Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+ Ultimania included an interview with Tetsuya Nomura, the director of the Kingdom Hearts series. The major topics discussed were Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix and Birth by Sleep.
--About the new KH title that will be announced after summer this year (2007), will that be a direct sequel?
Nomura: Hmm…I’m not sure how much I can say (laughs). I’ll start of by saying that it’s not Kingdom Hearts 3.
--So this game will be a side story?
Nomura: That’s right. My own feelings are that I would like to give Sora a break from large adventures for a little while. So I’m thinking of making the next game’s story focus on other characters.
--So by a little while, do you mean that Sora’s journey from Kingdom Hearts 2 hasn’t finished?
Nomura: Yes. If you’re talking about the mysteries that started from Kingdom Hearts 1, then those were all revealed. In the ending of Kingdom Hearts II, there was a scene where Sora received a letter from the King; for Sora, I would like you to consider this as a new beginning. The truth is, until the very end, I was considering whether or not to include a scene showing them setting off on a journey after reading the letter.
--So, let’s talk about this new story, which doesn’t have Sora as the main character. What sort of story will it be?
Nomura: Well, I need to start with the story depicted in a Birth by Sleep. Aside from that, there’s the story of how the King found his keyblade in the world of darkness and other things like that. Myself, one of the things I most want to do is to give Roxas more of a role to play. I think it would be interesting to flesh out more of the year he spent between his birth and disappearance. Or making Riku the main character, and writing about his desperate fight while Sora was asleep, and things like that. You get the impression that Riku summoned Roxas to a place of shadows, and that Riku is a master of shadows, so I would like to give him more exploration in the game.
--Will there be anything different in the game system?
Nomura: I’d like to try something a little different to the previous games in the KH series. I’m not just talking about the next game, more about the next project, so I can’t say that it will just be one game (laughs). For the Kingdom Hearts series, being made with our company and Disney, both companies have things in mind that we would like to make reality, so there’s always at least two things we want to do.
--What platform does it look like the next game will be released on?
Nomura: Hmm… Probably a hand-held platform. Right now we’re working on titles for the PSP (FFVII Crisis Core), Nintendo DS (This Wonderful World) and for mobile phones (MONOTONE), so I wouldn’t be surprised if it were on any of those platforms.
--Is there any chance that this game may be released on multiple platforms?
Nomura: We haven’t considered that in the development. If possible, I would like to make a system that suits the platform. But in contrast, in terms of ideas, I would want ideas that could be released on any platform.
--The more I hear about the next game, the more exciting it sounds, but for the fans the first thing to do is to see KH2 Final Mix’s secret movie isn’t it?
Nomura: Yes. I’m worried that we made the conditions for getting the secret movie too hard, but through reading this guide, I hope the readers will be able to see the secret movie. Finding a way to defeat (the new boss) is tough, but I’ve seen it done, so I know it’s not impossible (laughs). If you’re able to see the new secret movie and turn your thoughts to the next Kingdom Hearts, I’d be very happy.