Image via Square Enix

‘Hikari’ Re-Recording Makes It Harder to Wait for Kingdom Hearts 4

Renowned Japanese singer and Kingdom Hearts theme extraordinaire Hikaru Utada just dropped a mega bomb with their Science Fiction album. This album doesn’t drop any new music, but rather, includes re-releases of songs like “Hikari,” the Japanese version of the Kingdom Hearts theme “Simple and Clean.” It also makes it even harder to wait for the release of Kingdom Hearts 4 and Missing Link in the process.

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This new re-recording of the Japanese version of the classic Kingdom Hearts theme is a bop, of course, but there’s more to it than that. This re-release of the 2002 track is a sharp reminder of the lack of information regarding the Kingdom Hearts series. More importantly, the severe delay between new details or a release of both Kingdom Hearts 4 and Missing Link.

For reference, Hikaru Utada’s new album dropped on April 10, 2024. This just so happens to fall around the two-year anniversary of both Kingdom Hearts 4 and Missing Link’s announcements. Sadly, precious little appeared in two years that followed. At least, worldwide, given there was a Japanese beta in 2023.

Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link Closed Beta Test Applications Open
Image via Square Enix

This re-recording of the Kingdom Hearts song “Hikari” doesn’t necessarily give us too much hope for more info soon, either. This is more like a coincidental event, if anything, which makes the whole situation more agonizing. That said, there is the potential for at least some Missing Link news in the near future. After all, it still has a release window of 2024 for Android and iOS. Until that release window changes, it is only a matter of time until we hear more about the latest mobile game in the series. There is a chance that Missing Link will even connect the past games to Kingdom Hearts 4 or offer some bit of lore to tie us over while we wait.

As for the lack of Kingdom Hearts 4 news, there could be a couple of reasons for that. For one, Square Enix has been quite busy lately. Final Fantasy XVI released last year in 2023, and Final Fantasy VII Rebirth followed it up not even a full year later. Square Enix isn’t done either, as FFXIV: Dawntrail is also coming out in 2024. This means renowned Kingdom Hearts Director Tetsuya Nomura, is also quite busy with the recent releases.

It is possible Square Enix is waiting for games and expansions like Final Fantasy VII Rebirth and Final Fantasy XIV Dawntrail to come out to give some breathing room, then focus on the Kingdom Hearts series. If that is the case, we could finally see more about it in the latter half of 2024. But there is even a chance we may not hear anything until 2025.

As for when the game comes out, I would presume 2025 at the earliest. However, there is a chance it could even come out in 2026. I imagine we will know more once Missing Link begins its road to release. In the meantime, I will continue to listen to the new version of “Hikari” on repeat.

Kingdom Hearts 4 has no current release window or confirmed platforms. Missing Link is scheduled to release sometime in 2024 for Android and iOS.


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Author
Cody Perez
Cody is a writer who has been sharing his love for video games and anime since his high school days in 2012. When he isn’t writing about the latest JRPGs and anime series, he can be found in Final Fantasy XIV, occasionally playing some Call of Duty, or lurking on Twitter @SoulcapCody.