Box art - Kingdom Hearts 3

Kingdom Hearts 3 Epilogue explained | Kingdom Hearts 4 confirmed?

The Kingdom Hearts 3 epilogue is now live and, given you’ve probably had enough time to stew over it, you’re probably wondering what the hell you just watched. Yes, Xigbar seemingly returned, the black box was there, and the short clip may have even set up a potential Kingdom Hearts 4 sequel (or prequel?) in the process. That’s a lot to take in. Here’s why the KH3 epilogue is so important for the franchise’s future.

What happens in the Kingdom Hearts 3 epilogue?

A Keyblade strikes the ground (actually “No Name,” the Keyblade once handed down to Master Xehanort) and a hooded figure, with that mysterious black box in tow, picks up the Keyblade and proclaims that it’s “finally back where it belongs.”

He is then joined by Ira, Aced, Invi, and Gula, the Foretellers last glimpsed in 2.8 A Fragmentary Passage’s Back Cover movie. Once fractured by tension, they are back together again at the hooded figure’s behest.

Then, plot twist: the hooded figure, Luxu, reveals that he’s actually Luxu in Xigbar’s body, assumingly using it as a vessel for some time.

While Xigbar/Luxu (for convenience’s sake, he’s Luxu from now on) explains he has merely played a “role” during the events of the Kingdom Hearts series, Pete and Maleficent—who have both been tirelessly searching for the black box by Luxu’s side—look on before departing.

However, Luxu reveals that there’s a Foreteller missing. Ava is not there due to undergoing an un-explained mission of her own. Luxu is then asked what his role was, to which he curtly replies, “I hope you like long stories.”

We then shift back to the conclusion of the seemingly never-ending chess match between Young Xehanort and Young Eraqus. It is here where a fresh game begins anew: seven black pieces are placed down instead of the usual 13. The epilogue ends with Eraqus picking up a white piece and slamming it down onto the board.

Who are the masked people in the Kingdom Hearts 3 Epilogue?

They are the Foretellers. Introduced in Kingdom Hearts X and great expanded upon in the movie Back Cover, they are the apprentices of Keyblade Master, Master of Masters. They each go their separate ways in the events of Back Cover due to Master of Masters’ politicking and manipulations involving the Book of Prophecies, a tome he has written due to his ability to glimpse the future through his Keyblade’s eye.

It is Luxu, however, who has the most important mission: He is tasked protecting a Black Box, yet, during the story of Kingdom Hearts X eventually comes into conflict with Ava, which kicks off the events that would eventually lead to the Keyblade War. The KH3 epilogue is where we see five out of six of the Foretellers again, with Ava conspicuous in her absence.

What’s in the black box?

Nobody really knows. It could all be a MacGuffin designed to drive the plot of any future game but, while we’re here, we may as well take some guesses.

The Master of Masters being in the box the whole time is one very distinct possibility, as is a mystical weapon or Keyblade. One thing, though, is for certain: We’ll find out in Kingdom Hearts 4, or whatever the next game is going to be called.

Does the Kingdom Hearts 3 epilogue tease Kingdom Hearts 4 or a KH prequel?

Surprisingly, this isn’t the end of Kingdom Hearts. Not only does the Kingdom Hearts 3 epilogue tease Kingdom Hearts 4, but it may also be hinting at a future Kingdom Hearts prequel.

Luxu coyly telling Aced (and the audience) that they hope they like long stories is reason enough to believe that we’ll be getting a re-telling of Luxu’s journey to the present day in either a Back Cover-esque movie or a series of games. It’s the least interesting option, but an option nonetheless.

The franchise is definitely looking towards Kingdom Hearts 4, however. Sure, the Kingdom Hearts 3 ending leaves a lot of things up for debate, but the metaphor of the chess game was prevalent throughout KH3 and is used to pretty plainly set up the Foretellers (and potentially the Master of Masters) as the new Big Bads of the franchise. Whether Sora, or somebody else such as Riku and Namine, fighst on the side of light against them remains to be seen, but it’s an exciting future ahead all the same.