Kingdom Hearts 3 is the culmination of every game in the series up to this point. With the slew of trailers released for the game at E3 2018, it’s time to break down what the promotional material means for the story of Kingdom Hearts 3.
Organization XIII Returns
During the events of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Master Xehanort revealed his plan to form a True Organization XIII, filled with members who each carry a piece of Xehanort’s heart. These would be the true forces of darkness that would face off against the heroes of light. The E3 2018 trailers add several returning faces to the True Organization’s roster, namely Luxord, Larxene, and Marluxia.
Marluxia’s addition caused a bit of confusion, as when he was revealed in the D23 Monster’s Inc. trailer he had blue eyes, while in the Japanese version of the third E3 trailer he had Xehanort’s iconic yellow eyes. This was missing from the English version of the trailer perhaps due to dubbing time constraints.
In total, there are currently ten identified members of the True Organization: Master Xehanort, Young Xehanort, Ansem SoD, Xemnas, Xigbar, Saix, Marluxia, Vanitas, Larxene, and Luxord. The remaining three are currently unknown or unconfirmed. Xaldin/Dinal, Vexen/Even, Lexaeus/Aeleus, and Demyx are all missing from the Kingdom Hearts 3 footage so far. However, Ienzo (Zexion’s human form) seems to be on Sora’s side judging by one of the E3 trailers.
Aqua Got Norted
In the Frozen World E3 Trailer, it was revealed that Aqua, one of the main protagonists of the series, was taken over by Master Xehanort – or as the internet has started calling it, “norted.” The trailer shows Mickey and Riku going into the World of Darkness to try to rescue Aqua, but Aqua tells them that they are too late, and she turns around to show that she too has the iconic Xehanort-yellow eyes.
This shocking moment has some major implications for the grand plan of Master Xehanort. Will Aqua be one of the missing members of the True Organization XIII? Will she be able to turn back to the side of light? Who will take her place on the side of light if she cannot? This shocking revelation left fans with more questions than answers.
Seven of Light and Thirteen of Darkness
One of the biggest plots across almost every installment of Kingdom Hearts is the fated battle between the seven warriors of light and the thirteen forces of darkness. With Master Xehanort assembling his True Organization, that takes care of the thirteen forces of darkness, but who are the seven of light? Well, Sora, Riku, and Kairi are most likely on that list. King Mickey will likely also be one of the fated fighters. Many fans believed Terra, Aqua, and Ventus from Birth by Sleep to be the other three, but with Terra still potentially under the control of Xehanort, he may not be one of the seven. Aqua got norted, so she may not be on there either.
Several trailers show Vanitas trying to wake up Ventus, so perhaps Ventus may still be on the list. Lea, the human counterpart to Axel, is also training with Yen Sid to be a Keyblade Master, so he could very well fill one of the empty slots. There is also a lot of talk about Roxas, the nobody of Sora, coming back, so some fans are holding out hope that Roxas will fill the vacancy that Aqua left.
The Black Box
With the release of Kingdom Hearts 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue, Square Enix made a 60-minute cinematic film showing the unseen events that happened alongside Kingdom Hearts X. This story focuses on the original Keyblade Masters and the Master of Masters. Before the first Keyblade War, the worlds were one, but when the factions of the first Masters fought, the world splintered and caused the separated worlds players see in the games today. The Master of Masters had six apprentices: Ira, Aced, Invi, Gula, Ava, and Luxu. The important one here is Luxu, the one who did not get a faction but instead went on a special journey.
Luxu was tasked to wander around the world with the Master of Master’s Keyblade, which had the Master’s eye embedded in it allowing him to see everything through the Keyblade. The Master of Masters then used this sight to write the Book of Prophecies. Luxu also carried with him an important black box that “must never be opened” according to the Master of Masters. No one knows what the box holds, but apparently Maleficent and the other forces of darkness are searching for it in Kingdom Hearts 3. Perhaps it is another source of power or another path to unlock the Kingdom Hearts. Regardless, it seems to be playing a big part in the next installment of the franchise.
New Princesses of Light
In a conversation between Sora and Larxene, Larxene reveals that there are seven “New Hearts” that the Organization is after. It seems that Square Enix is stepping away from the original princesses and focusing on new faces, like Elsa and Anna of Frozen fame or some new characters from new worlds in Kingdom Hearts 3. Not much is known about the other new hearts at the moment, but it seems that Xehanort is acting out all his plans at once to make sure he succeeds.
It seems that Kingdom Hearts 3 will feature more than just Heartless to face off against. With Organization XIII running around, more Nobodies are bound to pop up, and with Vanitas back in action, the Unversed from Birth by Sleep will be facing off against Sora as well. The Unversed can be seen in the Monsters Inc. world alongside Vanitas, and they seem to be causing a lot of destruction. It seems Sora and the gang will be facing nearly every type of enemy in the series, perhaps even the Dream Eaters will make an appearance as well.
Based on the trailers, it appears Square Enix is tying together all the loose ends that have popped up across the Kingdom Hearts franchise with Kingdom Hearts 3. With so many plots going on, it’s no wonder that the development team is having a trouble with the game’s size. Hopefully, this epic adventure will be worth the tremendous amount of waiting that fans have done.
Kingdom Hearts 3 launches January 29, 2019 for PS4 and Xbox One.