Square Enix and Director Tetsuya Nomura decided to release the new Kingdom Hearts III trailer today, ahead of its scheduled debut on Dec. 18. The “Final Battle” trailer, as it’s titled, is by far the most detailed we’ve seen yet, and it’s absolutely jam-packed with details and even reveals for Kingdom Hearts III.
It’s impossible to catch everything on just one viewing, so we’ve gone step-by-step through the trailer trying to scrape out every little detail we can. We’ll walk step-by-step through the trailer and pick out the biggest details we think you should know about, and anything that’s a big new reveal.
If there’s anything we missed, of course, feel free to chime in with it down in the comments below.
One of the very first scenes we see is Aqua being absorbed by darkness. This is a bit different from anything we’ve seen in 0.2 or past trailers, as it looks like her entire body is literally being enveloped by black. We already know that she’s been Norted, but this could indicate that Sora and crew may not be able to save her in the end. It’s also interesting this is the only time we see Aqua in the entire trailer.
Scrooge McDuck returns. Scrooge has played a minor role in many of the Kingdom Hearts games, and he’ll be returning again. From the looks of the ground, it seems like Scrooge will be in Twilight Town, but it’s hard to say based on the few seconds we see. Traditionally Scrooge has been in Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden, which may indicate we aren’t seeing the return of Hollow Bastion.
Riku confirmed as the second playable character. For a few seconds, we see Riku as the playable character fighting Heartless in the Realm of Darkness. There are no party members in the shot we see.
It looks like there might be a special Rattatoulie Keyblade, as Sora quickly transforms it into the Eiffel Tower for a brief second, then into a massive frying pan that he slams down. We see an emblem with Remi in a Chef Hat as well on the pan.
There are a few brief shots of minigames next, and Nomura has said that Kingdom Hearts III will add more diverse gameplay to each world. In order we see minigames using cannons to blast heartless in Pirates of the Caribbean, catapulting Sora into the air in Big Hero 6, and Sora dancing in the town square in Tangled.
After that, we see a quick compilation of some bosses. There’s a Chariot heartless in Olympus, a giant fish Heartless underwater in Pirates of the Caribbean, Sora, and crew fighting Davy Jones, a giant shadow monster in Monsters Inc., and giant tree climbing on Rapunzel’s tower.
We’ve seen this scene before, but again it seems like Kingdom Hearts III will have another sequence similar to the 1000-Heartless in Kingdom Hearts II. Based on later scenes in the trailer, it seems this battle will be a pivotal event.
Now we get story content. There’s a scene with Saix talking to a new hooded figure where he says “I would hate to think we welcomed you back into our ranks only for you to vail to deliver our final vessel.” Based on this, we think this figure could be either Roxas or Xion. In the past, the organization tried to use both characters as replacements for Sora as the final vessel because Roxas is a part of Sora and Xion is a data copy of Roxas.
Vanitas seeing Ventus when he looks at Sora. This is the first time we’re actually seeing Ventus in Kingdom Hearts III, and he’s clearly the goal that Vanitas is going after.
Now there’s a scene of Pete and Maleficent talking, where Maleficent says “A Keyblade War is upon us.” It looks like the villains have plans of their own in the works separate from Master Xehanort.
We get another look at Chirithy, the little cat-like creature from the mobile game. In Kingdom Hearts Unchained X, Chirithy is assigned to each Keyblade wielder as a guide and helper. The creatures were created by the enigmatic Master of Masters, who we know very little about. Chirithy says “Haven’t you already learned how to restore someone’s heart after it’s been lost.”
What Chirithy says most likely refers to Sora trying to reawaken Ventus, or it could even refer to Aqua and Terra, who have both been Norted. It looks like Chirithy is taking that helper role with Sora, and it’s helping Sora in a great time of need.
We see a shot of Saix and Axel sitting together on the Twilight Town tower. If you don’t know, these two characters were best friends when they were still humans, named Isa and Lea, living on Radiant Garden. Axel hasn’t forgotten and clearly Saix hasn’t either. Saix says “In time I awakened to a new purpose.”
Clearly, the two are treating at least for a moment, so could we see Axel trying to bring Saix over to the light?
Another returning character is Ansem the Wise, the scientist from Radiant Garden who conducted research on hearts, and hid his data away in Sora’s heart. Considering Ansem is in an Organization cloak we can assume he is yet another of Xehanort’s 13 Seekers of Darkness, although unwillingly from the sounds of it.
One of the stranger scenes we see is Riku fighting the Kingdom Hearts 1 version of himself, while Ansem (the Heartless) watches in teh background. This is likely some kind of illusion or being created by Ansem, or maybe even Xehanort.
We’ve seen Kairi with her Keyblade, but now for the very first time, we actually see her using it in combat. Again this is the new 1000-Heartless style battle and we see most of the main cast here including Sora, Riku, Kairi, Donald, Goofy, and Axel.
That scene then cuts to Axel saying “Who are you” and mysterious figure with a Keyblade fighting him, once again lending evidence to this person being Roxas or Xion. Multiple Organization members, including Xemnas, are attacking Axel here, so it looks like he’ll be directly going up against them.
Interestingly, there’s a brief scene with Sora and Ventus bound by purple chains. It’s important to note here that we see both of them, separately. Mickey is also in this battle, and the floating cards we see in the background here indicate this scene is most likely during a battle with Luxord.
Some final scenes set up a dire situation for our heroes. Donald glows and then collapses on the ground and the horde of heartless sweep across everyone. Kairi is swept up into the tornado of Heartless and we see quite a few scenes of Sora caught in anguish or despair.
The final scene is Riku blocking a horde of Heartless and protecting Sora, then saying “Sora, you don’t believe that. I know you don’t.” Xehanort and his Seekers are consistently talking to Sora throughout these trailers and it seems like they’re causing severe mental anguish for him.
With the tone of these scenes it seems something very bad will happen, but what we see could just as easily be misdirection.
After the Kingdom Hearts III title, we see a fascinating scene with Xehanort and a brand new city we’ve never seen before. Xehanort calls it Scala ad Caelum which roughly translates to “stairway to heaven.” Xehanort states this used to be a seat of power for Keyblade wielder, and it’s where he and his other selves can be one.
This is an entirely original world for the Kingdom Hearts series, and it could be Xehanort’s ultimate goal. The cloaked figures with Xehanort are unlike anything we’ve seen, however, there are thirteen of them, so they could be the 13 Seekers of Darkness.
This is easily the most mysterious scene of the entire trailer, and we’ll likely have to wait until the full game to get any more info.
Those are all the details we managed to spot in Kingdom Hearts III’s latest trailer. If you have any theories or thoughts on where the story of Kingdom Hearts III is going, chime in with the comments down below.
Kingdom Hearts III launches on Jan. 29 for PS4 and Xbox One.