Exciting and Frustrating: Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Announced

Last night at TGS, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue was announced after being leaked a week or so ago. The game contains an HD remake of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, an HD movie of the Kingdom Hearts browser game titled Kingdom Hearts χ [chi] Back Cover, and a new experience called Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep 0.2  -A Fragmentary Passage-.

As a huge Kingdom Hearts fan, this announcement is equally frustrating and exciting. So, I’m going to break down my emotions on the subject and start with the more negative which just kind of highlights a lot issues Square Enix has a whole.

For starters, the name of the collection is stupid. Not only is the collection name stupid, the name of the movie and Birth by Sleep pseudo-sequel are also really dumb. This kind of falls under the category of tradition though considering just about every Kingdom Hearts game has had a terrible subtitle that means just about nothing until you play and beat the game. In fact,  the only subtitles I can think of that are at least decent are Chain of Memories and Birth by Sleep.

Secondly, this is super  annoying because it seems like it’s a waste of time and resources over at Square Enix. I had a similar issue when Square Enix announced the demo of Final Fantasy XV and then even more so when they made an update for that demo. The development teams should be putting all of their efforts into the actual games (Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III) themselves instead of these side projects so the games will come out earlier. Final Fantasy XV has been announced for what seems to be nearly a decade and Kingdom Hearts 3 will mostly be four years after the announcement by the time the game is released. That’s ridiculous and these side projects really need to stop.

Besides that, I will buy this game because I’m a huge fanboy but I’m not nearly as excited about it as I was about the 1.5 and 2.5 collections. The only part I’m really looking forward to is Birth by Sleep 0.2. Birth by Sleep is my favorite game in the series and in 0.2 it looks as if Aqua is the main playable character, and  she’s the best character in that game. In fact, Aqua might be the best character in the entire series.

Birth by Sleep 0.2 looks exciting because,  besides being about Aqua, it looks to be in the same engine as Kingdom Hearts 3. This will probably give us the closest look and feel of Kingdom Hearts 3. Actually, the more I think about it as I’m writing, this will probably be the KH3 equivalent to Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae. That’s awesome, but at the same time I could’ve lived without this announcement and game and preferred for all the developers to be working on KH3.

This announcement also implies a few things about the status of the franchise. For one, this game will most likely be the final yearly Kingdom Hearts release before Kingdom Hearts 3. This sets KH3 for a 2017 release which sounds about right due to the progress they’ve been making on the project. Also, if the trend continues from the previous collection, a few months before the release of the game a collectors edition will be announced that includes 1.5 and 2.5.

With this slightly infuriating news out of the way, expect more information on KH3 during the upcoming Japanese D23.

What is Kingdom Hearts 2.9?

If it isn’t apparent by now, let me just say I love Kingdom Hearts (seriously, it feels like over half of the articles I’ve written  on this site have been Kingdom Hearts related!) so this leak does nothing but bring me happiness.

According to a LinkedIn profile of a Square Enix game designer from Osaka, along with working on Kingdom Hearts 3, they were also working on a title called Kingdom Hearts 2.9 on PS4 and PS3. So what is Kingdom Hearts 2.9 and is it real? Well, all answers seems to point to “yes” for the latter question due to the title temporarily appearing on the schedule of Square Enix Presents for E3 2015 before being pulled. As far as the former question goes, the answer can only be speculated by fans at the moment, but it’s not too difficult to piece together.

Kingdom Hearts 2.9 is obviously another collection. On PS3 it will most likely be 2.5 with the addition of Kingdom Hearts 3D HD and maybe another secret ending to link into Kingdom Hearts 3. On the other-hand, on the PS4 it will probably also include the content of the 1.5 Collection along with all the features of the PS3 edition. Square Enix has been hinting at releasing the Remasters on PS4 for a while now, so this move would make sense and would be a relatively inexpensive way to make money. As a fan, it would also give me a good reason to play through the games again.

The game was probably planned to be announced at E3 2015, but got delayed due to Nomura working on the Final Fantasy VII Remake and other production issues. Now, it will most likely be announced at either Tokyo Game Show later this month or at E3 2016 for a 2016 release. Since the release of Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories in 2008, Square Enix has been adamant about releasing one Kingdom Hearts game each year, so this game would potentially serve as the release after this year’s Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ. This would also be placing Kingdom Hearts 3 for a 2017 release date, which is a little disappointing since that would make the announcement of the game 4 years old by that point, and that’s just ridiculous.

Either way, I’m ecstatic about this. More Kingdom Hearts is always a good thing, and if a 2.9 Collection is the way Square Enix wants to hold our appetite until KH3, that’s just fine by me.

Expect more news on the Kingdom Hearts series, and other Square Enix games, in the upcoming weeks and months at TGS, Jump Festa, and possibly at Playstation Experience.

What Big Hero 6 Means for Kingdom Hearts III

Earlier at D23, one of my Kingdom Hearts III predictions from awhile back got confirmed. Big Hero 6 will appear as a world within the game. When I wrote my article predicting the worlds in Kingdom Hearts III, I said that the two franchises would be a good fit because of their similar tones. It also isn’t hard to picture Sora on the same screen as Hiro and Neku.

What I mean by Neku and Hiro sharing the screen with Sora is that I have a theory (a GAME theory) this world will feature the cast of The World Ends With You. To me, it makes sense because San Fransokyo is a logical place for Neku and the rest of the team to show up next since it’s similar to the real location of their game, Shibuya. Despite that, today another revelation was made on the game that might kill my theory.

During the same presentation where the world was announced, it was also revealed that San Fransokyo has a certain quality that separates it from most of the other worlds in the game series. This aspect is that the world will not retell the story of the movie, instead continuing it. In a way, that could mean that the story presented in the game could serve as a midway point between the original movie and the sequel. While a sequel isn’t officially announced as being made yet, Honey Lemon actress, Genesis Rodriguez, has confirmed that talks of a sequel have been occurring at Disney. In regards to the sequel, Rodriguez said the following:

“There’s rumblings of something else happening. I mean yesterday I just saw that it’s the third most grossing Disney animated feature, so this is huge for them. I doubt that they wouldn’t want to do another one. It was a huge success.”

However, just because the world is continuing the Big Hero 6 story doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be canon within that universe. It could turn out to be just that the story is like an elseworld idea or something. If that is indeed the case, the TWEWY characters still could show up to resolve some of their plotlines from KH3D.

Regardless of the TWEWY characters, Big Hero 6 shows something pretty significant about the state of Kingdom Hearts III. First, the announcement of the game in 2013 was way too early. Most fans already assumed that, but I doubt this Big Hero 6 world was even planned for the game when the announcement happened. Second, it looks like most of the worlds for the game will be coming from more modern titles. That’s interesting because the series has repeatedly shown that it strives off of the nostalgia of the players and only a handful of times has dabbled in more modern movies. Lastly, with Big Hero 6 and Tangled worlds announced, it seems even more clear to me that a Frozen world will appear in the game. For how big that movie is, especially in Japan, it would actually be really weird if it didn’t appear in the game.

With this game coming closer to release every day, we are probably only a few months away from getting a release date. Please be excited, KH fans.

Predicting the Features and Release Date of Kingdom Hearts III

WARNING! This article contains possible spoilers of the Kingdom Hearts series! You’ve been warned!

And the day has finally come where I finish my series of articles that predict everything related to Kingdom Hearts III. The first part discussed the worlds that will appear in the game and the second part predicted the story. In this last part, I will be discussing more general things about the game itself. Since I started this series, some of my predictions have already been proven false, but I believe a few of my ideas have also been validated. All that means is to take what I write here with a grain of salt, all of the stuff I’ve put in these articles aren’t necessarily going to happen, they’re just mere educated guesses and ideas of mine based on the series and news on the new game so far. Also, considering Kingdom Hearts III has been confirmed to appear at D23 this August, some of my theories will probably be confirmed or denied then. That being said, let’s begin starting with the release date.

I have no facts to really base this on, but I have a gut feeling that the game will come out in Japan in Q4 2016 while it will come out in Q1 or Q2 of 2017 for the rest of the territories. This would give the development team at least 4 years of development (2013 when it was announced, 2014, 2015, and 2016) and about 6 to 8 months for localization. Odds are the game has been in development for much longer than that though because I remember reading articles back when Birth by Sleep came out in 2010 that very early design and story development had already started for Kingdom Hearts III. Regardless of whether or not those articles were true, it’s a pretty easy assumption to make that the game started development before the announcement.

Besides the release date, most of the features and mechanics of the game have been been announced already. Flowmotion will probably be incorporated in small doses in specific traversal segments during certain worlds. The attraction flow will most likely be this games version of the special moves you could pull off with the Dream Eaters in KH3D. The special keyblade transformations shown in the most recent trailers for the game are probably an evolution of the shotlock from BBS. The HUD in the game also appears to be a bit more interactive. There is only one thing that hasn’t been announced that I think will appear in the game when it comes to its mechanics.

I believe this game will have something similar to the quick character switching that was used in certain sections in Batman: Arkham Knight. In that game there were quick sequences where you could click L1 to switch to the other character fighting on your side, and it worked very well and smoothly to not interrupt the flow of battle. I believe Kingdom Hearts III will also have sections like that considering the story of the game will have more Keyblade wielders than any other game in the series, most of whom were playable in previous games. It would be really rad if you were stuck in a battle with an overwhelming amount of heartless and could click a button for someone like Riku or Aqua to jump in and help you out. Kingdom Hearts II also had a similar function where if you died during certain boss battles, King Mickey would jump out to help finish the fight.

So that’s the last of my predictions! If you enjoyed this short series please let me know in the comments and I will look into doing a prediction series for another upcoming game. If not, then this was a nice writing experiment for me and I thank you for reading.

Original Kingdom Hearts Design Documents Reveal Toy Story World

Thanks to photobucket user Nathan McMahon, old design documents from the original Kingdom Hearts game for PS2 have been unearthed. The documents contains mostly unsurprising information and finalized artwork of some of the characters. However, three interesting pieces of information have come from these documents.

To start, the game actually was going to be called “Kingdom of Hearts” for a lengthy amount of time in the development cycle. Also, the documents gave the initial character descriptions for the main cast which can be read below.

The hero of this story. Sora is a fourteen-year-old boy who has his own personal issues like every other teenager does, but he always keeps a positive attitude towards everything.
Simple-minded at times, but his sense of justice is very strong.
“Sora” means “sky” in Japanese, representing his adventurous spirit.

The heroine of this story. Also aged 14.
A few years ago Kairi moved into the island where Sora and Riku live.
She may appear gentle and fragile, but inside she has a strong will that does not bend to any force.
Her name, “Kairi”, bears the meaning of “sea”, home of all life forms.

Sora’s best friend. He may seem a lot more collected and cooler than his same-age best friend, yet he remains expressive of his own thoughts.
Always curious towards the unknown, he begins to question the small, closed world in which he lives.
His name, “Riku” means “land” in Japanese.

The court wizard.
With the order left by the king who disappears in the beginning of the story, Donald goes for an adventure searching for the hero. His vibrant character and quack-talk is sure to complicate things, adding even more fun to the story.

Captain of the royal cavalry.
Goofy, though a captain of his own troops dislikes battles and carries only a shield with him.
Goofy becomes Donald’s partner in this journey, complimenting wacky Donald with his slow-talking, easy-going style.

Minnie Mouse:
King Mickey’s queen.
As the queen she takes charge of the castle after Mickey’s disappearance, appoints Goofy and Donald to search for the king in her place.

Daisy Duck:
A noble lady.
A sweet maid who fancies Donald, she collects her courage(?) to send him off to his mission.

The mechanical engineer working for King Mickey.
The underground airship hanger is his working place as well as playing grounds.
It is Chip who designs the SS GummiBlock, allowing our heroes to reach other worlds.

A mechanic working with Chip.
He maintains and, if necessary, primps up the SS GummiBlock which Donald and Goofy boards for the trip.”


It’s interesting to note that the Gummi Ship was going to be called the SS GummiBlock, something tells me that change came during the English translation. Lastly, as seen in this image below, there was an unused world that was supposed to be in the first game.


That’s right, a Toy Story world was planned to appear. There have been other worlds that were planned for the first game as well, but most of them ended up being used in later entries, such as The Pridelands. From the icon, it can be gathered that part of the world would take place in Andy’s House while the other part would take place in Pizza Planet since Andy’s House is on top of a rocket. Here’s hoping that these plans come to fruition in a future title in the series.

Predicting the Story of Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts III

Warning! This article contains spoilers on the Kingdom Hearts series! You’ve been warned!

Welcome to Part 2 of my Predicting Kingdom Hearts III series! Last time, I discussed the worlds that will appear in the game, and this week I will be discussing the plot. In this prediction, I will be breaking up the plot into five parts: Prelude, Act I, Act II, Act III, and the Epilogue. While I am primarily a script writer, this will not be a fully realized script, just more of an outline of the events I believe will occur in the game based off of foreshadowing and events from previous games in the series. So, that being said let’s begin our story years before the first game, during a time of peace.


The game opens roughly 50 years before the events of the first Kingdom Hearts in Cable Town. This is where the scene between a young Xehanort and Eraqus playing chess from the E3 2015 trailer will take place. If you notice during that trailer, all of the chess pieces have a symbol representing a character from the game. The chess game is foreshadowing the final battle that will occur in the game and which characters will be fighting whom, but more on that later. After this scene between Xehanort and Eraqus, a scene will occur recapping the events of the series so far. Then there will be a CG intro with a new song by Hikaru Utada.


Picking up right where Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance left of, Yen Sid is telling Kairi she is a Keyblade wielder. This is a very rare and strange case considering she is already a Princess of Heart. She is told she will be trained along with Lea (formerly Axel) and this is where the tutorial will take place. The tutorial will be played as Lea and Kairi as they practice with Yen Sid trying to teach them. After the tutorial, Sora comes back from the Dream World, which he went back to at the end of KH3D. Sora then goes to the top of the tower to meet with Riku, Kairi, Donald, Goofy, Lea, Mickey, and Yen Sid. This is where the group gets broken up and assigned different objectives which will take up the first chunk of the game. Sora, Donald, and Goofy are in charge of finding Ventus, who unknown to everyone besides Aqua, is inside Castle Oblivion. Riku and Mickey are responsible for going to the Realm of Darkness to find Aqua. Lea and Kairi will stay with Yen Sid to continue their training. During their journeys both groups have to find the Princesses of Heart again to help for the final battle. With their goals now set, they head off on their journeys.

Sora, Donald, and Goofy start traveling the worlds on their gummy ship. They search various worlds to try to find leads that will reveal where Ventus is, but it is unsuccessful. Their search leads them to Twilight Town and the mansion, which has been blocked off since the events of the second game (proven since the path to the woods/mansion has been paved over as seen in the E3 2015 and D23 2013 gameplay trailers). In the mansion they find a hologram recording of Ansem the Wise where he reveals he found Aqua, and recounts that they escaped the Realm together much like how Riku and Sora did at the end of Kingdom Hearts 2.

Meanwhile, Riku and Mickey have been in Radiant Garden, which is getting closer to its original state from Birth by Sleep. They are working with Cid, Leon, and Yuffie to find a way back into the Realm of Darkness. They ultimately do and begin their search before Sora gets back to them with the information that Aqua escaped months ago. After searching, they realize there’s no way to effectively search the Realm, so Riku opens a Corridor of Darkness that takes them back to the Mysterious Tower.

Back in the Mysterious Tower, Kairi starts getting sassy that besides her, none of the Princesses of Heart have been gathered. She insists that her and Lea go on the search as well while Riku and Sora look for Aqua and Ventus. Yen Sid disagrees with them since they are not experienced, but lets them go due to necessity. For this time, Lea goes back to using his original weapon, the Chakrams.

Later, when Riku and Sora return to Yen Sid with Mickey, Donald, and Goofy, they apologize to Yen Sid for not returning with who they were looking for. After the apology, Kairi walks through the door with Aqua and the rest of the Princesses of Heart. She was able to find Aqua due to a connection they made when Kairi was just a toddler.


Aqua is now older and wiser, and takes charge of the group from Yen Sid. She reveals how Ansem the Wise helped her escape the Realm of Darkness. Ansem the Wise, however, is still left behind. She reveals to the rest of the group that Ventus is inside Castle Oblivion, but she is unable to get back to where he is. The only person who would be able to help get to him is someone that was born inside Castle Oblivion. Everyone is upset, because no such person exists. At this moment of hopelessness, Lea remembers something: Xion. Well, he doesn’t remember her, because his memories of her are lost since she died, but he remembers the Organization constructing Sora clones/puppets in Castle Oblivion.

To get access to this individual, Mickey and Riku use their Keyblades to open up Sora’s heart. From his heart sprouts not only Xion, but Roxas and Namine as well. Suddenly, Lea gets emotional because he is seeing Roxas again. Then both Lea’s and Roxas’ memories of Xion start rushing back. From here on out Namine and Xion guide everyone to Castle Oblivion to find Ventus.

After searching through the Castle and revisiting memories of worlds from the previous games, they finally reach Ventus. Aqua awakens him and they bring him back to the Mysterious Tower. Now that he is back, the group realizes there is no way to bring back Terra besides destroying Terra-Nort. With the group back together, they begin training for the final battle against the 13 Seekers of Darkness.


The 7 Lights: Sora, Riku, Mickey, Lea, Aqua, Ventus, and Kairi with support from their friends, trek their way to the Badlands. Once they reach the Keyblade Graveyard, Xehanort and the 13 Seekers of Darkness return. The final battle begins with the Princesses of Heart giving the 7 Lights a bit of a power boost. This part of the game will have the player switching over to controlling a different Keyblade wielder to show a different side of the battle. Think of the Battle of the 1000 Heartless from Kingdom Hearts 2, but more intense, fueled by bosses, and making other characters playable. Keep in mind, one of the ongoing themes and quotes from the series is, “My friends are my power!” Because of this, there will be other characters helping Sora and the  7 Lights in the fight like Donald, Goofy, Roxas, and Xion. Because not all of the 13 Seekers of Darkness have been revealed, I can only assume a few of the battles that will happen, but these are the ones I can gather:

  • Sora, Donald, Goofy vs. Xehanort
  • Riku vs. Ansem, Seeker of Darkness
  • Kairi vs. Xemnas
  • Ventus vs. Vanitas
  • Aqua vs. Terra-Nort
  • Lea vs. Isa
  • Roxas and Xion vs. Braig

After the battle, the Seekers of Darkness are destroyed, Terra will return to his normal self, and Xehanort will reveal that the chaos of the battle opened up Kingdom Hearts. Xehanort will then take on a final form and Sora will follow him to Kingdom Hearts alone. They will fight. Sora will win.

After Sora wins everyone goes back to their homes. Aqua will unseal Castle Oblivion and return it back to being the Land of Departure. Her, Ventus, and Terra act as the new masters of the world and train new Keyblade wielders. The Princesses of Heart will return to their original worlds. Lea, Xion, Roxas, and Namine will go to the Clock Tower in Twilight Town and share sea-salt ice cream with Hayner, Pence, and Olette. Mickey, Donald, and Goofy will resume their normal duties at Disney Castle. Lastly, Sora, Riku, and Kairi will go back to the Mysterious Tower where Sora will officially be dubbed a Keyblade Master.


The game fast forwards a few years. Sora is now in his mid to late twenties (that way his voice actor, Haley Joel Osment, will be age appropriate to continue voicing him) and he is talking to a teenager. Riku and Kairi are there watching. Sora is going through the ceremony that will grant this kid the ability to wield a Keyblade. After the ceremony, the kid summons his own Keyblade, and it resembles the one that Eraqus once used. This kid, Sora’s trainee, will be the protagonist for the series going forward.


So that was my prediction of the main events of Kingdom Hearts III, hopefully it didn’t sound too much like fanfiction because that wasn’t what I was going for. Feel free to comment on what you think will happen and whether or not you agree with me. Also, I didn’t write this entirely alone. I had some help from my amazing friend Christine, so if you want, give her some love at her YouTube account Sheiks65. Lastly, keep watch next week when the last part of this prediction series will be published where I will predict the release date and features of the game.

Kingdom Hearts 3 Dev Reveals Keyblade Transformations, Secret Movie, New Info

Kingdom Hearts 3

Kingdom Hearts 3 director, Tetsuya Nomura, was in a recent interview with Famitsu magazine (via Kingdom Hearts Insider). He talked about several topics while focusing specifically on the new Keyblade transformations and how the gameplay changes respectively, the game’s timeline and other new stuff involving Kingdom Hearts III, the highly desired Disney-RPG.

“There will be a neat story that will explain about it. It is possible to do it in the beginning of the game. You can transform the Keyblade if conditions are met and there are several transformation stages. When Sora’s Keyblade has been changed into a particular form, you will be able to use its form specific abilities.”

“In addition to the Keyblade transformations for Sora, it becomes possible to maneuver using specific forms and actions. There will be many battle choices. Take whatever strategy, it will be up to the player. Of course, for those who button mash will have an exhilarating experience but for those who want technical fights will also find fun making combinations. In addition to the Keyblade transformations, there is still the Attraction Flow to be appreciated.”

Tetsuya Nomura also detailed when exactly Kingdom Hearts 3 takes place.

It will be something like that. Sora and his friends are going on a new journey, immediately after KINGDOM HEARTS 3D. Also, in KINGDOM HEARTS χ and KINGDOM HEARTS Unchained χ, it will begin to significantly involve Sora’s fate.

He didn’t mention exactly how many forms the game will feature. Although he mentioned that they are currently deciding the game’s ending and it appears that there is a secret movie in the works.

“We are steadily progressing and deciding what to do with the ending… as well as considering content for the secret movie.”

“I’ll leave that to your imagination (laughs). Since there are still opportunities for us to publish information this year, in response to the reaction from E3, I am considering how much information I should show. It’ll be a while until it happens, please wait.”

Kingdom Hearts 3 still has no release date and it will launch for the Xbox One and PS4.

If you have any comment this review, please leave it below.