Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania, the official companion book for Kingdom Hearts III, released in Japan on February 28, 2019. The 736 page long book mainly serves as a guidebook and a detailed data book for everything in Kingdom Hearts III, but also contains concept art, character renders, and special interviews with the people who worked on the game.
Here is the interview with Kingdom Hearts composer Yoko Shimomura about how a few trips have helped create some of the tracks for the newer worlds as well as her latest version of "Dearly Beloved". DISCLAIMER: This is only a tentative translation. It is possible that there are mistakes. These interviews could have potential spoilers, please be advised.
Thanks to @lunesacree for the translations.
Previously worked on: All of the KH series, FFXV, Live A Live, Super Mario RPG, Seiken Densetsu: Legend of Mana, High Score Girl (TV anime)
Q: What do you pay attention to when making the tracks?
A: Being natural. For songs that are blended into each world, and songs that are naturally close to the players' feelings, this is what I am most conscious of.
Q: Please tell us the concept for "Dearly Beloved", which plays on the title screen, for this game.
A: A piano concerto. Tetsu-san [NOTE: this is how she refers to Nomura—cute] ordered it to be based on the Transcendental Etudes [NOTE: a series of 12 compositions by Franz Liszt]. In terms of melody, I made it so that when you come to the intro, you think "huh? Is the song different this time?", so I think it's an arrangement that the players most likely didn't expect. It would make me happy if, once you reach the moment it becomes its usual melody, you think "ah, just as I thought, it's this song!".
Q: Which part of this production do you want us to hear?
A: Everything, just everything!! This time around, with the additions of Sekito (Tsuyoshi Sekito) and Ishimoto (Takeharu Ishimoto), who, together with me, were responsible for compositions of the works in the series, many arrangers participated. There are compositions where each one's personal touch shines through, so I would be happy if you can feel the parts that head off in a particular direction. The battle tracks that are arrangements of past tracks are really cool. "Did I really write such a good song? It's so cool it doesn't seem like mine..." is something I ended up saying over and over [laughs].
Q: Please tell us something you won't forget about the development process.
A: The name "Scala ad Caelum" actually first appeared during the 2017 Orchestra World Tour performance in Los Angeles, attached to the orchestra. (note: this was also where a KH3 trailer premiered) It was specified by Tetsu-san, but at the time I thought "what kind of meaning does this have..."
BONUS! "A secret about the game only you know"
For these several years, while the Orchestra World Tour was going all around the world, I created songs in various locations. For example, the songs for Monstropolis were made in a hotel in Europe, and the music box data for the 15th anniversary was made while on a plane heading for Hong Kong.22
Here are the other news stories that have previously come out of the Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania:
- Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania will be 736 pages long
- At least one other Kingdom Hearts title will release before a "KH4", according to Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania
- *Spoilers* Nomura has commented on a number of mysteries from Kingdom Hearts III
- Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania interview with Kingdom Hearts III programmer, Tamotsu Goto
- Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania interview with Kingdom Hearts III programmer Masashi Nakamichi
- Concept art and renders have been found in the Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania
- Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania interview with Kingdom Hearts III programmer Kengo Naka
- Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania interview with Kingdom Hearts III technical director Takashi Isowaki
- Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania interview with Kingdom Hearts III battle director Tomokazu Shibata
- Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania interview with Kingdom Hearts III Scenario + Cutscene Director Masaru Oka
- *Spoilers* Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania gives more insight into the Secret Reports
- Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania gameplay interviews
- Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania Animation Directors interviews
- Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania Environment Art Directors interviews
- Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania Characters Art Directors interviews
- Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania Visual Effects and Interface Directors interviews
- Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania Visual Works interviews
- Kingdom Hearts III Co-Director Tai Yasue discuses Keyblade transformations, new connections with Kingdom Hearts III and Kingdom Hearts Union x [Cross], and a new view on the Attraction Flow rides
- Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania interviews with Sound Director Yuki Hirose and Dialogue Editor Asako Suga
- Kingdom Hearts III music interviews with Keiji Kawamori, Takeharu Ishimoto, and Tsuyoshi Sekito