Kingdom Hearts 4: Breaking down the new announcement trailer

Square Enix
Square Enix /

Holy smokes, what a thing to wake up to! Square Enix held its Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event in Tokyo and during it they announced Kingdom Hearts 4. Yes, the next main installment in the beloved action RPG franchise.

Unfortunately, the trailer only exists with Japanese voiceover, but thankfully Square released it with English subtitles so we have a better understanding of what’s going on. Let’s get right into the trailer before we break down everything we see and start theorizing.

It begins with a title referring to Kingdom Hearts 4 as “The Lost Master Arc,” suggesting a move away from the Xehanort Saga. We’re going back deep into Kingdom Hearts’ complicated lore for this as The Master of Masters is a Keyblade Master, appearing in Kingdom Hearts X, who wrote the Book of Prophecies and trained six apprentices. We got a brief look at the Master of Masters in the ending of Kingdom Hearts 3.

The trailer begins with a brief glimpse at some sort of modern city with a graphical style unlike any we’ve seen from Kingdom Hearts. Then there’s the line:

"“If this isn’t the ending you desire – if it brings you despair – then leave this world for another. Your options are endless.”"

This seems to reference the ending of Kingdom Hearts 3 and, again, we get the usual Kingdom Hearts verbiage talking about your heart and soul, and being guided by fate. This is an ongoing theme in the Kingdom Hearts series so nothing too surprising.

Sora is back!

And then we see Sora! He’s clearly gone full Final Fantasy bro and I’m here for it. He looks better than ever and I absolutely love his new look.

We see him wake up in an apartment of sorts and is greeted by a girl, Strelitzia (a prominent character in Kingdom Hearts Union Cross), who informs him that he’s been asleep in this world since he arrived a week ago. She calls it Quadratum, and it’s actually a city we’ve seen before in the Kingdom Hearts franchise. It was actually featured in the secret ending of Kingdom Hearts 3 and again int he ReMind DLC.

A return to Quadratum

The girl explains Quadratum is a world “full of life,” for her and Sora it’s more of an “afterworld.” We figured Quadratum would play a major role in the setting of Kingdom Hearts 4 and sure enough this trailer confirms it.

While Quadratum is still mostly a mystery to us, we do know that it’s located in another universe, also referred to as the “other side of reality.” These worlds are foreign to light and dark, but clearly the darkness is starting to leak in.


We get a very brief look at what looks like actual gameplay and while this is still development footage, it looks incredible. As Sora runs towards the Darkness he summons his Keyblade, leaps across several structures and then releases some sort of whip from the Keyblade to pull himself closer to the creature. He’s running up the side of buildings, flipping through the air, and casting powerful magic.

Before we see the fight unfold, we cut to the rooftops and see some characters in the signature Black Coats. The voice warns that if Sora leaves this world, he shouldn’t expect to return to the one he came from (aka the previous universe he came from).


After the title, we get a another short clip of Donald and Goofy exploring some sort of dark catacombs. They are looking for someone who they hope can help (locate Sora?).

Then we see a blue flame appear. We never get to see who it is but it definitely gives me Hades vibes.

Is it possible that Donald and Goofy are in search of Hades, god of the Underworld, because that is where they believe Sora is now? Are they seeking his help? Will Hades play a larger role in Kingdom Hearts 4? I sure hope so!

It’s unclear how far off Kingdom Hearts 4 actually is, but I hope we don’t have to wait as long as we did with Kingdom Hearts 3. KH3 was first announced in 2013 but the game didn’t actually release until 2019, six years later. Please don’t make us wait that long.