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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The Future of Kingdom Hearts: A Look at Kingdom Hearts III


Chad - It's been a while since my last update but I'm back again to conclude my series of articles about the future of the Kingdom Hearts series.


Since my last post, Kingdom Hearts III was, to everyone's surprise, announced, with an accompanying trailer and, naturally, information about the game from Nomura himself. Here's what we know so far:

- Kingdom Hearts III will feature Sora as the main protagonist, supported by Donald and Goofy, as in KHI and KHII.
- It will be released on both PS4 and Xbox One.
- It is very early in development.
- It will be produced by the Osaka team, who were responsible for Birth by Sleep, Re: Chain of Memories, Dream Drop Distance, and 1.5 HD ReMIX.

Another interesting piece of information revealed after E3 was the existence of the 'Kingdom Shader.' The 'Kingdom Shader' is a tool that allows textures of characters to be altered depending on what world they are visiting. This means that each Disney world will hopefully look and feel very close to the source material - and Sora and company will appear to fit in each world naturally. This tool would be great to see implemented in worlds such as Halloween Town and Port Royal, in particular (fingers crossed that these worlds make it into KH3!)

So what else do we know about Kingdom Hearts III? Not a great deal, unfortunately. The game is in incredibly early stages of development. Before its release, we will almost definitely see 2.5 HD ReMIX, featuring Kingdom Hearts II, Birth By Sleep, and Re: Coded. (as indicated by clips at the end of 1.5 HD ReMIX.)

Perhaps, there, we will find more information about the final instalment in the Xehanort Saga - possibly in the form of a secret movie.

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Nomura has also hinted that Kingdom Hearts itself will likely show up at some point, which is fitting. I am personally hoping for Kingdom Hearts to be the very final world - though there are many possibilities.

It's been implied that the final world will be the Keyblade Graveyard. The World That Never Was and End of the World are, while improbable, still possibilities. Even the Land of Departure or Castle Oblivion are candidates. And, of course, Nomura may bookend the series with the Destiny Islands.

Still, at this stage, it is all speculation. Which world do you hope will be the final world? Perhaps a brand new original world, even?

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Before concluding the article there is one more issue I wish to speak of: the matter of the unknown members of Organisation XIII. (If you haven't finished Dream Drop Distance, you may want to skip to the end of this article. Spoilers alert.)

Six of the Xehanort's are known, at this stage: Master Xehanort, Ansem (Seeker of Darkness), Xemnas, Young Master Xehanort, Braig, and Isa. Sora, the 13th vessel, was saved by Riku, Lea, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy - so 6 remain.

Nomura has said that at least some of the six are familiar identities. Here is my list of who I think may be vessels for Xehanort:

- Ventus. Why? Because he bore the Recusant's Sigil in BBS. In Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, Xemnas was also searching for the Chamber of Waking in Castle Oblivion - Ventus's room.

- Ansem the Wise. It seems unlikely but this theory is grounded in (possibly shaky) evidence. One of Ansem's most striking features are his golden eyes - a sign of Xehanort's influence. He has also been shown to possess a black coat...

- Riku Replica. The evidence here is pretty simple - Riku encounters himself within Monstro in Dream Drop Distance. it acts as the Riku from Kingdom Hearts I, and yet this 'Riku' possesses an Organisation Cloak. Riku Replica also went through a slight identity crisis in Chain of Memories...which may loop around in some way to him seeking a new identity.

- Aqua. Yes, Aqua. She possessed Master Keeper but in the KHIII trailer, Sora finds it, washed up on the shores of the beach. So this begs the question...what happened to Aqua? She also, like her friends, bore the Sigil.

- One or two past organisation members. Simply because they were originally planned to be vessels before they were offed. Possibly Marluxia, Larxene, or Demyx.

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So this concludes my final post in the Future of Kingdom Hearts series of articles...for now. We've had a look at different bits and pieces we want to see in future titles. We've speculated on events, worlds, characters, and taken a look at what we know about Kingdom Hearts III - the final game in the Xehanort Saga.

We'll keep you updated as new information is inevitably revealed about the newest instalment in the series. For now, so long - I will be back eventually with some more articles.

- Chad.
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