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Found 42 results

  1. Square Enix has announced that Kingdom Hearts Dark Road has been updated to Version 5.01, which provides the following changes: Some story dialogue and cutscenes have been adjusted Implemented various bug fixes This update was initially confirmed via the official Kingdom Hearts Dark Road Q&A conducted with Tetsuya Nomura. If you'd like to see each of the changes, check out the following video by Kingdom Hearts content creator Damo:
  2. Square Enix has announced that Kingdom Hearts Dark Road has been updated to Version 5.01, which provides the following changes: Some story dialogue and cutscenes have been adjusted Implemented various bug fixes This update was initially confirmed via the official Kingdom Hearts Dark Road Q&A conducted with Tetsuya Nomura. If you'd like to see each of the changes, check out the following video by Kingdom Hearts content creator Damo: View full article
  3. It’s been 2 years since the release of Dark Road and going on hiatus. Now we were graced with a pile full of cutscenes to it’s Finale, I can finally speak my thoughts on the entirety of the story with gameplay, presentation, the revelations, the whole sha-bang. Before I dive into this, before you consider reading, I must warn you that there are spoilers ahead. There is so much to tell my feelings toward this particular title. If you wish to avoid that, I’ll at least start with the artist notes of my Dark Road poster I did back in 2021. I’ll even briefly speak on gameplay because there’s not much to it honestly. But after that, spoiler overload. Let’s start with the summary of the story: A young boy, Xehanort, had left his tiny world of a home and arrived in Scala Ad Caelum as an apprentice to become a Keyblade Master alongside his best friend, Eraqus, and his fellow classmates. One day, their teacher informs the classmates that the upperclassman have gone missing. So he assigns a mission to Xehanort and the others to explore the worlds in search for clues of the missing upperclassman. Little did he know that this mission would change him forever, that it would lead down a dark path… (Thoughts on story are past the spoiler point) __________ Starting with gameplay! It’s pretty similar to the gameplay in Union Cross, but you’re using cards (which is ironic because the original browser version also used cards then the mobile version made them medals). Much also like UX, there is an option to auto play, which to some is instantly a wasted game. I can agree to some extent. I mainly use auto play to grind and be away from my phone for awhile. However, I do play manually on certain bosses in the story or just tougher bosses in general. It ironically felt quicker doing it manually anyway considering the auto play felt slower. Another aspect of the gameplay that’s different from Union Cross is choosing your party members throughout the story. This only occurs mainly in the first 3 chapters. The characters you choose are 4 of your classmates with different abilities: Hermod for attack, Bragi for defense, Urd for Blizzard, and Vor for magic boost. Despite what you choose, there are certain cutscenes that allow you to choose a character to be put in said cutscene. It doesn’t change the outcome of the scenario, but the character interactions are slightly different. There is one character I will not name I chose for awhile for their ability in combat, but there was one scene where another character had a certain interest I just couldn’t refuse picking them out. I felt they purposely made it this way that will stick with you in a way that is impactful. That will be saved in the spoiler section. In regard to grinding, I feel is what keeps people away from giving the gameplay a chance. Keep in mind, it’s no longer online meaning no gacha system can stop you for feeling robbed aside from time. The way to earn and purchase certain cards in the game, you have to earn BP. The caveat to this is that BP is also your EXP for Xehanort. So, it can be difficult to choose between cards and your exp. So, it feels like you have no choice but to grind away for who knows how long just to continue the story smoothly. In fact, I don’t blame anyone for skipping the gameplay and look up the entire story online instead without any worry about grinding. That being said, I was pretty lucky to save my app for the entirety of that hiatus to maintain my data I’ve saved for the past 5 years since I’ve had Union Cross. Because Dark Road also gave free BP after however many hours you’ve left the game untouched. Sadly, that is no longer the case after the update. But I sure had a lot more than I thought to purchase all the cards with my BP. As such, I got through this in a breeze within 4 hours. The gameplay is not the draw of Dark Road, it can be tedious depending on your position. That was mostly for those who just downloaded the game or, based on certain reports, corruption of their progress. There is something else regarding the gameplay I’d like to briefly speak about. But that will be saved in the spoiler section. ::::: ARTIST NOTES So, I actually first shared this back in 2021 during the March Caprice online event. But it was the only place I uploaded to. With that out of the way, the art piece itself was very fun to do. Obviously, I’ve been drawing Young Xehanort a lot recently (in case you don’t know, he’s my favorite character) and this drawing is just one of the many. The biggest challenge for me was the background. The sky was pretty straightforward, since it was inspired by the sky in the opening of KH3. However, doing the islands in a silhouette night setting reflecting the waters was a tricky thing to do. I’ve always wanted to seen Scala at night and I just drew what I envisioned. The main color I choose was purple. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of the title being green for Dark Road in particular. I do understand that it’s meant to connect to the Union Cross era. But the story of Dark Road would be more suitable for with purple. So, I give this art piece some purple vibe. ———————————— So now, with that out of the way, I warn you again the heavy spoilers ahead because I have so much to say. Please please PLEASE be sure to watch or play the game first before proceeding the spoiler section. I also want to share a link of my review on KHUX finale here >>> https://www.kh13.com/gallery/image/69286-the-final-break/ I will bring up some points from that review and utilize this here. Now, without further adieu, here are my rambling thoughts. ⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️ Bit of a background here. I’ve played Union Cross when it first released respectfully inl the U.S. back in 2016. Little did I know that eventually, 5 years later, in 2020, another story would be integrated in the same app. In other words, you could play 2 games in one app simultaneously, in a sense. Of course, during that year it was released, they graced us with only 3 chapters. It only took a couple more years to finally experience the rest of the story to 8 chapters altogether. The question stands: was it worth the wait? It depends who you ask. Some will play the game regardless the progress and others would watch on YouTube. As someone who did play the game since it’s release and finished the finale within 4 hours, here is my perspective on how it impacted me as a KH fan and a loyal player to this app game. I think I mentioned this in my KHUX finale poster that I’m not into MMOs. However, this game has given me a tiny taste of sticking with this world and it’s story for a long period of time. Like watching a long-running show, movie, and game series, you are attached to the world you live in. They eventually had to come to an end and seeing it happen leaves a bit of grievances. This happened for me with KHUX. Now with Dark Road finally completed after 2 years of a hiatus, this gave me somewhat the same thing. The difference is said hiatus and that it dropped all episodes in one to naturally complete via quests. I feel it would be more impactful if they had uploaded the episodes one by one within the 2 year gap. However, the story itself is still quite an emotional experience: more so than I could ever imagine. Enough beating around the bush, Let’s get to the meat of this! VVVVVVVV SO……the story….OH MY GOODNESS THE STORY…..is one of the best written in the series! I cannot say whether or not it’s better than Days writing, but I adored how DR was handled with the delivery and execution. This is also a bonus since Young Xehanort is my favorite KH character and to see him get the spotlight is all the more reason to love this title. I can’t even stress enough how much I enjoyed Xehanort’s character in-sight throughout the game. Seeing him actually be genuinely funny and even moments of vulnerability, especially surprisingly his elder self, was a delight to watch despite him being presented as a 2D flat model with no voice acting. This made me love Xehanort even more, especially his younger self. This is the most character I have seen from him and it’s in a mobile game. Let me remind you that there were only 2 animators during this project in particular. Despite the small number, they managed to animate the characters quite well. I’ve said this back in the UX review, and I still find it impressive. Not jest Xehanort, but for all the characters and environments. That being said, I still hope that Square would consider giving Dark Road a chance to have proper production quality and value via Unreal Engine 4 or 5 as a remake game or a movie. Not just Dark Road, but the entirety of the χ Saga, including Missing Link. One of the coolest things they did in Dark Road is the integration of Disney worlds made us for world building in the world of KH. Each world had served a purpose for the growth of the characters and how crucial they are to the world order. The only title that was close to that was KH1 and a bit of Birth by Sleep. The rest of the games had suffered that issue and were made only as filler. Of course, you could argue that you can view them as parallels to the themes and certain characters with their circumstances or just want to visit these worlds because we love Disney, both reasons are completing reasonable. However, with how much the series is growing and gaining more world building, I feel it was time to make these worlds useful and utilize them to help the characters (both original and Disney characters) with their growth and have consequences. Dark Road is one that did the Disney integration the best so far. In light of this, if Disney steps back a bit aside from being picky with stories and sticks with being picky over design choices and character sustenance in certain properties they own, then perhaps the future titles can allow the Disney worlds to be more interesting with different or tweaked plots to make them important to the already huge world of KH. ————————— I would like to share my favorite moments that stuck with me, but I’d like to share one more thing. I mentioned previously a certain gameplay aspect I wanted to talk about in the spoiler section. The bosses I fight since the beginning of chapter 4 were interesting to say the least. After finishing the story, I can fight them again for bigger BP and to fill my album. This is where I bring my point on why I wished they still let us play the game within the 2 year hiatus. It feels pointless to continue grinding after you finish the story. I have yet to hear any confirmation that there is a secret secret episode after completing your library of enemies and such. I gladly can rewatch the cutscenes I theater mode, but the gameplay felt even more wasted. Continuing on the bosses, there is one boss I felt didn’t feel as impactful like KHUX did. The final Boss you fight in the story is a Hearltess. Not just any heartless, it is one connected to one of the characters names Baldr (we’ll get to him in a bit). A reminder that all the classmates aside from Xehanort and Eraqus are named after Norse Mythology. So, how poetic that the Heartless under Baldr is named Hringhorn, which is the name of Baldr’s ship in said Norse mythology. There’s no denying that it’s an incredibly cool reference. However, I feel it would be more impactful if I fought Hringhorn first then fight Baldr as the final boss. I’ll get to why in the favorite moments section. ————————— I got a LOT to say about the scenes that stuck with me. I’ll be honest, it’s quite a lot. I’d argue that the entirety of Dark Road is just my favorite altogether. I will try my best to condense as much as possible to make make it too long. But, truthfully, I really want to share my love for this title. Regardless, buckle up, have some popcorn and a drink! This is not in order, this is more of a ramble if anything LOL 1. The biggest focus of the story is on Xehanort make no mistake. However, this is where I condense my list a bit by mentioning his relationship with Eraqus in particular. The chemistry could make a list of each moment. Their bond throughout the story is what made it enjoyable. Whether they argue on their beliefs, roast each other, dealing with their trauma, or just chilling & playing chess. Those two have the best chemistry in the series and it did not require a third person to make that bond special. No matter how you look at it (a ship, friendship, brothers, etc.), there’s no denying that it’s real wholesome and charming. Seeing their progression as individuals, how to they sort of grew apart, and even giving me a whole different view when rewatching them in the past games (particularly BBS and KH3). 2. Did I mention how kinda funny Xehanort was in DR? I could could name a few that struck me in the funny bone, especially the carpet scene. However, the one scene that really made him shine with a bit of comedy was his first time meeting the Master of Masters before the remind scene. It was not only funny, but it also combined with a good dose of your typical KH psychology on light and darkness, the strong and the weak, etc. I recommend you see the scene yourselves. I’d argue that it’s up on my top 5 favorite scenes in the series. We just need voice acting from Ray Chase and Ben Diskin alongside some good quality production treatment & you have a perfect scene! 3. One small thing I want to share that made me glad to choose the character Vor in Wonderland is what made a scene with her in Dwarf Woodlands so memorable. She was the first characters to display some character compared to the others. The beginning of chapter 4 made it more so and why she was my favorite classmate. She saves the dwarfs from a a boulder blacking a passage….by over-shouldering the big massive boulder despite her size. I had to leave the app to contemplate and ponder, eventually concluding her as the best classmate. This will eventually lead to an event that made me feel validated why choosing her in a cutscene in Wonderland made a scene later on more impactful. - This event was when we learn that all the students get taken out by Darkness. Of course, seeing Vor being one of them is incredibly heartbreaking. I knew the moment she had a personality and the fact that she is adorable and sweet compared to the others gave me a gut feeling that something big will happen to her and it wasn’t the fan theory hope she was Kairi’s grandmother. Seeing her die in Eraqus’s arms and Xehanort tears up alongside Eraqus made it all the more heart wrenching. 4. One of the most heartbreaking and shocking scenes in this game is learning how much loss Xehanort and Eraqus went through. I remember the first time seeing the end of the first chapter. It shows Xehanort laying flowers on 4 graves. This leads to assume that his fellow classmates have passed away. Of course, within the 2 years on hiatus, we theorize and speculate so desperately for any hope that some students survived. The cemetery scene was one of my favorites for awhile. But after Xehanort lost not only his own (including Baldr), but the missing upperclassman whom he confronted which was now all for naught, it made the cemetery scene [in chapter 1 and the last chapter] all the more powerful. - (Side note, when I first saw end of the first chapter, considering that it was raining in the game, it was also raining + thundering on my end and I was eating ice cream…this is definitely the game for me LOL) 5. Remember when I mentioned how DR has shown Disney worlds being utilized as crucial elements that help the story’s world building? A great example is old man Master Xehanort revisits the mirror in Dwarf Woodlands after 64 years to ask it some questions. These questions he asked and how he responds to the answers given by the mirror, it surprised me to see him genuinely vulnerable at that old age. It’s always quite a treat to see a different side to him we’ve em ever seen since the first time we saw him. I’d say even since meeting Ansem SoD the first time back in KH1. 6. Another huge thing I need to talk is a moment that broke me. In the secret ending of DR, we rewatch the scene from KHUX of a young woman giving away infant Xehanort to the blue-robes figure. We move to a few years later from that (or rather 9 years ago before the current events of DR), we then meet with a supposedly 6-year-old Xehanort snuggled on the blue robe person. We learn quite a few things from this conversation. One I want to speak on is a line that truly hurt in the heart. There were theories about the woman that gave Xehanort away was either his mother or it wasn’t. But this line he says confirms this by saying, “when I get strong enough, will I get to see my mom again too?” I can’t even tell you how much that line broke me. I always have a sensitive spot for kids who don’t have parents (whether one lives or both not present at all). It makes me more than eager to learn more about his mother (especially since Nomura has confirmed she is related to a crucial character). Speaking of relatives… 7. We learn that Xehanort was in fact a descendant of Ephemer, the leader of the Dandelions back in KHUX. Not only that, the crucial character I mentioned is that Xehanort’s mother is related to Skuld. I don’t know how, but I look forward to Missing Link to answer all these questions. 8. You may notice I did not mention another crucial thing: Xehanort being a reincarnation of the player. Welp…..looks like Nomura did a bait-in-switch on us all. Turns out that it’s not the case. We learned that Xehanort can feel and see through other people’s hearts (aka, an empath apparently). As such, he was confirmed by the blue-robed figure to be the Child of Destiny, a special child that hails from the isles of Destiny who can embrace the hearts of others and to save the world from Darkness. Of course, that obviously not the case to which it is implied that it was very likely Sora. What does that have to do with the player you ask? Well, the reason we see the memories of the player is the for mentioned ability of Xehanort he can see other people’s hearts via dreams. But where did he get it from? Well, we are not Xehanort….we raised him! The blue robes figure was the player all along living it’s second life time! 9. Burton here is so many to share I couldn’t make it longer. But one more I want to share that is just heartwarming. The players last words for Xehanort, and to us as the players since playing KHUX, were truly inspiring and beautiful. If there’s anything the player character can do is pull our heartstrings with their speech. The words they say were for Xehanort’s Journey to his Destiny. However, we know the tragic outcome of his fate. Despite that, what they say not only foreshadows the true Child of Destiny, but they’re words were also for us to keep close to our hearts as the audience. This speech was also powerful when “Friends in my Heart” plays to further pull my heartstrings. ————————— I could go on and on on the many scenes that I love. Truthfully, all scene Xehanort have been my favorite. In other words, the entirety of Dark Road! I love this title so much! I may put this at my top 3. Yes the gameplay is still pointlessly grindy with or without the hatch’s system. But the story is just so incredibly written. I would sell my solid for giving it a chance of having a proper unreal engine treated production and voice acting, as remake game or movie. If there’s any hope for lore Xehanort content, I will be on board all the way. Heck, Nkomura himself has said that despite the Dark Seeker saga being compete, since his villain role is done, we may see more of Xehanort should the opportunity be open. The artwork that Nomura shared on Dark Road’s release brought fans (including myself) the possibility that Xehanort might be in the world of Unreality, Quadratum. Xehanort did say he wishes to expand 14 lifetimes after all, 13 to rebuild the world and the 14th to explore the world…. ————————— Anyway, that is my review! I apologize if this was too long for you. This is somewhat a love letter to why I love Young Xehanort as a character. Dark Road was an incredible story and I hoped you enjoyed it as well. If anything, as I write this, that is all the posters I have! Since 2018, it was to promote KH3 and now we’re at the next stage. I don’t know how long Missing Link will last to make a proper review and poster. Perhaps I’ll do a first impression poster, but it will depend. Keeps your eyes peeled regardless.
  4. Alongside the launch of Kingdom Hearts Dark Road's final update, Square Enix released a Q&A with Tetsuya Nomura regarding specific parts of the game's narrative and correlative material to the series as a whole. Our team's Ryuji translated the entirety of the interview, viewable below. However, note that the interview contains spoilers for pivotal Dark Road plot points. We will have also have edited images containing the translations shortly. Additionally, the Q&A images revealed new Tetsuya Nomura artwork of Young Xehanort, viewable below: View full article
  5. Alongside the launch of Kingdom Hearts Dark Road's final update, Square Enix released a Q&A with Tetsuya Nomura regarding specific parts of the game's narrative and correlative material to the series as a whole. Our team's Ryuji translated the entirety of the interview, viewable below. However, note that the interview contains spoilers for pivotal Dark Road plot points. We will have also have edited images containing the translations shortly. Additionally, the Q&A images revealed new Tetsuya Nomura artwork of Young Xehanort, viewable below:
  6. This past week has easily been among the busiest periods of the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Between the 20th Anniversary Event releasing a lengthy 7-minute trailer, to the waves of information that came out afterward, fans have had an immense amount of news to parse; perhaps overwhelmingly so. This article aims to compile all of the news we have received and will receive, with various hyperlinks to merchandise and more detailed avenues of coverage. Essentially, this article can be seen as a convenient hub for all of the 20th Anniversary information. I'll also be providing light speculations and breakdowns (though not quite Bio-Roxas level.) Kingdom Hearts Dark Road Kingdom Hearts Dark Road has been delayed yet again, this time to August 2022. This is the most detailed release window we've received since the previous September 2022 window, so hopefully that's indicative of the title being finalized at that time. The new trailer showcased a slew of new story scenes, primarily highlighting Xehanort's upperclassmen. We do not know any of their names, but there is one character who looks strikingly similar to Baldr, likely implying that she's the sister he has been searching for. Additionally, Odin's actions and words are somewhat suspicous. He tells one of the new characters to prioritize studying the darkness, and perhaps more damning, is him approaching Young Xehanort and Young Eraqus with what appears to be a cognizant Darkness entity behind him. These beings made themselves known near the end of Kingdom Hearts Union χ's finale and are pivotal to the overarching narrative going forward, so seeing at least 1 present here is already cause for concern. A common theory going around is that Odin is potentially Luxu, which is definitley probable. Master Xehanort is shown at the trailer's start in the Dwarf Woodlands, specifically in the Queen's chamber where the Magic Mirror resides. One has to wonder how long this experience will be if we'll be viewing the life of Xehanort in both his youthful and elderly days. Those aforementioned points are the entirety of the Dark Road updates we received. The title's full offline release state will have no microtransactions, though its state of playability is still up in the air. Regardless, we'll assuredly learn more as we approach August. Check out the Anniversary trailer's portion on Kingdom Hearts Dark Road. Moreover, new screenshots of this upcoming final Dark Road update were provided, viewable via our gallery below: UPDATE 8/26/2022: The remainder of Kingdom Hearts Dark Road has launched worldwide. Additionally, a Q&A was conducted with Tetsuya Nomura. You can view our translations below, courtesy of our team's Ryuji. However, note that this interview contains spoilers for pivotal Dark Road plot points. Kingdom Hearts Missing - Link Kingdom Hearts Missing - Link is the new upcoming mobile entry, taking place between the finale of Kingdom Hearts Union χ and the start of Dark Road. It utilizes Pokémon Go-esque systems with AR technology, but the specifics of how combat will work have not been specified yet. At the very least, it can be highly assumed that gacha elements will be returning in the form of amiibo-looking statues that will replace the medals seen in Union χ. General information about this game's systems were provided by Nomura at the 20th Anniversary event Q&A, and those points are viewable below (via our team's Ryuji) : Smartphone game, to be released for Android and iOS Promises to have action elements to be as faithful as possible to the main series Max of 6 players can play together. Screen orientation can be switched between portrait or landscape. The story, chronologically speaking, is between Union χ's finale and before Dark Road's start. "All of the mysteries we've had so far will be explained." Keywords: Scala Ad Caleum, Founding Father Ephemer, Keyblade Wielders of a Secret Society Closed Beta Test is scheduled for Fall of this year (Details on how to enter are still unknown, however) Two systems: A story mode where you progress through quests, and a mode where you walk around (Comparable to Pokémon Go, but with ways to play it even without having to walk around in real life) In this walking mode, you'll collect pieces and strengthen your Keyblades. As a minor note, the custom player character seems to be receiving orders from an earpiece in the trailer, possibly implying that they are part of the same organization that Sigurd reveals himself to be a part of in the Union χ finale. He also contacts other individuals via an earpiece when first meeting Brain. The following statement was provided via a press release: Those aforementioned points are all we currently know about Missing - Link, but considering how there's a planned Closed Beta Test this Fall, more news will undoubtedly arise soon. The game's Japanese website recently launched. Check out Missing - Link's specific 20th Anniversary trailer portion. Additionally, official screenshots and the logo were provided, viewable via our gallery below: Kingdom Hearts IV Kingdom Hearts IV was officially announced in the Anniversary trailer's final portion. After brief panning shots of a city-like landscape and a forest, the camera revealed Sora sleeping in an apartment. He looks dramatically different due to his presence in this new reality. Then, after being awoken by a doorbell and seeing the visitor to be Strelitzia from Kingdom Hearts Union χ, she reveals that Sora has been asleep since he arrived in this city 1 week ago; here in Quadratum. This world, as stated by Strelitzia, can be perceived as an "afterworld" for both her and Sora, following their passings in their previous lives. Still, Sora committed a nature taboo, while Strelitzia's circumstances are more questionable when the final scenes of Union χ are taken into account. So, the ways in which denizens of the Kingdom Hearts reality enter Quadratum may differ rather than solely committing nature taboos. A gargantuan monster appears in the city's center, awfully akin to a Darkside except far more terrifying in visage. After some scripted combat sequences where Sora's keychain is highlighted to have a grappling hook, two black-robed figures are shown observing the batttle on top of a nearby building. The general consensus is that the right figure is the Master of Masters, though the one on the left is more up in the air. The most frequent predictions identify the left figure as Luxu/Xigbar, or perhaps Luxord. There are also theories going around about Star Wars being potentially incldued, which we discussed in a separate article, but aside from that, we'll have to look forward to more information. The game's Japanese website recently launched. Check out the Anniversary trailer's specific portion announcing Kingdom Hearts IV, and official screenshots and the logo are viewable via our gallery below: Tetsuya Nomura's 20-Head Anniversary Message Cipher At the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary event venue, there was a displayed message by Tetsuya Nomura, which we translated. However, there was a secret hidden within the message that several fans figured out. Essentially, the cipher read that "The voice's identity is Sigurd. Pay close attention." Sigurd, a character introduced in the finale of Kingdom Hearts Union χ, is the narrator of the Kingdom Hearts Missing - Link and Kingdom Hearts IV trailers. The methodology of how this secret was uncovered can be viewed via our Twitter thread below: Tetsuya Nomura Interview with Famitsu Famitsu conducted an interview with series director Tetsuya Nomura about Kingdom Hearts IV, Kingdom Hearts Missing - Link, and Kingdom Hearts Dark Road. The entire interview has been translated by our team's Ryuji and is viewable below. Further, a franchise canon timeline was included in this Weekly Famitsu issue and has been translated by our team's Corfidbizna, also below: Tetsuya Nomura Interview with Game Informer Game Informer recently interviewed Tetsuya Nomura regarding Kingdom Hearts IV, the series' future, and other related aspects. Firstly, Nomura states how some of his favorite fan reactions are to the original Kingdom Hearts' ending, primarily due to how players at the time weren't sure if the story would continue beyond the first entry. The Luxu reveal reactions in Kingdom Hearts III are another of his collective favorites simply because of its severe implications. Regarding Kingdom Hearts IV, Nomura states that the story is focused more on Sora's disappearance and that there's uncertainty about whether the team will be able to include more of the original cast, notably the Birth by Sleep and Days crews. Still, he desires to explore them more at later points. Interestingly, Nomura states how he was the one being picky about Sora's recent inclusion into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, not Disney. The latter party was actually quite eager, while Nomura thought it would clash with the "established lore in Kingdom Hearts and the Disney worlds." The end result ended up being qualitative, though. Moving on to antagonists, Nomura says he's quite happy with their handling of Xehanort's character, citing it as a slow burn that tackled each facet of his character with genuine depth. So now, the Foretellers will be the following antagonists, and Back Cover has already shown the types of characters they are. Moreover, "there will be more new characters as well," though specifics have not been mentioned yet. Sora is reiterated as the only possible main character for the franchise, to the extent that the numbered entries would conclude if he were to stop being the protagonist. Moreover, there will be a "few Disney worlds," so fans won't have to worry about them potentially being absent, even if their inclusion has "slightly" differed from previous entries. Reaction Commands' return was reiterated due to fan demand after their removal in Kingdom Hearts III. They were initially taken out because Nomura didn't find the mechanic's debut reception in Kingdom Hearts II particularly positive. Quadratum is reiterated as the game's initial base, with players returning there as the narrative progresses. Sora's daily life will be approached more, such as seeing him go in and out of his room. Realism is a challenging factor the team has been pursuing to see just how far they can take it. Final Fantasy characters' lacking presence was discussed next, with Nomura stating that their inclusion is not at the core of Kingdom Hearts' identity. Their presence in the first game was a collective device for players to get to know the at-the-time limited original cast. Now, it's difficult to continually include Final Fantasy characters because of how vast the original cast is. There is no word on how Final Fantasy balance incorporation will work in Kingdom Hearts IV. Finally, Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link is brought up as an entry fans should look forward to, as it sheds light on several mysteries throughout the series. It will even have hints and new information pertaining to Kingdom Hearts IV. UPDATE: Notable quotes from Nomura; "As far as the graphic qualities ... since with each new title, the specs have been really increasing and there's so much more we can do in terms of graphics, it kind of limits the number of worlds that we can create in a sense." "Also, some figures that appear in Missing-Link are tied to Kingdom Hearts IV." You can read the full interview via Game Informer's website. Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event Proper Square Enix has stated that they intend on releasing a recording of the stage event, but if you want peeks at how the venue itself looked like, check out our dedicated event coverage where several attendees shared photos of the location. Moreover, various photos of the venue and stage event have been provided by 4Gamer and Game Watch, also viewable via our gallery below: Dengeki shared exclusive photos from their event coverage, viewable via our gallery below: During the stage event, a mini-concert was held, where five songs were selected from the series' many masterpieces, and were performed live in an arrangement for the 20th anniversary event (via Famitsu) : Dearly Beloved Sora's Theme Vector to the Heavens Nachtflügel Link to All After the performance, Risa Uchida, the Japanese voice actress of Kairi and Xion started hosting the event as the MC, and Yoko Shimomura, composer of the Kingdom Hearts series, took the stage. Regarding the live performance, Shimomura said that since this was a commemorative event for the 20th anniversary of the series, she personally took on the challenge of arranging chamber music (jargon for a small ensemble of musicians) for the first time. "For the songs chosen, I made sure that they were not only popular songs, but also that there was no bias toward any particular work." she stated. One of the main reasons "Nachtflügel" was chosen was that because it was a newer song that had never been performed live. Looking back on 20 years of Kingdom Hearts, Yoko said she had many memories of her times with songwriting and concerts. "There are many ideas that I still have in my mind, and I hope to have another concert sometime in the future." she stated. Further, Yoko Shimomura provided a new comment regarding these recent announcements, viewable below with a translation: Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Merchandise A vast variety of celebratory anniversary merchandise was announced, which we intricately covered. Links to our coverage of all of the merchandise announced following the event's conclusion are listed below. Store pages and officially provided images can be accessed via these avenues. SuperGroups announced 45 incoming Kingdom Hearts-themed accessories Sora, Kairi, and Riku Play Arts Kai figures Kingdom Hearts II Naminé & Roxas Plushes Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary T-shirts & Hoodie Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Plate Collection Blind Boxes Kingdom Hearts Light-up Keyblade Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary glass sets, tea cups & bowl Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary jewelry and watches Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary bath towel & face towel Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Die-Cut Memo Pad Set Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Metal Keychain & Pin Badge Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Postcard Set Kingdom Hearts Art Can Badges Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Pin Badge Set Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Amnibus Hoodies Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Tetsuya Nomura Postcard Sets Kingdom Hearts Mini Glass Set Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Soba Set Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Chopsticks & Chopstick Rest Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Bean Plate Set Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Pin Boxes Vol. 1 & 2 Kingdom Hearts II King Mickey 20th Anniversary Plush Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Animate Fair Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Walkman & Earbuds Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Samantha Thavasa Luxury Fashion Merchandise Japan 7-Elevens Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Postcards Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Folding Umbrella Ichiban Kuji lottery prize images revealed Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary U-Treasure Watches Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary 7-Eleven Merch Collab Roxas, Xion & Axel Room Fragrance Mists (not shippable outside of Japan) Super Groupies x Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Apparel Lineup; Behind-the-Scenes Featurette Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Sony Japan Wearable Headphone Speakers Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Mickey, Donald & Goofy nuiMO Plushes Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Caribbean, Timeless River & Halloween Town Tsum Tsum Plush Sets Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary 1000-Piece Puzzles The following merchandise was announced prior to the event, but they still celebrate 20th Anniversary: Sony Japan announces Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary walkman Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Tamagotchi Kingdom Hearts Organization XIII Necklaces Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary glasses, cases & cloths Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event Q&A A Q&A session was held during the Anniversary event, with our translations of specific questions and responses being viewable below: Q1. Does the finale of Dark Road imply that the Player's heart is now inside Xehanort's? A1: Play Dark Road and you will find out. Q2. This is the first time in KH that there is a story branch (the Yozora battle). What is the meaning behind this? A2: Since Yozora is so strong, I thought it would be better to put something in the game "if he loses". Q3. Was Ephemer aware of the player's true intentions in Union Cross' finale? A3: It was a pretty sad farewell, but there's more to Ephemer than meets the eye. A "Missing Link", if you will. All of the questions will be answered once you play Missing Link. Q4: When did Naminé and Ansem first meet? A4: In Castle Oblivion. Q5: Riku's hair was cut in Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance. Who cut it for him? A5: Well, you all wanted his hair to be cut, so I answered your prayers... Q6: Please tell us about the return of Roxas and Xion. A6: There were some doubts on whether to bring them back or not, but everyone had such strong feelings for them, so we decided to bring them back. Audrey of Aitai Kuji has provided translations for information we did not personally cover, viewable below. This information is sourced from the coverage of Japanese publication, Gamer. Other Notable Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary News A Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary cafe was held in select locations throughout Japan. We provided translations for the menus. Merchandise was also on sale in the cafes', though they have also been made available for pre-order via digital storefronts which we listed 2 sections prior. Additionally, official images of the cafes' dishes can be viewed via our gallery below: The official Final Fantasy VII Remake Twitter account shared celebratory artwork for Kingdom Hearts' 20th Anniversary, viewable via our gallery below: While not specifically tied to the Anniversary event, Sora's English voice actor, Haley Joel Osment, was interviewed by Deadline in which he reflected on his time voicing the iconic protagonist. Utada Hikaru also sang "Simple and Clean" and "Face My Fears" at Coachella 2022. Further, these three following points are not tied to the Anniversary event, but they're remarkably coincidental. One of Mickey's Keyblades, Kingdom Key D, received a cameo in a recent Mickey Mouse short on Disney+. Sora's Dive to the Heart and Destiny Islands received highly detailed cameos in The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder The Kingdom Key appeared in the official trailer for Chip N' Dale: Rescue Rangers. Sora's hair appeared in Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers Sora was mentioned in a Taco Bell Mexican Pizza Rap Advertisement (Our Interview with the Rapper) The D23 Gold Member Poster depicts the Kingdom Key Tetsuya Nomura shared a gorgeous Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary illustration. Further, the official Kingdom Hearts media accounts have shared this new artwork in clean, high-quality, viewable via our gallery below: The opening theme for Kingdom Hearts III, "Face My Fears," has been added to Netflix via "Hikaru Utada Live Sessions from Air Studios." Additionally, the Japanese version of the song has been added to several audio services! Former Kingdom Hearts series Producer, Shinji Hashimoto, has retired from Square Enix, and has now become a Senior Advisor at Sony Music Entertainment & Board Member at Forward Works. Kingdom Hearts series Brand Manager, Ichiro Hazama provided the following statement regarding the announcements of Kingdom Hearts Missing - Link and Kingdom Hearts IV, viewable below: Walt Disney Games Director, Nana Gadd, provided the following statement regarding the collective anniversary event, viewable below: Lastly, the Kingdom Hearts Memory Locker website launched, containing 15 quotes from several crucial members of the series staff. Unfortunately, the website's messages went offline following the Anniversary event's conclusion. They will be made viewable again at an unspecified date. However, we have provided translations for each Memory Locker message, accessible via our dedicated coverage. UPDATE 8/8/2022: The English version of the Memory Locker website has launched, with officially translated messages from the series' staff. These translated messages have been transcribed by us and are viewable below: Did we miss anything from the Kingdom Hearts Anniversary event? Inform us! What were your favorite parts of the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary celebration, be it merchandise, game announcements, or more? Let us know in the comments below! Personally, I can't wait to see what the future of Kingdom Hearts has in store, and I'm sure the rest of the KH13 staff agrees. We have some incredible content to look forward to, so let's wait for the future and hype responsibly!
  7. Square Enix has announced that the final update for Kingdom Hearts Dark Road is now available globally. The update is roughly 462 MB, while the full game install is around 2.1 GB on Android devices. You can view all of the new cutscenes below via Kingdom Hearts content creator Damo: The names of each upper classmate are viewable below alongside their origins:
  8. Square Enix has announced that the final update for Kingdom Hearts Dark Road is now available globally. The update is roughly 462 MB, while the full game install is around 2.1 GB on Android devices. You can view all of the new cutscenes below via Kingdom Hearts content creator Damo: The names of each upper classmate are viewable below alongside their origins: View full article
  9. I've been having a blast drawing Y!Xehanort recently. Even more so while I wait for the unknown date of it's update release of Dark Road. I may consider drawing something Xehanort related from the story that stood out to me and post it every week...maybe. We'll see how my energy will sustain itself. But something to keep me occupied. This scene stuck with me since I first watched it back in 2020. Even more so that it was the final nail in the coffin that made Y!Xehanort my favorite character in the series. It made me want to learn more about him and I want the update to get here sooner to finally have all the answers that I needed.
  10. I cannot tell you how much excitement I feel for this title's update. Yes, it's a mobile game. However, this mobile game has had a grip on my heart since 2016. And learning they were telling Xehanort' backstory through this mobile game back in 2020 and giving me such revelations makes me more excited to learn more coming up in August 26th. The fact that I'm seeing different stages of one person's life in the series as a whole compared to the other characters is pretty wild to say the least. Anyway, this is a redraw of the scene from the date release trailer. The moment I saw lil' sleepy toddler Xehanort cuddled up in that person's arms, I was hyperventilating. My excitement peaked, you guys don't understand LOL I guess in terms of artist's notes, when doing projects like these, backgrounds are daunting and challenging but also really fun to do (especially any background related to nature). Toddlernort (yes, that's what we're calling him for this age) was also interesting to do considering that I've mostly accustomed to Teenager and Young Adult versions...maybe someday I will attempt trying out classic old man Xehanort at some point. Not much else to say other than we are getting close to the finale I could taste it.
  11. Square Enix has finally published the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event Recap video, chronicling the live reactions that took place regarding the Kingdom Hearts IV reveal and more. Additionally, the remainder of Kingdom Hearts Dark Road was confirmed to be releasing on August 26th, 2022, with a new tweet from the official Japan PR account sharing new screenshots depicting Master Xehanort and Vanitas, most likely during the Birth by Sleep era. Further, the end of the Anniversary Event recap video depicts a new scene with baby Xehanort and the mysterious blue-hooded figure on Destiny Islands that was previously shown to be watching over the future antagonist during the conclusion of Kingdom Hearts Union χ [Cross]. You can view the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event recap video below: An English version of the video is viewable below: Lastly, a voice actor panel video was uploaded, viewable below. Unfortunately, no English subtitles are available:
  12. Square Enix has finally published the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event Recap video, chronicling the live reactions that took place regarding the Kingdom Hearts IV reveal and more. Additionally, the remainder of Kingdom Hearts Dark Road was confirmed to be releasing on August 26th, 2022, with a new tweet from the official Japan PR account sharing new screenshots depicting Master Xehanort and Vanitas, most likely during the Birth by Sleep era. Further, the end of the Anniversary Event recap video depicts a new scene with baby Xehanort and the mysterious blue-hooded figure on Destiny Islands that was previously shown to be watching over the future antagonist during the conclusion of Kingdom Hearts Union χ [Cross]. You can view the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event recap video below: An English version of the video is viewable below: Lastly, a voice actor panel video was uploaded, viewable below. Unfortunately, no English subtitles are available: View full article
  13. Here is the darkness version of the scene I drew in my vision. I just couldn't pick one to upload because I was proud of both (mainly it is because of the eye color honestly).
  14. Mykaila Shakespeare

    The Only Way

    In honor of HOPEFULLY Dark Road releasing in August, figured I'd dedicate drawing the boy himself in 2 versions of the scene shown in the trailer. I really loved doing this and just love drawing Young Xehanort in general. Looking froward to see where his story goes.
  15. This past week has easily been among the busiest periods of the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Between the 20th Anniversary Event releasing a lengthy 7-minute trailer, to the waves of information that came out afterward, fans have had an immense amount of news to parse; perhaps overwhelmingly so. This article aims to compile all of the news we have received and will receive, with various hyperlinks to merchandise and more detailed avenues of coverage. Essentially, this article can be seen as a convenient hub for all of the 20th Anniversary information. I'll also be providing light speculations and breakdowns (though not quite Bio-Roxas level.) Kingdom Hearts Dark Road Kingdom Hearts Dark Road has been delayed yet again, this time to August 2022. This is the most detailed release window we've received since the previous September 2022 window, so hopefully that's indicative of the title being finalized at that time. The new trailer showcased a slew of new story scenes, primarily highlighting Xehanort's upperclassmen. We do not know any of their names, but there is one character who looks strikingly similar to Baldr, likely implying that she's the sister he has been searching for. Additionally, Odin's actions and words are somewhat suspicous. He tells one of the new characters to prioritize studying the darkness, and perhaps more damning, is him approaching Young Xehanort and Young Eraqus with what appears to be a cognizant Darkness entity behind him. These beings made themselves known near the end of Kingdom Hearts Union χ's finale and are pivotal to the overarching narrative going forward, so seeing at least 1 present here is already cause for concern. A common theory going around is that Odin is potentially Luxu, which is definitley probable. Master Xehanort is shown at the trailer's start in the Dwarf Woodlands, specifically in the Queen's chamber where the Magic Mirror resides. One has to wonder how long this experience will be if we'll be viewing the life of Xehanort in both his youthful and elderly days. Those aforementioned points are the entirety of the Dark Road updates we received. The title's full offline release state will have no microtransactions, though its state of playability is still up in the air. Regardless, we'll assuredly learn more as we approach August. Check out the Anniversary trailer's portion on Kingdom Hearts Dark Road. Moreover, new screenshots of this upcoming final Dark Road update were provided, viewable via our gallery below: UPDATE 8/26/2022: The remainder of Kingdom Hearts Dark Road has launched worldwide. Additionally, a Q&A was conducted with Tetsuya Nomura. You can view our translations below, courtesy of our team's Ryuji. However, note that this interview contains spoilers for pivotal Dark Road plot points. Kingdom Hearts Missing - Link Kingdom Hearts Missing - Link is the new upcoming mobile entry, taking place between the finale of Kingdom Hearts Union χ and the start of Dark Road. It utilizes Pokémon Go-esque systems with AR technology, but the specifics of how combat will work have not been specified yet. At the very least, it can be highly assumed that gacha elements will be returning in the form of amiibo-looking statues that will replace the medals seen in Union χ. General information about this game's systems were provided by Nomura at the 20th Anniversary event Q&A, and those points are viewable below (via our team's Ryuji) : Smartphone game, to be released for Android and iOS Promises to have action elements to be as faithful as possible to the main series Max of 6 players can play together. Screen orientation can be switched between portrait or landscape. The story, chronologically speaking, is between Union χ's finale and before Dark Road's start. "All of the mysteries we've had so far will be explained." Keywords: Scala Ad Caleum, Founding Father Ephemer, Keyblade Wielders of a Secret Society Closed Beta Test is scheduled for Fall of this year (Details on how to enter are still unknown, however) Two systems: A story mode where you progress through quests, and a mode where you walk around (Comparable to Pokémon Go, but with ways to play it even without having to walk around in real life) In this walking mode, you'll collect pieces and strengthen your Keyblades. As a minor note, the custom player character seems to be receiving orders from an earpiece in the trailer, possibly implying that they are part of the same organization that Sigurd reveals himself to be a part of in the Union χ finale. He also contacts other individuals via an earpiece when first meeting Brain. The following statement was provided via a press release: Those aforementioned points are all we currently know about Missing - Link, but considering how there's a planned Closed Beta Test this Fall, more news will undoubtedly arise soon. The game's Japanese website recently launched. Check out Missing - Link's specific 20th Anniversary trailer portion. Additionally, official screenshots and the logo were provided, viewable via our gallery below: Kingdom Hearts IV Kingdom Hearts IV was officially announced in the Anniversary trailer's final portion. After brief panning shots of a city-like landscape and a forest, the camera revealed Sora sleeping in an apartment. He looks dramatically different due to his presence in this new reality. Then, after being awoken by a doorbell and seeing the visitor to be Strelitzia from Kingdom Hearts Union χ, she reveals that Sora has been asleep since he arrived in this city 1 week ago; here in Quadratum. This world, as stated by Strelitzia, can be perceived as an "afterworld" for both her and Sora, following their passings in their previous lives. Still, Sora committed a nature taboo, while Strelitzia's circumstances are more questionable when the final scenes of Union χ are taken into account. So, the ways in which denizens of the Kingdom Hearts reality enter Quadratum may differ rather than solely committing nature taboos. A gargantuan monster appears in the city's center, awfully akin to a Darkside except far more terrifying in visage. After some scripted combat sequences where Sora's keychain is highlighted to have a grappling hook, two black-robed figures are shown observing the batttle on top of a nearby building. The general consensus is that the right figure is the Master of Masters, though the one on the left is more up in the air. The most frequent predictions identify the left figure as Luxu/Xigbar, or perhaps Luxord. There are also theories going around about Star Wars being potentially incldued, which we discussed in a separate article, but aside from that, we'll have to look forward to more information. The game's Japanese website recently launched. Check out the Anniversary trailer's specific portion announcing Kingdom Hearts IV, and official screenshots and the logo are viewable via our gallery below: Tetsuya Nomura's 20-Head Anniversary Message Cipher At the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary event venue, there was a displayed message by Tetsuya Nomura, which we translated. However, there was a secret hidden within the message that several fans figured out. Essentially, the cipher read that "The voice's identity is Sigurd. Pay close attention." Sigurd, a character introduced in the finale of Kingdom Hearts Union χ, is the narrator of the Kingdom Hearts Missing - Link and Kingdom Hearts IV trailers. The methodology of how this secret was uncovered can be viewed via our Twitter thread below: Tetsuya Nomura Interview with Famitsu Famitsu conducted an interview with series director Tetsuya Nomura about Kingdom Hearts IV, Kingdom Hearts Missing - Link, and Kingdom Hearts Dark Road. The entire interview has been translated by our team's Ryuji and is viewable below. Further, a franchise canon timeline was included in this Weekly Famitsu issue and has been translated by our team's Corfidbizna, also below: Tetsuya Nomura Interview with Game Informer Game Informer recently interviewed Tetsuya Nomura regarding Kingdom Hearts IV, the series' future, and other related aspects. Firstly, Nomura states how some of his favorite fan reactions are to the original Kingdom Hearts' ending, primarily due to how players at the time weren't sure if the story would continue beyond the first entry. The Luxu reveal reactions in Kingdom Hearts III are another of his collective favorites simply because of its severe implications. Regarding Kingdom Hearts IV, Nomura states that the story is focused more on Sora's disappearance and that there's uncertainty about whether the team will be able to include more of the original cast, notably the Birth by Sleep and Days crews. Still, he desires to explore them more at later points. Interestingly, Nomura states how he was the one being picky about Sora's recent inclusion into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, not Disney. The latter party was actually quite eager, while Nomura thought it would clash with the "established lore in Kingdom Hearts and the Disney worlds." The end result ended up being qualitative, though. Moving on to antagonists, Nomura says he's quite happy with their handling of Xehanort's character, citing it as a slow burn that tackled each facet of his character with genuine depth. So now, the Foretellers will be the following antagonists, and Back Cover has already shown the types of characters they are. Moreover, "there will be more new characters as well," though specifics have not been mentioned yet. Sora is reiterated as the only possible main character for the franchise, to the extent that the numbered entries would conclude if he were to stop being the protagonist. Moreover, there will be a "few Disney worlds," so fans won't have to worry about them potentially being absent, even if their inclusion has "slightly" differed from previous entries. Reaction Commands' return was reiterated due to fan demand after their removal in Kingdom Hearts III. They were initially taken out because Nomura didn't find the mechanic's debut reception in Kingdom Hearts II particularly positive. Quadratum is reiterated as the game's initial base, with players returning there as the narrative progresses. Sora's daily life will be approached more, such as seeing him go in and out of his room. Realism is a challenging factor the team has been pursuing to see just how far they can take it. Final Fantasy characters' lacking presence was discussed next, with Nomura stating that their inclusion is not at the core of Kingdom Hearts' identity. Their presence in the first game was a collective device for players to get to know the at-the-time limited original cast. Now, it's difficult to continually include Final Fantasy characters because of how vast the original cast is. There is no word on how Final Fantasy balance incorporation will work in Kingdom Hearts IV. Finally, Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link is brought up as an entry fans should look forward to, as it sheds light on several mysteries throughout the series. It will even have hints and new information pertaining to Kingdom Hearts IV. UPDATE: Notable quotes from Nomura; "As far as the graphic qualities ... since with each new title, the specs have been really increasing and there's so much more we can do in terms of graphics, it kind of limits the number of worlds that we can create in a sense." "Also, some figures that appear in Missing-Link are tied to Kingdom Hearts IV." You can read the full interview via Game Informer's website. Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event Proper Square Enix has stated that they intend on releasing a recording of the stage event, but if you want peeks at how the venue itself looked like, check out our dedicated event coverage where several attendees shared photos of the location. Moreover, various photos of the venue and stage event have been provided by 4Gamer and Game Watch, also viewable via our gallery below: Dengeki shared exclusive photos from their event coverage, viewable via our gallery below: During the stage event, a mini-concert was held, where five songs were selected from the series' many masterpieces, and were performed live in an arrangement for the 20th anniversary event (via Famitsu) : Dearly Beloved Sora's Theme Vector to the Heavens Nachtflügel Link to All After the performance, Risa Uchida, the Japanese voice actress of Kairi and Xion started hosting the event as the MC, and Yoko Shimomura, composer of the Kingdom Hearts series, took the stage. Regarding the live performance, Shimomura said that since this was a commemorative event for the 20th anniversary of the series, she personally took on the challenge of arranging chamber music (jargon for a small ensemble of musicians) for the first time. "For the songs chosen, I made sure that they were not only popular songs, but also that there was no bias toward any particular work." she stated. One of the main reasons "Nachtflügel" was chosen was that because it was a newer song that had never been performed live. Looking back on 20 years of Kingdom Hearts, Yoko said she had many memories of her times with songwriting and concerts. "There are many ideas that I still have in my mind, and I hope to have another concert sometime in the future." she stated. Further, Yoko Shimomura provided a new comment regarding these recent announcements, viewable below with a translation: Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Merchandise A vast variety of celebratory anniversary merchandise was announced, which we intricately covered. Links to our coverage of all of the merchandise announced following the event's conclusion are listed below. Store pages and officially provided images can be accessed via these avenues. SuperGroups announced 45 incoming Kingdom Hearts-themed accessories Sora, Kairi, and Riku Play Arts Kai figures Kingdom Hearts II Naminé & Roxas Plushes Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary T-shirts & Hoodie Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Plate Collection Blind Boxes Kingdom Hearts Light-up Keyblade Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary glass sets, tea cups & bowl Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary jewelry and watches Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary bath towel & face towel Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Die-Cut Memo Pad Set Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Metal Keychain & Pin Badge Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Postcard Set Kingdom Hearts Art Can Badges Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Pin Badge Set Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Amnibus Hoodies Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Tetsuya Nomura Postcard Sets Kingdom Hearts Mini Glass Set Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Soba Set Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Chopsticks & Chopstick Rest Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Bean Plate Set Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Pin Boxes Vol. 1 & 2 Kingdom Hearts II King Mickey 20th Anniversary Plush Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Animate Fair Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Walkman & Earbuds Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Samantha Thavasa Luxury Fashion Merchandise Japan 7-Elevens Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Postcards Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Folding Umbrella Ichiban Kuji lottery prize images revealed Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary U-Treasure Watches Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary 7-Eleven Merch Collab Roxas, Xion & Axel Room Fragrance Mists (not shippable outside of Japan) Super Groupies x Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Apparel Lineup; Behind-the-Scenes Featurette Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Sony Japan Wearable Headphone Speakers Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Mickey, Donald & Goofy nuiMO Plushes Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Caribbean, Timeless River & Halloween Town Tsum Tsum Plush Sets Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary 1000-Piece Puzzles The following merchandise was announced prior to the event, but they still celebrate 20th Anniversary: Sony Japan announces Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary walkman Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Tamagotchi Kingdom Hearts Organization XIII Necklaces Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary glasses, cases & cloths Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event Q&A A Q&A session was held during the Anniversary event, with our translations of specific questions and responses being viewable below: Q1. Does the finale of Dark Road imply that the Player's heart is now inside Xehanort's? A1: Play Dark Road and you will find out. Q2. This is the first time in KH that there is a story branch (the Yozora battle). What is the meaning behind this? A2: Since Yozora is so strong, I thought it would be better to put something in the game "if he loses". Q3. Was Ephemer aware of the player's true intentions in Union Cross' finale? A3: It was a pretty sad farewell, but there's more to Ephemer than meets the eye. A "Missing Link", if you will. All of the questions will be answered once you play Missing Link. Q4: When did Naminé and Ansem first meet? A4: In Castle Oblivion. Q5: Riku's hair was cut in Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance. Who cut it for him? A5: Well, you all wanted his hair to be cut, so I answered your prayers... Q6: Please tell us about the return of Roxas and Xion. A6: There were some doubts on whether to bring them back or not, but everyone had such strong feelings for them, so we decided to bring them back. Audrey of Aitai Kuji has provided translations for information we did not personally cover, viewable below. This information is sourced from the coverage of Japanese publication, Gamer. Other Notable Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary News A Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary cafe was held in select locations throughout Japan. We provided translations for the menus. Merchandise was also on sale in the cafes', though they have also been made available for pre-order via digital storefronts which we listed 2 sections prior. Additionally, official images of the cafes' dishes can be viewed via our gallery below: The official Final Fantasy VII Remake Twitter account shared celebratory artwork for Kingdom Hearts' 20th Anniversary, viewable via our gallery below: While not specifically tied to the Anniversary event, Sora's English voice actor, Haley Joel Osment, was interviewed by Deadline in which he reflected on his time voicing the iconic protagonist. Utada Hikaru also sang "Simple and Clean" and "Face My Fears" at Coachella 2022. Further, these three following points are not tied to the Anniversary event, but they're remarkably coincidental. One of Mickey's Keyblades, Kingdom Key D, received a cameo in a recent Mickey Mouse short on Disney+. Sora's Dive to the Heart and Destiny Islands received highly detailed cameos in The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder The Kingdom Key appeared in the official trailer for Chip N' Dale: Rescue Rangers. Sora's hair appeared in Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers Sora was mentioned in a Taco Bell Mexican Pizza Rap Advertisement (Our Interview with the Rapper) The D23 Gold Member Poster depicts the Kingdom Key Tetsuya Nomura shared a gorgeous Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary illustration. Further, the official Kingdom Hearts media accounts have shared this new artwork in clean, high-quality, viewable via our gallery below: The opening theme for Kingdom Hearts III, "Face My Fears," has been added to Netflix via "Hikaru Utada Live Sessions from Air Studios." Additionally, the Japanese version of the song has been added to several audio services! Former Kingdom Hearts series Producer, Shinji Hashimoto, has retired from Square Enix, and has now become a Senior Advisor at Sony Music Entertainment & Board Member at Forward Works. Kingdom Hearts series Brand Manager, Ichiro Hazama provided the following statement regarding the announcements of Kingdom Hearts Missing - Link and Kingdom Hearts IV, viewable below: Walt Disney Games Director, Nana Gadd, provided the following statement regarding the collective anniversary event, viewable below: Lastly, the Kingdom Hearts Memory Locker website launched, containing 15 quotes from several crucial members of the series staff. Unfortunately, the website's messages went offline following the Anniversary event's conclusion. They will be made viewable again at an unspecified date. However, we have provided translations for each Memory Locker message, accessible via our dedicated coverage. UPDATE 8/8/2022: The English version of the Memory Locker website has launched, with officially translated messages from the series' staff. These translated messages have been transcribed by us and are viewable below: Did we miss anything from the Kingdom Hearts Anniversary event? Inform us! What were your favorite parts of the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary celebration, be it merchandise, game announcements, or more? Let us know in the comments below! Personally, I can't wait to see what the future of Kingdom Hearts has in store, and I'm sure the rest of the KH13 staff agrees. We have some incredible content to look forward to, so let's wait for the future and hype responsibly! View full article
  16. The official Japanese Twitter account for Kingdom Hearts Dark Road has announced that the title's planned late September update containing the offline version and the rest of the story content has been delayed. Unfortunately, the tweet does not specify an exact date or timeframe for when to expect this update and instead states that more details will be provided at a later time. Our team's Ryuji translated the message to the following: "We regretfully announce that the update of the Kingdom Hearts: Dark Road offline version Ver. 5.0.0, which was scheduled to be released in late September, has been postponed. Further information will be provided at a later date, so we ask players to wait for a while until then. We apologize for the inconvenience." UPDATE: It was noted that indefinite was an erroneous choice of wording from our translation. We removed it to better reflect the intended meaning of the message and avoid any misconstrued conclusions. Apologies. UPDATE: The NA account for Kingdom Hearts Dark Road have tweeted the delay message. View full article
  17. This has certainly been a hectic week, huh? From the reveal of Sora joining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as its final DLC fighter to the trailer dropping for the Kingdom Hearts 20th anniversary next year, there is an unprecedented degree of content for fans to look forward to. However, it's easy to have forgotten or passed by the intricacies of all the news due to everything that was announced. Therefore, we have compiled and detailed every bit of information fans should be aware of from this week. Sora Joining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate So, first thing's first; Sora's inclusion as the final DLC fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. This is obviously the most significant fraction of news, and every fan is undoubtedly aware of it by now. Still, for those who haven't yet dived into the specifics, let's break down his fighting style, the content arriving with his inclusion, his release date, and more. Before discussing Sora's moveset, Sakurai revealed that Sora was the top requested fighter from the fighter ballot for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. After talking to former Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, though, they decided not to disclose these results to the public to avoid needless harassment aimed towards the involved developmental parties. Thankfully, Sora has managed to make his way into the series regardless, even if it was a game later. Sakurai repeatedly emphasized that immense cooperation was needed to make this impossibility occur, which genuinely is a miracle. Further, Sora's Japanese and English voices will be implemented during release. Sora's introduction trailer misled at least most of us, I think. It begins where the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate first started, the stage of indescribable darkness with the series logo hanging in the sky with every character present. However, the fire burning from the logo quickly burns out, leading to a single flame remaining on the ground. Afterward, each of the characters reverts to their statue forms, devoid of life. Though perhaps invigorated with life by the remaining flame, Mario steps off his statue stand and walks toward the remaining light. After some notable hesitation, he shoves his arm into the fire and throws what seems to be an enkindled blade into the air. Suddenly, the flames vanish, and the identity of the blade becomes apparent; the Keyblade. It shoots out a beam of light, causing an enormous keyhole to appear. As Simple and Clean Orchestral begins to play, Sora slowly arrives in a familiar sleeping posture before opening his eyes. The rest of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate cast finally regains their life, their statue forms dissipating. They each turn back and gaze at the figure engulfed by this shining light. Sora, now awake, begins to soar through the air in delight as each character stares in wonder. Finally, Sora lands on his feet, and after summoning the Kingdom Key, Sora is Finally Here! appears on the screen. It was a truly magical trailer that perfectly encapsulates how when Sora sees the heart in something; it becomes real. As a playable character, Sora was designed to be approachable and easy to play as, unlike other DLC members of the roster who require exceptional dedication to use feasibly. He is an airborne and, community memes aside, floaty fighter. Additionally, his weight is among the lowest of the playable cast, being lighter than even the likes of Isabelle and Young Link. When it comes to cosmetic alterations, Sora can change into various outfits representing different Kingdom Hearts games. However, it is only his attire that alters, not his actual character model. This means that this is still the original Kingdom Hearts version of Sora wearing these outfits. Moreover, aside from main outfits from several of the Kingdom Hearts games being present, specific forms have also made their way into the title. Sora's 8 costumes are listed in their respective P1-P8 order below: The original Kingdom Hearts design Kingdom Hearts II main outfit Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance design Kingdom Hearts III main outfit Kingdom Hearts II Timeless River design (Has dedicated facial expressions) Kingdom Hearts II Valor Form Kingdom Hearts II Wisdom Form Kingdom Hearts III Ultimate Form The outfits from P1-P4 have wonderfully recreated artwork of Sora from the respective games. In addition, there are also 5 Spirits reflective of the designs from P1-P5. The Wisdom Form outfit has the Recusant's Sigil on its chest from the Dream Drop Distance design because P7 is an alternate skin of P3. So, while not a pure representation of Wisdom Form, the point comes across, and this can also be seen as a new take on the design, even if that wasn't the intended case. You can view each of Sora's official renders across his 8 outfits in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate via our gallery below: Generally speaking, Sora's moveset is pulled from how he plays as from Kingdom Hearts. For example, his standard 3-hit combo has several variations depending on how long the attack button is held, and the swings are reminiscent of his swordplay in the games themselves. Some abilities from the source material have arrived, too, like Hurricane Blast being Sora's down-air, Sonic Blade being his side-special, and Counterattack being his down-special. Magic is Sora's netural special, and it cycles through Firaga, Thundaga, and Blizzaga in that order when used. Each spell has neat unique effects dependent on situational contexts, so there is an undeniably deep mental game players will have to be cognizant of on the fly. Speaking of cycles, Sora's taunts also do just that. While not providing any beneficial effects, Sora's taunt cycles through castings of Stopga, Aeroga, and Curaga. Personally speaking, I find this to be a terrific way to feature some of the spells that didn't make their way into the moveset proper. Pay respects to Graviga, though. Due to how he excels in the air, Sora's edge guarding game is top-notch, boasting ludicrously adept recovery. Even though his weight is relatively light and his attacks are stated to be moderate in speed, it's clear that this iteration of Sora can more than hold his own. In the presentation, Sakurai forgot to detail Sora's dash and dash attack, leading him to briefly tweeting about them afterward. The stage that arrives with Sora is the beloved Hollow Bastion, specifically its original Kingdom Hearts version, which makes sense given how Sora's default design and his abilities are based on the franchise's first entry. Combatants stand on a moving platform that begins from Rising Falls before soaring and giving players detailed views of this lovingly recreated world. Additionally, when players are on their last stocks or when the match is running low on time, the stage transforms and becomes a Dive to the Heart station that depicts the imagery of a character's heart. The Dive to the Heart stations that can appear are as follows: Sora Riku Roxas Xion Terra Ventus Aqua Official screenshots of the Hollow Bastion + Dive to the Heart stage can be viewed via our gallery below: Oddly enough, even though Sakurai stated earlier in the presentation that he will forgo the details of Sora's Final Smash, wanting us to see for ourselves, and only providing the name, "Sealing the Keyhole," he then showed it in the middle of Sora's real-time combat demonstration. "Sealing the Keyhole" consists of literally sealing opponents within a keyhole and then within a door emblazoned with the iconic Super Smash Bros. logo. Afterward, Sora performs the keyhole sealing maneuver from the original Kingdom Hearts before the door explodes, severely damaging its occupants. It's a novel original Final Smash that captures the essence of Sora's tasked actions throughout the first game. Moreover, as revealed during the end of this combat showcase, when Sora defeats a foe at the end of a Stamina Battle, the game slows down, referencing the same effect that occurred when prevailing in key battles in the original Kingdom Hearts. Sora has 2 victory poses as shown below: There are 10 songs included with purchasing Sora, and each track is from the first game. Unfortunately, none of these tracks have been arranged and are instead simply their original versions. These songs are listed below: Night of Fate Destiny's Force Shrouding Dark Cloud Hand in Hand Blast Away! -Gummi Ship II- Hollow Bastion Scherzo Di Notte Fragments of Sorrow Destati Dearly Beloved -Swing Version- (If the player has save data of Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory on their Nintendo Switch) Also, while not a track that can be played during battles, Sora's victory fanfare is an arrangement of Hand in Hand composed by Yoko Shimomura! The Spirit Board contains 8 obtainable Spirits who can be viewed below: Kairi (1 Star - Novice) Ventus (2 Stars - Advanced) Aqua (3 Stars - Ace) Terra (2 Stars - Advanced) Riku (3 Stars - Ace) Xion (2 Stars - Advanced) Axel (2 Stars - Advanced) Roxas (5 Stars - Legend) In the Japanese version specifically, Aqua's and Axel's names will be denoted with the "KINGDOM HEARTS series" because their names match with other spirits. It is also worth noting that there are no direct references to Disney outside of the Mickey keychain on Sora's Keyblade. This was certainly done for copyright reasons, and it was even taken so far as to alter the characters' Dive to the Heart stations to remove any connotative Disney imagery. Sora will be released for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on October 18th, 2021. His character bundle, which consists of him, the music tracks, spirits, and the Hollow Bastion stage, costs $5.99. Alternatively, he is included in the Fighter's Pass 2 bundle. For a more in-depth look at Sora's fighting prowess, check out Sakurai's overview of him below (timestamped): You can view Sora on the legendary Super Smash Bros. Ultimate banner artwork via our gallery below: You can view the full Sora character trailer for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate below: Yoko Shimomura and Tetsuya Nomura shared personal comments regarding Sora's inclusion in this hallmark fighting game, which you can view below: Official screenshots of Sora in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate can be viewed via our galleries below: The Rest of the Kingdom Hearts Games Are Coming to Nintendo Switch While technically part of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate presentation, this is a separate matter. Sakurai announced that Kingdom Hearts - HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX-, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind will be playable on the Nintendo Switch via Cloud Gaming. For those unaware, Cloud Gaming is a service where games are streamed from an online source. Therefore, a high-speed internet connection is recommended when utilizing this service. No release dates or prices for any of these Cloud versions have been revealed yet. The name of this collection is the Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece for Cloud, though the titles can be bought individually. As a neat bit of trivia, the Integrum Masterpiece part of the title was the name for the All-in-One collection in Japan. Kingdom Hearts Dark Road Ending This Winter Soon after the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate presentation for Sora concluded, Square Enix shared the 20th Anniversary trailer for the Kingdom Hearts franchise. The most notable new announcement in this trailer is that Kingdom Hearts Dark Road will be concluding this Winter. All of the remaining content, including the ending, will be released at once. In addition, the Kingdom Hearts Dark Road game will also be receiving its offline mode version 5.0 update. No specific date on when this content will drop has been provided. However, since it simply states Winter, I believe it's safe to assume it to be releasing sometime from January 2022 to March 2022 since, even though late December is when Winter initiates, they would have likely stated that month specifically in the trailer if it were releasing then. Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event At the very end of the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary trailer, Square Enix revealed that a Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event is planned. No details on when this will occur or the like have been provided yet, though. This is just a guess on my part, but since the original Kingdom Hearts was released in March 2002, I think this Anniversary event will be held in March 2022. Check out the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary trailer below if you haven't already: Merchandise Of course, it can't be a celebration without merchandise. So the final bit of news in the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary trailer is that there is a plethora of planned, celebratory merchandise. The 2 products shown off during the trailer were the highly anticipated chess set, which is now available for pre-order, and Kingdom Hearts III suitcases currently in development. Also, while not all necessarily anniversary items, several other Kingdom Hearts-themed products were revealed this week. You can view each of the items revealed below: Kingdom Hearts ~20th Anniversary~ Ichiban Kuji Sora and Kairi Figures Kingdom Hearts III Alba & Ater Chess Set Kingdom Hearts Keyblade Silicon Ice Tray Kingdom Hearts Mouse Pad 20th Anniversary Kingdom Hearts III suitcases Lastly, while not merchandise, the announcement of Kingdom Hearts-themed guest rooms returning to the Disney ambassador hotel at Tokyo Disney Resort this Winter is noteworthy. And that is all of the essential information that all fans should know of from this wild week of immense news drops. The 20th Anniversary of the Kingdom Hearts franchise has not even truly begun yet, and we're already being provided staggering news that will surely amplify once we hit 2022. What are you looking forward to from the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary and what types of celebratory occurences would you like to see? Additionally, how thrilled are you to finally play as Sora in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? Let us know in the comments below!
  18. This has certainly been a hectic week, huh? From the reveal of Sora joining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as its final DLC fighter to the trailer dropping for the Kingdom Hearts 20th anniversary next year, there is an unprecedented degree of content for fans to look forward to. However, it's easy to have forgotten or passed by the intricacies of all the news due to everything that was announced. Therefore, we have compiled and detailed every bit of information fans should be aware of from this week. Sora Joining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate So, first thing's first; Sora's inclusion as the final DLC fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. This is obviously the most significant fraction of news, and every fan is undoubtedly aware of it by now. Still, for those who haven't yet dived into the specifics, let's break down his fighting style, the content arriving with his inclusion, his release date, and more. Before discussing Sora's moveset, Sakurai revealed that Sora was the top requested fighter from the fighter ballot for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. After talking to former Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, though, they decided not to disclose these results to the public to avoid needless harassment aimed towards the involved developmental parties. Thankfully, Sora has managed to make his way into the series regardless, even if it was a game later. Sakurai repeatedly emphasized that immense cooperation was needed to make this impossibility occur, which genuinely is a miracle. Further, Sora's Japanese and English voices will be implemented during release. Sora's introduction trailer misled at least most of us, I think. It begins where the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate first started, the stage of indescribable darkness with the series logo hanging in the sky with every character present. However, the fire burning from the logo quickly burns out, leading to a single flame remaining on the ground. Afterward, each of the characters reverts to their statue forms, devoid of life. Though perhaps invigorated with life by the remaining flame, Mario steps off his statue stand and walks toward the remaining light. After some notable hesitation, he shoves his arm into the fire and throws what seems to be an enkindled blade into the air. Suddenly, the flames vanish, and the identity of the blade becomes apparent; the Keyblade. It shoots out a beam of light, causing an enormous keyhole to appear. As Simple and Clean Orchestral begins to play, Sora slowly arrives in a familiar sleeping posture before opening his eyes. The rest of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate cast finally regains their life, their statue forms dissipating. They each turn back and gaze at the figure engulfed by this shining light. Sora, now awake, begins to soar through the air in delight as each character stares in wonder. Finally, Sora lands on his feet, and after summoning the Kingdom Key, Sora is Finally Here! appears on the screen. It was a truly magical trailer that perfectly encapsulates how when Sora sees the heart in something; it becomes real. As a playable character, Sora was designed to be approachable and easy to play as, unlike other DLC members of the roster who require exceptional dedication to use feasibly. He is an airborne and, community memes aside, floaty fighter. Additionally, his weight is among the lowest of the playable cast, being lighter than even the likes of Isabelle and Young Link. When it comes to cosmetic alterations, Sora can change into various outfits representing different Kingdom Hearts games. However, it is only his attire that alters, not his actual character model. This means that this is still the original Kingdom Hearts version of Sora wearing these outfits. Moreover, aside from main outfits from several of the Kingdom Hearts games being present, specific forms have also made their way into the title. Sora's 8 costumes are listed in their respective P1-P8 order below: The original Kingdom Hearts design Kingdom Hearts II main outfit Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance design Kingdom Hearts III main outfit Kingdom Hearts II Timeless River design (Has dedicated facial expressions) Kingdom Hearts II Valor Form Kingdom Hearts II Wisdom Form Kingdom Hearts III Ultimate Form The outfits from P1-P4 have wonderfully recreated artwork of Sora from the respective games. In addition, there are also 5 Spirits reflective of the designs from P1-P5. The Wisdom Form outfit has the Recusant's Sigil on its chest from the Dream Drop Distance design because P7 is an alternate skin of P3. So, while not a pure representation of Wisdom Form, the point comes across, and this can also be seen as a new take on the design, even if that wasn't the intended case. You can view each of Sora's official renders across his 8 outfits in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate via our gallery below: Generally speaking, Sora's moveset is pulled from how he plays as from Kingdom Hearts. For example, his standard 3-hit combo has several variations depending on how long the attack button is held, and the swings are reminiscent of his swordplay in the games themselves. Some abilities from the source material have arrived, too, like Hurricane Blast being Sora's down-air, Sonic Blade being his side-special, and Counterattack being his down-special. Magic is Sora's netural special, and it cycles through Firaga, Thundaga, and Blizzaga in that order when used. Each spell has neat unique effects dependent on situational contexts, so there is an undeniably deep mental game players will have to be cognizant of on the fly. Speaking of cycles, Sora's taunts also do just that. While not providing any beneficial effects, Sora's taunt cycles through castings of Stopga, Aeroga, and Curaga. Personally speaking, I find this to be a terrific way to feature some of the spells that didn't make their way into the moveset proper. Pay respects to Graviga, though. Due to how he excels in the air, Sora's edge guarding game is top-notch, boasting ludicrously adept recovery. Even though his weight is relatively light and his attacks are stated to be moderate in speed, it's clear that this iteration of Sora can more than hold his own. In the presentation, Sakurai forgot to detail Sora's dash and dash attack, leading him to briefly tweeting about them afterward. The stage that arrives with Sora is the beloved Hollow Bastion, specifically its original Kingdom Hearts version, which makes sense given how Sora's default design and his abilities are based on the franchise's first entry. Combatants stand on a moving platform that begins from Rising Falls before soaring and giving players detailed views of this lovingly recreated world. Additionally, when players are on their last stocks or when the match is running low on time, the stage transforms and becomes a Dive to the Heart station that depicts the imagery of a character's heart. The Dive to the Heart stations that can appear are as follows: Sora Riku Roxas Xion Terra Ventus Aqua Official screenshots of the Hollow Bastion + Dive to the Heart stage can be viewed via our gallery below: Oddly enough, even though Sakurai stated earlier in the presentation that he will forgo the details of Sora's Final Smash, wanting us to see for ourselves, and only providing the name, "Sealing the Keyhole," he then showed it in the middle of Sora's real-time combat demonstration. "Sealing the Keyhole" consists of literally sealing opponents within a keyhole and then within a door emblazoned with the iconic Super Smash Bros. logo. Afterward, Sora performs the keyhole sealing maneuver from the original Kingdom Hearts before the door explodes, severely damaging its occupants. It's a novel original Final Smash that captures the essence of Sora's tasked actions throughout the first game. Moreover, as revealed during the end of this combat showcase, when Sora defeats a foe at the end of a Stamina Battle, the game slows down, referencing the same effect that occurred when prevailing in key battles in the original Kingdom Hearts. Sora has 2 victory poses as shown below: There are 10 songs included with purchasing Sora, and each track is from the first game. Unfortunately, none of these tracks have been arranged and are instead simply their original versions. These songs are listed below: Night of Fate Destiny's Force Shrouding Dark Cloud Hand in Hand Blast Away! -Gummi Ship II- Hollow Bastion Scherzo Di Notte Fragments of Sorrow Destati Dearly Beloved -Swing Version- (If the player has save data of Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory on their Nintendo Switch) Also, while not a track that can be played during battles, Sora's victory fanfare is an arrangement of Hand in Hand composed by Yoko Shimomura! The Spirit Board contains 8 obtainable Spirits who can be viewed below: Kairi (1 Star - Novice) Ventus (2 Stars - Advanced) Aqua (3 Stars - Ace) Terra (2 Stars - Advanced) Riku (3 Stars - Ace) Xion (2 Stars - Advanced) Axel (2 Stars - Advanced) Roxas (5 Stars - Legend) In the Japanese version specifically, Aqua's and Axel's names will be denoted with the "KINGDOM HEARTS series" because their names match with other spirits. It is also worth noting that there are no direct references to Disney outside of the Mickey keychain on Sora's Keyblade. This was certainly done for copyright reasons, and it was even taken so far as to alter the characters' Dive to the Heart stations to remove any connotative Disney imagery. Sora will be released for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on October 18th, 2021. His character bundle, which consists of him, the music tracks, spirits, and the Hollow Bastion stage, costs $5.99. Alternatively, he is included in the Fighter's Pass 2 bundle. For a more in-depth look at Sora's fighting prowess, check out Sakurai's overview of him below (timestamped): You can view Sora on the legendary Super Smash Bros. Ultimate banner artwork via our gallery below: You can view the full Sora character trailer for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate below: Yoko Shimomura and Tetsuya Nomura shared personal comments regarding Sora's inclusion in this hallmark fighting game, which you can view below: Official screenshots of Sora in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate can be viewed via our galleries below: The Rest of the Kingdom Hearts Games Are Coming to Nintendo Switch While technically part of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate presentation, this is a separate matter. Sakurai announced that Kingdom Hearts - HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX-, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind will be playable on the Nintendo Switch via Cloud Gaming. For those unaware, Cloud Gaming is a service where games are streamed from an online source. Therefore, a high-speed internet connection is recommended when utilizing this service. No release dates or prices for any of these Cloud versions have been revealed yet. The name of this collection is the Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece for Cloud, though the titles can be bought individually. As a neat bit of trivia, the Integrum Masterpiece part of the title was the name for the All-in-One collection in Japan. Kingdom Hearts Dark Road Ending This Winter Soon after the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate presentation for Sora concluded, Square Enix shared the 20th Anniversary trailer for the Kingdom Hearts franchise. The most notable new announcement in this trailer is that Kingdom Hearts Dark Road will be concluding this Winter. All of the remaining content, including the ending, will be released at once. In addition, the Kingdom Hearts Dark Road game will also be receiving its offline mode version 5.0 update. No specific date on when this content will drop has been provided. However, since it simply states Winter, I believe it's safe to assume it to be releasing sometime from January 2022 to March 2022 since, even though late December is when Winter initiates, they would have likely stated that month specifically in the trailer if it were releasing then. Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event At the very end of the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary trailer, Square Enix revealed that a Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event is planned. No details on when this will occur or the like have been provided yet, though. This is just a guess on my part, but since the original Kingdom Hearts was released in March 2002, I think this Anniversary event will be held in March 2022. Check out the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary trailer below if you haven't already: Merchandise Of course, it can't be a celebration without merchandise. So the final bit of news in the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary trailer is that there is a plethora of planned, celebratory merchandise. The 2 products shown off during the trailer were the highly anticipated chess set, which is now available for pre-order, and Kingdom Hearts III suitcases currently in development. Also, while not all necessarily anniversary items, several other Kingdom Hearts-themed products were revealed this week. You can view each of the items revealed below: Kingdom Hearts ~20th Anniversary~ Ichiban Kuji Sora and Kairi Figures Kingdom Hearts III Alba & Ater Chess Set Kingdom Hearts Keyblade Silicon Ice Tray Kingdom Hearts Mouse Pad 20th Anniversary Kingdom Hearts III suitcases Lastly, while not merchandise, the announcement of Kingdom Hearts-themed guest rooms returning to the Disney ambassador hotel at Tokyo Disney Resort this Winter is noteworthy. And that is all of the essential information that all fans should know of from this wild week of immense news drops. The 20th Anniversary of the Kingdom Hearts franchise has not even truly begun yet, and we're already being provided staggering news that will surely amplify once we hit 2022. What are you looking forward to from the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary and what types of celebratory occurences would you like to see? Additionally, how thrilled are you to finally play as Sora in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? Let us know in the comments below! View full article
  19. Following the announcement of Sora joining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the official Square Enix Youtube channel shared the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Announcement trailer. This trailer reiterates that the games are coming to Nintendo Switch, but also reveals that Dark Road will be concluding this Winter. No details on whether this will affect the English version too were provided. Celebratory merchandise has been announced to be arriving too, including the highly anticipated chess set! Lastly, a 20th Anniversary Event was announced! Details regarding this event will revealed at a later date. You can view the 20th Anniversary trailer below: You can view the English version of the announcement trailer below: View full article
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