The December 2006 issue of Famitsu magazine included an interview with Tetsuya Nomura, the director for the Kingdom Hearts series. The major topics discussed were Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories.
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix
--Anyway, let’s start with the news of this “new project” which appeared at the end of the latest trailer. Boy, were we surprised!
Nomura: Thanks to everyone Kingdom Hearts has gained phenomenal popularity worldwide. That is why next year the series will be taking a new step… although for the moment I can’t be any more concrete.
--If only you could do something about that (laugh). Is it something Disney specializes in? Or is a game?
Nomura: It’s complicated. It is one thing but “project” doesn’t quite encompass it. Right now we’re in the midst of talks with Disney’s side and while there is something they have contributed there is also something we [Square-Enix] have contributed. At the moment we’re talking about how to realise it. Please be patient until we can be more precise.
--Will there be a hint in KHII FM’s secret movie?
Nomura: Well… there will be… a little. But also something else…
Square-Enix’s PR Department: It’s probably something you have never would have imagined. (laugh)
Nomura: So a lot’s going on but please look forward to it.
--We will! Now, regarding the new information that’s been released, first there’s that new costume for Sora. Is it for Halloween Town?
Nomura: Actually it’s something for Christmas Town. It was suggested in an interview so I thought that since I had the chance…
--So there’s no difference in Halloween Town but when in Christmas Town it will change?
Nomura: Yes. There are basically two costumes for that world.
--Will these new changes in costumes also mean changes in the story?
Nomura: No, the story won’t change so there will only be a difference in the visuals. I thought that might be fun. The reason it isn’t red is because it would then be the same colour as Jack’s and so the story would get complicated. By the way, Donald and Goofy’s appearances will also change.
--What is the new Drive Form looking like?
Nomura: The colours are very similar to Sora’s KH costume.
--Speaking of the latest trailer, it seems there was a new stage… one where there were battles with Marluxia and Lexaeus. They disappear in CoM right? So…
Nomura: In KHII FM you will be able to fight all the members of Organization XIII. To do that we had to create a new place. Those members who aren’t related to the story will be very difficult to defeat.
--More than Sephiroth?
Nomura: Yes. This is a special edition so they’ll be very hard indeed.
--We also saw that the fight against Roxas that was a cut scene in KHII is now playable.
Nomura: Yes. We’re doing our best to make it great.
--In the latest releases it also seemed like he had a very small number of HP bars. (laugh)
Nomura: Well he is also a Keyblade Wielder so he packs quite a punch. However, unlike Sephiroth, his is a fight that is compulsory to the story so we couldn’t make him too powerful either. It was all about finding the correct balance.
--There were quite a few screens where he was in the air but will this be a mostly airborne battle?
Nomura: Not really, but it will definitely be a very lively battle.
--There seems to be a Reaction Command called Duel Bout. Wasn’t this one that could be used with the Samurai Nobodies?
Nomura: Yes. Samurai Nobodies are supposed to be under Roxas’ command so it makes sense that Roxas can use the Command as well. Of course, Roxas’ is a lot better.
--As well as these new fights against Organization XIII and Roxas, fights against new mushroom Heartless were also shown.
Nomura: I actually don’t like shiitake (it’s a popular edible mushroom in Japan) but came to like mushroom Heartless. (laugh) I had thought of great gimmicks to put them into KHII but it didn’t make it. I had to insist a bit but they finally are included. This time they’re quite strong.
--There was a screen where mushroom Heartless were striking a pose. What was that about?!
Nomura: It means there are several of them. (laugh)
Nomura: They each have their own specialities and are of different sizes as well.
--Will we be able to tell them apart?
Nomura: They are all ranked and you can tell what their number is.
--In recent screens there was a score counter as well as a timer. Are they going to be fought like minigames?
Nomura: Yes. They come up as challenges and, as before, each have their own way of being solved.
--We’re looking forward to it. Also, in the latest trailer there was a character who said “It’s been a while, my friend.”. Who was this being said to?
Nomura: At present I cannot say.
--You said that none of the iron-clad characters of the secret movie were Roxas or Sora.
Nomura: That is correct. However they are related to one or more characters we have already introduced. Please speculate and look forward to it as well as the new project.
Kingdom Hearts – Re:Chain of Memories
--With the addition of voice acted scenes, it is like seeing some members of the Organization anew.
Nomura: Individuals worlds will only have text but all the scenes within the Castle with the Organization will be voiced.
--The quality of it is also amazing.
Nomura: The Organization of KHII was done so accurately and well that we were determined to do just as good with KH: Re:CoM. They stick perfectly with their image.
--In a screen where we fight with Riku, we see Zexion holding a Soul Eater. Does that mean he has the ability to imitate others’ weapons?
Nomura: Yes. However, each and every member of Organization XIII has both a special attribute and a specific weapon. Zexion also has his own weapon.
--And what seems like the ability to clone himself?
Nomura: Zexion’s element is that of illusion so he will make use of it in battle.
--What are the changes to the battle system?
Nomura: There a lot more Stock techniques. There are many new combinations that produce techniques than previously. There also some techniques that are connected to the Reaction Command brought over from KHII. However, the input of the Reaction Commands is a bit more difficult than in KHII.
--Button mashing won’t do?
Nomura: Indeed. In Re:CoM you get to use them during Stock techniques so that would have been too easy. That’s why we’ve tried to make the timing more severe.
--There has been talks that you were thinking about giving a nice bonus if the saves of KHII: FM and KH Re:CoM were to be transferred around.
Nomura: Yes I’m making it so that they will affect one another, something if KHII: FM data can be found when playing Re:CoM and vice versa. Transferring that of Re: CoM to KHII: FM will have a great effect I included thinking of all the fans so please look forward to it.