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The latest issue of Dengeki contained a massive interview with Director Tetsuya Nomura for Kingdom Hearts 3, with a plethora of new information. He confirms Sora will still be wearing his familiar Kingdom Hearts 2 outfit at the beginning of the game, Mt. Olympus from Hercules as a new world, Keyblades transformations such as rideable vehicles, the chance of a true happy ending for the game, and much more!
Thanks to Zephyr & Goldpanner, you can read the interview below. We've filtered out the questions that overlapped with previously released interviews.
-- So there’s the latest entry in the series, the trailer for KINGDOM HEARTS III at E3 surely heightened the anticipation.
Nomura: Because of the length of the video, it was packed meaningfully with new action elements. In regards to completion, I think it’s progressing steadily.
-- It shows scenes of Sora fighting while wearing a new outfit.
Nomura: Early on he is wearing the KINGDOM HEARTS II outfit and he will change into the new outfit when you progress through the story.
-- The key colors of the new costume seems to be black and red?
Nomura: Its design is a fusion of the outfits from KINGDOM HEARTS II and KINGDOM HEARTS 3D. Because the KINGDOM HEARTS II outfit was popular among fans, it still has some hints of it while having a sporty design.
-- Looking at Sora, I feel like he became taller?
Nomura: It uses the same model from KINGDOM HEARTS II so it hasn’t really change, Maybe it’s his sleeker hair that makes him appear taller; I think.
-- Previously I’ve heard the game changed its engine. Has the transition made successfully?
Nomura: When the transition was completed, it allowed KINGDOM HEARTS to expand its expression and gameplay such as the effects on the field. Since there were differences in game engines, modifications were made as much as possible. Visually comparing between the footage, I think nothing seems out of place.
-- The battles scenes were very impressive especially the fights where you ride the flashy rollercoaster and tea cup.
Nomura: One of the highlights is the “Attraction Flow”. If a condition has been met, you will be able to trigger these operations and it’s pretty elaborate. The UI (User Interface) seen in the trailer is temporary. In fact, Attraction Flow was inspired by Flowmotion in KINGDOM HEARTS 3D and it has become a more tactical system.
-- Judging from the trailer, it seems like there will be many kinds of Attraction Flow.
Nomura: Rollercoaster, viking ship, and coffee cups are the current three that are revealed. Attraction Flows will have glowing electric decorations. Another major ability are the Keyblade transformations.
-- Keyblade transformations seem like a fun element in battle.
Nomura: My ideas for it came as far as from KINGDOM HEARTS II FINAL MIX, the main characters of KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep were able to transform their Keyblades, and once Sora is able to pass the Mark of Mastery in KINGDOM HEARTS 3D, he will be able to utilize magic to transform his Keyblade that can be ridden as a vehicle and many other great things.
-- Teaming up with party members in order to attack was impressive.
Nomura: There’s the Attraction Flow, Keyblade Transformations, teaming up with party members, as well as Free Run. However, it’s not necessary to use them all. The player is free to fight in a style that suits them. Because we have prepared many choices, I believe you can choose freely.
-- There were other elements that have appeared from the series, is this what you have imagined?
Nomura: That’s right. While we were aware of the fact that this is a numbering title coming from KINGDOM HEARTS II, we have incorporated what we have learned from spin-offs. The amount of flashiness will be big. Since it has “simple controls that can be played by anyone” it doesn’t necessarily change the basis of the KINGDOM HEARTS series so please do not worry.
--Recently in the series, the Command Deck was at the heart of the battle system, is it a part of KINGDOM HEARTS III?
Nomura: It will not have the Command Deck. It’ll return to the traditional command types such as “Attack” and “Magic”. Spin-offs were a way to freely challenge ideas. In numbering titles, it would be good to use the traditional system. So I thought KINGDOM HEARTS II could match with KINGDOM HEARTS III.
-- In regards to the worlds, can you confirm what they are?
Nomura: Disney titles such as Tangled and Hercules, and another familiar to the series, Twilight Town. So that makes three.
-- Since Tangled made a new appearance for the series, what other new worlds are there?
Nomura: I can’t talk about any further details except that Mt. Olympus will be a new world.
-- It looks like Xehanort and Eraqus were having a conversation when they were younger, is this an actual scene at the beginning of KINGDOM HEARTS III?
Nomura: That’s right. From the conversation between these two, that’s how this story begins. The scene’s conversation is actually longer but in the trailer we only showed excerpts. From what can be understood from these two, it also connects to an ancient story from KINGDOM HEARTS Unchained χ.
-- Mr. Nomura, since you are the one that is writing the scenario this time, how is the progress coming along?
Nomura: Since we are arriving near the conclusion of Xehanort in KINGDOM HEARTS III, the outline of the story has been solidified but not necessarily the direction where the KINGDOM HEARTS series is continuing to head. We are still trying to decide where to go from several choices.
-- What is that specifically?
Nomura: In the KINGDOM HEARTS series, I don’t think there has been an actual happy ending. KINGDOM HEARTS II is close to it. Since most of the titles have ended in cliffhangers, we’re worried about what we should include in KINGDOM HEARTS III.
-- Fans are considering, “what will be the characters’ roles?”, has this been talked about?
Nomura: As for the paths of various characters that fans care about, it has already been determined. The scenario was also determined in KINGDOM HEARTS 3D. Especially “which characters would come back” and “who are the 7 lights and 13 darknesses” has been decided. Don’t worry, they will play a huge part.
-- Especially for the KINGDOM HEARTS series including a secret movie, there will always be something to be surprised about at the end.
Nomura: Because KINGDOM HEARTS III is a culmination of everything so far, everyone is aware that they want a finale. Because of this and in order to put an end to it, I believe it shouldn’t be disappointing.
-- Around what time will KINGDOM HEARTS III be released?
Nomura: Its scheduling has been decided but I can’t answer that yet. In order to enjoy the anticipation for this expansion, we are now promoting the production towards completion.
-- Quickly tell us about where new additional information will be released?
Nomura: In November, Disney will be holding “D23 Japan Expo 2015” and within the event, there will be a KINGDOM HEARTS fan event in November 3rd. Here, we plan to issue new information. Although voice actors have appeared for the event in 2013, this year’s content has been undecided. For more information, please wait for further announcement.