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Kingdom Hearts IV and more revealed at 20th Anniversary Event


Yesterday April 10th, Square Enix broadcasted a special event celebrating Kingdom Heart’s 20th anniversary. The stream featured a special mini concert, Q&A with developers as well as an exhibition. For those who missed it’s initial airing, you’ll have to wait until the Japanese publisher releases a VOD of the showcase. However a small portion of the video was released immediately after the initial airing and it was the section that revealed one title reaching its end of life while two more titles coming to the Kingdom Hearts franchise.

The first bit of news is the Kingdom Hearts Union x Darkroad is getting it’s conclusion and having it’s online component removed. The title was previously known as Kingdom Hearts Unchained X before going through several rebrandings (wow, a Kingdom Hearts title getting more convoluted…color me shocked). For the players that managed to stay around having its conclusion and not having the title go completely offline is a nice touch.

Kingdom Hearts Union χ Dark Road screens:

The second announcement is Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link, which looks closer to the traditional action RPG that mainline Kingdom Hearts players are used to. The footage shows several playable characters, one being some sort of soldier of the light, adorned in a clean white uniform. A closed beta will take place in 2022 and the title is scheduled for release on mobile platforms.

Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link screens:

The third announcement is the one a majority of the fanbase has been waiting for. We’re greeted with the fact that this title will initiate “The Lost Master Arc”. The footage shows a sterile looking contemporary Japanese city, but the peace is disturbed as a swirl of darkness manifests and start to combine into something greater. A montage of nature and a close of a chess piece make way to a scene in a modern apartment. Sora is revealed to be sleeping on the couch (sans his normal clown shoes) and as he surveys his surroundings, he runs into Strelitzia (you might be wondering…who? Well she’s a character from the mobile game from the first announcement). She reveals she was the one who found Sora and allowed him to sleep for 7 days.

Kingdom Hearts IV screens:

The duo are in Quadratum, a sort of afterlife. But death does not mean peace as the swirling darkness takes form, wreaking havoc in bustling city scape. Sora rushes to defuse the situation while showing the acrobatics he’s been using during the course of his games and even busts out a hookshot from the chain of this keyblade. As Sora and the Darkness clash, on top of a skyscraper a pair of hooded figures are musing amongst themselves. The logo hits, Kingdom Hearts 4 is indeed in development. The stinger of the trailer shows Goofy and Donald walking in the darkness seeking an ally. A blue flame illuminates and a disembodied voice asks what the pair are doing, before the screen glows red hot and Goofy and Donald hold each other in fear. Unfortunately the voice acting was in Japanese, but if it was in English however it would be an easy bet that James Woods would’ve been the disembodied voice. The tagline Magic in the Making is the final thing we see before the video ends.

Kingdom Hearts 4 is real and the video will likely spur more speculation than answers. Why does Sora have normal feet now? Why is the afterlife modeled like modern japan? Do I have to play mobile games to understand the story? What new world will we see? Star Wars? Marvel? Aliens? The Simpsons? Perhaps this mythical “Toronto” as seen in Pixar’s Turning Red. We’ll have time to stew on it (and in Benny Rose’s case return to being disappointed) as we’re probably not going to see anymore from the game anytime soon. Hell, the conspiracy theorist in me thinks that the date which this was released might leave a clue 4/10…as in KH4 won’t be ready in less than 10 years. Break out the white boards people we’re in for quite a ride.

KINGDOM HEARTS 20th Anniversary Announcement Trailer:

Today, as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of the KINGDOM HEARTS franchise, SQUARE ENIX and Disney announced that KINGDOM HEARTS IV, the newest installment in the beloved RPG series, is in early development, and also revealed a brand-new mobile game, KINGDOM HEARTS Missing-Link.

In the announcement trailer, Sora makes a triumphant return with an updated look at the beginning of an epic new storyline titled the “Lost Master Arc.” Beginning with Sora facing off in a boss battle against a giant enemy, players are introduced to the Quadratum, a large, expansive city set in a gorgeous, realistic world unlike anything ever seen before in the KINGDOM HEARTS series. Fans will be excited to see the return of Sora’s well-known companions Donald and Goofy, in addition to the first appearance of Strelitzia, a mysterious new character who appears before Sora in this strange new setting.

Fans can also look forward to KINGDOM HEARTS Missing-Link, an all-new game for iOS and Android devices, which allows players to embark on adventures from the realm of Scala ad Caelum into the real world. Players will be able to engage in exhilarating battles against the Heartless and discover a new, original story. A closed beta test is planned for 2022*.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate the series’ 20th anniversary with the announcement of two new KINGDOM HEARTS titles,” said KINGDOM HEARTS series Brand Manager, Ichiro Hazama. “We’d like to thank the fans for all of their support over the years, and we can’t wait for them to experience all that’s to come for Sora.”

“Sora is an original Disney video game hero like no other, beloved by our team, and fans across the world. We’ve been honored to work with Tetsuya Nomura and his team for two decades to introduce these original stories of discovery, courage, and friendship,” said Nana Gadd, Director, Walt Disney Games. “This glimpse into Sora’s next adventure is just the beginning – we can’t wait to show more when the time is right.”

Additionally, the KINGDOM HEARTS team announced that the highly anticipated final chapter of KINGDOM HEARTS DARK ROAD will be released in August 2022 as a free update to the KINGDOM HEARTS Union χ Dark Road app.

SQUARE ENIX and Disney hosted the KINGDOM HEARTS 20th Anniversary event in Tokyo, Japan where together with fans, they celebrated the past 20 years of the beloved franchise and provided a first look at what’s to come next. The event also featured a live music performance, a showcase of stained-glass artworks and on-stage appearances from Series Director, Tetsuya Nomura, series’ composer, Yoko Shimomura, and other development members. Fans can enjoy photos from the event on the official social channels and look forward to a recording of the event which will be shared at a later date.

Lastly, there is a variety of anniversary themed merchandise available for pre-order through the official SQUARE ENIX Store. For more information, please visit: https://sqex.link/5n9x