1UP.com have had an interview with Tetsuya Nomura, the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, where he discusses the series' past and present. Except for the fact that Sora's original weapon was intended to be chainsaw-like, the interview does not reveal any new information.
How did the concept behind Kingdom Hearts, one of Square Enix's most successful new concepts in recent years, come about? "I don't remember the details, but I was talking with [current Square Enix corporate executive] Shinji Hashimoto and Hironobu Sakaguchi," producer Tetsuya Nomura told Famitsu magazine in an interview. "The topic came up that it'd be nice if we could make a game with Disney. I had been wanting to make an original action RPG by that time, and I had had the basic game system for KH in my mind for a while by that point. I thought it'd be a good opportunity for me, so I raised my hand and told them to let me handle it."
The three sides didn't see eye-to-eye on everything, of course. "Square wanted to make a game starring Mickey Mouse, and Disney wanted a Donald Duck title. Meanwhile, I wanted neither," Nomura said with a laugh. "So I built a project plan for KH and began negotiating with both sides. That plan was largely what you see now; a game featuring lots of characters without focusing on any particular one."
People often have the impression that Nomura, given his artistic background, designs games based off story and characters ahead of gameplay. "That's not really the case," he notes. "I thought of the Keyblade in KH from the beginning, and that made 'keys' an integral keyword in the story."
"Actually," he continues, "the first weapon I showed Disney was a chainsaw. It was this chainsaw-like weapon that I had a rough sketch of when I first showed my concepts to Disney. Everyone got this scrunched-up look on their face and nobody said a word in the entire room. Dead silence. And I thought 'No, I guess this wouldn't work, huh?'"
Nowadays Nomura is occupied with the DS's Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, out now in Japan and due for a September release in America. The game's been a remarkable sales success in Japan, with Famitsu and other publications calling the title the furthest the DS has ever been pushed technically. "I have my doubts about how the world is turning toward 'serious' titles [such as Brain Age]," Nomura said. "I don't think that can be the industry's main focus. I'm here to make games, obviously, and that attitude played a major part in [358/2 Days] development. A lot of gamers don't play anything except the really big names, like Dragon Quest and FF. Look at it another way, though, and as long as you can grab their interest, they'll play your game. That's the userbase I want to attract here. You have to, or else you'll never challenge yourself. I'm not here to analyze the game industry or anything. All I believe is that if you make a fun game, people will play it."
Square Enix have updated their official Japanese website for Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. This update is an addition to the extra section, and contains four new videos. They show off Goofy and Xion's Limit Breaks, Mickey's battle style, and the unlockable unique weapons. All videos can be viewed below, or downloaded from 358/2 Days' trailers section.
As previously reported, a recent issue of Famitsu Weekly has conducted an interview with Tetsuya Nomura, concerning the Kingdom Hearts series. The Light in Chaos have typed up the entire interview, and HEARTSTATION.ORG have translated it into English. As the interview is quite long, please head to our forum to read it.
DSi-Fans.de have reported that Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days will not be published by Disney in Germany, but instead will be published by Koch Media. Although this does not change anything for the consumer, it does confirm that there will be a Germany release. The game will be published in Autumn 2009.
Square Enix have updated their official English website for Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. This update includes the addition of character profiles for both King Mickey and Riku. Although this update is small, the fact that they have updated the site means that we can expect more updates in the future.
A recent issue of Famitsu Weekly has included an interview with the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura. In the interview, he discusses the relationship between and development of Kingdom Hearts coded, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. Thanks to FF7AC reunion, a partial scan of the article can be viewed below. HEARTSTATION.ORG have translated this scan, and thanks to them, the translation can also be read below.
―Is there a connection in 358/2 Days between Birth by Sleep and Coded?
[b]Nomura:[/b] At the moment Coded does not have any connections with 358/2 Days, but Birth by Sleep is deeply linked. Birth by Sleep has connections to all the games in the series.
―As for Coded, Chapter 2 will be distributing.
[b]Nomura:[/b] From Chapter 2, the story becomes progressively longer. The story of Chapter 1 had the nuance of a tutorial, but from Chapter 2 item synthesizing increases, and after a stage is cleared, other side quests become available. Since linkage with Avatar Kingdom also becomes full-scale, please look forward to it.
―How is the development status of Birth by Sleep?
[b]Nomura:[/b] It’s doing alright. You could say it’s becoming a confident title. I’ve kept you waiting, but I think some new information will be sent out during summer. Since the plan is to present a trailer showing off the game’s fighting spirit at Tokyo Game Show, look forward to it.
A few days ago, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days Ultimania, the official guidebook for Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, was released. This book contains many pieces of new information, including interviews with and reports by Tetsuya Nomura, the game's director.
Kingdom Hearts Insider have been busy translating content from the book, and so far, they have translated two interviews and an explanation of the game's Secret Reports. You can read the first interview here, and the other pieces here.
Square Enix have updated their official Japanese website for Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. This update is an addition to the extra section, and contains two new videos. One video shows off Goofy's Limit Break, where the other shows of the Final Limit of various characters. Both videos can be viewed below, or downloaded from 358/2 Days' trailers section.
Square Enix's official website for Kingdom Hearts Mobile has been updated. The update includes information concerning new costumes, avatars and wallpapers that are released on the service, and contains a short announcement regarding Episode 2 of Kingdom Hearts coded. The website reports that it will be released in July, and contains a new image of the episode, which can be viewed below.
As was previously reported, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days Ultimania, a book to accompany the Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, has been released in Japan. It contains an interview with Tetsuya Nomura regarding the future of the Kingdom Hearts series, and Kingdom Hearts Insider have managed to translate it entirely.
The interview, seven pages long, is with the series' director, Tetsuya Nomura. He discusses his thoughts concerning the development and release of 358/2 Days, and then goes on to discuss the production of Kingdom Hearts coded and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. He also talks about the future of the series, beyond those two games. The interview is quite lengthy, and may contain spoilers, so please go to the full article to read it.