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News ► Kingdom Hearts Dark Road details revealed



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Alpha Baymax

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I'm so glad... that Nomura made us aware that there is two other unannounced Kingdom Hearts project in development. This is the worst reveal for a Kingdom Hearts game to date. I get it, video games are a profit venture, and maximising profits while minimising costs is what every business strives to do, but this game just reeks of monetisation just by looking at it.

At least Xehanort's story is over. If we're going to be moving past the Xehanort saga then I want the new console titles to not have direct connections to Xehanort. If there's going to be lore carried on from Dark Road then let it be the other original characters involved that provide us with important connections.

I find it kinda funny that the fanbase just spent a year complaining about the lack of Final Fantasy, and some are now complaining about stuff from an FF game getting combined into KH.

That's not at all comparable. That's like saying Axel and Reno are the same characters, they're not. The Final Fantasy characters retain the DNA of their source material, the Kingdom Hearts characters inspired by Final Fantasy characters are still original characters with drastically different purposes.
 

drew0512

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I was expecting something like this so I'm not surprised or really disappointed. It makes sense to connect it with UX so no surprises here either. It's hard to get excited about the story though, considering that UX updates once in a lifetime.
 

Ballad of Caius

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I'm gonna be honest... I think while it's fine to be disappointed, some of the reactions all around the internet like "Kingdom Hearts is ruined!" and "THIS IS THE WORST THING TO EVER HAPPEN!!!" are absolutely outta pocket lmao. Freaking out so much, even Chicken Little is like "damn bro chill." Let's all relax and eat some Sea Salt Ice Cream.

First off, I know it's cool to #BlameNomura for everything regarding KH, but let's not forget the interview he did not that long ago when the UX Team came to him with a "groundbreaking idea" which will become the "double feature". He didn't come up with it, they did. Proof:


In regards to KH scenarios, I wrapped up the story for Re Mind, as well as the two story quests for UX. All that is left is to finish the remaining two story quests. However, I have received another mysterious request... Let’s just say this request involves an unannounced 3rd story line for KH. Once I complete this mysterious request, I’ll complete the 2 remaining story quests for UX.
And once all of that is complete, the 3 story lines will ○○○○○○○……
Very intriguing, right?

Now that things have calmed down after the release of KH III, the KH Series has been growing with many more phases with many things in the horizon. Please continue to love and support KINGDOM HEARTS Union χ[Cross]!
The other day, some UX Staff members came to me for some shocking consultation. I think a revolution of change may fall upon UX.
The hint is “double-feature.”
Until next time!


Secondly, while it would've been great to have a full console game for Xehanort (and it's not impossible to get this in the future eventually), remember that Nomura himself said that he didn't have the time to do it, because the saga wouldn't end if he did. But with the Foretellers/Master of Masters coming to the forefront, Xehanort defeated, and Union X possibly reaching its climax with all the mysteries currently unfolding, it might really be important for us to know what exactly Xehanort saw that made him change.

What's the "quickest" (Iol not really when you look at UX BUT technically...) way to get the story out? A Union X-style mobile phone game. Dev time wouldn't be as strenuous as a fully-fledged AAA title, the art style and system is familiar so it's not requiring a huge overhaul (which is why it'll be in the UX game launcher), and despite what people say, we all DO care about the story very much. So when you consider what would be the most efficient, this makes a ton of sense. Everyone would love a 0.2/BBS style Xehanort game, but if our choices are either UX-style or nothing, at least we're getting something. Besides. When UX JP updates the story every month, it's a big discussion on KH Twitter. The fact that we have potentially TWO stories updating every month makes things a lot more active, so while it's not the A1 idea we all want, it's a lot better than silence from DDD to X[Chi] to BBS 0.2.

Thirdly, I'm interested in the premise of the battle system. On the left-side, it has something that reminds me of FFX's CBT (or Conditional Turned-Based Battle/Count Time Battle), where it shows the Act List and how many turns Xehanort and Eraqus have before the Enemy strikes. They've said it's more fast-paced, so this is most likely going to be less like UX where you just use all your medals in one turn and hope it's enough to defeat your enemy before they nail you on their turn, and more like a turn-based system with the cards either doing different attacks or having certain abilities attached to it (so one card does damage x0.5, one card could paralyze the enemy, meaning you gain an extra turn, and so on).

Dark_Road_1.png

show


What's interesting is that there's no HP bars for the enemy. Instead, there's a Heartless icon and BP icon with numerical values, a back button and an Info button... So there's most likely more to this new system than what we can see from one screenshot. Next to Xehanort's HP Icon, we see Status Boosts, three small icons with a space between the next three, so three might be for Xehanort and the other three for Eraqus. The more I'm looking at this, the more I think that there's definitely a lot of reworking done into this system, so I'm gonna remain optimistic! I'm digging it.

Also, you can see in the empty slot where the cards are held, the emblem for the Book of Prophecies is present. Maybe like the medals in Union X, the Book of Prophecies is granting them powers throughout this experience. As a matter of fact, it's strange how Eraqus and Xehanort even had an opportunity to explore the Age of Fairy Tales, because as far as we know through regular time-travelling means, that shouldn't be possible. There's that weird machine thing that was revealed in the latest UX update, and we saw that machine all the way back in KH1, but as far as we know... That machine was never finished (unless it eventually was?), so that might not be it either.

The only other idea I have is that the whole world tour is a projection itself, sort of like what was going on in UX, but in reverse. Young Xehanort and the Master of Masters are shown meeting in the ReMind trailer (YX was given the black coat by the MoM), and MoM seemed to know all about YX going on that journey. So it couldn't have been the first time they met. What if he was the one that allowed all this to happen, and that's why Emblem Heartless are showing up? Timeline-wise, they shouldn't exist. But if it's all a projection, it would make sense. The precedence is there.

Overall though, I think while it's natural to be disappointed, I think we should wait and see because there might actually be more to this than we know. Of course, it doesn't help that there's barely any information out, but they did say it's a standalone title, so there'd have to be reasons for this. If not, they could've just done what they did for the Keyblade War and make it a special event or something.
Adding to this post: perhaps the bonuses that Xehanort has are granted by Eraqus. Judging by the fact that there are more characters yet to be revealed, it's possible we might get a partner system where, depending on the partner that we have assigned, we get different bonuses.
 

SuperSaiyanSora

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Adding to this post: perhaps the bonuses that Xehanort has are granted by Eraqus. Judging by the fact that there are more characters yet to be revealed, it's possible we might get a partner system where, depending on the partner that we have assigned, we get different bonuses.

It's possible! One big change from UX is that we have a Party System now. Every battle in UX is solo, and needs to be finished in one turn (because enemies will kill you if you don't). But here, since it looks like FFX's CTB-style system is a feature, we're probably not going to be GG'd after our first turn... Unless all party members need to defeat the enemy before the enemy attacks in return.

So in terms of bonuses, I'd like to imagine that certain characters might have certain abilities that could be a lot of help. One character could be more of a heavy-hitter, while another one has stronger magic. Another party member is fast, so they attack more frequently. And one could be where they have more healing properties so they have HP-Regen or something. There's a lot they could do with this.

Plus, since there's more than one party member in use, this probably means if one character is KO'd, it's not game over -- that's only if your party gets completely wiped.
 

GreyouTT

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That's not at all comparable. That's like saying Axel and Reno are the same characters, they're not. The Final Fantasy characters retain the DNA of their source material, the Kingdom Hearts characters inspired by Final Fantasy characters are still original characters with drastically different purposes.


Except they did a 1:1 remake for part of a trailer for Versus13 with Yozora. That is going WAAAAY past just being inspired by it.
 

The_Echo

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This is the worst reveal for a Kingdom Hearts game to date. I get it, video games are a profit venture, and maximising profits while minimising costs is what every business strives to do, but this game just reeks of monetisation just by looking at it.
Reactions like this are honestly kind of baffling to me
It's as if this is the first time Square has announced a Kingdom Hearts mobile game
Except it's literally an update to the existing mobile game

Feels sort of like "where were you for the last seven years"
 

MrFranklin95

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Reactions like this are honestly kind of baffling to me
It's as if this is the first time Square has announced a Kingdom Hearts mobile game
Except it's literally an update to the existing mobile game

Feels sort of like "where were you for the last seven years"

I don't think that's the reason people are extremely disappointed by this move. I think fans can deal with a mobile game. Hell, they dealt with that fact for years now and have given it the benefit of the doubt despite its increasing disappointment.

It's the fact that this just feels very uninspired and a waste of time and resources. Plus, and I feel like I can say this with confidence, most fans don't want this. Even if a Xehanort game only has the possiblity of being a mobile game, I think fans would rather it be it's own thing with a new art style and gameplay mechanic that doesn't reek of monetization that feels so far remove from what people enjoy about KH's gameplay. But even then, I think the dev tems knows that a game focusing on Xehanorts origin is more then worthy of a console game. So to only produce it as a mobile game that only exists as an expansion to an already polarizing game reeks of desperation and it's not a good look.

UX's numbers are dwindling and this move is not going to help. Fans are ready and are practically demanding UX to be on console, full-on FF14: a realm reborn style with a complete story. Even if we'd have to wait a few years for it, it would be worth the time and energy; far more then this. This was just not the right direction to go and I don't fans are going to respond it as well the devs think they will.
 
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Chaser

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I don't think that's the reason people are extremely disappointed by this move. I think fans can deal with a mobile game. Hell, they dealt with that fact for years now and have given it the benefit of doubt despite its increasing disappointment.

It's the fact that this just feels very uninspired and a waste of time and resources. Plus, and I feel like I can say this confidence, most fans don't want this. Even if a Xehanort game only has the possiblity of being a mobile game, I think fans would rather it be it's own thing with a new art style and gameplay mechanic that doesn't reel monetization that feels so far remove from what people enjoy about KH's gameplay. But even then, I think the dev tems knows that a game focusing on Xehanorts origin is more then worthy of a console game. So to only produce it as a mobile game that only exists as an expansion to an already polarizing game reeks of desperation and it's not a good look.

UX's numbers are dwindling and this move is not going to help in the slightly. Fans are ready and are practically demanding UX to be on console, full-on FF14: a realm reborn style with a complete story. Even if we'd have to wait a few years for it, it would be worth the time and energy it far more then this. This was just not the right direction to go and I don't fans are going to respond it as well the dev's think they will.
This this this 100%!!!
 

Sign

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I don't think they're concerned about the game aspect and really only care about getting the story told. Nomura wasn't able to make a console prequel like he wanted, presumably because SE higher ups wanted to get KH3 over and done with. So UX team comes to him with an offer, to use their game as the vehicle he needs to tell the story he wants. It's much lower budget and they'd be able to recycle loads of assets, something the suits would be pleased with.

Or at least that's how I'm rationalizing this to myself.
 

Xagzan

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I think he needed to know the future while in the past in order to write the BoP and ensure there was some type of control over the keyblade war's last phase. The book is what kept the Fortellers largely following their roles and ambitions because of the last page.

Afterwards, I think the MoM began to make strategic steps in the future to ensure that someone could overwrite the last page, which turned out to be Sora.

His meeting with Xehanort may have been one of those moves. After all, if it wasn't for Xehanort, none of the characters would've become heroes of light. Roxas, Xion, and Namine would have never existed, Sora and Riki wouldn't be welders, etc.

Hmm, well also, how is Xehanort's in his 90s in present time, as one of the new cutscenes indicates, while in the flashbacks he and Eraqus are around the same age, and yet older Eraqus is clearly not even close to 80?
 

Chaser

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I don't think they're concerned about the game aspect and really only care about getting the story told. Nomura wasn't able to make a console prequel like he wanted, presumably because SE higher ups wanted to get KH3 over and done with. So UX team comes to him with an offer, to use their game as the vehicle he needs to tell the story he wants. It's much lower budget and they'd be able to recycle loads of assets, something the suits would be pleased with.

Or at least that's how I'm rationalizing this to myself.
Which is all fine, we all enjoy the UX story and enjoy its updates, even if they’re very infrequent and the global version is 6 months behind, so once Dark Road gets rolling I’m sure we‘ll all be excited for its story.

The problem is it’s putting this story into a gacha heavy game while reusing a bunch of assets from X and UX and being a bit illogical (Agrabah and the emblem heartless) has everyone concerned.

At the end of the day, I think that if the UX team hadn’t convinced Nomura to do this then it should have gone to Tomoco Kanemaki for a novel.

All we can go off is what Square Enix decided to show and they showed off a world that fans do not want to explore again, old assets being flipped (like the Queen of Hearts SR card from the original X being cut out and put into a new card for this game, shown below, and the King Mickey card is just a screenshot from CoM), confusion and disappointment over their world selection and enemy choice, and we all know how bad the monetisation of KHUX is and we know that Dark Road will follow that (a 5 pull mercy in KHUX requires 15,000 jewels, which is about 300 jewels shy of the top jewel pack that can be purchased for real money, which down here is $160 AUD).

Queen%20of%20Hearts02.png
 

Absent

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I don't think that's the reason people are extremely disappointed by this move. I think fans can deal with a mobile game. Hell, they dealt with that fact for years now and have given it the benefit of the doubt despite its increasing disappointment.

It's the fact that this just feels very uninspired and a waste of time and resources. Plus, and I feel like I can say this with confidence, most fans don't want this. Even if a Xehanort game only has the possiblity of being a mobile game, I think fans would rather it be it's own thing with a new art style and gameplay mechanic that doesn't reek of monetization that feels so far remove from what people enjoy about KH's gameplay. But even then, I think the dev tems knows that a game focusing on Xehanorts origin is more then worthy of a console game. So to only produce it as a mobile game that only exists as an expansion to an already polarizing game reeks of desperation and it's not a good look.

UX's numbers are dwindling and this move is not going to help. Fans are ready and are practically demanding UX to be on console, full-on FF14: a realm reborn style with a complete story. Even if we'd have to wait a few years for it, it would be worth the time and energy; far more then this. This was just not the right direction to go and I don't fans are going to respond it as well the devs think they will.


Basically this.

giphy.gif
 

OneDandelion

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Which is all fine, we all enjoy the UX story and enjoy its updates, even if they’re very infrequent and the global version is 6 months behind, so once Dark Road gets rolling I’m sure we‘ll all be excited for its story.

As much as I love the KH story even I am beginning to question Nomura's dedication to this. Animating scenes in KHUX is easier than animating scenes of South Park. If Nomura simply wanted to tell a story then the mobile games are great vehicles to do that, but they are so drawn out and infrequent that one can only assume that either he doesn't care or he plays a part in this monetization scheme. I mean it's either that or his hands are truly tied by SE/Disney.

Given how his disappointment with FFXIIIVersus is common knowledge at this point I would like to believe the latter, but then I have to question why he remains at SE all these years if they're so creatively stifling to him. It's insane to think that KH came out 18 years ago and in the last 10 years all we've gotten is .2, Back Cover & KHUX, DDD, and KH3. From 2002-2010 they produced KH1, KH2, CoM, 358/2 days, coded, and BBS. So either SE/Disney is a huge pain in the ass or the PS4 and mobile are just too hard to develop games for, who knows.
 

Chaser

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As much as I love the KH story even I am beginning to question Nomura's dedication to this. Animating scenes in KHUX is easier than animating scenes of South Park. If Nomura simply wanted to tell a story then the mobile games are great vehicles to do that, but they are so drawn out and infrequent that one can only assume that either he doesn't care or he plays a part in this monetization scheme. I mean it's either that or his hands are truly tied by SE/Disney.

Given how his disappointment with FFXIIIVersus is common knowledge at this point I would like to believe the latter, but then I have to question why he remains at SE all these years if they're so creatively stifling to him.
why do we keep bringing Nomura into this? I know I said “the Ux team convinced Nomura to do this” but I was paraphrasing how they proposed the concept to him for approval.

I think the only time Nomura gets involved with Ux is writing some of the dialogue for the main story. I believe the rest of the time it’s either ripped from the Disney film or it’s someone else just writing some filler dialogue.

As far as we know it’s not his decision to put the story quests out at an infrequent pace. It could be Square Enix’s decision, it could be bitgroove’s decision, we don’t really know. But there’s a whole team of people who work on KHUX every day and are the ones who make these decisions.

the PS4 and mobile are just too hard to develop games for, who knows.
Current gen games are different beasts to previous gens. 5 years for modern AAA games are pretty much the standard at the moment.
 

The_Echo

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I don't think that's the reason people are extremely disappointed by this move. I think fans can deal with a mobile game. Hell, they dealt with that fact for years now and have given it the benefit of the doubt despite its increasing disappointment.

It's the fact that this just feels very uninspired and a waste of time and resources. Plus, and I feel like I can say this with confidence, most fans don't want this. Even if a Xehanort game only has the possiblity of being a mobile game, I think fans would rather it be it's own thing with a new art style and gameplay mechanic that doesn't reek of monetization that feels so far remove from what people enjoy about KH's gameplay. But even then, I think the dev tems knows that a game focusing on Xehanorts origin is more then worthy of a console game. So to only produce it as a mobile game that only exists as an expansion to an already polarizing game reeks of desperation and it's not a good look.

UX's numbers are dwindling and this move is not going to help. Fans are ready and are practically demanding UX to be on console, full-on FF14: a realm reborn style with a complete story. Even if we'd have to wait a few years for it, it would be worth the time and energy; far more then this. This was just not the right direction to go and I don't fans are going to respond it as well the devs think they will.
Y'know, like, I get it.
I've been praying for a console remake ever since χ[chi] ended service. Obviously a canon browser/mobile game isn't what any of us ever wanted and the potential of a console version of the story is extremely promising.

I just feel like this announcement having such an intensely negative reaction is a bit... out of step? Disproportionate?
Like it's weird seeing just how genuinely angry people are, compared to how things were when Dark Road was first announced.
End of the day none of us are playing KH mobile games for any reason other than because it's canon.
So as long as we're getting new story, the rest shouldn't really be that big of a deal, I don't think.

I especially think it's weird that people are mad DR isn't a second, separate app. I thought being a mobile game at all was a problem?
But having two mobile games would be more desirable than having two stories in one mobile game?
For me, that was like "thank God," but I guess everyone else really wanted another mobile game...
 

Face My Fears

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I would have taken a graphic novel drawn by Nomura over this "game". KH is fun to play and I love the story, but it's bothering me that gameplay seems to be taking a backseat for these "games". I tried KHUX on a phone that could play it and I just didn't find it fun at all.
 

OneDandelion

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why do we keep bringing Nomura into this?
Because he’s the creative director and has the final say on everything. My point is Nomura has the power to speed this up but he doesn’t. Many people including myself want to believe that Nomura has the best intentions for the series and the fans at heart but frankly I’m starting to believe it’s more or less just a job for him at this point.
 

Oracle Spockanort

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As much as I love the KH story even I am beginning to question Nomura's dedication to this. Animating scenes in KHUX is easier than animating scenes of South Park. If Nomura simply wanted to tell a story then the mobile games are great vehicles to do that, but they are so drawn out and infrequent that one can only assume that either he doesn't care or he plays a part in this monetization scheme. I mean it's either that or his hands are truly tied by SE/Disney.

Given how his disappointment with FFXIIIVersus is common knowledge at this point I would like to believe the latter, but then I have to question why he remains at SE all these years if they're so creatively stifling to him. It's insane to think that KH came out 18 years ago and in the last 10 years all we've gotten is .2, Back Cover & KHUX, DDD, and KH3. From 2002-2010 they produced KH1, KH2, CoM, 358/2 days, coded, and BBS. So either SE/Disney is a huge pain in the ass or the PS4 and mobile are just too hard to develop games for, who knows.

It is important to point out that the shift wasn’t 10 years ago, the shift started in 2013 post-KH3D. This is when Yoichi Wada stepped down and Yosuke Matsuda came in as president of Square Enix. He eliminated pretty much all mid-tier development at SE to focus on AAA and mobile developments.

AAA games ARE beasts to develop. An average development cycle for any AAA game is five years, although some developers will cut corners to cut that down into 3 years or even 2. Developers with tried and true development processes and tons of available assets can probably also accomplish 2-3 years.

The problem mostly stems in the fact that SE isn’t really making mid-tier games anymore. If they do, they see it as a huge gamble. Blockbusters and mobile games are easier to make money off of.

Also developing on older tech is also rather hard, too. KH3D was developed on a modified version of BBS’s engine which was solid but rather janky. Unreal Engine is probably a gold standard now for SE because it is an engine with a lot of documentation and support.

And therein lies a problem: it’s still costly to develop a game with that engine. And knowing Nomura, they wouldn’t have gone backwards from KH3. There would be no mid-tier budgeted development (even if us fans would probably be fine with something that didn’t look like KH3 but closer to KH3D). He would keep pushing for better graphics, better gameplay, better this and that because he always wanted to push the limits of the hardware and engines his teams were developing on. It has been his thing since FF8 when he drew Squall with a coat that had feathers because he wanted to see how the developers would handle rendering it in the game.

And I imagine Yasue and the Osaka team also the same. They would only want to push forward.

I’m tired so I think I lost the plot of my response a bit, but my point is that...we were never getting what we wanted because SE doesn’t make these kinds of games anymore and Nomura and the KH dev team probably wouldn’t go backwards and also the UX team were probably the only reason this project got off the ground anyways BECAUSE it was cheap to develop.
 

The_Echo

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Because he’s the creative director and has the final say on everything. My point is Nomura has the power to speed this up but he doesn’t. Many people including myself want to believe that Nomura has the best intentions for the series and the fans at heart but frankly I’m starting to believe it’s more or less just a job for him at this point.
Nomura writes the main story updates himself, and I don't know if you've noticed, but the man kind of hasn't stopped working a day in his life since 2001 if not earlier
2.8, KHIII and FFVIIR were all in development at the same time at one point, in addition to Uχ
Not to mention whatever role he has in merchandising, event organizing, special appearances, and more minor projects like his Miku crossover, Batman Variant Arts, designing characters for other games...
He even told us how a special something-or-other came up suddenly and he had to stop writing the Uχ updates he was working on to deal with it.

The guy's got a lot on his plate, literally all the damn time. The fact that Uχ has the ability to pad things out with Disney worlds is probably a lifesaver for him.

He would keep pushing for better graphics, better gameplay, better this and that because he always wanted to push the limits of the hardware and engines his teams were developing on. It has been his thing since FF8 when he drew Squall with a coat that had feathers because he wanted to see how the developers would handle rendering it in the game.
He actually did this in FFVII too. The modelers asked him not to design any characters with dresses because it would be difficult to model and animate

So he gave Aerith a dress
 
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