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Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Monthly Shōnen Gangan article.


The February 2010 issue of Monthly Shōnen Gangan magazine has included an article on Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. This article contains information about the recently released game, as well as an interview with Tetsuya Nomura, the series' director. HEARTSTATION.ORG have scanned the article and translated the interview, both of which can be seen below.

- Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep expands the story on the world shown in the Secret Movie contained in Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix. I remember the considerably hard contents of the Kingdom Hearts world represented in it left me with a sense of discomfort.

Nomura: Since the Secret Movie had a lot of surprise meanings, I assume your experience with the KH world up until then had been completely different; the story in it couldn’t possibly be connected! At least that’s the feeling it seemed to give off.

- Not to say that the true meaning of that movie will be revealed in this title… So there were some things I wanted to ask you about Birth by Sleep, it seems that in this game Keyblades become a point of interest in the story.

Nomura: Indeed. However, in order for the story to proceed, I got the feeling that we needed to explain what exactly this thing that is shrouded in mysteries called a Keyblade really was. In the world of Birth by Sleep, multiple people can use a Keyblade, why is it that this sort of activity has disappeared from Sora’s world, those sorts of concealed secrets are revealed in this title. This time it is established in the story that Terra, Ventus, and Aqua are pupils being raised as successors of a Keyblade Master. From there those three’s story begins.

- So it’s the story of the three pupils, Terra, Ventus, and Aqua.

Nomura: The three parts of their story are prepared, going to various Disney Worlds on their own respective adventures. The foundation of the story is developing whichever the player chooses; however there are points within the story where the three cross paths. If you only play through one character’s part, you can’t understand the whole story. When you experience each of the three character’s parts and complete the various mysteries, their stories connect to make up on big story.

- So the three characters adventure to various Disney Worlds, what kind of ideas did you have in mind when deciding which worlds would be introduced in the game?

Nomura: Since Birth by Sleep is a story about the past that takes place before Kingdom Hearts 1, we wanted the worlds that didn’t appear yet of the seven princesses existing around that time. For that reason, we chose worlds the princess’s worlds to appear like Snow White and Cinderella.

- Other than the princesses, young Riku and Kairi, Hercules in training, and also people resembling Organization XIII members also appear.

Nomura: Keeping in time with the storyline from Kingdom Hearts 1, we put included the past storylines of characters who have already appeared. For the Organization XIII characters, it establishes them during their time as humans.

- The battles of this title implement new systems like Style Change among other things, please tell me the reason for it!

Nomura: The Kingdom Hearts series is played by a wide range of players, from lightweight to hardcore. And so, when we were trying to think of a system that both kinds of players could enjoy, we arrived at the current Style Change. The style also automatically changes if you mash the buttons, releasing a magnificent deadly technique, and if you put your Deck Commands together properly, you can initiate Style Change as you aim, also releasing a deadly technique. The system that formed both these methods is Style Change, you see.

- Other than that, there were also new systems called Dimension Link and Shoot Lock!

Nomura: Dimension Link releases a strong technique borrowing the power of far away friends. In this title, there’s no party battle, so we adopted this system in order to direct the bond with the friends you fight alongside even in battle. As for Shoot Lock, in the series up until now we had Lock On to fix onto attacking enemies, but we’d made an effort to evolve the battle system so far, and thought we’d better evolve Lock On too. It’s a much more thought out system.

- Finally, please say one more line to the readers and the fans of the series!

Nomura: Since Birth by Sleep is the first part of the Kingdom Hearts storyline, I’d like if you considered it as Kingdom Hearts, “Episode 0”. This title isn’t placed as a side story, with its storyline and battle system, it is substantial like that of a numbered title. Also, there are Secret Movie-like contents in it. Since you could say that is the true ending, I want you to see it by all means! By seeing it, you can tell how much further the Kingdom Hearts story expands!

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