Kingdom Hearts 4 creator Tetsuya Nomura debunks your favorite fan theory

Better dunk those dreams early.

Originally Published: 
Stoplight in Quadratum
Square Enix

Kingdom Hearts 4 was just revealed and it’s already complicating the overcomplicated lore of the series. Fans were able to easily recognize Sora’s location in Tokyo from the Kingdom Hearts 20th anniversary trailer. Some even nailed the exact place in Shibuya, the city’s fashion district. This, plus many other details in the announcement trailer, started to spin theories about possible crossovers Kingdom Hearts 4 might pursue. However, Kingdom Hearts creator Tetsuya Nomura crosses one straight off the list in his latest Famitsu interview.

The World Ends With You made the most sense for a crossover. The game takes place in Shibuya and so does its sequel, NEO: The World Ends With You. It’s also another Square Enix property, which means that the company wouldn’t need to jump through hoops for licensing the characters. In fact, The World Ends With You characters already appeared in Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, so why not again?

Famitsu, a Japanese video game magazine, interviewed Nomura about a number of topics including the locations in the Kingdom Hearts 4 trailer, the new combat mechanics, and the characters involved. He outright says that the Shibuya in the Quadratum and the Shibuya in The World Ends With You are not connected. Nomura should have more than the average understanding of these worlds, as he also worked as the creative producer for The World Ends With You.

“The Shibuya from The World Ends With You is a separate world from the Quadratum,” he told Famitsu (via Aitai Kimochi). “There are fans who think that Quadratum will be related to the games such as The World Ends With You or even Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins, but no, there is no connection.”

The Quadratum as seen in the Kingdom Hearts 4 trailer.

Square Enix

Nomura confirmed that the exact location Sora wakes up is in South Aoyama, an area in Shibuya. “I thought it would add a touch of realism to have the area be recognizable,” he explained. He wanted to hold the event at Shibuya Hikarie because of the abundance of easily recognizable landmarks. His team even went into detail designing the layout of Sora’s room and is still designing it now.

“The room looks a bit empty right now, but the interior design will undergo some changes. The room will serve as a base in the beginning of the game,” Nomura said.

So what’s Quadratum if not actually Shibuya — or at least not The World Ends With You’d Shibuya?

Sora’s room is apparently based on an apartment complex in South Aoyama.

Square Enix

Quadratum isn’t a new location. It appears in Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory and Kingdom Hearts 3 as a world based on Shibuya, unrelated to the World of Light, the World of Darkness, and the Worlds In Between. In Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory, Quadratum was described as a world that existed in the background of these worlds but was not a part of them. Nomura confirmed that fans can assume this is the case with the Quadratum in Kingdom Hearts 4.

That’s not all Nomura revealed in the recent interview. Aitai Kimochi, a known fan translator, noted that the battle reaction commands from Kingdom Hearts 2 are returning in Kingdom Hearts 4. Also, a new “build command” along with a “scrap and build” system will be incorporated into the game. Nomura also confirms that Sora’s new look is a result of his presence in Quadratum, not necessarily his look for the entirety of the game.

“If he were to return to his own world, his appearance would look similar to the shaders used for Donald and Goofy,” he said.

To Sora, Quadratum is a fictional world. However, those in the Quadratum view Sora’s world as the fictional one. We’ll have to see how that concept plays out in the future.

Kingdom Hearts 4 is currently in development. There currently isn’t any concrete information about its release date or possible platforms.

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