WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for things that happen during the credits of Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance. The ending of the game is NOT spoiled, but please read at your own risk.
We've waited. And waited. And breathed sighs of dissent as spin-off after spin-off flooded the market and fleshed out the Kingdom Hearts mythos without moving the story forward to the sequel we've been anticipating for years: Kingdom Hearts III.
The wait is over. Kingdom Hearts III is coming, and it's the next game in the series.
How do I know? The answer is simple. You see, I'm a HUGE fan of Kingdom Hearts (in fact, the original Kingdom Hearts is my all-time favorite game). For the last couple weeks, I've been playing the latest installment - Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance - on my 3DS. Yes, yes, it's a Nintendo system. But that's not the point. Because now I know - Kingdom Hearts III will be the next major console installment, a true sequel, and will more than likely come to PS3 or a future Sony system.
During the end credits of Dream Drop Distance, an interactive portion begins that gives you control of Sora as he dives through names of the fine folks at Square Enix who created the game. However, certain letters in the names are colored differently. As you take pains to dive through the special letters, a message on the bottom of the screen is formed:
"Secret Message Unlocked"
After this interactive sequence, the credits continue as normal, but a variety of characters appear in the background as names roll down the screen. Large letters appear, one-by-one, alongside these characters. The letters?
"T H I S L E A D S T O K I N G D O M H E A R T S"
THIS LEADS TO KINGDOM HEARTS
The flow of letters halts there, but what happens next? A few more characters cycle through, then three distinct musical notes are heard as the Dream Drop Distance logo appears to end the credits.
If you managed to snag all the letters during the interactive dive sequence, a new Glossary entry is added to Reports. The entry, simple titled "Secret Message", reads:
The past will be reawakened
as a new number
in never-before-seen detail
Prepare yourself for the awakening
of the next number
To me, the meaning of this message is as clear as day. "The past will be reawakened . . . in never-before-seen detail"... HD Collection.
An HD collection that will be used to...
"Prepare yourself for the awakening of the next number"
Kingdom Hearts III.
That's right, folks. Square Enix has confirmed, through the credits of Dream Drop Distance, that Kingdom Hearts III will be the next installment in the series, AND will more than likely be preceded by an HD collection of the entire series. No more spin-offs. No more side stories. Kingdom Hearts III is real, and it's coming.
We'll be posting a complete story analysis - everything we know about Kingdom Hearts III, and what Dream Drop Distance tells us about the game - very soon. In the meantime, keep it glued to PSU.com. We'll be your source for everything Kingdom Hearts III in the coming months.