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Kingdom Hearts 3: E3 Recap

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Kingdom Hearts 3 first appeared at Sony’s 2013 E3 conference, and since then, it hasn’t really been given its proper due at E3. Until now, that is.

During this year’s E3, Square Enix decided to go all-out for Kingdom Hearts 3’s final appearance by releasing not one, not two, but THREE trailers. Let’s dive in and break down everything new we’ve learned.


The first trailer wasted no time in revealing that Sora and the gang will be visiting Arendelle, a world based off the cultural behemoth that is Frozen. We were treated to some glimpses at (seemingly unfinished) cutscenes that include characters from the film such as Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and the lovable Olaf. Clips of a boss fight involving Marshmallow (y’know, Elsa’s huge ice golem) were also shown off, as well as a new keyblade transformation that enables Sora to ice-skate. Fun fact: Josh Gad, the voice actor behind Olaf in the Frozen film has confirmed his involvement with the game!

The second trailer was a bit of an extended version of the first one we saw, with a few extra faces. Most notably, Remy from Ratatoullie will be making his Kingdom Hearts debut. Director Tetsuya Nomura has gone on record to clarify that Remy is part of a mini-game that will involve Sora scouring a house for ingredients before cooking a dish that gives him buffs. Could this be part of a large mini-game based world ala Atlantis from Kingdom Hearts II, or could his involvement be a summon? It looks like we’ll find out when the game releases.

In the third trailer, the next world to be revealed was none other than Pirate’s of the Caribbean, a returning world from Kingdom Hearts II. While it was called Port Royal in KHII, I expect a subtle name shift as it doesn’t look like we’ll be spending much time in the actual port. Instead, it looks like we’ll be visiting Islands seen in the original film’s sequels, Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End.

Speculation aside, there’s a lot that we do know about this world. First off, Sora and the gang are rocking new pirate-themed outfits. It also looks like Sora’s dream of becoming a pirate will finally come true, as we’ll be engaging in naval battles. The naval combat, a first for the series, looks to be swift and visceral. Hopefully we’ll see some sort of Colosseum-like minigame where we can engage in naval warfare after completing the world’s storyline.


While seeing those new worlds was great, what excited me most from Kingdom Hearts 3 newest trailers were all the returning characters! I won’t sit here and give you a detailed bio on every character (though I will in my deep dive recap), but I will bring up who I spotted. First off is none other than the Somebody (whole form) of one of the most popular Kingdom Hearts characters of all-time..


You can tell it’s Lea because Axel rocks the under-eye tattoos.


Look at that new haircut!


Looking as mean-spirited as ever.


This dude really likes hangin’ around pirates.


Everyone’s favorite surfer-dad is back.


He’s Zexion’s Somebody.


As if she wasn’t enough of a tragic character.

Riku Replica

The fake Riku created during the events of Chain of Memories used to manipulate Sora.


The biggest reveal for Kingdom Hearts 3 didn’t take place at E3, in fact, it took place at the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour’s first night in L.A. There, we learned that the long-awaited game would be releasing on January 29th in North America and Europe, while Japan will receive it a few days earlier on January 25th.

In addition, we also learned that Kingdom Hearts 3 will have multiple special editions. First up is the deluxe edition which is priced at $79.99. This version of the game comes in a sleek steelbook, and includes an artbook as well as a collectible pin.

Next is the Square Enix store exclusive edition which comes in at a whopping $230. This edition of the game includes the deluxe edition, as well as a 3-pack of Bring Arts figures modeled after Sora, Donald, and Goofy’s appearance in the Toybox world. Keep in mind, the deluxe edition and figures will come bundled separately.

There’s also the (so-far) digital exclusive Kingdom Hearts All-In-One package which gives you instant access to Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 HD ReMIX as well as Kingdom Hearts 2.8. You’ll be able to access Kingdom Hearts 3 at 12 am EST on January 29th.

Last but not least, there’s the limited edition PS4 Pro bundle which comes with a specially Kingdom Hearts 3 themed PS4 Pro and Dualshock 4. It’s up for pre-order in Japan, but no word on when pre-orders will open up for North America. We’ll make sure to keep you updated once those go live.

And that about covers all the major details we learned about Kingdom Hearts 3 during this year’s E3. With the game’s release date finally set, the 13 year wait for Kingdom Hearts 3 is nearly over. Check back in during the first week of July where I’ll be commencing my Deep Dive recap series with the very first entry, Kingdom Hearts.

::More stories: Kingdom Heart 3 Release Date: January 29th, 2019