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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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:
  14. 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.
  15. Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] Ultimania, the official guidebook for Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance], released last week in Japan. This guidebook contains interviews with Tetsuya Nomura, the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, where he discusses both Kingdom Hearts 3D and the future of the Kingdom Hearts series. sqexgal and goldpanner have translated both Nomura interviews from the book, and you can read these below. Enjoy! Director interview: The full version of the interview contains strong spoilers for Kingdom Hearts 3D, and can be read here. For a spoiler-free version, keep reading. Make sure to read the end, where he refers to future titles! — When did you start thinking up the idea for Kingdom Hearts 3D? Nomura: Probably during the production of Birth by Sleep. At the time there weren’t plans to start another Kingdom Hearts title, but when I looked at the 3DS hardware, the idea came to me. — It seems that every entry into the Kingdom Hearts series aims to utilize the features of its platforms, so what elements of the 3DS were you looking into? Nomura: I thought that the Flowmotion ability was something I wanted to do in the next Kingdom Hearts, so why not do it now with this title? I thought of the Dive Mode function afterwards when I saw the 3DS in action. It’s similar to the Gummi Ship mini game that appeared in KH1 and KH2, but this time rather than ride a vehicle I wanted the characters to drop directly into their destination world. Since the Dive Mode appears first, it feels like the game’s system is established from there. — What sparked the idea to introduce the Flowmotion ability? Nomura: I’ve been working on a few action RPGs outside of Kingdom Hearts like Final Fantasy Type-0 and Final Fantasy Versus XIII, so the first thought I had was I wanted it to clearly stand out from the others. I planned on showing that this is the direction the Kingdom Hearts series is headed. When I thought of the elements that really defined the Kingdom Hearts series, I thought of the bold sort of action that realistic characters can’t express. My idea was that with Flowmotion, you’d be able to jump to impossible heights in comparison to how you could jump in the previous titles. — It seemed that the Flowmotion system might dishevel the game’s balance, but there was a lot of attention put towards regulating it. Nomura: Well, the staff really didn’t like it. (Laughs.) If the character could make a huge jump freely, then there is no telling where he’d go. Since you had to deal with every action the player made, the opinion coming forth in the beginning was that it was difficult. But since I explained to the staff that this was the sort of direction Kingdom Hearts was going, we did it anyways. — In the games prior to this one, there were treasure chests you couldn’t reach until you had obtained High Jump, but this time it seems you can take just about all the treasure using Flowmotion. Nomura: It makes things interesting, doesn’t it? Flowmotion is designed to take over the movement if you don’t control it, but if you’re able to use it well, you can obtain the treasure chests without needing the High Jump ability. It’s a different style compared to the regular Kingdom Hearts games, which I think is one of the system’s charms. I thought it’d be better this way rather than making it boring with restricted actions. — For the title KH3D, we thought it was very clever how the ’3D’ doesn’t just stand for ‘three-dimensional’, but also for the first letter of each of the three words in the subtitle. Nomura: I thought of making it ’3D’ with three D’s early on. However, while I was able to settle on ‘Dream’ and ‘Drop’ smoothly, the last one just wouldn’t come to me. When we were at the point where we had a scenario, ‘Distance’ occurred to me from the distance between Sora and Riku, on the verge of meeting but unable to. There’s one more unsaid meaning behind deciding on ‘Distance’, and that is the distance between ’3D’ and the number 3 itself. — When you included ‘Dream’ and ‘Drop’ in the title, were you assuming from that point in time that there would be a Drop System? Nomura: Yes, I suppose so. We have made KH titles before in which the story is divided between characters, but because some people were of the opinion that each story felt like a short-story, this time we decided to think of the plot as one string from the beginning. For it to be like that, we had to consider many things regarding how to best handle switching back and forth between which character the player is controlling. We considered whether we should let people choose when to switch, but we wanted some sort of thrill. Throughout the series so far there’s always been that thrill of danger when HP is running out, but that becomes less of a threat as the player levels up. I thought, I want to put in something else on top of that, and it took the shape of forcibly switching the character being controlled with Drop. Also, if we had made the switching completely optional there would be people who only went along playing either Sora or Riku, and one of the characters could get too much stronger than the other, so it’s also a means of controlling that. — With more than fifty breeds of Spirits you can make friends with, the Spirit growth system is also a factor that makes this game worth more than a speedrun, isn’t it? Nomura: Well it was like, if I were to make a system where you get an enemy character onto your team and develop them, this is how I’d want it to be. I wouldn’t want players to get enemies on their team by defeating them, I would want to have people experience the process of raising them from birth until they got strong, and have them feel attached to the target of their raising. To bring that system into reality, it would have been weird setup-wise to make friends with Heartless and Nobodies, so we went with creating a new type of being called Dream Eaters. In the beginning there were less breeds, but I thought it was lacking variation, and I told the staff they’d probably need to make more than fifty. We had to show they were cooperating with Sora and Riku to fight enemies, so riding on their backs and the like with link attacks was necessary too, which made our workload incredible. — Which Dream Eaters did you design yourself? Nomura: The only one I drew myself is Meow Wow. I drew it basically all in one go, and didn’t edit it at all. As for the other Spirits, I showed Meow Wow to the staff and requested that they ‘please give them a design that is strange, charming without being too cute’. They drew for me in high spirits, and came out with one interesting design after another. [Question removed due to spoilers. Click here for the full version of the interview.] — Many worlds in this title are appearing for the first time in the series. How did you choose them? Nomura: Basically, from the Osaka Development Team’s proposals. Worlds they wanted to have appear, what they wanted to do there–I received proposals for both those things, and I chose from among them. You know, in the beginning there was even the idea to divide ‘Fantasia’ and ‘Fantasia 2000′ between Sora and Riku in Symphony of Sorcery. — Did the characters from The World Ends With You appear in Traverse Town due to the Osaka Development Team’s proposal, too? Nomura: No, in the first scenario they planned to have Leon and Cid and the others like always. However, it would have been weird for them to be in the Traverse Town in this title, and maybe it’s time to give the “arrive in Traverse-Town, Cid says ‘Hey kid’ routine” a rest. So, when I thought about who’d feel fresh to put in, I thought it might be interesting to depict teenagers from a city like Shibuya coming into contact with country kids like Sora, thus I decided to put in the characters from TWEWY. Also, another reason was that in this title, Traverse Town is a world in which many things must be explained, and Joshua is just right for the role of explainer. — Being able to view flashback scenes whenever we wanted with the Memento feature was new. Nomura: Production-wise, we were trying to make the story as deep and layered as possible, but then we’d have to show many explanatory cutscenes. I’d always thought there was no way to progress the story other than to increase the number of cutscenes, but I think we found a way after all with the Memento feature. It’s like, people who want to enjoy the story can watch it whenever, and people who want to hurry and advance through the game can fly through and perhaps watch it while taking a break. — We thought it was very refreshing being able to read summaries of all the past titles with the Chronicles feature too. Nomura: Those were originally written by Oka (Mr. Masaru Oka: Scenario and Cutscene Director) with revisions by me. If we’d had time I would have wanted to do them in pictures, but we couldn’t go that far this time. It is, of course, so people who hadn’t played a title could follow along, but the text is written to be so clear that it even includes parts that weren’t asserted definitively in each game, so if people who already know the story read along to see if they had things right, they may discover new things. I think pictures would have been a good way to do it too, but text does have the advantage of allowing people to reexamine the necessary parts straight away. [Question removed due to spoilers. Click here for the full version of the interview.] — Now we would like to ask a few questions about the future of the KH series. First of all, if you get the letters ‘Secret Message Unlocked’ in the credits for this title you can read a message in the Keyword Glossary. The English letters there surely mean we can hope for KH3 next? Nomura: I will leave that to your imaginations. Well, you’ll know the answer soon, I suppose. — At the end of the credits, when Sora and Riku go into the light, the shape of the light looks like a III… Nomura: I can’t go into detail, but you could think of it as a secret message from me. — Now, is there a possibility you will make a KH3D Final Mix title? Nomura: I don’t know what might happen in the years to come, but as of now there are no plans. Osaka Development Team have several titles on their hands, it’s not the right time for that. — At the end of the secret movie for KHBBSFM, an interesting message that said ‘Birth by Sleep -Volume Two’ appeared. Is there a chance that a KHBBS2 will be appearing? Nomura: It seems that many people thought that, but during that movie there were the words ‘A fragmentary passage’, weren’t there? That means a ‘bits and pieces of something whole’. In short, a story for ‘Volume Two’ exists that ought to be told, but the story cuts off with those scenes. Because of that, I won’t say there is absolutely no chance that we will produce a title to follow KHBBS , but there are no plans as of now. — In an interview in the KH Days Ultimania, you said ‘I’m thinking of a mystery KH that made the producer go “what??”‘. Was that KH3D? Nomura: No, it wasn’t. I originally planned to make that after KHBBS, but we ended up making KH3D and the project was stopped. It’s a shame, but we won’t be starting that project again. [Questions removed due to spoilers. Click here for the full version of the interview.] — Are there any Disney titles you’d like to see appear in the future of the series? Nomura: I wish and wish, but I’ve wanted for a long time to have Pixar titles appear in the series. I’m already working on many ideas, but I can’t say whether they will become a reality or not. — Pixar has many wonderful titles, and we’d love to see them appear. Finally, when will next play a new Kingdom Hearts game? Nomura: I still can’t say when, but various developments have already started regarding a new title in the Kingdom Hearts series. — More than one?! Nomura: I am sure we’ll be able to make some kind of announcement when the time is right, so in the meantime I’d like you to keep playing KH3D. There’s a high degree of freedom in the play style and the story is full of mysteries, so I would be very pleased if you tried playing on a high level of difficulty and investigating the plot. Also, the mini game ‘Flick Rush’ is pretty exciting, so please give it a try. Scenario mysteries: We can't show this interview without giving strong spoilers for Kingdom Hearts 3D, so please click here to read it.
  16. The May 10, 2012 issue of Famitsu Weekly magazine has included an on article on Kingdom Hearts, containing an interview with the director of the series, Tetsuya Nomura. Here, Nomura discusses both Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] and a future, currently unannounced title in the Kingdom Hearts series. He also confirms a North American demo for Kingdom Hearts 3D! sqexgal has completely translated this interview, and you can read this translation below. The full version of the interview contains strong spoilers for Kingdom Hearts 3D, and can be read here. For a spoiler-free version, keep reading. — Speaking of the previous titles, about when do you start thinking of the ‘next title’? Nomura: It’s a gradual process. When Kingdom Hearts was in production, I was considering ideas for Kingdom Hearts II and Chain of Memories. And when those two were in production, I was thinking of ideas for the next three, 358/2 Days, Coded, and Birth by Sleep. — Were you thinking of KH3D when those 3 titles were in production? Nomura: KH3D was put together relatively quickly, I was still concepting the story when I brought it to the table. — What about in the secret movie of Birth by Sleep Final Mix…? Nomura: Well… (Laughs.) Now that you mention it, that secret movie was referred to as “A fragmentary passage”, meaning bits and pieces of something whole. A story connected to Kingdom Hearts exists out of that, but I don’t know whether or not it’ll be told hereafter. — The secret message and secret movie of KH3D were loaded with things to wonder about. Is it finally time for KH3? Nomura: I’ll leave that up to everyone’s imagination. Though, it might be a curve ball. (Laughs.) — Lastly, a message for our readers. Nomura: We’ve decided to distribute a KH3D demo in North America as well as Japan. You can play part of Sora’s scenario in Traverse Town. So if your friends haven’t played it yet, you can recommend it to them. And of course, give the co-op mini game Flick Rush a try. Also, an unannounced title is being prepared as well, though it’s something lighter. There are still songs continuing to be distributed for Theartrhythm Final Fantasy so you can look forward to that as well.
  17. Couple of things today. Firstly, we've created a page for Kingdom Hearts III which comprises together everything we know about the game. You might have things you want to add to the page, and of course, you can do that here in our Content Project. Secondly, our worlds section is now complete. This includes a complete story synopsis for each world. Thanks to everyone who contributed! Now, we're working on characters and aim to have the majority done before E3 2011. And now, we come to you with a question. Today's question is what characters do you think will be featured in Kingdom Hearts 3D, and what will their involvement be? As usual, give your answer at our forum, and the best answers will be chosen and featured on the website. We look forward to you participating!
  18. Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] Ultimania, the official guidebook for Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance], released earlier this week in Japan. Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] Ultimania is said to contain a lot of information and secrets about both Kingdom Hearts 3D and the future of the Kingdom Hearts series. We will keep updating the front page with more information about the book as it appears. takaturtle from KH13 has scanned all pages from the Ultimania containing interviews with Tetsuya Nomura, or other staff who worked on Kingdom Hearts 3D. Since these pages contain some spoilers about the game, we won't embed them here-- instead, please click this link to see them. A partial translation of the Tetsuya Nomura interview, using these scans, has appeared online, and again, this interview contains spoilers. For this reason, please click here to read it. Update 1: Lightning_XII from GameFAQs has translated even more of the interview scans. These interview excerpts contain a lot of Kingdom Hearts 3D spoilers, so proceed with caution! If you're ready, you can read it here. We will keep updating as more interview excerpts appear. Update 2: Peterko from KH13 has uploaded various scans from the Ultimania, in great quality! To be specific, these scans contain the Tetsuya Nomura interview, and the list of 20 secrets from within the game. Thanks to him, you can view these scans by clicking here.
  19. The June 2012 issue of Game Informer magazine has included an article on Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance]. This article contains an interview with the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura, where he discusses the upcoming release of Kingdom Hearts 3D internationally. Thanks to EternalKeyblade from KH13 who typed up a script of the interview, you can now read it below! GI: What is the first element you create when starting a new Kingdom Hearts game? TN: "It differs every time, but I usually start with the gameplay mechanics. At the same time, I work on the structure of the story and then flesh it out from there with the gameplay linked to the story." GI: What was the visual inspiration for the colorful and cute Spirit allies and Nightmare enemies compared to the darker Heartless and Nobodies in the past games? TN: I've always wanted to incorporate a system in which you can turn your enemies into allies. When I decided on having the story take place in the world of dreams, I needed a new category of enemies. That's how I thought about creating new characters that can be added as allies. I had the team apply many different color patterns, keeping in mind that these are fantastical creatures that live in a dream world. Then, I picked the pattern that was the most colorful and stood out the most. GI: Would you ever want to see a high-definition collections of Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II similar to the upcoming Final Fantasy X HD remaster? TN: I do have an interest in HD versions, and I'm currently researching them. If it is possible, I would like to do something about the series being spread over so many different consoles, too. I am thinking alot about the future. GI: You released Birth by Sleep on PSP. What are your thoughts on the Playstation Vita? TN: We have been invited to make games on different new platforms, and every time we have created titles making sure that they are highly compatible with the platform. The PS Vita is definitely a powerful device that is very interesting, but because of it's high power, there isn't much of a difference with a console. So even if we were to make a game, we would have to be very careful about how to create it for that device. I also feel that it's about time that Kingdom Hearts should go back to being on a console. GI: What do you say to the segment of Kingdom Hearts fans that believes the increasingly complex storyline of Kingdom Hearts stands at odd with the child-focused Disney element of the franchise? TN: First of all, this series is not intended to be child-focused, and so the complexity of the story is purposefully made prominent. That being said, with a series being around so long, there are a few items I have in mind so that a wider audience range can enjoy the experience. For the time being Dream Drop Distance, there is a new function called Mementos, and in the section called Chronicles, the player can read a summary on each of the titles from the Kingdom Hearts series. Whether you are just starting out or you have played all the games before and need a refresher, it has all of the key information summarized. GI: In recent interviews you hinted that Dream Drop Distance is the last game before Kingdom Hearts III. Do you see it this way? TN: I'm not able to disclose any information on what's coming next or any other future plans, but you may be able to find a hint if you play through Dream Drop Distance to the very end. GI: Square Enix has released several iPhone and iPad games both of new franchises and classics. Are you interested in creating Kingdom Hearts game or other titles for IOS? TN: There is something I am working on, but I'm afraid I can't reveal the specifics. I feel that there needs to be progress made on the tablet devices and there should be more games for that platform. I'm not sure which title this would come to pass, but I am researching about IOS as one of the platform options. GI: How is Final Fantasy Versus XIII coming along? It's been nearly six years since it was announced. Why is this project taking so long to develop? TN: We would like to ask for your patience on an official announcement for this title. It always takes time when tackling the challenge of doing something new, but we are doing our best to bring information to the fans as quickly as we can. Your patience is greatly appreciated. Some interesting quotes: "I do have an interest in HD versions [of KH1 and KH2], and I'm currently researching them." "I also feel that it's about time that Kingdom Hearts should go back to being on a console." "There is something I am working on [for iPhone/iPad], but I'm afraid I can't reveal the specifics [and it's not necessarily KH]."
  20. Update 2: sqexgal has translated an additional 5 questions which were asked to Tetsuya Nomura by Famitsu Weekly. You can read this translation below. - Can you tell us a bit more about the last illustration revealed for Kingdom Hearts 3D? Nomura: That illustration was the first one I drew for the KH3D packaging. Like I mentioned in a previous interview, Sora is small in it so it’s hard to recognize who he is, so it went back on the shelf so to speak. - Sora is quite small in it! Nomura: Well that… It’s not related but since we’re on the topic of small things… Hazama-san (Theatrhythm Final Fantasy’s Producer) wanted me to mention that the song “Somnus” is available for download in Theatrhythm FF, I told him it wasn’t related to Kingdom Hearts so it’d be off topic, but now I’ve said my part. (Laughs.) - It’s a good thing we have bonus time. (Laughs.) “Somnus” is a song from Final Fantasy Versus XIII huh. It’s a nice chance for all those who can’t wait to enjoy a little taste of the game. Nomura: Also coming up, next week’s issue of Famitsu Weekly (on sale April 12) will contain an exclusive AR card for KH3D. Your collection won’t be incomplete without the Spirit Dream Eater on the card, but I thought it’d be fun to include an additional element that players could look forward to afterward. - It seems that these won’t affect the collection of trophies in the game. Nomura: That’s right. The first release of the game comes with an AR card that has 1 of 3 Spirit Dream Eaters like Kingdanyan on it, but through breeding you can obtain all 3 in the game. On the other hand, there are the Spirits on AR cards that come with Famitsu etc., these types of special promotional Spirits do not affect the completeness of the game itself. - Lastly, a message for the fans. Nomura: It’s thanks to all the fans who have followed Kingdom Hearts over these 10 years that it has become a prolonged series. I truly appreciate it. Thank you for this. Thinking back when I was working on the original Kingdom Hearts, I wondered if it would be well received or if the first would be the last, I had to put my trust in all the players. Although there’s probably some who have went in and out of interest during these 10 years, it’s really thanks to all those fans who anticipate the new titles and praise them after playing that we’ve been able to make it this far. In that sense, the Kingdom Hearts series was made possible by you guys. I hope to continue the series for as long as there is interest. Please continue to support us from here on out, thanks for everything. Update: sqexgal is in the process of translating the interviews from the article. So far, she has translated the 10 questions with Tetsuya Nomura. You can read this below. Q1. The series has celebrated its 10th anniversary, how do you feel now? A1. It’s gotten old. (Wry laughter.) The first Kingdom Hearts title went on sale in 2002. At that time, Nomura was 31 years old. Nomura: Really now, I can’t move like I did 10 years ago. The feeling of impossibleness has lost its effect on me. (Wry laughter.) After this how many titles do you think you’ll put out into the world, have you calculated that far? Nomura: After 10 years, I’ve thought that “the creator’s life span is short”, so I’ve already decided that as long as a hold a position where I have the opportunity to make things, I will do so. At any rate, so far I have already made quite a number of titles. There is still a lot I want to make, and since there is something I promised with my staff, from here on out I want to continue making titles as long as possible. Furthermore regarding the future, Nomura added: With my close colleagues, if half of them retire maybe I’ll be able to make things more leisurely. (Laughs). Q2. During these 10 years, what’s the most impressive occurrence to you? A2. The release date of each title. Nomura: When the release date comes, it feels like it’s actually been completed. Once it reaches the players hands, I can say it’s finally complete. Then the first thing I do is relax. What about the most impressive occurrence involving the advertising team for the series? Nomura: We were at an event in Los Angeles prior to the North American release of Kingdom Hearts II and when the trailer was streaming there was a great cheering from the crowd. It was very moving for me, and I haven’t forgotten about even now. Q3. What would you say is the overall theme of the Kingdom Hearts series? A3. Defining what the “heart” is. Nomura: I set the theme around the “heart”, and the “things that the eye can’t see” that relate to it. How a character feels, and what the character thinks about those things which they can’t see, it’s drawn around that idea. Bonds, friendships, promises, memories, sleep, and dreams. All these keywords of the series are connected to the “heart”. Also, they are things that everyone concerns themselves with in their own lives. Though it’s a fantasy, it evokes a strong sense of sympathy. Maybe that’s the reason the titles of this series reverberate in our own hearts. Q4. As a director, what part of the Kingdom Hearts titles do you put the most consideration? A4. I put serious consideration into every aspect. Regarding the Kingdom Hearts series, every element passes through Nomura’s hands and he makes the final decisions, from the system’s technical specifications, to the story’s plot, the final script, the design of the small icons in the menu and maps etc., the music, and all the names of the games contents. It’s the same with promotional material, Nomura directs every detail that goes into them, from the advertisements and storefront pop ups, to how the trailers are edited. Nomura: I put serious consideration into every aspect of the titles, I want to release it once I’m satisfied with it. Having a responsibility to himself to only put out titles that he is satisfied with, that is Nomura’s policy for Kingdom Hearts. Q5. When you draw the Kingdom Hearts characters, what do you focus on? A5. I draw them freely and without expectations. Nomura: It’s a collaborative title with Disney, but if I drew with the designs of the Disney characters in mind, then it wouldn’t really be a collaboration, so I draw Sora how I like as the standard. Also, from the Kingdom Hearts illustrations drawn so far, which one is your favorite? Nomura: I’ll go with my gut feeling, it’s the illustration used on the package of original Kingdom Hearts, since it was the one that began everything. I drew it thinking that it was unlike any Disney image seen before. Q6. What components of Kingdom Hearts do you think it doesn’t lack? A6. The deep story and refreshing action. The series has many charms and features, but it’s these two aspects that stick out the most. Nomura: I always tell my team, it’s about the story and action. We make Kingdom Hearts satisfy both those elements. On top of that, the systems developed in the titles are relevant to the story among other aspects, it seems giving each element of the game meaning is Nomura’s specialty. It must be that attention to detail which he produces worlds with a sense of unity that garner him so many fans. Q7. If you were to defined the music of Kingdom Hearts, what would you say? A7. It’s a joint effort with Shimomura-san. Composer Yoko Shimomura’s specialty is dramatic melodies that fill the listener with emotions, it’s easy to see how it’s a joint effort with her. Nomura: Ultimately, the songs in Kingdom Hearts are made through a joint effort with Shimomura-san. Recently Takeshi Kando and Takeharu Ishimoto have been participating as well, but to get the atmosphere as right as possible so we can say it’s definitely Kingdom Hearts quality, the music inadvertently becomes more Shimomura-ish. My own favorite song is “Dearly Beloved”. Nomura: Origianlly, that song wasn’t given the go ahead. But it was a favorite of mine and I decided to use it on the title screen, now it feels like it was fated to be. Q8. If you could give advice to yourself from 10 years ago when you begun producing Kingdom Hearts, what would you say? A8. It’s gonna be long! Nomura: Its continued more than I expected, I’ve had to take a lot of notes. There’s a lot to forget! (Laughs.) At that time, amongst the 99 pages there was a comment from Kanamori, saying that there weren’t plans to make a sequel. Nomura: There weren’t details about the story’s continuation, but I was considering it to some degree. When Kingdom Hearts was released, its sales went really well. It’s thanks to all the fans who supported the original Kingdom Hearts that we’ve been able to develop a series that’s continued for over 10 years. Q9. Now 10 years later, what do you think has become of Kingdom Hearts? Q9. It isn’t finished yet, huh. Nomura: At that time, I figured by the time I was 50 years old I wouldn’t be able to work like I did then, so I took a slow pace. (Wry laughter.) The Xehanort saga will end in the next one, but it’s not necessarily completely over. When I finish it, I want to “close” the story completely, so no one could make a continuation of it. I’m thinking of a way to end it so there is no room to continue it. While there doesn’t seem to be any details about how he will end it, he seems to have an image to some degree of how it will happen. The recently released title on sale now is the next episode in the Xehanort saga centering around Master Xehanort. I wonder when something relating to Kingdom Hearts 3, which will assumably be the final chapter, will be shown? Attentive fans will want to play Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance first and check on the secret movie. Q10. For you, what does Kingdom Hearts mean? Q10. My thirties. Nomura: These works were the first ones I directed, at the same time they are my “masterpieces”. I am free to be my most creative in these titles. In an older interview, someone asked, “What does Final Fantasy mean to you?” And I answered, my twenties, because I had certainly spent my twenties working on those titles. However, 10 years after that, there’s Kingdom Hearts too. The Final Fantasy series was founded by a number of creatives, but Kingdom Hearts was produced as a result of Nomura choosing a challenge and making a new setting altogether. Kingdom Hearts is where the creative spirit of Tetsuya Nomura really blossomed. Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] has appeared with an article in the April 5, 2012 issue of Famitsu Weekly, celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Kingdom Hearts series. The article is said to contain interviews with key staff members of the series, as well as a list of things to check on your second playthrough of Kingdom Hearts 3D. We do not yet have scans or complete interviews, but some details about the article are starting to appear online. According to Siliconera, the following interview snippets have appeared online. This implies that Kingdom Hearts III will be the next game in the series. Speaking about the tenth anniversary of the Kingdom Hearts series with Famitsu, Tetsuya Nomura said the next game will complete Xehanort’s chapter. Nomura talked about Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. He said he dreamt of giving the game analog control.
  21. We finally have high quality scans of the Kingdom Hearts article in the July 28 issue of Famitsu Weekly. I'm sure you've already read about the Tetsuya Nomura interview, where he reveals Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance details (all of this is below, please check it out), so I'll get right onto the scans. These were uploaded by our staff member, sqexgal, and can be seen below in our gallery thanks to her. Enjoy! Famitsu Weekly → July 14, 2011
  22. As there is so much information showing up concerning the recent Famitsu Weekly article concerning Kingdom Hearts, I thought it was important that we have a list of these updates for you. So, here: Even more article details translated by sqexgal from KH13 Partial interview translated by krexia from KHI & demo impressions translated by sqexgal from KH13 Interview summary translated by sqexgal from KH13 Survey results translated by andriasang.com Various interview details translated by andriasang.com Announcement of article
  23. As you've probably read, the recently released issue of Famitsu Weekly has included information on Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance and the future of the Kingdom Hearts series. This includes the results to a survey, as well as an interview with Tetsuya Nomura. Thanks to FF-Reunion and Sokuho@Hokanko, as well as our very own sqexgal, we now have an extensive summary of the interview. Read below. - The story of 3D is quite mysterious and difficult to understand, the data within Sora is what you will be dealing with in 3D. 3D is being prepared in response to all those fans looking forward to KH3. - 3D will provide answers about KH3. - The current Xehanort saga will end in KH3. There are tentative plot ideas for after that too. The main character won’t change, it’ll be Sora. - Whether we’ll release an HD remake or not is another story, however we are considering doing an HD upgraded version of one of the past titles. - The development of 3D is currently around 40% to 50%. There will be a secret movie. - Traverse Town with “????” and “????” are shown, showing a character raising steadily from the top of a building. - The story will touch upon the hidden data in Sora. - Gameplay will include jumping up to rooftops. That's all for now! However, stay tuned, there's more to come. Thanks to sqexgal again, in the next week we'll be able to provide high quality scans of the interview, and a full translation. Hope you look forward to it.
  24. On the Ranking Results Since I hear a lot of opinions that fans really like one particularly, I’m surprised to see that KH2 Final Mix ranked number one and then KH2 ranked after it. I didn’t want Birth by Sleep to seem like a spin off, so I’m happy to see it ranked in the top five. My favorite character Sora must be ranked number one since he’s an uncomplicated, good guy. He gives us trouble though; when we make the promotional trailers it’s hard to find lines of his we can use since he doesn’t really say much useful. The second ranked character Roxas, fans think he’s the most Final Fantasy-esque. Along with his friendship with Axel, they make an impressive set. The most impressionable scenes for me were the endings of KH1 and KH2, and the scene in KH2 when Roxas’ summer vacation ends. My favorite abilities are the popular Glide and Dodge Roll as well. They have a reinvigorating feel and are comfortable to do, so I like them. Along the same line, we’re including a one-handed rotation ability similar to Dodge Roll in FF Versus 13 too. My favorite Keyblade is the top ranked Oathkeeper. It carries a deep meaning with the story and the design of it is clean, it’s the one I’m most pleased with. With the most popular world, Twilight Town, we really fussed over embodying the image of coming from school as the sun sets. That song gave Shimomura-san a lot of trouble and pushed her to improve. We had an image derived around another artist’s song, but it really worked out well, the result was a song with a completely different sort of anguish. The worst world to deal with was Atlantica, sorry it was so difficult to move. We had trouble adjusting the character’s movement while swimming and simultaneously fighting. The popular enemies like the Shadows, Neo Shadows, White Mushrooms, Dusks and so on; I drew them myself. The enemies dictate the overall design aspects of the series, so I work them out with the staff afterwards. The hardest enemy for me was the Dancer Nobody, it was formidable enemy. On Story Development The story is mixed with elements of surprise. I try to develop it so that the parts that you expect to go one way go another. We don’t come together and decide on the story from beginning to end. The staff helps flesh things out and I supervise myself making the final decisions. Since I’m the only one who can see the big picture and knows what happens after each development, I have a hard time figuring out how to draw it up for the staff. On Internationalization Though it’s an international series, it isn’t regulated for specific regions since I believe it will be well received if it’s interesting enough. Those at Disney said it has a very Japanese sense about it, I guess you could call it ‘Eastern thinking’. I thought that we’d make the storyline simple and clear, but I received this single piece of advice from Hironobu Sakaguchi: “If you don’t make it more complex like with Final Fantasy, you won’t be able to compete.” So from there the development moved to make something that would engage the colorful imaginations of the fans. The storyline for KH3D is considerable difficult to understand. I am discussing it with Disney now, but they couldn’t understand it all at once. I’m explaining the reason and the established connections for each mystery one by one. It’s troublesome for the interpretation and localization, but there are many people in Disney who love the Kingdom Hearts series, somehow they’re following along with it. There’s a sense that Kingdom Hearts appeals to wider age range of fans compared to Final Fantasy. Ration wise, more fans are female. I’m especially happy to see that there is strong support for the series from fans in foreign countries too. On Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance Since there are so many mysteries to wonder about that are unrelated to the main volume, we aren’t trying to explain all of them. (Things like the personal information of the characters, the Room of Sleep, and the Room of Awakening.) KH3D deals with Sora’s concealed data, I’ll reveal more about the other mysteries another time. The development status of KH3D is about 40%-50%. We’ll start recording the voices soon. The theme this time was “bold action”, but we also wanted to stress the importance of the story’s tempo. Though the story is important to fans as shown by the results of the survey, it won’t be drawn-out. Not meaning that we’ve decreased the number of cutscenes, but having each one explained one by one reduces the tempo of the game, so we’re introducing a new system to make up for it. Again it’s directionally different from FF Versus 13. In KH3D, Sora will fight alongside various friends too. There’s also a secret movie being prepared. On the Future of Kingdom Hearts We’ve prepared a response in KH3D for the fans who are always saying, “We want KH3 to release!” The series that has developed so far as “the Xehanort saga” should end once and for all in KH3. I’ve outlined a tentative plot that takes place afterward, so we could continue onto a new chapter. Sora would remain the main character; that wouldn’t change. About an HD remastering, whether we release one or not is a different story, we have to think about the technical aspects of it. I’ll read everyone who has given their opinions carefully. From this summer to next spring, we’ll continue releasing information and sales dates for KH among other titles from the first development department, so please look forward to it.
  25. Today's issue of Famitsu Weekly has included an article about the Kingdom Hearts series. This article contains an interview with the director of the series, Tetsuya Nomura. He discusses Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance and Kingdom Hearts III. Although a full translation has not yet been found or posted, these details about the interview are known thanks to andriasang.com. Kingdom Hearts 3D In case you've forgotten in the six months of silence, the three Ds in the 3DS Kingdom Hearts name stand for Dream Drop Distance. Development is currently 40 to 50% complete, Nomura told Famitsu this week. He also confirmed the inclusion of a secret movie. Sora will be around in future Kingdom Hearts, so why does he look so cross? Nomura dropped a bunch of vague hints about the game. Here's the vaguest: "XXX and XXX in Traverse Town!" This is apparently supposed to be surprising, so see if you can fill in the XXXs with surprising elements. The game's story is enigmatic and quite puzzling, said Nomura The story will touch upon the hidden data in Sora. Just one little gameplay bit: you'll apparently be able to work your way up to the rooftops. Future of Kingdom Hearts Regarding the future of the Kingdom Hearts series, Nomura said that those who are anticipating Kingdom Hearts III will find some answers in KH3D. The Xehanort part of the Kingdom Hearts saga will end with KHIII, he said. He currently has a framework of some form in place for the continuation of the series after that, and Sora will remain as main character. Regarding possible HD remakes of past titles, Nomura would only say that, separate from whether or not they will release remakes, they're looking into HD techology tests for past titles. (I'm not sure if this question and response is about Kingdom Hearts or just in general.) Keep checking back for more!