trapped in revamp hell
- Nov 1, 2009
Dengeki has posted their interview with Director Tetsuya Nomura on KINGDOM HEARTS 2.8 and KINGDOM HEARTS III. Read it below, translated by goldpanner.
KH2.8: for those looking forward to KH3. The reason Mr Tetsuya Nomura Says to think of it as a completely new titleBy Dengeki Online
KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue for PS4 announced for worldwide simultaneous release.
This title is a special package consisting of three titles that connect to KH3: brand-new, playable title KINGDOM HEARTS 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage-, new HD cinematic work KINGDOM HEARTS χ Back Cover, and HD remaster KINGDOM HEARTS Dream Drop Distance HD.
This article brings to you today an interview with Mr Tetsuya Nomura on the content displayed at E3 2016, and the content of the titles themselves.
Feel the gameplay and graphics of KH3 in KH0.2
—With a demo out in addition to the latest trailer, eye-catching info on KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (KH2.8) has been firing out lately, hasn't it?
We've said for a while that we were planning it for 2016, and work is going according to that plan. As there was a little wait before this opportunity to release new information, I know some people were saying they were worried, but everyone can rest assured that we are not behind on the development schedule.
—We got to experience firsthand the E3 version of the demo. KINGDOM HEARTS 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage- (KH0.2) in particular has a big impact, doesn't it?
KH0.2 is, as I've said, a completely new title, and it does have a special feel, being the first new title on a non-handheld console in a while.
The scene you saw in the new video was the opening of KH0.2, and from there, a huge story development connecting the past and present is still waiting. The footage was from the demo version, so it will be possible for you to enjoy that quality of action in reality on the PS4
—How big are you planning to make KH0.2?
I believe I've said this in previous interviews, but we are imagining about the length of what in other titles in the series so far would be considered one world's worth. However, it does depend on how you perceive 'one world's worth'.
The other day during work on KH3 I checked one world from start to finish, and it was longer than I expected. For the time being, I guarantee that KH0.2 will be of a size that you won't be done with so easily.
—The castle in the latest footage released is the Castle of Dreams (Cinderella), right?
Yes, that's right. In the E3 demo, you can play up to entering the castle. The Realm of Darkness Aqua is venturing through has melted together many worlds swallowed by darkness, and fragments of worlds other than Castle of Dreams will feature. There will be a quirk to each area, so I think it's considerably satisfying to play
—Would we be correct in thinking of KH0.2 to be basically the same as KH3 in make?
Yes, you would. From the engine that serves as the base, to all of the rendering, it's the same as KH3. The battle gameplay is also based off KH3, so it's shaping up to be content in which you can feel a piece of KH3. Of course, the full-volume KH3 will involve lots of other gameplay.
—The graphics in KH0.2 look dramatically different compared to that of past titles, don't they?
I think perhaps the biggest reason for that is that KH0.2 and KH3 utilise lighting in the rendering. In the titles in the series so far, we had been trying not to use lighting in our rendering. When we decided on the graphics of KH3, we took great pains to find a balance between the characters and the backgrounds.
—As for the feel we got from our chance to play the E3 demo version of KH0.2, our impression was that it was something like a mix between KH2 and KHBBS.
The base of the battle gameplay is inherited from KH and KH2, with added components that were also in KHBBS. The character you control is Aqua, and you no longer use Deck Commands like in KHBBS, and magic works through the 'consume MP' system.
—One thing that left an impression on us in the KH0.2 demo was the magic, which sets off various added effects upon hitting the enemy.
Blizzard freezes enemies, thunder shocks them. There are effects on the terrain, too. For example, upon being hit with blizzard, tracks of ice will remain on the ground, and you can ride them by sliding along.
In the new title, magic is not an element that is done with once it has hit the enemy; there are several ways like this in which you can set off a chain reaction. I think it is one thing that will make the action carry more depth.
—The maps had a lot of platforms of different heights, and it really felt worth exploring them.
That's something we put a lot of thought into. In early footage of KH3, there's a scene where Sora jumps down from a cliff. Apparently that was particularly popular among fans overseas. In both KH0.2 and KH3, we have been putting a massive amount of thought into the platform heights on the maps overall.
In the game, however, there are heights that unintentionally give me the shivers. The staff thought of so many elaborately structured maps for KH3D, too, so please look forward to the ones in the new title.
—Now that we've played the KH0.2 demo, our hopes for KH3 have gotten even higher, whether we want them to or not.
For that exact reason, I would love for you to play KH2.8. At E3 this time we released comparatively new pieces of news, which is why I think perhaps the new-title-ness was so palpable for you.
If you want to enjoy the last chapter to the fullest, KH2.8 is unmissable!
—Putting KH Dream Drop Distance HD (hereon KHD3D), a game that was originally on two screens, onto one screen required input changes, didn't it?
There was a lot of trial and error involved in that remake, for sure. Perfect examples are the Link System and Reality Shift, which required touch and drag controls on the bottom screen, but these have been changed to different controls, such as simultaneous button presses.
At first, we had plans to use the DUALSHOCK 4 touchpad too, but after consideration, we settled with button controls.
—Are the battle sections the same as the original version?
As a series-first experiment, this time KH3D will be in 60fps. There, it differs fundamentally from the original. Also, we have tuned it somewhat. We are currently in the middle of adjusting drop times and enemy reactions etc. but it's mainly the same as the original. I think being able to play it on a stand-alone big screen really enhances the sensation of the spread-out space
—When we played the E3 version of KH3D, Side Sora, we were accompanied by an unfamiliar dream eater…?
That is Meow Pon (Tanuki-style Meow Wow). One of the new elements we have added is several new types of dream eaters to be your friends.
—There is one more title included in KH2.8, Kingdom Hearts Key Back Cover (hereon KHχBC). When we watched the latest trailer, we were surprised. We hadn't thought it'd be a title that showcased so many characters to that degree.
As the clips we released in the early days focused on talking, maybe it made people think that the whole thing would be like that. In reality, just as you saw in the newest trailer we released recently, lots of characters appear, and there are battle scenes and the like. As you'll understand if you watch it, the graphics of KHχBC are made the same way as KH3.
—Does KHχBC tell the story of the things happening behind the scenes in KHχ and KH Unchained χ?
KHχ and KH Unchained χ tell the story from the viewpoint of the Player (a keyblade wielder), and KHχBCtells the corresponding story from the viewpoint of each Union's leader (Foreteller).
While the Player was doing things in KHχ and KH Unchained χ, what were the Foretellers thinking and doing behind the scenes…? If you've played KHχ or KH Unchained χ, I am sure there will be scenes matching timeframes that make you think, wait, isn't this that scene…?
—About how long is the KHχBC cinematic, in the end?
It's about over one hour in total. Compared to the cinematic works included with past HD titles (KH 358/2 Days and KH Re:coded) it's short, but KHχBC's story is a completely new episode, so there are plenty of highlights.
—It's amazing that of the three titles included in KH2.8, two are completely new, isn't it?
From the production side of things, I want people to see KH2.8 itself as a new title. Two thirds of it is new work, which is why we didn't call it HD 2.8 ReMIX like the other titles so far.
Content-wise, the game truly is the prologue to the final chapter (KH3), so I would love for those who want to enjoy KH3 to the fullest to play KH2.8.
—KH0.2 in particular has graphics and battle gameplay based on KH3, so it allows you to experience a game extremely close to KH3, right?
To take that logic to its extreme, it means you can set out on the journey of KH3 within the year (laughs).
The KH3 I had first envisioned got too big volume-wise, so I cut the details between the new journey and KH2, and KH3D and KH0.2 were born.
KHχBC also contains setting-up that connects to KH3, so KH.2.8 truly is positioned as the prologue to KH3.
—What developments will you be able to show us between E3 at the release date of KH2.8?
Around Autumn, as we head for the December release date, I think I will release information at fixed intervals. I also want to create an opportunity for Japanese gamers to try the demo. Also, in August, the KINGDOM HEARTS Concert -First Breath- tour will begin.
Game information won't be coming out there, of course, but it's the first official concert of the series. I really hope fans will come. I am thinking of something elaborate and refined for the organisation and production, with next year's world tour in mind.
—By the way, in KH3D, characters from The World Ends With You appeared, right? I am sure the number of fans hoping for a next development of TWEWY isn't small, is it?
TWEWY has many fans overseas, too, and with such high regard from so many of those who played, I've been asked many times by those overseas to make a direct sequel. It's not a simple matter just because it did so well in the past, but the staff are all looking for a solution, so I won't say it's impossible.
—At the end of the latest trailer, we heard that a follow-up on KH3 will happen his winter.
I had them put that one sentence in there because I felt bad for all those who had high hopes for KH3 news, but right now I definitely do want people to pay attention to KH2.8, whose release date has been announced. After I've gotten it across that the position of the content in KH2.8 is important, I think i will report new information on KH3 along with the release of KH2.8.
With this announcement regarding KH2.8, I hope you now understand that work on KH3 is progressing well, and please look forward to this winter.