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[UPDATED] Kingdom Hearts III Critical Mode will be released tomorrow as a free update in Update 1.04; Update 1.05 available shortly after

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It has just been announced by the official Kingdom Hearts Facebook and Twitter accounts that Kingdom Hearts III's Critical Mode will be released tomorrow, April 23rd, as a free update

Tetsuya Nomura's message is as follows:


Greetings, it’s been a while since I last posted. Spring is here, and I hope everyone is doing well. #KingdomHearts III's long-awaited Critical Mode is available as a free update tomorrow (PT). We’ve changed things up from the previous games, so I hope you enjoy

In the official Japanese Twitter for the game series, Nomura specifies that the update will be released on April 24th in Japan (JST). You can read the translation by Goldpanner below.

UPDATE [Apr 23, 2019]: The Square Enix website has been updated with technical information concerning two upcoming Kingdom Hearts III updates, Update 1.04 and 1.05, and has stated the time of release as 11 AM JST on April 24th (7PM PST on April 23rd), although it seems that 1.05 will be downloadable at a slightly later time. Update 1.04 will contain the Critical Mode updates and some more changes as detailed below; Update 1.05 will implement changes such as carrying over Keyblade from previous game clear data on starting a new game, and increasing the Gummiphone's photo capacity to 200. Read the details below for more information.


We will deliver a new game mode "Critical mode" on April 24, 2019 (Wednesday).
Besides, we will do the following updates

○ Delivery schedule
■ Wednesday, April 24 11:00
・ Updates
1.04, 1.05 ※ 1.04 and 1.05 have a slightly different delivery time.
Please start the game after confirming that 1.05 has been downloaded and installed.

About the contents of 1.04
■ "Critical mode" has been added to the game's difficulty mode, and new abilities can be used.
■ Adjusted the behavior of some enemy characters.
■ The treasures acquired on the Frozen slide mini-game can now be checked from the results screen and the Gummiphone.
■ A check mark is now displayed on synthesized items in the Moogle Shop.
■ We added messages such as game help.
■ Fixed various problems.
■ When this version is installed, new save data is created.

About the content of 1.05
■ When starting a new game with "New Game", it will be possible to take over the Keyblades etc. from the game clear data.
■ We changed processing on photography and enabled saving up to 200 photos.
■ Fixed various problems.

※ Internet connection is required to download updates and additional content.

The Critical Mode is the hardest difficulty for Kingdom Hearts games offered to only a select number of games in the series. This difficulty for Kingdom Hearts III was first announced by co-director Tai Yasue at the 2019 Game Developers Conference last month.

Yasue stated that Critical Mode in Kingdom Hearts III would be more than just a value change, referring to the HP, MP, and damage output of Sora, his allies, and the game's various enemies. He also said that Critical Mode is "more technical and offensive," and will be geared toward those who are "good at action games" and at "timing their attacks". He stated that the skill required will change the way that players will play the game.

UPDATE [Apr 23, 2019]: According to the website Automaton Media's sources, Critical Mode will include halved HP and MP values, reduced Situation Command and Grand Magic frequency, and new Critical Mode-exclusive abilities. In addition, more abilities will be available at the start of the game, and players with a completed save file will be able to carry existing items and Keyblade upgrades into a new save file, in a fashion similar to a "New Game Plus" feature.

UPDATE [Apr 23, 2019]: Square Enix have confirmed that Update 1.04 will release in the West at the same time as in Japan! It will release on April 23 AT 7 PM PT/10 PM ET, and on April 24 at 2 AM UTC.

The Critical Mode was recently featured in a 13 minute video on the official Square Enix Japanese YouTube channel. Check it out below.


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This seems so out of the blue... But then again, what more should I have expected from Square? I'll be playing KH3 for the first time in 3 months tomorrow, and hopefully it'll address the issues everyone has

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Ah, the first round of post-release DLC (the ending movies don't count, that was just a precaution). Really hope that after this we can expect some more of those story/gameplay changes/additions they teased before in another two months or so. At the very least an E3 tease would be nice.

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1 hour ago, Movies798 said:

Oh hell yeah! Can't wait to download the update! However, I think I should wait for the other DLC updates before I play it again? The new DLC update about Xion should time a little longer to get. Hopefully more DLC's adds more story elements into Kingdom Hearts 3.

That's what I'm going to do. I'll download the Critical Mode update, but I'm waiting for the story DLC updates before I do another full on playthrough of the game. It'll be worth it to play at a higher difficulty with new cutscenes, and this time I won't be rushing through just to see Roxas and the gang comeback lol.

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Of course it can get better. Avengers this week lol

On 4/22/2019 at 2:29 PM, Tails said:

FIrst the Smash bros Ultimate Joker DLC drops and now the new Critical Mode DLC drops tomorrow. Man can this month get any better?

I didnt know how to quote, and now I dont know how to delete my previous comment. But I meant to quote this, ofc it can get better, we have avengers this week too.

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I won't even bother trying. I'm not that good with videogames because I struggled in the whole the game,  evening tho I managed to fail just once, without taking in consideration, the Keyblade Graveyard and Scala ad Caleum.

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