With one of the most anticipated and confusing JRPGs coming out in 2019, some of you may need to keep in mind to survive to play it. Many players may find themselves intimidated by the confusing continuity of this game that has Mickey Mouse in it.
Whether you’re a veteran or just looking into playing the games for the first time, here are the things to keep in mind with the newest game.
There are eight Kingdom Hearts games
Don’t let the ‘3’ in the title fool you. There are seven previous games in the series besides the main line 1 and 2.
There is also the spinoffs Chain of Memories, Re: Coded, Birth By Sleep, 358/2 Days. Dream Drop Distance, and a Fragmentary Passage.
At one point playing all the games was a chore, due to them only being available on different consoles. One was even only available as a phone game for a time.
Now though, all the games have been collected on bundles. Two of them are on the PS3 and one of the PS4: Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5 on the PS3, and 2.8 on the PS4.
Alternatively, you could get them all on the PS4 with the Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far bundle which has them all on the PS4.
The Main villain doesn’t show up in the mainline games
One of the most bizarre things about Kingdom Hearts is that if you’ve only played the numbered games, you haven’t met the games, primary antagonist.
Xehanort shows up in Birth By Sleep, a game where you don’t even play as Sora. Instead, he terrorizes a different set of Keyblade wielders name Ventus, Aqua, and Terra.
He also shows up as the main antagonist of Dream Drop Distance, where multiple versions of himself from different points in time show up to make Sora’s life a chore.
This being Kingdom Hearts, Xehanhort’s plot is immensely complicated, and going into it would take an entire essay of its own.
The saddest news is that his voice actor Leonard Nimoy -known best for playing Spock on the original Star Trek- passed away in between games.
The same happened of his Japanese voice actor Chikao Otsuka, who died around the same time as Nimoy.
As of writing, the new voice actor has not been confirmed.
We Know Some of The New Worlds, And Some That Won’t Show Up
Half the fun of Kingdom Hearts is the charming inconsistency of the anime video game aesthetic with numerous Disney characters. Of course, fans wanted to know what worlds would show up or return.
Thanks to trailers we have at least a partial answer. New worlds include Big Hero 6, Tangled, Frozen, Toy Story, and Monster, Inc.
We’ll also be returning to some old favorite worlds such as Hercules, Pirates of The Caribbean, and Winnie The Pooh.
Fans who were hoping Disney’s acquisition of Marvel meant the potential for the games would be disappointed. Square has confirmed that Marvel characters will not be appearing.
It should be noted that Big Hero 6 is technically based on a Marvel comic that premiered in 2002.
However, the Disney movie and the original comic are barely recognizable side-by-side, and the film is not based in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This is The End of Sora’s Story
Square has confirmed that this will be the end of Sora’s story. We don’t know what that means for the franchise entirely.
This implies that it is not the end of Kingdom Hearts entirely, though we don’t know if this means the franchise will be rebooted or even if Sora will never show up again.
It’s possible Sora will show up in future games for a new protagonist. Perhaps as a mentor, or just as a fan cameo.
It could also be an entirely new franchise with a new cast with only Disney characters showing up again.
Disney will eventually run out of movies for characters to revisit, and a whole reboot would mean the ability to revisit those worlds all over again for a new generation of gamers.
Another possibility is that the game will continue continuity but never feature older characters, only focusing on new characters.
Either way, it should be exciting to see how the franchise ties up such an epic and complicated story.
You Don’t Have To Play All The Games
Probably the most contentious thing to ‘know,’ but it’s the most important for new players to keep in mind.
Fans will insist you have to play all of the previous Kingdom Hearts games to understand all the twists, turns, and context of the story.
However, the story of Kingdom Hearts is a mess. It’s profoundly confusing and at times is poorly told. Ultimately, Kingdom Hearts 3 is very basic Good Vs. The evil story with a lot of complicated bells and whistles.
This doesn’t make the story bad or the extra bits pointless, but it is good to remember that the story follows very familiar beats at the end.
Newcomers who are just enthralled by the idea of a sweeping adventure through Disney movies shouldn’t let the continuity scare them away.
It’s good to think of Kingdom Hearts like a long-running superhero comic, albeit on a smaller scale.
You might not understand everything, but if it’s a competently told story -and we have every reason to believe it will- then the story will still capture you.