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UPDATED: Union X English Story Won't Be Up To Date When Kingdom Hearts III Launches

UPDATE: Square Enix has sent us a statement to clarify the answer provided by Community Rep Kim (also known as "Glacie") in regards to the Global version's story updates:

“Kim’s quote was referencing that currently, the rate of story is going to continue at the same pace, and there is a plan for how things are rolling out. She had meant by the time KINGDOM HEARTS III releases, there won’t be a reason for the global players to not understand what’s happening in KINGDOM HEARTS III due to the Japanese version being slightly ahead.”

This is incredibly disappointing news to Kingdom Hearts fans who were excited to play Kingdom Hearts Union X for the story.

During their Union X live stream on September 5th 2018, Square Enix Community Rep Kim confirmed that the story quests will be going at a consistent pace and that any attempts to catch up the story for parity with the Japanese version likely won't happen.

So yeah, for story-wise I believe we're going at the rate that's um, it's going to be at a constant rate. I'm not sure if it's going to speed up. I know that, by the time Kingdom Hearts III comes out there shouldn't be any confusion cause the Union Cross and Kingdom Hearts III, while they overlap they're not necessary to play one or the other. So it's not going to be like if the story isn't caught up by Kingdom Hearts III release that you're going to miss out on much story. But other than that, right now, it's the rate that we are going.

This comes after Series Creator Tetsuya Nomura stating that Kingdom Hearts Union X will be important to the story of Kingdom Hearts III.

–I’m interested about its connection with KINGDOM HEARTS III.

Nomura: If you play KINGDOM HEARTS III, you will also recognize the story of KINGDOM HEARTS Union Cross. For those who are anticipating KINGDOM HEARTS III and interested in the series’ story, I recommend to play KINGDOM HEARTS Union Cross.

During the Dandelion meeting back in April, Nomura also spoke on the story between the two games.

Nomura: You want to know more about [the new Union leaders] instead of their design right? There is a storyline in Kingdom Hearts III where you will sense their existence and influence here and there. I believe you will feel their presence more than the five Fortellers who are the previous Union leaders. The fates of these new Union leaders are already set, and there is a meaning behind everything, including their names.

A few days ago Nomura also confirmed that the upcoming scenario was written by Kingdom Hearts III staff, which then begs the question as to why the story isn't regarded as that important or necessary to Square Enix North America?

I have kept you waiting so long, but the main scenario will be updated next month. Actually, the scenario part of Union X, aside from myself, was partially written by the staff of KINGDOM HEARTS III and I am sorry that couldn't update it quicker, but the wait is finally over.

I think that after this, the heart of the story will be evident.

The next time the main scenario will be updated, there will be new characters, and the connection between this character and that character will be revealed. I think it will be an interesting development. 

There's also the matter of Ventus and Lauriam (the human version of Marluxia). Both have appeared in Kingdom Hearts Union X and Kingdom Hearts III and with their inclusion in the mobile game, it seemed like there would be important backstory to the two which will deepen their connection in Kingdom Hearts III.

Remember to follow Kingdom Hearts Insider on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates on TWEWY, Kingdom Hearts Union χ [Cross], Kingdom Hearts 3 and all things Kingdom Hearts!

COMMENTS

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Nazo

September 6, 2018 @ 11:19 pmOffline

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Very very well said, Chaser. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Perhaps I'm a bit too cynical but I expect this statement to be weasel words top to bottom, saying a lot of words but meaning very little.
Same here. I want to hope that we're going to get an actual response with some substance but I expect a PR damage control response with ultimately nothing changing in the end.

kirabook

September 7, 2018 @ 02:38 amOffline

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My misspelled "Playing" description still applies after... 1 year? 2 years? I don't even remember anymore.

I don't understand why SENA has decided to delay updates between JP and NA. It seems logical to try to keep them in sync. Less work for them, less adjustments to be made, etc etc. This is why I was particularly annoyed when they started changing stats and giving Global less stuff to work with (brooms, prizes, etc etc). If you keep them mostly the same except what server they're on, there's less work for you,

How come you have time to keep the banners up to date (which makes you a loads of cash), but you can't get the story updated to match JP in time for KH3?

I don't understand at all and yeah, it makes me really sad. I can't play this game consistently even if I wanted to. It's not fun anymore, especially when you realize the people in charge of it, especially the ones in charge of global, could not care less if they tried.

alexis.anagram

September 7, 2018 @ 03:11 amOffline

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Catching up on this thread is the most fun I've had in a while.

Sorry but Ux is the worst thing to happen to the KH franchise and I hope it dies a swift death. I totally get that it has its fans and I respect their right to enjoy it but I don't respect the fundamental conceit behind it, the way it has been obnoxiously and increasingly exploitative towards the fan base, the constant and unending stream of toxicity it spews forth, or even really the fact that we have to think and talk about it in relation to KH3 in any way shape or form.

I wish Glacie's statements were accurate and nothing in Ux ends up making a mark on KH3. It would be a massive betrayal of expectations, sure, and folks would be right justified in their anger over it, but in all honesty it would just be another day in the scandals of KH casino and the best news for KH3's story in a while. Unfortunately she's wrong, and Nomura has clearly reversed course completely to undo whatever good will he managed to build up with the complete package of HD remixes. Sure, let's shoehorn in another extraneous mystery box to further complicate KH3's tangle of obligations to preceding and concurrent narratives that nooobody asked for.

All this and if I'm not mistaken we still don't even know wtf is going on in Ux for real? Like isn't there still the possibility it's all Ven's dream/Realm of Sleep/some magical book antics? What are the chances everyone's been red herring'd for years and years, I mean both X and Ux are canon but Nomura insists they're different somehow and that's gotta be explained. Still. (Somebody please do correct me if I'm wrong.)

I feel like Square's statement should just be a spoiler tagged rundown of the entire story from beginning to end and then they're like, ok you're caught up now. Best possible outcome imo.

Seadrin

September 7, 2018 @ 03:43 amOffline

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Just to confirm, we have not received the official statement from SENA, correct? Thanks!

Sign

September 7, 2018 @ 03:46 amOffline

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Just to confirm, we have not received the official statement from SENA, correct? Thanks!
We have not!

Nazo

September 7, 2018 @ 04:27 amOffline

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I wonder if they're waiting until after the Version 3.0 update is out to make the statement?

Oracle Spockanort

September 7, 2018 @ 04:37 amOffline

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I wonder if they're waiting until after the Version 3.0 update is out to make the statement?
More like Japan wasn’t awake yet and they hadn’t gotten a statement from them yet to have NA issue.

Nazo

September 7, 2018 @ 04:57 amOffline

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Well, whatever the intend to say, I certainly hope it doesn't end up being a bunch of hot air.

Sephiroth0812

September 7, 2018 @ 08:16 amOffline

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I agree with the whole situation being jacked, and I’ll also admit having characters like Ventus, and Marluxia’s Somebody may have only been done more so to reel more people into playing the game than anything else. (Marluxia even more so) But I do think that given Xehanorts extreme interest and obsession with Ventus going as far as to still obtain his comatose body even after the events of BBS, makes sense and fits with narrative to have Ventus be from the time of the Keyblade War which Xehanort has dedicated most of his life over. Giving Ventus’s a backstory on anything that didn’t involve the Keyblade War wouldn’t have logically made him stand out at all to Xehanort when he made him an apprentice. He needed a strong darkness so picking someone as defiant and pure as Ventus rather than finding someone else more naturally inclined to the darkness makes less sense when you don’t take his backstory into consideration. Could it have been handled better yes but literally everything in The X series could have been handled better.
Not "may" I'd say. Ven and Marluxia being included I'm pretty sure was done mainly to goad more people into playing the game and firmly force the direct connection with the present day era, characters and KH III.

We do not know why Xehanort has such an obsessive interest in Ventus though nor if he's interested in the whole being or really just the comatose body which would point towards an interest solely because of needing another vessel.
All Nomura had to say about it in the BBS Ultimania when asked was:

  • So then, why is Xemnas of Organization XIII searching for Ven?

Well, there’s still some time between the ending of 'Birth by Sleep’ and 'KHI’, so…

  • So you’re saying you can’t tell us yet (laughs).
In the BBS reports he states he got interested in Ventus mainly due to him sensing the great potential in the kid, but that can mean anything and if Xehanort knew beforehand about any possible "prominence" of Ven in relation to the Keyblade War-era would he really have carelessly used him for one of his experiments like he ultimatively did before and during BBS?
The BBS flashbacks show that he was trying to coerce/force Ventus to give in to/use his darkness but failed at every turn, hence why he resorted to ultimately creating Vanitas, but that was all done in relation to his plans to try and get a shortcut to the X-blade as far as we know.
In DDD towards Mickey he decribes Ven as the "broken boy who failed to be the blade" again referencing his actions and plans from BBS.

We know from Days and assorted supplementary material that Xemnas was searching obsessively for Ventus, yet no implication as to why (although once the vessel-horcrux stuff came up fandom pretty quickly interpreted this as trying to make Ven's body another vessel) and the notion that the main Xehanort shares this interest was brought up only in 0.2, yet neither Terra-Xehanort nor Terra give any hint towards the reasons.
Thing is though that this seems to be a plot point they're having dangled in our faces for pretty long by now just like idk two dozen others without any substantial progress made which seem to be poised to get an unnecessary over the top extra™ explanation for shock value instead of something logical and coherent.

Granted, Ventus' dive to the heart does depict the Keyblade Graveyard/the Badlands as the location background in both versions that are seen of it, so a connection is certainly there, although it might be also because this location is where Vanitas was created and we only see Ven's station after Vanitas' creation already happened.
Still, even if we do count it as a direct reference to the Keyblade War and associated stuff, a connection, even a direct one, would have been enough and less fantastic and over the top than actually have him originate from that very era.


We came for the story, stayed for the time-gap fill and promise of "the juicy story stuff is coming, we promise".

And now here we are. Chi's canon placement in the timeline was used as the primary bait to get people playing the game, and now that very same thing is being made to seem unimportant after all this time. It really feels like a bait and switch, honestly.
To think I can dig this old thing from 2015 back up because it fits:


Lol, what a deja-vu especially with the not-delivery afterwards.



As long as his story is well written and well executed it doesn't haft to be original.
Won't deny that there are better ways to tell a backstory for Ven, but right now, with the decision of this ESV trio, being the most 1 dimensional character, Ven needs some serious update and character development. What I find very dissaponiting from SE and the (so called writers from KH3) Is that they have had a whole year to tell a compelling story and further explore the main 5 leaders. Especially Ven, for his foreshadowing important role for KH3. Having a whole year, you can find ways to not only create complex arcs but also eventually lead to the events that tie into his first appearance in BBS. Or so just leave a hint of where he was discovered by Master Xehanort.
I just have this gut feeling that Nomura always wanted the KHUX arc to end with a tragedy, and I truly believe that it will lead to where Ven is found.
Lost memory, trapped in a different realm, separated, betrayed, sacrifice there are so many ways to make for a strong close for Ven as a very different person, and that alone would make his character interesting. But if Nomura instead wants Ven to be an innocent victim running into someone's trap, I don't know what I want to believe and I will not treat it as canon if he's going to stay 1 dimensional.
Better write my own backstory for him in the near future, if that's the case.
So far there is no execution and no writing at all on that front though, lol.
The KH series as a whole, but Ux in particular (see Strelitzia) also has not a good track record in this area so you'll have to forgive me for remaining skeptical.
That I have quite some love for most of the KH original characters is independent from my loathing of the presentation and execution of the story.

Of course I agree on this notion, they wasted a whole year in which they could have fleshed out and make the audience care for all five new union leaders and Strelitzia, give each of them depth, compelling relationships and interactions with each other to, y'know, make them true characters, but nope, they had to park the entire narrative in Fillerville of the Boredom Kingdom.

There's nothing contradicting or false about Ven being innocent or a victim, both Blaine and Xehanort (in his reports) have implied that due to being overly benevolent Ven is more poised to be victimized.
There isn't even a huge need to make him a vastly different person as that would clash with the established facts about him generally being a kind and friendly guy, which is a established fact about him in both BBS and Ux. Fleshing a character out means adding more facets to the initial core traits, not completely change them up to something vastly different.

UX is a goddamn mess. All this talk about how important it will be and how "the main story is just beginning" and this is what we get.

UX might as well be non-canon aside from MoM, Luxu, the book, and the box.
Maybe we just misunderstood from the beginning and what was actually said is "You'll only see the beginning of the story", as that's what the status is at since September 2017 and as far as it stands now it is to remain that way at least for global Ux. *derp*

For the sake of coherency and better accessibility for all parts of the fandom it would probably be better if everything was non-canon or at least not overly relevant beyond some background story.
The box is a literal shoehorned in extra plot device KH III certainly doesn't need with all that already is on the plate to address.

Unfortunately she's wrong, and Nomura has clearly reversed course completely to undo whatever good will he managed to build up with the complete package of HD remixes. Sure, let's shoehorn in another extraneous mystery box to further complicate KH3's tangle of obligations to preceding and concurrent narratives that nooobody asked for.
I dunno if Nomura even realizes the possible ramifications that arise from this kind of policy as I've a hard time imagining people constantly repeating the same errors.

Sadly this seems to be the usual modus operandi of Nomura in general. Instead of expanding and developing existing concepts, themes, narratives and characters he keeps introducing new additional stuff to further complicate things just for the sake of being "surprising".
The most jarring thing about this is that the man himself once admitted that KH III has become so huge in scale because so many unfinished things have piled up. If you know that, one would expect you to start untangle the pile, bring order to it and develop the many parts, not add even more parts to the already big pile.


All this and if I'm not mistaken we still don't even know wtf is going on in Ux for real? Like isn't there still the possibility it's all Ven's dream/Realm of Sleep/some magical book antics? What are the chances everyone's been red herring'd for years and years, I mean both X and Ux are canon but Nomura insists they're different somehow and that's gotta be explained. Still. (Somebody please do correct me if I'm wrong.)
That comes on top too, yeah.
Most people (me included up until you mentioned it now) have by now probably forgotten about the issue that the mystery of the actual nature of the "Unchained realm" and everything connected to it still isn't an inch closer to be resolved than the moment it was first mentioned. There are also several other things that were brought up/shown in Browser Chi (like Ephemer meeting a black coat) which are not addressed in the slightest so far.
It's mystery heaped upon mystery with zero enlightenment down the whole road.

The_Echo

September 7, 2018 @ 09:12 amOffline

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All this and if I'm not mistaken we still don't even know wtf is going on in Ux for real? Like isn't there still the possibility it's all Ven's dream/Realm of Sleep/some magical book antics? What are the chances everyone's been red herring'd for years and years, I mean both X and Ux are canon but Nomura insists they're different somehow and that's gotta be explained. Still. (Somebody please do correct me if I'm wrong.)
χ[chi] (and χ Back Cover) are the real events.
, for simplicity, I will split into the two different titles even though there's an overlap.
Unchained χ is the Player re-experiencing the events of χ[chi] through the Realm of Sleep (probably).
Union χ[Cross] is the Union Leaders picking up the pieces after the events of χ[chi].

is a port and a sequel at the same time.

ImVentus

September 7, 2018 @ 12:52 pmOffline

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There's nothing contradicting or false about Ven being innocent or a victim, both Blaine and Xehanort (in his reports) have implied that due to being overly benevolent Ven is more poised to be victimized.
There isn't even a huge need to make him a vastly different person as that would clash with the established facts about him generally being a kind and friendly guy, which is a established fact about him in both BBS and Ux. Fleshing a character out means adding more facets to the initial core traits, not completely change them up to something vastly different.
True that. But say the events of being a leader for the unions, put Ven in a situation where he had to make rough decisions. If this sweet loving boy had to face his worst fears and lead a group of kids, wouldn't that be quite satisfying, to know that at least before the events of BBS, the broken boy was actually a voice of change and could be an icon for all the dandelions to remember. The potential is there and it left the impression with the first artwork of the new union leaders (blank Lauriam & Blaine or Strelitzia) but visible Ephemer, Skuld & Ven. Ven's pose in the art says that of awareness more so than just being a follower. Ever since I saw this art, I saw potential for giving Ven the story he never had. But yeah, the word used for this is fleshing him out. I can see how my wording of (different) got butchered from what I actually meant.
Spoiler Spoiler Show

Then later in the recent artwork, it seem decided that he will not be very proactive, but you never fully know.
At least with lost memories of a boy that lead a union alongside ES, Ven's character could be more than just a innocent victim. Not only would that be tragic, that he forgotten of a time where served and defended his union. But it would indeed flesh him out.

As for KH3, Ven is showing that he's had enough of resting and is ready to take action. At least his heart is.

Launchpad

September 7, 2018 @ 02:53 pmOnline

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What's interesting (and frustrating) about all this mismanagement of Union X and how it intersects with KH3 is that these two games have such different flavors and sensibilities. They're so wildly different and only really have their brand name in common with one another... People who enjoy mobile collection games primarily will not go for KH3's fast paced action and world exploration, and vice versa. Nomura is asking quite a lot of fans to experience both of these games as related pieces of content.

All of this is already bad, and made even worse by awful scheduling, now leading to English-speaking fans having to read translations of Japanese story content if they want to know all relevant information when KH3 is out. I literally hate Union X and don't even consider it a real 'game', but I still don't think it's fair that fans of the game have had to deal with it's half-assed development.

Nazo

September 7, 2018 @ 03:15 pmOffline

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Honestly, this whole debacle with KHUX's story developments has brought back an old theory I had a few years ago which is that, at some point in the franchise, the narrative of Kingdom Hearts stopped being a narrative and became a carrot on a stick used to lure fans into experiencing every single piece of media containing the KH brand. Like, when Nomura makes the diddlying Orchestra concerts canon to the story, that's when you know it's being used as a marketing tool. And now I feel like that same thing is being done here. "Important story content is in this game, make sure you play!" and now here we are and I feel like this game has ultimately added nothing of consequence to the KH story.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Foretellers and the events at the end of the original PC browser Chi were super super cool. But even then, pretend those didn't happen, and we would just go back to the Keyblade War being an unseen mystery which actually might've made KH3 even MORE exciting because of the thought of the War being expanded upon through perhaps Xehanort's backstory or something. I really like the Chi stuff for what it is, but as an expansion of the established KH universe, I feel like it was almost entirely unnecessary and perhaps even detrimental in some ways.

drumstickwielder

September 7, 2018 @ 04:45 pmOffline

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Honestly, this whole debacle with KHUX's story developments has brought back an old theory I had a few years ago which is that, at some point in the franchise, the narrative of Kingdom Hearts stopped being a narrative and became a carrot on a stick used to lure fans into experiencing every single piece of media containing the KH brand. Like, when Nomura makes the diddlying Orchestra concerts canon to the story, that's when you know it's being used as a marketing tool. And now I feel like that same thing is being done here. "Important story content is in this game, make sure you play!" and now here we are and I feel like this game has ultimately added nothing of consequence to the KH story.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Foretellers and the events at the end of the original PC browser Chi were super super cool. But even then, pretend those didn't happen, and we would just go back to the Keyblade War being an unseen mystery which actually might've made KH3 even MORE exciting because of the thought of the War being expanded upon through perhaps Xehanort's backstory or something. I really like the Chi stuff for what it is, but as an expansion of the established KH universe, I feel like it was almost entirely unnecessary and perhaps even detrimental in some ways.
First, I'd just want to say that as a KH fan I never considered having more games a bad thing, although they did spread them out to many different consoles which made them hard to access. Admittedly, you could take Coded and Days out of the series as those games don't do too much it terms of narrative development, but they were still super fun to play.

I don't agree with your point about the Orchestra concerts. The first world tour had limited showings, so it was ultimately for the diehard fans. Given the limited size of any given concert venue, there's only so many people that can go to these concerts, and the tickets for the first tour sold out really fast. The extra lore stuff is just that, extra lore. It's there as a bonus for the fans in between the awesome music.

I'm not gonna sit here and defend the mobile game though. The original browser game did everything it wanted to do, and the story was supposed to be finished, with Back Cover fleshing out some of the plot points and setting up stuff for KHIII. Everything they did beyond that was a cash grab.

alexis.anagram

September 7, 2018 @ 05:07 pmOffline

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χ[chi] (and χ Back Cover) are the real events.
, for simplicity, I will split into the two different titles even though there's an overlap.
Unchained χ is the Player re-experiencing the events of χ[chi] through the Realm of Sleep (probably).
Union χ[Cross] is the Union Leaders picking up the pieces after the events of χ[chi].

is a port and a sequel at the same time.
Thanks for the clarification. Though the point remains that the basic building blocks of the story are still officially undefined, and for no good reason, really. You would think Nomura could have had this put to rest between "seasons" of the port: the ending of Ux 1 should have confirmed or at least provided some hard insight into how and why it diverges from the browser version, which could have helped establish a sense of intrigue surrounding [cross].

The reason I imagine he didn't is because in and of itself this holds some relevance for KH3, and the appearance of Ven and Marluxia hinge around this factor in some way. The unholy union (no pun intended) between X and KH3, and I'd argue the mainline KH story in general, just creates problems for both: Ux fans have been forced to watch their active and ongoing title regularly relegated to filler material for months on end in order to avoid getting ahead of a game in the thick of development, and fans who just want to play KH3 and ignore the existence of X entirely do so at the risk of missing potentially significant plot threads. Nobody wins.

Sadly this seems to be the usual modus operandi of Nomura in general. Instead of expanding and developing existing concepts, themes, narratives and characters he keeps introducing new additional stuff to further complicate things just for the sake of being "surprising".
Nomura just has issues with commitment in general when it comes to his storytelling, but that's nothing new. With Ux it just feels really egregious because here we are in the eleventh hour before KH3's release and whoops there's still more need-to-know information to catch up on before you pick up the Big One, without even the ceremony of a proper game releasing in the interim. And then, yeah, amplify that against the high probability that content won't even be given an official Western release in time, and it comes across as pretty inconsiderate.

Most people (me included up until you mentioned it now) have by now probably forgotten about the issue that the mystery of the actual nature of the "Unchained realm" and everything connected to it still isn't an inch closer to be resolved than the moment it was first mentioned. There are also several other things that were brought up/shown in Browser Chi (like Ephemer meeting a black coat) which are not addressed in the slightest so far.
It's mystery heaped upon mystery with zero enlightenment down the whole road.
I always had a bad feeling about X, even when Nomura claimed it wasn't going to be canon and should be enjoyed on its own terms. It just didn't agree with me conceptually, and then I was strongly opposed to the invention of Ux, and seeing how it has played out, there's a little vindication buried under all the bitterness. Best thing would be for folks to just drop the game. Why spend time trying to fix something that is inherently broken? Better to encourage SE to spend all that time on creating something of added value to the franchise.

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