Nomura talks about KH3, HD 2.5 ReMIX and KHX [chi] in latest Famitsu Weekly

The latest edition of Famitsu Weekly releasing December 26th, 2013 contains an interview with Nomura, director of the Kingdom Hearts series, about Kingdom Hearts 3, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts X [chi]. He reveals some new info about all 3 of these titles. Thanks to hokanko-alt for providing a summary of this interview, and KHInsider for translating it.

• KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.5 ReMIX is being worked on the same team who did KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5 ReMIX and transitioning it to HD is progressing much more smoothly than KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5 ReMIX.

• I have yet to announce a clear release date.

• Like KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5 ReMIX, there isn’t a lot of things to change but the volume is considerable.

• Re:coded isn’t as long as 358/2 Days because many of the cutscenes in Days were originally from the main story. I’ve added a new events in Disney Worlds. Also there will be new voice actors that will be appearing and we’ve just voice recorded for Alice’s world last week.

• Battle scenes and new scenarios have been added.

• There will be a scene where Re:coded leads up to KINGDOM HEARTS 3D.

• There is a sense to summarize the plots in the HD remasters for KINGDOM HEARTS III but please do not think KINGDOM HEARTS 3D isn’t necessary for the storyline.

• Although there is a mysterious story you should be aware. In KINGDOM HEARTS χ[chi], dialogues of Chirithy have been added in episodes, there is an interesting scene where another Chirithy appears.

• The Guilt System that was originally developed with orbs have been changed. Guilt would be the drops we collect from Heartless.

• When I’m writing the scenario and connecting them together, I can no longer make sense in the answer that goal approaches. Therefore, I seek to answer how can I make this surprising.

• KINGDOM HEARTS χ[chi] scenarios have become more surprising.

• Concerning the Foreteller’s episode, events that will occur in the future will be written in the Foreteller’s Script.

• The last sentence in the Foreteller’s Script leads to KINGDOM HEARTS III.

• I think setting an end to KINGDOM HEARTS χ[chi], considering the nature of an online game, is difficult. I think KINGDOM HEARTS III may have online elements and it may be possible to link them but I currently don’t know.

• KINGDOM HEARTS III’s October PV was received positively but it is still insufficient development wise.

• You can choose the “Attraction Flow” ability according to the enemy and location. I’d like to mention in particular, boss battles have the richest ones. It is a system that has evolved from Flowmotion and it is a vital part of KINGDOM HEARTS III.

• There are various amazing transformations of the Keyblade such as guns.

• We’re planning it should be used as some sort of gimmick.

• Osaka’s team is working simultaneously on both KINGDOM HEARTS III and KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.5 ReMIX.

• Nomura said he is currently writing the scenario for KINGDOM HEARTS III now.

• FINAL FANTASY XV is still currently focused on development and I want you to wait until the timing is right to reveal more information.

Update #1: Famitsu has added an article with scans of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix. Check it out below. Thanks to BKvEBVAvUq for finding it.


Kingdom Hearts 7 Coverage of Jump Festa 2014

Jump Festa 2014 is a huge gaming event being held in Tokyo, Japan. Jump Festa runs from December 21-23, 2013. We will stick this post to the front page during the event. Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX will be appearing with a new trailer and a new demo. There have been no news on whether or not Kingdom Hearts 3 will be present, but we all hope so. Keep checking back frequently to Kingdom Hearts 7 as we bring all the latest news, images, and videos to you. To receive instant updates, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and our Youtube channel.

The Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX trailer will be shown on NicoNico on Saturday from 12:45-2:25 Japan Time, and on Sunday from 11:30-12:55 Japan Time.

December 20th, 2013


Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX’s Jump Festa trailer is up.

Famitsu have created an article talking about the demo and have also included 5 images of the demo being played.

Thanks to the following people for the below images: Hidemi Matsuzuka, Square Enix Events Facebook page, aibo_ac7, usamasuku, and SQEX PR.


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Nomura interview about Kingdom Hearts 3 in January edition of Game Informer

Game Informer’s January edition has a preview of Kingdom Hearts 3 in which Nomura adds in a few new details specifically the new gameplay and story. Thanks to KH-Vids for the information. Below are Nomura’s quotes and some indirect quotes which might interest you.

Dream Drop Distance left us with a revelation: Seven Keyblade wielders must be gathered to take on Xehanort. Kingdom Hearts III’s main story concludes Xehanort’s arc, and Nomura says it picks up “immediately after the events of Dream Drop Distance.”

“The process of the wielders coming together will be the main storyline, but one of the highlights of the climax is going to be who is part of the seven lights and thirteen darkness when they get to the final battle,” he says. “Would it be as everyone expected, or will there be unexpected members added to the mix? That is something to look forward to.”

“All Keyblades transform, and in many different ways,” Nomura says. “Through the series, various other skilled Keyblade wielders had transformed their weapon; it may serve as a hint to see what they transformed their Keyblades into, in order to understand the different ways in which they changed their form.”

The biggest revelation is that attractions are now a part of Sora’s arsenal as special attacks. One of these is Big Magic Mountain, where Sora rides a train through the sky, going upside down and taking twists and turns to damage a towering golem [the Rock Titan]. Nomura confirms it’s not tied to the Keyblade abilities, but instead the enemy you’re up against. “When the appropriate attack becomes available, the player can activate it,” he says. This is by far the most exciting innovation we’ve seen for the new installment.

We have to wait to learn more details about Kingdom Hearts III, but Nomura gives some insight into his vision. “It will be a summation of everything accumulated up to this point, in terms of both story and game mechanics,” he says. “I’m sure that those who’ve followed the series up to now are very eager to see what’s next, but I think it’s also important to create wonder and awe, much like when the first game in the series came out.”

“The end also means a new beginning, and I’m certain that as this story arc ends, players will be able to look forward — carrying this excitement — for something new and different, never-before-seen in the series,”

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX in Weekly Shonen Jump

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX has appeared in the latest edition of the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. No new information about HD 2.5 ReMIX was shared; however, a summary was provided of the 3 games included in the hd collection: Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix, and Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded. kazu4281 has tweeted an image of the article.

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Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX confirmed to be appearing at Jump Festa

Square Enix have announced through their offical Jump Festa website that Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX will be appearing at Jump Festa 2014 occurring December December 21-22, 2013. There will be 2 playable games in HD 2.5 ReMIX: BBS Final Mix and KH2FM as well as a new trailer. Thanks to aibo_ac7 and our forum member, ultimatekhfan, for the information.

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Nomura talks about KH3 and 2.5 in latest Famitsu Weekly

Nomura has had a chance to be interviewed in the latest Famitsu Weekly. In the interview, he shared information about KH3 and 2.5. The interview is not online yet, but aibo_ac7 has given us some information from the interview which SQEX.INFO has translated.

• We’re doing our best to brush up Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 as much as possible, even more than 1.5.

• The Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer showed in game footage, but it’s not in a condition where viewers can fully grasp it. We’re going to improve the quality much more still.

• In the trailer you see 3 of Sora’s new moves, and they demonstrate the 2 attack systems. First is Keyblade transformation, and second is the Disney attraction inspired moves.

• The Keyblade transformations will vary for each different Keyblade, their styles as well.

• Attractions are an evolution of KH3D’s Flowmotion. You can choose which move you want to use against enemies on the spot.

• Even during an enemy outbreak, Sora’s attacks perform naturally. These new actions are just a fraction of Kingdom Hearts 3‘s new components.

Update #1: SQEX.INFO has translated the interview. Read it below.

It’s a privilege to be apart of today’s event, the first D23 Expo Japan. The last time I stood in front of fans was for the premier presentation of Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, so it’s been a long time. I was moved by everyone’s excited response. If I have the chance I’d like to do this sort of thing again.

I wanted to put out the information for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 and Kingdom Hearts 3 quickly for those who couldn’t attend, so we made the trailer public online. Since they’re both still in production, the trailers are short, but I hope that fans enjoy them. We are brushing up Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 even more that 1.5, even the staff is doing their best to improve it as much as possible.

Also, this is the first time that KH3 was shown using in-engine footage, but it’s not in a condition where viewers can fully grasp it. We’re going to improve the quality much more still after this. In the trailer you see 3 of Sora’s new moves, and they demonstrate the 2 attack systems, the first being Keyblade transformation. The Keyblade transformation is different for each Keyblade, and the battle style changes as well.

The second is the Disney attraction inspired Attraction Flow. Attraction Flow is an evolution of Kingdom Hearts 3D’s Flowmotion. With Attraction Flow, you can choose which move you want to use against which enemies on the spot, and even during an enemy outbreak you control Sora’s attacks. These new actions are just a fraction of Kingdom Hearts 3′s new components, so please wait for information hereafter.

Utada Hikaru to be involved in Kingdom Hearts 3 Theme Song

U3Music have confirmed that Utada Hikaru will be involved in the Kingdom Hearts 3 theme song which is not surprising, but nice to see a confirmation. We have no word on whether this will be a new theme song or an old one, but since all the numbered Kingdom Hearts games have had new songs, it wouldn’t be surprised if we saw new theme song for KH3. Thanks to daodlionheart for asking the question leading up to the confirmation, and aibo_ac7 for finding the find.

Update #1: Teruzune Utada tweeted that he misunderstood what the fan was saying. It is still currently undecided if Hikaru Utada will be involved in KH3.

“Conversations with Creators” Interview with Nomura

Playstation Japan have released the long awaited “Conversations with Creators” interview with Nomura on their Youtube channel. It includes footage from the E3 2013 and D23 Expo Japan 2013. The interview is in Japanese. Famitsu has added a transcript of the interview, and sqexgal has translated the transcript, and created a summary of it.

- As said before, KH3 will be the conclusion of the Dark Seeker saga.

- Since it’s a return to consoles, which have a less limiting field of view, Nomura wants you to feel the depth capabilities in the new trailer.

- KH is a game with developing action, every game takes it a step further, different challenges and bold new systems.

- He wants to keep all the different systems in mind when developing a system that stays in line with KH1 and KH2.

- Sora’s movements have been upgraded, he’s much more fluid. They’re at an early stage of development so ideas of what kind of elements are up in the air. But he wants to balance RPG elements with action too.

- Since PS4 has the capabilities, he wants to make use of all the field space and take on large numbers of enemies.

- He’s considering an interactive field space, like rocks crumbling as you scale a mountainside, and enemies being able to climb too.

- He wants to power up the AI, instead of having them all repeat the same programmed actions like in KH enemies and partner AI alike.

- Like in a FF title, you direct Donald and Goofy and they do what you say, but Nomura wants their personalities to reflect in their actions.

- Since PS4 has such high specs, Nomura wants to utilize as many actions, motions, effects, etc. as possible.

- Since this is the first numbered title to cross into next gen, you can really feel the evolution of the series.

- Concerning graphics, he’s aiming for a photo realistic representation combined with a tone of each Disney world.

- Can’t say what worlds will be coming to KH3 yet. There are many that haven’t been used yet, and those that repeat will take place in different locations.

- When asked if KH3 will make use of Dual Shock 4, Nomura responds that KH3′s development isn’t as far as FF15′s, still deciding things.

- When asked about corresponding features with tablet and PS Vita, Nomura says of course he’s considering external device correspondence, but he’s still considering ideas at the moment.

- While the PS4 offers a lot of possibilities, there are a lot of things to worry about too. But he wants to put in as many elements as he can.

- When asked what he thought of the PS4, Nomura jokingly said he thought it was overkill.

- When asked if the FF15 and KH3 teams effect one another, he says that seeing what each other is doing inspires them to work harder.

- When asked if something will happen after the conclusion of the Dark Seeker Saga, Nomura said it’s a Disney title too, so he can only speak for himself, but he does ideas for characters and developments that take place afterward.
- Maybe sometime there will be a chance to talk about that, but for now the focus is on developing KH3 to completion. He wants to put out KH3 quickly.

- Lastly, as a message to fans, he says that the power of expression has surpassed the past titles and that the play depth is greater. Everyone is working their hardest so that fans can get their hands on it quickly, so please look forward to future developments.

Update #1: sqexgal has translated the full article by Famitsu. Enjoy reading it below.

So many fans were ecstatic with the announcement of Kingdom Hearts 3 back in June. Could you give us another run down of the series and the new title Kingdom Hearts 3?

Nomura: The Kingdom Hearts series has a lot of Disney characters, and you play as original characters, traveling to the various Disney worlds. It’s a story about the “heart” as the series unfolds. It’s a story that’s been ongoing for more than 10 years and continues into Kingdom Hearts 3 where we’ll see the conclusion of the Dark Seeker Saga.

Since it’s the latest console game in the series since Kingdom Hearts 2 which released in 2005, what kind of changes and evolutions can we expect to see?

Nomura: I think when you watch the in development trailers, you get a feel of the depth that’s possible on a console title. In the case of mobile systems, the amount of information is limited, but with the home consoles you can make a game with a wide field of view. It’s been such a long time since Kingdom Hearts has been on the home console, that I think you can feel the considerable scale of it.

On that large a scale, I expect we’ll be able to enjoy even more dynamic action.

Nomura: Kingdom Hearts is a series where action continues to evolve. With the past spin off titles, we did something new and the bold action elements changed each time. One thing I want to do with KH3 is to pick and choose the challenges and unique systems from the spin off titles while keeping the system based in the flow of KH1 & KH2.

What’s an example of bold action?

Nomura: Sora’s mobility has really improved. There are so many possibilities, but implementing all of them would be extravagant, so right now I’m considering what elements and to what degree they’ll be liberalized. After all, it’s an RPG as well as an action game. It does have that “jump as far as you want” kind of the action characteristic.

Jump as far as you want? That’s insane!

Nomura: In the actual game there will be some sort of limit, but this time we are adopting the “free run” style like in current action games, where you can run around, climb, etc. Additionally, your aerial ability and jump ability rise rapidly, so it feels like the action elements are really extravagant. I think people who have played KH2 might understand it easily, it already has greater mobility than Sora’s Final Form from that game.

That kind of mobility, no doubt the next gen system PS4 has the ability to realize it?

Nomura: I think that the PS4′s power is capable of handling a diverse array of actions in a wide area and battles against large numbers of enemies.

Are you powering up the map’s traits as well?

Nomura: We’re preparing a fair number of actions that involve the world maps. Things like climbing up a cliff that crumbles with falling stones, and enemies lifting up a building that you are in.

In the E3 2013 trailer, we see a large number of Shadow Heartless squirming and moving almost like a tidal wave. It seems like the enemies’ mobility has evolved too.

Nomura: This time we are focusing our attention on developing the AI. The AI of both your allies and enemies has evolved in a way that hasn’t been seen so far. Before when a large number of enemies appeared, they all followed a program action pattern. But this time each enemy behaves according to it’s own thought process. I think it’s something that has been drastically powered up compared to the previous KH titles.

Speaking of allies, will the actions of our travel partners Goofy and Donald change as well?

Nomura: Their AI is also being powered up considerably. Since Disney characters have concrete personalities, I want them to act according to their own thoughts instead of just giving them an order and having them obey like in the Final Fantasy series. Relating to their AI, we’re configuring it so Donald and Goofy act more like themselves.

Even when they cooperate and mobile, it’s not like you give them clear instructions like before.

Nomura: The direction we’re taking in their growth is to have it so they consider the situation, and help out accordingly. As the player is busy controlling Sora in battle, they consider how they’ll participate and their actions increase accordingly.

With the PS4′s specs and memory volume, the PS4 is able to implement those features?

Nomura: Well, even with the KH games so far, we’ve made it as seamless to the best of our ability, but the data is resident in the memory… So we include as many actions, motions and effects as possible. Luckily, the PS4′s memory volume is big, so it helps.

Bold action, map features, and enemy AI. That’s a lot to squeeze into one screen. When I consider it compared to KH2, it seems to become a pretty different game.

Nomura: Since it’s a numbering KH title that crosses into the next gen, I think you’ll be able to feel how it’s evolved proportionately.

How about the graphics?

Nomura: We’re aiming for a photo realistic representation combined with a tone of each Disney world.

You’ve mentioned before that KH3 has a new shader being developed for it, can you tell us about it again?

Nomura: This isn’t the official name, but it’s something we call the Kingdom Shader. You saw it a little bit in the E3 trailer, this visual of a Disney 2D produced painted image represented in 3D. This time, when I was thinking about how the graphics in KH3 would be visualized, it started with Takeshi Nozue working in Visual Works, and he made patterns of various visuals for me. He gave me this “painted looking visual” pattern and I wound up showing it at E3. Visual Works makes pre-rendered footage, and this is based on a way to make it work in real time.

Is the painted looking visual something that you’ve wanted to implement for a long time?

Nomura: Since the very first title, the graphic gradation was made with the intention of representing the painted look of Disney’s animations. But with the hardware back then didn’t have the capability to adjust the lighting freely, so we tried to portray a painted visual in the textures we used. But this time the hardware’s capabilities are better, there is no option of “not using light.” You don’t get a sense of graphical evolution just by setting old graphics to HD, my goal with the next gen isn’t to do something that reproduces the pre-rendered scenes from KH1 & KH2 in real time. I considered the concept of the visuals and thus the representation Kingdom Shader was created.

I think all the fans are wondering, what worlds will appear, what enemies will we battle against, etc… Do you have anything to share about that?

Nomura: Not yet right now. (laughs)

Nothing, huh? But of course new worlds will be introduced, right?

Nomura: As for worlds, I’ve made some choices and started making them, but at this stage I can’t announce what world and which characters. Information will come little by little… There are a lot of new worlds since there are so many Disney titles that haven’t appeared yet. As for familiar worlds and characters, you can expect that the locations will be completely, the visuals will be different.

Are the plans for KH3 to utilize the DUALSHOCK 4 functions?

Nomura: Like Final Fantasy XV, KH3 is being developed in DirectX 11, so in what ways it will use the PS4′s functions hasn’t been decided concretely yet. Right now we’re in a stage where we are making note of the hardware and it’ll become clearer in the future. When I have an idea, I think how about we use the DUALSHOCK 4 touch pad? So I think I’d use it in some form, but right now nothing is decided.

Are you thinking about corresponding functions with tablets or the PS Vita?

Nomura: Naturally I’m considering external devices, but I’m still thinking of ideas right now.

Many things can be realized with the PS4, but there seems to be a lot of troubling things too.

Nomura: I suppose so. Ideas I think are original are already being realized by other makers, so we are waiting to see what they do, but it’s also nerve wracking. So far I’ve made games on a variety of hardware, but since I want put in as many elements as I can, I have a lot to think about. Because there are various possibilities, I want to make the kinda games that stand out as interesting.

As someone who has seen the generation changes of many systems, what about the PS4 has impacted you?

Nomura: I thought it was overkill. (laughs) As expected I gradually accepted it and then I wanted one. (laughs) Players are swelling with expectations, but to make something suitable for this system, this is a hurdle that developers must overcome. The things you can do have increased immensely, so once you start broadening the possibilities, it doesn’t end, the possibilities just grow. You’re pressed to choose what ideas to keep and what to toss. The announcement at E3 has passed, and I am still feeling the huge response that KH3 received. Everyone was so happy in that moment, I’m challenged by how I’ll live up to that expectation with this title. It’s a big challenge when you have this system where the power of expression is so high. There have been a variety of systems so far, but I feel like this one is the greatest mountain to overcome.

Not just in Japan, but fans around the world are waiting.

Nomura: The mountain is being exceeded so far. I think we’ll be able to do something, I believe in my staff.

So are the Final Fantasy XV team and Kingdom Hearts 3 team influencing each other in any way?

Nomura: Well, when they see the other team, they get inspired by the great things they see, but that’s because that’s how things were created in the Square era. KH3′s development started later, so it’s not as far along, but I think that it’s good motivation.

By the way, we’ll see the end of the Dark Seeker Saga in KH3, but what will happen after that?

Nomura: Kingdom Hearts is a Disney title, so I can’t speak for them, but naturally, in my own mind I have ideas about what happens after KH3. About characters, and developments. Maybe sometime there will be a chance to talk about that, but rather than thinking out the concrete details regarding that, right now my first priority is completing KH3. I want to put out KH3 quickly.

We’re looking forward to it. Alright, any last messages for the viewers?

Nomura: Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts 2 were for PS2 and we skipped the PS3 and now we are releasing Kingdom Hearts 3 onto PS4. The power of expression has increased drastically, and from the developments accumulated so far, even the gameplay by itself, I think that it’s become something with depth. So that the day fans can experience it for themselves, we are all working are hardest, so please look forward to the next update.