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The latest issue of Famitsu includes an interview with Nomura Tetsuya, director of Kingdom Hearts III, regarding the game and new information revealed at E3.

Part 1 of the interview is available here


Various scenes seen in the trailer are discussed. The interviewer beings up Sora, Riku and Kairi’s redesigns, and Nomura says that they reduced the number of accessories on Sora, removing belts and pockets and chains, with the aim being to give him a more “active” image due to how he does a lot more “dynamic” action in KHIII. Riku and Kairi’s new designs were made to fit with Sora’s, for example Riku having blue in contrast to Sora’s red, while Kairi’s main colour remains pink as usual. All of the new costumes, including Mickey’s, are given to them by Yen Sid, and because of that they decided to give them something shared, which was the check pattern.

The interviewer next mentions the resurrection of Roxas, and how both Sora and the True Organization XIII seem to wish for this to happen. Nomura says that while Sora does try to resurrect Roxas, this is not something that can be achieved immediately.

When asked about Larxene’s line about the “new seven hearts”, Nomura confirms that this refers to the new seven princesses, of whom only Kairi remains the same; Anna, Elsa, and Rapunzel are targeted as potential candidates for the remaining six.

Vanitas is discussed next. Nomura says that while the Vanitas in Dream Drop Distance was an illusion, the real one resurrected appears in KHIII. However, his resurrection is different from that of the other members of True Organization XIII; Some members returned to being human, then became Nobodies again after being defeated, while others resurrected through different means. Members like Lea and Ienzo who became allies of Sora’s came back to life as humans, and stay that way. Lea and Kairi are on a journey to train to become keyblade users, in a new location which the player will not visit; Scenes showing them as a “meanwhile” thing as the story progresses. Kairi’s monologue regarding her training from the concert will also be used in the game. As for Aqua, Nomura says that people were more surprised than he thought they would be at the revealing of her, and that because KHIII resolves a lot of characters, including her, writing the script was very difficult.

It is mention how Nomura had previously said that they were considering making a secret movie for KHIII as well; He says that they have already started work on it, but that it is not yet finalised.

The interviewer brings up how complex the story is, and asks if there will be doing something to help users who have forgotten the story, or never played any of the side games, and Nomura says that they plan to release a series of five videos online. They are also considering putting the videos in the game itself.

Nomura says that the biggest problem they are currently facing is with space, especially from movies. While loading realtime cutscenes does not take that much time if they take place in the same scene, inserting a “meanwhile” that takes place elsewhere results in long loading times. They tried to resolved this by turning those scenes into pre-rendered movies, but keeping these at a high resolution resulted in them taking up far more space than they had anticipated. The space problem also means that including the option to switch voice languages may also be difficult, especially since lip synch data is included as well. The interviewer asks about a “Final Mix” version of III, and Nomura says that there are no plans for such a thing at the moment. They do plan to update the game through DLC, however, and if they do do something like a “Final Mix” it would be through that. They do not have the fine details yet, but the DLC will not be things like having keyblades as paid content, but things that will “expand the playing of the game”. He says that he thinks that content will be sold on its own with no season passes, and that in any cases this is all based on the assumption that the base game is fully done.

The interviewer next asks about the FFVII remake and the new character in Dissidia. Regarding the FFVII remake, Nomura says they’re considering the timing on when to release information next. Development is on schedule, and the story is being written so as to be close to the mood of the original while also expanding on characters like the Avalanche members. It’s moving faster than anticipated, and Nomura says to be at ease while waiting for the next update. As for Dissidia, Nomura says he has to draw the art for the new character once E3 is over, and that the voice actress is a surprising choice, and that the official announcement, following the usual pace, will be soon.

The interview concludes with Nomura saying that they currently have no plans to release the E3 demo for the general public, as demos for events and public releases are made differently. A demo will however be available at Tokyo Game Show. He apologises for the game taking so long, and says that now that the release date is confirmed, they are putting their all into it.

Kingdom Hearts III will be released on the PS4 and Xbox One on 25th January 2019.

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