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Earlier, we reported on the new Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory trailer that was shown in today’s Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase. In it, new features, songs and playable characters were revealed, but the reveals don’t stop there — the official Kingdom Hearts twitter has now shared the game’s final box art!

The art is an all new hand-drawn piece by Tetsuya Nomura himself, and features Kairi sitting on Sora’s throne, which was previously seen in special artwork made to celebrate Kingdom Hearts 3 back in 2018. To most this might just seem like simple key art and nothing more, yet the symbolism and lore implications of what’s shown are equal parts intriguing and heartbreaking to those who’ve played Kingdom Hearts 3 to completion.

From what we know of Melody of Memory’s plot, Kairi is delving into the realm of sleep to try and find clues to Sora’s whereabouts. In the art, we see her asleep on Sora’s now-empty throne, surrounded by images of the heroes and heroines from the Kingdom Hearts saga. Among the pictures are three shots of Sora that are significant in that they’re all taken from the final moments of each numbered Kingdom Hearts title — and all three are from Kairi’s viewpoint. The one from Kingdom Hearts 3 (on the bottom right) is the most interesting and emotional, as we can now see the look on Sora’s face before he said goodbye to Kairi after the events of the game. Even while he was fading away -potentially forever- he kept his smile. Just like she hoped he would. “…They’re all counting on you. It won’t be easy, but I hope you’ll remain the happy and cheerful Sora I know. There’s no heart your smile can’t reach.”

Ok, that’s enough lore talk – I gotta get to the other bit of news or I’ll just end up crying all over my keyboard. That news being that Square-Enix has also shared the newest rendition of the series main theme, Dearly Beloved! This new version is pure jazz excellence, and has instantly become this writer’s new favorite version of the theme. You can listen to the full track below! (I’ve been listening to it on a loop since it graced this earth with its presence.)

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory will be released for the Switch on November 13th, and it’s currently up for pre-purchase on the Nintendo eShop!

May your Heart be your Guiding Key!

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Written by Marcus Ramirez

A writer and dreamer who loves all things tropical, bright, colorful, and shiny. Marcus is obsessed with Kingdom Hearts and patiently awaits its triumphant return to Nintendo hardware. He has a (totally real) court order that requires him to always have a 3DS or Switch on his person when leaving the house for more than a few hours.