Kingdom Hearts Re:coded Ultimania, the official guidebook for Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, released last week. This book contained many interviews with various members of the development team, concerning Re:coded and the future of the Kingdom Hearts series. The "Scenario Mysteries" interview with the director of the series, Tetsuya Nomura, has been translated by HEARTSTATION.ORG. It can be read below.
Nomura: No, it’s a data version the entire time. However like with the first Keyblade, it wasn’t created by someone else. It comes from the heart’s connections with the data, hinting towards the story theme, “Can a heart be born in an existence made of data?”
During Re:Coded, Namine seems to have explained the reason for the “pain” mentioned in the journal to Sora and company, but why does she take the roundabout method of accessing the data in the Jiminy Journal and adding to it?
Nomura: At the point of time when Namine explained Sora’s secret in the real world, she already knew that by the time Sora and company woke up she would be gone. She thought she wouldn’t be able to speak to them directly. Thus she left a note in Jiminy’s Journal, however she didn’t presume what sort of form the meaning of the message would take when presented to Sora and company. Therefore Jiminy’s Journal was made into data according to the King and co.’s assumptions.
Was the message presented in Jiminy’s Journal prepared entirely by Namine herself?
Nomura: The very first message, “We must return to free them from their torment,” was the only one by Namine, however the messages “Their torment has been lessened” etc. were transmitted by the data itself when Sora eliminated the bugs, implying that restoring the data would bring him closer to understanding the mystery of the message.
As for the outbreak of bugs in Jiminy’s Journal, did they accidentally appear as a result of Namine adding data? Or did Namine intentionally devise the bugs in order to make Sora triumph over the “pain”?
Nomura: That occurring wasn’t part of Namine’s intentions. She couldn’t predict that Sora Heartless would take charge and bring about a crisis like that.
I see… Roxas appears dressed in the black coat in Castle Oblivion among other worlds too. Was that something else that Namine had not added intentionally?
Nomura: Right. Since Roxas and Sora together make up one existence, if there is a Sora made of Kingdom Hearts I data, then data of Roxas must exist too. Roxas says, “It’s my personal duty to check whether or not Sora is ready to take the pain.” However that role was not assigned by Namine, Roxas personally decided that goal and acted upon it accordingly.
Who was the person taken from the data of Jiminy’s Journal that took the form of Riku in the data world?
Nomura: That wasn’t someone from the real world’s data, more like that was the data itself taking on the body of Riku in order to avoid being eroded by the bugs.
When each world is completely debugged, a scene is shown that was not seen in Kingdom Hearts I. Did those scenes occur at the same point in time as Kingdom Hearts I?
Nomura: Yes, they were memories deep in the data of the worlds recorded in Jiminy’s Journal, however as a result of Data Riku searching after the worlds were debugged, they were tangible to the King and company.
In the final chapter of Hollow Bastion, it happens in the story that if the Jiminy Journal is completely debugged, then the existence recorded in the data will be erased. Then why is it even if Data Sora doesn’t remember, Data Riku’s memories remain?
Nomura: Data Sora became an existence whose purpose was to go about debugging, so at the point in time when he had completely debugged the data his memories were gone. In Data Riku’s case, it existed in the main data even without the Jiminy Journal itself being erased, and since its purpose was to solve the mystery first written in the journal, it couldn’t fulfill it until the debugging was complete. Once the mystery was solved, it too would lose its memories.
Throughout playing the lines “Restoration Rate X%” appears a few times, when it reaches 100% Sora Heartless begins to run amok. Does that number represent the growth condition of Sora Heartless?
Nomura: In Kingdom Hearts II, Sora’s memory restoration rate was expressed that way. In this case it’s basically showing how much of the data world was restored thanks to Sora. However it’s also like an indicator of Sora Heartless’ growth since it grew at the same time as Sora exterminated the bugs.
After debugging Traverse Town, the King says to Sora, “That day, your travels began here. Also on that day, I was here too.” Does that mean that the King was in the same place at the same time as Sora adventured into Traverse Town in Kingdom Hearts I?
Nomura: Seems so. What he was actually doing becomes the previously mentioned “blank time period”, but in this title, it’s implying that the two crossed paths in the same place.
As for the story, the curtain has closed on Sora finally saying “thank you” to Namine. In your Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix Ultimania interview, you mentioned that Sora not having yet thanked Namine was foreshadowing the future. Is that matter considered settled now?
Nomura: Although it can’t really be said that it’s completely settled since they haven’t exchanged words in the real world, there’s naturally that implication. This time it’s the data of Sora from before Chain of Memories saying thanks, however it shows there was a special connection beyond the passage of time between Sora and Namine. Additionally, it gives a contradictory answer to the implication that data existences don’t have hearts shown in the story.
I’m going to ask about the Secret Movie now. Yen Sid tells, “With Ansem and Xemnas defeated, it means Master Xehanort will be revived.” When Yen Sid explained about Organization XIII in Kingdom Hearts II, did he know this at that point in time?
Nomura: He knew, but it couldn’t be avoided. At that time Xemnas existed as the main threat, so nothing could be done until he was defeated.
“If you release the heart of the Heartless and annihilate the body of the Nobody, then the real form will be revived.” If those conditions are met, can others outside of Xehanort be revived too?
Nomura: It can be considered a possibility. Although it’s what-if speaking, I think that if the members of Organization XIII were restored, they would become there true form.
Though he’s a member of Organization XIII, Axel is shown in the end of Re:Coded in the memories of “pain”…
Nomura: Since healing the necessary “pain” of Axel’s is different than with other people, if he is revived he will take a form like Xehanort’s. In the end of the story, Namine says, “Those whose memories are sleeping inside Sora need relief.” In the Birth by Sleep secret cutscene “Blank Points”, certain characters call out to Sora, however in that scene Axel is the only one who appears and doesn’t say Sora’s name out loud.
Speaking of the Birth by Sleep secret cutscene, Ansem the Wise says that he hid his research results in Sora. This complies with what happens in Re:Coded when Namine says DiZ (Ansem the Wise) has hid something inside Sora. Is that mystery remaining unsolved?
Nomura: Yes. Namine added data to the Jiminy Journal in order to convey that the “pain” of those connected to Sora must be healed, but at the point in time Ansem hid the research results inside Sora, he didn’t know that. Accordingly, Ansem’s research results will become the key to healing the “pain” in the future of the story.
So even though Namine and Ansem acted independently, as a result of what the two did, it leads to one thing. And speaking of those details…
Nomura: Since that will likely become the story for Kingdom Hearts III, please look forward to that until then.