On Tuesday, when Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue releases, we’ll finally be on the doorstep of Kingdom Hearts 3. If you’ve followed the series, then you know what a convoluted mess the timeline is so let’s take a quick look at where the new pieces of Kingdom Hearts 2.8 fit into the timeline and see if we can’t make some sense of it (we won’t).
Kingdom Hearts 2.8 will feature an HD console remaster of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance as well as a cinematic called Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover. Kingdom Hearts 3D was exclusively available on the Nintendo 3DS and effectively sets the stage for Sora’s role in Kingdom Hearts 3. Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover tells the story of Kingdom Hearts χ from the perspective of the Foretellers. From what I understand, Kingdom Hearts χ is basically an origin story set before the Keyblade War and long before the beginning of the game timeline but I still don’t really have a clue what its relevance is to the overall story.
The star of Kingdom Hearts 2.8 is Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep –A fragmentary passage-. Kingdom Hearts 0.2 is the story of Aqua’s journey within the Realm of Darkness after the conclusion of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep that is told as a story in the present day (post-Kingdom Hearts 3D). The events of Kingdom Hearts 0.2, despite being set quite a ways in the past, will set the stage for where the story is going in Kingdom Hearts 3 by, presumably, bringing the two separate storylines together.
Long story short, Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover is at the start, Kingdom Hearts 3D is at the end and Kingdom Hearts 0.2 takes place at the beginning but sets up the end. Here’s a completely non-complicated look at that timeline. The opening for Kingdom Hearts 3D offers a pretty easy to follow summary of the overall story’s major plot points if you have any idea as to what the hell is going on (it’s also beautiful). You’ll also be able to play through the entire series on one console for the first time in March when Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix are rereleased for the Playstation 4, if you’re completely lost or just want to play through the series either again or as a first timer.
I have my theories on how I think things are going to play out. If you haven’t been following the series and are still reading, I’m sorry. After playing Kingdom Hearts 3D, my suspicion was that Sora and Aqua will have to group up and go on to find Ventus so that they would have the Seven Lights to combat against the Thirteen Darkness. Speculating the Seven Lights and Thirteen Darkness has been a hot topic in the Kingdom Hearts community for quite some time now but I suspect that the Seven Lights are Sora, Riku, Kairi, Lea, Mickey, Aqua and Ventus. Based off of the opening for Kingdom Hearts 0.2, it appears that the story is gearing up to bring Sora and Aqua together to begin Kingdom Hearts 3. This would give the group six of the seven Lights heading into Kingdom Hearts 3, with Ventus presumably being the seventh since Terra would seem to be out of commission although who the hell knows, with this series.
That was all simple and straight forward, right?