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Everything We Know About Kingdom Hearts III So Far



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EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT
KINGDOM HEARTS III

-SO FAR-

-INTRODUCTION-

A long, long time ago I made a bunch of threads like this for Birth By Sleep, Coded and 358/2 Days back when they were still in development and they were kind of a hit. Seeing how dead these forums are, and after some pressure from staff member goldpanner, I decided, hey, why not? So I decided to make one of these threads for KH3. I have no idea if people will find it useful or interesting or whatever, but I was bored so I thought why not give it a shot. Unfortunately I haven't been following KH3 as closely as I followed BBS, Coded and Days back in the day so if there is anything I missed please let me know (and please supply a link/source etc as I want to avoid hearsay for this thread).

So without further ado...


-GENERAL INFORMATION-

DIRECTOR: Tetsuya Nomura
CO-DIRECTOR: Tai Yasue
SCENARIO: Tetsuya Nomura
CORE DEVELOPERS: Business Division 3 [OSAKA] (BBS, KH3D, 1.5/2.5)
ASSISTANT DEVELOPERS: Business Division 1 [TOKYO] (KH1, KH2)
PRODUCERS: Rei Nishi, Shinji Hashimoto
COMPOSER: Yoko Shimomura
OFFICIAL SITE: KINGDOM HEARTS III - International Portal
PLATFORMS: PlayStation 4 & Xbox One


-PRESS RELEASE-

"Kingdom Hearts III features a mature Sora as the main protagonist who sets forth on an adventure with Mickey, Donald and Goofy through new and legendary Disney worlds. Kingdom Hearts III will make full use of next generation console technologies to showcase a stunning universe packed full of worlds based on Disney properties.

Believing light and darkness must remain in balance, Master Xehanort seeks to spark war against the 'tyranny of light' to restore equilibrium. In an effort to undermine Xehanort's plot, Sora, Donald and Goofy search for seven guardians of light and the "Key to Return Hearts", while King Mickey and Riku search for previous Keyblade wielders."


-STORY-

"Have you heard of the ancient Keyblade War?"
"Yeah. The Master's favourite story."

"So, you know the lost masters?
They're the ones who started the Keyblade War."

"Never heard of them."

"You can drop the facade."
*​

"'On that land shall darkness prevail and light expire'.
The future, it's already been written."

"Who's to say I can't change it? And maybe light will prevail.
There's more to light than meets the eye. You might be surprised."

"Oh, I hope so."

Set immediately after the events of Dream Drop Distance, the story follows Sora and company as they prepare for the final showdown against Master Xehanort. Sora, Donald and Goofy search for the seven guardians of light and the "Key to Return Hearts" to face off against Master Xehanort's thirteen darknesses, while King Mickey and Riku search for previous Keyblade wielders. Not much else is known about the story at this point, as very little has been revealed in trailers or interviews. That being said the process of the wielders coming together will be the main storyline, but, according to Nomura, "one of the highlights of the climax will be who is part of the seven lights and the thirteen darknesses when they get to the final battle. Would it be as everyone expected, or will there be unexpected members added to the mix? That is something to look forward to."

The game opens with a scene set in the past between Xehanort and Eraqus from a time when they trained under a common master together. This scene is actually quite longer than what has been shown so far, with Nomura revealing that it goes on for over two minutes and sets the stage for what Kingdom Hearts III is really about. He decided to open the game this way because he wanted to start with something unexpected, where both veteran and new fans will be intrigued and wonder how it will all play out.

Following this, the game takes place right after the events of Dream Drop Distance, with Sora once again travelling through various Disney worlds in search of something. This time around it is the "Key to Return Hearts" and even though he is searching for it, he has little to know idea what it actually is. As Nomura explains, "There are two possible meanings of the "key." One of which is the “hardware” key, which opens doors - this is what keys are in general (laughs), and the other is the “light” key, that opens something else. In this case, it is currently unknown as to which type of key Sora must find. This is the main storyline of KINGDOM HEARTS III - Sora must go on an adventure to find the "key" without knowing what or where it is. But as you know, we can’t really say anything else on the subject (laughs)."

Early on Sora will be wearing his classic Kingdom Hearts II outfit and will change into the newer, recently-revealed outfit as you progress through the story. In addition to Sora, Riku and the others have also been given new designs for the game, but they have yet to be seen.

Speaking about writing the story, Nomura spoke about how, since they are arriving at the conclusion of Xehanort, the outline of the story in Kingdom Hearts III has been solidified, but not necessarily the direction of where the series is continued to head. He is still trying to decide from several choices and remarked how there has never really been a happy ending in the series. Since most of the titles have ended in cliffhangers, they're worried about what they should include in Kingdom Hearts III. That being said, the paths of various characters that fans care about have already been determined. He reassured that questions such as "which characters will come back" and "who are the seven lights and thirteen darknesses" have already been decided.

He has revealed that a secret ending is being planned, but notes that since Kingdom Hearts III is the culmination of everything so far, everyone on staff is aware that they want a finale. Because of this, and in order to put an end to it, he believes it shouldn't be disappointing.

According to a Finnish Gaming Magazine, Nomura has mentioned that he has heard criticism of past titles that the stories of the Disney worlds and the main Kingdom Hearts story have been too disconnected from one another. He says he's aware that the fans have passionately advocated for Kingdom Heart's own mysteries and story elements to be more present in the individual Disney worlds and that he has tried to take this feedback into account when crafting Kingdom Hearts III's story.

The stories of Kingdom Hearts χ / Unchained χ and Kingdom Hearts III are said to be closely connected, but the details of this connection have yet to be fully revealed.

"The end also means a new beginning, and I'm certain that as this story arc ends, players will be able to look forward -- carrying this excitement -- for something new and different, never-before-seen in the series"
--Tetsuya Nomura

-WORLDS-

At this time not many worlds have been announced yet for Kingdom Hearts III, though announcements are expected to be made in the coming months. Regarding the world selection, Nomura has commented that while there are many 'stable' choices being made for story purposes, he also wished to include a fair number of surprising worlds in Kingdom Hearts III.

When asked if the recent Disney acquisitions of Marvel and LucasArts would factor into elements in Kingdom Hearts III, such as worlds, Nomura said that, while he thinks it would be great to include those licenses in Kingdom Hearts, there are many rules and restrictions put in place by Disney as to what they are capable of using and they can't put in everything that people want. He reiterated that they are putting in a number of surprises, however, and asked to please wait for those future announcements.

Nomura also clarified that when selecting Disney worlds to be included in the game, they are not limited just to films that have been released prior to development. Up until the release of the game, they will be able to consider implementing any future Disney production released during development, assuming Disney allows it, and hinted that there may be worlds whose films hadn't released at the time of the interview (July 2013) that were already being considered.

He later stressed that there are a lot of new worlds being added in, but even for the familiar worlds, you can expect that the locations will be different and that the visuals will be different from past appearance. At E3 2015 it was said that the worlds included in Kingdom Hearts III will be newer areas never experienced before.

The worlds are also a lot larger than they were before. While not on the scale of some open-world games, they are considerably larger than any environments in the Kingdom Hearts series to date. This can be seen in the E3 2015 trailer where Sora jumps off a cliff he had just been battling up. In addition to this, the load times have been improved considerably where Sora can move around the areas rather seamlessly.

Nomura revealed that they currently have prepared more worlds for Kingdom Hearts III than had appeared in Kingdom Hearts II but that some may be cut for various reasons by the time the game releases.

Confirmed Worlds So Far
-Twilight Town
-Mysterious Tower
-Mount Olympus (Hercules)
-Kingdom of Corona (Tangled)
-Untitled (Big Hero 6)

-ENEMIES-

The Heartless are set to return in Kingdom Hearts III, being featured in every major gameplay trailer released so far. New designs have been shown off, as well as an improved AI. Heartless can now work together in battle, form hordes, take advantage of the environment, as well as many other improvements. Of note, as shown in the E3 2015 trailer, there are now Heartless who can call other Heartless into battle, Heartless that can appear in water as well as Heartless who can spawn more versions of themselves. Another dynamic heartless that has been talked about is one shaped like a vehicle that Sora will be able to jump on and drive around the area.

In addition to the Heartless, Nomura has hinted that Nobodies may also appear in the game. When asked about the fate of Meow Wow, Nomura, too, hinted that he -- and by extension the Dream Eaters -- may return, saying that the final scene in KH3D was meant as tentative foreshadowing.

At D23 Japan Expo 2015, Nobodies were reconfirmed to appear, with a new lesser Nobody design based on Marluxia.

Speaking to KHInsider, Nomura revealed that this time around he wanted "to make it so that you can tell who had come to that world by the enemies that appear there" and the he is "thinking of the enemy types as a part of the total production this time".

-ADDITIONAL-

Final Fantasy characters are set to return, after largely being absent from the various handheld titles. Nomura is taking requests to play as characters such as King Mickey, Riku, and Kairi into consideration, but notes that Sora is the main character in this title and nothing beyond that has been decided yet.

Due to the complicated nature of the series, Nomura is also considering way to make it easier for newcomers to join in with KH3, but specifics as to how he intends to accomplish this have yet to be announced.

When asked about the possibility of more playable characters than just Sora in January 2016, Nomura said it was "a secret", though was quick to point out that obviously implied there was something going on and that maybe something will happen in that regard.

-GAMEPLAY-

-BASIC SYSTEM-

The Command Menu from KH1 and KH2 is set to return instead of the Command Deck system that had been featured primarily in the handheld titles released so far. Since Kingdom Hearts III is the first numbered title in many years, they felt that the best approach was to evolve on the battle systems set forth in KH1 and KH2, although they suggest that many gameplay elements that they challenged themselves with in the handheld titles may appear or be improved upon in KH3. In particular, many elements from Dream Drop Distance are set to be incorporated, with Nomura believing that one can get a good feel of the future KH3 by playing that title.

-KEYBLADE TRANSFORMATIONS-

Since the events of KH3D lead to Sora gaining new powers befitting that of a Keyblade Master, he will be able to transform his Keyblade into various forms, much like as demonstrated by the Lingering Will in Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix. It wasn't until D23 Expo 2013 that we got our first glimpse of the Keyblade Transformations when Sora turned his Keyblades into a pair of star shaped guns and fired magic at his enemies. Nomura went on to explain that this transformation system was going to be a key part of Kingdom Hearts III's gameplay. He explained then that the transformation is different for each Keyblade and that the battle style changes as well. He later added that "All Keyblades transform and in many different ways." E3 2015 brought about the reveal of a few more Keyblade transformations.

One of the first development meetings about Kingdom Hearts III included the Keyblade transformation idea.

There is a neat story explaining the Keyblade transformations, but Nomura adds that you can begin to use them from the beginning of the game.

Sora being able to turn his Keyblade into a Glider, as the characters of Birth By Sleep do, is also said to be in the works, but has yet to be shown.

Confirmed Keyblade Transformations So Far
-Two Shoot Blaster (Keyblade transforms into dual star-shaped guns and fires magic-based attacks)
-Unnamed Transformation 01 (Keyblade transforms into dual rapid fire guns which can combine into a canon)
-Unnamed Transformation 02 (Keyblade transforms into a Pegasus-drawn chariot)

-ATTRACTION FLOW / FLOWMOTION-

Revealed for the first time at the D23 Expo 2013 was Attraction Flow. This mode is considered an evolution of the Flowmotion mechanic first introduced in Dream Drop Distance wherein Sora utilizes various special attacks based on Disneyland and Disney World attractions. Attraction Flow is considered one of the key parts of the new gameplay system. Nomura explained that you will be able to choose which move you want to use against which enemies on the spot and even during an enemy outbreak you control Sora's attacks. At D23 Expo 2013 we were shown the first two attractions being 'Pirate Ship' and 'Big Magic Mountain'. E3 2015 revealed another attraction based on the Mad Hatter Tea Cup ride. In addition to Attraction Flow, the E3 2015 trailer also showed off mechanics similar to Flowmotion as it appeared in Dream Drop Distance.

Nomura later clarified that Attraction Flow doesn't depend on the Keyblade, but rather, which type of enemy Sora is facing, saying that when the appropriate attack becomes available, the player can select it. In addition to the type of enemy, which attraction can be used also depends on the location, with boss battles having the most exciting Attraction Flow usage.

Originally the game would move into first-person when activating Attraction Flow, but they felt it was far too severe.

Confirmed Attractions So Far
-Pirate Ship (Sora commands a pirate ship that spins in place, knocking around enemies)
-Big Magic Mountain (Sora becomes conductor of a large train as it travels through the air)
-Unnamed Attraction (Sora, Donald and Goofy jump into Mad Hatter teacups and spin around rapidly)
-Shooting Ride (Attraction based on Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blaster ride)

-FREE RUNNING-

At D23 Expo 2013, Nomura revealed that they would be incorporating a "free run" style mechanic popular in current action titles allowing Sora to run around, climb, etc in a way not possible before. Sora's aerial ability and jumping ability would also be greatly increased to offer even further mobility stating that it offered greater mobility than Sora's Final Form did back in Kingdom Hearts II. However it wasn't until the E3 2015 trailer that we really got a good look at this free run mechanic in action as Sora is able to hop along logs in a river, climb up walls, run across rocky chasms and slide along a grassy hill with ease. Free Running will only be activated in certain spots in the world, designated by a collection of sparkles next to the element that can be interacted with.

-ENVIRONMENTAL-

Also at D23 Expo 2013, Nomura talked about how various actions related to the world maps were also being prepared with examples being given such as climbing up a cliff that crumbles with falling stones and enemies lifting up a building that you are in. It wasn't until E3 2015 that we first got a real look at this. Footage shows Sora climbing up the previously mentioned cliff, but also shows smaller details like a tornado wind spell affecting the grass in a world or Sora casting blizzard creating a sheet of ice for him to slide around on. They are considering many ways to have magic leave a lasting effect on the world.

-SUMMONS-

Summons are set to return in Kingdom Hearts III though the system will be going through various improvements. More specifics haven't been detailed at this time.

-IMPROVED AI-

One thing really being stressed with Kingdom Hearts III is the improvement of AI not just for enemy characters but for ally characters as well. As mentioned above in the "Enemies" section, the Heartless have been given stronger AI which allows for things like the Heartless Tornado shown in the E3 2013 trailer as well as many other possibilities not seen in the series thus far. In the past games, when large amounts of enemies appeared they all followed a program action pattern. This time however each enemy behaves according to its own individual thought processes. The AI of the party members has also been improved with a special attention given to each character's personality. Since all the Disney characters have concrete personalities, this time around they want the characters to act according to their own thought processes. They are configuring it so that Donald and Goofy will behave more like themselves in battle, with their personalities evident in their actions. The direction they are taking in their growth is that they will be able to consider a situation and help out accordingly. We see examples of this for the first time in the E3 2015 trailer. On the Heartless side we can see a Heartless call out to other Heartless to form a horde against Sora. On the ally side, Goofy can use his shield to protect Sora and Donald while charging at foes. Nomura noted that the move with Goofy shown in the trailer is not just something the player can initiate, but that during battle Goofy can call to Sora to initiate it as well.

The Heartless will also work together against Sora, much like a "mother/child" type relationship where they will work to protect each other.

In addition, the improved AI will also allow for the NPCs of various worlds to be able to join in the battle, leading to very dynamic actions.

-ADDITIONAL-

Multiplayer and online functions are being taken into consideration due to the technology of next-gen consoles, but nothing has been announced at this time. In addition to online, Nomura revealed that smartphone support was also being considered.

When asked about the additional capabilities of the next-gen systems and whether or not they would be incorporated into the game, Nomura again reiterated that all was being considered for inclusion, but noted that he was particularly interested in the voice recognition feature, imagining that it would be cool to be able to shout out commands to Donald and Goofy during battle. He later went on to add that he was also considering functions for the DualShock's touchpad as well as the use of external devices such as tablets and the PlayStation Vita, but that, again, nothing was decided.

Asked again about the possibilities of online at E3 2015, Nomura confirmed that it is definitely a part of his wish list for the game, but currently they were focusing on developing the main campaign. That said, he added that he had plenty of ideas for online aspects even though they are not at the point where they can test these ideas in the main game yet.

In a conversation with Destructoid, Nomura revealed that Drive Forms, or something similar, were in consideration to be brought back. On the other hand, one gameplay element from Kingdom Hearts II that has been confirmed not to return is Reaction Commands.

While unable to talk about it yet, they are definitely working to include fun side quests and content.

-TECHNICAL INFORMATION-

-GRAPHICS-

In developing the graphics for Kingdom Hearts III much was debated among the staff. Whether or not they should go down a more realistic path, as with recent works, or try something different was a primary concern with many answers being thought over long and hard. In the end, Nomura knew that they had to return to their original goal for the graphics of the Kingdom Hearts series to evoke the feeling of the brush painted Disney works. He called on Takeshi Nozue to do various graphics tests, one after another, and the result of all of their investigations was what the development team referred to as the 'Kingdom Shader' and the visuals shown in the announcement trailer. With the Kingdom Shader, on the original worlds the characters will go around with that feel to them, but then, to match the style of each individual Disney world, the Shader will adjust the visuals depending on the world, leading to a more coherent presentation. Nomura noted that since the series skipped an entire generation of consoles that perhaps to fans it may seem that they are changing things too drastically but he assured us that they are doing their utmost best to take everything we have seen so far and evolve it to be even richer in Kingdom Hearts III.

With the graphics Nomura has stated that they are aiming for a photo realistic representation combined with the tone of each Disney world and that he wanted to avoid simply recreating the pre-rendered cutscenes of KH1 and KH2 in real time.

Due to the switch of engines from Luminous Studios to Unreal 4, the visuals of the game as well as the Kingdom Shader were updated with "a fresh new look" going forward.

In a conversation with Dengeki, Nomura revealed that the Kingdom Shader, while a good fit for many Disney films and the vast majority of worlds, will be unable to be used for all of them. Hinting possibly at a live-action film based world, Nomura added that for some worlds a more realistic shader would be required as the Kingdom Shader wouldn't be allowed.

-ENGINE-

At the time of the initial announcement, Kingdom Hearts III was being developed with Square-Enix's in-house engine the Luminous Studio. In September 2014 it was revealed that they had been having trouble with the engine and that for the time being they were proceeding with the development of the scenario and world selection. A month later, it was announced that, for a multitude of reasons, Kingdom Hearts III had switched engines from the in-house Luminous Studios to the Unreal 4 Engine and that they have been collaborating with the engine developer Epic Games to progress without incident. A few months later, Tai Yasue commented that now that they've worked out Unreal 4 as their development environment, as well as the general structure of the team and fresh new look for the game and its shader, development of Kingdom Hearts III was moving forward as they focused on making new things like attractions and Keyblade transformations.

Nomura later commented that thanks to the switch to Unreal 4, the tools and features used to make the unique representation of the series has expanded greatly and that through the expansion of the engine they have been able to elaborately devise fine and subtle expression in motion and continue to adjust this.

-VOICE ACTING/CUTSCENES-

We don't get our first real look at an actual cutscene in the game until the E3 2015 trailer where snippets of the game's opening cutscene featuring a young Xehanort and Eraqus is shown. Immediately it becomes clear how much the graphics of the cutscenes has improved since Dream Drop Distance. Unfortunately, not much else has been shown in regards to the games cutscenes.

Speaking to KHInsider, Nomura clarified that the scenes that had been shown thus far are not the final product and to look forward to any changes they might make leading up to release.

Due to voice acting being one of the last parts of development, not much is known yet about who is returning for Kingdom Hearts III. Ben Diskin reprises his role as Young Xehanort in the E3 2015 trailer with a yet-to-be-announced actor portraying Young Eraqus. Shortly after the initial announcement of Kingdom Hearts III, Haley Joel Osment revealed that he had talked to Disney/Square about returning, but that nothing had been set in stone yet due to the game still being relatively early in development.

Jessica DiCicco, voice of Olette, has expressed interest in reprising her role should the opportunity come about.

In January 2015, Chikao Ohtsuka, the Japanese voice actor for Captain Hook and Master Xehanort, passed away.

A month later, Leonard Nimoy, the English voice actor for Master Xehanort, also passed away.

In June 2015, Christopher Lee, voice of DiZ/Ansem the Wise, passed away.

In May 2016, it was announced that Alan Young, voice of Uncle Scrooge, passed away.

In early 2016, Bill Farmer (Goofy), Jim Cummings (Pete, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger) and Steve Burton (Cloud) all claimed or hinted at having done some recording for Kingdom Hearts III although whether or not this is accurate (or if it was actually for KH2.8 or another project) is currently unknown. On the other hand, Quinton Flynn (Lea/Axel) stated that he had not been asked to do any recording yet.

Confirmed Voice Actors So Far
-Ben Diskin as Young Xehanort

-TRAILERS & TRAILER IMPRESSIONS-

-E3 2013-



-D23 EXPO 2013-



-E3 2014-



-INSIDE THE KINGDOM, WITH HEART-

"The audience rushed to sit back down as the lights dimmed and the words "KINGDOM HEARTS III" appeared on the screen. We were first shown some concept artwork of three different types of Heartless. The first is one that appears like a burst of fire with a core of darkness. Another was an archer Heartless that appeared quite small, but donned an oversized hat and was lugging around a bow and quiver that was obviously too big for itself. The final Heartless was very large and looked to be inspired by Greek Gladiators, complete with helm, armor, shield and sword. Models for the two final Heartless were also shown with a default waiting animation. While the models themselves looked fine, the textures were clearly a work-in-progress and appeared to just be glossy, single-colored shaders attached to different parts of the body and did not possess much detail. These models were presented in a blank white space.

The next segment was of Sora and his new Keyblade that seems to have an angel-wing theme. We saw him transform his Keyblade into the dual-guns and suddenly switch to his Valor form outfit, and then combined the guns together into a cannon while switching into his Wisdom form outfit. This demonstration was also shown in a blank white space.


We then saw concept art of a grand city built on three hills, with the one in the center being slightly taller. The city seemed to be built in tiers leading up to the top, and a tower that was curiously almost identical in shape to that of the Daybreak Town tower topped the center hill. Chains connected the top corners of the center tower to the two surrounding hills, a motif that we have seen replicated in the structure of the castle in the Land of Departure. The concept art had the letters "C.T," beneath the center tower.


The camera zoomed into the tower and made the transition into 3D, and we saw just how vast and condensed the city was. We entered the tower into a library/office and immediately noticed Master Eraqus's symbol plastered on the overhead arch, and the χ symbol written on a chalkboard in the room. An upper loft could be seen in the study that lead to a row of books. The room was bathed in such soft and glowing light as wind flowed gently in from the windows, ruffling the curtains and passing over Sora's hair and clothes. Sora began to approach the window and his shadow began to spread across the checkered tile floor. The camera zoomed into a cluster of chess pieces topped with various symbols seen throughout the series, such as the heart and crown.


The footage ended with the message "More Kingdom Hearts III news coming 2015"."

-E3 2015-



-D23 EXPO ANAHEIM 2015-



-D23 EXPO JAPAN 2015 / JUMP FESTA 2015-



-DEMO IMPRESSIONS-

[COMING SOON?]


-ADDITIONAL INFO-

-IMAGES & RENDERS-

KHInsider's Kingdom Hearts III Image Database

-RELEASE DATE-

As of June 2015, the scheduling and release window for the game has been decided internally, but no announcement can be made yet.

-DEVELOPMENT STATUS-

Nomura felt that fans were getting restless since they had released nothing but handheld titles since Kingdom Hearts II and that was the impetus to announce Kingdom Hearts III at E3 2013. Having said that, he believed that perhaps it was too early in the development to have made the announcement and that the game wasn't very far along. A month after E3, Nomura clarified that the game had already been in development for some time and wasn't just starting, but added that since Kingdom Hearts III was being made by a team completely new to console development, and to the next generation of consoles in general, that they didn't have a playable build of the game yet. He explained that, at the current time, they were more in a test phase of development, working out the various gameplay elements and features and see what would and wouldn't work and that it would take some time to master.

In December 2013, Nomura revealed that he was currently writing the scenario for Kingdom Hearts III now.

In September 2014, it was announced that Nomura had left Final Fantasy XV as director and would be focusing on other projects, primarily Kingdom Hearts III and that Kingdom Hearts III was progressing steadily on schedule. Due to difficulties with the engine however, they have proceeded to work on scenario writing and world selection at this time, with new designs for Sora, Riku and the others having been completed as well.

In October 2014, a month later, it was announced that, for a multitude of reasons, Kingdom Hearts III had switched engines from the in-house Luminous Studios to the Unreal 4 Engine and that they have been collaborating with the engine developer Epic Games to progress without incident. A few months later, Tai Yasue commented that now that they've worked out Unreal 4 as their development environment, as well as the general structure of the team and fresh new look for the game and its shader, development of Kingdom Hearts III was moving forward as they focused on making new things like attractions and Keyblade transformations.

In April 2015 Nomura revealed that Kingdom Hearts III was developing smoothly.

A few months later, in June, Nomura stated that development on Kingdom Hearts III was relatively advanced with the gameplay and world assignments having been decided and the foundation already being done. Now they are at the stage of putting their effort into all details.

At the end of July, Nomura offered this development update:
"For the most part we've established the ground foundations, like the basic systems and mechanics of what's going to go in the game. Development of that is pretty much close to complete. But of course, since this is an HD title, it's now building the resources, and development of the 'mass' elements of it, like mass production of the areas and the actual things that are going into the game.

Other elements, including the mini-games and other various smaller items; their progress is very varied...some of them are polished and very close to final state, but at the same time some elements are still in the planning phase and I haven't laid out the groundwork yet. But the basic structure of what's going to go in the game is set, it's now a matter of mass production of the different elements."

In January 2016, Nomura stated that the game had entered a significant time of development. While PR will continue to handle information release as it has throughout the game's development, he reiterated that development is progressing well and is likely to release on schedule.

-SOURCES-

GENERAL INFORMATION - KINGDOM HEARTS III In 7/4 Famitsu Weekly! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
GENERAL INFORMATION - Expect a Wait Between Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV - IGN
GENERAL INFORMATION - Kingdom Hearts III Famitsu Interview Updated - The Return of Meow Wow? - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
GENERAL INFORMATION - Yoko Shimomura to compose Kingdom Hearts III - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
GENERAL INFORMATION - Nomura discusses HD 2.5 ReMIX, KH3, χ[chi] & more in latest Famitsu! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
GENERAL INFORMATION - KH3 Nomura Interview with Dengeki: Mt. Olympus, Happy Ending, Post-KH3 Direction Undecided - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
PRESS RELEASE - KINGDOM HEARTS III at the Future of Final Fantasy event! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
STORY - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q55lmpBjiy8
STORY - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oq0N-gD_8E
STORY - KINGDOM HEARTS III at the Future of Final Fantasy event! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
STORY - Dengeki Interviews Tetsuya Nomura! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
STORY - Kingdom Hearts III Famitsu Interview Updated - The Return of Meow Wow? - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
STORY - KHDestiny & KHisland Interviews Tetsuya Nomura at Japan Expo! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
STORY - Kingdom Hearts 3 Previewed in January 2014 Issue of Game Informer! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
STORY - Famitsu Interview with Tetsuya Nomura: KH3, Chi, 3D, and Costumes - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
STORY - Kingdom Hearts 2.5, Final Fantasy XV, and Type-0 in Famitsu Weekly! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
STORY - KH3 Nomura Interview with Dengeki: Mt. Olympus, Happy Ending, Post-KH3 Direction Undecided - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
STORY - http://forums.khinsider.com/kingdom...y-elments-mysteries-better-disney-worlds.html
WORLDS - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PpxGzE_5wI
WORLDS - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZRhOPegmQs
WORLDS - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oq0N-gD_8E
WORLDS - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uama5hh2ISA
WORLDS - KINGDOM HEARTS III + HD 1.5 ReMIX Nomura Interview - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
WORLDS - Tetsuya Nomura Interview at Japan Expo! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
WORLDS - KHDestiny & KHisland Interviews Tetsuya Nomura at Japan Expo! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
WORLDS - Conversation with Creators with Tetsuya Nomura Interview! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
WORLDS - Square Enix Presents with Nomura Tetsuya and Tai Yasue! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
WORLDS - Tetsuya Nomura's Kingdom Hearts 3 Interview with Engadget! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
WORLDS - https://twitter.com/KINGDOMHEARTS/status/632280628143112193
WORLDS - Big Hero 6 confirmed for Kingdom Hearts 3! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
WORLDS - “ã‚*ングダãƒ* ハーツ プレミアãƒ* シアター”で公開された最新情å*±ã®ãƒªãƒªãƒ¼ã‚¹ãŒåˆ°ç€ï¼ã€€ã€ŽKHIII』と『KH HD 2.8』は最新æ˜*像が! 『KH χ[ã‚*ー]』に新ワールドが追åŠ* - ファミ通.com
ENEMIES - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PpxGzE_5wI
ENEMIES - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZRhOPegmQs
ENEMIES - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oq0N-gD_8E
ENEMIES - KINGDOM HEARTS III + HD 1.5 ReMIX Nomura Interview - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ENEMIES - Tetsuya Nomura interview with Famitsu! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ENEMIES - Kingdom Hearts III Famitsu Interview Updated - The Return of Meow Wow? - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ENEMIES - D23 Expo Japan: Kingdom Hearts Premium Theater Coverage! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ENEMIES - http://www.khinsider.com/news/Exclusive-Interview-with-Tetsuya-Nomura-on-Kingdom-Hearts-2-8-KH3-6231
ADDITIONAL (STORY) - KINGDOM HEARTS III + HD 1.5 ReMIX Nomura Interview - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ADDITIONAL (STORY) - Dengeki Interviews Tetsuya Nomura! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ADDITIONAL (STORY) - KINGDOM HEARTS III In 7/4 Famitsu Weekly! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ADDITIONAL (STORY) - Kingdom Hearts III Famitsu Interview Updated - The Return of Meow Wow? - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ADDITIONAL (STORY) - http://www.gamestm.co.uk/interviews/rebuilding-kingdom-hearts-with-tetsuya-nomura/
BASIC SYSTEM - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PpxGzE_5wI
BASIC SYSTEM - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZRhOPegmQs
BASIC SYSTEM - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oq0N-gD_8E
BASIC SYSTEM - Square Enix Channel Interviews Tetsuya Nomura - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
KEYBLADE TRANSFORMATIONS - Kingdom Hearts III Famitsu Interview Updated - The Return of Meow Wow? - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
KEYBLADE TRANSFORMATIONS - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZRhOPegmQs
KEYBLADE TRANSFORMATIONS - UPDATE: Nomura Interview in Famitsu - Kingdom Hearts 3 and 2.5 Detailed! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
KEYBLADE TRANSFORMATIONS - UPDATE: Nomura Interview in Famitsu - Kingdom Hearts 3 and 2.5 Detailed! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
KEYBLADE TRANSFORMATIONS - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oq0N-gD_8E
KEYBLADE TRANSFORMATIONS - Square Enix Presents with Nomura Tetsuya and Tai Yasue! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
KEYBLADE TRANSFORMATIONS - Nomura discusses Keyblade Transformations, Tangled, KH3's ending progress and more with Famitsu - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ATTRACTION FLOW / FLOWMOTION - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZRhOPegmQs
ATTRACTION FLOW / FLOWMOTION - UPDATE: Nomura Interview in Famitsu - Kingdom Hearts 3 and 2.5 Detailed! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ATTRACTION FLOW / FLOWMOTION - UPDATE: Nomura Interview in Famitsu - Kingdom Hearts 3 and 2.5 Detailed! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ATTRACTION FLOW / FLOWMOTION - UPDATE: Nomura Interview in Famitsu - Kingdom Hearts 3 and 2.5 Detailed! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ATTRACTION FLOW / FLOWMOTION - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oq0N-gD_8E
ATTRACTION FLOW / FLOWMOTION - Square Enix Presents with Nomura Tetsuya and Tai Yasue! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ATTRACTION FLOW / FLOWMOTION - “ã‚*ングダãƒ* ハーツ プレミアãƒ* シアター”で公開された最新情å*±ã®ãƒªãƒªãƒ¼ã‚¹ãŒåˆ°ç€ï¼ã€€ã€ŽKHIII』と『KH HD 2.8』は最新æ˜*像が! 『KH χ[ã‚*ー]』に新ワールドが追åŠ* - ファミ通.com
FREE RUNNING - Conversation with Creators with Tetsuya Nomura Interview! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
FREE RUNNING - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oq0N-gD_8E
ENVIRONMENTAL - Conversation with Creators with Tetsuya Nomura Interview! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ENVIRONMENTAL - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oq0N-gD_8E
ENVIRONMENTAL - Tetsuya Nomura's Kingdom Hearts 3 Interview with Engadget! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ENVIRONMENTAL - Roundtable Chat with Tetsuya Nomura at E3 2015! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
SUMMONS - KINGDOM HEARTS III + HD 1.5 ReMIX Nomura Interview - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
IMPROVED AI - Tetsuya Nomura interview with Famitsu! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
IMPROVED AI - Conversation with Creators with Tetsuya Nomura Interview! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
IMPROVED AI - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oq0N-gD_8E
IMPROVED AI - Square Enix Presents with Nomura Tetsuya and Tai Yasue! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
IMPROVED AI - 4Gamer Interviews Nomura on KH3, Unchained x: Transformations, Development, Reaction from Overseas - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ADDITIONAL (GAMEPLAY) - KINGDOM HEARTS III + HD 1.5 ReMIX Nomura Interview - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ADDITIONAL (GAMEPLAY) - Tetsuya Nomura interview with Famitsu! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ADDITIONAL (GAMEPLAY) - New Kingdom Hearts 3 Details from Dengeki Playstation! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ADDITIONAL (GAMEPLAY) - KHDestiny & KHisland Interviews Tetsuya Nomura at Japan Expo! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ADDITIONAL (GAMEPLAY) - Conversation with Creators with Tetsuya Nomura Interview! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ADDITIONAL (GAMEPLAY) - Tetsuya Nomura's Kingdom Hearts 3 Interview with Engadget! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ADDITIONAL (GAMEPLAY) - Tetsuya Nomura talks Drive Forms and more with Destructoid! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ADDITIONAL (GAMEPLAY) - Dengeki Interview with Tetsuya Nomura: Farewell, Reaction Commands - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ADDITIONAL (GAMEPLAY) - Playstation Access: 8 Things About Kingdom Hearts 3 You Need to Know - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
GRAPHICS - Tetsuya Nomura interview with Famitsu! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
GRAPHICS - Kingdom Hearts III Famitsu Interview Updated - The Return of Meow Wow? - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
GRAPHICS - Conversation with Creators with Tetsuya Nomura Interview! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
GRAPHICS - Tai Yasue Talks About Kingdom Hearts 3: More Coming in 2015 - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
GRAPHICS - Dengeki Interview with Tetsuya Nomura: Farewell, Reaction Commands - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ENGINE - Tetsuya Nomura interview with Famitsu! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ENGINE - Kingdom Hearts III Famitsu Interview Updated - The Return of Meow Wow? - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ENGINE - Famitsu Interview with Tetsuya Nomura: KH3, Chi, 3D, and Costumes - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ENGINE - Kingdom Hearts 2.5, Final Fantasy XV, and Type-0 in Famitsu Weekly! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ENGINE - Kingdom Hearts III to be developed on Unreal Engine 4! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ENGINE - Tai Yasue Talks About Kingdom Hearts 3: More Coming in 2015 - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
ENGINE - Nomura discusses Keyblade Transformations, Tangled, KH3's ending progress and more with Famitsu - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
VOICE ACTING / CUTSCENES - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oq0N-gD_8E
VOICE ACTING / CUTSCENES - Ben Diskin Reprises Role as Young(er) Xehanort in Kingdom Hearts 3 Trailer - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
VOICE ACTING / CUTSCENES - Haley Joel Osment Comments on Kingdom Hearts 3 - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
VOICE ACTING / CUTSCENES - Jessica DiCicco voices interest in reprising role of Olette! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
VOICE ACTING / CUTSCENES - Chikao Ohtsuka, voice of Master Xehanort, dies at 85 - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
VOICE ACTING / CUTSCENES - Leonard Nimoy, voice of Master Xehanort, dies at 83 - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
VOICE ACTING / CUTSCENES - Sir Christopher Lee, voice of Ansem the Wise, dies at 93 - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
VOICE ACTING / CUTSCENES - http://www.khinsider.com/news/Exclusive-Interview-with-Tetsuya-Nomura-on-Kingdom-Hearts-2-8-KH3-6231
VOICE ACTING / CUTSCENES - http://www.khinsider.com/news/RUMOR-Winnie-the-Pooh-Tigger-to-be-featured-in-Kingdom-Hearts-3-6278
VOICE ACTING / CUTSCENES - http://www.khinsider.com/news/Bill-Farmer-reaffirms-he-recorded-for-Kingdom-Hearts-3-6348
VOICE ACTING / CUTSCENES - http://www.khinsider.com/news/Steve-Burton-Hints-At-Recording-for-KH3-6368
VOICE ACTING / CUTSCENES - https://scontent-sea1-1.xx.fbcdn.ne...=93db507f8eb8eed95d8e038111446489&oe=5716C428
VOICE ACTING / CUTSCENES - http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/alan-young-dead-mister-ed-816846
TRAILERS & TRAILER IMPRESSIONS - Recap! Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMix NA Launch Event - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
TRAILERS & TRAILER IMPRESSIONS - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBusI7i23wo
TRAILERS & TRAILER IMPRESSIONS - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfw_r1UCPs0
RELEASE DATE - KH3 Nomura Interview with Dengeki: Mt. Olympus, Happy Ending, Post-KH3 Direction Undecided - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
DEVELOPMENT STATUS - Kingdom Hearts III Famitsu Interview Updated - The Return of Meow Wow? - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
DEVELOPMENT STATUS - KHDestiny & KHisland Interviews Tetsuya Nomura at Japan Expo! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
DEVELOPMENT STATUS - Nomura discusses HD 2.5 ReMIX, KH3, χ[chi] & more in latest Famitsu! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
DEVELOPMENT STATUS - Tetsuya Nomura Leaves Final Fantasy XV, Focusing on Kingdom Hearts 3 - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
DEVELOPMENT STATUS - Famitsu Interview with Tetsuya Nomura: KH3, Chi, 3D, and Costumes - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
DEVELOPMENT STATUS - Kingdom Hearts 2.5, Final Fantasy XV, and Type-0 in Famitsu Weekly! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
DEVELOPMENT STATUS - Kingdom Hearts III to be developed on Unreal Engine 4! - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
DEVELOPMENT STATUS - Tai Yasue Talks About Kingdom Hearts 3: More Coming in 2015 - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
DEVELOPMENT STATUS - Nomura: Kingdom Hearts 3 is Developing Smoothly, Smartphone title coming soon - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
DEVELOPMENT STATUS - Nomura: Kingdom Hearts 3 Development Reportedly is "Relatively Advanced" - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
DEVELOPMENT STATUS - 4Gamer Interviews Nomura on KH3, Unchained x: Transformations, Development, Reaction from Overseas - News - Kingdom Hearts Insider
DEVELOPMENT STATUS - Kingdom Hearts 3 director issues a new development update
DEVELOPMENT STATUS - http://www.khinsider.com/news/Hashimoto-and-Nomura-talk-about-the-Future-in-Famitsu-6255


And there you have it. I plan to keep it updated as new information is released. Let me know what you think, if there could be improvements and if I missed anything you think should be included~

:3

UPDATE (04-17-2016) [NOTE: All Updates in BOLD]
-Updated Trailers Section
-Updated Enemies Section
-Updated Cutscenes/Voice Acting Section
-Updated Development Status Section
-Updated Additional (Story) Section
 
Last edited:

Oracle Spockanort

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I had actually started one and was almost done but you definitely beat me to the punch and this is amazing! (I had only started mine to carry on your legacy but then you came back!)

;A; this is so beautiful, Audo <3
 

BlackOsprey

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You, Audo, deserve a cookie for taking the time to compile all of this in an organized, comprehensive fashion.
 

Oracle Spockanort

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Oh, just a note, Business Division 1 is the "Tokyo" kids with Kitase as corporate exec and where Nomura and Hashimoto are based. Business Division 3 is the Osaka kids, in which Hashimoto is corporate exec of.

Business Division 2 is handling FFXV with Tabata as their corporate executive; Business Division 1 has not had a hand in FFXV for some time now since they were the ones working on the XIII games, and at some point Business Division 2 slid in as they finished Type-0 way back when.

These three divisions + BD4 make up the entire 1st Production Department we are all familiar with in the past.
 
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Audo

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I had actually started one and was almost done but you definitely beat me to the punch and this is amazing! (I had only started mine to carry on your legacy but then you came back!)
D: I'm sorry you had put through all that work!

;A; this is so beautiful, Audo <3
:3

You, Audo, deserve a cookie for taking the time to compile all of this in an organized, comprehensive fashion.
Thaaanks.

Oh, just a note, Business Division 1 is the "Tokyo" kids with Kitase as corporate exec and where Nomura and Hashimoto are based. Business Division 3 is the Osaka kids, in which Hashimoto is corporate exec of.

Business Division 2 is handling FFXV with Tabata as their corporate executive; Business Division 1 has not had a hand in FFXV for some time now since they were the ones working on the XIII games, and at some point Business Division 2 slid in as they finished Type-0.
Good to know, I'll change it.
 

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D: I'm sorry you had put through all that work!
No, it wasn't all in vain!

I'm thinking of using what I made and making a general discussion thread for KH3 when it releases. It'd be a lot more basic than this, and serve as more of a "where can you buy/"I JUST BEAT MOTHER GOTHEL WHY WAS SHE SO DAMN DIFFICULT"/"holy shit holy shit holy shit"/link back to this EWKA for more in-depth information/KH3 is finally out what is life" thread. Essentially unordered discussion that usually has no home for itself but also serve as an OT that can help guide people to the right places.

You did a phenomenal job! I really missed these threads <3 I still go back to the Xion thread every now and then xD
 

Audo

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You did a phenomenal job! I really missed these threads <3 I still go back to the Xion thread every now and then xD
Thank you :3
I kind of missed them, too. Even though they are such a chore, lol.

this is awesome, krispie!!! good job slogging through all of those interviews and articles. this is super handy!
all thanks to you pushin me :p

Also, it hasn't even been up for two hours and I've already had to update the main post with new information! Yeeesh. For ease, I've bolded any new updates that are made when new information comes to light~
 

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*whispers* it's beautiful.

Weren't you going to go on an extended KH hiatus though once we got at about this time of development? I mean, I'm obviously glad you haven't.
 

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*whispers* it's beautiful.

Weren't you going to go on an extended KH hiatus though once we got at about this time of development? I mean, I'm obviously glad you haven't.
Since all they've talked about for the past two years has been gameplay stuff I haven't felt the need to go into hiatus yet. I'm kind of playing it by heart. When they start revealing more about the plot and stuff, if I feel like too much has been shown, then I might go into hiatus. But for now I am here.
 

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Since all they've talked about for the past two years has been gameplay stuff I haven't felt the need to go into hiatus yet. I'm kind of playing it by heart. When they start revealing more about the plot and stuff, if I feel like too much has been shown, then I might go into hiatus. But for now I am here.
Cool. I'm considering a similar exit strategy, considering I've already over-analyzed the little bits of plot we've seen I don't want to do the same thing I've done for the whole series. Though if they were better at trailers...

Anyway, who knows, these trailers have already been way different so maybe Nomura's learnt his lesson.
 

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Cool. I'm considering a similar exit strategy, considering I've already over-analyzed the little bits of plot we've seen I don't want to do the same thing I've done for the whole series. Though if they were better at trailers...
Yeah. I just really wanted to get the feeling I got when I played KH1, where I really didn't know "who I was going to run into next" and what not. Every game since then has felt a little hollower because so much was revealed before hand and what not. I don't want to ruin KH3 like that. But, again, for me it will likely take one big spoil for me to go "okay I need to exit" first, lol.

Anyway, who knows, these trailers have already been way different so maybe Nomura's learnt his lesson.
Probably not, lol. I think it's mostly just because the scenario was being developed later than the gameplay and that they have to be careful about when to reveal information like Disney worlds.
 
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o(*゚▽゚*)o Wow, seeing it all like this makes me really hyped for it, haha! You're really good at explaining things, Mr. Audo!

I know it'd be dangerous to get my hopes too high about a game like KH3, which has so many hopes from fans going into it that it's destined to fall short in some way, but I'm really, really excited after seeing all this, I can't help it! Reading this made my chest clench in anticipation, it's really not a dream~ I really wanna see the others' redesigns and everything~
 

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o(*゚▽゚*)o Wow, seeing it all like this makes me really hyped for it, haha! You're really good at explaining things, Mr. Audo!

I know it'd be dangerous to get my hopes too high about a game like KH3, which has so many hopes from fans going into it that it's destined to fall short in some way, but I'm really, really excited after seeing all this, I can't help it! Reading this made my chest clench in anticipation, it's really not a dream~ I really wanna see the others' redesigns and everything~
I kind of had the opposite reaction, lol. Putting this thread together just reminded me of how little I was excited about KH3. I think it's because the thing that I'm really interested in has always been the story and there just hasn't been much revealed about that yet. And it's hard not to have your eyes glaze over after the 29040934th interview where Nomura talks about the BOLD and FLASHY action of Keyblade Transformations lol.

This is an amazing post Audo
Thank you
 
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