Kingdom Hearts III

The Complete Story of Kingdom Hearts: Part Two

Here's the second instalment of our Kingdom Hearts round-up.

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We recently brought you the first part of our Complete Story of Kingdom Hearts, giving you an overview of what's happened in the series so far to prepare you for the upcoming third numbered game, and now here's the second part for your enjoyment, including a look ahead to Kingdom Hearts III itself.

Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Chain of Memories - The motivation of Organization XIII

In this game the story is far from coming to an end and it's from these instalments that the series starts to jump in timelines and points of view that focus on new characters. Organization XIII was born as a group of nobodies formed by some students of Ansem the Wise who together studied the human heart, and after having obtained 12 members, Xemnas looks for the last one he needs to collect the 13 fragments of darkness and places his attention on Roxas, born after the events of the first game and with the ability to carry the Keyblade thanks to the essence of Ventus that remains inside him. The objective of the Organization is none other than to open the Kingdom Hearts with the hope of recovering the heart that they lack. However, they are only pawns for the true interests of Xemnas, who seeks to use them to start a new war between light and darkness.

But what happened to Sora after the events of the previous game? The young man arrives at a mysterious place known as the Castle Oblivion, and here he has his first encounter with some members of Organization XIII. He discovers how, as he goes up through the different floors of the building, his memories disappear while they are being replaced by others, and it turns out the person responsible is a girl named Naminé who implants in Sora's memory a fictitious past to deceive him, so that he protects her instead of Kairi, because this way he will join Organization XIII. However, the young man realises his intentions and we discover that Naminé is actually the nobody of Kairi herself, who was born at the moment when Xehanort wanted to extract the light from his heart. Sora convinces her to give him back his memories and enters a deep lethargy from which she will wake up with her memory intact.

This is important because at the same time Roxas faces a similar revelation. Having recovered Sora's conscience, he does too, and it is then that Xemnas, fearful of the idea that he can leave Organization XIII, creates a nobody from the memories that Naminé extracts from Sora in the Castle of Oblivion under the name of Xion. She will be the thirteenth member in case the plan with Roxas does not work, but what nobody expects is that Xion, Roxas, and Axel, another nobody who makes up the Organization, would become great friends and begin to recover their memories. Until that moment, they had all taken for granted that they did not have a heart and therefore they longed to open the Kingdom Hearts in order to get one, as Xemnas had told them, however, it was just another ruse to achieve his own purposes. Xehanort needed to make them believe that they did not have a heart, because when someone loses it their body creates a new one (unless it denies its own existence). At the moment when feelings began to surface within the Organization, he realised that his idea had failed.

Now that Roxas and Xion discover their true identities, the latter understands that she must die so as to become one with Roxas. After a dramatic scene in which the Nobody is forced to kill his friend, Naminé along with the real Ansem take him to Twilight Town to join Sora once he wakes up. They must be prepared to face the darkness that looms over the world and every little bit helps.

Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts II and Re: Coded - Sora ends evil ... forever?

Sora wakes up from his long sleep with the part of Roxas inside him, which causes him to sometimes have visions. He has to give everything because Xemnas is planning on invading every world in his way with the help of an army of nobodies under his command. There are several open fronts and characters that we had lost track of, like Riku, who after the events of the first Kingdom Hearts becomes someone more fragile because of the fear of the darkness that springs up inside him. However, his fears diminish as the determination to help Sora grows now that they must face Xehanort.

With all the experience gained they finally manage to defeat the heartless that cross their path, as well as Xemnas. In doing so there are emotional scenes like the sacrifice of Axel, who decides to give his life to help Roxas, who now lives inside Sora. However, it's not a sad story, because the members of the Organization will recover their human form after eradicating the darkness, with Axel recovering the name of Lea. Of course, the end of Xemnas does not imply his disappearance, because the young Xehanort travelling between dimensions manages to absorb it with his goal of creating a new Organization XIII.

There is no place for celebrations, since Yen Sid, the master of King Mickey, informs Sora and Riku that with the death of the heartless Xehanort and Xemnas, the true Xehanort will be reborn now that body and heart are once again together. This is now time for Sora, Riku, and Kairi to become Masters of the Keyblade as a prelude to the final battle that is to come. In order to achieve this, they must look for the old masters (Ventus, Terra, and Aqua) and ask for their help while the idea of a second Organization XIII formed only by parts of Xehanort himself threatens to destroy everything they know.

Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance - The final battle is coming

So as to achieve the title of Master of the Sword Key, Yen Sid entrusts them with the mission of returning to the worlds they saved now that they are in a state of lethargy from which they must awaken. After so many obstacles overcome behind them, what can prevent them from achieving it once more? Again the young Xehanort comes into play, and he craves the body of Sora (as he did with his other incarnations as Terra and Riku) so he induces him into a long sleep to introduce the darkness into him. In the conflict, Lea awakens as a wielder of the Keyblade and manages to save him at the last moment. During this fight, Riku enters into the dreams of Sora removing the darkness that threatens him and it is here he observes that if his friend has been able to resist the tricks of Xehanort, it was thanks to the strength of Ventus that resides inside him.

Xehanort's plans are again frustrated, but Sora fails to pass the test to become Master of the Keyblade. After what happened, Lea with her newly discovered potential begins his training, while Kairi will do the same in order to be the heiress of Aqua. At the end of the game, King Mickey speaks of seven guardians of light charged with protecting the seven hearts of pure light and those who will face the 13 shadows. Although it's not revealed at any time, it's believed that those chosen are Sora, Riku, Ventus, Aqua, Kairi, Lea and Mickey himself.

Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts III - The outcome to a convoluted web of lights and shadows

There are still many doubts and questions that await answers in the third numbered chapter of the series. The trailers published so far and what Square Enix announce during the next E3 will be the latest information before its release (which is scheduled for sometime this year). The range of speculation is broad, but it's to be hoped that Kingdom Hearts III will dispel doubts about the new Organization XIII or the true intentions that guide Xehanort. Will the Master of Masters have anything to do with all of this? Will the events unfold in a new, bloody, and relentless war or will the guardians of light prevent it in time? On the other hand, the last videos shared by the studio show the return of Vanitas after what happened in Birth by Sleep. It appears he's still willing to conquer the light of Ventus residing in Sora, although knowing Tetsuya Nomura's taste for unexpected plot twists, we cannot rule out that who is hiding behind the mask is actually another person.

The rumour mill is in full swing and fans have been speculating for years about what will happen in one of the most anticipated titles of the year. All eyes are on the conclusion of a franchise that's as beloved by its legion of fans as it is hard to follow for anyone who wants to get into it for the first time. We just hope it's a fitting addition to a very well-rounded series, one that has had our hearts and minds for years already.

Kingdom Hearts III

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Kingdom Hearts III

REVIEW. Written by Andreas Juul

"Kingdom Hearts III is a roller coaster of amazing elements, with a gripping story, interesting characters, a beautifully crafted world, and fun gameplay."

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