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Exclusive: KHInsider Interviews Tetsuya Nomura - Part 2!



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We had the chance to interview Series Director Tetsuya Nomura at the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMix launch event in a joint session with Churro from KHUltimania. We were only able to post the first part of the interview previously, but we are happy to finally provide the complete interview for your reading pleasure!

PART 1:

---To start things off, how are you today, Nomura-san?

Nomura: I'm doing fine, thank you. Looking forward to being here. Actually my flight was delayed for 2.5 hours but I didn't realize it until later because I had fallen asleep (laughs).

---How did it feel to revisit these titles again? 

Nomura: It felt the same as it did throughout the series, as our focus was to make the game more accessible to newer players. That was our stance throughout the project, and it has not changed. 

---How big was the development team for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix?

Nomura: It was the same as 1.5. We has a designated team of programmers specifically working on the remasters and a same art team that's been working on the series.

---One of the two new scenes in Re:coded features a conversation Xigbar has with Young Master Xehanort before the events of KH3D. In this scene, it appears that not even his younger self is entirely on board with Master Xehanort's plans, as if his status as a confident participant is uncertain. Could you tell us about his position at this current point in time and what we may look forward to in the future with him?

Nomura: As you know, Xehanort loses his memory at the end of KH3D. However, he has something like a beacon inside him that guides him unconsciously. It's a feeling in his heart that he doesn't quite understand but follows regardless. In that regard, you could say he really is just walking the path laid out for him.

---Many of our fans are excited to see the Birth by Sleep Final Mix secret ending, which mentions Birth by Sleep Volume 2. What were your thoughts behind including this?

Nomura: I suppose you could say that the ideas are "floating". See, Birth by Sleep Volume 2 was never meant to be the second chapter of Birth by Sleep. Rather, it was intended to be a separate piece. The ideas are still there, but they are not currently being pursued. Perhaps in the future we will have the opportunity to touch back upon this subject.

---What was the process in choosing which scenes from Re:coded to remake?

Nomura: I'd go over the entire script first. Of course the scenes that were already animated would automatically be included, but we'd tweak them in such a way that "adds flavor". That is, make them more interesting for players to experience and more suitable for cinematic theater as we can't rely on gameplay. We also focused on taking the scenes that focused purely on the Kingdom Hearts original content, and enhanced them further because they are so crucial to the story. In order to select from the Disney worlds, we focused on balancing the important scenes with the charm that these characters and locales inherently bring.

 

PART 2:

---In the credits of Kingdom Hearts 1.5, scenes from Kingdom Hearts 2, Birth by Sleep, and Re:coded were shown to hint at the next remaster. In the credits of Kingdom Hearts 2.5, scenes from Dream Drop Distance and Kingdom Hearts 3 were shown. Recent updates in Kingdom Hearts X[chi] also showed updated models for characters from Dream Drop Distance.

A comment was previously made that a remaster for this title would be under consideration, but has that changed now that 2.5 has been released?

Nomura: On one hand, technological tests have proven that we are capable of making an HD version of the game, but on the other hand, I also feel that it may not be as appealing (compared to KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5 ReMIX and KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.5 ReMIX) if we release KINGDOM HEARTS 3D [Dream Drop Distance] on its own. We are still trying to determine what would be the best course of action.

---The Book of Prophecies introduced in Kingdom Hearts X[chi] contains records of events that have yet to exist, whereas Jiminy’s Journal and the Datascape contains records of events that have already occurred. How does their connection, as suggested by Maleficent in Re:coded, play a role in future events?

Nomura: It will be revealed eventually, so please look forward to it.

---English cutscenes were left entirely intact in the Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts 2.5, yet the Japanese cutscenes were removed in the English version. Does the possibility for a proper dual-language option exist for future installments?

Nomura: In KINGDOM HEARTS, the characters are lip-synched, so if we do a proper dual-language option, there will be twice the amount of data for cutscenes and sound. Because of that, it might be tough to make happen due to limitations on capacity.

---What was the inspiration of creating a villain like Master Xehanort?

Nomura: I wanted this character to be not like a monster, but more like a master of martial arts who has trimmed away anything unnecessary. A being that would represent darkness, and a sense of terror exuding from his silent demeanor. One who wants to negate Sora -- that is the root of my inspiration.

---KH1.5's special credits contained scenes from KH2, BBS and Re:coded, which eventually became the titles included in KH2.5. Will the KH2.5 special credits contain a similar hint?

Nomura: I’d like players to see for themselves by playing through the game.

---Which Organization XIII Data fight from Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix was your favorite?

Nomura: Though I wouldn’t call it my “favorite fight,” there is something I found very interesting (fascinating). Zexion never had a style of combat (since the player did not fight him in the original KINGDOM HEARTS II), but when the two teams worked simultaneously to create him (Osaka team for KINGDOM HEARTS Re:Chain of Memories and the Tokyo team for KINGDOM HEARTS II FINAL MIX), his battle style turned out completely different between the two games.

 

KHInsider: 1-2,4,6 | 2-1,2,3
KHUltimania: 1-1,3,5 | 2-4,5,6

 

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YOU CAN'T HIDE YOUR SECRETS FROM US, NOMURA

WE KNOOOOOOOW

WE KNOW EVERYTHING
 

Taochan

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You guys are choking Nomura-san! Let him breathe! haha
Really nice interview though. You guys really wanted to squeeze some info out of him.
We ask the hard hitting questions that interviewers usually have no idea to ask. 8D
 

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Hmm...

Nomura: In KINGDOM HEARTS, the characters are lip-synched, so if we do a proper dual-language option, there will be twice the amount of data for cutscenes and sound. Because of that, it might be tough to make happen due to limitations on capacity.

I can understand that'd it'd take up a lot of data having the game render both English and Japanese cutscene data...considering a game like KH3 is going to install onto the HDD and the only limit that should be anticipated is the minimum HDD size that PS4/XB1s come with.

And say KH3D was a solo game, it'd have more than enough space left for dual audio.
 

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Hmm...



I can understand that'd it'd take up a lot of data having the game render both English and Japanese cutscene data...considering a game like KH3 is going to install onto the HDD and the only limit that should be anticipated is the minimum HDD size that PS4/XB1s come with.

And say KH3D was a solo game, it'd have more than enough space left for dual audio.

Do you guys like the Japanese voices? I couldnt really get into them honestly.

We ask the hard hitting questions that interviewers usually have no idea to ask. 8D

The type of questions that results in typical Nomura answers xp

I had a feeling he would like Zexion's data battle though. I also thought it was the most interesting and different considering he's not the fighter type.
 

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It almost sound like Nomura have been lurking around KH-related sites in his free time. XD
did he react to something fishy about the questions that you've asked for him?

I think we caught him off guard with the story questions to be honest. That's a very rare topic in his interviews with western press. Unfortunately for us, he's been doing this far longer than we have and is a little difficult to read.

But hey, we got one of his legendary "Please look forward to it"!
 
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Master Sora

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I think we caught him off guard with the story questions to be honest. That's a very rare topic in his interviews with western press.

But hey, we got one of his legendary "Please look forward to it"!

Did you guys understand Japanese or was there someone to translate his words for you? I know he understands English, but doesn't speak it very well. I'm assuming one of you guys are able to speak it fluently.
 

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There was a translator with us, so we would read out our questions in English for her to translate them into Japanese for Nomura, and vice versa with his responses :D
 

sonickenshin

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Great interview, guys!

---English cutscenes were left entirely intact in the Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts 2.5, yet the Japanese cutscenes were removed in the English version. Does the possibility for a proper dual-language option exist for future installments?
Nomura: In KINGDOM HEARTS, the characters are lip-synched, so if we do a proper dual-language option, there will be twice the amount of data for cutscenes and sound. Because of that, it might be tough to make happen due to limitations on capacity.
....but his team managed to put about 4 language tracks in total in KH 2.5 and lip sync seems like a non-issue cause half the time they're not even on point over here. ._.

Do you guys like the Japanese voices? I couldnt really get into them honestly.
*raises hand* I do. I just like the acting a lot better in the Japanese track than the Englsh dub, especially since lately a lot of the acting in the English dub just doesn't do anything for me.
 
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Master Sora

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I guess the English voices grew on me since it had most of the iconic Disney voice actors form the movies. Actually I DO like the Japanese voices for the FF characters, but some of them for the Disney voices I couldnt get into xD
 

ShardofTruth

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Part 2 has definitely the more interesting questions and even though the answers are evasive at best, I'm glad you asked them. I'm not sure how lip-synching is even done but it's obviously not during the game, so maybe it's time to change that for KHIII so we can finally have dual language support.
 

rawpower

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Did Nomura get pissed off at your very direct line of questioning? Instead of asking, you should have just flat out told him to release Chi over here and to release KH ULTIMATE on PS4 including 3D. Then he would have no choice. Also, TWEWY sequel. You had your chance and you blew it. Nice job.
 

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It was just interesting to test the waters and see how far we could go. I'm very grateful that we even got the answers we did. If we get another chance to interview him in the near future, I feel confident that we will be able to narrow down what will get us complete, unfiltered answers but that's not going to stop me from pushing the limits
 

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I feel like we got the most straight forward answers regarding BBSv2 and HD DDD than we've ever been able to get before. And we've made our knowledge of Chi known to him, so perhaps he will try to push for something to happen with us seeing Chi in some form in the future. I mean, his wanting us to play Coded is the only reason it ever made it to the DS. I'm thrilled that we were able to ask anything at all, and I'm happy with the answers.
 

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Nomura: On one hand, technological tests have proven that we are capable of making an HD version of the game, but on the other hand, I also feel that it may not be as appealing (compared to KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5 ReMIX and KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.5 ReMIX) if we release KINGDOM HEARTS 3D [Dream Drop Distance] on its own. We are still trying to determine what would be the best course of action.
They've done HD testing on it and have determined that they could definitely do a proper version of it. But he doesn't feel comfortable doing it because of it's standalone status. Nomura... just do it. On PS4/Xbox One. Just release it by itself on there. with a kh3 demo

---The Book of Prophecies introduced in Kingdom Hearts X[chi] contains records of events that have yet to exist, whereas Jiminy’s Journal and the Datascape contains records of events that have already occurred. How does their connection, as suggested by Maleficent in Re:coded, play a role in future events?

Nomura: It will be revealed eventually, so please look forward to it.
The annoying part about his answer here is that we don't know when it will be answered. He says eventually so that sounds like this is a topic for waaaaay down the line :x

Nomura: In KINGDOM HEARTS, the characters are lip-synched, so if we do a proper dual-language option, there will be twice the amount of data for cutscenes and sound. Because of that, it might be tough to make happen due to limitations on capacity.
They were able to put properly lip sync'd English dialogue on the Japanese disks so I have no idea why he's worried about capacity. Especially since I doubt they'll fill the entire blu-ray disk for KH3.

---KH1.5's special credits contained scenes from KH2, BBS and Re:coded, which eventually became the titles included in KH2.5. Will the KH2.5 special credits contain a similar hint?

Nomura: I’d like players to see for themselves by playing through the game.
I'm really sorry, but I just have issues with this question and answer. It's not even a proper answer to the question. And this question shouldn't really have been ask. Arg, sorry I shouldn't complain about this but it just frustrates me.

Did Nomura get pissed off at your very direct line of questioning? Instead of asking, you should have just flat out told him to release Chi over here and to release KH ULTIMATE on PS4 including 3D. Then he would have no choice. Also, TWEWY sequel. You had your chance and you blew it. Nice job.
Hey, I was pushing to ask him about a localised version of Chi. But that didn't get selected x_x
 

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I also had a great question about Babynort's statement about Oldynort's ancient Keyblade and the connection to the Foretellers, but I have a feeling that would have gone as well as the Book of Prophecies question 8D
 
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