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News ► 4Gamer Interviews Nomura on KH3, Unchained x: Transformations, Development, Reaction from Overseas



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Chaser

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4Gamer were lucky enough to get a full interview with Tetsuya Nomura at E3 this year, where they discussed various things about Kingdom Hearts 3 and Unchained x. It's well worth a read with lots of interesting information, which is available to you thanks to Goldpanner.

Enjoy action that has evolved more and more on bigger maps in Kingdom Hearts III

4Gamer: Thank you very much for speaking with us. At E3 2015 you released a trailer for Kingdom Hearts III, which is the first new information on it in a while, so let's start by talking about that.

There were quite a lot of scenes of gameplay in this trailer, so we were finally able to see what sort of game it is shaping up to be. What are the features and points you'd like us to pay attention to for Kingdom Hearts III?

Tetsuya Nomura: When it comes to Kingdom Hearts, that would have to be the story and the battle, wouldn't it. I still cannot say anything about the story, but there were a lot of new flashy techniques in this trailer, so I think I was able to convey that end of things.

4Gamer: There were various techniques that strongly resembled theme park attractions, weren't there?

Nomura: The train, ship and tea cups and such decorated with lights are a skill called 'Attraction Flow'. There's also another feature where the Keyblade turns into things such as a chariot, or a double bow gun that transforms further and shoots magic bullets. That's a system where one Keyblade can transform into several phases, and we have created many more transformations that weren't in the trailer.

4Gamer: It sounds as though even from within the 'action' format battling has become quite varied.

Nomura: On top of that there are also techniques like the 'summon' command and other abilities of Sora's, so there are quite a lot of choices when it comes to battle. There was a scene in the trailer where Sora ran up a wall to fight - that freerunning is also something you can connect techniques to for bold moves.I think that an exhilarating feel is important to battle in Kingdom Hearts, so we are making battles that you can enjoy by unleashing lots of crisp techniques.

4Gamer: Kingdom Hearts III is the first title in the series to release on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. Are there any features you included specifically to take advantage of the new hardware?

Nomura: Being able to move around flashily on large maps, like in that scene I think there is where Sora jumps off a cliff, is something we could do because of the new hardware. Up until now there have been load times when moving between areas, but now they connect seamlessly and the maps are also bigger, so you can do even flashier actions.Also, the AI during battle has been enhanced quite a bit. There was that scene where Donald and Sora are moving with Goofy has he wields his shield - you don't only execute that sort of thing yourself, Goofy and Donald can invite you into it too. On the other hand, the enemy AI is also more advanced, and we are also including the element of mutual enemies working together, so for example they can join together to charge at you and things like that.

4Gamer: Even though you weren't able to announce the release date this time, how is development coming along?

Nomura: The gameplay and world assignments have been decided, and the foundations are already done, so now we are at the stage of putting our effort into all details.

4Gamer: We are looking forward to more information. Kingdom Hearts is a title that is very popular overseas. What was the reaction on-location like at E3 when the trailer was shown?

Nomura: The reaction was amazing. There are so many fans overseas, I think perhaps it rivals that of Final Fantasy in popularity.

4Gamer: Why do you think Kingdom Hearts has earned so much popularity overseas?

Nomura: I have no clue (laughs).

4Gamer: What an immediate reply (laughs).

Nomura: I wonder why it's so popular? I think maybe the Disney look means it’s familliar and easy to feel affection towards for people overseas. But, I've spoke with people at Disney before who told me that the story of Kingdom Hearts is very Japanese.

4Gamer: Perhaps there's a feel to it that isn't in foreign games that projects appeal.

Nomura: Also, it's been about thirteen years since the first Kingdom Hearts title came out, and about ten years since KH2, so I've heard quite a few people say "Kingdom Hearts was the first game I played." Perhaps these games mean a lot to fans because they are part of their childhood memories.

4Gamer: You mentioned ten years just now. Why did there end up being such a long gap between KH2 and KH3?

Nomura: I personally didn't intend for so much time to pass after KHII. When people around me said it'd been ten years, I was so surprised, like, has there really been such a gap? See, I've been working on Kingdom Hearts titles this whole time. But in the midst of making spin-offs I ended up with fans saying "Another spin-off? When is KHIII coming out?" and yeah, ten years had actually passed. This is bad, I thought.

4Gamer: So that's why you decided to develop the long-awaited legitimate sequel.

4Gamer: You aren't only working on development of Kingdom Hearts III, but also Kingdom Hearts Unchainedχ (hereon Unchainedχ), aren't you? Although Unchainedχ is set the furthest back of any game in the series, it connects to KH3. How does that work?

Nomura: In the world of Kingdom Hearts so far the phrase 'Keyblade War' has come up a few times, which refers to a legend regarding a huge war fought between Keyblade Wielders. Even in the trailer we just released for Kingdom Hearts III, those two boys are talking about the Keyblade War. The world of Unchainedχ is set during the age just before that war. If you play Unchainedχ you will enjoy KH3 even more, so I would by all means love for you to play it while you are waiting for KH3 to be released.

4Gamer: Unchainedχ is the first title in the Kingdom Hearts series to be developed for smartphones. Are there any things you devised for smartphone use?

Nomura: When I play social games, I hate things that are a bother. Sometimes I think, 'this could have been done with just one tap.' So, we are taking care to try and make something that won't be stressful. I especially hate getting frustrated with load times, so we in the development team have been getting passionate, going, "Fast and light! Let's aim to make the fastest game ever!"

4Gamer: With the battles of Unchainedχ, there's the 'one turn finish' element where you try to end battles in short turns. Is that also the result of trying to cut down on bother?

Nomura: Yes, that's right. Any process that requires lots of compact operations on a little screen is going to be a bother, right? We consumer developers end up wanting to keep fiddling with things. In the beginning I was actually thinking of going with an even more different combat system, like fighting by tapping in time or something like that. But that was stupid (laughs).

4Gamer: It seems that polishing your tactics in the opening setup and thinking of how to defeat the enemy in one turn for points will be a fun part of battling.

Nomura: Before, there have been times when I played other smartphone games and thought, "where is the catharsis (for the players) meant to come from?" And then, the bit that made me think "from here!" was when you did something and points started increasing with incredible vigour. When it comes to the operation, it's important to get a response that feels good.From the beginning, in Kingdom Hearts we directed it so that when you defeat enemies prizes come bursting out, and we wanted to translate that kind of good response into a smartphone game. So then, the good feeling from one-shotting an enemy with a one turn finish is incorporated as one of the charms of the battles of Unchained χ.

 

gosoxtim

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hey chaser if wreck it ralph get annouced next how would it work without the copyright stuff like sonic and stuff
 

Sora2016

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hey chaser if wreck it ralph get annouced next how would it work without the copyright stuff like sonic and stuff
They would just not have Sonic in it, since he and all the other cameos were barely or not important at all to the plot.
 

Lonbilly

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4Gamer: You mentioned ten years just now. Why did there end up being such a long gap between KH2 and KH3?

Nomura: I personally didn't intend for so much time to pass after KHII. When people around me said it'd been ten years, I was so surprised, like, has there really been such a gap? See, I've been working on Kingdom Hearts titles this whole time. But in the midst of making spin-offs I ended up with fans saying "Another spin-off? When is KHIII coming out?" and yeah, ten years had actually passed. This is bad, I thought.

Nomura, why you gotta refer to them like that too? </3

I guess Nomura either didn't want to mention FFVXIII or isn't really allowed to, but I feel like it should kind of be common knowledge by now as to why the gap between KH2 and KH3 is so massive.

Other than that, glad to hear that KH3 sounds like it's much, much further in development than it was in 2013. I've always felt 2016 was the right year, and I really think it's not too much of a stretch to imagine it'll make it there. Though, I suppose it won't release any earlier than Fall/Winter of 2016.
 

FudgemintGuardian

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Nomura:I personally didn't intend for so much time to pass after KHII. When people around me said it'd been ten years, I was so surprised, like, has there really been such a gap? See, I've been working on Kingdom Hearts titles this whole time. But in the midst of making spin-offs I ended up with fans saying "Another spin-off? When is KHIII coming out?" and yeah, ten years had actually passed. This is bad, I thought.
It'd help if you stopped calling them spin-offs, Nomura.

4Gamer:So that's why you decided to develop the long-awaited legitimate sequel.
Youse guys tellin' me those other games ain't legit?

This interview right here is a good example why some fans are ignorant about the handheld titles.
 

Nazo

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Good to hear about the development. Can't wait to hear which worlds have been confirmed, and am also glad to hear that they haven't started working on the details and lighting and such yet, so that gives me hope that the odd look of the character models will improve as they begin to do so.
 

gosoxtim

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B-But why would they kill her? Do they? Do you have KH3? Do you have Noruma's phone number?! TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW!

(sorry, I just really want KH3)
i cant wait for this game will game of the year for me anyway i want talking about about easter egg that wreck it ralph has that said aeirth lives
 

MrFranklin95

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i cant wait for this game will game of the year for me anyway i want talking about about easter egg that wreck it ralph has that said aeirth lives

Me too man! It's good to see that this game further ahead then we previously thought. I've preached 2016 and I think I might be right about that. We'll see. But it definitely shows how much current systems can pull off for the developers. I suppose I should check out Chi when it comes out. Normally I wouldn't dismiss a KH title at this point but I was gonna leave it up to mystery when I planned to play KH3 same thing happened with KH2 when I didn't play Chain of Memories, might as well keep up the tradition lol. I love how much of a mystery it was and how it confused me. Made me want to know what happened between then. But I'm also custom to knowing all the little detail about the series now, so I might pick it up.
 

Oracle Spockanort

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"Also, the AI during battle has been enhanced quite a bit. There was that scene where Donald and Sora are moving with Goofy has he wields his shield - you don't only execute that sort of thing yourself, Goofy and Donald can invite you into it too."

YESSSSS

Just...I hope they don't have Donald and Goofy stand around waiting for Sora. It would make for a cute combat gag if Sora ignored them and they look all dejected before flying back into battle.

Well, in the KH universe, she's not dead so that would be kind of pointless.

"Stella lives"
 

Nazo

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Still wondering about Dream Drop Distance HD or ReMIX's for PS4, though. Perhaps those will be announced at TGS? Or perhaps they won't do them at all due to time constraints? Nomura did say he didn't want to leave DDD as the odd man out, though.
 

Oracle Spockanort

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Still wondering about Dream Drop Distance HD or ReMIX's for PS4, though. Perhaps those will be announced at TGS? Or perhaps they won't do them at all due to time constraints? Nomura did say he didn't want to leave DDD as the odd man out, though.

The year is not over yet, and who knows what awaits us in the future!

But like in the FFXV universe, Stella doesn't even exist in the KH universe. She never lived therefore she could not have died.

giphy.gif
 
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