The newest trailer for Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind is packed with a plethora of content, already leading to tons of fan speculation and theory-crafting. It's certainly a far cry from the announcement trailer we received back in June!
Today, I'll be trying my best to analyze the various new scenes and gameplay segments. With that said, let's get started!
The trailer begins with a scene from the original Kingdom Hearts III, where the monstrously large Demon Tide proceeds to kill Sora and the rest of the heroes. On screen however, we are treated to new dialogue from Chirithy emboldened in the familiar, bright gold that we have come to know since the original announcement trailer for Re Mind.
"The heart you have now already existed during that time. It had already gone back into the past. Nothing can change that fact."
This seemingly integral line from Chirithy is most likely referring to when Sora used the power of waking to restore everyone's hearts after the events at the Keyblade Graveyard, thereby going back in time to before it happened. This is reinforced by the trailer showing the very scene in which everyone falls. Chirithy saying this to Sora also has to mean that this exchange must be taking place after Xehanort is defeated, and Sora is searching for a way to restore Kairi. This comes further into play later on in trailer, so let's move on for now.
We are then treated to a scene of Lea throwing his chakrams towards Xion, with her deflecting them back at him. It seems like Lea can transform his Keyblade into his familiar chakrams now which is rather interesting. Some new dialogue with Kairi and Lea is shown as well. Lea remarks upon the appearance of Xion's Keyblade, while Kairi realizes that it looks exactly like Sora's.
Something rather noteworthy however, is Lea's interrupted question of-
This is incredibly odd since at this point in time in the original game, Lea did not remember who Xion was until Xemnas came soon after. Regardless of this being a new scenario, it is rather bizarre that Lea would seemingly realize who Xion was at this point. It can possibly be that he somehow remembered it sooner because this is an alternate scenario, and events became drastically different. Or he might not think that's Xion at all and we're all off base, who knows! This is just baseless speculation however, so let's move on.
After that interrupted line, we are suddenly treated to a brand new segment of gameplay. There is no HUD so it is either edited out, or triggered by something like a Situation Command. Lea transforms his Keyblade into his two chakrams and throws them at Saix who is in his Berserker state. The chakrams arc around Saix incredibly quickly, while Roxas and Xion attack him from the ground. It's not over yet though! Roxas and Xion then run towards Saix in opposing directions and do a well executed slash. This gameplay segment ends with Lea performing a final, fiery chakram slam onto the ground where Saix is.
This is a rather impressive set of sequences, and it seems to either be the "linkage" that Nomura was referring to, or simply just team attacks with your party members during their respective final fights. Either way, this is a very welcome change to make these fights even more exciting and cinematic. Also of note is that both Sora and Kairi are absent for the duration of this gameplay segment, so it is possible that Sora is going to go save Kairi in this new scenario, leaving Saix to the Sea Salt trio. We do not see any actual gameplay control here so it is hard to guess if Lea and Xion are controllable. I think it's safe to assume no, and that Roxas is the only playable character during this fight since we have received no confirmation saying otherwise.
Up next we see Sora talking to Chirithy in The Final World. Sora's form looks completely normal, and not transparent like how it was when he first came here during the main story, so this is most likely after the defeat of Xehanort. His objective would obviously be searching for a way to restore Kairi back to normal after her unfortunate demise, which is what he sets out to do during the original game's ending.
Sora remarks how Kairi's heart hasn't been lost yet and that she is still around, somehow. Chirithy says "Maybe, but this time, the situation is a lot worse."
There is a lot to unpack here. Kairi has been in The Final World before, back when she was holding Sora's form together while he restored everyone else back to normal. Kairi wasn't in any particularly special kind of danger during the initial visit, since her very reason for being there matched up with everyone else's. She is a Princess of Heart, but that does not seem to have too much bearing on what is happening here. In this instance, Kairi could be in more danger since she was literally just in The Final World not too long ago, and going there too often can possibly jeopardize ones existence. She also came here during the two times when her life was in danger of literally snuffing out for good. Sora, as Chirithy remarked during his initial visit, has come here a number of times throughout his life, but none of them had him in actual peril of death. Kairi coming here twice in a row under such dire circumstances could certainly be a reason as to why this situation is far worse. This scene ties back to the line we heard from Chirithy at the beginning of the trailer, and is assuredly the same context.
After that, we get to see a new boss battle! It is a bit hard to see who this is, what with the hectic blocking and Keyblade whirlwinds about, but it is most certainly Vanitas, or rather, his Lingering Spirit.
His figure, along with his iconic Keyblade whirlwinds, and the manner of how he attacks all reflect Vanitas's Lingering Spirit from Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. I have no definitive proof of this, but I think it is safe to assume that this is an extra, optional boss that is being added in. The amount of health bars he has really reinforces this as well. The arena this fight takes place in also vaguely reminds me of Scala ad Caelum, with how the floor is decorated. Perhaps you can access a variety of superbosses from Scala ad Caelum? We don't know for sure, but it would make sense considering the minimal usage of that world in the original game.
Sora has a brand new form here too, with the returning Oblivion Keyblade! It's quite nice to see it return for the third numbered title. Sora's attire doesn't seem radically different from his normal outfit with the exception of the darker tone of colors. Sora's form with the Oblivion Keyblade is "Dark Form", and you can see some of its key (no pun intended) attributes right away.
Sora's guard is very reminiscent of Aqua's barrier and Riku's dark barrier from Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. He is able to guard from all directions, with chains being in the center of the sphere. It also reminds me a lot of reflect from Kingdom Hearts II, but that is probably just a coincidence with its appearance. I sincerely doubt its mechanics are similar. The gauge building up above the command menu also seems to imply that "Dark Form" has two levels. There are no arrows appearing which further cements that. Additionally, the 'Attack' command gets replaced by 'Dark Burst' after guarding so it is conceivably a reprisal. Sadly, that is about all we get to see of "Dark Form", but have no fear because we have another exciting new boss battle shown right after this one!
Next up, we have a very Red Dead Redemption-like standoff.
Jokes aside, we barely see anything of substance in this new fight against Xigbar (or Luxu if you prefer to call him that now). At least we get a better look at Sora in his new Oathkeeper Keyblade transformation, as well as a very brief Situation Command input of sorts
You have to time the 'Quick Shot' command correctly to both properly dodge Xigbar's shot as well as hitting him successfully in the process. Sora manages to hit Xigbar here, and as a result, he staggers and falls over while dropping both of his arrowguns in the process.
There isn't much to say here due to the lack of HUD and actual combat outside of this quick time event. The arena looks identical to the Vanitas Lingering Spirit one so it has to be a superboss too.
Sora being alone in these fights is also something unique to take note of. That is a clear difference to the superbosses in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, since most of those fights brought over your party members. The lack of party members here can make the fights less obstructive which is always a plus in my book.
The next scene shows Aqua telling off Terra-Xehanort, saying how she's going to cast him out of Terra forever. Once again, we're seeing additional dialogue in these final fights with Sora not present. Something to note here is that the Japanese dialogue is slightly different. Instead of the English captions saying "There's only one thing I want, with all my heart", the Japanese dialogue says "The only thing I've wished for the past 10 years is..." This isn't a drastic difference since the overall message is the same, but it is an slight translation altercation to simply take note of. Afterwards, we see a "linkage" or team attack with Ventus and Aqua.
This is one of my favorite parts of the trailer actually, and that seems to be the case with a number of people. Aqua casts blizzard and creates an ice rail that Ventus rides on with his Wayward Wind Keyblade. Ventus then performs a couple of fancy spins and lands on Vanitas, causing a large crystal of ice to spawn at the epicenter of his landing. It is a bit difficult to make out who he lands on, but thanks to slow-motion playback, I was able to confirm that it is indeed Vanitas.
Sora is not present in this fight either, so it is once again very plausible that he has gone off to save Kairi in this scenario.
The next scene shows the Master of Masters talking to Young Xehanort in what is most likely the same conversation that we saw in the original Re Mind trailer.
There is a lot of confusion over what the Master of Masters means when he says "false light". My interpretation of this scene is that he is brainwashing Young Xehanort into wanting to cause another Keyblade War and commit a 'purge' to reset the worlds. It is uncertain what context the "false light" is referring to, but it is probable that since this seems to take place in the far past, Young Xehanort saw or dealt with something that made him question his belief in the balance of light and dark. The Masters of Masters played the foretellers like a fiddle in the events of Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover leading to the causation of a Keyblade War, so it isn't too far-fetched to assume that he would do the same with Young Xehanort. This can also take place in present day, and if that's the case, this conversation only perplexes me further.
Another note regarding translation is that instead of the Master of Masters saying "What do you want for the world?" in English captions, the Japanese dialogue states "What do you want for the world [after it has been covered in darkness]?" I am unsure as to what these Japanese exclusive lines are really implying, but it can be that the Master of Masters is desperately trying to make it seem as if the worlds are truly, entirely gone and beyond redemption. The worlds are already fully coated in darkness, and the only way to undo that is to reset everything with the power that lies within Kingdom Hearts. Well, that is my take on this conversation at least. I can be entirely wrong. You also don't see Young Xehanort's eyes in this trailer which makes me a bit wary. His eyes in the original Re Mind trailer were silver, but this might be a different scene, or Young Xehanort could get gifted the golden eyes during this fateful conversation. The angle also might just be this way to make the scene more dramatic. Any of these are plausible explanations.
The next scene is one of the most confusing ones in this trailer.
Sora is conversing with Namine at the Station of Awakening. His statement regarding "Terra" and "them" can only mean Ventus and Aqua. Coupling Terra with anyone else wouldn't make much sense in a variety of contexts. Additionally, considering that it would be "bad news if either of them [got] hurt", can only imply Ventus and Aqua since once again, those are who Terra cares for the most in the entirety of the cast. But then, Sora says this-
"The world of ocean and sky" can only mean The Final World. But, this raises a bunch of questions. Why is Sora telling her to go there, and what exactly is he doing? Well, while I don't know, there are a couple things to remember here. Namine does appear in The Final World in the original game, so is Sora telling her to go there implying that this is how she gets there in the first place? Sora was surprised when initially seeing her there though. Or maybe, she goes back there again for some reason we just don't know of. Kairi does die from Xehanort, but this conversation seems to be taking place prior to any of that happening. It's plausible that this is taking place before Sora turns back time somehow, and he is attempting to bring back Ventus and Aqua specifically to gain Lingering Will's aid. Granted, there are a lot of holes with this theory since Sora would want to save everyone regardless, but maybe him pointing out Terra specifically implies that they really do need him to turn the tides. Sora's serious tone and facial animation here also makes me wonder if he is maybe playing some sort of out of bounds, metaphysical game that goes beyond the metaphorical chess board we're all familiar with. This is just a wild guess but the way that Sora is talking in this scene seems far more competent and responsible than the Sora we're used to. Maybe this is a Sora who knows what's going to happen. Him knowing that everything was taken away from him, and that it could easily happen again could be a driving force for him to act like this. Then again, I can also be reading far too deep into this and this is actually relating to entirely different events. That's the beauty of speculation, we don't know for sure! Either way, I am very curious as to what is going on here.
And finally, the trailer ends with a tease.
Lingering Will and Terra-Xehanort face off and dash towards each other, but before the clash occurs, the title card shows up. There is unfortunately no definitive release date yet. This last scene is incredibly short so there isn't much info to garner here. You can see the Organization's meeting rock towers in the background which is a nice set-piece. Since there's nobody else around in the vicinity, this could very well be taking place after Lingering Will saves the party from Terra-Xehanort and goes after him. This could also possibly mean a playable Lingering Will. I would very much like that, but that might be me being a bit too hopeful.
And that's it! For being a mere 1:42 trailer, there is certainly quite a bit to unpack here! While I don't expect any of my theories to be right, I find it pretty fun to analyze these scenes and form my own conclusions.
If I missed anything notable, or made a severe mistake, please let me know! Civilly, of course. I hope you enjoyed this analysis and that Re Mind excites you as much as it does me.
Translations for the Aqua and Master of Master lines were done by KH13 Staff Member @Solis
You can watch the second Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind trailer here.
We have already done coverage of this trailer here.
Is there anything in Re Mind you're particularly excited by or hopeful for?