No prior knowledge of the series is needed
Square Enix has announced that Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ, the mobile port of its browser-based Kingdom Hearts χ, will be coming to iOS and Android in North America this week.
— kh_ux_na (@kh_ux_na) April 4, 2016
The announcement was part of an interview with series director Tetsuya Nomura, who explained what Unchained is, and how it fits into the spider’s web that is the Kingdom Hearts narrative.
Chronologically, Unchained is the very first game in the Kingdom Hearts timeline, taking place before both the first game and the PSP prequel Birth by Sleep. In the interview, Nomura said that Unchained doesn’t require any previous knowledge for the series to get into it.
Nomura also discussed how Unchained fits into the upcoming Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (yeah, that’s an actual title of a game). It most directly relates to the χ Back Cover cinematic, as both it and Unchained χ tell pretty much the same story, but from different perspectives.
Nomura also hints at Unchained having a connection to the two games included 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, 0.2 Birth by Sleep (a sequel to Birth by Sleep) and Dream Drop Distance HD (a remastered version of the 3DS game). However, exactly what that relationship is hasn’t been made clear just yet.
This is Kingdom Hearts, saying it’s difficult to keep track of the story would be a massive understatement.
Still, Unchained χ launches for free on April 7 in North America on iOS and Android, and in theory you won’t need to have played the other games in the series for it to make sense. Maybe it’ll be a good primer for those who’ve yet to jump into Kingdom Hearts?