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News ► Dengeki Interview with Nomura on KINGDOM HEARTS 3 and Union Cross



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The latest issue of Dengeki Playstation contained a new interview with Tetsuya Nomura on KINGDOM HEARTS 3 and Union Cross.

Thanks to Zephyr, translations are available for your reading pleasure! 

*Note: There are several repeat questions from other interviews which have been omitted for convenience.

-Recently, a variety of information has been revealed from the latest footage. Many fans were surprised from the announcement of the release window “2018”.

Nomura: I had no choice but to be cautious for the announcement of the release date. Therefore, it is just the year but the release window is fixed and we're working towards that. I wanted you to have a peace of mind with that announcement.

–To suit their appearance according to the world, Sora and the gang have changed into toys.

Nomura: The design progress it took to make that appearance was long. I’ve tried to make it look like a figurine and I’ve explored various ways of stylizing the graphics into a 3-dimensional bit image.

–In the battle scene, Sora, Donald, Goofy, and in addition to Woody and Buzz made it a five-team party?

Nomura: In the footage, there are five people fighting at the same time. Depending on the world, it’d be possible to fight with up to 4 or more people with guest characters. Teaming up with others is also possible and please wait for the next report regarding the party system.

–With Sora being toy sized and battling outside the house, the world felt large.

Nomura: With that size, it’s not possible for them to go anywhere far (laughs). The main area in the Toy Story world is the toy shop. The footage showed a toy shop called “Galaxy Toys” which is such a large area.

–There are situations where Sora fights inside a robot.

Nomura: The idea of controlling a robot has been around during early development. There are different types of robots you can board and each of their fighting styles are different. There is another gimmick on another floor.

–In Olympus, there is an impressive battle between Rock Titan, and there seems to be more variety of elements in each world.

Nomura: We were pretty conscious about it while making it. Even in KH0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage-, I believe the maps have expanded platforming-wise and there is a need for exploration. KINGDOM HEARTS III has fewer Disney worlds than KINGDOM HEARTS II but the quality of each world is greater than in previous works.

–In KINGDOM HEARTS II, after visiting each world once, there was a scenario incentive to revisit them but what about KINGDOM HEARTS III?

Nomura: I personally liked having to revisit the worlds twice but KINGDOM HEARTS III has a different flow.


Weapon transformation and form will depend on the Keyblade

–Keyblade transformation is one of the main features in KINGDOM HEARTS III, and in this video, we see the transformation of the drill and hammer.

Nomura: The Keyblade can transform into various shapes. In any case, the drill is very lovely (laughs).

–Can the drill and hammer only be used in the Toy Story world?

Nomura: It’s not restricted to the world but its ability is from the Keyblade obtained in the Toy Story world. Essentially, every Keyblade is capable of transforming and the Toy Story Keyblade transforms into the drill and hammer. And in KINGDOM HEARTS III, the Keyblade and Form are systematically attached together.

–What does that mean?

Nomura: In KINGDOM HEARTS II, you could decide which form to switch into during battle but this time, forms activate when you transform your Keyblade.

–Are there forms as many as the number of Keyblades?

Nomura: Actually no. Each Keyblade has an attributed type such as attack or defense and those are the forms that exists for each type. You switch into the form while transforming the Keyblade.

By the way, the series’ iconic Keyblade Kingdom Key changes Sora into Second Form (Tentative Name) w/ KH2 color scheme but this form is exclusive to Kingdom Key. The Keyblade doesn’t transform but your tactics change. Some forms are specific to certain Keyblades.

–Fighting with the Keyblade transformations, it seems pretty fun.

Nomura: Regarding battle actions, everything is pretty elaborate. Like I mentioned earlier, the transformations are unique to each Keyblade. When using the Olympus Keyblade, it transforms into a shield.

Also, in the recent footage, arrows and a bazooka were used alongside each other. Once you acquire the Keyblade, you can immediately start using the abilities seen in the footage.

–In the battle scene in the Toy Story world, Sora seems to be in a new form?

Nomura: Even in the Toy Story world where their appearance reflects the world, so does the form. In the footage, when you use the drill and hammer, the form also changes.

–From the previous E3 footage, there’s a cutscene in Twilight Town. It seems to be an important world again.

Nomura: Twilight Town is a place where you’ll have gameplay tutorials and it’ll be one of the earlier stages.

–In the recent E3 footage, there was some interesting dialogue about Roxas and I’m concerned about the development of KINGDOM HEARTS III.

Nomura: Because there are too many characters that are appearing, the storyline has become complicated. There are quite a number of main characters that have appeared in the series, and every character will appear in some form.


Each of them have their own problems and how they will be resolved towards the final phase…

–Will KINGDOM HEARTS III be able to solve all the mysteries concerning certain characters?

Nomura: The final chapter of the Dark Seeker Saga will form their conclusions.

–In the recent footage and the previous E3 footage, what is the meaning behind the quote?

Nomura: “Don’t assume your dreams are just fantasy. If you can imagine a world, believe in it…and dive in.” was it? It means: “jumping into an imaginative world without dreaming of it being fantasy.” That is a catchphrase for the promotional trailers. It doesn’t necessarily have a deep hidden meaning involved with the storyline. Since the recent footage began with Sora’s dive scene, I tried to convey such a message.


KINGDOM HEARTS Union Cross finally brings together Union Leaders

–For smartphones, KINGDOM HEARTS Unchained Chi was renamed as KINGDOM HEARTS Union Cross. What was the intention of changing the title?

Nomura: Since we were implementing multiplayer, we’ve decided to change it and present it as a renewal of the title. One of the reasons was the new story expansion focusing around the Union Leaders.

–During the time of KHUX’s re-release, many people were surprised Ventus was revealed as the third Union Leader.

Nomura: KINGDOM HEARTS Union Cross draws an important development in the series, so I’d like for you to play it now. Blaine recently appeared as the fourth Union Leader and the fifth person will appear in the Main Quest updated in August.

–Finally, the new five Union Leaders gather together.

Nomura: That’s right. After the gathering of the five, the main storyline for Union Cross starts to progress.

–I’m interested about its connection with KINGDOM HEARTS III.

Nomura: If you play KINGDOM HEARTS III, you will also recognize the story of KINGDOM HEARTS Union Cross. For those who are anticipating KINGDOM HEARTS III and interested in the series’ story, I recommend to play KINGDOM HEARTS Union Cross.

–In the event of the gathering of the Union Leaders, Ventus made remarks such as “stray” and “ranking” and I felt like I could relate (laughs).

Nomura: I did not mean to have such “meta statements” but I’ve intended to show that Ventus wasn’t using a special Keyblade.

–Nomura-san, how far into the future will KINGDOM HEARTS Union Cross still be considered?

Nomura: I’ve thought of a rough story concept in advance. But for now, I will continue to make connections to the main storyline.

–Nomura-san, for KINGDOM HEARTS Union Cross’ scenario, events, and raise draws, how much are you involved with those?

Nomura: I always direct the scenario, design, and game system. Regarding ordinary management work, it’s left to the management team. We frequently discuss and consult about developments for the distant future.

–Do you have any plans to celebrate the 2nd anniversary in September?

Nomura: Time sure flies. KINGDOM HEARTS Unchained Chi will be reaching its second year. For the anniversary event, naturally I’ll continue to add to the main scenario and new elements so look forward to it.

 

gosoxtim

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thanks you zephy for ht transations thsi fith leader union is going to intresing just form the two intview cant wait until augutst to start plus i still kairi and lea are traing in a data twilight town
 

Alpha Baymax

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Nomura sure loves to heavily emphasise the importance of Union X alongside Kingdom Hearts III. I'd be more invested if the story wasn't so bitesized and filled with filler, the treatment of the game by Square Enix's North American subsidiary isn't helping things either.

But outside of those gripes, I genuinely enjoy Union X story. I don't feel that Ventus is out of place, and that sketch of the final leader, the other original character and the hooded figure has me intrigued to say the least...
 

Antar

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Are there forms as many as the number of Keyblades?
Nomura: Actually no. Each Keyblade has an attributed type such as attack or defense and those are the forms that exists for each type. You switch into the form while transforming the Keyblade.
By the way, the series iconic Keyblade Kingdom Key changes Sora into Second Form (Tentative Name) w/ KH2 color scheme but this form is exclusive to Kingdom Key. The Keyblade doesn't transform but your tactics change. Some forms are specific to certain Keyblades.

Eyyy, I like the sound of that. Seems like a good way to do it!

Nomura: Regarding battle actions, everything is pretty elaborate. Like I mentioned earlier, the transformations are unique to each Keyblade. When using the Olympus Keyblade, it transforms into a shield.
Also, in the recent footage, arrows and a bazooka were used alongside each other. Once you acquire the Keyblade, you can immediately start using the abilities seen in the footage.

Not sure about this, though. I'm a fan of progression and upgrades, so getting all of those abilities right off the bat is a bit lame.
 

catcake

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Man it's like he's answering all my concerns about KH3 now xD Less Disney worlds than in KH2, the balancing of all the different skills sound better than I feared and everything seems optional. I was worried the game would be way too massive, but no second visits either? Quality over quantity, I'll take it anytime. The party system sounds interesting too, looking forward to hearing how they're planning to let you handle a party of 5. This game just keeps looking and sounding better all the time.

Still so happy about the tutorial. Yess. I was worried the pacing would go full DDD and throw you into the game with no chill, but it seems I get my wish.
 

Darxion

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Worlds in KHIII will have a different flow hey? Hmm I liked the idea of revisiting worlds hopefully this new flow is greater than that. I found it very interesting how he mentions Twilight Town being an early world. I would like to be able to visit it and compete in a few more struggle tournaments haha. Seems like a lot of work has gone into this title and I sure hope this game is amazing. I have high expectations which might not be the best idea but I am struggling to bring them down. Some people might know what I mean. I can't wait to hear more about this absolute beast of a game! I'd also love to hear more about end game content. Personally I would like just as much if not more content than KH2FM but the odds of that are surely slim.... At least at launch, Tetsuya Nomura has touched upon DLC in KHIII so who knows. God the hype is so real!
 

notnow123487

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Someone had a theory on gaf that seems plausible although still doesn't explain him being in his new clothes in twilight town. The tutorial could be Soras time gone during 0.2. When he comes back and tells them it's a secret as to where he was. Maybe we start the game off with where he was in twilight town, and then jump back to Olympus. This would still require two visits to twilight town though.
 

gosoxtim

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Someone had a theory on gaf that seems plausible although still doesn't explain him being in his new clothes in twilight town. The tutorial could be Soras time gone during 0.2. When he comes back and tells them it's a secret as to where he was. Maybe we start the game off with where he was in twilight town, and then jump back to Olympus. This would still require two visits to twilight town though.
no tht doesnt make sense sora was still dream relam still unless there a sleepig twilight town we dont know about
 

Alpha Baymax

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Someone had a theory on gaf that seems plausible although still doesn't explain him being in his new clothes in twilight town. The tutorial could be Soras time gone during 0.2. When he comes back and tells them it's a secret as to where he was. Maybe we start the game off with where he was in twilight town, and then jump back to Olympus. This would still require two visits to twilight town though.

I dunno, if anything, my theory in where Sora visited was The Keyblade Graveyard. Assuming that the encounter with The Lingering Will (Terra) was canon, Sora visited The Lingering Will in order to understand how they resisted Xehanort. I get that Sora can't understand what The Lingering Will is saying, but he can connect to hearts and stuff, and let all that friendship business do all the talking for him.
 

Muke

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Dudes… there can still be exceptions, like in KH1, where most worlds were only one-visits, but you did visit Traverse more than once (HUB world), or even Hollow Bastion iirc. I don't think we should rule anything out yet.

I dunno, if anything, my theory in where Sora visited was The Keyblade Graveyard. Assuming that the encounter with The Lingering Will (Terra) was canon, Sora visited The Lingering Will in order to understand how they resisted Xehanort. I get that Sora can't understand what The Lingering Will is saying, but he can connect to hearts and stuff, and let all that friendship business do all the talking for him.
5n1LS5xl.png
 

kingsoraful

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I'm pretty sure he means the Disney worlds won't have other stories but the main worlds like TT, Radiant Garden and such will be visited multiple times. I personally loved the multiple visits.

But I'm fine with only visiting Disney worlds once for Story especially if the story is huge.
 

Alpha Baymax

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Sora talking to The Lingering Will. It's not too far-fetched of an idea. Besides, we haven't seen Sora actually talk to Terra. He's spoken to Aqua and his heart has communicated with Ventus, but there's been absolutely no vocal or telepathic interaction between him or Terra at all.
 

palizinhas

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Someone had a theory on gaf that seems plausible although still doesn't explain him being in his new clothes in twilight town. The tutorial could be Soras time gone during 0.2. When he comes back and tells them it's a secret as to where he was. Maybe we start the game off with where he was in twilight town, and then jump back to Olympus. This would still require two visits to twilight town though.
I don't know that I can see him doing more than going to the Sleeping Worlds, tbh. He describes what he did as "liking to say goodbye to all his friends", so just seeing his Dream Eaters and the "secret" line being just him teasing Donald and Goofy, as he does, pretty much still fits.
 

Muke

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Sora talking to The Lingering Will. It's not too far-fetched of an idea. Besides, we haven't seen Sora actually talk to Terra. He's spoken to Aqua and his heart has communicated with Ventus, but there's been absolutely no vocal or telepathic interaction between him or Terra at all.
It is very far-fetched. Why would Sora go to (from his perspective) some rusty armor who suddenly attacked him, like, a year ago or so? He doesn't have a single reason to do so. Besides, how would he visit the LW? He doesn't know where the graveyard is, and the portal isn't there anymore.
 

notnow123487

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It is very far-fetched. Why would Sora go to (from his perspective) some rusty armor who suddenly attacked him, like, a year ago or so? He doesn't have a single reason to do so. Besides, how would he visit the LW? He doesn't know where the graveyard is, and the portal isn't there anymore.

I think what he's saying is that soras visit to the lingering will that happens at the end of KH2 takes place after ddd in the timeline. Not that he's visiting the lingering will again. But it doesn't make sense timeline wise.
 

Kaweebo

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Someone had a theory on gaf that seems plausible although still doesn't explain him being in his new clothes in twilight town. The tutorial could be Soras time gone during 0.2. When he comes back and tells them it's a secret as to where he was. Maybe we start the game off with where he was in twilight town, and then jump back to Olympus. This would still require two visits to twilight town though.

But Sora was just in Traverse Town thanking his Dream Eaters. :confused:
 

Alpha Baymax

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But Sora was just in Traverse Town thanking his Dream Eaters. :confused:

He could have been doing something else after that though.

It is very far-fetched. Why would Sora go to (from his perspective) some rusty armor who suddenly attacked him, like, a year ago or so? He doesn't have a single reason to do so. Besides, how would he visit the LW? He doesn't know where the graveyard is, and the portal isn't there anymore.

Because there could have been an alternate gateway to The Keyblade Graveyard. Again, Sora is able to connect with the people that he meets, and especially after the episode he had about Aqua and Terra in Dream Drop Distance, visiting the Lingering Will again may answer some of his doubts.
 

gamerprince1999

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–Will KINGDOM HEARTS III be able to solve all the mysteries concerning certain characters?
Nomura: The final chapter of the Dark Seeker Saga will form their conclusions.

Hmm... Notice how he said "final chapter of the Dark Seeker Saga" and not just "Kingdom Hearts 3" when that's what the question was asking about. This could be nothing but what if that implies KH3 isn't the true ending to the Dark Seeker Saga and there's one more thing after that he's planning? Yes its been stated multiple times that KH3 IS the end of the Saga but what if he changed his mind? Just the fact that he said "final chapter of the DSS" instead when the question was Kingdom Hearts 3 is shady as diddly to me...
 

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He could have been doing something else after that though.
Yes, maybe, but definitely not meeting up with LW.
(I doubt there was anything after that, anyway. He probably just thanked his DEs, said bye bye and went back to Mysterious Tower.)

–Will KINGDOM HEARTS III be able to solve all the mysteries concerning certain characters?
Nomura: The final chapter of the Dark Seeker Saga will form their conclusions.

Hmm... Notice how he said "final chapter of the Dark Seeker Saga" and not just "Kingdom Hearts 3" when that's what the question was asking about. This could be nothing but what if that implies KH3 isn't the true ending to the Dark Seeker Saga and there's one more thing after that he's planning? Yes its been stated multiple times that KH3 IS the end of the Saga but what if he changed his mind? Just the fact that he said "final chapter of the DSS" instead when the question was Kingdom Hearts 3 is shady as diddly to me...

KH3 is the final chapter. There is nothing else behind that statement.
 

gosoxtim

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He could have been doing something else after that though.
how though twiligh zone was not in the dream realm or is is one of the sleeping world unless sora found it by accident i think tutorial is lea and kairi training in the date twilght town besise nomura never said it was sora tutotial
 
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