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Kingdom Hearts 4: From Star Wars to Final Fantasy Versus XIII, What Can We Expect?

Game News Kingdom Hearts 4: From Star Wars to Final Fantasy Versus XIII, What Can We Expect?

This weekend, Square Enix held an event to celebrate 20 years of the Kingdom Hearts saga. On this occasion, the Japanese publisher took the opportunity to announce several games, including Kingdom Hearts IV as the highlight of the show. Although the third opus was long overdue, what clues can we see in this first trailer?

Summary

  • Testuya Nomura still so attached to Versus XIII?
  • Finally Star Wars and the MCU in Kingdom Hearts?

Long announced, the event dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the series Kingdom Hearts ultimately did not disappoint fans. If some only expected presentations of derivative products and mobile games (which happened with the presentation of) Kingdom Hearts: Missing Link), Square Enix has a big trick up its sleeve. At the end of the event, Kingdom Hearts IV was revealedwhile most fans had bet on a new spin-off because the license was already well known.

Testuya Nomura still so attached to Versus XIII?

Kingdom Hearts 4: From Star Wars to Final Fantasy Versus XIII, What Can We Expect?

In this three minute trailer we can see that after the events of Kingdom Hearts III, Sora awakens from a seven-day slumber in a world called Quadratum, which closely resembles a modern-day Tokyo. Hosted by Strelitzia, a crossover character in the mobile game Kingdom Hearts: Union Xexplains the latter that it is a reality equal to a “afterlifeto them, which can be translated as a “life after death”. After a few shots showing the surroundings of the city, a giant Heartless appears, prompting Sora to intervene. In a rather impressive and acrobatic sequence, we see that the Keyblade can now grab thanks to its chain and that our hero is more agile than ever as he runs on the walls. At the end of the battle, it is discovered that members of Organization XIII had been watching the scene from the start. Finally, the trailer ends with Donald and Goofy exploring a dark place and having a terrifying encounter, probably Hades from the movie. Hercules considering the color change of the flames from blue to red.

Kingdom Hearts 4: From Star Wars to Final Fantasy Versus XIII, What Can We Expect?

After watching, several fans commented on social media that: this announcement video showed many similarities with elements of Final Fantasy Versus XIII† Between the city that recalls Insomnia, the design of Sora that is more like Noctis or even certain sequences that are visually very similar to old trailers from Versus XIII (when Sora runs on the facade of a building, for example), it seems that Tetsuya Nomura, the creator of the series and character designer star at Square Enix, still doesn’t mourn this abandoned project. As a reminder, Final Fantasy Versus XIII was an ambitious title announced in 2006 for the PS3 that would become part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis compilation with Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Agito XIII, which eventually became Final Fantasy Type-0† Although it was an important game for Tetsuya Nomura, the development had many complications to the point that the project was renamed Final Fantasy XV and be removed from the hands of its creator. In fact, if Versus XIII and FFXV appear identical in appearance, given their gameplay and their characters, the final product will remain very different from the original version created by the creator of Kingdom Hearts (KH).

Kingdom Hearts 4: From Star Wars to Final Fantasy Versus XIII, What Can We Expect?

Since the Final Fantasy Versus XIII project was withdrawn from him, Tetsuya Nomura has multiplied the nods to his baby in the KH saga.† Besides the design of Riku that looks exactly like Noctis, the hero of Versus XIII/FFXV, it is especially in the DLC of KH III, Kingdom Hearts III: Remembrance, that the call of the foot was the most explicit. In the secret episode of this extra content, Sora wakes up in the Final World where he can meet Yozora, the hero of a fictional video game called Verum Rex† In fact, the latter again shares many similarities with Noctis, both in the meaning of their name and their design, through their fighting style and their different poses. But where doubt is no longer allowed is when we watch the cutscene that takes place once the confrontation is over. If Sora wins the fight, then we are entitled to a sequence where Yozora is woken up in the back of his car by his driver who is a shot-by-shot recreation of a Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailer aired in 2011. Faced with all these clues and after seeing the Kingdom Hearts IV announcement, it wouldn’t be surprising if Tetsuya Nomura picked up other ideas for Versus XIII to incorporate them into Sora’s new adventures.

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Finally Star Wars and the MCU in Kingdom Hearts?

Kingdom Hearts 4: From Star Wars to Final Fantasy Versus XIII, What Can We Expect?

In addition to these similarities to this old Square Enix project, this first trailer for Kingdom Hearts IV also seems to offer some clues about the worlds you can visit. While the majority of the video is set in Quadratum, a few shots at the beginning show us a lush forest. If this is a pretty mundane environment in the video game world, a detail particularly caught the attention of the fans, because at 0’34 we see a round and gray shape. Some then identified that it could be the foot of an AT-ST Walker, a vehicle first seen in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi on the forest moon of Endor† However, since 2012, the franchise has been owned by Disney, it is very possible that Star Wars finally be one of the visited worlds in Kingdom Hearts. A hypothesis that therefore seems likely, especially since some Disney live-action films have been in KH for a long time, such as pirates of the caribbean for example. And who knows, maybe the MCU, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, could also make an appearance in this fourth installment?

Kingdom Hearts 4: From Star Wars to Final Fantasy Versus XIII, What Can We Expect?

But once the announcement effect is over, you may wonder when we can get our hands on this famous Kingdom Hearts IV. On the side of Square Enix, we delay by indicating that the project is in “early development” while the trailer ends with a “Magic in the making“, which gives no indication of time† However, we know that this new installment was developed thanks to the Unreal Engine 5, a more advanced version of the Unreal Engine 4, the engine used by Kingdom Hearts III but also Final Fantasy VII Remake, another project of which Tetsuya Nomura is co-director. As this tool becomes more democratized within Square Enix, one can imagine that the development time will be shorter if the teams are used to using it regularly. However, we also remember that some projects led by Tetsuya Nomura suffered major delays, such as Final Fantasy Versus XIII announced in 2006 and finally released in 2016 under the name Final Fantasy XV, or even Kingdom Hearts III unveiled in 2013 for a launch in 2019. Nevertheless, it is important to specify that the context today is very different at Square Enix and it is unlikely that this kind of scenario will repeat itself again.

Kingdom Hearts 4: From Star Wars to Final Fantasy Versus XIII, What Can We Expect?

To try and estimate the release date of Kingdom Hearts IV, we should also take a look at the calendar of AAA games on Square Enix. Yes pronounced is now scheduled for October 11, 2022, the next headline from the Japanese publisher is expected to be then Final Fantasy XVIthen the second part of Final Fantasy VII Remakesuggesting that a year 2023 is quite busy with major releases. Based on these assumptions that are not based on official information, one would be inclined to believe that KH4 would at least not be planned before 2024., especially considering what Square Enix says. In any case, we’ll have to be patient for a while, as Tetsuya Nomura has announced that there will be no new information during the E3 period and that there will be talk about the game again much later.

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