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Famitsu wraps up the latest batch of interviews with Nomura by clearing up some issues raised regarding KINGDOM HEARTS 3 on the Nintendo Switch, remasters on Xbox, and the game's development progress. They also address Jessie and Bullseye's absence in the latest trailer featuring the newly announced Toy Story world, and the different voice cast for Woody and Buzz.
Thanks to Saken, you can read the interview below:
-After showing the trailer, the whole arena burst into shouts of joy! It was amazing!
Nomura: When I showed the last trailer at the Orchestra concert in LA, I also got some wild applause, which is encouraging. I'm relieved that I was once again able to cause such a reaction throughout the crowd. I heard that it was sort of difficult to hear my voice over the live stream though, that's unfortunate.
-Well we heard it loud and clear throughout the arena. That being said, I believe that both fans in the arena and watching the live stream got pretty riled up.
Nomura: Thinking about last time, how because it was a sudden request I could only show 1 piece of concept art, this time I really wanted to show fans a lot more. So, it sorta came out on the long side (wry laugh). What I showed is actually a lengthy cutscene, so originally I tried a few things like splicing the cutscene up to a digestible size, while also considering the pacing, but even that was too long.
-I hear that you've sat countless interviews with foreign media related to the contents shown in the trailer.
Nomura: I've sat quite a few of those, haven't I. However, when what I say in those interviews is reported in Japan, oftentimes things I haven't even said are used as some "sensational" headline, which then propagate incorrect information.
-Are you talking about how there were reports that KH3 could release on the Nintendo Switch?
Nomura: In that interview, I was asked if we had any plans for KH3 on the Nintendo Switch, to which I replied: "Our utmost priority is on the consoles we have already announced, the PS4 and Xbox One. In regard to releases on other hardware, once we have released KH3 for the aforementioned consoles, then we may consider it."
-In other words, there are no plans for a Nintendo Switch release at this time. But also, you say "hardware", so we can't narrow it down to just the Nintendo Switch, right?
Nomura: That's right. I think the "we may consider it" got misinterpretated and became "there's chances for a release". Regarding the "other hardware", it's not restricted to just the Nintendo Switch but again, this may all be considered only once we are done with the PS4 and Xbox One editions.
-We've also been hearing that you've said that "an Xbox One release for the HD remasters is not needed in Japan". Is this another misinterpretation?
Nomura: I haven't said anything like that. I was asked if Xbox One versions of the remasters would come out, and like before, I answered that the utmost priority was to release them first on the consoles we had already announced them for (PS3, PS4).
I also said that now that the Xbox One X has been announced, also considering that if we were to make it, it would release after KH3's release on the Xbox One, it would be way too late and difficult to release in terms of timing. Especially considering the current market in Japan.
-We also picked up that in the foreign interviews, you were saying that production is taking a long time. Is this an effect of, as you have mentioned in earlier interviews, the change in game engine?
Nomura: Okay, let me put it in a way that won't be misunderstood. The reason for the delays are because of things like changes in the company's objectives, modifications to the periods of time between staff rotations, and backtracking due to the switching of game engines. These things affect not only KH3, but all titles at Square Enix. I've already briefly touched on this topic several times before in interviews, but it seems to have not been properly understood. When there's changes from within the company, there's no other choice but to be affected by it, and these changes hardly have anything to do with the fans so I feel there's no need to talk much about it.
Sure, there were times where we weren't very blessed by the timing of these changes, but there was never really any direct problems. Through these changes, the company has established a cooperative and collaborative system, so there's no further need to worry
-I certainly do recall asking about these unexpected circumstances before, and you answering that they had to do with a change in company direction. So after the changes, you were able to commit fully to KH3, which made today's announcement possible?
Nomura: Even if I were to use the complete truth to answer these questions, it would just beg for more minsunderstandings. I'm not going to explain any further details, I hope that with what I've said things have become a little clearer.
-From here on out, I'd like to ask more about the details of today's announcment. You've said that you've wanted to have a Toy Story world from back in the KH2 days, can you explain what drew you sepcifically to Toy Story?
Nomura: Well firstly, Toy Story was a pioneer in the field of cartoon CG. Just that is enough to grab anyone's attention. Secondly, it is widely known as a film that is representative of Pixar. Finally, I thought that it would match well in the Kingdom Hearts universe. I always thought that the question of whether "a toy could harbour a heart" would make a very good Kingdom Hearts story.
-With the heart being a major theme in Kingdom Hearts, it definitely fits. The fact that this time, an original story is being prepared is also incredibly exciting.
Nomura: There was huge desire from the Pixar creators to have original stories for both Toy Story and Big Hero 6. So that's what we decided on. Up until now, Sora, Donald and Goofy have always been placed into a well known Disney setting, but this time I'm curious to see what will happen.
-You've said that the story of the Toy Story world will take place after the 2nd movie...
Nomura: I wrote the plot thinking it would slot between 1 and 2, but in the end it became a story taking place after the 2nd movie.
-So then, where are the characters that made their debut in the 2nd film, like Jessie and Bullseye?
Nomura: As well as Jessie and Bullseye, there will also be other characters that didn't appear in the trailer. It was explained a little in the cutscene, but when Andy went missing, so did some of the other toys.
-Ah, so that's part of the story... By the way, Woody and Buzz's Japanese voice actors are a bit different, can you elaborate on why?
Nomura: We don't decide on the casting for them. That's Disney's decision. Disney already has their own games with Woody and Buzz in them, and they use those voice actors, so they probably opted for the same with KH3.
-I see. Next, in this world, Sora will appear to be as a toy. There's a certain impact to seeing him like that.
Nomura: To get to his current state, the Kingdom Hearts team's art directors designed him after much discussion with Pixar. And so, just as with previous installments, there will be worlds where, upon visiting, Sora, Donald and Goofy's outfits will change.
-By that do you mean in existing worlds we've already played through in previous Kingdom Hearts games?
Nomura: I can't tell you where (laughs). I actually wanted to see Sora in outfits characteristic to those specific worlds, so I drew them up.
-We can't wait for you to unveil them. As for existing worlds, we still aren't exactly sure which ones will show up and which won't but, have you thought of ways to express them in a more KH3-esque style?
Nomura: For the already existing Disney worlds, we are preparing locations that will be completely different from before. Also, for already existing original worlds, like Yen Sid's tower, even in locations already explored, upon exiting the tower and looking outside you'll find yourself thinking "Wow, did the night sky with all the glistening stars always look that pretty?". You'll be surprised with these sorts of discoveries. Especially in Twilight Town.
Primarly, Disney worlds will be for gameplay progression, so there will be many new locations for you to enjoy playing around in, while the existing original worlds will be for story progression. In already visited locations, you will especially be able to indulge in our power to now properly express the location in all its glory.
-In regard to gameplay, in the Toy Story world, Woody and Buzz were both able to enter the party at the same time. Can you explain how this is possible in more detail?
Nomura: The maximum number of members able to enter your party have increased. I'll be announcing the details at a later date. And of course, you'll be able to perform link attacks with both Woody and Buzz.
-The announcement this time showcased a lot of different content all available within just the Toy Story world. From riding robots and fighing in an FPS style, to Keyblade transformations, to link attacks... so much content for just one world!
Nomura: Both in this world, and throughout all of KH3 in general, there's still a lot more coming that I think everyone will be pleased with. Just as this trailer's phrase dictates, imagination doesn't end in an idea, it can be manifested and experienced. That's what we want to show with KH3. I want everyone to "Dive in" and fully experience the world of KH3.