Kingdom Hearts 4: Tetsuya Nomura sheds light on Sora’s realistic look

Square Enix
Square Enix /

The teaser for Kingdom Hearts 4 dropped last week, giving us our first look at the next chapter in the beloved franchise. One of the biggest takeaways, for me at least, was the appearance of Sora, who looks more than ever like a character from Square Enix’s Final Fantasy franchise. And perhaps the most shocking thing about his look was the fact that he now has shoes that fit.

Plenty of fans were taken aback by Sora’s new drip and while I did like the new look, there was a part of me that missed the old Sora. The big, goofy clown shoes, especially.

Speaking to Japan’s Famitsu, a translated interview with series director Tetsuya Nomura offered insight into the world of Kingdom Hearts 4, and shed light on Sora’s new look.

First, a little about Quadratum, which in the trailer was referred to as an “afterworld” for Sora. Nomura reiterated that Quadratum, from Sora’s perspective, “is a world that exists in the background, a fictional world that is different from his reality.” He explained, however, that for those living in Quadratum, it is Sora’s home world that exists in the background and “a fictional world for them.”

Nomura added that Kingdom Hearts 4 will “explore the theme of the contrast between the two perspectives.” This isn’t terribly enlightening as anyone who is familiar with Quadratum from the few moments it has been teased in previous games already know it’s referred to as the “other side of reality.” At the end of the teaser, we saw Donald and Goofy exploring dark catacombs, so perhaps they are in search for Hades, god of the Underworld, to take them to the other side.

Now for the best part — especially those disappointed by Sora’s new look — it sounds like it may only be temporary. “Sora also looks more realistic due to him being in that world,” Nomura said, offering hope that if he returns to his old world, so too will his old look return.

"“However, if he were to return to his own world, his appearance would look similar to [how he would look with] the shaders used for Donald and Goofy.”"

While we haven’t exactly seen a realistic Sora in Kingdom Hearts before, his appearance has changed slightly depending on the world he’s currently visiting. This was especially true in Kingdom Hearts 3. Although he maintained that cartoonish looks, he became a toy in the Toy Box (Toy Story) and a monster in Monstropolis (Monsters, Inc.). He also donned several other looks throughout the series.

There’s still plenty of mystery and questions surrounding Kingdom Hearts 4, but at least we can put this one to rest. What do you think of Sora’s realistic look in Quadratum? Are you a fan or do you prefer his old style?