While Kingdom Hearts IV will likely not release for several years to come due to the presence of non-numbered titles, I have a mini-theory as to why this entry would instead be called Kingdom Hearts X. And, no, this does not have to do with the Chi games which are uniquely notated with the Greek letter χ. Well, actually, it might. Let me explain.
So, for those who do not live and breathe Kingdom Hearts, you probably aren’t aware that the series has an in-universe alphabet and numerical system. These systems can be seen in various elements of the series, such as transformations, magic circles, and most recently and notably, the perplexing world of Scala ad Caelum. This world was first revealed in Kingdom Hearts III and was then explorable in Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind. This location is also the hub of sorts for Kingdom Hearts Dark Road, but its relevance there for this piece is practically nonexistent.
When exploring Scala ad Caelum, and in certain cutscenes, particularly keen minds have noticed that there is consistency with how numbers are depicted. For instance, in one of the final cutscenes of the vanilla game, when Sora, Donald, and Goofy are confronting Master Xehanort atop the central tower of the world, you can see very deliberate markings on the ground.
To Master Xehanort’s left, you can see a symbol that clearly represents the roman numeral I, meaning 1. Then, if you direct your gaze in a clockwise fashion, you see a II and then a III, obviously referring to the numbers 2, and 3 respectively. These first 3 numbers are highly reminiscent of their roman numeral counterparts. However, when continuing clockwise, we see rather foreign symbols.
Firstly, we see an X-shaped symbol, and if we continue with the counting pattern, we have to assume that this means 4. There are 3 more symbols in this circular rotation, and there are 7 in total. When taking the omnipresent relevance of the number 7 in the Kingdom Hearts series into account, with fundamental facets such as the 7 Guardians of Light and the 7 Princesses of Heart, this all feels less coincidental and more intentional.
These symbols are shown elsewhere too. In an asset pulled from well-known Kingdom Hearts modder 13th Vessel, we can see these same symbols depicted once more, and this time, they go all the way up to number 15.
From left to right, these numbers are identical to what is present on the arena of the Master Xehanort battle. What makes the possibility of this notation system being used for future entries almost humorous is that either by coincidence or design, Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts III’s usage of roman numerals in their titles is essentially identical to what is present here. The fact that the fourth number is the first to not closely identity with roman numerals might be purposeful to account for fans noticing these inclusions.
Additionally, the fact that the representation of the number 4 resembles the shape of X brings an unprecedented level of meta, as that shape is used for representing certain key facets of the franchise. The Chi games, for instance, use the greek letter χ in their titles, which is obviously the same shape as an X.
There is also the Recusant’s Sigil, which is part of the series’ lore. It is most closely resonated with Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance, where it was first introduced, and it too, of course, is represented by the letter X. Sora bears this sigil on his outfit for the game, which Xehanort and the other members of True Organization XIII use for tracking him. The 3 protagonists of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep; Terra, Ventus, and Aqua, also bear an X mark on their attires, though it is unknown if these are Recusant Sigils.
There are other parts of the series where the shape of X is used too, and regardless of intention, the sheer amount of its usages warrants further thought and speculation.
One last piece of proof I will provide for the numerical system being consistent and intentional comes from another scene in Kingdom Hearts III. Near the finale, when Mickey attempts to use Ultima on Master Xehanort, who counters it with a Stopza spell, you can see magic circles being emitted. Master Xehanort’s Stopza ultimately wins out, and if you pause, you can make out the same symbols we have been discussing throughout this piece.
With Stopza being a spell utilizing the element of Time and these shapes on the magic circle clearly mimicking clocks, the theory of these symbols being numbers rings truer.
There are likely even more instances of these symbols throughout Kingdom Hearts III, but regardless, my point should be clear by now. With how consistently 4 is represented by an in-game usage of X in the latest numbered entry of the series, and how 1, 2, and 3 also match up perfectly, I would not be shocked in the slightest if the series were to use these foreign numbers moving forward.
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