New final Japanese trailer for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue released; more announcements coming tomorrow
Update: Utada Hikaru's official website featured Youtube links to the North American version of the latest Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue trailer. It also included links for other countries, such as the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.
The links led to Youtube videos that were unavailable to view at the time.
The links have since been taken down.
The original article follows.
A final Japanese trailer for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue has just been released, announced by series director Tetsuya Nomura on Twitter. In the tweet, he mentions that more news will be coming tomorrow at noon, Japan time, as he will have "something else more to say", as translated by goldpanner. A few hours before this announcement, he had tweeted a screenshot from Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ featuring Cinderella, alluding to the announcement of this trailer.
This new trailer features new cutscenes and gameplay from the KH2.8 collection, including brand new gameplay between Aqua and King Mickey in Birth by Sleep 0.2 -A Fragmentary Passage-, and a customization feature for Aqua. The trailer also features Aqua and Mickey in Destiny Islands, possibly still within the Dark World.
An interesting detail is also present in the trailer. Last month, we covered a Weekly Shonen Jump scan in which Ventus had a slightly different outfit from what was seen in previous games. However, Ventus is in both his normal outfit and this new outfit at different points in this trailer.
The trailer also features "Hikari -Ray of Hope MIX-", remixed by PUNPEE, which will be available on iTunes Japan on January 11, 2017, along with other remixes of "Hikari" and "Simple and Clean". You can watch the trailer below.
Thanks to Twitter user @xenosaga7, we've got translations for the Main Menu in Birth by Sleep 0.2 -A Fragmentary Passage- shown in the trailers. You can read those below.
So the main menu says
YouTube User Keytotruth has added English and Spanish subtitles to the trailer. You can watch the trailer with subs below by clicking the closed caption button.
You can watch the official Japanese trailer without subs below.
There are still no updates on when the English version of the trailer will be released.
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 trailer? Let us know in the comments!
- Dec 08 2016 10:25 PM
- by Aquaberry
An English walkthrough of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ quests 601-615 taking place in Castle of Dreams is now available. Currently, these quests are only available in the Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ, though it has previously been teased that Castle of Dreams will make it's way into the international version sometime in 2017.
This walkthrough has been made available thanks to Everglow and translations from Catherine Mueller (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Are you keeping up with both versions of the game or just one? Let us know in the comments!
- Nov 11 2016 01:47 PM
- by soraspromise
Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ Version 1.2.1 features new Nova system, new icon, 25 new story quests, and celebrates 5 million downloads worldwide
After concluding maintenance at 3:00 AM (PT) on November 10th, 2016, the international version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ was upgraded to version 1.2.1, bringing a lot of new features and quests to the game, as well as a new campaign to celebrate 5 million downloads worldwide and Mickey Mouse's Birthday.
Though it is not mentioned in any of the notices, there have been 25 new story quests added to the international version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ! So don't miss out on your opportunity to play those new quests as well as gain some orichalcum.
The biggest update to the game is the new Nova system (known as the Burst system in the Japanese version of the game). Nova is a new type of attack that players can use once they have unlocked the Special Attack Bonus of at least one medal. The Nova attack can only be used once per quest or Raid Boss Battle and can be activated by a button to the top right of the screen. Nova attacks can also be leveled up either by unlocking the Special Attack Bonus for the first time for a medal in your album or maxing out the Special Attack Bonus for the first time for a medal.
KHUχ has reached 5 million downloads worldwide! From 2:00 AM (PT) on November 10th, 2016 until 11:59 PM (PT) on November 20th, 2016, all quests will cost 0 AP! In addition to that, all players will receive 3,000 jewels after 4:00 AM (PT) on November 10th and all players who log in between 4:00 AM (PT) on November 18th, 2016 and 4:00 AM (PT) on November 25th, 2016 will be gifted a Timeless River Mickey Medal!
Several updates have also been completed for the user interface, damage caused by status ailments in battle, how damage caused by Special Attack bonuses is calculated, and other minor bugs. For a full list of the updates included in version 1.2.1, please check the gallery below.
How are you enjoying the new Nova system so far? Let us know in the comments!
- Nov 10 2016 12:30 PM
- by soraspromise
English Walkthrough of the new Castle of Dreams quests in Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ
Not long after the 1 year anniversary of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ in Japan where many new additions were announced, new quests featuring a new world were added to the Japanese version of the game. These new quests are set in Castle of Dreams, a world previously featured in Birth by Sleep based on Disney's film Cinderella.
An English walkthrough is now available for these new quests thanks to Everglow and translations thanks to Catherine Mueller (email@example.com). You can find the video below.
What do you think of the newest world in Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ? Let us know in the comments!
- Oct 22 2016 10:16 AM
- by soraspromise
Tetsuya Nomura confirms that Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ will deviate from Kingdom Hearts χ[chi] midway & discusses direction of storyline
Tetsuya Nomura, director of the Kingdom Hearts series, was recently interviewed by Dengeki PlayStation. In the interview, Nomura discusses the storyline for Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ. For fans wondering whether or not the ending for Kingdom Hearts χ[chi] will also go down the same path in Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ, he confirms that the ending was only meant for Kingdom Hearts χ[chi], and that Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ will be deviating to an original story midway.
Furthermore, Tetsuya Nomura talks about some of the future features coming to Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ, such as the confirmed multiplayer features and the first new world for the game, Castle of Dreams.
For those also curious, Nomura reassures that Luxu is not the Master of Masters, and that there are two different cloaked men. Luxu & Masters of Masters have a relationship that will be explained in Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover.
You can view a translation of the relevant portion of the interview below. Thanks to Catherine Mueller (firstname.lastname@example.org) for providing us with this translation!
--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].
What do you think of the direction that Square Enix is taking the Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ storyline?
- Oct 14 2016 05:18 PM
- by Raxaimus
25 new story quests added to international version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ, story quests reduced to 1 AP to celebrate
On October 13th at 12:00 AM (PT), 25 new story quests were added to the international version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ, bringing the total number of story quests to 475. These new quests take place within Beast's Castle, and feature the debut of the main villain of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Gaston! Remember that by completing these 25 new quests, you will receive an Orichalcum, which you can use to upgrade one of your Keyblades.
In celebration of the long-awaited continuation of the story, the cost for every story quest has been reduced to 1 AP until October 23rd at 11:59 PM (PT). If you have fallen behind on the story, now is the perfect time to catch up!
Are you excited for the return of story quests? Let us know in the comments!
- Oct 13 2016 04:09 PM
- by Raxaimus
New Main Story Content, Castle of Dreams world, and multiplayer mode coming to international version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ in early 2017
It was announced through the international version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ's notice board that many big updates will be coming to KHUX in the near future.
The first announcement was new main story content will be coming in January of 2017, featuring images of a KHUX player in Daybreak Town with Skuld, Chirithy, and the Anguis Foreteller followed by the teaser image previously shown for the one year anniversary of the Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ and officially announced a few days after as the Castle of Dreams.
Next, it was confirmed that the multiplayer mode announced for the Japanese version of KHUX will also be coming to the international version in February of 2017. The notice explains "Party members will be able to stand side-by-side, and coordinate with each other to clear these quests!". The notice also includes a screenshot of what this mode looks like in development, which is included in the gallery below.
Proud Mode has also been announced for this version of KHUX, and is described as having "special conditions that will make clearing them [quests] a real challenge even for veteran players!" Those who do clear those quests will earn a new Keyblade, the Sleeping Lion.
Lastly, the development team promises that more exciting campaigns and events are planned and to stay tuned. Check out all the images from the notice below:
What are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments!
- Sep 06 2016 10:15 AM
- by soraspromise
With the 1st anniversary of the Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ passing by and Kingdom Hearts χ[chi] coming to an end, new story elements have begun to develop in Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ. The first part of these new story elements is the introduction of a new world - Castle of Dreams.
Based off of the Disney film Cinderella, Castle of Dreams is the 1st of 3 worlds that will be newly introduced into Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ. This new world will be introduced in-game in October.
Did you also think Castle of Dreams would make an appearance in Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ? Let us know in the comments below!
- Sep 04 2016 11:48 PM
- by Jake
New artwork featuring Ventus, Ephemer, and Skuld drawn by Tetsuya Nomura to commemorate the Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ's 1st anniversary
On September 3rd, 2015, Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ was released in Japan. It has been 1 year since then, and with that, Tetsuya Nomura, director of the Kingdom Hearts series, has drawn some new artwork featuring Skuld, Ephemer, and Ventus. The artwork also includes two mysterious characters. You can check it out below.
Tetsuya Nomura also included a message with his artwork:
It's been one year? Thank you for the one year anniversary. With the various announcements brewing, please continue to enjoy. @Nomura #KHUX
Who do you think is the two mysterious characters in the artwork? Do you like the artwork? Let us know in the comments below!
- Sep 02 2016 10:52 PM
- by Jake
First Anniversary of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ in Japan brings news of new worlds, multiplayer modes, and a message from Tetsuya Nomura
Square Enix Bridge has recently updated with various exciting announcements for the Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ to celebrate its first anniversary.
Some of the announcements include new worlds including what seems to be Castle of Dreams and the announcement that one of the worlds will be from a Disney world that has not been previously included in any Kingdom Hearts game thus far. Another announcement also includes the introduction of new multiplayer modes.
Last but not least, it was also confirmed that it was Ventus in the art that was released for Kingdom Hearts χ[chi]'s 3rd anniversary. Spoilers for Kingdom Hearts χ[chi]'s Final and Special episodes follow:Spoiler
The official international Twitter account for Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ also made a tweetpromising that exciting announcements were coming soon as well!
A message from Tetsuya Nomura was also included with these announcements and can be viewed below thanks to Katie Armstrong.Spoiler
- Aug 30 2016 11:07 PM
- by soraspromise
The Beast's Castle introduced to international version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ with 25 new story quests
On August 25th at 12:00 AM (PT), 25 new story quests were added to the international version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ. With this new story update, a new world is also introduced starting with story quest 426: The Beast's Castle. Players also obtain the Divine Rose Keyblade after quest 433.
While meeting up with your favorite characters from Walt Disney's Beauty and the Beast, don't forget you'll receive receive Orichalcum after completing these 25 quests.
Are you excited to explore this new world? Let us know in the comments!
- Aug 25 2016 11:21 AM
- by soraspromise
New Official Kingdom Hearts merchandise available for pre-order through Amazon Japan & Square Enix Japan e-store
Update: The official Japanese Square Enix e-store has updated with the Kingdom Hearts mugs, as well as Lea's Keychain from Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance. The release date for the mugs is September 10, 2016, and the Keychain will be available on November 28, 2016.
The original article follows.
New Kingdom Hearts series merchandise has made it's way on to Amazon Japan's website for pre-order, including 2 new mugs and a keychain of Lea's Keyblade featured in Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance. The mugs feature artwork of a Shadow Heartless and Sora's crown surrounded by a pattern based on Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ. Last but not least, there is also a new wallet style smart phone case decorated with a KHUX design now available for pre-order through the Japanese Square Enix E-Store.
The two mugs will be available in September of 2016 for 2,200 yen each, while the keychain of Lea's Keyblade will be available in November of 2016 for 1,900 yen. The smart phone case will be available first, with a release date of August 30th, 2016 at the price of 4,940 yen.
You can find images of all the new merchandise below. Thanks to Twitter user @aibo_ac7!
Which item do you want to get your hands on the most? Let us know in the comment!
- Aug 10 2016 07:18 AM
- by soraspromise
25 New Story Quests coming to International version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ including quests featuring Ephemer and Master Ava
On August 4th, 2016 at 2:00 AM (PT), 25 new story quests will be added to the international version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ! The official international Twitter account teases: "What does Foreteller Ava know about Ephemer's disappearance? 25 new quests coming at 2AM (PT)! #KHUX".
While you delve deeper into the story of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ, don't forget you'll earn more Orichalcum after completing the newest 25 quests!
Are you ready to face off with Master Ava? Let us know in the comments!
- Aug 04 2016 12:16 AM
- by soraspromise
The official International Twitter account for Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ, covering both the North American and European versions of the game, has announced that the next 25 quests to be added will take place in Wonderland and will focus on Alice getting into trouble with the Queen of Hearts once again.
The 25 new quests will be added at 12:00 AM PST July 14th, 2016 and don't forget that you'll receive Orichalcum after completing them!
Are you looking forward to returning to Wonderland? Let us know in the comments!
- Jul 13 2016 10:13 PM
- by soraspromise
25 new story quests added to North American version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ which introduce Ephemera
On June 30th, 2016, 25 new story quests were added to the North American version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ. This is an important story update, seeing as it continues the story in Daybreak Town and introduces a new character to the Kingdom Hearts series: Ephemera.
Upon completing these quests, players will also earn another Orichalcum. What do you think of the story progression in Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ so far? Let us know in the comments!
- Jun 30 2016 02:11 AM
- by Toominator
Update: Famitsu has kindly provided us with more details on the new update for Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ.
This includes a new "Proud Mode" setting, allowing players to experience missions on a harder difficulty. Currently, only missions 1-50 are available in proud mode. More will be added on soon.
Aside from proud mode, there will be a new "high score" event, where you battle enemies for the highest scores against other players. Those who rank high in the event get a voiced Maleficent medal.
Lastly, the second half of the new Alice event has begun. Those who complete it get a new "Alice & Cheshire" medal.
The original article is as follows.
On June 30th, at 10:00 AM JST (9:00 PM USA EDT, 6:00 PM USA PDT, on the 29th), Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ will be updated to Version 1.3.0, introducing a new Keyblade, which is the Sleeping Lion Keyblade originally in Kingdom Hearts II. Aside from a new Keyblade, there will be new events, a new 'mystery' medal, and more.
Are you excited for the new update? Let us know in the comments below!
- Jun 29 2016 05:52 PM
- by Jake
With E3 2016 coming to an end, this means it's time to wrap our coverage of Kingdom Hearts at E3! This year's E3 was filled with announcements by Square Enix, including the big one that Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue will have a worldwide release date, yes you heard right -- The first Kingdom Hearts title to have a simultaneous worldwide release! Could Kingdom Hearts III join that group in the future? Let's hope! Additionally, Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ has been released in Europe! Exciting news, isn't it?
Check out all the interviews, trailers, and more from E3 2016!
Kingdom Hearts III/Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
- New Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue trailer released announcing December release WW; Kingdom Hearts III news coming this winter
- Square Enix announces playable demo of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue at E3 2016
- Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue banner spotted within LA Convention Center; Background includes similar item included in the E3 2015 Kingdom Hearts III trailer
- Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue confirmed to appear in the next Famitsu Weekly article
- Impressions of the Kingdom Hearts 0.2 -A Fragmentary Passage- E3 demo by Toominator!
Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ
- Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ to release in Europe at 12 AM, USA PDT! Aqua medal to be gifted to all players at 12 AM PDT as well!
Tetsuya Nomura & Tai Yasue Interviews
- Dengeki releases interview with Tetsuya Nomura about Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and Kingdom Hearts III!
- No Final Fantasy based worlds will be featured in Kingdom Hearts III says Tai Yasue
- Tai Yasue says Kingdom Hearts HD collections on PS4 not ruled out completely!
- Famitsu posts interview with Tetsuya Nomura focusing on Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and it's connections to Kingdom Hearts III!
- Square Enix Presents discusses Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue with Tai Yasue!
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue - E3 2016 Trailer
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue - E3 2016 Gameplay Trailer
SEP (x) Tai Yasue
Even though E3 2016 has ended, we will more than likely receive even more Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue news in the fall as it nears its release, and we will definitely be receiving Kingdom Hearts III this winter. Expect our News Team to continue providing coverage for Kingdom Hearts throughout the 2016 year. We hope you enjoyed this year's E3 and we hope to see Kingdom Hearts at next year's E3!
- Jun 25 2016 02:47 PM
- by Jake
Players team up with Hercules & Cloud to defeat Hades in new Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ story update
Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ in North America will be receiving 25 new story quests in a new story update being released by Square Enix! In the new story quests, you will be able to team up with Hercules and Cloud to finish off Hades and advance along in the story even further. With these 25 new quests, you will receive an Orichalcum upon completion. The new story update will be released on June 16th, 2016 at 2:00 AM USA PDT.
Are you excited for this new story update? Let us know in the comments below!
- Jun 15 2016 10:10 PM
- by Jake
Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ releasing in Europe at Midnight PDT June 15th, 2016 and new Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue Aqua medal to be gifted to all players
During the Square Enix Presents discussion about Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, it was announced by Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ producer Hironori Okayama that Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ will release June 16th, 2016 at midnight PDT in Europe! With this release, Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ will be made available in over 100 countries (listed below).
On top of that news, it was also announced that all players will be gifted the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue Aqua medal that was previously only available in Japan at 4:00 AM PDT on June 16th, 2016 as well.
European fans, what are you most excited to try out first in Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ? Let us know in the comments!
- Jun 16 2016 09:14 AM
- by soraspromise
Update: To commemorate Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ releasing in Europe, series director Tetsuya Nomura released a new drawing of characters from the game. You can view the image below:
The original article follows.
Square Enix has just announced that Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ will be coming to Europe. Currently, the game is available on iOS and Android devices for North America and Japan. More details are to follow soon with the European version.
- Jun 21 2016 10:26 AM
- by Jake
New mystery medal to be released in Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ Japan on 6/9; New Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 trailer coming 6/8
Update: The mystery medal was in fact revealed to be a new render of Aqua in Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue by Dengeki! From 4:00 JST on June 9th until 3:59 JST on June 20th, all players will receive the new Aqua medal simply by logging into the Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ.
Additionally, from 7:00 JST on June 9th until 23:59 JST on June 19th, there will also be a special event board and having the Aqua medal in your deck will attract event coins and treasure chests to help you strengthen it rapidly.
The original article follows:
Just a week before E3, the official Japanese Kingdom Hearts Unchained χTwitter account for the game launched a mystery medal campaign. With an image showing the silhouette of the new medal, the Twitter account announced that if their Tweet achieved 10,000 Retweets by June 7th, then they would unveil the new medal.
The Tweet reached 10,000 Retweets several hours after the Tweet was initially posted on 6/6 in Japan, and the account announced that the new medal will be released on 6/9 for Japanese players. It will be a part of the daily login bonus on 6/9.
Many are speculating that this could be the new look for Aqua in Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. It just so happens that the official Japanese Twitter account for Kingdom Hearts tweeted that a new Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue trailer will release on 6/8 at 21:00 JST (8:00am EST, 5:00am PDT). The tweet promises that the trailer will reveal lots of new material, so look forward to it!
With a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue set to release the day before the medal is distributed, it is very likely to be a new render of Aqua from Kingdom Hearts 2.8.
What do you think the mystery medal could be? What are you looking forward to in the new trailer? Let us know in the comments below!
- Jun 08 2016 07:59 AM
- by Toominator
As of June 2nd, 2016, 25 new story quests have been added to the North American version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ! These new story quests focus on the main tournament starting in the Olympus Coliseum and introduce Cloud to the Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ story line.
Along with the story update, the Olympia Keyblade's level cap has been raised.
Last but not least, the addition of 25 new quests also means you will earn another Orchalicum after clearing the new stages.
What's your favorite thing about Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ so far? Let us know in the comments!
- Jun 02 2016 09:46 AM
- by soraspromise
On May 19th, 2016, 25 new story quests will be added to the NA version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ. These new quests will conclude the storyline in Dwarf Woodlands. After completing these 25 quests, you will also earn another Orichalcum!
So far, there has been a trend of story updates coming in every two Thursdays, with either 25 or 50 new story updates.
Do you think this trend will continue and how long do you think it will take the NA version of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ to catch up to the Japanese version? Let us know in the comments!
- May 18 2016 01:17 PM
- by soraspromise
Square Enix has just announced that Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ has exceeded 2 million downloads just under a month since its release in North America.
Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ released on April 7, 2016 in North America and is available to download on iOS and Android devices.
Have you enjoyed the game thus far? Let us know in the comments below!
- May 11 2016 08:55 AM
- by Jake
Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ producer Hironori Okayama talks about Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ's development
Siliconera recently interviewed with Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ's producer Hironori Okayama. They discuss the development of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ, what it was like taking the series onto mobile platforms, and more. You can read the full interview below:
How has it's reception for Kingdom Hearts: Unchained X been so far?
Hironori Okayama, Producer: I’m surprised and happy that a lot of users are saying that it’s a really fun game.
You’ve changed from developing PC games for Square Enix to mobile. How does that feel different for you?
First off, just going to a mobile platform – it was thrilling because there’s a lot more users on a mobile platform nowadays. But, as for me, as a producer and game creator, (this is not specific to Kingdom Hearts) I like games that are connected to a network, like an MMO-type game, where you can play with others.
I’ve been making games like that for more than ten years. So, regardless of the platform, whether it be PS4 or smartphones, I continually want to make those types of games.
What were your thoughts in shifting the Kingdom Hearts experience to mobile? How do you make that experience work with that larger possible player base?
Instead of catering to a specific demographic, I thought more about how to incorporate the touchscreen game play within the player's daily lives. That’s how I came up with the different stages. Like, how you clear different stages, which is completely new to Kingdom Hearts.
Kingdom Hearts: Unchained X was planned to be a browser game at one point, but you’ve shifted focus to just mobile. What prompted that change?
It’s just that the mobile game platform has a lot more users now worldwide, and that’s why I wanted to take it over to the mobile platform.
Before I created the prototype of this game, I actually presented it to certain people by putting the PC game into a surface and I cut out a window in a cardboard box to make it as small as a smartphone’s size. Then, I showed it to people – “This is how it will probably feel on a mobile platform.” – and everyone liked that. So, that’s how this project started.
How does it affect your approach to creating game play when it’s being played on a smartphone versus PC/console?
Because it is a mobile game, I tried to design it in a way so that each of the stages don’t take as much time to clear.
When people have to go on the train to go to work or what-not and they haven’t finished and have to get off at a stop, I made it so that you can close the game but go back to it whenever you can. That is also why I went for more of a turn-based kind of game rather than real-time action.
The game play itself, I believe that you can feel that it is still Kingdom Hearts in its essence. It has that kind of action feeling. I believe I was able to get that with this game.
We had heard that you were taking and implementing feedback for the Western audience. What sort of changes were made from that feedback?
One thing is that, right after we created the prototype, we tested the game in the US with American players, and so it was more about getting feedback from the US players, or US audience, and then adjust the game from there to release in Japan and in America later on.
The greatest change might be the medals, actually. In the PC browser game, it used to be cards. We received feedback that cards would probably be a bit too geeky for a mobile game. Given that feedback, we thought about what we could do to make it a little bit different and not use cards.
What we ended up with was medals, and when I saw the cool medals that were created for the game, I was very happy because I thought “This is it.”.
The feedback we got was when users explained the game to people – to tell people that it’s fun – when they say that it’s a card game, some people might get put off by that. That’s the type of feedback that I got, so that’s why I decided to do away with the cards.
I love trading card games, though.
What got you excited to work with the Kingdom Hearts franchise?
It might be just to work with Disney for the first time.
When I brought the prototype to America to do the first test play, Disney was kind enough to take me to one of their animation studios, and I felt “Oh, this is great!”.
What was it like to work with Disney? Was it fun? Challenging in any way?
It is both fun and challenging. The Kingdom Hearts series is definitely a title where Disney and Square Enix all really discuss with each other to make the best game that we can. It is a very cherished title for both of the companies, so they always discuss how to improve the quality of the game with each other.
Did the other Kingdom Hearts team members have any suggestions on things they wanted to add to the game?
Everyone on this Unchained X project, aside from myself, has always been working with Kingdom Hearts, so they’re veterans in the series. So, rather than them giving me advice or suggestions, it was more like we were working together as a team.
I feel that it was probably the avatar system – where you could create your own avatar – that is definitely a first in the series.
How did that come about? The story in Kingdom Hearts is focused on very specific characters. Now, to tell a story in the past but leave those characters out seems like a big decision.
For the story, or how the game plays, or how the characters appear, they’re all being discussed by Tetsuya Nomura, and he did think through it. So, rather than a big decision point, it was more like a natural thing for them to decide to do. And, for fans of the Kingdom Hearts series, they’ll definitely see how it will lead up to the Kingdom Hearts series.
Right now, at least, no one has really gotten into the depth of that story with Unchained X, but it will lead you to understand how it ended up like that. We’ll definitely be constantly updating the story in Unchained X, and so I would love for everyone to look forward to seeing how that rolls out within the game.
Does working in the Kingdom Hearts series’ past give a lot of freedom to do what you like with story and game play?
So, aside from the story, which I didn’t really work on so I can’t talk about that, but the game system, at least, because it is the first game (in the Kingdom Hearts narrative history), I was really able to work pretty freely to create the game’s systems and concept behind it. There are a couple of things that I have to follow, but I was able to do things pretty freely.
What are you most proud of that you’ve done with this game?
If you defeat the enemy before you finish up using all of your medals – pretty much before the enemy strikes back – you’ll get a reward called a ‘One Turn Triumph’. To get that objective cleared, you really have to strategize and figure out which medals you want to use because, obviously, it gets more difficult as you play. I really like that in the game because it adds a puzzle element. It adds a lot of depth to the game.
Kingdom Hearts: Unchained X is supposed to connect to Kingdom Hearts 3. How does a game in the far past connect to this one in the future?
I actually want to know, too! I feel that if you play Unchained X, as well as the other titles, then you will realize what the connections are, but that’s all I can say at this moment.
Will the answers become clearer as you issue story updates to the game?
I wouldn’t say that everything will become clear, but there will be some things that will be revealed through this game. I am also looking forward to the future stories in this game.
Will any characters like Chirithy or others from this game show up in later titles?
I am not working on other titles, so I can’t say.
Kingdom Hearts X Back Cover will be a part of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8. Will players be missing out on anything by not playing the mobile game themselves?
The story is written in a different perspective in Unchained X than 2.8 Back Cover. Unchained X is written from a player’s point of view, whereas Back Cover is written from the Foretellers’ point of view. So, they are from the same story, but from different perspectives.
I would love for everyone to try to take a look at both.
What is your favorite character from the series?
Because he’s the most interesting.
What’s the plan for you next, in this game and as a developer? Will you keep working on new story elements for Unchained X?
As far as Unchained X, I would love to keep on creating new elements to it as long as it’s popular. I’m also working on other titles as a producer.
My team members, they all really like to create new things and so they will all definitely want to pursue making more new elements to the game going forward. As well as the story, of course. I’d also like to do more collaborations with Disney like they did in Japan for Zootopia moving forward.
Thanks go to KH13 member Sora96 for the tip. In what way do you think Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ's story will connect to Kingdom Hearts III? Sound off in the comments below!
- May 04 2016 09:23 AM
- by Xadec