KHDR icon.png
The subject of this article exists in or is relevant to the real world.

Kingdom Hearts Dark Road

From the Kingdom Hearts Wiki: A world of information not accessible by Gummiship
Kingdom Hearts Dark Road
Kingdom Hearts Union χ Dark Road Logo.png
キングダム ハーツ ダーク ロード
Kingudamu Hātsu Dāku Rōdo
Developer(s) Square Enix
Publisher(s) Square Enix
Release date(s) Flag of the United States.png/Flag of Canada.png/Europe/Flag of Australia.png/Japan
June 22, 2020
Genre Collectible card game
Action role-playing game
Game modes Single-player
Ratings CERO: N/A

ESRB:Everyone 10+Everyone 10+

Platform(s) iOS, Android, Fire OS
"Why did he become the seeker of darkness?"
—Tagline

Kingdom Hearts Dark Road is the thirteenth game set in the Kingdom Hearts series. It was released on iOS, Android, and Amazon smartphone devices on June 22, 2020 globally, as part of Kingdom Hearts Union χ's second rebranding. Now titled Kingdom Hearts Union χ Dark Road, the app makes both games available for play.

The game will explore why Xehanort became a seeker of darkness and his days of training to become a Keyblade Master.

Development[edit]

The game was first hinted by series creator Tetsuya Nomura on January 22, 2020 in a Q&A to celebrate the release of Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind and that it will be announced by the Kingdom Hearts Union χ team on January 23, 2020.[1][2] On January 22, 2020, the Kingdom Hearts Union χ posted a sketch artwork depicting a young Xehanort and Eraqus along with blurred out other characters.[3]

Kingdom Hearts Dark Road was initially announced with the working title "Project Xehanort" along with a guess-the-name Twitter campaign on January 23, 2020 .[4][5] The official name was revealed on January 31, 2020.[6]

On May 18, 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Square Enix announced the game development will be delayed.[7]

On June 8, 2020, new characters were revealed to have trained with Xehanort and Eraqus in their youth.[8]

On June 22, 2020, The Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] app was rebranded as Kingdom Hearts Union χ Dark Road that contains both Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] and Kingdom Hearts Dark Road.[9]

Story[edit]

Gameplay[edit]

Xehanort, Eraqus and Bragi fighting against a Shadow.

Unlike Union χ, Kingdom Hearts Dark Road does not feature world exploration as one of its gameplay elements. The game is ultimately divided into two categories: Navigating the main menu, and battles. Players can advance the main story by completing a series of required quest(s) - once the requirement is met, they will be able to view the next story cutscene. Some examples of quest requirements are "Defeat x500 enemies in Agrabah" or "Earn x2000 BP." This can be achieved by tapping the "World battle" icon on the lower center in the screen. This will immediately launch a series of unending battles, growing slightly stronger with each new encounter before looping back to the initial enemy level. World battle difficulty can be unlocked as players progress through the story.

During battle, players have control of only Xehanort's actions. In story quests and world battles, Eraqus is always present as a party member. The player can select either Bragi, Hermod, Vor, or Urd as the third party member, each one bringing a unique support style to aid in battles. Whereas battles in Union χ were turn-based with the use of medals, Dark Road instead uses a real-time combat system with cards. Players can build a deck of cards (up to 30). Subtypes include attack, magic, and support, with all three additionally divided into upright and reversed cards, and split into three colors: red, blue and green. When a battle begins, the player is given five random cards - displayed in a row on the bottom - to "flick" or "tap" three at a time. The first card determines what the action will be (i.e., a standard attack or a Cure spell) while the two subsequent cards determine the efficacy - tapping three cards of the same color doubles the damage or effectiveness of the card effect. As soon as the attack is executed, the player is immediately given three new cards.

Once the player runs out of cards, they must tap the row quickly to restore their card deck - similar to the Reload Card mechanic. As players defeat more enemies and deal more damage, the row begins to glow yellow from the bottom up, slowly filling in. Once completely full, the player enters "Bonus Time" where the glow will begin to deplete. During this time, all cards will be doubly effective regardless of color pairing. While this is all happening on the player's side, Heartless will freely attack the player using their own ATB-esque timer, located to the right of their HP gauge.

It is possible for Heartless to interrupt player actions, thus making an observation of the Heartless' timer gauge and timing their own attacks a key factor in battles. Optionally, players can toggle "Auto" mode on, where the in-game AI will fully control Xehanort's actions and make the best card-decisions based on the situation. Whenever an enemy is defeated, they drop BP, which can be used to level up Xehanort in the Stats menu.

Outside of world battles and main quests, players can tackle special Missions - long-term objectives that reward the player for continued play or meeting certain accomplishments.

The in-game shop allows players to purchase new cards, using either Jewels, Shop Points, or Draw Tickets. The game does not allow duplicate cards in the inventory - instead, duplicate cards are automatically used to power up the same existing card in the player's inventory, up to 10 levels. After 10 levels, they are converted into BP or Shop Points. In addition to new cards, players can also purchase Charms and Quest Keys; the former allows players to continue battles unimpeded in case of a Game Over, while the latter allows players to undertake special Event Quests that reward large amounts of BP. Both Union χ and Dark Road share the same Jewel cache - spending Jewels in Dark Road will deduct that amount in Union χ and vice versa.

Worlds and Characters[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]