Over a decade we have been a part of one of the most interesting storylines in video game history as we have been following the adventures of Disney and Square Enix in Kingdom Hearts. We have played through seven games ranging from home console to handheld and now we are looking forward to the conclusion of this epic adventure. Today it is my duty to try and piece together what could happen in Kingdom Hearts 3 and attempt to shed some light as to where the series could take our keyblade warriors.
With the last instalment, Dream Drop Distance, we learnt some very important information leading into Kingdom Hearts 3. The first is that Master Xehanort, the true mastermind behind opening Kingdom Hearts, has reformed the previously broken Organisation XIII. The new Organisation is formed of thirteen darkness’s that seem to be incarnations of Xehanort throughout the years. Some we know as Saix, Ansem and Zemnas but others are fully cloaked up. As well as this formation of darkness, the master also let out that he still wishes to form the X-Blade, the ultimate Key Blade from Birth By Sleep, by having a war between his thirteen darkness’s and seven beings of light. Upon creating the X-Blade, Xehanort will be able to open the true Kingdom Hearts and complete his ultimate goal.
The first thing to keep in mind is that the thirteen dark warriors are fighting against seven light warriors. This could either end up being an all out Keyblade war featuring the seven Keyblade warriors we know from the games or, in a shock twist, could end up being a struggle for the seven princesses of light. As you can recall from Kingdom Hearts 1 the original way to open Kingdom Hearts was to capture the seven princesses of light, which is a collection of six Disney princesses plus one of the newest Keyblade wielders Kiari.
Out of the two, I would personally prefer to see a combination of both of these sources of light coming into play. Maybe the new Organisation XIII, splits off into two groups. One that focuses on bringing together the princesses whilst the other challenges the Keyblade wielders one on one to see if they are strong enough to fight in the war. This would mean that every character gets involved and have the responsibility or uniting the Keyblade warriors and defending the princesses.
At some point in the story, there will have to be the reunion of the past Keyblade Warriors and the new ones. But the question is, Who will save who? First it would make sense if Riku saved Terra, for the reason that they are very similar characters to one another. Riku has had to fight the darkness inside of him to become a Keyblade master and can show Terra that although he has succumbed to the darkness before, he can overcome that and become the master he knows he can be. As for Aqua, it would make sense if she was saved by Kairi. The reason behind this is because of Aqua’s and Kairi’s ties to one another from Birth By Sleep. Kairi understands how important it is to have friends connected to one another through the heart and can help Aqua come back into the world ready to help out her friends. Finally we have Ventus who I would say should be saved by Sora, but this might not be the case. It might be a better plan to have Sora save Ventus with the help of Terra and Aqua. Aqua needs to be at Castle Oblivion in order to find and enter the room that Ventus is in whilst Sora needs to be there to connect his heart with Ven’s and thus wake him up. It would either make sense to have the original warriors reconnect with their friend and, even if they cannot save Ventus there and then, can always bring him back to Yen Sid where Sora could use what he learnt from Dream Drop Distance to go inside Ven’s dreams and awaken him.
I can’t talk about the story without bringing up the newest Keyblade wielder, Lea (previously known as Axel). What can Lea bring into the storyline to mix things up? Well I have an idea of what could happen in the game, but some people might find this very harsh. I think there is a chance that Lea could fight Saix one on one and come close to death. One of the other Keyblade warriors will fight Saix and almost loose until Lea sacrifices himself in order for Saix to be defeated. That’s right, I said it, I think the story would be more powerful if Lea dies. Now I love Lea as a character, he is funny, compassionate and brings a bit of arrogance into battle. But it would make sense if his epic confrontation with his best friend results in one of them dying. It would be powerful enough to make the strongest of gamers cry out.
The Playable Characters
With the coming of the Keyblade War, there is also the arrival of seven potentially playable characters throughout the game. All of these characters have their own expertise and bring something different to the fight. Time to have a look as to what fighters we could end up playing as in Kingdom Hearts 3.
First off we have Sora, the Keyblade wielder that never was. What I mean by this is that Sora was never originally intended to become a Keyblade wielder until he proved that his heart was more powerful than that of Riku’s in Kingdom Hearts 1. Throughout the games we have seen Sora grow tremendously, he has become stronger with the keyblade as well as his friends. The more people that are connected to Sora, the more powerful he effectively becomes. We definitely know that Sora will be a playable character in the game since he is the series flagship character. The only question is, How strong has he now become and will he truly become a Keyblade master?
Secondly we have Sora’s best friend Riku, who had to fight off his inner darkness to become the new Keyblade master. We played Riku in Re: Chain of Memories and Dream Drop Distance but this time around he would be bringing more power to the table. Combining his Keyblade swordsmanship with that of his darkness powers that he has embraced, Riku could be seen as a true hybrid fighter. He would be a more agile fighter than Sora so we can see him pulling off some crazy combos that keep enemies at bay.
Next we have the inevitable entry of Kairi. Now Kairi has fought with a Keyblade back in Kingdom Hearts 2 but wasn’t as proficient with it as the other fighters. She was seen at the end of Dream Drop Distance with Yen Sid to be trained in the arts of the Keyblade so all we can do is guess what she will have as a fighting style. I think she would have a large emphasis on light attacks, kind of like Minnie Mouse in Kingdom Hearts 2. She could vaporise enemies like Aqua would but with attacks that emit powerful light against the dark foes. This is all speculation as we don’t really know what Kairi will be like in an all out fight, but if Kingdom Hearts has taught me one thing it is to expect the unexpected.
After the initial three characters from the new generation, we can’t forget the past generation. First with their Keyblade Master Aqua, we can expect the return of fast and fluent attacks with an emphasis on elemental and crowd controlling magic. This is what Aqua truly excelled at in Birth By Sleep and it will be a great return to the series. Although she has been stuck in the realm of darkness for years, she was with the cloaked up Ansem the Wise. This could mean that she has become smarter over the years and can bring more intelligence into her fighting style as well as her interaction with the other characters.
Secondly we have Terra who, like Riku, also embraced the darkness within him and became a vessel. Terra’s whereabouts are unknown as of the resurrection of Master Xehanort but we can expect him to be more powerful than ever. If he chooses to embrace the darkness as a part of himself, like Riku has done before, he can turn himself into the ultimate Keyblade wielder. Unlike the others he goes for a heavier swing in his blade meaning that he will have a larger emphasis on physical attacks rather than magical ones. We can also expect to see him use his Keyblade in combination with his abilities to perform awesome attacks like that out of the secret boss fight in Kingdom Hearts 2: Final Mix.
Finally we have Ventus, the lost soul trapped in a deep sleep inside Castle Oblivion. If Ven does return as a playable character then we can see a Sora like fighter enter the fray with some variation. As we know, Sora is varied in what he can do in a fight as he can use a little of everything. Ventus is like this as well but I think it would make sense if he was a projectile user. Now I don’t mean firing off magic or little beams from his Keyblade, I mean Ven could use his Keyblade as a boomerang to hit far away foes and bring them towards him so that he can combo into his normal Keyblade attacks. Add this with a little bit of magic and you have one great character to play as.
Like last time I cannot do this list without putting into consideration Lea. Although he does have a Keyblade and will be trained by either Mickey or Yen Sid, I heavily doubt he will become playable. This is because he has never truly carried the game in any aspect at all. He played a major role in 358/2 Days and had a great side role in Kingdom Hearts 2, but can he carry an entire story arc on his back? With that in mind I cannot say that Lea is a possible playable character. He just seems too unorthodox to be a playable character. Although I may be slightly against the idea of seeing Lea playable, I will be interested to see if he is somehow incorporated into the game at some point. Especially when it comes to fighting Saix.
The New Worlds
With every game comes new worlds to explore and Kingdom Hearts 3 shouldn’t be an exception to this. We can probably expect a few worlds to come back from previous instalments, especially the Olympus Coliseum, but we need new worlds to keep the game interesting. So what could we potentially explore?
The first of many worlds could possibly be a non-Disney world. We saw in Dream Drop Distance that Square Enix was involving more of their other series into Kingdom Hearts with the inclusion of Neku and friends from The World Ends With You. Sora said that he will be sure to meet up with these guys again sometime and I think Kingdom Hearts 3 would be a great time to make it happen. The world would be a twisted and altered version of downtown Japan with heartless that resemble the enemies you fight in the game. Heck what if Neku became a cooperative character that fights alongside you? That would be a great addition to the game.
Next is the idea of a Final Fantasy world, where all the characters from the Final Fantasy series we have come to know and love from the franchise live. If you chose to fight Sephiroth in Kingdom Hearts 2, you would know that Cloud came into the fray and ended up vanishing with his arch nemesis. Tifa clarifies that they have gone to their home world which could mean that Sora and friends could go to the Final Fantasy world and confront Sephiroth for the last time. This would also be a great chance to introduce more FF characters such as Lightning from XIII or even guys like Cecil from IV. An all out battle against the heartless could happen here with every character kicking some serious butt. Now who wouldn’t want to see that?
We cannot have a new Kingdom Hearts game without new Disney worlds and perhaps the newest Disney princess. That’s right, why not make a world out of The Princess and the Frog? The heartless could take form of voodoo enchantments and idols and Sora could be turned into a frog during his exploration of the world. It would be different like the Pride Lands in KH2 and I think players would welcome the addition of some of Disney’s more recent films.
Another world that would be good to see from the Disney library would be a Toy Story world. Sora and friends can be shrunk to toy size, or even take on the appearance of a toy, as they team up with Woody and Buzz to take on mysterious new heartless and nobody toys. With cameos from the rest of the Toy Story cast this world can cater to both the new fans and the old fans as everyone truly admires the nostalgia that Toy Story brings.
One world that could be interesting is a world based on Cars. The problem with this however is that you cannot really be using a Keyblade as a car. The best way to portray this world, if it was to be created, would be to turn it into a side-quest world, kind of like Atlantica from KH2. You could turn the world into a racing world where Sora, as a car, must drive around the race tracks every so often and then can go one on one against McQueen for the Piston Cup. Players can be rewarded with either a new magic spell or even rewarded an optional Keyblade that would be tough to acquire and is completely optional.
What do the fans want?
It is all well and good to hear my opinions, but what do the KH fans themselves wish to see from the series finale? Well let us look at the popular areas that have been discussed.
The first discovered was a potential appearance from the Star Wars series. As well all know Disney now have the rights to the epic adventures and can, if they wish to, ask for them to be put into the game. We can finally have a battle between king mickey and Darth Vader in an epic confrontation, but is it really a good area to delve into? I understand that gamers had made jokes about it in the past, but if it was made as a playable world in the game I don’t think it would be made to justice. It would be cool to have heartless and nobody style enemies from the series and even have a lightsaber keyblade, but can Star Wars be respected and portrayed correctly in this style of game?
Whilst on the note of new licences gained by Disney, there has been thoughts from players about a potential Marvel world featuring the Avengers. The world could have you fight alongside Captain America and the others as you push back the hordes of heartless being lead by Loki. Again this is a matter of would it work. Personally I would prefer The Incredibles to have a part in the game and not anything from Marvel. This is because comic book heroes wouldn’t suit well in the games world, but Pixar style Disney heroes will. Of course this is up for discussion as it doesn’t have to be related to the Avengers, but if Marvel are placed in the game somewhere I hope it isn’t a fully fleshed out world and just made as cameo or reference.
Finally, there seems to be a big demand for a lot of Disney’s classic titles to reign supreme in the game. We are talking about films like Basil The Great Mouse Detective, Robin Hood, Jungle Book and The Sword in the Stone. On top of these classics there is also a number of fans looking for worlds that would work well in the Kingdom Hearts universe such as Treasure Planet, Atlantis: The Lost Empire and John Carter. A mix and match of these worlds or even the characters could be a great chance for Square Enix and Disney to go all out on this game. They may not be able to go all the way with some of these ideas but if they can listen to the fans and try and add some of these in, that will be a huge plus.
There you have it, a look into what might just come into play with Kingdom Hearts 3. Of course these are only my impressions so why don’t you share yours. What worlds would you want to explore, who would you want to play as and where do you think the story will take us? Let us know what you think in the comments below or even start up your own look into Kingdom Hearts 3 in the VGU Forums. Be sure to also check out the KH3 reveal article that we have on the site.