Now that the KH3 Re Mind DLC has released, details of the Kingdom Hearts 4 and Verum Rex plot are starting to be pieced together thanks to the game’s secret endings.
Update January 25, 2020: Now that the Kingdom Hearts 3DLC Re Mind has released, we have a lot of new content to unravel. Below is the new analysis of the DLC’s secret ending, along with other important information revealed about Verum Rex and where Sora is at the end of KH3. Our original analysis reads below that.
‘KH3’ Re Mind DLC ‘Verum Rex’ Limitcut cutscenes, what they mean for ‘KH4’
If you have yet to get caught up on the new Yozora cutscenes in the secret KH3 DLC Re Mind Limitcut episode, check out the below embed.
This new KH3 DLC Limitcut content reveals some of our first details as to who Yozora in Verum Rex actually is. Yozora is at first confused as to how Sora knows his name is Yozora. As Yozora comments that this isn’t his true form; he asks Sora why Sora is calling himself by that name. Confused, Sora remarks that it’s because he is Sora. Then, the scene shifts, as we see Sora’s heart platform morph into a rooftop in Shibuya.
Yozora reveals that he accidentally wandered into Shibuya, and that he has been through “some trials” and was told to “save Sora.” Alas, Yozora chooses to fight Sora. If you lose, you get the above bad ending. Sora turns into crystallized ice, and Yozora remarks that he will still one day save Sora.
The good ending has Yozora commenting on how his powers aren’t needed quite yet. Then, the classic dialogue from the intro of KH1 plays out, but this time with both Sora and Yozora performing the lines in tandem.
In both the good and bad endings of the secret Limicut episode, Yozora wakes up in the real world, and there are some pretty important details here. The shots of Yozora waking up in what is actually the Final Fantasy XV Regalia car match up perfectly to the then titled Final Fantasy: Versus XIII trailer. As is detailed in my original analysis below, Kingdom Hearts series creator Tetsuya Nomura was originally attached to Versus XIII. Check out the comparison clip below to see the shot-by-shot replication.
Could it be that Nomura is actually playing out the story of what would have been Versus XIII? The KH4 Verum Rex context makes it seem so. Yozora is a Noctis look-a-like, and is seemingly in a similar if not the same world as the one established in the Versus XIII trailers.
If this is the same world as Versus XIII, Verum Rex could very well include Final Fantasy XIII series characters such as Lightning, Snow, Serah and co. With the coming events of Kingdom Hearts 4 leaving room for more Final Fantasy series crossovers, KH4 might lean more heavily on the Square Enix side of the Disney fusion series.
What happens to Sora and Kairi at the end of ‘Kingdom Hearts 3’?
As Riku attempts to save and rescue Sora, the silver-haired boy finds himself working with the Radiant Garden crew of Kingdom Hearts 2. During Riku’s dialogue with Leon, Aerith, Yuffie and Cid, we learn of the whereabouts of the main characters of the Kingdom Hearts series, along with what exactly happened to Kairi.
Speaking solemnly, Riku reports the following:
Riku: “Well, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy are searching for clues in every past world that Sora has been to. Terra, Ven, and Aqua went to the realm of darkness. And the Twilight Town gang are studying Roxas and Xion’s memories.”
Aerith: “And what about Kairi?”
Riku: “Kairi… She believes her heart might hold a clue about Sora. For a year, she’s been sound asleep, while they search her heart.”
Aerith: “So there’s been no progress…”
Now that we have an update on what the Wielders of Light have been up to since the end of Kingdom Hearts 3, we have a few more hints as to what will happen in Kingdom Hearts 4. It is possible that we will play as Riku as he assists Mickey, Donald, and Goofy in their reexploration of some of the past Disney worlds in all of the KH games (think something akin to Chain of Memories).
A surprise visit from Fairy Godmother reveals even more details about the Kingdom Hearts 4 Verum Rex plot to come. The following is an exchange relating to Riku’s dreams between the Radiant Garden Final Fantasy characters and Fairy Godmother.
Fairy Godmother: “Now, I’d like you to tell me about the dreams that you’ve been having, dear.”
Riku: “Huh? My… dreams? There’s one… It was dark, and I was surrounded by tall buildings. I was looking around for Sora, when I felt someone watching me from way up high.”
Riku: “And that’s all I remember.”
Cid: “But what happens next?”
Fairy Godmother: “Oh, I know.”
Leon: “Why Riku’s dream?”
Fairy Godmother: “Oh, because Master Yen Sid was worried. You weren’t having any luck finding Sora. And because Riku had been in Sora’s dreams before, he thought perhaps Riku just may be the key. That’s why he and Merlin asked me to come here and look into his dreams, since of course dreams are my specialty.”
Aerith: “So Riku’s dreams might… hold the key?”
Fairy Godmother: “Yes, dear. I’m sure there’s something there that leads to Sora.”
Riku: “In my dreams…?”
Fairy Godmother: “And… the other two.”
After Fairy Godmother delivers her last line, the scene cuts to Kairi sleeping in the Radiant Garden lab. As Kairi is assumedly one of the “other two” that Fairy Godmother is referencing, we’re introduced to a new question: who is the “other” one that she is talking about? It may be that Yen Sid and Merlin are interested in having Riku and Yozora meet up to save Sora.
The plot of Kingdom Hearts 4 will likely follow Riku as a playable character, as Sora’s rescue of Kairi at the end of the KH3 Re Mind DLC left him in the hanging. Journeying through his dreams and past Disney Worlds, Riku will likely work with Yozora to save the series protagonist. Yozora’s real form, along with whoever else is calling themselves Sora are some of the biggest Kingdom Hearts 4 mysteries yet to be unraveled.
Original ‘KH4’ ‘Verum Rex’ secret trailer analysis:
‘KH3’ Yozora secret ending analysis
The secret ending for KH3 is titled “Yozora,” and it reveals just enough about the Kingdom Hearts 4 plot to give us a picture of what the game will be about. If you have yet to play KH3 and wish to remain unspoiled, back out of this article now.
Watch the secret ending for KH3 below.
In the trailer we see Sora and Riku waking up in the world of Verum Rex. This is the same world that Rex from the Toy Story level was obsessed with. The secret ending shows off more of the city, and feels a lot like the KH2 secret ending called “Deep Dive: Another Side, Another Story.” Although we do not yet know the Kingdom Hearts 4 release date, we at least now know that the game is in development, or at least in the pre-stages of getting started.
While there aren’t really any events that take place during the secret ending, it does end on two interesting figures. The first is of, surprise, an enigmatic character wearing a black coat and hood. There is some speculation as to who this character could be, but we’ll get to that in just a moment. The last shot is of the protagonist of Verum Rex himself, Yozora.
Diving deeper on Verum Rex
When I was playing through the Toy Story world, this was my immediate reaction to the Verum Rex trailer.
But also, if this is some sort if backdoor pilot for a real game called #VerumRex, I want to play it all the more now
— Mitchel Clow (@MitchClow) January 31, 2019
Even being completely unspoiled as to the significance of the Verum Rex trailer, I immediately felt like there was something else to unravel here. The trailer is too detailed to not be storyboarded out further than what we saw. To develop that level of detail for a one-shot trailer would have been a waste, and as it turns out, I was right.
The characters look a lot like those in the development of Final Fantasy XV before it was re-titled Final Fantasy XV. See, Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura was in charge of development of a game then known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, which was meant to be set in the same timeline and universe as Lightning, Snow, Serah and the like.
However, Nomura parted ways halfway through development of Versus XIII, leading to the reworking of the WIP game into the long-delayed but still wonderful Final Fantasy XV that we know and love today.
So how does this all tie into the Verum Rex trailer? Well, the characters that accompany Yozora in his battles in the trailer look a lot like Ignis, Prompto, and Gladiolus, who are the friends that accompany protagonist Noctis in his battles in Final Fantasy XV. There is talk that Nomura included this trailer as both wish fulfillment had he stayed on the game, and spite toward the development team that they had chosen to go in a different direction with his project.
The world ends in Shibuya
There are more elements in this trailer that give away the location of the world Sora and Riku wake up in. The World Ends With You is a DS title developed by the same team behind the Kingdom Hearts games, and takes place in Shibuya. That very city square is evidently in this Kingdom Hearts 4 trailer.
The TWEWY characters were present in the 3DS title Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance. In it, both Sora and Riku were tasked with finding the TWEWY characters their partners. Riku and Sora both failed, as they were in separate versions of Traverse Town, both of which contained a different half of the TWEWY cast.
It would make sense if this theme from Dream Drop Distance continued on with Sora and Riku once again running in parallel worlds, both trying to get to the same end goal, and meeting up at a final world to take down a Big Bad. With the mysterious cloaked figure and Yozora looking down on the two, chances are that the Master of Masters is somehow involved in these events.
These important events to the Kingdom Hearts 4 plot would flesh out the world of Kingdom Hearts further into the realm of Nomura’s work. There are already established relationships with the TWEWY characters, making the Kingdom Hearts 4 setting in Shibuya an easy transition.
Where were the ‘Final Fantasy’ characters in ‘KH3’?
If you’ve played through Kingdom Hearts 3, you probably realized by now that Leon, Yuffie, Aerith, Cid, Sephiroth, Yuna, Rikku, Payne, Tidus, Wakka, Selphie, Cloud, Zack, and Auron were nowhere to be seen. Matter of fact, the only mention of the last three was by Hades at the start of the Hercules world. So what gives?
While the characters in both Final Fantasy and KH1/KH2 were noticeably missing in KH3, it was all a bait and switch. Nomura has stated that the Final Fantasy characters present in past Kingdom Hearts games were no longer needed in KH3, as the original Kingdom Hearts characters had taken greater importance over the ones borrowed from other series.
But wait — didn’t the Kingdom Hearts series get its start by being pitched as a mix of both Disney and Final Fantasy universes? Without the latter, the heart of the series is missing, and for a game series that concentrates so much on hearts, you’d think that’d be noted.
It is, because for the first time, we could be axing all Disney worlds, and instead traveling between the original worlds of the Final Fantasy characters present in both the Kingdom Hearts series, or the ones that Nomura had his hands in.
If I had to take bets as to which Final Fantasy games would be included, I’d toss out X, XIII, VIII, maaaaybe XV, and most definitely VII. All but XV and XIII are represented in the Kingdom Hearts Final Fantasy characters, making their inclusion a natural next step for a series set to go in a more mature direction. If the Kingdom Hearts 4 plot included the missing Final Fantasy characters, fans of both that series and Kingdom Hearts would be excited to see their two favorite games combine once more.
Where/when does ‘KH4’ take place?
While there hasn’t been anything officially stated about the title Kingdom Hearts 4, the confirmation that Sora and Riku’s story will continue on via the secret trailer means that there are still things for them to do past the Xehanort trilogy.
Kingdom Hearts 3 removed the Final Fantasy characters, now, Kingdom Hearts 4 might take out the (majority of) the Disney ones.
The timeline has slowed down a bit ever since Kingdom Hearts 2, and from the looks of both Sora and Riku, it seems as if Kingdom Hearts 4 will be picking up right after the final events of KH3.
With Kairi resurrected and Sora apparently missing, there is a little bit of a cliffhanger in KH3 that needs to be resolved. However, even Sora stated that he knew that he, much like Xion said about Kairi, would end up okay.
The hooded figure may just be Xigbar, as it was revealed in the post-credits trailer that he’s been the one communicating with all of the Keyblade Wielders in the Union X game. Who is Xigbar really, and what business does he have with any of the Great Keyblade Wars? He mentioned that Master Xehanort was to bequeath the eyepatch-wearing sharpshooter a Keyblade, but Sora and friends didn’t give the Master the opportunity to do so.
Maybe the “Yozora” secret movie shows how Riku uses the Power of Waking to recover Sora’s body once more? Only time will tell, but as for now, I want to hear your theories about what the KH3 secret movie means. When the Kingdom Hearts 4 release date will be is up to the development cycle, which has seemingly been a temperamental process for the development team. Hopefully, we don’t have to wait near a decade and a half for the full Kingdom Hearts 4 plot to be revealed.