Kingdom Hearts 4 was announced this Sunday on the 20th anniversary of the franchise, leaving fans with awe and questions for what is to come. Ever since its release, kingdom hearts has been a fan favorite for bringing familiar faces from the final fantasy universe and Disney’s characters. But that’s not all. What makes the series unique is how it culminates elements from all of them and gives a unique that is unlike any story it takes from. Spawning its own set of characters, themes, and story, it has consistently hooked up the players for twenty years.
Sora is a naive but good-hearted everyman protagonist that many can relate to. Throughout his journey, he is introduced to challenges and obstacles that shape his character. But in the time when the situation is dire, he is not alone in those peril in facing those odds. He is accompanied by the loveable Disney character Donald and Goofy as his sidekick. Together they battle the forces of darkness, which are led by Master Xehanort and his subordinates.
Kingdom hearts 4: What We Know So Far?
Kingdom Hearts is notorious for its convoluted plot with multiple spin-offs, reveals, and overuse of the word darkness (we are never gonna be free from this one). While the number of spin-offs can be irrelevant in the long run, they do contain little tidbits about what the next game is likely to bring. And in the lew of it, we can make an educated what is gonna be in kingdom hearts 4. So far, only one spin-off has been released after kingdom hearts 3. Kingdom hearts: melodies of memories were released on November 14, 2022, retelling the events of the previous installment and Kairi’s story forward.
Where can it go?
The Trailer shows Sora waking up in a world that is very similar to ours. Unlike the fictional worlds, we have seen him travel in previous kingdom hearts games. Not only that, we see him greet a mysterious girl soon after he wakes up who tells him about the modern world he founds himself in. Their discussion is cut short when a giant heartless shows up in the middle of the city. While Sora goes to fend off, the giant familiar hooded figures watch him from above. The Trailer ends with Donald and Goofy on a search for Sora in a dark place, only to be stopped by a voice that comes from a blue flame.
But why is Sora in this world in Kingdom Hearts 4? Who is the new mysterious Girl? Why was there a giant heartless in the middle of the city? What happened to his big weird mickey shoes? ( SPOILER: They finally fixed them!) Let’s go over them one by one.
Why is Sora in our mundane world?
Sora is not in our world per se. He is in a place named Quadratum, which the mysterious Girl called the other side of reality (more explanation of darkness down the line?). Sora ended up here after the events of Kingdom heart 3’s secret ending. Where he finds Yozora ( who looks a bit like Riku?) and is Challenged by him after a conversation. Two outcomes depend on whether Sora wins or loses. If Sora loses, he is trapped in a crystal and taken by Yozora. In the case Sora wins, Yozora leaves, saying his powers aren’t needed yet. From the Trailer, it is clear that we are going with the ‘Sora wins’ scenario. However, we can be certain that Yozora will play a big part in the Kingdom hearts 4.
Who is the Girl in the Trailer?
Kairi has been the driving force for the mainline for a long time and got her keyblade in the last game. With her being now an ally ( and playable), could it be that the new Girl is the new damsel? Hardly. The new Girl has been confirmed by Square Enix to be Strelitzia, a character from Kingdom hearts Union X. (Got questions?) Here is a brief overview of who she is. Strelitzia was chosen to be the fifth keyblade wielder by her master in Union X . However, she is killed in the events of the story, never to be heard again. While the die-hard fans who play every game knew who she was, they too are quizzed as to what she is doing here. Only time will tell.
Disney Characters in Kingdom Heart 4?
This has been one of the main selling points since the beginning. And this Trailer begs the same question, who from Final Fantasy and Disney-owned IPs will we get to see. There haven’t been any mainline Final Fantasy games since fifteen, and the sixteen is still in development. But Disney has gotten bigger, and there have been many characters and worlds that fans would love to see and visit through the eyes of Sora. ( Imagine Disney buying Warner Bros one day, Batman vs Goofy? Donald vs Joker! Anyone?) But what little tidbit of the Trailer we did get to see hinted at a Star Wars world. Even during the release of KH3, fans wanted to visit death star, but those wishes were unfounded. She ever wants to hit Darth Vader with sparkles and ferry rides. And it seems the next iteration may make that dream come true.
But that was just one thing we were shown in the Trailer of KH4. We may also see the entire cast of Avengers and even look for infinity stones. The possibilities are endless, and the growth of Disney and its acquisition of companies are not slowing down any soon, which is what makes the franchise going and keeps it fresh. (Speaking of which, when is Tarzan coming back?).
Also, Read:- Top 10 Best Characters In Peaky Blinders -Ranked
Final Fantasy Cameos KH4
Another reason this Kingdom heart 4 gets hype and attention as it is is the cameos from Final Fantasy games. It’s a shame that Tetsuya Nomura( the series director) only includes characters he has designed. While they happen to be characters from the popular Final Fantasy games, fans of the less popular entries still feel disappointed. Maybe the company will overrule that one day? Regardless of that, their inclusion in the game is still a nice touch to the game. Though they do not directly affect the plot in a big way, seeing them in action outside their world is an immense joy. And then there were times where you get to challenge them, like that one time with cloud in the stadium in Hercules world.
Also, Read:- Top 10 Best Episodes Of ‘The Flash’ – Ranked
Gameplay Of Kingdom Heart 4
The gameplay of the mainline Kingdom Hearts series has stuck to its basics while adding more on top of it. The first Kingdom Hearts melded the elements of turn-based RPG and action RPG into one. The Trailer thus far shows it has not diverted much from the original. On the other hand, the graphic has spiked to realism while avoiding the uncanny valley, a remarkable feat. We see Sora as more photorealistic and has less pixel-shaded texture in his caricature. Square Enix has said at the time of production that they switched from Unreal Engine 4 to Unreal Engine 5, which is excellent news! The number of tools Unreal Engine 5 has at its disposal will give the game potential to come it has ever been. And if the combat difference between KH2 and KH3 is any indication, KH 4 will have so many features attuned to it.
When Will Kingdom Heart 4 Will Release?
Kingdom Hearts games have become notorious for long-time production and late release. There is pushback and delays every time the game gets closer to release. For instance, Kingdom hearts three was announced in June 2013 at E3 and wasn’t released until January 25, 2019. And when you take into account that kingdom hearts two was released in late December 2005, the unknown time may seem daunting. Even now, Square Enix admitted the only reason for releasing the Trailer before E3 was to avoid leaks. They also mentioned they wouldn’t be talking about kingdom Hearts 4 in this year’s E3 as well.
You can be certain we will have to wait long before we can finally get news of when the game will release. The dreadful period of spin-offs that will add to the world and lore of kingdom hearts. We might be in another dry period of spin-offs and their re-releases! But it is not all that bad; Kingdom hearts has stopped being a console exclusive and has become much more accessible in the past two years. One such game that sets another example is Kingdom Hearts: Missing Link, slated to release on IOS and Android. Its close beta test will tale for later this year.
Stay Tuned To Theartistree for more gaming updates.