Kingdom Hearts 4 – 11 New Details You Need to Know

Square Enix has announced the next mainline entry in its epic action RPG series. Check out some of its first details here.

Posted By | On 06th, May. 2022

Kingdom Hearts 4 – 11 New Details You Need to Know

During the 20th anniversary event for Kingdom Hearts, the developer revealed the first trailer for Kingdom Hearts 4. Taking place shortly after the previous game’s events, it sees Sora in a brand new, more realistic world, once again doing battle with the Heartless. No release date or platforms were provided but there’s plenty that’s confirmed – and inferred – from the trailer and a follow-up interview. Let’s go into 11 different things you should know here.

Unreal Engine 5

Following the reveal trailer, the developer announced that the title would be developed on Unreal Engine 5. However, a report by Famitsu (translation by VGC) indicated that the footage was actually running in real-time on Unreal Engine 4 (though Unreal Engine 5 testing is reportedly happening in parallel). The report then noted that the full game would be “several levels higher” with regards to the quality of lighting and detail on Unreal Engine 5. All of this remains to be seen, of course, so don’t be surprised if some sections from the trailer end up being completely different in the final game (or cut completely).

Quadratum

kingdom hearts 4

What is confirmed, however, is that the game will be set in Quadratum, the world of Verum Rex which appeared as a video game in the Toy Story World from Kingdom Hearts 3. The aesthetic is more on the realistic side – which is also reflected in Sora’s design but we’ll get to that shortly. It’s similar to an “afterworld” that exists on “the other side.” Essentially, Sora and other characters from the “original” world pass through to Quadratum but to its residents, it is the real world. Got it memorized?

Regardless, it’s not as confusing as it sounds – Quadratum is essentially another world, its place in the whole scheme of Light and Darkness being somewhat gray. The developer noted that this fits into the project’s theme, which is “the contrast between those who are in such different positions.” As for why Shibuya Hikarie, the famous Tokyo skyscraper, is present, it’s because the developer feels it to be an “easy-to-understand place as a landmark” and that it increases the “sense of reality.” Make of that what you will.

Sora’s Realistic Look

kingdom hearts 4

The other big talking point from the trailer is Sora’s look. You’ll remember the Keyblade wielder as having a more cartoonish art-style in the previous games. Fortunately, that’s not going away. In the same Famitsu interview, the developer said that the realistic look is due to Sora’s existence in Quadratum. “Donald and Goofy are looking for clues about Sora in the original world. All the real worlds before the title display [in the trailer] are all Quadratum segments and Sora will look realistic, but if he can return to the original world, he will look like Donald and Goofy with shaders like Donald and Goofy.”

Think of how his look changed when venturing to the Toy Story world in Kingdom Hearts 3 and it begins to make sense.

Donald and Goofy Return

kingdom hearts 4

This is already obvious by now but Donald and Goofy are also returning. The trailer seems to hint at them meeting up with Hades from Hercules, though the latter’s face is never shown. Maybe with Sora’s disappearance, they thought to ask the lord of the Underworld if his soul passed through. Maybe it somehow connects with the “afterworld” that is Quadratum. Regardless, the trio of Sora, Donald and Goofy should be back together in due time.

Strelitzia

After waking in an apartment in Quadratum, Sora answered the door to greet someone named Strelitzia. She’s the one to first discover Sora, who had been sleeping for seven days upon arrival. However, she’s not a new character by any stretch – Strelitzia actually debuted in Kingdom Hearts Union χ, the web browser/mobile game that takes place hundreds of years before the main series’ events.

Selected by the Master of Masters, Strelitzia was a member of the Dandelions and meant to lead a Union to fight in the First Keyblade War. However, she would be killed by an unknown assailant (revealed later to be Ventus from Birth by Sleep) who then took her place. How she ended up in Quadratum is unknown but it fits the general “afterworld” theme.

The Master of Masters

Kingdom Hearts 3

For a series that thrived on mystery, conspiracies and grand plans, there’s no figure that’s more shrouded in intrigue than the Master of Masters. He trained the Foretellers, gave Master Xehanort his signature black cloak, assigned the large Black Box to Luxu, and is considered one of the “Lost Masters.” Very little is known about his identity and while he considers the Darkness to be an “old friend,” the two are at odds with each other.

The Master of Masters was hinted at in the secret end of Kingdom Hearts 3, seemingly creating an outline for Kingdom Hearts on the Moon. With Kingdom Hearts 4 being the start of the new Lost Master Arc, his plans will likely be revealed sooner than later. But will it lead to another Keyblade War? That’s the real question.

The Heartless

To the surprise of absolutely no one – not even Sora – the Heartless are back. Only one is seen in the trailer but its resemblance to Darkside, the Pureblood Heartless that appeared as a boss throughout the series, is undeniable. What it’s doing in Quadratum is unknown – because of course it is – but the Master of Masters, who seems to be observing the battle, doesn’t seem all that surprised.

New Movement Abilities

kingdom hearts 4

Though not quite representing the final game, the reveal trailer does offer a look at some of Sora’s new movement abilities. Along with jumping and vaulting off of obstacles, he also uses the Keyblade’s chain as a grappling hook (because, as a famous man once said, everyone needs a grappling hook these days). Sora can also be seen running up the side of a building and sliding through a structure. Again, how much of this is completely in the player’s control and how much is scripted remains to be seen but it looks cool.

Reaction Commands Return

kingdom hearts 4

Spotted in the trailer, Reaction Commands are making a return after being absent from Kingdom Hearts 3. As a means to extend combos and execute special actions, Reaction Commands were synonymous with combat in Kingdom Hearts 2 and Birth by Sleep. The developer told Famitsu that, “In the video, one can see button icons appear when an enemy punches you, and you can think of it as a kind of reaction command that existed in Kingdom Hearts 2.” Why are they being added back in? “After the release of Kingdom Hearts 3 the developer saw a lot of requests for the return of the reaction command, so they brought it back.”

The reason why it’s a black circle in the trailer instead of a button icon is because the developer “have not announced which models are compatible with it.” Which could mean a lot of things but we’ll resist from speculating (for now).

“Build” Command

On top of all of the other teases in the trailer, there was the Build command seen in the lower-left corner during combat. It fits into a new “scrap and build” concept though the developer said that the team “can’t tell the details yet, but destruction and reconstruction are the key.” Maybe Sora’s going to play Minecraft, maybe he isn’t but this could mean environmental destruction on a bigger and more important scale than previous games.

Possible Star Wars inclusion

All of these details aside, it’s still unconfirmed which Disney worlds will appear. Fans may have spotted a clue though. One part of the trailer showcases a forest and some have spotted what may be the foot of an AT-ST (with the setting possibly being Endor from Star Wars Episode 6: Return of the Jedi). It’s vague but certainly does bear a resemblance. While it may be too early to declare Wolverine or other Marvel characters making an appearance (forget the Muppets or The Simpsons), Star Wars is at least a possibility. Could you imagine a lightsaber Keyblade? Because I can’t.


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