To the delight of many fans, Square Enix announced Kingdom Hearts IV yesterday. The enticing theatrical trailer showed a more mature-looking Sora exploring a realistic human city invaded by Heartless. Of course, the video raised countless questions, but it also got us raving about the things we want to see in the highly anticipated sequel.
That’s why we, the Kingdom Hearts fans, are in game informant Office, couldn’t help but share our personal hopes and dreams for the next game. Let us know what you think of our wish lists and share your own wishes and expectations in the comments!
There are two things I want most from Kingdom Hearts IV: A new Pirates of the Caribbean world built on top of the Kingdom Hearts III iteration and full (Dream Drop) immersion in Quadratum , the world of Verum Rex, and finally Nomura’s Final Fantasy Versus XIII Frankenstein monsters via Kingdom Hearts.
Nomura’s canceled Versus XIII game is well known, and if you’ve played Kingdom Hearts III you know how much of Versus XIII is in its universal Verum Rex video game. Nomura is doing this lost project one way or another, and I respect that kind of dedication. That he’ll apparently make it through Kingdom Hearts is the Nomura thing of all time. Kingdom Hearts III gave us a taste of what that looks like, but I’m hoping Kingdom Hearts IV contains more of Nomura’s Versus XIII in some way.
Oh, and I hope we get a Star Wars world in Kingdom Hearts IV. And while we’re at it, let’s throw in some Marvel Cinematic Universe love too, if only to see Nomura recreate the famous Avengers: Endgame Portal scene so that we see Sora, Donald, Goofy and Mickey appear alongside the likes of Spider-Man and Black Panther.
I will preface my upcoming tirade by disclosing that I am indeed a Kingdom Hearts fan. Not a diehard, but I finished and enjoyed almost every game to some extent. That said, what I want more than any movie representation, combat mechanic, or zip-laden outfit is an improvement on the series’ gruesome writing. I’m not talking about its overly complicated narrative. This ship has already sailed (mostly over my head). I mean the actual spoken dialogue.
As I played Kingdom Hearts III, I realized I’d outgrown the franchise’s cheesy, amateurish conversations. Dialogue in these games has always been unnaturally stilted, peppered with awkward mid-sentence pauses and uncomfortable silences before anyone else speaks up. I endured that in the 2000s/2010s, but in KH III it drove me to the wall and robbed a lot of the emotional moments of their gravity.
Since we seem to be traveling into the “real” world in KH IV, follow suit by getting Sora and co. to talk and move closer to real people, rather than unintentional parodies of bad anime tropes. The writing doesn’t have to be at Naughty Dog level (feel free to surprise me) and I don’t mind it being silly. The dialogue has to be easy better. I feel my wish is just as likely to come true as having Sora helping Maggie the cow in one home on the track world, but a man can dream.
Oh, and can we FINALLY get a world that’s on a crazy movie complete with a playable rendition of “Eye to Eye”? Pretty please, Square?
Monica Rexach Ortiz
I hope Kingdom Hearts IV helps us understand where Sora is. In Kingdom Hearts III, we see Sora save and switch places with Kairi after Xehanort sent her heart to nothing. The biggest questions for me after this ending were:
1. Where is Sora? Is he dead, lost or forgotten?
2. What does it mean to die in Kingdom Hearts? Did Xion end up here when she was forgotten?
3. And most importantly, will Sora ever become a Keyblade Master like his best friend Riku and will he learn to use the power of awakening?
My second hope is that Kingdom Hearts IV will shed some light on some of the key plot points that were left unanswered in the previous games.
I would also like to see new and exciting Disney worlds with fun mechanics! I want worlds based on coconutWar of stars, Encantomarvel movies, Frozen II, Destroy it Ralph, Moiana, from the inside to the outside – there are so many to choose from! I also hope that they will include some of the musical elements from these films. I loved being able to sing along during the time Frozen world in Kingdom Hearts III, and I was a fan of the rhythm game in the Little Mermaid World from Kingdom Hearts II.
My last wish is to be able to switch between the main characters again, like in Birth by Sleep. It was so much fun experiencing the main story from three different angles and using characters with different fighting styles. I’d love to experience Kingdom Hearts IV from the perspective of Kairi, Sora, and Riku as they find their way back to each other.
It’s hard to say where Kingdom Hearts is headed these days, especially since KH4 leans toward realism in its first trailer. Obviously, the Lucasfilm and Marvel universes are easy to see as the next potential worlds to explore. Take Sora on a treasure hunt with Indiana Jones and let him travel through the stars in a Gummi Ship with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Both would be doable and enjoyable, but I want KH4 to lean towards the other half of what made Kingdom Hearts special to me in the first place. Give me more Final Fantasy characters and worlds!
I haven’t played anything after Kingdom Hearts II, but I’m aware that existing Final Fantasy characters have all but disappeared in KH III, despite aspects of Final Fantasy Versus XIII/Final Fantasy XV will flow into the series. Let Donald, Goofy and Sora explore Ivalice, Midgar, Balamb Garden or Eorzea with characters from these games. Of course, Disney is the big name selling copies of the game, but these days I’d rather see Balthier make an appearance from FFXII than the cast of Luke or Encanto to change things up a bit and return to the roots of the series. That being said, I’m hoping Nomura can finally make the Versus XIII that he’s been wanting to get out of his system for well over a decade. It is clear that he cannot proceed from these ideas until they have come to fruition in some form or manner.
Kingdom Hearts IV, which sets the series in a real-world landscape, opens up great possibilities for what can be done and what I want in the next game. Things I never thought possible for the series suddenly seem like they could just be. I look forward to exploring Quadratum and seeing how much inspiration it takes from Tokyo and its landmarks. The realistic setting and graphics would also lend itself well to Disney’s Marvel and Star War properties. Unfortunately, whether we see Marvel or Star Wars worlds/characters is really up to Disney. Kingdom Hearts III was financially successful, so Disney could bend it more, but as we heard from director Tetsuya Nomura, Disney’s approval process can be challenging and complicated. BUT PLEASE LET IT DO IT. That being said, I hope the animated worlds still have a big place in IV. If we go for my world wish list: To redden, Encanto, Moianaand coconut rank highest.
I also want Final Fantasy characters to be brought back for IV in a meaningful way. Sora now practically looks like he’s straight out of the Final Fantasy series (partnership with Squall), it just fits. On the subject of gameplay, give me those super bosses and intense fights that the earlier entries were known for, but add more verticality and destruction options. The trailer showed it’s headed in that direction, which makes me happy, especially since Sora now has a grappling hook and can slide through buildings. I loved flow motion from Dream Drop Distance, and I got vibes from watching the IV reveal, especially when Sora jumped onto the power pole and threw himself into the air, so I’m hoping IV feels more like an upgraded version of it feels.
In order not to spoil anything, I will be brief. While Kingdom Hearts III provided some conclusions, it also left a lot on the table, and many characters still need their moment in the sun (Lea and Kairi, cough cough). I also feel that IV’s more realistic slant is an opportunity for the story to darken and delve deeper into the themes of loss and friendship, and maybe even help us let go of Sora. I love Sora, but it’s about time someone new took over the mantle and the series grew beyond them. If anything is clear, it’s that there’s really no telling where Kingdom Hearts will go next, as Nomura has proven to be full of surprises no matter how many cryptic clues he leaves for us. This is the biggest change we’ve seen in the series and I don’t mind being embraced because it could be a fantastic rebirth for a new generation, taking things to an exciting new level.
If you’re interested in learning more about Kingdom Hearts IV, be sure to read how it’s being developed with Unreal Engine 5, speculation about the appearance of Endor from Star Wars in the trailer, and the announcement of a new KH mobile game, Missing-Link.
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