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There are few video game series that have such passionate fan bases as the Kingdom Hearts games. Combining two franchises that are at the top of their respective fields, the Final Fantasy RPGs and Disney Animation, the pair work together to create some sort of unholy Voltron. It's the sort of thing that, on paper, comes across as insane, and on screen looks absolutely bug-fuck, but somehow works so...so well.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is a game that is coming, someday. At this point, we have little idea when we will see it, other than not soon. Still, the game has been talked about so much that we actually know more than a few things about it even though we're still as much as a year or two away from actually getting to play it. Here's what we know so far about Kingdom Hearts 3
When Will Kingdom Hearts 3 Be Released?
The first trailer for Kingdom Hearts III was released during E3 in 2013. While the game had certainly been rumored previously, as both Square Enix and Disney had made statements that such a game was possible, it wasn't until then that we knew for sure the game was happening. Four years later, we're still not sure exactly when we'll see the game. Recent comments have put the game as far as three more years from completion, which would put the game release somewhere as late as 2020.
What Platforms Will Kingdom Hearts 3 Be On And What Will It Be Rated?
Currently, the game has been officially announced for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Obviously, with the game so far out, we have no idea what sort of ESRB rating it will receive. However, the previous two console entries for the series received E or E10+ ratings, so it's very likely that Kingdom Hearts 3 will fall in the same area. The game isn't without violence, but it's of the fantasy variety, with the enemies killed being monsters and not humans. Disney isn't going to let their animated characters be used in something that's too violent.
The Story So Far
Drilling into the lore of the Kingdom Hearts franchise is an exercise in utter madness. While the series only has two proper episodes released for consoles, the franchise has released numerous titles for handheld systems, and even mobile games, which at least try to fit into the same storyline. At its most streamlined the story looks like this.
We begin the original Kingdom Hearts with three characters Sora, Kairi and Riku. They live together on an island but all have dreams of leaving it. One night, the island is attacked by creatures called the Heartless and Sora finds himself ripped from his world and separated from Kairi and Riku. At the same time, King Mickey Mouse has vanished from his land and has left instructions for Donald Duck and Goofy to go find the one that will protect all the worlds from encroaching Darkness.
As it turns out, Sora is capable of wielding a magical weapon called the Keyblade, and he meets up with Donald and Goofy, with the three deciding to travel together. Sora does it to find his friends, while Donald and Goofy and looking for their king. They travel to numerous different Disney inspired worlds looking for their friends.
The Darkness is being controlled by a group of Disney Villains led by Sleeping Beauty's Maleficent. They have captured several Disney heroines in order to use their hearts to unlock the door to Kingdom Hearts, where immense knowledge and power is believed to reside. Maleficent also convinces Riku to join her by telling him that Sora has given him up for new friends. Riku finds Kairi, but she is without her heart. Sora uses the keyblade to unlock Kairi's heart, but loses his own and becomes a heartless in the process. However, when Kairi recognizes what has happened she is able to use her power as one of the Princesses of Heart to return him to normal.
Eventually, it's discovered that Maleficent herself is actually being controlled by a mysterious figure named Ansem. Sora, Donald and Goofy fight Ansem but he is able to open the door to Kingdom Hearts. However, in doing so, Ansem finds not the darkness he expected, but light. King Mickey is also on the other side of the door and he and Riku help Sora lock the door, with them on the other side. Sora is then able to lock the doors between worlds, meaning that travel between them will no longer be possible. The first game ends with Sora, Donald, and Goofy going in search of Riku and Mickey, believing they are somewhere out there.
Kingdom Hearts 2 introduces a number of new elements to the story, including the concept of Nobodies, which are living shells of people who became Heartless. The second game opens with players taking control of a character named Roxas, who is the Nobody created when Sora became Heartless in the first game.
Nobodies are controlled by Organization XIII and in Kingdom Hearts 2 King Mickey tasks Sora, Donald, and Goofy with stopping them while also searching for Riku. We also learn that Ansem still lives, as the battle in the first game was actually with an imposter named Xehanort, or more specifically, his Heartless. Eventually, after traveling to several more Disney worlds, Sora and party find their way to the heart of Organization XIII where they battle Xemnas, the Nobody of Xehanort. After winning the battle, back on Destiny Island, Sora, Riku, and Kairi read a letter from King Mickey, but players don't know what it says.
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