems silly to me but the sword and shield combo works well for him. I really love that original Donald artwork too.

  • Rodrigo Branco

    The first 2 images from them (the 3D models) actually appear in the first scenes from KH1 if I’m not mistaken

  • LexKitteh

    Thanks for sharing this with us! Wish this kind of content was available in the remix, but full Days cutscenes is enough new content for me to feel satisfied :3

  • Im glad with Goofy’s final design but… dat beta Donald!

  • Romored

    Hmm… I don’t think they’re “early artworks”, they’re just alternative
    costumes: Donald and Goofy were dressed like that at the beginning of
    the game.


    Sort of “official uniforms”.

    • brian

      I think only the concept art was intended to be called early artwork.
      Those ones actually in game were just for comparison.
      Notice they’re in 3D instead of being concept art.

  • Neppygear

    Oh, their old designs didn’t have nine hundred thousand billion zippers. That’s no good!

  • Tetsuya Nomura = One of the Square-Enix employees that in many cases has his head screwed on Straight not crooked like the top board of the Company, and yes I’m also talking about you Yoichi Wada.

  • juma086

    goofy… with a sword?! Disney must have been all over that.

  • brian

    Umm, back then Buena Vista Games was Disney Interactive, you got it mixed up.

  • Tien Ron

    i still stick by the fact that their knight and wizard costume looks way better than their adventure clothes!

  • Göran Isacson

    Question- do you mean that the designs of Goofy with a sword were from Square Enix’s side, OR were they designs from Buena Vista Games? At any rate I do like that Goofy wears something that looks more like his usual outfit, but Donald’s wizard robes? Those I could have kept… or at least included a little bit more of in the final design. Would have been cool to see pirate skeletons in the Monstro stage too.

  • Makapixel

    The early KH concept art with Sora, Riku and Kairi just hanging out and having fun on Destiny Islands is some of my fav work. It’s very disneyesque especially their expression. And I believe it was nomura’s work. I mean look at this http://www.kh2.co.uk/assets/kh2/artwork/art31.jpg and this http://www.kh2.co.uk/assets/kh2/artwork/art28.jpg it’s just god damn appealing. They used to have a very “lost boys” feeling to them. Just kids on an island having a good ‘ol time.

    It was steering very far away from anime and closer to Disney but then KHII came along and…well. Let’s just say Disney would have never concocted such a contrived plot.

    I hate to say it but Kingdom Hearts is done. Unless KH3 can bring back the sense of adventure and mystery that the original Kingdom Hearts had then I can’t say I’ll be playing it. With each new game they kept taking away actions from the player. In the first game you can sidle along an edge. They barely used it but it was nice that it was there regardless. You could also climb trees like it was the jungle book. There was so many forms of ways to express yourself in the first game. Just the fact that they were included means they designed the game from the bottom up. They focused on what Sora could do and why he would do it. Now it’s designed combat first and I think the overall game suffers for it. EVEN KH2 still had a bit of that magic.

    Unfortunately the new games have become less of a Mario 64 style game and more of a extreme action game with tacked on exploration elements. Square Enix and specifically the Osaka team need to go back to the drawing board and actually do some freaking level design. KH3D was decent but the players just had too much movement. The faster you can go the more the game experiences the Sonic Paradox, meaning the faster the player moves, the more level that has to be designed, and the more level that has to be designed the less attention each piece of that level will get. Sega has actually boiled this down to a science. I can’t say the same for the KH team. However just like Sonic Team the KH team seems to be suffering from not being allowed to make a new Kingdom Hearts game unless it has some new gimmick. For the record I really hate that term gimmick. What I mean is Square Enix doesn’t seem to be satisfied with just releasing a Kingdom Hearts game. I’m hoping that game will be Kingdom Hearts 3.

    I liked BBS as much as the next guy but I want a game that:

    Controls as well as Mario 64
    Story as cryptic as Dark Souls but not as stupid as it is now
    Combat as good as DMC3 but more accessible
    Old Disney quality character animation
    Better script for Disney world scenarios
    Fighting animations as good as Avatar the last airbender and Kungfu Cooking girls.
    Facial expressions as lively as MegaMind
    Spacial movement challenge for level design. You can’t have controls as good as Mario 64 and not have levels that take advantage of said controls. Stop with the flat worlds! Kingdom Hearts is not just about fighting. Break it up. A little bit of fighting and a little bit of not.
    More customization for player abilities. I think KH1 had a decent ability system. Don’t allow players to equip every freaking ability without having to make some kind of choice of what’s good. I want to mix and match abilities and create something that is better than either. I think BBS had a good thing going with the skill merging system.

    That would be an ideal game for me I think. Anyway…yeah. Here’s hoping KH3 is awesome.

    • Göran Isacson

      This is overall a very good and awesome comment, but I fear that we are heading for the exact opposite of what you describe :( Nomura has stated that he really likes the Command System as it’s the closest to how he imagined the fights to flow, and Flowmotion is apparently what he wants to focus on polishing in the future.

      Me, I blame Advent Children. The way fighting was done in that movie seems to have become what SE wants for ALL of it’s games, and there is just no room for the kind of Super Mario 64-esque subtleties you speak of in that kind of style. It’s ALL about flashy fighting now, and I don’t know if they’ll ever scale it back down…. though I will say that I actually enjoyed 3D’s levels far more than BBS’s levels, the Sora-side Pinnochio world alone outclassed anything BBS had to offer and was honestly as fun as anything I had to play in KH1.

      Questions though: isn’t the “fighting animations like Avatar and Kung Fo Cooking girls” already there? I mean their animations are hella flashy as is. And fighting system like DMC3 but more accesible, thaaat’s… yeah, that’s not what we’re ever gonna get. I love me some DMC3, but that series entire fighting is just far too advanced for Kingdom Hearts. I don’t mean that as a slight against the series or anything, I’m just saying that DMC3’s controls and gameplay is ALL about fighting, which you say you DON’T want Kingdom Hearts to be about, so those two styles just don’t match.

      • Makapixel

        What I meant about DMC3 combat is I want Kingdom Hearts combat to be more expressive. In kingdom hearts 1 and 2 you had a separate button to knock enemies into the air. (I believe it was an ability) I thought that was pretty cool and it allowed for a tiny bit of expression. Also I want more KH2 Wisdom mode. That felt so good to just slide around and shoot stuff like HOLY HECK! Nothing compares. NOTHING. Hands down my favorite of all the drives in that game.

        As for the fighting animations and what not I guess what I want is for attacks to feel like they hit hard and to not twirl around so much. It’s just annoying. It can still be super cool but I don’t want it throwing me all across the room unless I am doing the movement manually. In kingdom hearts 1/2 and chain of memories you had more control over how you used an attack. Best example is Sonic Blade. In order to continue sonic blade you had to tap A at the right time. In KH3D it’s just purely automatic. Same for strike raid. Why oh why is it just automatic now?? It felt soooo good to pull off the full strike raid combo. I’m just getting mad at the homogenization of the combat. To me it feels really sleazy to attack 2 times and only have to input 1 button 1 time. There is a disconnect from the player and the control. I hate it hate it hate it. New kingdom hearts games actually love to take away control from the player. It’s a trend that I really want to see go away. I don’t like the OSAKA team. They are so high off of themselves and their “amazing” combat systems that streamline player input. WHAT THE HECK IS THE POINT?!

        Also can we stop having rewards that basically make the game play itself. I don’t like auto jumping to attack something in the air. If it is in the air I think I can handle the jump and then separately tap the attack button. Another example is the vacuum ability thing that brings items toward you. If the base mechanic of going to collect stuff that falls out of enemies is not fun then just remove it. Just get rid of it. Don’t have it as something you upgrade which makes something less tedious. You are basically getting the right to not do this dumb thing anymore. And that is a stupid way to design a videogame.

        On the other hand I think you could do some stuff that would actually be fun with objects that pop out of enemies. Maybe some stuff that can be beat out of enemies is like a super move you can use that does an AOE attack and it activates when you pick up that item. Maybe it’s like a smash ball(from super smash bros brawl) and it gets knocked out of enemies and you have to chase it down and break it. It would be pretty powerful but you would have to actually physically go and get it after it was knocked out. You wouldn’t ‘have’ to get it, it would be your choice. Or another thing from smash bros brawl that I want to see in KH is knocking out pieces of a set from an enemy and when you pick up those pieces you’ll get a super powerful 1 hit kill attack. (think exodia from yugioh) What I am suggesting may be obsolete with how powerful the characters are now but I still think there is so much more that can be done. I can’t list all the possible things I want or this would be 10 pages long. I’ll start a blog one of these days.

        Bottom line is and I hate to say it(I really do) Kingdom Hearts is made for a very preteen audience now. Plain and simple that is the reason why it is so streamlined. It’s a visual game first gameplay second. It’s not about how to do something it’s just how cool can we make the thing you can do even if it feels like garbage to control. It’s not about how good you are doing it’s how fast can I beat these guys so I can see another cut scene. They don’t even try to hide it anymore. My excuse for playing Kingdom Hearts for this long used to be “I like the disney worlds, I like moving around, I like the overall atmosphere” I tried to make that same excuse for KH3D and I realized that “no, I don’t, I don’t like any of that in this game.” I lied to myself hoping the game was going to be something more. With that said I hope(stupidly so)KH3 will be a good game. I can only hope that reworking on Kingdom Hearts 1 has somehow taught them something…anything. KH1 wasn’t perfect but it sure was a magical experience.

        As an aside BBS/Chain of Memories multiplayer is some of the most fun I have had with Kingdom Hearts. I demand more multiplayer Kingdom Hearts games. And not stupid thrown off to the side dumb mini game multiplayer. BBS multiplayer could be a stand alone expansion pack you buy or download. They have the freaking engine already done they could release a bunch of missions make it online and bam millions of dollars would be made for square. This of course would be an offshoot from the main series. This would be the pure arena combat focused Kingdom Hearts game. Call it Kingdom Hearts: Arena Royale or for short KH:AR

        You want to know what the best Kingdom Hearts game is?


        Go play that.

        • Göran Isacson

          … You have a LOT of opinions on Kingdom Hearts, I must say XD Still, even if reading all that was a challenge I agree with most of it! I think that you can still knock enemies up into the air in recent games, but they have changed it to one of the commands. And I have to admit, I never really used Wisdom mode since I always felt it never did enough damage to be worth using, alas.

          I too have often groaned at how much control is taken away from the player, especially your examples of Sonic Blade and Strike Raid being altered the way they have. I like your idea of having the stuff you pick up from enemies be power-ups: perhaps that stuff could be what charges various super meters (like BBS Shootlocks and D-Links, and 3D’s Dream Unisons), but overall I admit that the lack of control does feel somewhat frustrating… but on the other hand, I’ve lately come to accept that change.

          Because I have talked with many other fans of the franchise, and they have often told me they enjoyed KH2 and BBS more for it’s simpler combat system where they didn’t have to worry as much about combat input. These were not pre-teens, but they weren’t really gamers either- they were fans of the story and good, smart people, but they weren’t gamers like you and I, they weren’t the kind of people that could beat DMC3 on anything but Easy mode.

          And somehow… somehow meeting these people and talking to them made me okay with the fact that yes, KH combat these days IS much more streamlined and less engaging to me. Because it was engaging to THEM. They didn’t have to put in as much effort, but still felt rewarded and drawn in by the visual flash and the storys twists and turns. I guess that in the end, maybe us hardcore gamers… maybe we never were the intended audience. Maybe this kind of simplicity, the kind of simplicity which draws in such a large audience to turnbased RPG’s exactly because they are so easy to play, was what Nomura was aiming for all along. Maybe the sad truth is that Kingdom Hearts was never really FOR us, you know? And that’s somehow okay, to me. These people who didn’t have my l33t skills had fun with the game, and if they had fun I was happy for them, even if I wasn’t as interested in the combat anymore.

          Now while I AM willing to cut SE some slack on the combat becoming easier, the stages becoming more and more linear and less engaging is something I’m not willing to cut them any slack on. I do sincerely believe that 3D was a step in the right direction after the abysmally flat expanses of nothing that were BBS and Days, even if there were still some boring stages, as chasing down the Monstro boss with a big damn Monstro bubble is IMHO one of the highlights of that game. I still see some worrying tendencies though in making the stages non-interactive battle arenas more than places you can really explore, and Flowmotion can both help and hinder them in this regard. There’s good in it, there’s bad in it, and I can only hope the good will triumph over the bad.

          I own Nier, but it’s in my backlog right now alas. Is there anything in particular about it that you feel makes it what Kingdom Hearts could have been that you can tell me about without spoiling the game?

          Besides a hermaphrodite armed with two swords and who curses people out. Because I don’t think Square Enix would EVER allow that in Kingdom Hearts ;)

          • Makapixel

            I can agree with you that we aren’t the target audience. We might have been once before but not anymore. I can also respect that there are people who really like the game and maybe don’t want combat to be so involved and that yes they are in it just for the cool visuals and story. That’s fine. I’m just saying it’s a shame. Obviously Kingdom Hearts is wildly popular and super successful sale wise and in other ways. They don’t really have to change anything. What I am hoping for is Nomura feels that there is something wrong and gives us players something we didn’t even know we wanted.

            Furthermore you are right. The stage design in 3D is a breath of fresh air compared to BBS. I hope that a lot of people really liked that aspect and have made it clear to Square Enix as well. If they have then just maybe that will be one of the strong focuses in KH3. Another thing I hope they focus on in KH3 is making it more like an RPG. Where you go to towns and go in shops and talk to people. For example in the first Kingdom Hearts there is progression made through talking to characters that are just walking around or that are in shops. I also liked the dumb little puzzles like blowing out the candles in Traverse Town. Traverse Town was actually a town with fun little puzzles in it. Why is that gone now? Also you rarely see another character to talk to while playing Kingdom Hearts now. You have to admit that KH1 worked a lot better in that regard. And the reason for this change is all the focus development wise is being put into combat and systems relating to it. Even though KH1 felt like a barren wasteland most of the time there were still pockets of interaction and not just through cut scenes.

            Furthermore I can’t wait to play KH1 HD!! It’s been years and years so I hope I have forgotten a bunch of stuff about it.

            Also thanks for reading what I wrote. It was long and drawn out. Not to mention poorly written but thanks for reading it all anyway!

            As for Nier. Play that game. Play it. Play it now. The back of the box states “Nothing is as it seems” That’s key to the entire game. Have you started up Nier yet? Already right in the beginning game play there is intrigue and mystery. I think you’ll feel that KH vibe right off the bat. Also it is never made clear that Kaine is a hermaphrodite. There are about 3 lines of dialogue that hint at it. You will never see the word “hermaphrodite” in Nier.

            And just so we are clear I think Nier is one of the best games of the decade. And with how opinionated you know I am that has got to count for something!

            If you are still here stop reading this and go play it!

          • Göran Isacson

            True, having the game acknowledge the more experienced playerbase WOULD be nice. Me, I’ve always had this one idea that… may sound needlessly advanced, but it was basically my attempt to wed the plethora of moves later games have come up with to the relative simplicity of the earlier games. And that solution is mostly called “shoulder buttons” and “charge attacks”.

            Allow me to elaborate! My control scheme would be something along these lines- X is jump, square is attack, Triangle are spells and Circle is block, dodge roll, all the “actiony” stuff. Hold down, say, R2 to access a scroll wheel controlled with the right stick that decides your magic element (thunder, fire, ice, aero, magnet, etc etc). This element decides what happens when you hit the spell button, BUT here comes a twist. Hold down the attack button and a meter charges up. Once that meter is charged your attack button layout changes into the superattacks of KH1- Sonic Blade on X, Ragnarok on Triangle, Strike Raid on Circle aaand whatever that attack combo was on regular square. And depending on the element you have chosen, the attacks change THEIR element, which lets you have all those elemental shot-lock varieties from BBS without having to pause the game and select just one. I would also think it cool if you could do something like, hold down L1 and bring up a menu of partner commands, sort of like how you could make a partner in Secret of Mana do a magic attack or use an item even if you weren’t playing them. Do you want to do those big magic attacks of later games, like Triple Thundaga or Tornado? Just charge the triangle button, and a menu opens up with super attacks in the element that you have chosen!

            However, I admit that this COULD grow out of hand as well and become needlessly complicated, but still- it would allow you, I think, to include a lot of different moves and give you quick access to them without just HANDING them to you right away. And if you REALLY want to talk hardcore- maybe you could only use a Super Magic Attack like say, Meteor or that Fireball spell that just blows up EVERYTHING once before you have to “recharge” at a savestation or with an Ether? Regular spells have limitless use, but powerful spells and attacks get limited casts to represent how draining they are for Sora.

            Anyhow, sorry about that- I just wanted to gush a little about my ideas. I do admit that the stages in KH1 felt ALIVE in a way that KH2 and, honestly, few of the other games, have after them. They mostly just felt like barren plains- 3D at least included a lot of funny little places you could do acrobatic tricks off. But blowing out candles, searching for Trinity Marks, cooking stuff in the camp at Deep Jungle… there WAS something special about that, and there really isn’t a lot of that in later games. If they can change that, and 3D could be a very good step towards that, then I will be a very happy camper.

            Also don’t you sit there and stress me whippersnapper I have to actually play MGS4 first so that I’m prepared for Reveangance when it drops TIME KEEPS SLIPPING THROUGH MY FINGERS DARNIT ;_;

    • Elvick

      Had to stop when you said KH is done.

      Not liking where something is going? Okay, I get that.

      Personally, KH is amazing and one of the best stories in gaming. I’d rather not be spoon fed a story every single game. Thank you, but no thanks.

      The only reason the first game’s story was told differently was because they needed to wrap it all up just in case the series didn’t take off to go where Nomura planned. Even then, he left things in the original to tie into the rest of the series thus far.

      KH hasn’t lost a thing for me and is only getting better.

      • Makapixel

        So instead of an enticing OVA that ends satisfyingly and makes you think a whole bunch it’s become more of a forever open ended Shonen manga that is literally going nowhere and melts your brain with how stupid it’s become. It’s basically Bleach. There’s no accounting for taste I guess.

        Btw you didn’t stop me. I already said my piece.

  • so now that disney owns lucas arts … will darth vader be in KHIII ? and lets have some key sabres too !!!

  • AzuNo17

    I’m a sucker for berets, so KH1 Donald will always win me.

  • kitsunebeau

    What is it with Nomura and having armor on one arm only?

  • Julien_N

    This wizard costume suits Donald very well, plus, the grin on his face fits his character, I think. It is a better design idea than the knight Goofy.

  • The original Kingdom Hearts remains my favorite out of the whole series. Not saying that other titles aren’t bad, because I did enjoy BBS. II and CoM were okay as well. But something about the first Kingdom Hearts game just makes it my favorite. I think what it was is that it had more of a “Disney” feel to it, if you know what I mean. Even with the FF cameos, it still felt more like Disney than Square Enix.

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