Kingdom Hearts III Shows Sora at His Most Powerful

All grown up.

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Kingdom Hearts III will not only close the story of Sora and friends, it will also feature its upbeat protagonist at his most powerful. Speaking with GameSpot, director Tetsuya Nomura said that the young man we see in the latest trailer has evolved alongside the series' combat mechanics and storyline.

"Another thing you can expect from Kingdom Hearts III is giant, Shadow of the Colossus-style boss battles."

In addition to the new Kingdom Hearts III footage, Square Enix showed off another Kingdom Hearts game: Kingdom Hearts Unchained X (the "X" pronounced "key"), a mobile title that chronologically takes place first in the franchise. Nomura urged those interested in KHIII to play Unchained X first, as it gives a lot of background to a major event discussed and viewed at length throughout the series, the great Keyblade War, in which those who could use Keyblades (like Sora and Riku) took up arms against each other in a cataclysmic battle of light and darkness.

In addition to the narrative link between Unchained X and KHIII, Nomura also said the Sora we see in the new trailer has passed his Keyblade wielder's Mark of Mastery exam--a test he miserably failed at the end of the last KH title, Dream Drop Distance. We now know that he passes.

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One major addition gameplay-wise to Kingdom Hearts III is transforming Keyblades. The new trailer shows Sora's Keyblade becoming a wide gambit of other weapons, from a rocket launcher to dual guns to a flying pegasus creature leading a chariot. Each Keyblade transformation is unlocked by clearing all missions in one of Kingdom Hearts' worlds, and each individual world offers its own unique Keyblade transformation. Nomura said the Pegasus and chariot version, for example, is from the world of Disney's Hercules (which also confirms there is a Hercules world in Kingdom Hearts III).

"The concept of transforming Keyblades was conceived during development on Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix," Nomura explained. "The Lingering Sentiment battle [between Sora and the abandoned Armor of Terra, a hero from Birth by Sleep] featured transforming armor, and the Keyblade itself transforms, and I wanted to recreate that and be able to incorporate that mechanic into Kingdom Hearts III's gameplay. As you train and become a more masterful Keyblade wielder, your style of fighting develops and you are able to transform your Keyblade."

Co-director Tai Yasue added the the game will have a lot of different transformation options, though Square Enix is keeping quiet for now on those not shown in the trailer. It's worth scrutinizing the transformations we've seen thus far; maybe that Keyblade bazooka-lazer is a play on Rocket Raccoon's weapon from Guardians of the Galaxy?

No Caption Provided

"Our goal is, because you are able to obtain world-specific Keyblades after you beat certain worlds, the transformations of each Keyblade will be related to the world you visit," Yasue explained. "We've made each transformation unique to the world.”

Another thing you can expect from Kingdom Hearts III is giant, Shadow of the Colossus-style boss battles. There will be fights against smaller enemies, but some of KHIII's bosses will be gargantuan, allowing Sora greater freedom of movement and room to experiment with attacks--including the new theme-park-ride summon attacks.

"When creating a Kingdom Hearts game, we start with a gameplay system that I think would be a fun element," Nomura said of designing gameplay, "and once we have an idea of what kind of gameplay or system we want in place, we flesh out the story around it, surrounding the basic concept of what kind of fun we’re going to have with this new instalment."

He added: "The gameplay mechanic is the skeleton, the root of building the game. As an example of how some concepts come about… the game system in Dream Drop Distance where you switch between Sora and Riku and interchange, that concept fell into place first and then I built the story.”

Kingdom Hearts III still doesn't have a release date. For more details, check out our trailer breakdown below.

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ProfChrisK

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Always liked KH1/KH2, the side stories threw off the pace for me. Heres hoping we get back to basics in this title..Wonder if they'll actually bring in some of their newly licensed properties (i.e marvel, SW)??

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riku610

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@profchrisk: those "side stories" are actually major plot that completes the whole series and answers unanswered questions in the series as a whole.

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kos12

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Edited By kos12

@riku610: which is why its kinda silly. You should be able to only play KH1 and KH2 to understand KH3.

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riku610

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@kos12: i commented this above :

KH 1 and 2 got a lot of plot holes in them if you think about it like how are sora, riku and kiri chosen. the history of the 7 pure hearts. the kingdom hearts (big heart-moon) itself, the organization, how come the organization is already half by the time of kh2, how did xehanort became so messed up, 14th member of the organization 13, things like that. the other release on other platforms provided a lot of explanation and its simple to follow. even if you can't play everything since its not for everyone to own every platform (like me) just to follow kingdom hearts storyline, vids are everywhere. just watch them and put the pieces together. its quite simple.

i've played the first 2 kh and i'm looking forward for the 3rd one but they really left holes on kh2. if they really intend for the series to be as simple as 1,2 then 3, then they should have integrated everything from the other release into one major one. but they want to make kh as a franchise. i've heard that in the new trailer they released that's actually 2 games in one vid. kingdom hearts 3 (sora's story) and another one called kingdom hearts x (x pronounced as "Key" and about pre-birth by sleep). i wouldn't be surprised if they'll close sora's story in 3 then start a new storyline with another character sometime in the future plus another whole new releases based on that (ehem final fantasy).

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ajmrowland1

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@profchrisk: it seems they are back to basics, aside from narrative, which borrows heavily from the "side stories".

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cboye18

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Edited By cboye18

Never heard about this franchise before.

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Xristophoros

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Edited By Xristophoros

@cboye18: joking? (trolling?) you must be DEEP into pc gaming... and i mean DEEP if you have never heard of this franchise :D i hear you complaining about so many games in the comments section... why do you like? haha

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Xristophoros

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Edited By Xristophoros

i have only completed kh 1 and kh 2... while not the biggest fan of the series due to the overly complex and convoluted storytelling (yes, even more so than metal gear solid but without the same hook or craziness), i will say that the games are incredibly fun to play. the environments and atmosphere were always a highlight as well as the boss battles. i am very impressed from what i have seen of kh 3. visually it looks phenomenal... i expect ffxv to ship long before kh, though, so a 2017 release is not out of the question but let's hope for late 2016 :D

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ecter1216

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It would be freaking stupid if they were just delaying the game to add more content based off movies and they are waiting for that perfect movie that they can add.

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ajmrowland1

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@ecter1216: It would be, especially now since they have Frozen, which is immensely popular in Japan as well as everywhere else(I think it's a bit overrated, but the world practically writes itself)

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shiss27

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I am better than excited for this one. As I said before, Kingdom Hearts original is my favorite game all time.

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franzito

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Edited By franzito

Does this game have a story? Oh, wait! I kept skipping cutscenes with Disney characters galore in the past years because I liked the gameplay better. I went for the HD versions of the past titles and had quite a blast but it's the kind of game that makes you feel a little silly by liking it. There are too many characters and subplots that you can handle...

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NiteX

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@franzito: It doesn't make you silly, just insecure.

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franzito

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@NiteX: Really? Where did ya get you shrink diploma? In Disney Town?

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He4rtl3ss

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@franzito: Yeah dude. You are silly for liking something.

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BradBurns

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Edited By BradBurns

More mobile games that overcomplicate the story for the sake of profit? Why not, why not!?

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Chaos_Dante_456

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Gameplay looks fun but it's been so long since 2, I don't know if i even care anymore. I don't feel the same level of anticipation. I don't think it's the game itself I think my interest has outgrown this series, also the convoluted story doesn't help. May get it anyway eventually lol

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Yamakoichi

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@Chaos_Dante_456: I know that feeling. Got a friend who is super hyped and cant stop going on about it. Kinda liked 1. 2 was great. Much prefered birth by sleep but none of the other spin offs interested me at all. So it has been a long time since I stopped caring :|

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jerses

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@Chaoticgodz: i give up on consoles since ps3-360 when i hear about the ps4/xbone lack of games and that a cheap graphic card can surpass a ps4. I say nah i will spend $300 on a gtx 970 ( already have the i7 + 16 ram) so its a win-win situation. A workstation that also serves as a media player (congrats to ps4 about the announcement about having a mp3 player) and a game console , just plugin a xbox one controller and done. I prefere to miss 2 or 3 exclusives over tons of games at lower prices on pc. Also Oculus rift...i know morpheus but it will be a closed platform so there wont be many content .

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JogadorEspacial

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Is that Tangled's Tower (1:14)?

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Seyunx

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@JogadorEspacial: They confirmed that Tangled would be in the game so yes.

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Fandango_Letho

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Meh. Nothing to get excited about. I'll enjoy it when it'll launch, but I'm not going to wait for a game that won't come out until a long while.

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BradBurns

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Edited By BradBurns

@Fandango_Letho: Wise choice. Square can promise the moon, but I know deep down their word doesn't mean much. I mean, I first heard of FF15 when I was in my early teens. I'm into my twenties now, and, well, no FF15/Versus yet.

Why believe the FF7 hype?

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franzito

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@BradBurns: Why believe the FF6 hype then?

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lnception

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Release date soon please!

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Cometmoon448

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Well, considering I was expecting next to nothing about KHIII at e3, this was a very pleasant surprise! Lots of juicy information! And about time too, I guess, we have been waiting for nearly two years.

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keeper262

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I am excited for this game! It is one of a few I actually care about.

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Visiondj1

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About time they let out some more KH3 information. Been waiting on this one for a while! Hopefully some release-date information isn't too far behind.

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