Tetsuya Nomura Is Still Very Bitter About Versus XIII

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So, Kingdom Hearts III came out this week. That’s something I never thought I would see happen. I know plenty of my friends are out playing this right now, probably even as we speak. It’s a monumental moment, considering that Kingdom Hearts II came out back in 2005.

This game has always been on my radar. I got a chance to play it at E3 and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Visually, it looks stunning. As far as the story goes, I have a very strong, general idea about the events but for all the little details, I’m a little bit out of the element. I’ve always wanted to know what would happen at the end of it all, and now that the elusive secret ending has finally been patched into the game, the realm of possibility has become wild.

Spoiler warning ahead!

Here’s the thing. The ending popped up on my radar because I started seeing mentions of a game that I found quite enjoyable: Final Fantasy XV. There’s also a potential tie-in to The World Ends With You, Square Enix’s hit RPG that came out on the Nintendo DS. In this secret ending, there’s a heavy focus on Sora and Riku. Sora ends up in Shibuya, and the tell that connects this to The World Ends With You is the fact that this well-known crossing is emblazoned with the number 104. In TWEWY, 104 Crossing is where the protagonist Neku ends up, where he is forced to play The Reaper’s Game for his life back. It lends credence to the idea that in pursuing Kairi at the end of the game, Sora gives up his life, which is credible given his disappearance in the closing moments of the game. For reference, all of the players in The Reaper’s Game have died.

Of course, Riku is also a thing, and he ends up in what looks like a mix of Tokyo and the world envisioned in Final Fantasy XV, Insomnia. Riku is seen looking up at what looks like the Citadel of Insomnia, which is indeed modeled after the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Further signs include music in the ending that has very similar cues to Final Fantasy XV’s opening, Somnus. With Yoko Shimomura having composed a lot of the songs for this series, it makes sense.

The final kicker is something that Tetsuya Nomura put into the Toy Box World. In the opening sequence, players watched an in-universe commercial for a mecha-RPG called Verum Rex, which features a character that looks incredibly similar to Noctis, who has three companions traveling with him. One of these characters has glasses, similar to Ignis, with a body built like Gladiolus Amicitia, and another has a fedora, just like Ardyn Izunia, merged together with Prompto. Add it all together, and the main character in this universe is named Yozora, whose name means Night Sky in Japanese. Coincidentally, Noctis also means “Night Sky” but in Latin. Do we also need to point out that the female character in this has a strong resemblance to Stella Nox Fleuret in both appearance and symbolism as well?

It’s not exactly a given secret that the development for Final Fantasy Versus XIII, which later became Final Fantasy XV, was troubled. Nomura was never able to bring his vision to fruition (and based on what’s out there, it looked insanely cool). With all of these similarities, it looks like Nomura might just have to deliver his vision of Versus XIII by shoving it into Kingdom Hearts. This secret ending has opened up more questions than it has answered, and I’m actually entirely on board with this idea because while it means more Kingdom Hearts, it means a possibility of receiving the grand vision that Nomura had set up for Versus XIII before its untimely demise.