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  1. Leonard Nimoy (Master Xehanort's English voice actor) has passed away

    As of today, Leonard Nimoy (Master Xehanort's English voice actor) has died at age 83 from Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Bel Air, Los Angeles, California.

    For those of you who don't know, he was born on March 26, 1931 in Boston, Massachusetts. He began his career in his twenties, teaching acting classes in Hollywood and making brief TV and Film appearances. Leonard Nimoy was perhaps best known to the public and Sci-Fi fans as Spock from Star Trek.

    Many Kingdom Hearts fans were hoping to see him reprise his role as Master Xehanort in the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III, but sadly it was not meant to be. His final tweet said "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" He will be missed. Live long and prosper.

  2. Yasue says 1.5 & 2.5 were 'good training' for Kingdom Hearts III & sharing ideas with FFXV team

    In an interview with Kotaku at last month's European launch event for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, Tai Yasue the co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series spoke about Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX & HD 2.5 ReMIX being good training for new staff members in preparation for Kingdom Hearts III. He also discusses respecting source material and sharing ideas with the Final Fantasy XV team for the new hardware. You can read the interview below.

    "We have been working on 3 and 2.5 at the same time," he explains, "so a lot of people are crossing over and doing both. There are also a lot of new people working on both. In a way, we've learned what was good about our previous Kingdom Hearts [games] by making 2.5."

    "For 3, we want to evolve it in a new direction, but at the same time we don't want to change what is fundamental about Kingdom Hearts. We're hiring new people continuously, so they are learning about Kingdom Hearts through making 2.5. It's a good learning experience."

    Kingdom Hearts is a unique thing to be working on, says Yasue, due to the necessity of finding a balance between respecting the Disney properties and incorporating original, creative ideas - so the training has been necessary.

    "There's a lot to get used to working with the Disney content," he says. "You have to have a lot of dedication and respect for their visual IPs for example, and when you play Kingdom Hearts 2 you see that: when you summon a character or use a spell there's a lot of love and care that goes into the presentation. When you see Stitch coming out of the screen, for example, it's very true to the original movie. That dedication is something you learn through the process or remaking 2."

    It must surely be restrictive working within those constraints, but Yasue enjoys the challenge that they introduce. "As Square-Enix, if someone else was making a Final Fantasy or a Dragon Quest, we'd be very protective of that too," he ventures. "So we really understand the importance of not changing the brand and respecting the fans. We want to make it true to Disney - we don't want to change it fundamentally. We always strive to make original content, but with Kingdom Hearts you have to really respect the source material, and that's something people really like about the series."

    "As someone who creates games I think the constraints make you really think. They are what make you strive to come up with new ideas - ideas that are acceptable to Disney, and also fun. That balancing act leads to a lot of surprises. It's very challenging, but we work on it daily. We continuously talk with Disney and see what they think is acceptable… but we constantly want to surprise our players, too, so we need flexibility. It is challenging and makes you think."

    The Kingdom Hearts team also benefits from sharing expertise with the other Square-Enix development units, including the Final Fantasy XV team, Yasue says - even though Kingdom Hearts development is based in Osaka. "We trade ideas - especially for PS4, Xbox One, new gen stuff," says Yasue. "We're trying to move in leaps obviously, so there is a lot to learn and a lot to explain to other people. That exchange of ideas and technology is very important and we're doing that inside Square Enix, with other teams."

    • Jan 23 2015 09:22 AM
    • by Sora96
  3. Square Enix's Third Business Division is hiring for Kingdom Hearts III

    Square Enix has posted a list of available job positions in their Third Business Division.

    Square Enix's Third Business Division handled Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX. They have also recently worked on a couple of other small Square Enix titles but the Division's focus is the Kingdom Hearts series with Shinji Hashimoto, the Kingdom Hearts series' executive producer serving as the Division's executive.

    Square Enix has listed 13 jobs relating to Kingdom Hearts III and we have listed them below. There are also seven other job positions available but four are for the SaGa game coming to PlayStation Vita in 2015 and three jobs in Tokyo that could be for anything be it announced or unannounced.

    No. 3BD / technical artist (Osaka work)
    No. 3BD / menu designer (Osaka work)
    No. 3BD / Battle Planner (Osaka work)
    No. 3BD / production planner (Osaka work)
    No. 3BD / level planner (Osaka work)
    No. 3BD / Character Model Designer (Osaka work)
    No. 3BD / background 2D Art designer (Osaka work)
    No. 3BD / 3DCG designer (BG) (Osaka work)
    No. 3BD / effects designer ( Osaka work)
    No. 3BD / Art designer (Osaka work)
    No. 3BD / UI Programmer (Osaka work)
    No. 3BD / game programmer (Osaka work)
    No. 3BD / 3D graphics programmer (Osaka work)

    Update: goldpanner has translated the job summaries and these can be read below.


    • Oct 26 2015 04:14 AM
    • by Sora96
  4. Bill Farmer (Goofy's English voice actor) says Kingdom Hearts III will be released in 2015

    Some very interesting tweets have been made by Bill Farmer, Goofy's English voice actor, stating that he has finished voice recording for Kingdom Hearts III and that the game is coming in 2015. While we have no way of knowing if this is correct, Bill seems pretty confident in his word. He has made many comments about the game and his part in it. Is it really possible for Kingdom Hearts III to come out in 2015? It doesn't seem likely, and it seems that it is likely that Bill Farmer is just mistaken about what game he recorded for, but all we can do is hope.

    You can view Bill Farmer's Twitter page here, or you can read some of Bill's most significant tweets below. These tweets have been removed so please remember to take these with a grain of salt.


    Update: Square Enix has made it clear that there was a mistake on Bill Farmer's part and the release date for Kingdom Hearts III remains unannounced.

  5. Tai Yasue comments on Kingdom Hearts III's development, now making new attractions and Keyblade transformations

    Tai Yasue, the co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series has commented on Kingdom Hearts III's development in a developer survey with 4Gamer.net. Yasue states that the development team have now gotten the hang of developing with Unreal Engine 4, the structure of the development team has been worked out and the game's look has been decided upon. Earlier this year, Square Enix posted job applications for various roles in Square Enix's third business division (Osaka) so it would seem Square Enix has successfully filled them all. He also states development is moving forward and that they will now be focusing on new attractions and Keyblade transformations with more information coming in 2015. You can read his comments below, in full thanks to Gematsu.

    “Now that we’ve worked out Unreal Engine 4 as our development environment, as well as the general structure of the team and fresh new look for the game and its accompanying shader, development of Kingdom Hearts III is moving forward as we now focus on making things like new Attractions and Keyblade transformations. We’re hoping to be able to show our fans the fruits of these labors step by step during 2015, so stay on the lookout for more information!”

    • Dec 27 2014 04:21 AM
    • by Sora96
  6. Yasue talks KH3 world selection, wanting to be involved with future titles/saga, & dealing with the complex story

    Following the interview reveal last week that Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX could be coming to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, IGN has posted the second half of their interview with Tai Yasue, the co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series.

    This full interview covers when we might see Kingdom Hearts III, the world selection process for Kingdom Hearts III and future entries, both fans and development staff alike dealing with the series' complex story, Yasue's personal wish to be involved with future Kingdom Hearts titles ("especially if it's a new saga"), and the team's goal to have Kingdom Hearts III help with expanding and revitalizing the Japanese video game market.

    Check out the full interview at IGN, or read it below, in full.

    Yasue: “Nomura has always been working on Kingdom Hearts III full-time, so nothing’s really changed there. Nomura is really the visionary, so he doesn’t work on the nitty gritty details. That’s something we do in Osaka; alongside development, we do the technology. That hasn’t really changed. We get Nomura’s input but it’s not a day-to-day thing, he just has these big ideas sometimes he tells us about. The pace really depends on how our team’s doing and that was never affected.”

    Yasue: “I can’t make any announcements on the Disney worlds but, even there, there are so many that we’re studying."

    [Yasue explained to me that two teams of programmers were employed, one focusing on 2.5 Remix and the other on Kingdom Hearts III, while the designers split their time evenly between the two projects. Now 2.5 is out the way, it’ll enable them all to focus on Kingdom Hearts III but he doesn’t believe there was ever really a slowdown. Admittedly, getting to grips with Unreal Engine 4 took some getting used to, but he believes the dividends are already paying off.]

    Yasue: “We’ve shown some videos of what Kingdom Heart III looks like and it does look a bit different but it’s still clearly Kingdom Hearts. UE4 was introduced and there’s a lot of stuff that we didn’t have to do previously, like lighting and shading, which we now have to do. The technology is vastly different but it’s exhilarating to have all this stuff to learn. There’s so much we can do, the consoles are so fast. Some of the videos with Sora, with individual strands of his hair moving? That stuff is a real leap in technology. I can’t make any announcements on the Disney worlds but, even there, there are so many that we’re studying. They do a lot of new stuff as well so we’re figuring out how to incorporate them as well.”

    [As everyone’s well aware at this stage, however, Disney has been busy growing its portfolio since the last game in the franchise launched. With both Marvel and LucasFilm now sequestered inside the walled garden of the House of Mouse, speculation has been rife that Avengers or Star Wars-themed playgrounds could make an appearance in the upcoming title. The look of fatigue that crosses Yasue’s face when I ask the question he’s clearly heard a million times before isn’t unexpected, but his answer should give fans some hope.]

    Yasue: “I can’t really go into any specifics or say anything about Star Wars, but when we come up with worlds we really want variety and to make sure that there’s a lot of different types of worlds. Any world that looks special is definitely a consideration; everything from the characters, to how they look and the differences between them. We think Star Wars is great but I’m not going to relate that to Kingdom Hearts III yet! We want a wide variety of worlds and when we come up with ideas, it’s the differences and the originality of each that’s really important.”

    Yasue: “Any world that looks special is definitely a consideration; everything from the characters, to how they look and the differences between them. We think Star Wars is great.

    [Alongside this hint, Yasue said that just because a world has previously appeared in the series doesn’t mean it won’t do so again. Square Enix is taking it’s time to evaluate which worlds will best suit the story and create a diverse experience for players and, until they’re ready, we shouldn’t expect any announcements. What he would admit, however, is that the non-linear structure we’ve come to expect won’t change, saying we’ll be able “to play them as you want”.]

    [Of course, just because Endor or Iron Man don’t end up making it into Kingdom Hearts III doesn’t mean they’ve missed their shot for good. It’s been confirmed before now that Kingdom Hearts as a franchise will continue on beyond the conclusion of The Dark Seeker saga as the games up to this point have been called. Yasue explains he’d like to be part of whatever’s next, especially if it’s a new saga, though he acknowledges one or two issues may need to be addressed.]

    [I first brought up the common complaint that, with so many different instalments on different platforms, a major problem with the franchise so far is how obtuse the story can be. It’s a complaint he acknowledges as fair, joking that even some of the development team find it hard to keep track of the story.]

    Yasue: “Honestly, a lot of the developers, me included, are also sometimes confused. Nomura has all this stuff in his head and sometimes doesn’t tell us. He keeps it secret. So there’s a lot of stuff he says in interviews that surprises us. I think he wants to shock us as well as fans, but a lot of it is hidden from us too!"

    Yasue: “What we do next time around largely depends on the hardware, too. It’s changing so rapidly."

    Yasue: “What we do next time around largely depends on the hardware, too. It’s changing so rapidly and we obviously don’t know what’s going to happen. We’ll be sure to consider the ones that most of our players are using though. We don’t even know the business model or how to sell it. That’s changing rapidly too, so we may have to adjust to that as well.”

    [Despite this, it seems unlikely Square Enix is prepared to let one of its most-loved franchises languish when there’s an opportunity for money to be made. Yasue, however, argues it’s something much nobler that motivates the developers based on the ground. There’s a general consensus this year’s Tokyo Game Show was much more exciting than it has been in previous years thanks to the strong presence of titles like Bloodborne. With the Japanese games industry having been labelled as a dying behemoth for years, the new consoles seem to have offered a second lease of life. According to Yasue, Square is under no illusions about how all the big Japanese developers need to do their bit.]

    Yasue: “With the development of Kingdom Hearts III we want the market to become bigger. We want to be responsible for moving it forward. There’s a lot of stuff, technology-wise, that we have to play catch-up to as well but I think right now we’re doing a lot of new stuff. By making, developing and publishing Kingdom Hearts III, hopefully the Japanese market will change. I think everyone from Square Enix feels that responsibility. We think we’re maybe even the people who are most responsible for doing that. We’re the only people in the right position who are able to change the market."

    Yasue: “As a whole, the market isn’t getting smaller. It’s getting bigger, but it’s going towards smartphone apps. Personally, I enjoy making big budget, huge development games with long cycles so for me it’s exciting and hopefully that translates to the player.”

    [Kingdom Hearts III may still be some way off, but it seems like Square Enix is fully aware of the pressure on it to deliver. As our interview draws to a close, I ask Yasue one more time if we’ll maybe see the game before 2015 is out? “We will make sure to make Kingdom Hearts III as quick as possible,” he says with a tired smile. It seems that’s as good an answer as I’m going to get.]

    • Dec 12 2014 10:09 AM
    • by Sora96
  7. KH13 impressions of the new Kingdom Hearts III footage

    At both the North American and European launch events for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, new Kingdom Hearts III footage was shown off, with more information promised to be revealed in 2015. This footage was only intended for those who attended the event, and as a result was not released online.

    Thankfully, staff member AndrewHankinson was able to attend the European launch event in London, and has written an exclusive first-hand account at what was contained within. This can be read below. For impressions of the rest of the event, please check out the full event coverage.

    During the presentation at the European Launch Event in London for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, the logo for Kingdom Hearts III was displayed on the screen. The host Dan Seto (Square Enix Europe community manager for Japanese titles) was ‘confused’ at seeing the logo appear, but then Tai Yasue (co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series) and Rie Nishi (producer of the Kingdom Hearts series) intervene and say they put it in. We were all reminded that we could NOT take photos or film at all throughout the presentation and especially for this. Then the Kingdom Hearts III teaser began…

    It starts off with sketches and 3D models of different new Heartless. One is like the ‘Solider’ Heartless with wings and another Heartless looked like a bull with the body of a human.

    A clip appears with a white background and Sora in his Kingdom Hearts II outfit, but changes to his Valor and Wisdom from outfits through out the clip. He is using one Keyblade and it transforms into the gun-like and canon-like weapons similar to ones seen in the 2013 teaser. Large angelic wings also appear on Sora.

    Concept art of ‘Cable Town’ fades in; the town has little buildings situated on 3 hills with a big tower situated on the centre hill. It zooms slightly in and a library/study picture fades in. The static picture of the library/study then fades into a clip; there is a large window at the centre which has curtains flowing from the breeze and soft lighting which is realistic as it glows into the room from outside. It cuts to and plans across a table (next to the central window) with a chess board and chess pieces (one of which has a Mickey Mouse head on top). It then cuts to Sora, in his Kingdom Hearts II outfit, walking towards the table with the chess board and picks up one of the pieces. The clips with Sora show his hair reacting more realistically to his movements from the swinging in the fighting clips and him walking in the library/study.

    At the end, a message appears promising fans that there will be more news about Kingdom Hearts III in 2015.

  8. Yasue discusses Kingdom Hearts III's switch from Luminous to Unreal Engine 4, Nomura's involvement, & Disney properties being considered

    In an interview with Eurogamer, Tai Yasue, the co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series, has discussed Kingdom Hearts III in the lead up to Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX's release in Europe. Here, Yasue explained the switch from Luminous Engine to Unreal Engine 4 and its effects on Kingdom Hearts III's development, Tetsuya Nomura's involvement in the development so far, and the prospect of various Disney properties being used in the game. These important portions of the interview can be read below, with a big thanks to Eurogamer.

    On Unreal Engine 4:

    Yasue: "The technology is moving forward a lot. That's something we've learned from the West, I think, in a big way. We're using Unreal Engine 4 right now, and that really has changed the way we make the game. There was nothing wrong with the Luminous engine at all. We decided that Unreal 4 was right for us. There was a huge network of people actually using it, we were communicating with the Japanese people at Epic a lot - it was like a complete product."

    Yasue: "It was easy to shift to, but at the same time though, there was a lot of stuff specific to Kingdom Hearts that we couldn't really do on Unreal 4 at first. So we had a lot of co-operation from Epic - they did a lot - at the same time we were doing a lot of customisation of the engine as well, to suit our needs. A lot of painstaking detail - the shadows for example, the really vivid colours, that sort of thing - we couldn't really do at the beginning, so we had to remake/customise the engine and add a lot of parameters."

    Eurogamer: Given that the game began life on Luminous, does that mean work on the initial teaser from E3 2013 had to be completely scrapped?

    Yasue: "We use the same graphical assets, so we didn't throw any of that away, and I guess a lot of the experience we got from making that for E3, that experience really translated to our development now. It was in our initial production stage, so I think we were learning a lot of stuff while using the Luminous engine."

    On Nomura's involvement since stepping down from being the director of Final Fantasy XV:

    Yasue: "Nothing has really changed. The development team is in Osaka, and Nomura-san didn't really do a lot of the detailed stuff, as he's really the sort of creative visionary. We communicate as much as we did previously, so our working relationship hasn't changed at all. We are speeding up things for development, obviously, on Kingdom Hearts 3 as we move along, but I don't think it has anything to do with Final Fantasy."

    Eurogamer: Has Disney made anything off-limits to the team at Square yet?

    Yasue: "At our current stage, they have not said no. There's a lot to choose from, a lot of wonderful new IPs. No specifics but there are a lot of new IPs that we are considering and there's a lot on our table, and Disney hasn't said no - we don't have any trouble with that."

    On the purpose of the HD collections:

    Yasue: "It's been 12 years since the original Kingdom Hearts came out in 2002; it's been a long while. We want new users to be able to understand the story before going into Kingdom Hearts 3, so I guess that was the plan - making Kingdom Hearts 3 but making it more accessible by making 1.5 and 2.5."

  9. No Disney property is off-limits for Kingdom Hearts III-- Yasue says Marvel and Star Wars are being considered

    Tai Yasue, co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series has revealed in an interview with Kotaku that no Disney properties are off-limits for Kingdom Hearts III and has revealed Marvel and Star Wars are being considered for Kingdom Hearts III. You can read what Yasue said in full below.

    “Yeah, I can’t go into specifics, but there’s a LOT of new Disney stuff and we have our plates full,” said Yasue. “Theres a lot to consider - we’re looking at all of Disney, the new ones as well, they have a lot of pull and draw.

    “We have to come up with a world that has a lot of originality. We want variety in our new Kingdom Hearts, so we don’t want too many of one sort of world, that would look the same. For each world there has to be some meaning for it, in the plot; in Birth By Sleep, for instance, in the Cinderella scene, the characters learn something specific by relating to Cinderella. Also, gameplay-wise, is that world something that would make gameplay fun? There’s a lot I can’t say, but there’s so much to consider.”

    When I asked whether I could safely infer that that Star Wars and Marvel are not off-limits, Yasue confirmed that they are being considered. “Well, yeah. They’re all under consideration,” he said. “Nothing’s off-limits, we’re considering all of the worlds. There are so many wonderful concepts. We’re happy about that, but at the same time it’s really tough to choose.”

    • Dec 02 2014 09:32 AM
    • by Sora96
  10. New Kingdom Hearts III footage shown at Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX NA launch event + new info to be revealed in 2015

    At the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX North American launch event at the Walt Disney Studio Lot in Burbank, California, Square Enix has shown new Kingdom Hearts III footage and revealed that they will release new information in 2015. The new footage showed concept art, new Heartless designs, a huge town titled Cable Town with Sora in a library/study room and new gun Keyblade attacks for Sora. Sora was shown in various Kingdom Hearts II outfits including Valor and Wisdom form. To expand on the gun Keyblade attacks, Sora's Keyblade transforms into dual guns and then transforms into a cannon. Chi was also written on a blackboard in the study room, this may be related to Kingdom Hearts χ[chi] but this is simply speculation. Thanks go to @churroz for the information.

    Update: Siliconera has posted their impressions of the footage. They reveal that Yoko Shimomura, composer of the Kingdom Hearts series was also at the event and performed a couple of the series' most famous songs. They have also included what Heartless they believe were shown. You can read them below.


    Update 2: Square Enix has told those who attended the event that the footage was only intended for those who attended the North American and European launch events and that more information will be revealed in 2015. This is likely due to the footage still being quite raw. Thanks go to @churroz for the tip.

    • Dec 03 2014 10:03 PM
    • by Sora96
  11. Nomura talks HD 2.5 ReMIX release, Kingdom Hearts III development, multiplayer, Unreal Engine 4 & more in latest Famitsu

    An interview with the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura appears in this week's issue of Famitsu Weekly which releases on October 9, 2014. The interview discusses Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, Kingdom Hearts III and how Nomura feels about the compatibility between the Kingdom Hearts series and multiplayer. Also as we reported earlier, Nomura also reveals that Kingdom Hearts III is now being developed with Unreal Engine 4.

    You can read the full interview translated in English below thanks to goldpanner.

    "As the titles have piled up, I think Sora's originality has come out." (Nomura)

    Kingdom Hearts -HD 2.5 ReMIX- by Square Enix was released on the Playstation 3 on the 2nd October 2014. Just in time for its release, we published an interview with director Tetsuya Nomura in our 9th October issue and 16~23rd October joint issue of Weekly Famitsu. We are now posting a corrected and edited version of that same interview.

    >An even more universal game with HD remastering

    —The main illustration you drew for the box art of KH2.5 is once again a gorgeous composition. Please tell us your concept for the illustration, as well as any things that gave you trouble.

    Nomura: I drew the characters of the three included titles just like KH1.5. The surrounding Keyblades suggest the Keyblade War which Master Xehanort, the main focus of the image, is largely concerned with. At first I drew Xehanort even bigger, but I made him a little smaller due to the placement of the logo. Also, as this was to be used for box art, the rating symbol would be added in. The symbols used overseas, especially the European version, are rather large. The Disney characters can't be covered up by that mark, so I laboured over the layout.

    —So that's what you took into consideration for that composition. Also, KH titles always have memorable taglines, and KH2.5 is no exception with the tag 'an unforgettable journey'. What intentions were involved in it?

    Nomura: In the beginning the publicity side came up with a blurb, but I wanted to use simpler, 'catchier' words, so we decided through a heated discussion. I was in San Diego for the 2014 International Comic-Con, so I was hitting up the publicity guys on LINE (dry laugh). Finally we moved towards settling the intentions I wanted to convey in a KH way, and based on how KH2.5 includes some of the most important 'journeys' in the series, the publicity side went with something that highlighted 'what kind of journeys' they are.

    —We see. Now we will ask about the game content of KH2.5. Were there any parts you were particularly attentive to during production?

    Nomura: Due to size issues, in the KH 358/2 Days (hereon Days) cinematic work included in KH1.5 we left out combat and just went with text intermissions that explained, but many fans pointed out that it was a shame, and that weighed on me. As KH Re:coded didn’t have the volume of Days, we were able to follow-up on that part by creating cinematics for the battles and Disney world stories as well as adding some narration by Mickey. Mickey both opens and closes KH Re:coded, so he was the best choice for the narrator. Also, as KH Birth by Sleep (hereon BbS) was going from a handheld console to a non-portable one, we needed to adjust the controls and such. At first, we were also looking for a way to include the multiplayer section as it was. This wouldn’t have been too difficult if we were only working on BbS, but as we had three titles’ worth of work on our plates for KH2.5, we included it reworked into a single player feature.

    —Did you have any feelings reexamining your own past work when producing KH1.5 and KH2.5?

    Nomura: Replaying games made years ago often does let you feel their age, but I’ve never felt that way with KH games. I think perhaps the HD remastering has made them even more universal. Also, my impression from playing it after so long was, wow, I didn’t think there were so many specialised worlds in here. Perhaps that’s because they were easy to use game-wise when I included them. For Olympus Coliseum etc, we staff went along with our planning under the assumption that, while we still hadn’t decided on whether to include something, there might always be a KH3 (laughs). There’s also Sora’s growth as a character. In KH1 I was incredibly conscious of keeping things ‘Disney-like’, but as the titles have added layers I think an originality has appeared.

    —After your long involvement with the series, what do you think is the particular charm of Disney works?

    Nomura: It is the extremely loving and careful way they show and handle their characters both inside and outside the works themselves. I think this is what makes Disney works top class worldwide. This is very important with games too, according to the type, and the whole thing can become good or bad depending on the way the characters are handled. I’ve learned a lot from that.

    —That’s rather deep. Can you please recommend any Disney works, or talk about any you’ve seen recently?

    Nomura: I think I’ve spoken about this before, but I like The Lion King, that hasn’t changed. Recently, I was invited to the preview of Frozen, and I thought it was really good. Now that Pixar’s Mr Lasseter has also become the chief creative officer at Disney, I expect that from now on there will be even more works that are even more challenging. As a fan I am really looking forward to Big Hero 6 which premieres in December.

    —Speaking of Frozen, there were reports that co-director Mr Tai Yasue made a statement regarding content with a point about ‘if Frozen were to appear in KH’.

    Nomura: That surprised me too. I checked with Yasue, because we haven’t touched upon it at all, and there’s been no talk about what we’d do ‘if we put it in for now’. I do understand, though, because interviewers overseas do talk about their wishes for what they’d like to happen. In response, we Japanese don’t give clear yes or no answers. Then sometimes they take it as as ‘fact’. It was misinformation that came from a difference in culture.

    —So that’s what it was. Now, how do you actually choose new worlds?

    Nomura: The shape the process is taking for KH3 is everyone sharing what sort of things we’d like to do on what sort of worlds, and then making decisions looking at that. A wide range of works fall within our targets so there are a lot of candidates, but we can’t make them all, and in the end we also need the OK from Disney. But, the staff working on KH3 are pushier than they’ve ever been (laughs). They get highly passionate on the spot, elaborating to me exactly why we ‘just have to do this!’, so it’s difficult to make choices.

    >The highlights of each title and the recommended features in Final Mix

    —Now we will ask about each title included in KH2.5. What are the highlights of the HD version of KH2?

    Nomura: KH2 has denser maps and directed parts compared to KH1, and there are also more characters. We have made it easier for you to see the expressions of even the characters at the back of the screen, which I think makes HD an even greater blessing for the information-packed KH2.

    —It does feel a little difficult to play KH again after having left it for a while. What are your thoughts on the degree of difficulty?

    Nomura: KH has been called a 'wolf in sheep's clothing' from the early days, and that concept hasn't changed since. Finding a strategy after much trial and error is something I believe games ought to involve, and I think to put as much of that into KH as possible. However, the 'sheep' side of things is the premise that people who aren't very good with action can play too. That's why if you level up you can defeat the last boss. Above that, we have structured the game so that it offers extremely difficult features such as Proud Mode and hidden bosses for those who want to challenge themselves outside the box. I wanted to make it so that you could investigate and discover ways to defeat those more efficiently by paying attention to the timing of your abilities etc., too. Thanks to our staff, I think we were able to make that broad range of difficulty a reality.

    —We see. KH titles are definitely the kind of games that give back the more you play, or perhaps absorbing is better way to put it. We agree. You added many such extra challenges to KH2 in Final Mix. Which do you recommend?

    Nomura: The Lingering Will. It was one of the greatest fights of the entire series, and still is. He is ridiculously strong and difficult to defeat, but I'd like you to try and experience a glimpse of that strength for yourself, even if you can't win. I also think that you will have different feelings playing BbS depending on whether you've fought him or not. KH2.5 does include BbS as part of the set, so after playing KH2 and fighting the Lingering Will, I'd like you to then play BbS.

    —Next, please tell us about the highlights of the HD version of BbS.

    Nomura: In some ways, HD had an even greater impact on a game made for a handheld compared to KH2 which was for a home console. It's beautiful, of course. I could say it feels like something completely new and unseen. As for the plot, having three protagonists means there are many memorable scenes, and I couldn't single one out. If I were forced to say, I might say the secret movie. I think it's one of the most moving scenes in the series so far, and I really want you to see it in HD.

    —Do you have any particular recommendations from the factors added to Final Mix?

    Nomura: The Secret Episode. It goes a step further than any of the other secret movies in the series so far by letting you play it as an episode. There's an urgency to the plot and battles, and I'm glad I tried putting it in. By the way, the words 'Birth by Sleep -Volume Two-' show up at the end. That points out that Aqua's story of the developments in the Realm of Darkness does exist. That she didn't necessarily just wander lost in the darkness for ten years, and that there is a story she experienced. However, it is not shown - that episode lives up to its other name, 'A fragmentary passage...', and it cuts off there. I'd like to get a chance to tell that story somewhere, though.

    —We are very interested in Aqua's Episode. There were multiplayer sections in the original version. What do you think about the compatibility of KH and multiplayer?

    Nomura: If I had to say one way or the other, I think perhaps the players of KH want to be made to be immersed completely in the world they are playing, so I don't think we will actively move towards multiplayer. Perhaps something that gives an asynchronous feeling of being connected, like in Re:coded, would fit better. Of course, I do consider multiplayer elements if it would fit the title, such as in KHχ (Key), where the premise is based on the Keyblade War, and BbS, where the three main characters made for interesting opportunities.

    —Lastly, please tell us about the highlights of the HD version of Re:coded.

    Nomura: It's been turned into cutscenes and given voicing - the whole thing is a highlight. The dialogue in parts that were shown through text in the original version have also been polished up in order to be voiced, so I think the overall impression is considerably different. There are also textual intermission sections, which feel fresh as they are voiced by Mickey. Also, we adopted the style of the original animated films for our directing. For example, in Alice's world, we had the voice actor read parts that had been written out straight in the subtitles with a 'catlike' inflection. (Translators note: he says sentences ending in '~dana' were read as '~danya', which represents a cat's meow.) I think there are lots of things like that to discover in this title. Also, because Days, which was included in KH1.5, was divided neatly into chapters by day, it was organised like a sequence of short, connected stories. In Re:coded, we were careful to try and connect the longest story to watch as possible by including Disney Worlds, battle scenes and narration.

    —This is the second time Re:coded has been remade. What sort of significance did each title have?

    Nomura: It was first developed for mobile phones, which was a challenge. We had issues with volume, and we tried to change the play style for each world so as not to become monotonous. That concept was passed down after that, despite us basically starting from scratch when we remade it for the Nintendo DS as Re:coded, with that eccentric growth system and such. I think of all the titles in the series it's the one that's the most sheer fun.

    —With all the new scenes, the cinematic work the HD version became is a gorgeous title. We were surprised at the content of the completely new scenes.

    Nomura: We put in two completely new scenes. The 'Tome of Prophecy' appearing in one is connected to KHχ (Key), so you'll come to understand what sort of power it holds. I included that element in KH2.5 because many people right now have the impression that χ(Key) is 'detached from the series', and I wanted to convey that there is indeed a firm connection. The other scene is set just before the scene in KH3D when Axel and the others wake up. I think many questions will come bubbling up if you look deeply into it, so please see what your imagination comes up with.

    —By the way, with the shift to the next gen consoles underway, especially overseas, would you say you want to release KH1.5 and KH2.5 on the Playstation 4 or the Xbox One?

    Nomura: The future plans aren't decided, but since we've only just finished work on KH2.5, we would need a little more time to look into the technical aspects of HD remastering for next gen consoles.

    >The reason that enigmatic trailer was put out

    —Let us bring up a slightly older topic. You used the opening section of KH3 in a recently released trailer for KH2.5, didn’t you. The conversation between those strangers was rather enigmatic.

    Nomura: I had received so many responses after releasing that play video previously, and I could feel that people were eagerly anticipating KH3. I really wanted to put out some sort of message, even though I couldn’t show any content at that time. And, I wanted to show everyone that KH3 begins somewhere nobody is expecting, with speaking from new voice actors that haven’t appeared in the series before. I really enjoyed seeing everyone try to guess who those two are.

    —We definitely were surprised. We hadn’t expected it to begin like that at all.

    Nomura: I wanted to go with an introduction that wouldn’t make fans be like ‘yeah, we knew that’ upon seeing the opening section, and that would have both fans who knew the series and fans who didn’t be like ‘what’s this? What’s going to happen next?’ and start feeling anticipation. I do this every time, but I want to try and make things even for both fans and newcomers. By the way, the conversation between those two is actually a lot longer, it goes for over two minutes. When you hear their conversation, you’ll understand the flow of everything so far.

    —The phrase ‘Lost Masters’ appeared in the conversation…

    Nomura: That may not necessarily deserve capitalisation. It just means what it says, ‘Keyblade Masters who have been lost’ (laughs).

    —Oh, is that so (laughs). We are very much looking forward to KH3, but there will be a bit of a wait to go after KH2.5 is released. In the meantime, are there any new developments for the series?

    Nomura: Counting the developments in PC browser game KHχ (Key), I’d like to think that fans will spend the least amount of time possible separated from works from the series.

    —We do wonder how KHχ (Key) will go from here.

    Nomura: The scenarios of KH3 and KHχ (Key) are intimately related, so they are being written at the same time. That’s why the plot of KHχ (Key) has been on pause for a little while, and I am very sorry, but I have to ask you to please wait a little longer. We are also currently investigating developments that would allow more people to experience KHχ (Key).

    KHχ (Key) isn't the only title that hasn't been covered in KH1.5 or KH2.5. There's KH3D, too.

    Nomura: That's true. Aside from KHχ (Key), which is currently still open for service, KH3D is the only title in the series not remastered in HD. I personally don’t like leaving it as the odd one out, so I think it’s an issue that requires consideration.

    >Sora's mobility in KH3 is what?!

    —Once more, may we ask about the state of development on KH3?

    Nomura: It’s moving steadily along the estimated schedule. As an effect of us changing the game engine to Unreal Engine 4, which we did for several reasons, we had a lot of problems with the image creation, but we have been able to progress without incident with the collaboration of Epic Games.

    —That's a drastic change, to be sure. However, at the same time, our hopes for the finished product have risen. What sort of work are you yourself currently doing on it?

    Nomura: Right now I am in the middle of writing the scenario and selecting worlds. I'm also drawing new clothes for Sora and Riku.

    —Wow, we wish we could see it already! By the way, out of scenario writing or world selection, does one come first before you proceed?

    Nomura: I do them parallel. I create the rough story, then the staff work out the details of how play will flow in-game. Then I fit each world in while keeping the flow of the plot in mind. After that, we take it apart and go along making decisions about the main story and the story of each world.

    —We see. So, how is the action part coming along right now?

    Nomura: When I went to Osaka the other day and saw how development was coming along, Sora’s mobility was too high. He’d reached a level where just moving around would probably make him invincible (laughs). Of course, he can’t move like that from the beginning, but it looks like by the end he will be incredible. I’m looking forward to the next check. In a previous trailer Sora fought by transforming his Keyblade. The variations of those are also turning out to be amazing. It’s close to the way the original Keyblade wielders fought in BbS.

    —We can't wait for the next announcement. Now, we’d like to ask a little about your work outside KH3. FFXV was announced at Tokyo Game Show 2014, wasn't it?

    Nomura: That's all up to the company. I can't say any more than that right now.

    —Previously you said that various jobs had fallen into your lap. Are those keeping you busy, too?

    Nomura: I do have many projects other than KH3. For some reason in this timing I have received many offers from both inside and outside the company, and I will be responding to those first. There are things that were given to me individually, and there are many things related to games, things outside games, and things that are yet to be announced. The closest thing is that at in October I am going to Comic Con which is being held in New York. While I have been given those jobs, I do intend to keep moving my own projects forward.

    • Oct 07 2014 05:19 AM
    • by Sora96
  12. Kingdom Hearts III is now using Unreal Engine 4

    In an interview with Famitsu Weekly the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura has revealed Kingdom Hearts III is now being developed with Unreal Engine 4 rather than Square Enix's very own Luminous Engine. Nomura explains he changed the engine "for a variety of reasons". We'll have a full translation of this interview later, for now you can read this part of the interview in full below thanks to goldpanner. Thanks go to @aibo_ac7 for the tip.

    ---Once more, may we ask about the state of development on KH3?
    Nomura: It’s moving steadily along the estimated schedule. As an effect of us changing the game engine to Unreal Engine 4, which we did for several reasons, we had a lot of problems with the image creation, but we have been able to progress without incident with the collaboration of Epic Games.

    • Oct 07 2014 03:04 AM
    • by Sora96
  13. Tetsuya Nomura's message in the Kingdom Hearts Series Memorial Ultimania translated

    The Kingdom Hearts Series Memorial Ultimania released today in Japan and included in is a message from director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura. The message included concerns Kingdom Hearts III and the Kingdom Hearts series in general. You can read it below thanks to SQEX.info.

    Message from Tetsuya Nomura

    If I had to pick, I am a person more on the dark side like Xehanort and co., I harness the burning anger in my heart into what I create. Kingdom Hearts III’s current development explodes very much in this sense. Each time, it’s a battle with Sora and co. who are the exact opposite of myself, it’s been over 10 years and yet we haven’t reached a conclusion.

    This battle will surely last longer.

    In Kingdom Hearts III as well, I am scheming many challenges that Sora and his friends must overcome, because I myself cannot lose either. And in preparation for the great battle that lies ahead, we have this one book that looks back on their entire journey.

    When I think about it, I had an explosive mindset when I made the first Kingdom Hearts as well.

    Thus when I look back at all the material, I feel that fever again. Fans who will continue the journey so far alongside Sora and his friends will also recall their own feverish enthusiasm. With that passion, we will not lose to darkness, and Sora’s journey will continue onwards.

    The journey still continues, but I would be overjoyed if you stuck with us until the very end.

    • Oct 01 2014 09:29 PM
    • by Sora96
  14. Nomura clarifies the status of "Frozen" in Kingdom Hearts III, discusses working with Disney

    Within several interviews with co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tai Yasue, there have been strong hints that he would like to see a world in Kingdom Hearts III based around the successful Disney film, Frozen, leading to speculation that it was all but confirmed.

    The recent interview with Tetsuya Nomura in Famitsu Weekly, however, debunks the notion that world selection is set in stone just yet.

    Nomura: That surprised me too. I checked with Yasue, because we haven’t touched upon it at all, and there’s been no talk about what we’d do ‘if we put it in for now’. I do understand, though, because interviewers overseas do talk about their wishes for what they’d like to happen. In response, we Japanese don’t give clear yes or no answers. Then sometimes they take it as as ‘fact’. It was misinformation that came from a difference in culture.

    It's worth noting that, when asked, Nomura admitted that he did enjoy Frozen and also looks forward to Disney's next feature film, Big Hero 6. In addition, the interview revealed that, in spite of no longer feeling truly limited to being "Disney-like" and moving the series into more original territory, there is still a deep appreciation for the Disney content of the games and the inspiration that they provide.

    It is the extremely loving and careful way they show and handle their characters both inside and outside the works themselves. I think this is what makes Disney works top class worldwide. This is very important with games too, according to the type, and the whole thing can become good or bad depending on the way the characters are handled. I’ve learned a lot.

    He also mentions that he is excited by the appointment of John Lasseter (director of Toy Story and Cars), has been appointed as chief creative officer at Disney.

    The full interview is available here, with translations thanks to goldpanner.

    • Sep 27 2014 08:34 PM
    • by Dave
  15. Coverage: Nomura interview with Famitsu completely translated-- the director talks Kingdom Hearts III, KH2.5 & KHχ

    Earlier, we published a translated interview summary from the Famitsu Weekly issue released on September 25, 2014, where the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura, talked Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, Kingdom Hearts III, and Kingdom Hearts χ[chi].

    Now, goldpanner has published a full translation of this interview, and thanks to her, it can be read below.


    Relevant articles

    - Nomura clarifies the status of "Frozen" in Kingdom Hearts III, discusses working with Disney
    - Nomura is investigating developments to allow more people to experience Kingdom Hearts χ[chi]
    - Nomura doesn't like leaving Kingdom Hearts 3D as the only title without a HD remaster
    - Next week's Famitsu will contain a Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX release special feature, with comments from Nomura
    - Tetsuya Nomura to attend New York Comic Con 2014
    - Original interview summary

  16. Nomura talks Kingdom Hearts III, new outfits for Sora & Riku, link with KHχ, KH3D being considered & more

    The latest issue of Famitsu Weekly, releasing on Thursday, September 25, 2014, is to include an article about Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, containing an interview with the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura.

    A summary of this interview has appeared online, and it covers Kingdom Hearts III, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts χ[chi]. Some of the major points from this interview include that Kingdom Hearts III's development is on schedule, new outfits for Sora and Riku have been designed, that Kingdom Hearts III will link closely with Kingdom Hearts χ[chi], among many other things.

    Thanks to hokanko-alt for the original interview summary, and to translator goldpanner for translating everything into English, you can read it below.

    This is a pre-release special feature including a review of all currently known info, play impressions, and an interview with director Tetsuya Nomura.

    KH2.5 parts aside:

    • when asked if reports that KH3 co-director Yasue spoke about Frozen overseas were incorrect, apparently not giving a clear yes or no meant that overseas some took it as fact
    • choosing what to say you want to do as a new world for KH3 or at some other point in the future is difficult, they are highly passionate
    • the conversation between the mystery pair is even longer, over 2 minutes
    • Between KH2.5 and KH3 they want to leave the least possible time for fans who understand the developments of KHχ to get separated
    • The scenarios of KHχ and KH3 are closely related, and are currently being written simultaneously
    • They don't want to leave KH3D out all by itself, so they are considering key things
    • KH3 is moving along steadily and according to plan
    • They are having issues creating the images because of the engine, but they are writing the scenario and selecting worlds
    • Sora and Riku etc's new clothes have been drawn up
    • The Osaka team said Sora's mobility was too high and he felt invincible (in his final stages of growth)
    • Keyblade transformation/shape variations are turning out amazing
    • They have various other projects outside of KH3, but thanks to all the offers coming currently they are going to respond to it first
    • They plan to publish Nomura comments in the next issue too

    Update: Kotaku have also published a summary of the article, you can read it below.

    Square Enix recently revealed that Tetsuya Nomura is no longer helming Final Fantasy XV. Now he can work on getting Kingdom Hearts III out quickly.

    "We're regularly meeting schedule deadlines." Nomura said in an interview with Weekly Famitsu. "Unfortunately, due to the engine, there are areas on the visual side where we're struggling."

    Talking about the Kingdom Hearts III intro teaser that is included with Kingdom Hearts II.5 HD ReMIX, Nomura said, "When we showed the gameplay demo, we received the fan feedback and I felt a lot of anticipation was directed at Kingdom Hearts III. At present we can't really show more, but I wanted to send out some sort of message [to the fans]." Nomura also added, "I also wanted to show people that [Kingdom Hearts III] is going to start from a place they won't expect."

    Nomura couldn't specify exactly how far along development Kingdom Hearts III is, but he did note: "I'm currently writing the scenario and selecting worlds. I'm also designing new outfits for Sora and Riku." That kind of gives you a general idea.

    In regards to the change in directors for Final Fantasy XV, Nomura stated, "It was a company decision. That's all I can say about it right now."

    • Sep 25 2014 08:39 AM
    • by Sora96
  17. No Kingdom Hearts III at Tokyo Game Show 2014

    While Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX is appearing at Tokyo Game Show 2014 with a new playable demo and trailer, Kingdom Hearts III unfortunately has now been confirmed to not appear at this year's event. Kingdom Hearts Ultimania asked a member of the Square Enix staff at the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX demo booth where Kingdom Hearts III is, they responded with "the game is still in the very early stages of development and it’ll be ready to show, when it’s ready. We have Kingdom Hearts 2.5 coming out this year, playable at the show, and that’s our focus right now’".

    • Sep 18 2014 06:25 AM
    • by Sora96
  18. Tetsuya Nomura steps down as Final Fantasy XV director to focus on Kingdom Hearts III

    Tetsuya Nomura, director of the Kingdom Hearts series has stepped down as director of Final Fantasy XV, the title that has been in development since 2006 by the team who developed both Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II. Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda has released a statement that confirms Nomura will be focusing his efforts on Kingdom Hearts III. You can read this below thanks to Square Enix.

    “As the director of FINAL FANTASY XV, Tetsuya Nomura has mainly worked on the original concept for the story and universe in addition to creating the characters. Hereafter, he will be focusing his efforts on the production of titles that can only be made possible by Nomura, himself, and delivering products that exceed the quality of past titles, starting with another one of his representative projects, Kingdom Hearts III. Square Enix will continue to work on these titles with the best staff formation in an effort to deliver them to everyone as soon as possible and appreciates your continued support.”

    Update 2: Tetsuya Nomura has answered why he stepped down as director of Final Fantasy XV in the latest issue of Famitsu Weekly. Thanks to sqexgal for the translation, you can read it below.

    "It was the company's decision, I can't say more than that."

    Update: Square Enix Europe have provided some extra insight about Nomura's change within these two projects, and this can be read below.


    • Sep 24 2014 07:29 PM
    • by Sora96
  19. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX Secret Movie may hint towards Kingdom Hearts III, reveals Famitsu review

    Following on from Dengeki Online's revealing review last week, Famitsu have posted a review for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, which releases in Japan on October 2, 2014. In this review, it is revealed that the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX Secret Movie "may hint to Kingdom Hearts III", and that there are contents related to the browser game Kingdom Hearts χ[chi].

    This portion of the review can be read in full below, thanks to KH13 translator SkyKeybladeHero:

    Re:coded, which explains the mission that was entrusted to Sora after the events of Kingdom Hearts II, had its Text based story-telling made into Voiced Scenes, just like Kingdom Hearts 1.5 ReMIX’s 358/2 Days. We could enjoy it very much (and now even the battles are included in the scenes). New scenes were also added, there are contents related to the Browse Game χ [chi], and we were even able to confirm a Secret Movie which may hint to Kingdom Hearts III. It is very nice of them (Square Enix) to do this, but it is also unfair to add such teasing material while the main games are already teasing us enough to know what will happen next.

  20. Sony announces full Tokyo Game Show 2014 line-up, no Kingdom Hearts III

    Sony Computer Entertainment Japan and Asia have released their full line-up of titles at Tokyo Game Show 2014 at their booth. As expected following it's absence at Sony's pre-TGS press conference and on Square Enix's line-up for Tokyo Game Show 2014, Kingdom Hearts III unfortunately is not listed. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX is of course listed with a playable demo and trailer as Square Enix confirmed on their Tokyo Game Show 2014 website. On the other hand, Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, a PlayStation 4 title is confirmed to be playable with a trailer but is absent from this line-up. You can view Sony's full line-up here thanks to DualShockers.

    • Sep 12 2014 08:55 AM
    • by Sora96
  21. Square Enix recruiting Technical Artists for Kingdom Hearts III and a Network Game Programmer for Osaka Team

    Yesterday, we reported that Square Enix is recruiting a UI Designer for Osaka Team's Kingdom Hearts III. Today, Square Enix Japan has posted job advertisements on their career website for Technical Artists for Osaka Team's Kingdom Hearts III and another advertisement for a Network Game Programmer for a "online multiplayer game". Osaka Team's only announced title still in development is Kingdom Hearts III which is most likely a single-player game. Could this be related to the Kingdom Hearts series? Or is it more likely related to the Final Fantasy series? There's plenty of speculation that could occur here, but we'll leave that up to you guys. What do you think it could be?

    Thanks to our translator SkyKeybladeHero, you can read the job advertisement summaries below.

    You will be assigned as a General Supporter (construction of Workflow, Middleware Selection, etc.), helping us achieve a high-quality Graphic representation for KHIII.

    Your job includes creating Shaders for natural representations (water/rain/snow, etc.) and special effects such as Magic, using the Game Engine.

    ※ Location will be Osaka

    You will be responsible for planning and implementing the Communication System for Online Multiplayer Game (C/S method).

    ※ Location will be Osaka

    • Sep 12 2014 07:55 AM
    • by Sora96
  22. Square Enix recruiting UI Designer for Osaka Team's Kingdom Hearts III

    Square Enix Japan has posted a job opening on their career website. The job is UI Designer for Osaka Team's current project, Kingdom Hearts III. Thanks to our translator SkyKeybladeHero, you can read a translation of the job advertisement summary below.

    Task Description

    Design and Data Creation regarding KHIII's UI.

    While communicating with the Planners and Producers, aim at creating a user-friendly UI which is easy to understand, taking into account the appearance of the worlds and the uniqueness of the Kingdom Hearts Series.

    Objectives - This Job's Fun factor

    Seeing the reaction of the millions of passionate fans worldwide who are obsessed with an exciting game experience is this job's fun factor.

    ※ Location will be Osaka

    • Sep 11 2014 07:50 PM
    • by Sora96
  23. Tai Yasue talks Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, Kingdom Hearts III & Kingdom Hearts χ[chi] with MeriStation

    Following Gamescom 2014, MeriStation has had the privilege of interviewing Tai Yasue, the co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series. In this interview, Yasue discussed both Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts III, revealing some interesting details about why HD 2.5 ReMIX is exclusive to PlayStation 3 and about future ports for the HD collections. He also touches on the subject regarding Kingdom Hearts χ[chi] being released outside of Japan and whether or not it can be considered canon.

    - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX will not be dubbed in European languages other than English (but will be subbed).
    - The HD collections will remain in physical format, not digital download.
    - Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance was too new to be considered for a HD remaster, but in time, they will consider what to do with it.
    - There are no plans for an international release of Kingdom Hearts χ[chi].

    Daniel Black from KH13 has translated this interview and thanks to him, you can read it below in full.

    Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMix is almost like cooked candy. With the game completely finished, we talked with it´s Producer Tai Yasue, on the Gamescom event in Colony, Germany for the purpose of discovering all the secrets of this remaster and, also, trying to get some open possibilities for Kingdom Hearts III, the third numbered title of the franchise and also the most expected by fans. The work done for this remaster is too far from being a three-game simple pack.

    To begin with, Yasue explained to us how, for example, Birth by Sleep received a graphic update with a texture redesign, adapted for a better resolution. In the case of Kingdom Hearts II, do you remember the game had 4:3 resolution, now in HD ReMix it will be 16:9. This has motivated the team itself to recreate data for all this extra screen, in the same with Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, now showed up in a theater mode instead of a playable game, with three hours of cinematics adapted to the high definition and new voice cast.

    Far off from general stuff, we wanted to get advantage of having him face to face to resolve some doubts the community had for some time. The first, and bad one is that KHII will not have spanish voices. The reason it´s because, like Yasue said, in Spain and Europe in general, they will receive for the first time the Final Mix versions of the game, and the only solution was to use the spanish dub, and the new scenes in english, and that didn't worked too well. The good news, the game will have spanish subs, as after seeing what happened with Dream Drop Distance, we can be thankful.

    The second reason, and also the main reason of an online petition, is why these remaster versions will not see the light on Xbox 360, having see that KHIII will appear on Xbox One. According to Yasue, when they began to work in 1.5 HD, they studied the game code, and they realized that, as the original games were released on PS2, it was more easy and cheaper to adapt them to PS3, a console which "Extracts the maximum potential of these titles". However they are not closed to release these versions in other platforms, but he confirmed that we can forget about getting digital releases of 1.5 and 2.5 in Xbox One and PS4, by the time being, these will remain in physical format.

    Dream Drop Distance is the only game of the franchise that wasn't considered for a remaster, but this could change. Asking Yasue about the reason of this exclusion, he said the title was too recent and, in time, they will consider what to do with it, and it´s considered in the end. About KH X (chi), he explained there´s no plan for an international release, but somehow the story is relevant for the franchise, and now it needs to be recovered and making it canon. He also said there´s no plan for a Nintendo game release, as they are working with KHIII for One/PS4 already.

    Talking about the future of the Dark Seeker saga, we talked about how Frozen has become a worldwide success, including Japan, where´s like a hit. Asking how to include this universe in the next games, he explained that he likes everything related with the creation of ice elements the protagonist´s dualities, and the music, saying that he would like to do it like the snowed mountain in Land of Dragons from KHII, maybe including musical elements like Atlantica. What other things he would add? If the choice were his, he would use Star Wars and Marvel elements, but also worlds based on Disney shorts like Timeless River, or Pixar movies, or even characters of Square games. Final Fantasy VII´s unused characters are his first options.

    Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMix will reach Europe December 5th 2014 for PlayStation 3, with remastered music, updated graphics, new contents from the Final Mix versions and other adjustments to make these titles the ultimate versions. If they manage to achieve it or not, we will see it soon, but now the grain of salt in this news is to know the lost of the magnificent Spanish dub included in KHII. Even we asked, as if we had nothing to lose: "And on´t you think of releasing this dubbing in DLC format?" after some thinking he responded: "Everything´s possible, but now we haven´t decided about it"

    • Aug 19 2014 02:09 PM
    • by Sora96
  24. Tai Yasue talks Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX & Kingdom Hearts III with Stevivor

    Following E3 2014, Stevivor has had the privilege of interviewing Tai Yasue, the co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series. In this interview, Yasue discussed both Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts III, revealing some interesting details about what was considered for the games. With a big thanks to Stevivor, you can read this interview below. Thanks go to Dimi3Infinity from KH13 for the find.

    Shane Wall, Stevivor: What improvements were you able to make with the titles included in Kingdom Hearts 2.5 compared to their original versions?

    Yasue: For Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix we remade Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep and also Kingdom Hearts Re:coded as a theatre cinematic were you can see the cutscenes. We were much more used to making a PS3 game after doing Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix so we had a lot more time to redo a lot of the graphics and a lot of the sounds, so quality-wise it has gone up. I guess that’s one of the big changes and also I guess for Re:coded we got some feedback about Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. Fans told us they wanted us to include more battle scenes so forRe:coded we added a lot of battle scenes and totally remade them into cutscenes.

    Stevivor: With this new collection of games is there any chance you will combine the two collections into one?

    Yasue: That’s definitely a possibility; no decision has been made yet though. In Japan we are doing a starters pack [with] 1.5 plus 2.5, but so far we haven’t made a decision on what we will do in the American and European market. I guess in the future that is something we can think about.

    Stevivor: The games are pretty big. Are there any plans to expand them through DLC?

    Yasue: DLC is a difficult thing. We can’t announce anything yet, DLC-wise, because we really concentrated on the PS3 package this time around with 2.5 and obviously a lot of new games are doing DLC so that’s another avenue for us to think about.

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    Stevivor: These games would be perfect for the PlayStation Vita. Will we see them on the vita in the next few years?

    Yasue: When we were making 1.5 and 2.5 we really wanted to put them all on the one console. A lot of our players wanted to play because they were all over the place; PSP, DS, PS2. So we really wanted them together in one console. Vita is another option, were not really thinking about it just yet but I guess there are a lot of consoles right? It’s something to think about in the future it’s not something were are doing right now but it’s a possibility I guess.

    Stevivor: Same thing with the PS4?

    Yasue: Yeah same thing I guess. It’s definitely a possibility for PS4 but we haven’t come to a decision yet.

    Stevivor: What kind of difficulties did you encounter bringing three games all from different consoles to one?

    Yasue: With Birth by Sleep obviously the PSP spec-wise made it difficult to recreate it for PS3. We had to redo a lot of the characters, the models the environments and also the sounds. We added a lot of sounds; the PS3 has a lot more capacity memory wise so were able to make the sound a lot richer. In Cinderella’s Castle you can actually hear fountains gurgling and that sort of thing that we weren’t able to do in the vita version. For Kingdom Hearts II the biggest problem was the screen. The aspect ratio wasn’t 4/8, it's 16/9, so we had a wider screen. A lot of the stuff on the side when we just ported it initially stopped animating and the effects weren’t really appearing. But in the end when you play with the wider screen you can see a lot more and it really helps in the battles.

    Stevivor: Will you unlock anything for Kingdom Hearts III by playing through 2.5?

    Yasue: No, you can’t really unlock anything for Kingdom Hearts III. The plan with 2.5 was to let the user know more about the Kingdom Hearts series with the cut scenes telling the backstory of the other Kingdom Hearts titles but its not going to unlock anything for Kingdom Hearts III. That’s not really something we thought about.

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    Stevivor: What took more time to make, Kingdom Hearts II or Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep?

    Yasue: We have a number of programming teams that would split up for development. There were two for Birth by Sleep and two for Kingdom Hearts II and one kind of overseeing everything. Really both took a lot of effort, we had to change more for Birth by Sleep but Kingdom Hearts II was more vast with a lot more data we had to change so I guess overall it was about the same just for different reasons.
    Stevivor: Was it ever planed to bring Re:coded and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days to the collections as playable games?

    Yasue: It’s a time thing and I guess it’s difficult with the DS and the touchscreen on the bottom. If you want to make it playable you have to rethink all the game design. Without the touch screen it wouldn’t be Re:coded it would be a different game. Right now we are simultaneously making 2.5 and Kingdom Hearts III and we don’t want to slow down the development for Kingdom Hearts III so yeah I guess it was mostly a time thing.

    Stevivor: Thanks for now slowing down Kingdom Hearts III. I know there are a lot of fanatic fans out there that have been waiting a long time for it.

    Yasue: No problem, we have a Keyblade here if you’d like to get a photo?

    Stevivor: That would be amazing. I’ve been staring at that thing since I walked in the door.

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    Mr Yasue said I should try and get a photo with the Keyblade in an action pose. I decided this was a challenge I was up to and wanted a shot in mid air.

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    Please note the classic Sora pose down to the feet splayed out in front of my body. In case you’re worried for my safety, I know it doesn’t look like it’s possible for me to land on my feet from this position but I made it back to earth safe and sound.

    • Aug 07 2014 01:20 AM
    • by Sora96