The final trailer for Kingdom Hearts III has finally arrived, serving as another reminder that the game’s launch is almost a month away. While this undoubtedly pushes fans’ excitement levels to an all-time high, the trailer also delivered a flurry of emotional punches and information overload. For those that didn’t get a chance to break down what was revealed in the footage, we’ve created a list of the five most important teases.
The following five moments are in order of when they appear in the trailer, so make sure to read to the end to get some answers about the new original world that was revealed.
Riku is a playable character
Early into the trailer, there’s a short montage of gameplay featuring Sora and his various Keyblade transformation abilities. However, there’s also a very brief moment showing Riku fighting a Demon Tower in the Dark Realm. While previous trailers have already confirmed that Riku will be traveling to the dark area, this latest footage confirmed that Riku will be a playable character due to the health bar showing his face instead of Sora’s. It’s unclear if he will be available to use as often as he was in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream, Drop, Distance, but for now, it’s great to know that Sora’s best friend won’t be taking a backseat in this final fight.
Fans have known for a few months that Pixar’s Ratatouille would be featured in the upcoming RPG, but it wasn’t clear if the adorable Remy would be seen outside of a few minigames. Now, it seems that Sora will receive a special Keyblade themed after the animated film. Its name wasn’t revealed, but players can see its Frying Pan transformation attack in action. Sora swings the Keyblade, which seems to be shaped like the Eiffel Tower, collecting various ingredients like wine and carrots. Then, the blade becomes a giant frying pan that he can smash down onto enemies.
Once the footage switches away from combat and into narrative, there’s a conversation between Kairi and Lea that leads to a rather shocking reveal. Kairi teases Lea that he better promise to not hold back during Keyblade training, and as Lea turns to look at Kairi, he instead sees Xion. For newcomers that didn’t play any of the series’ spin-off entries, Xion was featured in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days and was a close friend of Axel and Roxas. Since she was a fragment of Sora’s heart and memories, she died at the end of the game, which was the same fate Roxas met in Kingdom Hearts II.
It’s odd to see her back considering she shouldn’t be able to exist with Sora fully awake. However, there are a few lines of dialogue from Isa that suggest the Seekers of Darkness brought her back somehow to procure Xehanort’s final vessel. As seen in the image above, there’s moment toward the end of the trailer that shows Xion raising her Keyblade against Lea, hinting that she will be against the Guardians of Light.
While the entire Final Battle trailer is fairly somber, there’s an extremely quick moment that holds more sadness than players might have realized. In the midst of Donald seemingly dying and the other Guardians of Light being wiped out by Heartless, Sora is grabbed by a dark chain. As he’s pulled away, another person, Ventus, can be seen hanging from a separate binder. Considering that Ven’s soulless body is something Xehanort has been searching for, this can’t be good news for Sora.
Not only does this take away the Guardians of Light’s last line of defense, but it also might make Aqua’s final deed before sacrificing herself a waste. Before she saved Terra from falling into the Dark Realm, Aqua hid Ven’s body deep inside Castle Oblivion, believing this would stop Xehanort from ever being able to complete the X-blade.
New world: Scala ad Caelum
The award for most mysterious moment happens at the end of the footage. As a final stinger, Master Xehanort and his vessels—now suited up in snazzy armor—appear in an unfamiliar location. The evil Keyblade wielder tells Sora that he and his other selves can “finally be one” at Scala ad Caelum. That name roughly translates to “Ladder to Heaven” or “Stairway to Heaven,” suggesting that this massive world will be the way to enter Kingdom Hearts.
Perhaps more intriguing than its connection to the Kingdom Hearts, though, is its potential link to a four-year-old tease. In 2014, Square Enix held two private events in California and London for the release of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix where lucky attendees were shown exclusive footage of Kingdom Hearts III that still hasn’t been shared today. Fans that were there reported seeing a huge white area with many buildings called Cable Town, which sounds similar to Scala ad Caelum’s architecture.
If they are the same areas, it’s unclear why Square Enix waited so long to reveal the world officially. Regardless, another interesting thing to note about this new world is its resemblance to an area from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. As seen in the image above, the Land of Departure, which was Aqua, Ven, and Terra’s home, has the same circular eight-point design above its entrance that can be seen in Scala ad Caelum’s large tower. Since the Land of Departure became Castle Oblivion at the end of Birth by Sleep, it’s intriguing to see this world revealed alongside Ven’s body, which was hidden away in Oblivion. How this all is connected is anyone’s guess, but the pieces are lining up for what should be a fantastic end to the Dark Seeker saga.
Kingdom Hearts III will launch for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 29th, 2019.