Kingdom Hearts 3: The Characters Are Set on Stage
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue has been released in Japan, and is just days away from being released internationally. This game is actually made up of three separate games.
First, there's a HD remaster of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. While not the best entry in the series, it does have some great moments, and it's vital to play in order to understand the story going forward.
Next, there's Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover. Rather than being a complete game, this is actually a series of HD cinematics based on the game Kingdom Hearts χ.
And lastly, there's the main reason most people are interested in this collection: Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep - A Fragmentary Passage. This game primarily follows Master Aqua in the Realm of Darkness, the events of her adventure running parallel to the first Kingdom Hearts game. However, we also check in with Sora and the rest of the gang following the events of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
So, with Kingdom Hearts 3 set to be the next installment in the franchise, let's go over where all of our heroes are going to be at the beginning of the Xehanort Saga's final chapter.
Lea is the Somebody of Axel, a former member of Organization XIII. Following Axel's death in Kingdom Hearts 2, Lea was resurrected.
At the end of Kingdom Hears 3D: Dream Drop Distance, he saved Sora from becoming Xehanort's vessel, and, to the rest of the cast's surprise, turned out to be a keyblade wielder.
Many fans speculate that Lea will be one of the seven wielders of light in the final battle. Now, there's further credence to this theory as, according to Yensid, Lea has gone off to undergo training with the wizard Merlin. ("The Sword in the Stone" world confirmed?)
Sadly for young Ven, his situation has not changed.
At the end of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Ventus clashed with his evil replica Vanitas. Ventus was victorious, but at a cost.
He lost his heart, which would end up in Sora, leaving him in a coma. To hide him from Xehanort, Aqua locked him away in Castle Oblivion. Aqua promised that she'd be back to wake him up, but before she could, she was trapped in the Realm of Darkness.
Only if Aqua returns to the Realm of Light will Ventus be able to see another day.
Like Ventus, nothing has changed about Terra's situation. However, we now know more about it than we did previously.
At the end of Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, Master Xehanort possessed Terra, and consumed his heart in darkness.
Many of us thought that Terra was gone for good. However, as we learned from his interaction with Aqua in the Realm of Darkness, he heart is strong enough to keep itself from being completely consumed by darkness.
So, while Terra is still possessed, there remains a chance of getting him back.
Roxas and Xion
I've lumped these two together for a few reasons.
First, and most obviously, they're best friends. Also, for the time being, it seems that their characters arcs were complete, and have no way of returning to the series. Lastly, they're both fan favorites.
When we last saw Roxas, he'd permanently become a part of Sora, accepting his fate with a smile.
Xion's story on the other hand had a much more tragic end. A failed replica of Roxas created from Sora's memories, Xion had to die in order for all of Sora's memories to be returned to him. However, it was worse than just that. When Roxas was forced to kill Xion, everyone, Roxas included, forgot she ever existed.
It's more than likely that Roxas will return in KH3, but I certainly hope that, at the very least, he finds a way to remember Xion. And if it were up to me, I'd find a way for them to see each other again.
After all, who else will Roxas have ice cream with?
In Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts 2, Kairi was a damsel in distress. However, thanks to her meeting Aqua during the events of Birth By Sleep, she's a keyblade wielder.
We knew from the end of Dream Drop Distance that Kairi would be training in the way of the keyblade in order to bolster the ranks of the forces of light. This has led many to believe that she will be one of the seven wielders of light.
As of the end of Kingdom Hearts 0.2, we now know that she'll be joining Lea in training under the wizard Merlin. Given her history with Axel, ergo, her being kidnapped by him, it should be fun to see the two interact.
Who knows? Her resemblance to Xion may be enough to may be enough to make Lea remember her.
Aqua's had a rough life.
In Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, Aqua was living a peaceful life with her best friends Ventus and Terra. And then, immediately after achieving her dream of becoming a keyblade master... everything went to Hell.
Her and her friends were put through a series of hardships, and by the end of the game, Terra was possessed, Ventus was in a coma, and Aqua herself was trapped in the Realm of Darkness.
As we now know thanks to Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep - A Fragmentary Passage, Aqua hasn't aged a day due to having been living in the Realm of Darkness for 12 years. In addition, where as most people would have gone mad living alone for over a decade, Aqua has managed to keep her sanity, to the point where she actually played a major role in saving the day in the original Kingdom Hearts.
Aqua is still trapped. Once she's freed though, the darkness will have a new force to reckon with.
Master Riku and King Mickey
While KH 0.2 explained what Mickey was doing during the original Kingdom Hearts, it really isn't relative to what's going on now.
Riku on the other hand has firmly taken his place as a keyblade master, having passed the Mark of Mastery exam in Dream Drop Distance.
Since Sora has his own business to attend to, Mickey has chosen Riku to come with him to FINALLY free Aqua from the Realm of Darkness, and that is where the duo will be at the start of KH3.
The two have always had a strong friendship, and it'll be great to see more of it.
Sora, Donald, and Goofy
One of the biggest things people have been wondering about is how and why Sora is going to be a level one weakling at the beginning of Kingdom Hearts 3.
Well, now we have an explanation.
As it turns out, when Xehanort tried to turn Sora into his vessel in Dream Drop Distance, he ended up stripping Sora of most of his power.
Not the best explanation to be honest, but it's better than nothing.
Regardless, Yensid still believes Sora to be their strongest weapon against the darkness. As such, he's sent Sora, along with Donald and Goofy, off to regain his strength.
And according to the very end of KH 0.2, KH3 will begin with the trio riding in the gummy ship off to Olympus Colosseum.
Also, in the English dub, Sora has hit puberty... hard.
Are you excited for Kingdom Hearts 3? What are you hoping to see from these characters? Let me know in the comments!