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  1. Yoko Shimomura discusses new music for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and soundtracks for Kingdom Hearts III

    On October 6th, 2016, in London, UK, Symphonic Fantasies was held featuring music from various franchises including Kingdom Hearts. At the Symphonic Fantasies concert, Yoko Shimomura, composer of the Kingdom Hearts series, discussed music for Kingdom Hearts. Many wondered about the music for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, releasing on January 24th, 2017, and the anticipated Kingdom Hearts III. Shimomura says that she has written new music for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and that she has a ton of tracks planned for Kingdom Hearts III with the high expectations in mind.
    Shimomura also addressed Kingdom Hearts in general and some of her experiences as she developed and composed the music for the games.

    You can check out her responses below. Thanks go to KH13 News Team members AndrewHankinson & Aquaberry for attending and taking note of the responses given by Yoko Shimomura. You can also check out some of the pictures they took below.

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    [UPDATE] KH13 News Team Member AndrewHankinson has added the questions from the audience members and answers from Yoko Shimomura including a question asked by KH13 News Team Member Aquaberry. Please let us know if you asked one of the question on the night!

    GARETH DAVIES (Interviewer/Principle Flute player and Chairman in the London Symphony Orchestra)
    Now, your career in video gaming has spanned over 3 decades. The industry now is changed beyond all recognition since you started composing for games. When you decided not to accept the job as a piano teacher, but you decided to compose for games instead, how did you colleagues and family react?

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    Yes, now-a-days you have all these games and concerts, and so many people come to listen to them. And everyone knows about game music, but back then it was a really minor profession when I started and so the reaction I got from other people was…”You’re going to do what?” “What, you’re going to make little bleepy noises?” They just didn’t understand what it was I was going to be doing.

    GARETH DAVIES
    Now, the London Symphony Orchestra, as you know, has played lots of film soundtracks like Star Wars, Harry Potter, and now-a-days we do quite a lot of film music concerts and film music has been…it’s gradually being more accepted on the Classic FM Hall of Fame. Do you find that gaming music is finally now taken more seriously by people who go to other kind of concerts?

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    I started checking the charts a couple of years back and I’ve been keeping an eye on it for the last year or two. And when I first saw one of my own compositions on there 2 years ago, it was a really moving experience. I thought I’m standing side by side, shoulder to shoulder with Beethoven. Hearing my music played by the LSO, by such an amazing and respected orchestra is really an honour for me. I’ve always loved orchestras since I was a child and it just makes me really happy.

    GARETH DAVIES
    Thank you. That’s really kind of you. We love playing your music too. Especially my flute solos.

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    I actually used to play the flute as a high-school student.

    GARETH DAVIES
    Oh wow!

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    I’m not about to play for you. Maybe in another life I can be your pupil.

    GARETH DAVIES
    If you teach me composing, yes. Speaking of standing shoulder to shoulder with Beethoven, what a lot of people may not know (I don’t know if you know!) is that you are, in the Classic FM Hall of Fame, the highest female composer, ever!

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    What an honour! I’ve hardly ever been number one at anything. I always thought that happiness was to carry on doing what you love whether or not I got to number one or number two or number three or number four. But that was happiness and so it’s a real surprise to be number one and I’m very very grateful because it’s of everyone here.

    GARETH DAVIES
    Now, after graduating in Osaka in 1988, you found success very very quickly, composing many now legendary soundtracks including I have to say one of the games I used to spend hours playing when I should have been practicing flute at college: Street Fighter 2. That’s up there! Now, Street Fighter 2 was the first score that you wrote that’s actually released as a stand alone soundtrack album, which is quite a huge thing particularly for gaming music at the time. Can you tell us how important that was for you and how important you think it was for the development of the way gaming music was accepted? Sorry, they’re very long questions.

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    Yes, Street Fighter 2 was such a big hit and the soundtrack did so well, and it’s an honour for me that they continue to use my music all the way through. It’s really something that has a lot of memories for me. But back then they weren’t using the internet like they do now; there wasn’t Facebook, there was no Twitter. So we didn’t really know if my music was successful or not.

    GARETH DAVIES
    That’s really interesting. So since the internet has been invented (yes, some of us remember when it wasn’t!) have you found that’s been a really useful tool for keeping in contact with fans and seeing how they feel about your music?

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    I think in a way it’s because of the internet, that I’ve got to where I am today. That I’m sitting here on this stage because as a composer what you do is quite solitary. You’re shut away, you’re plugging away at composition and you don’t have a chance to hear what people think about what you do. So sometimes if I’m feeling down or if I’m going down in the middle of the night, I just type in I wonder what people think about such and such a piece. All these amazing positive comments and that really cheers me up and gives me that need to carry on.

    GARETH DAVIES
    Oh, there you are. So ladies and gentlemen; you know what to do! Get on Twitter straight away! …Don’t forget to tag London Symphony Orchestra!
    Now in 1993, when you joined what’s now Square Enix, when you started working for the them the kind of games that you composed for seemed to change to more fast role-playing games which also seemed to coincide with the change in style in your music. Writing for the games which have a more complex narrative; something which attracted you to Square Enix as apposed to the not so complex narrative of Street Fighter 2, I think is fair to say.

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    I’ve always like classical music so writing/composing those pieces with the drums and guitars wasn’t really my strong suit. But I did somehow ended up starting writing for all those fighting games and it was fun, but I did want to try something that was more suited to me. That was more classical and I also wanted to try composing for role-playing game and yeah there was a sense in which Square did have those kind of games that appealed to me.

    GARETH DAVIES
    It is very beautiful music and it’s interesting because hearing it in the orchestra. It’s like the whole thing expands.!What I do find fascinating about your music is the many many different themes for all the characters. There are so many individual motifs that are all different but they all fit together in the same way. When you compose a new game score, tell us how you do it, how you start? Do you see the gameplay, do you get shown pictures of the characters? Do you see characters and ideas for themes popping to you head? How do you start with such a huge project?

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    That’s a hard question, but it’s difficult to answer because I don’t really think too hard about it, when I’m composing for a new game. I will have pictures of the characters, the story, I might see some background art, and then all of that combined stimulus comes together and I don’t really try to compose it. I just wait for something to appear.

    GARETH DAVIES
    Oh wow! So it’s easy?

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    It’s easy if something comes to me.

    GARETH DAVIES
    So do ideas come to you when you’re sitting down at your piano or your desk or when you walk around? Do you have to lock yourself in room and just wait?

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    I never know when the ideas are going to come to me. I don’t know when they’ll appear, I don’t know when they’ll disappear, so it’s really about how I just seize them when they do show up.

    GARETH DAVIES
    Well you’ve seized a lot! If you have an idea, write it down!

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    If I get an idea right now I’ll have to go backstage and try to write it down before I forget.

    GARETH DAVIES
    Now in 2002 you composed the music to Kingdom Hearts. [crowd applause] I know where this is going! Now, it’s amazingly a game that solds 4 million copies; it’s an incredible amount of people playing it! Now, famously it’s with the Disney characters. They are already really well loved characters, but also have a lot of very famous musical themes. We’ve all whistled various Disney themes, my daughter never stops. Was that a daunting prospect, going from one set of well loved characters to another and having to integrate them?

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but I would also be lying if I said that it was really daunting and that I’d feel like I’d be under a lot of pressure. I had seen a lot of Disney films myself and I had my reactions to those; you know I was moved by them or I found them sweet. I just wanted to get those feelings across in the music with their reactions. So bits of it were difficult but a lot of it was wonderful as well!

    GARETH DAVIES
    It’s great. That’s some of my favourite music CDs! Now, nobody's listening…but the eagerly awaited Kingdom Hearts III? Now for a game franchise that you’ve been involved with for such a long time, how’s it been revisiting some of those characters?

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    Yeah, there’s a lot of expectations to live up to and think there are people that are hoping for great things and of course Tetsuya Nomura is doing his best as well. So I think I will be writing a lot of music for that, but before that there’s actually 2.8 which is coming out, and I’ve already been writing new music for that – quite a lot! It has been a while since I’ve done it and so I just hope it will live up to people’s expectations. And yeah, just watch this space!

    GARETH DAVIES
    [indicating to the audience] You can see how excited they all are!
    Now, Kingdom Hearts is regularly listed as one of top game soundtracks, and I personally would like to know do you have a favourite soundtrack of your own that you’ve written, and also a favourite by another composer?

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    That’s such a tough question and I can never answer it because when it comes of my music and my soundtracks, they’re like my children and I love them all the same even the naughty ones. The particularly bad, but I love them all and they’re all important to me and I can’t say I like this one more than that one, so I can’t answer that question. Sorry. When it comes to other people’s music, again there’s so much that I like and it’s hard to pick just one off the top of my head so I’m going to have to apologise again and say I can’t answer that one either.

    GARETH DAVIES
    When you come back next time, you can think about it.

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    I’ll have a think. I’ll be ready!

    GARETH DAVIES
    Excellent! Now before we open the floor to questions with my two beautiful assistants with microphones, it has been a pleasure talking to you and it’s a pleasure playing your music! I’m sure that there might be some young people out there who would also like to compose for games. Is there something that you wish you’d known when you were starting out that you know now that you would be able to give them some advice?

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    Well now-a-days I think people have much better technology than I had back then and I think the more familiar you are with that, the more technology you take on board, the better; the more you’ll be able to improve! But that’s not so much something I wish I knew back then, and neither is this, but I guess I would say just don’t give up doing what you love! Stay strong, keep passionate and value small things! Small responses; things that move you however small they are in the music. It’s there in music that you write; there’s something that moves you and that what you need to respect and to know it. Because it’s there.


    GARETH DAVIES
    That is very good advice for everybody I think. Thank you very much!




    QUESTIONS FROM AUDIENCE



    GARETH DAVIES
    Now, I’m sure, everyone’s shifting in their seats! I’m sure lot of you may have some questions that you would like to put to our guest!

    QUESTION 1
    Hello. Thank you for joining us in London. Thank you for coming to see us and speak to us. I would like to know the story of how you composed the boss battle music for Final Fantasy XV?

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    That was 2007 Tokyo Game Shows. That was about 9 years ago? Yes I’m really glad that’s finally been used! At that time I wrote it for a trailer at the Tokyo Game Show and I really wanted it to be used for a game and I wanted it to be a battle song. That’s why it’s got that intense rhythm and it’s very dramatic and fast-paced, but I also wanted you to be able to go through that whole emotion in just one piece. That’s how it came about!

    QUESTION 2
    What composers and artists in general have inspired you?

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    When I started this work, I already loved classical music and I’d listen to so much classical music that I don’t know if I could have told you who’d written what there was so much of it and it’s all had influence on my music. As a child I just loved classical music and I loved the piano of course, so I think some of the famous piano composers like Chopin, like Rachmaninoff. Those are some of the big influences but there are so many. So so many!

    QUESTION 3
    Hello. You’ve had such a wonderful career. What three words would you use to describe your journey you’ve been on during that time and why have you chosen those words?

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    Give me a minute. …Sounds a bit corny maybe but love, passion, feelings.

    QUESTION 4
    I was just thinking, you were saying there just before that you decided to be a composer, you were thinking of going to be a piano teacher. I was just wondering what made you decide not to take that easy path? What made you think, no this composition thing is a good idea?

    GARETH DAVIES
    I’m not sure piano teaching is quite as easy.

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    Well I did like games and then there were a lot of people becoming piano teachers and I thought it’s going to be hard to stand out and be a really good piano teacher amongst so many. So I wanted to do something that was different from what everyone else was doing and I thought no one’s really writing video game music, and I like games so why not give it a go.

    GARETH DAVIES
    I think it’s the other way round now; everybody wants to compose music for video games!

    QUESTION 5 (Aquaberry’s question)
    Hi. I met you 3 years ago so I’m really happy to see you again in London. This question is actually from my friend who lives in America; she told me "You have to ask her this!" Also she told me "You have to tell her that I love her!" because she’s very inspired by [you] because she also wants to be a composer. Her name’s Becca by the way, and Becca asks: when you were composing Vector to the Heavens, what sort of feelings did you go through or what was your journey to composing such a powerful piece? Because I know that there’s a lot of love and a lot of pain in that music, so we’re all very interested hearing how you composed it.

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    If you’re familiar with Kingdom Hearts you’ll know how important that music is in the story and I really wanted to get across the sadness of Xion’s destiny and the sort of sense of unfulfillment. It’s really hard to describe in words; you’ll have to listen to the music to get it. But just the whole of the character and what they go through I wanted to get it there in the music and I would almost always be crying with tears in my eyes as I was composing that music. I also had tears in my eyes because of all the requests coming from Tetsuya Nomura!

    QUESTION 6
    Video game music is very different in certain ways from all other kinds of music because the player interacts with the game and because of that, the music as well has to be very flexible to be able to repeat, to be fade in and out as the situation changes. I was wondering as a composer how have you had to sort of shape your style around those challenges where it has to be flexible in a way that a lot of other music just doesn’t have to be; where it has to be scripted to a set scene or where it has to fit a lot of different scenarios?

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    Yeah there are various challenges for example in the first Kingdom Hearts in the question/answer bit with the stain-glass, where based upon what the player chooses, that determines what the next step is, all that music is connected but you have to set up so that you can jump from there to different other pieces. [It’s] The same with the last boss battle; you have to be able to jump to different bits for the music.

    QUESTION 7 (Asked by DarkSeekerCosplay, a Xemnas cosplayer)
    What gave you the idea when composing Xemnas’ theme (Disappeared)? What emotion did you have for that sort of theme?

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    Is that the fast one? They showed me the battle scene for that one and my impression was it was really fast and the attacks came really quickly so I knew it had to be a fast-paced piece that would latch to the action in the battle scene.

    GARETH DAVIES
    I love the fact that you’ve written so much music you have to ask everyone how it goes.

    QUESTION 8
    This is actually a question for Gareth. I was wondering when LSO gets music that’s new, temporary or whatever next concert you do like tonight, what’s the process i.e. how far in advance do you get the piece to read through and look at or does it come naturally because they’re such professionals?

    GARETH DAVIES
    Oh, we’re just amazing! But seriously, it’s slightly different for concerts; we’ve been rehearsing this for a couple of days, but when we do film soundtracks and video games, we turn up at Abbeyway Studios usually at 10 o’clock in the morning, or 5 to 10, and at 10 o’clock a whole pad of music about that thick [indicates with his fingers an inches’ width] appears on the stand and we sightread it and they put the red light on and they record it. So when I said we were amazing I wasn’t that far! The LSO recorded the very first soundtrack in 1934 for H.T. Mell’s film and have recorded films ever since. We are now officially the most extremed orchestra in the world. So really we’re very very quick, we get given music and it’s very quick; when you hear quite often we do a lot of education work with the London Symphony and we go to schools and we recorded music for the Harry Potter films, and there’s the moment when Dobby dies which is my flute solo. I apologise if that’s a plot spoiler! Quite often when children find out that we’ve done films like that, they’ll say could you play me that bit from the film, and the truth of the matter is I probably only played three times in my life. So the answer is you get the music on the day, and you sight read it and then you record it, and that’s it! Good question, thank you!

    QUESTION 9
    I’m going to ask a specific question about the Kingdom Hearts soundtrack. So you write a lot of music obviously, so first of all, when you wrote the main theme Dearly Beloved, were there any pieces that you wrote and discarded or did you come to Dearly Beloved straight away? Did any of those first drafts or second drafts get reused in the game? And also this is a slightly separate question, what’s your sort of workflow? How much music do you write in a day?

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    Dearly Beloved came to me quite quickly. The opening shoot it was based on was meant to be the sea and so I think the idea of the first Kingdom Hearts but also there was this instrument back then, I don’t know if you know, it was called the sound canvas. And one of the sound effects was the sea shore and so I just used that in the demo that I created.
    In terms of workflow, it really varies as to how much I can process in a day or how long I spent doing it. If it’s all going well I might write 7 pieces in a day or if it’s not going so well I might spend a few days without completing one piece. I’ve never really tried to stick to a rule like I must finish 3 a day or anything like that. If there’s a deadline coming up then that can make it a bit difficult but it’s quite flexible.

    QUESTION 10
    Hello. Thanks for writing so much music. I’ve got your music on loop on a daily basis; it really helped me throughout my education and work as well! My question is when Final Fantasy versus 13 became 15, what had they told you and what happened to most of your music? Also what opinions do you have regarding this change because it changed quite a lot in regards to story?

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    I guess everyone was surprised by that change of title. I was surprised to be honest. When it became 15, most of the music is just carried through apart from a very small part of music that wasn’t quite right, but it’s mostly still all there because the basic world of the music is the same! So, there may have been concerns, but as far as the music goes, there’s no need for concern. It’s still there, just carried on; my feelings for it are just the same.

    QUESTION 11
    Hi. So basically I was wondering with Birth by Sleep, in regards to the main trio of protagonists (Terra, Aqua and Ven), we’ve heard snippets of them at the secret ending of Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix (Fate of the Unknown). I was wondering had the you and the team decided then or did you pick them out afterwards?

    YOKO SHIMOMURA
    The themes for Terra and Aqua were arrangements part for that secret ending because I predicted that it was going to be their story coming up next when composing for that secret ending. So I wanted to be able to connect it through to their themes.
    So I already had that in mind but at that stage it was just me thinking of what I thought might happen but when it did actually happen then I got permission from Tetsuya Nomura to use those phrases for Terra and Aqua’s theme songs and that’s how it came about.

    GARETH DAVIES
    Ladies and gentlemen, at the beginning of this talk, our composer was worried that we wouldn’t have enough time, that we’d have TOO much time and then nobody would have had anything to say or have any questions, but I think we could probably could go on all night! However it almost time to let the music do the talking which is the other thing you’ve came here for. So, before we just wrap up here can you please give a huge round of applause for Yoko Shimomura!

    • Oct 08 2016 06:18 AM
    • by Jake
  2. Yasue says difficulty in 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage- can be changed in 4Gamer.net interview

    In an interview with 4Gamer.net, Co-Director Tai Yasue confirmed that the difficulty levels within Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage- can be changed by the player. In this interview, Yasue also goes on to talk about the improved platforming within the maps, their process with developing using Unreal Engine 4, and how Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD will be the first game in the Kingdom Hearts series to play at 60 frames per second.

    A full translation of this interview will be provided as soon as possible.

  3. Weekly Shōnen Jump includes feature on gameplay from Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage-

    The latest Weekly Shōnen Jump issue features a page dedicated to certain gameplay attributes of Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage-, the newest playable chapter from the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue PS4 collection.

    The spread shows four new screenshots from the game, including a still of Aqua and Mickey getting ready to perform a finishing attack ("Wayfinder") at Destiny Islands. The last three screenshots show a combo of consecutive attacks: Aqua performing a Thunder spell, then slashing the enemy with her Keyblade, and finally performing an attack against the enemy that is described to be more powerful than her previous Thunder attack. According to translations by Keytotruth: "You use magic and it enables a magic melee combo which later in the combo allows you to use the magic in the highest tier." This is similar to what series director Tetsuya Nomura referenced in a Dengeki Online interview, where he remarked that using magic in certain sequences will result in differently consequential attacks on enemies.

    In all the screenshots, Mickey is accompanying Aqua in battle. In the final Japanese and English trailers for the game, the full Aqua-Mickey Wayfinder attack is shown.

    You can view a scan of the article below, thanks to aibo_ac7. Full translations will be coming soon.

    Posted Image

    Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue releases on the PlayStation 4 in Japan on January 12, 2017, and worldwide on January 24, 2017.

    What do you think of the new way of unlocking attacks using magic in Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage-? Let us know below!

  4. Update available for Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

    A new update is available for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, just 2 days after it's release in Japan. An image of the update can be found below thanks to @aibo_ac07. A following Tweet explained that the update included multiple fixes that improved the functionality of the game.

    Posted Image

    Update: Twitter user nobody_0123 uploaded a video showing that one of the fixes included in this update was changing the eye color of Ventus to yellow in the Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep 0.2 -A Fragmentary Passage- opening when Vanitas is in control of his body.

  5. Two new Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue screenshots released by Famitsu; KH2.8 to be featured in Famitsu Weekly on the November 17, 2016 issue

    Famitsu.com has released two new screenshots for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. These two new screenshots feature Aqua & Mickey from the game. Furthermore, Famitsu has confirmed that the next issue of Famitsu Weekly (November 17th) will feature Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue with Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage- as the main spotlight.

    You can check out the screenshots below.



    Posted Image


    Posted Image

    • Nov 15 2016 06:27 AM
    • by Jake
  6. Trailer presence and playable demo for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue confirmed for Tokyo Game Show 2016

    UPDATE: Square Enix have released their booth map, showing playable areas for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue & other titles.

    Posted Image

    The original article follows.

    Square Enix has released their page for Tokyo Game Show 2016, and in their lineup includes Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. The page for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue states that a playable demo and a trailer will be shown at Tokyo Game Show 2016, which very well could be a brand new trailer.

    For those that do not know, Tokyo Game Show is an annual event held in Tokyo, Japan. Kingdom Hearts has appeared many times over the years, including the announcement of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue at Tokyo Game Show 2015. TGS 2016 will be held from September 15th to the 18th for the general public, and Sony's pre-conference, where new video game announcements are made, will be held on September 13th (3:00 AM USA EDT).

    Are you excited for the possibly new trailer? Will you be attending TGS 2016? Let us know in the comments below!

    • Sep 07 2016 10:10 PM
    • by Jake
  7. The Simple and Clean (Ray of Hope Mix) EP is now available on iTunes and Google Play

    The Simple and Clean (Ray of Hope Mix) EP by Utada Hikaru is now available on both the iTunes music store and the Google Music Play Store! Announced last month, the EP features remixes of the original Kingdom Hearts theme song in both English and Japanese, "Simple and Clean" and "Hikari", respectively.

    Download links:
    - iTunes
    - Google Play

    Track listing and duration:

    光 (Ray Of Hope MIX) - EP

    1. 光 (Ray Of Hope MIX) [5.33]
    2. Simple And Clean (Ray Of Hope MIX) [5.33]
    3. 光 (P’s CLUB MIX) [4.02]
    4. Simple And Clean (P’s CLUB MIX) [4.02]

  8. The Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover cinematic in Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is 80 minutes long

    UPDATE: Amazon Germany have updated the information on Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, removing the 80 minutes detail. The official running time of x Back Cover is still to be announced.

    The original article follows:

    On its pre-order listing for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, Amazon Germany has revealed in its description for the game that the cinematic feature Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover is 80 minutes long.

    This would make Back Cover the shortest cinematic in the series thus far, with the cinematics for Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days at 2 hours & 50 minutes long and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded at approximately 3 hours long.

    What do you think about the length of Back Cover? Let us know in the comments!

  9. Tetsuya Nomura says Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue will support 4K resolution through PS4 Pro, theme song for KH3 undecided, no new KH3 news till after KH2.8's release, & more in latest Dengeki PlayStation issue

    In the latest issue of Dengeki PlayStation, which released on October 12th, 2016, Tetsuya Nomura, director of the Kingdom Hearts series, talks about some of his various upcoming titles, such as Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, releasing on January 12th, 2017 in Japan and January 24th, 2017 to the rest of the world, and Kingdom Hearts III.

    The previous day before the interview had been released, hokanko-alt, a Japanese blog website, gave us a summary of Tetsuya Nomura's interview with Dengeki PlayStation. In the interview, Tetsuya Nomura has stated that Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue will be PS4 Pro enhanced once again, however, he also states that the title will be in 4K as well. We're unsure if the 4K will be upscaled or native. Furthermore, Nomura states that the new remix for Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage- was able to be done as Utada Hikaru, singer of the Kingdom Hearts theme songs, had recently returned to her music work. A new theme song for Kingdom Hearts III is currently undecided, Nomura says. Aside from all that, Tetsuya Nomura has also confirmed that Kingdom Hearts III news will be released after the release of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue.

    The interview has now been published in the latest issue of Dengeki Playstation and you can view an image of the interview below as well as a full translation thanks to Catherine Mueller (nichiei.translations@gmail.com). The sections focusing on Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and Kingdom Hearts III have been bolded.

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    The prototype of [WOFF] was an entirely different game?!


    --[World of Final Fantasy] (from hereon, WOFF), which you first showcased at E3 2015, is going to be sold soon, but what about the details of remaking original game?

    Tetsuya Nomura (hereon shortened to Nomura): There is concept art on our official Twitter, but we originally wanted to create a different game with that world. It was more of a simulation game, completely different from [WOFF]. During that other game's development, we made characters that are now our Primero and Oobito (TN: Everyone seems to be calling it this, but to me it sounds more like Orbit?), and we connected them both into the setting of the game, and then proposed a system in which one could freely switch between them.

    --Primero and Oobito were originally from a different game's system, right?

    Nomura: We had a lot of troubles, and the game was temporarily reduced to a blank slate, and we decided to go ahead and use the loads of chibi character designs for [Pictlogica FF] instead. After that, Chiba (Director Hiroki Chiba) was the one who decided to include Primero and Oobito in the newly designed [WOFF].

    --What characters did you design for [WOFF]?

    Nomura: I designed the main characters Reynn and Lann, as well as Enna Kros. There's also one other character, making it a total of four female characters. I also drew the female key characters on the engraved PS Vita model “Oobito Edition.” By the way, since Enna Kros was a character first designed for that other game I mentioned before, she's been around quite a while.

    --Was there anything you were particularly fussy about with the characters' designs?

    Nomura: We still haven't revealed everything about the four characters I've drawn, but where I'm allowed to touch up things is up to Chiba (laughs). Since these characters are included in the colossal world inside of Chiba's head.

    --We've seen past [FF] characters with voices, but will there be a lot of new characters with voiced parts, too?

    Nomura: That's right, Edgar and Faris, and also, though these aren't characters, the cactuars etc. will have voiced parts. There are also characters like Eiko, who didn't have a voice in the original but had one in other productions (in Eiko's case, she first had hers in [Road of Vermillion]).

    --Did you decide the cast?

    Nomura: Yes, I was involved in both the casting and registration (TN: not sure what this means in game terms!!). When we added character voices to previous [FF] games, we checked the opinions of the users. We see opinions like, “If they ever voice this game, this character reminds me of this voice actor/actress” quite a lot. As far as what I'm involved in creating, I put a heavy focus on the characters' images. For example, with Shadow's voice in [FFVI], I had an image of him in my head alongside Kefka, so in [Dissidia FF Opera Omnia], I asked Yoshito Yasuhara to represent that image.

    --Did you have any parts that you requested for this game?

    Nomura: As far as the content goes, I'm entrusting that to the staff. I occasionally ask them to show me things, but rather than giving them instructions, I'm just checking for problems. I guess I just have specifically nudged at the battle tempo and the ability to easily see the UI.

    --Are there any scenes or events that left an impression with you?

    Nomura: I suppose it would be the entirety of the serious scenes? Because, through the entirety of the [FF] series there is occasionally humor added into some of the more serious stories, but in [WOFF]'s collection of humorous scenes, there is occasionally a serious atmosphere added in (laughs). I think that the serious scenes might look better.

    --Were the PVs gathered and made with that small amount of serious scenes?

    Nomura: That's how it seems (laughs). All of the gags in Chiba's scenes are long, so if we try to show one exchange until the joke happens, the trailer length doesn't fit to scale. Also, when I was checking event scenes, I watched them and thought, “Wasn't it fine to end the joke earlier?!”

    --When they've actually played it, there might be people who are surprised at the mood of some of the scenarios, then?

    Nomura: The world is overflowing with serious stories of a protagonist who must carry out a great destiny, and [WOFF] has that setting, too, but every so often having a fun story like this might not be so bad, I think. It shows the “color” of the director.

    --Please give a message to everyone waiting on the release!

    Nomura: I think a lot of companies are releasing various titles at the end of this year and beginning of the next, but [WOFF] is becoming a production that will not be buried in those other games, and you'll be able to enjoy it for a long time. Since it will be released on the PS Vita, allowing you to play it outside without a heavy system, please try it out and enjoy.

    The HD3 Packaging has a meaning in “Sora (written with katakana)” and “Sora (written with the kanji for “sky”)”!

    --You presented the release date for [Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (hereon, KH2.8)] at the September SIE press conference, right?

    Nomura: We sincerely apologize for prolonging the release date from December 2016 to January 2017. We wrote it in the comments on the official Twitter, but due to several titles that are coming out one on top of another, this is what it's become.

    --You also revealed a gorgeous package art.

    Nomura: There are actually two secrets about the illustrations from [KH1.5] until [KH2.8]. Extremely attentive KH fans might have already discovered them, but one is that Sora's movements change from sitting, to standing, to walking. One more is that when you line up the three illustrations, you'll notice that they show the flow of time with changes in the sky. [KH1.5] is sunset becoming night, [KH2.5] is the middle of the night, and [KH2.8] is night breaking into dawn. Those three illustrations have a message regarding the final chapter, [KHIII].

    --So you planned all this from the time of [KH1.5]'s release, then?

    Nomura: We worried a long time about the package art for [KH2.5], and we worked on trying to connect the three productions in a continual manner. It seems like there were a lot of people who figured out Sora's movements, but there were not very many people who noticed the connection between the skies. There are two meanings to “sora” (I.E. one being the protagonist's name, and the other meaning “sky”).

    --Since the illustrations were blown up for display at Tokyo Game Show, they really stood out.

    Nomura: Since we were told that we needed to finish the art in time to have it on display at the Game Show, I drew it with my fighting spirit. In result, we finished the package illustration with unprecedented progress.

    --The trial version you presented at Tokyo Game Show seemed to basically be the same as what was at [E3 2016], right?

    Nomura: That's right. It's the version that was revised right after [E3]. The new short cuts functions, etc. from [Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD] are the same thing. The master version is having a lot of things brushed up from the TGS version. The production is continuing according to plan, so soon you'll be able to master-up.

    --We got a taste of the evolution of action on the PS4 with [KH0.2] at TGS, but will [KHIII] see an even deeper improvement of action from there?

    Nomura: That's what will happen. Since there is an overwhelmingly large amount of things one can do while playing as Sora in [KHIII] timewise, compared to playing as Aqua. Aqua cannot change her keyblade as the story progresses, but Sora can, and that will in result change the action.

    --The exploration and battles in the latest PV, are those the developments that came after crossing the bridge in the TGS trial play?

    Nomura: Yes. Like what you were able to play in the trial, there is a map waiting up ahead with more added to it. The Osaka production team cleverly placed it as an object, and they're good at making maps with areas outside one's exploration.

    --Let me ask about things connected to [KH X], too. First, the browser game [KH X] ended its service at the end of September, but what are your thoughts on that three years of continued service?

    Nomura: It's too bad that service ended so early, but I think having continued for three years served as a great amount of strength to us. Looking at the user number, there were more people playing the smart phone app [KH Unchained X], so we will now focus on that. As we've already announced, we are planning a season two of [KH Unchained X], so we are continuing its service. In October there will be new worlds available, and we are working on the planned multiplayer function for January release, so please look forward to it.

    --You laid out the last scene of [KH X] to us, but will [KH Unchained X] develop in the same way?

    Nomura: That was only the development for [KH X]. The story for [KH Unchained X] will deviate midway to a different story.

    --In the latest trailer of [KH X Back Cover], there was a figure wearing a black cloak, separate from the five Foretellers, but...?

    Nomura: As we've already revealed in [KH X], that is a character named Luxu. Since he's wearing that black coat, it seems like a lot of people mistook Luxu for the Master of Masters, but they're two different people. The one holding a dandelion on the package art and in the trailer is the Master of Masters, and the other person wearing a black cloak is Luxu. Their relationship is more clearly drawn out in [KH X Back Cover].

    -- Since they serve as a road to [KHIII], you really can't overlook any of the productions included in [KH2.8].

    Nomura: Even among players, there seemed to be some people who were just now hearing about [KH2.8] at the Game Show and seemed troubled, but please, we'd like you to play [KH2.8]. Since it is a prologue to [KHIII], just as it says in the title, you'll need to play to smoothly enjoy [KHIII]!

    --In the latest trailer, we got to hear a new arrangement of Utada Hikaru's “Hikari,” so that stirred up our hopes.

    Nomura: Since I heard that Utada has returned from hiatus, I thought it was perfect timing, and I requested an arrangement from her. We have yet to decide the main theme for [KHIII].

    --By the way, will [KH2.8] be supported on the PS4 Pro, too?

    Nomura: It supports 4K, so it should cleanly play without any problems. Anything else detailed about support, we will showcase next time.

    --Also, when will you be presenting more interesting news on [KHIII]?

    Nomura: We spoke of this a bit at E3, but we are waiting to speak more about [KHIII] after releasing [KH2.8], so we have currently released all available information. Please wait shortly for new news.

    --Since 2017 is the [KH] series' 15th anniversary, we're hoping for a lot of developments!

    Nomura: We are thinking of a lot of plans heading toward the 15th anniversary. Next year's January release of [KH2.8] will be the start, and from March the full orchestra's world tour will commence. It will be a year's worth of non-stop [KH] news, so we look forward to speaking with you again.

    --Finally, please tell us more about the [FFVII REMAKE] that has caught the world's attention.

    Nomura: If it had past materials like [KH], the basics would have been easy to understand, and the staff can understand the hurdles we've had to overcome, but at any rate, the battles in [FFVII] have greatly changed from the original, since they're something with more action in them. The next time I release information about [FFVII REMAKE], I think that I'll definitely have to explain the specifics of what the battle system has become to the players. I think right now that nobody is really able to imagine a concrete battle, so I'm in the middle of coming up with steps that I can show and explain to people, “It's this kind of battle.”

    --Sounds like you're breaking your backs over remaking what was originally a command-based battle system into an action style battle system.

    Nomura: We've heard a lot of [FFVII] fans also say that they want to play the game with the original ATB style, but for the remake we're proceeding toward an action-heavy style. Of course, we've added systems that future fans will be able to enjoy, so people who are bad at action-style battles, please don't worry. For those who excel at action-style battles, we're working to make this a system that's different than what you've used before and can still enjoy. Recently, we checked the Guard Scorpion at the beginning of the game, and I think you'll be satisfied with the realism you'll feel there.

    --2017 is also the 20th anniversary of [FFVII].

    Nomura: Like with the 15th anniversary of [KH], I'm thinking I'd like to plan something or other. It's just that, since we've been keeping busy with productions, including the game [WOFF] that I showcased today, I don't think I will be able to share any new news until after things calm down.


    Would you like a new Kingdom Hearts III theme song with Utada Hikaru? Will you be playing Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue in 4K? Let us know in the comments below!

    • Oct 12 2016 01:55 PM
    • by Jake
  10. Tetsuya Nomura mentions recording for Kingdom Hearts underway during Dissidia Livestream

    During a Dissidia Final Fantasy Livestream on NicoNico, series director Tetsuya Nomura mentioned Kingdom Hearts recording was underway along with the Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Dissidia Final Fantasy while discussing the progress of his latest projects.

    Tetsuya Nomura also makes sure to clarify that mentioning the recordings of "Sora and the others" is not in reference to Dissidia, but to Kingdom Hearts. However, it is unclear if the recording that he is talking about is for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue or Kingdom Hearts III.

    Thank you to Twitter user @aibo_ac7 for the tip and thanks to Catherine Mueller (nichiei.translations@gmail.com) for clarification on the translation of the Tweet!

    What do you make of Tetusya Nomura's comments about the recordings? Let us know in the comments!

  11. Tetsuya Nomura interviewed in latest issue of Famitsu about Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

    Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura has been interviewed by Famitsu in their January 26th edition, which will be available January 12th. In this interview, Nomura talks about Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue along with Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII Remake.

    Thanks to @xenosaga for the tip.

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    • Jan 10 2017 07:51 AM
    • by Leamax
  12. Tetsuya Nomura answers fan questions about Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, Kingdom Hearts χ[chi], and Kingdom Hearts III

    After the release of the new trailer featuring Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and Kingdom Hearts III, many fans had questions circling around in their heads. The folks over at KHInsider had the incredible opportunity to formally relay fan questions to Tetsuya Nomura himself. His answers to some of the questions can be read below, and you can read the blog post in its entirety here.

    1. Since you were at the Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Launch Event in Burbank, how did it feel to finally have the Kingdom Hearts Premium Theater in Japan?

    Nomura: What sets KINGDOM HEARTS apart from other titles is that this is a title in which we have been sharing a connection with our fans for many years. So rather than being a one-time relationship like a festival, it does feel like we are partners or friends that have spent a long time together, but I do cherish these kinds of events as there aren’t very many opportunities like this where we can interact with our fans. Japanese fans are more shy than fans overseas but I was very happy that I was able to feel that the Japanese fans were having fun this time too.

    2. The Kingdom Hearts Premium Theater event was very well received in Japan. If the opportunity for future events is presented, would they follow a similar format? If not, what would you like to do differently?

    Nomura: The content of the event would change depending on the location and timing, so the format would most likely depend on those two factors. Also, as for D23, location becomes restricted as there are rules set by the host. Since we had more applicants than the amount of participants that we could accommodate this time, if we did have another opportunity to hold an event like this one, I think I will first consider the capacity of the venue instead of the format of the event.

    3. The newest update to Kingdom Hearts X [chi] introduces a new world, Beast’s Castle. Why was this world chosen to be added to the game?

    Nomura: We are prioritizing the worlds of the seven princess’s based on the “fairy tale era” concept in KINGDOM HEARTS χ[chi].

    4. Is there any significance in the timing of Beast’s Castle’s introduction to Kingdom Hearts X [chi]? After so many main story updates, it was surprising to travel to a new world rather than continuing to investigate Ephemera and the Foretellers.

    Nomura: There is no significance to the timing. We had already made a decision on which worlds to select a while ago, but because new world additions are the most time consuming, we were finally able to implement it this time.

    5. In one of the recent updates of Kingdom Hearts X [chi], the term “unchained” was officially introduced and has caused quite a bit of speculation among the fans. Does this play a role in how you previously said that X [chi] and Unchained X were not exactly the same game?

    Nomura: I cannot explain this without any spoilers but there is a connection between the two. Who is trying to do what will be depicted in KINGDOM HEARTS χ[chi] or KINDGOM HEARTS Unchainedχ, and the reason behind it would be told in KHχ Back Cover (included in 2.8).

    6. In 0.2, Yen Sid tells Riku and Kairi that it is imperative to rescue Aqua, Terra and Ventus, prompting Mickey to tell them of his recent visit to the Realm of Darkness. Is he referring to the time in the first Kingdom Hearts when he ventured in to find the Kingdom Key D?

    Nomura: It is an episode that I was waiting for a long time to tell. Please wait for KH0.2 for that answer.

    7. Did Mickey meet Aqua during his time in the Realm of Darkness? If so, why did he refrain from speaking of such an important matter until this moment?

    Nomura: This will also be told in KH0.2 so please wait for it.

    8. The conversation between Young Xehanort and Eraqus, first shown at E3, is the opening scene of Kingdom Hearts 3. Since then, more and more of the scene has been revealed through the trailers and at D23, we were able to view it in its entirety. Why was the decision made to show the scene in this manner?

    Nomura: There are many reasons for this, but one of them is that we are prioritizing the creation of new worlds in KH3, and we would have to consider the reveal timing of those worlds, making sure that we discuss with Disney. That opening scene is very versatile, since it doesn’t involve those new worlds, plus it’s a great asset to use as a prologue to build up excitement towards KH3.

    Also, the scenes that we have currently have released is not the final product so please look forward to any changes that we may make in the future as well.

    9. We learn from Xehanort and Eraqus’s conversation that Eraqus is under consideration for masterhood, but what about Xehanort at this time?

    Nomura: I’m sure that you can sense that there is some kind of thought behind Xehanort’s expression and tone of voice at the end. Xehanort’s interest is something other than a title of honor.

    10. It was surprising to see the return of Nobodies in the recent Kingdom Hearts 3 footage. What sort of role will they play in the game? Can we expect to see any more enemy types besides Nobodies and Heartless?

    Nomura: I want to make it so that you can tell who had come to that world by the enemies that appear there. I am thinking of the enemy types as a part of the total production this time.

    11. The new Kingdom Hearts III trailer featured a new Nobody design with a scythe and flower petals, is this particular Nobody alluding to a certain former Organization member?

    Nomura: I think that it’s easy to imagine but I do believe that it will appear in promotional materials sooner or later so please wait for that.

    12. Mickey was seen at the Premium Theater wearing his Kingdom Hearts 2 clothing holding the Kingdom Key D Keyblade, is there a chance we can see this Mickey at Disney Parks?

    Nomura: As far as I know, there are no plans right now, but I think it would be really neat if they did one day!


    What intrigues you most about this surprise interview? Let us know in the comments below, and have a wonderful holiday season!

  13. Tai Yasue discusses Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue with PlayStation Access

    Tai Yasue, co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series, was recently interviewed by PlayStation Access about Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, which appeared at E3 2016 with a new trailer confirming a December, 2016 Worldwide release date, and new gameplay footage confirming 60 FPS for Kingdom He​arts Dream Drop Distance HD, the first title in the Kingdom Hearts series to feature 60 FPS.

    In the interview, they discuss why Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is important to experience before experiencing Kingdom Hearts III. Topics such as what is in the Realm of Darkness in Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage-, how Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue fits into the storyline, and more are discussed in the interview.

    Thanks goes to KH13 member Shinobi Palace for the find. You can check out the interview video below.

  14. Tai Yasue discusses Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue & Kingdom Hearts III with GamesBeat, KH 2.8 slated for early December

    GamesBeat, a video game-related website, recently interviewed Tai Yasue, co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series. In their interview, they discuss topics such as the combat system in the Kingdom Hearts series, the console exclusivity for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, and more. One important quote by Tai Yasue is that he states that Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is slated for an early December release. This means that we shouldn't have to wait too long into the month of December to get our hands on the game.

    You can check out the full interview below.

    GamesBeat: One of the things I find interesting about Kingdom Hearts is the combat system. It’s gotten a bit flashier and more complex as the series goes along. Is that a challenge when designing the Final Chapter Prologue and Kingdom Hearts III? Is it something that you felt the need to rein in, or did you want to make more complex?

    Tai Yasue: With our handheld games, we did a lot of experimentation with new systems. With 0.2 and 2.8 we’re coming back to the basics, I guess, but at the same time, Kingdom Hearts 0.2 is sort of a continuation of Birth By Sleep. So we wanted to incorporate a lot of the moves from Birth By Sleep. Aqua’s magical spells, for example, and her style changes. We wanted to change toward an enhanced version of that.

    The moves look a lot flashier, but at the same time not too difficult. We have the same sort of command menu as the numbered titles, II and III. That’s very similar in 0.2. It’s sort of a mixture between Birth By Sleep and Kingdom Hearts III, both aspects of that coming together.

    GamesBeat: Kingdom Hearts II came out in America in 2006. Since then, the series has seen a number of games on handhelds, and they’re still important to overarching story. Do these compilations make it easier for players to catch up?

    Yasue: Definitely. The story is very complex. There’s a lot of threads. Right now we’re sort of depicted the Dark Seeker side, and all the portables as well. We wanted — when we were planning for Kingdom Hearts III, we wanted all of our previous Kingdom Hearts titles in HD so everyone could play them again, and new players could be introduced to the Kingdom Hearts series story.

    GamesBeat: Kingdom Hearts II.8 was at E3, but Kingdom Hearts III hasn’t made much of an appearance at the show. Is a reason to hold it back from E3?

    Yasue: It was a difficult decision for us. We want to share as much as possible. We’re excited about Kingdom Hearts III. But II.8 we’re releasing globally at the beginning of December. We wanted to concentrate on that first. We want what’s best for the moment. We’re currently making III and 2.8 at the same time, but we wanted to concentrate on 2.8 right now.

    GamesBeat: You talked about experiments with the battle system. It’s seen a lot of variety. It had a mana system, like in the first game, and cooldowns in some of the recent games. What works best for Kingdom Hearts?

    Yasue: Each has its own fun aspects, but I think the magical points system, using MP, is very accessible. That’s worked well. But we don’t want to do the same thing over and over again. In Kingdom Hearts III and 0.2 we wanted to enhance this system for the next generation. Using magical spells, we wanted the environments and enemies to react in a meaningful way. It doesn’t just explode. It lingers on afterward. If you shoot a Blizzard, for example, it creates a place where you can skate on the ground. We wanted the magic to dynamically interact with the environments.

    GamesBeat: When the series started, the Final Fantasy element was very important — not just in story, but in gameplay. The magic came directly from Final Fantasy, as did the summons. A lot of those aspects seem less prominent now that Kingdom Hearts has developed more of its own identity. Is it fair to say you’re doing more things that are unique to Kingdom Hearts?

    Yasue: As a whole, the story and the worlds and the gameplay — everything we incorporate, we want aspects of the Disney world throughout. For the combat systems as well, we don’t have that much for 0.2, but having Disney aspects combined with Sora’s aspects is important. Obviously the worlds, for example, we don’t want them all to be Kingdom Hearts original worlds. We want the rich Disney worlds as well as the original worlds.

    GamesBeat: At this point we’ve had a lot of playable Keyblade users. First Sora, then Riku, and many more. How do you differentiate all these characters from a gameplay standpoint?

    Yasue: When we first come up with ideas for the characters, we have an easy sort of concept. For 0.2 Aqua, she’s a female character, she’s related to water, and she’s very strong with magic. She’s also very strong and elegant. You have these keywords for each character, enemies and player characters alike, to define them. That’s very much linked up to the story. We want to integrate those keywords into her movement and her abilities. Aqua uses powerful magic in a flashy way because she’s a magical character.

    GamesBeat: Why focus on Aqua for 0.2?

    Yasue: For 0.2, that was sort of the untold story that we hadn’t shown our users yet. At the end of Birth By Sleep, she was trapped in the dark world. We felt we had to explain her story. When you have a good story, it makes you care about each character. Sora’s adventure is intertwined with Aqua’s story as well. We wanted to give players a reason to care about Aqua and her adventure. That way, when you play Kingdom Hearts III, you understand Aqua’s standpoint, and that makes Sora’s experience richer as well.

    GamesBeat: With Kingdom Hearts III tying up all these plot threads and being the last installment in this series of Kingdom Hearts, would you say there’s a lot of pressure on that game specifically?

    Yasue: Definitely. There’s a lot of strings and a lot of strands in the previous Kingdom Hearts. They all come together. Right now we’re depicting the Dark Seeker saga, with Xehanort and his group that Sora’s battling. Them and the other Keyblade masters will have a sort of showdown. And so I think all the — everything is going to come together at the conclusion of the Dark Seeker saga in part III.

    GamesBeat: A lot of people want to know what’s the next Disney thing for Kingdom Hearts III. Has it been stressful to keep so many secrets about development?

    Yasue: Like I said about not showing much of Kingdom Hearts III at this time, there’s always a right time for everything. We want each announcement to be special. We want to exceed our fans’ expectations and we want to do it in a good way. We want to plan things out, the way we announce things. It’s not that stressful, at least for me.

    GamesBeat: Do you think there’s a chance that I.5, II.5, and 2.8 could ever be bundled together into one package?

    Yasue: We haven’t really decided on bundles or how we’ll set up things for how we’ll sell those. No decision or announcement has been made.

    GamesBeat: 2.8, is that just PlayStation 4, or is it also Xbox One?

    Yasue: It’s PlayStation 4 only.

    GamesBeat: But Kingdom Hearts III is multiplatform.

    Yasue: Right.

    GamesBeat: Is there any fear of Xbox One owners feeling left out?

    Yasue: Kingdom Hearts III is very much — it’s a game that will be better if you understand all the other stories. But at the same time, you can enjoy it without following the whole arc. As you know, all the Kingdom Hearts stories have a conclusion at the end of each Disney world. You can still enjoy that as well. For the whole arc, it might help to understand, but there’s still a lot of fun in each Disney world.

    GamesBeat: What would you say makes up the Kingdom Hearts fanbase? Is it Square Enix fans, or Disney fans, or this unique combination of the two?

    Yasue: We have great fans. They’re very passionate, very warm, very supportive. They’re very special. For me, I think they’re the reason why we’re doing this, more than anything. Compared to other games — it’s hard to compare. But I feel they’re warmer, nicer on the whole. That’s my honest opinion. They seem a lot nicer than some others.

    GamesBeat: They’ve got a bit of Disney in them.

    Yasue: I guess! They’re wonderful. Today I talked to a lot of people, and they’ve been very supportive


    What was your favorite part of the interview? Let us know in the comments below!

    • Jul 16 2016 11:25 AM
    • by Jake
  15. Tai Yasue discusses Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage- with Famitsu

    With new gameplay shown at E3 2016, allowing players to go hands on with Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, Tai Yasue, co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series, sat down with Famitsu to discuss the new gameplay mechanics on Kingdom Hearts 0.2 -A Fragmentary Passage-, the flow of the game, the controls, the lighting/graphics, and more on how Unreal Engine 4 has made developing Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage- easy for the team. You can read the main highlights of the interview below.

    • The demo was very popular, players saying the gameplay was easy and the tempo was good, and the visuals were stunning.
    • The appearance of Kingdom Hearts 0.2 has significantly changed from past games of the series due to Unreal Engine 4
    • It was difficult trying to program a fantasy based realism for the game.
    • You can use Blizzard spells to activate Flowmotion.
    • AI has improved, such as Heartless moving differently on different terrain.
    • 'Devils Wave' (The Heartless boss in 0.2 described by Nomura) has a special reflection effect in their eyes
    • Maps have changed a lot with Birth by Sleep 0.2 and that's something you'll see in Kingdom Hearts III as well. For example, Aqua having to fight on a slope in the demo.
    • Tai Yasue comments how interesting it is to play in a Disney world that has sunken into Darkness


    We will have the full interview translated as soon as possible.

    Even though not much is new discussed by Tai Yasue, it's still great to hear about the flow of the game and what we can expect in the gameplay aspect for Kingdom Hearts III.

    Are you excited for the release of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue? Would you like to play the demo on the PlayStation store? Let us know in the comments below!

    • Jun 17 2016 08:13 PM
    • by Jake
  16. Summary of the Kingdom Hearts Premium Theater event

    On November 3rd, Square Enix & Disney held an event dedicated to the Kingdom Hearts series called the Kingdom Hearts Premium Theater. Throughout the event, new footage relating to the Kingdom Hearts series was shown to everyone who attended the event, along with a few extra surprises. While those who couldn't attend the event cannot view any of the footage from the event, Square Enix released a few screenshots from the new footage, along with fans sharing their impressions on all the events that took place at the Kingdom Hearts Premium Theater.

    Below you can check out all articles, screenshots, and fan impressions from the event.


    Articles

    <3 <3 <3


    - New images featuring attraction flow for Kingdom Hearts III, Riku and Kairi in Kingdom Hearts 2.8, and Beast's Castle in Kingdom Hearts χ
    - New Kingdom Hearts III trailer shown at D23 Expo Japan 2015
    - New Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue trailer shown at D23 Expo Japan 2015
    - Beast's Castle Confirmed for Kingdom Hearts χ[chi], and "Mickey Code Together" Event for Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ
    - Famitsu: Kingdom Hearts Premium Theater summary


    Screenshots

    <3 <3 <3


    Square Enix officially released screenshots from the new footage shown at the event, which can be seen below.

    01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16


    Fan Impressions

    <3 <3 <3


    Thanks to @kh_primavera, and translations by News Team member Rin, you can check out fan impressions on the Kingdom Hearts Premium Theater.

    KH Theater - General Outline:
    Opening (CM videos of products that have been released)
    Greetings from Disney Japan, Justin Scarpone
    Greetings from Executive Producer Shinji Hashimoto
    Piano performance by Yoko Shimomura and Hiroyuki Nakayama
    Live performance of: [Dearly] Beloved, The Other Promise, Musique pour la tristesse de Xion
    Short talk by Shimomura and Nakayama
    Tetsuya Nomura presenting the latest information
    KH HD 2.8 new information: Ven, Aqua, and Terra’s voice actors appear in a guest movie
    KH3 new information: Sora, Kairi, and Riku’s voice actors appear in a guest movie
    New KH3 trailer presented (mainly battle scenes)
    Limited KH3 making video presented
    King Mickey in KH attire appears as a special guest
    Mr. Justin, Mr. Hashimoto, Ms. Shimomura, Mr. Nomura, and King Mickey photo session
    Ending (video with each character’s lines and Hikaru Utada’s “Hikari” BGM)

    Latest Information
    KHx - new world,“Beast Castle (from 11/5)
    KHUx - new stronger medals and avatars (from 11/3 18:00)
    KH HD 2.8 - latest trailer. King Mickey, Riku, Kairi, and Yen Sid must find Ven, Terra, and Aqua in order to gather the 7 Guardians of Light. From there, King Mickey says he met Aqua in the Ream of Darkness when he was there. Afterwards, battle scene with Aqua was presented.
    KH3 - latest trailer. Starts with the conversation between young Xehanort and young Eraqus previously released. There’s more to the convo this time than before (I feel like there were things I’d never heard before, like creating Kingdom Hearts out of competing lights…)

    After that, Sora’s battle scenes began to run. Worlds presented: Tangled, Twilight Town, Mysterious Tower, etc. Sora used BBS’s action system (shotlock command) and KH3D’s action system (free-flow action).

    About the new attraction flow: some of it is my own impression, but it kinda looked like it was based on Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blaster.

    There was one scene that showed the detailed motions of feet being soaked in a river.

    Sora, Donald, and Goofy’s new abilities were also shown (footage of the 3 of them sitting on Goofy’s shield and attacking was presented).

    Limited making movie - Olympus Coliseum (in production) was shown. In KH2 it was a world of spirits, in KH3, I’m not super positive, but it’s probably going to be made with heaven as the main. (Olympus Coliseum’s appearance in KH3 is unknown to begin with.)

    Also, a 3D Daybreak Town (in production) was shown. (Whether this world will be in KH3 or not is unknown.)

    The new Nobody’s bottom half looked like flower petals, and it used to a sickle to attack. (I remember Nomura said that people who have played KH will know who this Nobody is.)

    Some Heartless that look like advanced forms of Yellow Opera were also shown.


    Thanks to KH13 News Team member Kayla Copeland (nichiei.translations@gmail.com), you can read fan impressions from FF-Reunion.net.

    KH: [D23EJ] Kingdom Hearts Premium Theater Report!

    Today from Maihama Ikspiari, we have a report of the [Kingdom Hearts Premium Theater]. The event programs are as follows:

    -Greetings from the higher-ups at Disney, Justin Scarpone and Mr. Hashimoto
    -Yoko Shimomura and Hiroyuki Nakayama held a piano performance (Songs: Dearly Beloved, The Other Promise, Musique pour la tristesse de Xion)
    -Comments from the voice actors: Megumi Toyoguchi, Ryotaro Okiayu, Koki Uchiyama, Miyu Irino, Risa Uchida, and Mamoru Miyano
    -New trailers for KH0.2BbS, KhxBackCover, and KH3, no new worlds shown. New heartless appeared, KH3 creation process opened to public.

    [KH Premuim Theater Opening]

    -After entering the theater, we were given wristbands. Mr. Hashimoto was also at the theater entrance. Inside the KH Premium Theater before the event began, the screen had the [KINGDOM HEARTS Premium Theater] logo!

    -There was a keyblade in front of the screen. Then there was an announcement. No recording the trailers, taking any video, or any photography was allowed during the event. According to the event's twitter, this was all in order not to ruin things for the second round of guests, and the ban would be lifted at 17:00.

    -First, Tetsuya Nomura opened, and Nakamura said, “I'll speak while looking at the cue cards.” It was revealed that on 11/5, Beast's Castle would be a new world for KHx, and that from 18:00, the “Mickey Coordinate” event would start, with a KH2 Mickey present on 11/4 at 4:00!

    -[Below are excerpts from the voice actor's comments about the PV]

    Toyoguchi: Aqua's last line “we're connected” did not go well, and we had to do a lot of takes for it. My heart was starting to break. Recording for 2.8 isn't finished yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

    Okiayu: The first time I met Uchiyama, I met him with the same way Terra felt: “He's Ven!” The line that left a lasting impression on me was what I said to Otsuka, “What did you do to his heart?!”

    Uchiyama: In regards to Roxas, despite not being able to feel that my own world was real, I felt at that time (as a middle school student) that just like me, Roxas was real. In regards to Ven, I went on to give out such cheerfulness that I don't really have. At first, recording felt more like playing around than work.

    -A new trailer for [KH0.2BbS]! The King, Riku, and Kairi stand before YenSid. He says, “The fight with Xehanort is near. We must assemble the seven wielders of light to protect the seven hearts of pure light. In order to do that, it is indispensable that we call back the three keyblade wielders who were lost to the tragedies of long ago: Ventus, Terra, and Aqua.” Then, the King says to Riku and Kairi, “I met (?) in the Realm of Darkness.” (Picture: Aqua from behind in the Realm of Darkness)

    -The [KhxBackCover] trailer was the team's logos on stained glass with voices only. A man said, “Lost (?? couldn't hear the dialogue) piece missing from the Foretellers will enter.” A woman said, “Someone has the full story of the Foretellers, and the person who has that is the traitor?” A second man said, “The darkness is indeed on the move. I can't think that there is a traitor among us.” A second woman said, “We're not for sure that there's a traitor among us, right?” The first man says, “The missing piece of the story tell us of the traitor.”

    -[KHDDD] trailer came next. It was the scene where Xehanort explains things in the dream world. The King and Riku take hands and the trailer said, “Someday, with your strength...” There was the scene with Tron falling, and the scene with Riku confronting Ansem (“Ansem! You've become a part of my heart...”). There was also the scene where Sora takes Namine's hand, only to have her face turn into Xion, as well as Riku fighting the person in the black coat. It showed Sora fighting Braig (“Our hearts are connected--that's my strength!”). The modeling for KHDDD was really pretty! It seems just like a remake, perhaps because it was taken from the 3DS to the PS4 in HD.

    -There was a new trailer for [KH3]. It was the full scene from the beginning of KH3 with young Eraqus and Xehanort! [The music was a piano version of [The 13th Side].)

    X: Do you know about the Keyblade war?
    E: Of course.
    X: Long ago, when keyblade wielders tried to steal away the light.
    E: I've heard it again and again from the Master.
    X: I wonder what they wanted to do, using the light they stole to summon Kingdom Hearts.
    E: Who knows...I can't understand the reason why the fight happened in the first place.
    X: Have you heard of the Lost Masters? They started the Keyblade war.
    E: Never heard of it, where did you hear that from?
    X: No, was it for their sake, I wonder...
    E: I don't get it.
    X: You know the truth, right?
    E: About what?
    X: That at that time, light was defeated by the darkness. I guess you as a candidate for Master wouldn't know.
    E: I guess.
    X: You can see it with your own eyes. It's already decided, the end of the world.
    E: It'd be boring if the end was already decided. If the darkness is supposed to win, I'll rewrite the ending.
    X: You're pretty confident. But aren't you at a disadvantage?
    E: Light is different from darkness, because it's not just something you can see. We won't know until the end.
    X: I'm looking forward to it.

    -There was a KH3 trailer (music: Rage Awakened). Sora, Donald and Goofy battled Heartless that looked like dandelions in front of Rapunzel's tower, then it cut to a new part with new Nobodies that look like flowers with about eight legs?, that would separate and lift into the air while spinning (I saw this during the making video, but the keyblade looked like Marluxia). Nomura said this about the new Nobodies: “These nobodies will make you imagine someone specific. People with good intuition might get it.” It showed a new weapon for Sora. In an area that looked like a valley, Sora was able to lock on to about 10 Heartless (the lock on speed is very fast, about 1.5 seconds!) and teleport around while attacking. It was really cool!

    -There was a new attraction flow for [KH3]! It showed a vehicle kind of like a space ship?, where all three had a launching pad. It was called “Shooting ride.” After invoking AF, it turns into FPS mode and you can attack the enemies! (When it turns to FPS mode, the outline of goggles appears on the screen, giving you the image of playing a FPS game with goggles on)

    -While fighting Heartless in [KH3], there were points where Sora would fall into the river and scream as he slid down. The river looked really pretty! It seems the Heartless can also chase you down the river. When attacking the Heartless that resemble bells (the ones well known in the KH series), they can affect the environment around you, and they can attack that way.

    -There was a [KH2 Making] video presentation by Nomura! He said, “We're developing each of the worlds. Since the developers are still working, we can't show you any new worlds, but I was able to bring this in-production (making) video here today.” When the new Nobodies (shaped like flowers? They resemble Marluxia) attack, they rain down red flower petals. (The drawing below is simplified, but this is the basic idea)

    -What Nomura showed us next in the [KH3 making] video was a 3D version of Daybreak Town that hasn't been used in KH so far, but they might use it in KH3 or something. I understand that the movement of light makes the buildings move.

    -Next in the [KH3 making] video was a making of [Olympus]. Olympus is set up in the heavens, and it looks very divine, with the buildings reflected on the floor it was very pretty! There were buildings in the clouds, and between the clouds were the buildings of Olympus hidden away, making it a very mysterious location! Perhaps because of the use of light, the shading makes it look very three-dimensional!

    -The other parts of the [KH3 making] were shots of different Heartless with no backgrounds (Heartless with hats, bell-shaped Heartless' effects) showing their movements, etc. Nomura said, “There will be other Heartless, but they are spoilers so I can't show them. Just by looking at them you'll be able to figure out the worlds.”

    -There was a [0.2BbS] making video. It was a great display of running around in the darkness and Aqua fighting off Heartless!

    -In [KH3], Sora, Donald, and Goofy can ride Goofy's shield. Riding the shield like that lets you fly! Also, there's going to be a large snake-like enemy to fight.

    -At the end, there was a special PV they showed us called “King Mickey Scene Mash-Up]! Just when I was thinking how it was cool just to hear the music full of the King...King Mickey came out on stage, as well as Nomura and Shimomura, and they walked around the theater greeting guests! They were shaking hands and giving hi-fives!

    -Everyone involved got on stage: King Mickey, Nomura, Shimomura, and Hashimoto looked full of energy!


    -The last PV was a mash-up of scenes from each game. Sora, Roxas, Namine, Xion, Riku, Axel, Kairi, Aqua, Terra, Ven...and so on were in the last scene and climax, showing their goodbyes, reunions, and connections in their hearts... Everything was connected in fragments, and it was beautiful and left an impression. It made my heart feel warm...and I cried.

    -It was a wonderful KH event! There were a lot of clips, and I'm surprised at the quality! It seems some of the trailers were ones only shown at this theater, but I hope they release the other trailers soon!


    Lastly, you can check out tweets from the event, thanks to KH13 News Team member Kayla Copeland (nichiei.translations@gmail.com) for the translations, and thanks to @aibo_ac7 for the original tweets.

    Spoiler


    With the Kingdom Hearts Premium Theater passing by, as well as all of the D23 Expo Japan event, there are 2 major events left of 2015: Jump Festa 2016 and PlayStation Experience 2015. While Kingdom Hearts has not been confirmed for any of these events yet, there is a small chance of Kingdom Hearts appearing at these events. If any Kingdom Hearts news appears as these events are starting, we will let you know!

    • Nov 15 2015 07:28 PM
    • by Jake
  17. Square Enix to release school calendar for members in April, includes Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

    Square Enix is releasing a new members-only calendar to coincide with the start of the Japanese school year. The calendar features images from new and upcoming games, including Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. Square Enix members will be able to purchase the calendar for 200 points starting in April.

    2016 Member's Special School Calendar
    From April, a member's special school calendar will be available.
    Thanks to it's separable type, you can select and display a different image to suit your mood.

    <Collected Titles>
    Final Fantasy VII Remake
    Final Fantasy XIV
    Final Fantasy XV
    Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
    SaGA: Scarlet Grace
    Square Enix Member Avatar
    Dragon Quest X
    Dragon Quest Heroes II: The Twin Kings and the Prophecy of the End
    Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 3
    Nier: Automata
    Lord of Vermilion Re:3
    World of Final Fantasy

    *Limit one per person
    *Depending on when you order, your product may be shipped after April


    Thanks to Katie Armstrong for the translation, and thanks to aibo for the heads up.

  18. Square Enix releases new screenshots, renders of Aqua, Mickey, and the Foretellers

    Square Enix's Press Site has released new renders of the principal characters of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue as well as high quality screenshots that were previously seen in Famitsu Weekly as well as Jump magazine. Below, you can see high-quality images of Aqua, Mickey, and the Foretellers as well as these screenshots featuring Aqua, Ventus, and Terra.


    Aqua Mickey Aced Gula Ava Invi Ira Master Of Masters


    01 FIX 03 FIX 3D Cut Fa FIX 10 FIX OPA master.00004627 FIX


    What do you think of the quality of these new renders? Let us know in the comments!

  19. Square Enix Japan have begun to advertise Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue leading up to its release

    Square Enix Japan have started running a paid advertisement on Twitter (visible only to people in Japan and USA) for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, leading up to its Japanese release for PS4 on January 12, 2017. The ad details that the game contains three stories that lead to Kingdom Hearts III. Pre-orders are available on PlayStation Store, Amazon and other retailers.

    The ad uses the following promotional image:

    Posted Image


    Update: Various promotional materials such as standees and a short video have been put on display in stores in Japan leading up to Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue's release! Images are provided thanks to Twitter user @bKvEBVAvUq and you can check them out below.

    C0Lbh SUkAAPRlT C0Lbh SVEAQYJzx C0LbK8zUQAAqHDK C0LbT8VVQAAIBSp C0LbT8WVEAAbvWB C0LbWzJUUAABtgA C0LeyF4UoAA5HBc C0LeyF5UcAAjrPi C0LeyGFVIAAnIZV





    Comment below to let us know if you plan to purchase a physical or digital copy of the game!

  20. Shinji Hashimoto discusses Kingdom Hearts at Lucca Comics & Games; Improvements in graphics in Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX for PS4; No "2.9" after Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue; and more

    Kingdom Hearts series producer and Final Fantasy series brand manager Shinji Hashimoto was in attendance at a conference at Lucca Comics & Games 2016 in Italy last month. During this conference, Hashimoto was able to discuss and answer questions relating to the upcoming Kingdom Hearts releases.

    The translations below have been provided by Aquaberry.

    Hashimoto noted that the cinematic movie Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover, present in the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue collection, will fill up a missing space in the Kingdom Hearts timeline and that it will be comprehensible even to those who have not played Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ for smartphone.

    He commented on Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage-, saying that its story will connect directly to the story that will be presented in Kingdom Hearts III. He also said that the duration of the game will partly depend upon the player's abilities. While it may seem a short game, it has a substantial amount of playable content.

    He also noted that there will be no "Kingdom Hearts 2.9" after Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue as "it will proceed directly to [Kingdom Hearts] 3."

    Hashimoto discussed Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX, saying that the idea for the compilation was due to fans all around the world commenting on the complexity of the plot of the Kingdom Hearts series. The PlayStation 4 release will address this issue by enabling the fans to own the entire collection on the same console. Furthermore, he indicated that the PS4 re-release will contain some differences from the PS3 releases; it will have much better graphics.

    Hashimoto was also asked to comment on the legitimacy of the story surrounding the conception of Kingdom Hearts in an accidental meeting in an elevator with a Disney employee who worked in the same building. Hashimoto answered that this is a matter he has been asked about many times. He clarified that while Square were working in the same building as Disney, it was the latter that approached with a proposal for a collaboration that later became the Kingdom Hearts series.

    As reported previously, Hashimoto confirmed that Kingdom Hearts HD Dream Drop Distance will be fully translated in Italian and Spanish; this is a novel development as Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance for Nintendo 3DS was not fully localised in these languages. The game, originally intended for two screens, will certainly be playable in one screen on the PS4.

    Hashimoto also reminded fans that the Sora DLC for World of Final Fantasy will be available for only a limited time only this winter.

    Lastly, Hashimoto reflected on his contentment towards the evolution of the Kingdom Hearts series, saying that he is happy about the success of the series reflected by fans across the world.

    A full video of the conference can be viewed below, thanks to GamerClick.it.


    What are your expectations from Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue? Are you excited to play Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX on PS4? Let us know in the comments below!

  21. Shinji Hashimoto confirms Italian and Spanish translation for Kingdom Hearts HD Dream Drop Distance

    During a presentation promoting Final Fantasy Trading Card Game at Lucca Comics & Games 2016, Kingdom Hearts series producer Shinji Hashimoto has confirmed that Kingdom Hearts HD Dream Drop Distance will be translated in Italian and Spanish for its release as part of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. This marks the first time that the game will be fully localized in these languages, as the original Italian and Spanish releases of the game only featured translated text with English dialogue.

    Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue releases internationally on January 24th, 2017.

  22. Review scores for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue released

    Review scores for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue have begun to appear!

    The four judges at Weekly Famitsu have given the game individual scores of 8/9/8/9, for a total of 34/40. Details from that review can be found here.

    Game Informer have given a score of 8.5/10 and gave a silver ranking. Details from the review can be found here.

    Keep checking this article for review scores from more publications, as well as possible updates to existing scores.

    How well do you think Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue will score overall? Let us know in the comments!

  23. Pre-order bonus and downloadable version of the game to be available for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue in Japan

    Update 2: An Yodobashi Camera store in Japan has put finished versions of all three acrylic stands on display. Image provided thanks to Twitter user @Kazaton.


    KH2.8 Pre order bonus



    Update 1: Tetsuya Nomura used the official Japanese Kingdom Hearts series Twitter to give a few details about the "AIR" acrylic stand as well as provided pictures of all three stands once they were set up. Nomura explains that the "AIR" stand actually has Sora coming from behind the clouds, which is different than the image that was previously shown (as pictured below, Sora is in front of the clouds). He also adds that he thinks assembly is relatively simple because of the size of the plugs. The new promotional images of the mini acrylic stands can be found below.

    CwbACMMUoAAbf9j CwbADYnVQAAvSvX CwbIT0fVIAA5Meo CwbIUvrUkAAXpXV KH2.8 Pre order bonus Cz9TH3rUAAEmHH0 Cz9TH3oUsAErVJg Cz9TH3nUsAAb BP thumb comparison



    The original article follows:

    Square Enix Japan have updated their Special/DLC page for the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue with exciting news. Fans in Japan will be able to obtain, at random, one of three mini acrylic stands drawn by series director Tetsuya Nomura if they pre-order a physical copy of the game from select retailers. These will also be available in limited stock with pre-orders from Amazon Japan. You can see pictures of the stands below.

    Posted Image



    New pre-orders of the game from Amazon Japan will also be accompanied by an exclusive PS4 theme, previewed below.

    Posted Image


    Furthermore, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue will be the first Kingdom Hearts game to be made available for download at the PlayStation Store, with pre-orders in Japan starting mid-November. Pre-orders will also come with a unique Kingdom Hearts PS4 theme, shown below. Interestingly, Nomura had commented on the possibility of a download release for Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep in a Dengeki PlayStation interview back in 2011, saying that it was a difficult task for reasons he could not talk about and that did not involve problems with Square Enix, Disney, or Utada Hikaru, the artist behind the Kingdom Hearts theme songs. At the time, he had said that it was a task that required time to make possible.

    Posted Image


    Square Enix Japan have tweeted that they will announce the start date for pre-orders soon.

    Thank to Churro, aibo, and KH13.com user blue490246 for the tips. A complete translation of the Special/DLC webpage has been provided thanks to goldpanner. You can read the translations below.

    <Preorder Bonus>


    Illustrations by Tetsuya Nomura

    KINGDOM HEARTS 2.8 Mini Acrylic Stand

    Preorder Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue in-store or online, and you will receive one of three kinds (AIR, BOND, COMING) of mini acrylic stands featuring illustrations by KH series director Tetsuya Nomura.

    <Amazon.co.jp Limited Purchase Bonus>

    KINGDOM HEARTS 2.8 PS4 Theme (wallpaper)

    Those who purchase Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue through Amazon.co.jp will receive a limited bonus PS4 theme (wallpaper). The metallic background and embossed monograms make for a calm toned theme.

    *In addition to the above, KINGDOM HEARTS 2.8 Mini Acrylic Stand are available in limited stock.

    <Digital Version Early Purchase Bonus>

    KINGDOM HEARTS 2.8 PS4 Theme

    Those who purchase Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue early through the PlayStation Store will receive a bonus PS theme. It's a cute theme, with a monogrammed background and the icons decorated with KH-esque motifs, such as King Mickeys. It is available to download straight after the preorder has been made. Preorders on the Playstation Store are scheduled to open in mid November.


    Are you expecting a digital version of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue to be available for download outside of Japan? Do you think Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts III will also have downloadable versions in the future? Let us know in the comments below!

  24. Pre-download for Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue now available

    The pre-download is now available on PSN for the Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. The download is 2.328 GB in total and screenshots of the download can be found below thanks to Everglow.

    Posted Image


    Posted Image

  25. Possible online interactivity in Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue reported by official Australian classification rating

    On October 6th, 2016, the official Australian classification system updated with an official rating for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. The rating given for the Australian version of the game is PG. While most Kingdom Hearts games are rated PG, each game has a specific rating description attached to that PG rating. Most Kingdom Hearts games are attached with the description 'Mild fantasy violence'. However, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue has a different description, hinting at possible online features in the game.

    You can check out the PG rating description for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue below, hinting at possible online interactivity in the game. You may also check out a list of all rated Kingdom Hearts titles from the past here.

    PG - Mild themes and fantasy violence, online interactivity


    The only time a rating ever receives 'Online Interactivity' in their rating is if the game actually has online features. The official Australian classification system rated Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ before its release with a 'G - Online Interactivity' rating.

    The PS4 title, Ratchet & Clank, doesn't include any online features, and its rating doesn't include any online interactivity. This further shows that Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue will have online features.

    What do you think could be a possible online function in Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue? Let us know in the comments below!

    • Oct 06 2016 11:24 PM
    • by Jake