Kingdom Hearts Wiki

Kingdom Hearts III is the third main installment in the Kingdom Hearts series developed and published by Square Enix. It was initially released January 2019 for the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. An expansion, Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind was released in January 2020. A bundle of the game and the Re Mind expansion will be available on Microsoft Windows via the Epic Games Store on March 30, 2021.

The story takes place after the events of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. It features an older Sora as the main protagonist, who sets forth on a new adventure to search for seven guardians of light in an attempt to stop Xehanort from bringing about a second Keyblade War. Sora is joined by Donald Duck, Goofy, Mickey Mouse, Riku, Kairi, and others. Along the way, Sora travels to many worlds from Disney and Pixar intellectual properties, and cross paths with the real Organization XIII.

Kingdom Hearts III features hack and slash combat reminiscent of Kingdom Hearts II, with elements from later handheld entries, allowing the player to control Sora in a party with Donald, Goofy, and up to two other Disney characters from the various worlds he visits. A major addition compared is the Formchange mechanic, which allows his currently equipped Keyblade to grant him special abilities and change shape. Sora can equip up to three Keyblades at a time, and cycle between them to use his abilities. Another addition is the Attractions mechanic, which occasionally allows Sora to summon and pilot a vehicle inspired by Disney theme park attractions. At certain points throughout the game, the player will be able to control other characters.


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Through countless adventures across many worlds in his long battle against the darkness, Sora, once a little boy who only dreamed worlds beyond his island even existed, has grown up to a dashing young man. Now he is realizing that that battle has played out exactly as Master Xehanort had planned, and the second Keyblade War, the final struggle between light and dark, looms ahead. To counter the overwhelming darkness, Sora and his friends must gather the seven guardians of light. His best friend Riku and King Mickey seek out a battle-scarred Keyblade wielder, while Sora, Donald, and Goofy set off on a journey to find “the Key to Return Hearts.” Never-before-featured Disney worlds set the stage for another daring adventure to save the universe!

Chosen by the Keyblade, he is the one whose heart’s light never fails to shine as a beacon of hope.

Sora, the brave hero chosen by the Keyblade, has always had a strong sense of justice. Through his many battles against darkness, he has grown and learned about the world immensely. Drawn to his light, many friends have lent him their support and granted him their powers to counter the darkness: Riku, the childhood friend he grew up with on Destiny Islands; Donald and Goofy, the two brave comrades with whom he has shared his adventures from the very beginning; and King Mickey, who gives Sora his unfailing support. As the world becomes enveloped in another battle against darkness, the Keyblade wielder and his friends must rise up against Master Xehanort and thwart his plot to incite another Keyblade War.[1]


Following Master Xehanort's return, Yen Sid begins preparing for seven Keyblade wielders to counteract Xehanort's plan to forge the χ-blade using a reconstituted Organization XIII. Sora, who was nearly taken over by Xehanort, (As depicted in the 2012 game Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.) discovers that he has lost much of his own strength as a result. Accompanied by Donald Duck and Goofy, Sora resumes his travels across other worlds to regain his "power of waking", the ability to restore lost hearts. Meanwhile, Riku and King Mickey search the realm of darkness for Aqua, while Kairi and Lea train to properly wield their newly obtained Keyblades.

During their travels, Sora and Riku are contacted by Ienzo, who discovers via Ansem the Wise's research data that Sora's body contains the hearts of Roxas, Ventus, and Xion. Riku surmises that the Organization's members from the past are using artificial human replicas created by Vexen as vessels that enable their existence in the present, which inspires Sora to restore Roxas by transferring his heart into a replica body. Meanwhile, the Heartless Ansem enters the realm of darkness and kidnaps Ansem the Wise, corrupting Aqua's heart in the process. However, Vexen reveals himself to be a double agent loyal to Ansem the Wise, whom he helps rescue before sending a spare replica to Ienzo for Roxas to inhabit.

Riku and Mickey eventually locate and battle the corrupted Aqua in the realm of darkness. At the same time, Sora discovers Master Eraqus's Keyblade on the Destiny Islands and uses it to enter the dark realm, where he exorcises the darkness from Aqua and returns her to the realm of light. Sora, Donald, and Goofy then follow Aqua to Castle Oblivion, which she transforms back into the Land of Departure to awaken Ventus. When she is attacked by Vanitas, Sora rediscovers his power of waking and revives Ventus, who fends Vanitas off.

The seven Keyblade wielders depart for the Keyblade Graveyard to battle the Organization, only to be quickly consumed by a swarm of Heartless summoned by the possessed Terra. Awakening in a limbo realm called the Final World, Sora is guided back to the realm of light by Kairi and uses the power of waking to revive his friends. Returning moments before their initial defeat, the guardians of light successfully destroy most of the Organization's members; in the process, Terra regains control of his body and reunites with Aqua and Ventus, while Lea reunites with Xion, whom Vexen recreated for the Organization, and Roxas, who regains his own heart to protect Lea and Xion.

Once Xehanort remains the last Organization member, he provokes Sora into attacking him by destroying Kairi's body, allowing Xehanort to acquire the χ-blade and summon Kingdom Hearts. Using Xehanort's power of time travel against him, Sora, Donald, and Goofy transport him to his boyhood training grounds of Scala ad Caelum, where they defeat him. After the other Keyblade wielders rejoin them, Eraqus's heart emerges from Terra and convinces Xehanort to surrender. Xehanort dies shortly after, his heart ascending to Kingdom Hearts with Eraqus, while Sora and his friends use the χ-blade to close it and return to the Keyblade Graveyard. Sora decides to use the power of waking to revive Kairi; despite warnings that his repeated misuse of this power could result in him losing his heart, Sora promises to return. Afterwards, Sora's friends gather at the Destiny Islands for a celebration, where Kairi stays beside Sora before he fades away.

In a post-credits scene, Xigbar, who survived the Keyblade War, retrieves Xehanort's Keyblade and summons four of the five Foretellers, revealing himself to be an incarnation of their fellow Keyblade apprentice, Luxu. He begins to recount his actions to the Foretellers, with Maleficent and Pete watching from afar. In a flashback to their youth, Eraqus and Xehanort begin a new game of chess that predicts a battle between Sora and the Foretellers.


According to director Tetsuya Nomura, the development of the game began while he was working on Final Fantasy XV. However, at the time he was too busy working on this title, and said that he would go to work on Kingdom Hearts III when Final Fantasy XV was done.

The game was announced at E3 2013, and the trailer said that it was currently in development. Nomura later said that the trailer was shown too early, stating that the game was too early in production.

The team is currently selecting the game's worlds. Nomura also revealed interest to put Marvel and Star Wars content in the game. ''It would be great if we could add these licenses too," said Nomura. ''But there are a lot of questions and restrictions at Disney, so we can't put everything people want. So it's a hard decision, but we're preparing some surprises for you, so await for more info.''[2]

In June 2014, a short teaser was released at the end of the E3 2014 trailer for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX. Co-director Tai Yasue revealed that the sequence seen in the teaser was the opening scene for the game. He added that it was created by Nomura who had "a real clear picture of [what] the starting sequence" should be and that the text seen and heard was going to "be a real integral part of the story".[3]

In October 2014, Nomura announced that the development team had switched to Epic Game's Unreal Engine 4 due to a "variety of reasons". He also stated that the team had the full support of Epic, and that the change would not hinder the game's development. According to Kotaku and IGN, it was noted that it had been assumed that Square Enix had been using its in-house Luminous Engine to develop the game.[4][5]

In June 2015, a new gameplay video was released at the E3 2015 conference, which also featured a conversation between young versions of Eraqus and Xehanort. The video spoiled the appearance of a "Tangled" world in the upcoming title, and showed battle scenes of Sora, Donald and Goofy in both the Tangled and Twilight Town worlds.[6]

In August 2015, a world based on Big Hero 6 was revealed at D23 in California. D23 revealed that the story of this world will take place after the movie, involving the model of Baymax left in the portal at the end of the movie will be manipulated by Darkness, and concept art of Sora riding Baymax was also shown, with Dark Baymax flying alongside them, the three of them seemingly engaged in combat. It was also revealed that every Keyblade will have its own transformation.

In April 2017, Square Enix indicated that Kingdom Hearts III would not release any sooner than their 2018 fiscal year.[7]

In July 2017, at the D23 Expo, Square Enix announced the game would be released in 2018. Alongside this announcement was the reveal of a world based on the Pixar film, Toy Story.[8]

On February 10, 2018, a trailer was revealed at the D23 Expo in Japan. This also featured the announcement of a world based off of the Pixar film, Monsters Inc..[9]

On April 10, 2018, another trailer was shown online, featuring a world called Classic Kingdom, in which the mini-games are inspired by the Game & Watch series.[10]

On June 10, 2018, a trailer was shown at Microsoft's E3 2018 Press Conference revealing a world based of of the Disney film, Frozen.

On June 11, 2018, a trailer was shown at Sony's E3 2018 Press Conference revealing the return of Pirates of the Caribbean for Kingdom Hearts III.

On November 10, 2018, a trailer was shown, revealing the return of Winnie the Pooh for Kingdom Hearts III.

On November 20, 2018, it was officially stated that the game development had been completed.[11]

Kingdom Hearts III was released in Japan on 25 January 2019 and globally on 29 January 2019.

World selection

Nomura revealed the Tangled world was the first determined to be in the game, as the development team wanted to include Rapunzel due to her strong personality and her hair, saying, "she is able to utilize her hair in such a way where she's whipping it around. She can even use it for attacks, and that was just so appealing, and we thought it would make for such great gameplay". The Pirates of the Caribbean world was included because Nomura wanted at least one world based on a live-action Disney film, stating that the Caribbean location allowed for "interesting" gameplay opportunities. He also chose to have the world be based on the third film, At World's End, over other films in the series, particularly Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, because Dead Man's Chest is "setup" for At World's End and the game would "have to end [the story] in the middle as well". The world also mimics the color palette from the film, being "deliberately washed-out", with the sky, for example being more grey-blue over "[t]he typical fantasy blue".

Since the release of Kingdom Hearts II in 2005, The Walt Disney Company acquired Pixar, Marvel Entertainment, and Lucasfilm. When asked in 2013 if any of these properties would appear in Kingdom Hearts III, Nomura said he contacts Disney after he hears of an acquisition, though he noted that "Disney's pretty honest [on the possibility of an inclusion]. If the situation is really difficult, they'll say, it's really difficult. If it's impossible, they'll say it's impossible." He later stated that even though the Disney Company had acquired these properties, Disney Interactive Studios may not necessarily have the ability to license the content due to existing deals, such as Disney's deal with Electronic Arts for Star Wars games. Yasue added that they were "looking at all of Disney, the new ones as well" when choosing worlds for the game, including worlds potentially based on Marvel Comics and Star Wars properties. He expanded, saying, "We have to come up with a world that has a lot of originality. We want variety... so we don't want too many of one sort of world, that would look the same. For each world there has to be some meaning for it, in the plot... Also, gameplay-wise, is that world something that would make gameplay fun?"[12]

Nomura had hoped to include a world based on Toy Story since Kingdom Hearts II, saying he felt "Sora really fit in and matched well with that world" and being "able to execute that into the game is something I'm really excited for."[13] Nomura felt Pixar worlds were extremely important to include in Kingdom Hearts, specifically one based on the film Toy Story, and stated he considered not making Kingdom Hearts III if he could not get the rights to use Pixar properties from Disney. This world was the first submitted to Pixar for approval shortly after the completion of Kingdom Hearts II, with Nomura presenting them a general outline of the story he had planned for the world. It would take Pixar "several years" to approve the story and character designs, as Nomura and Square Enix were negotiation through Disney and not Pixar directly.[14] In July 2017, at D23 Expo 2017, the Toy Story world was revealed,[15] and the second Pixar world in the game, based on Monsters, Inc., was revealed at D23 Expo Japan 2018.[16]

Nomura noted the approval process for each world became more difficult than with earlier games, because many of the worlds are based on some of Disney's more contemporary films, which made it harder to have some freedom with the worlds.[17] He explained, "Previous to Kingdom Hearts III, I think these companies kind of saw it more as like, secondary rights permissions. They saw it more as a product, like you would a branded toy or something."[14] Continuing, Nomura noted, "Because we are working with more recent titles, the staff who were on the original project are the ones we go to for approvals. For instance, Frozen. The staff is still there and they work with us on Frozen. Because we go directly to the creators, they have the most passion for their titles."[17]


In June 2013, Nomura discussed the updated visuals, saying that the development team tried to return the character's texture to the original "paintbrush art from Disney productions". The resulting visuals were referred to as the Kingdom Shader. Nomura continued, "It may look like a pretty drastic change, but I see it as a rich evolution of everything we've shown you up to now."[18] Nomura also revealed that Sora is the same proportions as in previous games; however, they "muted the volume on his hair—it's not as wild." Regarding updating Sora's look from his Kingdom Hearts II design, Nomura noted that outfit's popularity, but felt "the desire to change it" since the game is the first numbered sequel since II's release. He added that the basis for the resulting design is a mix between Sora's costumes for Kingdom Hearts II and Dream Drop Distance, one that is "a lot more sleek and sporty" since "Sora does a lot more... acrobatic [and]... action-oriented movements".[19] Riku and King Mickey also receive updated outfits.[20]

Speaking on the designs of the worlds, Nomura said the updated graphical capabilities allowed the development team "to depict the world[s] of the original film[s] as close to [their] original form as possible" after previously creating worlds to be "a stylized Kingdom Hearts world".[21] Disney shared basic polygon information with the development team, who ultimately had to remake all of the characters, animations, and environments from scratch.[14] Members of Pixar assisted with the Toy Story world's creation,[13][15] and for the Pixar characters in the game, Pixar shared their actual character models with Square Enix and had the original character designers consult on the game "to make sure everything looked as true to the films as we could make it."[22] The design team would talk weekly with Disney, sharing their assets to receive feedback, with Disney sometimes asking "for minute alterations such as insisting a character show less teeth, having their eyelids move differently or their line of sight adjusted". The line of sight notes, which came from Pixar, "were instrumental in raising the general quality of the animation throughout" according to the development team.[14]

Supporting characters can explore an environment on their own if Sora idles momentarily, sometimes triggering additional cutscene moments. For example, Rapunzel responds if an Aero spell is cast on a group of dandelions. Speaking specifically to interactions such as this with Rapunzel, Yasue said "finding and activating these moments builds trust with" her and can lead "to additional combat scenarios and treasure opportunities".[23]



The game's soundtrack was written by longtime series composer Yoko Shimomura,[24] and features additional contributions from Takeharu Ishimoto and Tsuyoshi Sekito.[25] As with the first two main Kingdom Hearts games, it has a theme song written and performed by Utada Hikaru, titled "Chikai" in Japanese and "Don't Think Twice" in English.[26] It serves as the game's ending theme.[27] An additional theme, titled "Face My Fears" by Skrillex, Poo Bear, and Utada, is used for the opening of the game.[28] Skrillex, a fan of the series, originally intended to remix "Don't Think Twice", before creating "Face My Fears", which also has a Japanese version. Both "Face My Fears" and "Don't Think Twice" were released on January 18, 2019.

Voice cast

English voice actors reprising their roles from previous games include Haley Joel Osment as Sora, Bill Farmer as Goofy, Tony Anselmo as Donald Duck,[29][30] David Gallagher as Riku, Bret Iwan as Mickey Mouse, and Alyson Stoner as Kairi.[31] Many of the voice actors for the Disney and Pixar characters reprise their roles from their respective films. These include: Josh Gad as Olaf; Kristen Bell as Anna; Idina Menzel as Elsa; Jonathan Groff as Kristoff; Zachary Levi as Flynn Rider; Donna Murphy as Mother Gothel; John Ratzenberger as Hamm; Wallace Shawn as Rex; Tate Donovan as Hercules; James Woods as Hades; Kevin McNally as Gibbs;[29] Susan Egan as Megara;[32] Ryan Potter as Hiro; Jamie Chung as Go Go; Scott Adsit as Baymax; Genesis Rodriguez as Honey Lemon; Khary Payton as Wasabi (who reprises the role from Big Hero 6: The Series replacing Damon Wayans Jr. from the film);[33] and T.J. Miller as Fred.[34] They are joined by Carlos Alazraqui as Mike Wazowski (who reprises the role from other video games, replacing Billy Crystal) and Christopher Swindle as Sulley replacing John Goodman.[30] Rutger Hauer also voices Master Xehanort, replacing Leonard Nimoy after his death in 2015. Kingdom Hearts III also has full voice acting in optional dialogue moments outside of cut scenes, which is a first for the series.[35]

Kingdom Hearts III only features English and Japanese voice acting and lip syncing, despite previous entries in the series having dubbing in other language. Nomura noted that the development team wanted to prioritize a global simultaneous release for the game, and given the time and resources for recording the dialogue, this would not have been possible with additional language recordings.[36] Though the game has both English and Japanese voice acting, the game does not have the ability to switch between them, as the development team found this feature difficult to properly support.[37] A version of the game with Chinese subtitles will also be released.[38]



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