Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory
"Experience the music of KINGDOM HEARTS like never before!"
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory is a rhythm-action video game and the fifteenth title in the Kingdom Hearts series. It's follows Kairi during the time she is asleep following Sora's disappearance, as she recalls Sora's previous journey and the events of the Dark Seeker Saga.
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory was announced on June 16, 2020. It released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on November 11, 2020 in Japan, with an international release on November 13, making it the first title in the series to release across three platforms, and the first on the Nintendo Switch.
The game was later announced on February 11th, 2021 along with Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, and Kingdom Hearts III, Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory, will be released on the Epic Game Store on March 30th, 2021. 
Story[edit | edit source]
"Melodies and Memories hold the secret of his final plan."
Following Sora's disappearance and believing that there may be a clue to his wherabouts in her memories, Kairi chooses to go to sleep. While Ansem the Wise, Ienzo, and Even examine her heart, Kairi relives all of Sora's previous journeys, as well as the stories of those tied to her heart, up until the moment Sora disappears.
In the end, Kairi arrives in The Final World, and there begins to have flashbacks of the day when the apprentice Xehanort captured her in Radiant Garden as a girl. She then chases after fragments of her heart before confronting a man in a black hood, who reveals himself to be Master Xehanort. Kairi accuses him of being responsible for messing with her fate, a fact he accepts, and Kairi attacks him. Despite Xehanort complimenting her preparation under Master Yen Sid, Xehanort disposes of her quickly, dismissing her search for answers to Sora's whereabouts in her dreams by telling her that the answer is in memories long gone. As Xehanort is about to strike Kairi down, he is blocked by Sora's Kingdom Key, to Xehanort's amazement. As Kair stands up, she appears to take the form of Sora, but doesn't speak, allowing Xehanort to know where Sora's heart is. After Sora defeats Xehanort, a final fragment of Kairi's heart is released, and Sora disappears.
Xehanort reminds Kairi of the words he said to her on the day he captured her over a decade before. Reverting to his own past appearance as an apprentice to Ansem the Wise, Xehanort reminds Kairi his intructions should she fail, that if she were to arrive in a world that is neither of light or darkness, but on the other side, the task would be far from easy. Xehanort then disappears.
Kairi awakens and discusses her findings with Ienzo, Even, and Ansem the Wise. Together, they speculate on Xehanort's words, believing he refers to a world of unreality, or fiction. Riku and the Fairy Godmother appear then, explaining that Kairi's memories are the second key to finding where Sora may be. Working on their understanding of Xehanort's words and Riku's dreams, the three travel to The Final World.
In The Final World, they find the heart of a girl whose body perished. The Fairy Godmother explained that the girl is from the world on the other side, the one Xehanort spoke of, and could help with finding Sora. The girl recognizes Sora's name, recalling conversing with him not long ago, and volunteers to help. Riku explains that he's been having dreams of being in a city with tall buildings, and the girl explains that the only city with tall buildings she knows of is one called Quadratum. The Fairy Godmother explains that they cannot know for sure if Sora is there, but Using her dreams, Riku opens a portal to travel to the place she speaks of in search of Sora. Kairi acknowledges her lack of preparation, but determines to return to train so she can join Riku soon, as Riku uses the portal to travel to Quadratum.
Kairi returns to The Mysterious Tower and explains what they've found. Though King Mickey tries to make his way to Quadratum as well, Master Yen Sid, Donald, and Goofy stop him, with Yen Sid saying they must remain calm. Confirming that Kairi's information comes from Xehanort's time as an apprentice, Yen Sid determines that he had known about this other world for some time, revealing that the it had been believed the ancient masters had crossed into another world. He tasks Donald and Goofy to reach out to everyone searching for Sora, explain their findings, and have them halt their search. He also asks Kairi to resume her training, but she suggests she train under Aqua, as suggestion Yen Sid gladly accepts. Finally, Master Yen Sid tasks King Mickey with looking into the new world and how it's related to the ancient Keyblade Masters by starting in Scala ad Caelum.
Worlds, Stages, and Characters[edit | edit source]
- "Reviving Hollow Bastion"
- "Scherzo Di Notte"
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory is the first rhythm-action game in the Kingdom Hearts series, and is set up very differently from past titles. It features over 140 different stages, each with the objective of hitting the appropriate action button with the beat of the rhythm in order to defeat enemies, dodge obstacles, or use abilities. There are three types of stages: Field battle, Boss, and Memory Dive stages, each of which are playable in any of three difficulties: Beginner, Standard, and Proud. Field battle stages have the team run along a musical staff and fight various Heartless, Nobodies, and other enemies. Boss battle stages have the party fight a boss enemy in a standard field, but the party's actions are still timed to the rhythm of the track. Memory Dive stages have the party glide through notes as a video reel of scenes plays in the background. There are also four teams with which to play with: Team Classic, featuring Sora, Donald, and Goofy; Team Days, featuring Roxas, Xion, and Axel; Team BBS, featuring Aqua, Terra, and Ventus; and Team 3D, featuring Riku, Meow Wow, and Komory Bat.
There are five different play modes in Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory. World Tour features the main story as Kairi relives and retells the events of Sora's adventures and Xehanort's plot. Track Selection allows for playing each individual stage at will. Track Selection also allows for choosing between three playing modes: One-button mode, which maps all the actions to a single button; Basic mode, which is the standard gameplay involving seperate buttons for attacking, jumping, and using abilities; and Performer mode, which adds the use of extra buttons from the controller as targets for bonus points. Co-op allows for playing eighteen tracks with two controllers playing different parts of the song. VS is a player-vs-player competition, with the opponent being either someone randomly selected online or the CPU. VS mode also allows for using Tricks to obstruct the opponent. Finally, the Nintendo Switch version of the game features an additional battle royale mode that allows for competing with up to eight players locally.
Throughout the game, as stages are completed, items are collected, including synthesis items that can be used to synthesize items to use in the game, as well as additional tracks. Rhythm points are also collected at the end of each stage. As stages are collected or certain rhythm point goals are met, collectible items are awarded, including renders of characters, enemies, Keyblades, and key art illustrations from previous titles in the Kingdom Hearts series. These items can be viewed in the Museum, which also features a jukebox where the tracks featured in the game can also be heard. The Museum also features cutscenes from the game and the video reels featured in the Memory Dive stages.
Development[edit | edit source]
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory was announced on June 16, 2020, during a special trailer showcasing upcoming developments in the Kingdom Hearts series. At the time, it was revealed it would include over 140 tracks, and would be arriving in 2020 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and, for the first time, the Nintendo Switch. Sometime later that month, ratings were published by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) in the United States and the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) system in Europe. Release information was revealed on August 26, during Nintendo's August Direct Mini Partner Showcase presentation. The game was announced to release on November 11, 2020 in Japan, and November 13, 2020 worldwide. Additionally, "Free-for-all", the Nintendo Switch-exclusive multiplayer mode, was announced. The game's box art, featuring Kairi sitting on a throne chair, was also revealed via the Nintendo eShop and Microsoft Stores, and pre-orders for Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory began after the Nintendo Direct presentation.
A demo was released for the game on October 15, 2020. The demo features 4 field battle stages and 2 co-op stages. On November 4, Square Enix revealed via Famitsu that both King Mickey and Kairi would be in the game, with King Mickey providing additional support in stages if the "Summoning Star" item was consumed.
References[edit | edit source]
- Kingdom Hearts Database: "Trailer reveals plans for 2020, release for Dark Road; Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory announced"
- Kingdom Hearts Database: "Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory releases November 11, 2020"
- Kingdom Hearts III: "Ending"
- Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind: "Recreated Data"
- Kingdom Hearts Database: "Ratings published for Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory"