Kingdom Hearts has grown from a single Disney and Squaresoft crossover to an entire franchise with sequels, prequels, and interquels. Speaking to a crowd of fans in Los Angeles, Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura explained that wasn’t always the plan for the series, "When I was making the very first Kingdom Hearts title I went in thinking this could possibly be the one and only Kingdom Hearts title. Maybe if we can get to a sequel, I’ll tease something at the end, but I’m OK with it being a single title. Never would I imagine it would grow to become such a large franchise and such a big series."
The glue that holds the current story arc, titled the Dark Seeker Saga, together isn’t even the series protagonists Sora, Riku or Kairi. It’s Master Xehanort who journeys from Destiny Islands and becomes the main antagonist. Why did Tetsuya Nomura make Kingdom Heart’s story so complicated?
"Because we have one continuous, overarching story, the plot does get a little bit complex as we progress through the narrative. Not only with video games, but with any kind of entertainment media including movies, you want to talk about it with your friends at the end and share each other’s reactions. If that reaction is exactly the same with every person it’s not even fun discussion about how you feel. I deliberately wanted to make mystery in it so there is a little bit of discussion and have a variety of reactions," Nomura explained.
"Even if you don’t know a certain element while you’re playing the game now sometimes it’s foreshadowing something coming up ahead and you’ll find out after you play further along in the series. That’s the part that makes a complex story interesting."