Kingdom Hearts director Tetsuya Nomura was interviewed in this week's issue of Dengeki. In the interview, he discusses about the importance of 2.8, the status of Kingdom Hearts III, and what we may expect for the KH 15th anniversary.
An image of the cover featuring the art of the acrylic stands that are pre-order bonuses for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue in Japan has been uploaded to Twitter by Kojima Productions! Thanks to @aibo_ac7 for the tip!
Scans can be viewed below. Translations for the preview are available thanks to goldpanner.
He also spoke about how the story of KH3 has already begun in 2.8.
Pre-release wrap-up special article with info on the 3-in-1 title etc.
Special limited editions runs include a chibi colour illustration on the cover and title page of the article.
Includes interview with director Tetsuya Nomura.
- Remasters tend to be neglected, but the staff dedicated themselves to putting in as much content as they could without affecting making progress on KH3
- In 0.2 they followed on from the premise from the first title, that the worlds of BBS fell to darkness, but they went to great lengths to balance the volume of the new maps, as it's boring to have similar locations over and over
- One feature is that they put in a lot of varying platforms, Nomura is secure in his faith in the development team's high ability to compose maps
- Gameplay-wise, 0.2 does differ from KH3 in some fundamental ways, but it's an opportunity to get a feel for KH in PS4 quality
- Regarding lighting, he's currently considering how to do it on current gen consoles without damaging the vibe, and is going at it through trial and error, such as getting guidance from Visual Works, so it's going to look even better than it does now
- Regarding Situational Commands, there's been some trial and error, how to make sure it doesn't look like a simple quick time event etc.
- Situational Commands are the evolved form of KH2's Reaction Commands, and pivotal to KH3
- In 0.2 you can use higher level magic early, but he doesn't think KH3 will work like that
- Regarding the characters that appeared in the final trailer - look forward to experiencing it in the game
- Cutscenes created for next-gen consoles look unfamiliar in ways, but he thinks it's coming together, they have to remake all the character models which is a big job
- Characters in KHBC have faces hidden with masks, so he made sure to give them all individual personalities
- Keen players may have noticed that 'sin' is the keyword of KHUχ
- KH3D, with flowmotion and a light-paced scenario, was a turning point, so KH3 starts there
- The boxart for KHHD1.5 and 2.5 connects, so he's probably not doing a special illustration
- Regarding development for KH3, they're battling through remaking all the models but it's moving along so he'd like you to not to worry. He's currently working on the timing for announcing new information. He'd like to tie it into the KH 15th anniversary event but it's not decided yet
- He wants you to play 0.2 after having seen KH3D's secret movie, KHBC is completely stand-alone so you can enjoy it any time
- KH2.8, as the title suggests, is the prologue to the final chapter: the story of KH3 has already begun
Those are the topics that appear.
Full translations of the extended version of the interview posted on Dengeki Online have been provided by Catherine Mueller (email@example.com).
--The Situation Command in the battle system is a really interesting combination of the old reaction commands and command styles.
That was definitely a trial and error process. When I watched the Situation Command in the PV, I saw that the triangle mark came out more as a QTE (Quick Time Event) marker.
However, when we displayed the command window to the side, it was hard to see whether or not it was usable, and we were unsure of what to do. We settled into adding the message “STANDING BY” in the end.
It's not “push it,” it's more of a “you can push it now” kind of feeling.
--The Situation Command is a command that matches up to a player's fulfillment of certain conditions, right?
We had thought to put that method into [KHIII] while working on its beginning stages. There are many commands you can put into use, and we decided to make it so that the player can chose the command in a certain length of time.
I think that the system has come to hold a lot of breadth in battles, when thinking of this as the progression of the [KHII] reaction commands. In [KHIII], we're thinking that this system will become a large axis.
--It seems like you can use the higher level magic skills like “Firaga” and “Thundaga” in the Situation Commands.
[KH0.2]'s system is tightly packed with content, so the player's character suddenly can use higher magic, but even if the same content appears in [KHIII], I don't think you'll be able to use it so suddenly.
--While playing [KH0.2], I couldn't believe that the Heartless could do that much damage. (laughs)
The Realm of Darkness influences the Shadows to increase their strength at times. In the E3 trial game, you could fight against a conglomeration of Shadows as a boss, but the reason we were able to create that boss fight with so much movement on screen was definitely because of the current hardware's spec.
--The character decoration is the first in the series and is a novel component.
I thought that we needed something fun to play around with even in with the game's jam-packed volume, so the staff devised this at the last minute for me. It really changes the character's look, so please gather a lot of items and design your own Aqua.
--Will you use the decoration feature in [KHIII]?
We knew we could insert that feature into the game this time, but whether or not we can with [KHIII]...we have other priorities ahead of us so it depends on time, but we'll look at the reaction with [KH0.2] and consider it.
--There was also a meeting between Aqua and King Mickey shown, as well as them fighting together.
In the Realm of Darkness, the fact that Aqua and King Mickey met is something that the fans have grasped up to this point, I think. Until meeting King Mickey, Aqua was on her own, so it was hard to write dialogue for it all. After meeting the King, the conversation becomes more lively.
--In the final trailer, we briefly saw Terra and Terranort...
You can look forward to the details when you play. By the way, the Terra in that scene is connected to the official concert “First Breath” and his conversation with Namine.
--We were also able to see Sora, Donald, and Goofy in the final trailer, and I think that was a really happy moment for fans.
Even now, I'm starting to get used to the next game's event scenes a bit, but I've still got a ways to go, I think. The [KH] series up to this point is using the first game's character models and scenery as a work base.
But, since the hard spec of [KHIII] is so different, we have to start from the ground up, and it's been difficult.
--There was also a scene with Riku and the King in new clothes, and I'm looking forward to their debut in [KHIII].
The costume design is already done, and it's really nice. Just between you and me, the outfit that Riku is wearing in the [KH X] three-year anniversary illustration was used as the base.
The new characters leave an impression in just one glance!
--[KHBC] is a brand-new theatrical production, so what did you become aware of while making the event scenes?
All of the Foretellers' faces are hidden behind masks, and you can't even see the mouths of the Master or Luxu. In other words, you can't see their expressions, but we were conscious of giving them personalities that would give each character charm as they are.
The main characters are mostly appearing for the first time, as well as being voiced for the first time, so we had to empathize with the users during this short production.
--The scene with the Master speaking really surprised me with a mood that hasn't appeared in the [KH] series so far. (laughs)
That's just the Master's personality, so we can't help that. (laughs)
--The Master's light way of speaking stands out, but he also has an eeriness to him in which you can't read his thoughts.
A very cool and calculative character is maybe too easy to understand. Thinking of all of this, the embodiment of “a strangely amazing guy” inside of me became the Master.
He is incredibly sincere, so whatever he's up against, won't he conduct himself in that way?
--I think that the Master's personality is also influenced by the performance of Tomokazu Sugita.
We worried about the cast a lot. Since we had decided on how we wanted to picture the Master, after that, we searched for someone who could perform that kind of drama.
When I was thinking of someone who could really handle the gaps in conversation, I thought that maybe Sugita-san was qualified. We recorded each voice actor one by one, but that doesn't make it feel like a conversation.
--We also saw a lot of unique dialogue, but was there any ad-lib by the voice actors?
There was no ad-lib. So, the dialogue was all scripted. However, there is one line by Aced that isn't by the script.
In the scene with the Master and Aced talking, Aced bites back his words, but we thought it fit the scene and was interesting, so we were allowed to use it.
--With voices and movements, I think the players' impression of the Fortellers will change.
With some of the players of [KH X] and [KH Unchained X], their impressions of the Foretellers might be firm, so I also worried about that reaction when I watched [KHBC]. They might come to hate Aced...
--We also saw a scene in the trailer where Aced's emotions erupted.
Still, I think if you follow the story calmly you'll understand, but actually, Aced is always making sound arguments. After writing the scenes for [KHBC], I became watchful of making sure none of the characters could be perceived as very bad or very good.
However, Ava is still a good girl in the end, huh? (laughs) Well, Ava is the one pulling the most strings of tension in the story, so that doesn't mean she's without sin, either.
--In [KH Unchained X], if you use the strength bangle to change your guilt into strength, it seems like “sin” becomes a keyword...?
I think users who pay attention will pick up on that as well. It means an important preface has already begun.
--We got a bit of a close-up of Ephemer, but will he appear more in [KH Unchained X]?
Both Ephemer and Skuld will come to be pretty important in season 2 of [KH Unchained X]. The story of [KH X] is over, and [KH Unchained X] is following another storyline, but their relationship will be talked about more in season 2, so please wait for a follow-up.
--Since the story of [KH Unchained X] is continuing on, is there the possibility of making a sequel to [KHBC] in regards to the back side of the story...?
We don't think so right now. In regards to the Foretellers, we plan to delve deeper into their characters during [KH Unchained X].
--The prototype of [KHDDD]-- [KH3D]--is a four year old game, but do you have any memories from that time?
I think that for me, [KH3D] was a turning point in our action aspect and scenario aspect. We tried doing dynamic jumps with the Free Flow Action in the action aspect, and in the scenes we tried to add a lighter feel.
It's a title that also determines the direction of future [KH] titles, so for me, [KHIII] started from [KH3D].
-- In the HD remaster, there are three new Spirits added, right?
It's kind of a lively addition. Pondanyan, Biitopoi, and Yuagari Penkin were chosen from a number of different plans. It's kind of funny that Yuagari Penkin isn't actually living up to its name. (laughs) (TN: Yuagari means “having just gotten out of the bath”)
--There are over fifty Spirits in the game, but do you have a favorite one?
It's probably Wandanyan. Each time we create a new species of enemies, there's always one base (for Heartless, it's the Shadows, for Nobodies, the Dusks), but for the Dream Eaters, it was Wandanyan, so I have a lot of memories with it.
A bit earlier, for a display at Artnia (the official cafe/shop of Square Enix), I was searching for the original picture, and at that time I found my original picture for Wandanyan, and to be honest, it looked more like a doodle... I'm surprised at how cute he's become in the end from that design.
--At the time of [KH3D]'s release, you could obtain AR cards with Spirits in them, but how does it work with [KHDDD]?
All of the Spirits that were in the AR cards are obtainable in the game.
--In March of 2017, you'll be releasing [KH HD 1.5 + 2.5], but is there anything that has changed in the games?
It's the same content as the previous two HD remasters. Since all six games have been combined into one disc for the PS4, it's easier to play.
--Do you think you'll design a special package illustration for [KH 1.5 + 2.5]?
I probably won't. Since the three package illustrations for [1.5], [2.5], and [2.8] are all connected, to draw a new one would mean that it's not connected with that.
To the people thinking, “What is he talking about?”, please look at the three illustrations lined up next to each other.
--After [KH2.8] has released, it's finally time to start the wait for [KHIII].
As I mentioned before about the development, we've had to start all the models over from scratch with a large volume, so it's been very difficult, but please be at ease, because it is progressing. I have a lot of new information I want to share with you all, but now it's just a matter of timing.
2017 is the [KH] series' fifteenth anniversary, and there will be all kinds of anniversary events shown at the concert, so if possible I'd like to take those chances to tie in news about [KHIII], but that still has yet to be decided. We're sorry to make you wait, but please wait just a little longer.
--Please give a message to the fans waiting to buy [KH2.8].
Not just to those who have not played [KH3D], but to those who have already played it and remember the story, please give [KHDDD] a play. If you can get it, I recommend playing [KH0.2] after watching the secret movie (for [KHDDD]).
For the fans waiting for [KHIII], [KH0.2] has some content I'd really like you to try out. [KHBC] is a little bit separated from the original story, so I think you can enjoy that one whenever you'd like.
As the title says, [KH2.8] is certainly the final “prologue.” The story of [KHIII] has already begun.