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Kingdom Hearts III

From Kingdom Hearts Database
Kingdom Hearts III
Kingdom Hearts III logo KHIII.png
キングダム ハーツ III
Kingudamu Hātsu III
January 25, 2019
Flag of Japan.png January 25, 2019
Flag of the People's Republic of China.png January 25, 2019
Flag of the United States.png/Flag of Canada.png January 29, 2019
Flag of European Union.png January 29, 2019
Flag of Australia.png January 29, 2019
Flag of Japan.png January 25, 2019
Flag of the People's Republic of China.png January 25, 2019
Flag of the United States.png/Flag of Canada.png January 29, 2019
Flag of European Union.png January 29, 2019
Flag of Australia.png January 29, 2019
Flag of Japan.png March 30, 2021
Flag of the People's Republic of China.png March 30, 2021
Flag of the United States.png/Flag of Canada.png March 30, 2021
Flag of European Union.png March 30, 2021
Flag of Australia.png March 30, 2021
Flag of Japan.png February 10, 2022
Flag of the United States.png/Flag of Canada.png February 10, 2022
Flag of European Union.png February 10, 2022
Flag of Australia.png February 10, 2022
"The ultimate battle for KINGDOM HEARTS is upon us."

Kingdom Hearts III is the thirteenth title in the Kingdom Hearts series. It serves as the conclusion to the Dark Seeker Saga, and follows Sora, Donald, and Goofy as they prepare to face Master Xehanort and his Real Organization XIII.

Kingdom Hearts III serves as the direct sequel to both Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance and Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage-. The game was first announced at E3 2013 on June 11, 2013, the first title announced for the series for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Kingdom Hearts III released on January 25, 2019 in Japan and January 29, 2019 internationally.[1]

The game was later released on PC along with Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, and Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory on the Epic Games Store on March 30, 2021.[2] [3][4]

Story[edit | edit source]

"Don't believe your dreams are just fantasy. If you can imagine a world, believe in it and dive in."
Promotional Tagline
"The light is gathering together, hearts driven by one oath, one purpose"
Promotional Tagline
Sora, Donald, and Goofy visit Hercules to try to recover Sora's power.

After Master Yen Sid instructs Sora to talk to Hercules about regaining the strength he had lost during his Mark of Mastery exam, Sora, Donald, and Goofy make their way to Olympus. There, they help Hercules stop Hades's attempt to take over the cosmos and overthrowing Zeus. During the visit, Sora runs into Maleficent and Pete, who are looking for a Black box and dismiss Sora as unnecessary to fight. They also soon run into Xigbar, who dismisses both Sora and Hercules's reasons for fighting, arguing that whenever they put their lives in harms way for others, someone else has to go in to save them. In the end, they defeat Hades, but Hercules finds he is unable to explain how he recovered his strength when he almost lost Megara during Sora's previous visit, though Sora picks up on a clue.

Riku and King Mickey stand on the shore of the Dark Margin after being defeated by the Heartless.

Meanwhile, Riku and King Mickey make their way through the Realm of Darkness, trying to find Aqua, where Riku reminisces his previous visits there. They soon arrive at the Dark Margin, where King Mickey senses Aqua's trail ends, and Riku recognizes the shore as the same place where he and Sora had arrived after defeating Xemnas. They are then suddenly attacked by a Demon Tide, and in the process, Riku's Way to the Dawn breaks. They decide to regroup at The Mysterious Tower and try again afterwards.

Sora, Donald, and Goofy meet up with King Mickey and Riku at The Mysterious Tower, where they learn of Aqua's trail ending, and not knowing of anyone that could help bring her back. Although Sora spontaneously offers to rescue her, Master Yen Sid reminds him that he needs the power of waking. Sora gets new clothes from Master Yen Sid, while King Mickey and Riku journey to Radiant Garden to take special garments to Lea and Kairi, who are training there under Merlin. Sora, Donald, and Goofy decide to follow Roxas's heart, and they journey to Twilight Town.

Hayner, Pence, and Olette join Sora, Donald, and Goofy at the Old Mansion in their search for Roxas.

While in Twilight Town, Sora and company encounter and defeat a Demon Tide, and work with Hayner, Pence, and Olette to try to find a way back to the virtual Twilight Town. However, they soon run into Ansem and Xemnas, who question their ability to bring Roxas back. Meanwhile, Riku and the King, having arrived in Radiant Garden, investigate the place where Ansem the Wise's apprentice Xehanort had been found, and realize that Xehanort had been using Terra's body at the time, opening the possibility that Terra, under the influence of Master Xehanort, is likely a member of the Real Organizaiton XIII.

Sora, Donald, and Goofy travel through various worlds, seeking to help Sora gain the power of waking, all the while learning more about Master Xehanort's plan to reclaim Kingdom Hearts. They learn of the New Seven Hearts, new maidens who had the power of the Princesses of Light passed down to them following the defeat of Ansem during Sora's first journey. They also find that Luxord, Larxene, Marluxia, and Riku from when Ansem had control of his heart are also members of the Real Organization. Riku and Ienzo also realize that Vexen, who had led the previous Organization's Replica Program, had also likely joined the Organization.

Ansem and Ansem the Wise stand outside the Old Mansion as Ansem demands the location of Subject X.

Meanwhile, in the Realm of Darkness, Ansem confronts Ansem the Wise about a girl that had gone missing back when Ansem the Wise first discovered Xehanort's experiments and put an end to them. Ansem the Wise agrees to join Ansem when the latter sends his guardian to attack Aqua. Aqua, now without a Keyblade, attempts to fight back, only to be weakened by darkness and thrown into the deep abyss beneath the Realm of Darkness. When Ansem the Wise returns with Xehanort's Heartless to Twilight Town, he pleads to be left alone, remorseful for all the children sacrificed because of the research he had started. They are both soon distracted by Hayner and Pence, long enough for Olette to sneak in and guide Ansem the Wise away. Frustrated, Ansem sends Nobodies to attack Hayner, only for him to be saved by a Dusk. Ansem then understood that a betrayal had occurred within the Organizaiton. At the same time, in Twilight Town's corridors, Vexen confronts Ansem the Wise. Although he had joined the Organization to regain access to the Replica Program, he had actually done so to be able to atone for his mistakes in betraying Ansem the Wise. Working with Demyx, who had also rejoined the Organization, they take Ansem the Wise and a replica vessel to Ienzo in Radiant Garden.

Riku and King Mickey fight the Heartless in their second visit to the realm of darkness.

While journeying after visiting several worlds, Sora, Donald, and Goofy learn that Chip and Dale had lost contact with Riku and King Mickey, who had returned to the Realm of Darkness to attempt another rescue of Aqua. Resolving to help them out, Sora uses his Keyblade to open a gate, hoping it would guide them somehow to Riku and the King. Instead, the gate took them to Destiny Islands, where they find an old Keyblade on its shores. Sora uses the Keyblade to open a door to the Realm of Darkness, and chooses to go rescue Riku and Mickey alone. Meanwhile, Riku and King Mickey are attacked by the Demon Tower again, and this time, it reveals a darkness-controlled Aqua. She fights Riku, but as she attempts to charge at him, Sora appears to block her attack. Sora then fights Aqua, and then finishes her off with help from Riku, casting her back into the deep waters off the dark realm's shores. As she begins to sink, the darkness fading away, Sora reaches out to her. She soon recovers and finds herself back on the shores of Destiny Islands, and in the Realm of Light.

Vanitas arrives in the Land of Departure while Aqua attempts to awaken Ventus.

Sora, Donald, and Goofy accompany Aqua to rescue Ventus. They arrive in Castle Oblivion, and Aqua uses her Keyblade to transform the land back to The Land of Departure. They walk inside to find Ven still asleep, his heart still not having returned to him. Before they can do anything about it, though, Vanitas returns again. Aqua fights Vanitas, but is soon defeated when Vanitas attempts to break the barrier Aqua had summoned to contain her and Vanitas in. Sora then has an internal struggle to awaken Ventus's heart within, and learns that he hadn't lost the Power of Waking after all. With Ven's heart free, he awakens and defeats Vanitas before the latter is able to kill Aqua. Vanitas retreats, not willing to face Aqua, Ven, and Sora at the same time.

The guardians of light gather at the Mysterious Tower.

Sora, Donald, Goofy, King Mickey, Riku, Kairi, Lea, Aqua, and Ven all gather together at The Mysterious Tower one last time before the fated Keyblade War. There, Ven learns that Lea is a Keyblade wielder, while Aqua and Mickey realize that Kairi is the same little girl they rescued in Radiant Garden several years before. As they prepare for the battle the next day, Aqua and Ven reminisce over their struggles over the last decade. Meanwhile, Saïx confronts Lea in Twilight Town, and reminds him of the reason they joined the Organization: a girl that they had met when sneaking into the Radiant Garden castle. Riku confronts the heart of the Riku Replica, which had joined his during their first attempt to rescue Aqua. Finally, Sora and Kairi share paopu fruits with each other as they watch the sunset.

Donald uses Zettaflare to stop Terra-Xehanort, but is the spell leaves him unconscious.

The next day, the group gathers in the Keyblade Graveyard. There, they face some of the members of the Organization, who then pit the group against a large wave of Heartless. Once those are defeated, Sora and the group journey forward, and soon face Terra-Xehanort, a member of the Organization, just as Mickey had predicted. Terra-Xehanort easily defeats both Ventus and Lea before attempting to attack Kairi. While Sora runs to protect her and Goofy blocks his attack, Donald uses a powerful Zetaflare attack to push Terra-Xehanort back, but the attack knocks Donald out. The entire group is then attacked by the Demon Tide, taking with it Aqua, Ven, Lea, Kairi, King Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. The loss causes Sora to cry out in frustration and defeat, while Riku faces the mass of Heartless head on. The Demon Tide attacks both Riku and Sora, and they are defeated.

Chirithy explains Sora's current state in The Final World following his defeat.

Sora awakens in an unknown world, his physical body now in a translucent state, There, he meets Chirity, who explains that Sora is in The Final World, a place where the souls of those whose bodies and hearts perish together but resist completely fading away go. Sora learns that something is holding him there, and he suspects it to be Kairi. While trying to piece his being back together, he finds Naminé's heart, which had been released at Kairi's defeat. Naminé reveals she had once contacted Terra,[5] one of the Keyblade wielders they had been looking for, and promised to try to reach back out to his heart. Sora also meets the soul of another unknown being, who he assures will be rescued someday from the world. When Sora finally finds all of himself, he sets out to rescue the others.

Once out of the Final World, Sora begins to travel to each of the worlds he had visited, chasing after a Lich that has the hearts of his friends. Once he defeats the Lich, Young Xehanort confronts him, taunting him by saying that the Lich is actually pulling Sora deeper into the darkness. Sora brushes off Xehanort's warning and sets off for the Keyblade Graveyard. On the way, he finds Kairi, who explains that she couldn't let Sora go. Sora and Kairi arrive in Keyblade Graveyard to find all their friends back together, and they set off once more to face Master Xehanort.

They arrive once more in the large area to be confronted by Terra-Xehanort, the effects of Sora's rescue having caused them to return in time to just before their initial defeat. However, before Terra-Xehanort is able to strike Ventus, his attack is blocked by the Lingering Will, who engages Terra-Xehanort and fights him back. The group is then attacked by Demon Tide again, but this time, after a brief battle, Sora is suddenly aided by "light from the past", as the Keyblades of past Keyblade wielders come to Sora's aid. After that battle, however, Sora and the others are soon surrounded once more by the Heartless, summoned this time by Dark Riku. They're able to get through when Master Yen Sid suddenly appears, using his magic to part a way through the Heartless. However, Donald and Goofy choose to stay behind and back up Master Yen Sid.

The guardians of light confront the seekers of darkness.

Once past the Heartless, Sora and his friends split up to fight the members of the Organization. Sora aids King Mickey in defeating Marluxia, Larxene, and Luxord, and then helps Riku defeat Dark Riku and Xigbar. He then runs ahead and helps Aqua and Ven defeat Vanitas and release Terra's heart, allowing Terra to return. Finally, Sora helps Lea and Kairi fight Saïx and Xion, but when Xion fails to defeat Lea, and Roxas suddenly appears to protect Lea and Xion, Xemnas abducts Kairi. Sora then helps Xion and Roxas defeat Saïx. Finally, Sora joins King Mickey and Riku in fighting and defeating Ansem, Xemnas, and Young Xehanort.

As they're about to face Master Xehanort, however, he summons and defeats Kairi with his Keyblade, creating the thirteenth key needed to summon χ-blade. Sora, distraught and angry, attempts to attack Xehanort, as does Riku, but they're both easily fought back. When King Mickey attempts to attack him with magic, Xehanort is able to stop him. Xehanort, now armed with the χ-blade, finally summons Kingdom Hearts in order to recreate the world as he sees fit. In the midst of this, Donald, Goofy, and the others catch up to Sora, and Riku and King Mickey explain that they can use Xehanort as a portal to defeat him. Sora and the others do so, and Sora, Donald, and Goofy are transported into the portal with Master Xehanort.

Sora uses the χ-blade to seal Kingdom Hearts following Xehanort's defeat.

Once inside, they find themselves in a strange and beautiful new world. There, they soon find Master Xehanort. After fighting several of his clones, they confront him, and he explains that they're in Scala ad Caelum. He then engages them in the final battle, distorting the world with the χ-blade as they challenge him. However, Sora, Donald, and Goofy are able to defeat him. Once defeated, Xehanort still attempts to recreate the world as Riku and the others join Sora, Donald, and Goofy. Eraqus's heart then reveals itself to have been within Terra's the whole time, and commands Xehanort to stop. Although Xehanort initially resists, he finds himself too weak to carry out his task. Recalling a time when Xehanort lost a game to Eraqus, Xehanort gives in and hands the χ-blade to Sora, while Eraqus apologizes for his mistakes to Terra, Aqua, and Ven. The two then fade away. Sora then uses the χ-blade to seal Kingdom Hearts and return himself and his friends to the real world.

Once there, everyone celebrates their victory except for Sora. Though Riku suggests returning to Master Yen Sid for help in rescuing Kairi, Sora insists that he can and will rescue her himself. He then sets off to find her alone.

Sora and Kairi watch the sunset from the paopu fruit tree.

Afterwards, King Mickey, Donald, and Goofy return to Disney Castle with Jiminy Cricket and Master Yen Sid, where they're reunited once more with Queen Minnie, Daisy, and Pluto, and watch fireworks light the night sky. Terra, Aqua, and Ven return to Land of Departure, where they pay tribute to their deceased master and where a Chirithy reunites with Ven. Lea, Xion, and Roxas watch the sunset atop the clock tower in Twilight Town, and are soon joined by Isa and Hayner, Pence, and Olette. Ansem the Wise, working with Even and Ienzo, are able to place Naminé's heart into a new vessel and bring her back, and she thereafter leaves with Riku to Destiny Islands, where they are joined by everyone else. They soon see on the islet Kairi and Sora watching the sunset. Kairi tears up as Sora fades away.

Xigbar gathers with the lost masters in the Keyblade Graveyard.

Sometime after the battle, a hooded figure appears in the Keyblade Graveyard and picks up No Name. He is soon joined by Ira, Aced, Invi, and Gula, who identify him as Luxu. Luxu then removes his hood to reveal he had been masquerading as Xigbar. Luxu mentions that his role is now complete, as Maleficent and Pete watch him from a distance with the Black Box. Pressured by Aced about his role, Luxu begins to tell his story.

Worlds and Characters[edit | edit source]

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Gameplay for Kingdom Hearts III returns to the free-roam hack-and-slash combat featured in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II. Sora is once more the main playable character, although Riku is playable in both visits to Dark World, and Aqua is playable in Land of Departure when fighting Vanitas. Sora is again accompanied by Donald Duck and Goofy, and once more can be accompanied by characters from the worlds he's visiting. As a first in the series, rather than replace Donald or Goofy, the additional party members add to the party for a maximum of five party members, Sora, Donald, and Goofy included. Though they cannot be played themselves, their AI is once again customizable in the game's menu.

In addition to the regular attack, magic, and items, the game introduces Links as the fourth command in the Command Menu. The Link system replaces the summon system from previous games, and when in use, Sora's commands are replaced with character-specific commands. The Command Menu retains command Shortcuts from previous games, and this time, has two additional shortcut views, allowing for up to twelve different commands to be added to these shortcuts. Like in previous games, these shortcuts can consist of both magic commands and items, but for the first time, can also include any of the links, and can also include any tier of magic that Sora has already learned, instead of the most recent spell.

Kingdom Hearts III also brings back the shotlock system from Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. Rather than equipping different shotlocks in the menu, however, each Keyblade has two shotlocks that are automatically available when using the Keyblade. The game also sees the return of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance's flowmotion system. When targetting using the shotlock view, Sora can also instead use a different button to quickly move towards that target.

The game introduces a new feature called attractions, which are various flashy attacks that are based on several rides from Disney parks. Additionally, Sora can team up with party members, including Donald and Goofy, for special flashy attacks called team attacks. The game also introduces Keyblade transformations, which are similar to drive forms from Kingdom Hearts II. Instead of just changing Sora's clothes, however, it also changes the Keyblade's appearance and attacks entirely. Each of these features are activated at random during combat by filling a gauge with certain attacks. Attacking at the same time as your party members increases the gauge and likelihood of activating a team attack, while attacking an enemy with a green target on it increases the gauge and likelihood of activating an attraction command, and attacking with a particular Keyblade increases the gauge and likelihood of activating that Keyblade's transformation.

Kingdom Hearts III also sees the return of the Gummi ship game, albeit with some major changes. Instead of scripted battles preceding each world, the entire game is now open world, with the opportunity to voluntarily begin battles with Heartless ships in the open space. The worlds are now divided among three maps instead of entirely on one, with Keyblade Graveyard being the only world in the last map. Battles are now shorter, and consist usually of defeating a certain amount of Heartless ships quickly or defeating as many as possible in a set time. Some worlds have a boss Heartless that prevent you from accessing the world until you defeat it. There is also greater customization abilities for the Gummi ship.

The game also introduced the Classic Kingdom minigame, a series of minigames based on classic Disney cartoons from the 1920s and 1930s. The games themselves are designed similar to early LCD games like those used in the Game and Watch. The games are collectible and scattered throughout the game.

Kingdom Hearts III once again employs the experience system in battle, awarding experience points for defeating enemies in combat. The amount of experience varies, based on which enemy is defeated, and once gaining a certain amount of experience, Sora and his party each level up, granting additional strength, defense, magic, and ability levels. The latter allows for new combat and support abilities to be equipped, allowing Sora and the party to fight with additional, stronger attacks.

Development and Release[edit | edit source]

Although the game was under consideration as early as 2006,[20] shortly after the release of Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts III was first announced as being in development at the 2013 Electronics Entertainment Exposition (E3 2013) on June 10, 2013.[21] At the time, Square Enix released a trailer and a press release with the synopsis for the title. The trailer also revealed the game's eventual release on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, the first time a series title would be released on multiple platforms simultaneously.[21] A brief gameplay trailer was shown off at the first D23 Expo Japan conference in October 2013, showing combat in both Twilight Town, and a battle with the Rock Titan. The trailer was the first time the Attraction attacks were shown off.

At E3 2014, a trailer promoting Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX contained a brief teaser for Kingdom Hearts III. The short clip showed still illustrations of what appeared to be a younger Master Eraqus and Master Xehanort, having a discussion about the Keyblade War. Tai Yasue, co-director for the game, revealed that the sequence would be part of the beginning of the game, and would be relevant to the plot of the whole. On September 17, 2014, Tetsuya Nomura stepped down as director for Final Fantasy XV to focus efforts on other upcoming titles, specifically Kingdom Hearts III.[22]

At E3 2015, Kingdom Hearts series executive producer Shinji Hashimoto revealed a new gameplay trailer for Kingdom Hearts III. The new trailer showed Sora for the first time in his new outfit and the new Kingdom of Corona world based on the 2011 Disney film Tangled.[23] The trailer also showed off parts of Olympus, and the new Focus gauge, which in previous trailers had been named "EX". In an interview later with Famitsu, Nomura confirmed that the game would contain a secret movie.[24] In an interview with PlayStation Access, Nomura confirmed that characters from the Final Fantasy series will appear once again.[25] At D23 Expo Japan later that year, Shinji Hashimoto revealed a world based on Disney's 2015 film Big Hero 6.

News went scarce following 2015. In May 2017, Square Enix President and Representative Director Yosuke Matsuda and Chief Financial Officer Kazuharu Watanabe stated in the company's Financial Results Briefing Session that the expected released of Kingdom Hearts III would be sometime between 2018 and 2020.[26] The following month, during the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra -World Tour- performance in Los Angeles, series director Tetsuya Nomura revealed a new trailer, showing off various Keyblade transformations and the new Second Form. At D23 Expo Japan in July, Nomura revealed another trailer, this time showing off a new world based on the Disney/Pixar film franchise Toy Story and announcing a release year of 2018 for Kingdom Hearts III. Nomura confirmed the story to take place sometime after Toy Story 2, and would be canon to the Toy Story franchise. He also then revealed another character would be playable in Kingdom Hearts III.[27]

Towards the end of the year, screenshots leaked from a Square Enix server which revealed a Monsters, Inc.-based world. By the end of the year, thirteen such development screenshots had leaked. Square Enix did not address the screenshots; however, during Disney's D23 Expo Japan 2018 Conference, a private Kingdom Hearts event was held during which two new trailers were revealed, the first trailer confirming the inclusion of a Monsters, Inc.-based world. The second one announced that Utada Hikaru would be performing the theme song for the game, titled "Don't Think Twice" ("Chikai", or "Oath", in Japanese). The event also revealed that the game was being developed by the largest development team in the history of the series,[28] including 100 people from the Square Enix's Tokyo offices.[29] The Gummi ship was also revealed to be returning, now playable as an open-world instead of the preset paths from the first two games, and its gameplay had been split into "Battle" and "Searching" phases.[28] The game was revealed to have been developed in three parts, with the first part being about 90% done, and the second between 60% and 70% done. Nomura also noted that the final world would feature "something incredible" that he has been wanting to do for a while, though no details were given.[29]

In April 2018, Square Enix held a fan event for Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross], titled Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross]: Dandelion Meeting. During the event, a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts III was revealed, showing off new minigames based on old Mickey Mouse cartoons and playable in a 1980's-style LCD format.[10] The minigames, which would be unlockable as the game progressed, would be playable within the mobile game before the release of Kingdom Hearts III. That same month, various members of the Kingdom Hearts fan community announced publicly that they would soon be able to play Kingdom Hearts III. Square Enix held a private event, named Kingdom Hearts III Premiere Invitation, on May 17–18, 2018, where these community members and members of the gaming press were invited to be among the first to play Kingdom Hearts III. The demo revealed a Wreck-It Ralph link and featured the Olympus and Toy Box worlds. During a development panel at the event, Nomura revealed that a release date would be revealed in early June.[6]

At the end of the premiere performance of the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra -World Tour- Encore in Los Angeles on June 9, 2018, Tetsuya Nomura revealed a new trailer and the release date, pushing the game back to January 25, 2019 for Japan and January 29, 2019 for the rest of the world.[1] On June 10, 2018, Xbox executive Phil Spencer revealed a new trailer featuring a new world based on Disney's Frozen, as well as confirming the return of Aqua and revealing the return of Larxene and Simba, the latter as a link.[13] The next day, during Sony's PlayStation conference, another trailer was revealed introducing the world based on the live-action film Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Kairi's new outfit was also introduced, as well as Ienzo[18]

New trailers were revealed ahead of Tokyo Game Show 2018, both featuring San Fransokyo. The new trailers teased a lot of story elements, including an increasingly-dark Aqua, and the return of Demyx, Vexen, and Roxas. The official box art for the game was also revealed ahead of the gaming event, featuring all the main protagonists of the series.[30][31] Shortly thereafter, on September 27, Square Enix and Disney announced that the opening theme for Kingdom Hearts III would be a collaboration theme by both Utada Hikaru and American singer-songwriter Skrillex, titled "Face My Fears,"[32] marking the first time a Kingdom Hearts title would have more than one new theme song.

A short trailer was revealed at Lucca Comics and Games on November 3, 2018, featuring gameplay and the first English voice acting in Kingdom of Corona. At the same event where the trailer premiered, Executive Producer Shinji Hashimoto explained that DLC was being considered, and that the summary videos released over the summer would possibly release internationally before the game's release.[33] On November 7, additional voice actors for the characters from San Fransokyo's Big Hero 6 were announced. Square Enix revealed that the 100 Acre Wood would be back in Kingdom Hearts III in a trailer shown at Microsoft's X018 conference on November 10, 2018.[34] Shortly thereafter, a short promotional trailer was revealed at cinemas in North America, which was later shared in full. Series director Tetsuya Nomura stated that multiple trailers would follow in December.[35]

On December 15, 2018, an individual claimed to have received multiple copies of the Xbox One edition of Kingdom Hearts III, just forty-one days before the game's launch. The individual was said to have attempted to sell the copies via Facebook's Marketplace feature, though the listing was shortly thereafter removed. Tetsuya Nomura issued a statement several hours later on the incident, and reassured fans that the ending to the game would not be spoiled because it was not on the disc, but would be revealed at a later date. The game's theft and subsequent online leak marks the largest leak in Kingdom Hearts history, and came just one year after the leak of the development images from Monstropolis.[36] In January, Square Enix published the release schedule for the game's first three updates, which would include the epilogue and secret movie.[37]

A final battle trailer was released on December 17, 2018, which featured the opening lines from the game. It also featured scenes from the final battle, set to take place in the Keyblade Graveyard. In Janauary, the Japanese Kingdom Hearts Twitter account posted several posts counting down to the game's release in Japan. A final Launch Trailer was revealed on the game's release day.

Release[edit | edit source]

Kingdom Hearts III released on Friday, January 25, 2019 in Japan and Tuesday, January 29, 2019 internationally. On June 11, 2018, Square Enix announced two special pre-order bundles. The Deluxe Edition would come with the game, a limited edition pin, a SteelBook case, and a mini art book with concept art from the game. The other bundle is the Deluxe Edition + Bring Arts Figures, which feature Bring Arts figurines of Sora, Donald, and Goofy as they appear in Toy Box.[38]

Various other options for pre-ordering Kingdom Hearts III were announced in the days following E3 2018. GameStop has since announced an exclusive fabric poster, and started a campaign on Twitter that would allow the community to choose between three different designs for the final poster, the designs being based on Toy Box, Monstropolis, and Arendelle. Additionally, Square Enix announced during Sony's PlayStation E3 2018 conference a Kingdom Hearts-themed PlayStation 4 Pro, as well as an All-in-One digital bundle that would include instant downloads of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue with the digital pre-order of Kingdom Hearts III, exclusive to the PlayStation Store. Additionally, special console-based Keyblades for Kingdom Hearts III are available for pre-ordering the game via the PlayStation Store or the Microsoft Store. Pre-ordering Kingdom Hearts III from the PlayStation Store also includes the "Impossible Odds" PS4 theme.[38] On November 26, 2018, Amazon announced that players who pre-ordered the game from Amazon would get the Dusk Till Dawn DLC Keyblade.[39] On February 11, 2021, it was announced that getting the game from the Epic Games Store would get the Elemental Encoder Keyblade.[40]

In Japan, there are different pre-orders, depending on the retailer being pre-ordered from. The Square Enix Online Store offers two, formerly three, bundles for the physical copy of the game in Japan. One of the bundles features an all-in-one physical bundle that includes Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, and Kingdom Hearts III, as well as the art book, a special PlayStation 4 theme, and a special box for all three titles. The second bundle features the game and the Bring Arts figures from the international Deluxe + Bring Arts Figures bundles, as well as the SteelBook case. The third bundle features only the game and the SteelBook case. The Square Enix Store also sold the Kingdom Hearts-themed PlayStation 4 Pro via a lottery system, which included its own theme and has since become unavailable. SevenNet is offering the second and third bundles for the game, as well as the PlayStation 4, but each bundle comes with a Sora rubber strap and the Dusk Till Dawn Keyblade for the game.[38]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Kingdom Hearts Database: "Kingdom Hearts III will release on January 29, 2019"
  4. Kingdom Hearts Database: "Kingdom Hearts series set to release on PCs via Epic Games Store"
  5. Kingdom Hearts Concert -First Breath-: ""
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Kingdom Hearts Database - "Coverage of the Kingdom Hearts III Premiere Invitation event"
  7. 7.0 7.1 Dengeki Playstation via KHInsider, Interviewer: "In regards to the worlds, can you confirm what they are?" / Nomura: "Disney titles such as Tangled and Hercules, and another familiar to the series, Twilight Town. So that makes three." / Interviewer: "Since Tangled made a new appearance for the series, what other new worlds are there?" / Nomura: "I can’t talk about any further details except that Mt. Olympus will be a new world."
  8. Kingdom Hearts Official Twitter, "The #KH3 D23 trailer featured a closer look at Mount Olympus & showed off the double Arrowguns and Magical Launcher, which will you wield?"
  9. 9.0 9.1 KHInsider: Scans of Kingdom Hearts III from Dengeki Online!
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Kingdom Hearts Database - "Kingdom Hearts III "Classic Kingdom" trailer revealed at Dandelion Meeting"
  11. @KINGDOMHEARTS on Twitter: "The Heartless Dandelions make quite an entrance in Rapunzel's Kingdom of Corona in the #kingdomhearts III trailer!"
  12. Famitsu, 25 June 2015, Nomura: "The Osaka development team wants to challenge themselves with Rapunzel’s hair. They are saying they want to use her hair for combat and it seems that the creators of Rapunzel are acknowledging our efforts."
  13. 13.0 13.1 Kingdom Hearts Database: "E3 2018 Kingdom Hearts III trailer at Xbox Conference"
  14. D23 Expo Japan Trailer
  15. @DisneyInteract on Twitter: "Just announced: @KINGDOMHEARTS III will feature a world based on #BigHero6! #D23Expo"
  16. KINGDOM HEARTS III - BIG HERO 6 Announce trailer, Roy Conli: "We'll also get to see Baymax again."
  18. 18.0 18.1 Kingdom Hearts Database: "E3 2018 Kingdom Hearts III trailer at PlayStation Conference"
  19. 19.0 19.1 Dengeki Playstation via KHInsider, Interviewer: "It looks like Xehanort and Eraqus were having a conversation when they were younger, is this an actual scene at the beginning of KINGDOM HEARTS III?" / Nomura: "That’s right. From the conversation between these two, that’s how this story begins. The scene’s conversation is actually longer but in the trailer we only showed excerpts. From what can be understood from these two, it also connects to an ancient story from KINGDOM HEARTS Unchained χ."
  20. Kingdom Hearts II Ultimania Interview
  21. 21.0 21.1 E3 2013 Trailer
  22. Siliconera: "Tabata Takes Over Final Fantasy XV; Tetsuya Nomura Moves On To Kingdom Hearts III"
  23. E3 2015 Trailer
  24. Famitsu, 25 June 2015, Nomura: "We are steadily progressing and deciding what to do with the ending… as well as considering content for the secret movie."
  25. PlayStation Access: "Kingdom Hearts 3: 8 Things You Need To Know", "#2 Final Fantasy characters in KH3", Nomura: "I want them in."
  26. Siliconera: "Expect Final Fantasy VII Remake And Kingdom Hearts III To Release Sometime In “Three Years Or So”"
  27. IGN: "KINGDOM HEARTS 3 DIRECTOR HINTS AT SECOND PLAYABLE CHARACTER", Nomura: "So it would be tough to introduce many, multiple playable characters, but there is an intention of adding a playable character aside from Sora. Unfortunately we’re not able to disclose who it is yet, but there will be [another playable character]."
  28. 28.0 28.1 IGN: 11 New pieces of information from D23 Expo Japan that have shed some light on Kingdom Hearts 3
  29. 29.0 29.1 PlayStation Access: "Kingdom Hearts 3: 10 New Things we've had Confirmed"
  30. Kingdom Hearts Database - "Kingdom Hearts III Trailer Uploaded Right Before Tokyo Game Show"
  31. Kingdom Hearts Database - "Kingdom Hearts III Shown at Playstation Lineup Tour"
  32. Kingdom Hearts Database - "Collaboration for Kingdom Hearts III opening theme featuring Skrillex confirmed!"
  33. Kingdom Hearts Database: "Kingdom Hearts III at Lucca Comics and Games 2018 Coverage"
  34. Kingdom Hearts Database: "100 Acre Wood featured in new Kingdom Hearts III trailer at X018"
  35. Kingdom Hearts Database: "Nomura announces December trailer launch times, reveals three additional trailers"
  36. Kingdom Hearts Database: "Copies of Kingdom Hearts III stolen in largest leak in Kingdom Hearts history"
  37. Kingdom Hearts Database: "Update schedule for Kingdom Hearts III announced"
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 Kingdom Hearts Database - "Pre-order bonuses and special edition bundles for Kingdom Hearts III announced"
  39. Kingdom Hearts Database - "News:Amazon reveals DLC for Kingdom Hearts III"

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