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Kingdom Hearts III
Kingdom Hearts III Logo
Kingudamu Hātsu III
Developer(s) Square Co., Ltd.
Publisher(s) Flag of Japan Square Co., Ltd.
Release date(s) 2018[1]
Genre RPG
Game modes Single player
Ratings Unknown
Platform(s) PlayStation 4
Xbox One

One of the next installments in the Kingdom Hearts series, Kingdom Hearts III, was officially revealed at E3 2013 via a trailer, alongside the announcement it would be released for the PlayStation 4[2] and the Xbox One[3].

The story takes place after the events of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. It features an older Sora as the main protagonist who sets forth on a new adventure with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Riku, Kairi, and other Disney characters in search of the seven guardians of light and the "Key to Return Hearts," to stop Master Xehanort's devious plan.

Kingdom Hearts III will harness next generation console technologies to weave together an incredibly stunning universe full of both new and familiar Disney worlds.  This game will conclude the series' "Dark Seeker" saga.


Through countless adventures across many worlds in his long battle against the darkness, Sora, once a little boy who only dreamed worlds beyond his island even existed, has grown up to a dashing young man. Now he is realizing that that battle has played out exactly as Master Xehanort had planned, and the second Keyblade War, the final struggle between light and dark, looms ahead. To counter the overwhelming darkness, Sora and his friends must gather the seven guardians of light. His best friend Riku and King Mickey seek out a battle-scarred Keyblade wielder, while Sora, Donald, and Goofy set off on a journey to find “the Key to Return Hearts.” Never-before-featured Disney worlds set the stage for another daring adventure to save the universe!

Chosen by the Keyblade, he is the one whose heart’s light never fails to shine as a beacon of hope.

Sora, the brave hero chosen by the Keyblade, has always had a strong sense of justice. Through his many battles against darkness, he has grown and learned about the world immensely. Drawn to his light, many friends have lent him their support and granted him their powers to counter the darkness: Riku, the childhood friend he grew up with on Destiny Islands; Donald and Goofy, the two comrades with whom he has shared his adventures from the very beginning; and King Mickey, who unfailingly supports Sora with his own mighty strength. As the world becomes enveloped in another battle against darkness, the Keyblade wielder and his friends must rise up against Master Xehanort and thwart his plot to incite another Keyblade War. [4]


According to Tetsuya Nomura (the director), the development of the game began while he was working on Final Fantasy XV. However, at the time he was too busy working on this title, and said that he would go to work on Kingdom Hearts III when Final Fantasy XV was done.

The game was announced at E3 2013, and the trailer said that it was currently in development. Nomura later said that the trailer was shown too early, stating that the game was too early in production.

The team is currently selecting the game's worlds. Nomura also revealed interest to put Marvel and Star Wars content in the game. ''It would be great if we could add these licenses too," said Nomura. ''But there are a lot of questions and restrictions at Disney, so we can't put everything people want. So it's a hard decision, but we're preparing some surprises for you, so await for more info.''[5]

In June 2014, a short teaser was released at the end of the E3 2014 trailer for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX. Co-director Tai 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".[6]

In October 2014, Nomura announced that the development team had switched to Epic Game's Unreal Engine 4 due to a "variety of reasons". He also stated that the team had the full support of Epic, and that the change would not hinder the game's development. According to Kotaku and IGN, it was noted that it had been assumed that Square Enix had been using its in-house Luminous Engine to develop the game.[7][8]

In June 2015, a new gameplay video was released at the E3 2015 conference, which also featured a conversation between young versions of Eraqus and Xehanort. The video spoiled the appearance of a "Tangled" world in the upcoming title, and showed battle scenes of Sora, Donald and Goofy in both the Tangled and Twilight Town worlds. [9]

In August 2015, a world based on Big Hero 6 was revealed at D23 in California. D23 revealed that the story of this world will take place after the movie, involving the model of Baymax left in the portal at the end of the movie will be manipulated by Darkness, and concept art of Sora riding Baymax was also shown, with Dark Baymax flying alongside them, the three of them seemingly engaged in combat. It was also revealed that every Keyblade will have its own transformation.

In April 2017, Square Enix indicated that Kingdom Hearts III would not release any sooner than their 2018 fiscal year.[10]

In July 2017, at the D23 Expo, Square Enix announced the game would be released in 2018. Alongside this announcement was the reveal of a world based on the Pixar film, Toy Story.[11]


  • The Command Menu from Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II will return.[12]
  • The gauges for Donald and Goofy now appear next to Sora's gauge in the bottom right corner, instead of in the top right corner of the screen.
  • The MP gauge from Kingdom Hearts II will return. A second gauge (labelled "Focus" in the E3 2013 trailer, but "EX" in the E3 2015 trailer), which looks similar to the Drive Gauge, has also been revealed to be the Shotlock Gauge, which is returning from "Birth by Sleep".[citation needed]
    Keyblade Guns KHIII

    Sora's Keyblade gun transformation.

  • Attraction Flow will be a new feature that lets the party execute skills based on common theme park attractions.[13]
  • The Keyblade will have the ability to transform itself into other specially powered weapons, such as the double bow gun and chariot that can be seen in trailers.[13]
  • Sora will be able to run up walls.[14]
  • Blizzard and Aero magic will be available. Magic will also be able to effect the environment. For example, Blizzard is capable of creating a sheet of ice to slide on.[15]
  • Reaction Commands will not return.[16]
  • Disney characters will join Sora's team as either temporary party members or summons.[17]
  • The AI has been improved, so allies can invite Sora into special techniques, and enemies can work together.[18]
  • The game will contain a secret movie.[19]


E3 2013 Trailer
D23 Expo Japan Trailer
Teaser at the end of the KH HD 2.5 ReMIX Trailer
E3 2015 Gameplay Video



  2. Coming to PS4
  3. Heading to Xbox One
  5. GameFM
  12. Dengeki PlayStation interview with Tetsuya Nomura: "The battle gameplay returns to commands such as 'attack' and 'magic' rather than deck commands. I thought that king of gameplay styles had the royal right to be used in a numbered Kingdom Hearts title."
  13. 13.0 13.1 4Gamer interview with Tetusya Nomura: 4Gamer: There were various techniques that strongly resembled theme park attractions, weren't there?
    Nomura: The train, ship and tea cups and such decorated with lights are a skill called 'Attraction Flow'. There's also another feature where the Keyblade turns into things such as a chariot, or a double bow gun that transforms further and shoots magic bullets. That's a system where one Keyblade can transform into several phases, and we have created many more transformations that weren't in the trailer.
  14. 4Gamer interview with Tetusya Nomura: There was a scene in the trailer where Sora ran up a wall to fight - that freerunning is also something you can connect techniques to for bold moves.
  15. Rountable chat between various KH fansites and Tetsuya Nomura: --How did magic evolve for Kingdom Hearts 3?
    Nomura: When it comes to magic in Kingdom Hearts 3, we really wanted to try to leave an effect on the surrounding environment. In the trailer when Sora would cast Blizzard, the blast would leave behind a sheet of ice for Sora to slide on, and when he cast Aero in a field, the wind would make an impression in the grass.
  16. Dengeki interview with Tetsuya Nomura: In regards to supplementing the gameplay, we have removed the Reaction Commands in KINGDOM HEARTS III. QTE (Quick Time Event. Actions that execute at the touch of a button according to when it displays on screen) isn't there anymore. For people who have seen the "flashy" battles in KINGDOM HEARTS II, it felt like there were too many of them when doing these operations.
    Are there no longer Reaction Commands in boss battles?
    That's right. While removing the elements of QTE in KINGDOM HEARTS III, being referred to as flashy battles, we are making it more challenging. All actions will be based on good or favorable timing.
  17. Rountable chat between various KH fansites and Tetsuya Nomura: --In Kingdom Hearts I & II we were used to have a Disney character joining our party in each new world Sora and his friends visit. Will this mechanic be present in Kingdom Hearts 3?
    Nomura: Right, the idea of having a Disney character joining your party was an important part of KH 1 & 2, so, yes you will be able to have Disney characters joining your team across the game, not just as a temporary party member in the worlds, but also as summons.
  18. 4Gamer interview with Tetusya Nomura: Also, the AI during battle has been enhanced quite a bit. There was that scene where Donald and Sora are moving with Goofy has he wields his shield - you don't only execute that sort of thing yourself, Goofy and Donald can invite you into it too. On the other hand, the enemy AI is also more advanced, and we are also including the element of mutual enemies working together, so for example they can join together to charge at you and things like that.
  19. Famitsu interview with Tetsuya Nomura: We are steadily progressing and deciding what to do with the ending… as well as considering content for the secret movie.

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