fans of the Kingdom Hearts series was treated to a surprise on its twentieth anniversary with the reveal of a kingdom hearts 4 trailer. Given the series’ track record, many thought it was a pipe dream to expect a main sequel so soon after. kingdom hearts 3but those thoughts have since been dashed and replaced with feelings of excitement.
This preview consists of several hidden details regarding the unpredictable nature of the franchise’s future, but the initial buzz created by its reveal may have overshadowed the more subtle elements depicted, causing them to go unnoticed. Kingdom Hearts is infamous for turning minor details into crucial plot points, and this trailer is no exception.
ten A new life in Shibuya
Those unfamiliar with the location of this trailer will be unaware of its relevance. It’s the fictional world of Quadratum, in which Yozora insisted on saving Sora using brute force. Sora has since taken up residence in this thriving metropolis and seems to live luxuriously.
Quadratum is an exact copy of Shibuya, Tokyo, the same world in which the Square Enix title the world ends with you is also defined. Ansem the Wise called Quadratum a fictional world, but it’s the most accurate depiction of the real world we’ve seen in the series so far.
The trailer informs the viewer that all content shown is development footage and is therefore subject to change. Since unveiling this trailer, Square Enix has revealed that it was rendered in Unreal Engine 4 with the intention of stripping the footage and recreating it using Unreal Engine 5.
Looking at Sora’s movement, it’s clear that the game is far from complete as, while fluid, it’s far from concise. Sora uses his Flowmotion abilities to reach different obstacles, but it’s hard to ignore how he floats above these objects when he intends to land firmly on them. This is not a finished product, just an example of new movesets to come.
8 Keychain Crossing
A new means of traversal is revealed, where Sora projects his key chain to grab onto different objects and surfaces. This ability may be a form of Shotlock traversal, or possibly an addition to Sora’s Flowmotion ability, but nothing is confirmed in the trailer. The most interesting detail, however, is the design chosen to represent the key ring itself.
This isn’t the first time chains like these have been featured on the show. Aqua and Terra-Xehanort have both been seen using these chains, Aqua in Kingdom Hearts 0.2: A fragmentary passage and Terra-Xehanort in kingdom hearts 3. These chains are said to represent the wearer’s bonds of friendship, so it seems that Sora will continue to harness the power of friendship even if his friends are unreachable.
7 wall race
Sora gained the ability to run on vertical surfaces by kingdom hearts 3a feature used extensively throughout the duration of the game. With what this trailer reveals, the cityscape of Quadratum will be a great place for Sora to perform this mechanic.
The wall race has been changed since its initial debut. Sora now lodges his Keyblade in a building to gain footing before beginning his ascent. This feature is only briefly introduced, but it opens up a world of possibilities for other features to receive upgrades as well.
6 The Blue Flame
Donald and Goofy are seen wandering around in pitch black surroundings before a blue flame appears behind them. A voice asks why they are here, startling the duo, and the flame bursts red and surrounds them, causing the dog and the duck to cling to each other in fear.
It might seem obvious to some, but that unseen flame source is more than likely Disney’s god of the underworld, Hades. Hercules. Sora has been missing for a year, so it makes sense that Donald and Goofy consider the possibility that he perished. Their choice to search for this particular location, however, reveals to us that they both agreed that the desolate underworld would be the most likely location for Sora once he passed.
5 Clothing styles
An interesting detail regarding Sora’s new design is that it appears to be based on a promotional image used to advertise a fashion line developed by Super Groupies in which new outfits for Sora, Riku, Kairi, Roxas, and Axel were designed.
Perhaps the slick portrayal of these characters was meant to serve as a clue for each character’s future design and the direction the franchise intended to go. There’s even a chance that these characters will appear in Quadratum sporting these designs.
4 Reaction commands
kingdom hearts 2 introduces reaction commands to the series, while kingdom hearts 3 ditched them in favor of Keyblade transformations. Although this trailer seems to display a fluid combat system, there is an easily overlooked detail hidden behind its spectacle.
A Famitsu interview with series director Tetsuya Nomura saw him confirm the return of the reaction commands. While engaging the evolved Darkside, Sora forms a shield with a crown in the center to block an oncoming attack. Many assumed it was a Keyblade transformation, recalling kingdom hearts 3, but has since been confirmed to mark the return of the much-missed mechanic that was thought to have been forgotten. React commands are finally back.
3 Strelitzia’s hair clips
Mobile Game Players Kingdom Hearts: Union X [Cross] will know about Strelitzia, but those who don’t will be unsure of its relevance to the story. Strelitzia existed during the First Keyblade War alongside her brother, Lauriam. Lauriam later lost her heart and became Marluxia, the eleventh member of Organization 13.
One would assume that Strelitzia has no idea what happened to her brother, including his involvement with Organization 13, but the positioning of her hair clips would suggest otherwise. The “X” and “I” shapes recall the Roman numeral for the number eleven, referring to Marluxia’s positioning within the Organization’s ranks. Given the franchise’s fixation on minute details, this is undoubtedly a reference to its sibling, the Graceful Assassin himself.
2 A mysterious voice
Before the end of the Quadratum segment of the trailer, two hooded figures observe Sora from the top of a skyscraper. Their faces are shrouded in shadow, making them impossible to identify unless you examine the narrator’s voice.
Presumably these elusive characters have appeared on the show before, so the best approach is to compare the spoken dialogue to that of other voice actors who have voiced Kingdom Hearts characters from the past. In an interview with Famitsu, Nomura confirmed that the narrator alters his voice to keep the identity of the character a secret. Takanori Okuda, the voice of young Xehanort, has similar vocal patterns to the unknown narrator, but is more likely to be the master of masters.
1 A new world
Since there’s no obvious Disney world reveal in this trailer, it’s safe to assume that all locations shown are set in Quadratum. That said, there’s one particular scene that may reveal more than it intended. A beautiful forest is briefly shown halfway through the trailer. A cascade and collection of fungus-like growths are targeted, but one detail can easily go unnoticed.
A mechanical contraption can be seen in the upper right corner of one of these shots and upon closer inspection displays similarities to that of an AT-ST Walker from star wars. Now that Disney owns the star wars franchise, this scene could take place on Endor or Yavin 4 and if so, Sora could finally receive a Keyblade and Lightsaber hybrid. Including properties like star wars can open the door for other unexpected franchises to pop up.
kingdom hearts 4 is now in development.
MORE: Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link: Things You Might Have Missed In The Trailer
13 Best Combat Systems In JRPGs, Ranked