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  1. New area of Olympus spotted as part of a Kingdom Hearts III demo in Del Mar, California

    It seems Kingdom Hearts III really is showing up everywhere, even in the most unexpected places.

    PlayStation's Road to Greatness tour's recent stop arrived at the Kaaboo Music Festival in Del Mar, California taking place September 14-16, and seemingly brought a demo of Kingdom Hearts III!

    Surprisingly, an Instagram story from rod83092, who attended the festival showed a brand new screenshot of the Olympus world. You can check out the image below:


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    When asked about the screenshot, he said, "You begin near Athens I believe, headed towards Mt. Olympus. The point is to keep getting up higher and higher through the cliffs. You can use a dash gliding ability and fight many different heartless. It rapidly changes scenes until you get to the Rock Titan fight where you defeat him using Big Magic Mountain."

    rod83092 also said, "You can choose either Olympus or Toy Box, no time limit at all until completed, and very different from the trailers [shown] before with different colors and environment areas."

    The demo seemed to not include the "Premium Showcase" title.

    *UPDATE [Sep 15, 2018]:* rod83092 has reported that taking photos within the truck has now been prohibited.

    If anyone is interested in attending the Road to Greatness Tour, here are the tour dates!

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  2. Big Hero 6 trailer shown at Playstation Lineup Tour Japan

    A new trailer was just revealed for Kingdom Hearts III at the PlayStation LineUp Tour in Japan! It showcased the Big Hero 6 world where Sora, Donald and Goofy meet Baymax and Hiro in San Fransokyo along with a closer look at the Monsters Inc, Tangled and Toy Story worlds.

    A new keyblade transformation was also shown titled Nano Arms as well as new Gummi Ship parts and gameplay, a new keyblade and a brief glimpse at Aqua! You can check out the new trailer below:


    What were you most excited to see in this new trailer? Let us know in the comments!

    Don’t forget to stay up to date with KH13 for updates on Square Enix Presents at the Tokyo Game Show 2018! Coverage of the event can be found here!

  3. Coverage: Kingdom Hearts III at TGS 2018

    Welcome to our live coverage of the Tokyo Game Show 2018, which will be streaming live from Makuhari Messe, within Japan’s Chiba prefecture!

    The Tokyo Game Show often consists of exciting promotion and insights into the development of many prominent games in Japan. It takes place between September 20th to September 23rd, 2018.

    This year, it will include a Kingdom Hearts III Stage Event that will be streamed from Niconico (Nicovideo.jp) and YouTube between 12:50 and 1:40 PM JST! Kingdom Hearts voice actors Miyu Iruno (the voice of Sora), Megumi Toyoguchi (the voice of Aqua), and comedian Akira Kawashima (as the host) have been confirmed to show up at the event!

    Follow KH13’s coverage here and across our social media for more news relating to what TGS 2018 has in store for Kingdom Hearts III and more!



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    Updates

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    PlayStation LineUp Tour

    September 10, 2018 (6:30 PM JST) The Playstation LineUp Tour will be starting!
    September 10, 2018 (6:30 PM JST) The PlayStation LineUp Tour has begun!
    September 10, 2018 (6:35 PM JST) Big Hero 6 trailer being shown now!
    September 10, 2018 (6:37 PM JST) Kingdom Hearts VR confirmed!

    Tokyo Game Show 2018
    September 11, 2018 (7:30 PM JST) Square Enix releases floor plan for the show!
    September 11, 2018 (11:42 PM JST) Square Enix releases floor plan for download on IOS and Android!
    September 12, 2018 (8:45 PM JST) TGS to premiere Kingdom Hearts III LINE TsumTsum with Miyu Iruno and Meyumi Toyoguchi!
    September 12, 2018 (10:16 AM PST) Official Kingdom Hearts Instagram account hits 200,000 followers!
    September 12, 2018 (6:08 PM PST) New retweet campaign to win an autograph from Miyu Iruno!
    September 17, 2018 (10:00 PM PST) Square Enix releases the Kingdom Hearts III extended TGS trailer!
    September 17, 2018 (10:15 PM PST) The Kingdom Hearts III box art has been revealed!
    September 17th, 2018 (10:39 PM PST) Nomura confirms that there will be no more Kingdom Hearts trailers coming out of TGS, but there will be additional info!
    September 19, 2018 (3:29 PM EST) Square Enix Presents, PlayStation stage, and Dengeki VS Famitsu will be live streaming Kingdom Hearts III presentations from Tokyo Game Show.


















    Articles

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    -Big Hero 6 trailer shown at Playstation Lineup Tour Japan!
    -Kingdom Hearts VR Experience revealed at the PlayStation LineUp Tour in Japan!
    -Kingdom Hearts Concert Tour 2018 coming to PlayStation VR as revealed at the PlayStation LineUp Tour in Japan!
    -Utada Hikaru to perform Kingdom Hearts III song Chikai live for the first time!
    -Dengeki and Famitsu showcasing Kingdom Hearts III demo live at TGS 2018!
    -Kingdom Hearts III presentation announced for the Tokyo Game Show 2018 with playable demo and t-shirts!
    -UPDATE: Release month for Kingdom Hearts II: Halloween Town Sora Bring Arts revealed!
    -Release of the extended version of the Kingdom Hearts III Big Hero 6 trailer!
    -Kingdom Hearts III Box Art revealed!
    -Square Enix e-store adds new merchandise following TGS!
    -Tetsuya Nomura promises more Kingdom Hearts info at TGS 2018!
    -Square Enix is holding a campaign on their e-store in commemoration of Kingdom Hearts III's release!
    -Kingdom Hearts III presentation announced for TGS 2018 with playable demo and t-shirts!
    -Kingdom Hearts III Limited Edition PS4 Slim and Top Cover announced at TGS 2018!
    -UPDATE: Kingdom Hearts III Sora Guardian Form Funko Pop NYCC Exclusive available at Wal-Mart on October 9th!
    -PlayStation Access live-streaming all 4 days of EGX 2018!
    -Kingdom Hearts III opening theme listed on ASCAP!
    -Kingdom Hearts III Main Stage Event shows off new Keyblade Transformation and character footage!
    -Nomura shares new details for Kingdom Hearts III in live Q&A during Square Enix Presents at the Tokyo Game Show 2018!
    -Kingdom Hearts & Tokyo Skytree Tower of Light and Darkness Event announced!


    Kingdom Hearts III - Big Hero 6 Trailer Short Version (ENG subtitles)

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    Kingdom Hearts III - Big Hero 6 Trailer Short Version (JPN)

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    Kingdom Hearts VR Experience

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    Kingdom Hearts III - Big Hero 6 Extended Trailer (ENG subtitles)
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    Kingdom Hearts III - Big Hero 6 Extended Trailer (JPN)
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    Kingdom Hearts III - Big Hero 6 Trailer Screenshots
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    Kingdom Hearts VR Experience Screenshots

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    Kingdom Hearts III - Big Hero 6 Extended Trailer Screenshots

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    Kingdom Hearts III TGS 2018 Press Screenshots and Renders

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    Kingdom Hearts III TGS2018 Live Event Footage

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    Kingdom Hearts III TGS2018 Playstation Live Event Footage

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  4. [UPDATE] Kingdom Hearts III to appear at EGX 2018 in Birmingham

    Kingdom Hearts III has been showing up in some capacity at all the big gaming conventions recently, usually the highlight of which is the playable Kingdom Hearts III demo, along with new merchandise etc.

    EGX 2018 will be receiving the same treatment - showcasing all the latest and greatest there is to see from Kingdom Hearts III!

    EGX 2018 will take place at The NEC in Birmingham, UK on from September 20 - 23. It will run from 10am - 6pm on Thursday and Sunday and will run from 10am - 7pm on Friday and Saturday.


    You can purchase tickets here.

    UPDATE [Sunday 9th Sept.]:
    A demo for Kingdom Hearts III has been officially announced to contain a battle against the Rock Titan in Olympus Coliseum and the opportunity to explore the Toy Box alongside Woody and Buzz.

    Also available at EGX is the chance to feel like a toy with a photo op in Andy's room, as well as a huge metal Kingdom Key being on display.

  5. Square Enix confirms time and date of Kingdom Hearts III presentation at TGS 2018 with special guests Miyu Irino and Megumi Toyoguchi

    Square Enix has confirmed that the stage presentation for Kingdom Hearts III at the Tokyo Game Show 2018 will be held on September 22 between 12:50-13:40 JST.

    The presentation is said to deliver the latest information for Kingdom Hearts III and will also have special guest appearances of Miyu Irino and Megumi Toyoguchi which are the Japanese voice actors for Sora and Aqua. Accompanying them will be Japanese comedian Akira Kawashima who will host the presentation. You can watch the stream live from both Youtube and Niconico (nicovideo.jp).

    What are you looking forward to seeing at the show? Let us know in the comments!

    Don’t forget to stay up to date with KH13 for updates on Square Enix Presents at the Tokyo Game Show 2018!

    UPDATE [Friday 14th Sep.] :

    A Twitter campaign has been set up by Disney TSUM TSUM in celebration of Miyu Irino's guest appearance at TGS.

    Retweeting enters you into the draw, with the prize being a signature from Miyu Irino himself. The campaign is being held until Sunday, September 23rd.

    UPDATE [Wednesday 19th Sep.] :

    The Sora and Riku Tsum with voice will be available from September 19 at 11:00 through September 22 at 10:59. The interview with Sora's voice actor Miyu Irino is view able until September 30.
    There is a special wallpaper available at the TGS2018 Kingdom Hearts booth! To receive it, turn on your Bluetooth near the booth!

  6. Square Enix list Kingdom Hearts III in their lineup and share Square Enix Present's Livestreams for TGS 2018

    Square Enix has provided part of their lineup for The Tokyo Game Show this year lasting from September 20th to September 23rd, 2018! You can find the list of confirmed games and the links to Square Enix Present’s livestream below!

    Game list announcement and message translated by KH13 team member @NihonScribe.

    This year Square Enix TGS 2018 is planned again for a live broadcast from the stage and our special studio! Kingdom Hearts III, Dragon Quest X, Final Fantasy XIV, and other notable titles will appear. Everyone's expectations can only be delivered here from Square Enix's TGS stage and special studio. Don't miss it!


    Here is where you can find the links to Square Enix Present’s live broadcast of the event on Niconico (nicovideo.jp)!

    September 22nd (Studio livestream)
    September 22nd (Stage livestream)
    September 23rd (Studio livestream)
    September 23rd (Stage livestream)


    Here is where you can find the links to their live broadcasts on YouTube!

    September 22nd (Studio livestream)
    September 22nd (Stage livestream)
    September 23rd (Studio livestream)
    September 23rd (Stage livestream)


    Are you excited for the Tokyo Game Show this year? What are you hoping for in their presentations of these games? Let us know in the comments below!

    Don’t forget to stay up to date with KH13 for updates on Square Enix Present’s schedule for Tokyo Game Show 2018!

  7. Nomura has announced updates to the Kingdom Hearts Union χ main story connecting to Kingdom Hearts III

    In commemoration of the 3rd Kingdom Hearts Union χ Anniversary, Nomura has released a message thanking players for playing Kingdom Hearts Union χ! He has also announced the Kingdom Hearts III mini-games, Classic Kingdom, has arrived to Kingdom Hearts Union χ! Read Nomura's translated statement below.

    Thank you for celebrating the 3rd anniversary of KHUX.

    Long time no see, though it might not be the case lately. To be exact, it hasn't been three years since Unionχ, but we apparently are counting from Unchained χ . That means it would be 5 years since "χ [chi]". but I guess that's not how it works. It's kind of a loose 3rd anniversary, but this year we are doing things a little differently.

    We are near the end of developing Kingdom Hearts III, but the mini-game "Classic Kingdom" will be a "Playable System". "Playable System" is a little long, so let's call it "x3".

    It's short ,but it's also tricky to read. It is pronounced "ex-tres".

    In x3, not only are you able to play the Classic Kingdom, but you can also use the communication tool and other new contents. The menu design is also from the device Sora uses in Kingdom Hearts III. Please wait for more details, which will be announced soon.

    We have made players wait so long, but the main scenario will be updated next month. The wait has been long because the same staff, including me, are working on both scenarios for Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ and Kingdom Hearts III.

    This time the story will move closer to the core. The main story will be updated again in the next update, including the introduction to a new character(s) The connection among the characters may be revealed. I think the story will head to a very interesting point.

    So far we were exploring Disney worlds that already existed, but we will finally explore new worlds soon. We are preparing more mysteries and new developments, so I hope you continue to enjoy playing Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ. To thank everyone, we will be giving out jewels!

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    In this limited quest, complete the Kingdom Hearts III Classic mini-games with high scores and receive the Starlight Keyblade in Kingdom Hearts III!


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    Update[September 6, 2018]: New content has been updated for Kingdom Hearts Union χ3 (ex-tres) mode has been added to version 3.0.0. χ3's design was created to imitate Sora's menu screen on his device in Kingdom Hearts III. Through the χ3 menu, players can access the Classic Kingdom mini-games and the new communication feature.


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    The Classic Kingdom mini-games are available through the χ3 menu. There are five mini-games available to play: Giantland, The Musical Farmer, The Karnival Kid, The Barnyard Battle, and Fishin' Frenzy. High scores are required to attain the Starlight Keyblade product code for Kingdom Hearts III. Players are allowed many attempts to get a high score for the Starlight Keyblade limited quest, but only until the quest deadline.



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    A new communication feature has been added to Kingdom Hearts Union χ through the χ3 menu. Through this new communication feature, players can talk to other players across various parties and unions, not just their own.


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    A full render of Sora holding the Starlight Keyblade has also been released. You can view it below.


    oCmaNs0Dy Sora Starlight Keyblade 2


    Update 3.0.0 is now available in Japan and is to be available for North America on September 7, 2018.

  8. Kingdom Hearts III to be featured live at PAX WEST 2018 on the official Kingdom Hearts Facebook account

    The official Kingdom Hearts Facebook account is planning a livestream featuring Kingdom Hearts III at PAX WEST 2018! The stream is scheduled for today at 2:30 PM PDT, and can be accessed on Facebook.

    Attendees of PAX WEST this year are able to enjoy the Toy Box and Olympus demos of the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts III, releasing January 29, 2019, worldwide. Square Enix is also giving away Kingdom Hearts III phone holders, and have put on display replicas of the Keyblades Shooting Star and Infinity Badge.

    Let us know if you are/will be at PAX WEST 2018, otherwise, or tune into the livestream to find out what's going on at the event!

  9. Limited quantities of PlayStation 4 Pro Kingdom Hearts III Limited Edition still available for pre-order at some Japanese retailers

    PlayStation 4 Pro Kingdom Hearts III Limited Edition was announced back in E3, and although initially available through a lottery system, it became available for preorder through numerous Japanese online retailers soon after.

    You can check here below the list of Japanese retailers that are still taking online preorders:

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    Please notice that although you might be able to place your order, some of the listed retailers may not offer a shipping service outside Japan (e.g. Amazon.jp) or to your country of residence.

    Are you going to pre-order one of those Limited Edition PS4 Pro? Let us know in the comment section below!

  10. Kingdom Hearts III will be present at Comic Con Nordics in Stockholm with two playable demos

    Kingdom Hearts III is going to be present at Comic Con Nordics. The convention will be hosted in Stockholm (Sweden) from September 14th to 16th.

    Comic Con Nordics attendees will be able to access to two playable demos, although it is still unclear if they are actually going to feature the already seen settings of Toy Box and the Rock Titan battle as in the previously shared demos. You can check here the announcement tweet done by Koch Media Nordic.

    Will you be able to attend Comic Con Nordics and try the Kingdom Hearts III demo yourself? Let us know in the comments!

  11. Nomura's favorite world is where Kingdom Hearts III's last battle will take place

    French writer, Filipe Da Silva Barbosa from Gameblog, released an exclusive interview from Gamescom 2018 with Tetsuya Nomura regarding Kingdom Hearts III. Read the translated interview below:

    Gameblog: More than sixteen years after his debut, the adventure of Sora and his friends is coming to an end. I was a young teen myself when the first game came out. How are you feeling after working for so long on this franchise and are you measuring the impact these games have on many fans around the world?

    Nomura: First of all, this is not the end of the story of Sora and his friends. Only the conclusion of their confrontation against Xehanort, the end of the saga of the Dark Seeker started with the first game. Their story does not end with Kingdom Hearts III. What I remember is not so much the impact that these games had on the fans around the world, but the one that the players had on the series itself and that is the reason for its longevity. I am very grateful to them for allowing the series to last so long.

    Gameblog: Many French fans were really disappointed to hear that Kingdom Hearts III would not benefit from dubbing in their language. This was the case in their day for Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II, and the French players were really attached to these voices. How did you come to this difficult decision?

    Nomura: Kingdom Hearts III is fully dubbed. On top of that, for the previous episodes, we adapted the lip movements so that they matched the doubled language, so we had to consider the additional production costs that would have resulted. Given the technological gap between the current generation of consoles and the one in which Kingdom Hearts I and II were produced, we had to proceed in a completely different way. The casting for each country, the recording of the voices, the different schedules, the entire dubbing process itself had to be done concomitantly for the English and Japanese dubbing. Just recording voices takes a lot of time, work, and budget, which means that the game could not have benefited from a worldwide release. We wanted it to be a priority for this game to be the first Kingdom Hearts to be released at the same time around the world.

    Gameblog: You've said it many times already: Kingdom Hearts III is the most ambitious episode of the franchise so far. In previous gameplay trailers, we have seen worlds such as Mount Olympus and Corona of Rapunzel have larger areas to explore than in previous games. Can you tell us how Kingdom Hearts III encourages the player to discover every bit of these worlds?

    Nomura: With Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance at first and now Kingdom Hearts III, we have been striving to make the action more dynamic than ever before. As a result, I felt that providing more verticality in exploration - rather than horizontality - would be more appropriate for the worlds traversed. There are many places you can reach and from which you can jump freely, and I do not think that players will resist a long time to try it. There are also many items to collect, which will push players to browse in every corner.

    Gameblog: With the worlds of Toy Story and Monsters Inc., and the recent announcement of a mini-game dedicated to Ratatouille, Pixar movies are finally at the party in Kingdom Hearts. How did you create these worlds, especially in your conversations with Pixar's creative teams?

    Nomura: While we were still in negotiations, I myself visited Pixar's premises a number of times. We then exchanged and shared our creative visions around the project. After that, we first focused on the plot of the world of Toy Story and, after that, it took a long time to reach an agreement. In the meantime, the teams involved in the project strengthened, and after all this time working together for the same goal, we naturally came to an agreement.

    Gameblog: Of all the worlds from the series, which one is your favorite?

    Nomura: My favorite world comes from Kingdom Hearts III, and as we have not shown it yet, I can not reveal too much! What I can tell you though is that this is the world in which the game's last clash is taking place, and I'm really looking forward to fans discovering and playing it.

    Gameblog: During the last game presentation, we saw several new gameplay elements, such as Attraction Flow or the ability to change Keyblade during combat. How did you make sure that all these gameplay possibilities fit together well to provide a fun and exhilarating experience?

    Nomura: I think that one of the essential elements that make an interesting title is the fact of making it a playground. Without granting a certain freedom to the players, this is not possible, so we did to include as many choices as possible. Even if I had to recommend a particular approach, it is up to the players themselves to choose the one that suits them best and to feel free to experiment with the different possibilities of gameplay.
    For each situation, all the ones that could be used were displayed in the command bar, but I wanted this to change, so that the same choices are not made each time. Now you can select more techniques than just the ones that appear in the command bar; these accumulate then and have a gauge of use limited in time. This aspect of the gameplay has become, during development, something that I really wanted to include.

    Gameblog: In 2002, when the first Kingdom Hearts came out, the game was considered by many to be the meeting between the Final Fantasy franchise and the Disney worlds. Even if it's less obvious with the latest episodes, how does this apply to Kingdom Hearts III?

    Nomura: It's been more than ten years, and the original and once-unknown characters of Kingdom Hearts now have their fans and have become popular themselves. In the time of the release of the first Kingdom Hearts, bringing together several Final Fantasy characters in a single game was something really new and unique. However, this is not the case anymore. If I had the opportunity to include Final Fantasy characters again and again in a Kingdom Hearts, I would be delighted to do so. But lately in the series, we also dwell on the history of the original characters and how it develops more by itself.

    Gameblog: Indeed, Kingdom Hearts is a franchise that brings together a large number of memorable characters and is built around a complex plot developed through many games for sixteen years. How do you intend to satisfy both the newcomers and the fans present since the beginning of the trip?

    Nomura: There are not many examples in the field of video games but I think of some sagas movies or TV series for which viewers can find interest without necessarily resume everything from the beginning. For those who have never been introduced to the series before, we have included various elements in Kingdom Hearts III to expose the ins and outs of history and allow newcomers to achieve the minimum level of understanding required, with the introduction at the beginning of the game of a series of videos that summarize the plot. Moreover, we will obviously gorge the game of content to satisfy the fans of the first hour! Kingdom Hearts III is truly a game suitable for both types of players. And for those who discover the saga with this episode, I would be delighted if it gave them the opportunity to take an interest in the series and also immerse themselves in the other episodes.


    You can read the original article here.

  12. Nomura explains the lack of dubbing other than English and Japanese in Kingdom Hearts III, and talks about its scriptwriting and translation processes

    The possibility of exclusion of dubbing in Kingdom Hearts III for audiences such as German, Spanish, and French-speakers has been an ongoing issue among the international fan community of the series, so much that even a petition was conducted in an attempt to make the upcoming game's dub more inclusive. Disappointment therefore ensued when it was confirmed by the Square Enix France CEO that Kingdom Hearts III would only be dubbed in Japanese and English.

    HobbyConsolas has recently published an interview with Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura, whom they asked for explanations for the lack of dubbing in more languages. Nomura also talked about the translation process, the scriptwriting process, and whether Kingdom Hearts III can be a starting point for newcomers to the series.

    You can read the interview below. We would like to thank KH13 News Team member Overshot and KHχ staff Nymph for providing translations.

    Q. Kingdom Hearts II was dubbed in Castilian. Why is this not the case in Kingdom Hearts III?

    A. Kingdom Hearts III is completely dubbed [T/N: meaning it has full-on dubbing, from beginning to end] and, in addition, we have adapted the synchronization of the lips to the spoken language, so we had to consider the associated costs. Considering the difference in quality between current hardware and what was there when Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II were released, we had to do things in completely different ways.

    The casting of each country, the recording, the staff schedules, and the work process itself had to be done in the same way for both the English and Japanese versions. Only just recording the voices takes a lot of time, work, and budget, and consequently it would mean that we would not be able to launch the game simultaneously in the whole world. We wanted it to be a priority that it was the first game in the Kingdom Hearts series to be launched in this format.

    Q. There is usually a great deal of attention to detail in the translations of the Square Enix games. How is the translation of the texts progressing and what is the process behind this?

    A. We have spent a lot of time making the preparations, so the original text has been translated as directly as possible, while in the case of the different Disney worlds we asked the translators to keep the original dialogues of the films.

    The translation of Kingdom Hearts III is done internally, and we follow a multi-layered process; co-director Tai Yasue, who speaks English, checks the text, and Disney later checks it again.

    Q. How do you create the overall history [T/N: lore] of Kingdom Hearts III and at the same time that of the different worlds? Is Disney involved in the process?

    A. First I create the general structure of the broader narrative, and another scriptwriter uses it to fill in a more detailed plot. Then I take all that and start writing the whole story; sometimes I use it only as a guide, and other times, I “stick” other parts on top of the original plot. Finally, Disney edits it and gives us approval.

    In the case of the sections that take place in Disney worlds, the process is slightly different. When I have the outline of the story, we continue to base the workflow in the process that I just explained, but I have as a rule that the writers take into account the requirements of the individual level design teams when putting together the script. This goes through as a first edition to Disney, which comes back to me and on which I write my own editions and arrangements so that they fit into the general progression of the game and the narrative flow. Finally, it is sent back to Disney [again] to perform more checks.

    Q. For those who are new to the saga, do you think Kingdom Hearts III is a good starting point, or should they have played all of the other games?

    A. There are not many examples in video games, but I think there are cases of movies and television series in which the audience can be interested halfway. We have included several elements in Kingdom Hearts III to explain the story and get the rookies to reach the minimum speed for the required level of comprehension, including a series of videos that explain the story so far at the beginning of the game . I would be delighted if people who play Kingdom Hearts III are interested in the saga and go back to also play the rest of the titles.

  13. Nomura talks about working with Disney to find the right balance, the worlds' vertical expansion, and recap videos added at the start of Kingdom Hearts III

    VG247 has recently published Alex Donaldson's interview with Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura. Here, he talked about having found the right balance while working with Disney, their approach to world expansion, recap elements and more in Kingdom Hearts III.

    In regards to his approach in directing Kingdom Hearts III, Nomura said he hasn't changed much, not unlike in his previous interview with Donaldson back in 2013.

    I have not changed the way I develop since the first game and I have continued to do so in the same style I always have for Kingdom Hearts 3. I have not really considered the kinds of complicated balancing issues that everyone imagines, and the game stories are simply the result of me making what I wanted to make freely.


    Nomura also spoke about seeing the positives of working with Disney's restrictions.

    It goes without saying that the freedom of movement I have on Kingdom Hearts is different from that on other titles because Disney oversees and edits things. But in a sense, I feel that working freely within those boundaries may have produced the balance we have today.


    Infact, the Pixar team working on Kingdom Hearts III had a lot of praise for Kingdom Hearts III's development team during the Kingdom Hearts III Premiere Event. Tasha Sounart, the Associate Creative Director at Pixar Animation Studios, and the Pixar Story Supervisor Jason Katz, spoke about the success of Toy Story's and Monsters, Inc.'s representation in the game being owed to the efforts spent in the back and forth between the studio and Square Enix.

    Sounart had said:

    "I’ve been a Kingdom Hearts fan for a long time. I played the first two games and a couple of the handheld games – and so just as a player I always wanted to see Pixar worlds represented.

    "Rob Rowe, our director in the interactive group, just came up to me one day and said that they were thinking of adding Pixar worlds to Kingdom Hearts 3, and what did I think of that? I was like… er, yes please! I really want to work on this! So, yes, I was super excited.

    "Square Enix’s process is very similar to ours on films, where they’ll go all the way from script to storyboard to layout to blocking animation – y’know, it’s a very similar path that all the scenes take, and we were involved from the very beginning and giving notes on the script just to make the characters feel authentic to how they would actually act in those situations.

    “They have such an attention to detail and really care about getting things right. That really is very similar to Pixar, where we will have a meeting where we’re all obsessing over this one little shadow or something [laughs]. The way that Square Enix is – they really try to get everything as good as they can get it, and so we really appreciated that when we were working with them.

    “Just seeing Buzz and Woody running around with Sora… I dunno, I’ve just wanted this for a long time – it’s so cool!”
    Katz had added:

    “The person who designed Buzz is giving notes, the person who designed Mike is giving notes – all to try to make the integration of Sora and Donald and Goofy into Monsters and Toy Story feel right.

    “That’s an important thing. It’s an easy thing to say and a tough thing to realize. Like – what is the monsterisation of Donald? What does Sora look like as a toy? But it’s so important, because not only does it move the story line, but it helps buy them into the world – there’s a reason for them being in that particular story.

    “All of a sudden the degree of notes and the amount we’re gonna push up our glasses and really dig in on the details… it’s gonna raise. Because if it looks like the film it needs to move like the film and feel like the film.

    “A big part of the Toy Story universe and those films is nostalgia – nostalgia for toys that we remember growing up, or that feeling of playing with a toy as a kid. I remember having really great conversations about… challenging the folk at Square Enix, asking ‘What were the toys you remember? What were the toys from your childhood?’


    When they brought back the idea for the Gigas and taking advantage of things that were specific to their experience playing with toys, that’s when it really started to click. That’s when it really began to feel like we were speaking the same language – but it’s also a very specific thing for Kingdom Hearts 3. That’s when you really take advantage of the time it takes to develop a real quality story.

    “Just like making our films, that takes time. It takes time to establish trust, to understand what we can both collectively bring to the table to make the end product reach the ideals we have.”


    When Nomura was asked about what Kingdom Hearts III would have been like it had it been developed for the previous generation of consoles, Nomura replied that he hadn't given it any thought. He simply talked about how the development team worked to make new players and those who have forgotten the series' previous experience catch up to the story in Kingdom Hearts III. He stated that recap videos will be added at the start of the game, along with other elements throughout the game to further players' understanding of the story.

    There aren’t many examples in gaming, but I think that there are cases of film and TV series where viewers can take an interest part way through.

    We have included several elements in Kingdom Hearts 3 to explain the story and get newcomers up to speed the minimum required level of understanding, including a series of videos to explain the story so far at the start of the game. I would be delighted if people who played Kingdom Hearts 3 took an interest in the series overall and went back to play the previous games as well.


    Nomura said that the quality, size, and depth of each world is prioritized over the overall world count, and that was greatly achieved through expanding them vertically. It is still not possible to make a simple comparison between the size of Kingdom Hearts III's worlds to the previous games' ones.

    As we can now render the worlds in much more subtlety, the level of detail that is put in to them is almost impossible to compare to the previous games. In order to get the most out of each individual resource, we prioritized making each world more detailed over adding more of them this time round.

    I think that by putting more emphasis into expanding the vertical aspect of the different levels, it gives a greater feeling that the space you play in has expanded. It is not really possible to do a simple comparison and say how many times bigger the worlds are compared to past ones, but I do think that you can have even more fun exploring all the different nooks and crannies than ever before.


    Nomura also referred to Gummi Ships to have "symbolic significance" in the series, and restated that Gummi Ship levels in Kingdom Hearts III will have a higher resemblance to an RPG world map and include exploration and detailed customization.

    Nomura concluded the interview by acknowledging that fans have a lot to expect and look out for in the final instalment of the Xehanort saga.

    The original stuff has grown and multiplied over the years, so there are more opportunities where the player has to be exposed to it. The fans now have even higher expectations towards the original elements than before.

  14. RUMOR: Gamestop Exclusive Funko Pop! Kingdom Hearts III Sora with Blasters coming soon

    Funko Pop News is reporting a new Funko Pop! Kingdom Hearts III Sora will be coming soon to Gamestop. This Pop! will include Sora's blasters that were shown in various trailers. This will be a Gamestop exclusive.

    Stay tuned for more information.

    • Aug 03 2018 11:45 PM
    • by Leamax
  15. Nomura talks about his favorite character and world, dark themes in Kingdom Hearts III, and the possibility of a Mary Poppins world

    IGN Brasil has just published an interview conducted with Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura back during E3 2018, in which he talked about his favorite character, the dark themes in Kingdom Hearts III, and, surprisingly, Mary Poppins.

    Nomura stated that his favorite character from the series is Ansem (Xehanort's Heartless), and that he does not relate to Sora.

    "When I wrote the story, I realized that I'm more of Ansem / Xehanort's side, because they say things I would probably say. On the other hand, Sora says things I would not personally say."


    Nomura commented that he prefers JRPG games to not show explicit violence.

    "We do not have a boundary line set on dark themes [in KH3], as long as it's not on the screen and the game does not have very violent scenes."


    However, he still promised that Kingdom Hearts III will have some "shocking scenes."

    Regarding choosing the worlds that will appear in the game, he said:

    "For each game and each world, I ask my team to bring ideas and create concepts. These documents include which worlds they would like to see in the game and what kind of gameplay we could develop in these worlds.
    "I take a look at all this and see which world or which gameplay is interesting enough for me, then I make a list of these and other worlds that should be in the game in order of priority."


    When asked about his favorite world from the series, Nomura laughed. He responded that his favorite world has not been revealed yet.

    He states that there will be "some original world in Kingdom Hearts III."

    Nomura even mentioned the idea of a Mary Poppins world.

    "Mary Poppins has always been in our conversations about concepts and ideas, but we've always wondered how we can use that film in the franchise. There's a possibility, as long as there's a good idea for that."


    The interviewer also asked Nomura if he was aware of how popular Kingdom Hearts is in Brasil, to which he replied that he was surprised in discovering a Brasilian fanbase.

    "We are developing this game in Japan, so when I come to events like this [E3] and I meet people from the press from different countries and regions, that's when I realize how big the franchise is, because it's not something I feel in practice. That all of this is real, but I do not realize it on a daily basis."


    What "shocking" surprises could be awaiting in Kingdom Hearts III? Would you like one of them to be a Mary Poppins world? Let us know in the comments!

  16. UPDATED: Kingdom Hearts III to have approximately 80+ hours of playable content, including 40-50 hours in main story gameplay

    Following a hands-on experience of an hour-long demo of Kingdom Hearts III, Geek.com has published an insightful review of playing the third main installation of the series from the perspective of a newcomer. In it, Tony Polanco describes his positive experience of playing through the Olympus and Toy Story demo.

    While talking about the various gameplay elements, he adds in comments made by a Square Enix PR representative on what to expect from the final version of the game. He states:

    A Square-Enix PR representative explained that Sora is more agile than in past installments. For example, he can now wall run up shimmering vertical surfaces. He also has some context-sensitive motions.

    [...]

    Players can now equip up to three different keyblades at once. They can also level up each keyblade to make them stronger. Before, there was no incentive to continue using keyblades obtained from previous worlds since the newer keyblades were more powerful. Now, keyblades you have a fondness for are viable even later in the game since you can level them up.

    [...]

    In addition to the main story, players can look forward to several mini-games. One is a cooking game with Remy from Ratatouille. You must find ingredients hidden across several of the worlds and use them to create new recipes. There are 20 different old-school Tiger Toys/Game & Watch style 2D side scrolling games based on Mickey cartoons from the 1930s and 40s. Building your Gummi ship (used for traveling to each world) is pretty much a mini-game of its own. Kingdom Hearts 3 is around 40-50 hours if you stay on the critical path. Including the mini-games, players can expect 80+ hours of content.


    It seems that players can advance through the game's main story in approximately 40-50 hours, or about double that time considering additional playable content.

    Click here to read the full review on Geek.com!

    Many thanks to Tony Polanco for talking to us about his experience and confirming that these statements were made by a Square Enix PR representative.

    UPDATE: Geek.com has updated the following statement to clarify that the game lengths given to them by the Square Enix PR representative were approximate, but the exact length has not yet been finalized as the development of the game continues towards its release date.

    I was told Kingdom Hearts 3 is around 40-50 hours if one stays on the critical path. Including the mini-games, players can possibly expect 80+ hours of content. With that said, Square-Enix has yet to finalize the game’s exact length as there are still many months to go before release date.


    How will you be playing Kingdom Hearts III when it comes out? Will you be speeding through the main story or enjoying it in full on your first playthrough? Let us know in the comments!

  17. Facebook is promoting Kingdom Hearts III at San Diego Comic-Con 2018

    Facebook is promoting Kingdom Hearts III at San Diego Comic-Con with a travelling photo-op! The backdrop shows Kingdom Hearts III renders of Sora, Donald, and Goofy. You can check out the video below!


    Churro has also taken a video of the travelling backdrop. Watch it below, and check out his pictures too!


    5 6 7 8


    Let us know if you're at SDCC 2018, and don't forget to share your pictures!

  18. Kingdom Hearts wallet, bifold wallet, and key case wallet prototypes displayed at the Square Enix booth in San Diego Comic-Con 2018

    In revealing their products line-up during the San Diego Comic-Con 2018 preview night, Square Enix unveiled many upcoming Kingdom Hearts products, including three sets of wallets, available in black and red! These are the Kingdom Hearts wallet, bifold wallet, and key case wallet: you can see them below (pictures taken by @churroz).

    1 2 3 4 Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.12.16 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.12.48 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.12.30 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.12.38 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.14.22 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.14.30 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.14.39 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.14.49 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.14.12 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.15.37 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.16.12 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.16.22 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.16.31 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.16.38 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.23.26 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.23.35 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.23.44 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.23.56 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.24.13 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.24.22 AM Screen Shot 2018 09 18 At 2.24.31 AM


    These products are prototypes pending licensor approval, with no release date as of yet.

    Othe upcoming Kingdom Hearts products shown at the event include Bring Arts figures of Kingdom Hearts III Kairihttp://kh13.com/news...sidia-data-mine, and Cloud and Sephiroth in their Kingdom Hearts outfits!

    San Diego Comic-Con runs from July 19th to July 22nd. The Kingdom Hearts III demo has been announced for the event, and you can get a chance to play it via collecting tickets at the Square Enix booth, starting from 9.30am local time.

    What do you think of this lineup? Will you be attending SDCC? Let us know in the comments below!

  19. Famitsu publishes additional remarks by Nomura, discussing character design progress, Frozen snowboard challenge, and whether Repliku was an illusion

    Famitsu have recently posted their full interview with Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura online! This interview was previously published in the July 5 issue of Famitsu Weekly; however, it was not published in full.

    We have already translated some parts of the interview (which you can read here and here); find the rest below!

    Translations have been provided by KH13 Staff Mio-chan and NihonScribe, and Katie Armstrong and Keytotruth.

    —There was also a scene when they slide on a shield like a sled on the snowy mountain [during the Frozen segment of the recent trailers].

    Nomura: There are battles while sliding down the mountains. In a FFVII snowboard style, you can challenge yourself and aim for a good score once you complete the story of the world.

    —Characters look just like real-life people, but was it difficult to balance their graphics between the photo realistic world and the worlds of KH?

    Nomura: That was a difficult aspect indeed. According to the photo-realistic direction, Sora, Donald, Goofy and Luxord have a model made with special details on them. Jack and the other are still a work in progress, they are yet to be complete.

    —The team troubled themselves to change Luxord’s model, just for the sake of this world?

    Nomura: Once, we tried to put down Luxord’s model used in another world, but it looked really out of place.

    —Every world seem so faithful to their respective work, there is no displeasure while looking at it. I can’t wait to see their appearance in other worlds as soon as possible!

    Nomura: Big Heroes 6 is yet to be shown. Please look forward to it.

    You can read the rest of the interview in full below.

    —You don't have to think hard. Among the Situation Commands that came up, the 'Attraction Flow' amusement park rides were particularly gorgeous, and some even had mini-game elements - it was fun just pulling out those skills.

    Nomura: In this trailer, there's a Monster's, Inc. water slide where that's also true (Note: talking about the fun element). Attraction Flow is different depending on the place, the conditions for 'Firaga' are that you have to be attacking with fire-type [attacks], there are various conditions that have to be met for Situation Commands to be used.
    The Big Hero 6 world hasn't been revealed yet. Please look forward to it.

    —In this PV, there's a scene of skating and sliding around, is this one of the transformations?

    Nomura: It's a Keyblade transformation you get in the Frozen world. [/b]You can slide around anywhere, not just on ice, and set up melee attacks by sliding in at high speeds.[/b]

    —This time around, you can use magic as a means of moving around, you can quickly approach enemies with Chute Rock, right? In this demo, the tempo of moving around felt really good and playful.

    Nomura: We're really conscious of that. In the Pirates of the Caribbean World, if you fly toward a certain enemy with Chute Rock, you'll be able to ride around on that enemy.

    That's a trailer scene, for sure!

    Nomura: Pay attention to the content you brought up; particularly, I think Pirates of the Caribbean has a lot of sights to see. From diving into the sea for a battle and controlling the ship to riding a Heartless for an aerial battle--this world has land and sea and air (Note: he used the term 'Rikukaiku' which is particularly notable given our three heroes names!), and everything is seamlessly connected in the stage of battle. There's ship sailing, exploring an uncharted island - it's a world where you can do anything.

    —By the way, Sora is growing up rapidly, what effect does this have on leveling/training?

    Nomura: It's a legitimate evolution of the conventional level-up and synthesis systems. Although there have been portable games with different leveling systems, KH3 is a main series numbered entry; this entry is packed with play, and there's enough volume that its simple. (Note: I think he's getting at the idea that there's more than enough play time to figure out the leveling, even if it's a little different than the systems we've been playing with lately.)

    —In this trailer, Kairi makes an appearance, gathering Sora, Riku and Kairi together. Could you please tell us about their design?

    Nomura: Sora has less accessories now. Previously, he had a chain hanging alongside very large pockets and belts, which was the point of the design. However, [/b]this time, since he's going to be involved in more dynamic action, I wanted him to have a greater sensation of activeness.[/b]

    —As Sora grows his hair continues to shoot upward.

    Nomura: When Sora was a child his hair flowed downward, then in “KH” and “KHII” his hair stretched out from the sides, but this time his hair forms more in the back. Or better said it starts from the side and folds up in the back (laughs).

    —So it is something like that? (laughs). Riku and Kairi also got fresh haircuts.

    Nomura: Riku understands the process and details of cutting and changing his hairstyle from a long one, but since Kairi appears to not had an image change in a long time it may be fresh for her.

    —What about Riku's and Kairi's [outfits]?

    Nomura: I'm having their "taste" to match Sora's in some parts. Sora gets a red and black color pattern, while Riku gets blue as a base and, added around the shoulder, some yellow tones to differentiate it. As for Kairi, pink was the main color of choice. That's the kind of image in mind when I thought of the logical next step. This time, everyone got their new clothes from Yen Sid, including Mickey, and as expected, the ones who actually made it are the 3 fairies. Thus, I wanted all of them to have something in common. In this case, it's the checkered pattern [plaid].

    —Riku’s Keyblade changed too. The cutting edge of his previous weapon seemed broken.

    Nomura: It broke for a certain reason, and he obtained a new Keyblade from Master Yen Sid.
    I noticed that houses key used a lot of this type of design nowadays, so I took it as a reference.


    —Sora and his friends appearance change this time too, those from the “Monsters, Inc.” world had such a great impact!

    Nomura: These changes are based on Pixar designers’ intentions. We made slight changes at the last minute by ourselves, like enlarge Donald’s white part of his eye, and change the color and size of Goofy’s left and right eyes. We followed this direction with the original work of Halloween Town as well. We initially create a dragon-based design for Sora. We then modified some parts like the color of the body and the borders around the eyes, giving him a cat-like mouth and therefore got closer to a Halloween Town look.

    —It looks like you interacted a lot with Pixar while creating the models for the Toy Story world too.

    Nomura: Yes. Among those circumstances, we also had time to design characters in a pixel art style. It felt like those pixel art became three-dimensional. From there we adjusted its realism, and went to the toy figure-like shape that you know now.

    —Moving on, I'm going to ask you about some key scenes in the trailer. Roxas's resurrection has been touched upon; both Sora and the New Organization XIII seems to wish for his return, right?

    Nomura: Specially Sora, who has a connection with Roxas. However, that's not something I can answer at the moment.

    —Also, about Ienzo, Hayner and the rest, I wonder how they'll cooperate... There's something else I'm wondering about. The word Larxene used "New Seven Hearts".

    Nomura: It's referring to the Seven Princesses of the next generation. It has to do with what Master Xehanort did in KH3D. In case the 7 Guardians of Light don't gather, they would instead use the Seven Princesses... that's the reasoning. Those Seven Princesses are being replaced while Kairi is the only one that keeps being one. As for the remaining 6 candidates, people like Rapunzel, Anna or Elsa are being targeted for that.

    —There's also a lot of mysteries surrounding the resurrection of the New Organization XIII. Vanitas seems to be one of them, why is that?

    Nomura: While the Vanitas appeared in KH3D was an illusion, this time he's real and makes an appearance. Vanitas and the other members have resurrected in
    an unusual way. Some of the members returned to their human forms only to then again turn into Nobodies, while other have resurrected by using other means. For example, Lea and Ienzo who are collaborating with Sora, have just resurrected as human.


    —Lea and Kairi are training together to be able to use the Keyblade. Where does the scene with them in it in the trailer happen?

    Nomura: It's a world you can't go to, but I can say that the place they are in is a new location. Matching the progress of the script I wanted to show their progress one step at a time. Previously, at the Kingdom Hearts concert, there was a speech of Kairi talking about their training together. That speech is also used in a scene inside the game.

    —There was something else that intrigued us on the PV. We saw the current Riku, and a Riku from the past sitting next each other…was that Repliku?

    Nomura: Was it? Maybe it’s an illusion (laughs).


    —Aqua's change of appearance was also a huge shock. Her eyes turned golden and it looked as if she completely fell to darkness.

    Nomura: It seems everyone was even more surprised about it that I expected. That scene happens when Riku and The King end up in a dangerous situation and then Aqua appears in that state. Not only hers, but the mysteries related to a lot of other characters are cleared up, so writing the script for all that was really hard.

    —Some time ago you told us about a Secret Movie being produced. Are there any new developments about that?

    Nomura: We're already making it but it hasn't been finalized yet.

    —The series has progressed a lot since the first title came out. The story has become pretty complicated and the memories about the story have become a little blurry. Also, I think many people have only played the numbered titles. Have you thought of anything to help them catch up?

    Nomura: Well, since there are so many character and relationships within the games, if we stopped every time a new character appears to introduce them, the story wouldn't move on.
    We are making videos summarizing the story of the game into 5 chapters with narrations from Chirithy. They will be released shortly after E3 in our official website. So I hope you watch these videos, play the HD remasters until the release date of KH3. Also, the videos need adjustments for it, but we're looking into adding the videos to the KH3 game.

    —From the production announcement in 2013 until this point, I think that there was a lot of hardships. Like switching game engine from an in-house production to the Unreal Engine 4 for example.

    Nomura: That’s right. However, Unreal Engine 4 has a great amount of libraries and to be able to use them, Epic Games worked hard, so it was easy to do in that sense. Of course, there are merits to make something with your own game engine. In that case, as the development of the game and the expansion of the engine are linked, the range that we mustn't lose of sight become wider. Even though the development period has been extended due to the engine change, I think it’s a good thing that we switched to the Unreal Engine 4.

    —Hikaru Utada who suspended her singer career resumed her activities, the decision to which song would be in KHIII was a huge topic. About the theme song “Chikai”, did you gave any directions?

    Nomura: From here I did not give any concrete order. With the current synopsis, we know that the battle that kept continuing will end in KHIII, and the answers will come out to each character that had various issues, that’s what it (the synopsis) tells you.

    —I'm sure that now that you have announced the release date you are working towards finishing making the game, but can you tell us what's the current state of the development?

    Nomura: It's hard to give you an actual percentage of how complete it is. Right now the game's volume is way too high and space is becoming a problem where's we're running out of it.

    —What's the cause for that?

    Nomura: There are many reasons. One of the bigger ones is that movies take up a lot of space. When you're running a cutscene in real time there's very little data to load but, let's say the previous scene I talked about with Kairi and Lea, it happens in a completely different place, so you'd have to load in all that environment, and since it isn't loaded and it would result in very long loading times between key cutscenes. So, in order to solve that, we make a part of some cutscenes into videos. However, since they have to be in high resolution, they take up a lot of space. That has become a problem beyond our expectations.

    —Speaking about space problems, switching between Japanese and English voice acting is also a problem, right?

    Nomura: That's right. It's not only about the voices, there's also lips sync to worry about and we have to put that in. Up until now, in "Final Mix" titles the English voices were used and as far as I know, many people want to play KHIII that way. Dealing with the exchange of voices is being really hard.

    —In KHIII, will there be a "Final Mix" expansion like there was with previous titles?

    Nomura: It's not under consideration at the moment. We're having space problems after all (sarcastic laugh). We have plans to make updates as DLC, so if we do it, it will be that way and not as "Final Mix". We haven't thought of the details yet, but it won't be things like the DLC keyblades, but things that expand the ways to play the game. The content will be released in packages instead of having a Season Pass. Although now, we are focusing on finishing the main title.

    —There are some questions I have about other titles. How is development looking for the FFVII Remake?

    Nomura: We are weighing the timing of the next informational release. Since moving the project in-house, production has been going smoothly. At this time our scenarios properly leave behind a deep atmosphere.

    —The release date of “The World Ends With You - Final Remix-” was set for September 27th, 2018.

    Nomura: Of course, "Final Remix" has been upgraded not only in the quality of its graphics/images but also in terms of content from the original version. I think that you can also enjoy the added scenarios from "Solo Remix" alongside those who have played past works. In the added scenario, it was revealed that the death god Koko was in various ways behind the story. The girl who appeared in the ending of "Solo Remix" shows up. By the way, this girl came to Shibuya due to certain circumstances… I think you will enjoy playing this game until the release of "KHIII.”

    —Is "Dissidia FF" in the middle of production for the next new character? Though it was said that the first character of the “Dissidia FF” series said to be released was a woman.

    Nomura: When E3 ended, I had to paint that picture for publicity (sarcastic laugh). Regarding casting, I felt that the image of the character changed with the voice and acting, so I was worried. It may seem like an surprising cast once it is announced. As new characters will be announced soon as they are based on the pace of the past, I hope you will look forward to it.

    —Finally, can you tell us about the future of KHIII? For example, will there be any trials or demos like the ones in the Premiere to be distributed to the public?

    Nomura: Since there is a lot of work to distribute and create a demo or a trial, there are no plans for that, but Japanese people will be able to try the game at the Tokyo Game Show. So I hope you get to play it there and keep your expectations high. I'm sorry for making you wait a little longer than expected. We already have a release date, so now we just have to move towards it. We'll just make you wait just a little longer.

    In the light of these new remarks, what are you most excited about in Kingdom Hearts III? Let us know in the comments!

  20. Darkness, Light, and more Surprises to Come

    Game Informer has published another article in their August 2018 issue relating to Kingdom Hearts III. In the article, Kimberley Wallace writes about Kingdom Hearts III's influence at E3 and mentions Game Informer's interview with Nomura from their last issue.

    Kimberley also quotes Nomura, stating that...
    "Nomura has said before that we'd be surprised who's on the side of the Light and who's on the side of the Darkness. The E3 Aqua reveal made that even more apparent."



    Posted Image


    Who do you think will be on the side of the Light and who will be on the side of the Darkness? Let us know in the comments below!

  21. [UPDATED] Kingdom Hearts III will be playable at San Diego Comic-Con

    With San Diego Comic-Con just around the corner, the SDCC Unofficial Blog has reported a Kingdom Hearts III banner appearing on the Hilton Bayfront parking garage along with other Square Enix games.

    An official announcement has yet to be made regarding the presence of a Kingdom Hearts III demo at the event, but information about Square Enix’s lineup should be announced sometime before the event’s commencement on July 19, 2018.

    Posted ImagePhoto via @OutsideComicCon


    The Kingdom Hearts III demo was available to the public at E3, Japan Expo Paris 2018 and Anime Expo 2018.

    UPDATE [Jul 12, 2018]: Square Enix have officially announced that Kingdom Hearts III will be playable at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 taking place on July 19-22! Attendees will be able to battle against the Rock Titan and explore the world of Toy Story.

    UPDATE [Jul 19, 2018]: Tickets are required to play Kingdom Hearts III at San Diego Comic-Con 2018. Square Enix will be distributing tickets at 9:30 AM each day at their booth.

    You can read excerpts from the press release below.

    SQUARE ENIX UNVEILS ACTION-PACKED LINEUP FOR SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON 2018

    Demos for DRAGON QUEST XI, KINGDOM HEARTS III and Shadow of the Tomb Raider Available on the Show Floor

    LOS ANGELES (July 12, 2018) – From July 19-22, SQUARE ENIX® will host gameplay demos, giveaways and other activities at San Diego Comic-Con 2018. At Booth #3829 in the San Diego Convention Center, attendees will be able to play DRAGON QUEST® XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age™, KINGDOM HEARTS III, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider™.

    [...]

    Fans can also purchase the latest products from the BRING ARTS, TRADING ARTS and PLAY ARTS KAI lines at the booth and participate in the FINAL FANTASY Trading Card Game (“FFTCG”) in Gunslinger style matches to win premium FFTCG Promo Cards. Daily giveaways at the booth while supplies last include:
    DRAGON QUEST XI double-sided posters and “Mark of Light” temporary tattoos
    MOBIUS FINAL FANTASY™ hand fans
    STAR OCEAN®: ANAMNESIS™ buttons

    The full lineup includes:

    [...]

    KINGDOM HEARTS III
    Platform: Xbox One and PlayStation®4 system
    Developer: Square Enix
    ESRB: Rating Pending
    Available: January 29, 2019
    In the upcoming action RPG, KINGDOM HEARTS III, players can join forces with Donald Duck and Goofy for the adventure of a lifetime traveling across worlds based on beloved films like Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story, and Monsters, Inc., and Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Big Hero 6, Tangled, Frozen, Pirates of the Caribbean and more. Attendees will be able to experience a boss battle against the Rock Titan from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Hercules and uncover the Toy Box world from Toy Story alongside Woody and Buzz.

    [...]


    Let us know in the comments if you’ll be attending the event and what you’re most excited to see there!

  22. "Chikai" sheet music available for pre-order for ¥648 on Amazon Japan, releasing July 31, 2018

    The sheet music for Utada Hikaru's "Chikai", the theme song for Kingdom Hearts III, is now available for pre-order at Amazon Japan! The sheet music for the piano solo and piano-vocal scores can be pre-ordered for 648 yen, and will be released on July 31, 2018. Amazon Japan also offers delivery to some locations outside of Japan, including the United Kingdom and the United States.

    The full version of Chikai was released with Utada Hikaru's 7th studio album, Hatsukoi. The English version, "Don't Think Twice", has been featured in various trailers for Kingdom Hearts III but hasn't been released in full yet.

    Are you looking forward to get your hands on the sheet music or listen to someone play it? Let us know in the comments!

  23. Nomura talks about a Frozen mini-game, Port Royal, Scrooge's restaurant in Twilight Town, world order, Aqua's transformation, Riku Replica, and more with Dengeki PlayStation

    In last week's issue of Dengeki PlayStation, a Kingdom Hearts III feature included an exclusive interview with Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura. We previously published a summary of the key points as posted by the blog Hokanko(Alt).

    You can view the scans below.

    Screen Shot 2018 06 27 At 16.57.24 Screen Shot 2018 06 27 At 17.02.43 Screen Shot 2018 06 27 At 17.03.00 Screen Shot 2018 06 27 At 17.08.04 Screen Shot 2018 06 27 At 17.08.20


    You can read the full interview below, with translations provided by KH13 News Staff NihonScribe and Mio-chan, and Keytotruth and Katie Armstrong.

    [UPDATE Jul 3, 2018] We have slightly revised our translations thanks to SQEX☆GAL and Keytotruth; we have written the revised translations in blue for your benefit.

    Director’s voice
    Mr. Tetsuya Nomura

    People’s expectations have been increased by the reveal of a long-term release date and two new worlds [KHIII]! We will ask Director Tetsuya Nomura about the highlighted informations in details.


    —Two worlds and a long-term release date have been revealed in the new trailer! First, please tell us more about the first appearance of Frozen in the series.

    Nomura: I planned to put Frozen in the game quite early in the development. It is a such a wonderful movie, I had the opportunity to go to its premiere. It was thE moment when I was thinking of which worlds to add so I decided to put it in the game. I knew that a lot of people asked for this world.

    —What kind of scenario will occur?

    Nomura: The time axis follows the main part of the movie. While Elsa and Anna’s story is in motion, there is a feeling that Sora’s story progresses too. In Frozen’s world, there is a scene where Goofy slides on a shield like a sled, that’s one of the important highlights. It’s a part of the main story, but will also be a mini-game.

    —In the trailer we saw Sora attacking with ice skates-like weapon, what is it?

    Nomura: That’s a Keyblade transformation, you obtain them in the Frozen world.

    —In the frozen world, will characters like Elsa and Olaf join the party?

    Nomura: Unfortunately Elsa will not join you. Instead, there are scenes where Marshmallow (the ice monster) will lend its strength.

    —Following this, about Pirates of the Caribbean, the impact that the graphics had was mind-blowing!

    Nomura: Speaking of desire, I wanted to make a breakthrough in term of graphics. In this world Sora, his friends and even Luxord are made of realistic graphics according to their surroundings.

    —The pirate appearance on Sora gives him a fresh look.

    Nomura: That was something that I really wanted to do. I always thought of putting pirate clothes on Sora if I ever made a sequel of the Pirates of the Caribean world.

    —Why did you decided to put Pirates of Caribbean in KH2 in the first place?


    Nomura: It’s just because I wanted to have one live action film in the game. While looking into which world would be best, I looked through the documents the staff made with suggestions. Many of them had controls for a pirate ship from Pirates of the Caribbean and I felt that that would be wonderful to have. With the ship you can have battles on the sea and mid-air, so in that one world you have battles in all types of terrains: sea, land and air. Of course the city of Port Royal is in there as well.

    —The world is based on the third movie, At World’s End, right?

    Nomura: Exactly. As most people who have seen the movie, they know that the third one is actually a sequel to the second one. In KHII, we used the first movie as a base for the world, and the logical step would have been to use the second one for KHIII, but I didn’t want to end the world with the story halfway done, so we decided it would be best to base it on the third movie. However, we wrote the script so you will still get what happens during the second movie.

    —Having battles on top of the ships and using them to attack really made it feel like you have
    a lot of ways to play in this world.


    Nomura: As I previously stated, all the elements such as the land, sea, and sky were included, so the amount of gimmicks in the world is quite large. The Pirates of the Caribbean world was made relatively freely, so there are plenty of elements to play around. Also, the Keyblade of this world transforms into a spear and a flag.

    —In this footage, are we given a gist of the Disney worlds that have been announced?

    Nomura: The only world we still have to show from our announcements is Big Hero 6. Our timeline has it set to announced in the next video I think.

    —In terms of Disney works, other elements shown for the first time were Wreck-It Ralph, and Remy’s Delicious Restaurant (Note: They mean Ratatouille).

    Nomura: Wreck-It Ralph is a type of Link command within battle that was revealed the other day I think. “Remy’s Delicious Restaurant” was revealed for the first time in this video and is a mini-game. In Twilight Town there is a new restaurant that Scrooge opens, where Sora cooks with Remy with the ingredients he gathers from various worlds for recipes.

    —In May you held an event overseas that allowed people to play this. How were their reactions?

    Nomura: I invited people from the media and influencers who report information, but the enthusiasm for KHIII was amazing. Because I was able to go for a couple of hours at that event, those who participated were playing the two modes I edited carefully.

    —In this demo we were able to play in the worlds of Hercules and Toy Story, but why
    did you choose these two?

    Nomura: That was a request from the Osaka team. Because those two worlds could be played in a state of quality that was the closest to that of the finished product.

    —Was there feedback that added to elements being put into the finished product?

    Nomura: There are a couple of things, but for example, the camera surroundings were adjusted further. KHIII has too much mobility for the character, which makes it hard for the camera to catch up with the movement, but this is an important point so I will keep checking on this until the last minute.

    —Actually I got a chance to play the game, and not only was I surprised by the gameplay content, but also the quality of the graphics. Certainly, when watching the event scenes of the world of Toy Story, one can mistake them for the Disney/Pixar movie itself.

    Nomura: I'm happy to hear you say this. This time it was difficult because we didn’t use any of our past work - it was all built from scratch. Not just with Toy Story, but also all of the worlds that have been announced were worked on to implement quality graphics, so please look forward to it.

    —Were the contents packed into the Toy Story world within this demo roughly what we
    can expect in the release version?

    Nomura: That's right. I think that there are a variety of battle systems, but it was designed to be experienced by a single person.

    —By the way, is the difficulty level of this demo akin to standard mode in the final version?

    Nomura: Since I wanted to test the gameplay from the other day as much as possible before moving ahead, I set the difficulty level at a place that was less challenging compared to standard mode in order to effectively defeat enemies. It is easier to compared to the standard mode, but it is not to be confused with beginner mode. Though I wanted to test various attacks consecutively in the trial, the enemy would be defeated in an instant, but in the standard mode of the released version, during that time I've been discussing increasing the placement of enemies.

    —Though aspects of character's development have not been revealed in detail yet, basically up to now one raises the level of the character and becomes stronger by remembering abilities; up to now this structure has remained the same, yes?

    Nomura: That is in the same vein as KHI and KHII. The process of mastering and strengthening magic also follows in the same footsteps of the numbered titles.

    —In the new trailer, we were also able to check out the Gummi Ship scenes, which seems
    to be quite enjoyable.

    Nomura: About the Gummi Ships, we’ve got the creator of Einhänder (a side-scrolling shooter released in 1997) making it, and I liked it, so I myself am looking forward to seeing it completed. There are battle modes and free movement modes, I call it “Open World Gummi Ship”. As there’s always been, there’s the ability to customize your Gummi Ship, please wait for more information.

    —In KH3, it seems we come and go from worlds with the Gummi Ship, have you decided on the order for the worlds to be visited?

    Nomura: Just as it’s been up until now, the order of worlds you can access is determined to some degree in stages*. This time there virtually isn’t any world that you can skip**. In previous titles, we prepared the worlds to allow the player a certain degree of freedom to do as they please, but nearly everyone goes to all the worlds anyways, so it’s sort of pointless.
    (Notes:
    *If you think in terms of how the worlds worked in previous games, I think you can make the sense of it like this: You start, you have a few worlds, you beat them and then a few more become available, so in that sense the worlds unfold in stages.
    **
    For eg. if Tarzan and Alice in Wonderland worlds are both available to you, but you should go to Tarzan first to make sense storyline wise, then Tarzan would be #1 and Alice would be #2. Nomura is saying there isn't any of that kind of numbering in KH3.)

    —How do you feel about online elements?

    Nomura: There’s nothing right now, but I’m considering some things. There are some plans.

    —For the fans it will be a long wait before its release; is there any plan of revealing things like the demo we saw at the E3?

    Nomura: I have been asked this quite often, but releasing a trial version, that would be quite another story. Compared to the demo that you can play in a limited place, if we release a trial version widely to players, it will require a specific process and cost. So when you ask "Can you release a demo in events but not a trial version to players?", we unfortunately cannot afford to hand over a trial version.

    —This time in the trailer, Larxene and Marluxia make their appearance once again. Are they members of the True Organization XIII?

    Nomura: Well, putting all together the information that you already know, couldn’t you say that the members of the True Organization have come a long way too? So far, they have been introduced in a Disney world, and the main part of the story is still in a state in which only pieces are shown. I am planning to reveal information little by little in future announcements.

    —There is a scene in which Aqua seemed to have fallen into darkness, what can you say
    about it?

    Nomura: Aqua did her best so far in the Realm of Darkness, but a certain event occurred...

    —It appears that characters like Kairi, Lea, and Riku Replica are here too.

    Nomura: This is the first appearance of Kairi in KHIII. Her hair is shorter, and she got new clothes too. The place where Kairi and Lea are training is not accessible to the player. Regarding the person who seems to be Riku Replica, I hope that he will be expected in future developments, including the moment when Riku says "the other me."

    —If you are also playing Kingdom Hearts Union Cross, you will be very concerned by
    Marluxia’s presence, right?

    Nomura: I think you will understand if you play both games.

    —It seems that it will be the culmination of the series, given the large number of characters
    appearing.


    Nomura: Since “everyone's story gets settled” is one of the theses of KHIII, the number of characters who appear is enormous.

    —I think that Utada Hikaru’s new theme song is also an important point.

    Nomura: This time around, Utada-san’s productivity combined with her songwriting progress, and she was able to produce the song very early. She may have received the energy of KH fans from around the world. (Note: The term for ‘energy’ was literally ‘calories, heat’. However. ‘taking heat’ is a negative phrase in English, so I changed it to ‘energy’ to better communicate his intention.)

    —Nomura-san, were there any orders/requests from you about the song?

    Nomura: I sent something briefly explaining the series so far and the contents of KHIII and left it up to her after that.

    —Combined with the release of KHIII, there will be a special PS4 Pro All-In-One package that will be released.

    Nomura: The PS4 Pro has been in production for a while now, and we had to go over it over and over again to get the right color. When you actually pick it up, it’s got a special leather-like process. The controller also has a shiny finish, there’s a design on the touchpad part, and the buttons are monochrome. There’s not much so far, but I think it has a type. (Note: I might say ‘it has a style’ but he literally said ‘type’.)

    —Please give a message to everyone looking forward to KH3.


    Nomura: Sorry to keep you waiting a bit for the schedule, but the release date has been decided. Please keep playing past games and projects like the “KH Union Cross” app to prepare until we reached the release date. As a matter of fact, we are heading towards the possibility of reaching past full capacity, and due to this we are also thinking about online components, so we are planning for future online connections.

    —And lastly, how is progress on the FFVII Remake?

    Nomura: Though there has been suspense and misinformation concerning this, development on this is progressing smoothly and there's a lot of increasing depth. It is not that we are hiding information on the state of FFVII Remake; it is that our company is prioritizing the release of our title series KHIII. We are looking into the timing of our next information disclosure, so please wait a little more.


    Let us know your views and thoughts on this interview in the comments!

  24. Kingdom Hearts III to be playable at Anime Expo 2018 in Los Angeles

    Square Enix have revealed their line-up of demos playable for Anime Expo 2018, and Kingdom Hearts III is on the list! Attendees of the event will be able to play the Rock Titan boss battle at Olympus Coliseum and explore Andy's Room/Galaxy Toys at Toy Box.

    Anime Expo 2018 will take place July 5-8 at the Los Angeles Convention Centre.

    Below is an excerpt from the press release.

    SQUARE ENIX® is showcasing the latest from their upcoming video and card game titles at Anime Expo 2018, taking place July 5-8, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, with Pre-Show Night on July 4.

    Attendees who visit the SQUARE ENIX Booth in the Entertainment Hall (LACC West Hall A), will have the exciting opportunity to play demos of DRAGON QUEST® XI : Echoes of an Elusive Age™ , KINGDOM HEARTS III, and STAR OCEAN®: ANAMNESIS™ before their release.


    Platform: Xbox One and PlayStation®4 system
    Available: January 29, 2019
    In the upcoming action RPG, KINGDOM HEARTS III, players can join forces with Donald Duck and Goofy for the adventure of a lifetime traveling across worlds based on beloved films like Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story, and Monsters, Inc., and Walt Disney Animation Studio’s Big Hero 6, Tangled, Frozen, Pirates of the Caribbean and more. Attendees will be able to experience a boss battle against the Rock Titan from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Hercules and uncovering the Toy Box world from Toy Story alongside Woody and Buzz.


    Let us know in the comments if you'll be trying out Kingdom Hearts III at Anime Expo 2018 !

  25. Nomura talks with Game Informer about Sora’s hardships, a new original location, and the final battle in Kingdom Hearts III

    Game Informer’s Kimberly Wallace had previously interviewed Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura at E3 2018. Recently, more of this interview was published and shed some light on Kingdom Hearts III.

    You can read Nomura's quotes below.

    In regards to the Kingdom Hearts III Premiere event
    “The event wasn’t really to get feedback from anyone. It was to show it to everyone and hope everyone there would spread the word and the details about the game. That being said, I didn’t really go around asking for feedback, but the dev team, myself included, does look at all the comments that are online. It’s not that we will change things just because one person says this or that, but we’ve been constantly testing the game. We’ve been in QA for a while now, so we’re constantly adjusting the game based on that feedback and some of the comments online have been taken into consideration.”

    On Sora keeping his positivity throughout Kingdom Hearts III...
    “He is a very bright character in general, but there will be many serious themes with Sora that involve [him] in Kingdom Hearts III. There will be a few times where Sora will be on the edge of despair, but because he’s so bright and he has that personality, he quickly brings it back to a neutral state. I think that’s a strength he has, and another strength he has is this trust and believe in others. I think that’s always been what helped him through the storyline and I think that will be another driving factor for him in Kingdom Hearts III.”

    On the order in which one should play the Kingdom Hearts games…
    “I would recommend going in order of release date, especially because the story hints at things that will happen in future releases. I feel it’s more interesting that way. Of course, that’s not to say you can’t play in chronological order.”

    On designing Keyblades…
    There has always been a designer of the keyblade in the development team and he has been designing keyblades for most of our Kingdom Hearts titles. I never told him to do this, but at some point he started bringing me three concept arts for one keyblade and I would select from there what I like. So sometimes I’d be like, ‘I like the tip of this keyblade. Can you keep this? Or I like this grip, can you bring this design to here?' There are some keyblades I just like at first glance and I’m like this is the one. It seems what he does is takes a lot of different images of the base world. He kind of has a mosaic on his screen and he just selects and chooses what theme or motif he wants to use. That’s the creative process he goes through and I just select from there.”

    On what Nomura is most proud and excited about in Kingdom Hearts III…
    “There are so many great things to see that it’s really difficult to say [just one thing]. I think what we’ve done as an action game with the combat mechanics is just really great, and the story is a culmination of past decade and more. Of course, there are a lot of surprises that are even greater than the Aqua’s surprise [in the Frozen trailer]. But I think I just want to say that the last battle in the game is something I want everyone to see as well as this new original location that I’ve really wanted to create for a long time now. If I had to say just one though, it’d be the last battle.”


    Are you excited about the final battle in Kingdom Hearts III? What kind of hardships are you expecting Sora to go through? Let us know your theories and expectations in the comments!