Paige FTW: Where Does ‘Kingdom Hearts’ Go From Here?

It took me a few weeks, but I finally finished Kingdom Hearts III. The ending was satisfying — it certainly does wrap up the Xehanort saga and offer acceptably happy endings for most of the characters — but it wouldn’t be Kingdom Hearts without a cryptic ending that hints at much more.

It goes without saying that spoilers abound from here…

So what’s up with the secret ending?

Your gut reaction might be that Sora is now in the real world — it sure looks like he’s in Shibuya. But those who have played director Tetsuya Nomura’s The World Ends With You (which itself made a cameo in Kingdom Hearts 3D) will recognize the iconic 104 building in the background as Sora gets his bearings.

The real-life building is 109 — it was notably renamed for the fictional Shibuya that serves as the setting for TWEWY.
So, there’s a good chance Sora is “dead” and in TWEWY’s Shibuya. Does that mean he’ll cameo in an inevitable sequel?

Now, where is Riku? Because Riku seems to be somewhere else — no doubt he is in pursuit of Sora, but he seems to have ended up elsewhere.
In fact, he seems to be inside the world of Verum Rex, the fictional video game that appeared in the Toy Story world this time around. Verum Rex, of course, is a not-so-subtle reference to Nomura’s aborted work on Final Fantasy Versus XIII, which evolved into Final Fantasy XV. Does this mean “Yozora” is going to be an important character in the future?

Where the hell is Kingdom Hearts going with all this?

The regular ending implied strongly that the Keyblade War will come back into play (minus Xehanort), but most of our heroes seem done with their adventures (aside from Sora and Riku), and the whole Keyblade War saga has never been the series’ most compelling point anyway.

I don’t know that the story that remains is quite compelling enough to warrant more titles — but Kingdom Hearts has a way of enduring.