Note: This article will be updated as more information becomes available.
Kingdom Hearts 3, the Keyblade-slashing, heart-stealing action RPG is one of the most anticipated games around, and it's easy to see why. This "overwhelmingly big" third installment of the Kingdom Hearts series will once again follow Sora, Riku, Kairi, Donald and Goofy in what will likely be their most epic adventure to date.
Now Loading has all the latest news, info and theories to keep you up-to-date on this highly anticipated PS4/Xbox One title from Disney and Square Enix. Check back often for all your Kingdom Hearts 3 needs!
'Kingdom Hearts 3' News, Rumors & Leaks
- Kingdom Hearts 3 could feature costume customization based on feedback of the feature in the 2.8 Remix.
- New screenshots of Kingdom Hearts 3 confirm the existence of new Hercules-based world, Mt. Olympus, as well as the return of Drive Forms with the all-new "Guard Form."
- New opening cinematic for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue hints at gaps to be bridged in the story leading up to the release of Kingdom Hearts 3. Watch the full opening below:
- Square Enix has mentioned releasing many of its big titles on the Nintendo Switch, and new rumors suggest Kingdom Hearts 3 may also be released on the highly anticipated Nintendo console.
- New Disney worlds rumored to get the Kingdom Hearts 3 treatment include Frozen, Wreck-it Ralph, Brave, Zootopia, The Jungle Book, Toy Story, Star Wars and the Marvel series.
- Game director Tetsuya Nomura reveals clues hidden in the box art for the Kingdom Hearts HD remixes, hinting at the story direction in Kingdom Hearts 3.
- Kingdom Hearts 3 ranks 7th on the Weekly Famitsu Most Wanted Charts in Japan.
- Delay in launch of Kingdom Hearts 2.8 from December 2016 to January 2017 will undoubtedly mean a delay in the launch of Kingdom Hearts 3 (originally thought to have an April 2017 release).
- Speculation abounds as to whether or not Kingdom Hearts 3 will be available on Xbox One after its page disappeared from the Xbox Japan website. It is, however, still listed on the Square Enix website, and remains available for pre-order on the Microsoft Store. Square Enix itself has yet to comment.
'Kingdom Hearts 3' Trailer
Two different trailers (and one teaser) have been released so far for Kingdom Hearts 3. They are a combination of gameplay videos (showcasing new worlds like Tangled, as well as new Disney-theme-park-inspired abilities) and FMV cut-scenes hinting at the story and characters in the newest addition to the Kingdom Hearts series.
Watch the most recent Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer from E3 2015 below:
'Kingdom Hearts 3' Release Date
Kingdom Hearts 3 has yet to be given an official release date. Fans have speculated the game would launch sometime in 2017, but with the recent delay of Kingdom Hearts 2.8 to January 2017, new fears that we'll be forced to wait until 2018 have arisen.
Rest assured, as soon as Square Enix gives us a hard date, you'll be able to find it here.
- What Does 'Kingdom Hearts 3's Xbox One Cancelation Mean For The Game's Release Date?
- Should 'Kingdom Hearts 3' Sacrifice Length For A 2017 Release?
'Kingdom Hearts 3' Story So Far
The Kingdom Hearts storyline is complicatedly vast and vastly complicated. It stretches over twenty different games on over ten different systems, making it a hard plot for even the most loyal of fans to follow. Attempting to break down the entire series would make for a lesson in verbose futility, so I'll just break down the major points of the previous games and what you need to know before starting up Kingdom Hearts 3.
- The Keyblade War: a great big war that happened a long time ago about some mythical paradise called Kingdom Hearts. It ended badly.
- Xehanortion Contortion: a crazy dude named Xehanort rips his apprentice in half in an attempt to find Kingdom Hearts. A nice guy.
- The Original Trio: Ventus the good twin and friends Aqua and Terra attempt the Mark of Mastery exam to become official Keyblade masters. Sweet.
- War on Terra: Terra fails the test and seeks out Xehanort, who uses him as a soulless meat sack and takes over his body. Aqua and Mickey defeat him. Everyone goes flying into nothingness.
- The Call of the Keyblade: the original trio makes the new trio their successors. Sora is to Ventus as Riku is to Terra as Kairi is to Aqua.
- Organizing the Organization: Ansem the Wise is tricked by his apprentice Xehanort and the Heartless are created. Xehanort splits into two—"Ansem" and "Xemnas." All of old Ansem's apprentices turn into Nobodies and form Organization XIII.
- A Kingdom of Hearts: Sora teams up with Goofy and Donald on a quest to find King Mickey; meanwhile, Riku tries to bring Kairi's soulless body back to life, unbeknownst that her heart is inside Sora. Everything culminates in a battle where Sora ends up sacrificing himself to retrieve Kairi's heart and ends up creating Nobodies of himself and Kairi.
- Ansem Smackdown: Sora defeats new Ansem. Riku and King Mickey sacrifice themselves to keep the resulting exodus of darkness at bay.
- Memory Chains: Sora puts a stop to a coup by Marluxia, who wants to overthrow Xemnas. At the end, he loses his memory and falls asleep for two years.
- A Second Kingdom of Hearts: Sora wakes up when his Nobody Roxas merges back with him, and he goes on another search for Riku and King Mickey. When they all meet up, they try to encode Kingdom Hearts as data, which backfires and blows everything up. Afterwards, Sora and Riku defeat Xemnas, get lost in oblivion for a while, then wake up on Destiny Islands.
- 2.B.A. Master: Sora and Riku meet with Yen Sid, who tells them they need to take a test to become true Keyblade masters. Also, now that Xemnas and Ansem are gone, the real Xehanort is back and prepared to wreak havoc. Oh, joy!
...and that's where the story of Kingdom Hearts 3 story shall begin! I had to leave out a couple of details here and there (read: almost everything), but hopefully you get the gist (and know where things will start come Kingdom Hearts 3 time). For even more insight into the story immediately preceding Kingdom Hearts 3, check out the section on Kingdom Hearts 2.8 down below.
'Kingdom Hearts 3' Characters
The Kingdom Hearts series brings with it a wealth of characters. Each game introduces new characters (main and otherwise), new backstories, new relationships and new alter-egos. To make things worse, just about everyone in the game gets their own Nobody at one point or another—a soulless copy who vaguely resembles the original character. Try to keep up with all that back and forth!
For a complete list of all the important characters you'll need to be familiar with in Kingdom Hearts 3, check here:
'Kingdom Hearts 3' Worlds & Featured Franchises
We've only been given a few sneak peaks into the worlds Sora will traverse in the latest installment of the Kingdom Hearts series. Co-director Tai Yasue has assured us (somewhat regrettably) in an interview with Gamespot that we won't be seeing any Final Fantasy worlds in Kingdom Hearts 3:
“we’re not adding any Final Fantasy worlds. A lot of the original worlds [Hollow Bastion, Traverse Town, e.t.c.] had Final Fantasy characters in them. At this moment, [...] we’re making original worlds and Disney worlds.”
What we can expect, however, is "difference and variety."
So far, only three worlds have been confirmed in Kingdom Hearts 3. They are worlds based on:
- Big Hero 6
Rest assured, we'll be adding more to the list as soon as we have more info! In the meantime, fans all over the globe have been speculating into what types of worlds could be appearing (and won't be appearing) in Kingdom Hearts 3:
- 8 New Worlds We Want To See In 'Kingdom Hearts 3'
- Worlds We Expect to See in Kingdom Hearts III
- 8 Worlds We DON'T Want To Return In 'Kingdom Hearts 3'!
'Kingdom Hearts 3' Theories
With a sweeping story like Kingdom Hearts so wrought with complexities, intricacies and multiple versions of the same characters living on different planes and calling each other different things, you can bet the fan theories will number into the quadruple digits. What characters will end up kicking the bucket? What characters will be making a reappearance? Are past games in the series already foretelling major plot points for Kingdom Hearts 3?
Here's what some of our creators have had to say about the upcoming third installment of this beloved series, and the list will only get longer the closer it gets to the release date!
- Why Riku Should Die In 'Kingdom Hearts 3'
- How 'Kingdom Hearts Unchained:Chi' Could Introduce The Next Antagonist
- 'Kingdom Hearts Chi': What It Means For The Series
- Why 'Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days' Is The Most Underrated, And Tragic, Game In The Series
- 'Kingdom Hearts': 14 Years Later
Where to Download 'Kingdom Hearts 3'
Unfortunately, Kingdom Hearts 3 has not been released yet. Were we to hazard a guess, however, it will be available for download from the Playstation (and Xbox, if it does, indeed, launch on Xbox One) stores upon release. You'll also be able to pick up a copy from your nearest game store if you appreciate the art of fine packaging.
'Kingdom Hearts 2.8 And How It Relates To 'Kingdom Hearts 3'
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is currently slated to be released in January of 2017. It contains three different games—a high-definition remaster of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, an HD cinematic entitled Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover, and a new game starring Aqua that takes place after the events of Birth by Sleep entitled Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep–A Fragmentary Passage (and will also serve as a prologue for Kingdom Hearts 3).
Thanks to the collection's release date getting delayed, fans expect this will mean further delays for the release date of Kingdom Hearts 3; however, all the new insights and sneak peaks might be able to whet appetites until the third installment's release.
If you're wondering how exactly the two games coincide with each other, check out some of these articles from our creators:
- Breaking Down Everything In The New 'Kingdom Hearts 2.8' Trailer! (Including Another Delayed Release Date)
- 'Kingdom Hearts' 2.8 Release Date Confirmed for PS4 With New Trailer!
- The 'Kingdom Hearts: 2.8' Trailer Just Dropped And It Looks Amazing!
Watch the complete Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue trailer from E3 2016 below:
Kingdom Hearts Complete Timeline
The story of Kingdom Hearts has spanned a grand total of 20 games so far over more than ten different consoles and systems. As it can be hard to keep track of this many games, here is a handy list of every game in the series in order of release:
- Kingdom Hearts
- Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix
- Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories
- Kingdom Hearts Re:chain of Memories
- Kingdom Hearts 365/2 Days
- Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix
- Kingdom Hearts II
- Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix
- Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
- Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix
- Kingdom Hearts Coded
- Kingdom Hearts Re:coded
- Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix
- Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (10th Anniversary)
- Kingdom Hearts X chi
- Kingdom Hearts Unchained X chi
- Kingdom Hearts HD: Dream Drop Distance
- Kingdom Hearts Back Cover Unchained X chi
- Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep A Fragmentary Passage
- Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
- Kingdom Hearts III