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Monday, April 11, 2022

Kingdom Hearts IV is a thing; Darkside comes back

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It predates Gigantamax Grimmsnarl!

The folks at SQUARE ENIX (and Disney I guess) had a Kingdom Hearts 20th anniversary announcement trailer over the weekend. I set the below embed to start four minutes in so you can skip the mobile trash portion. That said, the presence and start of said mobile trash did set people's expectations very low. But like the last Pokémon Presents a month and a half ago (which was for... some anniversary or another), which started with lame mobile trash news and ended with a mainline RPG announcement... Well, the same thing happened here with Kingdom Hearts:

It looks like Kingdom Hearts IV takes place with a Sora that looks so “realistic” and like a Japanese male pop-star that I actually thought was another character entirely (because Kingdom Hearts games are totally fine with having Sora-like protagonists that aren't Sora... well, kind of are, but, eh, I dunno, it's complicated). And then at the end with Donald Duck and Goofy looking for what seems to be Sora just made me think that guy WASN'T Sora. And it totally made sense to me that Sora ditched Donald Duck and Goofy and nearly every Disney reference when going to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which is why they are looking for him while non-Sora with normal feet and proportions is off fighting that Darkside. ...But, no, apparently that actually is Sora, and Goofy and Donald Duck just don't know he's out still being a hero and literally running towards danger.

And the danger being ran to? That's Darkside. It's the tutorial boss Heartless in several Kingdom Hearts titles, including the first Kingdom Hearts. Not sure why it keeps coming back, but I guess Darkside is actually generic. But it's totally a force of darkness and constantly tries to plunge things into darkness. Hence the name Darkside. Darkside also has crazy hair.

This is very similar to the Galarian native Pokémon Grimmsnarl. Especially Grimmsnarl's Gigantamax form, which is HUGE. Just like Darkside. Grimmsnarl is also primarily a Dark type, and it shoots out scary waves of darkness with its G-Max Snooze. Often it's attacking from inappropriate anatomical places, like Darkside, though that may be more of an issue with GAME FREAK's templated animating. Grimmsnarl also has crazy hair; its False Surrender exclusive move is designed around its hair attacking things.

Gigantamax Grimmsnarl Darkside Kingdom Hearts IV Pokémon Sword Shield
Left: Gigantamax Grimmsnarl. Right: Darkside.
I mean, I suppose they do have some differences. Like finger count and colour presence.
But their shape is quite similar.

I think the plot would be cool if it involved Sora going off to the world of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the havoc that'd ensue from his absence. Well, it wouldn't really be that much different from all of the other crossovers native to Kingdom Hearts, right? Just ask Cloud and Sephiroth.

Ah, but unlike the Pokémon Presents... there's no general release timeline for Kingdom Hearts IV. It could be a whole hardware generation from now. So to everyone saying they're not ready since Kingdom Hearts III seems so recent (three years ago)... I think you'll have more than enough time to get ready. If you're waiting for this, you'll be sick of all of the mobile crap and cloud versions that they're giving in the meantime. And if you really want the feeling of fighting Darkside, just go battle a Gigantamax Grimmsnarl. Pretty much the same thing.

Don't take that last line as an endorsement of Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield, since Ludwig still won't get it. ...There's also no chance he's going to get Kingdom Hearts IV, either.

Perhaps ironically, Ludwig is one of the only people who DIDN'T think of Donald Duck upon seeing the Pokémon Quaxly, instead thinking of the Blue Birds from Rhythm Heaven.
Apparently, Kingdom Hearts lore was considered when it came to Sora being in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, so everything Ludwig wrote here is probably canon.


  1. No solid release window, mmmm. Guess it’s time to lump this baby in with BOTW, Metroid, Bayonetta, advance(?), and pikmin 4.

    Whatever they do, just don’t make it cloud exclusive. The kingdom hearts games on switch are giving a bad name to the entire franchise.

    1. Those are two different baby lumps!
      One are games that never had a release date to begin with, and the other are games that got delayed so they at least used to have a release date... or window... or year.

    2. Either way, I doubt we’ll see kingdom hearts on time. But if and when it gets a release date, I wouldn’t be surprised if it arrives before most of these. Not BOTW but definitely pikmin 4. I refuse to believe that pikmin 4 is in development no matter what nintendo may have said years ago. Are you a pikmin fan?

    3. Curious wot your definition of "on time" is when there is no time defined.

      I got the Wii because I wanted Pikmin 3. Now THAT'S something that wasn't "on time"...

    4. Wherever they announce the release date, I still think it’ll be delayed. Or if they had a release date planned out before they announce it, it’ll still get delayed whilst in active development. Just got a feeling about it.

      Pikmin is so much fun to play, it sucks that any other game that may try to do something similar to it would just be seen as a ripoff. I actually don’t know ANY other games like pikmin. I don’t even know how you could describe the genre. Nintendo is starting to run out of IP they haven’t already made(or are making) switch games for. Bow’s be the perfect time to release a new pikmin, but I think we’re just gonna get a bunch of sequels for the next 5 years. Funny to think that might be all the switch has left.

    5. "I actually don’t know ANY other games like pikmin."

      Try Little King's Story.

    6. I’ve never heard of this one before, thank you I think I will.

  2. Donald and Goofy have good reason to not know where Sora is, since he's in an entirely separate world from theirs.

    1. I mean, that's a normal thing for them to do, ain't it? Go to different worlds?

    2. Yes, but the world Sora is in is completely separate, closer to a different dimension or universe. He's vanished from the entire existence that Donald and Goofy are in.


  3. Sadly, I've fallen off the Kingdom Hearts series by now. I was never going to get a PS3 or 4 for just one game, and the apparent rampant playability issues plauging the Switch re-release caused me to lose even more enthusiasm for the idea of even playing the old games again.

    Though I will say that I never really cared that the story was too complicated, I just liked bashing the s*** out of monsters with a giant key, lol. But those days are gone, and Breath of the Wild has already filled the hole left by Kingdom Heart's passing from my repertoire.


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