Why does Sora look more realistic in Kingdom Hearts IV?

“I’ve been having these weird thoughts lately. Like, is any of this for real, or not?”

Image via Square Enix

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With the reveal of Kingdom Hearts IV, we got a look at yet another new design for Sora, the long-running protagonist of the mainline games. Every numbered entry in the Kingdom Hearts games sees Sora trying on a new set of clothes, and we got that, but we also saw him with a new overall design that looks distinctly different from his normal cartoon style. So, why does Sora look more realistic in Kingdom Hearts IV?

Related: Kingdom Hearts IV will have different worlds, seemingly confirming it will not be an open-world game

Whether you are a fan of Sora’s new look in the reveal trailer of Kingdom Hearts IV or not, we would caution you not to get too attached to it. We believe that Sora’s look in the trailer will only be like that while he is in Quadratum, the world that the trailer largely focuses on, or other worlds in this new universe Sora is in.

Quadratum is described as “a world of fiction in the Kingdom Hearts franchise.” There is also a quote in the trailer that defines the place as an afterworld for Sora, even with it being full of life. In Kingdom Hearts III, Sora sacrificed himself to bring back Kairi with the Power of Waking after she was slain by Xehanort.

So why would Sora look different in Quadratum? For Sora and everyone else he has interacted with to this point in the series, a world that looks realistic to us would be fictional to them. It’s not something that they can easily comprehend. He is in a different universe, not just a world. Him looking this way is not a change in art direction. We can determine this because of the end of the trailer where we spot Donald and Goofy, who look exactly the same way they did at the end of Kingdom Hearts III.

Image via Square Enix

Because of this, we would guess that if and when Sora leaves this universe and returns to the one the series has featured to this point, he would look how we normally perceive him. So what does that mean for potential worlds he could travel to in Kingdom Hearts IV? We would imagine more live-action Disney properties like Star Wars and potentially Marvel to appear where he would keep the overall look we see in the trailer.

Of course, without confirmation, all of the above is conversation and guesses that both the rest of the Kingdom Hearts community and we are having in the early days of Kingdom Hearts IV. When we learn more, we likely will update this article.