A Guide To Kingdom Hearts' Baffling Upcoming Game Titles

I believe it was Albert Einstein who once said there are three constants in life: Death, taxes and Kingdom Hearts names being really dumb. As a result, you may be confused about which games are coming in the near future. Fear not: We're here to help.

There are three Kingdom Hearts games currently announced for release. One of them is a brand new game; two are compilations of older games (and some extra new stuff). Let's start with the easiest one:

Kingdom Hearts III

Nice and simple. Announced at E3 2013, Kingdom Hearts III is the next game in the franchise, and it will be out whenever they finish perfectly rendering Jar Jar Binks.

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX + HD 2.5 ReMIX

Forget everything you've learned about maths. This is not Kingdom Hearts 4 - it's a compilation of games and movies that will be out for PS4 in March. Actually, it's a compilation of two compilations. KHHD1.5R and KHHD2.5R were both already released separately on PlayStation 3. Fans requested a PS4 version, so Square slapped them both together into one 60FPS package that they announced last week.

A quick description of what's inside:

From HD 1.5:

1) Kingdom Hearts Final Mix - Essentially a remake of the first Kingdom Hearts.

2) Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories - A high-definition remake of the GBA game Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, which takes place between Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II.

3) Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days - This is a remake of the DS game of the same name, which also takes place between Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II. The catch: They removed all the gameplay. The version included in this compilation is a three-hour cinematic version of the story.

From HD 2.5:

1) Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix - A remake of the second Kingdom Hearts.

2) Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix - This is an HD version of the PSP game Birth by Sleep, which is a prequel to the first game. It's an important one to play if you want to understand the Kingdom Hearts story. Just kidding. Nobody understands the Kingdom Hearts story.

3) Kingdom Hearts Re:coded - Just like 358/2 Days before it, this is a cinematic retelling of the DS game Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. It takes place after Kingdom Hearts II.

Still following? Basically, 1.5 is Kingdom Hearts and the games that followed it, while 2.5 is Kingdom Hearts II and the games that followed it, which makes logical sense and would be pretty straightforward if not for all the other dumb twists and turns. Like our third game:

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

Now we're getting into batshit insane territory. Bear with me. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, which comes out in January for PS4, is actually a compilation of three games:

1) Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD - a high-definition port of the 3DS game Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, which came out in 2012. This is the most recent Kingdom Hearts game

2) Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep - A Fragmentary Passage - This is a new playable episode of the story that takes place right after Birth by Sleep and stars one of its main characters, Aqua. It's not clear why it's called "0.2". Presumably director Tetsuya Nomura meant for it to combine with 2.8 to lead to Kingdom Hearts III, but it's actually part of 2.8, so... you know what? Let's not think about this too much.

3) Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover - I'm exhausted. Is anyone else exhausted? This one is, according to Square Enix, "a new HD movie that tells the mysterious story of the Foretellers and connects to the earliest parts of the series' history".

So if you want to experience this entire saga in order, start with 1.5 and 2.5, then pick up 2.8, then wait patiently for #3. It all makes perfect sense.


Comments

    "It's an important one to play if you want to understand the Kingdom Hearts story. Just kidding. Nobody understands the Kingdom Hearts story" Gave me a good chuckle, cheers! But definitely keen for this one, didn't get 2.5 cos I hoped they would release this collection

    These guys are worse at counting than Gabe Newell.

    I just want to know if my remastered ps3 save can be transferred to the ps4 version. If so, I'm all over it.

    Not gunna lie... The naming conventions for these games puts me off completely. Seriously, you shouldn't need to put in work just to understand the damn names... Even Nvidia graphics cards are easier to understand than kingdom hearts games, and that's saying something!

      Could be worse, it could be like Windows which has gone through numbers (eg. 3.1, 7, 8, 10), years (eg. 95, 98 Server 2003, Server 2008), and two letter acronyms. (eg. ME, NT)

        The only problem I have with this post is that you used ME as and example for acronyms and not XP. That's like having a choice of cancer or the cure for it and choosing the former.

    The Kingdom Hearts naming scheme is a microcosm of the plot, and in that way they are well named. Much like the games themselves, they're self-important, convoluted, and if you do invest the time into working it all out you're going to end up disappointed.

    It's not clear why it's called "0.2". Presumably director Tetsuya Nomura meant for it to combine with 2.8 to lead to Kingdom Hearts III, but it's actually part of 2.8, so...

    They literally explained this when they announced it, and Kotaku even did an article about it: http://kotaku.com/explaining-kingdom-hearts-hd-ii-8s-bizarre-title-1732274464

    Don't get me wrong, they're all dumb titles, but there is nevertheless a bizarre kind of logic behind it all.

    Look, it's really not that complicated.

    Because it is literally counting to three. That's it. Or, if counting to fucking three is too hard for you, then just look at the main character's clothes. If he's wearing a red jumpsuit, it's KH1. If he's wearing black with way too many belts, that's 2. Anything after that is 3.

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