Famitsu published an exclusive interview with Kingdom Hearts III director Tetsuya Nomura just hours before the game's release in Japan. In the first part of the interview (you can read the translations here), Nomura talkes about the power of awakening, why Sora is tryign to resurrect Roxas, and that the epilogue and secret movie in Kingdom Hearts III will give hints towards the series' future. He also talked about the requirements for unlocking the secret movie in Kingdom Hearts III for various difficulty levels.
We now have translations to the second part of the interview. Here, Nomura talked about changing specific game settings to adjust to the level of challenge, and revealed that he has written the scenario (including dialogue) in Kingdom Hearts III, and that he has been doing so since Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days!
Kingdom Hearts III also seems to have its own in-game social network, resembling Instagram, with its own design, patters, and hashtag symbol. Both Sora and Riku can uses this social network to upload photos taken with their Gummiphones and make updates throughout their journey.
――It's pretty easy compared to the previous games. [Regarding unlocking the secret movie.]
Nomura: That's right. There are also needs for recent players to consider, and there is the desire that I want to see as many people as possible complete this on their own.
――In terms of difficulty, I never had trouble fighting in "Standard,” so I was able to progress swiftly. It is partly because the ally's AI is excellent and heals me well.
Nomura: The battle this time is designed to be fun doing various things such as Keyblade transformations while the boss battles are tough, but not as stifling as possible. However, in addition to having the usual highest difficulty "proud", you can also use abilities that prevent you from gaining experience points from the start, so I think players who are looking for some challenge will be satisfied too. By the way, you can also change the AI settings to prohibit recovery. [T/N: Previously, Famitsu wrote 'critical'; this has been recently changed to 'proud'; there seems to be no critical mode in Kingdom Hearts III.]
――Depending on the player's choice, one can change how they play.
Nomura: In regards to the battle itself, in addition to the Keyblade's attack and magic, you can choose temporary attack methods with situation commands that appear one after another. In terms of gameplay including battle, the concept is a lot of choices and the enjoyment of choosing.
――The appearance of many worlds is also a big appeal of "KHIII". What is the world you particularly want players to pay attention to?
Nomura: All the worlds have their highlights, what I really want you to enjoy the Caribbean ("Pirates of the Caribbean") where you can enjoy battles on land, sea, and air. You can enjoy the thrill of adventure by maneuvering the ship and exploring the Caribbean freely. I personally have a fondness for Toy Box ("Toy Story"). "KHIII" was thought with the world of "Toy Story". We included it from the beginning of the project, repeatedly discussing with Pixar, and the fact that I wrote it myself from plot to scenario was memorable.
――You wrote the scenario?
Nomura: Regarding scenarios, including dialogue, I wrote not only for Toy Box but all of them in the end. I have not publicized it so far, but I've done this since "KHII", especially from "KH 358/2 Days".
――Is that so. I thought you wrote the plot, then other people were in charge of other details such as dialogues.
Nomura: It was like that in the beginning, but from "KHII" onwards, I make the rough outline of the scenario, then based on that, Oka (Mr. Masaru), considering the requests of the level design team, makes a rough draft of the scenario including dialogues. After that, I write the final manuscript. Previously, other staff also participated in the scenario-writing, but because the settings in the "KH" series is so complicated, it becomes harder to share all the information as more people join the team. In the end it means that I am the most familiar with it, and so it has become the current workstyle.
――However, your role as writer was not credited in past works so far.
Nomura: I’m already credited under “Story” so I thought it wasn’t necessary. Also, I've been in the industry for a long time; I didn't want to clarify that "Tetsuya Nomura wrote the scenario" as I didn't want players to have preconceived notions about it that would get in the way of them enjoying the game. However, now that the series is 17 years old, that "an old guy is writing" is a fact [bitter smile], and I am writing this time, too. For text, I decide not only the scenario but also the item names.
――The SNS [Social Network Sharing] style loading screen as well?
Nomura: Oh, I wrote it. There are many pretty patterns, and there are some things that can be seen after clearing each world. There’s some fun hashtags being used, so take a look while you wait during the loading screen.
“We three aren’t full-fledged yet but keep an eye out for us again!
Departure Sora Donald Goofy"
“I didn’t expect to come back here
Seems as if someone led us to this place
WaytoDawn RealmofDarkness DarkMargin LookingforAqua"
UPDATE [Jan 25, 2019]: We have published our final part of the interview! Read it here.
- Kingdom Hearts III releases in Japan
- Worldwide reviews for Kingdom Hearts III published
- Tetsuya Nomura discusses the power of awakening, Roxas, and secret ending requirements in Kingdom Hearts III
- Tetsuya Nomura discusses writing the scenario (including dialogue) for Kingdom Hearts III and the game's own Instagram-like social network