Square Enix, video game dev company mostly known for RPG and Marvel titles, (Final Fantasy, The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy), announced a slew of installments in the Kingdom Hearts franchise to honor its 20th anniversary. Along with titles Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link, and Kingdom Hearts Dark Road, for Switch and mobile, the biggest news was a trailer announcing Kingdom Hearts IV—a new chapter for the console games.
Since the games famously have such a convoluted storylines (thanks to its handheld installments), here’s the basics: Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy Goof travel to various Disney worlds to find lost friends, make new ones, and defeat enemies. Bosses range from Disney movie villains to ones specifically for the franchise. The events of Kingdom Hearts III marked the end of the Dark Seeker Saga, and (spoiler) Sora himself. With the release of the trailer, The Lost Master Arc is born.
Sora awakes in the Quadratum. This sparked a lot of interest in fans (myself included). It’s a modern, gorgeous, and realistic city. RPGs usually take place in medieval-esque realms or Disney worlds, and KH is no exception. There’s no bigger sign, other than Sora’s updated character design, that a new era is here.
The design of the hero proves that we’re not in Traverse Town or Disney Castle anymore. Sora looks more “human” than ever—possibly to support the new setting, which launches a whole new set of possibilities for where this new era can go. Gone are the “clown shoes” and mystical clothing given to him by Sleeping Beauty‘s trio of fairies. Instead, it looks like he shops at H&M.
Regardless of clothing, the trailer boasts some sick gameplay—Sora scales buildings, wielding his weapon of choice, the Keyblade, and slashes what can be assumed to be a Heartless (annoying little creatures that are usually on-sight battles) with epic new moves.
As for Donald the mage and Goofy the knight, the two are once again trekking through the dark, searching for Sora. This is how we find them often. Other characters in the trailer include two hooded figures, obviously Organization XIII (possibly Eraqus and Xehanort, somehow). Basically, they’re bad guys. Strelitzia is a keyblade wielder in this strange new city, and filled Sora in on what we know. She says that Quadratum is an “afterworld” for “people like us.”
Currently, there’s no official release date for Kingdom Hearts IV, but there’s no doubt it’ll be released on the PS5 within the next few years. Although, since III came out, like, a decade after II, who can be sure? At least we know the series is in good hands with Tetsuya Nomura, creator of Super Smash Bros.
Photos via Disney/Square Enix