Once someone gets to the end of Kingdom Hearts III, there is a lot to take in. People have the initial ending to consider. Then, if they have updated the game, there is the epilogue to view. Finally, if you took enough pictures of Mickey Mouse icons with the Gummiphone, you have a secret ending. It doesn’t take a lot of doing, especially if you are playing on a normal difficulty level. The one thing all of these parts have in common is an attempt to tie things together. The endings want people to be optimistic about the characters’ futures while also assuring people that things look like they could be in a better place than they were when Kingdom Hearts began.
Editor’s Note: There will be Kingdom Hearts III endings spoilers below.
The initial Kingdom Hearts III ending can’t be missed. As long as you follow the game’s natural course, you’ll come to the final confrontation against Xehanort. Things seem to be going well until then. Sora previously used his Power of Waking to bring everyone back, so Aqua, Terra, Ventus, Roxas, and Xion are all okay alongside Lea, Riku, and King Mickey. However, Xehanort had Kairi and destroys her to get the χ-blade. Kingdom Hearts has been summoned, and Sora, Donald, and Goofy go to Scala ad Caelum for the final battle against Xehanort.
After the boss fight, everyone (minus Kairi) reunites in Scala ad Caelum. We learn Eraqus’ heart was inside Terra all along. Xehanort dies. After those two hearts head up to Kingdom Hearts, the χ-blade is used to close it. However, Kairi is still gone and Sora decides to use the Power of Waking to bring her back, even though she could be lost in the process. We don’t see what happens then, other than him deciding to go and find her. However, we do learn that Namine has received the Riku Replica body that Riku Replica’s heart refused, with Ansem, Even, and Ienzo having placed her inside of it. The two of them meet with absolutely everyone else on Destiny Islands. We see Kairi sitting on one of the Paopu trees we saw in the original game with Sora next to her, but he eventually fades away. On the one hand, this ending ties up everything by bringing all the lost people back. Everyone is here, giving us closure. However, we don’t have a definitive answer about what happened to Sora. We know his existence could have ended by going after Kairi again, and he did disappear, but he also promised he would be back and appears in an additional ending movie.
The Kingdom Hearts III epilogue is easy enough to unlock. It is a multipurpose affair, explaining Xigbar’s role in the conflict, what happened to Maleficent and Pete’s search for the prophesized black box, and where Sora and Riku could go next. To get to it, you need to make sure your game is at version 1.02 or later and you have beaten the game. If you have, visit the Theater from the main menu. you then get to see four minutes of Xigbar being mysterious with other Keyblade masters.
This is when Kingdom Hearts III ties in even more to Kingdom Hearts χ and its Keyblade War. Xigbar, also known as Braig, and now also revealed to be Luxu, is the bearer of the No Name Keyblade and Master of Masters’ apprentice. He was supposed to protect the Black Box and its mysterious contents secret. While Luxu had No Name and its Gazing Eye, which allowed the Master of Masters to write the Book of Prophesies about the Keyblade War and future, the Foreteller Keyblade masters Aced, Ava, Gula, Invi, and Ira had copies of the book. Xigbar/Luxu was fulfilling his role as an observer by working under Master Xehanort, who was causing the recreated Keyblade war and finally gathering Aced, Gula, Invi, and Iri to the Keyblade Graveyard as part of his mission. Maleficent and Pete are watching what is happening in the distance. Then, the epilogue ends with a young Eraqus and Xehanort beginning a new game on the same sort of chess board, only it involves one white piece and seven black ones. This hints at possible closure of that storyline in the future.
The Kingdom Hearts III secret ending is more mysterious and shorter than the epilogue. To start, earning it isn’t as complicated as, say, finding 101 Dalmatians. If you are playing on the easy Beginner difficulty, you need 90 of the Mickey-shaped Lucky Emblems. The Standard normal mode requires 60 emblems, and the Proud hard option only requires you to find 30. You also have to have downloaded update 1.03 and beaten the game.
Once you acquire all of the Lucky Emblems, you get to see this additional movie. It shows Sora and Riku in two new locations. Both the characters and worlds look more realistic than they have in past Kingdom Hearts games. Sora is in front of The World Ends with You‘s 104 Building in the game’s version of Shibuya. (We can tell this isn’t the real world, since it isn’t the actual 109 Tokyo Mall Development department store in actual Tokyo.) Riku is in an area that initially bears a resemblance to the world of Final Fantasy XV, but is actually shown to be the world of the Verum Rex video game we saw in Kingdom Hearts III‘s Toy Box world, complete with Yozora watching Riku from above. We also see someone in an Organization XIII coat looking at the moon in the sky while making a heart with their hands. Someone could see this as hope for the future and a fourth installment, just as the epilogue suggests more is on the way.
Kingdom Hearts III is about tying things together and well, it does that. Every character who was lost has been found. Sora gained the power he was known to have the whole time. The game showed that the Black Box wasn’t forgotten and will come into play eventually. There’s even a hint at two possible worlds in a future game with Sora and Riku, providing hope for the future of the series.
Kingdom Hearts III is available for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.