Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts III

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Kingdom Hearts III is a video game in the Kingdom Hearts series published by Square Enix and directed by Tetsuya Nomura and Tai Yasue. It is set to be released in 2018. It is the long-awaited official next entry in the series after 2005's Kingdom Hearts II, though the plot of Kingdom Hearts III will incorporate elements from the many side games in the Kingdom Hearts series released between 2005 and 2018, and will specifically take place after the events of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.


At the end of Kingdom Hearts II, a secret ending hinted at the events of new events in the Kingdom Hearts series. At first, rumors circulated that this was a look into Kingdom Hearts 3 (shown below). Eventually, it turned out to be a teaser for 2010's Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, a side game in the series featuring characters different from the core cast.

After the 2007 rerelease of Kingdom Hearts II, known as Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, Nomura stated he was approached by Disney for a third game in the series.[1] However, his commitment to what would become Final Fantasy XV delayed any progress on Kingdom Hearts III. He stated that Kingdom Hearts III would not see release until after 2012. Later, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance for the Nintendo 3DS was announced as having a connection to Kingdom Hearts III. A teaser trailer for Kingdom Hearts III was shown at E3 2013 (shown below). It was later announced that the game would also appear on the Xbox One.

In early 2014, actor Hayley Joel Osmont, the voice of Sora, announced he was in talks with the development team to voice the character again. In September of 2014, Nomura was taken off Final Fantasy XV so he could focus on other projects, including Kingdom Hearts III. Trailers for the game appeared in subsequent video game events, such as E3 and D23 (examples shown below), though Square Enix would not confirm a timetable for release. It wasn't until 2017 that Square Enix announced a 2018 release timetable for Kingdom Hearts III. That year, they also revealed a trailer featuring the main characters in a Toy Story world (shown below, left).

Series composer Yoko Shimomura will return to compose the third installment of the series. Singer Utada Hikaru, who sang the theme songs "Simple and Clean" and "Sanctuary" for Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II, respectively, recorded the theme song for Kingdom Hearts III, "Chikai" ("Don't Think Twice" in English).


On December 15th, 2018, Twitter user @Nibellion posted to Twitter alerting fans that the full version of Kingdom Hearts III on the Xbox One had leaked.[11] The copies were allegedly stolen from distributors.[12]

tweet warning people that the game Kingdom Hearts 3 had leaked

It was reported that screenshots and clips of the game had surfaced online, putting fans who did not wish to be spoiled on edge. The game's director, Tetsuya Nomora, tweeted a plea to fans to not share the screenshots, saying "let's enjoy the game together" on its release day. Of note, he also stated that the game's ending an epilogue, which contained the most spoilers, would not be released until launch day, so they would not be spoiled.

tweet by the official Kingdom Hearts twitter with a plea for fans to not spoil the game to others

Additionally, the game's "Final Battle" trailer was released a day early as a result of the leak.

Online Presence

Kingdom Hearts III has developed a strong online presence from fans in part due to the long delay between itself and Kingdom Hearts II. It is a frequent topic of discussion on the /r/KingdomHearts[2] and has two devoted subreddits of its own.[3][4] Rumors about the game are a frequent topic for gaming news publications.[5][6] A now-dead Facebook page[7] devoted to Kingdom Hearts III rumors gained 15,000 likes before going silent in 2015. A similar Twitter account[8] has gained over 5,400 followers.

Amazon vs. Kingdom Hearts Fans

On November 23rd, 2018, Twitter account Kingdom Hearts Insider confirmed that Amazon would be streaming a new Kingdom Hearts III trailer and announcing new DLC on Cyber Monday, November 26th, 2018.

tweet announcing Amazon Kingdom Hearts deal for Cyber Monday

However, the "new" trailer promised turned out to be a shortened version of an already existing Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer, and the "DLC" was a reskinned Keyblade available to those who preorder the game through Amazon.

Fans responded angrily about the discrepancy between what they were promised and what was delivered. Twitter user @SnowEmbrace tweeted a photoshopped image of a Kingdom Hearts character kicking the Amazon logo (shown below, left). User @MissGofio tweeted an image of Sora holding a gun (shown below, right).

picture of a Kingdom Hearts character kicking the Amazon logo Sora from Kingdom Hearts holding a gun in response to the Amazon debacle

Amazon joked that their new trailer was "consumed by heartless," later clarifying that they did not receive a new one as they were promised from Square Enix. This also prompted angry reactions as fans felt Amazon was being flippant.[9] An inquiry about the controversy was posted to /r/OutOfTheLoop[10] and gained over 250 points.

tweet by Amazon saying the exclusive Kingdom Hearts content they promised was eaten by monsters from the game


Kingdom Hearts 3 received positive reviews ahead of its release, securing an 89/100 on Metacritic.[13] However, not all critics were impressed. Polygon[14] wrote that the game concluded the series with a "whimper," writing "The capper of such a grandiose saga should carry a sense of urgency, but Kingdom Hearts 3, from the start, stumbles toward its big finale with the pace and intent of a plastic bag in the wind." Kotaku[15] argued that the game was "unreviewable," and encouraged players to go in blind if they had not played the myriad prequels.

Monsters, Inc. Goofy

Kingdom Hearts 3's Monsters, Inc. Goofy refers to Disney character Goofy as he appears in the Disney-Pixar film Monsters, Inc. -themed level from Kingdom Hearts III. The grotesque nature of the character led to jokes online about Goofy's appearance. On February 10th, 2018, the Kingdom Hearts YouTube channel uploaded a new trailer for the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts 3, which showed the cast interacting with the cast from Disney-Pixar's Monsters Inc. (shown below).

People were quick to make jokes about Goofy's appearance (examples shown below).

drawing of Monsters Inc Goofy meeting his son Max tweet comparing Monsters Inc Goofy to Scooby Doo announcement that Monsters Inc Goofy is a meme

Aqua Got Norted

Aqua Got Norted is a catchphrase within the Kingdom Hearts fandom after a trailer for the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III showed that the character Aqua, a major player in the side game Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, appears to have been possessed by the villainous Xehanort.

On June 10th, 2018, Square Enix released a trailer for the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III during Microsoft's press conference at E3 2018. One of the major clips from the trailer showed the character Aqua with yellow eyes, suggesting that she'd been possessed by Xehanort (shown below). Part of Xehanort's plan in the series is to split his soul into multiple different people, similar to what Voldemort did in the Harry Potter series with horcruxes. In the Kingdom Hearts fandom, characters infected with Xehanort are referred to as being "norted."

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Kingdom Hearts III will be released Thirteen years after Kingdom Hearts II was released
Thirteen years after Kingdom Hearts II was released
Thirteen years after Kingdom Hearts II
Thirteen years

There is no way this wasn't intentionally planned by Nomura.


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