Kingdom Hearts is one of the single most important things to me. It received a dedication in my thesis. I can talk about it non-stop, but don’t because most of my friends simply don’t understand it and I want them to stay in my life. I’ve owned a few shirts. I’ve owned quite a bit of the manga. I bought an Oblivion keyblade which was really neat. Between 2006 and 2008 I had beaten Kingdom Hearts II fifteen times (several with friends, but mainly solo, and during one run I tried to finish every boss with reflect). With the exception of Coded/ Re:Coded, I’ve played every “side” game between Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts III. When an old friend from college needs help beating any of the games, I’m who she goes to.
Amongst friends and co-workers, besides being the Childish Gambino fan boy, I’m the Kingdom Hearts fan boy. I love this franchise and people know that I cry whenever there’s an announcement or trailer for the series. A few weeks ago I was texting a friend and she asked what I had been up to that day and I replied that I had been crying for most of the morning and afternoon. At first she showed concern, but then asked, Is this because of Kingdom Hearts?, because she knows me well enough, and she was right. I was crying because Youtubers/ famous gamers/ video game journalists got to play the early demo and the gameplay was gorgeous.
Around 11 months or so ago, it was revealed in the D23 2017 Expo trailer that Kingdom Heart III’s release window was 2018. It’s currently 2018, and I was excited to find out when the true release date would be. Well, the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra happened only a few hours ago and a trailer was released, revealing the release date for the game. It’s January 29th, 2019 (well if you’re living in Japan it’s January 25th). And now that the release date is open to the public, I’ve figured that this is the perfect time to talk about and answer some commonly asked questions about Kingdom Hearts, because once again, I love this franchise more than I love most things. So let’s start with a common and aggravating misconception that will only be amplified because of this recent release date reveal.
Why does Kingdom Hearts III get delayed so much?
I hate this question/ comment so much. I hate it because it deals with admitting that people are dumb. I keep on going about life believing that people can be smart or that they can at least Google and research the information they seek, yet time and time again I am proven wrong. It’s essentially a meme that Kingdom Hearts is delayed or that it’s taking forever to get the game. And let me say it, especially for the people in the back, UNTIL NOW, KINGDOM HEARTS III HAS NEVER BEEN DELAYED. It hasn’t. Miss me with that caca.
I will admit that maybe announcing the game in 2013 was a bit too early, but outside of that, any time a “fan” has ever said the game was delayed, it was because they hoped, secretly in their itty bitty hearts filled with misguided vitriol, that Kingdom Hearts III would come out that year despite there being no proof–only rumors. You’ll see several clickbait Youtubers talking about delays or even professional well esteemed video game journalism websites spout the nonsensical unsourced unproven drivel. And to them I say, Shame. Maybe if that false rhetoric was given some pushback we might not have entitled fans who for some reason believe that Kingdom Hearts III is some impossibility forever delayed when in fact, the truth is that unless a game has actually, officially stated a release date/ window (not some journalist’s or Youtuber’s expectations, something legitimately from the source) there can’t be a delay unless the game is actually announced that it’ll release after that date (once again, not the imaginary date you hoped the game would release).
And sure one (only one) Kingdom Hearts game, Kingdom Hearts 2.8, has been delayed before, but that wasn’t even because of Kingdom Hearts itself. It was because Final Fantasy XV got delayed and Square Enix didn’t want FFXV to eat the potential sales of KH2.8, which was a pretty smart move.
Now if we wanna talk about why KHIII has been delayed, remember when I was crying because people got to play an early access KHIII demo? Well I’m sure the game’s been delayed because Square Enix and Tetsuya Nomura (popularly nicknamed by the internet as Papa Nomura) actually took serious consideration into people’s feedback. People said that the combat was floaty,
because the Osaka team is working on it , and Nomura probably wants to fix that and the other miscellaneous issues that were noted. And that’s why, when I woke up this morning and saw that the game was delayed, I didn’t even stress. Okay, yes, there was a brief momentary passing of existential crisis, but once I stopped and thought about it, everything was fine, because I know that Papa will put in that work and make this game the best that it can be.
Now for the next question.
Why is the plot so confusing?
This is feels like it’s more of a meme gone wild than a serious inquiry, but I’ve seen people with all the gravitas in the world ask this question. And I can say without a great level of certainty that the plot of this franchise isn’t actually that confusing. It’s bonkers, sure, starting with the premise of Final Fantasy pretty boys uniting with Disney characters to fight heartless monsters, but it’s still not that confusing. It might take more thought and a better attention span than most games, but it’s not, I was going to say rocket science, but that line’s pretty cliche now of days, so let’s say bioengineering. The plot of the games is explained to you through cutscenes. There isn’t anything “hidden”, unless you skip out on the “side” games. Which I keep putting quotation marks around side, because they’re not really side games. They’re pretty plot relevant. I feel as though this misconception came to fruition when people started seeing all of these plot points regarding the series on the internet, but hadn’t played the “side” games to pick up and figure them out. It’s like watching Avengers: Infinity War having only watched Iron Man 2, Captain America: Civil War, not Thor: Ragnarok, but instead Thor 2: Dark World. Without watching the other movies in the MCU, you might not understand why Benedict Cumberbatch is in the movie being himself (but with magic), or why there’s a talking raccoon, or why Thor has one eye, or why the Hulk/ Bruce Banner is back, or who the Guardians of the Galaxy are, and if you’re screaming, Spoilers!, movie’s been out for over a month and I only mentioned plot points everyone would have known if they had watched all the movies culminating to Infinity War.
What I’m saying is that this game isn’t being confusing to be confusing. The information is right there, in the games, if you want it. But if you can understand the plot of the MCU or if you can understand the plot of most elaborate or deep lore-d manga/ anime, you can probably understand the plot of Kingdom Hearts. It’s not like Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice where most of the more revealing, backstory plot points, just aren’t there (at least in the theater version).
The other reason I feel as though people think the plot is confusing is because Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance (or KH3D) introduced time travel to the plot, and while I…it was kind of unnecessary, it’s still a plot point that is explained in that game. Seriously, just take the information that the game gives you and keep on going. It’s all there. And if you still don’t quite understand the plot, that’s fine. You can watch Suggestive Gaming explain the plot of the series (and subscribe to their channel or something. or don’t. I can’t control you.).
But you should try to play the games, which leads to this next question.
Why are all of these games spread out over multiple consoles? I refuse to shell out so much money to play all of these games!
Well, if it were 2013, I would say you had a fair point. Back then we were in wild times where the numbered games were all on Playstation 2 and the “side” games were on a litany of handhelds (Game Boy Advanced, DS, PSP, 3DS in that order). I had never complained back then because I had all of those handhelds, but I had the privilege of not liking anything but video games as a child, so my parents never bought me anything outside of video games (it went: cheap clothes, Payless shoes, video games). So I understood the struggle of someone who didn’t have the means (money) to access all of the “spinoff” titles. But now it’s 2018 and anyone can have access to the full games of: Kingdom Hearts I, Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, and Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage-, and the cutscenes to: Kingdom Hearts 358 Days/ 2, Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded (useless), and Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover, by buying two games for Playstation 4. It’s that simple.
But Kingdom Hearts III is coming out on Xbox One too! What if I only have an Xbox One?
Well…you’ve got me there, kiddo. Either you’ve gotta hope they bring those remasters to Xbox One sometime this year or you’re boned. But really, I’ve got to ask, if you wanna play a JRPG, why do you have an Xbox One? You knew what you were getting when you got the console. There’s a reason I stopped playing on Microsoft consoles after Xbox 360 and that’s because after Tales of Vesperia and Infinite Undiscovery, with the exception of Final Fantasy games (sans World of Final Fantasy), Microsoft doesn’t really get JRPGs, and it was a surprise that they even got Kingdom Hearts III in the first place. So just hope you receive an all encompassing remaster soon.
Last question! Well now I’m interested in Kingdom Hearts. Where should I go for more information and news?
Definitely not me. I’m just a fan (with a masters. someone hire me pls.) who can’t really afford the time to cover Kingdom Hearts non-stop (revising thesis, looking for adult jobs, etc.), which is why I write about Kingdom Hearts on such a sporadic basis. But if you’re looking for some well established fans and theorists whose Youtube channels were built upon their Kingdom Hearts news and theory related content, you’ve got a plethora of options. Your best bets are the χ-Keepers though. I follow most of them and go to them anytime I want to know Kingdom Hearts stuff. Individually they’re HMK, SkywardWing, TheGamersJoint, and Soraalam1. There’s also LimitForm72. They’re all really knowledgeable and enjoyable people. Subscribe to em if you want.
Anyways, I think that’s all I’ve got right now. I’ll probably talk more about Kingdom Hearts when trailers come out for the public and I’ll probably be crying and raving to friends and they’ll probably look at me with concern. I leave you with the D23 2018 trailer that previews the new theme. Later days.