|Kingdom Hearts III|
|Developer(s)||Square Enix Business Division 3|
|Programmer(s)|| Hideki Matsuoka|
|Writer(s)|| Tetsuya Nomura|
|Composer(s)|| Yoko Shimomura|
|Engine||Unreal Engine 4|
|Release date(s)|| |
Kingdom Hearts III[lower-alpha 1] is an action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is the twelfth installment in the Kingdom Hearts series, a sequel to Kingdom Hearts II, and the final chapter in the Dark Seeker saga. Set after the events of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, returning protagonist Sora is joined by Donald Duck, Goofy, King Mickey and Riku in their search for the seven Guardians of Light and the "Key to Return Hearts" as they attempt to thwart the restored Xehanort's plan to bring about a second Keyblade War. Their journey has them cross paths with characters and visit worlds based on different Disney and Pixar properties.
Concepts for the game began as early as 2006 after the release of Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix in Japan, with the game not being announced until 2013, following years of rumors and speculation. Kingdom Hearts III sees many returning gameplay features from the series, while expanding parties to five characters total, introducing new "Attraction Flow" attacks that incorporate various Disney Parks attractions, and mini-games inspired by classic Walt Disney Productions Mickey Mouse cartoons in the style of 1980s LCD games. The game was built using Unreal Engine 4.
Kingdom Hearts III was released worldwide in January 2019. Upon release, the game was met with generally positive reviews from critics.
Gameplay in Kingdom Hearts III is similar to its predecessors, with hack and slash combat, which director Tetsuya Nomura stated would be along the lines of the system seen in Kingdom Hearts II, with an evolution similar to what was seen from Kingdom Hearts to Kingdom Hearts II, and closely tied to the gameplay in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. He also revealed that the handheld games of the series were where he could experiment with the combat mechanics, and that some of the well-received additions could appear in Kingdom Hearts III. Nomura noted that new gameplay elements are the "skeleton" of the game, saying, "When creating a Kingdom Hearts game, we start with a gameplay system that I think would be a fun element, and once we have an idea of what kind of gameplay or system we want in place, we flesh out the story around it, surrounding the basic concept of what kind of fun we're going to have with this new installment." Additionally, the development team "always want to try something new", taking previously introduced mechanics and making small "tweak[s]" to them so they are customized for Kingdom Hearts III.
Sora returns as the main playable character, once again joined in the party by Donald Duck and Goofy, with the ability to have two additional characters join the party for a total of five-player parties. This is an increase from previous main entries in the series, where players were limited to two additional party members at any given time along with Sora. Certain parts of the game have Riku and Aqua as playable characters. Describing the gameplay, Nomura called the action "pretty frantic", as well as "really flashy and exciting. The enemy AI is a lot more intricate, too, and I think the gameplay will reflect that new dynamic balance." Sora can perform magic, with a new, powerful tier of each spell available to him, similar to what Aqua has available to her in Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage. Magic performs differently in underwater sections of the game, with Kingdom Hearts III introducing a new spell, Water. Team-up attacks are also featured, which combine Sora and various party members into one attack. Players can equip various abilities for Sora and his party members, with the system to do so "an evolution of sorts" from the system used in Kingdom Hearts II. Character summons make a return from previous entries, this time known as "Links", where an additional character joins the battle to assist the player with specialized attacks.
Sora faces Heartless, Nobodies, and Unversed in the game, with new variants of these enemy types appearing. In addition to these traditional "smaller" enemies, the player faces giant bosses, which give "Sora greater freedom of movement and room to experiment with attacks—including the new theme-park-ride summon attacks," known as "Attraction Flow". These attacks are inspired by the Disney Parks attractions Mad Tea Party, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, and Grizzly River Run, and generic pirate ship and carousel attractions; these attacks draw visual inspiration from Disney Parks' Main Street Electrical Parade. Sora also has the ability to jump on certain enemies, such as ones shaped like a vehicle. Regarding traversal, Nomura noted the new mechanic, called "Athletic Flow" in Japanese, was refined from the Flowmotion mechanic from Dream Drop Distance, which players felt was "a little too free... and it was kind of hard to control on their end." "Athletic Flow" allows the player to utilize the environment to access previously unreachable areas. Co-director Tai Yasue stated this mechanic was created "to try something new" and "radically change the gameplay" for the Hercules world, which led to its use in the other worlds. As a result, each world was able to have "more height, scale and sense of discovery."
Situation Commands also return from previous entries, which can trigger the Keyblade transformations. Nomura revealed that Keyblade transformations were conceived as early as the development of Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix and would be similar to Aqua's ability in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, saying, "Each Keyblade transformation is unlocked by clearing all missions in one of [the game's] worlds, and each individual world offers its own unique Keyblade transformation." He further elaborated stating there were two forms each Keyblade can take, with "multiple layers in terms of transforming" starting with one transformation and achieving the second after "successfully connect[ing] your combos". The Keyblade transformations active the various "Formchanges"–Power, Guard, Magic, and Speed–Template:Better and change Sora's outfit, similarly to the "Drive Form" mechanic in Kingdom Hearts II. Various Keyblades are linked to each form; for example, the Toy Story world Keyblade actives Power Form for Sora, with the Keyblade's transformations changing into a hammer and then into a drill. There is also "Second Form", which changes Sora's battle skills rather than transform the Keyblade. Unlike previous games in the series, players are able to quickly switch between different Keyblades seamlessly during gameplay rather than from the game's equipment menu, and each Keyblade can be leveled up to increase their abilities. Shotlocks also return, which use a focus meter that can target and lock on to individual enemies with the attack depending on which Keyblade is equipped.
Each world offers a specific gameplay element, such as first-person shooter Giga mechs in the Toy Story world, downhill sledding in the Frozen world, and naval, underwater, and aerial combat in the Pirates of the Caribbean world, which also features numerous smaller islands at sea which can be explored. The Gummi Ship also returns as a means of travel between the different worlds of the game. The mechanic has been split into two phases: exploration and combat. Exploration has been likened to being more open-world without a fixed travel route as in previous games, while the combat has increased its scale from previous games, with more enemies present. Gummi Ship customization also returns, with more options available than in previous Kingdom Hearts games.
Various mini-games are able to be played throughout Kingdom Hearts III, including a cooking-themed one featuring Remy from Ratatouille, and a music one in the Tangled world. Additionally, the "Classic Kingdom" features over 20 games presented in the style of 1980s LCD games such as Game & Watch, while the 100 Acre Wood world features puzzle games. Members of the development team suggested each type of mini-game featured, with Nomura working on the "Classic Kingdom". Kingdom Hearts III also has a "Memory Archive" features, which has several short films explaining the basic story elements of the series from the previous games.
|Kingdom Hearts series chronology|
Most of the worlds featured in the game based on Disney properties are new to the series, such as the Kingdom of Corona (based on Tangled), San Fransokyo (Big Hero 6), Toy Box (Toy Story), Monstropolis (Monsters, Inc.), and Arendelle (Frozen). A new, original world built specifically for the game also appears, called Scala ad Caelum. Returning worlds include Olympus (from Hercules), The Caribbean previously called Port Royal (Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End), 100 Acre Wood (Winnie the Pooh), Yen Sid's Mysterious Tower, the Realm of Darkness, Twilight Town, Destiny Islands, Disney Castle, Radiant Garden, and the Keyblade Graveyard. Olympus and Twilight Town both serve as tutorial stages at the beginning of the game. The "Classic Kingdom" mini-games are inspired by classic Walt Disney Productions Mickey Mouse cartoons, including Giantland, The Karnival Kid, Musical Farmer, The Barnyard Battle, The Klondike Kid, and Mickey's Mechanical Man.
The Big Hero 6 and Toy Story worlds feature original stories, with the former set after the events of the film, and the latter set between the events of Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3. This is different from previous worlds in the series, which have often loosely followed plot lines from the films on which they were based. For example, Arendelle in Kingdom Hearts III follows the same timeline as Frozen. On the amount of worlds featured in the game, Nomura noted the development team focused on creating "rich gameplay in an individual world... designed so players can take their time and enjoy the gameplay that's available" opposed to having "multiple different little worlds".
Sora returns as the protagonist of the game, alongside Donald Duck and Goofy. Supporting characters also returning include Riku, Kairi, King Mickey, Master Eraqus, Terra, Aqua, Ventus, Lea, Ienzo, Roxas, Hayner, Pence, and Olette, Jiminy Cricket, Chip 'n' Dale, Yen Sid, Chirithy, and Ansem the Wise.
Returning antagonists include Master Xehanort and his various forms—his Heartless, Ansem; his Nobody, Xemnas; his youthful incarnation, Young Xehanort; and his primary vessel, Terra-Xehanort—Marluxia, Vanitas, Larxene, Xigbar, Luxord, Demyx, Vexen, Saïx, Riku's Replica, and Disney characters Maleficent and Pete.
Disney characters who serve as members of Sora's party include the returning Hercules and Jack Sparrow, and new to the series, Woody and Buzz Lightyear, Sulley and Mike Wazowski, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, Baymax, and Marshmallow. Characters that appear as summon "Links" for Sora include Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Dream Eaters, such as Meow Wow, from Dream Drop Distance, Wreck-It Ralph from the film of the same name, Simba from The Lion King, and Stitch from Lilo & Stitch.
Additional Disney character appearances include Hades, Lythos, Hydros, Pegasus, Megara, Phil, Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, Hector Barbossa, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Rabbit, Roo, Gopher, and Scrooge McDuck, with new characters Hamm, Rex, Sarge and the Bucket O' Soldiers, and the Squeeze Toy Aliens from Toy Story; Boo, Randall Boggs, and the CDA from Monsters, Inc.; Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf, Sven, and Hans from Frozen; Joshamee Gibbs, Tia Dalma, Davy Jones, Cutler Beckett, and the Kraken from the Pirates of the Caribbean film series; Pyros, Stratos, and Zeus from Hercules; Pascal and Maximus and Mother Gothel from Tangled; Hiro Hamada, Go Go, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, and Fred from Big Hero 6; and Lumpy from the Winnie the Pooh franchise, joining. Remy from Ratatouille appears in one of the game's mini-games. The Final Fantasy Moogle character returns as the item shopkeeper.
Following the events of Dream Drop Distance, Sora has lost most of his powers after he almost fell into Xehanort's control. Accompanied by Donald Duck and Goofy, he starts traveling across other worlds again in order to get stronger and regain the "power of waking" in order to rescue lost hearts. Meanwhile, Riku and King Mickey traverse the Realm of Darkness in search for Aqua, but lose her trail and are forced to retreat after the Heartless destroy Riku's Keyblade and severely damage Mickey's. At the same time, Kairi and Lea are training with Merlin so that they can properly wield their newly obtained Keyblades.
Sora first attempts to learn how to regain his strength from Hercules, remembering how Hercules lost his motivation in their previous meeting, but Hercules is unable to reveal how he succeeded as he was unsure himself. Shortly after, Ienzo is working with Yen Sid and Chip n' Dale on research and discovers that Sora's body contains the hearts of three other individuals, including Roxas. Sora and his group decide to find a way to save Roxas so he can help with the final battle, receiving assistance from Hayner, Pence, and Olette. At the same time, Riku and Mickey are retracing Aqua's steps in the Realm of Light. They recall Xehanort's boast that he had one of the Guardians of Light on his side and deduce that Terra was possessed by Xehanort and the fake Ansem and Xemnas came from him. The three parties learn that the heart can only exist if a new body is available. Riku surmises that the enemy has a workaround with the fake bodies of Replicas, which is how the members of Organization XIII from the past, like Young Xehanort, are able to exist in the present.
Elsewhere, Maleficent and Pete also travel around the worlds in search of the mysterious black box that Luxu obtained, for use in Maleficent's own devious plans, unaware that Xigbar and Luxord are also seeking it. Eventually, Maleficent gives up on the search and tells Pete that no matter who wins the Keyblade War, the box will appear once it's over. Additionally, Even, having transformed back into Vexen, rejoins the Organization and begins working with Saix to build replicas for which the other Darknesses are inhabiting. Aqua, still with Ansem the Wise and having lost Eraqus' Keyblade, is corrupted by darkness after an encounter with Ansem, who proceeds to kidnap Ansem the Wise. Hayner, Pence, and Olette attempt to save Ansem the Wise, but they are all rescued by Vexen, who reveals himself as a double agent loyal to Ansem the Wise. Vexen convinces Demyx to also defect and steal a replica body for Roxas to inhabit while bringing Ansem the Wise back to Radiant Garden; they are subsequently replaced by the Riku Replica from Castle Oblivion, and a still possessed Terra.
Back in the Realm of Darkness, Riku and Mickey locate Aqua, but discover that she has been corrupted by darkness. At the same time, Sora discovers Master Eraqus' keyblade on the shores of the Destiny Islands and uses it to open a door to the Realm of Darkness. Aqua attacks Riku in a fierce onslaught, but Sora manages to arrive in time to protect him. After a fierce battle, the darkness is exorcised from Aqua and she is finally brought back to the Realm of Light. Afterwards, Aqua, Sora, Donald, and Goofy return to Castle Oblivion, where they confront Vanitas. Having regained his power of waking, Sora revives Ventus by returning his heart to his body as Aqua transforms Castle Oblivion back into its original state as The Land of Departure.
With Kairi and Lea's training complete, Sora and his friends assemble and depart to the Keyblade Graveyard for the final clash between light and darkness, only to all be killed by a barrage of Heartless summoned by Terra. Sora finds himself in the Final World, a purgatory between the Realm of Light and Kingdom Hearts. With the help of Ventus' Chirithy spirit and guided by Kairi, he uses the power of waking to restore everyone to just before they were killed, despite a warning from Young Xehanort that using the power to restore hearts instead of worlds comes at a price. Revived to just moments before, the group head out yet again. History almost repeats itself when Terra attacks, but his Lingering Will intercedes and fights him off. Riku Replica steps in and summons the same horde, but things again play out differently as the spirits of the Keyblade Warriors from the Age of Fairy Tales lend a hand, helping destroy the horde. Yen Sid, Donald, and Goofy hold off the remaining horde, allowing the Guardians to go on ahead to the final battle.
During the battle, Xion, who has become one of the Darknesses, turns on them and joins the Guardians, while Terra is finally rescued from Xehanort's control and a restored Roxas arrives to join the fight as well. Once all other Darknesses are defeated except for Xehanort, Xehanort kills Kairi to force Sora to fight him. As Sora attacks him in a rage, Xehanort acquires the χ-Blade and summons Kingdom Hearts. Using time travel magic, Sora, Donald, and Goofy transport Xehanort to Scala ad Caelum, the world where he and Eraqus trained to become Keyblade Masters, while everyone else stays behind to seal Kingdom Hearts. After a long and arduous battle that destroys Scala ad Caelum, Sora's group finally defeats Xehanort. Once the other Guardians join them the spirit of Eraqus, whose heart had been inside Terra since being struck down years ago appears and convinces Xehanort to concede defeat. Both Eraqus and Xehanort depart together to Kingdom Hearts, while Sora and his friends use the χ-Blade to close Kingdom Hearts and return to their own time.
Sora, seeking to save Kairi, uses the power of waking to revive her, only for his heart to be lost. With the battle over, Eraqus' students return to the Land of Departure and Ventus reunites with his Chirithy; Roxas, Lea, Xion, and a reformed Isa stay in Twilight Town with their new friends Hayner, Pence, and Olette; and Namine is restored by Ansem the Wise. Sometime later, everyone gathers at Destiny Islands to celebrate their victory, where Kairi stays beside Sora before he fades away. After the credits, Xigbar, who survived the Keyblade War, is revealed to be the current reincarnation of Luxu, and still in possession of the box. He summons all of the other Foretellers, with the exception of Ava, for a grand task, with Maleficent and Pete watching from afar. In the past, Eraqus foretells of a battle between Sora and the Foretellers to Xehanort over a game of chess.
After Square Enix finished development of Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix, Tetsuya Nomura was approached by Disney, who expressed interest in a sequel. In regard to a possible release of Kingdom Hearts III, Nomura said "We have various ideas, but we're not at the point where we can say that." He added that due to the development of Final Fantasy XV—titled Final Fantasy Versus XIII at the time— which was being developed by the Kingdom Hearts II team, it was "physically impossible at the present. I feel that it's not the right time to talk about the future of Kingdom Hearts." In response to questions about the secret film in Final Mix, Nomura noted that it was of a "new series" in Kingdom Hearts rather than Kingdom Hearts III. When asked about Kingdom Hearts III, Nomura noted that fans and partners alike were interested in its release, and would work to "realize it" as soon as possible. In the Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Ultimania guide book, Nomura announced three upcoming titles, one of which was Kingdom Hearts III. However, Final Fantasy XV was still his primary focus, preventing him from starting production on Kingdom Hearts III. He later noted that Kingdom Hearts III would not see a release until after 2012, due to his continuing work on Final Fantasy XV, regardless of the 10th anniversary of the series occurring in that year. The Nintendo 3DS video game Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance was announced to connect to Kingdom Hearts III, both in terms of gameplay system and story.
Sony announced Kingdom Hearts III for the PlayStation 4 with a teaser trailer at its E3 2013 event in June 2013. Square Enix later confirmed the game's cross-platform release for the Xbox One as a port of the PlayStation 4 version. Though some development and concepts for the game began during the seventh generation of video game consoles, it was always intended that the game would release during the eighth generation.:65 Unlike Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II, which were developed by Square Enix's Product Development Division 1 team, Kingdom Hearts III was developed by Square Enix's 1st Production Department, who developed Birth by Sleep, Dream Drop Distance, and worked on the HD 1.5 Remix collection and Square Enix's Business Division 3. Rie Nishi serves as the game's producer. The game began using the in-house Luminous Studio engine to develop the game after some initial development tests had been done using the Unreal Engine 3.:66
Directly after E3 2013, Nomura claimed that Kingdom Hearts III was announced "too early", based on where the game stood in development. He continued by saying, "Many fans were feeling impatient due to our continuous releases of spin-off titles, so we decided to announce it at the same time as Final Fantasy XV". Kingdom Hearts III is not intended to be the final game in the series, and serves as the final chapter of the "Dark Seeker/Xehanort" saga. Series producer Shinji Hashimoto stated in September 2013 that since Nomura was director of both Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV, it was expected that there would be a significant gap between the release of the two, "as [they] want each game to be perfect in terms of quality." Hashimoto also reiterated Nomura's statements about the game's announcement at E3 2013, as "the company thought it was about time it addressed speculation about the long-awaited conclusion to the trilogy."
A short teaser for the game appeared at the end of the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix trailer at E3 2014. Yasue revealed that the sequence seen in the teaser was the opening scene for the game. He added that it was created by Nomura, who had "a real clear picture of [what] the starting sequence" should be, and that the text seen and heard was going to "be a real integral part of the story". In September 2014, it was announced that Nomura would no longer be the director of Final Fantasy XV, focusing his attention on other projects, including Kingdom Hearts III. Nomura had been the director of Final Fantasy XV since the game was announced as Final Fantasy Versus XIII in 2006. The following month, Nomura revealed that the game had switched to using Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4, due to a "variety of reasons", with the development team having the full support of Epic.
In January 2015, Yasue revealed that working on HD 2.5 Remix simultaneously allowed the developers to learn all the best qualities from the series to aid in creating III, saying "For III we want to evolve it in a new direction, but at the same time we don't want to change what is fundamental about Kingdom Hearts." Additionally, he stated the Kingdom Hearts team was sharing knowledge with the Final Fantasy XV team to expand the game and get the most out of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. In June 2015, Nomura revealed that development was on track and that secret films were being considered. He also stated that the team had an internal release window they were trying to hit. In August 2015, at D23 Expo 2015, a world based on Big Hero 6 was announced. In November 2015, new footage was shown at D23 Expo Japan 2015, footage which was cut from the E3 2015 trailer for time.
A gameplay trailer was released during the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour in Los Angeles in mid-June 2017. The next month, Nomura stated that a Nintendo Switch version of the game might be created, but wanted to focus on the development and promise of completing the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions before exploring other platform possibilities. Commenting on the long development process, Nomura noted it was not due to problems with development or any choices made by the development team, but rather internal Square Enix corporate decisions, such as changing to the Unreal Engine 4 about a year into the game's development, which lead to "extensive delays" and "a bit of time that needed to be rewinded and started over", and "certain timing and resources challenges within Square Enix", despite submitting and getting approved a plan for when more personal resources would be needed on the project. Regarding downloadable content (DLC) for the game, Nomura stated that "nothing is set in stone" regarding it, but he told the development team to "be prepared to be able to accommodate for something like that. We can't suddenly develop a system where we're accommodating for downloadable content. So it's not confirming or denying either way, but just so that the development team will be prepared". He would later add that he wanted to have some sort of additional content for the game, but nothing in depth had been discussed. Nomura was open to potentially adding customizable accessories, as was able to be done in Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage with Aqua, as that feature does not return for Kingdom Hearts III. Nomura also preferred DLC to expand or change the game over releasing a Final Mix version as had been done with some past entries in the series.
At D23 Japan 2018, Square Enix revealed the game was being developed in three sections, with approximately three worlds in each section. At that time, the worlds in the first section were said to be 90 percent complete and development of the middle section at around 60 percent. No update was given on the final section of the game, though Nomura stated its contents were "something he's always wanted to do and put into Kingdom Hearts, ever since the days of working on Final Fantasy... It is bound to surprise everyone." In April 2018, the "Classic Kingdom" mini-games were revealed for the game, while also announcing the games would be playable in the mobile game Kingdom Hearts Union χ. A selection of the mini-games were made available in Union χ in its "χ3" mode added in September 2018, which enables players to obtain the "Starlight" Keyblade in Kingdom Hearts III by completing certain objectives. By June 2018, the secret film for the game had been created. Additionally, Nomura revealed the development team was concerned with the size of the game and if it would fit on the game disc. To help with this, the team was turning some of the cutscenes into pre-rendered films to help reduce load times.
At E3 2018, worlds based on Frozen and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End were revealed. Nomura also provided an update to the development of the Big Hero 6 world, revealing all the gameplay had been created, with the cutscenes still needing to be completed. Shortly after, Square Enix released on their website short story recap videos for the series in Japanese. These videos were the same that were included in the game's "Memory Archive" feature. At X018, a world based on Winnie the Pooh was revealed. Shortly after, it was reported that the character of Winnie the Pooh would be censored in China. This was due to the Chinese government banning any depictions of the character after the character's appearance had been compared to that of Chinese president Xi Jinping. To improve the Gummi Ship gameplay, a criticism in previous entries, the development team who created the scrolling shooter 1997 game Einhänder was brought in to handle this portion of the game, along with other programmers and engineers who have worked on driving games. Development of the game was completed by November 20, 2018.
World selection Edit
Nomura revealed the Tangled world was the first determined to be in the game, as the development team wanted to include Rapunzel due to her strong personality and her hair, saying, "she is able to utilize her hair in such a way where she's whipping it around. She can even use it for attacks, and that was just so appealing, and we thought it would make for such great gameplay". The Pirates of the Caribbean world was included because Nomura wanted at least one world based on a live-action Disney film, stating that the Caribbean location allowed for "interesting" gameplay opportunities. He also chose to have the world be based on the third film, At World's End, over other films in the series, particularly Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, because Dead Man's Chest is "setup" for At World's End and the game would "have to end [the story] in the middle as well". The world also mimics the color palette from the film, being "deliberately washed-out", with the sky, for example being more grey-blue over "[t]he typical fantasy blue".:64
Since the release of Kingdom Hearts II in 2005, The Walt Disney Company acquired Pixar, Marvel Entertainment, and Lucasfilm. When asked in 2013 if any of these properties would appear in Kingdom Hearts III, Nomura said he contacts Disney after he hears of an acquisition, though he noted that "Disney's pretty honest [on the possibility of an inclusion]. If the situation is really difficult, they'll say, it's really difficult. If it's impossible, they'll say it's impossible." He later stated that even though the Disney Company had acquired these properties, Disney Interactive Studios may not necessarily have the ability to license the content due to existing deals, such as Disney's deal with Electronic Arts for Star Wars games. Yasue added that they were "looking at all of Disney, the new ones as well" when choosing worlds for the game, including worlds potentially based on Marvel Comics and Star Wars properties. He expanded, saying, "We have to come up with a world that has a lot of originality. We want variety... so we don't want too many of one sort of world, that would look the same. For each world there has to be some meaning for it, in the plot... Also, gameplay-wise, is that world something that would make gameplay fun?"
Nomura had hoped to include a world based on Toy Story since Kingdom Hearts II, saying he felt "Sora really fit in and matched well with that world" and being "able to execute that into the game is something I'm really excited for." Nomura felt Pixar worlds were extremely important to include in Kingdom Hearts, specifically one based on the film Toy Story, and stated he considered not making Kingdom Hearts III if he could not get the rights to use Pixar properties from Disney. This world was the first submitted to Pixar for approval shortly after the completion of Kingdom Hearts II, with Nomura presenting them a general outline of the story he had planned for the world. It would take Pixar "several years" to approve the story and character designs, as Nomura and Square Enix were negotiation through Disney and not Pixar directly.:58, 61 In July 2017, at D23 Expo 2017, the Toy Story world was revealed, and the second Pixar world in the game, based on Monsters, Inc., was revealed at D23 Expo Japan 2018.
Nomura noted the approval process for each world became more difficult than with earlier games, because many of the worlds are based on some of Disney's more contemporary films, which made it harder to have some freedom with the worlds. He explained, "Previous to Kingdom Hearts III, I think these companies kind of saw it more as like, secondary rights permissions. They saw it more as a product, like you would a branded toy or something.":61 Continuing, Nomura noted, "Because we are working with more recent titles, the staff who were on the original project are the ones we go to for approvals. For instance, Frozen. The staff is still there and they work with us on Frozen. Because we go directly to the creators, they have the most passion for their titles."
In June 2013, Nomura discussed the updated visuals, saying that the development team tried to return the character's texture to the original "paintbrush art from Disney productions". The resulting visuals were referred to as the Kingdom Shader. Nomura continued, "It may look like a pretty drastic change, but I see it as a rich evolution of everything we've shown you up to now." Nomura also revealed that Sora is the same proportions as in previous games; however, they "muted the volume on his hair—it's not as wild." Regarding updating Sora's look from his Kingdom Hearts II design, Nomura noted that outfit's popularity, but felt "the desire to change it" since the game is the first numbered sequel since II's release. He added that the basis for the resulting design is a mix between Sora's costumes for Kingdom Hearts II and Dream Drop Distance, one that is "a lot more sleek and sporty" since "Sora does a lot more... acrobatic [and]... action-oriented movements". Riku and King Mickey also receive updated outfits.
Speaking on the designs of the worlds, Nomura said the updated graphical capabilities allowed the development team "to depict the world[s] of the original film[s] as close to [their] original form as possible" after previously creating worlds to be "a stylized Kingdom Hearts world". Disney shared basic polygon information with the development team, who ultimately had to remake all of the characters, animations, and environments from scratch.:65 Members of Pixar assisted with the Toy Story world's creation, and for the Pixar characters in the game, Pixar shared their actual character models with Square Enix and had the original character designers consult on the game "to make sure everything looked as true to the films as we could make it." The design team would talk weekly with Disney, sharing their assets to receive feedback, with Disney sometimes asking "for minute alterations such as insisting a character show less teeth, having their eyelids move differently or their line of sight adjusted". The line of sight notes, which came from Pixar, "were instrumental in raising the general quality of the animation throughout" according to the development team.:65
Supporting characters can explore an environment on their own if Sora idles momentarily, sometimes triggering additional cutscene moments. For example, Rapunzel responds if an Aero spell is cast on a group of dandelions. Speaking specifically to interactions such as this with Rapunzel, Yasue said "finding and activating these moments builds trust with" her and can lead "to additional combat scenarios and treasure opportunities".
- Main article: Music of Kingdom Hearts
The game's soundtrack was written by longtime series composer Yoko Shimomura, and features additional contributions from Takeharu Ishimoto and Tsuyoshi Sekito. As with the first two main Kingdom Hearts games, it has a theme song written and performed by Hikaru Utada, titled "Chikai" in Japanese and "Don't Think Twice" in English. It serves as the game's ending theme. An additional theme, titled "Face My Fears" by Skrillex, Poo Bear, and Utada, is used for the opening of the game. Skrillex, a fan of the series, originally intended to remix "Don't Think Twice", before creating "Face My Fears", which also has a Japanese version. Both "Face My Fears" and "Don't Think Twice" were released on January 18, 2019.
Voice cast Edit
English voice actors reprising their roles from previous games include Haley Joel Osment as Sora, Bill Farmer as Goofy, Tony Anselmo as Donald Duck, David Gallagher as Riku, Bret Iwan as Mickey Mouse, and Alyson Stoner as Kairi. Many of the voice actors for the Disney and Pixar characters reprise their roles from their respective films. These include: Josh Gad as Olaf; Kristen Bell as Anna; Idina Menzel as Elsa; Jonathan Groff as Kristoff; Zachary Levi as Flynn Rider; Donna Murphy as Mother Gothel; John Ratzenberger as Hamm; Wallace Shawn as Rex; Tate Donovan as Hercules; James Woods as Hades; Kevin McNally as Gibbs; Susan Egan as Megara; Ryan Potter as Hiro; Jamie Chung as Go Go; Scott Adsit as Baymax; Genesis Rodriguez as Honey Lemon; Khary Payton as Wasabi (who reprises the role from Big Hero 6: The Series replacing Damon Wayans Jr. from the film); and T.J. Miller as Fred. They are joined by Carlos Alazraqui as Mike Wazowski (who reprises the role from other video games, replacing Billy Crystal) and Christopher Swindle as Sulley (replacing John Goodman). Rutger Hauer also voices Master Xehanort, replacing Leonard Nimoy after his death in 2015. Kingdom Hearts III also has full voice acting in optional dialogue moments outside of cut scenes, which is a first for the series.
Kingdom Hearts III only features English and Japanese voice acting and lip syncing, despite previous entries in the series having dubbing in other language. Nomura noted that the development team wanted to prioritize a global simultaneous release for the game, and given the time and resources for recording the dialogue, this would not have been possible with additional language recordings. Though the game has both English and Japanese voice acting, the game does not have the ability to switch between them, as the development team found this feature difficult to properly support. A version of the game with Chinese subtitles will also be released.
Kingdom Hearts III was released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 25, 2019 in Japan and other Asian countries, and is scheduled to be released on January 29, 2019 elsewhere. In July 2017, at D23, it was announced that the game would release in 2018. Almost a year later, at an additional performance of the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour in Los Angeles, the game's North American release date was revealed to be January 29, 2019. Nomura spoke to moving the game's release date outside of 2018, stating the development team had been told the original release date they had considered was not "good timing in the year" to release the game, especially considering "differences in holiday lengths and how stores behave in different regions". In addition, Square Enix requested the game be released as simultaneously as possibly between Japan and the rest of the world, and not wanting to move up the release at the expense of development, resulted in the January 2019 date being chosen. The game's epilogue is planned to be added to the game on January 26 for Japan and January 30 elsewhere, while the secret film content is planned to be added worldwide on January 31, 2019. This was done in order to help prevent them from leaking beforehand, since Nomura called them "the biggest spoilers" in the game.
A deluxe edition of the game features an art book, steelbook case, and collectible pin. Another edition, exclusive to the Square Enix store, includes Bring Arts figures of Sora, Donald, and Goofy in their Toy Box outfits in addition to the deluxe edition contents. A limited edition Kingdom Hearts III-themed PlayStation 4 Pro and DualShock 4 controller was released on January 29, 2019, exclusive to GameStop and EB Games in North America.
|Metacritic|| PS4: 86/100|
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Kingdom Hearts III received "generally positive" reviews, according to video game review aggregator Metacritic. Game Informer's Kimberly Wallace called Kingdom Hearts III "the series at its strongest", a game that "provide[d] satisfying answers to the biggest question marks" of the series. Regarding gameplay, Wallace thought "everything that worked in previous entries" was utilized, calling the combat "fast and fluid". Wallace was frustrated with some of the required quests in the various worlds, "but even with those frustrations, the expanded size and scope of the worlds in Kingdom Hearts III makes this the best and most varied collection of destinations in the franchise." Some additional disappointments in the game for Wallace was the Gummi Ship, the extra content such as some of the mini games, and the "repetitive boss battles toward the end". Writing for IGN, Jonathon Dornbush praised the technical advancements for the game, but felt that came at the expense of the story, which at points had "stagnant pacing". The combat of Kingdom Hearts III was an unexpected surprise for Dornbush, as the "new elements help make battles into spectacles that keep them varied and fresh". He also called the Gummi Ship "wonderfully revamped" adding being more open world "gives so much more control over the ship [making] these sections a more palatable interstitial." Dornbush called the ending "the real payoff" of the game, with all of the final battles "satisfying on both narrative and gameplay levels" since each "hold such weight for the franchise".
Caty McCarthy of USgamer felt Kingdom Hearts III was "an all or nothing sort of game". She said, "So many modern JRPGs look only ahead or get too trapped in the past, but Kingdom Hearts III is comfortable in straddling both lines; moving onward where the series needs it, but hanging back in ways that would make it feel untrue to the system that birthed it." Regarding the story, McCarthy said the game "knows how to both hold the hands of players not familiar with the past 17 years of the series, as well as respect the knowledge of diehards" with all of the games in the series and various plot threads getting "some sort of nod". However, the reliance of frequent cutscenes led the game to feel "a tad outdated, pacing-wise". While the larger scope of the worlds were "more welcome" to McCarthy, and she enjoyed the designs of San Fransokyo, Kingdom of Corona, and The Caribbean, Monstropolis and Olympus "[fell] flat", with Monstropolis "largely just a bunch of boring hallways and factory rooms" and Olympus having "a bit of a 'been there, done that' vibe". Calling the combat "chaos", McCarthy noted there was enough variety in it to distinguish itself from other entries in the series, but felt the Attraction Flow attacks were "the weakest new addition" and playing the game on "Normal" mode was not much of a challenge overall. Writing for GamesRadar+, Rachel Weber said, "Whatever the flaws, there is nothing quite like Kingdom Hearts III, and it's a wild, wonderful ride as a result." She added, "no battle, no matter how big... or small, is ever boring" but called the Gummi Ship sections "the blandest part of the game". One of her favorite parts was the cooking mini game with Remy from Ratatouille and, conversely, felt the Pirates of the Caribbean world was "joyless" and "the only time the magic [of the game] failed".
Tamoor Hussain of GameSpot called Kingdom Hearts III an overall "enjoyable, if uneven, third entry" in the series. Hussain was critical of some of the story and felt some of the worlds "feel either empty or lacking in what they offer", but did praise the design of the worlds, while also enjoying the amount of gameplay variety. While the combat felt "fast, frenetic, and spectacular in its cinematic flourishes", Hussain noted the game should be played on the "Proud" mode difficulty "if you want the game to challenge you". Speaking to the game's ending, Hussain felt there was "heavy-handed storytelling that inevitably culminates in battles that are impressive set-pieces but feel cheap and spammy to play" with the story wrapping up "in an incredibly unfulfilling way." In an unscored review, Polygon's Allegra Frank was more critical of Kingdom Hearts III calling it "little more than a lackluster leftover from 2006" as it had "a flat story, repetitive gameplay, and very few surprises." Frank felt Sora's characterization was "off", with his positive attitude continuing as if the events of previous games in the series "have had zero impact on him". Regarding the various worlds, Frank called them "lifeless dioramas... with fewer details and references to the films themselves". She ultimately concluded that Kingdom Hearts III was "an example of what can go wrong when a series that once stood in contrast to its peers as a lighthearted alternative loses its way".
Kingdom Hearts III was nominated by IGN for the Best Game of E3 2018, Best PlayStation 4 Game of E3 2018, Best Xbox One Game of E3 2018, and Best Action Game of E3 2018. It also won the Momocon E3 Choice 2018 Game Award, and was nominated for Unreal's E3 awards.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Polanco, Tony (July 16, 2018). "Hands-On: Kingdom Hearts 3 is Fun Even if You’ve New to the Series". Geek.com. Archived from the original on August 14, 2018. https://www.geek.com/games/hands-on-kingdom-hearts-3-is-fun-even-if-youve-new-to-the-series-1746047/. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Splechta, Mike (June 26, 2013). "Tetsuya Nomura discusses Kingdom Hearts 1.5, Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy 15". GameZone. Archived from the original on August 13, 2013. http://www.gamezone.com/news/2013/06/26/tetsuya-nomura-discusses-kingdom-hearts-1-5-kingdom-hearts-3-and-final-fantasy-15. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Square Enix (June 25, 2013). Square Enix Presents E3 2013 – Day1 [#03 – KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5 ReMIX Interview]. YouTube. Archived from the original on October 15, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpzjiMPhNBU. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
- ↑ Martens, Todd (July 26, 2013). "Tetsuya Nomura is ready – at last – for 'Kingdom Hearts 3" to progress". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 28, 2013. http://herocomplex.latimes.com/games/tetsuya-nomura-is-ready-at-last-for-kingdom-hearts-3-to-progress/. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Corriea, Alexa Ray (June 16, 2015). "Kingdom Hearts III Shows Sora at His Most Powerful". GameSpot. Archived from the original on June 18, 2015. http://www.gamespot.com/articles/kingdom-hearts-iii-shows-sora-at-his-most-powerful/1100-6428251/. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Wallace, Kimberly (July 15, 2017). "Gummi Ship Confirmed For Kingdom Hearts III". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on July 17, 2017. http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2017/07/15/gummi-ship-confirmed-for-kingdom-hearts-iii.aspx. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Yin-Poole, Wesley (June 11, 2017). "New Kingdom Hearts 3 gameplay trailer shows off Sora, Donald Duck and Goofy". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on June 11, 2017. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-06-11-new-kingdom-hearts-3-gameplay-trailer-shows-off-sora-donald-duck-and-goofy. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
- ↑ Dornbush, Jonathon; Schwartz, Terri (July 15, 2017). "Kingdom Hearts 3 Director Hints at Second Playable Character". IGN. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. http://www.ign.com/articles/2017/07/16/kingdom-hearts-3-director-hints-at-second-playable-character. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Madsen, Hayes (December 17, 2018). "Every Secret in Kingdom Hearts III's New Trailer You Probably Missed". Twinfinite. Archived from the original on December 17, 2018. https://twinfinite.net/2018/12/every-secret-in-kingdom-hearts-iiis-new-trailer-you-probably-missed/. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Gifford, Kevin (June 19, 2013). "Kingdom Hearts 3 detailed by game director Tetsuya Nomura". Polygon. Archived from the original on June 23, 2013. http://www.polygon.com/2013/6/19/4444394/kingdom-hearts-3-detailed-by-game-director-tetsuya-nomura. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
- ↑ Osborn, Alex (July 16, 2017). "Kingdom Hearts 3 Director Confirms Gummi Ship Will Return, New Magic Ability Tiers". IGN. Archived from the original on July 17, 2017. http://www.ign.com/articles/2017/07/16/kingdom-hearts-3-director-confirms-gummi-ship-will-return-new-magic-ability-tiers. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Dornbush, Jonathon (January 17, 2019). "Kingdom Hearts 3 Preview: A Sea of Possibilities". IGN. Archived from the original on January 18, 2019. https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/01/17/kingdom-hearts-3-preview-a-sea-of-possibilities. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Futter, Mike (June 16, 2015). "Kingdom Hearts 3 Sends Sora And Friends to the World of Tangled". Game Informer. Game Stop. Archived from the original on June 17, 2015. http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2015/06/16/kingdom-hearts-3-sends-sora-and-friends-to-the-world-of-tangled.aspx. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
- ↑ Fillari, Alessandro (May 18, 2018). "Kingdom Hearts 3 Shows The Series' Charm Has Not Gone Away". Game Spot. Archived from the original on May 18, 2018. https://www.gamespot.com/articles/kingdom-hearts-3-shows-the-series-charm-has-not-go/1100-6459050/. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 Dornbush, Jonathon (June 19, 2018). "E3 2018: 6 Gameplay, Story Details We Learned From Kingdom Hearts 3's Director". IGN. Archived from the original on June 19, 2018. http://www.ign.com/articles/2018/06/19/e3-2018-6-gameplay-story-details-we-learned-from-kingdom-hearts-3s-director. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 McWhertor, Michael (May 18, 2018). "Kingdom Hearts 3 is a whimsical spectacle full of Disney cheer". Polygon. Archived from the original on May 18, 2018. https://www.polygon.com/2018/5/18/17367712/kingdom-hearts-3-gameplay-preview. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 Romano, Sal (June 16, 2015). "Tetsuya Nomura and Tai Yasue talk Kingdom Hearts III and Unchained Chi at E3". Gematsu. Archived from the original on June 18, 2015. http://gematsu.com/2015/06/tetsuya-nomura-tai-yasue-talk-kingdom-hearts-iii-unchained-chi-e3. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
- ↑ Jonathon Dornbush (May 21, 2018). "E3 2018: How Kingdom Hearts 3 Recaptures That Disney Magic". IGN. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018. http://www.ign.com/articles/2018/05/21/e3-2018-kingdom-hearts-3-first-gameplay-hands-on-impressions. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
- ↑ Ratcliffe, Amy (June 10, 2018). "Kingdom Hearts III Release Date Announced and Ratatouille Revealed". Nerdist. Archived from the original on June 11, 2018. https://nerdist.com/kingdom-hearts-3-release-date-ratatouille/. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 21.2 Dornbush, Jonathon; Schwartz, Terri (July 18, 2017). "8 Cool Things We Learned About Kingdom Hearts 3 at D23 Expo". IGN. Archived from the original on July 18, 2017. http://www.ign.com/articles/2017/07/18/8-cool-things-we-learned-about-kingdom-hearts-3-at-d23-expo. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 Wallace, Kimberly (July 16, 2017). "Nomura Reveals More on Kingdom Hearts III's Keyblade Transformations And Summons". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on July 17, 2017. http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2017/07/16/nomura-reveals-more-on-keyblade-transformations-and-summons.aspx. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Asarch, Steven (January 2, 2019). "'Kingdom Hearts 3' Co-Director Is Sorry Fans Had To Wait So Long". Newsweek. Archived from the original on January 7, 2019. https://www.newsweek.com/kingdom-hearts-3-tai-yasue-interview-frozen-tangled-1277391. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- ↑ Pramath (January 15, 2017). "Kingdom Hearts 3 To Have Situation Commands". Gaming Bolt. Archived from the original on May 12, 2017. http://gamingbolt.com/kingdom-hearts-3-to-have-situation-commands. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
- ↑ Nakamura, Toshi (June 20, 2013). "Here Are Some Things To Expect in Kingdom Hearts 3". Kotaku. Archived from the original on June 22, 2013. http://kotaku.com/here-are-some-things-to-expect-in-kingdom-hearts-3-514562936. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 Dornbush, Jonathon (October 27, 2016). "A Deep Dive into Kingdom Hearts 3' Two New Screenshots". IGN. Archived from the original on October 28, 2016. http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/10/27/a-deep-dive-into-kingdom-hearts-3s-two-new-screenshots. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 Foster, George (June 15, 2018). "Kingdom Hearts 3: 10 Things We Learned at E3 – 8. A New Drive Form Revealed". What Culture. Archived from the original on January 12, 2019. http://whatculture.com/gaming/kingdom-hearts-3-10-things-we-learned-at-e3?page=4. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 Dornbush, Jonathon (July 15, 2017). "A Deep Dive into The Kingdom Hearts 3 D23 Expo Trailer Gameplay And Story Details". IGN. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. http://www.ign.com/articles/2017/07/16/all-the-gameplay-secrets-and-story-details-of-the-kingdom-hearts-3-d23-expo-trailer. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
- ↑ 29.0 29.1 スズタク (July 21, 2017). "『キングダム ハーツIII』は『トイ・ストーリー』抜きでは考えられなかった。野村さんが武器変形やフォームを説明" (in Japanese). Dengeki Online. Archived from the original on August 21, 2017. http://dengekionline.com/elem/000/001/562/1562448/. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
- ↑ Massongill, Justin (May 18, 2018). "Finally! We’ve Played Kingdom Hearts 3". PlayStation Blog. Archived from the original on May 19, 2018. https://blog.us.playstation.com/2018/05/18/finally-weve-played-kingdom-hearts-3/. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
- ↑ Dornbush, Jonathon (June 11, 2018). "E3 2018: Kingdom Hearts 3 Pirates of the Caribbean World Announced". IGN. Archived from the original on June 13, 2018. http://www.ign.com/articles/2018/06/12/e3-2018-kingdom-hearts-3-pirates-of-the-caribbean-world-announced. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
- ↑ 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 Minotti, Mike (June 22, 2018). "Kingdom Hearts III director explains why Pirates of the Caribbean is back". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on June 26, 2018. https://venturebeat.com/2018/06/22/kingdom-hearts-iii-director-explains-why-pirates-of-the-caribbean-is-back/. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
- ↑ 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 33.4 33.5 33.6 33.7 33.8 Pereira, Chris (February 10, 2018). "New Kingdom Hearts 3 Trailer Shows Monsters Inc. World, New Gameplay Details Revealed". GameSpot. Archived from the original on February 10, 2018. https://www.gamespot.com/articles/new-kingdom-hearts-3-trailer-shows-monsters-inc-wo/1100-6456687/. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
- ↑ 34.0 34.1 Dornbush, Jonathon (January 21, 2019). "Kingdom Hearts 3 Gameplay Deep Dive With Its Co-Director". IGN. Archived from the original on January 23, 2019. https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/01/21/kingdom-hearts-3-gameplay-deep-dive-with-its-co-director. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
- ↑ 35.0 35.1 35.2 Wallace, Kimberly (June 12, 2018). "Nomura on Kingdom Hearts III's Final Fantasy Characters, Aqua's Popularity, And Ratatouille". Game Informer. Game Stop. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. https://www.gameinformer.com/e3-2018/2018/06/12/nomura-on-kingdom-hearts-iiis-final-fantasy-characters-aquas-popularity-and. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
- ↑ 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 36.4 36.5 36.6 Romano, Sal (June 20, 2018). "Kingdom Hearts III volume being too great is a concern; DLC planned, but no Season Pass". Gematsu. Archived from the original on November 27, 2018. https://gematsu.com/2018/06/kingdom-hearts-iii-volume-being-too-great-is-a-concern-dlc-planned-but-no-season-pass. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
- ↑ 37.0 37.1 37.2 McWhertor, Michael (April 16, 2018). "Kingdom Hearts 3 has Game & Watch-style minigames inspired by classic Disney". Polygon. Archived from the original on April 17, 2018. https://www.polygon.com/2018/4/16/17242534/kingdom-hearts-3-classic-kingdom-disney-lcd-game-and-watch. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
- ↑ 38.0 38.1 38.2 Hussain, Tamoor (November 10, 2018). "New Kingdom Hearts 3 Trailer Is Full of Pooh". Game Spot. Archived from the original on November 16, 2018. https://www.gamespot.com/articles/new-kingdom-hearts-3-trailer-is-full-of-pooh/1100-6463153/. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
- ↑ 39.0 39.1 Romano, Sal (June 23, 2015). "Kingdom Hearts III has mostly new worlds, release window internally decided". Gematsu. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. http://gematsu.com/2015/06/kingdom-hearts-iii-mostly-new-worlds-release-window-internally-decided. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
- ↑ 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 40.4 "Square Enix Announces Next Generation Development of Kingdom Hearts III". Square Enix via PRNewswire. June 11, 2013. Archived from the original on June 18, 2015. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/square-enix-announces-next-generation-development-of-kingdom-hearts-iii-211042601.html. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
- ↑ Riendeau, Danielle (June 16, 2015). "Watch the Kingdom Hearts 3 gameplay trailer". Polygon. Archived from the original on June 16, 2015. http://www.polygon.com/2015/6/16/8790343/kingdom-hearts-3-gameplay-trailer. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts [KingdomHearts] (August 14, 2015). "The Heartless Dandelions make quite an entrance in Rapunzel's Kingdom of Corona in the #kingdomhearts III trailer!" (Tweet). https://twitter.com/KingdomHearts/status/632280628143112193. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
- ↑ 43.0 43.1 43.2 Silva, Marty (August 16, 2015). "D23 2015: Kingdom Hearts 3 Adds Big Hero 6 World". IGN. Archived from the original on August 16, 2015. http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/08/16/d23-2015-kingdom-hearts-3-adds-big-hero-6-world. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
- ↑ 44.0 44.1 44.2 "Kingdom Hearts III Goes To Infinity And Beyond". Square Enix. July 15, 2017. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. http://press.na.square-enix.com/releases/991/kingdom-hearts-iii-goes-to-infinity-and-beyond. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
- ↑ 45.0 45.1 45.2 45.3 45.4 45.5 Frank, Allegra (July 15, 2017). "Kingdom Hearts 3 gets a new trailer and its first Pixar-based world". Polygon. Archived from the original on July 15, 2017. https://www.polygon.com/2017/7/15/15976918/kingdom-hearts-3-d23-trailer-2017-toy-story-world-release-date. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
- ↑ 46.0 46.1 Wilson, Aoife (May 18, 2018). "Toying around with Kingdom Hearts 3". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on May 18, 2018. https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018-05-18-kingdom-hearts-3. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
- ↑ "Kingdom Hearts III – Worlds". Square Enix Japan. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. http://www.jp.square-enix.com/kingdom/kh3/world/index.html. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
- ↑ 48.0 48.1 48.2 Kohler, Chris (June 10, 2018). "Disney's Frozen Is A World in Kingdom Hearts III". Kotaku. Archived from the original on June 11, 2018. https://kotaku.com/disneys-frozen-is-a-world-in-kingdom-hearts-iii-1826712813. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
- ↑ 49.0 49.1 49.2 49.3 Dornbush, Jonathon (June 12, 2018). "E3 2018: Kingdom Hearts 3 Director Comments on Delay to 2019, Why We Haven't Seen Big Hero 6's World". IGN. Archived from the original on June 13, 2018. http://www.ign.com/articles/2018/06/13/kingdom-hearts-3-director-comments-on-delay-to-2019-why-we-havent-seen-big-hero-6s-world. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
- ↑ 50.0 50.1 50.2 Futter, Michael (June 13, 2018). "‘Kingdom Hearts’ Director Tetsuya Nomura Worked Hard to Bring You Those Pixar Levels". Variety. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. https://variety.com/2018/gaming/features/kingdom-hearts-3-interview-1202844278/. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
- ↑ Dunsmore, Kevin (December 18, 2015). "Square Enix Releases New Kingdom Hearts III and 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue Footage". Hardcore Gamer. Archived from the original on December 20, 2015. http://www.hardcoregamer.com/2015/12/18/square-enix-releases-new-kingdom-hearts-iii-and-2-8-final-chapter-prologue-footage/183254/. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
- ↑ 52.0 52.1 Foster, George (February 10, 2018). "Kingdom Hearts 3: 10 Major Reveals From D23 2018 – 4. Riku And Mickey's Outfits Revealed". What Culture. Archived from the original on February 11, 2018. http://whatculture.com/gaming/kingdom-hearts-3-10-major-reveals-from-d23-2018?page=8. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
- ↑ Hilliard, Kyle (July 17, 2017). "Kingdom Hearts III's Confirmed Weapons, Locations, And Keyblades". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on February 12, 2018. http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2017/07/17/kingdom-hearts-iii-3-three-confirmed-weapons-locations-keyblades.aspx. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts (September 17, 2018). KINGDOM HEARTS III – TGS Big Hero 6 Trailer (Closed Captions). YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNzxgjIRXWk. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
- ↑ 55.0 55.1 55.2 Murphy, Eoghan (December 14, 2018). "New Kingdom Hearts 3 Screenshots Showcase Jiminy Cricket, Chip and Dale, Stitch, and More". Dual Shockers. Archived from the original on December 14, 2018. https://www.dualshockers.com/kingdom-hearts-3-screenshots-jiminy-cricket/. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
- ↑ 56.0 56.1 Kingdom Hearts [KINGDOMHEARTS] (December 14, 2018). "Having regained their humanity, Ienzo and Lea appear to have joined our heroes! Ienzo dedicates himself to his research in Radiant Garden while helping Sora and his allies. Meanwhile, Lea now wields a Keyblade, and throws himself into daily training alongside Kairi." (Tweet). https://twitter.com/KINGDOMHEARTS/status/1073469066667589632. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
- ↑ Stretch, Andrew (November 10, 2018). "Kingdom Hearts 3 Winnie The Pooh Trailer Analysis – Can This Game Come Out Yet?". Tech Raptor. Archived from the original on December 17, 2018. https://techraptor.net/content/kingdom-hearts-3-winnie-the-pooh-trailer-analysis-can-this-game-come-out-yet. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts [KINGDOMHEARTS] (January 18, 2019). "These Classic Kingdom mini-games may look humble, but are not to be taken lightly. Play them through Sora's Gummiphone in #KingdomHearts III, or get a sneak peek at some in #KHUX now! [Photos of the games The Klondike Kid, Mickey's Mechanical Man, and Mickey's Kitten Catch"] (Tweet). https://twitter.com/KINGDOMHEARTS/status/1086274556887625729. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
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- ↑ 139.0 139.1 Dornbush, Jonathon (January 24, 2019). "Kingdom Hearts 3 Review". IGN. Archived from the original on January 24, 2019. https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/01/24/kingdom-hearts-3-review-ps4-xbox-one. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
- ↑ Frank, Allegra (January 24, 2019). "Kingdom Hearts 3 ends the series with a whimper". Polygon. Archived from the original on January 24, 2019. https://www.polygon.com/reviews/2019/1/24/18195478/kingdom-hearts-3-review-xbox-one-playstation-4. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
- ↑ "Media Create Sales: 1/21/19 – 1/27/19". Gematsu. 30 January 2019. https://gematsu.com/2019/01/media-create-sales-1-21-19-1-27-19. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
- ↑ "「KINGDOM HEARTS III」61万本，「バイオハザード RE:2」25万2000本の「週間販売ランキング＋」" (in ja). 4Gamer.net. 30 January 2019. https://www.4gamer.net/games/117/G011794/20190130079/. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
- ↑ "Best of E3 2018 Awards". IGN. June 15, 2018. Archived from the original on June 15, 2018. http://www.ign.com/articles/2018/06/15/best-of-e3-2018-awards. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- ↑ KH13.com [KH13com] (June 12, 2018). "It's only the first day of E3 and Kh has already won Momocon E3 Choice 2018 Game Award, and nominated by IGN for Best of E3 and is also a candidate for Unreal E3 Awards 2018!" (Tweet). https://twitter.com/KH13com/status/1006651361688281088. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
- [[[:Template:Official website/http]] Official website]
|Kingdom Hearts series|
|Games||Console games||Kingdom Hearts • II • III|
|Handheld games||Chain of Memories • Coded • 358/2 Days • Birth by Sleep • 3D: Dream Drop Distance • χ|
|Remakes||Final Mix • II Final Mix • Birth by Sleep Final Mix • Re:Chain of Memories • Re:coded • Unchained χ|
|HD collections||HD 1.5 Remix • HD 2.5 Remix • HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue|
|Spin-offs||V Cast • Mobile • Magical Puzzle Clash • Gummiship Studio|
|Characters||Sora • Riku • Kairi • Roxas • Xion • Naminé • Terra • Ventus • Aqua • Master Xehanort (Terra-Xehanort • Ansem, Seeker of Darkness • Xemnas) • Braig/Xigbar • Eraqus • Vanitas|
|Universe||World • Keyblade • Keyblade War • Keyblade Armor • Heartless • Nobody • Unversed • Dream Eater • Heart • Soul • Body • Keyhole • Mark of Mastery • Jiminy's Journal • Memory • Light • Darkness • Gate • Replica • Recusant's Sigil • Book of Prophecies • χ-blade|
|Music||Yoko Shimomura • "Hikari (Simple and Clean)" • "Passion (Sanctuary)"|