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The KINGDOM HEARTS Fan Event last night may have only been 80 minutes long, but in that time, they released a flurry of new information and content. Between 2 new trailers to the long awaited reveal of Utada Hikaru's theme song, there's a lot to cover. So, IGN Japan compiled 11 new pieces of information from the event that you might have missed in all the hullabaloo!
Read translations below, thanks to Saken:
11 New pieces of information from D23 Expo Japan that have shed some light on Kingdom Hearts 3
While the most crucial piece of information, the release date, is still unknown, at today’s D23 Expo Japan we received plenty of new information on Kingdom Hearts 3.
We have taken this information and summarised it for your reading pleasure.
1. Monsters Inc. World
In the latest trailer, “Monsters Inc.” was revealed as a new world. Following Toy Story, Monsters Inc. is the 2nd Pixar world that has been introduced into KH3. Taking on appearances similar to those of Mike and Sully, Sora and friends set out on an adventure in the new Monsters Inc world, with plenty of new gimmicks to play around with.
2. Utada Hikaru’s new song “Oath” set as the theme song
Having already compiled songs for both Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II, after 13 years Utada Hikaru returns again for the theme song of KHIII. The name of this one is “Oath”, which can be partly heard in the recent trailers.
3. Transformations of Gummi Ships to the Open World
A staple of the series, the highly customizable Gummi Ships are something you use to fly through space in order to reach brand new worlds. In KH3, they’re back again, with ever more the customizability. Additionally, what used to be linear stages have now been revamped into open world environments with a 360 degree view, where you may freely fly and travel as you see fit. The gameplay seems to have been separated into 2 phases: Battle Phase and Searching Phase. With the updated system and customizations, it’s become a much richer experience.
4. Worlds have become busier
One of the most compelling aspects of the Kingdom Hearts series is how you can travel around to many different Disney worlds. In KH3, effort has been put not only into the action developing on the battle field, but in the actual towns themselves. The presentation showed off the Rapunzel world, which contains a town surrounding the castle. The town contains countless NPCs who come and go, with houses and shops that line up the alleys. Compared to before, KH3 will really make you feel like you’re actually in the respective Disney worlds.
5. The programming for Rapunzel’s hair was extremely tough
Tangled was one of the first worlds announced and worked on but, the reason that there wasn’t much gameplay footage within there was, out of everything, the fact that in order to get Rapunzel’s hair to act in the way it does it took a huge amount of time. Up until now there hasn’t really been a character in a game with as much hair as Rapunzel, and so processing that hair was really tough. For a while, it was just floating there. During the presentation, however, we are shown scenes of Rapunzel walking, where her hair flows in the wind and falls completely naturally as if in real life. She’s also seen to be able to interact with environment using her hair, like wrapping it around a tree etc. which we think will go down in gaming history as the most effort ever put into a game character’s hair.
6. The background modelling was done by the largest team ever at Square Enix
In terms of development, one of the most vital parts were the backgrounds for the fields and towns. From Square Enix alone, the team developing the backgrounds in KH3 involved 80 people, and above that they also outsourced to studios overseas. This is a first in Square Enix, being the biggest team used for developing backgrounds ever. Look forward to seeing incredibly rich environments within KH3.
7. There’s a collaboration with Kingdom Hearts Union Cross
There seems to be some sort of collaboration going on with the Kingdom Heart’s series mobile app, “Kingdom Hearts Union Cross”. From today a collaboration with Final Fantasy Record Keeper has begun, which includes a Gummi Ship mini game within Record Keeper, a Gilgamesh and Kefka raid battle within Union Cross, and characters appearing as avatars in the classic Final Fantasy pixel style. As for collaborations with KH3 there was nothing in particular announced, however developers did talk about how they want to link KH3 and Union Cross in some way.
8. Each world is rich full of content, as if they are their own games
According to the developers, this Kingdom Hearts game is “on a whole different level”. In each and every world they have put the utmost effort, so much so that each world could be considered its own game with the amount of mechanics and gameplay that they have packed in. In the gameplay portion of the trailer, you could see Sora riding rockets, hanging from factory belts, there truly are many diverse elements that you can look forward to experiencing.
9. The appearance of “Giantland” in some form?
In the presentation, some images were showcased of the current development situation, and among those an image with the words “Giantland” was seen. It was quite a basic picture, and not seen within any of the footage shown of the KH3 gameplay, but there must be some intention of incorporating it into the game. “Giantland” is known in Japan as “Mickey’s Giant Conquest” which was released as an animated film in 1933, which was based on the English fairy tale, “Jack and the Beanstalk”. We wonder how this will be used within KH3…
10. Rare Heartless confirmed!
Kingdom Hearts 3 will include Rare Heartless which may only be defeating by using special strategies. Different from regular heartless, you’ll be able to do things like ride on their heads, and each will have designated missions prepared. We think these will become quite the important pieces of additional content to enjoy.
11. The last stage will involve something that Tetsuya Nomura has wanted to implement for a very long time
Tetsuya Nomura said that in KH3, the last stage will include “Something I have always wanted to do, ever since making Final Fantasy”. What was said was very vague, among it also was the input of the developers, who said very interesting things like: “You will be able to do anything” and “It will be compilation of everything up until now”. What they meant will probably remain a mystery until we can play it, but that whole segment really got us wondering…