trapped in revamp hell
- Nov 1, 2009
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!
-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.