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Gah! I can't decide between getting a Play Arts KH2 Kairi figure or a heartless plushie! I WANT BOTH EQUALLY
Anyone read Lord of the Flies before?
My queen and I will fluff you up! ^^ muahahah *cough* I'm a nice bear
Square Enix have updated their official website for Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. This update includes information on Olympus Coliseum, Mysterious Tower, and Radiant Garden, as well as some high quality screenshots that can be viewed below, in our gallery.
The February 2010 issue of Famitsu PSP+PS3 magazine has featured an article on the upcoming Kingdom Hearts title for the PlayStation Portable, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. This article, which was scanned by HEARTSTATION.ORG, is high quality, reviewing everything we know about the game, as well as containing an interview with the series' director, Tetsuya Nomura. Kingdom Hearts Insider have translated the interview, which you can read below. Also, the article can be viewed below, in our gallery.
-- So how is development going?
Nomura: We’re putting on the last finishing touches. Right now we are fixing the text a bit. The story this time has a lot of things that might be difficult to understand, so we’re trying to make it flow better. We want to make it easier to understand for people who have never played another game in the series. But, when this interview comes out we’ll be finished with it.
-- So who is responsible for the scenario writing?
Nomura: Myself, as well as Watanabe (Daisuke) who worked on “Chain of Memories”, and Oka (Masaru) who helped with the scenario for KHII. “Kingdom Hearts” is always worked on by several people.
-- There is a lot of underplot going on in the story, but can people who have never played any other game in the series really understand what is going on?
Nomura: That question was asked quite a lot with “358/2 Days”. but I feel that if you play it from the view of the main character, you can play the game separate of all the others. But for some people, if they don’t know the whole story they will feel as though they are the only ones who don’t know something, and they will become doubtful and suspicious. In other words, they won’t be able to follow the small details. Those details are meant for the people who have played the rest of the series, but that doesn’t mean that new players won’t be able to have fun with the underplot. For example, this will be Ven’s first meeting with Lea and Isa. New players will be able to meet them along with him, and so long as they think “These are special characters” then that’s fine. I’d be happy then, if those people who start wondering about those tiny plot details and went back and played the previous games in the series. I think there are things that are interesting because you’ve played through the series, and things that are interesting because you haven’t played through the series.
-- I see, so there are different ways the plot can be interesting.
Nomura: Well, the “Kingdom Hearts” series has become a series where people have fun imagining what could be. Whether you’ve played the series or not, that doesn’t mean you know everything. Though people with a good head on their shoulders probably know what is going to happen.
-- There are three different main characters this time, what order do you recommend playing their stories?
Nomura: For the story I recommend Terra, Ven and Aqua, but I think it can be fun played from any character. For the gameplay, Ven is the easiest to use. Aqua has strong [?] and Terra’s movements feel very heavy, so I think Ven is probably the easiest to play with.
The best and most exciting battles in the series.
-- So how is work going on the action part of the game?
Nomura: Well, we think that beginners won’t have to worry so much when they play the game. We’re finished now, so they are going through debugging, and it sounds like they are having a lot of fun. They say it’s a nice change of pace. Though right now they are getting exciting beside the programmers, I’m a little worried (laugh) [I honestly couldn’t understand what he was talking about in the last sentence. Anyone?]
-- Even just playing the demo I could tell how exciting the battles were. I felt they were the best in the series.
Nomura: Everyone is saying that. Even the debug staff have been saying that the battle system is the most interesting and fun in the series. Of course I think it’s fun thinking for yourself and choosing your own set of Commands. It started in “Chain of Memories” with the Card Deck system, then it was improved in “The World Ends With You”, and now we feel we’ve perfected it with the Deck Command system.
-- Can people who aren’t very good at action games complete the game?
Nomura: Yes they can. I think they’ll be okay just on Standard, but for people who lack confidence there is always Beginner. Then if they don’t feel that is difficult enough they can switch and start again from Standard. With the battles this time, just hitting the buttons in sequence will allow you to naturally change your attack, and the three main characters fight with superhuman fighting skills, so even with just that I think you can have fun.
-- How many Deck Commands are there?
Nomura: Since you can put items in your Deck as well, it runs to over 100.
-- With that many things to choose from, I would think it would be difficult figuring out what to put in your deck.
Nomura: Once you’ve found Commands that you like, you can just keep using it. There is no need to use them all. In the end, you can just use what you like. There are a lot of different things to use as well as Deck Commands, like Shoot Locks and D-LINKs, but you can just fight using only Deck Commands if you wish. So you don’t have to think about it too much.
-- With the D-LINK system, you can use King Mickey’s power, right?
Nomura: He has the same Holy attacks and abilities that Minnie had in KHII.
-- There seems to be many different types of Shoot Locks...
Nomura: Yes, and each one has different levels, and depending on the ability there are different amounts of levels, and there are unique Shoot Locks for each character.
-- In a previous interview you said that the main characters were too strong, but how did it balance out in the final product?
Nomura: Of course we were able to balance it, but the difficulty level will change quite a lot depending on what Deck Commands you used. Just like I said before, you can use whatever abilities and attacks you like, but to get the best results you need to choose your Deck carefully. Also, there is a hidden boss like “Lingering Sentiment” in KHIIFM. Since the response to “Lingering Sentiment” was so good, we put an extremely strong boss in the game. But some say that “Lingering Sentiment” is more difficult. But that is because the difficulty really changes depending on the Deck you use. It was quite a lot of trouble fine tuning the boss exactly.
-- Do you think you’ll be able to finish the game at a low level?
Nomura: Yes I think you can. There were people on our Osaka staff who tried to finish the game at level 5. How you get through the battles and what Commands you use is all up to the player.
-- What other elements are there?
Nomura: There is the wireless. Normally you play Arena Mode with a few friends, but you can play by yourself as well. But if you play by yourself, the enemies will be extremely strong and it will be difficult. Possibly even stronger than the hidden boss I was just speaking of.
-- I was very surprised to hear that in VS Arena Mode you could play with six other people.
Nomura: We wanted to make it so that as many people could play together as possible, but in the end we could only do six. By the way, in the KHIIFM secret movie you can see Terra in his armor with a cape, but we took off the cape in this game. It was to make processing easier when you’re playing with six people. Processing of moving fabric can be slow, so the speed it runs at is completely different if he has a cape or not.
-- Attacking each other and stealing each others Commands is quite unique.
Nomura: We were thinking of Marluxia’s attack in “RE: Chain of Memories” when he scatters your Deck. If you get attacked a lot, the only Command you’ll have left is “Attack” (laugh) But the reason we thought of the rule was so that it doesn’t become a brutal fight against each other.
-- It’s been announced that you can use each other as D-LINKs in the game.
Nomura: The D-LINK system was originally designed for this. In the game the main themes are “bonds” and “connections”, so it is something we thought of as you don’t have any party members usually. But it was so much fun, we decided to use Disneycharacters as Links as well.
Sea Salt ice cream in the Ice Cream Shop is...
-- Disney Town makes it’s first appearance in this game, and it’s the same world as Disney Castle, right?
Nomura: Yes it is. We wanted to make a lively, exciting world, so when it came time to think of where that should be, we decided on the city surrounding Disney Castle. The image we had in mind for it is something like Toon Town in Tokyo Disneyland.
-- Do the residents really not know who Captain Justice and Captain Dark are?
Nomura: No, they know quite well who it is (laugh.) I think you’ll get to know what sort of things Pete was up to before he got involved with Maleficent.
-- In this game do we see Maleficent start working on the plans she put forth in the first game?
Nomura: You’ll get to see how she started on the path to what she was doing in KH. What we want you to focus on is whether the enemy is Master Xehanort or Vanitas.
-- What is Master Xehanort’s aim?
Nomura: I think you’ll get to know that by playing the game.
-- “Winnie the Pooh” appears this time as a Command Board, right?
Nomura: Yes, this time the world of “Winnie the Pooh” appears only as a board.
-- There are some dialog that makes us think that Yen Sid might be a Keyblade Master.
Nomura: That is something that will be revealed in the game. I think then you’ll know where he stands.
-- So there a shop where you can make your own ice cream?
Nomura: This was the development team’s idea. You can change your Style instantly by eating ice cream. Also, the visuals for the ice cream are excellent and you should watch out for them. There are three different visuals for each ice cream. When you have to choose one of them they are so good that it feels like you’re wasting the rest.
-- What about sea salt ice cream?
Nomura: Unfortunately you can’t make sea salt ice cream (laugh)
-- So is the Command Charge in this game like synthesis in the previous games?
Nomura: Yes, it is just like it is in the previous games just with Commands.
-- Are there enemies like the XIII Mushrooms in KHIIFM for gathering matierals?
Nomura: There are no mushrooms this time, since there aren’t even any Heartless.
-- Is Jiminy’s Journal in the game?
Nomura: No Jiminy’s Journal, but there are Reports that have the same function.
The secret events bring the story together.
-- The main visual image that you drew (printed on page 42) has been shown. What is the concept you had for it?
Nomura: I wanted to make a lively image, something where they were all jumping. I wanted it to feel like they were all moving forward, but the places they are going are different.
-- Since the King is shown, does that mean he shows up quite a lot?
Nomura: Well, he does show up quite a bit, but it’s nothing in comparison to the three main characters. Of course there are lots of events where he is involved with them.
-- We’ve seen some scenes from the opening movie, what is the song that will be playing this time?
Nomura: The same song we’ve been using, Hikaru Utada’s “Hikari”. Setting that alongside the movie, we put in scenes that echo the secret movie from KHIIFM, with scenes of their training, and scenes with them holding their charms.
-- Why are the charms shining like that?
Nomura: The charms are a symbol of their bond, and acts as something that can sustain them through difficult times. In the story, we see them look at the charms and gain strength and courage from them many times.
-- In the pictures we’ve seen, we see King Mickey holding something called a “star fragment”, which was also shining.
Nomura: The star fragments act as something that allows the King to go to other worlds. He has a different way of moving between worlds than the three main characters, and that is what he uses the star fragment for. At this time they call it a star fragment, but by the time of the first game they are called Gummi Blocks, which are used in Gummi Ships.
-- We see the King come into contact with the heroine from the first game, Kairi.
Nomura: Kairi’s story from before the first game isn’t something that can be ignored. But she won’t show up very much this time, and we won’t get to know much about how she ends up on Destiny Island.
-- By the way, how many years before the first game is this game set?
Nomura: About 9 to 10 years before.
-- And we also get to see Organization XIII as humans...
Nomura: Since we know from the previous games that Xigbar has met keyblade wielders before, we had to have him as well as other Organization members appear. But only up to number VIII, Axel, will be appearing.
-- Braig looks quite a bit younger than Xigbar does.
Nomura: That’s just your eyes playing tricks on you (laugh.) If you play, you’ll find he’s just the same.
-- Braig has tied up Master Xehanort [?? what are they talking about here?] but was Xigbar ever after the power of the keyblade?
Nomura: He has his own plans that he is acting out, but the details won’t be explained this time. It’s separate from the main thread of the series, so I didn’t feel it was important right now.
-- So not only the members up to number VI were living in Radiant Garden, but Lea and Isa as well?
Nomura: Yes that’s right. But at this time they were just two innocent boys who liked to play with a frisbee.
-- Do all three of them get to meet up with Kairi and the Organization members?
Nomura: You’ll have to play the game and see.
-- We’ve seen scenes of events from the heart of the story, but I want to know if we’ll be fighting Master Xehanort or Vanitas?
Nomura: You’ll have to wait and see (laugh) By the way, each of the three of them have a different final boss. It will be interesting to see who fights against who.
-- So who is the voice actor for Master Eraqus?
Nomura: It’s Makio Inoue. We all know him from “Lupin the 3rd” as Goemon Ishikawa. I’ve been wanting to ask him for a lon time, and finally my wish was granted.
-- Zack from FFVII appears as a guest character this time, but why did you choose him?
Nomura: Since the story is set much further in the past than the series has gone before, we wanted a character that appeared in the past in an FF game, so we chose Zack. We remade him in the image of a 2nd Class Soldier, and he doesn’t use the Buster Sword. He is in his teens, but a little older than Ven. He wants to be a hero, so he has come to Olympus Colosseum to ask Phil to take him on as an apprentice.
-- Will any other FF characters be appearing?
Nomura: No, only Zack. We thought about talking about Cloud and Leon’s past, but we felt the story would become too complicated if we put in too many characters.
-- So apparently there is going to be a secret event this time...?
Nomura: I think the effect of the story will change depending on if you’ve seen not just the ending, but the secret event as well. How it will play out in the end I can’t say, but the secret event won’t only just connect to the next game, but will tie the story together.
-- What sort of requirements will there be for watching the secret event?
Nomura: Like always there are many different requirements. You can choose from three different difficulty levels, but the highest level has the easiest requirements. At the easiest level you won’t be able to see it at all. I hope you’ll play through the game, and be able to watch it for yourself.
Tetsuya Nomura’s new games in 2010?
-- I want to ask you questions about the videos you showed at the event at the end of the year. The mobile game “Kingdom Hearts coded” will soon be releasing it’s last episode, right?
Nomura: “coded” has finally reached it’s climax. “coded” and “Birth by Sleep” have deep connections, and they both connect to the story after KHII.
-- You mean they connect to KHIII?
Nomura: Perhaps. But since we’ve had so much story up 'til now, I’m thinking it might be best to set it all out in a way that it can be easily understood first. Though I can’t say how that is going to turn out just yet.
-- So, last of all, please give a message to all the fans waiting for “Birth by Sleep”.
Nomura: I feel we’ve made an extremely exciting game, so I think you could even use it as a stress reliever (laugh.) I think people who like RPGs but aren’t good at action games can have fun switching and playing around with their Deck Commands, so I hope everyone tries it. If you’re interested, please pre-order the game.
Volume 463 of Dengeki PlayStation magazine has featured Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, the upcoming Kingdom Hearts title for the PlayStation Portable, in an article. This article, which was scanned by HEARTSTATION.ORG, contains high quality screenshots, as well as an interview with the series' director, Tetsuya Nomura. The article can be viewed below, in our gallery, and the interview, which was translated by Kingdom Hearts Insider, can be read below.
“There is enough packed into this game that it is on par with a console title.”
You have to watch the secret movie
--- The release date is almost near isn’t it? First, I’d like to ask you some things about the story.
Nomura: I really don’t think I’ll be able to say much (laugh). With the story we have this time, if I talk about it even a little bit it’s a spoiler.
--- Well that’s a problem (laugh) One interesting point of this game is that you can choose which of three main characters you want to play with. But which order do you recommend?
Nomura: Terra, Ven and Aqua is the best order. We wrote the scenarios in that order, and you’ll probably understand why while you’re playing it. Also, Ven is very easy to use, but Terra is a little heavier and moves slowly. So you could begin playing with the character that best fits your play style. But if you choose to play as Ven first and then go on to Terra, you’ll probably feel too slow.
--- So the scenarios for the three characters are really quite different?
Nomura: Yes, we set it up that way. If three friends were to play the game and choose different characters, after ten minutes the story would be completely different. If you choose to play as a different character than your friend, you both should be careful of spoiling each other.
--- Instead of using one character until the end, can you play each character a little bit at a time?
Nomura: For the most part yes, you can. When you first create a save, it creates saves for all three characters. But if you play them together it becomes confusing, and I wouldn’t recommend it.
--- Alright then, now can you tell us what kind of characters the three heroes are? Starting with Terra.
Nomura: Terra, as we’ve shown in trailers and screenshots, becomes [closer? entangled?] with darkness, which is the highlight of his story. But he doesn’t just fight the darkness in his heart, he tries to hold back his desire while being invited into the darkness. He can also use the moves that we saw from “Lingering Sentiment” in KHIIFM, so that will be fun.
--- Next, I want to ask about Ven, the one everyone is wondering most about.
Nomura: Since Ven has a lot of mysteries about him, I can’t really say clearly what sort of character he is. But when you play the game, you’ll find out more about who he really is. While the connections in the series haven’t been explained, we’ve made it so you can imagine who he is. Also, as I said before he will be an easy character to use for newcomers, since he is the quickest.
--- And Aqua is watching over the both of them.
Nomura: Yes that’s right. Aqua’s position is what I guess you could call their “guardian”. And unlike Terra and Ven, you can’t easily see how she connects to the series. I’d like for everyone to watch her to see what lies in her future. Since she is a magic type character, she has trickier moves than we’ve seen in the series to date. Also, like Final Form in KHII, she has a Style where her keyblade floats in the air.
--- How will their Master be involved in the story?
Nomura: Master Eraqus and Master Xehanort used to be fellow students. Their way of thinking is different, but deep down they are connected in some way.
--- And what about the mysterious Master Xehanort and Vanitas?
Nomura: Vanitas wears a mask and we can’t see his face, but eventually we will find out who he is. I want you to watch out for how Master Xehanort connects to Ansem the Wise’s apprentice Xehanort that was introduced in KHII.
--- In screenshots we see Master Xehanort saying something about the “Keyblade Wars”...
Nomura: The “Keyblade Wars” were something that happened quite a long time ago, so there is no one who actually experienced the war can explain more about it. They can only speculate on what happened. But that isn’t really what is important, what I want you to pay attention to is the “Mystery that is hidden within the keyblades” that is in connection with the war. The place where Xehanort is talking about it is close to the climax of the story, and all of the story’s highlights will be summarized there.
--- We see quite a lot of characters that look like Organization XIII members in Radiant Garden, don’t we?
Nomura: But they don’t have a lot to do in the story, they just appear as residents in Radiant Garden. Except for Braig, since you fight him and he is quite involved in the story. In KHIIFM and KH 358/2 Days there was a lot going on with him, and he is a character I think you should pay attention to.
--- Of course you usually have a secret movie at the end, do you have one this time too?
Nomura: Yes there is one. Except this time it isn’t a pre-rendered movie that gives a hint as to how the story will develop later, but is shown like an event scene. There is dialog, and in all it runs about ten minutes. It is set up as one episode. Instead of showing us what will happen in the future, it is more like a true ending. I would really like everyone to see it. There are characters that will only show up there in it as well.
--- I wonder what sort of things will be required to see the event.
Nomura: Of course there are lots of requirements. This time too, it depends on the difficulty. It’s pretty difficult to get on Standard Mode, and on Proud it becomes easier. On Beginner you can’t see it at all. Well, I’m sure fans of the series can imagine the requirements.
An enemy even stronger than “Lingering Sentiment” will appear!?
--- Even just playing it a little bit, I found the Deck Commands quite interesting, but in the beginning you can only equip three.
Nomura: If you give lots of options in the beginning it actually makes things more difficult. It’s because you have that limitation that it becomes fun. If you were able to equip lots of them in the beginning it wouldn’t be nearly as fun. You can have up to eight slots by the end, and probably the urge to get more Commands will give people more of a motivation to play.
--- This time even the Finish Commands have levels, it seems that having to think about leveling them will make it a little confusing?
Nomura: Even the our development team said as you go through the game that maybe there were too many levels. Well, I think that there will be some people who will get into having that sort of leveling system. But beginners can just have fun and don’t really have to bother thinking about all that.
--- Using keyblades to move between the worlds looks quite interesting. Nomura: Unlike before with Gummi Ships, they aren’t a mini-game, but instead you can use the Keyblade Ride to have a race. Also, this time the worlds screen is like before, and you can choose which world you want to go to freely.
--- I’m quite happy that when you play on wireless you can upgrade your Deck Commands, you can bring those over into single player as well.
Nomura: We didn’t want to have a separation between multiplayer and single player. For KH 358/2 Days there were people who said that they couldn’t gather all of the Mission Crowns, so we were thinking about that. In “Mirage Arena” there are items you can’t get anywhere else, but you can get them all even if you are playing offline by yourself. Of course it is made for several people to beat together, so it would be quite difficult by yourself. The strongest enemy that appears in multiplayer is about equal to the hidden boss in single player.
--- There is a hidden boss this time too!?
Nomura: Yes there is. We wanted to make it even stronger than Lingering Sentiment. But, you can only defeat it by having a certain set of Deck Commands. You’ll have to wait until you see it. You could also say that if you don’t think about your attacks [or it’s attacks?] you won’t be able to win.
--- Something even stronger than Lingering Sentiment must have taken quite a lot of fine tuning...
Nomura: We had Debuggers who are really good at action games help us with it, so we were able to make it into quite a difficult boss. It is strong, but it doesn’t have high HP. It is just a battle of attack against attack.
--- With both single player and wireless, I’m a little worried about loading times...
Nomura: I very much recommend Data Install. There are three different sizes you can choose from, but please choose the largest one. It will change the way you play the game. You can also go into Config and change the speed and color mode.
Braig is a Dark Horse!
--- This time there will be quite a few things, I think, but in the story and battles what do you think is the highlight of each?
Nomura: In the story, it’s the connections with the rest of the series. Since Sora isn’t the main character we didn’t give it a number, but there is no difference between this one and the PS2 games. I think the KH series has a story with lots of mysteries that the player can have fun imagining what will happen next. They don’t have to imagine something from nothing, there are lots of little hints left everywhere in the story. So everyone can take those hints and imagine what will happen. For battles, the actions using the Deck Commands. With Shoot Locks and Dimension Links, there are lots of different ways you can fight and have fun with it.
--- So which character do you think people should be watching out for?
Nomura: Definitely Braig. Everyone is thinking about all the other characters, but no one is watching Braig. But he will have quite an impact on the story.
--- “KH 358/2 Days” had quite a sad story, but what about this story?
Nomura: I’m sorry to say, this one is also pretty sad (laugh). The stories I make usually make the character sad, or they have lots of troubles along the way. But since the theme this time is “bonds”, I think the story connects to a bright and hopeful future.
--- “KH coded” has reached it’s climax, so are you thinking of what is going to happen in the future?
Nomura: Of course I’m thinking about it. But right now I’m too busy with “FF Versus XIII”. Of course it wouldn’t be any good to make our fans wait for years for it, so we’re planning something. But first I’d like you to enjoy this latest game. All the fans who are excited for the game, I think you ought to pre-order it.
Message from the KINGDOM has updated with a blog post from Tetsuya Nomura, the director of the Kingdom Hearts series. In this post, Tetsuya Nomura discusses the development of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, the upcoming Kingdom Hearts title for the PlayStation Portable. Kingdom Hearts Insider have translated this blog post, and it can be read below.
Are you all having fun with FFXIII?
I’m Nomura, and this is my second time appearing here.
They suddenly told me that I had to write a blog entry after they’ve put up the new trailer. But I was late with it again.
So what did you think of the new trailer?
There is quite a lot of stuff we packed into it. We even included some scenes from a secret event.
This time we thought we shouldn’t put too many of the best scenes in the game in the trailer, since that would give away too much. So instead we took a little bit from a secret scene instead, as a last resort. I hope you’ll watch all of the main scenes of the game for yourself.
Also, I feel that this time we’ve created quite a good game.
How you’ve arranged your Deck Commands will play a big part in how you get through battles. So collected a lot of Commands, and try out which ones work best.
For me, the first time I had trouble was in Olympus Colosseum.
In the tournament you have to fight a series of battles under a time limit.
There is an Unversed called “Buckle Bruiser” that, well... keeps repelling your attacks.
It’s even more irritating than the “Large Body” Heartless....
Once the time limit was up, I switched around my Deck Commands and tried again.
So everyone, please watch out for the “Buckle Bruiser”.
Also, watch out for the timing on your Shoot Locks. You’ll need it.
One special feature in this game is the “Command Board”.
It’s different from the rest of the game, and will give you a nice break.
I’m really happy we put it in.
Even if you don’t win, you don’t have to reset. You can upgrade your Commands and play as many times as you want. So you can just take it easy and have fun with it.
We’ve put a lot of different elements into this game, and I really feel that we’ve made an interesting one. We only have a little longer before it releases.
So you better invite your friends while you can, since you can play on adhoc.
I’ll see you again next time, when they make me write another entry on release day.
I hope you have a good New Years.
Famitsu.com has posted screenshots concerning the upcoming Kingdom Hearts title for the PlayStation Portable, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. This article contains high quality screenshots that were first revealed in the December 24th issue of Famitsu Weely The high quality scans give highlights from the opening video, Radiant Garden, the Gathering Place, and more.These can be seen below, in our gallery.
Square Enix have updated their official website for Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, the upcoming Kingdom Hearts title for the PlayStation Portable. This update includes new wallpapers, which can be seen below in our gallery, as well the Jump Festa 2010 trailer, which can be viewed below, or downloaded from our video archive. Thanks to Kingdom Hearts Insider, a subtitled version can also be seen below.
Episode 7 of Kingdom Hearts coded, titled Hollow Bastion: Part 2, has released in Japan. This episode is apparently the final chapter of coded, and ReBirth Wings have written a summary of it. Kingdom Hearts Insider have translated this summary, which can be read below.
The light in the data world is dim. Suddenly crowns start to scatter everywhere. These are Sora’s abilities, and Sora will become weaker. Then Riku appears, but this is a “Separate Data Riku”, in other words, Data Riku’s final intention. This Riku entrusts Sora with the data (that “someone” had added) that wasn’t in the original Jiminy’s Journal.
Except for this place, all the Bugs in every other area had been destroyed, and now all you had to do was connect the data together and revive the journal, and you’ll be able to unravel the mystery of the of the data. Riku says in order to destroy the remaining Bugs, he would be staying here. He says that Sora should hurry and go. But Sora says, “There is still time to save you.” and won’t leave.
Of course Sora wouldn’t leave at a time like this, Riku understands this. So first Sora will have to regain all of his abilities. Beyond the door is all of Riku’s data, made from his memories of the worlds. If Sora can retrieve that data, he would be able to get back his abilities. And at the same time, he says, I hope you will be able to find out what is behind the Bugs. Bugs had invaded every corner, and it is a dangerous place.
[walkthrough for visiting four different worlds in the data]
Once you’re finished with all of the worlds, Riku appears and tells you what he did in each world. After Agrabah is completed, you return to the world of Riku’s memories, and he says “I met you first on the island.” So if that’s the case, then who was the black coated man who he had seen in the Place of Awakening? Was it a completely different person?
A new world door appears, a door to Hollow Bastion. When he tries to enter the door, Riku tells him, “Don’t hesitate.” Sora doesn’t understand, but continues on into Hollow Bastion.
In Hollow Bastion there is Riku, who has been infested by Bugs. To get your abilities back, you must fight him again. It is just like the battle in the previous episode, but he is a bit stronger.
Then Sora returns to Riku. It says that “restoration is 90% complete” The world begins to rumble, along with the words, “The time to awaken has come...”
[walkthrough for boss battle with Dragon Maleficent.]
They return safely to Hollow Bastion, and the King and his friends will soon return to the real world. There they find out that something has happened. After Jiminy’s Journal has been restored, this world’s Sora and Riku will have had their memories erased. This was something that had to happen for everything to become “as it was before.” The King is sad, but Sora and Riku only smile. Then restoration is 100% complete, and an announcement says that “The data world will now be erased.” But Pete and Maleficent are still in “this world”. Even though they are evil, they can’t just leave them there. Sora goes after them.
Sora arrives in a new place, a world that has been partially deleted. Mysterious words resonate in the air, "Lost in battle, the flesh wanders... Offering [their] flesh, the will of darkness cannot be resurrected." Sora feels as though he has felt this before. He continues on.
At the end, Maleficent and Pete are there, along with an incredibly strong Darkside. Maleficent and Pete challenges it, but they only get erased. “Making everything into it’s power, eating everything.” It is Sora’s shadow, Sora’s Heartless. But it has become stronger as Sora has become stronger. Normally once hearts are released from Heartless they return to their normal selves, but in this world it is completely different. Hearts that have no where to return to are swallowed by this Heartless. Sora fights it.
[walkthrough for boss battle with Darkside.]
At the end, the King is returning to the real world, he holds Sora’s hand, and they smile at each other. Everything is finished... except they still don’t understand the mystery behind the words left in the journal. Riku then contacts them. Now that the journal has been completely restored, “A new world door has been opened.” It is the data world of the data that had been added onto the journal. But Sora has already forgotten everything about the journey he just had. It would be dangerous to let him go on his own. But the King asks, “I want you to take [him? me?] into the data world once again.”
Previously, we reported that the March 2010 issue of Famitsu magazine was beginning to surface online. This has now been completely scanned by RPG Land and made available online, revealing it to actually be the December 24, 2009 issue of Famitsu Weekly. This contains much information about Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, including the game's CGI opening sequence, as well as the inclusion of Lea and Ïsa in Radiant Garden. Also included is an interview the series' director, Tetsuya Nomura, which can be read below, thanks to HEARTSTATION.ORG. The original article can be seen below, in our gallery.
Nomura: The corrections of text, etc. are in the final stages. Since there are parts of the story difficult to understand this time, they’re follow up type things. It’s regulated so that even someone unfamiliar with the series will to some extent have an easy time understanding it. I suppose by the time this interview is published, the game will be finished.
- Who is in charge of the scenarios this time?
Nomura: The original planning was done with Daisuke Watanabe (Chain of Memories) and myself. It was finished with Masaru Oka, who also worked on the scenarios in Kingdom Hearts II. When it comes to Kingdom Hearts, the style is to have multiple people drawing up the scenarios.
- It seems that a lot of the story back tracks the previous games, will people unfamiliar with the series be able to play it?
Nomura: I often received that question with 358/2 Days too! I think when you play a game from the main character’s perspective, then you can enjoy the game as it stands alone. However, depending on the person playing, they may not be able to grasp all the information on their own and will likely become curious about the series. In that sense, as expected they won’t follow the finer details revealed in the story. This type of foreshadowing, it’s intended for players who are familiar with the series titles. But a person playing for the first time can also enjoy the foreshadowing.
For example, Lea and Isa appear, but you meet them for the first time as Ven. Considering him and someone similar, you’ll probably think “There’s something special about this character.” As for those who are anxious about the foreshadowing, if it’s possible to play the past titles, you’ll enjoy it more. But I think even if you aren’t familiar you will find this title interesting.
- I see, so the fun of the game isn’t spoiled if you aren’t familiar with the series, players will just enjoy it differently.
Nomura: From the start of the Kingdom Hearts scenario, by reading between the lines, the player was able to imagine what happened and enjoy guessing about the mysteries. Even if you have played the entire series, you can’t understand everything. It becomes a balance for those people who think they might have a good feeling about what happened.
- Is there a recommended order of play for the 3 main characters?
Nomura: Story wise, Terra > Ven > Aqua, however I think you should follow your own preference since the mysteries of the story will unravel slowly for each character. If it’s in the play sense, Ven is the best to play as. Aqua is strong in certain points and Terra’s moves are heavy, therefore I think Ven is the easiest to handle.
- Are the action parts finished?
Nomura: The internal reception has been very good; I think that even beginners have nothing to worry about. Right now the development staff have finished their work and are now focusing steadily on debugging, it’s fun so it’s a good change of pace for them. But it’s a very serious time for the programmers, since they have a lot on their hands, I’m a little worried. (Laughs)
- The main visual you drew was released recently, what was your concept for it?
Nomura: The image has a lively motion feeling. All the characters are in motion, each of them moving toward their own distinct direction, that’s the atmosphere of it.
- The King is shown here, will his role in the game be considerably large?
Nomura: His role isn’t small but it isn’t as large as the 3 main characters. Of course there will be a lot of events where he is involved with the main 3.
- Scenes from the opening movie were released, what about the song used this time?
Nomura: So far we have used an arrangement version of Utada Hikaru’s “Hikari”. Scenes reflecting the motif of the secret movie from Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix were put in along with scenes of Terra and company training, as well as a scene where they hold out their good luck charms.
- The good luck charms shine brightly…
Nomura: The 3 character’s good luck charms are a symbol of their bond and represent the support of their hearts. In the story, there are several scenes where this image of summoning courage is shown.
- In released images the King holds the “star fragment” that also shimmered.
Nomura: The King uses this item to travel outside the worlds. At this point it is called a ‘star fragment’, but later it will be established as the Gummi parts called Gummi Blocks.
- The King seems to come in contact with Kairi, the heroine from Kingdom Hearts I.
Nomura: Because the story takes place before Kingdom Hearts I, the part about Kairi couldn’t be ignored. However, the cause for her going to Destiny Island and her detailed history are not revealed. It draws on the mysterious special existence.
- By the way, this title’s story takes place how many years since the original Kingdom Hearts?
Nomura: It takes place about 9-10 years prior.
- The figures of the Organization XIII members seem to appear too…
Nomura: There was foreshadowing that mentioned Xigbar met the Keyblade users in the past titles, but other Organization members appear as well. However, they will only appear up to No. VIII, Axel.
- Braig’s image seems to be considerably younger than Xigbar.
Nomura: That’s an optical illusion. (Smiles) I think that when you play it, you get used to his image.
- Lea and Isa also lived in Radiant Garden apart from the Organization members up to No.6.
Nomura: That’s right, however they are merely residents at this time. They’re just innocent Frisbee playing boys.
- This time the guest character is Zack from FFVII, why was he chosen?
Nomura: Because this title takes place in the past, we wanted a character who appeared in the past FF series too, so we chose him. His image was made like that of a “Soldier Class 2nd” and his sword isn’t the buster sword. He’s a teen, just a bit older than Ven. He aims to become a hero, so he appears in Olympus Coliseum wanting to become Phil’s pupil.
- Do other FF characters appear?
Nomura: No, only Zack. I originally intended to draw a back story with Cloud, Leon, and company, but then I thought if too many characters were added then the story would become too complicated.
- Will you be able to fight against Master Xehanort and Vanitas?
Nomura: Look forward to it! (Smiles) By the way, each of the three characters will have their own respective last boss. Who ends up fighting who will be a highlight.
- This time there will be a secret movie…
Nomura: Don’t just watch the ending, but the secret movie too. I think your impressions of the story will change. Though I can’t say about the last developments, this secret movie is not connected to just the sequel but its content recaps the story.
- Will there be conditions to see the secret movie?
Nomura: As always, there will be conditions. Though there are 3 levels of difficulties to choose, it will be easiest to meet the secret movie requirements by picking the most difficult level. You cannot see the secret movie if you choose the easiest mode. You’ll definitely not want to miss it, please watch it with your own eyes.
- Let’s talk about the trailer that premiered at the end of the year event. The mobile contents of Kingdom Hearts Coded, it seems the last episode will be distributing soon.
Nomura: Coded is approaching the climax more and more. There’s a deep collection between Coded and Birth by Sleep, they’re both connected to the story taking place after Kingdom Hearts 2.
- A connection to Kingdom Hearts 3?
Nomura: What to say…? The story thus far has extended too much; I think that it’d be good to bring it together plainly for a moment. Though I can’t speak about those developments.
- How is Agito coming along?
Nomura: It’s progressing steadily, but at the moment the plans for The Third Birthday take priority. Since more information on both titles will be releasing next year, please look forward to it. After that, there is an unpublished work coming along faster than expected.
- Huh, a new work?
Nomura: I can’t say. (Smiles) The development is coming along well and the voice recording/editing has begun too. After that, though it really isn’t a new work, there is one more unannounced title.
- So finally, do you have a message for everyone looking forward to Birth by Sleep?
Nomura: Because this extremely exhilarating game is complete, I think I can use it as an excuse to feel a little stress relief. (Smiles) Since both RPG enthusiasts and those who aren’t very good at action games can customize the Deck Commands so everyone can enjoy playing it, please take a look at it. Those who have been following along with the series, please make sure to reserve this one.
Recently, the March 2010 issue of Famitsu magazine was released in Japan. This article features Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. Although this magazine has not yet surfaced online, many key details from the article have, as well as a couple of partial scans. Firstly, the article is known to contain an interview with the series' director, Tetsuya Nomura. 2channel have typed up a script of this interview, and Kingdom Hearts Insider have translated it, which can be read below.
Nomura: KH:coded will be reaching it's climax soon. Both "coded" and "Birth by Sleep" have deep connections, and these two are also connected with the story that comes after KHII.
-- And what about connections to III?
Nomura: Well I don't know yet. There has been quite a lot of story told up to this point, it might be better if we take the time to lay it all out and explain it clearly. But how that will turn out I can't quite say yet.
-- How is development going?
Nomura: Right now we’re in the final stages of development, making revisions to the text and such. This time the story has many difficult parts and we’re working to make it flow better.
-- In which order do you suggest playing the scenarios?
Nomura: As far as the story goes, the best would probably be Terra -> Ven -> Aqua ->, but Ven will probably be the easiest.
-- That star fragment was shining, wasn’t it.
Nomura: This is something the King uses to go to other worlds. At this time they are called star fragments, but later they are called Gummi blocks, the parts that are used on Gummi ships.
-- How many years before the first KH is this story set?
Nomura: 9 to 10 years before.
-- And we’ll get to see Organization when they were humans...
Nomura: Well, Xigbar has said before that he has met with keyblade wielders. So of course many members of the Organization will be appearing. Even number VIII, Axel.
-- This time you’ve chosen a new guest character, Zack. Why did you choose him?
Nomura: Because this game is set in the past, we wanted to include a character that was from the past in an FF game as well. So we chose him. He is slightly older than Ven, and wants to become a hero. He is at Olympus to ask Phil to let him be an apprentice.
-- Will any other FF characters be appearing?
Nomura: No, only Zack. We wanted to show Cloud and Leon’s past as well, but we felt if we added too many characters it would just get confusing, so we left it this time.
-- Will we be able to fight against Master Xehanort and Vanitas?
Nomura: You’ll have to wait and see (laugh) Also, each character will have a different final boss. It will be interesting to see who will fight who.
-- You said that there will be a secret movie this time...
Nomura: I think the effect the story will have will be different if you watch the secret movie, rather than just the ending. I can’t say exactly what, but the secret movie will not only be connected to the next game, but will go over the whole story.
-- What will be the requirements to see the movie?
Nomura: As always, there will be lots of them. There will be three different difficulty levels to chose from, but depending on which one you chose the requirements become easier. You can’t see it at the easiest level.
Lastly, partial scans have appeared on 2channel. These scans reveal Saïx's original name, Ïsa, and confirm that both Ïsa and Lea will be included as residents of Radiant Garden. This can be seen here and here.
The February 2010 issue of V Jump magazine has included an article on the upcoming Kingdom Hearts title for the PlayStation Portable, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. This article, which was scanned by HEARTSTATION.ORG, does not contain new information, but instead summarizes what we already know. It can be viewed below, in our gallery.