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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

13 Questions About Kingdom Hearts 3

It's one of my most anticipated games of...whatever year it actually appears.
Usually when I make lists like this, I'm late to the bandwagon. Considering that people aren't expecting Kingdom Hearts 3 to even launch in 2017, I'd say I'm ahead of the hype train. Heh.

Kingdom Hearts is, for the most part fun to play, but the storyline has gotten way too convoluted for me, and I don't think my case is unique. Regardless, Kingdom Hearts is a series that I always manage to come back to for one reason or another, though getting a PS4 for the new compilations is out of the question at the moment, I'd still figure I'd get a few thoughts out on what I personally would like to see happen in Kingdom Hearts 3, and potentially, the next games' saga, because Disney and Square Enix are not going to let this massive cash cow go by the wayside.

1, Will we get a boss theme on par with The Encounter?

Perhaps this is somewhat frivolous compared to some of the other items listed, but you have to admit, it says a lot about the quality of a soundtrack when you can actually name off the actual titles of the themes themselves. The Encounter has to rank up there with the more well-known ones. It's such an impactful boss theme, it keeps your blood pumping and your senses sharp. Since Kingdom Hearts 3 will probably have a lot of new music, one has to wonder if there might be a tune on that level.

2, Will Riku and Kairi visit any of the previous Disney worlds?

Possibly the most likely thing to occur in Kingdom Hearts 3 will be more than one playable character. Sora is the main protagonist but the storylines of the other characters have developed to the point it would make no sense to not be able to play as at least Riku and Kairi. We've have played as Riku in the classic Disney worlds before, in Chains of Memories, but those were just illusionary. (And by classic Disney worlds, I mean the ones in Kingdom Hearts 1. Meh, any world from a past game could count.) We've never played as Kairi in any of the games, she's been mostly a plot device rather than a full fledged character. With her and Lea training to become Keybladers and Riku going to rescue Aqua, eventually one has to wonder if they will both be passing through any familiar lands during the game's run. PS4 and XBox One games have a heck of a lot of space, so it's not unfeasible that there could be a lot of worlds this time around. And who hasn't wondered what Riku and Kairi would look like in the Lion King world or in Halloween Town?

3, Will there be a conclusion to the story of Cloud, Sephiroth and Tifa?

To the credit of the developers, Kingdom Hearts have a pretty good memory for keeping track of all the abstract symbolism of the Kingdom Hearts storyline. However, the one plot point that remains relatively forgotten in a sea of oddities would be just what is the deal with Cloud and company? What are Sephiroth and Tifa to Cloud? Is Sephiroth a Nobody? And Unversed? And what of Tifa? Keeping track and making sense out of Kingdom Hearts' story is like searching for a needle in a haystack that's underwater at night during a solar eclipse, but with all of the story elements introduced over the past decade, you'd think we'd get some clarification on the tale of three of Final Fantasy's most iconic characters?

4, Will there be online multiplayer missions like with 358/2 Days?

Roxas' outing on the DS had a multiplayer feature which was pretty neat - if you had three other players nearby. With the advancement of online play, and the popularity of co-op games such as Monster Hunter, now could be a great time to reimplement the feature. Birth by Sleep Final Mix had a number of optional bosses in the Mirage Arena feature, maybe something like that could work out for 3. From what Nomura has said in the past, an online mode for 3 may be possible, if there's time.

5, Will characters from Pixar, Marvel comics, Star Wars and the Muppets appear in some capacity, if at all? For that matter, will more characters from Square Enix franchises show up?

Disney has been a very busy company the last couple of years. With both Star Wars and Marvel under the House of Mouse's roof, fans have been clamouring to know if Sora will be helping out the Avengers or taking on the Empire. Big Hero 6 has been confirmed to be apart of Kingdom Hearts 3, but it's not the same as seeing Goofy and  Donald having a chat with Rocket Raccoon. We know, at some point, Toy Story was considered to be apart of the first game and Buzz and Woody were almost summonable in the Final Mix version of the second game, but for whatever reason, neither happened. Characters from The World Ends With You, a relative recent yet lesser known Nintendo DS game, appeared in Dream Drop Distance, making them the first non-Final Fantasy characters to appear in the Kingdom Hearts franchise. We all know that Final Fantasy characters have taken a backseat to the Disney side of the equation in recent games, but with the sheer size and scope of Kingdom Hearts 3, maybe more classic Final Fantasy characters could appear.

6, Will Nobodies, Unversed and Dream Eaters return in some capacity?

No one's ever said that Kingdom Hearts didn't have interesting enemy characters. The Heartless are as much a stable of the franchise as Goombas are to Mario and Moblins are to Zelda. The Nobodies added a whole new dynamic to the story, perhaps moreso than the Unversed and the Dream Eaters. Could we get friendly enemy characters as partners again, like we did in Dream Drop Distance? Will we see some new enemy species to fight?

7, What will happen to Roxas, Namine, and Xion, if anything at all?

Roxas and Namine are technically the same people as Sora and Kairi. And Xion was just an imperfect copy of Sora. So why would I ask if anything would happen to them? Because they were listed as people that Sora was supposed to help. Might be hard to help people who are stuck inside you but then again, Kingdom Hearts has never let nonsense stop them before.

8, How could Kingdom Hearts 3 set up future games?

Perhaps we are getting ahead of ourselves here, but from what I've gathered from a brief glance of Kingdom Hearts 3' wiki pages, there will be the tradtional secret movie that can be viewed after the game. Will this movie set up Kingdom Hearts 4? Or will Sora ask out Kairi? Who knows for sure?

9, Are there going to be mysteries left unanswered after 3?

I admit, this could have just as easily had been labeled 8.5, so, humour me. I really don't want there be any remaining mysteries to the Kingdom Hearts story. I don't want any loose plot threads after 3. This is not Gravity Falls, there is no reason to leave things open-ended. This will be the finale of the current storyline, not the franchise itself, so there's no reason why the next Kingdom Hearts games can't start off fresh.

10, Will the Disney heroes themselves ever meet?

Disney barred this from happening but considering that this is the finale of the current story of Kingdom Hearts, maybe they could make an exception. Let me explain. Aladdin may have met Donald and Goofy, but Aladdin has never met Jack Sparrow. (Unless we're counting Disney Infinity. And we're probably not.) One thing that could happen near the end of the game is that all of the heroes that Sora has met over the games could gather together and help fight off Xehanort and an army of monsters.

11, Who could replace Xehanort as a new primary antagonist?

One of the first things we learned about Kingdom Hearts 3 is that this will be the conclusion of the story as it has been. Which means that this will be the last time we see Xehanort. And to be honest, it's not much of a loss if in fact Xehanort is on his way out. Kingdom Hearts is too much of a money maker to end after all these years, so it's not unfeasible that there are more games to come after 3, even if Sora isn't the main protagonist. But the question has to be asked; who could replace Xehanort? As much as I don't care for the character, even I have to concede the impact he's had on countless characters' lives in the story. None of the Disney villains even come close to the level of scheming Xehanort has done, even when his heart and body were split from each other. Xehanort killed Master Eraqus and completely ruined the lives of Aqua, Ventus and Terra. So, if a new villain were to take the reigns of the main antagonist, they've got big shows to fill.

12, Who will not survive?
Although death seems to be about as permanent in Kingdom Hearts as it does in Dragon Ball Z, considering the size of the Dark Seeker saga that will conclude in Kingdom Hearts 3, you have to wonder if some of the cast, if any, will not make it to see the next saga. I doubt someone like Riku would go on the chopping block, but a character like Terra might not be so lucky...if Terra can be considered lucky in the first place. We know Xehanort is probably on his way out, but will he take anyone with him?

12, Will the worlds become one again?

If you pay attention to the lore, at one point in history, every world that Sora and company have visited had at one time been apart of the same world. Considering that this is the big finale of the current storyline, the worlds coming back together could be one way of realistically raising the stakes.

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