Screenshot: Kingdom Hearts 3 (Square-Enix)

Kingdom Hearts 2 launched for PS2 in 2006, so fans have been waiting 13 years for Kingdom Hearts 3, which came out this week. It appears that the developers couldn’t resist getting in a little joke at the expense of everyone who’s been wading through spinoff after spinoff since then.

Last night I started Kingdom Hearts 3. After watching the twenty minutes of recap videos, then the opening cut scene, then another cut scene, then another cut scene, I was ready to go. We cut to a black screen. The words “Kingdom Hearts” slowly faded in. And then this screen appeared:

Screenshot: Kingdom Hearts 3 (Square-Enix)

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I laughed out loud. Weird naming conventions are part of Kingdom Hearts’s charm. Other than the main numbered releases, there’s a Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, a Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5, and a Kingdom Hearts χ (pronounced “key”). There’s even a game called Kingdom Hearts 2.8, and another one called Kingdom Hearts 0.2. To add in a 2.9 at first feels infuriating, then makes you laugh.

Because I used to be an asshole that liked to ruin people’s fun, I had been saying that I was not sure if Kingdom Hearts 3 would ever come out for years, as a way to rib on my friends who were desperately waiting for it. Now, it felt like the game was also in on the joke. Rest assured, once you get past the first world, you’ll see a splash screen for Kingdom Hearts 3, but it was hilarious to find that the game was going to make everyone wait just a little bit longer.

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Other players had a similar reaction to me:

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Someday, soon, I’ll be able to play Kingdom Hearts 3. Just not as soon as I first thought.