1

I've played Kingdom Hearts, and the numbered sequel Kingdom Hearts 2. I'm aware that other games in the series exist, but I haven't played them. Now I'm trying to start Kingdom Hearts 3 and having a bit of trouble getting into it, because there seems to be a bunch of story I'm missing somewhere. Just from the very beginning of the game:

  • Apparently Sora recently took some sort of important test and failed it.
  • There's someone important out there named Aqua who I have never heard of, that Riku and Mickey are looking for.
  • There's someone important named Terra who's connected to Aqua, who, despite what you might assume given the series's Final Fantasy connections, is definitely not Terra from FF6 because this one's a man!
  • Kairi is off with Axel (who's a good guy now and is called Lea) doing... some sort of training somewhere?

What in the world is going on here?!? You generally sort of assume that numbered entries in a series are the core story of the series, and non-numbered entries are spinoffs that aren't particularly relevant to the main series's storyline, but it appears that this is not a safe assumption in this case!

A bit of Googling suggests there are around a dozen "spinoff" games I've never played. Which ones of them are part of the main continuity that I need to be familiar with in order to pick up Kingdom Hearts 3 and understand what's going on?

1
  • It's worth noting that many Kingdom Hearts games contradict each other, adding to the confusion of players trying to make sense of the continuity. The prequel Birth by Sleep is especially guilty of retconning key elements of Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II.
    – Domino
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 5:20

1 Answer 1

2

How much background do I need for Kingdom Hearts 3?

For a majority of backstory for Kingdom Hearts 3, I would highly encourage you to either play/watch, or read summaries on the following games

  • Kingdom Hearts 1
  • Kingdom Hearts 2
  • Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep
  • Kingdom Hearts: 3D: Dream Drop Distance
  • Kingdom Hearts Back Cover (animated film)

In my opinion, the following games are optional. They provide good backstory, but aren't as crucial as the others for the events of Kingdom Hearts 3

  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Day
  • Kingdom Hearts: Re-Coded
  • Kingdom Hearts HD II.8 Final Chapter Prologue

Apparently Sora recently took some sort of important test and failed it.

This occurred in Kingdom Hearts 3D. In preparation of Xenahort's return and keyblade war, Sora and Riku were put under the Mark of Mastery exam. The Mark of Mastery is a test to determine whether they or not they are strong enough to be titled as Keyblade Master. Sora failed this test whereas Riku triumphed.

There's someone important out there named Aqua who I have never heard of, that Riku and Mickey are looking for.

There's someone important named Terra who's connected to Aqua

Aqua and Terra, along with Ventus, are the playable characters in Birth By Sleep. After the events of Birth By Sleep,

all three characters go missing and haven't been seen in many years.

Riku and Mickey are in search of Aqua to be one of the 7 Guardians of Light for the Keyblade war. Among the three, she is the only one where they have a trail on her last known whereabouts

Kairi is off with Axel (who's a good guy now and is called Lea) doing... some sort of training somewhere?

Axel was the Nobody persona of the character Lea, which is shown in Birth By Sleep. Sometime between Kingdom Hearts 2 and Kingdom Hearts 3,

A majority of the Organization XIII members return to their original selves and become allies

In Axel's/Lea's effort to right his wrong doings, he decides to join Sora's gang and go under training with Kairi to become a keyblade wielder.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .