I would consider myself an avid Kingdom Hearts fan.
Not a hardcore fan, as I could not afford it. It was most likely 2003 when my mom purchased the game for 9 or 10-year-old me. About three years later the second main story game came out in the series, and I was able to play that as well. There was a slew of spin-off games that no one asked for. All of these games for some reason were on various different platforms, another thing no one asked for. I played Chain of Memories, as I owned a Game Boy Advance SP but that was the last game I played.
In my last lengthy article entitled “The Importance of Chopsticks” I delve deeper into my relationship with Japanese media and subculture. Kingdom Hearts was the first game I played where I knew it was consciously Japanese. Sure, Mario 64 and the like were Japanese but I found that out later on in life.
Utada Hikaru’s “Simple and Clean” could send any fanboy or girl into a dancing frenzy. I played Kingdom Hearts and felt a shift in my consciousness. I started using forums for the first time posting my own fan theories surrounding the many mysteries the game left us at the time. I created my first email address with my favorite character’s name in it – Riku. I used almost all of our home computer’s printer ink printing out a high-resolution image of Kingdom Hearts 2’s CGI ending. The gang was reunited once more.
Talks of the third game were on the horizon, and the hype was at an all-time high. Every trailer for the main story was analyzed with scrutiny.
But as the years passed, the whisper of “Kingdom Hearts 3 Now in Development” was not enough.
And people gave up.
People slowly stopped talking about it, the fandom slowly decayed on Tumblr.
There was some excitement when Japan decided to export a Final Mix game, and I eagerly brought KH Final Mix 1.5 and 2.5 to watch the stories of the games I could not afford to buy in the past.
Timeline explanation videos began popping up on YouTube. Trying to make sense of the entire series, just in case we actually got KH3.
It became a running gag. KH3 would be released with Half-Life 3. Our grandkids would love KH3. KH3 would be the launch title for the PS7.
No one expected anything.
It made it worse that Nomura Tetsuya was more occupied with the Final Fantasy series than his own series. The hodgepodge series of Disney characters and Final Fantasy characters we adored. The characters with awkward oversized boots and zippered pants that would make any Hot Topic goth mad.
Is Hot Topic even a thing anymore? The store in my local mall closed years ago.
Nomura not working on Kingdom Hearts 3 is akin in my mind to George RR Martin working on Wild Cards instead of finishing the A Song of Ice and Fire series books.
In retrospect, Nomura was working on Final Fantasy games before Kingdom Hearts, and George worked on Wild Cards before ASOIAF. These simple truths, however, do not quell the salt in my heart.
February 10th, 2018.
Disney’s D23 Expo in Japan drops the Kingdom Hearts III ‘Monster’s Inc’ trailer. Utada Hikaru has signed on with a new song. Riku has a new outfit. He somehow broke his keyblade and is going to leave it in the darkness for his…heartless? His nobody? Xehanort? The real Ansem the Wise? Aqua? A member of Organization 13? Didn’t they all die in the second game?
But then in the new trailer Marluxia says it’s good to see Sora again, but Sora also forgot the plot and has no clue who he is. Unless that duel to the death in Chain of Memories was against Marluxia and Riku – my chain of memories is weak. Then in a cutscene, Sora recognizes Vanitas – except it’s not Sora- it’s probably Terra inside of Sora’s heart…who is different from Roxas who was Sora’s nobody that was created when he lost his heart in Hollow Bastion in KH1 to release Kairi’s heart.
Speaking of Kairi, maybe she’ll actually have a role in this game. Other than being Sora’s ethereal emotional support in KH1 and running around a beach before getting kidnapped and literally dragged into the story in KH2.
Bottom line: I am happy we got a substantial trailer. I am not happy that we have a release date for the release date, which is this summer’s E3 convention.
Whatever may happen, I’ll reserve any further excitement and anticipation for this summer. It will determine whether or not I’ll go out and buy a PS4 for the game that may never truly be.