Template:Infobox CVG Template:Q Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (previously known as Kingdom Hearts 3D) is a game in the Kingdom Hearts series released on the Nintendo 3DS hand-held system. It was released on March 29, 2012 in Japan, July 31, 2012 in US and Canada, July 20, 2012 in Europe, and July 26th in Australia.
The game will be remastered in HD and released as part of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue.
Following the destruction of Ansem and Xemnas at the hands of Sora and Riku, Xehanort is revived. In response, Yen Sid puts Sora and Riku through a Mark of Mastery exam in order for them to become full-fledged Keyblade Masters and counter the coming return of Master Xehanort. As part of this trial, the two are separated from each other and sent to worlds previously destroyed by the Heartless that have since been restored, though now in a state of "deep sleep" which disconnects them from the other worlds.
These seven worlds are plagued by Dream Eaters — creatures born from darkness that seek out the sleeping worlds' Keyholes. Sora and Riku's given task is to reawaken the sleeping worlds by unlocking the seven Keyholes they find there and then return to the realm of light, recruiting benevolent "Spirit" Dream Eaters to guide them and battle the malevolent "Nightmare" Dream Eaters, after which they will be deemed Keyblade Masters.
During the exam, Sora and Riku cross paths with the resurrected "Ansem" and Xemnas, as well as a younger incarnation of Master Xehanort from an alternate past. The three bring Sora to the World That Never Was, where he learns of Organization XIII's true purpose—to serve as vessels for Master Xehanort to place pieces of his heart inside, thereby transforming them into clones of Xehanort. Sora is forced into a comatose state by the young Xehanort and his heart is swallowed by darkness, though it is protected by Ventus's suit of armor residing within him.
Riku goes to rescue Sora, only to be confronted by the young Xehanort, who unveils a new Organization XIII composed of the newly revived Master Xehanort and his eleven vessels, whom Xehanort plans to pit against seven Keyblade wielders and recreate the χ-blade. Master Xehanort tries to turn Sora into his last needed vessel, but Sora is rescued by Riku, Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Lea—the revived human form of the original Organization's Axel—after which Xehanort and his other vessels retreat.
Sora's body is brought back to Yen Sid's tower, where Riku enters his body and releases Sora's heart from Ventus' armor, now possessed by a Nightmare. After Sora reawakens, only Riku is declared a Keyblade Master by Yen Sid, and Lea reveals himself to have become a Keyblade wielder. Undaunted by his failure, Sora embarks on a new journey by himself to train. While Sora travels to Traverse Town in order to meet all his Dream Eater friends, Ventus is shown still being at Castle Oblivion, but suddenly starts smiling a bit. The game's secret ending shows Yen Sid planning to gather seven Keyblade wielders to combat the new Organization and prevent Xehanort from bringing about another Keyblade War. To this end, Yen Sid has Riku bring Kairi to him so she can be trained to wield the Keyblade she received from Riku in Kingdom Hearts II.
It is known that the game is the latest major release in the Kingdom Hearts series, and it features both Sora and Riku as playable characters, both feature new designs which look similar to their Kingdom Hearts appearance. Utilizing the 3DS's high-spec graphics processing, the game has graphics that are on-par with those of the PS2 titles, as well as making use of the system's 3D technology such as "falling from high places" and "flying far distances".  The development team is currently selecting worlds, planning to use all-new Disney worlds, along with Traverse Town and other original worlds, one of which has been revealed to be based on The Hunchback of Notre Dame (although the world itself has already been featured in the non-canonical The Sceptre and the Kingdom).
Nomura has stated that, with the parallel development of Final Fantasy Versus XIII, he will make sure to retain any game elements that can't be put in Final Fantasy Versus XIII for use in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Nomura has also stated that the transition between playing as Sora and playing as Riku will be forced upon and sudden, and can occur while simply walking around. The game also has the keyword of "drop", as in something falling. The 3D effect of the Nintendo 3DS will be used more for "going into the screen" rather than things popping out, as well.
In the July's issue of Weekly Famitsu, Nomura stated that the game will focus on the "hidden data" inside of Sora and development of the game was 40-50% finished, with voice recording to begin soon after. A secret movie was confirmed, along with new characters that will appear in Traverse Town. Nomura also stated that the Xehanort Saga will end with Kingdom Hearts III and there will be "answers" about Kingdom Hearts III in Dream Drop Distance.
A playable demo was available at the 2011 Tokyo Game Show, which revealed that Neku Sakuraba, the protagonist from The World Ends with You, would appear in the game, along with two new allies, the Komory Bat and the Meow Wow. Sora is seen with the Meow Wow and Kuma Panda Dream Eaters as his allies while Riku is seen with the Komory Bat and Yoggy Ram Dream Eaters as his allies. A new type of enemy known as Dream Eaters were also shown.
A December issue of V Jump revealed a new world based on Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, as well as Joshua and Beat from The World Ends with You set to be in Traverse Town along sides with Neku.
On the new updated Square Enix website Square Enix reveals information about the Drop Gauge. When the Drop gauge empties, your character will switch from Sora to Riku or vice versa, depending on who your character is.
During Jump Festa 2012, a playable demo and an eight-minute trailer were shown. Axel, Lea, a young Master Xehanort, Vanitas, Roxas, Xion, Kairi, Naminé, Ventus, Rinzler, Maleficent, and Pete along with Joshua, Shiki, Beat, and Rhyme from The World Ends with You were shown in the trailer. A world based off Tron: Legacy, called The Grid, was revealed, where like in Kingdom Hearts II, there will be a data form for both Sora and Riku. The Keyblade Graveyard was also shown.
On June 22 2012 another playable demo was released for the Nintendo eShop at a free price.
Worlds and Characters
The game mostly takes place in the World of Sleep, and all the Disney-based worlds are brand new to the series, creating the 7 Worlds of Sleep. The only Final Fantasy characters who appear in the game are the Moogles, but several characters from The World Ends with You appear in the game, replacing the traditional Final Fantasy cast.
- Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is the first game in the Kingdom Hearts series to not feature the Olympus Coliseum, in a flashback or otherwise.
- However, its theme "Road to a Hero" can be heard in The Country of the Musketeers when Sora, Donald, and Goofy save Mickey from drowning.
- Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is the first game in the Kingdom Hearts series to be released in Australia and Europe before North America.
Notes and references
- "E3 2010: Kingdom Hearts 3D First Look"
- "Kingdom Hearts 3D Connects to Kingdom Hearts III"
- Weekly Famitsu, November 17, 2010: Tetsuya Nomura: "Since it’s different than the Final Fantasy series which is founded on party play, the way the characters level up is different. Because there are various things that can and can’t be done, the things I can’t do in Final Fantasy Versus XIII I’m doing in Kingdom Hearts."
- Weekly Famitsu, January 26, 2011.
- "Kingdom Hearts 3D, Final Fantasy XI, Dissidia and More in Famitsu"
- Siliconera - Kingdom Hearts 3D Features Characters From The World Ends With You