It’s been 24 hours since the latest Kingdom Hearts III trailer dropped in advance of the Tokyo Game Show. Everyone has had a chance to watch the trailer and react to it. Now, it’s time to drill down into this latest trailer to see what we can glean from it.

But before we do that, Square-Enix has also released the official box art for Kingdom Hearts III. Check out the awesomeness below:

Now onto the trailer:

The trailer starts with the chess game between masters Xehanort and Eraqus back in their youth, as first shown at E3 2015. Xehanort declares checkmate, proclaiming darkness’ victory over light, like in the legend of the Keyblade War. Dude, chill. It’s just a chess game.

Eraqus then says it’s now his move. Uh no, Xehanort just declared checkmate. That means the chess game’s over. Unless you have some deeper meaning behind that statement, like foreshadowing future events or something. Nah…

Moving back to present day, we are taken to San Fransokyo from the movie Big Hero 6. A giant Heartless descends from a tall building in front of Sora, Donald and Goofy, but the Big Hero 6 crew arrives shortly after. After some playful banter between Wasabi and GoGo (remember, this is a Marvel comic), the nine new friends get ready to take on this new threat.

And yes, while Sora’s dubbing his group Keyblade Hero 3 induces a facepalm or two, you can’t deny that seeing all nine members ready for battle together isn’t at least a little bit intimidating for their foes. Also, did you notice the faces on the hilt of Sora’s Big Hero 6-themed keyblade are exactly those of the robot Hiro entered in his bot fights, with the happy face on one side and the angry face on the other? You have to appreciate Kingdom Hearts‘ attention to detail.

After Sora runs up the same building, we see his and Baymax’s team-up attack, Intercept Jet. In it, Sora rides on the back of Baymax, much like in the concept art we saw at D23 2015. The attack first shows off some coordinated melee strikes, before shifting to another Nano Arms special attack, in which Sora appears to hop into a small teleporter and cause microbots to attack in all directions. The scene then shows off some ranged combat as a part of Intercept Jet in what looks like some free-flying segments in San Fransokyo.

We then shift to inside the Datascape in San Fransokyo, where the Blox attack Sora. We also get a look at a minigame inside the Datascape, in which Sora has to collect data points by running, grinding and skydiving through neon-colored hoops.

Just think Star Fox, Tony Hawk or Pilotwings. Not Superman 64.

A story cutscene is then shown in which Sora, Hiro, Baymax and GoGo are sitting atop the Golden Gate Bridge eating ice cream, talking about Hiro’s brother Tadashi and his impact on all of them. Before you can say “This seems awfully familiar,” Sora’s visage changes to that of Roxas, eating sea salt ice cream with Hayner, Pence and Olette, before changing back. This accompanies Sora’s quote, “When you’re not strong enough, he’ll make up the difference.” Hmm…

We then get a brief scene inside the Realm of Darkness with Riku and King Mickey. Riku says he believes he’s strong enough to face the darkness, and Mickey surmises it’s because he’s found the strength to protect what matters to him. Shortly after, Sora gets a call on the brand new Mobile Portal Device (the device through which we’ll play the Game and Watch-style Classic Kingdom games). He believes it’s Riku, but it’s actually Ienzo in Radiant Garden, someone who’s been lending assistance to Sora since he’s regained his real form.

After that, we experience some scenes in worlds that have been revealed before. In the Kingdom of Corona, Rapunzel interacts with a strange, fluffy object, which manages to wake up a Heartless. This is followed by our first look at an impressive-looking Davy Jones in The Caribbean. Jack Sparrow is obviously none too thrilled to see him.

Looking good, Davy. What? You say that joke’s played out?

In Arendelle, Anna expresses her resolve to bring her sister Elsa back. Sora tells her that she is just the one to do it. This is before the scene shifts to Destiny Islands, where Sora finds the Master’s Defender keyblade, once wielded by both Eraqus and Aqua. This scene plays out pretty similarly to the teaser reveal shown at E3 2013, but much sharper.

Remember, Aqua used the Master’s Defender to transform the Land of Departure into Castle Oblivion, from Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, to hide a comatose Ventus there. She also wielded it in the Realm of Darkness during the events of Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage-. But now that she doesn’t seem to have it anymore…

Destiny Islands: Where it all began, and where it will begin to end.

We then get more looks at two members of the new Organization XIII, Luxord and Larxene. Luxord is in The Caribbean, musing about the black box he, as well as others including Maleficent, seem to be looking for. Larxene is in Arendelle, telling Sora that they have found all 13 of Master Xehanort’s vessels of darkness.

The trailer then takes us to Twilight Town, as Hayner, Pence and Olette wish to help Sora find Roxas, his Nobody. Although Roxas only briefly met the Twilight Town trio during Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, they seem to think they can find some clues in the alternate Twilight Town that DiZ, or rather Ansem the Wise, created for Roxas.

We then head back to The Caribbean where we…OMG! Is that a boss fight with the Kraken aboard the Black Pearl?!

“Hey, Goofy, go take care of that, will ya?”

Also, Sora performs a move in which the Black Pearl soars up to the sky before splashing back down into the water, creating a wave all around. Is this the Water Wall move, seen in the menu during the Pirates of the Caribbean trailer at this year’s E3? For something that flashy, it seems like it would be a limited-use move.

While still in The Caribbean, Sora fights with both Heartless and Nobodies enemies before unleashing the Storm Flag keyblade transformation’s special move, in which he summons a group of watery tentacles to lash out at nearby enemies.

We’re then in what looks to be Olympus, where Sora, Donald and Goofy are using the Trinity Sled (the sledding minigame first shown in the Frozen trailer) to collect dessert-type Heartless. This is followed by Sora taking a selfie with one with the Mobile Portal Device. Between this and the cooking with Remy minigame, it seems Kingdom Hearts III is getting the inspiration for some of their minigames from Final Fantasy XV.

Eat your heart out, Prompto.

We then go back to Arendelle, where Sora does battle with a huge ice dragon with assistance from Elsa’s snow golem Marshmallow. Sora seems to be able to ride Marshmallow while the creature executes heavy swiping attacks. This is before a huge dark mass is dropped onto, and held up by, Marshmallow, with Sora using his keyblade to cause the mass to erupt with light. Is this an attack by that ice dragon Heartless, and the way to counter it? If so, this attack kind of reminds me of the Diablos summon from Final Fantasy VIII.

We are then treated to a conversation between Ansem: Seeker of Darkness and Braig. Ansem: SoD says the Organization will destroy “him” if “he” wavers from the path they have set, before Braig remarks that if that happens, they’ll then need to find another vessel. The scene then shows Sora, suggesting Ansem: SoD and Braig are talking about him. Well at least, they certainly can’t be talking about Hayner or Olette.

Two more members of the new Organization are revealed as Even and Demyx (like Luxord and Larxene, we still only know him by his Nobody name) also carry on a conversation about “his” idea. If you’ll notice, Even also has the amber eyes of someone serving as one of Xehanort’s 13 vessels of darkness.

Back in San Fransokyo, Sora confronts Data-Riku, also sporting those amber eyes. Back in Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, Data-Riku was chosen to be the guardian of the incorruptible memories of Jiminy Cricket’s digitized journal. His mission in San Fransokyo is clearly not that noble now, as he explains that he and Sora have always tried to one-up each other.

This slightly ominous scene is then replaced by a way more ominous scene, as Vanitas has apparently found Ventus inside Castle Oblivion. Given that the two of them, representing Ventus’ light and dark halves, are needed to fulfill Xehanort’s plan to make the ultimate X-blade, this isn’t good.

We then get another look at the Xehanort-possessed Aqua in the Realm of Darkness, where she tells, presumably Riku and Mickey, “All that’s left in my heart is misery and despair, and I want you to feel it!” as she readies for battle.

Aqua’s been listening to too much My Chemical Romance lately.

Also, note Aqua’s outfit, with sinister tinges of darkness. Her hands also seem to be covered in the stuff. She appears to have embraced her new dark persona.

Near the end of the trailer, Sora, Donald and Goofy come face-to-face with the revived Master Xehanort in the Keyblade Graveyard. We then get another rapid-fire montage of scenes: Aqua seemingly losing her battle in the Realm of Darkness to a Darkside-type Heartless, Kairi and Lea talking together, Demyx showing up in front of Ienzo carrying something, or someone, before Ienzo is seemingly consoled by the returned Ansem the Wise, Isa reappearing before his former best friend Lea in Twilight Town, a brief shot of Terra-Xehanort, Vanitas standing over Aqua’s unconscious form, Void Gear ready to strike (is this what causes her turn to darkness?), Sora grabbing Aqua’s hand (like in the opening to 0.2), Sora finding Ventus’ Dive to the Heart, Sora and Kairi at Destiny Islands, and Lea letting loose a few tears, followed by the trailer’s final shot of Roxas lowering his hood and carrying the Oblivion keyblade.

He’s baaack…

Also, where is Roxas? Is this the final world crafted for the game that series creator Tetsuya Nomura has called his favorite world in the series?

It must also be noted that these final scenes accompany these lines from Xehanort, further driving home the incredibly high stakes this game portrays as the final chapter in the Xehanort saga: “Today we join the other keyblade wielders and leave our mark on fate. I have waited patiently, but together we shall unlock the Keyblade War’s secrets!”

And that’s the latest trailer. Square-Enix sure gave us a lot to chew on with this one. But even with that, there is still more to be uncovered before the game releases in North America on Jan. 29, 2019. There is sure to be more news that will be announced between now and then, including the possibility of new worlds, Final Fantasy cameos that have not been revealed at all, and more.

So what do you think about Kingdom Hearts III‘s latest trailer? I can certainly tell you I’m getting more and more excited as the release date approaches, but please let us know your feelings down in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading, and keep coming back to Geekpiphany for my reaction to the latest Kingdom Hearts III news.

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GP Sean

GP Sean is an avid JRPG gamer, having immersed himself in the genre for nearly 30 years. When he isn't smacking down Heartless or thwarting the machinations of Kefka, Sephiroth and the like, you can usually find him kicking back and watching some anime. Some of his favorites include Gurren Lagann and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. He also holds in high regard the Fruits Basket manga (don't judge.)

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