Fans of Kingdom Hearts series prepare to dive into latest installment

February 26, 2019

For the uninitiated, the Kingdom Hearts video game series just seems like a confusing mix of Final Fantasy and Disney characters.

But those who’ve played the previous installments of the series know that is a game rich in substance, story and addicting gameplay.

Kingdom Hearts 3 is an action RPG, which was released on Jan. 28 in the United States. Most fans of the series are excited for the new game while some are sad because the developers have announced that this is the final game of the current story arc.

While the game has changed in combat styles, the games stay true to the original idea of combining Disney and Final Fantasy, successfully merging two worlds that some critics said could never be done.

There is a lot to expect in the new game, including new worlds like Galaxy Toys that is the world of Pixar’s Toy Story movie franchise. This world includes some beloved characters like Woody and Buzz. And in this world, Sora, one of the main Kingdom Hearts characters, can run up walls and equip multiple weapons that each have their own abilities.

The story in Kingdom Hearts 3 is continuing from “dream drop distance” where Yen Sid puts Sora and Riku through a “Mark of Destiny Exam” to grant them with a power to rescue their lost allies and counter Xehanort. This continues from the original release on the 3DS and re-released on the Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Collection, which was released on the PS4. The game is said to have “floaty combat” that allows players to battle in mid-air. This has fans on edge to find out how well this was done.

Fans got a sneak peek when a shipping mishap allowed people to steal an Xbox One copy of the game. People have said the game is a unique experience of its own, being the first of its kind among any of the Kingdom Hearts games.

Fans at Akins have various opinions about which of the Kingdom Hearts games are the best. Sophomore Fernando Godinez said that his favorite of the season is Kingdom Hearts 1.

“That’s where the story starts,” he said. “Unless you really wanna see great at its finest, then I recommend that you go try Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days because the story is the sauce.”

Junior Bellinghausen said she also loves Kingdom Hearts 1.

“It’s the first and it’s always going to be a classic,” she said. “It’s was how I really got into the series and read the books to it.”

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EE Explains: The Kingdom Hearts story

Image courtsey Square Enix

Characters from Kingdom Hearts prepare for battle in a cutscene from dream drop distance

EE Explains: The Kingdom Hearts story

For those who have never played Kingdom Hearts, there are some major events and characters to know before the game can be fully appreciated.

It all starts with the Master of Masters, who wrote a book of war between light and darkness. He had apprentices who each had their own group of keyblade wielders. Eventually, they discovered there was a traitor among them which caused the keyblade war. During the events the Master of Masters passed a black box containing secrets to Luxu, passing on the role of Master of Masters to ensure the promised fate of darkness overcoming light would happen. The keyblade war led to the fall of all the nations.

Years later a man named Xehanort was born on Destiny Islands. He hated the world and sought out to escape it. He eventually found himself in a place called the Land of Departure after making multiple attempts to leave. Xehanort trained to use the keyblade with a boy he met named Eraqus. They bonded over their obsession with the Master of Masters and the Foreteller, but they butted heads on each other’s outlook.

Xehanort believed that darkness would conquer while Eraqus believed light would win. Eventually, Xehanort stole the Master of Master’s keyblade and left. He found a boy named Ventus and ripped all of the darkness from him which created a counterpart of evil named Vanitas. He attempted to turn into his apprentice but failed because of his lack of strength. He planned on leaving Ventus who now had amnesia to die at the world called Destiny Islands where Xehanort had suffered from his hatred for that place. When he was about to leave he thought of a plan that would allow him to plunge all of the worlds into darkness. Nearly dead bearly standing Xehanort left Ventus with Eraqus to be an apprentice. There Ventus befriended Eraqus other two apprentices: Aqua and Terra.

Eventually, the time came to test whether Aqua and Terra were ready to become keyblade masters. Xehanort came to watch them but corrupted Terra with darkness, causing him to fail the test. Aqua became a keyblade master while Terra didn’t. Terra was greeted by Xehanort, who told him that he was worth more and sent him on a secret mission to get rid of monsters called the Unversed. These monsters came from Vanitas who was taking orders from Xehanort.

Meanwhile, Ventus ran into Vanitas who told him Terra was going to die if he didn’t follow him. Ventus followed after Terra and Aqua. Now being a keyblade master, he was sent to return Ventus home. At the end of their journey, Xehanort possessed Terra, who lost his memory and became an apprentice of a man named Ansem the Wise known for studying beings called the Heartless. Aqua was banished to the realm of darkness while Ventus’ soul found its way to a boy named Sora who lived on Destiny Islands. Meanwhile, his real body was hidden in the Land of Departure, which was transformed into a place called Castle Oblivion.

12 Years Later

Now we dwell into the story of Xehanort’s “heartless” character Ansem, who was released from the open keyholes. He makes an attempt to sink the worlds into darkness by kidnapping seven people known as the “pure lights.”

This is where Disney characters make an appearance for the first time as Mickey sent Donald and Goofy on a search for Sora, who possesses the key they need.

Meanwhile, Sora’s friends Riku and Kairi are dealing with their own troubles. Riku is overtaken by darkness and possessed by Ansem while Kairi is kidnapped. And if that’s not enough, Destiny Islands is also being swallowed by darkness. Sora finds himself in a resting place called Traverse Town where he meets squall Yuffie, Aerith, and Cid. They inform him of the heartless and his journey that he must go on. Sora eventually meets Donald and Goofy, who embark on this journey along with him.

After the journey has ended, Sora and the others discover Castle Oblivion, which at the time was a rebel hideout from Organization 13. This a group of nobodies is a bunch of apprentices of Ansem the Wise. They all follow Xemnas who is Xehanort’s henchman. There at Castle Oblivion, Sora Donald and Goofy were tricked into going deep inside the castle, where Namine causes them to lose their memories. Organization 13’s rebellion is defeated by Sora and Namine Eventually, Namine offers Sora and the others to sleep in a chamber which would slowly restore their memories.

Meanwhile

Riku stumbled upon Castle Oblivion where he discovered Sora sleeping and Organization 13. From there Riku and Mickey infiltrated the organization and acted as a member, hoping to get intel as to what they’re up to. They discovered Roxas, soras nobody and Xion who was a physical form of Soras memories Riku watched them make sure soras restoration wasn’t interrupted or corrupted in any way. Xion and Roxas became very close along with their friend Axel. The fate of Xion and Roxas was death since they had to wake up Sora. While Axel’s fate was grief over losing his friends. (The events that occurred cannot be said without spoiling the story overall).

Now we return to Sora, Donald, and Goofy who has awakened in a town called Twilight Town from there he visited Master Yen Sid, who updated him on everything from where they embarked to stop Xemnas. They learn that Xemnas’’entire plan is to create a Kingdom Hearts and obtain its power for darkness. Sora manages to find Riku and together they stop Xemnas and go home to Destiny Islands.

Later, Sora and Riku end up taking the master exams, where they are put into the sleeping realm and must unlock seven keyholes through each world. The result of this was Sora being kidnapped and nearly losing his life to become a vessel for the resurrection of Roxas and Xion but Sora was saved, and in the process lost all of his strength so in an attempt to regain his strength he ventured out with Donald and Goofy to Olympus Coliseum in hopes to regain his strength.

And that’s where the Kingdom Hearts 3 story starts.

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