Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is a game developed by Square Enix. It has been released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in Japan on November 11, 2020 and worldwide on November 13, 2020.
The game features 140 songs and 5 gameplay modes, those being World Tour, Online Battles, COM Battles, Local Battles, and Free-For-Alls. Unlike past Kingdom Hearts iterations, Melody of Memory focuses on rhythm gameplay rather than action RPG combat.
Melody of Memory is, as mentioned earlier, a game based on rhythm gameplay rather than traditional Kingdom Hearts combat. Gameplay can be a possibility of 3 forms: Field Battles, Boss stages, and Memory Dives.
Field Battles see the selected party travel along a winding path observing some of the notable locations from the source world.
Boss stages see the party face off against one of 4 bosses from their respective games.
Memory Dives have the party float around a pre-determined track that has footage of cutscenes playing in the background rather than the winding scenery of Field Battles.
As players progress through battles, they will encounter several obstacles that they need to fight through to progress. These obstacles will either take the form of regular enemies, boxes/barrels, Ability Crystals, Glide Targets, or other items for Bosses and Memory Dives
These are the most common target found within Field Battles. They can either be generic Shadows or enemies specific to the world that the stage takes place in. Some enemies can take multiple hits to kill.
The story of Melody of Memory consists mainly of a summary of each episode of the series as Kairi explores her memories after the conclusion of Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind, in an effort to find a clue regarding Sora. The summary below only includes the new script elements.
As Kairi explores her memories, she eventually reaches a version of the Final World created within her heart. As she explores it, her buried childhood memories appear to her: Xehanort, during his apprenticeship with Ansem, had made Heartless in the Radiant Garden appear in order to seize her. He then takes her to a secret laboratory, where he places her in a machine resembling the "arks" from Daybreak Town.
As Darkness is about to engulf Radiant Garden, Xehanort believes that, if Kairi is truly one of the Seven Princesses of Heart, her heart will find refuge with a Keyblade wielder, who may be the salvation of their world. According to him, it is therefore a gesture of hope on his part. However, he warns Kairi that if her quest brings her to a world that is "neither light nor darkness, but somewhere on the other side", her mission will become more difficult, and that she will have to give up the search, because they will have failed.
Kairi gathers the fragments of her heart across the Final World, and comes face to face with Master Xehanort. Kairi accuses him of being responsible for changing her fate, as well as Sora's current fate. She confronts Xehanort, who compliments her on her talent with the Keyblade despite her inexperience. He is also aware that they are within Kairi's heart, and even guesses the purpose of her journey, although he thinks it is in vain, as the memories that hold the answer Kairi seeks are long buried.
Despite her best efforts, Kairi is defeated. However, as Xehanort prepares to deliver the decisive blow, Sora's Keyblade appears in Kairi's hands. Sora appears soon after, taking Kairi's place against Xehanort. However, Xehanort notes that his voice does not carry so far; thanks to this clue, Xehanort guesses where Sora's heart really lies.
Sora triumphs over Xehanort for Kairi, retrieving the last fragment of her heart, before disappearing. Xehanort, admitting that he is just a creation of Kairi's heart, and therefore decides to offer her his answer. These are the words Xehanort had said to Kairi when she was a child: "If failed, Kairi would end up in a world that is neither light nor darkness, but on the other side."
Confused, Kairi wakes up in Ansem the Wise's laboratory, and repeats these words to Ansem, as well as Even and Ienzo. In deliberating on Xehanort's words, Ansem offers a hypothesis: the other side of their world, of reality, must be unreality ; in other words, a fictional world. He admitted, however, that this mystery was beyond his comprehension.
Just then, Riku arrives, having also discovered a trail in his dreams thanks to the help of the Fairy Godmother. She also joins them, and shares her knowledge. Three keys are needed to find Sora : Riku's dreams and Kairi's memories are the first two. As for the third, the Fairy Godmother knows who has her, and offers to bring Riku and Kairi to her.
To the Other Side
The Fairy Godmother transports Riku and Kairi to the Final World. With her help, both of them manage to see the stars representing the hearts of the deceased who reside here. In particular, the Fairy Godmother introduces them to one of her, a "Nameless Star" that Sora had already met. This one, explains the Fairy Godmother, comes from the world on the other side, where its form has been stolen. If she returns to her home world, her heart will also be stolen. The Fairy Godmother is not able to help her in this form, but still thinks that it is possible to help her achieve her dream.
For this, Riku can use the Power of Waking and, with the help of the star, reach her home world. Riku describes his dreams to the Star, and the Star suggests that Sora is in a city named Quadratum. If Sora is in trouble, the Star is ready to do anything to help him : with her help, Riku opens a portal using the Power of Waking.
Kairi reports, and although Mickey wants to lend Riku a hand, Yen Sid has other plans in mind. Indeed, since the information about "the other side" came to them from Xehanort when he was a researcher with Ansem, he must have known about this other side for a long time. Yen Sid recalls that when he was himself a Keyblade Master, he thought to himself that the "Lost Masters" themselves had gone to another world, which could be that other side.
Yen Sid instructs Donald and Goofy to contact the people looking for Sora in the Radiant Garden, the Land of Departure and the Twilight Town to tell them to stop their search. Kairi decides to continue training, but asks Aqua to do so. Finally, when it comes to Mickey, Yen Sid assigns him to investigate this new world, and its connection to the Ancient Keyblade Masters, starting in Scala ad Caelum.
The words "An Oath to Return KINGDOM HEARTS" then appear on the screen.