Kingdom Hearts is without doubt one of the ongoing Sq. Enix franchises that predates the Sq. and Enix merger as growth began beneath Sq. Tender, which suggests we’ve had sufficient time to utterly overlook the storyline. We’ve had two foremost video games, 5 spin-off video games that perform as prequel, sequel, and in-between tales. And now, over 10 years after the discharge of Kingdom Hearts II, we’re lastly getting the third sport in the primary franchise.
Which begs the query: What even is Kingdom Hearts about?
The brief reply is that the sport is a narrative concerning the ongoing wrestle between the forces of sunshine and darkish unfold throughout quite a lot of Disney properties with cameos by varied Remaining Fantasy heroes and villains. The story’s foremost villain, Xehanort, is making an attempt to recreate an outdated battle that cut up all the worlds aside, as a result of he’s tremendous evil like that.
The lengthy reply is extremely sophisticated. Not even the Wikipedia abstract occurs to make a number of sense. So, we’re going to do our very best to offer the KH plotline for you, in chronological order.
In fact, you may at all times wait till launch day and sit via the plot abstract cutscenes, however why waste time watching that while you first get your fingers on the sport? Additionally, as somebody with entry to an early copy of the sport – the recap cutscenes in Kingdom Hearts III are fairly darn ineffective at determining something extra in-depth than “one thing one thing darkness, one thing one thing keyblades.”
The primary sport within the collection tells the story of a boy named Sora who grew up on a world referred to as the Future Islands, together with his finest mates Kairi and Riku. Nonetheless, Kairi isn’t native to the Future Islands, she’d washed up there as a toddler, which leads the three children to theorize that there are different worlds on the market. They plan to make a raft to sail off to the opposite worlds and get off their tiny island. The evening earlier than they’re supposed to depart, Riku opens a spooky door in a cave on the island, which unleashes a hoard of heartless onto the islands. Sora, sensing one thing was up, arrives only a bit too late and finds Riku simply as he’s swallowed by a tide of shadows and disappears. Sora finds himself a mystical weapon referred to as the Keyblade and battles with the heartless earlier than the Future Islands are destroyed and he leads to a special world. Sora finds new mates in Donald and Goofy, who’re in search of their lacking King (Mickey Mouse), who instructed them to search out the grasp of the Keyblade. Sora, Donald, and Goofy make mates with Remaining Fantasy VII‘s Aerith and Yuffie in addition to Remaining Fantasy VIII’s Squall (who insists on going by Leon, as a result of Squall was too edgy, we guess?). From there, the three go on to face varied Disney villains on worlds modeled after basic motion pictures like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Alice in Wonderland, and even The Nightmare Earlier than Christmas.
On every world, Sora is tasked with taking down the world boss after which “locking” the center of the world together with his Keyblade. Throughout his journey, Sora is reunited with each Riku and Kairi, although Riku has aligned himself with the forces of darkness with the intention to save Kairi, who has gone right into a catatonic state with out her coronary heart. Riku is working with Maleficent to assemble the Princesses of Coronary heart with the intention to additional Maleficent’s aim of complete world domination. After Riku unleashes the “unlocked” model of Maleficent, which is her dragon kind, Sora confronts his finest good friend solely to search out out two issues: Riku has been possessed by somebody who calls himself “Ansem, the Keeper of Darkness” and Kairi has hidden her coronary heart in Sora. As a result of hearts are metaphysical issues like souls and you may simply switch yours to a different particular person. Unlocking Kairi’s coronary heart from inside Sora turns the hero right into a heartless for a bit, earlier than he’s again to his outdated self (this minor element is weirldy necessary for future video games, have in mind). From there, Sora returns to the desiccated stays of the Future Islands to confront Ansem, and finally makes his method to an enormous white doorway that separates the world as everybody is aware of it from the realm often known as Kingdom Hearts. The Door to Darkness was opened by Maleficent and Ansem, and Sora’s final process within the sport is to shut it. Sora closes the door with the assistance of King Mickey and a no-longer-possessed Riku.
That is the place Chain of Recollections kicks in, as a result of Mickey and Riku have been on the improper facet of the Door to Darkness, and Sora desires to get all his mates again. Sora, Donald, and Goofy go looking for their lacking King and finest good friend/ rival in a spot referred to as Fortress Oblivion. Once they enter the citadel, they overlook all their skills for a really handy new-game nerf. Whereas they journey via the citadel, they lose extra recollections, but additionally decide up new recollections as nicely. Sora faces off in opposition to a collection of individuals in hoods who name themselves “The Group” and check Sora based mostly on his recollections of previous battles. As Sora loses his recollections, he begins to recollect a woman named Namine. He then fights a reproduction of Riku (although each Sora and Riku Reproduction suppose the duplicate is the true Riku). Group member and double-agent Axel, in the meantime, releases Namine and she or he tells Sora that she was the one manipulating his recollections as a result of the Lord of Fortress Oblivion, Marluxia, lured Sora to the citadel as a strategy to overthrow the remainder of the Group. After Sora defeats Marluxia, Namine places Sora, Goofy, and Donald into pods to allow them to get well their misplaced recollections. Nonetheless, they’ll lose their new recollections to compensate. Sora believes he’ll keep in mind Namine regardless, as a result of his recollections of her might be saved in his coronary heart, as a result of EVERYTHING IS ABOUT HEARTS YOU GUYS.
Whereas all this was taking place, King Mickey and Riku ended up within the Fortress themselves for the occasions of Reverse/Rebirth. Riku was dropped within the basement to learn to fight his internal darkness whereas combating off members of Group XIII like Vexen, Lexaeus, and Zexion . Nonetheless, Riku was having some hassle throwing off the entire body-possession factor, and ended up battling a ton of the Group himself. As soon as Sora is protected in his pod, Riku is saved from being practically killed by overexposure to the Mild by Namine, disguised as Kairi. Riku and the King come throughout a creepy man in a frankly ridiculous masks referred to as DiZ, who tells them to hunt out Namine. Namine tells Riku that Ansem retains attempting to own him as a result of Ansem is saved in his coronary heart, so Riku decides the most suitable choice is to go smack Ansem within the face together with his bizarre wing keyblade. After attempting to actually beat the darkness out of himself, Riku and King Mickey resolve to depart Fortress Oblivion and go on a journey so Riku can study to be a crimson mage.
Kingdom Hearts II takes place a yr later, as Sora, Donald, and Goofy had been chilling in suspended animation to get well their misplaced recollections. As a result of Sora turned a heartless for a short bit in the course of the finish of Kingdom Hearts, he has a “No one.” Which is the husk of a physique remaining after the particular person’s coronary heart has grow to be consumed by darkness and made right into a heartless. Nonetheless, as a result of Sora unlocked Kairi’s coronary heart in addition to his personal, he additionally created one other No one, this one for Kairi. Roxas was Sora’s No one, whereas Namine was Kairi’s. In an try to merge Roxas with Sora, DiZ dropped Roxas in a digital simulation of Twilight City. Previous to this, Roxas was hanging out with The Group (often known as Group XIII), and befriended Axel. Axel and different Nobodies infiltrated the digital Twilight City to try to save his buddy, nevertheless, Roxas pushes again the Nobodies and finishes merging with Sora.
From there, Sora, Donald, and Goofy awaken in Twilight City and meet up with King Mickey and the sorcerer from Fantasia, Yen Sid. The trio are then despatched on one other journey throughout varied Disney worlds to search out Riku and uncover Group XIII’s plans. Maleficent is resurrected as nicely, as a result of you may’t preserve an excellent dragon witch down. At a later level of their journey, Mickey reveals to Sora and Friends that the person they knew as Ansem is in truth an imposter named Xehanort, and his No one Xemnas is the chief of Group XIII. The Group wished to make use of the ability of Kingdom Hearts to regain their misplaced hearts. Axel sacrifices himself to present Sora, Donald, and Goofy a method into the headquarters of the Group. In The World That By no means Was, Sora finds Kairi and Riku (Riku now trying like Xehanort’s Heartless, as a result of the poor boy couldn’t even get possessed by precise Xehanort) whereas Mickey meets with DiZ, who was really the real-deal Ansem. Ansem, who was Xehanort’s mentor, makes use of a tool that dissipates a few of Kingdom Hearts’ energy however a system overload self-destructs the system and it engulfs each Ansem and returns Riku to his authentic kind. Sora and firm then lay a beat down on Xemnas, who makes use of the stays of Kingdom Hearts’ energy to make a number of variations of himself. As soon as Sora and Riku destroy Xemnas, they’re dropped again on the Future Islands with Kairi. A post-credits scene confirmed the three studying a letter from King Mickey.
Kingdom Hearts Coded (remastered as Kingdom Hearts Re:coded) is a puzzle-based handheld spinoff, that takes place proper after Kingdom Hearts II. The story is fairly easy: Jiminy Cricket was going via his journals about Sora’s battles with Group XIII and located two messages he doesn’t keep in mind writing. The primary message implies that Sora, Donald, and Goofy should return to the worlds of previous video games to save lots of them once more. King Mickey digitizes the journals after which Sora, Goofy, Donald, and Mickey all go into the info world. Whereas nearly all of Coded‘s plot is usually time-killing fluff about programming bugs, it does have a pair surprises that result in future video games. On the finish of the debug periods, the info world model of Namine reveals that she was the one so as to add the 2 messages to Jiminy Cricket’s journals, and the bugs have been an accident. Her second message implies that Sora wants to search out and save herself, Roxas, Axel, Xion, Terra, Aqua, and Ventus. The message Mickey sends to Sora on the finish of Kingdom Hearts II is Namine’s notice about who he wants to save lots of.
In a post-credit sequence unique to Re:coded, Mickey and Yen Sid focus on the place Terra, Aqua, and Ventus could possibly be. This takes us to Delivery by Sleep. Yen Sid additionally mentions that with the destruction of each Xehanort’s Heartless and Xemnas, Grasp Xehanort will doubtless return. In a secret ending unique to the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX cinematic model, Braig (the one that turned Group XIII member Xigbar) is restored to human kind together with a number of different Group XIII members, and the group talks with a youthful, time-travelling model of Xehanort concerning the location of his older self. Braig asks Younger Xehanort who to deliver together with him, and this leads us to Dream Drop Distance, finally.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is the fifth sport within the collection, however the story happens in the course of the finish of Kingdom Hearts and runs parallel to Chain of Recollections. The sport focuses on Roxas’s life with Group XIII and his relationship with fellow Group members Axel and Xion. Xemnas discovered Roxas in Twilight City and recruited him to Group XIII, although Roxas lacks the recollections of his authentic self not like different Nobodies. Roxas is distributed on missions to different worlds, both alone or with one other Group member, to destroy huge portions of Heartless and launch their stolen hearts together with his Keyblade. This provides extra hearts to Kingdom Hearts, so Xemnas can use them in his final plan to get the Nobodies their our bodies again. Roxas shortly turns into mates with Axel, who capabilities as his mentor within the Group, however after Axel and several other different Group members are assigned to Fortress Oblivion, Roxas companions up with the group’s latest member, Xion. Xion turns into mates with Roxas and Axel, and the three spend method an excessive amount of time sitting on clock towers and consuming sea-salt ice cream.
After failing to kill Riku within the basement of Fortress Oblivion (a combat we don’t see in Chain of Recollections), Xion falls right into a coma. Xion begins to query her personal existence after having visions of Sora when she wakes from her coma. She discovers that she is an manmade duplicate created by Xemnas as a strategy to management Roxas and forestall Sora from waking, as a result of her function is to soak up Roxas and grow to be an ideal copy of Sora. She decides to flee the Group when she begins siphoning Roxas’ energy, and whereas Axel permits her to flee, it prices him Roxas’ belief. After studying about Xion’s true identification from Xemnas, Roxas leaves the group and confronts Xion. After Roxas defeats her, Xion merges with Sora, which causes all information of her existence to fade.
Roxas goes to the World That By no means Was to cease Xemnas in response to Xion’s final want, however encounters Riku. Riku makes an attempt to seize Roxas with the intention to deliver him to DiZ and full Sora’s reminiscence restoration. Roxas kicks Riku’s butt till Riku makes use of the ability of darkness in his personal coronary heart, which makes him seem like Xehanort’s Heartless. As soon as captured, Roxas is dropped right into a digital simulation of Twilight City with out his recollections of the Group in order that he can merge with Sora.
If all that wasn’t bizarre sufficient, we’re now getting into the prequel stage of Kingdom Hearts lore, with Delivery by Sleep. The sport tells the story of a familiar-looking trio of mates who’re all keyblade wielders: Aqua, Venuts, and Terra. The sport begins with Grasp Xehanort bringing a comatose Ventus to the Future Islands after his coronary heart is broken. A new child coronary heart connects with Ventus’s coronary heart and heals him. Three guesses who that was (and the primary two don’t depend). Years later, Terra and Aqua are taking an examination to realize the Mark of Mastery, although Xehanort manipulates the examination so Terra fails and Aqua passes, all as a result of he desires to minimize Terra’s management on the darkness in his coronary heart (sound acquainted?). After the examination, Xehanort disappears and a hord of Unversed seem via the world, so Grasp Eraqus sends Terra and Aqua to destroy the Unversed and discover Xehanort throughout a number of worlds. In the meantime, Ventus follows Terra in opposition to Grasp Eraqus’s needs. Aqua is tasked with monitoring Terra’s darkness and bringing Ventus again to the Land of Departure.
Because the three journey all through the worlds, Terra attracts the eye of a number of villains who try to sway him to their facet with information about Xehanort. Terra finds Xehanort, who provides to take Terra as an apprentice and educate him to make use of his internal darkness to realize energy. Xehanort additionally instructs Terra to destroy Vanitas because the supply of the Unversed. Whereas the trio of mates meet up once more, they’ve acquired some severe issues. Ventus confronts Xehanort and learns that his plan is to recombine Ventus and Vanitas’s hearts with the intention to create an omnipotent keyblade referred to as the χ-blade. Eraqus makes an attempt to kill Ventus to foil Xehanort’s plot, however is stopped when Terra interrupts the combat to save lots of Ventus. After Eraqus is klled by Xehanort, Terra, Ventus, and Aqua are all to the Keyblade Graveyard. On the Graveyard, each Xehanort and Vanitas reveal their plan to make use of the χ-blade to unlock Kingdom Hearts and begin a brand new Keyblade Conflict. Terra’s coronary heart is swallowed by the darkness, and Xehanort takes over his physique to switch his ageing one. The possession is totally full, however Terra’s thoughts stays inside his discarded swimsuit of armor which involves life and defeats Xehanort. In the meantime, Ventus is compelled to merge with Vanitas and create the χ-blade, and each Aqua and Mickey combat with the possessed Vantus and destroy the keyblade, whereas Ventus and Vanitas have a battle inside Ventus’s personal thoughts. Nonetheless, due to the psychological duel, Ventus loses his coronary heart and falls right into a catatonic state.
Aqua brings Ventus’s physique to the Land of Departure, which she transforms into Fortress Oblivion to make sure Ventus is not going to be disturbed. When Aqua fights the possessed Terra, Xehanort impales himself on his personal keyblade which drops Terra into the realm of darkness. Whereas Aqua rescues Terra, she is trapped within the darkness within the course of. Ansem (the true Ansem, aka DiZ) finds an amnesiac model of Xehanort nonetheless possessing Terra’s physique, whereas Ventus’s coronary heart reconnects with Sora’s and sticks it out inside Sora. Aqua meets Ansem within the realm of darkness, and learns about Sora’s skills to save lots of these linked to himself.
Dream Drop Distance is each a prequel involving time-travel, and a halfway level between Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts III. Sora and Riku are put via a Mark of Mastery examination to present them the ability to rescue their lacking allies and counter Grasp Xehanort. The boys wanted to move to seven worlds and unlock their keyholes with the intention to absolutely restore them to the realm of sunshine. There’s additionally some enjoyable gameplay involving benevolent “Spirit” Dream Eaters and “Nightmare” Dream Eaters that infest the sleeping worlds. With a view to enter the sleeping worlds, Sora and Riku are despatched again in time to their homeworld’s destruction. The 2 are separated in the beginning of the check, and repeatedly encounter a child accompanied by both Xemnas (for Sora) or Ansem (for Riku).
As soon as the examination is accomplished, Sora and Riku arrive within the World that By no means Was as a substitute of the realm of sunshine, as a result of the thriller boy lured Sora right into a entice. Sora is dropped right into a deep sleep the place he defeats Xemnas inside his personal desires, however his coronary heart is swallowed by darkness, encased in Ventus’s armor for defense. In the meantime, Ansem reveals that Riku has spent the examination travelling via Sora’s desires as a Dream Eater. After defeating Ansem, Riku learns that the thriller child is definitely Younger Xehanort. Younger Xehanort is planning to create a brand new Group XIII, comprised of 13 completely different incarnations of Xehanort from throughout time, together with the hosts of his fragmented coronary heart. A revived Grasp Xehanort seems and makes an attempt to show Sora into his remaining host, so he can pit his 13 “seekers of darkness” in opposition to the seven “guardians of sunshine” with the intention to create the χ-blade. Once more. Xehanort is foiled when Lea (the complete particular person model of Axel), rescues Sora. Xehanort and his varied incarnations fade again into their authentic time-periods.
Riku returns to Yen Sid’s tower and decides to enter the world of desires once more to releases Sora’s coronary heart from Ventus’s armor. Riku then arrives in a simulation of the Future Islands and meets a digital copy of Ansem the Clever (the true Ansem), who provides him knowledge he left in Sora’s coronary heart. When Riku returns to the realm of sunshine, Yen Sid commends Riku and declares him a Keyblade Grasp. Lea can also be revealed to be a Keyblade wielder, who intends to grow to be a Grasp as nicely. Sora returns to the sleeping worlds to try to achieve his Mark of Mastery once more. Within the secret ending, Yen Sid reveals his plan to assemble seven Keyblad wielders to stop Xehanort from utilizing the Princesses of Coronary heart to forge the χ-blade. So Riku recruits Kairi to be educated as a Keyblade wielder as nicely.
After Dream Drop Distance, there’s Kingdom Hearts χ, which was launched exterior of Japan as Kingdom Hearts: Unchained χ, and later rebranded as Kingdom Hearts: Union χ [Cross]. The cellular sport tells the story of the primary Keyblade Conflict, which is what Xehanort hopes to reignite by creating the χ-blade.
Nonetheless, all you really want to find out about that for Kingdom Hearts III is that it was an apocalyptic battle.
When you nonetheless have questions (and we’re certain you do), we’re going to direct you to Polygon and Eurogamer.
(Final Up to date January 28, 2019 11:02 pm )