I have not played all Kingdom Hearts games so am not completely up-to-date on the story from that though I did look up some information while writing this post. This post will contain spoilers from previous Kingdom Hearts games.
Monsters Inc. Trailer
The Monsters Inc. trailer starts with a scene between Sora, with Donald and Goofy to each side, talking to Marluxia, the main antagonist from Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories. I have conflicted feelings about this sight because Marluxia is supposed to be done with after Sora defeats him in Castle Oblivion. Then again, if Marluxia’s back, then maybe Larxene is too, and she was one of my favorites from a recently completed Chain of Memories play-through, being delightfully devious and alas, the only girl in the entirety of the Organization XIII cast up until 358/2 Days with the introduction of Xion. That makes two girls out of fourteen characters in just that one group.
In any case, the sight of Marluxia and his exchange with Sora indicate the Organization is still a significant antagonistic presence. Indeed, I have learned of True Organization XIII and will find out more on that if I ever get around to playing Dream Drop Distance. Sora, Donald, and Goofy do not remember Marluxia in particular, them still having forgotten all the events of Castle Oblivion to have their memories put back together by Naminé.
The trailer then moves onto scenes and characters from the likes of Toy Story and Monsters, Inc., followed by game-play footage of a Tangled world though no scenes to introduce Flynn and Rapunzel. Much of the footage shows movement with transforming keyblades and various interactions between characters. Of note is that in each of the three worlds, Sora is shown as being accompanied by Donald and Goofy, as usual, but rather than them being interchangeable with a given party member from the world, two characters from each world are shown in the lower right, indicating a five-character party rather than three. The pairs from each world are Woody and Buzz from Toy Story, Sully and Mike from Monsters, Inc., and Rapunzel and Flynn from Tangled. That makes Rapunzel one girl out of each of the three possible parties shown.
In the Tangled world, we do see a glimpse of, presumably, an Ariel summon. Ariel’s world is one Sora has visited in both Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II. In Kingdom Hearts II, Sora had forms where his clothes would change and affected his abilities. Again, in the Tangled world, Sora’s clothes do appear to change color as he is doing something with special commands though the entire party still shows in the lower right of the screen. Instead of “Drive,” we see “Focus” as part of the gauges available to him.
Each world shows a lot of interaction with the environment and affecting Sora’s available weaponry and attacks with Monsters, Inc. Part of the Monsters, Inc. footage includes a LAUGH POWER meter with a Boo icon in the upper left part of the screen.
As the trailer nears its conclusion, Sora is confronted by none other than Vanitas, with the Birth by Sleep antagonist saying he will take the half of him sleeping inside, addressing Ventus. Sora addresses him by name though acts surprised, indicating he doesn’t know why he knows Vanitas’ name.
Theme Song Trailer
In addition to the Monsters, Inc. trailer was a trailer for the theme song, again done by Utada Hikaru. This time around, there is only dialogue at the end and so most of the video is visuals to the song. These visuals include a Young Xehanort, an introductory scene between Sora, Donald, and Goofy meeting Buzz and Woody, a scene of Vanitas addressing our heroes in the Monsters Inc. world, seeming to anger Mike in the process, and a glimpse of returning villains Maleficent, Pete, and Hades in probably the Tangled world. We also see Xemnas meeting Sora and another character next to him, who resembles Ansem from the first game (which is also the same appearance Riku has for most of Kingdom Hearts II). I assume this is more of True Organization XIII.
Speaking of Riku, the trailer concludes with a scene of Riku and Micky in the Dark Margin where Riku stares at a broken keyblade, notes he cannot use it anymore, and says he will leave it in this place in case the “other me” needs it. Micky looks surprised as he says, “Huh?” If he means his replica that disappeared in Chain of Memories or something else, we do not know yet.
Both trailers end with stating the game is “Coming 2018.” Familiar with long waits and delays from Square-Enix or other video game development companies, I can’t help remaining a little skeptical though I am happy to be wrong and see it release this year, especially since I am making 2018 my Kingdom Hearts Year, as I am going through the games in Kingdom Hearts I.5 + II.5 ReMix and might even follow that with Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. The timing will work out nicely at this rate.
I’m looking forward to it.