Kingdom Hearts 4 Gets its First Reveal Trailer

Three new KH trailers and my attempt at explaining them

This Sunday, we got the very first info regarding Kingdom Hearts 4, and in typical Square Enix fashion, there are a lot of flashy cinematics with little explanation; there are some juicy details, though, so let’s dig in. The 20th Anniversary Kingdom Hearts event took place in Tokyo on Sunday, featuring some live showcases and the much-anticipated KH4 trailer. First, here is the presentation in full shown to the public:

The three new trailers were shown alongside appearances by series director Tetsuya Nomura and composer Yoko Shimomura. There was also a live concert and artwork presentation, and probably some of that ridiculous $1000 chocobo wine they were trying to sell at the underwhelming turd that was the Final Fantasy 30th anniversary event five years ago. Talk about out-of-touch.

Kingdom Hearts 4 trailer

As far as we know, they didn’t sell $1000 wine at the 20-year KH anniversary, but who knows? On to the meat and potatoes; the first trailer was for the ending expansion for long-running KH mobile title Kingdom Hearts Union X.

Kingdom Hearts 4 trailer

This ending update, titled Kingdom Hearts Dark Road, is going to dive into Xehanort’s past and will no doubt feature critical story elements for the series as a whole, like all side KH games do. This KH mobile game has a ton of lore for the series, with many well-done compilations showing the story elements in chronological order for fans to get up to speed (currently over 5 hours of scenes!). The gameplay isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, though, since it’s a casual mobile experience without any of the action combat of the traditional games. Dark Road didn’t just get a new trailer; it also got its fourth delay, with a release now set for August 2022.

Up next is an all-new mobile game called Kingdom hearts Missing-Link. Here’s the Missing-Link trailer separately:

The trailer features Sora soaring through that awesome Venice-inspired location from KH3: Scala Ad-Caelum. Unlike previous KH mobile games, this one has more traditional action combat and will undoubtedly expand upon the extensive lore and story of the universe in ways only the elite few can understand.

The final game shown is the big one: Kingdom Hearts3? No, it’s really Kingdom Hearts 4, but Tetsuya Nomura loves ambiguous titles and teasing fans, so the title drop looks an awful lot like a fancy Roman numeral 3, doesn’t it? Or is it just me?

Kingdom Hearts 4 trailer

It’s been confirmed to be Kingdom Hearts 4, and it will very likely be exclusive to the PS5 until getting a bad PC port and a decent Xbox port in the future. The main takeaway from this trailer is Sora’s huge bare feet. Remember those giant yellow boat shoes Sora always had? Well, now we know what his feet look like under them. And, yes, this is the main talking point of the trailer; Sora’s bare feet are now a meme again – sigh.

Anyway, big spoilers ahead, so here’s your warning before digging into the context of the trailer. Sora wakes up in Quadratum, where he ended up at the end of KH3. Strelitzia, one of the characters from KH Union X, is accompanying Sora into a room overlooking the Tokyo-inspired Quadratum. While the art style and graphics remain cartoony and colorful, there is a heightened realism on display here. For one, Square is using Unreal Engine 5 for Kingdom Hearts 4, so it’s going to look magnificent when it eventually releases in the next ten or so years; realistically, we can expect a release date of around 2025 and then delays after that. The locale for Sora’s new adventure is a metropolitan city similar to Tokyo and has many of the same elements as Nomura’s abandoned Versus XIII project (which morphed into Final Fantasy XV, to Nomura’s dismay). Here’s a comprehensive summary of the whole Versus XIII iceberg to get up to speed:

Imagery of the new metropolis was followed by some stylish Sora flowmotion moves grinding rails and hopping across highrises. Some brief combat against a giant Darkside commenced and then the title drop revealed that’s it’s indeed KH4. This entry will be a fresh start of a new saga for the series. Nomura confirmed years ago that Xehanort’s arc ended with KH3, and KH4 is the beginning of the “the lost master arc,” exploring the identity of the Master of Masters and the overall conflict of the keyblade masters. Master of Masters is by far the most intriguing character to come out of the expansive Kingdom Hearts X lore, so I’m looking forward to this trippy new story arc. Check out the full Kingdom Hearts 4 trailer here:

Comments (1)

April 10, 2022 at 9:11 pm

Kingdom Hearts 3 was the first game in the series that I truly hated.

We waited 13 years for the sequel and even though I was excited to start playing, it was a few worlds into the game that I had to admit I was bored.

I spent several hours playing, but when the game was over I felt no satisfaction at all.

When I saw the announcement, my thought was “oh okay, don’t really care”

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