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  1. Updated September 11, 2013, see below. Both Kingdom Hearts III and Kingdom Hearts χ[chi] have been confirmed to appear at Tokyo Game Show 2013, via a press release uploaded to the official TGS website. Tokyo Game Show 2013 runs from September 19 to 22, 2013. At E3 2013, series director Tetsuya Nomura implied that new Kingdom Hearts III information would be released at the event. Update 1: Square Enix have launched their official Tokyo Game Show 2013 website. Currently, the website covers various Square Enix titles appearing at the event, including Kingdom Hearts χ[chi]. A page for Kingdom Hearts χ[chi] is available, containing some screenshots from the game. Stay tuned for more info. Update 2: Square Enix have listed some merchandise which will be available at Tokyo Game Show 2013. Available for the first time is the Kingdom Hearts keychain set, pictured here. Amazon.co.jp have also listed this 6-keychain box, which is set for a release date of October 4, 2013 for a price of ¥3,215 (approximately $32.12). Update 3: Square Enix have released their booth map for Tokyo Game Show 2013. This confirms that there will be an "Open Mega Theatre", which means it is likely that all trailers shown will be available for everyone to see (and secretly record). You can see this below.
  2. IGN have posted an article containing snippets from an interview with Shinji Hashimoto, the executive producer of the Kingdom Hearts series. Hashimoto discusses Kingdom Hearts III and the progress that has been made with its development. You can read these snippets below. "Having Tetsuya Nomura as director for both projects [(Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III)] would obviously have an impact [on their release timeframes]." "So at E3 this year we announced Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV. Both have Tetsuya Nomura as their director, so we can’t create these two big games at the same time." "It’s a difficult job, as we want each game to be perfect in terms of quality." When asked why Square Enix decided to announce the game this year if significant progress hasn't perhaps been made, Hashimoto explained that the company thought it was about time it addressed speculation about the long-awaited conclusion to the trilogy. "A lot of people have wondered for the last couple of years if Square Enix has actually been working on Kingdom Hearts III; that’s why we announced it at E3 this year. But please, we need you all to understand that there’s a lot to do." IGN will post the full interview later in the week, which contains more discussion about Kingdom Hearts III and the future of the Kingdom Hearts series.
  3. Today, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan held a pre-Tokyo Game Show 2013 press conference. Here, upcoming PlayStation 4 titles were shown. Kingdom Hearts III appeared in a montage of PS4 titles, with a short clip. This clip is the same footage from E3 2013, so don't get too excited-- but it is still notable that this is the first time Kingdom Hearts III footage has been shown in Japan. You can see the clip below. There are 9 days left until Tokyo Game Show 2013 officially begins (on September 19, 2013), where Square Enix is likely to reveal new Kingdom Hearts III information. Stay tuned! Update: Following the official showing of the PlayStation 4 in Japan at the SCEJA Press Conference, Sony have created pages for many upcoming PlayStation 4 releases-- including Kingdom Hearts III! This page does not yet reveal any new information, but it should see updates sometime in the future. It also shows that a downloadable release, multiplayer and online support are still undecided. Again, no new information or confirmation either way, but it is better than nothing! Thanks go to @aibo_ac7 for the find. Kingdom Hearts III on PlayStation Japan
  4. gamescom 2013 is a gaming event held in Cologne, Germany, running from August 21 to August 25, 2013. This is our coverage article for everything Kingdom Hearts at the event. Square Enix have confirmed that Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX will appear at the event with a playable demo. Also, Kingdom Hearts III is said to appear as part of the scheduled stage shows' trailer shows. This will probably just be the trailer from E3 2013, but there is a chance we will receive some small new tidbits of information. We will be constantly updating this article with coverage from the event. Photos - A HD 1.5 ReMIX poster on the event floor (Source: @Square_Portal, thanks to @aibo_ac7) - Photos of wallscrolls, the HD 1.5 ReMIX demo & merchandise have appeared online thanks to KH13 member Jull08. - More photos have appeared online thanks to KH13 member birthbysleep. Videos IGN have uploaded some offscreen footage of HD 1.5 ReMIX gameplay from the event. Thanks to them, this can be seen below.
  5. The Los Angeles Times have published an interview with the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura. Here, Nomura discusses Kingdom Hearts III, revealing new details such as the philosophy of Kingdom Hearts III's development, a confirmation that the series will continue after Kingdom Hearts III, and a mention of the gameplay having a strong relation to that of Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance]. Thanks to the Los Angeles Times, we have created a full transcript of the interview for you below. Nomura: First and most important is the determination in my mind. That will launch the project. It’s difficult to explain what kind of determination I am talking about. As you can imagine, expectations by the fans for franchise with sequels go up each time. Fan expectation for ‘Kingdom Hearts 3′ is extremely high. To respond to those expectations, I have to provide something really good. Technology is really important, as is the Disney world. Could Pixar-inspired lands make their way into “Kingdom Hearts 3″? Nomura: We can't comment on what's confirmed for the game. What is the biggest challenge in designing the “Kingdom Hearts” titles? Nomura: Working with Disney to see which brands Square Enix will have at its disposal. What world is available for the title is an important question. The story — it has to be great enough to meet the expectation of the fans. When that’s ready, and I feel like I am ready, then the game can start. The counterpart that I’ve been working with at Disney the past 10 years is the same person. We have very heated discussions about this franchise, and we’ve done that for the past 10 years, but we have a steady relationship. [And though there was never any doubt that “Kingdom Hearts 3″ would eventually be released, Nomura bristles when the word “trilogy” is used. He intends the primary games in the series to tell a story, but the franchise will continue long after “Kingdom Hearts 3″ is released.] Nomura: There was never a plan. As a core game, this is finally the third, and 10 years have passed. I couldn’t call this a trilogy. There have been so many spinoffs. In ‘Kingdom Hearts 3,’ the battles that the characters have been fighting for the past 10 years will come to a conclusion. That is the plan. But the series will continue. Only the particular enemy they have been fighting the past 10 years will come to an end. [From a design standpoint, Nomura suggested fans get their hands on “Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance” if they’re looking for clues as to where he’s heading from a game-play perspective. The 3DS game was released last year and Nomura said he is using the hand-held title’s combat functionality as an early guide for “Kingdom Hearts 3.”] Nomura: We tried many experiments in that game that will be applied to ‘Kingdom Hearts 3. If you play ’3D,’ you will get some hint of ‘Kingdom Heart 3.’
  6. FFWorld and FFRing have published an interview with the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura. Here, Nomura discusses both Kingdom Hearts III and Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX, focusing on the philosophy behind the development of the games. We have translated FFRing's full transcript of the interview from French into English for you (The FFWorld article is about the same interview, but it is not a full transcript.), and this can be read below. Please remember to credit all websites involved if you use this translation. Kingdom Hearts was your first title as a director. What do you think about this game today? Nomura: It is of course more than ten years since the game came out, but I still do not think it has aged. Instead, it always has a certain freshness. At the time, the game team, including myself, had worked passionately on it, and that's probably why it gives me that impression, even ten years later. Have you been tempted to add more things to the HD remastering of Kingdom Hearts than just graphics and controls? Nomura: Everything that was in the original game worked very well for its balance, and for the system we had imagined at the time. Although I designed many other gaming systems in the ten years that followed, I think that this balance would be upset if I was to integrate the first Kingdom Hearts. My only regret is Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, for which we could only release the cinematics in HD. I wished to include this episode as a playable in HD 1.5 ReMIX, but unfortunately we could not do it because we had to prioritize the development of Kingdom Hearts III, which fans have been waiting for. This is why we have not added other things to the HD version. Will you do other HD remasters in the future? Nomura: There is of course other episodes of Kingdom Hearts that we have not yet been published in HD, so if we had the chance, we would like to do so in the future. With the announcement of Kingdom Hearts III, we can say that you have entrusted the future of the series in the Osaka team. Are they up to the challenge? Nomura: The Osaka studio developed HD 1.5 ReMIX, so we can not say that they have never worked on the current console generation. But you're right, in the case of Kingdom Hearts III, it is actually the first time they have developed a completely new numbered episode, on next generation consoles at that. This is why we have made ​​many preparations and extensive tests to date. As I feel that the preparations are complete, we were able to get in the development phase. However, as your main team at Square Enix is situated in Tokyo, do you not have difficulty communicating with the Osaka team? Nomura: In fact, the co-director and producer Tai Yasue and Rie Nishi are there. They are key members of the Kingdom Hearts project, so when they need to discuss a lot of different topics with me, they come to Tokyo. This is our usual method of working. But as technology is ever advancing, our new offices in Shinjuku are now equipped with a video conference system. Now, Yasue and Nishi can send me their materials or proposals in advance, which allows me to add my comments or my drawings and show them on camera in our video conferencing. In addition, there is no time difference, so even if we are far apart, it is easy to work. So we can say that you supervise the team more than you do the head? Nomura: Yes, especially this time with Kingdom Hearts III. Yasue and Nishi's teams offer me lots of ideas and we discuss together to know what we will keep or not. Is it surprising? Nomura: They offer me many interesting ideas, of course. After all, the more the merrier, the more the merrier. So it is always better to have a whole team to think, rather than myself. This is beneficial. The past ten years of existence, the Kingdom Hearts series has found its own identity even though many were initially surprised by the alliance between Square and Disney. Do you think it is always helpful to include characters from Final Fantasy in KHIII? Nomura: It is not because the Kingdom Hearts series is now well established that we do not need to add characters from Final Fantasy, it is actually that we have published a number of derivative episodes on portable consoles in recent years, and because of the technical limitations of these platforms, the volume of the story was rather limited. For KHIII, disk space is much larger, so we can actually deepen the story and are adding more characters. It really depends on the size of the game. It is quite possible that we will integrate many Final Fantasy characters.
  7. RPG Site have published an interview with the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura. Here, Nomura discusses Kingdom Hearts III, revealing new details such as the reasoning behind creating so many spin-off titles. Thanks to RPG Site, we have quoted the Kingdom Hearts-related questions from the interview below. For the full interview, check it out on RPG Site. RPG Site: It must be an interesting time for you right now - in Kingdom Hearts 1.5 you're revisiting a major milestone in your career, while building two new ones in Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III. When you look back at your older titles, such as KH1 or FF7 and 8, what do you see? Do you see changes you would like to make, or do you release your creations once complete? Tetsuya Nomura: Well, as a creator I always create something new - I keep challenging myself to create something new. Looking back on my old games and everything I was involved in, I often think to myself 'I could have done this' or 'I could have added that,' and stuff like that. It's part of the process. Right now, though, for Kingdom Hearts specifically - the original game was released more than ten years ago now, but looking back, the original Kingdom Hearts Final Mix... I don't feel like I should add this or that, or any more. Back then, it was perfect as it is. Even though I've played this HD version of the game knowing its age, I don't feel that it's very old when I play it. I can still feel the passion I had back then in this original game - so, yeah. If we remake a game, maybe we then go and think about adding new elements and sequences and stuff like that, or making large changes - but I think a HD remaster, with the visual upgrade, is the right thing for this particular game. RPG Site: After the E3 announcement and showing, a lot of people online are defining FF15 as having Kingdom Hearts style combat. When 15 was Versus, I always figured it as an experiment - that your team would then go on to KH3 after completing that - but now Osaka is on KH3, which also looks to have that signature gameplay style. Does that concern you - that the two games could end up too similar in gameplay? Nomura: Okay, so... [pauses] Two games. Both directed by myself. [laughs] However, both games are developed by two completely different teams. The two of them - they don't fight, but they compete - in a friendly way - and they try to create better things together. Both sides are, of course, developed for next-gen consoles as well. KH3 and FF15 share some base action RPG gameplay mechanics, it's clear, but Nomura seems unphased. There's a difference between the two, of course; Final Fantasy XV is a numbered title - the big history behind Final Fantasy, the task they have on their shoulders is huge, because it's the latest Final Fantasy game and has to live up to that history. For the Kingdom Hearts team there is less history, but there are thousands of people around the world who are so passionate about the Kingdom Hearts series and have been for years - and this of course is the first announced numbered Kingdom Hearts title in many years, as well. People's hopes and expectations are very, very high there, as well - so that is on their shoulders as well. So, the two teams have different kinds of tasks, different kinds of missions they have to complete and accomplish. That's the most important thing for both teams. From the user's point of view, I don't think they worry about these things, or think 'which is better?' or anything like that - both teams look in a different direction. The most important thing for me is that they focus on the tasks - the missions - that each team has. RPG Site: It's appears it's all about sequels and spin-offs now. There were many Kingdom Hearts titles between II and III, while on the FF side we have sequels - X-2, XIII-2, Lighting Returns - and you've already announced FF15 will have sequels. How does planning for multiple titles at a time instead of just one effect you as a creator? Nomura: To start, the reason why we have had so many Kingdom Hearts spin-off games... well, look - it's above your imagination, seriously, believe it or not - creating a HD game is unbelievably difficult. [laughs] People think it's easy - even a HD remake like 1.5, they think 'Ah, easy job' - but it actually isn't like that at all. Everything is difficult in the process, even with a HD remaster of a game. For 1.5 for instance, when we decided to make it, we had to decide where we were going to concentrate because it was so difficult, there was so much work involved. We'll likely spend the better part of the console generation with FF15's core cast via sequels. The main reason why we had so many spin-offs for Kingdom Hearts is because we couldn't start preparing for Kingdom Hearts III for a while - for a long time - because... well, because of some reasons, basically. However, if we didn't release any Kingdom Hearts games after the second at all, people might forget about the game, might forget about the series. Obviously, I didn't want to do that - that's why we decided to make a spin-off game until the preparation for Kingdom Hearts III was ready to do. So, in a way, because of this, if there were no spin-off games, there was no Kingdom Hearts III. It was kind of needed to have all those spin-offs - a lot of spin-offs - because the time was quite long before the Kingdom Hearts III preparation started. With Final Fantasy, each game has a different reason why we decided to do sequels and stuff - for Final Fantasy X, for XIII... Of course, with Final Fantasy XV, we announced at E3 that there will - probably - be a sequel to this game, as well. There's a lot of different reasons, and they all depend on the game and the situation as well. Of course with FFXV I wanted to release the previous version of the game constantly - but it was very, very difficult to do so. Now we have re-revealed the game, I'm excited to bring more information in the future.
  8. Okay, so I wanted to make a list of expectations and as well as a prediction on what's to come, just so I can be like, HA I WAS RIGHT! when it comes out or DAMN IT.... I SUCK AT PREDICTIONS. Anyways, it's been on my mind lately and I wanted to post it to see if anyone agrees or finds the ideas humorous, interesting, profound, or if you really disagree (and are a douche ), not so well thought out lol. Okay, before I start out, I'd like to put up some themes that I believe will be the whole basis for the game. Hearts sleeping in sadness Finding one's self, an identity one can call their own Okay, now that that's established, let's begin. Now we all know that Sora and company will be searching for the Key to Return Hearts and Riku/Mickey will be looking for Keyblade wielders, but what is the point of going through different worlds? Wouldn't it just be a wild goose chase if that were to happen in KH3? I mean KH2's world visiting was almost completely pointless, other than killing Xaldin. There wasn't much plot in the worlds, unlike in KH1 where Sora was sealing keyholes, BbS where they all had a reason to go out and explore and 3D, which was about keyholes again. So, how do we make sense of visiting worlds? Riku/Mickey are looking for Keyblade wielders, so they could have leads or are searching for new people strong enough to wield one. Sora and company have no reason to visit random worlds, unless Yen Sid just gave them a list of worlds that could potentially lead them to the Key to Return Hearts, which would be a basic cop out. I'm unsure how Nomura will do this without repeating the unneeded world visits from KH2 Things that I believe will happen: Sora is looking for this key right? So, during his journey, he will meet those who are also sleeping in sadness, which reaffirm his beliefs and possibly lead him closer to this key. Riku, who has found himself completely, after the events of 3D, will also meet those who don't have identities of their own, lack a sense of belongingness, etc. Regardless of who meets who, I truly believe these are the set of worlds and I'll get to reason after. My Worlds for KH3 (Keep in mind, these are just made up names for the worlds): Disney World(s)Gamer Central Station (Wreck It Ralph) Gleaming Kingdom (Tangled) Hawaii? (Lilo N' Stitch) Monstropolis (Monster's Inc/University) Andy's Room (Toy Story) Agrabah (Aladdin and the King of Thieves) Underland (Alice in Wonderland [2010]) The West (The Lone Ranger) City of Lights (Enchanted) Treasure Planet (Treasure Planet) Disney Castle/Town Square World(s)Shibuya (The World Ends With You) Original KH World(s)Destiny Islands Twilight Town/Mysterious Tower (I think they will be paired up again, just cause I want to add more worlds) Radiant Garden Castle Oblivion/Land of Departure Keyblade Graveyard While I know the general rule for the numbered/main titles are 13, I included all the ones I think have a chance at being used. Now why did I pick these worlds (save the KH worlds)? The characters that inhabit these worlds all have similar problems. Trying to find a sense of place. Identity crisis. Sleeping in sadness. Trying to stand up for one's beliefs. If you want me to go into further detail: Wreck It Ralph - Ralph and Vanellope are both outcasted by their society. They lack a place to call their own, yet they have never done anything wrong, really. They just want to be recognized as a real character, rather than be ignored and hated by their peers. Tangled - Flynn Rider is a thief. He has convinced himself that happiness lies in money and his old identity, Eugene Fitzherbert, isn't worthy enough. Rapunzel has been kidnapped and lives in a tower. She longs to explore and discover the outside world, to see the floating lanterns gleaming in the sky. Little does she know, those lead to her true identity. Lilo N' Stitch - Stitch has been created to be a destroying a machine, but he wasn't ever given a chance to prove otherwise. He's forced to escape to an unknown place and hopefully find peace in it. Lilo struggles with Nani to prove herself capable. Monster's Inc/University - Either movie will do in my opinion, since both are trying to stand up for what's right. They want to prove themselves and especially in M.U. Mike has an unwavering belief of himself and the struggles in this recent movie (don't wanna spoil anything) really defines what KH is all about. Toy Story - Buzz and Woody, a dynamic duo, but it didn't start off that way. I think the story would pick up somewhere in the middle of the movie and lead to the end. Buzz discovers he's a toy, but it doesn't mean he isn't purposeful, meeting the KH gang will definitely be a treat. Aladdin and the King of Thieves - I know we're all tired of this DAMN WORLD... but honestly, the plot is just too perfect for this. Aladdin is searching, really searching, for a place where he belongs in this movie and well, that's all that needs to be said. Alice in Wonderland (2010) - Now I know this is a little farfetched, but maybe, because of plot, the world is changed into this more realistic/life like version. Alice struggles to tell everyone that she wants to be free of these laws of society, she wants to be something else, not betrothed to a random person. The Lone Ranger - Well this is simple. The Lone Ranger and Tonto fight for what is right and at times in the movie (although I've only seen the trailers), the Lone Ranger is questioned about where he really belongs. Enchanted - Simple enough, a lot of the characters in this movie really have no grasp of where they should belong and their false beliefs lead them to a lot of singing numbers and finally finding who and where they should belong. Treasure Planet - Dejected from society, underestimated, Jim Hawkins sets out with some new people to find Treasure Planet. Forgive me if I don't remember the actual plot since I haven't watched it since it's release, but I remember he had a similar struggle to the above. The World Ends With You - NOW THIS. I STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT THIS SHOULD BE IN KH3, just because the characters are a prime example of who Sora is trying to save. They constantly struggle to have a second chance at life, to achieve the identity they desire and Neku as well as the others deserve a huge place in Kingdom Heart 3. Final Fantasy VII - Now I know, Cloud won't have his own world, but from what we left off on KH2, Nomura should finish. Everything for Cloud and Sephiroth will take place in Radiant Garden, the only original KH world I'm going to mention here, since the others are just not really needed to be mentioned due to obvious purposes for plot. Cloud finding himself will finally be shown in KH3. I didn't include Disney Castle/Disney Town in the list above because I believe it might not even be needed. Now I know the Runaway Brain idea may come to fruition, but this world isn't needed to do so. But they might just include it because it's been in every Main game. Also, I know it maybe far fetched, but Avengers (2012) can fit into KH3 if Nomura chooses to do so, since it deals with sense of place, identity and such, but I know many of you would hate it for some reason. Just pointing it out because it does make sense. Main Plot Events: Everyone sleeping in sadness will be rescued to some extent Mickey is taken over by Julius Isa has an ulterior motive Kairi better get some character development The battle royale of the century Maleficent and Pete will play a bigger role into leading the heroes to their destination I would like (wish) it if Sora did not finish the story off again, something like, he is badly wounded in the 2nd to last battle and everyone who he rescued and company prove that they belong there also, that they are there to stay. I want redemption for Roxas, Xion, Namine, Aqua, Ven, Terra. EDIT 1: Thanks to Sakuraba Neku, I remembered I forgot Game Mechanics Return of some version of Flow Motion Summons Synthesis Some version of Command Style and/or Drive Forms (Drive could be for Sora and Command for Riku) Sora, Riku and Kairi will be playable. I agree with @Sakuraba Neku that Kairi should start it off, probably Yen Sid teaching her things Sora and Riku already know and it could lead up to them meeting up and doing some sort of split off from that point on. Magic I wish some form of the Command Deck would return. Abilities being achievable by level as well as special circumstances (special levels, dream eater, synthesis) EDIT 2: Wishing: Sora doesn't finish the final boss, instead those who he saved are the ones to repay their debt! Kairi has a much bigger role and is a main player in the scheme of things Very very long game with many many cutscenes and badassery I WANT OSWALD. Maybe not in KH3, but I want him to appear somewhere in the KH series, I mean he deserves it! EDIT 3: Secret Bosses to Final Bosses and more! In Kingdom Hearts 3D, Julius is shown as the secret boss of the game. From further analysis of every main tiltle (I, II, and BbS), one can infer that this is a clue to the next game's final boss or string of final bosses or connect to it somehow. Fact: In Kingdom Hearts I: Final Mix, Xemnas (in the form of a Mysterious Figure) was the secret boss. In Kingdom Hearts II, he is the final boss. In Kingdom Hearts II, Lingering Will (Terra) is a secret boss. In Birth by Sleep, you have to fight Terranort with the Lingering Will. In Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, Vanitas the secret boss. Also, in Birth By Sleep: Final Mix, No Heart is also a secret boss in Mirage Arena. Since Xehanort's armor is No Heart and he created Vanitas, it is safe to assume that the two being secret bosses led to Ventus' Armor (a direct correlation to the two) as the final boss. In Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, Mysterious Figure (YMX) is the secret boss also. In Kingdom Hearts 3D, he is the main antagonist as well as the second boss. Speculation: In Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, Julius is the main secret boss. The Runaway Brain is movie where Julius enters Mickey's mind and takes over it. So one can infer that maybe Julius will do this to Mickey and Mickey will become one of the 13 Seekers of Darkness and a final boss. In Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, Lord Kyroo is a secret boss. Maybe in Kingdom Hearts 3, the frog dream eater is pointing towards the Princess and the Frog movie based world. < Although I hate this speculation, it has it's validity, but I just don't like the movie. One can also argue that both characters in this movie are trying to find themselves also which would be completely valid. What do you guys think? (Might add to this some more later)
  9. Earlier, at Japan Expo 2013, KHDestiny and KHisland had the opportunity to interview Tetsuya Nomura, the director of the Kingdom Hearts series. KHInsider have translated this interview from French to English, and thanks to all three of these communities, you can read the interview below, where Nomura discusses Kingdom Hearts III, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX, and hints at a future HD collection. Enjoy! • We are very happy to meet you and we want to thank you for this interview. Nomura : The pleasure is mine. • Last year, you were not able to attend Japan Expo and instead drew up an exclusive promotional image for Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] for the French fans. Tomorrow you'll be on stage to talk about Kingdom Hearts -HD 1.5 ReMIX-. I think many fans will be delighted to see you in France! How do you feel about the conference tomorrow? Nomura : At the moment we can not reveal tomorrow's presentation in detail, but I think what you'll see will be very exciting. Yesterday I was in the audience at the Final Fantasy conference and it was really busy. So I was a little nervous, imagining that so many people at the Kingdom Hearts conference tomorrow. • Ten years after his first adventure, Sora is back in HD on PlayStation 3. How do you feel seeing Kingdom Hearts, the first game of the series, appearing in high definition? Nomura : When we first announced the HD remaster, the audience thought it was simply an update of the game, but it's not so easy to create a game in HD. Kingdom Hearts -HD 1.5 REMIX- took several years to rebuild the game so it's not an easy task. When I saw the final product, I really thought it was beautiful, much more than what I expected, so I'm very proud of this HD version. Even if the original game was released more than 10 years ago, the end result gives the impression that this is a new game that players will genuinely enjoy. I'm sure they will not believe it is a 10 year old game. This is why we decided to create this remaster, but also to pay tribute to the team that accompanied me during the development of the first Kingdom Hearts, comprised of talented and clever people. I can still feel their passion and I am very proud. • Kingdom Hearts Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories are finally arriving in Europe. Regarding Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX, did you intend from the beginning to offer these two new games to Western audiences? Nomura : As you said, Kingdom Hearts Final Mix was released in Japan, and Re: CoM in the U.S. but not in Europe. But the last 10 years I've been thinking about how to make these new games available in other regions. Of course, the Kingdom Hearts series has many fans outside of Japan, so we took the opportunity to offer players the Western Final Mix version of Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts Re: CoM. Since the first Kingdom Hearts was released over 10 years ago, this means that some fans have never played the original version. So it was a great opportunity to allow all players to play the same version of the game and take the story in its infancy. • We know that you would have liked Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days to be completely remade, as was CoM with Re:CoM. In the end, the game is told in the form of videos. Was it your goal to increase the intensity of the story through expressions with more detailed characters? Nomura : The Kingdom Hearts license has already existed for 10 years, and my goal with this remaster was to allow all players to better understand the history of the series and how the games are linked together, which is the reason we added the plot of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. I really wanted to offer a playable version of this game but we announced the development of Kingdom Hearts III last month at E3, and it became our priority at the moment. Instead, we opted for a narrated version of the story of 358/2 Days. • Kingdom Hearts HD is a link between the previous Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts III. Do you plan to expand the work to include HD remasters of other titles within the Kingdom Hearts series, such as Birth by Sleep, Kingdom Hearts II and Re:coded, seen in the credits of Kingdom Hearts HD? Nomura : Of course, we will spend some time working on them before the release of Kingdom Hearts III. Unfortunately, there is nothing more I can say on the subject at this time. • The Cloud Service system of the PlayStation 4 will allow players to experience titles originally released on PlayStation 1, 2 and 3. Are there any plans to utilize this system to allow owners of the PS4 to play Kingdom Hearts HD? Nomura : We did not even think about the issue because our priority at the moment is the development of Kingdom Hearts III. Additionally, we are working on the next Kingdom Hearts HD remaster, which is our second priority. We have nothing planned about it for now. • You created the surprise by announcing Kingdom Hearts III at E3. Concealed in the credits of Kingdom Hearts 3D, there was a message that read - "This leads to Kingdom Hearts" with the figure III formed by Sora and Riku - was this intentional to create a teaser for KH3? Nomura : Of course, it was our goal! (Laughs) • You said that the announcement of Kingdom Hearts III was necessary but may be premature. How far along is the game development on this title? Nomura : This is the first next-gen game developed in our studios in recent years by the team in Osaka who have been working on titles for portable consoles. This is a whole new experience for this team working on next-gen consoles and it takes some time to master. However, with that said, it's not as if we just started development. But contrary to what you can imagine, we have no playable build of the game at the moment because it will take some time to test all the new features that will be in Kingdom Hearts III. Again, the team so far has worked on titles on portable console with limited capacity, but they already have many interesting ideas for Kingdom Hearts III, and it is difficult to test each of these elements to determine which will ultimately be retained. So for now, we are more in a test phase. • The press release for Kingdom Hearts III unveiled by Square Enix discusses the search for the "Key to Return Hearts." Is there anything you can tell us about that? Nomura : There are two possible meanings of the "key." One of which is the “hardware” key, which opens doors - this is what keys are in general (laughs), and the other is the “light” key, that opens something else. In this case, it is currently unknown as to which type of key Sora must find. This is the main storyline of Kingdom Hearts III - Sora must go on an adventure to find the "key" without knowing what or where it is. But as you know, we can’t really say anything else on the subject (laughs). • In the trailer for Kingdom Hearts III, we saw an EX gauge. What can you tell us about it? Is it a final element of gameplay or just an early concept? Nomura : The gameplay seen in the E3 trailer has not been finalized. As I said earlier, we are in the testing phase and this version of gameplay was one of the features being tested at that time. What you have seen in the Kingdom Hearts III trailer was a more successful version of a test version. but the final elements of gameplay depended on the "Kingdom Shader" greatly change the game according to the environment in which progresses the characters. You will see the differences in each world, it will be really interesting. • In Kingdom Hearts 3D, Sora does not become a Keyblade Master. Because Sora is one of your favorite characters, was it difficult for you to put him in this position or choice due to Kingdom Hearts III? And with Kairi, will she and Sora ever achieve the Mark of Mastery? Nomura : I thought a lot about whether Sora was to become Keyblade Master or not. But because I always wanted Sora to relate to the players, if he became Master, it would have meant he would have really reached a very high level and it is not yet ready for it, and we do not want that to happen. The decision to not make Sora a Keyblade Master was not really difficult, but I thought it was better that he remains an ordinary boy to be closer to the players. About Kairi, we really considered the question but we can not say anything about it yet. During the summit announcement at E3, we did not mention Kairi at all. We will share information when we are ready, so please be patient during the wait (laughs). And of course, there is the matter of the other Keyblade Bearer at the end of Kingdom Hearts 3D. Unfortunately we are not allowed to disclose the details of this character presently. • Currently, Sora and Riku have developed many skills. In every Kingdom Hearts title, you have always managed to explain why the main characters like Sora are starting from scratch in terms of their skills. Do you have an idea for why this would occur in Kingdom Hearts III? Nomura : As I said, we are currently doing a lot of testing on Kingdom Hearts III. There are many amazing things that you still have not seen, as the actions that the main characters will perform. It will be really exciting and impressive. As you know, we have developed many new features in Kingdom Hearts 3D with very fast movements. It was sort of what we were hoping for Kingdom Hearts III, and with that you could say Dream Drop Distance was a test for this game. The gameplay of Kingdom Hearts III will be an improved version of the Kingdom Hearts 3D. This is truly amazing and never seen in any existing action game. • What is the creative process in choosing worlds for Kingdom Hearts? Do you start development with some worlds already in mind, or are there guidelines to follow for consistency with the previous games, or possibly requests from Disney? Nomura : Several factors come into play. First off, Disney will sometimes offer us ideas of worlds to integrate, and then there are the worlds that I really want to include personally in Kingdom Hearts III. I also think of the worlds of the previous games in order to maintain consistency in the story. My team will not hesitate to provide suggestions for their own ideas. After deciding what worlds will be present, we start planning the conduct of the story in these worlds but also to make them interesting and fun for the players. • In selecting worlds, are you interested only in Disney movies that have already been released or do you also consider future productions, such as "Frozen"? Nomura : Of course, it is possible to include the worlds from future Disney productions. We currently have some ideas for the worlds of Kingdom Hearts III that we cannot speak about. Until the game’s release, new Disney productions will continue to emerge and we'll see in time with Disney for the possible integration of these films. • The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One offers interesting features such as voice recognition, motion detection or the use of touch with the PSVita and Xbox SmartGlass. Do you plan to exploit these opportunities for your games? What is your opinion on these technologies? Nomura : We would like to incorporate these features in Kingdom Hearts III. The one that we find most interesting is the voice recognition. I think it would be great to be able to control Donald and Goofy through voice command to tell them what to do. Wouldn’t that be nice? (Laughs). • Has the collaboration with Disney evolved over the last ten years? We recently saw John Pleasants, Co-President of Disney Interactive, at the Future of Final Fantasy conference held by Square Enix at E3, and Kingdom Hearts III will be present at D23 Expo Japan. Disney seems to be well involved in the development process of the Kingdom Hearts series. Nomura : Regarding D23 Expo Japan, this is the first time that Disney holds such an event outside the U.S., so it is a great honor for us to be invited. I’m very happy that we have the opportunity to hold a special conference for Kingdom Hearts. I really want to make a surprise announcement for this event but it is currently under discussion, so we’ll see (laughs). Since we announced Kingdom Hearts III at E3, we cannot make another announcement for the same game. Instead we will announce something else, which you will see soon enough. I'm very shy; I do not like being on stage in front of lots of people and will usually say “no” to this kind of opportunity. But for this event, which promises to be important, I am very honored to be on stage. Concerning the Japan Expo, I do not have a habit to speak to the fans, even in Japan. I've never done before, so this will be the first time in Europe that I will deal with European fans. And it will be my first time addressing the Japanese fans at D23. • When the first Kingdom Hearts was released, we did not know that the series would continue over the years to reach its tenth birthday. The story chronicles the Seeker of Darkness has it developed progressively games, or did you have in mind an idea of the overall story of this saga from the beginning? Nomura : When I created the first Kingdom Hearts, I did not have a clear vision of the history of the Seeker of Darkness, but I was already thinking of the Kingdom Hearts II and Chain of Memories. I knew at that time that there were two additional games after the first Kingdom Hearts. Later, when I finished Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, I had other plans: Birth by Sleep, 358/2 Days and coded. This is kind of what happened in the history of the series: I did not have a clear idea of the whole story from the beginning, but it is built over time. About the history of the Seeker of Darkness, I knew long ago that it would end in Kingdom Hearts III, and also, I've always wanted so Kingdom Hearts III on a console. The reason for the announcement of this title took us so long, is that some things that we wanted to add in the game asked us some time to think before making a decision. More details will be announced shortly. • In Kingdom Hearts -HD 1.5 ReMIX-, we have the pleasure of discovering re-orchestrated versions of original music. What motivated this choice? Nomura : This is not something I asked for, but rather a request from the musical team and Yoko Shimomura. Since the graphics have been improved in high definition, the musical team wondered, "Why don’t we also make an improved version of the music?" • Do you have a final message for the fans? Nomura : First, I really want to apologize to European fans not being able to offer them Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories for so long. I'm really sorry about that. Also for Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, there are new scenes connecting with the rest of the story, so again, I apologize to European and American fans. My apologies also cover additional battles found within Final Mix, including the fight against the unknown black coat you have not benefited. I'm sure you're wondering why you have not had the opportunity to enjoy this version, I'm really sorry again. But this time, the visual aspect is reworked, the graphics are high definition, and the soundtrack was re-orchestrated. As I said at the beginning of this interview, it's a game out there for over 10 years and yet we do not feel like it’s been that long. I'm sure fans of the series and new players who have never played the first game, Kingdom Hearts, will enjoy this HD 1.5 ReMIX. And most importantly, before the release of Kingdom Hearts III, I wanted all players to be able to enjoy the story of Kingdom Hearts as a whole. This really is the purpose of this remaster and I really hope the fans will enjoy playing.
  10. Earlier, at Japan Expo 2013, Finaland and Final Fantasy Dream were invited by Square Enix to an exclusive interview with Tetsuya Nomura, the director of the Kingdom Hearts series. Here, Nomura discusses Kingdom Hearts III and Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX. Thanks to them, you can read their interview below. Finaland & FFDream : Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX includes Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, which was released exclusively in Japan. How then will the new cutscenes be localized for the Western version? Will it be dubbed in French? Tetsuya Nomura : Unfortunately we didn't have any opportunity to put the french voice over in this 1.5 version so it’s going to be french subtitles only. Finaland & FFDream : How did you come to split the development team into two teams? How far are you involved in the development of Kingdom Hearts III? Tetsuya Nomura : For this HD version of Kingdom Hearts 1.5, the main programmers never actually worked in the Kingdom Hearts series before and they did all the remastering, all the processing, all the actual work by themselves and for Kingdom Hearts III the other staff is doing all the testing, deciding which kind of elements we want to put in the game and everything. So there’s one team doing HD 1.5 and another one doing KH3, that’s how we’ve been working for the last couple years. Regarding my personal involvement in Kingdom Hearts III, I always have been heavily involved in this project compared to the other games i’m actually producing or directing. The team creating Kingdom Hearts III is in the studios in Osaka, and as you guys know Osaka and Tokyo are a little bit far away from each other but we meet enough with meetings quite often and we’re doing telephone conferences too. So we communicate all the time as I am quite heavily involved on this project. Finaland & FFDream : With the acquisition of Marvel and Lucas Arts by Disney, could you imagine adding some kind of stuff from these licenses in the game ? Tetsuya Nomura : (laughs) Of course it would be great if we could add those licenses as well. But there are lots of rules and restrictions by disney so we can’t actually put everything people want, so it’s a quite difficult decision but we’re gonna prepare some surprises for you so, just wait for the informations. Finaland & FFDream : Because you know that Kitase-san (Yoshinori Kitase) is a big fan of Star Wars ! So you have to do that ! Tetsuya Nomura : (laughs) We’re not going to decide it whether Kitase-san likes Star Wars or not but we’ve been talking about Star Wars itself since it became Disney’s content recently. When I eared the news I was like “Wow ! Wow !”. Yeah obviously it’s gonna be great if we could add it, but like I said there are a lot of restrictions and rules by Disney so we don’t know what’s gonna happen but yeah, we’ll see. Finaland & FFDream : Can we expect a multiplayer cooperative mode with many playables characters in KHIII ? Tetsuya Nomura : The Kingdom Hearts series always had Sora as the main character, so we want to make the most of Sora, playable Sora of course. But again, Kingdom Hearts III is going to be the last chapter of the Kingdom Hearts main numbering title series, so lots of fans actually want to play as their favorite characters in Kingdom Hearts III so we will consider that, we will listen to what fans wants but hopefully we could give you some surprises in the future announcements. Finaland & FFDream : You watch a lot of movies, how does that inspire you ? Do you pick some ideas in the movies you watch ? Tetsuya Nomura : I watch movies a lot, I mean A LOT (laughs), normally like two, three films a day, it’s my pace. I watch quite a lot so I don’t always remember the names or titles even. So I watch and then I get a bit of inspirations from films and stuff, I can’t name the actual titles of the movies that actually inspired me to create games but when I’m watching movies sometimes I feel like “ Oh ! That’s nice !” or “That’s good!”, something like that. Finaland & FFDream : Nomura-san, your character outfits are more and more detailed. When we saw Cloud for the first time in 1997 and now Noctis in 2013, there’s a lot of greatness in them. Have you received some fashion lessons or do you just follow fashion ? Tetsuya Nomura : Obviously I always think about the current kind of trend and fashion and everything when I create the characters but this time for XV and Noctis and all the main characters that have been revealed, this time we actually asked for a professional brand to create the characters outfits, we also have the actual clothes in the office so our CG team and all the teams can actually see the clothes with their own eyes to create exactly the same image in the game. And that’s really easier because previously when I created the characters, all the CG team and all of our entire development team always asked me “Is this leather? Is this coton? Is this nylon? How many percentage ? Dadadada” That’s a lot of detailed questions so it’s always difficult to precise what kind of texture are the clothes made off and stuff like that, so that’s why this time we had the actual clothes made and then we take it from there and put it in the game. Finaland & FFDream : Nomura-san, you work on a lot of project like Final Fantasy XV, the Kingdom Hearts Saga, The World Ends With You. How do you manage all the projects you have at the same time? Tetsuya Nomura : Actually I am not very good at managing myself, especially at managing lots of different projects, but because of my staff and all the staffs are very very intelligent, very good and very capable I’m able to run all the different projects at the same time. And also the most important are the Co-Directors in each project, again they are very capable and skilled people, they are the people actually managing the actual everyday job on the ground. That’s why I’m here, they are supporting me all the time. Finaland & FFDream : You’ve created a lot of characters for the Final Fantasy series. What’s your favorite character between all those you’ve created ? Tetsuya Nomura : Hmm if I had to choose a favorite character, I would say Sora, and Noctis. Why them? Of course Sora, I’ve been together with him for more than ten years now, this is the first time i’ve been with a character for such a long time, so he’s very very special for me and he’s been adopted by Disney also, so he’s a very very good boy. More like a good son actually. Also there is Noctis, he hasn’t been in front of you, I mean moving etc yet in a real gameplay but he will soon, in the future. Do you know the name Sora mean the “sky”, in japanese and Noctis, his family name is Caelum which mean sky as well so basically, Noctis mean “night sky”, so they are kind of complete opposites to each other. There is a reason why I named these characters as opposites. Noctis is kind of like my latest boy, or latest son and I expect him to be more clever than Cloud. Finaland & FFDream : Okay, one question Tetsuya Nomura, very important for us, and for Hideo Kojima because Hideo Kojima said he’d love a remake of Final Fantasy VII, but what about you ? Would you like to play a Metal Gear Solid 1 Remake ? Tetsuya Nomura : To play ? Finaland & FFDream : Yes, to play. Tetsuya Nomura : Of course I’d like, if he were going to do a MGS remake. Finaland & FFDream : And what do you think about the differences of the Fox Engine and your own Luminous Engine ? Tetsuya Nomura : I think the Fox Engine and Luminous Engine are totally different engines because they each got different kind of abilities and skills and stuff that we could use in a game. One engine can do certain things the other engine can’t for example. It depends on what you want to do, but I think they totally are two different kind of engines. Finaland & FFDream : A Final Fantasy XV question, what should we expect in terms of vehicles ? Can we pilot airships and explore the world of Final Fantasy XV and discover its secrets ? Tetsuya Nomura : We don’t have any big plans for having different type of vehicles and stuff like that. There’s one you saw in the recent trailer of course. Well two things you probably could use, first, the car, the car is gonna be the vehicle you’ll use probably the most in the game. The other one, the magitek armor, you can actually control and ride the magitek armor as well, in a future reveal you’ll probably find more. Finaland & FFDream : A motorbike ? Tetsuya Nomura : (laughs) In Final Fantasy XV you play as a party, you’re always with your friends so five guys riding a motorbike together, I’m not sure if this would works. Finaland & FFDream : In a gang ! Like Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo. Tetsuya Nomura : (laugh), yeah maybe it doesn’t look very good in a game. Finaland & FFDream : Why did you change Stella’s design and made her look so much younger. Is it because of story development or because you made a survey with the audience ? Tetsuya Nomura : There is no specific reason behind hit, but we didn’t want to make her look younger, we just wanted to make her a little bit prettier. That’s all. Finaland & FFDream : But in 2007 she was very nice ! She’s very nice and still pretty but she’s still a little younger. Tetsuya Nomura : When I created Stella, back in 2007, I actually created something that is not my type of character, but obviously time has past since then, about six years now, and then she actually became something that I quite like now. Finaland & FFDream : In the trailer we could briefly see Noctis with red eyes. Will the red eyes give him some sort of special power during the battles ? Tetsuya Nomura : In the last promotion trailer, Noctis got red eyes because he got the ability of teleportation, so that’s why when he did that, his eyes got red. Actually Visual Works created the trailer back then in 2007. When you actually play the game, you can’t really see and zoom in the face of the character anyway. And he moves very fast as well so... if the character’s face is actually seen in a zoomed-in on the screen, we probably could still make his eyes red but we haven’t decided whether we’re gonna need the red eyes or not. Finaland & FFDream : The game looks very serious and fatalist. Have you planned to add some sort of fun moments or funny mini-games ? Tetsuya Nomura : We are actually thinking to have some sort of fun elements in the game, but for the moment the priority is to create the main game itself. I will add or not add stuff like that depending on how the development of the main game goes , but yeah we are thinking about that. Finaland & FFDream : About the artistic direction of the game. The appearance of the Kingdom of Lucis is much like the Shinjuku district in Tokyo and Accordo has the same feeling of Venice, in Italy. Can we hope to see some places inspired by the french regions perhaps ? Paris perhaps ? Tetsuya Nomura : Well do you have any games actually based in Paris ? Finaland & FFDream : Deling City from Final Fantasy VIII with the Arc de Triomphe. Tetsuya Nomura : If we’ve used it before we might not want to use it in a new game (laughs). So i’m not sure about using Paris. In my opinion, in lot of RPG games there are many European motives, European things, cities and stuff where your characters live and play but you guys still think like you need more European things or French things? Finaland & FFDream : We’d just love to see that in Final Fantasy, we are sure it would be very nice. Tetsuya Nomura : Well we’ll thing about that, that’s all I can say. Finaland & FFDream : Thank you very much ! We’ve seen a lot of male characters with Noctis and his friends. Is there going to be girls as playable characters as well ? Tetsuya Nomura : I can’t say anything specific now but it would be... quite difficult, to have a girl playable. Finaland & FFDream : Question about this place, we are in Japan Expo, there are more than two hundred thousand people there, loving japanese culture so much. We actually watch anime in original version and we watched Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete only in japanese. Can we hope to get the original japanese voices for Final Fantasy XV in Europe. Tetsuya Nomura : That all depends of the capacity of the disc. The two main reason are the disc space and also the lip sync, because if we’re making the game, with the characters speaking in english but with the voices in japanese, the lip sync would not match. Even though you’d prefer having the japanese voices? Finaland & FFDream : Yes, actually, please, we have a solution for you, can you think of a limited edition with only japanese voices and french text, would it be possible to do that? Tetsuya Nomura : You really want this that much? Finaland & FFDream : YES YES YES we really want japanese voices. Tetsuya Nomura : (laughs) You’ll have to say this YES YES YES to Square enix though for not to me. If you guys really want THAT kind of request very much from all the fans and all the community side and everything, it would probably be best to tell Square Enix France or Square Enix Europe to make that happen. Square Enix France of Europe could speak to Square Enix Japan and it probably could make it happen, but we’ll see. Finaland & FFDream : Thank you ! Next question, is it Game Over if Noctis dies ? Tetsuya Nomura : At some time I said that the game was gonna be over when Noctis died, when we were talking about Versus XIII, but now as Versus XIII became Final Fantasy XV we haven’t decided it actually so we can’t really say if it’s going to change or not, we’ll see. Finaland & FFDream : Will we be able to customize weapons and equipments of our characters ? Tetsuya Nomura : I’m sorry but we can’t say anything about that, yet. Finaland & FFDream : What can you tell us about the future of Dissidia, on PSVita or PS4 maybe ? With the addition of Noctis ? Tetsuya Nomura : I’m not that heavily involved in Dissidia project, but if director Takahashi want to include Noctis in the next Dissidia game, I would probably think about it then, but I can’t really say anything so far. Finaland & FFDream : You made the two video presentations for E3 from Artnia the place for all your fans in Japan The announcement was so exciting for us, how do you react to that and are you glad to be back? Tetsuya Nomura : I was very very busy, I didn’t prepare enough to do that video message recording at all... Finaland & FFDream : It was GOOD ! Tetsuya Nomura : (laughs) Actually that recording was, yes, happening in Artnia, recorded by the promo and publicity staffs. There was not even a microphone there, so it probably was quite difficult for you guys to listen to what I actually said. I was myself really surprised as well because Sony said they needed a video message so that’s why we did it, only a couple of days before flying for E3. Finaland & FFDream : What will the addition of Hajime Tabata, the great producer of Final Fantasy Type-0 bring to the FFXV team ? Tetsuya Nomura : The reason why we bringed Tabata-san into the team is because he always said to me that it wanted to join the Final Fantasy XV project. I asked him in the team, his vitality and mentality are always very motivated and very high. In the future campaign and until the game is out, Tabata-san himself will be going to speak in front of you guys more often so please ask him in details when he’s available. Finaland & FFDream : Nomura-san can we imagine that you’ll work on Final Fantasy XV-2 just after finishing the first one? Tetsuya Nomura : Obviously we haven’t decided yet. We don’t have any concrete plan for a future sequel of FFXV, it would be good if we could do that but we can’t announce it or say anything into detail for the moment so wait for future informations. Finaland & FFDream : Last question, Nomura-san it’s the first time we saw you with the fan communities in France, we are very happy to see you. Do you think that you will come again next time ? Tetsuya Nomura : Of course i’d love to come again, but other people working on my project obviously want to come to meet the fans and meet you guys as well, so we’re gonna decide depending on what kind of event or opportunity we’ll have in a future. You guys definitely want to see the same face every year so (laughs) we’ll see about that. Finaland & FFDream : We always see Kitase-san and Toriyama-san. Hashimoto-san too. We saw them every year for XIII, XIII-2, Lightning Returns. I saw Shinji Hashimoto in 2010 and we talked about Versus XIII and we were talking about teleportation in the game and he said “Oh I don’t know if Nomura-san will do that” and now we actually see that in the game and it’s just amazing. Thank you very much for your work and we all hope that you will succeed with this project. Tetsuya Nomura : This time I came here to promote Kingdom Hearts 1.5 (laughs) so it’s a bit early for me to talk to you about the details of Final Fantasy XV, but when we’ll have to decide when to release, or for the campaign kick-off i'll probably come back again, we’ll see, and thank you.
  11. The latest issue of Famitsu Weekly, releasing on June 20, 2013, has contained an article on Kingdom Hearts III. The article summarizes the information from E3 2013, and contains an interview with series director Tetsuya Nomura, where he discusses details about the game. Famitsu.com have published this interview online, and staff translator goldpanner has completely translated it. This can be read below. Enjoy! ~Visuals with a soft feel, and even bolder action —We were surprised that you would release a KHIII trailer so soon, what with KH 3D [Dream Drop Distance] (hereon KH3D) and KH -1.5 HD ReMIX- still so recent. Nomura: I know there are many fans who are restless because we have only released spin off titles since KHII, so I decided to announce it along with FFXV. Considering the stage of development, though, I do think perhaps it is a bit early to be announcing it. —However, it does seem like the visuals already have a solid direction. Nomura: Among the developers we are calling the visuals the ‘Kingdom Shader’. On original worlds, the characters will go around with that feel to them. Then, to match the style of each Disney World, the Shader will adjust the visuals depending on the world.* ---We weren't expecting the soft, illustrated feel as seen in the KH3D movie, rather than a more realistic look. Nomura: Perhaps the ordinary course of things would be to go with the realism close to the visuals in the movies so far, but then there wouldn't be any surprises, would there? I think the same thing about existing things like cel shading, too. ---How did you come up with these visuals? Nomura: How should next-gen Kingdom Hearts be... should I go with the realism from recent works, or go with something different? I thought long and hard about several answers. From that, I knew we had to go back to our original goal for the graphics of the Kingdom Hearts characters: evoking the feel of the brush paintings in Disney works. So, I called on (Mr Takeshi) Nozue and we did test after test, and the result of all our investigating is the 'Kingdom Shader'. Because we are skipping a generation of hardware with our numbered titles, Kingdom Hearts II having been released on PS2, perhaps it will seem like we are changing things too radically. However, we are doing our utmost best to take everything you have seen so far and evolve it to be even richer. —Like FFXV, is KHIII being developed on Luminous Studios? Nomura: We are currently verifying going with Luminous as our main. Working on an over-spec and porting to both PS4 and Xbox One is also going to be the same. In the trailer we showed, for the battle section we didn't have time to prepare a clip of it working on the actual hardware because of tool issues, so instead we made a concept FMV that depicts what is possible in realtime. That said, the actual thing working in realtime it doesn't look much different at all.* ---And development is being handled by the Osaka team responsible for KH Birth by Sleep, KH3D and KH -1.5 HD ReMIX-? Nomura: The base is the Osaka team. With (Mr Tai) Yasue as Co. Director, they are working in conjunction with the Tokyo Kingdom Hearts staff. ---We're interested in how the action in KHIII will have evolved. Nomura: Right now there’s a demo version that runs on the hardware… and it’s an absolute storm (laughs). It goes even beyond ‘bold action’. In KHIII you will have a three person party, but depending on the world NPCs will also join in fighting. Basically, some very flashy action will unfold. You’ll be flying through the sky flowing through air battles without landing. ---Just with Sora (laughs). Nomura: I suppose so (laughs). The enemy AI is becoming rather elaborate, and we’d like for coordinated action to flow from enemies and allies alike. For example, there’s a vehicle-type enemy, and we’ve already got Sora being able to ride that enemy all around during battle. ---Even just from watching the Shadows in the trailer moving we certainly can tell that the enemies have evolved. And, on the other side, Sora has gained powers befitting a 'Keyblade Master', hasn't he? Will he be able to transform his Keyblade? Nomura: In this stage of testing he can transform it. By the way, in the trailer, Sora picks up the Keyblade belonging to Master Eraqus that Aqua had. We put that together in order to remind you of the story of KHIII, as this time we weren't able to prepare a scene that would show you a portion of the drama. ---That means the story begins after the end of KH3D, doesn't it. Nomura: Yes. We are currently working through the selection of new worlds. As this is the last chapter of the Dark Seeker Chronicles that has been going since KH1, there will be a final showdown with Xehanort. ---If the story continues from KH3D, then is it possible that we will be able to control not only Sora but other characters such as Riku and Kairi? Nomura: I can't say the possibility is zero. ---We apologise for what might be an overly-specific question, but, what happened to Meow Wow....... Nomura: ......What indeed (laughs). The last part of KH3D was meant to be tentative foreshadowing.* ---So perhaps we can get our hopes up (laughs). Lastly, a message for your fans. Nomura: FFXV and KHIII are projects that, like great rivals, polish each other up as they develop. At our private conference, despite KHIII being the lucky last and being at an early stage of development, I I already felt the response. For KHIII, developments unseen in the KH series so far involving online elements are under investigation, so please look forward to upcoming news. This year in Japan we will be exhibiting at Tokyo Game Show and at Disney’s D23 Expo Japan event, so I think there will be more information available around those times.
  12. The latest issue of Famitsu Weekly, releasing on June 20, 2013, has contained an article on Kingdom Hearts III. The article summarizes the information from E3 2013, and contains an interview with series director Tetsuya Nomura, where he discusses details about the game. The majority of this issue was published on Famitsu.com last week, and thanks to goldpanner for translations, you can read this interview here. aibo_ac7 and hokanko-alt have reported on some possible new information from the issue, and we will have definite translations of this up soon. Update 1: goldpanner has done a full translation of the new details from the issue, and this translation can be read below. With a big thanks to her, enjoy! Q&A With KH3 Director Tetsuya Nomura ---Outline * Release date TBA * Price TBA * Director: Tetsuya Nomura * Co. Director: Tai Yasue * Composer: Yoko Shimomura * Producer: Rie Nishi * The plot consists of Sora and the gang doing their thing on various Disney Worlds in order to find the key to restore hearts * CG renders of Sora, Donald Duck and Goofy are introduced ~ ---Q&A * It will continue on from KH3D, and the selection of new worlds is under way. There will be a final showdown with Xehanort as this is the last chapter of the Dark Seeker Chronicles. * Will we be able to control characters other than Sora, such as Riku or Kairi etc? He wouldn't say that the possibility is zero. * About the visuals: They are still exploring how KH ought to look on next gen, but as the characters of KH were designed to evoke the feeling of the brush painting in the works of Disney, they're going back to that as the starting point. After a few tests on the request of Mr Nozue, they came up with visuals that among the developers they are calling the 'Kingdom Shader'. * The action: There is a demo version that works on real consoles, and it's an absolute storm. Going even beyond 'bold action', in KHIII you will have a three person party but depending on the world NPCs will also join in fighting. Basically they're developing some very flashy action. Enemy AI has also changed considerably, and they are going for coordinated action that you can pull with enemies and allies alike. * In these testing stages they already have Sora transforming his Keyblade * The FFXV and KHIII development teams cause each other to improve as they work. Even at the private conference there was a response, developments unseen in the KH series so far eg. online elements are under investigation, he wants you to look forward to upcoming news. This year in Japan they will be exhibiting at Tokyo Game Show and at Disney's D23 Expo Japan event in October, so expect more information to come out around then. Update 2: ArikaMiz has uploaded a photo from the article, showing an all-new render of Sora, Donald and Goofy for Kingdom Hearts III. You can see this below. Update 3: TrueGaming has uploaded scans of the article. You can view them below, in our gallery.
  13. The latest issue of Dengeki PlayStation has included an interview with the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura. Here, Nomura discusses Kingdom Hearts III, revealing all-new details such as that smartphone and tablet support are being considered. hokanko-alt has posted interview details online, and to goldpanner for translating them, you can read them below. - The clip was a teaser through and through, so they didn't give away much information. Unlike for FF15, the clips weren't realtime, as they were in a hurry to select from among what was undergoing testing on the hardware, but it looks basically the same running on the hardware anyway. Perhaps the camera controls are better in realtime. Outfits and battle gameplay will be introduced another time - During the clip the visuals change showing the shape that next-gen KH will take - Though this is the final chapter of the Dark Seeker Chronicles, they're working on ways to make it easy for newcomers to the series to join in. As with FF15 they are investigating online correspondence, and smartphone and tablet support - They are hard at work on development, they have not yet finished choosing all the worlds - As for the past few years they had continued with spin off titles, they announced the next numbered title with the aim to bring peace of mind to fans. There won't be follow-up information available right away, but Nomura is hoping to release more information at TGS and D23 Expo Japan. Don't forget that some popular voice actors from the series will be attending D23 Expo Japan. Nomura is hoping to be on the stage with the voice actors talking about the series and announcing the latest information.
  14. Edge Online have posted an article containing an interview with the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura. Here, Nomura discusses Kingdom Hearts III, as well as Final Fantasy XV. Thanks to Edge Online, and to KHInsider for the find, this can be read below. So, Kingdom Hearts 3: what took you so long? Tetsuya Nomura: So we received great reviews for Kingdom Hearts 2 and so of course the expectation for 3 became much higher. And to make the game appropriate in terms of story, systems and the world – to reach the fans’ expectations – it just ended up taking some time. What’s the relationship with Disney like? Disney’s attitude to games has changed in recent years to become focused on mobile and social games. Have you noticed their attitude change much? The relationship with Disney has [remained] the same. Actually the contact person at Disney is still the same person from Kingdom Hearts 1, and Disney has given us lots of requests in terms of the Kingdom Hearts franchise and they did mention some smaller titles for other platforms, but our common, most important goal was to [complete] Kingdom Hearts 3. So it’s the same. Fans of the series would be quite happy for the game to be the same as the last one, but as a designer and developer don’t you want to experiment and do new things? How do you balance those desires in Kingdom Hearts 3? As you know, it took a while to actually announce Kingdom Hearts 3, but in the meantime we announced several spin-off titles in the series, and each time for the spin-off title we did experiment and challenge with new things. So we did definitely feel like we have reached enough experimentation and experiences and also I do the development of Final Fantasy, so I feel like for this Kingdom Hearts 3 we are putting everything – all of the experimentation and experiences – into this new title. The combat in Final Fantasy XV looks real-time instead of turn-based, is that a complete change for the series? Are you making an action game now? The Final Fantasy series – if you look at each title – each of them has a different system and a different story, so that’s the trend of the Final Fantasy [series] in the past. And when we decided to do action-based for Versus XIII, I personally thought: Is that Final Fantasy? So that was actually one reason why the title was called Versus XIII, not the main sequel, main title, for Final Fantasy. But if you look at the other titles in the franchise, XI and XIV are MMORPG so they do use battle systems which is a command-based, turn-style battle system. So it’s not quite the typical RPG… so that’s why we decided why [Final Fantasy XV] could be action-based battle. And in the future, if other teams decide to different styles of battle systems, then that’s what they decide to do. So why were you at Sony’s conference and not Microsoft’s? Have you chosen your favourite already? So, why not Microsoft? Until the last minute we actually didn’t know which conference we would be in, and there was a possibility not to be in the Sony conference either. So it was simply the arrangement between the companies and also originally Versus XIII was announced for PlayStation 3 several years ago. That’s why we thought it’s just probably proper to just go to them and discuss and if they decided to put it on then we would see. What did you think of E3? Was there anything in particular that excited you? So of course I was aware of the specifications of each new next-gen console because we are working on them, so there was no specific impact that I got from the announcements in that [respect]. But I was more curious about the software that would be announced. Some of the contents looked really interesting to me and I was preparing for my own presentation of my own games, so I was also very nervous of what other companies would present. Do you feel comfortable now that you’ve seen everyone else’s games and put yours out there alongside them? The more contents I saw, with each new trailer before mine, I was getting more worried [laughs]. So of course I’ve been seeing my own trailer so many times that I’m accustomed to watching it so I can’t tell if it’s great any more because I’m so used to watching it. I know my team is working so hard and they agree, but I’ve never done that comparison of looking at my title and trailer with others so that’s why I was nervous. What does the next generation of consoles mean to you, the games you make, and to Square Enix in general? So in terms of my own titles that I directed, for the current generation consoles, I have to admit that our company was a little bit behind in terms of development. Talking about my own titles, Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD is not yet released in the UK, Europe and US even after the announcement of next-generation consoles, and 1.5 is for PlayStation 3. But in the meantime we were already in the development of Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy XV for next-generation consoles, so we definitely have to catch up with the rest of the gaming world with those titles and in the future Final Fantasy XV most likely will be released sooner than Kingdom Hearts 3. And I think for Square Enix Final Fantasy XV will be the flagship title for the next-generation consoles, and after that we will definitely make more titles for those platforms.
  15. The latest issues of Weekly Shōnen Jump and V Jump, releasing on June 17 and June 21 respectively, are said to contain an article on Kingdom Hearts III, according to bKvEBVAvUq. It is unclear if the articles contain any new information or pictures, but we will keep you posted as more details appear.
  16. E3 2013 was a gaming event occurring June 11-13, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Centre. Kingdom Hearts III was officially announced at the event, featuring a new trailer and various press updates including intervews and website updates. We have summarized all Kingdom Hearts III content from the event below for you. Announcement Trailer Tetsuya Nomura appeared at Sony's press conference via a video and showed a short, beta trailer for Kingdom Hearts III. This trailer is also available in our video archive. A photo gallery of screenshots is available on our Facebook page. Platform: PlayStation 4 & Xbox One Status: "Now in development" (early stages) Release date: No announcement yet Photos Details from press events & releases Details from "Square Enix: The Future" press event: - Kingdom Hearts III is being developed with DirectX 11, meaning that it can be easily compiled for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. - Kingdom Hearts III will follow a mature Sora adventuring with Mickey, Donald and Goofy. New Disney worlds for the series will be included. - Kingdom Hearts III is being developed by the "Osaka team", the team responsible for Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts 3D. Details from press release: Kingdom Hearts III features a mature Sora as the main protagonist who sets forth on an adventure with Mickey, Donald and Goofy through new and legendary Disney worlds. Kingdom Hearts III will make full use of next generation console technologies to showcase a stunning universe packed full of worlds based on Disney properties. Story of Kingdom Hearts III Believing light and darkness must remain in balance, Master Xehanort seeks to spark war against the ‘tyranny of light’ to restore equilibrium. In an effort to undermine Xehanort’s plot, Sora, Donald and Goofy search for seven guardians of light and the “Key to Return Hearts,” while King Mickey and Riku search for previous Keyblade wielders. Other updates Square Enix launched official websites for Kingdom Hearts III in various regions. These websites are linked to below. These don't contain much as of yet, but expect them to be updated in the future. Official Japanese website for Kingdom Hearts III Official international website for Kingdom Hearts III New details from interviews Tetsuya Nomura took part in various interviews throughout the week. We have summarized all of the new Kingdom Hearts III information from these interviews below. Or, if you're interested, you can read the full interviews here. Story, worlds and characters - The battle against Master Xehanort and Organization XIII will end in Kingdom Hearts III. Kingdom Hearts (the location) will appear in Kingdom Hearts III. - The world selections in Kingdom Hearts III will contain some stable choices, as well as some surprising factors. There is a particular surprising world. - Kingdom Hearts III will contain Final Fantasy characters. - Sora's outfit is yet to be unveiled. - Whenever Nomura hears about a new Disney acquisition (Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, etc), he contacts Disney and sees if it's something that he can use in Kingdom Hearts. Nomura says that the answer is sometimes 'absolutely no', but sometimes 'we don't know'. No more details were given. Gameplay - Nomura sees core games (KH1, KH2 and KH3) as having "evolving gameplay", and other games as having "experimental gameplay" (new challenges and new skills). Kingdom Hearts III will follow the evolving gameplay formula, ie. the gameplay will be similar to KH1 and KH2, however, it will also draw inspiration from well received experiments in other titles, such as Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts 3D. KH3D was noted as having lots of inspiration drawn from it. - Summoning will return in Kingdom Hearts III, but it will be in a very different form. - Multiplayer elements and online capabilities are both being considered. More details about this will be announced later. - Nomura recognizes that people want to play as King Mickey, and that will be taken into consideration. Sora will definitely be the main character to play, however, but it is possible that there will be multiple playable characters. In Kingdom Hearts III, you will have a three person party, but depending on the world NPCs will also join in fighting - The gameplay is described as "some very flashy action". Nomura says "you'll be flying through the sky, unfolding into air battles without landing", as with the trailer. - The enemy AI is becoming rather elaborate. Nomura is aiming for coordinated action to flow from enemies and allies alike. There is already a vehicle-like enemy, and Sora is able to ride that enemy all around during battle. Development - Kingdom Hearts III is in a very early stage of development, and Nomura feels that it was a bit early to be announcing it. Despite this, the game visuals already have a solid direction. The visuals are referred to as 'Kingdom Shader'. This is a technique they have developed for the game, where the shader will adjust depending on the world. - Kingdom Hearts III is being developed on Luminous Studios, ie. developed using DirectX 11, allowing for easy compiling to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The trailer did not contain any actual gameplay, actually, the gameplay portion of the trailer is a FMV that represents what gameplay might look like. Development is at a stage where they have a demo version running on existing equipment, and the way the demo moves is said to be similar to the way the FMV looks. Future announcements - Square Enix is exhibiting at Tokyo Game Show 2013 (September 19-22, 2013) and D23 Disney Japan Expo (October 12-14, 2013). Nomura expects that Kingdom Hearts III will be shown at these events, and that more information will become available around those times.
  17. Tetsuya Nomura, the director of the Kingdom Hearts series is attending E3 2013, the gaming event occurring June 11-13, 2013 where Kingdom Hearts III was officially announced. Here, Nomura was interviewed various times about Kingdom Hearts III and Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX. Full details about these interviews are available below. Interview 1: Tetsuya Nomura with Square Enix Members Earlier, Square Enix's YouTube channel livestreamed an interview by Square Enix Members with Tetsuya Nomura. We have typed up a full transcript of this interview, and it can be read below. Tetsuya Nomura: Hi. -- We're going to start off with a little bit of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX chat. Can you explain how you came up with the idea of Kingdom Hearts and how the name originated? Nomura: Originally, I wanted to find a title that fits Disney, because it's a Disney video game. When I thought of this game I thought of amusement parks and I wanted to make something kind of like through Disney Land. So, "Kingdom" was the first name that came to my mind. The development team was calling it as a kingdom. But I couldn't get the IP of "Kingdom". So, we thought about "Heart" as a core part of the story, and we combined them together. -- How it’s meant to work with Disney? Nomura: Originally our producer Hashimoto became friends with Disney (they shared the same office building), and chatted with people from Disney. We decided it would be great to make a game together. This is how the franchise was born. Our relationship with Disney has been good, working together for 10 years, and we still have the same counterpart at the Disney site. We have heated discussion (laughs). But the relationship has been good. -- Can you let fans know what’s been involved in the process of remastering Kingdom Hearts for the HD 1.5 ReMIX? Nomura: KH1 was created a long time ago, so actually the original data was missing. We had to research and dig out from the games and recreate everything. Then, we had to redo the graphics, and it was actually not that easy. -- What makes this a definitive Kingdom Hearts experience? Especially because this version was never released in North America, it’s going to be the first time for people to experience this package. Nomura: The Final Mix version of KH was available in Japan, just not NA and Europe. I had a vision that I eventually wanted to make them available everywhere-- all over the world. There are many additional elements in FM that were not seen by the other territories, so this became a big chance. We added two games and one movie as a package, as HD 1.5 ReMIX, and now everyone over the world can share the complete KH world. -- What is your favourite character and enemy in the Kingdom Hearts universe? Nomura: Master Xehanort is definitely one of my favorites. And in KH1, Ansem was my favorite. -- Was there any characters or worlds that were cut at any time? Nomura: The Jungle Book is one world that we always try to insert, but due to various circumstances it always ends up being cut. -- What does HD 1.5 ReMIX remix mean in relation to Kingdom Hearts III? Nomura: Because we decided to make Kingdom Hearts III, we decided to make HD 1.5 ReMIX. So basically, it shows my determination to Kingdom Hearts III. To the fans, I want to make sure that everyone plays HD 1.5 ReMIX in preparation for Kingdom Hearts III -- Pre-order Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX, and get a free 24-page art book which includes new sketches. Also, get a never before seen sketch by Nomura-san! -- On to the Kingdom Hearts III questions, what new worlds can we expect in Kingdom Hearts III? Nomura: (laughs) I’m not allowed to say what will be coming in Kingdom Hearts III, but each time when I select the worlds for the game I choose some stable choices that are accessible for the game and the story, and I try to insert surprising factors. I want everyone to be surprised to see that particular world. For Kingdom Hearts III I want to make sure that there will be a lot of surprises. -- Can you speak of the new battle system at all? Nomura: For the previous KH’s titles, especially for KH1 and KH2 (core games), I want to make sure that evolution is occurring. For the spin-off games, I wanted to experiment with new challenges and new skills. Because this is a core game, I feel like there are appropriate game styles. KH2 had a game system that was well received by the KH players, and Kingdom Hearts III will follow this system. However, due to the experiments in the spin-off titles, we would like to incorporate the well-received changes of these games. -- Will we see any new FF characters? Will we get a chance to play as King Mickey? Nomura: The appearance of FF characters is pending. For a while, the previous titles didn’t have any FF characters, and I think it’s time to include some. I know everyone wants to play as King Mickey, so I will take that into consideration. Of course Sora will be the main character to play; it would be nice if other characters are playable as well. -- Any plans for multiplayer in Kingdom Hearts III? Nomura: Multiplayer elements are also under consideration. We are also looking into online capabilities. We will announce more details regarding this at a later time. -- Will summoning be returning to Kingdom Hearts III? Nomura: Yes. Summon is going to be available, but in a very different form. In previous titles, Disney characters could be summoned. But in Kingdom Hearts III, it will be a completely different system. -- Is this the end of Organization XIII and Nobodies as characters? Nomura: Yes, the battle against Organization XIII will end in this title. I don’t know about Nobodies. But, Master Xehanort is the one that organised the Organization XIII and the battle against him will be the end. -- Will we actually get to see Kingdom Hearts? Nomura: I don’t want to say too much, but Kingdom Hearts has appeared occasionally in the last 10 years of the franchise and I think it will appear again... (Nomura remembers something he wanted to say about the worlds in KH3.) Nomura: For Kingdom Hearts III you may notice there is a technique called “shader”. Using this tool, restriction of characters have been definitely changed, and the texture which is to be put on the surface of the model has been used to describe the Disney characters and to make it similar to the Disney characters that people are familiar with. For Kingdom Hearts III, we will use a different “shader” for different worlds, so it would look natural to match these worlds. Interview 2: Tetsuya Nomura with Hiroki Yasumoto on Square Enix Channel Earlier, Nomura was interviewed by Hiroki Yasumoto on Square Enix Channel. Staff translator goldpanner has done a very detailed translation of this interview, and with a big thanks to her, you can read the whole thing below. Introducing Tetsuya Nomura - Yasumoto commiserates with Nomura, who is very tired and has been doing a lot of talking today. - Nomura caught a cold just before departure, and he is losing his voice and trying not to cough. - Nomura hasn’t been walking around E3 as he has been in interviews the whole time due to the big announcements. - Yasumoto reads a basic intro to the KH series. KH 1.5 - They note that KH 1.5 has already released in Japan, and will release overseas in September. - As the trailer plays, Yasumoto gives a basic description of KH 1.5 and mentions speaking with animation supervisor Tatsuya Kando about KH 1.5 on the Square Enix Channel radio show in March. - When Yasumoto mentions being impressed at the length of and the effort put into the Days video volume, Nomura says that they didn’t intend on making it so long from the beginning, and that they actually began work without being sure how long it would end up. He says that as it became so long anyway, he almost wishes he had just gone and made an actual film. - Nomura affirms that it was difficult to create the HD remaster. He says that as the original title was so old, almost all the original data was gone. The programmers began the project by digging around for data, and they had to work out everything for themselves bit by bit, as they were working with other people’s programs rather than programs they had made themselves. It was apparently a huge job to recreate everything. KH3 - While Yasumoto is excited about KH3 finally on the way after so much waiting, mentioning that KH2 was released in 2005, Nomura says he hasn’t felt aware of the time passing at all! Yasumoto says that’s probably to be expected since there have been games out every year anyway. Nomura says, however, hearing that seven or eight years have passed does make him think it’s been a bit too long. He says he has been thinking he really needs to hurry up and do it. - When Yasumoto asks how work on the numbered titles begin, Nomura says that he thinks of a numbered title as something following the pattern of KH1, with Sora as protagonist and Donald and Goofy as friends that come with you. - Nomura agrees that during the concept stage it is simple. There hadn’t been anything plot-wise that fit so far, so they had continued with spin offs. - Yasumoto confirms that is has been 8 years since KH2 was released. Nomura agrees that it’s taken a bit too long. - On the topic of gameplay and battling, Nomura says since it’s a numbered title they plan to evolve the basic style of KH2, while perhaps incorporating some of the elements of gameplay they challenged themselves to develop for the spin off titles. Apparently there will be a lot of gameplay from KH3D in particular, and he thinks you can feel the future KH3 in that game. - When asked whether people who are completely new to the KH series will be able to enjoy KH3 without playing any other titles, Nomura is unsure! He says that when he decided to make KH3, he decided he would also have to make 1.5. Nomura hopes people will play and enjoy 1.5, especially now that KH3 has been announced. - They talk about the difficulties of working on new hardware such as the PS4 and XBONE. Nomura says that they way they have to make the game is very different from how they have done things so far. They are using the method of making the base of the whole thing on PC and then adjusting for the features of each console, which is apparently the best way to go about ported projects. - There are many challenges in making a ported game, but Nomura is confident he and his team will overcome them. Interview 3: Tetsuya Nomura with Famitsu.com Famitsu.com also had the opportunity to interview Nomura. This interview has a focus on Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV, and will appear in the issue of Famitsu Weekly releasing on June 20, with game screenshots. Staff translator goldpanner has done a very detailed translation of the Kingdom Hearts III parts of this interview, and with a big thanks to her, you can read the whole thing below. ---We were surprised that you would release a KHIII trailer so soon, what with KH 3D [Dream Drop Distance] (hereon KH3D) and KH -1.5 HD ReMIX still so recent. Nomura: I know there are many fans who are restless because we have only released spin off titles since KHII, so I decided to announce it along with FFXV. Looking at the stage of development, though, I do think perhaps it is a bit early to be announcing it. ---However, it does seem like the visuals already have a solid direction. Nomura: Among the developers we are calling the visuals 'Kingdom Shader'. On original worlds, this is the feel the characters will have. The Shader will adjust depending on the world, so the visuals will match with the style of each Disney World. ---Like FFXV, is KHIII being developed on Luminous Studios? Nomura: At present, we are going with Luminous as our main and undergoing investigations. The porting to both PS4 and Xbox One, working by overengineering, is the same. For the section of battle in the trailer we showed, we didn't have time to prepare a clip of it working on the existing equipment because of tool issues, so instead we made an FMV that would give a feel for what is possible in realtime. Even so, the way it moves doesn't look much different at all in realtime. ---Please tell us how the action in KHIII will have evolved. Nomura: Right now there's a demo version that works on our existing equipment... and it's an absolute storm (laughs). It goes even beyond 'bold action'. In KHIII you will have a three person party, but depending on the world NPCs will also join in fighting, basically, we're developing some very flashy action. You'll be flying through the sky unfolding into air battles without landing. ---Just with Sora (laughs). Nomura: I suppose so (laughs). The enemy AI is becoming rather elaborate, and we'd like for coordinated action to flow from enemies and allies alike. For example, there's a vehicle-type enemy, and we've already got Sora being able to ride that enemy all around during battle. ---Lastly, a message for your fans. Nomura: FFXV and KHIII are projects that exist as great rival projects that polish each other up as they are developed. At our private conference, despite KHIII being the lucky last and being at a low stage of development, I'm aleady feeling a response. For KHIII, developments unseen in the KH series so far involving online elements are under investigation, so please look forward to upcoming news. This year in Japan we will be exhibiting at Tokyo Game Show and at Disney's D23 Expo Japan event, so I think there will be more information available around those times. Interview 4: Tetsuya Nomura with IGN IGN also had the opportunity to interview Nomura. This interview has a focus on Disney’s Recent Acquisitions and whether they'll appear in Kingdom Hearts III. You can read this below. There’ve been a handful of mornings over the past few years where Tetsuya Nomura, creator of the Kingdom Hearts series and director of Final Fantasy XV, woke up to some pretty interesting news. It turns out, these were the mornings where he awoke to hear word that Disney had purchased another in a litany of interesting companies. From Pixar and Marvel Entertainment, to Lucasfilm and 2014’s possible acquisition of Studio Ghibli, Disney has been quickly evolving into an entertainment Goliath. With news that Disney now owns the rights do these various companies and their respective properties, of course Nomura would get interested and begin imagining the possibilities for those new characters and worlds inside of the Kingdom Hearts universe. In an E3 interview with IGN, he explained, “Whenever I hear of the news, I always say, ‘woah…they’ve done it again.’” “The first thing I do when I find out this news is contact Disney and see if it’s something I can use [in Kingdom Hearts].” We followed up by asking him if Disney had ever answered with a yes, to which he replied, “Disney’s companies are all very different. Sometimes the answer is ‘absolutely no,’ and sometimes the answer is, ‘…hmm, we don’t know...’” Nomura was obviously a bit coy about specific details regarding specific Disney properties, especially considering that Kingdom Hearts III was just announced at Sony’s press conference a few days ago, followed by word that it's coming to Xbox One as well. But he was willing to elaborate a bit more on his relationship with the media giant, saying that, “Disney’s pretty honest. If the situation is really difficult, they’ll say, it’s really difficult. If it’s impossible, they’ll say it’s impossible. Stay tuned to IGN for much more on our enlightening interview with Tetsuya Nomura, including brand new details on Final Fantasy XV. Interview 5: Tetsuya Nomura with Dengeki Online Dengeki Online also had the opportunity to interview Nomura. This interview has a focus on Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV. Staff translator goldpanner has done a full translation of the Kingdom Hearts III parts of this interview, and with a big thanks to her, you can read the whole thing below. Asking Tetsuya Nomura about Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III! E3 2013 > Announcing the game eagerly awaited by fans all over the world: Kingdom Hearts III! ---You've unveiled the long awaited Kingdom Hearts III. Nomura: The clip was a teaser through and through, so we didn't give away much information. Things like Sora's outfit and battle gameplay are still to be revealed, so please look forward to that. ---It seems the look of the characters is different from usual...? Nomura: That would be because of what the developers are referring to as the 'Kingdom Shader', which adds shading to the base image generation of the original 'Kingdom Hearts' that reproduces the brush painting of Disney works in even greater beauty. ---Will the plot follow on from Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance...? Nomura: Yes, that's right. It will be the last chapter in the Dark Seeker Chronicle that we have been expanding up until now. I am thinking of some ways to make it easier for newcomers to the series to join in.
  18. The official international website for Kingdom Hearts III has been launched. Currently, it just contains the game's announcement trailer. Click the link below to check it out. We have also embedded the trailer below for you. Enjoy! Official international website for Kingdom Hearts III
  19. E3 2013 is an gaming event occurring June 11-13, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Centre. Due to the huge amount of information coming from E3 (including the Kingdom Hearts III announcement and trailer), this news post will remain pinned at the top and link to all related news articles, so that you don't miss anything. Keep checking back! Kingdom Hearts III articles - Square Enix officially announces Kingdom Hearts III [Updated] - Kingdom Hearts III information revealed at Square Enix: The Future [Updated] - Kingdom Hearts III to be released on PS4 *and* Xbox One - Official Kingdom Hearts III website launched, trailer uploaded in 1080p - Square Enix press release reveals Kingdom Hearts III story details - Nomura interviewed about Kingdom Hearts III & HD 1.5 ReMIX [Updated] HD 1.5 ReMIX articles - E3 2013 trailer for HD 1.5 ReMIX officially released - HD 1.5 ReMIX, International website updated - Nomura interviewed about Kingdom Hearts III & HD 1.5 ReMIX [Updated] - HD 1.5 ReMIX on the E3 2013 show floor [Updated] Keep reading for more news about these new titles!
  20. Square Enix have sent out a press release regarding Kingdom Hearts III, the recently announced Kingdom Hearts title for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This press release links to the 1080p upload of the announcement trailer, provides a clean copy of the game logo (seen below), and reveals some aspects of Kingdom Hearts III's story. This can be seen below. Enjoy! SQUARE ENIX, Inc., the publisher of SQUARE ENIX® interactive entertainment products in the Americas, today announced Kingdom Hearts III, the next chapter in the celebrated Kingdom Hearts franchise that marked its ten-year anniversary in March 2012. Kingdom Hearts III features a mature Sora as the main protagonist who sets forth on an adventure with Mickey, Donald and Goofy through new and legendary Disney worlds. Kingdom Hearts III will make full use of next generation console technologies to showcase a stunning universe packed full of worlds based on Disney properties. Story of Kingdom Hearts III Believing light and darkness must remain in balance, Master Xehanort seeks to spark war against the ‘tyranny of light’ to restore equilibrium. In an effort to undermine Xehanort’s plot, Sora, Donald and Goofy search for seven guardians of light and the “Key to Return Hearts,” while King Mickey and Riku search for previous Keyblade wielders. Kingdom Hearts III will be available for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Xbox One®, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft. Kingdom Hearts III is not yet rated. Please visit the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) website at www.esrb.org for more information about ratings. About the Kingdom Hearts series Kingdom Hearts is a series of role-playing games created through the collaboration of Disney Interactive and Square Enix. Since the first Kingdom Hearts was released in March 2002 for the PlayStation®2 system, the series has expanded with six subsequent entries. The series celebrated its 10th anniversary in March 2012, and has shipped over 19 million units worldwide. Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX, a compilation of Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories and HD cinematic story videos from Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days will also be available for $39.99 on September 10, 2013.
  21. Square Enix Japan have launched their official website for Kingdom Hearts III, the upcoming Kingdom Hearts title for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This website includes the announcement trailer in 1080p, for the first time, and this can be seen below. Official Japanese website for Kingdom Hearts III Here is the Kingdom Hearts III game logo from the website:
  22. Earlier today, Square Enix held a private press conference at E3 2013 known as "Square Enix: The Future". Following the official announcement of Kingdom Hearts III yesterday, here, various small details about Kingdom Hearts III were revealed. Most importantly, it was revealed that Kingdom Hearts III will be released on both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. For the first time, Kingdom Hearts is going multi-platform with KH3! Thanks to @RPGSite, a photo of this announcement is below.
  23. Square Enix is currently holding a private conference at E3 2013 known as "Square Enix: The Future". With the official announcement of Kingdom Hearts III yesterday, it is likely that Square Enix will reveal new information about the game at this conference. We will update this article regularly with any KH3-related information, photos or videos that appear. Update: This event is now over. All Kingdom Hearts III information from the event is summarized immediately below. For more in-depth information, read on for the live updates. - KH3 will be released on both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One - A mature Sora will adventure with Mickey, Donald and Goofy - New Disney worlds for the series will be included - The KH series has sold over 19 million copies to date - KH3 is being developed by the "Osaka team", the team responsible for Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts 3D Live Update 1: mbdamiani and Nova_Crystallis from Twitter have shared photos of a Kingdom Hearts III poster at E3 2013. This poster is from Square Enix's private conference, "Square Enix: The Future", which is about to go underway. It is likely that this event could reveal more details about Kingdom Hearts III, so stay tuned. The poster can be seen below. Live Update 2: Yosuke Matsuda, President and CEO of Square Enix: "KH3 - very excited to work again with Disney, and making every effort to measure up to fan expectations." [Source: @RPGSite] Live Update 3: Shinji Hashimoto, producer of the Kingdom Hearts series, is now on-stage to discuss Kingdom Hearts III. To begin, the Kingdom Hearts III announcement trailer from yesterday is being shown. Matsuda took the stage again, and said "Kingdom Hearts 3 is a game he's looking forward to as a fan, and he awaits further news with excitement." Co-president of Disney Interactive, John Pleasants, has joined the stage with Matsuda. He is said to have "provided tremendous support for the KH3 announcement", and remarks that "He's thrilled to have everyone here. Everyone knows what KH is, he says." "Sales of more than 19 million copies. An Important franchise for Disney not just in games but for books, games, toys and consumer products." "A mature Sora who will go off on new adventures with Mickey, Donald and Goofy. New Disney worlds for the series." "Expresses gratitude to Square Enix for their success, passion, energy and creativity. Disney couldn't be more excited." "KH3 will keep the tradition of the series, delivering world class story and gameplay to fans around the world." "Hashimoto back on stage once more. He's extremely happy KH3 is finally announced." [Source: @RPGSite] Live Update 4: Lastly, Hashimoto announced that Kingdom Hearts III will be released on the Xbox One, as well as the PlayStation 4. All details regarding this are available here. Live Update 5: Kingdom Hearts III is being developed by the "Osaka team", the team responsible for Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts 3D-- NOT the team who developed Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts II, and are currently developing Final Fantasy XV (previously Final Fantasy Versus XIII). Live Update 6: Arturo Molina has uploaded a much clearer image of the Kingdom Hearts poster, which you can see below.
  24. Today at 6PM PST, Sony held its E3 2013 press conference. Here, Sony showed off the PlayStation 4. Kingdom Hearts III was officially announced. Series director Tetsuya Nomura appeared via a video and showed a short, beta trailer for Kingdom Hearts III which is "now in development" for the PlayStation 4 (Update: and Xbox One). Details about release date are currently unknown. This trailer can be seen below, on YouTube. Enjoy! Kingdom Hearts III is finally on the way! The trailer starts by showing all of the previous Kingdom Hearts titles to date. Next, Sora is shown on Destiny Islands finding Master Eraqus' Keyblade. The Kingdom Hearts III game logo is shown. Lastly, Sora is shown in Twilight Town fighting a wave/storm of Shadow Heartless. Donald and Goofy are party members. Here is the Kingdom Hearts III game logo: Make sure to discuss the Kingdom Hearts III announcement in the comments or on our forum-- or, if you want to start a specific discussion about the game, use our new KH3 forum. Update 1: IGN have uploaded a summary video for the Kingdom Hearts III announcement. In this, they reveal that "according to Tetsuya Nomura, the game began development in 2010, after the release of Birth by Sleep". This is interesting news, as it means development was started up to 3 years ago! Update 2: mbdamiani and Nova_Crystallis from Twitter have shared photos of a Kingdom Hearts III poster at E3 2013. This poster is from Square Enix's private conference, "Square Enix: The Future", which is about to go underway. It is likely that this event could reveal more details about Kingdom Hearts III, so stay tuned. The poster can be seen below. We will update you on details from this conference live, here.
  25. FFDream.com have conducted an interview with Julien Merceron, the worldwide director of technology within Square Enix. The majority of this interview discusses their new "Luminous Engine", which was previewed at E3 2012, however, the interviewer asked about Kingdom Hearts III and if it will use the Luminous Engine, and Julien gave his answer. It seems to suggest that some work has already been done with Kingdom Hearts on the Crystal Tools engine (the engine that Final Fantasy Versus XIII is built on), however, it could just mean that this is still in the planning stages, or it could simply be Julien's opinion. We'll let you draw your own conclusion from the interview extract below, which was translated from French to English by TheApprenticeofKingMickey from KH13. FFDream: We presume, of course that this technology will be put to use in future productions coming from Square Enix. Do you believe Tetsuya Nomura could perhaps make use of this technology in Kingdom Hearts III? Julien: It's already evident that we're using Luminous Engine on various franchises other than just Final Fantasy. However, Crystal Tools, as I was talking about earlier, is employed exclusively on Final Fantasy, only for now. Since the next Dragon Quest X uses Crystal Tools, as well as internal projects such as Kingdom Hearts which also utilize Crystal Tools, it's evident that Luminous Engine will cover a large spectrum of gaming franchises and I hope it will be taken advantage of by other teams, but we still have a lot of work to do. Update: FFDream have done their own English translation of the interview, and this alternate translation can be read below. FFDream: We imagine that this technology will be used for the next Square Enix productions. Do you think that Tetsuya Nomura could use it for the next Kingdom Hearts III? Julien Merceron: We will use the Luminous Engine for a lot of games, not only Final Fantasy. By the way, currently, Final Fantasy uses the Crystal Tools, but also the news Dragon Quest X and other projects such as Kingdom Hearts. Luminous Engine will thus be used for a large range of games and, I hope, by a lot of teams, but we still have a lot of work to do.
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