The Kingdom Hearts 3 modding community has been breathing new life into the game ever since it came to PC last year. From simple model swap mods to more complex things such as modifying Sora’s moveset, dedicated fans have been having a blast editing the game.
Today, a particularly special mod has piqued my interest. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the Sakura Wars franchise so when I saw that a YouTuber by the name of RobowiiOFFICIAL had imported the map of Sakura Wars’ city of Ginza into Kingdom Hearts 3 I needed to see it. According to the video description, because Sakura Wars 2019 ran on the Hedgehog Engine 2, importing the map was a simple task.
I was not prepared for what was in the video. In normal gameplay, you typically only see a small area in front of the theater and a singular street during the tutorial mech fight. However, as you can see in the video above, there is much more to the city than that.
Buildings that never appear on camera in the original game are fully detailed on all angles, bridges have textures that you would never have a chance to see, the city is much larger than the two streets you see in the actual game.
Several of my Sakura Wars peers have wondered if this means that at one point in development, we were once going to have more free roam capability and would be able to walk around this city. Having watched the whole thing, I don’t think we were ever going to be able to walk around the whole thing as it does stop having detail not too far away from the one street where we do have a mech fight.
However with the amount that is here and even some relatively distinct areas on almost all sides of the theater I believe that at one point Sakura Wars would have had more mech fight locations in Ginza than the one street we had in the actual game. This would explain there being several detailed streets around the theater but none far off and would make sense as there are three fights on this same street in the main game.
Regardless of if my theory is right, this was an interesting look at another side of Sakura Wars’ development and another chance to marvel at the abilities of the Kingdom Hearts modding community.