PlayStation Blog Japan recently interviewed Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura, series producer Ichiro Hazama, and Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory co-director Masanobu Suzui on the development of Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory. You can read some excerpts from this interview below thanks to @aitaikimochi
Other interesting points from the interview include:
Hazama and Suzui had submitted a proposal to Nomura for a Kingdom Hearts Rhythm action game about five years ago
There are over 140 songs within the game, each evenly spread out throughout all games in the series, however since production was parallel to Kingdom Hearts III there are fewer songs from Kingdom Hearts III
The difficulty levels include Beginner/Standard/Proud but there is an additional "Performer Style" which seems to take the place of Critical difficulty.
It is not possible to change keyblades
A great deal of detail was dedicated to ensuring the sound effects of the game were unique to Kingdom Hearts
Kairi is referred to as a narrator in Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory
Nomura wanted the rhythm aspect of the game to connect with the story
Development is almost over and is in the final stages
Nomura says the development period was short, but the game's development period was the longest for Indie Zero
What do you think of these highlights from this interview? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned for updates on translations of the full interview!
GameInformer recently conducted an interview with Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura, series producer Ichiro Hazama, and Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory co-director Masanobu Suzui answering questions around the game's creative process, development and what to expect.
You can read the full interview below.
What are your thoughts on this interview? Let us know in the comments below!
Nintendolife has recently conducted an interview with Kingdom Hearts series director, Tetsuya Nomura, as well as the co-director of Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory, Masanobu Suzui! This interview segment released by Nintendolife is more of a compilation of info rather than the standard fare of questions and answers being shown.
A major takeaway from this interview is how the team hopes this title will be a way for both potential fans to "dip their toes" into the vast ocean of the Kingdom Hearts series and get introduced while also acting as a celebration and overview of the series up to this point for fans who are caught up.
An unexpected snag for the development team was how they would incorporate 3D into this title since Kingdom Hearts is known for being a 3D series, while the Theatrhytm titles are all 2D. A surprising source of inspiration for how this would work came from the Kingdom Hearts 15th anniversary jukebox website which showed Sora running atop a musical score. Camera kinks were difficult to iron out and several prototypes had to be made but, this general perspective in the animation is what the team ultimately went with, for Melody of Memory.
A series of questions regarding Square Enix's working relationship with Disney was also discussed. The one constant that Nomura stated was that things were always changing. Policy changes, personnel changes and the increased recognition with Kingdom Hearts as a brand have all merged to make certain things easier to do, and other things not possible anymore.
The unusual events of 2020 were also brought up. Nomura stated that while developmental schedule changes were not drastic, they did impact voice recording most significantly, especially for overseas voice actors.
There are a total of four main parties with three characters each that Suzui confirms. Lastly, the team chose to implement mostly original Kingdom Hearts tracks rather than Disney ones in order to better represent and celebrate the Kingdom Hearts series as a whole.
Once again, you can read this interview in full, here.
What are your thoughts on these comments by Tetsuya Nomura and Masanobu Suzui? Let us know in the comments below!
IGN has recently conducted an interview with the co-director of Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory, Masanobu Suzui! This interview segment released by IGN is more of a compilation of info rather than the standard fare of questions and answers being shown.
One of the main takeaways from this interview is that Theatrhytm Dragon Quest served to act as the catalyst for the concept of Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory. Nomura was against the idea at first but eventually came around to it, with Disney themselves supporting the idea!
Versus mode is also briefly discussed with the 'Tricks' functionality being described. You can use Tricks to aid yourself and interrupt the opposing player. You can use one Trick at the start of a track, but can then use two concurrently by the track's end. Winners get two collectible cards while the losers only get one.
Once again, you can view the interview on IGN's page, here.
What are your thoughts on this brief, yet insightful interview from IGN? Let us know in the comments below!
Famitsu has recently released a brand new issue covering a variety of info concerning Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory!
One of the first new screenshots revealed shows brand new renders for Xion, Roxas and Axel as well as a new screenshot of the three them being playable.
There are three gameplay styles covered next. The first of which being 'Normal Style' which is the most basic play style using several buttons. A 'One Button Style' is described which allows players to complete rhythm sections with just one button. This mode was also revealed to be in the game by Nomura himself during a statement release regarding this title. The last gameplay style is the 'Performer Style' which is the hard mode of Melody of Memory. Inputs are more challenging and complex, requiring more skillful timing from the player.
A new screenshot revealing Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden from Kingdom Hearts II is also shown!
More new screenshots are shown, depicting menu UI and more gameplay segments.
A computer versus mode was also detailed, with it being described as being similar to standard versus play except that it includes ranks. The highest rank is Platinum.
A screenshot of the Switch exclusive 8 player mode is also shown!
The 'Double Play' Mode was also shown, revealing that you can play with your friend on the same screen with multiple controllers, with one controlling Sora while the other controls Riku. This was briefly shown in the Nintendo Switch Direct Mini trailer.
A list of playable songs is also shown with the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra ~ World Tour~ being listed, curiously enough.
You can view additional screenshots in the gallery below
What do you think of this plethora of new information regarding the upcoming Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory? Let us know in the comments below!
Aitai Kuji is accepting pre-order for a Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory bundle. The bundle includes a copy of the game as well as the Kingdom Hearts III soundtrack. The bundle will cost ¥22,000 (about $200) and will be available when Melody of Memory releases in November.
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory will launch on November 11th in Japan and November 13th worldwide for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The Kingdom Hearts III soundtrack will also release worldwide on November 11th.
Thanks to @churroz for the tip!
Will you be getting this bundle? Let us know in the comments below!
A Kingdom Hearts themed pop-up shop has been announced to appear in Tokyo Station's Ichiban Gai from Friday, September 18th to Thursday, October 1st!
The shop will be located at a plaza near the exit/entrance of Tokyo station, and fans will be able to purchase limited-time Kingdom Hearts merchandise, as well as goods exclusive to the shop itself! More details pertaining to what specific goods will be sold will be revealed in the near future.
What kind of merchandise do you foresee this pop-up shop selling later this month? Let us know in the comments below!
Thanks to our team's Ryuji for translating the announcement!
UPDATE: The product page for the pop-up shop has been revealed!
All of the items and their descriptions have been translated below courtesy of our team's Ryuji! The order for the descriptions matches their location on the product page above.
Translator's Note: All items in the third row come in two variants.
Coaster (for cookies): ¥700 (NOTE: Only 2 per person can be purchased. e.g. A single person can't just buy 3.)
Glass magnet: ¥500 (NOTE: Only 2 per person can be purchased.)
Crystal paperweight: ¥1,800 (NOTE: Only 2 per person can be purchased.)
"Customers who spend ¥5000 or more at the shop get a special Keyblade pin! And customers who spend over ¥2,000 will get a special clear cloth. The cloth's design comes in 4 variations, and you get one at random.
(ONLY 1 per person.)
Necktie: ¥6,000 (comes in 2 variants)
Keyblade Pin: ¥2,800 (limited to 1 per person, comes in two variants)
Mini glass cups: ¥800 (comes in 4 variants)
Stained glass cup: ¥2,500 (comes in 2 variants)
Mini pouch: ¥1,400
Glasses case: ¥2,100
Multi-purpose smartphone holder: ¥2,900
Open-pass case: ¥2,100
Acrylic cup: ¥1,200
YAKPAK RUCKSACK (Medium): ¥11,000
YAKPAK WAISTBAG: ¥4,500
YAKPAK MINI POCHETTE: ¥3,500
YAKPAK PASS & COIN CASE: ¥2,400
Thermal bottle: ¥1,800
Clear multi-purpose case: ¥650
Clear multi-purpose case (Small): ¥650
Clear multi-purpose case (extra-small): ¥700
Compact mirror: ¥1,300 (has 2 variants)
Eco-friendly bag: ¥800 (has 2 variants)
Pouches (3 different variations): ¥1,500
Magnet sheet set: ¥1,300
Cookie box: ¥1,800
What is your opinion on these numerous Kingdom Hearts themed goodies? Let us know in the comments below!
Spirit Halloween has revealed a Kingdom Hearts Starlight keyblade that is scheduled to ship by September 30th, 2020 for $39.99! You can pre-order it, here. View it in via our gallery below!
Additionally, this retailer has other Kingdom Hearts themed merchandise such as Way to Dawn, Oblivion and Pumpkinhead keyblades!
Do you see yourself pre-ordering this keyblade or purchasing any others? Let us know in the comments below!
Testsuya Nomura has released a brand new illustration, and message celebrating the 5th anniversary of Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross]! You can view the translated message below, courtesy of @KH_English!
Additionally, the brand new main story scenario update for Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] has also launched! You can view the update below, courtesy of Everglow!
What are your thoughts on these recent events? Let us know in the comments below!
UPDATE: The special message from Tetsuya Nomura has been officially translated to English. You can read it below.
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory has been confirmed to appear at Tokyo Game Show 2020's online event on September 25th, 2020! The event will be at 8:15 PM Japan time [11:15 AM GMT/7:15 AM EDT/4:15 AM PDT] and will be streaming on Square Enix Presents via Youtube and Twitch.
Additional details state that a live piano performance will be held as well as discussions with the staff behind the game, including Tetsuya Nomura and Yoko Shimomura! Also in attendance will be Melody of Memory co-director Masanobu Suzui and producer Ichiro Hazama.
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory will be launching on November 11th in Japan and November 13th worldwide for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch.
Are you excited for Melody of Memory making a showing at this year's Tokyo Game Show? Let us know in the comments below!
The Japanese Square Enix Bridge website has recently been updated with upcoming content for Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] and Kingdom Hearts Dark Road! Of these numerous updates, one particular update stands out, with it stating that a main story update is planned for September!
The last main story update for Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] in Japan was back in April, so this update was a long time coming and will hopefully feature some new story scenes that fans have been craving!
What are your expectations for this upcoming story update? Let us know in the comments below!
Thanks to @KH_Damo for the find!
Every year D23, the official Disney Fanclub provides exclusive gifts to fans who partake in their Gold Membership program. This year the offerings include an exclusive patch, pin set, postcard set, bandana, and a 24x36 inch D23 Fantastic Worlds Map, designed by Disney artist Bryan Mon.
Among the 250 places, vehicles, and characters representing more than 150 film, television and theme park locations created by Disney and Pixar, Twilight Town from the Kingdom Hearts series can be seen on the map. You can take a closer look in our gallery below
Kingdom Hearts has previously been represented in an exclusive print for D23 Gold Members in 2019.
Thanks to @churroz for the tip!
This breakdown was written by News Team member Delenn Deszcz, and co-written/edited by Orpheus Joshua.
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory is slated for release on November 11th, 2020 in Japan, and November 13th, 2020 globally. With these release dates came two new trailers; one being released by Nintendo during the Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase on August 26th, 2020, and the other being released by the Kingdom Hearts team themselves via YouTube on August 27th 2020.
The trailer begins with a brief monologue of Kairi recounting the ending of Kingdom Hearts III, but ends off by stating that "...it was still far from over." These words can be alluding to the search for Sora, but it can also allude to a new threat on the horizon that Kairi and the others have learned about such as the Foretellers. The former is much more likely however as finding Sora is a dire mission for Kairi.
The trailer during the Nintendo Direct Mini revealed a few key important details. There are multiple playable characters; Roxas is seen as playable for instance, along with Aqua and Riku. There will be musical boss battles, such as Maleficent who was used as an example during the trailer, in which you will have to hit certain notes (using the action buttons for PS4, the digital buttons for Xbox, and ABXY buttons for the Switch, and perhaps the analog) to attack the boss. Additionally, her battle quotes and arena are directly from Enchanted Dominion in Birth by Sleep! Every world has its own unique HUD which is a very neat touch reminiscent of the changing command menus in Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts III.
Local cooperative play is confirmed! It is unknown if this can be performed during story or if it is an entirely separate mode altogether.
Online multiplayer is available for all consoles in which players do their best to try and get high scores across the board and rise their way to the top! Chirithy seems to be the announcer for these versus battles where he announces harm coming to the player. These 'Tricks' as he calls them are akin to debuffs that can deter your consistency and upkeep with the track you are playing. 'Interference' and 'Harsh Judge' are shown off in this trailer as harmful tricks going towards the player, and 'Tiny Targets' and 'Vanishing Enemies' are shown off as tricks being sent to the opposing player. While the latter two tricks are self explanatory, the former two are not as transparent.
There are HP gauges for both players which is also rather self explanatory. If you miss a note, your health will be decreased and there are likely some tricks that can cause that HP loss to worsen. There are Trick gauges as well which seem to build up as you increase your Chain (Combo) state.
The Switch also gets an exclusive mode called the “Free-for-All mode”, in which you may battle with others locally with up to eight players. Not much word on how this mode will work was detailed in the trailer, but it sounds chaotic to say the least!
In the trailer released by the Kingdom Hearts team on YouTube, more gameplay is revealed. There are Beginner, Standard and Proud difficulties for each song, and there are likely around three tasks to complete, called “Missions”, for each song. The level select for Twilight Town in the trailer implies that missions per world will be around that amount as well. Additionally, the track ‘Working Together’ is shown when selecting Twilight Town, which is the battle theme for when Sora is traversing the world in Kingdom Hearts II. It is safe to assume that ‘Sinister Sundown’, Roxas’ Twilight Town battle track from the same game will get its own stage too. This logic can apply to several worlds as there will most likely be several stages for each world. The level select looks incredibly familiar to the Kingdom Hearts II world selection map, which will spark nostalgia for many players! Multiple worlds that can be recognized from the Kingdom Hearts franchise were shown, including Pride Lands, Hollow Bastion, and Land of Dragons.
The playable tracks shown where characters are running do show off bits of old maps that were not in the prior games, so it will be neat to at least see a bit more of these worlds!
All of the worlds shown during this trailer on the world map are two Hollow Bastion stages, The End of the World, Destiny Islands in its endgame Kingdom Hearts state, Castle Oblivion, two stages of Twilight Town, the Station of Awakening, and Mysterious Tower. There are very brief, vague shots of what seem to be Castle of Dreams and Beasts' Castle but they are not fully shown.
The confirmation screen for selecting a stage shows your rank, chain, and high score which is to be expected. There is also a number next to the difficulty with the number 9 being next to Standard while 'Working Together' was shown in the trailer. This number can represent difficulty level perhaps but it is too vague to speculate on. The party you are playing as is also shown which is Sora, Donald and Goofy in this case. There are at least three other trios confirmed with them being, Xion, Roxas and Axel; Aqua, Ventus and Terra and Dream Drop Distance Riku alongside the Meow Wow and Komory Bat Dream Eaters.
Lastly there are selectable items on the bottom of the confirmation screen. There are a potion and hi-potion there which can be assumed to restore health, but the latter three items are a bit unfamiliar. There is a bell with the Kingdom Hearts themed crown etched onto it, some sort of yellow spiral with a blue sphere, and a star with a mickey head emblazoned on it. The star is somewhat reminiscent of the star shard Mickey had in Birth by Sleep, but the functions of these last three items are rather dubious to say the least.
A section of the game, called the Museum, gives you access to the “Collection”, “Story Archive”, “Theater”, “Jukebox”, and “Records”. The “Story Archive” seems to let you look back on sections from the Kingdom Hearts franchise that hold significant importance, and the “Jukebox” is where you can listen to music from the game at your own leisure! "Theater" likely holds the story scenes of the game itself which has become a staple mode for the series. Lastly, "Records" is rather self explanatory and will possibly include in-game achievements separate from the Playstation trophies. That is purely speculation however.
The Jukebox contains all the songs in the game, and the number of tracks per game included is even numbered which is nice to see just how much representation a respective title is receiving.
"Collection" is a bit of an unknown point as of right now. You may obtain these Collector Cards as rewards from perfecting stages. The collectors' bonuses are even more of an unknown however.
You have to fulfill missions to clear levels, and in doing so, you will obtain ingredients that you can use to synthesize new items, and get access to new songs by synthesizing them as well! You do get rewarded synthesis materials from clearing stages for the first time based off of the Twilight Town stage select screen earlier on in the trailer. There is an 'EXP bonus' labelled on the bottom. This more likely than not just gives extra experience to the Moogle. Higher leveled Moogles will seemingly be able to synthesize harder songs and more advanced items. Speaking of items, the bottom right of the synthesis screen while choosing 'Kairi I Memory Dive' says it is 'One of a kind'. That does confirm that there are consumables and such that you can synthesize such as the potions and hi-potions that were briefly shown earlier in the trailer.
The story picks up after Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind, and will follow Kairi’s sleeping journey as she tries to figure out the mystery of Sora’s disappearance. We do hear a brief snippet of Kairi and Ansem the Wise’s conversation, but it is unable to be fully comprehended. We also catch a glimpse of Kairi at a young age (seeming to be of a similar age as she was in Birth by Sleep) in a familiar looking machine. This machine, known as the Ark, has been shown in Kingdom Hearts Union Cross, along with Kingdom Hearts. We’re still unsure as to what this machine exactly does aside from somehow transporting the individuals inside, and we’re unsure as to what Kairi is doing inside. (It was pointed out on Twitter, thanks to @princessxemnas, that the windows look like thalassa shells.)
Ansem's Report 11 in Kingdom Hearts talks about apprentice Xehanort setting a girl who is likely a princess free in order to find the key bearer. This girl is most assuredly Kairi. That can be what apprentice Xehanort is doing right now but Kairi being in the pod raises a few other possibilities. He could be experimenting on her due to her being pure of heart but it is unknown as of right now.
The 2020 trailer showed off a young Kairi trying to escape the heartless which could directly lead to her landing on Destiny Islands. In Kingdom Hearts, Kairi does state that her younger days are hazy, and as we are seeing in these trailers, that can certainly be due to the traumatic experiences she had as a child. Possibly being experimented on by apprentice Xehanort and being attacked by heartless are already grim enough to warrant a young child's mind to nullify those experiences.
The phrase "Melodies and memories hold the secret of his final plan" is a rather vague and foreboding statement. The most likely candidate this would be referring to would be the Master of Masters since Xehanort is no longer a threat.
The 2020 reveal trailer depicted a first person perspective shot of someone looking at Apprentice Xehanort in that same room. Thanks to this trailer, we can confirm that that is indeed Kairi due to not only the room, but also the angle at which she is laying. The final shot of the trailer shows Sora looking upwards, and then the release date. Something of peculiar note are the brief flashes of inverted color that cover the screen when Sora appears. This same general effect has been used in several Kingdom Hearts III and Re Mind trailers so this could just be for dramatic effect. It is worth keeping in mind however.
Lastly, something of peculiar note are of the recently announced Melody of Memory acrylic stands releasing on the same day the game releases in Japan. One of the acrylic stands is blacked out which has caused some speculation. Personally, I believe the blacked out acrylic stand is of Kairi and is hiding a brand new Dream Realm design for her, in the same way that Riku and Sora had new outfits for Dream Drop Distance. This is pure speculation but, Kairi being absent from that merchandise raises some eyebrows to be sure.
We can go into this game expecting addicting gameplay, more bits of story, and finding out more about Kairi’s journey when Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory releases westward on November 13th 2020!
The final trailer on Melody of Memory was released this morning, and alongside it, the digital version of the title went live on the Nintendo eShop and Microsoft's store for pre-purchase.
In the game's details on the eShop however, it was revealed that the title will need 5 GB of free space to be installed and it will also support Nintendo's Save Data Cloud feature.
On the Microsoft store, it states that the game will take an approximate size of 8 GB of free internal storage to download.
What do you think of this? Do you think the game will be short, or do you think it will hold hours and hours of gameplay experiences for players? Let us know in the comments below.
Kingdom Hearts has released a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory on their Youtube channel. You can watch the trailer below.
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory will release on November 11th in Japan and November 13th worldwide.
UPDATE: We have updated our gallery with screenshots from the new trailer. You can view them in the gallery below!