A 2004 issue of Dengeki PlayStation magazine included an interview with Tetsuya Nomura, the director for the Kingdom Hearts series. The major topics discussed were Kingdom Hearts II, Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts.
Dengeki PlayStation magazine: When did the plans for Kingdom Hearts II come up?
Tetsuya Nomura: The plans were around since the time when Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix, wrapped production, but the specifics weren’t decided until this July or August.
DPM: Why did you decide to produce a Game Boy version of Kingdom Hearts?
TN: I heard a story that kids wanted to play Kingdom Hearts on the GBA. It also seemed that there was a similar demand overseas, so I thought that it had to be created. The plans for the GBA game were thought over while talking with Disney about Kingdom Hearts II. Actually, the vision of the game didn’t become concrete until very recently.
DPM: None of the worlds of Disney in Kingdom Hearts II have been revealed. Will it be possible to go through different worlds in Kingdom Hearts II as well?
TN: Of course. The number of worlds in Kingdom Hearts II shouldn’t be less than Kingdom Hearts, so please look forward to it. Kingdom Hearts II will have new worlds, and some worlds from Kingdom Hearts will be in the game.
DPM: Will Twilight Town hold the same kind of standpoint in the game, like Traverse Town from Kingdom Hearts?
TN: I can’t answer that question, but it is definitely a town that plays an important role and comes into the scenario.
DPM: The illustration (of Twilight Town) has a building that looks like a train station. Will it be possible to go to other worlds by riding on this train?
TN: I can’t answer that question yet, but that building has an important meaning.
DPM: Is the island that has been revealed (through a recently released photo) Destiny Island from Kingdom Hearts?
TN: Probably. (Laughs) I can’t reveal details yet, so users should try using their imagination.
DPM: Kingdom Hearts II’s main illustration shows Mickey Mouse, but will he be appearing at the beginning of the game?
TN: Mickey Mouse will be handled in a special way in Kingdom Hearts II, so I can’t answer details at the current time. Other characters from Disney will join in the player’s party, similar to Kingdom Hearts.
DPM: Will Sora’s friends, Riku and Kairi, appear in Kingdom Hearts II?
TN: A major point to Kingdom Hearts II is whether or not Sora will be able to see them again. So I can’t answer that question.
DPM: It seems that there are characters that appear in both the GBA game and KHII?
TN: There are characters that make their first appearances in the GBA game, but please wait for additional news releases for information on them.
DPM: The enemy in Kingdom Hearts II is no longer just the Heartless this time? Also, there are men wearing black jackets, but are they the same people from Kingdom Hearts?
TN: The white enemies seen in Kingdom Hearts II are third forces following the Villains [in each world] and the Heartless from Kingdom Hearts. I can’t say who’s who amongst the people in the black jackets, but a character from Kingdom Hearts is among them for sure.
DPM: Are there any major changes in the battle system?
TN: The basis (of the battle system) is still the same, but there will be a number of totally new options. With the additional options implemented to the battle system, there should be a wider range of possible strategies in Kingdom Hearts II. There are also a number of changes and additions to the magic and summons in the game. The overall concept of summoning will be different in Kingdom Hearts II, so please look forward.
DPM: What about actions and the transportation system?
TN: There were a variety of actions in Kingdom Hearts, and there will be even more in KHII. As for the gummy ship, we are thinking of something similar to it.
DPM: What about puzzles?
TN: There will probably be lots of objects on the field that the player will be able to meddle with. The story will obviously be complex and have some puzzles in it too, since it continues from points alluded to in Kingdom Hearts.
DPM: Will there be a place like the Coliseum from Kingdom Hearts and other minigames in Kingdom Hearts II?
TN: The coliseum will be incredible. There will also be a lot of minigame factors that can be looked forward to.
DPM: Will all the mysteries from Kingdom Hearts get answered?
TN: All the mysteries from Kingdom Hearts will be answered in Kingdom Hearts II–by design. (Laughs)