News ► The Verge: Nomura's confusion, relating to villains, dealing with expectations



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The Verge recently spoke with Series Director Tetsuya Nomura about his work with the Kingdom Hearts series over the past 16 years and the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts 3.

This series has the reputation of having a very convoluted story that even the most dedicated fans may have difficulty wrapping their heads around. Although he is expected, as the creator, to understand each and every little piece of detail, even he has difficulty following it all.

“I do have a general storyline in my head. What is the most confusing is that, because there are so many characters in this storyline now, it’s hard to keep track of who actually met who already. I’m always like, 'Okay, so who knows who in this situation, and who’s meeting this person for the first time?’ And that always gets really confusing.”

And while he had once felt very close with and related to Sora, even viewing him as a son, that relationship has since changed dramatically.

“I actually don’t sympathize or empathize with Sora at all,” Nomura says. Instead, he relates to the game’s mysterious villains, Xehanort or likely Ansem, anyone who’s fallen prey to their dark natures. “I think I’m closer to those characters, so Sora is like my enemy. How I always think of him is I would unleash my attacks on him, and then I draw him in a way that I think he will be able to make a comeback at me. In that sense, I really think that Sora is just like an opposite personality character to who I am.”

Of course, being the creator of such a notable franchise isn't all sunshines and rainbows. All that excitement from fans leads to high expectations, which puts a lot of pressure on him to deliver a good product. 

 “The fan expectations and excitement towards Kingdom Hearts III was much more than I had expected. I actually did feel a little pressurized for the first time pretty much in my life. But the best way to get rid of feeling pressurized is to just have confidence in yourself, that what you’re making is good.”

Right now, he says he feels pretty good about where the game is headed. “I really have confidence in Kingdom Hearts III, that it is a good game. I was really able to get rid of that pressure that I was feeling.”

Read the full interview on The Verge.

 

Zettaflare

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Re: The Verge: Nomura's confusion, relating to villains, dealing with expectations

So Nomura identifies more with his villains than the protagonist? I wonder why he didn't just write Sora more as a reflection of himself?
 

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Re: The Verge: Nomura's confusion, relating to villains, dealing with expectations

i mean if oyu think about nomura he would fit xehanort very well espically what been tohugh with xv mess and stuff
 

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Re: The Verge: Nomura's confusion, relating to villains, dealing with expectations

Maybe that’s what Vanitas is?
 

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Re: The Verge: Nomura's confusion, relating to villains, dealing with expectations

So Nomura identifies more with his villains than the protagonist? I wonder why he didn't just write Sora more as a reflection of himself?
He used to feel that way, he just doesn’t anymore.
 

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Re: The Verge: Nomura's confusion, relating to villains, dealing with expectations

That poor man has been under so much stress working on so many big titles at once. I hope he gets a break. And some kind of help or friendships or something he seems a bit depressed from the interviews and things I’ve heard from and about him lately
 

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Re: The Verge: Nomura's confusion, relating to villains, dealing with expectations

How hilarious to hear that even Nomura himself has difficulty keeping track of his own story. However, as someone who has attempted to write a large overarching plot myself, I actually completely understand this. It's why some authors create large "plot documents" so that they don't have to worry about forgetting smaller details in the massive web of plot threads they've created. Creating in-depth lore, especially in the fantasy genre, can get very complicated and difficult to keep track of very quickly if its not grounded in a realistic framework. Game of Thrones, for example, is mostly grounded in realistic human interaction, which is why it's not very difficult to keep track of everything. JRPGs are the polar opposite, where the zaniest of ideas are passed off as totally normal.

It's very good to hear that Nomura was able to shake the feeling of pressure and is confident in KH3. That gives me all the more hope for the game. It sounds like Nomura is very happy with how it's turning out despite the difficulty of dealing with a resolution to such a big plot.
 

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Re: The Verge: Nomura's confusion, relating to villains, dealing with expectations

It's very obvious that he's still depressed after his rejection on FFXV. He seems quite lost.

His writing is all over the place, and it got so much worse since they introduced KHX. What was the point of making an arc for Aqua
("The next time someone wanders into the realm of darkness, I'll be here. A light to cut through all the shadows. I will be their wayfinder.")
If she's going to be easily norted by The New Orginazition 13?
 

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Re: The Verge: Nomura's confusion, relating to villains, dealing with expectations

It's very obvious that he's still depressed after his rejection on FFXV. He seems quite lost.

His writing is all over the place, and it got so much worse since they introduced KHX. What was the point of making an arc for Aqua
("The next time someone wanders into the realm of darkness, I'll be here. A light to cut through all the shadows. I will be their wayfinder.")
If she's going to be easily norted by The New Orginazition 13?
Nomura's main goal in writing has always been shock value. He believes that a story should be surprising above all else. Aquanort and the return of Riku Replica are classic examples of Nomura doing his same old shocking scenes. Besides, Nomura has already stated that saving Aqua will "depend on the player's actions" so he's already hinting that she can be saved, meaning she probably will be.
 

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Re: The Verge: Nomura's confusion, relating to villains, dealing with expectations

Just a Pancake was right about who the last Xehanort is...
 

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Re: The Verge: Nomura's confusion, relating to villains, dealing with expectations

If I recall correctly from earlier interviews Nomura did indeed once state Sora's like a son to him, but he also stated that Sora is the "good kid" he himself never was and in terms of personality they're really not that much alike to begin with.

I do wonder though if this shift of views more towards the villains does have something to do with the whole getting shafted from FF XV issue.

I also have to agree with Nazo on the writing parts.
This need of Nomura to make everything "surprising" and get out as much shocking stuff as possible is a significant flaw in his scenario writing as by prioritizing it over everything else leads to him sometimes screwing over the lore and background work he himself established.

But maybe at least partially destroying/contradicting his own established "universe" is right now part of his overall mood.
Reminds me somewhat of Hideaki Anno and Neon Genesis Evangelion where a similar situation was at hand.
 

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Re: The Verge: Nomura's confusion, relating to villains, dealing with expectations

It's very obvious that he's still depressed after his rejection on FFXV. He seems quite lost.

His writing is all over the place, and it got so much worse since they introduced KHX. What was the point of making an arc for Aqua
("The next time someone wanders into the realm of darkness, I'll be here. A light to cut through all the shadows. I will be their wayfinder.")
If she's going to be easily norted by The New Orginazition 13?
Well, I would have to disagree on Aqua's change being loose writing. We have no idea what has happened to Aqua (and Ansem the Wise for that matter) at the time they meet during/after KH2. Aqua being converted to the dark side isn't a contradiction to her conviction to helping others pulled into the Realm of Darkness. Especially, when we have no idea how "easily" that happened.

Now, definitely that Famitsu interview years ago where he said Nobodies don't age is a bit of loose writing, as clearly shown in the game, they do. Can't really get around that mistake there. The problem with creators I find mostly, is that they don't include information or explain things that are needed within the context of the game itself. A lot of questions or speculations are approached in interviews, when really, all things that should be explained or revealed about the lore or certain concepts should be in the story itself.
 

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Re: The Verge: Nomura's confusion, relating to villains, dealing with expectations

Yikes, someone give this guy a hug. The comments about Sora make me a bit sad.
 

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Re: The Verge: Nomura's confusion, relating to villains, dealing with expectations

The problem with creators I find mostly, is that they don't include information or explain things that are needed within the context of the game itself. A lot of questions or speculations are approached in interviews, when really, all things that should be explained or revealed about the lore or certain concepts should be in the story itself.
This sums up exactly what I was thinking of.
 

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Re: The Verge: Nomura's confusion, relating to villains, dealing with expectations

Honestly, this is just depressing. From the last two interviews I've read he doesn't seem to be really happy with his position as a creator. Yes, he has contributed to alot of people's lives over the last decade with his works and gave Square something they can stand on besides Final Fantasy but now I just can't help but think that he's getting more lost the more he continues to work on the franchise and it worries me. I wonder if he actually considers himself. Yes, work is important and all but if it begins to damage you in some kind of way then I would prioritize myself rather than my work. Or maybe he just needs a little break amd I'm just typing non-sense here...I don't know, I just don't want him to beat himself over for us or the company....
 

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Re: The Verge: Nomura's confusion, relating to villains, dealing with expectations

There's a solid chance that he's just being funny in his own strange way.
 

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Re: The Verge: Nomura's confusion, relating to villains, dealing with expectations

There's a solid chance that he's just being funny in his own strange way.
Maybe? I kinda hope cuz Xehanort isn't likable or relatable at all. He's a very cookie cutter cartoon villain, so if he truly relates to him that is concerning lol. I must agree with everyone else he comes off like he might have some issues to work through still and I just hope he doesn't let it all get to him lol.
 

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Re: The Verge: Nomura's confusion, relating to villains, dealing with expectations

I'm glad Nomura is being vocal about this. It's always interesting to see where the creators minds are at during development. There's no doubt the pressure cooker of expectations has made past decade hard on him. I see an inevitable hiatus to decompress in his future.
 
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Re: The Verge: Nomura's confusion, relating to villains, dealing with expectations

This makes me sad, it sounds like he's been a kinda depressed. When he says he relates more to the villains or anyone who's fallen to the darkness, I feel like he's talking about Terra. Terra has basically become Xehanort now. He's warrior of the light who's fallen so far into the shadows, and that seems like a poetic symbol for depression.
 
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