Official Kingdom Hearts 3 Box Art | © Disney/Pixar Copyright Square Enix
“Don’t assume your dreams are just fantasy. If you can imagine a world, believe in it...and dive in.”
This quote, which is accurate to the idea of video games as a whole, is from the very first full trailer for “Kingdom Hearts” released in 2017. Today, on Dearly Beloved, I decided that since we’re mere days away from the release of the long-awaited “Kingdom Hearts 3,” I thought it would be fun to attempt to predict what is coming up next for the Disney/Square Enix crossover event of the century. What is the plot for the upcoming game? What does the future have in store for the series? Who, if anyone, is going to die? These are just a few examples of the questions I’m going to try to answer today.
What We Know So Far
From the trailers and press releases that have been made available to us, here’s what we know for sure so far about “Kingdom Hearts 3” and the future of the series as a whole:
New Worlds—as early as the 2017 D23 Expo, new worlds started being announced, beginning with “Toy Story”. As confirmed by a trailer that premiered at that aforementioned expo, the long-rumored “Tangled,” and now “Monsters, Inc.”, “Big Hero 6”, and “Frozen” worlds have all been officially confirmed as the new worlds we’ll be exploring on January 29 (Jan. 26 if you’re lucky enough to live in Japan). “Wreck-It Ralph” will also be featured, but will not be getting a full world dedicated to the film.
The Characters — As can be expected, the famous characters from the movies that the new worlds originate from will now be integrated into the (what I can only expect to be a 60-hour long) story of the game. As well as familiar faces from several previous series installments from all different IP’s and eras.
Screengrab from Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer “Final Battle” | © Disney/Pixar Copyright Square Enix
The Music — Japanese singer Utada Hikaru returns to the series once more to bring us a brand new theme song entitled “Don’t Think Twice,” as well as another song on the soundtrack with American dubstep artist Skrillex called “Face My Fears” which accompanies the game’s cinematic opening.
What Comes Next?
This is a question I answered by very carefully watching each trailer that has been released to date. I broke down my predictions and theories, and dismantled the mysteries of this elusive — and seemingly unattainable — gaming title.
“The light is gathering together hearts driven be one oath, one purpose.” - “Kingdom Hearts 3” trailer from the E3 Gaming Expo 2018.
The first real prediction I have about this game centers around Elsa. If you know literally anything at all about the “KH” series, you know that the biggest ongoing theme is light versus dark. One character, Larxene, wonders which side Elsa will accept. Since Elsa already seems to be susceptible to its ways, I predict that a portion of the gameplay will involve the player attempting to save her from falling to the darkness. I should also note that I feel it’s obvious that whatever keyblade you earn from Arendelle will give the player a magic boost.
Screengrab from trailer “Frozen” | © Disney/Pixar Copyright Square Enix
The next trailer I watched raised more of a question: Who are the seven pure lights? Taking what we know about who the princesses of heart, the seven individuals who exist without any darkness in their hearts, were (Kairi, Alice, Snow White, Aurora, Cinderella, Jasmine, and Belle), I can only assume that the “pure lights” simply serve as a next generation of sorts. Larxene implies Elsa is one of them. If I had to take a guess, I’d venture to say that Rapunzel, Vanellope, Boo, and either one of the San Fransokyo girls.
I also predict that we will be getting further confirmation on the connection between Kairi and Xion (I’ve never talked about Xion on Dearly Beloved before so here’s some material if you really want to know) since it’s never officially been addressed before.
Despite a distinct lack of Riku throughout most of the trailers, the latest trailer for the game revealed that he is a playable character. At this point I’m merely speculating how he works his way into what I imagine is going to be the longest game that anyone has ever played, considering this is supposed to be wrapping up the saga and I still have more questions than answers. Near the end of this trailer, Sora appears to be in a severe amount of anguish and I am almost willing to put money on it that either Riku or Axel dies. If I’m right, I will also be heartbroken.
Screengrab from Kingdom Hearts Opening Cinematic | © Disney/Pixar Copyright Square Enix
At the end of the day, there’s only so much that can be gathered from the trailers of something that is intentionally left vague in order to ride the hype train just a little bit longer. After this, I’m taking a break from talking about “Kingdom Hearts” on this column for a while, so feel free to share predictions and theories with me on my twitter or instagram (@mariahcoolbeans). And if you have any suggestions for games you’d like to see me cover, feel free to share.