Celebrating A Series: What Even is Kingdom Hearts IV?

Welcome, Guardian of Light, to the third installment of  “Celebrating a Series.” If you’re new here, this is where, every week, we take a look at some of the most iconic PlayStation franchises, and wonder what their future could look like. This week, we’re diving into the crossover that should have never happened in the first place, Kingdom Hearts. It’s still hard to believe, but we’re in a post-Kingdom Hearts IIworld. While it did tie up a lot of the plot lines created over the last seventeen years, there are as many questions as there are answers.

Knowing Kingdom Hearts, these are answers that probably won’t be fully answered until after maybe ten years and at least five spin-off games across different platforms. There’s a very real chance that the next Kingdom Hearts game will not be Kingdom Hearts IV. Remember when everyone thought the secret movie in Kingdom Hearts II was teasing Kingdom Hearts III and not a portable offshoot? Figuring out whatever the next Kingdom Hearts game really is a free-for-all. With that being said, let’s hop into our Gummi Ship and venture onto this brave new world, shall we?

A Great Keyblade War Raged

The Xehanort saga is all done (at least let’s hope it is). However, that doesn’t mean everyone can sit down and relax. If you’ve seen the epilogue of Kingdom Hearts III (which, if you’ve beaten the game, you should), you know that there are a few new faces ready to cause to chaos. Five faces, to be exact. If you haven’t played the mobile-exclusive Kingdom Hearts χ yet, well, I’d suggest you catch yourself up right now, because we’re just going to dive into everything presented to us in that epilogue.

Somehow, four out of five of the Foretellers have been summoned by the Master of Masters’ sixth apprentice, Luxu, better known as Xigbar to the Kingdom Hearts fanbase. The exact placement of Kingdom Hearts χ in the timeline still isn’t entirely clear, but how and why the Foretellers are back is a giant question mark. Aced said Luxu “summoned” them, but for what purpose? Where were they all this time?

Also notable is the black box next to Luxu. That box holds the Book of Prophecies, which is soon to become very important in the grand scheme of things. Essentially, it is a book tat contains knowledge of, well, everything. Pretty powerful stuff, right? A certain green-skinned witch was after this same book during Kingdom Harts III, which hopefully means this character will have a bigger presence in the series moving froward.

Whatever the reemergence of the Foretellers means, it surely can’t be good. The epilogue of Kingdom Hearts III sets up a confrontation between (what we assume is) Sora and exactly seven figures. If you look closely, the chess pieces Eraqus places looks conspicuously like the Foretellers’ masks. Of course, we’ve already seen five of those forces, but what about the other two? Fantastic question!

Some Missing Faces

First off, there was one Foreteller suspiciously missing. Ava, who essentially started the Keyblade War, wasn’t there. Luxu said Ava “completed her mission,” but does that mean she’s gone? Probably not, because this Kingdom Hearts. In fact, Ava may have already made an appearance of sorts in Kingdom Hearts III.

Remember that mysterious girl Lea/Axel and Isa/Saix occasionally mention? There is a strong chance that they could be talking about Ava. One of the secret reports is told from the perspective of said girl, known as “X.” Held captive in Radiant Garden, all she can remember is “four friends and a key.” That certainly fits the description of the Foretellers, no? We’ll see if that truly is Ava, but her disappearance surely will be a major plot point.

If you remember, Luxu went by Braig at that exact time. He clearly remembers his past life as Luxu, so he would have easily recognized Ava. If Ava and “X” are one in the same, what did he have planned for her? What ultimately became of her?

Then, there’s the Master of Masters, who is all but surely set to replace Xehanort as the next main antagonist of Kingdom Hearts. As someone who believes the future is written in stone, it was his manipulations which ultimately led to the Keyblade War. Though he’s mostly operated behind the scenes, he’s a major presence in the entire Kingdom Hearts universe and will likely make his grand debut soon. We’re not quite sure exactly what his plans are yet, but they surely can’t be good.

But Wait, Is Sora Dead?

Not necessarily. Yes, Sora did seemingly disappear from existence at the end of Kingdom Hearts III, but he’s not completely gone. PSLS’ Lucas White covered that whole situation pretty well, but it still needs to be mentioned here. Sora, and Riku are evidently in what appears to be some alternate universe. Due to the emerging threat of the Foretellers, that particular storyline likely will only be restricted to one game. However, anything could happen.

Yozora is a total question mark at this point, too. Whether he becomes a major presence in the series or not is anyone’s guess, but he will definitely cross paths with Sora and Riku. There’s also a figure wearing a black cloak in this same city Sora finds himself in, which surely means they’re up to no good. That’s almost certainly the Master of Masters, who disappeared prior to the start of Kingdom Hearts χ. Again, we don’t know what his plan is yet, but Sora’s probably not going to like it.

Some Blank Points

Whatever happens next in Kingdom HeartsKingdom Hearts χ will no doubt be extremely important to understanding it all. The fact that Kingdom Hearts χ is still ongoing makes things slightly more complicated, but hopefully the picture will be a little more clear by the time the next Kingdom Hearts game rolls around. While we have a broad understanding of where the series will go next, there are some other dangling plot points that may need to be addressed.

Will the new Princesses of Heart be a factor moving forward? If so, who else inherited the pure light? One of the heroines from our suggested list of worlds, perhaps?

Remember the Nameless Star Sora met in The Final World? That’s more than likely Strelitzia, who was killed by an unknown assailant during Kingdom Hearts χ. We know she’s looking for someone important, but who could that person be? It’s more than likely Lauriam, who happens to be the Somebody of Marluxia. Expect to see that mane of hair make a return appearance. In fact, expect to see the original selves of the Organization XIII members seen in Kingdom Hearts III, since it looks like they all were Keyblade wielders in the Age of Fairytales. (We’ve even seen some of them already.)

Speaking of Kingdom Hearts χ, when does it take place, exactly? Previous statements made it seem like the Keyblade War took place hundreds of years in the past, but could it be much earlier than we thought? Not only do we see the original selves of Marluxia and Larxene, but Ventus (yep, him) is around and kicking here too, albeit looking slightly younger. How did he go from a prospective leader of Keyblade wielders to Master Xehanort’s apprentice?

Lastly, I’m Sorry

Listen, a lot of this article has amounted to a bunch of spitballing, and I apologize. I didn’t even get to talk about the possible Kingdom Hearts IV gameplay, although there isn’t a ton to say on that front. Basically, the combat system of Kingdom Hearts III is great, invigorating, and is designed in such a way that it never feels stale. If anything, the ability to switch Keyblades on the fly is a must moving forward. If you really want to talk about the gameplay of future Kingdom Hearts games, be sure to read another Lucas White original.

For a game designed to tie up (more or less) the storylines of about ten or so characters, Kingdom Hearts III does a pretty dang good job. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to unpack here. Honestly, there’s about a thousand more words I could write about, but I won’t, because I care about you.

These are storylines that are not going to be resolved in one game. This deep in Kingdom Hearts, we know what to expect from it. We’re not even sure if Kingdom Hearts IV is a real thing. With that being said, the future is certainly exciting for Kingdom Hearts, if a bit overwhelming and scary.