The latest issue of Famitsu Weekly, releasing on December 26, 2013, has contained an interview with the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura. Here, Nomura reveals new information regarding Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, Kingdom Hearts III and Kingdom Hearts χ.
- Final Mix version as base, plus Japanese voices
- Re:Coded has been fully remade as a movie, with new scenes
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX
- KH2.5 was created by the same team as 1.5, the Osaka Team. However, as the HD-ifying process had already been established, it went a lot more smoothly than 1.5 did
- A release time frame is in sight but they still aren't at a stage where they can announce a date
- They didn't have to change as much this time as they did for KH1.5, but the volume was equivalent
- Re:Coded isn't as long as 358/2 days, and most of the main story was already in cutscene form, which means they are applying new cutscenes to things that happened in Disney Worlds. Those require new voicing work, and last week they carried out the voice recording for Alice's world
- They are also adding battle scenes and a just little more to the scenario
- There's a scene connecting from Re:Coded to KH3D
- The reason for the HD remasters is to recap the story that leads to KH3, and since a) it's sad to think of just one title getting left out of being in HD and b) KH3D is a vital part in laying out KHIII, he knows he has to think of something
Kingdom Hearts χ
- He is currently being conscious of putting in mysteries and twists for the story. There's an episode of KHχ added that begins with a simple conversation with Chirithy, but then another Chirithy appears in the scene.
- The Guilt System had the working title of 'Orb', but they changed it. Perhaps you could expand on imagining collecting the sins (guilt) of the Heartless
-There is a natural predetermined meshing if he writes the scenarios himself, but as the goal approaches, he is becoming less convinced of that answer. He's exploring solutions to the question of how to surprise himself
- He thinks the KHχ scenario will actually be a surprise. An episode dedicated to the Foretellers will reveal, written in a tome of prophecy, events that are to happen in the future
- The last passage in the tome of prophecy is something shocking that connects to KH3
- As KHχ is online, it is by nature difficult to establish an ending to the story, but he has thought of a tentative conclusion. He's also currently thinking of online components for KH3, so he's hoping he can link them nicely, but he still doesn't know
Kingdom Hearts III
- He was happy that the KH3 promo released in October had such a massive reception, but there is still way way not enough on the development side
- 'Attraction Flow', which allows the selection of techniques that respond to enemies and locations, has techniques particularly rich in individuality during boss battles. It's one of the core gameplay elements of KH3, evolved from KH3D's Flowmotion
- Other than the gun form, there are some out-of-this-world transformations for the Keyblade. When the staff told me it would become a [redacted] I burst out laughing
- I hope to use all sorts of gimmicks on the suggestion of the planning department
- KH3 and KH2.5 are both by the Osaka Team; they are being worked on side by side
- Nomura is currently rewriting the scenario for KH3
Update 1: Famitsu.com have posted a preview scan of the article concerning HD 2.5 ReMIX. You can view it below.
Update 2: SQEX.INFO have done a full translation of Nomura's interview, and thanks to them, this can be read below.
- First off, I’d like to ask about Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix. Did development start right after Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix was finished?
Nomura: That’s right. Just like KH1.5, KH2.5 is being handled by the Osaka team. Programmers established the system for making things HD with KH1.5, so this time it’s progressing even smoother than that.
- So it’s not as difficult this time around?
Nomura: I think I mentioned this before, but it was more difficult with KH 1.5 since there was no remaining data to go off of. (wry laugh) This time Birth by Sleep is included in the compilation and originally the Osaka team worked on that, so they have the know how and there haven’t been any problems so far.
- KH2.5 was recently exhibited at Jump Festa 2014. If development is going so well, is the release date close at hand?
Nomura: The release period is in sight, but I can’t say yet.
- Alright, let’s talk about content. For KH1.5, there were changes made to KH’s technical specifications to make it closer to KH2, what about this time?
Nomura: There haven’t been any changes so far. Nonetheless, we are not only making an HD version of KH2, but BBS and the Final Mix parts as well, and of course we’re implementing trophies, so it has considerable volume and I think it’s something players can enjoy thoroughly.
- Scenes from KH Recoded are also included in the compilation. How much footage from it will be included? And are voiced scenes being recorded?
Nomura: The scenarios of Recoded itself are rather short within the series, so it’s not as abundant as Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days was in KH1.5. But in accordance with the length of Days, scenes from it were structured mainly around the story involving Roxas and the series’ original characters. This time around, Recoded isn’t as long as Days, so most of the main story from the original has been converted to movie cutscenes. The events that took place in the Disney worlds have been newly made into movie cutscenes as well. Of course that means there will be new scenes that need voice recordings. Just last week they were recording the voices for events in the Alice in Wonderland world.
- That’s good news for Disney fans!
Nomura: After that we’re including battle scenes that we couldn’t put in at the time of Days and though they are few, we’ll be adding new scenarios too.
- Scenes that didn’t take place during the game version?
Nomura: Yes. Chronologically, Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance takes place after Recoded, so there will be scenes that fill in that gap.
- Speaking of which, KH3D isn’t getting an HD remake.
Nomura: The HD remastered versions are meant to recap the story leading to KH3. While we’re remaking the series, it’s a shame that only one won’t be in HD, but KH3 picks up where KH3D leaves off so it’s an important title to the series, you can’t forget about it.
Side Note: According to Famitsu’s data as of 2013/12/8, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix is the 2nd best selling HD title, behind Monster Hunter Portable 3rd HD Ver. from Capcom. It sold 131,940 copies in it’s first week and has sold 222,995 total.
- KH1.5 remains the 2nd best selling HD remaster title in Japan’s history. Even though the final mix remake came out before the HD version, the HD version is selling. What do you think the main factor for this is?
Nomura: Well, probably because it’s in HD and it’s easier to play. (laughs)
- I think that’s the case too. (laughs) I think there are many people who want to play it on the high def screen and reaffirm the mysterious story.
Nomura: I keep it in mind when I put mysterious and captivating parts into the story. That way fans can imagine how things might turn out. For example, the other day a new episode was added to KHX and it has the first conversation with Chirishi. A scene where another Chirishi appears is added there, but the rest is left to your imagination. It’s established even if you only finish the conversation, I tweaked it a little bit, so it has some meaning.
- I see. Since it’s a scene you participated in, we’ll want to check it out. The new system in KHX involving “guilt” seems significant too.
Nomura: That too. At first in development they were called “orbs”, but the name has changed to “guilt” which has to do with “sin.” About the act of “gathering guilt from Heartless”, I think fans of the series will remember the connection it has. And then your imagination goes from there.
- Certainly we’ll pay attention and imagine something from there. But I doubt that we’ll be absolutely correct. How do you always think this stuff up?
Nomura: When I’m writing the scenarios on my own, it’s a combination of stuff coming naturally and the pre-established harmony. It’s because I keep writing towards my original goal. It becomes impossible to understand just by the visible answers. I want to be able to betray myself, by myself. From there I ask, “How can I surprise myself?” And then I begin to grope for a different answer. I also put thorough consideration into the fans viewpoint, wondering what might happen if this happened, etc.
- I see. Doing it like that, no one would be able to guess what’s coming, moreover a configuration with integrity is made. We will no doubt be surprised every time.
Nomura: I think that the scenarios of KHX from here on out will be surprising as well. In the episode concerning the clairvoyant, the prophesied events occurring in the future written by the clairvoyant will be revealed.
- By “the future”, what point of time do you mean?
Nomura: As for that, you’ll have to see for yourself. At any rate, the last verse of the clairvoyant is a major shocker. It’s something that connects to KH3.
- That’s a must see then! By the way, is there an ending to the story of KHX?
Nomura: As far as online characteristics go, it’s the hard part, but I am tentatively thinking about the conclusion. I’m also thinking about online elements for KH3, so if I could link them somehow that’d be cool, but I don’t know about that yet.
- At an event in October of this year a new KH3 trailer was premiered. How was the response?
Nomura: Everyone was really happy to see it, so that was good. But from the development side, only we knew what point it’s progress was at, and we showed something that still has a long way to go, something “insufficient.”
- But it looked immediately playable… Anyways in the trailer, we saw Attraction Flow, the system based on theme park attractions like Jet Coaster, etc. Are those kind of features going to be abundant?
Nomura: With Attraction Flow, you can choose techniques corresponding to the place, enemy, etc., so especially in boss fights you’ll be able to use techniques as abundantly as you like. It’s an evolution of KH3D’s Flowmotion and is one of the systems central to KH3.
- Speaking of new systems, we saw Sora’s Keyblade do a full on transformation.
Nomura: In the trailer, it became gun shaped, but it has unexpected transformations as well. The other day when I was doing a check up, a staff member said to me, “It turns into ___”, and I blurted out, “Are you serious!?” (laughs)
- What!? So already it’s not just a weapon? (laughs) After all, it was a vehicle in BBS…
Nomura: The planning side has suggested it should be used for some kind of feature. There are infinite possibilities with the Keyblade. (laughs)
- I’m sure we’ll be surprised. By the way, the Osaka team is also working on KH3, so does that mean they’ve stopped development to work on KH2.5 in the meantime?
Nomura: They’re working alongside one another.
- What are you currently working on?
Nomura: I’m working on KH3’s scenarios. Writing and editing, writing and editing.
- KH2.5 comes first huh. Lastly, I’d like to ask about the other titles that you’re involved with. How is Final Fantasy XV coming along?
Nomura: Right now we’re centralizing development. I hope you can wait until the time we can put out subsequent information.
- Alright well the other day it was announced that you are in charge of the character design for the arcade version of Puzzle & Dragons Battle Tournament. I’d like to ask about the details regarding that.
Nomura: I had the request for Gunslingers Stratos 2 and then a request from Producer Nobuki Kadoi, so I thought, “Me again?” (laughs) I was happy to hear there was a request from Gungho. At first they requested character designs with shorter body proportions, but I was being selfish and made them a little taller. I listened to the requests from the voice cast as well, and I think that the character casting came out pretty well.
- Sounds like there was a good collaboration effect going on. Lastly, is it challenging when you have those kind of jobs?
Nomura: I thought so with Gunslingers Stratos 2. It had been a long time since I designed characters for a new title and I was drawing freshly, so I thought that if I get the opportunity again, I’ll definitely go for it… Well, that’s how I felt anyways. We were able to talk about a lot of things this time. This old soldier is grateful for that.
Update 3: Famitsu.com have updated with an online companion article to the magazine article, containing many screenshots from HD 2.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts χ. These can all be seen below, in our gallery. 4Gamer.net have also updated with some screenshots, including one extra that Famitsu did not. This is also included below.