Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is the featured game in issue 629 of Dengeki PlayStation!
Translations are below the scans, thanks to Saken!
KINGDOM HEARTS Series Director - Tetsuya Nomura speaks about 2.8- KH2.8 is the first in the series to appear on the PS4. How does this make you feel?Tetsuya Nomura (further, Nomura): As a HD remaster, KH2.8 is prone to slip under the radar, however our staff have poured out quite a bit of effort into making this title.That is to say, it has volume which is just perfect, having no impact on the progress of KH3.- About KH0.2, many of the worlds that appeared in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep also appear in this title, however this time they're teeming with darkness...Nomura: That's because we have created them in accordance to how they appeared in Birth By Sleep. Initially, the staff had taken the maps from the Secret Episode of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep - Final Mix as a base and extended them further, however I also had my own ideas for these Disney worlds envelopped in darkness.It was difficult to find a balance between the volume of new vs old, because if we continued on with just similar looking locations, then that wouldn't be exciting now would it?- In the same way that we had previously experienced, all the areas felt like they had really been created with huge depth.Nomura: That is just one of the characterstics of this title's areas. Looking at the full 2D maps, they don't really seem that large, however once you're actually walking in them they feel large enough to even get lost in. The team developing these areas are particularly superb, so I can rest at ease knowing that it's in their hands.- Can it be said that the combat system and graphics of KH0.2 are close to what we can expect from KH3?Nomura: There are some fundamental differences between some parts of KH0.2 and KH3's core systems, however both are of the quality that you would expect from a PS4 Kingdom Hearts title.Being the first of the series to release on PS4, KH2.8 had this pressure of not only crossing, but plowing through the line that this expectation had created. Especially because this was the first time using lighting effects in the series, with the guidance of Visual Works we went through a lot of trial and error.Up until now I thought that using lighting effects would fail to capture the essence of Disney, so i avoided it, but with the specs now available to us, I thought that it would now be possible to use these effects without harming that Disney image. We are still getting used to it, so I think it can only improve from here on out.- The Situation Commands found within the battle system were a mix of the previous game's Reaction Commands and Command Styles. We thought this arrangement was quite interesting.Nomura: This also required a lot of trial and error. In our promotional trailers, during the Situation Commands you would see a large green triangle appear right in the center of the screen, which unfortunately made it seem like a QTE (Quick Time Event). Additionally, we received feedback that having it appear above the command window made it unclear whether the command had become possible to use or not. So we were thinking, what should we do...In the end, we decided to go with having "STANDING BY" appear. This way it gave more of a feeling that you had now become able to activate the Situation Command whenever you wished by a button press in oppose to a jarring "Press the button now!", which we were pleased with.- With the Situation Commands, there are several requirements where if you fulfill them, the corresponding commands will line up on the screen.Nomura: From the early stages of development, this is how we wanted to implement it into KH3. Various commands become available to you, and during the limited time they are available, you can choose the one which you wish to deploy. I think we have created a system that gives you more freedom, as an adequate evolution of KH2's Reaction Commands.I think this system will be a central part of KH3.- It seems like high level Magic spells such as Firagun and Thundagun will activate through Situation Commands as well...Nomura: In KH0.2, the system is tightly condensed so characters can suddenly use such high level magic attacks, however in KH3, although you can expect these same sorts of spells, you won't just suddenly be able to use them.- In the final trailer we briefly see glimpses of Terra and Terra-Xehanort...Nomura: For details please look forward to playing the game. By the way, at the Official Kingdom Hearts "First Breath" concert, we had a conversation read out vocally to the audience involving Namine and Terra. The Terra from the scene you mentioned is from events following that conversation.- In the same trailer Sora, Donald and Goofy's presense were also confirmed. I think this moment of the trailer made fans incredibly happy.Nomura: Up until now, we hadn't developed cutscenes for next generation consoles, so we're still getting used to it, however I think they will only further be improved with time.Adttionally, until now we've been able to utilize the models used for characters and scenery from predecessing games as a base, but with KH3, as expected from the power of the next generation consoles, we are not able to do this and have to remake all our models from the very beginning, which is hard work.- KHBC is a completely new theatrical work, so was there much you had to consider when creating the scenes?Nomura: All of the Foretellers cover their faces with masks, and the Master of Masters' and Luxu's mouths even are concealed. What I mean to say is that facial expressions are not able to be displayed, so we had to consider creating very distinct personalities that could project their individuality in an appealing manner.For most of the main cast, it is their debut appearance where it's also the first time you'll be hearing their voices, so even though it's such a small window of time, we wanted players to be able to empathize with them.- I was really surprised by the dialogue scenes with the Master of Masters, his style and the mood he creates is so different from anything we've ever seen from Kingdom Hearts so far.Nomura: Well, I couldn't help that, he's just got that sort of personality (laughs)- Some of the things he says are really unique, but not only that, it seems like the voice actor did a bit of improv?Nomura: There was no improvisation. Everything was scripted. There is only one part where something Aced says is not according to the original script. In one of the scenes, where Aced and the Master of Masters are conversing with each other, Aced chews up his words but because of the situation, it ended up being pretty funny so we left it in as is.- Through the expression in their voices, the way they moved, the impression that the Foretellers will have on the players will most likely be different from what they initially thought.Nomura: For players of Kingdom Hearts X and Kingdom Hearts Unchained X, the image they have of the Foretellers may have solidified, so even I am interest in their reactions once they finish watching Back Cover. They may have some ill feeling toward Aced...- Well that's because even in the trailer, Aced is seen to not be able to control his emotions.Nomura: But, I think if you follow and think about the story from a logical standpoint, from the beginning Aced has some solid arguments. As I was writing the scenario for Kingdom Hearts Back Cover, I was careful so as to make each character look neither like a hero nor a villain, however in the end it seems that only Ava was received as a good girl (laughs)At any rate, if you think of the story progression as a gun, where Ava is the only one with the capacity to pull that gun's trigger, I'm not so sure about how devoid of sin she really is...- Speaking of which, in Kingdom Hearts Unchained X, from gathering Guilt and manifesting that power with the Strength Bangle, we seem to have a new keyword, "sin"?Nomura: As some players with a strong theoretical mind have already speculated and noticed, yes, this is the case. The grand entrace to the next story has already begun...- By that, do you mean there's potential for something like Back Cover, which tells of the story happening behind the scenes in Unchained X, but instead for a sequel to the story??Nomura: We are not thinking about that at this time. As for the Foretellers, more will be unveiled in future installments of the main series and in Kingdom Hearts Unchained X.-As a sort of prototype to KHDDD, KH3D was released 4 years ago. Is there any memories you'd like to share with us?
Nomura: in my eyes, KH3D was the turning point of the series in regards to aspects of both action and scenario. As for action, the dynamic jumps were only available through flowmotion, which was something I had always wanted to try out. As for sscenario, I tried to give it more feeling. So, this title became a title that would provide the direction for future Kingdom Hearts games. In that regard, I truly do believe that KH3 had already begun with the advent of KH3D.
(T/n seems like KHDDD means the one bundled in 2.8 and KH3D refers to the original 3DS title)
-In KH3D, there were AR cards that allowed you to obtain certain spirits to fight by your side. How is this handled in KHDDD?
Nomura: Those spirits will be obtainable through regular play of the game.
-In March 2017, KH HD 1.5+2.5 is set to release. Will there be any changes this time?
Nomura: There are no changes. The contents are exactly as they appeared in KH1.5 and KH2.5. However, they are all compiled onto one disc, so they've become even easier to play.
-Will you be creating any cover art for KH HD 1.5+2.5 this time?
Nomura: I don't think I will. If you look at the 3 cover arts for KH1.5, KH2.5 and KH2.8, you will notice that they're all connected. So, a new cover art would unfortunately remove any meaning from that. To those that don't understand what I'm talking about, if you line up the 3 titles, please pay particular attention to Sora's poses and the background scenery.
-After KH2.8 releases, then that leaves only KH3...
Nomura: As discussed before, we are remodelling all models from scratch, which requires quite a tremendous amount of effort, however we are tackling this to the best of our ability and can safely say to rest assured, it is all going along smoothly.
I would really like to release new information, however at this present time I am unable to. I can say that we are currently working out the timing for future announcements. 2017 is the Kingdom Hearts Series 15 year anniversary and to represent this there will be plenty of commerative events at the concerts, so if possible I would also like to take those oppprtunities to release new information, however it's yet to be decided. I'm terribly sorry to keep you all waiting for so long, but please wait just a little longer.
-Do you have a message for fans awaiting the release of KH2.8?
Nomura:As for KHDDD, I recommend to those that have already played through KH3D to freshen up your memory of the story, and of course to those yet to experience KH3D to please enjoy it by all means.
If possible, I recommend to play right through and watch the secret ending, and only then proceed to KH0.2.
As for those eagerly awaiting KH3, KH0.2 is a small taste that we have created especially for you to try and enjoy.
KHBC is a story that is very slightly disconnected from the main story, so you may enjoy that whenever you wish, whether that be to appreciate the visuals, or whenever you find a moment. Just as the title states, KH2.8 is most definitely the last chapter's "prologue", and as such it is safe to say that KH3's story has already begun.