How long have we all been waiting for Kingdom Hearts III? Too darn long, that’s how long, and clearly Square Enix know it too. Kudos to them for throwing in this little slice of self-deprecating snark.
So, here we are. Kingdom Hearts III has finally arrived, and gamers around the world are journeying through this latest batch of Disney-tastic worlds as we speak. It’s been one heckola of a long ride, hasn’t it? The game was first announced back in 2013, and there’d been a good few years of hype even before the cat was officially let out of the bag.
What a long and arduous wait it was. Back in October 2018, for instance, we learned that the mighty Skrillex was making the theme song, which is just the kind of thing that would make any fan howl we need this game right now (your feelings on Skrillex may differ).
As the Kingdom Hearts faithful start to savour every moment of the new release, they can consider themselves super lucky if it’s all new to them. Sadly, in the weeks leading up to the launch, a rogue retail version of the game found its way online, and all manner of spoilers started to spread.
Having waited so darn long, you can imagine the chagrin of players who may have seen something they didn’t want to. On the subject of the long wait, though, there’s some good news: Square Enix themselves felt our pain, and they’ve thrown in a funny little reference to prove it.
On first booting up Kingdom Hearts III, you’ll have noticed… well, you don’t actually get to play for a long time. You’ve got the obligatory 'previously on Kingdom Hearts' scenes and a multitude of other cutscenes to take in first. Finally, as Kotaku reports, you’re met by this snarky screen:
Kingdom Hearts II.9, it reads, a brilliant little in-joke for long-suffering fans. If you don’t understand what they’re getting at here, Kingdom Hearts III is actually the twelfth instalment in the series. In between the main entries, we’ve seen Kingdom Hearts 1.5 Remix, Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Remix, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and all kinds of brilliant nonsense besides.
If there’s one thing gamers love, it’s developers laughing at themselves, and fans around social media have been voicing their appreciation of the snarky little reference. Alarka26 wins the reward for the best response, however, stating that on seeing the joke,
“I was propelled upwards by forces unknown just to scream incoherently for a solid two minutes at the screen.”
The Kingdom Hearts fandom sure is passionate.