Amazon.fr have created a page for the eventual release of Kingdom Hearts 358/2. This page reveals that the release in France, and possibly the rest of Europe, will be on October 9, 2009, and that the game will cost EUR 39,95.
Another video of Kingdom Hearts coded has surfaced. A demo for Coded was shown at Japan Expo 2009 in Paris, and Kingdom Fantasy have uploaded footage of this demo. Thanks to them, you can view it below.
Lissar from Kingdom Hearts Insider has translated an Episode 2 summary of Kingdom Hearts coded, supplied by The Light in Chaos. This contains a complete description of the events of Coded's second episode, which was released earlier in July. You can read the translation below.
It starts with a movie summarizing the previous episode. Then there is a movie scene from the end of the last episode, and you arrive in Traverse Town. Pluto wakes up Sora by licking his face. Sora goes to find out if the island is safe while trying to solve Traverse Town’s problem.
You can now use the moogle synthesis shop. The moogle in front of the cafe in First District will go into a synthesis tutorial. When you talk with him he will give you two materials to synth. (First time only.) You can now sometimes get a Debug Prize from Bugs. There will be a Moogle at every save point. Also, at the Second District save point a Moogle will come and talk to you, giving you the Avatar Item “First town wallpaper.” (First time only.) The ability Huey found’s name will change into “Guard Counter.” (First time only.) You with go into Area Debug Mode in a battle with a Bug Snake. The time limit is three minutes. The amount of VP you gain will be lowered. The accessory you got from Cid when you went to look for Luey changes into “Attack Chain.” You will no longer have the Protect Chain. In Area Debug Mode with dividing Bugs, flashing Bugs will no longer appear. So you will longer take damage in this type of Area Debug Mode. You will now have normal encounters in Third District. You will chase a strange man, and when you return to First District there will be an Area Debug Mode fight. The time limit is three minutes. Depending on how quickly you are able to finish the fight you will receive certain items. (For example if you finish within one minute you will get a different item.) If you rescue Luey you will go into Area Debug Mode on the second floor. In boss stages the map telling you where you are or where you should go are gone. If you get game over in a boss stage you can only choose to start over from the same stage or go into the world map. But you can open your menu and change around your items and abilities. The ability you can get from finishing the episodes name changes to “D Thunder.”
You will get certain items by rank received after defeating the boss.
C Rank ~39999Pt - Synth Material “??? Powder +” B Rank 40000 ~ 49999 - Synth Material “??? Shard” A Rank 50000 ~ 59999 - Ability “Auto Reload” (First time only.) Item “Kupo Nut” (Second time onwards.) S Rank 60000Pt~ Avatar Item “First Town’s Carpet (L)” (First time only.) “??? Gem” (Second time onwards.)
After you’ve finished the story, a movie will play showing the Bugs disappearing from Traverse Town. It is shown that “A new power begins to awaken” in Sora. Then, at Disney Castle shadows appear. Of course thanks to King Mickey they were able to get away, but will we now know how they got locked in when they went to tell the residents...?
Lissar from Kingdom Hearts Insider has translated an interview with Tetsuya Nomura, supplied by FF7AC reunion. The interview is apparantly from Famitsu, and is the third part. Although the interview does not mention the Kingdom Hearts series, it is interesting to learn more about the series' creator. You can read it below.
-- You are both a “designer” and a “creator” now, but I believe you started out from just liking to draw, is that right? Have you been drawing since you were a kid?
Nomura: Yes. I’ve liked pictures since I was little, I was always drawing. Well, mostly it was manga I drew, though I never finished anything (laugh.) But I always drew anyway.
-- Of course. So you like drawing, and you wanted to make a career out of it, so you went to Tokyo?
Nomura: Well... that wasn’t really my goal. But I wanted to do something with drawing so I went to art school and studied a lot. I was studying things about advertisment design while thinking “This doesn’t seem quite right...” (laugh.) There was one class where we had a camera and took pictures.
-- You were learning stuff that was closer to an Editor’s job then (laugh.) Though you were doing a lot of things, you were still most interested in “drawing” right?
Nomura: Yes that’s right.
-- So what sort of job hunting did you do?
Nomura: Well there was a job at a publishing house that someone was going to help me get, but that fell through. I looked through the classifieds not knowing what I should do. There was a time like that. At the time there were advertisments for other game companies, but for some reason I got hired here (Squaresoft at the time.)
-- The turning point of your fate (laugh)
Nomura: (laugh) When I first got hired I never thought I’d be here this long. It’s so strange.
-- Sorry to ask this, but why did you stay longer than you’d planned?
Nomura: Well the job just got so fun making so many different things. The team leaders I’m working with now are the people I’ve been with since the beginning. So long as they still wanted to work together, I saw no reason to quit.
-- So you felt “complete” in your job then? By the way, what game left the strongest impression on you as a “turning point”?
Nomura: Well, I would say “before” and “after” games became 3D, how we made games really changed. Before, we decided things as we made them. There were no things decided before hand. Now, everything is decided before we start working. FFVII was the first game that started this. I designed FFVII characters how I wanted to, but after making them there were a lot of difficulties. I learned my lesson, and with FFVIII I only started designing them after everything had been decided.
-- So that’s why you achieved so much with FFVIII.
Nomura: It was pretty bad at the time though. But, I think that was the last time I did whatever I wanted on a game. I still remember everyone scrambling.
-- Finally, I’m going to change questions a bit, what sort of things do you do on your private time?
Nomura: Let’s see... mostly when I’m at home, I just don’t move (laugh.) I just watch TV.
-- So you probably get ideas from that, and you can turn it into new things at work...
Nomura: No... not really (laugh.) I’m just watching it because I want to, I’m not really thinking about work. I’m basically just lazy, lately I just sit around and don’t do much.
-- I see (laugh) I thought maybe there was some hint into the creator Tetsuya Nomura by what you do on your off days. I was hoping that there would be some tips for people who want to become a designer like you, but I didn’t think that you’d say you didn’t do anything (laugh.)
Nomura: Aha (laugh.) Well, move around while you can. No really, I think it’s important to do things while you still feel like it. Since lately the rest of the staff has been treating me like an “old man”.
-- An old man!! (laugh)
Nomura: Well lately all my joints pop and things like that (laugh.) I get angry at everything, and tell stupid jokes. Even though I was only talking about how our future plans. But everyone is nice to me, like they are nice to an old man (laugh.)
-- This is probably weird to say, but it’s a wonderful thing to be able to talk about your future plans clearly. We’ve covered a lot of topics, and I’d like to thank you for talking with us. I feel as though I’ve been able to see the true you.
The North American version of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days has received a rating from the ESRB. The rating received was E10+, for fantasy violence. The ESRB's description and justification of the rating is below. Be warned, this description could be considered to contain spoilers.
This is a role-playing game (RPG) in which players complete missions in fantastical settings, collect magic hearts, and use "melee" and magic attacks to defeat enemies. Players wield a giant key-shaped sword to slash at various creatures such as monkeys, pumpkins, lizards, robots, and dragons. Small explosions, cries of pain, and realistic slashing sounds can be heard throughout battle. During one dramatic cutscene, the central character watches a female character in pain slowly transform into glass/ice, then disintegrate into the air.
Square Enix have updated their official Japanese website for Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. This update is an addition to the extra section, and contains four new videos. This includes King Mickey's Limit Break, Sora's gameplay and Limit Break, and a video of Roxas dual wielding. All videos can be viewed below, or downloaded from 358/2 Days' trailers section.
Lissar from Kingdom Hearts Insider has translated an interview with Tetsuya Nomura, supplied by FF7AC reunion. The interview is apparantly from Famitsu, and is the second part, with more parts coming later. You can read it below.
-- To ask you more about the KH series, your latest game KH358/2 Days has been a big hit. The story/system of the game and even the graphics are better than any other DS game made previously.
Nomura: It came about just from me being so stubborn about it. Though because of that it went on sale a little later than we had planned. These days “serious games” (educational games) have become so popular. But I’ve felt inside myself that this is a problem. “Those can’t be the biggest sellers” I thought. Of course, the kind of things I make are games. I felt very strongly about this. There are tons of gamers out there who only play huge games like Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy. In other words, if only we can attract their interest they’ll play my games too. So, I want to win them over. If I don’t, we’ll just end up losing.
-- I think so too.
Nomura: There is no real analysis of trends in the game market. It’s just thought that if you make a good game, a fun game, people will buy it.
-- So that’s why I don’t feel as though you’re compromising your games. Not just with KH358/2 Days, but with FF7ACC, I was surprised about how much you remade!
Nomura: Up til now I’ve never been happy with a simple port. That’s why my company is always giving me nasty looks (laugh) Of course right now we’re in a depression, so it’s difficult to “challenge” myself in this way. But, it’s because of that I think I need to do the best I can.
-- Yes you really need to. And I think the most amazing thing is that you always make good on your promises, with good results. To go as far as making a movie, I always think you must really love your job (laugh)
Nomura: With FF7AC I wanted to see if something could be done with just visuals. We talked about it in the office, but there almost was going to be nothing happening with it and it was in danger of disappearing for good. But I felt it would be such a waste, I thought “If I fail I’ll just take responsibilty for it and never direct again” (laugh)
-- So that’s what happened. And that’s how FF7AC got finished. But did it influence other development teams in any way?
Nomura: Toriyama (FF13 Director), and the Dissidia development team both wanted to make battles like were shown in FF7AC. I felt good about it. That it was able to go back into games.
-- That’s logical. Did you plan this beforehand?
Nomura: No, not at all (laugh) It’s just that with visuals only there was no limit to what you could do, you were really free, I wanted to see what would happen if I could do what I liked. In game cut-scenes you have to limit yourself to what can be shown in the gameplay. But since I made it without those limitations everyone thought “If only we could remake this in real time”. I was very happy.
-- I see! Well now I’m going to change the subject a bit, in both KH and FF7 there is one world with many stories. Are these things an expression of something inside yourself that you want to “tell” others?
Nomura: Not really. I’m not really thinking of how it’s going to develop from the start. Only, with the story I don’t want it to be just some fantastic tale, I want people to sympathize with the story, say “Ah, I know this.” I want them to feel as though it happening close to you.
-- So that’s why you create so many characters that feel “close”. But you even mange to express these connections and environments through “pictures”. How do you come up with the key visuals?
Nomura: It’s mostly just in my head. When I’m thinking about the scenario the “scenes” or “pictures” just pop up. Most of the scenes are based in the experiences that everyone had growing up.
-- In KH358/2 Days the evening and ice cream eating scenes left quite an impression. So for people to feel close to the scenario images, it depends on whether or not they’ll be able to empathize.
MeleeGurl from Kingdom Hearts Ultimania has conducted an interview with Zexion's English voice actor, Vincent Corazza, where he discusses his career as a voice actor. The interview is a voiced interview, and can be heard in a YouTube video below.
Square Enix's official Japanese website for Kingdom Hearts coded has been updated. This update includes screenshots and renders from both Episode 1 and Episode 2 of the game. Also included is information about how these relate to Kingdom Hearts Mobile. All included images are available to view below.
>Coded, Japanese website
Wed 08 Jul 2009 11:35:23 PM EDT
All images are from Square Enix's official website.
HEARTSTATION.ORG have scanned 77 pages from Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days Ultimania, the official book to accompany the release of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. The scans are of extremely high quality, and reveal information such as stats for each playable character. You can view them below in our new gallery system.
>358/2 Days Ultimania
Wed 08 Jul 2009 11:35:23 PM EDT
All images were scanned by HEARTSTATION.ORG.
1UP.com have had an interview with Tetsuya Nomura, the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, where he discusses the series' past and present. Except for the fact that Sora's original weapon was intended to be chainsaw-like, the interview does not reveal any new information.
How did the concept behind Kingdom Hearts, one of Square Enix's most successful new concepts in recent years, come about? "I don't remember the details, but I was talking with [current Square Enix corporate executive] Shinji Hashimoto and Hironobu Sakaguchi," producer Tetsuya Nomura told Famitsu magazine in an interview. "The topic came up that it'd be nice if we could make a game with Disney. I had been wanting to make an original action RPG by that time, and I had had the basic game system for KH in my mind for a while by that point. I thought it'd be a good opportunity for me, so I raised my hand and told them to let me handle it."
The three sides didn't see eye-to-eye on everything, of course. "Square wanted to make a game starring Mickey Mouse, and Disney wanted a Donald Duck title. Meanwhile, I wanted neither," Nomura said with a laugh. "So I built a project plan for KH and began negotiating with both sides. That plan was largely what you see now; a game featuring lots of characters without focusing on any particular one."
People often have the impression that Nomura, given his artistic background, designs games based off story and characters ahead of gameplay. "That's not really the case," he notes. "I thought of the Keyblade in KH from the beginning, and that made 'keys' an integral keyword in the story."
"Actually," he continues, "the first weapon I showed Disney was a chainsaw. It was this chainsaw-like weapon that I had a rough sketch of when I first showed my concepts to Disney. Everyone got this scrunched-up look on their face and nobody said a word in the entire room. Dead silence. And I thought 'No, I guess this wouldn't work, huh?'"
Nowadays Nomura is occupied with the DS's Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, out now in Japan and due for a September release in America. The game's been a remarkable sales success in Japan, with Famitsu and other publications calling the title the furthest the DS has ever been pushed technically. "I have my doubts about how the world is turning toward 'serious' titles [such as Brain Age]," Nomura said. "I don't think that can be the industry's main focus. I'm here to make games, obviously, and that attitude played a major part in [358/2 Days] development. A lot of gamers don't play anything except the really big names, like Dragon Quest and FF. Look at it another way, though, and as long as you can grab their interest, they'll play your game. That's the userbase I want to attract here. You have to, or else you'll never challenge yourself. I'm not here to analyze the game industry or anything. All I believe is that if you make a fun game, people will play it."
Square Enix have updated their official Japanese website for Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. This update is an addition to the extra section, and contains four new videos. They show off Goofy and Xion's Limit Breaks, Mickey's battle style, and the unlockable unique weapons. All videos can be viewed below, or downloaded from 358/2 Days' trailers section.
As previously reported, a recent issue of Famitsu Weekly has conducted an interview with Tetsuya Nomura, concerning the Kingdom Hearts series. The Light in Chaos have typed up the entire interview, and HEARTSTATION.ORG have translated it into English. As the interview is quite long, please head to our forum to read it.
DSi-Fans.de have reported that Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days will not be published by Disney in Germany, but instead will be published by Koch Media. Although this does not change anything for the consumer, it does confirm that there will be a Germany release. The game will be published in Autumn 2009.
Square Enix have updated their official English website for Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. This update includes the addition of character profiles for both King Mickey and Riku. Although this update is small, the fact that they have updated the site means that we can expect more updates in the future.