Kingdom Hearts’ original assets lost

Thursday, 27th June 2013 02:06 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Square Enix had to laboriously recreate the original Kingdom hearts for the upcoming 1.5 HD ReMIX release, as it had lost the original assets.

Director Tetsuya Nomura revealed the loss in a Square Enix-produced E3 video.

“Kingdom Hearts was created a long, long time ago. The original data was missing already,” he said, as transcribed by Polygon.

“It was lost so we had to research, to dig out the original game and recreate everything for HD. It was not that easy.”

No doubt Square Enix were able to pull the assets from a retail copy of Kingdom Hearts, much as homebrew coders often do, but this would have been far less efficient than working from the original “masters”, which would likely have compressed and otherwise processed during development.

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX is due in September on PlayStation 3. It bundles up the first Kingdom Hearts and a couple of other games and story materials which take place chronologically before Kingdom Hearts 2. A similar bundle for the second entry is expected, especially as Kingdom Hearts 3 is on the way to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at long last.



  1. Digital Bamboo

    “Kingdom Hearts was created a long, long time ago” What, 11-12 years? I’ve owned sweaters longer than that.

    Disney remasters animated movies like Snow White that were released over 75 years ago, how did they manage to lose this?

    I forget which game designer it was, but he recently expressed concern about the digital future and the danger of losing video games to time….looks like he was right.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Clupula

    There are quite a few games I can think of, where the original source code is gone. From Panzer Dragoon Saga to House of the Dead 1 to Silent Hill 2. This appears to be an oddly common thing in videogames.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. salarta

    Man, 2002 was, like, EONS ago! We may as well be trying to find the designs for the Trojan Horse here!

    This just highlights the glaring problem with the lack in preservation concerns out of this industry. A team deems design material to be not that important, turns out they need it later on, has to completely recreate the original material from scratch.

    And yet we have developers crying for a death to physical media and taking games exclusively digital with online requirements.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Unlimax

    The Merge with Enix Cause everything ..

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Clupula

    You do have to remember that this isn’t unique to the videogame industry. There was over an hour of cut footage of David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, for example, that was just tossed out by the studio, since when the movie was made, no one was thinking of DVD special features or extended editions of stuff. They had the 2 hour and 2 minute version of the film and any extra scenes were deemed unnecessary by the studio and thrown out, literally.

    It wasn’t until a year or two ago that someone actually had some of that footage and they were able to restore it for the Blu-Ray version.

    Now, everybody saves everything and makes special versions for home release, but up until those days, nobody did that.

    We’re in the same era in the videogames as they were during that period. Nobody thought of HD remasters during the PS2 era and previous, so the source code wasn’t viewed as important. It’s only now that it has become something to keep.

    #5 1 year ago

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