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Found 2,314 results

  1. Through all the information we've received so far on the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III game, two things have been made clear in the storyline: it will focus on Sora, Donald, and Goofy finding the people connected to Sora's heart and Riku and Mickey searching for lost Keyblade wielders. Now what, pray tell, does that say for our friends Kairi and Lea? What exactly are they going to be doing in KHIII? Well, I have an idea of what that might be: since Lea is a brand new Keyblade wielder, and Kairi obviously has some kind of important agenda given that Riku brought her to the Mysterious Tower, the two will undergo training to properly wield their Keyblades and eventually join the others on their adventure to bring down Old Man Xeanort and his butt buddies. Now this can be handled in a way that can give them some proper exposure and training overall, as well as give us a cool gameplay opportunity. How? Simple. Make them the tutorial! Yeah, think about it: in Kingdom Hearts II, we had control over Roxas for the Seven Days trial to learn basic controls and get a lay out of the game. The same can be said for Kairi and Lea. Yen Sid can probably stick them in some kind of training zone where we'll learn the basic controls like moving, locking on to targets, fighting with the Keyblade, using magic, and all that jazz. And then maybe once this training is done, both of them will join the others. I can see Kairi hooking up with Sora (and no, I don't mean what you think it means lol) and I can see Lea palling around with Riku and Mickey, respectively. And maybe they can be optional playable characters for certain worlds or events, or maybe we can switch between them and the others at will like a Marvel Alliance game. All in due time, I guess. Also Kairi's role, overall, will most likely be more important that Lea's, considering that she's a Princess of Heart. Regardless, what do you think is in store for Kairi and Lea? What do you see them doing in KHIII?
  2. So the other day i was thinking about KH3 and i had glanced over at the reveal trailer from last year. But for some reason i started to think deep into the reason of why sora, was on destiny islands AND encountering the Mater Keeper. As we know the master keeper is only supposed to be wielded by KEYBLADE MASTERS. So why is Sora being presented with it? My first thought was that its a trailer, they probably wanted to throw a cool keyblade in there to make it better, but i discounted that immediately. There has to be a legit reason why the Master Keeper is here WITH SORA. Could it be his connection to Ventus, and Ventus's connection to aqua through the wayfinder that brings Sora to the Master Keeper? Is the Master Keeper now essential? Does it have more power then we know? Did it seek Sora intentionally? In DDD they spoke of (A power or ability but) something that could bring those that have fallen back (Aqua,terra,ven,roxas,ect). Is the Master Keeper the "Real Deal" That it will not only restore those that have lost but also be what is needed to defeat Master Xehanort? And why is it on Destiny Islands? (It may be the connection i spoke of before). I'm interested in everyone else's thoughts. Please add anything you'd like to the discussion, As well as speculate and brainstorm!
  3. Source: http://www.gamnesia.com/news/luminous-engine-lead-quits-square-enix#.U9R4F24pDQ9
  4. So I was thinking about everything that Xehanort said in DDD, and then it occured to me...... 7 members of Light...... 13 members of Darkness......... The 7 Lights all have Keyblades, but the 13 Darknesses do not. YET. You cannot have a Keyblade War if only half the participants have Keyblades, can you? That would be an unfair match. Master Xehanort and young Xehanort have theirs, but doesn't that mean that the others: Xigbar, Saix, Xemnas, Ansem SoD, and etc. will eventually have to have Keyblades of their own? And with that being said, will Xemnas fight with two like Roxas? That would be quite a battle wouldn't it? I know it would be strange seeing Ansem SoD with a Keyblade since he already has that large creepy thing to do the fighting for him, but is it me, or is that thing not as powerful as it used to be? At the end of DDD, Donald and Goofy crashed into him, and that was enough to make him drop Riku and Mickey. Again, it's all just speculation....but I think that if Lea/Axel could go from two Chakrams to a Keyblade, then someone like Xigbar could also go from two guns to a Keyblade. Not to mention that the way Saix holds his Claymore is very similar to the way Ventus holds his Keyblade.
  5. In KH2, sora and riku are trapped in RoD after they have taken down Xemnas. While they were bro'ing out, Kairi's bottled message appeared in the shores and opened a portal for them to return home. Then in the first KH3 teaser trailer, sora picked up the Master Keeper keyblade along the shores of Destiny Islands. That was lost after Aqua transformed LoD into CO. And the latest KH 2.5 trailer, "on that land shall darkness prevail and light expire" is that referring to destiny islands?? Is DI connected to RoD??
  6. Haley Joel Osment, the English voice actor for Sora in the Kingdom Hearts series, was questioned today by IGN at San Diego Comic-Con International 2014. IGN asked Osment if he had done any voice recording work for Kingdom Hearts III, and this is what Osment had to say. Thanks go to @churroz for the tip and for roxasman1231 for posting it on KH13 first. The full video is below.
  7. Haley Joel Osment, the English voice actor for Sora in the Kingdom Hearts series, was questioned today by IGN at San Diego Comic-Con International 2014. IGN asked Osment if he had done any voice recording work for Kingdom Hearts III, and this is what Osment had to say. Thanks go to @churroz for the tip and for roxasman1231 for posting it on KH13 first. The full video is below. Click here to view the article
  8. In DDD, Lea awoken in Radiant Gardens alongside some of the Organization's members. Then he used the "DTD" to travel into Disney Castle in order to save Queen Minnie from Maleficent and later on, in the nick of time, save Sora in the clutches of Seekers of Darkness. Then, he announced that he will join the fight against Xehanort. I just don't understand why Lea is part of GoL rather than SoD. I was definitely surprised. What is his true intentions? Does he remember the events of Re:CoM and 358/2 Days? Is it to save Roxas and Xion? or will he be the "key" (pun intended) in order to save Aqua in the Realm of Darkness? Axel is one of my favorite characters and l would love him to have a big role in KH3 and to be reunited with Roxas and Xion.
  9. First, let me clarify that I consider the beginning of the KH games to be everything before the point when you can freely travel between worlds. Some of my thoughts: Opening/Cutscenes For the "Summary Music Video" I honestly would love a 6min+ song with lyrics and a video highlighting moments from every KH game except KH3. Then, after you beat the game you unlock a longer version including highlights of KH3. Of course it would be hard to make a good song that long but it's possible. For Cutscenes, I wouldn't mind some long ones in the beginning as long as they're spaced out and there is at least twice as much gameplay for every cutscene. Tutorials/Easy part Most people(including myself) would like Kairi and Lea to be playable for when we are being taught the controls. I think a flashback sequence where we play as young Eraqus and Xehanort would be good to go along with that teaser shown earlier. Even before all that we could possibly be set into the shoes of an entirely new original character(maybe an acquaintance of someone in the old or new Org XIII) so that we get that same sense of wonder as we did playing as Roxas in KH2. Also, I wouldn't mind there being a big gap before we first play as Sora. As the beginning of the game will have less battles, they should have characters speaking important dialogue while your controlling a character in order to cut down on cutscenes. What do you guys think? Should the opening song be super short? Should we get to play as Sora right at the start? Should sea salt ice cream replace potions? Give me any of your thoughts on this.
  10. So remember when Xehanort damaged Ventus's heart and create Vanitas and then in Dream Drop Distance Sora saw Young Xehanort and Vanitas at the same time in La Cite de Cloches? Well I thought of a theory before I went to bed the other night and I'm pretty sure that Vanitas is definitely a 13th darkness. Remember when Ven had to borrow a certain someone's heart so he could recover the piece of heart that he lost and become strong again? Well what about Vanitas? He was only a fragment of Ven's heart, so would he had been lifeless like Ventus at the time as well? My theory is that Vanitas was already half Xehanort back in BBS. This could only explain why he had a personality and all that jazz. Another clue could possibly be his yellow eyes. The DDD scene is pretty much telling us that Vanitas is going to return, but I don't think I've ever heard anyone say that he is half Xehanort. I actually have two theories on how he will make his return as well. 1.) Time Travel. Can't they used his lingering will at the Keyblade graveyard to bring him back? This theory has a few flaws, because of the having to have two versions of yourself kind of thing. 2.) Extracted from Sora. Vanitas could come from Sora when he awakens Ventus. After all, Ventus and Vanitas did come from the same heart and re-enter Sora's heart. That could explain why he was also in Sora's dream... So, that's why I think he is for sure one of the 13 darknesses.
  11. It's doing my head in. I keep wondering. What if Kairi remembers the events of CoM from Namine's perspective? I was thinking, If Roxas could share his memories with Sora, there's no reason why Namine couldn't do the same. Also.. Will Sora & Kairi find out everything about the whole freaking situation of Namine/Xion/Ven/Roxas/heartsnshit etc?
  12. Note: I'm not entirely sure where to put this, but since it reads more like a fanfic, I decided to put it here. So what if Nomura does the unthinkable, and decides to make Riku pay the ultimate price for his friends? I'm not saying it will happen, but if it does, how would it possibly play out? Knowing him, it would be pretty emotional. So this is my speculation about what Riku's death might look like.Scene: The Keyblade Graveyard. On top of a cliff, Kingdom Hearts suspended overhead.Scenario: Near the end of the great battle, Riku and Sora are fighting Xehanort. Xehanort momentarily gains the upper hand and brings Sora to his knees. As he is about to land a finishing blow, Riku steps in and takes the blow instead. He falls at Sora's feet. Sora, enraged at seeing his best friend felled, gains enough strength to continue the fight and destroy Xehanort for good. The worlds are now safe again. Sora turns back to his friend, as the other Keyblade wielders climb up the cliff to meet him. Riku's deathThe silvery light of Kingdom Hearts shines down on the cliff's top like a swirling heart shaped pool. All that could be heard in the dead silence of the battle's aftermath, was the wind blowing through the dusty landscape. Just outside of the circle of Kingdom Hearts' light lay a still figure-barely breathing. Everyone runs to his side. Sora, still numb by what had just happened, kneeled down at Riku's head. Kairi kneels next to him. The others stand a little away. Sora put his hand on Riku's shoulder, gently shaking him awake."Hey, hey Riku? We did it! Xehanort's gone. The worlds are safe again." Riku slowly opened one eye. He looked at his best friend with pride."I knew you could do it. I never doubted you for a moment Sora." Riku's voice was low, and faint. He coughed a little. Sora, trying to keep calm and positive, smiled." We....we can all go home now. Together. You, me, and Kairi. We can sit on the beach and watch the sunset together like we used to." Kairi looked at Sora. Though he had a smile on his face, she could hear the strain and near panic in his voice. Riku did not look good, and she knew Sora saw that. Riku gave a weak laugh. He opened both his eyes and looked at them."Well," he managed to say, "you'll have to save me a spot in the sand then. I don't think I'll be joining you." Sora's smile faltered."What...what do you mean? Of course you'll be there with us. Don't say things like that!" There was now real sadness in Sora's eyes. Riku looked up at him. He put a quivering hand up to his shoulder, where Sora's own hand was."Sora," he said weakly, "you've grown up so much in such a short time......you've had help from so many friends, and you've also done may other things on your own as well. But Sora, I can't be by your side all the time. There comes a time, in everyone's life, where we must learn to walk alone. That doesn't mean we can't have friends anymore. Our friends will always be cheering for us and we can call on them if we need their help." Kairi began to cry quietly. Sora, beginning to break down, shook his head."But I can't go alone with out you! We've always been a team. We've always been together. And besides..." at this, he tried to smile," who will I have to save me when I get in trouble?" Riku smiled."You'll be ok Sora. I have faith in you. And remember, the ones we love never really leave us. They can always be found-right here." Riku pointed to Sora's chest-where his heart was. "That's where I'll be. In your heart, Sora." Sora put his hand to his chest."My heart." he muttered. He looked back at his friend. "It still won't be the same without you......" Riku smiled. He looked over to Kairi. Her eyes were swimming in tears, her head bowed. Riku placed a hand in hers. She looked up at him. "There, there. Don't cry for me Kairi. I'll be in your heart too. You'll find me there, and......" he pulled Kairi closer to him,"Kairi, take care of him." he whispered. Kairi nodded. "I will." she said through her tears and squeezed his hand. Riku then looked up. "Is that Kingdom Hearts?" he said softly."Yes." said Sora."I want to see it." Lea came up quietly behind them. He knelt down."I'll take you to it." he said."Thank you Lea." Riku closed his eyes as Lea lifted him up in his arms. He carried him into the pool of moon-like light, and laid him back down in the center, right under Kingdom Hearts. Sora and Kairi resumed their positions at Riku's side. Lea and the others gathered behind them. Riku slowly opened his eyes again, but they looked as if they were seeing something far off....something, that no one else could see." So that's Kingdom Hearts..."he sighed. " It's so beautiful.....and big. I've never seen anything like it." Just then, a large keyhole appeared in the center of the great heart shaped moon. It was rimmed with gold. A sound like a lock turning was heard and a ray of white light shown down on Riku, Sora, and Kairi. Riku's eyes grew wide and he gasped softly. A big smile spread across his face. He chuckled." Wow. It's so...amazing, and bright. I can......I can hear music.......singing." Sora and Kairi look at each other. They can't hear anything. Riku continues to smile.(from Riku's point of view, we can hear music. Something like a cross between The Promised Land from FF7: AC and End Of The World from KH1.) "They're so beautiful....." he raises a shaking hand toward the Kingdom Hearts. A bright white tendril of pure light appears and touches Riku's hand. It envelopes his hand and makes it's way down his arm, pulling him up as it does. Riku is lifted off the ground and carried toward Kingdom Hearts, the tendril of light wrapping itself around him. Sora, Kairi, and the rest watch on in awe as he is taken up. Soon, he is lost in light, and a sound like a great door is shut, and a lock turning once more. The golden rimmed keyhole is seen again, and then it fades away. Silence once more. A cry tears through the air. The full weight of reality hit Sora like a brick wall. His best friend in all the worlds wasn't with him anymore. He would be going home without him. Sora couldn't hold it in any longer. He was on his hands and knees crying bitterly. Kairi held him, her head on his shoulders, herself crying. Behind them, Lea looked up at Kingdom Hearts, his lips were quivering. Terra turned away, his hand to his forehead. King Mickey looked down at his Keyblade while tears rolled down his face. He felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up to see Aqua looking back at him. She tried to give him a reassuring smile, but tears stained her face also. Sora was half blinded by tears, sorrow, and pain. His soul was in turmoil. But from the midst of his inner chaos, a warm peace began to be felt. It was like a ray of sunshine piercing through rain clouds. And Sora heard a voice speaking from his heart."Sora-" it said," C'me on, I thought you were stronger than that. Remember what I said, I'm with you in your heart.......always." And despite his tears, Sora smiled. His breathing slowed, and his hearts slowed. A peace came over him. Still sobbing, he looked up at the heart-moon and put his hand to his heart again."Yeah, you are with me....and everyone else too....forever. Thank you, Riku." Sora got up and brushed himself off. He looked at Kairi who smiled and put her arm around his waist. Sora looked at those gathered around them."Let's go home." he said. And together, they walked down the cliff.Keep in mind, this is just a "what if" scenario of mine. I do think though that if Riku or someone else were to die, it might not be quite as emotionally intense as what I've written. I've just had this scene floating around in my head for a while, so I thought I might share it with you all. Hope you liked it!Alicia
  13. RPG Site have conducted an interview with the co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tai Yasue, to discuss Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX following its appearance at E3 2014. Here, Yasue talks about the development of the game, hints at possibilities for inclusions in Kingdom Hearts III and more. You can read the full interview at RPG Site, or check out our summary below. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX - Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] was not included in this collection, since the game released very recently (within the last 2 years), and thus only Birth by Sleep and Re:coded were considered for inclusion. There are no plans for a HD release of Kingdom Hearts 3D and they haven't decided anything, but it is on the table-- and might "perhaps" be considered later for "something like" a downloadable title. - The Re:coded cutscenes are 3 hours long, with 2 hours being "totally new". This will explain some more back story to other Kingdom Hearts titles. - Many things were considered for inclusion in the HD collection, but ended up being decided against so as to not delay Kingdom Hearts III even further (since the same team is making KH3 & KH2.5). These things were-- making Re:coded into a full game, multiplayer in Mirage Arena (which is now single player, with a challenge system where you can accrue bonuses, better balance, and updated boss AI), and lastly, capes in Birth by Sleep (which would have required costly and difficult animations). To be clear, all of this was decided against in order to focus more on Kingdom Hearts III. - 70-80 people worked on HD 2.5 ReMIX, including around 35 people working on cutscenes, 5 programmers, and an unknown amount of designers, sound staff and more. - There's a possibility that the HD collections will be considered for the PlayStation Vita, but the initial focus was concentrating on the PlayStation 3-- later, they will look at considerations for other platforms and evaluate the markets and schedules. - Regarding a collector's edition for HD 2.5 ReMIX in the West, they are looking into what they can do, but nothing has been finalized yet. Kingdom Hearts III - When asked about the possibility of Star Wars and Marvel based worlds, Yasue said "Star Wars and Marvel is great, but I of course can't make any announcements at all!" - Later, Yasue brought up the movie Frozen after being asked about the world selection process-- "On a personal level... I would really like Frozen. The snow, ice formations and story are very magical, the music too of course. I saw it with my daughter and it was very enjoyable." - There is "always the possibility" of releasing another Kingdom Hearts title before Kingdom Hearts III. They are "taking into consideration a lot of different titles", but nothing has been decided on yet.
  14. Japanese publication Game Watch have conducted an interview with Tai Yasue, the co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series, to discuss Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX following its appearance at E3 2014, along with a small mentions of Kingdom Hearts III. A lot was discussed and revealed in this interview, including, but not limited to: - Work on HD 2.5 ReMIX started in Spring 2013 - Mirage Arena (now single player) has had its battle movements and AI regulated, plus a challenge mode component added, where you can receive medals and bonuses for clearing - A "secret episode" was added to the Re:coded movie (which is 3 hours long), which will connect the "missing links" of the other Kingdom Hearts titles - You will receive a custom PS3 theme for each title cleared - You will receive "additional things" for continuing on from KH1.5 - When asked about the possibility of the HD collections coming to PS4 or Vita, Yasue said that it's hard to comment, and right now it's only for PS3-- but since 1.5 and 2.5 are first developed on the PC and then for other platforms, it is technically possible, and they will keep listening to fans - The KH3 teaser shown at the end of the E3 2014 HD 2.5 ReMIX trailer is the beginning of KH3, and talks about the Keyblade War. It is central to the story of KH3 @sqexgal has posted a full translation of this interview, and thanks to her, it can be read below. - Following Kingdom Hearts 1.5, Kingdom Hearts 2.5 is in it’s final stages of development. With the know-how acquired with KH1.5, was developing KH2.5 that different? Was it easier? Or on the other hand, was it more difficult? Yasue: When we started KH1.5, we had trouble figuring out just how we were going to HD-ify it, but by the time we approached KH2.5 we had it figured out. Technically it’s better, but the staff themselves feel more reliable too. (Laughs) I feel like the team is accustomed and I don’t have to worry too much. Things went smoothly. However, as a creator there are things that I want to see happen too. If time allows, there are parts I want to elaborate more on. As a result, KH2.5 feels more extensive. As a whole, programmers, designers, UI designers, effects people, etc., basically everyone did their part in carefully remaking it. We really pushed each other. (Laughs) - It sounds like you had an “if we can do it, we will” kind of attitude. Yasue: You could say that. We pushed the textures to the limit of the PS3’s capabilities. It really made the programmers crazy. We HD-ify to the max of the PS3’s potential. - Were there things that you fussed over specifically? Yasue: Well to start, both KH2 and BBS are games with good reputations, so I figured we’d work without changing their charms. I wanted to leave what you see on screen the same, but prettier. The original KH2 had a screen ratio of 4:3, but now with a 16:9 ratio it feels more open. BBS was for PSP so it already had a 16:9 ratio, but we made a lot of necessary adjustments to the polygons and textures. For example, Keyblades seem kind of thin in the PSP version, so we made them appear thicker. Being fastidious like this really improves the quality. We especially spent a lot of time making all three playable characters, Aqua, Terra, and Ventus, look their best. - Under what kind of structure does development take place? Yasue: The Osaka team does the mother lode of work relating to KH2.5 and KH3, while cooperating with Tokyo staff. They are working on KH3 while working on KH2.5. There are staff working on KH3 that are pretty involved with KH2.5 as well. Programmers working on KH3 and KH2.5 are completely separated, however designers and planners related to cutscenes etc. work on both. - It sounds like they work fluidly for such a large team. Yasue: They do. It’s more efficient to make titles in the Kingdom Hearts series as a team since many people have inherited know-how they can share with each other. - Do you feel like it’s a unique structure or rather, a better way of doing things? Yasue: I think that it’s good since everyone motivates each other to keep busy in high spirits. You could say that working as a team keeps productivity consistently high. Normally when one thing ends, that’s one conclusion, but I feel like this isn’t the case, we keep moving. In that sense, no one ever rests. (Laughs) Lately whenever I talk to the character section leader, he stares at me like a deer in the headlights. (Laughs) Also, when we’re making KH3, it’s pointless if we don’t understand where the series’ merits are. It’s why the new people added to the team come along knowing the merits of the first KH and KH2 as well as what was good about BBS. It’s an environment where they can inherit invaluable skills and knowledge. - It seems in many cases specifically planners are working on both titles, must they have a good grasp on the details of the storyline? Yasue: Of course that’s necessary. Since Nomura depicts such a terribly grand storyline, even members of the development team sometimes have trouble keeping track. Therefore KH1.5 and KH2.5 are being put together is so it’s easy to get a good grasp of what’s going on. We wanted players to relive these titles on the PS3 so they could easily grasp the foreshadowing presented in the past works. - Obviously KH1.5 and KH2.5 are considered prerequisites for players of KH3, are they necessary for the development team too? Yasue: When we started the KH3 project, we were also starting the plans for KH1.5 and KH2.5 too. There are staff who haven’t played the series, as well as those who haven’t played since their original release, so the remixes are a refresher for the team too. - KH1.5 and KH2.5 envelop 3 games each, and if you include the 3DS title, Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance, that’s 7 titles total. You don’t see stories that are spread over so many titles very often. Yasue: It really is expansive, so it’s tough to grasp. But, that’s also one of it’s merits. The more you see of the past, the more you’ll understand why things happened in the present. I think it’s fun to put everything together in your head. I think it’s something player’s enjoy together. - About how long has KH2.5’s development period been? Yasue: Programmers started working spring of last year. We started with researching the data and structure of KH2 and BBS, and then we built the foundation for the remake. Around fall the designers and planners were working on it too and we were in the flow of HD-ifying. - Was it easy to prepare the original KH2 data for use on the PS3? Did mishaps happen like losing original data or it being unusable on other hardware? Yasue: Regarding that, we were able to use KH2’s data. The original data had been made extremely detailed. However, it’s still necessary to treat it before putting it on PS3, adding details to the characters, background scenery, and textures. I think in comparison, KH2.5 looks exceptionally beautiful. Like I mentioned previously, the screen is wider, so the gameplay has inherently improved, for example it’s easier to see an attack approaching from the side in battle. - I had a chance to play it, and I felt like the redone textures look fantastic. Yasue: If we’re talking about BBS, the texture data of the characters is about 4 times the original. The data for KH2 isn’t that different, but nevertheless all of the textures were retouched. - I’m sure that when you HD-ify a game, the impressions about the original version are bound to change. Things like, “I can see too much now!” or “I can see that the facial nuances have changed somewhat.” What do you think about that? Yasue: We prepared in anticipation for that kind of response. Particularly regarding the character’s faces, we were very careful to retouch without changing their expressions. Part of Kingdom Heart’s charm is the non-realistic graphics and Disney animation type depictions. Even when we raise the graphic quality, our concern isn’t to make things more realistic, but rather we aim to have smoother gradations, brighter colors, and keep the Disney-esque merits. - We talked about the screen ratio changing in the HD version, but one of the other issues that cropped up was that since more of the screen was visible on the sides, the cutscenes unintentionally showed things they weren’t supposed to. How was that handled? Were there a lot of scenes like that? Yasue: Yes, since the screen ratio change in KH2 was a big difference, there were plenty of spots we needed to change. Spots where the effects were lacking, animation was suspended, or the menu didn’t appear at all, etc. - How was working on different hardware? Speaking from the programming side, were you able to transplant the shaders smoothly? Yasue: We were able to inherit the structure itself as is and we made it with the intention of retouching things in detail rather than just boosting the original presentation. For example, the KH3 shaders being made for the PS4/Xbox One are altogether different, we didn’t add a lighting mechanism to KH2.5, the original data is reproduced and retouched. - I’m sure when you brought BBS, originally a PSP game, to the PS3 there was a lot of spec room for improvement. Did you come across any hardware restrictions with this HD remix? Or were you able to improve the PSP quality base to the utmost? Yasue: That’s right. Like with KH2, we aimed to use the PSP data as a base and then increase the resolution and amount of texture data. We retouched as much as the PS3 could handle. While the fundamental structure didn’t change, we increased the quality as much as possible within the PS3’s limits. - How about the loading timing and frequency? Yasue: That hasn’t really changed compared to the original. Just like the original version, the loading time exists while the PS3’s memory is being maximized to create the best quality image. Back when we were doing trial and error on KH1.5, the programmers were really troubled by this. This time the know-how acquired from that experience helped work go more smoothly, so to that extent it was easier and allowed designers to do more within the limits. - Have the game controls and systems become easier to use than the original? Yasue: BBS certainly changed, since it was originally on the PSP. We arranged the controls to suit the PS3, making the camera easier to use, etc. The PS2 and PS3 operability are close to each other, so there aren’t any big changes to KH2. - BBS had a world called “Mirage Arena” where players could use multiplayer, is that still the case? Yasue: We’re redone the Mirage Arena so it’s an enjoyable place in singleplayer mode. We’ve regulated the battle movements and AI as well. We’ve also put in a challenge mode component, where you can receive medals and bonuses for clearing. - The Nintendo DS title Kingdom Hearts Re:coded is being remade into an HD cutscene compilation like 358/2 Days was in KH1.5, could you tell us more about that? Yasue: Compared to 358/2 Days, there is more footage in this compilation. 358/2 Days had about 2 hours worth, but Re:coded is about 3 hours long. We had originally planned for it to be shorter, but.. it just kinda grew and grew. (Laughs) One of the features in this compilation is the inclusion of new cutscenes that were once battle scenes in the original. Including the battle scenes in between intervals makes the story easier to understand. Voices were added to the story outline cutscene as well as all the new cutscenes. The camera production was improved as well, as fit for an HD version of Kingdom Hearts. In addition, we added a “secret episode” thing, though I can’t talk about it’s contents. When you watch it, it’ll connect the missing links of the other Kingdom Hearts titles and deepen your understanding of the story. - I see. Are there any other new elements? Yasue: You’ll receive a custom theme for each title you clear, as well as trophy content and additional things for continuing on from KH1.5. As for game content, the original version is popular enough so we didn’t change anything. We devoted our power to making it look as beautiful as possible. - Most of the staff must have a deep fondness for the series, has there ever been occurrences where out of that fondness, they’ve become too nitpicky? Yasue: Heh, well. (Laughs) There are character designers on the Tokyo team that have been working on the series since the first Kingdom Hearts, they definitely love Kingdom Hearts. They did amazing retouching work on the characters this time, but they also said, “There’s not enough memory for this.” (Laughs) All the staff on the team really love Kingdom Hearts. When they get picky, it’s hard to compromise with the PS3’s specifications. I did my best, shouldn’t they be happy? - Speaking of discerning refinement, have you ever looked at an enhanced scene and said, “Oh this scene looks beyond recognition…” Yasue: Honestly, I feel that way as a whole whenever I see the enhanced scenes. Recently, when I watched the scenes in the Pirates of the Caribbean world, I really noticed how pretty it was with the wide screen, the enhanced details, and vivid colors. The KH2 fight with Roxas is really good too. Even the gummi ship menu looks really nice. I feel like as a whole it’s generally beyond recognition. My first impressions are how striking and clear it is. I think anyone who sees it will understand. - You’ve worked on both HD compilations, KH1.5 and KH2.5, as well as Kingdom Hearts 3D, so from your point of view, what is the being reflected in the Kingdom Hearts tites? Yasue: That’s a tough question. (Laughs) Especially since it’s such a grand story and we’re approaching the ending point of the Dark Seeker chronicles. We’ve been foreshadowing since the beginning and adding new things as well. When Nomura says something new about the Kingdom Hearts universe or story, even sometimes I am surprised by what he reveals. Since old things from the past titles are important and pop up somewhere new, they don’t feel old. The titles are always fresh. Especially since we work with Disney, who is also putting out new content as we go along. There’s steadily more to work with. You never grow weary working on Kingdom Hearts titles. - Among the titles that you didn’t work on the original versions of, are there parts that you were particularly impressed with or surprised by? Yasue: There’s a fair amount to be impressed with. Right now, just about everyday I’m working on KH2 boss fights in KH2.5, and I am really impressed with how well the Organization XIII members were done. If you don’t figure out how to fight them, you’ll definitely lose. I think that a really good job was done on them. When I win, I really savor the feeling of achievement. Also, even on things that I worked on in the past, I’ve completely forgot about since so much time has passed, When I’m replaying, I remember the schemes and think, “Oh, you’ve got to go about it like this!” Especially in BBS. Most recently I was playing Ventus’ chapter in the Cinderella world, checking how the enemies flew about when you ride on the ball of yarn, and got the urge to play for real. BBS was my first title, and developing a game system with new elements was really stimulating. On that point, KH2 is very refined, it’s something that anyone can be deeply moved by. Even people who aren’t heavy gamers can enjoy it. - A wide variety of gamers are Kingdom Hearts fans, it must be important for the games not to be too simple but not too complicated as well. On the other hand, I think there’s a gap when often you are pitted against a challenging boss. Yasue: That’s how it is. There’s always a scene with a boss that appears offering some resistance. I think as a whole there is an impression that the series is for light gamers, but if you play it you realize that’s not the case. Those kind of challenges are one of the content’s charms that I want to exploit, the challenges give players a chance to savor their victory. It’s something that I don’t plan on changing from hereafter. By the way, that kind of battle balance hasn’t been changed in KH2.5. The original versions of KH2 and BBS are popular among players so we didn’t change anything. We progressed there without tampering with anything. - I see. How is the current development status? Yasue: Right now each part is just about finished up, one of the last things we’re doing is embedding the cutscenes. After this we’ll be debugging. At this rate we’ll meet the sale date without any problems. - This time at E3 there were demo’s for KH2’s Halloween Town and Beast’s Castle as well as BBS demo’s of Ventus’s cute search in Castle of Dreams, Terra’s battle in Enchanted Dominion, and Aqua’s chapter from story to boss in Radiant Gardens(this report orginally said Dwarf Woodlands, but that seems to be a mistake). Was there a reason for picking these specific settings? Yasue: Well, they’re all settings that I particularly like. I like the atmosphere of the Halloween Town and the Christmas costumes, and I really like the boss fight at Beast’s Castle. As for the BBS scenarios, in Aqua’s demo you see a good glimpse of the story as well as how the 3 main characters are connected. Also the boss in her demo is one of the fairly powerful ones in the whole of BBS. In Terra’s demo we see a somber cool man in a tough spot make a choice, and in Ventus’ demo we see a cute pop atmosphere setting. Those worlds were some of the first ones that were planned, so they are unforgettable places. - Speaking of E3, do you pay attention to how many overseas fans the series has? Or how excited they are for the series? Yasue: There are a lot of fervent fans overseas as well. It’s also a Disney title but on it’s own it’s really loved. When it’s time for E3, you can really feel it. When we announced KH3 we streamed the trailer online, and the overseas fansites exploded with excitement. You might say that seeing that kind of reaction gives me strength as a developer. It made me want to do my best for the fans. Contrary to thinking that most people who play the Kingdom Hearts series are just playing for fun and take it lightly, there are a lot of people who feel a deep enthusiasm for it. The same is the case in America. - It seems there a lot of people who don’t really play games, but when it comes to Kingdom Hearts, they become hardcore about it. Yasue: Indeed. There seem to be quite a few people who are strictly Kingdom Hearts fans. They’re very special players, I don’t want to disappoint them. - With so many people who are passionate about the series, the pressure must be terrible. Yasue: I guess. But when I look at the comments online, they’re mostly warmhearted. I’m terribly thankful for it. - Speaking of the fans opinions, this time the HD releases are on PS3, but I feel like a lot of fans might have wanted them on a different platform. For example, on PS4 or PS Vita. What do you think about expanding development onto other platforms? Yasue: Immediately, it’s hard for me to comment about that. Right now it’s only on PS3. Since KH1.5 and KH2.5 are first developed on PC and then onto other platforms, I think it’s technically possible, so I’ll keep my ears open to the fan’s voices. - There was a profound scene at the end of the new trailer presented at E3, what’s the significance of it? Yasue: That is a portion which also becomes the beginning of KH3, talking about the time of the Keyblade War. How long ago was it compared to the current point in time? (Wry laughter) It’s important and becomes central to KH3. Nomura was really picky about that scene. Even though this time we’re showing just a teaser, the scene and atmosphere have been determined. - It’s because it connects KH2.5 to KH3, right? I feel like the scene demonstrated the merits of the teams working on both KH2.5 and KH3 moving from one work to the next. The Kingdom Hearts series is extensive, I imagine that it must be truly hectic making titles for it. Yasue: I don’t think it’d be possible without the team continuing on as a group. We’re always continuing, and when new people are added, they’ll inherit the base knowledge from their peers. If the staff isn’t familiar with Kingdom Hearts’ merits and tastes and they don’t become experts about the series, we couldn’t make the series. As a series it’s huge, so I think that engaging in development would be difficult without flexible people. You have to be particular about the series and the direction of the game’s nature, but also be particular about the Disney titles too. Each Disney title has specifics that need to be adhered to as well. You have to make something new while paying respect to the original and exceptionally flexible correspondence is required. Regardless of what I say, it’s because the creator Tetsuya Nomura is firmly fixated himself. He’s very easy to work with, and he doesn’t stir. He’ll clearly suggest something and say, “This goes like that.” - Lastly, a word to the fans please. Yasue: Without bending to the self-satisfaction of developers, we enhanced KH2 and BBS as a whole for the fans who loved them. The quality has improved greatly thanks to the time and labor of over 70 staff. I think it’ll be a fresh experience for those who haven’t played the originals before and for those who replay it, I hope that they appreciate how beautiful it’s become. Right now the details are being steadily tweaked and finished up very, very carefully. An ending point is reached in Kingdom Hearts 3 and I think if you play KH2.5, you’ll be able to enjoy KH3 even more.
  15. Japanese publication 4Gamer have conducted an interview with Tai Yasue, the co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series, to discuss Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX following its appearance at E3 2014. Here, Yasue details the E3 2014 gameplay demo, goes in-depth into the graphical and sound improvements to the titles within the collection, describes the team's relationship with Disney, and lastly confirms that Kingdom Hearts III will conclude the first stage of the Kingdom Hearts story, the 'Dark Seeker Chronicles'. Our translator goldpanner has created a full translation of the interview for us, and with a big thanks to her, you can read it below. [E3 2014] See that gorgeous, unfading charm once again in Kingdom Hearts -HD 2.5 ReMIX-. Our interview with Co. Director Tai Yasue. At E3 2014, held on the 10th June North American time, Square Enix had a demo of Kingdom Hearts -HD 2.5 ReMIX- for Playstation 3 on display. This title is a compilation of three works: The 2007 Playstation 2 title Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, the PSP title re-released in 2011 as Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep Final Mix, further remade in HD, and the story of the 2010 Nintendo DS title Kingdom Hearts Re:coded available for experiencing as a HD cinematic work. It is to be released in Japan on October 2nd 2014. This time 4Gamer asked Co. Director (game designer), Tai Yasue of Square Enix, about the goals and enthusiasm that went into development of this title. 4Gamer: Thank you very much for speaking with us today. Along with Kingdom Hearts -HD 1.5 ReMIX- (hereon 1.5), Kingdom Hearts -HD 2.5 ReMIX (hereon 2.5) is announced as a title that bridges all the games in the series as we head towards the release of what will be the newest title, Kingdom Hearts III (hereon KH3), isn't it? Tai Yasue (hereon Yasue): Yes. Right from the beginning when we were starting KH3 we had plans for 1.5 and 2.5. We had two goals. First, as our titles had been released on various platforms as things went along, we wanted to unify the series on the PS3. Second, as this is a long series that is over ten years old, we wanted a tight presentation of the story for hopeful new players and those whose memories of the games were a little rusty. This story is so full of foreshadowing that even I have been like, 'what was this again?' before (laughs). 4Gamer: At E3 this year, you had a playable version of 2.5 on display, didn't you? We heard that it was the English version of the one unveiled at the end of 2013 at Jump Festa 2014. Yasue: Actually, the E3 version had quite a few adjustments to it. For example, in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep (hereon BBS), Terra and the others had more actions. 4Gamer: So of course it wasn't exactly the same. So, you could select out of two stages from Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix (hereon KH2) and three stages from BBS. What was the reasoning behind including those particular stages? Yasue: For KH2, I chose two that I loved, Beast's Castle and Halloween Town. I wasn't involved in the development of KH2, so I wanted to share with everyone the bits that moved me as a player myself. 4Gamer: Is that so. So those were your favourite stages then, Mr Yasue (laughs). What about BBS, for which you were involved with developing? Yasue: I wanted people to experience Enchanted Dominion from Terra's story, which had some thorny battles, and Radiant Garden with Aqua and the bonds between all three main characters. Then, I chose Castle of Dreams with playable Ventus because, again, I love that bit. I was really pleased with the three-dimensionality of exploring the map and the cute developments. 4Gamer: Being able to attack the enemies while rolling on top of that ball of wool is fun. There are also quite a lot of enemies, so crushing them feels nice, like popping bubble wrap. Yasue: Yeah, I got pretty excited about that when I was making it, too. I remembered that, which is why I wanted to put it in the demo this time. I think it's a nice display of the various things you can play with in the maps, which is one great thing about BBS. 4Gamer: Now, please tell us about the things you altered for 2.5. First, how about KH2? Yasue: With KH2, we left the character models as they were, and just changed the textures. We made the colours vivid enough to be astonishing, and the Disney worlds feel even warmer than before, or I think so anyway. Of course, not only the characters and backgrounds but the sound, the UI, the effects, all elements have been upgraded. 4Gamer: Did you remake the textures for this title? Yasue: First all the textures were made all pretty and HD by the programmers, the designers took that further by adjusting each one by hand. In BBS, the original amount of textures on a single character was quadrupled, so Aqua and the others are very pretty now. 4Gamer: We have heard that in other titles, when making characters for HD remasters, fine-tuning is necessary to keep the same impression of their faces and the like, as it changes. How was 2.5 in that regard? Yasue: We had many members who have been involved with the series for a very long time who understood that issue thoroughly, so we moved forward without too much trouble on that front. The KH series has a very particular setup and design, so if you get that even a little off, it feels like a completely different thing. That's why it was necessary for everyone in the team to inherit an appreciation for what is 'KH-esque'. We had quite a large number of people compared to previous teams, with quite a few people from both the Osaka and Tokyo teams, so the designers etc would have a teleconference every morning, constantly taking care not to hurt the shared vision. 4Gamer: What would be an example of something 'KH-esque'? Yasue: As a game, it being something everyone from casual to hardcore gamers can enjoy is something, I think. While on one hand it's comparatively simple to advance through the story, where it's unrelated to the advancement of the story, the enemies you fight are incredibly tough. Also, we don't make it so that you can't win without following a specific process, we make it so that the player can battle in whatever style they enjoy. As for the art and the look of the universe, it's hard to put into words (laughs). The KH series has a unique, specific look to the universe that comes from a precise image that Nomura (Mr Tetsuya Nomura) holds, though. As for the direction the graphics take, it's a particular type of vivid colour and smooth gradation, I would say. 4Gamer: For something that difficult to put into words to be shared by a team… Yasue: Yeah. There were times when we had ideas that would have gone through in another team, but we said 'KH doesn't go like this'. 4Gamer: We see. Now, this may be a little trivial, but we'd like to hear about the screen ratio. The PS2 version of KH2 had the usual 4:3, but now it's 16:9, isn't it? Yasue: In cutscenes there were a lot of effects that cut off and animations that weren't moving in places, so we had to remake quite a few parts to work in 16:9. In battles the field of vision has widened so I think it's easier to play. 4Gamer: Now let's talk about BBS. It was originally a PSP title, wasn't it? Compared to the two titles remade for 1.5 and KH2 in this compilation, which were all for PS2, we're sure it was different to work on. Yasue: The biggest difference was, obviously, the graphics. We changed the models and textures of the menus, characters and backgrounds drastically. For example, the Keyblades in the PSP version look quite thin, but on the PS3 we made them look proper and thick. 4Gamer: We were definitely hit with the impression that it's more beautiful than we had expected for a game that was originally on PSP. Yasue: The controls, too. There are more buttons on a PS3 controller than on a PSP, so we reallocated the controls, and assigned the camera to the right stick. 4Gamer: Is that so. Now, please tell us about Kingdom Hearts Re:coded (hereon Re:coded). Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, also for the Nintendo DS, became a two hour cinematic work, didn't it. Yasue: Re:coded in 2.5 is three hours. In the beginning we had thought to make it about two hours, but it just kept getting bigger. Within those three hours is about one hour of the original's cutscenes made HD, and a little over two hours of new content. 4Gamer: You mean there's more new content than not? Yasue: Yeah, there are parts from the DS game that weren't originally cutscenes, plus battles and events, all made into cinematics. Its a huge volume of content, and I hope the fans are pleased with it. 4Gamer: When developing 1.5 and 2.5, what was the criteria behind deciding whether to remake a game or turn it into a cinematic work? Yasue: It's really a platform problem. To be honest, trying to make a Nintendo DS game work on a PS3 would require the same effort as making a completely new game. That's why we've done it like this, placing priority on the story and making them into cinematic works. 4Gamer: Now, what about the sound? For 1.5 the sound was modified to be compatible with 5.1ch surround sound. Is 2.5 the same? Yasue: Yes. For this title, we have added strings performances using an orchestra. Under the supervision of Ms Shimomura, about 90 tracks for KH2 were recorded from a 40 person strings ensemble in Boston, USA, and remixed. The next biggest task was enviroment sounds. We added a huge number of environmental sounds that we had been unable to add to BBS due to the limitations of the PSP, such as the sound of running water from fountains. And of course, it's compatible with 5.1ch. 4Gamer: From everything you've told us so far, it sounds like you've put great thought into even the smallest things in the 2.5 remake. Yasue: Yeah. With 1.5 we worried over what to do about the gameplay side of things, but this time we got that done smoothly with time to spare, so we designers could pick on all our little hang ups until we wanted to strangle ourselves (laughs). The more you try to fix a hang up the further it goes, and how far should you go? You draw and draw and draw… and the retouches pile up. 4Gamer: What is an example of one of your hang ups? Yasue: The thing that stuck out most to me was, as I said before, the BBS characters. We obsessed over their textures, in particular, til they became quite pretty. Also, we rehauled the menu screen so it would look nice. I think because of that, the designers had more of a hand in this title than they did in 1.5. 4Gamer: So, on the other hand, were there any things from the old games that you didn't want to change when making them HD? You said before, Mr Yasue, that you were a fan of KH2. Perhaps you had such thoughts for that game? Yasue: KH2 was very well made as a game, so rather than put my foot in it, to begin with I focused on giving the graphics an upgrade. As a creator, at times there are things I think I want to change, but that's because I tend to get a big head. With this title I left the the popular gameplay and game balance as it was and steadily worked on politely upping the quality for the PS3. As with BBS, we didn't change the basic gameplay. 4Gamer: Mr Yasue, you are usually in Osaka, aren't you. Is it inconvenient to divide the teams between Tokyo and Osaka? Before you spoke of the importance of a shared view on what is 'KH-esque'. It sounds difficult to do so without being able to meet face to face. Yasue: It's true that when we didn't understand something we weren't able to ask someone right next to us straight away, but it wasn't really that much of an issue. We had teleconferences with the Tokyo team, and once every one or two months everyone from both teams would all get together for a meeting. As development of the series has gone on the teams have grown in membership, and it would actually be difficult for all of us to gather in one place. I think using various tools to communicate is the only option. Rather than thinking of us as the Osaka team and the Tokyo team, my image is that of one KH team, with members working in different places. 4Gamer: Is that so. Yasue: It's thanks to the obstacles that we can make something so good, just as it's only thanks to limitations that we come up with solutions. What's more, dealing with the intellectual property of Mr Disney, like 'I don't think Winnie the Pooh would really do something like this', is connected to how we maintain the universe of KH, I believe. 4Gamer: Have there been cases where the expectations of the Disney side and the interpretations of the KH team have been different? Yasue: Of course. We factor that in, moving forward with detailed communications. The Disney representative is actually extremely passionate about the KH series. That means the content is very important to both our companies, and we discuss our hang ups with each other. 4Gamer: So how does the procedure go? Does the KH team propose something and ask for Disney's judgement? Yasue: It's case-by-case, but generally the KH team designs a plan to do with the content of the game, and then we share information with Disney. Of course, every time we make new graphic models or art we have them check it. 4Gamer: Making each title in 2.5 into HD, was there anything particularly charming about the series that you noticed all over again? Yasue: Just now I've been playing the Organisation XIII Replica Data boss battles over and over, and I get really fired up. If I'm not watching like a hawk I can't dodge the enemy attacks. I think that's really well done. 4Gamer: It may be rude to sound surprised, but the bosses in KH2 are pretty difficult now, aren't they. We played the demo, and it being our first time in a long time facing those bosses, we wondered whether it had always been that hard. Yasue: Me too. I retried Axel's Replica Data 40-50 times before finally beating him. 4Gamer: As you said before, you didn't change the game balance, did you. Yasue: No, we didn't think to make it any harder. Maybe my gaming arm is getting weak in my old age (laughs). 4Gamer: We can't deny that either (laughs). Yasue: One more thing I noticed was that the graphics in KH2 were generally made gorgeously. I felt that all over again thanks to the HD. Looking at it now, I think the charm hasn't faded at all. 4Gamer: Are there any other points in 2.5 that you'd like players to pay attention to? Yasue: Rather than anything in particular, just the whole thing. In 2.5, and 1.5 was the same, everything has been made so carefully, and I'd love for players to see that for themselves. We have layered so many tiny details to finish something so pretty, and I'd love players to see that. Also, parts of Re:coded have been remade completely, and I'd love for players to enjoy the story through the beautiful graphics. 4Gamer: I think perhaps you conveyed the same thing just now, but playing the demo of 2.5, we realised we couldn't feel the age of the KH series at all. Perhaps that's due to its unique charm, there really is no other title like it. Yasue: Yeah. When you actually play it, you do remember how 'games were great in the old days', but that's not all there is to its charm. Even compared to games today, it has accomplished a particular and clear uniqueness. Of course there are exceptions, but the graphics and content in many AAA games these days are aiming for realism, and puzzles and card games are prevalent among those aimed at casual gamers. Among all those is the KH series, with absolutely gorgeous graphics that tend towards fantasy rather than realism and have all the warmth of Disney animation. That's connected to originality, I think. It's evolving in a different direction than even other titles from Square Enix, such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. 4Gamer: If that's how it goes, the more you develop it the less you'll be able to use other titles for ideas. Yasue: That's true. Rather than comparing it to other things, we take the stance of 'KH is like this'. We are even careful when we introduce the vibes of the intellectual properties Disney grants us, too, so maybe that's another reason you don't feel the age of the series. 4Gamer: Have you come into contact with any Disney works lately? Yasue: I went to see Frozen with my kids, and that film moved my adult self and my children alike. I think it's such a pure, wonderful movie, and I want to keep on making a KH series that isn't aimed at particular people either, something that children and adults alike can enjoy. As I said before, the KH series can be enjoyed by both casual and hardcore gamers, and while the story has deep elements, it tells of a universal theme that anyone can understand: friendship. Also, from a developer's point of view, I thought the depiction of the ice crystals in Frozen was amazing. 4Gamer: So, what do you think the difference is between a standalone Disney work and the KH series? Yasue: One selling point of the KH series is that within one title there can be many attractions. For example, in KH2, Pirates of the Caribbean is aimed at a relatively older demographic, while Atlantica would appeal to those looking for a cuter universe. The point is that the charm of several works are neatly included and presented in one game. The various characters and stories are beloved for a reason, and it's important for us to bring them to life in ways that don't damage that. 4Gamer: Is that so. For example…? Yasue:Of course, it doesn't feel good to change the stories of the famous Disney films. That's where we have to be clever about incorporating the story of the Dark Seeker and making a game. We make the experience of playing the game completely different from just watching and hearing the story, so we direct the tension and emotions of the game experience somewhere away from where the stories of the Disney films took place. 4Gamer: Is there a scene in particular that you think expresses this well? Yasue: Well for example, Ventus' part from BBS which I chose for the recent demo. That took place before Cinderella was to meet the prince at the castle, and actually, the mice and Ventus were collecting materials for her dress. The KH series depicts the growth of the heart, and I think that part manages to express what Cinderella's story first did, 'belief in dreams'. On the gameplay side, it's interesting to explore the huge, three dimensional map from the unusual point of view of being mouse-sized. 4Gamer: Behind the scenes of Cinderella's story, the player can experience another story where they are the protagonist. Yasue: That structure of KH is somewhat close to Disneyland, don't you think? There are so many worlds with different atmospheres, each with their own stories, and you, the guest, get to have so many experiences within them, which makes it fun. When I think about developing gameplay for KH, sometimes I picture walking through Disneyland. For example, when you enter Disneyland, when you walk a little way in, Cinderella's castle suddenly comes into view before you. The KH series, too, has you venturing down long roads, wondering with excitement what will show up at the end of them. And right at that moment, a castle appears, or maybe a boss battle was waiting. 4Gamer: 1.5 released in March 2013, and 2.5 will release roughly a year and a half after it, on October 2nd 2014. Is that how you first planned? Yasue: Yes. As we head towards the release of KH3, we wanted to offer 2.5 for everyone. Fortunately, development went off without a hitch. 4Gamer: This makes us hope… maybe we will be able to play KH3 without much wait after 2.5…. Yasue: At this stage I can't make any comments regarding a release date, but we are working hard. KH3 changes the fundamental structure of the series so far, so we have to do a lot of research as we go along, but the plans for our content and ideas are steadily moving forwards. 4Gamer: Fans of the series will be wondering what worlds will appear next. Yasue: Yeah, our ideas for that are moving forward pretty steadily too. At this stage I can't say anything though (laughs). 4Gamer: We heard that KH3 will mark the completion of the first stage of the story. Yasue: That's right. The 'Dark Seeker Chronicles' that have been developing through the series so far will be concluded. 4Gamer: Hearing that, our anticipation is now even higher. And lastly, a message for all those KH fans out there waiting impatiently for the release of 2.5. Yasue: Among the 2.5 development team are many people who were originally fans of the KH series. In making this HD version, every member of the team was strongly aware of the need to treat the past games with utmost care. We have created the graphics piece by piece carefully and steadily, so please play it and see the world of KH in even more beauty. If you play 1.5 and 2.5, you will gain a deep understanding of the story of KH, and your experience of KH3 will be even richer! 4Gamer: Thank you very much.
  16. E3 2014 has almost begun-- held from June 10 to June 12, 2014, E3 2014 is a gaming trade show where many companies will be showing off their announcements, including Square Enix with the Kingdom Hearts series. KH13's Oishii will be reporting from the event, and our News Team will be actively updating our coverage as well. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX is already confirmed to appear with a playable demo at the event, new trailer, and much more information. Stay tuned and we will update you with everything that appears. Upcoming events & livestreams June 9, 12:30pm (USA EST): Microsoft's press conference (very small chance of KH appearing) June 9, 9:00pm (USA EST): Sony's press conference (small chance of KH appearing) June 10, 12:00pm (USA EST): Nintendo's press conference June 10, 6:30pm (USA EST): SQUARE ENIX PRESENTS Interview: Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX June 11, 2:30pm (USA EST): SQUARE ENIX MUSIC PRESENTS -Yoko Shimomura- June 11, 5:00pm (USA EST): All Eyes On Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX All events have a countdown clock available to the right, allowing you to work out when the event will occur in your timezone. The remaining events will be livestreamed on SquareEnixPresents. We will include an a SquareEnixPresents livestream embed below. Information revealed Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX Release dates Japan: October 2, 2014 North America: December 2, 2014 Australia: December 4, 2014 Europe: December 5, 2014 Miscellaneous - The Mirage Arena will be single player only. No multiplayer will be included in Birth by Sleep. - The game mechanics are mostly kept true to the original, save for the camera in BBS which now uses the right analog stick. - 90 songs have been re-done for KH2. The sound of BBS is heavily improved. - Re:coded will be about 3 hours long, with 2 hours of that being new cutscenes. - HD 2.5 ReMIX is 95% complete. - Around 70 people worked on the development team for HD 2.5 ReMIX, but this team was also simultaneously developing Kingdom Hearts III. - Kingdom Hearts III development is in full throttle. Japan bonuses & merchandise - Various 1.5+2.5 packs to be released - Kingdom Hearts Series Memorial Ultimania to release on October 2 - HD 1.5 ReMIX and HD 2.5 ReMIX soundtracks will be released Videos Photos Thanks go to Oishii (@OishiiPaopu), @churroz and other sources (including Mognet Central) for the photos. Articles - The Kingdom Hearts III teaser video is the game's starting scene-- Yasue talks KH3 with Kotaku - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX interview on Square Enix Presents-- survey questions answered - Square Enix reveals their Square Enix Presents schedule - Direct feed of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX gameplay released - Kingdom Hearts III won't have more info at E3 2014 - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX to release in Japan on October 2 - New Kingdom Hearts III teaser trailer shown - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX to release on December 2 in North America, December 5 in Europe - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX trailer for E3 2014 released - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX confirmed to be (playable?) at PlayStation's E3 2014 booth - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX's E3 2014 banner revealed - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX to be featured in Square Enix Presents
  17. Kotaku have conducted an interview with Tai Yasue, the current co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series, who is currently at E3 2014 to promote Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX. In this interview, Yasue reveals some details about Kingdom Hearts III. Quotes from Yasue can be read below. Talking about the Kingdom Hearts III E3 2014 teaser video: Yasue: That's the starting scene for Kingdom Hearts III, actually. [Co-director Tetsuya] Nomura has a real clear picture of the starting sequence. He wrote that up actually, the drawings, and we voice-recorded that. That's gonna be a real integral part of the story of Kingdom Hearts III. It's gonna be the starting point of Kingdom Hearts III. Kotaku: Is there anything you can hint at or tease to fans who might be desperate for any information on Kingdom Hearts III? Yasue: As a developer I'm really excited, the technology is totally different, and creatively it's moving at leaps and bounds. Talking about the Kingdom Hearts III trailer at D23 Expo Japan: Yasue: We'll have, I think, a lot of that. You could I guess imagine a theme park sort of ride-based action. I think that might be an important part of the game, and so I think people can really look forward to that. It will be moving in leaps and bounds, I think. It's very exciting. An interesting quote from the article: "I told Yasue, who is bi-lingual and speaks both Japanese and English, that the first thing everyone thought when Disney bought Lucasfilm was that now Kingdom Hearts could have Star Wars. He laughed and said he couldn't comment." Final words: Yasue: Kingdom Hearts 2.5 is gorgeous, I think. But Kingdom Hearts III is pure magic.
  18. Dengeki Online have posted an interview with Tai Yasue, co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series, which discusses Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts III. Here, Yasue reveals a lot about the development of the two games. @sqexgal has translated the entire interview on her SQEX.INFO website, and thanks to her, it can be read below. --From programmers to designers, everyone is involved. - You’ve officially announced the release date for Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix, how is the development status? Yasue: It’s practically complete. We are making detailed, final adjustments and setting the trophy conditions now. We are adding in the final cutscenes as well, that’s about all that’s left as far as work goes. - I heard that work on Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix pretty much started from scratch, how was 2.5 in comparison? Yasue: It pretty troubling starting KH 1.5 in a stage where we making the game’s composition and system base. But as far as producing went, thankfully we struck a balance between programmers building the foundation for the game on PS3 and replacing graphics, so we were able to progress relatively smoothly. We had content from the previous titles to use when remastering KH 2.5 which was good, but instead we had trouble figuring out how much we wanted to up the graphic quality, it was a matter of design that was tough. If we did this, then we have to do that and that, kind of problem. (Laughs) Once the schedule was decided, all possible adjustments were made and we’re finishing it up. - Was the difference in screen ratio difficult to deal with? Yasue: Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep was originally at a 16:9 ratio so it didn’t really change, but the original Kingdom Hearts 2 was 4:3, so it changed a lot. Having a greater screen width is nice, but things you couldn’t see before became visible, so we had to take a second look and adjust the backgrounds and textures as a whole. The menu screen in particular was difficult. We had to add in new imagery to the parts of the gummi ship camp menu etc. that were lacking. As for BBS, the character models and imagery look nicer and the 3D presence of the finer details have been improved upon as well. - Pretty much everything got some sort of treatment. Yasue: That’s right, to say it lightly. (Laughs) To HD-ify something, you might imagine it’s as easy as putting data into a transformer, pressing a button, and then, ”Ta-da, it’s done!” But it’s not that simple. Our entire staff is involved and they work really hard at a steady pace. Everything you see has been treated in some way, from the backgrounds and character models to the menus. Besides that, the designers had a lot to work on with BBS. They had to add in a lot more detail, and even though the textures for each character are now about 4 times nicer than before, the designers found themselves being strangled by their work. Especially when it came to Aqua and the other playable characters. As a result, they’re not done tweaking and they’re really choking themselves now! (Laughs) Having an HD remake is something really great for players, but for the staff it’s kind of a nightmare. The Mirage Arena has been improved for single player mode. - In KH 1.5 new abilities like “EXP Zero” and “Combo Master” were added, will there be new ones in KH 2.5 too? Yasue: There isn’t anything new. However, we fine tuned the degree of difficulty when you equip EXP Zero in BBS. We took a survey regarding BBS’s degree of difficulty, and overall it had reputation of being well balanced. Since we didn’t want to ruin a good thing, we didn’t make any big changes. Also, the Mirage Arena won’t have multiplayer elements this time, so we adjusted the enemies strength that way the battles are still high tensioned but enjoyable playing alone. There is a tough boss in the final stages, but we made it faster and changed the AI a little, so it’s a more of a challenge than before. It’s not the type of boss you’ll be able to suppress simply with strength, you’ll have to think about how to fight. - KH2 had a lot of formidable enemies too, have they been adjusted as well? Yasue: KH2 was already a complete package, so thinking that messing with it too much would break the balance, we decided not to readjust things. Therefore the Organization XIII data reappearances and armored warrior fights are just as strong as before. - Do you have a favorite battle? Yasue: My favorite is the data reappearance battle with Roxas. As an opponent he puts up a fairly hard fight, but isn’t that where you snatch Roxas’ Keyblade? I like in that scene when you slide past the attacks and counter attack. Mere physical strength isn’t enough, you need to use our head and technique, watch the boss’ movements to know when to guard, modify your abilities and Keyblade so you have an advantage. I like fights that have that kind of balance to them. If you fight this boss the way you do the regular storyline bosses, you’ll lose, so I like that this boss takes some finesse to defeat. - Did you make changes to the audio portions? Yasue: About 80% of KH2’s audio work was remixing. adding in stringed instruments to songs has a wonderful result. Same as before, the audio is in Dolby 5.1 surround sound. Yoko Shimomura’s music is an undeniable trait of the Kingdom Hearts series, I feel like without the atmosphere she creates, it isn’t Kingdom Hearts, so the mix of the final audio was carefully controlled but also provides a new depth to the familiar sound. As for BBS, we’ve added more atmospheric sounds than the original, for instance you can hear water trickling if you are near a fountain, which improves the presence. - Did you rerecord any of the voice sequences? Yasue: We added about 2 hours of new cutscenes for the Re:coded portion, so we had to record for that. We ported data from the overseas editions of KH2 and BBS, so we had to switch back the voices from English to Japanese, but we didn’t change anything else besides that. Working as one KH team in Osaka and Tokyo. - What kind of work are you involved in regarding development on the newest title, Kingdom Hearts 3? Yasue: As the development overseer, I work in the office keeping programmers, designers, and planners in order. Mostly I work as a planner, figuring out how the game plays as a whole. I discuss the systems and gameplay with Tetsuya Nomura, as well as write the business proposals. I’m in the middle between the office staff and Nomura, so I get nudged from both sides. (Laughs) - What kind of process does development go through? Yasue: First Nomura decides the concept, while that’s being drawn up, the development team puts together the proposal and art, and we make a trial version. While research and development progresses, a consensus is reached with Nomura, and bit by bit the game reaches completion. When it gets to the final stage, all the elements including the story and battles are put together, and they are adjusted from there until they mesh together nicely. - I hear that the Kingdom Hearts series is developed by the Osaka team, is that the case for KH3 as well? Yasue: Speaking of number of people, about 80% are in Osaka, the other 20% are combined with people in Tokyo. This setup was used with KH 2.5 as well. Programmers for KH3 and KH 2.5 are separated into two teams, but designers and planners work on both. There’s not really a wall between the Osaka and Tokyo teams, they work together like one KH team. - Speaking of Osaka, they’re the guys that did Brave Fencer Musashi way back in the day. Yasue: That’s right. The Brave Fencer Musashi and Parasite Eve series. There are a lot of game development companies and creators in Osaka, the people intermingle and since putting out Kindom Hearts, we’ve assembled a lot of new staff. The atmosphere and organization since the time of Musashi and Parasite Eve has changed greatly. - Each new entry into the Kingdom Hearts series improves upon the speed and action and amazing effects, how will it be from hereafter? Yasue: It’s important to continue the path of dynamic action, amazing effects, and gameplay with strategic elements, but adjusting the speed elements is actually quite difficult. If you’re too fast than the player can’t keep up. A sort of speed inflation occurs if the players are fast, then the enemies have to be sped up and so on. We want it to fundamentally be as enjoyable as possible for as many people as possible, so I think we have to find a perfect balance. However, there are also situations planned like when you ride the jet coaster where expressing that kind of high speed course is important, so there’s a good variety prepared. - How will the configuration of the gameplay field etc. evolve hereafter? Yasue: It’ll vary by world, but I can’t talk about the concrete details yet. But if you compared it to Kingdom Hearts so far, the scale is drastic and open, running through the gameplay fields feels surreally huge. You can get a thrill just by moving around the field. - It’s common for treasure boxes to be put in clever places in the Kingdom Hearts series. For instance, I spot you can see but can’t immediately reach. Will KH3 inherit that kind of play spirit? Yasue: I like that technique of teasing at a glance a lot. (Laughs) Where you can see something is nearby, but you don’t know how to get to it. Those kind of play sensations are the kind of points we tend to fuss over. I also like things where you won’t see them if you progress ahead, but you will if you turn around. But just doing those kind of gimmicks gets old, so I think just a hint of these kind of aspects will be fun. - Being in charge of a numbering title, do you feel pressured? Yasue: I’m really not the type to be afflicted by pressure. The reason is, I’m looking forward to what I do while I do it. Various dreams are broadened, and new things and content are rapidly made in a numbering title, plus as expected Nomura will prepare something amazing story wise, so all in all I’d say it’s a fun experience. There’s also the technology. Compared to previous titles, how games are made is fundamentally different, it’s stimulating to try out the leading edge of technology. Also, until now, you felt the evolution of technology with the making of each game, but now we are crossing the biggest turning point, challenging an entirely new field of research. - You were born in Canada, about how long did you live there? Yasue: From the time I was born until I was 16, I lived in Canada. I didn’t really speak Japanese and couldn’t write kanji, so I didn’t have plans on going to Japan but when I was in high school, we moved and I enrolled in a Japanese high school. Not only was my vocab different, but my spirit was different than everyone else and it was rough. However, thanks to growing up in Canada, I have a more carefree spirit and don’t sweat the details and I’ve been able to come this far. - Thanks to that characteristic you seem to handle the current hard work quite well. Yasue: I guess you could say that. It’s important to pay attention to the details when you develop games, but you also won’t make progress if you don’t have a flexible mindset. Also to borrow from the theme of KH, when times get hard your friends are there to help you out, you really feel connected through your troubles. (Laughs) I like those thing that are true in real life as in the world of gaming. - The game operation of KH 1.5 was changed to resemble KH2, but this time the game operation hasn’t changed? Yasue: When we did KH 1.5, KH2’s operation style was considered the standard so we changed it to match, but this time we haven’t made any major changes. BBS was on PSP, so now the right analog stick controls the camera. - At the ending of KH 1.5 there was a secret movie at the end of the credits that hinted at the next installment, will that be the case for KH 2.5 as well? Yasue: It’s hard to answer that, so I’ll leave it to your imagination. It’s possible there will be something, but it’s possible there won’t be. (Laughs) Apart from that, I can say that in the Re:Coded theater mode there will be cutscenes added to flesh out the backstories of other Kingdom Hearts titles, so please look forward to that. - Besides the Kingdom Hearts series, is there something that you’d personally like to try and make? A certain game genre? Yasue: I want to do a lot of things. Kingdom Hearts is rich in content so it’s fun. There’s Disney content that hasn’t been utilized yet, and there is a lot of room to expand, so with that in mind I find the series very stimulating. I’m also interested in the Final Fantasy series, but I can’t work on both at the same time. (Laughs) As for genres, I don’t like the dark moods of horror games. But I would like the challenge of trying something on smartphones and tablets. So far I’ve done big projects with big teams, but I’d like to try something with a small group that takes a couple months to make. In the past I experienced making Tetra Master (card game from Final Fantasy IX) with a small group of people and developing it was a lot of fun. It was a simple card game, but I enjoyed the arguing process while fussing with the game’s aspect in a small group. Enjoy KH 2.5 while waiting for KH3 to come together! - KH 2.5 is the compilation of 3 titles, is there a specific highlight about each of them you’d like to point out? Yasue: KH2 was originally a very beautiful game, but when you compare the PS2 version to the HD version, the grade is clearly different. I think as a whole the graphic quality has elevated and it’s a quality upgrade that you can really feel. Not complaining about the graphics of BBS, the simple prettiness of it was one of it’s attributes, so we’ve made it more visibly clear. Re:Coded was a game originally for DS so it’s completely different recollected as a theater compilation now. Battle scenes from the original are now cutscenes, and when you watch the compilation, it’s contents will deepen your understanding of the story even more. The battle scenes are made with dynamic animation and include additional effects, so I’d like to highlight that point. It’s also about 3 hours worth which is even longer that the compilation of 358/2 Days in KH 1.5, which is quite impressive. - Lastly, a message for the readers who are looking forward to KH 2.5 please. Yasue: From designers to planners, each section has taken part and fussed over every little thing to finish up in a good spot. Of course I think when you play it for yourself you’ll be able to see just how much the HD quality has improved upon the original. Development is continuing alongside KH3, and while you await the release for KH3, I hope that everyone plays KH 2.5 so that you can thoroughly enjoy KH3 when it comes. - I want to ask a little but about KH3, what was the purpose behind the lines revealed in the most recent trailer? Yasue: The trailer is obviously different than the final product, but those lines will be in the starting point of KH3. The people who are speaking are secret, but players who understand the story will probably guess who they are immediately. - Has the story been concretely decided already? Yasue: I can’t say if it’s concrete, but that part is. It’s always this way when we make KH titles, before the story is completely decided, the gameplay and systems are developed side by side. Since we plan on announcing new information as content is settled, please look forward to future announcements!
  19. Famitsu.com have conducted an interview with Shinji Hashimoto, the producer of the Kingdom Hearts series, where he was asked if we could expect new Kingdom Hearts III information at E3 2014. Unfortunately, Hashimoto answered that although they are working hard on Kingdom Hearts III, releasing new information will take some time-- but, that people should check out the KH3 teaser included in the HD 2.5 ReMIX trailer. Thanks go to SQEX.INFO for the translation. A lot of news has appeared leading up to E3 2014, so here's a quick summary: - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX to be featured in Square Enix Presents - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX's E3 2014 banner revealed - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX confirmed to be (playable?) at PlayStation's E3 2014 booth - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX trailer for E3 2014 released Release dates for HD 2.5 ReMIX Japan: October 2, 2014 North America: December 2, 2014 Australia: December 4, 2014 Europe: December 5, 2014 - Japan will also have a 1.5+2.5 Collectors Pack, and a Kingdom Hearts Series Memorial Ultimania released on the same date. Details are here. - New Kingdom Hearts III teaser trailer shown E3 2014 begins in only a few days time, and KH13.com's Oishii will be there to help us cover the event in detail. Please look forward to more information, demo impressions and more concerning HD 2.5 ReMIX, and everything Kingdom Hearts.
  20. Today, Square Enix released the E3 2014 trailer for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX. At the end of this trailer, a new teaser trailer for Kingdom Hearts III was shown, hinting at the storyline for the new title. This teaser trailer can be seen below. Be sure to view the full Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX E3 2014 trailer here
  21. Once again, this came from a conversation with my sister. Now I have seen MANY theories and speculation concerning Kingdom Hearts 3, but I have yet to see, or read one specifically addressing a certain object mentioned in the official KH3 summery released back last year. Allow me to quote: "In an effort to undermine Xehanort's plot, Sora, Donald and Goofy search for seven guardians of light and the 'Key to Return Hearts'". So what exactly IS this "Key to Return Hearts"? I have two theories about this. 1: What if the KTRH is in fact the X-Blade itself? Let's think about this. What is the X-Blade? Well, it's supposed to be the guardian to the true Kingdom Hearts right? And what is KH? The heart of all worlds. At the present though, KH is hidden in darkness and the world is scattered throughout the universe in the form of smaller worlds. It is known that these worlds have their own individual hearts deep inside them. So could it be that maybe the X-Blade, once it's brought into being, possibly have the power to restore all the worlds back to their original state, and create a "one world" again? If this is the case, then the X-Blade would be returning the hearts back into ONE heart again in one world. This would also lead to the rediscovery of the true KH once again.Theory number 2: Maybe the KTRH isn't the X-Blade at all. And maybe it doesn't involve restoring the worlds. It could be that the KTRH is in fact an average Keyblade, like the one Sora wields, but with a very special ability. We know that true Keyblades are the only weapons that can truly kill a Heartless and separate it's heart from it's manifest body. Well, what if this special Keyblade has the power to restore the Heartless back to their original bodies? This includes Heartless that have already been "killed" by another Keyblade. This would explain the "Return Hearts" bit at least.Alternant theory number 3: We all know that illogic = Namura logic right? So maybe our dear Namura-senpai might throw us a curve and the KTRH might be something complete different! But what? A person? (Sora?) An object? (Keyblade?) A place? (The Keyblade Graveyard?) Who knows! What we DO know is that Namura knows. And he's not telling. Not yet anyway. So, what do you guys think? Have some theories of your own?
  22. Kingdom Hearts series producer, Shinji Hashimoto has recently teased in a Q&A at Thailand Comicon Event in Siam Paragon, Bangkok on May 10, 2014 that Kingdom Hearts III may appear at E3 2014 and Tokyo Game Show 2014 along with other events. --In E3 that will be arranged in this June, is there any new information about FFXV or KHIII? We would like to keep it secret. It just only a few months from now. I'm pretty sure you will be surprised. We might tell you what is our plans, but it's better you see by yourself at Tokyo. (laugh) --About KHIII, could you tell more about characters, systems, story? We are sorry. They are secret. Please wait. The game will come out fantastic. E3 2014 starts June 10 and KH13.com will be covering it. Thanks go to a member at Mognet Central.
  23. Yosuke Matsuda, president and CEO of Square Enix, has talked with Nikkei Trendy today and shared some information about the future of the company. When asked about 2014, Matsuda had this to say about Kingdom Hearts III: There’s remarkable confidence in Final Fantasy XV and and Kingdom Hearts 3. [I] can’t talk details at the moment, [but I think] SE will be able to share more in the future, like at E3. Thanks go to DualShockers for the translation, and to @abyssviola for the find.
  24. Sony Computer Entertainment Japan have announced that a PlayStation 4 launch event will be held on February 21, 2014, starting at 10:30PM JST. Kingdom Hearts III producer Shinji Hashimoto has been annouced as a guest creator for the event, which will be live streamed on Ustream and Nico Nico. It is currently unknown if Hashimoto will reveal any new Kingdom Hearts III information, but we will keep you updated with more information as it appears. Update 2: Shinji Hashimoto appeared on stage at the event and asked fans to "Please wait a little longer." concerning Kingdom Hearts III. Update: Sony have uploaded the videos to be shown at the event to their PlayStation Japan YouTube channel, and unfortunately, the video containing Kingdom Hearts III is old footage from the E3 2013 announcement trailer. This can be seen below. There is still a chance that Hashimoto could reveal some small new information while on stage, so stay tuned and we will keep you updated-- no guarantee, though!
  25. Earlier in the week, a leaked internal document from Square Enix Europe showed that Kingdom Hearts III had been given a 2014 release date-- however, Square Enix have today confirmed that this release date is inaccurate, and simply a placeholder. Square Enix released the following statement to GameSpot: We're aware an internal document has been in circulation listing release dates for select Square Enix titles. This information contained in this document is inaccurate and features placeholder timing. Specifically, no announcement has been made to date for Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV--their projected release window remains to be advised.
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