Following the news that Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue will release for the PlayStation 4, many people had questions for Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura. Luckily, Famitsu Weekly had the opportunity to ask some of the questions that fans have been dying to ask. Tetsuya Nomura answers questions concerning what exactly is new in Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD, whether or not there will be a Kingdom Hearts 2.9, and what we can expect to see in the Big Hero 6 world in Kingdom Hearts III. And, if you're curious, Nomura explains the "2.8" in the title as well. Translations for the full interview can be seen below thanks for News Team member soraspromise.
After “KH1.5” and “KH2.5”, we were a bit surprised by “KH2.8”. Please tell us the origin of that title.
Nomura: It does contain some meaning, but it takes some thought. Now “KH DDD” is currently in the making (previously made as KH3D: Dream Drop Distance) and before the production of that was “KH2.5”…. 2.6 would have been an appropriate title. And then came “KHx” and “KH Unchained x” as well as “KH x Back Cover”. With Sora’s absence, I started to consider “0”. “KH BBS” is 0.1, now “KH0.2 BBS ” fit into the title with “0.2”. So “2.6” + “0” + “0.2” create the number “2.8”.
I see! Having to shake the time axis of the series to make new additions. The 0.2 in “KH0.2 BBS” especially had to have a deliberate significance.
Nomura: In the secret episode of “KH BBS Final Mix”, there was a display of “0.5”. “0.5” was originally intended to be a full volume as a sequel to “KH BBS”. But because “KHIII” is still the top priority, “0.1” took one step forward to “0.2”.
So is there still a potential for “KH2.9” to be released?
Nomura: Following “KHIII” (laughs). The subtitle of “KH2.8” is “Final Chapter Prologue” and “KHIII” is the last chapter in the “Dark Seeker” series and the intention is for the prologue to be a taste of what the final chapter will hold. The meaning of the “0.1” left over will be seen within “KHIII”.
Why the different hardware than the releases of “KH1.5” and “KH2.5”?
Nomura: Because the gameplay of “KH0.2 BBS” is made with the same technique as “KHIII”, it needed to be moved to PS4. Because our current environment utilizes PS4, new production on a PS3 title would create a difficult situation. I think everyone will see how it’s a small quantity of “KHIII”’s atmosphere. After all, “KH0.2 BBS” is made in the same system as “KHIII”.
Will the system of “KH0.2 BBS” be completely different than that seen in “KH BBS”?
Nomura: We are taking elements of “KHIII” and “BBS” into account, making a sort of hybrid.
With additional hands needed, is there any worry about the effect on the progress of “KHIII”?
Nomura: As “KHIII” is a numbered title, it is an expansive work that takes a long amount of time to develop. However, as “0.2” is made in the influence of “KHIII”, it will not be a problem. I thought it would be great for players to get an “early bird” small piece of “KHIII” in the time period that they’re waiting.
So you have 3 recorded works right now and “KH Unchained x” has just begun service. Why did “KH3D” get the special privilege to become playable rather than just HD video footage?
Nomura: I realized that I was lucky enough to have the staff who worked on “KH1.5” and “KH2.5”. This time, in addition to HD, the game had to be completely redesigned from the two screens of the Nintendo 3DS, so it can be said this HD remastered work is much stronger than the works of the past.
Will there be any additional elements?
Nomura: There’s been talks of going down that road, as this HD remaster is such a large change from the original work, so trophies will definitely be added as a new element. Because “KH3D” has a very heavy story that takes place before “KHIII”, it is very important.
So it’s important to play “KH DDD” on the same hardware as “KHIII”. I also want to ask about “KH0.2 BBS”. Where does it begin on the time axis? Does it tie to the secret episode of “KH BBS Final Mix”?
Nomura: It will begin immediately after the end of the secret episode. After she sees Cinderella’s castle in the realm of darkness.
So with that, Cinderella Castle is on the stage.
Nomura: Isn’t it? (laughs). Cinderella’s Castle aside, it’s definitely not an endless walk through the realm of darkness.
Will the “A Fragmentary Passage” seen in the secret episode be in “KH0.2 BBS”?
Nomura: Although the content is still there, the meaning will be different than it was in “KH BBS Final Mix” “A Fragmentary Passage” as it’s not meant to be a complete game. So the setting was changed to be a small piece of “KHIII” as we decided now would be a good time for it. However, to not effect the progress of “KHIII”, it was decided it was best to not be a “0.5” like a full volume but a “0.2” type of game. So even though a change was made to cut the chapter to a shorter length, the name “A Fragmentary Passage” is still kept as a subtitle.
Can you paint a picture of the exact period it will take place in?
Nomura: I cannot say (laughs). In the introduction, Sora is setting up for a new journey, there is an episode where the King begins to talk about things he has previously kept to himself. “KH0.2 BBS” has a very close connection to ”KHIII”.
And it is the King that holds the key. Next, “KHx Back Cover” … for “KH Unchained x” the service has just started. Could you talk a little about that?
Nomura: At the beginning of service, there was continuing server trouble, and I apologize. Within the company, there was a lot of cooperation and continuing of getting better. Still, the server issues were a troubling as we kept working to better it. Gradually, it came to an event that opened [the server] a lot more.
In relation to stability, the game has been very calm as of late. The game has a very crisp gameplay.
Nomura: I made it in mind of bringing the feel of “KH” to a hardware so closely connected to everyday life. Next year, once a month every month, 50 new quests will be announced to be added. Because of the continuous additions, this will bring ease to many.
I just wanted to bring up my personal experience of the crisp gameplay. Now let’s get back to “KHx Back Cover”. Who is the person who has the foresight to see the future of 5 people and who’s point of view is this taking place from?
Nomura: Yes, that person is the master or “the master of masters”. Chirithy is the main character who is calling out to the master of masters character.
So Chirithy is the one who started to call out.
Nomura: Yes. However, calling out to the master of masters, the person who created the surroundings, won’t do much. The master of masters has already pointed out the person who will stand out. The foretellers are also Keyblade Masters. Their master is the master of all masters.
Though it’s already full of mysteries, it will deepen the mystery even further to guess who appears to be the master.
Nomura: In “KHx Back Cover”, there is quite a turn. By the way, in “KHx” they have appeared in a black coat.
Aah, speaking of the 5 foretellers…
Nomura: “KHx” and “KH Unchained x” will continue through the player’s point of view, and the foretellers will tell you their opinion, but I think it won’t help much. In “Back Cover” the differences and speculations will be shown and you can take them as you want. Maybe then, they can glimpse the nature of their union and wonder “What was I thinking?” and that their tastes may be more divided (laughs).
I find that really interesting (laughs)… There will be no patience for changing unions once those directions are taken. From there, “KHx” and “KH Unchained x” should it be expected for the foretellers to step in the way of one another?
Nomura: In “KHx”’s latest scenario, the mask of the fox was removed by revealing a name, but I give very little information about them. By the way, the master of masters named rules for each of his 6 disciples.
I predict this series to be the epitome of thrill. So, in the latest trailer, Chirithy has a new fresh voice. Was Tomoko Kaneda in charge of that voice?
Nomura: Yes. It was recorded with sadness in mind and I think the end result was good.
“KH2.8” leads to “KHIII”, and the other day “Big Hero 6"’s world was announced with great applause.
Nomura: Because it was the most recent world decided, there was not a lot I could tell but I’m glad the guests were excited. Big Hero 6 is from the near future but in a cityscape with a modern feel and the sheer amount of action and fun are what made it a clear choice for me.
As a synopsis, the original Baymax is dyed black because it is controlled by Heartless, and Sora is flying on Baymax as they meet face to face.
Nomura: Right. Ours will talk about after the movie. Black Baymax was the result of Yasue (Co. Director Tai Yasue) reacting “I absolutely want to do this!”. Because I am also pleased with this, please look forward to the finished result.
In November, there is an event that takes place 3 days before the D23 Expo Japan event in Tokyo Disneyland with follow up special events about “KH” and “Final Fantasy VII full remake (tentative)” in the winter. With all of that, news will continue to flow in.
Nomura: Now that “Dissidia Final Fantasy” is being prepared to be released for the arcade, we are focusing on the plans for next year’s releases, including “KH2.8” and “World of Final Fantasy”. “KHx” and “KH Unchained x” are continuing well, thanks to several requests from outside of the company. Although there is still training going on, and we've got our hands full (bitter laugh), I think the fans will be pleased by our efforts.
The article also shared some new screenshots, which you can view below: