John Tucker
April Fools 2011: Details on the Possible Final Kingdom Hearts Title
Which may or may not be titled "Kingdom Hearts III."
04.01.11 - 10:01 AM

It's always painful for Kingdom Hearts fans to wait for new info to trickle out of Square Enix, so imagine our joy at the huge treasure trove we got today. New info on the worlds we'll be visiting, summonables, and even an optional replacement for the series' much-maligned Gummi Ship system! While "Kingdom Hearts III" has yet to be officially announced or titled, here's what we know.

Yes, the developers have finally heard the cries of pain from players who don't enjoy flying from world to world on their Gummi Ship. This time around, they are offering an alternative in the form of Mr. Toad. Players who want to speed up the process of traveling between worlds will have the option of taking a ride from Mr. Toad (who we hope will not drive them through Hell, as he does in his theme park ride). There's no word yet on whether players will have to pay for these rides or if they'll be offered up for Mr. Toad's sheer love of the drive.

The series' classic summonables will also see a few additions in the upcoming game. Elliott, the dragon from Pete's Dragon, will blunder around the screen using his tail to smack enemies, with Sora on his back to guide his path. Rhino, the hamster from Bolt, will roll in his ball, tripping enemies and shouting encouraging speeches to buff the party. And finally, in a surprising move, the team announced that Hannah Montana will be summonable, although they're not telling just what she'll do yet. It's possible song and/or dance are involved, however.

The biggest surprises, though, come in the form of new worlds. Having already explored many iconic Disney worlds in previous Kingdom Hearts games, Square Enix is now branching out into new territory. Over the years, many have mocked Dick Van Dyke's attempt at a cockney accent, but we'll be hearing it again when he joins the party in a Mary Poppins-themed world.

We'll also be journeying to the home of a frequently forgotten Disney character: The Great Mouse Detective. This world will reportedly focus less on combat and more on puzzles, and if it's done well, could be a nice break in the action.

Now that Disney and Pixar are one, those movies are also fair game, and what would a game about a giant key be without a trip to Monstropolis, the home of Monsters, Inc. and its warehouse full of doors? Hopefully, we'll see some screenshots of Sora in a monster costume, because it might not be too fun to play through a 2319.

Most exciting for otaku everywhere is the news that for the first time, a Studio Ghibli film will make an appearance in a Kingdom Hearts game. Spirited Away has been announced as the basis for one of the worlds, but no gameplay details for that world have been given as of yet. It will be very interesting to see the transition from anime to video game world, and we're hopeful that the movie's monsters and spirits will mesh well with the Kingdom Hearts series' classic enemies.

Rumors say that the team considered a Freaky Friday-style level where Sora's mind gets swapped with Goofy's, giving both characters the chance to learn what it's like in each others' enormous shoes. However, the idea was scrapped after they realized that the formula requires Sora to have a high-pressure office job or child rearing duties, and Goofy to have a cheerleading or football championship, none of which would fit in well with their established backstories within the Kingdom Hearts universe.

That's all for now, but check back for more "Kingdom Hearts III" details as we learn them!