What Happened to Sora in Kingdom Hearts 3?

What happened to Sora in Kingdom Hearts 3? Fans have been dying (fading away?) to know exactly what took place in the final Kingdom Hearts 3 scene. Did Sora die? Was it all a dream? What did it mean? Let's run through the events as they occurred and see if we can make sense of them. And if it isn't obvious by now, there will be spoilers involved.

What Happened to Sora in Kingdom Hearts 3?

Kingdom Hearts 3's final act places Xehanort and his 13 seekers of darkness against Sora and the seven warriors of light​. The two sides clash in the Keyblade Graveyard, and Xehanort's forces seem to win the fight. All seven warriors of light, including Sora, are killed.

But things don't end there. At the moment of death, the game flashes back to the chess game between Young Xehanort and Young Eraqus. When Xehanort successfully places Eraqus in checkmate, Eraqus returns all his pieces to their starting position, essentially restarting the fight.

From there, we rejoin Sora in a limbo called The Final World, where he appears as a blue spirit. He puts himself back together piece by piece and returns to the moment of his death. This time, he chases down a Heartless Lich and frees the hearts of his fallen comrades. With his allies free, Sora sets off to dismantle Organization XIII.

Sora and his friends defeat most of the baddies, return Xion to the side of good and return Terra-Xehanort to his former self. Unfortunately, in defeating Ansem, Xemnas and Young Xehanort, Sora forges 12 of the 13 Keyblades Xehanort needs to form the X-Blade. Xehanort creates the last blade by murdering Kairi, sending her soul to The Final World.

With X-Blade in hand, Xehanort enters Kingdom Hearts. Sora, Goofy and Donald follow him in. The three manage to defeat Xehanort when Terra reveals that he's had Eraqus in his heart the whole time. Eraqus exits Terra's heart and embraces Xehanort. The two pass over to the other side together and die.

With Xehanort vanquished, Sora heads to The Final World to find Kairi. After a montage showing where the rest of the characters stand at the game's ending, we rejoin Sora and Kairi holding hands on Destiny Island. Then Sora fades away to nothing.

So what does this last scene mean? One interpretation is that Sora died returning Kairi to Destiny Island. Another is that the ending is a metaphor for their still being separated. Because it's Kingdom Hearts, both are possible even in light of a ​secret ending cinematic Square Enix released at the end of January.

In the secret ending, Sora and Riku wake up in new worlds. Sora wakes up in what appears to be Shibuya from Kingdom Hearts: The World Ends With You. The way he wakes up is reminiscent of Neku wakes in that game, but Neku is dead when he wakes up. This could be Nomura showing us that Sora is dead, but that may not be the end for him.

Unfortunately, we won't know for sure until the next Kingdom Hearts comes out in, like, 10 more years, probably.

Photo courtesy of Square Enix/Disney