the only villain on staff
In this week's issue of Famitsu, Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura discusses the evolution of the gameplay systems, the newly-revealed Tangled world, the impressive power of the Unreal Engine 4, the progress of the ending and secret movie, and tons more as Kingdom Hearts 3 moves forward in its development. Check out the translation of this interview below:
Thanks to Zephyr & Goldpanner for the translation!
Director Tetsuya Nomura Interview
The ending and the secret movie are now under consideration
The stories are slowly coming together.
-- Finally, new information has been revealed during E3 2015. We see Sora with a new outfit and in regards to the illustration style, I think the direction with the ‘Kingdom Shader’ has been refined.
Nomura: It became substantial enough for me to be able to show it. However, in regards to each world in KINGDOM HEARTS, the shader may be different and they will be adjusted accordingly.
-- In the trailer, a young Xehanort and Eraqus made an appearance. It's a conversation revealed previously from the opening of KH3, isn't it?
Nomura: Yes. It plays at the opening. We showed you a part of this conversation between the two of them that forsees the future. A young Xehanort also appeared in KH3D, but this conversation happened before that. Eraqus is younger than Xehanort, so he is still somewhat childlike. The two of them studied under the same Master and trained as Keyblade Wielders.
-- From what we have seen in KINGDOM HEARTS 3D, it seems Sora and his friends are gathering the Guardians of Light?
Nomura: It will be something like that. Sora and his friends are going on a new journey, immediately after KINGDOM HEARTS 3D. Also, in KINGDOM HEARTS χ and KINGDOM HEARTS Unchained χ, it will begin to significantly involve Sora’s fate.
-- So immediately after KINGDOM HEARTS 3D. I definitely won’t miss out on KINGDOM HEARTS χ and KINGDOM HEARTS Unchained χ. The new world that contains Rapunzel’s tower has received great feedback at E3.
Nomura: The Osaka development team wants to challenge themselves with Rapunzel’s hair. They are saying they want to use her hair for combat and it seems that the creators of Rapunzel are acknowledging our efforts.
-- A Disney creator endorsed it!
Nomura: Previously, I was dealing with classic works. This time, I have adopted a relatively new work. It’s so I can directly see the people who have been involved in that series. There are many times we have exchanged words while producing it so it can be represented more accurately.
-- Other than the new world for Rapunzel, what other new worlds are there?
Nomura: Wait for more information in the future. There are a number of worlds that will delight everyone. Please look forward to it.
Battles are more bold and refreshing.
-- We would like to ask you about the action. In the trailer, battles scenes are quite flashy and more bolder than the ones in KINGDOM HEARTS 3D. It left me an impression that I will really enjoy it.
Nomura: As an action game there is much more you'd want to do. You can move seamlessly in the map, and you can do the flashy actions that were shown in the trailer.
-- There were large amounts of enemies and the special effects have come out smoothly.
Nomura: It’s not unusual for the implementation of free-run (laughs) There will be things that will be beyond reach with jump and free-run, traditional abilities such as glide will be there of course.
-- I don’t know if I should be worried if their mobility is too extreme.
Nomura: We have followed the base from KINGDOM HEARTS 3D. It certainly received opinions that there was too much freedom and difficult to control. From new found experience, it is divided into a new flow of action so we have realized this “bold action”.
-- The system seems to have evolved. In collaboration with Donald and Goofy, it seems it’ll become part of the battle system than ever before. The enemies also show signs of cooperating with each other.
Nomura: This time, we showed the three pushing back the enemies and blowing them away. Not only that, it is possible to protect yourself using this gimmick. For the enemies, when many of them appear, their AI becomes elaborate and their personality comes out heavily.
-- Also, the different variations of the Keyblade are very eye-catching in battle. Obtaining the true power of a master, is this the reason for these sudden amazing transformations?
Nomura: There will be a neat story that will explain about it. It is possible to do it in the beginning of the game. You can transform the Keyblade if conditions are met and there are several transformation stages. When Sora’s Keyblade has been changed into a particular form, you will be able to use its form specific abilities.
-- It seems like the KINGDOM HEARTS II’s Drive Forms and Keyblade transformations were merged. How many kinds of forms will there be?
Nomura: It is a system that has evolved from KINGDOM HEARTS II and it is somewhat close to it.
-- I see. For each form, it seems likely the gameplay changes.
Nomura: In addition to the Keyblade transformations for Sora, it becomes possible to maneuver using specific forms and actions. There will be many battle choices. Take whatever strategy, it will be up to the player. Of course, for those who button mash will have an exhilarating experience but for those who want technical fights will also find fun making combinations. In addition to the Keyblade transformations, there is still the Attraction Flow to be appreciated.
There will be a secret movie!?
-- I’m surprised all these elements can be fitted. This is achieved by the large power of Unreal Engine 4?
Nomura: In fact, using Unreal Engine 4, the tools and features used to make the unique representation of KINGDOM HEARTS has expanded greatly.
-- So the power comes from the game’s engine you have used.
Nomura: Through the expansion of the engine, we were able to elaborately devise fine and subtle expressions in motion and we are continuing to adjust this.
-- Yes, I want to play it soon! How is the current progress of the production?
Nomura: We are steadily progressing and deciding what to do with the ending… as well as considering content for the secret movie.
-- Hmm? So the Dark Seeker saga is coming to a close. And the fact that there is a secret movie…
Nomura: I’ll leave that to your imagination (laughs). Since there are still opportunities for us to publish information this year, in response to the reaction from E3, I am considering how much information I should show. It’ll be a while until it happens, please wait.