During MAGIC 2017, Famitsu had the opportunity to interview Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura about Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII Remake. During the interview, he stated that the Heartless found in the latest Kingdom Hearts III screenshot is called the "Rock Troll" and it serves as a middle boss. You can view the interview here. Translations will be made available as soon as possible.
Big thanks to @churroz for the tip!
UPDATE: We now have translations, thanks to Katie Armstrong! View the translations of the Kingdom Hearts section of the interview below:
Famitsu: Now, if I can ask about some recently published new images. In KH3, we’ve seen a battle scene in Thebes, in Olympus Coliseum. Is that enormous Heartless (Sora) is fighting a boss?
Nomura: It’s a Rock Troll Heartless. We’re treating it as a mid-level boss.
Famitsu: You told us that the Keyblade would be able to transform into two ‘patterns’ (forms). Is this the case for all Keyblades?
Nomura: The ones we’re making right now have two transformations. Still, even though this Keyblade turns into a tank and a shield, [Keyblade forms] won’t necessarily be ‘attack’ and ‘defense’. The Keyblade in the previous video turns into two bow guns and a bazooka. The transformations depend on the Keyblade.
Famitsu: So you’ll have to properly learn your way around them. And about that “Link” in the Commands…
Nomura: Ah, that...next time we release more info, I’ll explain that. (Laughs)
UPDATE 2: Here's the full translation for you to read. Thanks to Catherine Mueller (firstname.lastname@example.org)for the translations!
Announcement Details from Tetsuya Nomura on [Kingdom Hearts III] and [Final Fantasy VII Remake] at [MAGIC 2017]
From Monaco's Grimaldi Forum on 2/18/2017, “MAGIC 2017,” an entertainment event focusing on games and anime, opened, and Square Enix's Tetsuya Nomura made an appearance. We were able to ask him a few things, so we'll show you those answers here.
An interview with Tetsuya Nomura on games in development
--Before at MAGIC, Hashimoto-san was also able to come, it seems, but for you, this is the first time you've come. It's also the first time you've come to Monaco, isn't it?
N: Yes. My schedule has been tightly packed and hasn't allowed me the chance to come before--I haven't looked around very much, but it seems to be a lovely place.
--There are also other special guests here besides you, Nomura-san. Have you been able to mingle with them yet?
N: I like Mike Mignola (Hellboy), so I was very happy to be standing with him today. He also greeted me on the day before MAGIC. Actually, several years ago, I received a signing from him via an acquaintance, and he had written “It'd be a pleasure to do work together someday.” It was very moving to be with him at the event.
-- Did the event also receive international attention?
N: I got the impression that there were a lot of people asking about the Japanese game industry. I answered that, currently in Japan, there are not enough people to develop HD titles, so the upside of this is that I can greater feel the splendor of international titles.
--I see. Your fans are also excited right now. They gave you a standing ovation at the talk event, and there was also a long line for signings.
N: I don't really go to Europe often, so I felt that the fans were very energetic. I did not have a interpreter with me this time, so it's possible I mistranslated or misunderstood some things that the fans told me while we were talking, but many fans brought very rare goods with them to the signings, so I was very happy.
--With Cloud's design, you broke it down into five big steps, there was a phantom sixth step, and we heard a lot of stories we had yet to hear before at the talk event.
N: It seemed like the perfect chance to talk about it. The “sixth” step for Cloud is made to be a bit more realistic, and his sword was made to look more western and was given more detail. We fixed up his head and body as well as added detail to his muscles, so he looks quite brawny (laughs). I didn't have a lot of time, so I actually wrote the script for the talk event late the night before, starting from details that had yet to be discussed, and the marketing team helped me make the slides... … The preparations lasted through the morning of the talk event, so it was tough (bitter laugh).
--The result, though, was that everyone seemed to enjoy it. Not only did you talk about your own character's designs, but you also showed new images, etc.
N: I was surprised, as I did not exactly imagine myself talking a lot. I really wanted to make sure everyone enjoyed themselves, so I talked about the PV making among other things that hadn't really been touched on yet.
--The fans asked about the mysteries behind the making of the PV you helped with, right?
N: When I handle the PVs, I have a pattern of assessing them emotionally. I change my feelings to the feelings of fans seeing it for the first time, hard-core fans, and indifferent people as I watch the PV over and over again. With the feelings of first-time fans especially, I repeat that action many times. Since they are thinking of the PV and the game as part the same production, that way thinking [when watching the PV] is the same.
--Really, after seeing the PV so many times, if someone commanded me to watch it as if it's the first time each time, I don't think I could do it (laughs). Now, could I ask you about the new images you released to the public? For [Kingdom Hearts III], you showed a battle scene taking place in the city of Thebes in Olympus. The enemy was a giant Heartless, but was that a boss?
N: It's a battle with the Rock Troll. It will be a mid-boss.
--You told us before that the keyblade can change in two patterns, but into what kind of keyblade?
N: The keyblade he's using here is in the two patterns. In addition, it won't always be an offensive and defensive division like the tank and shield keyblade we showed this time. The keyblade that came out in the PV before changed into a bow-gun and a bazooka. The transformations will vary depending on the keyblade itself.
--So you can walk around using those for different things. The “link” display on the command menu is...
N: That part we will explain next time we release news (laughs)
--We'd also like to hear a bit about [Final Fantasy VII Remake]. In the screenshot, Cloud was taking cover action.
N: As the story goes, there's a situation where he must sneak in someplace, so that means he can't just continue in the middle of the road the whole time. In the original there were random encounters, and with that we relied on imagination, but since we can smoothly transition into the infiltration, we decided it was an important factor for the game's realism. You can now hide behind things to let soldiers pass, or take their weapons and eliminate them. Of course, people who find that to be annoying can just push straight ahead and fight their way through.
--Can Barrett also perform cover action?
N: He can. However, I still can't say the details about this, but as a gunner, he has a special factor.
--Is that so? The scene with Barrett and Cloud fighting the Guard Scorpion also left an impact.
N: The scaffolding isn't the only place the battle occurs, but rather, we've developed it so that you can use the map's large space, and you can fight as you switch between Cloud and Barrett. For instance, for enemies that Cloud can't reach with his sword, changing over to Barrett will be more beneficial, so the fighting has become more strategic. The Guard Scorpion changes it's mode partway through, and it has behaviors that weren't in the original game. In this time's screenshot, you should be able to see that missiles and other things are falling. It's a very flashy fight.
^ Besides seeing that missiles are falling during the fight with Guard Scorpion, we can also see red circles showing where they will fall.
--That's true. With the battles being so full of action, it seems like the gameplay will be quite different from the original.
N: Parts of the map and other objects will be destroyed, and once you defeat a limb of the Guard Scorpion, it becomes destroyed.
--The UI portions aren't completed yet, but the ATB gauge shows three stock slots, and I also noticed a technique name and level (TN: I don't know the name for the technique, but it appears to be something like “Critical Attack”). I also noticed the “materia” slot...
N: We'll talk more about ATB and techniques another time. You could think of materia as something like a skill. It's different than magic, and you can use it when you've set materia that you're holding for battle use.
--We're all anxiously awaiting more news about both [Kingdom Hearts III] and [Final Fantasy VII Remake].
N: We were able to prepare some new material for the MAGIC event. Since the advertising plans for both titles have been decided, I could not tell you much now, but we've strengthened our organization and work is smoothly continuing, so please wait just a little longer.